high flying bird
Apr 28th, 2009 by wrekehavoc

in a word, oops.

somebody apparently forgot to tell people in manhattan and jersey city that the defense department was flying some big-ass birds for a photo op yesterday.  two f-16 fighters flew the low circuit around parts of new york and new jersey and scared the bejesus out of thousands, who feared a repeat of 9/11. the birds had flown in the grand canyon for a photo-op; now, some brilliant person wanted them filmed in the famous cavern of hell.

and no, i’m not making this up.

i can identify with these terrified people. see, i live in the flight path of national airport. i also live near both the pentagon AND, for the terrifying trifecta win, arlington national cemetary (our county motto: welcome to arlington: america’s graveyard!) we lived through our own local installment of terror on 9/11; and while we didn’t experience the  twin towers’ scope of damage, ye olde pentagon certainly had seen much better days.

(by the way, i write with only a microscopic scintilla of sadly-twinged gest: a friend’s wife was on the plane that hit the pentagon. so yes, it’s real. really, r e a l l y, real.)

and now, whenever some muckety-muck dies and wants to be buried among the gazillion, the proud, the dead military people, arlington cemetary presses the big guns into service.  over my neighborhood, we get fighter planes, we get scary planes — hell, one day, a B52 bomber shook my house’s foundations as it flew over to honor some very important soldier. (i wonder sometimes whether the raccoons in the nearby woods have some sort of post traumatic stress disorder because of it.) when we’re lucky, we get notice from the county that there will be some aircraft overhead that aren’t the usual jumbo jets winging to DCA.

and then, there are days like last thursday. i was out on a run (which should probably more accurately be termed as a run-walk, now that i’m the mom with the bionic knee… if only i could get the sound effects that go along with it!) when suddenly, there, in the sky… it’s a bird… it’s a plane… its THREE FIGHTER JETS IN FORMATION OVER MY STREET!

no one sent me the memo. my email, my cell phone, all devoid of info. shit! are we under attack??? well, nothing gets my ass zipping like the thought of the impending apocalypse. (if the four horsemen are going to be riding by, you bet my last moments won’t be spent jogging for my cardio enjoyment.) i flew, speedy-quick, into my house. i didn’t see anything on the computer monitor. so i did the next best thing:

i called BS.

(because, of course, my beloved spouse is the font of all information.)

honey, i cried, sweat pouring into the tiny holes of the cordless phone, i just saw… huff puff… three fighter jets over the neighborhood… puff huff… is there anything on the net about this? :breath breath breath breath: (because, of course, BS is always online; and when the revolution comes, it will be televised, but not after it’s been Facebooked, Tweeted, and probably even Flickr’d as well.)

i was still panting when i heard my beloved spouse’s annoyed tone. you know, if we’re under attack, they won’t be flying in formation.

uh. yeah. i knew that.

but apparently, what we had here was a failure to communicate. the DoD. forgetting to get the word out.

talk about your shock and awe.

guilty pleasure monday: all the way from memphis (mott the hoople)
Apr 27th, 2009 by wrekehavoc

hang onto your guitar. apparently, it can take a long time to get it back.

glam rockers mott the hoople, a UK band on the verge of breaking up in the early ’70s, ended up getting a song written for them by a fan. the fan: david bowie. the song? suffragette city.

they. turned. it. down.

the superfan gave them another song. (i give bowie a lot of credit — this sort of generosity simply never happens, much less twice.) this time, they took it, and all the young dudes became a huge hit for the band.  i love that song, but i must admit a serious soft spot for all the way from memphis.

the first time i heard this mott the hoople hit, i was about to watch the movie that inspired the TV show alice.  for reasons i still cannot explain, i watched that show fairly religiously. i suspect there  must have been a show on before it that i really liked and due to my own personal inertia, i would watch alice, too. (certainly not because i liked that lady who constantly asked all to kiss her grits.) i figured the movie would also be just as amusing (and perhaps with the same annoying laff track.) in fact, it wasn’t exactly what i had expected, and i don’t think i made it halfway before turning off the TV.

but what DID make an impression on me was the song over the opening credits. all the way from memphis made the experience worthwhile; i couldn’t get it out of my head.  i didn’t realize for a long time that the song was about a touring rock star whose guitar ended up in a completely different town than the town the guitarist was next playing. i just thought the pounding piano sounded amazing, and the hook was terribly catchy. it took me years, though, to figure out who the hell was singing it. (i was only about 11 or so when i first heard it.)

guitarist mick ronson (who also ended up touring with bowie) sadly passed away very young from liver cancer; but frontman ian hunter still performs. the remaining band members are playing some sporadic concerts this year, even.

and i suspect no one will be  mislaying any instruments.

guilty pleasure monday: rejoyce (jefferson airplane)
Apr 20th, 2009 by wrekehavoc

you don’t need to be an english major to love this song. but it sure helps.

