But one post has vanished. I'm sure I 'published' it but it's nowhere to be found. I must tell you - it was brilliant. In fact, it was probably the best blog post I've ever written. It may have been the best blog post that anyone has ever written since the dawn of time... well, the dawn of blogs. Grown men would have wept after reading it, monuments would have been erected, and the course of human history would have been changed forever.
Ah well, so it goes. Whatever. :)
I merely stated how fun it was to have spent the birth day exactly how I wanted to spend it - a morning walk, volunteering at God's Love We Deliver, having a chinwag with my Mama, writing, and, finally, seeing a show with loved ones. There are a few days throughout the year that I have particular ideas about how I want to spend it - my 'dad's day' (which you can read about here), Christmas, New Year's, and, of course, my birthday. I think four days a year isn't really a lot to ask.
In any event, I ended the musical selection survey by posting multiple versions of one of my favorite songs - La Vie En Rose. I discovered this song just a few years ago and the fun is that each of the versions I'm posting has a meaning for me - especially the Grace Jones version which became my go to song during 2014 while I traveled for work and had the amazing opportunity to see and celebrate with friends I had been out of touch with for many years.
So, enjoy - instead of a wind down from a busy day, they are now the soundtrack kicking off the new year: my "Life seen through happy lenses" or, as a literal translation, my "Life in Pink".
(Seriously, I could not choose just one so I'm posting four! Enjoy!)
Tags: 54, 55, 56, 57, birthday, birthday traditions, birthday wishes, blog posts, blogs, Edith Piaf, Gods Love We Deliver, Grace Jones, How I Met Your Mother, La Vie En Rose, Louis Armstrong, MEMO, rev andrew
The year was 2005 and as it did in 2000, my life kind of fell apart piece by piece. I'm not going to go into the particulars but it just blew all the way around.
And, one of the ways in which I found my groove again, was by being introduced to this song. I cannot for the life of me remember who is was, exactly, that turned me on to it. I have a dim memory but can't be sure.
In any event, since those sad days, I have found this song to lift me up and out of my doldrums and give me the moment to express the LKJ;KJPOASIDFAISU that we all feel at times in this crazy world. Your baby daddy has skipped down with your sister and taken all your weed? OK - DANCE BREAK.
I occasionally have a Morning, or Afternoon, or an Evening Dance Break whereever I am. You may have noticed that I sometimes post that and this is where it comes from.
True story: a few years ago when I was working at the bank, I entered the elevator to go down to the lobby. The doors opened and I discovered a woman moving about - she looked at me startled. I didn't know her and wasn't sure if I should say something but I felt compelled and so I uttered "were you having an afternoon dance break in the elevator?" She looked at me embarrassed and I said, "can I join you?". And so from the 43rd floor to the lobby we had a shortish dance break. After a certain floor, it went express so we could jam out to imagined music without worry of additional discovery.
So there you have it. But if someone does discover you, all you have to say is "I just want to fucking dance". Trust me. More people will understand (and join you) than you think will. :)
True confession time - I'm with Emma Goldman, if I can't dance at your revolution, I don't want any part of it. And if my friends are still limber enough to dance when I leave this mortal coil, I expect to look down (well, hopefully not 'up'!) and see y'all dancing your asses off. Sure, I expect there to be wailing and gnashing of teeth, but mostly, I want it to be a party. The kind of party you know that I would have thrown. Naturally, I have been working on my own funeral for some time and you will be easily able to find them on my computer. Please follow the run of show, thank you. Please hire someone to put this together because I do not want to look down or up and see that it's disorganized and run poorly. I will be very upset. I may even have to crawl out of my grave and get the thing back on track. You cannot put my name on something that isn't awesome. OK? :)
ANYWAY there MUST be dancing. I've spent the better part of my adulthood blowing off steam by dancing half the night away and so my funeral must follow suit. In fact, writing this makes me realize that it's been a very long time since I've been out marking my territory on the dance floor, usually under the disco ball, because, really, where else would you expect me to be? I have even toyed with the idea of hanging a disco ball in my apartment but maybe that's a step too far (of course it's not a step too far but I feel obliged to state that I think it is because that shows that I'm sort of a responsible adult).
