Posted in Music

25 Songs, 25 Days (Day 13) A song That Reminds Me of a Former Friend

She was my best friend from high school, who I met on our first day of Junior High School Health Class.  That was the year I made a working model of lungs that looked like a triple-D set of falsies when I blew in a straw.  We sat at black lab tables, two per work station.  I can remember the penis the teacher drew on the board, with the dotted line erection that made us all giggle.

After graduation, we were still friends.  I attended my first real concert with her.  The year was 1981.  The venue was the Met Center, St. Paul, Minnesota.  Styx put on a great show.

We stayed close pals for a few years after graduation.  We were in each others’ weddings.  But as children and careers distracted us, the friendship waned.  We catch up now and the at reunions.  The occasional email is sent.  Yet get us together, and within minutes we are the same girls who giggled at science projects and chalkboard genitals.

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25 Songs, 25 Days (Day 12) The Last Song You Heard

Well this challenge seemed pretty easy . . .

On arriving at work, the last song on the radio was still ringing in my head.  But it was a commercial jingle.

“Oh, oh, oh, O’Reilly . . . “

I wondered if advertising slogans count.  I decided to ponder that until my lunch break when I could start this post you’re now reading.

Driving home for my midday break, there was another song on the radio.  I no longer needed to decide whether a commercial fit the bill as the last song I heard.  I realized it was now an actual song.

‘Cause I’m a fool for the city
I’m a fool for the city
Fool for the city
I’m a fool for the city . . . “

The new plan was to quickly post the song while eating my lunch.

Except . . . my laptop froze up.  So did my phone.  I ate my lunch while watching my devices spinning their tires in the quagmire.  So much for the Foghat tune.

My mind was mush after working ten hours in a new-software-enhanced chaos.  I pushed the pop radio button on my presets.  Some song was playing for which I would remember the lyrics, Google it, then post it as my last listened-to song.  After walking in the front door, I quickly sorted the mail, put the dog outside and practiced some yoga.  And yes . . . the words I had committed to memory were lost forever.

There I sat in front of the keyboard, wondering how I can hear a song to post it as the last song I heard.  It is very possible I take these challenges too seriously.  In the eleventh hour, I turned on the radio in a do-or-die effort to post today’s challenge.

I’ve had enough for one day.  Goodnight, Dear Reader.

Peace . . .

Posted in Music

25 Songs, 25 Days (Day 11) A Song on the Soundtrack of Your Favorite Movie

Ah, yes.  My favorite movie.  Well, that’s . . . uh . . that would be . . . yeah . . I dunno.  For the most part, I don’t remember movies.  Not the actors, the plot, and certainly not the soundtrack.  Bubba remembers that stuff, and if I need to know for the purpose of joining a conversation, I send him a text and hope for a quick answer.

ME:  What was the movie we saw last wknd with the guy in the suit?
BUBBA:  Spider-man 2?
ME:  Oooohh yeah . . . THX!

Not only will he text me the name of the movie, but I will often get the key character actors, directors, and sometimes the soundtrack composer.  I like the way he makes me sound movie-saavy in social settings.

What I’m trying to say is that I may very well have a favorite movie, I just can’t remember what it is.  I’d ask Bubba but he would tell me Star Wars, which is his favorite(s).  Besides, he’s sleeping, and I appreciate my morning solitude.

I thought back to films that move me, because those are my favorites.  Christmas Eve 2013 I watched a movie called The Visitor while I painted the rec room.  In order to remember the title, I played a sort of charades with Google.

ME:  Movie Drums Squatter
GOOGLE:  The Visitor – Movie Review  The situation in Tom McCarthy’s second film The Visitor is ripe with drama: Walter Vale (Richard … Tarek and Zainab are not squatters. … A scene in which Walter joins Tarek in an African drum circle in Central Park is almost thrilling; it’s a …
ME:  Oooohh yeah . . .

It was a good choice, but decided there is a movie that has made a more recent impact on me than that.  There was one film we watched before the Academy Awards that made me cry . . . . So I pulled up Google again.

