The Invader – #17 —no news is….. and other stuff by tens

… good news. I guess it is. Still having chemo every other week – cancer treatment is STILL no fun, side effects are yucky but it has all become another part of “the routine”, and thankfully, I’m still waking up every day. It seems like I’ll continue to do that for the foreseeable future so I’m good-ish.

Thanking everyone MIGHTILY for the prayers. I can feel them – they are MARVELOUS. Thank you a million times over.

Since I’ve not got loads of exciting/disgusting tales of my health to tell you about, I’m gonna resurrect something I used to do here on de blog years ago (for this week anyway…..), and that is Ten for Tuesday.

It’s a list. On different topics. Happens weekly.

This week’s Ten for Tuesday is ::::drum roll:::::::

Top 10 Albums I Can Listen to Over and Over Without Getting Sick Of Them

In no particular order, TODAY they are:

  1. Kiko – Los Lobos (1992)
  2. Love Yourself: Answer – BTS (2018)
  3. Off the Wall – Michael Jackson (1979)
  4. Part Lies Part Heart Part Truth Part Garbage 1981-2011 – REM (2011)
  5. Underneath – David Wilcox (1999)
  6. Blind Man’s Zoo – 10,000 Maniacs (1989)
  7. Songs in the Key of Life – Stevie Wonder (1976)
  8. Putumayo Presents: Asian Groove – various artists (2007)
  9. The Complete Okeh Sessions – Big Maybelle (1994)
  10. Blessed – Soweto Gospel Choir (2005)

Honorable Mentions –

  • The Very Best of Aretha Franklin
  • A Road Worth Walking Down – Greg Greenway
  • Legend – Bob Marley and the Wailers
  • Hair – Original Broadway Musical soundtrack
  • Outrun the Sky – Lalah Hathaway AND the Song Lives On -Joe Sample & Lalah Hathaway
  • Northwest Passage – Stan Rogers
  • Nightmoves – Kurt Elling
  • J.D. Crowe and the New South (self titled)
  • Zenyatta Mondatta – The Police
  • Life as A House soundtrack – Mark Isham
  • Newman’s Own: Salsa Songs
  • Angel in the House – The Story
  • Putumayo Presents: South Pacific
  • So – Peter Gabriel
  • Pulse: A STOMP Odyssey – various artists
  • anything at all by Bill Withers

I realize that I could write at LEAST a paragraph about each one of these albums….and you have a life, so I won’t do it today. I may decide to string this Ten for Tuesday list out over a bunch of weeks by perhaps writing about 2 or 3 of these on ensuing Tuesdays…..and I *know* I’ve left out so many artists and albums that I consider essential. Heck, there’s not even a single Beatles album in the top ten or the honorable mentions list and that just cannot be right, can it? no Prince, no Elvis Costello, no Sam Cooke, no Cheap Trick, no Shawn Colvin, no Temptations, no Queen Latifah, no David Bowie, no Freddie King, no Robyn, no Missy Elliot, no Donny Hathaway, no Carole King, no Cure, no Memphis Slim, no Joe Jackson, no Eva Cassidy, no Rolling Stones, no Luther Vandross, no Whitney, no Disney, neither James Taylor nor Sandy Denny… so so many are missing, it’s criminal.

I’m not really sure. Why are you reading this? I hope it’s in some way entertaining……

Suffice it to say that I have listened to each one of these albums listed above at LEAST 20 times and some of them many more times than that – to the point that I know every, beat, every word, every note on the silly things. Yes, I have spent ridiculous amount of time listening to music, and there were lots of times I only listened and did nothing else. So there. A lot of these are available on Spotify – not all of them unfortunately – so I guess I’ll make a playlist to share with you.

Too bad the Asian Groove album is not available…I’ve listened to that one countless times…..

And the Honorable Mentions get a Spotify playlist too –

I’m sad that Greg Greenway’s “A Road Worth Walking Down”, “Newman’s Own: Salsa Songs” and “Putumayo Presents: South Pacific” aren’t available on Spotify. Check those out if you ever can.

If you feel like commenting, I’d love to know if any of these are favorites of yours, or what your list would have on it….Love your comments!!!

