Monday, August 06, 2018

The Greatest...Because I Say So


One day late last week I stepped out of the shower and I heard a fanfare of music; then a stentorian voice blared from the television in the bedroom. "Broadway's greatest musical is coming to Cleveland!" it announced. Immediately a list of contenders ran through my mind--none of which interested me, I might add, since I am not a fan of musicals--and I waited to hear the title, just out of Idle Curiosity. When the announcer finally did speak the name of The Musical, I was completely floored; there was not a single chance I'd have ever guessed it to be Broadway's Greatest, and I made up my mind to ask my mother, St. Patsy, Film And Musical Maven, her opinion.

So I did. I gave her the scenario and then gave her three guesses. Hers were stellar and completely plausible.

They were also, like all of mine, wrong.

I told her the answer, according to the commercial, and she was outraged. "Well, that's just ridiculous! Who said that's the greatest musical? I can only name one song from it!" And from there we both began naming all the other Better Musicals and the wonderful songs that came from them. Obviously, Broadway's Greatest Musical was NOT coming to Cleveland after all.

So, in the spirit of that dopey ad campaign that thought it could decide What Is The Greatest Of All, let's just declare what we think Is The Greatest in these random categories below. You don't have to explain your choices; just own them!

The Greatest...

1. Pasta Shape
Farfalle (Bowtie)

2. Vegetable
Asparagus

3. Ketchup
Heinz

4. Book
To Kill a Mockingbird

5. Band
The Beatles

6. Ice Cream
Häagen-Dazs Coffee

7. Actor
Daniel Day-Lewis

8. President
Abraham Lincoln

9. Poem
Tie: Annabel Lee and The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

10. Candy
Peanut MM's

There!  These things are The Greatest because I say so. Now you can say so, too, in Comments. (Oh, and the Greatest Broadway Musical, according to that ad campaign? Hello, Dolly. Yeah, I don't think so, either. )

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44 comments:

  1. 1. Pasta Shape - Penne
    2. Vegetable - Green Beans
    3. Ketchup - Simple Truth Organic Tomato Ketchup
    4. Book - ??? [I'll get back to you on that one.]
    5. Band - Rolling Stones
    6. Ice Cream - Mint Chocolate Chip, any brand
    7. Actor - Cary Grant
    8. President - Barack Obama
    9. Poem - The Second Coming
    10. Candy - Payday

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ally Bean--Oh, I love Yeats, and The Second Coming is thrillingly dark. I think I quoted those last two lines in a post last year in reference to 45*. The whole work is so incredibly full of gorgeous language. Nice pick.

      Rick is a devotee of Payday candy bars. I grab him one for a sweet surprise every now and then at the grocery store and sneak it into his lunchbox.

      Delete
  2. Love this post!
    1. Pasta shape: canule
    2. Vegetable: Cabbage
    3. Ketchup: Heinz
    4. Book: The Winds of War
    5. Band: Pink Floyd
    6. Ice Cream: Turtle Tracks by Mayfield's
    7. Actor: Tom Hanks
    8. President: Hopefully, the NEXT one!
    9. Poem: O Captain, My Captain
    10. Candy: Spicy Skittles

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Re President. don't we all! Re vegetable - NO WAY!!!

      Delete
    2. Dee--I love cabbage, too! Cabbage and Noodles is one of my favorite comfort foods. Canule pasta is not a shape that's readily available around here, sadly, nor have I ever seen Spicy Skittles. But I'm happy to see another Walt fan here at the Dept.!

      Delete
  3. 1. Pasta Shape lasagna
    2. Vegetable corn on the cob - with lots of butter!
    3. Ketchup French's because Heinz closed their Canadian plant.
    4. Book The Lord of the Rings
    5. Band Anything Celtic [not a name ;-)]
    6. Ice Cream Reese's chocolate and peanut butter with mini Reese cups
    7. Actor Denzel Washington
    8. President Elenor Roosevelt
    9. Poem Lullaby - WH Auden
    10. Candy Jersey Milk Chocolate bar

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mary G--I love the feistiness of your answers! My all-time favourite Denzel Washington performance is still "Glory." I was in awe of his talent and so moved by his performance.

