The Best Of the Greatest Hits…

Elvis Presley and Costello, Hank Williams Sr., Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, Black Sabbath, Simon and Garfunkel, Stevie Wonder, Queen, Van Morrison, The Who, Crosby Stills & Nash, The Ramones, The Clash, Jefferson Airplane, The Mama’s and The Papa’s, CCR, Fleetwod Mac, Joni Mitchell, Bowie, Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, The Doors, Bob Marley, Al Green, Funkadelic, The Carpenters, Aerosmith, Meat Loaf, U2, The New York Dolls, Peter Frampton, Blondie, Cat Stevens, Boston, The Allman Brothers, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, Marvin Gaye, Elton, Dylan, Clapton, Springsteen, Floyd, Cher, Nick Drake, Curtis Mayfield, Jackson Browne, Carole King, Iggy Pop and The Stooges, The Velvet Underground, Cheap Trick, The Eagles, Bad Company, Patti Smith, The Steve Miller Band, Airsupply, Kiss, Supertramp, Van Halen, Dolly Parton, and John Cougar Mellencamp before he lost the Cougar.  These were the ‘Best Of’ my childhood in the mid-to-late seventies.  They were the stories, tunes, expressions, and concepts that defined my parent’s generation and shaped a musical melody within my soul. 

I just got my promo order from work – Warner Music Group – and there is no denying that while my mother’s generation, neatly filed in the form of vinyl under my vintage record player, has passed its lighter on to my generation.  The music, stories, experiences, and tunes that compiled the growing pains of my generation have graduated into yet another dying format of music – the compact disc – in the form of a greatest hits album.  The Stone Temple Pilots, Pearl Jam, Nirvana, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Madonna, Michael Jackson, R.E.M., Metallica, the Beastie Boys, Soundgarden, Counting Crows, Oasis, Green Day, the Goo Goo Dolls, Alice in Chains, LL Cool J, Weezer, the Cranberries, Notorious BIG, Live, The Pixies, PJ Harvey, Liz Phair, Prince, Bon Jovi, Duran Duran, Depeche Mode, Pavement, Wilco, The Flaming Lips, Guns ‘n Roses, Def Leppard, Run DMC, AC/DC, Whitney Houston, INXS, The Bangles, Cyndi Lauper, The Cure, the Go Go’s, Wham!, the Talking Heads, Poison, the B-52’s, Motley Crue, Janet Jackson, Eurythmics, Billy Idol, Salt-n-Pepa, A Flock of Seagulls, Culture Club, Boy George, Paula Abdul, Joan Jett, Rick James, Lionel Ritchie, Tone-Loc, The Pretenders, NKOTB, and good lord Bobby Brown.  These are the musical melodies that are supposed to strike a chord in my child (the one I do not have) and perhaps the last physical form of a musical collection (known as an album) that will exist in the world. 

One-offs in a unarchived format with messages of a generation of self-entitled tones.  A greatest hits of the best of digital delusion living on some type of portable drive somewhere that merely pays my salary….that’s the download on a new generation’s legacy. 

I think I’ll lay on my shag rug, beside the records I love, listening to a CD of my youth, under the photographs developed from real film that hang above the Royal typewriter, while I read a book.

Diffident Diary/DigiSphere/I Call Bullshit/Life Times/Media Marvels/On A Serious Note/The Prop Arsenal

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Writing is wasted on the young.

Plenty of things are going on even if I fail to update my blog.  A co-worker and I were in the elevator and our entire seven-floor ride consisted of connections through social networks.  I knew he DJ’ed through another co-worker’s blog and we poked fun at an update of his that ‘I liked’ before he mentioned reading that (and I’m paraphrasing) people have a hard time blogging in more than 140 characters nowadays.  Wow!  Truth be told, he is absolutely correct, and I fall victim to this. 

I was thinking, just this morning before I ran into him, that I’m not really sure I remember what my penmanship looked like.  Naturally, I wrote out a list and it occurred to me that saying about ‘use it or lose it’ is so true; my penmanship had somehow morphed into some sort of shorthand.  I’ve made it my New Year’s resolution to write a letter once a month so that at the end of the year (and potentially the end of a handwritten era) I could remember how I used to communicate with people.  How exciting.  It’s kind of like learning to write all over again and this time for the novelty of it and not because I have to.  I suppose it’s the same mind set, but of course on a smaller scale, of going back to college in your thirties; harder work but man it feels like you’re actually accomplishing something this time around rather than goofing off. 

That whole adage of ‘youth is wasted on the young’ really stands true except truly, writing is wasted on the young.  I no longer write without outlines and it’s becoming increasingly hard to hear myself think with popular music (yeah, strange I used to just write from stream of consciousness to Jeff Buckley and consider it genius–of course I was probably also writing stoned) playing in the background like I used to. 

