Tag Archives: music

It burns, Mom… it burns.

Hank had what I can only assume was a life-changing and defining moment this morning. One which he will discuss with future psychiatrists as he shudders and curls himself into the fetal position. One which will make his buddies laugh and his brother cringe.

Hank walked into my room unexpectedly today, as I exited from the shower.

Full. Frontal. Mom.

From his reaction, you would have thought he’d had a front row seat to the dropping of the atomic bomb. It went something like this:

 

Poor thing. The image of Mom’s double-D’s now seared into his brain for life.

Sorry kid.

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Carry on my wayward son…

Because, after all, there will be peace when you are done.

That’s right, I did it. Again. With my husband.

For the third time in 18 months (only two of those times on purpose), we saw Kansas. It wasn’t quite like the last time, when I was practically chased into the street by a gaggle of women who inexplicably kept calling me Mary Kate. But it was still fairly awesome. I offer as proof:

This might seem like a grainy cell phone photo. And it is. But it is also an accurate depiction of how I saw much of the show -- with a bright, flashing strobe light directly in my eyeballs, threatening to literally burn me to dust (in the wind, of course). Still, I hoped that maybe the light would illuminate me to the point that the band would spot me, and I'd have my very own Courtney Cox moment as I was pulled onto the stage to step-tap step-tap and strut my stuff until I reached the point of "know" return. No dice.

Occasionally, I could see the band.

That's right, lead singer Steve Walsh (center) topped his ever-growing skullet (BALD in front, party in the back) with his fanciest baseball cap for the occasion. And I really want to know why Richard Williams (left) wears an eye patch, but that's just rude to shout out. And violin boy Dave Ragsdale (right), well, he's old. But his arms are freaking awesome. That, and wikipedia tells me that he has performed with the likes of Queensryche and Louise Mandrell, and with a resume like that, what's not to like?

Don’t be impressed… I had to look up all their names. I’m sure that the king of geekdom Jim who I married already knew them. But I had to look them up.

This show was a little different. For starters, it was at the Arcada in St. Charles, Illinois. And the Arcada in St. Charles, Illinois is a bit of dump. Small, tiny bathrooms, probably chocked full of asbestos and a gang of terrifying ghosts in the balcony. You can still kind of smell the days when there was a smoking section.

Many of my favorite moments involved a woman in the front row who was wearing a “Kansas Tour 97” t-shirt and her sassiest mom jeans. She spent most of the show standing up and pointing at us. The rest of the crowd. You know, like, “GET UP, Y’ALL! Feel the music!” I would assume she was proficient in both air guitar and turning an apple into a bong, but tonight she was just happy to enjoy the musical memories of her youth. I was waiting for her to shout out “CLASS OF 79!!!!!”

There was also that guy. You generally know him from his annoying position in front of you at every sporting event you have ever attended ever. That guy stands up even though he is in the front. He gets in your way. Then he turns to you and waves his arms upward, telling YOU to STAND UP! Which you inevitably have to do because that guy is a genuine jackass and you simply can’t see the game with his ass riding in your face. Well, replace “game” with “Kansas concert” and there you go. Because he apparently thought were too stupid to stand at the encore or “wooooo hooooo” when the “Dust in the Wind” guitar solo began.

The opening band was also a treat. My guess is that they won a contest. My guess is also that the contest was held the night before at the riverfront Oktoberfest right there in St. Charles, Illinois. They blew (however, I do appreciate a band that sings words that I can actually understand. But any respect I had was swept away when they begged us all to follow them on MySpace. I mean seriously, even I know MySpace blows). Part of me does not want to promote them, but dude:

THIS is one of their promo pics. They didn’t even bother to ask the guy playing video games in the background to MOVE before they snapped this prime shot. I mean… I can’t even bring myself to name them, lest you travel to their MySpace page and hear their music and never be able to wash it from your brain. Still, one of them was kind enough to flick his guitar pick to one of the screaming ladies clad in a denim tuxedo near the front. So they loves the ladies, at least.

I wonder if Kansas was like, dudes, we are freaking famous. For real. We’re like, 35 freaking LEGENDARY years, and we’ve still got it. What the hell are we doing in St. Charles, Illinois?

