Friday, September 4, 2015

FRANKLIN FRIDAY: I BEEN SHED DING

Hi! Hi! Hi hi hi hihihihihihihi! It's me it's me it's me it's Franklin the Bordernese, and jeez louise all this shed ding must seize. What? Mom says it's not seize. It's cease. You wouldn't believe what it's like to live with some buddy who thinks she's the queen of grammer. I love Mom, but she don't know everything.

Shhh! Don't tell, but I learned a special word that tells about Mom being queen of grammer. It's called a delusion. Ha! Willy Dunne Wooters told me that word. I told Favorite Young Man. Favorite Young Man laughed.
Don't you dare tell Mom we laughed at her delusion.
I might not get a piece of cheese with my kibble.

Like I says, I been shed ding lots because it's so hot. I had so much fur falling out I was scared I'd be bald. All that fur was itchy, too. Mom said, Don't you worry, Best Buddy. I'll brush your hair. All the loose fur will come out, and you'll still have lots of hair left in your pretty coat.

So I cuddled up next to Mom, and she brushed.



And she brushed.


The brush scratched my itch. I got sleepy.


While I slept, the extra fur piled up on the rug.


When I woke up, I couldn't believe how much hair there was. Mom said she could make another dog out of it. I don't think she'd really do that, do you?




Mom said if I didn't mind, she'd brush some more. Okay by me.



Here's what happened:



I felt so much better.



I smiled big time. 

Now Mom says it's time for a bath. Uh-oh.

Okay I love you bye-bye.


Franklin the Bordernese



P.S. Hey Every Buddy, Mom lifted something too heavy today. Her back hurts, so I have to take care of her. We'll read your comments as soon as we can. Don't worry. Mom will be fine. 

I had to go to the vet today for my check-up. I got a shot. Mom is the one who's hurt. She shoulda got a shot.















Tuesday, September 1, 2015

BATTLE OF THE BANDS: JOURNEY V. JOURNEY

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

It's time for the September 1, 2015, edition of The Battle of the Bands.  Mr. Stephen T. McCarthy provides us with this information about the bloghop:

The whole thing is really quite simple: You select two different versions of the same song (versions you feel might give each other some competition in the voting) and you post them on the 1st and the 15th of each month.

On the 7th and 21st of each month, you add your own personal vote to the mix, total up all the votes and announce the winner on your blog.


Beyond that, just try to have fun with it and let your readers/voters have fun with it.


All righty, then. Let's have fun!

I've never been a Journey fan, but I enjoyed the documentary I watched--Don't Stop Believin': Everyman's Journey--about their search for a new lead singer. The documentary led me to present this BOTB.

The original incarnation of Journey formed in 1973 and wasn't very successful. Their label told them they needed a frontman and lead singer. They dutifully hired a lead singer, who left within a year.

During 1977, Journey hired Steve Perry as their lead singer, and the band became a huge success.

One of Journey's biggest hits was--and is--Don't Stop Believin', "which in 2009 became the top-selling track in iTunes history amongst songs not released in the 21st century," according to Wikipedia.

Here's our first contender in Journey v. Journey: Don't Stop Believin', featuring Steve Perry.




Steve Perry left Journey in 1987, though he returned at times for reunions, until he suffered a hip injury in 1997. He was replaced by Steve Augeri in 1998.

Augeri left in 2006 and was replaced by Jeff Scott Soto for almost a year.

Now we reach the part of Journey's story that I find most interesting. Lead guitarist Neal Schon searched YouTube for a new lead singer and discovered Filipino singer Arnel Pineda, who was in a cover band called The Zoo. Pineda, who had spent much of his youth homeless, seemed to rejuvenate Journey. They played sold-out stadium concerts. Their single, After All These Years, spent numerous weeks on Billboard's Adult Contemporary Chart.

In the documentary about Journey hiring and undertaking their first tour with Pineda, he recalls that following their first concert, the band's manager told him not to run around the stage, to stand still and sing. To the apparent delight of the crowd, Pineda did not stop delivering his enthusiastic performances.

