Showing posts with label modern family. Show all posts
Showing posts with label modern family. Show all posts

Friday, December 27, 2013

2013, The Year That Was...

...dull? Boring? Uneventful?

Did anything really happen in 2013? If it did, I missed it.

I purchased no CD's this year. I did download a couple of tracks - they were from the hit ABC show "Nashville" (I always like to include the words, "hit ABC show", because I'm all about the PR, you know). That's the sum total of my 2013 musical experience. I don't know what's playing on the radio, because I don't listen. I did catch Entertainment Weekly's list of Top Ten Albums of 2013, and I perused the videos, but what's with all the minor chords and long intros? You, Entertainment Weekly, have completely misread the spirit of country music.

This is the spirit of country music:

Honestly. Anybody can whine over D minor chords. I've wallowed in it myself. That's not what country music is supposed to be about. Good lord, it's not a funeral. But I've come to be suspicious of Entertainment Weekly in general, of late.

Of course, everything isn't about music (is it?). So, here are some more meaningless categories:


 We're The Millers

Well, I liked it. It was sort of an updated National Lampoon's Vacation, albeit without Chevy Chase, but it was funny. I read that We're The Millers earned lots of dough through word of mouth. I would recommend it.


Obamacare (Don't click on the link! Unless you want your identity stolen! Oh, wait - the site is probably down anyway. We'll just let Target steal our identity. It's less time-consuming, and cheaper!)


Target (No link provided. Browse at your own peril.)


Modern Family

I'm not on board with the insane rants of some of the show's actors, but I still appreciate a good comedy that's come back from the brink and has regained its mojo.


Duck Dynasty

Do you watch that show? I hadn't, so, in an effort to become informed, I DVR'd a couple of episodes. It's sort of like soap bubbles - all shiny one minute, then popped into oblivion the next. And somebody has to say it - mostly commercials.Honestly, I hadn't watched A&E since Bill Kurtis stopped making crime documentaries sometime in the nineteen eighties. I'm not your go-to person for cable TV programs.


My friend Barb and I got sick of staring at a snow-covered picnic table on 20-below wind chill days, so we created our own "Nativity scene" (the purple figure resting on a leaf is the Baby Jesus). Fellow smokers seemed to like it. We aim to please.The duck and the dinosaur represent "wise men".


My novel.

I am 4,220 words away from completing an 80,000-word novel.

Everybody, no matter one's age, needs a goal. My goal is to complete my novel. I didn't quite do it in 2013, but I'm still excited about it, and I think it keeps getting better the more I slog away.

I've never been enthralled by odd-numbered years. 2013 is a gawker slowdown.

2014 is going to be delicious.


Tuesday, January 31, 2012

More Hits From the Summer of Lo-oo-ve!

Hey, kids! (Well, I guess you're not really kids anymore, are you?)

If you have any cognitive memory of the hits of 1967, sorry, but you are old. I hate to break it to you (and to myself), but it's unfortunately true.

If you remember two posts ago, I began enumerating the top hits of that seminal year in music. And I got through number fifteen.

Well, FYI, there were more hits than just fifteen! That is why I'm here to discuss.....

So, let's continue on, shall we?

Number sixteen. The Beatles said, all you need is love. Well, the Beatles were lying. They absolutely abhorred each other by 1967. Even Ringo, and that's saying a lot.

Nevertheless, they apparently loved somebody; just not each other.

#17 is a sparkly song, and I don't mean that in a good way. I just watched an episode of Modern Family, in which Lily was forced to wear a light-up dress as a flower girl in a wedding, and I thought, how preposterous. Apparently not. Shield your eyes as you watch the Supremes:

What do you know? Number eighteen is also from the Supremes. This time in pale yellow nauseating chiffon. I remember this song, but I think it was because there was some kind of commercial tie-in; I could be wrong. I wanna say some car company appropriated this song, but you know, that was a long time ago, but heavens, there must be some reason I remember it. It can't be for its artistic merit.

Seriously? This next song was only number nineteen? And "The Happening" beat it out? Hmmm, let's see, which song do we remember? Well, I guess if I'm in the mood to shop for a new Chevy, and I have a time machine, maybe "The Happening" springs to mind.

Otherwise, I'll just go with Penny Lane.

