Saturday 9: Waiting for a Star to Fall

Saturday 9: Waiting for a Star to Fall (1988)

Unfamiliar with this week’s tune? Hear it here.

1) “Waiting for a Star to Fall” was literally inspired by a falling star. The singing/songwriting duo of Boy Meets Girl was at a big, outdoor concert and could have sworn they saw a falling star in the night sky. Have you ever seen a falling star? No, I always manage to just miss them. There have been at least two occasions where I’ve been with other people who have seen one while I wasn’t looking at the sky.

2) They offered this song to Whitney Houston, who declined to record it. Whitney did have hits with two other songs they wrote: “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” and “How Will I Know?” What’s your favorite Whitney song? “I Wanna Dance with Somebody.” I love it so much.

3) Boy Meets Girl were George and Shannon, a husband-and-wife team originally from Seattle, WA. In 2016, Seattle was named America’s most “bike-friendly city.” Do you own a bike? No. I wouldn’t mind getting into biking in nearby parks and trails, but otherwise, there’s no point. I work from home, and although most of the places I go are probably bike-friendly enough to get by, my house is near a lot of hills and back roads, and one in particular leading into to town is a curvy hill that seems like it would be super dangerous to bike, plus a huge pain in the ass. You’d have to be super careful going down, and going up would be exhausting.

4) George and Shannon met for the first time at a wedding. She was a guest, he was in the band. Think of the last wedding present you bought. Was it from the bride and groom’s registry? 99% of the time, I give money. Aside from a bridal shower, the last give I remember taking to a wedding was not from a registry but was a cute little hand-painted set of Christmas ornaments that were personalized. They were for my youngest cousin on my dad’s side.

5) In 1988, when this song was popular, 98% of American homes had a TV set. Today, that figure has dipped to 96%, presumably because Millennials are watching more content online. What’s the last video you watched online? I believe it was Trevor Noah’s take on Liam Neeson’s recent racist comments. I 1,000% agree with what Noah says.

6) In 1988 saw the introduction of one of the most memorable slogans of all time: “Just Do It.” Without looking it up, do you know what brand “Just Do It” promotes? Nike.

7) In 1988, Sonny Bono went from entertainer to Republican politician when he was elected Mayor of Palm Springs. Have you ever met the mayor of your town? Nope.

8) Michael Douglas took home the Oscar in 1988 for his portrayal of Gordon Gekko in the movie Wall Street. The American Film Institute named Gekko one of the “top movie villains of all time.” Do you think bad guys are as interesting as good guys? When they’re well-written–both bad and good guys–yes. It’s easy to make either one too simple, and I think with villains in particular, sometimes it’s like, “This character is evil because I said so and that’s all!” Well-written characters have depth. I love a bad guy whose motivations I understand, and I love a good guy who isn’t perfect.

9) Random question: Have you ever seen a photo of yourself naked? (Baby pictures don’t count.) Just those baby pictures.


Saturday 9: Backfield in Motion

Saturday 9: Backfield in Motion (1969)

Unfamiliar with this week’s tune? Hear it here.

1) This week’s Saturday 9 has a football theme because there’s a big game Sunday. Will you be watching? Nope.

2) The Super Bowl is the second-largest day for food consumption in the US, second only to Thanksgiving. What’s on your menu this weekend? Last night, it was the new Chinese buffet in town, and today, it was the Cheesecake Factory.

3) Super Bowl Sunday is the #1 day for consuming guacamole. When did you most recently eat something with avocado in it? I actually had a little bit of guacamole today, but normally, it’s rare. I think avocado is boring and overrated.

4) The Pro Football Hall of Fame is in Canton, OH. Have you ever visited Canton, or any other city in Ohio? I haven’t been to Canton, but I’ve been to Columbus and Cleveland. I live close enough to the Ohio border that it’s not a long drive, and my mom has some family in Ohio.

5) This song mentions different moves that football players — and, it seems, girlfriends — can make that will result in penalties. What’s the last rule you broke? What were the consequences? Eh, probably speeding, and there were no consequences.

6) In 1969, the year this song was popular, the Colts lost to the New York Jets in Super Bowl III. The game is famous because of all the hype leading up to it, including Joe Namath “guaranteeing” his underdog Jets would win. Tell us about a time when you felt like an underdog. Ooh, I don’t know. I mean, there have been a lot of times I’ve felt, like, belittled or small or disregarded, but not necessarily an underdog.

