Wednesday, September 26, 2012


I'm not quite sure if this fits in at all with being an adult child of an alcoholic, but I thought I would share with you a mysterious thing that happens to me from time to time, this time involving the song Ciribiribin.

Ciribiribin is a ballad by Italian songwriter Alberto Pestalozza. It was a standard of the big band era, recorded by a number of people including Frank Sinatra. How I came to focus on it was through a recent listening to the song Java Jive by the Ink Spots.

In the song at one point whomever is the lead sings
You know, well I'm not keen about a bean,
Unless it is a cheery cheery bean.
As it turns out, that line was supposed to be a pun and should have been sung
You know, well I'm not keen about a bean,
Unless it is a cheery beery bean.
This is roughly how the song name is pronounced in Italian.

Spurred on by reading how the lyric was supposed to go, I found a copy of Benny Goodman's band with Harry James on lead trumpet doing this song. I found it familiar and then remembered that I had heard it before for many many years as part of Glenn Miller's Jukebox Saturday Night. Since the Ink Spots section of JSN is a faux Ink Spots tune, I had always assumed the Harry James section was just a generic song to show off trumpet playing.

I also came to find that it was Harry James's signature song. I was aware who Harry James was of course, but only as a name in jazz history just as J.E.B. Stuart is only a name in American history to me (and war comic books, but I digress).

Well, and this is where my personality if not being an ACoA came in, I began listening to the song a lot. I mean obsessively. I found many different recordings of it, including several by James himself. There was a point were I "had" to listen to it at least once a day.

It was not long after I decided that I would write about the song that it finally stopped being a haunting presence in my life. I have no idea why I was drawn to the song and I will probably be drawn to it from this point forward. I say this because a similar thing happened with the song Perfidia many years before and it hasn't abated.

But, as I said, these things sometimes come over me out of nowhere and I just have to ride them out and deal. The joys of being me.

Harry James

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


But in the grey of the morning
My mind becomes confused
Between the dead and the sleeping
And the road that I must choose.

— Justin Hayward of the Moody Blues
I have warned most of the people I am close to that if you find me listening to the Moody Blues then it's best if you just leave me alone because I am in a bad place. Well since I am opening with a Moody Blues lyric, consider yourself warned.

A few days ago I sold the car I drove down here in. It's now something like 16 years old and it was time for it to go. But it bothered me to sell it because of links to two friends. Because of a problem with my finances, I had to borrow money from one of my friends to pay for it. But the part germane to today's post is that I bought it off of another friend.

I worked with him in radio and in an effort to feed his children he also started working as a sales rep for an automobile dealership. I have no idea if he gave me a good deal or a bad deal. I needed a car and he sold me one. He was a man of faith who walked his talk.

Oddly, he was a lot like Job in that he just kept getting crappy thing after crappy thing thrown at him, but he never once renounced God, even after his step children had scrapes with the law, even after his wife left him after an affair with a church official, even after he suffered a devastating physical illness that eventually cost him his life.

Because it was a tangible link to my late friend, I hated to get rid of the car. It did not rest easy with me, even though I know it was the right decision. However, he came to me in a dream and assured me that it was all right and so was he.

Dead people have come to me in dreams before to tell me things. And they are usually also a portent of a shift in my life paradigm. So what comes next? Watch this space.

And when you stop and think about it
You won't believe it's true
That all the love you've been giving
Has all been meant for you.

— Justin Hayward of the Moody Blues

To learn as we grow old
The secrets of our souls.

— Justin Hayward of the Moody Blues

Monday, September 10, 2012

Sadness of Soul

Cleveland Browns Stadium, the current home of the Cleveland Browns football team, has developed a nickname over its existence, the House of Sadness. And it was in the wake of another Browns loss that I realized something about me and sadness that, well, made me sad: sadness is my default emotion.

It seems like if I am not feeling something else specifically regarding my immediate circumstances, I feel sad. I feel there is at the core of my being a palpable sadness, a profound lack.

As to what I am lacking, I cannot say. My life, while not perfect, is actually rather good. My current thought is that it is a reflection of my continued reluctance to accept myself as I am. I am taking the desire to be more, do more, and have more as an indictment of who I am and what I have done.

This is an old program that needs to be overwritten with zeroes, the idea that if I am not where I would like to be that somehow where I am, what I am, who I am is wrong. It comes from dealing with fulfilling the expectations of others and apparently something I have internalized.

From other things I have worked on in my life, I know that awareness is the first piece. But, as I am also fond of saying: I've identified the problem. Now what?

Felix Mendelssohn