Tag Archives: music

For T, wherever I may find her

My boys are now taking Tae Kwon Do together, which, depending upon how you look at it could be the greatest parenting idea ever or a harbinger of Armageddon.  The very least that can be said for it is that at least I am combining their activities and cutting down on my taxi-service duties.

The studio we found is kind of far away and the classes are conveniently scheduled to end right at rush hour, which, given that we live in the boonies, really isn’t all that bad.  Now that I have learned to use my iPhone to power my car stereo, I put the thing on “Shuffle” and hope the boys will shut up and just listen to my excellent musical taste.

“Let us be lovers, we’ll marry our fortunes together.”

I am about the biggest geek on the planet because I’ve seen Simon and Garfunkel perform together twice, which is astonishing when you take into consideration that they were already more or less finished by the time I was potty trained.  This particular song is one of my all-time favorites.  It releases the tension in my jaw in a way that otherwise requires a half-bottle of Pinot.

“It took me four days to hitchhike from Saginaw.”

I tried to ignore the mumblings coming from Zachary in the back row.   I didn’t want to pause the song, and since he hadn’t yet directly addressed me, I figured I wasn’t neglecting any parental duties.

“’Kathy, I’m lost,” I said, though I knew she was sleeping.”

I’ve known this song for as much of my life as I can remember.  It is my teenaged years, my college days, long afternoons with my best friend who is as big a geek as I am – maybe even bigger because she likes Art more than Paul.  Some songs get old after repeated plays, but this one gets deeper and stronger and more likely to make me want to cry.

“All gone to look for America.”

The song ended and the next began.  “Excuse me, Mommy,” Zachary piped up from the back seat.  He was so polite that I sighed and paused the music, even though he was intruding on the calm that follows hearing a perfect song.

“Yes, Zach?”

“Could you please play that last song again?”


Being something of a Luddite, I have a long, slow learning curve on new technology.  I have had an iPhone for two years, but only recently has it occurred to me that I could use the thing to play music.  I had been relying upon a few old CDs and this quaint little device called “radio.”

My husband, fed up with my backwardness, finally decided to take the bull by the horns.  A year ago, he set me up with an iTunes account and bought me this neat little cord that connects my iPhone to the car so that I can play songs directly over the car radio.  He put hundreds of songs from our CD collection on the iPhone, then showed me exactly how to download music of my own.

I used the cord once.  It requires access to a frequency on the radio not used by any station, which is does not exist in LA.  Mostly, I just got static.


But then, just a month ago, my husband got me a different cord.  Once that plugs directly into the auxiliary station on the stereo, without requiring radio access.  I am sure you’ve all heard of it and it has some iName, but I don’t know what the hell it is called.  All I know is that it works.

We dumped all the adults’ music in one folder and the kids’ music in another, the latter of which I promptly forgot about because who the hell wants to listen to kids’ music?  I want to expose the kids to the best of the music I love – Simon & Garfunkle, Pete Seeger, Norah Jones, and – this goes without saying – the theme song from Greatest American Hero.  So, we just play grown-up music, with me shouting back the names of the artists.  True, I get a little nervous when “Run to You” comes on, but honestly, it’s not like they’re paying attention to the lyrics.

And so it was that yesterday, I had Gloria Gaynor playing when Benjamin asked me a question.  I turned down the music.  “What was that, baby?”

“Mommy,” he asked.  “Can I survive?”

I think there may be a few Janis Joplin songs I ought to censor.