Get Wind Of This… (Sunday Song Series)

Thanks for breezing into my neck of the WWW woods. Your timely arrival coincides with Week #36 of our Sunday Song Series. On this occasion, our musical adventure involves the selection, Sunday Morning Breeze, performed by Mannheim Steamroller… Chip Davis’ ensemble renown (almost) exclusively for performing covers of centuries spanning, Yuletide carols. That “almost” parenthetical is due to the fact that these accomplished musicians have amply proven their vast repertoire is not a December only phenom. Or… to quote Mr. Davis, “see… Mannheim isn’t just for Christmas.”

At its considerable face value, our featured track is blue-chip, relaxation music. And who amongst us cannot benefit from a Sunday (or any other day) Take Five from the rat race… all of which works out wonderfully / literally seeing how this particular musical interlude does clock out at a mere 11 seconds beyond the 5 minutes.

I can recall one of my own laid-back listening experiences where daybreak, Sunday breezes (of the meteorological variety) provided additional audiovisual effects… e.g., outdoor rustling leaves… branches swaying with waking up, chirping birds and indoor swaying curtains. Factoring in the scent of freshly brewed coffee and well… need I say more?

Going beyond the face value… an instrumental masterpiece can have its advantages… for one… no storytelling songsmith who might inhabit / inhibit our thoughts. For some of us, imaginations will be free to roam… be our focus a fond memory or unfulfilled fantasy. If we’re sufficiently wowed, such selections might even get added to “the soundtracks of our lives.”

In my own case, this included an actual soundtrack… part of my playlist featured on a burned CD tribute to my late mother. Sunday Morning Breeze (and similar tracks) certainly enhanced the mood as I sat before a microphone to recreate the eulogy I had written for / delivered at her memorial service. I consider my tribute the finest recording studio work I’ve ever done and… even were I immortal… I’d never expect to top it.

Our Sunday Song Series will be return seven days from now. Hopefully, you’ll be back, too?

 

 

 

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Pees [sic] Porridge Hot [uh… really sick]

SUBTITLE: Sonny Sows His Wild Oats

Once upon a time… not too far from the hubbub of The Big Apple… there lived a sophomoric, imbecilic, narcissistic 7-year-old bully named Sonny. One mid-morning he ordered his chauffeur to lead-foot it back to the family estate where… upon entering their zillion dollar, palatial mansion… he immediately began snorting, sniveling and whining…

“Mumsy, why don’t everybody in da hood love me?”

It being a school day, Mumsy just knew her little wittle son was playing hooky. But since his gruff Dadsy typically growled ungrammatically, “Sonny, youse knows more than all dem dummy teachers”, she didn’t DARE even breathe one word re her boy’s habitual truancy. Knowing, too, that she had to take enough time to guard her words, YET, rapidly concoct some sort of a plausible sounding cock and bull story… all the sudden… the figurative light bulb lit up over her noggin. Trying her best not to sound patronizing, said she…

“Sonny, we both know that To Know You is To Love You. So, it only makes sense that to get everyone to love you, all you need do is make sure everyone knows you.”

With Sonny suddenly growing livid… his face flushed into a bright orange hue, he bellowed…

“So you ARE saying that everybody don’t love me!”

“Sonny, we both know that you’re a stable genius who’s never, ever wrong… so… how could I not agree with you?”

“But Mumsy, dem kids should be coming to me. Me going to dem would be too damned much hard work. I know… why doncha call up all their folks and order dem to order all their kids love me?”

Somehow Mumsy fought off the urge to roll her eyes. Once again, thinking on her feet, got her off the hook. The trick, here, was to really “sell” her schmooze the classmates scam to her ne’er-do-well boy. Indeed, to sound even remotely sincere, she’d need to lie through her teeth. And lie she did…

“Sonny, I’ve got a tremendous idea! Why doncha invite all your classmates over for a backyard, Sunday oatmeal brunch? You could even show off your cooking skills… I mean… we both know how you get a kick out of dumping the dry rolled oats into the boiling water.”

“Oh, do I ever! I always pretend each oat is someone I hate. But Mumsy… you got to be kiddin’! Cook for dem commoners? NO WAY! They not worthy of such a feast. Besides, it’d all be too much work. Why doncha order our cook to do it for me?”