Never mind that a pretty nurse is selling puppies from a tray. And how does she keep the puppies from jumping off that tray? It's a mystery. Just like the "four of fish and finger pie", which sounds scrumptious!

Remember the Royal Guardsmen? Of course not! I hate to even bring this up, since 1967 was kind of my era, but yes, we had putrid songs back then that became big hits, and here's one of them!

Again, like I sometimes do, I wonder if any of the Guardsmen went on to bigger and better things. I could do a Google search, but I'm thinking that would be rather pointless.

So, okay, here you go:

I really like Gladys Knight, but I don't get why she didn't just pick her own new songs, rather than trying to outdo Marvin Gaye (which no one could), but this was number twenty-one in 1967, and just for the record, I still like Marvin's version a LOT better:

Okay, here's a revelation: I really only knew this song because of John Belushi and Dan Ackroyd. I don't know how or why I missed it; I mean I had "some" recollection of it, but it was never seared into my brain.

But watching this performance by Sam & Dave, I'm thinking, wow, this is WAY cooler than the Blues Brothers.

I always had this nagging suspicion that the Mamas & The Papas turned off Michelle's microphone before every performance. But I guess I was wrong.

I will say, though, that they probably should have. But, of course, she wasn't in the group because of her singing abilities. At least she had her looks to fall back on, since the group was totally dominated by two of the best pop singers ever ~ Cass Elliot and Denny Doherty. As this song will attest:

I completely forgot about this next song. And, (naturally)I also forgot about a group called "Music Explosion". That name is rather presumptuous, isn't it? I mean, I don't think the music is actually "exploding" here. It kind of just moves on in its own meandering way.

Someone commented on this video that they didn't know that Kevin Bacon was in the band. Kudos! You (YouTube poster) win an honored place in the Shelly/Lissa trademarked game called, "The Face Is Familiar".

Number twenty-five is a song that holds fond memories for me. Sure, it was twenty-five, which doesn't seem like a high number, but I liked the Cowsills, especially because my older brother did a mean imitation of the many hand gestures the group used in performing this song.

Sure, most people don't remember the Cowsills. If they remember them at all, it's because of the weird makeup of the band. MOM was part of it! I think the deal was, the kids just wanted to form a band, and Mom said, oh, no you don't! I've heard about that show biz culture! None of MY kids will fall into that den of iniquity.

So, of course, the kids, industrious as kids can be, said, "Hey Mom! Why don't you be in the band with us?" And Mom, unable to resist the many temptations of the celebrity life, said, "Oh, me?? Why, I never.....Okay!"

And Dad, of course, never got another home-cooked meal for the rest of his life. And Shirley Jones sent a nice thank-you letter to Mama Cowsill, for the idea for a new TV sitcom titled, "The Partridge Family". So, full circle, as they say.

So, there we go. We've reached number twenty-five for the year 1967.

And believe it or not, there are many big hits to come!

And many that you will remember even more than the ones featured here.

Yes, 1967 was kind of a seminal year in rock (pop) music.

So, stay tuned for Part 3 of the "Summer of Love" revisited.

Friday, December 30, 2011

The Pop Culture Trends of 2011

I'm not qualified to comment on very many subjects (although that's never stopped me before!) However, I do know a thing or two about pop culture, as an observer more than a participant, sadly (or not).

So, as we bid adieu to 2011 (and none too soon, in my opinion), here are some things I've noticed.....


Now, this may have occurred before 2011, and most likely did, but I am now ready to pronounce country music dead and buried (or scattered, as the case may be).

It's no loss for me, because I stopped listening to it a long, long time ago, as it became apparent that the steels and the fiddles were being ritually cast off, one by one, and all that was left was a....banjo? Why in the world did the "country" tween stars choose a banjo? Whatever. It's all fake anyway.

Country music now is like someone who's never heard country music imagines it to sound.

Merle Haggard is now "Americana". As is Dwight Yoakam. It's okay with me. I don't care what they call 'em, as long as I can still buy their records.

I'm not gonna fight it anymore. Y'all enjoy your so-called music. Who am I to steal your Southern-fried-chicken-tires-on-a-gravel-road-Ol'-Hank-I'm-from-the-country-and-I'm-a-proud-redneck-insert-cliche-here joy?


