by Pari

Cornelia hates February. Most people on the East Coast probably do at this point. But down here in New Mexico, I’ve seen yellow crocuses and white narcissus blooming. How can animosity find purchase in anyone’s heart when the sun shines so unfettered in this crayon blue sky?

For me, February is a time of reflection.  When my life is as roller coaster-y as it’s been during the last few months — introspection can become paralyzing.

This month is colored with memories of my mother — her life and death — and our troubled relationship.

It’s also my birthday month. A time of celebration. A time of looking to the future. I love it for that, for its uniqueness and brevity.

Last weekend, I saw a poor confused butterfly. It fluttered across my path and, because it’s February, I was struck with both the beauty of the moment and the incredible sadness of that creature’s prospects for survival . . . because any New Mexican can tell you that this light hint of winter’s release is only a tease. We’ll have a big snow storm or two, at least one more hard freeze, before spring conquers the day.

When thinking about topics for today’s blog, I had several ideas. All of them put me squarely back into the danger zone of deep introspection and I just don’t want to go there right now. I’ve got enough on my emotional plate to feed a couple of hungry villages.

So I decided to post a few videos that make me happy. Why not give you, our ‘Rati readers, a little fun on a Monday morn?

If you’re not smiling by the end of this duet with Toots Thielemans and Stevie Wonder, you need a therapist:

I’d never heard of Andy McKee until crusing the internet last week. Though many other of his other videos have more pyrotechnics, I adore this one for the love it shows. In thinking about my mother, I wish I’d been able to write something like this in words.


Tom Leher is someone many people today have never heard of. Back when I was a kid, he was something of a guilty pleasure, one shared among friends — but only the right kind of friends. Most of Leher’s songs have a truly wicked center and it was difficult for me to pick the one I wanted most to post. But the song below seems particularly appropriate for mystery readers and writers . . .

So have a good remainder of February and think of me at the end of the week . . .

And, maybe, share a link to a music video that brightens your day every time you see/hear it.

29 thoughts on “February

  1. Judy Wirzberger

    Sorry we’re not at a piano bar. I could sing "There’s Nothing Left of Me since my Hysterectomy."
    Maybe in 2011!! Judy

  2. pari noskin taichert

    Loved, loved, loved You’re the Kind of Trouble. Wow. And that Sam & Dave made me get out of my chair and dance.

    Thank you.

    Thank you for the good wishes. I hope so too.
    It snowed this morning during my walk. A light snow. But I still saw daffodils, a pink hyacinth in full bloom and even one yellow tiny mini iris.

  3. pari noskin taichert

    Did you listen to National Brotherhood Week? It remains one of my favs.

    I should’ve known you’d know McKee. Why does it take me so long to get "with it?" Argh. I’m feeling old. (and thanks again for putting the right time on my post today)

  4. pari noskin taichert

    A Ducati, Tom? Really? Planning something we don’t know about?

    And about missing NM . . . it’ll be quite lovely during LCC 2011 <g>. You’d better come.

    There should be a piano in the bar. I’ve negotiated NOT to have any live entertainment in said bar while the convention is going on because I want people to be able to hear each other while they chat — but that doesn’t preclude our OWN entertainment.

    I’m glad I brightened your day. Always a good thing.

  5. Zoë Sharp

    Hi Pari

    Very evocative post. There’s nothing quite out-does the casual majesty of the planet for making you speechless, is there?

    Loved the Andy McKee. I hadn’t come across him before, either.

    Oh, and Tom – I’m SO there with the Ducati. If only they were reliable in the rain…

    I owned a Lancia once and had to promise my husband I’d never buy anything with Italian electrics ever again ;-]

  6. Erin Cole Roth

    Hi Pari,
    Tom Lehrer was one of my guilty pleasures growing up…and you’re right: only certain friends "got" his humor.
    It’s sleeting right now in the north valley. I think our winter’s release is over for today!
    I often think of you when I take my son to tae kwon do at YB’s and wonder if you ever finished that black belt!

    I am happy to have discovered this blog.

