With Respect and Appreciation on Veteran’s Day – 2015

Veterans Day

I’m not the biggest sentimentalist in the world. Heck, I’m not the biggest sentimentalist in my own room when I’m alone in it. But, lately, I’ve been feeling the directed herding of emotional return in certain productions I watch to mine for goodies for my own writing. Been feeling myself get at least shadow-weepy as the money shots tug heartstrings in heroic climaxes of Severide‘s Captain America heroism in “Chicago Fire” and the selfless dedication of the doctors and nurses in “Code Black.”

Forget that for a second. Tonight, my sweet princess D was admiring the way Christie Brinkley was holding up like a girl-power heroic supermodel at the ripe young age of 61. I cynically responded that “Of course she’s vital, she sucked 20 good years from the soul of Billy Joel when they were together in the 80’s.  Dax wasn’t aware of how far Joel had fallen into a hole that now kind of defines the musical sickness that folks unfortunately remembers the that decade for.  I had to show her the candy plastic Disney heart tug-ugly of “Uptown Girl” and what a perilous nose-dive into two sad dimensions it was from Joel’s “Bruce Springstein” cool daze of “Piano Man” to Uptown Girl.

Ok, forget that too. I had one more song Sweet D had to hear to fully appreciate how cool Billy Joel was compared to the depths of silly Brinkley “Yoko’d” him into.  You see,  Joel was a war hero in his own right.  He had fought in Viet Nam, and wrote what was, in my mind, the best “in memoriam” ballad remembering the best and worst parts of what our brave brothers and fathers experienced there. “Goodnight Saigon.”  It’s a song I can’t help but nearly be brought to tears by.  A song I’ve loved and thought of my pops through since I got the album in 1982.  One of my first cassette album and easily one of the biggest musical and political influences on me in my developmental years.

Pop Nam 64

Goodnight Saigon is one that makes me proud of what my pop went through in 1964 there as a combat engineer, coming home broken and lost with a bronze star and purple heart that didn’t make things feel any better. He’d have to wait for my mother’s love to heal that series of wounds.

You can’t say “Happy Veteran’s Day” and be taken seriously, but I can say thank you for answering the call to defend the values of the United States so selflessly. You own all of my respect, admiration, and love.

Here’s the video that encapsulates the feelings I imagine Viet Nam would elicit in those who were there during our warring days there so long ago. Sung when Billy Joel still had an intact soul to draw the passion from:

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The Last Minute of my Bestest Day

Yesterday was my birthday.  And, an odd one.  My princess wanted to spend it with me, but it didn’t completely work out that way.  Dax had an important speaking engagement for that evening set a month prior that she couldn’t skirt.  We had a little dinner and some cake with her family before she had to run.

I ended up writing until she arrived home late that evening.  I took a screen grab off my phone to mark the real beginning of our special time together.  It was 10:47 p.m..  Still November 10th, and heck, we aren’t really the early-to-bed type, so it wasn’t any kind of disappointing thing.

10:47 Woodland Hills

I likwe how it showed kind of what it looked like outside.  Night time.  A near-crescent moon and a nice tree.  It gave me an idea:  I’d set an alarm to go off at 11:59, in the last minute of my birthday, and I’d take a screen grab of the clock in all the places important in some way to me around the big ol’ globe.  I started with Kansas City, where I was raised.

1:59 Kansas City

It was almost 2 a.m. back home.  Not the 10th there anymore, technically.  It’s still just kind of cloudy, although some super-violent weather was brewing behind the pretty picture.  Hail, tornadoes, and all that fun stuff.  But, for now, just a fair, cloudy late night in Kansas City.

Then there’s Kingston.  Jamaica.  Where my princess Dax hails from and I’ve yet to visit.

2:59 Kingston

It’s almost 3 a.m. there, mon.  And, looks like they have the violent weather there, already.  Hot and wet, electric-like.

Bet it’s nice.

Back stateside, let’s hit D.C., where old life-blood resides.

2:59 Washington

Same time zone, but a thousand times more complicated and electric in its own way.  Cloud-covered, so you have no idea what moon is playing with your tides and mood.  A beautiful autumn night in the ccapitol of the free world.

We head a couple clicks South to the big apple.

2:59 Manhattan

Of course, it’s still just about 3 a.m., but look, there’s a light rain.  Love how it shows as raindrops on the window.  A bit chillier than I’d like it, and too close to D.C. to be all that different, but I’m not there now, so what do I care, right?

Let’s go ahead and hop cross pond to my old haunting grounds:

7:59 Dublin

Oh lookie, it’s morning already.  So pretty, and huge surprise.  It’s raining in Dublin.

While we’re here, a quick stop in Denmark, where a friend is on layover, about to fly home.

8:59 Copenhagen

Morning there too, but you’d hardly know it.  So cloudy, you wouldn’t know it was day without the weather app.  Ugh.  Time to fly home and enjoy the last minute of my birthday where the desert meets the sea.

