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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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February 16, 2020 at 1:42pm
February 16, 2020 at 1:42pm
The Soundtrack of my Life

Parody music....I realize I was primed from a young age to love it and seek it out. Children's Television Workshop, producers of Sesame Street and The Electric Company on PBS sprinkled their educational skits with comedy references to popular music. Additionally, as I inched toward the teenage years, Sunday nights were devoted to tuning in to Dr. Demento (if my thirtysomething parents were hanging out with a particular couple, whose son also listened to the program whenever he could). I reconnected with him last year, and although we didn't reminisce about our late night binge-listening of comedy album jewels, it brought those times to the forefront of memory. I have other friends that sprinkle my social media with the links to other specific Dr. Demento selections. And I will explore a few in this set.

Not everything musical comedy variety is from my distant past. All types of new comedy is in creation constantly. I have rarely caught Key & Peele skits in the past, since I don't do cable TV. And tied with that choice, I often end up seeing blockbuster films several years later. The 2012 film version of Les Miserables is a good example -- I might have rented it, but more likely I borrowed it from the public library a year or two after its theatrical release. So, I offer up here, Key & Peele's parody of One More Day from Les Miserables on my radar in 2019 because that is when I finally watched Jordan Peele's Get Out. Sometimes my entire media diet is comprised of "leftovers tossed in the freezer"
for later consumption. George Carlin, I am sure would encourage me to "well, smell it..." to determine its suitability for consumption.

Key & Peele and cast (2013) - Les Mis "One Day More"
February 14, 2020 at 2:47pm
February 14, 2020 at 2:47pm
Soundtrack of my Life

Kris Kristofferson (1970 debut album)
Sunday Morning Coming Down

January of 2019, I attended a Kris Kristofferson concert at the Ace Hotel Theater in downtown Los Angeles. That man is still goin' strong. Luckily the Ace Hotel's theater is historic architecturally, and fairly small, so it felt intimate. As a side note, the Women's lounge (sitting area and toilets) only were down a spiral staircase into a basement and secondary sunken landing of stairs...the inaccessibility wasn't insurmountable, but something I'm not used to. (Clarifying... in the bar/lobby there was a Men's toilet; truly convenient to the bar area). Ironic then, that I select Mr. Kristofferson's ode to morning-after nursing and Nashville wandering. The main thing about Kristofferson is his poetic turn of phrase, and he's had time to turn many. He really wanted to be only a songwriter, but he was accepted onto contract to provide lyrics only if he'd record an album of his own. I dare you to find someone in the recording industry now that has to trick a genius into recording an album.

I've gone on for awhile on this entry, which makes me wonder if I've become a true fan of Kris? Well, its unavoidable. My mum has been crushing on him since 1976 (A Star Is Born soundtrack album and movie). And I have lost count how many concerts of his she has attended. The Ace Hotel Theater one I was just her willing accomplice, right? I think since this is about number four for me, I have to face it that his music is more than just her love affair.

Kris Kristofferson (1970 debut album)
Sunday Morning Coming Down

a test of signature for masquerade
February 14, 2020 at 2:25pm
February 14, 2020 at 2:25pm
Soundtrack of my Life

If I am true to the 2020 theme of The Soundtrack of Your Life Challenge , rather than twitterpated Valentine's Day-induced randomness, then I must explain. Monty Python references are woven into my life generally, but in 2019, I recall, (Thank you, Facebook timeline) Michael Palin accepted a Knighthood. Upon this occasion, I could not help but have this minstrel-sung diddy come to mind. Therefore, you are now in my vicinity and must be infected with it playing in your head as well.

Hold! should you try to run, I will be forced to draw my sword you knave...though considering my lack of any type of sword weilding practice, I expect you (or, I) will receive but a flesh wound.

