Thursday, July 28, 2011

Rock Out Stevie Nicks

Stevie Nicks is 63. Here she is totally owning Edge of Seventeen like it's 1981 all over again.

It's 1981 all over again!

Thanks, ONTD

Friday, July 22, 2011

Songs of upbeat cheerfulness

Whoa, it's been quite a July around here. I mean, when Kaiser Hospital starts to feel like a second home, something ain't right, y'know? But things will hopefully lock back into their healthy dimensions and we'll be one of those families who have fun in the sun again. With the barbecues and the baseball outings and plenty of porch sittin' while swatting the 'squitos away.

Carl Carlton - She's a Bad Mam Jama (She's Built, She's Stacked). How can you not be happy while listening to this song? "I get so excited viewing her anatomy." My significant other has just announced that this song is turning him on. And there you have it.

The Kinks - Till The End of the Day. Not the happiest of bands as far as personal interaction, but this is a joyful song. I always imagine a guy walking down the street, who can't wait to get home to his best girl. He can't even believe that not only has he found her, but that she actually likes him too. It's win-win.

Verlaines - Death & The Maiden. My significant other claims this is a happy song. I'm not so sure. But it is difficult to listen to the chorus and not get all happy, even if you have no idea what's going on there. And I don't, all these years later. It just sounds really upbeat and New Zealandish so that's reason enough to celebrate.

Tom Tom Club - Genius of Love. Perhaps the happiest pop song of all time. Name one that's happier. You can't, can you? Well, nice try. Even the title is genius.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Unfortunate movie sequels of days gone past

"Grease 2" starring Michelle Pfeiffer before she got all super-famous. Despite this elaborate bowling number, I never saw this film.

"Staying Alive," the sequel to "Saturday Night Fever," was directed by Sylvester Stallone. Even though it's all about making it on Broadway while wearing a headband, I never saw this film.

"Jaws 3-D" had the shark ultimately crash through the giant aquarium glass of one of those Southern Californian marine-parks. In 3-D! I saw this on a date in the theater when it came out. It was gravely disappointing. Both the film and the date.

"Troll 2" has gazillions of views on YouTube. But I haven't seen it.

Warwick Davis. Ice T. "Leprechaun in the Hood." Haven't seen it.

"Scream Blacula Scream," the sequel to "Blacula." I probably saw this as a child because pre-cable television used to show movies like this all the time. *sigh* The 70s--you really had to be there.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Songs with Dancing in the Moonlight in them

It's nighttime! And nighttime is the right time to dance in the moonlight. Especially on a hot summer's night. Even if it's foggy and blustery (like it is here, right now).

I miss Thin Lizzy. They're beginning to sound pretty timeless to me after all these years.

You can never have enough King Harvest in your life. Jackson made me keep this on the car radio the other day while we were driving home. He said it reminded him of "Toy Story 3." Could he mean Randy Newman? I think he did. I love the drums in this. I never would have thought to drum this way on such a "light pop hit." Kudos, King Harvest drummer.

It is a marvelous night for a Moondance, don't you agree?

Origin of the Moonwalk...?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Hallucinatory Prompts

After a weekend chock full of medical enlightenment, I'm trying to return to regularly scheduled life here. Unfortunately, I caught some kind of stomach virus and now I'm at the computer very reluctantly. I find that The Encyclopedia of Pop Culture, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, and ancient "Mary Tyler Moore" shows do nicely when I'm under the weather. Computer work: not so much.

Not that this is work! Here are some photos I took one dusky eve of our nearby canal/creek, which had been invaded by some kind of sudsing agent. Don't worry--it's not toxic waste. The canal is completely controlled by our water-board overlords that regulate its every ounce of existence. This particular day, it happened to be spewing out of pipe and making all these swirly designs. The next day: just an ordinary wildlife-reserve creek again--full of tadpoles, crawdads, heron, turtles and an elusive otter. I finally saw him, swimming and eating algae-like growth in the nearby pond, like a mammalized weed eradicator. Otters are cool! And shy.

