Good Times and Good Guys: I’m So Glad That I Got Them To Think Of

“I’m so glad that I got her to think of.”

Ten deceptively simple, monosyllabic words open the song, “She Makes Me Laugh,” the first new single by The Monkees in twenty years. It literally just walked into the internet release party by way of a Rolling Stone article. But I’ve already cornered it, told it I’ve been waiting forever for it to get here, showed it pictures of my kids, and monopolized its mingling time by asking it to start from the beginning over and over again. Someone better just go grab it a drink from the bar and tell it to get comfortable, because I have zero plans of hanging with anyone else for a while. Continue reading “Good Times and Good Guys: I’m So Glad That I Got Them To Think Of”

A Sideways New Year’s Greeting

I have been feeling uninspired lately. Which is funny, because I have been having a lovely time of things. Christmas was merry, providing gathering after gathering of friends and family for whom I am ever increasingly grateful. Our typical Midwestern grumblings about there being no point in getting the kids new snow boots thanks to global warming has been silenced by a smattering of powdered fluff…not quite enough to cover the tops of grassy blades, but enough for some good snowballs and the breaking in of brand new sleds that sat untouched last year. And of course, tonight is New Year’s Eve, which we will spend with good friends. There will no doubt be a lot of laughter as we sit on the brink of yearly rebirth.

237987161529057325_5S1KRotJ_bTrue, I have been busy. It is a busy time of year. But it has nevertheless been in the back of my mind that I should be writing some cleverly witty post about New Year’s: a new take on resolutions (i.e. a new way to beat a dead horse)? A reflection on the past year (i.e. regurgitate my archives)? Make a montage to Dick Clark (i.e. play the sentimental card)? But I just could not muster the desire. I just could not think of anything to say that I felt anyone should devote even a few minutes of their time to read.

But then I read these words as I was checking Facebook: “Life grows sideways.” It is a line from a book written by Michael Nesmith called The American Gene (available for download at, which admittedly, I have yet to read. But the notion intrigued me; it made sense. Life does not build on itself in a linear sense with predictable moments of change. The only reason we see the changing of December 31st to January 1st as a new beginning is because we have assigned that meaning to it. For some of us, it becomes a new beginning because we make it so. We use the excuse of a tumblr_mfp1jq1LBa1qzn9pno1_500fresh, unmarked calendar as the impetus to make changes. And there is nothing wrong with that in the least. But for others of us, things stay relatively the same, including our attitudes. Or if we do change, it is not because we are suddenly writing 2013 at the end of the date. Metamorphosis can happen at any time. We can choose to reinvent ourselves on a Wednesday in the middle of September. Or life can choose to throw something at us when we least expect it, giving us no choice but to change.

More than anything, pondering the idea that “life grows sideways” helped me understand why perhaps I have not been feeling so motivated to write a New Year’s post. Instead, I stopped worrying about it and went outside to watch my kids play in the snow. Then I sat down and let all these thoughts flow out of me. Inspiration does come when you least expect it. Now I can feel as if I have met my self-imposed deadline, and enjoy watching the ball drop exactly when I expect it to.

Happy New Year. Happy Life.

Is That You, Dad?

My life has just been made complete. I had the most mind-blowing revelation: my real father is a Monkee. Here is how it all played out:

I came across this recent charming article about Mike Nesmith, the famously “missing” Monkee. For those of you who don’t know, he was the one who wore the wool hat. And he is the one who no longer tours with the group. Right now, the other three Monkees are in the midst of their 45th Anniversary Tour, and the frenzy that this has stirred up among Continue reading “Is That You, Dad?”