Category Archives: Neil Diamond

Everything’s Coming Up Roses

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When things are going well, you may have heard and used the expression,

“Everything’s coming up roses.” Right? As I wished to look up the history of

this expression, I found out from Google “Search Engine,” that the more

frequently used slang expression is, “Everything’s coming up Milhouse.”

Did you know this? Where in the world did this one come from? It came

from the animated, long-lasting television show, “The Simpsons.” There

is a positive character who is always thinking life is just ‘swell’ and his name

is Milhouse.

Why isn’t the song, “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” at the top of the list of

expressions? This was Ethel Merman’s song from the 1959 musical, “Gypsy.”

The musical play was loosely based on the life of Gypsy Rose Lee. When asked,

my oldest daughter calls this guy, “Milhouse,” a “Goober-head.” Also, she

pointed out that the first choice of things is based on searches, while the movie

and song may have been popular, more people are familiar with the Simpsons.

 

I ask my oldest daughter why is “Milhouse” a “Goober head?” As soon as she

starts to explain what a goober head is, I think of the character named “Goober”

from the television show, “The Andy Griffith Show.” Where did this slang ‘word

set’ really come from? In my mind and memory, my  first impression evokes the

character, “Goober,” who was a goofy character.

 

She says it does not have anything to do with the historic and iconic show. It also

doesn’t have anything to do with the chocolate covered peanuts, also known as,

“Goobers.” Two generations try to figure out where the expression, “Goober-head”

came from. Did it just evolve from the Andy G. show or is it entirely “new” as the

weird expression, bringing up this Milhouse, is to me?

 

A person you call a “goober” is a “kindhearted, slightly oblivious person” who

also is considered a “lovable goofball.” An example of a “goober head” is “one

who puts an empty carton of milk into the refrigerator.” I thought this was a

teenager!

(This may be found online in the “Urban Dictionary.”)

 

There is no reference to “Goober” Pyle, who is from the show, “The Andy Griffith

Show,” if you look “goober head” up. But when you type the word in to look up

“Goober,” you will find out more about him. Goober was played by the actor,

George Lindsey who read for the part of Gomer Pyle, but was instead chosen to

play the less featured character, Gomer’s cousin. I always liked both Jim Nabors

who was chosen to play Gomer. Did you know both of these likeable and humorous

character actors came from the state of Alabama? Jim Nabors sang on variety shows

and albums, too.

 

N0w, off on another ‘wild goose chase,’ where one strand of thought or while using

one internet pathway takes you off to discover that peanuts are indeed called,

‘goobers.’ Along with these extra facts explaining there is a song about “goober

peas”‘ and another called, “goober grapes.”

This helps you to finally understand why there are two kinds of jars of mixed

peanut butter and jelly made by Smucker’s. They are called, “Goober Jelly.”

Each one features peanut butter and either strawberry or grape jelly contained

within its own jar creating ‘stripes of flavors.’  My own personal taste trial of the

Smucker’s brand of vertically layered PB & J, determined the texture of peanut

butter is kind of mushy and not as tasty as if made from separate jars. I happen

to like the crunchy peanut butter jars, anyway.

 

So, for a brief fun chase, we went from my heading off to write about roses, since

I really do like to ‘stop and smell the roses,’ outside the Sara Moore Nursing Home

and also the rose bushes by the Lutheran Church, while walking to the library.

 

Then, spontaneously writing out the old 1959 title of the song whose lyrics were

written by Stephen Sondheim for my post’s title. I needed to look the song up to

verify its history and origin, finding it was written in collaboration with Jules Styne,

who wrote the  music for “Everything’s Coming Up Roses.”

 

The most disconcerting part of all this ‘research’ was you cannot be totally

reassured that the song or the expression came first.

Also, while typing “Everything’s coming up…” another way to finish this

expression goes,  “Like a rosy garden.”

Hmmm….

 

Have I lost you yet? I had to reread this, changing it a bit just to prevent

my own self from getting totally lost!

 

By the way, the internet location called, “The Free Dictionary,” gives this

definition of the words, “everything’s coming up roses,” as an ‘idiom’ that

means “someone is having a successful career or day.”

 

I like my world sometimes to be viewed through rose-colored glasses,

while listening to some old songs like,

1. “My Wild Irish Rose” was written in 1899 by Chancellor Olcott for a musical

production. The version I am more familiar with is from the 1947 movie with

the title, “My Wild Irish Rose.” We used to sing this in school and my Mom

loves it so, since her name is “Rosalie.” It is a sentimental song and can also

be heard in a Celtic version that is so sweetly sung.

 

2. “A Rose and a Baby Ruth,” sung by George Hamilton, IV (1956).