What do YOU see in the sudsy creek swirls below? If you're extra arty, ambitious and bored, feel free to click on these and print them out and draw or paint right over them. Creatures, real and imaginary, might appear to you. Turn the page around and study it from every angle. Amy Winehouse? You never know! My online art teacher, Carla Sondheim, makes this a regular part of her classes, using sidewalk cracks as the basis of the drawing exercise.

Purchasable hallucinations of a different kind:

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Terrible Cereal of the 70s

I'm on a 70s kick. My family is still addicted to cereal, but we try to tone it down a bit. When I was a kid, not only did cereals contain measuring cups full of added sugar, but they proudly proclaimed that fact right on the box. Super Sugar Crisp, anyone? Sorry, you'll now have to settle for Super Golden Crisp.

Currently, cereal promises to lower cholesterol, prevent heart attacks and be part of a healthy lifestyle that includes diet and exercise. No wonder I miss the 70s. At least we didn't sugar-coat it. It already came that way.

Look at these Freakies Cereal characters. They're the color of mold, covered in boils and all have antisocial personality traits. Yet we ate boxes of the stuff just to get their plastic images for a complete set. The cereal was like sweet chunks of sawdust. I didn't care. I had the complete set. Thanks, Mom.

When you envision breakfast, do you think of monsters, vampires and ghosts? The 70s have you covered. All of these cereals contained neon-colored, ultra-flavored marshmallows. Franken Berry tasted like throat lozenges. Count Chocola tasted like mud, and Boo Berry tasted like cough medicine. The commercials kept us coming back for more. Advertising: it really works.

My dentist was smart. He created a wall display full of cereal boxes with the purported amounts of sugar within them. Most had four to eight tablespoons. I believe King Vitaman had something along the lines of fifteen tablespoons of sugar per box. I was impressed enough by this anti-propaganda to say "no" to King Vitaman from that day forth. And do you see King Vitaman on the shelves today? Way to go, Dr. Gardiner, DDS, of Concord, California.

Quisp was an appealing lunatic character with a built-in propeller hat and seriously crazy eyes. But let's face it, his cereal was crap. Best part was its flying-saucer shape, which allowed you to suck out all the sugary flavor on the tip of your tongue as it disintegrated quickly to corn dust on the roof of your mouth. Cut way down on mouth sores that way.

Bonus: Super Sugar Crisp was actually a pretty decent cereal--ultra-sweetened wheat puffs will always work for me. And Sugar Bear was the coolest--every kid thought so. Plus over the years you could collect cut-out cardboard records from the backs of the boxes that actually played. I got some Archies tunes that way. Anyway, Super Golden Crisp doesn't have the same streetwise tone, does it?

Let's listen to cereal-box recorded music, shall we?

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Sleeping on the job

So much going on--couldn't write much of anything here today. And by going on, I unfortunately don't mean county fairs and beach-comber holidays. Nor do I refer to work deadlines (although that figures in for my better half lately), nor any kind of career-oriented deadline. Simply health issues, but hopefully that will be addressed soon and our regularly scheduled summer frivolity can continue. Or begin. Or be considered at least.

Here's a great big head from the Ruth Bancroft Garden sculpture show that I managed to attend briefly today. Isn't this peaceful? Almost a wee bit too new-age, but the fact that it's surrounded by succulents and cactus and drought-resistant spiny plants that poked me as I took photos, makes it more rugged in my estimation.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Happy July 4

We headed over to the A's ballpark today (can't remember which corporation is sponsoring it this year), and were pleased to discover it was free visor/flag day, as this fan so aptly demonstrates.

Between innings, a roving reporter interviewed U.S. armed-forces families who were attending the game. Then they broadcast videos on the jumbo-tron from Kabul, Afghanistan, of Bay Area service people, sending greetings to their families. It was really moving and sad.

Despite its popularity in many countries, I still think of baseball as the quintessential American sport, and to see men and women serving in Afghanistan wistfully and cheerfully send us affectionate greetings at the game (a lukewarm pitching-fest between Oakland and Seattle) was almost more than I could bear. Best wishes to all service people and their families.