Gonna Tempt You…

I am super distracted and can’t say that I even know why.  It is not like I have a show coming up or something similar.  Yes, Rhonda and I are still working on convention stuff but it isn’t that.  Thus, I have no clue as to what the heck is causing my distraction or lack of focus.  This, of course, is unacceptable.  I have so much work to do as it is the end of the term, which means that I have a ton of grading to do, comments to make on report cards, etc.  If that wasn’t bad enough, next week we have final exams, which means that I will have a lot more grading to do.  Yippee.  Grading is pretty mind numbing and I just don’t want to do it.  Yet, I must.  There is no choice.

Now is the time that I must keep my eyes on the prize.  Finish the grading, finish the semester and move on to bigger and better things, like convention planning or preparing a presentation for a conference.  I need to focus.  Seriously.  As usual, I find myself thinking about how music might help me get it together.  This got me thinking…are there Duran songs that I might be able to use?

The first song that popped in my head was this one:

I know that this song was taken from a Churchill speech during World War II.  My situation isn’t anywhere near as serious but still motivating.  I think.

What about this one?  Would this one work?

I kinda like the idea of me getting my work done in “my own way”.  Although, I could just be giving myself another excuse so when I take 15 breaks, I could just say that I’m grading in “my own way.”  Crap.  I need something better.  Think, Amanda.  Think.

I’m not sure how motivating this one is but it feels dang fitting to me.  After all, “There’s a fine line drawing my senses together
And I think it’s about to break.”  For sure.  Big time.  Still there has to be something that is motivating, rather than excuse making or a song that represents how I feel like I’m going insane.  Geez.

Then, I think about this one.

No, that isn’t right, either.  While it feels like winter is marching on and definitely this grading is marching on, that isn’t what I’m going for.  I need something more to get my grading pen to move.  Come on, Duran Duran, I need your help.

Too much information?  Not sure about that, but there is too many papers, too much grading.  Now, my students would say that I have assigned too much work and that it is my fault.  No, in all seriousness, most of the work is late work or paper rewrites.  I guess I could not accept those…ugh.  It is my own fault!  I’m so stupid.  Where is the Duran song for that?!

This one, at least, makes me laugh.  All this she wants is to be done with grading.  Any idea how to get that to happen?!  Anyone?  Anyone?   Bueller?

Finally, I thought of another one!

Yes, that’s it!  I’ll be the last man standing…or in my case, the last woman standing!  I will defeat you evil mountain of grading!  Nothing will stand in my way.

This last song definitely feels like a reward to me.

After all, when my work is done, I can definitely take the pressure off.

On that note, I better get back to work.  Too bad a good Duran playlist won’t get my work done for me.  That said, anyone got any other good suggestions for me?  Any song to add that will allow me to procrastinate more?!  No, that’s not what I need.  I need songs to help me focus and be productive.  Help me out here people.  Please.  I’m begging…

-A

Time for Temptation: Hooking the Youth

I spend a lot of time with young people, teenagers specifically.  While my work contract requires that I teach for 5 hours a day, in reality, there are teens in my room for more than 7 hours a day.  Some kids are in my classroom doing work and others are there just to hang out.  I figure that every kid who is in there has the chance at learning about Duran.  After all, there are lots of little details that show my fan status, from the Duran tumblr holding my morning coffee to my computer wallpaper.  When all goes well, a kid or two will ask me about the band.  This gives me a necessary window of opportunity to share about the greatness of Duran.  Has that made any fans?  I don’t know, but I won’t stop trying.

Interestingly enough, I have sort of stopped trying with my nieces.  When they were younger (now they are 19 and 15), I used to give them Duran tunes for birthdays with the hope that one or more songs might grab them.  I had hopes that this would work when my oldest niece started to like the Killers.  I thought the leap to Duran wouldn’t be too great, but alas.  No luck.  So I stopped trying to push the issue.

Now, though, I have a little reason to hope.  Last summer, after having conversations with my youngest niece over the TV shows, Buffy and Angel, we decided to watch the entire Angel series together.  We would decide on how many episodes we would watch per week and then on Sunday we would talk about them.  I enjoyed sharing an activity like this with her and didn’t want it to end when we finished the final season.  I had to come up with something else.  After hearing my niece talk about aliens, the choice was either going to be X-Files, which is really long, or Roswell.  While I adore X-Files to this day, there is a special place in my heart for Roswell.  When this show aired on TV, I watched out of boredom but soon got hooked.  I appreciated the cheesy dialogue and the undercurrent of outsiders as heroes.  Soon enough, I jumped into the Roswell fan community and made some good friends.  One of the people I met actually reminded me about Duran, which led me back home to this fandom.  Roswell reminds me of the best of fandom.

I was unsure about how Roswell would go down with my nieces.  Like Duran, I had tried to show my nieces the show a few years ago when I was there visiting.  They thought it was okay but didn’t really want to watch more.  This time, I thought, they might give it more of a try because of how we are watching it.  So, we are two weeks in and they are hooked!  In fact, they have watched more than they were supposed to for the week.  This, of course, entertains me so.  In talking to the eldest niece who is about to return to college, she is sad that she won’t get to see more.  I invited her to come watch more episodes here with me.

Perhaps, there is a lesson here.  Could it be that getting someone into a TV show or a band is not about basic exposure but something more?  Could it be that there needs to be a reason to really watch or listen?  Could it be an issue of timing?  I’m not sure what has made Roswell work right now.  I just know that it has despite earlier rejection.  This tells me that I should not give up on my nieces or my students when it comes to Duran.  Maybe, someday, something will click there, too.

-A

Please Don’t Think Twice or Be Afraid

Thank goodness it is the weekend and a long weekend for many of us, at that.  My head is reeling about a variety of topics, but I figured a little Lyric Day blog might help me focus.  What song did I land on with my search?  Arcadia’s Say the Word.  If you are unfamiliar with this song, it was featured on the Playing for Keeps movie soundtrack.  Using this song for the blog made me really look at the lyrics, probably for the first time ever.  I could sing along with this song but never really studied what the heck it talked about.

Right away, the lyric that grabbed my attention was, “Please don’t think twice or be afraid.”  Wow.  I’ll be honest.  That lyric really speaks to me.  I used to have a colleague that would talk about how each person had an emotion that ruled over them.  She explained that this emotion would be the dominant one, the one a person would fall back on.  At times, of course, the person would feel a different emotion but s/he would always return to the dominant one.  I found the theory fascinating despite not knowing if this was a legitimate theory studied by science or psychology.  Heck, for all I know, it could be something she made up.  No  matter, it got me thinking and often got us talking.  As teachers, we would talk about kids’ dominant emotions.  As an individual, I wondered what my emotion was.

Years later, I think I know my dominant emotion.  To be honest, it is probably fear.  Don’t get me wrong.  It isn’t a shaking in your boots kind of fear.  No, it is more like an underlying anxiety about what could go wrong.  I mask it well and have learned to compensate.  At work, it makes me a perfectionist.  I am over-prepared as far as my lesson planning goes.  Despite having taught for two decades, I still worry the most about what my lessons are going to look like as I worry about falling on my face.  (Seriously, people…imagine facing judgmental little teenagers everyday.  You, too, might worry about lessons.  Ha.)  On top of that, I recognize that if I appear as someone with utter confidence, that way I’ll be more likely to be successful at something.  I have become a good actress in that sense. During social situations, that fear results in me often sitting back and watching before I jump into a friendship or even a conversation.  To some, then, I appear less than friendly or even cold.  Nope.  I’m just making sure that I won’t look like an idiot.

While this quote makes me think about all of that, right now, it makes of think of this possible convention Rhonda and I are planning.  Between the two of us, I go in sounding more positive, more sure of our success.  In reality, that underlying fear is there with something like this even though I know that we can organize well and that the last one was successful.  Like with everything else, I recognize that having that confidence makes it more likely to work.  Every positive or encouraging comment really helps.  It is harder, though, when people put down the idea because the band won’t be there or won’t play there or that our timing is bad, etc.  Each time, that fear gets a little bigger and I work really hard at pushing that negativity down.

Therefore, as we go forward through this process, I am giving myself a lot of positive self-talk to reassure myself that there are many fans who like the idea or even love the idea.  I’m going to remind myself that we can and will absolutely do this, if at all possible, and make it a success.  I won’t let fear dictate my actions or my reactions to others.  Nope.  I will move forward with my head held high and confidence even higher.  I refuse to be afraid.

