Friday, August 18, 2017

In the wild

If you are very still on our front porch, you will likely be treated to a daily visit by a hummingbird. If you are extra quiet, you may see other spectacular wild species. Make sure to keep your eyes focused...
 ...and there, in his natural habitat you may get to see the Foz!
"Nothing to see here, move along!"

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Creepy hereditary random

I have spent a great deal of time, and space on this blog, musing about monkeys-primarily of the creepy variety. Why do they show themselves to me so often? Where did the roots of this special connection originate? Today I uncovered some information that may both help you sleep at night, finally knowing the answer, but also could keep you up at night due to the graphic nature of the evidence. Creepy monkey love is my destiny-written in my DNA. 

My mother and I were watching some old home movies today, when we stumbled across some footage from her eleventh birthday. She was very happy to see her favorite dress...1959 was an excellent year for fashion (and bows). I was too distracted by what on earth she was carrying towards the camera. "Those are monkeys, I got them for my birthday. I loved them!" 
Look at how that one is reaching up for her neck. Look out, Mom!! You can see my fingers coming in from the right side of the frame, trying to save her. I tried to accept these cuddly friends of hers, but then she explained that they were made of rattan and hard. "I could hook their hands together, and then hang them from things." Nope. My mother seems very sure that this fabulous monkey duo is no longer lurking about in my grandparents' house. Why do I feel like there is a chance they are hiding there, waiting for me? Just hanging around...being creepy. 

At least now we know. 

Friday, August 11, 2017

A rewarding experience

The humans here seem pretty amused with themselves about this...
...pardon me while I take a break from the hilarity to ask what the magic number is, and what the reward might be?

Foz! You're back here on the blog, is that not enough of a treat for both you and your fan(s)?

I will ponder that, but for now I ask you to keep in mind that NOBODY puts Fozzie in a corner!
Fozzie, you exiled yourself to that spot.

Why must you mess with my perfectly good Dirty Dancing reference?!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Random chirp

 Well that pretty much sums up this blog for the month of July!

Was I as busy as this friend?
Nope. Out looking for the BEST deals?
Not really. Perfecting my marshmallow roasting technique?

Well, yes, that was part of it. I also spent an embarrassing amount of time looking for a blog post I had written about making cookie cakes, only to find that there was not an actual post, but rather just a brief reference to the "ring of fire" experience. I was going to save this glorious photo for its very own post...
...but I think we all know how that goes, and how long the wait would be. Plus, in my quick glimpse through my phone photos, I saw plenty of others worthy of full discussions that we may or may not actually get to. Let's just say that when you put cookie dough on a pizza stone, it is a half batch-even if you tell yourself it doesn't look like quite enough...IT IS! 

I spent a couple of days at the beach...
...on the beach! Looking for treasures...
...finding the dead horseshoe crab apocalypse...
Got my usual dose of Cape Cod hydrangea envy...
...and in a completely unrelated story, I found out what can happen to a box of pasta if it travels to college and back before being cooked.
I never realized the frailty of rigatoni!

Regardless of whatever lame excuses I could make for not being here, (Did July even have Tuesdays? Please don't tell Foz if there were in fact Fridays.) I would like to come back.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Somewhere over the random

Tuesday?! It's Tuesday? Has that been going on all day long? I attributed all of the joy I was experiencing to the whole Monday thing. Interesting. Taco Tuesday dinner solidified my understanding of where we were at in the week. Feeling revived after the fiesta, I decided to dust myself off and make an effort to make something resembling progress with the little bit of daylight left.

The rain was trying to keep itself out of my way, and I spotted a beautiful double rainbow. I had to follow it, giddy with excitement over what I might find.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Lawn ornament

I can't believe how many weeks went by with no Fridays. I wonder who stole them all? No doubt the most concerning part of the ordeal was the lack of my posts in your lives. Hopefully you were able to sleep at night without knowing what I was up to.
I've been keeping a pretty vigilant eye on things around here. Don't let my pose fool you, as I could be up and defending my lawn in seconds...if I wanted to. Maybe we just have some differing opinions on what threats are? Bunnies eating flowers is not an issue for me, as I don't particularly like the taste of petunias. Plus, must I remind her of how much I do enjoy Rabbit Raisinettes? Basically, I have claimed whatever parts of this yard that interest me, and I am not sorry if one of her brand new planters fell into that category. She probably should have peed on it if it was so important.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Just a touch of [creepy] random

