Waiting and worrying.

This is winter break, one of Grosse Pointe’s two sadistically scheduled week-long second-semester vacations. Of course, all of Kate’s friends are on a beach or a ski slope. Bored to tears, she made arrangements to spend the evening at a recording studio where she sometimes helps out, in downtown Detroit. I agreed to this on the grounds of a) personal initiative in affirmatively treating boredom; and b) empathy for her plight. As soon as she rolled out of the driveway it started to snow, the light, dry, fluffy kind that brings no moisture to the land but enslickens every roadway it lands on. It’s the sort of snow that led to that mile-long pileup on I-75. It’s the trickiest to drive in, because it looks like nothing, but isn’t.

So now I get to sit here gnawing my cuticles until she comes home. Did I mention every single streetlight on the freeway between here and there is out? Did I mention the surface-street route home would take her through the worst of the ghetto prairie, and that the road is pitted with tire-flattening hazards, like abandoned railroad crossings that would shame the Third World, not to mention potholes like you wouldn’t believe?

Did I mention I’m the worst parent in the world? What was I thinking? It’s like I sent her out for milk and bread beyond the compound walls in “The Walking Dead.”

When does this anxiety stop, by the way? How old do they have to be? Don’t answer. I already know.

(Update: She arrived home safe and sound an hour later. To my immense relief.)

With that transition to children in peril, let me jump right to the bloggage. You’re going to want to listen to this, part one of a two-parter, “This American Life” and its deep embed at Harper High School in Chicago. You can download it as a podcast or listen at the website, however you like. But you’re going to want to listen to it. It’s chilling, a look at a high school where 29 students were shot last year (three died) and violence in the surrounding neighborhood is so intense that kids don’t even choose to belong to gangs — the very fact of life in the area imposes gang membership on you, depending on what side of what street you live on. It’s shudder-worthy, but very important, journalism.

An old-fashioned hey-Martha from the Columbus Dispatch, HT to Jeff, on scooter drivers behaving badly:

Taylor used humor to good effect in her latest scooter-speed warning letter to residents of Seton Square North: “A number of our scooter drivers are guilty of reckless scooter operation (did I really just have to write that sentence?).”

She is not alone in her concern. Other property managers, nursing-home administrators and doctors say they stress safe driving to keep mobility-scooter and power-wheelchair operators from gouging walls, knocking over medicine carts and running into pedestrians.

“I have, honestly, had times where I’ve had to say, ‘You can no longer use the scooter here,’  ” said Debbie Cassel, executive director at Trillium Place on the Northwest Side.

I read Grantland pretty religiously during the Jerry Sandusky thing, then fell out of it for a while. I hesitate to post this because I fear it will lead to a daylong Prospero tirade of pronouncements and YouTube links no one will click, but what the hell: An essay about the Black Keys that takes a few twists here and there and ends up making some valid points about music these days:

When I said earlier that indie has failed rock and roll, this is what I meant: Indie bands haven’t done enough to compete. The status quo in indie rock these days is to make records aimed directly at upper-middle-class college graduates living in big cities. Only a small handful of indie bands attempt to reach listeners who aren’t already on the team; even the really good records reside firmly in a familiar wheelhouse of tastefully arty and historically proven “college rock” aesthetics and attitudes that mean nothing to the outside world. The distance is also geographic: If you want to see most indie bands play live, it helps if you reside in New York City or Los Angeles, because the bands probably live there, too. Otherwise, you have to hope that your city — and by “your city,” I mean a city within a couple hundred miles of where you live — is one of the 15 to 20 stops on the band’s tour.

If you happen to be part of the audience that rock music used to cater to — if you work an unsexy job in an unsexy town in an unsexy part of the country — you’re not really invited to the party anymore. Which is OK, because there’s still a form of rock music that’s made for you, it’s just not called rock music — it’s called country. One of the best-selling country records of the last few years is Eric Church’s Chief, and one of that record’s biggest songs is “Springsteen,” which is about the ability of rock music to signify the most crucial moments of a person’s life. When was the last time a rock song talked about that? Chief is precisely the sort of heartland rock record that people like Springsteen, Tom Petty, and Bob Seger made into a viable commercial genre in the ’70s and ’80s. It’s not that people stopped wanting records like that; rock bands just lost interest in making them.

