Rare, Collectible, & Otherwise

Category: Blog (Page 1 of 153)

The Big Book of Words…

Well… I can finally put to rest all those Beatles’ lyrics I’ve been singing wrong all these years (although some others will remain firmly engrained). As a kid, I used to croon along with Wayne Newton and his hit “Danke Schoen” which I rendered as “Doctor Shame, daaaarling Doctor Shame.”

How was I to know? As of today, I CAN know about Paul McCartney’s lyrics, since he wrote a book about them and it arrived today.


It is a heavy, two-volume set – fortunately arranged in alphabetical order so I can quickly look up the words to those songs I’ve been butchering for so long. (Except “Sun King” and its pseudo-Spanish lyrics, which apparently were written by John Lennon and probably aren’t included in the book. According to a Google query, the verse translates to:

“When for much my love of happy heart, world paparazzi my love green for warm sun, hill as much much that small carousel.”

Which makes as much sense as my request of a Spanish-speaking employee who laughed at my poor language skills and told me I had just asked her: “Would you please drink the trash?” She didn’t.

One of my favorite garble-lyics was that of my stepson (which I likely have mentioned before) – a Tom Petty song “Runnin’ down a Dream. Now it’s stuck in your head, here we go now Running Down the Drain… He sang it with such passion, too.

It’s too bad they didn’t release a CD with the music in the same order as the book. It would almost be like my early years, sitting on the edge of the bed listening to the new album and reading the lyrics on the back of the album cover.

Good times!

Nice little mail surprises!

I didn’t remember ordering a hardcover book, but as I pulled it out of the envelope, that’s exactly what it was. It was a quick glance before recognizing the distinctive cover art of the fiction of Dallas author Taylor Stevens. She had sent along a gift – an older story of hers just finding its way into hardcopy.

Her own story is about as intriguing as the suspense stories she weaves in a couple of different character-driven series, and as I opened the front cover, I was hoping she had signed it.

And there it was.

Ms Stevens was raised in a religious group – some might describe it as a cult – where her duties at a tender age involved begging for money on street corners. The group moved around the world over the years and many of the exotic locations of her youth have been incorporated into the settings of her stories.

You wouldn’t know it by reading her pages, but her writing comes from a self-polished talent. It is hard to imagine being isolated from the media, social interactions, and current events as she was growing up – much less overcoming those blinders-on-the-world to produce relevant works of fiction. She does it well.

The main body of her work involves a female protagonist named Vanessa Michael Munroe, who is succinctly described on the back of the just-received dust jacket: Think Catwoman in plain clothes, Lisbeth Salander sans dragon tattoo. Jack Reacher with an extra x-chromosome. [She] has to be among the cleverest, fightingest, and all-around baddest heroines in contemporary suspense fiction.

The first book in the series has been optioned for film, and I believe James Cameron of Titanic and Avatar movies fame is the interested producer/director.

THE VESSEL is a novella involving the protagonist, that somehow failed to be immediately released in hardcover. It is a nice addition to Ms Stevens’ bibliography, and it just proves that some good things have come to some people during this most consternating of years.

If you haven’t tried her yet, grab a copy of THE INFORMATIONIST and settle in for a page-turning ride that will have you wanting more.

How? Howl-a-peen-yo!

I hope you experienced gardeners will have mercy on a novice who is proud to be able to display results – however puny…

When we were all locked down in our stay-at-home mode, I put some seeds in dirt and added water. Mixed results would be a generous description of the outcome. But – some persisted, and today I thought it looked like the time to do some snipping.

The jalapeno peppers looked bigger when they were still on the plant, but they look like the real thing. The Hungarian peppers look long and lean like they should, but the big tall plant only produced two of them.

Don’t know quite what to think about the fat and stubby cucumber. I thought it should have turned out more like the ones at the store – maybe a tad greener, too. Could have left it on the vine longer I suppose, but I was afraid it might just burst.

Regardless, I am happy about the turnout, no matter the quantity. It proves to me that if things ever turn really dire, with some seeds, and some water, and some sunshine – I’ll starve to death in no time at all.

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