Touch of Grey will, well, touch upon the rainbow that is life. Good music, good times, and good friends combine to make all the splendid colors. Touch of Grey will celebrate this beautiful rainbow.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Somebody Stop Those Escargots!!!

A turtle walks into a sheriff's office.

"I've been attacked by three snails!" he yells.

"Tell me what happened," the sheriff replies.

The turtle shakes his head and says, "I don't all happened so fast..."

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A Love Story

No, not that kind of love story. But a tale of devotion all the same.

Driving home from work this evening, I heard a song I've heard a million times over the years, but today, it just struck home for some reason. I listened, and remembered, and mourned. I mourned the death of radio as we used to know it.

There were once people called, of all things, "disc jockeys", or DJs for short. The best of these could energize a program and make one so excited about the music. After all, the DJ seemed to know your taste and deliver exactly what you were hoping to hear. Heck, you could even call in a request and KNOW that you would hear it. Some DJs could blabber with the best of them, and still others could bring a grin or a tear, sometimes simultaneously. They are all but gone now. And today's radio, what's left of it, is, well....sort of....robotic. No hyper hep cat announcing the latest and greatest hits, no cool dudes to play stacks of wax, no groovy gurus spinning the extended-play platters. I loved them all. I would hide under my bed covers at night with my transistor radio to hear my favorite tunes, promising myself after the next song, I would go to sleep. Well, no, after this song. OK, maybe just another....

And that's all gone.

Do you remember the glory days of AM and FM radio? Do you recall listening on your transistor or your intricate stereo system that took up half the wall in your living room, or on your console TV/eight track player/phonograph? Do you remember your favorite DJs name - Alan Freed, Colonel St. James, Dick Clark, Murray the K? What are your fondest radio remembrances?

Here, I give you the song that has been on my mind all day since hearing it on the way home, the one that started my trip down memory lane (with one of the coolest intros ever), followed by other relevant "radio" songs. So, kick off your high-heeled sneakers and follow me!


See? No static at all!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Not Your Typical Hollywood Ending

There are some movies that defy expectations of the general public and bravely go against convention to wrap up in a way that nobody expects. People like happy endings; I believe that is ingrained in our nature. I'm not talking about twist endings, although there are plenty of those out there. No, I'm talking about movies with endings so devastating, so shatteringly depressing, that one just doesn't know if they could watch the movie again just to be confronted with that ending again.

This topic occurred to me after watching a show I have watched before, albeit my first viewing was decades ago. George Romero's "Night of the Living Dead" is a movie steeped in notorious reputation. I am not in the business of giving away endings here; I vehemently HATE spoilers. I won't tell you what happens at the end; although this movie is so old, I suspect MANY have seen it and know full well how the ending just knocks the breath out of you. It was callous, shocking, and perhaps even a little senseless. It certainly doesn't end the way we would have liked. I had actually forgotten over the years about that ending, and remembered it halfway through the movie as I watched it several nights ago, and when I remembered the ending, it was all I could think about, and that honestly kind of ruined the rest of the movie for me.

Another movie that comes to mind is a lesser-seen movie from a few years ago called "The Pledge", starring Jack Nicholson. I simply cannot take that ending again. It was a very good movie with such a stirring performance from Nicholson that it is worth a second watch except for that ending. Now, I'm not talking about cop-outs or cheats, with an ending that cheapens the rest of the movie by wrapping things up into a neat little bundle. No, this ending, and the one for the "Night of the Living Dead" are perhaps the most truthful endings, the kind of endings that must happen. Even so, I seriously cannot watch "The Pledge" ever again. I just cannot bear the last few minutes.

"District 9" also had a very sad, but I suppose, inevitable ending. It was almost beautiful in its sorrow, but how that beauty hurts.

And, for a final example, an excellent movie called "American History X" starring Edward Norton. This is a tough film to watch throughout, because its depiction of a certain lifestyle is stark, realistic, and makes no apologies. This is one of the most brutally truthful movies you will ever see. But the ending - OH! that ending. It doesn't end the way we wish, but again, the way it must, staying truthful right up to the end. This is the one movie that I must recommend, however, even with the hurtful ending. You MUST see this film, but be warned that it is not for the faint of heart. If you are easily offended, you won't get past the first five minutes. But this is one movie that is worth a watch or ten, even when you know the ending.

What are some movies you have seen that end in a way not expected, and perhaps not wanted? I am sure others have their own films to add here. Or, if you have seen any of the above movies, what do you think? Happy movie watching, kiddies!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Days Like This Should Come With A Warning Label!

Seriously. How much can one chick take?

Workplace woes. Sick kitty in the hospital. Crummy music on the radio. Workplace woes. NOTHING on TV to speak of. Unexpected crises. And workplace woes.

Oh, and did I mention workplace woes?

Some days are just like that, I suppose.

So, how do YOU cope with rotten days. You know, the kind where it seems not only did you get out of the wrong side of the bed, but where you shouldn't have gotten out of bed AT ALL.

You know my answer. Music. Not the crapola I've heard all day on the radio, mind you,  but MY kind of music. That, and good friends. I'm thankful those friends have sturdy shoulders. Those really come in handy.

Share some of your day brighteners here. I would love to hear them!  Whether it's your child's smile, a kind word somebody spoke to you today, whatever. The carrot at the end of my stick is online conversations with friends, playing with my kitties, and being with my fam at the end of the day. I might even try to sneak in a piece of chocolate later.

