Saturday, December 24, 2005
10: Go Tell it on the Mountain, Mahalia Jackson
9: Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Frank Sinatra
8: Baby, It's Cold Outside, Ray Charles
7: Cherry Tree, Emmylou Harris
6: Go Tell it on the Mountain, Blind Boys of Alabama
5: Greensleves, Deborah Conant
4: Twelve Days of Christmas, the Muppets (Miss Piggy rocks!)
3: Blue Christmas, Chris Isaak
2: White Christmas, Bing Crosby
and my number one favorite of all time:
1: When was Jesus Born, Blind Boys of Alabama
Merry Christmas everybody!
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
10: Jingle Bell Boogie, by the Jingle Dogs. (Arrrghfbarf)
9: The entire Christmas with the Brady Bunch album. (So bad, it's hard to pick the worst song.)
8: The entire Meowy Christmas album. (See comment for number 9)
7: Oh Holy Night, by Cartman (South Park) Now if Chef would have sung it, it'd have been good.
6: Oh Holy Night, Celine Dion (Some people love this - I don't. I like Celine, believe it or not.)
5: Jingle Bells, by Barbra Streisand (I like Barbra, too, just not doing Jingle Bells)
4: The entire Star Wars Christmas Album. (What the hell were they on when they made this?)
3: It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas, by Kathy Lee Gifford (You need a reason?)
2: The burped version of Silent Night. I don't know who did it, maybe Dr. Demento does.and finally, the WORST EVER CHRISTMAS SONG:
1: The Christmas Shoes, by New Song. If you've never heard a Christmas song that will make you want to toss yourself under Santa's sleigh and have all his reindeer trample you to death, you haven't heard this one. What were they thinking????? Scary, scary, scary. And from a Christian band no less.
Friday, December 09, 2005
I cannot believe it's been 25 years since John Lennon was died. (For whatever reason, on the first draft I said shot. I guess I still have to come to terms that he is indeed dead, because he still feels so alive to me.) That realization got me thinking of how little I have progressed in my own life. I won't bore you with details because the last thing you need to read are the rantings of a bipolar middle-aged woman.
However, John still gives me hope. And I still miss him.
I remember exactly where I was, what I was doing when I heard the news that he had died. I was sitting on the edge of my bed, having just got home from my night course at college. I had heard John had been shot while on was on the bus. When I got home, I turned on the radio and the DJ said John had been shot in front of the Dakota, and they the station would keep updating us as then news came on. Then they started playing "When I'm 64". Midway through the song, there was dead air for about 10 seconds and "Imagine" started playing. The DJ didn't have to say that John had died.
The next day at school someone had organized a memorial at the flag pole. At noon we all gathered. Nobody really knew what to do or who was in charge. Then someone started to sing "Imagine". Soon everyone was singing, and when "Imagine" ended, someone else started singing "I want to hold your hand". So around the flagpole were about 75 people, all crying and singing off tune.
And then life went on.
John lived his life as he wanted to, and that is what we should all so, if only we had the courage.
Bagism lives on.
Monday, November 28, 2005
In the meantime I've done my share listing to music. I got online this morning to listen to the John DeBella and then and Debbi Calton(hey, Debbi - thanks for playing Lawyers, Guns & Money for me on WMGK!). As long as I'm giving them a long distance plug, the 6th Annual 102.9 WMGK Classic Rock Art Show will be held at Liberty Place, 16th and Chestnut. Tom Petty is this year's Honorary Chairperson. There's no admission fee and all the works of arts by rockers and more can be purchased or bid by silent Auction. Proceeds from the Rock Art Show benefit the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation.
Then I played the Beatles Anthology. I've listened to it, well, I don't know how many times. Each time I hear something new, especially in the first volume. If you don't have the set, you should.
There's also a new Beatles biography entitles "The Beatles" by Bob Spitz. It's going on my December reading list and I'll let you know what you think.
Now I'm back at the Rock with Joe Elvis playing Gimme Shelter.
Life is (mostly) good. Now it's time to make up some grub.
Rock on y'all.
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
November 21, 2005
Hello. I am writing this diary on behalf of Jeff Seemann. As many of you know, Jeff is running for Congress in Ohio's 16th District, and he's trying a different strategy. He believes that you cannot represent people until you truly understand their lives. Currently, he is spending 100 hours homeless, in an attempt to better understand what life is like for people who have lost everything. We all witnessed the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, but Katrina only magnified a problem that exists in every town on every day of every week. I just spoke with Jeff, and he has asked me to relay the story of his first 20 hours to you and several other blogs. The following is Jeff's entry;
Hello everyone. After my first day out here, if I can give you any amount of wisdom, it will be this; don't take anything for granted. You can always end up worse off than you are right now. It hasn't been easy here. The experiences and lessons I've learned already range from harsh to easy, but it's certainly been an eye-opener.
Last night, I tried to find a place to sleep. It was dark by the time I got downtown, and being a Sunday, everything was closed. I went into this experience blind, so I had no idea where any homeless shelters may be located, and I therefore decided to try a few churches. No luck there, all the doors were locked at the 4 area chuches I could find. I ended up by myself for the entire night, and found a bit of warmth behind the Palace Theater sometime around 10pm. I had hoped to find somebody to help me locate a place to sleep, but again, no luck. It was an awful night of sleep, if you can call it that at all. The temperature was probably in the 30s or low 40s. By midnight, I had a splitting headache. It's amazing how many things we take for granted in our everyday lives...like aspirin. I'm pretty sure I fell asleep a couple of times, but it was never anything that one could reasonably call sleep. By about 7 or 8 am, I was chased out of my space by a police officer. I've heard the words "move along" more times than I thought I would today. This morning, I found myself a few agencies that can help the homeless, but they are few and far between. So far, they've been helpful, but the people I've spoken to who benefit from these agencies tell me that the help doesn't last very long.
At one agency, I was told that I "picked a bad time to end up homeless" (as if there's a good time). This is the end of the year, and the grant money has dried up. Agencies don't have any money left to set anybody up with accomodations, and until January 1st, you're at the mercy of the streets. Churches do step in from time to time, but that's usually for one night only. I didn't know that a "homeless hotline" existed, but was advised to call them. One of the agencies allowed me use of their phone, and the hotline referred me to Open Door, a shelter at the Turnaround Community Outreach. I'm to report there tonight between 930 and 10pm, and I have to leave by 6am tomorrow morning. It's an African-American church, and I've already been by there for a meal at 2pm today. Very nice people, very comforting. Tomorrow, they're also having a free meal at 2pm at Open Door, but in order to eat you have to attend a church service first. I'm not willing to question this policy, but I wonder if they would still offer to feed the hungry if they were Buddhist, Jewish or even Muslim? At today's meal, there were 28 people in attendance. Almost all were homeless, but a few had homes but were well below the poverty line. The ages ranged from 18 months old to 70+ years. The 18 month old was a sweetheart. Her mother lives near the church and has no money, so she does what she can to keep her baby fed. The church gave her a few extra biscuits, and she slipped them in her baby's diaper bag (which was not really clean enough to handle food).
For the benefit of those of you concerned with whether or not I may be taking food or a bed from somebody who needs it more, I will gladly report that I waited until everyone had their plates of food before I approached the line (and was told that there was plenty if anybody needed more), and the cot I will sleep on tonight is not the last one. They can fit many more than will attend tonight, so everyone who has requested a place to sleep will get it. Also, no I have no money to make my situation any more comfortable than it is. I have no ATM card, no pocket change, no photo ID, nothing. If I was going to deprive anybody of anything during my experience, I will gladly give it up and go elsewhere. It's only been a short period of time, and I'm only 25% of the way through this, but I can tell you that I've learned a lot.
For starters, there's a whole system you have to know and those who can work it best survive with the least amount of trouble. There are a few phone numbers to call and get assistance, but most places can only offer you referrals to other agencies. It's a messed up web that you have to maneuver through in order to get anywhere. And I'm told that the funds are being slashed for 2006.
