Wednesday, December 23, 2009

To Laura on Her 38th Birthday

It's my sister's birthday today. Laura is a mother, an ultra-marathoner, and a curator of sorts at a small folk museum in northern Illinois. When she isn't running or playing the piano or guitar, I suspect she is taking my niece ice skating or my nephew to his guitar or karate lessons or planning a vacation with my brother-in-law somewhere where sharks could eat them, which leaves no time to read her little sister's lame blog. However, I hope she is checking it today, so I can say, Hey, you're awesome. Happy Birthday!

I will always be indebted to Laura for introducing me to one of my favorite albums of all time, The Cure's Disintegration. She always supported my musical obsession with Smashing Pumpkins and the Lemonheads and tolerated my love of Jane's Addiction and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Many of my finest cassettes were gifts from her, and while one of the few musical events we ever attended together was a Michael Crawford love-fest at the Riverport Amphitheatre in 1990, she still managed to be cool for days after while playing "The Music of the Night" on the piano.

Laura was my Brat Pack film buddy. How many times did we sit through Pretty in Pink or Weird Science? We saw Better Off Dead and Can't Buy Me Love at the mall movie theater and made mixtapes that included our favorite singles from John Hughes films.

 (Danke schoen, Laura. Danke schoen.)

These days we live roughly five hours apart. I don't know what her plans are for today, but I hope she's doing something to distinguish her birthday from the holiday hysteria. This video is just for her:

Altered Images, "Happy Birthday" (1981)


  1. Man there were some good brat pack movies (hate breakfast club and pretty in pink, though)
    Can't Buy me Love is a grotesquely underrated movie. Those dance moves inspired me for life.

  2. oh, and happy birthday laura. I don't know you and I really don't know your sister all that well, but have a good one.

  3. Thanks, Carrie! You're very kind. Congrats on that new degree and good luck in Champaign!

  4. I just saw this post Tina - what an incredible birthday gift! You are way too kind about our childhood. We definitely influenced each other through all those years and I couldn't ask for a better "little" sis.

    You can't forget about all those grunge bands we listened to out in Tucson. Remember that interminable drive to San Diego, blaring Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, Screaming Trees, and all the rest? Man, I loved that blue flannel shirt of mine....

    Thanks again for the birthday wishes (and thanks, Carrie, too)