That might be a little too what’s-your-point for you, but I liked it. Although not the part where one of the Keys referred to Akron, Ohio as a “small town.” WTF? Two hundred thousand people counts as a small town these days? I had no idea.

Do not recline your seat on an airplane. That is all.

Good Wednesdays, all.

Posted at 12:33 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |
 

63 responses to “Waiting and worrying.”

  1. MaryRC said on February 20, 2013 at 12:59 am

    I am so glad that someone somewhere finally said it. If you recline your seat on an airplane you’re being a jerk to the person who sits behind you. OK, not on red-eye flights when everyone is lying back to sleep. But otherwise, why? What, do you need to take a nap? I have to travel about once a month. It’s getting so that the measure of whether the trip is bearable or not is if the person in front of me decides to sit upright like an adult.

  2. Sherri said on February 20, 2013 at 1:09 am

    Glad Kate made it home safe and sound. My current parental anxiety stems from my daughter’s impending departure for college in 6 months. I have these moments of panic about what I’ve forgotten to teach her. (Nothing specifically, mind you, but I’m sure there’s something vitally important that I’ve forgotten.)

  3. Kevin said on February 20, 2013 at 1:56 am

    When I said earlier that indie has failed rock and roll, this is what I meant: Indie bands haven’t done enough to compete. The status quo in indie rock these days is to make records aimed directly at upper-middle-class college graduates living in big cities. Only a small handful of indie bands attempt to reach listeners who aren’t already on the team; even the really good records reside firmly in a familiar wheelhouse of tastefully arty and historically proven “college rock” aesthetics and attitudes that mean nothing to the outside world.

    If indie bands had a shot at being played on commercial radio, they might be more inclined to record something more, well, commercial. Death Cab For Cutie has been around for about 15 years, and is about as mainstream as indie rock gets (selling lots of music, selling out good-sized venues), but I don’t think I’ve ever heard them on non-college or non-Internet radio.

    I remember when Arcade Fire won Album of the Year at the Grammys; much was made about the fact that the average music consumer had never heard them, or heard of them. But whose fault is that? Even our “new alternative” station here is pretty much 70% Nirvana and Pearl Jam.

    Chief is precisely the sort of heartland rock record that people like Springsteen, Tom Petty, and Bob Seger made into a viable commercial genre in the ’70s and ’80s. It’s not that people stopped wanting records like that; rock bands just lost interest in making them.

    No, it’s that radio lost interest in playing them, which it never did with Springsteen, Petty, Seger, etc. — all of which radio continues to play over and over and overandoverandover…

  4. Dexter said on February 20, 2013 at 2:13 am

    I thought I knew at least as much about pop and rock as the next person, until I got satellite radio years ago and began getting an education. When one lives so far from a major town or big city that it prohibits regular travel to that town, it cuts down on live shows for the fans, and limits word-of-mouth information needed to prioritize music shows to see or to pass up. I really didn’t know a lot about The Ramones, and I had never heard The Pixies until I got the satellite radio.
    Music sharing sites like Spotify are wonderful, but without some talk and information about new and maybe old artists you never clicked with, what to load into your Spotify library?
    I am not content to always revert to my younger days and play my old fave tunes from my long-ago past. I want to hear new artists performing enough songs so that I can stick with them or move on to something else.
    Even with Palladia on cable and having access to satellite radio, it’s impossible to keep up with new music when you become an adult. Yes, I agree; I think people who don’t fit a certain demographic will never hear any really hot indie tunes. Never, that is, unless the geezer is a quest-freak, set on learning new things to be amused by.

  5. john not mccain said on February 20, 2013 at 3:06 am

    if there was really a lot of interest in new bands making the kind of rnr that guy prefers then drive by truckers would be playing arenas, not bars.

