Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Do You Hear What I Hear?

I was listening to Christmas music in the car and felt all warm inside as the oh-so-familiar voice of John Denver filled my car with fond memories.  It made me happy!  It took me back to my childhood Christmases.  But who is that singing with him?  I know that voice, too.  Who is that?!?!
I love Christmas music.  All of it!  It actually makes me feel sad when people say they hate Christmas music.  How can you say that? Hate is such a strong word and "Christmas music" is such a broad topic ... it just makes no sense to me for someone to say they hate it all.  I mean, really, the only person I would expect to say that is Bob Humbug.  Or the Grinch. Seriously.
I love it all.  I love the oldies and the new stuff.  The serious and the silly.  I love Nat and Bing and Andy Williams.  I love how Dean Martin sounds more than a little tipsy (and a bit like a leprechaun) when he sings about Rudy the Red Nosed Reindeer.  I even love to dislike poor little not-so-naughty Eartha who got nothing for Christmas because she wouldn't put out. 
I just need to figure out who is singing with John Denver .... ?
I love it when they take me to church.  I'll drive down every gravel road in the tri-state area trying to sing Silent Night like Stevie Nicks.  When Whitney wants to know if I hear what she hears .... I hear it, girl, I hear it.  When Mariah Carey tells me to fall on my knees, I truly feel compelled to do so.  And when Rod and Mary J. start crooning about the three kings, Lawd, I'll raise my hands right up to Heaven whenever I hear that beauty.  Which may not be a good thing since I usually hear it while I'm driving.
But who is singing with John Denver?
I love the silly songs, the meaningful songs, I even love the slightly disturbing songs ... "Say?  What's in this drink?"  I love that they make me laugh, and cry, and smile. Sometimes I feel pangs of nostalgia.  Whenever I hear "It's Christmastime in the City" I remember the Christmases I spent in Madrid where a local shop owner tried to convince me that in Spain, there is no Santa Claus.  What?!  He said, "No.  In Spain it is really the Dad."  When I hear Aspenglow I always think of snowy car rides getting to and from "Christmas" in South Dakota.  And no matter who sings The Little Drummer Boy, I remember moving the needle on an old record over and over until I knew all the words by heart.
I don't care if they sing about Santa, or the Little Baby Jesus, or presents or snow or lights or shoes or teeth .... I love them all. 
I just need to know who is singing with John Denver!!!
I totally know that voice.
I know it!!
It's Kermit the Frog!!!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Friday, September 5, 2014

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Oodles and Oodles

Forty some odd years ago I made up a song about mayonnaise.  It was a Broadway worthy production complete with huge arm gestures and some fancy footwork. 
"Oodles and oodles and oodles and oodles of maaaaayyyyyy ohhhhhh nnaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyzzzzzzze!"  Perhaps a little growl in my voice and a tip of the hat.
Lucky for you, I can't sing it right now.  But I do sing it each and every time I make a sandwich. 

For forty years.
Not always the fully choreographed version, but I do sing it whenever I make something calling for maaaaaaaaaayyyy ohhhhhhhh nnnnaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyzzzzzzzze.
And now, thanks to Weird Al Yankovic, I have to wrap those sandwiches in aluminum foil. And I cannot wrap a sandwich in aluminum foil without singing it exactly like Lorde sings her hit "Royals".
Every single day of my life ..... every single meal that I pack ..... each bite that I take on a park bench or at my desk ..... is an absolute theatrical masterpiece by The Voices in My Head featuring Hellmann's and Reynolds Wrap.

Thank you, thank you very much!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Proud to be an American

