Monday, January 25, 2010
The other day DJ B asked me to put on some music, so I took the opportunity to try out one of her latest library selections: Harry Chapin's "Greatest Stories Live." I handed the Cinderella dress-clad Miss B the CD case to take a look. She smiled, wiggled her foot, and clapped when the music started.
DJ B pretended to be a bride by donning a white cloth over her head. She walked slowly to the music while carrying a paper plate & ribbon bouquet. After clearing a path in the toy-covered floor, she did some slow dance moves and twirled in her princess shoes. With the veil over her face, she held her bouquet high in the air while kicking up her leg. She then asked me, "Did you have a cape like this on your head?" Miss B then told me, "Well, some people go in cars when they're married."
She trotted, tapped her feet, clicked the heels on her shoes, and when she heard applause on the CD she held up her bouquet. DJ B then pranced backwards and kicked her feet. At this point I was surprised to hear lyrics in the song that said "the day you married me," but I'm not sure Miss B even noticed this coincidence. Instead she continued with the questions, asking, "Did you have real flowers at your wedding?" She swayed to the music with her arms outstretched. She then got irritated by my note taking, saying, "Don't write! I just want you to watch!" She then grabbed my notepad and scribbled, telling me, "That says 'I married dada.'" She followed that up with a drawing of two people getting married (disturbingly, it was Miss B and her dad).
After her father arrived home, she invited him to dance with her and she continued with her graceful ballet moves while her dad played tambourine.
Today, it's 2 weeks after we first listened to this and I showed DJ B the CD case while the music played and asked her if she remembered what she did to this music. She shyly replied, "got married." Wow. I guess it was memorable.
Friday, January 22, 2010
As adults we often spend so much time listening to the opinions of experts before we give something a chance. Although DJ B is willing to pick up CDs from the library that she knows nothing about; I would guess that it's rare for adults to do the same, especially when we are forking over cash for music. Similarly, we often let reviews and published biographies of artists tell us what to expect when listening to music. Since DJ B isn't reading yet, she just takes in the music at face value. Despite all of that, I find that her reactions to music often mirror the intentions of the artist.
This was certainly the case when Miss B grabbed a CD from my personal "to review" pile and requested that we play it. Surprisingly, this has never happened before; but I've often thought that it would be interesting for her to review CDs that I'm reviewing for the station that I DJ for.
After she put the Wayne County and the Electric Chairs "Rock 'n' Roll Cleopatra" CD into the player, she asked me and her father to sit on the couch. She then left the room in order to change into an appropriate outfit for her "fashion show."
Miss B pranced into the room wearing several layers of clothing, including two skirts, a tiny vest, faux fur wrap, and rain boots. She danced around and kicked a toy car. She then said, "It's really cold. Snowflakes are coming down. Better get your blankets on...I have ice skates." After she brought a blanket to us and tucked us in, she pretended to ice skate, saying, "OK. I'll put the ice out" as she spread her fuzzy "fur" shawl on the floor. She continued to dance and then walked on her "ice."
Next DJ B approached us with her boxed matching game and asked, "Do you want a s'more?" before placing the pretend treats on the fake ice. As she got down on one knee she waved her arms in the air and followed that up by marching. She made a stop at her new princess vanity keyboard and pushed a button to activate a princess song. She said, "everybody clap!" as she clapped to the beat while she continued to dance.
Suddenly an obscenity-filled track emanated from the stereo, so I had to put an end to DJ B's fun. She complained, but unfortunately Wayne County is probably a bit too saucy for 4-year-olds. Although she clearly picked up on the glam rock, performative elements of this transgendered punk rocker's influential music from the 1970s; the mom in me had to delay her introduction to the F-word. Oh well. Now I know how the FCC feels.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
DJ B is often drawn to library CDs housed in big, DVD-style cases, so I wasn't too surprised when she picked up the Anita Mui "With" CD (accompanied by bonus video CD). The first time she listened to it she immediately asked me to join her, saying, "I wanna dance with you." After a quick turn on the dance floor she adjusted the volume and said, "gimme some snack and TV," before turning it off completely. The second time I attempted to play this, Miss B was in the other room and when she heard the music she screamed, "Be quiet!" and walked in to where I was to turn off the CD, yelling, "I want you to be quiet. I don't like the music on."
