Saturday, October 31, 2009

It's Halloween!

I managed to get someone to work for me tonight, so I have a rarity-- a Saturday night off, and both of my kids are here. We're going to our friends' Halloween party tonight. My son is going as disgraced former Illinois governor Blagojevich, my daughter will be Billy Mays, and my wife will be a "sexy vampire." I was originally going to go as People's Temple leader Jim Jones, but decided instead to go as Bruce Dickinson-- yes, THE Bruce Dickinson. And in his honor, I'd like you to explore the space of the room with the cowbell. I'll post pictures tomorrow.

And in the meantime, here's a vid of the Dead Kennedys doing my favorite Halloween song. It was filmed in 1980 at Mabuhay Gardens in San Francisco, which I read recently was the first club they ever played.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Wet End Of October Friday Random Ten

I did some running around this morning; I had to get some groceries and get the stuff for Adam's Halloween costume. He's forgoing his three-years-running Dick Cheney-shooting-a-rich-Republican-hunting-partner costume (Dick Cheney mask, flannel shirt and toy rifle) and is going as our disgraced former governor (and neighbor), Rod Blagojevich. I ran by my favorite resale store and found a nice black suit that I think will fit him, for 15 bucks. At a dollar store, I also found toy money for him to stuff into his pockets. Since his hair is blonde, I needed some of that washable hairspray dye, in black (which I also need for my Jim Jones costume). I checked in the Jewel's on Western for it, but they were out of black. There is a Party City across the street, so I ran over there and was fortunate to find it still in stock there.

The PA was playing Halloween-themed songs. As I waited in line, Steve Goodman's classic "Lincoln Park Pirates" came on. I'm a huge Steve Goodman fan (his mother is also a regular at the restaurant) so I enjoyed it.

For you non-Chicagoans, the song is about the Lincoln Park Towing Service, a notoriously not-nice towing company that is based not out of the Lincoln Park neighborhood, but the edgy Uptown neighborhood.

As I left the store and walked back across Western Avenue to the Jewel's Parking lot, I noticed something: a tow truck skulking in a corner. You guessed it-- a Lincoln Park Towing truck, waiting to pounce on someone doing exactly what I was doing, or for a student from Chicago's biggest high school, Lane Tech, which is next door, to try to sneak in there.

Fortunately, he hadn't caught on to me. I walked into the store in one entrance and walked out another entrance. He was none the wiser.

I promised some Chicago Autumn pictures. We've had the wettest October in Chicago's history. We did, however, have a few sunny days. These pictures were all taken on my block. You'd never know from the looks of it that the busiest street in Chicago, Western Avenue, is at the end of our block.

1. Turn Me Loose- Loverboy
2. Willie and The Poor Boys- Creedence Clearwater Revival
3. Heroes- Joe Jackson
4. Pride and Joy- Marvin Gaye
5. Bigshot- Billy Joel
6. Joe Stalin's Cadillac- Camper Van Beethoven
7. Baby, Now That I've Found You- The Foundations
8. Midnight Rider- The Allman Brothers Band
9. Goodbye to You- Scandal
10. Are You Gonna Be There (At the Love-In)- The Chocolate Watchband

1. A big hunk o' eighties cheese.
2. "Creedence! I LOVE Creedence!"
3. A great cover of the great Bowie song.
4. Marvin Gaye was hugely talented. His early decline and early demise were tragic.
5. I know/It's only Billy Joel/But I like it.
6. I heard Camper's version of the Status Quo classic "Pictures of Matchstick Men" in the grocery store the other day. File that under "Things I never thought I'd ever see or hear in my lifetime."
7. Looked up this sixties one-hit wonder and discovered two interesting things: The Foundations were British (I'd alway thought that they were American) and secondly that part of the song was written in the same Soho, London tavern that Karl Marx wrote much of "Das Kapital" in.
8. Love this smoky little song.
9. I did Scandal's "Love Is Gonna Get You" in my "Occasional Forgotten Videos" a while back, and this one will be following soon.
10. Great Garage Rock/Psychedelia band from San Jose, California. This is on the fabulous Nuggets collection.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Last Good Day of the Year

It's a perfect October day here in Chicago-- leaves falling, a little chilly, a little wet. I took some pictures on my block that I'll post tomorrow. For now, here's the vid for Cousteau's "Last Good Day of the Year." The song perfectly captures the mood today.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Death In the Family

One of the reasons I started this blog a little over three years ago was to try to process the grief in dealing with the death of Mark Evans, one of my closest friends. It was, I'd have to say, successful. This blog gave me an outlet for dealing with my feelings of loss. Even better, it helped me connect with kindred spirits-- people whose creativity, intelligence and gentleness reminded me of Mark's. Even as my commitments to family, school and work have reduced the amount of time I can devote to reading other blogs and posting on my own, I still relish the time I can steal a moment and check on the blogs I enjoy.

