May 11th, 2017

Kopisanangan dongkosuabon !! (“Good Morning” in Kadazan Dusun, which is spoken in Borneo.)

This has been a big week for my grandson BJ. He had his senior prom last weekend and applied for his first summer job earlier this week. He looked to be about 11 feet tall in his beautiful rental tux. Both events required him to dress and act in unusual ways for him. His first tux with boutonniere and his first interview outfit. The prom was a total blast – lots of great music via DJ and dancing. The interview was a total bust – kind of casting call where all the spots were filled before he entered the building. He has his resume done, knows how to tie his tie now and has other interviews lined up.

This week I learned some stuff:

• I learned Again, that I am completely capable and maybe have a twisted talent for unintentional thoughtless behavior. (Looking at that last sentence it seems an oxymoron, thoughtless would seem to imply a certain lack of intent as intent would imply some thought one would think?? But I digress.) I appear to believe that at any given moment, I alone, know what is the most important thing to be doing. That flaw combined with poor listening and observation skills has resulted in unintended consequences. Sometimes when my mission oriented brain locks on to a task, I can successfully insulate myself form all verbal and visual clues as to this might not be the best course of action. When that happens, people’s feelings can be hurt. In effect, my behavior says, “what you think isn’t as important as what I am thinking or need to do”, which not only mostly always never true, it is hurtful. I keep trying but I cannot seem to get out of my way.
• As a companion lesson, I also learned the most sincere heartfelt apologies can feel like vacant gestures. This is especially true, if you are apologizing for something that you have apologized for before. It may have been years and certainly there were different audiences but I have said that I am sorry for this behavior before. Its depressing. In a life spent trying to improve and grow, to stumble across a lesson already learned is hard for a proud man to take.
• I have featured the Halibuts on UJT several times in the past. One of my poker buddies, Bruce played keyboard for this venerable surf music band back in the day. I had assumed that they had gone their separate ways before I met Bruce doing great things for EDS and well before I learned that he was a member of a recorded band. But I was wrong, the Halibuts played to a sold out show just a few weeks ago. Way to go Bruce!

Website Update
• Last week for the new Vocabulary Quiz
• This week I also added the lyrics for “Semi-True Story” by Jimmy Buffett and “True Sorrow” by The Avett Brothers for your sing-a-long pleasure.

Writing and Painting Update:
• I started another painting this week. This one is of a pretty sunset I caught one afternoon over San Diego

• Vodka! When I was a kid, I think there was only one Vodka in all liquor cabinets at all my friends houses – Smirnoff. It was not our stolen alcohol of choice. We tended to gravitate towards the Wild Turkeys or Southern Comfort or dark rums – sweeter was better in those days. In the early 1960s, a new Vodka came, Stolichnaya or Stoli was its name. My neighbor, Claude, was the first person I ever knew who bought Stoli. He said it was “real” vodka from Russia and would make Martinis with it. He would sprinkle pepper on the top of the drink and wait for a minute before drinking it. He said Russia had converted the Stoli distillery into fuel refinery during WWII and had just restarted Vodka production. Applying the pepper soaked up the residual diesel fuel that floated on top of the Stoli and when sank to the bottom, the martini was safe to drink. That sounded authentic to me!!! I don’t know if that was true or not but every Martini he had followed the same process. Today, it seems their are thousands of Vodkas! You can even go to Vodka tastings at Walmart!! That is where I tasted a very interesting Vodka – Smirnoff Ruby Red Grapefruit. Growing up in south Florida, I would pick, peel and eat grapefruit on my way home from school. I swear this stuff tastes exactly right! Check it out. If you are a fan of grapefruit flavor, you will love it.

Music Update:
This week’s UJT Radio selections feature some new people for me that I wanted to share with you:
• Halibuts — Summertime — This is another cut from their album, “Life on the Bottom. This is a very cool surf music cover of the song that made Janis Joplin famous.
• The Avett Brothers — True Sadness — This is another cut first hear by me on Prairie Home Companion. This the title cut from this group out of Mount Pleasant North Carolina. These guys put together an interesting mix of harmonies, bluegrass, punk and rock. I hope you like them because you are going to hear more from them.
• Brewer and Shipley — People Love Each Other — From the Vinyl!!!! This is one of the prettiest harmonies that I have ever heard. It also the baring of a hippy soul.
• Jimmy Buffett— Semi True Story — Jimmy sharing a momentary and dubious memoir from his “Beach House on the Moon” album.
• Dan Ar Bras — Naissance de Dahud — Another short pretty instrumental tune from these boys. I imagine a bubbling brook in green hills in Normandy when I listen. What picture comes to your mind?
• Joss Stone — Parallel Lines (feat. Jeff Beck & Sheila E.) — This lady just has it all going on. Her soulful singing and Jeff’s subtle licks make this one really sashay on down the road.
• Al Kooper, Mike Bloomfield and Stephen Stills — Alberts Shuffle (2002 Remix W/O Horns) — Supersession was just an amazing record!!! I just thought it was time for us to enjoy some good old fashioned blues music played the way it ought to be.
• James Taylor — Up From Your Life — This is a beautiful tune from James’ “Hourglass album. Its a gentle song of comfort for a non-believer, sincerely offering a hope they cannot grasp and loving them anyway.

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!

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