Music has played a major part in my life.
No surprise for those of you that know me.
It introduced me to the love of my life, gained me acceptance in High School, been there for me
when I was down and when I was up, brought me closer to God and has never let me down.
I associate many songs with different times in my life; Crazy Love by Poco for my DownEast years,
I Go Crazy by Paul Davis during my insane solo piano ‘Pamela’ years, King of Wishful Thinking, for my years with ‘Cat’s’ and ‘Won’t you come in‘ from my Martin-Murphy ‘original’ band days.
I could go on and explain every single band and song but some of you have to work tomorrow.
You know who you are. [grin]
The song in the video above somehow became a favorite of mine and whenever I would hear it on my
Ipod I would text my daughter Sarah to make sure she was okay.
It was a Dad thing but it somehow became ‘our’ song.
I love the words, the music and the sentiment behind it.
It’s a comfortable song for me and Sas.
It has meaning and is filled with love and light although it does reference the colour grey.
If only I could get Bruce Hornsby to the wedding to play it.
In a perfect world, right?
Daddy’s Little Girl is sweet but it doesn’t hold a candle to this amazing song.
Sarah, my beautiful daughter, this is oursong and we will dance.
Even though I’ll look goofy as hell.
I’m a musician.
We can’t dance!
“No matter what else happens What the future will be In a world so uncertain Through the clouds it’s hard to see I will grab you and carry you Calm your fears if you’re afraid We’ll go walking Across the fields of gray.”
With all that’s been going on as of late I’m having some trouble figuring out exactly what to write about.
It’s 3 days before Christmas and I’ve obviously been sidetracked from all things merry.
Sometimes it really sucks to be an adult at this time of year as we’re saddled with so much emotional baggage.
With the End of the World (that was supposedly today), a tanking economy,
the movie theater incident in Aurora, Colorado, nukes and threats of biological warfare
to the ultimate tragedy in Newtown, Ct.,
I’m almost out of words, thoughts and reasonable explanations.
At this time of the year why go there anyway?
Memories are much needed solace sometimes.
I’m thinking back to Christmas of 1986 when Pamela was pregnant with Sarah.
Her due date was December 30th but she was having labor pains on Christmas Eve.
I remember writing down the minutes between contractions thinking that if I missed one there would be hell to pay.
That Christmas was frighteningly frigid.
With two cats in the house and a wood fire burning we were warm, content but somewhat uncomfortable not knowing when the water would break and the baby would fall.
You can never be settled or comfortable when your wife looks at you with an expression that says, “Son of a bitch! Merry Christmas! Son of a bitch!”
Christmas Eve went by without a hitch.
I remember Pamela wearing a vibrant red dress that day as we drove to my parent’s house in Oxford for Christmas Dinner.
In my humble opinion, she looked absolutely incredible.
Truth, albeit somewhat uncomfortable.
I loved seeing her with a belly bigger than Santa.
We arrived and began Christmasing with my Mom and Dad, sister and brother-in-law, cousins, grandparents, family and friends.
We weren’t there for more than two hours when I noticed Pamela wincing by the Christmas tree in the living room.
And we were just about to eat.
Son of a bitch.
A ton of really good food.
Pamela said, “We have to go now,” a pained look on her face.
“Now?” I said, really hoping she would say she was just kidding.
So much for Christmas Dinner.
We left for the hospital as any first parents would.
At 4:13am on December 26th, Sarah entered the world.
I remember crying, seeing her enter the world.
I remember, vividly.
I left the hospital around 6:30am exhausted and hungry.
I called my Mom and was told to “just come out.”
I arrived to hugs, kisses and the Christmas Dinner that I’d missed the day before.
My Mom and Dad were over the roof in terms of happiness.
Their first grandchild.
I ate my turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes with gravy and cranberry sauce with a smile on my face at 6:30am.
Dinner never tasted so good.
This is a memory that will stay with me forever.
It was shortly after that Christmas that Alzheimer’s reared its ugly head.
Merry Christmas to all that visit and read here.
I wish all of you peace, love, the spirit of Christmas and the ultimate solace of memory.
Be safe, be well and be happy.
Catch all of you next year . . .
Many years ago after Pamela and I got married, we began the creation of a family.
Sometimes it seems like yesterday, sometimes it seems like 100 years ago.
Perspective is such a fickle thing.
That I have been an absentee blogger has never been lost on my wife.
