If you don’t know who these people are, I weep for you. Because if you go listen to it right now, so much soul might give you a goddamn stroke of funk. No one can be inflicted with that much awesome all at once and survive, baby.
LOOK AT THIS SHIT:
Now, let me preface with a little background, and then you’ll get a clue as to why I owe so much to this deceased King and Queen of the half-song, half-talk ballad. For a short time, I had the unequivocably extreme pleasure of growing up in Utah. Strangely enough, Utah had a better soul radio station than anywhere else I had lived up to that point in my sad little youth. I also had a friend who lived in a house with what I will now dub “The Funk Basement.” I had never seen Bootsy Collins before, but when I stared into an LP with that dude’s starry starry sunglasses staring right back at me, I WAS HOOKED. This friend of mine had every fucking album imaginable to my yet uninformed inner soulstress. Parliament. Evelyn “Champagne” King. (OMG WHY CAN’T MY MIDDLE NAME BE “CHAMPAGNE”?!!!) Above all, every Rick James and Teena Marie album that existed in 1983, which was like, a couple for each. Either way, I would spend every summer in the Funk Basement trying to figure out WTF that guy was saying in “Double Dutch Bus” and trying – trying my little 13 year-old heart out – to sing exactly like Teena Marie.
I was not half bad. I had frizzy-ass hair that my mom insisted on perming, I wore leg warmers everywhere, and twirled baton for sport – but nothing beat spending the summer in that magical dungeon of impossibly high notes (dude, there was someone before Mariah came into this world) and the sweet, tender musings of a coke-addled Rick James.
In the classic story-ballad “Fire and Desire,” Rick pleads lovingly yet almost unabashedly to Teena,
“You know it’s funny how a man can change so quickly from a
cold-blooded person, thinkin’ he’s God gift to women.
Remember how I use to do that?
I must have been crazy, baby.”
YES YOU WERE CRAZY, you braided devil, you. How dare you…you…
QUIT TAKING OFF YOUR SHIRT RICK!!!
Or whatever. It’s just distracting.
Anyway, I owe all my success to them, what little success I actually have had. Through trying to master the vocal talents of these two now-dead badasses, it gave me courage. Will. Power. Fortitude. I will be forever grateful.
Because the year after I left Utah and moved to Arizona, here’s what my peers thought of me. None of it may have come true, but goddamn it, The Funk Basement changed my life.
In case you’re having difficulty reading my “awards” from the 8th grade, they are:
MOST LIKELY TO SUCCEED
THE GIRL MOST LIKELY TO BE RICH AND FAMOUS
BEST ALL-AROUND GIRL (Jesus, what does that even mean at 14??)
BEST DRESSED GIRL
Next time, I’ll teach you all how to make Hammer Pants out of a dress. No shit.
Summertime favorite, wintertime favorite, for richer or poorer favorite – I would more than likely die a cold, sad death without bread. All kinds, any kind, all shapes and sizes. I LOVES BREAD.
Because nothing says “summer” like your oven at 450°, I thought I would share my all-time favorite salad recipe. Although is it really a salad, when it’s got lovely hunks of delicious bread in it? Probably not. Whatevs. It’s fucking amazing.
6 cups old, stale Italian bread, torn into bite-size pieces
1 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
3 cloves garlic, minced (add more garlic if you hate society)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
4 medium ripe tomatoes, cut into wedges
3/4 cup sliced red onion
1 cucumber, peeled and sliced
10 basil leaves, shredded (grow it, bitches. It ain’t hard.)
1/2 cup pitted and halved green olives (totally optional, or kalamata olives are good as well)
1 cup fresh mozzarella, cut into bite-size pieces (“fresh” meaning the milky watery kind, not “I JUST BOUGHT THIS BAG”)
Toast the old bread a little, either in a pan as if you were making croutons, or under the broiler. Not too much. Chop all the rest of that shiz up. Put it all in a giant bowl, mix it up, grab a fork and go. Cry a bit after you’ve eaten 1/2 of said bowl in one sitting. IT WILL BLOW YOUR MIND. You can’t help it.
Anyway, I usually make this at the beginning of summer, because it’s easy and colorful and I’m the only one that’s going to eat it anyway, so fuck off of my Bread Salad. I smell like garlic and onions. Sex is clearly imminent.
Yesterday’s #reverbbroads prompt was: With what fictional character (book, movie, TV, etc.) do you most identify? Why? via Kristen
Well, nothing says classy FRONCH titles like Darlene Conner from Roseanne, y’all.
Yeah, I was kind of a sarcastic asshole, much like the young Darlene. Blame my mom for making me do vocab flash cards from age 2, I mean – what the fuck did she expect? Oh man, the only thing I didn’t have was that hair. I would have cut eight bitches down with some blunt left-handed scissors for that shit. Her hair is legend. I will live forever in envy. That and she did have quite the pale, alabaster skin. Dammit. I didn’t wanna stay inside all day to cultivate that.
My mom was nothing like Roseanne, which is probably a godsend, and my family nothing like the Conner family. So it’s strange that I would identify with this anti-meat, little brother-having girl. But the loner aspect and the mouth on that kid reminds me totally of myself at that age (and most of the time, now – minus all that teen-y angst. Sort of). I’ll never forget when I said something so sarcastic my mom actually slapped my face. I was way taller than her, but I lived in fear of my parents and their wrath so there was no way I was fighting back. In retrospect, I don’t blame her. I’m sure I said some terrible shit when I was 14 (and 15, 16…ok, all the way until 22.)
What a dream child. While I never got hooked on drugs or drank that much and made decent grades, my smart-ass comments got me in a shitload of trouble at school as well. Sometimes the class clown, but more often than not, lining up for a “talkin’ to” with our horrifying, crag-faced, snaggle-toothed vulture of a vice-principal. This didn’t stop my unbridled invective from unleashing itself. I am not sure I ever figured out what “too far” was.
I think many people like to think that sarcasm is depressing and negative. I don’t necessarily take umbrage with those sentiments, but I know that my nature is to be that way – to be less trusting than most, and to be more “realistic” than most people want to be. How do I handle difficult times? Well, it’s certainly not by slapping on some fake Pollyanna attitude. If I’ve told you to suck a dick, or a bag of dicks, I probably half-meant it. My mother is a “be cheerful or die” kind of person. I’m just not made that way. Neither was Darlene Conner. We both may not have aged very well in retrospect, but we are both, I’m guessing, less wounded deep down inside.