Category Archives: local musicians

Sleeping and Music

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When people say it is best not to go to bed angry, I can understand

their logic. There is a saying, often quoted, derived from the Bible,

“Don’t let the sun go down on your anger.” I used to have a hard time

sleeping, while young,  if things were unsettled or unresolved in my life.

Recently, I read another way of looking at this,  a different perspective

being:  Why ‘battle it out’ while tired? Instead why not go to bed and

‘sleep on it?’

While we are sleeping, many neurons keep on firing in our brains.

Many people come up with book ideas, song lyrics or other creative

thoughts, along with going, “Ah ha!” and waking up refreshed and

having a whole different outlook on their life or problems. I know a

few people who have had a pad of paper and pen or pencil on their

bedside table, sometimes called a ‘night stand.’ The brain still practices

music, it is still active while we are still and deep in our REM mode of

sleeping. Instincts sometimes keep our mind alive, while we have a little

baby in our care, whether we are a parent, grandparent or babysitter.

Animals are on ‘guard,’ while we may be more sorting through our fears,

re-thinking and processing, our cautions may even become ‘fixed’ and

we may solve a way out of our danger, at hand.

While our bodies are slowing down, our metabolism also is slowing.

We have growth and cell repair sources released while we sleep.

Something scary that researchers are now filling us in on is that

those who are more likely to get Alzheimer’s and dementia are people

who have gone through most of their adult life, lacking sleep, this would

apply to nurses, doctors, air traffic comptrollers and others who have a

busy and hectic schedule, allowing less sleep and rest in their lives.

 

Some positives gathered from several sources gained from our deep and

tranquil sleep:

Mathematicians solve algorithms and problems while sleeping.

Scientists figure our solutions, structures and finish ‘their daily work,’ in

their sleep.

When we make mistakes, our mind rolls the process around in our head,

we are much more cautious, an example given, when we approach a slick

piece of ice on a road, after we have had an accident.

 

We may have our best songs that we sing and our best pieces of art,

while creative minds were finishing their projects, organizing and

composing.

Leading me into the next subject. . .

There is a musical milestone that we past last February: 100 years of

ASCAP.

Many songwriters don’t get the money from our downloading ‘free’

music. This organization was created in 1914, representing currently

over 1/2 million songwriters. It ensures the rights to make money while

others may sing their songs.

I have known two local groups who write their own music, who joined

ASCAP.  Team KNYCE (a trio of rappers with some blues and jazz

influences) and Morgan Treni, who wrote all of her own songs on her

Fall, 2014 release of her Essays album. A group that plays locally folk

songs, whose advice I sought about this subject, also all are members.

 

The American Society of Composers, Authors  and Publishers is a long-

standing organization who has famous members, including Irving Berlin.

This is a world wide organization and it is emphasized by mentors of

musicians to join this, to protect your music. When performers sing the

Irving Berlin song, “White Christmas,” his heirs will get checks. It protects

performers who sing their own songs. Although artists get royalties from

sales of albums, there was a time when famous musical composers would

die, virtually ‘penniless.’

 

Just for your interest, I found out the estimated sales of the song, “White

Christmas” make it the most sung and highest number of all time, as over

50 billion song copies sold , with the second most being Elton John’s,

“Candle in the Wind,” at 33 billion copies sold.

 

The President of ASCAP is the well-respected and likable Paul Williams.

I was amazed when I saw him speaking recently on television of all the

wonderful songs he wrote. I enjoy his sense of humor, along with in the

past, numerous guest starring parts on television shows. Here are just

a few examples of Paul Williams’ songs:

Three Dog Night sings his song, “Just An Old-Fashioned Love Song.”

The Carpenters sang his song, “Rainy Days and Mondays.”

The theme song for “Love Boat” still brings Paul Williams some royalty

checks, as it repeats and reruns on television.

 

ASCAP President Paul Williams (composer and singer) says it is very

frustrating how many sources on the Internet ‘try to steal music’ and not

allow the original artist or songwriter to get their ‘cut’ or ‘share of the pie.’

An example of how many songs are streaming was 7 million streams of

one Lady Antebellum song in a short period of time, losing quite a lot of

money for the group and composer, too. Taylor Swift was interviewed

about ASCAP, saying she was pulling her songs off of “Spotify.” Garth

Brooks and Billy Joel were also outspoken while being asked about this

landmark anniversary of the organization. They mentioned Pandora,

as another source which is a concern of theirs, allowing access to songs

without paying for them.

 

So, when you listen to “The Music in Me” (written by keyboardist Bias

Bochell, of the Kiki Dee Band), “New York State of Mind” (Billy Joel)

and Stevie Wonder’s “Dance to the Music,” you may not get these free

anymore.

There are some artists, musicians and composers standing up for their

rights, in the face of the internet. We will see if the songs that are pulled

off, will still reach the popularity level that others which are free and

available.

As fellow bloggers and writers, we must admire their integrity and

believe in their right to having their music kept original and protected.

 

Patricia Cornwell was a 1975 high school graduate. I graduated in 1974

which makes me feel like we could have been friends. My brother, Randy,

was a ’75 graduate so I hung out with a lot of his friends. She is an author

I deeply admire. I was interested in knowing how she reached her level

of writing and productivity. Her most recent book, “Flesh and Blood,”

was published in November, 2014.