She said to me tonight, and quite casually I might add, “When are you going to change the picture on your blog? Write a post about the annual Easter Egg Hunt with the girls.”
I hate it when she’s right.
And I really hate to think she could be a better blogger than me.
If she blogged as well as she ‘Pinterest-ed’, she could put me to shame.
The reasons my blogging has slowed down to an incessant but slow drip is a post in and of itself,
for many varied reasons.
Tonight, though, I am here to talk about eggs.
Brightly coloured eggs.
Hard boiled eggs.
Egg salad sandwiches in a shell, yet to be born. [yum]
When our girls started walking we devised a plan for an Easter Egg Hunt to be held in the backyard on Easter morning.
We bought plastic pastel colored eggs that could be filled with all kinds of goodies, from candy and small toys (that nowadays are labeled as DANGEROUS! Your KID could CHOKE on THIS!) to dollar bills and matches.
(yeah, I’m kidding about the matches, calm down)
In New England, Easter morning could be rainy and cold so we needed to use something that would hold up to the elements.
It was the Easter Bunny’s job (namely, me) to hide the eggs in the backyard while the girls were sleeping.
When they woke in the morning to find an incredibly beautiful Easter Basket on their nightstand (compliments of Mr. & Mrs. Easter Bunny)
they were ready to don the appropriate clothes for the ‘going-to-get-mine-before-you-do’ Easter egg hunt.
Now it should be said that Mr. Bunny liked to have several Easter cocktails on the night before and while hiding the eggs wasn’t a problem, remembering where they were the next morning could sometimes be.
There are still eggs somewhere in our yard that I may never find.
I’m still looking for the elusive ‘Ben Franklin’ egg from years ago.
Can’t remember the exact year.
I’ve thought of using some power equipment to try and find it but the money I would spend doesn’t justify the means.
Right now, anyway.
Many years (and mornings after) would find the once loveable Mr. Easter Bunny reduced to the ‘Stupid-Easter-Bunny-that-doesn’t-know-how-to-hide-shit-we-can-easily-find’.
And, my moniker grows so damn lovingly.
I love it.
Fast forward to 2012 . . .
My girls have grown into young, beautiful and intelligent women and yet, I still have to hide eggs.
I am not a freekin’ Easter Bunny anymore, I am a grown 53 year old man.
I don’t have long and fuzzy ears or a cute little tail.
My ass is now flat.
I need three wallets to assimilate an ass bulge.
And I’m a crazy curmudgeon that thinks the world has gone insane.
Maybe I’m insane because I’ll still be out this Saturday night hiding eggs and loving it, rain or snow.
And on Easter morning I will still have no idea where the hell I put them . . .
In my heart, I’m hoping they keep the tradition going
because as silly as it was it’s a part of Pamela and me that will live on.
And maybe in the end, that’s what it’s all about . . .
I was doing some work on my blog last Sunday and found a new template that I loved.
It’s the one you’re looking at right now.
It’s called ‘Absynthe’.
I wanted to make sure everything worked and entered some text in the ‘search box’ in the upper right hand corner of the site.
As I scrolled through the search results, I came across a post called ‘Empty House’.
Hmmm, I thought, and I clicked on it.
I wrote this post in late August of 2008 before Jenna went off to college.
I always wax philosophical whenever a daughter leaves the homestead.
Although I can’t for the life of me remember writing it
(1200+ posts will do that to you, I guess)
I read it with the eyes of a new reader, a wonderful and incredibly insightful moment for me.
As I read the post, I felt warm tears forming.
Since the death of my father, life looks a bit different to me these days.
I read my own words and got blown away.
I felt weird.
I’m not supposed to be that jazzed by something I wrote, am I?
Yet, I was.
I am not blowing my own horn here just saying that the craft of writing is a magical thing.
Sometimes it gives you back something totally unexpected.
Check out ‘Empty House’.
After checking Google, it looks like I did write this.
And I did check Google, several times.
If these old walls could speak,
I wonder just what they’d be saying
the comings and goings of life; the hellos, the goodbyes
tears of the restless nights, memories of suppers shared, stories told
time shuffles his feet like that of an old man
that just can’t help but grow older,
he’s now quiet as a mouse
listening to the days gone by in this almost empty house
Sunny days and skies of blue, little girls saying, “I love you”
echoes from a heart that breaks
Simply because it knows,
that nothing can ever stay the same,
life is ever changing and the tiny souls once held in gentle hands,
aren’t meant to be held forever
But it’s so damn hard to understand and accept ‘temporary’
Take them to the edge and tell them to “fly”;
towards all that makes their hearts happy,
all their souls desire,
every dream they could ever hope to find
just fly . . .
