National Book Week Meme

It’s National Book Week. Grab the book closest to you, turn to page 56, write the fifth sentence. Don’t mention the book, and post these rules as your status.

“He reveled in riding fence and branding cattle, the austere beauty of the country, and, not least, his solitude in it–he passed his nights in a sod house with a single book, Booth Tarkington’s Monsieur Beaucaire, on which he later claimed to be the world’s foremost expert.”

Hint: It’s not a western.

[Snarfed from Robyn Edelson Kozierok]



(meme) 15 Albums

Snarfed from uisna on Facebook: Fifteen albums I’ve heard that will always stick with me. I’ll add: … and explain why… I’ll also note that I’ve been thinking about this as the albums that most influenced my life.

(1) The Rothschilds. Original Cast. This was the first musical I have a memory of seeing, and it will always stick with me. I just love Hal Linden’s voice. I used to wander around UCLA whistling the overture.

(2) Two Gentlemen of Verona. Original Cast. Whenever I’m down, I just need to listen to this album. Brings me up instantly. Clifton Davis. Raul Julia. Diana Davila. Just great voices.

(3) Album 1700. Peter, Paul, and Mary. I have all the Peter Paul and Mary albums, but if I was to indicate the most influential one, this would be it. When I was in Jr. High, “If I Had Wings” was my mantra. I have memories of my brother playing “Leaving on a Jet Plane” and “The Great Mandala” on his guitar. This started me into folk music.

(4) Bookends. Simon and Garfunkel. One of their finest crafted albums, from beginning to end. America. At The Zoo. Punky’s Dillemma. Hazy Shade of Winter. Mrs. Robinson.

(5) Cherish The Torah. Wilshire Blvd Temple Camps. The camps were/are a large part of my life, and this album captures my era at camp.

(6) Sing Unto God. Debbie Friedman. It is here that the distinction between “stick with me” and “influential” occurs. I could almost pick any Debbie Friedman album for “stick with me”. But influential? This was the one that started it all. Sure, it isn’t as polished as the later albums (the Concert at the Del is probably the best), but this was the beginning.

(6) Save My Soul. Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. Probably one of the best modern swing groups out there, this album can’t help but make me feel good.

(7) Politics Live. Tom Paxton. One of my favorite Paxton albums, this captures Tom at his very best. The juxtaposiion of “Peace Will Come” with “Jimmy Newman” with “The Unknown” is just stirring.

(8) Allen in Wonderland. Allen Sherman. Ask kids today who Allen Sherman is, and they will probably give you a blank stare. But Allan Sherman is in the same line as Tom Lehrer and Weird Al, making commentary songs to what were popular tunes at the time.

(9) Employee of the Month. Austin Lounge Lizards. Perhaps at the other end of the spectrum. Satirical bluegrass. I just love this group.

(10) Band on the Run. Paul McCartney. I’m going to use this as the example of the perfectly crafted album. Bookends, which I listed earlier, is another example, as is Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band, as is Graceland. Hmmm. I see a pattern with these artists 🙂

(11) 70 Girls 70. Original Cast. Almost all — hell, all — Kander Ebb shows have great music, but this is one of my favorites. The other is Curtains.

(12) Sweeney Tood. Original Cast. In terms of Sondheim, this is perhaps my favorite. Every song perfectly crafted.

(13) Goodbye, Yellow Brick Road. Elton John. One of Elton John’s best. Finely crafted as an album.

(14) Ladies of the Canyon. Joni Mitchell. One of her early best. Always makes me think of my brother.

(15) Hard TimesPeter Yarrow. My favorite solo albums from any of the trio. Again, a pick-me-up.


(meme) My Liberal Identity

Quiz: What Kind of Liberal Are You?

My Liberal Identity

You are a Social Justice Crusader, also known as a rights activist. You believe in equality, fairness, and preventing neo-Confederate conservative troglodytes from rolling back fifty years of civil rights gains.

Take the quiz at Political Humor

Related to this: Here’s a great article, which I’ve already linked on Facebook: New Civil War erupts, led by super rich, GOP (Paul Farrell, CBS Marketwatch). Want more proof? Here’s an interesting anti-union piece by Karl Rove, regarding what’s happened in Ohio, under the radar.


Meme: Appreciating Teachers

A teacher somewhere in your neighborhood tonight is grading and preparing lessons to teach your children while you are watching television. In the minute it takes you to read this, teachers all over the world are using their “free time”, and often investing their own money, for your child’s literacy, prosperity, and future. Re-post if you are a teacher, love a teacher, or appreciate our teachers.

[h/t miss_mimsy. We know so many teachers and are so appreciative of their hard hard work.]


It’s the end of the week, Chum. Smile!

