Tag Archives: entertainment

The Promise

18 May

I’ve often wondered…do artistic people who dwell on a whole different astral plane have an unconscious awareness of when it’s time to  move on?  And is it even a choice?  Jimi Hendrix seemed to know his fate when he wrote and recorded, “The Ballad of Jimi”.  Lines like “Many things he would try / For he knew soon he’d die,” “Now Jimi’s gone, he’s not alone / His memory still lives on” and “Five years, this he said / He’s not gone, he’s just dead” weirdly predict the legend’s death and legacy five years later.

Last night Chris performed with Soundgarden in Detroit, Michigan.  Before taking his final walk off stage, Soundgarden worked in a little bit of Led Zeppelin’s 1975 epic, “In My Time of Dying” while performing the closing notes of Badmotorfinger’s “Slaves & Bulldozers”.  The video below shows this final footage.

Chris Cornell – Final Footage

 

I could sit here and write down all of the memories I have that are linked to every single Soundgarden and Audioslave song.  But I won’t.

I will simply salute a man who personally held the hand and ushered in an era of music that made an ethereal footprint in our music’s landscape.  Thank you, Chris….for leaving us with “The Promise”.

Prince Dead at 57

21 Apr

prince

A Queen is born…a Prince dies.  Legendary musician, Prince Rogers Nelson, was found dead today in his Minnesota home.  He was only 57 years old.

 

The soundtrack of my teenage life was made up of Prince.  Cyndi Lauper.  Eurythmics.  The Thompson Twins.  I remember laying in the yard with my best friend, listening to “When Doves Cry”, the perfect fuel for our teenage angst.  Kids our age were sneaking out, wearing their parent’s clothes, trying to get in to see his R-rated movie, “Purple Rain”.  There was just something ethereal about him.  Something other-worldly.  He could not be contained within a gender or race.

I remember exactly where I was at the stroke of midnight as 1999 rolled into a new era.  And, of course, Prince’s ‘1999’ was being played on a loop.  His lyrics, “two thousand zero zero party over, oops out of time”, seemed to have a prophetic aura about them.  Almost as if he knew there was an evolutionary musical shift coming.  One that lacked his authenticity.

In 2004, the Rock and Rock Hall of Fame recognized him as an artist who “rewrote the rulebook”.  After his induction, he shared, ” I embarked on a journey more fascinating than I could ever imagine.”

We’re just now learning that Prince was found unresponsive in an elevator inside of his music studio.  Making his lyrics even more profound:

“And if the elevator tries to bring you down
Go crazy, punch a higher floor.”

 

 

Temple Grandin

10 Feb

templeaward3001

 

A few years ago I watched a movie called, “Temple Grandin“.  (That’s her pictured above.)  Up until then, I’d never even heard her name.  Today, I have to say that she’s in my Top Ten of influential people.  There was a theme throughout her life…one of doors.  She looked at doors as a way to enter another dimension of her life.  Whether it was the door to her bedroom, the door to the principal’s office, sliding doors…she sucked it up and walked through, knowing that there would be a life-challenge sitting  on the other side.

Temple is autistic.  She describes herself as feeling like an “anthropologist from Mars” when she’s around neurotypical (“normal”) people, yet she forces herself into the very situations that terrify her.

When Temple was spending the summer at her Aunt’s Colorado ranch, she noticed that the cows became more peaceful when being held in a tight holding stall.  Temple went on to invent the Hug Machine after learning of it’s ability to calm her down when she became over-anxious.  She wouldn’t let a human being touch her, but the deep pressure of her Hug Machine worked miracles in keeping her stable.

Here’s a pic of it.  It looks totally creepy and primitive, but it’s widely used in Autism therapy nationwide.  I wish I knew someone who had one so I could try it out.  You know, just to see.  I’m not autistic but I do struggle with social interactions and am extremely sensitive to sensory stimulation.  Seriously, I am!  People usually scoff when they learn this about me, but it’s true.  I’ve just learned to fake a calm exterior to hide the internal flipping out.  Coping skills, people.  Coping skills.  In a February 2010 Time magazine interview, Grandin stated that she no longer uses a hug machine: “It broke two years ago, and I never got around to fixing it. I’m into hugging people now.”  That’s my girl.

Anyway…the whole movie struck a chord with me.  Challenged me, actually.  Challenged me to feel the fear and do it anyway.  To run headfirst into life situations that terrify me but will benefit me in the long run.  Sometimes I feel myself begin to scatter and it takes great will power to pull it all back together and find a calm center.  But once I’m there, I begin to see that a lot of the big things don’t matter.  It’s the over-looked things that make the difference.

