FAILURE TO BOUNCE – Marilyn Armstrong

Again, I tried to find a prompt for this, but nothing fit. Ironically, yesterday’s “writhe” would have fit today’s post, but I’m pretty sure you only get one use per prompt so I’ll just have to wing it.

Winging it is definitely the wrong word.

Yesterday evening, I stepped out of my shower, hit a damp piece of floor, and my bad left knee crumpled under me and down I went.

Defining bad left knee: When I was in my mid-20s, I fell and tore all the ligaments and tendons in my left knee. All of them healed except the ACL (anterior Crucis ligament). Repairing that ligament was major surgery followed by a year of physical therapy and healing time. And the surgery doesn’t always work.

They have to thread a new ligament (or whatever they use as a new ligament) through your knee and stitch it into place and then hope that it “takes” properly. The general advice was that unless I was a skier or a serious hiker, I could just be careful about the knee. Mostly, I had to not twist that leg because, at any angle other than straight, the knee recognizes its lack of ligament and collapses. It’s not painful. It just stops working like a knee.

It only hurts when you hit the ground.

At some point, when I was around 40ish, I discovered falling down was not like it was when I was younger. I couldn’t just get back up, dust myself off and move on. I had to be very careful on uneven sidewalks and “offroad.” As long as I kept my knees straight, no problem and if I needed it, I could get a brace that would give me a little extra support for the knee.

Mostly, I been very careful. I took a few falls in Boston, on Beacon Hill where sidewalks are notoriously bad. Since then, I’m careful to the point when I forget I have a tricky knee.

It wasn’t a huge fall. I didn’t break anything. I got some bruising in miscellaneous place and my knee is sore as was my back (no surprise there). What I hadn’t realized is that I had pulled a ligament or tendon (not sure which) in my groin area. A classic baseball injury and Garry assures me I’m now on the 10-day injury list.

I was really surprised at how sore I am. I did an unexpected split across the entrance to the shower and pieces of me hit the ridges that hold the shower doors in place. Sharp little things when they scrape across your thighs. By the end of the evening, I was limping around and complaining a lot. Mostly, I was complaining because I didn’t do anything dangerous or careless. I was so mad at me!

So I slept late this morning on the theory rest would help … and it did. It hurts a lot less than it did yesterday and I’m hoping that by tomorrow, it will hurt even less.

Garry said I should be more careful. I said if I were any more careful, I could just wrap myself in bubble wrap and never leave the sofa because I can’t be any more careful than I already am.

The real problem is at 72, I don’t bounce. What would be a very minor fall in earlier years is a much bigger deal.

Nothing reminds you of how you have aged quite as much as falling down.

TASTE AND FREEDOM – Marilyn Armstrong

I have personal taste that tends toward humor and wit and some things that I find funny aren’t really funny, but I find them hilarious. I tend to overvalue wit and cleverness and at least a hint of humor.

I like what I like and often write about movies and books I enjoy. I love it when I help someone discover books or a movie they might like.

I also don’t mind if you don’t like what I like.

The last Session

Some people talk about how they believe everyone is entitled to believe what they want … but I actually mean it. There are things — news and political things — that I feel are completely wrong and while I would never force you or try to force you to believe as I do, I reserve the right to not talk to you about beliefs I feel are wrong … or evil.

I do believe in right and wrong. I don’t believe in a particular God or gods, but I think the devil is lurking behind every closed door. In fact, I think his hoofprints are all over this world and a lot of people have sold their souls to him. I think most of our senators and certainly our so-called president have sold their souls to him. It’s the only way I can explain their behavior.

But as for taste? If you read serious books you couldn’t pay me to open, that’s okay. Just don’t try to force me to read it. If I like bizarre British science fiction and it goes right over your head? That’s okay. You aren’t required to love it just because I do. You don’t need to like the same television shows, movies, books, or poetry.

I don’t care if you are a Republican as long as you innoculate your children and don’t try to convert me.

The elephant in the room

Okay, that’s not true. I have trouble coping with anyone who thinks caging children is okay because they have brown skins and don’t speak English. My heart bleeds for those people and there is no way I can reconcile myself to people who don’t care and feel the value of everything can be reckoned using dollar signs.

I guess that’s where I draw the line — my line between good and evil.

A POPULAR GIRL – Rich Paschall

G-L-O-R-I-A, Rich Paschall

She sure is a popular girl. When you consider the number of songs titled “Gloria” and the many cover versions of those same songs, it seems like someone is always singing out her name. Lately, it seems everyone in St. Louis is singing about her, but that is another story that is best not told in Boston.

Leon Rene wrote a tune about this crowd-pleasing name in the 1940’s. Several groups had recorded the song and The Mills Brothers reached number 17 on the charts with a soft jazz version recorded in 1948. It was the doo wop version recorded in 1954 by the Cadillacs that became a big hit. So many groups covered the Cadillacs version that it is said to be one of the most covered songs of the doo wop era.

Van Morrison penned a memorable tune about Gloria and recorded it with his group Them in 1964. It was released as the B-side of another song and did not gain much traction. Rock radio giant WLS in Chicago would not play the tune because of one particular line which was changed by a Chicago band to be more acceptable.

Van Morrison

A group from the Chicago suburbs, The Shadows of Knight, made it to number 10 on the Billboard 100 with the Van Morrison composition.  Sounding more like a “garage band” of the time period, the hard driving version certainly made G-L-O-R-I-A smile.

Iconic Irish rockers U2 treated Gloria to a tune as well in 1981. While it achieved some success in other English speaking nations, it did not do so well in America. Nevertheless, it was often played in concert by the band.  Lead singer Bono said of the song in 1994, “It’s so wonderfully mad and epic and operatic. And of course Gloria is about a woman in the Van Morrison sense.”

In 1982 Laura Branigan gave Gloria a disco beat. The song was a rework of an Italian hit by Umberto Tozzi. The lyric was a true reworking, rather than an English translation which Tozzi also recorded. The hit by Branigan was her biggest and always on her performance list. For reasons you may have read the song, which has nothing to do with hockey, became a theme for the 2019 St. Louis Blues.

Appropriately enough, the official music video for Branigan’s Gloria starts out with a disco mirror ball.

Swedish rockers Mando Diao, a garage rock band for millenials, had a song for our girl in 2009. Recorded the previous year, it was a single from the album “Give Me Fire.”

“And, Gloria, did you finally see that enough is enough?”

In 2019 indie rockers The Lumineers had some words of caution for Gloria. The single is off the album III to be released in September and has topped the alternative radio charts.

See also: The Lumineers’ “Gloria” Enjoys 4th Week As Alternative Radio’s #1 Song, headlineplanet.com June 30, 2019.

GRANDPARENTS ARE US! – Marilyn Armstrong

A Photo a Week Challenge: Grandparents

We two grandparents during Garry’s entry in the Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame – September 2012

9-12-2013 Quincy, Mass 450 guests attended Seventh Annual Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame Luncheon held at the Boston Marriot Quincy Hotel. L. to R. are Marilyn Armstrong and her husband Hall of Fame former Channel 7 reporter Garry Armstrong.

Boston Globe photo by Bill Brett.