Tag Archives: Songs

Gimme Chemicals! I Have A Teenager!

Need I say more?

And the sad things is, she’s an awesome teenager. (Knocking on everything wood in sight) We’ve had a few, a tiny few troublesome incidents with her. So few, in fact, that I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Why is it sad that she’s an awesome teenager? Because I’m beginning to realize that there are parents out there who are way more stressed than I am. And I can’t imagine going through more.

My troubles include:

  • an A-B student, taking Advanced Placement and honors courses, who is perfectly fine with getting C’s if she doesn’t like the teacher, the assignment, her seat next to the door, or  the temperature outside that day.
  • a teen who chooses high school football games, dances and other activities over studying for exams next week
  • a child who has to be reminded and reminded and reminded to do the few chores we ask her to do
  • a senior in high school who knows she’s going to college but doesn’t want to actively participate in the process. She tosses all brochures into the circular file, with her mind already made up to go to the easiest state school that’ll take her.
  • a spendthrift who never budgets for gas for the car she uses or lunch at school. When I hand over her allowance that is supposed to cover more than one item, she blows it in one day at the mall – and no, her purchases don’t include anything she needed in the first place.

I know. Pull out your violins. Cry me a river. I have it so tough.

But I’m stuck. How in the world do you teach responsibility, dedication, discipline? At her age I was the one applying to schools, begging my parents to consider the school of my choice – with them shaking their head no, and telling me I would go to the university right next door. I just want for her what I couldn’t have at her age. But she doesn’t seem to want more.

I want her to want more. So how do you teach ambition or drive? How do you push without pushing too hard?

On the other hand:

  • You tell her to be ready by a certain time? She’s rarely (if ever) late. Punctual to a fault.
  • You ask her to help you with something? I can count on one hand how many times she’s given me attitude. She is almost always willing to chip in – well, that is, if it isn’t already on her chore list.
  • As much as we’ve been at odds she hates leaving the house or going to bed at night without us resolving the conflict. I hate to admit it, but she’s usually the one that makes me talk it out with her until we can hug…and mean it.
  • When her money just flies out of her purse, it’s often to buy something for someone else. She is very, very generous.
  • She still wants to spend time with us. Whether it’s to watch Masterpiece Theater with me, go out for sushi with her dad, take the boys to the park or out for ice cream or a family hike – she is eager to go and will switch her schedule to make time for us.

But some days. Some nights. I’ve had it with the struggle of the week. And you parents with more struggles than mine? You need this song more than I do. So crank it up. Shake your head. And scream it so the neighbors hear! (Well, maybe not that loud. Wouldn’t want a visit from the men in white now would we?)

Disclaimer: I have no idea what kind of chemicals The Pink Spiders are speaking of. The chemicals I crave come in red and white Coca Cola cans, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream tubs and those brown and yellow packages carrying plain and peanut m&m’s. THOSE kind of chemicals.

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Filed under Music, parenting

It’s Not The Apocalypse. It’s The Ballroom Blitz!

I am still agonizing over the apocalypse described in that silly book I finished over the weekend. I need a distraction and I need it bad(ly).

It has to be fun.

It has to be silly.

So enjoy, my top 10 silly songs of all time (well, for today, anyway – because apparently, that’s all we have.)

10. White and Nerdy by Weird Al Yankovic – A shout out to #1son! I still giggle over the time we first watched this video together as a family and cracked up at how much it sounded like my husband, their father.

9. Popmuzik by M – Reminds me of my summer in Germany. I think this was the only song I heard in Europe before all my friends in the States.

8. Turning Japanese by The Vapors – I’m sorry. I love what this song is about and how it gets played on the radio without a blink on an eye. (Ba-dum-bum)  I know, I’m all sophomoric that way.

