Thursday, April 27, 2006

The Song Remains the Same

I've always been a song person and a list person, so I've always had my lists of favorite songs. When I was growing up it was a yearly ritual to listen to Casey Kasem's top 100 countdown for the year. I would have a girlfriend spend the night on New Year's Eve and we would have snacks and our own notebooks, to write down the songs as they were played. And like watching American Idol today, there were the inevitable "Noooooo"s when we were shocked to hear a favorite song played at, say, number 65. The oddest thing was that nearly every year my favorite song came in second or third to my LEAST favorite song. I guess that was a sign of things to come. Plus it was a one radio station town, so there wasn't a lot of choice. If they wanted to play Delta Dawn every 30 minutes there was nothing to do but cringe and wait for time to pass. That was Goldsboro, N.C. Even after we moved to Durham, I continued my yearly ritual. For years and years my All-Time Favorite song was Diamond Girl, followed by Daniel.

As Radio stations like to play songs over and over, when I was a senior in High School and making my new start in Texas, KZEW - the morning ZOO - played Roxanne every morning while I was getting ready. That song was not only a great song but started my day. I just heard that song on the radio and realized that after all these years, all 27 of them, Roxanne is till my favorite song. It's just a great song and I think it reminds me of how I felt at the time. The word is evocative and I think all great songs, all of our favorite songs, take us to another time and place.

Diamond Girl slid way down my list over the years, although Daniel still places high up there somewhere. I have to admit I'd be hard pressed to make a top ten all time favorite list today, but I think I'd still put Roxanne as #1. Long Train Running would be up there somewhere from my memories of the beach summer of '73. And Unforgettable is my Dad song. Wow, I could go on and on, but I think everyone has a special relationship with their songs. Like they are family. Enjoy your songs, but if Delta Dawn is on your list, go away.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

It's How You Use Them

Word usage has always been fascinating to me. It's okay to say we have been praying for my poor grandmother to leave her sick and ravaged body and pass on to the heavenly realms. But nobody's gonna say they've been praying for her to die.

It's the same thing.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

The Rolling Blackout of My Brain

On Monday we had a record high temperature here in the metroplex. This overloaded the grid and the electric company decided to do rolling blackouts. It was about 4:20 in the afternoon and I was watching Oprah. Suddenly silence. All three cats perked their ears and looked around. At first I just thought it was one of those pop off/pop on things that happen sometimes. Well no pop on. It seemed weirdly quiet. The TV, clothes dryer and A/C all went out, and then there was just silence. I called My Sweetie - we have one old-fashioned corded phone in the kitchen that came with the house. I was going to replace it but it's one of those chalkboard box phones and when I took it off the wall I saw that the previous owners had wallpapered around it and the old wallpaper was there in a good sized square. So that's why it's still there. Anyway, I called him to report this information, which really makes no sense. Then I went outside to smoke a cigarette and heard the kids next door swimming in their pool. I stood up on the bench on the deck (and they are downhill from us) and yelled over, "Did your power go out?" The kid said, "Yeah it's out on the whole street." Well their dad works for the power company so I didn't see a reason to call it in.

Now here's the part where I got stupid. I realized that with no power I really didn't know what to do with myself. My dopey brain was going 90 miles an hour. I figured that if the power never came back on, we could stay at my Mom's house because they are out of town. I also started thinking I shouldn't be opening the fridge or freezer. So feeling all clever, I thought I should put beer in an ice chest and get ice from the ice dispenser so I wouldn't have to open the freezer. Yep, the ice dispenser needs electricity, Doh! So then I thought, "Well the water works, I'll finish up the kitchen." So I dumped a bowl of spaghetti into the garbage disposal. Doh! That also uses electricity. At that point I kinda gave up and called one of my girlfriends in North Carolina (on my weird corded phone) and talked until the power came back on. The power was only out for about 30 minutes. I didn't realize how doofy I could be in so short a time. Oh and it was about another hour after the power came back on before I remembered to turn the clothes dryer back on.

I didn't realize that my brain was tied into the power grid. But when the power went out, so did my brain. Doh!

Monday, April 17, 2006

You Never Know

I was thinking about the phrase "You never know," and I was wondering how realistic it was. I mean we use a lot of expressions that even have opposite expressions, like "He who hesitates is lost," and "Look before you leap." And then we have some whose meanings are more obscure than others, like "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush." We basically get it, but it's not a good obvious one like "Don't count your chickens before they hatch."

