Song Lyric Sunday — Vanity

Actually, the theme for this week’s Song Lyric Sunday is not “vanity.” It’s “bragging.” But I don’t think it’s much of a stretch to go from bragging (a verb) to vanity (a noun). After all, vanity is excessive pride in one’s appearance, qualities, abilities, achievements, etc. And such excessive pride can often result in bragging. Am I right or what?

And speaking about vanity, what song portrays vanity better than Carly Simon’s 1972 mega-hit, “You’re So Vain”?

The song was written and performed by Carly Simon and released in November 1972 on Elektra Records. It’s is a critical profile of a self-absorbed lover about whom Simon asserts, “You’re so vain, you probably think this song is about you.”

While there’s been a lot of speculation regarding the subject of the song, Simon has hinted that it refers to three different men, only one of whom, actor Warren Beatty, has she named publicly.

And here are the lyrics:

You walked into the party
Like you were walking on a yacht
Your hat strategically dipped below one eye
Your scarf, it was apricot
You had one eye on the mirror
And watched yourself gavotte
And all the girls dreamed that they’d be your partner
They’d be your partner, and

You’re so vain
You probably think this song is about you
You’re so vain,
I’ll bet you think this song is about you
Don’t you?
Don’t you?

Oh, you had me several years ago
When I was still naive
Well, you said that we made such a pretty pair
And that you would never leave
But you gave away the things you loved
And one of them was me
I had some dreams, they were clouds in my coffee
Clouds in my coffee, and

You’re so vain
You probably think this song is about you
You’re so vain, you’re so vain
I’ll bet you think this song is about you
Don’t you?
Don’t you?

Well I hear you went to Saratoga
And your horse, naturally, won
Then you flew your Learjet up to Nova Scotia
To see the total eclipse of the sun
Well, you’re where you should be all the time
And when you’re not, you’re with some underworld spy
Or the wife of a close friend,
Wife of a close friend, and

You’re so vain
You probably think this song is about you
You’re so vain, you’re so vain
I’ll bet you think this song is about you
Don’t you?
Don’t you?


Humdrum and Ho-Hum

1E959609-88DF-44C0-8F67-2A4EA53C23D4My biggest fear when I retired at the end of last year was boredom. After all, I’d spent close to the last 50 years as an active member of the workforce. I had a job to do, I knew how to do it, and I was damn good at it.

And then, just like that, I retired. What to do, what to do?

I did not want to succumb to boredom, so I set as a personal goal to find ways to exercise both my body and my mind.

The good news with respect to the body is that I have a wife who is an exercise nut and she encourages me to get up off my butt and to keep moving. I also have a dog that demands to be walked multiple times a day, ensuring that I achieve at least 10,000 steps daily.

But what about exercising the mind? As a new retiree, I wanted a way to keep my mind active, engaged, and alert. And that’s where this blog comes in.

When I first started this blog in May, one of my primary purposes was to provide a platform for me to express my views, opinions, and perspectives on topics that matter to me. I also wanted to establish a creative outlet for self-expression and to dabble in flash fiction. But most important, I wanted — needed — something to challenge my brain, to keep my neurons transmitting and the synapses firing. Something that might stave off the mental deterioration of old age.

And something that would enable me to not succumb to the humdrum and ho-hum.

Written for today’s one-word prompt, “succumb.”

SoCS — Wishing Well

C345AB33-21C3-4E20-91A7-1871179C4407This week’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt from Linda G. Hill is the word “well.”

When I read it, I was transported back in time to two incidents that involved the word “well” that I thought I’d share with you here.

The first such incident occurred at my first job interview after graduating from college. I was extremely nervous, as one might expect. The man interviewing me asked me an open-ended question. I can’t recall what the question was, but that’s not important.

Anyway, he asked the question and I took a moment to consider my answer. After crafting in my mind what I thought would be a good response, I started my answer by saying, “Well….”

But before I could get out the next word, he interrupted me and said, “That’s a deep subject,” and he started to laugh. I just looked at him, clueless as to what the hell he was talking about.

“You know,” he said, “a well is deep. A deep well. A deep subject.” Sensing that I was still lost, he explained that it was a joke. “You gotta lighten up a little, son.”

Needless to say, I didn’t get that job.

The second incident came up in a rather awkward situation after I quit my job to go to graduate school. I had gotten the flu and had missed a few weeks of classes. When I returned to one of my classes, the professor asked me how I was feeling. I told him I was feeling good.

“No, you’re not feeling good,” he said. “You’re feeling well.”

“Okay,” I said, “good, well, whatever.”

Then he started to lecture me. “Feeling well refers to feeling healthy, as in not being sick. When someone asks you how you’re feeling, they are probably inquiring about your health, so it’s appropriate to answer that you’re feeling well.”

“Fine,” I said. “I’m feeling well.”

But he was not done. “Feeling good is more of a general state of mind, so ‘I’m feeling good’ can refer to someone feeling happy, optimistic, proud, etc. You really need to be more precise and know when to say you’re feeling well and when to say you’re feeling good.”

“Thank you,” I said. “That’s good to know. Or should I be saying that’s well to know?”

Oh well.

A Brand New Verb

80935F70-8DC7-4586-AAD6-5E3F12250B20There’s a new verb to add to your lexicon. I found out about it this morning while reading my iPhone’s news feed. The verb is “phubbing.”

Have you ever used it? Have you ever even heard of it? I hadn’t, but I’m not really out there when it comes to the latest colloquialisms being added to the English language.

So what is it? Well, according to my iPhone’s news feed, phubbing is the practice of snubbing others in favor of your mobile phone. It’s a mashup of the words “phone” and “snubbing.” It is the act of ignoring someone by paying closer attention to your phone than to them.

When we’re staring at our phones, the article pointed out, we’re often texting with someone, checking Twitter or Facebook, or looking at pictures of funny cats or cute dogs on the internet. And that means we are not engaging with others via in-person, face-to-face relationships.

Some suggest that overuse of our phones in the presence of others can lead to a decline in interpersonal relationships, even to those we are closest to, such as our spouses, parents, or children.

The act of phubbing is almost self-perpetuating. People snubbed in favor of technology are more likely to attach themselves to their phones in unhealthy ways. Yikes!

So after I finished reading the article, I looked up from my iPhone, looked at my wife, who was sitting across the kitchen table from me, and said, “Hey, honey, I learned a new word this morning.”

With her eyes glued to her own iPhone, she responded, “Shh, don’t bother me. I’m tweeting.”

That’s when I realized I’d just been phubbed.