So whether you like Steve Perry's voice and way of working with the band, or Arnel Pineda's voice and style, please cast your vote in the comments for Journey with Steve Perry or Journey with Arnel Pineda.

Here's Pineda, also on Don't Stop Believin':




Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Monday, August 31, 2015

HURRICANE KATRINA TEN YEARS ON

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Ten years ago, I lived in the house on the hill in Illinois. I worked in a university library. I was married. I was taking two classes toward a master's degree in English. My adult children were my pride and joy, with equal measures of both. My mission was to rescue dogs.

If you could have seen my life, it looked as if it could be the perfect tableau in a snow globe.

Gradually, the snow globe started to shake. It shook harder. Then someone turned it upside down and shook it so hard that the scene inside didn't return to what it had been.

The house on the hill turned into a tiny house in Florida. I didn't have a job. I didn't have a husband. I didn't have the master's degree I wanted so badly. Thank God I still had children and dogs.

As difficult as that time was for me, ten years ago was much worse for the people who had to live with Hurricane Katrina, which formed over the Bahamas on August 23rd, 2005. On August 24th, it became Tropical Storm Katrina. The storm became a hurricane on August 25th.

Hurricane Katrina became a category five hurricane before weakening to category three on August 29th. I was at work in the library when reports about the severity of the storm reached us.

Wikipedia states: Katrina caused severe destruction along the Gulf coast from central Florida to Texas, much of it due to the storm surge. The most significant number of deaths occurred in New OrleansLouisiana, which flooded as its levee system failed, in many cases hours after the storm had moved inland. Eventually 80% of the city and large tracts of neighboring parishes became flooded, and the floodwaters lingered for weeks. However, the worst property damage occurred in coastal areas, such as Mississippi beachfront towns; over 90 percent of these were flooded. Boats and casino barges rammed buildings, pushing cars and houses inland; water reached 6–12 miles (10–19 km) from the beach.

The rest of the country watched helplessly as the people who couldn't escape the flood waters begged for help. Their snow globes weren't merely out of order. Everything inside was smashed. The glass on the globes was shattered, too.

Some areas never recovered from Hurricane Katrina, and I suspect they never will.

My blog has served its purpose as my therapy. My snow globe is not perfect, but I recovered. I won't end my blog, but expect changes in the future.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug






For an analysis of the politicizing of Hurricane Katrina, consider reading http://goo.gl/v6Yfz0.


Friday, August 28, 2015

THE CEPHALOPOD COFFEEHOUSE: LABOR DAY BY JOYCE MAYNARD

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

It's time for The Cephalopod Coffeehouse, hosted by The Armchair Squid.



The idea is simple: On the last Friday of each month, post about the best book you've finished over the past month while visiting other bloggers doing the same.  In this way, we'll all have the opportunity to share our thoughts with other enthusiastic readers.

My book for this month is Labor Day by Joyce Maynard. I had already seen the movie based on the book (click HERE to see my review) and wanted to read the book when Joyce generously offered an autographed copy of one of her books to anyone who donated $100 to fund the education of Rosa, a young woman in Guatemala who is learning to be a healthcare provider. 









It says

for Janie
with undying faith in the
power of love. And with
friendship

Then she signed her name and drew a little sketch of a woman.


In Labor Day we learn that Adele seldom leaves home because she's depressed. She lives alone with her young son Henry, whose father divorced Adele and married another woman. He also started a new family--a son and a daughter. Other than Henry, Adele was unable to have the children she wanted so badly.

The Thursday before Labor Day weekend, Adele and Henry make a rare trip to Pricemart to buy back-to-school clothes for Henry. They meet Frank, who is injured and needs a place to stay. 

Where do you want to go? I asked him.I was thinking, they weren't very considerate to their workers at this store, if when they got injured like this, they had to ask the customers to give them a hand.

Your house?

He said it like a question first, but then he had looked at me like he was a character in The Silver Surfer, with superpowers. He put a hand on my shoulder, tight.

Frankly, son, I need this to happen.

Frank spends Labor Day weekend with Adele and Henry and changes their lives. Frank indeed has superpowers. He teaches clumsy Henry how to play ball. How to bake a pie. 

