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

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Sunday Morning Post (V.3, #17) – The Bard of the Dashboard Light

Let’s assume that every generation has to struggle with finding a way to articulate their own angst.  Surely, we’ve all had to personally deal with our own, unique way of crying out to society, “Here we are! Deal with us!”  Those who came of age in the 60s (lucky bastards) had the Beatles.  The 80s had some back and forth between the likes of Prince and Michael Jackson.   In between, we had the Bard of the Dashboard, Jim Steinman.

Steinman, who passed away last week at 73, was more than just a composer and producer of some of the most memorable songs of the late 70s.  He was able to take an adolescent ritual like dating for all of its awkwardness and send it soaring into Shakespearean legend.  Heavy guitar riffs would blister and background singers would go from singing “ooh” and “aah” to “OOH” and “AAH”.  Steinman’s productions got a reputation for its operatic mash up of rock and roll and classical music values.

Some would dismiss his productions as “pretentious FM rock”.  Whatever it was or intended to be, it got a lot of us through adolescence. 

In his memory, we will post five memorable performances of his work.

We have to start with a selection from Meatloaf’s Bat Out of Hell album, the quintessential multi-act “Paradise By The Dashboard Light”.

Bonnie Tyler had one of her biggest hits with Steinman’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart”.  Now we’ve gone from the bright hope of an intense physical relationship to doubts if the light isn’t burning out and making everything around it very, very dark.


Soft rock balladeer Barry Manilow performing Steinman?  What is the world coming to?  Actually, it is a very heartfelt, emotional performance worthy of Steinman.  The relationship has burned out; read my reasons why it’s ending and deal with it.

Readers, please note: I will acknowledge, but not post, the operatic/flaccid rock performance of Air Supply’s “Making Love Out of Nothing At All.”  It has its place in the Steinman oeuvre, but that place won’t be on this blog.

Another iconic pop star (some would say diva) with a power ballad performance to outlast all power ballad performances.  Of course, it’s Streisand paired with Steinman’s “Left in the Dark”.  Yes, by day we knock ourselves out making the all-consuming relationship of our lives work, but at night the object of our affections always seems to find something better to do and someone else to better to it with.  Admit it, honestly, we’ve all been here at least once in our lives.   And yes, “Who made the very first move?”

Meatloaf did a nice version of “Rock and Roll Dreams Come Through”, but I always preferred Steinman’s own performance from his only solo recording.  So, the hell with love and all of its good/bad, and ugly accoutrements.   In the end we just need to survive, overcoming the solitary desperation of everyday life.  For if we are able to beat loneliness, then the rest of our problems should be a piece of cake (it says here).  In the meantime, we will renew our belief in music, in rock and roll, in hope that love will happen again some other day.

Rest in Peace, Mr. Steinman.

(Thank you for reading.  Really, who did make the very first move?)

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Sunday Morning Post (V.3, #16) – 21 Years Here

It was on this date in 2000 that we realized our longtime dream of home ownership and forever debt.  We moved here from a short-term rental arrangement in an apartment, and the less said about that experience the better.

On this date, we moved all of our furniture and packed boxes into the Cape Cod we’ve called home since.  Many of the boxes filled the side porch for a few months as we slowly unpacked and distributed the contents around to the other floors and rooms.  At that time, we shared our lives with a nearly all white cat, Sydney.  He was all white save for a black tail and two black spots on the top of his head which made him look like he had a separate pair of eyes.  We’ve had six other cats since, but he was the one Warrior Queen had when we met.  In many ways, he was the cat that set the bar for the others. 

On that date, we had not transported any groceries and did not really know our way around our new kitchen yet.  We knew the refrigerator was a Norge, yes one of the fabled Norge appliances.  Fortunately, we did not have to call a repairman with the obligatory Dan Aykroyd butt crack, because everything was in working order when we moved in.

On the recommendation of the realtor who sold us our new digs we ordered cheesesteaks from a local pizza shop.   This became our tradition on the anniversary of our moving in.  We have cheesesteak sandwiches every year since on this date as befitting the occasion of moving back to our home town.  We would order from the same pizza shop until about 10 years ago when I accidentally noticed that this pizza shop pre-cooked the meat and only warmed it up in a microwave when they got an order.  Oh, the horror.  Any Philadelphian will tell you that this method is nothing short of sacrilege.  

Well, maybe not sacrilege per se, but there was definitely nothing sacred about the language Warrior Queen used when I told her what I saw.