Here we are again, trying to keep up with the random at the very least. (Foz would like to add that he is not pleased. I would like to add that, in addition to peeing on the floor daily, he doesn't know what day of the week it ever!) I admit, it took something pretty worthwhile to get me to put aside my laundry folding and ebay auction checking. Where to begin?! Let's just start right at the top...
Sadly that shelf tag was there to confirm my fear of what this item was. "Emoji Poop Jelly Fishy"? Oh. Hell. No. Too far emoji, TOO FAR! It really swims? "Poo!" A "pet"? Make it stop!!!!! Just what is the lifelike movement for a pile of poop? This whole thing is more that a "lil' fishy". I need something to calm me down and find my happy place.
CREEPY MONKEYS OF A CERAMIC VARIETY?!?! No wisps of lifelike hair? And here I thought that was the creepy feature. Nope. For $245 I will come hold your packets of sugar, brew the coffee, stir it AND make you some breakfast to go with. I just can't even! That little one is having horribly devious thoughts, I can just tell. I'll be rocking in the corner if you need me.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Well gifted random

How do you respond when someone asks you what you want for a special occasion of the gift giving kind? Do you keep a mental list handy just in case, or do you buy yourself the stuff you want for fear nobody will ask, or worse, you will forget what that awesome idea was? I have had awkward moments where inquiring minds did not like the gift suggestion I provided...for something I wanted and/or needed. Can we at least agree that it is difficult to be put on the spot, trying to find a delicate balance between being helpful and seeming greedy?

Maybe sometimes you open a gift that is something so fantastic and unique that there was no possible way you could have known you wanted it - like who knew it existed?! My friend Misty (yeah, I won't bother to link to her blog since it is pretty dusty over there, and you might get hit by a tumbleweed) sent me things like my "World's Okayest Mom" mug and a poop emoji hat. I was unaware of such treasures before they were in my hands.

Recently my aunt bestowed me with some glorious finds that were not only artifacts I did not know one could attain, I was not even positive at first what they were, so stunned was I. Creepy monkeys would have been too obvious, so she widened her search to another part of the animal kingdom for this...
...this, well THIS. A sly eyed pig in a fancy hat with various places to put various things. Are you stumped? Or better still, are you about to tell me how your family had one of these that they put on the table for holidays and every time you served, um, something? Luckily there was a tag, but I am not completely satisfied with the information it provided...
...because what goes in those other two spots?! Toothpicks are my best guess.

Oh, but she was not done, this wizardess of gifting. She had not fully shown me how well she truly knew me, until these were presented...
How would I EVER have known to ask for eggplant headed salt and pepper shakers with creepily drawn sad eyes? I did not even realize the void that was in my life before this pair found their home on my kitchen windowsill.

So the next time someone asks you for a gift idea, tell them to just find something they think is you! Don't forget to come show me what you get! I hope whatever it is brings you as much joy as these items have truly brought me. (Still cracking up every time I look at the eggplants, as I just got them the other day, so the novelty hasn't worn off yet.)

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Good Things come in Threes (or is that bad things?)

This is the final installment of the 2010 Barn Swallow Chronicles. Here we will discover the beginning of the efforts to truly foil the birds' plans.

For the Birds...Part 3: My Other Husband
I admit, I was feeling a little full of myself for the fabulous anti-barn swallow measures I had taken. I decided to proceed to the front door that following morning to admire my handiwork. THAT is when I saw the shoddy workmanship of the person who replaced ONE piece of cardboard. The cardboard pretty much lined the ledge...providing a nice smooth nesting surface!
I spent a moment trying to find a logical explanation for what I was seeing. Maybe the cardboard was put up at an angle, but the birds used all of their might to stomp it back down to a ninety degree angle. THEN I noticed that 2x4, and how it is on top of the way the birds managed that on their own! The birds are clearly paying my husband rent on our porch, and he is doing his best to be a good landlord!

With steam pouring out of my ears, I demanded to know why the cardboard was replaced in this manner. I was told that it was temporary, and he had no idea they would start to rebuild so quickly. Temporary? Like the useless wire from three years ago? Or the birdie balance beams? Those birds would be disappointed to know that their rebuilding efforts were questioned like that!