So back to "You never know." I was thinking is that really applicable in reality? So to test it, I tried the opposite approach of "You always know ______ ." And to be perfectly honest, all I could come up with (besides jokes like "half the new network shows will suck every Fall,") were "You're going to die," and "You have to pay taxes." So the expression "Nothing is certain but death and taxes" rings true. So if those are the only things that you can apply "You always know" to then I guess you can apply "You never know" to everything else. But, you never know.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Cinnamon/Tree Bark

Sometimes I realize I don't remember funny stuff, so I make notes. I just found one that says:


My guess is I sneezed so hard, I was thinking I could have sent a toothpick through a brick. But that would mean I had a toothpick in my nose. Yeah, I'm not sure about that one. But even weirder is:

Tom Cruise/grin/dry skin/God

I wonder what that was. I need to make better notes.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Now I've Seen Everything

The following appeared in the Cheers and Jeers section of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on Saturday, April 8th:

Jeers: To the Star-Telegram for frequently running crossword puzzles in which a clue results in the answer, "Okie." As a native Oklahoman, I don't find it amusing. Would you run a puzzle in which the clue "Jew" resulted in the K-word or the clue "black" required use of the N-word? Every time I see "Okie" as an answer, I stop doing that puzzle and start thinking about finding an alternative source of news. --John D. Slack, Fort Worth

I sincerely hope this was a joke. Although, if so, I can't imagine how it got past the editors. Maybe it was sent as an April Fool's Day thing, but that was a week earlier. If it's a REAL letter, I find it highly offensive AND about the stupidest thing I've ever read. I'm curious to see if anything happens with it. Are people really that weird? And now that I think about it, if it were sent in as an April Fool's Day joke, I STILL find it offensive.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Caller ID?

Sometimes my Caller ID just says "Incoming Call." Then I think, "Wow! No shit, Sherlock! Thanks for the heads up."

Yeah, the RINGING was a BIG CLUE.

Monday, April 03, 2006

NCAA Wrap Up

So another season of college basketball is over and Florida won the title. Now I have to wait almost 8 months to see my next Duke game. During that time Coach K will be working his magic on the recruits and improving the play of the guys we have.

I don't feel TOO bad about my bracket play. I finished 18th of 41 (while My Sweetie finished 38th). At least I was in the top half. Brackets are funny. The only person to pick Florida to win came in 4th. The winner had Villanova to win and I think they lost back in January. I actually had Florida IN the final game, but they were supposed to lose to Duke.

J.J. Redick DID win the Naismith player of the year award. That is something to be proud of, and I'm sure his and Shelden Williams's jerseys (numbers?) will be retired. That championship sure would have been a nice capper for them both. And for me.

Oh well, I still have all my other Duke NCAA Championship memories. And the Duke women are playing for the title! ....And there's always next year.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Trying to Catch up to April

Wow, I can't believe April is here! The new kitty, Rufus, has been both exasperating and a great joy. I had forgotten how hard it is to teach a new cat all of the house rules. After all, it has been almost 9 years since I've done it. And Lilly was a very timid cat. Ole Rufus has boundless energy and curiosity. I have found him in the oddest places. Although I have taught him to use the scratch post, I'm still working on teaching where NOT to scratch. I replaced the hassock he was so fond of with a cat castle. He loves to sleep on top or just lay on top and look out the window, and Lilly likes to sleep inside. He really is cute.

My treadmill has been good for me. I actually enjoy just walking (treading?) along while I watch TV. I expect to drop 10 pounds pretty quickly. I've never had trouble shedding pounds as long as I was actually moving (as opposed to sitting on the couch and drinking beer). I have a specific weight and target date and I think it's quite doable. My target date is Memorial Day weekend. One extra benefit (besides the TV in front) is there is a ceiling fan just over the treadmill, so cool air is blowing on the back of my neck as I walk. It's a great set-up. The one downside is my right foot has not recovered 100%, so it's been a little stiff, sore and creaky since I started walking. But it's not enough to make me stop.

Meals on Wheels went well last Wednesday. I went to Bennigan's and they had a new bartender named James. I liked him. I'll probably go there again this Wednesday because I stopped by Italianni's Friday after my doctor appointment. Also this Wednesday is My Sweetie's birthday. He's going to love his gift. He reads this occasionally, so I can't say yet what it is. Every year we have one birthday party for the 3 April birthdays of: My Sweetie, my brother-in-law and myself. My brother-in-law makes a killer crab boil (crab legs, shrimp, sausage, cob corn and potatoes) and I bring the cake. The party is never on anyone's actual birthday, so I usually do something odd for the message. Last year it read: "Happy Birthday Henry Mancini," because it WAS on HIS birthday. I haven't decided what to put for this year's message.

Well I feel pretty much caught up. Oh yeah, my team, Duke got knocked out too early in the NCAA, so I burned my brackets in the fireplace. I did check in on the computer (CBS Sportsline) every now and then and it looks like I'll finish in the top half at least (of 41 players). It was a tough year for brackets but someone has to win the pot. I would have loved that $410, though. Nice pocket change. Okay, now I'm caught up. But I still can't believe it's April already!