Six Songs Eh……

I finally caught up reading all my favorite blogs late last night, and three separate bloggers put out the NPR You Are What You Hear challenge.  I was then put to the test.

I wasn’t sure I could find a definitive list at first, but late last night, as I was reading, I realized that I did indeed have definitive music. Songs that went to the very core of who I was, who I am, and finally, who I hope to be.

Did I read too much into the list? Of course I did, I’m an over-thinking zealot writer.

It’s kinda what we do.

So here’s the list as NPR published it.

The categories, in the form of questions, are:

  • What was the first song you ever bought?
  • What song always gets you dancing?
  • What song takes you back to your childhood?
  • What is your perfect love song?
  • What song would you want at your funeral?
  • Time for an encore. One last song that makes you, you.

The First Song I Ever Bought.

It was 1966, and I bought this 45 rpm from the Five and Dime in Cambridge, MN. I had saved my birthday money and had a whole whopping dollar, and I think it cost me about 50 cents.

Tommy Roe and Sweet Pea. I still absolutely love this song.

What Song Gets Me Dancing. 

I would dance to anything when I was younger (minus disco). As I got older, I danced less and sighed more, but occasionally would grab my young son and make him shake it like Polaroid picture.

I’m amazed sometimes he still speaks to me.

My love for dancing waned a bit, but then a few years ago I had two wonderful 20 somethings working for me, and we discovered this YouTube video. When no one was watching, we danced and danced with Stephen Colbert. Even today, when I hear this song I think of Lindsay and Emily and Stephen. It’s this song, but with this video.

I Don’t Feel Like Dancing by The Scissor Sisters

What Song Takes Me Back To My Childhood

I’ve written about my father many times. He was a musician, a father, a husband, and, in my mind, bigger than life.

I can’t explain why he taught me this song, but he did. I sang harmony with him, and people thought it was adorable. I think he and my mother were going through a “she could be the next Shirley Temple” phase. At the time, by hair was very blonde and my mother would spend hours fixing it into ringlets.  To her great dismay, my hair darkened as I got older. I think it broke her heart. My father, however, still sang this song with me.

My father’s and my great duet:

Tiny Bubbles, sorry Don Ho, this is my favorite version.

What’s My Perfect Love Song

I have posted this song before on the blog, but never this version.

It is sung so perfectly by Edie Adams. It’s simplicity says it all. If it’s a true love song you’re looking for to woo the girl gentlemen, these words say everything. Speaking strictly to the men who read this; play this for her, or better yet sing it to her, and if she has any romance in her you will probably become as “lucky” a man as you can be.  Trust me dudes……

That’s All, Edie Adams

The Song I Want Played At My Funeral

This was the easiest one for me to pick because I had already decided on it.  A simple memorial service with lots of great music, drink, and food. I want a celebration as I go to the other side, and Stevie will get me there. This song is one of his finest, in my opinion.

As. Stevie Wonder

 

A Song That Makes Me Me

It doesn’t exist.

However, I do know of a song that says what I’m not, and I would like to share that one in this category.

I Am Not That, Michael Nesmith 

So I come to the end of this musical challenge. It’s interesting to note that when I talked to son about this today, his take was different. He couldn’t understand the idea of noting just a song. He defines himself by albums, not songs, and he feels most of his generation would agree with him. I found it fascinating that he felt so strongly about the album. The whole concept, not just a part of the whole.

So I put it out there for you, what do you think?

I will now ponder 6 albums.

 

My Gypsy Is Beginning To Awaken

I just found this quote, it pretty much sums it up for me right now.

Have a wonderful adventurous evening everyone.

Image from agypsylove.com

Image from agypsylove.com

Warren and Mother Nature

It’s snowing today here in central Minnesota. This is not unusual for us. We could get approximately a foot of snow by the time it’s all said and done. It’s certainly not as much as our compatriots on the east coast, but still enough to slow life down.

Image from  Pintrest.com

 

I have a good friend that I have known since college. He and his wife are two of my closest friends on the planet. Once, when we were younger, I remember him looking at me and saying, “That’s the problem with Mother Nature, she always wins.”.
It’s true. There is no fair fight with Mother N.

So. we are forced to stay in our homes, baking, eating, and napping. I’ve spent most of the day on my computer, writing, submitting writing, editing writing, deleting bad writing, and listening to the radio.

Once I got through my fledgling portfolio, rereading the new stuff and eliminating the really old and awful, I decided to take look at this blog I have created.

I went through a few things, deleted some drafts of ideas that were clearly not going to make it, and looked at my categories.

I have a music category. I suppose everyone has a music category. As I was listening to the radio, one of my favorite song writers/singers played through the ear-buds.

Warren Zevon received so little air play when he was alive. He was, in my arrogant yet uneducated opinion, one of the most brilliant musicians of my generation.