One of the things that I enjoy about reading other peoples' blogs, and one of the reasons that blogs will still be around after peoples' infatuation with Facebook and Twitter dies down, is the remarkable diversity of the people whose blogs I've come to enjoy. With the massive reading requirements of school reducing my "reading for pleasure" book-reading essentially to zero, I've come to depend on my blog-reading to keep me sane and in touch. I love Erik's wonderful mix of art, history, politics and the personal; Barbara's always witty posts about music, family and occasionally politics; Bubs' observations on the weird and the wonderful; Churlita's thoughts on life as an intelligent and arty fish in a small Iowa pond; Mob's always pithily funny, sometimes caustic commentary on life and horror movies.

One of the bloggers I got to know through reading Mob's blog was Macguffin. Not only did he have the best "blog name" I've ever heard-- a Macguffin is an object in a movie that drives the plot (think "The Maltese Falcon" in the movie of the same name or the Ark of Covenant in "Indiana Jones"), but he had the best blog premise ever. He simply posted pictures of old movie posters and had a little history on the poster-- the style, the influences, etc.

Macguffin didn't post very often, but when he did, it was a treat. I have zero artistic talent and not much more knowledge about art-- but a consuming love of it. Macguffin's posts gave me an eye where I had none.

A couple of nights ago, I checked his blog and discovered that Macguffin recently took his own life. Mob was kind enough to contact me and tell me a little bit about what went on. Macguffin was, I'm pretty sure, his closest friend.

This morning, I dragged out my dog-eared copy of Harper Lee's "To Kill A Mockingbird" and re-read the last couple of chapters. Like every other person in America, I read the book in eighth grade and didn't really comprehend it until I re-read it as an adult. If you remember, the title comes from Atticus Finch's admonishment not to kill a mockingbird-- that mockingbirds give joy to people with their song; it's a sin to kill a mockingbird.

At the end of the book, when Boo Radley saves Atticus' children's lives, Atticus understands the need to go along with the Sheriff's lie that Bob Ewell fell on his own knife. Scout, the book's main character, also realizes the necessity of going along with that lie-- in order to protect her protector. "Well," she says, "it'd be sort of like shootin' a mockingbird, wouldn't it?" As she says this, she is completely oblivous to the fact that for years, she and her brother Jem had been the mockingbirds to a sad, lonely man. It's one of the most powerful endings to a book ever.

I never met Macguffin, but I'll miss him. I feel sad that a person who brought a little beauty into my life once in a while couldn't find the joy he needed to continue. I hope he finds the peace in sleep that he couldn't find in life. My condolences to Mob and to Macguffin's other friends and family.

Friday, October 23, 2009

The "Take a Breather" Friday Random Ten

My day started out early again-- I had to drop Kim off at the el to head off to the airport. An old friend of hers is flying her out to the Bay for the weekend. Came back, made breakfast for my daughter, who had a day off of school. A friend of hers was dropped off and they spent part of the day working on schoolwork and part of the day doing fun stuff, including walking over to a neighborhood sandwich place for lunch. It's funny how you let go of the apronstrings a little at a time.

I went back to bed for a while and woke up with enough energy to run around and do some errands. Tonight, Mel and I will hang out-- dinner (chicken and homemade mashed potatoes), probably a movie and then some Rock Band. I haven't had much chance yet to do the Beatles Rock Band. Looking forward to it.

