Friday, July 21, 2006


I like country music. There. I said it. But, like most music, there are subcategories within the genre that I dislike. I am not a fan of overusing the slide guitar. Bluegrass gets grating FAST--the exception being Alison Krauss. I don't like anything that twangy, whiny or nasal. But mainstream country music I do enjoy. And as I have gotten older, and the form become more mainstream and/or cross over, I find that I actually seek out country music radio stations. And I love the top 20 video count down on CMT as much as I enjoyed the VH1 rock and roll version 15 years ago.

Country music is one of the most universally relatable music forms out there. Who among us has not experienced love that won't wait, love gone wrong, love gone right, temptation, depression, love of nature and love of country (regardless of which boob is in the White House). Are there really people out there who sit still when hearing Charlie Daniel's "Devil Went Down to Georgia?!" And everyone loves Johnny Cash!

Country music is anthematic. So is my other favorite form, rock-n-roll, but rock anthems are usually anthems to rock. Or protest. Country anthems are anthems to every day life. Check out Gretchen Wilson's "Red Neck Woman." That song makes every woman living in rural America, or brought up lower middle class just stand up and cheer. And how about Sara Evans "Suds in the Bucket", a song about an 18 year old woman who takes off with her lover, leaving suds in the bucket, and clothes hanging out on the line. Her prince drove up in a white pick up truck. Love it!

Country artists SING. They don't scream. The music may express anger, but isn't angry. That is my problem with recent rock, alternative music, and definitely rap. Those artists may have very valid and interesting things to say. For me, the way they choose to convey those ideas is enough of a turn off that any potential message is lost.

Now, of course, you have your sellouts. Look no further than Brooks and Dunn. The biggest ass kissers of country music establishment there are! They win everything at every awards show. I can't stand them. Give me bad-ass Toby Keith any day of the week. That man thumbs his nose at EVERYTHING. Well, everything except his country. He is a red state in and of himself, and what he did to the Dixie Chicks is ridiculous, but I love the attitude present in his music. "Whiskey Girl" is great, and so is "Beer For My Horses."

So, guilty pleasure no more! I am going to stand up and be counted as the shit kicking, red neck, country music loving woman I am. Bring on your slings and arrows. There's probably a country song waiting to be born of just that.


Wednesday, July 19, 2006

On Turning 40

A month ago I celebrated my 40th birthday. And on that day, my son celebrated his 10th (more on him at a later time). Understandably, ten years ago I just didn't have the time to think about the significance of turning 30, as many of my peers did. With a brand new baby, such introspective thought is interrupted every 3 hours or so for feeding, changing, etc., or more likely, possible for the 5 seconds before exhaustion takes over, and swaddles you in blissful sleep.

Now that my only child no longer needs such minute to minute attention, I have much more time to reflect. As I contemplate 40, I know I have spent nearly ALL my years maturing. Learning to become comfortable with myself. Learning to understand my own motivations. Learning to understand how I am perceived, and how I perceive myself. And I'm not done, damnit!

As as child of 10 or 12, I thought that growing up had a finite end. That when I reached some magical age, 25 or 30 or 40, I would be done. I would be a full fledged adult, with problems solved, goals met, independence gained, self realized. Well. 33 days after my 40th birthday, I can tell you that is very much NOT the case. Maybe for others it is, but not me.

I think it has to do with passive vs. active living. As I child and young adult, I think I was simply biding my time until the process was over. Like waiting for a cake to finish baking. Completely glossed over the fact that PROCESS is not passive per se. Things have to be put in place to come together, yes? That cake might spend time in the oven, but not before ingredients are added the mixing bowl! There were moments of brilliance or blunder that I engineered, but mostly I waited.

Perhaps I have had my wake up call, or enough awareness to hear and heed it this time. I AM an adult. I have choices to make, within certain confines, of course. I have decided to take better care of myself. Of my self. I have decided to spend a little less time waiting. Patience is good. Martyrdom is not. I have decided to see myself as an adult, not a kid in an adult role. This is perhaps the hardest thing to do. To not allow myself to slip into either of two favored and oh, so comfortable, roles: Child Who Needs Tending, or Petulant Child Who Was Not Tended.

Since I plan to be around a few more decades, I have some time to polish my second act. Really how I see this part of my life. Birth to 40 as Act 1, Scenes i through xxxix in the books. Intermission over. Act 2 just now underway.


Friday, July 14, 2006


Not sure I have anything particularly witty or important to say here. But once in a while I do wax eloquent, so thought this might serve as an outlet. I have recently read some interesting things on blogs, so hope I am up to the challenge. Also, back in 1999 (I think) a Central Park palm reader prognosticated that I would write a well received book by the time I am 50. Well. This might be a good place to start...only 10 years to go! So to those who happen upon this, thanks for reading!