The Good, the Bad and the not so Ugly


The book that I will mention, two disasters, one natural and one whose source

is unknown, the musical group which may or may not meet your ‘tastebuds’ and

a woman who was ‘cheated’ of her royalties are the subjects of my ‘this and that’

news today.

First of all, I was saddened to hear of the family or families who lost seven of

their precious children in Brooklyn, New York yesterday. The news mentioned

over one hundred firefighters who fought valiantly, facing danger to search for

their little souls. I wept for children, ages 5 to 15 years old. I embraced, mentally,

my own special six grandchildren, one on the way.

Second of all, I am still thinking of the 43 people who unexpectedly died in the

big and messy mudslide out in Oso, Washington. It will be one year since it

happened tomorrow, March 22, 2015. There will be a memorial for those people

who had chosen a lovely place to build their homes, where trees and natural

wonders abound.

Next, flowing along with the theme of nature and wonderment:

~**Happy First Day of Spring!**~

~**Happy International Forest Day, too!**~

The lady who was ‘cheated’ of her inheritance and loads, beaucoup or

‘crap’ tons of money was named, Lizzy McGee. She invented what we now

consider, “Monopoly.” This story is not so new, she got ‘paid’ $500 for her

efforts and ingenuity.

The story behind Lizzy McGee’s creative game called, “Landlords,” is being

featured in a new book. It is written by Mary Pilon and called, “The Monopolists.”

This fantastic story about the ‘secret’ behind Monopoly game came out in

February, 2015. Central Ohio is just hearing about it! Leave it to me, to be

a bit behind in the news!

The fascinating story tells how she wished to be focused in on how certain

people of the upper echelon of society were the ones who were always

successful. She meant the game to be a combination of satire and a lesson

on life. Later, Charles Darrow made his own version, Hasbro had the ‘rights’

(copyright taken for a mere $500.) and the rest is history.

I would like to see the photograph of Lizzy McGee, who held up her square

board and published her story in the Washington Post and the Washington

Evening Star. This must be a sore or ‘burr’ in the side of the descendants of

this innovative woman. Almost makes you want to tell your children and your


“This is a perfect example of the game of Monopoly, your life can ‘turn on a

dime’ and try to protect yourself, your ideas and make sure you are not so

innocent to the ‘ways of the world.'”

As a postscript to the Monopoly story, just to keep you informed and ‘in

the loop,’ a man named Ralph Anspach sued Hasbro company and won,

for the story to be corrected and allowing him to have the rights to his

own version of the game.

It is called, “Anti-Monopoly.”

The band, “Modest Mouse,” meets something strange and nerdy within me.

After all, if I were ‘portrayed’ in my mind as a famous person, I would choose

to have Susan Sarandon or someone with a ‘quirky’ side to them. I thought

they were ‘long gone,’ but then they came around again. In 2004 and then

again in 2007, they put out new music. They are not popular in the true sense

of the word, but their original flavor and their musical talent still abides in their

voices, hands while they strum their guitars and keyboard. The band was again

featured on CBS “Saturday Morning.” I love the was the song’s lyrics are so

unpredictable. The lead singer, tells the interviewer about his band’s still being

asked to play at many venues, mainly at festivals. Crowds of people cheer,

give standing ovations and help the band to keep moving forward on their

musical path towards enlightenment. (No, the band mate doesn’t say this but

I intuitively hear this in their lyrics.) Their 2014 single tested the waters again

for finding a following in the song,

“Lampshades on Fire.”

Their new album,


for Modest Mouse is titled:

“Strangers to Ourselves.”

The songs I recommend reading the words to, possibly before you listen to them


1.) “Listen to the Ground Walk in Time in a Box.”

2.) “What Can We Say?”

I may be ‘off’ on the songs exact wording but listen to a bit of this wording:

“Birds looking down at me– “(you can hear the percussionist’s talented ringing

sound in background)– “What can we say? And we say we’re in love, loving…”

Nature is the subject, I felt moved by the words. The voices are a little ‘creaky’

and may not be of your liking. I felt their age coming upon them. I felt the story

in the lyrics.

