The Tuesday Twelve: Music Artists That Should Have Retired Tuesday, Nov 30 2010 

Brett Favre, man. This guy, once a storied “future Hall of Famer,” is now a cautionary tale of pathos and hubris. An individual less self aware could not be found outside of the Montag/Pratt household. Why play into your golden years? Why undo all the good memories of your prime play? Why not take the advice of Jerry Seinfeld and quit when on top?

But this isn’t about the crybaby quarterback. I know a bit about baseball and the 1984 Olympics, but other than that my sports knowledge is stereotypically girly. So take the Favre tale as a metaphor for a topic on which I have a better base of knowledge and a definite opinion — the world of music.

For every Favre or Steve Carlton or Michael Jordan that plays pro sports a little too long, there is a once-iconic rock and roller who loses luster by merely BEING SUCCESSFUL for too damn long. The whole Stones/Beatles debate is a tale for another time, but suffice to say the four lads from Liverpool are in PART “fab” because their time was so fleeting. 1970, they start to enter their 30s, and they’re done. No more new Beatles music. Nothing to kill the sweet taste left in everyone’s proverbial mouths by Abbey Road and SPLHCB.

Then there are Mick and Keith, still strutting around arenas and charging $300 a head despite the fact that all albums in “recent” years (i.e., since 1983) have been non-events at best and lambasted at worst. And in addition to the Stones, there are 11 other artists (and certainly more) that should have quit while they (or he/she) were/was ahead. (more…)

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The Tuesday Twelve: Things For Which I’m Thankful Tuesday, Nov 23 2010 

Yesterday’s 65-degree weather notwithstanding, it’s almost time for Thanksgiving. So in a rare flash of optimism and goodwill, I thought I’d think quickly about what I’m thankful for.  Now of course I am grateful for my family, my relatively decent job, and my friends both new and old, near and far.

I’m glad I have shelter (that is lovelier than I deserve) and nightly food and drink. A closetful of clothes, warm snow boots, ample toothpaste, and all of that stuff that most people I know have without worry and take for granted.

But this list isn’t about all of those super-important things.  It’s about the little things in life I wouldn’t want to live without.  Here are the first 12 of many that crossed my mind.

12. Amazon prime. This was a “free trial” that I forgot to cancel but I have been rewarded by this flash of irresponsibility.  80 bucks a year gets us free two-day shipping on every order?  Such a deal. Comes in handy, well, almost always, but especially when a birthday gift is in danger of being late.

11. The Whole Foods deli. We are fortunate enough to have three grocery stores in walking distance.  The closest of these is Whole Foods, which is all of two blocks northeast. And although I love cooking, it’s nice to know that mere minutes away, is a truly amazing deli.  Six kinds of New York-style pizza, dozens of prepared salads, BBQ’d chicken breasts, enormous panini, sushi rolls. A great shortcut that doesn’t inspire too much guilt.

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