Saturday, July 29, 2017

Saturday 9: Angel

The Saturday 9  is hosted by Sam Winters. Nine questions posted every Saturday — sometimes random, sometimes with a theme. This week, the theme is...

"Angel" by Sarah McLachlan

Listen to it HERE.

1. Sarah McLachlan wrote this song about someone she barely knew. She read the obit of Jonathan Melvoin, keyboard player for the Smashing Pumpkins, who died of a heroin overdose. What's the most recent news story that touched you deeply?
Well, first of all, I'm very sorry to hear about Jonathan Melvoin, even though I had never heard of him before and don't really know anything about Smashing Pumpkins. And honestly, aside from political news, I don't actually pay a great deal of attention to all the current event stories going around. But the story of Charlie Gard, the English infant on life support, was one that caught my attention recently. Very sad. 
2. Ms. McLachlan performed this in tribute to Linda McCartney at the 1999 Concert for Linda. She was expressing her hope that, in death, Linda found relief and peace after a long and painful battle with cancer. What do you think happens to us when we die?
Wow. Well, I'm not religious, so I don't really believe in any sort of afterlife heaven or hell. I do, however, believe that energies can somehow linger on. OK, folks — I'll just go on and admit it — I've seen ghosts. And that's hard to square with the "no afterlife" theory. Guess I should just say "Not sure" and leave it at that.
3. Daytime dramas General Hospital and As the World Turns used this song on-air after a major character died. Do you follow any "soap operas?"
Just the ongoing Trump Family Saga — does that count? Seriously, I didn't even know there were any soaps left. Thought they'd been replaced by talk and game shows. For a while back in the '70s I watched All My Children pretty seriously, but never followed any of the others. But I'm old enough to remember the ones my mother used to listen to on radio — The Guiding Light, One Man's Family, Our Gal Sunday, Lorenzo Jones, Backstage Wife, Young Widder Brown.
4. In 2007, Sarah donated her recording of this song to the ASPCA. Do you have a pet? If yes, how did you get it (shelter, pet store, etc.)?
No pets at the moment. When I was a child, I had a parakeet that flew into our yard one day, and got captured by my father. We named him Tweety because he told us that was his name (yes, he really could talk). He used to imitate my mother calling my name in the mornings to wake me up. Also had a wonderful toy fox terrier given to me by a neighbor of my grandparents. And the hubby and I used to have cats that came from a grad school friend who had taken in a mamma cat with a bunch of kittens. 
5. She admits she can't watch those ASPCA commercials, where her recording of "Angel" plays over sad photos of animals. Is there a TV commercial that really gets to you (in either a good or a bad way)?
Yes, those ASPCA commercials. I feel the same way — just can't watch 'em, even though I'm an animal lover and an ASPCA supporter. I switch channels, or mute the sound, or leave the room when one comes on. Aside from that, there are many, many, many TV commercials that "get to" me — usually in a bad way. I do like funny commercials, though. Here in central Texas, we have a supermarket chain (HEB Stores) that makes commercials featuring players from the San Antonio Spurs basketball team, and they're always very funny and clever and fun to watch. 
6. In 1994, Sarah was stalked by an obsessed fan. Tell us about a time you were really frightened. In retrospect, was your fear commensurate with the threat?
I'm a very nervous person. Many things make me jumpy. I worry a lot. But I don't really frighten easily. (OK — tornadoes do sort of terrify me. And I definitely try to stay away from these giant hornets we've got around here.) Most of the time I can reason myself out of being afraid of things. I suppose the one time I can remember being really frightened was when my father died. I was ten years old, and pretty much scared out of my wits. Was the fear commensurate? I'd say yes. The world as I had known it up to then just changed overnight. Life reorganized itself. I got on with it, but nothing was ever the same.
7. Sarah was adopted by Jack and Dorice McLachlan. Though she has a friendly relationship with her birth mother, she always considered Dorice her mother and sees herself behaving with her son the way Dorice did with her. Is there anyone in your family that you feel you resemble, either physically or by behavior?
Definitely. In fact, the older I get, the more I seem to look and behave like many of my family members — my mother and father, both my grandmothers, several aunts, and especially one cousin. I guess whether we like it or not, heredity eventually catches up with us.
8. McLachlan is one of the founders of Lilith Fair, a summer concert series designed to showcase talented female performers. Do/did your summer plans include an outdoor concert?
No plans for any concerts, outdoors or in. Actually, I haven't been to any kind of concert in quite a while. And I don't do a lot of outdoor activities this time of year. Even at night, the heat in this part of Texas makes that kind of unappealing. 
9. Random question: Which of these men would you most like to be seated with at dinner -- Clint Eastwood, Prince William or Jimmy Fallon?
Definitely Jimmy!