11:59 Woodland Hills

A minute before midnight in Los Angeles, CA.  You can see a couple stars through the light-haze of the brightest skyline on the best coast.  Perfect weather, as always.  I’m ready to call it a year and step into yet another year.  Thanks to all who have made it another good one.  And to anyone who tried making it suck.  It’s that kind of curveball that lets me know I’m actually alive.  Fall down and strive to get back up running.  You wouldn’t think, but, those are the most invigorating parts of life.

Here’s to one age becoming another.  A new year with you, new hopes in an old dream.

Sláinte, my friends.

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Facebook Watches You Poop


This really isn’t about a website sneaking into your loo while you do the do.  But, it is about the misnomer that it exists to be some kind of social portal for a website to allow everyone to know who all you know and making you and them self-censor themselves in order that they share in your good time.

Anyone who knows who I am knows what happened to me on that sickly-juvenile website.  I was somewhat of a public figure, and as such, didn’t trollup around as my searchable self.  My birth name and my birth date and my friends and my family are my business.  I existed there as a pen name of my choosing that all of those close enough to know me knew was me; from 2006 until the time the webmasters there deleted my profile because I refused to show them my papers and go by the name my folks gave me so long ago.

Because it isn’t any of Facebook’s business who I am.

They’re not granting me credit or security clearance.  So Eff them.  But, that’s another story for another blog.

I used to work in politics.  In the entertainment industry, too.  I’m a writer.  I had a lot of friends that fit the template of this as a “social media” website.  Old friends.  New friends.  Good people I don’t mind sharing the humdrum of the everyday and associated opinions and the like.  But, the majority of my contacts and friends were the real profiles of politicians, political operatives, musicians, actors, writers, producers, actors, directors, and the like.  People in the public eyer who don’t like random thumbnail contacts sharing in their everyday goings on.  I’m the same way.  To an extreme.

I have never allowed people to browse my friend list.  I rarely, if ever commented on my friends’ posts of encouraged them to comment on mine.

Unless the posts’ privacy were very limited.

When I created my replacement profile, I found the ultimate way to limit privacy on my page:

Whenever anyone tags me or posts on my page, I have it set so that only me and the poster can see it.  To them, it looks like only they are posting on my page, but in reality, anyone can, but only I can see them all, and only they can see their post.  That means that like an inbox message, we can all be completely discreet without fear that anyone besides us bears witness.  This way, all the people who make birthday and get-well-soon and Christmas well-wishes and various congratulation notes do so knowing they aren’t doing it like they’re putting a billboard on my page so everyone can see their sentiment.  No one is forgoing their privacy and no one can post with the intent of advertising their familiarity with me to my contacts.

Young artists and promoters can’t advertise their wares without my blessing.  And, come my birthday, the page I use as a journal doesn’t turn into a giant gift card repository.  You won’t be seeing when other people post on my page, but don’t worry.  Pe

ople are and you are still appreciated.

How do you set it up like this?  It’s easy:

Control Who Sees Your Friends Posts on Your Page

Your friend’s post will look to them like a normal post on your page with one small exception.  Where the privacy settings are, all that shows is a small black padlock.  Just shows you that your postis as private as an inbox message.  It’s cool, because it’s like posting to a page, only you can be as un-censore as you want to be.  You don’t have to worry about your slang speech being NSFW.

The only drawback is that some people post on other peoples’ pages in a “Hey, look at me!  I know people, see?!?” way.  To these types, they’ll see this padlock and assume that you have somehow “locked” their posts in some kind of social purgatory just so no one else can see them — thinking it is some kind of vendetta against them.  Like you’re hiding them from your friends, or something.  So, you may have to deal with the junior high implied rules of social cliques, or whatever.  Your significant others could imagine you are “hiding them from your friends,” or your family that you are embarrased by them.

People can project and make things about them.  But, this is a small price to pay and the cost of educating them to your intent is a small cost, right?

Nothing is ever easy on Facebook.  It may be easier to just forgo your privacy and let everyone see everything and submit to everyone who isn’t a rabid social butterfly just bottling up aroundf you so your random thumbs can make your existence their romper room.  But, if you care to make your page your magazine and a safe place for your friends to be themselves knowing they’re not zoo animals in glass cages, then you should consider doing this.

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A Cog in the Music Blog – November 10th

Raving Muse Mudsic Cog Blog - NOV 10First of all, happy birthday to me.  Yep.  Getting younger emotionally every day.

OK, my birthday single.  Meet Miguel if you haven’t already. He’s got a fantastic, new Rhythm and Blues sound that is uniquely Los Angeles. Miguel is mixed race, Black and Mexican American. A kid raised between the mean Hispanic streets of San Pedro and the black gang OG streets of Inglewood. And, the stark contrast of the two has come together to influence his lyrical soul and musical prowess.  He tells his story as good as Twain could have hoped to do the same.

