November 3, 2016

Lizzie ~ November 3, 2016 @ Center Stage Theater

The Devastation of a Little Girl


Contemporary musical theater is not a new phenomenon; musicals have been around for ages. However, hard rock musical theater is a bit newer, and quite a bit more electrifying. 

Lizzie, an Out of the Box Theatre Company presentation, tells the story of a young Lizzie Borden just days before the infamous brutal death of her father and stepfather in 1892. Written by Steven Cheslik-DeMeyer, Alan Stevens Hewitt, and Tim Maner, the story reasonably portrays the facts of the events, while taking some liberties in the story in between. Not a light hearted story, they portray the gruesome events with vivid imagery set to the back ground of hard, close to punk, rock, giving the story a deeper sense of insanity.

The cast is what makes this musical event stand out.  Katie Moya plays Lizzie, Amy Soriano-Palagi plays Lizzie’s sister Emma, Sydney Wesson plays their neighbor Alice, and Samantha Corbett plays the maid Bridgett (sometimes called Maggie).  The four of them create a rock opera event like no other. Accompanied by a live four-piece band set behind a curtain on a stage with a choice few props, the show centers entirely on the girls; their emotions, reactions, and interactions with each other. Together they tell the heart wrenching yet brutal story of the deterioration of a young girl as she slips deeply into darkness. 

Act 1 is one of innocence lost. Lizzie visibly struggles with the “secret” of her family, which is implied carefully through hints and innuendoes via songs in a very punk rock fashion, more Sonic Youth’s “Kool Thing” than West Side Story’s “I Feel Pretty.”  Feet stomping, clutching the mic stand, Lizzie screams “Why are all these heads off?” as the light of innocence visibly leaves her after her father brutally chops off the heads off her beloved pets. Lizzie’s world gets darker. All violence is implied in the background but seen in the anguish in the violence of the songs throughout the act. The intensity, complexity, beauty, and violence build until Lizzie goes mad, culminating in the ensemble gathering together in the beautifully poignant and painful “Mercury Rising” musical piece consisting of no words, only moans of loss. Then murder...

Act 2 is the emergence of a new Lizzie, a darker one. All four
ladies appear in period appropriate under garments and heavy, somewhat whorish, makeup. Perhaps to portray how hot it is in August, but most likely to demonstrate their power as females in their new world. It’s all in the interpretation. There are reprisals of songs from Act 1, but their meanings are reversed in this inverted world. Intricately intertwined within new lyrics, the twisted new world of Lizzie Borden is revealed. No longer the innocent victim, Lizzie is now a monster herself, wickedly commanding attention and getting her way, again in a very punk rock fashion.  Lizzie counted down her days in jail until pay day upon her release in “Thirteen Days in Taunton,” once again clutching the mic stand and stomping her foot. Then the verdict…

Historically accurate (cuz I fact-checked immediately), Lizzie stoked the fire of interest in the historical events surrounding the scandal of Lizzie Borden. Executed craftily through the use of provocative lyrics and hard rock, the lesson in history was quite painless and somewhat subliminal. The lesson was painless, but not the devastation. 

October 28, 2016

Jimmy Eat World ~ October 28, 2016 @ The Arlington Theater

Are You Listening?



Sing it back! Whoa oh oh oh oh! Jimmy Eat World, a hard edge emo-punk rock band from Arizona, took to the Arlington Theater October 28th in support of their ninth studio album Integrity Blues. Their ninth since forming in the early ’90s. That’s a whole lot of emo with a whole bunch of catchy phrases now stuck in your head.

Known for songs that express the pain that comes along with the confusion of growing up, of falling in love, of losing love, and of losing yourself, Jimmy Eat World’s newest effort is a bit harder with the rock and subtler with the context. Throughout their years, they have created such teenage anthems as “The Middle,” “Pain,” and “The Sweetness,” songs that were raw yet poppy, getting the darkest emotions stuck in your head in the most melodic way. The boys seemed to have grown up now and it shows in their new music.

But how is it for an established band to have new music out, on a very well-made alternative rock album, only to play live for a crowd that simply want to hear the emo songs that got them through the darkest days of their young lives?  Songs that are like dear friends in the cold, lonely night? I imagine you’ve learned to pick and choose your set list wisely and don’t get too attached to the outcome.