  6. Joe Kobiela said on February 20, 2013 at 4:15 am

    You can recline the seats in my plane any time you want. The only problem is I can’t get you from Detroit to Orlando for $220.00 round trip. But if you can afford it you can recline. Arrived Marquette Mich at 2:00am. 10 degree, heavy snow, wind gust to 4o knt -10 wind chill. Broken delta jet. Mechanics are working outside. No fbo. Currently sitting in warm pickup. Life of a charter pilot.
    Pilot Joe

  7. JWfromNJ said on February 20, 2013 at 5:28 am

    A good friend of mine lives in Auburn, Ind. and works in Fort Wayne as the service manager at a farm equipment dealer. One day about 2 years ago he had to drop his wife’s minivan off for service on his way to work, and figured the easiest way to get from the car dealer to work was to put his childhood moped in the van, and ride it to work.
    He ends up buzzing down a major road on said moped, just focused on getting to work, and people were glaring at him, one guy rolled down the window and yelled, “You f’ing drunks need to be off the road,” and when he got to work the owner asked, “Why didn’t you tell me you got a DUI?”
    People assumed it was a DUI scooter, thanks to Indiana’s moronic lawmakers, who let drunks drive mopeds, the same legislature that passed a law banning texting and driving that permits Facebook and driving, also the same legislature that banned “Spice,” but didn’t provide for changes to the chemical compoud to forbid future derivitives.

    Heading from frigid Avon-by-the-Sea NJ to 84-degree temps in Vero Beach in a few hours, but 18 hours on I-95 are looming in my very near future. Was amazing seeing the new WTC, the memorial, and damage from Sandy. My bed, my kids, and my pets wait for me 1200 miles away.

  8. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 20, 2013 at 6:52 am

    This five foot seventeen inch passenger says, please, please do not recline. Thank you.

    And I meant over the weekend to remember to post on Monday here that the current two part “This American Life” is a don’t miss piece of work, based on part one alone. And I’ll be late to perform a funeral if necessary to hear part two (but it’s downloadable on Monday, so I guess I shouldn’t). School counselors cum social workers are so obviously necessary in each building, and they got cut even before art, music, and recess. So we (alert, self-indulgent whining starts here) judicialize it, and essentially force principals and building secretaries and teachers to file complaints on kids with juvenile courts so they can send staff into buildings to do jackleg, fly-by, no-follow-up comprehensive mental health referral and social service integration. The fact that I think I do this well has nothing to do with the reality that it is insane for us to do it this way.

    Anyhow, we all have to keep being reminded that kids being tardy, chronically truant, failing academically, and dropping out are almost invariably a family issue, not a kid issue in isolation. Could be grief, could be trauma, could be mom’s trauma and depression and student anxiety over what mom will do if they leave the house “on one of her bad days” (was that my last in-building mediation or on Ira’s show? I forget), and yes, it is not infrequently substance abuse in the home . . . which itself is often poorly managed self-medication for un-addressed mental health issues by the parent/guardian. But chiding the student for missing class works about as well as scrubbing an open sore with steel wool. If all you have in the first aid kit is steel wool . . .

    So listen to TAL. And we’re all waiting to find out: does the dance happen tonight, or not?

  9. alex said on February 20, 2013 at 7:05 am

    I felt so sorry for a friend who found the coolest vintage Vespa on eBay. This was several years ago, right before scooters officially became drunkmobiles. As you say, JW, you can’t ride one of those things without people getting ugly and confrontational and accusing you of being a derelict.

    ###

    As for comparing Springsteen, Petty and Seger to that crapola contemporary country music that seems to be the only thing that plays around here anymore, what does he have against those artists? Or is he just deaf?

    This weekend went to a restaurant I don’t frequent all that much and got seated in the bar where I was surprised to hear them blasting contemporary Christian radio from Sirius. The music is almost indistinguishable from contemporary country, which is to say bland and mediocre, but the sermonizing DJs are simply more than I care to hear. It seemed a rather presumptuous choice for a business, something I wouldn’t inflict on my customers if I ran the place.

  10. Jolene said on February 20, 2013 at 7:22 am

    Dexter, you might find new music that interests you at http://blog.largeheartedboy.com/. It’s a good site for learning about both books and music. Click on “daily downloads” in the column on the left and go from there.

  11. Pam said on February 20, 2013 at 7:26 am

    When I used to fly a lot (which I don’t now, thank goodness), you got punished if you reclined your seat into my lap. Lots of seat bumping, magazine grabbing, standing up using the seat as a lever, taking things in and out of that pouch, coughing into the crease, anything I could think of. We should all launch a complaint campaign on the airlines about this – either stop the seats from reclining or provide more space between seats (which is really what they should do). Let’s face it, airplanes are merely the Greyhounds of the skies. Do people bring buckets of chicken onto airplanes now like they do on the Dog?

