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Archive for April, 2011

RIP: Higgins

April 22nd, 2011 No comments

When I first met Higgins he was a spry little kitten who managed to get himself into all manners of trouble due to the pure nature of his obstinate will and curiousness. Being a Cornish Rex, Higgins had a built-in nature to climb and explore and generally cause all sorts of mayhem.

I’ve gotta say, Higgins and I have not had the best relationship over his fifteen years on this planet.

During a particular period in my life between school and career, Higgins and I were left to our own devices during work hours and it was more of a circus than a manageable coexistence. Often, he would make the extreme effort to hustle his furry black butt across the room just to bite me on the shin and chase would ensue. I can honestly say that I didn’t appreciate that mirth for a very long time. In talking about him, more often than not I’d bring the word “spite” into the conversation. Hell, I even did it this week.

Today, after a wonderful life of fifteen years and loving experiences with three other wonderful brothers, one of whom was taken far too soon, Higgins had to move on to his next adventure.

It’s never easy to lose a pet: especially one who has been there for all the pivotal points in one’s adult life, but with the good things in life must also come the bad.

I’m sad for the fact that I’m not going to hear Higgins’ “complaining” yowl every day, and I’m sad for his two brothers who love him very much and took wonderful care of him during the period in his life where his health started to fail. At the same time, I’m happy for all the things he helped me get through and the companionship he provided when he knew better than I that I needed him.

Higgins was always very proper and very accommodating. When his mom and I thought it would be a hoot to dress him up in a little devil costume and humiliate him with pictures, he tolerated our giggles and calmly waited for the “horrible” experience to be over. When we brought home other cats to join our little family, Higgins stepped up and acted in just the way an older brother should. When family life turned upside down, Higgins stayed his stoic self. If that’s not a fucking rock, I’m not sure what is.

For some ungodly reason, whenever I have ever heard the Bouncing Souls’ song “Undeniable,” I have always imagined that Higgins sings it. I see him stretched up a mic stand with his furry little walnut paws wrapped around the microphone crooning about his “red shoes.” It’s bizarre, but always brings a smile to my face.

Rest in peace, little furry bastard.  Know that we are thinking about you always.

Categories: cats, monkey, Ravings

A Mind for Music

April 11th, 2011 No comments

Driving around in the car the other day listening to KXT (like I typically do) I heard a string of tracks I hadn’t heard in years. What struck me first was the fact that I’ve been listening to some pretty damn good music for a very long time (insert self-indulgent pat on the back here) and that my brain is packed chock full of old lyrics.

I know I’m not anymore special than other hardcore music fans, but it was quite striking that I could still sing along with a song I hadn’t heard in a least a decade.

What is it about our brains that allow a person to forget where they put their keys minutes after placing them “someplace safe,” driving away from the house to be stuck with the fear that they didn’t close the garage door, or to even forget a birthday or anniversary; but to remember all the words to a random song?

It’s almost uncanny.

A goodly chunk of us has also experienced the spontaneity of sitting in a bar when an overly familiar song comes on the jukebox just to look around and see other patrons mouthing the words over their beverage. It’s almost a horrible cliche. I am a firm believer that given the right amount of social lubrication, any given dive could burst into a Glee-esque karaoke bar with the right set of tracks. Maybe that’s just a secret wish of mine.

Moreover, what is it about some songs that bring back specific memories? Whenever I hear certain Echo & the Bunnymen or Love and Rockets songs, I am immediately taken back to one particular summer in my youth where I spent my days reading Tom Swift books and eating State Fair Brand Corn Dogs.

In that same regard, I seem to learn the words to songs I hear on the radio or live pretty damn fast. I wonder all the time what “important” information is being pushed out of my head as I learn the words to the newest Iron & Wine or Dawes song I hear on the radio. I know for a fact that records from Catherine Wheel and NOFX are responsible for me losing most of my German grammar and vocabulary. One would think that committing the last couple of KMFDM records to memory would have jogged some of that back into the ol’ gourd, but I think all those oat sodas and brown liquor helped keep that fine learning at bay.

The one terrible thing, though, is that I have a terrible time with song titles and, in some cases, artist.

Recently I was on a cross-country flight where I whiled my time away catching up with season three of Being Human (the UK version, not that wretched version they have tried to put out on SyFy, but that is a topic for another post). In episode six a song was playing that I knew all the words to, but had no idea what the song was or who might have originally done it. I racked my brain for several hours, singing the words to myself over and over, trying to figure out how the hell I knew the song. Almost a day later, in the middle of a meeting when my mind was wandering far and wide, it struck me that what I had heard was an odd cover of Johnny Cash’s “God’s Gonna Cut You Down.” That’s the kind of crap that occupies my brain when I’m staring off into space and/or sitting in meetings.