Posts tagged ‘music’

A Study in August, Part One

9 August, 2012 | | 2 Comments

So there we were, moving up the highway looking for adventure, surprise, birthday cake, and the thrill of the open road.  We’re celebrating many things this month, including SOBUMD’s dad’s birthday, our 20th wedding anniversary, and my leave balance – this is the longest I’ve ever taken off work – and we’re celebrating by getting out of the usual rut for a while.  For a change, I’m taking enough time off that I’m going to try to post a few notes from the road, rather than writing them all up at the end.  Plus, pictures to come!

We were making good time heading up I-95 on a beautiful Saturday morning, just the six of us in the minivan – myself, SOBUMD, the three lunatic children, and Mister Frank Sinatra.  Singing along with Come Fly With Me at the top of my lungs in that minivan, I realized that if I were any more whitebread, someone would have to pull me over and slice me. 

Thank goodness the whitewash didn’t last – we love Frank, but once that CD was over we started to rock that van, we gon’ drive all day, we gon’ light it up, with the Ella way.   With Taio Cruz dynamiting our speakers at top volume, it was a religious experience – it was almost like being in church.  This feeling was exacerbated by driving past the shrine to “Our Lady of the Highways,” which travelers zooming up the side of Interstate 95 in northern Maryland toward the Delaware border will see out of the corner of their eye as they pass it doing 85 mph.  The shrine, a 12-foot statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary facing northbound traffic, was created by the Oblates of Saint Francis de Sales after a 17-car pileup in the 1960s that killed several people. 

Is it me, or does the term Oblate sound suspiciously like something out of a religious order invented by Dr. Seuss?  St. Bartholomew and the Oblates?  I think I read that one to the three lunatic children recently.

Like anything enjoyed at 85 miles an hour, though, even the awe and reverence inspired by the sight of a 12 foot BVM holding a bible like a radar gun didn’t last.  Our musical review moved into the second-most recent Green Day song, which reminded us of the new Foo Fighters song, which moved us to play the very newest Green Day song, which I mentioned sounded quite a lot like the Dead Kennedys.  The next thing I knew, we were rocking our punk-ass selves up the highway on our way to a Holiday in Cambodia.   I’m so proud – our little lunatics listen to punk!

I’ll leave you in the capable hands of Jello Biafra and the boys while I play connect the dots with the next installment.


Big Balls and Braces and Wires, Oh My!

21 May, 2012 | | 5 Comments

I used to enjoy playing Doctor when I was younger.  As a parent, playing doctor takes on a whole new meaning, and usually involves more blood than I remember from my youth.  This past weekend, though, I had a new experience – I got to play Dentist.

Now, the Reigning Queen of Pink has her share of medical issues, by which I mean that her file is larger than mine and she’s had tests and surgeries and whatnot that I’d never heard of, and among these many and varied conditions she happens to be missing a few teeth here and there, by which I mean most of them.  In an effort to correct this, over the course of many years and thousands of dollars, she currently has braces on her top teeth, with springs to move them around her head like tiny masticating bumper cars. 

Or she did, until Sunday when one of the damn things came loose, teeth I mean, and fell out.  The Reigning Queen of Pink reports for the record that having a tooth that is no longer connected to your mouth, yet still anchored in place by your braces, is not comfortable.  And by “not comfortable,” she meant, “please call the emergency orthodontist number Right NOW.”   Calling the 17 numbers needed to get to a human on a weekend, I was finally offered this sage advice:  “Well, can you cut the wire?”

Wut?  I’m sorry, first, don’t you have to go to school for something like 6 years for that?  And second, didn’t we just pay for that wire?  I thought they were expensive or something.   Nevertheless, there I was sterilizing my massive boltcutters and needle-nosed pliers and laying her under the big lights, Open Up and Say Ah.

The wire on the far side was straightforward, if hard to see.  The second cut was to the wire on the front side, easier to see but with a big spring coiled up on it.  I clipped the wire not knowing how much tension was on the spring.  I was NOT prepared for the wire – tooth and all – to bounce off up at me and go flying across the room; with the bloody stump of the tooth and the wire and spring attached, it looked like something out of Steven King’s The Dentist

The Tooth Fairy agreed that since she only has 12 teeth in her whole head, they ought to be pro-rated, and that having the Flying Loose Tooth Of Doom was a lot to deal with, and so they settled on a new bathing suit.  

So today when I called home to see what the actual orthodontist said or did, they were still out with the followup Tooth Fairy visit (which bodes well for how it went), and I got to speak to the 13-yr-old Human Tape Recorder.  She let me know that SOBUMD and the RQoP were still out, and then announced:  “I was listening to AC/DC in 5th period today!”

BUMD:  What?  Why were they playing AC/DC in school?
HTR:  No, just on my headphones.
BUMD:  You found the 5th period lecture to be, perhaps, less than scintillating?
HTR:  No, we had speech arts, and we didn’t have a studio, and so I had nothing better to do.
BUMD:  I doubt that, but we’ll let that slide.  Do I want to know which song?
HTR:  Oh, it was great!  I put it on a random selection from a random album, and it was called “Big Balls!”  I was rolling on the floor laughing, and I wondered if anyone else could hear it…  It goes like this…
BUMD:  No, no, thank you, I remember *very well* how it goes, thank you.  I’ll talk to you when I get home…

We hung up, with her still humming snatches of Big Balls, some of which are held for charity, and some for fancy dress, as I’m sure you, too, Gentle Reader, remember all too well.  AC/DC, still corrupting the youth of America 36 years later.   She’ll be humming that for weeks.  Rock on! 