Well, Kansas, I, for one KNOW that you are better than that. But thanks for coming anyway. Because we had a bitchin’ time. And you better believe we’ll catch you the next time you are in the greater Chicago metropolitan and/or northwest Indiana area.

And in case you were wondering, yes, Hank and George do know your songs. So lay your weary heads to rest — don’t you cry no more.

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Catch the fever? No thanks.

You know that feeling you get when you are embarrassed for someone? It doesn’t have to be someone you actually know. Hell, it doesn’t even have to be someone real. You can be watching a movie or a television show, and one of the characters does something so vomit-inducing and cringe-worthy that you actually find yourself covering your face. I don’t know where that emotion comes from. Maybe it’s fear that something that soul-shuddering could happen to you one day, or just guilt that you lack the power to make it stop. But for whatever reason, their actions make you want to flee.

That’s how I feel about this:

Sweet Christmas, people, what the hell is happening here?

Now, I realize, that as the mother of two young boys, I am blissfully ignorant about most things related to Justin Bieber here. Thank God for small mercies. So without knowing too much about him, I will say, he obviously must have some sort of talent. I saw him on American Idol, and I mean, he can carry a tune at least. And his dancing was fine, though he didn’t put on properly fitting clothes and kept pulling at his rump. And he played the drums, so…. way to go, kid?

But what the HELL is with the floppy hairdo? I don’t mean to be all sexist and stuff, especially on a boy young enough to be my son when I am in fact the mother of boys who I totally adore, but, when a boy’s haircut is actually referred to as a “hairdo,” doesn’t that make him kind of a… sissy (imagine a different word). And the worst part of it is when others follow suit. Like the teenagers at the gym who are also technically young enough to be my children but Lord knows I was a total angel in the 90’s so I would never have gotten pregnant that young because I was too pure.

***pause for hysterical laughter***

Anyhow, I look at these buff young lads, pumping their iron and doing a remarkable number of push-ups and somehow pulling their entire body weight up 8, 9, 10, 11 times with just their two little biceps. And WOW, that is impressive! But you know what’s not impressive? The fact that you STYLED YOUR HAIR before you came to the gym.

I wondered if this “hold the hairdryer directly behind your head until it stays put” hairdo had a comparable style from back in the day. My first thought, obviously, was the mullet. But it’s not. The mullet was universally accepted. You were just as likely to see it on a 40-year-old woman as you were to see it on a 17-year-old boy. Business in the front, party in the back was just as appropriate for little junior as it was for Grandpa. But the Bieber? I mean…

YOU. LOOK. STUPID.

It’s really that simple.

I think there were times in my life that I looked like this. It was that millisecond that took place right after my mother or father gave me a whack in the back of the head. That’s what young Justin looks like. Like he has been perpetually smacked in the back of the skull to the point that his hair is stuck there. I mean, somebody needs to get this kid a headband or something to get that nonsense OUT OF HIS FACE.

Jim asked me recently how we were going to prevent the boys from doing this to themselves. I replied that is was simple — we are their parents. We will cut their hair in their sleep if we have to. But more important, we will MOCK THEM until they cry if they decide that the “backward wind tunnel” is the way they want their heads to look every day.

I mean really, I hate to sound like an old fuddy duddy — after all, my parents never argued that rock n’ roll was a fad, so I am putting myself in a position even older than those ancient greasers — but for the love of spaghetti, child, GET A COMB. And then, just like your heiny, move it from front to back.

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Operation Gaga, entry 3

This week, I got the following e-mail:

“I needed a new pair of shoes so I went to the old peoples shoe store “Rockport”. At the cash register the young man had the radio on and I surprised him when I asked isn’t that Lady Gaga singing?”

Dad

See the signature there? DAD. My father is 70 years old. He was born in 1939. That’s the 30’s! And he knows Lady Gaga songs.

Then, this morning I got the following text from my friend Jacki, who had previously said she didn’t really like Gaga:

“Hi – Lady Gaga is on Today. I have to say that I am impressed; she is more articulate than I ever imagined.”

