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November 27, 2014 / thackersam

November 26 on November 27th

Jimi_HendrixHappy Thanksgiving tomorrow. Also tomorrow, happy birthday to the late Jimi Hendrix, if that’s appropriate, to the current Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg, to Chauncey Grubbs (a girl with whom I went to high school), wherever she may be, and me. Still with Benny. I guess that’s obvious.

November 24, 2014 / thackersam

November 23 – Rockin’ out with Benny

Benny_Goodman_-_c1970
You know, I have nothing to write about tonight. I’ve been finding comfort in my parents’ old Benny Goodman album lately. It really provokes no memories whatsoever, but it does prompt me to move – kind of mindlessly – concentrating on nothing, except actually thinking I’m a dancer. It’s nice once in a while. I’ve not been working out much since Wednesday’s post. I’ve had a couple of nice long walks though so I can be excused, can’t I? But when I do get back into the routine, I’m not into thinking. So this is me, not writing and not thinking. Maybe I’ll start thinking again tomorrow. I do want to warn you that I had to send my new laptop back to the manufacturer for repairs. Darn thing’s D popped off. Now I’m trying to blog with my old laptop that doesn’t seem to want to cooperate internet-wise. So if I don’t post during the week, you’ll know why.

November 20, 2014 / thackersam

November 19 – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

Tom PettyYou all know that Tom Petty has a new album out, right? Well, as soon as it hits the discount racks, it’s mine.

I’m ashamed to say I have no Petty music in my collection and don’t quite know why, so I went to Barnes & Noble specifically to look for a Tom Petty CD that’s in my budget. The weird thing is, there it was, this first album by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers sitting upon the display rack above the $4.99 selections, waiting for me. Kismet? What else could it be.

And what a debut album this was. I only know two songs from it, “Breakdown,” which is one of my Petty favorites (the other being “Listen to Her Heart”), and “American Girl,” but not only do I want to listen again and again to the other songs, I want to add more Tom Petty CDs, in addition to his first, which I now have, and his current, which I will have, to my collection. And perhaps the Traveling Willburys too. His videos have always been classic, and of course you know I love “Into the Great Wide Open” with Johnny Depp and that other classic, Faye Dunaway. Those video days seem to be gone now though.

The whole CD is just half an hour long, good for the aerobic exercise, but I’ll have to determine a good companion to lengthen the workout. Something more fitting than Bobby Rydell or The Association, which are also short, but don’t quite go with the Tom Petty momentum.

November 17, 2014 / thackersam

November 16 – New York Dolls

NY DollsWhen I reviewed Syl Sylvain and the Teardrops’ album back in April of this year as part of the A to Z project, I thought I just might further explore that iconic group from which he came. Syl’s album, if you recall, made the Ram 20 for its undeniable bounciness and enjoyability. And so when I came across the New York Dolls’ first album in the $4.99 CD section, I scooped it up. I remember in high school borrowing the album from a friend and not wanting to return it. It was the same friend who lent me her copy of Foxy magazine, which was a little odd because she had a pretty conservative appearance herself, and Foxy was like Seventeen for groupies. Me however, reading that one issue of Foxy as a teen and that whole Annie Fannie thing during my pre-teen years (please refer back to the August post on The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test) were not the most positive influences on my adolescent and post-adolescent life.

But the New York Dolls were right up my alley. At least this album. The cover was considered shocking back then and I dug it. The cover and the shock value. Now when I look at it I see some discomfort there, except for David Johansen aka Buster Poindexter, who looks quite comfortable, and the easy on the eyes Johnny Thunders who also made an attractive woman, in an early 70s glam/punk sort of way. You know, I once knew all the words to “Looking For A Kiss,” now I can’t understand what the hell Johansen’s saying.

