Friday, July 25, 2008

Vacation - all I ever wanted...

Today's Frolickin' Friday (TM pending) theme: vacation songs. I.E., songs you remember from vacations past, songs that make you want to be on vacation, songs that make you feel like you ARE on vacation, etc. See, it's SUMMER. And in the SUMMER, people go on vacation. And, just so it's on the public record, I want a vacation like the French do vacation. All of August, please.

So I wanted to make a suggestion or two (or twelve - the greater the number, the better chance of success) and I put my little thinking cap on for a stroll through the misty mists swirling over Memory Lane.

It's a wonder I'm not scarred for life - or, maybe, perhaps... I am - by the music I recall from summers/vacations. Driving through the beautiful Mississippi State campus (Dad's alma mater), I distinctly recall hearing Summer Breeze, that godawful Seals & Crofts song about the jasmine in one's miiiiiiihiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnnd. I think I heard Saturday in the Park (yes, Chicago. the shame!) about a gazillion times the summer we arrived in Washington, D.C. And there was an Eagles tune that dominated the summer of '74 - one of the sappier, sad ones. Probably Best of My Love.

Then I heard the words 'road trip.' And I had my suggestion, my brilliant brilliant suggestion: Truckin', by the Grateful Dead.

No, *they* didn't play it. But I dialed it up on Napster, had a listen and took a good hard look at those 'other members like' recommendations. Time warp! I am 16 years old again, soaking up Neil Young's Harvest, which became the theme to the Summer of 1980, a/k/a the U. K. Invasion. (I'm sure, if I tried just a little harder, I could come up with a skin flick title involving the words 'debbie' and 'does', but we work hard here at My Mood Swings to maintain a certain level of decorum. Really.)

This is the first record I ever stole, the harbinger of all the illegal downloads to come. ;0

(j/k about the downloads, btw, my bffs FCC and RIAA.)

I stole it from my friend and neighbor Mike Moeller, while I was feeding his cat because he was away on ... you guessed it... vacation! And it came to have a lot of resonance for me. Not only because I was leaving the familiar and safe and comfortable for a strange land full of strangers with a strange English, but because there's a lot of lovely words and even lovelier truths within: You gotta tell your story, boy, you know the reason why; or I sing the song because I loved the man, I know that some of you don't understand; or the whole wispy dream that is Words (Between the Lines of Age).

So, thanks Steve and Jay. Even though you ignored my suggestion, even though you trashed my carefully selected personal musical totem, you managed to do me a favor. Ta mucho mucho, my brothers. And mangez la merde et mourez.

Obligatory Neil Young as Icon of Cool photoand I had a pair of boots just! like! those!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Long Time No Post

I guess I've been "on hiatus."

I'm back.

Not much has changed.

But I have.

I have always been environmentally aware, even if I didn't do much about it. I like to think that comes from growing up in national parks, with that protect and preserve mandate. My 8th grade science project was a working wastewater treatment plant. Recycling is important enough to me that I've been schlepping my steel cans and glass containers into Knoxville, because my own county had no recycling available, with the exception of newspaper bins. But I wasn't making a concerted effort really, just trying to keep from taking the trash out so often. It's been years since I brushed my teeth with the water running (probably since *I* started paying for it), but the only other water I conserved was the hot water I needed for showering.

Well, all that recently changed. First, our city fathers put out a magazine recycling bin. Then they took that away and put out a single freight-car style container for aluminum, steel, newspapers, plastics, junk mail and magazines. Wow! It's all supposed to be separated, but tossed into one bin. Yep, it's kind of a mess inside, but here's hoping it will remain. And, perhaps, be improved.

But, wait. There's more. It's like a switch has gone off in my head. I compost my vegetable and fruit scraps - and maggots are not necessarily bad things, just gross! I take Navy showers. I drive slower and as if I had an egg between my foot and the gas pedal. I take my own bags to the grocery store - well, mostly. But I have to have a few to tie up my recycles, right?

It's a new economy, folks.