Tag Archives: Frank Zappa

Drowning in Change

“There’s a ship arriving too late to save a drowning witch…” Frank Zappa

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Frank Zappa released the album “Ship Arriving Too Late to Save a Drowning Witch in the early 1980’s. It’s most notable song was “Valley Girl” which was a parody of a stereotype during that time period.  “Like totally” as well as “Gag me with a spoon” were heard so frequently it was almost nauseating.  I’m pretty sure my parental units were grateful when those phrases went out of vogue.  But on the album’s flip-side was the title track “Drowning Witch” which the past six months has felt on and off like my theme song.

The lyrics that especially speak to me are: “As the light goes dim and she’s trying to swim… will she make it? (Boy we sure hope so.)”

The upside of life: I’ve finally settled in to my Metroplex apartment and have been working on getting a routine settled into place. I can actually drive around the area (thanks to the GPS on my phone and in the vehicle) and I am learning to be more independent as it’s just me and Yoda here. I’m still learning about the area and it doesn’t yet feel like home, but I’m homesick for my peeps, not so much the city where I used to live.

But a few things have happened over the past two months that have really started putting life into perspective. I took a writing hiatus to clear the head and really start thinking about what I’m writing, how I’m writing it and most importantly, WHY I am doing it.  I’m doing it because I love the written word and the power behind language. When I am writing, I create entire universes on a blank page and while I’m not yet in league with the best of the best, I feel I can take you to another place. Writing is the air I breathe and the time off has given me a much needed perspective on taking those deep, deep breaths.

I also realized that the job I got when I moved down here is not the stellar expectation I built up in my mind. (Haven’t we all done that a time or two?)  I had plenty of time to contemplate this fact after an on-the-job injury and spending time in bed at home.  I figured out while recovering when you get up out of bed each day and dread going to work and then come home too exhausted to even be human, there is a problem. Seriously, some days I felt like the anti-christ as my mood and behavior changed so dramatically.

What was I doing?  Why was I doing it?  Who was I doing it for?

Since the accident these little life questions have been haunting me and it all came to a head one day when someone at work called into question my character and integrity with such venom it took me aback. This person doesn’t know me and what little interaction we have had has been tense even prior to this.  It brought out feelings of anger, resentment and frankly, despair. (Basically my middle school years all wrapped up into a couple of days.)

WHAT was I doing? I’m a grown woman and I don’t need or deserve to be treated like I’m worthless by someone who doesn’t know me or want to know me.  WHY was I still working there after a couple of months of progressive misery? The grass was literally greener on the other side, but laying underneath the grass was a cold, dark place.  I was working there for the wrong reasons and there are no right ones to really keep me there.  WHO was I doing this for?  The epic question of the day wore on my heart and I realized I was doing it JUST for the money and not for anyone.

Money is an evil task-master.  The Beatles were right. It can’t buy you love and at the end of the day, it only buys a fleeting happiness.

So as I write this, I’m a little more than 24 hours out of the epic showdown that will occur on Monday.  I can’t look back on this time with regret like those who consistently say, “if I knew then what I know now.” I have learned a lot about me, what I believe in and where I’m going in the future.

The ship is arriving and I’m swimming to shore, but it’s not too late. Not too late at all.

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A Rose By Any Other Name…

Each generation wants new symbols, new people, new names. They want to divorce themselves from their predecessors.
Jim Morrison
 


A rose by any other name may still smell as sweet, but we call it a rose.
We spell it “r-o-s-e.”

This leads me to one of my biggest pet peeves that really shouldn’t be, but is.

Names.

Recently in the news, not that she is newsworthy, but that aside, Kim Kardashian and her spousal unit decided to name their unsuspecting child “North.” Seriously? That poor child is going to grow up with all sorts of complexes as it is and you have just laden it with the mother of them all – a crappy name.

One might think that I would be appalled because Frank Zappa named his kids Moon Unit or Dweezil. Not really. One would expect something like that from the outrageously creative Zappa. Jane or Harry would have been totally out of character for him.  But naming a child “North West” opens the doors to many, many years of childhood jokes that no amount of money can buy your way out of. (Let’s just start with “The Wicked Witch of the North West” and work our way from there…)

But North isn’t the only baby name that I find incredibly bad.  “Cricket” makes my top ten list as well as Rainbow Aurora, Blue Ivy, Kal-El Cage (Superman jokes anyone?), Pilot Inspektor Riesgraf Lee, Moxie Crimefighter Jillette (That’s Penn Jillette’s son. I swear I hope he becomes a cop.) There’s also kids named, Sailor and Seven and Daisy Boo.  One I find strangely cute, Apple – Gwen Paltrow’s daughter, and I hesitate putting it on the list. There are others of course, but North is pretty freakin’ horrible. 

But beyond that phenomena, is the “creative spelling” of names that drives me “Banzai Bat Crap Crazy.” I deal with a lot of people on a daily basis and the older I get, the weirder names and spellings have become. I don’t know why parents have to do this. Is it because they think it’s “cute”, “creative” or “original?” Is it because they want to be different? I don’t rightly know.  Poor “Maddisyn” (actual spelling of a kid’s name I saw in a local yearbook) hasn’t got a prayer of ANYONE ever spelling her name correctly … EVER. And take it from me, I have a fairly “normal” if not quite so common name and few people have a clue how to spell correctly, if at all. 

There is a scene in the book by Billie Letts, “Where the Heart Is” which was also made into a movie. (Excellent by the way…) There is discussion about the main character, Novalee, naming her child. She’s given the advice to name her child a good, sturdy name – a name that means something.  

I stand by that philosophy and I’m sure plenty of people will be ticked when they read this. When you name a child, their name SHOULD stand for something. It should hold it’s ground and be the pillar for that child. A name like “North” doesn’t do that. It’s shaky and opens the child to ridicule which is unnecessary. I’m not saying you have to go all 1950’s names, but really, at the end of the day, why do we want to set our kids up for misery?