A couple of years ago, when I had premium channels, I came across a documentary called New York Doll about Doll bassist Arthur “Killer” Kane. He was then in his mid-fifties, a recovering alcoholic and a Mormon. He worked in the library and seemed like a gentle person who was content with his life. The film however was about the 2004 New York Dolls reunion, and followed Kane around as he prepared, nervously yet excitedly for the event. Guitarist Thunders and drummer Jerry Nolan had both died about a dozen years prior, but David Johansen and Syl Sylvain had signed on. We get to see a bit of the pre-production, in which the remaining Dolls see each other again for the first time in a long time, and have to rehearse together. Kane had been out of the limelight for quite a while by then, but once they got on stage, it was fun to watch and see how thrilled the unassuming Killer Kane was to be there.

Then – he goes home. About three weeks later he’s not feeling well, goes to the hospital, is diagnosed with leukemia and dies that day. I was not expecting that. I knew Johhny Thunders had died, but was not up on my Dolls so hadn’t heard about Kane. Sad yet ironic, isn’t it? He had been so happy at the reunion and with the events before and afterward, and relished being able to perform again as a Doll. Lucky actually he didn’t know he was sick because he got that chance. Sylvain and Johansen remain the crux of the Dolls and are still out there performing together.

The New York Dolls’ glam/punk New York club scene sound appealed to me then and their debut album still provides some fun music, and makes for a pretty good workout.

November 13, 2014 / thackersam

November 12 – Housekeeping

BeetlejuiceThe ex mentioned that when I started The Walrus Was Paul last year, I included more about the exercise portion of the project and now I’m concentrating more on the music aspect. I am aware that the original intent of the blog was the melding of music, memories and fitness, and it still is. I’m only posting twice a week now, but I’m still exercising four to six times per for about an hour each time. And I know that I should post an updated photo, but truth is I hate having my picture taken, and my phone’s camera seems to be permanently stuck on the hag setting. But I did recently give an update on the 145lb milestone, and confessed that I was not helping it along at the moment diet-wise, and while I feel the slight differences in my agility, in the definition of my arms and in the separation of butt and thigh, you can pretty much still go by the year-old picture of me showing off my squatting abilities. I predict that the next milestone will not come this year.

It has also been brought to my attention, but I don’t think by the ex, that I don’t write about Max often enough. I guess I have taken my fear of being labeled “crazy cat lady” to the other extreme, sort of, and don’t want to be one of those people who tells nothing but cat stories and shows 237 pictures of my cat sleeping on a pile of laundry thinking it’s the most clever thing ever. So please know that Max still looks forward to my workout routine and often joins in one or more of the three sections. Sometimes he’s in for the long haul and other times he’d prefer to watch me from his perch atop the back of the couch, but mostly it’s somewhere in between, like tonight. He particularly likes when I dangle in a forward bend after a back bend during the final third when he gets his rubbies in, and he seems fascinated by the silver weights, staring wide-eyed as I work those biceps.

And as long as I’m doing updates, here’s the movie with the ex report from last week. We went to see Birdman with the profoundly odd and dynamic Michael Keaton, with whom I first fell in love in 1982 when I saw him in Night Shift, an early Ron Howard film with Henry Winkler (The Fonz) and Shelly Long (Diane from Cheers). The outdoor Rickie Lee Jones concert I was to attend that night was rained out and I needed a laugh so I picked this movie as an alternative. And I got that laugh mostly due to Keaton’s manic performance. I still think he was the best Batman.

I was considering posting a picture of the ex, but then I think I would have to look for another movie buddy, so I opted for a photo from another of my favorite Michael Keaton movies. We both, the ex and I, really liked Birdman except for the very end.

In honor of Veterans Day yesterday, Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the USA, has been on the turntable, with much thanks to our Vets.

November 10, 2014 / thackersam

November 9 – The Beatles – Magical Mystery Tour

Beatles MagicThe third album I found at Helga’s Consignment Shop was my favorite find (please recall the other two were Vanilla Fudge and very early Bob Dylan, which is really good – Dylan not Fudge). Although it is proving to be far from my favorite Beatles’ album, I have gained a new appreciation for the song “Flying,” the instrumental credited to all four of the lads. However, I am just not a “Penny Lane” or “Strawberry Fields Forever” (yes, I said it) kind of gal. But I love the Beatles, and even more so as I explore there music in album form again with the ones that I already have, and those I’ve been adding to my music collection. It isn’t even so much the music as it is the sentiment it evokes. The Beatles were such a big part of my childhood and a major influence on my taste in music. They were an open door, with a welcome mat. Even our parents couldn’t help but like them or at least acknowledge who they were.

