Thursday, January 24, 2008

Real panic at the disco....

The other night, my brother was listening to internet music -- not sure if it was a station or he was just scouting Rhapsody, but he had on Dolly Parton's "Two Doors Down." Oh, he thought it was a hoot .... and about fell out when I said, "At least it's better than her disco song." (And you get extra bonus points if you can name the song -- and no Googling it either!)

Let us go back about 30 years or so. Sometime between 1977 and 1979, everybody and his brother hopped on the disco bandwagon. The most-often mentioned perp is Rod Stewart with "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?" (to whic my answer is a resounding "You were till then..."), but there were plenty of others. Even if they weren't specifically "disco" songs, they had a disco-like beat. Don't believe me?

The Stones had "Miss You" ... and even managed to beat the dead disco horse a couple of years later with "Emotional Rescue" (which cracks me up and makes me dance too). Elton? Well, there was "Victim of Love" (and not the good Eagles song). Oh yeah, the Eagles too, with the not-specifically-disco-but-heavily-influenced "Those Shoes." Even my beloved Steely Dan did "The Fez" -- which truly was built for the disco age, given its lyrical content.

And the real kicker is ...... I like some disco music.

BTW .... Dolly's song was "Baby I'm Burning" (and it wasn't that great of a song, much as I love Dolly).

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Two years ago yesterday...

I lost my childhood friend Tee to breast cancer. I still have trouble forgiving myself for not doing something for her, other than praying for her healing. I probably won't ever be easy on myself over that.

Rest in peace, Tee.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Wrong! Wrong, wrong, wrong!

I was watching CMT's "20 Greatest Southern Rock Classics" -- and guess what #1 was? Betcha can't guess. Oh, come on! You know the song.... that classic opening. Those lyrics that we ALL know.

If you said "Freebird"...... you'd be wrong.

I know. It shocked the hell outta me too. I mean, COME ON! Granted, Skynyrd still grabbed the top spot, with "Sweet Home Alabama." But the ultimate, quintessential, everybody-from-W-to-a-skid-row-bum-knows-it Southern rock song is "Freebird."

I have two reactions to "Freebird," and it is completely dependent upon my mood. If I'm having a crappy day, I'm sick of people and the world, and I hear it come on my radio, I'm apt to grunt loudly (maybe even growl, "Sweet Jesus, UGH!") and change the station. If I'm feeling pretty good, things are nice and mellow or they're excited and happy, and it comes on, then I crank it up and release my inner redneck.

Don't get me wrong, "Sweet Home Alabama" is a classic. But "Freebird" is the classic.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

A strange, sad week...

This week, my brother lost a dear friend (too soon), and one of my coworkers lost her husband FAR too soon.

My brother's friend "AC" died Monday from pancreatic cancer at age 62. For me, that's too soon -- I have noticed that as I age, the frame of "older" gets dramatically smaller. AC had been diagnosed during football season, and really started getting sicker and sicker once football season ended. But even during the season, as time went on, my brother and his friends realized that this was AC's last football season, and it was so overwhelming and so sad, they just couldn't think about it. My brother had planned to call AC's wife on Monday to see if he could go by and visit that night -- only to first get the voice mail he didn't want to get. He went to AC's funeral yesterday, met the other members of his family and all their tailgating buddies. He said it was quite touching -- and that when they folded the flag and played Taps, he nearly lost it. I would have too.....

As for me, I got to work Wednesday to hear that "Hank" (husband of my coworker "Jan") had died at age 27. Now, if 62 is too young for me, imagine when someone younger than you passes. Hank had also been sick, with a kidney disease that forced him to dialysis every other day. Strangely enough, Hank had just done some temporary work for us that wrapped up just before Christmas -- and I had just filed some of the paperwork we kept on the work. I told my boss it was really weird to now look at the folder with Hank's name and realize that he's now gone. Anyway, Jan's boss sent out a beautiful e-mail telling us what had happened, and how much she personally admired both Hank and Jan for their upbeat attitude and positive outlook, no matter what they were facing. I am not sure if the kidney disease itself got him, or if his body just said, "Enough..." Sadly, he also left behind a young child from a previous relationship. When I got to the visitation last evening, his little child was there, and in his casket was the sweetest letter (in a child's handwriting) that said "Daddy, I am going to miss you so much. I know Jan will miss you much too." I had to bite my lip to keep from blubbering....

Sometimes, those sober little reminders are just what we need to help us move forward in life. It's an opportunity to reflect on where we're going, what we're doing, and if it's helpful or harmful -- and what we can do to change things if we don't like it.

So what I'm taking away from the sad events of the week is a re-evaluation of my own attitude and outlook on things. Is what I'm doing helpful, harmful, a little of both, neither at all, and what do I intend to do about improving it?

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Seven Years Ago Today...

My dear friends Tal & Sera pledged their lives and their love to each other in a beautiful ceremony -- not a dry eye in the house. I am blessed to have them as friends, and was honored to be part of their wedding ceremony. They came into my life at one of my darker moments, and have been beacons of light for me. To you, my friends, I raise my water bottle in a toast -- to your health, to your lives, to your goodness.

***

It is also a sad day as well. Around the same time that Tal & Sera were leaving the reception ceremony (okay, the faux leaving for the video), a dear friend of mine departed this life in a tragic freak car accident. I wrote a little bit about him on one of my other blogs, two years ago today ......

An Epiphany never passes that I don't think of Fr. Scott Buchanan. Indulge me a moment and let me tell you about him. I first met Fr. Scott at Catholic Campus Club in 1991 at the College of Charleston. There weren't very many of us who met each week -- maybe 15 on a good night, but usually about 12. Scott was one of them. You could not meet a kinder, nicer person that him. When I found out he was going to the seminary, my original first thought was, "Dang! We women NEED more men like him!" and then I amended it to "Dang! Our Church really needs more men like him to lead us!"

Scott studied in Rome at North American College. He had a degree in history, and I think the Bishop was absolutely certain that Scott would continue to review and continue writing about the history of our own diocese. Even as a seminarian, Scott wrote articles for the diocesan paper, which were well-received. When he was assigned to a nearby parish on summer assignment, he would call and visit our priest (who was our chaplain in college) -- and he remained one of the nicest, humblest, genuinely good persons ever.

In 1997, he was ordained and eventually assigned to a couple of small parishes. On January 6, 2001, just after leaving Mass and heading to a house-blessing (if I am not mistaken), he was killed in a freak car accident at a bad crossroads. Neither driver saw the other. I went to his funeral on January 9, 2001 -- and let me tell you, it was a packed house. He made such an impact on people that they turned out for his funeral. In a true show of grace under pressure, his mother addressed the priests before they left the church: "Take pride in being a priest. Scott did."

I have no doubts at all that Scott is in heaven, a saint whom I was honored to know, even for just a short time. So on this day, the day we celebrate the Light of the World being revealed to all nations, I also celebrate just some of the lights that have been revealed to me in my life: Scott, Tal, Sera. On this Epiphany, I will look for the good which present in my world and ask my friend on the other side to remind me to do so. I will continue to pray for him and ask his prayers for me as well. And ask for his prayers of blessing on my friends Tal & Sera.

(Note: OOPS! I can't add -- it's "Seven Years" not "Six Years" as originally typed...... GARRRR!)