Tradition, Superstition & Fascination

31 10 2011

Halloween is an annual celebration, but just what is it actually a celebration of? And how did this peculiar custom originate? The origin of Halloween possibly lies in the traditions of the Celtic people.  In celebration of the recently completed harvest, Celts would give offerings of food to the Gods. They often went from door to door to collect food to donate to their deities. Also, young Celts would ask the townspeople for kindling and wood, and take it to top of the hill for the Samhain bonfire. These are two of the possible origins of present day “trick or treating.” The Celts believed that the veil between this world and the next was thinnest at this time of year. Friends and relatives who had died would often return, with their souls inhabiting an animal – often a black cat. Black cats have remained a symbol of Halloween down to the present time. Samhain was a fire festival. Sacred bonfires were lit on the tops of hills in honor of the Gods. The townspeople would take an ember from the bonfire to their home and re-light the fire in their family hearth. The ember would usually be carried in a holder – often a turnip or gourd. They felt nervous about walking home in the dark; they were afraid of evil spirits. So they dressed up in costumes and carved scary faces in their ember holders. They hoped that the spirits would be frightened and not bother them. Today we see people dress in costume for celebration, and we see faces carved in pumpkins for festive decoration.

Halloween was originally called All Hallows’ Eve which means the evening before All Saints’ Day. “Hallow” is an Old English word for “saint”. This was shortened toHallowe’en and finally to Halloween.  All Saints’ Day was created by Pope Boniface IV in the 7th century CE. There were so many saints by this time that there were not enough days in the year to accommodate them. So, All Saints’ Day was to recognize the saints who were without their own day, and to celebrate saints that the Church had failed to recognize.  All Souls’ Day was created for NOV-2 to honor faithful Christians who had died but were not saints. The three days from OCT-31 to NOV-2 was given the name Hallow Tide. This may have been done in order to distract Christians from celebrating Samhain. ( For full definition of Samhain:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samhain . )

The custom of Halloween was brought to America in the 1840’s by Irish immigrants fleeing their country’s potato famine. Halloween has since become a major folk holiday in the US and Canada. “Trick or Treaters” go from door to door and collect candies, apples and other goodies. Hallmark Cards reports that 65% of Americans will decorate their homes and offices for Halloween. This percentage is exceeded only by Christmas. Halloween is the holiday when the most candy is sold; it is second only to Christmas in total sales. North Americans spend over $20 million on Halloween candies yearly. Halloween also is the third-largest party occasion next to Christmas and New Year’s Eve. So, although some cults may have adopted Halloween as their favorite “holiday,” the day itself did not grow out of evil practices. It grew out of the rituals of Celtic celebrations, and out of Medieval prayer rituals of Europeans. After all, the day itself is only as evil as one cares to make it.

Most of us are familiar with common Halloween traditions like trick-or-treating, pumpkin carving, and dressing in costume but there are some ancient traditions I thought might be fun to explore that you may not be familiar with from around the world.

The first one I’d like to mention is one I remember reading about as a child and always wanting to attempt, but being too much of a skeptic or pessimist I’ve yet to try it.  This is the less famous “trick” where a woman is supposed to stand before a mirror at the stroke of midnight and bite into an apple.  The reflection of her future husband was supposed to appear in the mirror or the reflection of a skull, which would signify that she would die an old maid.  In writing this, I saw several versions of this “tradition” but this is the one I remember best from my mother’s tales as a child. Unfortunately, I was unable to find it’s orgin.

Barmback is a custom with Irish roots as well.  Barmback is a type of raisin bread that can be served year round, but on Halloween certain objects are traditionally baked into the bread: a pea, a stick, a coin, some cloth and a ring.  Each object carries significance so if you got a piece of break holding one of these objects, you would know your fortune.  The pea means you will not be getting married in the next year while the ring, of course, means that you would.  The stick signifies an unhappy marriage, the cloth signifies bad finances and the coin signifies wealth is headed your way.

In Whales, families would practice the tradition of Coelcerth. For Coelcerth, a family would build a fire and write their names on stones surrounding the fire.  If they woke in the morning to find that a person’s stone was missing, this meant the person would die in the next year!

Bonfires are very common on Halloween and derived from several traditions worldwide.  One tradition (with European roots) incorporated into the bonfire celebrations that I found interesting is once again used for the ladies to learn who their future husband would be.  The tradition has the ladies cut a lock of their hair and toss it into the fire, and that evening as they slept and their hair burned their future husband was to be revealed to them in their dreams.

Latin Americans commemorate the holiday with a 3-day celebration that begins on October 31.  The celebration is designed to honor the dead whom, they believe, return to their Earthly homes during this period.  Many families construct altars to the dead in their homes to honor deceased relatives and decorate it with candy, flowers, photos and samples of the deceased favorite foods, drinks and water.  Often a wash basin and towel are also left at the altar so the spirit can wash up before indulging in the feast.

