Teach Me To Love - Alleyway - Crime Scene (Vinyl, LP)

We chat along the way, mostly about work, about our respective jobs, and I notice that Jenny is a lovely woman, in a young Debra Messing kind of way. Long, blonde hair, delicate features, creamy complexion. Not built badly, either. A fine armful of a girl, as Uncle Owen would say. Not beautiful, but lovely. Very pretty. We are playing the radio, searching around the dial for something good, and a song by Mariah Carey is on the local Top 40 station.

This, however, is not an appropriate observation for a first date, and so I just smiled silently. I continued to smile and kept my opinion to myself. Okay with you, John? I honestly do forget that I have a first name sometimes. By the time I recovered my wits, we had agreed to sit at the first available table, smoking or non.

Meantime, we sat at the bar, and I ordered my usual date drink, which is a Guinness. They have more bang than a beer and are considered a little less hardcore than whisky, and might even hold you until dinner.

We sipped our drinks and made some conversation about the weather, which was intensely slushy and nasty at the moment, and about the movies -- the usual first date stuff. We drank some more and talked some more, and the little electronic pager went off, telling us our table was ready, and so we found the hostess, who guided us to a table that was smack in the middle of the smoking section.

As we sat down and were presented with menus, Jenny excused herself to the powder room and departed through the blue haze surrounding our table. As I looked over the menu, a waitperson approached with two fresh drinks. Huh, I thought. As long as we are having a good time, I reasoned…. Back to the table came Jenny. Jenny and her freshly lit cigarette.

I knew it was a lame thing to say, but I figured we had got this far with the evening and were having an okay time, and everybody was happy, there was no need to be a jerk about it. I had seen and dealt with worse things. You have to give people a chance. This is usually your first and worst mistake in this situation, though it is usually by no means the last one. Jenny downed the remains of her original drink in one gulp. She then grabbed the fresh drink as if it were the cure for cancer and took three long swallows.

She finished this off with a luxuriant puff on her cigarette, most of which went straight in my face. I was rapidly becoming unimpressed. This date was not going to end well, but God willing, it was going to send soon. I had every intention of feeding this broad, hauling her tipsy, nicotine-addicted ass home and calling it a night.

Well, what could I do? Looking back, I should have just called a cab, sent her inconsiderate ass wheeling home, and gone home to watch basketball and drink beer with Chester. I would have been better off, would have got my laundry done, and would have avoided the entire rest of the evening with Jenny.

You had damn well better appreciate this, dear readers, whoever you are. When she returned to the table some fifteen minutes later, I was aware that she was shitfaced drunk, totally plastered. She could barely walk. Her lip gloss, a too bright vinyl pink, was smeared, her hair, which had looked so soft and touchable earlier in the evening, was shellacked back with what appeared to be Gesso, and there was a raccoonish coat of fresh eyeliner ringing her once blue and now very red and blue eyes.

I summoned my courage. It did a fine job of smothering the small blaze on the tabletop, but the drawstring cinch at its top came open and the contents came tumbling out, including two packs of Camel filters and a pint bottle of Black Velvet with a very loose cap, which of course, came off.

Whisky, cigarettes, lipstick, ragged Kleenex, stray earrings, a few tampons, a small address book and a roll of peppermint Life Savers tumbled to the floor out in a merciless cascade of embarrassment. I was almost glad for Jenny that she was so goddamn smashed. How fucking funny is THAT? I gathered the drunken woman, her sodden purse, jacket and possessions and handed the waiter a fifty dollar bill.

Steering a woman in that condition toward the door of a place she does not wish to leave is no mean feat. No such luck here. Whaddya mean, we gotta leave? What about dinner?

I mean, what the FUCK? I slung her over my shoulder and carried her out of the restaurant, away from the stunned and snickering patrons, a few of whom applauded, and to the relative safety of my truck.