Therefore, fear not! I invite thee to remember the Story of Sir Robin (a young Sir Michael Palin)

The Minstrel (Neil Innes) is the the actual songwriter of "Brave Sir Robin" from the 1975 film, Monty Python and the Search for the Holy Grail
February 14, 2020 at 1:46pm
February 14, 2020 at 1:46pm
Soundtrack of my Life

Absolute best travellin' music (even if you are not driving a Delorean, or its more likely current cousin, a Tesla). And last year provided the roadtrip opportunity for full album playback. Certain mountainous areas preclude the use of car radio during a long drive straight down the center of California, Oregon and Washington states. There's no better intergenerational music than the defining music from Back to the Future. Both score and soundtrack are excellent, plus Huey Lewis, lead singer of Huey Lewis and the News makes a megaphone-weilding cameo in the audition scene for Marty McFly's Band, The Pinheads

The Power of Love is pure, and from memory rather than recent past experience, I can connect how the sound of Huey Lewis and the News so neatly paralleled the "totally Eighties" Michael J. Fox "fish out of water" performance, while using trumpets and other Big Band style to illuminate a time just outlying some of our collective memories (as the 1950's was already the time of many folks' grandparents). At least in 1985, I know that was true for me. I'd actually already lost my Grandpa Bob. If he'd lived until a time after I had my driver's license, I'm sure he would have taken a drive with me. This song could have been a easy share between me and him, just as I count on it to be a connector for my husband and I with our kids in the car. Good times.

Huey Lewis and the News (songwriters: Huey Lewis / Chris Hayes / John Colla) "The Power of Love" (1985)

a test of signature for masquerade
February 13, 2020 at 7:52pm
February 13, 2020 at 7:52pm
Soundtrack of my Life

Fleetwood Mac's Rumours album was the first vinyl I was given as a birthday gift. I was a pre-teen, and in the Seventies to be given this kind of something at age ten or eleven -- Wow! An ALBUM that was musically advanced, as opposed to a long-play Disney storybook with 33 1/3 rpm album included, the latest Shaun Cassidy single on a 45 rpm, or a collection of Sesame Street songs...because, "Don't you love Grover still?" or...well, now you have a little sister!

I give the credit to the dad of the family who gave it to me, as he was my dad's good friend. I deserved this introduction to modern rock, I had the mind for it...or maybe his wife (my mom's good friend) suggested it to him? The cover of the album itself wasn't lost on me. The outfits made me think of the Renaissance Fair, which I had already been to at that age. Intrigued by the double-meaninged humor of one of its residents, the Nut Man, in fact. So perhaps you can imagine that I did have the sensibilities for this album.

Fleetwood Mac (1977) "Don't Stop"
February 13, 2020 at 7:31pm
February 13, 2020 at 7:31pm
Soundtrack of my Life

I am one of those. Yes, one of those mums that happened to have a teenage girl at just the proper time. And I won't dismiss my fan-girl tendencies, I really am a child still, and there was just so much I was exposed to by my teenager when it came to the existence of One Direction. There's performances I like better than the one I am sharing here, but, Adore You, is in all fairness something that I was introduced to in 2019, rather than all the earlier releases by One Direction members. So, even though the song doesn't stick with me, the video completely does, and that's why I have chosen to share it. There's an shorter official version of the video, but I prefer all the prologue. And imagine being the monster in your town due to devastating smile....

Songwriters: Amy Marie Allen / Harry Edward Styles / Thomas Edward Percy Hull / Tyler Sam Johnson
Adore You lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., Universal Music Publishing Group

"Just let me adore you..."
February 13, 2020 at 6:57pm
February 13, 2020 at 6:57pm
Soundtrack of my Life

One opportunity I received when my father died last year was to embark on an appreciation of his music collection. I was aware of his life-long love of Classical music. And the settings of his radio were familiar to me: KPFK, KPCC, even my alma mater's station, KCSN and sister campus, Cal State Long Beach's KKJZ. But only my kids had been the frequent riders in his car, so I knew little of the CDs stored above the the sun visor. He had a big collection of Miles Davis, and he also favored female performers skilled with cello and other string instruments. I'm not ready to pick a Mile Davis piece; I still consider myself such a novice. However, John Coltrane has an arrangement of My Favorite Things, and the Sachal Jazz Ensemble & Wynton Marsalis performing it is utilizing a mixture of Eastern instruments -- You'll see and hear flute, tabla and sitar, as an example.

