78 for 78

When I set out to do something I never don’t do it, so saying I had a perfect score on my Christmas list this year is like noting that the earth managed another spin yesterday.

I’ll admit I had one slight change. When going to buy a Christmas tree several weeks ago I noted that my preferred location, Krop’s Crops, did not open until 10 a.m., while nearby Meadows Farms opened at nine. The Farms got my business, because in classic Michael O’Connell Sr. fashion… I was ready. (Also in MJOC fashion was my scoffing at the tree’s price, but who wasn’t doing that this year?)

Hope you had a nice Christmas, dear reader, and I hope you got to everything on your Christmas list.

Christmas verses

‘Twas the day before Christmas and all through D.C.,

Two-dollar Big Macs for you and for me!
Let the Wizards keep winning as the Caps rest a while,

And Santa, give the Football Team a reason to smile.
We all could use a bit of good news,
God Bless our teams in their 2022s.

No school… for some

Among the differences between my hometown of Binghamton, New York, and my adopted home of Loudoun County, Virginia, is that the saps in Binghamton had to go to school three days this week while we had to go none!

For a more in-depth comparison tune in to Math and Musings this Friday, special Christmas Eve “from the road” edition.

You can go home again?

I’ve heard it said you can’t go home again.
No, you definitely can, though perhaps a part of you wishes you hadn’t.
“Home,” currently, in the place I so often deride, I’m reminded why I do.
But for a handful of people I still talk to, there really ain’t much to it.
Hashtag sad comes to mind.

The book makes me want to see the movie

I just finished reading Mark Seal’s Leave the Gun, Take the Cannoli: The Epic Story of the Making of The Godfather.


Not exactly a page-turner, the book did at least have the advantage of my all-time favorite movie as its subject.

Most of the stories I’d heard before, but it was cool to have them all in one place.

And it definitely made me want to watch the movie for the 300th time.

He doesn’t need my plug, but here goes

For the second time in a week I’m plugging something on HBO, the O.G. of all subscription services certainly in no need of any assistance from me.

The documentary I suggest watching on said service concerns a musician. Of all the musicians in the world he’s the one who needs my two-bit acknowledgement the least, but here goes.

Available on HBO now is a film called Listening to Kenny G. If you’ve lived on Planet Earth the past 40 years you’ve already listened to Kenny G, but you probably haven’t seen him like this. (And if you’re wondering who Kenny G is, have you ever been in, like, a building? Ever? And there was music? Yeah, that was Kenny G.)

Honestly before Monday night I knew very little about Kenny G the person. Everyone knows Kenny G’s music, but no one knows Kenny G. This is addressed in the film.

Most professional jazz musicians and nearly all professional jazz critics dislike Kenny G. This is also addressed in the film. Actually that’s basically the premise of the whole thing. Why do real jazz players and fans hate Kenny G, while millions of people around the world love him? Is Kenny G’s music actually jazz? Has he ever claimed it was?

All of this and more is discussed at length in Listening to Kenny G. And yeah, we actually get to listen to Kenny G. Like, Kenny the guy, talking about his craft. At which he still practices three hours a day. Yeah, 50 years on he’s practicing three hours a day. Like him or not, the man is a true master of his instrument, and apparently tries to be a master of everything he does. Golf, flying a plane, making hit records. And whether you call it jazz or not, it sells. People like it. Just not real jazz fans, apparently.

I’ve been the Kenny G apologist among my jazz friends for many years. (I’m the Beatles apologist too, though that one tends to be easier to defend.)

Maybe I can pick up a few more supporters now.

We’re Number 5!

When you’re searching for the Holy Grail there’s no silver medal for second place.
When you’re trying to reach the College Football Playoff there’s no prize for being five.
My beloved Fighting Irish of Notre Dame have the unfortunate distinction this year of being fifth place in a four-team race for the national championship.
My first thought was, no way Cincinnati should be in, I bet they didn’t beat a ranked opponent all year!

Actually, no, Cincinnati topped Notre Dame in October.
And the Irish didn’t beat a ranked opponent all season.