Carpe Diem Y’all by Michele Bernard

Writer, Texan, Semi-interested Sports Fan

Dad – Mom’s Hogging the Microphone

rock_band_cover.jpg“We weren’t too ambitious when we started out. We just wanted to be the biggest thing that ever walked the planet.” Steven Tyler of Aerosmith

I was over video games when controllers went from two buttons to something resembling a ten-key punch.

Then, last night, my 15 year old opened his birthday present .

Life may never be the same.

(And yes, son, I will pay for your therapy.) 

In the meantime: Rock on party people. 

Game Spot Score 9.0 Editor’s Choice:  Rock Band does a superb job of bringing out the wannabe rock star in all of us, and creates one of the best party-game experiences of all time.  – gamespot.com

Carpe Rockem Y’all, Michele

January 26, 2008 Posted by | Best Lines, Blogroll, Carpe Diem Quotes, Dance, Family, Heart, Her Royal Nerdiness, Humor, Humor Writers, Just Wow, Michele's Musings, Motherhood, Music, Parenting, Winter | 4 Comments

Carpe Beatlemanium

poster_across-the-universe1.jpgIt’s enough to make a Beatles fan both cringe and grin, sometimes at the same time……I’ll go ahead and say it: I’m embarrassed by how much I liked this movie. – Jeffrey Chen Windows to the Movies 

“What do you remember about the sixties?” my son asks.

“I was just kid,” I reply, “I remember I prayed alot.  Mostly for the war in Vietnam to end so Uncle Butch could come home.  And, oh, for God to get Donny Osmond to marry me.  Actually, that was probably the seventies.”  I lose myself in thought. 

My son loses interest.  The Uncle Butch he knows is a grandfather.  So is Donny Osmond.  I realize I don’t paint the portrait I try to paint for him.  I’m at a loss as to how to answer his question.  The answer is too big and my attention span is too short.  I too lose interest and move on to other thoughts.

Then I go see the movie musical, Across the Universe.  And there it is:  the answer to my son’s question, a cinematic CliffsNotes on the sixties (or was it the seventies?), a social/cultural documentary told through the words and music of the Beatles detailing the background noise of my childhood.  

I’m not sure the movie is for everyone, but I for one love it.  The love story:  sweet, the issues: real, picking out the obvious and not-so-obvious symbols strewn throughout the film: as fun as solving a Where’s Waldo puzzle.  At times I feel I need a notepad to keep up. 

And the music, oh my goodness, the music.  It’s as if hearing these songs for the first time.  I am amazed at how with a slower tempo, a  different voice, or use of a song in an unexpected context can trick my ears into thinking I’ve never heard these words before.  I purchase the two-cd soundtrack within twenty-four hours of watching the movie. 

The arrangement of Let it Be is the most moving rendition I’ve ever heard.  And Joe Cocker singing Come Together ?  Of course!  Joe Cocker singing Come Together.  He has the perfect rasp to pull it off, and the percussion makes it, dare I say, better than the original version? On a similar note, I truly believe Bono IS the walrus.  All featured artists are fabulous and breathe new life into the words and the music my generation teethed on back in the day.

I pick my son up at baseball practice, stereo thumping.

“Gah Mom!  Can you turn that down?”

“No,” I say, handing him the cd liner notes.

“What’s this?” 

“The answer to your question.”

Coo-Coo-Ca-Choo.

Carpe Diem Y’all, Michele

November 1, 2007 Posted by | Beatles, Best Lines, Blogroll, Donny, Family, Her Royal Nerdiness, Just Wow, Michele's Musings, Movies, Music, Parenting, Theater | | Leave a comment

Crank Dat Soulja Boy

While my husband and I are learning to salsa, our kids are doing this:

And they’re not the only ones.  So are

Spongebob:

and Barney:

and the Texas Longhorns:

and even Dora the Explorer:

And now, thanks to these folks, you can crank dat soulja boy too:

Carpe Dance’m Y’all, Michele:)

October 16, 2007 Posted by | Dance, Humor, Just Wow, Michele's Musings, Music | 1 Comment

Happy Birthday To Me

Relax, it’s not my birthday.  Yet.  But my husband surprised me with an early birthday gift and made good on a promise he made New Year’s Eve all at the same time. 

