Saturday, July 31, 2010


July 30, 2010

Happy Birthday to my sister Elisabeth! Thanks for sharing Annabelle with us last week.

(NOTE: if your fingers are flying over the keyboard, "sister" can become "sistern" faster than you think. Luckily, spell check thought I had misspelled cistern, so I caught my almost insult, before it happened).

Walter and I made a break for it on Thursday and headed west for one last gulp of cool air in the New Mexican mountains so we can re-group and face a summer whose heat and humidity will last another two months, even as the responsibilities of our jobs and the fall semester fast approach. I thought July had more "must do" activities than it should, but August is shaping up worse. It is never a good sign when you have things penned onto your calender for a majority of days in a month BEFORE the first day of the month has yet arrived.

I am solacing myself with several quick and fun reads this trip. I'm laughing my way through Fool, by Christopher Moore, who reeks of inappropriateness in every sentence he writes. Here's perspective: Carl Hiaasen (author of Sick Puppy and several other wickedly humorous books and who is quite reek-y himself) writes this blurb on the book cover: "Christopher Moore is a very sick man, the the very best sense of that word." I also picked up a Tony Hillerman mystery and will try the first one In Nevada Barr's series featuring Anna Pigeon (has anyone read any of these and do you have an opinion about her work--not, of course, in a literary sense, but in a quick-but-enjoyable-easy-as-cotton-candy-to-swallow vacation fare?).

The satellite radio came in handy on the long drive out. But, at about hour six and not even to the halfway point, my mind started wandering. I am no longer a young chick. I have been listening to music since I started school (not college, not junior high, but first grade at Trudy's Kiddy College!). I can sing (I use that word very loosely) along with a huge number of songs. For many of them, I can recall when I first heard them. Most songs I know bring to mind certain summers or particular friends or special occasions.

I am not above admitting that I danced to "Brick House" in junior high down at the Friday night Manvel dances sponsored by the catholic church there (probably on the theory that if young people were dancing in the fellowship hall they weren't doing other, more regrettable things). I can remember singing along with the "Stray Cat Strut" as I watched the video on MTV. If we want to go waaayyy back, I can remember playing 45s of "I Want to Hold Your Hand" on my little record player as a five-year old--most likely right before or after I shook my fine self to the "Hokey Pokey" .

Revealing my dicey taste in music over the years to you is not the point of this post (although it is tempting to reveal that I my first live concert was jazz trumpeter, Maynard Ferguson, and my second live concert was the inaugural Texxas Jam at the Cotton Bowl. Eclectic tastes, if nothing else). My point is that somewhere between Sonora and Ozona yesterday, I realized that I did not have a soundtrack to my life for the last two decades.

Well, strictly speaking, that's not entirely true. I just don't want to admit that Raffi took over the playlist in the 90s, and after that I reverted back to replaying and luxuriating in old tunes rather than doing the hard work of listening to new music and attempting to separate the wheat from the chaff. How does this happen? I know all the songs from the 70s, most from the 60s, a large number from the 80s (despite the weakening quality of music and encroachment of corporate music which began in the 70s). I can sing along with many songs from the 50s, despite never drawing a single breath in that decade, and sadly recognize more popular songs from the 40s than from the 90s or 00s. Yet, besides Taylor Swift (who my young junior high friends listen to), I cannot name (or really even discern) artists or songs from the last twenty years. How, tell me how, did this happen (AND PLEASE don't answer with reference to my ancientness if you were born in either of these two decades)?


  1. Vickie, we are truly kindred spirits. I could say DITTO to almost every sentence in your post.

    Want proof?

    I want to Ooot Ooot Ooot Oooples and banoooonooooooos...

    I still listen to 70's and (audible gasp) 80's music on XM radio.

    Taylor who?....

    We're not ancient! we're seasoned...

  2. I was in a musical rut for a long time and even though I love "my" music from the 60s & 70s (Beatles; Dylan; Joni Mitchell, etc.), I really needed to learn some "new" artists.

    Two things happened: one, I met my husband who knows all kinds of music, and two, the creation of iTunes. From both of these sources I have learned many new (to me!) and somewhat obscure artists and my music library has really expanded. SO I am a big fan of iTunes--you can sample all kinds of music for a cheap price and also learn about similar artists through their "genius" referrals.

    Just a thought. Of course I still don't really know who Taylor Swift is :)

  3. I have a similar musical block that starts about 94...

    I don't know about the anna pigeon book, but you might have to read the Millennium triology...The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, etc. I couldn't set them down.

  4. What a perfect post - I had picked up a CD for you that I think you will enjoy - new but not teenage new! Will bring it Labor Day :) I thought of you b/c the instruments used have been mentioned to be enjoyed by you!

    :) Sarah