On my way to work, I realized there was only one person who might understand my dismay. Let's call her my other husband...the one who understands. That is what so many of us women need...those friends who truly empathize with our plight and have the time/interest/energy to listen to/put up with/help us. I went to this friend's house last week to perform my husbandly duty of helping her to move a ginormous chair up the basement stairs. Now for a man and wife, the moment when we got the chair and ourselves lodged in a stairway with two bottom steps missing could've been the makings for a heated exchange and one really lousy evening. However, we laughed ourselves silly, knowing we'd figure out something, and then have a snack--hooray!

Anyway, back to the birds...this is what I came home to after work that day...

You guess which husband did it!

p.s. It's been four days, and there are no birds, and no poop....just a delightful sound of bugs "tinging" off the tinfoil at night, if I leave the porch light on.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Part two of the recurring theme

In order to help you pace yourself, I should have mentioned that this is/was a three part series. (Apparently I had more free time back in 2010.)

For the birds...Part Two: Their Unlikely Ally
Well, the birds proved to be as insane over this situation as I was becoming. They did stay away from the recyclable plastic forest I was trying to create. However, they started doing a balance beam routine on the pieces of wood that once held them at bay. Here we see the swallow doing an inspection before flinging any more mud in that general direction...
And here you can see less than a full day's work...
I am sure you appreciate the fact that I am sparing you the visual of their bathroom renovations...ugh! I can see these charmers right from the chair I sit in when I am on the computer, and get the full picture every time I open the front door. I neglected to mention that they sleep up on that ledge (nest or not) at night...and do not fly away when we come and go. It's a little creepy to me because I can't see them when I am coming in until I am already on the porch...with them.

Now every now and then, I like to pretend that I am in charge of the inside of the house, and Mister Weedwacker's domain is anything outside. I might as well go all in and pretend I am a pretty princess in a posh castle with a moat to keep me safe, and legions of people catering to my every whim...not because they are in my employ...just because they love me so, and wish for my happiness. Well, these birds are outside (thank goodness), so I wanted them to not be my problem to solve. Mister did what he thought was his part, and took the nests down a few, okay, but that didn't solve the problem. His strategy each year seems to be, try one thing then stop (regardless of what kind of, if any, results are achieved).

I was starting to think he may LIKE the birds. We used to be avid cardinal, nut-hatch and chickadee fans and feeders at our previous home. I was wondering if his fondness for those days of feathered friends was making him latch onto the wrong crowd. How else to explain why he wasn't doing more? A friend tried to explain to me that it just wasn't his priority, like it was mine. OK, but I could not understand how ceasing to have a bird poop cluttered front porch was a "back burner" type of an item. Why weren't we forming our own team, drawing up blueprints, making a PLAN! I was chatting with neighbors about the birds and they were full of suggestions, offering to cut wood. I knew these folks were under no obligation whatsoever to invest any time, energy or manual labor in assisting me. And once again, this was the Weedwacker's domain, ergo his obligation.

This is where my fuzzy logic often comes into play. I obviously am the only one living here who operates under the impression that we all have job descriptions. I'm not sure who I believe conducts our performance reviews, but I'll be happy to tell you how everyone is doing! Fuzzy logic might be better than when logic completely escapes me and I decide that even if it is not Weedwacker's priority to deal with the poopsters, he should be doing it because of how much it upsets me (mmm-hmmm, back to my castle fantasy perhaps). For better, for worse, richer, or poor, her priorities are your priorities...oops, did I dream that?

Finally I decided that I would just feel better if I just dealt with the situation...made it go away. Maybe I'd even feel a sense of accomplishment. I didn't want to leave the house because the kids were out playing, so I had to do the MacGyver-what's in the garage that I could use? The birds appeared to be off on some mission, so the timing was great. First I gathered up a few more water bottles (with no sense of how wide our porch is). Then I hauled a five inch by eight foot plank up the ladder, and placed it on the ledge. I took it down when I realized our children's safety was important to me. Then I grabbed a cross-country ski (the look on my daughter's face told me I was losing my mind). I found a couple of 2x4s and some cardboard in the garage, and realized THIS was going to be the answer (at least for that day). I wedged the pieces up on the ledge at an angle, as the key is to take away their flat surfaces. Now all the while, I was on the phone with my dear friend (obviously a dear friend, because who else would stay on the line, calmly telling me to flap the cardboard, while I was screaming that the birds came back and were flying at me?). She stayed on the line with me until I had all of the available cardboard in place. (This was in exchange for the times I have stayed on the line with her to keep her company when she has to put away laundry or empty the dishwasher.)