  12. coozledad said on February 20, 2013 at 7:38 am

    I read a long time ago that country music died when it started looking up its own ass. The Waylon and Willie and the boys stuff.
    It’s sort of a waste of time looking for artists who are going to capture someone else’s demographic, especially when that demographic has just moved on. What’s easier is to wonder what comes next, or how an artist will go all Phil Collins and shamelessly sell his ass.

    I’m talking to you, Leonard Cohen. The Diana Ross Songbook, baby. we’re going to shop it with your cover of “Land Down Under”.
    Money.

  13. Suzanne said on February 20, 2013 at 7:53 am

    My dentist plays Contemporary Christian rock radio in his office. Lovely to hear someone crooning about Jeeesus in a nasal-y tenor voice while some woman in a mask is scraping plaque. This is the new dentist that took over for the guy who retired who played bland muzac which I much preferred. I prefer not to mix religion with my fluoride.

  14. alex said on February 20, 2013 at 8:13 am

    I’m about to leave for my dentist’s office, where the radio is always tuned to one of those stations that is popular with teens and features a lot of juvenile-sounding female vocals. Stuff makes me welcome the sound of the drill to drown it out.

  15. Kim said on February 20, 2013 at 8:24 am

    Kevin, Death Cab is definitely on crap terrestrial radio. It’s one of the scant saving graces when my youngest is in the car and the iPod hookup isn’t. Not that his iPod choices are better than radio; it’s just that he has more variety of soundcrap with the occasional jewel (like a Replacements tune).

    My company owns several Triple A radio stations, so I get to hear a lot more new music than I would otherwise. The Staves, whom I’d seen on Jools Holland’s Palladia show, performed live in the studio a few weeks back and it was great. Nice girls, too.

  16. beb said on February 20, 2013 at 8:34 am

    Was Kate out last Saturday when it was snowing off and on all day? My daughter and I were out in it doing some shopping and while I didn’t spare the time to check, I think she was white-knuckled all the way. It was not a good day to be out on the road.

    Somewhere along the way all the rock stations I used to listen to became classic rock so I haven’t heard a lot of new music since the 90s. The only new music I’ve come across have been Pink and Bowling for Soup, both of which I heard on MTV on one of their rare occasions when they played videos. Most of the contemporary music radio stations in the area lean towards grunge and frankly I don’t need to hear whiny men droning on about how life sucks. I just look in the mirror and get all that.

    When Jeff descibed himself as five foot-seventeen inches, I cursed him for making me do math so early in the morning, then had to laff because, wow, he’s taller than I am. It reminds me of a friend of a friend. She died young after a long fight with cancer. But she knew eho she wanted to marry the first time she saw him. She was a tall woman, around 6 foot, I think. The minute she was introduced to a guy 6′ 5″ she knew he was the one for her.

    The last time I rode in a plane was ten years ago. The passenger in front of me didn’t have to lean back his chair for my knees to rest against the back of his chair. That happened naturally. The TSA check at that time was very lackadaisical but the airplane was like being stuck inside a sardine can.

    I hope that truck Pilot Joe is waiting in has wi-fi because I’m curious about why a Delta jet should be holding him up. I sort of thought he flew smaller planes than that.

    I thought the high school near our house was dangerous, but 29 shooting in one year? That is horrible. I’m not sure when or how I can to the same conclusion as Jeff, but yes, school near social workers, and not just for the students but for their parents as well.

  17. beb said on February 20, 2013 at 8:36 am

    When my daughter was young my job was to pick her up from Daycare on Wednesdays (wife worked) and we’d watch old Betty Boop cartoons. As a young adult she has Cab Calloway on her iPod. Ah, the classics.

  18. Prospero said on February 20, 2013 at 8:44 am

    Nancy. My one perfect child is 32 now and expecting her second child March 18, worrying will not stop. Yo la Tengo is the indie band that means that’s all bullshit:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X0XcNS6mfqA

    And as for Waylon, he understood:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TNpLSaCirj8

    And Georgia Hubley is a better girl drummer than Mo.

  19. Deborah said on February 20, 2013 at 8:47 am

    This American Life is my latest addiction, I’m listening to the archives. The segment on Harper High School made me cry.

