Recession Mama

{April 20, 2009}   The Recession brings music to my ears

I LOVE music! I absolutely couldn’t live without it. It’s a necessity along with food, water and shelter. When I need to think or just “figure” things out, I grab my IPOD and just start walking. I pound the pavement and breathe in the polluted air. It makes everything come into focus for me. It also inspires me. For example, Lilly Allen’s “LDN” makes me want to ride a bike and wave at people, Earth Wind and Fire’s “September” invites me to roller skate (shoot the duck anyone?) Dandy Warhol’s “Bohemian Like You” gets me to speed walk and Rosanne Cash’s “Seven Year Ache” makes me wish I could sing in a bar.
So how does music relate to the recession you ask? Everything! Well, for me anyway. It’s just my little coping mechanism to deal with all of life’s little “monkey wrenches” or the “mean reds” as Holly Golightly says in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you’re afraid and you don’t know what you’re afraid of. Do you ever get that feeling? –Holly Golightly

It’s no surprise that I remember exactly what I was listening to the day I rolled into Dallas. I was broke, jobless, exhausted and uncertain about what I was going to do. I had been living in Arkansas. And when I realized that wasn’t going to work out, I Ieft. I literally packed up my old junkyard car and left in the middle of the night. I didn’t have much of a plan, but I was just suffocating. I couldn’t breathe. So I just turned to my life in Arkansas and said “See ya later.” And I drove off.
I felt better with every mile… every hour on the road. I had made a decision. It was done. No turning back now.

I had been so paralyzed with fear, with indecision, that it felt good to make a choice. My so-called career wasn’t going as planned. I was out of money, and didn’t have an apartment or a home to call my own. I had exhausted all of my other “options.” So, I took a friend’s offer to crash at her apartment in Dallas.

I called my mom along the road and told her I was headed to the big “D.”

“Do you have a job?” she asked.

“Nope. I’m going to stay and a friend’s apartment and look for one.”

“Well good luck and wear your seat belt.” she said
I don’t think she was going for a metaphor with the “seat belt” comment. But it could’ve applied.

It was really going to be a bumpy ride financially and emotionally. But I had no idea how hard it would actually be. That’s the thing with change. It’s usually painful in the beginning. But that’s part of the beauty.
See here’s the music again… That brings to mind Tom Petty.
Gonna free fall out into nothin’
Gonna leave this world for a while

And I’m free, free fallin’
Yeah I’m free, free fallin’

While driving to my new life in Dallas I blared folk singer Iris DeMent. It gave me some peace to connect with someone else who had struggled. I played “No Time To Cry” over and over.

Here are some of the lyrics:


But now I’m walking and I’m talking doing just what I’m supposed to do
working overtime to make sure that I don’t come unglued
I guess I’m older now and I’ve got no time to cry

The chorus:

I’ve got no time to look back, I’ve got no time to see
the pieces of my heart that have been ripped away from me
and if the feeling starts to coming, I’ve learned to stop ’em fast
`cause I don’t know, if I let them go, they might not wanna pass
And there’s just so many people trying to get me on the phone
and there’s bills to pay, and songs to play, and a house to make a home
I guess I’m older now and I’ve got no time to cry

Oddly, I also found some comfort and strength in Waylon Jennings version of Luckenbach, TX.

So baby let’s sell your diamond ring
Buy some boots and faded jeans and go away
This coat and tie is choking me
In your high society you cry all day
We’ve been so busy keepin’ up with the Jones
Four car garage and we’re still building on
Maybe it’s time we got back to the basics of love

See even rich folks have problems too!

Lately, I’ve been pulling out my upbeat songs because I need energy for my next big project. It’s directly related to the crumbling housing market. We can’t sell a property for lot value, so we’re going to fix up the home and try to lease it. It’s a major task. Holy demolition Batman!

I’ll have more details and pictures on Thursday. They should help explain why the economy has rekindled my hatred for wallpaper and brass knobs.
Ahhh.. Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy” just popped into my head.


katy says:

I love music too! It definitely helps pick up my mood, and it can be free or very cheap. I also clean, when I’m upset. I think nothing’s better than cleaning the bathroom after a break-up, especially if you’re using one of his old T-shirts. A gleaming, clean bathroom is sooo satisfying. This is why I’ve never had a maid…and probably never will.

Heather says:

Yes! A clean bathroom is always nice. So feel free to vent your frustration out on my bathrooms anytime. I usually just exercise or eat chocolate when I’m upset. I knew a girl once who said she was “double dumped” Her boyfriend took a dump in her bathroom and then broke up with her. I bet she wished she could’ve cleaned her bathroom with his face!

Margaret says:

Ah, but never forget how satisfying it is to clean corners with his old toothbrush. Cleaning sure is cathartic, isn’t it?

As for being more of a recessionista, from one music lover to another, one can can get the latest indie music on Amazon, under mp3 downloads, then free songs & special deals. Sure, they’re sampler albums, but who knows what gems you can find!

Carla says:

Music is like air for me, as well, Heather. After my layoff, I would hear Black Bird by the Beatles and just cry…but they were tears of relief, not sorrow. Check it out:

Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise

Black bird singing in the dead of night
Take these sunken eyes and learn to see
all your life
you were only waiting for this moment to be free.

Whew baby! Talk about ALWAYS linking a song to a life event.

I’m kind of hooked on All-American Rejects’ “Gives You Hell” right now..heehee.

Carla says:

blackbird. One word. I know that.

Where’s my editor!?

recessionmama says:

You are your own editor mama! Man I wish I had an editor and spell check built into in my brain. I think I get dumber, not smarter sometimes. Blackbird is an awesome song. It makes me want to swing on a trapeze for some reason. I’m a strange cat. I know.

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