ME:  Movie Nun Adoption
GOOGLE:  Philomena (film) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia  Philomena is a 2013 drama film directed by Stephen Frears, based on the book The … The nuns are once again polite but unhelpful, and claim that the adoption  …
ME:  Oooohh yeah . . .  Gee, thanks, Google!

There was some controversy about the story line, because it does not paint a pretty picture of Catholicism.  Yet, Philomena’s reaction was so tender toward her church, I thought it very respectful and highly honorable of faith in general.

It was, for the most part a true story.  Wikipedia lists a couple reference quotes about the historicity, stating,

“The film took liberties with the real life events. Sister Hildegard McNulty, the principal antagonist in the film, is depicted as having met with journalist Sixsmith after he started working on the story. McNulty died in 1995, and Sixsmith started his investigation only in 2004. The final scene where a wheelchair-bound McNulty chastises Philomena for carnality is also dramatic license.

Sixsmith has said that Coogan’s portrayal of him shared his “intolerance of injustice in all walks of life,” and his admiration for a woman like Philomena who has the strength to rise above this, but he is less angry than his screen version and is an agnostic rather than an atheist.”

If this is the farthest the narrative strayed from the truth, the story is still powerful.  Having loved two men who were both adopted as babies, this movie left a lasting impression on me.  It is a monument to motherhood and the cultural freedoms we have acquired through the years.

Today is actually a perfect day to watch this film.  But dry your eyes before you call your mum to wish her a Happy Mother’s Day!

Peace and love to all the mothers today . . .

PS. Bubba and Twindaddy have something in common.  Check it out here.

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25 Songs, 25 Days (Day 10) A Song By My Favorite Band

This is the story of how Martha met Metal.

Martha Stewart and the cupcake bloggers
Martha Stewart and the cupcake bloggers (Photo credit: Rachel from Cupcakes Take the Cake)

Years ago, before four teenagers lived in my house all at one time, I worked at home as a mother and full-time volunteer at school, church and Girl Scouts.  It was as suburban a life as you can imagine.  Keeping the six of us alive, fed, clean and free of tears for as long as possible occupied my hours.  Organization was key.  There were coupons, menus, homework, and schedules.

In this past life I was somewhat of a crafter, musician, teacher, short-order cook, enthusiast of everything homemaking.  I was Martha, minus the fans, magazine, and insider trading.


Today Is Your Day
Today Is Your Day (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When my third child discovered Ozzy Osborne in the middle of a Shania Twain household, everything changed.  I accepted the invitation to his room where he turned up the volume and anticipated my reaction.  If I remember correctly, I cocked my head to one side and nodded.  It wasn’t long before  I was trying out some different presets on my car radio.


The van was full of car-pooled kids picked up from three different schools when one of my new favorite songs came on.

NEIGHBOR BOY:  What are you listening to, Ms. J.?
ME:  This is metal.
NEIGHBOR GIRL:  Do you like that music, Ms. J.?
ME:  Well, yeah, but it doesn’t sound nearly as good as when it’s loud.  (Turning up the volume)
NEIGHBOR KIDS:  Whoa!  Ms. J., turn it down!

It took me a few years to decide Disturbed was my favorite band.  Since then I have added enough preferences to blur the line between first, second and third place, but these guys were my first favorite.  That must account for something.


According to vocalist David Draiman, “The Animal” is inspired by the movie The Wolfman. It is about somebody who transforms into a werewolf under the light of the full moon.

Peace . . .





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25 Songs, 25 Days (Day 9) A Song That Makes You Feel Hopeful

I get knocked down every now and then, just like the rest of you.  Life’s a bitch, ain’t she?

When they ask me, “Are you okay?”  I respond, “How else you gonna be?”  Then I have a really good cry, dry off my face, slap on some makeup and get up again.  You’re never gonna keep me down.


Peace . . .

