Saturday 9: Baby Love

Saturday 9: Baby Love (1964)

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

1) When this song was popular, the Supremes were known for their elaborate hairstyles, make up and full-length gowns. When was the last time you got dressed up? Last night to go to the ballet–lace dress that was pretty awesome. Husband wore a new suit. But, like, the last time we were really dressed up was our wedding in August.
2) “The girls,” as they were known to the engineers and executives at Motown Records, were Florence Ballard, Mary Wilson and Diana Ross. They began singing together when they were high school classmates. Are you still in touch with any friends from your high school days? Yeah! My best friend is a friend from high school, and I’m not super close to my old high-school group, but there are a few I still see and talk to as often as adulting allows. And really, most of the ones I saw most recently and see most often go back to middle school.

3) Mary Wilson was born in Mississippi and her family moved a great deal before settling in Detroit, where she fatefully met Florence and Diana. Were you uprooted often when you were a child? Or did you spend your school years in the same neighborhood? We moved towns right before I started school, then moved again when I was in middle school, around when I was 13, closer to where we’d lived when I was really little. I stayed in the same school because it wasn’t far and I was in Catholic school, so aside from getting bused there, being in a different district wasn’t much of an issue.

4) The Supremes began as a quartet called the Primettes. In addition to Mary, Flo and Diana, there was Betty McGlown. In 1960, Betty left the group to get married and was replaced by Barbara Martin. In 1962, Barbara left the group to have a baby. They quit trying to replace the fourth voice, soldiered on as a trio, and made pop history. Have you ever found yourself in a position similar to Betty’s or Barbara’s, where you had to make a difficult decision and choose between your personal life and your career? I met my husband right before my senior year of college and was pretty sure I wanted to marry him pretty early. When I graduated and was job hunting, I limited my hunt to the area, since he had a year of school left and I wasn’t willing to go too far. Had I been single, I would’ve applied all over the country. The next thing is gonna be deciding whether to continue to work full-time when we have kids, but that’s maybe a year away at a minimum.

5) Thinking of babies and “baby love,” is anyone in your life expecting a baby in 2018? One of my mom’s cousins.

6) With twelve #1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, The Supremes remain America’s most commercially successfully recording group, and this song (along with “Stop! In the Name of Love”) is one of the most popular karaoke songs. If we handed you the mic this morning and absolutely insisted you perform, what song would you choose (any song, any genre)? “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” because it was our go-to when my friends and I did a lot of karaoke and I’m pretty confident with it. Every so often, I think of others I’d really love to do, but none are coming to mind.

7) Original group member Florence Ballard left the group in 1967. She died of cardiac arrest in 1976 at the age of 32. Since February is National Heart Month, it seems appropriate to ask: Is anyone in your life battling heart disease? Not that I know of.

8) Florence Ballard’s brother, Hank, wrote Chubby Checker’s famous dance song, “The Twist.” When did you last dance? Last weekend at Mardi Gras!

9) Random question: Close your eyes and visualize the most beautiful place you’ve ever been. Now describe it to us. Literally any beach.


Friday 5: Dog

  1. What doglike traits do you possess? Loyalty, love of sleeping.
  2. What’s your favorite dog movie? I honestly think I’ve liked every dog movie I’ve ever seen, but I’m always nostalgic for Homeward Bound. I can about guarantee I’d cry at the end if I watched it now.
  3. When did you last have a hot dog? It’s been years since I’ve had a real one because I’m a vegetarian, but I have eaten fake ones. I think the last time I did that was over the summer at camp, made over the fire.
  4. Who is (or was) a good celebrity dog? A was a big Wishbone fan as a kid.
  5. What are you doing for chow this weekend? Last night, we had Mad Mex, and I’m in love with their tofu tacos. As for the rest of the weekend, probably just eating at home. We try to limit eating out to once a week, but we have ballet tickets for tonight and my husband is good for saying, “I’m hungry, want to get something to eat?” So we’ll see what happens.

As always, from Friday 5.

Saturday 9: My Funny Valentine

Saturday 9: My Funny Valentine (1991)
Unfamiliar with this week’s tune? Hear it here.

1) In this song, Ms. Kitt sings that her lover is her favorite work of art. Tell us about a piece of artwork you can see from where you’re sitting now. (Yes, that crayon drawing created by your 5-year-old nephew counts.) On the wall right across from me,  I have a piece of calligraphy done by my high-school geometry/trig/pre-calc teacher that I bought at the school’s benefit auction a few years after I graduated. It’s this quote from Henry David Thoreau’s Walden.

