Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Elisabeth’

Well, yesterday was a glorious day.  Yim and I had Prantl’s burnt almond torte for breakfast with coffee.  It was left over from Yim‘s birthday celebration on Tuesday.  After breakfast we ran a couple of errands together.  We went to Home Depot for anchors and to Market District for lunch meat, rolls, Gerolsteiner and . . . Kennywood tickets!  (Yimmy loves it when I refer to Giant Eagle as Market District!  But, hey, my friend Alyssa calls it Hot Man Mecca!)

While I made a picnic lunch for us, Yimmy re-mounted my mailbox on the front of the house.  I’d given the mailbox a shiny new coat of black paint.  Incidentally, the mail has already come today, and the mailman opened the screen door and dropped the mail inside again, without any notice whatsoever of my newly painted and mounted box.

Once the chores were done and the picnic lunch was packed, Yim and I headed out to Kennywood.  The weather was phenomenal; clear, bright blue sky, dry warmth under the sun with wispy high clouds up above and a cool air circulating just enough so that one never felt uncomfortably hot.  The occasion was Yim‘s boy’s school Kennywood day and all three of his boys went there with their mother.  We shared the responsibility with her, trading off between the older and the younger so that everyone had the opportunity to ride.

Throughout the day Yim and I were prone to our own memories of childhood days spent running the park, from ride to ride, with our friends.  We didn’t leave until the park closed at 10pm and when we got home I collapsed on my bed, feeling the same satisfied exhaustion as I did at the end of a day back when I was 9 years old and had spent the hours running, laughing, riding and eating funnel cakes with Elisabeth.  I fell to sleep fast, with physical heaviness but mental levity, dreaming of all good things.

And so it was a great day, but there is more!

Yesterday marked the last day in the house of the Earth sign Taurus, which, other than my own Capricornian sign, I love the most.  It seems that so many of my favorite people have been born under the sign of the Bull:  Zia, Lord Mycol, Yim, and my brother, Rock.  If you follow the philosophy of the stars, it’s no wonder why.  Consider the following:

The Taurus and Capricorn combination is considered to be one of the best astrological combinations. When they unite there is a union of similar and positive creative forces and a subtle but powerful physical attraction. They understand each other’s weaknesses and strengths perfectly and act accordingly. Since both require a certain amount of acknowledgment of their positive qualities they do the same for each other. They fulfill each other emotionally, physically, intellectually and financially. Saturn and Venus the ruling planet of Capricorn and Taurus respectively complement each other. Taurus loves money and Capricorn wants security and sees financial stability as a way of security. Both are practical, sensual and calculative. They believe in hard work and success. So nothing can be better than this!!

Also, yesterday was, indeed, Rock’s birthday.

Before I get into wishing Rock a belated birthday I’d like to point out that I seem to have developed a habit of birthday posting, which puts a new kind of pressure on a person.  I no longer merely have to remember to check the calendar and get a card off in the mail, but now I must come up with some sort of brilliant tribute to the ones I love, lest any of them feel jilted.  This all started with a ridiculously fun post I wrote, a roast post, if you will, for the birthday of Elisabeth’s husband Dag.  It was one of the easiest and most fun things I’ve written to date.  On that day my blog stats reached their highest rating.  This created a two-fold reason to continue writing birthday blogs: 1) so as not to offend the others, hahaha, and 2) to strive towards beating my personal best where my stats are concerned (I’m talking about daily readership, folks).  This week I won some and lost some.  Let me put it to you this way; I beat my personal best on Tuesday, May 18th with “Feelin’ Good”.  That’s right, Dag, my post for Yim surpassed my post for you!  If I were a statistician I’d tell you by what percent.  On the other hand, I failed to put up a post for one of my most cherished Taureans, my brother Rock.  And so, short and late as it may be, without further adieu . . .

I’d like to tell you all the truth about how I feel about my brother.  I used to wish he was a sister!  I remember telling my mother that I wanted a playmate.  In my recollection of the past, like she’d waved a magic wand to grant my wish, the next thing I knew was that she’d gotten herself pregnant with a playmate exclusively for my sake.  Imagine my utter horror when, after months of giddy anticipation, she came home from the hospital with a boy-child!  What had gone wrong?  It went down like this:

One day my mother was so swollen with pregnancy that she could not find the energy to play with me.  I had no one else to play with at all.  I played imaginary games all by myself with my wooden farm set on the coffee table while she lie big on the sofa with heavy eyelids.  Then, in the dark of night in the middle of a spring rain, we had to leave the house.  There was a mild urgency – do you understand that? From the back seat on the way to my grandparents’ house I peered at blurry street lights through the rain drops on the windshield, glowing white, red, yellow, green, intermittently through the slash of the wipers.