“Sonny, you’re too smart not to know that you can’t WOW them unless you’re the Chef who’s cooking up the porridge! I give you my word… they’ll be so impressed by your magnificence that you’ll have them eating out of your hand. They’ll remember you for the rest of their lives. Hell, were you to ever run for President, you could always count on their votes.”

Reluctantly, Sonny agreed… on one condition… that Mumsy had to be the one to send out all the invitations on his behalf. Of course she’d never fess up that she had actually tasked that out to her social secretary. It didn’t take too long for the dozens of RSVP’s to began flooding in.

By the time Sunday finally rolled around… as his guests arrived, Sonny felt elated by the massive turnout. Hell, he estimated crowd attendance to be at least 3 MILLION… possibly up to 30 MILLION! He even caught himself musing…

“Hmm, maybe Mumsy had been right, after all?”

Sonny being the ringleader of his nasty gang, naturally, he did gravitate more to his homies. Of course, it was inevitable that there’d be a couple of scuffles between them and the non gang members… BUT… things began to cool down when the cauldron grew hot… when the boiling, bubbling water told Sonny it was time to dump in the oats!

With nearly the entire student body cheering / chanting rhythmically in time with each stirring, swirling motion of his YUGE spoon, he felt giddy from the outpouring of adulation… even though, in actuality, it was their love of oatmeal… not for Sonny that so inspired them. Anyway, all seemed to be going well.

HOWEVER… towards the end of the five minute cooking time… something just didn’t seem quite right. The porridge was way too thick… way too dry. Dumbfounded Sonny didn’t quite know what to do next. With this being a day off for their entire grounds-keeping crew, there’d be nobody to boss around… nobody to snap to attention and exclaim “Yes Sir!” to his barked out command…

“Uncoil that damned hose and add more water!!!”

Just as Sonny was about to panic, he experienced his own light bulb over the noggin moment… came up with what he deemed to be an ingenious idea! He unzipped his fly and… well… let’s just say he cooked up a Pees Porridge… one that never, ever must be confused with the totally different recipe known as Pease Porridge. Surprisingly, even above the loud piddling noises, audible were the multiple horrified gasps accompanied by the veritable chorus of EEEWWWS!!!

By the time Sonny had zipped up and looked back up, the crowd of kiddies had thinned dramatically… so much so that all who were left were members of his ugly gang.

Naturally, with Sonny being a germ-o-phobe, he absolutely had zero intentions of ever consuming this porridge. However… as for his sycophantic gang? Well, since they knew how easy it would be to PISS OFF Sonny they didn’t DARE turn up their noses. More importantly… they all knew the highest form of praise would be to pretend that nothing was wrong… i.e., that the “alternate facts” told them that Sonny’s unhealthy oatmeal was actually healthy to chow down… no questions asked! And chow down they did!

Well… it is now… some six decades later and we find sicko Sonny and his entire gang of sicko sycophants satisfied by their trade-off of NYC for DC turf! Since these rowdy underlings having, long ago, proven their undying loyalty to their sophomoric, imbecilic, narcissistic boss, he has vowed to never, ever again cook Pees Porridge. After all, for him, it’d be too damned much work! Even so, all of his toadies are still ready, willing and able to take whatever (hopefully figurative) shit he chooses to cook and serve up.

 

 

Mitchell’s Lyrical Enigma? ~ Sunday Songs Series

For week #35 of our Sunday Songs Series, we find Canadian singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell presenting us with a lyrical enigma. What, exactly, is her Sunny Sunday story-line all about? To be sure, when her word count is a scant 100 playing out in 2 minutes and 36 seconds, clues are few and far between.

When interviewed way back in 1994 by Tracey Macleod on BBC2 TV’s The Late Show, Mitchell did shed a bit of light…

“It’s not autobiographical. Actually it’s kind of a composite portrait. I have a friend who I paint with, who had a roommate who did this. It’s just the story of a woman waiting for some little change to give a new direction… it’s a kind of a mysterious little song. It’s also the shortest song I ever wrote.”

As is true with most noteworthy lyrics / poetry, one’s imagination does tend to roam freely. In my own case, this resulted in some scenarios that might account for someone taking potshots at a streetlight.