 

I enjoy her murder mysteries that often dwell upon the forensics found in

the coroner’s office. Ms. Cornwell says her favorite book for years, one she

carried around everywhere, was titled, “The Inner Game of Tennis.” She

has been a tennis player yet never became a professional tennis player.

She suggests there is much to find in the book about life. She also slyly

mentioned in AARP magazine, that she may not play like a pro, but she

has through her writing and recognition been able to make friends with

Billie Jean King. Timothy Gallwey wrote this book Patricia admired and

studied.

 

Although she does not mention sleep and creativity, I imagine she would

say she discovered some of her best plot lines while sleeping. I contemplate

how rest can prepare you for reaching your own personal goals.

Patricia Cornwell on her personal motivation:

“After reading the book, “The Inner Game of Tennis,” I made it my ambition

to pay attention and not live a fear-driven life. When I sit down to write, I

remind myself to stay in the moment.”

 

J.M. Barrie, author of “Peter Pan,” is often quoted:

“The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease forever to be able

to do it.”

 

Sometimes, as in Peter Pan, it is fun to be child-like. In “Downton

Abbey,”

Elizabeth McGovern portrays the character, “Cora,” Countess of Grantham.

In her personal life, she may not be so serious, as exhibited by this quote:

“You’re only young once, but you can be immature forever.”

 

Hmm. . .Or is this possibly a ‘slam’ on those who tend to act immature,

even as adults. . . up to your own interpretation.

Fire Stories

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I  chose to pick up my two grandsons to celebrate taking them to the movies.

My first ‘move’ was to get their bellies filled with vegetables and healthy

choices, so we headed to Subway. Micah and I split a whole wheat 12″ sub,

with turkey and provolone cheese, his sides included tomatoes, black olives,

banana peppers, pickles and lettuce, mine having some of those plus, spinach,

cucumbers and onions. We each asked for a squirt of the low fat mayo, plus

I have them add the spicy sauce, too. Skyler asked for the Black Forest ham

with provolone cheese, toasted and added many vegetables and two squirts of

the low fat mayonnaise. We sat and talked together about their week and I

found out that Skyler was very good at archery at his daycamp for Cub Scouts

at Camp Lazarus. He told me that the ‘rifle range’ wasn’t as good this year,

since the rifles (I am pretty sure these are B.B. guns, since this is after all,

Boy Scouts of America!) ‘were not calibrated well.’ I listened to this new boy,

who has been growing like a ‘weed,’ having done an excellent job in science

and math this year, heading into fourth grade.

Micah likes his ‘fantasy’ world, where he has been building a hotel, where

there is a glass elevator (like the one at Red Roof Inn, the weekend of my

niece’s wedding, where he and his brother stayed with their Mommy, my

oldest daughter.) He is sure that he is going to also build a mansion, the

newest development being that I will ‘occupy a completely private wing!’

He is five and heading off to Kindergarten in about a month.

We told the man who resembles someone who may have originated in India,

that we were heading to the Strand Theater to see “Fire and Rescue Planes.”

He asked the boys what this movie might have in the animation and they

were excited to tell him about the parts that they had seen in commercials.

This kind man who manages the closest Subway looks my age.  So, of course,

I had to show him my Strand Movie Bargain Card, for those over 55. It

entitles the holder with a movie ticket, medium drink and medium popcorn

$7. It has gone up 50 cents since I may have listed this great price!

I also, enthusiastically, told him that the movies are now digitally modernized

and the owners purchased more precise lenses, than they had about a year and

a half ago. Anyone who hasn’t tried one of the three screened theaters, needs to

come and check them out! He smiled and told me that he and his family live in

Dublin, Ohio. Where they go to a theater it costs him $8 for he and also, his wife,

for evening movies and $7 for daytime ones. He mentioned his children cost him

about $6 for tickets and he estimates for the 5 of them, $40 for snacks. I told

him about our kids’ (of any age) snack packs with a small popcorn, small drink

and a choice of a regular sized M & M’s, peanut ones, fruit snacks or Sweet Tarts

all for $3.50. The boys emphasized that the tray is filled with popcorn and it

tastes really good, too! (They use Promise ‘butter’ or margarine product.)

We explained that is why we did not order drinks nor Sun Chips, today. The

man, who does not wear a name tag, but has been across the street from my

apartment for the whole 8 years I have lived there, told us he had a surprise

for the boys. He went in the back of the shop, and came back with nice,

insulated bags. Micah got a Green Hornet one, Skyler got a Michael Phelps’

Olympic Medalist Swimmer one. It would hold a lunch in it and keep it cold!

We profusely thanked him before we sat down and later, as we left.

The movie we were going to had been chalked on the sidewalk in a professional

way, with the logo! A nice and colorful, “Fire and Rescue Planes” was there, so

I captured first Skyler who put on the plastic fireman’s hat, to pose and Micah,

who did not want to wear it. I sent these photos off to their Mom and Dad.

The theater had visiting, for the opening weekend, the Delaware Fire Department’s

Fire Truck. We had missed the once on Friday and twice on Saturday. We would

not be able to visit again, at the appointed Sunday time. Both boys, reassured

me, that they had seen the fire trucks in parades and more than once, through

school and scouting activities.

The plastic fire hats were sitting in a pile on the  iron table with chairs,

outside the theater.