  20. Chris in Iowa said on February 20, 2013 at 9:11 am

    I’m a big fan of Spotify. I use it, along with the Shazam app on my iPhone. If I hear a new-to-me song in a movie or on a TV show or commercial, etc., I use Shazam to identify the song and the artist. I then look for it on Spotify, add it to a list of songs I’ve liked. I use those songs to set up stations on Spotify. It has greatly expanded what I listen to and I hardly listen to commercial radio at all.

  21. Scout said on February 20, 2013 at 9:21 am

    There are literally thousands of stations available on my Apple TV Radio. It’s a great place to find new Pandora seeds for the rest of the time. I’m finding stuff I missed back when it came out and it is new and fresh for me, like Whitest Boy Alive.

    “Rock and roll never forgets” because broadcast radio stations play the same ol same ol over and over. Classic rock stations have become a predictable daily re- run with songs I was tired of 20 years ago and still am. My 15 year old car is down to just radio and I won’t even listen to music stations on it because they all suck. Luckily we have a progressive station and NPR.

    At only 4’13”, even I am claustrophobic when somebody decides to lay their seat in my lap. My tray table gets lots of action when that happens. I also hate people who not only hog the armrest but let their elbows jut into my space. I used to try to shrink into my chair more to preserve my own space but now I just bump into their offending appendage until they move it. So done with being meek and polite.

  22. Dorothy said on February 20, 2013 at 9:22 am

    I don’t fly very often but when I do, I never recline the seat. Being 5’9″ I’m also bumping my knees into the seat in front of me as soon as I sit down, so I dread the possibility of anyone in front of me reclining their seat. I can’t recall if that ever happened so, probably not. We might have to be in Hattiesburg, MS in May if our son’s final four day pass before he leaves for deployment is restricted to around base. We are going to drive that 13 or 14 hours because we just dread the idea of flying to that location. It would definitely involve a connection, and between security checklines, having to get there 1.5 or 2 hours ahead of time, etc., it’s just easier to drive. And we’ll have our own car when we get there instead of paying for a rental. I wish we could afford to hire Pilot Joe!

  23. ROGirl said on February 20, 2013 at 9:41 am

    In my dentist’s office each hygienist can play his or her own music selection. I’ve heard Bowie and the Stones while having my teeth scraped. My hygienist also moonlights in a heavy metal band and he has a large metal piercing in his ear.

  24. coozledad said on February 20, 2013 at 9:48 am

    What was Roy saying about Poe’s Law yesterday?
    http://wonkette.com/501984/ghost-andrew-breitbart-stands-by-his-story-on-terror-group-that-does-not-exist#more-501984

  25. Peter said on February 20, 2013 at 10:25 am

    Well, there’s still hope for rock and roll:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=poFXWUTEs1k

    IMO, it’s a catchy tune; and did I hear it on ‘XRT? College station? Nope, it was a bridge between two items on NPR.

    Thank God for Shazam!

  26. Bitter Scribe said on February 20, 2013 at 10:29 am

    Anyone who fully reclines a coach seat should get an immediate skydiving lesson. Preferably sans parachute.

  27. alex said on February 20, 2013 at 10:38 am

    My only new music discovery of late is Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, who are really kind of retro.

    Here’s their rendition of Fly Me to the Moon:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LwuV87upqEM

  28. Catherine said on February 20, 2013 at 10:50 am

    When I have to fly more than an hour, my fantasy is that the airline will just give the passengers tranquilizers, stack us like a cord of wood, and wake us up when we get there.

    They already treat passengers like luggage, why not go all the way?

  29. Heather said on February 20, 2013 at 10:54 am

    We’re going to Colorado in April and I asked my 6’4″ boyfriend if he wanted to spring for Economy Plus or whatever gives you more legroom. He said don’t bother. I asked if it didn’t drive him crazy to be on a plane. He said it beat being on the wagon train. Me, I immediately start getting annoyed in the security line. I will try to remember to appreciate the marvels of modern transportation instead.

  30. LAMary said on February 20, 2013 at 11:32 am

    My dentist has show tunes. Nothing like listening to Nathan Lane singing “Sue Me” while getting a root canal.

  31. Danny said on February 20, 2013 at 11:38 am

    I rarely recline on planes and if I do, I always survey behind me to make sure that the person is not a Gigantor pituitary case like Jeff (love ya Jeff!), not working on a laptop or not in some other situation that would be inconvenienced by it.

