Okay, so I haven’t been writing lately cause of the bloody pony and squirrel. If you’re new, you may not have been introduced. First there is Sad Pony. He might look like a picture, but he’s very real. He enjoys sitting on me and acting sarcastic to hide his deep, dark pain.
Next up is Squirrel. He is also not just a picture, but a real anxiety attack in fuzzy form.
So right, as Merbear, whose post I just stole, said, music can help tame these bad boys here, at least for a little while. At the moment I am looking into new treatments for them because they’re cute and all but I want them kept at bay. I want an actual life. When you can look at your blog posts, giggle a little cause gosh you’re funny, but then realize that crap, you’ve sort of gone downhill over the years, it’s time to do something. Anything. But before I take up drunk hunting, I figured I’d try to write a few posts. Just to say I did. And why music? Cause I can’t think of anything else right now! Awesome!
So I had a record player when I was really little. It was a Winnie the Pooh record player. And I played it quite a bit. I also used the record player in the living room. Sometimes you had to put one of those little circular things inside the single disks, cause they had a bigger hole. I don’t know why they had a bigger hole, they just did. Also you had to play them on a higher speed. This was also a fun thing to do to regular records, so they would song like Chipmunks. Where was I? Right, so I played records, like Ghostbusters. I remember that one, especially on high speed. Also “Bad Boys” by Miami Sound Machine now known as Gloria Estefan. I am dating myself. I’m a great date.
I also had cassette tapes (all you cute little millennials – google this stuff) and the first one I remember was Hall and Oates. My brother gave it to me, because back then he gave me stuff he wanted. Come to think of it, he still kind of does this. I was around eight I think? That was also when my parents gave me my first phone in my room (pink!), so they wouldn’t have to hear me yammer any longer. My parents were progressive that way. My brother and I both got Sony Walkmans, because my parents liked us also shutting up on trips. I would often listen to my player, especially when I needed to cover up my father’s twang Country music. I was pleased to find out that Thing Two was trying to drown out Hakuna Matata the other day while Thing One and I sang at the tops of our lungs. Apparently Disney doesn’t go well with My Chemical Romance. We felt sads about this – haha, no we didn’t.
I can remember thinking I was sooo much older listening to music. I walked home one day and the speakers at the baseball field were playing Cyndi Lauper’s She-Bop and I danced and sang like the bad nine-year-old I was, having blissfully no idea what Cyndi was actually singing about (thank you Cracked for clearing up that mystery). There are other songs that bring back memories of roller skating rinks (look it up) and amusement parks (ours was called Wonderland, for reals). Now that I’m older, I listen to other music, but I still love the 80s. They are the best. I like some of today’s music – some of which I will embarrassingly admit to later, and the oldies too, though not as much as Merbear. We still have this weird ability to finish songs the other one starts, no matter what the time or genre. Sometimes we don’t both like a song and we have to take a breather and say, it’s okay, everyone has faults. But mostly we enjoy the same stuff. While there are songs that you love, there are also songs you hate with equal passion. I’ll talk about that too, maybe.
Music has a magical ability to change your mood. It doesn’t work on everyone – I had tone deaf English students. I asked them how all different genres of music felt, what it made them think of, from classical to modern day, from fast to slow. They said “your music sucks.”. I was 22, they were at least 18. I really don’t think four years should have made a difference. But wow, it can. For me, though, music is powerful. I can feel my heart swell when I hear it, and my soul soar. Like movies, music can take you places. It can actually heal you, and slow down your anxiety (lots of youtube videos are good for this). I even saw a video about this old man with Alzheimer’s who was non responsive – until they put headphones on him with his favorite music from his younger years. He literally came alive.
So yeah, I think I’ll talk about music. Here’s hoping, anyway.
It’s Monday, ya’ll, which means another full week OF DREAD. I like to be prepared, so I started my dreading early – Sunday night – when my anxiety reached top notch and I had to decide how to calm it down. Oh, sure, there are lots of ways, but you have to be able to GET to those ways in order for it to work. For instance:
Music can be calming. But once you reach Maximum Squirrel Overload, you are kind of past that. No kind of music, saying you were calm enough to find a music player, is going to make you feel better. There are a few types of music. Sad music: bad idea cause you are already anxious and probably depressed about being anxious and sad songs won’t help. Happy music: bad idea too because what business do people have being happy when you are freaked out? Then there’s rap music most of which I think is best classified as Angry music because there is much talk of popping caps in posteriors. Popping a cap might help with anxiety, but the jail time afterward would not, so don’t try it. Also, what are your chances of being able to find the gun?
