Posts Tagged ‘New Year’

So here it is, the second day of 2015. Last year around this time I was resolving not to tread down the well beaten path of self-improvement as New Year’s Resolution, but instead take a more noble and genteel resolve to learn a rather lengthy poem and in doing so become closer to art, beauty and poetry.   I had set my sights on memorizing the entirety of “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” by T.S. Eliot. I figured it would be difficult but not impossible. After all I had almost memorized all of the “Midnight Ride of Paul Revere” in fifth grade (almost).


I blazed through the first stanza within a week, worked my way through the second stanza, often mixing up “fog” and “smoke” (deciding the fog is a cat, therefore “rubs its back upon the window panes”, and smoke is a dog rubbing its “muzzle on the window panes”) and then I got to “And indeed there will be time . . .”

Time to learn the rest of this poem later in the great big year ahead of me. Yep.


The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes,

The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes,


In my defense I did read through it from time to time and would often remember fleeting lines here or there, filtering my life in 2014 through the poem. For instance, while vacationing with my family this summer I retooled the opening to make it:





The Love Song of P. Anna Barr

Let us go then, you and me

When the evening is spread out like spilled coffee

Dribbling off a dirty fast food table

Let’s get through security, to certain departing gates

Though flight delays will make us wait

For restless nights in overpriced 3 star hotels

Family vacations that end in ridiculous arguments

Of unspecified intent

That lead you to an overwhelming question

Oh do not ask what is it

There’s a placard right there. Read something for a change!

In the room the children come and go fighting over who gets to play Nintendo


When I first read this poem in my teens I felt a strong bond with its voice, but as I worked through it as a 46 year old woman I became very aware of how masculine it is.



I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;

I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;

I’m definitely not Prince Hamlet, but in an entirely different way than the narrator implies.   A great deal of Prufrock involves the narrator attempting to unravel the mysteries of women. Being a woman, I haven’t had much cause to unravel the mysteries of myself (that’s why I have a therapist), or men for that matter as their voices and viewpoints are everywhere. I learned early on to identify with male protagonists in movies and literature, and my love of this poem is a perfect example of this. However, as a middle aged woman I feel I have less latitude in identifying with men, or perhaps less inclination. I’m probably just making excuses for myself, but it ultimately colored my enthusiasm for the poem and at times I considered searching for a poem of equal epic proportions by a female author.   Obviously my feminist impulse was not great enough to move me to action.


When November finally rolled around and it occurred to me I was not going to fulfill my resolution, I panicked. I tried cramming, but the holiday season was already creeping into my schedule. Both of the bands I play in had shows scheduled, my family had a road trip on the books, and immediately after the road trip I flew to New York City to catch Hedwig and the Angry Inch with Michael C. Hall. Who needs Prufrock when you can have Dexter in drag?


I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker

And I have heard the eternal Customer Service rep take my call and snicker

“Sorry, your warranty has expired. I can sell you a refurbished moment of greatness if you like”

“No thanks. I’ll get used to the flickering. “

~ Love Song of P. Anna Barr


In short, my lofty goal of learning this poem absolutely failed. Perhaps I should have resolved to gain and lose the same 5 pounds in a 3 months cycle over the course of the year. I probably could have done that (heck I think I did do that. Can these resolution things be retroactive?)


I grow old, I grow old

I shall wear the bottoms of my cargo pants rolled

Do I dare to eat gluten? Should I be dairy-free?

May I sip a glass of wine when dining with friends

In recovery?

I have heard the mermaids singing each to each

Those amphibious bitches have never once given me the time of day

Chambers by the sea

We have lingered in the chambers of the sea By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown

Shut the f@#& up, you scaly tarts!


For 2015 I resolve to read more, write more, drink less and see every new Tom Hiddleston movie in the theater. I’ll let you know how that works out.

To get my New Year off to a happy start, here is Tom Hiddleston reciting the first part of “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”. (For the record, I can recite slightly more than he does here!)


Happy New Year!

Goodbye, 2012.  You were a pretty good year.

New Year’s Eve has always been a bittersweet event for me.  I remain a creature of possibility.  A hard, fast ending that involves a countdown followed by a melancholy tune rhetorically questioning if we should forgot the days that have gone by can reduce me to tears as I realize all that could have been won’t be.  At least not this year. But then, poof, here comes 365 days of possibility, wonder, amazement.  You can’t turn down a fresh start.

I’ve become a little more fluid in my thinking these days and have recognized possibilities and fresh starts are available almost any time or place, but it still feels good to demarcate the beginning and ending of 52 weeks.  It makes it easier to look back and say things like, “That was the year my youngest son started school;” “That was the year my oldest son grew taller than me;” “That was the year I began to feel like if I put in the time and effort, I could really become a musician;” “That was that year I felt my life had come together and I became aware and  amazed by how much love and beauty surrounds me.”

Actually I  would never say that last sentence because it’s a little too New Age-y for me.  One cannot thrive on the power of failure and fully embrace the positive affirmation.  It seems to me positive affirmations are tossed around far too willy-nilly these days anyway, and often I sense there is a less than positive subtext beneath.  In my cynical little blackened heart I  feel that the much touted “I’m so blessed” Facebook status update translates into: “My life is soooo much better than yours.”  Seriously, if Mother Theresa were alive and on Facebook she wouldn’t be posting how freakin’ blessed she is every 15 minutes! Get over yourselves, people!  You’re trying too hard, and I’m pretty sure all those pictures of your family have been heavily retouched!

Ahem. I feel better now. But this does bring me to the obligatory list of New Year’s Resolution.  My first resolution is to limit my Facebook time to one session per day (and preferably a session that lasts no more than 5 hours) or at the very least,to figure out how to turn off the status updates of the Facebook friends who annoy me.  Beyond that, I should  work on my self confidence, but then I realize I would never be able to do that, I just don’t have that kind of strength of character.  So instead I have resolved to take up a bunch of  low level bad habits (like not flossing twice a day or biting my nails) and then next year I can resolve to stop doing those things, which should be fairly easy to accomplish,  thereby boosting my sense of self worth.  Sometimes you have to look at the big picture with these resolutions. My final resolution is to have the mess from my New Year’s Eve party cleaned up by next New Year’s Eve.

Seriously though, I’m looking forward to a lot in 2013, including working on my second CD, playing music with the Debora Iyall Group (DIG for short), perhaps continuing a side project with my friend Pauli Gray, and of course spending lots of time with my kids who are growing up way faster than I thought possible.

For those of you who have stopped in and read my entries in 2012, thanks so much for reading.  Hope you have a great 2013!

I'm sooo blessed!

Some of my favorite gifts from this Holiday Season.





2012 –  so far so good.  Sure, there’s already been a big earthquake in Japan and dead birds in Arkansas, but that doesn’t mean the world is coming to an end, or even worse, 2012 will just be a repeat of last year (unless God, like Hollywood, is sticking to what sells and just remaking the previous year because it tested so well in Encino).

My resolutions for this year include trying to stay positive, getting more sleep and exercise, practicing more and complaining less.  Oh, and I resolve to be photographed while looking ridiculous more often, too!


Holidays 2011


New Year’s Eve

First show of 2012!