Monday, March 26, 2007

WKRP - Thanksgiving Turkey Drop

One of the best TV shows ever -- and the best episode ever. Okay, the one where Venus explains the atom is cool too. But this one is it.


Thursday, March 22, 2007

Tag. I'm it......

Ms. Kate/Susan tagged me ... and for crying out loud, it's music oriented, so you KNOW I'm there. The guidelines are: List seven songs you are into right now. No matter what they are. They must be songs you are currently enjoying. Then tag seven other people to see what they’re listening to.

Y'all also know I'm fairly old school when it comes to music. So some of these selections should come as no surprise at all. This is in no particular order:

1. "Dancing in the Moonlight" (King Harvest): there are a whole bunch of songs from the 70s that I think of as "summer songs." Now whether or not they were singles released during the summer or not, whenever I hear them, it's a sunny day, I'm outside playing in my yard or with Tee next door (depending on the age of the song), and it's always something sweet and nostalgic. This is one of those songs, and lately it's been one of my very favorites.

2. "Jailbreak" (Thin Lizzy): Each time this week I've worked out, I have hunted this one down and listened intently. There are plenty of other songs with similar beats, and I even have other Thin Lizzy material on the ol' MP3 player. I keep coming back to this one.... Maybe my mind is trying to tell the rest of me something.

3. "Solsbury Hill" (Peter Gabriel): One of my all-time favorites. Should be mandated music for all kindergarten classrooms, and each level thereafter. But that's just MHO......

4. "A Man I'll Never Be" (Boston): I have listened to a lot of Boston since learning of Brad Delp's death. It is now even more poignant given the circumstances of his death.
This is a song that I have loved for years, and I will for years to come.

5. "Oooh Child" (The Five Stairsteps): When I'm stressed, this is my go-to song. Stressed? Well, considering we have a visit next week from THE Big Wig, it's month-end, and I got frickin' called for jury duty --- jury duty! --- let's say yes. So this afternoon, while still on my lunch break and sitting in the sun in my car, this came on. It made the afternoon a little more bearable. This will forever be dear to my heart.

6. "You Can't Always Get What You Want" (Rolling Stones): This will always be on my top ten. Always. As in forever. Now, I have friends who swear that "Gimme Shelter" is not only the best Stones song ever, but the best rock-n-roll song ever. Let the record reflect: they are wrong.

7. "Leave It" (Yes): When 90125 came out, of course, as the first single, "Owner of A Lonely Heart" got a lot of attention for Yes. But this is the song I enjoy more. The a cappella opening, the scat-like doo's that follow, and the gradual building of the song to its fortissimo conclusion. It doesn't get much better than that.

Who will be next? Who are the willing victims... er, suckers ... er.... Well, anyway. Here you go.

I shall tag Talmadge (from whom I am forever learning music things; his lovely bride Seraphim; the other Master of Music, SeƱor Bolivar; Radio Vixen (who will no doubt have some interesting, not-old-school selections); my pirate-loving friend GatorShan; the queen of Bad Bunny Productions, Dr. Ballz; and my best friend (in the hopes that she'll do a blog entry just for this), Anastasia.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Weather front moving through....

I know it. My face is aching. I betcha anything I will wake up in the morning with a headache. I used to think people were crazy when they'd say, "It's gonna rain, my knee is acting up." Until I got arthritis myself. And now, my face aches every single time a front moves through (usually a cold front of some sort).

And the April edition of Prevention just confirmed what I thought -- some people experience migraines with weather patterns.

I'm not crazy after all.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Strange beeping

I awoke this morning around 9:00 this morning. As usual on Sundays, I turned on my TV to catch "Meet the Press," and heard Chuck Schumer talking for what seemed to be the entire hour. Turns out it was only the first segment (about 20 minutes). That was weird.

About 20 minutes later, I finally got up to fix my breakfast. I took my stuff to the living room to watch some more TV .... and I kept hearing this strange "beep beep beep" every few seconds. Not constant, yet with some sort of rhythm. I could not figure out from whence it sprang. Stuck my head in the computer area? Nope -- it's behind me.

I heard it emanating from the secretary/credenza next to me. Opened the panel and sure enough -- Beep. Beep. Beep. I picked up the adding machine -- which was turned off. No beeping there. This was getting weirder and weirder. It was coming from a ceramic mug being used to house pens, pencils, and other assorted small office goods. There it was -- the source of the sound: my old metronome.

When I was in college, I decided that I was going to master the piano (funny how 15 years later, I've barely even played it, let alone mastered it). I never had lessons as a kid -- everything I know has been self-taught. But I decided I needed a metronome. There was a great music store just up the street from the college -- Fox Music. Now as much as I love record stores (they are still record stores to me, thank you), I love music stores even more. Files and files and files of sheet music, books and books of bound music for "Vocal - Piano - Guitar" ...... heaven. Pure heaven.