It's not only funny to denigrate these groups, it's COOL. Just ask the writers and editors of any of your favorite magazines and newspapers.

If you want to be part of the "in" crowd, sharpen those nails, folks! Post your best, most poisonous comments on the websites of the afore-mentioned publications, and dudes like Ken Tucker from Entertainment Weekly will personally show up at your door and give you a BIG KISS! Not to single him out. There are tons....and tons.

Just the mere mention of someone like Tim Tebow or any of the Republican presidential candidates will throw 80% of the population into an absolute tizzy of vile hatred. And kudos to them!...say most of the journalistic powers-that-be! You go, girls Show them YOU'RE the bully in this group, and don't they dare forget it!


Excuse me if you are a heavy utilizer of Facebook. I certainly mean no disrespect. But strictly as an observer, I have noticed the interest begin to wane. People post much less often, and those few who are constantly posting are just attention whores (Oh, my God, did I say that? I probably could have come up with a more acceptable term). The best are those who like to post the scores of their various games, like Crazy Farm, or whatever the heck it's called. Who cares?? To me, that's just nutty, and I'm trying hard not to be as judgmental as those people I mentioned in my last category. But seriously. Do you think anyone cares?? I play FB games, too. That's really all I use it for, frankly, other than to scan to see if anything interesting has been posted (it hasn't). But I wouldn't post my game scores!

Anyway, I wandered off into a tangent again. My point is, Facebook is on the down-turn. I don't care what those TV news hosts, who try to look "hip", are saying. I can see it. People are already hungering for the next big thing. And the next big thing will last about five years, too, if fortune shines upon it.


Again, I'm on Twitter, too. Why? I don't know! Somebody said you should promote yourself (music-wise, I mean, not promote myself) on Twitter.

Do I ever go to Twitter? No. Not unless I want to post a link to a blog post that I think might be semi-relevant or interesting to somebody.

Why? It's wholly unworkable. First of all, and this, I admit, was a rookie mistake. I reciprocated to every "follow" email I received, and thus, I don't know how many people I follow, but too damn many! This makes the Twitter presentation just a jumble of unintelligible junk, which is mostly just posts of links to other pages (just like I do), and I don't have the time or patience to click on every link somebody deems worthy to share.

And that whole "@" thing. Okay, somebody is responding to something that "somebody" said, and I don't know what it was or who it was, and therefore, it's utter nonsense to me. But fun for those involved, I imagine!

Also, I don't like Ashton Kutcher enough to read what he has to say. It's not so much that I don't like Ashton Kutcher. It's just that he never even enters my consciousness. I, unlike I guess, 93% of the population, do NOT worship celebrities. There. I've said it. Kill me now. In fact, I have mostly disdain for the large majority of them, because they act like idiots, and their "writings" tend to prove that.

(Ha ~ I believe I will link this post on Twitter ~ just because I love nothing more than contradicting myself. And I haven't "contributed" in awhile. Gotta keep those irons in the fire! If somebody actually reads it, I'll give them a free download of whatever the heck they might want. I hope that doesn't discourage people! Give me a shout, people, if you actually read this. You can have your pick from the extensive Red River catalog.)


Nobody will admit that they don't like hip-hop, because that will just make them an outcast in popular society. Sign me up as an outcast!

I'm not even going to argue that it's not music. Everybody knows it isn't. Spoken word is spoken word. So, the beat is infectious, I guess. Maybe that's what it is. But the lyrics (or "poems")? Mind-numbing. And yes, I have heard and/or read that Kanye West is a "genius". My sole experience with Kanye West is seeing him rudely interrupt someone who was accepting a televised award, so don't give me that "genius" stuff. Egotist, sure.


Networks, don't give us this line that "we're just giving people what they want". No, you're not. You're giving people whatever costs you the least to produce.

I will not watch reality TV. It is contrived, lowest common denominator anesthesia, for people who are really just too lazy to push the "up" or "down" button on their remote control.

And we bemoan the fact that Johnny or Jenny can't read or pass a simple mathematics exam. Maybe their brains have been rendered useless by absorbing an overdose of reality TV...not to mention modeling their lives after all the dumb-ass people who become famous by "starring" on these shows.

