The Week That Was, January 24, 2016

This edition of The Week That Was is sponsored by New Folger’s Instant Coffee. Tastes good as fresh-perked because… it is!

Our anniversary is this week, by the way… 38 years this Thursday!



Monday’s Music Moves Me featured the incredible Angelina Jordan, a ten-year-old Norwegian girl who won Norway’s Got Talent at the age of eight by singing jazz standards, often sounding like the original woman who did the song. X-Mas Dolly, one of the hosts of MMMM, said Angelina reminds her of Amy Winehouse. I just hope she doesn’t meet the same sad end that Amy did. She also wondered why Angelina doesn’t wear shoes when she sings. My guess is it’s a reminder of the time she gave her shoes to an Iraqi girl. Or maybe it’s just more comfortable that way. Colette had never heard of her; I hadn’t, either, until I heard her “What A Difference A Day Makes,” done originally by Dinah Washington.

Mondays JusJoJan prompt was “elegance,” reminding me of the time I got on an elevator at the Ritz-Carlton Buckhead in Atlanta and realized that one of the other occupants was none other than Sophia Loren, in Atlanta to promote her new fragrance. We exchanged a “hi” and a “bye,” which I’m sure she just did to be polite, but it was a thrill nonetheless. Jetgirlcos and Alex both thought it interesting that she was willing to say that much to me. Over on the FM side, Stephanie told me the story of a friend of hers who had a similar encounter with Morgan Fairchild at a hotel, where they chatted for a minute or two until Ms. Fairchild’s ride showed up, and also said that, had her friend whipped out a camera, the camaraderie would have ended. Probably true there. I think celebrities just want to be treated with the same respect we’d show anyone, and want to be left alone when they’re doing “normal people” stuff, like eating or shopping. I doubt you’d appreciate it if you were in the bathroom and someone snapped a picture of you…

We started our exploration of Progressive Rock Artists on Two for Tuesday with King Crimson. Arlee said he saw the cover art on their first album and had to have it, and the second album, but those were the only two albums by them he bought, they seemed either to have disapppeared or their music wasn’t widely available. I know the band has gone through a number of hiatuses and their music doesn’t get a lot of airplay, largely because it defies pigeonholing and doesn’t fit many formats. A lot of their music is available on YouTube, and as time allows I think I’ll go out there and listen to some more.

“Climate” was the JusJoJan prompt on Tuesday, and I explored the etymology of the word, which is related to the Greek word for “slope.” Early usage in English was evidently in reference to astrology, reminding me of “Scorpio,” the one real hit of Dennis Coffey and the Detroit Guitar Band. Dale and Elen both liked the Dennis Coffey tune. Coffey was a session guitarist at Motown Records who played on many of their biggest hits; this record, and Evolution, the album it was on, were his first excursion into the spotlight. I also had trouble deciding what projects like JusJoJan were called; were they blog hops, blog challenges, blogfests, or what? I thought calling them blog thingies was weird, but Elen put my mind at rest about that.

The word for Wednesday was “surreptitiously,” which I noted was an adverb, the bane of every editor and proofreader I know. Adverbs are useful words, but should be used sparingly, to amplify a verb when you’re too lazy to you can’t come up with a better word. From there I segued into a commercial for the Blogging from A to Z Challenge this April. Signups begin tomorrow, and the theme reveal is the week of March 21. I was happy that Jetgirlcos and Elen plan on participating and that Dale is thinking about it, and I hope more of you will join in. It’s more fun than a barrel of monkeys. Alex J. Cavanaugh wrote a post on the Challenge blog that tells you six benefits of doing A to Z; I hope you read it and consider doing it. I know a lot of my readers do.

One-Liner Wednesday was taken from an article by Rolf Dobelli of The Guardian which argues that the news is bad for you and that quitting it will make you happier. What he isn’t saying is to be uninformed, but he argues that there are many ways to become informed on what’s happening besides reading the newspaper and watching the news on TV that don’t do a number on your psychological well-being. Dale said, “I took his advice and didn’t read the article.” I got a laugh out of that.

The story for Wednesdays for Mary was of our early days in our brand new house, and of the fun and games of learning how a lawn mower works. I almost got sent to my room for telling my brother to “shut up”; Mom said talking like that made us sound like a bunch of “shanty Irish,” then demonstrated it when I protested. My Aunt Bitsy had a question about our landlords on Glenwood Avenue, from whence we moved, and had trouble with autocorrect, the bane of everyone’s existence (I think there’s a special circle in Hell for the inventors of it). KG said she would have started laughing if her mother had done something like that, and it would have landed her in hot water if she had.

Lionel Hampton and his version of “Rag(g) Mop(p)” were the winners of my most recent Battle of the Bands, beating The Treniers by a margin of ten. Kip said that he looked for a YouTube video that featured the version done in an episode of “Beany and Cecil,” but couldn’t find it. It’s hard enough finding episodes of “Beany and Cecil,” although some people have posted a few. Maybe it’s just that one episode. Nearly everyone else said they enjoyed the spirited performance of The Treniers but judged the battle based on the music, which is what I asked that people do. I suggested to Jeffrey that maybe I should run the battle again and pit Hampton against The Ames Brothers, who had a huge hit with it in the early 1950’s.

Thursday’s JusJoJan prompt was “mittens,” which gave me an opportunity to show off some of Mary’s handiwork. She thanks all of you who commented and said nice things about her knitting; she enjoys it and takes a lot of pride in doing it well.

Friday’s JusJoJan word was “felicity,” the name of a third-century martyr who was thrown to the beasts along with a young noblewoman named Perpetua for refusing to renounce her Christian faith, which the Roman Emperor Severus had ordered. The whole affair was documented, some by Perpetua, and members of the early Church were familiar with the story. Perpetua and Felicity are mentioned in the Eucharistic Prayer along with a number of other martyrs. Stepheny said that iconography is a part of her spiritual life as an Episcopalian and appreciated the story and the picture of the two saints.

The Friday Five was a simple one, the top five songs on WLS this week in 1978, the week before Mary and I were married. I also talked about Snowmageddon in Atlanta, which we were expecting Friday night. Thank you for all the well wishes on our anniversary this Thursday, by the way. The Lady over at The Hailey and Zaphod Chronicles and Julia, both of whom are from Canada, hoped we would survive the storm, which amounted to a dusting of snow on the lawns and elevated surfaces (including my front stairs, which is keeping me in the house until they clear up). Nothing really to the kid from Chicago or my Canadian friends, but in the South, it’s a major weather event. Julia said they had such a bad storm last year that she ended up with PTSD… wow. Both of them liked the song “Short People” and Julia liked Rod Stewart. Hey, who doesn’t?

The Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt was “even/odd” (it was also the JusJoJan prompt), so we discussed the game “evens and odds” and other games we played as kids (e.g. “rock-paper-scissors-lizard-Spock”). I mentioned that games like that are the basis of a field of mathematics called game theory, which uses the strategy of those games to model real-world events. Deborah took one look at rock-paper-scissors-lizard-Spock and said “yikes!” I don’t blame her, but I don’t play it very often. I suggested that writing a program that played RPSLS would be a good exercise (I wrote part of one in Javascript, in fact), and she just laughed. JoAnna said she remembered the days when those low-tech games were all we had. Sometimes I think they were more fun.

And that wraps up TWTW for this week. This coming week, all your favorite features will be back, as well as JusJoJan. I have a dentist appointment on Tuesday; any guesses as to how long this one will take?