Today lunchtime perusal of the paper brings some interesting tidbits to chew on, mostly locally related, for some definition of local:

And speaking of deaths, I want to publically pass on condolences to ixixlix, who lost her little puppy of 10 years (if either word can apply to a Newfie) yesterday. Rocky was sweet and lovable (although he stank when wet :-)), and was there for her through thick and thin. We share in her loss, and would be there to hug her if it wasn’t for this damn cold going around.


20 Things That Start With “D”

[Because I can’t think of anything else to post.]

Rules: It’s harder than it looks! Copy to your own note, erase my answers, enter yours, and tag some people (or not, this shouldn’t be a viral thing).

Use the first letter of your name to answer each of the following questions. They have to be real . . . nothing made up! If the person before you had the same first initial, you must use different answers. You cannot use any word twice and you can’t use your name for the boy/girl name question.

  1. What is your name: Daniel
  2. A four Letter word: Dime
  3. A boy’s name: David
  4. A girl’s name: Darleen
  5. An occupation: Druggist
  6. A color: Dodger Blue
  7. Something you wear: Dockers
  8. A food: Dolmas
  9. Something found in the bathroom: Drano
  10. A place: Dakkar
  11. A reason for being late: ‘Da 405
  12. Something you shout: Damn!
  13. A movie title: Dragnet
  14. Something you drink: Darjeeling Tea
  15. A musical group: Doors
  16. An animal: Dog
  17. A street name: Darlington Ave
  18. A type of car: Duesenberg
  19. The title of a song: Don’t Do Da Dope
  20. A Musical or Play: Damn Yankees

News Chum O’the Day

Some selected chunks of chum, for you to chew on over dinner:

  • From the “Just Put It On The Tray” Department: The Los Angeles Times has an interesting piece on Clifton’s Cafeteria. Clifton’s was one of the earliest cafeterias in Los Angeles (I have vague memories of going to it as a child). There was a small chain of them, each one with its own theme. They have their recipes… and their regulars who know if a single spice is varied. They have their traditions. All in all, it sounds fascinating, and I’ll have to go visit there.
  • From the “Twenty-Five Is A Good Number” Department: I know you’ve seen it. That 25 Random Things meme that has been going around everywhere. Well, it’s now made the New York Times! An article in their Fashion section today discusses the meme, and notes that a Google search for “25 Random Things About Me” yields 35,700 pages of results, almost all of which seem to have been created in the last two weeks. I do have to say I’m seeing it everywhere, and it reminds me of the old days when memes would propagate like that on LiveJournal.
  • From the “Old Friends” Department: The Daily News has a nice piece on an old friend of mine, Jolie Mason, who runs the Los Angeles Radio Reading Service. They were knocked off the air during the recent Sesnon fire (which burned the KCSN transmitter), and are now attempting to raise $7,000 to get back on the airwaves. They do such a great service for folks, that I just wanted to mention the article. I worked with Jolie back when she was a programmer at SDC — yet another BLACKER person!
  • From the “Be Careful What You Eat… Or Maybe Not” Department: The New York Times today has an article today about how many food allergies might be false alarms. The article is interesting, but seems to forget one significant fact: Allergy .NE. (that’s != for you perl folks) Sensitivity. An allergy is something that raises a histamine reaction. But there are other forms of non-allergy sensitivies (such as Celiac Disease), which can be equally or more problematic. Further, those sensitivities can serve to create more sensitivities (i.e., if you are Celiac and keep eating wheat, other foods tend to create problems — often getting off the wheat clears the other sensitivites). So, eat what makes you feel healthy. If you don’t feel good eating it, don’t. But do eat your brussel sprouts.
  • From the “A Quite Amazing Paradox” Department: The New York Times is also reporting on an interesting transit paradox: although the economy is driving ridership on transit systems up, the economy is forcing such systems to make significant cutbacks. The problem is that fare-box revenue accounts for only a fifth to a half of the operating revenue of most transit systems — and the sputtering economy has eroded the state and local tax collections that the systems depend on to keep running. Further, the billions of dollars that Congress plans to spend on mass transit as part of the stimulus bill will also do little to help these systems with their current problems because the stimulus is for capital projects, not operations.
  • From the “Now You Take That Back!” Department: You may have heard that the Pope recently unexcommunicated (would that be communicated?) some cardinals who had very conservative views. The problem was the one of them was a holocaust denier. Well, the Pope (after some pressure from Merkel) has now directed that cardinal to recant those views. Evidently, the Pope knew nothing about them. Right. I thought he was infallible. In any case, he’s done the right thing.
  • From the “Where is the most unusual place that you and your husband have ever made whoopee?” Department: Yes, that story is true. But that’s not what this chum is about. You see, GSN is reviving the “Newlywed Game”, and has announced the new host. Carnie Wilson. Why, oh why? It’s not like Bob Eubanks is dead. In fact, he’s looking for work. Right now, he only seems to work one day a year. If the original is still around, why not use him. And if you can’t use him, rub it in his face and hire Stephanie Edwards!