A poor tired horse looks jaded. That’s the origin of the word. It has come to mean “worn out” or “bored with everything.”
Lately, it also means fed up. Exhausted. Too much news, too much hassle, too much of everything.
I’m jaded with the news, jaded with the tragedies we seem to promote and then deny. It used to be that when you got like “this,” you could flee to some deserted part of the world. An empty beach on a warm sea or ocean maybe. But where is there a deserted anything anymore? Is there anywhere to go where you don’t get the news? Short of going back to live in a dark cave which, I admit, isn’t awfully attractive, I’m not sure there’s anyway “out” for anyone.
We live in a world where privacy and peace are banished. Between social media and more television channels, radio stations, and Alexa, there’s no escaping.
It’s why I loathe mobile phones. Who needs to be in constant touch with everything and everyone? Don’t we get to have a little quiet time or is that forbidden?
This morning I saw a new SimpleHuman invention: Alexa linked faucets for your sink. you can make your kitchen sing from anywhere in the house and if that’s not enough, you can adjust the sound levels at your bathroom mirror while your electronic toilet device measures your output.
The toilet? The sink? The mirror? All of them will all give you the news, too. It somehow fits that the toilet will give you news. That’s pretty much where it’s coming from anyhow.
“Hey, Alexa? Tell the toilet to give me the news. Then, when it’s done, please flush!”
I know that people who feed birds tend to try really hard to keep the squirrels out of the feeders. Not only is this difficult to do — close to impossible — but really, squirrels get hungry too. I would have thought this time of year would be easy eating for the squirrels. The acorns are ripe. The trees are well grown and there are more than enough seeds to feed dozens of squirrels.
Yet they come to our feeders. Are our seeds better? Healthier? Squirrels get hungry too and they are looking a bit lean right now. They also don’t look full grown yet and I’m sure they really are hungry.
My problem is not that they eat at the feeders. I have no problem with them enjoying the food. It’s just that they don’t seem to have a “I’ve had enough, I think I’ll move on” thing happening. They eat. And eat. And eat some more. And they drive the birds away and get very protective about the feeders.
Right now they are easily scared away and just a few taps on the window or the barking of the dogs is enough to make them run for the trees. That won’t last. In a few weeks, they will be empowered and believe they have full — unchallenged — possession of the deck. Nothing short of my going outside and pushing them off the railing will make them move. I’m gearing up for it.
I knew all of this before I put up the feeders. I’ll have to find a way to work it out. The flat feeder is gone. It was a big enticement for them because they could roost in it. They have a lot more of a problem hanging on to the wire feeders which at least means that at some point, they have to let go and move on.
It won’t keep them from trying to own the deck, but I’ll just have to deal with it. The birds need food, the chipmunks need seeds … and even squirrels get hungry.
Note: I also pour some seeds on the ground below the deck so the ground feeders have a place to eat. Usually, that’s where you will see the big doves, cardinals, chipmunks, and occasionally squirrels. They must eat all those seeds because they don’t grow.
A lot of people have a song or two that are special to them. It might be their prom theme song or other high school or college dance song. It might be their first dance from their wedding. It just might be the song that was playing when they met, or when they first realized they were in love.
The special song could be one remembered from a rock concert or play. It maybe the one that was on the radio when you were off on a road trip. You know the one! Everyone sang along at the top of their voices. When you meet now and hear that song, everyone sings it again, just like 20, 30, or even 40 years ago.
Here is my top ten list. They all hold special memories, but if I was to write this tomorrow, the order might change completely. Except number one would stay the same. That’s for sure. First I have some honorable mentions from recent years.
I have seen Maroon 5 in concert a number of times in recent years, and I really like Sunday Morning for a memory it evokes. I also love David Archuleta’s Touch My Hand for the thoughts it gives of being on stage but singing to just one person. Hunter Hayes touches a chord with the recent Invisible. I mentioned it previously here. I will also add One Republic’s Apologize, as in “it’s too late to apologize.”
10. Ferry Cross the Mersey, Gerry and the Pacemakers. This 1965 hit seemed to play constantly on a road trip to Galena, Illinois. You had to love top 40 radio in those days. A video of a 1965 performance that was posted in 2008 has over 7 million views.
9. Sister Golden Hair, America. This 1975 number one hit was a favorite of Chicago radio personality Larry Lujack. I heard it often on my America’s Greatest Hits cassette tape.
7. Save The Last Dance For Me, The Drifters. The 1960 hit came back around a number of times and by several artists. I particularly recall its use in the final episode of Season One of Queer As Folk.
6. Good Vibrations, The Beach Boys. I guess I could have picked several Beach Boys Songs for this spot, especially Heroes and Villains. They recall a particular era for me. Remarkably, Brian Wilson and his band are still out performing it.
5. Color My World, Chicago. Again off the “CTA” album. It was a popular theme for dances, proms, weddings. The late Terry Kath did lead vocals on the hit song. These days original member and trumpet player Lee Loughnane sings it. Below it is founding member Robert Lamm on vocals:
4. Horse With No Name, America. It is a favorite of my closest friend and it became our road trip song. This 1972 hit was written and sung by band member Dewey Bunnell.
3. That’s Life, Frank Sinatra, 1966. A friend who ran karaoke often asked me to sing it. If she had no one to start off her show, she would just announce that I would be starting and play this, even if I was not going to sing anything. I ended up singing it a lot:
2. Cherish, The Association. A friend asked me to write a lyric for his sister’s wedding song. Someone else asked me after the wedding how I thought to rhyme cherish with perish (as in, “their love will never perish”). Listen and discover:
1. Beginnings, Chicago. I saw them in concert at DePaul University when the first album was hot and the hits were being released one after another. This was the theme of many dances and certainly many weddings and proms. I can not adequately explain the memories that go with this song. From my seat on Chicago’s lakefront:
Add your favorites in the comments below. Maybe we will sing along with you.
To see any of the music videoes for the songs above, just click on the song title.
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