    And the last few years, I can barely stay awake on planes and usually feel quite comfortable sleeping in the upright position with some good earplugs. I do marvel somewhat at the amount of entertainment people seem to need these days, though.

  32. Danny said on February 20, 2013 at 11:41 am

    Glad to see Cooze likes him some Breitbart to balance TPM, Thinkprogress and MotherJones:

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Journalism/2013/02/19/Debate-Commission-Co-Chair-Yeah-Candy-Crowley-Was-a-Mistake

  33. Bitter Scribe said on February 20, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    Danny, the election is over and your guy lost. Deal with it.

  34. 4dbirds said on February 20, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    I recline. I take a little Prince Valium before the flight and I snooze. I usually fly Southwest and the recline isn’t generous. I’ve never noticed the person in front of me when they recline. There are numerous things that other people do that irk me while traveling. I suck it up. Being in public is messy.

  35. Danny said on February 20, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    The Indie music thing got me to thinking about how I’ve discovered some new music over the last few years. I am part of a online music trading community that trades exclusively in bootlegs. We are self policing and will not allow anything commercially available nor anything that various groups do not allow (e.g. many groups give at least tacit approval to boot trading, but some like Allman Bothers have publicly expressed their desire that no one trade their boots, so we don’t).

    So I got into the Cranberries and Evanescence through listening to some concerts and I liked them so much that I ended up going out and purchasing both of their whole catalogs.

  36. LAMary said on February 20, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    This weekend on Austin City Limits I saw Edward Sharp and the Magnetic Zeroes, and I begrudgingly liked them. The other band that played, whose name I didn’t catch, was pretty wonderul too. It was primarily one woman playing two big drums and singing.

  37. beb said on February 20, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    Danny’s comment @35 is the elephant in the music room. For all the complains the RIAA makes about downloading music and depriving artists of their due, file sharing is the best way, in many situation for someone to hear new music. And if they like it, most of the time they will go out and buy the professional made copy of that music.

  38. Brandon said on February 20, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    Meanwhile, in Hawaii:

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2013/02/15/steven-tyler-act/1923611/

  39. Danny said on February 20, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    beb, just to amplify, I am a proponent of trading, but for live concert and rare demo boots only. I have never downloaded commercially available music unless I have paid for it and I am against piracy.

    And, in general, I rarely download from sites like iTunes, Amazon, etc. because one of my other pet peeves is the mp3 format, which is what most online music sites traffic in these days. Lossless is a must for this audiophile.

  40. Basset said on February 20, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    I saw Eric Church open for Bob Seger a few years ago and thought the most interesting thing about his show was his marketing strategy, everything about how the band looked and moved was just so damn Nashville calculated. There’s a flannel shirt, there’s a mesh cap, there are some tight jeans, so obvious that some branding consultant had sat down and mapped all that out. Songs were generic and probably secondary, didn’t remember a one of ‘em.

  41. MarkH said on February 20, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    I’m with 4dbirds @34. The seats don’t recline that much. I don’t know what all the bitching is about. I just deal with it as well. Commercial air travel is one step into hell anyway.

    Except one time on an overseas flight to Paris on Air France. The arrogant frenchwoman’s seat in front of me was clearly broken and when she reclined it went to a 45 degree angle on top of me. She didn’t see the problem and was vocal about it until I summoned the flight attendant, also a french female, who set her straight on following instructions from the crew while in flight. “Straighten zee SEAT, mam’zelle!”

    Hat tip to Pilot Joe. I wish I could afford your means of travel, occasionally, at least.

  42. Deborah said on February 20, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    I am ridiculously out of it when it comes to current music, I don’t even know if it’s good or bad. I used to pay attention to the NPR music bridges and would sometimes learn about it that way. But that was back when I drove to work and that was 10 years ago when I still lived in St. Louis. Since moving to Chicago I never/rarely drive so I don’t listen to NPR except through archives of This American Life and Fresh Air on my iPhone etc. I don’t really listen to music that much anymore, when I have my earplugs in I’m listening to smart people talking and telling stories.

    Here’s a fabulous little video I ran across on-line this morning http://youtu.be/PJDI–Xc7vc

    Today is one of those days in Northern New Mexico where it’s good to be inside with a cozy fire burning.