One piece of the cardboard fell, and I did NOT have the energy to get the ladder back out, so I asked Mister Bird-friend to put it back up, and mentioned that it might need a tack. There were several of other pieces in place, so I thought it would've been insulting to give any further directions as to how to replace it. My friend tells me all the time that we have to put the dots pretty close together for our husbands (do not be offended ALL men...I think she literally means our two husbands, for the most part). Well, for once I felt I really put the dots close together, so I didn't give the porch another glance that evening...phew!

**Marianne, I laughed when I saw your comment on yesterday's post because you were the only commenter back in 2010. Your comment on this post's original airing stood alone as well!  ;)

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

More Recurring Than Random

I really was going to write a fresh new post today. The topic? Barn swallows! (Cue collective groan.) I started to think about how some of you readers had better things to do back in 2010 when I started occupying this space, and might have missed out on the debut of my adventures with barn swallows. Instead of being all wordy, wordy, and then linking to something with more words that may take up more time than you have to spend right now on such drivel fascinating nature exploits, I am going to repost the original trilogy! 

For the Birds...Part One: Don't Mess With Crazy

This current event topic of my life has evolved at such a rapid pace, that I did not keep up with it here in blog-land. I think it is a tale worth telling...the story arc, the battle between good and evil, inner conflict, and of course...a hero. I don't anticipate anything else exciting happening in the next few days, so this will be a three part tale...

Have you ever met a barn swallow? They don't give a bad first impression, but don't let that fool you. About five years ago, we allowed a charming couple to build their fabulous mud nest on our porch...fascinating to watch...all mud (I'll continue to look for a photo, from way back when we were still enchanted enough to take photos for pleasure). After the babes flew we took the nest down-sayonara. That's the way the bird thing worked as far as we knew-at least that's what the robins had told us. Imagine our surprise when they rebuilt, and we took down, and they rebuilt, we took down, etc.

Subsequent seasons brought ruder relatives of theirs who must've been told about our palatial porch, complete with ledge for growing families. These birds are what I will call swoopers, in that they use a diving technique to show their feelings of bitterness towards anyone who intrudes on them. By intruding I mean things like, opening MY door to MY house, walking to my front door. They move up to the gutter along the roof of the porch and squawk about us until we take cover.

Another key feature of these birds is their damn near toxic poop. I had a scrub brush that was merely nicking the top layer off the concrete. I also used a power washer aimed right at the stuff from about two feet away...still a spot. So they live along the top inside ledge of the porch, and use the edge of the porch floor as their commode...the whole length of the porch.

This season, I decided to start early, and sprung into action at the first sight of the enemies. I looked up at the ledge where ghosts of failed efforts past stood...the wire that was too low and they built on top of it...the pieces of wood that did not quite span the entire length of the porch, leaving two corners with as good as a "for sale" sign on them...the memory of one of those inflatable creepy eye scare the birds away things (THAT was attractive...and useless!) It was time to get creative. I could see my husband in the window as I hauled out the ladder and climbed up with my inflatable ball and some empty water bottles, oh and masking tape (I know duct tape is really the answer, but I didn't have any!). A temporary fix as I needed to buy a little time (it's amazing how fast two birds can use their beaks to carry mud to build a foundation).

As to not actually be how I spent my weekend, I chose last Friday afternoon to borrow a power washer and get to work. I got the nest remnants down from the one corner, and got as much of their industrial strength poop off the porch. THEN, I showed these bird I meant business by crafting one corner out of water bottles. The other corner (well I forgot their was another corner, so that didn't get cleaned out as well) got my brink of insanity treatment as featured below...

I mean, come on, who's going to mess with a Mr. Crab sand sifter with two half-pint water bottles working back-up (the masking tape adds a certain pizazz as well). More importantly, who is going to mess with the person who thought this was a good idea. My hope was to let these barn swallows know that they were dealing with a touch of crazy lady. When I told my army neighbor my logic, he confirmed that the army knows that you just leave crazy alone--it's unpredictable. I then took bets with the children as to whether or not this plan would work. They were pessimistic, as you probably are, knowing there are two more parts coming to this story!

