Friday, April 27, 2012

Friday 80s Flashback for April 27, 2012

[April 1968 Week 4] -- All this month, the Flashback has focused on reviewing tunes from April 1986, the month and year in which I turned 18. Also this month, I have been asking folks to help me celebrate my birthday by supporting one or more of my favorite charities (details are in the post titled Forty-Four). It is hard to believe we have already covered Week 1, Week 2, and Week 3. April has positively flown by. But now we have arrived at the final Friday of the month, so it is time to savor a few of the songs that charted during the week of April 26, 1986 -- 26 years ago this week! After finally achieving the top spot in the Hot 100 on April 19, 1986, Prince held on for another week. But there were a few changes in the top 10. Do you recall any of the artists who jumped a few spots that week?

We'll look at three of them after the break.

Monday, April 23, 2012


Sign of the state road no. 44 in Austria (Bundesstrasse 44 Oesterreich) via Wikipedia

If you have been following my Friday 80s Flashback posts this month, you know that April is my birth month and that I shall turn forty-four (44). In fact, I might already be 44 by the time you read this. But I tend to draw out the celebration of my Born On date even while I decline to provide the specific day so it is never too late -- or too early -- to join in my revelry. Now, 44 may not be as auspicious as "forty-two (42)," but it does have its fair share of symbolism. It is part of a group of numbers known as master numbers in numerology. I don't necessarily carry a master number as my life purpose number is 4, but turning 44 could present a double-helping of the energies present in life path #4 (or some such thing), right?

Well, whether numbers pose an influence beyond bank accounts and cholesterol counts, reaching the age of 44 is an achievement. To mark my latest journey around the Sun, I will not have a party, nor will I seek presents. But I do have a request (and if you recall my Forty-Two post from 2010, you can probably guess where I'm going this time around). If you choose to participate in celebrating my Born On date, I ask that you donate time or money to your favorite charity or not-for-profit organization. If you do not have a favorite, I happily suggest a few of my own (in addition to the causes listed in my Activism tab):
  • Leukemia & Lymphoma Society -- My father-in-law would have celebrated another birthday on Monday (4/26) -- if he had not succumbed to cancer in March 2005. My own father was diagnosed with a recurrence of Myelodysplasia syndrome (MDS) in November 2009. He has since had a successful mini transplant. And while the doctors are pleased if not downright surprised at his progress to date, it is still a somewhat slow recovery process. So, yeah, I'm all for funding cancer research and treatment.
  • Cleveland Clinic -- My father had his bone marrow transplants performed here. They have an excellent medical staff and wonderful family support programs.
  • School of Sacred Ministries -- Independent divinity school that offers a 27-month program of spiritual training with ordination as an Interfaith Minister upon conclusion. I was ordained here, I continue to work with them, and they can always use money to continue their programs and further the cause of interfaith dialog.
  • Montgomery Theater -- A small professional theater in the suburbs of Philadelphia, Montgomery Theater is my home-away-from-home. Like many not-for-profit enterprises operating in the arts, they are often in a budget crunch. Donations can help pay actor salaries and utility bills, or keep the education programs running (Young Actors Workshop, Girl Scout Badge Program, Montgomery Theater Too, Artist in Residence Program).
  • Philabundance -- The Delaware Valley’s largest hunger relief organization. Working to end hunger and malnutrition since 1984.
  • KidsPeace -- Top notch (and kind of local, for me) facility helping children and their families. Founded and headquartered in PA in 1882, they have services in "Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia and the District of Columbia."
Thank you in advance!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Friday 80s Flashback for April 20, 2012

[April 1986 Week 3] -- If you have been following the Flashback this month, you know that we are reviewing tunes from April 1986, the month and year in which I turned 18. This time around, we are looking at a few songs that charted in the week of April 19, 1986. That's 26 years ago this week! After ruling the top spot in the Hot 100 for three weeks (March 29 through April 12, 1986), Falco finally yielded #1 to another artist. Do you recall who that was? Do you know what else was ruling the airwaves that week? Read and hear more after the break.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday 80s Flashback for April 13, 2012

[April 1986 Week 2] -- Here we are in the second week of my birth month. If you visited the Flashback last week, you know that we are reviewing tunes from April 1986, the month and year in which I turned 18. This week we'll spotlight a few hits from the week of April 12, 1986. Can you remember what was in heavy radio rotation 26 years ago this week? Read and hear more after the break.

Friday, April 06, 2012

Friday 80s Flashback for April 6, 2012

Year Artwork from ArtGenEeRing

[April 1986 Week 1] -- Hopefully regular 80s-philes realize that this series of weekly blog posts is part music appreciation and (sometimes) part autobiography. Yes, the primary function of these posts is to share my love of 80s music, But I will also, on occasion, share some of my personal memories about growing up in the 80s. I point out this small fact because the collective theme for this month's flashbacks is a little more about me than just my attempt to group songs according to a real or imagined similarity. You see, I will turn 44 at some point in April 2012. So each weekly post this month will have the Friday 80s Flashback featuring music from April 1986: the month in which I turned 18!
Our guide for this month's flashbacks. (Courtesy of

Ready to find out what was on the charts 26 years ago this week? Read and hear more after the break.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

A Heathen Speaks on Palm Sunday

On Sunday -- April 1, 2012 -- I led the celebration at Pebble Hill Interfaith Community Church. This entailed me guiding folks through the day's agenda and delivering a message about Palm Sunday.

Given that I am an ordained Interfaith Minister as well as Certified Heathen Clergy, my first reaction upon being asked to lead the celebration was to say no. Why should I participate in such a deeply Christian event? But then I realized two things. For one, Pebble Hill -- located in Doylestown, PA -- is a truly interfaith community. Its membership is comprised of lapsed Catholics, Wiccans, Buddhists, Atheists, Neo-Pagans of every stripe, and many other flavors of "spiritual but not religious." For another, Pebble Hill is my ordaining institution. I also realized that I could certainly contribute by focusing on the work of myth.

So, I said yes, and accepted the challenge.

Now, reading my Palm Sunday "message" is quite a different experience from hearing it. One does not speak at Pebble Hill; one speaks with Pebble Hill. But I thought I should archive it here on my blog anyway. If you have an interest in how I unpacked the Palm Sunday story, read on after the break ...

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