Reminiscences: Musings in Memoir — Prompt #8: Animal

My very first thought when I saw this prompt was the song “Animal” by Def Leppard.

But for actual animals, I’ve always enjoyed watching the shows on the Animal Planet TV channel.

For years, I subscribed to National Geographic. 

Lately, I’ve been watching animal web cams, like the local Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle and at Explore.

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Reminiscences

 

Musically Ranting #6- Sleeping with the Musician

Using the prompt from Sleeping with Musician; this is number six and it looks like I need to go back and try to get caught up with one through five.

But this one says…

“I’m pretty sure we have all had a crush on at least one musician in our lifetime. I can think of a handful that I wouldn’t kick out of bed right now..haha. This reminds me of those folded-up posters in the teen magazines that you could tear out and it would become a wall hanging. Most of the people featured were actors but every now and then a musician would make an appearance.

The memory of those magazines is what brought forth the idea of the next prompt-

If you could sleep with one musician who would it be? Why would you pick that musician?”

I have two answers for this. The list is long of who I would like to sleep with, but since I can only have one, it would be Joe Elliot of Def Leppard. To me, he is simply delicious…

I have all of their albums… and love this song and how Joe Elliott looks singing it.

I have a video DVD of the history of the band. They said they were overwhelmed by all of the attention from girls and they took advantage of it all. They would have girls (and their mothers) in a room under the stage and the the girls (and their mothers) would all be naked and whenever the band took a break, they went down to the room where the naked women would give them blowjobs and then they would go back on stage.

ps… two others are Bret Michaels of Poison and Timothy B. Schmit of Eagles and Poco, oh, and Robert Plant of Led Zepplin… oh my… so many more.

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I actually did sleep with a musician, although he wasn’t famous. He was in a band that did the Pacific Northwest club circuit. The name of the band was Burgundy Express and they played at Pier 70 (site of my story Holding On pt1), Golden Tides and Aquarius Tav/Parker’s Ballroom. They did record an album that I still have 45 years later.

Burgundy Express

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The Color Purple

I think the perfect book to read right now and then watch the movie, is the “Color Purple”. It covers racism and sexism and the color purple is for lavender for lavender season.
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“The Color Purple is a 1985 drama film directed by Steven Spielberg. It is the eighth film directed by Spielberg and is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name by Alice Walker. The film tells the story of a young African American girl named Celie and shows the problems faced by African American women during the early 1900s; including poverty, racism and sex discrimination. The character Celie is transformed as she finds her self-worth through the help of two strong female companions.”

My two favorite songs of the movie are:

And…

Reminiscences: Musings in Memoir — Prompt #4: Run

photo of woman in gray spaghetti strap top and gray pants running beside concrete wall
Photo by Retha Ferguson on Pexels.com

In my mind I see myself running… down a path, between trees, along a grassy patch, past some animals, onto a road, back the path. In my head I hear the song “Light My Fire” by The Doors. Since high school that song has been my running song and even now I can listen to it and feel myself running once again.

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I ran track in high school… short sprints and hurdles but never thought of myself as a long distance runner. I only did that for myself… Running on the beach, on the path at Greenlake, amongst animals in display habitats at the zoo, and my favorite of running in Ravenna Park, all in Seattle.

In the 60’s, girls running track in high school wasn’t considered a sport, it was just a pastime for us to amuse ourselves. We couldn’t earn letters, only the boys could do that. Our equipment was the boy’s old castoffs, and usually broken. We were only allowed to use the track and gym after the boys were finished with it.

After high school, I stopped running, I don’t know why… I wish I could again. At this point, I would be happy to walk again.

But in my mind, I’m still a runner….

 

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TMI Tuesday: June 9, 2020: What Is….

1. What is your phone screensaver at the moment?

I use the one that came with the phone. I like the colors and design and I’m basically lazy. When I get bored with it, I’ll figure out how to change it.

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2. What is currently on your playlist? (list top 5)

3. What are your last three internet searches?

More information about BIPOC

Looking for a fashion design software program

Searching for a photo 

4. What is your favorite sandwich filling?

Cheese with mayo, pickles and lettuce. I do like tuna with cheese and grilled into a tuna melt. I also love cream cheese, sliced tomatoes and sliced onions.

5. What is one staple item all men should own?

Whatever makes him the most comfortable. For some that will a suit and tie and for others jeans and a teeshirt. If they are comfortable and secure they will be more relaxed and not be worried about themselves.

