One week into my five-week holiday break. I've haven't actually been standing still much; I'm trying to use the break to catch up on some stuff, including reviewing some of last semester's school content-- I did well on some of it, not so well on other stuff. I will see it again in June or so when I take the nursing boards, so I need to know it.
In the meantime, I've gotten a couple of things out of the way-- big one was cleaning out my closet. I had a lot of stuff I didn't need, or at least didn't need to be there. I had a big housecleaning, in preparation for my in-laws visiting from Minnesota. I'm going to try to tackle the basement a little and the pantry a lot. Big plans.
I'm also going to try to get some reading done. I've got two books out from the library, one fun and one serious. The fun book is Dan Epstein's "Big Hair and Plastic Grass: A Funky Ride Through Baseball and America in the Swinging '70's." I've mentioned this one before-- my son and I went to a reading Mr. Epstein did this summer at the Book Cellar, our local indy bookstore. I bought two copies of the book-- one for my son and one for my buddy Jamie. I had to get a library copy out so I could read it myself. The serious book is one I've wanted to read for some time, Dan T. Carter's "The Politics of Rage: George Wallace, the Origins of the New Conservatism, and the Transformation of American Politics." The book was published in 1995, and was amazingly prescient, predicting the bizarre politics of hate and fear that is bringing imbeciles like Sarah Palin political sway.
Oh, yeah-- I plan on blogging some too. I mean it this time.
Today I was running around trying to get my last few things done, but took some time to run to my daughter's school and see her perform with her class. They did a nice rendition of Paul McCartney's "Simply Having a Wonderful Christmastime." (she's the one on the far right in the picture at the top) It's hard to believe that this is her last year at her grade school; she's been there since Kindergarten. On to high school next year.
On my way home, I was trying to get a few things done. It seemed like every idiot who couldn't drive was in front of me, and I was steadily getting more and more pissy. I stopped by the library to drop off two dvd's I'd forgotten to return yesterday, and expected to pay a $4 fine. I got to the desk, told the lady they were late, and had the money in hand. She checked them in, smiled and said "Don't worry-- no fine." My little holiday gift from the Chicago Public Library system. I grabbed a couple of cd's and a book, checked them out and walked outside. A guy pulled over, opened his car window and asked for directions to a location a couple of miles away. I was able to help him out and he went on his way with a thank you.
As I walked to my car I reflected how a kindness received and a kindness given had quickly improved my disposition. Maybe something to think about this season, or any season, for that matter.
1. Give My Love To Rose- Johnny Cash
2. Tall Cool One- The Wailers
3. Shine A Light- The Rolling Stones
4. Fallout- The Police
5. Domino- The Uptown Rulers
6. People Get Ready- Curtis Mayfield and the Impressions
7. Hickory Wind- Joan Baez
8. Looking For Lewis and Clark- The Long Ryders
9. The Goodbye Look- Donald Fagen
10. Elusive Butterfly- Bob Lind
1. The perfect country song-- a guy finds a guy dying who just got out of prison by the railroad tracks and the dying guy makes the guy promise to bring his money to his wife and kid.
2. Little-known fact-- the Wailers recorded "Louie, Louie" before fellow Pacific Northwestern bar bands the Kingsmen or the Sonics. But I love all three versions.
3. A lot of people argue that this song, the second-to-last on "Exile On Main Street," should have been the closing track, but I love "Soul Survivor" as a closing track.
4. A great, obscure early Police single.
5. The Uptown Rulers were a great ska band from my college town in the early to mid eighties. Me and my old friend Dan digitized both of their EP's from vinyl years ago. This is a great ska version of the great Van Morrison song.
7. Mr. Mayfield grew up in the infamous Cabrini-Green housing projects, where I taught my first year. They were in the news lately when the last highrise in the "Greens" was vacated, in order for it to be demolished.
8. You've got to love a song that namechecks Tim Hardin.
9. From "The NIghtfly," one of my favorite albums of the eighties. The first post-Steely Dan record for Mr. Fagen.
10. A lovely little one-hit-wonder.