7. Charlie Brown by The Coasters – A reallllll oldie but goodie.

6. Here It Goes Again by OK Go. – Come on. Admit it. You love that video, too. Makes me giggle every time.

5. These Boot Are Made For Walkin’ by Nancy Sinatra – Picture this. Me and my best friend, about 5 years old,  in our shiny white “Go-Go” boots, lip-syncing this for a talent show. Makes you smile, too, huh?

4. Amish Paradise by Weird Al Yankovic – Another nod to my boy. “I know I’m a million times more humble than thou art.”

3. The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy) by Simon & Garfunkel – Always makes me smile. Every. Single. Time.

2. Istanbul (Not Constantinople) by They Might Be Giants – “Why did Constantinople get the works? That’s nobody’s business but the Turks.” Silly at it’s finest.

And the number one silly song (for today, anyway)……

1. The Ballroom Blitz by Sweet – The video alone is a crack-up. The shiny, skin-tight suits. High collars all the way up to there. The hair. Oh, the hair. And Ballroom Blitz – sorta fits my apocalyptic mood lately. I just can’t not tap my toes, shimmy my shoulders and toss my head about whenever I hear this song. Too silly. Too fun. Enjoy!

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Tunes for Tuesday Confessional

I was raised Catholic. I’m not the church-goer I used to be but I find comfort in going to mass once in a while. And I don’t have to go to mass. I can visit a Methodist church, synagogue, Unitarian, Buddhist - it doesn’t matter to me. As long as I am moved spiritually and encouraged to think and grow as a spiritual being I don’t care where I go to church. And that frustrates my church going friends. I live in America’s Bible Belt. I have friends that want me to visit their church. One of the third or fourth questions you’re asked when you meet someone new is, “Where do you go to church?” I always give an answer (usually where ever I went last) - and then mentally file away the information not to discuss religion with that person.

And I’ve been fairly careful here not to discuss religion. I don’t like to discuss it, frankly. I have such a broad view that I offend people. Seriously. How could I possibly offend people if I have a broad view, you ask? It seems everyone wants me to narrow my view. Be more rigid in my beliefs. But I believe “One mountain, many paths.” I think I can get something from a whole host of religions out there. I’m open enough to visit them. Read their books. I’m careful. I stay away from anything “cultish.”

Quite honestly, I think man has tainted what God intended.

Last week, I posted my top 20 songs on my iPod. The playlist is really 25. And I very conveniently left off 5 songs. Five songs that might tag me as a “bible thumper,” “holy roller, ” “religious nut.” I’ve promised good, honest writing here on my blog. I wasn’t very honest last week. I’m fixing that now.

The Five Songs Left Off My Playlist

5. …And I Pray – Matt Perrone – I love this song. It reminds me that there is something bigger than me. Bigger than I’ll ever comprehend. And that prayer, even when it doesn’t seem to work, is necessary – for me, anyway. Prayer keeps me grounded.

4. Hallelujah – Rufus Wainwright – Not exactly a religious song. Not really. But I thought the title might throw you – especially sharing company with the other four songs on this list.

3. Holy Lamb – Yes – A hopeful, loving, beautiful song celebrating life, nature, children, love. So hopeful. I adore this song.

2. Heaven – Live – I love the message in this song. “I don’t need no one to tell me about heaven/I look at my daughter and I believe/I don’t need no proof when it comes to God and truth/I can see the sunset and I perceive”

and the number one song (that actually hold the #4 place on my list)……

1. When the Saints – Sara Groves – This song keeps me on track. It reminds me to do right. No matter what the cost. I can handle whatever life throws me. And I have the strength to take the tougher road. Because, “when the saints go marching in, I want to be one of them.”

O.K. So, there you have it. The whole truth. Please absolve me of my sin. I’ve confessed to leaving out a part of me because I was afraid of criticism. I was afraid of offending someone. But the complete list is a part of me. Every song. Not just the secular ones. Not just the safe ones. Last week I was experiencing a moment of weakness that I’m trying to rectify.  

Deep breath.

