Category Archives: Music

That tocking metronome

I live roughly eleven inches from the practice field for the Bishop Watterson Marching Eagles. All that stands between us is my front yard, the alley that passes as our street, backyards, a row of houses, a proper street, a small parking lot, and the practicing Eagles football team. See, eleven inches.

2016-02-01-om-43-mark-abel-52360The Marching Eagles practice with a monstrous, heavily-amplified metronome. It just tocks away there, forcing glockenspiels into line. I don’t mind the band itself; if the wind is right –and they’ve been practicing –I can make out what the song is. Apparently Katy Perry’s Roar has become a marching band staple. But beneath that all is the metronome drilling down. I never got to the point in my musical career where a metronome was needed, or deemed expendable enough. My theory on how they work is that they emit a noxious tock that will burrow right through the eardrum down to the spinal cord and then out to every last nerve… The only way to rid your body of this marauder is to do its bidding: You must toot, bang, or glocken that thing you’re holding. Do it now! Do it correctly, and the tock will seem like it’s not there. At least for that round.

Block out enough tocks for enough hours, and you’re a musician. I guess that’s how it works. Continue reading That tocking metronome

Advertisements

Choosing songs for your Dismal Day: A countdown.

Go ahead and admit it, you’re really feeling down today. Just let it wash over you. Go with it. There’s no shame in having a little free-floating depression. I know… I been blessed with a brain that cycles in and out of an unmoored depression on a daily basis.

I want to help you with your Dismal Day. My advice for you is to listen to some music. “Wow, what a facile suggestion, Chris. Gee, thanks,” you’re saying now as you put your ear buds in.

Stop before you hit random and sink into the couch.

You can’t just hit random.

At least not right off the bat. Curating a depression playlist is one of the most important tasks to make the most of your Dismal Day. I know for me that listening to music is, on some of the worst days, all I have. Choosing those songs not only occupies my brain away from the dark thoughts, the songs themselves can focus my attention away from “What’s the fuck with your life, Chris?” to “What’s the Frequency Kenneth?”

Or any other of the billions of questions that song lyrics bring up. That’s my universal bit of advice. Find something with lyrics. Listening closely and actively to the lyrics is the best medicine for shutting down that little hamster on a Mobius Strip that your brain’s become today.

I’m not going to offer up specific songs except by means of example. My taste in music is not going to match up with yours. Do what you will with the specific examples I’m tossing off below –focus instead on the wayfinding aspects. I guarantee you that, while curated music may not lift you out, it’ll stop you from sinking deeper.

#5

Songs that take you back to a specific time and place. It goes without saying that this place should be a happy place, a place you felt welcome. Try to choose as specific a memory as possible, one not saddled with a lot of baggage. I would steer away from the song you danced to at your prom if, let’s say, she ripped your heart out later. So “Sister Christian” by Night Ranger is off my list.

But… “You Got Another Thing Comin’” by Judas Priest does the trick because I have this very pleasant memory snippet of dancing with Amy Burns to it at a post-game sock-hop junior year of high school. After two years at this school, I had finally worked up the nerve to attend a game and a sock-hop. We were just bopping on the dance floor, and, when we got to the chorus, Amy screamed it at the top of her lungs, poking her finger into my chest to the beat. Weird yes, but I finally felt I belonged at Dublin High.

Or maybe you remember the first time you heard the song. My favorite pop song of all time, and one that I always turn to when I’m down, is “Bad Time” by Grand Funk Railroad. This is not because it’s the “best” pop song ever. It’s because the first time I heard it I was curled up in the back seat of my parents car driving back to our house on Long Island after a fun day in Manhattan. We had seen Grease on Broadway and eaten in fancy French restaurant where I serenaded the table by playing the crystal water glasses. As the notes poured out of WABC-77AM, I felt safe, warm, and, most of all, sophisticated. It’s that feeling I return to whenever I hear “Bad Time.”

#4

Songs from when you first realized you were “different.” Yes, as shown above, some songs can engender a warm, fuzzy sense of belonging. However, if you’re compiling a playlist to listen to on a Dismal Day, chances are you’re not feeling like you belong anywhere. So why not drill down into that feeling of alienation with some selections from when you first felt like you didn’t belong. We all had that time, usually around the age of 12 or 13, when we first turned to music to express our butt-hurt at the horrible, epoch-shattering injustices that were being heaped upon us. Today’s problems may seem insurmountable, but 12 year old you’s problems got solved. Go back to what got you through that.