2) She asks him to not change his hair. When will you next find yourself in the stylist’s chair? Not for a little while. I used some semi-permanent dye to brighten my pink color until I can get it professionally done again, and I also recently had a trim, so I won’t go for another one probably until April.

3) Ms. Kitt always wanted to be a performer and attended the New York School of Performing Arts (aka the “Fame” school). Think back to your high school self. In what ways would you be surprised by how your life turned out? In some ways, it’s exactly what I said I didn’t wanted and would’ve hated in my teens–I wake up before 6 to be at work by 7, I sit at a cubicle, and I watch TV and movies, which fun and easy as it sounds, before Lost happened, I felt like TV was trash. And most of it at the time was, honestly. But I also didn’t want a typical office job and an early start. My job’s definitely not typical, but it still has those elements of a traditional job. But I’ll say too there are some things teenage me would be really happy about. She’d be glad to know I’m happily married, supporting myself, and making money at writing, with a few personal essays floating around the web.

4) Ms. Kitt took over the role of Catwoman on TV’s Batman. Name another Batman villain. Penguin. Poison Ivy. Mr. Freeze. The Joker. Two-Face.

5) Ms. Kitt enjoyed tremendous success performing in Parisian nightclubs. Have you ever been to Paris? I have not, but it’s on the long list of places I’d like to visit.
This is the last Saturday  9 before Valentine’s Day and so this morning we shall focus on the upcoming holiday. 

6) The holiday is also known as The Feast of St. Valentine. Do you have a special meal planned for next Wednesday? Nope. I hate Valentine’s Day, so we don’t celebrate it.

7) The phrase “wear your heart on your sleeve” began in medieval times. On Valentine’s Day, men would celebrate the holiday by displaying their lady love’s name on their sleeves. If you were going to adopt this custom, whose name would you wear? My husband’s.

8) Women buy and send more Valentines than men do. What’s the last greeting card you received? Christmas cards.
9) Men buy and send more roses at Valentine’s Day than women do. What’s your favorite flower? I do love roses. I just think they’re really pretty and classic. But anything different catches my eye. I also know I’m a fan of orchids.

Friday 5: Rockit

  1. What’s your favorite instrumental hit song? I can’t think of a hit that’s my favorite, but I have a few I really love. David Bowie in particular has a few–I’m a big fan of “Moss Garden” and “V-2 Schneider,” which isn’t a true instrumental because it does have a lyric, but the majority of the song is. I’m also really into Jherek Bischoff right now, who often works with Amanda Palmer but does a lot of instrumental solo work.
  2. What’s a good movie with rockets in in it? Again, can’t think of one that really stands out.
  3. In 1977, Voyager I took off on its very long journey, loaded with two golden records containing sounds meant “to portray the diversity of life and culture on Earth, and are intended for any intelligent extraterrestrial life form, or for future humans, who may find them,” according to Wikipedia.  The contents were chosen by a committee chaired by Carl Sagan, but if Dr. Sagan called you today (you know, from beyond) and said there was room for ten more minutes of music and he was letting you choose it, what would you fill the ten minutes with? First, I’d be thrilled to be asked, then I’d agonize over what to include. I mean, you’re trying to pick a great representation of music, and the original choices were pretty solid. As much as my instinct is to go for more underground music, I think you almost have to pick something that has some cultural significance, so maybe The Beatles or Elvis. Queen, Elton John, David Bowie. I hate to do it, but you should probably throw a pop star on there–maybe Madonna.
  4. What’s something you know about constellations? They’re cool-looking.
  5. When did you last spend time in a rocking chair? I can’t think of a specific, but probably at someone’s house. Maybe my parents’ before they got all new living-room furniture and still had a rocker.

As always, from Friday 5.

Saturday 9: Boat Drinks

Saturday 9: Boat Drinks (1979)

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

1) Jimmy Buffett is singing about his bandmates watching hockey in a sports bar. Since it’s Super Bowl weekend, our first question is: In cold weather, which sport to you watch most: football, hockey, or basketball? Hockey. Forever.

2) Jimmy sings it’s just 20º outside. How high will the mercury reach where you are today? The forecast claims we’ll hit 37, but it’s 35 right now and 1 in the afternoon so going up that two degrees seem unlikely.

3) “Boat drinks” are mixed drinks designed to enhance the enjoyment of a boat ride or time on the beach. Popular boat drinks include The Tequila Sunrise, Cuba Libre, and Mimosa. When did you last sip an alcoholic beverage? Was it a boat drink? I had a hard cider yesterday, which I’m pretty into these days.

4) Jimmy met his wife, Jane, in Key West at a bar called The Chart Room. Have you ever been to Key West? No, but I’d like to go. I have been to Florida, though.

