Random Thoughts on the Passing Scene – And a Lesson for Monday Morning (Originally Posted 4 Feb 2013)

I’ve been accused in the past of having some “Cliff Claven” tendencies – spewing out random facts on every occasion.  That is (or can be) one of the downside effects of having a ridiculous memory – sometimes all those factoids stored in the dark corners of the brain just need to come out, whether you want them to or not.  Maybe this is a disease I acquired from my Uncle Mike.

This morning, I was driving my two older kids (Jack 16 and Blair 14) to school. As we pulled out of the driveway, my daughter says “Oh, I hate Mondays.” One of the (funny/odd, take your pick) things about my brain is I can usually reference at least 1 song given minimal stimuli. It’s like those improv comedians who can make up a whole comedy sketch with one or two words thrown out by the audience.

So, of course, Blair’s comment immediately led to – do a youtube search of Boomtown Rats I Don’t Like Mondays.  QUICKLY!

Their comment – this guy’s not a very good singer.  This led to a very brief conversation about Bob Geldof, how he had been the singer for Boomtown Rats but then gained prominence for writing/producing Do The Know Its Christmas and organizing Live Aid in support of African famine relief.  I don’t know if Geldof would have achieved business success without the charitable activities in the 1980’s (not sure which is the cause and which is the effect) but however its happened, Geldof’s been quite successful, with an estimated net worth over $1 billion (for some reason when I type that, I hear it in my head like it’s being voiced by Dr. Evil).

Next up on the hit parade – search for Rainy Days and Mondays, by the Carpenters.

I’m not at all ashamed to admit that I love the Carpenters.  As a child of the 60’s and 70’s, I grew up with a lot of musical influences. And most of the music in the house was more of the “soft rock” or “easy listening” variety.  As the oldest child in the house, I didn’t have any older siblings to guide me to the “harder” stuff.  So I didn’t gravitate to what is now called “classic rock” until I reached my mid-teens. And you could say it was a matter of survival at that point – busting out Carpenters Singles would have resulted in a table for one in the high school cafeteria at EFHS.

But playing the song this morning led to another “teaching moment” as I gave my indifferent audience a brief history on the brother-sister group The Carpenters.  And explained how Karen died after battling anorexia for several years.  “I’ll never have that problem” my daughter said.

As I dropped them off, I thought about all the great music that was never produced because Karen Carpenter’s life was cut short.  I always thought she was beautiful.  And had an amazing voice.  Such a loss.  For me, the lesson of the day was to be aware of my beautiful daughter’s own self image and to do everything I can to try to help her avoid whatever the mindset is that leads someone to develop anorexia. And hopefully by doing so, I can make sure that her statement of fact is always true.

Okay, last one for today.  Last week I posted something on Facebook about how I heard a song on WRIF that gave me hope that the station still had some of what I remembered from my youth.  The song was Ain’t Talking Bout Love, by VH.  Without getting into details, not long after I posted that, I was listening to that song in the presence of a co-worker.  And the thought occurred to me.  “Were you even alive when this song came out,” I asked him.  “When did it come out,” he asked me to which I responded 1978 (who doesn’t know when VH1, eh, the REAL VH1, came out).  He replied “I was born in 1980.  So not only was I not alive, it’s not even possible that I was conceived to this song.”

Man, I am getting old.

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