Friday, May 19, 2017


My birthday is Sunday, so I imagine it will look something like this...
...minus the chocolate, of course! I am only slightly concerned that nobody has asked me what kind of cupcakes I do want, or who should be invited to the party. I hope you all got invites!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

A short hailstorm of random

Wondering about that title? Mother Nature had her own ideas about how to celebrate this past Sunday. The way she was throwing ice pellets so angrily, maybe she missed out on a brunch invite? Or maybe she was just trying to lightly toss confetti?
At first glance, I thought this was super cute...
 ...then, as I was trying to decide which moss shoes to buy for my mom, I decided it was just plain creepy. Yes, those flowers are far prettier than whatever spills over the top of my jeans, but the lack of torso is slightly disturbing. Maybe some other ornamental lawn decor is needed.
I find all gazing balls to be a little odd, so this wasn't a total shock to me, but I have to admit that I didn't see anything in particular that seemed out of the ordinary. Do you think the $34.99 ones of "theirs" are "normal" at over double the price?

I still would like to come up with a piece of random pizzazz for Tuesdays so that Foz will stop rubbing my nose in his super fun Friday foto. I would also like to write blog posts for the topics on the pink sticky note that floats around this place. I would also like to stop dreading dinner preparation and list the growing pile of ebay stuff for auction. Stay tuned to see how things shuffle out in my procrastination hierarchy. 

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Happy Mother's Day!

Yesterday while I was making dinner, my husband and daughter were on the couch, clearly in training for today when they would feel compelled to snap into action and cater to my every whim. Yes, they were going to make me earn today. Foz caught onto the plan and came into the kitchen to heckle me and make some demands of his own. It's like his grumblings were at some pitch that only I could hear.

I made plans to have breakfast with my mom, before this queen's court was even awake to start spoiling me. Breakfast in bed doesn't necessarily have to be my own bed, right? (Plus, they don't think to spike the juice at my house...or at least the one who might isn't home from college yet.)
This lady. Always by my side, always with a shoulder, always has my back. I really messed up by playing my best card first back in 2013. Granted, last year was pretty glamorous as well. Let's see what photo we have for this year.
 Happy Mother's Day, Mom!
Me, with my blue Snoopy watch, the perfect accent piece. You, with your blue eye shadow to remind us this was the seventies, as your outfit isn't giving anything away for some reason. Then again, you are always in style! I know I was recently telling you how my outfits always fall apart when it comes to shoes. I guess I need to think outside the realm of what seems logical and go back to my days of dark socks and brown shoes with things like those pale pink pants. My kids make me practically beg for photos sometimes, but I seem to have always been a happy and willing participant to be photographed by your side! Much love!

Friday, May 12, 2017


No promposal for me. No hair and makeup. No tuxedo (and you all know how I LOVE to dress up). Such a shame for this glamour pose to go to waste.

Friday, May 5, 2017

May I return? (or MAY...I return!)

Excuse me? You think you can just take up an entire month, including my Fridays, fiddling around with the alphabet with no regard for anything I may have to say? I guess the whole typing skills thing gave you an advantage there.
I just sat here waiting to be asked for my input. Letter B? Bow Wow Wow of course!
Who doesn't want candy?! As for the letter T? None other than Three Dog Night!

If April wasn't bad enough, my May the Fourth offerings were neglected as well.
Forgiveness is going to take a decent number of Milkbones, and not those minuscule things for "small dogs" - so insulting! "Do or do not, there is not try."

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

The random May return

Thanks for hanging out, and perhaps singing along, with me for the April a-z challenge. So now what shall we do for the month of May?

Put our raincoats on for starters, I guess. Yikes! As if that forecast last night wasn't frightening enough, look at this!
Is your part of the USA also suffering from a lettuce shortage? Or perhaps just some crafty way to generate and justify silly prices? I did not find any such information at any other local stores - what a relief! My friend's response when I sent her the alert: "Lettuce shortage? It takes like 5 minutes to grow a new crop".

I went to my nephew's first communion over the weekend. It was the first time I attended church in a long while, but as I looked down in the pew in front of me...
 ...and saw that great big Lego Store bag, I felt for a moment like I had found where I belonged (but also admit being somewhat distracted by trying to figure out which giant set was inside).

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Z is for...

...Zeppelin (Led implied)
My theme for this year's a-z challenge is off the top of my head-the first musical group to pop into my head...not necessarily my favorite, just the first to show itself.

