Archive for the ‘Elvis’ Category

Hey! It’s 2011! Scroll Back, Ya Varmints!

January 2, 2011

2011.  A new me and a new you.  WordPress was kind enough to summarize the previous years posting for AMRFP… check it out!


The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A helper monkey made this abstract painting, inspired by your stats.

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 6,200 times in 2010. That’s about 15 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 51 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 408 posts. There were 162 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 4mb. That’s about 3 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was October 12th with 56 views. The most popular post that day was John Lennon Sat Here….

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,,,, and WordPress Dashboard.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for socially unacceptable behavior, 27 club conspiracy, 49 bye byes, how to succeed in amway, and advantages of respect.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


John Lennon Sat Here… September 2010


rude, crude, lewd and socially unacceptable behavior October 2007


The illegal immigration solution, conclusion… a.k.a Illegal Immigrant for President! (he’ll do the work George Bush won’t) June 2007


songs to play at your funeral April 2008


How to Succeed in Business Without Really Lying April 2008


I’d like to thank WordPress for hosting such a cool site which in turn enables a writer’s whimsy to see daylight on the Internet and finds audiences such as you whom I otherwise might not have met!  (Hey! a little rhyme there!)

So from the bottom of my heart to the top of the apple cart…(I can’t help it)  thanks for reading!  I look forward to adding future posts in 2011 here at Advantages of Mutual Respect and Fair Play. 

There really are… you know.


John Lennon Sat Here…

September 3, 2010

I wonder if nothing is sacred?  But then again, I have a friend who is a collector and oddities are his specialty.  Sometimes it’s not what you do, but what you doo doo. 

I think that with John’s sense of humor and wit, this would have given him a reason to smile.  After all, didn’t he perform with a toilet seat over his head?  Another time he appeared in public with a sanitary napkin on it.

The new owner of this should put it next to Elvis’ throne.


the deliberate incident

March 27, 2010

It was like I had sold my soul to the Devil…

“The devil went down to the beauty salon, he was lookin’ for a soul to steal.   He was in a bind cos’ he’s way behind, he was willin’ to cut a deal… ” (sung to the tune: The Devil Went Down to Georgia by Charlie Daniels)

I’d turned my back on a whole generation…

“Went out ‘n’ cut my hair, happened earlier today… it was gettin’ kinda long, could have said it wasn’t my way.  So I did it, now I wonder why.  I feel like bein’ this meak ‘n’ fag lookin’  guy…” (sung to the tune: Almost Cut My Hair by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young)

and become this responsible adult…

“Get a haircut, you’ve got a real job.  Clean your act up, you look like a slob.  Get it together you’re older than God.  Get haircut, you’ve got a real job.”  ( sung to the tune: Get A Haircut by George Thorogood)

while losing my identity…

“Gimme a head without hair.  Short, buzz-cut hair!  Butchin’, clean ‘n’ crew-cut ‘n’ waxen.  See me without hair, where?  Over my ears with white walls, glare!  Gone, baby!  Smooth, mama!  See your reflection, daddy! Where?  Comb it, foam it!  Long as I’m chrome dome ‘n’ my hair!”  ( sung to the tune: Hair! from the American Tribal Love-Rock Musical)

Okay, okay.  You get the idea?  I got a hair-cut today.  And as I sat there looking at my reflection with the protrusion of my cranium becoming more apparent; these parodies of songs began taunting me, like I was giving in, selling out and becoming (ugh!) respectable.  I tried to recall how many times I have sat in a barber/stylist’s chair and second guessed my decision to lose my Samson like appearance and become a weak-kneed mortal…

“Snip, snip, snip, Delilah!  Clip, clip, clip, Delilah!  So before my curly blond locks hit the floor.  Forgive me Delilah, could you just remove a bit more?”  (sung to the tune: Delilah by Tom Jones)

Did you ever notice that when you have made the decision to let a part of your life be shaved off and you climb up into that chair suddenly everything looks in place and you begin second guessing yourself as to whether you really need a haircut?  I mean, I remember my very first hair-cut.  At least, I think it was my first.  I wondered where the ribbon of the barber’s pole went as it spiraled around.  I recall the kindly barber had to place a slat across the arms of his chair so I could sit up “big and tall” while he pumped the car jack to raise the seat as high as it would go.  Still I remember feeling really small as I looked into the mirror across the room with a parson’s collar tight  around my neck and a reversed Superman cape blanketing my knees down around my shoes.  I watched the terrified little guy that looked like me bawling his eyes out while his identity fell in fragmented clumps and mingled with the discards of countless other heads, all braver than me.   