When I responded that Gaga was way smarter than a certain 90’s icon who she is often compared to, Jacki said:

“Very smart! I sat there and thought “wow!” Not once did she use the word ‘like’ or fillers such as ‘ummmm’.”

Just why was Lady Gaga doing the rounds this morning? Well, her and Ms. Cydni Lauper have joined forces to promote the MAC AIDS fund’s campaign, “From our lips.” They are using proceeds from lipstick sales to promote HIV/AIDS awareness. On Good Morning America, Lady Gaga talked about how some women laugh and joke around after having a tryst with men they don’t know, and said, “It’s not funny.” There is a difference between being sexually liberated and being sexually responsible, and Gaga is ALL ABOUT IT!

So let’s recap. I have successfully gotten my aging but still very young parents to listen to Lady Gaga, Jacki approves, and she promotes awareness of deadly diseases. All in one day.

I have one word for you, Gaga Nation — WIN.

© MR Photo/Corbis Outline

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Operation Gaga, entry 2

A highly successful past few days in my quest to spread the word of the growing Gaga Nation.

My mother, after watching Lady Gaga on Oprah, said she was “impressed” with her, and admired how she spoke about the importance of family. She said she would listen to her more often. Win.

Kayla told me that every time she hears Lady Gaga, she thinks of me. And since I know Kayla spends nearly every waking moment thinking of me, maybe she is thinking about Lady Gaga ALL THE TIME. Win.

Then, this morning came. I was driving the kids to school, Hank in the front, George in his booster, and my favorite 7-year-old twins, Jake and Alyssa from next door, piled in the back seat. As we backed out of the driveway, I said, “How about some music?” and hit play (no need to load in the CD, of course Lady Gaga was already in the player). Then, this conversation:

Lady Gaga and Hank: “Ohh ohh ohh ohh ohhhhhhhhh ohhhh ohh ohh ohh ohh, ohh ohh ohh caught in a bad romance!”

Alyssa: “Hey, we have this on the radio in our room!”

Marney: “You like Lady Gaga?”

Jake: “Yeah!”

Lady Gaga, Hank, Jake, Alyssa, George, Marney: “Ra ra uh uh uh, roma, ro-ma ma, ga ga, ohh la la, want your bad romance!”

Big fat win. Carry on, Lady Gaga. I’ll continue to spread the word here in suburbia.

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Operation Gaga, entry 1

As you all know, I have recently made it my own personal mission to see to it that the musical genius that is Lady Gaga gets recognized worldwide. To date, I have received e-mails and even a phone call from my own father to remind me when Lady Gaga was going to be on television for some reason or another.

Not long ago and without my knowledge, my husband recorded a 3-hour television special on VH1 about Lady Gaga (it was videos and interviews). And at his office Christmas party last month, Jim actually went to the DJ and requested a Lady Gaga song (granted, he could not name one, but he asked that the DJ just pick one and play it).

Yesterday, I received this e-mail message from my mother:

Hey Marney,Lady Gaga will be on Oprah Friday,dad and I are going to watch.

Do you see that? DAD AND I ARE GOING TO WATCH!

Victories abound. My mission is going well.

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5 awesome things about this decade

Now that we are officially just hours from 2010, I thought I’d take a moment to recall the five most awesome things about the past 10 years. These are not necessarily the top 5 things just for me (because that would be so boring — a picture of Kayla and Nancy, a picture of my parents and siblings, a picture of Jim, a picture of Hank, and a picture of George — yawn). Just things that I think we should all be able to seriously appreciate. Good, good stuff.

#5 – New Orleans

If you don’t love the city of New Orleans, then you have never been there. If you have been there and you still don’t love it, you are a fool (sorry to any fools who read this, but seriously, wake up, you are a fool). New Orleans is awesome. Let’s make a list:

  • French Quarter
  • Mississippi River
  • Street Car
  • French Market
  • Lake Ponchartrain
  • Coffee & Chicory
  • Boobie flashing for cheap beads
  • Big Ass Beers
  • Daquiris to Go
  • Drinking in the street
  • Insanely good Cajun food
  • Brass bands
  • Zydeco
  • Gator on a Stick
  • Ernst’s Cafe
  • Kermit Ruffins
  • LeMadeline
  • Superior Grill
  • Audubon Zoo
  • Shopping on Royal Street
  • St. Louis Cathedral & Jackson Square
  • Awesome trannys partying in the street
  • LaFitte’s Landing
  • Adult shops next to antique shops
  • Strip bars galore
  • Mardi Gras

