Category Archives: Relationships

Hart Songs, Part 1 (Love)

I had a bit of an emo day yesterday – not the type where I felt sorry for myself, just a bit darker than I usually am. Not sure where this came from, but it kind of crept up on me and before I knew it, I was listening to Modest Mouse and not talking to anyone. I had a tummy ache too. Maybe the two are exclusive.

I woke up today all better, but with a strong desire to clean the house. The lazy person who lives inside me wanted me to lie on the couch. I balanced both urges, hence this blog post, inspired by a rare day of moodiness (I like to think I’m happy all the time. Perhaps I’m fooling myself – I don’t care.) Then I turned on my music and the first song out of the chute was one that had I heard it last night, I might’ve gone all Ophelia. (Just being dramatic… promise.)

So I gotz to thinkin’ – what songs always – ALWAYS – elicit some sort of reaction from me, be it crying (usually as I’m a big giant sap), revolutionary moments, anger… what have you. The list is pretty long, but here are some highlights and reasons.

NOTE — I started writing. And dude, I just wrote and wrote. So I’ll break it up into a series. In no particular order.

THE LOVE SONGS

Sure, it’s the most-addressed topic in the world, and everyone’s got their favorites. Here are a few of my most sentimental ones. I should also preface this list the fact that I’m just a hopeless, weirdo romantic whose idea of love is best summed between Doc Holliday and Kate the Prostitute in “Tombstone.” So perhaps I have weird taste I love songs.

“Watch Closely Now,” Kris Kristofferson

If you haven’t seen the Barbra Streisand-KK version of “A Star is Born,” You don’t know what you’re missing. It’s superb. And this song falls very near the top of the all-time favorite list too. It’s a growly, sexy rock song that is a more raw version of the love song.

 “Watch closely now
You’ll observe a curious exchange of energy
Are you a figment of my imagination
Or I one of yours?
 Watch closely now – are you watching me now?
Your eyes are like fingers
They’re touching my body and arousing my soul
Ridin’ the passion arisin’ inside me
How high can I go?
You’re comin’ with me girl
I’m gonna show you how
When it’s scary, don’t look down
 Watch closely now – are you watching me now?
I see the hunger arise in your eyes and it’s a-urging me on
Higher and harder and faster and farther
Than I’ve ever gone
You’re comin’ closer lady
Don’t ya leave me now
We’re gonna make it
Don’t look down
 Watch closely now – are you watching me now?
I’m the master magician, who’s setting you free
From the lies you’ve been told
When they’re breaking your back
Bring your last straw to me
I turn straw into gold
I’m gonna need you later
When you’re not around
But I can take it
Don’t look down
 Watch closely now
Are you watching me now?…”
 

“La Vie En Rose,” Edith Piaf and/or Louis Armstrong

I get it. Paris is romantic. I’ve never been. I’m still waiting, because I want it to be like this. Did I mention I’m incurable?

  

“Hold me close and hold me fast
The magic spell you cast
This is la vie en rose
When you kiss me, heaven sighs
And though I close my eyes
I see la vie en rose
When you press me to your heart
I’m in a world apart
A world where roses bloom
And when you speak, angels sing from above
Everyday words seem to turn
Into love songs
Give your heart and soul to me
And life will always be
La vie en rose
 

“I Love You, Always Forever,” Donna Lewis

I admit to liking some cheesy music, some not-so-cool, proves-I’m-not-a-hipster stuff, and this is probably the quintessential song for that assertion. But dammit if it’s not a beautiful love song that I hope to better understand someday, as true love has managed to evade me lo these many years.

“You’ve got the most unbelievable blue eyes I’ve ever seen
You’ve got me almost melting away
As we lay there under blue sky with pure white stars
Exotic sweetness a magical time”

Ah, it’s sticky sweet, but it affects me. Can’t do anything about that. Just have to let it envelope me… and gush like a sissy.

Love Is Alive,” The Judds

The idea of love over a simple everyday breakfast table is just so charming and alluring. This is the Judds at their absolute finest.

Love ain’t a candle
It doesn’t burn for one night
And need the dark to shine
Love is alive
And love ain’t just a word
In every dictionary
With no where defined
Love is a man and he’s mine
Love is alive and at breakfast table
Every day of the week
Love is alive and it grows every day and night
Even in our sleep
Love is alive and it’s made a happy woman out of me
Oh, love is alive and here by me
 

“Time and Tide,” Basia

Once upon a time, I thought I’d found The One, stupidly, and this song was sort of my anthem then, and when that relationship fizzled, I kind of started hating the song. I haven’t been “In Love” since then (quotes intended, as who knows if I was really in love then) but I can listen to this song again and realize why I liked it to begin with. My mom, who was married five times and was an incurable romantic, loved this song. I don’t know who it reminded her of. One of the mysteries she died with.