      Auden's Lullaby is such a sneaky, sexy poem. The imagery is so double-edged. I was happy to reacquaint myself with it.

      I had French's ketchup last month whilst in Canada. I vastly prefer Heinz, but I appreciate and honor your cause.

      And heaven bless Eleanor Roosevelt, America's first shadow female President. What a woman, to be sure!

      Delete
    2. I knew I spelled her name wrong. Oh dear. Feisty? Um, I prefer Heinz myself, but the factory that closed was one my grandfather sold to and that maintained, with its workers, the small and lovely town of Leamington. So, wrinkle my nose and use French's which has a plant in Canada. I guess we are all nuts some of the time.

      Delete
    3. Mary--Feisty, yes, because you stood up for Canada AND feminism in your answers. I read all about the Heinz boycott. And far too few Americans know of (or care about) Eleanor Roosevelt's role in her husband's presidency.

      Delete
  4. I just spent time putting this in neat columns. Oh well.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Fun post...but extremely difficult to answer sometimes. here goes:
    1. Pasta Shape - Penne

    2. Vegetable – really tough – I’ll say sugar snap peas because the 2nd crop has broken the soil in our garden!!

    3. Ketchup - Heinz

    4. Book – Another extremely tough one: today I’ll say Ahab’s Wife by Sena Jetter Naslund

    5. Band - The Beatles

    6. Ice Cream – Maple Walnut – preferably from a dairy in VT

    7. Actor – Omar Shariff (am I dating myself???) and I really, really like Daniel Day lewis

    8. President – Even the worst former one is better than the mistake currently in office. Agreeing with Dee – hopefully the next one…he/she will have a really BIG mess to clean up.

    9. Poem – Another tough one. for today: “Age Sixty-nine” by Jim Harrison

    10. Candy – Really dark, dark chocolate (hopefully with a glass of red wine)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Vera--Oh, no one will check your answers for Absolute Authenticity Forever. Probably, mine will change at some point, too. Remember, we are all Evolving As We Age. And no one can tell us what to think!

      You are not dating yourself with Omar Sharif, who I had a little Thing For back in the day, along with Clark Gable (who I crushed on mightily after seeing Gone with the Wind in my teens, ca. 1976?). But it wasn't about the acting, admittedly.

      I also have A Thing for maple flavor. Finding a really, really good maple walnut ice cream is tough. Around here, we do have one parlour that does it seasonally, and it's terrific. Commercially, though...no.

      Was not familiar with the poem you mentioned; Googled it, then immediately recalled it was hotlinked by Sam Sifton in his NYT food column the other day! Is that how you found it?

      And dark chocolate with a merlot...dessert!

      Delete
    2. Yes - NYT column (had slipped my memory). Good maple walnut ice cream ( or anything) is tough to find here in PA.

      Delete
  6. This is my second time back to do this but my brain is still mush. She you on the next post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jean--Oh no! No pressure; it's supposed to be fun. Come back anytime.

      Delete
  7. 1. Pasta Shape
    Tagliatelle

    2. Vegetable
    Avocado

    3. Ketchup
    Heinz

    4. Book
    Breakfast of Champions

    5. Band
    Simon & Garfunkel

    6. Ice Cream
    Häagen-Dazs Dulce de Leche

    7. Actor
    Tom Hanks

    8. President
    Tie: JFK* / Barack Obama
    *partly because I met him in person, but he would still be on the list

    9. Poem
    Me gusta cuando callas – Pablo Neruda
    (English translation: https://tinyurl.com/ya9w9kqy)

    10. Candy
    Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 5. Of course. But I did not think of them as a band, I must admit. 10 Yes!

      Delete
    2. Ortizzle--I have to say that Reese's PB Cup fought me til the end for a spot, but the sole reason it lost to Peanut MM's was that they are wee and easier to eat. I can keep them in jars and ignore them or binge, which is not the case for PB Cups, no matter what their size, since they can melt or must be unwrapped.