Flashback to New Year’s Eve:  Dressed to the nines, there we sat (and sat and sat) watching all the other couples glide around the dance floor, my feet tapping, remembering how much fun I used to have with my beloved dance partner Billy who passed away so many years ago.   My husband looked over and promised he’d learn to dance so next year, we too could join the fun. 

This week, he signed us up for 14 weeks of Latin Dance lessons.  To put this in perspective:  AND IT’S FOOTBALL SEASON.  Of course the caveat is if the Cowboys are playing, I’m on my own. 

So last night was our first salsa lesson.  We had a blast. 

And everything, even my fingers hurt today.  We were both moving a little slow around the coffee pot this morning, but it was worth it.   

I found this video that kind of looks like my husband and me dancing, except not.  My husband’s hair is much shorter and I don’t think we learn that last move till week three.  Other than that, it’s pretty close, but not really.

Salsa dancing at the Berlin Congress

September 17, 2007 Posted by | Dance, Family, Heart, Michele's Musings, Music | 4 Comments

Baaaaaaaaach

September 14, 2007 Posted by | Humor, Just Wow, Michele's Musings, Music | 2 Comments

The F Word

Yesterday I had the great pleasure of attending the United States premier of the Truth in Translation project at Southern Methodist University.  It was a truly powerful experience.  From the back of the program:

“We live in a world that is increasingly driven by fear and vengeance.  This is incompatible with the notion of forgiveness.  Yet we cannot survive unless emotional and perceptual reconciliation can be made.  This story is not just about one country, one context, one event, but about all of us right now, everywhere we look.” – Michael Lessac, Artistic Director, Truth in Translation

At intermission, instead of the usual get-me-to-the-bathroom buzz, the audience sat silent, mesmerized, unwilling to break the spell binding us the them, the actors portraying the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission translators who are telling the stories of both the victims and the perpetrators of the crimes of apartheid in first person.  I sit wondering how.  How does one get to forgiveness after such atrocity? 

Finally standing, I walk to the theater lobby.  The mood reminds me of a post-Lenten service, people walking, not talking, carefully avoiding eye contact.  Large banners, courtesy of The Forgiveness Project, hang from ceiling to floor, pictures of people, their stories underneath, each sharing their personal paths to forgiveness.  

Reading their stories, I’m overwhelmed with both gratitude and shame.  Gratitude for being spared the heart-breaks these people have endured and shame for holding onto the angers and grudges I hold.  They were so large yesterday, but today, in the face of those who’ve made the decision to move past hate and anger, choosing forgiveness and reconciliation instead, they feel small, petty, stupid. 

And in the middle, was this banner.  It helped me get a better grasp around the question of how.

Carpe Diem Y’all, Michele

September 10, 2007 Posted by | Another F-ing Thought for the Day, Heart, Inspiration, Inspirational, Just Wow, Michele's Musings, Music, Theater | 3 Comments

New At Bat Song?

I’m always searching for the perfect Life At Bat Song, the song they break into right after your name is called to step up to the plate.  The perfect song needs to provide insight into who you are, inspiration to you as a player, have a motivational beat, be a tone setter for your opponents, and blend well with the clapping and cheering of the fans in your peanut gallery.  So is  I Don’t Dance from Disney’s High School Musical 2 a contender?  Looks like a few big leaguers are trying it on for size.  What’s your At Bat Song?  Carpe Diem Y’all, Michele

August 25, 2007 Posted by | baseball, Dance, Humor, Just Wow, Michele's Musings, Music, Notes from the Cheap Seats, Sports Stuff, Summer | 1 Comment

How to Make a Perimenopausal Female Swoon

lovesongs_sm.jpg Donny Osmond Love Songs of the ’70s, Song #3:  Donny covers Al Green’s classic Let’s Stay Together.  I join my Inner bell bottom wearing, Partridge Family Watching-Marsha Brady Wanna Be within by saying:  Iiiii…….I’m soo in looove with you too Donny! Let me….be the one you come running toooo….., Donny baby.  Iiiii’ll neva bee uuuuntruuuuuoooouuuu……Sighhhhhhhh…..Carpe Diem y’all, Michele

April 27, 2007 Posted by | Donny, Michele's Musings, Music | 1 Comment