Boldly starting the set off with a new song, Jimmy Eat World teased the crowd to attention with “Get Right.”  Unlike most shows at the Arlington Theater, this one was General Admission.  This basically meant no seat assignments and some dancing (if not too close to security). It was the first time I had attended a GA show at this venue and it was perfect for this band.

Once at attention, Jimmy Eat World gave them what they wanted. “Bleed America,” “Big Casino,” “If You Don’t, Don’t” got the crowd jumping and singing along as if in church, leading into another new song, “You Are Free,” that actually could be a choir hymn.  By this time the audience was tethered in, the selection of new and old songs was so masterfully intertwined there was no escaping its musical web. Blocks of new songs, including “It Matters” and “You with Me,” quickly followed with the staples “A Praise Chorus,” “Let It Happen,” “23,” and “Work.” All the wonderfully crafted catchy phrases sung with all the emotion of middle-school, filled the Arlington as the crowd rejoiced in the music.

Jimmy Eat World went on to play twenty-four songs, including three encores, ending with “The Sweetness.” Truthfully they could have played on through the night. I was spinning free! Whoa oh oh oh oh oh! With a little sweet and simple numbing me…

September 28, 2016

Cyndi Lauper - September 28, 2016 @ The Arlington

Detour to Fun 


When Cyndi Lauper was a young girl, women didn’t have so many rights, at least not so many choices as they do now. In 1953 women just waited to be married. “What do you want to go to college for,” Cyndi said her Nana asked, in her heavy New York accent. “You’re just gonna get married.”

You can imagine that at the age of thirty when offered the opportunity to record “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” what an evolutionary process that was from the self-proclaimed freakazoid from Queens. Now at the age of 63, Cyndi Lauper is yet again recreating herself. On the “Detour Tour,” she’s still a lil’ more Rock ‘n Roll than Country.  But that’s a lot more Country than before.

Detour is a cover Country album released by Cyndi Lauper this year. That’s correct, an album of covers of Country songs from the hay day of Country sung by 80’s pop sensation Cyndi Lauper. Covers of songs from Wanda Jackson, Patsy Cline, and Patsy Montana to name a few. It is a lot to take in – and a lot of fun to see performed live.

Decked out in head-to-toe leather, during a heat wave in a theater with no AC in Santa Barbara, Cyndi was as cute as a country button and as hard as a girl from Queens. Opening with a cover of Wanda Jackson’s “Funnel of Love,” Cyndi’s distinctively unique vocals made it her own.  But it was surprising and unexpected (to the uninformed) coming from the pop star. What a detour indeed.

But it wasn’t all Country all night. Cyndi and her band infused the set with many of her earlier pop hits and even a cover of Prince’s “When You Were Mine” in recognition of his passing. The range of songs covered during the night truly spoke to Cyndi’s ability as a performer. Her voice seemed stronger than I ever remembered, begging the question – how much synth did they use on artist’s voices in the 80’s? Really. Her vocal range and strength was commendable, even while dancing around the stage and twirling on a revolving platform.  At the age of 63… in all leather… under house lights… during a heat wave in a theater with no AC.

As much as the singing impressed, it was the story telling that really hooked the audience. Taking her time between songs to tell her tales, Cyndi proved to be quite the comedian. She talked about “her evil cousin, Madonna” and even related “What Would Dolly [Parton] Do” to “What Would the Dalai Lama Do.” She infused stories of her family, speaking fondly of watching TV with her Nana, and later watching it hopped up on sugar cereal with her siblings. Heavily influenced by TV, Cyndi admits to reenacting Saturday morning Country Westerns and to trying to sing “like a Country star” at first. Cyndi then decided she sounded like she was having an “Ethel Merman sound off” and just embraced her own sound introduced in her first band, Blue Angel. And it works. Cyndi’s voice translates well into the country genre of that era.

Being the rock star that she is, Cyndi stopped mid-encore, insisting that the security allow the audience to get out of their seats and dance up by the stage. “What is this –  The Mormon Church?” Cyndi asked, again in her heavy New York accent. “People want to rock out. I could be sitting in a chair too – but I‘m up here bustin’ my ass.” Obviously, this detour into country hasn’t stopped this girl from just wanting to have fun.

