You Are What You Eat

I can’t choose a favorite food because I like variety and unless I am on death row getting my last meal, I don’t really know what I want to eat.  If it was my last meal and I had to choose, I would pick Beef Wellington with a baked potato, green bean almondine because it rhymes and a baked Alaska for dessert.  Eating is not simple like putting gas in your car when your gauge tells you that it is getting low and a whole gambit of considerations come into play when I get hungry.  I usually plan my meals out and I want to eat food that I enjoy, but since I have type II diabetes, I try to be conscious of the health concerns involved in what I eat.  Most of the time when I cook, I look for convenience, cost, and variety and quantities that will not take up my whole refrigerator, or make more than three left over meals for me.  I like all types of foods and I don’t have a favorite appetizer, a favorite entrée, a favorite snack, and I could never even try to choose a favorite dessert.

There is still one family tradition that I have followed for my whole life, which was started by my dad and this involves eating spaghetti on the opening Sunday of football season every year.  Besides having football games on Sunday, it is also played on Thursday and Monday and although the 2020 season will start on Thursday, September 10th with the Chiefs hosting the Texans, I will make my spaghetti on Sunday, September 13th, even if the season is cancelled due to Covid-19.  I use a sauce made from a jar and thickened with paste and I make my own meatballs and I usually add some sweet Italian sausage.  I could probably eat spaghetti once a month, but it tastes better when you don’t have it all the time.

I should probably mention that I don’t like onions, I don’t like they way they look, or the way that they smell and I won’t eat them.  I won’t bother picking around them, because that nasty flavor seeps into everything that they touch.  My dad thought that I was being finicky, so he told my mom to cut up the onions up into really tiny pieces thinking that I wouldn’t taste them that way, but I gaged on them and almost puked.  My mom always made me special meals without onions after that and only a mom has that much love in her.  I can clearly state that onions are my least favorite food.  If you are what you eat, the last thing that I want to be is a putrid onion.

Written for Fandango’s Dog Days of August FDDA #10 where the prompt is your favorite food.

Fandangoing Around

I never had a post with the name Fandango in it before, and it is about time, as this guy is somebody that I really admire for all the effort that he puts into the WordPress community.  My first contact with the word fandango came from that Procol Harum song ‘A Whiter Shade Of Pale’, which starts out with, “We skipped the light fandango”. which I have pondered the meaning of many times.  If Fandango is a person, did they ignore fandango because they felt that he was a light weight, not able to keep up with the party?  If fandango is a dance, did they think that the steps were too difficult to follow, so they did not participate in it?  I doubt that, because these people were able to do cartwheels across the floor.  My research of the word fandango led me to the Harold Karr and Matt Dubey song ‘New-Fangled Tango’, which is a song that comes from Act II of Happy Hunting in the 1956 Broadway musical.  This song has the lyrics, “A waltz or fandango” and it was later covered by Lena Horn and Dinah Shore.

The next time that I came across the word fandango was while watching Wayne’s World, when they sang along to the Queen song ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, “Scaramouche, Scaramouche will you do the fandango?”  In 1976, Bob Dylan recorded ‘Romance in Durango’ where he says, “Soon you will be dancing the fandango”.  The Clash recorded a song ‘Midnight to Stevens’ which was about Guy Stevens their London Calling producer and in this they say, “Oh skip that fandango”, because Procol Harum got their name from Stevens’ Burmese Blue cat.  The Cars song ‘It’s Not the Night’ says, “your last fandango” and later they recorded ‘I’m in Touch With Your World’ which has the lyrics, “You’re a flick fandango party.”  Roxy Music recorded ‘Do The Strand’ which contains the lyrics, “Fed up with fandango.”  The fandango dance begins conventionally with a gavotte-like melody, which reminds me of that Carly Simon song ‘You’re So Vein’, which has the lyrics “As you watched yourself Gavotte and all the girls dreamed that they’d be your partner.”

