The economy’s in a slump, it’s the dead of winter, the television is
littered with the daily demise of former hearthrobs and bombshells, and
our president is rumoured to be back on the sauce. What better time in
your life could you spend watching live music videos to
self-medicate and zone out? Anyway, Scott and I have jumped the band
wagon by documenting our acoustic sessions on my pink Flip. Deemed to
be orgasmic at points of my performance, I may have to amend my “fake
sponsor” from AT&T to K-Y.
So, this is me, raw and rough
with just a guitar to back my voice. Spread the link around, if you
love it, and if you don’t enjoy it, keep it to yourself and stick to
watching those videos where monkeys urinate in their own mouths and
kids ignite themselves on fire in the family garage. That brand of
talent I’ve yet to acquire. And if you must throw stones, let them be
bundled in grammatical perfection and typo-free All that cruel,
poorly-formulated YouTube bashing really gets on my nerves. I’m
prepared, as according to this link http://www.myspace.com/chainedbydreams, I am
in fact the “sh*ttiest singer in the world.” That kind of accolaide
Okay, at last: slighty
orgasmic, entirely acoustic, and brought to you by AT&T-Porcelain
I love Annie Lennox. Her latest album, “Songs of Mass Destruction” has been blasting in my home since it first came out. Recently she was dropped from Sony, after three weeks of her unreturned phone calls to the label. I always wanted to be signed to Sony as a kid, but that singular act and the way the music industry is today… well it’s dropped pretty low on my aspiration list. But, to be able to speak about my passions and beliefs so freely, to overcome the self-doubt and self-criticism she had for years and prevail- well, that’s something to aspire to. Her first instrument was a flute, which was mine as well, and we managed to incorporate in my latest song, “The Vineyard.”
This morning, at long last, the new love of my life arrived: the Casio Privia. I know I promised to divorce Casio as my brand, but I was won over by this digital piano on my trip to Manny’s Music last week. As I went downstairs to claim the oversized box, dreading the trek up five flights and my spiral staircase, I was met with the UPS guy and a man doing construction below my apartment. He offered to help me, then insisted on lugging the cumbersome box all the way upstairs. I think his efforts were partly out of guilt from the deafening noises coming from the apartment below me, where he and his amigo are working on re-wiring electric. My gratitude for his assistance just drowns out all the noisy labour as I bang on my new friend in bliss.
I got the 200-model, even cooler
I’m just finishing my first viewing of “Ratatouille” and I couldn’t have watched it at a more appropriate time. I’ve come to firmly believe that every person can be seen as either a creator or a critic. Being someone who once hid my talents and aspirations, in favour of using my intellect to criticize the works of others, I’ve come to realize that over the past few years I’ve fully embraced my path as an artist.
And to quote the critic in Ratatouille, “We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face is that in the grand scheme of things the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so.”
I’ll remember that the next time I’m criticized by someone who prefers to assault, rather than create. Who would’ve thought a movie about a rat would be so reflective of my own path as one of the “new” artists finding my voice? But uttering that statement is borderline critical… inspiration has no boundaries.
I grew up poor; a product of two young people who were incredibly in love, but yet too young and inexperienced to know what they had gotten themselves into. I grew up in a trailer park, but I thought it was paradise. Social classes were irrelevant to me. My grandmother was my life force, a woman full of pride and integrity. She instilled in me this sense of grandeur and accomplishment one might see in the faded heroine of a Tennessee Williams play. But coming from such poverty herself, she adapted a persona that suffocated the squalor of her childhood. It must have ignited something within me.
When she died, Bette Midler, as I’ve mentioned, became my surrogate mother and mentor. This was another woman who came from a struggling, working class existence and managed to reach stardom and wealth. She was the Cinderella-icon of my early years. I worked through school, and got a free ride through college based on my academics. It wasn’t Harvard, as some ivy-league graduates rub into my face, but it was an education and judging the scholastic achievements of my family… it was a huge advance. My grandfather never made it past the fifth grade. My father received an associate’s degree from a tech school. It amazes me that the people who have shamed my own education, in spite of finishing my Bachelor’s in two years, will discuss the lack of stamina it took to overcome. It was, and still is, a big deal when reflecting on my upbringing.
This past week was a dark reflection of the word of “grandeur” and “intelligence” that surrounds me on a weekly basis. Somehow, I’ve inherited an immunity to these circles as I dig deeper and question the intentions of everyone involved. I’ve met royalty and decisions makers, dined with some of the wealthiest people in the world (we’re talking billionaires), been hit on by executives and celebrities and all these people that have “made it.” Yet, when I look in their eyes as they try to reach out and earn my respect, I see the same depth of loneliness and yearning for acceptance that I see on the faces of the homeless saxophone player on the 1-train or the five-year-old kid from the ‘hood trying to sell me a pack of peanut M&M’s. Perhaps, it’s the salt of the earth way I was raised, but all these accolades mean little to me. Does that money buy them happiness? Did attending Oxford and Yale really afford them an insight and intellectual depth that couldn’t otherwise be achieved? Maybe, for some of them. Money would certainly buy me the tools to create more happiness (like a room full of hammonds and Wurlitzers facing Central Park West in a private recording studio). Yet, in the long run, it all matters so little.
