Tuesday, October 22, 2019

American Pie Rocktober

A cultural history of rock and roll, the lyrics of Don McLean's American Pie are the subject of much  speculation and debate. I remember reading a long article in the newspaper that explained every reference.  I bought the 45 -- the "A" side contained the first half of the song, and the song continued on the "B" side.

The song was released in 1972, when I was 12.  I was fascinated with the lyrics, and memorized each verse.

 The song was so long that radio DJ's joked about playing it when they needed to take a bathroom break.

I can still sing the whole thing from memory.

Monday, October 21, 2019

A Haunting We Will Go!

So one of the joys of October is a visit to a Haunted House.  Dark corridors, strobe lights, fog machines, loud noises, actors out to scare you, and lots of screaming teenagers...it's like Disneyland for horror movie fans...

One year Drew and I went to the Chamber of Horrors.   Another year we went to the Gateway Theater.

But we've made multiple visits to the Bayville Scream Park  -- in 2009, 2011 and 2015.

And again last Saturday night.

During the summer, the Bayville Adventure Park caters to young children.  Across the street from the public beach, it features miniature golf, climbing apparatus, bumper boats, an arcade, etc.

Come autumn, however...

The park has now expanded to include six different haunted houses, each with its own theme and backstory. Each house requires a separate admission fee. 

Of course, we simply had to see all six houses. Each house takes about 15 minutes to view.  With wait times for each attraction, we spent the entire evening at the park

First there were our old favorites: Bloodworth Manor, where an evil scientist was fixated on reanimating dead bodies.  Uncle Needles Funhouse of Fear, a 3D attraction, features scary clowns.  Evil In The Woods, at the back of the park, has actors chasing guests with "chain saws".  Temple of Terror, which has a theme right out of "The Mummy", was actually kind of lame this year.

They no longer have the Curse of the Zombie Pirates, an attraction that was set up on the miniature golf course: I always felt nervous because the golf holes pose a tripping hazard in the dark.  The golf course is still decorated with a zombie pirate theme, but now you can actually play golf...

The two new attractions are the Bayville Haunted Asylum (medical experiments on unsuspecting patients)  and the Cage (Chemical and Genetic Enhancement, another science experiment gone wrong).


My inner 12 year old is satisfied.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Music Monday

Today we salute Guardians of The Galaxy, the awesome mix tapes...

From volume one:

Spirit in the Sky

Hooked on a Feeling (we used to call it the "ooga chaka song")

And it time to Escape

Moving on the volume two...

A little Fox on the Run.

It's time to Surrender.

We have to include Glen Campbell

And let's close it out with Fleetwood Mac

We won't see the third movie until May 2021...I'm dying here....

A Billy Joel Rocktober

You know that I am a huge fan of my fellow Long Islander, Billy Joel.

When I was in high school I had a teacher, Ms. G.  She was a graduate of Hicksville High School.  Billy Joel was in her graduating class, but she didn't really know him. She told us "He was never in school."  He didn't graduate with his class in 1967, but 50 years later he was invited to address the class of 2017.

Drew actually met Billy Joel before he was famous.  Drew's older sister used to hang out at the Hicksville Sweet Shop, and sometimes she'd let Drew tag along.  Apparently Billy Joel liked to hang out at the Sweet Shop too.

Anyhow, Joel recorded a song that is absolutely perfect for Rocktober.

And now some of my other favorites:

Saturday, October 19, 2019

It's a tropical Rocktober

Drew and I booked a Caribbean cruise for February 2010.  We both celebrate our birthday in February, and thought the cruise would be a great way to celebrate. We'd actually be on board the ship for my birthday.  We were both excited for the tropics.

And when I visited the cruise-oriented message boards, everyone was talking about how Jimmy Buffett music got them into the mood for a tropical vacation.  I wasn't a big Buffett fan, but the idea of tropical rock...

Jimmy Buffett did a concert at Madison Square Garden in November 2009.  Our newspaper ran a contest, and the prize was tickets to Buffett's concert.   I entered the contest. I won!  floor seats!

I've been a a parrothead ever since.

Friday, October 18, 2019

A Total Eclipse of Rocktober

There was this guy I knew in law school...we had a thing for awhile...we went out to celebrate the day he got a job offer from the firm where he is now a partner...and this was on the jukebox.

A blessing in the subway

So this week Jews are celebrating the holiday of Sukkot.

In Biblical times, Sukkot was a pilgrimage festival, a harvest festival where Jews brought fruits to the Temple in Jerusalem.

In modern times, Jews build a temporary hut called a Sukkah,  meant to remind us of the huts our ancestors used while wandering in the desert for 40 years.  Meals are supposed to be eaten in the Sukkah, weather permitting, and some people even sleep in the Sukkah.

There is also the custom of waving the lulav  and etrog.  A lulav is a sort of wand made out of a palm frond woven with myrtle and willow branches.  The etrog is a citron fruit — it looks like a lumpy lemon.

So last night I took the subway from Wall Street to Atlantic Avenue, as I usually do, when I was approached by a Lubavitcher.

Lubavitchers are members of a Hasidic sect.  They proselytize, but only to other (less observant) Jews.  (Like me.)

This gentleman had a lulav and etrog.  He asked if I wanted to recite the blessing.  

You can do that in a moving subway car?

Apparently the answer is “yes”...so I took the items in my hands, and said the appropriate prayer.

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