  43. Brandon said on February 20, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    I am ridiculously out of it when it comes to current music

    @Deborah, et al. That can be remedied with a little time spent watching YouTube and MTV, and reading Spin and Rolling Stone, and visiting Wikipedia.

    Here are some musicians, mainly rappers, you may or may not know: Chief Keef, Frank Ocean, French Montana, Kendrick Lamar, Rocky A$AP, Drake, Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, Azealia Banks, Rick Ross, Taio Cruz, Swedish House Mafia, Skrillex, Pitbull, Future, Meek Mill.

  44. annie said on February 20, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    Bring your ipod and earphones to the dentist. I’ve been doing that for years.

  45. Sherri said on February 20, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    I’m like annie; I bring my iPhone and earphones to the dentist. Especially important if I’m having any work beyond cleaning, because it helps me zone out and feel less claustrophobic. I also found that some MRI places will let you bring in a CD to play over their headphones while you’re being scanned; others will just tune a station for you.

    Jeff(tmmo), This American Life made the download of part one of the Harper High story available early, on Friday night instead of the usual Sunday night, so you probably won’t have to either miss the funeral or wait until Monday to hear part two. My guess is that the download will be available Friday night.

    I’ve become a big fan of podcasts, like This American Life and RadioLab, and of audio books, and as a result, am listening to music much less often.

  46. Dorothy said on February 20, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    I’d miss out on so many great conversations with my delightful hygenist, annie. They’re difficult to pull off when I’m supposed to have my mouth open for cleaning much of the time, but you’d be impressed by how much I can squeeze in between squirts of water and applications of polishing compound! We actually talk a good bit just before she starts. I really should ask her and her husband to go out to dinner with my husband and I sometime. She’s really great. Her name is Connie, and when I was there last month, she told me she accidentally lost a ring (out the car window) from her finger when she waved to someone at a stop sign in town. There was snow on the ground – she went back to search for it several times, but never found it.

  47. Julie Robinson said on February 20, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    Annie, I’ve done that for a couple of crowns, but when it’s just the hygienist we chat away about our kids and gardens. The show tune dentist sounds great to me.

    Bitter @26 & 33, word.

  48. Prospero said on February 20, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    Brandon, so sorry you are attitudinately disenhanced. Much better music ahead.

  49. Judybusy said on February 20, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    On our flight back from Puerto Rico a few weeks ago, I was vaguely aware of a couple across the aisle. The guy was talking *a lot.* I’d catch a gesture out of the corner of my eye occasionally, but keept tuned into my Kindle. I figured he was just one of those guys whose wives/girlfriends listen raptly while they natter on. And on. Finally, I do look over, and he is practicing a presentation out loud, reading from the script on his laptop. Complete with hand gestures. For some reason this really annoyed me, and if we hadn’t had just 20″ to go, I would have said something.Thankfully my ears were plugged a bit from the pressure and I have remarkable powers to tune stuff out while reading. (I’ve think I’ve shared this before, but a sixth grade teacher managed to get the entire class out for recess before I raised my head from my book and took note.)

    As for music, I’m tired of young white men singing about how awful their lives are, and that is most rock-n-roll on the radio. I don’t care enough about the genre to seek out other stuff. This weekend, I went to a concert featuring medieval music performed in our local basilica. The group, The Rose Ensemble, is local here and I look forward to seeing more of them. It was so skilled, so beautiful and transporting. For my short commute and other driving, I listen to books on CD.

  50. Brandon said on February 20, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    @Prospero: I was just listing as many trendy rappers as I could think of, with a few exceptions (Skrillex, Swedish House Mafia), since the talk is about indie rock. There’s a lot of great music out there. Wikipedia has articles about every band and singer in existence, it seems. And Allmusic.com is another great resource.

  51. Judybusy said on February 20, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    On our flight back from Puerto Rico a few weeks ago, I was vaguely aware of a couple across the aisle. The guy was talking *a lot.* I’d catch a gesture out of the corner of my eye occasionally, but keept tuned into my Kindle. I figured he was just one of those guys whose wives/girlfriends listen raptly while they natter on. And on. Finally, I do look over, and he is practicing a presentation out loud, reading from the script on his laptop. Complete with hand gestures. For some reason this really annoyed me, and if we hadn’t had just 20″ to go, I would have said something.Thankfully my ears were plugged a bit from the pressure and I have remarkable powers to tune stuff out while reading. (I’ve think I’ve shared this before, but a sixth grade teacher managed to get the entire class out for recess before I raised my head from my book and took note.)

