51 Weeks: 51 Songs From the Past: Week 18: Paul Simon- You Can Call Me Al

For 51 Weeks: 51 Songs From the Past, this week was supposed to be “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover” but as I was looking for a good video of the song, I saw this one in the Up Next column on the right of the screen and had to check it out.

“You Can Call Me Al” was written and performed by Paul Simon. According to Wikipedia:

The names in the song came from an incident at a party that Simon went to with his then-wife Peggy Harper. French composer and conductor Pierre Boulez, who was attending the same party, mistakenly referred to Paul as “Al” and to Peggy as “Betty”, inspiring Simon to write a song.[1][2]

Paul Simon did not like the original music video that was made, which was a performance of the song Simon gave during the monologue when he hosted Saturday Night Live in the perspective of a video monitor.[7] A replacement video was conceived partly by Lorne Michaels and directed by Gary Weis, wherein Chevy Chase lip-synced Simon’s vocals, with gestures punctuating the lyrics.[8]

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Grabbing Onto a Me Day

I woke up this morning prepared to face the day. I had a plan. I had a list. I was ready to go.

And then the first thing on my list stalled me-

The printer decided it had a paper jam. (There was none- I checked…….TWICE.) I did all the right things, powered things off and on, opened and closed things, removed and replaced things….and still the ERROR light flashed at me angrily and insistently.

I weighed my options as my husband offered remote tech support. This definitely delayed my well organized list. And it stopped me dead in my tracks because the very first errand on that list needed something printed to be completed.

Then my husband texted me words that were music to my ears…. or make that my eyes. We have been in the middle of a project outside of our house for what feels like forever now. It has been disruptive and intrusive and I have struggled with this, trying to keep my anxiety and aggravation in check. Well, unexpectedly there would be no work today. And that meant QUIET!

And so I scanned my list. Also looking at the rest of my week told me that if I did not grab this day, I might not get one until -July…. (College kids, toddlers, seven year olds out for the summer all lurked on the horizon beginning in three short days….) Did I need to do these things today? Could they wait 24 hours? Could I take advantage of this unexpected day of solitude and silence and freedom?

It appeared I could! And I did!

So, what did I do with this day?

  • I wrote a post.
  • I read other’s posts.
  • I worked on my pseudo sort of bullet journal.
  • I assessed one of my projects for our kitchen update.
  • I charged the battery on my “new” camera and took some outdoor shots.
  • I completed a project that I had promised a friend and arranged delivery.
  • I worked in silence.
  • I stretched out and watched a few episodes of my latest Netflix binge watch- Private Practice.
  • I worked on future blog post ideas.
  • I danced it out (Meredith Grey style- but in my own clumsy Kat-like style). I confess that Ari looked away in embarrassment on my behalf……

  • I counted down the hours until I meet my bestie, Diane, for a much needed girls night out.

There are so many things I could have done if I wasn’t going to complete the day’s original list. Dishes, laundry, preparing Kris’s room for their arrival, cleaning cleaning cleaning….

But I needed this day. I don’t regret a single moment of it because it has charged my batteries, renewed my energy and lifted my spirits. And although the day would have been perfectly fine if I had continued on my list of errands and tasks, it wouldn’t have been the same.

What do you do when you find yourself unexpectedly alone with time?

Have a great one!

-Kat

51 Weeks: 51 Songs from the Past: Week 16: Van McCoy- The Hustle

I think I might have missed a week but I’m back with my song to share for Hugh’s 51 Weeks: 51 Songs from the Past. 

In 1975 Van McCoy and the Soul City Symphony released the disco hit- “The Hustle”.  The song was written after McCoy’s music partner watched people doing the dance by the same name in a New York City nightclub.

A few years ago, CJ who was four at the time, caught us off guard by humming this song. When we questioned where he heard it, he told us that his grandma listened to it all the time. Mystery solved. We showed him a video of what the dance that accompanied the song looked like and he was thoroughly entertained, asking us to play it over and over.

I admit to being a bit of a clutz, so I actually have never done “The Hustle” but if you are interested in learning, here is a video (although a little creepy because the guy’s head is chopped off—-watch it, you’ll see what I mean), it gives you the steps.

And if you haven’t gotten enough of the song yet, here’s an interesting video I came across while looking for one that showed the steps. It’s definitely the 70’s!!!

So, tell me- can you do The Hustle?

It’s Been 3 Years!

On April 1, 2014, I pressed that “Publish” button for the first time and Dandelion Fuzz was born. It wasn’t Dandelion Fuzz in the beginning- that name came pretty early on though. I have included the text of my first post below. It’s ironic that upon reading it again, I could be writing the exact same thing now, with just the slightest modifications.

When I began this blog all those years ago, and let me tell you- it feels like a lifetime ago- I had no clear idea of what I wanted this space to look like. I knew that I wanted to share my journey with my trans kid, Kris, but I had no way of knowing how many twists and turns that would take! As time went on, I shared what I hope were relevant pieces of information and my perspective as the parent of an LGBTQ kid. When I discovered challenges- especially photography challenges, this sparked an unrealized interest of mine and I began adding those posts.

At times I was very confused and uncertain of how I felt in Kris’s journey and it was at those times that I sometimes fell silent on the topic, trying to work through my feelings before sharing them.  And it was then that I occasionally shared other snapshots of my life.

In recent months, my topics have strayed more from the transgender issues as my life has been focused in another area. Although I don’t write as much about Kris, my involvement in supporting the LGBTQ community has not lessened any in my day to day life. I have mentioned, in passing, the thing that has grabbed my attention, but I remainhesitant to write about it- the matter of a loved one dealing with mental illness.

I am tossing around the idea of beginning a second blog dedicated to that issue, so as to not take away from this blog. But I’m undecided at this point.