The single he performs here is called “What’s Normal, Anyway,” from his third studio album “Wildheart.”  I played this for the illustrious Dax Snaer, and she was moved by the guy’s persona and art as much as I was. Called him a contemporary Lionel Richie.  Well said.  And, his band is so 80’s.  So 80’s in that it looks color-blind.  There’s a Debbie Harry blond keyboardist; a couple Morris Day Tymester-lookin’ cats’ a white cat, and a couple cholos.  Full range of the spectrum weaving together some harmony that doesn’t give a damn.  Just smoothness for a smooth and wit-heavy bandleader.

Today isn’t about “singles.”  Just this one.  I figure that’s enough seeing as it’s my birthday, and all, and I still have a lot of writing and some humdrum business stuff to still do.  The next one’s going to be the same, I do believe.  One of my favorite bands from childhood hasn’t been heard from since 1986, and the band leader just came out with a new album that defies the mold of aging has beens and breaks through all pop relevency grounds.  Ten points if you can guess who.  You’re gonna love it.

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New Rule November 4th

New Rules

The word “Literally” may no longer be used unless you are actually distinguishing something from some metaphorical action.

You know?  This isn’t even a new rule.  It’s one of the original rules.  But, in the past year, and annoyingly in hyper-turbo the past couple months, people have been using it like it’s a fad word.

“Dude, I just ate dinner.  LITERALLY.”

Even media — who are supposed to actually KNOW English are doing it.  I hear it on MSNBC every day.

“Once, when I was in a meeting in Saudi Arabia with dignitaries and asked something witty, some big guards LITERALLY dragged me out of the room.” ~Andrea Mitchell



See what I did there?

The New Rule:  Your dumb ass NEVER gets to use the word “literally” again.  Ever.  The word no longer even gets to exist, because stupid people use it wrong, and it makes everyone else stoopider.  Literally.  I’m stupider for just writing about it.  See?  I used the word “stoopider.”

If you get caught using it, you are on probation and get to STFU for a week.  No talking.  None.  If you do it again, we go sharia with your tongue and speaking from then on just gets to be grunts.  Trust me, you’ll sound smarter for it.

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Raving Muse Music Cog Blog Inagural: November 4th

Raving Muse Mudsic Cog Blog - NOV 4Everyone who knows me knows I used to be an entertainment manager to musicians.  A promoter.  A buyer at a club.  Owned a nightclub.  Ran a booking agency.  SInce hanging up the big boss boots, assisted a Music Supervisor gathering new troop ammmo in film.  My ear always to the air finding what needed to be heard up.  This won’t be but a video / audio journal for my own self, but I need an outlet.  Hope you dig.

I’d start with The Weekend’s “I Can’t Feel My Face,” but I already wrote a full blog on the song after they appeared on Saturday Night Live.  This is a special song by a special musician.  Do check it out.

First in this week’s inaugural Raving Muse Music Cog Blog, a band out of the West Side out here.  Venice new-wave phenoms, Superhumanoids.  The song is called “Anxious in Venice.”  Very early Blondie.

Keeping it alt-pop, another band I’ve been loving, the past week is “Neon Indian.”  I would never have thought that Denton, Texas would spawn an electro-talent like this.  Until I learned the band’s leader, Alan Palomo, migrated up there from Mexico.

Since this is my first journal about what I’ve found lately and can’t stop listening to, I have to include Pharrel’s new single, “Freedom.”  Pharrel, if you don’t know, is the guy who gained all his fame with his single “Happy.”  That one annoys me Macarena-style.  But, dude blew me out the water with this one.

The Eels made their way into my heart in 2003 when I worked for the MD at a KKFI,  a public radio station in Kansas City.  A gift from the Radio promoter gods at Planetary.  Thems were the daze.  I first got them spun when they were pushing their 2003 album “Shootenanny” and their single “Love of the Loveless.”  Will never forget that.  Worthy of being a fresh single right now, but I’m here rocking “Fresh Blood,” from the album of the same name.

It’s a staple in my writing, at the moment.

Gonna wrap the inaugural Raving Muse Music Cog Blog with Adelle’s new single, “Hello.”  It’s a song I can’t stop singing to myself.  But, the video is amazing in its own right.  The English phenom hasn’t lost a beat since the release of her first album.  The new one is called “25,” and doesn’t even release until November 20th.  Bet it’s gonna be worth owning on Vinyl.

Hope you dig these singles.  I’ll definitely keep an ongoing journal of new songs that are filling the background as I write and publish it as a whole sometime next week.  Thanks for listening.

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Most adorable Halloween Kids Ever?

I’m halfway across the country from them, but I can at least enjoy their cuteness from here and share for posterity.

This is my gorgeous niece, Ava in a lovely Sandra D original “Dark Sparkle” Barbie costume.

Meme Ava Costume

Can’t leave out the youngest.  The nephew Aiden.

Wee Aiden

Cos’ really, you never know if Sandra D will get it in her to dress the kid up as an old Socialist to horrify him as a teenager.

Scary Bernie Halloween Child Costume Trevor Noah

Happy Halloween, y’all.

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