Spell to attract a particular lover

You will need:

a lock of his/her hair, a personal belonging of his/hers or a clear photo of their face (though hair works best)

One pink rose,

Ground Vanilla pods

Dried Avocado

Ginger

Jasmine oil

One red or violet candle inscribed with the love Rune 3X’s

A few drops of (your) blood

Red cloth

Red paper

By the light of the candle, grind up the Avocado with the Vanilla pods and the Ginger… when it is a fine powder, add 5 drops of blood, and as you drop each drop say these words: *Note: face the appropriate direction.* ‘Spirit of the South, ancient one of fire and passion, with this drop of blood I call you to bring my lover to me.’ ‘Spirit of the West, ancient one of water and peace ,with this drop of blood I call you to bring my lover to me.’ ‘Spirit of the North, ancient one of earth and fertility, with this drop of blood I call you to bring my lover to me.’ ‘Spirit of the east, ancient one of air and strength, with this drop of blood I call you to bring my lover to me.’ ‘Akasha, the spirit element of all, with this drop of blood I call you to combine the powers called forth, and bind my lover’s spirit to mine.’ ‘So mote it be!’ Using the new paste, draw the love Rune 3X’s (3 times) on the piece of red paper and empower it, wait for it to dry, and then fold the paper in half. Take the rose and smear on any remaining paste. Place the rose in the red cloth and annoint with Jasmine oil. Now, using the red candle set fire to it, and put it in a bowl until it has gone out. Grind up any lumps left in the ash or remove any stubborn bits, then put the ash into the folded paper and put it in an envelope, seal the envelope with a blob of wax from the candle, and get it to the object of your affections however you can.

 

Spell for Luck

You will need:

Ground/fresh cinnamon

Green candle

Pennies (number in the amount of your birthdate, for instance if your birthday is October 31st you will need 31 pennies)

Burn the green candle surrounded by the pennies.  Chant as the candle burns “Let fortuned winds blow my way.  All that’s evil please allay.  All that’s good and all that’s bane give in turn but for my gain.”  Meditate, focusing on the pennies and repeating this chant until you feel the pennies are charged with positive energy.  On the first following Thursday, dispose of the pennies.  If you keep them, the spell will work opposite.  It is best to give the pennies away as a gift, but dispose of them however you can.

 

Well, I was also going to post a spell about revenge but after reading them they were all pretty scary and I started feeling guilty so I decided I’d leave you with just these two and one last one that I made up for you, but I’m pretty sure it will work.

 

Spell for fun on Halloween

You will need:

Your favorite adult beverages

Your favorite things to eat

Your favorite friends

Your favorite Horror movies

Your favorite music

Your house

Mix above ingredients beginning at dusk on Halloween.  Chant throughout the night “Let’s Party”.  Continue process until you run out of supplies.  Have fun & be safe!

 

 

 

 





Keep it real

6 09 2011

A relationship is rather mysterious and amazing entity in itself, and perhaps a deeper paradox than understanding an individual.  A person is real and can be affirmed at any moment, but a relationship is more difficult to apprehend or define.  In some cases, a relationship can prove far stronger than either individual involved.  Formed by the co-mingling of it’s partners energies (weaknesses, strengths, ideals…etc…) the relationship has it’s own personality.  Therefore, is it possible that what attracts us to someone is less who the other is and more what the relationship is? What we may be able to create together? Personally, as I grow … wiser … I feel that I have learned to focus more on this aspect.  Outside of the here and now, what can we become? I feel it is important to have a solid answer to this question or you could be doomed from the start.  Of course, no one can deny the sometimes dangerous chemistry we encounter when you ask yourself such questions that deserve solid answers, yet you can not justify your actions.

As everyone knows, not all relationships are easy.  There are many types of relationships you have throughout your life with people if only known briefly.  Your co-workers, fellow students, your boss, your clients, your hair dresser, and of course the people you love.  Relationships of any form are work.  Your relationship with your best friend is work, even if he/she is your best friend.  Maybe they make bad decisions you don’t agree with and it’s work sometimes to remain their friend when they make such decisions … but “keep it real”.  Tell them! “I don’t like your decision to sleep with your boss, but I still like you.  I’m not going to bombard you with advice because I know the real you so I will leave you to decide what is best.”  This is just one example and I made it up … so don’t go thinking I have a friend who’s doing their boss, okay!?!? Your relationship with your mother is work … well at least mine is.  It’s exhausting.  The most exhausting part of mine is “Keeping it real” because sometimes she doesn’t like the truth. But, I have learned not to lie to her because then I only get caught up in a web of lies and can’t keep up … and, well frankly she always knows the truth anyway and then I end up looking like a fool for not keeping it real.  But in romance, ahhh sweet romance, perhaps that is the hardest time to keep it real when it should be the easiest.

Naturally, the relationship that engages most interest is the much sought after romantic relationship.  Unfortunately, not all couples are suited to be in romantic relationships together.  Common love is based on illusion which is initially pleasurable but can ultimately end destructively.

I believe that love means different things to different people.  Just as different people have different tastes, styles, beliefs …etc…  Just as the way two different people may view a piece of art … seeing two different things perhaps even still different from what the artist intended.  Regardless of how one interperts love, all people are driven by the promise of love.

Most relationships are due to chance.  Whether you are related or working together or lovers, it was a twist of fate somewhere along the way that created your relationship.  To build a good relationship I believe you have to view it as if you are building and not working.  What you have to work with is what already exists, but building is a higher level of understanding.  What can we become? Can we build anything together? What is the value of what we can build? What steps will it take to build it? Ultimately, we all want to know if it will be worth the effort in the first place, but alas there are no guarantees.

Some things I have learned that are important blocks in the building process are: trust, respect, sharing, listening, understanding, and communication.  It is important to recognize when your partner is not helping you build, or when your partner is damaging what you have built.  Be aware of possessive behavior because it can be a negative foreshadowing or a disguise for guilt.  Not only do you want to give respect, but you should demand it for yourself as well … and know to act immediately when you are not receiving it.  Much can be learned from self observation.  If you find yourself in an argument, try to back down and observe your behavior.  Also, choose your fights carefully … Is this really necessary? What will we gain from this argument? Is this the right moment to argue this topic? Will we both feel differently tomorrow? And the ever important and often ignored need for space. People need space no matter how in love they are.  People need the freedom to do their own thing without being questioned.  Without this freedom, your construction will never be complete.