With some difficulty, I managed to maneuver Jenny into an upright position in the passenger seat, and I climbed in and started the truck over her shrieked objections. Just fuckin' picked me up and carried me out of there. That is soooooo sexy, baby.

Midway through this maneuver, she made a noise resembling the firing of a small steam boiler, and abruptly and thoroughly vomited -- all over herself, and all over the newly detailed upholstery of my truck. Jesus Christ in garters. Up to now, I had been the picture of patient chivalry, but my truck! My freshly washed and newly detailed truck! She burst into tears. That was it. This tore it. But I was wrong. As I floored the truck in hopes of getting this daffy broad home and the hell out of my truck, my sight and my future agenda, what should I spy in the rearview mirror but the flashing lights of a Broadview Heights zone car?

I pulled over and showed the cop my ID. The cop let us go with a warning. He did the second worst thing he could have done, though, only exceeded by writing a brother a ticket: he snickered.

Oh, well. I dragged Jenny up the steps to her door and fished her keys out of her purse, carried her inside and laid her down carefully on the bed, on her side to avoid choking.

Just to show what a prince of a guy I am, I very thoughtfully dug in the broom closet for a bucket and left it on the floor beside her lovely head, lest she have need of an emesis basin during the night.

Christ, what a night. And when I got home, there were two messages: one from Grace, and one asking if I could go into work the next day and take a tour for a guy who had the flu. Is it baseball season yet? She tends to bolt and run, especially if she feels pressured. I like to think that in a field of experts, I stand out as one of the all-time virtuosos. I am goddamn Bob Feller throwing a no-hitter when it comes to saying stupid shit that no woman in her right mind can respond to with anything like a positive reply.

But most women will at least take a crack at it. I miss baseball, especially this time of year. Baseball is important to me for many reasons. Some of my earliest, fondest memories center around baseball.

It has consistently, throughout my life, been the one thing I can depend on to pretty much be what it is, what it appears to be and what it promises to be. This has nothing to do with winning or losing, promises of another type entirely.

I am talking about baseball's basic promise: it Is. Strikes and other nonsense notwithstanding, Baseball Is. I remember as a very tiny child, listening to my parents and our friends and relatives discussing the Rocky Colavito trade. I had the sense something happened to someone we knew personally. Those adults, who would later try to drag me to church and civic organizations and teach me manners and compassion, had already accomplished that in part.

They were together, mourning a loss, and determined that one individual's or group's bad behavior in this case the evil manager Frank "Trader" Lane would not determine their overall outlook or their opinion of the institution. It's a long season. When you are exhausted from a long day's work at the steel mill, the railroad or the firehouse or from washing all the work clothes twice -- there was no "extra rinse" cycle in those days -- and hanging baskets of soggy, heavy cotton clothes out to dry -- in those days women didn't need weight training for 'toning' -- when you are exhausted and sore and losing hope for the world's state, it is a good thing to sit on one's LP) on a summer night and talk baseball.

If you minded your manners and got good grades in school, the nuns would tuck a pair of Indians tickets -- box seats! The Tribe gave them to the Diocese, and the Diocese gave them to us. They were printed paper tickets, red or orange, and they were a Sign from Above that good work is rewarded -- maybe not immediately or as specified, but 'if you do A, then B is a reasonable expectation' -- another lesson baseball taught me early.

You would bug your dad every day from school's closing to game day. Then, when the big day came, you would climb into the passenger seat of the '59 Oldsmobile, Da at the wheel, and wave as solemnly to the neighborhood kids as if you were a head of state being chauffered. You'd go down to the game, and the Indians would of course not win, but your old man would buy you Sno-Kones and hot dogs and peanuts and lemonade, and he would drink several waxed paper cup beers, and you would get to watch the names you heard on the radio actually working in the field, and it would be wonderful.

It was like proof the saints existed or something. Duke Sims, Leon Wagner, and the heartbreaking Sudden Sam McDowell, all there in living color, just as you had heard of them on the radio and watched them on the old black and white Philco with the foil on the antenna. It was as close to proof of the existence of something greater as some of us got, and there you were at your Dad's side, taking it all in.