I use to secretly judge people who didn’t know him.

I use to get angry with people who would comment on his music with:

 “…oh – the Werewolves of London guy.”

I’ve lightened up in my old age. I now leave that indignation to my son Alex. He has taken over my arrogant anger of music.

I taught him well.

So as I was going through my blog and listening to the radio, and I realized I hadn’t posted one Warren Zevon song to my music category  NOT ONE. I couldn’t believe it.

So here is one of my favorites, and coincidentally the one I heard today. It was a sad day when he passed. He fought hard, but like I said earlier, there is no fair fight with Mother N.

With respect and awe Warren, I can’t wait to  see you on the other side.

,

Humor Has Dignity

“Through humor, you can soften some of the worst blows that life delivers. And once you find laughter, no matter how painful your situation might be, you can survive it.” Bill Cosby

I’ve spent some time lately watching old movies. It’s a form of therapy.

Now when I say old, you have to understand that I am referring to films made before 1960. Any film I could have potentially seen in a theater I don’t consider old; just vintage, like myself.

I find the most comfort in the black and white comedies of the 30’s and 40’s. I’m going to guess that this has a lot to do with my childhood, but I will save the psycho-babble of my ill-spent youth in front of the Zenith.  Watching the simple hapless souls of Chaplin or Lloyd try again and again and AGAIN to do the right thing in a world too complex to grasp their open-hearted optimism is gut-wrenchingly funny.

Time and time again these bastions of day-to-day survival bash heads with the complex overworked world of business and law enforcement, only to lose the battle, but win the war.

What war?  And what do all the men of comedy from that era have in common; Keaton, Arbuckle, Laurel, and Hardy? After viewing hours of black, grey, and sepia-tone images I have decided the war and commonality is dignity.
Image from izquotes.com

 

Dignity is the brass ring we all reach out to acquire,  and these woebegone men of comedy all seem to miss the goal by miles.  Food, comfort, and romance always seem well out of their bounds for the majority of these films. Sometimes they get the girl, sometimes they get the meal, but mostly they get chased from doorway to doorway with no hope in sight for saving grace or civility.

But they always wear a suit, tie, and hat. These are gentlemen lost among  the unrefined. While the bit players around them are either in uniform or workman’s attire, these seekers of dignity grace the screen ready for dinner and dressed (as best they have) to kill.

In that contrast lies the humor. Being beaten down by authority,  while wearing black tie and tails is funny stuff.

Funny, and identifiable.

We’ve all been there. Spilling coffee down the front of us just before the big meeting. Farting during the big present.The search for dignity while the world laughs at us is just as discouraging for us as it was for Chaplin’s Little Tramp. But like him and all the others, we do the only thing we can. We get up,  brush ourselves off, and find a way to waltz around authority as it pushes and tugs at our lives.

What keeps us waltzing?

Maybe it’s eternal hope.  The hope that this time the guy/gal will notice me.  The anticipation that just this once, my deeds will be embraced for their goodness. Without hope, crawling out of our homes each morning can seem useless, and humorless.

So I laugh at these souls running ragged in the street, because they are us, but I also laugh with them.

When they lose, they shrug and move on to tomorrow.

Oh, but when they win. The contentment we feel.

It’s our affirmation of dignity.

…and you could really be a beau brummel baby…..

I am a highly suggestive person when it comes to music. A line from a song, a hummed melody, even hearing just a part of a song on the radio can get it stuck in my brain for hours or longer.

This happened to me just last night after I wrote this little piece on my blog. It had absolutely nothing to do with Nancy Sinatra or Lee Hazelwood, but I decided to manipulate the title of one of their hit songs to fit my needs.

Now I can’t get the song out of my addled filled brain, and so it became a hunt tonight. My favorite of a favorite hunt.

The Beau Brummels won. I’ve always loved their hit Laugh,Laugh, and I now have one more reason to take a listen to them.

So here’s a toast to Nancy, The Brummels, Lee, and comfortable walking boots.

Oh crap, now I’m humming Billy Joel songs.

These Boots Aren’t Made For Walkers

I apologize for the first part of this blog entry, it’s going to sound a bit whiny. In fact, it could go down as outright bitchy, grumbly, and moany.  Unfortunately, it’s an explanation that needs to be made so that I can get to where I want to go today with my writing.

For the first part of this week I could not walk.

This is not an exaggeration  I was in pain and my legs were so weak I could not stand up. I decided it was Sciatica,  which I have had before in my life, and went about treating it the way I always had, with high doses of Ibuprofen and ice/heat packs. Except this time it got worse.

I have never experienced pain like this before.

I had surgery years ago on my feet, and at that time I experienced the joy of crutches, so I knew what being immobile was all about. I gave birth to a child, and knew, without a doubt, what true  pain was all about. I watched my own carpal tunnel surgery,and walked away the epitome of toughness, knowing what I was all about.