1. The Bells- Phil Ochs
2. Baby, Let Me Follow You Down- Bob Dylan
3. The Promised Land- Dave Edmunds
4. Mojo Pin- Jeff Buckley
5. Sweet Cherry Wine- Tommy James and the Shondells
6. Neighborhood Bully- Bob Dylan
7. Common Man- The Blasters
8. You Were On My Mind- We Five
9. The Highwayman- Phil Ochs
10. Beginning- Bubble Puppy

...and one more: The Warmest Room- Billy Bragg

1. This is based on the Edgar Allen Poe poem. Been listening to a lot of Phil Ochs lately.
2. Dylan name-checks his late friend Eric Von Schmidt, who taught him this Rev. Gary Davis song.
3. Dave Edmunds covering Chuck Berry.
4. From Jeff Buckley's incredible album "Grace." I've always wondered if this song is about his father.
5. I know that Tommy James is pop tripe, but I love his music.
6. From the underrated "Infidels" album. The song is assumed to be about Israel.
7. A blatant rip on Reagan from the great "Hard Line" album.
8. Bay area band We Five entered the pantheon of one-hit wonders with their arrangement of the Ian and Sylvia Tyson song. Notably, they omitted the part about getting drunk from the original.
9. Weird-- Phil Ochs did two songs based on poems, and both showed up in my Friday Random Ten. His musical rendition of Alfred Noyes' poem is beautiful.
10. Heard this song on Little Steven's Underground Garage and couldn't get it out of my head.

One More: I love this song about mixing love and politics. Hands down my favorite Billy Bragg song.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Today, instead of going to clinicals at the hospital at 1 PM, my class met at the school to spend the day working on medications-- contraindications, prepping, dosages, etc. A few days ago, my teacher had taken a vote and asked if the class wanted to meet at the regular 1 PM to 7 PM or to start early and meet at 7:30 am and get out about 1 PM. I was out-voted, and we met early.

I was groggy, since I had closed the restaurant last night-- I managed to squeeze in about five and a half hours of sleep. I dropped my daughter off at a breakfast place down the street from her school, since I had to be at school before her normal drop-off time.

We plowed through the material, practicing dosage calculations with a couple of my classmates. At the end of class, the teacher announced that she would spend the last half hour or so meeting with us individually for our mid-term reviews-- a checklist of how we're doing.

When it was my turn to meet, my teacher asked me how I felt I was doing. I was not coy. I told her that I felt great about how I was doing, and that to be honest, I had no idea that I'd enjoy the material so much. She had some very nice things to say-- I'll leave it at that. I got 100% "Satisifactory" ratings-- the best I could have done. This is in addition to a B average for the classwork.

I ran out to have lunch with two of my classmates, picked up my daughter and her friend at school, headed home and took a much-needed nap. Needless to say, I'm feeling pretty satisfied right now.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Long View, Part 2

On Sunday, I took a couple of my textbooks, my notes and my little Powerbook and headed to a local cafe. I ordered up a big cup of house blend and plowed through several chapters. In addition to a couple of chapters on pharmacology, I had to read a chapter on sleep and rest. It was more than a little ironic.

One of the first casualties of starting nursing school has been sleep and rest. As I read the chapter, it described how a patient may have problems in a hospital because firmly established sleep schedules are being disrupted. I had to chuckle at that. I haven't been to bed or up at the same time any two days for months.

When I started nursing school, they kept emphasizing that you should work no more than 20 hours a week. I knew from the start that this wasn't going to happen. Kim fell victim to the tough economy and was laid off in June, right around the time I had orientation for nursing school. She's training now for a new career selling life insurance and annuities, so there's a light at the end of the tunnel. For now, though, I have to keep working full time.

This week was particularly hectic. Since Kim has to be in a suburb about 35 miles from our home here in Chicago early for her training, she needs to be out of the house early. This means I'm dropping my daughter off at school and picking her up in the afternoon. In between, there is class, schoolwork and work. My meal schedule is chaotic. Dinnertime is a crapshoot-- sometimes it's a bowl of soup at work.

It has been rewarding, though. Today during the break in the middle of our two hour class, two classmates I've become friends with were talking about it all. We talked about how tired we were-- they, like me, are parents. I reminded them, though, of how far we come in just a couple of months. It was a little astounding, the list of knowledge and skills, right off the tops of our heads, that we could come up with, including:

  • How to take a pulse, and the difference between and apical pulse and a radial pulse, and when you would want to take both at the same time

  • How to read a medical chart

  • The difference between hemoglobin and hematocrit levels, and their relationship (hematocrit should be about three times the hemoglobin

  • How to take a blood pressure and what to do when you can't take a BP from either arm

  • What to do before administering digoxin, a med for increasing heart strength (check potassium levels and take an apical pulse for one minute)

  • Why not to put all four rails up on a paitients bed (it can be considered a restraint)

  • What normal heart rate and respiration rates are for various patients

  • How to measure oxygenation

  • How to handle a "hand-off"-- to take over a patient during a shift change

We are, right now, 1/8 through the nursing program. As much as we've learned, we've only learned a fraction of what we will learn. We realized that the "things" we are learning are only part of it-- we're learning to think like nurses.