It was likely 4 days later when Mummy returned from the hospital.  It was a sunny spring afternoon.  My grandparents lived in a 3 story large Victorian house and my mother came in through the back door to the sun-lit kitchen carrying the swaddled babe.  The excitement and joy expressed by those around me could not befog the circumstance.  There’d been a dirty trick played and this was not my requested playmate.  As I ran up the dramatic staircase in the entry hall, I stopped two-thirds of the way up, stuck my little head over the banister and screamed past the chandelier, “Why didn’t you tell the doctor we wanted a girl?!”

Oh, the follies of youth.  I’d like to tell you now that I would have it no other way than to have my playmate be my brother Rock.  Despite a fight here and there we got along marvelously.  I love him so much.

In the winter time when we were confined to playing indoors a lot, we used to take his crib mattress and prop it against the bedroom wall.  We mimicked Muhammed Ali and Leon Spinks, sparring with the mattress, fancy-footing around the room and sticking our faces in the mist from the humidifier for the dramatic effect of profuse sweating.

We have been playing together since he could walk and talk and the fun has never come to an end.  There is only one person in the world who really understands what my childhood experience was all about and that is him.  And vice versa.

Still, I did dress him up as a girl and call him Rebecca for about 4 years, until Mummy made me stop.  There is photographic evidence to support this claim.  I suppose you’re wondering which years, as from 12 to 16 would be rather strange, huh?  Don’t worry, he was hardly big enough to defend himself.

I called my brother yesterday and wished him a Happy Birthday and he told me it was his second best to date, the first best being the day he was actually born.  I am so glad his wishes came true.  He met one of his idols, Dave Matthews, who, ironically, shares his birthday with mine.  You see how Taureans and Capricorns love each other?  Rock and his wife, Luvy, were granted a backstage audience (with photos) with Dave, Tim Reynolds and Jane Goodall before enjoying the show up close.  An ecstatic experience for my brother and I am happy for him.

Happy Birthday, Rock!  I love you, brother!

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

There is a radio in my bathroom that remains plugged in.  This way, when I hit the light switch, voila, I have music as well.  I’ve always kept it this way, no matter where I’ve lived.  I just love to hear music as often as I can, even if it is in the can.

Sometimes a song will take me straight back in time and remind me of everything about a moment in my past, and this is the best kind of sometimes.  Songs are like smells that way.  They can trigger your memory to recall all the details of an instance.

All music is what awakes from you when you are reminded by the instruments. — Walt Whitman

I thought it would be fun to make a list of all the songs I can think of that have this effect on me, share the list with you, and ask you to post a comment with your own songs and the memories they induce.

Here are mine:

Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head” – sung by B.J. Thomas

In my memory this song is forever linked to the nursery rhyme

It’s raining, it’s pouring,

The old man is snoring,

He went to bed and he bumped his head,

And couldn’t get up in the morning.

When I was three years old we lived in an apartment on the third floor of one of the big, old Victorians around here, and from our window I could see the steeple of the Gothic Presbyterian church in East Liberty.  I was three, so I can’t explain anything about the memory other than if I hear the song “Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head,” it most definitely always triggers the memory of the nursery rhyme and the view of the steeple from our window.

Suicide Is Painless” – theme song from M*A*S*H*.

I’m sure that many people my age can remember their parents tuning in to M*A*S*H* every week on TV.  It was one of my mother’s favorite programs, and I understood that it was funny, but most of the time the only thing that I could really laugh at was Jamie Farr in drag.  So it would make sense that the theme song would provoke memories of the show.  What I remember when I hear this theme song is my 5th grade music class at Liberty Elementary School.  That year we learned to sing this song and I can still clearly visualize the wide-ruled paper I wrote the lyrics on in pencil.

Through early morning fog I see
visions of the things to be
the pains that are withheld for me
I realize and I can see…

[chorus]:

That suicide is painless
It brings on many changes
and I can take or leave it if I please.