Summer evenings, when my Dad worked overtime or night shifts or was out with the boys, my mother and we kids would listen to baseball on the radio. Ma was always busy with something -- painting a porch, repairing cabinets, stripping varnish from woodwork -- and baseball was her background noise. It was usually the Indians, but she wasn't averse to listening to a Reds game if we could pick one up -- growing up in rural Indiana, she was a big-time Reds fan too.

So Ma would work, and baseball would be on the radio, and we would "help" by getting in her way, or we would sit on the porch playing with cars and trucks, or Kevin would come over, or my older brothers would be hanging out with their friends, and we would listen to the Indians and to Herb Score.

Wounded by a wild ball at the height of his career, Score went on to become one of Cleveland baseball's most beloved voices. So, right there, I learned multitasking, the virtue of keeping one's mind engaged while working, and, from Score, that a career-ending injury can be the start of something else. All my life, baseball has been there. It was the only 'date' on which I really felt comfortable during my adolescence because I knew and understood what was going on, there was something to talk about, and we were in a public place and out in the sun.

Movies and other indoors entertainments were not as enjoyable -- I had LP) make small talk and had to pray I didn't make a complete klutz of myself, such as a gangly, tall guy like myself does at dances and miniature golf.

If I could talk a girl into going to a baseball game, though, she was on MY territory, baby, and confidence was mine. Plus the likelihood of her old man suspecting me of being an axe murderer, a pimp or a Communist was considerably lessened.

When later in life I went through some troubles, I could always count on listening to a baseball game to make me feel better. It was a combination of happy childhood memories, the orderly predictability of nine innings and 27 outs in most cases, and enough flexibility that it didn't always happen that way, thus keeping it interesting.

When Grace was going through her first divorce, and she would come over, there was nothing unaffordable, immoral or challenging about our sitting at my wobbly wooden kitchen table, swigging beers and listening to the '86 Indians take a worse trouncing than even we had taken in our personal lives. And there was always the remarkable Tom Candiotti to remind you that even in the worst of times, there is something to look forward to. Baseball is a constant down at 19, too. Sitting around the firehouse listening to baseball, out on the concrete apron on a summer evening watching the girls go by, drinking lemonade or occasionally some beer somebody sneaks into the house -- well, there is nothing better than that.

That and watching the poor goddamn cadets polishing the engine while we sit there on our webbed folding aluminum lawn chairs, telling them they missed a spot. Through all the ups and downs of my life, baseball has been a constant. I do not admire the way it has become a money sport, and I do not like the crybabies.

But I have a feeling that just as music survived disco, the Church survived Vatican II and fashion survived the '80's, baseball will endure. It HAS to, for Christ's sake. I am not going to die, happy or otherwise, unless Cleveland wins a Series in my lifetime, and nobody wants a year-old grouch hanging around.

Well, anyway. I gotta go get ready to pick up Jenny. I hope we have fun tonight. Okay, I am going to try to have a positive attitude here. Maybe Jenny will be all right. New season, fresh start. Of course, I have to be optimistic. Last night we had a couple of standard runs to factories for accidentally tripped alarms, and we also had a small apartment fire with no injuries and only one unit involved, so life is good.

I am going home in about an hour to take care of the house, of Chester, the no-good cat, and to get a head start on the landscaping leads for the coming spring. It's not too cold, about 45 degrees F outside, and there's a nice February mix of sun and clouds.

Can't complain, wouldn't do any good, as the old saw goes. No reason to, really. It's kind of odd being home in the middle of the week sometimes. It's like you're out of step with the rest of the world.

I am headed home on the freeway at an hour when most people are headed off to work. I like that feeling. It's almost as if I'm playing hooky in a way, even though I just put in a twenty-four hour tour.