Holy cow! This is it for April, eh? Much like my first a-z song themed challenge in 2013, this one will close out with Zeppelin. My collection of Led Zeppelin vinyls may have left my side, but there are certain songs that are like hearing from an old friend.

Have you got time for a quick story before we wrap this thing up? If not, you do you, and it will still be here waiting when you get back.

It was the fall of 1990, and I was a senior in college. I was at a party, and ran into a guy I had recently met. The late night was turning even later, and he told me he was going to try to find us a ride back to campus. He left me in good hands, sitting on the front porch of the house with a very good friend of his, a guy I vaguely knew through a couple of my roommates. We exchanged pleasantries for a bit until this Led Zeppelin song came on, and then we both just had to sing along. He added some fine air drum moves. Fun way to pass the time waiting to hear about a ride, for sure. 

Next thing I know, my potential new love interest is walking towards us. He then proceeded to point at me and wink at his friend sitting next to me, giving a thumbs up. Ummmm. His friend opened his mouth to perhaps offer some kind of a reminder. At the same moment the guy with such promise got close enough to where his beer goggles focused and jarred his memory that he was the super lucky co-ed who had been hanging out with me. I could have been appalled, but instead figured I did still garner a thumbs up. That story ended with us having to walk a couple of miles back to our dorms, and the relationship ended three and a half years later. Good times, bad times, you know we had our share, and this still makes me laugh.

Even if you haven't had a few beers, sing loudly and bang those imaginary sticks.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Y is for...

My theme for this year's a-z challenge is off the top of my head-the first musical group to pop into my head...not necessarily my favorite, just the first to show itself.

Remember back in April 2013 when I chose to do angsty eighties songs for the a-z challenge? This band fantastically captured the letter M.  I don't want to be redundant here in my commentary, so I will keep this brief. Just two albums in two years, and I do have the entire collection. The funky synthesizer, I admit I can take or leave, but her voice. My gosh, that voice!

Friday, April 28, 2017

X is for...

My theme for this year's a-z challenge is off the top of my head-the first musical group to pop into my head...not necessarily my favorite, just the first to show itself.

Thank goodness for sampler cassette (which was very similar to, but nothing like a mix tape) my friend across the hall in St. Mary's dorm sophomore year made for me. Otherwise I may not have had a legitimate group for this letter! Full disclosure? I could not remember what song I knew that they sang, and could only picture the band's name written on that yellow lined cassette insert. Of course now I will have this stuck in my head until tomorrow.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

W is for...

...(The) Waterboys
My theme for this year's a-z challenge is off the top of my head-the first musical group to pop into my head...not necessarily my favorite, just the first to show itself.

My husband made me a mix tape back in 1994 when we first started dating. Well, obviously he did because how else would there have been proof that we were enough in love to get engaged?! He was the proud owner of over 500 cd's in those days, as well as one hell of a vinyl collection. Despite what I thought of my own wide variety of musical tastes and knowledge, I was clearly an amateur - barely a casual listener.

I remember his chicken scratch handwriting on the cassette, naming bands that became one-hit wonders of a sort to me. The Waterboys - The Whole of the Moon...

My husband just walked in and heard the song playing. 
"Hey, that is my favorite song by The Waterboys!"
"Yes, and it is still the only one I know."

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

V is for...

...Violent Femmes
My theme for this year's a-z challenge is off the top of my head-the first musical group to pop into my head...not necessarily my favorite, just the first to show itself.

Junior year of high school, riding around with my drummer boyfriend, listening to such edgy music!
Words to memorize, words hypnotize
Words make my mouth exercise
I am sure I am not alone in knowing only two songs by The Violent Femmes, but they are amazing tunes, and it is better than knowing none!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

U is for...

My theme for this year's a-z challenge is off the top of my head-the first musical group to pop into my head...not necessarily my favorite, just the first to show itself.

I was introduced to some of U2's earlier music in high school by a few friends, but none of the songs really integrated into my daily mix. U2 was probably too cool for me to be quite honest. In the spring of 1987, my high school graduation was looming, The Joshua Tree was released, but I still hadn't found what I was looking for. 1988 brought Rattle and Hum with a bit of Desire, Pride and there was something about Angel of Harlem.