August 17, 2016

Culture Club ~ August 17, 2016 @ The Arlington Theater

Good Karma



What is it about time that heals all wounds? I guess there must be something to it because Culture Club, once known for their turbulent dynamics, is now one solid zen machine thirty-five years later.

Walking onto the Arlington Theater stage in the little town of Santa Barbara, Boy George beamed enlightenment like a different man. Change has definitely occurred. Boy George (vocals), Roy Hay (guitar), Mikey Craig (bass), and Jon Moss (drums) make up Culture Club, one of the most influential groups of the 80’s. Decked out in fabulous outfits, the original four were accompanied by eleven extra players which included a horn section, an extra drummer, as well as three fabulous back-up singers. They were now a super group, fully professional and a delight to see.

“Roy used to live here,” Boy George announced. “We are playing to most of his friends – the first 20 rows.” It’s a miracle there was any place to dance in the packed crowd. But dance we did. “There are 3 rules of Culture Club: 1 – dance like no one is watching; 2 – dance like you don’t give a shit; and 3 – love more now.” So stated Boy George, so complied the crowd as they began to tumble for him. 

The group looked like they were thoroughly enjoying themselves, like they were truly grateful for this very moment. And Boy George’s voice – his voice was incredible. Deeply soulful and strong, his voice took you to church. He and the band continued to interact with the delighted crowd, with Boy George stopping between hits to give life lessons. “What is it about my obsessive behavior that turns you off?” Boy George laughed, “I stand here as a cured individual… I don’t do emotion like I used to.”

Apparently they all don’t. Culture Club’s happiness was infectious, raging through the crowd like a disease and taking us over, making us dance like we were 15 again. “There’s too much to really let go, by the end of the evening we’ll have you all dancing!” They continued to play one hit after another, and just when you thought you had heard them all, they played yet another, making us miss them blind.

Throughout the evening there were two wardrobe changes – Boy George wouldn’t be a diva if he did any less.  There was more than silence during these interludes, enough to let the saxophone get in a solo and allow the other guys to jam. Showing great gratitude, Boy George later thanked MTV for spreading their music to the US, with the likes of Duran Duran, Tears for Fears, INXS, Prince and Pat Benatar. As part of the gratitude speech, Boy George mentioned that their first single was released in what is called a white sleeve, which is just blank, allowing their music to be heard without any judgement on the band’s appearance. Laughingly, he said their image just hit the public too late, people already liked them. “People have changed… but haven’t” in that regard.  But that didn’t make the crowd want to hurt him.


At the age of 55, Boy George says he understands life better. “In reflection, I have many regrets,” he stated, “but I can’t think of one.” His karma is clear.  

(see what I did there...) 

May 14, 2016

Hammers 'N Ales ~ May 12, 2016 @ M.Special, Goleta

Good Vibes Only


An event featuring local live music, local craft beer, local food trucks, that is also family friendly – all to support a local non-profit. What’s a Santa Barbarian not to love?

The inaugural Hammer N’ Ales event hosted at M.Special Brewery to benefit Habitat for Humanity was a success, drawing a huge crowd to the Goleta parking lot the two organizations share. An UCSB alumni always one to do his part, the event also featured musical acts off Jack Johnson’s record label, Brushfire Records. New Noise Foundation was brought in to assist with the event towards the ends, bringing a bit of expertise to event and stage management. “This event has all the things New Noise Foundation loves – it’s local and benefits a non-profit,” according to New Noise’s Jeff Theimer. “The motto here is good vibes only.” 

Made open to kids of all ages complete with a kids’ play area and bouncy house, it allowed parents to get out of the house to enjoy a brew and a show with the kids. “There is no judgement here,” stated Veronica, one of many mothers with a youngster strapped to their body with a brew in hand. But unlike many festivals, the brew selection was not limited to a select few. M.Special was pouring all their great brews: American Lager, Farmhouse Saison, Pablo Ale, Lazy Eye Special Double IPA, and the Greatland IPA is just a short list. It was a toss-up as to which was the bigger hit: the craft brew or the music. Both the brewery and the dance floor were packed.

The day of music featured Adam Phillips, Jessie Bridges,
Soul Majestic, Matt Costa, and Animal Liberation Orchestra, better known as ALO. People definitely came to dance.  When local reggae sensation Soul Majestic took the stage, the crowd started grooving as the sun came out and more people arrived. The band kept the energy high as Dan Leibowitz joined in the near hour long set. True to the claim of “family friendly,” kids with painted faces threw beach balls from the stage into the dancing audience while singing with the band. 