The truth will set you free even when you don’t like the truth.  I’m a firm advocate of “keeping it real” and I mean that in the best possible and most logical way.  I realize the term is slang, but the meaning behind it is still pure.  As a goodbye to a friend, “Keep it real”… it means don’t change.  Seriously, don’t change … don’t become someone you’re not.

More often than not, the precursor to a romantic relationship is based on a few falsities.  First of all, regardless of what you try to tell yourself (unless you are blind), you take interest in someone because of their appearance.  That is not a solid foundation, but it definitely is a necessity because if you are not attracted to someone than there is no long term hope.  Don’t get me wrong, though, there are those special few that attract you because of who they are in other ways and, while that is a better foundation, if you don’t eventually grow a physical attraction the relationship will be doomed in the long run.  However, there is always hope that you can grow a physical attraction to someone because of who they are rather than their looks.  I’ve been there, done that and it does work IF you are keeping it real!!! In fact, I have learned this type of physical attraction is far better than the norm.  You’ve heard that old joke where you look at someone hot and say “Somebody, somewhere is tired of putting up with his/her shit.”  Trust me, it’s true.  For the most part, the hotter they are – the more shit you have to put up with because, well … let’s face it … Hotties are high maintenance because they know someone else is just around the corner waiting to take your place in line for their attention.  Don’t blame me, I’m just keeping it real.

But the reason I’m writing this is to maybe help someone who is having a hard time in their relationship.  Bottom line is: you or your partner or both of you aren’t keeping it real.  As you grow older,  you will learn that is the main key.  But it’s not as easy as it sounds.  There’s a lot to keeping it real.

Say you’ve been together for 3 years or so, you know each other … you know the smell of his farts know each other … So when he takes a double glance at some young hottie in a tight dress across the room, you’re offended.  Don’t be! It’s human nature!!!! It’s that spark inside of him that keeps the fires burning and if you try to smother it you’re sure to lose him.  Let him look, and have a look yourself.  This WILL keep the passion burning in your personal relationship with him.  When I’m in this situation, I don’t get my feathers ruffled.  I watch him take his glance, then when he turns back to me I giggle about it.  This lets him know that I’m well aware of his wandering eye and I’m amused by it, not threatened.  Seriously, she may not want to get to know the smell of his farts the way that I have and if he’s willing to take that chance, well then we were not meant to be anyway … and probably he will end up smelling his farts alone.  Jealousy is deadly.  Don’t let it consume you.   If your partner is jealous, you should just get out now.  Why? Two reasons: First and foremost, it has been my experience that when someone is overly jealous it is usually spawned by the fact that they are actually doing something wrong and are paranoid and projecting their crime on you.  Oh how many times have I been accused of cheating by a cheater? I can’t even count.  But, after several accusations, I usually start studying harder to learn that Mr. Paranoid himself is cheating! Secondly, if your paranoid partner is not cheating then you’re just dealing with someone who is overly insecure which can lead to a whole bunch of baggage that you’ll be carrying around … for what? For nothing! Either way, get out of that shit because jealousy and paranoia lead to much bigger issues and I’m hoping you would rather just keep it real, right??

Now, let’s say your partner wants to know how many people you’ve slept with? Ouch! Don’t you hate that? But it always seems to pop up eventually and without any good reason.  Listen, I’m not telling you this … I’m not going to give you a false number or a real one because if we’re keeping it real, it really doesn’t matter.  The last thing I want to know about is my partner’s past.  It just opens up the door to too many insecurities that I don’t want to deal with.  He could very well be the one, but if I know too much about his past relationships I will always measure myself against them and never feel adequate and eventually I will personally destroy what could’ve been a good thing, so why bother?  Don’t ask questions that you wouldn’t want to answer honestly or that you wouldn’t want the honest answer to.  Seriously,  NO ONE answers this question honestly anyway … and NO ONE is ever happy with the answer anyway.  In this day and age most people start having sex in their teens, do you really want to know the truth? If you’re worried about disease, use protection instead of seeking out lies to make you feel safe.  If you’re worried about your worth, your question should be “How many times have you been in love?” Not all sex is love.  If it’s getting serious and you want to stop using protection, get tests instead of asking stupid questions and looking for your security in false answers.  KEEP IT REAL!!!

Don’t try to control everything.  If you’re in a relationship with a guy who loves sports and you hate it, don’t go with him to the sports bar to watch the big game only to find yourself miserable the whole time.  Let him go with his buddies while you do something you enjoy.  If you don’t trust him enough to go out without you, he’s not the one!!! If he’s trustworthy, he’s just watching the game, drinking some brew and will be eager to slip between the sheets with you after the party is over.  He’ll be even more eager than usual because you gave him space and trust.  Now, it IS a chance you have to take because there is always the possibility of cheating but if he does, then he wasn’t the one anyway and it’s best that you invested so little time rather than continued to invest time to learn this later.  By keeping it real, you find out the truth much earlier.  And, remember, the truth WILL set you free.  Chances are, f you are both mature adults, he will appreciate and desire you more if you give him the freedom to make his own decisions.  Now, if he starts deciding to be out more without you than with you  face it he’s just not that into you and you need to move on.  I’m using “him” as an example, but the same goes for the ladies.  A girl’s night out is just as important.  No one likes to have a ball and chain.  Most people who have a ball and chain are more apt to cheat because they just feel that urge to revolt even if they do love you.  Just like rebelling against controlling parents, something about the rebellion makes it all worthwhile even if it cost you something more valuable, like a relationship.  Being overbearing forces the rebellion, trust me!

