Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Thursday Thirteen #327

The 130 Million Club. Accounting could be the most creative art form in show business. Which is why lists like this are hard for a layperson like me to compile. Billboard's lists are different from Rolling Stone's are different from the Guinness Book of Records'. But, when it comes to record sales, these are the women that appear atop everybody's lists. They have all sold more than 130 million records. Now the actual order of these names depends on whether you're looking at Billboard, or Rolling Stone, or the Guinness Book of Records.

1. Madonna. Dear God, I cannot stand anything about her! But there's no denying her success.

2. Taylor Swift. Isn't she adorable? (I know, I sound like my mother talking about that nice Marie Osmond back in the 70s.)

3. Rhianna. I think of her every time I say "um-bur-ella."

4. Beyonce. It's her world and we just live in it.

5. Mariah Carey. I read that she makes more than $3 million every holiday season, just for "All I Want for Christmas."

6. Whitney Houston. I really wish her story had a different ending.

7. Celine Dion. I feel bad about not liking her, since she has lost her husband and faced serious health problems. So I'll just keep my opinion of her performances to myself.

8. Britney Spears. Hearing her and Elton's duet at the beginning of an episode of And Just Like That reminded me I'm so happy she seems to have her life back on track.

9. Barbra Streisand. My queen. Long may she reign.

10. Shirley Bassey. I'm surprised to see her on this list, but apparently she's far more popular in Europe than she ever was here.

11. Katy Perry. With such solid record sales, I wonder why she bothers with American Idol.

12. Lady Gaga. The only one of her songs I know is "Shallow," but that's OK. I'm old and not expected to be hip anymore.

13. Pink. "We're not broken, we're just bent. We can learn to love again." Now I have "Just Give Me a Reason" running through my head. Which is fine.

Please join us for THURSDAY THIRTEEN. Click here to play along, and to see other interesting compilations of 13 things.


One Cub's brush with greatness

I was downtown this morning, heading from The Loop to the theater district, where the Secretary of State's office is now located. Since I needed to renew my Real ID, I was naturally wearing Cubbie blue because that's how I want to be memorialized. I donned my official 2017 NL Central Champions shirt, which was next up in Cub shirt queue. 

As I was walking over the bridge I noticed a tall young man with reddish hair and very well-groomed facial hair looking at my shirt with something that resembled -- but did not quite qualify as -- a smile. I thought he looked kinda like Cubs outfielder Ian Happ. I tried to make eye contact because obviously we're both Cub fans and that makes us part of a brotherhood and all, but he assiduously avoided looking me in the face. I shrugged and kept walking. It was a block later that I realized it: he looked like Ian Happ because he was Ian Happ.

2017 was Happ's first year in the majors. He went to the playoffs as a rookie ... six years ago. He probably doesn't stumble upon that 2017 NL Central Champions artwork on the street very often anymore. Oh yeah, and his name appeared on my shirt. 

Tonight he hit a grand slam home run. Clearly meeting me was inspiring.

See it here.

You're welcome, Ian.