We had no problem finding another pizza shop.  There is an Italian take out virtually on every corner in this section of the country.  I can’t say for sure, but I’m guessing it’s a zoning ordinance that requires a pizza shop for every ten citizens in the suburbs.  It’s not so bad as long as they probably cook their steaks to order on the grill.

Otherwise, there will be hell to pay.

Anyway, the house has survived the two of us — middle-agers slowly creeping towards our senior years — and 7 cats.  Our abode is looking worn in a few spots, but we have every intention of repairing the scratches in our walls, possibly replacing the gutter which broke down some years ago and touch up a few other rough looking spots.  We don’t mind having a shelter that looks “lived in”, but we’ll draw the line at “white trash disheveled”. 

(Thank you for reading. WQ is recovering well from her surgery.  She survived not having her morning cup of coffee on the day of the procedure.  Thank goodness it was only one day.  Mankind may never know how close it came to total annihilation when WQ does not get her “happy juice”.)

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Sunday Morning Post (V.3, #15) - Kiss Me, I’m (Identifying Ethnic Noun Here)

I finally got good news this past week: I got my invitation for my first COVID shot!  Yay!  It’ll be the Pfizer edition and my appointment is for Tuesday morning. I’m guessing my second dose will be scheduled for some time in May.

Warrior Queen has completed both of her shots and she’s gotten her vaccine passport to prove it.  This got me to thinking about some better ways for one to identify themselves as one is now protected from the pandemic.

We could go the Scarlet Letter route and have anyone who has their shots to sew a large letter V on the upper left shoulder of their clothes.  Okay, I see the problem already.  This is soooo 17th century! 

How about a variation on those little stickers everyone gets when they vote in an election.  They’re usually oval shaped and printed with the words I Voted or sometimes just Voted.  Yes, the truly acceptable, non-partisan way of wearing one’s patriotism on their sleeve.  The problem is that these stickers usually peel off after one day and the wearer is left with the residual glue on their shirts/coats or what have you.  Yuck!

Clearly, we need something more permanent than a paper sticker, but something that will not keep us chained to a sewing machine (whatever those are) for a fortnight.

We could go the ethnic identifier route.  We’ve all seen these offered for sale prior to our ethnic holidays that Americans celebrate, but leave members of those communities deeply puzzled about what all the fuss is about.  These declarations are usually on buttons, coffee mugs, and (of course) t-shirts. 

I know we’ve all seen these declarations.  There is Kiss Me, I’m Italian (Columbus Day); Kiss Me, I’m Irish (St. Patrick’s Day); or Kiss Me, I Just Want to Drink Myself Blind on Tequila (Cinco de Mayo).  Or how about Kiss Me, I’m A Sexual Harassment Lawsuit Waiting to Happen (any other day of the year for members of Congress.)  Okay, don’t get excited: I confess I made up that last one. 

Anyway, my point is we could have the words Kiss Me! I’m Vaccinated emblazoned on buttons, cups, and shirts!  We would just need to verify that the purchaser is truly vaccinated by verifying their vaccine passport. And the printing of this design on buttons/cups/shirts would be a job creator for the immediate future.

This sounds like a win-win to me.  If only we could guarantee that wearing such declarations would not prompt the MAGAts and anti-vaxxers to violence.  Or, given that possibility, would it be more fun to not make a statement on our vaccine status and keep them guessing?  It really is getting harder to find ways to amuse ourselves.

(Thank you for reading. Shot, anyone?)

Sunday, April 04, 2021

Sunday Morning Post (V.3, #14) - Happy Easter

I don’t have much to write about this week.  I just want to wish everyone a nice Sunday with no drama.   Hope everyone’s celebration of the season meets and exceeds their expectations.

It will be a quiet one for us.  I’ll have a ham slice for dinner as per tradition. Warrior Queen will dine on lasagna as per her tradition of not being traditional in any sense of the word.  So be it!

There will be no family gatherings for us for a variety of reasons.  The COVID excuse will work as well as anything else.  More to the point, we are simply not up to traveling anywhere even if there were Sunday brunches being offered nearby.

I’ll probably reach out to my brother at some point and wish him a Happy Easter.  We may have a conversation which could take him away from a house full of immediate family and friends.  Or he may leave it go to his voice mail box and he’ll catch up to me later in the week.  So be it!

The good news:  WQ got her second COVID vaccine dose a few days ago.

The bad news:  I’m still waiting to hear from the county about an appointment for my first dose!  WQ spoke to the county employees about this situation when she got her shot.  She was told that the county is changing computer systems on Monday and I should re-register after that.

Balls! Oh wait, I meant to say that, so be it.

(Thank you for reading and please have a safe Easter.)