Thursday, February 24, 2011

And in other exciting news...

Or not, depending on whether or not you have no life, like me, and the littlest things excite you.

Oh, man, I have no life.

No, seriously.  The other day, I received a disk in from Netflix.  This was not a huge surprise, since I'm a member of Netflix and I get disks in the mail from them all the time. (want to save money on your cable bill?  Get the cheapest and fastest internet you can find.  We use Virgin Mobile to go, which isn't great, and it's not that fast, but it costs me 40 dollars a month for unlimited service.  It goes down quite a bit, it's slower than cable, but it's cheaper, too, and you get what you paid for. Then get a subscription to Netflix.  Any will do, one disk out at a time, or three, because you want to be able to view the movies online, and get the disks in, too, for those days when the internet isn't working at all-- and then get a monthly subscription to Hulu.  Or, drop Netflix and just use Hulu, which is 7.99 a month.  Yes, there are disadvantages.  Yes, you can probably find stuff with no commercials or illegal stuff around the internet that's much cheaper or free, but I'm talking of legal things to do here to fill your television cravings.  My cable bill, with internet and television used to run me around 150 or more a month, depending on whether or not a teenaged son o' mine rented porn.  Now I pay around 60 bucks, and I still have the internet, and all the television shows my little heart desires. Hulu is wonderful, and you can watch shows for free, without the monthly cost, but for the small amount, you can get all the new shows, and you can also put those shows on your Ipods or Iphones, etc.  Not on the Zune, like I own, but there are ways around that.)

(Which is another story for another time.)

Anyway, where was I???

You see, this is why I lose things like, oh my debit card.

I start doing one thing, like putting my debit card into my wallet, and I end up obsessed with hulu dot com, and then, forget where I actually put the debit card.

(That was a true story, by the way.  I really need to find that card!)

Where was I?  Oh!  The disk.

I got in the first Barry Manilow television specials disk, from his shows that he performed in the late 1970's.  You see, I remember the first time I heard a Manilow song.  I'd received a little transistor radio for Christmas one year, and late at night, I'd listen to music on that one little ear phone.  One night, I turned the little dial and randomly landed on a radio station that was playing his song, Mandy.  In my head, I pictured this dark haired dude with a bushy beard and long hair singing this song (It was the 70's!  That says it all if you were there), and was rather surprised when I saw how Mr. Manilow looked in real life, because he's tall and blond, and clean shaven.  But the song amazed me.  It was simple, yet powerful, with its swelling choruses and key changes and the lyrics...oh, the lyrics...

I remember all my life 
Raining down as cold as ice 
A shadow of a man 
A face through a window 
Crying in the night 
The night goes into 

Morning, just another day 
Happy people pass my way 
Looking in their eyes 
I see a memory 
I never realized 
you made me so happy, oh Mandy 

Well you came and you gave without taking 
but I sent you away, oh Mandy 
well you kissed me and stopped me from shaking 
I need you today, oh Mandy 

I'm standing on the edge of time 
I Walked away when love was mine 
Caught up in a world of uphill climbing 
The tears are in my mind 
And nothing is rhyming, oh Mandy 

Well you came and you gave without taking 
but I sent you away, oh Mandy 
well you kissed me and stopped me from shaking 
And I need you today, oh Mandy 

Yesterday's a dream I face the morning 
Crying on the breeze 
the pain is calling, oh Mandy 

Well you came and you gave without taking 
but I sent you away, oh Mandy 
well you kissed me and stopped me from shaking 
And I need you today, oh Mandy 

Well, they appealed to this 12 year old girl, and they appeal to bajillions and trillions of other women, all over the world.

Anyway, I was watching this disk, and ignoring the laughter and teasing from Mr. Clean and Saige, and it brought back memories for me. I remembered this show.  I remembered watching it with Mom, in our living room, and then I remembered that she and I watched several musical special like this, including some by John Denver (whom she liked a lot), the Barry Manilow specials, as well as one by Mac Davis, starring Miss Piggy from the Muppets.  (I'm pretty sure it was Mac Davis, and it was a Christmas Special, too, because Miss Piggy sang the line, "Five golden RINGS!" with gusto on the Partridge in a Pear Tree song.  Although now, after looking it up online, I think that it was a John Denver Xmas special that had Miss Piggy singing, but, no matter.)

What is important is remembering how Mom laughed and enjoyed so many of these specials.  She could not carry a tune, people.  Not a bit.  Remember the saying, "He can't carry a tune in a bucket?"  Yeah, well, Mom didn't even have a bucket.  You know the saying that claims white people have no rhythm?  Someone came up with that after seeing mom trying to clap along to a song or chorus.  Bless her heart, she loved music so much, and she could hear when a note was wrong, and in her head she could sing, but there was a breakdown between head and mouth that was so sad in so many ways.  I used to try to teach her how to sing, because I had a theory if she would just bring up some of that air from her diaphragm and actually TRY, she'd be able to sing, but though she'd gamely go along with me, we'd always end up in giggles, and Mom still couldn't sing on key.

Apparently when she was very small, attending a one room school in the town she lived in with her grandparents, the children were going to sing a little concert or show.  The teacher told my mom to stop singing and just mouth the words because her voice was so bad, and I honestly believed, and still do, that those words put some kind of mental block in my mom's brain.  Some people can sing loudly, and be completely off key, but mom's voice was different than that.  She would sing quietly and breathily, as if she were ashamed, if she were in church or letting me "help" her.  But I can also remember her singing lullabies to my brothers and sisters when they were infants, rocking them, touching their hair, and singing with so much love that the shame was erased.

So, I watched the disk, relieved some memories, cracked up at the styles worn back then, listened to some of the songs, and then sent the disk back.

I was in a great mood, but that's been switched off by some crap going on around here--that's been going on since yesterday morning.   Now I'm too furious and upset to write any more.


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