Category Archives: music

The Anthropologist Formerly Known as Prince


I remember thinking once,

“I’d never want him to produce my music.”

Fool that I was.

I didn’t realize then

that the sound I had mistaken for

messiness and chaos

was actually the character of mankind

caught on tape.

It was,

truly,

anthropology at its finest.

You entangled each one of us

in the snare of your guitar strings;

furiously jotted endless lyrical notes,

and then released us back

into the wild with a song.

You were an incomparable teacher;

you taught us to Gett Off,

what doves sound like when they cry,

and that not everything that glitters is Gold.

At times,

it seemed as though you even

controlled the weather-

it rained Purple;

it snowed in April.

A lesser man would have agonized over

such a petite figure;

but you strutted yours.

Ruffled, tailored, Purpled.

You masqueraded as a sex object,

and no one ever realized you were

preaching the Gospel while you did it.

You told us of a Park

where life won’t be so bad;

it was in our hearts,

but now we can tour the frickin’ place

for a hundred bucks.

I guess it’s just a Sign O’ the Times,

isn’t it?

“The Beautiful Ones you always seem to lose.”

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Survive and Thrive Workshop


One of the really good reasons for having a best friend as an English major is that you get invited to join in such things as writing workshops on occasion. This is one of those times.

Our writing prompt for the day was this: What are your two most prevalent inner landscapes and how would you describe them?

My response?

My inner landscapes…. I’m not really sure they can be separated.

After all, can a person separate a piece of themselves from himself? There’s certainly a farm, although it’s been many many years since I’ve actually spent a goodly amount of time there.

As if that matters.

It is as vivid in my mind as this afternoon’s lunch.

There’s a hill across the gravel road that always seemed huge to me, which in reality is probably much more considered a grassy knoll.

Forgive me. I was small when last I saw it.

A barn, where countless hours were spent shoveling cow manure to the musical ramblings of The Judds and Alan Jackson.

I do wonder now why shoveling shit held such glamorous allure for a ten-year-old. Odd.

Over there, an almost matched pair of classic Chevy trucks are parked, given new life by a cousin I always thought was “the coolest”.

Behind the barn sits a row of pig huts, and beyond that a rather unimpressive cattle pasture seemingly bare of grasses, but still entertaining enough that I spent hours wrestling boulders the size of my head up,catapulting them onto the barely crusted-over cow pies.

What glorious explosions of leafy green poop!

I grin to myself, remembering the thrill.

That was then, a simpler, more innocent time, but it’s still here within me somewhere.

Moving on.

The landscape of now is rife with imagination; mixed, too, with the stress and unease of humdrum, everyday life.

Oz, Neverland, Wonderland, and Willa Wonka’s Chocolate Factory all appear at times, though my yellow-brick road is sometimes blocked with piles of unpaid bills and regrets.

No. No regrets. I must remember there are no regrets, only choices that have taught me more than I might otherwise have known.

To my left is Ireland, because who DOESN’T want to go to Ireland?

It is, after all, the place where all the epic fantasy movies are made.

Alice’s white rabbit runs past, late as always, across the moors of England to my right.

You know- the ones Eustacia Vye spent so much time on.

It depends on which day you are here, what other places you might see.

New York City is never too far, the night lights of which rival Vegas, which is just there.

You see? Don’t mind the mostly nude women walking about- we all need something pretty to look at.

If you prefer, I can point you in the direction of the menagerie.

The unicorns and mermaids will be awake by the time you get there.

Of course, it snows on occasion, because I AM from Minnesota; our weather here can be….fickle. worries. The sun will come out tomorrow.

A little red-headed orphan told me so.

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New Year, New Me


…As if I really needed to improve on me in the first place.

I did decide that I need to be a little bit more focused, but oooh! Look at the pretty Christmas lights across the street! OK, so being focused is something I might really have to focus on. At least I’ve realized that much. It is hoped that becoming a mother this year may help in that department just a little. I do not wish for my son to see me as a flaky person. (I shall do all in my power to hide the fact that I am from him.)

As far as my blog goes, I know how much of a disappointment I have been in the past year, and I resolve to do better. No more all-day marathons of Glee or The Tudors until after I have written on my blog. And just to test me, Netflix has found it necessary to make ten seasons of Friends available for viewing. Bastards.

Too, I find it necessary to finish writing at least one book this year. It would make sense for said book to be the one I’ve gotten the most work done on; however, I feel that authoring and illustrating a children’s book may be in my nearer future. But, since I have no child-like inspirations that come to mind as of yet, I resolve to work on my already-begun book for now, at least two hours a day. (Two hours is many hours for me to stay focused these  days. Perhaps after the Babe is born, I shall jack it up to four hours a day.)

As most normal people do, I ,too, resolve to lose weight this year. The really awesome thing is that I get to wait until April to work on this one. (The second-best thing about being pregnant.) To ensure that my initial goal to be the hottest mom ever is reached, my Rockstar’s Daughter has hinted that she believes I will forever be fat after the baby is born. (Perhaps only in hopes that she can have my never-worn, too-small little black dress.) After telling her how rude such a sentiment was, I silently thanked her for reinforcing my intentions of amazing hotness.