    Best Wishes,

  7. pari noskin taichert

    I can just imagine you on that Ducati. Now THAT would be a great video!

    Wow! How wonderful to hear from you! Really great. I’m so happy you found Murderati, too. And here’s a post about earning that black belt. (The week before I wrote a post about "Kicking Butt" that might amuse you as well.) I did it and haven’t been back to tkd since. It’s just too hard on my feet . . .

    That was some marvelous music. Foot tapping and smooth. Thank you.

  8. Tom

    Hey, Zoë, whaddya talkin’ about? I’ll take Magneti Marelli over Lucas any day OR night (as long as it doesn’t rain).

    Pari, you misunderstand; soil here is very fertile. Plant an old Schwinn, a Briggs&Stratton and a bottle of good olive oil in the same hole, and you grow a fine crop of Ducatis! Happens every spring!

    LCC is on our wish list . . .

  9. Zoë Sharp

    Hey Tom – you mean Lucas, Prince of Darkness?

    OK, OK, so I think Valentino Rossi’s MotoGP Yamaha M1 runs mappable Magneti Marelli electrics, but that’s hardly run-of-the-mill, is it?

    I’d take Denso over that, any day of the week…

    And don’t Briggs & Stratton make lawnmower engines? Still Ferruccio Lamborghini was originally a tractor manufacturer…

  10. JT Ellison

    We had a wonderful taste of Spring here over the weekend – which was promptly wiped out by a cold, drizzly front with flurries expected. Oh well…

    Hope your special week is fabulous! Happy early Birthday!

  11. kit

    Hi Pari,
    I had never heard of Tom Leher, thank you for introducing him to me. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to him and plan to look up more.

    We live up north and have been having snowstorms for the past few weekends, so much so, flooding is expected, if not to the extent it did last year, then close and it’s recommended everyone get their flood insurance NOW…to overcome the 30 day waiting period, and so we are better prepared then last year.
    In June we are plannning a trip down to Louisiana to see our daughter and SIL.They have asked us what we want to see and do….oh, ghost tours, voovoo places, cemetaries and listen to a bit of music and take in the local color….so while the snow flies and the state is shut down because it’s too dangerous to be out, I’ve been listening to this and daydreaming about bar-be-que, shrimp boils, and such……


    also in the general sense…I turn to my friend, Johnny……for some reason when he sings it picks me up….I will just add one, but about anything.

  12. BCB

    Okay, I’m going to have to google more Tom Lehrer. Loved it! And yes, I was smiling at the end of the first video. Doesn’t mean I don’t need a therapist… I’ll have to watch everyone else’s suggestions on a day when I’m not feeling quite so brain dead. July might be good.

    I hate February not for the weather (which is mostly lovely here) but because we’re STILL finishing up year end tax crap stuff at work. It seems endless right about now.

    I struggled to think of a video/song that brightens my day. Thanks for prompting me to make the effort. Even though this one is corny as hell and completely staged and orchestrated, and even though I normally hate this kind of thing, this one just always makes me smile. Especially the expressions on the faces of the onlookers:


    Happy Birthday, Pari! [a few (?) days early] And many more.

  13. pari noskin taichert

    I’m totally amused now.
    Thanks for the explanation!
    And if you start saving a buck or two a day right now, you’ll have plenty of dough to get to NM a year from next March.

    Zoe and JT,
    Thanks. I hope so too. I’m writing an article about a curandera right now and am enjoying the subject matter very much. So it’s a nice start to the week. The woman is absolutely fascinating.

  14. Pari Noskin Taichert

    LOVED the Butt Thing. And I’d never heard that Cash before. It made me feel so much better about the load I’ve been carrying.

    I know what you mean about taxes, though it’s worse at my house since I’m married to a CPA (he doesn’t work as one, but he’s got the chops). Often we file one, two, three extensions. It’s endless.

    And, you know, I really like that flash mob vid. The music makes me happy because of more associations than I’d like to admit such as I was Maria in our school production of the SofM (had a three-octave range in high school) and know the words to the whole damn thing . . . still . . . after all these decades.

    Hang in there. And thank you for the birthday wishes.


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