Sweet Baby James

There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.
— W. Somerset Maugham

I love music although I’m not always up to date. Sir Paul, in all his mutations? Absolutely.
Aerosmith? Yeppers. Love me some Steven Tyler….nothing is as interesting as a man who knows his classics.
James Taylor? Then and now. I’m not saying his lyrics are deep (I”VE seen fire and rain, too), but after much ado and painful practice, I managed to learn Sweet Baby James on the guitar and the piano. I’m not saying I’m good nor can I even say that I manage to keep up with anything resembling tempo and there is a lot of eye rolling, whilst I try to remember what come next. However both my guitar AND piano playing are at least in tune, which is more than I can say for my singing.
I have one of those photographic memories (the actual name of which escapes me…idetic? idiotic? but I can remember great lots of what I see and what I’ve heard),which is useful for remembering my best friends phone number from 55 years ago, routing numbers, whole pages of text in college, entire lectures and meetings at which I look as if I am not paying the least attention but can parrot back about 10 minutes of conversation (a useful trick, since most meetings could be handled by an email). I can also remember lyrics and the first bars of songs, including who is singing lead and where I was when I first heard it. I cannot however, sing on any key…or rather, I manage to sing in every key during the same song. It amusing me, however, to sing backup in my car, with the windows open.

My mother was a wonderful vocalist and musician. She just had to see an instrument played once to get the mechanics in her head and it was off to the races. She taught Marnie and I how to sing harmony (okay, it was baby harmony and I had a tendancy to either wobble or just follow whoever was louder). After Marnie’s death at five, my mother never sang again. All the music died that day. Even though she sent me to piano lessons for 16 years, she never took much pleasure in me playing (AND NEITHER DID I). Even now, I play only for myself. I don’t even play if someone else is in the house, which is a shame and a waste…or maybe I’m trying to save my family from aural assault.
So here are my two favorite versions of Sweet Baby James by James Taylor.

He’s weathered life pretty well and I guess if he can face his demons, so can I. I might play tonight….with people in the house.
Or I might figure out how to send a text message on my phone, if I can find it.

Do you have a soundtrack of your life?

I love the music and lyrics. I can hear phrases that echo so deeply in my life, I would trade every brain in my head to be able to sing. I took 16 years of piano lessons and all I can really do is read music and pick up the melody line. My teacher in college told me if I were serious, I would practice four hours a day and then put in another two hours for the pure pleasure. THAT never happened. I would play for my kinders and first graders but I NEVER play for anyone else. Ever. There isn’t much in my life I can keep for myself, but this is. I have a friend, Susie, who can play along with a recording note for note. She is seriously good. I’m adequate but I play in a empty house for myself.  I love this David Cook cover of  “I’ll Be” by Edwin McCain.

And both of these, too! The guy is Phillip Phillips, audtioning for American Idol 2012. You might be hard pressed to recognize my Thriller  possibly be able to guess it  probably couldn’t recognize my Thriller unless you saw the sheet music in front of me).
Working on At Last, covered by Christina Aguilera

The piano work  Knocks. Me. Out.

This is what I’ve been doing in January:

  • Found my husband unconcious,unresponsive and BLUE on the bedroom floor. After every test known to the medical community, he was sent home to me with a dianosis of ???
  • Then three days later, he fell down the stairs (28 of them, plus the landing) broke four ribs and was airlifted to RMC-Fresno. THAT was a really bad week. That ER was like a riot in a war zone. I have no idea how people work in a place like that. After every test known to the medical community, he was sent home to me with a diagnosis of ???.
  • Then he fell in the kitchen and broke his femur, knee and hip. He is all casted, set, pinned and has a new hip. He should be walking tomorrow. Then the big question is whether I should send him to a rehab place, where he’ll get really good physical therapy or if I should bring him home, where I’ll be the one doing the physical therapy. The place the hospital has in mind ….I wouldn’t put my cat in, much less my dogs. So I guess it’s going to be a coin flip.
  • To fill the million hours in hospital/ER/surgical waiting rooms, I finished a scarf for my daughter’s birthday (ocean colors) and a pair of mitts (cashmere), finished a couple of baby sweaters and am working on a watchcap for my husband’s cold head.
  • Note to self: knit no more black, ever.

I love the images of this clip…no idea who is singing, except I know for sure it isn’t me. And it probably isn’t the GooGoo Dolls, either.

The end.