That half-eaten corn dog I saw on theground last night....I was too proud to pick it up, a move I could later regret. That bag of Fritos I saw in a trash can while walking down 12th Street...it might have had food inside. Earlier today, maybe some of you stopped by Burger King or Wendy's. Did you finish your french fries? If not, I know of a few people who would love to have what you just threwaway. Man, just that small handfull of leftover fries or the pickles you took off your burger would be a wonderful gift to some people. No, I'm notasking you to take some cold leftover food to people right now....but I am asking you to never again take for granted what you have. Tomorrow, you may not have it anymore.
I'll be posting this diary in a few locations that Jeff has directed me to. I'll try to answer any questions you have if I have the time. In the meantime, you can help out Jeff's campaign - he's promised to deliver 10% of all funds raised to homeless shelters in the area. Visit Jeff's ActBlue page or his blog.
And trust me, as his friend, I heard it in his voice that he's not having an easy time with this. He's surviving just fine, but the people he is meeting are really eating away at his soul. He's going to walk away from this a very different person, even more sympathetic than he is now.
Peace be with you all, Michelle
I have no idea how people suffering from chronic illness survive on the streets. Or what it must be like to be a child on the streets. I do know I'm grateful for what I do have, and try to what I can to help. One person at a time can make difference, some people, like Jeff, may make a bigger difference.
I'm a sucker for Radar Love, Candy's Going Bad, Lost and Found and Twilight Zone. OK, every song they do.
Lately The Continuing Story of Radar Love is on heavy rotation, along with, Sinatra: the Capitol Years, Meatloaf's Bat out of Hell, Jimmy Reed's Cry Before I Die, and Aretha Franklin's Under Her Spell.
In 1947 there was West Pakistan and East Pakistan, which were separated by about a thousand miles of India smack dab in the middle. West Pakistan and East Pakistan were a single Muslim country, and aside from the fact they both had Pakistan in their countries names, they had basically nothing else in common. For real. The regions themselves were physically different, the cultures, languages and races were all different. Most of the wealth and power was in Bengali-speaking West Pakistan, but the majority of population was in the Urdu-speaking East Pakistan, which was much poorer. So how did this odd situation come about? Check out this link , because I’d rather get on with the review.
Anyway when the first free elections were held in 1969, despite the fact the East Pakistanis won the majority of power, the West Pakistanis refused to transfer power and began cracking down on the opposition. Three million people were killed in the conflict and East Pakistanis trying to flee to India were hit by destructive floods, starvation and disease. Foreign aid couldn’t handle the sheer magnitude of the crisis.
Then came Ravi Shankar, who approached George Harrison to help him organize the first ever benefit concert. The Concert for Bangladesh is the granddaddy of Live Aid, Farm Aid, and all the other benefit concerts musicians now do for those in need.
And now for the review (boy, aren’t you glad – you didn’t think you’d have to sit through a history lesson did you?)
An impressive array of stars came to help:
George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Jim Keltner, Billy Preston, Leon Russell, Klaus Voorman, Jesse Ed Davis, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Badfinger - Pet Ham, Tom Evans, Joey Molland, Mike Gibbons, Hollywood Horn Players, led by Jim Horn, Ravi Shankar, Allan Beutler, Chuck Findley, Marlin Greene, Jeanie Greene, Jo Green, Jim Horn, Delores Hall, Kamala Chakravarty, Jackie Kelso, Usted Aliakbar Khan, Claudia Lennearm, Lou McCreary, Ollie Mitchell, Don Nix, Don Preston, Carl Radle Alla Rakah.
The film is a treasure to watch. It hasn’t been remastered, so it looks like it did in the theater, which gives it a certain authenticity to me because it really looks like I remember it looking the first time I saw it. It starts off with Indian music by Ravi Shankar (sitar), Kamala Chakravarty (tamboura; and take a look at her bracelets!), Usted Alla Rakah (tabla) and Ustad Ali Akbar Khan (sarod). It’s real Indian music so be prepared. I happen to love Indian music, but I know some people just don’t…it’s OK.
Of the 18 songs, the ones that really shine are My Sweet Lord, It Don’t Come Easy, Beware of Darkness, Leon Russell’s version of Jumpin’ Jack Flash, Bangladesh and every song Bob Dylan is on. He is at his peak here, no doubt at all! Leon Redbone and Billy Preston really stand out.
And I cried when George did While My Guitar Gently Weeps. I always have. I never met him, and I miss him on this earth, but I know his spirit lives on. I don’t know, maybe I cry whenever I hear this song because I feel his spirit. Sounds crazy I know.
Best of all? The bonus CD. A documentary with interviews and footage not in the original film, plus lsound checks and rehearsals. (More Dylan! More Leon Russell!) The mini-features are treasures worth exploring, especially Recollections and Original Artwork.
This two CD set comes in a fantastic looking box, and has a full color brochure loaded with pictures. It has a forward by Ravi Shankar, and a better history than mine of the Bangladesh crisis. 100% of all artists royalties benefit UNICEF.
OK, folks, this is where you start thinking "Wow, what a gift this would make for my friends! It's a great video and and it'll help children!" Go ahead, you know you want to. You should.
After watching, please, please, please, go to http://www.georgeharrisonfundforunicef.org/. In the words of the insert:
The George Harrison Fund for UNICEF is a joint undertaking between the Harrison family and the U.S Fund for UNICEF. Fund for UNICEF that aims to support UNICEF program, providing lifesaving assistance to children caught in humanitarian emergencies.
George may have left us, but his work goes on, All Glories to Sri Krsna.
Thursday, November 17, 2005
I've already decided a couple of sibs are getting this for a Christmas present. It's got a beautifully illustrated book, and made for gift giving! Well, that's what I think. You'll see after the review, plus I'll post pix so you can get a really good idea of what you'll be paying for.
Man, it brings back memories. I hadn't though about my inflatable throw pillows or my blacklight cosmic star map in ages. I actually have some of my love beads left...
I'll do a little intro so that those of you who weren't born yet when this was originally released will understand why it was such an important event.
Until tomorrow, my friends, be cool, and peace be on you and all you love.
Sunday, November 06, 2005
26. Warren Zevon
Essential Album: Excitable Boy
Warren Zevon had a unique, offbeat, satirical and often warped view of life that made his music addicting. Unfortunately people hear his name and think Werewolves of London is the only thing he ever did -- not true! Listen to Excitable Boy, and you'll see just how many great songs he did, like Lawyers, Guns and Money, and Roland, the Headless Thompson Gunner. Diagnosed with lung cancer in 2002, in typical Zevon style, he said he said he'd be happy just to hang around long enough to see the next James Bond flick. The Rock Gods granted his wish and he died a couple months after seeing Die Another Day, which was released June 3rd, 2003.
27. Ringo Starr
Essential Album/s: Ringorama, The Anthology So Far (I couldn't make up my mind so Ringo gets a double shot)
I don't think Ringo gets the recognition he deserves. When he tours with the All-Starr Band, you can tell he is still at the top of his game and he always lets other musicians shine as well. He is definitely a gentleman! The 1999 tour of the All-Starr Band was probably the best All-Starr Band yet. Click here to see more about the show at the Sunrise Musical Theater in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
Face it, you put Ringo Starr, Gary Brooker (Procol Harum) on keyboards , Jack Bruce (Cream) on bass, Simon Kirke (Free and Bad Company) on drums, Timmy Cappello (from the "Todd Rundgren School of One Man Band Musicians") and Todd Rundgren on the same stage and you know you are in heaven.
28. Edgar Winter
Essential Album: They Only Come At Night
If you didn't already know, Edgar is Johnny Winter's younger brother. His music fuses blues, rock and jazz. If you haven't listened to him, you definitely should because he is good. Real good.
29. Joan Jett
Essential Album: Bad Reputation
A Philly girl, which automatically endears her to me. Success in the US was latecoming; she was more popular overseas (Japan and Europe mostly) than she was here, which confounds me. Most people of have heard of the Blackhearts, but there's also the Runaways, her first band. She's finally getting the recognition here that she deserves, but she deserves more, I say, more!
