Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Nature’s Garbage #JusJoJan

For the last day of Just Jot It January, Lorraine from Lorraines’s frilly freudian slip gives us the word “detritus.”

This is a fantastic exercise, and I’d like to thank Linda for once again hosting it and for giving us all the opportunity to submit words to be used as prompts for the month. A few of them have given me trouble, and “detritus” is one of them. So, I went to the dictionary online and learned that detritus is “a loose mass of stones, silt, etc. that has been worn away from rocks,” such as by a glacier or by water washing against it. It also gives the definition “any disintegrated material; debris.”

It sorta-kinda sounds like rubbish, doesn’t it? And it is, sorta-kinda, the difference being rubbish is created by man and detritus by nature.

The conclusion? Yes, it is…




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Two for Tuesday: Marni Nixon

Birgit suggested I discuss Marni Nixon, and I can’t think of a better way to end the series than with her.

There’s a good chance you’ve heard Marni Nixon and didn’t realize you were listening to her. Besides having her own career as a singer and actress, she was one of the better “playback singers,” a singer who does the vocals for the soundtrack of the movie, to which the actor lip-syncs. When you thought you were listening to Deborah Kerr in The King and I, Natalie Wood and Rita Moreno in West Side Story, and Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady, you were actually listening to Marni. Time magazine called her “The Ghostess with the Mostest,” as she didn’t receive on-screen credit for any of the work on those movies.

First, here is Marni dubbing Deborah Kerr in 1956’s The King and I, in “Shall We Dance?” with Yul Brynner.

And second, here she dubs the voice of Audrey Hepburn in 1964’s My Fair Lady, with “I Could Have Danced All Night.” For comparison, here is Audrey Hepburn doing her own vocal.

Here is an interview she did with Charles Osgood on CBS Sunday Morning, date unknown.

Marni beat breast cancer in 1985 and again in 2000, but succumbed to the disease last July. May she rest in peace.

Marni Nixon, your Two for Tuesday, January 31, 2017.




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Monday, January 30, 2017

Monday’s Music Moves Me: Blue Monday #JusJoJan

I love it when a plan comes together.

I’ve been participating in Linda Hill’s Just Jot It January this month, and I chose today’s word, “blue.” Then, Marie (better known as XmasDolly) contacts me Saturday night and tells me “WHOO HOOOOOO! You’re the spotlight dancer for Monday!” That meant I got to choose the theme of the day, so what do I choose? Songs with “blue” in the title, blues songs, and/or songs that you play when you’re feeling blue.

Two Birds. One Stone.

First, a couple of songs with “blue” in the title.

Linda Ronstadt, “Blue Bayou” This is a Roy Orbison original, and his voice can hit all these notes too, but Linda does such a good job of it, and I love her voice.

Swing Out Sister, “Forever Blue” Another beautiful voice belongs to the lovely Corinne Drewery, chanteuse for Swing Out Sister, and this song is gorgeous.

Now, some blues….

Junior Wells with Buddy Guy, “Stormy Monday Blues” Buddy and Junior worked together often in the Sixties and Seventies. Buddy is still working, God bless him, while Junior passed in 2000. I always liked their version of this the best.

Little Walter, “Confessin’ The Blues” Marion “Little Walter” Jacobs got his start with the great Muddy Waters. Together they defined the sound of Chicago blues.

Finally, a couple for when I’m in a blue mood.

Django Reinhardt and the Quintette du Hot Club de France, “Limehouse Blues” I DARE you to listen to Django’s guitar solo in this and sit still. I can’t.

Bobby Vinton, “Blue Velvet” Solo singers like Bobby Vinton were big in the early Sixties, between the early rock & roll and the British Invasion. Bobby’s from Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, home of another great singer, Perry Como.

And that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for January 30, 2017.

Monday’s Music Moves Me is sponsored by X-Mas Dolly, Callie, Cathy, and Stacy, so be sure and visit them, where you can also find the Linky for the other participants.


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Sunday, January 29, 2017

The End of January Week That Was

This edition of The Week That Was is sponsored by Fizzies. It’s Fizzies Time!

Fizzies and other drinks with sodium cyclamate (the generic name for Sucaryl) were very popular in the Fifties and Sixties until they discovered that high doses (the equivalent of 350 cans of diet soda) caused bladder tumors in 3 out of 240 lab rats. They weren’t taken off the market until consumer watchdog groups made a fuss, which was, coincidentally, after a new sugar-free sweetener was developed. I knew someone whose sister only ever drank half a bottle of Tab, which was advertised as only having one calorie. She figured the calorie had sunk to the bottom of the bottle. *rimshot* Thank you! I’ll be here all week! Please tip your servers!

