Wednesday, February 29, 2012

she got them gold hot pants on again...


Oh, Prince.

Prince came into my life through my Fashion Maven Cousin when I was just a little girl. See, Fashion Maven Cousin (FMC) was older than me. And so cool. And I wanted to be just like her. It helped that she was lots of fun and had fantastic taste in just about everything. And that she introduced me to Prince.

It was love. Instantly. How could it not be? Songs like When You Were Mine (still one of my favorites) and Sexuality practically insisted that my little 7 year old self got up and danced around the living room. Luckily, I have music-loving parents who understood the genius of Prince (and dug him, themselves), not to mention that it was plainly obvious I had no idea what he was talking about. Radio edits helped my cluelessness, along with a more simple (innocent) time. But my general lack of ability to distinguish lyrics without a printed copy helped, too. Like Darling Nikki?
According to my little brain, he met her in a hotel lobby master bedroom in a magazine. You know, like, she was reading Architectural Digest. She was into that kind of thing. And when the lights went out? Nikki started to cry. Because she was afraid of the dark. It happens to the best of us.

When I reallyreallyreallyreally wanted to see Purple Rain? Mom was on it. She stayed up to record it, off of cable, onto a VHS tape, and edited out the naughty parts. My friends were all so impressed! And that meant they could come over to my house and they could watch it too! And after we watched the non-naughty version of Purple Rain, we would go play in my playroom. The playroom where I had a poster of Prince wear the shiny purple coat, black panties, and nothing else. Yep, we had boundaries in my house. Prince in panties? Okay. Prince not in panties? Not okay.

The year that Prince was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was the same year that George Harrison was inducted. Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne performed some of George's songs, one of which was While My Guitar Gently Weeps. When it got to the guitar solo at the end of the song, Prince came out and played it. It was one of the most amazing moments ever. As the show was going to commercial, they showed Dhani Harrison backstage, pushing people out of the way saying "Where's Prince? I want to hug him!" And right after that Dad called and said "How cool was that?" Very, Dad. Very.

Awhile back, Best Friend asked if I would please compile a Prince CD that she would be able to play in the car when her children (my goddaughters, ages 3 and 5 at the time) were in the car with her. A tall order, but I was up to the challenge and made her a most excellent mix. Shortly after that, Best Friend called to tell me that her eldest daughter was singing in the shower. So Best Friend put her ear to the door to hear what she was singing and she heard "Baby, don't waste your time... I know what's on your mind... wouldn't be satisfied with a one night stand... and I could never take the place of your man." I remain the proud godmother.

(PS - The title of the post comes from here...)

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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

it's personal

I slept two hours later than a normal Tuesday.

I took my time with meditation and yoga.

I ran. In the daylight.

I watched a movie.

I made tea and read a book.

I cleared some clutter and did some laundry.

I cooked a meal and ate it, on the same day, while it was still hot.

I wore sweats. All day long.

I went nowhere and saw no one.

All because Hubby's work told him to come to a training session three hours away,

so I filled out a form at my work and marked "personal" as the reason for my absence.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

(the name comes from an Aldous Huxley quote)

Like many bands that became Important to my life, The Doors were introduced to me by Dad. He liked them, you see. And thanks to his impressive (vinyl) record collection and his own love of music, at an early age I was able to move beyond the over-radioed "Light My Fire" and into far more wonderful fare, like "Alabama Song" and "Love Street." I got to unfold the record sleeve and read "The Celebration of the Lizard" and wonder what the hell was that? And I got to be kind of amazed when Dad informed me that he had, in fact, seen The Doors live in concert, and that it did, in fact, suck because Jim Morrison was so wasted he could barely stand, let alone sing. I remain impressed by this story.

There was a stretch of time in college when I had to get my run in at something like 9:00 at night, in the dark. And one night, I decided that the best cassette tape to pop into my Walkman was the Doors mix I had made (from Dad's vinyl collection). It started out fine, cruising along to "Roadhouse Blues" and such. Then at just about the point where I was furthest from home, and in the least lit area of the route, the mix took a bit of a turn. "Five to One" started to seem a little creepy. And then it got to "Not to Touch the Earth." Holy Wow. My nice easy run turned quickly into an all-out sprint to get home as fast as I possibly could, before something dark and sinister reached out and stole me. After that, I stopped listening to The Doors while running.