5) Have you ever met anyone worth knowing at a bar? Not anyone I’ve ever kept up with, no, but plenty of characters.

6) While Keith Richard and Paul McCartney have made cameo appearances in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, Jimmy Buffet has not. Producers have asked him, but he’s always had to decline because of his touring schedule. Have you seen any of the Pirates/Jack Sparrow movies? I saw the first three but none of the ones that have followed. I loved the first one, but let me tell you, the twists and double-crosses and completely ignoring prior characterization killed the third. They took what made the first one great and ruined it.

7) When Jimmy gave the commencement address at the University of Miami, he showed up in flip-flops. How many pairs of flip-flops do you own? Maybe one, possibly two? I hate them. They’re a beach/pool shoe to me, despite the fact that everyone wears them everywhere in the summer. Not a fan.

8) Jimmy has his own station on Sirius Radio. Do you subscribe to Sirius? No, although when my husband first bought his car, he got a free trial we were both big fans of. Just not enough to pay for it, especially since his work commute is like five minutes.

9) Random question: What trend or fad from your youth do you hope never makes a comeback? Shoulderpads were still a thing when I was kid and into my pre-teens, and I always thought it was the dumbest thing. Let them die.

Friday 5: Groundhog Day

  1. What’s your favorite Bill Murray performance? I don’t know that I can pick one, in part because there are some iconic Bill Murray movies I still haven’t seen.
  2. What’s been a highlight of your winter so far? The holidays, probably. The weekend of Christmas had so much fun and great people packed into it that it was one of those standout holidays. And unfortunately, it ended up being the last time I saw my friend Sarah’s dad, as he died last week. So I’m glad we had a silly karaoke night at the house with him.
  3. What’s there to look forward to in the next six weeks? Mardi Gras next weekend and Swan Lake with the symphony the weekend after that.
  4. Too early for flapjacks? Never.
  5. If someone in a bar asks to buy you a drink (and let’s just say for the sake of the question you are amenable), what do you order? If I’m in the mood for something fruity, an Angry Orchard or Redd’s, or I’ll look at the cocktails and find something, preferably with pineapple. I kind of cycle between Amaretto sours and tequila sunrise these days. If I want something a little more crisp, a mojito.

As always, from Friday 5.

Saturday 9: Heartbreak Hotel

Saturday 9: Heartbreak Hotel (1956)

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

1) Elvis checked in to the hotel at the end of Lonely Street. Where was the last hotel or motel you stayed at? I think it was for my wedding night. I don’t think I’ve stayed in a hotel since then.

2) He sings that Heartbreak Hotel is always crowded. The fear of crowds is so prevalent that it has four names (enochlophobia, ochlophobia, demophobia and agoraphobia). Are you comfortable in a crowd? For the most part.

3) The desk clerk at Heartbreak Hotel is dressed black. Do you often wear all black? I wouldn’t say often, but it definitely happens.

4) The song was written by Mae Boren Axton, who said it was inspired by the story of an anonymous young man’s suicide in a hotel. She said she read in The Miami Herald that the John Doe left behind a note that said, “I walk a lonely street.” What’s the last note you handwrote? (Hopefully it was more upbeat.) I was taking notes at a meeting at work. I don’t really handwrite notes at home.

5) When Elvis was 11, his parents bought him a guitar. He had asked for a rifle, but his mama convinced him a guitar was a better idea. Tell us about a time one of your parents was right about something. I know it’s happened, but I can’t think of any notable examples.

6) Not long before “Heartbreak Hotel” was recorded, Elvis’ father recommended he give up the guitar and become a truck driver. Tell us about a time one of your parents was wrong about something. Same thing–it’s happened, but I can’t think of any. Well, my dad used to insist my political opinions would change when I started working and paying taxes, but no dice.

7) There are many stories about Elvis’ manager, Col. Tom Parker. One anecdote, about his career before Elvis, has the Colonel painting sparrows yellow so he could sell them as canaries. Have you ever been ripped off? I mean, I think everyone has, although not on that level.

8) Speaking of birds, Elvis once owned a peacock. It damaged his cars, so he gave it to the Memphis Zoo. In earlier days, it might have been dinner, for peacock was considered a medieval delicacy. What’s the last poultry you prepared? I don’t eat meat, so fake chicken!

9)  Random question: You and a friend have dinner at a restaurant. Your friend left her wallet at home, so you pick up the entire tab of $62, including tip. A few weeks later, you two meet for lunch and when the bill comes, she puts down half. Do you remind her that she still owes you $31 from the last time you dined together? Probably not. It’s not a big deal to me.