This time around pain and immobility had me dumbfounded.

I was unable to lift myself out of a chair.

With a great deal of Morphine, Vicodin  Flexeril, and Prednisone, and with the help of good friends, a patient and talented ER doctor, a caring  and generous Chiropractor, and a slew of wonderful underpaid nurses, I am creeping around once more.

Oh, then there is the walker.

The walker. The universal symbol of old age. The icon of infirmity. I came out of the bathroom and there it was, Tuesday morning, waiting for me by the door. I cursed. This silver menacing arc of metal and plastic. It’s only reason of design is to bring support to a body filled to the brim with feeble muscles and bones.

Image from Vectors Clip Art.

Image from Vectors Clip Art.

Once you hit your 50’s you begin to accept the fact that your body isn’t what it was once. I see women and men, my age and older, who are remarkable specimens of human health and stamina. I know the have to work harder than ever to keep and maintain their bodies. I’m a little in awe of them, and a little ashamed I haven’t done the same.  I don’t lift weights anymore, I don’t run or ride bike, and I don’t participate in aerobics. I tried Yoga for a while and liked it, but gave it up. It was too expensive.

Since Tuesday, walker and I have been humbly rocking around our friends and family. We’ve been getting in the way of everyone, trying the patience of everyone, and reaching out to the gods on high hoping that we’re not looking like a crazy old woman to everyone.

As I began this,I thought I was going to write about pain.

It’s not about pain is it? It’s about ego.

You spend your life trying to be as independent as you can,almost being smug about pulling yourself up by your proverbial boot straps. Then it hits you like a cartoon safe from a third story window: you are mortal.  Your body will fail you on and off for a while, until it hits the final blue screen and you don’t reboot.

The creaky knees, the eyeglasses getting stronger and stronger, and the white hairs encase us so slowly we don’t always notice them. Especially when the heart still feels 18. But when our body actually stops and says no, not today, subtly marches right past us, and we notice our mortality with greater alacrity.

What’s the answer? Stand up and fight age with every tool we have? Titanium hips and knees? Tummy tucks? Plastic boobs? Carve me up, make be The Six Million Dollar Man/Woman: “Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology.”

Or do I defy Dylan Thomas and “go gently into that good night.”

I don’t know. I don’t have the definitive answer. I guess we all have to find the answer on our own. More than likely, my decision will be different from yours. As of today, I will fight. I will try to exercise more, eat well, and every few weeks have Clairol or L’ Oreal visit.

But the time will come, and I will have to let go of this body in crisis. I found out this week I’m not ready to spend all my time with walker. Age and dignity create an interesting dance, and one that I will need to learn the steps of in the next few years.

I hope I can find some comfortable boots for that dance.


The Top Ten Things That Are Funny About Sciatica

My back is acting up. I can’t sleep. I can’t lay down. I can’t walk. So I thought I would write.

David Letterman has always made me laugh. His Top Ten Lists are classic TV.  As much as Carson’s Aunt Blabby made me chuckle, so has Letterman’s Top Ten. Not every line is a gem, but the ones that are have always been worth the bit.

Image from Primoclipart.com

Image from Primoclipart.com

I’ve been sitting here for hours, reading, dozing in and out, and trying to come up with the Top Ten Things That Are Funny About Sciatica. 

I decided to tweak an old list he did when he was out with Shingles a few years ago.

Here goes:

The Top Ten Things That Are Funny About Sciatica
===============================================

#10.  THERE IS NOTHING F-ING FUNNY ABOUT SCIATICA.

Thank You.

See, Now That’s Funny

I’m working on a writing project today, but I took a moment to check my Facebook page.  Facebook is a funny thing for me. I get to keep up with the young ones in my life, the many 20 and 30 somethings I have adopted over the years, and laugh, argue, and participate in political comments and at funny memes of animals.

This joke popped up on my news feed, it made me laugh. It’s all about the word play.

Here it is:

A male patient is lying in bed at a hospital with an oxygen mask over his face and still

Image from cliparttoday,com

Image from cliparttoday,com

heavily sedated from more than four hours of operation. A young female nurse appears to sponge his hands and feet.

Patient: “Nurse” (he feebly mumbles from behind the mask) “are my testicles black?”

Embarrassed young nurse: “I don’t know, I’m only here to wash your hands and feet.”

Patient (struggles again to ask): “Nurse, Please, Are my testicles black?”

Finally, she removes his covers, lifts his gown, takes a close look and says: “There is nothing wrong with them!”

Patient (slowly after removing his oxygen mask): “That was very nice but listen very, closely – ARE…MY…TEST…RESULTS…BACK?”

Smile and enjoy the day everyone.