We bought our tickets and sat in the fifth row, from the front of the theater,

where the boys like to be ‘up close and personal’ with their snacks sitting on their

laps,their drinks in the cup holders. I like to remind them of the heritage of the

theater, pointing out the gold filigreed ceiling and the ornate two clocks, one on

each side of the theater. I started nibbling my popcorn, they were saying they were

still ‘full’ from lunch meal that was really for me, my dinner. Their weekend meals

run ‘later’ than their weekday schedule.

We were all studying the organ from this front row area, one of them asking

“When would we go to a movie where the organ would be played?”

I know I should not stereotype their ages, but I told them they would appreciate

the silent, black and white movies more when they were over 12 years old.

(This gives Micah time to grow up, because he would be 7 when Skyler is 12.)

I reminded them these are shown in the winter months.

I told them it is quite exciting to see these, listening the organ adding

more drama to the experience. I will look forward to introducing them

to this, while it is something to save for when they are ‘grown up.’

The movie plot centers on an ‘older’ crop dusting plane, named “Dusty.”

Today, there was the mother from “Modern Family,” named Julie Bowen,

who plays a flirtatious plane in the movie, visiting Queen Latifah. I did not

get a chance to hear what she said nor see the clip they showed, since our

break time was ending, as she was announced.

has some controls and different technical problems, due to aging.

If he doesn’t stop going so fast, in his racing competitions,  he may wear out

his equipment and crash. This is devastating news for”Dusty” since he is also

set to be a part of the Corn Festival, where he has set some racing records.

A suggestion comes about due to the older plane terminal and the older fire

truck, that are not able to take care of fires in the area well. This is, that making

Dusty go to fire and rescue school might save the local terminal from being

shut down. By adding water pontoons, Dusty learns in time to appreciate his

new position. He makes mistakes, but as in all children’s movies, he learns

from them along the way.

Of course, there are rampant fires, which will make the movie become quite

exciting!

I liked the following fun aspects of the movie:

When they ‘call it a day’ the planes go to a barn like structure, where country

music plays. When a plane wants to treat the other plane to a ‘drink’ it is to

offer ‘to buy you a can of oil.’

Another clever way to anticipate the older grandparents who would recognize

this old television show, is to have them gather for a ‘secret screening,’ where

everyone needs to know the ‘password.’

Once inside, the raucous song bursts out, from the “C.H.I.P.’s” television show,

specifically showing the episode #37, and at the end of the motorcycles who are

named, aptly, “Nick Loopin’ Lopez” and “Blazing Blade” make the female planes

‘swoon’ and say, “Ooh, they’re so hot!”

When the awards for heroism are given, they are called “Piston Peak Hero Awards.”

When a man who is running the Corn Festival, that usually Dusty performs at, by

racing across the sky arrives, he is named Colonel (like Kernel) and his deputy is

called, “Niblet.”

When those planes are saving lives, somehow they manage to work into the film,

“V.I.P” = Very Important Plane!

A couple of older R.V.’s are on the road to one of the national parks, the female and

male voices, oh so familiar to this writer, who liked their comedy sketches on variety

shows in the 70’s and 80’s: Anne Meara and Jerry Stiller. (Known back then as, Stiller

and Meara.) They are having a campfire and talking about all the years they had been

traveling together. It was sweet and nice to have these special touches, warming my

heart…

I took the kids to Blue Limestone Park, where they enjoyed their very first time on the

new play equipment. I ‘fell’ for the sound of the ice cream truck, where I gave them

$2 apiece to have a basic treat. Skyler picked a rainbow sno cone and Micah picked

a Rocket popsicle. They were pleased when I took them home, to see their little six

year old bunny, (who had appeared to have a stroke, his head fixed to the side and his

legs kind of moving sideways) was much better after his 3 day stay at the Vet’s office.

They had diagnosed a bacterial infection that attacked his brain, their bunny is named

“Pinky” despite his masculine sex.

On Sunday, continuing the fire and emergency theme, I rashly agreeed to go to the

Columbus Jazz and Rib Festival, with an ex-boyfriend. Out of the blue, he called, and

I had no plans, so I said, “Yes!” We ate lunch at Wendy’s, with one of those inexpensive

half salads, (“mid-size”) for my meal and he had a double cheeseburger combination

meal. We talked about family, recent fishing places and catches he had made, and what

movies and music we had listened to lately. His long distant daughter, Abby, is going to

have a baby, his closer distance grandson would like the tools he is going to put together,

in a tool box, for him, now that he is a responsible teenager.

Once we arrived at the festival, we were able to resist food and headed towards the first

stage. After we had set up our chairs under a nice, shady tree, he went off to get some

beverages; a beer for him and a sweetened tea for me.

Of course, there would be ribs to be had, later for our dinner! We enjoyed the

Carolina Ribs booth, where he had a $16 half slab meal and I had an $8

“Teaser’s” meal.

The best music to be found on Sunday, we felt was on the Fox Channel 8 Stage,

in the late afternoon.

We had circled the festival, collected some samples of foods, including Dove ice

cream, slices of subs at a stand, brownies and cakes, mustard pretzel bites and

cornbread crackers. The vendors were all cheerful and generous in handfuls of

free gifts.

I had resisted the cinnamon-sugared elephant ears and the powdered sugar

funnel cakes. He had had another beer, as the hot afternoon passed by.

