Monthly Archives: March 2012

Let it go…

Is it intentional?

This irrational fear that gnaws and consumes… Are all writers afflicted? Are we all so desperate to tell our stories, real or imagined, that we will surrender our own daylight for the promise of another being’s sunrise?

It is dark, this place. The affliction personifies; it now writhes and beats against the walls. There are no trapdoors. It is medieval, this place. The body that conforms to the prison within — holed up under the guise of another manifesto.

Hundreds of years later, the castle walls will crumble. You will be found – do not fear. Unable to stand, body disfigured, sentenced to a death within the bricks of despair.

Found, but forgotten.

Unearthed, but unknown.

I am the poster child for the Society of People Who Don’t Get the Memos That Tell Everyone Else How to Behave

I can get in trouble all by myself. I don’t need any help, thank you.

Believe me – I am one of those alternative chicks who never joined a sorority, never wears the ‘right’ clothes, and barely keeps my Eastern European hair from sticking out all over the place ala Sigourney Weaver in Ghostbusters One.

Not only am I an only child, I am also an Aquarius. Talk about a double whammy of social in-etiquette. I am the walking, talking poster child for the Society of People Who Don’t Get the Memos That Tell Everyone Else How to Behave. I stumble along, and I think I do a pretty good job of blending in with Everyone Else – but at least once a week I get that old feeling that I’ve broken the rules again.

What rules, you say? If you have to ask, you don’t know them, either. You are probably nodding your head right now and saying to yourself – yeah! I want to know the Unspoken Rules, too! Let’s be honest here – every society has a collection of Unspoken Rules that the members must follow in order to not be considered an outcast or a rebel.

A society is a group of people who are brought together due to circumstances. I am going to focus on the USA for the purposes of this post, as that is my background. When we are small children, our societies are the daycare centers, the T-Ball teams, the kindergarten classroom and the neighborhood kids. As we get into the tween years, our societies become more defined into family, church, and the middle school ecosystems of cool kids, weird kids, poor kids, rich kids, sports kids, etc. By the time we get into high school, teenagers have begun to mold their personalities based on peer pressure, musical and clothing preferences, and preferred social activities. The names for these different teenage societies change with each decade, but the underlying theme stays the same; will you be a jock, a stoner, an Emo, a scholar, or one of those zealous religious kids?

College (or lack thereof) is about expanding frontiers and pushing the limits of society — but don’t be fooled for one minute into thinking that a college campus has more tolerance or more opportunity for societies to blend. They don’t. Often the career path you choose has distinct social parameters and Unspoken Rules. Want to be an elementary school teacher? That nose ring and purple streak in your hair is really gonna stand out at graduation. How about being an accountant or a stockbroker? You better cut your hair a certain way, laugh at all the right jokes, and be able to carry on a conversation using all the ‘right’ words and phrases. It’s not about stereotyping – it’s about knowing the Unspoken Rules.

Honestly, we just haven’t come that far from the Inquisition, the Salem Witch Trials, or the Red Scare of the 1950’s. Being different has always been dangerous.

OK – you get the idea. Society always has and always will frown on anyone who has opinions or thoughts which are alternative or go against the grain. I question things, and seek answers (that one gets me in trouble with Everyone Else with alarming frequency). On top of that, I grew up in the Midwest in a suburb right outside of Chicago, then lived for 5 years in Manhattan KS, then moved to the East Coast and lived in Fairfield County, CT. I now live the Bible Belt in North Carolina. I like to think of myself as ambidextrous within different groups of societies… but the ruse can only last so long. Eventually, my combination Aquarian oddness/liberal thinking pops out and cracks the shell of my attempts to fit in with Everyone Else. It is a cycle that never ends.

I get tired of all the mystery of living in a society. I say things, and can’t figure out why is was not politically correct to the general population. I share an opinion that is considered blasphemous to Everyone Else. If I write or read things that are not YA, or wear all black, or tell an anecdote that is not white bread Barbie doll, I get looks of confusion or disdain.

Why can’t it be OK to just have a thought or an opinion that doesn’t conform? When did we become such a world where high school never ends? Where cliques are acceptable, even when the people in them are all in their 40’s? One of the saddest things I ever heard another human being say was a 43 year old executive assistant at a large corporation. The topic of friendship had come up, and this woman said very distinctly and directly “I do not need to make any new friends. I have all the friends I need already.”