The story of Temple Grandin’s life is one of the untainted human soul.  She has the ability to see the soul within every living being…not just people.  The first lines of the movie were:

“Hello.  I’m Temple Grandin.  I use my mind to solve problems and invent things.”

And what a beautiful mind it is.

Fortune Cookies: The Guilt Factor

5 Sep

cookie-81

 

My friends and I recently had a conversation about fortune cookies and their impact on our fragile emotions.  Some of us took the fortunes seriously.  Others laughed them off as hogwash and tomfoolery.  A few sank into a puddle of depression because their last four cookies were fortune-less.  It was then suggested that I should look into becoming a fortune writer for a fortune cookie company to supplement my income…apparently because I have the uncanny ability to build you up one minute, then tear you down the next.

Here’s my top 25.  It’s still a work in progress.

1) General Failure will read your hard disk soon.

2)  You will die alone and poorly dressed.

3)  Now is the time to make circles with mints.  Make haste!

4)  The end is near…and it’s all YOUR fault.

5)  Help!  I’m being held hostage in a Chinese bakery!

6)  Never tease an armed midget with a high five.

7)  The rubber bands are headed in your direction.

8)  People Google you and laugh.

9)  I stole your husband on Craig’s List.

10)  Hope you enjoyed the meow meow chicken.

11)  The monkeys see you.  They see everything.

12)  All of your hard work will never pay off.

13)  You are boring to talk to.

14)  You have the face of a near sighted rodeo clown.

15)  You will attend a party where strange customs prevail.

16)  Don’t be a cold fish.

17)  Yes.  Everyone is laughing AT you.

18)  The Chinese food you just ate actually came off the back of a truck from Jersey.

19)  You will eat many oysters but never get the pearl.

20)  Don’t fry bacon naked.

21)  Your colon will self destruct in 5..4..3..

22)  Forgive your enemies…but remember their name, address, phone number and drug use history.

23)  Going to church, teaching Sunday school and wearing skirts ‘n pantyhose doesn’t make you a christian.

24)  Does this rag smell like chloroform to you?

25)  Stupid looks fabulous on you.

3rd Grade Lunch Bag Countdown: 114 More Days

5 Nov

114

3rd Grade Lunch Bag Countdown: 156 More Days

4 Sep

Inspired by the only band she was obsessed with at the age of 3:  The Aquabats

 

156

Robin Williams: Laughter Fading

12 Aug

robin

I didn’t have a TV when I was a kid.  So when I’d visit cousins or friends who owned a television, I’d binge-watch like a crack-head.  One of my earliest TV memories was ‘Mork & Mindy’.  There was a kid named Clark in my 4th grade class who would wear rainbow suspenders and throw what appeared to be a gang sign whilst muttering “Nanu Nanu” under his breath.  Initially I made fun of him.

“Yeah well you’re stupid because you don’t even have a TV to know who Mork is.”, he said.

So I asked around and found out about ‘Mork & Mindy’.  One episode in particular stands out: The episode, which aired on February 19, 1981, was called “Mork Meets Robin Williams.”  Mork meets Robin Williams and learns about the nature of fame on Earth and the toll it takes on those who get swept up in it. In the final scene, Mork reports back to Orson to tell him what he just learned about the culture of Earth. He explains to Orson that “being a star is a 24-hour job and you can’t leave your face at the office… some of them can’t take it.” Then he lists the names of those Earthlings who were destroyed by the pressures of fame: Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon. The episode aired just two months after Lennon was shot and killed by a deranged fan. If it was written today, there would be a quite a few more famous names to add to it.

I think Robin’s death hit a particularly raw nerve with me because of the bipolar struggle that he and I share.  It’s taken years for me to find the right combination of meds and cognitive therapy that also allow my high level of creativity to remain intact.  But the depression still comes.  The higher the peak the lower the fall.

Robin’s suicide is an unfortunate result of his mental illness.  No different than death as a result of cancer or heart disease.  The fact that a soul like Robin’s could succumb to to the effects of bipolar speaks to the power of psychiatric illness.  Robin was a genius at using his manic highs and depressing lows to produce comedic genius on and off screen.  Perhaps it’s true that those who make us laugh the hardest battle the darkest demons.

  • We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman, “O me! O life!… of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless… of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?” Answer: that you are here; that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?  ~Dead Poets Society

 

Seriously, Sirius?

4 Apr

sirius2

 

Okay, I wasn’t going to say anything….BUT.

I’m not sure where Sirius trains their customer service agents, but I think it’s safe to say there’s no indoor plumbing.  I went to school with a kid who didn’t have indoor plumbing and he was angry and couldn’t read very well.  These Sirius Agents are angry.  As they should be.  They should be angry with themselves for the rickety auto-renewal Armageddon they precipitate and perpetrate upon the innocent.  XM Radio is a bit of a luxury.  You’d think they’d try to maintain that image with their customer service team.  But they don’t.  And they don’t even care that they don’t.

We’ve had Sirius XM for several months now.  Every single month they’ll do one of two things.  Shut off our service, forcing us to call their hotline of anger…OR…charge several months at a time on whatever piece of  credit we gave them when we started the service.  So after the first couple of months we decided to take it up a notch.  Yeah.  Make them come to us like little rats comin’ for a piece of rotten cheese.  Oh and they came.  They came with their promises of discounts and special offers, which we took advantage of because we felt completely justified.

Here’s the thing.  When you hire yourself an army of imbeciles and tell them to answer phones and read scripts, you’re just asking to be tangled with.  I don’t feel guilty about hustling them.  It’s not like I’m stealing.  They’re getting my money.  On MY terms.

Shut me off? Go ahead!  Now give me those six months for the price of one because, after all, I am a new customer.

 

Miley Cyrus Smells Like Failure

26 Aug

disney oops

So this morning my kid is eating Lucky Charms when she sees a recap of Miley Cyrus’ dirty-butt performance at last night’s MTV VMA awards.  I tried to change the channel but it was too late.  She had questions.  Like…”Hey, didn’t you buy me some discount lipgloss from Walmart that had her Disney face on it?”

Psh.  Don’t be ludicrous, child.  To which she sucked her teeth and replied, “Mm hm.”

I could sit here and bust insults all morning, but I shall refrain.  Because I’m a good person.  So let me just put some perspective on this.  In case ya’ll forgot.

billy

Oh, and in case you have no morals.

 

 

The Hubba Bubba Bubble Blowing Duel

21 Aug

hubba bubba

My kid will never ride the bus to school.  Like ever.  The reason I’m adamant about this is because I rode the bus.  I sat in the back of the bus.  I earned most of my street credibility on the bus.  Hence, my no-bus-riding policy.  I don’t want my child going down the same path I did.

I was one of those gum chewing, bubble blowing smart mouths in the 6th grade.  My mom only let us kids chew a half a stick of Wrigley’s, so I acted out in a more obnoxious rebellious manner.  But on the bus…there were no moms.  I chewed five pieces at a time and stuck it under my bus seat when the sugar ran out.  I didn’t care.  I was a renegade with a keen eye to those less astute.   By less astute, I mean the kids who sat in the middle of the bus.  The skeptics.  The ones who wanted to sit in the back but just couldn’t commit.

There was one kid in particular.  Clark.  I’ve tried to find him on Facebook and other social media sites but found nothing.  Maybe he changed his name in the hopes that people would stop talking about that day on the bus.  The day that he challenged me to a Hubba Bubba bubble blowing duel.  No one had challenged me up to that point.  It was simply understood that I would always win.  I’m not being arrogant.  I speak truth.  I had perfected the art of blowing massive bubbles without any gum residue sticking to my nose or face and that was something to be respected.  But like I said.  Clark was less astute.

He had one of those neener-neener voices.  That’s how I knew it was him.

“I bet I can blow a bigger bubble than YEW can, girl.”

I was nearly to my seat before I was able to fully process his slander.  So I turned to face him, slow like.

“I’m sorry, did you say something?  Boy?”

He then proceeded to cram a whole pack of Hubba Bubba into his mealy mouth.  He seemed agitated.  I deftly noted this and smirked on the inside.  He probably hadn’t slept at all the night before because he was too busy practicing his fighting words.  I made sure that he knew I was only chewing three pieces of gum.  I didn’t need a whole pack to do business.  He told me I could go first.  I told him I  was going to go first anyway.

Now if you were a gum chewer in the early 80’s, you would remember the Hubba Bubba television commercial featuring a John Wayne looking fella being challenged by a Snidely Whiplash looking ne’er-do-well.  Obviously John Wayne wins.

So I went into position.  Knees slightly bent, fingers all twitchy above an invisible gun belt.  And I blew.  Oh the majesty of that bubble.  Clark could clearly see he was in over his head.  So like a good grasshoppah, he copied my moves.  He blew.  I waited until the bubble was big enough to give him hope before removing the gum from my mouth and sticking it into his bubble.

No fair, no fair!  That’s what he said.  Psht.  That’s what he got for riding the bus.

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