Archive for the ‘Musings’ Category

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The “Weird Kid” Speaks

2013/06/17

When I say I was a weird kid…I’m really not exaggerating. Reading Shakespeare Sonnets and WWII Socio-Political history books in 4th Grade was just portion of what set me apart from my “peers.” Music also had a huge impact on how difficult it was for me to relate to a lot of people my own age.

My uncle introduced me to the Southern & Album Rock of the 70s, my grandfather’s hi-fi set was my entry into the world of Jazz and Big Band, my mother’s 45s were the source of my fascination with 50s Hit Parade and Rockabilly, and my little “Solid State” transistor radio only seemed capable of picking up one station, no matter where I put it, and one grounded afternoon in my bedroom at the age of 8 started me down the Country road. Add to this my fascination with movie scores, John Phillip Sousa, and the symphony shows at the Kennedy Center…and you arrive at a very strange 12/13 year old girl at the slumber parties. The only Jacksons I had listened to by 1983 were the Jackson 5 singing “Rockin’ Robin” & “ABC.”

Thankfully for me, I had some awesome friends, and a new radio. Shawn introduced me to KISS when we were kids out in the Boondocks, so it wasn’t hard to get into the Hair Bands of the 80s. One of the guys in the drum corps got me totally hooked on the sound of the synthesizer, so the Wave of the 80s was a natural step. My friend Joiey introduced me to two things, better radio in Colorado (KPKE & KBCO), and her boyfriend’s band. The hours we spent exploring ALL that music had to offer put me in a MUCH better spot by the time I got to high school (and made me a frequent visitor to Wax Trax back in the day).

But don’t get me wrong, I was still a weird kid. I was just a more well-rounded weird by the time I hit high school. It was nothing for me to talk Whitesnake & RATT with folks who really should not have been in the smoking area with the volume of Aqua-Net on their heads, or Sex Pistols and The Clash with someone whose hair was taller than I am, even if they were 6 inches shorter. And I could follow the conversation when caught in a gaggle of cheerleaders gushing about the latest Duran Duran video, and who was going to camp out to get tickets if their tour came through Denver. I could also tell when our Maria in “The Sound of Music” was so off-key she was messing with the strong section’s ability to accompany her for “The Hills Are Alive…” And I took my brothers and sister to a Nylons concert at the Paramount, because 50s Hit Parade was still dear to my heart.

While being a weird kid did have some difficult social implications (you are not supposed to get along with Jocks, Theatre Geeks, Brainiacs, and Stoners…all at the same time – it makes everyone nervous, apparently), I think it gave me a better view of the 80s than the average person. It certainly gives me a FANTASTIC soundtrack for my adolescent years. 馃榾

 

NOTE: And we didn’t even touch on my weirder tastes in music… Yeah, at 43, I’m still a weird kid. LOL Yeah, I’m also trying to get back to my blog again, so hopefully this won’t be the last one.

 

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Evil Media

2012/07/20

Social media & cellphones get a really bad rap much of the time, but I want you all to think about this…

In 1989, Eugene Thompson went on a murderous spree in Arapahoe & Douglas counties, crashing his car one block from my parents house, and then holed up inside a house across the street from my baby brother’s school. It took forever to get into phone contact with my mother, we had no way of communicating with either of my brothers (1 in Jr & 1 in Sr HS). There was no information being provided by the schools to find out if I could pick any of them up. My mother was trapped in her home with several small children and information was slim and sketchy. Because of this the Jr HS was about to let the kids leave with parents, just as the gunfire broke out across the street. It wasn’t until the next day we had any real idea of what was happening.

In 2012, I awoke to a hail of text, FB, and Twitter messages about the theatre shooting in Aurora, and in within a few minutes knew what had happened, had checked on my family and friends, and started checking on my associates. The police and the community effectively communicated all the important information, set up & directed people to resources, and generally had the public safety restored within a few short hours.

Tell me again how evil social media and cellphones really are, please?