Happy May Day – Have Some Birds

2 of Everything, 3 Terns, Some Seasoning

Advent of Holiday Horror: Song 1

25 December, 2011 | | No Comment

And this is it.  Merry Christmas, and thank you all for reading, singing, and moaning along with my pain as we got through another round of holidays.  May your days be merry and bright, and may your ears not have to suffer any more than average until next year.

Here they are again, quickly.  Get it over with:

  • Baby It’s Cold Outside (the Date Rape Song)
  • Christmas Song, Alvin and the Chipmunks
  • Mistletoe, Justin Bieber
  • Happy Christmas / War is Over, John and Yoko
  • We Need a Little Christmas
  • Our Love is Like a Holiday, Michael Bolton
  • Santa’s Beard, Beach Boys
  • It’s a Marshmallow World, Dean Martin
  • Feed the World, Band Aid
  • Jingle Bells, Barking Dogs
  • Dominick the Donkey
  • It’s the Holiday Season, Williams Bros
  • Last Christmas, Wham!
  • 12 Days of Christmas
  • All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth
  • I’m Gettin’ Nuttin’ for Christmas
  • Holly Jolly Christmas, Burl Ives
  • Santa Baby
  • Mr. Hankey, The Christmas Poo, South Park
  • Merry Christmas Darling, Karen Carpenter
  • Stille Nacht, David Hasselhoff
  • White Christmas, Lady Gaga
  • It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year, Andy Williams

We close this list, saving, yes, the worst for the last.  You knew it was coming.  You always new.  Do you know, do you know, do you know what’s wrong with Christmas music?   Is it the shoes?

Christmas Shoes.  Look, as my good friend Shrek might have said, no dead chicks in the holiday songs.  No maudlin mommas meeting Jesus allowed.  Grandma, sure, she was killed by a reindeer, coming home from our house Christmas eve, but that’s it.  

I want to buy these shoes for my Mama,
there’s not much time,
I want her to look beautiful if Mama meets Jesus tonight

Christmas Shoes is the worst Holiday Song in the world.  It’s so bad, it’s actually self-referential:  It’s like listening to Christmas Shoes.   If your momma meets Jesus tonight, kid, he’s not going to worry about what she’s wearing, and you know the only thing she’s going to worry about is Am I Wearing Clean Underpants?  You’re better off buying her some painkillers, really.  Can you imagine her reaction, opening that box?  “Oh, little Billy, thanks for these – they look great!  Too bad I’m never getting up again, Billy.  Could you push this button for me, a couple times, to kick-start the morphine drip again, Billy?  Thank you, there’s a good boy.”   Who wrote this?  Turns out, it was a group called NewSong.  Here’s a hint – how about a new, new song?  Because this one sucks.  Even Gawker says so – and I notice (with some pride, I have to add) that their list overlaps with mine in many places.

Some people call it Seasonal Affective Disorder. Some people call it the Holiday Blues.  We know better.  It’s the Christmas Shoes Effect, and it’s depressing as all hell.  Sad, Sad, Sad.  And, because you didn’t think it could get worse, it does.  Because the video has Rob Lowe in it.  You know, because we really needed Rob Lowe to show us how bad it can get around the holidays. 

So click.  Let me know if you get past the first 30 seconds.   And remember, here at the end of this list, here at the end of the Christmas season, after our orgies of destruction and wrapping paper, that we do this to ourselves.  Each year, we have heard these songs, and we have inflicted them on others – we have only ourselves to thank.

Merry Christmas!

Advent of Holiday Horror: Song 2

24 December, 2011 | | No Comment

Yes, it’s the penultimate horror.  We’re nearly at the end, and that’s a good thing for SO. MANY. REASONS. 

  • Tomorrow’s Christmas.  That’s not a bad thing.
  • The day after that, you are legally allowed to whack people playing Holiday tunes (as long as you use sticks under half an inch thick) in 37 out of 50 states and at least 2 Canadian provinces.  Chances are you’re in one of them, have at ’em.
  • The food gets better the closer you get to Christmas.  Yesterday I had breakfast for breakfast, no lunch, and breakfast for dinner.  Today’s breakfast was homemade bagels with homemade GravLax cured salmon; Vietnamese Bahn Mi sandwiches with pate, shrimp, and god-only-knows-what kind of meat for lunch; and escargot, gougere cheese puffs, shrimp, and a selection of tapas-style pates and meats for dinner.  Tomorrow holds the promise of cow.  I’m not pouting.
  • You won’t have to read any more of this list.  Could you BE more thankful?  I didn’t think so.
  • Truly, it’s the most wonderful time of the year.

And it is.  It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.

If you’re a sadist!  Because I love shoulder-surfing the crowds, fighting the traffic, and listening to people telling me to “be cheerful!”  You know what?  I’ll be cheerful when the holidays are over.  GFY, and get outta the way. 

its the most wonderful time of the year
with the kids jingle belling
and everyone telling you be of good cheer

Jingle-belling?  We talked about the whole “verbing weirds language” bit, right?  And then later, we’re going to do some “misoltoeing” – which SOBUMD would tell me is another dumb, oblique way to ask for sex.  “Ho, ho, ho, Hey Hey, how about a little misoltoeing, baby?”  (Whack!)

there’ll be scary ghost stories
and tales of the glories
of Christmases long long ago

Um, scary ghost stories?  You know, the one about the cat-burglar who breaks into your house while you’re sleeping is actually scary enough; what’s with the random Halloween/summer camp reference?  I think maybe our boy Andy had had a few too much nog and got his holidays mixed up.  Next thing you know, it’ll be a Ron Paul Christmas, and we’re really going to be frightened.

So hurry up, click it, listen.  Get it over with.  You know what’s coming.  And it’s not just Santa.