3. “Sweet Kentucky Rose,” sung by Kitty Kallen (1955).

4. “Two Dozen Roses,” sung by the group, “Shenandoah.”

5. “The Yellow Rose of Texas,” sung by Johnny Desmond (1955).

6. “Roses Are Red, My Love,” written and sung by Jim Reeves became

most popular in the Bobby Vinton version of this song, (1962).

 

 

Newer songs,

1. “The Rose,” sung by Bette Midler is fantastic as a duet with Ashley Judd.

“The Rose” was both a movie and a song, 1992.

 

2. “Bed of Roses,” sung by Bon Jovi, (1993).

3. “Cracklin’ Rosie,” sung by Neil Diamond, (1971).

 

 

 

Hope you have a rosy week and keep your outlo0k rosy, too.

“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet,” comes from Shakespeare’s

play, “Romeo and Juliet.” It is discussing the two families names, who are

sworn enemies, along with the two young people who are star-crossed lovers.

 

Tomorrow, more about roses and no sidetracking on the internet!

 

Hope you have a “rosy” week!

Try to keep your outlook, “rosy” and maybe, everything will come up roses for you!

 

Humorous Romance

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Some of my friends who are younger are amazed when I mention that up until my

Dad died, my Mom and Dad enjoyed one form of romance or another. Here’s to all

those loving, open and caring people who dance in the kitchen! Hope this inspires

you to put some spice in your life or at least bring your significant other a bouquet

of burgundy, crimson, golden and burnt sienna Autumn flowers. My Mom will be

receiving a pot of those gorgeous lavender-rose chrysanthemums, (the closest there

is in the palette of fall colors to her favorite color of pink!) One important thing I

learned from my Mamma: “Never show up on the doorstep of your friends or loved

ones without an old-fashioned hostess!”

This is especially important if you are showing up with a packed bag, dirty laundry,

and a plan to stay for an extended period of many days!  When I would come home

from college, catching a ride from the Studon ‘ride board’ for Fall, Winter or Spring

Break, I already knew which were the certain plants that  Mom liked: mums, pink

poinsettias, and  pink tulips in that order. The pretty yellow or red daffodils or  the

brilliantly gorgeous red poinsettia plants did not ‘fit in’ with the pastels in her formal

Victorian living room.

Kenny Rogers’ song about “bringing his wife flowers” was a big  ‘hit’ with Mom. The

memorable special song was called, “Buy Me a Rose,” written by Jim Funk and Erik

Hickenlooper and released in 1999. This song included valuable communication

suggestions like calling one’s partner during the day time, to make her smile and

stay in touch, simple gestures. Too often, those meaningful and thoughtful ways of

staying connected are lost, especially during the frantic paced child-rearing period

of Life. I know, from personal experience oh too well, women can become so wrapped

into their childrens’ lives they miss the signs they are losing touch with their spouses.

My parents set an example of putting priority on their interpersonal relationship

time to go out together, sometimes dressing up to be chaperone school dancees,

then stopping to have a drink out. Low cost; big rewards later.

My Dad knew’if he were in the dog house’ to bring Mom her favorite flowers of all:

pink roses. ”

The song, ” You Don’t Bring Me Flowers” (any more) pulls at my heart strings more

than the song Kenny Rogers sang. It is due to the fact that duets help  me transform

to another place and time, creating a  picture of the two people facing a crisis.  Along

with the two voices of Neil Diamond  and Barbra Streisand’s melodic and harmonious

blending made this a ‘perfect’ love song (in my mind.) This song affected many more

people than just me. Interestingly, this song had a very different beginning than I had

remembered. The collaboration of Neil Diamond with the couple, Alan and Marilyn

Bergman, were to write the music for a television comedy called, “All That Glitters.”

It was a very short snippet of a song, originally written as the opening t.v. series’ song

in 1977. (The show never caught on and took a ‘dive.’) Once it became expanded into

a full-length song in 1978, it was played frequently on the radio and became so popular

it won a Grammy Award for  “Best Song of the Year.”

 

Now, for the lighter side of this post, thanks to my Mom sending it to me this week.

(Joke taken from my Mom’s collection from her good friend and California pen pal

Joyce, otherwise known as, “Pooky.”)

 

Here are~

“Love Making Tips for Senior Citizens”

1. Wear your glasses.

This will ensure you that your partner actually in the bed and not asleep on a Lazy Boy,

in the living room. Glasses will be helpful for other reasons, like grabbing or tenderly

touching the appropriate body parts.

 

2. Set a timer for three minutes.

Just in case you accidentally doze off in the middle.

 

3. Set the mood with lighting.

Suggestion: Turn them ALL off!