“Make me feel at home, upon that barber’s chair.  Slap my back and run your burly fingers through my hair.  You know I’ll sure behave, if you ask me to.  But if I must be brave  I’ll walk right out on you.  Be gentle as a dove and take my advice.  Treat me nice.”  (sung to the tune: Treat Me Nice by Elvis Presley)

I also remember one time (back in the days of my flaming youth) I was walking past a barber shop as the gentle breeze filtered through my radiant adornment while the sun was shining warm and bright.  The proprietor beckoned to me with a kindly gesture, patting the seat of his chair like a used car salesman opening the door to a classy convertible.  I grinned broadly and respectfully declined, seeing my image reflected in the glass as I passed.  Freedom is allowing yourself to sprout… 

“Morning has broken, like the first morning.  My hair is growing, freely it’s spread.  Praise for the growing, praise for the morning.  Praise for it springing, fresh from my head.”  (sung to the tune: Morning Has Broken by Cat Stevens)

I’ve always preferred myself in longer hair ever since I saw the Beatles perform on The Ed Sullivan Show.  Like millions of other youngsters I stood in front of the mirror and pulled my hair down my forehead and said, “Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!”  Longer hair meant being cool.  Longer hair meant freedom of expression.  Longer hair meant rebellion,  individualism and non-conformity.  Longer hair meant you no longer cared what other people thought and marched to the beat of your own drum.

“Whoa, whoa I should have realized alot of things before, if this hair ya gotta give me more.  Give me more. Hey, hey, hey!  Give me more!”  (sung to the tune, I Should Have Known Better by the Beatles)

So today I sat in the chair and a pretty girl named Dawn E. asked me how I wanted my hair to look.

“Like George Clooney.” I respond.  Not like George Harrison from the album, All Things Must Pass…?

“My sweet Lord, ooh my Lord.  I really want to know you, I really want to grow with you.  I really want to show you, Lord, that it won’t take long to grow my hair long.  Hallelujah.” (sung to the tune: My Sweet Lord by George Harrison)

“Really?”  she asks, “That short?”  I was relieved she didn’t laugh at the impossibility of making me look like George Clooney.

“How does it feel? Hey, how does it feel?  To be on your own? With no direction home.  A complete unknown.  Like a roamin’ comb?”  (sung to the tune: Like a Rolling Stone by Bob Dylan)

“Yes.” I say with resignation as I look into the mirror, the drums are silent now…

“…and freedom, oh freedom.  Well that’s just some people talkin’.  Your hair-cut is stalkin’ you through this beauty shop throne.”  (sung to the tune: Desperado by the Eagles) 

 “We all have to grow up sometime.”  




Where Have All the Flowery Posts Gone?

May 23, 2009


Okay, dang… just when I get to thinking I am a serious blog hack, someone comes along and declares I need reform.  Perhaps it is time for an overhaul, after all… this month marks three years of AMRFP!

In the past three years we have talked about politics, love, religion, music, books, and movies.  There has been social injustice, chaos  and anarchy.   We seem to teeter on the brink of disaster yet all in good humor and forced optimism because… what else is there?  We obviously cannot pack up our things and relocate to another planet because no one would have us.  We know we are the root problem and reason for disunity in the world but we cannot seem to eradicate this self-destructive urge.  We are constantly bombarded with information, yet how can we decipher it, knowing which is accurate and which is merely bunk?  Here’s another controversy…


My life has turned dramatically since I first fostered this blog on a whim three years ago.  I set out to discover if there was any use in my attempting to write, wondering if I  “had the goods”.  I found my audience to be somewhat sporadic and the subjects I held near and dear to my heart less popular than the ones I thought to be frivolous, so therein lies the paradox.  What I enjoy writing may not be what I am good at, what I am good at may be drudgery.

My most popular post to date has been;  Songs to Play at Your Funeral from April, 2008, which I wrote based on what had actually transpired between my business partner and I one day during a light conversation on death.  It has garnished twice the hits of the runner up;  The Illegal Immigration Solution Conclusion, from June, 2007.  While the latter post has had twice the exposure it has fostered less activity.  I have posted poetry, short stories, a screenplay and the rough draft of my story, Shades of Hemingway. I have progressed (slowly) in my ability to add pictures and video (thanks YouTube) to my posts while trying not to use them in place of good (?) writing.  And after three years, 340 posts, 333 tags, 96 categories, 1004 comments, 37,045 hits and 28,496 spam I am virtually right back where I started from, questioning my validity as a writer.

There has been one bright spot.  Actually, the greatest reward I can think of has come on to me while doing this experiment.  Like most things that we find to make life worthwhile it came unexpectedly, yet has been the difference between merely existing and living.  She sits at my side right now, not realizing I am writing about her.  My beautiful wife, Chantal.

I have proven myself by winning her attention,  admiration and love.  She has faith in my ability and confidence that one day, the world will see what she sees in me, though that confidence in myself wanes and falters.  Through our love of writing; whether via our blogs, to each other publicly or privately, or in our imaginations,  we have accomplished something that would not have materialized otherwise.  We have become each others hero and fan club.  We have become kindred spirits.  Chantal and I are glorious.  I have not failed as a writer, I have acquired a following of one, as she has found in me.

