Sing Your Song Anyway

rainbow

I recently learned that the song “Over the Rainbow” was repeatedly stricken from the film The Wizard of Oz.  The pundits at MGM felt that it was too slow and that a little girl singing in a barnyard was in poor taste.  Two men, Arthur Freed and Roger Edens, fought to keep it in the final release.  Thank heavens for their insistence.

Can you even imagine watching The Wizard of Oz without hearing Judy Garland singing that beautiful song?  It embodied the tremendous love and kindness she represented and set the stage for everything to come both on and off screen.  “Over the Rainbow” went on to win the Academy Award for Best Original Song and was deemed to be the greatest movie song of all time by the American Film Institute.  The recognition and awards list goes on and on.  It was a musical and theatrical masterpiece.

At various times in our lives, we may not be following the norm or we may be outright defying it.   Big important people may disagree with our techniques, our methods, or our words.  Those close to you may tell you that you are heading the wrong way.  That you are on a fool’s errand.  That you are wasting your time.

Sing your song anyway.

They may be right about many things, but that does not mean that they are right about everything.  There is true magic within each of us.  A divine spark.  A song to sing.  Don’t allow it to be silenced by another who is unable to recognize it.

You have an inner light.  A shimmer.  A sparkle.  A shine.  Have faith in a universe bigger than this world, and know that divine love stands with you always.  You have something important to share.  Be brave.  Keep writing.  Keep painting.  Dance.  Love.  Design.  Whatever it may be.

Just don’t give up and don’t give in.

Sing your song, no matter what they say.

In love and light always – Joanna

Shimmer

The Terminator – How to Kill a Cyborg & a Classic at the Same Time (Day 18)

Who among us doesn’t think the words “family film” when remembering The Terminator.  Everyone you say?  Well there’s a reason for that, but it’s not the one you think.

Many would assume that this movie has yet to solidify it’s slot in the family film genre solely based on heavy violence, adult language, and visible nip / hiney action.  While those elements do have merit, I have no doubt that the key determining factor that ultimately locked up the R rating designation was that the movie makers had pre-teen / young teen kids of their own and knew that those almost adult humans would ask ten thousand questions during the whole film thus driving the surrounding full adults insane if they were allowed into the theater.

For other parents reading this, I have a few comments I would like to share.  First of all, my husband fell on his sword and hung out with our tidbit kid in the other room as she watched a painfully bad kid cartoon.  I have reached max capacity on my cartoon swine viewing limit and have determined that life is too uncertain to spend one more second of it with that freakin’ pig.  Take Peppa back England!!!

So it was just the bigs (the older kids) and me watching The Terminator.  Once again take a deep breath judgy parental pants because we are actually pretty strict on what we let our kids see.  There is a high lame factor present on their shows.  However the Terminator and Alien were the first R rated films my parents let me see two hundred years ago, I didn’t die or go on a killing spree (yet…), and I am following the tradition.  These movies are kind of like R light.

I don’t sweat some bad language here and there.  Although my husband and I weave in and out of our own personal mine field of F bombs, we are careful to keep the verbal arsenal under lockdown until the kids aren’t around.  But these kids do go to school with lots of other kids, and we recognize that they hear the words daily.  I’m not indifferent to it, but there comes a point as a parent when you have to wake up and smell the fochaccino.  I think of it like someone talking smack about me behind my back.  If I never catch them, then I don’t know and I will remain peacefully oblivious.  But if I do…

Watch.  Your.  Back.

On the sexuality front(al), my kids know where babies come from (adult humans obviously pollinate), but we still steer them away from anything super steamy or laced with heavy innuendo.  I had already seen the movie multiple times before and therefore knew when the film was going to get all nudey booty.  Miraculously there just happened to be freshly baked cookies exiting the oven in the kitchen at the same time!  It was as if a mystical force knew what was about to happen and planned it that way.  And by mystical force, I mean me.

As for the violence, The Terminator was hard core violent in it’s day.  However it would barely scratch a PG-13 rating nowadays.  So that’s the dish.  If you are still annoyed, why are you continuing to read this?  Look away!

