Monday, June 02, 2008

Dancing Off tthe Edge of the World


Dancing Off the Edge of the World
by Michelle Calkin


That part of me which composes sentences out of words and the images in my head is off kilter tonight. Maybe it is because I have been awake nearly thirty hours. But that is not that uncommon and it usually takes more than forty hours to make me feel this discombobulated. So I think it is more due to having spent most of the last twenty-four hours listening to an XM channel doing all 1970s pop and rock. My head has been bobbing to the beat whether I'm at the keyboard, the sink, the washer or dryer. Seriously. I could probably be mistaken for a bobble head doll.

This is the music from my Junior High and High School years through the second year of my marriage. Pure nostalgia kick. But I never listened as much then as I did in the last day. Nor cranked as loud. A couple of times I even started bobbing more than my head. Now dancing was even more verboten than rock music, movies, cards and carnivals in the fundamentalist culture I was raised in. So I never learned how. I still don't know a dance move from a checkers move from a move to adjourn.

The song Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover just came on and the rhythm is irresistible. I bobbing every which way from wrists to ears, from hips to toes while sitting in the chair and keeping my hands braced just below the space bar and my fingers working the keys. To the beat.

Gilbert O'Sullivan's Get Down is on now and its beat is even more intense. I have always loved rhythm. Could never carry a tune. Could never make my clarinet notes stay on key and the only thing that saved my piano playing was my affinity for the metronome and the bass line played by the left hand which held the beat for the melody of the right hand to follow. But that made my playing a bit robotic. I could never improvise, riff or add complex chords on the fly.

I feel a bit like I'm having a right of passage that should have been performed thirty five years ago. Ed's folks went ot the coast on Saturday and won't be back until tomorrow afternoon. I put the big TV in the living room on this station shortly before Ed went to bed last night and it was partly responsible for me not getting my poem posted until 5AM and for it being a haiku instead of the longer one I started out working on.

After Ed left for work this morning, I cranked that sucker. At least I think it was cranked. What do I know from cranked?

I cranked it so I could hear from both ends of the house as I tended to laundry and dishes. A few times my bobbing in place bubbled over into something more. One of those times I actually started moving around the living room while keeping the bobbing of head and shoulders going. Don't know if it rises to the status of dancing. But it didn't last long at any rate. My zero peripheral vision combined with my balance deficit and I fell hard onto the couch. My back and neck now feel whiplashed.

Oh. Jeeeze Louise. Now its Blondie with One Way or Another. I want to get up and fling myself around. But there isn't room in here to take two steps sideways without stepping on Sweetie or tripping over the power cord or bumping into furniture.

Now it's the Osmonds with One Bad Apple. Little Donny was one month younger than me. If I remember right his Bday was on the same day in December as mine was in November. When I was thirteen I thought that was kinda cool.

I haven't heard a single song twice in the whole time I've been listening. I started over 24 hours ago but took several hours break today. One hour to listen to Marianne Williamson on Oprah & Friends at noon, Half an hour to shower at six this morning. Two hours to watch a DVD that had to go back to the library today. Forty-five minute trip to the library. Oprah at 4pm. Olberman at 5pm, followed by a second hour of election coverage.

Now it is Fleetwood Mac, Dreams. I used to have that one. I had the Tusk album the year it came out. That was between high school and getting married. About ten years after that when we got our first CD player I picked up a Fleetwood Mac two disc greatest hits. No longer have that.

Since 9PM last night I've heard songs from Heart, Abba, Olivia Newton John, Commodores, Queen, Elton John, A verrrrrry young Michael Jackson (Ben), Orleans, Vanity Fare, ELO, Eddie Money, Eagles, Paul McCartney and Wings, Partridge Family, Exile, Little River Band, Doobie Brothers, John Lennon. And so many more. Many of them I had never even known the name of the artist. My only exposure to most of the ones I remember was via the radio and if I didn't pay much attention to the DJ patter. It has been interesting if time consuming to be able to grab the remote and press 'info' to find out the name of artist, album and song.

As if the music itself wasn't enough nostalgia. They add 30 second snippets from 70s sitcoms and TV shows every fifteen minutes or so. Mork and Mindy, Mary Tyler Moore, Brady Bunch, Adam 12, Partridge Family, Odd Couple, Taxi, Laverne and Shirley, Happy Days, Moving Up; Star Trek the Motion Picture, Grease, Star Wars...

Ah, Eric Clapton and Slowhand. I remember thinking this was such a pretty song. But I really doubt I understood back then just what he was singing about here. *blush*

Well, I'm not only bobbing and bobbling, I'm also babbling. Time to call it a day. I need to get the remote cocked so I can click power off as one song ends before but before the next one begins I hate, hate, hate to turn off a song in mid beat.

The Grass Roots are singing Two Divided by Love. Pretty. Cool beat. I remember loving this back when. I have no memory of every knowing the artist's name. Were they one of those one hit wonders? And what about Mark Lindsay? Was Arizona the only hit he had? Don't remember ever knowing that name but I sure knew that song.

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