-A

You caught me in your web of youth: Those young Duranies

January 11th has got to be one of the most boring days on the Duran Duran history calendar, I swear. There are only three items of interest on this date, one of them being that they performed at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta in 1989.  That would have been during the Big Thing tour, I believe. Let us know if you were there!

As I was typing this, I thought of my friend Michael, who I believe is from the outskirts of Atlanta (or else I’m really getting this screwed up, in which case I still implore you all to stick with me…there really is a point, I promise!) Then I thought about the year 1989. I’m thinking Michael wasn’t even born yet…which blows my mind, to be honest.

You see, Michael is about one of the coolest Duranies I’ve met. It isn’t that he’s a rock star, or that he knows Roger Taylor personally, or that he’s a distant relative to Andy Taylor (none of which is true, at least that I’m aware of…), it is that Michael is young. By young, I don’t just mean younger than me. I mean that Michael is only two years older than my oldest! He’s YOUNG. And he’s a Duranie.

(and he put up with Amanda and I in Las Vegas, which probably should earn him some sort of medal)

Now, I don’t mean to pick on Michael, by now he’s probably reading this and wondering why on earth I had to go picking on him today, but it is people like my friend Michael that still give me great hope. He flew across the country to go to the show in Las Vegas, he hung out with some really great people (Amanda and I aside, the group he hung with were wonderful), and he really loves Duran Duran. I can’t even get my oldest to listen to Duran Duran.

Well, that’s not really true. She hears them while shopping, or even in the gym, and texts me things like

“IT IS A CURSE!”

“DO YOU PAY THEM TO FOLLOW ME?”

“I AM GOING TO HEAR THEM WHEN YOU DIE AND THEN WHAT, MOM??”

The thing is, I love that Michael found Duran Duran. And I’m really thankful he came to our Daily Duranie party. I love that there are young people who love the same band I grew up listening to, and that despite our obvious range in ages, we have this band in common. How cool is that?

Often, I’ll see younger fans post on Tumblr or even Twitter, and invariably, some older “get off my lawn” type of fan (basically someone like me, I guess!) will shoot them down and destroy their dreams in a single response.  Sometimes warranted, other times, it is just inhospitable. Sure, we’re all different. Times and music have changed. Yet, if we stop to think for a moment, we do have that band in common. It is the music between us.

Yep, on this date in 1989, Duran Duran played the Fox Theatre in Atlanta, and that was way before my friend Michael was a twinkle in his mom’s eye…little did we all know the best was yet to come in the decades ahead, right?

-R

I came by invitation to general Chelsea mayhem

A fandom is populated by many different types of personalities. Some people are quiet and reserved, some are very outgoing with strong personalities, and still others are there solely for the object of interest itself.

As one might imagine, the same holds true for Duran Duran. Not everyone is here to interact with other fans. Some are here solely for the band. Some just want the music and don’t care about the band itself, other fans, or any of that. Others are curious about other fans but they’re not the type to jump in with both feet. Still others really want to create connections with other fans.

Durandemonium 2018 is going to be a fantastic, VIP-style, non-stop party. If you decide to accept our invitation and attend, you should know that you’re going to be in exceptional company with people who love Duran Duran, but also value friendships they’ve made (or will make) in this community. Those relationships and memories will more than withstand the career of the band, by the way.

The people who attend Durandemonium won’t be there to chase down the band as they go from black Escalade to elevator.  They aren’t expecting the band to play (however awesome that might seem!).  They will be there to celebrate being a fan and sharing that sort of kinship with other fans of Duran Duran. Our guests will arrive knowing that we are celebrating forty years of fandom, and the best way to do that is with one another. There will be singing and dancing, merriment and debauchery, but it will be our guests making it all happen. It will be those memories, from an exclusive weekend with like-minded friends, that carry them to the next tour and beyond.

There is nothing wrong with fans who plan their vacations around Duran Duran’s tours. Been there, done that myself more than once and my car has the mileage to prove it! I applaud the people who are so driven to shake Nick’s hand or get the best picture of Simon or Roger that they’ll wait all weekend for them. I love the avid concert goers that will drive all over the country just to catch the band in concert one more time. These are people after my own heart.

However, there are a ton of opportunities that already exist for fans like that. They’re called tours.  This party is for the cool people.

Everyone can be a fan, but not everyone can attend Durandemonium.

-R