The Week That Was

I’d like to thank everyone who commented expressing condolences for the 50th anniversary of Dad’s death this past Wednesday, and for the congratulations on our 39th wedding anniversary yesterday. On to the rest of the week…

A freebie week, so I introduced my next series for Two for Tuesday: bands and acts that were popular when I was in high school, from 1970 to 1974. I shared the #1 songs from Billboard‘s Hot 100 for each of those years. This week, I chose the theme for MMMM, “songs with ‘blue’ in the title, blues songs, and/or songs that you play when you’re feeling blue.” Coincidentally, I also chose “blue” as the prompt word for Just Jot It January tomorrow, so I can use the MMMM post for JJJ, and vice versa. See what I did there?

We’re coming to the end of my seeries on Chanteuses, and the subject this week was Celine Dion. People either love her or hate her, but she has a great voice and has been very popular since 1990. This week, we’ll celebrate the career of someone you’ve definitely heard, but might not have known it was her. Join us then!

Kat asked “what do you miss the most about living with your parents?” and I talked about how I’m now at a point in my life where both my parents and Mom’s second husband, who was like a father to me, are gone, as are Mary’s parents, who were good to us and who I loved and admired. I ended by pulling a J. K. Simmons and practically ordering everyone to call their parents, if they’re still around, because the day will come that they aren’t. Or, as Lewis Grizzard said, “Don’t forget to call your Mama, I sure wish I could call mine.”

I did the first half of the Seventies on Monday, so what better way to end the week than by doing the other half?

Linda’s blogging extravaganza ends on Tuesday. Here are the entries I did for that:

  • Sunday, when the word was “contempt,” I mused on why no one ever gets cited for contempt on Perry Mason, and suggested that Perry and DA Hamilton Burger should have argued a case before the Honorable Pigmeat Markham, the Chitlin’ Circuit comedian known to viewers of Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In for his phrases “Here Come Da Judge” and “Look that up in your Funk & Wagnall’s.”

    And as a side note, condolences to the family of Barbara Hale, who played Perry’s secretary Della Street. Barbara passed away this week at the age of 94.

  • Monday’s word was “compromise,” leading to a funny quote from the late Princes Diana.
  • To celebrate Tuesday’s word, “elusive,” I shared the song “Elusive Butterfly,” a Top Ten hit for Bob Lind in 1966.
  • “Extraordinary,” Thursday‘s secret woid, led me on a rambling path about having been an extraordinary minister of Communion when we lived in Chicago.
  • Finally, Friday‘s word was “incomplete.” I used the synonym “unfinished,” and up to that point I hadn’t finished my posts for that day.

Thanks again to all my commenters. You make this worthwhile.

And thanks to all of you who stopped by but didn’t comment, especially those of you who “Like”d a post.

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Be sure to check the A to Z Challenge blog tomorrow for the first part of a big announcement about the 2017 Challenge. Part 2 will come the following week. Stay tuned!

And that’s it for this edition of The Week That Was. Join us during the week for all the regular features, plus a Battle of the Bands on Wednesday and the last couple of Just Jot It January entries, and who knows what else. See you soon!




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Don’t Know Much About… #JusJoJan

Sam Cooke, “What A Wonderful World”…

KL Caley, of new2writing, chose “history” as the Just Jot It January prompt for today.

There are those (usually history majors, particularly those with advanced degrees) who say that “Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it.” And yet, history is the story of the same mistakes being made time and time again. Duh.

Now, does that mean we shouldn’t learn about the past? No. I love to learn about the past. I spend a lot of time learning about it. Granted, it’s about TV, radio, music, and baseball, none of which actually qualifies as capital-H History. I do plenty of memoir on this blog, telling stories of my past. We did, and still do, a lot of that in my family. I’m interested in genealogy and where I came from. Things like that.

There was a contestant on Jeopardy! named Colby Burnett, who was a history teacher at Fenwick High School in the Chicago area. He said the way he teaches history is from the back of the book forward. In other words, start with things today, and work your way backward, rather than starting with cavemen and working your way forward. The reason, he said, was because he feels that more current history gets ignored because school’s over before he gets there. It makes sense: start with the world today and figure out what happened in the past that caused it.

But that’s just me.