30. Tracy Chapman
Essential Album: Tracy Chapman
A great rock/folk/blues mix and voice that could hypnotize a rampaging wildebeest into submission. God, how I love her voice. Especially on Give Me One Reason and Fast Car.
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
This is the track listing:
Track Listing for Rolling Stones Rarities: 1971 - 2003
1. "Fancy Man Blues" (B-side to the "Mixed Emotions" single)
2. "Tumbling Dice" (live)
3. "Wild Horses" (live)
4. "Beast of Burden" (live)
5. "Anyway You Look At It" (B-side to "Saint of Me" single)
6. "If I Was A Dancer" (Dance Pt 2.)
7. "Miss You" (dance version)
8. "Wish I'd Never Met You" (B-side to "Terrifying" single)
9. "I Just Wanna Make Love To You" (live)
10. "Mixed Emotions IV" (12" version)
11. "Through The Lonely Nights" (B-side to "It's Only Rock 'n' Roll" single)
12. "Live With Me" (live)
13. "Let It Rock" (B-side to "Brown Sugar" single)
14. "Harlem Shuffle" (New York Mix)
15. "Mannish Boy" (live)
16. "Thru and Thru" (live)
Week of October 31 to November 6
All That I Am: Santana
Christmas with James Brown: James Brown
Dead Ahead [DVD] The Grateful Dead
Live at the Royal Albert Hall [DVD]:Dusty Springfield
Live at the Union Chapel [Special Edition DVD]: Procol Harum
Rapture of the Deep: Deep Purple
Summer Breeze: Greatest Hits Live: The Isley Brothers
The Long Road Home: Ultimate John Fogerty Creedence Collection: John Fogerty
Ultimate Isaac Hayes: Can You Dig It: Isaac Hayes
Week Of November 07 to 13, 2005
Dandy in the Underworld [Expanded]: T. Rex
Good to See You Again, Alice Cooper: Live 1973 Alice Cooper
Live: Blue Öyster Cult
Live Peace in Toronto, 1969 [35th Anniversary]: John Lennon
Men of the World: The Blues Years: Fleetwood Mac:
Rising in the East: Judas Priest:
The Last Great Traffic Jam: Traffic
The Ultimate Collection: Eurythmics
Tommy and Quadrophenia Live: The Who
Zinc Alloy and the Hidden Riders of Tomorrow [Edsel] [Expanded]: T. Rex
Week Of November 14 to 21, 2005
Beatles: The Biography: The Beatles
Born to Run [30th Anniversary Edition: Bruce Springsteen
Cheap Trick/In Color/Heaven Tonight: Cheap Trick
Face the Music/A New World Record/Discovery: Electric Light Orchestra
Early Steppenwolf/For Ladies Only: Steppenwolf
Great American Songbook Box Set: Rod Stewart
Live at Fenway Park: Jimmy Buffett
Lovely to See You: Live from the Greek: The Moody Blues
Maximum Bruce Springsteen: Bruce Springsteen
My Lives: Billy Joel
Private Investigations: The Very Best Of [Deluxe Edition]: Dire Straits
Private Investigations: The Very Best of Dire Straits and Mark Knopfler: Dire Straits
Rapture of the Deep: Deep Purple
Rhythm Kings Live: Bill Wyman
Rolling with the Blues: John Mayall
The Best of Bob Dylan: Bob Dylan
The Collection: JT/That's Why I'm Here/Never Die Young: James Taylor
Vertigo//2005. U2 Live from Chicago: U2
Vertigo//2005. U2 Live from Chicago [Deluxe Edition]: U2
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Every few centuries a handful of people make a change in our lives, our ways of thinking, our world. Some are driven from birth to grab the world by the shoulders and shake it into change. Some decide to use their voice and argue the world into change. On December 1st, 1955, one tired woman simply sat down on a city bus and our world changed forever. Today, Rosa Parks left this earth, and I know that in Heaven she is gathered among the angels and the saints who left this planet a better place than they found it when they first arrived.
I was born a little over a year after Ms. Parks sat down on a Montgomery, Alabama bus, but I can remember, even as a young child (maybe three or four years old), how my grandmother told me a the story of the woman who wouldn't give up her seat to a white man and go to the back of the bus as was expected of her in that day and time. I forget exactly under what circumstances my grandmother has decided to tell me the story, but I do remember her sitting me on her lap to tell me about Ms. Parks. I remember she said that she though the woman was an angel sent to earth to teach us all a lesson about love and what was right.
Rosa Parks, we will miss you here, but we are eternally grateful for your courage that turned a simple act of defiance (even though you only wanted to get home!) into a lesson for us all.
Monday, October 17, 2005
For a while people were laughing at the fact that the Stones were still touring. Some people were wondering when they would actually have a tour named the “Geriatric Tour” or some other silly mot. Well, folks, A Bigger Bang is proof that the Stones are just as talented, dynamic and as hot as they were in the 1960s. So there!
Buy this CD, and see why. The booklet has the song lyrics too, a touch I always appreciate so I don’t have those embarrassing “you thought the words were what?” moments. Speaking of that, go to Kiss this Guy for some fun!
Here’s my two-cents on A Bigger Bang.
Rough Justice This song rocks. Period. It’s one of their best ever. It is hard rocking, heart pounding rock the way it was meant to be played. Rough Justice is going down as one on the greatest Stones songs ever. It has the feel of an early Stones song yet it still is very up to date, so if you are feeling a wee bit nostalgic it's a good choice. Guys, you did real good on this one!
Let Me Down Slow Ronny Woods does some great slide guitar here, and Keith does backup vocals. Probably not the strongest song on A Bigger Bang, but is is still very good.
It Won’t Take Long Fantastic, almost bluesy song. The guitar on this just rocks.
Rain Fall Down This is one incredible song. Could almost be from the Voodoo Lounge album, but it’s better than any song on it. I especially like Charlie Watts drumming on this. It’s got a great chorus and some funk going on. I just love it!
Streets of Love It is a beautiful, bittersweet ballad. I have a feeling people will either love it or hate it. I personally love it. Streets of Love is going to get a lot of play…come to think of it will, on Days of our Lives on NBC.
Yes, the Stones will be debuting their new Streets of Love video on Tuesday, October 18th in Salem. My mother, who’s um, older than any of the Stones, but less than 120, has been a DOOL fan forever, and a Stones fan since my brother and I took her to see Rolling Stones: at the Max 2D, which was the 1990 Steel Wheels concert IMAX flick. Check your local channel and set your VCRs. You can also catch the episode on SOAPnet that evening or on the weekend, so check your local times.
Back of My Hand Stones! Blues! Heaven! Great slide guitar. Their most bluesy in a long time.
She Saw Me Coming Talk about a relationship gone wrong! Some of the lyrics are inspired:
She saw me coming
She moved in for the kill
She saw me coming
I was served up on her grill
She busted in
And she burglarized my soul
But now the bad news
She’s out on parole.
Biggest Mistake Right up there with Street of Love. It’s one of those "Mostly Mick" songs. I lived the relationship in this song once, but je ne regrette rien! Here's the English translation of Je ne regrette rien, from Man with Two Hands. Stop on by, he's got some interesting things.
This Place is Empty Keith Richards does wonderful vocals on this song. It’s also a great slow dance song. I think of all the sounds he has sung, this is my all time favorite. Wonderful piano and guitar. Soulful, sad; great to have a late nice glass of Maker’s Mark and get weepy to.
Oh No Not You Again Wake up, jump, move, dance! I dare you to sit still during this song! Reminds me a lilttle at the ending of Respectable.
Dangerous Beauty Low down modern blues. I can see playing this on a juke box in a roadhouse with a plate of pulled pork bbq and downing some shots of Maker’s Mark.
Laugh,I Nearly Died Love the guitar on this. It's an incredible song.
Sweet Neocon YEAH! Oh, and it’s not about Bush or Blair? Hah! I want it to be therefore, it is. That’s called magical thinking. I have a feeling this is going to get a lot of play at Democratic parties. Love the harmonica and guitar on this.