I just saw Lee Greenwood at Target!  Well, I actually don't think it was Lee Greenwood.  I think it was just some guy who looks like Lee Greenwood.  And I would know because I've met Lee Greenwood.  Yup!  It was in Spain in the mid-eighties when he was touring with a USO show. 
I was stationed at Torrejon AB Spain and my office was in the same building as the office where people got identification passes and badges.  Both offices were on the second floor of an old two-story building. 
Now, those of you who have served in the military know that sometimes the higher ups have you do crazy things for no apparent reason.  Some things that, strangely, can only be done under the cover of night.  We've all had to perfect our landscaping skills, trash collecting skills, painting skills - we even had to paint a parking lot once.  No, we didn't paint a gravel parking lot with asphalt colored paint.  We painted lines on the lot with beautiful red, white and gold paint.  Paint that made some awesome, reflective artwork on my old black cowboy boots, by the way! 
Once, while stationed in Wyoming, I was rousted from my bed, stuck on a bus and transported out into the middle of nowhere to scoop slush away from the entries of several missile sites.  Now, I grew up in South Dakota and I certainly remember shoveling snow in the light of day so I am not sure why this mission was any different, but I ended up having a decent boxed lunch and a pretty good time with my fellow inmates, I mean Airmen.
There was a time back in Spain when I had to guard the front gate of the base with my .... presence.  I'm sure all buck-o-five of my 1986 self was quite threatening, too!  As an American, I wasn't allowed to carry a weapon since it was actually a Spanish base so I just had to stand there.  I tried talking to the dog, but he didn't seem to understand me.  I was not sure if it was because my Spanish was so bad or because he was a German shepherd (the only things I can say in German are not meant for the innocent ears of dogs), but we didn't really connect the way I would have liked.  I did learn the phrase: No Poner Los Pies En La Pared.  Good stuff.  I'm forever putting my feet on the wall and I had no idea it was such a problem.
At one point I had to escort a female prisoner to chow for a few weeks.  She threatened to run and I promised to shoot (I was allowed a gun for lunch, just not at the front gate).   As a Personnel Specialist, I'm surprised I got this gig, but it was pretty fun.
So, on the night before I met Lee Greenwood, I had been dragged from my slumber and placed in a ditch somewhere for some reason (I'd like to say it was raining but that might just be The Voices in My Head wanting to embellish the story).  I don't remember actually digging or burying or ... well, I just can't talk about it, but I wasn't happy, that's for sure.  As the sun came up, I was dropped back in front of my office building so I could check in before returning to bed.  I was tired and muddy and wet.  And miserable, don't forget miserable.
I checked in with my office and was just approaching the stairs to go down and out the front door when  I heard someone say, "Lee Greenwood is in the building!", and he was, in fact, just approaching the stairs to go up and to the identification office.  I know this because when I heard someone say, "Lee Greenwood is in the building!", I responded over my shoulder with, "Oh yeah?  Well if he's so proud to be an American, why didn't I see his ass out in that ditch last night?!"  (There may have been an F-bomb before the word "proud".)
I turned my head back around and said with a nod, "Oh, good morning Mr. Greenwood."
Needless to say, when I saw him at Target just now, I kept my mouth shut.  Older and wiser, I am.  Older and wiser.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


Sometimes when I have a lot on my mind or am extremely busy, busy, busy,  my brain will play a little trick on me by taking me away from all that is in front of me and giving me something more fun and creative to think about.  Yesterday, while trying to do a hundred preparatory things before a visit from my boss, I remembered a seven sentence story I wrote in high school:

Laura sat neatly on the very edge of Mr.Tiller's shabby green sofa.  She watched in silence as he poured a few crunchy nuggets into an old blue dish.
"I just love to watch him play in the yard", he said with a nostalgic smile on his face.
Laura followed the old man's gaze to the back door but there was no yard, only the brick wall of a building next door and some trash blowing in a light summer breeze.  She looked back at him, questioningly.
"I know", he said sadly and placed the dish on a faded placemat on the floor.  "Bojangles", he called, "Dinner!"

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Diary of a Stage Mother's Daughter by Melissa Francis


This book was a gift.  I know why it was chosen for me, but sadly, I didn't like it.  It was not particularly well-written.  In fact, I actually found it extremely emotionless.  I am sure Melissa Francis is a lovely person, but it didn't come through in her writing. It left me feeling sad and cold.  After weeding through a lot of typos, name-dropping and, frankly, boring accounts of her life as a child actor, I wasn't able to relate to the author at all.  I, too, was raised by a toxic mother.  I fully understand what this does to a child.  It's heartbreaking and tragic.  My heart goes out to Melissa and her sister, believe me.  But she simply doesn't paint a very pretty picture of herself and I don't even think she gets that.  While reading, I got the impression that she believes she was "the good one" and that she handled everything the best way she possibly could, but to me, she came off as rather uncaring.  I felt that she chose, on certain occasions, to NOT do the right thing because it would have been the more difficult choice.  Make no mistake, I am not blaming the author for two deaths discussed in the book, but I am shocked she didn't do more to try to prevent them.  I totally get wanting to remove yourself from a situation.  Absolutely.  But if my sister needed me, nothing (NOTHING) could keep me from her.  I am glad Ms. Francis got her happy ending and her husband and sons seem like such a blessing to her.  But I still feel sad.


Friday, May 9, 2014

Super Heroes

You know what I like?  I like when little boys go out to the mall wearing super hero capes.  I'm not talking about a store bought remnant of last year's Halloween costume. I'm talking about a ratty old towel or perhaps a table cloth with some strings he convinced Gramma to attach.  Because those capes truly hold the super powers!  I like when little girls wear tutus for no reason.  Ideally, tutus paired with big rubber boots and some messy, original hair dos!  If she has glasses .... even better!  I like little kids who jam out to Muzak!  I like when babies' feet start tapping to the beat and toddlers have full on rock concerts with the cool kid in the mirror.  I like kids who don't seem to mind if everyone stares.  I like skinned knees and ice cream stains on the fronts of shirts.  I like to hear kids laughing.  You know, the throw-your-head-back guttural kinds of laughter!
I like when kids ask questions. 
Yeah, that's what I like.