Modern Family is a jewel. A rare gem. Watch it. This show has real writers and real actors! I know that's unbelievable, but true!

What the heck ever happened to writers? Are they all out on the camp-out with the 99%'ers now, because TV isn't hiring? I feel bad for writers; at least for the good ones. And, consequently, bad for us.


From the latest crazy happening in the world, to the Presidential debates, to a live performance by an obscure 60's rock group, to cute animal videos; it's all there. Or it will be. Just give it a minute.

We can skip the boring awards shows, and just watch the parts we want to see. We can learn how to carve a turkey (yes, I watched). We can even watch that Geico commercial with the little piggy (that's right; not ALL commercials suck).

YouTube is THE portal to the online world. Well, really, to the world. NOT Facebook. YouTube will be around forever. I just hope they don't decide to start charging for it (yes, I know they are offering TV subscriptions, but I can frankly watch what I want for free on Hulu).


Thanks in large part to Amazon, and thanks also to our local libraries, reading books is more affordable than ever. And thanks to my Kindle that I got for Christmas in 2010, I can take advantage of both free books from my library (although limited in selection) and relatively inexpensive books from Amazon itself, and I no longer have that pesky problem of a tower of hard-cover books ominously cornering me into the one remaining air-filled space of my little home.

It isn't just that, of course. There's nothing like a popular series to get people interested in reading again. My husband is currently reading The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, and he hasn't read a book all the way through in ages. (Don't get me wrong. It's not that he has ADHD or anything; well, maybe a touch. It's just that he's really picky.)

And, not to belabor the point, but television is so boring, can you blame someone for choosing to read instead? And reading is SO much better for us. Contrary to recent pop culture beliefs, being an idiot isn't actually cool. Oh sure, maybe it's cool to other idiots, but are you really all that interested in impressing them? A dangling piece of string would impress them.

So, what to make of pop culture in the year 2011? Not a lot that's good. Some, but not much.

A large majority of the population is applauded for being intolerant. And for being morons. A once-revered genre of music has died ~ committed suicide, actually, after listening to a Taylor Swift song one too many times. Facebook puts people to sleep. Twitter is popular only in some people's imaginations. If there is one good program on television, we should rejoice. And there is. One.

But people like to read. And we can get our fill of the day's events, be they large or tiny, from YouTube.

I choose to look at the glass as 1/8 full. But that's just today, of course.

And just to prove that I'm not a fossil, I actually know who the two people in this video are.

I saw Inception. And I used to watch "3rd Rock From the Sun".

And I understand this gal has a good new sitcom on Fox (is it?) I haven't watched it, but I'm kind of a creature of habit. It takes me awhile to latch onto to new things.

So, here are Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

Happy New Year (and this is cool, because it's an old song, and they aren't doing it ironically. Nice change of pace. Thank you.)


Thursday, November 24, 2011


Here it is, the morn of Thanksgiving, and I feel like I should write something about thankfulness.

I'll admit, I've not been in a very thankful mood lately, so it's a bit difficult to wrap my mind around the concept, but I'll give it a whirl.

I think, when the big things go wrong, one has to remember the little things.

Here are some little things, in no particular order:

A hot cup of coffee in the morning.

Slapping on a CD of old, familiar tunes (today, I like this one):

Watching a Modern Family episode, and always welling up at the end.

Waking up to see my dog stretched out on her back in the middle of the night, paws up in the air, serene. (I don't actually have a photo of this!)

Expressing creativity with $0.00.

My cat curled up next to me on the bed.

Talking to God.

Finding a book that's so good, you think about it even when you're not reading it. I recommend this one:

A good friend. (That comes before all that other stuff; just so you know!)

Last, but MOST, my husband.

(He doesn't like the publicity.)

I don't really know what to write about my husband that wouldn't sound cliche and superficial.

I guess what I would say is, he's my best friend (really), and he takes care of me. And I take care of him. And he's really smart and really creative. And life hasn't exactly been fair to him, but I was just going to go with the "thankful" stuff today, so disregard that last part. (Besides, who said life was fair?)

So, thankfulness isn't really that difficult after all.

There is a definite dearth of good Thanksgiving songs. I'm not really interested in hearing about a turkey, if you know what I mean. So, every year, I come back to this one.