I love when people say to work out your anxiety or depression with exercise. Look, people, I have no idea where any of my sweatpants are, and if I did, they would be dirty. Then I would have to wash them. And dry them. And put them on. That’s way too much work when your mind is going 1,000 miles an hour. You are already getting a mental workout, and trying to add physical to it can be too much. I guess the best way to describe it would be to expect someone to solve 500 quadratic equations, cure Cancer, and write a symphony, then tell them they had to do this all on the treadmill or elliptical. Now yes, if you manage to get to a gym before you reach Squirrel Overload, you have a chance of physically beating that anxiety back, but if it comes on suddenly, it’s just way too late.
Hot, soothing beverage!
This is usually my best bet, except this time I could not make the cocoa because even though I had cocoa packets, I did not have milk. Well, I had milk, two half gallons, but they had both expired. Saying I was able to force myself to pour the milk (which might come up in chunks which milk should never do) down the drain without barfing, I couldn’t because there were already dishes in the sink. So first I would have to put the dishes in the dishwasher. Except the dishwasher is full so then you have to put the dishes up except that they didn’t all come clean, so they have to go back in the sink. No one wants milk curds on top of that. So forget it. Finally I drove to McDonald’s for some, but they “broke” the machine. I would break it too if I worked there, but still. I had to drive yet another place before I finally got my cocoa. Then I remembered I hadn’t taken some of my pills, so I swallowed them with cocoa only to swallow them wrong and get heartburn. Once I had finished taking care of the heartburn, I managed to go to bed. That, my friends, is way too darn much work.
The last thing I feel when under Squirrel Overload is funny although I probably act rather amusing and or terrifying (it’s such a fine line) when under the influence. This morning I was not as sparkified, just dreadish, and telling myself that I just had to go to work for a little while even though I wanted to stay home. So I drove my Things to school and somehow the conversation diverted to dead dogs because – are you really surprised with us? Anyway, we discussed Where the Red Fern Grows which is a classic children’s book because it involves two dead dogs AND a dead child (for more on the dead dog topic see my post on dead dogs in literature. It’s a real romp.) And the Things, who were both forced to read this book, reminded me that the bully in the book was killed and I was like oh when he was mauled to death and they said no, an ax fell on him. Which is such a great image there. And I was like, dang, that author had some sort of personal vendetta against dogs and boys named Billy. And Thing Two said, “Mom, it was just an AXident.” Get it? Well, we did, and we laughed, because we have problems. But not as many as the author of Where the Red Fern Grows.
So the dread is still there, but at least I made it to work. And when I think of that horrible pun about an ax falling on a kid, I smile. I guess when you are on Squirrel Overload, it helps to have a couple of Things handy. I’m willing to rent them out.
Have you ever been groovin’ to a song, then one day stopped and actually listened to the lyrics and realized you were happily singing along to a song about a creeper? I just noticed that the other day when I was singing along to Billy Ocean’s “Get Out of My Dreams” It’s quite catchy, if you just don’t think about what you’re singing. But my Thing One immediately ruined by groove by saying “That’s pretty creepy, Mom.” Where might she have gotten that idea? Let’s look at the chorus.
Get Outta My Dreams
Get Into My Car
Get Outta My Dreams (get in the backseat baby!)
Get Into My Car (beep beep, ooh yeah!)
Hmm. Okay, well, that is a little weird. I mean, sure, we’ve all had crushes and daydreamed about a person before asking him or her out. But . . . this guy wants her in his car. And I mean, like, right now. In the back seat. Like, whoa, hey, buddy – let’s slow the car down just a wee bit, eh?
I’m not sure I’d be super happy to hear that a guy had been dreaming about me and now wanted me in the backseat of his car. Not only that, he wants her to “touch his bumper” so they can “make a deal.” Jeez, Billy, why not just ask her to get in the trunk? Anyway, being the good parent I am, I started making up my own lyrics with stuff like “let’s tie you right up” and “stick you in my trunk (beep beep ooh yeah!)” etc.
Thing One found this hilarious, of course. So yes, I am officially much more disturbed than Billy Ocean. But it’s not just the song that’s messed up, but the video. Remember this was the 80s, so people dancing around randomly with awful hair and clothes is a given, though part of the time Billy looks like he’s wearing a long white robe which is odd even for the 80s. We’ve also got that innovative use of cartooning over film which sucks now and sucked then. It doesn’t even have anything to do with the song. We’ve got a duck running alongside the car with a boombox, and occasionally the light fixtures become mouths, and other psychedelic imagery that I don’t even want to think about. Despite his obvious delusions, the girl hops in the car with him anyway. I’m guessing she showed up on Unsolved Mysteries pretty soon after that. Check it out.
Moving on. The next song is an oldie but a goodie by Elvis, who is definitely not a creeper even if he did pick up his wife when she was like 12 or something. The song is “Stuck on You.” Stop snapping your fingers a moment and listen to the lyrics.
You can shake an apple off an apple tree
Shake-a, shake- sugar,
But you’ll never shake me
Heh, heh, yeah, mmkay, how’s about I just get a handy little restraining order? What do you say to that, Elvis?
Hide in the kitchen
Hide in the hall
Ain’t gonna do you no
good at all
Okay then. Well, that’s just great, Elvis, if you don’t mind I’m just going to um . . . RUN! But hey, there’s no runnin’ cause this guy is gonna “stick like glue” cause he’s you know “stuck on you.” I’m picturing handcuffs here. I mean, you’re great and all Elvis, but if the girl is hiding in the kitchen and the hall, maybe she’s just not that into you. Just a guess, here. We’ll all just wait till Elvis leaves the building. While you wait, have a look at his video. Just watch out for his hips – they’re armed and dangerous.
I was listening to the radio the other day, and one of my favorite songs came on – “Runaround Sue” by Dion. And it occurred to me, as deep thoughts often do, that it’s rather odd that a song about something rather depressing – i.e. a cheating lover – is sung to such an upbeat tempo. The song is incredibly catchy. Here are the opening lyrics in case you’ve managed not to hear it in the 50-something years since it was first released. It starts out slowly, like this:
“Here’s my story, it’s sad but true / About a girl that I once knew
She took my love then ran around / With every single guy in town.”
And then comes the doo-wop! “Hey, hey, hum-de-hedy-hedy, hey, hey!” My girl is user friendly and probably has 27 venereal diseases! Better get tested! Sing with me, boys! Get down! Woot!”
I’m not sure why this guy is so happy. Maybe it’s the VD drugs. Or he has to keep dancing and clapping to avoid the, um, burning, itchy feeling. So do his backup singers, who probably also dated Sue. Actually, come to think of it, he says that Sue ran around with every single guy in town. So who exactly is he warning here?
At first I considered that maybe Sue was innocent after all. Maybe she was running in a marathon with all these guys. But then Dion says that she broke his heart (let’s hope that’s the only thing that broke), so he must be talking about the love business. My brother informs me that people didn’t actually have sex until the late sixties, and this song was released in 1961. But still I think Dion wouldn’t be quite so upset with Sue if all she was doing was sharing the popcorn, if you get my drift.
So who do we blame here? Sue, of course. It’s all her fault. Nevermind all the guys who succumbed to her charms. They couldn’t help themselves. I mean, she was there, and from what I can tell, for a teenage boy that’s pretty much the extent of the requirements for romantic interludes. So shame on you, Sue, you made Dion cry. And then dance and doo-wop with his pals. But at least we got a good song out of the whole deal.
Here’s the video. Check out the audience at around 0.53. They are really groovin’.
Skip a few decades to 1991 and you have “Jessie’s Girl” by Rick Springfield. Here’s another upbeat tune, this time about a guy who wants to bang his best friend’s girlfriend. Not since Sir Lancelot have we met such an upstanding and noble young man. Rick says:
“Jessie is a friend / Yeah he’s always been a good friend of mine
But lately something’s changed / It ain’t hard to define
Jessie’s got himself a girl / And I want to make her mine”
Yeah, uh, no offense Jessie, but Rick wants your girlfriend. Guys share, right? Remember Sue? That was awesome, huh? He totally knows she’s watching you with those . . . those eyes, and loving you with that body. He just knows it. And you’re holding her in your arms late at night. Yeah, he can imagine all of that. Wait, Rick, are you interested in the girl, or Jessie, or are you just a creeper? I’m going to go with creeper.
But there’s more. Rick says “I’ve been funny; I’ve been cool with the lines. Ain’t that the way love’s supposed to be?” Yeah. I mean what girl would not want Rick? He’s funny, and he looks good, and he knows one-liners. He just can’t figure it out. Well, here’s a quick hint, Rick. SHE ALREADY HAS A BOYFRIEND. You remember, your buddy. Yeah, that guy. Go back to Sue, you two deserve each other. And Jessie, learn to pick better friends.
Here’s the video. You know, I think I know some other reasons why you can’t “find a woman like that” Rick. One: You smash bathroom mirrors with your guitar. Two: You wear a suit and play guitar in the alley. Three: Chinos with a notable crease. On a rock and roll stage. In 1991. Really? Also, not that Jessie’s girl is shown much, but she doesn’t look terribly impressed with either Rick or Jessie or well, life. See for yourself.
So there you have it. Two upbeat songs about cheating lovers. Just kinda makes you wanna dance, doesn’t it? Hum-de-hedy-hedy-heh!