Friday, March 20, 2015

Chronic Lyricosis

I love to sing.  I am not a great singer.  I am not horrible singer, I can hold a tune, but I am not solo material.  But I don't care.  I love to sing.  I subscribe to the theory that even if you don't sound great, you will sound better if you sing louder and scrunch your face up with head slightly cocked to one side.  If a fan is blowing your hair a little even better.  I have a problem though.  I really could care less about what the words are in a song.  Oh sure, there are some lyrics that I totally "get" and really like, but it is the music that I really are about.  My friend Sharon used to tease me because many of my favorite songs are filled with woo hoo's, uh huh's and heyyyyyyyyy.  ( and I said heyyyyyyyyy heyyyy heyyyyy. What's going on).   If a song goes from low notes to high or high to low a lot, oh yeah!!!!  If a song has some screaming that can only be sung with a microphone held right up your mouth while leaning in to said microphone on a stand (picture any song by Whitesnake) OMG.  When I was in college Karaoke came to Tennessee.  We went to our normal bar and instead of a band there was this microphone and a screen and they were trying to get people to come up on stage and sing.  This was way before people started taking this seriously.  Nobody was going and they started to offer prizes to get people up there.  My friends looked at me and said we will buy your beer for the rest of the night if you get up there and sing "I Am Woman Hear Me Roar" one of the few songs I know all the words to, because, well, I Am Woman.  I of course said yes and promptly went to the stage.  I nailed it.  Well, not really , but the beer made it feel like I did.  I may not have been on key, but it definitely broke trump and the stage was filled from that point on all night.  The nice(?) thing about Karaoke at that time is they gave you a tape of your song when you left.   So you would always have that memory.  Ha. Well, my mom was coming to town the next day to take me shopping. We had a great day and she was dropping me off at my BFF's apartment in Lake Court and what should be blaring from somebody's stereo - my performance.  My mother, who knew the Helen Reddy song was my anthem said "Meghan, is that you?" I didn't have to answer.

I still love Karaoke.  I am always slightly annoyed by (jealous of) those people that actually sound good.  Some of best memories are with Karaoke songs

Family Tradition
Your're So Vain
Fat Bottom Girls
and of course the song that brought "the law". - The Time Warp

I am afraid I passed on my singing style to my children, but I think they may actually have some hope.  Owen was listening to Uptown Funk the other day and told me in his most serious voice " Mom, this is the song that cured my chronic lyricosis."  I was so so proud.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The bird that changed everything

When I first moved to Tennessee there were so many things that were different.  People spoke differently.  People dressed differently.  People ate differently.  People were just different.  Not good or bad, just different.  People were definitely more polite.  Everyone acknowledges you when you pass them on the street.  Young people address you as Ma'am ( not sure how I feel about this one now)  In general, people just seem friendlier.  This is all really great, but when you first get here it takes awhile to acclimate and lose some of your how shall we say it... brashness.  I admit it, I am a bit dramatic at times and tend to fly off the handle.  Now in my defense, I may rant and rave, but after I get it all out I can be reasoned with.  I am lacking in the impulse control department and God forgot to put one of those filters that helps you keep your mouth shut in me.  I have improved over the years (no comments please) but I was pretty much just full of myself when I was 16.  I had just started driving to school.  Driving my mom's Dodge Aries because I hadn't mastered the stick shift in my Omni yet.  I pull into the parking lot and did the classic pull through the parking space.  Problem was I didn't see the car coming at the same time.  We both slammed on our brakes.  No impact, no damage, but I did what every good driver from Northeast Ohio would have done in that situation.  I flipped the other driver the bird.  If I had been in Ohio I am sure that the other driver would have returned my salute, laughed it off and been on her way, but I was not aware yet that the bird has much more impact here in the South.  Nice people just don't flip the bird here.  Especially nice young ladies.  The other driver did not appreciate my telling her that she was #1 so she promptly jumped out of her car. I have to break here to tell you that the other thing that I had not really learned about the South yet was how to handle the species "Redneck".  These Rednecks were different than any other species I had encountered.  They generally were not very cerebral, and tended to be very physical.  While now I have come to appreciate this species, and even call a few friends, at this time I was way out of my league.   I don't remember much about what happened because she was in my face so fast I couldn't even think.  And to make matters worse this poor girl was cross-eyed.  It is one thing to have somebody in your face screaming they are going to kick your ass, but it was really hard to know which direction I should be looking to face her off.  I kept looking over my shoulder to see who she was looking at.  Didn't help matters.  I remember her saying something about teaching a "preppy" girl a lesson and me spouting something about you don't want to mess with me.  We were in a standoff.  But wait, who do I see walking up the stairs that could save the day- John Byers.  I thought surely my friend who was such a nice young man would come and help me.  But alas, John said "Hey Meg" and promptly ran into the school.  Apparently this cross-eyed redneck girl was to be avoided at all costs.  I tell myself that John chose his future career in law enforcement because he felt so guilty about leaving me there to fend for myself.  He swears he didn't know what was going on- whatever.

I would like to say that the story ended there, but it didn't.  Redneck Crazy Eyes and her entourage made a game of chasing me around the school all week.  I thought it couldn't get any worse, but the enforcer of this group was a huge huge woman.  Not a girl, an Amazon woman.  I am pretty sure she was about 6'2 and at least 250.  I am pretty sure she was a 19 year old Freshman. She could have squashed me.  She took the lead in bullying.  They were everywhere I went (except my classes of course.  does that sound snotty- sorry)  Finally I was at my breaking point.  I just wanted it over.  I saw Amazon down the hall coming at me.  I grabbed a hold of the boys arm next to me and said "Todd- whatever you do don't leave me."  Todd, was a good friend, but even he wasn't going to stand up to this bunch.  He let go.  She pushed me up against the locker.  I said "you have been chasing me around for a week, if you are going to hit me, hit me now."  She pulled her arm back ready to strike and in comes Randall Jones.  Vice Principal extraordinaire.   He grabbed us both and dragged us to the office.  Now that I was safe I spouted off- "if I get kicked out of the National Honor Society for this I am coming after you B*****"  I showed her.  I got off with a warning and instructions to let a teacher know if I was getting bothered again.  I think Amazon ended up in ISS.  (note to my kids- getting good grades and having your teachers like you does help in situations like these)

I would like to say that the whole incident taught me to keep my mouth shut, but I think we all know that it didn't.

I don't know what ever came of Redneck Crazy Eyes and Amazon Woman.  I hope that they don't remember incident and have gone on to do great things.  For my safety and/or their anonymity if they have reinvented themselves- if you know their names, just keep them to yourselves.

Friday, March 13, 2015

I can't believe it has been 40 years and yes he drank his milk

40 years ago tomorrow I had to learn to share.  I had to realize that I was not the center of the universe.  Yes, I admit it.  I was not happy about it.  And it took me a long time to realize that it was a good thing.  Having a brother was a good thing.  No, he was not put on this earth to annoy me.  His mouth breathing and the fact that he seemed to always fall into shit and end up smelling like roses had nothing to do with me.  And once I realized that, I was able to actually admit to having a sibling.  And not only did I finally admit it I found that I actually kind of like him.  Ok, don't tell anybody but I love the guy.  Graham Alan Little.  My baby brother.  My 6'4 thorn in my side that I can give hell, but if anybody else does they better watch out.  Once, I almost had to prove it.  When I moved to Tennessee, the wonderful Bristol, TN school system decided that the PE classes that I took in Cuyahoga Falls could not possibly be worthy of full credit so I had to take PE as a senior.  The only senior in the class.  All freshman.  And to make matters worse, my ?!|€~*#^~€ brother was in my class.  How embarrassing.  Really.  He hadn't had his growth spurt  yet so he was about 5'2 and weighed about 100lbs.  He was puny and he was annoying.  I really wasn't the only one who thought so.  Some unnamed redneck thought so too.  We were in PE class.  I was on the gym floor and Graham was on the stage.  I heard a little shuffle and the "circle" was starting to form around some kids getting ready to fight.  I usually didn't pay attention to this kind of thing ( except when it was it was me about to get whooped, but that is another story), but I caught a glimpse of the contenders.  Holy S*** it was Graham.  I was about to run up and try and save the day but the room was getting quiet.  All I could hear was Redneck saying "I am going to kick your ass". I waited to hear the crunch of Graham's nose, but instead I heard my brother's voice.  "Before you kick my ass I need to tell you something". Not so bright Redneck looked confused.  Not sure what to do.  Graham says " I'm drinking milk, and when my outside grows up to be as big as my inside I am going to turn around and kick your ass!"  Dumbfounded Redneck didn't know what to do so he paused.  Paused long enough for Ms. Pinkston to get there and save the day.
Well Graham, your outside did finally grow up and your inside did too.

Happy Birthday to my favorite brother.