Or if #5 is necessary (due to memory loss) keep a low light on your side of the bed

 

4. Make sure you put “911”on ‘speed dial’ or as one of your emergency contact numbers

on your cell phone. Before you begin. . .

 

5. Write partner’s name on your hand, in case you can’t remember it.

 

6. Use extra Poly Grip.

So your  teeth don’t end up under the bed.

 

7. Have Tylenol ready or other medications ready.

Just in case you two actually complete the act. Aches and pains, possible side effects.

 

8. Make all the noise you want.

The neighbors are probably as old as you are and hard of hearing.

 

9.  Congratulations!

Thank goodness for those endorphins and mood-enhancers.

This can be substituted for your daily regimen of a walk.

Exciting way to get your heart pumping and feel alive.

10. For all those ‘single ladies’ or ‘gentlemen,’

Dancing,

Running,

Skipping,

Hiking,

Swimming

or Dark chocolate can work, too.

 

It makes me sad there are a lot of couples who barely speak to each other.

When I  was a server while in my 40’s I would wait on tables and witness

this pattern of disconnection between lovers. Granted, I worked at Cracker

Barrel, where the busy 36/37 routes intersect with north and south 71. A

lot of my customers were tired, cranky tiravelers who also were hungry.

The way I would do my ‘part’ to brighten their day or night,  would be to

get their food or beverage order as soon as I could. Bringing their drinks,

accompanied with a platter of hot biscuits and corn bread  helped to break

the ice. Once I established rapport with them, I would fib to them.

I would say they looked like they “belonged together.”

It was such a simple statement

but it helped to improve their mood

and changed the temperature of the

atmosphere between the two of them,  too.

 

Quote for the Day:

“Blessed are those who can give graciously without remembering,

Blessed are those who can take gratefully without forgetting.”

( “The Spire” October,2014 First Presbyterian Church bulletin)

 

 

 

 

Celebrate Global Advocacy

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Today is World Humanitarian Day, declared by the United Nations in 2008, to give

tribute to ones who died in the 2003 bombing of the U.N. Headquarters in Baghdad.

On that day, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General to Iraq was killed,

Sergio Vieira de Mello and 21 others who were not in any military personnel duty,

but were public servants. These ‘voiceless victims” gave up their lives. This honors

all those who are negotiators, compromisers, and humanitarians who chose such lofty

goals as World Peace as part of their life’s purpose.

 

World Humanitarian Day, August 19th,  is a wonderful result of collaboration

between countries. The country where Sergio Vieira de Mello originated, Brazil,

along with Switzerland, France and Japan helped to steer, then ‘table’ the draft

of the resolution. International foundations worked tirelessly to promote this

and it came about six years ago.

 

Donations, to UNICEF, an organization that has Sudan at the top of their ‘needy’

countries’  list are welcome. They ask this to be done in honor of this celebration

for the victims of crimes against humanitarians and their families.

 

A meaningful expression that I found while looking this up was:

“Light up your map” by supporting and sending money to UNICEF, with “our global

advocates” in mind.

 

Humanitarian. What an inspiring and amazing kind of person.

 

I hope this post will encompass this theme, along with including my own

observations and something recently discussed among my grandchildren.

After we watched Fievel, in his original role in the animated children’s film

from 1986, my grandsons were talkative. Lots of subjects came out of this

movie, my introduction to the fact that they had immigrants in their family

tree, from my side of the family, (their mother’s side) from Germany, Sweden,

Scotland and England. Then, one of the two boys, has African as one fourth

of his blood, while the other boy has many overlapping countries from his

Daddy’s and Mommy’s sides, of the German, Swede, Scot and English tribes.

While we were happily going all over the subject, they mentioned that their

Mimi and Poppy had the song, “Somewhere Out There,” as part of their wedding

music. This is the theme song from the movie, “An American Tail.”

In my oldest grandson’s memory, he came up with “Coming to America,” as a

song he had learned from his music teacher at school. I was amazed, that he put

these two songs together. Since this song is also about immigration. I mentioned

that it is one of my all-time favorite songs, sung by Neil Diamond.

They, of course, said, “Who?”

I didn’t even try to get them to recall who he was, since that would mean a whole

other discussion.

Just for your information, this song came out before, “An American Tail,” the

children’s film about immigration. “Coming to America,” was on the soundtrack

for the movie and album, “The Jazz Singer” (1980). The album’s hit single, made it

to the top of the charts, in 1981, making Diamond’s sixth ‘hit single’ at the time.