 Throw your stones or roses – I’m ready.

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Top 20 Songs Played On My iPod – Or, I Got Nothin’ For Tunes For Tuesday

I’m exhausted. And a little behind in Blog World (sorry, friends! I promise to play catch up this week). For all my “I’m going to nurture my blog relationships” post yesterday and then I go MIA? I know, I’m lame.  But I’ve been listening to my iPod a ton lately (even though I haven’t added a song since August because my computer crashed and I’m too scared to sync it up, afraid I’m going to lose all my songs even though my teenager tells me there’s a way to do it) and I was curious what my top songs were. Some surprises, some not so much. You decide.

20. The Way I Am – Ingrid Michaelson – Such a sweet, happy song. And my husband does. Love me the way I am, that is.

19. Honey, I’m Home – Shania Twain – I think this song is hilarious. It is the song I want to sing after an especially long day.

18. Life Is Beautiful – Six:A.M. – No surprise here. If you remember, I used this video for a “Tunes For Tuesday” post. But then, Big Brother snuck onto my site and pulled it from my blog and slapped on a neon sign (ok, it wasn’t neon but it felt neon) claiming I was in violation of Blog Music Video posting laws. Even though I credited the group. Even though the YouTube logo was emblazoned in the corner. Even though I don’t make a dime from putting it up on my blog. I was so embarrassed (see here for my plagiarism rant - awww, I just noticed it was my very first post. Ahhhh, memories.) I not only deleted the video, I deleted the entire post. Miss Rule Follower not following the rules? I don’t think so.

17. Shut Up and Let Me Go – The Ting Tings. Love, love, love the catchy beat. The sentiment. I could have sung this song at various times in my life. Many times.

16. Old – Paul Simon – I listen to this song about 100 times right around my birthday. It puts the day in perspective for me.

15. Elevatin – Wired All Wrong - Turn this up and blast it while I’m driving. One of my favorite driving songs.

14. Breathe Me – Sia – Hauntingly beautiful. I had a heart scare a few years ago and was hospitalized. My daughter told me she put on my robe and listened to this song over and over curled up on the floor of my closet. I hope I never scare her like that again.

13. Father and Daughter – Paul Simon – I adore this song. It wraps up the feeling I have for my children. I just wish I had the kind of dad who would want to sing this for me.

12. Walking On Air – Kerli – Weird. I didn’t think I listened to this that much but it’s that quirky, off-beat, alternative stuff I like – so I guess I’m not that surprised.

11. Be OK – Ingrid Michaelson - This song gets me out of any bad mood. Any. A simple request for the day, “I just want to be OK today.” Love it!

10. Seasons of Love – Rent Soundtrack – 525,600 minutes in a year. Really. The OCD math teacher in me actually double checked. This song helps me to slow down and savor the moment.

9. Dela (I Know Why The Dog Howls At The Moon) – Johnny Clegg – More quirky fun music that puts me in my happy place.

8. As – Stevie Wonder – One of my absolute, favorite Stevie songs. Hands down. Fills me with such joy. I send it out to all those that I love.

7. Psycho – Puddle of Mudd – Dedicated to my mother. ‘Nuff said.

6. Coming Undone – Korn – My angry song. Played only when I’m alone in the car and can blast it as loud as I want.

5. America – Simon & Garfunkel/ At Seventeen – Janis Ian - It’s a tie. And both songs are  from my childhood. Cool. Two more hauntingly beautiful songs.

4. Home – Marc Broussard - I love his throaty, deep bluesy voice. And the “mostly” a cappella section always gives me a chill. I heard it first on The Sopranos. Loved it. Downloaded it. And listen to it. All. The. Time.

3. Without You – Rent Soundtrack – Just a song that touches me in a special way regarding the losses in my life (read here). It’s like they took my exact thoughts and put it to song.

