May Rambling #2: New Zealand music

I rant about the JEOPARDY! Million-Dollar Tournament.

America.duck
Descendants of Solomon Northup, who recounted his story in a memoir, 12 Years A Slave.

The Real Origins of the Religious Right. “They’ll tell you it was abortion. Sorry, the historical record’s clear: It was segregation.”

Dustbury points to an article about how the ineptitude of the Department of Veterans Affairs, and its predecessors, go back nearly a century.

The Worst Argument Ever Made Against Gay Marriage.

Amy Biancolli’s book: To plunge is to live. Also, her parents in love.

Judy Sanders, former local news reporter and photographer, is dying of ovarian cancer. Confronting the long goodbye from Paul Grondahl, and a piece by her former colleague, Ken Screven.

Diane Cameron’s blog Love in the Time of Cancer has been going on since 2008, but I just discovered it.

Getting kicked out of the prom.

New York Erratic asked: “Have you ever dated anyone who turned out to be gay?” Continue reading “May Rambling #2: New Zealand music”

$30,193.86

I HIGHLY recommend that you get a notebook when you go to the hospital with someone – and you SHOULD have someone, if at all possible.

hospital-billThe bill came for the Daughter’s two-day stay at a local hospital:
Over $4,000 for the emergency room
Over $4,000 for the MRI brain scan
Over $12,000 for the MRI spine scan (which they probably didn’t finish when she balked after an HOUR)
Over $4,000 for various labs
Over $4,500 in “accommodation fees”
Plus drugs and physical therapy
Continue reading “$30,193.86”

Cherry Valley and the Limestone Inn 2014

The Limestone Mansion is a happening place.

limestone_mansionBack in October 2001, the Wife and I went to Cherry Valley, NY, about an hour west of Albany. It was, of course, a month after 9/11, and I wanted to get away. She had contended then that we could do what is now known as a staycation. As I have noted, she rather sucks at staycation; she now acknowledges this to be true.

And the Limestone Mansion in 2001 was a pretty good place to be: no TV, no Internet, just nice rooms. The owners, Wolfgang and Loretta, also made breakfast, but they had arranged some chef to do do dinners, and they were, I must say, fabulous.

It was probably some desire to recreate that time that when we arranged to revisit the Limestone for Memorial Day weekend, that The Wife asked me to leave all of my devices, save for the cellphone, home. Though I found it odd, I did, and not only did I regret it, eventually so did she.

It was a trip that almost didn’t happen at all. The car, in that past week, had an irritating habit of starting only occasionally, having SOMETHING to do with the ignition doohickey. That Friday Continue reading “Cherry Valley and the Limestone Inn 2014”

Gladys Knight is 70

Neither One of Us (Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye) was, appropriately, one of Gladys Knight & the Pips’ last songs at Motown.

GladysKnight.Pips
Also used for ABC Wednesday, Round 15 – K is for Knight:

Gladys Knight & the Pips, if I had thought of them, I could have put in my weekly family music groups. One of those pieces of trivia I’ve long known is that “at the age of seven in 1952, she won Ted Mack’s Original Amateur Hour television show contest.” In 1953, Gladys,”her brother Bubba, sister Brenda, and their cousins William and Eleanor Guest started a singing group called ‘The Pips’ (named after another cousin, James ‘Pip’ Woods). The Pips began to perform and tour, eventually replacing Brenda Knight and Eleanor Guest with Langston George in 1959 and Edward Patten in 1963.”

I felt a bit badly for Gladys and the Pips during their tenure at Motown. Continue reading “Gladys Knight is 70”

T is for Talking Heads

The album Speaking in Tongues had come out only a couple months before the SPAC concert, featuring their only American Top 10 hit, Burning Down the House.

Frantz, Weymouth, Harrison, Byrne
Frantz, Weymouth, Harrison, Byrne
One of the two greatest concerts I ever saw was the August 1983 performance of Talking Heads at the Saratoga Performance Arts Center, which someone put online; actually, here’s another recording. It starts with David Byrne by himself on guitar and percussion. He’s joined by Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth, who were married in 1977, on drums and bass, respectively, for a song or two, before Jerry Harrison joins on guitar. That was the core band, but then the additional players are added in; the process was so organic.

This is the same tour from which the classic Jonathan Demme film Stop Making Sense was taken Continue reading “T is for Talking Heads”