Look What the Cat Dragged In Another great dance song. Sing along, while you’re at it. “Look what the cat dragged in, take it right out again!” Is there a video for this? There should be.
Driving Too Fast You know when you hear Charlie Watts pounding out a hard beat that you’ve got a great driving song. By all means, if you are driving while this song is playing, watch that accelerator! It really is a good driving song. And the lyrics are great; there’s a good allegorical thing going on here, with driving = life. Oh, some primo guitar licks, as well.
to many roads lead to nowhere
but how they twist and turn
and end up in a dusty old strip mall
where you tyres are all shredded and burned
you’re going out of your brain
out of your mind
going insane you’re
you’re driving to fast
Infamy Keith Richards singing again and he sounds very good. Great guitar, a little different from Keith usually does, and Mick on harmonica. In for me – infamy. This was a good choice to end the CD. It gives you chance to catch your breath!
This is their best release since Sticky Fingers in 1971. Here is, 34 years later and they are still at the top of their game. It’s still on heavy rotation on my CD player and certain songs get repeated until I’m ready to let go and move on: Rough Justice (probably the most replayed), Rain Fall Down, Streets of Love, Back of My Hand, Driving Too Fast and My Sweet Neocon (she said with an evil laugh!).
My recommend: BUY IT! What are you waiting for? And enjoy it.
Friday, October 14, 2005
October 25, 2005
Album, Artist, Label
Mastercuts Presents Sly & The Family Stone Mastercuts
Return of the Funk Soul Sisters Various Artists BGP
Live Goode Chuck Berry Universe Italy
Don't Turn Your Back on Me/This Is Jackie DeShannon Jackie DeShannon Beat Goes On
Goodbye Cruel World James Darren Collectables
(Yeah, I know these two are far from classic rock, but they are still cool. And I have a very eclectic taste in music, so you never know what you'll find here.)
Ladder to the Stars: Garcia Plays Dylan Jerry Garcia Rhino / Wea
And I Know You Wanna Dance/Whisky a Go-Go Revisite Johnny Rivers Beat Goes On
Hearts of Stone Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes Beat Goes On
Wake Up...It's Tomorrow  Strawberry Alarm Clock Collectors' Choice Music
Good Morning Starshine  Strawberry Alarm Clock Collectors' Choice Music
World in a Seashell  Strawberry Alarm Clock Collectors' Choice Music
(Who'd have thought the Strawberry Alarm Clock would ever reappear? Do you remember the Birdman of Alkatrash?)
These Ghoulish Things: Horror Hits for Halloween Various Artists Ace
Rockabilly Showdown Various Artists Golly Gee
Rockabilly Lives Various Artists Hightone
(If you like rockabilly, check out Viva Las Vegas!)
November 1, 2005
Christmas with James Brown James Brown Legacy
Live from Austin, TX John Hiatt New West
All That I Am Santana Arista
November 8, 2005
Complete Studio Recordings ABBA Universal International
Collection Alanis Morissette Maverick
Live: Sittin' in Again at Santa Barbara Bowl Loggins and Messina Rhino / Wea
Thursday, October 13, 2005
DVD: Cream Royal Albert Hall, May 2-3-5-6 05 Rhino Label
This is one concert I truly would have liked to have gone to. I chatted with someone who went to the concert. She said that the people there who were mostly those who where around when Cream played Royal Albert Hall in 1968. On the audience shots, I saw plenty of younger people, so it looks as if Cream does indeed transcend generations. I myself know a few younger people who are into Cream.
If you aren't familiar Cream you should go out, get this CD and DVD and see what all the fuss was about then, and why the fuss is starting out again. Cream was the first supergroup and years after they dissolved and went onto to different things, their music still stood out on the airwaves. Who hasn’t heard White Room, Badge, Sunshine of Your Love or Crossroads? Let me assure you that Jack Bruce, Ginger Baker and Eric Clapton are still in fine form. Heck, Ginger Baker is better than ever!
I have both the CD and the DVD. Let me tell you: if you’ve been waiting for an excuse to buy a home theater system, this is it. The DVD is absolutely fantastic. I just have a small 14 inch (I’m not an extremely materialistic person) but even on that the concert was just fantastic. It’s also got me thinking about buying a big screen TV and a home theater system. That’s going to have to wait, I think!
I’m going to concentrate mainly on the DVD, mostly because it’s a complete experience. It was filmed in HD, stereo and 5.1 Surround Sound, so you can just imagine how sweet the experience is. One great thing for you vinyl fans: it was released on high performance vinyl as well.
And now for the music. I decided to do a song by song commentary. No particular reason.
I’m so glad What a great start. It really gets you hyped up and ready for the rest of the concert. Drums and vocals are just fantastic.
Spoonful Originally performed by Willie Dixon around 1960. This song has the unusual quality of being both raw and polished at the same time. The solos are just long enough, but still there is a small, intimate club feel when listening to this song. It's like you are sitting in a small smoky club late at night nursing your Maker’s Mark while you kicked off your shoes and are leaning back in your chair, eyes closed, just groovin’ with the band. Great blues.
Outside woman blues What can say, other than that I listened to it three times in a row.
Pressed Rat and Warthog Oh how I love Ginger Baker’s voice. Ginger usually adds some outrageous facial expressions but this rendition was rather straightforward. It's still great. And I do hope Pressed Rat and Warthog reopens soon.
Sleepy Time Time I love this song. The bonus cut, I think is even better. It’s slow, rockin’ blues at it’s best.
N.S.U. This just rocks. That’s all there is to say.
Badge Everything comes together in this song. This is one of those songs that gets my car radio turned up full blast and annoys all the drivers in a five block radius.
Politician What a song. It’s like Jack Bruce seduces the audience.
Sweet wine Hypnotic, and really hits home near the end when the lyrics pick up.
Rollin’ and Tumblin’ I absolutely love that harmonica and drum combo. Vocals are great. Now this is blues tune to dance to!
Stormy Monday God, this is good. It done by T-Bone Walker originally, and I think he’d be very happy to hear what Cream has done with his song.
Deserted cities of the heart This song just makes me melt.
Born under a bad sign Originally by Booker T. Jones. Fantastic. That’s all there is to say. This is one song that got my stereo cranked up to the max.
We’re going wrong Jack is wonderful here. Listening to his voice and having Eric’s guitar so hot at the same time is just magic. Throughout it, you can hear Ginger’s drumming - just heaven. I replayed this at this at least five times, the last one with a great glass of cabernet. It’s a song to just put the earphones on, sit back in your favorite chair and get lost in the music.
Crossroads Classic, classic, classic. What more can I say? First done by Robert Johnson; if you don’t know who is, you should because he is probably the greatest American Bluesman EVER and he definitely has left his mark in both blues and rock. Of course that’s my personal opinion. Someone should make a movie of his all too short life. (Hey,Chet Helm's Family Dog Productions at the Fillmore.
I do have some minor complaints. I would have liked expanded liner notes myself. And I had to get a magnifying glass to read the insert, butI guess that’s more part of aging than anything else. You know, on the CD cover (less on the DVD) they were very creative with the colors. If you take a magnifying glass, and tilt the cover slightly, under the right light it looks three dimensional. Look for the blue and yellows to pop out the most. Groovy, man.
So, will Cream attract a new group of followers and will they tour again? There is concert in New York at Madison Square Garden on October 24, 25, and 26. If you can, go! You will have a great experience. It would be great if young music lovers “discover” Cream. It would be nice if they did some new material, but reunion concerts are fine too. It will be interesting to see what they decide to do after New York.
I know some people who think Cream was just a short term experiment for the three before they went on to their "real" careers. I think they are totally wrong. Even if Cream only lasted two short years their influence on rock was undeniable, and even today Cream's music stands on its own.
Friday, October 07, 2005
Va. Rolling Stones Concert Interrupted
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. Oct 7, 2005 — The Rolling Stones' concert at the University of Virginia was interrupted Thursday night while several police officers and three bomb-sniffing dogs searched the stage.
And you just know this about some freak who's pissed off about My Sweet Neocom!
