Monday, 9 May 2011

A Little Bit of...Writer's Encouragement from the Past

I'm currently packing up all my things (once again) and moving across town.  The most beneficial part of packing, I find is going through all of the "stuff" I have accumulated over the years and rationalizing whether or not I really need to keep it.  As a historian - or so I've made this point before - I have difficulty parting with the media of my past.  Yes, you may call me a hoarder for that!  But, I don't think there's much wrong with being nostalgic for certain things from our past.  A prime example of this is my writing assignments from elementary and junior high.  As I sorted through a three-ring binder filled with schoolwork circa 1990-2001, I realized that I truly had talent as a young writer.  Where it went, I am currently on the search for...

I have a shady memory. Discussing a recent weekend, a friend asked if I had truly been drunk enough to blackout.  "No, I never blackout," I told her.  "But I have a bad memory as it is...and sometimes I chose not to remember a lot of what has happened, whether or sober or not." I feel this applies to my childhood quite profoundly.  Thus the necessity for continuing to keep so much more of the artwork from that time of my life.  The rest of the memories - the people, the places, the situations, embarassing moments - can be forgotten, reminisced over with the friends those people have become in my life, again, revisitted, and re-friended based on who they are now rather than who they were back then.

I do have a fairly functional memory for songs, though, and this is one that always makes me tap my foot.  In grade nine, I wrote a report drugs and Hollywood.  Like many blossoming teenagers in small towns with nothing else to do, I was obsessed with learning as much as I could about show biz.  As I became more involved with doing too many other things with my life, this obsession faded.  This song marks the hallmark of my obsession with Hollywood.  It was re-worded from Lou Bega's hit at the time: Mambo No. 5 (A Little Bit of...).  Whenever I hear the song today, I am taken back to the Health classroom (our junior high theatre), half of the girls in my grade nine year (as we had to be separated for Health/Gym class at that age) and the accolades I received for standing in front of them all, just singing as best as I terribly could.  I was like Weird Al Yankovic, but way way cooler ;-) ... and he was pretty cool back then!

Several months ago - perhaps even years - I tried to find the version of the song that I had written.  It was only tonight, looking through an old old box that I finally found it!  So, I thought I would share it...

I really hope you remember how this song goes.  If not, open this link in a separate window and read the lyrics to the rhythm...

Mambo No. 5 (A Little Bit of...)

One, two, three, four, five
Every one in show biz, says "Let's get high!"
Get the time, on probation, it's all right
Tool man says he got some if you want it
But really don't wanna
Big bust like he did in seventy eight
He must stay clean 'cause cops are keen
Just like Dreyfuss, Downey, Demi and Rio
And as I continue, you know they're getting stronger
So what do they do, I really beg you, my Lord
To them smokin' is part of a role
Any deal does, it's all good, let them dunk it
If they want it with a crumpet...

A little bit of cocaine in their life
A litte bit of heroine by their side
A litte bit of alcohol is all they need
A litte bit of drugs is what I see
A litte bit of smokin' in the sun
A litte bit of parties all night long
A litte bit of death, here I am
A litte bit of drugs makes you their man

Rain Pryor was a druggie and now helps teens
Demi in the eighties wasn't keen
Recently the same is Charlie Sheen
Ben Afleck's dad and Rachel Leigh Cook
Get the message across without being shook
Clap your hands once and clap your hands twice
'Cause it looks like some peeps are doin' it right

A little bit of River lost his life
A little bit of Belushi on the other side
A litte bit of Bowie got all he'd need
A litte bit of Feldman in the nineties
A litte bit of Freddie's dad is gone
A litte bit of Presley and his songs
A litte bit of Barrymore and her dad
A litte bit of help keeps it a fad.

Some do all to keep away from drugs - P.U.!
They can't run and they can't hide
Most celebs just wanna touch the sky!

A little bit of Elvis in my life
A little bit of Corey by my side
A litte bit of Phoenix is all I need
A litte bit of Charlie is what I see
A litte bit of Rob Lowe in the sun
A litte bit of Farley all night long
A litte bit of David Bowie, here I am
A litte bit of drugs give lessons to them all.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011


"Five jobs?"
"Yeah, still hasn't changed."
"How do you do it?"
"Oh, well, you know, I like to keep several balls in the air, switching from one thing to the next as often as I can. It helps inspire me ..."


This is my life right now.  A few months ago, I actually took the time to count how many different forms of employment I was keeping and realized that it was legitimately five.  Three of them are working independently for myself, which I call the "soul jobs"; one of them is no longer in the picture; and the fifth is a laid back serving gig that brings me into contact with a lot of interesting individuals who are helping me grow and become a stronger artist.  Sadly, that growth becomes addictive, the lure of the actual paycheques keeps me focused on only the money-making jobs, and my real ticket out of this life of juggling gets lost beneath a desk overflowing with papers from the "In" basket.

I came home tonight with the thought of starting to pack - a moving-into-a-cheaper-place chore my lack of a genuine income produces - but ended up baking for a fundraiser tomorrow: just another "growth" task I've decided to take on! As I finished washing the dishes from that task, I realized what I'm doing to myself...I'm procrastinating my way into failing as a writer!?!

So, instead of turning on some music to numb my soul while I begin the arduous, yet enjoyable task of sorting through my things and preparing to start a new life again, I opened up the laptop, typed away at the keys and put in a half hour's work at job five of five.  One day, I know, that will be job number one...but until then, I just gotta keep writing.  Even if it means putting down the other four balls for a moment to catch my breathe.