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A Defining Moment

2012/04/01

com路mu路ni路ty

noun, often attributive \k蓹-藞my眉-n蓹-t膿\

plural com路mu路ni路ties

Definition of COMMUNITY

1 : a unified body of individuals: as

a : state, commonwealth

b : the people with common interests living in a particular area; broadly : the area itself <the problems of a large community>

c : an interacting population of various kinds of individuals (as species) in a common location

d : a group of people with a common characteristic or interest living together within a larger society <a community of retired persons>

e : a group linked by a common policy

f : a body of persons or nations having a common history or common social, economic, and political interests <the international community>

g : a body of persons of common and especially professional interests scattered through a larger society <the academic community>

2 : society at large

3 聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 a : joint ownership or participation <community of goods>

b : common character : likeness <community of interests>

c : social activity : fellowship

d : a social state or condition

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The Connection is the Whole Point

2012/01/29

I am a HUGE history nut. This is not unknown to anyone who’s ever driven around town with me. Sometimes, it’s like traveling with your very own tour guide, whether you like it, or not!

For this, I blame my father. I’ve lost track of the times we’ve “gone for a ride” to check out some place he read about, or saw in a documentary. Not to mention all the trips down his memory lane we’ve taken over the years. My siblings would just humor him, most of the time, but I always looked forward to those drives. For me, it was about making a tangible connection to the past.

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Family Traditions

2012/01/20

Tonight was very bittersweet for me, because a more than 30 year tradition was upheld, but it’s sad due to the fact that it may be the last time. Tonight I went to see the incredible and inspiring Red Tails with my father (and my baby brother tagged along). Me and my Dad have gone to see every George Lucas movie in the theatres since 1977, when he took me to my very first “indoor movie” to see Star Wars. But that tradition appears to be ending tonight, with the news that George Lucas is retiring from the blockbuster business.

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*That* House

2011/11/24

I am thankful for many things in this life, including the ability to take every breath, and I try very hard to not keep my gratitude to myself. If I am thankful for something, or someone, I work very hard to express that gratitude, because I鈥檝e discovered that it can actually grow when you let it out.

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The Media, Democracy & You

2011/10/09

In a world where digital social networking has become the norm, and businesses scramble to harness its unimaginable power, there are both good and bad things to come from this revolution of communication. I do believe the good things to come out of this technology far exceed the bad, but the bad things seem to shine a light into the sometimes surprising darkness of the human condition.

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Mother’s Day?

2010/05/08

Getting back to the blog after a long absence, and the first new entry is inspired by the Mothers.

Mother鈥檚 Day is a time to thank that special woman who brought you into the world, the woman who raised you, the woman who wiped away your tears and celebrated your milestones. But to me, the name of this day is just not enough.

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The Value of Friendship

2009/12/23

It鈥檚 funny how people come and go through our lives sometimes. If you are really lucky, you get to spend a lifetime in the company of someone you can call your friend, but most of the time they are passing ships in the night. They come into your life on a breeze of whimsy, and one day you realize just how long it鈥檚 been since you last saw them. It鈥檚 just the nature of our transient lives, I guess. Jobs, relationships, the vagaries of fate, they all ebb and flow around us, bringing people in and taking them away with the same twist.

Long ago I learned to accept this part of life. I make sure to treasure the time I have been given with someone, and I am always sure to let them know what they mean to me. Their time in my life is often short, but I never want anyone to walk away from their time with me without letting them know how I feel. I never want them to question their value in or to my life. And while I am sad when our ways have to part, I am glad for the time they gave to me.

Friendship is a tricky thing. To create a level of trust between strangers, sometimes greater than that of our own family, is a dangerous minefield. But the rewards can be so incredible that we are willing to risk it all for that one opportunity. Two people thrown together by chance, developing a bond of friendship that can withstand the pressures of the world around them is a beautiful and often overlooked thing. And one that can last for years on end is more precious and valuable than the most perfect gem.

I learned the value of friendship from my mother. I always wondered at the way she could welcome others into her heart without a moment鈥檚 hesitation, always be glad for their company, even when years and miles separated her from them. And I spent a significant portion of my life witnessing one of those rare and precious friendships that spanned a lifetime. My mother and her best friend shared their lives and their hearts and their families with one another. So much so that the lines became blurred, and it was hard to tell the difference for those around them.

I was a teenager before I discovered, completely by accident, that my godmother was not my mother鈥檚 sister. While doing a project in my Spanish class, I innocently asked, 鈥淪o, where do I put Aunt Lu and Uncle Tommy on our family tree?鈥 My mother鈥檚 family was unique, and I had always assumed that Aunt Lu was just another sibling in Mom鈥檚 bizarre chain of family relations. After all, we spent holidays together, we took vacations together, they visited my great grandmother, they took care of my brother and me when our baby brother was born鈥ow could they not be family? And Mom told me that sometimes, if you are very lucky, you will have a friend who is so special that they can become your family. My Mom, and in turn, our family, was blessed with this kind of luck.