(Ohhhh...one of my favorite songs just came on The Rock, 105.9: Don't Fear the Reaper! Now all they need to do is play Sympathy and Bohemian Rhapsody and I'll be in heaven!)
Saturday, October 01, 2005
TUE 4 - ALPINE, CA - Viejas Concerts in the Park
WED 5 - FRESNO, CA - Big Fresno Fair
SAT 8 - GOLDENDALE, WA - Maryhill Winery
SUN 9 - JACKPOT, NV - Cactus Pete’s Resort and Casino
TUE 11 - OREM, UT - Valley State College
WED 12 - COLORADO SPRINGS, CO - World Arena
FRI 14 - KANSAS CITY, MO - Ameristar Casino and Hotel
TUE 18 - HOLLYWOOD, FL - Hard Rock Hotel and Casino
THU 20 - CLEARWATER, FL - Ruth Eckerd Hall
FRI 21 - FT. MYERS, FL - Centennial Park
SAT 22 - DAYTONA, FL - Biketoberfest
FRI 28/29 - CHARENTON, LA - Cypress Bayou Pavilion
THU 3 - TUCSON, AZ - Anselmo Valencia Amphitheatre
FRI 4 - PHOENIX, AZ - Arizona State Fair
MORE NOVEMBER DATES TO BE ANNOUNCED - Click here for more info.
Mastercuts Presents Sly & The Family Stone Released by Mastercuts. Sly doesn't get enough airplay if you ask me.
Know, I know you might think "Johnny Rivers"? What's that chick on?" But I like like the guy and he puts on one heck of a concert. Check out And I Know You Wanna Dance/Whisky a Go-Go Revisited Kudos for Beat Goes On for releasing more of my favorite Secret Agent Man.
For you Marshall Crenshaw fans here's some great stuff: Field Day, Downtown, Mary Jean & 9 Others, courtesy of Wounded Bird.
Strawberry Alarm Clock? Really, I'm sane. But who can forget Incense and Peppermints? (I even remember that on the B-side was The Birdman of Alkatrash!) Courtesy of Collectors' Choice Music we have Wake Up...It's Tomorrow, Good Morning Starshine and World in a Seashell.
Friday, September 30, 2005
Old School Cruzin' with Earth, Wind & Fire. Yeah, I know some people don't put them with classic rock, but I love Earth, Wind & Fire, so I'm listing it! Same with Gimme Some Lovin' and Other Hits by the Blues Brothers. (Oh, Elwoood...)
Working Class Hero: The Definitive Lennon has been getting mixed reviews; I'll give my two cents after I listen to it.
Classic Interviews, Kiss. Do you think Terry Grossis on it?
DVD and CD sets of Cream's Royal Albert Hall: London May 2, 3, 5 & 6, 2005are being released by Rhino. (I am counting the minutes...) Just as cool, 1968 Cream's farewell concert is also being released.
Pink Floyd's The Wall 25th Anniversary Limited Edition Double DVD and Book Set is coming out at the same time as the Cream's reunion sets. That's gonna lighten a few wallets!
If you like the Grateful Dead, you'll love this: Ladder To The Stars: Garcia Plays Dylan. It includes cuts from the Dead, Jerry Garcia Band, and Legion Of Mary.
Madacy is putting an series called Rock Breakout Years. It's not all classic rock obviously, but talk about nostalgia! It begins in 1960 with Connie Frances and ends in 1989 with Michael Bolton. (I cannot believe I typed Michael Bolton. Damn - I did it again!)
1960 Connie Francis
1961 Roy Orbison
1962 Rick Nelson
1963 The Beach Boys
1967 The Grass Roots
1968 Gary Puckett & Union Gap
1969 Blood Sweat and Tears
1969 Tommy James and the Shondells
1971 Tod Stewart
1973 Steve Miller
1974 Bachman-Turner Overdrive's
1976 Bob Seger
1977 Boz Scaggs
1978 Eddie Money
1979 Cheap Trick
1980 Björn Fogelberg
1981 REO Speedwagon
1982 J. Geils Band
1983 Culture Club
1983 Men at Work
1984 Cyndi Lauper
1985 Glenn Frey
1988 Great White
1989 Michael Bolton
Concert for Bangladesh (can it really have been 34 years ago?) at Madison Square Garden will be released for on DVD on the 24th. The sound has been remasters and there's new footage so it should be really great. I really miss George Harrison.
Aerosmith's Rockin' The Joint! OK, technically they already did in Las Vegas in 2002, but the CD/DVD is now being released on the 24th. To promote the release, Aerosmith is touring with Lenny Kravitz starting October 30. To get all the tour dates check the Aerosmith site here, or the Lenny Kravitz site here.
If you go, please drop me line and let me know!
October 8 (Sat) – Aruba, 2005 Aruba Music Festival
October 16 (Sun) - East Rutherford, NJ, Continental Airlines Arena (The Meadowlands)
October 22 (Sat) - Hollywood, CA, Hollywood Bowl
October 26 (Wed) - Tokyo, Saitama Super Arena
October 27 (Thurs) - Tokyo, Saitama Super Arena
October 29 (Sat) - Yokohama,Yokohama Arena
October 30 (Sun) - Yokohama,Yokohama Arena
November 1 (Tues) - Nagoya, The Dome
November 3 (Thurs) - Fukuoka, The Dome
Monday, September 19, 2005
Are you a pirate? I am!
You Are A Pirate!
What Type Of Swashbuckler Are You?
brought to you by Maddog Varuka & Dawg Brown
Your pirate name is Captain Aetheflaed
What is YOUR pirate name?
Arrrr - pass the rum, matey!
My list only includes stations in the US, but I'd like to add classic rock stations from around the world. Got a favorite? Send it to me and tell me a bit about yourself!
The list will be up probably tomorrow afternoon. I'm working out all the html bugs and checking links.
I didn't realize I had as many links to classic rock sites, groups, etc. until I started to organize my links. What a mess!
Check "My Other Blogs" for links to my other blogs.
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
Sunday, September 11, 2005
Brown died at his brother's home in Orange, Texas, where he had go to escape hurricane Katrina. Brown's home in Slidell, La., was completely destroyed by the hurricane.
His first hits were "Okie Dokie Stomp" and "Ain't That Dandy," but Brown disliked being labeled a bluesman. In his later career he played a half-dozen instruments and performed jazz, country, Texas blues, zydeco and Cajun music.
Brown had more than 30 recordings and won a Grammy award in 1982 for Alright Again. He was also nominated for a Grammy in 1986 for Long Way Home.
To learn more about Gate, click here.
Friday, September 09, 2005
Anyway the "Altar Fairies" as my Aunt Dorothy used to call them were the ones that came in on Saturdays, cleaned the church, set up the alter, made sure the linen were clean and pressed. That bit's a lot easier with todays materials.
I also want to lean how to do flower. I like altars with flowers, but my talents are, um, amateurish at best. Fortunately a kind soul has offered to teach me. I'm the big fluffy English cottage flower style person, not the Ikebana type. Although Ikebana has it's place. And I do like orchids as well.
I've always wondered why we can't put leis around each others neck during the Peace? Or toss rose petals at each other.
You'll have to forgive me...I watched Alice's Restaurant yesterday.
Anyway it's got AM/FM, sound turbo (and it makes a difference when listening to the Doors!) It also hold 5 CDs and has a USB audio connection. It'll be a week or two until I play with that.
So far tonight, this is my playlist: The Doors Greatest Hits; Alanis Morrisette: Bitter Little Pill (the original); Patsy Cline 12 Greatest Hits; The Very Best of the Everly Brothers and The Very Best of Len Barry. Tomorrow I'm digging out all my blues, cajun, zydeco and making some coffee with chicory.
I don't have a gluten free recipe for beignets, or I'd make them. Hmm...I should check Bette Hagman's books. Maybe she'll have a recipe.
Playing right now is: Love Me Two Times.