Join the fun at Stuphblog:
25 Days of Songs: I Challenge You! | Stuphblog


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25 Songs, 25 Days (Day 8) A Song That Reminds You of Your First Love

Roller Skates (or 11)
Roller Skates (Photo credit: smaedli)

Most of my friends performed their first experiments with romance at the roller skating rink.  The excitement of swinging your hips in time to the music past clusters of boys was electric.  We freshened our face with makeup we snuck out of the house.  It was our first social adventure with music, our own money, and the prospect of love.

I can no longer remember his name.  I can, however, remember thinking how cute he looked.  He had thick dark hair and brown eyes, more than a few inches taller than me.  He asked me to skate with him for a few songs, skillfully skating backwards to hold both of my hands.

The second week after we started skating the slow songs together, he gathered me in his nervous arms.  My dearest childhood friend, Kim, waited nearby awkwardly.  Eventually she walked away, stating later that she hadn’t wanted to be a “Moocher.”  To this day I don’t know what she meant, but it was instantly and permanently an inside joke between us.

Finally, he timidly asked if I would like to wear his ring.  He kissed me gently.  It was, in all honesty, my first real kiss.  I could hardly have said no to the ring.

Reality woke me from my fairy-tail when we hopped into my mom’s car, waiting in a long line of parents in the parking lot.  I’m not sure how she did it, but on the way home, she conveniently gave us a lecture on the hazards of taking up with boys at such a young age.  She trusted we were too smart to start up with any one boy yet.  Kim and I exchanged glances in the back seat as I tried to figure out how I would hide my betrothed hand forever.

My new boyfriend called the house every night or two.  Not only did I have nothing to say, I stretched the 15-foot phone cord a good twenty feet into the next room.  It was out of earshot of no one at all, and drew the attention of my anxious father.

“What is she saying that she can’t say in front of us?” he asked my mother.

As was usually the case, mom was right.  I was too young to be tying my heart to one fella.  I loved the idea of having a boyfriend, but hadn’t the foggiest idea what to do with one.  I dodged him at the roller rink.  I stopped answering the phone. And after some time, I stopped showing up to skate completely.

I secretly hope he is pining away for me somewhere; single and lonely.

I’m guessing it was back in ’74, which would make me 13 years of age at the time.  Yeah, yeah.  Do the math . . .  Anyway, this song always reminds me of the roller skating rink, with its multi-colored rotating lights, girls smoking in the bathroom, and whatshisname . . .

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25 Days, 25 Songs (Day 7) A Song That Reminds You of the Past Summer

DSCN1480The past summer . . . the past summer? . . . well . . . oh heck, I can’t remember what I had for dinner last Wednesday.  How am I suppose to remember anything about last summer?

I think the most memorable thing about last summer is that it was insignificant.  Thank goodness for blog archives.  I checked back to last summer and as it turns out, there was nothing particularly memorable about it.  I went to a few weddings.  We went to the dog park.  I gardened.

The years used to be marked by significant events; babies, first years of school, graduations.  Now they slip through my fingers like rain through a gutter.  Each much like the one before it.  As life slows down, the speed at which the years pass increases and each day blurs into the next.  It’s a reminder to make each day its own event.  A good deed, a kind word, a loving hug.  Maybe ice cream or a Hershey’s pie.

Ordinary Life
by Fingers Eleven

So what if I don’t know the next place where my mind supposed to go
No direction, no drive, on paper I am barely alive
No answer cause
No call
There’s nothing going on at all
I know when I sing this song
The words might not be too strong

The world might not sing along
But who knows maybe they might
If I get the melody just right
If I get it right

I am just singin’ my ordinary life
I just wish the world would sing with me sometimes
I am just singin’ my ordinary life
I just wish the world would sing with me sometimes

Who knows what I might find in the back woods of my mind
Not answering your call, just lost in thought that’s all
I know when I sing a song, the words might not be too strong

The world might not sing along
But who knows maybe they might
If I get the melody just right

I am just singin’ my ordinary life
I just wish the world would sing with me sometimes
Yeah I am just singin’ my ordinary life
I just wish the world would sing with me sometimes

Cause I am just singin’ my ordinary life
I just wish the world would sing with me sometimes
I am just singin’ my ordinary life
I just wish the world would sing with me sometimes



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25 Days, 25 Songs (Day 6) A Song That Reminds You of a Best Friend


For years I hid myself under the wings of people who chose what was best for me.  I sheltered myself there where, looking out from underneath, the wold looked scary.  I eventually atrophied and became weak.


