Music Video of the Week: PFM

Video quality on this one is pretty bad, but hey, I'm in a PFM mood, so we'll take what we can get, eh?



Music Video of the Week: Genesis

Sorry, a little late on the MVotW. Couldn't think of anything I wanted to post and besides that my wrists were hurting so I put it off. I'm pretty sure I've already posted a Gabriel-era Genesis track as a MVotW, but positive I've never picked one from the Collins years. I'm just starting to get over a snobbish attitude for post-Gabriel/Hackett Genesis so I figured this one would be a worthwhile selection. To all the haters out there...come on...close your eyes and imagine Peter Gabriel singing this song all decked out in some outlandish costume. Not a far stretch of the imagination, as I see it. But nobody likes Phil Collins. I read an article about that very same subject in Rolling Stone a couple of months ago. Came away from it with a whole new respect for the man and a stronger disdain than I already have for music snobs (from whose ranks I have thankfully extricated myself). People used to praise REM for not sticking to the same formula, trying out a new sound/style with each successive record. But Genesis? I guess your typical prog-rocker is not so generous or adventurous. Fact of the matter is that Collins' led Genesis have recorded some really good, substantial music since the mid-70s. Phil is a vocalist who may not be as versatile as Gabriel, but no one could ever accuse ol' Pete of being a "fine singer", either. Truth be told Collins can ape Gabriel note for note when/if he wants to. I'm sure I'm not the only one who initially didn't know that it was Phil, not Pete, who sang the lead vocals on "For Absent Friends" (from the seminal "Nursery Cryme" album). But no matter, whether Phil can sing or not...most bands would succumb to the pressure of losing two key members in the span of a scant few years...one of whom is a charismatic lead vocalist who is the sort of figure that almost overshadows band mates no matter how talented they are. One can argue that once they hit their stride (ie. began to churn out the hits) they abandoned the whole "change" idea. But what the hell, eh? And then there were three...eh? 2/5s or their writing input is long gone. You're basically left with the rhythm section. Not too many bands could pull that off so successfully. And anyone who discounts their last 4 or 5 records because they may not be "prog" enough for them have obviously never listened to them. No, the prog isn't easily found, but there is some in the mix. Very good prog, at that. At least by my definition of prog.

Anyhoo, enough warbling about things no one can change, whether they'd want to or not. Here's a Collins-era Genesis song that it took me a long time to get into. But Phil's weird-ass laugh and lecherous growl won me over. Enjoy.



a love lost between two photos

Yesterday I scanned a ton of photographs of my father (who passed away in 1999). I came across one that really hit home in an awful, sad way. I don't know why I'm posting this here, but I'm going to anyway.

My mom and dad in the mid-50s. I don't know anything about the particulars of this photo. It looks like it was taken at one of those booths you used to see in grocery stores and places like that. But good God, just look how happy they are. If those aren't two people who are madly in love then I have never seen any. I doubt they were married at this point, but dad already sports an expression that says, "she's mine". Just a hint of possessiveness, like you just know that if someone were to try and mess around with her he would get the beat-down of his life. And she looks as if she wants nothing more than to let him do it. As for me, I don't remember them being nearly as close as they look like they were then. It's nice, though, to know that they were happy together when I was born.

Now, fast forward to 1976 or 1977 (not exactly sure, but it was one or the other),,,

Oh, my God...what happened? Mom looks like she resents having to pose with him, to even be that close to him. She had bleached her hair not too long before this picture, and I've long suspected that she did it to sort of try and "become a new person" to whatever small extent. I never liked it. I can't quite suss out what dad is thinking/feeling by the look on his face. I know he was kind of stubborn...and he still has this possessive quality in his expression, but instead of being possessive of wanting to keep and protect her, this is more the look of a man who is going to make sure she won't leave. He probably thought he had that job done all the way up until she DID leave, and I guarantee he wasn't looking anything like this when it happened. At any rate, it is a very uncomfortable moment. There's no way of knowing who was the person that requested this photo be taken. Most likely I'm the one who snapped the picture, but I can't imagine me insisting on such a portrait. I'd already settled in my mind the eventuality that they would be divorced sooner rather than later. Most likely dad wanted the photograph taken, which would explain mom's demeanor.