I am living in Canada now, which is quite the contrast from spending most of my life in Florida.  The economy has put a strain on my ability to make a living through my trade and I am still struggling to adapt to life as a foreigner.  But my beautiful girl has the utmost confidence in me so that is a hurdle I will easily overcome with patience.  I am learning to accept that I cannot always have things my way.  But I need to concentrate on making a living and right now it does not look like writing is the way of prosperity for me, at least not financially.

I started this blog in May of 2006 not sure of where it would go, how I would do or how long it would last.  But I feel it has served it’s purpose, at least for a while.  The archives will remain and comments will still be directed to me via e-mail, but I plan on taking a little hiatus.

This month, May 2009, is heading towards being my most active month ever, with seven days left it will easily accomplish this.   The second most active month was back in November of 2007.

I’d like to think that on that note, it is a good time to bow out gracefully.

Thanks for reading  Advantages of Mutual Respect and Fair Play…

there definitely are,  you know.


Rescued from the Depths of Obscurity, Part 3: Elvis Presley, 10 Songs from the Abyss

April 24, 2009




The undisputed King of Rock’n’Roll has had more #1 hits than any other recording artist in history. Is it possible that there could be 10 songs you have not heard of?

See more at

It’s New Year’s Day 2009! (scroll back, ya varmints!)

December 31, 2008

Another year has passed and what have we learned? As AMRFP enjoys it’s 304th post we begin to realize this blog will not take no for an answer! (what was the question?) Some people just have more audacity than others and will not go away!

2008 will be happily placed in our rear view mirror as we look with infertile optimism to a new Democratic majority across the board in American politics. Has there been another year in recent memory that has been as foul as this one? Most people would be hard pressed to find one that was, causing them to look back with disdain and relief at 2008 passing.

But in reflection, there have been some fine posts for one and all to enjoy on this site (humbly submitted by yours truly) and I’d be remiss not to mention the fact that my life changed dramatically (and for the better) this past year because of this little blog. For that reason alone it shall continue… not to mention the sheer joy I get at ranting on like I do and of course, the pleasure I derive from the remote possibility of your company.

Despite the difficult time I had at being regular the past three months because of my move to Canada and the fact that I posted a short story, a screenplay and the continuation of the Shades of Hemingway series,… my readership actually increased. AMRFP approaches the 32,ooo hits mark which made it the best year to date as far as averages go. Akismet has blocked over 25,000 spam comments (mostly porn but some insurance quotes are trying to muscle in as well) While some friends have faded into the depths of the black hole of the blogosphere, new friends have risen up which makes this site a pure joy each time I acquaint myself with a different prospective on life.

I met my lovely wife through the postings of our blogs, and while some may view the online relationship with trepidation I must say it has been the most exhilarating experience I have ever known. We were married in March of this past year and I was finally able to relocate here in Canada in October. But future posts will address our relationship as it progresses, suffice it to say I am thrilled by her love each and every day. That in itself should provide some interesting fodder…

So without further ado and for your discerning review, from the latest entry to the first of the year… Advantages of Mutual Respect and Fair Play 2008.

Scroll back… ya varmints!


1) 12-23-08 – A Sand Road Christmas Card. Remembering the holidays of my youth back in Iowa. In the good ol’ days, when times were bad.

2) 12-20-08 – It’s Been a Long, Long, Long Time. Having just come off three months of creating and posting the third installment of the Shades of Hemingway series along with moving and adjusting to the climate of the North and making my excuses for being preoccupied with life in general and love in particular.

3) 12-16-08 thru 9-17-08 – Shades of Hemingway / Deja’ Voodoo. Parts 1 – 12 and Epilogue. My readership plummeted through the time I took to post this, which I knew it would. But I feel it also was because it generally takes about six weeks for the series to run through it’s entirety. When my circumstances dictated otherwise it took me 12 weeks and I feel I alienated myself from some of the faithful readers (both of them!) of AMRFP. But my own true love assured me from the beginning that it was MY blog and I should be able to go in the direction of my choosing, so I am glad I saw it through to the end. Now is the time to recapture our imaginations and I will do that to the best of my ability in the coming weeks… I promise.

4) 9-14-08 – Prelude to Shades of Hemingway / Deja’ Voodoo. You can’t say I didn’t warn ya. One day I’ll finish this story… and yes, post it here! Some people just will never learn… sigh.

5) 9-13-08 – Video. Elvis Presley Hound Dog, the complete performance. One of three videos I inserted for the post, Politics and the Billboard Top 100 Hits of All Time… pathetic.

6) 9-13-08 – Video. Elvis Jailhouse Rock. The second of three videos for the same post.

