Friday, November 28, 2008


Ten Songs is back again as it has been awhile and I have been grooving on some wonderful music of late and felt the need to share it with you my faithful readers. So here goes!

In no particular order:

1. I Am...I Said-Neil Diamond
I love this song even though some of the lines in it are kind of odd. "And no one heard at all not even the chair." What? OK, not really a poet is Mr. Diamond, but the song speaks to me as I am sure that it will speak to you if you give it a chance. So give it a chance!

2. Forever in Blue Jeans-Neil Diamond
Ok, so I am in a bit of Neil Diamond kick. So sue me! I downloaded this song last week and a friend on my clued me in on a Gap commercial with Will Ferrell doing his Diamond impersonation. Very good and very funny. Here it is so you get a twofer with this entry and all at no charge to you!

3. Secret Garden-Bruce Springsteen
Say what you want about his voice or anything else but the man knows how to write a song that can hit you right in the heart. I am a fan of The Boss and will continue to be a fan as long as he continues to be as good as he was when he first started, and he is!

4. It's Bad You Know
This is a cool-as-bones toe-tapping number. I heard it first in conjunction with the TV show The Sopranos and I grove on it a lot. It is kind of addicting. It's bad you know.

5. The Beast in Me-Nick Lowe
This is a cover or a Johnny Cash song and as much as I LOVE the Man in Black I love this version better. Nick Lowe is such an accomplished singer/song writer and I can't say enough about him or his work. This song is so tender, yet pleading. I love it!

6. I'd Love to Change the World-Tens Years After
A kick-arse song from the 60s and one that I can't hear enough times. It's a good song, still more than 10 years after its release.

7. Sweet Touch of Love-Allen Toussaint
I dare you to listen to this song and feel sad or stop your face from smiling. I don't think that it's possible. In fact I challenge you to keep your toes from tapping. Do you know why? Because of the sweet touch of love!

8. Jackson-Johnny and June Carter Cash
I love singing Karaoke, and do it from time to time. The place where I go is a small hole-in-the-wall type of place. No matter how many times I go I always hear this song sung by a man and woman who sound exactly like the originals. They are good singers in their own right, but they make this song so infectious. I find myself singing it several times a week when I'm hotter than a pepper sprout.

9. Maria Elena-Los Indios Tabajaras
This is a lovely instrumental of two classical guitars playing a lovely song. I grew up listening to these guys and they are talented. My oldest son has fallen in love with this song too. Give it listen and it will captivate you.

10. Love is Like Oxygen-Sweet
What can I say other than this is an oldie and a goodie.

All but one song can be purchased over at iTunes. So go listen and be moved!

Zombie Dreams

I had a very unusual experience the other night in my dreamland. It has only happened to me once or twice before and that was due to me having the flu and a fever. What happened was that I was having a dream and woke up to get a drink of water. As I went into the kitchen to get my drink I was thinking about my dream which was about zombies. So I thought to myself that it was good that I got up to break out of the dream. I got my water and headed back to bed. I woke up a couple of hours later because the water had run it's course and wanted to come out, if you catch my drift. So I headed to the bathroom and realized that I had gotten back into the dream of zombies. Or more exactly the dream had waited for me to get my water and started right back up when I drifted off to slumberland.

I was apprehensive this time in going back to sleep, but I did and darned if the zombies weren't waiting for me again! But here's the thing: the zombies were not flesh eaters, yet. It seems that the zombies in my dreams were too stupid to know that they should be eating flesh. One part of my dream found us in a grocery store where they were frantically putting together peanut butter sangwiches. I laughed about it even in my dream and remember saying, "This is one wacky dream," in my dream. It was funny in an odd-I-hope-they-remain-vegetarians sort of way.

Why is it that I only have the continuation type of dreams when they are odd, or scary? I have had dreams where I have been in the throes of passion with woman whose beauty would make Helen of Troy look like a dog. And yet, when I have woken from those dreams in the middle of the night I have never been able to get back to them no matter how hard I try. And if I do get back the woman looks like cow with sexy legs, or a monkey with gorgeous lips, or my 3rd grade teacher.

Sure is strange, so I figured that I would share.

Now go get some sleep!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Hey You Get Off Of My Holiday Part Deux!

It is Thanksgiving Day 2008, so Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Last night I was at home preparing for the Thanksgiving feast that my son and I are going to attend today. I rented a movie, and he invited a chum of his to spend the night. After the movie we were channel surfing and settled on Iron Chef. The original Iron Chef from Japan not the crappy American knock off on The Food Channel. Well, and I kid you not dear reader, the commercials were all, and I mean EVERYONE COTTON PICKING ONE OF THEM, were about the "Early Bird" sales at all of the stores the day after Thanksgiving.

Walmart is opening at 3AM in our area. 3AM! Walgreens at 7AM (not too bad but they open usually around 9. And really, what kind of Christmas gift are you going to buy there? "Thanks Gramma for the Geritol and Depends. Wherever did you find them?") Macy's is opening at 5Am, and so is Kohl's. And Target. And K-Mart.

So, now retailers are urging people to shorten there Thanksgiving by going to bed early so they can get up and SAVE, SAVE, SAVE by bombarding TV viewers with commercials about their early openings the night before Thanksgiving thereby chipping away at the peace that should come the night before a holiday and taking their focus off of the the holiday right in front of them and throwing it on one four weeks away. More is not necessarily better.

As I father I like to get each child one present that means something to them instead of getting them a ton of things, which is what retailers urge us to do. How bad would it be if we started giving one quality present to those whom we give gifts to? Would it cause the economy to collapse anymore than it already has? Would our Christmases be ruined? Would the extra time spent in each other's company on Thanksgiving be overbearing?