      And, as usual, part of your Comment sent me off to Google, this one being Avocado as a veg. 'Tis a fruit--actually a berry, according to some sources--so you get to name a new veg if you so desire.

      I will read the Neruda poem again later when it is not early in the morning. I wish I could appreciate it in its native Spanish. I feel like it is losing nuance. (I am barely a cup of coffee in, and headed to an appointment. I will be back.)

      Delete
    3. O.K., I know avocado is a fruit. But it tastes more vegetable-y than fruit-y. So my veg substitute is a tie between artichokes and spinach. Poetry... loses a lot in translation, sadly. Much more than prose--- it is a delicate, fragile creature.

      Delete
  8. I responded but it was lost in cyberspace so I'll try again.

    1. Pasta shape - elbow macaroni. Not the greatest by itself, but used in mac and cheese it becomes spectacular.

    2. Vegetable - tomato (only in summer). Yes, I know that it is a ripened ovary containing seeds which makes it technically a fruit but it's my favorite vegetable anyway.

    3. Ketchup - Heinz, hands down

    4. Book - "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn"

    5. Band - The Beatles Their music grew and matured at the same rate I did. If Paul Simon were a band, he would be the greatest.

    6. Ice cream - Kopp's Frozen Custard in Milwaukee. But since custard is not technically ice cream, (and I already fudged on the vegetable), the greatest is Graeter's in Cincinnati. But only in their ice cream shoppes, not from the grocery shelf.

    7. Actor - Meryl Streep, since "actor" can refer to either gender

    8. President - Abraham Lincoln, assuming you are referring to President of the United States

    9. Poem - "The New Colossus" by Emma Lazarus

    10. Candy - Pascha Their darkest chocolate is the richest I've ever tasted.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Graeter's I miss you so!

      Delete
    2. NCmountainwoman--Yes, how narrow-minded of me. I should have qualified the category and said "US President" since I do have readers not only in other places but of great intellect and wit.

      I think frozen custard is pretty much ice cream. I love it as well. What flavour of Graeter's do you prefer?

      I, too, love "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn"; I was just thinking of it the other day as I poured yet another of my second cups of coffee down the drain, untouched. "Just like Francie," I actually murmured to myself, trying not to feel too guilty. ;-)

      Delete
    3. I love their seasonal flavors and chocolate chip. But my real favorite is vanilla bean. Oh, so tasty. Simple and not cluttered. And delicious.

      Delete
  9. 1. Pasta Shape
    Linguine

    2. Vegetable
    broccoli

    3. Ketchup
    Heinz

    4. Book
    All of Harry Potter, or The Martian (I'm just basing this on how many times I've read the books, not whether I think they're the most well written - that might be Cold Mountain or The Book Thief).

    5. Band
    I don't have an answer for this - I mean, sure the Beatles are great & all, but I think some other bands are pretty good too (REM, U2, Fleetwood Mac...)

    6. Ice Cream
    Ben & Jerry's Phish Food

    7. Actor
    No strong opinion here either - I like Judi Dench a lot, or Kevin Kline (ha!).

    8. President
    Abraham Lincoln

    9. Poem
    Hmmm - I have a terrible memory for poems. I tend to gravitate toward writers like Wendell Berry & Mary Oliver, so it would probably be something from them. Although I do also like Emily Dickinson.

    10. Candy
    Brach's Bridge Mix (why settle for one type of candy?)

    I pretty much picked stuff I liked instead of thinking of what I thought was the greatest. Maybe I'll come back later with a different list :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Bug--I used to eat Bridge Mix as a child and loved it for the very same reason.
    I gave broccoli a really strong thought, too. But I fall for Asparagus every time. I adore it.
    A strong case can be made for Dame Judi Dench! She truly can do anything, whether it's comedy or high drama. She and Maggie Smith are incredible.

