Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Music Never Dies

I was confused this afternoon when I started to see posts on facebook bidding REM farewell. I had a moment when I thought, "What did they all die in a plane crash?" but we all know I've got death on the brain. After a little research, I discovered the band called it quits today after 31 years together. Is that even possible?

So, I had this really sad moment, just like everyone else and then I thought, does it really even matter? I mean, they gave us 31 years. They timestamped my youth. They accompanied me on back roads and kept me safe when I drove too fast. They gave me a soundtrack to build my adolescence upon. They sang on the stage while my friend Jed bought my younger sister so much beer that she passed out.

Here are a few of my favorites for a variety of reasons:

My all time favorite - I can pair this song with exact moments in my life. Smells, weather and cigarettes (among other things). Foo Foo say "If you go a million miles away I'll track you down."

Even though most of you know I plain ol' don't like birds, I love this song. It reminds me of that point in my life when I was convinced that music could change the world. Even if it was just by repeating "Standing on the shoulders of giants.... leaves me cold." over and over.

Laying on my bedroom floor with this one blaring. Singing. That's what I remember.

I could just post all of the videos from Life's Rich Pageant.

It's the End of the World As We Know It was a bit of an anthem of our time. Like it or not. It just was. It was the period on that period of our lives. Then we moved out and moved on. But we took the music with us.

You always take the music.

Monday, September 12, 2011

More things to be thankful for....

I highly recommend this exercise in random gratitude. It puts things in perspective when it would be so easy/has been so easy to get caught up in the negative. Among my moments of real sadness, I have had these overwhelming moments of sheer gratefulness that, at times, have hit me out of left field. Maybe it's my mother "knocking me into next week" like she always threatened. Or maybe it's memories of an Oprah episode long, long ago that encouraged the use of a gratitude journal to put your life into perspective. Whatever it is - I like to think about all of the things, however ridiculous, in my life that I have to be thankful for, especially when I'd just prefer to hide under a rock.

1. Silence - I spent most of the day today in silence. I took the day off, slept in, read on my very quiet porch, got a massage, walked in the park and sat here writing this. It has done me a world of good on a day I desperately needed it.

2. Massage Therapists - because somebody has got to want to be paid to rub down stranger's bodies for money.

3. Laughter - there is nothing more wonderful than the kind of laugh that comes from the gut. Kids (especially Max) are lucky enough to do this way more often than we do when we get older. But when we do really laugh, it's one of the most cathartic things we can do.

4. Pepperoni - Let's face it. It's just good.

5. Holding a book in my hands - I inherited my love of reading from my mother. It dawned on me the other day when I stood in line at Borders holding 12 books that the simple act of buying a book brings me as close to my mother as I can get.

6. 48 Hours Mystery - I'm not sure if it's politically correct to put this on a gratitude list but I certainly enjoy watching it.

7. The Moon - especially tonight. It's quite beautiful.

8. Finding the perfect quote - everyone knows I love a good quote. I am moved by words. Words change, inspire and put a period on a moment in time.

9. Dehumidifiers - because without one, my basement would be nastier than it already is.

10. Having traveled to Ireland with my mother many years ago - seeing my mother see the one thing in the world she never thought she would see (because she refused to fly until her late 50's) was, while incredibly stressful (I was the driver), worth every moment.

I'll admit - this was harder than I thought today but I'm impressed that I was able to squeak 10 out. So you should be too.