I have always liked going against the grain, so I suppose in many ways this job is a natural. Firefighters do a lot of things in their lives the opposite way of the rest of the world. When I get home, Chester will be waiting for me with a sob story of how terribly he's missed me and how cruelly his world has treated him, how he has done nothing but sit by the window and cry throughout the lonely hours.

This is mostly bullshit. I know it and he knows it. He's a cat. A big, fat, lazy ginger tomcat who was on life number eight when I pulled him out of the alley behind the firehouse and brought him home with me.

Chester's life prior to our acquaintance consisted mostly of scrounging from garbage cans and dumpsters, fighting other male cats, and servicing all the female cats in the neighborhood. That and spraying like a mad bastard. Amazingly enough, that stopped after he was neutered.

For some reason, even though I had the vet take a chop at Chester's package and deprived him of his harem, he has not been angry enough with me to spray my house. Gratitude, I guess. This isn't the story with the other cat, the firehouse cat. We keep him around because he is a good ratter and mouser, because he is friendly, and because he can be good company when he's not in a biting and fighting mood. We took him down to the Animal Protective League and had him neutered too, just because it's a healthier thing for them -- keeps them from wanting to fight and roam.

My sister Katie has a bunch of cats, and this is what she says, so we did it. Katie is on a first name basis with the docs down at the APL, and they gave us a two-for-one special on Chester and the firehouse cat. This cat, however, rather than being grateful that he will spend his days being fed and cared for, developed an attitude.

Derrico says he doesn't blame him; if somebody took a whack at our testicles, we'd be in none too shiny and happy a mood either, and I suppose put that way, it makes sense. But the only place in the firehouse that this cat is allowed is on the apparatus floor, where there are hoses and drains. This is because he can spray at a greater Teach Me To Love - Alleyway - Crime Scene (Vinyl, at greater volume, and with greater gusto than any animal I have ever seen.

This is how he got his name, "Seagrave". A standard Seagrave engine can pump about gallons of water a minute. I would say that Seagrave would give Engine 19 a run for its money. I have seen him hit moving targets from a good twenty feet away. We had a Lieutenant who didn't like Seagrave. Lieu would aim a boot at him every chance he got.

Seagrave appreciates subtlety and paybacks -- a legacy of his years on the street. So he waited until Lieu was having a conversation with the Batallion Chief after inspection one morning, took aim from across the apparatus floor and doused him across the back of his dress jacket. Lieu jumped a few feet, whirled and dodged. Seagrave wasn't finished. He let Lieu have it right across the shirt front, finishing up with a good blast to the eye.

OUTTA here! Sully, let's get this bastard! Lieu dove under the ladder trying to grab him and came up with a handful of nothing. The Chief was laughing like hell. I was laughing like hell. Derrico was practically in hysterics.

Lieu was as red as 19 and probably a little louder than its siren. Bones was standing in the office doorway, shaking silently with mirth, tears in the corners of his eyes. Cullen came in from the yard, where he had been doing a little work on the flagpole lanyard, sized up the situation and dove into the kitchen lest Lieu see him laughing. A couple of other guys, McCann and Williams, were in the kitchen and immediately called the guys over at 43 to let them in on the hilarity.

Good sports reporting requires a color commentator, and we could hear McCann's detailed description: "Yeah Lieu was screamin' like a woman, I tell ya We like him pretty well, a little better than the old Lieu. We've never had a really bad one in all the years I've been with 19, but let's just say that Walsh is a little more flexible and a little less likely to become flustered at an unexpected apparatus malfunction. This morning I expect to go home and feed Chester, change his litterbox, do a little laundry, pay some bills and catch up on correspondence.

I'm sure there will be a bunch of messages on my machine. There's a girl I was really hoping to take out for Valentine's Day -- since I will be working, it will have to be before or after that.

She works second shift at Metro Hospital, so she'll probably understand. I met her in the ER at Metro when I was on a medical run. The EMT's didn't take the run because it was a minor emergency -- some guy was choking on a fish bone, had since dislodged it and was now just being transported for evaluation and a possible psych eval as well -- my work calls for such heroism sometimes -- and she was on the admissions desk.