7) This week’s featured duo, Mel and Tim, are cousins from Mississippi. Tell us about one of your cousins. My cousin Meredith lives in Texas now, we send each other pretty great politically themed gifts, and I keep telling her I want to go to visit her and the universe keeps conspiring against that.

8) The song is about a man who catches his girl cheating and he just won’t put up with it. In romance, do you find it easy to forgive and forget? I mean, it depends. With my husband? Almost always, yeah, but that’s also because he’s never done anything so egregious that it was difficult to move past or a dealbreaker. But I think sometimes, the idea of “forgive and forget” is applied when maybe it shouldn’t be, in the sense that some people put up with some pretty big things in the name of love when maybe it’s unhealthy to do so.

9) Random question: You’ve collected a box of gently used items to donate to a second hand store. What would it be most likely to contain: clothes, housewares, or books/video/music? Clothes, hands down. I have tons, and I slowly but surely fill bags of stuff I don’t like or that’s old and doesn’t fit anymore to take to donate or sell on Poshmark. Books, movies, and music rarely leave this house at all, and I often try to sell those, too. I don’t think we’ve ever donated housewares. We’ve never had anything to take, although now that we’re going through things from the move, that may change. A few things are going to siblings, but we have so many unneeded lamps that one or two will surely end up being donated.

Saturday 9: My Favorite Things

Saturday 9: My Favorite Things (2018)
Unfamiliar with this week’s tune? Hear it here.

1) This week’s artist, Jennie Abrahamson, is very happy living in Stockholm, but she refers to Paris as “a flirt.” She enjoys her time there so much she always wants to return. Is there a place you’ve visited that tugs at your heart and imagination, tempting you to return? New York City. It’s been a good several years since I visited, but I always loved it and felt like I could live there.

2) Jennie has said her music has been heavily influenced by 80s pop, which was popular in her early teen years. Are your favorite songs the ones you listened to when you were growing up? Some of them. My parents raised me on the music from their teens, and I still love that. As for what I discovered and fell in love with on my own as a teenager, some of it I kind of got tired of and have left behind, some I still love–and sometimes there’s a middle ground, where I forget about something for a long time and then re-discover it.

3) “My Favorite Things” is from The Sound of Music. Crazy Sam’s high school claim to fame was playing Sister Margaretta in the senior class production. Though not a big part, her performance lives on because relatives love embarrassing her with pictures of her in an especially unflattering nun’s habit. Who took an embarrassing photo of you? What were you doing? There’s a very unflattering photo, or was, of me asleep on our flight home from Mexico.

4) The lyrics celebrate “brown paper packages tied up in strings.” What was in the last box you received in the mail? I believe it was a cat necklace I bought on Etsy. If not, it was clothes. Can’t remember what came on what day.

5) It mentions doorbells and sleighbells. What’s the most recent bell or alarm that you heard? Probably the bell in professional wrestling I had to watch at work on Friday.

6) This song has nice things to say about cold weather, specifically snowflakes and mittens. What do you like about winter? Snow is pretty. That’s it.

7) Dog bites and bee stings are singled out as things that can leave us feeling sad. What’s most recently given you the blues? A funeral.

8) In 2018, when this song was released, Roger Federer won the Australian Open. Are you good with a racket? Nope.

9) Random question — Your local zoo announced the hatching of three snowy owlets. All males. You won the honor of naming them. Go ahead. Harry Potter names are the obvious choice. You could go with Harry, Ron, and Hermione, or Hedwig and two other owl names from the books.

Saturday 9: ’65 Love Affair

Saturday 9: ’65 Love Affair (1977)

Unfamiliar with this week’s tune? Hear it here.

1) The first line of this song is, “I was a car hop.” Car hops used to take orders and bring diners food to eat in their cars. Today, the drive through lane has pretty much replaced car hops. Think about the last time you went to a fast food restaurant. Did you order at the counter or at the drive through window? Drive-through, and it was without a doubt at Taco Bell.

2) Mr. Davis sings that his girlfriend was “bad with her pom-poms.” Presumably she was a cheerleader. Share one of your school’s cheers. Our mascot was a gator, so the one everyone remembers is, “Let me see your alligator!” And we’d respond, “What did you say?” And it would repeat like two or three times, and then we’d imitate a gator’s jaws with our hands and clap.

