arteejee

A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Saturday, January 13, 2018

RIP Veteran Cosmic Rocker



The world lost a great artist this week even as we wondered if our world leaders (okay, one in particular) had lost his mind.  Ray Thomas long time flautist with the Moody Blues died suddenly just as his band was looking forward to their induction into the (American) Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  His obituaries noted his one-of-a-kind solo on the early Moody hit and FM radio staple Nights in White Satin.   The articles would also note his composing contributions: Legend of A Mind and A Veteran Cosmic Rocker.

So, to that end we will pay tribute to his solo and his singing contributions to the Moody Blues.

The second song is the woefully overlooked Thomas composition, For My Lady.  I’ll never forget the first time I heard it.  I was in the car driving the daughter of a friend to the store.  The local radio station had strictly Top 40 programming.  In other words, you would never hear the song if the released single version didn’t crack the charts higher than #41.  Inexplicably the deejay on duty that afternoon played this album cut from the compilation album, This Is the Moody Blues.

My friend’s daughter and I were both immediately smitten with the song.  Had she been a few years older (14 and jailbait at the time) I would have asked her out.  Then there was the fact that I was hopelessly in love (and everyone including the friend’s daughter knew this) with her neighbor.  The timing was all wrong, even as the radio waves beckoned to some deeper, darker emotions.

Ah well!  Perhaps fate will be kind and I will meet the friend’s neighbor again before my life ends.  She will most likely be much heavier than when I last saw her decades ago and she will most likely have a few grandchildren in tow.

Or as the Moody Blues might have asked, Isn’t Life Strange?

Rest in Peace, Mr. Thomas.


 

(Thank you for reading.  “A crowd of fools got him high/He’s afraid he’s gonna die/He’s the apple of their eye…”  From A Veteran Cosmic Rocker)

Sunday, January 07, 2018

Conscious Gluttony



It’s the time of year when many of us will cop to the standard New Year’s resolution of consciously cutting back on food intake and exercising more.  The ultimate goal is to decrease our weight, evaporate the plaque in our arteries, and increasing the chances that we will live longer fun-deprived lives.

Unwritten law of life: New Year’s resolutions, while inspiring motivation to improve our lives, are too much like work and takes all the fun out of instant gratification.

On the other hand, there is no denying that both Warrior Queen and I could afford to shed a few pounds from our hips.  Actually, I did lose some weight in recent months without even trying.  I just need to keep up the good habit of whatever the hell it was I did to lose the weight, if only I could remember what the hell it was I did.

We had made a conscious effort last summer to delete canned vegetables from our lives to cut back on our salt intake.  This may be why I lost some weight. Also, my cardiologist has me on a Lasix regimen which definitely drains the excess liquid from my body.

Our intentions were very good, but then I lost my dear friend (Janey, Goddess of Springtime) three weeks later. Since then, WQ and I have adopted a carpe diem attitude towards life and, more specifically, food consumption.  It’s as if we are thinking that we’ll live the life that our friend can no longer live and with a vengeance!

We’re still avoiding certain foods, but let’s just say that we are not being overly conscientious about adhering to a strict regimen of less food and more body movement.  Fortunately, there are signs on the horizon that our current efforts will not be in vain!  It’s crass American consumerism and gluttony to the rescue.

To wit: IHOP (International House of Pancakes) is currently advertising a special at their restaurants: all the pancakes you can eat for $3.99!  Key words here: all you can eat! The television heralding this monument to American obesity shows an endless stack of pancakes dripping with ooey, gooey syrup.  The stack is easily yards high as the camera slowly pans up to the heavens.

So, here’s the plan:  WQ and I could grab a late breakfast of endless pancakes, side of breakfast meat and coffee for $20 (tip not included). We would be very full from our breakfast, but wait!  There’s more!

Burger King is advertising a special of two Whopper sandwiches or two chicken sandwiches, or a combination of both for $6!  All Americans know that these sandwiches are Yuge!  And lo and behold, our nearest Burger King is across the street and a mere 500 feet from our local IHOP.  We could leave IHOP and walk across to our next stop on the gluttony tour, but walking would not be advisable.  The highway we would need to traverse is too busy to cross safely, and besides, we would not want to burn any of those recently ill-gotten calories we gained at IHOP. 

