Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Ron Asheton, The Letter O

Happy New Year, one and all! Which now officially sucks. I just got the really bad news that Ron Asheton, lead guitarist of The Stooges, was found dead this morning on his couch in Ann Arbor. His personal assistant contacted police last night after not being able to get a hold of him for several days. No definitive cause of death yet, but they're thinking heart attack. I'm really bummed. I took the iPod of shuffle mode and I'm now listening to The Stooges first album The Stooges.

Holy crap! Somebody's already updated Wikipedia with his death. I don't know why, but some reason that just strikes me as a little sick. As if someone is much too anxious to share bad news….wants to be first.

I had a whole bunch of stuff to post about, too…November and December Books & Movies (I know how you all look forward to that so much). And I signed up for a Letter O doohickey from Urs way back before Christmas. But right now I'm just too depressed (sitting at the office dabbing at tears).

I'm so thankful that I took every opportunity that was available to me over the past 5 years to see The Stooges perform live. And that I bought the DVD of their first Detroit concert in 30 years – 2003 at Pine Knob – postponed due to the big blackout. I confess that when Iggy came out on stage that night, I cried. It was such a rush. And it was the same both times I saw them last year (was it just last year – or was it 2007?). I think it was 2007…damn, time really does fly when you get old. I wore my Iggy Pop is from Ypsilanti t-shirt on Christmas Day. Mine's red, so it was appropriate.

I was a complete slacker during my time off and barely got on-line at all. I'd get on the computer to check e-mail and then would go right back to knitting. Much to do and not enough time to do it. Oy vey.

The Letter O Doohickey is actually called “Brought to you by the letter…” game. Here’s how it works…

You leave a comment on this post, and I’ll assign you a letter. You write about ten things you love that begin with your assigned letter, and post it at your place. When people comment on your list, you give them a letter, and the chain continues on and on.

Without further adieu, here’s my list, all starting with the letter O, as bequeathed to me. (Note: Everything written after "The Letter O Doohickey is actually called" is a direct quote from Urs.)

Organ – A number of years ago (ten or more) a good friend headed off to Duke to study graduate level Economics. This was when I was still working at the Univ and we had a professor there who was not the brightest bulb ever. In fact, she wasn't even close – we all questioned her getting a Ph.D. Anyway, when she found out that RE was going to Duke, she went on and on and on about its "big organ." It was all we could do to stifle our laughter – childish? Perhaps, but this was a person who wrote the exact same letter for every student attempting to get into law or grad school and used the words "good oral skills." Should I have fixed it for "verbal skills?" Possibly, but she had the Ph.D., not me…and I don't think she would have appreciated it anyway. So, I let it go and we still roll our eyes and laugh about it to this day. It might technically be correct, but really…

Oleo - Back when I was a tyke, this was the word we used in place of margarine. I have no clue where it came from or why it fell out of use, but I think only people over the age of 70 still use it. I don't actually love oleo, but I like it as a word. Okay, I looked it up…turns out the full term used to be oleomargarine and had to do with the combination of oils or something like that. Like good Americans, we shortened it to save time, apparently.

Orion - Quite literally, Orion is the only constellation I can find on a regular basis with no trouble. Sure I know the Big and Little Dippers are up there, but they're much more difficult to spot. I think that Belt of Orion's is way cool – mostly because that's how I spot it. I'm such an astronomer. Not.

Oriol - My favorite race car driver of the past 8 or so years. Sadly, last year he finally signed a contract for a full-time (he was the Super Sub – brilliant – for a good number of years) ride and then everything went to hell in a handbasket – hence that ugly red, white and blue logo in the corner of his website. Okay, I'm amused – I google-imaged Oriol and the first picture that showed up was obviously from the current year (i.e., ugly uniform, ugly car, etc.), but I saw one that showed my Oriol in a firesuit that was very familiar…and it turns out that it's from my good friend Row's website. I wonder if he knows! If you're good, you might even be able to look through Row's pics and find me at my happiest – at a Champ Car race with good friends. Damn, going through those pics made me melancholy.