2. Keep Breathing – Ingrid Michaelson – Can you tell I’ve been on an Ingrid kick lately? Love her!

And the number one song on my iPod – no matter how hard I try not to keep it there? Seriously. I’m embarrassed that this continues to be number 1. Are you ready?

1. White and Nerdy – Weird Al Yankovich - My daughter introduced us to this song because it reminds her of my husband/ her step dad. I remember the day we all sat around the computer, watching the video and cracking up. I almost peed my pants. We are a family with lots of laughter and teasing – so no one out there should feel sorry for my husband. He can dish it, too, believe me. And his is, well, white and nerdy. #1son requests this song all the time and knows the words by heart. It’s hilarious watching him be-bop and lip sync this song. Absolutely hilarious.

There you have it.

My top 20.

For now, anyway.

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Tunes for Tuesday – Here It Goes Again

I know this is a bit of an oldie. I’m sharing it again for those of you who missed it during its first trip around the internet. It always makes me giggle and the words are so perfect!

I don’t like living for the future. You know what I mean, “If I can just make it ’till the weekend” or “Tomorrow will be a better day.” There are times in my life when I look at my calendar and don’t see a free moment for days. “Just hold on until next week Thursday.” I hate it when life gets like that.

And then I think of the Rosanne Rosannadanna skits. It’s Always Somethin’. And it is, isn’t it? We’re always running two steps ahead of disaster. Choices that seem to make or break us.

And then I was reminded of this song by Ok Go. Not only do I love the video; I love the lyrics.

“Just when you think you’re in control,
just when you think you’ve got a hold,
just when you get on a roll,
Oh here it goes, here it goes, here it goes again.” – Life was going smoothly. But crazy, as usual. And my in-laws were in town. I had carpool for the entire week because of a mistake I made the week before. But things were slowing down and I was about to get my house back after my in-laws left in a few days.

“I should have known,
should have known,
should have known again,
But here it goes again.
Oh, here it goes again.” – Now, I couldn’t have predicted what would come next. Who could have? The day before my in-laws were to leave my daughter’s boyfriend dies. Tragedy hits our house heavier than I would have ever expected.

“It starts out easy, something simple, something sleazy, something inching past the edge of reserve.
Now through the lines of the cheap venetian blinds your car is pulling off of the curb.
Hey!” – Blindsided. Completely caught off guard. Not the kind of thing most people run into as far as life’s detours go. But it was our own house of pain for a while.

“I guess there’s got to be a break in the monotony, but Jesus, when it rains how it pours.” – No kidding. Wait, that’s not strong enough……No s*#t!

“Oh here it goes again.
I should have known, should have known,
should have known again,
but here it goes again.
Oh, here it goes, here it goes.
Oh here it goes again.
I should have known, should have known,
but here it goes again.” – But things are better here. Every day gets a little better for my daughter. Yesterday, while checking in with all of you I overheard her laughing a good belly laugh on the phone with one of her friends. I’m so glad she taking back those moments of joy. But me? I’m just bracing myself for the next detour. Hopefully, we’ll be spared the more life altering ones for a little while.

(When you click on the video below you’ll see a message directing you to Youtube. Click the “Watch on Youtube” and it’ll take you right there!)

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Filed under How We Roll, Music

Tunes for Tuesday – Sometime Around Midnight

It’s raining here. A melancholy song for a melancholy day.

This is my new favorite song. (Don’t get too attached. My favorites can change hourly.) Not only do I love the sentiment but I love the musicality of the song. It builds with the emotion of the words. You can feel the desperation of the narrator. I realize there are so many characteristics that make a song great but this song reminds me of a classical symphony. Words aren’t needed to feel the emotion of the song.

“And it starts
Sometime around midnight
Or at least that’s when you lose yourself
For a minute or two” – The moment before the surprise. Everything is quiet and then it hits you.

“But you know
That she’s watching
She’s laughing, she’s turning” – You see your crush, an old lover. The one you regret breaking up with or the one that broke up with you and you’re left wanting.