And now, after all that, I’m going to give you a small sense of what it was like to watch this action classic with them.  I will walk through the key scenes of the film, but this will be done via telling you the questions they asked  me and the answers I gave in return.  I’m only going to share a teeny fraction of these as I don’t have the patience to type them all, and the internet isn’t big enough to encompass that much data anyway.  This is a novella of a post, but I want to document this now.  I need to know exactly what to teach my grandchildren to say as payback years down the road.

***Spoiler alert – If you haven’t seen this movie, what is up with that?  Also I will be loosely telling the tale, but I’m absolutely going to ruin the whole thing for you if you keep reading.  Given that this is exactly what my kids did to this movie for me, it only seems fair.***

I didn’t write that text.  It was part of the shot.

(Opening scene – intro shot)

KID 1 – Is this in the future?
ME – It says 2029 A.D. on the screen.  You know what that means.
KID 1 – So yes?
ME – Seriously?
KID 1 – So yes?
MY HUSBAND (We are one minute into the movie yet he clearly can’t take it anymore and thus sticks his head around the corner) – It’s 2017 now!  Yes – it’s in the future!!!

(Fast forward to present day which happens to be the 1980s at that point – naked Arnold a.k.a the Terminator appears, flashes his hiney, and goes on the hunt for some threads)

Because of course Arnold would definitely wear the same size clothes as any of these string beans.

KID 2 – Where are his clothes?
ME – He’s from the future.  I guess he lost them in time travel.
KID 2 – They don’t wear clothes in the future?
ME – I can’t go into the delicate nature of time travel right now.  Please just watch the movie.
KID 2 – But he’s from the future?
ME – Yes.
KID 2 – Why is he there?
ME – Please just watch.

(Other naked guy soon to be known as Kyle Reese appears)

And in another lucky happenstance, he meets a homeless guy with perfect sized pants just waiting to be stolen – praise be!

KID 1 – Another naked guy?  Is he from the future, too?
ME – Yes.
KID 1 – Are there going to be more naked future people?
ME – No.
KID 2 – So he’s from the future?
ME – I just said that he’s from the future.
KID 2 – But why doesn’t he have clothes.
(Beats the heck out of me kid but I will say anything to make this stop.)
ME – They burn up in time travel.
Kid 2 – Oh….

(***Addendum to post – My husband read this entry after I wrote it.  He said that they explain in the movie that you can’t take anything with you when you time travel, so that’s why they are sans underoos.  I probably would have heard this explanation as well had I been watching it in a kid-free zone.)

(Both men have donned their totally tubular 80s fashion, and it’s time to search for Sarah Connor.  Lucky for Sarah, she is already fully integrated into the 80s look as can be evidenced by that hair.)

And this, kids, is what we call the feathered look.

KID 2 – Is she from the future?
ME – No.
KID 2 – But he is from the future?
ME – … (staring blankly and locking the words from my mind in my mouth)

Hey baby. You come here often??

(More movie stuff as the Terminator methodically tracks down every Sarah Connor he can find in the phone book and pops a cap as needed.  Meanwhile I get to explain the mysterious “phone book” concept to my kids, and their reaction is one of shock, awe, and palpable embarrassment for all that once was.  More movie stuff.  We see Kyle Reese is also Desperately Seeking Sarah.)

KID 2 – Why are they looking for her?

(Kid 2 broke me at last.  I could no longer endure the endless questions while I waited for her to see what was going to happen.)

ME – Okaaaay so the big guy is a dangerous robot from the future who is trying to kill that lady.  The other guy is trying to save her.  In the future, the robots take over the planet.  She will have a kid that will help save the humans.  The big robot guy goes back in time to try to kill her before that happens, and the other guy is trying to stop him.
KID 1 & 2 – He’s a robot!?!?
ME – Yes.
KID 2 (in regard to Arnold on screen) – Is he a robot?
ME – Yes.
KID 2 (in regard to Kyle Reese) – Is he a robot?
ME – No.
KID 2 (every few seconds for the next 15 minutes whenever any guy appears on the screen) – Is he a robot?  Is he a robot?  Is he a robot?  Is he a robot?  Is he a robot?  Is he a robot?
ME (in response back every few seconds) – Yes.  No.  Yes.  No.  Yes.  No.  Stop asking.  Pleeeaaase.  I’m begging you.

(Fight scene in club.)