3) The lyrics tell us he believes that if he could go back in time, his girl would still be his. If you could travel back in time to your high school years, what would you enjoy doing again? What would you do differently? I think I’d join the musical from freshman year instead of waiting until junior year, and I’d give more of a shit about my schoolwork. I did well, but if I’d put more effort in, I could’ve had straight As or very close to it.

4) During his performing days, Paul Davis sported a full beard and flowing hair. We’re using that to check your powers of observation and recollection. Think of the last man you spoke to. Who was he? Describe his hair, and tell us whether he was clean shaven. It was my husband, his hair is a mess because it’s getting a little too long so it’s just kind of a mop on his head, and he’s a little scruffy. To be honest, I didn’t notice his facial hair, but I can promise you no matter when he shaved last, there’s scruff.

5) Paul Davis was born in Meridian, MS, and that’s where he returned to when he went into semi-retirement in 1982. Meridian’s biggest employer is the Naval Air Station in Meridian. Do you know anyone who is currently in, or employed by, the military? My brother is in the reserves, and so is my best friend’s boyfriend. One of my brothers-in-law is a former Marine, my best friend’s soon-to-be ex-husband is in the Navy, and my husband’s college roommate is in the Air Force. My dad and one uncle are both retired Army.

6) He was a pool player and a golfer. Which sport are you better at? Does mini golf count? If not, pool, but I’m pretty terrible at both.

7) Sadly, he died in 2008, on the day after his 60th birthday. His best friend remembers him as “a homebody,” who enjoyed staying up long into the night with his friends, playing and listening to music. Describe your perfect way to spend an evening. With people I love hanging out with–lately, I’ve most enjoyed the nights where we have people over at our house, but going out is fun, too. As long as I still have a little time to myself. I always feel like I have something I need to get done.

8) The publishing rights to “’65 Love Affair,” as well as Paul Davis’ bigger hits (“Cool Night” and “I Go Crazy”), are owned by another Paul — Paul McCartney. Sir Paul’s MPL Publishing Company has made him a very rich man, and Paul says that’s because he chose to invest in music, something he loves. What about you? If you were to invest in a business or industry you love, which would you choose? I’d go his route with music.

9) Random question –You’re at a party and one of your host’s best friends is a real egghead who tries to draw you into a conversation about paradigmatic counter existentialism. Would you: a) just listen politely while letting your mind wander; b) admit you don’t know what the hell he’s talking about; c) explain why you personally feel that the counter existential paradigm just adds unnecessary complexity to the individual’s search for meaning? I would admit I don’t know what the hell he’s talking about but ask for an explanation in the fastest, simplest way possible so I could chime in. I wouldn’t pretend to be able to talk about it at length or in depth, but I’d factor in my own opinions and jump into the fray accordingly.

Friday 5: Movement

  • What’s a song that recently moved you? On my way home last night, one of the local classic-rock stations played Elton John’s “Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding.” That song gets me every time in an exciting way, and as much as I normally can’t nail down one single song by any artist that I consider to be my favorite, I just might be able to say that this is my all-time favorite Elton song.
  • What’s a song that recently moved you — right out the door? I haven’t had a strong negative reaction to a song in a while. If I don’t like something, I just kind of ignore it, and if I’m somewhere where I can’t escape it, like in public, I tune it out. Tell ya what, though, I’ve tried and just cannot enjoy Cardi B. At all.
  • What kinds of dance performances interest you? Ballet will always be my first love, and that’s the one that I’m most interested in. But outside of that, all dance is kind of even. I love the way dance makes the human body itself an art form, and I’ll gladly watch anyone do what they want with that.
  • What’s a good song with the word move (or some form of it) in the title? The first one that came to mind is “Move Along” by The All-American Rejects, who I still love. But I’m also partial to Elvis’ “I Shall Not Be Moved,” particularly from the Million Dollar Quartet session, with Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, and Carl Perkins.
  • How do you feel about prunes? Never had them and don’t intend to.

From Friday 5.

Saturday 9: I Forgot to Remember to Forget

Saturday 9: I Forgot to Remember to Forget (1955)
Unfamiliar with this week’s tune? Hear it here.
In honor of Elvis’ birthday (January 8.)

1) Elvis sings that he thinks about this girl all the time. What person or topic is on your mind this Saturday? My family. The week has been a run of bad luck, from job news to health issues. Nothing dire, just a bunch all at once.

