Music That Gets Me Hopping’!

Music That Gets Me Hoppin’!

I thought I might share some of the tunes that motivate me and keep me moving. It’s an esoteric selection; maybe you’d like to try some them?

Alan Parsons Project

The Alan Parsons Project was one of my early favorites. I listened to them so much I knew them by heart. In fact, when I went into the US Navy and got to my ship the USS Dixon for a Pacific cruise, I went up on deck at night sometimes and quietly sang the entire albums as I looked at the strange constellations and the glowing jelly fish.

The Carter Family

The Carter Family was one of Mama’s all-time favorites and I have a copy of every album they ever made. Their harmonies and musical style influence generations of musicians and song writers. I always remember dear ol’ Ma laughing with my little sisters cavorting in the living room whenever I play the Carters!


Moody Blues

The Moody Blues have lots of album out and I’ve seen them in person, too. What storytellers! Each album has its own mood and theme, so it’s fun to choose between them! These fellows have excellent musical talents but also sing very emotive lyrics that have always touched my heart. These guys bring me up when I’m feeling low.

Oingo Boingo!

Oingo Boing amazed me when I moved to San Diego California with the USN. Their music took my mind off my personal turmoil and worries and grabbed my mind away for a while. Nothing sugary or poignant here, it’s hard driving and when dancing/exercising to it I get a real workout!

Mike Oldfield

My forever favorite, the one I have gone to when torn since my pre-teens after I heard my older brother play Tubular Bells. I have all his albums and treasure each one. Of all of these, I’d recommend you try some of this genius’s music. He plays nearly all of the instrumentation himself and creates the most unique, lively and thoughtful albums with the most intriguing themes. A penultimate musician, his guitar virtuosity is amazing. I think I’ll go down and put Ommadawn on right now!

A World View

I recently created an acrylic on canvas painting. I thought lots about it before picking up a brush and thought I might share what I think it means. First, just take a look and see all the bright colors, flowers and creatures!

My view? The trellis is a community or city. The the flowers are what sustains the folks in the area, the grocery store. The hummingbird, butterfly, caterpillar and bees are us, people of all kinds and characteristics. They gather peacefully, don’t they? At least these do.

One thing folks don’t notice is that the flower vines have stems that have roots into the ground, aka the earth. What if that very bright sun with dagger rays shined for weeks with no rain? Drought is increasing. Of course floods are on the rise (ahem…) as well. What if petroleum or other pollution got to the roots? Happens too much.

If the flowers die, the whole system dies. And please see the flowers are all curved away from that hot sun; the planet’s already warming. I started considering this painting as a metaphor for love and light, the critters all getting together so well and all. It still does I suppose, love our planet and let the light shine on our correcting the harm done over the decades so those who come after us can have a safe and beautiful planet to live on.

I just love flowers! This is from the variousentityshoppe collection.

Have Some Reading Time?

Happy Friday to all you folks!

Lots of us are becoming home-bound, at least for a while. As an avid reader for all my life (since I chewed on my Little Golden Books), my go-to is to comb the shelves.  Don’t have enough to read? The TV wearing you out? How about these ideas?

Amazon has my Elise t’Hoot Galactic Adventure series ready for eBook download, as well as a variety of Take-A-Break Shorts. Just sayin‘, they’re worth a peek. You’d even have time to review them!

I’m still able to get to the Post Office…and they’re still open. If you need something to in your hands to read, I have another suggestion!

 

Old Lady Who?

Horse Branch, KY, U.S.A.

Joined May 1, 2016

I have an Online Bookstore called Old Lady Who? It’s on the ABE Books website, where independent booksellers all over the place work together to sell new and gently used books. There are hundred of thousands of books – there’s bound to be something you like. Good for independents and good to recycle perfectly good books…and good for the reader! The postal delivery may be delayed because of the great increase in ordering stuff these days, but the book should reach you. I mailed out two books this week! Check out ABEBooks !

Free Story From Take-A-Break Shorts!

I have a new series of short stories going our to the wide world soon. Most are longer that postable, but here’s one that fits pretty good:

 

1989

He bought a one way ticket

On an airplane made of snow

Flyin’ low

Dyin’ slow

 

Out Of Rehab. Again. He opened the trunk to get his duffel of a thousand patches out. He’d sold his house and most everything in it for Happy Harry. His and Lili’s house, with little Po. Now he’d live here at Pete’s or under a bridge. With the other cracked up Nam vets. He’d flown secret Air Force missions in Laos while she went to Saigon’s medical facilities. He’d got wasted every day. She worked her ass off to be a real doctor. Did it, too.

Pong realized he stared at Lili’s patch from Afghanistan, the official one from the Hagibi Hospital where she worked putting people’s faces back together. Where she adopted that kid. She used to work there. He yanked on the strap and dragged it to his brother’s front door.

***

“I got the tea straight from Singapore. Great isn’t it” Pete topped off Pong’s mug. The kitchen table was supposed to be a cozy, comforting family place to ease anxieties. Crap.

“Yeah, great.” Pete had set him up in the rec room, too much room. Pong had nearly collapsed to see a new drawing table, paints, markers and a stack of poster boards. Not anymore, not without Lili. He remembered being in a little boat in Singapore, with Lili.

Po burst into the front door singing out “I’m home!” The kid stopped cold when he saw Pong. “Hi Pong.”

“Hey kid. What did you learn in school today?” He felt Lili smile, he’d asked about school like she wanted him to. God forbid if the kid wanted a hug – that was Lili’s job.

In a much subdued tone, Po said, “I have to do a report on a pet. But I don’t have a pet.”