Several times, I've told my kids that the friends you make in college are generally the friends you have for life. Going through one more round of school, I'm reminded why: when you go through an intense experience with a group of people, you depend on them for encouragement and support. The time away from family, the lack of sleep-- you lean on your school friends a little.

Tomorrow-- actually, today in about 6 1/2 hours, I have to be at school with my classmates to go to the computer lab and spend the day learning about doing meds. We'll talk about a lot of things-- our kids, our classmate who keeps missing class and we're now officially worried will have to drop from the program, how tired we are and when we'll get together for a study session. But I know that we will have one thing from this all-- not just a nursing degree, but the knowledge that we earned this. We have come from these different places to do this thing and bring in such different skill sets to move toward reaching this goal. I spend my days feeling like a zombie sometimes, but I love what I'm doing. I realize now that as exhausted, broke and anxious as I am now, I will look back to this time in my life with fondness.

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Long View

Yesterday, I got a call from my ex while I was working with a patient in my clinical. When I was done working with my patient, I called her and got her voicemail. We phoned back and forth, missing one another sevearal times, and finally she left a message that told me that due to commitments to school (marching band and debate team), my son was booked all weekend. I.E. he would not be here at all this weekend.

Illinois' child custody practice is right out of the stone ages. Unless there are extremely extenuating circumstances, the mother gets physical custody. What this meant to me was that after spending thousands of dollars on a lawyer (and eventually bankrupting myself in the process), I ended up getting him every other weekend, on my birthday and some holidays, despite the fact that my ex was (and is) a screaming, abusive shrew.

Now that he's in high school, and has a busy schedule (as do I, having gone back to school and having to work full time), I'm missing some of the weekend days too.

A few weeks ago, my son and I were talking. We were talking about his mother-- how she seems to feel she was born with a right to be an ass to everyone around her. He talked about how she yells about everything, no matter how trivial. He told me that he's just started tuning her out.

I told him that she did the same thing to me when I lived with her. It was the reason I left her when he was two. I realized that one, it was not going to do him any good seeing it, and two, he needed another household that was stable-- and peaceful.

I agonized over the decision to leave her. I felt a lot better a few weeks ago when he told me that I'd made the right decision-- that one of the ways he's able to deal with her is knowing that he gets time at my house.

We talked about the future-- specifically, when he turns eighteen in a little over two years. He's already making plans to move out that day and move into my home-- his real home, I suspect he thinks of it as.

My wife and I have been talking up an idea we had-- only half-kiddingly-- of an "Advent Calender" for when he turns eighteen.

One day, about 7 or 8 years ago, I picked him up at my ex's home. He was obviously agitated. We began talking and he told me that he was "never gonna visit Mom when I get older. She makes me mad." I tried to tell him that he would probably feel differently when he was older. He replied that he didn't think he would.

As he's entered teenagehood, he's become remarkably proficient at dealing with her. One of my serious concerns was that he was going to develop an deep-seated anger-- one like I had for years due to my troubled relationship with my father. I had a horrible temper that erupted at the worst times. My son's birth was the major reason I worked hard to get it under control. Happily, he doesn't seem to have gone the route I did. He's still cheerful, friendly and gregarious. I get compliments on his demeanor and maturity all the time.

My father and I made our peace a long time ago now. He's been a great source of advice in this all. He's reminded me, since my son was little and the whole battle royale with my ex started, that I had to keep my eye on the long view. After dealing with this for over a decade, I'm exhausted; the end is so close, yet so far.

So as I sit here tonight missing him, I take solace in knowing that in the Spring of 2012, he'll turn 18, and he'll be free to spend as much time here as he wants. I'll be done with nursing school and he'll have a driver's license and a car (the one I'll give him). And undoubtedly his mother will be sitting there wondering why he's gone.

Hold on, son-- it's coming.

Plowing Through the Semester Friday Random Ten

Got a B on my test this week and had a really good and interesting clinical experience. I can't believe that we're half way through the semester already!

The ward was abuzz with news of the boy in the balloon. I don't know whether it was a hoax or not, but I felt sick when they got to the balloon and he wasn't in there. Hoax or not, I'm glad he's okay.

