Just my stuff

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Reelin’ in the Years – 2008

It’s 2008 and I’m 46 years old. I remember some difficult years after my father’s passing. Things were unraveling a bit until I got into a new relationship with Ginger (not her real name).

Looking back through my life I see just how much different women have helped to keep me going in the right direction. In my bio, I talk about God and how important that is to me. And yes it is. But God also works through people. And Ginger came into my life at the right time.

Ginger and I went our separate ways but I appreciate the good times and how the relationship helped to get me where I am now.

I’ve never married and don’t have kids. Being a contemplative person can put one a bit out of touch with the latest trends, memes, etc. It didn’t help with my writing much. Trying to connect with an audience when you spend a good deal of time in contemplation isn’t easy.

It’s getting better as I’m older and probably more integrated than before. My conversion was no small or superficial matter. So it took a while to pick up some of the ol’ routines that seemed so worldly and superficial immediately after.

Around this time my niece introduced me to Coldplay. She gave me a CD that I thought was pretty good.

Listening to this song again, I’m thinking a lot of vintage bands lose their spark and a new generation takes their place. We need new generations to keep things fresh. Not just in music but in life itself.

That might sound funny after my 2007 rant about ageism. But I know there’s something wonderful about youth. Talented and creative youth, that is. Conventional, narrow-minded youths bore me like anyone else. And yes, some older people bore me too. Countering ageism isn’t about chronological age. It’s about maintaining our sense of wonder, curiosity, and openness—at any age.

Luke and Rey – Luke is amazed at Rey’s quick grasp of the Jedi fundamentals and her immense potential – via Pinterest

Reelin’ in ALL the Years

 IBM’s ageism scandal: 5 ways the company reportedly screwed older workers (fastcompany.com)


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Reelin’ in the Years – 1997

OK Computer released by Radiohead in 1997. I like the album/band name but the music never grabbed me – Image via discogs.com

It’s 1997 and I’m 35 years old. U2 releases Pop which for me was a waste of money. One could actually discern the beginning of U2’s slide with Zooropa (1993), Achtung Baby (1991) being a tough act to follow.

Meantime David Bowie releases a strong album, Earthling. I almost chose the song “Little Wonder” from that CD as my fav for ’97 but it doesn’t resonate so much now. I mean, this was 21 years ago and people change.

’97 was the year I completed my doctorate. Hardly a light year. I remember standing in the hall awaiting my examiners’ response after being grilled on my thesis.

Also a TA that year, one of my undergraduate students showed up to cheer me on. He was a bit unconventional and, thinking it would help, started to massage my back while I was standing in the hall. It just made me tenser. I had bought a new suit for the occasion and was afraid he would wreck it while working on my back muscles…

Such is life. I guess I politely asked him to stop. I dunno. Can’t remember exactly.

For Christmas that year I got a greatest hits CD containing the single “Walkin’ On The Sun.”

I like this song’s retro style. 1950s or early 60s, for sure. The lead singer reminds me a bit of Chubby Checker or Bill Haley.

Most of the other pop from ’97 doesn’t age very well. This song harkens back to a classic time of surfboards and beach parties, so still works today. Sort of like that old song “I’m Your Venus” which has been reworked at least twice, I think, for ladies’ razor commercials!

And their kids were hippie chicks or hypocrites
Because fashion is smashin’ the true meaning of it

Reelin’ in ALL the Years

The Number Ones: Chubby Checker’s “The Twist” (stereogum.com)

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Reelin’ in the Years – 1973

In 1973 Skylab paved the way for the International Space Station – via Wikipedia

It’s 1973, I’m eleven years old, and mankind has been to the moon so many times it’s like “Oh did they do that again?”

People being the fickle creatures that they are soon lost interest in the moon shots. And the manned (peopled?) lunar program was all washed up by ’73.

Skylab quietly ushered in a whole new era in space research while we on Earth watched more sci-fi on TV and in theaters. Also, blockbuster disaster movies were being hatched like spray painted golden eggs. The Towering Inferno, Earthquake

Afros, blow-dried hair, flares and bell bottoms, big collars, wide ties, floppy hats and peace signs. Long Caddys. This was the style. Punk and New Wave were brewing with bands like Roxy Music but the revolution hadn’t really hit the scene in ’73. This was pure 70s time.

Image via Pinterest – A popular Gillette hairspray TV ad declared, “The wethead is dead.”

My favorite pop tunes for this year once again happen to be two Canadian songs. Honestly, I’m not tipping the scales in some hokey attempt to promote Canadian culture. It’s just that I, having been born and raised on Canadian soil, happen to like these tunes best.

And yup, I said “tunes” not tune. This year I’m breaking the rules again and, like with 1962, declaring a tie.

The first tune relates to my exploratory, sci-fi side. I remember driving around downtown Toronto (being driven, that is) among the tall buildings and having a “moment” when this song came on the AM radio.

This uncut version is longer than what I’m used to. I grew up with the heavily edited rendition on K-Tel’s Fantastic – 22 Original Hits, 22 Original Stars, which I almost like better.

The second song speaks to the mystique of women. It’s psychological and spiritual, using nature and the garden as metaphors for personal growth, self-actualization, call it what you want.

I also like the apocalyptic guitar riff in this tune. Pretty tame for today but in ’73 it captured the balance between destruction and hope that we all felt on some level.

Geez, it looks like my personality was almost fully formed by 1973!

Reelin’ in ALL the Years


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Instead of watching the Academy Awards…

English: Zappa and band. Bob Harris, Yamaha CS...

Zappa and band. Bob Harris, Yamaha CS-80 synthesizer and vocals, Arthur Barrow, bass. Memorial Auditorium, Buffalo, NY. Oct 25, 1980 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Well, I didn’t watch the Oscars tonight. It just seemed too trivial this year for me to waste my time. Just wasn’t into Americano pop culture. At least, not that version. Not this year.

I do like a lot of US movies though. And Frank Zappa, who was a born and bred American.

So what did I do? I listened to an audio course about early Christianity. Learned about a sect, the Ebionites, who were Jewish but accepted some version of Jesus as the Messiah. Not the official version, though.

Then I listened to some 70s Chick Corea, which reminded me of this gem:

Somehow seemed appropriate for NOT watching the Oscars.

Eat That Question – Frank Zappa In His Own Words

Top 10 Songs With the Weirdest Titles

ALICE COOPER Celebrates 45th Anniversary Of Love It To Death And Killer Albums; InTheStudio Audio Interview

Mick Ronson

Finding more ways to Jesus

Presty the DJ for Feb. 14

Frank Zappa on Guitar Soloing

Frank Zappa plays a hunchback on a children’s show narrated by Vincent Price, 1983

Some Thoughts About Innovation From Various Authors