As far as beat and style, I liked Modest Mouse. Their unexpected ‘hits’ in 2004,

when it was thirty years since I graduated high school were:

1.) “Float On”

2.) “Ocean Breathes Salty”

This 2004 album got huge nominations for Modest Mouse:

1.) Best Rock Song nomination

2.) Grammy nomination for “Best Alternative Music Award”

Then, there were the 2007 popular ‘this:’

1.) “Dashboard”

2.) “Missed the Boat”

3.) “We’ve Got Everything”

Who were some of the members along the way?

This band, Modest Mouse, started in 1993.

They started out in Issaquah, Washington by Isaac Brock and on the drums,

Jeremiah Green,  and Eric Judy on the bass. Isaac Brock has battled depression.

This may help those of you who struggle with this and know that sometimes, just

maybe, you can plow right on through, somehow finding solace in your ‘craft’ or

‘art.’ Their first album was reasonably received,

“This is a Long Drive for Someone with Nothing to Think About.”

In 2006, after those 2004 successful songs got some air time on radio stations,

especially ones which played Alternative Rock, they found some great musicians

to join them.  On guitar, Johnny Marr, on percussion, Joe Plummer and multiple

instrumentalist (you can hear the different sounds in the background, some are

eerie, but mainly haunting) Tom Peloso adds his magical sounds. Jim Fairchild,

on guitar, came along in 2009 and Lisa Molinar became their viola and keyboard

player. The layers of sound are incredible, close your eyes and try to ‘pick out’

the different ones.

Closing the month of March, 2015 up,

Here are some dates to Celebrate!

March 21st was International Save Our Forests.

March 22nd is “As Young As You Feel Day.”

Try something new, out of the ordinary, just for You.

March 25th is officially Selma’s march re-enactment date

and 50th Anniversary. This has been the year to remember

the Edmund Pettus Bridge and the walk with its historic consequences.

March is winding down.

I cannot believe I am already working on the ‘rough draft’ for my

monthly calendar.

Turning the page to April.

Will the month end ‘just as it should?’ Will it be a typical one where it

“Goes out like a lamb?”

What is new in your corner of the world?

Was there any of these news pieces which touched you or made a



About reocochran

I am experiencing crazy and hapless adventures in dating that may interest people over fifty. I am now approaching 62 later this year and enjoy taking photographs, incorporating stories or poetry on my blog. I have many old posts which are informative and written like essays. I have several love stories collected from family and friends. Even strangers spill their stories, since I am a grown version of the girl next door. I have been trying to live a healthy lifestyle with better food selections and active hiking and walking. I have written four children's books and illustrated them. They are not published but a battered women's shelter used one about neglect and abuse for their children's program and a 4H group used my "Kissing a Bunny is like saying a Prayer" as a coloring book. Please comment or respond so I may get a chance to know you. Sincerely, Robin

18 responses »

  1. i heard the story about the children in brooklyn this morning and it really hit my heart. i also am surprise that a year has gone by since the washington mudslide and both made me think about how precious life is, and how it can turn on a dime, so important to really live it fully and with kindness. funny about the modest mouse, ‘lampshade’ song, as soon as i heard it i loved it and can’t help but dance to it. –

    • I am so sad about the children, Beth. It was such a tragedy. I also was surprised that time had flown since the past mudslide…
      I am laughing and happy to know you enjoyed at least one of Modest Mouse’s creative and unique songs, Beth! Dancing to the song with lampshade in it, perfect and it makes me smile, too. We would have so much fun if our paths ever cross, since we aren’t that far different in so many ways… Thanks for this supportive comments for this very strange collection of news pieces, Beth. Enjoy the sunny and warm-ish day up there in Ann Arbor, Michigan. At least I know some of your state and can honestly say, “Michigan is a gorgeous place to visit (or live!)”

    • Thanks for this comment, I also like to know ‘the rest of the story,’ as that great man used to say, Paul Harvey. Wonderful interest in news and facts will keep us connected.

  2. The two tragedies you shared, the seven children who perished in the apartment fire in Brooklyn and the Oso mudslide a year ago that killed 43 and destroyed homes, are reminders just how quickly people living normal lives can become victims. I think the most important lesson we can learn from these events is to make sure we live our lives to the fullest in the time we have.

    I did not know about Modest Mouse and that they had roots in the Pacific Northwest. As always you share these gems of information that I would otherwise never know about, which is quite a delight.