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Reminiscences: Wind

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I saw a new project on Mrs. Fever’s memoir prompt wind and I knew I wanted to participate in this project. I finally found the time to do so.

Wind. There is so much I can say about it. I love windy days and big wind storms, until the power goes out. I love windsocks and have even made a few. I love flying kites in the wind, although it’s been a while since I’ve had the opportunity to do that. My dad use to windsurf, even up into his 80’s… he is 91 now and had to finally give up his hobby. One thing I’ve never tried is sailing, which is weird considering I grew up in the town called “the boat capital of the world”. Oh, we had boats of course… rowboats and paddle boards and canoes and kayaks, and outboard motor boats and cruisers and one big one that looked like a barge. My dad built boats while I was growing up, including a salmon fishing boat that he used in Westport and then eventually sailed to Hawaii then sold it and then stayed in Hawaii to live. But we never had a sailboat.

But when I think of wind, I think of songs with “wind” in the name of the song.

“Windy” by the Association… which I adopted as my theme song… (windy, cindi, get it?)

“They Call the Wind Mariah” which is from the movie “Paint Your Wagon”. Elliott used this song is his version of this prompt: They Call The Wind Mariah

“Wind Beneath My Wings” by Bette Midler (from the movie “Beaches”)

“Dust in the Wind” by Kansas

“Blowing in the Wind”…. done by Bob Dylan and another version by Peter, Paul and Mary.

“Candle in the Wind” by Elton John. He did a version of this in honor of Princess Diana after she died. My daughter’s dance team did a tribute to my daughter at the spring recital after my daughter died.

“She’s Like the Wind” by Patrick Swayze (from the movie “Dirty Dancing”)

“Summer Wind” by Frank Sinatra

“And The Wind Cries Mary” by Jimi Hendrix

“Against the Wind” by Bob Segar

“Colors of the Wind” by Vanessa Williams (from the movie “Pocahontas”

 

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Discover Prompt: Instrument

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When I was a child, I was given a record about the different musical instruments in an orchestra. I didn’t have a lot of other records and I found this fascinating so I listen to it a lot. I became pretty good at identifying the instruments as I heard them play.

These memories have stayed with me my whole life and I still can tell which instrument is being played just by the sound. I have a strange ability of telling the difference in sounds and can also identify a person, such as an actor in a movie, simply by the sound of their voice.

I tend to like orchestral pieces that isolate the different instruments… such as this one done recently by an orchestra in the UK while in isolation.

And this classic flash mob rendition of Ravel’s Bolero

Discover Prompts: Music

Music is a topic I write about a lot, or so it seems. I love movies, but I don’t watch a lot of TV other than a few select shows. Books are my number one media love with music a close second.

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I love to categorize things and music isn’t any different. I have playlists for a variety of different topics, events and reasons.

I can pick a playlist depending on my mood. Sometimes it’s slow, relaxing instrumental music with a meditation type beat and others it’s blasting classic rock that I can sing along to at the top of my lungs. Sometimes the songs on a certain playlist remind me of someone who is no longer in my life.

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I like to explore different genres of music and again, pick genres to reflect my mood and emotional needs.

If I had a music soundtrack about my life, it would include the following songs.

1. Windy by The Association
2. Let Go from Frozen
3. Landslide by Dixie Chicks
4. Never Had a Dream Come True by S Club 7
5. Burn It Down by Linkin Park
6. Runaway by The Corrs
7. Mama by The Spice Girls
8. Impulsive by Wilson Philips
9. Memory from Cats
10. Holding On To Yesterday by Ambrosia
11. In a Lifetime by Clannad and Bono
12. Another Brick in the Wall by Pink Floyd
13. Welcome to the Jungle by Guns n Roses
14. Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd
15. Lights by Journey
16. Heartache Tonight by The Eagles
17. Live to Tell by Madonna
18. Run Like Hell by Pink Floyd
19. I Dreamed a Dream from Les Miserable
20. Shot in the Dark by Ozzy Osbourne
21. Turn the Page by Bob Seger
22. Holding Back the Years by Simply Red
23. When Doves Cry by Prince
24. Touch of Grey by Grateful Dead
25. Crystal Ship by the Doors
26. You Belong to the City by Glenn Frey

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January Jumpstart Jan 9 Your Whole Brain

This is image is older because we now know that there are other things that use the entire brain, one of them being writing. This is important to me, because my mother died of Alzheimers 7 years ago (on Jan 14th), and I want to make sure I don’t have go that way too. My mother didn’t use her brain enough… she rarely read anything, and it was usually just magazines, not books, and she never wrote anything, other than letters. She was pretty good about that, but email confounded her and she hated the “new-fangled cell phones” and refused to use one. My stepdad posted things to Facebook and a family email group for her, because she never learned how to type. I think these two things, along with smoking and drinking, were her downfall. She did do some creative pursuits like sewing and painting, but as time went on, she stopped doing these too.