The dictionary has two different meanings for the word fandango where one is a lively Spanish dance for two people, typically accompanied by castanets or tambourine and the other is a foolish or useless act or thing.  I also read that the word fandango can be used as a synonym for “a quarrel”, “a big fuss”, or “a brilliant exploit”.  I heard a rumor that Mrs. Fandango makes Fandango wear that paper bag over his head, because all the girls were dreaming that they would be his partner and I guess it is working as they seem to be happy.

Written for Fandango’s Dog Days of August FDDA #8 where the prompt is something or someone that you admire.

Fishing Trip

My dad took my sister, brother and I fishing on a boat that he rented one day.  We all rented poles and my dad bought worms for bait.  Everyone caught at least one fish except me and I was very disappointed about that.  My dad taught all of us how to wiggle our poles and I copied what the others were doing, so why was this not working for me?  When my dad said that it was time to return the boat, and I was really sad, because we all had the same poles and were using the same bait, but the fish were just not biting for me.  Nobody likes spending the entire day fishing and coming home empty handed.

My dad docked the boat and we all jumped out and I knew that my dad felt bad, because he said, “I am sure that you will have better luck next time son.”  Dejected, I walked several steps behind the rest of them and then I spotted a fish that washed up on shore.  I put it on my hook and I showed everyone what I caught, but they all laughed at me because the fish was decrepit and half rotted away.  My dad never took us fishing again, but he did teach me how to play golf.

Written for Fandango’s Dog Days of August FDDA #7 where the prompt is something you found.

Asked Her Mother for Fifteen Cents

Fandango is going strong with his Dog Days of Summer, but today Paula gives us a song that your mother should know.  It is possible that your mother might know ‘Walking The Dog’, as that was a hit for Rufus Thomas in 1963, and it was covered by the Rolling Stones in 1964.  Thomas was a Mississippi soul singer who recorded several popular songs about dancing including ‘Funky Chicken’, ‘Do the Penguin’ and this one.  Rufus Thomas also recorded several other dog songs like, ‘Can Your Monkey Do The Dog’, ‘The Dog’, ‘Somebody Stole My Dog’, ‘Can’t Get Away From This Dog’ and ‘Stop Kicking My Dog Around’.  It is reasonable to think that the dog must be one of his favorite pets.

John Fogerty told a story about his band The Golliwogs (which would later become Creedence Clearwater Revival) opening for Sonny and Cher, when they got an encore, and started playing ‘Walking the Dog’, but the curtain suddenly dropped on them, as Sonny and Cher took the stage and started playing their opening number.  Many groups have played this song including the Troggs, the Kingsmen, Johnny Rivers, Mitch Ryder, and the Grateful Dead.

Baby’s back, all dressed in black
Silver buttons up and down her back
High, low, tipsy toe
She broke the needle now she can’t sew

Chorus
Walking the dog
Just a-walking the dog
If you don’t know how to do it
I’ll show you how to walk the dog

Mary, Mary, quite contrary
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells and cockle shells
And pretty maids all in a row

[chorus]

Asked her mother for fifteen cents
See the elephant, he jumped the fence
Jumped so high, he touched the sky
Never got back until the fourth of July

[chorus]

Mary, Mary, quite contrary
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells and cockle shells
And pretty maids all in a row

[chorus]

Baby’s back, all dressed in black
Silver buttons all down her back
High, low, tipsy toe
She broke the needle now she can’t sew

[chorus]

Baby’s back, all dressed in black
Silver buttons all down her back
High, low, tipsy toe
She broke the needle now she can’t sew

[chorus]

Just a-walking
Yeah, yeah, just a-walking
Yeah, just a-walking
Yeah, yeah, just a-walking
If you don’t know how to do it
I’ll show you how to walk the dog

Written for Fandango’s Dog Days of August FDDA #6 where the prompt is pets and for Paula’s Thursday Inspiration 68 where this week’s theme is Mother from the 1967 Beatles song ‘Your Mother Should Know’.

All the Wrong Stuff

The Right Stuff was a movie made in 1983 which was an adaptation of the non-fiction novel written by Tom Wolfe, which chronicled the first 15 years of America’s space program.  That would be nice if you were able to pick and choose which qualities you could have to go through life with.  When I was up in baby heaven, before I was born, God asked me if I wanted any brains and I thought that He said pains, so I replied, “No thanks.”  It doesn’t work like that as inherited traits boil down to genetics and siblings in the same family may get good genes as well as undesired ones.