    Happy Spring! – Mike

    • I like this idea of being an information source for you, Mike! I was prepared to hear you already knew this fact! Smiles!
      I am glad you found the ‘silver lining’ in a way, that we must try to have our special days and make each moment count. This was such a moving message to add to a sad double catastrophes part of the post.
      Thanks for the kind wishes for a happy Spring and back at you, Mike!

    • Well now, we do have another week, right?… I have hopes for it rebounding into warmth, Mark! Thanks for the notice on upcoming snow or cold showers, too. Br-r-r!

      • Not trying to correct you, just letting you know we still have time to change things around back to Spring again! As I look out the window the snow is fallin and the cars have an inch of snow on them. Our library has a side parking lot which the computer room allows me to ‘judge’ whether I need to get going (by the darkness or the depth of the snow, in this case tonight!) No wine, just tired. This is sort of sad, but hope you are much more refreshed and everyone misjudges time. I almost pressed “Publish” on my April monthly calendar. I really want it to be here, Mark! smiles!

      • I didn’t think you were judging or being harsh. No worries, Robin. Snow in your Ohio. I say enough. Go home and rest, my friend, for spring!

  3. The story about the 7 children who died in a fire is heart wrenching. Not just for their families, but for first responders (police, fire, ambulance), and any one who loves children. Tragic.(In our area, on Friday, a mother killed 2 of her 3 children. The survivor is in critical condition. Again, a horrific tragedy that just rips every one apart.)

    Monopoly is probably one of my least favorite board games. The person I first played it with – as an adult – would gloat any time he won and I was left with no money or properties. I’m sorry to hear that the original inventor of this game, Lizzy McGee, was ripped off. I think there should be some kind of clause in the selling of rights to a book, movie, game or invention that would allow the inventor a percentage of the proceeds. Or, at least, that’s what they should work out when they sell it.

    • Judy, I am so glad you felt bad about Lizzy’s loss of royalties. I am sure she never figured it would take off for years to come!
      As far as the tragedies, you are so right. They were ‘heart wrenching,’ Judy. I appreciate your mentioning the ones who were first responders, too. Any one who loves children was moved or devastated, I am sure.
      This is such a horrible news item, sorry to hear of a mother killing two of her three children. I can only hope the one who lives, will have a great and special person take over raising him or her. Also, that the child is young enough not to remember too many details. Please keep me posted, Judy…. hugs!

  4. Hi Robin, Sad stories today. Business men always seem to arrange things so that the creative people get a pittance and they get the money, since they did the “real” work and took the “risk.” I am so sad about those kids. The newspapers are so full of despair and tragedy, sometimes I think it’s better to avoid it. But we have to stay connected to the world, however hard it is to stomach. Take care! Brenda

    • It was definitely a heart-breaking story about the children. Amen to the comment about business people! Sometimes they are great at giving or donating, but not always at giving ‘credit where credit is due,’ Brenda. I know it would be best avoiding the news, this is true for our positive natures need to stay that way, but sometimes it also helps me to realize what we have, thankful for our blessings and then, praying for the family who lost so much in this case… Thanks for these comments, Brenda. I am going back to check posts and finding such caring thoughts expressed by you. Thank you. Hugs.

      • Robin, I picture you there in the library, smiling over your correspondence. I bet you used to write letters to people. I’m sad that people don’t write letters anymore. Blogging neatly fills that need these days.

      • You are right, the blogging fills some holes in my life, wishing to have deeper conversations than what I get at work. I have great friends here, along with my chidren who are funny, making me ‘meals to go.’
        I write long letters still to my Mom, Aunt and Uncle, my friend Nancy who lives a couple of hours away and my friend Mindy and I exchange lots of family photos and notes throughout the year, through the mail! She is a mail carrier and believes in this process. She and I met while waiting tables at a German restaurant, I was a college student and she was a single mom of a little 5 year old. She was 21 and I was 22. We do see each other, but only about once every couple of years. We were much better when I was a single mom, who needed to take off with my kids and have adventures. She had lived on a farm, marrying someone who also had a quarry on his property. The turtles and fish in the clear, deep water mesmerized my son, while the girls were rowdy and splashing. Also, when my brother was a professor while another was on leave, we would get together with him and Mindy’s present partner/boyfriend.
        I mourn the loss of letters, but am blessed with a younger daughter who writes to me and I to her, thinking this will be our memory for the future. I save her ‘best’ works!

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