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Tag: ten on tuesday

ten on tuesday: the music died too young

The first of two (!) posts today, inspired by Carole’s typical prodding. Her topic: list ten musicians who you wish were still on this mortal coil.

  1. John Lennon. Need anything be said here?
  2. George Harrison. Again, need anything be said?
  3. Otis Redding. He finally had mainstream success the week he died. Such a voice…
  4. Buddy Holly. I think he would’ve given The Beatles a run for their money in the early 60s.
  5. Freddie Mercury. Even though his voice was damaged from smoking and his failing health, he brought the show. And now that homophobia isn’t a thing in rock, I think he would’ve flourished.
  6. Eva Cassidy. She was blessed with a wonderful voice, but was only hitting the big time when cancer struck her down.
  7. Keith Moon. I think he had a lot left in him, and The Who was never the same after his passing.
  8. Jon Entwistle. Same goes for “The Ox,” whose bass lines and licks were always stunning.
  9. Rick Wright. The quietest member of a quiet band. His keyboard sound was the glue of Pink Floyd, and his recent work with David Gilmour was most lovely.
  10. Janis Joplin. Oh, those blues. Oh, what a self-destructive life.

I could carry on: Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain, Dusty Springfield, Cass Elliot, and so many more deserve to be on this list. But that’s my ten.

Anybody you’d add to this list? Leave a comment!

(Cover image courtesy of Getty Images.)

ten on tuesday: the great outdoors (#projectfemur)

Carole’s prompt this week is “ten things I like to do outside.”

This is a tough one for me, especially as spring is finally arriving in DC. There are so many outdoor activities that I love, but I can’t do them because of… well, y’know. But I’m happy to say what I love to do in the out-of-doors, if only to remind myself why I’m doing all of the tough-as-nails physical therapy, pain and all.

  1. Ride my bicycle. This should be obvious: I love to ride my bike, and can’t really stand indoor riding. That said, this summer will be full of such activity.
  2. Ski. My first sporting love, and I’ll be back on those slopes this coming November.
  3. Camp. sprite and I really enjoyed camping in New Hampshire last fall, and I always like to sleep outdoors – it re-centers me.
  4. Picnic. My favorite Friday night activity is to gather with friends for a picnic at The Yards Park.
  5. Go to concerts. I love going to shows at outdoor venues, like Merriweather Post Pavilion or Wolf Trap.
  6. Read. Most progress I make in books is done at parks and cafés.
  7. Eat at cafés. DC has many wonderful cafés with outdoor seating.
  8. Go to the beach. And it has to be a real beach – i.e. one with ocean water and real waves for body surfing (which I won’t be able to do ’til mid-August due to my anticoagulant meds). Still: sun, surf, sand, I love it!
  9. Drink. A cold beer, a glass of wine or sangria, an icy daiquiri or margarita – all are wonderful and perfect for outdoor imbibing.
  10. Hike. I love hiking, and don’t do it often enough. And it’s something I will be able to do this summer, once the leg is strong again.

Do you have favorite things to do outdoors? Share ’em in the comments!

Yards Park picnic

Camping at Mt. Monadnock State Park

ten on tuesday: a case of the “i feels” (#projectfemur)

Per Carole’s typical prompt, here’s a Ten on Tuesday. The topic: ten statements or sentiments that start with “I feel…”

  1. I feel a lot better than I did last week (thank you, doctors, for clearing my pulmonary embolisms).
  2. I feel better now that I’m cooking again.
  3. I feel like my GI tract still isn’t completely over the post-hospital antibiotics (what, TMI?).
  4. I feel like there’s another big breakthrough about to come about in my #projectfemur recovery.
  5. I feel a bit stir-crazy because of that previous statement.
  6. I feel like I may finally upgrade my high-speed Internet connection to The Burrow.
  7. I feel like that also may be accompanied by a computer upgrade (my newest non-iPhone computer is at least 6 years old).
  8. I feel better now that my lower right leg isn’t swollen like a sausage.
  9. I feel like my orthopedist may finally allow me to bear weight on my right leg (crossing fingers).
  10. I feel like shaking things up a bit.

So… there ‘ya go! Got any “I feels?” Leave ’em in the comments.

#projectfemur update:

Really, things have gone well since the bilateral pulmonary embolism incident. I’m down to just the anti-coagulant and an occasional over-the-counter pain killer (usually when the weather is in flux – my right leg is my new weathervane). My in-home physical therapy is going well, and I’m out-and-about in the neighborhood when the sidewalk conditions permit.

