Monday, October 01, 2007

Parabéns pra Você

First off, excuse my weird punctuation and typing. I am on a computer in Mexico City and some of the keys are not where they should be. For example, to make the @ sign, I have to hit Alt + 6 + 4. It is wild. This should also explains the lack of contractions.

Today is my wonderful sister Liz's birthday. My sister thinks that I don't ever mention her to my friends.. The reason behind this is because once Liz met my roommate Hector and when Hector said he was from Bloomington, they made the connection that he was my roommate and she was my sister. Then Hector said something like, "Gee, that's weird, I don't think Mike ever mentioned that he had a sister. I mean, I knew he had a brother, but I had no idea that he had a sister." That's classic Hector tact for you. Thanks man. In my defense, I will say that the only reason Hector knew I had a brother was because he came with his wife to visit Bloomington and they stayed at the house. But, anyway, Liz thinks that I keep her a secret or something, but I am out to prove that theory false. Besides, if Liz were as vocal about her opinions of Frank Zappa as my brother Greg is, her notoriety might be a little bit better established among the people I know. That is a joke. About three people will get it.

Liz has a MySpace account, but her name is Super Trading Post. I am told by Megan D. that Super Trading post is some kind of radio thing that they do on a radio station up in the Lafayette area where you say for example that you have a bunch of bails of hay that you need to get rid of, and that you are open to trades for said bail of hay and then you leave your contact info. Sort of like a radio-based Craigslist for people in the Tippecanoe County area. The reason Liz uses a fake name on her MySpace account is because she is a high school teacher, and she said that she doesn't want any of her students finding out anything personal about her on the internet. Fair enough. If I were in high school these days, I can say with a fair degree of certainy that I would be clowning my English teacher's profile if I knew one existed.

So I thought celebrate Liz's birthday with an embarrassing story about her, but nothing really comes to mind at the moment. I will say this, while it's on my mind: When Liz was a member of that Columbia House 12 tapes for one penny deal, she got some really influential tapes that I ended up being really into and sometimes kind of  appropriating. For example, the Pump up the Volume soundtrack. This tape is like the monolith that brought me out of being a heavy metal guitar shredder and into being a fan of alternative indie rock music, whatever you want to call it. Another crucial musical Rosetta Stone for me, it introduced me to Sonic Youth, Soundgarden (back when they were like REALLY GOOD, seriously, don't even think about "Black Hole Sun," as far as I am concerned, a completely different band made that song), a Bad Brains + Henry Rollins collaboration covering "Kick Out the Jams" by the MC5 (how historically loaded is that?), The Pixies, Cowboy Junkies, Leonard Cohen, and that weird song by Peter Murphy. This tape was pretty mega for a young 14-year-old metalhead like me. In some ways, I am pretty sure that I can directly attribute this tape to getting my first girlfriend. I will explain that on another day. Today it's about Lizardo.

I mentioned that Liz is a high school teacher, but what I didn't mention is that she teaches at the high school that all of the Dixon kids went to. She hangs out with teachers we once had. She is on a first name basis with some of the most intimidating and ridiculous teachers of our high school careers. I think that is so cool.

Liz has done well for herself. She has a master's degree and a very good job and owns a nice house on a very crucial corner in Lafayette, Indiana. She oversees the very sweet school newspaper, helps musical bad boy Jeffrey Sterns put on the high school musical (well before it was cool, you know after Disney legitimized the genre of high school musicals with their smash hit High School Musical, perhaps you have seen it) and is involved in a million other things that she probably doesn't even tell me about because being busy doing good is just normal everyday life for her. She plays a mean cello (teaches lessons too) and can play pretty much any song from the LDS Hymnal on piano.

Oh yeah, and I have heard that she started a blog, although I haven't seen any entries there yet. Once she gets started, I am sure that it will be impecably literate and funny.

OK, here's a cool story about Liz. One summer we were living in the basement at Grandma and Grandpa Hart's house and Cousin Sarah and Liz went to see Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure at the dollar theater around the time when that movie first came out. Something about this movie really jived with them, because they ended really getting into a groove, and they went to see Bill and Ted like five more times in the period of about a week, if I remember correctly. Liz and Sarah could quote that movie like no others. They probably still can. Liz and Sarah remain like BFF to this very day, and I am pretty sure that their mutual affinity for Bill S. Preston and Ted Theodore Logan Esq. has a lot to do with that.

Back when Liz and I were in orchestra together in high school, we had this kind of nemesis family that was also in the orchestra, and each of their children were of the same age and same sex, corresponding all the way down to Greg. They were the notorious Rao family. Liz's counterpart was Malini, mine was Karthik, and Greg's was Sid. It was quite the feud, if you could call it that. They were all very talented violinists, so they held their own, but I always thought it was so funny that their kids and ours lined up so perfectly in terms of gender and age, but yet clashed so seriously when it came to ideology (if you could even call what high school kids have ideology). Sometimes having a feud can be a lot of fun. I can finally say "peace" to the Rao family. I'm sure they are all rich doctors or something now. I'll google that and get back to you. They have incredibly Googlable names, that is for sure.

Wow, that paragraph really had no point. I just got a kick out of mentioning the Rao family.

Anyway, it's been good having Liz as a sister, because it seems like the older we get, the more that we actually seem to "get" each other, and that is great. We share a lot of the same friends and get kicks out of a lot of the same things. I'm blessed that she is my sister and I hope you have a great and special day, hermana! 

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