This is what it comes down to. No, not for everyone...hopefully none but the unlucky few...but between these two portraits is the degeneration of a love that seemed so promising but instead deteriorated past the point of no return. What can I say? I guess I should give them credit for toughing it out for as long as they did. They always provided for us (my brother and I). It wasn't pleasant during those last couple of years, what with the constant shouting matches and dad trying to pull us kids into the arguments. No, I don't guess I can say too much good about the situation as it became, other than the aforementioned constant provision.

Yes, it is very, very hard for me to recall those hard times. It always has been. How things would have been so much different had they stayed together. I might still have a relationship with my mother, something I haven't had or wanted in several years. I believe that my father would still be alive today, had they remained a couple...of course I have my reasons for thinking that, but it's not something I want to go into here and now. All that is horrible to remember...but I think this is even worse.These photographs document it. The decay of a relationship that began with such love and promise. That ended with so much bitterness.

I hope to learn a lesson from this...


Cymbalta...no thank you

I've seen the television ads for Cymbalta, an anti-depressant, and I thought, "hey, this may well be just what I need!" But since I take other medications I wanted to make sure there would be no dangerous interactions. So I googled it and this is what I found:

Common Cymbalta Side Effects:

Check with your doctor if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome:

Cough; nausea; diarrhea; constipation; dizziness; dry mouth; fever; frequent urination; headache; lack or loss of strength; loss of appetite; muscle aches; sleepiness or unusual drowsiness; sleeplessness; sore throat; stuffy or runny nose; increased sweating; difficulty sleeping; insomnia; unusual tiredness or weakness; vomiting; weight loss

Less Common Cymbalta Side Effects:

Check with your doctor if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome:

Abnormal orgasm; acid or sour stomach; belching; change or problem with ejaculation; decreased interest in sex; difficulty in moving; erectile dysfunction; fear; feeling of warmth or redness of the face, neck, arms and occasionally, upper chest; heartburn; indigestion; joint pain; muscle aching or cramping; muscle pains or stiffness; nervousness; shakiness in legs, arms, hands, feet; stomach discomfort upset or pain; sudden sweating; swollen joints; trembling or shaking of hands or feet

Always notify your doctor if you experience these Cymbalta side effects:

Abdominal or stomach pain; fast heartbeat; blistering, peeling, loosening of skin; chills; clay-colored stools; cold sweats; confusion; convulsions; dark urine; decreased urine output; difficulty swallowing; eye pain; general tiredness; itching, puffiness, or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips or tongue; increase thirst; itching; joint or muscle pain; swelling on face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, and/or sex organs; light-colored stools; red irritated eyes; red skin lesions, often with a purple center; redness of skin; sores, ulcers, or white spots in mouth or on lips; swelling of face, ankles, or hands; tearing; tightness in chest; bad breath; upper right abdominal pain; wheezing; yellow eyes and skin

If you experience any of the following serious Cymbalta side effects, stop taking Cymbalta and contact your doctor immediately or seek emergency medical treatment:

difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; hives; an irregular heartbeat or pulse; low blood pressure; dizziness, fainting, lightheadedness or weakness; high blood pressure; severe headache; blurred vision or other difficulty seeing; chills or fever; unusual bleeding or bruising; rash; coma; vomiting of blood

Other Cymbalta side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice anything unusual while taking Cymbalta, check with your doctor.


Uh, did I read that right? OTHER SIDE EFFECTS NOT LISTED??????? As if those aren't more than enough to keep me as far away from this poison as possible? I understand that there are going to be side effects with all medications and that not everyone will experience all, many, or in the rare case, any of them. Still, look at that list and tell me you wouldn't proceed with the utmost caution in deciding if the "cure" is worth the "curse" of these side effects. As for me, I see it as if one were to reach into a basket full of poisonous snakes in order to retrieve treasure. A crap shoot. Playing with fire.

If you're gonna DIE for NOT taking this stuff then I guess you've got no choice. Otherwise...it's up to each individual to choose.

I'll wait until psychiatric medicine has evolved to the point where I don't feel like a guinea pig for taking stuff like this. I consider myself more than lucky that I've been able to find a combination of medicines that manifest relatively few side effects (even if a couple of them are a real pain and detract from my quality of living, at least I won't have red skin lesions with purple centers and white spots on my mouth and in my lips, not to mention vomiting blood and swollen genitalia).