“The room suddenly spinning, she walks up and asks how you are” – Heart pounding out of your chest. Your chance to say everything you’ve replayed in your head over and over.

“And so there’s a change
In your emotions
And all of these memories come rushing like feral waves to your mind” – But you’re overcome with feelings for this person all over again and there’s hope you can set it right.

“And she leaves
With someone you don’t know
But she makes sure you saw her, she looks right at you and bolts
As she walks out the door
Your blood boiling, your stomach in ropes” – A kick in the stomach. You’re left where you were just a short while ago. Only worse.

“You don’t care what you look like
The world is falling around you
You just have to see her
You just have to see her” – But you don’t care. You’re filled with regret and longing and pain. You wonder what you did wrong. What you could have done better to make sure the relationship survived. And you have nothing.

“You know that she’ll break you in two”- Deep down you know that the relationship is toxic. And you’re left to wrestle, all over again, with regret and love, infatuation and pain.

Regret in a cherished relationship. An unfortunate universal theme.

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Filed under Music, Roadblocks, Uncategorized

Tunes for Tuesday

(Ok, so I’m not quite sure of the title for this kind of post yet but music is a huge part of my life and I know I’m going to want to share from time to time. Let’s just say this is a work in progress.) 

My first words were sung. Herman’s Hermits. “Can’t You Hear My Heartbeat” I was a delayed “talker.” Just waiting for the right song, I guess. And no, I wasn’t singing the full lyrics. I’m not a savant. Just the “baby, baby” part. But still. Kinda cute, dontcha think?

Anyway, so I like to sing. Sang in plays, choirs, small movie part, a symphony chorale. But my taste of fame, Hollywood…not great. Dry, artificially sweetened with too much saturated fat. So I sing to my kids. I sing in the shower. And I listen to lots and lots and lots of music. All kinds, too. Pop, rock, classical, opera, hip hop, gospel, country, jazz, alternative, reggae, standards, oldies, ska, world, blues – I’m leaving a lot out, but you get the picture. I can find something in any genre that I’ll want to put on my ipod.

Well, I just discovered Kate Earl and her song Melody. I LOVE the words.

“No matter what has ever come to me
I got my own brand of company
I got da da da inside my head”   – I didn’t have the happiest of childhoods. I continue to struggle through the dysfunction in my life. Music has saved me from the depression that many in my biological family have faced. We have suicide, bi-polar, alcoholism, BPD, etc. I swear I’ve been able to avoid many valleys my other family members have sunk into because of my connection to my music.

“& i find that i’m never alone
& i find that my heart is my home
& the music within makes me whole
A world that i built on my own” –  Hours spent in my bedroom listening to music, singing into my hairbrush, avoiding the drama outside my bedroom door. My alarm clock radio woke me to music, stayed on until I left the house, then the radio in the car and sneaking my walkman (yes, I’m that old) into school. I slept with a transistor radio underneath my pillow. Music was my best friend. It was my only constant in an unpredictable childhood.

“Every missing piece of me
I can find in a melody” – Let me say it again, “Every missing piece of me I can find in melody.” She is singing about my life. Hours spent as a child and teen copying down lyrics. Taping a song off the radio or off an album. Then notebook and pencil and finger on the pause button of my tape recorder so I could write down every word. I have so many “theme songs” for my life I started a When I’m Gone playlist on my ipod that I want played at my funeral. (Which my daughter thinks is incredibly morbid but I think it’s kinda neat. I want everyone dancing, crying, laughing and remembering  me through the music that makes/made me who I am. Of course, I have about 3 days worth of songs on there already so it’s going to be a loooooooonnnnggg party.)

And from time to time (maybe on Tuesdays if the name sticks)  I’m going to share with you songs that mean something to me. Light, dark, happy, sad, thought provoking. All kinds. So, without further ado…..enjoy!

Kate Earl – Melody

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Filed under Growing Up, Music