7) 9-13-08 – Video. Elvis Twist with Elvis. The third of three videos for the same post.

8) 9-13-08 – Politics and the Billboard Top 100 Hits of All Time… pathetic. You know the cool thing about these best of lists is that it gets our dander up. But picking The Twist because of the insertion some formula instead of just counting airtime play and sales smacks of favoritism. Too bad.

9) 9-11-08 – Born Laughing Out Loud. A little review I did of Steve Martin’s book, Born Standing Up, which I throughly enjoyed.

10) 8-29-08 – McCain/Palin? Bravo! (oh! bomb awed). I’m not much on politics, obviously. My beautiful girl and I go round and round about American politics (good naturedly) and it is an eye opener to think that we may be our own worst enemy. But I thought the picking of Palin was a good thing for McCain’s candidacy. While Obama landslided McCain in the electoral college, he only received 52% of the total vote per population input. Popular opinion not withstanding, I was sure nothing short of a miracle would put another Republican in the White House… and I was right.

11) 8-29-08 – return of the dreaded sequel, part 1. I had thought Deja’ Voodoo would have been up and presented way before this time, but you know… life gets in the way.

12) 8-19-08 – Spending the day with Tropical Storm Fay. Gosh I had fun with this one. I have lived in S.W. Florida for the better part of 36 years and you never get used to the weather in paradise.

13) 8-17-08 – you must remember this. Memorable movie kisses, what are yours?

14) 8-16-08 – Video. 1984. A funny thing happened on youTube… I meant this vid for another post and it somehow got crossed up in cyberspace then appeared sometime later on my blog. I don’t remember the subject or even if I posted it, but I liked the premise of 1984 knocking on your door (from Spirit) so I left it in… hm.

15) 8-16-08 – Video. Shawn Colvin – Catch the Wind. I chose this as one of two vids for the post, Catch the Wind, but it got lost in cyberspace at the same time I was foolin’ around with 1984. And since I am not all that great at shifting things around on my blog (lazy brained) I just left it in at the time it appeared. Yes, sometimes this blog takes on a life of it’s own.

16) 8-11-08 – Not your favorite cover. Another one of those “best of” lists and my opinion which you all hold your breath for.

17) 8-7-08 – don’t know much about the Hadron Collider. A little parody that just conjured itself up when I read of this multi- billion dollar effort to smash things together. Scientists on a controlled hissy fit.

18) 8-4-08 – oh the humanity! and the cost of celebrity… Paris Hilton’s mom decrying the media for it’s portrayal of her talented daughter.

19) 8-02-08 – Choosing a running mate. McCain can win if… Hey! he may or may not have listened to me on this one but you gotta admit McCain’s choice made the race interesting.

20) 7-29-08 – Hey… told you so! Senator Ted Stevens and his exploits have been discussed several times on this blog, glad justice was served on the jerk.

21) 7-26-08 – Catch the Wind. The things we can and cannot control cause me to wax on, wax off in contempt and sentiment… my favorite forms of expression.

22) 7-23-08 – Video. Donovan-Catch the Wind. The original that was meant to be accompanied by Shawn Colvin’s rendition, but perhaps better as a stand alone vid.

23) 7-12-08 – Let My Gonads Go! a.k.a. nuts to you, Jesse Jackson. Gosh, I loved doing this little parody considering the riff comes from a freedom song sung by the oppressed slaves during the Civil War. Jesse Jackson and his infamous utterance deserved to be ridiculed loud and long.

24) 7-7-08 – Where the light is, John Mayer. Occasionally cool things happen and I was thrilled to see this DVD/CD released. I bought it the very first day.

25) 7-5-08 – Quick Draw (Tim) McGraw and his rootin’, tootin’ wild west outlaw show. Got some negativity on this post but you know…

26) 6-29-08 – throw mama (and junior) from the plane! If any post could divide my sweetheart and I… this one could. I’ve looked at flight from both sides now.

27) 6-28-08 – the hippie dippy weatherman no longer sweats the ICBMs. The death of George Carlin caused a wee bit of reflection in my heart.

28) 6-28-08 – Video. Religion is bullshit. The late George Carlin expressing his opinion in true comedic form.

29) 6-28-08 – Video. the hippy dippy weatherman. George Carlin in less sarcastic form.

30) 6-17-08 – inner-mission. Left you to your own devices for a few days, did you break anything?

31) 6-15-08 – Happy Father’s Birthday. A slip of the tongue by my French speaking step-son tugs at my heart.

32) 6-15-08 – Video. Eric Clapton – My Father’s Eyes. Selected to go along with, Happy Father’s Birthday, I feel this is a song Eric did that could have gotten a little more acclaim but seems to be coming around again… which is cool, you can’t keep a good song down.

