Yes, it’s been a while since we did a Top 10. It’s not an ordered list, it’s just 10 things that are going on, right here, right now, that take the place of actual writing. And so:
Linda Ronstadt. Do the youngsters understand how huge she was? Do they understand this is what singing is? What a set of pipes. Not only was she probably the biggest female recording artist, she deserved to be. This was the sound of the ’70s. There were some weak song choices, and that muffled Southern California production sound on her albums, but just listen to this. Hey, kids, no autotune!
Walkability. I’m becoming a wild bore about living in a walkable community, but seriously, what an improvement in lifestyle. (It’s a good thing, too, given the death of the Laden Jar.) Walking to dinner, and to a different place for dessert. Saturday there was walking to the Farmer’s Market (where I’m becoming known as the guy with the Adirondack pack basket on his back), the jewelry store, the running store, the cafe for coffee. We did actually have to get into a car and drive to a framing shop, so I can’t say life is perfect, but considering how often we get things framed, that’s a price we can pay.
- This shouldn’t get a full integer, since I didn’t get to finish it, but Michael Chabon’s latest, “Telegraph Avenue,” was just getting good when I risked running afoul of the Library Police. By the way, have I mentioned the library is a short walk away?
- So in its place, “Wizard: The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla,” which is a pretty solid biography. The technical understanding is outstanding, but I’m sometimes finding some of the chronology less than clear. Very good biography that resists the current wave of Tesla worship while managing to convey the weirdness that he almost completely fell out of consciousness for a while. To that I’d assign way more blame to GE/RCA, who were absolute masters of rewriting history and marginalizing their competition (ask Philo Farnsworth).
- Holiday preparations. Christmas shopping has been relatively easy, what with all the walkable stores and farmer’s market and such. But the thought of being among those people who have to make that north-south drive through the metroplex on holiday weekends is just daunting, not to mention expensive. Well, guess I’ll be racking up some Hilton Honors points. Then there’s the issue of what to do in our little house, where it seems like a decorative tree will be placed on the porch with care; within, the meltable gifts will be placed a respectable distance from the gas stove.
The Fleshtones. Doing this.
- Unpacking. Yes, there are still things in boxes, particularly in the basement, which is in no wise ready to serve as my project space. Although a vastly nicer basement than my previous accommodations provided, it’s still from 1900, and still very full of packed items that need to be unpacked and then, please, thrown away.
- This actually deserves an entire post on its own. Why did no one explain the perfection that is “The Gilmore Girls” to me? I mean, I know everyone said it was unbelievable, but there was something (and it could just have been working and raising kids at the time) that kept me off it. I guess it doesn’t matter, because it’s on Netflix now, and as soon as I’ve burned through all the seasons, I intend to burn through them again. It makes my wordy parts happy.
- How do appliances know you’re going to replace them? And then how do they get all sulky/breaky? My Denon receiver, which has served me loyally since, I believe, 1987, has suddenly blown a channel. Listen, I was very quiet about my lust for a receiver I saw down at the local record store (it’s within walking distance, BTdubs) that has a remote control. At the time I bought this thing, the remote option was about $50 more and seemed like a crazy extravagance and something of a moral failing. Now it seems like an absolute necessity because every digital file plays at a completely different level — not that records didn’t, but you had four or five songs at a time where that wasn’t a problem. Apparently the Denon got wind of the plans to move into the slightly later 20th century with my tech and up and popped a resistor somewhere. Gonna see if it’s reparable, but still, I dislike disloyalty. 27 years of my life I’ve given that thing!
- Flu shot. Gotta go get mine. First, I don’t like the flu. Second, I don’t want to hear a single person whine about Ebola who hasn’t had a flu shot and contributed to herd immunity. It’s raining out, but I still might walk up to the pharmacy to get it tonight.