The theme of the song is to embrace the history of immigration, starting from

the 1900’s up until today. Interestingly, one of the lyrics’ passages includes his

repeating, “They’re coming to America… Today! They’re coming to America…”

When Neil Diamond performs this song live, he substitutes this audience

participation phrase, “Stand up for America… Today! Stand up for America…”

 

When we talked about their own heritage, my oldest grandson asked why is it

that he had overheard this question while recently at the zoo,

“Why don’t people talk English? If they can’t talk English, they should go back

to where they came from!”

I was looking at him, hoping and praying he would not reveal that it was

anyone he knew that said these rather ‘hateful’ words.

The next thing Sky said surprised me. He had apparently been thinking for some time

about the comments. This was only two weeks’ ago, when his parents had taken both

boys for an employee appreciation day at Zoombezi Bay, part of the Columbus Zoo.

Skyler said, “If people feel more comfortable talking to each other, then it should

be okay to use their country’s language, don’t you think, Nana?”

I smiled and said,

“My Filipino friends talk English with their spouses and almost always with

their children, too. But you know Felda and her two children, Kridia Dawn

and Zachary?”

The boys looked serious and nodded.

The youngest one piped up,

“Maybe they like to hear their Mommy speak her language if she sings songs.”

(Felda does have a beautiful voice, they had heard it at one of their many parties,

because part of the ‘games’ is to sing karaoke, adults and children, too.)

“Exactly! Good job, Micah!” I exclaimed.

I continued to explain why my good Filipino friends use their ‘homeland’s

language:’

“Felda wants her kids to know what her language was, so they will recognize

some words, each time they travel back to see their grandmother there in the

Philippines.”

Skyler got pensive again, my ‘serious thinker!’

“I am so glad you live close to us. By speaking Filipino with their grandma,

this would make her so happy, wouldn’t it? Do they talk on the phone or

Skype with her?”

I think my grandkids are all so ‘tech-savvy’ I forget about this new ‘age’ stuff.

“Yes, I am sure they do. But I will ask about this, I have seen them Skype at

work, for Felda’s or Mary Jane’s mother’s birthday together. I don’t know why

they would not Skype with the children to see her and share with her, at home.”

I was winding down on this subject and added this comment,

“They sit separately at work, while eating lunch and on their breaks, to

chatter happily and quickly about their personal lives.”

Skyler mentioned that it would be ‘cool’ to be able to have a hidden spy code

language, to talk to your friends in.

I agreed,

“So, when people say these things, I think they may be misunderstanding why

the ones who are using another language are doing this. A different reason may

be,  they are overhearing visitors from another country or ‘foreigners.’ Just like

we like to travel, someday I hope you will go to another country. You may wish to

use the language of that country but you may look for someone who understands

English. When foreigners visit, they seek out our cultural places, like museums

and zoos. Sometimes, there is no one who knows their language but there are

special headphones and language tapes, to help them to understand what they

are seeing. ”

 

It was funny how Micah was taking this all in, which is unusual. He interrupted

my final statement to interject,

“What do you think about when people ask me if my Daddy is a terrorist? Are

they trying to be funny? It makes him so mad!”

Micah’s Daddy’s father is black. For some reason, even when he wears his hair

in an ‘afro’ or braids, people think he looks like someone from Iraq or Iran. I

tried not to smile because he’s made some jokes about trying to go to the airport

and being held back, if he were ever wishing to travel internationally. He will use

a Robert Kline kind of comment, “I just picture the guards taking me down, then

I am lying on the floor using my Ohio accent, telling them I was born here!” I know

he doesn’t think it is funny and under the comic words, he is hiding his pain.

“It is not meant as an insult. If anything, the best way to answer people about

this, is to say, “Of course not! That’s my Daddy!”

I also told Micah that being able to see humor in such things and make light of

them, will carry him far in life.

 

Skyler summed this all up in one fantastic phrase, which he admits may have

come from the children’s animated movie, “Tarzan:”

“They are part of us. We are part of them.”

 

Referring to the song Phil Collins wrote for “Tarzan” (1999):

“You’ll Be in My Heart.”

“Why can’t they understand the way we feel?”

(The gorilla mother singing to human baby, Tarzan)

“They just don’t trust what they can’t explain.

I know we’re different but deep inside us,

We’re not that different at all.”

 

 

As far as language, it is true that~

I wish my Grandmother Mattson had taught me some German.

I wish my Grandfather had taught me some Swedish.

I watch that one television show, “Welcome to Sweden,” just to learn a few phrases.

I know my Dad learned a little Scottish and used a few phrases that are more ‘slang’

than anything else.

 

Matthew 5:9: “Blessed are the Peacemakers, for they will be called Children of God.”

 

Who do you consider a great humanitarian?

Do you feel we need to be more or less understanding to others, when it comes

to language barriers?

Be honest, we can learn from each other’s points of view.