33) 6-12-08 – that’s right, you’re what’s left (screwed, blued and anti-socially tattooed). Gee, folks… just learn to live with it. Our government is not accountable.

34) 6-12-08 – Video. water as energy. We have the technology, we need the direction.

35) 6-8-08 – It was/is a Wonderful Life. The death of young “George Baily,” Bob Anderson, inspired this post. It was one of my favorites from the 2008 year simply because I got to review one of my favorite characters in one of my favorite movies of all time. “… you really had a wonderful life. Don’t you see what a shame it would be to throw it all away?”

36) 6-6-08 – Public Displays of Effection. What effect does PDA have on you? This post was inspired by a case of supposed discrimination… you be the judge.

37) 6-4-08 – Obama Surrender (Hillary concedes). I love these little parodies that just pop into mind. Funny how the resilient Ms. Clinton still has a place in her opponent’s heart.

38) 6-3-08 – Video. Jemima Surrender. Try as I might I couldn’t find a vid by the Band performing this song, but this rendition is still good.. in case you couldn’t catch the riff in Obama Surrender.

39) 5-31-08 – what goes around Karmas around? I’m not that sure of Karma. I mean… if it were true, why do the wicked seem to prosper while the good suffer? Sharon Stone is a dunce.

40) 5-28-08 – double checking reality bounce. One cannot be too careful, or so I thought…

41) 5-21-08 – Blogging for Dummies (what was Scarlett Johansson thinking?) Sometimes you just gotta wonder…

42) 5-21-08 – Video. Falling Down by Scarlett Johansson. You decide…

43) 5-16-08 – “Jawbone” George Bush and the Saudi Oil Shriek a.k.a. the Blame Game. Hey George, just tell them to open up the spigot a little…

44) 5-16-08 – Video. Shirley Ellis – the Name Game. Bush, Bush, bo-shush, sittin’ on his tush.

45) 5-16-08 – creative foreplay. I find that looking for inspiration comes with no effort at all… really.

46) 5-10-08 – they are dumbing down our Rock and Roll! Who is the greatest recording artist of all time? The answer may surprise you.

47) 5-10-08 – Video. Mariah Carey – touch my body. For your comparison.

48) 5-10-08 – Video. Eric Clapton – Layla (live). For your enjoyment.

49) 5-7-08 – God’s Yard Sale. The world is in chaos… does God really care about us?

50) 5-5-08 – Waiting for Zed. An expose’ on why the term “zed” was removed from the American lexicon. A real eye opener… or perhaps not.

51) 4-30-08 – friends. There are many forms of friendship and those we choose as best.

52) 4-30-08 – Video. The Hollies – He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother. Chosen to accompany the post, friends.

53) 4-20-08 – How to Succeed in Business Without Really Lying. One of my favorite posts of 2008.

54) 4-17-08 – The Great American Boycott. I think we as consumers deserve better.

55) 4-12-08 – Why Obama? Sometimes these little parodies play so well in my mind…

56) 4-12-08 – Video. The Knack – My Sharona. For those of you who could not catch the riff in Why Obama?

57) 4-11-08 – Cheney’s Sunglasses – Not a Rosy Reflection. Your imagination runs wild.

58) 4-8-08 – Video. The Beatles – And I Love Her. Follows the post, Songs to Play At Your Funeral because I do.

59) 4-7-08 – Songs to Play At Your Funeral. This post has been on my blog for less than 9 months but it has become a runaway best topic since it’s inception and continues to pull away from the rest of the crowd at a rapid pace. I realize it is more the topic than the content, but even so it has become an easy #1 post for 2008 and the all time winner for top post so far at AMRFP. A distance second is, Let me call you sweetheart, posted on 1-6-07. Bringing up the rear at 7th is, the Rock and Roll Conspiracy, posted on 8-26-06. So it is quite the accomplishment in comparison. The fact that the conversation actually happened in the way I recorded it makes it all the more enjoyable for me because it is real life and that is the best sort of living.

60) 4-7-08 – Video. Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman – Time to Say Goodbye. For my fair Chantal.

61) 4-6-08 – Goodbye / Charlton Heston. 2008 saw many great stars passing, this was one of them.

62) 4-1-08 – Why are we here? The question of the ages, I found my reason.

63) 3-29-08 thru 2-20-08 – Indiana Jones and the Dance of Aldebaran. I had written this screenplay ages ago, but when the new film Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was about to be released I thought perhaps Indy might enjoy a sort of renaissance and an interest might be piqued in this tale. Too bad their story didn’t live up to the hype while mine didn’t live up to expectations… but oh well. It is preserved for prosperity.

64) 2-17-08 – Free Indy. The story behind my writing, Indiana Jones and the Dance of Aldebaran. I liked my story better than theirs, didn’t you? (please say yes)

65) 2-13-08 – Economic Stimulus Plan. You know, I still think my idea would work and I have not met any opposition to it.