How to have a man around the house who loves Adele.

How to betray. How to be forgiven.

I love Labor Day. Maynard's style and voice are outstanding. The book took me away into another world, and I didn't want that world to end, but it did . . . oi! 

When I reached the last line--You brought the baby, she says--I nearly turned into a melted puddle of pie crust and butter and tears and love.

Congratulations on writing such a beautiful book, Ms. Maynard.  Labor Day earns The Janie Junebug Seal of Love and Beauty and Gratitude. 

This book is available from Amazon at http://goo.gl/6NgLpF.

To join The Cephalopod Coffeehouse, please click on The Armchair Squid.


 Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug



Willy Dunne Wooters thinks Joyce is cute.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

DIFFICULTIES PRESERVING LIVE AID FOR THE FUTURE


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

 How do we preserve the memory of Live Aid if we weren't fortunate enough to be at one of the venues?


We have the memories of the performers and the people who watched at home.

But is is true that . . .

  • Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt of Status Quo--the band that opened the show in London on July 13, 1985--were known as Dr. Rossi and Dr. Parfitt because of the large quantity of drugs they carried?
  • Bob Geldof's wife Paula Yates stopped at a gas station on the way to the concert to buy flowers for Princess Diana?
  • Bob Geldof had to hitchhike home after the show because no cabs were available?
  • David Crosby was out on bail because of drug and weapons possession charges?
  • No band was to have more than twenty minutes on stage, so when the red five-minute warning light flashed during The Who's performance, Pete Townshend smashed the light and the band played an extra five minutes?
  • Elton John's performance ran over so Wham! didn't get to play?
  • A number of performers refused to participate or did so under duress because they felt bullied by Bob Geldof?
I hope any bad feelings left over from the concerts to benefit the starving people of Ethiopia have dissipated over the years. But what about preserving the performances from this historic occasion?

Yes, I've watched the four DVDs of the show, but they don't include all the performances. Some bands aren't included because of music rights issues or because they were unhappy with their performances and wouldn't allow them to be shown again.

The only people who have the complete concerts are those with aging videocassettes they recorded at home on that day because Bob Geldof considered the show a one-time only event. He asked all the broadcasters to eraser their tapes.

ABC dutifully obeyed Geldof, but in 2004 when Geldof finally realized the concert should be released, he learned that the BBC and MTV disobeyed him. They had the parts of the concert they broadcast, although the BBC recordings are said to be superior.

In spite of backstage drama, I hope the major lesson of July 13th, 1985, is that people can come together to raise money for a cause. We've seen many such examples since then, such as The Concert for New York after 9/11.

I've watched quite a few memorable performances on the DVDs, but I must say that the best is that of Queen. Many think that Queen gave the all-time greatest live performance ever. I swear Freddie Mercury must have been jolted with power that he sent into the ether to electrify the crowd and even the viewers at home.






We still miss you, Freddie.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Prince Charles asks Bob Geldof, Where are we?
Princess Diana wonders how she married such a dolt.

The crowd in Philadelphia 

The crowd in London

David Bowie

Elton John

Madonna was described as an up and coming singer.

Sir Paul

Tina Turner and Mick Jagger
She was 33. He was 103.
Queen steals the show.





Call Bono!
Someone stole this girl's shirt.
He must pull her over the barrier and dance with her.
Save us all, Bono!
P.S. I'm sorry I confused some of you. I did not attend either concert. I watched part of the show on TV. My strongest memory is of Paul McCartney starting to sing Let It Be, but his microphone didn't work for the first two minutes of the song.

And no, Shady, I am not the topless girl!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

ODDS AND ENDS AND LIVE AID

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

We've established that hair bands and baggy clothes were the name of the game at Live Aid on July 13th, 1985, when rock stars joined together to raise funds for the starving people of Ethiopia. Now let's look at some high points of the two-venue concert (the focus was on London and Philadelphia, but other countries held concerts, too) that drew more viewers than any other TV special.

The concert began in London's Wembley Stadium at noon BST, which was 7 a.m. at Philadelphia's John F. Kennedy Stadium. The BBC broadcast the show, as did MTV. However, ABC took over during the evening and wanted to reserve some of the biggest acts for those hours. Thus, some bands that played in London earlier in the day didn't play on television in the U.S. until much later.