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Saturday, January 28, 2017

How Much Wood Would A Woodchuck Chuck If A Woodchuck Could Chuck Wood? #socs

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A couple of groundhogs

The answer, according to Wikipedia, is “A woodchuck would chuck as much wood as a woodchuck could chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood.”

A classic Beatles song from the Rubber Soul album is “Norwegian Wood.” It was one of the first songs that George played sitar on. I wasn’t able to find the actual single (WMG was at it again), but someone posted a bootleg out on YouTube.

Today is Mary’s and my 39th wedding anniversary. It’s not the wood anniversary; Mary tells me it’s the yarn anniversary. I’m not sure what anniversary it is, to be honest. Doesn’t matter, we still love each other. We used to say that it wasn’t a marriage so much as a fight to the death, then I had my stroke and, well, we stopped saying that. Just out of curiosity, how many of you are 39 or younger?

For those of you wondering why we got married in January, when it’s cold and snowy in Chicago and other parts of the country, it’s simple: January 28 was also my in-laws’ anniversary, as well as Mary’s cousin and his wife. Mike and Peggy were married in 1967, the day after the biggest snowstorm in history hit the Chicago area. And yes, it was shortly after Dad died, and my mother didn’t want us to get married that day because she remembered all the snow. And, in keeping with the tradition, we had a snowstorm two days before we were married. Mom never forgave me for that.

Here’s coverage of the 1967 blizzard from WFLD-TV in Chicago. Thanks to The Museum of Classic Chicago Television for making this available.

socs-jjj

Stream of Consciousness Saturday is brought to you each week by Linda Hill, who also brings you Just Jot It January every January.




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Friday, January 27, 2017

Billboard #1 Singles, 1975-1979

Monday, I posted the Billboard #1 Singles for the years 1970 to 1974. So today, searching desperately for a topic, I decided “let’s get the second half of the decade!” Here are the #1 singles of the year according to Billboard magazine for the years 1975 to 1979.

1975: The Captain & Tennille, “Love Will Keep Us Together” Daryl Dragon (a/k/a The Captain) and Toni Tennille were featured on Two for Tuesday back in 2014, on the first day of the Ultimate Blog Challenge and on the first day of the string of daily posts from yours truly.

1976: Wings, “Silly Love Songs” Didn’t we just do this one? Oh yeah, we did.

1977: Rod Stewart, “Tonight’s The Night (Gonna Be All Right)” This was Rod The Mod’s second #1 single, the first being “Maggie May.”

1978: Andy Gibb, “Shadow Dancing” Andy was the younger brother of Barry, Robin, and Maurice Gibb, and for a while it looked like his success would eclipse theirs, with six Top Ten singles in the US. For a while he dated Victoria Principal, eight years has senior. They broke up and his drug use got worse, but he managed to clean himself up and he went back to work recording a new album. He went into the hospital complaining of chest pains and died of a heart attack less than a week after his thirtieth birthday.

1979: The Knack, “My Sharona” New Wave was washing disco out to sea (thank goodness) by 1979, and The Knack were one of the reasons why.

And that’s your Friday Five for January 27, 2017.




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Unfinished Business #JusJoJan

This will be short, because it’s 4:30 in the afternoon and I still have this post and a Friday Five post to get out the door. I could blow one or the other off, but I’d feel like I left something unfinished, like somehow my week wasn’t complete without them. Well, since this is Just Jot It January, this will do… better do The Friday Five…

Cyn, of That Cynking Feeling, provided today’s prompt, “incomplete.”




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Thursday, January 26, 2017

Call Your Parents (Writer’s Workshop)

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Bill, Johnny, and Bunny, 1962

I’ve been going back and forth on which prompt to do this week, and finally I decided on “Write about what you miss most about living at home with your parents.”

I really don’t want to get too maudlin here, but at this point, I miss having my parents, period. Yesterday was the fiftieth anniversary of my Dad’s death; my mother’s second husband, who we called Tex, died in 1992; and Mom died in 2000. My in-laws are gone, too: Joe died in 1997, and Charlotte died in 2000, a few months after Mom did. (Yeah, 2000 was a bad year.)

I was at my cousin’s house (Mom’s cousin, really; he’s my cousin once removed) about twenty years ago, and after dinner he said, “Hey, give your mother a call.” I didn’t quite understand why he said that, other than I remember he was very close to his mother, but I went ahead and called her, we had a nice chat, he got on the phone and talked with her for a while, then gave the phone back to me and I said goodbye and told her I loved her, and she told me she loved me.