1. Ruby, Don't Take Your Love To Town-- Kenny Rogers and the First Edition
2. Most Likely You'll Go Your Way And I'll Go Mine- Bob Dylan
3. White Rabbit- The Jefferson Airplane
4. Red Barchetta- Rush
5. Holding Back the Years- Simply Red
6. Tommy Gun- The Clash
7. Baby, I'm A Star- Prince
8. Mother- The Police
9. My Baby Gives It Away- Pete Townsend and Ronnie Lane
10. Love Will Find a Way- Pablo Cruise

and one more: "It's Hard To Be a Saint In the City- Bruce Springsteen

1. Fresh out of the New Christy Minstrels, Kenny Rogers took another folky turn with The First Edition.
2. This is the live version from the great "Biograph" collection. I loved Dylan's comments on this one-- "I guess it's about one of those relationships where, you know, you're lucky to get out without a broken nose."
3. My son and I just watched Terry Gilliam's great film version of "Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas." One of my favorite scenes in the movie is when "Raoul Duke's" attorney is trying to get Duke to electrocute him in the bathtub right when "White Rabbit" peaks.
4. This is the only Rush song I like besides the title track to "2112." I generally can't stand their fatuous Ayn Randesque philosphizing.
5. It's funny how a song can bring you back to a place in your life. In this case, right out of college in the mid '80's.
6. From the Clash's great first albuml.
7. The "Purple Rain" album just about got worn out on the turntable in the apartment I shared with old friends Larry and Dobie the summer of 1984.
8. Guitarist Andy Summers sings and screams this Oedipal tale.
9. From "Rough Mix," an album that the Who's Pete Townsend did with Small Faces bassist Ronnie Lane in 1977.
10. A big hunk o' Seventies Cheese, but I like it.

one more: Love this song's opening line: "I had skin like leather and the diamond-hard luck of a cobra/I was born blowing weather and I burst just like a supernova...."

Monday, October 12, 2009

Don't Worry, I Saved The Receipt...

Oh my god-- someone secretly videotaped me in the classroom when I was a teacher...

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Defining Moment

My old friend Tim discovered, recently, that he has a Wikipedia entry for "Odd Jobs," his webcomic. Reading his Wikipedia entry, I discovered something about him I hadn't known-- that a basement flood in the late '90's had destroyed years of output of his artwork. It must have been heartbreaking for Tim, who is a gifted graphic artist and cartoonist.

Rather than despair, Tim turned lemons into lemonade: the disaster was impetus for Tim to launch "Odd Jobs." Past editions of "Odd Jobs" have also been published as graphic novels and are still in print.

I'd been thinking lately about a thing I call a "defining moment." I'd been thinking a lot about two acquaintances who were handed defeats-- one in a romantic matter and another in a an professional matter-- and seem never to have recovered from it. They are bitter and don't seem to want to move forward from it.

This stands in stark contrast to my longtime friend Tim, and also to my friend Joe, who was recently relating the story in a blog post memorializing a mentor, how he got into a career of police work, a job he both loves and excels at, after losing a photography job.

A couple of days ago, as I sat in my nursing class getting ready for my test on Monday, deep in discussion with several classmates about material we had covered, I had a moment. I suddenly realized that the 20 of us had taken 20 wildly different paths to that moment there in the classroom, I thought back to the second week of June, 2006. I've alluded to this week as the worst week of my life. I'd been told I was being "RIF'ed," teacher slang for being laid off, and so a black cloud hung over me-- the knowledge that a job I loved and had planned to do until retirement was about to end. In the midst of that, my father was diagnosed with cancer-- a huge tumor in his abdomen. And of course, the third and most awful part of it-- the murder of my close friend Mark Evans. It was a very bad week, easily the worst in my life.

Looking back to the year that followed, I took a couple of steps back and looked at my life and asked some hard questions about my life and future.

Some years ago, I read an article about the guy who computerized the Chicago Board of Trade. He was considered a kind of wunderkind and was, of course, quite rich. When asked about the secret of his success, he replied that the secret was failure-- that for every success he had, he had at least ten failures. It reminded me of a bumper sticker I've seen a couple of times, that I suspect is related to AA-- "If you get up one more time than you fall down, you are a success."

I've come to the realization that your defining moment in life is your choice. You can take a failure in two ways: a license to accept defeat and the consequent self-pity, or as an opportunity to back up, brush yourself off and try something different.