Wha? She was so set in her ways, and so afraid to expand her little world that she had shut down her ability to befriend or be friended by anyone else. She was proud of her statement, too, as if this were a perfectly natural state of affairs.

So for all of you out there who are honorary members of the Society of People Who Don’t Get the Memos That Tell Everyone Else How to Behave — well met and prosper, my friend.

And for the rest of you who have read this blog and have no idea what I’m talking about… that’s alright, too. Feel free to respond however you like. I promise I won’t mind.

My Predications on The Walking Dead Season Finale

All I can say before the season finale of The Walking Dead this weekend is: DO NOT KILL CAROL OR DARYL!

There. I feel better now.

And for those of you who have not watched this season’s previous episodes, don’t read the rest of this post because I am about to bitch slap this series, and will use a whole bunch of spoilers to prove my point.

Episode 212: “Better Angels” ended with Shane’s death. Now, I happened to beleive that Shane was a brilliantly conceived antagonist and that Jon Bernthal was a really good actor. You know why I say this? Because I did not like Shane Walsh at all. In fact, by the end of “Better Angels” I was relieved that Rick killed him because he was becoming so dangerous to the group. But now here is where I get pissed off- why did they kill off the one character who actually had a personality?

Bernthal took that character, a small town police officer with a good-ole-boy attitude and transformed him into a violent, jealous killer.  But he did it slooowly…changing ever so slightly from the end of season one until his death last week. He didn’t just wake up one day and turn into a the villian vs. Rick Grimes’ superhero…. he simmered until all that zombie death and destruction and the loss of Lori just boiled over. The day he shaved his head was the day he crossed the threshold from innocent bystander to hostile witness. I didn’t like him, but his character was completely believable – every tribe always has a someone who goes against the staus quo.

So the Season Finale is this weekend, and I better not see Daryl or Carol bite the dust. Daryl is my favorite guy on the show; I always like the bad boys who rebel against society. He needs to be given meatier dialogue, though, and definately deserves more screen time. I am getting bored of watching him just walk around with a crossbow and avoid Carol’s soulful gazes. Come on, writers! Give Daryl something to do! And when the hell is his brother going to show up and avenge his missing hand?

As for Carol, I find her quiet but intriguing. Actress Melissa McBride gives Carol a strong backbone despite her weak first impressions. The most emotionally devasting scene from the entire series occured when Sophia the walker came stumbling out of the barn. It was totally unexpected. Carol tried to get to her daughter, but Daryl wrapped his arms around her and they both collapsed to the ground. Carol’s heartbreak combined with Daryl’s disbelief was powerful to watch – I felt so sorry for the Grimes Gang and everything they had lost due to the zombie outbreak.

On top of that, I want to see Carol and Daryl get together and snog. Of all the couples on the show, they have the most chemistry.

So who could die, and I would be OK with it? Well, Lori has turned out to be a bit of a loser. She is one of those females who plays on both sides of the fence, just to be safe. She keeps Rick by her side because he is currently the alpha male, but its pretty obvious that her allegiance is thin. If Shane had lived and become the alpha male, Lori would have quickly sided with him. Survival of the fittest, right? Can’t blame her for her actions – if it was the end of the world and I had the two strongest guys in the Grimes Gang fighting over me, I would probably do the same thing. But I’m tired of her hair being in her face, and I’m also tired of her pouting. Being pregnant does not absolve her from being a simpering princess.

So my prediction for the season finale is that something bad is going to happen to Herschel, the farm is going to be over run and everyone is going to have to leave in search of a new safe place.  There may be more group separations coming, because I think Maggie will decide to stay on the farm, and will try to convince Glenn to stay with her. The Grimes Gang will run into Randall’s group of dangerous humans and Merle Dixon, minus one hand, will be the leader of the group. This causes consternation with Daryl, who now must choose which group to join.

Oh, and wouldn’t it be interesting if the kind and mild Morgan and his son Duane were now a part of  Randall’s roving band of humans?

Hmmm… the possibilities are endless…. as long as NEITHER CAROL NOR DARYL GET KILLED.