2) He wants to forget the day he met his girl, but simply can’t. Think about someone very important in your life. Did you know right away that they were going to be influential? The first time I met my husband, he was super quiet–our younger brothers were best friends in high school, so we met at their graduation. He barely spoke, and in fact, when we went to dinner, due to the numbers, I ended up sitting with the parents on my own because I was the oldest and all he said to my was a reply to a joke my brother made at my expense when I was over with him after dinner. So nope, not at all.

Since this week’s song is about memories, let’s check on how well you recall events in your own life.

3) What was the first concert you ever attended? Technically, it was when I was a little  kid and it was a live performance from some kids’ show from the ’90s. But as far as a legit concert, Good Charlotte, when I was about 14 or 15 with my friend Stephanie.

4) Where did you get your first piercing? (Not only where on your body, but who did the deed and where did they do it?) I was six, and I had my ears pierced. A girl did it at a Claire’s in the mall.

5) What’s the name of the bank where you had your first checking account? PNC, and I still have that account. They had a table set up at orientation in college.

6) Tell us about your first bicycle. A pink Barbie bike. I think it had streamers on the handles, but I don’t think they last long.

7) Who received the first text you ever sent? I have no idea. Probably one of my friends at the time.

8) What had you been drinking when you suffered your first hangover? I don’t really get proper hangovers, even when I get drunk enough to warrant it. My brother doesn’t, either. Superior genes. However! The one time I did was the day after my 21st birthday party–I was taking a summer class and had class or an exam or something the day after my birthday, so that celebration was tame, but the party came that weekend. First of all, it was David Bowie-themed, and second, the drinking game Bros Icing Bros was a thing at the time–in short, if you’re presented with a Smirnoff Ice, you have to chug it, and one can hide Ices to be discovered. So first, there was one under a party hat in the center of my birthday cake, I found one in the bathroom, and I was probably presented with a couple more, plus we made Jungle Juice that was much stronger than it tasted. Now, when I get sick when I drink, it comes on hard and fast, and although I know people who puke and keep going, I puke and can’t stop puking for a long while, so once that started, I was done. I was lying on the bathroom floor for a long time that night. So the next morning, I felt like trash. But that’s not all! I mentioned a few questions ago that my husband and I met at our brothers’ graduation. Well, his brother Jacob’s party was the day after my 21st birthday party. My husband and I had been talking a little, and I even invited him to the party. I rode over with my parents since my brother was basically spending the whole day hanging out over there, and it was only like a 20-ish-minute drive, but I fell asleep. When we got there, my dad said to my now-father-in-law that my 21st birthday party was the night before, and he laughed and offered me a beer. I declined and ate instead, which made me feel much better, so then I grabbed a wine cooler and Future Husband started talking to me a lot the rest of the evening. So that’s how that started. He obviously now knows I was hung over that day, but I don’t think my father-in-law does. Frankly, he’d find it hilarious.

9) Whose was the first wedding you ever attended? I have no idea. My mom has a lot of extended family, so we’d get invited to a lot of weddings as a kid and I couldn’t tell you whose was first. My mom might, just going off of who got married when, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I was at a wedding as a baby or toddler. There was a long succession of weddings as a kid, then a long dry spell in my teens when everyone was either married or too young, and then another small burst of them in the last few years when my cousins and my brother and I all started getting married.

Friday 5: There and Back

  1. What’s the worst thing about something (or someone) you like? Like a lot of men, my husband is not the greatest when it comes to helping out around the house, and it’s super frustrating. Dudes, if you’re living with a woman, please listen when she asks you to pitch in because way, way too many of complain that all of the domestic duties fall squarely on us no matter what we do or say.
  2. What’s the best thing about something (or someone) you dislike? I have on more than one occasion really, really disliked people who were also really, really funny. But I think sometimes we as a society give funny people a free pass for being shitty and shitty people say shitty thinks and try to pass them off as humor.
  3. What’s something best done in reverse order? Dessert first. It’s a cliche, but I have a sweet tooth and rarely room for a full meal and then dessert.
  4. What’s something you wish you could unsee or unknow? Ooh, I don’t know. Part of me wants to say I wish I didn’t know what some people are really like, but then I just feel like that’s important information to have. And I feel that way about a lot of things, I guess. “Ignorance is bliss” is a saying for a reason.
  5. What’s the most recently released movie you’ve seen more than once? Probably Thor: Ragnarok. We rarely make it to the movies as is, so it’s not like I’m seeing something in theaters twice, and at home, we’re tackling our Netflix queue. But we saw Thor in theaters, then I believe it got thrown on at a friend’s house and at my in-laws’.

