Saturday, April 13, 2013


LichtensteinAlthough I don’t often show it on the outside, I’ve always felt things pretty intensely. It can be a happy event or a sad one. But it doesn’t have to be an event. It can be a song, or a TV show, or a painting, or a movie. It can even be a commercial.

I’ve been that way all my life, and I’m finding that as I’m getting older, it is actually intensifying. That’s kind of a scary prospect for me, because sometimes these things are almost overwhelming. It’s a great big tsunami of emotion that I seem to be helpless to control at times. I’m finding it happening a lot lately with music. When we went to see “Viva Elvis!” (the Elvis Cirque du Soleil show) in Vegas a few years ago, Ken looked over at me and I had tears rolling down my face. I got choked up at “Rock of Ages.” I’ve been listening to a lot of Stones lately, and sometimes as I sing along, my voice will catch because the music has made me verklempt.

It’s an odd way to show happiness, I know. Sometimes I feel such sheer joy at things that I can feel it oozing out of my pores. It certainly escapes through my tear ducts! These intense feelings happen most often with happy things, which is good...because if the majority of them were sad things, I can see how people could get completely overwhelmed by their emotions.

Sometimes I wish that I could moderate this a little bit, and as I said, I’m a little trepidatious over the fact that the intensity seems to be...well, intensifying. But then I think that I am grateful that I have the capability to be so moved that I am brought to tears. I would much rather be this way than be jaded and cold. Not that I don’t have my moments of coldness; when I need to, I can work on the clampdown and effectively shut it down. I do this in moments of great stress, or when someone has treated me badly—or thinks that they can exert control over me and manipulate me. If you try that with me...well, good luck with that. I can be a high-ridin’ bitch when I need to be, just like Dolores Claiborne and Vera Donovan.

But most of the time, I’m just a little ol’ softie. I fully anticipate weeping copiously at the Stones concert, and I’ve warned Ken about it. In moments like that, I’m okay, nothing is wrong...I’m just caught up in the fun of it and enjoying the ride. As Third Eye Blind sang, “the four right chords can make me cry.” In my case, that is literally true. And I’m okay with it.

Friday, April 12, 2013

I have been assimilated

Twitter as BorgI’ve had a Twitter account for quite a while now, but I’ve never done much with it. It got the most activity during the primaries and election, when a group of us would get on and live-tweet the debates. It was always a blast, but other than that, I didn’t post much on there. I always intended to, and I’d have a couple of days where I’d remember to post there as well as to Facebook...and then I’d ignore it again.

That all changed this past week when I decided to put up or shut up. I started posting things fairly frequently, and although I’m trying to keep my following list on the low side, I started looking for some interesting people. I already had quite a few on there, mainly political figures, journalists, and blogger friends, but I started seeking out musicians, Walking Dead people, and others.
I’m actually having a lot of fun with it, and I’m not sure why I didn’t before. I still prefer Facebook for longer, more detailed threads (like my Dead Thread I start every Sunday night after “The Walking Dead”...must ask friends if I can import those to Twitter), but Twitter is fun for quickies. 

The Rolling Stones (including Mick, Keith, and Ronnie) have a large presence on there now as they gear up for the tour. One of my favorites is, oddly enough, Donnie Wahlberg, who posts pumped-up, positive messages like telling Monday he’s going to kick its ass, or telling his followers that only WE can change things in our lives. It is strangely endearing. And I adore Norman Reedus, who plays Daryl Dixon on “The Walking Dead.” He’s very appreciative of his fans, he’s also an artist and photographer, and posts random pictures like him holding an avocado pit in his mouth. It makes me grin. It’s an almost joyful goofiness that just makes me happy. Even “serious people” occasionally post just-for-fun stuff, and Curiosity Rover is absolutely adorable. (I’m not going to provide links to every single one of those...if you’re interested, just search for them, and look for the verified account.)

Maybe that’s what I’m digging about it compared to Facebook. It strikes me as a little more random and chaotic. It appeals to my inner anarchist, as well as to that Inner Lizard I wrote about the other day. I love the jumble of articles, nuggets of wisdom, fun pictures, bizarre pronouncements, and sheer what-the-fuckness. I’m not dumping you, Facebook, but I think we should date others. Twitter, call me later, baby.

If you’d like to follow me on Twitter: @Luvrte66

Monday, April 8, 2013

Unleash your Inner Lizard

LizardIt should come as no surprise that I’m on a major Stones kick at the moment (get used to’s going to be going on for over a month), so I’ve been posting a Stones song on Facebook once in a while. The other day, I posted “Paint It, Black,” and said that was my second favorite Stones song. My friend Holly said that her favorite is “Shattered” (that is my third favorite Stones song, for the record) and it brings out her “inner lizard.”

That phrase spoke to me. It somehow perfectly describes that sort of down and dirty, raunchy, hip-swivelin’ Stones style. When the Inner Lizard comes out, shit gets real.