Around that same time, the Oliver Stone movie The Doors was released. My cousin and I excitedly went to partake. About a quarter of the way though she asked "Is this what it's like to be on drugs?" Maybe. About half way though she asked "Would this make more sense if we were on drugs?" Probably. And by the time it was over, we were both having a hard time bringing the real Jim Morrison to mind because Val Kilmer had so fully become him. I still wish Val Kilmer had been nominated for an Oscar for that. But what do they know?

Just a few weeks ago at work, all of my co-workers and I were to choose a cutesy little plastic frog to wear dangling from our i.d. cards. (It's a long story. And we only had to do it for a week.) So in looking through all of the various frog motifs, I came across one dressed as a "hippie" and flashing the two-finger peace sign. I immediately grabbed him and said "I'll take this one. Then at least if I have to wear a frog, I have a "Peace Frog" reference." My co-workers, who are mostly closer to Dad's age than my age, looked at me like I had frogs crawling out of my ears. They didn't get it. I didn't try to explain.

Sometimes, when the chips are down, I still say to myself "I am the Lizard King. I can do anything."


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Sunday, February 19, 2012

because I needed new slippers...

and I've always wondered what it would be like to be a Muppet...

Sunday, February 12, 2012

muscle memory

Ever since the conclusion of the Fudge Containment Plan, running and I have kind of been on a break. I still cling to my three runs a week, but at a greatly reduced mileage. I've been letting the machinery in the basement and the mat take over the bulk of the work (in air quotes) and letting my knees rest. Like, for real rest. And it's been nice. Very nice, actually. But you see, I ran a race in January. So it seemed logical (to me, at least) that I should find one in February, too.

So I did.

I signed up for a little Valentine-themed 5k and lined up with a few hearty souls in the sub-freezing morning to dodge some ice slicks and be awarded a carnation for crossing the finish line. I was even less ready for this than I was for the January race. I mean, I have been resting. In the truest sense of the word. I expected, wanted, nothing from this but a t-shirt and the ability to look back and say "yes, I ran a race in February."

But it's funny.

You're standing there in the middle of a big group, and someone in the front waves their arms and says "On your mark, get set, GO." So you go.

And suddenly you're running. And you find that you're running faster than you'd planned, faster than you have been recently, and probably faster than you should. But everyone else is going sort of fast, too. It just seems like the right thing to do. Or at least to try. Even though you know it's probably not a very good (safe) idea.

But your muscles (the ones hiding under that protective winter padding), they perk up a little. "Oh yeah... this. I remember this. I love this. We haven't done much of this lately. Let's do this."

So you run. And you relax, and let your muscles remember and do whatever they feel like doing.

And you wind up finishing faster than you planned. Faster than you thought was possible for this day.

And you get a t-shirt.

And you get a flower.

And you even get a little bonus reward. Just because.

And it's all like the best Valentine I could ask for.

Stride on.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

I've come to see where my beginnings have gone

"but words and music will never touch the beauty that I've seen looking in to you..." - Jackson Browne

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I wonder, sometimes, where the turning points are in life. The big ones. The ones that change our lives forever. Because I don't think that the Big Events (the ones that everyone sees and hears and knows and celebrates and mourns) are the actual turning points. I think those are just the end results of some random moment that you probably don't even remember, like spilling a little bit of your latte in the parking lot on the way in to work.

I think the actual turning points are just tiny moments; little decisions that seem insignificant, inconsequential at the time. Which parking space should I pull in to? Should I take the early train or the later train? Should I wear socks today or not?

And I kind of wish there was some way to know that you've arrived at a Moment. That you should think long and hard about where you want to sit today in the mostly empty Starbucks, because this decision will alter the course of your life for years to come. Maybe even forever.

Because maybe if I knew that I wasn't just deciding what to have for breakfast but was, in fact, changing my whole life, I might give it a little more thought.

{Or, is it better not to know, but just let your life turn and turn and turn again?}

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

still, life.

I try. {I do.} To find the beauty. The stillness. The moment. In the every day ordinary of it all. {I do.}

But reality just has a way of finding me anyway.

I guess that's life. {Still...}

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