You know, it’s all about going back to the basics but this time with more experience and knowledge that you got from doing it all wrong in the first place.  Radiohead – The Bends, come to me so I can write Chapter 4 in Book #2.   Don’t worry, tomorrow is Madonna’s Celebration album (Imma let myself finish but Madonna’s got 36 mo’fo hits on this thing) and that typically puts me in a conquer-the-world mood to write my query letters for book 1.

Alright, time is short and I ain’t that young.

Who Am I?

I’ve started this question half a dozen times since I could comprehend the depth of it.  Here I sit, nearly 32, not old enough to be running a media company but not young enough to be in its demographic.  Hell, I only remember when the son-of-a-bitch first started, but what do I know.  The question is “Who am I?”

When I was younger and all my grievances in life had my parent’s to blame, I was Divide Community.  You see Divide Community is one of those double meaning words.  You know the words that would be hard to learn the meaning of in another language.  As a writer, we hope to be able to bridge the language barrier gap to create a universal language.  As a civilian, it’s just a book; my first book.

My journey begins in 1998 when I wanted to really answer this question; “Who Am I?”  I was working at a storage unit place, for minimum wage in the late ’90s, and had a lot of time to reflect.  Though time was plenty, my knowledge was less so.  Escape, relaxation, don’t think about yesterday or tomorrow, repressing, yeah, that was me.  I was angry and I didn’t know why, so I thought I’d just start writing.  Forrest Gump of the word processor, I typed until my ailment burst open key-by-key.  Eventually, I had a semblance of an idea for a memoir.  You see memoir’s really weren’t as big of a market back then s0 I just thought it was a book of true life.  Nearly 300 pages of unformed and stoned thoughts about who I was.  The book sat in a box for three years.

In college, the one I went to after I dropped out and fled to New York with a band of hippes and then went back, I met two kids that I immediately felt a kinship for and managed their immature band, The All-American Rejects.  I was a small fish in a small pond and I had Madonna as a role model, so I whipped their prepubescent asses in shape and got them a record deal.  They went on to sell millions, and I was screwed out of millions.  Not to mention that disorder I got called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that pretty much goes from Psychiatric code to Psychiatric code without being insane and having a clear traumatic trigger.  I got this after my brother, the only person I had as a witness to my childhood, became a missing person.  Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Missing Person, Platinum-Selling The All-American Rejects, Retarded Love, NYC, and a lot of crazy stories from an alcoholic.  Who really had time to ask, “Who am I?”

Once my Oklahoma savior personality kicked in, I crawled out of that abyss and decided to think about who I was.  There was a lot I’d experienced at a young age, there were experiences that are unimaginable for the majority, and there were parts of me I just started to realize, so I wrote.  I finished Divide Community, and it was who I thought I was.

Something peculiar happened, I became happy.  You see by this time I was going into my Thirties and several therapists later, I realized that maybe I could never sustain happiness (as a therapist once told me) but at least I could realize when I was happy.  This was a breakthrough, so I set out to edit who I was in a final book format.

My childhood seemed less emotional and more like a great story.  The themes of suffering that were sprinkled within the text just showed me how strong I was, and it occurred to me that there is not a concrete answer to the lifelong question of, “Who Am I?”

I’m my likes and dislikes, my pain and my happiness, and the love I took and the love I made.  I’m several labels like a sister, daughter, wife, analyst, Buddhist, Lesbian writer, teacher, student, female, entrepreneur and overall pain-in-the-ass.  I’m adjectives like moody, beautiful, snarky, sweet, insane, neurotic, spiritual, impatient and judgmental.  I’m my experiences both negative and positive.  I’m the karma I reap, and after all this time I have realized I am not the alpha and the omega (though in high school I may have argued differently).  I’m everything around me and never did I appreciate it more.

Within my writing you can discover chapters of my life that struck a story in the world, but it’s what is between the lines that reveals the most.

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Madonna’s Daughter is a Mini Her

Greatest Act Alive: Innie Minnie Miny Mo

Coming soon to an internet connection near you….

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RIP: Michael Jackson, King of Pop

In a Dear Santa Letter in grade school I asked Santa for a Michael Jackson doll.  On Christmas I was thrilled to unwrapped a doll-size Michael Jackson replica wearing a red-leather jacket, black leather jeans, a white glove, and black penny loafer shoes.

Michael Jackson was the very first person in music that I liked, individual of my parents so he symbolizes musical autonomy in my life.  I couldn’t deny his artistry, style, and the way he made me feel as a child of the eighties.  The pint-sized MJ rocked with me for a couple years until I was able to actually start something of my own music collection.  I put the MJ doll aside as I played the Thriller record over and over trying to figure out why the girl was his but Billie Jean was NOT his lover, and all the while just a pretty young thing that wanted her own ‘bubbles’.

I suppose it’s only Human Nature to feel sadness and like a part of my childhood died as MJ passed away.  There is something to be said for MJ and there is no other artist (Madonna pending) like him and his career…well, you can’t Beat It!

Rest In Peace my childhood friend, though we never met I remember the time.

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