Sunday, October 23, 2011

Will the real Alice Cooper please stand up?

The very first concert I attended was at Blossom Music Center, the year it opened. I won tickets to Judy Collins, so my older sister drove us to Blossom. It was a terrific show. The second concert I attended was Alice Cooper at the Akron Rubber Bowl. My friend Patty called and asked if I would go with her. I told my parents we were going to see some singer named Alice. At the time, I had no clue that Alice Cooper was a bizarre rock band. Color me oh-so-amazed when the performance began!

Of course, my opinion of some idiot prancing around on stage looking like a Halloween freak and calling himself Alice put him in the same category as Tiny Tim. The music was just not my cup of tea.

So when I attended a charity event and had the opportunity to have my picture taken with “Alice Cooper” I quite naturally jumped at the chance. Anyone who has lasted as long as he has in the business can’t be all bad!

Then I decided I should do a little research on the real “Alice Cooper” since I knew little or nothing about the man himself. I discovered a number of truly interesting facts about this long playing musician.
  • His real name is Vincent Damon Furnier. He was born in 1948 in Detroit.
  • The band took on the name Alice Cooper in 1968.
  • He started performing as a solo Alice Cooper in 1975
  • He still pays royalties to the members of the original band for use of the name…enough so that they all live comfortably.
  • He had a run of acute alcoholism but has been rehabilitated and sober for years. He mentors and counsels other addicted musicians who need help.
  • He’s been married since 1976 to a ballerina instructor and choreographer named Sheryl Goddard with whom he has 3 children.
  • He tends to be non-political, but he is a born again Christian.
  • Outside of music, Alice Cooper is an actor, an accomplished golfer, a restaurateur, and a radio DJ.
  • He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011.
  • He hosts an annual charity golf event, the Alice Cooper Celebrity AM Golf Tournament, from which all proceeds go the Solid Rock Foundation, a Christian non-profit organization that helps troubled teens and children. It was formed by Alice Cooper and Chuck Savale in 1995.
And there you have it! The real Alice Cooper isn’t so bad after all. Guess I’ll keep the photo, and maybe even flaunt it a bit!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

A week until Halloween...any costume ideas?

It is that time of year again…the time when sanity hides in the closet while I try to figure out what I can wear to the annual Halloween party this time around. Some of my more memorable outfits I’d rather not don again. One year I went to a party dressed as a can of Pepsi. I won’t go into too many details, but it did involve a bed sheet tacked to my living room wall while I hand painted a Pepsi Logo.

In more recent years, I have gone to parties as a Geisha, a Jawa, and Maleficent (the wonderfully evil queen from Sleeping Beauty). This year I wanted to go as Medusa, but my size sold out quickly and now I actually have to use my imagination to come up with something suitable (and darn if that snake headpiece wasn’t a show stopper!)

Right now, I am open to suggestions. Just remember that in spite of the obvious differences in the aforementioned costumes, they all have one thing in common…body camouflage. I pass on anything sleeveless, backless or showing leg above the knee. This will be subject to change AFTER the circumferential body lift, wing removal, breast reduction, thigh-plasty and neck lift! All those buxom serving wench and French maid costumes will just have to wait until well after all the surgery!

Friday, October 21, 2011

A Tough Week for Wildlife…

Staying within a 30-minute run for a cheetah from the animal compound in Zanesville gives one pause. I was happily ensconced in my rental for the night when the local news came on warning of the major exotic animal release. Law enforcement reacted quickly. It was necessary for them to do so. The farther afield these animals roamed from their habitat, the more danger existed for the public. It was very close to nightfall, and they needed to act before they were unable to see the animals. Tranquilizing was not an option, since animals often run for a bit before dropping, and if they happened to run into brush or woods, might have eluded the officials until the sedation was no longer effective.

