Monthly Archives: December 2009

NYE memories

[Hey, I forgot to wish Lars a happy 26th birthday here at Finktown yesterday. The baby grows up…]

Live music at large parties has seen its share of troubles over the last 25 years or so, agreed BoomR?

I remember having to market my cover band extra-enthusiastically when the DJ idea started to catch on for wedding receptions in the early 1980s. In fact, a movement was started by the musicians’ union (American Federation of Musicians) to choose live music over DJs. I forget the slogan now. The same guy who was the secretary-treasurer in 1978 when I joined the AFM is still the secretary-treasurer today. Maybe I should ask him. I seriously do not know what the Mansfield local is going to do when Eddie retires.

Anyway, I was on Facebook and noticed that BoomR and BluVox are playing a gig tonight in Dallas, 8-1. Awesome. We need more live music.

I know that people want to hear the “original” versions of their songs, done by the original artists, and I  have seen DJs who can really spin a party. But there’s something about a hot band — loud, live, spontaneous, rockin — that can’t be matched.

But how about the best of both worlds? Mixing live with digital, this is one of my favorite musicians (and one of my favorite people in general) in the world: BoomR, with BluVox playing guitar. Take a listen…

[gplayer href=”″]Let’s Stay Together[/gplayer]


*sigh* Love it. Anyway, back to New Years Eve and the holidays in general. Some silly memories:

  • A guy who’d had a few tee many martoonis came up to the bandstand and told Tom, the sax player, “I wanna hear some jazz. How about playing some Kenny G?”, to which Tom immediately responded, “Well, which do you want?” HAaaa. One of my all-time fave comeback lines.
  • Another guy who’d also had a few tee many martoonis danced/stumbled his way across the floor, right into an amp stack. The stack stood firm…the guy, not so much.
  • BoomR, remember this one? We played a Christmas party thrown by the owner of a large local business (this “owner” is now a state senator), and two of his sons got into a drunken brawl about a half hour after the party started. We got paid full price for a 4-hour gig that we only played for 30 minutes.

Funny stuff, but booze really is stupid juice. Don’t get me started on that subject today….

Hey, today is the Thriller’s and my wedding anniversary. How about that? He gets the Longsuffering Perseverance of Job Award for the 13th year running.


Be careful out there tonight, fiends.

‘Night, Rain Man

Last Saturday, Kim Peek died at 58 years old. Known as the inspiration for the film Rain Man (which won the Academy Award for Best Picture, and earned Dustin Hoffman a Best Actor Oscar), Peek inspired the medical community as well. Theories regarding his savantism (although he is not thought to have had autism) and his astonishing ability to store and recall facts abound, though not a whole lot is known.

According to the article in the New York Times, Kim was amazing his family at a very young age. Dismissed by doctors in the mid-1950s as profoundly retarded, his father knew better. By the age of six,

‘Kim had read and memorized the first eight volumes of a set of family encyclopedias,’ his father said. He received part-time tutoring from the age of 7 and completed a high school curriculum by 14. He spent great swaths of time absorbing volumes in the Salt Lake City Public Library.”

The journal Scientific American did a feature on him in 2006. In it, they said:

He knows all the area codes and ZIP codes in the U.S., together with the television stations serving those locales. He learns the maps in the front of phone books and can provide MapQuest-like travel directions within any major U.S. city or between any pair of them. He can identify hundreds of classical compositions, tell when and where each was composed and first performed, give the name of the composer and many biographical details, and even discuss the formal and tonal components of the music.

Of course, someone always has to cast a pall; throw a monkey wrench; pee on the birthday cake. The Daily Mail paints quite the different picture of the level of inspiration Kim actually provided the star of Rain Man, Dustin Hoffman. Reportedly, Hoffman remembers little about their initial meeting, and counted Kim as only one of several “inspirations” that contributed to his development of the Raymond Babbitt character.

No matter. It still doesn’t cancel the “amazing” factor. If I can tell someone my birthdate, and within one second, he tells me the day of the week it fell on and what the weather was like in Zion, Illinois, well, I’m impressed.

And the blackjack scene from the film still makes me laugh. Interesting trivia here. Cool.