And please, for the love of keeping it real, don’t talk in circles! You want something? Come out & say it! Don’t beat around the bush, candy coat it, hint around it or just assume your partner SHOULD know it and if he/she doesn’t than he/she doesn’t really love you.  Bullshit! If you want something, need something, have a problem with something, whatever the case may be … COME OUT AND SAY IT POINT BLANK.  Don’t give too much credit to the human race, we are not as smart as you’d like to think.  We need the full facts to handle the situation properly.  If you’re not getting what you want out of your relationship, you have no one to blame but yourself. Be straightforward and discuss openly what is on your mind.  You know what they say “Assume is spelled ASS U ME.  Assuming makes and ass out of you and me”.  So very true.  Keep it real.  Don’t assume.  If your partner doesn’t like what you have said, hear him/her out.  He/she may have a good reason, and you might just learn something.  If you don’t agree, like it or not, this relationship may not be the one for you.

Life is short, don’t waste time on being co-dependent or living a lie. The right person is out there for you as long as you keep it real!





Dazed and Confused

9 05 2011

It was spring 1987, I was a sophmore in high school.  He was a junior, Italian, tough … the silent type.  His big brother Eddy was a senior, a hunk, and my best friend’s boyfriend.   I’d had a crush on Phil for over a year, and desperately tried to get his attention in the smoking circle for a couple semesters to no avail.  He didn’t speak much or show interest in anyone.  I thought it was because he was too cool for anyone at that stupid school.  I didn’t blame him, even though I wished he’d give me a chance.  Eddy was insistent on getting his little bro out of his shell, he wanted him to start dating, having sex and be a man like he was.  Phil wasn’t taking the bait, so it seemed.  Personally, I was thrilled by it because I knew he would’ve ended up with someone other than me anyway.  I liked that he didn’t talk to anyone and I could just stare at him, alone smoking his cigs with one leg propped against a tree looking like an Italian James Dean.  I was a social butterfly, but more like a dorky kid sister.  Even though I was the same age as the other girls hanging in the smoking circle, I looked like a junior high kid hanging out with the older crowd.  I never really smoked or anything, I just hung out for the heated discussions about rock and roll and to fetch things for the cool kids when they asked.  But they liked me, or so I thought … nah, they liked me.

One night Suzy called me up with great excitement in her voice.
“Eddy says Phil’s coming out with us tonight and we’re going on a double date!” She exclaimed.
“With who?” I asked, thinking how unexcited I was about the aspect of Phil going out with another girl and the four of them having a good time while I’m at home bored.
“With you, stupid!” Suzy laughed.  “We’re going on a double date with the Dimaggio brothers!”
“What? Really? Me?” I was in shock.  “Phil asked for me?!?”
“Well, sort of,” she stammered.  “I mean, Eddy arranged it, but yeah.”
“Does he even know who I am?” I asked, thinking that if he did he probably wouldn’t have agreed.
“Um, well, sort of,” again she stammered.  “But, I mean… isn’t this what you’ve been waiting for? Now’s your chance!”
“Yeah, that’s cool,” I agreed.
Sure, I would’ve liked that it was all Phil’s idea and that he had some secret crush on me like I had for him, but I decided I’d take what I could get.

Later that evening, the phone rang again.
“Susan, telephone!” Mom called out from the kitchen, where the only phone we owned was kept.  “It’s a young man named Philip Dimaggio.” She stared over her glasses down her nose at me.
I tried to stay cool in front of her.  “We’re in school together,” I said.
“Uh, huh,” she nodded sternly and handed me the phone.  Staying close by, pretending to be busy in the kitchen.
“Hullo,” I tried to keep cool.
“Susan?” He said in a rough, sexy, Italian teen boy voice I’d never before heard.
“Yes,” I choked out.
“It’s Phil Dimaggio,” he said.  “I hear we’re going out tomorrow night with my brother and you’re friend.”
“Uh, huh,” I agreed.
“So, I just wanted to know a little about you first,” he said sternly.  “Do you like Led Zeppelin?”
“Yes, very much,” I lied.  My older sister, whom I shared a room with, loved Led Zeppelin … me, not so much but I lied as it seemed necessary.
“You smoke?” He continued.
“Yeah, I’ve seen you in the circle,” I replied.
“No, I mean do you smoke?” He repeated the question, emphasizing the smoke.
“Oh!” I understood.  “Yeah.” I lied.
“Ok, cool,” He said.  “I’ll bring the smoke, you bring all your Zeppelin.”
My mind quickly races through my sisters cassette collection and I know I can pull this off.
“Ok,” I agreed.

Dressed in our 80’s best, Suzy and I were ready for our big date with the Dimaggio brothers.  Suzy had been dating Eddy for a while.  They’d already been to third base … something I knew nothing about.  I had a purse full of Led Zeppelin cassettes. We were anxiously awaiting the big night.  Eddy drove up in his Ford truck, and we had some tricky seating arrangements as Suzy had to sit beside Eddy and I had to sit on Phil’s lap.  Me, with my big hair smashing against the ceiling in my little mini skirt.  It was awkward.  He smelled like cheap cologne, yet somehow I was turned on.  Though I’m sure my bony ass and the scent of Aqua Net was doing nothing for him as Eddy drove down a darkened, bumpy trail to the infamous oak tree.  The oak tree was tucked away off the beach in a slightly wooded area. It was where rebellious teens went to make out, drink alcohol, smoke pot and generally be rebellious.  It had been a hot spot for years as I remember my older sisters and their friends telling stories of hanging out by the oak tree.  This would be my first time to visit and I really felt like I was going places.  In a truck, with two hot Italian studs, parking under the infamous oak tree … yep, I was really going places.

