Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Duran Duran

You had to know this post was coming.

I could wax on forever about the meaning Duran Duran has in my life.  A few will understand, some will laugh, and most will not understand.

Here's a brief background.  In 6th grade,  Doria Fan introduced me to The Fab Five.  Doria was this cool, Asian chick who had a big sister with  a life and access to  music.  I want to say that  all it took  was Doria wearing a Duran Duran button in Mr. Hough's class that  was enough to get the ball rolling in my pop music  head.  I've never been the same.

Yeah,  so the boys of Birmingham look good.  I'll agree that's what initially hooked me.   During my formative, horny teen  years,  I collected dozens of Bop, Teen Beat, and Japanese glossy magazines filled with articles and pics of John, Nick, Simon, Roger, and Andy.  John Taylor's looks  cemented the  type of man I will forever be drawn to; square jaw,  high cheekbones.  Some of this reckless spending on teen fluff paid off.   Recently,  I sold a $5.95 collecter's edition book for over $50 on eBay.

 Here's the kicker and something so many people like to dismiss;  Duran's music. This band is more than pretty faces.  They are musicians.

Over the last 30 years (the single Planet Earth was released in February 1981) Duran has crafted some  serious beauty . If you go back and listen to The Chauffeur, or Friends of Mine, they still sound relevant and fresh.  And the guys wrote this stuff when the oldest member was 20.    While there is something  slightly adolescent about songs  filled with girls, one-night-stands and animals running through a rainforest (Rio, Save a Prayer, Hungry Like the Woof),    Simon's lyrics are pure poetry. John plays a wicked loss bass with grooves that are disco-like and ethereal, and I  believe Nick Rhodes is an absolute magician on synthesizers. To me, he is  the heart of the band.

  I had many years where I wasn't a faithful follower as things like newborns and jobs ocupied my every waking thought.  And I will also tell  you this;  there have been some albums that were awful.  Unfortunately,  like anyone or anything  getting older,  the band  tried to stay relevant and hook a new audience.  That doesn't work when you completely change your  initial sound and the  new audience is wanting a pop star Justin Bieber's age.

This past March,  a winner emerged from the band.  After teaming up with famed producer Mark Ronson,  Duran release All You Need Is Now.  The album is a return to their roots, with catchy hooks,  soaring choruses, and  old-school Simon Le Bon layered vocals. I loved it immediately.  I found tickets to a London show and with Scot's blessing,  started planning an England trip.

When I told people we were going to London to see Duran Duran,  many tried to dampen my enthusiasm.

"London,  great!   But for Duran Duran?  'giggle, giggle'  Wait, you're serious? " 

I get the dismissal,  and then I don't.   I liken it to the supermodel  suspected of not having  brains.  In other words,  just because they look good doesn't mean they don't sound good.  Have they listened to their new stuff?  Maybe  these people  just don't like the band.  To each his own. 

 But to make fun of me is to take away part of my history. It's been with me since I was 11 years old. I simply  adore  Duran Duran,  their music and the special place it's had in my life. My own mother thinks the whole shebang with going to London to see them is crazy.  She's actually asked me if " I'm going to get over it" and told Scot  she" feel sorry for him." Good Lord!  I'm so misunderstood.  I don't want to shag the boys (much) and aren't about to leave my happy home to be a groupie.   I just feel blessed to be able to recapture a beloved part of my youth and carry it with me into my 40's.

 P.S.  The tour was supposed to kick-off on Monday.  The first two dates have been postponed as Simon Le Bon has laryngitis.  Drat! Rats! Crap!  We are still going, cancelled show or not.   

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Shout outs!

Two special things today.

First,  a very Happy Birthday to my best girl friend, Joelle.  She's in the last year of her 3, er 20's.  Joelle is my Irish Twin.  We were born to different mothers,  but really were separated at birth.  We are different, but co-exist beautifully.  She walks slowly, I mow down people.  She captures life with her camera,  I miss the beauty cause I'm so busy looking for the next big thing. Joelle helps me to savor simple moments. I've known her my entire life.  She is in every way, but blood,  my sister.