I found the metronomes. I kind of wanted a standard metronome -- you know, set the weight at a certain point, wind it up and watch it swing back and forth with a CLICK to keep the beat. Well, they cost a little more than I had expected. But I found an electronic metronome. Cute and compact -- could fit in my back pocket. Totally LED, with little dots that "swung" from side to side and a BEEP to keep the beat. Not exactly what I wanted..... but the price was right (I think it was like $14.95 -- under what I had budgeted). Of course I bought it.

I have used it on occasion. And I still want to officially learn to play. No time like my forties!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Lately it occurs to me....

I was sitting in my car today, eating lunch, soaking up the fantastic sunshine and weather, enjoying my lunch hour (or what was left of it), and pondering life. I know -- big surprise there.

I have 2.5 years (roughly) to go until I turn 40. For the most part, it doesn't bother me nearly as much as it might have once upon a time. I'm actually kind of looking forward to 40. Turning 20 was disastrous -- I cried the entire month of October (my birth month), and the only thing I can figure is that 20 is such a nowhere age. You're not a teen, you're not quite legal, it's just ... there. Turning 25 wasn't so bad. I had a great job, good friends, etc. Things were far from perfect, but not horrid either. Life was humming along somewhat normally.

Turning 30 was a little different. 28 was a lousy year for me all the way around, and at 29 I was fighting my way back. I dreaded my 30th birthday on some level -- you know, you're supposed to have all your crap together by the time you're 30 and be a respectable adult. What I wanted at that age was a do-over. Luckily, I had a few friends in their 40s who told me not to sweat the small stuff -- that their 30s had been completely fantastic, far better than their 20s had ever been! Turns out, they were right.

35 was a turning point -- I don't know what it was, but it was like the light switch came on, the cosmic tumblers all clicked into place, and voila! some of that wisdom finally came forth. It was about realizing something I'd read and known but hadn't yet fully germinated in me -- that if I didn't like my life, I could change it. I was the only one who could. And there were a few things that I could no longer like or tolerate, and I was no longer going to be a spectator in my own life. The Serenity Prayer became reality -- what I couldn't change, I would accept; what I could change, I would do; and learning the difference would be vital.

So with all that framework behind me and surrounding me, 40's looking nice. Very nice! I know it's not going to be all sunshine and roses, because life just isn't. But things can only get better!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

In my life

Today gave me the opportunity to ponder friendships I have had over the years -- people who have come into my life, made an impression, and I am grateful for it. Some of them remain in my life, while others have drifted out.

My very first friend was Em. I grew up going to church with her, and we were playmates/friends long before either of us understood the concept. We really were BFF's. We did drift apart somewhat in our teen years ... she became closer to someone whom my parents but a big ol' kaput on me getting close to (and I can't entirely blame them). We resumed our friendship, but I went to college. She got married and started a family. We see each other out and about. Occasionally, she pops up at my parents' church and I keep up with her through reports from the folks.

There was also Tee, and she, Em & I were the three stooges for years on end. We had our moments but it didn't last long. We too drifted apart in our twenties. She married, had a family; I was Career Girl (okay, such as my career has been). And because of that bastard known as breast cancer, I will not see her again until the afterlife.

In high school, besides Em & Tee, I had a lot of friends from classes and so forth. A lot of them are still friends with each other. For me, they have drifted in and out and now are people I see at the store and so forth. I didn't bond with them all that well. I suppose I should feel some pang of something for that. Oddly enough, I don't.

Then there is Anastasia, who has become my best friend. This fall, we will have known each other for 20 years, and that seems so freakishly unbelievable. I still think of us sometimes as those 18-year-old freshmen....... Naturally, her hubby "CP" is also one of my dearest friends too. And the kidlets, my godchildren. While Em and Tee will always be my sisters-at-heart, Stasia is just as much one -- and in a strange way, perhaps more so because she has watched me truly grow from somewhat naive, shy young adult to a more confident woman.

There is also "Queen Serene" -- my former coworker. She too is a sister to me, someone who has embraced me as family and loves me for me. In the 15 years I've known her, we have vacationed together, shared a million laughs and almost as many tears, and have grown closer for it. While I don't see her nearly as much as I would like, I also know that if I ever needed her for anything, she would not hesitate to be there.

There's also Nikki, who has come into my life in the last few years. She is one of the most kind-hearted, generous-souled people I have ever known. Life has thrown her quite a few curveballs in the last few years and months, and she handles them with truly amazing grace. When I find myself leaning toward cynicism about many things, I can spend time with Nikki and walk away feeling better about life all from her upbeat attitude. She is truly one of the best.