Yeah, if you cannot find even ONE thing on that list (which is seriously lacking, by the way, it’s a fraction of what’s available), then you suck. If you weren’t heartsick when Katrina hit, and full of hope when the city started to come back, then you suck even more. If you don’t take time to visit New Orleans at some point in your life, you will have died lacking in a major life experience. And that’s just a fact. 

#4 – Tony Romo cries

That’s just entertainment. You know at that moment, as Tony was bawling his beautiful, hunky eyes out, Nick Lachey was thinking, “Thank GOD Jessica and I broke up!” Seriously, that’s more embarrassing than being a member of 98 Degrees, and Nick Lachey knows it.

#3 – Justin Timberlake

Speaking of boy bands — oh Justin Timberlake, you’ve touched us all in so many ways these past ten years. From curly-haired N’Sync heartthrob (just typing that put the song “I want it that way” in my head, and that’s not even N’Sync, that’s the Backstreet Boys! Look at Justin’s powers!) to the guy who outed Britney as not really being a virgin (like we didn’t know) to the man who wardrobe-malfunctioned Janet Jackson’s boobie all over national TV to the man who proved that the best gift of all is a di*k in a box, Justin really did bring sexy back. Keep it up dude. Just one piece of advice though — drop Jessica Biel. She’s lame.When the highlights of your weak career include playing the virginal daughter Mary on “7th Heaven” and complaining that you are “too beautiful” to get good roles, you are not good enough for Justin Timberlake.

#2 – Stepbrothers

Ok, now, I can see how this movie might not appeal to everyone. After all, I don’t think I loved it the first time I saw it. But now that it appears on Starz about 15 times a week, I can say, it’s freaking hysterical. And the more we watch it, the more we notice things we didn’t notice earlier. And while we know the comedy is completely juvenile, that’s kind of the point. I mean, who decided that at a certain age we should cast aside fart jokes and instead embrace more sophisticated humor? Because that person is a major douche.

For example:

“Your voice is like a combination of Fergie and Jesus.”

“Suppose Nancy sees me coming out of the shower and decides to come on to me. I’m looking good, got a luscious v of hair going through my chest pubes down to my ball fro. She takes one look at me and goes ” Oh my god, I’ve had the old bull now I want the young calf” and she grabs me by the weiner…”

“I swear, I’m so pissed off at my mom. As soon as she’s of age, I’m putting her in a home.”

“Hey Derek, you know what’s good for shoulder pain? If you lick my butt hole.”

I’m sorry, that is all funny. Every last childish piece of it.

The real scene stealer I think though is Mary Steenburgen. She isn’t just funny, she’s gorgeous. Seriously, see this movie. Without children in the room, preferably, or they will quote the most inappropriate parts back to you.

#1 – Lady Gaga:

Dude, do I really need to expalin this one? Oh Lady Gaga! How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

Actually, there’s just two of them, “The Fame,” and “The Fame Monster,” her only two albums. But I love them LOTS!

On Christmas Eve, I sat next to my father and handed him a small package, then tried to hide my pure glee as he ripped it open to discover “The Fame Monster” sitting inside. For some reason, many family members thought it was bizarre that I would give my father a Lady Gaga CD. I ask, why the hell would they think that? I only gush about the woman like she’s the second coming of Mozart. Why would I not want to share that with my Pops?

Dad, I say that when they questioned me, it was really an insult aimed at YOU, like you are too old and cranky to enjoy the musical genius that is Lady Gaga. PROVE THEM WRONG! Pop that CD in the player of your extremely youthful Chrysler Seabring and TURN IT UP! Even better, make sure you do it in the summer time with the top down while cruising through the senior living community. That’s making a statement!

So, there you go, 5 awesome things about this decade. I realize that not all of you will agree with me. If that’s the story for you, well, it’s not my fault you’re wrong. I tried.

Have a safe and happy New Year everyone!

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