My dear friend  Dana and I go waaay back.  We met in elementary school and slept at each other's homes  more than our own during middle school.   I adore Dana.  She is hysterical, talented, multi-dimensional, irreplaceable, irreverent, sweet.  Dana started a business making hair bows and clips, and has moved on to making gorgeous, personalized towels.  And that's just the tip of the iceberg.  She also makes fancy dinner foods like flambeed bananas and roasted, wilted leeks.  Or something equally impressive.  She is the Martha Stewart you WANT to hang out with. Dana has a new blog, listed below as

Love to my girls.  And love to my readers.    

Monday, May 16, 2011


A Facebook friend asked where I have been lately.  As in,  "why the heck aren't you posting your usual cheesy status updates every 20 minutes?"

How do I tell her that I've been cleansing my soul? How do I tell her that I've jumped off the freight train of adulthood and have been riding the  kiddy carousel for the last five months?

In August,  I begin my respiratory therapy program.  It will be 20 hours of school and clinical rotations a week,  beginning every day at 7 a.m.  It doesn't sound like much,  but it's a scheduling hardship with two kids that don't begin their school day till 9 a.m. and a husband that has to leave the house at 7:30.  It's the beginning of a different kind of stress.  It will be rewarding, but  deeply challenging for me.  I have never started the day without my children,  let alone leaving the house at 6:15 in the morning.

I've been hemming pants, planning a London trip, mowing the lawn, and baking banana bread.   It's the final phase of being a stay-at-home mom, and I'm milking the opportunity for all it's worth.  I volunteer at the kids' school,  ride bikes with them to school, and spend 2 hours a day, twice a week,  hiking.  Truly,  it's a deleriously-rich way to spend time.

Pleasurable, almost stress-free days do have a way of making my existence almost hedonistic. I've read every Duran Duran tour review,  and condition my hair quite frequently.  But those small indulgences have taken me back to a place I haven't visited in so long;  my childhood. 

I haven't felt the need to vent or share my joy. I haven't been reading, and  writing seems almost laborious to me.    It's been a deeply personal time.     When I go to bed at night,  I pluck the latest Sudoku  or word game magazine from the nightstand, and settle in for an episode of Dexter.    This all will change.  Soon enough I will plaster my Facebook wall with rants, raves, and small victories.  I will be writing papers for school, and reading about the biochemics of respiration.

But right now I have to go pick up the kids.  And think about how  the hell I've collected 6 tubes of mascara in such a short stretch of time.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thankful for...a peaceful holiday season

my dad made this nativity creche in the seminary
Last year,  the holidays were hard.  Almost unbearable.  I remember driving through my favorite shopping center with Chrismas lights,  music,  and decorations,  and furtively fighting back tears. It sucked.  I hated being depressed and did my best to rise above it.  But when I would least expect it,  grief would take hold and ruin the moment.

I'm ready to party this year. My family and friends are healthy.  We are all gainfully employed.  My loved ones are all in a good place.

The tree is up already.  The lights are on.  I am almost finished with my shopping.


Happy Thanksgiving to all of my friends!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thankful for.. BBQ chicken sandwich, spicy beans, and the whole darn day

Some fine grub to be had here- "mmhmmph" (voice a la Billy Bob Thornton in Slingblade)
Sometimes a day goes so perfectly.  It's always the unplanned ones that are the ones you remember forever.  Today was one of those.

- mocha peppermint Coffee Mate
-2 children who woke healthy and went to school
-a run with Coldplay
-warm shower
-lunch with brother Tim,  SIL Cindy, mom, and Scot at The Barbeque Co. 
-DSW shoe store
-beers with the family
-a friend giving me a wonderful furniture hand-me-down :)  
- chilly sleeping weather with a down duvet 

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thankful for... my husband

Yes I understand that every life must end, aw huh,..
As we sit alone, I know someday we must go, aw huh,..
I’m a lucky man to count on both hands
The ones I love,..
Some folks just have one,
Others they got none, aw huh,..
Stay with me,..
Let’s just breathe.
Practiced are my sins,
Never gonna let me win, aw huh,..
Under everything, just another human being, aw huh,..
Yeah, I don’t wanna hurt, there’s so much in this world
To make me bleed.
Stay with me,..
You’re all I see.
Did I say that I need you?
Did I say that I want you?
Oh, if I didn’t now I’m a fool you see,..
No one knows this more than me.
As I come clean.
I wonder everyday
as I look upon your face, aw huh,..
Everything you gave
And nothing you would take, aw huh,..
Nothing you would take,..
Everything you gave.
Did I say that I need you?
Oh, Did I say that I want you?
Oh, if I didn’t now I’m a fool you see,..
No one know this more than me.
As I come clean.
Nothing you would take,..
everything you gave.
Hold me till I die,..
Meet you on the other side.

