March, 2012 Archives

Sweet Dreams

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March 14th, 2012

I wake in the morning, early, sub-sunrise, smiling in my head and gut. Just returning home from a strange photo workshop. My ladies are asleep but I can’t wait to show them the fluffy hair that’s miraculously grown on my head overnight. As my wife and daughters lay all clumped up sleeping together in the […]

I wake in the morning, early, sub-sunrise, smiling in my head and gut. Just returning home from a strange photo workshop. My ladies are asleep but I can’t wait to show them the fluffy hair that’s miraculously grown on my head overnight.

As my wife and daughters lay all clumped up sleeping together in the bed and in nests on the floor like they used to create, I make them tiredly stroke my hair to see how it’s grown. They’re all excited for me. The clock is set back — not Daylight Savings — but years and years; my daughters are tiny and fresh and beginning.

https://readthespirit.com/rodney-curtis/wp-content/uploads/sites/14/2013/03/wpid-rcfacepills.jpgSmiling so hard, so bright, I feel it in my gut. Still smiling as consciousness returns, the deep ache in my void feeling oh so good. I reach up and touch to see if it’s possible. Nope, still bald. But boy, the smile’s still shouting.

The moon or Venus and Jupiter play games with my psyche as they dance close together in the sky. I take a photo of my morning meds because they stare back at me. I explode with laughter from my belly.

Maybe I’m still asleep.

Krakatoa Katie

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March 7th, 2012

Thank you internet. Thank you, thank you. As my buddy Mick Cochran famously noted several years ago, “Who needs a brain, when I have Google?” When you have a vague, strange memory of something long ago, there is no better place to wander, than the web. I understand those who bemoan the demise of dictionaries, […]

Thank you internet. Thank you, thank you. As my buddy Mick Cochran famously noted several years ago, “Who needs a brain, when I have Google?”

When you have a vague, strange memory of something long ago, there is no better place to wander, than the web. I understand those who bemoan the demise of dictionaries, phone books, encyclopedias and newspapers, but honestly the information available to us at a mere whim is extraordinary.

I’m not breaking new ground by expounding on that theory, but let me expand a bit. Among other ridiculous and inane things I’ve had running around inside my head since I was a child was this wispy melody, “something, something Katie, she ain’t no lady …”

I knew it was from my mind’s way-back machine and it was probably pasted into my consciousness back during early mornings while sitting in my jammies watching cartoons. That was all. I think it might also have made some pre-sexual watermark in my mind, indelible yet faded. I found myself humming it just now while folding laundry.

Okay World Wide Web, what can you tell me?

Within moments my answer appeared and a whole flood of memories came back. Why of course, it was a Mighty Mouse cartoon. Created in the 1940s, some 25 years before I saw it on a 60s or 70s Saturday morning, it was a six minute movie about how Mighty Mouse saved Krakatoa.

Duh!

Yes, it led me to read more about the Indonesian island that exploded, most famously, way back in 1883. And sure, those curvy island mousettes were definitely provocative (so were the palm trees, strangely enough). But I think the real crux of this was the ability to evoke concrete information from the most obscure memories.

I wish I had this tool way back then. There are so many things it would’ve been useful for, even as a child. For example, I surely would’ve argued less vehemently that the lyrics to a song I’d just heard were “For he’s a jolly lack pellow, which nobody can deny.”

But if I had Google as a kid, my parents would’ve been aghast at my search history being filled with pictures of Catwoman, Raquel Welch and yes, Krakatoa Katie.

There’s certainly both good and bad that go hand in hand with this ability to find ridiculous things. But these days I’m in the accentuate the positive mode. My attitude may change, however, if I start getting Gmail suggestions and Google autofills for things like dancing mice, island getaways or Viagra. For now I’ll ignore them, or click on something else. If things become dire, I can always rely on my computer’s mighty mouse to save the day.

https://readthespirit.com/rodney-curtis/wp-content/uploads/sites/14/2013/03/wpid-rcKrakatoaKatie.jpgMighty Mouse dances with Krakatoa Katie.Go ahead, click on the picture if you want to watch the six minute cartoon.

Act II

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March 5th, 2012

Taylor and Skye on stage in their Drowsy Chaperone accouterment. It’s great watching my daughters on stage. Bittersweet though. This is the last play, for a while anyway, that will feature them both. The Drowsy Chaperone, a comedic romp through the late 1920s, is now playing at Troy High School. Our girls are on and […]

https://readthespirit.com/rodney-curtis/wp-content/uploads/sites/14/2013/03/wpid-rcDrowsy.jpgTaylor and Skye on stage in their Drowsy Chaperone accouterment.

It’s great watching my daughters on stage. Bittersweet though. This is the last play, for a while anyway, that will feature them both. The Drowsy Chaperone, a comedic romp through the late 1920s, is now playing at Troy High School. Our girls are on and off stage for most all of the show. One alternates between dressing as a freaky looking organ grinder’s monkey and a high society maid. The other is a brainless widow who can’t seem to control her spit-takes, but also plays the ukelele. High comedy.

I can’t help but think back to their earliest dramatic presentations, cobbled together from whatever “costumes” we had lying around. Their plays back then were barely scripted one-acts in which the whole point was to simply dress up. Stuffed animals were husbands. Blue blankets were lakes or shawls or baby slings. Tutus meant endless hours of fun.

We’d sit, my wife and I, politely watching their shows. We’d clap when we thought they were done, only to be scolded because the play was still going on. Sometimes Grandma would play the role of audience. When larger groups got together, cousins would combine and the traveling troupe told tales to rapt audiences of aunts and uncles.

So it amuses me endlessly that these days we actually pay to watch what used to be performed in our own private living rooms, with pretend paper tickets. We get together for dinner ahead of time, then drive off to see the cousins acting or working behind the scenes in amazingly lavish productions. Or family makes the journey here to do the same thing with our daughters on the stage.

I’m only seeing the show three times, slacker that I am. Grandma is seeing four performances and Marci will punch in five times. We’re not doing this to be polite. We all truly enjoy the play and amaze ourselves at our willingness to shell out the money time and again.

There’s nothing profound about parental pride. It’s exciting to watch the progression from toddler to thespian. Maybe they’ll dance and sing and act together in some far flung future once college is over and careers hold sway.

Or maybe in some distant living room, there’s a sister act whose early lines are being written as we speak. Until then, we’ll relish the rest of this run as we await their upcoming solo performances.

Places, everybody.

https://readthespirit.com/rodney-curtis/wp-content/uploads/sites/14/2013/03/wpid-rcSkye_Taylor_2000.jpgTaylor and Skye perform an original song and dance number 15 years ago.