My Life, According To Chicago

This is more a Friday Five times Four…

Anyway, I’ve seen a number of people do this meme, most recently Jeffrey, although most of my crowd has done it.

Using only song names from ONE ARTIST OR BAND, answer the following questions. Try not to use the band I used, or repeat a song title. (It’s a lot harder than you think!) Publish as “My Life According to (BAND NAME)” and link back to this post.


So, I chose the band Chicago, and here are my questions and answers…

1.) Are you a male or female?
The Inner Struggles of a Man

2.) Describe yourself.
I’m A Man

3.) How do you feel?
Anyway You Want

4.) Describe where you currently live.

5.) If you could go anywhere, where would you go?
Old Days

6.) Your favourite form of transportation.
Flight 602

7.) Your best friend is…
Life Saver

8.) Your favourite colour.
South California Purples

9.) What’s the weather like?
Wake Up Sunshine

10.) Favourite time of the day.
Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?

11.) If your life was a TV show, what would it be called?
Free Form Guitar

12.) What is life to you?

13.) Your relationships.
Questions 67 and 68

14.) Your fear.
If You Leave Me Now

15.) What is the best advice you have to give?
Loneliness is Just A Word

16.) If you could change your name, you would change it to…
Skinny Boy

17.) Thought for the day.
Something In This City Changes People

18.) How you would like to die.
Stone of Sisyphus

19.) Your present condition.
Feelin’ Stronger Every Day

20.) Your motto.
Take Me Back To Chicago

And, seeing as it is me that’s doing this, here’s a playlist with all the aforementioned songs.

Yeah, I’m crazy. That’s your Friday Five for March 11, 2016.

Fearless! (#blogboost)

WordPress has a blog called The Daily Post, and every day they publish a prompt for those of us who would like to respond to it. Yesterday, this was their prompt:

How would your life be different if you were incapable of feeling fear? Would your life be better or worse than it is now?

I’d like to respond to that, for your reading enjoyment.

Let me answer the second question first: Absolutely, my life would be better than it is now. I was afraid of just about everything when I was a kid. Stupid things like water heaters, public restrooms, Emergency Broadcast System tests, fire drills, stupid stuff like that. Being fearless would have put a stop to that silliness. I mean, really, water heaters?

But there’s more to it. Like most kids, my head was filled with misconceptions, half-truths, bizarre beliefs, and superstitions planted there by adults: parents (both mine and those of my friends), clergymen, teachers, people on TV, even total strangers. And, if that wasn’t bad enough, my friends and classmates would repeat what the adults in their lives told them, and that would just add to the mental soup in my head. Richard Brodie, author of the book Virus Of The Mind: The New Science of the Meme, calls these suggestions memes, and suggests that those memes have one purpose: to multiply and affect (infect?) as many minds as they can. I’ll have more to say about Brodie’s book in a later blog post, but what he says makes sense.

So, getting back to the first question: my life would be different if I were unable to feel fear in that I would be better able to reject and resist the memes that tried to affect me. Lacking the ability to feel fear would neutralize the effect that someone passing along a meme would have on me. I would be unafraid to question not only the meme, but the motivation of the person passing it along. I’d have less trouble standing up to authority, and no fear of telling said authority that they were full of crap. The repercussions of what I told them would have no effect, either; they could threaten to expel me, excommunicate me, ostracize me, throw me out of the house, throw me in prison, even execute me, and it wouldn’t scare me.

I know I’ve oversimplified the matter, but for purposes of this exercise, I’ll go with this. I’d be interested in your reaction to my answers.

Now it’s your turn: How would you answer these questions?

When should I have been born? (#blogboost)

I’ve been participating in the Ultimate Blog Challenge this month (yes, John, we know… EVERYONE knows…), but evidently there’s a challenge called NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month), sponsored by BlogHer, that goes on every month. The object is the same: one post per day each day of the month.

A number of blogs that I’ve been following for UBC are also doing NaBloPoMo simultaneously, and posts on several blogs have been responding to the daily prompt. Today (yesterday, since you’re reading this tomorrow), the question was

Do you think you were born in the “right” decade, or do you feel like you belong to a different time period?


I’m a Baby Boomer, since my birth year falls between 1946 and 1964. I feel comfortable having been born in the 1950’s, and had a chance to see things like the moon landing, the Kennedy assassination (both of them), and The Beatles. Ours was the generation that shaped the world we live in today, if you choose to believe the hype. But really, I like being a Baby Boomer. My friends are all here, and I like the music.

