April 29th, 2016
Buorre iđit! (If you were waking up in parts of Norway, Sweden and Finland where the Western Sami language is spoken, someone might say, “Good Morning” to you this way!!!)
The namesake for our site burst into bloom this week in San Diego. All along the boulevards their hopeful purple petals beseech the sky for more beauty and peace in our tired, violent world on our behalf. Jacarandas celebrate all the vivid shameless beauty that requires no apology or forgiveness. Smile when you see them and share your smile everywhere.
I have been thinking about it. Those words should strike fear in the hearts of the UJT faithful everywhere by now! But I have. Recently, we had a small plane suffer an engine failure, fall out of the sky and crash into a small car parked alongside a freeway and kill the passenger in the right rear. Everyone else, the pilot, the planes passenger, the driver and other passengers in the car and all of the other people on that busy rush hour full freeway, they all survived this freak accident. But the Roller Derby Queen in the back seat of that particular parked Nissan died. Huh!? By all accounts, this woman was in good shape and healthy. I understand she was a lovely person who was mourned by numerous friends, family and fans. Later in the week, I was driving one of my many loads of crap from my little house to my new domicile and a perfectly health huge-ass tree decided to drop one of its 18inch thick limbs across the road I was trying to pass. There was a cop directing people around where the limb crashed across the road where it would have crushed any vehicle full of crap going to a new domicile like a bug. There was no wind or flooding. No warning or anything to indicate that tree was about to put the drivers on that road in danger it just broke off and crashed . If you had been under it. no matter how you lived your life you would have been just as dead. So once again, I came to the conclusion. Sometimes, … “It Just Bes Da Way”. When it is your turn it is your turn and when it is not it is not.
This week I learned some stuff:
• When people die, people often say, “OH I always liked him or her” and most of the time we just take it for granted that they did or we remember all the rotten crap that they actually said and snicker about it later while we nod when they say it. But it occurs to me that writing this UJT Update thing actually leaves my own personal little snail trail for better or worse. So when I say I always liked Prince, people can go back and find the times where I featured and talked about his music here. So in this case, leaving a snail trail is not bad, I am sure there will be embarrassing ones too:)
• It is a shame that someone has to die to learn of all the good works that they have done. This week I learned that Prince’s religion had a strict tenet on humbleness that required him not to celebrate and in fact do everything he could to keep his philanthropy secret. So only know are we learning of some of the wonderful things that he did to help people. I was also very surprised to learn of all of the successful songs that he wrote for other artists. I am featuring them this week as our musical selections.
• In 1840 the presidential election almost 80% of eligible voters turned out to elect Whig Candidate William Henry Harrison over the Democratic Candidate (and sitting President) Martin Van Buren. In 2012 only slightly more than 57% of eligible voters turned out to do their duty as citizens. Do you know if the people around you are registered? Are they planning to vote? The political parties suggest candidates but we the people elect them. We can vote for whomever we want. We can vote for the nominated candidates or write in our choices. Make a difference this election. Find out who is set to vote and help those who aren’t get it done so everyones voice is heard. This will be my granddaughters first election!
• Sorry about the mix up on the Vocabulary Quiz! last week. I hope the updated quiz was worth the hurry up and wait!
• Slowly, step by step, I am making my way to the paints…but not this week. I probably won’t get back to this stuff till after the move.
• I took another week off from editing … still finding typos in GPS. I probably won’t get back to this stuff till after the move.
• Thinking about my grandson this week reminded me of what good children my children have brought us. By the time I was only 13 in 1965, I had blown up my first car, forgotten some beautiful childhood lessons and learned some terrible teenage horrors. I was able to rearrange these things for the most part by the time I was 15 but the 2 years I was living in South Miami, I struggled with puberty, trying to fit in, bigotry, bravery and cowardice, violence, honesty, dishonesty and alcohol. It was a bad couple of years.
• I had the opportunity to see “Slowhand at 70” Eric Clapton at The Royal Albert Hall on KPBS this week. It was a great show if you haven’t seen I recommend it highly. I really loved the part in the beginning of Cocaine where he plays like 5 or so minutes of freshly stolen John Mayer rifts. Its also cool to watch all the old biddies and geezers running down to the front of the stage to dance around like teenagers 🙂 I swear Eric laughed out loud!
This week I caught up with some of the Prince music as we tried to find ways to understand his passing. Such a special person and I am grateful for the gifts that he shared. Here are just a few.
• Sinead O’Conner – Nothing Compars 2 U — This shaved headed Irish woman commanded our attention just fine with her evocative voice and phrasing. She protested the Catholic Church’s handling of child abuse by tearing up a picture of he Pope on Saturday Night Live and did some other protests that lost a lot of her audience in the 1990s but this was her biggest hit. I never knew that Prince wrote the song but I liked it. In the interest of full disclosure, I was impressed by this young artist and less so with her attempts to be more than that.
• MC Hammer – Pray— I can’t help myself. I admit it. I have always liked MC Hammer. I know. I know. But there it is. This was a pretty big hit for Hammer not as big as, “2 Legit 2 Quit” or Can’t Touch This’ but still pretty big.
• Chaka Kahan – I Feel for You — This is as close as I come to disco. Chaka has always got away with shit with me – I don’t know maybe it is that silky smooth voice or just the whole south side Chicago deal.
• Stevie Nicks – Stand Back — From her, “Wild Heart” album this was a great song. She wrote the song on the day of her wedding to Kim Anderson while listening to Prince’s, “Little Red Corvette”. She recorded the first cut in the honeymoon suite and did another recording when she got back to the studio. She called Prince to tell him about the song and how it came about. He came over and played the synthesizers on the recording. She said when they finished, “He just got up and left like it was a dream”. He is uncredited on the album.
• The Bangles – Manic Monday – Prince saw the band in concert and sent them two songs that he wanted them to record. It ended up being their biggest hit going to number 2 in the US.
• Prince – When Doves Cry (Edit) — This song was written at the request of Purple Rain director to musically describe the conflicts between parents and his love affair. Supposedly by the next morning, this was one of two songs that Prince had composed to meet the need. This became the biggest single from his biggest album.
• Prince – Raspberry Beret — For me this was my first and always my favorite Prince song. I have never been able to explain it but it just works for me.
• Prince and the New Power Generation – Money Don’t Matter 2 Night — To me this is the most sophisticated song that he ever produced. And it somehow seems fitting to end this tribute to a life much too short but so very very rich but money don’t matter tonight. We all lost something very beautiful at 10 am April 21st.
That’s it… Do the best you can; Laugh every chance you get; And always remember, the best is yet to come!
As always, thank you for being my friend!