I think I understand now: there comes a day when you won’t be able to talk to them, so you need to take the time now to talk to them. So, call your parents.




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More Catholic Trivia #JusJoJan

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Chalice (l) and ciborium. Don’t mix them up.

Mary and I were trained as extraordinary ministers of Communion when we still lived in Chicago, back when it was still quite new to have lay people administer the Body and Blood of Jesus. The Latino contingent of the parish, which was much larger than the Lithuanian contingent, had already been using extraordinary ministers for some time, and they figured it was time for the rest of us to have them as well.

Back in the old days (when I was in grammar school), only priests and deacons (the ordinaries, those who had been ordained) could handle the Sacred Host and Precious Blood. As an altar boy, one of my jobs at Mass was to hold the paten, a gold or silver plate attached to a handle, under the chins of communicants as a priest placed the Host onto their tongues, so that the Body of Christ wouldn’t fall on the floor by accident. Allowing the host or the consecrated wine to drop on the floor was a disaster not unlike nuclear fallout, requiring the priest to pick up the Host and either eat it himself or take it back into the sacristy (where they vested for Mass, a sort of Catholic locker room) and burn it. Altar boys could handle the unconsecrated wine and bread, but after it had been transubstantiated, only a priest or deacon could touch it. We couldn’t even handle the purificator, a white cloth with which the priest cleaned the Sacred Vessels (the chalice which had held the wine, the ciborium which contained the hosts if it emptied out during Communion, and his paten, which had held the large Host that he consecrated during … the Consecration).

I remember the day one of the priests told me after 8:30 Mass one weekday, “Do me a favor, put my purificator in my drawer.” I had a crisis in faith. On the one hand, a priest had told me to do it, and one just never disobeyed a priest; on the other hand, we were told that unconsecrated hands should never, ever, ever, EVER touch anything that had come in contact with Jesus. I was supposed to be in school by then, so I finally convinced myself that I wouldn’t burst into flames if I did what Father asked, so I did and ran off to school. Not even scorched.

At some point during the Seventies, the Pope and College of Cardinals decided that no one else would burst into flames, either, and soon the priest, instead of sticking the Host on our tongues, would hand us the wafer and we would stick it in our own mouths. We were also allowed a shot of the Precious Blood (i.e. the wine), which heretofore was a logistical nightmare. And, they decided that, since many more hands were needed to distribute Communion and handle the cup from which we could drink, responsible lay people could assist.

Anyway, Mary and I were two of the responsible lay people chosen to be extraordinary ministers, and served in that capacity until we moved to Atlanta. Since we were under the jurisdiction of a different Archdiocese which had different rules, we lost our certification, and decided it wasn’t worth the effort to regain it.

We were at Mass one Saturday evening back in Chicago, and the priest, who was a friend of ours, said he didn’t want to give us his cold, and that the extraordinary ministers would be handling both the bread and wine. This was fine with everyone except for Jimmy, a parishoner in his thirties who was a bit strange (I’m sorry, that’s the kindest way I can put it). He went to Communion and when he reached the front of the church and saw that a lay person was to give him the Host, he shouted “NO!” and ran to the back of the church, screaming the prayer to St. Michael the Archangel before storming out. Jimmy was prone to outbursts like this during Mass, and we ignored it.

The shortage of priests in the Church has made extraordinary ministers and permanent lay deacons (married men who have been ordained as deacons) a necessity. When I was in the hospital, I was visited daily by one, and it was a real boost to me and I think helped in my recovery.

This rather long contribution for day 26 of Just Jot It January was from the prompt “extraordinary,” sent to us by Kelli of Forty, c’est Fantastique!, who probably regrets it by now.




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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

A Sad Memory #JusJoJan #1LinerWeds

Fifty years ago today, Mom woke us up and called us in to the living room to let us know that our father had died. He was three weeks short of his 35th birthday.

It’s One-Liner Wednesday, and Just Jot It January, both sponsored by Linda Hill and brought to you by the Optical Department at Sears. There’s more for your life at Sears!




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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Two for Tuesday: Celine Dion

First, I was going through my photo collection (which really needs going through, because it’s in about a dozen places and I have no idea what’s there) and ran across the badge I made for Two For Tuesday a few months ago. In fact, I found a whole bunch of them. I’ll share the others as I find them.

I was in a pickle going into this week’s Two for Tuesday. I know who I’m doing next week, but had no clue who I would do this week. I remembered that I had done a tribute to Canadian artists for Canadian Thanksgiving a couple of years ago, and it was brought to my attention that I omitted one very popular one, the subject of today’s Twofer, Céline Dion.

