It’s amazing to me, but looking back over more than a decade of writing I find posts that still impress, with information that is as useful now as when it was written.
Even more amazing, the funny ones are still funny. I lived for 25 years in San Francisco and read the SF Chronicle and Jon Carroll regularly, which is where I learned about Mondegreens. My own personal Mondegreen is the “pickled bass” (i.e., fickele past) in the chorus of Cross Over The Bridge,
Golden Oldies is a collection of some of the best posts during that time.
I thought I’d share some Memorial Day appropriate fun with you today and get serious tomorrow. I’ve written about palindromes (no relation to Sarah) and I’m sure I will again, but today I have three patriotic mondegreens courtesy of Jon Carroll.
In a nutshell, a mondegreen is a mishearing of song lyrics—as you might guess, kids are a great source of them.
The term was coined by Sylvia Wright in 1954 when she wrote about a song she heard as “Ye highlands and ye lowlands/Oh where hae you been/They hae slay the Earl of Murray/And Lady Mondegreen,” only to learn years later that it was actually, “They hae slay the Earl of Murray/And laid him on the green.”
So here are three to help launch your Memorial Day celebration.
I love this first one, it could be the start of a new oath for people who take jobs on Wall Street.“I led the pigeons to the flag” (for “I pledge allegiance…)
Next, is a possible opening line for a song about Congress, “Oh, beautiful, for spaceship guys,” only it might be more accurate if it was ‘oh, beautiul, for spacy guys…’
This final offering has to be the product of a hungry five-year-old, “America, America, God is Chef Boyardee.”
For more mondegreens be sure to use the link above.
The problem is the unchecked proliferation of lionfish in the Atlantic; they are voracious eaters, have no local predators and females can spawn 2 million eggs a year.
Colin Angle, executive chairman of iRobot, a consumer robot company that builds and designs robots, and founder Robots In Service of the Environment (RSE), a nonprofit organization set up to protect the oceans, built a machine named the Guardian specifically designed to hunt and capture lionfish.
He also wants to turn lionfish hunting into an online sport.
“With advances in wireless technology, we can actually have an app where people pay to go hunt lionfish and capture the fish by remotely operating the robot,” he said, adding that, if robots can catch lionfish, a new market in which chefs can turn an environmental hazard into gourmet cuisine might emerge.
I’m not a gamer, but I’d play this one frequently!
So click to donate; think what a difference donating just the value of a week’s worth of Starbucks visits — or more — will make.
Today’s the day and I want to wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving!
I hope you enjoy every minute of it with people you adore and, since holiday calories don’t count, feel free to gobble ‘til you wobble. And…
May your stuffing be tasty
May your turkey plump,
May your potatoes and gravy
Have never a lump.
May your yams be delicious
And your pies take the prize,
And may your Thanksgiving dinner
Stay off your thighs!
That said, Christmas is just around the corner, so the more you farctate today the less you can in December.
I’m a bit ambivalent about Thanksgiving along with many other holidays, such as Mother’s Day. While I understand and even agree with the idea of honoring a certain attitude, it seems hypocritical when it’s done only on that day.
Sadly, many of the people most vocal about a holiday are the same people whose actions during the rest of the year belie their holiday attitudes.
That said, here are my suggestions regarding Thanksgiving.
No matter how bad things are in your corner of the world give thanks that you are alive to read this. As long as you’re breathing you have a shot at changing your circumstances or improving someone else’s.
Several years ago I had a terminally ill friend. Her final Thanksgiving act was to sign papers consigning all her useable body parts to an organ donor program; she died just a few days later.
Her action infuriated her family, but she had made sure they couldn’t stop her choice.
Which brings us to my second suggestion.
Remember the words of Plato, “Always be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle,” and follow the advice of Anne Herbert, “Practice random kindness and senseless acts of beauty” daily.
Get in the habit of doing one small, unplanned thing every day—drop a quarter in an about-to-expire meter; pick up a piece of litter; help someone across the street. Just think of the difference if everyone did just one random act every day.
Have a wonderful day tomorrow and remember this special request from your turkey friends.
From 2006. Food for thought this holiday (AKA Miki’s Rules to Live by 8)
Don’t judge who you were and what you did in the past based on who you are and what you know now.
Think about it.
Everybody knows that hindsight’s 20/20, but that doesn’t stop people from laying a coulda//shoulda/woulda trip on themselves.
Each of us is composed of multiple, past “me-s,” each a different, stand-alone version from the current one.
When you look at past actions (Why did I…) you need to first ask yourself if you made the best decision/action possible based on the information you had at the time in conjunction with the person you were at that time.
If, in fact, you did, then the you you-are-now has no right to judge, i.e., beat up on, the previous you for that decision.
This doesn’t mean that you need to condone everything—today’s you may decide that in the future you should do more research or whatever—but it does preclude you from taking your former self to task.
Thanksgiving is a time when we’re supposed to be thankful, but exactly what you give thanks for is a very private matter—I have one friend who gives thanks for her family, another who gives thanks that her family is far, far away.
So, no matter your age, when giving thanks be sure to include all the past you-s, whether you love ’em or hate ’em, since their very existence guarantees that there will be many more in the future as you continue growing.