Tuesday, September 06, 2005
For The Record:A Nerd is someone who is passionate about learning/being smart/academia.A Geek is someone who is passionate about some particular area or subject, often an obscure or difficult one.A Dork is someone who has difficulty with common social expectations/interactions.You scored better than half in Nerd, earning you the title of: Pure Nerd. The times, they are a-changing. It used to be that being exceptionally smart led to being unpopular, which would ultimately lead to picking up all of the traits and tendences associated with the "dork." No-longer. Being smart isn't as socially crippling as it once was, and even more so as you get older: eventually being a Pure Nerd will likely be replaced with the following label: Purely Successful. Congratulations!
Monday, September 05, 2005
Anyway, Matthew 18:15-20
Jesus said, "If another member of the church sins against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone. If the member listens to you, you have regained that one. But if you are not listened to, take one or two others along with you, so that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If the member refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if the offender refuses to listen even to the church, let such a one be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again, truly I tell you, if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them."
We easily agreed that we have a problem with someone, it's best to go to them first and try to work it out. Then if that doesn't succeed, have a mediator. But we all stopped short of banishment, probably because we are ever hopeful that a compromise can eventually be reached. And sometimes time itself can be a good healer because it gives us the chance to look at things from a fresh perspective once the initial slight occurs.
What we actually talked about the most the phrase I highlighted. What exactly does it mean? "Whatever you bin on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." Especially since the word bind can have two different meanings. You can be negatively bound (say an addiction) or positively bound (a loving relationship). And when something is loosed, that can be negative (letting loose evil of any form) or positive (loosing the yoke of a bad habit, anger and the like).
We all in agreement on "For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them."
Well, goodnight everybody and have a blessed week! And please pray for all those affected by Katrina. We all have a long road ahead of us.
Tomorrow I'm planning on a Queenfest, supplemented with some Buddy Guy, Blind Boys of Alabama, Garrison' Keillor's "Songs of the Cat" and Clifton Chenier! I'm going to take my mini-boom box over to the park with a sketchpad and just chill out. Maybe I'll take the camera too and post some pictures.
Sunday, September 04, 2005
Weekend Edition - Sunday, September 4, 2005 Â· One ray of hope amid painful days on the Gulf Coast: Two evacuees from the hurricane, Joe Kirsh and Trenise Williams, were married while waiting with 1,000 others gathered at the Mississippi Coliseum. Their planned New Orleans wedding was interrupted by Katrina.
Photo by David Schaper, NPR
Click here to go to the NPR site to read more.
Saturday, September 03, 2005
President Bush has promised 17,000 more troops will be deployed over the next 72 hours.
I'm glad that he has acknowleged that the response to Hurricane Katrina's victims has been unacceptable. How we treat Katrina refugees is going to go a long way in showing people what we are really like as a nation.
Friday, September 02, 2005
Katrina: Why is the Red Cross not in New Orleans?
Acess (sic) to New Orleans is controlled by the National Guard and local authorities and while we are in constant contact with them, we simply cannot enter New Orleans against their orders.
The state Homeland Security Department had requested--and continues to request---that the American Red Cross not come back into New Orleans following the hurricane. Our presence would keep people from evacuating and encourage others to come into the city.
Click here to see what the Red Cross has to say. While you're at it, write the media, your elected officials, and just generally raise hell. THIS IS WRONG. The Red Cross should given top priority considering people are DYING.
Does Homeland (In)Security really believe that if people were given a few bottles of water and MRSs, that they would want to stay in an area with water contaminated with chemicals, feces, decomposing corpses, and no food? At the very least, the Red Cross should be able to go in with the rescuers to administer basic first aid, and to give out water and a meal. Even if it's bag of chips.
We need some good clear, leadership on this issue, and it sure as hell doesn't seem to be coming from Bush.
Now it's Friday and I need to get some sleep. I cannot even begin to feel the pain of the people still trapped. This is a disaster of epic proportions, and the polititians (with except few) are twiddling their thumbs while people die. Who's the designated Rudy Guiliani for this event? It feels like no one is in charge.
In listening to Bush's televised address yesterday, it did not strike me as being his best moment. What did stick with me (maybe I was addled by lack of sleep) was that he mentioned oil and gas much more than he mentioned the human cost. If any of you out there were keeping count, let me know. I'll post them here. Or over at my weather blog.
In the mean time, I'm off to take and ativan (lots of anxiety) and a hydrocodone (f-ed up back) and sleep. I'll says some prayers first because I'm grateful I'm alive and well and warm, and so is all my family.
On an unusual note, those of you who know me know I have a brother names George who is a walking one man destruction crew. Last week he fell off a three story building, landed on a truck and
Lucky bastard, and he knows it!
Saturday, August 27, 2005
Hmm. Something's not quite right here.
Friday, August 26, 2005
Somehow, the Republicans have stumbled upon a time portal and discovered that if Cindy Sheehan is not stopped, the peace movement she began will continue to grow until the Afghan and Iraqi wars end, Democrats are elected in droves and control The Whole Enchilada, the deficit is once more vanquished, and Americans are happy with full health care, the world's best public education system, clean air and water, great jobs and nobody cares about sexual orientation, skin color, gender, religious affiliation or what political party one belongs to. The nation's motto becomes "We're all in this together" and nobody has to figure out if a politician is telling the truth, because, of course, they really want to tell the truth and are there to work in the best interest of everybody (even illegal immigrants) in the US.
Realizing the horrendous consequences of this reality, double super secret agents descend to make sure the future is safe for corporations, five week presidential vacations and conservatives everywhere.
Thursday, August 25, 2005
Base closings could signal disconnect from society for the military
But New England's experience is in many ways a barometer for the nation, as the military contracts into fewer and larger installations, analysts suggest. The concern is not so much one of security, but of society.
Some wonder whether the military, by leaving so many places where it has long been a part of the community, is becoming too remote from the very people it is charged to protect, This changes the calculus on everything from defense budgets to recruiting and retention.
"As the military goes for fewer bases, there is an increasing disconnect between the military and the community," says Jeremiah Gertler of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.
I agree there is a disconnect between the military and the community. The Draft went a long way in fostering a very personal connection. As we no longer have a draft and rely on volunteers that connection has faded. For a young person, going into the military is a way to get their education paid for and health benefits he or she might not have if they are in a low income category or a minority. (More likely both.) It certainly isn't for the salary, which is incredibly low.
However, base closings seem (at least to me) that there is a serious disconnect between the government and the military. This whole base closing scheme strikes me as a corporate-style strategy to save a few buck at the expense of the workers (military and civilian) and national security. I could even make an entirely specious argument that aggressively recruiting minorities is the equivalent of foreign outsourcing because they will work for the lower wages. Think about it: how many recruiting offices do you see in upscale areas? Yes, they are out there, but the majority may be in less affluent areas. No, I don't have proof. Like I said, it's a specious argument. (Although if anyone does have the figures, I'd like to take a look at them. It's the geographer in me.)
What I'd like to see is how the government is planning on utilizing the military given the proposed base closings. I'd like to see if they've even thought about it! I should hope that our security isn't in the hands of bean counters.
I love to read. I love to read about people who love to read. And there are some great photos here, too.
I should really review my French language skills. I had two years in high school, and have forgot most of it. That shall be my next project, after I finish reviewing my Spanish. I had two years in college and have forgot most of it.
Hmm...seems to be a recurring theme here.
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
But heck, if the Stones can still keep on rockin and touring who am to complain? As my grandmother used to say about birthdays "you are only one day older than you were yesterday". I still feel like I'm in my twenties, but I wouldn't return to that age again for any reason. OK, well maybe to remember life without regular Clairol usage to cover the evidence, but still.
I'm currently listening to Mother's Little Helper by the Rolling Stones (Aftermath, 1966)
Why the Silence on the right-wing sphere over Robertson?
It's so quiet you can hear a pin drop.
Power Line, Michelle Malkin, (she's on vacation so her
subs) Hugh Hewitt, Roger L. Simon, and many more are all
silent on Pat Robertson's assassination statements so far. Anytime someone from
the left criticizes the war or the President we're deemed traitors, supporting
the terrorists while lowering the moral of our troops or just plain
anti-military, but having one of the biggest Christian leaders (who has the
President's ear) gleefully asking for a contract killing of President Hugo
Chavez that could send out a message to the Middle East that we are a nation of
religious zealot hit-men, dispatching our enemies with secret covert operations
(ala Alias) for our own political gain is ignored.