I was driving to a hair appointment the other day when this song came on the radio. I had heard it before and liked the tune.
I parked the car,  and listened to the words. What a beautiful song.

Today, and always, I  am thankful for my husband.  He spent the entire weekend doing my dirty work. On Saturday he spent two hours putting lights on the Christmas tree.  Yesterday he decorated the back fence,  and strung-up lights in the front trees.  I'm sure that's not he imagined spending his weekend,  but a trip to Bangkok was out of the question.

He does no taking, only giving.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Thankful for.... time, and a slow head

Davy Crocket and Mary
  Verbally,    I  cope with turmoil inappropriately.   I don't think,  I just say it.    My vocal audit button gets stuck.   I cry, scream,  and let the F-word fly.  Just last week in Macy's I flipped out when I wasn't serviced to my satisfaction.  This impetuousness had led to many hurt feelings and embarrassment.  

 I can't write when I am upset.  The words seen to fall out of my brain and swirl around my feet like leaves in a storm.  I can't catch them,  and if I were to,  I wouldn't know what to do with them.  This is probably a protective mechanism that stems from the greatest lesson my dad ever taught me; never put anything in writing that will come back to haunt you.

So,   I'm sorry I dropped a juicy romance bomb on you all and then vacated.  At the time,  I didn't know what I could properly share with you,  or even how to put it in words.  But it's really for the best that my mind works this way. 

After my last post,  my mother informed me that  she loved David.  She also announced that David Carpe Diem  would be coming to live with her for the winter. This announcement came on day 5 of my mom's trip to the North Woods. In the form of an email.  HUH?  

  I had a meltdown.  It was mental,  and verbal.   In written form,  it went something like this: 

This man,  this man I had  never met would be hanging his hat in the closet where my dad's sweaters still sit on the shelf.  This man, this man  I had  never met, would be sitting in his jammies watching the 58 inch TV my dad bought and never got a chance to enjoy.   This man, this man I had  never met,  had so quickly worked his way into my mother's heart.   I didn't know him,  he didn't know me.  WTF?

The same person who had set-up her mother  on Match.Com  was now fuming because she had gone and found love.  How fair was that?  But lines get blurred when your best friend is your mother,  and yet you will forever feel like her eight-year-old  child.   For so many reasons,  this announcement was threatening to me.   Was my mom  abandoning me, sacrificing our time together,  and forgetting the  memory of my father? And how did all this happen in five days?  Did five days instantly diminish the meaning and depth of forty years with my father?   For the next day,   I wallowed in my own little pity party,  waiting for my mother to return to Arizona and some form of  reason.

David will still be coming out to stay for the winter. But he won't be a complete stranger.  One of my Peace Treaty Rules is that Davy Jones( it's what I call him) come out to meet the family before he moves in;  it seemed like an acceptable demand.  He is coming out next week.  I'm opening my heart and head to this man but will be watching him like a hawk.  If he's quick to use my mom's money and heart,  I'll just as quickly substitute Bernice's Alpo next month.  If ya catch my drift...

  Time  home ( and the telephone )has brought my mother and me   the clarity and  rationality that seemed to be strangled in red wine, and warm blankets in Wisconsin.   My mom is still my shopping partner,  and she still holds a place in her heart for my father.    My mom talks to David every day,  and they sound very sweet and loving  on their phone calls. They are getting to know each other,  better. They are sharing histories, likes,  dislikes.  It is a reverse courtship of sorts,  and   I am overjoyed to be a witness to it.  I am ecstatic that my mother is happy.

Today,  I'm grateful for  time,  and my  inablitly to write in times of stress.  Things have  unfolded rather nicely around here.  I would have hated  to have to issue a retraction for something I wrote prematurely.   I do enough apologizing for my sailor's mouth. 

Please read Jen's blog,  and Liz's, too.  They are my blogger buddies,  and have lots they are thankful for, too. ->