70s Music

At work we have about a dozen music channels to choose from and 70s music is the only stuff that doesn’t make me want to ram ice picks in my ears.  Certainly there are songs that make me laugh and wonder when we stopped being such sentimental pansies (Seasons in the Sun, Billy Don’t be a Hero, One Tin Soldier) and there are songs that make me stop working and shake my bootie (Boogie Man, Dancing Queen, That’s The Way).  I remember some of the songs from when I was a kid living in southern California (Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree, Brandy, Crocodile Rock) and some from when I was a teenager living in Wyoming (Smoke on the Water, Smokin’ in the Boy’s Room, Smoke from a Distant Fire), but most of all, I remember listening to an all 70s radio station out of Denver the year I divorced.

While attending college part time, I also worked for Pepsi and had the University route.  I drove from building to building in a white panel van filling the machines, as well as supplying three small out of town accounts.  This gave me ample time to listen to the radio.  I remember sitting in traffic one day and Nine Inch Nails rasped, “I want to f*&k you like an animal…I want to feel you from the inside.”   At 10 o’clock in the morning.  The very absurdity of it made me start giggling.  Then they said it again and I howled with laughter.  I know the people around me thought I was insane.  I decided there had to be something better on the radio.

Doesn’t he look like a ton of fun?

I can’t remember the call letters of the station, but I never changed it after that day.  This guy was the early morning host and a woman named Jill took over at around 10.  Later they teamed up for the early morning show and they were hilarious without being vulgar.  For some reason people think they have to be shocking to be funny, but vulgar is vulgar and it gets old really fast.

One morning while getting ready for work, I heard a cat meow.  Animals in student housing were a big no-no, as in immediate eviction.  I looked around for the cat, wondering if it somehow snuck in.  I decided it was in someone else’s apartment and wasn’t my problem.  I heard it again on the way to work.  I looked in the back seat and when I got to work I checked my clothes to see if I had a cat in my pants leg the way some people get a dryer sheet stuck there.  No cat.  I filled the van and started for the school.


There it was again.  Meow.  WTF?!

Then the morning hosts started playing phone conversations of people calling in detailing their desperate measures at finding the kitty.  Oh, good one.

These were the kinds of tricks they played and the type of humour they had.  They played happy music, made me laugh and in some respects became my friends.  It was a scary time for me; newly divorced, single mom of two, trying to work and go to school and be a good mom.  It was also a time of triumph because I didn’t cave in and go back to my ex-husband, I finished school, and I was a good mom.  I had to give up the job at Pepsi because, well, shit happens.  That’s another story for another time.  I struggled and I survived, and if I had to pick a time that I regard as The Best Time of My Life, this three year period would be it.

So every time I tune in to the 70s station at work, I’m actually taking myself back to some of the best days of my life and it just doesn’t get any better than that.


My Dancing Queen

Copyright Robert Kirkwood

Copyright Robert Kirkwood

My daughter is a burlesque performer in Laramie.  Tropes Burlesque is the name, semi-naked women (and men) is the game.

I’ve been to a number of her performances.  It is very odd to watch my daughter strip.  I’m not going to lie.  But I’m very proud of her and to some extent I pat myself on the back for raising a confident girl.

Burlesque is different than working as a stripper.  For one thing, all the money goes to charity.  When I asked my daughter how much money she made for performing and she told me she didn’t make any money, my first thought was, ‘Great.  You’re taking your clothes off for free.  Didn’t I teach you ANYTHING?!’  At least she doesn’t pay her bills with ones. 

Burlesque celebrates all body types.  Not everyone is a 24 year old, size 2 with a boob job.  If you have a talent and want to be on stage, you can join the troupe.  There are belly dancers, a fire juggler, singers, musicians, a master hula-hooper, and exotic dancers.  I’ve never been bored at any of the shows I’ve attended and more than once I’ve sat up and said, “WOW!”

The troupe had a show on Saturday night and I was supposed to be there.  Crappy weather and unreliable transportation caused me to stay home (and quit my job).  Little by little pictures from the dress rehearsal and the show are popping up on Facebook.  If you’re interested, click here for pictures.

Copyright Robert Kirkwood

Copyright Robert Kirkwood




How I Turned a 5 Hour Drive into a 2 Day Event

If I was the Idiot, I could write something funny and clever about my misadventure, but I don’t feel all that funny or clever.

My son’s car overheated on Wednesday night before we left to go to Laramie.  I took it to our mechanic early Thursday morning and learned it was a seven dollar radiator recovery cap.  No problem.

Except not a single parts store in Cody had the cap.  I called parts stores in the surrounding area and in towns along the way to Laramie.  No one had one.  I started calling local salvage yards.  No one even had a car, let alone a stupid radiator cap.

All the parts stores assured me they could have a replacement cap first thing Friday morning so  I gave it up, scheduled delivery and relaxed at my house.  I got up early on Friday, drove to Cody and patted myself on the back all the way back home.  Only one day delay, seven dollars to fix and we would be in Laramie in time for dinner at Jeffery’s.

Until I tried to put the cap on the tank and it was too big.  Seriously?! 

Okay.  I had two options:  return the part, get the right one and spend my vacation driving back and forth to Cody or load the car with coolant and drive to Laramie, stopping every 20 miles to add more coolant.  I chose the second option.

Little did I know I would be stopping every 20 minutes for road construction.  WTF?!  My dogs hate flaggers.  My dogs REALLY hate flaggers who get too close to the van.  I used the time sitting on the road in the sweltering Wyoming sun to call a few other salvage yards and I found one in Casper that had a Jetta.  When I asked the guy if it had a radiator cap he growled something at me and hung up.  Whatever.

The salvage yard in Casper was nicer and cleaner than most Walmarts.  All the cars were lined up in rows and the ground was covered with clean pea gravel.  The owner told us exactly where the car was and even let me turn the dogs loose while we checked it out.  We walked out, opened the hood and YES! There was a radiator cap!  Fabulous!

We were on the road again.  We finally made it to Laramie at 8pm, a day and a half later than we planned.  I only get a day and a half here before I go back home.  So much to do and not enough time to get it done.

Pictures from the Road

Construction stop in Wind River Canyon

A wind farm by Medicine Bow

A hippy bug in Meeteetse


Halo knows she's bad


Sienna's turn to ride shotgun

Proof there are pigs everywhere: Chewing tobacco spit on a drive thru wall