Watch me whip…Now watch me nae nae…

Excuse me but did you just pull a “stop short” move?

(Escape.  Car chase.  Escape.)

I’ve got my eye on you!

(I’m not even going to begin to run through the eyeball removal questions. Needless to say, there were no further inquiries regarding the Terminator’s robot status after that.)

I’LL BE BACK

(A few minutes later, Arnold delivered his famous “I’ll be back” line.  I explained the significance to the kids.  Now the only people who have used the words “I’ll be back” more than Arnold would be my children. Throughout the rest of the film. End. Less. Ly.)

Used homeless guy sweatpants AND a tie-dyed top? Save some sexy for the rest of us!

(More escaping amidst many more painful questions.  Sarah and Reese hideout in a swanky roach motel.  As he starts to reach for her cookies, the timer goes off and we head to the kitchen for a few minutes to get ours.)

(We return from our brief cookie hiatus to find the couple running from the Terminator yet again.  I run through the “robot from future going after girl from present as guy from future attempts to save her” dynamic for the twentieth time.)

(More running…  More escaping…  More running…)

KID 2 – Is he ever going to die?
(Seconds later)
KID 2 (again) – He’s never going to die.

(At least she asked and answered both parts of that one.)

(Cue the countless “why won’t this thing die already” scenes.)

Arnold had to lose a lot of weight for these last few scenes.

KID 1 – What!?!?
KID 2 – I toooold you.

(More running and then we enter the factory with other big machines.  The irony hangs out just waiting to do its part.)

Don’t leave me future sweatpants guy!

(Kyle kicks the bucket in a last ditch effort to blow up the cyborg.  Fail!  Half a cyborg body remains and drags it’s torso after Sarah.  Since captain sweatpants didn’t finish the job and managed to leave her with shrapnel in her leg (as well as one other parting gift she won’t soon forget), she can’t run and therefore crawls away in turn.  She pulls herself through a huge machine clearly used to press large somethings (I believe that mechanical engineers refer to these giant pieces of industrial equipment as “those really big thingies that smoosh other not quite as big but still really big thingies.”).

KID 1 & 2 – Noooo!
KID 1 – Oh come ooooon.
KID 2 – Oh yeah.  She’s gonna smash him!

(Sarah climbs out of the mega smoosher.  As the torso of the cyborg reaches toward Sarah, she pushes her body back from his clawing hand.  She desperately feels (blindly) around a wall (that she cannot see at all in the slightest) because that’s (naturally what you do when you are terrified out of your mind and have access to a massive piece of industrial machinery that only two people on the planet have a clue how to use and that’s) where she locates…

My bet is that he was just trying to style her bangs differently.

…and presses the button.  The smoosher smooshes away the last of his scrappiness.)

(Get it?  Because he is now scrap metal and before he was scrappy.  <— This is what it would have been like if we had watched a comedy instead.  Nothing says humor quite like a five minute joke explanation to break out why a two second line is funny.)

KID 1 – That hand is gonna be like Thing from The Adams Family.
KID 2 – Yay!
KID 1 – So there is no more future now?
ME – … (dead pan stare as my jaw hangs slack)  (I had explained it too many times already.  Here we were at the very end, and they still missed the whole damn story.)

(Final scene – a few months down the road)

KID 2 – She has a doggie!
KID 1 – Awww.  Wait.  Why is she pregnant?
ME – Hmmm.  I don’t know, but the movie is over.  Who wants the last of the cookies?

The Earworm and the Ripple Effect (Day 14)

earworm 2 - mickey***Earworm (noun):  a song that gets stuck in your head and makes you go frickin’ bananas to the point that you have to blog about it or you brain will explode

earworm 1 - petrified

This is not the earworm I am battling, but it was too funny not to share.

I’ve got one of those maddening earworm situations happening at the moment.  Although I only saw the rock musical play Rent one time on TV many years ago, I still remember all of the lyrics to the song “Seasons of Love” with absolute precision.  This is what keeps replaying again and again in my mind:

“Five thousand twenty-four hundred thirty-six second miiiinutes…
Five thousand twenty-four hundred thirty-six minutes are there…
Five thousand twenty-four hundred thirty-six second miiiinutes…
Five thousand twenty-four hundred thirty-six minutes somewhere…”

I’ll spare the fact checkers and list the purported lyrics per the vast majority of the rest of the internet (and possibly the Screen Writers Guild as well):

“Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes…
Five hundred twenty-five thousand moments so dear…
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes…
How do you measure…measure a year?”