We settled in, all seated in the back of the truck with an ice chest full of Miller ponies between us, jamming to WRNO “The Rock of New Orleans” F.M.  Classic rock bellowing up into the stars, and those cold brews I had never before tasted seemed to take the edge off and go down smoothly.  Ice cold Miller ponies are the perfect way to break into beer drinking.  They were delicious.  I was choking on cigarettes as I tried to pretend I was a smoker.  Yep, I thought as I looked up into the starry sky, you’re really going places.  However, the only place I was going was backwards falling from the edge of the truck to the ground.  I guess those cold brews are serious business when it comes to losing your balance while star gazing.  Though I was rather embarrassed, it was a really touching moment for me when Phil quickly sprang from the edge of the truck to aid me in getting up and briefly I was in his arms as he helped me stand.  Honestly I wasn’t as loaded from the beer as I was the entire situation.  High on life, I guess you could say.  Feeling like this was the pinnacle of coolness for me, and hoping that I didn’t just blow it by star gazing too hard from the edge of an old Ford.

After a good laugh from Eddy and Suzy, they decided to go for a walk into the woods for a bit of privacy.  Before their exit, Eddy took his little brother aside and put his arm around him to whisper some brotherly advice in his ear as I pretended not to watch while trying to eavsdrop.
“I think Phil’s going to try to get to third base with you tonight,” Suzy said excitedly.
I was a little nervous.  I’d never really been to third base and I was dizzy from beer and landing on a giant oak tree root.  I wasn’t really ready for all this action, but I wasn’t about to back down because I was at the pinnacle of coolness for me … or so I thought.

“So,” Phil broke the very long moment of silence between us once we were alone.  “Did you bring that Zeppelin?”
“Oh yeah!” Finally I could get something right! “It’s in my purse!”
“Why don’t we sit in the truck, catch a buzz and jam out to some then?” He suggested.
“Great Idea!” I was probably too enthusiastic, but the thought of sitting inside the truck listening to the stereo sounded a lot less dangerous than anything else at this point.  Plus, I was the keeper of the Led Zeppelin cassettes, so my cool points surely had to be rising.

As we eased onto the bench seat of that old Ford, Phil pulled a joint from his shirt pocket, popped in the “Physical Graffiti” cassette and pushed play.  The lighter flame kissed the end of his perfectly rolled joint and a sweet and unfamiliar aroma filled the air just as “Houses of the Holy” began to play.  I watched him intently, how he inhaled, his every action.  He passed it to me, and I mimicked his actions perfectly.  Inhaling, wheezing a bit but not exhaling, then after a moment or two very slowly exhaling.  It was quite a process.  After a few times, I got it.  Yep, I was really going places … I was really cool now.

We leaned back, my head somehow landed on his shoulder and for a moment we were like a couple.  I felt relaxed and dazed as I began to soak up the moment like a sponge.  Once “Kashmir” bellowed through the speakers and out into the perfect night, I was hooked.  It was something far better than third base, something far better than hooking up, it was Led Zeppelin.  It was my new favorite thing and a very defining moment for me, and to this day “Physical Graffiti” is still my favorite album.  At the time, I tried to maintain my overpowering joy at this magnificent new sound that was just unveiled to me as I was supposed to already be a fan and I had to control my passions for Led Zeppelin and pretend I was just in it all for the date.  But there was no pretending, as he was just as passionate about it as me and what was supposed to be a cheap sexual virginity losing experience set up for both of us turned out to be a really rewarding music lesson … among other lessons … and a night that changed me forever.

Was it the pinnacle of coolness? Yeah, I’d say so.  Did we get to third base? Nah, I think we both got something cooler out of it than that.

My love for Led Zeppelin grew leaps and bounds continuously over the years that followed. Though nothing ever grew romantically between Phil and I after that night, we did remain good friends throughout our late blooming years and continued to enjoy Led Zeppelin together for many other smoky, starry, dazed and confused nights under the infamous Oak Tree.

Led Zeppelin was born in1968 by Jimmy Page (guitar), Robert Plant (vocals, harmonica), John Paul Jones (bass guitar, keyboards, mandolin), and John Bonham (drums). With their heavy, guitar-driven sound, Led Zeppelin are considered one of the progenitors of  heavy metal/hard rock music.  However, Led Zeppelin’s unique style drew from many sources and transcends all genres still today as well as remaining one of the most influential bands in the history of music.  Even 30 years after disbanding (following Bonham’s death in 1980) Led Zeppelin continues to be held in high regard for their artistic achievements, commercial success, and broad influence. Having sold over 200 million albums worldwide, the band is known to be one of the best selling music artists of all time.They have had all of their original studio albums reach the top 10 of the Billboard album chart in the US, with six reaching the number one spot.Led Zeppelin are ranked #1 on VH1’s 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock.  Rolling Stone magazine has described Led Zeppelin as “the heaviest band of all time”, “the biggest band of the ’70s” and “unquestionably one of the most enduring bands in rock history”.Similarly, when inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame they were described as being as “influential in the 70’s as The Beatles were in the 60’s”. Led Zeppelin’s popularity in the early years was dwarfed by their triumphant mid-seventies successes and it is this period that continues to define the band.  At this point in their career, the band was considered the world’s #1 rock attraction.  All of their albums released from their inception through their super stardom remained in Billboard’s top sales.  After a decade of being on top of their game while also facing many trials and tribulations, as they set fourth toward a new tour, John Bonham died from asphyxiation stemming from drinking too much vodka and choking on his own vomit.  It was a sad waste and a sad day in music history.  On October 10, 1980, Bonham was laid to rest and two months later the band announced they would no longer continue as Led Zeppelin due to the “deep sense of undivided harmony” in the wake of their “dear friend”s death.