Glass Shoes Are Not For Tap Dancing

I was a young woman in the mid to late 1970’s.  A fairly strong gust of liberation had blown through the decade previous. Those of us who embraced it thought that the winds of change were going to make it a better place for us, our mothers, and our future daughters.

Then there were the women sitting next to me in Women’s Lit class. They were specifically sent to college to get their M.R.S. degree. They admitted it openly. The took random classes in English, Art, and Physical Education. Not athletic classes, those were for “different women”, but things like Tennis, Bowling, and Tap Dance. They were sent to college to find and become worthy of marrying a lawyer, doctor, or any other high paying professional.

God forbid they came home with a teacher or social worker.

I understood those women. They were brought up by the same generation that I had been raised by, and they had been taught early on the advantage of being provided for in a comfortable manner. After all ,it’s just as easy to fall in love with a rich man than a poor one, right?

It worked for them, until it didn’t. The divorce rate in my generation has skyrocketed.

Now I hear the young ones in their early twenties, say things like:

“If I could only find my Prince Charming.”

This is where it’s finally great to be me, because I have a comeback to this fallacy. I have had this comeback for years. It stems from my disgust at what Disney did to our fairy tales, but that’s another blog.

My comeback:

So you want to find Prince Charming?  You know that means don’t you? You have to be Cinderella, right? Think about that, Cinderella was an orphan housemaid who sat in ashes, was forced to dance in glass shoes, and her best friends were two mice. 

No thanks, I’ll stay away from Prince Charming. 

I actually created a de-motivational poster for it yesterday.

It needs work.

motivator9e3ee1af71662e13b3781b6d8f0dd6d4175edd17

In the world of tribes, I would be considered the Old Crone. I would be expected to pass on wisdom to the younger ones, and they would be expected to listen and take heed. Since I have no cultural tribe, I will use this vehicle to pass on some wisdom. This is wisdom gained by observing many friends with many failed relationships and marriages.

It’s hard out there. Alone, with no one having your back, is scary. Marrying your insurance is not the answer. Find your own way, and remember that finding a partner is like shoes, there is always a match out there somewhere.

You may be dancing alone for a while, but it’s better than trying to tap dance in glass slippers.

Shake and Shimmy Those Shoulders

My friend Greg and I went to college back when you had to crank the Victrola for music.

Actually, it was the late 1970’s. There were 8 track players by that time.

He went on to a successful career in journalism and education, and now writes a great music blog called Echoes In The Wind.  Check it out.

I tell you this because he may have just given me my latest favorite of a favorite.

It’s a thing with me, a favorite songs, and then my favorite version. It’s hard to top The Beatles when they play their own music, but this version by Little Richard comes very close to stealing their thunder.

It’s a shake it if you can, and shake it EVEN  harder if no one’s looking kind of song.

I Saw You Standing There.

Mr. Jerry Hubbard, When You Were Hot, You Were Hot.

If you know anyone from the upper mid-west  or live there yourself, you are fully aware that today is damn cold. The temperature, as I write this, is 4 degrees with a windchill of -14. I walked several blocks to get to my final destination for the night, and immediately crawled under three blankets, and began drinking hot coffee. My plan is to internally whine the rest of the day away.

I’m pretty sure that I am so cold that I officially forgot how to use a chair.

No really.

OK, not really, but I have forgotten many things in my life, and I’m not sure that I can blame age. I see it in the younger ones around me as well as my peers. It’s not just misplaced keys or birthdays, but things that were once very tangible and important. Maybe our minds are too filled up with technology or perhaps our brains are like buckets, and we need to empty them once in a while in order to make room for more information.

So there I was, under my three blankets drinking my coffee, and searching YouTube. It’s a thing I do. Don’t deny it, you do it too. I usually get caught on a roller coaster of YouTube music. My friend Karen likes old commercials from the 1960’s and 70’s. It really doesn’t matter what you search, YouTube will usually take you on some sort of magical journey.

It all started with Tom Jones, I do love Tom. However, after some twists and turns,  I found myself face to face with a song that I had completely forgotten about. A song that I had loved in my youth. A song that stopped me cold and gave me a tear.

Jerry Hubbard wrote this song over 45 years ago. He also goes by the name Jerry Reed. Yes, Amos Moses, that Jerry Reed. He was an accomplished guitar player and charmingly funny entertainer, but this song  found a place in my heart as a young woman. I am saddened that I let it slip out my mind’s bucket, but thankful it’s back swimming around the canister once more.  Johnny Cash had a substantial hit with it, but I think the song writer gets the prize this time.

jerry_reedj

Image from Last FM

You can’t see it with your eyes, hold it in your hands
But like the wind it covers our land
Strong enough to rule the heart of any man
This thing called love 

It can lift you up never let you down 
Take your world and turn it around 
Ever since time nothing’s ever been found 
That’s stronger than love

A Thing Called Love.

What Else Is Left To Say

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