Wednesday, July 17, 2013

...I Think I'm Done Here...

"I must bid adieu. For now I begin an adventure anew" (art by Andy Wilhite)
I have this thing apparently known as “Exploding head syndrome.”

Figures. Sounds just like something I would have.

Prior to that people tried to dismiss it as popping ears.  Let me tell you, it most certainly is not a pop, but a bang.
Like a cannon. Deep inside your head.
You wake up thinking your brain exploded but of course if it had, you couldn’t possibly wake up to be annoyed about it, right?

After a particularly large bang one night, I was too sleepy and incoherent to fully wake up, but too awake to get any real sleep.

And a number of conversations came together in my head as if it was always one solid message for me:

Put one down so you can pick up the other.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

..."What I Feel is the Joy of Life"...

This movie has popped up for me twice in the last week.

Once when  there was some discussion about movies that make you sob hysterically.

And again, with the whole Paula Deen thing. You know, the part where Lucy wakes up in 1969 after years of being catatonic and thinks it’s still 1926.

Anyway, this is a great, great movie. Still one of my all time favorites to watch on a lazy Sunday and give those tear ducts a good cleaning.


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

...I'm Working on My Muscles...

I had a busy extended holiday weekend.

My mom wasn’t feeling well again so we spent seven hours in the emergency room and ended up leaving with a prescription for Motrin and instructions for her to follow up with her regular doctor.

I can’t believe those people get paid for that.

But mostly everyone was nice and we were lucky to get a room. They had those half cot/half gurney thingies lined up all the way around the hallway. I saw some injuries that I still can’t explain including a guy that I can only assume got himself stuck halfway into something.
He was sliced up pretty bad, but darn evenly on one side of his body from head to toe. The other side was completely unscathed.
Like when you hit reverse on your paper shredder.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

...He Was on the Wrong Show...

Had it been called, The Songwriter he could have gone all the way.

But some names just don't come to mind right away when you're thinking of strong vocalists.

Fun editing anyway... John Lennon blind auditions for the Voice.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

... I Owe You One...

I owe you a “Sunday” post and since most of you probably still have some last minute BBQ prepping to do, let’s keep it simple, shall we?

I was thinking of this old cartoon, specifically the scene with the flag, and had been meaning to post it once I found the title.

I should warn you that this is unedited so the less than politically correct parts are included.

{Yankee Doodle Bugs}

And because it was right there and I’ve loved it for so long…

{Rabbit of Seville} (I still can’t give someone a scalp massage without humming Rossini to myself)

Have a Happy 4th!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

...We Need Pugh's Perspective...

I know this isn’t my traditional Sunday post.

For some of you, it won’t even make sense.

Charles Pugh
Still, I wanted to say a few words about this whole Charles Pugh thing.

Just to get everyone in the loop Charles Pugh is the Detroit City Council president who has been missing for just over a week now as I write this, possibly longer as you read it. He is also a journalist (having worked at Fox 2 and on WJLB FM 98) for many years before pursing politics.

He initially requested a four week medical leave which was declined by Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr who threatened Pugh to show up to work by 5 pm Wednesday, June 26 or render his resignation.

Charles Pugh didn’t show.

Just as this medical mystery started to unfold, a local woman complained that Charles carried on an inappropriate relationship with her 17 year old son, an allegation denied by both the son and Charles. She believes this to be true based on text messages and gifts that Pugh purchased for her son.

Sixteen is the age of consent in Michigan but because the young man was a participant in a mentorship program with Pugh, this situation falls under a different guideline: no interaction is permissible, so we’re talking about a criminal act.

When Charles did radio, he would do something he called Pugh’s Perspective, little mini op-ed pieces on various subjects.

The one that I remember most was about the Friday, the 13th superstition.

I don’t remember all the details about the piece, but I remember he was very honest about having lost a parent to suicide, and within some years, someone else very close (possibly the other parent, or someone else in a caregiver role, I can’t remember) both on a Friday the 13th.

His point was to not believe the hype, but I remember it because it’s really a story about mental illness and survival.

When Charles was denied his medical leave, I read a lot of comments on various sites from people I could summarize as “you don’t get to take a break on the city’s dime.”

How poor do you have to be to think like this? Not just financially poor, but overwhelmingly poor in character. You are truly spiritually bankrupt.

We don’t know what the reason was for requesting the break, and EM Orr- who’s plans for the city have thus far have amounted to little more than a drunken loser at the bar slurring, “hey, I think I got an idea…”- does not get to play God.