Of course, if I HAD to choose, I might opt for being born in Generation X.


I have a brother who’s almost twenty years younger than I. I got to watch him grow up. His early years were the early years for much of the technology we now take for granted: personal computers, the Internet, VCR’s, DVD’s and CD’s, and cable and satellite TV. Technology that’s old hat by now was all new and exciting when he was in grammar school. But it was more than that. He grew up not having to worry about being sent to Vietnam. The great social and cultural upheaval that characterized the 1970’s was almost over by the time he started school. The music was better than it had been in the Seventies. So were the movies. It would have been fun to have experienced the 1980’s and 1990’s as a younger person.

On second thought, nah… I like things the way they turned out. I’d like a mulligan on some things, but I think I was born at exactly the right time.

How about you? When do you think you should have been born?

Note to self…. (#blogboost)

Julie Glover got it from Kristen Lamb, who got it from Dion Vincent


There were some really great answers at her blog. Check them out.

How would I answer? Oh, boy… Take your pick…

  • Save money. The older I get, the more I realize this.
  • Stay healthy. Likewise. I could have said “lose weight,” “quit smoking,” “don’t drink,” but needed something that would cover everything.
  • Delay college. I had no idea why I was there at 18. At 21, I would have had a better idea, and would have taken it more seriously.
  • They’re wrong. A lot of people expressed their opinions on what I should do and how I should do it, and, being a dumb kid, I listened to them.
  • Driver’s license. I didn’t get mine until I was 28, because the football coach who had to ride with me in the car in Driver’s Ed to meet IHSA regulations convinced me that I had a depth perception problem and that I should never drive. Turns out he said that to everyone.
  • Update Résumé. I would only do this when I needed to find another job, and I would forget all of the great things that I had done.
  • Keep moving. Physically, mentally, emotionally, intellectually, professionally, spiritually, socially.
  • NO LATIN! This was something I tried to train my youngest brother when he was a baby.
  • Tu optimus! Might seem funny in light of the last bullet, but I needed to keep it to two words. Latin for “You’re the greatest!” Everyone needs to hear that.

Your turn! How would you answer the question?

Thirty questions, thirty songs

Arlee Bird recently did a meme on his blog, Tossing It Out. It asked the participant to come up with the names of thirty songs based on thirty questions. Since I love music, and I love memes, I’m going to do it, too. Wherever possible, I’ll add a link to the song.

So here we go…

  1. A song you like with a color in the title:Red Rubber Ball” by The Cyrkle. I think it was everybody’s first record in my neighborhood.
  2. A song you like with a number in the title:Swing 42” by Django Reinhardt. I recently heard Tommy Emmanuel and Frank Vignola do a backstage version of it, and it just blew me away.
  3. A song that reminds you of summertime:In the Summertime” by Mungo Jerry. It was popular in the summer of 1970. That was the summer between grammar school and high school for me.
  4. A song that reminds you of someone you would rather forget about:The Cry of the Poor” by John Foley, SJ and the St. Louis Jesuits. Reminds me of a relationship that got out of hand.
  5. A song that needs to be played LOUD:Locomotive Breath” by Jethro Tull. It’s a great song when you’re pissed off.
  6. A song that makes you want to dance:You Make Me Feel Like Dancin’” by Leo Sayer. That was too easy.
  7. A song to drive to:Green Onions” by Booker T. and the MG’s. Remember the drag race scene in “American Graffiti”?
  8. A song about drugs or alcohol:Hey Bartender” by the Blues Brothers. Koko Taylor did a version of it, too.
  9. A song that makes you happy:Moonlight Feels Right” by Starbuck. I love the marimba solo.
  10. A song that makes you sad:The Dutchman” by the late Steve Goodman. The story of an old man and his loving and patient wife. (Recorded live with Jethro Burns.)
  11. A song you never get tired of:The Girl From Ipanema” by Astrud Gilberto and Stan Getz. Bossa nova was popular in the early Sixties, and I’ve always loved the sound.
  12. A song from your preteen years:She Loves You” by The Beatles. I was seven when it was released.
  13. One of your favorite ‘80’s songs:Never Gonna Give You Up” by Rick Astley. I love a lot of songs from the ‘80’s, but I wanted to have the pleasure of Rick-rolling you.
  14. A song you would love played at your wedding: I’ve been married since 1978, but I would have loved to have heard “Reminiscing” by The Little River Band at my wedding. It came out a few months after Mary and I tied the knot. I worked third shift when this song was popular, and I wouldn’t go to bed until I’d heard this.
  15. A song that’s a cover by another artist: Carl Perkins’ “Matchbox” by The Beatles. They did a couple of other Perkins covers (“Honey Don’t” and “Everybody’s Trying to Be My Baby”) that are definite runners-up. They did a lot of covers on their older albums, all of which are worth hearing.
  16. One of your favorite classical songs: Ravel’s “Bolero,” especially the way Joe Walsh played it with The James Gang. It’s part of “The Bomber” medley at the end of the first side of the vinyl LP, “Rides Again.” It was on the album originally, then one of Ravel’s relatives raised a copyright fuss, so they took it out. When said relative died, they added it back. (It starts at 3:29 of the video.)
  17. A song you would sing a duet with on karaoke:I’m Gonna Make You Love Me” by the Supremes and the Temptations. Another one is “To All The Girls I’ve Loved Before” by Julio Iglesias and Willie Nelson. I can do a reasonable impression of both of them, so I can do that duet all by myself.
  18. A song from the year you were born: I found out that the #1 song the week I was born (last week of March 1956) was “The Poor People of Paris” by Les Baxter. It’s one of those songs that you’ve heard a thousand times but never knew its name.
  19. A song that makes you think about life:Beyond The Blue Horizon” by Lou Christie. I had never heard it until Julie at Story A Day gave it as a prompt this past May.
  20. A song that has many meanings for you: “Mack the Knife.” Different versions by different artists mean something different to me. The version by the Dick Hyman Trio was used by a Chicago “Beautiful Music” station (WFMF, if you remember the station) that my mother and stepfather used to listen to all the time as part of their station ID. My stepfather would whistle it to the dog to let him know it was time to take a walk. (I miss all of them, my mother, stepfather, and even the dog.) Bobby Darin’s version reminds me of his tragic life. Lotte Lenya, the wife of composer Kurt Weill, did it to remind people of her husband’s work. Steve Martin’s (which I cannot find, sorry), complete with shadow puppets, was a riot.
  21. A favorite song with a person’s name in the title:Walk Away, Renee” by The Left Banke. Recorded in 1966, and just a good oldie.
  22. A song that moves you forward:The Atholl Highlanders/Johnny Cope” by the Tannahill Weavers. Nothing like some “tunes of glory” to get you moving.
  23. A song that you think everybody should listen to: “As One Unknown,” Cyprian Consiglio. Consiglio took Timothy Dudley-Smith’s anthem “He Comes To Us As One Unknown,” added a chorus and Catholic’d it up. (It’s a word now.) The lyrics are some of the most amazing poetry I’ve read.
  24. A song by a band you wish was still together:Wake Me, Shake Me” by The Blues Project. A band that I discovered in my high school days.
  25. A song by an artist no longer living:Got My Mojo Workin’” by Muddy Waters. His signature tune. He would play this at the end of every concert, and would get up off the stool he was sitting on and do a little dance during the piano and harmonica solos.
  26. A song that makes you want to fall in love:Show and Tell,” Al Wilson. Funny story about this: I was doing some work at Atlanta City Hall a few years ago, and there was a McDonald’s across the street where I would eat. They would play old soul and R&B as their background music. One day, this came on, and a guy (probably a street person) started singing this. Loud. And hearing him got me going, as well as a few other people. It’s a great song.
  27. A song that breaks your heart:Night Fever” by the Bee Gees. Actually any of the tunes from the “Saturday Night Fever” soundtrack. I had a good friend who committed suicide, and I had the dubious honor of cleaning out his apartment. Among his possessions was this soundtrack.
  28. A song by an artist with a voice that you love:Kentucky Rain” by Elvis Presley. Just a beautiful song, and Elvis’ voice was perfectly suited to it.
  29. A song that you remember from your childhood:The wheels on the bus go ‘round and round…” Always my favorite kindergarten song.
  30. A song that reminds you of yourself:Take Five” by the Dave Brubeck Quartet. As I said back when Dave Brubeck died, it really changed the way that I listened to music.

And now, it’s your turn. How would you answer these questions?