66) 2-9-08 thru 1-20-08 – My Dog Sam. I don’t remember what caused me to write about that dog of mine, but I’m glad I did. I have thought about taking several of my recollections and compiling them into one story. Funny how things work in my mind, but I began the year with thoughts of Sand Road and my dog, Sam… then concluded the year with A Sand Road Christmas Card. They say you can never go home, but I think home never goes.

67) 1-18-08 – An Evaluation of the Bush Administration (2000-2008). Not too favorable to ol’ King George and my apologies for that. Will history be kind to him? With the worst rating of any sitting president… it is difficult to say.

68) 1-15-08 – …so you wanna be a Rock and Roll star? Rethinking some music and impressions of artists.

69) 1-15-08 – Video. The Byrds-So You Wanna Be A Rock And Roll Star. To accompany the post of the same name.

70) 1-7-08 – New Year… knew you. I met my own true love twice in a lifetime.


So there you have it. 70 different topics posted in 103 segments. While we may have had some bumps in the road of 2008, it has been a year that I have realized it is not the miles but the destination that makes the journey tolerable. It is not the smoothness of the pavement but the direction we are headed in that make the traveling light. It is not the degree of difficulty to proceed, it is the strength of our resolve to begin. It is not the complexity of the task but the undertaking with the commitment to see it through. Life indeed goes on…

And it is my sincere hope that whatever you may have had to endure, whatever your losses may have been, whatever your disappointments and fears… and we live in a world governed by and propagandized with fear, that you may face 2009 with optimism and hope. We may never understand the powers that be, but the power to be you and me holds the key to our happiness… it all comes from within.

Have a joyous and safe 2009… and thanks for reading.


It’s Been a Long, Long, Long Time…

December 20, 2008


Hello. It’s me. I’ve been gone for a while, but not really. 3 months ago I decided to run my third installment of Shades of Hemingway and figured I would have it posted in it’s entirety in 6 weeks. Well, it took me three months. Let’s see what has happened while I was gone.

1) 3 months ago the economy sucked, but now it is suckier. You’ll recall that King George was in a state of denial saying we had not gone into a recession. Okaaaay… but we were going to get stimulus checks to stem the tide and start America spending again. Since then there have been collapses and near collapses; bail outs, hand outs, fall outs, shoot outs, shut downs, shut ins and shut ups. We have been teetering back and forth on this near economical disaster of Biblical proportions while the band plays on. Now the entire world points the finger at the U.S. and blames us for the demise of consumer confidence and the shrinking credit market. I don’t think it is our fault but that will be addressed in another post… very soon. Meanwhile suffice it to say when the times are good we get disdain, when the times are bad we get the blame.

2) Paul Newman died. Unfortunately I was not able to pay tribute to this wonderful human being at the time because I did not want to disrupt the flow (?) of Shades of Hemingway / Deja’ Voodoo. I know that the era of the bonafide super star is rapidly fading, but this man’s efforts as a humanitarian almost exceeded his legend as an actor. The upside is that we have his work to enjoy for generations to come. The downside is that even the great ones have to one day succumb to human frailty and death. My recent bride heard a quote from him that she relayed to me. When Paul Newman was asked if he was ever tempted to stray from his wife of some 40 years, Joanne Woodward, he is reported to have said, “Why would I settle for hamburger when I have steak at home?” Upon hearing that quote my own wife said, “That sounds like something you’d say.” I considered it a compliment. Paul Newman; heartthrob, actor, anti-hero, philanthropist, human being. Rest in peace, Butch Cassidy.

3) Barack Obama wins the presidency. After nearly a quarter of a billion dollars in spending, months of campaigning; along with mud slinging, back biting, back stabbing, back talking, back room strategy and bad, back grounds in general and none-the-less; multiple news makers and heart breakers, (whew!) the election was finally decided. My question is… who would want it? Our system of government is stuck in a quagmire and needs some shaking up. Even when government officials are exposed as unethical, accusations go unanswered and investigations are bogged down in red tape. We may never know who knew what when or the cause of all the shenanigans but I think the past few months have left a bitter pill for the public to have to swallow. I for one hope that President Obama is the best president we ever had. He has a lot of expectations put upon him and the pressure to succeed is enormous. I just hope once he takes office he doesn’t blame all his inefficiencies (and there will be some) on the previous administration (which they all do). If not for the faltering economy, I don’t think Democrats would be so smug right now and I am not sure that the powers that be didn’t have something to do with it’s formation and fruitation. But that will be addressed further in a future post… very soon.