I was near giddy when I saw this in the pile of old vinyl at Helga’s. You can ask the ex. It still has its 24-page full color picture book from the television special of the same name that they made and starred in. I’ve never seen it. I am hoping to find the Help or A Hard Day’s Night soundtracks, at least one, so I can write about the movies. But I might just anyway even if I never do find either in the $4.99 bin.

Some great and very influential women in music have had birthdays recently – Bonnie Bramlett, Rickie Lee Jones, Joni Mitchell and Bonnie Raitt. I already mentioned Grace Slick’s 75th. A lot of scorpions. Makes one think.

November 6, 2014 / thackersam

November 5 – Saving Lucas

Bruce shuffle

Inserted between the metal sill and the rubber frame of the window next to my seat on the train was a small envelope, like one of those that come with a gift card, on which was written a cell phone number starting with 732 and the name Lucas underneath. Perhaps some guy’s attempt to hook up with a young woman that didn’t go the way he hoped, giving her his number before he got off at his stop, and she so disinterested she left it in plain view of everyone who would come to the same conclusion as I did. Kind of sad. Lucas was publicly rejected. So without taking sides, I removed the envelope and threw it in the trash when I got off the Long Island Railroad train at Penn Station. I don’t know if I would have been so magnanimous if I had not just had some good news.

The story, because there’s always a story, starts about eight years ago back in Bayside when a small lump was discovered on my thyroid. I went to the endocrinologist, not even knowing what the hell that was, who reported to me immediately that yes indeed, there was a lump but it was too small to biopsy and I should come back in six months. Six months later it was smaller, and on my next visit a year later, it was the same. Then I moved to Brooklyn and not able to find an endocrinologist like my Bayside doctor who performed the ultrasound himself and let me know what was going on right then and there, I had to wait for the radiologist to report to the internist/endocrinologist then get in touch with her to find out that it was still the same size and was in their eyes, too small to biopsy. Then I moved to Manhattan and went to a diagnostic center. According to the new doctor I had found, who went on vacation so I had to wait quite some time for test results, the lump was still the same size and the doctor at the center was recommending a biopsy. Well two out of three doctors said too small, and there was something more pressing to take care of, so I did nothing and have not had my thyroid checked for more than two years. Where to go, what to do. I certainly didn’t want to go back to the last place.

I decided to go back to Bayside. So yesterday, I took the LIRR back to where I had not been in four and a half years. Some changes have occurred, like the noisy little diner where I would get so much writing done is now an Indian restaurant and the craft gallery where I once worked is now an empty restaurant. Yet it was a beautiful day for a stroll along the boulevards to the doctor’s office and not too long of a wait before I was brought to my room to continue to wait. And while I waited I stared at the scale thinking I should hop on as I hadn’t weighed myself since declaring I was under 145. But I have been very, very bad of late and couldn’t get myself on the scale. The doctor remembered me, though it’s been more than five years, and as we chatted he drew a vial of blood and did the ultrasound. We continued chatting until I remembered to ask him what the results were. “It’s not picking up anything,” he said. Darned thing just went away by itself after hanging out all this time.

So Lucas got lucky that I was in a jolly mood and even though he may well be the biggest jerk going, I felt enough compassion for him that I didn’t want someone with evil intent to get their hands on his phone number.

In celebration of my good news I did a full workout to Bruce’s The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle. “Rosalita” is again my favorite Springsteen song AND my favorite song of all time, and “Kitty’s Back” is climbing up, if only I could understand the words. And because I don’t want to stare down a scale again, and lose, I will get back into a good exercise and eating routine. Well, starting Friday I guess because tomorrow is another movie with the ex day (using those leftover days) and I will be forced to eat bacon.

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