Friday, February 12, 2016

Songs to Put You in the Mood

Some of my friends and I are writing today about the songs that put us in the mood for Valentine's Day. My Valentines "mood" has generally been... dark. But as you know, my story has a happy ending so... Enjoy my trail of tears!

In junior high we had an annual flower fundraiser for Valentine's Day. Students could spend a dollar to have a carnation (white for friendship, red for love) delivered to other students during third period. I always held out hope for a red carnation delivery to my desk. I finally received one in eighth grade from a "secret admirer." I'm pretty sure it was from my pal Bob Rothstein... or my mom. It remains a carnation mystery. Billy Joel's "Just the Way You Are" was very popular that year (1978).  It seemed that you could be loved just the way you were, as long as you just were one of the super-popular girls. Break out the sad, sad saxophone.

1991 brought the married guy friend who gave me six red roses for Valentine's Day. I told one of my girlfriends about this and she replied, "Where are the other six? With his wife?" The song of that moment was the newly released U2's "Love is Blindness." Ah, the forlorn 90s.

Valentine's Day the next year, I found a love letter penned by the guy I was seeing. It was addressed to Aimee. Cue the sad 90s song, that he and I listened to over and over, "Only Shallow" from the great Irish band, My Bloody Valentine's Loveless album. The irony of "our song" is not lost on me.

The Valentine's Day after my first divorce, my ex-husband left 100 red roses on my doorstep. It made me cry. My friend Jennifer came over and drove me to a local nursing home where I donated the flowers to the folks who lived there. More tears. Sarah McLaughlin's "Adia" was the song of the time. There's a reason they use her music for those sad dog commercials. Sniff, sniff.

On Valentine's Day 2007, nine-month-old Baby Bob and I arrived in Berlin. We were joining up with Mr. Rosenberg and his band who was on tour. With our crazy travel schedule, the baby and I had been up for almost 48 hours. I was weepy and delirious from lack of sleep. When I got to the apartment where we were staying, I collapsed in tears and fell asleep for 18 hours. I slept through Valentine's Day, but I did get to spend it with the two loves of my life. The song for that time is from Mr. Rosenberg's band, Lavender Diamond. It's called "When You Wake for Certain." It's still one of my favorites.

Please check out some other fine song choices for your Valentine's mood from these lovely writers:

Mrs. TDJ
Laurie White

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Page-Anaya Time Machine

I am just seeing this photograph for the first time and I'm in love with it. The photo is of my paternal grandparents, Nelson and Sophie. We think it was around 1924, when they were first married. My grandmother was 17. We're guessing the child was a cousin. It was taken in their hometown, Pueta de Luna, New Mexico. They spoke only Spanish until they moved to Texas in the 1940s. These two went on to have 8 children and 27 grandchildren. (28? I always lose count of my cousins.) I can't count the great-grandchildren. Beautiful kids they were themselves.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Wednesday: A View From the Back

The station wagon is currently home to:
1 dog bed
2 still-to-be-wrapped housewarming gifts
1 batting helmet & mitt
2 baseball bats
1 cowbell
2 handbells
1 large African drum
1 shower curtain pole
4 CDs: Best of Maria Callas La Divina, Fiona Apple Extraordinary Machine, Best of Earth Wind & Fire, Greatest Hits of Edith Piaf (CD player has not worked since 2013)
1 blue coat (It's 90° degrees out today)
0 reusable grocery bags for my trip to Trader Joe's 
... And spiders. Spiders live in my car. 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

From Me, to You

You guys are terrific. Have I told you that lately? Because you are and you should know it. I mean really know it in your core soul parts. Some of you, I know in person (Hi Mom!). Some of you, I know on the internet. Some of you, I only know as a number or an email address or a dot on the world map on my analytics page. Doesn't matter. I know you're great. Would I still write here if no one was reading? Yes I would. Is it more fun to write here knowing you are hanging out and reading for a few minutes? Absolutely. I appreciate you. I hope you're having a wonderful day. If you're not, I hope you'll take this opportunity to start your day over right now and make it a day that you'll like. If you were here, I would make you a cup of coffee and give you a big hug. (I excel at these things.) If I could reach through the computer I would grab your hand and give it a squeeze. I like you a lot.
Have an excellent day.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Happy Lunar New Year

Photo: Reuters

It's the Lunar New Year so I'm thinking about not resolutions exactly, but what I'd like less of in my life and what I'd like to replace those things with. 

Less sitting still. More galavanting. 
Less The List. More let's see what happens.
Less time looking at words on a screen. More time looking at words on a page.
Less of the Girl Scout Cookies. (It happens.) More from the salad bowl.
Less going the same way. More new streets.
Less coffee. Just kidding. 
Less negative. More dream it - do it.
Less perfectionism. More good enough-ishness.
Less computer keyboard. More piano keyboard.
Less slouching. More dancing.
Less keeping. More giving away.
Less honking. More merge-in-front-of-me-ness.
Less pinched. More kindness.
Less complain. More pray.
Less talk-radio. More loud Bowie playlist shuffle.
Less seek to be understood. More seek to understand.
Less stuff in the garage. More stuff to donation.
Less complicated. More simple. 
Less thinking about writing. More writing. 
Less no eye-contact. More good morning.