Might Mitchell’s pistol-packing protagonist be a…

a. militant, dark skies seeking stargazer / environmentalist battling light pollution?
b. stressed-out worker tormented by unresolved anger management issues?
c. 2nd Amendment domestic terrorist totally entrenched within America’s gun sick society?
d. misguided hero worshiper of Bonnie (Parker) and Clyde (Barrow)?

Oh btw… the comment section awaits those who’d like to express their own theories.

For those who’d like to see where our next Sunday Songs Series adventure will take us, stop back here seven days from now…

 

 

UnImpeachable Behavior? ~ 1 Quick Limerick #080

 

The fake prez sez, he’s free of Russian spell?
Squeaky clean, honest as Abe, no dumbbell?
Yet, oversight he defies,
Spurns sunlight, tells king-sized lies,
Which makes him look like he’s guilty as hell!

 

 

 

The Right To Choose: An Evolution? A Revolution?

 

SCENARIO #1 ~ Most intelligent, compassionate folks would have no problem in agreeing that women must have the right to choose… especially when [1] problem pregnancies can involve literal life or death issues for moms-to-be and/or their babies and [2] conceptions can result from non-consensual acts and/or too closely related genetic mergers. Under such tragic, emotionally devastating circumstances, there must be ZERO tolerance for inept, incompetent, ignorant, opportunistic politicians attempting to intrude into what should be the sacrosanct, private, doctor / patient relationship. However…

SCENARIO #2 ~ Even the most enlightened and empathetic of us do start to feel qualms… especially when many other sought-after abortions can be tantamount to an ill-conceived, alternative form of birth control. While there’s no “normal” adult alive who hasn’t experienced that biochemically induced state of mindlessness… been prodded by overactive glands that are egging on recklessness… still one wonders… why some guys find it so hard to muster up a bit of self-control? If a couple cannot even prepare to prevent parenthood… i.e, go on a condom run… just how prepared will they be… oh… say… nine months later? Will their unplanned, unwanted children be unloved and undisciplined? What kind of grown-ups will they become? Will they even be grown-ups in every sense of that hyphenated word? Will they even be able to act kind?

CLEARLY… Scenario #2 is less clear-cut. While… under current conditions… a woman confronted by such a problem pregnancy still must be able to assert her right to choose… CLEARLY… the man could’ve done much more to prevent lighting that 9-month time-bomb fuse and… CLEARLY… humankind can and must do better in the future. And the sooner the better.

Growing up involves far more than gender-specific endocrine glands. Our brains must rule over our bodies and not vice versa. OK, I can already, almost hear the naysayers. “Such an attitudinal shift would likely take multiple generations to complete”… you scoff? “A Herculean Task”… you tsk-tsk?

Even though those are valid points, this does not make them excuses for our not trying. Why can’t we bravely usher in a new era of lifelong, no-nonsense, age-appropriate sex education? We need a Sexual Prime Directive where all biological adults wind up fully understanding that [1] sex makes babies and [2] if one desires the former but not the latter, then consistent usage of reliable birth control becomes a nonnegotiable! For those who find themselves saying, “Well duh… who didn’t know that?” go to the head of the class.

Governments would be both wise and money ahead… were contraception not only readily available but also affordable, perhaps, even totally free of charge! When compared to national welfare programs designed to financially assist impoverished moms and dads, government subsidized birth control might even be deemed a bargain!

To those quick to point out that vending machines loaded with “The Pill” and prophylactics could only encourage rampant promiscuity and result in a raging STD pandemic… I now ask… minus the protection… is that not what we’ve already got?

While such a retort may sound like defeatism, there is some pragmatism in the mix, too. Lest we forget, barrier methods of contraception provide barriers to disease, too. Additionally, might it even be argued that a more responsible, less repressed society would “breed” fewer perverts and predators? Might there even be a bit of truth to / a practical application of that Sixties era hippie mantra, “Make Love Not War”? Given a choice between a worldwide orgy and a worldwide nuclear war, which would you consider the lesser of two evils?

While portions of that above paragraph do sound, perhaps, a tad over the top, there is an undercurrent of truth, too.

Naturally, living life in moderation is the phrase that really pays. And more to the point… both love and respect must factor prominently into the big picture.