That blessing was also extended to me. I have shared much of my lifetime with a very good friend. And though the miles and our hectic lives have often come between us, when we get that all too brief time together, it鈥檚 almost as though no time has passed, and we鈥檝e been there all the while. The comfort and support that can be found in a friendship such as ours truly is a gift, and I count myself fortunate for every moment.

My reflective side was triggered this morning thanks to the birthday of another treasured friend. He is one of those bright shining lights in this world, bringing sunshine and comfort wherever he goes. From the moment he came bounding in my life, I have felt blessed. He鈥檚 been struggling through a series of difficult transitions lately, but he never seems to fail in finding the light in everything, and his smile warms the hearts of everyone around him.

I wish for him, on this anniversary of his blessed birth, a lifetime of sharing that marvelous heart with the world, so that his joy for life can go out and come back to him in the form of the love of the many friends he has delighted through his time with us on this earth. And to all my friends, both near and far, both present and past, and all those friendships yet to be had, may the love you give in the name of friendship be returned to you tenfold through the friends you make.

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The Ghosts of Christmas

2009/12/20

As a child, this time of year was always filled with anticipation. Waiting for school to get out, wishing for that one special gift, looking for a white Christmas and trying desperately to get just one more cookie before Mom cut me off. I loved every wondrous and anxious moment of it. Playing in the snow until Mom forced me inside, listening to older family members tell stories of Christmas when they were children and all the sweet treats I had been dreaming about were everywhere. It was all about what was to come. The wonder and majesty of the season revolved around getting to the next step.

As a teenager, I discovered the joy of 鈥淲inter Break.鈥 It was that magical time when there was no school, a ton of movies to see and a herd of friends to enjoy that freedom with. There were countless adventures to be had and we did them all together. It was also time to get reacquainted with the family. During the regular school year there was always so much going on, that it was easy to forget there were other people in the house when you left at dawn and got home just before curfew everyday. Getting up on a weekday morning to share a bowl of Apple Jacks with my baby sister and listen to my brothers work out their strategy for optimum lift and speed for sledding on Holly Hill that day was a precious chance to be in their lives again. Being a teenager during the holidays was about slowing down long enough appreciate what I had as I worked on what was to come.

In my twenties, the holidays became a series of rushes. A rush to get more hours, to get more done, to get ahead. At that point, life was rushing by and it took my complete attention to make it all work. You live completely in the moment then, just trying to make it to the end of the day. The only way I knew it was Christmas was when old friends showed up for their annual visit home, and that one precious day off to share with my family the fruits of my labors. The other kids were finally growing up, leaving only my baby sister as a teenager, but we all made the time to share Christmas Day together, because it was important. It was one day where we could stop and reflect on the previous year, and on our shared past. One day, in a busy life, where we were still our parents鈥 children and we could remember why that made us feel so good.

When my thirties rolled around, the holidays changed again. Now there were children running everywhere, and the wonder and majesty of the season could be seen reflecting through their eyes. The excitement was back, and I found myself anticipating the big day again. Seeing them dance and sing with each snow storm, hearing them rattle off their wish lists and dirtying up the house together making cookies or presents or decorations brought all the magic back. It also gave me a chance to share my memories of childhood with them. Telling them the story of how their Dad spent so long in the snow building a fort he almost had frostbite on his butt, or how their Mom would spent hours trying to catch snowflakes on her tongue, or the times they were so excited for Christmas they didn鈥檛 trust each other not to sneak downstairs first, so they camped out in one bedroom with sleeping bags, giggling all night long as they waited for the sun to rise. And just like that, the holidays became about anticipation and living in the moment and remembering the past, all at once.

I鈥檒l spend some time today wrapping presents for the kids and thinking about their reactions. I鈥檒l take a little time to work out the feast prep game plan with my mother. I鈥檝e been spending time with friends, both old and new, sharing the moment together and enjoying their company. And later, much like I am now, I will reflect on the holidays past, and take joy from the memories shared over a lifetime.

May the Ghosts of Christmases Past, Present and Future always haunt your life, so you will never forget the real meanings of the season.

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