I didn’t want to go bald on the top of my head, but my dad was and my brother also is.  My brother wears a rug and he probably thought that the people who look at him see his natural hair, but it never fooled me and it must be awful having to wear a sweaty rug on top of your head.  My dad had webbed toes, a condition where two or more digits are fused together, but none of his children ever got that and the odd thing is that he never learned how to swim, where you would think that he could probably swim like a duck.  My dad’s metabolism kept him skinny his whole life and I think that my brother inherited those genes, when I certainly did not.  I probably inherited the diabetes genes from my mom, as that ran in her side of the family.

I guess it is too early to tell if I will get the Parkinson’s disease that my dad suffered from late in his life, but I do go through periods where my hands tremble.  I discussed this with my doctor and so far she has ignored it and I don’t know if that is because she doesn’t think that it is worth treating at this time, or if there is nothing that she can prescribe me that fits in my budget.  There is no cure, but I read that aerobic exercise can help, so maybe if I shake it up a bit, I can manage this better.

Written for Fandango’s Dog Days of August FDDA #5 where the prompt is inheritance.

The Night I Lost Peggy

She was a sweet girl and her best friend Dotty was dating Anthony who was a real good friend of mine.  She lived in my neighborhood and I talked with her on the bus ride going to school and back home every day.  Peggy had long blond hair, a nice figure, fair skin and she was a Sophomore when I was a Junior.  I asked Peggy to my Junior Prom and after the night was over, she said that I could stay at her house.  We made out, but her parents were home and I ended up sleeping on the couch in her living room.  The next day we went down the shore, to Seaside Heights, which was an adventure.

I took the Parkway to Route 37 and we were making good time till my rear tire fell off.  I got a flat tire the day before and I guess that I didn’t tighten the lug nuts enough.  I had another spare and we were back on the road heading to the beach.  I probably didn’t sleep all that well on her couch, because when we laid out our towel on the beach, I fell fast asleep.  Peggy woke me up a few hours later and told me that I was all red and she said that she would put some suntan lotion on me.  That felt better, but it was too little, too late, as I had sun poisoning and I was miserable.  I told her that I wanted to go home and she told me to do what I thought was best.

I had a fever with chills and I was exhausted and I laid in bed for two days.  Peggy baked a cake for me and she came over to visit me when I was sick.  She was such a sweet girl and it made me feel better knowing that she cared about me.  I was very juvenile when I was young and I had a rubber monkey hanging from my rear-view mirror which Peggy thought was stupid.  One-night Anthony and Dotty were sitting in the back seat and Peggy was in the front with me and she grabbed my monkey and threw it out the window while I was driving down the road.  I said WTF did you do that for and she told me that the monkey was idiotic.  I stopped the car and told her to go back and get it.

She laughed and told me that she was glad that it was gone and she never wanted to see that monkey again.  I told her id that was how she felt that she could get out right here (which was less than a mile from where she lived) and she did.  Dotty said to Anthony, “Are you going to let him treat Peggy like that?”  Anthony told Dotty that it was Peggy’s fault and that she could also leave if she didn’t like it, which she did.  I went back and got the monkey and Anthony had these firecrackers with him and we drove past the girls and tossed them in their direction to annoy them.  Peggy was my first lost love, but she wouldn’t be my last.

Written for Fandango’s Dog Days of August FDDA #4 where the prompt is lost love.

Nothing to Do but Frown

Rain, rain go away.  Hurricane Isaias passed me by with no damage and it is headed up toward Myrtle Beach now carrying heavy rain, storm surge and high winds with it.  In 1979, a 16-year-old girl, Brenda Spencer, who lived in a house across the street from the Grover Cleveland Elementary School in San Diego, California, was convicted of shooting and killing the principal and a custodian, while eight children and police officer Robert Robb were injured.  A reporter asked her why she had done it, and she answered, “I don’t like Mondays.  This livens up the day.”  Bob Geldof, then the lead singer of the Boomtown Rats, read about the incident and he wrote the song ‘I Don’t Like Mondays’ about it and this became the band’s biggest hit.  There is just something deeply wrong about writing a song about someone who fired at children playing in a schoolyard.