From Friday 5.

Friday 5: Gone Finishin’

  1. As the year comes to a close, what are you looking back upon most fondly? The two major life events–I bought a house and my brother and his wife announced they’re expecting the first baby in our family.
  2. What do you do with the end slices on a loaf of sandwich bread? They’re good for dipping in egg yolks.
  3. What in your residence is approaching its last days? Possibly the water heater. We had to have a part replaced on our furnace and while the guy was looking at it, he mentioned we may want to think about a new water heater soon, as there’s obvious corrosion on parts of it. And then I started to run out of hot water in a bubble bath recently. Besides, I want to switch to tankless.
  4. What would be an appropriate cherry on top of your 2018 in these final days? Being that I just entered Pittsburgh’s Hamilton ticket lottery…Hamilton tickets.
  5. What (or who) has a fantastic tail? Sometimes, when I look at our cat’s tail, I’m surprised by how long it is, especially for such a relatively small kitty.

As always, from Friday 5.

Saturday 9: Happy Holidays

Saturday 9: Happy Holidays! (from the archives)

1. As you can see, Sam loved giving her annual wish list to Santa. Yet some children are reluctant to climb into Jolly Old St. Nick’s lap. Did you enjoy the tradition or were you shy? Or did you by pass it altogether — either because you wrote him a letter or because your family didn’t celebrate Christmas? I liked it, which is weird because I was a shy kid. My brother hated it for a couple years, though. We have some great photos of me smiling while he’s screaming.

2. Are you currently on the Naughty or Nice list? How did you get there? Nice because I’m just a decent person.

3. Did you ship any gifts to friends and family this year? If so, which one traveled the farthest? I didn’t ship any gifts, but I did send/am still sending cards.

4. Did you buy yourself a gift this year? Man, I have a reputation for finding myself things when I’m supposed to be Christmas shopping, although this year, I did pretty good and just grabbed some clothes–a couple dresses and a couple other things. At least, until today, when Lush had their big annual BOGO sale and I bought two boxes of bath bombs and a few little things.

5. What’s your favorite holiday-themed movie? Have you seen it yet this year? It’s A Muppet Christmas Carol and I have not. I need to do that this weekend.

6. Thinking of movies, Christmas is lucrative for Hollywood. Have you ever gone to a movie theater on Christmas Day? I don’t think I’ve ever gone on Christmas Day, no. I have cousins who always did, though.

7. Have you ever suffered an embarrassing moment at the company Christmas party? Nope. We only started having proper parties last year and I behaved, and this year, I already had plans to travel out of town the weekend of the party.

8. What’s your favorite beverage in cold weather? Any kind of latte. My favorite lately has been a blackberry-lavender one at a coffee shop at the outlets.

9. Share a memory from last Christmas. I got the flu. Ha. Slowly, over the course of Christmas Day, I started to feel worse and worse. I went from waking up with a mild sore throat to going home from my in-laws’ later in the evening with full body aches.

Friday 5: I Spy

  1. How do you feel about candy sprinkles (on ice cream, doughnuts, cupcakes, or whatever)? I’m a big fan of sprinkles. I almost always get them when I have the chance.
  2. Where’s a good place to look at Christmas lights? Any upper-middle-class neighborhood or better.
  3. What’s a good idea for a drive-through service or product that doesn’t yet exist? I don’t know that this is a good idea, but it’s certainly one I’d appreciate–a drive-through pasta place. Now, a place did try this in my hometown, but it went out of business before I got to try it. I imagine it’s super impractical.
  4. How confident a parallel parker are you? I haven’t done it since I took my driver’s test. I live in an area where it’s easily avoidable. When I was tested on it, I was able to do it perfectly and I’m confident that with a little practice, I could do it again, but if you made me do it right this second? Probably a mess.
  5. How much plaid do you own? Not a lot. I’d actually like to add a little more plaid to my wardrobe. All I really have is a couple shirts, a dress, and I think the leggings I have on now.

As always, from Friday 5.