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Rated: 18+ · Book · Experience · #930577
Blog started in Jan 2005: 1st entries for Write in Every Genre. Then the REAL ME begins
It Hurts When I Stop Talking

Sometime in Fall of 1998, when a visit from Dad was infrequent, and primarily at the mercy of his 88 Toyota making the 50 mile journey, I was being treated to lunch. The restaurant was my choice, I think. Sisley Italian Kitchen at the Town Center mall was somewhere my dad had not yet tried, so that was my pick. Either I was being treated to the luxury of lunch and adult conversation without my husband and 5 year old son in tow, or that's just how the moment has lodged in my memory. The more I think about it, they probably were there, but enjoying the Italian food too much to bother interrupting.

Daddy and his lady friend at the time, Anne, came up together and made a day of it with me and the family. We were eating together and talking about some of my scripts, stories, coverages, poems and other creative attempts that really were not seeing the light of day. I think I'd just finished a group reading of The Artist's Way and was in a terribly frenetic mood over my writing. I think I'd just given them an entire rundown on a speculative Star Trek script.

My Dad asked me point blank, “Why don’t you write it?? Anne agreed. It sure sounded like I wanted to write it. Why wasn't I writing seriously? It's what I'd set out to do when earning my college degree in Broadcasting many years earlier.

Heck, I should, I agreed non-verbally.

“I will.”

But, I didn’t.

Blogs can be wild, unpredictable storehouses of moments, tangents, creative dervishes, if you will. I'm getting a firmer handle on my creative cycle. My mental compost heap (which is a catch phrase from Natalie Goldman or Julia Cameron - I can't think which, right now) finally seems to be allowing a fairly regular seepage of by-products. That may be a gross analogy, but I give myself credit to categorize my work in raw terms. It proves that I'm not so much the procrastinating perfectionist that I once was.

Still, I always seem to need prompts and motivation. Being a self-starter is the next step. My attempt to keep up in the Write in Every Genre Contest at the beginning of the year seemed like a perfect point to launch the blog.

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March 10, 2020 at 5:37pm
March 10, 2020 at 5:37pm
I am waiting to hear back about an opportunity. It may be the first step on the path "not taken," whether I am granted the opportunity or not. Having agreed to the possibility, already my thinking and planning has shifted. New ideas come through. Projects that have laid buried due to disinterest suddenly seem important again. I had some sense that the piles of things at home I wouldn't touch or treated with total disregard were the result of a cruddy insipid bout of depression that has been about me for months.

It has the potential to free me from a financial burden or two, if I manage the money well. Already it is freeing my mind to consider working somewhere new and/or working in a completely different fashion. If I really listen, I can trust what I am thinking is real -- that my wishing and planning as if it is my reality already -- and have confidence that I know what is best for me. So, again, a verification that all the little things in the world that have given me a thrill throughout my lifetime have purpose. Leading me to a wholeness of purpose that will define and redefine me should I allow;Is that a new definition for Legacy?

"A talent for making activity accessible" seems to me a better, succinct explanation for what I do, and better than any job title I have or will hold. I have that talent whether you are my charge and only eight or nine, or you take a workshop with me as an adult; it does not matter.
February 22, 2020 at 4:30pm
February 22, 2020 at 4:30pm
The Soundtrack of my Life

One beautiful memory from my relationship with my dad was the time he took me to see the stage play of Amadeus. Mark Hamill
portrayed Mozart, and a stand-in I no longer remember portrayed Solieri -- and I am not saying the actor was not memorable, he just was not F. Murray Abraham! (For those of you who have seen the award-winning film, you of course know that excellent performance.

I even forgot to mention at my father's memorial why I asked the pianist to play Mozart...that shared experience back in the Eighties was part of the reason. My father's life-long appreciation of classical music, of certain composers and musicians, of Public radio stations like, KPFK, or KPCC. He also tried to play, although he essentially drove my mom mad over the practiced repetition of Moonlight Sonata in the night.