He’s barely playing financial manager.

Whether Charles has taken leave of the city and his life (even his family hasn’t heard from him) due to the allegations, impending lawsuit or criminal case, or if he is truly dealing with health issue, we should respect the space between now and whatever comes next.

We should send prayers to Charles, and let him know that the best thing to do is come home and face everything directly.

When I first heard that Charles requested the medical leave and then disappeared, I was worried for his health and safety.

 I still am.

Because now that everyone is so sure that he’s just running away for the accusations, I would think this would be treated like a missing person’s case. An adult hasn’t been seen or heard from by any of his friends, family or co-workers in over a week. For all we know foul play was involved.

Or- and this has happened twice to people I personally know- if he wasn’t (feeling) well, could he have fallen ill? Is he someplace in need but unable to call for help?

And that could be true from a physical or mental point of view.

Whatever the case, Charles should know there are still people that care and support him. There are people that are worried about him, who need to hear from him, that just want to know that he’s okay.

He needs to come back and tell his side of the story. And the rest of us need to wait to hear it.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

... I Mean You No Harm...

I bet when I first posted this Required Reading, some of you read it and though, “Ho, ho, such a silly negro”

Yeah, well, who’s the silly negro now, people? Well, you know what I mean.

A couple weeks ago I wrote about that Cheerios commercial and reminded everyone that the year is 2013.

I apologize for the error.

I apparently fell through a wormhole but have returned from the future. Let me tell you what happens:

This black guy gets elected president, okay,  and every says we live in this kind of post-racial America.  Some statisticians suggest that white people on the verge of becoming the racial minority and a bunch of old white men  in high political offices fight back by passing  laws that roll back voting rights because they claim the laws are outdated despite evidence to the contrary (refer back to the Required Reading post if you will).

They also try to pass laws that roll back women’s rights, I guess because nothing is scarier than a woman making up her own mind to do something.

I’m not sure which part of the future I’m from, how I got there, how I got back or what year it is now.

Time travel and the resulting confusion are real.

Ask Paula Deen.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

...You Noticed It, Too...

There have been a lot of comparisons between Pharrell in Daft Punk's Get Lucky and Michael Jackson in Rock With You

I thought there was a little something there -- nothing drastic, but a little something. As far as I'm concerned, everyone dances like that to Nile Rodgers. Everyone.

Still, it would seem that Gamelocker saw it more than I did and uploaded this video

Daft Punk Featuring Michael Jackson : Get Lucky by gamelocker

Come on, that was cute.

Get Lucky is on NPR's list of 50 Best Songs of 2013 So Far along with Blurred Lines:

This song has everything: charm, swagger, a funky beat and the two words that make any track worth hearing this year — "featuring Pharrell."


Meet the Parents (if you somehow haven't already) ...

(Michael Jackson - Rock With You)

(Daft Punk- Get Lucky)... (took me a minute to remember this connection)

And your bonus clip, because sometimes the unofficial clips are pretty darn cool
(Daft Punk - Lose Yourself to Dance)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

... Thoughts are Powerful Things...

I would like to offer to you the only relationship advice you will ever need to ensure finding the person of your dreams and living a long happy life together:

Here it is, so simple even if you have the IQ equivalent of a toenail, you will get this:

Think. Wait. Think Again. Proceed.

Even more simplified.

Stop. Think.

And for absolute weenies:


You don’t have to think like a man or a woman, or a kumquat or bottle of hot sauce, just THINK.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

...I Prefer the Term, “Collector”...

My sister is always joking that I have hoarding tendencies.

Granted every hard flat surface in this house has a stack of books on it, but there are worse things I could be stockpiling.

When you have a lot of stuff, it takes a lot of work to move it out the house; I remain, however, committed to the effort.

That said, I’m so glad someone finally posted all of Tommy Davidson’s Illin in Philly, his HBO stand up from way, way back in 1991.

And with that, one more VHS tapes makes its way to the trash.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

...If You Figure it Out the First Time ...

This kid, let’s call him Jimmy, at about maybe 7 or 8 months used to stand on this little storage bin for no apparent reason.

It's one of those tiny bins, about the size of a shoebox.  So when Jimmy got a little older, he tried to stand on it but the bin kept tipping to whichever side he would step on first.

So Jimmy got off, pushed the bin onto its side and moved it around, flipped it in the opposite direction and knocked on it a couple times, and pushed it back into place.

To my surprise, the bin no longer tipped under the weight and Jimmy spent the next few hours stepping on and off the bin without issues.