I thought that perhaps I would choose a resolution that would make me a better person- namely, to be kind to those certain individuals that irritate the piss out of me. I then thought better of any such ridiculousness, as I am not so good a person that that objective would ever be met; too, it is just so much easier to ignore such peoples. Luckily, one of these unfortunate souls is no longer employed at my place of business, so any behavior considered rude by my scorning of this person is forgiven already. Yay me.

For my last resolution, I do so intend to be the book whore I so claim to be, with the help of Amazon’s list of 100 Books to Read in a Lifetime. I was a bit saddened that I had read only twenty-nine of these life-changing books, but I intend to make a good-sized dent in the remaining seventy-one. I was, however, excited to find that though I hadn’t read many off the list, I own a surprising number of them. Yay me once again.

As for you, my fine readers, I have found this video to wish you all a wonderful New Year. (My Rockstar has a man crush on Kid Rock, and laughs his ass off at this video.)

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….and I’m back.

Other than possessing a belly that is growing at an alarming rate, and deciding this Christmas sucks, I’ve not been up to to much. I know. Sad.

I did spend several days last week seething inwardly as my Rockstar insisted on stopping at every store in sight just to window shop after my monthly checkup and other things. I seemed to have forgotten that I’m living with another woman. One who loves to shop. But never actually buy anything. I don’t know if it’s my raging hormones or my distended stomach, but I find myself having much less patience than normal. As evidenced by my unrestrained bickering Saturday night with my Rockstar’s Daughter. Let us just say, it’s the first time in five years I’ve given in to the urge to act exactly the same age as she.

As far as Christmas sucking, I know it’s not about the presents, (unless you’re a little kid), but I am a bit saddened that I’ve not been able to afford even gifts for my Beloved and his daughter. And honestly, I’m kinda too tired to give a shit. At least,  a lot of shit. Maybe a little poo I give. But I too, have considered forgoing Christmas at my Rockstar’s parents and vegging out in front of Netflix with a delicious box of creamy Kraft macaroni and cheese.

Is it because he got fired from his job a month ago and I need a little alone time? I’m not sure. So many months had gone by without me seeing him hardly at all when he was working because of our opposite schedules, and it’s been nice to see him for a change. But I think I got used to all that alone time. So now I’m just fucked up.

Once again today, we ventured to town to indulge in half-priced burritos at our favorite Mexican restaurant, and our trip turned into an all-day finish-his-Christmas-shopping outing. My Rockstar clearly did not find me to be perturbed enough, for when I mentioned that I did not desire to battle the masses all day, he said, “Well, you’d probably just go home and take a nap anyway.” It wasn’t because it was an untrue statement, but the fact that he was inferring my general laziness that irked me so. I refrained from releasing my pregnant-woman rage on him though, and sucked it up as we spent another hour in Macy’s looking at cookware for his mother.

I went to work tonight, and soooooo did not want to be there, even though the lack of dollars in my wallet should have given me a different perspective. So I convinced a coworker to close for me, and I arrived home to find the house filled with the calming sounds of Motley Crue. My Rockstar has been downstairs banging away on the drums, oblivious to my being home. As much as he irritated me today, I cannot help but smile when I listen to the over-played band. After all, he is still my Rockstar….

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For Grampa


I noticed the sky this morning,

the morning you left us.

It was beautiful;

rose-colored and coral.

I thought of the old saying-

you know the one-

Red sky at morning,

sailors take warning.

And I started to cry.

It wasn’t warning sailors,

and I knew it.

It was warning us,

all of us that are left

that the world would be a little bit darker soon,

because you were going Home.

I knew;

that was why I held your hand maybe a little bit too tight

right before I had to go.

I figured it might have hurt,

but I knew you wouldn’t mind.

You would have done the same

if you’d been able to.

Now I have to figure out

how exactly my little boy is going to

grow up knowing just what a great man you were.

He’ll only see pictures of you,

the ones that prove me right-

that you were the best-dressed man that ever lived,

and so handsome.

(More handsome than all your brothers. Shhh.)

When he grows up,

he won’t get to remember what it was like

to wander through your garden with you,

admiring the stunning array of flowers

you and Gramma worked so hard on.

My son will never watch

Gramma, with the most tender of touch,

comb back the glorious strands of white and grey

from your forehead.

You know, I didn’t mind it a bit

when you missed a haircut or two.

There are far too many balding older men in the world.

It always seemed a shame to clip

the admirable abundance of hair you retained.

I’ll tell you a secret now.

Don’t be mad.

I always hated your favorite hymn.

In the Garden was never quite grandiose enough for me.

But you know I’ll play it for you anyway,

when it’s time to say goodbye.

The words, I really don’t mind, though.

And when I am digging in my own dirt,

I’ll sing them to myself

and think of you.

