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.