To read the full post click here.
So, Pat, I'm curious: if it's OK by your god to take out Chavez, is it OK for their god to take out ours?
Thursday, August 04, 2005
Well, it's not all boring. There are some things I do watch: General Hospital, Ellen, CSI (any city), and occasionally I'll turn to C-Span when I need a good laugh. Weekends are my favorite PBS viewing. Doctor Who reruns pop up, Mystery, the Red Green Show. You know what I really miss on PBS? Reruns of the Ernie Kovacs Show. Now he was a genius!
I'm desparately trying to stay upright enough to work on my little blog here, but it's a challenge, and I'm so desperately behind on the news.
And I'm trying to pack for a move back to Utah. I can hardly wait to get back there - I love dry heat and desert. And pie. Love that pie, especially from Village Inn. I've never understood my fascination with the desert. Maybe all those John Wayne movies when I was kid, but if there is one place on earth that I had to choose to to live in, it's Utah. It has everything. Not a lot of Episcopalians, though, at least not in the southeast corner.
Once Hank and I get out there, I'll actually put some order into chaos here and have a coherent blog. Maybe some pictures. More recipes. Music. News.
Monday, August 01, 2005
I have made no soup lately. Actually, I'm grateful for instant mashed potatoes and canned peas at this point! Tonight I will actually be making some grilled chicken, the first real cooking, other than scrambled eggs, that I've done since the floor jumped up and hit me in the face.
I've fallen behind in news junkie reading. I know there's been things happening, but Antivert makes you not care. I did read that there's a new planet, or at least something going on out there in our solar system. I'm all for making whatever it is a planet: ten is a nice round number. I also heard on NPR that Doonesbury was pulled from a few papers for referring to Karl Rove by his nickname, Turd Blossom. John Roberts is only number five in terms of judicial hunkiness, but I want to find the site and find out who numbers one through four are. And finally, John Bolton is being sent to the UN via recess appointment. Jeesh. Makes me wish I had something stronger than Antivert.
Right now I am listening to: The Grand Illusion by Styx (The Grand Illusion, 1977)
Friday, July 29, 2005
Sunday, July 17, 2005
Saturday, July 16, 2005
Anyway, on Thursday just threw together cubed grilled pork, a box of Pacific chicken broth, a can of posole, a can of fire roasted tomatoes. I sauteed an onion, a green pepper and two jalepenos and tossed that mix in with some cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper and just let it cook on slow in the crock pot until that evening. I guess it had about 6 hours of cooking. Turned out really good.
Spent the day listening to all my Queen tapes (CD player has died), supplemented with Pink Floyd, B.B. King, and Garrison Keillor's "Songs of the Cat". My taste in music is definitely eclectic. Now if I can only find my Van Morrison tapes...
I don't remember all the test results obvious but two stood out. Bamps' t-cell counts were extemely low and the pneumonia appeared to be something called PC. Dr. S gave us the full name but PC was just easier to remember, not to mention say. Dr. S didn't have a great bedside manor, so after he left he asked one of the nurses to explain what he said. She said it looked as if he had immune problems, but more tests would be needed.
Later that afternoon a pulmonologist came in. After 60 years of smoking, my grandfather's lungs had been severely damaged. The PC was damaging them even more. Dr. R said that right now, the best thing was to get the pneumonia cleared up and to begin respiratory therapy. Dr. R had seen my grandfather before, when he was operated on in 1985 for the aneurysm. He explained he was afraid that my grandfather had been received tainted blood and been exposed to AIDS. It would certainly explain his symptoms and the test results.
So now, more tests and waiting, until at least Monday. In the meantime, my grandfather asked me to smuggle in some good chocolate ice cream and a Snicker's bar. The stuff the hospital called ice cream just wasn't chocolate enough. (I tried some and it obviously was from some previously unknown species of chocolate plant that tasted like milk of magnesia and chalk mixed with frozen Ovaltine. Well, more chalk...) A day didn't go by without him having his ice cream and Snickers! He was even called the "ice cream man" by kids in the neighborhood who knew if they came by at about 4 pm, he'd share the ice cream with them!
By now all his friends knew he was in the hospital and were coming to visit. The most common complaints I heard though ran something like "gee, you can't see what the girls look like in this getup!" and "what run-over animal did they try to feed you today?"
One of them even smuggled in a double Manhattan in a thermos for him that night, which definitely did not go to waste!
Thursday, July 14, 2005
The dated entries are a diary of my grandfather's illness. His journey began in 1985 after having eleven pints of blood transfused over a three day period, following surgery for an aortic aneurysm. He symptoms (fatigue, weight loss, sores that wouldn't heal) began in 1987, but were very subtle and were dismissed as part of aging.
On Bastille Day of 1988, my husband and I took my grandfather to the hospital. He had recently lost a few pounds, which I thought not unusual for him during the summer since he was outside in the garden or riding his bike to the store. He was very short of breath though and had a fever of 102. Even without a stethoscope it was obvious his lungs were raspy sounding.
We waited in the emergency room for only a few minutes because the triage nurse thought my grandfather (who I called Bamps) looked very pale and ill. About 20 minutes after waiting for word from a nurse saying my husband and I could come back to the examining room, a nurse did come out and said my grandfather was being admitted to the progressive care unit, into an isolation room. He appeared to have pneumonia, and possibly some sort of bacterial infection of the lungs as well. He would have more tests, the results of which could take a couple of days.
When my husband and I went to his room, before we could go in we had to put on a gown and mask as a precaution. The doctors weren't sure what he had yet. Bamps' spirits were still good, although he was very fatigued, and really just wanted to sleep. He was also adamant that we not hover around him in the hospital. Since visiting hours were limited, our hovering ability was greatly reduced.
It was early evening by the time he settled in and the doctors said all they could tell for sure is he had pneumonia (what type they weren't sure yet), some odd skin lesions, and thrush. Dr. S, my grandfather's primary physician, said that by the next afternoon they would have some answers. In the meantime, my grandfather would be in isolation, receiving IV antibiotics and fluids, along with a host of other medicines.
Hank and I went home and I called my mother to give her the news. At this point all we could do is wait.
I've decided, especially after talking with my sister, to not mention my mother's conversational memory lapses to her when we talk. She's extremely aware that the Alzheimer's is causing changes and there is nothing she or her doctors can do about it. So, I'll just accept the lapses; if she forgets something she said two minutes ago or forgets who it is she's on the phone with I'll just remind her and carry on like it's no big deal. It's going to take a while to get used to it. I do tend to be impatient and this is going to be a good way for me to work on that particular area.
I don't really care when she starts repeating stories. I'm going to start taping them. She's got tons of stories about growing up and since I was raised by my grandparents (her parents) it's always interesting to hear them because I can see my grandparents through new eyes. She has most of the family photos and it would be interesting to put together a CD presentation. Give me a chance to learn some new skills here!
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
One thing is for certain: KR has managed to become the choice entre in the the media feeding frenzy. The question is, did he manage to offer himself up on the chum platter? I can hardly wait to hear more of what comes out of the grand jury room to find out.
Sunday, July 10, 2005
When something horrible happens, it's really hard to know what to say at first. Usually most people say something like "Oh my God, how can this happen?" or utter a four-letter word gasped in disbelief. Some just stand or sit, wordless. Within a few hours shock turns to anger and we want to know who perpetrated the heinous act, why didn't our government stop it, are they lying to us; the questions and conspiracy theories rage go on and on.
I knew someone who died on Flight 93, the United Airlines plan that crashed in Pennsylvania on September 11th, 2001. I didn't find out until two days later, when I saw his face on the local news. The pit in my stomach that had been been growing since that sunny and terrible morning suddenly suddenly became a sinkhole. I didn't know him well at all, but seeing a face belonging to someone I had talked to less than a week before suddenly shocked back to life the feelings fear and disbelief.