On-line - Which of us doesn't love "on-line"-ness? It gives me access to people, knowledge, shopping, etc. It's almost all good.

Oh crap, when I started this I thought I only had to come up with FIVE O words…hmmm. Time to get out the dictionary.

Obelisk - I equate obelisks with ancient Egypt which I find utterly fascinating and I look forward to the day I get to return to Egypt and see more of it, as I really only got to see Cairo and Saqqara when I was there back in the mid-90s.

Oboe - If you have never listened to Vivaldi's Oboe Concertos you are missing out. They are incredible.

Occasion - I love special occasions, especially if they require one to dress up. I do not feel people dress up enough anymore. Hell, when I see people at the symphony and opera in jeans or cargo shorts and flip-flops and t-shirts, it's obvious that nothing is an "occasion" anymore. And it makes me sad.

Opal - Opals are my all time favorite gemstone – particularly, black opals. A while back I had made it a goal to have an opal ring for every finger. I succeeded (with a couple extra) and now I rarely wear them.

Oscar - Specifically, Oscar Wilde. I have two favorite plays – Cyrano de Bergerac and The Importance of Being Earnest. He wrote the latter. I have a whole book of his writings and find him quite an interesting person. I can read or watch "Importance" at any day or time. Love, love, love it!


At Tuesday, 06 January, 2009, Anonymous Ursula said...

Opals and Oriol. I never thought how easy O actually was going to be for you! :)

At Tuesday, 06 January, 2009, Blogger Evil Twin's Wife said...

Very interesting list. O would be difficult for me, but I like Orion too. My son has loved planetariums and constellations since he was only 4 yrs old. I think Orion might be his favorite too!

I'm game to play along, but please don't give me some really obscure letter! :-)(although I totally understand I don't have any say in it, I just thought I would appeal to your good heart). :-)

At Wednesday, 07 January, 2009, Blogger Kathleen said...

Urs - Fooled you! ;-)

ETW - Don't worry, I won't give you a crappy letter like "Q." ;-) Hmmm, how about W?

At Wednesday, 07 January, 2009, Blogger mr. schprock said...

I've never seen Importance of Being Earnest staged, but I remember reading it many years ago in a room all by myself laughing out loud. That fellow was a wit.

Happy New Year, Kathleen!

At Wednesday, 07 January, 2009, Blogger Kathleen said...

Schprockie - I highly recommend the old movie, not the new one - if you're thinking about checking it out. Old Oscar was definitely a wit! A most intelligent man.

At Thursday, 08 January, 2009, Blogger Heather said...

I'm so sorry to hear about Ron Asheton. It's always hard to lose a hero.

I love Orion - my favorite constellation - for the same reason. It's easy to find! :-) I'd love to play this game!!!

At Thursday, 08 January, 2009, Blogger Kathleen said...

Hey Heather! There was a good article at the New York times today re: Ron. Much more thorough than the AP report everybody else posted.

I'm giving you D. Have at it!

At Thursday, 08 January, 2009, Blogger Jorge said...

Alright, it looks like an intersting game. I'm in.

I too like occasions. You may already know my feelings on dressing up, so I won't rerant here.

Ever since I got my own tux and had it tailored (by Mano's right down from MIllers Bar) I always hope for a chance to wear it. Now I have to shave off a few punds. but with enough warning about an upcoming event it would be worth it.

Oboe players and bassonists are all a bit nuts from what I hear. A friend of mine is a symphonic musician and he says double reed players are kind of odd.

Obelisk is a cool word.

When I hear Oscar I think Meyer or Madison.

The bit about Ron Ashton was a learning experience for me. Really. I kind of always thought The Stooges was just the name of Iggy's band, like the Count Bassie Orchestra.

I guess that makes me a philistine?

At Thursday, 08 January, 2009, Blogger fermicat said...

When I heard the news about Asheton, the first thing I thought about was how devastated you would be. :hugs:

Orion does just jump out at you, doesn't it. And I like the shape.

I played oboe for many years. I can confirm that double reed players are, in general, and odd bunch. My best friend in junior high was the bassoon player. We got into all kinds of crazy trouble, and were more than a little bit dorky/geeky/strange.

At Thursday, 08 January, 2009, Blogger fermicat said...

Oh, and I will play the game. Be kind...

At Thursday, 08 January, 2009, Blogger Kathleen said...

Jorge - We already knew you were a philistine. ;-) The good Dr. Sardonicus will probably write an obit soon. When he does, go and read it, but be nice. He's a nice man. Hmm, I give you the letter H.

Fermi - Thank you. I appreciate it. I spent most of Tuesday dabbing at tears in my eyes. Thankfully there were a few people at work with whom I could share the sadness. You played the Oboe? That's so cool. Catholic schools weren't big back in the 70s on musical stuff. And the parental units pushed college prep not music. I always wanted to play the violin. Yay! You want to play, too! Hmmm, I give you the letter P.

At Friday, 09 January, 2009, Blogger Heather said...

D is for Done!

:-D My answers aren't as deep or cool as yours but it was fun to do!!

At Friday, 09 January, 2009, Blogger dr sardonicus said...

If you're from Detroit, you have to be into the Stooges - they were one of the most influential groups to come out of that city's diverse musical scene. The Stooges were much more than Iggy's band, at least in the beginning, before David Bowie brought Iggy out front and center and pushed everybody else into the background.

Even with somebody marginally famous like Ron Asheton, Wikipedia will post news of their passing within a couple of hours.

At Friday, 09 January, 2009, Blogger dr sardonicus said...

Please, Kat, no letter. I've done a variant of this meme in the past.

At Sunday, 11 January, 2009, Blogger Kathleen said...

Dr. - I only give letters to those who ask. You were safe. ;-)

At Sunday, 11 January, 2009, Anonymous Suzy said...

Wow, I'm so sorry about Ron Asheton- I'm surprised I hadn't read about his death before this. Glad you went to see the Stooges whenever you could - and that you always cheered on your fave drivers. It was fun being with you when you did that. I know it was appreciated.

Go ahead ad give me a letter, though I doubt mine will be as good as yours.

Dare I say "Happy new year"?!

PS I love Oscar, too!


At Monday, 12 January, 2009, Blogger Sal said...

I have to admit, I'm blog cheating on you and asked Jorge to assign me a letter. You gave me "C" last time and I figured I'd see what Jorge gave me. I love Oscar. Oh and my heartfelt condolences.

At Tuesday, 13 January, 2009, Blogger Kathleen said...

Suzy!!! - How have you been? Hmmm, how about a T.

Sal - You're cheating on me with JORGE??? I'm crushed! ;-)

At Tuesday, 13 January, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I keep finding the word "oleo" in crossword puzzles and I was always confused because I have never heard that before. I guess I thought it was something else entirely (and I am from Michigan too originally so I can't claim regional differences!)

At Wednesday, 14 January, 2009, Blogger fermicat said...

It took me a while, but my letter P post is up at my place.

At Wednesday, 14 January, 2009, Blogger Beth said...

I'm sorry to hear about the death. I felt that way about Heath Ledger and haven't been able to watch "Brokeback Mountains" (my favorite film of his) since he passed.

I also love "The Importance of Being Ernest." Next to "Much Ado About Nothing," that's my favorite play!

At Wednesday, 14 January, 2009, Blogger Beth said...

EARNEST. Didn't spellcheck.

At Thursday, 22 January, 2009, Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Holy crap! Somebody's already updated Wikipedia with his death. I don't know why, but some reason that just strikes me as a little sick. As if someone is much too anxious to share bad news….wants to be first.

Nah. Wikipedia is not trying to be sick but trying to be up to date asap. It was like with Brett Favre retiring and unretiring, they had those sagas right away.

Now on a personal note, this is bad, but I barely know the Stooges. Badman and I go to a Punk/Post-Punk bar and that's the only Stooges I've ever heard. I'll bug him to let me borrow some.

At Tuesday, 27 January, 2009, Blogger fermicat said...

"O" Kat? Just checking in on you!

At Monday, 02 February, 2009, Blogger Beth said...

Hey lady, when you updating? :)


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