We’ll watch you walk away embracing this wonderful thing called life
but inside we’re still calling out your name
Although you can’t hear it, we want it that way
maybe we just needed to tell you
in everything you do, know that this almost empty house will always wait for you
Doesn’t matter how long or how far away you’ve been, it remembers,
like we remember . . .
that whenever you’re here, you are truly home.
You know the drill by now. Watch, read, listen and [hopefully] LAUGH! Visit the above links after your visit here and be sure to have some paper towels to wipe off your computer monitor.
I originally intended to go all political this week but have decided against it. I’m not wussing out, I just hate listening to a certain faction of people whine incessantly about the small stuff, okay? That said, here are some pics that had me howling at the mOOn, so to speak. Happy Malarky Monday peeples!!! Be sure to click on the linx above after your visit here. Danke . . .
Hopefully, you’ve heard or seen Chris Farley, the motivational speaker from Saturday Night Live. Saw this and busted two guts . . .
This geographical phenomenon has always bugged me as well.
My God, I hated my 8th grade English teacher. She had legs that belonged on a Grand piano and no tits whatsoever. No wonder I never got a hankering for Raymond Carver. Bummer. Thanks for nothing, Nancy . . .
Last but not least, I am chillin’ out wit my gnomies . . .
It was 5 years ago that I hit the ‘publish’ button for this post. Many things have happened since that innocent and ‘so me’ post. I like to think my writing has matured a bit and that I have taken many of you on my journey down the road of life. I want to thank each and every one of you for being a part of my life (good or bad) for the past 5 years. You have enlightened me, guided me, made me laugh and have given me solace when I needed it most. You guys are incredible. I will pat myself on the back for blatant consistency. I think I can give me that. There are several people I need to deeply thank. Pamela, for believing in me when I no longer believe in myself. (and letting me know about it) My three girls for keeping me on my toes. Always. For Jon, he keeps me cooking. I love cooking, He is a man that will drive through hell and high water to have a bowl of my Cincinnati Chili, Thanks, Jon Last but not least, my family from Australia. Maureen, Mark, Kelly.Zoe, Mel, Steve, Tash, Stick, Wil, Stella, Lucas, Issac, Max and all! (who did I miss?) Thanks to all that have visited and commented. Read some ”’old”” Murph . . . . And watch the video at the end!
This is a piece I wrote several years ago but still seems to me to apply to the present day music industry. I am still a musician at heart but venues to work in are drying up faster than a droplet of water in a bucket of dry sand. It’s an abysmal state of affairs these days musically and sadly we all saw it coming. Some say business is cyclical. I wonder. Hey, Paul McCartney played the halftime show Super Bowl Sunday, right?
Remembering Miss American Pie
The musicians of the 60’s and 70’s had a wealth of powerful and insightful compositions from which to draw their inspiration. The songs had shine and creative musical integrity that would forever set them apart from today’s musical mainstream. The music spoke of the dynamic of the human experience; from love found and lost to political innuendo shaking hands with world peace. The older generation frowned upon these freedoms of expression and saw the music created as an irrevocable evil to be stamped out in the hopes of ending the reign of terror that floated over the airwaves. From the shaking hips of Elvis to the Mop-Tops from England to the androgynous and enigmatic David Bowie, the music written back then made us think and connect; it gave us an up close and personal view of the broken heart. So what the hell happened to perceptive content? Music, in its purest form is therapy, a most fundamental discipline of meditation the human race has, but along the way we altered the magic formula, ultimately changing its destiny as well. It’s supposed to make you feel good. Just think of a song that truly means something to you, take out a piece of paper, and jot down five things that come to mind immediately. Chances are you can come up with more than ten. That’s the miracle of music; when something unexpected touches the heart. Much of what I hear today is tainted, biased and so musically inept that when I hear one of these prized gems, I can only wildly shake my head and slobber saliva like an angry PBR bull (which tends to make loved ones around me very uncomfortable). A rule of thumb for future songwriters regarding lyrics: if it rhymes with shucking but has nothing to do with corn, get out a thesaurus and find another word. The English language is chock full of them. Really. It seems that few people write real songs anymore; that is a simple