In all seriousness - this world is crazy and, for me, finding euphoria in music and moving and shaking the night away is one of the best coping mechanisms. I find it sad that people over a certain age stop going out. I've kind of lost that but in this 54th year, I hope to reinstate that part of my life.
Below is one of my more recent favorites from the clubs - I could easily post a couple dozen more that I go gaga for. Enjoy. And for cryin out loud - get up and DANCE whenever you have the chance!
Growing up in Wisconsin, my family lived in a four bedroom home. As my brother and I never got along, I spent my junior high years sleeping in whatever bed in the house wasn't occupied. My sister was at college for part of this time and my parents, each of whom had their own room but slept together, would sleep in one room for a few months and then the other one, so there was never really a lack of an alternative place for me to lay my head down. But, I did have to toggle from one room to the next for months at a stretch. It probably taught me adaptability, but I sure was happy when the brother moved out of what used to be our bedroom. They did a remodel in my freshman year and from sophomore year onwards, it was mine, all mine.
It was a kind of golden age. I was stable. I had a cast off stereo that I could play my movie soundtracks on. I had a cast off black and white TV I could watch shows on. And, I had a drafting table that my dad gave me for Christmas. It was kind of like my own little studio apartment. Actually, I think it might have been bigger than the studio apartment I first lived in in New York in the mid 90s. :)
The drafting table gave me no end of pleasure. I'd fire up the stereo with Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Superman, 1941 (I think I'm the only one who loved that movie), and Close Encounters. I would spend entire weekends drawing comics full of characters that I made up. No one really saw them and no one was meant to. They were there for me to practice. The music inspired me to draw and write heroic deeds, cliffhangers, and narrow escapes. I know that I have had happy times in my life, but that era was among my favorites.
Even through my father's illness, I drew and played on. Basically it was my own way of finding something to do and trying to keep life going as normal as it could be. My mother only made one request - that I keep the music from 1941 turned down as it made my father sad reminding him of his days in the War.
My music tastes have expanded quite a bit since those days. My playlist includes a lot more than pop culture, but it is those soundtracks that form my inspiration. Some day, you might see Angie dashing from a big boulder while wearing a cape and getting into her spaceship at the top of a ferris wheel sitting on a pier. If that happens, you'll know exactly that came from. :)
My 12 year old self who longed to visit the city he saw on "Saturday Night Live" and who tried to convince his parents to let him get on a bus and travel to NYC for a comic book convention.
My 19 year old self who was momentarily unhappy with his choice of college and longed to go to the School of Visual Arts (but was talked out of it by a well meaning roommate).
My 22 year old self who visited for the first time on his way to studying in London but found the city too formidable and who was sad thinking he'd never be here.
My 27 year old self who visited for a relative's wedding and who fell in love with the city for the first and only time. My love affair with New York City is one of my longest relationships.
My 34 year old self who, after living here for four years, found love and opportunity out in California and left wondering if he'd ever make it back.
My 39 year old self who, returning to New York to re-start his life and had trouble getting settled.
All of those 'mes' would be thrilled.
This song has been a bit of an anthem for me over the past few years (as it is for many many others, of course).
In the year 2000, my world collapsed in a number of ways and I spent the year picking up the pieces of a life that was in tatters. I worked a job programming content at the Playboy Channel (yeah, you know, let's just skip over THAT lol) and as I drove over Laurel Canyon from my apartment in West Hollywood to the Valley, I listened to this piece, commissioned by Disney for a year long celebration at Walt Disney World. Every day I started over. Every day I celebrated. Every day I put the pieces of my life back together - financially, spiritually, and in many other ways as well. This music helped me find that joy. Actually the whole album is pretty magnificent and if you can find it, I heartily recommend seeking it out on You Tube and giving it a listen. I suppose for some people, this is too treacly and processed, but it gave me hope and still lifts me up and gives me strength. Enjoy!