My defining moment could have been that week in June of 2006, filled with pain, disappointment and failed dreams. I've chosen instead to let my defining moment to be the afternoon this past April when I got back from my Anatomy class and opened an envelope telling me I'd been accepted into Truman College's nursing program.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Nursing Midterm Friday Random Ten

I can't believe we're approaching midterm already. We have a test Monday, so I'll really be hitting the books this weekend.

In the meantime, we got some great news. My wife Kim, who was laid off from her job in June, got a new job this week, as a salesperson for one of the big life insurance companies.

1. One Night Stand- Rick Nelson
2. The Bottom Line- Big Audio Dynamite
3. Take a Picture- Filter
4. Paralyzed- The Legendary Stardust Cowboy
5. I Can't Help Falling In Love With You- Elvis
6. Stop What You're Doing- The Beatles
7. Killing An Arab- The Cure
8. God Save The Queen- The Sex Pistols
9. Outside of a Small Circle of Friends- Phil Ochs
10. Down By The River- Neil Young

1. I first heard this one when Rick Nelson and the Stone Canyon Band performed it on a talk show in the early seventies.
2. Heard this one a million times in clubs in the eighties.
3. A one-hit wonder from about ten years ago.
4. This song is widely recognized as the worst song ever recorded.
5. I love me some Elvis. This is one of his most lovely songs.
6. From "The Beatles For Sale."
7. The Cure's first hit.
8. "God save the queen/She ain't no human being...."
9. A song about the Kitty Genovese murder. Dozens of people heard her being stabbed to death and did nothing.
10. An epic song.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

One More Vid: The Del Fuegos, "Don't Run Wild"

Late last night, after work, I was, for some now unknown reason, watching the vid for the Del Fuegos' "Don't Run Wild." Then, today, while I was out with my son out on the road for the first time for driving practice, the song came up on Little Steven's Underground Garage on my satellite radio. I had to laugh, thinking maybe it was my wish-- for him to be a lot more cautious than I was in my life.

The Boston-based Del Fuegos were one of the many great indie bands in the eighties. They consisted of brothers Dan and Warren Zanes (singer and guitarist, respectively), bassist Tom Lloyd, drummer Brent "Woody" Giessmann and keyboardist Br. Cleve.

Despite being promoted by Tom Petty and appearing in a beer commercial, they never had a huge amount of commercial fame. "Don't Run Wild" and "I Still Want You" got a good amount of airplay.

Dan Zanes has had some success doing childrens' albums and shows. He plays at the Old Town School of Folk Music, just a few blocks from my home, once a year or so. In 2007, he won a Grammy for Best Children's Album. His brother Warren went a more academic route, earning two Master's degree's and a PhD. He is currently the vice-president of education at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

"Don't Run Wild" is one of my favorite songs from the eighties. It reminds me of a particular friend from college, who, ironically, didn't run wild at all. These days, she is a suburban housewife who is married to the first guy she ever dated.

Friday, October 02, 2009

THe "Nolympics" Friday Random Ten

Just saw that Chicago got voted out in the first round of the Olympics voting. I'm not particularly upset by it-- there are lots of places the money would be better spent, like improving our terrible mass transit system, fixing our terrible schools or hiring more cops to deal with the crime rate in a lot of our neighborhoods.

1. Love Is The Stranger- Eurythmics
2. Bette Davis Eyes- Kim Carnes
3. Stupid Girl- The Rolling Stones
4. Maxwell's Silver Hammer- The Beatles
5. Lord Grenville- Al Stewart
6. Welcome To The Working Week- Elvis Costello
7. Joy- Apollo 100
8. They're Coming To Me Away- Napolean Bonaparte XIV
9. Cyprus Avenue- Van Morrison
10. You Light Up My Life- Patti Smith Group

1. This is my favorite Eurythmics song. Love the creepy video, too.
2. One hit wonder from the eighties.
3. I'm compiling a "Top Ten Most Un-PC Songs Ever" list for a future post. This song, from the terrific "Aftermath" album, is on that list.
4. We got the kids the Beatles Rock Band, so lots of Beatles going on around here lately.
5. From Al Stewart's "Year of the Cat" record. It was one of the first records I bought, when I was in high school. Still love it.
6. This tune has one of the funniest opening lines ever.
7. A big hunk of '70's cheese, and I love it.
8. I loved hearing this one on Dr. Demento when I was a kid.
9. From the lovely Astral Weeks album.
10. Yes, THAT "You Light Up My Life." And yes, THAT Patti Smith. It's one of the little rarities I have on my Itunes.