When Achtung Baby was released in November of 1991, six months after I graduated from college, and by then I had finally been exposed to enough U2 to know I should buy the CD. That was absolutely not a mistake.

Monday, April 24, 2017

T is for...

...Thompson Twins
My theme for this year's a-z challenge is off the top of my head-the first musical group to pop into my head...not necessarily my favorite, just the first to show itself.

I figured this would be an easy one because, despite Thompson Twins being the first band that flew out of my mouth, I only associated them with one song. Curiosity led me to a quick google consult that only gave me two more readily recognized possibilities. I asked DJ Jazzy Husband if I knew any of the other songs displayed and just didn't realize it. His response, without even looking, was the obvious choice. It was not on the greatest hits list, but that means nothing. Enjoy the song, love the moment*...

*Especially you, Kari, future curator of the John Hughes museum (and celebrator of a birthday this week!)

Saturday, April 22, 2017

S is for...

My theme for this year's a-z challenge is off the top of my head-the first musical group to pop into my head...not necessarily my favorite, just the first to show itself.

The fourth pillar holding up my vision of essential rock in the early eighties. My one year of colorguard in eighth grade had me maneuvering my banner flag to Too Much Time on My Hands...most excellent (even if not as cool as my friend Vicki who twirled a wooden rifle).

Babe, Come Sail Away, The Best of Times - decisions, decisions!

Friday, April 21, 2017

R is for...

...(The) Rolling Stones
My theme for this year's a-z challenge is off the top of my head-the first musical group to pop into my head...not necessarily my favorite, just the first to show itself.

Well, well, we are at the letter R. R as in REO Speedwagon, one of the four groups I considered to be the pillars of rock when I was a young teenager, along with Foreigner, Genesis and a band to be named tomorrow. Instead, Mick Jagger came strutting by with his Jumpin Jack Flash that is so hard to ignore. That still works though!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Q is for...

My theme for this year's a-z challenge is off the top of my head-the first musical group to pop into my head...not necessarily my favorite, just the first to show itself.

I know there are no surprises with this one, unless you suspected that I pondered Quarterflash on a daily basis. There may not have been a lot (no disrespect to any there were) to choose from, but by no means does that make this letter a cop out. Queen...QUEEN! So many songs that make one want to stand up, be proud and brave, shake a fist in the air, or simply sing so loudly - in a voice you know cannot compare.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

P is for...

...(The) Pretenders
My theme for this year's a-z challenge is off the top of my head-the first musical group to pop into my head...not necessarily my favorite, just the first to show itself.

In the eighties, from my perch in front of MTV, I was not much of a Pretenders fan. I can only imagine what fabulous video I was impatiently waiting for while I suffered though Brass in Pocket, or worse still, Back on the Chain Gang. I figured I did not like The Pretenders, but perhaps it was more that I had just grown tired of those two overplayed songs.

In trying to decide which video to post, I played Back on the Chain Gang (prepared to be instantly turned off). Not only did I appreciate the song, but my daughter started humming along. She has no idea why she knows the song. My husband shouted in that his favorite is The Wait, but I am not familiar with much beyond their greatest hits (which I do actually enjoy).

I am sorry Pretenders, I will put one of your cd's in the car today!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

O is for...

...OMD (Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark)
My theme for this year's a-z challenge is off the top of my head-the first musical group to pop into my head...not necessarily my favorite, just the first to show itself.

If you leave, don't leave now, this won't take long! This is one of the few bands that I will actually shut up and listen to the beauty of (sometimes...for a few songs). The chorus on this song though leaves me helplessly joining in...

Monday, April 17, 2017

N is for...

...Neil Diamond
My theme for this year's a-z challenge is off the top of my head-the first musical group to pop into my head...not necessarily my favorite, just the first to show itself.

No NKOTB, no N'Sync. Instead I had two Neils duking it out in my head. (Sorry Neil Patrick Harris, you were not one of them.) Neil Diamond Gold, on 8-track, in my grandfather's maroon Cutlass Supreme. This song might be everywhere, and completely timeless, but my memory always takes me back to the seventies.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

M is for...

...Melissa Etheridge
My theme for this year's a-z challenge is off the top of my head-the first musical group to pop into my head...not necessarily my favorite, just the first to show itself.

When singing along with the power of the Indigo Girls just doesn't leave your voice quite raw enough, when you feel like you might have some emotions left to air out...there is Melissa. In concert, on Sesame Street, from the car speakers - that voice. Even when she speaks, it sounds like that energy could burst into song at any moment.

