Sunday, April 30, 2006

I Was There (I Think)

Miss NH cowgirls2
Originally uploaded by Broussardish.
So I spent my weekend judging Miss New Hampshire 2006 and I'm just beginning to recover. Last night, the judges and officials stayed up until 3:30 a.m. evaluating the candidates and coming up with suggestions for improvements in the performance and appearance of the winner (Emily Hughes: Miss Winnipesaukee), to prepare her for the Miss American competition. I’m finally back at home after three nights sequestered in a hotel, van, limo or nice restaurant, surrounded by people for whom the Miss America track runs straight to the heart. (One judge from Atlanta knew the contestants AND RUNNERS UP from virtually every state for the past 20 years. Even the local Miss NH geeks were impressed.) As the “novice judge” I was frequently asked what I thought of everything and, in truth, it was fun and fascinating, but I'm just realizing the profundity of the psychological effect of all this "judging" of smart, beautiful, driven women. Looking back, it seems like an unnatural relationship, a little schizoid, simultaneously voyeuristic and paternal. I feel like I may need some Lithium, or a deprogrammer.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Ten Summer Songs

On the Area 603 blog someone asked for people to compile a short list of songs they'd want to have on a tiny iPod for an endless summer. I wanted to pad my list with things like "Neon Meat Dream of a Octofish" by Captain Beefheart, but I decided to go the sincere route. Here's what occured to me to write, and some of the why behind each choice.

My Critical Summer Songs in Chronological Order of Psychological Imprint

1. God Only Knows, Beach Boys (My first-ever dance at a real boy/girl house party)
2. I Got a Line on You, Spirit (Best song ever to make an entrance to on the Ft. Walton Bch. teen nightclub scene)
3. Summer Breeze, Seals and Crofts (Moved to Tallahassee with my girlfriend and got dumped by her the first day there. This song played constantly that summer and there really was Confederate Jasmine in the air.)
4. Itchycoo Park, Small Faces (Early days of, uh, experimentation)
5. You Ain't Going Nowhere, The Byrds-Sweetheart of the Rodeo (Coming down)
6. Street Fighting Man, Rolling Stones (Growing up)
7. Band on the Run, Wings (That road trip to California in my brother's Dodge Dart Swinger)
8. Mambo Sun, T.Rex (That pagan summer at the farm in N.W. Florida)
9. Thunder Road, Bruce Springsteen (Atlanta, my third Springsteen concert. The promise of the summer, the warning of the fall.)
10. Save it for a Rainy Day, The Jayhawks (This recent fave took me back to that first boy/girl dance party, older (much) and wiser (a bit)).

Can I start all over again? I'm sure I could come up with a few dozen more summer imprints.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Meet a Real Pirate

Aye mateys. Thanky to all who left such yar comments on me last posting. Like it or not, ye all are now members of my crew. And a scurvier bag of bilge rats I've never laid me eyes upon. So avast and heave ho and man the poop deck, we set sail at dawn (to beat the traffic on I-93).

My daughter, a certified World of Warcraft addict, has created a wonderful pirate character named Baracilla. She's a pirate queen whose heart was stolen and broken by a dashing young corsair who went to sea, after the one night they spent together, and then never returned.

Here's one description of herself from a story she wrote called "The Bloodsail Abduction." (Her character is not confined to the game and often sneaks out into the "real" world.) The scenes takes place on board Baracilla's ship "The Darling Pearl."

The walls moaned at the wooing of the waves. She clicked her cabin door shut, releasing a breath. Turning, she faced a tall, tarnished mirror, propped carelessly on the wooden sill before her. Looted from a month-old shipwreck, the surface was warped and grimy, but she could still make out the image of herself, imposing and tawny-skinned, garbed entirely in red. She stepped towards her reflection, sharp russet eyes meeting themselves in the tarnished pane. She studied herself briefly, running a hand through her unruly silver locks. There was a squawk and the shuffle of feathers. Peril bobbed his head, peering through the wire of his cage with beady blue eyes. Baracilla cast a smile on her loyal parrot, abandoning the mirror and crossing the room. She strolled past Peril’s cage, dipping her hand into a small wooden crate. Her glove enclosed around the neck of a tall, dark, glossy friend. With a flash of teeth she wrenched its cork free and fell back on the pilfered silk sheets, taking a long, indulgent drink.

Ah, the pirate life.