A Spirited Knitting mini-podcast is online now

Several of you have asked, “What happened?”  I’ve put up a mini-podcast (it’s about 5 minutes long) and I’ll get back to full length episodes in September.

For those you who have never listened to podcasts and don’t really get what they are, let me reassure you that you DO NOT have to have an iPod, smartphone, mp3 player or anything to listen to them – it’s as easy as playing a video on YouTube except it’s audio. Go here:

Spirited Knitting

and click on the little triangle icon. There ya go!

Do you like music?

I certainly hope so. Here’s the email I sent out to some specific people; I thought I’d let you non-specific folks have it too.

(Sent at about 4 am on March 2nd)

Dear ones,

so March 2nd is the beginning of the Baha’i nineteen day fast from sunrise to sunset, and what I’m supposed to be doing is sleeping right now. But I’m not – I’d really like to be, but I can’t seem to sleep. Grrrr….. So. I am making a “mixtape”.

Now, mixtapes *used* to be actual cassette tapes made up of music along a theme…often by dj’s wanting to show off their skills. I’ve not got those kinds of mixing skills, but I do love music….so I’ve shared quite a few tapes over the years. Then I started doing them on the computer and burning CD “mixtapes” and mailing them off to friends all over. I think the last one was probably five or more years ago (“Divine Breezes”? Anyone remember?)

Now, I can still do them on the computer, but NOW all I have to do is put it up on Soundcloud and send you a link. It’s true – you’ll miss out on all the groovy graphics and clever liner notes…but ya get more music. I started thinking about this & had hoped to have this done about a week ago, but as is my usual these days, completely forgot about it until about 8 hours ago.

The first half is going up today; the second in a few days, followed by a complete track listing. Hope you like it. :o)

Click here to download : Spiritual Springtime part the one

April Foolishness and Live Music

So I’m on the mend from all the pneumonia and stuff, my mother has been here and gone – with plans to return on the 6th to help me for the next day’s surgery. So what do I discover?

ON APRIL NINTH – AMOS LEE is performing right here in Huntsville.

Amos Lee

His website where you can hear some of his music

Oh my blessed right knee! I adore AMOS LEE. Hence, the fool that I am, I am actually considering GOING to hear him PLAY. How foolish is this? WAY WAY foolish. Now I know he’ll also be at WorkPlay in B’ham on the 13th, and WorkPlay is one of the best venues I’ve ever seen anybody in….and I will have had a few more days to heal….still it’s probably a bad idea to go, right?

Friends and neighbors, please feel free to tell me how stupid I’m being in the comments. I’m like an addict – I’ve no self control….

(good) Live Music = HAPPINESS

In the last couple of months, I’ve been lucky to see 3 really good live shows: the Soweto Gospel Choir, Ruthie Foster and Shawn Colvin.  Studmuffin came with me to see the Soweto Gospel Choir and Shawn Colvin; both of which took place at the Alys Stephens Center in B’ham. Both shows were terrific performances…but I’m not certain I’ll ever want to go back to that venue…unless it’s for opera or something classical.   It’s a lovely looking place, the acoustics are very good but there’s a very “dead” energy there. The Soweto Gospel Choir had difficulty getting people in the audience to respond to the music with clapping; certainly no one got up to *dance*.  And if they couldn’t do it – NO ONE can.

The Soweto Gospel Choir

We had wonderful seats for the Shawn Colvin concert and she was great, even though she had a cold. Not only can she REALLY sing AND play, but she re-tuned her guitar (a be-yoo-tee-ful Martin) about 5 times to alternate tunings BY EAR.

Shawn Colvin

That was simply (insert yer favorite expletive here) amazing! David Wilcox, another singer-songwriter we are fond of  and uses quite a few alternate tunings, used a nifty tuner attached to his mike stand when we saw him.

The Ruthie Foster show was here in Huntsville at the Merrimack Hall and that was completely delicious. The hall was great and sold out and she was magnificent.

Ruthie Foster

Ruthie Foster is a National TREASURE y’all.

Please please PLEASE go see/hear some live music and soon! Because here’s the equation:

(good) Live Music = HAPPINESS!