Well, I know I seem like a crotchety old man venting about things he can't change. But the thing is WE can change them if we think the changes are worth having and fighting for. It wasn't always like this, and it doesn't have to be. The question that we need to ask ourselves is, "What is it that we really want?" And how we answer this question will tell everything about who we are as a nation.

Just something to think about, and perhaps even discuss at the dinner table today. So, go eat, drink, and be merry and bask in the warmth of the day.

Happiest of Thanksgivings!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Hey You Get Off Of My Holiday!

1 Thessalonians 5:16-22
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies. 21 Test all things; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil.

When I was a child I used to hear all of these older men that I knew wax nostalgic about the "Good 'Ole Days" which I thought was an actual time perioud in American history. We had the Gay 90s(which refers to the 1890s and meant something totally different than what you might think. However we could still call the 1990s the Gay 90s for a completely different reason. SUPER!). We had the Roaring 20s, the Psychadelic 60s and so on. Yet I always wondered when the "Good 'Ole Days" were. It wasn't until I was much older that I realized, when I started to lament how things had changed since I was a kid, that the "Good 'Ole Days" were more of a remembrance of happier times than an actual period visible along some antiquated timeline.

I guess when one gets older that it is natural to look back and wonder if life in general has gotten better or worse. I have started to do this of late for many reasons, but the biggest one is that I am getting older and things are changing. We are just a few days away from my most favoritest (as I used to say back in the "G.'O.Ds.'") holiday of the year: Thanksgiving. I have always loved this holiday because it had always marked the beginning of the Holiday Season, and more importantly it was a time to gather around with family and friends and enjoy a moment of pause in thanks for what we have been blessed with. As a kid it meant a short school week followed by FOUR whole days of no school, of playing with friends, of FREEDOM!

There has been, within in the last ten years or so, a trend to move Christmas earlier and earlier. The trend has been pushing Thanksgiving to the wayside in order to get Christmas going faster. You know that you have seen it happening too. Stores that have Christmas decorations up in early November. Christmas trees have been on lots for the last couple of weeks. Don't people who buy those know that they will be dried out by Christmas Eve. I saw a Christmas commercial on TV the day after Halloween, which was November 1st! Why is this happening? It is happening because of the greed of retail stores nationwide. There is very little money to be made off of Thanksgiving, except by the supermarkets but that amount pales in comparison to the money made by the retail industry off of Christmas.

When I was a kid I don't remember seeing any signs of Christmas until after Thanksgiving and that was usually Santa bringing up the rear of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. More times than not we didn't see any Christmas vestiges until the beginning of December. We even used to get our Christmas trees on Christmas Eve. Try doing that nowadays and all you will be able to find is a tree that would make Charlie Brown's Christmas tree look like the one in Rockefeller Plaza.

And speaking of Charlie Brown, when I was a child his TV specials were on only once a year at a set time. If you missed it, you missed it and were one of the very few kids across the country who had to wait until the following year to see it again. That was in the day before cable tv, satellite dishes, dvds, Tivo and VCRs. But now all of those Christmas shoes are shown several times, just like the 24 hours of A Christmas Story shown on TNT each year. Or you can watch them on DVD or Tivo. How special is that? To me not very because one of the greatest treats about it was the next day at school when all of us kids would talk about it and recount the whole show as if those we were talking to hadn't seen, but they had.

So Thanksgiving gets pushed aside for the almighty dollar. How sad! There is little time for one to even digest their turkey dinner before people are going to bed early just to get up in the dead of night to go to some store before the farmers are even up to save a few bucks on Christmas gifts.

Christmas gets the lion's share of songs too. Other than Over the Hills and Through the Woods there are no Thanksgiving songs. Why is that? I think that is that way because we don't really, as a nation, know how to give thanks or whom to give it to. The Pilgrims gathered with their neighbors, the Native Americans, and gave thanks to God for seeing them through that first harsh winter where a number of settlers succumbed to the elements. They gave thanks to the Native Americans for teaching them how to gather the bounty of the new world in order to survive the lean, cold times. They knew how to be thankful even when they had seemingly little in which to be thankful for.

So, this Thursday enjoy Thanksgiving like you would a fine wine. Enjoy its boquet, its aroma. Sip it and enjoy its flavors. Share it with family and friends and take your time with it. Christmas will be there the following Monday, I promise. Be greedy with these four days for your family's sake. For you kid's sake. For God's sake. Enjoy! And give Thanks!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Hiatus Over

Sure it's been awhile since I last posted anything but what can I say other than life has been incredibly busy. I have wanted to blog but felt odd about it due to me being away from it so long. It was kind of like leaving a lover for something foolish and then wanting to come back to her but not knowing whether or not she would take you back. Sure she would but you weren't convinced of it so you remain on the periphery looking for an opportune time to go back home. Well my blog, my lady, is always welcoming and I forgot that. So I am back.

Part of the reason that I wasn't blogging was the Election. I mean I was not inspired by either of the candidates and was really wanting some other choices. So I didn't want to waste my time and effort by blogging about the Election. I am a Libertarian and believe that Government does not hold the answers to our problems, We the People hold the answers to our problems and as such Government should be small and then it should get out of our way.

OK, enough of my ranting, and I really haven't even gotten started so I will leave it at that. I have some other things to write about but have work to do about the house. Maybe I will blog about them tonight. The point of this post is to get the fingers tickling the keyboard again and to get the writing juice flowing. So come back so and see what I have to talk about.

Until then, Be Good but Not Boring!