If we can establish a society where unprotected sex is virtually unheard of, then, with very few exceptions, only those who want babies will be procreating. Beyond that…

Governments would be both wise and money ahead, too… in ensuring that raising children would also become far more affordable. That… in itself… could help substantially reduce the demand for abortion… i.e., when fretting, prospective parents would no longer ditto agreement to this all too common, forlorn sentiment…

“Honey, we simply cannot afford another mouth to feed.”

Working towards that new beginning, each nation would need to establish a stable economy where even the entry level, full time workers would be earning a living wage… enjoying a pay level that’d even allow either the new mommy or daddy to become a stay-at-home parent until their child becomes a preschooler / kindergartner. Maybe even beyond that point?

Of course, even an improved society could never, fully liberate itself of unplanned pregnancies. True, it’s far too easy for me… a man who can never experience pregnancy… who has never even fathered any children… to say this… but maybe… just maybe my proposed, futuristic, attitudinal shift towards unequivocal male and female sexual responsibility could be inclusive of a woman’s new, enhanced right to choose… i.e., to choose going the adoption route rather than opt-in to abortion?

Do all of these changes sound too idealistic to ever become reality? Should I re-categorize this post as fiction? Let me know what you’re thinking and feeling in the comment section below…

 

 

Simpson Sings of a Simpler Life (Sunday Song Series)

For Week #34 of our Sunday Songs Series, we’ll be giving a listen to Jessica Simpson’s You’re My Sunday. While crafting her lyrics, she drew upon heartfelt feelings for her soulmate… and that served as inspiration to her artful simile… i.e., her comparing his mind and soul-soothing influence over her to a Sunday (a kickback and enjoy life “day of rest”). Talking to AOL, she effusively elaborated re their relationship…

“He inspires me to be a better person. He just makes my life peaceful. In the midst of all the chaos, the gossip, the tabloids and people’s expectations of me, it’s nice to know that a guy loves you for who you are. So ‘You’re My Sunday’ is dedicated to him.”

Of course… even to the occasional Simpson listener… i.e., one unaware of that backstory… her words could also be interpreted as the Sunday Day… all by itself… arriving just in the nick of time… to rescue us all from humankind’s rat-race. However… if your sentiments are anything like mine… we’ve all been lamenting over one nearly inescapable fact of life…  namely that… in our 24/7 world… Sunday days of rest can be scarce.

Oh… how I yearn to return to my own, long lost, leisurely, small-town Sundays. In those days of yore… with few exceptions… e.g. our “Mom ’n’ Pop” grocery store… business owners and their staffs were at home… enjoying some much-earned, time off with their kinfolk. My own, typical family routine would find us attending early a.m. church services and, afterwards, discussing our Pastor’s sermon perhaps [1] while flipping thru the pages of the two Sunday newspapers we subscribed to, [2] during one of our leisurely joyrides about town, or [3] in the course of one of our sit-down suppers.

I can still, virtually, taste Mom’s to-die-for pot-roasts, loaded with browned spuds, carrots, green peppers and onions… all “swimming” in the vast sea of thick. beef gravy.

I can also vividly recall my very favorite Father G sermon… his wisdom and wit expressed during a blistering midsummer heatwave…

“Whew… it sure is hot today. But never forget there’s a place that’s even hotter! End of sermon!”

Once the KP was done, our lazy Sunday truly began winding down. Courtesy of the (then) three (yep only three) major TV networks, we were treated to primetime viewing fare inclusive of [1] the boy-and-his-beloved-dog drama Lassie, [2] the bratty sitcom Dennis the Menace, [3] a variety show MC’d by Ed Sullivan, [4] the western drama Bonanza, [5] a reality TV / viral video precursor (Alan Funt’s) Candid Camera, [6] the game show What’s My Line. and [7] the local, 11 o’clock newscast.

Now that I’ve related my own Sunday reveries, maybe you’d like to share yours? The comment section below can be your forum.

Hmm… seeing how I’ve become completely lost within my fond memories of pastoral phenomena and past repasts… how the latter has evoked hunger pangs for my breakfast… well… what better time for me to get lost… right?

In order to give you enough time to find a good hiding place (jk)… be forewarned… I’’ll be back seven days from now with another edition of our Sunday Song Series.

Hope to see you back here then… if not sooner.