i suppose it could also be said that you don’t have to be on acid to appreciate this gem. but i suspect it helps as well. (of course, i wouldn’t know about that sort of thing.)

this little gem, rejoyce, is grace slick at her most experimental and trippy, straight off of the epic after bathing at baxter’s. i often wonder whether fans freaked out or rejoiced when they caught a whiff of this beauteous work, as the  airplane definitely moved away from their commercial hits like somebody to love on this LP. in fact, this is the sort of overblown psychedelic music that gets pooh poohed in certain circles and doesn’t usually withstand the test of time.  (i mean, seriously –titles like  schizoforest love suite?)

but even though i have been known to poke fun at some works by artists who started to take themselves waaaay too seriously, i adore this song. quietly and stealthily, of course. after all, its the sort of piece that is an acquired taste.

in short, sid vicious would not have approved.

so you are welcome to listen to it. and laugh at me.

and wonder whether i require medication because i love this piece so.

rocky raccoon
Apr 16th, 2009 by wrekehavoc

today, on stupid animal tricks…

seriously. i’m beginning to feel like the bill murray character in caddyshack.  i mean, yes, i know there are bigger issues to tackle: the economy, world peace, and why phil spector’s hair is so, so…er…lustrous and distracting.

but this is so all-consuming.

we live right by a park that is filled with wonderful fox, possums, raccoons, deer, and other furry friends. i love my furry friends as much as the next grrl, but i don’t love them in my giant county trash can. there’s a possum in particular who i have actually seen waddling away smugly after lunching in my bin. yesterday was the last straw. we had just discarded the zillion tons of halloween candy my kids had collected. (the standing rule in my house: when easter comes, the halloween candy goes and is replaced by… you guessed it: easter candy.) trash was due to be picked up on wednesday. and the night prior, my furry friends came by (their muddy paw prints are all over the plastic can), opened up the bin, and apparently had a sugarfest so wild, i bet they ended up in little diabetic comas. (for those interested, the animals apparently like reeses’ peanut butter cups and little chocolate bars over warheads.)

besides the obvious point that i don’t like the thought of wild animals eating things that could make them ill, i simply want to get these guys out of my trash bin. (usually, they just feast inside the bin; but tuesday night, they literally left a congo-line trail of candy wrappers in the street, down the driveway, and probably in my neighbor’s yard.)

i have tried attaching bungee cords around the bin. they get in. i have put a seriously heavy concrete block on top of the bin; they topple it. i don’t know what the heck these critters do in their spare time (pump iron?) but they are s t r o n g. i don’t in truth have the ability to store the trash in my garage;  and i would prefer not to keep the trash inside the house.

i’m channelling the spirit of bill murray’s character these days:

my enemy is a varmint. and a varmint will never quit.

i'm so tired
Apr 14th, 2009 by wrekehavoc

so i’ve just returned from something called a sleep study. i haven’t been sleeping well for awhile — and not just because there are little people who occasionally wake me up at night over a nightmare or feeling barfy. i don’t quite breathe right, and every morning, i don’t exactly wake up fresh as a daisy, so to speak. my pulmonologist decided i might have sleep apnea and sent me to get a sleep study. in theory, this might be the easiest test you ever take. in reality, perhaps not so much.

our sleep center happens to be located in our local hospital — yes, the same one where i not only had two babies but also spent two weeks searching for my dear departed platelets. jools was soothed enough when i told him that they would send me home by 6 am (the same time he wakes up), but BC was completely wigged out. seems that the girl remembers my history of going to the hospital to check something out and then getting locked up there for awhile. in short, she was afraid.

it’s very difficult to be ill as a parent. it’s hard enough to be ill, of course; but when you’re a parent, there are other people who are younger and more sensitive to think about. it destroys me to know that my daughter will forever be freaked out whenever i go to a hospital, even for the most benign reasons (such as a sleep study.) we had sturm; we had drang; we had a lot of tears.  but the time came, and i had to leave my girl, sobbing in her daddy’s arms.

to be honest, i wasn’t exactly enjoying the idea of spending a night in the hospital. i had to check in through the Emergency Room registration, as regular registration is closed at 8:45 pm.   i dread ERs simply because i do not want to catch whatever the hell is in there. luckily, then, they speedily send you to sit in the main lobby and wait for the sleep team. as i am friend to the friendless, i ended up talking with a hospital employee who was sitting and waiting for someone. we talked about how his night-shift work was destroying his life and himself. (yeah, i have that affect on people. i have missed my calling as a talk show host.)

eventually, the sleep team came and escorted me and two men up to our expensive hotel rooms our rooms, which had bathrooms with showers. oddly enough, no complimentary soap. i filled out some forms, had electrodes placed all over me, and learned about the cpap machine (in case they needed to use one on me in the night, they didn’t want me to be freaked out by someone putting as mask over my face while i was in a dream state.) who knew that there is a mask simply for women? (i was told that as women age, our heads get bigger but our noses shrink. that’s one for the books.)

and then, nighty-night time. on the bright side, the hospital now has regular TV remotes instead of the huge thingies that don’t let you do anything but move a channel forward. however, i was so tired, i just turned it off after 5 minutes of la grande illusion and tried to sleep.

try would be the operative word. i tossed. i turned. i couldn’t get comfy all wired up. oh, and i was afraid i would have to wake up and hit the loo, which would mean that the lady who helped me would have to actually come in, unwrap me from my cords, and take me to the bathroom. no thanks. i think i slept a tiny bit, but most of my night i recall being awake.

so i’m not entirely sure what they’ll study.

guilty pleasure monday: goin' down (the monkees)
Apr 13th, 2009 by wrekehavoc

worth watching, if only to see the multicolored pants on mickey.