Happy Saturday, everyone!
And have a great weekend.

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Thursday, July 27, 2017

SkyWatch Friday

The Austin area had some scary-good rainstorms blow through recently. I caught a few photos of one of them a couple weeks back. Actually, the rain was probably happening somewhere between Austin and our place, maybe Lakeway? Whatever ... it produced some pretty dramatic skies.

For more sky shots, click on the button above.

Unconscious Mutterings: Week 755

Mutterings for the week of July 23th. Unconscious Mutterings is hosted by LunaNiña. And here we go....
  1. Delete :: erase, remove, back-space
  2. Late :: ...again! (But I'm usually on time. Honest.)
  3. Rambling :: wandering, traveling; folk songs (All those '60s folk groups were always singing about ramblin' and roamin'.)
  4. Popular :: trendy, in demand, the "in" crowd
  5. Significant :: important, meaningful 
  6. Slither :: snakes (Duh.)
  7. Spicy :: hot, flavorful, sexy
  8. Joyous :: happy, glad, upbeat
  9. Detailed :: precise, bit-by-bit, inclusive
  10. Rabbi :: Judaism, teacher, Seinfeld
Rabbi Glickman from "Seinfeld' - portrayed by Bruce Mahler

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Saturday 9: Don't Stop

The Saturday 9  is hosted by Sam Winters. Nine questions posted every Saturday — sometimes random, sometimes with a theme. This week, the theme is...

"Don't Stop" by Fleetwood Mac

Listen to it HERE.

1. Since we're not supposed to stop thinking about tomorrow, let's talk about it: What are your plans for Sunday?
We'll probably try to finish clearing out the rooms we're redoing, since the carpet guys will be coming next week to install the new carpet. We've lived in this house for five years now, and have been meaning to get these two rooms re-carpeted for nearly that entire time. Put it off because it seemed like such a massive job — one of the rooms is home to all our books, and we figured moving them would be a real pain. It was.
2. Fleetwood Mac was formed 50 years ago in London. Fifty years is considered a "golden anniversary." Do you wear more silver or gold?
I don't wear a lot of jewelry — mostly just earrings. But I do prefer gold to silver. Gold doesn't tarnish or make my skin itch.
3. This song is from Rumours, which has sold 40 million copies. Is it in your collection?
Yes. It's in my old vinyl collection, and I think I have the CD, too. It's also probably on my iPod, but I don't really listen to that much anymore.

4. It was written by keyboardist and vocalist Christine McVie. She was born Christine Perfect, a name that earned her a fair share of teasing when she was a school girl. Do you recall being teased in school? What about?
I'm sure I was, but it wasn't especially memorable. Just the normal stuff. Don't remember any bullying, or anything particularly nasty.
5. Before Fleetwood Mac, she was in a band called Chicken Shack. If you were to order out for a chicken dinner, which restaurant would you turn to?
Well now, that would be a problem. Where we live, there just aren't any restaurants near enough to have food delivered. If we went out for dinner, we probably wouldn't choose a place that specializes in chicken because the hubby has stopped eating chicken. 
6. Before she could pay all her bills with her music, she supported herself as a window dresser for a London department store. Do you enjoy walking along, just window shopping? Or do you consider "looking with no intention to buy" a waste of time?
I do like to window shop. Don't get to do much of it these days, since I do most of my shopping online. 
7. When she found herself making big money, one of the first things Christine bought was a pair of matching Mercedes for herself and then-husband, John McVie. If you were handed a check for $1 million, what's the first thing you would do with the money?
Well, I know this is a terribly un-feminist admission, but probably the first thing I'd do is hand the check over to the hubby. He handles all our financial doings, since he's much better at it than I am. Then I'd most likely start giving some of it away, and spending some of it on toys.
8. The other girl in Fleetwood Mac, Stevie Nicks, founded the Soldier's Angel Foundation. She believes in the healing power of music, and so she's proud to provide wounded soldiers with iPods already loaded with music. When you listen to music from your phone, MP3 player or iPod, do you use ear buds or headphones?
Actually, I never listen to music on my phone, and it's been quite a while since I used my iPod. We have a Sonos sound system in our house, and that's mainly what I use for listening to music. I've never really liked using headphones or earbuds. 
9. Random question: Let's pretend your high school reunion is coming up. Which classmate are you more curious about: the one who was your first date, or the one who was too cool to give you the time of day?
My first date happened long before I got to high school. And I've avoided all my high school reunions. Must admit, I'd be curious about both "first date" and "too cool," but probably not curious enough to get me to the reunion. 