Piano Symphony 11 in three movements Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
February 21, 2020 at 11:38pm
February 21, 2020 at 11:38pm
The Soundtrack of my Life

This song, Lego House, and the video that accompanies it, is the epitome of I told two friends, and they told two friends, and so on, and so on, and so on.... From my recollection, few people in America were really taking note of singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran until 2011. And despite the talent he was exhibiting, and the play he was getting on radio, I still found most people above the age of fifteen did not then know his name, or knew he was the name to associate with the two songs that were most played then, A-Team and Lego House. I admit, it was my twelve-year old that sent me to look at this video at that time, and now, just recently, this video link is how I have introduced others still in the dark about him.

Lego Song is not particularly straight-forward as a love song. The song, for me, takes on the flavor of the video -- it cannot be separated back out once you have seen this video as its representation. The farce that unfolds in this video is mental. For the majority of the video we are shown the seeming innocuous wanderings of a ginger lad, both out in the countryside, in meager habitation, even in the halls of a stadium preparing to perform before throngs of fans....who is this lad -- well, it is not Ed Sheeran. It is instead Rupert Grint (freshly off the Harry Potter meal train). Ed does make a few well placed appearances, helpful to the narrative, LOL! It says quite a bit about how musicians have to not only give life to their music, but be willing to see it have adventures of its own, even if the result is attracting curiosity-seekers, and purposefully confusing those uninitiated throngs. Ultimately it does get you ears.

(2nd celeb. music video guilty pleasure)

Ed Sheeran, Lego House feat. Rupert Grint
February 21, 2020 at 11:06pm
February 21, 2020 at 11:06pm
The Soundtrack of my Life

Guilty pleasure; celeb-alt music videos

This delightful presentation of Leonard Nimoy in a modern music video for Bruno Mars has several layers of delight for me specifically, and without Mr. Nimoy saying a word. (And completely different from just Nimoy's voice being sampled into a song -- saying, "Pure Energy" -- I don't have to go look that one up for yo do I?) So, being a Californian, already the odds of seeing or even interacting with a celebrity is quite high. And the Lazy Song is espousing all the reasons to not be well known, or to even get out of your pajama pants! Leonard Nimoy has been in television and film a long time, by 2011. So his celebrity mixed with his age is the first bright note of his performance for this song -- a song that one envisions being sung by a much younger, well, less serious and lazy persona. The song of course speaks like a siren song to any of us that find it hard to unwind.

The second layer to this that I love is the entire action of this video takes place in a suburban block that I have many memories of. The grocery store entered to procure milk and other entertainment is really around the corner from the street of houses used for exterior shots of Nimoy and a friendly neighbor. I remember the Carvel Ice Cream store next to that grocery store. I also remember growing up in the late Seventies and early Eighties sometimes being just beyond the boundaries when Hollywood scenes, or MTV videos needed filming. Mars lyrics even mention MTV, trying to interject that it can instruct, but essentially it is doing nothing.

Bruno Mars, Lazy Song, (Alternative Official Video) feat. Leonard Nimoy
February 19, 2020 at 4:55pm
February 19, 2020 at 4:55pm
The Soundtrack of my Life

I follow Nyle DiMarco on Twitter because he advocates for good causes. Foremost, teaching sign language (not an automatic consideration when a child is born deaf, as oftentimes the family around you is hearing). So, he factors into my year, past and present. He also drops self-promotion as a model, and that ain't bad to enjoy. Despite the performance to this music taking place a couple years ago, it is one I share because it really represents what I think of when I see his name, or explain to others who he is. Winning the Dancing with the Stars Finals was his second wave of celebrity, as he was recognized before that in one of the televised modeling competitions. I like that his lasting impact comes through his achievement as an inclusion advocate, a cultural advocate, a consultant to musical artists making their media and fan interaction accessible through Closed Captioning. So enough about him and his talented dance instructor/partner in the video, Petra...