One day, I got a job at a mall, and was quickly promoted.  As I became more proficient at my job, I learned a lot about myself.  I found out I was wise, sometimes witty, and even strong.  I learned that when I was happy, I had a great smile.



Equal Opportunity Employment
Equal Opportunity Employment (Photo credit: pasukaru76)

I also realized the world wasn’t so scary.  Not the people with purple hair, nor piercings, nor tattoos, nor any of the people I had been taught were frightening.  In fact, I found out I kind of liked the world.


But more than that, I found out that the world kind of liked me too!


My new friends came in all different colors and cultures and ages.  Some of them were smart, some made me laugh, and some had interesting talents.


I have moved on from that job, but I still hold many of those friendships.  Some have grown, and some have waned.  All were important to me in so many ways.


This is a song that found me at that time.  It reminds me that my best friend is the one with whom I can be myself, and likes me anyway.


Peace . . .

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25 Days, 25 Songs (Day 5) A Song That Is Often Stuck in Your Head

Infinite Loop
Infinite Loop (Photo credit:

What’s one of the worst questions someone can ask you?

“Guess what song is stuck in my head right now?”

You just know they’re going to say something like John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt.

You answer, “No.  NO!  DON”T tell me!  I don’t want to know.”

But you know they’re going to have to tell you.  And their earworm is going to breed babies in your ear.  Ew.

An earworm is a song that gets stuck in your head like an infinite loop.  Usually my earworms crawl in during the night.  I tend to wake up with one that will hang around until my brain becomes otherwise occupied.

There are a few known ways to eradicate an earworm.  Since I am hoping you are going to listen to the song at the bottom of this post, I thought it would be polite to offer you some options for ridding yourself of the pest.

  • Listen to or sing the song, start to finish several times.  As I understand it, one of the reasons these songs get stuck, is because of the typically catchy refrain, and because you don’t know the rest of the words.  Thus your brain just loops the melodic chorus, without experiencing the closure of having the song end.
  • Immerse yourself in a cognitive skill.  Solve a Sudoku.  Do homework.  Update your résumé.  Work on your blog.  The brain is a restless organ, preferring to loop senseless music as opposed to nothing at all.
  • Another method that I find extremely helpful and equally puzzling is to sing the tune quietly or silently in your head.  When you reach an insignificant note, hold that tone for as long as you can.  That is, until your brain finds something else it would rather do.
  • Some people find some sort of relief in finding a different earworm, but I have never seen the sense in that.  It’s like hitting your knee with a hammer to take your mind off a toothache.
  • Meditation works by occupying your brain while stilling and silencing it at the same time.  Yoga, as a kind of mediation, might work for you as it does for me.  It takes a lot of brain power to concentrate your breathing, balance, posture and stamina.  There is little room for singing  “Walk Like an Egyptian” at the same time.


This song is my most recent earworm culprit.  The problem is that the song is playing a lot on the rock stations right now. So by the time I have released the little bugger, as soon as I drive somewhere, it pops right back in!

So now this earworm is yours. Enjoy. Way down below . . . way down below . . way down below . . .
Peace  . . .

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25 Days, 25 Songs (Day 4) A Song That Calms You

Listening to this song, I can relate to the anxiety in her voice.  The run-on sentences, the fear, the desperation.  She doesn’t even seem to take a breath until the end of the second stanza when she reminds herself, “Breathe.  Just breathe . . . ”

When stress is high, sleep is hard to come by, and I’m “just as far in as I’ll ever be out,” I listen to this song.
And I breathe . . .


It looks like I’m not the only one . . .

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