Tuesday, April 23, 2013

so anyway, as I was saying...

So anyway, as I was saying in my last blog about the things I was contemplating doing with the spare time that I used to spend worrying, here’s what I’ve found out about luging and mermaid camp. And really, how many times can you say those two things, let alone in the same sentence?

It seems there are at least a couple of luging options in these United States. My friend Alisa was nice enough to send me the links to them, because evidently I am not the only one whose curiosity was piqued at the mere mention of the word “luge.”

I noticed that luge place #2 requires proof of health insurance. Very reassuring. And don’t put it past me to try this, either. I live to be able to say I’ve luged. Is “luged” even a word? Spell check thinks not. But then again, who is spell check, really?

Ah, mermaid camp. I’ve discovered there really is no good segue from luging to mermaid camp – a thing I doubted even existed until I saw my friend, Loralee’s picture and tactfully asked her, “What the hell is that picture on your Facebook page? Are you wearing fins?” And thus, my introduction to this phenomenon was made.

But once you open that can of worms, there’s really no going back. It turns out there are quite a lot of people obsessed with mermaids. (Who knew?) My only prior reference to them was Bette Midler’s stage show and the movie Splash, which just goes to show you the kind of sheltered life I’ve led.

It turns out that, like luging, there’s more than one mermaid camp, too, the most renown of which is the one in Florida that my aforementioned friend attended. (http://www.weekiwachee.com/camps/sirens-of-the-deep-mermaid-camp.html )

Me, I’d opt for the one in Hawaii…that is if I was opting for mermaid camp – which I’m not. Ever.

And that brings us (logically) to the documentary I finally watched called The Boys: the Sherman Brothers Story. (I know, my skills at the art of the segue can really only be classified as a gift.)

For those of you without the fingertip-ready knowledge of who wrote the songs you’ve known all your life and have taken for granted, let me assure you that many of them were written by the Sherman brothers.

If you’ve visited a Disney theme park and ridden “It’s a Small World,” seen Mary Poppins or Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, or heard Ringo Starr sing “You’re Sixteen,” then you know the Sherman brothers’ songs.

I must admit that, going into it, I knew absolutely nothing about them. I assumed, based on nothing but their very cheery music, that they must have been two blissfully happy (and lucky) men who got along famously and depicted the optimism of the charmed lives they surely led in their songs. I would, of course, be completely wrong.

While my definition of a charmed life may well be “making a good living as a commercially successful songwriter,” (Project much? Nah!), the truth is the dynamics of their relationship were far more complex.

Robert and Richard Sherman were two very different men. Robert fought and was seriously injured in World War II, having been one of the first Americans to step foot in Dachau, seeing the horrors of the concentration camp atrocities firsthand.

Richard, on the other hand, didn’t see front line action. And while his inclination may have already been on the sunnier side, I can’t help but think that the impact of Robert’s experiences were both profound and permanent. And perhaps it was the melding of those two very different lives that held the magic we all know and love.

To be honest, I found myself more intrigued by Robert, whose demeanor appeared to be more brooding and somber than Richard’s. To be able to write such uplifting and positive songs after having witnessed so much darkness, takes the profundity of that accomplishment to a whole different level for me. It makes it a conscious choice about what one wants to put out in the world.

That the brothers spent years apart and estranged later on in life saddened me to no end, as did the shift in what the Disney company became after Walt Disney’s death. But we will forever have the films and the music. And if it keeps childhoods innocent and sweet for a day longer than today’s world would have them be, then I say that’s a pretty good legacy and one the Sherman brothers' children and grandchildren can be proud of.

For my last completely disjointed tidbit of this blog, might I suggest getting your tickets for my show next week on May 1st at 7pm in New York City? It is going to be an incredibly fun evening of singer/songwriters that include me (Ilene Angel), Garry Novikoff, Lorraine Ferro, Tanya Leah, and BethAnne Clayton. We will be swapping songs and unscripted banter. And believe me, with a description that includes the word “unscripted," hilarity is sure to ensue. You will not want to miss it.

Here’s the link to get your tickets or make reservations: http://stage72.com/?p=2434 or call 1-800-838-3006.

Thank you so much for stopping by and spending some time with me. I appreciate it beyond words...which I've used enough of...so I'm done for now.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

the time in between

“It’s all happening.” I accidentally erased Almost Famous from my DVR yesterday. Was not happy about it, either, but then I realized I’d probably already committed most of it to memory, or at least the wisdom most useful from it – “Be honest and unmerciful.” – I seem to use this mostly when writing about myself, though. Hmm… “You cannot make friends with the rock stars.” – Yeah, this one I’ve disregarded entirely. And “It’s all happening.” – This reminds me both to stay present and that everything I envision already exists.

But what about the time between knowing something exists in the ether and seeing it come to fruition in your life? What do we do with the time in between?

That’s where I find myself now – knowing that both the vision and the groundwork have been laid, aware that little by little, day by day I’ve been doing the work. But the rest isn’t my piece of the puzzle to complete. And in many ways, that makes it the hardest part of all for me.

We live in a perpetual state of busyness, but there is a huge difference between being busy and being productive. Sometimes it’s productive to take a walk, go to a movie, clean out a closet or take a nap – although, frankly, I’ve never been much of a napper.

There’s a saying that goes, “The harder I work, the luckier I get.” And to the extent that you have to clock a lot of hours to become proficient, let alone excellent at anything, I suppose that’s true. But a lot of us feel that if we’re not working 24/7, we’re going to miss some big opportunity. And by “a lot of us,” I mean me. But here’s what I’ve figured out about that – that underlying belief has nothing to do with work; it has everything to do with fear. And fear has never taken me any place worth going.

So this year, I’ve turned over a new leaf, and I’m not gonna lie to you, it feels weird, but it also feels exhilarating, exciting, and completely unfamiliar. Now I am clear that there is a part of the equation of my life that is my job, but I’m also clear that there is a part of the equation that is not. And the part that is not is where trust comes in.

So I’ve got a little time on my hands, but mostly it’s the time I used to spend worrying incessantly, fretting needlessly, and generally freaking out. I kind of don’t know what to do with myself. I was thinking maybe pottery. Also on the list of potential activities is mermaid camp, which is a real thing, it turns out. I actually know someone who did it. And finding out where people learn to luge. Oh, not because I want to be an Olympic luger. I just want to find out where one would dip the proverbial toe in the proverbial water of the whole luge thing. How does one even get started in that, do you suppose? (See, these are the things I’ve been wondering about in the time I used to spend worrying. Way better use of my time.)

I’ve decided in the meantime to go watch a documentary about the Sherman brothers that I’ve wanted to see for a long time. Maybe I’ll tell you about it in my next blog. And also, if I find out the answer to the luging question. So much to look forward to. I can only imagine your anticipation.

Thanks so much for stopping by. Please tell your friends.