 “It’s hard for me to stop my heart
Love never knows when the time is right
I don’t want to hurt anybody but
Can’t help loving you
I never felt like this before
I know this is passion worth waiting for
Let life take its course
That’s the only thing for us to do
We’ve got time, oh baby
There’s no rush gonna be a better day for us
Hang on and I will wait for you
Our love will always stay as good as new”

… and the Old Faithfuls

“Indian Summer,” The Doors

“If I Needed You,” Townes Van Zandt

“Visions of Johanna,” Bob Dylan

Up next, the sad songs… because they say so much.

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Things to do before the Rapture (Saturday)

It’s been a busy few weeks for me. I’ll elaborate later, probably with pictures. Not THOSE kind of pictures… those don’t get downloaded.

Other failed attemps at Rapture

An earlier failed attemps at Rapture... OR WAS IT?

I’ve been reading with scant interest the reports of the Rapture wiping out all of humanity on Saturday. I’m Episcopalian; as far as I know we don’t really believe in Rapture. Then again, we’re kinda like Nell sometimes: “Tay in the wind, chickapee,” just sorta swinging from side to side, hoping our beliefs will find purchase… But Rapture hasn’t been brought up as far as I know.

But suffice it to say, the idea of Rapture A) is inspiration enough for a blog; and B) makes me want to trade in my to-do list for an “actually want to do” list.

And of course, I’m a broke-ass journalist, so I don’t have the funds to do fun stuff like “Sail to Italy” or “Buy device that will explode land so I can sail in a straight line to Italy nonstop.” So I won’t offer any suggestions that will require lots of money.*

(* = OK, one will cost a lot. But I have ideas on where to get the cash.)

So what can you do on a limited budget, to satisfy your need to accomplish something/do something fun/fuck around before the Rapture?

Prince: Just don't look 'em in the eye.

Prince: Just don't look 'em in the eye.

* Call the Guy. You know the one, Dr. Everything Be All Right, ‘stead of asking how much of your time is left, ask him much of your mind, baby… Sorry, every now and then Prince just takes over my body. I looked him in the eye. But seriously. You should call The Guy or The Girl and tell ‘em what’s up. It’s easy. Just say, “I’ve always loved you, I can’t live without you and don’t want to, so it’s a good thing the world is ending because you’re A) Married B) In Witness Protection C) currently renewing the protective order, or D) A commitmentphobe who’s just not that into me.” Just make the call! This Rapture thing’s for sure, right?
  

DO IT! We're all gonna die anyway.

The KFC DoubleDown: On any Rapture-Friendly Menu.

* Eat a KFC Double-Down. I’ve wanted to since KFC foisted this upon us, and even though I inhale tacos like there is no tomorrow (haha!), the Double-Down seems like something you’d eat only if you were sure the End O’ Days was around the bend. My brother eats them, but he also can bench-press a 1980s-era Dodge Ram. He can eat whatever he wants and it turns to Pure Steel.

* Graffiti your own house. Since I’ve been a homeowner, the same week that Katrina happened – shoulda been an omen – I’ve wanted to do something really crazy like tag my own house. I’m not good with spray-painting, I don’t think, since I can barely scrawl my name using an actual stylus. But wouldn’t it be fun? I’d spray-paint Charles Bukowski quotes on my garage door. Now THAT’s irony, folks. No one will be around to get it, but at least I got it.

Steelers, no.

Not a Steelers fan, but I've always been quite the Mike Tomlin fan. Meow.

* Go black. (Stay with me on this one… I promise it’s not racist.) As the ol’ saying goes, you can never go back, so now’s the time! If you can’t live with the idea of actually expressing your desire for another human being based on what they look like, the Rapture list is made for you!  I’ve always thought this phrase ridiculous, but then again, I’m attracted to everything, even the occasional table lamp. Skin color has absolutely nothing to do with who I’m attracted to, and it never will. I’ve “gone black,” and been back, and “gone black” again, then been back again. I’ve even “gone toast-colored.” But if you’re one of those people who’s kinda freaked out by race, always wanted to try it but are afraid of What The Neighbors Will Think, this is your week!