Friday, April 14, 2017

L is for...

...Lionel Richie (????)
My theme for this year's a-z challenge is off the top of my head-the first musical group to pop into my head...not necessarily my favorite, just the first to show itself.

Here we are - Friday! The letter is L, so maybe some Loverboy? Workin' for the Weekend? Perhaps a...

Hello, is it me you're looking for?

Lionel Richie? Is that you? Truuuuuuly, truly surprised to hear from you. Sorry if I am not Dancing on the Ceiling, I guess I was expecting someone else. I cannot deny my love for you though (nor the number of songs in your catalog with the word "love" in them).

Thursday, April 13, 2017

K is for...

My theme for this year's a-z challenge is off the top of my head-the first musical group to pop into my head...not necessarily my favorite, just the first to show itself.

My cousin was a huge fan. I admit that the makeup, and Gene Simmons in general, just sort of creeped me out. Yet here we are. Maybe I just didn't understand KISS, or even the simplest and most obvious of their lyrics. Case in point? I want to rock and roll all night...and PART of every day. Yes, I thought they were claiming to be such avid rockers that the fun could not be contained in just one night, but rather carried over into the next day, but just a portion of it.

Maybe it is best if we pretend I did not just admit that and move on to a different song...

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

J is for...

...(the) Jackson 5
My theme for this year's a-z challenge is off the top of my head-the first musical group to pop into my head...not necessarily my favorite, just the first to show itself.

As a tv watching kid in the seventies, I often wondered who would win a sibling showdown - The Jacksons versus The Osmonds! A little bit country, a little bit rock and roll and then some much more.

Sometimes it is difficult to revel in the beginning without thinking about the end, to celebrate the rise without considering the fall. I could try to think of more to say about the Jacksons, but seriously, wouldn't it be more fun to just get right to the music. Go ahead, try to sit still...

I just saw that J. Geils passed away...angel is the centerfold...RIP

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

I is for...

...(the) Indigo Girls
My theme for this year's a-z challenge is off the top of my head-the first musical group to pop into my head...not necessarily my favorite, just the first to show itself.

A friend introduced me to the Indigo Girls, by way of a mix tape, when we were sophomores in college. Strange Fire and Closer to Fine both made appearances on side two of the cassette. I was immediately hooked, and purchased two of their albums that I played on a seemingly never ending loop in my car for quite some time. I was singing what I thought was one of my finest Indigo Girls melodies when a passenger asked me if I was tone deaf...and not in a kidding kind of way. Excuse me, but are we not all legendary artists in our showers and cars, devoid of critics? 

Much like how I ended up listening to hours of Genesis on Saturday, today will be Least Complicated, and then some. The CD is going in the car right now, and any passengers can just ride at their own risk! Here we go...

Monday, April 10, 2017

H is for...

...Harry Belafonte
My theme for this year's a-z challenge is off the top of my head-the first musical group to pop into my head...not necessarily my favorite, just the first to show itself.

Sure, we could be talking about the Huey Lewis concert I went to with my mom and aunt, or even my father's Hootie and the Blowfish phase, but those musical H folks did not occur to me until yesterday. Instead Harry Belafonte's name flew out of my mouth, as his face and voice filled my mind.

Day-o! Oh, how this man fascinated me when I was a kid. The beauty of his voice and just his being. My fandom was solidified when I saw Mr. Belafonte on The Muppet Show-fantastic! I wanted to be there, on that stage, in the presence of so much greatness.

This immediately filled me with joy to see after a long time. I hope you enjoy it as well!

Saturday, April 8, 2017

G is for...

My theme for this year's a-z challenge is off the top of my head-the first musical group to pop into my head...not necessarily my favorite, just the first to show itself.

I made perfect sense to me that Genesis would naturally follow Foreigner. There was some kind of comfort in the familiarity of Genesis songs. I can't say that I was a huge fan of their entire body of work, but there was nothing I disliked either. Of course now I want to listen to them all day today.

I was all set to include In Too Deep, but then I remembered Misunderstanding, still keeping in line with my usual observance of angsty songs, right? However, as I was pulling up the videos, there it was, a song I had not thought about in quite some time, but sounded like yesterday. Today we can celebrate the other side of young love, where hope wins!