    ReplyDelete
  11. It is so good to hear from; hoping you are on the mend...
    Or, at the very least, feeling more like yourself...
    My Greatest..
    1. Pasta Shape - Bowtie
    2. vegetable - Asparagus
    3. Ketchup - Hunts
    4. Book - The Bible/Holy book of any and all religions
    5. band - Beatles
    6. Ice Cream - Haagen-Dazs -Butter Pecan
    7. Actor - John Lithgow
    8. President - Abraham Lincoln
    9. Poem - Too many to pick just one or two.
    10. Candy - Peanut M&M's
    My Greatest Broadway Musical - My Fair Lady...
    Hello Dolly! Please, I'd pick Oklahoma, before I'd pick 'Hello Dolly'; I mean Shesh...
    Remember my friend, little steps will get you there just as well as giant leaps, and they hurt less...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Denise--Good to hear from you as well.
      I like John Lithgow very much! He gets overlooked a great deal, I think, and he shines in both comedy and drama. He's also a terrific interview.

      Interestingly, "My Fair Lady" was NOT one of the musicals St. Patsy and I mentioned, and I agree that it's better, too, than "Hello, Dolly." We did mention "Oklahoma" at one point.

      Thank you for more kind support and encouragement. I'll take it!

      Delete
  12. 1. Pasta Shape: bow tie
    2. Vegetable corn on the cob - with lots of butter!
    3. Ketchup Heinz
    4. Book Ladder of Years, Anne Tyler
    5. Band Jason Isbell & 400 Unit (currently)
    6. Ice Cream Ben& Jerry anything w caramel
    7. Actor Meryl Streep & Tom Hanks
    8. President Franklin Roosevelt or Barack Obama
    9. Poem Lullaby Wild Geese, by Mary Oliver
    10. Candy Dark chocolate w caramel or toffee

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rose--I can see you are (like my husband) a caramel fan! Ben & Jerry's came out with the Caramel Core varieties, and he is in heaven. Like a candy bar and ice cream in one.

      You can't beat good corn on the cob with real butter, but it's a shame how fast it can fill you up. It's a meal by itself!

      I think you were the person who introduced me to Mary Oliver a few years ago when I celebrated National Poetry Day by making it a month or a week. That was a Very Nice Thing that you did!

      Delete
  13. very fun post lady! I love: Casey at the Bat

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. kathy b--You are such a baseball fan!

      Delete
    2. Mighty Casey had ....struck out.

      Delete
  14. I have to agree with you on many of your favorites. Book is To Kill a Mocking Bird and Pride and Prejudice. I have to say those are my favorite movies, also.

    I drive by this sign every single day and think of you, ready?

    OT PT Therapy
    Hand

    I laugh every time I see it. Shouldn't it be OT, PT and Hand Therapy>

    Just asking for your wise sign wisdom on this one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Meredith--LOL! I'm writhing in agony at the sign because--as you know--here is what it really says:

      Occupational Therapy Physical Therapy Therapy
      Hand

      SO. MUCH. THERAPY.

      It's like hearing those who say ATM Machine. (Automated Teller Machine Machine.) aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaccccccckkkkkkkk.

      So yes, you are exactly correct as to what the sign should say. I'm so glad I don't drive by it, but I'm so glad you think of me! How perfectly lovely! Thank you.

      Delete
  15. Hello Dolly? As if. I'm not a fan of the genre, but I loved Wicked. Maybe someday I'll see Hamilton, if I ever win the lottery.

    Here's my list:


    1. Pasta Shape
    Fusilli (corkscrew)

    2. Vegetable
    Artichoke

    3. Ketchup
    Simply Heinz (sugar instead of corn syrup)

    4. Book
    I can't even

    5. Band
    The Beatles

    6. Ice Cream
    Coffee mixed with nuts and a caramel swirl. And a chocolate swirl.

    7. Actor
    Denzel Washington

    8. President
    Abraham Lincoln

    9. Poem
    ee Cummings - can't think of the title, but I love it

    10. Candy
    Peanut M&Ms (I almost changed it to Almond Joy, and then Red Vines, and then Babe Ruth, and then Caramel, but came back to the truth of Peanut M&Ms...though I do really enjoy a Take 5 every year or 2)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was running out the door to dinner with work friends when I answered, but wanted to get it done because I haven't been by in SO LONG, either here or at my place. I've now given it a bit more thought and read the other comments, and I have some thoughts/revisions.

