Sunday, March 26, 2017

Song of the Week: "Lightning Strikes"

I love this. This is the kind of new wave avant garde art I've loved since I was a kid. It's this kind of thing that made people call me a weirdo, but it's the kind of thing that never seemed particularly weird to me. It's performance art. Whatev. Anyway, this is Klaus Nomi from his 1981 album (a favorite), covering the classic 1965 pop hit by Lou Christie. A marvelous, operatic reinterpretation.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Muppet Monday

It's the first day of spring. No sun here, but no snow, either, so it's a mixed bag. But here's a cheerful tune celebrating the arrival of the season from a 1986 episode of Sesame Street. A nice one to listen to when taking a walk. Also, it's nice to see Forgetful Jones. Song by Cheryl Hardwick (music) and Maggie Bloomfield (music). Have a nice one!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Song of the Week: "Maybellene"

RIP Chuck Berry, the great rock 'n' roll pioneer. I've always liked his music. I still remember when my cousin gave me his cassette of The Great Twenty-Eight, the excellent Chuck Berry compilation, when I was 16. I played it in my Mom's car stereo every time she let me borrow the car. I wore that tape out playing Chuck Berry way too damn loud. This one was always my favorite, probably because of its driving rhythm.

Thursday, March 16, 2017


Ellen would have been 25 years old today. That's her on the right, holding my Dad's arm. This was taken the year before she got sick. I'm going to follow my annual tradition and bake her a cake today. I feel comfortable with my grief, but it's good to give the emotions to some tangible action. I miss you, sis. I hope you like devil's food cupcakes with orange frosting.

Monday, March 13, 2017

A Weird, Grief-Related Thing That Happened

Yesterday was the anniversary of my sister Ellen's death in 2006. And... I didn't really think about it.

You may know from my blog that the first few weeks of March are usually a really hard time for me, because all I'm thinking about is my sister and how much I miss her and the trauma and grief of it. As the date looms, I become rather locked inside myself and consumed with grief. Some years it's easier, some years I have perspective, and some years are terrible.

And this year, the date came and went and I didn't even remember to post about it. In fact, I didn't even turn my computer on yesterday, which is highly unusual for me in itself. I wasn't avoiding anything, I was just watching movies with Becca and decided not to bother myself with all of the bad news on my information machine.

I don't expect it'll be like this every year, but this year the grief wasn't so overwhelming and all-consuming that I was emotionally crippled for weeks. I didn't get caught up in the sad unfairness of the universe. I just... had a day. A pretty good one.

And I don't feel guilty about it.

This is new territory for me. I don't want to say I finally processed it and now it's behind me, because I'll always miss Ellen. But the survivor's guilt wasn't there this time. It's strange. It's like... it's like I wear the same shirt every year, and this year I forgot to put it on, and I didn't notice it until the next day. Just a piece of my psyche that I slip on every year and now it feels unusual to have not done it. Not even unusual in a bad way. And not necessarily in a good way, either. It just is. No judgment, even.

It feels weird not to be judging myself.

I love Ellen. I wish she was here. I think I'm finally starting to accept that she isn't. And it doesn't feel as selfish as I always thought it would.