If someone cannot truly connect with his or her self, then there’s not a chance in hell that they’re going to connect with me. I’ve been offered trips to London and Africa and beyond, been bought luxurious items that would bring tears to my mother’s eyes (although, she’s always been hypersensitive), and been offered opportunities that a girl in my position should really be thrilled to receive. Grateful as I may be, I’m much happier to plow my own road in this life. The very few and rare people that I let into my very close and trusted circle are those who really see me. Not the fantasy, or the classified example of what will be yet another trophy on their shelves.
Money, pride, extravagance, and luxuries may have their worth somewhere, but life experiences and vulnerability and compassion and a humble acknowledgement that there is so much more to learn are the true cornerstones to being accepted in my world. I have no interest in validating the insecure, ego-driven honchos of the 21st century. As far as I’m concerned, they can kiss my ass. And the dude I’m going to marry someday… well he’ll be someone with a depth that far exceeds the monetary, or the need to appease me. He’ll push my limits and encourage me to go above and beyond. He’ll be the type to think “outside the box,” but be too creative and intertwined in his methods to ever use such a term.
As for the rest of these dudes, often work related, and often socially-intertwined. Well, I couldn’t care less.
Actually, my friend in LA began the trend of asking me for my gripe of
the day. Since this is the first implenetation into my blog, I’m going
to offer more than one gripe because it’s my blog and I have a sense of
entitlement to do that. Feel free to add a comment about your own gripe
of the day.
1. When the weather forecast calls for a massive
amount of snow, I get entirely excited to awaken to a vista of clean,
pure white snow, and I see nothing but puddles leftover from rain.
I cannot stand when people who are the most sensitive people I know are
so focused on their own emotions, that they have no idea how their own
criticism affects others. By the way, I can be this very person I gripe
about from time to time.
3. I hate the idea of dating.
Confessions of a Serial Dater could be a title for my social experiments in New York and
someday I will write a screenplay about it. It would put Carrie
Bradshaw to shame.
4. I cannot stand when a man, or sometimes a
woman, when having a conversation with me about our own personal
dealings, will utter the words to me, “Well, it’s not personal.”
Really, that’s brilliant. What is it? A business transaction
(coincidentally, tends to be personal in my field anyway)? Is it a
contract negotiation? Is it a doctoral thesis about the socioeconomic
benefits of creating more urban parks? Is it a commercial for ING
Direct? So long as the person uttering it is saying it to another
person about how they feel then it is personal. I have heard
this so many times that the dendrites in my body could emit electric
signals with enough voltage to light the entire city of New York for a
New York minute and then some.
5. I don’t like when someone I
barely know tries to get into my personal space, no matter how
comfortable they may feel in the moment, I like my space. I regard it
highly. I am not a domesticated animal, I am not a plush toy (by the way. my
pal Josh got me an FAO Schwartz bear for Christmas and I never realized
how great it is to have a bear. Even if my cat gets jealous.) Because I
am not a domesticated animal, or a plush toy, or even a stress ball, I
really like to take a lot of time before being felt up like one.
The sound of my Casio has gotten so aggravating that I’m actually going
to the store right now and looking for a new one. This has been one of
the crappiest financial months of my life. Amen for the recession that
all the candidates say hasn’t hit yet. And to attest to my own faith
that I will be a rich rockstar, and this is my path in life, I’m
finally getting something I’ve wanted for years.
This is entirely unrelated but to counteract all my bitching, these are my happy thoughts of the day.
1. If I were running for president, I would want my theme song to be “Witchy Woman” by the Eagles.
I wish I were a guy, so that it would make more sense to add “Sister
Golden Hair” to my setlist. Maybe I will anyway. It’ll just be
3. I saw “The Bucket List” and will be posting a scan
of my own bucket list. I actually vowed to make out with Nick Nolte
before one of us dies. I’m beginning to question that one. However,
when I enter the gates of Heaven, I want to be greeted by all my pets,
my grandmother, Ms. Maureen, and whoever passed before me to the sounds
of WCBS-FM and I want to be ushered to a Bosendorfer with black keys
speckled with gold (like I had in a dream), with Stevie Nicks sitting
on the bench asking me to join her. And there will be red wine, purple
spotlights, scarves, and the whole lot of greeters can join us around
the piano. Apparently, only 4 percent of the population wants to know
the day they will die in advance. I’ve always enjoyed being part of the
minority. Also, if souls come in colours, well then mine is definitely
4. I someday want to have sex to Benny and the Jets on
repeat. I’m stealing this idea from a movie, but it just came onto
CBS-FM and frankly, it makes me happy.
5. I saw Juno last night
and loved it. How could I not relate to a music-loving,
sarcastic-to-the-extreme, sixteen year old girl who falls in love with
the dorky boy? Although, I never got knocked up. It must be my distaste
for premature squeezing and fondling.
6. Snow will come at some point this week and I have made my peace with winter. I’ve even gone ice skating. I love ice skating.
God Bless this gal. Thankfully, no one has moved into the recently vacated apartment below me. I’ve been skipping, dancing, and going nuts to this song all weekend. Particularly today. The updated recording is fully produced, and I recommend it to all. I promise the next song I write is going to be so upbeat that rainbows will sprout from my head upon performing. Now how’s that for keeping true to my 1976 ideals?