To view Led Zeppelin performing in the height of their fame, visit this link for a performance of “Kashmir” at Earl’s Court in 1975: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1yFQ6vcRNk

To learn more about Led Zeppelin, this is an awesome website: http://www.ledzeppelin.com/

Enjoy these links and if you enjoy Led Zeppelin even half as much as I do, you’ll thank me for it.  Though, I can’t imagine anyone is reading this who doesn’t already enjoy them! 🙂

 





Won’t get fooled again

16 09 2010

I get dozens upon dozens of emails daily that have subject lines such as “an old classmate has been searching for you”, “3 people have searched for you today”, and today I even got one that said “an old fling has been searching for you” … yikes! Really? I hope he doesn’t find me!  These subject lines don’t entice me, the freak me out! Why are people searching for me? I’ve been in the same exact small, boring, lame ass town my entire life.  Am I really that hard to find? I look the exact same as I ever did (minus a bit of hairspray and eyeliner), my name hasn’t changed, my family still lives on the same corner downtown, I’m still here … so why the big search? I picture people frantically sweating over their keyboard, pounding in the letters to my name and clicking search.  “I must find her,” they gasp aloud desperately.  They lurk in the darkness, holding large flaming sticks calling out “Susan, Susan… I must find you…”  Meanwhile, I’m sitting in the dark banging away another blog on my crappy Dell notebook … to put on blog where my name and photo shine brightly and openly available to all who are “Desperately Seeking Susan”.
I figured I would desperately seek myself and see how hard I was to find, so I googled my name.  Bam! I was all over the place.  I really am somebody.  My whole life story was there, right on google … you didn’t even have to click anything.  I saw my birthday, my picture, my interests, my history … etc… and then if you click on one of the many links to me (I feel so famous, so many links … so little time) you can learn even more about ME! I learned things about me that I didn’t even know.  It was pretty amazing.  Did you know I lived in Louisiana and Florida before? I didn’t know that … maybe because I never actually did, but google says I did … and it’s definitely me they are talking about because there are pictures of my smiling face with my previous LA & FL addresses.  Interesting.  I want to go to these places.  I want to know what I was doing there.  This prompted me to check my credit and make sure my identity was never stolen …  I mean with hundreds of people searching for me daily and this whole address thing, I couldn’t help but become a bit paranoid that maybe some of them actually wanted to BE me! Whew, I was relieved to find that my identity has never been stolen.  (By the way, the movie “Identity” is one of my favorites … I know because google told me so.).
This made me think about the movie “The Jerk” (a slapstick comedy starring Steve Martin).  In “The Jerk”, the main character  is a simple man, Navin R. Johnson,  on a desperate journey to find himself and stand on his own two feet.  After he somewhat establishes himself, he is thrilled to see his name “in print” in the latest edition of the phone book.  (Remember I said he was simple, and this movie was released in 1979).  Anyway, what seemed such good news for Navin turns out to be rather bad when a serial killer randomly chooses Navin out of the phone book as his next victim.  Someone was searching for Navin R. Johnson.  Some crazed killer.  Ok, so it was a comedy … but still, as I keep saying … hundreds of people are searching for me on a daily basis.
Anyway, I have also discovered another girl with the same name as me.  She has done a whole lot more with her life.  She’s rather successful.  So successful in fact, that I am considering stealing her identity.  She has a college degree and a much better looking resume than my own.  Interesting.  Very interesting.  The other Susan I speak of has a fresh, new degree in business.  That’s just what I want to pretend I have a degree in.  Coincidence? I think not!  There are no pictures of this other with my name.  Her interests are not posted.  She lives in Australia.  It would be oh so easy to say I graduated from the University of Technology in Sydney in 2005.  Why not? Did you know you can buy fake degrees on line? I can buy one to match my fake story.  I wonder if people are searching for her too?  She should be nice and at least allow them a picture of herself like me.  With a great name like that, she must be hot too … right?
I guess it is kind of unsettling that people are searching for me, although between you and me I really don’t believe it … I honestly think they are catchy titled emails to entice me to open it and catch some hideous computer virus to crash my computer or steal my identity or what have you.  All I can say is, I hope that Old Fling Stalker guy who’s desperately seeking Susan that they just emailed me about doesn’t find me.
But the brilliant advertising ploys in cyber space aren’t confined strictly to email, as most of you know… I mean, seriously, Do you know where your boyfriend is? Well, according to a recent ad I saw in cyberspace you can track him down.  Simply click the ad, provide his cell phone number and hunt his sorry ass down.  How brilliant is this??? Let that stupid concept of trust be a thing of the past … I mean, seriously, who needs it? Just hunt him down and see for yourself what a lying dirt bag he really is.  Wal-mart my ass, the tracking system clearly shows he’s actually at Taco Bell … that no good bastard!
Him: Honey, I brought you some…
Her: You no good son-of-a-bitch!
Him: nachos… wh… what?
Her: You heard me, you lying no good son-of-a-bitch!
Him: Um, what’s the…
Her: Wal-mart my ass, you weren’t really at Wal-mart were you?
Him: Yes, I ran in to pick up a…
Her: LIAR! You were at Taco Bell!
Him: Um, yeah I guess I did stop at Taco Bell to get you a…
Her: Oh, don’t put it on me, asshole.  I know you like that bitch in the drive thru!
Him: Um, what? I got you some…
Her: Keep your fucking nachos, I know the truth now!