(That said: this is probably the first winter where I’m wishing for “aesthetic snow” only, where the sidewalks remain clear and dry. Mark this occasion, as I’m usually an unabashed snow lover.)

ten on tuesday: i am… (#projectfemur)

Per Carole’s prompt this week, I figured her topic fit in well with an update on my injury recovery. So…

I am…

  1. …able to function well with crutches.
  2. …happy that my hematocrit is essentially back to normal.
  3. …almost ready to transition back to OTC pain medication.
  4. …still smiling every single morning.
  5. …still seeing this as an adventure – a positive, fun adventure!
  6. …appreciative of all the doctors, nurses, techs, physical therapists, occupational therapists, dietitians, custodians, and fellow travelers on this rehab journey.
  7. …glad that my right leg is getting more flexible and mobile each day (and without my being able to bear my body weight on it).
  8. …pleased beyond words at the support I’ve received from family and friends – y’all are awesome!
  9. …grateful to National Rehabilitation hospital for getting me from weak and anemic to strong and (mostly) independent over an 18 day span.
  10. …happy to be home.

So there… I am!

ten on tuesday: everyday happiness

Yes, yes – I have a new, non-list blog post in the works. But for now, here are ten everyday things that make me happy.

  1. Waking up to sprite’s face every morning.
  2. Petting the cats, each one with a different favorite spot to pet.
  3. The smell of freshly-ground coffee.
  4. The whirring of my bicycle chain as I ride to and from work.
  5. A majestic oak tree along R Street in Georgetown.
  6. The statue in the middle of Sheriden Circle.
  7. A cat curling up on my lap as I try to use the laptop, watch TV or read.
  8. Checking the tweets on the iPhone.
  9. Using Strava, RideWithGPS, and MapMyRide to discover new places to ride the bike, or concoct new routes to try.
  10. Logging my riding mileage and comparing it to previous years.

ten on tuesday: goals are for soccer

So Carole does another non-knitting “Ten on Tuesday,” and I’m compelled to join in. The subject: 10 goals for the summer. I think you can guess where my goals will be….

  1. Get back in prime cycling shape. This goal is vexing me right now: I’m back on the bike, essentially cleared to ride anything (though I still need my doc’s full “OK” to do the big stuff – I’m hoping it comes with tomorrow’s check-up), but feeling so out-of-it. I’m enjoying riding, but my climbing shape is woeful right now, and I have a lot of muscle mass to build back after the long sit-out and gradual build-up to riding again. Working on pedaling mechanics, good as it is in the long-run, doesn’t hold as much satisfaction as being able to climb like I usually can at this point. The rest of my riding friends are well ahead of me, thanks in part to the lack of winter we had in DC. And while I know that recovery from an adductor injury is a long, drawn-out, steady process, my inherent impatience is making things a bit tough. I have a lot of ground to make up, and having to do it in the midst of summer’s heat and humidity will make it extra challenging.
  2. Rebuild my carbon bike. The frame has been repaired for months, but sitting in a shipping box. I’ve stalled rebuilding it because of…. well, because of depression due to not being able to ride and riding like crap. I think I’ll be happier once it’s built and back on the road (and I’ll have two road bikes to choose from in riding – woot!).
  3. Do a mass de-cluttering. The Burrow is in a weird state of “packed” right now, and I could stand to clear out some things that I’m not using any more, but I’m sure could be used by others. Goodwill, local bike swaps and co-ops, eBay: be forewarned, I’m coming!
  4. Cook more. Part of the de-cluttering will involve “rationalizing the pantry.” This will make me more likely to cook. That’s a win-win.
  5. Go camping. I’d like to go backwoods camping – hiking, backpack, tents and all – but would settle for car camping, all the same. That said: must go backpacking sometime in the none-too-distant future.
  6. Go to the beach a few times. I’m a person who believes a beach isn’t a real beach unless there is actual surf (thus why I was never too keen on the Connecticut beaches: salty water but no surf). Why? Because I like to body surf (or at least attempt to do it – success is fleeting). The nearest good beaches are a few hours from DC, but worth the trip.
  7. Go on more picnics and cookouts with friends. I feel that this often gets overlooked in my summer plans. Hopefully, it won’t in 2012 because I’ve committed to it here!
  8. Enjoy what little available weekday vacation time I have. Due to a double whammy of working in academia and a large, enterprise-wide roll-out happening this summer, my available weekday summer vacation time (i.e. the stuff that summer vacations are made of) is all-too-short this year. Putting it gently: I have all of June and a few days in July, and that’s about it. I could complain about the fact that, unlike most of my DC friends, I don’t get to enjoy the dog days of summer with 4-day work weeks (believe me, it’s highly irksome), but that’s just a waste of time. So a road trip sometime in June is a must.
  9. Stay sane. The aforementioned big roll-out, happening in July, will likely tap my physical and emotional strength. My department is expected to turn in long work days for extended stretches of time, and I don’t cope well with these situations if they drag on for too long. So I’ll need my sanity checks along the way.
  10. Keep a positive outlook, come what may. Since my injury, I’ve had more than my share of ups and downs. I’ve found myself fighting to stay positive, and it’s a tough battle. Thus summer’s busy times and tough situations with regard to my favorite summer pastime have me in a bit of an anticipatory funk. I just need to take every day as it comes and find the positives wherever they are hiding. I can’t promise that every day will be good, but I hope that every day has at least one positive moment.

