Inspiration Strikes

So do you ever come up with an idea that demands you drop everything and concentrate on it for a while? At least until you can get the bones of it written down so you don’t lose it. This usually happens to me right before bed so I jot as much down as possible then the next morning I look at it and go ehh, I’ll get to it someday. Today it happened to me in the morning and I went with it.

Instead of concentrating on social media, or my business, or my writing, I got an idea for the mechanics of a card game. The game itself is an idea I came up with a long time ago, but at the time I was driving and didn’t have paper so I forgot the way the game was actually going to be played. Usually my game concepts are not that playable, unless you like to roll dice and move then roll more dice and move again. The idea I had today does sound fun, at least to me, and its theme is not very common. So what the heck, I’m going to make up a dummy version and see if it has potential.

I have no idea why this came to me out of the blue. I haven’t thought about my card game idea in years, but sometimes stuff just appears. Like when you sit down at the piano and instead of singing your usual nonsense lyrics about your cat, Yesterday comes out. Not that I am claiming this is Yesterday, it’s just a card game, but if I can get a few bucks from it, I’m all in.


A Musical List: The most Un-iconic songs to make #1 on the pop charts

Remember when the charts ruled. When everyone was rocking to the same song and blasting it from every car? When the song of summer was a song everyone knew, not just your 8 year old cousin who only listens to Radio Disney.

If you managed to have a song hit number one during this era, you must have hit the jackpot am I right? Not only is your song in every movie about the 60’s but people are naming Julia Roberts movies after it. You’re sitting pretty in every nostalgia diner jukebox, and time-life records are featuring you in every one of their infomercials. That’s prime placement right between the Bosley hair replacement infomercial and the Is Cialis right for you? advertisement.

All because you made it to the top. That’s right number one. Every song who made must be treasured today, or are they. Nope. Here is a list of the ones everyone forgot and the reasons why.

Note: These are all post 1960 because in the 50’s the charts were new and everyone was still trying to figure out how to measure sales. (Either that or people really liked Pat Boone.)

Winchester Cathedral
I have never heard of this one even though it’s from 1966 a year full of #1 hits everyone knows like Good Lovin, Monday Monday, I’m a Believer, and 96 Tears. I don’t think I’ve ever heard it, unless it’s one of those songs where you know the melody but not the name. Like Baker Street. I never knew how that went until I heard it. Oh it’s that early 80’s or late 70’s song with that famous sax solo. Why didn’t you just say that?

Lightning Strikes
This is another one from 1966 they don’t play on Oldies radio. I’m talking about real 50’s/60’s oldies radio by the way, not one of those stations that plays songs from the 60’s up to the 80’s. The eighties will never be oldies. It could be 97 years from now and the 80’s still will not be classified as oldies.

The Ballad of the Green Berets.
Sure whatever. Never heard of this either. I’m guessing it’s some sort of a ballad about Green Berets.

Disco Duck
When I was a kid I lived for a couple of years in Orange County and we could get the LA stations. At the time I thought Rick Dees was just a local DJ. I had no idea that he was a national radio presence and that in the 70’s he reached #1 with a really annoying disco song done in a Donald Duck voice.

Jacob’s Ladder
How do I not remember this Huey Lewis song from 1987. A quick play on youtube and still nothing, and I think I have a copy of their greatest hits. Yet it reached #1. Also it’s not nearly as catchy as Power of Love or any of their other stuff.

Time in a bottle.
I don’t know this song. I hear the words time in a bottle and the song message in a bottle pops in my head because it is actually iconic. I’ll send an sos… Though I think this might be the song they sing in the Hangover 2 movie ads and it’s sort of coming back to me, maybe it is iconic after all.

My Ding-A-Ling. I am sure a lot of real music journalists have had their say about this one. I won’t add anything because I don’t think I have heard the whole thing.

In the year 2525
Is this from a movie or something? I think they made fun of it on Futurama once.

Mr. Custer
OK if you say so. Yet another unknown number 1, this one is from is 1960.

Calcutta, Mother in Law, Wooden Heart, and Wonderland by Night
1961 was apparently a banner year for number ones that nobody has ever heard of. I guess everyone was too busy listening to Peggy Sue and Only the Lonely on the jukebox.