Happy Saturday, everyone!
And have a great weekend.

For more Saturday 9 Q&A, just click on this button:

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Unconscious Mutterings: Week 754

Mutterings for the week of July 16th. Unconscious Mutterings is hosted by LunaNiña. And here we go....
  1. Adopt :: ...a pet (It's a good thing.)
  2. Therapy :: treatment (Also a good thing. But can be painful.)
  3. Money back :: refund (And another good thing. Insert smiley face here.)
  4. Lotion :: hand; Curel Daily Moisture (Sorry. It's been on my mind lately because it's been my go-to hand lotion for decades and they've recently stopped making it. Bummer.)
  5. Feeling :: ...groovy
  6. Surgery :: not groovy
  7. Ashen :: pale
  8. Wrist ::
  9. Pronounce :: speak, enunciate, language
  10. Vaseline :: gooey 

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Saturday 9: I Will Never Let You Down

The Saturday 9  is hosted by Sam Winters. Nine questions posted every Saturday — sometimes random, sometimes with a theme. This week, the theme is...

"I Will Never Let You Down" by Fastball

Listen to it HERE.

I had never heard of this song before this week's Saturday 9 introduced me to Fastball. A little embarrassing, since I live very near Austin. But the last time I really paid attention to the Austin music scene, Willy Nelson had just left Nashville and moved back to Texas and settled in Austin. So that would have been...? Maybe 1972? I'm a little behind the times.

1. Fastball is a trio from Austin, Texas. Austin is the capital of Texas. When you were in school, did you have to memorize the state capitals?
Yes, I did. We learned all the European capitals too. Wish I could remember them all now. Of course, these days I could just Google that.
2. Have you ever visited your state's capital?
Austin? I lived there back in the 1960s and '70s, and now live just west of the city.
3. Fastball played dates throughout Canada this past spring. When did you last leave the US of A?
Wow, it's been a VERY long time. It was the summer of 1985 — we spent part of the summer in England. Actually, we recently got our passports renewed, so we're sort of hoping to find a reason for using them soon. Maybe a return trip to England. And I've always wanted to see Italy. But I'm not so sure Americans are all that welcome in Europe these days.
4. Tony Scalzo is a founding member of Fastball. He's the singer in the video for this song, and that's his wife, Jennifer, playing the organizer of the speed-dating event. Have you ever gotten a job because you knew somebody?
Yes, back when I was a teenager my aunt got me some summer jobs at the department store where she worked as a buyer/department manager.
5. In this pitch to a perspective lover, he admits he doesn't have much money. Last time you went to the ATM, how much did you withdraw?
Whenever we need cash, the hubby usually gets it — so I haven't been to an ATM in a long time. Don't remember how much I withdrew.
6. He sings that at times, his mind is hazy. Do you have a good memory for names?
Not always. Some names are easier to remember than others.
7. Fastball guitarist Miles Zuniga admits that he once had a crush on Carrie Fisher (aka Princess Leia). Tell us about one of your one-sided love affairs, either with a celebrity or someone you knew in real life.
I was once deeply in love with Elvis Presley. Unfortunately, I never got to meet him. Also, I was only nine or ten at the time. By the time I was old enough to date, Elvis had found Priscilla. So the relationship never had a chance.
8. Fastball's drummer Joey Shuffield is partial to drums from Pork Pie Percussion. This company was started by Bill Detamore, who began making drums as a hobby. Do you have any hobbies that, under the right circumstances, could make you money?
I've got a lot of hobbies, but I really doubt any of them are money-makers. Just money spenders.
9. The fast ball is the most common pitch in major league baseball. Now that the MLB season is past the halfway mark, how is your baseball team doing?
I don't really pay very close attention to baseball until the playoffs get going. Then, if one of the Texas teams is in the running, I might watch a few games. I used to be a baseball fan when I was a kid — my grandmother watched it all season, and I would see a lot of the games that way. But as an adult, I've sort of lost interest. We watch so much basketball and football (and tennis) around our house, we really don't need another sport to take up our time. Especially not one that involves so many games — so many SLOW games.