    As for music, I’m tired of young white men singing about how awful their lives are, and that is most rock-n-roll on the radio. I don’t care enough about the genre to seek out other stuff. This weekend, I went to a concert featuring medieval music performed in our local basilica. The group, The Rose Ensemble, is local here and I look forward to seeing more of them. It was so skilled, so beautiful and transporting. For my short commute and other driving, I listen to books on CD.

  52. Brandon said on February 20, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    And I forgot about 2 Chainz.

    His duet with Nicki Minaj:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EmZvOhHF85I

  53. Judybusy said on February 20, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    Shoot, I really miss the edit function today. I thought I’d gotten rid of the other post!

  54. Brandon said on February 20, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    @Judybusy: The nice thing about the Internet is that it allows people to find out about, and listen to, all kinds of music.

  55. Judybusy said on February 20, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    I agree, Brandon! I admit getting overwhelmed when I got an iPod a couple years ago. I just couldn’t decide what to buy, and ended up giving it to my partner. That sounds completely daft now, and I may give it another shot in a few months, when I can also afford a docking station.

  56. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 20, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    Sherri, that is very kind of you to point that out. Thank you. I’ve got funerals both Saturday and Sunday and listening to that Friday night would be a relief . . . I want to know what happens with the dance! Of course, I thought I wanted to know what happened with Matthew and Mary on Downton, too.

  57. Joe K said on February 20, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    Beb,
    The broken delta jet was why I was in Marquette, I took 2 mechanics up there to replace a starter.
    Pilot Joe

  58. Charlotte said on February 20, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    Years ago when I was home from graduate school I went to the dentist — my former camp counselor turned dentist — she sang me camp songs while drilling a cavity! It was very weird. (She’s a very good dentist though.)

  59. Deborah said on February 20, 2013 at 6:39 pm

    I spent the afternoon doing something I haven’t done in ages. Kind of a Project Runway day. I made a kimono for Little BIrd out of some Marimekko (spelling?) fabric I bought at the Crate & Barrel outlet in Chicago. This was actually supposed to be one of Little Bird’s Christmas gifts, but it didn’t happen while we were here in Santa Fe over the holidays. I’m most proud of myself for making this without a pattern, but I mean how hard can a kimono be to figure out? It’s not completely finished yet all I have to do is the hemming by hand. It was a fun thing to do on a day with cold, windy, gloomy weather.

  60. LAMary said on February 20, 2013 at 6:41 pm

    The show tune dentist is a great guy. Anyone looking for a dentist in LA? I will give my dentist rave recommendations. He has Broadway show posters in the waiting room and in the treatment rooms. Only from shows that bombed, though. He has a poster from “Kelly.” I think that show closed in one night.

  61. Dexter said on February 20, 2013 at 9:15 pm

    I have shared that I used to be a really big booze hound, and flying without a fresh pint of Wild Turkey in my pocket was unthinkable. I’d never come close to finishing it; the reason I brought a whole pint was in case a seatmate might need a healthy slug. Sometimes they would share a glug-glug from my jug.
    I remember well the first time I flew after quitting alcohol. It was a flight from Columbus to San Jose via Phoenix. I had been in airplanes sporadically for 28 years before that day, and had never experienced any anxiety, never scared, fearless flier. Until I boarded that Airbus. I guess all that confidence was fuelled by that booze, or else my claustrophobia was kicked into permanent status when I was locked into a MRI machine procedure for 45 minutes and was very uncomfortable. After that, even mile-long mountain tunnels on I-77 began to unnerve me, but the panic attack onset on that Airbus was a real surprise.
    I couldn’t figure it out, why after all those years of occasional flying, all of a sudden BOOM I’m a panic-flier. I white-knuckled it to Phoenix and on to San Jose. Later I flew back to Columbus and it wasn’t bad at all. The mind is crazy, baby.

  62. Julie Robinson said on February 20, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    It’s a sad day in Ernie Pyle Hall: https://www.idsnews.com/news/story.aspx?id=91310.

  63. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 20, 2013 at 10:38 pm

    Mind is illusion, my lama friend reminds me.

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