Because I felt bad about my mother’s lack of intellectual pursuits, I threw myself into them. Reading, books and the library were my life. Writing became an extension of all of that reading. While I didn’t do as well in school as I would have liked, I enjoyed learning new things and I still do. I was always told I wasn’t living up to my potential and the school’s expectations and I would learn why when I was 38, when I was diagnosed with ADHD. I would also be diagnosed with OCD, DID and PTSD, years after the fact, but they still interferred with my education and learning ability.

But all of this didn’t stop me from wanting to read and learn as much as I could. In fact, books and the library became a refuge from the pain and the trauma.

When I worked at middle school, they started giving staff seminars and workshops on how the brain worked. Suddenly, things started to make sense to me. I’m still fascinated about how the brain works.

So when I read the following, it all started to fit together like a jigsaw puzzle:

‘I just read something in an issue of The New Yorker Magazine about writing that really captured my attention.

“The subjects were given a few sentences from a short story to copy verbatim, in order to establish a baseline (during a CATscan type of imaging), and were then told to ‘brainstorm’ for sixty seconds and then to continue writing ‘creatively’ for two more minutes. It was noted that during the brainstorming part of the test, magnetic imaging showed that the sensorimotor and visual areas were activated; once creative writing started, these areas were joined by the bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, the left inferior frontal gyrus, the left thalamus, and the inferior temporal gyrus. In short, writing seems to be a whole brain activity… a brainstorm indeed.”*

*The Next Word” by John Seabrook Oct 14, 2019 Issue of The New Yorker’

Other things that I found that supported this idea and that I found interesting included:

“Myth #1 – Humans Only Use 10% of Their Brain

That’s a load of hooey.

Neuroscientists exist to study the brain; they’ve been doing it for years and have gotten pretty good at it. They take their work seriously, but if you ask any one of them about the “unused section of your brain,” they’ll probably laugh at you.

Myth #2 – The Left Brain and the Right Brain

The second myth that we need to bust is a very widely held belief. That of the left brain and the right brain.

Many believe that the human population can be split into two categories: the analytical left-brain thinkers and the creative right-brain thinkers.

While some people can be defined by their logic and some by their creativity, it’s not the side of the brain they most use that gives them those traits.”

This information came from a site called Craft Your Content and the article is called Science Behind Writing Brain. https://www.craftyourcontent.com/science-behind-writing-brain/

On the Writing Cooperative on Medium, I found this article:

“If you understand the different types of thinking available to you and understand your how your brain works then you’ll find it much easier to create quality work. The first thing to realise is that the styles of thinking come in oppositional pairs.

This is important to remember because it is highly unlikely that you would be able to do both at the same time. It’s also very likely that you’d favour one style over another during the course of your writing career. This may leave deficits your ability to write/edit your own work.

The four oppositional pairs are:

Creative Thinking vs. Analytical Thinking

Convergent Thinking vs. Divergent Thinking

Concrete Thinking vs. Abstract Thinking

Sequential Thinking vs. Holistic Thinking“* https://writingcooperative.com/the-8-styles-of-thinking-unlock-awesome-writing-by-rewiring-your-brain-a0800d9eb9a1

This made sense to me in so many ways… Although we are all humans, we have very obvious differences in ideas, beliefs, needs, desires… And although we all have a brain, how it works has very subtle differences and can be seeing how how we chose to communicate, how we learn, how we think, how we speak and more…

This is why education was so difficult for me. The school wanted me to learn their way and I needed to learn my way. I’m glad that schools are finally starting to get the message and realize that since not everyone learns the same way, we all need to be taught in ways that help each of us learn the best.

That’s how learning about how the brain works in regards to reading, writing and learning can make a huge difference, including in how we write.

And how does the music graphic relate to this? Music is a form of communication, notes are like letters of the alphabet and it’s own form of language. Studies have shown that people who learn about music often have an easier time time learning to read.

So there ya go.