You know those ‘would you rather’ questions? Like “Ginger or Mary Ann?” One of the classics is “Beatles or Stones?” Of course I love the Beatles. Who doesn’t? They were my first taste of pop music, when I was maybe 5 or 6, and my Beatlemaniac sister played her records for me. But for me, it was always about the Stones. They always had a darker edge, a more dangerous, bad boy sex appeal. I was listening to their latest greatest hits CD, “Grrr!” while I was working out today, and it struck me just how many of their songs unleash my inner lizard. There is something about Mick’s voice that reaches right into the dark corners of my psyche. It ranges from a deep baritone to a raspy growl to a bedroom whisper that “it’s only rock and roll but I liiiiike it.” He’s really not even subtle about it. What part of “Let’s spend the night together” needs clarification?

Anyway, make all the jokes you want about the Stones being older than dirt, but these songs still totally trip my trigger. Young Mick Jagger was a beautiful, angelic devil (Anne Rice’s phrase for Lestat springs to mind: Brat Prince.), one who could seduce, incite, and inflame. The songs will continue to do that long after he is gone.

Of course, the Stones don’t have the market cornered on rock and roll sexyfuntimes. Remember how John Lithgow told his town that there would be no dancing because it would lead to sexyfuntimes, and Kevin Bacon was all like “Yo, dick move, bro, and I’m bangin’ your daughter” and danced all crazy around a barn and rode a tractor and then everyone made up and wore ugly tuxedos and danced all crazy some more? Anyway, John Lithgow and all those other preachermen who said that rock and roll led to “other things” weren’t so far off the mark.

Because the lyrics make you think about a lot of things. Not just sexyfuntimes, but things like inequality and revolution. Deeper concepts of the human condition. Life outside your small town. “Imagine no religion.” Experimentation, broadening your horizons, walking a mile in someone’s shoes, seeing beyond the narrow borders of your early existence. There are some people who don’t want these questions asked, and they certainly don’t want to have to answer them. How you gonna keep ‘em down on the farm, right?

Rock and roll IS dangerous. Dangerous to the status quo, dangerous to those who have a vested interest in keeping you in line, dangerous to the powers-that-be.

Once that Inner Lizard is unleashed, it’s hard to get it back under control.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

It takes a worried man

Alfred E. NeumannOr a worried Mom, in this case.

Ken and I went down to visit my Mom today, and found her in good spirits. As always, she needed to feed us first, so we chatted while we had lunch. She admitted that she had a bad night last night and cried a lot, but this time it wasn’t about was about my sister Diana flying to China.

Diana and her husband and a couple of friends are going with a large group to spend about a week in China. They found a good deal and just decided to do it. (There’s that grabbing life by the horns thing’s the way to live!) Mom wasn’t upset about them going or anything, but hearing that the flight from New York to China (I forget which city they’re flying into) was going to be 16 hours just wigged her out. Di had texted me that Mom was pretty upset about it, so I said I’d try to talk to her about it today.

She seemed mostly over it, but I hate it that she spent several hours worrying and crying over this. I realize that she has an extreme fear of flying, and I’m certain that we’ll never get her on a plane. It doesn’t matter how many statistics we throw at her about the safety of flying, she just hears “plane” and freaks out. I told her that Ken and I were probably at greater risk of a fatal accident on our Route 66 trip than Di and Tom are on these flights. I try and try to get Mom to not fret so much about these things; she agrees in theory, and realizes that it does no good, but she keeps right on fretting.

I think when Dad was around, he was able to pull her back from such relentless worrying. She’s always been a worrier—in fact, I’d say that it runs in her side of the family—but I hate to see her crying about things like this...things that have an infinitesimal chance of happening. I admit that I have a tendency towards worrying, too, which I obviously get from Mom. But I’ve worked to moderate, negate, and deflate it by doing my best to think logically and rationally, and to work it through in my mind. If I thought about everything that can kill us out in the world, I’d probably never leave the house! I just refuse to live my life in fear, and I refuse to let such fears keep me from living a fun and full life. I wish I could impart a little of my attitude to Mom, just so she wouldn’t make herself miserable with thinking such negative thoughts. But I don’t think there is any changing her at this point, so we just have to try to talk her through it, and sometimes she just has to work through it on her own.

Something else I get from my Mom is a stubborn streak about a mile wide. Oddly enough, that seems to be enough in me to counteract the “worry gene.” As in, screw you, whatever or whoever you are, you are not going to harsh my mellow or fuck up my joy. Some things take a little longer than others, but I always find my joy in the end. (I’m now thinking of the hilarious scene in “Ted” when Mark Wahlberg and Ted sing The Thunder Song. That is very much me.)

I wish I could impart a little of that defiance to my Mom, but I know it doesn’t work that way. All I can do is keep telling her, “Mom, you can’t let these things get to you so much. You can’t let them make you this upset.” But with that stubborn streak of her own, she isn’t going to listen and take it to heart until SHE is ready!

In the meantime, I’ll be over here singing “Fuck you, thunder, you can suck my dick,” and as Devo says, “I may be worried now, but I won’t be worried long.”