Sunday Stealing: High school, music

an eclectic mix

Binghamton Central High School, NYThe Sunday Stealing for this week is nominally about high school.  There are a lot more questions about music and recreation, thank goodness.

To that end, I have a great fondness for this song, High School by MC5.

1. You are back in high school… what are you doing after school lately?

Usually, walking my friends home, which involves a circuitous route before I get home. It usually was the friends I walked home with in junior high.

2. Do you do homework early or late? Do you really study?

I did the homework I liked (geometry, trigonometry, history) early. The rest was at the last moment.

3a. Do you go to the games? Football? Basketball.. what is your favorite to attend?

I went to an occasional football game because, because as president of the student government, I felt a vague obligation to go. But the field was across town, so it was more of a pain to get there. Basketball was at my school, and I knew a more significant percentage of the players, including the center, David, who I went to kindergarten with.

b. Do you go to dances? Prom? (what’d you wear?)

I went to a few dances. And I attended two proms, I believe.


That’s me, left rear.

4. Lunch!  What are we having today?   What is your favorite lunch?

There is a yearbook picture of me on the General Organization (student government) page drinking one of those half-pint containers of chocolate milk with a straw. Beyond that, I have zero recollection of the cafeteria food.

Impossible to answer

5. What kind of music do you like the best?

I have over 2500 compact discs. It is an eclectic mix.

6. Does the radio play in your car, and if so, what station or kind of music plays?  Does music play in your home often?

Occasionally there’s music in the car, often dictated by my daughter, who plays music from her phone.

Music plays in my house often. When I am writing – like at this very moment, listening to Volume 3 of The Buddah Box, or I’m cleaning the house, or doing almost everything except eating, watching television, or sleeping, there’s music on.

7. What do you think of the music played in restaurants or stores? Do you find it relaxing or annoying?

It depends on the store. Restaurant music usually puts me to sleep.

It IS my life

8. What part has music played in your life? What kind of music was played at your wedding or at parties you have been to?

I have written about 6500 blog posts. Approximately one-third of them have mentioned music. I sang I Love You Truly at more than one wedding when I was still a boy soprano. Music from Mrs. Joseph started with fourth grade. My failed piano lessons. The MAZET singers at church. The Green Family Singers. Sitting in the stairwell singing with Candid Yam. Church choir as an adult.

I’ve been to lots of concerts, especially before I got married.

Back in 2007, I wrote a post about the rules of playing music. This is to say that if you have north of 2500 CDs, you ought to play most of them at least annually. Now 2500/365 is 6.82, and I don’t always play seven albums a day. But absent meetings and other distractions, I come close on many days.

What kind of music at parties? Again, eclectic.

Green Acres: not the place to be

9. Is the farm for you? How about a ranch, a village or a city? Which is your choice and why?

I’m a city kid. Small cities are fine. I like to walk or bus to the store and to the movies.

10. A short auto trip for the weekend with friends or a long vacation? Where would you go?

I’ve taken weeklong vacations and weekend trips. My wife wants to go to all of the 252 towns in Vermont; they established a new town recently.

11. The quiet life at home with a cuppa and TV or a good book or a night out with friends? Which sounds good today?

I hardly go out much at night. My DVR is about 47% full, so I suppose I should watch or delete some programs.

12. You have a choice of dinner and a movie or a game of cards and snacks at the neighbors’. Where are you going tonight?

I have a hearts game almost every year. But if COVID would ever go away – high transmission in Albany County AGAIN this week – I’d opt for a movie OR dinner, but probably not both in the same evening.

Friendly neighborhood…

13. Is there a hero or character on TV, in a book or a movie .. or even in all three that you especially like? What do you find attractive about them?

I always related to Spider-Man. Or, more likely, Peter Parker, who felt misunderstood. I edited an issue of a magazine about Spider-Man.

14.  Was there a book that was better in movie form? How about a movie you thought didn’t live up to the book?

Admitting I never got through the book, The Bridges of Madison County was a better movie. Catch-22 was the better book; there are lots more of those examples.

15. When you choose a book, program, or movie, which subject is it most likely to be: science fiction, mystery, romance, comedy, documentary, etc.?     What draws you to a particular book or movie?

Books/movies: history, politics. Film: Documentary. A good review helps in any case because there are lots of books, many movies, and more new television programming each year than anyone could ever watch.


E is for entertainment for the whole family

In the 1980s, I ROCKED at Trivial Pursuit

UnoIn November 2018, Slate came up with The 40 Greatest Family Games, entertainment for the whole family. There are five things games should be: the right length, fair, action-packed, helping you learn something, and encouraging spontaneity. “Not every good game follows all these commandments, but the best ones balance them well.”

I will only note the ones I have actually played.

Sorry! – wrote about its greatness here eight and a half years ago
Concentration – I’ve always been notoriously bad at this. By the time my daughter was eight, she could beat me. I used to watch a TV version with Hugh Downs as the host.
Uno – I am a harsh competitor. Even when she was much younger, if the Daughter didn’t say “Uno” when she played her penultimate card, I made her take two more. I also insisted she keep her cards above the table. Slate calls it Bloodthirsty, Thrilling, and Desperate
Air Hockey – when we’re at the timeshare, the daughter, nieces and I often play. Something visceral about it.

Apples to Apples – “asks players to decide which of a set of proposed nouns best fits that round’s designated adjective.” It’s often hilarious.
Boggle – My wife is MUCH better finding words than I.
Cribbage – I actually have a cribbage board and deck of cards both in my office and at home
Pictionary – I’m lousy at it because I cannot draw worth beans
Chess – I learned how the pieces move, but that is about it

Scrabble – I played this with my great aunt over 55 years ago. My college roommate painted me a Scrabble board. I’ve reviewed a book about Scrabble. I haven’t played in a while. No, I’ve seldom played Words with Friends online.
Scattergories, Stratego – I’ve played them but never owned them
Trivial Pursuit – in the 1980s, I ROCKED at Trivial Pursuit. Now, any 21st century pop culture question would ground me
Yahtzee – a dice game that I like because it requires decision-making and odds calculating

Slate also notes the 10 Worst Family Games

Candy Land – pretty lame, I thought, even as a child
Clue – I never “got” Clue
Hangman – boring
Life – I actually liked it as a kid, but quit by my teen years

Monopoly – I’ve played it enough that, at one time, I could have told you the price and rent of every property on the board. I suppose they’re right, though – “the most famous branded board game of all time can be made enjoyable — with the help of some aggressive house rules”
Operation – hated it from the start
Risk – never warmed to it
Tic-tac-toe – statistically boring

For ABC Wednesday

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