The Sound of Silence is irrevokably tied to the movie, The Graduate. Through it, I recognize that Top Gun, Footloose, and a slew of Eighties soundtrack-based films were NOT firsts. While I cannot say Disturbed's cover is my favorite, as related to Nyle and Petra's freestyle dance, it certainly carries the right vibe. Even in its own time, I imagine that the tone of Simon and Garfunkel's The Sound of Silence was radical and unwelcome by some.


Disturbed cover of Simon & Garfunkel's Sound of Silence

a test of signature for masquerade
February 18, 2020 at 1:50pm
February 18, 2020 at 1:50pm
The Soundtrack of my Life

Recently re-watched the Disney Fantasia film of my childhood, and by the time I had kids, that early version was on VHS tape. Fantasia was attempted again by Disney, and I only saw it once, specifically in a movie theater. Everything in the Fantasia 2000 release was forgettable, for me, except the concluding piece of Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue. Truth is, I do not think I had heard the full musical piece before, except in a snippet here or there. Since many of the recordings on You Tube do highlight the entire musical piece, running almost eighteen minutes. Easy to find other versions, I just decided to give the short one for this.

Because Gershwin's piano masterpiece has a rush-rush feel to it, the pulse of New York city, even an early Twentieth Century New York seem so true to the playfulness inherent. The concept behind both Fantasia films was to give the animators something to equate visually to classic music. The astonishing thing, Rhapsody In Blue is now a piece in the Public Domain. [An ever-growing catalog of the artistic pieces that no longer require the collection of royalties for the creators' estates] It used to run about seventy years, but Disney is one of those entities that has used its legal and financial power to extend the length of time an artwork stays out of public domain. Quite beneficial to keep selling related merchandise, you see.

George Gershwin Rhapsody In Blue ( a small portion, as utilized in Fantasia 2000)
February 17, 2020 at 1:12pm
February 17, 2020 at 1:12pm
The Soundtrack of my Life

I used to regale all the adults in my sphere of influence while having a pre-teen/teen existence (circa Summer of 1977 through 1978, then 1980, then 1983...) with my vast knowledge and enjoyment of all things Star Wars. That includes the 1978 Star Wars Christmas Special, my friends...you realize it was to my child eyes what MTV's Liquid Television would be to my college-weary eyes). Evidence that I am a media glutton, but have reached (possibly) a moderated appetite, presented itself to me in 2019 as the Star Wars movie arc concluded, and I firmly waved off on the offering of The Mandalorian as obligatory after-dinner mint. But, also growing up in the age of Spielberg and John Williams collaborations, my love of film composers is great, and I'm always willing to hear what other composers create in that broad sea for recorded media.

I must also tell of the many hours I spent in a 7-11 convenience store that for several key years had an arcade console housing Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom video game. For hours, whether someone was playing in that corner or not, it would chirp out the quite jaunty, Slave Theme by John Williams. It worked quite well for priming the player, or potential player of the game, as the main task was climbing ladders, evading Thugee guards, and freeing multitudinous slave children from individual cages within an underground cavern in India. I shouldn't complain, I could leave the store at my leisure, it was my then-boyfriend who had to hear it beckoning in the background for eight straight hours, since he worked the night shift. It's easy to identify -- the brain needs no greasing to pull that diddy to the forefront.

Come to the recent day I decide to at least peek into the world of The Madalorian. Already aware the composer for the theme is a young, slightly electronica-influenced composer named Ludwig Göransson, so I don't expect John Williams. And yet, as the theme begins to swell, I am drawn back to that endless staccato video game loop version that John Williams, himself, probably has never heard play. Now, I'm not creating that actual sense of it for you, except to counter with a cello cover of The Mandalorian agaist John Williams' own Boston Pops rendition. Let me know if you detect what I do? Or maybe I just primed myself to be a hater in this instance. (And don't get me wrong, the music is fantastic, just what it cues in my brain is disorienting).

