Is “I’m a Believer” a Perfect Song?

In which I pose a rhetorical question Today is the feast of St. Cecilia, patron of musicians (also poets, less relevant to the forthcoming discussion). On an unrelated-yet-related note, I listen to a podcast called Punch Up the Jam wherein the hosts and guests end each episode by offering an “unpunchable jam”—a song they feelContinue reading “Is “I’m a Believer” a Perfect Song?”

Marie Before Marian

In which I spotlight an entertainer who made (largely untold) history My preexisting plan for this week’s post is serendipitously harmonious given the impending arrival of a Black woman in the White House. Because on this date in 1878, the White House welcomed its first Black musical performer, Marie Selika Williams. Williams, née Smith, wasContinue reading “Marie Before Marian”

38 Things I Love About “New Girl”

In which I take a leaf from a fictional Cece’s book and try being a little spontaneous So in between, you know, momentous global events of late, I am in fact catching the odd episode of a show or two. Having recently finished New Girl (again), I just had to expound on what makes itContinue reading “38 Things I Love About “New Girl””

PSA: USA

In which I say vote, yes For all my talk of immigration and expatriation, I couldn’t have a more opportune moment to speak to an urgent matter in my home country: Please, please, please, please, vote. Tens of millions of Americans have already cast their ballots by mail, at a dropbox, or in person. AtContinue reading “PSA: USA”

Mole Day!

In which I redouble my vain effort to mark time with a chemical interlude “Chemical interlude” sounds like I mean drugs. LOL. Anyway, a happy Mole Day (scientific abbreviation: mol) to all! If you thought you’d never find something non-arts/humanities-based on this blog…well, I’m a multifaceted gal, and this is a legitimate holiday. My observationContinue reading “Mole Day!”

A Far-Too-Close Reading of “Your Song”

In which I, well, never mind This week we arrive at something that has been on my mind all year: the half-century of the release of one of the most special songs in popular music. I’ll execute a smooth transition out of last week by introducing it as the song that prompted Lennon to say,Continue reading “A Far-Too-Close Reading of “Your Song””

80 Years

In which I renew my vows I fell in love with John Lennon a few months after turning thirteen. This might not sound like much to people who grew up in an era when everyone and their cat classified themselves by their favorite Beatle, a question that echoes through subsequent generations. But it was pivotalContinue reading “80 Years”

Write What You Know?

In which I question the sagacity of some so-called sage advice We writers have long had the adage “write what you know” lobbed at us, supposedly an encouragement to use our lives as fodder for crafting powerful stories. I started hearing it soon after expressing any sort of long-term interest in creative writing. It’s beenContinue reading “Write What You Know?”

The Apple of America’s Eye

In which I look at an old legend through a new lens In an example of excellent seasonal timing, today is the historian-approved birth date of John Chapman, better known as Johnny Appleseed. Remember him? The guy who planted all those trees? Yeah, you know him. He was born in 1774 in Leominster, Massachusetts, to…to…youContinue reading “The Apple of America’s Eye”

Girl Next Door

In which I set something straight It came to my attention during a family phone conversation that I have misinterpreted the “girl next door” trope for most of my life. This stock character often appears in visual media as the primary love interest or counterpart (apparently) to the boy next door to her. The premiseContinue reading “Girl Next Door”