The Mamas and Papas had a #1 hit in 1963 with their third single ‘Monday Monday’, which is about the lousy feeling that comes with the end of the weekend and beginning of another workweek.  John Phillips wrote this and neither Denny Doherty, Mama Cass or Michelle Phillips liked the song, and John Phillips claimed that he had no idea what the song meant.  Larry Knechtel played keyboards, Joe Osborn played bass, Hal Blaine was on drums and P.F. Sloan played guitar on this recording.  Michelle Phillips is the only surviving member of the group and the Mamas and the Papas were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.

Prince Rogers Nelson using the pseudonym “Christopher” wrote the song ‘Manic Monday’ which became a big hit for the Bangles in 1987.  This song is about a woman who is waking up to go to work on Monday, wishing that it was still Sunday, so she could continue relaxing.  Prince gave the song to Bangles rhythm guitarist Susanna Hoffs, hoping that she would sleep with him.  Christopher was the name of a character that Prince used in his movie Under the Cherry Moon.  In the early ‘80s the Bangles were part of a Los Angeles movement known as the Paisley Underground and the next year, ‘Walk Like An Egyptian’ became a #1 song for them.  The Bangles are not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Nobody ever said that there would be days like these, and in the John Lennon’s song ‘Nobody Told Me’ there are strange days indeed, as this remained unreleased till 1984 which was four years after he was already dead.  The song contains the line “There’s UFOs over New York, and I ain’t too surprised”, which was inspired by Lennon’s alleged sighting of a UFO in 1974 while he was with his lover May Pang during a separation from Yoko.  According to Pang, John yelled out the window “come back – take me!”

It doesn’t have to be a Monday or a day where it is raining to make you feel down, as sometimes we all get sad, feeling like we don’t belong, or that we don’t fit in a world that seems to be treating everyone else fine.  The Wrecking Crew backed up The Carpenters on ‘Rainy Days and Mondays’ and this song went to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1971.  This song was written by composer Paul H. Williams and lyricist Roger S. Nichols who also wrote the hit ‘Out in the Country’ together, which reached #15 for Three Dog Night and separately they wrote themes for popular TV shows, with Williams writing for The Love Boat and Nichols for Hart To Hart.  They also wrote ‘We’ve Only Just Begun’ which was recorded by The Carpenters as well.

Talkin’ to myself and feelin’ old
Sometimes I’d like to quit
Nothin’ ever seems to fit
Hangin’ around
Nothin’ to do but frown
Rainy days and Mondays always get me down

What I’ve got they used to call the blues
Nothin’ is really wrong
Feelin’ like I don’t belong
Walkin’ around
Some kind of lonely clown
Rainy days and Mondays always get me down

Funny, but it seems I always wind up here with you
Nice to know somebody loves me
Funny, but it seems that it’s the only thing to do
Run and find the one who loves me (the one who loves me)

What I feel has come and gone before
No need to talk it out (talk it out)
We know what it’s all about
Hangin’ around (hangin’ around)
Nothin’ to do but frown
Rainy days and Mondays always get me down

Funny, but it seems that it’s the only thing to do (only thing to do)
Run and find the one who loves me

What I feel has come and gone before
No need to talk it out
We know what it’s all about
Hangin’ around (hangin’ around)
Nothin’ to do but frown
Rainy days and Mondays always get me down
Hangin’ around (hangin’ around)
Nothin’ to do but frown
Rainy days and Mondays always get
Me down

Written for Fandango’s Dog Days of August FDDA #3 where the prompt is Monday and for FOWC with Fandango – Rain.

You Blog

This title was meant to be a tease at Fandango, which is unfair, because he works so hard for the WordPress blogging community.  His Dog Days of August said that we could write “whatever you wish to about you blog”, but there are more important things than using correct grammar.  I am a bit disappointed today, because I work very hard on my blog and Sunday is my biggest day, because that is when I host a popular song writing challenge.  I inherited this position of being the host for this challenge and the same regulars keep showing up every week, so it seems a bit like belonging to a family to me.