The internet just couldn’t stop there, so it felt compelled to add even more lines (below).  As with all good music, I can assure you that there are only four lines in this song and that they are meant to be sung ten thousand times in a row exactly as I originally wrote them above.

“In daylights…  In sunsets…
In midnights…  In cups of coffee…
In inches…  In miles…
In laughter…  In strife…
In five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes…
How do you measure a year in the life…
How about love?
How about love?
How about love?
Measure in love.”

Well clearly my version is the right one, so pay no attention to any naysayers who might attempt to throw out frivolous comments like “But Joanna, your words aren’t actual numbers…” or “That isn’t how telling time works…” or even “No seriously.  I’ve seen the play and your version is in no way representative of the lyrics.”  Pshaw!  I won’t fall for your tomfoolery!

However I am a kind person and would never want to dismiss others even when they are clearly out of touch with reality.  So just for the sake of giving the little guy (the entire internet) a chance, let’s pretend that their version of the lyrics was an actual indicator of the way one could break out the number of minutes in a year.

Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes.  That’s a monster boatload of minutes.

counter

And in contemplating that daunting number, I started thinking about the hit counter on my own little blog.  It isn’t a drop in the ocean compared to the stats of innumerable sites out there, but the number still amazes me nonetheless.

As of this moment, the counter has almost reached forty thousand hits.  In Internet-landia, it’s almost approaching amoebic status!  Perhaps I will achieve paramecium-ic status by year end!  Smallest of the small potatoes.  I know.  But that still represents forty thousand interactions of some kind.  Forty thousand opportunities to share something with another person.

In the last few days in particular, I have read several incredible people’s blogs and comments that mention how they often see no value in their words.  The self criticisms have ranged from “I just gripe and whine” to “I’m spinning my wheels.”  I have heard “What I say isn’t important” or “I just ramble.  My posts don’t matter.”

The wild part to me is that they absolutely matter.  I know because they matter to me.  I can’t begin to articulate how much I receive from their words.  I need their emotions, their realities, and their perspectives on their journeys (even if they don’t call them that).  I see the amazing wonderful everythings that they add to this world.

Personally (and this is just me) (but I’m thinking that leading the sentence with the word “Personally” should have cleared that up already), I don’t buy into the idea that you should only write or say something that you know is helpful, happy, thoughtful or uplifting.  I love me some good inspiration, and I want to feel bliss and joy for at least twenty-five of the available twenty-four hours in a day.

But I still get my feelings hurt by people I love.  I frequently handle situations in ways that are so beyond terribly poor.  Sometimes I feel lonely and sad and angry and frustrated.  I hurt physically and emotionally.  My thoughts become cloudy and my path unclear.  I become disappointed in myself for making sad choices so often that the number could be used as part of the lyrics of a song in a rock musical play on TV.  Thankfully the person who heard it would probably hose up the number in those lyrics beyond recognition anyway.

Every day isn’t like that.  Yes I do make mistakes aaaaaaall the time, and I definitely make them on a daily basis.  But I am always hoping for better.  I am always wanting more for myself and, more importantly, from myself.  I will have the life I dream of because I am tenacious as hell and refuse to go quietly.

It helps me to feel like I’m not the only person meandering the expansive “Human Under Construction” zone.  Pardon our dust, but the lady of the house was busy blogging and also she hates dusting more than pantyhose.  But she hates sporks even more…that freaky mutant plasticware…  Bleh!

Our words and interactions sing to countless people around us.  Although those people may not get every detail right, some part of what we say and who we really are sticks with them.  Those parts then ripple out to others as well.

If you know without question that you approach the world from a treacherous place of cruelty,  pure meanness, or blatant dishonesty, take these words as a serious call to reevaluate what you are doing.  We all stand at crossroads at different times in our life, and when that happens, you have a chance to pick another path.  Choose a better way.  This is your moment to change everything.

