What’s Going On? Pandemic 2020 Edition…

What lyrics would have been in Marvin Gaye’s song “What’s Going On” if written during a pandemic?

So what’s going on with me right now? Uh, not much! Just like millions of other Americans, I’m dealing with all the trials and tribulations of a global pandemic (mostly trials). I’m thankful to still be working, though I’m not sure how long my job will last, thankful for now I’m still healthy, thankful my parents, parents-in-law, brother and my closest friends are still healthy…

Today, I’m thinking a lot about…beer festivals. My Facebook “memories” tells me that this time of year is when they typically happen – one in particular – the Michigan Brewer’s Guild Summer Beer Festival in Ypsilanti, MI. About a year ago, I wrote this blog: https://wordpress.com/block-editor/post/hebontheweb.blog/20398 – about how to survive and enjoy a beer festival. Since…pretty much nobody can go to a beer festival (or to a concert, ball game, movie theater, strip club, state fair, etc.) this year, my husband and I are trying to do the next best thing! Last night, we visited a brewery about 20 miles from us called Witch’s Hat in South Lyon, MI. Getting that little bit of a change of scenery – and the nice country drive out there – was a much-needed tonic for our funky moods! Today, we plan to visit a brewery in Ann Arbor that doesn’t involve having to use public parking (woot)!

On the trivia front, we went to our first “live” trivia game last week – and only because it was hosted entirely outside. My husband and I are not going to partake of inside service at any restaurant or bar for the time being. When weather – and my work schedule – permits, we’ll probably continue with those games. We’ve invited one other player to the games, and we’ll be sure to pick a table big enough so that we can adequately distance ourselves.

In other restaurant news, we recently learned that a restaurant called Sidetrack has become the focus of numerous complaints from its workers about unsafe conditions, forcing employees to work when they are clearly sick, etc. We had previously visited them only to get late night drinks, but now – that will be coming to a complete stop. There is no shortage of places nearby to spend money on booze on those rare nights when we actually go out. With social media being such a powerful force now, hopefully this helps keep some business away from them.

So…what else? My husband and I have been attempting a find a way to arrange a socially distanced visit with his parents. They are both wary about having us visit their house (likewise we are also wary about visiting their house), so we’re trying to arrange a camping trip at a campground close to them. It’s looking like that will happen…soon! We haven’t seen his parents since January of this year, though we have been keeping in touch via phone calls and text messages.

Now back to the subject of Marvin Gaye, shall we – since I used a photo of him with this blog? He is one of several artists whose songs I’ve downloaded in the past several days, in particular “What’s Going On,” “Let’s Get It On,” and “Sexual Healing.” Interesting that two of his hit songs end with the words “on” (some trivia fodder for ya)! I also downloaded several other “Motown” and funk songs, since my husband likes this kind of music. I also like songs from this genre too, but sometimes the songs are bit too simple and repetitive for my tastes.

One song I downloaded that mentions Marvin Gaye by name is “Night Shift” by the Commodores. This was the first hit by the Commodores recorded after Lionel Richie left to become a hit. This smooth, soulful R&B track is kind of eulogy for two different music artists who had died recently when the song was written, the other being Jackie Wilson (both of these artists died in 1984). I remember Marvin Gaye’s death being big news at the time – all the more shocking because he was gunned down by his own father (rather than dying the typical death by drug overdose which is all too common for music stars). Ah…never, ever try to do the song “Sexual Healing” in a karaoke setting (trust me on this one…you’ll have a hard time keeping a straight face).

In 2010, a revised version of the song was released featuring lines about Michael Jackson. I have not heard this version of the song…but because of so many people coming forward about things he did while he was alive (mainly involving young boys), his star has kind of fallen in recent years.

Should there have been a line in “Night Shift” about this guy?

Count Basie also died in 1984, but he doesn’t warrant any lines in “Night Shift!” Perhaps if it did contain any lines about the late great bandleader, they would go like this:

Basie, the ’20s was his time…
And he could write a song
His big band songs sublime…
Basie… count was his nickname…
His tunes will transcend time…
We hate to count you out…(forever and ever)….

Should I pass along this suggestion to the Commodores? If I’m going to do that, then I need to suggest they go back in time and wear real old-time commodore outfits #weirdtimetravelfantasy307

Good night everybody!

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