I know that sprite has her list, and that Sarah may also play along. Do any of my readers have specific summer goals? Post ’em in the comments!

(Note that I haven’t mentioned soccer until now? Good!)

ten on tuesday: sing a happy song

While some of Carole’s suggestions for “Ten on Tuesday” are, shall we say, not my speed, this one is perfect: songs that put you into a good mood.

Y’see, today I made the tough decision to withdraw from the Death Ride this coming July. Healing from my injury is taking longer than I hoped (and certainly longer than I like), and I had to make the choice: heal under the pressure of having a big event ride on the horizon, one that would test my physical and emotional mettle, without knowing whether I’d be physically healed enough for the challenge; or let it go and heal as my body tells me it should, however long that takes.

I chose the latter.

So some happy songs are on order – great timing, Carole! And, as Sarah did, I had problems limiting this list to just ten songs.

  1. “Here Comes The Sun” – The Beatles. An optimistic song, with such lovely acoustic guitar from George Harrison, great drumming from Ringo, and lovely harmonies from John and Paul. Abbey Road is The Beatles’ true swan song, and this song, which opens side 2 of the LP, is so, so great.
  2. “Good Vibrations” – The Beach Boys. A song that is summer to my ears: such masterful work from Brian Wilson, Mike Love and the other Boys.
  3. “The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy)” – Simon & Garfunkel. I can’t help but sing along and shuffle to this song. I’ve seen both Simon & Garfunkel and Artie, as a solo act, perform this. The latter was fun because he brought his then-four-year-old son on stage to sing it with him.
  4. “Little Lies” – Fleetwood Mac. Weird choice? Well, this song reminds me of skiing in Summit County, Colorado, as it was a hit when I first went to a fall ski racing camp at Keystone, back in 1987. Good times, those.
  5. “On The Road Again” – Willie Nelson. A song about hitting the road and traveling – love it.
  6. “Moving” – Supergrass. Britpop, with killer beats and hooks galore, is always a fave.
  7. “Linus and Lucy” – Vince Guaraldi Trio. No words, but how can you not dance to this song? Envision the Peanuts gang in A Charlie Brown Christmas as they “rehearsed” for the Christmas play: dance, dance, dance.
  8. “Good Day Sunshine” – The Beatles. Another happy song from the Fab Four, this one from Paul. Sure, it’s a rather simple love song, but it’s so infectiously happy – what’s not to like?
  9. “Love Shack” – B-52s. The Athens, Georgia, band’s consumate road song, and one that sticks in my craw from the old high school days. “Tin roof – rusted!”
  10. “That’s The Way God Planned It” – Billy Preston. You can hear the joy in Billy Preston’s voice in this song, and when he performed it live, he would dance his way around the stage as he really got into the moment. Sure, I’m an atheist, but this is religion in song, without a doubt.

Got your own happy songs? Share ’em in the comments.

ten on tuesday: headlines from the year you were born

I’m not a regular player in the “Ten on Tuesday” game, but this week’s topic is a good one. So, just like Sarah, I plundered the Internet to find some tidbits of intrigue from my birth year. And, just like Sarah said, I don’t remember any of these things actually happening, though many of them affected me and helped form the person I am.

1. Pink Floyd releases The Dark Side of the Moon. (March 1)

One of my favorite albums of all time, really turned me on to both prog rock as a teen and the lyrics (written by Roger Waters when he was 29) are wise beyond their years. I can’t wait for the immersion version box set of this album to come out later this month, because it should sound lovely and provide a ton of excellent live tracks and outtakes.

2. Supreme Court rules on Roe v. Wade. (January 22)

I’m a firm believer in the rights of women to have the final say on all of their healthcare choices. As a man, I have no right to tell a woman what she can or can’t do with her own body. Abortion should be safe, legal and rare.