Hello Dolly. Louis Armstrong is awesome but how did this chart in 1964? The same year as Can’t Buy Me Love, come See about Me, and I Get Around. This song is here because it just does not fit in with everything else on the pop charts at the time.

The Stripper. See above. This weird burlesque song just doesn’t fit in with the other songs of the time. I can’t imagine driving around in a 1962 t-bird and hearing this between The Loco-motion and Johnny Angel.

So there you have it. Remember I said un-iconic. It can be embarrassing and awful but still remembered which is why Milli Vanilli, The Macarena and Batdance are not on this list. I stopped around 1996 because that’s when everything seemed to get diversified. Instead of having a hit song you heard everywhere, one week would feature a hip hop song none of the rock fans knew, while the next would have a rock song none of the rap fans knew. Also this is my list based solely on opinion. If The Ballad of the Green Berets is your personal workout jam, I didn’t mean to offend you, okay.

The ONE rule to having a successful potluck.

It’s getting to be party season again and if your friends are as lazy as mine that means potlucks lots and lots of potlucks. So how do you make sure it’s successful? Just follow the golden rule. Thou shalt let people bring what they want to thine potlucketh feast. Yes that means what you think it means . You don’t get to dictate. Leave the micro-managing back at the office, parties are about fun.

Why? You ask? Why can’t I simply require people with the last names A-L  bring a main dish and M-Z bring a dessert or side or drink? It’s unfair to the people with names A thru L that’s why. Especially when you live 45 minutes away, and you show up with some rotisserie chicken that cost 9 bucks and is now cold, while someone who lives around the corner gets to bring a dollars’ worth of generic Oreos simply because their last name is Zelinsky.

Also what if your potluck specialty is fudge and everyone else love the fudge but you are told you can’t bring it because too many people already signed up for desserts. Then you are going to be annoyed that you can’t make your special fudge and everyone at the party will be miffed because all the desserts there are stale fruitcakes, dollar store vanilla wafers and diet sugar free rum raisin yogurt squares. You will not only be bummed that you can’t make fudge when it’s your only chance because you live alone and don’t need a pan of fudge hanging around taunting you at midnight. “Don’t you feel guilty,” They’ll say “You ate 4000 calories of me today, better finish me off right now….”

Then you will subconsciously rebel by bringing warm gas station sushi you bought on the way to the party. After that you will be all screw  it, next time I’m gonna bring what I want. Most people do this anyway. If you are tacky enough to question they will say, Oh I forgot I signed up for 26 layer bean dip, or it turns out I have a string bean intolerance, who knew? Or they ever popular, I thought you meant first names M-Z get to bring something good. It still sucks if your name is Beverly Barnes though.

 So just let people bring what they want. If you have too many desserts order a pizza, or run down to store and get a chicken. Let God, or the universe, or the ghost of Colonel Sanders work it all out for you.  

Your Potluck Party can be a valuable learning experience. If everyone brings one bag of stale Doritos, or the beer that comes in a white can that says Beer on it, maybe you need friends who are less financially strapped. Or maybe people bring crappy food they bought on the way because they are annoyed at you. Stop being a control freak and just be a good friend and watch your potluck plates go from corn nuts to canapés. Or if you want something good and your friends really are that broke provide your own canapés.

Special Note about Theme Parties.

You can suggest that people bring something related the the theme, but if you want at least one dish pertaining to it you need to make it yourself. Example: If you have a St. Patrick’s Day potluck and demand something Irish you are going to get 20 bricks of that Dubliner cheese paired with crackers.


Whole new focus

I have discovered that a blog can’t be sustained just by writing about one topic or one book. (Which you should buy.) So I have a new focus. Funny ramblings and posts featuring more advice and helpful stuff and less sales pitches. (By the way I have a book for sale. Buy it. You know you want to.) So Enjoy.

I might also re-purpose some of my defunct websites and provide them for you reading enjoyment. (No thanks to the web platform Squidoo who would tell William Shakespeare his posts are not high quality and close him down too.  Coming Up: Some great party advice to get you ready for the holiday season.