For some reason, I never think about her (maybe because she doesn’t think of me, either), and I’m at a loss to explain why. She has a beautiful voice and has hits in both French and English. Maybe it was the whole Titanic thing, I don’t know. She’s been around a long time, first coming to the attention of René Angélil, her manager and later her husband, when she was twelve. He was so impressed by her he mortgaged his house to finance her first album in 1981. She won the 1982 Yamaha World Popular Song Contest and the 1988 Eurovision Song Contest, competing for Switzerland. She’s released 26 studio albums in French or English, including D’eux, the highest-selling French-language album in history, and 153 singles. And yet, she slips my mind…

“It’s All Coming Back To Me Now” is a power ballad inspired by Wuthering Heights and written by Jim Steinman. Meat Loaf wanted to record it, but Steinman said he preferred a woman do it. Céline recorded it for her 1996 album Falling Into You and released it as a single. It reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #3 in the British Singles chart.

“Je Sais Pas” was the second single off of Céline’s 1995 French-language album, D’eux. It reached #1 in France, Quebec, and Belgium (Wallonia) and #34 in the Netherlands.

Céline Dion, your Two for Tuesday, January 24, 2017.




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Elusive Butterfly #JusJoJan

Judy from Edwina’s Episodes tells us that today’s Just Jot It January word was sent in by Evelyn of Eclectic Evelyn, and it is elusive. (That last sentence reminds me of a joke: A high-school English teacher tells her class one day, “There are two words you should never use: one is ‘swell’ and the other is ‘lousy’.” A kid in the back of the room sticks up his hand: “Okay, what are they?”… Trust me, you’ll wake up at 3 AM and laugh…)

Since learning what today’s prompt would be (because it ended up in my RSS feed just before I went to bed), I’ve had this song running through my head. Bob Lind had a single with it and it reached #5, but this sounds much different: it’s longer, the lyrics are different, and it doesn’t have the tambourine and strings. I like this one better, because there are verses I haven’t heard before, and it changes the whole song for me. From 1966, “Elusive Butterfly.”




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Monday, January 23, 2017

Compromise #JusJoJan

Ritu over at But I Smile Anyway came up with today’s Just Jot It January word, “compromise.” Judy at Edwina’s Episodes is sitting in for Linda today.

You can really get into an involved conversation with a word like “compromise,” so I compromised and found a humorous quote.


Made at Quozio.com



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Billboard #1 Singles, 1970-1974

As I announced last Tuesday, my Two For Tuesday series of Chanteuses is coming to an end the week after tomorrow, and I think I’ve figured out my next series: High School!


New Trier West High School, Northfield, Illinois, my alma mater

I wrote about my high school days during the 2014 A to Z Challenge, though I only went there for three years; I served my sentence attended St. Ignatius College Prep my freshman year. But I was in high school from September 1970 to June 1974, and it was a pretty crazy time in music, with most bands fitting into one of two categories: good or sucks.

I thought it would be fun to look at the Billboard Hot 100 singles and share the #1 song for each year. After seeing the list, I’m not sure how much fun it will be…but anyway… Here’s the list.

1970: Simon & Garfunkel, “Bridge Over Troubled Water” This was popular when I was in eighth grade, and it was popular because it was a slow dance and guys like slow dancing. The flp side of the single was “The Only Living Boy In New York,” another slow one.

1971: Three Dog Night, “Joy To The World” Gotta have one by Three Dog Night if it’s the early Seventies. They were a favorite band of mine, as you know if you’ve been reading the blog for any amount of time.

1972: Roberta Flack, “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” I wish this had come out two years earlier, because if you like slow dancing, you don’t get much slower than this. This is actually a few seconds shorter than “Bridge” (above), but it seems longer.

1973: Tony Orlando & Dawn, “Tie A Yellow Ribbon ‘Round The Ole Oak Tree” Was popular again a few years later, when Iran released the hostages it had been holding. I love the guys that are dancing in the video; they’re either high or their girlfriends made them dance. Or both. You decide.

1974: Barbra Streisand, “The Way We Were” Both the movie and its theme song won Academy Awards in ’74, which is why it ended up the best-selling single that year. Top 40 radio stations would often follow this one with something by Led Zeppelin.

And that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for January 23, 2017.

Monday’s Music Moves Me is sponsored by X-Mas Dolly, Callie, Cathy, and Stacy, so be sure and visit them, where you can also find the Linky for the other participants.


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