Her name's Jenny -- really pretty girl, smart, good sense of humor. Our patient was obviously going ot pull through, which left us a little time to talk while doing the paperwork. Turns out her brother and my brother Mike worked with the same PAL softball league.

We hit it off, at any rate, and it will be nice to have a date with somebody who actually understands the complications of working emergency services for the city. I've been getting a little tired lately of girls who get mad at me because I have to work weekends.

Anyway, I think this morning I will avoid the stop at the Tap House on the way home. As I said, there's something fun about going against the grain, and sitting in my favorite bar on a Wednesday morning drinking beer and watching the rest of the world speed off to work is kind of funny.

It's like that Sheryl Crow song about the people drinking across from the car wash. And really, that is all I want to do today is have some fun. But I have bills and house chores, and I am pretty sure I will need to get some serious quality sleep if I am planning a date with Jenny -- I'm sure we'll be out late.

I just wonder what it was that Grace wanted when she stopped by last night. I really want to call her, but I'm afraid to. What can it all mean that she's not married any more?

And what is it that she could possibly find so important to talk about after all these years? I'm curious, but, and I hate to admit this, I'm also afraid. A conversation with Grace is always a can of worms -- I have never known a woman who can say more in less time, nor one who could start more trouble,internally and externally, with a few simple declarative sentences.

Still, we have known each other many years, and one of the hallmarks of our relationship is that no matter what kind of dealings have gone before, we remain friends always. We Teach Me To Love - Alleyway - Crime Scene (Vinyl always been there for each other, sometimes in the most unlikely of circumstances, and if Grace needs to talk, then we are going to talk. I have never forgotten that Grace was there for me when my little brother Paulie died, back when we were kids, and that she understood in a way that none of the adults were able to just what was going on inside me.

I know she'd say I owe her nothing for that, but I will always be grateful. And when Grace's brother, Sean, was killed in Viet Nam a year after that, I clumsily tried to return the favor. I don't know if I was a comfort to her, but it seems to me that at times when nothing that can be said makes sense, the greatest comfort anyone can be is to be there for you. Also, when Grace came back home after her divorce form Seanny's father, she leaned on me in ways that neither of us ha forgotten -- I don't think they ever had much of a marriage, and I don't think Grace had ever experienced much happiness in an adult relationship, and, well, we taught each other a lot.

During the days after Grace's divorce, we cried together a lot, sometimes for sadness at the bittersweetness of it all, but also sometimes for pure joy. For Grace, the experience of joy is not a simple thing; her joy is transcendent almost in the religious sense.

We share a powerful bond, Grace and I. I owe it to her not to leave her waiting to hear from me. Still, this is going to be difficult, especially after so long a time, and especially knowing that she must be going through more trials, seeing as she made the remark about not being married any more.

We shall see, I suppose. I am very nearly out of here. I can hear the B-shifters rolling in for their briefing now. I need to make sure that I stop on the way home and get some Pounce treats for Chester and maybe a cold half-rack of beer. And laundry soap. Always laundry soap. I suppose I could pick up some actual food, too, though I am not too fond of cooking for one.

Maybe I will grab a couple of steaks for the grill. Grace likes steak What am I thinking? Beer for one, steak for one, and Pounce for Chester. That's the list. At least, for now. More later, I suppose. Always more later. I think that's what I want on my headstone. Take care and stay safe 'til God wills we meet again, as Uncle Owen would say.

A lot of people think being a firefighter is an exciting life. Much of this is because when you see a TV show or movie about firefighters, it focuses on the action. Fairly or not, people get the idea that we are constantly racing around, responding to third, fourth and fifth alarm situations, rushing from one exciting conflagration to the next. They see us as heroes, warriors, gladiators in the Teach Me To Love - Alleyway - Crime Scene (Vinyl against the Red Devil.