Photo credit: AP; 20th Century Fox

Oh, get off it.

That’s what my dad used to say when he’d had enough of someone’s yammering on about something. And that’s what I say this morning.

Seems some people are braying like donkeys about Jasper Schuringa (the guy who saved a bunch of collective hind-ends on that Northwest flight from Amsterdam to Detroit on Christmas Day) wanting compensation for his interviews on the news networks.

Oh, get off it.

Pot-and-kettle-ism. Do the networks not cash in on freely-gotten news, and do the anchors not get paid handsomely for reading it off a Teleprompter? Why should Schuringa not get his for talking about the time he saved 300+ people from meeting their maker (a service for which, by the way, he does not seem to be charging the other passengers)? FOX, CNN, the Big 3…just shut up and pay up. He deserves it, fuh cripesake.

What they really should focus on is the fact that Abdulmutallab ever got on a plane in the first place with a bomb in his skivvies.


Then some idiot stick tells Demi Moore she looks old. HAA. What I wouldn’t give to look that old, right? Although I will go to the mat against her denials of ever having plastic surgery. I mean, I remember watching her every day on General Hospital back in the early 80s, and she didn’t look as good at 23 as she does now at 47. Oh, get off it. Who cares, and why hide it? Sure, it’s nobody’s business, but not everyone is a dumb sheep. It’s nothing to be ashamed or secretive of, if for no other reason than people will be able to tell you’ve had something done. If/when the time comes, blepharoplasty is definitely in my future, and I won’t bat my baby grays at people who obviously know I’ve had a procedure as if I have no earthly clue what they could possibly be thinking.

My mother always said, “Ladies don’t tell their age.” I can agree with that to an extent; I don’t shout it from the mountaintops. But there is an explicit strangeness — a quiet taboo on that subject — in the education world. *gasp* Don’t tell your kids how old you are!!! Whatev. My students know I have a 29-year-old son and two grandchildren. Why should my age be such a mystery? I am who and what I am. I think I have my students’ respect; I don’t think I’ll lose it if they know I’m 50.


I have no choreography done. But at least I get to spend some time with Jake & Justin this morning. A good day for sure.

Happy Tuesday, fiends.

It was a very good year

Time for a retrospective of sorts. A list, because I like making lists (except the kind that delineate jobs to be done…I always lose those).

Two thousand nine was good for me and to me. I made a *lot* of mistakes in 2009; some really big ones come to mind. But the thing about mistakes is you learn from them, forgive others for the ones they make, forgive yourself, and go on. Still, the good stuff prevails, to wit:

  1. Justin came into our lives in May.
  2. I finished my BU degree, so I never have to think about writing a paper ever again (unless it’s for cash money).
  3. Son Seamus started a new career he loves.
  4. I reconnected with BoomR after 20 years. Yay!
  5. Through Facebook, I found several friends from high school, as well as Jan and Suzanne. Yippy!
  6. After a rocky, cloudy, confused January – July, August brought with it new clarity, my 50th birthday, and a huge paradigm shift. The priority now is fun. Fun with the family, fun at work, fun with the Thriller. I believe fun should be everyone’s priority, but especially so after 50, ja?

So before I do a post on what 2010 should bring, I covet your responses on what 2009 did for you. Let’s have em. I enjoy reading them, if for no other reason than I believe each year should feature us getting more done, enjoying more, and growing more as peeple. So, what were some biggies in your life this past year? I know some of you have them. Spill it.

Off the subject: Both the Browns and the Cavs won last night. Whaddyaknow…


Joyeux Noël

And a fine Christmas morning to you all! I’m on my way to see my two most wonderful gifts open their presents. Jake, 2 years, and Justin, 7 mos.:

It was fantastic hanging with the family last night (minus Lars, Helen, Jon and Simone, who are in Texas for the holidays — we’re catching up with them in January). The boys had great fun opening and playing with their new toys — and so did the adults. We laughed a lot, as is our custom. It was a great night. It’s all about family, no?

Hope Santa was good to you as well, my fiends. After gift-opening, we’re on our way to Detroit. Viva la casino. Yep.