I included a paragraph today that featured a rant about how many participants were coming up with creative ways to get around the prompt words or theme that is issued every week.  I had no idea that I was ever going to become a blogger and I only landed here because I read that I needed a platform to expose me as an author, in order to sell any of my books, which at the time I had written two.  I wrote another one later on and now I have three unpublished books.  I write for my own enjoyment, so if nobody ever reads my books, I am OK with that, just like I am OK if nobody ever reads my blog.  I write to keep my mind active and what keeps me here is all of the prompt challenges that are available.

When I first started blogging there was only one prompt challenge called the Daily Post, but when that fizzled out others took root and now there may be more that 50 different writing challenges available every week here on WordPress.  A writing prompt asks the participants to focus on something specific in order to examine their capabilities and see if their response shows that they have knowledge of the topic.  A prompt is a writing cue that is used for someone to develop an idea.  Without all the prompts that are around now, WordPress would not be the engaged community that it has become.  Following directions is necessary, otherwise there is no purpose in having a prompt in the first place.  Nobody ever said that your creativity should suffer, but you can’t just go your own way with every prompt.

Written for Fandango’s Dog Days of August FDDA #2 where the prompt is blog.

Acid Trip

Fandango is starting up a new writing challenge today, which is supposed to run through the dog days of August and I decided that I might as well participate in this.  You are supposed to write about a trip today and I went with the drug-induced trip option, because today is Jerry Garcia’s birthday and he was called Captain Trips.  You always have to start someplace and everyone that ever took an LSD trip and still has a few braincells left, had to experience their first trip.  I was never any good on acid and I only did it because my friends were doing it.  Most drugs didn’t faze me all that much and I took a good share of many of them, but acid was always too much for me to handle.  I saw my friends taking it and they seemed to be enjoying themselves and they always had stories about the things that they did the next day, so I tried it out of pear pressure.

I grew up in a town where everybody got high, at least the crowd that I was in.  I figured that I might as well go along with what the others were doing and I was probably the last in my group of friends to drop acid.  We were all over Randy’s house, seven of us, Randy, Danny, Artie, Ed, Anthony, my brother Jack and myself when everyone took a hit of blotter acid.  We listened to some music and everyone was asking me how I was feeling and I didn’t feel anything.  We went for a drive in my station wagon and that is when I got off.  It happened all of a sudden when the guys were all hanging out of the windows and I told them to cool it, because I didn’t want to get pulled over.  Guys will be guys and telling them to calm down while they were tripping was useless, as that just gave them incentive to act more wildly.  They started banging on the roof of my car and it wasn’t like I was seeing all types of colors, but I did become extremely restless and anxious to get out from behind the wheel of my car.

I pulled over in the Dairy Queen parking lot which was one of the hangouts for teens and it was like a giant party was going on there, as I ran into at least a dozen other kids that I knew who said that they were also tripping.  My friends used to refer to me as the babbler and I guess that was because I always had something to say, adding in my two cents whenever I got the opportunity to do so, but when I was tripping, I lost my ability to speak.  All of my friends were talking, but I was too spaced out to communicate with anyone.  I liked talking, so I never enjoyed taking acid.

We left the Dairy Queen after a while and I drove over to another hangout in this strip mall that had a pizza joint and a Friendly’s Ice Cream.  When we got there, I ran into some more kids that were also tripping.  We were all too late for Woodstock and the Summer of Love as this was 1971, but we were all hippies, with long hair, love beads and bellbottoms.  This one kid Chris lit off a snake firework on the hood of my car and I just watched as it emitted smoke and spewed out ash resembling a snake and ruined my paint job.  Since I was unable to talk, I couldn’t complain and everyone else seemed to enjoy it.  I didn’t like being jittery and I was glad when I came down, but that was hours later.  I tried acid a few more times, always with more or less of the same effect and some times I did see colors, but mostly I was a total mess.

Written for Fandango’s Dog Days of August FDDA #1 where the prompt is trip.