I repeatedly choose “The Logical Song” by Supertramp. My mom and dad had “tricked” me into going to a private school just as I was starting to settle in, after three years, into the public school where I was. “Just take the entrance exam. If you pass it, we’ll know you’re getting a good education in the Virginia Beach Schools.” How could I have fallen for that? It’s not the angriest sounding song, but, again, listen to the lyrics and imagine how deep and angsty they sounded to a 12 year old in my situation.

#3

In for a penny, in for a pound: Really, really depressing songs. Just go for it. You’re depressed today. Embrace it. Wallow in it. Spread it all over you like off-brand suntan lotion from the Family Dollar.

Now this requires a little pre-planning. Have a few of these types of songs ready to cue up before the day gets dark. You definitely don’t want to be digging around trying to find sad songs when you’re already sad. It’s the emotional equivalent of hunting for a flashlight in the basement after the lights go out and the ice weasels come.

“I’ve Been Destroyed” by Mantler (or Marker Starling). You’ve never heard this song before, but it’s a doozy.

“Alone Again, Naturally” by Gilbert O’ Sullivan. Sadness doesn’t need to be obscure: Number one for six weeks in 1972. Fifth most popular song of the 1970s.

Remember, a song doesn’t have to sound sad to be sad. Perhaps the artist met an untimely fate. “Valerie Loves Me” by Material Issue sounds upbeat… until you find out that the lead singer took his own life five years after this song came out, reportedly over a relationship gone bad. This song now serves to remind me that I will not go down this path. Dig out your favorite rock n roll cautionary tale and give it a spin; it’ll do more than you think.

#2

Find some well-curated nostalgia. By now you’ve figure out that I’m not a big fan of discovering new music when you’re depressed. That new song will cuneiform onto your brain in this delicate state, and when you hear it at a future date, it will bring you back to this Dismal Day. Instead, take advantage of the amazing streaming universe in which we now live.

  • Remember an old peppy song, search for it on YouTube, and, when you find the video, click on the “Mix” choice. It works surprisingly well, and as a bonus, you occasionally get amazing videos to watch. I’ve been feeding off of “Heavenly Pop Hit” by the New Zealand pop band The Chills for three days now.
  • Your iTunes still has a mess of streaming radio stations. They never took those away thru the various iterations of the platform. There are literally hundreds of stations that play nothing but songs from the 1960s/70s/80s/90s. That should come as no surprise. But today, why not mix it up a bit? Shift a decade out of your comfort zone. Or maybe listen to a station from Germany or France. After all, there’s only so many times you can hear “Come On Eileen.”
  • I’m a complete chart nerd, and I listen old recordings of Casey Kasem’s American Top 40 each weekend morning, the times I’m most likely to wake up depressed –one from the 80s on Saturday morning and one from the 70s on Sundays. Casey was a treasure, and I’m not ashamed to say I cried a few years ago when he passed away (and his wife stole his corpse) (Links to an external site.). Casey should appeal to two aspects of your Dismal Day: First, a sense of order. You need order today to keep your mind occupied. Second, Casey doesn’t judge. All songs are equal in his velvety voice; he only cares about the numbers and the trivia. You can find old broadcasts of AT40 by downloading either the TuneIn or iHeartRadio apps and searching for “American Top 40 the 70s [or 80s].” Furthermore, the iHeartRadio app has a dedicated station that plays nothing but AT40s.

#1

Pretend you’re singing. I know it’s too much to ask that one ask you to sing, much less dance, when you’re this depressed. But maybe you can pretend to sing. Find some songs that you’ve always pictured yourself singing. I don’t mean in the shower; I mean singing instead of the artist who does it now. For example, whenever I hear Oasis’ “Morning Glory” it’s not Liam Gallagher singing it’s me. And you know what? I rock.

I also rock when I’m Billy Ocean…

And when I’m Paul McCartney…

So now, go inside, curl up, and find some music because you know what, too?

You rock.

Phil Collins needs a hug… and I’m the guy to give it to him.

The Facebook message from my friend, and fellow chart nerd, Martin read, “This anti-Phil Collins shit pisses me off.” Another friend had posted a link to a petition site that was running one entitled “We demand that Phil Collins stay retired…”

Yes, after a decade of physical and emotional misery that would crush a lesser man, Phil Collins wants to come out of retirement and record and tour again. According to Rolling Stone Phil says “The horse is out of the stable and I’m raring to go.”

This is awesome news!

But this cretinous petition goes on, “We think that there’s enough misery and depression in the world, and now is not the time to threaten anyone’s mental well being…”

First of all… the only person allowed to misuse ellipses like that is myself… Continue reading Phil Collins needs a hug… and I’m the guy to give it to him.

Der Schlaf Krieg: Fighting, to get some sleep

zzzzpanzerOne of the more exciting symptoms of having the bipolars is the inability to get anything out of your head. I often refer to my brain as a Mobius Strip because no matter how far I follow a thought, how much I think I turn it over, I always end up back at the beginning. Then I repeat. They can be profound, or they can be mundane. What they all have in common is presence:

  • Why didn’t [insert friend here] return that text? Is [insert friend here] mad at me? What did I do to piss off [insert friend here]? Why do I even have friends? I certainly don’t deserve them.
  • How am I ever going to find a job? How will I explain all the holes in my resume because of the bipolars? You’ve made a mess of your finances? You’re gonna end up homeless or made into Soylent Green. If there’s ever medical rationing, I definitely won’t qualify for
  • Why don’t people ever play Elton John’s “Your Sister Can’t Twist (But She Can Rock ‘n Roll)” and “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting” off of Goodbye Yellow Brick Road together when it’s obvious from the album that they are meant to be played together? There’s no space between them on the album. What’s wrong with people? Is this why people never let you DJ? Your taste in music sucks, and people are just being nice when they don’t point that out.
  • Is the cat mad at me?
  • They’re really gonna screw up that X-Files reboot, aren’t they.
  • Did I talk to my stepmom enough before she died? I know I could’ve done more.

The upshot is that I more often than not I just lay in bed, upsetting the cat by not slumbering. Yes, the cat is mad at me. The cat is always mad at me; she bites my toes to punish me for not sleeping. My brain punishes me for not thinking.

I lay looking up at the ceiling, the patterns in the spackle forming islands and cows and mocking popes. And the tiny ambient noises – traffic, the house settling, some animal scurrying in the woods –organize themselves into whispers that offer rebuttals to the thoughts running thru my head. “When have you ever heard those two songs played together except on the album? No one likes it when you DJ.”

Ambien and NyQuil lose their effectiveness after a few days, plus you don’t ever want NyQuil to lose its effectiveness. I’ve tried white noise machines and such, but I begin to hear patterns forming which keep me awake. And, of course, there’s music, but music makes me think. “Seriously, they’re one song! They should be played as such!”

But a couple years ago, I discovered the one thing that did the trick: WORLD WAR II Continue reading Der Schlaf Krieg: Fighting, to get some sleep

Photo 101, Day Six: Connect & Tags

Roots and Runners: Keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars…

I chose today’s subjects because today –June 15, 2015 –marks the first anniversary of a great man’s passing. There have been very few public personalities for whom, upon hearing of their death, I wept. Casey Kasem was one of them. He made me the music fan I am today. He taught me that all music was equal and deserved at least one listen. He taught me not to judge other peoples tastes [Well, not too harshly. But, c’mon gays, you can do a lot better. I know you can.] He taught me that no one doesn’t like having chart trivia spewed at them for no good reason. Each Saturday morning I listen to a re-broadcast of an AT40 from the 80s and one from the 70s on Sundays. I am a complete chart nerd!

I wrote many words about him last year when his crazy wife Jean stole his body.

So I felt the best way to honor the man was to feature things that keep their feet on the ground and some other things that keep reaching for the stars. Yeah, it’s totally contrived and hokey, but it’s my Long Distance Dedication.

Photo 101, Day One: “Home”

[For WordPress’ ‘Photo 101’ course, I will be posting an assignment a day for the next thirty days. This is the first]

kimottomanKim’s Ottoman

When I first got Kim eight and half years ago, it was to solve a problem. My previous companion, Sam The AIDS Cat, had finally succumbed to his condition. He may have been a very sick cat, but he was a good mouser. You need a good mouser when you live next to a large construction site in Manhattan. Guy would lay out five for me on a good night in the doorway between the kitchen and the living room. When he passed, I told myself I would mourn for a couple months. But the mice kept coming.

The last straw was when two scampered up onto the above ottoman AND IGNORED ME. Being ignored by a mouse is a soul-crushing experience. I needed something to wipe those smug arrogant grins off their faces.

The next day I poked my head into the vet’s office that occupied the ground floor of my building, and I saw this beautiful Tortie with the most ethereal green eyes in the adoption cages. I went over and offered two fingers for her to sniff.

Bitch bit me.

“Don’t worry,” said the vet tech. “She’s a sweetheart… just makes a lousy first impression. All Torties have something slightly off about them. Has something to do with that mutation on X-chromosome that gives them their coloring.”

A paw came out from between the bars to swat me. “I don’t know.”

“Please consider her. She doesn’t have many more chances left. She’s been in a cage her whole life.”

The cat looked at me with murder in her eyes. “What’s her name?”

“Felicity.”

“Well, that’s sucks.” I put my finger back in. She nuzzled for a microsecond then chomped down. But there was a purr in the chomp, not a hiss. “I’ll take her, but I’m not calling her Felicity.”

After filling out the requisite forms, the tech told me I could pick her up in a couple hours. I went back upstairs. I had the satellite radio on, and Dirty Boots by Sonic Youth came on. And who’s cooler than Sonic Youth’s queen bee, Kim Gordon? No one. Felicity would now be Kim.

It was lonely with Kim at first. She hid under my bed for the first several weeks, but at least the mice stayed away because of her scent or maybe her bad attitude. Then one night I was watching a special on Chernobyl twenty years later. Apparently the place is overrun by radioactive feral cats. There was a lot of cat noises coming from the speakers. This piqued Kim’s interest, and she ventured out from the bedroom to see what the fuss was about. Without paying me a lick of attention, she hopped up on the ottoman. After about five minutes of me sitting in absolute silence she turned around and meowed at me.

She has been one with the ottoman ever since. It is her scratching post and her throne. It is were she demands spankings –a friend into the leather lifestyle opined that we had a classic S&M relationship. It is where she relaxes enough to show her belly. It is where she bites the shit out of my arm.

The ottoman is now in the guest bedroom of my sister’s home in Columbus. Things got tough towards the end of my time in NYC, and Kim was what kept me tethered to this earth. Only one piece of furniture was special enough to ride in the car out to Ohio, not in the moving van.

Her home marks my home.

SONG MENTIONED:

Grindrin’ and Growlrin’ Me Down

[In which I apparently date incorrectly]

My delete screen from Growlr.
My delete screen from Growlr.

I went and checked out a different bar in Columbus Thursday night. I didn’t bring my book into the bar. This was new territory, and I didn’t know if it would have a good place to flash the glittery raccoon. [No, this is not a euphemism. Click on a link once in a while, people.] Needless to say, I was bored almost immediately. So, out came the phone. Thank god for Instagram and the endless twiddle-worthiness of its filters, or I would’ve been tempted to re-up with any one of the several “location-based dating apps” that used to litter my phone. I cannot go back to having things on my phone that make me feel bad about myself. That’s what the rear-facing camera is for.

A few weeks prior to my move from Brooklyn to Columbus, I deleted my profiles in those various apps and sites that supposedly would help me find a geographically convenient guy with whom to do anatomically inconvenient things. They go by names like Scruff, Manhunt, Recon, Grindr, Growlr, Lepr, Regrettr, Alienatr, etc. It’s too easy to just mindlessly scroll thru the endless parade of thumbnail photos of body parts, judging people based on pictures smaller than one-inch square. And if I’m judging, I know I’m being judged right back.

In all of these, I am very specific that I am not interested in a random hook-up. I need some connection before the depravity begins. I also add something along the lines of: “There is no greater aphrodisiac than a complete sentence.”

So, I would obsessively flip between the apps, allowing that weird repetitive behavior aspect that’s somehow part of my bipolar to take over. Of course I never actually initiate contact with people because then they might actually respond. So I wait. The replies of course are slow to come in because, despite my childlike demeanor and that cement truck full of Just For Men I regularly back up onto my face, I refuse to lie about my age.

But eventually replies trickle in. Continue reading Grindrin’ and Growlrin’ Me Down

Reading Books in Bars with Bears

bearmontage2 copy

It’s going to take me a few words and sentences of ever-so-pertinent background until I get to the part where I actually read a book in a bar. You’ll probably also notice, if you notice these types of things, that this is the first post since mid-February. There’s been a massive amount of writer’s block –even grocery lists were an exercise in futility. I punched myself in the head a lot. Literally. It’s a lousy coping mechanism, but at least it doesn’t work.

I always forget what reading and feeling on the same wavelength of a book can do to get one writing again. A good and museful friend who works at a major publishing house located in an architecturally significant triangular building sent me an advanced reading copy of an upcoming book from an author whom I’m admire but am not allowed mention because it’s not my place to promote this book. Also, my good and museful fears that the great and powerful editor of this book will hurl him from the roof of this architecturally significant triangular building if I reveal the name of the author.

This book has made me [adverbially] happy and has given me a “Hey let’s turn the barn into a stage and put on a SHOW!” attitude towards writing. Plus the heady scent of the cheap Scholastic Books paper on which they print advanced reading copies has fired up my wordy part of my brain stem.

And the author of the above-not-mentioned book does this kind of preamble stuff, and it works for them. So, consider the previous couple of paragraphs homage.

At the beginning of April I moved back to my hometown of Columbus to live with my sister for a while. The bipolar had been acting up for quite a while my last months in Brooklyn. Nothing made sense; everything made noise. There seemed no escape. Suicides were being planned. In the lead was a very Romantic one to be held in Green-Wood Cemetery that involved finding a tombstone with the right combo of a funny 19th century name like Hortense and an angel decaying in a pleasing manner.

However, I decided that offing myself was not really fair to the cat. Yeah, yeah, and loved ones, too. But, really the cat. Like her owner, she’s kind of obese, middle-aged, and makes a lousy first impression. A death sentence for me would’ve been a death sentence for her. Yet, the status quo could not remain. When your cat is your most definite connection to this mortal coil, maybe it’s time for a change.

My first thought when I moved to Ohio was that I was going to live some sort of monastic lifestyle. I dwelled on the disconnect: How I missed my friends in NYC; how people on a certain location-based “dating” app think phonetically typing out animalistic grunting noises counts as a complete sentence; how pedestrians are invisible to most drivers in Columbus; and how crappy that online writing workshop I signed up for through [insert name of oh-so-creatively named nonfiction magazine here] turned out to be. But when I found myself four thousand words into an essay I had titled “The Ouroboros of Disconnect,” I figured it was time for a change. Stuff was just happening TO me –sometimes even AT me. That’s not the formula for interesting wordsmithing. Besides, I couldn’t figure out a way to end the piece.

Get it? Yeah, it was four thousand words of ouroboros metaphors. And puns. Ouroboring!

Stop it!

So, I made a decision to seek out connection. During all this disconnect, I have come to the conclusion that I am not, in fact, an introvert. I am an extrovert with crippling social anxiety. I draw energy from people, yet I don’t understand how one is expected to deal with them. Continue reading Reading Books in Bars with Bears

Last 1973 a D.J. Saved My Life. [Part #1: Introduction; Dad]

Recently I made what I trust is a correct decision and opted against that suicide I was planning. [Don’t worry; everything’s great now, even if everything still sucks.] I cannot possibly overstate to you one factor in my decision: I have serious reservations about the availability of popular music in the afterlife, be it as cherub or as wormfood. I would miss music too much.

This close call has led me to think a lot of grateful thoughts about how music got to be such an integral part of my life.

It always knocks me slightly off kilter to walk into someone’s place and not hear music. Why don’t they have music on? They’re just walking around their apartment in silence? Is their version of silence actually silent? They have to have voices like everyone else, right? I would kill to swap the voices in my head with the voices in their head for five minutes. How can these people walk around not wanting to have the voices in their heads silenced? Do their voices tell them things like “You’re lookin’ swell today, Greg! Keep up the good work!”? When they close their eyes do they see one of those old Successories™ posters from the 90s? Do they recite to themselves that “Footprints in the Sand” tale?

My voices say things like, “You know you’ll be first on the conveyor belt when they start up the Soylent Green factories. Let better people snack on you.” I could try to drown that out with “Footprints in the Sand,” but that story just reminds me that the middle toe on my left foot has been hurting for weeks now. I assume it will need to be amputated. That’s why I always have music on whenever I can help it. Right now it’s the “Mellow New Years” playlist and The Posies’ version of “O-o-h Child.”

As a lot of bipolar folks will tell you, our minds tend to wander. Music is a low fence that keeps me from sauntering out of the yard and into dark traffic. Eventually I get back to the task at hand.

As soon as I got a radio in my room around the age of 8 or so, it went on, and it stayed on. The only reason I ever turned it off was I was leaving the room, and I only did that grudgingly because President Ford told us to. I would lay awake at night tuning in far away AM stations, feeling an electricity whenever I tuned in a station that began not with a boring W, but with the exotic K or even the weird-tingly-feeling causing C. Even in far away Canada they listen to the same music we do. Somewhere, some other kid was listening to “Kung Fu Fighting” at the exact same time. I’ll take connection where I can get it. Continue reading Last 1973 a D.J. Saved My Life. [Part #1: Introduction; Dad]

Rockstar Christmas (Complete with Pyrotechnics)

tumblr_mf19kfaPgj1rb6o14

[Two years ago, I devoted a Tumblr called $1.98 Advent Calendar from the C-Town to the cause of taking the Baby Jesus on adventures thru the City… plus what was going on back at the mangerplus what candy I got that day… You should check it out.  In addition to these regular features, which will remain there, I am moving a few longer essays over to this site for safe-keeping.]

In the past few days, people have begun posting all sorts of Christmas music on to the Facebook.  I hide them from my feed.  Not that I don’t like Christmas music; I just don’t like other people’s Christmas music.  Christmas songs hit me right in the lizard part of my brain stem.  They are tied to some of my earliest memories, so it’s really hard for me to accept anything new into there.

A lot of the ones in my feed seem to fit a Venn Diagram mapping the overlap between “gay-ish icon” and “carol.”  I’m sure that YouTube clip of Klaus Nomi doing something to “Silent Night” is neat, but it pollutes “Silent Night” to me.  “Silent Night” is the sound of my music box bell; it is the sound of my brother-in-law, the Rev. Larry, asking the congregation if “we might hum a verse.”  I do not want Klaus Nomi in my brain stem.

One song that is forever lodged in my brain stem.  It’s “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” not just any version.  It has to be the version found on the 8-Track of Vol. 6 of WT Grant’s “A Very Merry Christmas.”  (This was one of 4 8 Tracks we had —the others are a Ray Coniff Singers compilation, “Tapesty,” and “Catch Bull at Four.”)  To me, it wasn’t Christmas until I saw that chubby girl on the front look longingly at the shiny bell.  It strikes me now as foolish to let a toddler play with glass ornaments, but, hey, nothing bad ever happens at Christmas.  The 8 Track format was perfect for my small hands; put the peg in the hole, and you have music…

And when “Twelve” came on, my sisters and I would go into action.  We danced about, re-enacting each of the days.  By day 12, it was a cross between The Supremes, Fosse, and The Chicken Dance.  I was a transcendent Lord-a-Leaping.  Day #1 was the best because we all got to be Partidges.  Not the fat bird —real honest-a-goodness Partridges.  We all would stand there and shred air guitars like The Partridge Family was Sabbath.  Added bonus:  I was not forced to “play” drums like my namesake on the show.  We all got to share in the Yuletide joy of being rockstars.

One time, our parents were out at bowling, so it must’ve been a Monday.  My dad, who worked in the restaurant business for WT Grant, where we got the tape, would sometimes receive “experimental” kitchen appliances.  One such contraption was an avocado green vertical broiler/toaster.  We slapped some bread in there, hit the button, and the bread started to broil.  But our song was coming on, and as everyone knows, it’s a pain in the ass to “rewind” an 8 Track.  So we HAD TO DANCE.  We were on Day 11.  I had just executed the complex transition from leaping to milking when we smelled smoke.  We ran into the kitchen to see flames shooting out of the experimental vertical broiler/toaster and licking the cabinets above.  I took charge of the situation and continued running through the kitchen, into the dining room, then past the tree in the living room, and out the front door to the opening strains of “Joy to the World.”  I did not stop running in my bare feet —and screaming —until I got to the hydrant.  Then it was just screaming.

But even that cannot dampen my enthusiasm for that song.  The order of the days may be non-standard (our Lords are at #9), but it’s my Christmas song.