Thursday, July 31, 2008

Sunglasses, Elections, and Ukulele's

New Day

New sunglasses on a sunshiny day 7/30/08
I didn't actually get these sunglasses today. I got them last week, but it seemed like a good caption. I got the sunglasses while standing in line at the 99¢ store. It was a perfect example of the advice I give to those people who get upset and impatient while standing in long lines.

I suggest that when stuck in a line at the DMV, grocery, or just about any line you may be standing in, that it helps to strike up a conversation with another person standing in line with you. Rather than killing time, this can be time well spent.

There I was, in a very long line and next to me was a rack of sunglasses. I was looking through them and tried on a pair. I couldn't find a mirror so I asked the lady behind me how they looked. She said there must be a mirror and found one on top of the rack. I told her it didn't really matter because I cant see me when I am wearing them and asked her what she thought of them. She said they were ok and asked if I would try a different pair. Sure, says I, and she proceeded to have me try on several pair until she found the ones in the picture. The next thing I knew, it was my turn at the check out stand.

Check out line from Google images
The more times I smile and say hello to other people, the better I feel. Try it sometime when you are standing in a long line, it can be a pleasant experience for all.

My friend, Garie Lebow, e-mailed this ball and string toy to me. Try it, it's fun.

I have been reading some of the comments that followed a thoughtful article about Obama,
Paul Jenkins report
and I am reminded that even though we finally have an intelligent and charismatic candidate for leader of the free world, the election will be decided by votes from people who think, "Wheel of Fortune", and "American Idol", are mentally challenging.

I know that reasonably intelligent voters will choose Obama, but most voters are neither reasonable nor intelligent. We shall see in November.

Happiness is weightless.

Today I just realized what the words should be to a song I wrote in 1995. It is about giving away freely, the good that is given to us, but the words weren't clear or expressive enough. Now they are. I think I will record a couple of tracks tomorrow and send it to Paul in Scotland and see where that leads to. The song is called, "Do You Get It?". I will put it over on My Space when it begins to take form.

Negativity is a heavy burden.

I have been watching Sunset Boulevard during this day. I love the way you can pause a DVD and hours later pick up right where you left off.
It's quite a movie. There are 4 copies of this collectors edition in the library. The story and acting are good, but I can't help enjoying seeing how some of the actors looked back then. I had forgotten that a very young Jack Webb was in this movie.

When I was 17, I had a job as a camp counselor at a rich kids day camp in the San Fernando valley. The kids of Hollywood producers, directors, actors, sports stars, recording artists and just plain rich people were left to my care. Among those kids was Julie London and Jack Webb's daughter. Open house, "parents day", was a lot of fun. Julie London looked spectacular, and when she spoke to me, I think I probably drooled on her.

It was at this camp that I met a couple of Hawaiian brothers who had brought their ukuleles. (That means jumping flea.) I asked them to show me a Hawaiian song on ukulele, and I showed them rock and roll on my guitar. They were Keola and Kapono Beamer. They went on to be popular performers in Hawaii.


I was actually a proficient ukulele player by the time I met the Beamer brothers. When I was 13 I was performing in a duo that covered Kingston trio songs. John Bradley played guitar and I played bongos. John suggested that I learn to play the guitar so we could expand our sound. He showed me a few chords and I felt I could do it so I asked my dad to buy me a guitar. He didn't think I would stick with it and suggested I ask again in a year or so. I was not discouraged. I went to the toy section of Save On drugs, and bought a ukulele for a dollar. (This was a real commitment because, at the time, a dollar would buy a whole bag of green plastic army men.)
The ukulele came with a little song booklet with such popular tunes as Oh Susanna and Home On The Range. I proceeded to play these songs day after day, hours on end, until my dad broke down and bought me a $16 Sears Silvertone guitar.

Sears Silvertone Guitar
I was ready to rock and roll. Within a week I had sanded off the paint, put my name on it, and varnished it. It was now blond and personalized. My future was as bright as the nuclear bomb tests in the eastern night sky.
What a wonderful life.

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