We would love it if this were the case, if we were given this much opportunity to be useful, but unfortunately, it's not. A lot of firehouse life is just like your own life at home only more so, as Yogi Berra might say.

We live together, eat together, sleep under the same roof, all one big happy and occasionally slightly cranky family. Since we work in twenty-four hour shifts, that's a lot of hours logged together.

Out of each twenty-four hour shift, our engine company will get an average of between twenty and thirty calls a shift. Of those calls, on a busy night for our house, two or three might be what we call working fires, blazes that require a certain amount of throwing our backs into it. Of the rest, there will be freeway accidents, medical calls and about ten will be false alarms. Most of these are accidentally tripped alarms at businesses and residences.

Not many people these days pull false alarms for the fun of it, because it carries substantial penalties. Takeaways in Hull The popular YouTuber announced some positive news after losing his wife earlier this year. Instagram The show has attracted millions of viewers. Hull mums Teach Me To Love - Alleyway - Crime Scene (Vinyl the struggles of being a working parent Real Life Are working mums getting paid enough to make a profit? Two women raped on Hull streets within days as police issue major update Humberside Police The police had released a CCTV image of a man in relation to one 'serious incident' on Drypool Bridge.

Paramedics rush to Hull factory after 'serious injury involving saw' Yorkshire Ambulance Service. New mum's fears for her baby girl after tap water runs yellow People. Disqualified driver arrested after cocaine test, say police Humberside Police Police learned that the driver was also disqualified.

Hull City Centre. Hull has one of the cheapest car parks in the UK for hour parking Transport. History Museums New funding for heritage centres to get more people through the doors. Politics Museums New funding for heritage centres to get more people through the doors. Boris Johnson. Crime Missing people Police 'extremely concerned' for missing man last seen driving towards Hull. Frightened parents say schools are no longer telling them about classroom Covid cases Covid Advertorial Grab your place at the Sirius Academy North and Sirius Academy West open evenings Education Meet the teachers inspiring your child every step of the way of their education journey and chat to the students at the very heart of the school.

However, Devin played it conservatively by ordering General Tso's chicken, and, since he wanted to share, I settled for sesame chicken. I really didn't expect to, but I was surprised by how much I liked the museum, which is divided into 5 sections on 3 floors: The Notorious History of Crime Punishment: The Consequences of Crime Crime Fighting Crime Scene Investigation America's Most Wanted Studio Since the museum is the city's 2nd newest major attraction the 1st being the recently dedicated memorial to Martin Luther Kingthere are numerous interactive exhibits.

For example, I learned I didn't know as much as I thought I knew about celebrity crime by playing a match the celebrity with their crime game. I also learned that Devin would probably be a wiser companion than me in the event of a terrorist attack. At the computerized shooting range, he was able to fire 7 shots with 3 hits and 2 kills in the seconds allotted. I got off 5 shots with 3 hits and 1 kill. However, I think I am a better driver since Devin crashed his computerized car in a driving test.

After the crime museum, we headed up and across the street to the temporary exhibit and gift shop for the proposed National Law Enforcement Museum, which is scheduled to open in DC in For our final stop, we boarded the Metro and headed to the 4-story Fashion Centre Mall at Pentagon City so Devin could check out the stores and Uncle David could buy him a replacement battery at the Verizon store for his Android phone.

Tales, Tidbits, and Traveling Tips: Since my wife and I have such different tastes, we have, for years, scheduled what we jokingly call his or her vacations on alternating years.

And I have come to value her choices Alaska, Africa, Tahiti etc. The same was true with Devin's plans today. Every non-rainy afternoon, walking back to the Metro station after consulting at Dunbar High School, I would come across the elderly black gentleman with a white beard and colorful baseball cap sitting on the bench outside his 4th Street row home. Sometimes, he would be holding court with 1 or 2 others. Other times he was alone.