There. I feel better again.

By the way – I just re-released Let It Bleed via Dark Continents Publishing. It is available on Amazon on this link. Try it – you’ll like it!

My Top Ten Favorite Songs by the Monkees

Oh, Davy Jones- how I adored you when I was a tween! I owned 5 of the Monkees’ albums on vinyl, and when they came out on CD, I bought those, too. I was such a fan of the 5’3″ bowl-cut little ex-jockey that I even owned one of his solo albums titled “Davy Jones”. The songs on that silly album were just a bunch of bubblegum, but I still remember the lyrics to one of them:

“I’m sittin’ in the apple tree, lookin’ for a star… I’m sittin in the apple tree, wonderin’ where you are…”

Not exactly poetry, but catchy and cheerful all the same. There was plenty of time later in teenage-hood for the Cure and the Smiths; Davy Jones made it alright to just be a girl in love with a teen idol. If you want to hear the song, follow this link.

And now that you’re gone, I have spent time this week re-watching your Monkees episodes and listening to your music again. The shows are dated, but still entertaining, and I have enjoyed my Monkees flashback of psychodelia and moppet-to-hippie transformation.

Here are my top ten favorite Monkees songs, starting at number ten. It is immediately apparent that my taste for Mickey, Davy, Peter, and Mike ran to their quirkier tunes, and this list proves that theory:

10. You Just May Be the One — sung by Mike, it is the lyrics and the harmony of the chorus that draws me to this tune. I like how “deep” the thoughts are, conveying the idea that all men will eventually find the right women if they just live a proper lifestyle and be patient.

9. The Girl That I Knew Somewhere — another one sung by Mike. He wasn’t really a soulful singer, but somehow his voice made this song both sweet and melancholy as he sings about a girl he has never met, but feels he already knows.

8. Writing Wrongs — trippy and dramatic and irreverant, this piano-based tune asks a bunch of dark questions which were deliciously “deep” to my prepubescent mind. In a strange way, this five minute long song by Michael Nesmith with the extensive instrumental in the middle is still current and has not aged.

7. Your Auntie Grizelda — Peter had the worst voice and the worst sense of timing of all the Monkees. He was my least favorite Monkee. But, this song still makes the list for two reasons: the first reason is that Grizelda is still one of the COOLEST names I have heard in my life! The second reason has to do with the whole off-tune, punk mentality that the first 30-seconds of Your Auntie Grizelda are just as good as anything your average local garage band could crank out.

6. Zor and Zam — this tiny little song, sung by Mickey with just minimal drum and guitar in the background had a powerful ending. “Two little kings, playing a game… they gave a war, and nobody came”. There are wisps of Vietnam in this tune, and as a tween I had never heard anti-war propaganda before. Still resonants to this day.

5. Goin’ Down — Mickey scatting and doing this odd shuffle with his feet – absolutely intoxicating! There is a saxophone and what must have been a very modern (back then) photography technique of double-exposing the film so that it looked like there were numerous Mickeys, all out of breath and putting on their best tribute to floating down some unnamed Southern river.

4. Gonna Buy Me A Dog — not really a song, but more of an outake of Mickey and Davy cracking really bad jokes. I liked it because it felt so personal – these guys were teen idols, and they were letting the listener in on their secret recording world.

3. Words — still wearing their matching red shirts and grey pants, but starting to dip their toes into hippie culture, Mickey and Peter harmonize on echoey-lyrics with back-up windchimes.  As is typical with Monkees’ songs, this one goes from cool lyrics to a thunderous bridge. Definately symbolic of their turning point from bubblegum to true musicians.

2. Randy Scouse Git — Sporting long hair and tapestry-embroidered clothes, the boys sing a song using British slang demeaning people from Liverpool. Supposedly, this song was written by Mickey after the Monkees and the Beatles spent a night together partying. I love this song because it just sounds really good.

1. Daily Nightly — the best of the best, Moog keyboard and all. Hearing them all sound totally hip, with Mickey’s earnest lyrics complementing the feedback from the keyboard. An intense, thoughtful, psychodelic song that perfectly captures the time and moment in which it was recorded.

Good-bye, Davy. We’ll miss you.

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