My books can be purchased as e-books for only $1.99. If interested, just click here: Books.
Match Play is a golf/suspense novel. Dust of Autumn is a bloody one set in upstate New York. Prairie View is set in South Dakota, with a final scene atop Rattlesnake Butte. Life in the Arbor is a children's book about Rollie Rabbit and his friends (on about a fourth grade level). The Black Widow involves an elaborate extortion scheme. Doggy-Dog World is my memoir. And ES3 is a description of my method for examining English sentence structure.
In case anyone is interested in any of my past posts, an archive list can be found at the bottom of this page.
My newest novel, Happy Valley, can be found here.

Saturday, July 11

Lady Gaga & Netflix Streaming

Last night, Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta—29 years old, known by most of us as Lady Gaga—along with Tony Bennett, showed her stuff on a PBS Great Performances special. And most of the stuff she showed was much quieter and more conventional than what she usually chooses to shock and capture young audiences. Nearly all the songs she and Tony sang are also on the Cheek to Cheek cd they put out last year. I remember how I and most of the audience watching this year’s Academy Awards show were surprised by Lady Gaga’s voice when she did a medley of songs from The Sound of Music. Well, she demonstrated that same voice on this special, giving us studied jazz vocals, exhibiting half a dozen changes of her outfits and hair styles, looking like a combination of Cher and Liza Minnelli. In fact, wearing a huge black Cher wig, she did the old Cher standard, “Bang Bang,” sounding better than Cher ever did. The similarities between Cher and Gaga are noteworthy: both chose to build careers on outlandish outfits and language and song choices. Go to YouTube and watch Cher do “Bang Bang”; then watch Lady Gaga do “Bad Romance.” The two may be forty years apart, but they look and sing almost exactly the same, showing as much flesh as the law allows, bumping and grinding around the stage with their backup dancers. Of the two personas in both cases, I prefer the jazz vocalist Gaga and the Moonstruck Academy Award winning actress Cher over either of the “shock jocks.” When I heard her launch into the opening lines, “I used to visit all the very gay places, those come-what-may places,” I knew I was going to hear one of the all-time great jazz songs, “Lush Life.” Nearly every female jazz singer worth her salt has sung “Lush Life,” but none have ever done it better. Thank you, Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, for showing me a side of you I can admire instead of the wack-job the young folks like. Just listen to what she does with Billy Strayhorn’s song.

I canceled my Netflix cd membership and instead joined the television streaming version. It's hard for me to understand how anyone has enough time to watch all the movies and tv programming that's available through Netfliz and Amazon and other providers. Now I find I can call up almost any old movie I might want to watch or any tv series from the past or present to see what I may have missed. We're looking at the first episodes of Mash, Cheers, Everybody Loves Raymond, and a bunch of others. They're still as funny now as they were when we first saw them. We're also watching the first season of Blue Bloods, most of which we'd never seen. One thing we've noticed is how much bigger a role Det. Abigail Baker (Abigail Hawk) had in the first season compared to what she has in the fourth season. Why? The writers could very easily work her into one or two scripts that center on her. I, for one, would love to see it. The other thing we noticed is that Jamie, now in his fourth year as a beat cop, has never been made a detective like his brother Dannie. Why? He certainly deserves it. Another thing we noticed: that the family almost always has fresh green beans with the meals they share on Sundays. Now that's a dumb thing to notice. We'll watch all the Blue Bloods seasons as fast as we can and see what other oddities we can come up with.
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