and yet sobering fact, not a generality. If it weren’t for artists like John Mayer and Dave Matthews, I’d have lost my mind by now. Much of the music today is like bad poetry, arranged, set to a groove from the late eighties, and thrown into a 4,000 track, all digital recorder (yes, all the tracks must be used, read the contract). Recently, while listening to a song on a brand X radio station out of Boston—the exact frequency slips my mind…you’re welcome—I remember thinking to myself, what language is this guy speaking? I strained to hear anything remotely intelligible. Musically speaking, the song was as mundane and pedestrian as an arrangement that oozes from a generic portable keyboard purchased at Wal-Mart. I also thought that somewhere in the midst of this urban cacophony, I could hear the sound of a dog being run over and over, and over again… I’m not positive about that and maybe it’s just me. Somebody call the ASPCA. The inspiration for this article came to me as I ambled down Main Street a few weeks ago (us old guys don’t walk, we amble…it’s much hipper) when a pulsating sub-compact Toyota Celica loaded with what sounded like two, maybe three 18-inch subwoofers drove past me towards City Hall, emitting music so thunderous it almost knocked down the lady walking next to me. Initially, I thought it was just wind. I didn’t get the license plate number because I was too busy bending over to retrieve my own two eyeballs off the sidewalk. Sound pressure levels that can cause buildings to vibrate precariously…hmm, I wondered if the Slater Building was up to code on that one. Nope, we are definitely not in Kansas anymore, Toto. Then there’s the whole debacle surrounding present day artists hiding behind the 5th amendment, and we all can see what a gush of rotting sewage that is, but it doesn’t mean we have to buy a bucketful of it. When a major proportion of the music available has a “parental advisory” sticker slapped on it, what’s left for those of us who prefer substance in what we listen to? Maybe we need a special store that caters to people fed up with listening to music and lyrics that insult our intelligence with the glorification of worthless profanity while wasting our hard earned money on garbage that someone in the recording industry somehow deemed fit for human consumption. Bon appétit. Maybe I’m not meant to understand what all the hype and excitement in the industry is about these days, because I’m no longer a child. But there’s always that outside chance that as I struggle with my own foreseeable mid-life crisis, I’ll pleasantly discover that perhaps I’ve grown a little bit wiser in the process. Just watch the Grammy Awards this year for a taste of the ultimate in garishness. In the end, the music we choose to listen to and support should remain solely in the hands of the listener, but the overall message that it brings should be more of a boon to society as opposed to an outrage against the machine. Comedian George Carlin hit the proverbial nail on the head when he stated that, “…inside every silver lining, there’s a dark cloud.” Get out your umbrellas, kids; it looks like rain.
Happy 5 To S&M!!!!!!! See you for the next five years . . . I hope!
It was 20 years ago tonight that my wife elbowed me at 1:30 in the morning saying, “My water just broke. Get some sleep.” Get some sleep? Yeah, right. I called Pamela’s mom and told her to come over immediately (to watch a sleeping 3 year-old Sarah) and it wasn’t soon after that we were changed and in my silver Datsun 210 on the way to the hospital. It was cold as hell and my brakes were grinding to the metal. Pamela thought we would never make it to Hannemann Hospital. We did. At 8:11AM (2.7.90) Pamela gave birth to our second daughter, Jenna. Tomorrow afternoon we will have a house full of family and Jenna’s college friends and more Chinese food than you can shake a stick at. We will also be watching some Supernatural episodes (Jenna’s favorites, methinks) We will basically have our own ‘Supernatural Bowl’. Could be much better than the actual Super Bowl itself. (no Dean) Happy birthday, Jen. Mom and I love you and your sisters more than you will ever know. Have a ‘supernatural’ day, okay? Here’s a Supernatural gag reel that you may not have seen. See you tomorrow afternoon, kiddo.
I have no clue as to where the year went but it went and here we are. As you embark on many new journeys and adventures, I wish all of you peace and much love in the coming year. 2010 holds many things, some expected and some not so much. What the year holds for me is anyone’s guess. I see good and I see some bad. That’s life I guess. For all that have visited and commented here over the past year, I thank you from the bottom of my sock. Somehow ‘my heart’ doesn’t seem quite deep enough. Happy New Year!
ps. and yes, this post is up at 9AM E.S.T Why, you ask? It’s New Years Day in Australia right now! Goodonya!