January 31, 2007

Hairy Mary

My youngest sister, Liz, got married in November. The wedding was beautiful, and the reception was lovely, but Mary's favorite part was getting a new dress.

Mary's hair is naturally curly. I'm not sure if it will always be so, but it's rather pretty on a 5-year-old.

It is getting quite long, and we are determined to cut it and donate it to "Locks of Love" when it reaches the required length.

In the meantime, I have to "do" Mary's hair for school each day, which means she chooses from the following.... 1 braid, 2 braids, 1 ponytail, 2 ponytails, 1 bun, 2 buns.... you get the idea. Her hair MUST be contained, or we are talking major mess. After all, the girl has P.E. AND recess.

(It looks something like when she wakes up in the morning.)

But on Sunday.... she gets to wear her hair all down, showing off her long, lovely curls. One morning I was particularly distracted and hadn't done Mary's hair yet. She approached me with great concern and said, "Mom, you need to do my hair. I can't wear my hair down to school. I only wear my hair down for church..... or a wedding."

January 28, 2007

What's in Your Will?

I get asked to sing on a regular basis. I'm not talking about the bedtime requests from my children, which are nightly. I refer to performances at church events (Sacrament meetings, Relief Society, Stake meetings, Christmas parties, etc.), weddings (usually receptions or dinners, but a few ceremonies... weird), and, of course, funerals. I frequently receive compliments afterward, which I have learned to accept graciously with a smile and a simple, "Thank you," or "I'm glad you enjoyed it."

But there is one compliment that I get way too often which still throws me off balance.... "You have such a lovely voice. I want you to sing at my funeral!" Whaaaat? I seriously get this all the time! (Oddly enough, all these requests come from healthy and relatively young people.) And I'm never sure how to response. Am I supposed to say, "I'd love to," or "I look forward to it"? I guess they enjoy my singing so much that the only time they would think to invite me to sing is when they are gone? What kind of person is planning the music for their own funeral service? So far, none of these requests have been fulfilled. I don't think any of them have bothered to put this request in their Last Will and Testament.

January 12, 2007

Music Musing

I feel like I'm 15-years-old again. No, my face hasn't suddenly broken into a pimply disaster. No, I don't fit in size 5 jeans again. And no, I don't have a mad crush on C. Thomas Howell (What was that all about? And what idiot cast him on "24" last season?). It's because we got an Ipod for Christmas (thanks, mom and dad).

I know, I know... the Ipod wasn't even a glimmer in Steve Job's eye when I was 15. But boy the music was great back then. Suddenly I have rediscovered my high school favorites from the likes of The Cars, Crowded House, Go West, Howard Jones, Icehouse, INXS, Level 42, New Order, OMD, Pet Shop Boys, Phil Collins, Simple Minds, Tears for Fears, and Sting.

And then there are my recently rediscovered favorites from college... Mae Moore, Everything But the Girl, Aztec Camera/Roddy Frame, Nick Heyward, The Church, The Origin (not the metal band), Peter Gabriel, REM, Squeeze, The Sundays, Cocteau Twins, and of course, Sting.

It's all because we dug out our (rather large) CD collection and dumped it on this amazing little Ipod. Now I can listen to any of 1000's of songs from stacks and stacks of CD's (not just the 6 in the stereo), in random order, pulling up songs I had forgotten I like, and hadn't heard in many years.

Then there is the music I haven't heard in many MANY years, because I only ever owned it on cassette tape (I think we have a cassette player somewhere, but who wants to dig that out?). I found two of my favorite cassette tapes that had played many a time on the faithful old Honda Civic stereo.... China Crisis (What Price Paradise), and Nik Kershaw (Human Racing). To my disappointment, I discovered that ITunes had never even heard of China Crisis (shameful, really). My heartfelt thanks goes out to "bookguy152" for selling me a 2002 CD of the 1986 album for $3 on Half.com, which I immediately added to the Ipod. ITunes did have a few songs by Nik Kershaw, but not from the 1983 album I was looking for. They directed me to their UK website where I could download songs for GBP 0.79 (roughly $1.54) each. No thanks. Half.com failed me here, as did Amazon.... those darn import CD's. But Half.com redeemed itself when "lookatmusic" sold me "The Very Best of Nik Kershaw" on CD for $7, which includes my favorites from "Human Racing" and "The Riddle" among others. I eagerly await it's arrival in the mail.

Although ITunes failed me a couple of times, I am grateful to it for suggesting music I would never have known about otherwise, like Dennis DeYoung singing Broadway Showtunes (don't laugh... it's really quite good!). And I even learned from them that Nik Kershaw has a new album just released in October.

These days, I don't always get to choose what I listen to. It's mostly Strawberry Shortcake, Primary songs, and Disney soundtracks.... though I sneak in a little Cold Play and John Mayer here and there, when I get a chance. And, of course, Sting. Always Sting.

And by the way, I'm absolutely giddy about the premier of a new season of "24" starting in just a few days! Now THAT REALLY makes me feel like I'm 15 again.