Amos Lee

Crossroads Cafe – in Huntsville

Workplay – in Birmingham

Soweto Gospel Choir

Alys Stephens Center – in Birmingham

Shawn Colvin

David Wilcox

Ruthie Foster

Merrimack Hall – in Huntsville

Ten Most Favorite Movie Songs

I thought, “This will be easy….”  and that was 3 hours ago.  I’ma have to divide this into several categories and call these:


First I was thinking in this direction:


  1. Institutionalized – Suicidal Tendencies – “Repo Man”….Talk about capturing the zeitgeist of the moment!
  2. Ain’t Nobody – Chaka Khan – “Breakin'”….This was a sort of a forgettable breakdancing movie – tho’ the dancing was mostly terrific and Ice T is in it, the acting and the story weren’t fab.  What folks DON’T remember is that this monster tour de force of Chaka’s came from the rather excellent soundtrack. Almost this whole song is in the movie and it accompanies a rather tedious “teaching Kelly to dance” sequence.
  3. Try A Little Tenderness – Otis Redding – “Pretty in Pink”….watch the video and feel the love.
  4. Fight the Power – Public Enemy – “Do the Right Thing”….Another zeitgeist moment.
  5. The Banana Boat Song – Harry Belafonte – “Beetlejuice”
  6. His Eye Is On the Sparrow – Tanya Blount & Lauryn Hill – “Sister Act 2″…They totally blew the top of this song; a just-before-the-Fugees-hit Lauryn Hill has a big part in the movie.
  7. You got a friend in me – Randy Newman – “Toy Story”
  8. I Am A Man Of Constant Sorrow – Dan Tyminski -“O Brother Where Are Thou”
  9. Boys Are Back In Town – Thin Lizzy – “A Knight’s Tale”…I started to laugh when I watched the film – I just couldn’t believe they put it in there…it was perfect.    Slide to 1:39 for the clip
  10. Bright Side of Life – Eric Idle – “The Life of Brian”
  11. Tequila – The Champs – “Pee Wee’s Big Adventure”…His last request before the bikers kill him…
  12. As Time Goes By – Dooley Wilson – “Casablanca”
  13. Why – Annie Lennox – “Boys on the Side”…This song is a masterpiece – the whole soundtrack is pretty good and so was the movie…but it could have been great.  It had such potential. :::sigh:::
  14. Oh Yeah – Yello – “The Secret of My Success” & “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”
  15. Slide to 1:40 miss the set-up and just hear the song.

  16. Canned Heat – Jamiroquai – “Napoleon Dynamite”
  17. Lose Yourself – Eminem – “8 Mile”

Then I started thinking about:


  1. The Entertainer – “the Sting”
  2. Rock ‘n’ Roll High School – the Ramones – “Rock ‘n’ Roll High School”
  3. Rock Around the Clock – Bill Haley & the Comets – “Blackboard Jungle”
  4. Born To Be Wild – Steppenwolf – “Easy Rider”
  5. Do You Know Where You’re Going To? -Diana Ross -“Mahogany”
  6. Ode to Billie Joe – Bobbie Gentry – “Ode to Billie Joe”
  7. Evergreen -Barbra Streisand – “A Star Is Born”
  8. Live and Let Die – Paul McCartney,  Goldfinger- Shirley Bassey, Nobody Does It Better – Carly Simon – James Bond 007 movies
  9. Ghostbusters – Ray Parker Jr. – “Ghostbusters”
  10. Up Where We Belong – Joe Cocker & Jennifer Warnes – “An Officer & A Gentleman”

But then I said, “Wait a minute.  What about…?”