“I come to the garden alone,

when the dew is still on the roses…”

I maintain my opinion that

Crystal Gayle was always prettier than Loretta Lynn.

I keep saying it,

hoping you’ll come back and argue with me.

Loretta never knew what she was missing,

but all the rest of us will,

until we see you later.

 

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The Business of Lullabies


I do not fancy myself a superb singer. I will never be that girl who sends chills down people’s spines when I hit that one note, because it’s pretty damn certain I won’t ever hit that one note. Believe me, I’ve tried. No crowds will ever fill Madison Square Garden just because I’m there to sing; although I have no doubt that my Rockstar, my brother, and I will fill it when we finally start our band. I can carry a tune, and sound better than about half the people you hear attempting to sing, including Taylor Swift. Nevertheless, I fully intend to sing to my baby once he gets here. I just hope my doing so will not cause more tears than are normally expected from a baby.

The more I think about it, the more I realize that the songs I use as lullabies may very well be the songs my baby uses as lullabies to his own children someday, if he has any. (The continued use of male pronouns in reference to my baby are my way of using osmosis to decide his gender for him. He has no legs yet, so there is no way he has yet sprouted a teeny tiny penis. But I will continue to try to sway him.) Or, if nothing else, they will be songs he fondly remembers as ones his crazy mother sang to him because she loved him. Either way, this is not business that should be taken lightly. Music is the poetry of sound. So instilling in my baby a vast library of musical genres is a must. So far, here is my lullaby list:

For standards, I’ve only yet come up with two:

1. Over the Rainbow

2. Baby Mine from Dumbo

Moving along to somewhat newer music:

3. Let It Be by The Beetles

4. You’re Beautiful by James Blunt (Sidenote: As this James Blunt song is about a girl who is addicted to drugs, I feel that I may only sing the chorus so as not to introduce my babe to such evility prematurely.)

5. Jesus Loves Me

6. Give Me Love by Jasmine Cain (a mostly-independent artist, but a great song)

7. I’ll Be There by The Jackson 5 (or Mariah Carey, if you prefer)

8. True Colors by Cyndi Lauper

9. The Rainbow Connection by Kermit the Frog (a song my uncle used to sing to me when I was small)

10. Silent Night (a Christmas song, sure, but what better to sing about than the night I hope to have?)

11. Love is Forever by Slaughter

12. Unconditionally by Katy Perry

13. Unchained Melody by the Righteous Brothers

This is only a start, so I open my lullaby list to those of you in blogland, so speak now. Just know that Rob Zombie and Iron Maiden will have to wait just a year or two.

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A Letter To My Baby


Dear Baby,

I would have addressed my letter “Dear Little Bastard”, but there are those who might have taken offense. Luckily, I am your momma, and shall teach you to have a great sense of humor, and to never be ashamed of who and what you are.

So, hello, baby. I’ve been waiting a really long time to be able to write a letter to you. You would think I’d have given a bit more thought to what I would write, but considering that I never actually thought I’d have an opportunity to write such a letter, you will understand my faltering. It seems very cliche’, but I love you, baby. I’ve loved you for a very long time.

I promise you will be the most loved baby there ever was, (I know that seems pretentious, but you will learn soon enough that I am very exactly that). And don’t worry, I promise to teach you what pretentious means, and how to spell it, because I don’t want you to be one of those silly people who only use simple words and nod stupidly when educated people talk to you. You will know many many things, and the things I cannot teach you, you will learn from other people who love you dearly, like Auntie Delightful, who will be your Fairy Godmother, and who did a happy dance in public when your existence was confirmed; she will teach you all about poetry and to love books like I will, and she will never run out of crafts for you two to o together. And my godmother Auntie, who has been waiting for you for a long time too. She will teach you to accept everybody, and to be kind to people you don’t necessarily understand, and, if you ask her to, she will teach you to quilt beautiful quilts that will keep people you love warm.

Your daddy will love you too, even though he might not say it. (You and I will get him to eventually, though, I know it.) He will teach you all about music, and how important it is, and how rockers wearing women’s makeup is not only funny, but very cool. He will also take you to car races, and watch football with you, and will play with you even though he is kind of old, and really just wants to take a nap. Don’t get mad when he doesn’t respond to all your questions- he doesn’t have as many words to use as I do; but that just means you have to listen closely when he does talk.

I have always hoped you would be a boy, because dinosaurs are so much cooler than Barbies, and teenage boys are less of a pain in the ass than teen girls. But if you are a girl, I will teach you to love dinosaurs anyway, and to not be a pain in the ass.

The most important thing you need to know is that life is beautiful, and all people are beautiful in their own way, so you need to treat them like they are special, because they are someone’s baby, too. Also, God is a cool Guy, but He sometimes will do things you don’t understand just because He can; don’t get discouraged, because you are tougher than anything He will throw at you.

I’m sure there will be many more letters for you, baby, but for now, I should really work on my book, so I will have more time and money to spend on you when you get here.

Love You Forever,

Mommy

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