Talmadge and Seraphim Gleck, whose blogs you see to the right of here, have been utterly precious to me. They came into my life during one of my lowest moments ever ... a time when I would have preferred the world stop spinning and just sling me off into deepest space. My entire world had been shattered and trying to rebuild looked bleak. I was truly living on autopilot, and not caring what the future held. In they came -- starting with an e-mail in mid-May 1998: "Found your website -- liked what we saw." The rest is history. It started with a meeting at the Varsity in Atlanta. That was such a great time, and we went on to Underground .... where within an hour, I was face-first over a trash can, sick as a dog, fighting off that last gasp of a god-awful sinus infection. They did not turn and run screaming, so I knew that I had found friends for life. I was honored to sing in their wedding, and love every adventure and misadventure I have had with them.

They also brought a new friend roaring into my life: the wonderful Bolivar Shagnasty. Bolivar -- best friend to Talmadge for years -- was the best man at their wedding. Over the years, I kept up with him from afar through reports from Talmadge, and his friendship is precious to me. I enjoy reading about his adventures (and the occasional misadventure).

I am also blessed with the friendship of Miguel and Kate -- it started with e-mails from Miguel over 10 years ago, and then the news: "I've met a wonderful girl!" Over the years, I have enjoyed their friendship immensely! They are fantastic people, whom I finally got the pleasure of meeting in person a couple of years back. One of these days, I am going to have to take off and go visit them ... they're ONLY two states away (granted, rather spacious states, but.....)

My lovely thought is that someday, all of us -- the whole warped group: Stasia, CP, Nikki, Tal & Sera, Bolivar, Miguel & Kate -- will all be sitting on the front porch of some nursing home, raising hell, drinking whatever we feel, not giving one hoot what we say or how people interpret it. And the staff will be thinking, "My God, what do we DO with these people???"

I raise my glass to you all --- Long may you all reign!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

More than a feeling....

of sadness grips me this day.

Brad Delp, lead singer of Boston, died yesterday.

I love Boston's music. Always have. As a child, the Boston LP was all over the airwaves in '76 and on into '77, but I didn't become a real fan until Third Stage -- my senior year of high school. One of my friends, pregnant at the time, named her daughter Amanda, after the song (and hard to believe Amanda just turned 20!).

They made fantastic music, and most of it was due to Delp's powerful vocals. It is hard to pick a favorite song. The whole first album is fantastic, but one of my favorite songs on there is "Let Me Take You Home Tonight." I know -- awfully dated and some of the worst pick-up dialogue short of a crowded bar. I can practically see Lounge Lizard Larry spouting those lines. But I love it for reasons which make sense to me alone (long story).

Off the 2nd album, my favorite is "A Man I'll Never Be." That song just rips me to shreds. Third Stage? Oh, don't make me pick. "Cool the Engines" is my cool-down song for my workouts. But "Cantcha Say (Still In Love)" is my very favorite. Then again, there's "We're Ready." Oh my.....

Sadly, I listened to the reviewers and didn't buy Corporate America back in '02. They said it sucked. So I didn't buy. I may change my mind in the next few days and get it (I'll listen to samples online first).

Rest in peace, Brad Delp, and may you fully know the joy you brought to so many peoples' lives.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Bow. Chicka. Wow. Wow.

One of the local Adult Contemporary stations has a Seventies Saturday Night. The other A/C station said, "Oh yeah? Well, WE have all-seventies weekends!!!! Nyahhhhh!" Now, I am an 80s girl. That was my coming-of-age time, and I love 80s music. Most of the time, if I'm listening to XM, it's on "80s on 8." Most 80s music brings a smile to my face because I usually have a specific great memory attached.

But there's a special place in my heart for 70s music as well. It was in the 70s that I first listened to and learned to love radio and music and all that stuff. Most of the time, it gives me what I call the "sunny" feeling. I always think of summer and 70s music as going hand-in-hand. There may or may not be a specific memory, but it's always summer, it's always bright and sunny, I'm almost always outside, and it's generally good to be alive. What more can you want, right?

So I'm driving around today and as I was scanning the dial, it fell on the 70s Weekend station. They were just starting a new song -- "Pick Up the Pieces" by Average White Band. One of my favorites, by the way. And I started laughing and couldn't stop.

Porno Beat Music. What better way to describe a lot of the music of the mid-to-late 70s, especially the disco stuff. Okay, I love disco. I do. There. I said it. And in the late 70s you couldn't escape it. Even the Stones and Steely Dan and the Eagles all did disco-tinged stuff (even if they didn't call it disco themselves). "Miss You"? "The Fez" or "Kid Charlemagne"? "Those Shoes"? All great stuff and not overtly disco, but with that unmistakable beat.

The thumping bass. That bow-chicka-wow-wow guitar and synth.

And all those hidden things just flew over the head of one music-happy, fun-loving little girl in South Carolina.