Matt Costa provided a mellow vibe as he played new material acoustically with a lone cellist. By this time the place was packed although people still could easily maneuver from the stage to the brews to the food. The brewery staff was on point, remaining fun and enthusiastic throughout the busy event. This was definitely a well-organized and well-staffed event.

As it came closer to the end of the event, the main event hit
the stage. Santa Barbara locals ALO hit the stage and instantly got the crowd jamming again – this time at full capacity. In honor of the beneficiaries, lead singer and pianist Zach Gill came out in a hard hat, nicely reminding the audience of the reason for the party, and then quickly tour it up! Knowing that they are playing for “their people,” the band held nothing back playing all the (my) favorites. It was barely noticeable that this was the middle of the day and not one of their late night jam session.

 A true family friendly event, it ended at 7pm – just in time for the youngsters and tired ol’ folks such as myself to get home at a reasonable time. A great show, some great brews, and home by 8pm. There were definitely good vibes only created here. 


April 10, 2016

WARNING: Non-Music Post

Where Your Warrior Meets Your Saint


Sat Nam Festival West 
April 7-10th, 2016 @ Joshua Tree


This wasn’t your average run-of-the-mill spring cleaning, although I did participate in that ritual as well. But pictures of the piles of junk I removed from my house pale significantly to the junk I removed from my psyche at the Sat Nam West Festival* in Joshua Tree, California. 

I went to the desert in search of healing and clearing of a deeply personal cycle that was thrust in my face after a recent traumatic event. What I left with was the foundations to building a warrior that is able to meet challenges with clear intentions and self-awareness. And a huge Kundalini* buzz.

My days in the desert were full of classes, workshops, and concerts geared towards… well basically self-enlightenment. To remove all the junk that the mind creates that prevents the authentic “me” from showing up. Of course, that’s a very watered down version of what happened, but it’s easier to digest that way and I am not a subject matter expert on Kundalini.

It rained the first night, which was also a new moon in Aries,
the first sign of the zodiac calendar year and hence considered a new beginning. At 3:15am, three of us awoke to make our way to the big tent for Sadhana*, which would go until 6am. New to Sat Nam, I was not sure what to expect, but was willing the find out. Essentially there is about a half hour of prayer, then 45 minutes of guided Kundalini yoga movement, followed by an hour of chanting. Again, a watered-down version, but I don’t want to get loss in the language and terms used in the ceremony. It started to rain hard as we sat on our mats in a big tent in the middle of the desert. It felt so cleansing and added to the effects of experience.

I had an idea, a plan, as to where I wanted this all to go, what I wanted to get out of weekend. I wanted to direct this experience to fix a particular problem in my life. Done. But that’s not how it works – that’s not how any of this works. As the rain came down and emotions came up I quickly realized this, but still tried not to surrender. I had a damn plan.

By 6am, I still had not surrendered. On my path to magical healing, I steadfastly planned out my day: yoga, self-help workshop, karate. Surely, by the end of the day I’d be that much closer to my goal. But the plan shifted. As the events of the day unfolded, the message I received was not one of healing, but one of strengthening. Apparently the universe believed I was done “healing,” I had spent the ENTIRE winter on that project; now it was spring, and time for me to emerge from the darkness as my warrior self.

Seriously, this is what the universe spoke to me. Every class I attended with the intention of receiving some sort of healing presented me with the message of becoming a warrior. For real’s. My first class of the day, not including my 3am chanting, was what I thought to be a celebratory Kundalini yoga class. But Krishna Kaur* had a different agenda. She challenged me to go far beyond my physical comfort zone, while delightfully laughing at my struggles. “Hold this space with courage and grace,” she encouraged as I tried not to swear at the well respected yogi (although I’m pretty sure I did, wahe guru*). The last kriya* she presented had to do with the mudras* where Saturn meets Jupiter, “Where your Warrior meets your Saint". This is where you find balance.” Here, warrior got engrained in my head. Warrior.

What if I had been to “saintly,” therefore pushing my warrior back? Metaphorically of course. But what if I was not standing up for myself as much as I should be in my relationships, all my relationships? What if I was not showing up for myself as much as I should be in life? Who was my warrior if not I? Warrior it was to be then. 