Her womb was so polluted

Her womb was so polluted, she couldn't even have a little baby. -- Tony Montana

* Go Scarface on a pile of cocaine. Or whatever you’ve always wanted to do. But remember: While I’m 100 percent sure that the Rapture is coming, (It says so on the Internet) on the off-chance that it’s not, you still might be random drug-tested the next day. And who knows how long it takes to pee out a Tony Montaña-sized pile of cocaine? This doesn’t really qualify as something you’d do on a budget, so you should probably preface a drug binge of this magnitude with selling your house, robbing a liquor store, brazenly walking into convenience stores and stealing their “Save the Children” buckets, stuff like that.

Of course, these are just suggestions. You do whatever you want with your last days. Hell, what have you got to lose? It’s the end of the world as you know it, you might as well feel fine.

And yes, I know every word to that song.

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Why I didn’t watch the Royal Wedding

I didn’t watch  it, OK? That does not make me a love-hater, hater of love. My neglecting to watch the nuptials had nothing to do with any sort of anti-British mentality. I actually aspire to go to London first in my conquering (read: extensive tourism) of Europe. I plan to have a Joey-esque time the entire trip, shouting, “London, BABY!” as often and loudly as possible.

No, the reason I didn’t watch is was because it was broadcast too damn early and I work 12- to 14-hour days. I need sleep. Another reason? It was a wedding… a WEDDING. The wedding part would’ve been fine, I guess — one of my good friends says I should’ve watched because it cast my denomination, Episcopalian nee Anglican, in a good light. I can get behind that logic. But it had the feeling of an awards show, something else I seldom watch. I really just can’t stand all that fluff in a broadcast. I fast-forward the Oscars, or wait until the winners list is out. I just can’t do it.

Perhaps this has something to do with being an editor who’s had to cut plenty of stories to fit into tiny spaces. I can no longer tolerate deadwood. And the only opinions I care about are those of people I actually know. For instance, I will read a column by Tulsa World columnist Dave Sittler after an important game, among other local columnists. I will read post-game analysis by college football beat writers. I will read a Q&A with Carrie Underwood or Blake Shelton written by an Oklahoma writer. But to hear some ditsy entertainment reporter on any host of networks go on and on and on about hats, dresses, etc.? No thanks.

Have I gone hyper-local? Perhaps. About some things.

In the case of Osama bin Laden, I went international, even watching coverage from al-Jazeera.

But that was the death of the biggest fucking plague to walk the erf in the last few decades. Killed by US — that’s U.S., U-S, One Nation Under God. At that moment, I felt united.

Friends who watched the wedding told me they felt united with the world  during the ceremony — the millions of badly-dentistried Britains in the street, while 400 million or so had their  eyes turned mistily to the tube, watching as the lovely Kate was adored by her now-husband Prince William.

The beauty is not lost on me, but  watching 14 straight hours of coverage is. I recall watching Lady Diana and Prince Charles’ wedding. I was also 6, so my Princess Phase was in full swing. I grew out of that when my Barbies became sexually active, around the time I was 8 or 9.

And truth be told, I really loved Di. I thought she was immaculate. I think her sons are too, but maybe the wound of her death would’ve been too much for me. I cry a lot. I didn’t need my whole Friday wrecked because of the spectacle.

Friends in the newsroom told me that this was “their Super Bowl,” and if I didn’t watch, I wasn’t to make fun of those who did. And I’m not. Really. It just wasn’t for me. It wasn’t my Super Bowl, or college football national championship, or Final Four, or even Frozen Four.

Game 6 of just about any NBA playoff game? A random May Rockies game that magically appears on TV (it happens rarely; I never see Colorado on TV unless I’m at the World, where they have every channel known to man, or if the Rockies are in the playoffs and Big Sports is forced to air them) I’d watch any day of the week.

I’m still not getting up a 4 a.m. to watch, however. And my DVR space is important to me. Recording 137 straight hours of wedding coverage sounds like that time I accidentally recorded “Ghost Hunters” seven-hour Halloween special: Annoying and DVR-clogging.

I’m glad so many people witnessed the beauty and splendor of the wedding. But please, do not think of me as The Elephant Man because I didn’t. I am not an animal.

Perhaps I am a love hater, hater of love. Andre Benjamin? You might have to help me out with this one.

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V-Day songs, AKA a borrowed blog

Would y’all hate me if I use my blog from the newspaper here, too? If I tell you I’m tired and I need to do Zumba but I probably won’t because I’m tired? And wishing I was out drinking? And it’s only Monday?

What if I threw in a free F-bomb?

FARRAH FAWCETT! There’s an F-Bomb(Shell) for ya. Ah, Farrah. RIP.

If that satiates you, stay tuned for The Catbird Seat is Taken from today, lifted from my other blog site at the Tulsa World. It’s my 10 Favorite Love Songs, with a bit o’ commentary.