Main Theme, The Mandalorian composed by Ludwig Göransson performed here by Nicholas Yee et al

Slave Theme by John Williams
February 16, 2020 at 7:00pm
February 16, 2020 at 7:00pm
The Soundtrack of my Life

In May of 2019 I facilitated a four session workshop in Mindfulness, teaching more the science behind how our memory and learned habits help or inhibit our best functioning in the moment. I started each meeting with a song and dance -- just to really keep the energy high. There's few songs I like better for its energy than George Michael's anthem, Freedom '90. My participants didn't get a professional, edited video performance from me...just me being willing to Acapella and engage the the hips

The 2017 Pitch Perfect sequel features a performance of just Freedom, but I have selected this brief video promo which hints at the effective use of Freedom in the denouement of Pitch Perfect 3. Freedom blended with that first Pitch Perfect stand-out "cups moment" sung by Anna Kendrick is a neat little medley. If only I could be part of a ensemble and just need to nail a bit of some iconic piece, as most of them are doing. Yet, pretty sure that is even more exhausting than performing live once, huh?

Pitch Perfect 3 cast (featuring Anna Kendrick) and The Voice 2017 contestants singing George Micheal's Freedom '90 & Cups (Pitch Perfect’s “When I’m Gone”) Songwriters: A.P. Carter / Luisa Gerstein / Heloise Tunstall-Behrens
February 16, 2020 at 2:29pm
February 16, 2020 at 2:29pm
The Soundtrack of my Life

"Ten dolla' Founding Father".... Hamilton -- haven't seen it, now anticipating I will see the movie Disney announced this past week. Thankfully, recorded from a Broadway staging, not recreated for the screen. I have always been on the crest of the wave advocating for inclusion. Even though I have not been able to see the theatrical production of Hamilton, I admire Lin-Manuel Miranda in the way he lifts up others, and sticks to his life-long alliances and values even in his growing success. I see that in his creating this musical, and in his standing up for the people of Puerto Rico during governmental crises.

And this sets up "Weird Al" Yankovich Hamilton Polka. As I have made clear in this musical set, I love me some parody. Here is a master, like the forever Oscar-contender that is annually at work and annually recognized, but never takes the stage. So no surprise, Weird Al had to give a long-form love letter to the musical Hamilton. I didn't really know he'd done it but a friend goes and sees his performances regularly, so this is why I had to see what the corkscrew-curl accordian-player has played with lately.

"Weird Al" Yankovich Hamilton Polka
February 16, 2020 at 2:22pm
February 16, 2020 at 2:22pm
The Soundtrack of my Life

Camp Granada almost seems like a real place, I was a kid that made short camp trips, generally into the mountain regions for a weekend or a week at most. I was never sent away for a season, like I think they do more in the Northeast. Camp as portrayed in comedy is typically the social anxiety inducing Summer Camp. Living in California, however, we are travelling to Catalina Island in Winter, backwards kind of things like that. Although I did do day care Y-camp during Spring Break, since both my parents worked. Come to think of it, I was taught funny little songs there -- more comedy training at a young age.

Comedian Allan Sherman was faceless to me, as he like Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks were from an earlier time as far as I was concerned, and I knew them almost exclusively through radio play and comedy albums, not the visual media. I have a long time friend, and in her house, radio,records and books were the main source of entertainment consumption. So much so, that by the time she and I were in high school together, MTV was available at my house, but not hers. When she wants to suggest that it might be time for a visit to see her in Oregon, I can count on a link to Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah. So silly songs, not voguish rock idols were our shared appreciation. (Well, Billy Joel is an exception, but then he's one of those excellent singer-songwriters, essentially a poet.)

Terrible or great of me to invoke Billy Joel and Allan Sherman in the same bit? Not at all. All music that is strongly based in the lyrics, not as much in the melody share in that seed of idea to be communicated, written to its full intent, then performed. If you could stitch together Allan Sherman gigs into a quilt of neurotic childhood, I think you could make a case for why I am able to appreciate Billy Joel's We Didn't Start the Fire. I didn't think this was the direction this was going -- but who can say what the human brain will mash together (and, now I have to share the excellent Avengers parody invoking the genius of Billy Joel, as that was a big 2019 moment as well)

Allan Sherman (1963) "Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah"

a test of signature for masquerade

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