Seriously??? Who comes up with these brilliant ideas, such as tracking your boyfriend.  Is it just me, or does anyone else find this concept rather creepy?

Or what about, the find out when you will die ad? The one you just click on and mysteriously the date and time of your death can be calculated.  Again, does anyone else think this is a bad idea? Does anyone else find this concept rather creepy too? Do you imagine the grim reaper is walking the Earth with a lap top, looking for a wi-fi net source to stop and answer your burning question while he has a latte?  If you were actually given a date, a time of your death … would you believe it? What would you do with it? I think I’d use it to throw a party.   I’m having a huge party on February 11, 2037 … I hope you can get there before 10:13 pm because that’s my expiration time, okay? RSVP. BYOB. Thanks.
Who will you marry? Hmmm… how can they possibly know? And… Who are they anyway??? I’m sure, once you fill out their detailed questionnaire they will tell you exactly want you want to know … for a fee.  Yes, there is a hefty fee with all of these, But, do you what you must if you feel the powers of the great internets have all the answers … Personally, I think the kind of people who feed into this crap are just hoping that they get an answer back at all.  Some sad, lonely, poor ol’ sap sitting in front of his computer just hoping that the magical interwebs spew out a female’s name for him so he can at least know he’s not destined to be alone…
So, I decided to try the “Mobile Spy”ad.  This is an ad to see if someone has searched for you online … online, mind you, but you must enter your mobile phone number to find out … hmmm, why is that? Anyway, let’s play along…

First, you have to select your gender… female
Next, enter your first name… Anne
Then you select your age… 18
and your cell phone carrier (“to establish if you can receive our report”)… AT&T
followed, of course, by the addition of your cell phone number… 555-555-5555

Press continue…

Aww, damn… the pin number to find out my destiny was texted to a fake number… and I need it to see what’s up… holy hell.

But, alas, good news that I lied because in reading the fine print I see that once I accept that pin # I get a $9.99 per month charge added to my phone.  By using any of Mobile Spy LLC’s websites via entering your phone information or interacting with any links you agree to be bound by these terms and condition which include: services are provided on a “as is” and “as available” basis and all warranties are disclaimed to the fullest extent permissible…etc… Mobilespy.com makes no warranty that the site or products and services provided will meet your requirements and that the service will run uninterrupted, timely, secure or error free.  Results obtained are not guaranteed to be accurate, reliable or error free.  The site may contain bugs, errors or other limitations that Mobilespy.com is not responsible for.  Blah blah blah… give us your money and get screwed!

But damn it’s tempting, cuz those are some hot bitches they keep saying are searching for me! Who would’ve thought hot bitches were searching for me? I’m betting they have traced their boyfriends to my house … Taco Bell my ass!!!

Well, it’s been real … it’s been fun … but it hasn’t been real fun.  So, I’m off to get my free psychic reading now … I need to know if crazed hot bitches are coming over to kick my ass.  Wait! What’s this? I need to enter my credit card number? That doesn’t sound free … curses! Foiled again!





Is there a doctor in the house?

18 04 2010

In the early 80’s I think every female from age 14 to 40 had one thing in common … his name; Rick Springfield.  The Australian native, Springfield, dominated the American pop rock music scene once the infamous hit “Jessie’s Girl” was released in 1981 and blew up the music charts bringing him to super stardom in a very short period of time.  At the same time, he also was busy making his mark on the small screen as Dr. Noah Drake on the emmy award winning soap opera “General Hospital”.  The combination of the two careers he was managing at the time made Rick Springfield a household name.  Every girl wanted him and every guy wanted to be him (even though they wouldn’t admit to it).

Springfield left high school at the age of 17 to pursue a career in music.  He joined 3 bands during that period and even traveled to Vietnam to entertain the troops with the band MPD, Ltd in 1969.  In 1972, at age 22, he relocated to Hollywood, California to seek out a solo career as a musician.  He struggled to find his place in the market at the time because record producers were not interested in his sound or look.  Though he did not desire to be a pop-idol, he was continuously pushed into that realm.  He wanted to be taken more seriously.  In turn, though acting played second fiddle to his desire to be a presence in music, he eventually scored a role on “General Hospital” in 1981.  At the same time, he fortunately captured the attention of RCA records with whom he recorded his first hit album “Working Class Dog”.   Both he and his agent at the time suspected the album wouldn’t be a hit, which is why he took the acting position.  Much to everyone’s surprise, the first song released from the album, “Jessie’s Girl”, quickly rose to #1 on the charts which meant Springfield had to work overtime between his two blossoming careers.  From 1981 to 1983, he would continue to portray Dr. Drake on television while embarking on world tours to promote his music.  The two careers worked hand in hand, even though it was hard on him, as they promoted each other making “General Hospital” the most popular show on daytime television and Springfield the most sought after pop musician in the industry during that period.   In 1982 the album “Success Hasn’t Spoiled Me Yet” was released followed in 1983 by his biggest hit album, “Living in Oz”.  Also, during those first 3 years of his stardom, Springfield received the honors of “Favorite Male Pop Artist” and “Best Male Rock Vocal Performance”.  In 1984, He made his first feature length film, “Hard to Hold” which was backed by his album/soundtrack of the same title.  The plot was, of course, about the struggles of rock stardom and romance.  A bit of a romantic comedy, though I do not suspect that was the writers’ intention.  Though the film did not do well in the box office, it was still a big hit among the ladies featuring Springfield in many mouth watering scenes and making it the date movie of the 1984.

