Far, I’ve been traveling far
May 1, 2008
I exceeded bandwidth last month. Oooops.
When I was in college I spent a summer in western Africa studying art. The culture shock was, well, shocking. Some things were hard to process because there was no framework for which to put the experiences into. And so some of the memories sort of hang out there in my brain, alone, until something triggers them and pulls them back to the forefront of my memory.
The other night we were watching American Idol when Neil Diamond came on. My older children groaned a bit. “Do you like that music?” one of them asked.
Rob answered, “Well, I don’t particularly love him. But your mother does. Ask her to sing his repertoire.”
I had to admit that Neil Diamond holds a special place in my heart.
On my last day on the African continent, ever since I have yet to go back, we were back in the city in our hotel room supposedly resting before our flight left. You have to remember that this was in the days before digital music, digital cameras, laptops, heck CDs were not even popular yet. So for this entire summer no one in our travel group had any access to music, news, messages from home.
The television had nothing on to watch other than state run programs that weren’t in English and a non-stop porn station. My friend Katie and I had turned it on and stood there gaped mouth until I finally turned to her and said, “I don’t even know what that is that they are showing.” She didn’t know either. Until they showed us a different camera angle. At which point we squealed and covered our eyes. Ah yes, back in the innocent dark ages when hard core porn was not available in everyone’s living rooms 24 hours a day.
The clock radio that was in our hotel room that last day was not so much a radio as it just played music in a continuous loop. There were several “channels.” I can’t remember what was playing on the other channels, but we preferred Neil Diamond over all of them. The song loop came around a few times and then one of us, not sure which one, began singing along. Next thing you know we were singing as loud as we could, and about as well as a typical American Idol contestant, which is to say not very well at all. We sang and danced and jumped on the beds through the loop a few times; eventually the hotel staff knocked on the door and told us to be quiet.
We listened to the loop a few more times and tried to sing along more quietly. But Neil Diamond demands to be belted out with overly dramatic enthusiasm.
Since then, Neil Diamond has always held a special place in my heart. I still know all the words to those songs by heart. And when I find myself scanning the radio in the car and one of them comes on, I have to stop and sing along. LOUDLY. (also badly and to the utter embarrassment of my children).
This would be why on Tuesday night you could have seen me singing karaoke style in my family room to Neil Diamond. And also why when it came time to vote one child said, “Well, I’m not voting for you that’s for sure.”
Over at Parenting, my 10 yr old son has written an ambitious list of 101 things to do this summer. I share part of the list we have decided to do as a family.
At Work It, Mom! I have a roasted cauliflower recipe that I tried out to mixed children reviews. The adults in the house loved it.
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