But there was always a smile and some kind of friendly greeting. Today's salutation was "have a great rest of the day. You mean like Larry Bird the basketball player? Wanting to show my respect, I asked Bird if I should call him Mr. Bird or Larry. He had moved back to Washington at the request of his son, who didn't like the quality of life his father was experiencing in New Rochelle, New York.

Bird's son, who owns an impressive bed-and-breakfast inn just across the street, said he would feel better if his father were closer.

There's something about Bird's appearance that is remindful of an older, more sagacious Garret Morris, the former Saturday Night Live star who now has a recurring role in the new CBS's comedy 2 Broke Girls.

He's a survivor. He has survived 2 wars, 2 wives and 89 years of living. He says he is legally blind, an impairment that is the result of diabetes. But he considers his diminished eyesight a blessing. Several years ago, he attended a health fair at the nearby convention center.

Given that he was used to working with large groups of people, he helped the nurses organize the people at the event. Bird, what can we do for you? I went to the doctor. He gave me a stress test. He said 'Mr. Bird, don't plan on going home tonight. Sometimes it is an action. Sometimes it's something someone says. Sometimes, it is message in a piece of writing. For his part, Bird says he has been living his life for many years around the advice contained in Max Ehrman's poem "Desiderata.

He hands me the paperbacks at his side. The complex titles hint at religion, philosophy, helping others, and self-awareness. Bird says that when he got back from the war he realized he had to consider a career. He thought about becoming a fireman or a policeman. Someone suggested education.

Bird began classes and a an early instructor didn't think Bird had what it would take. For 3 years running, I was the number one student in the program," Bird said, a hint of deserved pride in his voice. After finishing schooling, Bird began teaching geography in DC for about 20 years.

Geography is about people and what they have around them and how that shapes how they live". That was followed by several years working with dropout youth in New Rochelle.

Tuesday, November 8, Gazing on a Sunny Afternoon. But on this particular beautiful, warm November day and all too aware that more such days won't be coming again until next SpringI decided to extend my walk through DC. Vernon Square district that borders the massive convention center. Continuing on, I entered the Chinatown section, passing the ornate gate that symbolizes the area. Side note here: It's not the best idea to walk past 3 of your favorite restaurants when you are really hungry.

Turning right, I walked through the fountains of the Navy Memorial and past the National Archives, the depository of America's founding documents such as the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Crossing Constitution Avenue, I kept the car-crowded underpass for on my left and headed for the National Mall, emerging directly across from the Hirschhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.

In the middle of the Mall, I paused to take in what is one of my favorite views in all the world. The Capitol Dome to my left; the towering Washington Monument to my right, surrounded by all the marvels housed in the Smithsonian Museums.

As I watched, a plane on its way to a landing at Reagan National Airport continued its descent directly behind the Monument. Pushing on past the National Carousel which I first rode as a young child on a visit to DC with my parentsI headed down the escalator of the Smithsonian Metro Station to pick up the Blue Line train which would take me home to Crystal City. You know trains, and cars, and buses, and planes may be faster, but whenever possible I still think walking is the best means of transportation ever invented.

And besides all the sites I encountered, my walk would allow me to enjoy a second helping of the mashed potatoes my wife had prepared for dinner. Take public transit if you have to go far distances, but walk whenever you can.

That's the best not to mention the cheapest way to really take in the sights, sounds, and smells. Revolutionary Reading.

It was a beautiful, warm American Autumn day in DC. Some were cleaning up the area. Others were engaging visitors in spirited talk about the group's aims and the state of the nation. Some were simply sunning themselves as they watched a professional film crew and several of the curious capture the growing, bright-tented encampment in pictures.

At the camp's large main tent, a trio of Occupiers sat behind a long table lined with information and handouts, ready to answer questions from the curious. A young, well-dressed couple approached. The response came from the oldest of the trio, who, with his open-necked dress shirt and sports jacket, resembled a casual college professor prepared to deliver an informal out-door lecture. Oh yeah, a scrum. We're all going to pile together one on top of the other, huddle close, and then get covered with a big tarp and wait until spring.