Let me start off, this fine Valentine’s Day, but saying that I’m not in love. Haven’t been since the middle of 2007. It’s weird, but kind of nice every now and again to hit the reset button.

That being said, I think it’s time. I’ve started to find love songs beautiful again, and I can listen to stuff that reminds of That Guy again. From 2007-2009, about half my music collection was verboten.

But don’t cry for me, Argentina. Despite a random dream about That Guy every once in a while, I’m over it. (GARISH CHICKEN NOTE: If I paid that much attention to my insane dreams, I’d be hospitalized by now. But some of them are awesome… not the zombie dreams though.)

And while I may be single, I don’t begrudge you folks in love your bliss. I hope it happens to me someday.

So here goes, the Top 10 songs I’d like to have sung to me someday. They might be a bit odd. So sue me.

10. “Lovely Day,” Bill Withers. “Then I look at you/and the world’s alright with me.” Yes, I want someone to be so enraptured in me that they think they might die if they don’t see me. Is that so much to ask?

9. “John, I Love You,” Sinead O’Conner. “John I love you, I’m ever so fond of you…” I heard this at a friend’s wedding, and it became THE love song to end all love songs, at least for a while.

8. “Feels Like Rain,” John Hiatt. This is a newly discovered love song that I adore… it’s everything sultry and sexy of a warm, rainy night, with smoky vocals and a relaxed tone… it’s almost dirty how sexy this song is. “We’ll never make that bridge tonight, across lake Ponchartrain, and if feels like rain …”

7. “Always Something There to Remind Me,” Naked Eyes (or Burt Bacharach, or the Carpenters…) I have a vivid memory of being on a ride at Bell’s Amusement Park and this song playing on the speakers. I was 9 or 10, and I was on that canoe ride where you basically went in circles. A really cute boy named Matt was also riding it. That’s all I remember, but there is always something there to remind me of that moment…

6. “Captain of her Heart,” Double. “Too long ago, too long apart, she couldn’t wait another day for/the captain of her heart.” That voice, that dreamy scene set in those lyrics… I remember it was played on General Hospital when I was a kid and I fell hard.

5. “Catch,” The Cure. I guess I identify with this song because of the line “And she used to fall down a lot/that girl was always falling again and again.” That’s me, in a nutshell, falling all the time, and not in love. Just literally falling. This little gem is song No. 2 on the Cure’s classic “Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me.”

4. “Leather and Lace,” Stevie Nicks and Don Henley. “You in the moonlight, with your sleepy eyes, could you ever love a man like me?” That’s sincerity, folks, and it’s beautiful.

3. “Kimberly Austin,” Porno for Pyros. Let it not be understated that I adore Perry Farrell, besides his solo stuff. This song is magical, and I’ve loved it since I heard the first notes on the second P4P CD. “Kisses my fingers when I go by, and I see my mother in her eyes.”

2. “Visions of Johanna,” Bob Dylan. This song will always be a testament to someone I will always love, have loved, for like 17 years, though he’s not an ex, just a dream. There’s a line that describes that feeling of wanting someone to be there, and when he’s not, you go crazy and the rest of the evening blows. “But she just makes it all too concise and too clear/that Johanna’s not here.”

1. “Time and Tide,” Basia. I HATED this song when it came out. Then I fell in love once, and it all made sense. Now, it’s my favorite love song… “We got time, baby, there’s no rush, it’s gonna be a better day for us/hang on, and I will wait for you, and our love will always be as good as new.”

Honorable Mentions:

* “For the Sake of the Song” and “If I Needed You,” Townes Van Zandt. They’re not in the list because they’re almost so lonesome I could cry.

* “Delirious Love,” Neil Diamond. It’s disqualified because it was part of that stuff I couldn’t listen to from 2007-2009.

* “Say Goodbye,” Dave Matthews Band. Another for the guy in the No. 2 song. Nearly too painful to be considered a love song.

* “Trouble,” Ray LaMontagne. Not ranked because it’s typical.

* “You’re In My Heart (The Final Acclaim),” Rod Stewart. I think it’s a terrific love song, but all I hear is Mike Meyers singing it in “So I Married an Axe Murderer” in Scottish twang. Also part of that two-year ban.

* “Silly Love Songs,” Wings. Not ranked because it’s been used on “Glee.”

NEW NEW NEW: And since we’re being open here on the Garish Chicken, I’d have to say that the sexiest song in the world is “In Need” by Sheryl Crow from the “Hope Floats” soundtrack. So take that, man of my dreams. That’s what brewing in my head. Just sayin’.

 

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