Pong blinked. The kid stood like at the choir in church.  At least the one time Pong had attended church with Lili. He’d seen the kid trail up to stand on the stage with a dozen other kids and belt out some hymn. He remembered the grand days where he and his brother had belted out harmonies at some of the big shows. Jimi Hendrix got top billing but there were instant venues all throughout the milling crowds. He’d met Lili at the Pixly Farm show, where it rained the whole time. They let her sleep in their tent.

“Hey Pong!”

Pete was staring at him. “What?”

Pete patiently said, “I told Po that we could go to the Dog Pound and get a pet.”

Pong saw Po’s eyes dart from his nominal daddy to his own mug of tea. He’d had missed the kid sitting down. Annoyed, he blurted, “You could make up a pet.”

Po took a deep breath. “I read that the Dog Pound mostly kills the big dogs and the black cats.” His eyes lifted toward Pete. “If you don’t want a big dog maybe we could get a black kitten.”

The hope in the boy’s plea would have broken Pong’s heart if the still had one. Apparently, he’d lost his adopted son as well as his wife. He sipped his tea and remembered how he and Lili talked about getting a dog right before her Guard unit dragged her to Afghanistan. She laughed and told him to get a watchdog ’cause she wouldn’t be there to protect him.

A jacket thrust into his face made him jump. Automatically standing to put his jacket on, he asked, “Where to?”

“You stay in outer space most of the time, dude. The Dog Pound. That’s what we’ve been jawing about, right? They close at five so we’d best be movin’ along.”

In the back seat Pong vividly recalled his favorite poster, ‘Movin’ Along!’, the one he’d got prints made of and people came up to get their copies autographed. The cool air in his face via the opened door clued him they’d arrived.

At the counter Po explained that they needed to see the process from the end to the beginning. The woman in charge frowned, saying the public was not allowed in the euthanasia area. Struggling to pay attention, Pong asked, “Can we see Death Row?”

The woman screwed her mouth up for another access denial, but Pete saved the day by asking, “He’s troubled. Can we visit the pets that have been here the longest?”

Pete stopped at the Cat Room that was indeed populated with a preponderance of black kitties. Pong went on to the last chance Dog Room, Po at his heels. Huh.

The room felt so weird, almost electrically frizzy. A neon rainbow sprang from Po to a shaggy auburn double-wide Irish Setter-ish mutt. The mutt looked intently his way. Pong thought about how long he’d tried to draw somebody making the “Tck-Tck” sound you make with one side of your face pulled back when you want a dog to come. He’d messed up too many poster boards trying, no luck. Luck? Really?

He stretched one side of his lips back and “Tck-Tck” erupted. The mutt bounded up and over until giant paws on each shoulder nearly bowled him over.  Once he caught his breath, he knew this was HIS dog. His watchdog.  Or maybe his and Po’s?  Lili had begged him to stop calling Po ‘kid’. “Hey son, what you want to name this colossal creature?”

His son’s face lit bright. “Angel.”

“Down, Angel”. The dog sat obediently, tail wagging like a windshield wiper.  Leaving Pixly he had to get new wiper blades before they got to the interstate. Angel brought his attention back to the here and now with a reverberating bark. He saw Po lean forward to check out Daddy’s demeanor. Pong flung his arms out. That hug felt better than he ever thought one could. Could something go right this time?

The 60’s style flamboyance made his ‘Save a Pet’ posters a big hit, in the restaurants, in vet’s offices, grocery stores, lots of places. One of Pete’s black cats, couldn’t tell Stupid from Cupid, had knocked over a bottle of black ink, stepped in it and walked across the top left corner of Pong’ s first effort. Now they all had black cat paw prints stamped there, like the seal of approval. He shook his head and turned away from the framed posters on the wall. “Lemonade. I came in to get lemonade. He took a Minute Maid out of the freezer and stirred it with water. He heard Po shouting something and squealing. That Angel could wear a guy out! That Angel was a blessing.

Crazy Maniac About BOOKS!

Since I was a we little tyke, I’ve devoured books (I even ate part of one about the 3 Little Kittens). We didn’t have that many around the house so I read Mama’s few (Gone with the Wind and such) including the full set of Golden Encyclopedias. What an education for a single-digit kid!

The Bookmobile stopped by the shopping center we walked to for groceries (Winn-Dixie) and I really had to beg ’em to give me a library card. Oooh, how I treasured that card. They limited me to 3 books for a while, but extended it all the way to 10 after noting my care and fervency. Andre Norton and Arthur C Clarke were early favorites, and cook books – I started cooking all kinds of goodies. History and science were my absolute favorites, and I have the firm belief the Bookmobilers stocked more just for me.

The biggest shock about being on a ship far out to sea in the USNavy was being BOOKLESS but for the few I brought with me. Back in port: Buy more books NOW.  I don’t want to neglect the wonder of libraries, it’s just that the school libraries were substandard and the Louisville Free Public Library was way too far away to walk or bike. Yeah, the bus. The bus costs cash and transfers were daunting for a lone youngster.

Now:

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That’s over 7000 books in my cabin library! Plus a few hundred more elsewhere. And I write some as well! What else can I do but make an attempt sort a few out (including – sigh – duplicates)?

TA DA! a few years ago I started a BOOKSTORE! Old Lady Who? is named after Mama who adored Jimmyold lady who Rogers, the Blue Yodeler. It’s an Independent Bookstore among the thousands on Abe Books. I found myself amazed when I realized I hadn’t told any of you about it! Need a book? Give Abe Books a look and maybe do a search for Old Lady Who? I put one of these stickers on each order.

So, problem solved, right? Sell them until I have room to walk.  Of course not. Don’t worry, if I need therapy for this obsession, I’ll buy a BOOK on it!

book order