We had tapped our feet, nodded our head in unison, enjoying and listening to

four bands. One was childrenoriented, calling out to listeners to join in when

they played, “Camptown Ladies Sing This Song, Doo Dah…” People cheering

for the saxophones, the bass players, the guitars and drums, too.

We loved the way the riffs and improvisation was taking the group called,

“480 East.”

They told us they were from Canada, had picked up a player in Toronto.

Their CD’s could be purchased at a table set up along the stage. They had

contacted ahead, the Jazz Festival organizers, requesting for 3 ‘back up’

players to join in with them. They got a drummer, a bass and flute player

and a supporting guitarist. They had only met each other an hour prior!

We wondered aloud, how often other bands joined in these improvisational

musical events.  We raved at how they seemed to fit together, playing as one!

We liked their slower, rhythm and blues Sade-style song. They played three

lively ones that were called, “Roll On,” “Been Too Long,” and “Table for Two.”

The singer/announcer for each song, got audience to participate in a simple

song with some great jazzy music, when he would point to one side of the stage,

half of the people would shout or sing out:

“To the East!”

And then, he would point to the other side of the stage, where people playfully,

sang out:

“To the West!”

They were there for over an hour, when the next group was waiting in the

‘wings.’ They apologized for not being able to play an encore, too. Great

group: “480 East!”

As we left the Jazz and Rib Fest, I gave my old guy friend a hug, we got into

his big truck, where he asked, “Do you mind listening to Jonny Lang?”

We were silent, reminiscing on my part, as we drove back home. I had met

him at the Polaris Wendy’s and got out, smiling and waving goodbye. He

rolled down his window and asked a rather ‘tricky’ question,

“Are you okay?”

I nodded my head, thinking, “Out of the frying pan and into the fire.”

Adele passed through my mind, in her ranting song,

“Set Fire to the Rain.”

But I didn’t shed a tear. . .

 

Loose Remnants

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I am writing a short post to let you know that I will be going on vacation up in

Sunny Cleveland! I enjoy Lake Erie, my Mom’s company and my brothers and

sister in law, who all fit in visits or invitations for me to accompany them to a

meal out. This means that I may get a chance to use the public computer that

is located in the Pub. I can listen to the sound of men playing poker, women who

gather in the a.m. to do “Wi” exercises or possibly have to wait for the entire

week for the woman who is addicted to “Candy Crush” and “Farm Hero Saga”

games!

I have a funny and interesting ‘library intrigue’ that you may be curious to know

about! My good coworker friends and happily married girlfriends are always

probing for any little morsels of ‘single-dom’ that I may share with them.

This one almost ‘takes the cake’ for winners! A woman who I met in AAUW, was

my editor of my (I was President) monthly newsletter and became a close friend

since 1993, got divorced in 2009. Her husband is always waving and looking

at me at the library. I smile and nod, being cordial and polite. I would never look

twice at him, “Joe’s” not my ‘type’ at all!

Last Thursday, as I was hurrying out of the library, to pack up and get ready to leave

after work on Friday for my super wedding extravaganza weekend, “Joe” handed me

a note.

Now, if you have ‘followed’ me for awhile, I have received offers for many things, in

the months that have passed since my youngest daughter ‘left me’ to live in Columbus

with her laptop! I have had an invitation to go out for a “fast food dinner,” followed

within an hour of the invitation, by a wife standing behind him, her  hands on his

shoulders, saying, “Are you ready to go now, dear!” Really! The ‘nerve’ of some people!

He must have meant very fast food!)

I got invited t join a nearly homeless man at Open Mic night at Roop’s. I still talk to

this man, Chad.

I had received a longer letter from someone named “Roger,” who had explained why

he was probably not the ‘right man’ for me, saying he had run one of the bowling

alleys here in town, had moved to Florida and was interested in taking me out to

eat using a gift card that he had received from his daughter in the mail that week.

(I forget, was it Father’s Day? a holiday?)

I was offered a Pupperoni (yes! for dogs!) stick which the man meant to be handing

me a Slim Jim! and other silly antics that somehow I provoke out of men!

This one, though, took me by surprise.

I went out to the car and opened Joe’s note that was carefully folded in two. It held

a short but neatly written note, asking if I would find a “different venue” for continuing

a conversation, choosing a place where I would feel comfortable and the last line

shocked me a bit!

It said, “And if you are feeling frisky, it can be at your house or mine.” It was signed

with husband of my good friend, who moved first to Dublin, Ohio while divorcing her

“Joe.” Then,  when her son graduated from college,  she moved out to Sacramento.

Now, she has chosen to live in Las Vegas, where her son got transferred.

Of course, I know lots of sordid details of their marriage, none of them appealing to

me, in the least!

Now, if it had been the ‘randy’ firefighter who had showed his hose, demonstrating

his prowess to over 50 lovers all across town, various professions, including a female

gynecologist. If it had been my acquaintance’s ex-husband, Jerry, I may have said,

“If you have your shots records, plenty of condoms and a plan to ‘wine and dine’ me,

Maybe I will go with you!” (Sorry, acquaintance who is a distant ‘friend’ since I don’t

feel I owe you anything, in the way of manners!) Additional information: Just kidding!

I am meeting a mutual friend of this couple, “Joe” and his ex, tonight for a coffee and

dessert. I may show her the note, since it is hardly of much interest to my children or

other family members. Someone needs to give me an opinion. I am ‘torn’ whether or

not to let my long distance close friend know about the note. Maybe she will laugh?

Maybe it is still a sore subject? My friend, Jenny, will let me know and I bet it will

be advice to:

“Keep your mouth shut, Robin!”

Talk to you soon, hope you have a grand and exciting week!

I will have some moments where I will try to sneak onto that one computer at

Mom’s Senior Living Apartments!

Happy Fourth of July, too!

 

 

I’m Not Making This Up!

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The crazy thing is, I have written some character studies on three

homeless people around Delaware, Ohio. I have also, tried to use my

imagination and intuitiveness, to dig deeper and build these essays

to include more well-rounded characters. Well, a man who has talked

to me a few times, younger by at least ten years or more had asked

me for my phone number before.

I did not tell him my phone number. I did tell him that he seemed

‘too young’ and I had ‘enough male friends already.’ So he launched

into a lower-voiced, loud whispered ‘tirade’ against women who ‘judge’

him!

Honestly, he looks quite attractive, so that is not my reason for

not handing out my phone number.

Wait a minute! I am not known for being judgmental.

I pointed out, looking anxiously at the librarian to see if our

voices were reaching her ears, in her audible range,

“Women need to be careful about giving details to people they

really don’t know!”

Let’s start at the beginning…

This younger man I met, had introduced himself as Chad a few weeks

ago, at the library. He’s the man I may have mentioned was heading

awhile ago to Roop’s (Roop Brother’s Bar) to sing for Open Mic night.

He had asked me if I would like to join him for a drink and wait

until his turn to sing at Open Mic Night.

I had not taken him up on an offer for a drink. This may or may not

‘ring’ a bell, but since I mention lots of details, I would not expect

you to remember this one man. I liked the way he smelled, (like a

bar of Irish Spring soap!) and he wore a nice pair of blue jeans,

a plaid flannel shirt in greens. He was thin, wiry with dark ‘salt

and pepper’ hair.

I felt a little uncomfortable that time a few weeks ago, as I walked

home. Not afraid he would jump out in the alley behind the library,

but mainly contemplating my motives for not giving my phone number

out or taking him up for a simple drink out. I used to go to that

particular Thursday night regular activity, enjoying the local

musical scene, including Felicia’s friend, Morgan Treni. I spent a

few moments thinking about whether or not I had been judging him.

It could be truthfully, my decision was partly impacted by the

fact that he was also using a computer in the library.

I know, that would be kind of ‘two-faced.’ It did make me stop

and wonder whether or not to get involved.

Mainly, I am not Cher!

I am not Jennifer Lopez!

I cannot afford a younger man, who may be an aspiring singer!

This makes me smile, thinking as my mind wanders off to last

Wednesday’s “Hot in Cleveland,” show. That is a little ‘gem’

which I like to play ‘channel surfing’ with, catching glimpses

of its incredibly funny ‘take’ on older men and women’s love

lives. The bonus part is how there have been so many other

oldies show up to take a role in the show. I enjoyed when the

“Emergency!” show squad showed up, the “CHIPS” guys were in

a Cleveland bar, at the same time the characters were, etc.

Only one other post was on this subject, the one where Wendie

Malick’s character wears a product similarly to Depends.

I laughed last week, when Betty White sashayed into the room,

while the others, Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves and Wendie

Malick were sitting on the sofa and a comfy chair. Her funny

announcement, tickled me:

“I have decided to take a lover!”

The ongoing conversation stopped, of course. Another added

titillating detail was thrown out, in a provocative tone,

“And he is much younger than I am!”

She raised her eyebrow and gave each of the women in the room,

a glance or a wink. Betty White is a professional and knows how

to ‘milk’ a crowd and build great laughs. This show is ‘filmed

in front of a live audience,’ too! They were roaring and hooting,

too!

So, along with being not as rich or flamboyant as Cher or as

incredibly beautiful and hot, like Jennifer, I have to say I am

not as bold and brazen as Betty White’s character is, on that

comedy show! (By the way, if you ever get a chance to see this

show, or wish to know the background on this fantastic cast

with lots of comedic histories for each character, you can look

it up! I used to watch Wendie in “Just Shoot Me,” Jane in “Frasier,”

and Valerie Bertinelli, as a teenager in the show, “One Day at a

Time” and later, in “Touched by an Angel” and movies, too. )

So, I was busily typing and trying to get my May Monthly Calendar

rough draft completed over the weekend. I had plans to pick up

my two grandsons, we had chosen a few titles of movies, were

going to have an egg hunt, along with hiding in the dark later

that evening, using flashlights. I was dressed for the first

destination, after I picked the boys up: Mingo Park.

Chad was sitting next to me, asking me how he could set up

a wordpress account, along with his having heard there was a

website to get money for potential production of musical CD’s.

I really was mad at myself, for being ‘too friendly’ to this

man and also, for my being accessible. I could not get up

and leave my computer, get in line and get a number, since

it was one of the ‘busiest’ computer days: Saturday!

I wrote down the word, “Kickstarter” on my little pad of

paper. Whispered that he could look into this online,

for helping raise money for his CD. Then, I added,

“You could get the website printed on cards to pass out

at Open Mic nights around the city of Delaware, and even

in Columbus.”

Big mistake!

I again, had led him to believe that I cared!

“I cannot keep doing this, Robin,” I thought to myself!

The next thing, was the last straw though. You will not

believe this one!!

Chad leaned over and asked me where my apartment building

was and how much was rent there?

Of course, I got nervous. I have conflicting feelings about

helping people when the situation brings me into a position

where there is a potential for danger. Also, somehow he may

wish to use me as a reference.

I had to look Chad, who is kind of cute for a younger forty

year old man, and say:

“I cannot tell you this. Sorry, Chad!”

He got up, humphed in a tone that was loud enough to catch

the librarian’s attention and gathered his backpack and stuff.

He crumpled up the piece of paper with the word, “Kickstarter”

on it, throwing change and his wallet, along with a notebook

into the backpack.

As I was leaving awhile later, the sympathetic librarian said

to me,

“You know, he is homeless. He lives at Andrews House, in the

homeless loft.”

Of all the luck…

I will try to restrain my overactive guilty conscience and

let this one go!

Intermissions: Oscars’ Commercials

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As with the televising the Golden Globes, the

Grammy’s and the Super Bowl 2014, the 86th Academy

Awards show had the best, most fun commercials I had

seen for at least a couple of weeks!

I think the most imaginative and creative commercial

used one of my own personal favorite “devices,” of

wordplay! The word was “garage” and the writers went

‘to town’ with that and the variations that we all

associate with the use of the word.

Do you know which product I am talking about?

Can you guess what the name brand is yet?

I like that the commercial, itself, doesn’t

reveal the product until they have fun playing

with word usage.

The advertisers start by listing inventors. Leading

your imagination to fill in the blanks.

“The Wright Brothers started out in a garage. The

companies of HP, Apple, and Amazon were created,

out in garages. Famous ‘garage bands,’ like the

Ramones, made music in a garage…

Some of the most remarkable innovations in the

world have rolled out of a garage. . .

Introducing the 2014 Cadillac.

It goes to show you, never underestimate the

power of a garage.”

(This is paraphrased, may have extra details

in the actual commercial!)

J.C. Penney has come up with a new advertising

campaign, capturing my attention. I find myself

studying and staring at the people out in the

world, enjoying the outdoors, some dressed up in

classily designed clothes. Watching others in

casual wear clothes on urban streets. I think

the CEO’s have some fabulous clothing designers

on ‘board’ at JCP!

I like the nostalgic device of using the song,

“Everybody’s Talking.” This great Harry Nilsson

song includes the lyrics of, “Only the echoes of

my mind.” I also love sweet, green and good ole’

Kermit the Frog, too. These memory-evoking ploys

are being utilized by the Lipton Tea Company.

I loved the new Google Play stories and movies

commercial. It has short clips of famous books

characters and movies. I think this is always

good product placement, during an award ceremony,

to have intermissions giving ‘homage’ to film and

the power of WORDS, too!

The montage of clips of international heroes,

including comic strip ones, like Captain America

and Superman, has a clever product attached.

One source on the internet (beliefnet) said:

“The Pepsi Mini had a better tribute to the magic

of movies than the Oscar’s broadcast clip reels.”

Here are 2 of the advertising slogan for Pepsi

Minis:

“Pepsi- Little cans with Epic Satisfaction.”

and,

“A movie quote can be as satisfying as a

Pepsi Mini.”

Whoever doesn’t laugh out loud or snort their

drink while watching Tina Fey’s newest two or

three commercials for the American Express

company, doesn’t have a sense of humor!

I was actually drinking an iced cappuccino, that

I have created and make my ‘week’s consumption’

on Sunday. I was in the middle of a sip when here

is Tina Fey, of Saturday Night Live fame, writer

and director of several movies, actress in the

movie I think is both hilarious and heart-warming,

“Admission” and the famous ‘impersonator’ of

Sarah Palin. She is in a black and white short

film, crouching down by her washer with piles of

laundry around her, avoiding her family. She is

saying something about trying to get work done

and then she has to head out to the store for

something needed. I am too busy laughing to

hear her narration, sorry! She ends up at a

store, using her Am Ex credit card.

Another one has her somehow feeding a baby?

Doing something where she has somehow ended

up with yogurt in her hair, does she care?

No! She is off to the store, getting something

and talking to a stranger in line, while she

is grabbing stuff. She has a bag of potpourri

in her hand, stuffing some in her mouth. She

says something wacky about it giving her good

breath. “It smells good in my mouth,” the line

she delivers to someone.

Each commercial is like a short precisely timed

and well delivered comedy sketch! Love all of

these, maybe they have been around longer than

this, but I paid attention to the commercials

on Sunday night.

Hope you enjoyed my trio of Oscar’s posts and

found something among them to chuckle at. I

was told by someone in one of my own recent

post comments’ section that I wrote so much

they had to go get a snack in between reading,

to be able to finish it!

***This made me think seriously about how

we write on our blogs, in our posts.

We may wish to entertain ourselves, pouring

out our thoughts and salving our wounds.

We may wish to bring something into another

person’s life and meet their needs with some

shared lessons, learned in our own lives.

We may want to meet our ‘audience,’ learn

from them and become better writers.

Or all of the above!***

(reocochran. 3/4/14)

Unraveling Threads and Intertwined Lives

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This is such a wonderful day! It may be cold on the

outside, but I am feeling all warm and fuzzy on the

inside! We were finished with work at four o’clock

and we all felt like ‘prisoners being released!’

Or as one young fellow coworker exclaimed, “There’s

light outside! This feels like school’s out for the

summertime!” We chuckled along with him, amused by

his enthusiasm. The elderly security guard and I

exchanged a knowing glance.

After I warmed up my car for a good ten minutes to

get the temperature to come up to ‘cold’ the car

thermometer that I assume measures the outside

temp, read “9 degrees.” Not at all registering

the ‘wind chill factor’ outside.

I was concerned when I spotted a young man from

work, walking away from town, so I pulled over

and stopped. His name is Cody, he said, as he

so graciously thanked me before I even took him

anywhere.

I told him that I was only on my way to the library

and that I used to take a nice young man named David

home. I began to tell him about how my youngest

daughter, Felicia, was friends with the singing group

that he was in. That their name was “Team KNYCE.”

He was nodding his head and smiling before I got any

farther. He knew David and had heard the group play

at one of the VFW’s. I asked, mainly out of curiosity,

“How did that audience respond?”

The group includes an eclectic musical style with

some rap but have a little rhythm and blues, with some

hip hop music woven in, too.)

Cody laughed a bit, “I know what you are getting at!

There was quite a mixture of ages and levels of

appreciation there!

But a good crowd of local followers were also there.”

I told him that I had been so happy about their tour

last summer, wondered how they all were? I told him

I have known Josh Moore, the lead singer, since he was

in middle school with Felicia.

By the time we got to his grandmother’s house and he

offered me $5 (of course, I declined this generous

offer!) we had become closer than if we had worked

across from each other all week. Cody is a new heavy

bulk worker. I told him to “Hang in there, with the

job! Or at least until what your chosen field comes

around. The pay isn’t too bad, in this tough economy.

Oh, and say ‘Hi from Robin to the boys,’ if you

remember to, next time they are singing here locally.”

(This story makes more sense when you check out the

rap group Team KNYCE and my story, “Local Musicians.”)

Here are two stories that have had conclusions recently

that some of my faithful readers may be interested in

hearing the results. The oldest ‘loose end’ I traced

a lead and got a response back. I had written “Chasing

Shadows of the Past,” about a long ago student who my

mother had taught, had been to our home and become a

friend to me, later a pen pal.

His name was on a bulletin board around Veteran’s

Day, (my gosh, how time flies!) and my Mom and I

had gone to the front desk of the senior apartments,

found out this man’s room number and taken along her

dog, Nicki, along for the trek to the assisted living

wing of the building.

Just to fill in folks who may not have heard about

this, we had thought that the age of the man in

the picture made him a cohort of my mother’s age,

but we had hoped that he had a son my age with the

same first and last name. It had turned out to be

a rather nice conversation with the ‘wrong’ man!

He did give us the lead of another man with the

same last name, but a different middle initial.

This man was living in Mentor or Medina, he said

and was a doctor. Apparently his mail was going to

his son’s and vice versa, both living in the same

area.

Well, I left a message on Facebook on the page

that allows visitors and onlookers. It was not

answered. I waited until I had time over the

next visit with Mom, Thanksgiving, to try and

get a phone call made, using a local phone

directory. I found a doctor’s office with this

man’s name attached to it. I left a voice message

on their answering machine, mentioning that possibly

my mother had been his teacher, her name is rather

unusual, Mrs. Oldrieve.

I did not bother to leave my Mom’s phone number

since she may totally blank out, forget our quest

for her old student and everything would be for

naught!

Anyway, on this brisk, freezing cold Winter’s

day, I received a very pleasant message on my

cell phone. The man who graduated from Westlake

High School, had my mother for both Spanish

and World Literature classes, who had exchanged

several letters and visited for a few holidays

to talk presumably to her, but also including

me, left me his details!

The details included his family’s phone number.

Jim is married and has two grown children. He was

very warm in his message and requested that we all

wait until Spring, when he would enjoy coming over

to sit outside with Mom, Nicki, his wife and me.

I eagerly look forward to uniting my Mom with one

of her favorite students, exchanging life stories,

revelations and engage in a lively conversation. It

was very fun having that open-ended ‘maybe?’ out

there for awhile, since I still have two of his

pictures, one his senior high school and the other

one from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.

The last loose end is from a recent story about

work safety and a recent ‘rant’ about administration

in my distribution center.

I am not sure if there was a personal visit from the

Fire Chief, if there was someone sent from their

department or if just a phone call took care of my

‘problem!’

The action was carried out over the weekend!

There is no longer a black trash bag over the

only direct EXIT sign in an area delineated or

named the ‘bomb shelter.’ I work above this

circle where the pallet riders pick up flammable

fluids in cases and aerosol cans in bulk. I am

usually above, filling hampers with aerosol cans

that are being sent out in singles or six packs.

With such flammable products, I had been concerned

about the exit sign being covered and the door

having a sign that said, “Do Not Use This Door

As An Exit.” This had been going on for a month

now. We had an opportunity with that safety

meeting for me to mention this dangerous

situation…

here

The door has been newly painted red!

It has a sign posted, “For Emergency Only,

Alarm Will Sound When Door is Opened.”

