It’s getting cold outside. Nothing like a little critter loving to keep the nights warm & toasty. Happy December 2012! Last week was the second anniversary that these wonderful doggies were delivered on our doorstep from a Missouri rescue organization. *
Oh, I could smell it in the air, yes sir… Riding the Amtrak rails all day Wednesday with a young woman sitting across the aisle from me blowing her nose 75,000 times and coughing every 4 minutes—without thinking to cover her flap…Thanks so much.
Sure enough, a day later I’ve come down with the black plague. General Fatigue + Enclosed Train + Rude Sick Bitch = Grossness…
Oh, joy… It’s time for a giant bowl of Peanut Butter Captain Crunch and a snuggle with my pillow. Hopefully, Abby & Spencer won’t be so offended as to join me, too. Argh… *
On Monday, friend excursion 2.0, as I met Trix Moose, son Jack and sis Chris for the traditional Ruby Tuesday outing—always a highlight, since a kickin’ salad bar just ain’t to be had in NYC. Didn’t hurt a bit that our waiter Eric was a fetching fellow.
After din din, I was invited to join Trix and Jack—who has suddenly evolved into a high school senior and a handsome 17 year old (I remember when the critter was a roly-poly 9 year old) at their home to decorate the Christmas tree!
That was a spectacular event for meese, since I no longer fix up my apartment in Brooklyn Heights. Now that I’m a bachelor, it’s just not the same to decorate for the holidays for the sake of Abby & Spencer. They’d probably view the tree as a relief post, anyway.
A lovely family holiday celebration, as good as any of the seasonal Hallmark Channel flicks I watched over the past week with my mama. *
Well, isn’t this great… just what we needed. As some folks continue to wait for power and water in New York City—not to mention heat—temps are dipping to 31 degrees tonight… not to mention the possibility of snow Wednesday night. Oh, how I hate cold. How I detest Daylight Saving Time… Winter is here… only eight months to go until the Spring thaw in NYC. Abby & Spencer have the right idea: Hibernate until June. *
With a brief interlude in the persistent but far from heavy rain so far, I ran like a madman to allow Abby & Spencer to do their business one last time today, before the winds pick up enough speed to carry them across the East River. My babies were not amused… During our walk, I got a “WTF?” look from Spencer, just before he took a formidable dump… I think he was offering a strong opinion there. With their
doody duty done, we’re back inside, where I wrapped them up like Christmas presents in a warm afghan. Now they’re happily snoring away. *
While I was down the street selling everything I could heave down from my apartment during ourbuilding’s annual $idewalk $ale, the local Brooklyn Heights Assn. held its 2012 Dog Show amid the fall Summer Space festival on Montague Street. The event included music, games, dance, and restaurant & retailer goodies. During a lull in sales mid-afernoon, I charged up the avenue to shoot some pics for the Brooklyn Heights Blog, and was astonished at the turnout: some 300+ folks and dozens and dozens of pooches.
The Dog Show included some 63 pooches entered in the contest and offered prizes in nine cute categories: Best Treat Catcher, Best Tail Wagger, Best Hairdo, Coolest Ears, Best Trick, Cutest Medium-Big Dog, Most Affectionate, Cutest Small Dog, Dog Who Most Likes The Judges and Best in Show. “Finn” won in three categories: Best In Show, Treat Catcher and Trick.
Is it my imagination, or is Abby wearying of Carly Rae Jepsen’s new Kiss album that I’ve played about 937,891 times (so far) on endless loop? Sorry kiddo, but this uptempo pop explosion is keeping my fingers roaring across the keys, happily working away on a freelance bio… and Spencer seems to be digging it, right? *
Mid-year 2012 is one joyous pop affair for the Taylor Top 25, with fewer maudlin ballads than marked (a rather dismal personal) 2011… At the top is out & proud Aussie cutie Anthony Callea with non-single release “I Don’t Care What You Say” from EP Last To Go. Callea also places ballad “Tangled” at No. 8, easily ranking as the Top Male Act of Mid-Year 2012.
In the runner-up slot is Carly Rae Jepsen‘s ubiquitous “Call Me Maybe,” not only one of the greatest pop anthems in years, but a testament that when Top 40 radio indulges great female pop songs, everybody wins.
Our Top Female Vocalist of the mid-year delivers everything that we love about women singers: robust, beautiful, crisp vocals sans gimmicks… Katharine McPhee has had a minor sprinkling of success on the TTT, but was never really a “wow” artist… until she was cast in NBC’s 2012 series Smash.
She places four songs in the top 25, led by her American Idol shoulda-been victory song from season five, “My Destiny” at No. 3 (she lost to big-ass loser Taylor Hicks, now flipping burgers at Wendy’s in North Dakota). We’re obviously playing catch-up here with this beautiful power ballad.
From there, the Smash soundtrack delivers ballad “Let Me Be Your Star” with co-star Megan Hilty at No. 5, her cover of Christina Aguleira’s “Beautiful” at No. 16, and Ryan Tedder-penned pop/rock/dance dazzler “Touch Me” at No. 25.
We’ve still got a few oh-so-sad songs that I continue to relate to: “Over You” by Miranda Lambert at No. 22 is the ideal, which speaks the hard truth: “You went away, how dare you, I miss you. They say I’ll be okay, but I’m not going to ever get over you…” And Christina Perri, who delivered maudlin “The Lonely” and “Jar of Hearts” to 2011’s top 20, returns with the more optimistic “A Thousand Years” at No. 6, and testy “Arms” at No. 12.
Many of the biggest mainstream hits at U.S. radio this year have been unusually inspired, considering that the airwaves remain 100% controlled by corporate mandate. Gotye, Fun., Jepsen, One Direction and Maroon 5 were all indulged by the powers that be… and are wondrous, memorable hits. I think it goes without saying that no matter how many hits Nicki Minaj has, in 10 years, she’ll be regarded as the MC Hammer of our day. But these other songs will forever remind us where we were, what we were doing, marking time, when we fell in love with them. That is the magic of music. *
1. I Don’t Care What You Say—Anthony Callea
2. Call Me Maybe—Carly Rae Jepsen
3. My Destiny—Katharine McPhee
4. Somebody That I Used To Know—Gotye
5. Let Me Be Your Star—“Smash,” f/Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty
6. A Thousand Years—Christina Perri
7. Dance Again—Jennifer Lopez f/Pitbull
8. Tangled—Anthony Callea
9. Payphone—Maroon 5
10. We Are Young—Fun. f/Janelle Monae
11. What Makes You Beautiful—One Direction
12. Arms—Christina Perri
13. Drive By—Train
14. Want U Back—Cher Lloyd
15. Forgiveness—Sarah McLachlan
16. Beautiful—“Smash” f/Katharine McPhee
17. Blow Me (One Last Kiss) (explicit)—Pink
18. Never Close Our Eyes—Adam Lambert
19. Lights—Ellie Goulding
20. My Kind Of Love—Emeli Sandé
21. How We Do (Party)—Rita Ora
22. Over You—Miranda Lambert
23. Black Heart—Stooshe
24. Good in Goodbye—Carrie Underwood
25. Touch Me—“Smash” f/Katharine McPhee