4) The Beatles were in the news again. Apparently Paul McCartney gave a time card/pay stub to a foundation in England some years ago that came up for auction to benefit a charity. That piece of paper gave proof to the existence of Eleanor Rigby, whom Paul always claimed was an imaginary character. For more info, here’s the link:

5) Not to be outdone, Elvis is in the news as well. Have you ever wanted to sing like and/or with the King of Rock and Roll? Well, here’s your chance. Click on this link to record your own duet!

Of course, there have been countless other incidents since I started posting Deja’ Voodoo. Too many to mention here. The economy wanes, the wars rage on, terrorists seem to act with impunity, disasters world wide, Caylee’s remains are found, shoes thrown at our President, Saint Oprah gains weight, Britney Spears makes another come back at 26. 26? Hard to believe, but you get the idea.

Oh! and I have been united with my lovely wife here in Canada. It is a different surrounding to say the least (fodder for more content perhaps) and that has greatly influenced my creativity to a point of neglecting this blog. I’m sorry.

This is my 302nd post, and it has been a lot of fun. With over 30,000 hits it has also been gratifying to think that there is an audience out there for my silly ramblings. My readership plummeted when I started posting Deja’ Voodoo, which I expected it would. Now I have to go back to the type of content that most people seem to enjoy, which will not be too hard.

I love doing this…


you must remember this…

August 17, 2008

 You must remember this

a kiss is still a kiss

a sigh is just a sigh

the fundamental things apply

As Time Goes By.


And when two lovers woo

they still say “I love you”

on that you can rely

no matter what the future brings

As Time Goes By.


Moonlight and love songs – never out of date

hearts full of passion – jealousy and hate

Woman needs man – and man must have his mate

That no one can deny.


It’s still the same old story

a fight for love and glory

a case of do or die

the world will always welcome lovers

As Time Goes By.

                                …from the movie, Casablanca


Oh, I know it is unseemingly lame for a man to be caught up in the romanticism of love… but sometimes I cannot help myself.

I saw this little excerpt today:

and of course it got me juiced and I thought about some of the most memorable movie kisses I could recall… you know the ones with the fiery sunsets or the magnificent landscapes stretching off into the horizon in the background?

So… in no particular order:

The kiss John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara (na na na na nana na na… today is her birthday!) share in The Quiet Man after which he sweeps her in his arms and kicks the bedroom door open…

The kiss Jimmy Stewart gives Donna Reed after he tells her, “Listen, I don’t want no ground floor… etc.” in It’s a Wonderful Life and the very next scene shows them getting married…

The kiss Jack Nicholson gives Helen Hunt in As Good As It Gets right after he kissed her in the street the first time and then says, “I know I can do better than that!”  and does… 

The kiss Bacall gives Bogart in To Have and Have Not before telling him, “You know how to whistle, don’t you… ?”

The kiss Dustin Hoffman gets while playing Dorthy Micheals from the T.V. actor known as “The Tongue” in the movie, Tootsie…

The kiss Ronald Colman gives Jane Wyatt after chasing her through the hanging gardens of Shangri La in the movie, Lost Horizon …

The repeated kisses Marilyn Monroe gives Tony Curtis, (who claims he feels nothing) in the movie, Some Like It Hot…

The kiss Bob Hope reacts to from Jane Russell and requests more of in the movie, The Paleface

The kiss Omar Sharif and Julie Christie share when he returns from the Russian front in the movie, Doctor Zhivago…

The kisses Anna Chlumsky and Macaulay Culkin give to their arms while practicing for the real thing in the movie, My Girl…

The kiss Alex Cord gives Ann-Margret, who says she’ll follow him anywhere, in the remake of the movie, Stagecoach (one of my favorite Westerns)…

The kiss Elvis gives Juliet Prowse after singing, “Pocketful of Rainbows” in the movie, G.I. Blues…

and the greatest non-kiss?  When Bogart lets Bergman walk away on the airfield tarmac in the movie, Casablanca…


Is a kiss still a kiss?  Mmm… thankfully,  yes.


Inner – mission

June 17, 2008

As of today I’ll be out for a while… but fear not, I shall return.

There are distant voices calling me,

there is a heart I yearn to have

beating in unison with my own…

up close, in sync… beautiful harmony.

So I will travel to the Great White North…

we will wine and dine 

cram as much living as we can

into the next few days.

There are always the archives…

even I check them out once in a while

just to see where I was

and if I still am.

You’ll be fine… trust me.


songs to play at your funeral

April 7, 2008

I was talking to my business partner the other day, bantering on like we do sometimes and he came out of the blue with a statement that made me think, which is a rarity.  Not… he making a statement to make me think, but me thinking in general. 

“I want that song played at my funeral.”  He said it seriously.

I was only half listening before, you know how you do.  Your mind on something else and you’re giving token lip service and a few head nods just to keep yourself in the conversation then all of a sudden something serious makes your ears perk up and you say…  

“What song?”

“Walking on the Moon.”

“By the Police?”