Sometimes, I found out, you have to ‘rock that boat’

to get some waves (or actions!)

A poster on my college dorm wall held an appropriate,

short, but sweet message that seems rather apropos:

“Behold the turtle!

It only makes progress,

by sticking its neck out!”

“Raise Your Glasses…”

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I am thinking that you may already know that this Thursday is the 80th

celebration of the repeal of the Prohibition Law, or the 18th Amendment.

On Dec. 5th, 1933, the law which banned alcohol sales in the U.S. was

repealed, or the 21st Amendment to the Constitution took effect.

Most of us don’t need an excuse to have a little party in this honor! I found

a few interesting places in Cleveland, Ohio, that are going to go “all out”

with their remembrances of the ‘speakeasies.’

I did not know that during Prohibition, since there was a lot of homemade

and “bad” alcohol being served, that the drinks were made with fruit juices

to cover up the flavor! We consider this sometimes a way to enjoy our drinks

without too much alcohol flavor coming through. But the origins of some of

the drinks, like Manhatten’s and Old Fashioned’s is attributed to this era.

Another reason why we may add soda or pop to our drinks may be due

to our having a ‘sweet tooth.’ Some people during this prohibition era,

would order a soda and the bartender would “slip in alcohol.”

Not to be confused with the expression, “slipping one a mickey.” This

predates the Prohibition, by thirty years. It is credited for being around

in 1903, when a man named Mickey Finn, a bar owner in Chicago, Illinois,

allegedly gave his customers drinks in his bar, laced with barbituates.

This  drugging patrons would allow the staff to rob them.  Also, not to be

confused or mixed up with “date rape” drugs, which came years later.

There’s an entirely different purpose to that drug being added to alcohol,

as you know, unfortunately from actual news reports and incidents.

We had bottled Canadian whiskey smuggled into Ohio, one article recalled.

I learned some of my facts from the column, “After Dark,” in the

Cleveland Plain Dealer mentioned. Canadian whiskey was easier to get a

hold of if you had the money to pay for the importation of it. It was also

considered more reliable than “moonshine” or the other homemade

liquors circulated during this period when factories were not allowed to

produce liquor legally.

The Society Lounge is ‘turning back the clock to the classic cocktail era.’

They already started tonight with their special drinks list that boasts of 48

exciting mixes, including names of drinks ranging from Moscow Mule,

Mai Tai, Dark and Stormy to Singapore Sling. I remember working in the

seventies at a place in Westlake, Ohio called Lord Nelson’s serving drinks

that had those wild names attached. On Thursday, this lounge is having a

“private soiree.” All week, excluding Thursday, they will have complimentary

appetizers. Too bad, I worked in Delaware, Ohio today and am now 2 and 1/2

hours away from “Happy Hour” at the Society Lounge! Both Thursday and

Friday, including the “private party” will have live bands to entertain the

special guests.

A place that has been around since 1893, opened by an Otto F. Moser, is

called the Wonder Bar. It is especially appropriate to have a “Repeal Day”

celebration there. It stayed open during the Prohibition time, with the ‘back

door’ policy going on, I imagine. (Or ‘under the table pay-offs’ to the cops!)

There is a long, 40 foot beautiful and classy wooden bar with great vintage

design and woodwork shown. All those classic cocktails will be featured at

this ‘gin joint’ that has been around the block a few times (or over a hundred!)

Now I know why they came up with those strange concoctions! I always

wondered about the creative names, too.

The 21st Amendment was the one that “fixed” up and got the party started

so traveling over to the Prosperity Social Club would be a good direction to

go since it opened only five years after the repeal, in 1938. The “Prohibition

Repeal Party,” as this place is calling their Thursday night occasion, is going

to feature The Hollywood Slim Band. It will include performances of songs

during the 30’s through the 40’s. They will be serving up plenty of those

fancy, flavored drinks along with the era’s food dishes, too.

Speakeasy, is a destination spot to find the owner, Sam McNulty with his

staff and the bartender wearing period clothes along with pre-Prohibition

customers recommended attending in appropriate attire. This place will

have a jazz band playing tunes, ‘to boot.’

Not too far from my Mom’s apartment in Westlake, Ohio, the bootleggers

had a heyday with delivering booze behind the White Oaks, in the woods.

This is a place that has been around since 1928. We used to consider this

a special occasion to eat out there, with the white tablecloths, napkins

and fresh flowers on the tables. White Oaks was ‘too expensive’ for our

family, except once annually.

We may have made an exception, going out for a drink would have been

something nice to do this Thursday. Going somewhere that holds a few

memories of the dining room ambiance and the delicious, melt in your

mouth yeast rolls, too. The photograph of Elliot Ness over the bar would be

a great sight to see, since I had never known about him, in the “olden” days

while eating with my parents. I would not have recognized him then.

I am not even sure my parents knew about the woods and the illicit

activities associated with Prohibition at the White Oaks.

I will have to ask, next time I am up there, in that “neck of the woods!”

I cannot write a post about alcohol without giving these two warnings.

Don’t drink and drive. (Call a taxi, please!)

Drink responsibly.

The song, “Raise Your Glass” is not one of the thirties or forties, but a

current song, sung by the woman named “Pink.” If you get to partying,

after you have listened to some “oldies,” I suggest you check this song out!