Hopefully that will keep us all all right," he said with a chuckle. Then, turning more serious, he added, "Something like this has never been tried in Washington before. But we're staying. The people are with us. And that gives us hope. It was one of the most disturbing art images I had ever encountered, chilling in simplicity, large in scope, horrifying in its implications, powerful in its message.

Hanging from the foot high ceiling of the brightly-lit rotunda was a piece of huge, thick rope. At the bottom end was a tightly wound noose. The rope was dropped in the middle of 9 oak stools formed in a perfect circle.

On top of each of the stools was a white pointed hood like those worn by the Ku Klux Klan. The 2 eye holes for each KKK hood were pointed inward creating a circle of eerie, blank, vacant stares forever focused on the dangling noose.

The only words in the room were on a card that explained the installation, created inwas entitled Duck, Duck Noose an obvious play on the children's game "Duck, Duck Goose" by Gary Simmons.

On one wall, was a giant vertical photo of 2 young, muscular black youths at the playground, one trying to dunk a basketball through a noose and the other trying to stop the move. Nearby was the work entitled "From Cain't See in the Morning to Cain't See at Night" in which a hunched-over cotton picker in a field of white cotton finds himself head to head with a prepared-to-rush football lineman in an almost identical posture. Thomas' thought-provoking "From Cain't See It explores how each artist reckons with the notion of black identity in America, navigating such concerns as the struggle for civil rights, popular culture, and media imagery.

At the same time, it highlights artistic legacy and influence, tracing subject matter and formal strategies across generations," the program website explains. Tales, Tidbits, and Traveling Tales The Corcoran is well aware of the provocative nature of its current exhibition.

A sign at the entrance desk states" "Visitor discretion is advised. Some content in 30 Americans may not be appropriate for all audiences. But I think this is one of those must-see exhibits. A major role of art is to make us think. But don't take my word for it. See the exhibit for yourself. But be prepared for some powerful thinking prompted by some powerful images. Sly and his family get down and get funky When David Dorfman first saw Sly and the Family Stone as a university freshman inhe probably never expected to create an entire modern jazz show around Mr.

Sylvester Stewart' music. But more than 30 years later he did. And tonight, Dorfman and his talented 8-member national dance company performed that show to a sold-out crowd at the American Dance Institute here. The show, entitled Prophets of Funk, sort of impressionistically hints at the story of Sly and his group from their first 60s hits to their explosion on the stage at Woodstock Sly exhorting the crowd to "let me take you higher" is one of the seminal moments of that period to his tragic slide into the wasteland of heroin addiction.

But tonight's performance was not about the down side of Sly's story; it was a celebration of the force of one man's music - a man who for a magical period of time created music powerful enough to force people to dance, but introspective enough to make them reflect on the rapidly changing world around them.

Indeed, it was a high time. Sly's hair, styled in a massive Afro, was high. Sly himself, fueled by chemicals rather than the soul inherent in his music, was constantly high. But, despite those personal demons, Sly was still able to make much of America, even those who rejected drugs, high on his music. No where was that more apparent last night than in the 2-song encore where cast members plunged into the audience to grab members to share their booty-shaking moves on stage to the beat of "Dance to the Music" and "Everyday People.

Dance is meant to be seen, to be experienced, not to be written about. So suffice it to say that Dorfman's production is a much more funkified version of the Age of Aquarius play Hairwith more dancing and less singing. And, oh yeah, there are clips of Sly and his Family displayed on the giant screen behind the dancers.

But, with all the energy and talent moving enthusiastically and entrancingly on stage, I must admit that the screen support was reduced to an enhancing after-thought. Dancing the Degas Way. Coping with a Before and an After.

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  1. I love all the tracks, but standouts for me are “All You Need is Now,” “Girl Panic!,” “Mediterranea” and “Leave a Light On.” These were all so much fun to play and help write, and “Mediterranea” was a particularly special moment for me live with the extended guitar solo.

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