Hey, I think my day's getting a little better already!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


At the risk of sounding inhospitable, I highly recommend the President of the United States, who would dare purchase Canadian-made buses for his entourage, TAKE OFF!

What a hoser!

Take off, hosehead!!!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Beauty Is in the Eye (and Ear) of the Beholder

A beautiful Sunday. These days of peaceful bliss are rare for me, so I take advantage of them when I can.

I am in the mood today for beauty, so I would like to share some songs that fill that bill. These songs, some of the most beautiful ever made, make me centered, and remind me how wonderful this life is and how lucky I am to have such good friends and family.


Sunday, August 7, 2011

Silver and Gold

This is a repeat of a much earlier blog of mine. I am so fortunate to have good friends, and when they are going through times of trouble, I would give anything to make their day brighter. This time, I dedicate this to a certain "fuzzy" friend, a nautical guide (I'm sailing right behind), and a truly golden gentleman with a lot of "red" thrown in. Y'all know who you are, and you know where I am. You are on my mind. And, as always, the music says it so much better than I can.

FRIENDSHIP. Is there a sweeter word in this whole wide world?  The events of the past week or so have left me believing in the power of friendship. I am reminded of a little song we used to sing in Girl Scouts: Make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold. I have truly begun to understand just how precious friends are as I get older. As life evolves, so do friendships.

Some friends made in childhood last into our later years, while many seem to fall away and are forgotten. The friends we acquire in our teenage years are an integral part of our growing and maturation process, while friends made in our adult years are appreciated with a wisdom and maturity that can only be earned by doing time on this planet Earth. Some friends are like a fragile flower - there when we need them most, but fading from view and our lives as that period of connection gradually morphs into something else. Some friends are like a sturdy oak tree - there for a lifetime to lend support and comfort, and steadfast in their devotion. Finally, some friends are like shooting stars - brilliant in their blaze of glory and blinding in their lifeforce, but just as rapidly burning out as your places in each others' lives seem to change abruptly, leaving you always with memories, and sometimes little else.

I have been so blessed to renew and refresh friendships this week, to enrich new (old) friendships ;) and to also be of service to a friend who needed my help and a kind word just yesterday. I am so fortunate that these people are in my life and consider me their friend. Some of my friends are old buddies from younger school days, and some are current or past co-workers. Some have absolutely nothing to do with either setting, but I am so fortunate to have them all. My wish this year and next is to be the kind of friend to them that they so deserve.

Who do you laugh with? Who knows your deepest, darkest secrets? Who can you count on to indulge your eccentricities and quirks? Sometimes, this can be one person. Or, sometimes, many different people play these roles. If you are blessed enough to have such friends in your life, I invite you to share your memories and gratitude here, and better yet, with that special friend.

The friend who needed a shoulder to lean on yesterday is one of my oldest and dearest friends of over 20 years. There is virtually nothing we wouldn't do for one another, and it is in this devotion that we know we can find comfort. The song "Bridge Over Troubled Water" by the talented duo of Simon and Garfunkel has consequently been on my mind all day long, which suits me fine, since I think it is one of the most beautiful songs ever made. What a tribute to the strength of friendship it is! Do you have a friend that would virtually lay down his or her life for you, and for whom you would do the same in return? For my friend, and for yours, I include this powerful song so that we are reminded of just how rich our lives are because of friends like these.

For all of our friends that know everything about us, that we consider our "best friends" above all others, I give you this wonderful tune by Queen, "You're My Best Friend". I myself have been lucky enough to have many friends throughout the years, some come and some go. But there will always be just one "best friend". She knows more about me than I know about myself, I do believe, and the times we have had are legendary (or, well, maybe we are just legends in our own mind!) I'll bet you have a friend like that, one that you wouldn't trade for all the lead tea in China.

Finally, there are those friends that are just completely comfortable, like an old shoe, but in a good way. They are without guile or agenda, and around when you need them, but never in your hair or on your nerves.....they are the ones that "winter, spring, summer or fall, all you got to do is call", and they'll be there, because "You've Got a Friend". This is the spirit behind Carole King's uplifting song, a tribute to all the people in a person's life that make the world go round (and round, and round). What would we do without our circle of friends, some silver, some gold, but all links in the chain of our lives that makes us richer? I am indeed a wealthy about you?

And, just because I miss Freddie, and some dear friends who lost their battle with AIDS, to this day, I will close with this:       

Because I look, and I find, I still love you.

Friday, August 5, 2011


So this is what I had to do to get a blog posted edgewise on the VicAd website amidst ALL the VA Staff blogs.

I counted a couple days ago, and the recurring theme went something like this: at least 31 of 50 blogs posted of late were by VA staffers, many of them with little to say. And, if you count Uncle History, the unholy alliance of ex- (or something like that) VA denizens, you come up with more like 36.


Just wow.

And now, it seems they are tinkering with their site to accommodate "increased content". I'll give ya three guesses where the "increased content" is coming from.

RIGHT! The staff! Because I can assure you that regular posters, not just myself included, have slacked off on posting, and from my count, non-VA staff blogs have actually decreased.

Meanwhile, many people are complaining that posting time takes longer, and their blogs are disappearing into cyberspace.

Get it right, VA! Either make this a user-friendly site that has not been completely taken over by your so-called "reporters" who call a visit to the Holocaust Museum "Fun" and a man's death caused by a woman's "stilleto" [sic] shoe "just plain awesome" (oh, by the way, that particular reporter is their "Faith" section star) or get off the pot and let somebody else take over the paper and start from scratch.