Category Archives: Music

Diversions

Since my sore thumb is sticking out like a, well, you know, I’ve been lying low, trying to heal so that I can resume computer-related activities (i.e. work and blogging). All of the browsing and comments I’ve left the past few days have been done left-handed and clumsily.

Fortunately, there are worse places to convalesce. I am at a conference in St Pete Beach, Florida. I’ve been in meetings for two days, and it’s been quite easy on the opposable digit.

I’ve had some free time, which I would normally fill with my two passions: reading and blogging. Because of the ban on the latter, I’ve found some other diversions.

The most fulfilling was meeting Joane, founder of the Forever Parents forum. Joanne has brought together a respectful community of adoptive parents from all types and stages — pre-adoptive to parents of teens, international, domestic and foster/adoptive families, open and closed situations. There is a wealth of experience wisdom there, and I highly recommend this community for any adoptive parent, waiting or current.

Joanne was accompanied by her husband, Billy, and her two daughters. This is a family who thoroughly enjoys being together. I enjoyed basking in the love that flows among them. Here we are:

Billy is in the back with Jacqueline and Shawna; Joanne and I are in front.

After the meetings were finished this afternoon, I got a tented chaise lounge on the beach and relaxed. Just tuned into my iPod, smelled the air and felt the 80 degree breeze on my skin. Delightful. I can’t remember the last time I did NOTHING.

Later I took myself out to dinner. It was the yummiest ahi tuna I’ve ever had, at a table overlooking the water. Complemented by a full-bodied Cabernet.

And nothing else. No chatting, no reading, no checking my Treo. For once in my adult life, I spend a meal simply eating. Maybe that’s a normal occurrence for you, but it isn’t for me. I am always bi- or tri-tasking. And rarely giving attention to my food.

Mindfulness is delicious.

Afterwards, as the sun began to set, I headed back to the hotel along the beach while listening to my iPod. I kicked off my flip flops and walked in the lapping surf, looking at the shells, the remnants of sand castles, and the beach birds. Here’s the song that was on (good for those who like 80s music).

I have one question: does anyone else notice that Susanna Hoffs looks like a cleaned up Amy Winehouse?

Tomorrow I go home.

M M good.

Well, our very clever M made her way through my spider-webby memories and cracked the code for Lori’s Childhood Trivia, Round 2. Here were the clues (which I had just modified because even my sisters — who shared a childhood with me — even they were stumped):

Clue #1: Michigan* (or San Francico or Tampa)
Clue #2: Weekend evening

Now, before I give the winning answer, here are the other clues I had lined up:

Clue #3: Skates or curlers
Clue #4: Tartan

To kill time while your back-brain works on this, I’ll tell you that there is an unexpected art to putting together these clues. You want to set people on the right track but not be too obvious too quickly. You want to play on both the sound and the meaning of the words. You want to pull together geographic, semantic, cultural, and sensory clues. The meting out needs to be evenly paced and ready for either a sprint or a marathon contest.

So. Try it. Please think of your own childhood memory and lead backwards a trail of bread crumbs to that memory. Let me know you’re doing it and I’ll announce your trivia contest here.

Ready for Round #2’s answer?

Bay City Rollers.

My sister and I had a love/hate relationship with this pre-boy-band boy band. Sure, they were cute and their songs were catchy. But even with our tween-age eyes we could see that they were so packaged.

We had our own name for them. It’s not very PC, though. At that stage in our development, everything was about butts. She was a butt, I was a butt, our little sister was a butt. Often our parents were butts (although we never dared say that to their faces).

So we called this very perky group the Butt City Buttocks, our pre-teen way of expressing both fascination and contempt for the Bay City Roller phenomenon.

For those of you who may have missed them the first time around, here are the Butt City Buttocks Bay City Rollers singing Saturday Night.

* According to Wikipedia: [Originally called the Saxons] the band, seeking a less English-sounding moniker, they chose a new name allegedly by throwing a dart at a map of the United States. The dart landed on the map in the state of Arkansas, but since “Arkansas Rollers” did not sound quite right, and might also lead to problems with pronunciation, they tried again and this time the dart landed near the community of Bay City, Michigan.

Perfect moment

(If you’re looking for limericks, click here and then vote on the right sidebar.)

***

It’s one of those pre-Spring days, where there is snow along the roads but the sun is shining warmly, melting away all the gunk from past weeks.

I have just dropped my kids at my sister’s house after their morning at school. Tami and I trade babysitting duties on occasion, and as I back out of her driveway, I realized I have three free hours. Three. Free. Hours.

The sun through the windshield warms my face and brightens my soul. I am driving west, and the purple snowcapped mountains kiss the bright blue sky. The colors are vivid in the clear air.

Queen is on the radio asking Is this the real life, is this just fantasy? and soon Freddie Mercury is crooning about killing a man and earning from Beelzebub his very own put-aside devil. And then he gets existentially nihilistic: Nothing really matters. Anyone can see. Nothing really matters to me. (Anyway the wind blows.) ((((gong))))

It feels glorious to be alive. Life is gooooooood.

(This version was filmed live at Wembley Stadium. Bohemian Rhapsody starts at 1:00.)