“You mean… la la la, ‘I hope my legs don’t break… walkin’ on the moon…’ that song?”

“Yeah, have you ever listened to the words… it’s great.”

“For your funeral?”

“Yeah.” and he commenced singing the song until I said, “I could come up with a better song than that!”

“Let’s hear it.” 

So I thought for a moment.  “‘My Way” by Sinatra?”

“Naw, everybody chooses that one.”

“Yeah, and if I had ‘my way’ I probably wouldn’t be dead.”


“How ’bout, “Lord Have Mercy on My Soul” by Black Oak Arkansas?”

“Mmm… might be okay.”

“How about, ‘”Long As I Can See the Light”‘ by Creedence?”

So I started, “Put a candle in the window… ’cause I feeeeeel I got to mooooove…”

He said, “Yeah, that’s a good one.” 

I said, “I’m sure there are others better than ‘Walkin’ on the Moon’, that’s just silly.” 

He said, “I like that song.” 

“For your funeral?”


I said, “I’m going to write about this.” 

He said, “Cool.”

Perhaps this conversation would have just faded into the gray, foreboding topics of morbidity that one would sooner forget about but my mind (and you know how my mind works) just wouldn’t let it be.  Especially when my own true love had just mentioned a day or two before (when I was only half listening, giving token lip service and a few head nods to keep me in the conversation) that SHE wanted that song played at her funeral.  No, not ‘Walking on the Moon’.  But a song I hadn’t heard of before called, “Time to Say Goodbye” by Sarah Brightman.

“Is it sad?”  I asked.

“Of course it’s sad, silly.”  She replied. (I marvel at her wisdom)

“Why would you want to play a sad song at your funeral?  Isn’t the funeral sad enough?”  I asked, rather proud of my logic.

“Because it is a beautiful song.”  She assured me.  ( I am so taken by her sentiment)

So I seriously started to think of songs that might be appropriate for MY funeral, which… by the way… is a LONG ways from now, a long… long ways… like hardly worth mentioning now because it is like… way far away from this very moment here that we are talking about.  Like years, decades from now…

Anyway, I thought of Tina Turner’s song, “Unlucky Creature” which I thought would be very self serving and make everybody feel guilty and wish they had treated me better.


“Just call me an unlucky creature….

and when I die, dig no hole for my grave. 

Just cremate my body… and throw the ashes to the sea,

’cause nobody ever cared about me.”

Oh… boo hoo, but you get the idea.  Beautifully sung with a lot of emotion as only Tina could do.

Then I thought of an old, obscure Roger Miller song called, “One Dyin’ and a Buryin'” which is about a suicide… a man that has lost his love and can’t face the world without her.


“One dyin’ and a buryin’

one dyin’ and a buryin’.

Some cryin’

six carryin’ me…

I wanna be free.”


But again, that is another “make the attendees feel bad song” and funerals should be about remembering the good times with/and the good traits of that person who has just kicked the bucket.  I thought of that song, “Whiskey Lullabye.”  (I have a copy of that on iTunes by Allison Krause and Brad Paisely) but there again… tearjerker.  “He Stopped Lovin’ Her Today” by George Jones would no doubt bring the house down.

I listened to my lover’s choice on Youtube.  While I didn’t understand most of it, the sentiment is very strong and she is right (I love it when she is right, which is most of the time… well, ALL the time) it is a very beautiful song.

So… what to play, what to play… I don’t know if I could choose one song to fit the mood of my being dead, because I’ve never actually been dead before.  “Feel Like I’m Fixin’ to Die Rag” by Country Joe and the Fish might be appropo except I’d all ready be dead.  I can just hear the people in attendance thinking, “Why did he pick that song?  He’s all ready dead!”  (When you’re dead you can hear people’s thoughts)  Besides, he doesn’t actually sing, “feel like I’m fixin’ to die” it’s just the title of the song.  

I like “Sweet Chile O’ Mine” (the Sheryl Crow version) but that’s not really a funeral song, is it?  I mean, “Where do we go now?” is something I should have been thinking of long before my funeral.  I wondered about some song by Elvis but couldn’t think of anything except, “Hunka hunka Burnin’ Love” and for some reason I didn’t think “burnin'” would go over too well.  I love Roy Orbison’s song, “In Dreams” but then thought better of it because of the line, “But just before the dawn, I awake to find you gone…”  which doesn’t leave enough finality in it because it might lead the listener to believe I might pop back up at any minute.  I’d been leaning towards “Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again” by Bod Dylan because of the refrain, “oh… momma, could this really be the end?”  Besides, it’s about 10 minutes long and if I am limited to one song to sum up my entire existence I want it to be a marathon.

But seriously, songs to play at your funeral might be the next compilation CD!  Think about it and let me know your selections.

Make mine, “And I Love Her” by the Beatles.


 (Sarah Brightman appears below)