It happened again while watching the news broadcasts about London. I realized that time and time again this scenario is going to be played out throughout the world: normal people going to work, going shopping, simply doing things they do every day - until suddenly there is a horrific, unexpected event which rips across the fabric of thousands and millions and tens of millions of lives, slowly tearing apart a world we once felt safe in.
To have this happen in war is one thing. We've got thousands of years of experience of dealing with war. But terrorism is different. Who do we fight back at? What is the face of the enemy like? There are only a few faces we associate with 9/11 and terrorism in general. There's no specific country to attach blame to. News reports I've seen say that a group called the Secret Organization of al Qaida in Europe is responsible for the London bombings. No one has heard of them before as far as I can tell. They are, like most of al Qaida, a group that transcends national boundaries and operates in the shadows, stepping out long enough to cause horror and grief. Their reasons for it are based on their own brand of ideology, which we can't seem to relate to on any level, and I'm not sure I'd want to. They claim the Koran is the basis for their beliefs and the justification for their actions. But I know many Muslims, and the actions of these extremist groups are abhorrent to them and they are antithetical to the Islam they live in their everyday lives.
How do we end this scourge? Invading Iraq certainly didn't help. In fact it has added fuel to the burning hatred these people feel against the West, particularly the US and Britain. The terrorist groups certainly won't talk to us and our government uses the threat of future terrorism to justify their own questionable actions in the name of freedom.
All I know for sure is that I grieve. I grieve for all those who have lost friends and loved ones in these barbarous attacks. I grieve for the prisoners in Abu Graib and Guantanimo Bay who might be innocent but who guilty only by association. I grieve for the innocent civilians killed in war the that our government justified with false evidence.
I grieve for the military families who have lost loved ones in Afghanistan and Iraq. I grieve for our men and women in the military who are in Iraq and Afghanistan, doing their jobs willingly, then come home to be insulted by a few of their fellow Americans who call murderers and babykillers, like Viet Nam all over again. Even if you disagree with the war, these men and women are patriotic and brave enough to carry out their missions they may not necessarily agree with in hopes of helping the people in these areas rebuild their countries.
Most of all I grieve for the loss of truth. Truth has been a casualty killed by both sides. There were no weapons of mass destruction to justify the war. al Qaida twists teachings of the Koran to justify their actions.
Sadly, I can see no end. At least not now. I fear that it will take an event so horrific, so obscene in scope and cruelty to bring about the end of this cycle of violence.
In the meantime we are left only with hope. Hope that truth and justice shall prevail over all the dogma, politics, greed and ignorance that allows terrorism to exist.
To the people who are promoting this hateful darkness, know that while you may cause chaos for a short time, you will be stopped. If not by us, by the god you so perversely invoke.
One medium crockpot, one large skillet, a colander and the usual knives, spatulas, spoons, etc. You'll notice the measurements are not entirely exact. It's just the way I cook.
- About three pounds ground beef. 20% fat has the best flavor. Just drain the fat off in the colander after cooking.
- 2 28-ounce cans of crushed whole tomatoes.
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped.
- 1 large green pepper, chopped.
- 2 to 3 jalapeno peppers chopped and seeded. If you don't like your chili too hot remove the white membranes. That's where the heat really is, not the seeds. You can up the pepper content to your liking.
- 1 small head garlic, minced. Yes, that's head, not a clove, of garlic. Of course you can use less. But why would you want to?
- Chili seasoning, whichever generic one you like.
- Kosher or sea salt. I prefer kosher salt.
- Fresh ground pepper. If you don't have a pepper grinder, you can use course ground pepper. Regular fine ground pepper disappears tastewise unless you really load it up. Don't do that, it just a bad idea. It just won't taste right.
- Olive oil, one - two teaspoons.
C hop the onion and green pepper. Mince the garlic. Finely chop the jalapenos.
Y'all pay attention now: Jalapenos can pack an unwelcome wallop if not prepared with care. If you take care when you are preparing them, or any other member of the capsicum genus, you can enjoy them the way they are meant to be, and not have to worry about "hot eye" or mouth syndrome.
Here's some guidelines: If you have disposable food gloves (and every cook should), put them on and the oil won't get on your hands and transfer the hot goodness that should go into your mouth into unwanted areas, like your eyes.
When you chop your pepper, slice off the stem, then slice the pepper in half lengthwise. You'll see the seeds look like the seeds of the green pepper you cut earlier. Now the hotness is not concentrated in the seeds...it is in the white membrane, the ribs of the pepper! If you want a totally mild chili, take your knife and remove all the membrane you see. I can never remember doing this myself, but others might not like the amount of heat I do.
Chopping the jalapenos, and any pepper, is easiest when you chop the skin side down. For jalapenos, I usually cut a quarter inch strip lengthwise and then bunch them together and cut into quarter inch dice.
When you are through cutting the jalapenos, take off your gloves and using your knife, push the leftover membrane and seeds are left into one of the gloves. Fold it over and shove it into the other glove, tie it off and discard. Toss in the garbage. That way if a child or pet gets curious about garbage while you blink, at least you can snatch it back safely. If you have a garbage disposal, put the seeds and membrane down that. Better yet compost them.
If you get the oil on your hands, soak them for about three minutes in milk, and discard the milk. If you get the oil in your eyes, daub 2 cotton balls in milk, put your feet up and the cotton balls on both eyes. What, the oil's only in one eye? C'mon...as long as you are doing one eye, do both. It's relaxing! Two minutes usually does the trick. (Unless you've had a very hectic day, wink, wink!)
And now back to the show...
Heat the pan and add the olive oil. Saute the pepper, onions and jalapeno together over medium heat until they are barely soft but not translucent. They will cook more in the crockpot. Set them in your crockpot.
Saute the hamburger in the pan you sauteed the veggies, adding salt, pepper and about a tablespoon of chili seasoning. Cook until all the pinkness is gone. Drain fat off in colander, and make darn tootin sure you was that baby good afterwards!
Add one can of crushed peppers to the crockpot then add the hamburger. Using a sturdy spoon or a clean hand (one of the most versatile kitchen tools ever) mix ingredients together thoroughly. Add a heaping tablespoon of chili powder, the second can of tomatoes, and repeat. The crockpot shouldn't be completely full or it will boil over. If it is, remove enough of the mix to leave a one inch space below the rim. You can cook whatever you removed in a small pan on the stovetop for a quick "I can't wait until the chili is done" treat (covered on medium heat, 20 minutes or so).
Put the lid on the crockpot, turn to high and cook for one hour. Check your seasoning at this point, add more if you want and turn the heat to low. Cook for another three hours. About 30 minutes before serving check the hotness. If you want to add more chili powder, do it now and remember: you can always put more in but you can't take it out. Add a little at a time until you are happy with the flavor. Cover, let it cook for another half hour, then serve.
There are all sorts of things you can serve on the side or on top of this: chopped onions, peppers, jalapeno slices, sour cream, guacamole, tortilla chips, cornbread, even chopped pineapples. (Don't knock it unless you've tried it.) Keep some Tabasco sauce around so people can add more heat if they want. Heck, why not start a collection of different hot sauces? You never know what culinary mood might strike you!
This is the basic recipe that I use when I'm working around the house and want a quick chili. I have lots of other recipes in the vault!
Thursday, July 07, 2005
I understand anger, rage, frustration, even hatred and a whole of other negative emotions. I cannot understand how anyone can think putting those emotions to work in the form of terrorism. All it does it compound the negative image toward them and mobilizes people against them.
Can't we all just get along!
It seems that's too much to ask these days. Some people would rather cause pain and destruction, whether on a one-to-one level or on a world wide level. As Nany used to say "whatever you do, good or bad, always comes back to you." All the suffering that these people cause will come back at them, and if the Wiccans are right it will be three-fold. Will they learn their lesson? Probably not.
My heart is heavy with the thought of the suffering this is causing.
I haven't seen anything so far, but my guess is the G8 summit is might be cut short, although they shouldn't do it. It'll make it look like governments can be manipulated into doing whatever the terrorists want.