23 September 2011

Music Video Friday: Stand By R.E.M.

I'm certain that you've heard the news: R.E.M. is calling it quits after over 30 years of music making. I wouldn't call myself a dedicated fan, but I am a fan. I have all of their albums. I enjoy the vast majority of the music they've made. While their post New Adventures in Hi-Fi music was still good, the band called "R.E.M." was over when Bill Berry left. Michael, Peter, and Mike carried on for five more solid albums and 15 more solid years as something that very closely resembled "R.E.M." but not quite.

It's hard for me to pick out just one song to showcase. There are just so many. But the one I've got for you today is up in my Top 10 from the band. It's a bouncy tune with an important message about becoming actively involved "in the place where you live". It's up to you to decide to what degree and in what ways you will be.

And also, dance steps. We could all use a little more exercise, right?

Now face North.

19 September 2011

Happy Pastafaria!

Today be t' Pirate high holy day. It be on this day, among others, that we pay our repects t' his Noodley Greatness in booty and rum. In honour o' me most favourite o' holidays, here be a tune from one o' t' most piratey o' modern pirates. Listen t' him cover a song from one o' t' most landlubbery o' landlubbers. Arrrrrrrrr! And RAmen!

18 September 2011

Death Came Knocking

My neighbor passed away. She rented the unit next to mine from a non-resident owner. Her unit was newly renovated. She moved in a few months ago. She was a 50-something 38 year old woman who took trips for dialysis treatment three times a week. She was on Section 8. She was a smoker who frequently locked herself out of her unit. She had a male friend who visited on multiple occasions. This is all I really know of her.

The smell was noticed on Thursday evening. Her body was discovered on Friday evening, when the MPD and EMS were called in to break into her unit. EMS said that she had been dead for a few days.

Let me explain why there was a day's delay between discovering the smell and breaking into the unit. I cannot think of anyone who has not smelled the distinct scent of rot. It happens all around us every day, mostly in the form of trash that needs taken out. That is the level of stench Thursday night. Everyone who spoke to the police said the same thing, "I smelled it on Thursday night but I thought that someone either needed to take their trash out or had just taken their trash out." On Friday evening, one was smacked with it upon entering the front door. It was gag-enducing. I'm honestly surprised it didn't seep into my unit, either through the wall or under the door. Gag-enducing smells are plenty enough to call the authorities to come break your door down.

Not one of us in the building could name any of her relatives or her male visitor. None of us had a spare key to her unit. None of us had any emergency numbers. Not even the owner was any help. As of Saturday morning, no friends or family members had been identified. No one other than us knows of her death.

I don't really have a life-changing point to make here. I'm simply noting the passing of a neighbor, one I knew very little about.

Well, let me change that. I do have one point. None of us live in a vacuum. It's important to know your neighbors. It's important to know their families. It's important to know their friends. You don't have to be all buddy-buddy, but you do have to know them.

Because you need to know the people you're living around. And you need to know with whom to contact should something horrible happen.

I express my condolences to my neighbor's family and friends. I hope you find out soon and that you find comfort soon after that.

16 September 2011

Music Video Friday: A Roy Orbison Bonanza

He is undeniably one of Rock 'N' Roll's greatest male voices. I've picked four of my favorite Orbison tunes. Enjoy!

Oh, Pretty Woman from Roy Orbison and Friends, A Black and White Night

Crying with k.d. lang

Walk On official video

Not Alone Any More as Lefty Wilbury of the Traveling Wilburys

09 September 2011

Music Video Friday: Stone In Love By Journey

It's raining in the D.C. metropolitan area. It seems like it's been raining for months and will continue to rain for months. Depression is setting in all around me. I'm starting to grow moss in my armpits.

I think it's time for a pick-us-up.

Every once-in-a-while I get infected with an earworm. Some of them are chronic. "Stone In Love" is one of my chronic earworms. Steve Perry's unearthly vocals. Steve Smith's thundering drums. Neal Schon's and Jonathan Cain's powerful guitar work. Ross Valory's grounding bass riff. And the harmonies in the chorus. This is Journey in their chart-topping prime.

Music rarely gets better than this.

Actually, while it may not be better, the current version of Journey with Arnel Pineda at the vocal helm certainly holds its own.

06 September 2011

ZOMG! I'm Being Gentrified!

Development is always something that happens somewhere else, like St. Elizabeths or the Southwest Waterfront or the Navy Yard area. But word came down this weekend that development was coming closer to home ... literally.
[Developer Tim Chapman] said he is under contract to purchase an auto body shop at 1708 Good Hope Road in Southeast D.C., on the border between Anacostia and Fairlawn, that he plans to develop into a 188-unit apartment complex with 25,000 to 30,000 square feet of retail. He would not disclose the price.
I'm of a mixed mind about this. On one hand, we need development (and redevelopment) East of the River, especially if the development includes retail. More, better, housing is always welcome. New retail opportunities are always welcome.

Sidebar: Mr. Chapman has not said whether this would include retail. So there's that. Actually, he did say. It's in the friggin' quote I used from the article. Yes, faithful readers, reading is fundamental.

That said, this development will be displacing, or possibly closing altogether, an excellent auto body shop. I recently needed some auto body work. And since 1) Murphy's is within walking distance of my condo and 2) Murphy's is a GEICO (my insurance company) partner, I went with them. The work was stellar and the customer service was the best I've ever had for auto body work. I was planning on taking my car back to them for additional body work that needs to be done once I had the finances to do so. I can only hope that Murphy's will find a new home and nearby.

Progress is painful. But it is necessary. And it is ... well ... progress. While I will morn the loss of Murphy's Auto Body, I will openly welcome new apartments/condos and (hopefully) retail.