This would be defeating the purpose of extreme carpe diemism.*

WQ and I could each have our own sandwich, split a serving of fries and a diet drink. Note the irony of having a diet drink in the midst of all this extreme food consumption.

We would finish lunch, then linger just long enough for our next stop: the nearest Applebee’s.  This chain is currently advertising all you can eat riblets and chicken tenders for $12.99!  WQ helpfully pointed out that they have a liquor license, so she can have a cosmo to wash down all of the ribs, tenders and fries, fries, fries!

Our nearest Applebee’s is perhaps a half mile down the street from the IHOP and Burger King.  We could not walk this and would need to drive to our evening meal stop. Thus, we would arrive safely for our last meal of the day and save our precious calories so lovingly and ravenously acquired at our previous stops.

And…who the hell am I kidding?  We are a borderline middle-aged/elderly couple who no longer require copious amounts of food each day.  We would most likely stuff ourselves to the gills on pancakes and call it a day!

Still, a glutton can dream, can’t he?

*I don’t know if this a legitimate variation of the word, but it will work for me!

(Thank you for reading.  Please, no salt on our fries, thank you!)

Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017: 2016 Redux



I’ve had a sinus infection for a full week.  Obviously, the illness has kept me indoors the entire time, save for a trip to my physician who gave me the antibiotics I need to knock it out of my system.  This also precluded our annual Christmas Day dinner out at a local Asian buffet or some similar variation. In short, the holidays were ruined between my health and the extreme cold sub-freezing temperatures here on the east coast.

Brrrr!    Brrrr and humbug!

Despite all this, I take computer keyboard in hand to note the state of life on the last day of the year.  I researched my blog entry from a year ago when I generally dumped on 2016 as the worst year ever (GTFOoH 2016).  At that time, I looked ahead to 2017 and I didn’t like what I saw coming.  Now looking back, I can safely state that the events of 2017 did not disappoint me: it was all as horrible as I imagined it…and then some.

It was the worst year for my health in 10 years.  Heart trouble in June, prostate surgery in August, and now the lingering arthritis has limited my ability to do even the most menial of tasks since September.  I was scheduled to have a cortisone shot in my hip a few days ago, which promised to alleviate my arthritis problem.  Alas, the medications for my sinus infection would have adverse complications for my injection…so now the injection has been postponed for the next available appointment on 1/29/18.

Damn me! I can’t even get sick without messing something else up! 

Warrior Queen, who has been watching my struggle the last few months and subsequently listening to my rather loud at times groans of pain, was not happy to hear this news.  As our dear late friend Janey might say, Warrior Queen is not smiling.

Oh, enough about me.  Let’s look at the world.  Ugh!  On second thought….

Our reputation in the international community has taken an enormous hit thanks in part to the selfish “America First” attitude adopted by the current regime.  Our long-time adversaries are now making credible inroads in foreign relations and the global economics, while we sit on the side and watch.  We used to be the ones on top, we were the respected nation that other countries could count on to do the right thing.  Alas, not now at the end of 2017.

Despite this feeling of despair, we should note a sliver of hope on the horizon.  Mid-term Congressional elections happen in 2018 and historically the party in the White House loses control of the legislature in the mid-term elections.  Progressives have already seen the tide turning in Virginia and Alabama.  Also, there seems to be a renewed push among those under-represented in Congress (read: females) to step forward and run for seats in the traditionally patriarchal dominated culture.   

Welcome ladies!  I hope your revolt will change the inside the Beltway mentality which has kept us all back for far too long.

There is also the more direct threat of change from the Mueller investigation.  So far it has borne some fruit and promises more to come.  El Presidente’s administration is giving every sign of looking guilty of something despicable in the 2016 elections.  Sad to say our country may have to endure another painful round of impeachment proceedings before it is over.

So be it!  We survived that once, twice and we will survive again. 

So long 2017!  Time to retire with your evil twin 2016.  And please, 2018, please be kind to us…

(Thank you for reading and Happy New Year to all!)