Monthly Archives: October 2013

Things I don’t get

jeansIf you have spent any time at all reading this blog over the past year and a half you will have gathered that, as a shallow person, there’s not a whole lot in my day to day life that troubles me. Sure, there are some things that make me sad, lots that make me happy and even a few things that make me want to … well I should probably just let those things go. All and all, if I had to put a label on me, I’d say I’m a laid back kind of gal. Except at four o’clock in the morning when I’m waiting for one of my kids to get home from the bar. No one would call “that woman” laid back. Or when I’m shopping on Boxing Day. Which is perhaps a story for another time. Nope, I can honestly say at this stage of the game I simply don’t come across too many things that irritate me. Which doesn’t mean there’s not a whole lot of stuff I just don’t get.

Like jeans with bling. You know how it goes. You’re sifting through a rack of what appears to be perfectly decent jeans. Sure some of them are darker than others but there’s nothing inherently wrong with that. And you’re wise enough to know that no good will come of trying on the “skinny”ones so you just pass those by. Anyway, you’ve been wearing jeans long enough to know exactly what you want. Something with 5 pockets, no holes (when you’re from my era you have to come by those honestly), just the right weight of denim and straight legs that glide effortlessly over the “Fryes” you just added to your coveted boot collection. As your hands work their way deftly through the rows of indigo they stop on what appear to be that perfect “made in heaven” pair. Until you turn them around. Astonishingly, right there, on the back pockets. Bling. In whose world does bling belong on an otherwise perfectly tailored pair of jeans? There’s nothing about it that makes sense. I can’t think of one reason I would want to have rhinestones sticking into my backside every time I sit down. Nor can I imagine pulling out my jeans the next time someone invites me to their kids Bar Mitzvah, one of the few occasions where bling might be part of my fashion repertoire. Jeans are about comfort. Rhinestones are not.  It’s simply incongruent and, if I may say so, borders on offensive because there are places for bling and places where it is quite simply wrong. And the back pocket of jeans is one of those places. So I just don’t get it.

Or one size fits all. Really? Let’s pretend I’m 5 foot nothing and just shy of 105 pounds. I go to my local department store to pick up a pair of leggings, mostly because they’re rather fashionable these days. As I sift through the myriad of options I notice a particularly attractive pair that meets my fancy. On closer scrutiny however, I find myself cringing at the “one size fits all” pronouncement prominently displayed on the front of the package. So you’re telling me that this single pair of leggings is going to fit both me and the long legged beauty who at this very moment is standing behind me, virtually reaching over my head to pick up the very same pair that I have cradled in my own hands. Who thought that one up? Please tell me how one can possibly make sense of this. Which fashion honcho came out of a meeting where a group of geniuses decided that the same amount of fabric would suffice for my legs and hers? Let’s face it. One of us is going to have to make some mighty uncomfortable adjustments to make this happen.

Maybe this was a mistake. The more I think about it the more it seems to me that while I don’t really get this stuff it is entirely possible that this “stuff” causes me just a tiny bit of irritation. And as I emerged from the shower (have I mentioned that some of my best ideas come to me in the shower?) it occurred to me that I might be on a bit of a roll and there are, in fact, even more things that cause me a tiny bit of irritation. Like car salespeople who ask me for my favourite colour . And squirrels that eat my car. Not to mention people who “like” my blog for the sole purpose of getting me to like theirs. I hate to say this but it seems to me that this just might be “Part 1” of a many part series. Well at least now I’ll have something to do while I wait for the kid to get home from the bar.

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This Land is My Land

CaliforniaIf you’ve been reading this blog for as long as I’ve been writing it you can’t help but have noticed that I have kind of a love/hate relationship with folk music and all of its trappings. Ok, perhaps hate is a too strong a word. It’s more of an “I like the music but not so much the going to see the music” thing really. Especially now. You see folk music tends to be a phenomenon that is particularly appealing to members of my era which means that most of the people surrounding me at any given concert are also from my era, give or take a few years which at this point in life becomes rather irrelevant, not to mention too difficult to discern. So what’s the problem? First, let’s face it. We don’t all look as good in our Levis as we apparently think we do. Then there’s the realization that each and every time I’m in a room with my peers I feel as though I am confronting my own mortality. Can’t really put my finger on it but I’m guessing it makes the realities of life just a little too vivid, and certainly more than any self-respecting shallow gal is wont to think about. So trust me when I tell you that it is somewhat of a struggle for me to reconcile my thoughts with my subsequent actions. This time however the tickets were bought, I was over my cold and there was no turning back.

So once again this past weekend I found myself sitting amongst a crowd of folks who were chowing down on their plates of perogies and cabbage rolls (if I were them I’d take it easy on the sour cream) waiting for the night’s entertainment to begin all the while thinking to myself how much things have changed and how much they haven’t. Because for as long as I’ve been listening to folk music it has been pretty clear what these “folks” are going to be singing about. If you’ve been known to take a bet, and I know some of you have, you can put your money on the table that there’s going to be a song about love lost and love found, not necessarily in that order. At some point you’ll be “goin’ down the road” and whether it wends it’s way through the gritty downtown streets of El Paso or the snow-capped rocky mountains likely depends on your country of origin. There’s going to be songs about dreams, for times past and times to come and very likely a protest song or two about a war, or an injustice or possibly eating meat. Before the night is out, if your entertainer is worth their salt, you’ll be singing along to a chorus of “we shall overcome” or something written by Woody Guthrie. But as I sat and listened to the opening act that night it occurred to me that more often than not somewhere, mixed in with the dreams and love and protests and singalongs, there’s going to be a song about California. Which I have to say surprises me just a little bit because California has never really struck me as a place that people who are otherwise introspective and often profound would want to sing about. Before you get too excited, it’s not that I think California is some kind of mecca for shallow people but I do spend a fair bit of time there and it seems to be a pretty good fit. And you gotta admit it’s a tad laid back and there are pockets of, how can I put this gently, complacency. Though who can blame them? They’ve got the ocean, the mountains and some of the best weather in the United States of America. What’s to complain about?

So, at the risk of sounding a little territorial I have to say that there are some boundaries being crossed here. Think about it. There’s no shortage of things in this world for folk people to sing about. I mean let’s face it. There are plenty of wars to protest, injustices to decry and meat eaters to convert. If all else fails, surely to goodness there’s a song to be sung about the “one percent”. But us shallow people, well we don’t have a whole lot in this world to focus our attention on. But California. This land is my land. You know I don’t like telling others what to do and I really hate to sound presumptuous but I would like to pass on a piece of advice to all of the aspiring, singer/songwriters out there. Here it is.

“You ain’t gonna find a cause at Hollywood and Vine.
So I’ll stay off your streets if you’ll stay off mine.

Wow! Now that I’ve said it I think it would make one heck of a chorus.

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