I am not in favor of shooting animals, but in this case it was an absolute necessity. The entire blame for this exotic animal slaughter rests on the head of the man who released them. Did he really think that those animals would not be put down the minute the release was noticed? If he loved those animals as much as he claimed, he would have donated them to a zoo, where they could be cared for properly. If he had money issues, as was reported in today’s news, he could have sold them to pay his debts. But releasing dangerous animals on an unsuspecting public was definitely not in the animals’ best interests. I don’t rejoice in this man’s death, but it appears there is one less maniac for the world to tolerate.

Make that two. I certainly don’t rejoice in the death of any human being, but one can only hope that the world will be a better place without Moammar Gadhafi. I do think it is sickening to see video of the final moments, and the absolute celebration of his demise. I am grateful to live in a country where I hope to never see a level of repression so extreme as to incite my fellow Americans to celebrate the death of our former leaders, whether we personally liked or disliked them.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Vitamins are bad for me? Really?

The latest and greatest in research studies, announced this week, is that multivitamins may be dangerous for women. This pronouncement is based on a study of approximately 39,000 women who, since 1989, have taken a multivitamin every day. This observational study found a slightly higher risk of death among women taking dietary supplements, including multivitamins, folic acid, iron and copper.

Let’s hang an overlooked fact out there. The average age of a participant at the beginning of this study was 60. Fast forward…20 years. The average life expectancy in the United States is between 78.5 and 80.2 years. I consider any person who makes it to 80 to be defying the odds. Now explain to me how a slightly elevated risk of death in a group of women whose average age at the end of the study was 80 can be blamed on the vitamins. Maybe we should be blaming advanced age?

I don’t know about you, but I will continue taking my vitamins!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I am an American....

My heritage is Irish, but I was born here. My parents were born here. My grandparents were born here. I was also born and raised Catholic. I am now on the record.
When I vote, I do not vote for someone based on their heritage or their religious beliefs. As I watched the news today, I saw where some supposed Christian preacher called Mitt Romney’s religion a cult. This is obviously a political tactic designed to scare the good Christian voting public.

I am old enough to remember the naysayers loudly warning the public that if John F. Kennedy was elected, the United States would be ruled by the Pope. I have heard some say that if a woman is elected president, the country will be subjected to hormonal swings. I also heard people say that if Obama was elected, the government would be run by everyone from Louis Farrakhan and the NAACP to Islamic Jihadists.
I was too young to vote for Kennedy. Since then, I have voted for both Democrats and Republicans for president, depending on what I perceived as the intelligence and agenda of the candidate and with no thought of ethnicity, gender, or religion. When will people put aside their prejudices and try to take a wider, more objective view of the candidates, leaving religion and ethnicity out of the mix and basing their decisions on what makes sense, rather than on their prejudices?

In a related note, it seems that the Westboro Baptist Church planned to demonstrate at the funeral of Steve Jobs. Evidently they felt he was a horrible sinner because he had a “huge platform” but he “gave God no glory and taught sin” to those using his inventions…which of course he did not really invent, according to the Westboro leadership. Kudos to the Jobs family for having a small private service. I saw no news about a demonstration taking place.

Today on CNN, I watched as someone from Syria went on and on about Steve Jobs being Syrian. Yes his father was Syrian. His mother was American and of Swiss-German heritage. But Steve Jobs, like me, was born an American. It doesn’t matter what his heritage is. He was born here. His mother was born here. Millions of Apple computer users and owners of iPads, iPhones, and every other i-gadget on the market don’t care if his father was Syrian. Steve Jobs was an American in every sense of the word.

What I am wondering is, how many of those who don’t give a damn about Steve Jobs’ father being Syrian, still ascribe to the theory that President Obama is not an American because his father was Muslim and he spent some of his childhood in Indonesia? I say, get over it. The President is as American as you, I, or Steve Jobs. He was born here, his mother was born here.
To those who still hang on to that ridiculous theory, maybe you should be more worried about Steve Jobs’ parentage. It is quite possible that when all is said and done, Steve Jobs’ influence on America and the world may be more far-reaching than President Obama or any other American president in recent history. 

Let that one sink in and swirl around for a while. I’m sure someone out there will be quick to theorize that our whole culture is going down the drain due to Steve’s inventions, and it is surely all part of a Syrian conspiracy!