Happy Saturday, everyone!
And have a great weekend.

For more Saturday 9 Q&A, just click on this button:

Friday, July 14, 2017

Unconscious Mutterings: Week 753

Mutterings for the week of July 10th. Unconscious Mutterings is hosted by LunaNiña. And here we go....
  1. Webbed :: toes
  2. History :: college (History was one of my majors.)
  3. Musical :: theater, chairs
  4. Husband :: wife (Duh.)
  5. Stayed :: away; too long; at home
  6. Drug :: ...of choice (Well, we all have them, right?)
  7. Structure :: building
  8. Complicated :: relationship
  9. Plot :: story, plan
  10. Coma :: unconscious (...but not muttering.)

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Saturday 9: The Joker

The Saturday 9  is hosted by Sam Winters. Nine questions posted every Saturday — sometimes random, sometimes with a theme. This week, the theme is...

"The Joker" by the Steve Miller Band (1973)

 You can listen to this week's theme song HERE.

1. In this song, Steve Miller claims he's a picker, grinner, sinner, lover, smoker and joker. Do any of those six words describe you?
Probably most of them. Maybe not currently. And not all at the same time.
2. He maintains he's still a midnight toker. When's the last time you got high?
Way to go Steve, you bad boy! Or should I say — you bad old codger! I should probably take the Fifth on this one. Let's just say if I ever did get high (and I'm not admitting anything), it was so long ago, I have no clear memory of any of it. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. 
3. The lyrics include a reference to peaches. Name your favorite fruit.
Probably cherries. Although I love peaches, too. And nectarines, which are sort of almost the same thing as peaches.
4. This song had a big impact on the character of Joey on Friends, who had an imaginary friend named Maurice with the occupation of space cowboy. Did you ever have an imaginary friend?
I did have an imaginary friend when I was a tot. His name was Bobbery and he lived behind the front door. (I grew up in Central Texas, and the front door was open most of the time, with just the screen door closed. Remember screen doors? Before central heat and air conditioning sealed us all in forever? But I digress.) I'm not sure exactly when Bobbery disappeared, but it was long before I started school. Imaginary friends are pretty common, especially for children without siblings (I was an "only"). Probably watching Friends was pretty common too, although I've only ever seen two episodes — one where they all lock themselves outside their apartment (apartments?) and hang around in the hallway, and one where they all cook Thanksgiving dinner. Oh, and part of one with Jon Lovitz as a guest star. I don't remember what happened on that one, I just watched it because it had Jon Lovitz. 
5. Steve Miller is the pride of Milwaukee, WI. What else is Milwaukee famous for?
Um, breweries? I think my father used to drink Schlitz many years ago. The beer that made Milwaukee famous. There's also an old joke that has a punchline that goes "...the beer that made Mel Famey walk us." Or something like that. But I digress. Again.
6. Steve Miller considers himself a serious blues guitarist. When did you last feel like singing the blues?
Friday, January 20, 2017. Inauguration Day. One of those "live in infamy" days. A definite low.
7. In 1973, when this song was popular, you could buy a portable 8-track tape player for $44.50. On what device do you listen to music most often?
$44.50? Really? That would have been quite a chunk of cash in 1973. Guess I didn't realize 8-tracks were so expensive (never had one). We have a Sonos sound system at home, so if I listen to music here, it's on that. Actually though, I mostly listen to music when I'm in the car, on the car radio (Sirius XM — their Real Jazz channel is amazing).
8. A Curious George book packaged with a Curious George plush toy was a big seller at Christmas 1973. Tell us about a toy — either given or received — that brightened a holiday or birthday for you.
This was a hard one for me. Not sure about gifts I've given, but I've received many toys that "brightened" the day. I suppose one that stands out would be the teddy bear I received one Christmas. Don't remember exactly when I got him, but I was pretty tiny. He was also a very small bear, and a lovely shade of blue (faded now to nearly-gray, just like me). I still have him. I even wrote a blog post about him several years ago. He's gone through a lot, over the years:

9. M*A*S*H was one of TV's top-rated shows in 1973. Who is your favorite M*A*S*H character?
If I have to choose just one, I guess it would be Hawkeye Pierce. But I loved both the movie and the TV series, and didn't really have a favorite character.

Happy Saturday, everyone!
And have a great weekend.

For more Saturday 9 Q&A, just click on this button:

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Unconscious Mutterings: Week 752

Mutterings for the week of July 3rd. Unconscious Mutterings is hosted by LunaNiña. And here we go....
  1. Mentor :: guide, teacher, guru
  2. Stitch :: sewing, needlework, Lilo and...

  3. Twirl :: baton; Venus Williams (she always does a little twirl after winning a match)
  4. Spoken :: aloud
  5. Scar :: mark
  6. Clients :: customers
  7. Tragic :: drama
  8. Private :: ... Lives (my favorite Noel Coward play)
  9. Thousand :: ... Island salad dressing 
  10. Produce :: lettuce, tomatoes, onions, etc (perfect for that Thousand Island dressing)

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Sunday Stealing: The Last 40 Questions from Bud

What's this all about? All types of questions stolen from every corner of the blogosphere. (Go HERE to find out more.) This week we have The Last 40 Questions from Bud (and a new host, Bev Sykes). And here we go....

1. My uncle once :  ... made movies.

2. Never in my life :  ... have I ever milked a cow.

3. When I was seventeen :  It was a very good year. (Used to love that song.)

4. High School was : ... some good, some bad.  So long ago, I've forgotten most of it.

5. I will never forget : ...? (Most of the things I will "never forget" seem to be things I really don't want to remember.)

6. I once met : ... someone who went on to do some terrible things. And that's enough about that.

7. There’s this girl I know who : ... loves to waste time with silly memes. Wait — what?

8. Once, at a bar : ... I drank so much sangria, I threw up on a table.

9. By noon, I’m usually : ... out of bed and dressed. More than that, I can't promise.

10. Last night : ... there were already 4th of July fireworks going off all around our area.

11. If only I had : ... made a certain someone keep that promise.

12. Next time I go to gym/church : ... Uh — this one is tough for me. I don't go to a gym, and the only time I'm ever in a church is for weddings or funerals.

13. Susan Boyle : ... is that British woman who won the singing contest?

14. What worries me most : ... Losing the one thing that's most important to me.

15. When I turn my head left, I see :  A doorway that leads to two bedrooms and a guest bath.

16. When I turn my head right, I see :  M out watering the front lawn.

17. You know I’m lying when :  I took acting classes for many years. I'm good at it. You'd never know if I was lying.

18. What I miss most about the eighties :  Perms.

19. If I was a character in Shakespeare, I’d be :  ... Portia from The Merchant of Venice. She's a really strong female character and gets to deliver that wonderful "quality of mercy" speech.

20. By this time next year : ... We'll be a whole year older.

21. A better name for me would be : ... Can't think of one. I kind of like my name.

22. I have a hard time understanding : ... sooooo many things these days.

23. If I ever go back to school, I’ll :  ... die of shock. There is an extremely remote possibility that a return to school will ever be in my future.

