Music To My Ears

Music DoodleA Guy Called Bloke posted a series of 21 questions on his blog today about music, our likes, what it means to us, and its impact on us.

Here are my responses to the questions.

Q1] How important is music in your life?

It’s very important to me. Songs often bring back wonderful memories. Listening to music is therapeutic for me.

Q2] What is your most favorite type of music and what is your least favorite?

My favorite is classic rock. My least favorite is country & western.

Q3] Do you own a music collection or do you simply listen to whatever on whatever?

I have about 2500 songs in my iTunes collection, although I’ve given away most of my vinyl albums and CDs.

Q4] Are you a singer, a hummer, or a whistler?

None of the above.

PQ5] Show through links your five best songs?

I have far too many “best” songs to limit it to just five.

Q6] Have you ever been to an outdoor concert?

Many times.

PQ7] Do you ever go out to listen to music live? When was the last time you went to a concert/gig?

How about next weekend when I’ll be going to Hardly Strictly Bluegrass at Golden Gate Park, as I do every year?

Q8] Do you sometimes feel like dancing when you hear music? Under what circumstances do you dance?

I am moved to making what to most observers appears to be spastic gyrations with my body. Whether or not those movements can be considered “dancing” is highly questionable.

Q9] When do you listen to music?

In the car, at home on the the xfinity/Comcast Music Choice channel, and in my iTunes collection on my iPhone.

Q10] If you answered yes to Questions 6 & 7 – who did you go and see?

So many. Moody Blues, Billy Joel, Jackson Browne, The Eagles, Don Henley, Peter Frampton, Elton John, CSNY, Jefferson Starship, Pat Benetar, America, Paul Simon, and many, many others. (I’m an old-timer and I’ve been going to live concerts since I was a pre-teen.)

Q11] Is there a song that makes you emotional?

“Bridge Over Troubled Water” by Simon and Garfunkel. I tear up every time I hear it.

PQ12] Do you feel that you have a special connection with some types of music? Which types?

Classic Rock

Q13]  Have you ever tried singing in a karaoke bar? What was the experience like?

Yes. It was a disaster.

Q14] Do you listen to music when writing? If so which?

Yes, as background music. I listen to classic rock…what else is there?

PQ15] Have you ever gone to see a musical? What was it, provide link please.

Yes, tons. I subscribe to the local “Broadway” theater productions. Some favorites include Les Miz, Rent, Hamilton, Mamma Mia, and a whole host of others.

Q16] Do you know the lyrics to all the songs you like?

Some yes, many no, at least not all of the lyrics.

Q17] When you are listening to music – are you listening just to the music itself or the lyrics too?

Depends. If it’s background music, like when I’m blogging, mostly the music. But if I’m paying attention to the song, both the lyrics and the music.

Q18] Do you listen to music when you go cycling/jogging or when you’re working out at the gym? [or any other physical activity]

Physical activity? What’s that? I do sometimes sing when I’m walking the dog…if nobody is without earshot.

Q19] Many operas are in French, Italian or German. If you listen to opera, do you understand the libretto (text) or are you happy to get the gist (main idea)?

I don’t listen to opera.

PQ20] Are you deleting any questions, if so which ones?


Q21] Do you enjoy watching music videos? What sort of music videos do you enjoy most?

Not anymore, but I used to watch MTV and VH1 back in the day.


Times Are Tough

BF030125-CF55-4723-BFF8-9CDCAF51C5CA“Look at that guy over there,” Sarah said, pointing to a man braced up against the lamppost.

“You mean that bum?” Jeff said. “He’s just some lazy, drunk guy.”

“Maybe we should give him some money, honey,” Sarah said. “He may be hungry.”

“No way, Sarah,” Jeff objected. “I’d anticipate he’d spend any money we gave him on booze.”

“You don’t know that, Jeff,” Sarah said. “Times are tough and he may have had a stretch of bad luck. Remember when you got laid off a few years back?”

“Let me be abundantly clear, Sarah,” Jeff said. “When I got laid off I didn’t spend my days drinking cheap wine and leaning up against a lamppost. And within six months I had a better job than the one I got laid off from.”

“That’s true, honey,” Sarah admitted. “But you did vacillate between depression and optimism during that time period. And you did accept that $20,000 loan from my father to tide us over.”

“Fine,” Jeff said. “You are such a bleeding heart.” He reached into his wallet and handed his wife a hundred dollar bill. “Here,” he said. “Go ahead and make his day.”

“A hundred dollars? Are you nuts?” Sarah said. I was thinking more like five dollars for a sandwich.”

