November Rambling: Candy, Poetry, and 50 Shades

SamuraiFrog, bless his heart, is writing 50 Shades of of Grey, as Summarized by a Smartass.

An Opinion Piece On A Controversial Topic. “Pretty awesome meta.”

Gettysburg Address at 150.

Heidi Boghosian joins Bill Moyers for a conversation on what we all need to know about surveillance in America. “Spying on democracy,” indeed.

The defense should not be permitted to refer to the prosecutor… as “the Government.” It might sound… prejudicial.

Texas Man Sued for Defamation by Fracking Company that Contaminated his Water Supply.

“You could get better if you wanted to.” “You should just try harder.” “You’re being lazy.” “You need to be more motivated.” “You’re so needy.”

Methodist Pastor Has 30 Days to Renounce His Gay Children or Be Defrocked; it’s a matter of right and wrong.

Always Go to the Funeral.

Exclusive excerpt from Art Spiegelman’s Co-Mix retrospective. Some lifetime ago, before Maus Continue reading “November Rambling: Candy, Poetry, and 50 Shades”

As though the Beatles needed ME to defend them

He claims Revolver is “pretty godawful.” Most critics would strenuously disagree, and since it’s my FAVORITE Beatles album, I do so as well.

I’m on Facebook Sunday night, and I get a notification that I’m mentioned in a post. This one from my friend Broome says: “I just wrote a Note about the Beatles and why they and their music are so important. I hope Roger Green or ANYONE ELSE will write something so I can take the drivel I have written and burn it.” I disagree with his characterizartion of his observations.

I purloined the whole conversation and placed it HERE because I don’t know that people who aren’t on FB can otherwise read it. (My biggest complaint about my historically favorite bloggers is that they put so much stuff on FB that I believe is inaccessible to some.)

Broome makes the odd notion that this issue needs to be litigated at all, instead of being noted as a settled fact. The Beatles were and are important because millions of fans and loads of critics believe them to be so. Beethoven was and is important because people long ago decided it, and his music appears everywhere from the soundtrack of Saturday Night Fever to, well, the Beatles.

Broome’s young friend Raymond, born in 1973, reviews several albums. The first is Beatles for Sale. I must say Continue reading “As though the Beatles needed ME to defend them”

Thanksgiving tunes

Listen to some songs of thanks, then go do what you do on this day, such as eat turkey, watch football, or quite possibly nothing special at all.

I wanted a quick post for today; after all, it IS a holiday. I found Thanksgiving playlist: Top 20 songs of gratitude, which was a pretty decent roster. It contained some good, but obvious choices, such as Sam & Dave, though NOT the original version, and I couldn’t find that on YouTube either. There were also some nice finds, such as Ella doing that Bob Hope theme song.

I did notice, however, that while the Sly song is on the list Continue reading “Thanksgiving tunes”

Randy Newman is 70, tomorrow

For someone once best known for the misunderstood song Short People, Randy Newman has had a not bad career.

Did I ever tell my “I sorta met Randy Newman” story? Probably.

I was at the Poughkeepsie, NY train station in mid-May 2000, returning from a conference. There was a guy at the station, with a woman and two children, and he looked very much like Randy Newman. So I walked over to him, and said, “Excuse me.” And he said, “Randy Newman.”

This is what I wanted to say: “Wow, I’ve loved your music ever since [the #1 song, below.] I sure hope you get that Oscar you deserve [he has since gotten two, in twenty nominations]. You know, that damn song on Toy Story 2 Continue reading “Randy Newman is 70, tomorrow”

The Lydster, Part 116: Calendaring

Lydia is in the church musical of The Lion King. Not only is she participating, she’s going to play the pivotal role of the young Nala.

Most of the time, I try to come up with a narrative about the Daughter. This time, just the calendar.

This fall, she was playing soccer. Unfortunately, in the very first game, fairly early on, she got kicked in the foot, left the game in pain, and never returned. But she was back in action by the following week. She likes playing defense, and is more interested in protecting her team’s goal rather than making a goal. However, for her homework, she has to write sentences, and she has allowed that someday, she WOULD indeed like to score a goal. That phase ended on November 2.

Both last year and this, there were two weekends where she had soccer, PLUS two rehearsals of the Albany Berkshire Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker, in which she will again be an angel. The performance is Saturday, December 21 at 1 pm in Albany.

Much to my surprise, she wanted to try out for the church musical of The Lion King. Not only is she participating, she’s going to play the pivotal role of the young Nala, young Simba’s best friend. She gets to sing some lines by herself, and make a few dance moves. She has played the soundtrack – this is NO exaggeration – over a hundred times since rehearsals began in September. One day she played it FIVE TIMES, and she always goes to sleep listening to it. The production is on March 2, 2014 at our church.

Then there is the aforementioned homework. I have railed about it in my Times Union blog HERE and HERE and HERE In brief, the new Core Curriculum is making my daughter sad and anxious, and she’s not the only one. It’s not that I oppose standards. I do object though to inane questions (see third link just above) put together by non-educators, which what the EngageNY syllabus adopted by the NYS Department of Education has deemed appropriate. Homework takes too long, and chews up both her and my time. Makes me cranky.