24. You know I like you if :  Hmmmm. I'm hard to read (so I've been told), so you might not know I like you.

25. If I ever won an award, the first person I’d thank would be :  Well, it would depend on the award, wouldn't it?

26. When I compare 80’s rock to 90’s rock :  I would probably still prefer 70's rock.

27. Take my advice, never :  I have done some pretty dumb things in my life — so I rarely say things like "Take my advice...."

28. My ideal breakfast is :  The hubby's blueberry pancakes, maple syrup and crispy bacon. None of which we eat anymore.

29. A song I love, but do not own is :  I don't actually own any songs except the ones I've written.

30. If you visit my hometown, I suggest :  ... you have lunch at Schilo's German deli, downtown. The greatest pea soup and root beer.

31. My favorite Beatle is :  ... I always loved George best.

32. Why won’t people :  ... just be kind to one another?

33. If you spend the night at my house :  ... you might hear the coyotes howling all night.

34. I’d stop my wedding for :  ... Well, if it's one of these new-fangled modern-day extravaganzas, that are planned for years and cost tens of thousands, I guess I wouldn't stop it for much of anything.

35. The world could do without :  ... cockroaches.

36. I’d rather lick the belly of a cockroach than :  Seriously, I didn't see this coming when I answered the question above. I would do just about anything rather than lick any part of a cockroach.

37. My favorite blonde is :  Steve McQueen.

38: Paper clips are more useful than :  I got nothing for this one.

39. If I do anything well, it’s :  ... waste time.

40. And by the way : ... this list has forty questions!!!

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Saturday 9: Yankee Doodle Dandy

The Saturday 9  is hosted by Sam Winters. Nine questions posted every Saturday — sometimes random, sometimes with a theme. This week, the theme is...

"Yankee Doodle Dandy" (1942)

 You can see James Cagney's famous performance of this week's song HERE.
It's always been one of my favorite old movies, and I always loved James Cagney. He reminded me of my grandfather, although PaPa didn't dance. (But he could sing!)

1. This week's song was performed by James Cagney in the famous movie of the same name. Do you plan on going to the movies this holiday weekend?
Don't plan to. It could happen, but I'd say it's a long-shot. But it's very possible we might stream a movie or watch a DVD. These days, we don't go out to movies very often. The closest movie theater is about 45 minutes away, and I really prefer watching movies here at home.
2. Though known for his larger-than-life screen presence, Cagney was only 5'5". How tall are you?
I've been 5'4" since I was twelve years old.
3. During the Revolutionary War, General Washington celebrated the 4th of July by giving his troops a double ration of rum. Will you imbibe any spirits this holiday weekend?
Maybe not, in the strict sense of the word. I'm pretty sure alcohol of some sort will be consumed, though.
4. American history was one of Crazy Sam's best subjects in school. Science was her worst. In which class did you earn your worst grades?
Worst grades? Algebra and geometry. I made a "D" in my first attempt at high school geometry. Took the class over to clean up my record, and discovered I actually loved the subject. What a difference a great teacher can make!
5. The Fourth of July means we're in the middle of summer. Are you careful about applying sunscreen?
That's interesting. I always think of the 4th of July as being just the beginning of summer. (Probably because, here in Texas, it's gonna be many months before the heat lets up.) I'm pretty careful about sunscreen, if I know I'm going to be out in the sun for more than a few minutes. But I don't always apply it if I'm just running errands or going in and out. 
6. Mosquito bites can be a major summer annoyance. Are you scratching any itches right now?
I'm allergic to just about everything outdoors. I'm always scratching some kind of itch.
7. Emergency rooms report an increase in wrist injuries in summer, with people falling off bikes and skateboards and jamming their wrists catching hard-hit softballs. Have you recently been to the ER or Urgent Care?
No, I have not. Thank whatever gods may be.
8. New York is home to Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest every year on the 4th. Will hot dogs be consumed in your household this weekend?
I certainly hope so! But no eating contests, please.
9. Atlanta hosts a 10K Peachtree Road Race every 4th of July. Are you a runner?
Not anymore. There was a time when I used to run and jog for exercise, although I never officially entered a race. But my knees and hips won't take that kind of action now, so I walk and do yoga and some aerobic exercises. No running.

Happy Saturday, everyone!
And Happy 4th of July!
And have a fun, safe weekend.

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