  1. THE SOUND OF MUSIC -“Edelweiss”, Do Re Mi”, “So Long, Farewell”
  2. THE WIZARD OF OZ -“Over the Rainbow”, “If I Only Had A Brain”
  3. SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN – “Singin’ In the Rain”, “Good Morning”
  4. THE WIZ- “Ease On Down the Road”, “Don’t Give Me No Bad News”
  6. ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW – “Sweet Transvestite”,”Time Warp”
  7. ALADDIN – “I Can Show You The World”, “One Jump Ahead” (and THE LITTLE MERMAID & THE LION KING)
  9. TOMMY – “Pinball Wizard”
  11. HAIR – “Three Five Zero Zero”, “Easy to Be Hard”, “Frank Mills”

Which led me to:


  1. Star Wars
  2. The Good the Bad & the Ugly
  3. Life as a House – Mark Isham is a bloomin’ genius.
  4. The Pianist
  5. Amadeus – How can you go wrong with Mozart?
  6. Harry Potter
  7. 2001: A Space Odyssey – Not only was Strauss a genius, so was Stanley Kubrick.  I still get chills every time I hear the main theme.
  8. Pink Panther – Henry Mancini – I cannot think of any piece of music that evokes as immediate a mood as this does.
  9. Life Is Beautiful – Not as well known, but truly lovely.
  10. Schindler’s List
  11. Shakespeare In Love

SOME HONORABLE MENTIONS (or stuff that doesn’t fit into the above categories)

  • BLUE VELVET – Angelo Badlamenti at his weird best.  Throw in Bobby Vinton and the most surreal placement of Roy Orbison’s “In Dreams”, it’s simply unnerving.
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas – Both Danny Elfman’s and Tim Burton’s masterwork IMO.
  • 10 Things I Hate About You – Pure fun.
  • Dr. Zhivago – “Somewhere My Love” definitely evokes a mood, but the costumes and the musical arrangments appear very dated to me now.
  • Purple Rain & Batman – Prince is beyond a genius; he’s from another galaxy.
  • The Decline Of Western Civilization – American punk from way before Nirvana.
  • Chariots of Fire & Axel F both win for overexposure.

Just about heartbroken

Last night, here in Silicon Holler, I found out too late that one of my mostest favorite artists was in town playing a show.

The amazing, fantabulous, wonderful Ruthie Foster was at the Merrimack Theater last night and I MISSED IT. I didn’t find out about it until it was too late. PLUS she’s gonna be in downtown Chattanooga TONIGHT doing a free show and I cannot go.

bad word bad word bad word bad word

Life is unfair like that.  BAD WORD!

A fairly strange thing happened…..

Last Friday, the UPS man came by with packages. That in and of itself is not so strange; he often comes by to deliver things and my dog Natasha loves to bark her head off at him and/or the brown UPS truck (she hates them for some reason). So these two big boxes came and I was thinking to myself, “Wow. Your brain is degenerating even faster than you know!” because I couldn’t remember buying that much of anything, like, ever. I do order things and then immediately forget about it but they are small things like a skein of yarn, a book, a cd, etc., and the last thing I remembered ordering was a magazine.

Once I got these large boxes inside, I glanced at the sender’s address: Interweave Press. Well, that whom I had ordered the magazine from! Did I win something? I was a little excited, and so were the kids. Louisa was saying loudly, ‘I thought we didn’t have any money right now!” and I agreed that it was true; cashflow right now is down to a trickle…..

I opened the boxes and found a packing slip: it was almost $500.00 worth of knitting books that was supposed to be sent to a yarn store in Georgia. Ian was all for my looking through the books – there were some in there that I really wanted to see, but I was a good bunny and didn’t. And the magazine that I ordered from them also arrived but in the post.

On Monday, I called Interweave Press and described what had happened. They said they’d arrange to have the “evil brown truck” come back and pick them up in a couple of days, which did happen.

My little devil that sits on my shoulder keeps asking, “What if you hadn’t called them? What if you had kept the books? it wasn’t your mistake,” and so forth. I know what would happen – I wouldn’t be able to sleep and my dishonesty would haunt me for the rest of my life; it’d be like stealing. But I do wonder just a bit; the person I spoke to at IP didn’t even say, “Thank you for your honesty,” or “Sorry for the inconvenience,” or even”Thank you for calling us.” I mean, I did just find almost $500 worth of books and I think I should’ve been thanked….just a little.

It sure was weird to receive those books though. On a practical level, it was a silly shipping mistake, but on a deeper level I wonder why the universe sent that shipment to me?

I must say, tonight I think it was the first time I’ve ever had to cancel choir rehearsal on account of SNOW. Like John Prine says, “It’s a big ole goofy world.”

<cross posted to my LJ (and you can hear the song there too)>