Written for these daily prompt words: Ragtag Daily Prompt (brace), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (lamppost), Scotts Daily Prompt (lazy), Daily Addictions (anticipate), Your Daily Word Prompt (abundant), and Word of the Day Challenge (vacillate). Lamppost drawing by David Claypoole Johnston.

Missing the Point

4F0152DA-31D5-4157-9910-024E50A64B8DWhether you believe Brett Kavanaugh or Christine Blasey Ford and the other women who have accused him of sexual misconduct is not really the point. Even if the FBI’s further background check did not uncover anything to corroborate the accusations, Kavanaugh’s demeanor during last Thursday’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee should be enough to disqualify him from a seat on the Supreme Court.

Kavanaugh entered that hearing room full of vitriol and animosity. He came in with both guns blazing. He delivered an angry, partisan tirade, treated several Democratic senators with abject contempt, and was evasive in responding to direct questioning. He also told a number of lies while under a sworn oath.

So put aside, if you can, the matter of sexual assault. Even if Kavanaugh hadn’t been accused of sexual misconduct, or lied under oath to the Senate, or identified himself as the victim of a pro-Clinton conspiracy, his behavior last week was disqualifying, his conduct unbecoming of any judge, much less one bound for the highest court in the land.

As to the FBI investigation, it was clear that, with the imposed restrictions of a limited investigation in a limited time period, the outcome was a foregone conclusion. “There’s nothing to see here.” So now the Republicans have political cover to elevate someone to the Supreme Court who has demonstrated that he lacks the temperament for the position.

But this, it seems, is the way in Trump’s America.

Thanks…and I’m Sorry

4309368D-15B0-405C-B121-D38C03390913Last night at around 10:40 my time I did something pretty pathetic. I sent out an S.O.S., a call for help. I wrote a post literally begging for some “likes.”

I had just received a notification in my WordPress reader that I had set a new record of likes for one day. 199 likes. Was I happy about my new record number of likes? You’re darn tootin’ I was.

But then I got greedy. I thought, wouldn’t it be nice to hit 200 posts in one day? And so, figuring there was over an hour left in the day, I sent out my solicitous post asking for likes.

Well, it worked. When I woke up this morning and looked at yesterday’s stats, I had received ten additional likes, for a total of 209 for the day. Woo hoo!

So first, thank you for helping me surpass my goal of 200 likes in one day. And second, I apologize for my brazenly egocentric and manipulative tactics in a lamentable effort to jack up my stats. It’s inexcusable.

Now let’s go for 210!

Jekyll and Hyde

6DBC2B46-E519-43A9-81CB-6F36374C545CAs she sat in the chair gazing at his artwork, if that’s what you would call it, she knew what had to be done. And there was no doubt in her mind that she would have to be the one to do it. She was the only one who saw things clearly.

It was so obvious to her. She couldn’t understand why others didn’t see it. There, brazenly taped to his studio wall, his sketches of the young girls, of the animals, of the bizarre scenes, and most telling, of his self portraits.

She had done her research. She had read everything she could get her hands on regarding people suffering from multiple personalities, or what the psychiatric journals referred to these days as “dissociative identity disorder” or “DID.” Until she saw his self portraits, she had been skeptical that her father suffered from it. But then she knew.

And she also knew that he was responsible the deaths of all of these young women in his sketches, for being the serial killer who had been terrorizing the region. She had contacted the police, but they didn’t believe her. So now it was up to her to stop the madness. She began searching her father’s table for his hunting knife, the long one with the serrated blade. Her plan was to wait until he came home. Then she would end it. She just needed to find his knife.

She was startled when the door to the studio was pushed open, expecting to see her father. But instead of her father, it was the chief of police, a detective, and two uniformed officers. The two officers approached her, pulled her off of the chair she was sitting on, and cuffed her. Then, after the chief read her her rights, he said, “Carla, we are arresting you for a series of brutal stabbings in the county over the past year.”

“No, you’re wrong,” Carla shouted. “It’s my father you should arrest. He’s the one who did it. He has multiple personalities, like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. You should be arresting him, not me.”

“Take her to the station and book her,” the chief instructed the two uniformed officers. Once Carla had been escorted away, he and the detective began removing the sketches from the wall and putting them into evidence folders.

“So all of these are her father’s sketches?” the chief asked.

“Her father sketched the pictures of these girls,” the detective said, “but he didn’t realize that in her disturbed mind, Carla saw them as competition for her father’s affection and they became her targets. Maybe she was upset that he was spending time sketching them and not spending time with his own daughter. But the two sketches of the man with the mustache, her father, were her own, sketched shortly after she stabbed him to death last year.”

Written for the Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Photo Challenge prompt. Photo credit: Natalie Ruka.