But if you are human and raw and just doing the best you can, I speak your language.  If you stumble and want to get up but simply can’t figure out how, I am a frequent traveler on that road, too.  If you don’t know if you will be able to hold on another day, I call to you from my heart and plead with you now – just wait it out a little longer.  The dark clouds will clear.  The importance of your place in this world is beyond measure.  You matter to more people than you fathom and you affect innumerable lives throughout the five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes of each year.

Sing your song – whatever the lyrics may be – and I will gladly sing along.  I have a decent voice.  Just ask my shower.  But not my kids.  Their reviews of my shower singing are not to be trusted.  (With that said, you should anticipate that I will probably eff up the words so apologies in advance.)

Love and light always dear ones!  Joanna

And just like me –>>earworm 6 - rick astley

earworm - rick astley

Rick-rolling will never cease to be hysterical to me.  It is utterly stupid and truly one of my most favorite things ever ever ever.  So boo-yah!

Movie Recap – The Devil is in the Details

Sometimes it isn’t about what you say but rather what you don’t say.  We tell our stories, but what critical details do we choose to exclude?

This movie is a classic that is amazing and worthy of a revisit.  From the onset, the film offers stunning views coupled with brilliant dialogue and colorful photography.  It captivates the eye and the emotions.

We learn that a young family has suffered some trouble and is looking to spend time away together to start anew.  They travel to a new residence that is large but well kept. The child is quiet but manages to make a new friend in a matter of minutes. Their immediate connection is unmistakable, but sadly the other has to leave.  The child is left to create his own entertainment while the parents perform their duties.  We learn that the father is a struggling artist who has grappled with rage and addiction. The mother is kind but unaware.

Time passes, and the boy soon meets other children in the area.  Unfortunately they are strange children and make him very uncomfortable.  The boy has no interest in their friendship or in playing with them.  The boy’s isolation grows, and we sense that the parents’ relationship is crumbling as well.

The father begins to struggle once more with addiction, and he can’t get unstuck from the same repetitive idea for his art.  Eventually his frustration and confusion send him into the arms of another woman. She disappears quickly from the movie but is unforgettable nonetheless.

Although the mother never discovers her husband’s terrible tryst, their marriage is on the edge of a knife.  Their relationship has now become physically abusive, and she has to make a new change for the better.  Despite their arguments, the husband does not want her or their son to leave. He makes every attempt to keep them close.

Ultimately the mother and son must leave and again find themselves as passengers on the road to a new beginning.  The husband stays behind.  It’s as if he is frozen in time.

As I said before, the devil is in the details.  A couple of the minor points I failed to include above were:

– the boy sees ghosts

– the father sees ghosts

– the father turns into a homicidal maniac

– the residence is a hotel that apparently caters to furries

– and (of course) the movie is “The Shining”

I’m not suggesting that these are the details most of us omit from our tales.  And if they do happen to apply to you, there’s sure to be an “Unfollow Me” button somewhere in this page that you can click now.

My point is that people share their stories through filters.  You may not have the full story.  Be kind to others. Know that more may be going on than they can or will share. And above all else, don’t ever agree to be the caretaker for the Overlook Hotel.

Passenger

Puberty – Nature’s Little Joke

Children entering the unfamiliar world of puberty deserve parents who help them navigate this natural change with maturity, respect, and a moderate sense of delicacy. Unfortunately for my kids, they have me instead.

A few days before school let out for the summer, the elementary played a video for the girls in my daughter’s grade about body changes and what to expect. I knew that they were going to be showing this to them and didn’t sweat it as I had already given the 10,000 foot version of the tale many moons ago.  What I didn’t expect was the moment when my daughter opened the car door, plopped her little butt down on the seat, looked right at me and said with complete seriousness, “Well we watched a video about puberty today, and I got cramps.”

Peed.  My.  Pants.  Laughing.

A few days before that my son had commented excitedly how he so wanted to do “The Wild Thing.” For reference, I knew that he was talking about learning to play the 80s Tone Loc song on the drums, but he didn’t say it like that.  (He still doesn’t know what that even means.)  Again, there was pants peeing on my part.

Seriously.  My kids unwittingly tee these up for me on a daily basis.  Lucky for them, I shall store their comments in a secure location on their behalf until they are old enough to understand how very funny they are – the internet.

***MoJo***

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