It was a bitter sweet success for Springfield because he longed to be recognized as a serious musician, but seemed to find himself ranked as a teen idol.  His 30-something baby face was plastered on the cover of every teen magazine while he aspired to be on the cover of more reputable magazines such as “Rolling Stone”.  In 1985 Springfield took a break from his careers to spend time at home with his new born son and wife as well as to deal with a state of depression he had been battling for many years following the death of his father.   From 1985-1988 Springfield recorded 3 more records, though they did not find nearly the success of their 3 predecessors.  Then, after a long break in recording, he began to record more introspective work that seemed to define his metamorphosis from overcoming to depression to accepting the life he was blessed with.  In 2004 he released the album “Shock/Denial/Anger/Acceptance” which showed a deeper and more intellectual side of Springfield.  It was an album he was very proud of that truly seemed to reflect the artist he wanted to be from the beginning.  He had come to a point in his life when he could actually embrace the fame he always fought.  Once he felt his baby faced good looks were a curse, but in later years he embraced the fame the pop industry had given him.  Today his audiences are the same young ladies who loved him, but they are now adults.  He still has sell-out shows and in 2008 released a top 40 album, “Venus in Overdrive”.

In 2003 I was thrilled at the opportunity to finally see him in concert, as I was too young in the 80’s to be allowed to go to any of his shows.  It was a terrible fate for me as both my sisters were old enough and got to come home and brag about it as I sat at home, listening to his records and sobbing.  But, alas, my opportunity had come in the fall of ’03 when Rick Springfield was coming to my home town to perform.  The interesting thing about the event was, at the time I was working in sales among a total of 4 sales women.  Our boss said who ever made the most sales in a 3 month period would get to choose tickets of their choice to a show at the local casino for an all expense paid evening of fun.  The good news is, of course, I won.  I never worked so hard in my life.  The bad news was, by the time the contest was over there were no good seats left available and we ended up on the 33rd row.  It was our entire office.  The boss and his wife, co-workers and their spouses … and I was spouseless, so I ended up taking my sister as my date.  The music was so uplifting. I sang along word for word.  I was so excited to be there.  He sounded better than ever.  I was bobbing up & down and standing in the aisles so I could catch a good glimpse of the still hunky Rick Springfield.

As a person who always demands front row at shows, I pulled some of my old tricks.  I grabbed my sister by the hand and suggested we simply walk up to the front and see what happens.  She was skeptical, but I pushed on through with her in tow.  The annoying thing about casino shows is they always give away the best seats of a show to their biggest gamblers … the people who spend their life savings there have earned those seats.  That’s commendable, except those people are usually well past retirement age and holding their ears at a rock concert. Yet, they are the same kind of people who would never refuse anything free.  Go figure.  So, I look around and feel like I’m in an old folks home.  I look up at Rick who seems very pleased to see my young face among them.  He begins to play one of my favorite songs, “Kristina”, a b-side from one of his chat topping hits.  I look back at him with a smile, push through a few blue haired bouffants and climb up on the stage to join him in song and dance.  I look back down at my blushing sister who didn’t have the courage to push past those old folks and I give her a chuckle as I do a little dirty dancing on stage with the dreamy Rick Springfield.  I’m beaming as the cameras roll and I hear my work mates back on row 33 hoopin’ & hollarin’.  It was an unforgettable moment.  At the end of “Kristina” I gave Rick a hug and jumped off the stage, floating back to my seat.

Rick Springfield cornered the market like no other, in my humble opinion.  He ruled the small screen and the music charts during the decade of decadence, when he was faced with a lot of serious competition.  He played some incredible guitar, though he wasn’t taken seriously as he should’ve been.  Every song in his repertoire had memorable lyrics and catchy hooks that couldn’t be beat.  He was a little bit rock and roll and a little bit punk and a whole lot pop, but he was good … really good.  So good, in fact, that he still has a huge following today and continues to have a successful career in music and the small screen.

Thus far in his career, he has starred in two major motion pictures, 3 shows on television and numerous Broadway acts.  He has released 7 studio albums to reach top 40 status, 4 of which were in the top 20.  He has been involved in several charitable works, including a private concert for the benefit of a family friend with cancer and Bob Geldof’s “Live Aid” concert in 1985 to help those in Ethiopia.  Springfield has also participated in judging the Independent Music Awards among the likes of Roger Daltry, Buddy Guy, Lou Reed and many other highly respected musicians.

Today Rick is currently on tour and has recently released his autobiography, “Late, Late at Night”. Next month, production begins on a documentary following Rick’s career from past to present titled “Affair of the Heart” (after one of his more famous hits).  Rick says of the documentary, “My fans are the most amazing humans on this planet.  This documentary will not just focus on me, but on them and the connection we share.”

On a side note, Rick is a well known dog lover who included his “best friend” on the covers of some of his albums as well as recording songs about them.  I find this to be kinda cool.  I guess because I’m a dog lover myself and would put my dogs on album covers as well.

To learn more about Rick, his official website is here: http://www.rickspringfield.com/