Saturday, December 10, 2022

Saturday 9

Saturday 9: Just Because (1956)

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) In this week's song, Elvis complains that his girl has confused him with Santa Claus. This time of year, Santa is prominent. Did you more recently hear Santa referred to in a song, see him in a holiday decoration or ad, watch him in a film or TV show, or maybe even met him in person, ringing a bell or asking kids if they have been naughty or nice? I watched Elf last night.
Did you realize Buddy actually knows Santa?
2) Finally Elvis just can't take it anymore and breaks up with her, just because. Is there anyone in your life who has a way of pressing your buttons and getting on your nerves? Oh yes! I won't say anymore than that because I'm trying not to let those funsuckers have such an impact on my mood.

Oh, yes I did.
3) "Just Because" is one of the last songs Elvis recorded at Sun Studio in Memphis. TripAdvisor recommends a Sun Studio tour as one of the top things to do in Memphis. Have you ever been to Memphis? If yes, what did you do? Yes. I've been to Memphis three times, and consequently have visited Graceland three times. BTW, the first time I went to Memphis, in 1987, I toured Sun Studio. Back then, it was still a working recording studio (don't know if that's still the case) and tours were still a new thing. My friend and I just showed up and even though it wasn't a specified tour time, the engineer working there said he'd take us through. It was just my friend and me -- two women traveling alone; I wasn't yet 30 and she was 38 or 39. As he took us through (it's really very small) he had to leave us a minute to take a phone call. So she and I were alone in the room where Elvis recorded this week's song, as well as "That's All Right, Mama" and "Good Rockin' Tonight." I took this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and went up to Elvis' mic stand and, um, slid down it like a stripper pole. (Hey! Elvis was known for his suggestive moves. I like to think he'd appreciate mine.) After he finished the call, the engineer informed us that the mirror was two-way and he was watching us while he was on the phone. Instead of chastising me, he invited us to a party.

4) Elvis left Sun for RCA, a much bigger record label. As part of the deal, RCA negotiated for the rights to all his unreleased Sun songs. "Just Because" is one of them, and it was included on Elvis' first RCA album. Have you gotten a good deal on anything lately? Not yet. But I have a BOGO coupon for Boston Market that I'm using this afternoon. I love Boston Market.

5) In 1956, when "Just Because" was released, non-stick cookware was first introduced. Do you have any Teflon in your kitchen right now? I don't know if it's Teflon, but my George Foreman Grill has a non-stick grilling surface.

6) Elvis thought peacocks were beautiful and commissioned stained glass peacock panels for his living room. Do you have any stained glass in your home? Nope. But here's a photo of those Graceland panels.

7) He tried to keep peacocks at Graceland. One of the birds saw its reflection in Elvis' gold Cadillac and started pecking, ruining the car's expensive paint job. Elvis donated the peacocks to the Memphis Zoo. Have you ever had a bird as a pet? When I was very young, we had a blue parakeet. My mom had him before I was born, and she kept him in my bedroom because I liked him and having him there helped me sleep. One day he and his cage were just gone. My mom tried to explain to me that he'd died, but I was quite confused.

8) Elvis decorated the long Graceland driveway for the holidays with blue lights. His father teased that with the airport nearby, pilots might confuse their driveway with a runway. What airport is nearest your home? O'Hare (or ORD, as the tags on my luggage say).

9) When Elvis was alive, he kept the holiday lights up until January 9, the day after his birthday. That tradition continues at Graceland today. Conventional etiquette tells us Christmas decorations should go up the day after Thanksgiving and come down before January 6 (the 12th day of Christmas). Do you think it's ever too early, or too late, for Christmas decorations? Ah, my parents argued about this every damn year. My dad was very "day after Thanksgiving to New Year's Day." My mom would have kept the tree up until Easter if he'd let her. I think everyone should do as they want.



Merry Christmas to Sophia

I love the surprise gift I got from my former coworker. But it's the gesture, more than the electric blanket itself, that matters to me. That she thought of me and wanted me to have a Merry Christmas is what touches me. But my condo always runs hot and dry. I seldom even wear long sleeves in here, much less need an electric blanket.

So I returned it to Target and got a gift card. I didn't feel great about this, though. I don't know why, but I just didn't feel comfortable with what I'd done. On the way home I stopped at Whole Foods for some eggs. I was surprised to see their store Christmas tree. They'd had one in this spot for years, but in 2020 and 2021 there wasn't room because Amazon Locker had taken the space. The store had a remodel this year, freeing up room for the tree.

This is a special tree, decorated with little construction paper hearts from the kids at the local children's home. Some kids live there 24/7, waiting for appropriate foster homes or for their parents to get it together and take them back. Others are there because their working parents are taking advantage of the sliding scale daycare. Anyway, each heart has a kids' name, age, sizes and Wish List items. Since the children's home is, literally, next door, I'm happy to take an ornament and fulfill a Christmas wish.

I chose Sophia. She's 10. Her Wish List item is an Amazon gift card. Easy enough. But surely Santa Gal can do better for her than that. After all, I have that Target gift card in my wallet. I used it to get Sophia a green pullover. That seemed in the spirit of the season, in keeping with the intentions of the coworker who gave me the electric blanket.

Amazon gift card and a new top. That's what she asked for. But I thought about myself at 10. What was going on with me? I wanted to feel grown up. I was very into lip gloss and scents. I thought that might be true of Sophia, too.

That's when I remembered the little Body Shop strawberry gift set. I bought it during a clearance sale last spring, figuring I would give it along with a gift card to our admin for Christmas. I'm not working at the agency any more and had no use for it now. I thought the scented shower gel and body wash would be good for young Sophia. It would make her feel all girly and pretty, but it couldn't possibly be deemed "too grown up" by her parents or caregivers.

Pullover, gift card, strawberry gift set.  I feel good about this.