I try to find a way to make
all our little joys relate
without that ever-present hate
but now I know that it’s too late, and…

[Chorus]

The game of life is hard to play
I’m gonna lose it anyway
The losing card I’ll someday lay
so this is all I have to say.

[Chorus]

The only way to win is cheat
And lay it down before I’m beat
and to another give my seat
for that’s the only painless feat.

[Chorus]

MASH
The sword of time will pierce our skins
It doesn’t hurt when it begins
But as it works its way on in
The pain grows stronger…watch it grin, but…

[Chorus]

A brave man once requested me
to answer questions that are key
‘is it to be or not to be’
and I replied ‘oh why ask me?’

‘Cause suicide is painless
it brings on many changes
and I can take or leave it if I please.
…and you can do the same thing if you choose.

Such deep and gloomy lyrics to teach to a classroom full of children.  Obviously, I can’t forget it.

“I Think I’m Turning Japanese” – The Vapors

“Life in Tokyo” – Japan

Music will often play a kind of soundtrack to your life, especially to the good times with good friends.  I think it’s strange and interesting that there is an Asian theme to these two songs that will eternally be linked to my friendship with Elisabeth.

When I was 7 years old, I was walking back to my house from playing up the street.  The summer day was coming to an end.  It was just dusk outside.  My roller-skates with the pink rubber wheels were slung over my shoulder, tied together at the laces.  Sounds cliché, but it is 100% true.  I could see my mother sitting on the front porch with my 3-year-old brother.  And waiting to cross the street on the opposite curb was some lanky boy I’d never seen before.  As I got closer to home I saw this boy cross the street and go right up onto my porch and talk to my mother.  And as I got closer still, I realized that boy was a girl.  Elisabeth was taller than me but had shorter hair than me.  She was long and skinny.  She was wearing a t-shirt with horizontal alternating navy and white pin-stripes.  She had bubble-gum stuck to her shirt.  She had a white gauze bandage taped to her ankle – a burn from the exhaust pipe of her uncle’s motorcycle.  We became quick friends and over the years these songs were used in group choreographed dance contests we had at her birthday parties.  “I Think I’m Turning Japanese” can absolutely be considered our theme song.

“King of Pain” – The Police

I guess I must have been 12 years old when I read Cujo by Stephen King.  By this time we were living in that huge, drafty house that I did most of my growing up in.  My bedroom was on the first floor, while my mother and brother slept upstairs.  I’ve mostly always read in bed before switching off my bedside lamp and going to sleep.  I’ve not always read with the radio on as well, but that is what I was doing then.  Cujo was so scary and I felt so alone and vulnerable on the first floor.  I had the radio on quietly beside me as I read so as to comfort me.  And then the DeeJay played “King of Pain”.  It was the first time I’d ever heard it.  It was just as dark and eerie as Cujo.  I put the book down and listened to the lyrics and got even more creeped out.  Don’t get me wrong, I really love this song a lot, and part of it’s appeal is what it did to me that night.

“Need You Tonight” – INXS

“Tell It To My Heart” – Taylor Dayne

Okay, I just watched these videos and listened to the lyrics and got a little embarrassed.  Oh my.  Well, you can probably guess that these songs, and the videos, trigger my memories of my “dawn of womanhood”.  Let’s just say that the mature feelings expressed by the lyricists inaccurately describe my experience, but nonetheless, I am transported in time to a certain weekend of my life.  And we’ll leave it at that.

“Big Mouth Strikes Again” – The Smiths

When I married Mike in Oregon we spent a few nights in his mother’s guest bedroom before and after our “honeymoon”.  We listened to The Smiths in the damp coolness of Oregon’s November on the Columbia River.  It sounds slightly romantic, but I assure you, the lyrics should be “sweetness, I wasn’t joking when I said I’d like to smash every tooth in your head.”  I actually love Morrissey and The Smiths and think their lyrics are brilliant, but listening to this one is somewhat bittersweet.

I’m not trying to be morose here, there are songs by the dozens that take me back to happy, happy places.  I just felt this was a nice sampling to share, even if the last few do seem to remind me of things less than ideal.  C’est la vie.

Now it’s your turn.  In the comments section of this post, tell us about a song that transports you to another time and the memory it triggers.  More than one?  Great!  Let’s hear them!

Without music life would be a mistake. — Nietzsche

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: