Mayday Parade

This is not a post about Turkey, I repeat, this is NOT a post about Turkey.  Instead, this is a post about the emo pop/punk band Mayday Parade that I had the very real pleasure of meeting recently in Cologne.

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It’s no real surprise to anyone that I tend to spoil Daughter and this birthday was no exception.  Daughter loves music and concerts so when one of her favourite bands, Mayday Parade, recently came to Cologne, I purchased her tickets to go and see them in concert.

I am probably pretty lucky in that Daughter and I have similar tastes in music.  Sure, when I was young I might have loved a bit of Wham but as my music tastes matured I became a real lover of rock music, and the louder the better.  There is nothing better than blasting my rock music when no one is at home.  It’s just me and my music. Similarly, Daughter loves a bit of rock and I might even go to say she goes a little farther than me and loves a little metal and punk as well (God help the neighbours when she blasts My Chemical Romance or Sleeping With Sirens) which can get a little exhausting to the brain.

So Daughter and I found ourselves at Essigfabrik in Cologne on 3 October at the Mayday Parade “10 Year Anniversary” tour.  First up Essigfabrik.  Holy crap I thought we were going into a condemned building.  A friend of mine from Cologne tells me that Essigfabrik is, in fact, a very famous hall for concerts; yes, I know, don’t judge a book by its cover and all that but jeeze!

Putting that very real trauma aside Daughter and I had the opportunity of meeting the members of Mayday Parade and followed security down some rather unsafe and possibly unapproved stairs into a basement area where we stood around with maybe 30 other fans waiting patiently for the band to appear.

And they did.  And they were totally chill.

I guess I expected screams and squeals from the predominantly female teenagers but instead the band just milled with the fans, getting around and meeting them all, having a bit of a chat and allowing photos.

I was impressed.

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I got to have a chat with the lead singer Derek Sanders and asked him why they have never visited Turkey.  He said that it is mostly up to his representation as to where they travel to and they have never had any requests for a gig in Turkey.  Daughter said she was going to change that.  He then said that they were off to Australia for some concerts Down Under and asked if we’d see them there.  I laughed and explained that we actually lived in Turkey.  His eyebrows shot up.  Wow!  You guys are so lucky.

Yes we are!

The concert itself was pretty awesome as well.  Since it was their 10-year anniversary tour, they played their entire first album, “A Lesson in Romantics” blasting off with “Jamie All Over” before moving into a few of their newer stuff including “Stay” and “Terrible Things”.  Their encore was the fan favourite (and you can include me in that statement because I am now officially a fan), “Oh Well, Oh Well”.

Daughter had the barrier so when she finally found me at the end of the concert she was looking a little worse for wear but with a grin that just wouldn’t quit.  Supporting acts were Waterpark and With Confidence.

Sidenote: Whilst in Cologne Daughter got attacked by a dog which resulted in us visiting a German hospital as well as being in Cologne on Unity Day, celebrated on 3 October as a public holiday commemorating the anniversary of German reunification which meant that everything was shut so no shopping.  But we did eat bacon.  A lot of bacon.

So just to re-iterate I am the BEST MUM IN THE WORLD!  For this week at least!

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Remembering Bowie

Although I was already a fan of his music my first real introduction to David Bowie was when my then love Mr Mediocre, who believed himself to be a bit of a music aficionado, took me to a concert in Sydney back in 1987.  It was the Glass Spider tour and we went on his birthday (13 November).

Bowie

Side note – anyone who knows their star signs would already know that Mr Mediocre and I were never meant to be – despite our ridiculously hot sexual chemistry, a Scorpio and a Capricorn is nothing but a recipe for disaster.  Oh, did I mention that David Bowie and I shared the same birthday 8 January?  Yep.  Me, Elvis, Ronald Reagan and David Bowie.  Genius and looks.  All of us.  Slightly off track but regardless of my doomed love life I was transfixed with David Bowie and his wonderful music.

I started to delve into his back catalogue, especially his early ‘70’s music and I was amazed at his chameleon-like theatrical flare and his musical skills.  Ziggy, of course.  Aladdin Sane.  Holy Crap!  Who doesn’t love “Life on Mars”?  And I swear that Ashes to Ashes film clip scared the bejeezus outta me!  Just wow!

Over the years Bowie remained relevant to music, morphing into new sounds and bringing those sounds to life,  I don’t think anyone would call him anything other than a thorough original.

I should also mention his movie roles.  First and foremost is Labyrinth.  I mean those tights.  Wowza!  But of course Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence was a stand out as was his portrayal of Pontius Pilate in The Last Temptation of Christ.  But still – those tights!!!

To keep the Türk flavour today David Bowie released the song “Yassassin” back in 1979.  Meaning Long Live the song is quite reggae but with a definite Turkish vibe.  Enjoy.

Incidentally I was pretty impressed with PowerFM here in Türkiye.  They played a stream of David Bowie music throughout the day, new and old.  Driving around Mersin was nothing but a pleasure with me blasting Bowie throughout the city.

Vale David Bowie.

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Let’s Pretend that Today Never Happened

Everything I type in today’s post can be filed under the heading “Shit Happens”.  It does you know.  Shit really does happen. All the time.   To good people and to not so good people.  To people who, you might say, deserve a karmatic (this is a real word) explosion of diarrhetic (alright this may not be a real word) deuce and it also happens to people who are as heroic as Ghandi or as pious as the Pope.  But today I feel like I was handed a bucket load of bok and I am hovering pretty close to the edge right now.

Shit Happens

Let me set the scene.  Candles?  Romantic music?  No people, this scene requires more dark clouds and depressing music.  Possibly elevator muzak playing Depeche Mode.  Is it muzak or music?

Wait!

I was on the dolmuş yesterday when a tiny Turkish man with a rather hairy moustache sat down beside me … and sneezed.  All over me.  I felt his germ-filled gust of Turkish breath whoosh over me and I could feel his festering microbes invade my throat, my eyes and my nose.  Ick!  I wiped my face as he apologised but it was too late.  The damage was done and within 8 hours I was coughing and sneezing.  I was a Codral tablet away from death.  Bastard!  So now I have the dreaded grip.  Again.

Now you can imagine my state of mind when I woke this morning after a night of snot and phlegm.  Adding to the joy of the grip I awoke to the bonus of no electricity.  “Shit happens” I hear you cry.  Yes, too true but I won’t be beaten by the lack of electricity.  This is just a blip on my day.  Soldier on.

I made myself a cup of tea and opened the refrigerator to grab the milk.  No milk.  “Shit happens” the Gods from above declare.  Maybe, but maybe Daughter could have left me a mere drip for my tea this morning.  I made a mental note to pull out my voodoo doll with her name on it and I left the house to go to the market.

Of course it is pouring with rain and I cannot find my umbrella so I ran through the rain dodging the puddles only to find that … the market wasn’t open yet.  Yep, “Shit happens”.

My next “Shit happens” moment needs a little background – The Turk has arranged to build yet another apartment above ours (because you can never have too many apartments) however as one of our lovely neighbours complained about the building work the belediye (Council) recently handed us a stop work order.  We now have a partially built apartment above us but this isn’t the “Shit happens” moment, not for me anyway.  My “Shit happens” moment is the fact that because the building work has been cut short by this jealous, asshole neighbour today’s downpour is allowing a stream of water to pour into every room in the house through the partially built walls and holes in our ceiling.  As I run around placing buckets and pots to collect the rainwater I can be heard yelling, “Shit happens!”

So here I am, suffering from the grip with no electricity, no hope of a cup of tea and water pouring through the roof.  It’s not even 9am.  At that point I contemplated purchasing a hallucinogen, maybe I could find a Turkish equivalent to LSD or some mushrooms, to take me away from myself.  I could float off to my very own magical Willy Wonka-esque world filled with unicorns and fairy floss.  No, I cry, soldier on … plus the electricity came back on.  Bonus!

And can I just amend the above statement, thankfully the electricity came back on as Daughter came rushing down the hallway yelling that she needed to straighten her hair before school.  Oh the horror, the trauma, of leaving the house with frizzy hair!  It shall not be!

I finally got my cup of tea (with milk) when my father in law arrived at the door.  He arrives on my doorstep every – single – day.  Without fail.  From breakfast to dinner he is here.  Except Sundays.  On Sundays he can be found at my sister in law’s (SIL) home, after all her food is better than mine and she puts up with his crap.  Plus she bathes him.  I would rather eat my own toenails than bathe him.  Anyway my father in law arrives complaining.  Yagmur!  Really?  It’s raining?  I look out the window in feigned wonder.  Oh?!  It is raining?  Thank you for stating the obvious.  He then proceeds to tell me it is cold and that he needs a blanket.  And a cup of cay.  Drop everything folks.   Get Dede a blanket!  Get Dede cay!  Go on, say it – “You wanted this life.  Shit happens!”

Finally it is noon and Daughter leaves for school, with perfectly straight hair, but still complaining and my father in law is quietly snoring on the couch.  Finally.  Peace.

I grab the television remote and started flicking through the channels.  The telephone rings.  Oh no.  Please.  God no.  I looked at the ID on the telephone.  SIL’s work.  I contemplated not answering it.  I knew what would happen if I did.  I sighed as I reached for the telephone.  It seems that the Cabbage Patch Kid is crying – again – and her older sister has had enough of her whining.  Oh wonderful, so now I get to enjoy the whining!  “Shit happens”.

I am now sitting at my desk with my earphones on.  They are blasting Beyonce (don’t judge me) to drown out the crap going down behind me.  The Cabbage Patch Kid has thrown herself on the floor and is sulking – loudly.  Her sister Tatli is ignoring her and yelling down the telephone at her mother.  My father in law is asleep on my couch with Planet Turk blasting away and the bucket in the middle of the salon catching the dripping water is nearly full.

Yep.  It really is true – shit happens!

Addendum – I actually wrote this yesterday but after I finished tapping out the last exclamation point my SIL arrived on my doorstep.  She too had had a terrible day and she sat at my kitchen bench and cried.  She is tired.  Tired of working hard for little thanks, tired of her family (which probably includes me), of her children (which I for one totally understand) and definitely tired of her shitty life.  As I handed her a glass of cay I realised just how lucky I am.

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Simarik

Have you ever found yourself staring into space, daydreaming perhaps, recalling a song that will transport you to a memory, moment in time, of love, happiness, sadness or even fear.

When I travelled to Turkey in 2000 I met The Turk but I also found myself obsessed with a pop song by the Turkish pop sensation by the name of Tarkan.  Tarkan had a hit song that summer called Şimarik (actually Şimarik is a repeated hit for Tarkan every summer and even today will be heard at least twice during a night out – I am sure he could retire on the money made from this song alone).  Şimarik means naughty in Turkish and this song definitely was integral to many people (including myself) doing some very naughty things during the summer of 2000 in Bodrum, Turkey.

When I first heard this song I loved it.  I didn’t know the name, I didn’t know one word from the song but the beat was mesmerizing and I found myself dancing night after night to the tune while holidaying in Turkey.

Returning to real life meant no more dancing on tabletops, no more sunkissed days and hot, sweaty nights and instead I could be found sitting behind my desk, arguing with lawyers and clients day in and day out – depressing really – but then that song, that tune, that beat would enter my mind and I would close my eyes, even if for a moment, and think back to the music, the dancing, the sunshine, food, lifestyle, hell it takes me back to one of the best holidays I had ever had!

In 2002 the a rather bland version of my favourite song appeared on Australian Radio being sung by an Australian actress / singer Holly Valance.  “Kiss Kiss”, was definitely a lot easier to sing along to but did not hold the memories of the original song for me.

Now that Youtube has been reactivated in Turkey I typed Şimarik and watched the film clip for the first time ever.  Yikes!

I thought he was hotter.  Everything gets better when you look back on it but I really thought he was hotter!  I think it’s the nose.  here is a photo of Tarkan with no shirt on.  Much better!

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Oh you wanted one of his face?  Sorry, I didn’t realise 🙂

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Slightly jaded now (really shouldn’t have watched it on Youtube).  I still don’t know the words to Şimarik but when that song comes on the radio I find myself humming along remembering that fateful summer when I first met The Turk and pretty much every summer since.

Do you have a favourite song, a song that takes you back to a special moment?  As long as it is not Celine Dion, I’m all ears, send me a link.

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I am officially a rock star!

Those of you who know me know that if I have had a few glasses of red wine I morph from mild mannered (scoff) Janey into a Madonna-esque power ballad diva.  I love nothing more than I sing very badly at the top of my husky (read that as croaky) voice.  I want you to know that I do not sing like Madonna, or Beyonce or anything in between.  I sound like someone has dropped spoons down a garbage disposal or maybe Axl Rose on crack (isn’t he always on crack?).  Regardless with a few glasses of red under my belt I really don’t give a feck.

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Saturday night Daughter and I went out to dinner with Capt Awesome, his girlfriend, his brother Vito Jr and Mrs Vito.  Yes Switzerland is working on bringing the family together and it seems to be working.  Incidentally and also with a few wines under my belt I announced at dinner that Capt Awesome should be re-named Prince William with Vito Jr being Prince Harry.  William, the sensible one, the one to carry the family to glory and Harry drinking raki and preparing for a huge piss up.  At this point Capt Awesome’s girlfriend pipes up, “Well that makes me Princess Kate.”  Good on her for keeping up with the international news I say!  Anyway I will dwell on re-naming the family later, back to the story.

The night started sedately enough.  A great dinner, a couple of glasses of wine poured by a waiter who really should know not to fill a beer glass with wine – it tends to make the customer tipsy or in my case pissed as a fart.

After dinner it was decided that we should go to Pozcu to a few bars.  Ummm?  OK??  We wandered down the waterfront before we found a likely looking bar.  It was packed with young, attractive Turkish people . . . and me.  I really am too old for this shit.  I had another glass of wine (this time a more sensible sized glass was provided but unfortunately the damage was already done and I was smashed).

Daughter spotted a karaoke machine on the small stage.  She started jumping up and down although I know she would never, ever hop on stage and sing anything.  Within minutes the first singer jumped up and started the night off with a rendition of “Let It Go” in Turkish.  How many times do I have to hear that song?  How many times do I have to watch that movie?  Damn you Disney, I am in a bar in Turkey for goodness sake!

Next came a young Turkish girl who sang a Turkish tune.  She was out of tune, everyone clapped along and gave her the confidence she needed and she finally made it to the end giggling all the while.

Princess Kate got up with William and they sang a love song of unknown origin (am guessing it’s Turkish).  Ahh, the romance.  Ahh, the look of love in their eyes.  Ahh, “Get a room”!

The night continued with a few more drinks.  Daughter was dancing on the dance floor having a great time (yes kids are allowed in the clubs if they are with their guardian) and then I had an idea.  I had a plan.  I got up.  And.  I.  Sang.

“Like a Prayer”.

It was bad.  It was deplorable.  It was not filmed thank God.

The whole place went wild as I was singing in English.  They sang along with me.  There was cheering.  I felt like I was Madonna.  I even did a few vogue moves.  I am beyond embarrassed.  Daughter was beyond mortified.  William and Kate were dancing along.  Maybe I AM Madonna?  I am not sure where Harry disappeared too – we lost him along the way and Mrs Vito remained seated watching and no doubt analysing my behaviour to discuss later with others.

Daughter has made me promise that I will never, ever do that again.  A cross your heart, hope to die promise.  Being in another country tends to allow you certain freedoms, allows you the liberty of doing something I would never, ever contemplate doing back in Australia.

I also will never drink again.  OK, look that last bit was a lie.  I think we all know it was a lie.  I am sorry for lying.