Things couldn't have been more different last week when DJ B asked to listen to this CD in her room. As the music began, she smiled and shook her hips. Doing her best "America's Next Top Model" imitation, she pranced across the "cat walk" in her room. She clapped along to the music, laughed, and placed her hands on her hips. She grabbed a skirt from her chair and put it on top of her head like a hat. She then put a ballet skirt over her hands and began flapping her arms with it on.
After her facial expression changed into a strange grin, she began shaking a skirt in the air before putting it in her teeth. She then started pulling clothing out of her bag of dirty laundry, including a nightgown which she held over her face while she danced towards me. She continued layering on various items of clothing and completed the look with sunglasses and ballet slippers. She threw an inflatable space shuttle into the air, tucked a jump rope into her ballet shoes and danced with conviction.
DJ B then propped her sunglasses atop her head and silently sang along to the music with her arms on her chest and a scarf around her neck.
Although I was happy to see that the music by this dearly departed Hong Kong actress inspired Miss B to new levels of performance, I breathed a sigh of relief when she grew bored of the Asian pop-fueled fashion show before she hit the stinkiest part of her dirty clothes pile.
Thursday, January 7, 2010
Lately it's been challenging to get DJ B to sit down and do her music review duties. So, I was shocked a few days before Christmas when she said, "How about some music?" before picking up the Mozart CD (Sabine Meyer's take on Clarinet Concerto K.622 and Sinfonia concertante K.297b) that she'd selected from the library.
As the music began she brought me a tray full of sequins, saying, "here's some pasta." She then said, "Dance with me! It's feast music." At our feet was a lovely selection of pretend food in preparation for the party. Miss B raced across the room holding a spoon, prancing and spinning around. She asked me to get her tutu, saying, "I have to hurry before the lovely part starts." She danced with a wooden nutcracker, doing dramatic twirls, proclaiming, "I'm a great ballet dancer because I can spin really fast."
Miss B then set up a series of chairs and placed various Christmas ornaments on each chair. After everyone was settled, she told me, "Look...there's a whole audience...the dog, the snowman, and the sheep are watching me."
At the conclusion of her performance she walked up to me, touched my face and said "God bless you. I do that at church."
From feasting, to dancing, to blessing; Mozart inspired the most elaborate performance by Miss B yet. I can hardly wait for her next show.
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
DJ B has been in full-on princess mode for what seems like forever, so when we started seeing ads for Disney on Ice's Princess Classics show it was impossible to resist. Since Miss B has been talking about Disneyland with increasing frequency, this was also a nice consolation prize.
After donning her Cinderella dress we all embarked on our journey to the Oakland Coliseum for the ice show on a fall day that happened to coincide with a Raiders football game. As crowds of princess-dress wearing girls streamed into the parking lot, they were greeted by swarms of perplexed Raiders fans adorned with face paint, wearing their own costumes of silver and black.
Each set of fans made their way into their own venues and that's when the magic began. DJ B was mesmerized during the entire show full of classic Disney stories re-imagined for the ice. Cinderella, Snow White, and Sleeping Beauty were highlights for her; but it all reached a crescendo at the very end, with Miss B proclaiming that the grand finale with all of the "happy princesses dancing" was her favorite part.
As we made our way out of the show, the princess glow followed us. Although we were still struck by the odd juxtaposition of decked out princesses and enthusiastic Raider fans while walking back to our car; our amusement turned from magical to surreal when we spotted a vomiting tailgater. DJ B just pranced on by, still in her fantasy world of princesses and fairy tales. Lucky girl.