After concert goers entered Wembley Stadium, Prince Charles and Princess Diana arrived. The Coldstream Guards played "The Royal Salute" and "God Save The Queen." It was early enough in the royal couple's marriage that Diana didn't have that I'm-going-to-cry-at- any-minute-face, and Charles didn't appear to have sucked on a lemon.

He doesn't look very happy, though, does he?
That's the face of a man who'd rather go to the opera,
or tell his mistress that he wants to be her tampon.
Ignore Charles, and enjoy some trivia instead:

  • Queen's sound engineer made some sneaky changes to the system so Queen's performance would be louder than others.
  • U2's Bono tried to signal to security that a girl was being crushed against the barriers during their performance. When the guards failed to understand her plight, Bono jumped down from the stage to pull the girl to safety. He then danced with her.
  • Seven hours into the show organizer Bob Geldof was disappointed in the amount of money raised. He interrupted an announcer giving addresses where donations could be sent in the future by yelling "Fuck the address, let's get the numbers!" Giving increased considerably.
  • Paul McCartney closed the show in London with "Let It Be" (although various artists gathered afterwards to sing "Do They Know It's Christmas?"--the single they had released earlier for charity), but his microphone failed. Audiences couldn't hear the first two minutes of the song.
  • The concert in JFK began at 8:51 a.m.
  • Phil Collins performed in London, then flew on the Concorde to the U.S. to perform again.
  • Both venues were dominated by white male performers. Michael Jackson allegedly tried to organize a boycott of the event because so few black performers were scheduled to appear. Stevie Wonder agreed to perform, changed his mind, and stated he would not be the token black.
  • Crosby, Stills, & Nash reunited for the concert. Ozzy Osbourne sang with Black Sabbath.
  • Teddy Pendergrass performed in public for the first time since he was paralyzed in a car accident during 1982.
  • Duran Duran played four songs and didn't perform together again until 2003. Simon Le Bon was so off key during "A View to Kill" that the press dubbed his performance "The Bum Note Heard Round the World."
  • A number of acts who agreed to appear dropped out because of disagreements with promoter Bill Graham.
  • Bob Dylan, Keith Richards, and Ronnie Wood closed the show in the U.S., followed by "We Are the World."

Although no one would have accused Phil Collins of being in a hair band, he did have hair in 1985:


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug




Monday, August 24, 2015

WHO REMEMBERS LIVE AID?



Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

On July 13th, 1985, rock stars volunteered to perform in two venues with the concerts broadcast internationally: Wembley Stadium in London and John F. Kennedy Stadium in Philadelphia. I remember watching bits of the concert, especially during the evening, but because I missed many of the acts, I asked my friends at Netflix to send me the DVDs of the concert.

Other countries, such as Australia and Germany, also held concerts. The event drew one of the largest audiences ever. Wikipedia states: "An estimated global audience of 1.9 billion, across 150 nations, watched the live broadcast."

Bob Geldof of Boomtown Rats and Midge Ure of Ultravox responded to a BBC report about people starving in Ethopia to create a fundraising single called "Do They Know It's Christmas?" Rock stars in the U.S. responded with their own charitable effort: "We Are the World."

Boy George of Culture Club came up with the idea to hold a concert. Geldof took up the cause and ran with it.

Live Aid raised about $284 million dollars.

As I enjoy the DVDs of the concert, I'm struck by two eighties fashion dos that are probably now don'ts:


1. Big Hair
Bob Geldof

Bono of U2

George Michael
See, it wasn't just a lot of hair.
It tended to be feathered.





2. Baggy clothes

Spandau Ballet qualified in the feathered hair
and baggy clothes categories.


Madonna seemed surprisingly relaxed.
I don't think she'd taken over the world yet.
It's a lot of responsibility.
And now let's look at my favorite baggy suit of the day. Kenny Loggins sang Footlose while wearing what appeared to be a gray and black print on white. It looks a lot like flannel jammies.



Do you have any special memories of Live Aid?


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug