Hey, Mom! The Explanation.

Here's the permanent dedicated link to my first Hey, Mom! post and the explanation of the feature it contains.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #146 - - St. Andrews-1


Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #146 - St. Andrews-1

Hi Mom,

Quickie post today as I am hammered with work and quite a bit under the weather, causing me to write this from the future, Thursday to be exact.

This is a picture of the gate at St. John's College, part of University of St. Andrews in Scotland, which preserves the contribution of St. Mary's College to Scottish theology and church life.

"In Principio Erat Verbum" originates in the gospel of St John, 1.1, and its English translation is "In the beginning was the word."

I am feeling a bit grandiose today.

This is one of my favorite pictures taken during our Scotland trip earlier this year.

Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you.

Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.

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- Days ago = 148 days ago


- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1511.30 - 10:10
and again 1512.03 - 8:08

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #145 - Playing D&D


Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #145 - Playing D&D

Hi Mom,

Okay, actually, PATHFINDER, not D&D. Pretty much D&D, but geekier.

So, I played Pathfinder today, Sunday, and I am now writing this from the future.

I have a crew of guys I know from K-College and WMU and a GM who I met through a friend of my wife's plus one guy I met via the co-op. Quite the hodge of podge but a good crew nonetheless.

We had not played since April, so we were all very rusty and it showed. Our of almost 25 adventures, this was our first failure. We botched it pretty badly, and I did most of the key botching. But we all had fun and scratched the gamer itch a bit with our play.

I know this is not of great interest to you, Mom, though you always supportive of my playing this game and hosted a few sessions, especially near the tail end of high school, including my very first ever game with Steve Curl.

But for other readers, Pathfinder is basically just a revised version of the 3.5 edition of Dungeons and Dragons, published by TSR. In 1997 Wizards of the Coast bought TSR, and in 2003, it issued the game as "open license," meaning that other companies or individuals could release products related to its latest 3.5 version of the game. In 2009, the Paizo company released Pathfinder, which is a revised version of Dungeons and Dragons 3.5. It is the preferred game system by many hardcore and longtime gamers, Though my friend Tom and I still prefer Dungeons and Dragons 2.0 (even inheriting some old rules from 1.0), I play Pathfinder with the group of guys who regularly convene at various houses.

The big three lessons from Sunday were as follows:


  1. Do not use a Shocking Grasp attack spell in lieu of talking my way out of being arrested by anti-religion, Gestapo like city guard.
  2. Check for invisibility and any other ways to hide the prisoner we are sent to rescue before launching fireballs into a large room just to attack adversaries I have not yet seen and assessed. Crispy corpses are not the preferred state for rescues.
  3. PLAN. Do not waltz blithely into a heavily guarded compound full of extra-planar creatures, assorted demons, and spellcasters without serious reconnaissance, defensive preparations and safe-guards, and a series of offensive aids to help with combat.
In the end, we were lucky to make it out alive. I had two hit points left (of 61 total).


Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you.

Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.

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- Days ago = 147 days ago


- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1511.29 - 10:10
and again 1512.03 - 7:58

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #144 - Days Alone

Satchel in morning nap mode
1511.28 - today
Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #144 - Days Alone

Hi Mom,

Here is today's picture of the puppy. It's darkish but that's intentional. I think it's quite sweet. It's dark now for a long time in the morning and early at night. It's dark now as I type. The days are growing shorter. I am watching David Bowie's new video after having just watched M.I.A.'s new video.

I am having a day home alone, if being alone includes a puppy, a cat, and six chickens.

Days alone are important. I love people. I love my wife, my kids, my parents, my sister, friends, but if I do not have enough alone time each week, I start to go a bit bonkers. In fact, the bloggery that this blog represents was invented during my special alone time when I lived with my parents during you hair appointments, Mom, which were one outing that for sure took you out of the house each week if possible. I especially liked sitting in the great room of the Richland Woods house during the holidays as the sun died so early, as it does at this time of year, with the soft glow of the Christmas village and Christmas tree lights that would slowly take over illumination of the room that daylight abandoned. And in that gloaming, I would write, and that's when and where I started this blog in 2007 with this ENTRY about the INVISIBLE WOMAN, even though I wrote it in May and not in that holiday decoration time from November-December.

I wrote 11 blog entries between that auspicious beginning on May 4, 2007 (0705.04) and January 9th, 2009 (the day before my first date with Liesel - 0901.09) because mostly, during those Friday times, I would try to write fiction that has not been posted or published. Alone time was sacred to me, and I was steadfast in guarding it and using it as best I could.

Alone time has continued to be important since getting married. Do not misunderstand, dear reader -- and I know you know this, Mom -- I love being with my wife, she's great, but I just need time to myself. I need the quiet. I need to decompress. AND I need to stop working. I have been suffering some misery lately as I work through alone time, either doing work work or home work. But knowing that tomorrow I am having some friends over to play D-and-D (Pathfinder, really, but fewer know what that is), I knew I needed some quality time lounging, reading comics, and watching football today. I even took a short nap. I am rejuvenated. But I would be mired in misery if I did not just cease work operations and forced myself to go lie down and relax for a bit.

Alone time.

It is a precious commodity, and so, I am going to go use more of it for home work and work work.

Then again, I never feel totally alone any more because I am married and have a family. But also, I feel you, Mom. You're here. You're sitting right here in this room, and you're smiling.

Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you.

Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.

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- Days ago = 146 days ago


- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1511.28 - 17:52


Friday, November 27, 2015

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #143 - Deer Rutting in our Yard



Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #143 - Deer Rutting in our Yard

Hi Mom,

So, on Wednesday, we had two deer rutting in our yard. Sadly, I did not get a picture of the actual fornicating, though I saw it. Also, I did not get a picture or video of Satchel facing off against this buck across the fence gate in the back of the yard.

But this is the area where the rutting took place (below) and both deer in it.


So, when the buck came around to the front of the house for a snack, Satchel went on high alert, barking like crazy.

Later the buck retreated, and I thought he had left as there were guys with leaf blowers only 100 or so yards away, but he was still in our side yard with a doe, busy rutting. I learned his location when we let Satchel into the backyard, closed to the side where the deer were by a fence and gate, and came to see why she was still barking very intensely. I wish I had grabbed my camera because later the buck actually snapped at Satchel across the fence gate and kicked its hoof. We brought Satchel back in the house and would not let her go out, but later, as I left, I saw the buck humping the doe. I had not seen that before in reality, not on film.

The deer moved on later that evening, but not until, Satchel, who had gone to Camp Fido, had another round of barking at the deer and being warned off by teeth gnashing and hoof stamping.

Um, so, Happy Thanksgiving?

Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you.

Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.

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- Days ago = 145 days ago

- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1511.27 - 10:10


Thursday, November 26, 2015

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #142 - Happy Thanksgiving, Mom


Thanksgiving 2011
Thanksgiving 2014
Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #142 - Happy Thanksgiving, Mom

Hi Mom,

I could make this a really long entry. I am thinking a lot about you today.

The picture up top is from our first Thanksgiving in the St.Antoine house. The picture to the left of this text is from last year.

I am thankful for you, Mom. I am thankful for everything you gave me, taught me, showed me, and for your love, your appreciation, your show of pride, so much.

We enjoyed many Thanksgiving days together, and you were generally tolerant of my desire to keep football on TV.

I am thankful for my parents, my sister, my brother-in-law, my wife, my kids, my dog, my cat, so many things, people, and blessings.

I am thinking about how lucky I am, how grateful I am to the universe, to my wife, to you and Dad, Mom.

I wish you were here to kiss and show you how thankful I am.

I am missing you a lot this year.

I just want to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving.

And, no, I am not celebrating colonization and mass genocide. This holiday can also be just about family no matter what the original event.

I wish you were here, Mom.

Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you.

Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.

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- Days ago = 144 days ago


- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1511.26 - 10:49

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #141 - SPECTRE


Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #141 - SPECTRE

Hi Mom,

I went to see SPECTRE with Dad yesterday at Alamo Drafthouse. We always talk about you when we do stuff like that, how we did some of those things with you, how we still might if you were alive, and if you had not developed the degenerative palsy.

Did you think Daniel Craig was sexy?

The movie did not fare to well with critics (see image below - I am stealing from Google today), but I don't care. I enjoyed it. Sure, there were flaws in the plot and many standard, stock Bond schlock, but that's why I went to a Bond film. Come on, Man!

I think my critical capability has diminished. I just don't care so much any more about the finer points. I just care about escape, entertainment value, getting my Bond's dollar's worth. I am not interested in giving it too close of a judgement as a "film." But then, I have found myself very forgiving of Jar Jar Binks and The Phantom Menace, which many people are not. Lots of that has to do with going the other way. There is so much Jar Jar and Phantom Hate that I have to go the other way.

Still, 64%? 60%? Harsh. 7.2 is closer to reality.



Really, it's not my critical capability that's diminished. It's my capacity to care about it that's changed. I do not care to invoke the critical thinking all the time. Sometimes, unless something is dreadful and painful to watch, I just want to enjoy it without spoiling it with criticism. This is an idea that my women's studies students never grasped regardless of how often I described it. In the gender criticism class, we were there TO BE CRITICAL, that was our whole raison d'etre. If you want to let art flow over you, and just enjoy it, go be somewhere else and not in a class dedicated to criticism of media for their gender messages in their media products.

I am not crazy about Léa Seydoux. But that's my own personal bias. Her acting was superb. She's beautiful, if that's the look one likes. Her love scene with Bond was pretty hot. But for me, I am not so attracted to that look, and since I am attracted to Bond films based on this "Oggle Factor," this is a negative for me.

Making Madeleine Swann a bad ass with guns and able to hold her own in a fight was definitely a great choice. But I was more excited to see Monica Bellucci in the film. Just a personal preference. Though I was very pleased to see a much older than average woman in a "Bond Girl" role.

Seydoux just doesn't do it for me.

I have a blonde bias.

But this is a cool photo of her with a gun.

But the film is gorgeous visually. The opening gambit with its Day of the Dead scene alone is worth the price of admission.

Beautiful scenes, and a huge location shoot.

I was also pleased to see the attention to Bond lore, IE. Vesper Lynd from Casino Royale and the big reveal of the identity of 

SPOILER ALERT

Ernst Stavro Blofeld as the actual identity of Franz Oberhauser, who is also James Bond's adopted brother.

There's been a lot of criticism of this choice, but it tied up neatly some Bond stuff for me, and I liked it well enough. Much of the criticism (see HIT FIX review) stems from how the team making this Bond film played the Internet rumor mill and so people are pissed to be fooled. Given that I have ignored the Internet rumor mill (as we all should), I don't care. It's neat that we now know who Blofeld really is. Hit Fix is also oversimplifying Blofeld's motivations. He's a power hungry psychopath. Do all psychopaths need complex motivations for being psychopaths?

In the end, Bond throws away his gun to be with the new woman of his dreams, but he did not kill Blofeld/Oberhauser, leaving the door open for more films, though maybe not with Daniel Craig, as this is his "Swan Song," which may be why the new love interest's name is Swann?

More on how SPECTRE references bond lore at this link: FLICKERING MYTH LINK.




Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you.

Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.

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- Days ago = 143 days ago


- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1511.25 - 22:10


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #141 - PreCalculus Test Today


Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #141 - PreCalculus Test Today

Hi Mom,

Very short today as I have a big test in PreCalculus over Trigonometry.

I would not say I am "frantically" studying, but I am studying many hours and applying myself in as disciplined a way as I can to this work.

And I keep repeating: "I like math; I like math; I like math."

And I do. Really.

Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you.

Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.

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- Days ago = 143 days ago


- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1511.24 - 10:10

Monday, November 23, 2015

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #140 - Test studying



Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #140 - Test studying

Hi Mom, Sorry this is so short.

I am studying for a Pre-Calculus text tomorrow.

I promise more and better content soon.

I never said these would all be hefty. :-)

Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you.

Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.

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- Days ago = 142 days ago


- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1511.23 - 10:10

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #139 - Bloggy Recap #9

the Eye of Horus
from the King Tut exhibit

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #139 - Bloggy Recap #9


Hi Mom,

I have been busy with work and homework, but I felt it was time to do a bit of reflection, Mom, which maybe I will drag into a two or three parter just to ease my posting obligations.

I named this "Bloggy Recap #9" because it's like "Revolution 9" by the Beatles, kind of a catch-all, a collage, an alternative.

But also short because I am hammered with work and studies.

Work and studies lead me to my main point.  The blog work here has gotten away from me a bit. My theme is no theme, really, because after all, this was only meant to continue my daily phone calls with you, Mom. But some days, I do not have the time to write properly what I would like to express. And some days I post an "under construction" entry (as this was until I finished it) or I post nothing and then back date the work, which I am very grateful that Blogger allows me to do.

Entries that form a series like the recent "Seven Songs in Seven Days" group make a nice set and allow for easy content. I started with Scotland posts, and I need to make that an easy go to subject when I am pressed for time. A picture and a short note is all that's needed for a nice, little Scotland entry. I had made notes for other regular features, but I struggle to make them rotate regularly, just like I could not post Seven Songs in seven CONSECUTIVE days.

Still, I am somewhat impressed with how varied I am with my content given that I am often thinking up something to feature on the fly and posting in haste, in the future, or incompletely. Partly, I did not want to get into a regular pattern because I do not want to lose that element of improvisation that is very much how my phone calls were with you, Mom. I only decided what to say after I called.

I did make a list of types of entries to feature, and I do want to return to that work on subjects like your Memorial Service and the last years of your life, Mom. One of the strengths of my T-shirt blog project is that I was often able to work ahead and develop an entry over many days or weeks until I was ready to post it. I have tried to follow suit here, but I fall behind. I do not want the average entry length on this blog to approach the huge treatises I composed for T-shirts, but I do like the idea of getting ahead better and noodling away on entries in between work on other projects. I am trying to be better at task switching, which is not always possible when I have limited time and will be leaving the house, meaning I have to make the most of every minute to get done what needs to be done.

But I do promise better content. Some posts will be short. Some posts will feature mainly a photo and very little text. And some posts will be longer and more substantial. In fact, I may re-post (with revisions, edits, abbreviations, and modifications) content from the T-Shirts blog that I liked or that connects to something in the now.

These are my current thoughts on content, Mom. But content will not stray completely from you and things you would want to hear about since I know you're with me, you're listening.

I leave you now with the Eye of Horus. It's about math. I have a test Tuesday.

Picture shows the EYE OF HORUS from the King Tut exhibit.

Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you.
Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.

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- Days ago = 141 days ago


- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1511.22 - 19:36
and again  1511.25 - 9:33

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #138 - Two for Liesel - Seven Songs




Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #138 - Two for Liesel - Seven Songs - "Just Like Heaven" and "Veloruia"

Hi Mom, This is my last in the seven songs in seven days series but not on consecutive days because I am slow. It's a bit of a cheat as this entry features two songs, but

Liesel earned her master's degree, and we celebrated with a dinner at the Park Club. I know you know this, Mom, because I sensed you sitting right there with us.

Piper and Adam
at the dinner

I thought this would be an ideal occasion to write a few words about my amazing wife and to share our songs (as we have two).

My wife saved my life, as you know well, Mom, as you were there. Not literally but in a figurative sense. She opened a world to me (love and marriage) that I thought was closed to me. I can never thank her enough for loving me, and marrying me, and I never forget what a special blessing and privilege this relationship is for me.

But Liesel also inspires me. She went back to school in the way she does everything, with a spirit of curiosity and a passion for learning. We are both life-long learners; we share the passion for learning.

There were times of intense anxiety. She threatened to quit many times. There were long hours and hardships, but in the end, my wife Liesel finished a master's degree in nursing, officially a Master's of Science in Nursing, and she did so really, pretty easily, because she is smart, capable, disciplined, and an extremely hard worker. She's also funny as Hell.

She wrote this poem to commemorate her graduation:

A little graduation humor based upon Langston Hughes' Harlem (What Happens to a Dream Deferred?)
What happens to a degree conferred?
Does it get hung on the wall
like an insect behind glass?
Or stifle in a box-
a relic of the past?
Does it fade in sunlight?
Or turn brown and decay-
like an old photo might?
Maybe it just crumples
like a forgotten receipt.
Or does it simply look sweet?

Ivan and Olivia
at the dinner

Also, my wife and I share musical tastes. I knew both these songs prior to meeting her, but I had not examined the lyrics too closely. Also, I had not heard Katie Melua's cover of the Cure song, which is actually the version I now prefer.

BG, my Dad, at
Liesel's dinner
These are beautiful lyrics with obvious connection to our love story: "Spinning on that dizzy edge, I kissed her face and kissed her head, And dreamed of all the different ways I had' To make her glow, "Why are you so far away?" she said, "Why won't you ever know that I'm in love with you, That I'm in love with you.""

But also, this, which is a bit less optimistic but no less beautiful or meaningful: "And found myself alone, alone, Alone above a raging sea, That stole the only girl I loved, And drowned her deep inside of me."

We are not much one for songs that perfectly mirror our own lives and experiences.

Liesel and I danced our first dance to this song and this version at our wedding.




"Just Like Heaven" by the Cure covered by Katie Melua



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"JUST LIKE HEAVEN" - The Cure

Show me, show me, show me how you do that trick
The one that makes me scream" she said
"The one that makes me laugh" she said
And threw her arms around my neck

"Show me how you do it
And I promise you I promise that
I'll run away with you
I'll run away with you"

Spinning on that dizzy edge
I kissed her face and kissed her head
And dreamed of all the different ways I had
To make her glow
"Why are you so far away?" she said
"Why won't you ever know that I'm in love with you
That I'm in love with you"

You
Soft and only
You
Lost and lonely
You
Strange as angels
Dancing in the deepest oceans
Twisting in the water

Mike and Sue Creager
at the dinner
You're just like a dream
You're just like a dream

Daylight licked me into shape
I must have been asleep for days
And moving lips to breathe her name
I opened up my eyes

And found myself alone, alone
Alone above a raging sea
That stole the only girl I loved
And drowned her deep inside of me

You
Soft and lonely
You
Lost and lonely
You
Just like heaven


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"Velouria" is a different kind of love song but no less beautiful. We played this at our wedding, but we also used it in our invitations:

"We will wade in the shine of the ever."

These expressionistic and imagistic lyrics capture the spirit of our love, Liesel's and mine: "Hold my head, we'll trampoline, Finally through the roof onto somewhere near and far in time, Velouria, her covering, traveling career, She can really move, oh, Velveteen."

I will never take my wife for granted.

I am so proud of Liesel, for finishing her master's degree.

Congratulations, Liesel, my Shastasheen.

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"Velouria" - The Pixies




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"Velouria" - Pixies

Hold my head, we'll trampoline
Finally through the roof onto somewhere near and far in time
Velouria, her covering, traveling career
She can really move, oh, Velveteen

My Velouria, my Velouria
Even I'll adore you, my Velouria
Even I'll adore you, my Velouria

Say to me, where have you been?
Finally through the roof
And how does lemur skin reflect the sea?

We will wade in the shine of the ever
We will wade in the shine of the ever
We will wade in the tides of the summer, every summer
Every my Velouria, my Velouria

Forevergreen, I know she's here in California
I can see the tears of Shastasheen

My Velouria, my Velouria
Even I'll adore you, my Velouria
Even I'll adore you, my Velouria

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Mom, I am glad you survived long enough to see both Lori and I get married.

Thank you for loving my wife, Liesel, as I do.

I teared up at the dinner because I had done what you would have done, Mom. I gave Liesel a fine wooden box with an engraved plate that reads: "Liesel Tower: MSN degree 2015." Actually, the people engraved a semi-colon and not a colon, even though I said colon three times and described it as two dots, one atop the other. But most people are not as smart as my wife, who knows the difference between a colon and a semi-colon, and now, as an MSN degreed nurse, she knows more about colons in your body, too.

Anyway, thinking of you, Mom, and how you would celebrate this event made me weepy.

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Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you.

Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.

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- Days ago = 140 days ago


- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1511.21 - 22:10
and again 1511.23 - 7:53

Friday, November 20, 2015

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #137 - Hallelujah

Mom and Dad at Turkeyville Christmas Show 1311.14
Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #137 - Hallelujah

Hi Mom,

I wrote my review of the Turkeyville Christmas show today.

I spent time reflecting on the final song of the show, and how it left me quite a train wreck: "Halleljuah" written by Leonard Cohen.

This song was covered and made somewhat more famous by Jeff Buckley on his 1994 album Grace, and then later by Rufus Wainwright, whose version was used in the film Shrek.

It's a strange choice for a song to close a Christmas show.

These lines spoke to me the most:

"And I've seen your flag on the marble arch
And love is not a victory march
It's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah"

It's been a week since I saw the show, and I listened to this song again, and once again, I cried.

Love is not a victory march.

Indeed.









"Hallelujah" - Leonard Cohen

Well I've heard there was a secret chord
That David played and it pleased the Lord
But you don't really care for music, do you?
Well it goes like this:
The fourth, the fifth, the minor fall and the major lift
The baffled king composing Hallelujah

Hallelujah (repeat x 4)

Well your faith was strong but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew ya
She tied you to her kitchen chair
And she broke your throne and she cut your hair
And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah

Hallelujah (repeat x 4)

But baby I've been here before
I've seen this room and I've walked this floor
You know, I used to live alone before I knew ya
And I've seen your flag on the marble arch
And love is not a victory march
It's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah (repeat x 4)

Well there was a time when you let me know
What's really going on below
But now you never show that to me do ya
But remember when I moved in you
And the holy dove was moving too
And every breath we drew was Hallelujah

Hallelujah (repeat x 4)

Maybe there's a God above
But all I've ever learned from love
Was how to shoot somebody who outdrew ya

And it's not a cry that you hear at night
It's not somebody who's seen the light
It's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah (repeat x many)



Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you.

Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.

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- Days ago = 139 days ago


- Bloggery committed by chris tower - date - time

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #136 - Shine my life like a light


Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #136 - Shine my life like a light

Hi Mom,  Thought of you...




THE INDIGO GIRLS "LET IT BE ME"



That's all.

Oh the drama.

I could print the lyrics I guess, but then would you watch the video?

Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you.

Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.

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- Days ago = 138 days ago


- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1511.19 - 20:10

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #135 - Ms. Marvel


Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #135 - Ms. Marvel


Hi Mom,


Reading this comic book made me think of you, Mom.

I wrote about Ms. Marvel previously in

this link

WEEKLY COMICS FOR 1404.16

Marvel comics smartly redefined Ms. Marvel as a young Muslim woman living in New Jersey and created one of the sweetest, most sensitive, most real portrayals of young girl hood in comics, EVER.

I have been amazed with this comic since its debut.

You can look at the link, but I think I want to just reprint what I wrote.


Ms. Marvel #003

When I first saw the ads for the new Ms. Marvel book, I was excited. I loved the idea of a Muslim-American comic character. I wrote about this news in my T-shirt blog in T-shirt #235 (reprinted here). I LOVED the first cover image. But I was not impressed with the first issue. I was slightly more impressed with issue #2. And now, with issue #3, I am definitely a fan.

I enjoyed Adrian Alphona's work on Runaways, one of my very favourite comics of recent years. Alphona spices his art with flavors of old style newspaper strips, a loose, sketchy style that gives the comic an endearing yet smart quality.

The story telling by G. Willow Wilson is beautiful. Kamala, the main character, is a very real girl, trying to understand her new powers and how to both do good work with them and how to be a good daughter and a good Muslim. The story takes us inside a New Jersey Mosque. We also see Kamala in school as her powers flare up unexpectedly.The dialogue is a crisp and realistic, especially the scenes with her family that are peppered with ethnic-specific terms of endearment.

Since I am behind schedule in writing, I just read issue five, and this comic just keeps getting better and better. I hope it survives an early cut and is not canceled any time soon.

REPRINTED CONTENT FROM T-shirt #235 


MARVEL ANNOUNCES NEW MS. MARVEL SERIES

First up is the new "Ms. Marvel." The Marvel Comics Company must renew trademarks, and with the previous Ms. Marvel (who has been known by many names) taking the mantle of Captain Marvel (a smart move given her history), it's time for a new Ms. Marvel. Nerd magnet Stephen Colbert satirized a reaction in a link farther below, shared by Charles Skaggs.

FROM WORD OF THE NERD ONLINE (see link):
Ms. Marvel will center on 16-year-old Kamala Khan, a Muslim-American teenager living in Jersey City, New Jersey.  Like any teenager, all of her opportunities are in front her and she is full of potential, but her parents’ high expectations come with tons of pressure and has led Kamala to carve out a future that she has little interest in.
 “At her core, Kamala is just a 16-year-old girl, exploring the many facets of her identity when she is suddenly bestowed with super-human powers that send her on the adventure of a lifetime,” says Marvel Comics Editor In Chief Axel Alonso.
 The series, and its central character, are brought to life by an all-star creative team, led by acclaimed novelist and multi-Eisner nominee, G. Willow Wilson (Air, MysticAlif The Unseen). Her writings about modern religion have appeared in such outlets as New York Times’ Magazine and The Atlantic.  Critically-acclaimed artist Adrian Alphona (RunawaysUncanny X-Force) brings his vivid artistry to the project capturing the vibrantly rich and kinetic world in which Kamala lives.
Here's the page that I copied for the banner image above today's titles.


AND THEN, there's the image below!

So beautiful.

A mother hugging her daughter. It so reminded me of us, Mom, despite the gender/sex difference.

Another beautiful image from the last issue of this series before the launch of the next.

There's a reason it won the Hugo for best graphic novel of 2014. I voted for it, too!




Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you.

Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.

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- Days ago = 137 days ago


- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1511.18 - 10:10
and again 1511.20 19:50

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #134 - Because wine - a picture and a video

via Soif, where my friend John Locke works

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #134 - Because wine - a picture and a video

Hi Mom, I am buried in work, trapped beneath tons of rock with very little food and only a little more air. I know that's a melodramatic image and maybe in poor taste given the mining accident it references, but it's how I feel.

I always said that some days these entries would be short.

Enjoy this cute photo and this great video set to one of my favorite songs. It captures the sound of an exorcism.

I will be back tomorrow with more content when I feel less buried.


Brian Eno and David Byrne's "Jezebel Spirit" from the album MY LIFE IN BUSH OF GHOSTS




I miss you, a lot, today, Mom.

Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you.

Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.

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- Days ago = 136 days ago


- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1511.17 - 12:39

Monday, November 16, 2015

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #133 - "One" again, Seven Song part two


via Dori - Thanks

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #133 - "One" again, Seven Song part two

Hi Mom,

I always said these would be short. This item has nothing to do with puppies but puppy pictures are always appreciated, right Mom?

In trying to do the seven songs thing, though not in consecutive days, I posted about the song "One" by U2 and I posted that at this LINK HERE: Hey Mom #115.

Then, I was reading about the song, via Bono, in the very cool Reunions issue of Entertainment Weekly dated October 16-23, 2015. Here's what Bono had to say about the song. It's all I have for today as I being smothered under a mountain of work.

Find it at this link EW - 25 YEARS AGO ARTICLE or reprinted below WITHOUT permission (I love doing that, BTW).

Bono, front bloke of the band U2 said the following:

I remember flying to Germany to record “Achtung Baby.” We were on the last plane into the old [formerly divided] Berlin. The pilot had the sky to himself so he circled the city a few times. When we landed, we went out to find the rumored parade and celebration [for the reunification of Germany]. We walked out to find this rather glum crowd of people, and I’m thinking, “Wow, the Germans don’t know how to party! What is this?” Then I found out we were at the wrong party — we were at the protest for the wall coming down, with all the communists! But we indeed found some very festive Germans and had a very late night with them. It was a very exciting moment to be in Berlin. But we were having a difficult time recording, to tell the truth. It was a cold winter. We wrote our song “One” about that coldness, and the coldness we’re referring to is oddly about the band. We weren’t getting on very well. We almost broke up. The song became something we held on to quite tightly. And it became an anthem in Berlin, in the east and west. “We’re one, but we’re not the same.” It was special. You learn this lesson continually as a band, which is that you’re made much better by the company you keep.

Here's another version of "One."



Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you.

Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.

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- Days ago = 135 days ago


- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1511.16 - 10:10


Sunday, November 15, 2015

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #132 - Klassic Arcade


Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #132 - Klassic Arcade

Hi Mom,

I had the gamer itch, so I went the "Klassic Arcade" in Gobles Saturday with my friend Colin, aka Sphinx.  He had never been.

We scratched our gamer itches with Asteroids, Joust, Robotron, Stargate, Galaxian, Galaga, Berserk, Star Wars, Cenipede, Pacman, and a few others.

I even played a little Hulk pinball, which I do not normally do, but I may do more often as it was quite fun.

I am not sure why we skipped the old school Space Invaders machine.

Anyway, catching up on blog entries. I took the day off -- for the most part -- yesterday.

And after all, I said back when I started this project, that many of the entries would be short.

Hey, Mom, $5 to play all day is much cheaper than when these machines all cost a quarter.

I still remember how you used to treat me and Lori to an afternoon at the Arcade for special occasions, like birthdays.

I love you, Mom.

And, for those interested, (as Mom, you can see it; you see everything), I previously wrote about this arcade on my T-shirt blog at this link here:

T-shirt #131 - Starfleet Academy

Klassic Arcade: it's a glorious place.



Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you.

Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.

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- Days ago = 134 days ago


- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1511.15 - 10:10

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #131 - Satchel does chickens

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #131 - Satchel does chickens

Hi Mom,

Time again to have a puppy on this blog.

Knowing Satchel as I do, this is a great picture of her as she is telling me: "Dad, it's time to do chickens."

"Doing chickens" means that she gets in to the side yard, which is currently closed to her. In the morning, we let the chickens out sometime between 8 and 10 a.m.

Satchel runs full tilt to the gate to the side yard and then sprints for the back fence, checking all her spots. She has not responsibility in the morning when we let the chickens out of the coop to roam, and she has more time to explore and sniff her spots if I have to change their water and/or food.

At night, we put the chickens away. Sometimes, we time it right, and the chickens are already in the hen house. But if they are still in the yard, Satchel gets to wrangle them, shooing them back to the coop.

Recently, some chickens did not wish to be shooed, hunkering down in bushes next to the fence far from the coop. There was a terrifying ordeal of many minutes attempting to herd the chickens. I feared that Satchel intended to grab one in her jaws and carry it like a bad puppy to the coop. In the end, I carried one chicken back.

Satchel is a very good puppy. She does not try to hurt the chickens, though if she gets into the side yard during the middle of the day, she will chase them back to the coop anyway.

One thing that makes her extra excited is that she gets a treat each time her returns from the side yard both in letting out the chickens and putting them back in the coop, which is partly why her is so excited. This is how we talk about her. We just use "her" for everything.

Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you.

Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.

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- Days ago = 133 days ago


- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1511.14 - 10:10

Friday, November 13, 2015

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #130 - Turkeyville Christmas Show

me, Dennis McKeen, Dad (Bob Tower)

Christmas show - 2011
Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #130 - Turkeyville Christmas Show

Hi Mom, You were with us today. Dad and I went to the annual Christmas show at Cornwell's Turkeyville Dinner Theatre, produced by Top Hat Productions.

You love these Christmas shows.

I may post my review later, after it appears in the newspaper, but here's a few thoughts.

Above is a picture of Dad and me with producer Dennis McKeen.

As you can see, he is wearing a very festive suit.

Christmas show 2013
So, Dennis decided to do a tribute for you. His wife Holly, who played Charlie the Christmas Elf, in the show of the same name, announced the sing-along, dedicated to you. She called you a "young lady," which I thought was very sweet. But she accurately recounted your complaint about them dropping the sing-along from the show, and how Dennis put it back in just for you.

It was a very sweet dedication. Both Dennis and Holly have lost their mothers in recent years, and both were sympathetic to our feelings, especially as Dad and I attended the first Christmas show without you.

But even before the tribute, I was already pretty wrecked as the cast closed the show by singing Jeff Buckley's "Hallelujah."

I love that song.

But it really made me weep, this time especially.

Also, I did some shopping in BOTH gift shoppes in your honor, Mom. I didn't buy anything, but Dad did. He bought a gift for Lori.

I wish you had been there physically, Mom, though I felt you embracing me, all around me, around us, in spirit.

It's early, but Merry Christmas.

Here's a video of "Hallelujah." I chose a version with four part harmony to try to recreate what they did at Turkeyville.





Turkeyville gift shoppe

Turkeyville candy counter

Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you.

Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.

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- Days ago = 132 days ago


- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1511.13 - 10:10 (22:10)

for the sign and the cinnamon rolls
mom, you loved cinnamon rolls