At this point, I surrendered. This was surprisingly easy for an OCD task master like me. But I liked where this all was going. Truthfully, I was quite sick of myself moping around; I really wanted to break free and just move on already, although I know you can’t rush the process. But c’mon! Warrior! 


This changed my whole input receptivity. Tommy Rosen* gave a lovely workshop on how to manage addictive patterns in the mind, after which he led us through a pretty intense 41 minute meditation geared towards letting go of frustrations, which did not feel as long as 41 minutes should. However, the message that stood out for me was his words on inputs: Kriya are actions towards liberation, where as Karma are actions towards addictions. You can manage your actions; you can manage your mind. But you have to manage.

Sitting in the residual effects of a 41 minute deep meditation, I decided to stay for the next class – GuruJodha Singh: Using Kundalini Yoga to Develop Your Spiritual Warrior.  I basically had to due to its title. There was that word again, warrior. I was getting it loud and clear. This class was amazing. Not only was GuruJodha Singh* a Kundalini master, but he was a martial arts master as well. The messaged he dropped had to do with reacting to a situation. All the planning in the world is not going to help you when a crisis arises, because you never know how someone else is going to act. You have to be present in the moment and strong in your knowledge of your own capabilities. You have to be fluid and flexible, and one more “F” I can’t recall. Like a warrior.

It was raining again and the main tent was soaking wet. Saturated and cold, I decided to skip the 3am Sadhana the next morning so that I could be ready for my 8am course on how to heal others. Yes, taking it to the streets y’all, to my peeps. How can my warrior-self help YOU? Getting out of my head and into yours. Mahankirn* taught a session on what’s called Sat Nam Rasayan Healing*. When you suffer trauma, it is not the event, but an aspect of the event that the nervous system cannot digest which holds the shock in your system. Through meditation, you can transcend the problem that is blocking the system, therefore removing the issue that is making the system intolerant. 

Wow. It was really simple and quite powerful, but again, I am not a subject matter expert, so will not go into the details. As Mahankirn went on, she explained how the system manifests the experience creates a box by which one defines themselves. “You are already you, but you are distracted,” as stated by Yogi Bhajan* according to Mahankirn. The goal is to restructure the box and then within this new framework, have no box, no differentiation. Every kriya in this class I wanted to take home, and before the class ended I was in tears. Just a broken down, box-less warrior.  

This was the beginning of my second full day and I was at my edge. Completely at every possible edge. My body ached from all the yoga, my heart ached from all the opening, and my mind ached from all the thinking. I groaned when I moved, blinked back tears when I made eye contact, and literally could not form full sentences. My senses were whelmed, but not quite overly yet. Plus, I pretty much had been on a miso and chai diet since Thursday night being that I barely made time to eat between classes. It was getting real.

Alas, I had more to do in spite of everything. The challenge was still on. I am a warrior, not a whiner! I made the conscious choice to just take all the classes offered in the big tent so that I didn’t have to move or think much, which was apparently what the universe wanted for me. Serenaded by the raw angelic vocals of Jai-Jagdeesh*, I briefly napped in the big tent, quickly running to grab soup prior the next class starting.

Looking all the part of a rock star, Guru Singh* commanded attention as he began to play guitar. Thinking another concert was going to take place, I was awakened to the fact that much more was going to transpire as Guru Singh’s first assignment was to put your left hand on your heart, your right hand up, and meander around the room, making hand and eye contact with strangers during the longest song ever. Tears flooded to my eyes, as did they to others. People I just met, now good friends, stopped to give me big hugs as we passed. The song was an eternity and I loved it! The connection was raw. Smiles and tears, courage and fears.  

Guru Singh began his lecture soon after and I rushed to feverishly scribble notes. He told us to focus on three words: equality, identity, and infinity. Grabbing a big board with notes he went on to explain how we have two axis on our vertebrate – our yes and no. From ages 2-12 we decide what we are NOT (no); and from 13 on we decide what we ARE (yes). It is the INFINITE IDENTITY which is EQUALITY. I scribbled so many notes, hanging on his every word as he spoke, as if he was answering every question I ever had on life. “See the value in our presence; the solution is in our presence.” “See others as you. That exists in me…” “Every life has the same deck of cards; you just may choose not to play THAT one.” “When you are equal to your enemy, your enemy becomes your friend.” “You got to disappear in the way you THINK you are, in order to appear in who you ARE.” You need to know your identity; you need to be strong in who you are: I am who I am. He broke out into another song as we posed in a squat-like tiger pose and chanted “I am (pause) who I am!” Tears again. Why? Why is the warrior crying again? There is no crying in warrior-ing. (Guru Singh said it was alright to make up words.)

