Monday, May 31, 2004

No Resting in Peace!

I have a confession to make. I love reading the obituaries! Even here in Florida where I really don't know anyone who has died. It is not the most obvious pastime for someone my age. My parents read the obits all the time in Buffalo, but that's because they recognize many of the adults who pass on these days, and sometimes even one of their contemporaries is in there. So my interest really lies just in the fascinating details of people's lives. I like reading about where people are from, what they did in their lives, little details that are included like an obscure hobby or two. There was someone in today's obits, a woman, who played with the Chicago Symphony under Leonard Bernstein. Cool! I also like to look at the names. I'm always on the lookout for a name that will capture my fancy that I can maybe work into a story someday. Today there was an "Essie." Never heard that name before, but it sure sounds grandmotherly. It's also neat that they mention which churches people belonged to. I like to think that many of the old-timers currently passing on had a solid connection to whichever church they were a member of. I think when my generation goes that connection will be more tenuous for a lot of people. I noticed the other day that two people with famous Watergate connections died at virtually the same time. One was Archibald Cox, the prosecutor. The other was some other lawyer whose name I didn't recognize. I suppose even having an awareness of Watergate dates me more than the name of a specific song on the radio. Although I paid no attention to Watergate at the time it happened. It was just a bunch of talking heads. So don't think that you'll be escaping my attention if you try to sneak out of this life in the obituary section. I may be watching!

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Same Old Song

There are some songs that just go on way too long. There is a reason radio has a convention of the three to four minute pop song. It's so they don't drive the audience crazy. If a station is still playing the same song AFTER I've been to another station, heard a whole song, and returned, then I want to hammer the radio into little bits with my tire iron. But I just grit my teeth and change the station. It's possible some songs are too long because I hate them. (Example: Pink Floyd's "Money," or "Roundabout" by Yes. Or that endless version of "I Heard it Through the Grapevine" by Creedence.) Others are too long because I don't like them well enough for them to be going on and on and on and on. (Example: "Money for Nothing" by Dire Straits with Sting) Even though I like the Beatles, I even get sick of "Hey, Jude." Nah Nah Nah Nah, Nah Nah. I know back in radio's golden years deejays counted on having some long songs so they could time their bathroom breaks accordingly. I'm sure hearing "Freebird" still causes bowel stirrings among certain radio veterans. Or Meatloaf's "Paradise by the Dashboard Lights." I have this theory. Your favorite songs are the ones you heard when you were 14-15 years old, along with a couple that allowed you to survive college with your sanity intact. Go ahead, ask Steffi Graf. (the tennis player) She loves Prince. Ask anyone. I have another theory. Your brain holds a specific number of pop tunes, and then it shuts off. Won't accept any more. Not a single one. Well maybe some weird ditty like Achey Breaky Heart because you can't avoid it, but you still won't like it. That's why people can only enjoy the music of their youth, and anything after that just sounds like instruments doing calisthenics. So grandparents go for Glenn Miller and Stan Kenton. Parents go for Elvis or Dean Martin. I go for...what, you think I'm going to date myself here? The musical portion of my brain shut down sometime in the 1980s, but I will not tell you from what year my favorite songs come. I'm always amazed when my parents tell me they paid no attention to the Beatles. Completely ignored them. See, their brains had shut down in the early 60s, so they couldn't process the Beatles. In fact they ignored the sixties altogether. Barely noticed the cultural earthquake. That's what having kids will do to you. This is something I don't understand about May/December relationships. What do they listen to? If there is more than ten years' age difference, I can't see two people enjoying the same music unless they are, say, Jazz aficionados. Hubby likes country music (which all sounds the same to me unless it's Patsy Cline). I'll listen to rock, mostly. But when we're in the car together we can both agree on Broadway. Broadway is an acquired taste, but one worth acquiring, in my opinion. Plus it gives you so many more cultural reference points. So don't ask me about rap or hip hop. It isn't music. It's just people trying to annoy me.

Monday, May 10, 2004

I'll Have Seconds

There is a new controversy out there, apparently. It is the concept of "Managing Your Anorexia." That is, learning to make it part of your happy and productive lifestyle. To me that sounds suspiciously akin to "Managing Your Head-On Collision," or "Drowning With Dignity," or "Bathing With Small Plug-In Appliances." I guess I regard it as one of those psychological disorders that you need to be cured of, not live your life around. I suppose I should visit the websites, but you know me, I'd rather speculate. Perhaps There is advice on where to shop for Size 0. How to pretend you're eating at the family Thanksgiving dinner. Excuses to make when people tell you you're too thin. ("I spent my food budget on really expensive swimsuits!") With an obsessive type disorder like anorexia I can't imagine it would be useful to tell sufferers it's okay to be that way. They're already unhappy with how they look. Now they'll be unhappy and adamant. They may even demand the right to marry other anorexics. Tonight Hubby cooked the boys an anorexia-friendly snack. It was "Bagel Bites" that somehow came out of the toaster oven looking like cremated mulch patties. The odd thing is that so many of us in America can't fit into our clothes that anorexics look like they're from a different species. Or perhaps from Sweden. People at an ideal weight, or "normal" in this country tend to look really thin. Hey I can't fit into my pre-baby clothes yet, either, but I'm not about to adopt the Anorexia Lifestyle to fix that problem. Cellulite is not a dirty word. It's just a word with a lot of L's!