Dirty Laundry

Beatles Remastered, Beatles Remembered, Beatles Re-magnificent!!!!

All right, get your licks in. That’s a horrible title for a blog. Absolutely cheesy. Yes, I can hear the throngs shouting in my ear. But it’s what came to me on the spur. Not every piece of hay can be spun into gold. I’m sorry…

Now, onto the blog:

They don’t call me Don “Late to the Party” Calame for nothing. Well, “they” don’t really call me that but they would if they had any sense. Yes, I’m several months too late with my review of the Beatles Remastered CDs (and I can’t wait to hear what my publisher has to say about my new vampire novel) but I figured since I don’t have any entries in my music section (I was being very optimistic with all my wonderful Dirty Laundry categories. Like I had all these great things to say about Movies, and Music, and Hockey, and Nonsense, and everything else on this great big planet we call Earth, when, really I barely have time to write these rambling meanderings. Okay, I’m just vamping here - in fact, put that on my tombstone: “He vamped” - no, wait, I take that back. That might be misconstrued. Let me come up with something less open for interpretation. Don’t you just love parentheticals? You can write whatever you want inside these little swoops and it doesn’t have to have anything to do with what you were writing at first because it’s all just an aside and… What? Okay, I’ll get on with it) I figured that I’d make this my very first “Music” blog.

My wife and stepson like to tease me (or, at least, I think (hope?) it’s teasing) that The Beatles are overrated. They have a good laugh over it because they know it will irritate me. And even though I know they are joking, it still gets under my skin. Like The Beatles could ever be overrated. That’s like saying the letter A is overrated. It’s not overrated. It’s perhaps the best letter in the alphabet. Alphabet even starts with it for goodness sakes. Not to mention that it’s the very first letter of the actual alphabet. It’s number one. It’s the only letter that can chant that at a sporting event and be completely sure that it’s indisputable.

Okay, now I’m just getting silly. But that’s because I can’t believe just how amazing The Beatles Remastered CDs sound (how did you like that segue? Pretty skillful, huh? Yup, I make a living at this writing thing. Gives you hope, doesn’t it?)

If you are a Beatles fan, these CDs are a no brainer. And if you are not a Beatles fan, then these CDs are still a no brainer. Because, like Darth Vader in Star Wars, they will turn you (Wait, I can’t be the only one, right? Dark Side fan? No? Cooler outfits? Better light sabers? More interesting parties?) Strap on a pair of headphones, plug the headphones into your CD player or computer, pop a Beatles remastered CD (with the old 1987 CDs nearby for comparison), turn up the volume (but not too loud, because, your ears and all), press Play, and sit back for the next three and a half days and listen. The 1987 CDs actually don’t sound that bad. But the remasters? It’s like putting on 3D glasses during Avatar, it’s like cleaning the dust off your computer screen (you’re allowed to do that, yes), it’s like adding salt to your food.

The music is that much more vibrant. Clear. Amazing. Christmas was good to me this year. Well, my family was good to me this Christmas. And that’s because I am thirteen Beatles’ albums richer. And even though thirteen is an unlucky number in some circles, in this case thirteen is the luckiest number of all.

Thank you, and goodnight (or good morning, or good afternoon, because, really, I don’t know when you’re reading this. Or IF you’re reading this. Well, I guess if you just read that then… anyway…)

Things to Be Excited about in 2010

I figured I’d wait until the glut of “Hey, it’s 2010!” blogs and news reports had come and gone before I threw my hat into the ring. That, and I just sort of realized it was a new year the other day. I could blame it on my busy writing schedule, or the fact that Sidney Crosby is scoring more goals this year than ever before, or that I’ve been lost in the mountain that is Stephen King’s new book “Under the Dome,” or that I’ve been watching waaaaaay too many episodes of The Dog Whisperer (and thinking, maybe I should be some kind of “whisperer.” Cats maybe, or fish. Yeah, I could teach all those unruly fish to behave and not rush at the door whenever the FedEx guy arrives).

I could blame it on all those things. And I think I will. Why not? Those are good enough excuses. And they’re all true. Mostly. Except for the part about wanting to be a fish whisperer.

So, I’d like to welcome you all to 2010. A year that promises to be incredibly exciting (at least for me). And here’s my top 10 reasons why I’m so excited:

1) I got the newly remastered Beatles CDs and they sound incredible. I will be listening to them extensively this coming year.

2) The Olympics are coming to Vancouver. And I’m going to see three hockey games, which is on my list of things to do before I die. So, hopefully, Ill survive at least through the end of February.

3) My new book “Beat the Band” is coming out in the fall. (You should be excited about this one, too, because it’s pretty damn funny!) And actually, I’d like to survive to see that come out, too. So, fingers crossed!

4) It’s the start of a new decade which means all the cool “Best of last decade” lists will be coming out—or, are already out—and so, I can see all the best things I’ve missed out on.

5) Sidney Crosby will be playing on the Canadian Olympic team (this deserved it’s own slot on the list, IMHO)

6) I will be starting work on a third book at some point this year.

7) I will finish the mountain that is Stephen King’s “Under the Dome” (okay, I’ve already finished it - yesterday - and it was pretty damn fun. It seems long (well, it IS long) but it reads fast. Don’t be intimidated!!! (And don’t be intimidated by all those exclamation marks!!!!)

8) Summer’s coming (eventually)

9) Canada will win the Olympic Gold Medal in Hockey (Men and Women). That is my prediction and I’m sticking to it. I’ll be happy if the U.S. wins, also (I am a dual citizen, you know) but hockey means so much more to Canada than everywhere else, and so, I think it would only be appropriate for Canada to win. The U.S. can get silver. They will feel good about that. But in Canada, a silver medal in hockey is just the first loser.

10) Apple’s mythical iTablet will be released (at least, those are the rumors) and since I’ve become an Apple addict I will probably have to get one (or ask for one for my birthday), even though I have no idea what I’ll use it for.

11) Brand new cover for the Swim the Fly paperback.

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12) Audiobook of Swim the Fly being released.

And there you go. My top… twelve list for things I’m excited about in 2010.