By the time Jimmy had his first birthday, he was in the habit of pushing chairs around the room.

One day, he pushed a chair directly into a high chair with locking wheels on it.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

...It's News to No One...

Or it shouldn’t be, but there are quite a few folks out there seem more than shocked at this whole PRISM thing.

Maybe they think only other people get spied on, but aren’t we all someone else’s “other”?

How long have I been complaining about how things seem to be moving away from reading and writing, and moving towards pictures and computers?

The goal:  idiots who give up access to everything

 The purpose:  I’m scared to explore that far.

To this day, my sister and I still quote that episode of Good Times where the Evans family wondered if the house had been bugged by the FBI.  If ever we say something on the phone and hope the wrong people are listening, we stop in the middle and say, and if anyone is listening, your mama is a pin boy at the bowling alley.

Of course, James said it better.

Plus, it’s easier to understand and a bit more entertaining than Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty Four, even if they were on target with the same message and years ahead of their time.

(Good Times: The Investigation)

(part 1/3)

(part 2/3)

(Part 3/3) 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

...It's a Sign of the Times...

I’ve seen it, and yes, I am outraged.

Everyone is talking about that hideous Cheerios commercial right now, and I can only wonder what took them so long to get fired up.

That commercial’s been out for a while now, but every single time I see it, my blood boils.

What’s up with the Cheerios people sending the Honey Bee out to try and sell his wares to an entomologist? That’s just sadistic.

As far as I’m concerned this is just a sign of the times. Too many companies out there taking employee loyalty for granted.

It’s time for us to stand up and demand that we be treated with respect, and I- -

Hunh, what?

Well now wait a minute…

Sunday, June 2, 2013

…It’s a Good Nut, It works…

A friend of mine recommended the movie, Hesher to me for two reasons:

First, after seeing Premium Rush and Looper in close proximity, I realized that I needed to see more Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

Unfortunately I started with Chaos, but my JGL film festival improved thereafter. His movies are weird, but he seems to perform better than well in all of them.

Second, the title character has this strange habit of telling odd, usually vulgar, out of place stories when he wants to share some wisdom. 

Sometimes you have to think about it a minute or sometimes you’re distracted by his delivery, but he always makes his point; you’re probably used to that if you’ve been to this blog more than once.

Hesher is not the best movie you’ll ever see but it’s different in that its heartwarming moments aren’t all that conventional.  Most of the characters are annoying, but you’ll be interested enough to keep watching, if only to see what Hesher will do next.

The story in this scene is one of the more poignant moments in the movie. You’ll have to check the whole thing out to understand the great joy that is that hunk of red junk in the driveway.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

...You Would Want to Spend Time with You...

When my dad was a kid he got caught stealing- of all things- an ice cream sandwich.

I don’t think I have to tell you how he got caught. But a short conversation with the store owner gets messy very quickly on a hot day.

He told me the store owner casually stopped him on the way out and held a regular conversation with him. When the ice cream sandwich was good and fully melted down his leg, the owner abruptly ended the conversation with, “Hey, it’s getting close to about the time your dad gets home, isn’t it? I guess you want to beat him there.”

The bad news is that my father did not get to the house before his dad. The good news is he never stole anything ever again. And as a side note, he never cared much for ice cream sandwiches as an adult.

“Dad, really? Ice cream? Not the wisest choice.”

He said he hadn’t planned far enough ahead. Growing up, it was kind of the “in” thing to steal from the neighborhood store, but kids just kind of went in and spilled out in every direction. Somehow he ended up heading for ice cream.

For my mom the dumb “in” thing for kids was fruit throwing. You find a house with a fruit tree in the yard, steal the fruit, then throw it at the house.

“I remember doing it, and the whole time thinking, ‘this isn’t fun. Is this supposed to be fun?’”

So why’d you do it? I wondered.

“Just what kids did, I guess.”

Mom ended up spending more time with, and eventually moving in with her great aunt. It gave her a place to do the things she really enjoyed like reading, playing with paper dolls, and practicing baton twirling. Another reason to be so grateful to my great, great aunt.

For me, it was aimlessly roaming the mall for boys.

I hated the mall. I hated boys. And to this day I hate wandering aimlessly just to look for whatever I might find. But that’s what you did on the weekends. Go in and out of stores being as loud and obnoxious as possible and laughing at everything in order to appear happy and rebellious in hopes of attracting some stupid big head boy with your pseudo free-spiritedness.

As if boys at that age even knew what that was, what it meant, or what to do with it.