Ogden Nash #socs

Seeing that today’s prompt is "opt," I went looking for words that contained that fragment. One of those words was "lepidopterist," a person who collects butterflies…

The lepidopterist, with happy cries
Devotes his days to hunting butterflies.
The leopard, through some feline mental twist
Would rather hunt the lepidopterist.
That’s why I never adopted lepidoptery
I do not wish to live in jeopardoptery.

I’m not much of a poetry fan, but one poet I do like is Ogden Nash. One day, Dad shared a book of Nash’s poetry with me, The Private Dining Room, a collection of the poems he wrote for The New Yorker prior to 1952, which was when the book was published. There were a couple of poems in there that dealt with Old Dr. Valentine, including this one, "Old Dr. Valentine To His Son":

Your hopeless patients will live,
Your healthy patients will die.
I have only this word to give:
Wonder, and find out why.

And there was this limerick:

Dr. Valentine wishes to announce
He’s making fantastic amounts,
He’s invented a bra
Called Peps-Ooh-La-La
That delivers more bounce to the ounce.

There were many other poems in that collection, some of which I only know the first couple of lines, like the one that starts "I don’t travel on planes, I travel on trains."

Dad died not long after sharing that book with me. I remember I kept it for a long time after.


Stream of Consciousness Saturday is brought to you each week by Linda Hill and this station. Now a word about Silva Thins regular and menthol cigarettes. Lower in tar and nicotine than all other 100’s!

Song of the Day: Lucille Ball, “We Need A Little Christmas”

I’ll be doing plenty of Christmas music on Mondays this December, in what I call the "Xmas Music Xtravaganza!" on Monday’s Music Moves Me. I figured one song wouldn’t hurt, though. "We Need A Little Christmas" is from the musical Mame, written by Jerry Herman, who wrote the music and lyrics for the whole show. This is from the 1974 screen adaptation, starring Lucille Ball. Lucy reminds me so much of my mother, right down to the two-packs-of-Chesterfields-a-day voice, and Mom loved Christmas, so it fits.

Five For Friday: Stephen Stills (One Guy, Multiple Acts)

As I was preparing this week’s Five For Friday, I realized that some performers work with other ones pretty frequently. For example, Stephen Stills works Neil Young and Chris Hillman a lot. Let’s take a look at the acts that Stephen Stills has been associated with over his long career…

  1. Buffalo Springfield, "Bluebird": Stills, Neil Young and Richie Furay (later with the band Poco) were the core of Buffalo Springfield, who released three albums and several singles from 1966-1968. They were a key band in the development of folk rock and country rock, and psychedelic rock worked its way in from time to time. they had one big hit, "For What It’s Worth," that reached #7 on the Hot 100 in 1967. "Bluebird" only made it to #58, but it was played frequently on FM stations in the ’60’s and ’70’s.
  2. Al Kooper & Stephen Stills, "Season of the Witch": Last week we talked about Michael Bloomfield and his contribution to the 1968 Super Session album. After having recorded Side 1 of the album, Bloomfield didn’t show up the next day (drug issues), so Kooper contacted Stills and they recorded the songs for Side 2. One of those songs was Donovan’s "Season of the Witch," notable for Stills’s use of the wah-wah pedal.
  3. Crosby, Stills & Nash, "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes": Stills joined forces with David Crosby of The Byrds and Graham Nash of The Hollies in this trio. In addition to writing several songs, Stills played bass, guitar, and keyboards. The album sold four million copies, more than their three prior bands had sold together. "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes" was a Stills composition dedicated to Judy Collins, whom Stills was dating at the time. The single, about half the length of the album version, reached #21 on the Hot 100, #10 on the AC chart, and #11 in Canada.
  4. Stephen Stills, "Love The One You’re With": After the split-up of Crosby Stills & Nash, Stills recorded a couple of well-received eponymous solo albums. "Love The One You’re With" was from the first, recorded in 1970. It reached #14 on the Hot 100 and #6 in Canada.
  5. Manassas, "It Doesn’t Matter": While he was on tour promoting his second solo album, Stills crossed paths with Chris Hillman of The Flying Burrito Brothers. Sensing a change in direction as well as knowing of the Burritos’ financial difficulties, Stills invited Hillman, Al Perkins and Byron Berline from that band to jam with him and several members of his touring band. They released two albums, Manassas and Down The Road. "It Doesn’t Matter" got a lot of play on FM stations, but failed to reach the Top 40.

Stephen Stills, your Five For Friday, November 27, 2020.

Song of the Day: Alannah Myles, “Black Velvet”

Happy Black Friday! Alannah Myles is a Canadian singer-songwriter who’s best known for "Black Velvet," which earned her a Grammy (for Best Female Vocal Performance in 1991) and a Juno award (for Single of the Year in 1990). The song reached #1 in the US, Sweden, and Switzerland, #2 in the UK, Germany, and New Zealand, #3 in Australia and the Netherlands, and #10 in Canada.

Writer’s Workshop: Life After Covid-19

So, how has my routine changed since Covid-19?

Not a whole lot, actually. I don’t get out as often, because there’s really nowhere to go. Mary and I would go to Starbucks several times a week, maybe to lunch at one of the local places, such as O’Charley’s or Jim ‘n Nick’s before we have coffee. Starbucks has reopened, in a way, but the conditions under which you can go in and sit there are so lousy, we’d just as soon stay home. As for eating out, we’ve discovered the joy of drive-thru at places other than McDonald’s or Chick-Fil-A, so we’re still able to get the restaurant food without having to get in the car and go there.

About the only times I get out is when I have a medical appointment, which lately is a lot more frequent because I’m going for lymphatic drainage a couple of days a week so my right leg doesn’t blow up like a balloon. I am getting a leg pump, which is a wrap that has inflatable chambers. I put it on and it does what my therapist does, namely push the lymph that’s gathering in my leg up and out of my leg and into the rest of the lymphatic system, which takes it into my bladder. Pretty amazing stuff. Like I said, every time I go to my therapist there’s another technological advancement…

And that’s probably way more than you wanted to know.

Since I’m not taking my laptop to Starbucks, it’s up in the living room, where I generally spend my afternoons. It’s a change of scenery for me; I had been spending the better part of the day in my office, coming down for dinner and our evening TV ritual (Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy!, and The Andy Griffith Show). Now I come down at lunch and go up stairs at roughly 9 PM so Mary can help me with my leg wrap before she gets too tired.

In short, life hasn’t changed that much for us, apart from going to Starbucks all the time, and I’m finding that I don’t miss it. I do feel trapped in the house from time to time, and if it weren’t for my disability I’d be prone to participate in a little civil disobedience and go out wandering around without a mask… but we can talk about that some other time.