One thing is certain- I’m so grateful to everyone who reads my posts. Although writing can be hard at times, for me pressing that “Publish” button and sharing my writing with others is even harder. I appreciate every person who takes the time to read my posts. It gives me the courage to write and put a little bit of myself out there. Although I always thought that just writing was enough, I wouldn’t be here in the blogging world without you!

And I love Dandelion Fuzz. It’s my heart.

If you are so inclined, you can read my first post below-

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Hello, it’s me, Kat!

This is my first post. Well, actually it’s my second if you count the one that I slaved over all morning that just disappeared when I clicked on what I thought was Preview. So, here I am- nervous, scared, a bit gun shy about sharing myself and my first post just disappears like that. Poof!

I can’t recreate it. I would drive myself crazy. So, this is my new first post. Much shorter and to the point. If you read About Me, you know that I’m a mom, wife and all that fun stuff. In my original first post I spent two paragraphs sharing a lot of stuff that I thought was important enough to include but now can’t remember. So I’m at that point- the point of no return. I need to start writing or start deleting.

Quite a few years ago, I gave birth to three healthy beautiful babies. Boy, girl, boy. That changed a few years ago when K,our teenage daughter, told us that she believed she was transgender. In basic terms, transgender is when a person identifies with a gender different than the sex they were assigned at birth. Simply put- a boy in a girl’s body. It isn’t that simple and it touched every single corner of our lives.

Parenting is very difficult. When my children were younger, I found other moms with kids the same age as mine were the greatest source of friendship and support. There’s nothing like the company of someone who knows exactly what you are going through. Being the parent of a transgender child presents challenges one cannot begin to imagine. The experience has been life changing for all five of us. I compare it to living inside a snow globe. Every time you shake a snow globe, you don’t know where that snow will land. The only certainty is that there is something slightly different every single time. Sometimes the changes are huge and other times barely noticeable. But something has changed. That has been our lives since K ‘s revelation. I feel that writing about this will help me process everything we have experienced and if I can help someone else who is on a similar journey, in even the smallest way, then it will be worth it.

Thank you for being part of my world!

-Kat

51 Weeks: 51 Songs From the Past: Week 13: Baha Men- Who Let the Dogs Out?

This week’s song for 51 Weeks: 51 Songs From the Past is Who Let the Dogs Out? performed by Baha Men.

The 2000 song was a chart topper in the US and UK as well as Australia and New Zealand. It’s popularity grew when it was featured in Rugrats in Paris: The Movie. This song has the distinction of taking 3rd place on Rolling Stone’s 20 most annoying songs list, as well as 8th on their poll of worst songs of the 1990’s, and also ranking first on Spinner’s 2008 list of the “Top 20 Worst Songs Ever.”

This song was brought to you compliments of seven year old C.J. His little brother loves The Cat Came Back, which he sings all the time. After finding himself humming and singing it himself, he suggested Who Let the Dogs Out? as the perfect song to pair with it. I’ve included a video of The Cat Came Back, in case you aren’t familiar. But really, doesn’t everyone know this song???

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Thanks for stopping in!

-Kat

Embrace Life

“There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.” -John Lennon

It seems too simple, doesn’t it? I can see you shaking your head. Yeah, Kat, right, all you need is love, love is what makes the world go ’round and all that fun stuff. Maybe loving yourself and acting from a place of self-acceptance won’t solve all the big world problems but think about how many of those problems are most likely the result of people acting out of fear or self-loathing or some other negative place. Too often we are afraid of looking too closely at ourselves.

When my life resembles a roller coaster ride that I prefer not to be on, I try to break it all down into the simplest ideas. I was not raised to be a positive person so looking on the bright side and pushing away the darkness is something I had to learn and practice. I found that by sorting out my feelings, behaviors, opinions and thoughts helped me to see things more clearly. Some of these I could change, others I had to leave behind, and the persistent few I just accepted as part of who I am. I found that when I took the time to really look at myself and where my motivation was coming from, the pieces began to fall into place and I felt better equipped to face the challenges in my life. I also felt a lightness inside me that I don’t remember ever having before.

I realized that I’m not a finished product and probably never will be. My children may be grown ups (or so they think….in my eyes they will always be my babies) and I might not be considered so young anymore (although to a 90 year old, I’m sure I appear quite youthful!) but it’s never to late to learn new things, whether they are about the world and others around you- or yourself!

Being a mom and a person who likes to help others, I found that by looking inward and examining what was going inside me, I was able to offer more to others. What might seem like selfish behavior actually helped me to give those that I love the best that I can be.

This mindset might not solve any of the issues I face but it definitely helps.

path to peace

As I was looking for quotes for the Blogging A to Z Challenge, which begins at the end of the week, I came across these words of John Lennon. Being a big John fan, I was surprised that I hadn’t seen them before, not that I know every single thing he said, right?? I wanted to use the quote as part of the challenge, but was having trouble fitting it in so I when I saw the Daily Post: Elixir today, I knew that this quote fit the bill. 

Have a great day!

-Kat

51 Weeks: 51 Songs From the Past: Week 12: Stray Cats- Stray Cat Strut

I can’t believe it’s already week 12 of 51 Weeks: 51 Songs from the Past! Time is sure flying, isn’t it?

Stray Cat Strut was released in the U.K. in 1981, reaching 11 on the charts, and in the U.S. in 1982, topping at #5 by the group- Stray Cats.

The group’s sound blended elements of rockabilly and punk. And their visual style was unique as well, as you can see in the video. I like the 1950’s feel of the song and the video. I remember hearing this song as a teenager and thinking it was an old song. Having grown up listening to my dad’s 50’s and 60’s music, it was a surprise to find out that this was a new release.

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Hope you like this catchy little tune!

-Kat