Saturday, June 18, 2022

Paul is alive, he’s 80, and I’ve started a music blog!

They say it’s your birthday, Paul! And they’re right — unlike the people who “said you was dead”!

So happy birthday to Paul! And happy birth to my new blog! It’s a blog about music. The first post is about Paul McCartney, a great musician and person. Check it out here, on the blog I started today — more than 14 years after I started this blog you’re reading now.


Sunday, April 24, 2022

3 takeaways from having covid-19

I had a mild case of covid-19 this past week. I was stuck at home for a week. I'm fine now. There are 3 thoughts I take away from the experience:

(1) I was glad I'm someone who buys extras of things like food. Some people will act like you're being ridiculous if you stock up, but they're being short-sighted. Sometimes you won't realize what a good idea it was until after you've done it. (See Gretchen Rubin on "over-buyers" vs. "under-buyers.")

(2) I'm part of New York's current increase in covid, which seems to be resulting from covid measures being loosened in the state: people are going around without masks a lot more, restaurants aren't checking if people are vaccinated, etc. This has been leading to more hospitalizations, and if that keeps going up it could prevent people from getting medical treatment even for things that have nothing to do with covid.

(3) I'm so glad I'm vaccinated and boosted! That likely kept my illness as mild as it was — similar to a cold. It's amazing that we live in a time when so much progress on a pandemic is being made so quickly. In past pandemics, it's sometimes taken years before they even figured out what virus was killing people! No other vaccine has ever been developed so soon after a virus was discovered. People get frustrated at the lack of perfect consistency, total certainty, or 100% effectiveness. But that's what science is always like — it's never perfect. We're just not used to living through the scientific process in real time, with this much scrutiny and so much at stake. We should be grateful for what we have, and use it well.

Friday, March 25, 2022

Birthday twins: Aretha Franklin and Elton John

Happy 75th birthday to Elton John! And Aretha Franklin would've turned 80 today.

Here's my 2018 post about Aretha Franklin from 2018, when she died at 76. The post has videos, music … and Elton John's reaction: 

The loss of @ArethaFranklin is a blow for everybody who loves real music: Music from the heart, the soul and the Church. Her voice was unique, her piano playing underrated – she was one of my favourite pianists.… I adored her and worshipped her talent.… We shared the same birthday – and that meant so much to me.

Here's a Facebook post I did about a great Elton John album.

Sunday, February 20, 2022

Give me a Leonard Cohen afterworld…

Kurt Cobain would've turned 55 today. He died at age 27 in 1994.

One of the small joys of being a Nirvana fan is getting to hear him singing my last name in one of their many great songs, "Pennyroyal Tea." (Hearing the sound of your own name has been shown to have a positive effect on the brain.) I like to think Kurt Cobain wrote this poignant line after thinking about the idea of heaven and hell, and deciding he hopes his next life is different from either of those:

Give me a Leonard Cohen afterworld, so I can sigh eternally…

The year after Kurt Cobain died, Leonard Cohen was asked about that line in an MTV interview:

"I'm sorry I couldn't have spoken to the young man," Cohen said of Cobain, recognizing some of his own past excesses in Cobain's downfall. "I see a lot of people at the Zen Center, who have gone through drugs and found a way out that is not just Sunday school. There are always alternatives, and I might have been able to lay something on him. Or maybe not."