I was now overwhelmed. I stayed for another concert with the lovely Simrit* to decompress (nap), before sitting down to my first actual full meal – which was delightful. Then I was done. I decided once again to forego the Sadhana as well as the late night gong bath for a good night’s sleep and an 8am dance class with Wah*. Bless my friends who attended the last Sadhana. I choose to close out my weekend by doing some Kundalini dance and doing it solo so I could get funky!

The sun did not come up on the last day. Soon after dance concluded, I was quickly changed, packed, and ready to go. I had a long way back to reality and I needed to give myself time to adjust. But I did make time for a huge hot slice of cheese pizza before making the trek back home. It was necessary for the re-integration into society… Besides, that’s what warriors eat, right?   



*Goggle it. 

March 2, 2016

WARNING: Non-Music Post

My Gift 


It was the most amazing experience. The Shaman said before I got there, she had opened her circle up for my guide for this process to step forward. It was my Dad! She said this was the first time something like this has happened to her, for someone so close to show up and so strongly! My Dad said "She needs to know where this has come from." Very clearly and knowingly. Of course we did not know what "this" was, and assumed it was the pain I was experiencing from a recent break-up.

Which it was in a roundabout way. We started the journey with some energy work, basic relaxation and aura cleaning (you know, the usual). She guided me through a meditation,  touching my hand for reassurance. Then as images came up, the Shaman guided with questions and chants. She asked her guides what message they had for me, and they replied, "Just be honest." 

We first went to a forest near Santa Cruz where Mike, my ex-husband, and I used to live. Then, while crying hysterically, I explained where I was and with whom as streaming tears filled my ears. She guided me to a place to calm down, which was my room in our house in Aptos. Mike refused to be called forward as a guide; she asked him why he was hiding, he scoffed and claimed he wasn't, he “just did not like people in his space." After more conversation, Mike said I had to take his hand, said I would understand why, but I couldn't. I just couldn't, the image kept slipping. I started crying hysterically again, and said it was the guilt. I couldn't because of the guilt. She asked what I wanted to say to Mike.... I said I was sorry, I didn't know what else to do at the time, I acted selfishly and childishly.

At that point the entire session turned! This was no longer about THEM. It went into a healing process about me. She said, "This guilt came long before your husband dear." She started chanting, singing and playing a drum. "Your childlike nature is your gift, your father knew this." In her chant, she drew out a child that hovered above me, my Innocence. 

She asked my Innocence to join me back in my heart. Innocence replied, "I can't - there is no room in her heart for me. The guilt, it has hardened, and there is no room." An image of a child with a thick block around her neck, choking her, appeared.

So the Shaman chanted some more. As she chanted, she sounded so sad. She said the child Innocence was on her knees, hands together begging the heavens to stop her pain. Asked why in so much pain, the child howled because I do not know how to cope. Cope with what? The suffering. What suffering? The suffering of others, why do they hurt when they love. They pain is there for their learning my dear, so they can grow. But I love, and I do not suffer, I feel guilty that I do not. You feel guilty that you love? Yes, I love without pain; I feel joy. "Oh child, this is your gift." 

The Shaman chanted for my Innocence to return to me. As she did this I felt a great lightness come over me and my closed eyes filled with a bright pink light. Then her chanting slowed as she started to ground me. She asked her guides to join her in a prayer, a prayer that this reunion is fostered and that I am able to see signs that there has been a shift as time goes on. 


AFTER

She said I don’t have to repeat this cycle anymore. I do not have to feel guilty for feeling happiness, joy and love. I can do so with childlike abandon.  It has been healed.

I do not have to seek out partners who are suffering or broken so that the cycle of guilt is repeated. It had become a familiar, punishing habit. It has been healed.

She said now, I can truly embrace my simple happy existence and show love freely.


The trauma was my own, from not understanding my surroundings and not having the parental support to explain it to me as a child. My Dad always said I was his happy child. He must have known at some point I had lost it.