      2. I hadn't considered the possibility of avocados or tomatoes...some say that all fruits are vegetables, but not all vegetables are fruits (though they say it in a much more scientific way than that.). If those are also options, they will both trump artichokes. Especially a good tomato in August or September. Wow.

      7. I hadn't considered non living actors. Denzel will have to share his spot with Cary Grant and Jimmy Stewant.

      5. I do have a very soft spot for Simon and Garfunkel. My first concert, which is funny because they were VERY popular when I was born.

      4. I still can't.

      9. OK, the poem I love by Cummings...my computer won't let me type it correctly with no caps, and I give up trying, but here you go:

      you being in love
      Will tell who softly asks in love,

      Am I separated from your body smile brain hands merely
      To become the jumping puppets of a dream? Oh I mean
      Entirely having in my careful how
      Careful arms created this at length
      Inexcusable, this inexplicable pleasure - you go from several
      Persons: believe me that strangers arrive
      When I have kissed you into a memory
      Slowly, oh seriously
      -that since and if you disappear

      Solemnly
      My selves
      Ask "life, the question how do I drink dream smile

      And how do I prefer this face to another and
      Why do I weep eat sleep-what does the whole intend"
      They wonder. Oh and they cry "to be, being, that I am alive
      This absurd fraction in its lowest terms
      With everything cancelled
      But shadows
      -what does it all come down to? Love? Love
      If you like and I like, for the reason that I
      Hate people and lean out of this window is love, love
      And the reason that I laugh and breathe is oh love and the reason

      That I do not fall into this street is love."

      Delete
    2. Jimmy Stewart, obviously. Tiny comment box, tiny iPad screen, stupid middle-aged eyes...

      Delete
    3. j@jj--ee cummings is one of the masters, to be sure, of emotional free verse. Sometimes I want to smack the shit out of him because he can be worky to read, but if you just READ IT and stop trying to GET IT, it's so much better. This poem being a true Case In Point.

      I always came back to The Truth Of Peanut M&M's, as you so aptly characterized it, too. So satisfying, so readily available, so easy to eat, so cute. I once practically lived on them for almost a year during an illness.

      I like fusilli also, but rarely find it on menus or in the store. It has such a great bite to it.

      I hope you had something wonderful for dinner out with friends. And good wine.

      Delete
    4. Nance, do you find Cummings to be emotion free? I find it to be quite the opposite, but I have never studied nore taught it, I only read it and love it. I also really like Edna St Vincent Millay, but she breaks my heart.

      We went for Mexican food, so no wine, but there were margaritas, and the food was tasty. :)

      Delete
    5. j--No! I hope you reread my comment above. I said he is the master of emotional free verse! His poems do much better when you read them for the feelings rather than try to analyze them. I feel the same way about much of William Carlos Williams' poetry. He is more controlled than cummmings, but is much the same way as far as the emotional impact.

      Heavens! cummings is all about the emotion.

      Delete
    6. HA! Too funny. I thought you meant 'emotion free' not what you wrote. I feel better about the world now!

      Delete
  16. Why the e on nor? Who knows. I sometimes wish I could edit my own comments on other people's blogs, to fix such stupidness.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. j-Please don't worry about typos in comments here. I know lots of people are commenting on phones or on iPads, which are awkward with the onboard keypads. I'm completely thrilled to just chat and exchange ideas here, so I honestly don't notice most of the stuff you are fretting about.

      I love good Mexican food--freshly made. And dinner with friends is always delightful even if the food is a bit lacking.

      Delete

Oh, thank you for joining the fray!

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