I do like tabla, a type of drum, and sitar, the stringed instrument you might also recognize from some of the experimental time for the Beatles. As other commentators on the You Tube link note, the flute playing is masterful. For myself I really like where the keyboarding goes in terms of Jazz.

a test of signature for masquerade
February 12, 2020 at 7:56pm
February 12, 2020 at 7:56pm
Soundtrack of my Life

I truly felt transported in the year Sting's Ten Summoner's Tales album was released in 1993. I was a new mum, and high school seemed far in the distance. Yet, I felt privileged to have read Chaucer back then, not in college. It meant I understood the album name reference, and I felt just a bit more connected to a a continuous story. And yet..and yet, I bring you to the doorstop not of that album, but again to The Last Ship album.

August Winds was the only song that sounded reminescent of Sting pop songs as I'd known them. All the other songs on the album surely told a solid story, but they were theatrical, and this one harkened back and clung to my skin, as I'm sure it was meant to -- like a strong navy wool coat billowing out, exposing my tapestry waistcoat with brass buttons. A total picture, one I could paint when one stands on a Summer pier...I'll have to think a bit more on why it has that effect of transporting me, or more on what I mean.

When August winds are turning
The fishing boats set out upon the sea
I watch 'til they sail out of sight
The winter follows soon
I watch them drawn into the night
Beneath the August moon
No one knows I come here
Some things I don't share
I can't explain the reasons why
It moves me close to tears
Or something in the season's change
Will find me wandering here
And in my public moments
I hear the things I say but they're not me
Perhaps I'll know before I die
Admit that there's a reason why
I count the boats returning to the sea
I count the boats returning to the sea
And in my private moments
I drop the mask that I've been forced to wear
But no one knows this secret me
Where albeit unconsciously
I count the boats returning from the sea
I count the boats returning from the sea
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Gordon Sumner
August Winds lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
a test of signature for masquerade
February 12, 2020 at 7:40pm
February 12, 2020 at 7:40pm
Soundtrack of my Life

A few weeks before the release of 2019's Mr. Rogers' movie, Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, I presented a workshop to about a dozen folk informing and entertaining with details about the lide of Fred Rogers. I really enjoyed the research and was able to give a more complete picture of his incredible career. Few realize his Bachelors Degree is in Music, and that his wife, Joanne, also held advanced degrees and was a continuously working concert pianist. Rather than pick one of the standards, as it was performed on his Mister Rogers' Neighborhood program, I have selected to expose you to the Autotune PR campaign that PBS collaborated on. Trip out to it, and love it -- And see the You Tube sidebar, because it is not the only one!

Fred Rogers' "The Garden of Your Mind" remixed by John D. Boswell for PBS Digital Studios.
February 12, 2020 at 7:17pm
February 12, 2020 at 7:17pm
Soundtrack of my Life

This is the point where you'll start to realize that I was brought up by Choir geek parents with a collection of vinyl covering all the musicals from the 40's through the 70's, then they had me, and couldn't afford to spend cash at the record store anymore. In the first decade of my life I spent hours with a reel-to reel tape player microphone and my parents albums on a portable turntable. And despite my young age, I was a careful curator of those albums. My first mishap with an LP wouldn't happen until I was on the cusp of puberty and left a record on the turntable all day, not realizing the sun hit that window powerfully for several hours, warping it -- I blame the hormones and or my baby sister who came around about that time, for distracting me -- At least the casualty was one of my own albums...but why WHY! did it have to be one disc of my Star Wars Soundtrack double disc album?

I divert from the original point -- The production, Carousel, combining in my mind: the "Life is Good" messages of A Wonderful Life or A Christmas Carol, or the death comes to everyone messages of Man of LaMancha or West Side Story are powerful teachers in the form of dramatic music. It does not matter to me when music actually presents itself in our timeline, or actual time of the world -- to me, some songs have existed much longer than that time in which they become noticed and are birthed into consciousness.

So, You'll Never Walk Alone speaks to me from many angles as one that has existed long -- even the recollection of it in the final movie scene puts forward the idea that it is a parable that has carried on generation to generation. It is a short, sweet easy to memorize set of lyrics and eventhough its tempo is almost exactly like breathing, it can be technically difficult to perform. My own mom surprised me by saying she wants it sung at her upcoming retirement, and I am going to do just that.

I love Shirley Jones, but it's less heartbreaking to listen to Claramae Turner as Cousin Nettie starting at 1:19, or jump to the end scene of the 1956 Carousel movie (Richard Rodgers, lyricist)

Then there's this type of staging; I am assuming this is the entry song the heavenly choirs sing...

a test of signature for masquerade

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