3. President Nixon suspends all U.S. military operations in Vietnam. (January 15)

This senseless war had deep impact on my teenage years, as the baby boomers started to make sense of its aftermath via movies. And the anti-war protest songs make up a great deal of my favorite songs of all time. Less than a month after Nixon ended operations, the first POWs were released.

4. The World Trade Center opens in New York City. (April 4)

We all know the fate of these twin towers. But on this day, they were a symbol of new optimism in a world that was just getting its global trade system back in order after World Ward II. (Note: just one month later, the Sears Tower opened in Chicago, beating the WTC for right to “world’s tallest building.”)

5. Ron Blomberg of the New York Yankees becomes the first designated hitter in Major League Baseball. (April 6)

Worst. rule. change. ever. Thanks for nothing, George Steinbrenner. The DH was brought about as a way to try and drum up fan support for MLB. Unfortunately, it ended up contributing to pitchers who are as wide as they are tall, with precious few skills other than throwing a ball. Thank goodness the National League hasn’t fallen for the DH (save for spring training and inter-league play at AL ballparks).

6. Skylab is launched. (May 14)

As a kid (and heck, even now) I was a huge fan of outer space, NASA, astronauts and everything associated with them. Skylab paved the way for the Space Shuttle and in the International Space Station – not a bad track record for a flawed space station. The Skylab exhibit at National Air and Space Museum is one of my favorites.

7. Secretariat wins the Triple Crown. (June 9)

The horse that many consider the greatest of all time won the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes in 1973. Sure, I’m not a big fan of horse racing, but it’s still quite the achievement for a young horse.

8. Gen. Augusto Pinochet leads successful U.S.-backed military coup in Chile. (September 11)

Proof positive that, throughout the years, the United States isn’t always on the “right side” of history.

9. Nixon orders the “Saturday Night Massacre.” (October 20)

Sure, there were plenty of Watergate moments I could have chosen in 1973. But this one is the first one that raised calls for Nixon’s impeachment. I mean, on November 17 he famously proclaimed, “I am not a crook!”

10. The American Psychiatric Association removes homosexuality from DSM-II. (December 15)

One of the landmark decisions in the ongoing quest for recognition of and equality for the LGBT population of the United States – and an appropriate ending to this list, given today is the day that “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” finally became history.

ten on tuesday: best pic-a-tures

This week’s Ten on Tuesday asks for your favorite winners of the Best Motion Picture prize at the Oscars. I’ve seen many of the winners from the past 50 years, some from the earlier years as well.

So here are my top ten, in descending order:

  1. Casablanca (1943) Possibly my second-favorite film of all time*, this is a wonderful film with great characters, excellent writing and gorgeous cinematography. So many lines of this film are part of the common lexicon these days, and for good reason: the film is simply awesome.
  2. Chariots of Fire (1981) An uplifting-yet-bittersweet film about Olympic runners, beautifully filmed and acted. This is one of the first films I remember seeing and then saying to myself afterward “film can be art.” I was 8 at the time. Go fig.
  3. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (2003) As many state, this award was likely given as acknowledgement of the triumph of the whole trilogy, and what a trilogy it is! Majestic, dark, foreboding – and yet whimsical (at times), accessible and engrossing. Peter Jackson shot for the moon, and oh how well he hit the mark. And no, I don’t miss the scenes with Tom Bombadil one bit.
  4. The Godfather, Part II (1974) Coppolla’s masterwork to this day, and one of a handful of sequels that thoroughly beat the original film in terms of achievement (and the first Godfather is one hell of a film).
  5. Schindler’s List (1993) Dark story matter, grippingly told by Steven Spielberg and the lens work of Janusz Kaminsky. The one shot of color – the girl in the red coat – codifies the sense that the victims of the Holocaust were reduced to nothing but numbers in the eyes of the Nazis. It’s a tough film to watch, but this is an essential film.
  6. The Sound of Music (1965) Julie Andrews at her finest, songs that stick to your craw like high-quality peanut butter, and the mountains – oh, the mountains! Sure, some of the material grates (“16 Going on 17” being the big clunker in these enlightened days), but the movie is grand and epic – to me, the best movie musical ever filmed.
  7. Amadeus (1984) Another film that gripped me as art, and the soundtrack was the sound of my childhood (I didn’t get to listen to much pop or rock music as a young child, as my folks wanted me to study to Mozart). This movie always entertains me.
  8. All About Eve (1950) Possibly Bette Davis’ best role. Ever.
  9. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) Ma favorite Jack Nicholson film, and a film that makes me laugh, cry and cringe every time I see it.
  10. The Silence of the Lambs (1991) A taut thriller with a superb cast, deserving of all accolades bestowed upon it. Hopkins and Foster are such perfect foils – and I’ll never think of fava beans the same way again (and yes, I like fava beans and a nice chianti, though not with the kind of liver that Hannibal Lecter suggests to Agent Starling).

Sarah listed her ten over on her blog, which is a fun read, as well. And Carole will aggregate all of the entries on her blog.

* – for the record, my favorite film of all time is 2001: A Space Odyssey.

ten on tuesday: i should’ve known…

Carole is quite good at provoking lists on Tuesdays, and this week’s focus is 10 Things You Wish You Had Known When You Started College. Without any further dawdling (and yes, there is a cycling post in the works – I’ve just been busy with work and life, of late)…..

  1. Life is too short for cheap beer. Some of the swill I ingested in my early college days was vile. These days, I’ll have an occasional PBR or Miller, but 99 percent of the time, I’m after something craft brewed, microbrewed, or at the very least a beer with personality and flavor (e.g. Guinness).
  2. It’s OK to stand up for your choices, which goes hand-in-hand with…
  3. It’s possible to start over again. Originally, I was supposed to go to the University of Colorado at Boulder for my freshman year of college. I’d even paid the deposit, been assigned a dorm, etc. But a familial squabble put the brakes on that, and I started at the University of Utah – a fine school, but not where I needed to be at that time in my life. So, after two years of feeling meh at “The U,” I transferred to Connecticut College (after a 5 month stint working in Rocky Hill, CT), moved in mid-year, and thrived. And it was a college of my own choosing. And it’s where I met sprite.
  4. Good fences make good neighbors. Ben Franklin was right about this. Living in a dorm with a mix-and-match population in terms of tastes, lifestyles, music choices and the like makes you value the ability to close your door every so often to get some privacy and peace.
  5. Never be afraid to take risks on things you know nothing about. I think that’s something that hampered me at Utah: it is a huge school with a lot of opportunities, both in terms of academics and activities. On the academic end, I was disappointed that my original major wasn’t inspiring, and I let that set me academically adrift for two quarters, at least. I did, however, become a music reporter for the student newspaper, which allowed me a lot of access into the music and journalism worlds.
  6. Be willing to admit defeat and move on with more motivation. It’s true, my original major (meteorology) didn’t pan out, but after I picked up my chin, I found my bearings and decided upon a major I loved (international relations), which provided the inspiration to move east and transfer into Conn College.
  7. Never burn a bridge, but choose your friends wisely. As Carole notes in her list, the friends you make in college are often your friends for life. And I’m still close with a lot of my college friends. But there are close friends and there are folks with whom you were friendly but who wouldn’t factor in your life, post-college. And seeing as I’m a social guy, I had to learn the demarcation between the two – a valuable lesson that, if I’d known it before college, I’d have likely had a bit more fun.
  8. Be spontaneous. I was never really a spontaneous guy before college, and it took catharsis (my parents’ divorce going on while living at home being a primary catalyst) to get me to spontaneity. I submitted transfer applications. I moved east without knowing whether I’d be accepted at any school to which I applied. I had no job, but landed one in a music store. I went on a madcap drive to Cape Cod to see the sunrise over the ocean on my 22nd birthday. I danced in the rain and knocked huge puddles off of outdoor tents. I went sledding on the roof of the athletic center during a blizzard. I soaked up every moment of my short time at Conn, a lot of it spontaneously.
  9. Be flexible. There’s no real owner’s manual for being a college student. It’s an individual experience, dependent on the person and, even more so, the context of the situation (the particular school, the age of the student, geography, climate, etc.). And circumstances can change with the wind. Along with spontaneity comes the need for flexibility. The class you want may be full or cancelled. Your roommate may be a complete asshole. There may be a floor party in your dorm while you are taking double credits and need to study. A kitchen fire may force you to spend a night out at the diner as the local fire department clears the smoke out of the halls of your dorm. Being able to adapt makes this possible.
  10. Smile – a lot.
  11. ETA: It’s OK to transfer to another college. It’s often very difficult to tell whether a college will be the right fit when you’re coming out of high school, still a teenager, having not lived away from home for any period longer than a few weeks. If things don’t feel right, give the school you’re at a chance – at least a year, possibly two – just to see if things will change. If they change for the better, great! If not, remember that it’s OK to transfer to another school. (And an aside to this: make sure to get a well-rounded core curriculum done in your first two years of college, and try to do well in those classes – it makes the transfer process far less painful.)

So, folks, I turn the mic over to you: what do you wish you’d known before college?

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