Floatin down the river
With a saturated liver
And I wish I could forgive her
But I do believe she meant it
When she told me to forget it
And I bet she will regret it
When they find me in the morning wet and drowned
And the word gets round
Goin down
Goin down

please don’t tell me i am the only one out there who thrilled to see the monkees on TV when i was little. america’s prefab answer to the beatles, the monkees were put together to do what they were told, which pretty much meant acting zany and singing some amazing songs created by people like neil diamond (when he was remotely cool) and boyce and hart.  they had hits, they had fun, and then, they wanted to do what most other groups could do: sing and play and write their own stuff.

(cue ominous music here.)

don kirshner, who pretty much controlled them, would not have it. and after some warring, eventually, they were set free, to be bizarre (anyone out there ever see the movie head?) and then, ultimately to languish. they released stuff over the years and were brilliant (mike nesmith is famous for having come up with the idea for something known as music television.) that music television idea became huge (without nesmith, i believe) and ultimately, started airing old monkees’ episodes. they toured again, had a mild hit, and then sort of went on with their lives.

i was a very, very little girl when this stuff first aired — and yes, i watched it when it was airing when i was 3 or so. i think they were my first taste of psychedelia, with crazy, swirling colors and interesting references. goin down was the B side to monster hit daydream believer, and i just simply loved mickey’s scatting. sure, davy jones was definitely the cutest, but when i was 3, cutest didn’t mean a lot to me. what meant something to me? great music. even then. and mickey was the very best frontman, with an expressive voice and magnetic presence that even i, a preschooler, understood.

but i think i loved the show and the monkees most of all because i was always secretly hoping that the beatles would show up. while the monkees and the beatles have met over the years (and even worked together: peter shows up on george’s wonderwall), they never all ended up on the monkees show. i don’t know what i was waiting for, but i waited and waited and waited. to no avail.

oh, sad little me.

anyway, years later, i wonder whether there is a place in the rock and roll hall of fame for them. they brought rock to TV in a fresh way, and that alone is worth admission in my book. who cares whether they played their own instruments? i don’t. i think at least there should be some sort of special award, as the monkees broke ground by introducing rock — real rock, mid 60s style —  to the masses who never strayed from AM radio. right smack into their living rooms.

and from that point on, it was clear that the monkees were goin’ down a path less taken.

guilty pleasure monday: play guitar (john cougar mellencamp)
Apr 6th, 2009 by wrekehavoc

forget all about that macho shit and learn how to play guitar.

sometimes, a cigar is just a cigar, and you really want it that way. you get a little weary of having some millionaire preach to you from his or her pulpit of righteousness. (yeah — i’m talking about you, mr. springsteen. i love you, i’ll always love you, and you’re bringing me down as of late with your canned patter and your albums that aren’t really exploring much new territory.) and then, sometimes, you get a guy like john cougar melonhead who simply talks plain and talks true.

hell yeah, i am trying to convince jools that he needs to learn how to play something.  sure, learning to read music apparently helps kids mathematically and logically. as a mom, i guess i’m supposed to carry that banner for the little man. sharpen his brain, that sort of thing. and to be truthful, this little dude is truly musical. you should see him play air guitar. hell, you should see him keep time when he drums. he sings in tune, he dances like fire, and in short, he definitely inherited plenty of my artsy-fartsy genes.

but damn, i’m looking toward his future. there are a gazillion women out there who will fall in love with his huge, puddle brown eyes. but a gazillion more will truly go head-over-heels when he plays over the hills and far away just for them, just as i play (air guitar-wise) on his little back as he falls asleep to the baby zeppelin version.

play guitar, dude. just like mr. melonball does. mr. melancholy has always been able to crank out a tune that goes straight to the point, do not pass go, do not collect dust or allegory. and while there are days when i like layers in my lyrics, when i want to cut to the chase, our little pink-housed pal from indiana is the go-to guy.

learn to play guitar, jools. you’ll thank me one day.


fool in the rain
Apr 1st, 2009 by wrekehavoc

not an april fools joke. my mom went to the hospital this morning with chest pains. i’m sure she’ll be okay, but she has to have a heart catheterization to make sure. i may be scarce from here for awhile.

sorry i’m not funny today.

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