Sunday, March 18, 2007

Have You Kicked Your Chan Chan Today?

This past week has been a long one with many sweet wonderful moments with friends. Complimenting those are some very heavy shadow moments we've each run into.

Earlier this week, my dear beloved Shameless remarked that I was somewhat in the role of a matador. It's funny because I have so often played the role of the bull -- easily coaxed into battle when someone with enemy intentions waves a red cape in my face, always ready to defend my soul, my kids, my self, my intentions, what have you. But lately I think she may be right; I seem to be surrounded by a whole lotta bull, and I have felt my shadow try to get away from me a few times.

This coming week will prove quite long as well. There's already shadow all over it. In addition to my former inlaws holding vigil while my former mother in law slips further away, there is in my own easy world an entire extra day of work spread over two evenings plus many meetings throughout the days, some with difficult clients who I belive constitute The Council of Shadow. In at least one instance my boss and I have to play matador with a client that otherwise will almost certainly fall prey to bad behavior with our candidates.

All week I've been imbibing an album by The Mammals, their 2004 release, Rock That Babe. One song in particular, Chan Chan, stands out from all the others for its energy and passion. Go figure: it was written by Compay Segundo, a Cuban singer who died just a few years back at the ripe age of 95. It's completely captivated me, or this group has with its rendition of Segundo's story of the wandering Chan Chan who takes love from a woman while sifting sand with her on the beach. According to the prologue you can hear in the link below to a LIVE VERSION of the song, things end pretty badly for him and his enormous sense of entitlement. I'd say the theme is along the lines of something my brother once said: "If you're gonna be dumb, you better be tough."

It may be the completely unapologetic tenor of this band and this album that has me hooked. Several years ago I saw The Mammals at Grey Fox and they were just a joy. They are bold and incredibly talented. Chan Chan will call to you with Ruthie Unger's intense fiddle treatment of the driving beat, and Tao Rodriguez Seeger holds nothing back as he sings the story to us. The song has become a companion of my shadow and I feel it keeps me aware of how powerful and sometimes frightening my passion is to people who don't know or understand me. But my friends and most of my family know that passion is ultimately an ally, and know that in a heartbeat I will stand by them, shadow and all, to defend and protect what's right.

Whatever or whoever is out there, waiting, if you want to tango with me or my friends, if you think you know me, if you have plans to undo me or believe you can outsmart me, if you think you're All That, if you are so arrogant as to think that I'll someday see the error of my ways, if you think you can sidestep your cluelessness and ever have your way, if you are foolish enough to tempt fate like Chan Chan, I will see your bull and my shadow will raise you, and you'll lie on the beach with the rest of the rubble. I once was the poster child for "No good deed goes unpunished." Well, I've got a whole new poster, and it's waiting for your face.

Friends, go through your week with your head up and your eyes and ears open, and if you run into Chan Chan or his load of bull, you know where to find me.

Here are the MAMMALS LIVE at THE KENT STAGE, January 2005, courtesy of The Live Music Archive (click on track five).

Chan Chan

De Alto Cedro voy para Marcané
Luego a Cueto voy para Myarí.(4x)

El carinoque te tengo
yo no lo puedo negar
Se me sale la babita
Yo no lo puedo evitar.

Cuando Juanica y chan chan
En el mar cernían arena
Como sacudìa el `jibe`
a chan chan la daba pena.

Limpia el camino de paja
Que yo me quiero sentar
En aquel tronco que veo
Y asì no puedo llegar.

De Alto Cedro voy para Marcanè
Luego a Cueto voy para Mayarì...


At March 18, 2007 9:46 PM, Blogger Shameless Agitator said...

For you, Mando, El Matador by Los Fabuloso Cadillacs, from the Grosse Pointe Blank Soundtrack.

At March 19, 2007 6:09 AM, Blogger Mando Mama said...

Ahhh, SI, Senora Shameless, a good song for a Matador's Monday morning! Seems like another lifetime when we sat around and watched that flick...

At March 19, 2007 7:18 AM, Blogger MichaelBains said...

... Well, I've got a whole new poster, and it's waiting for your face.

Oy Vey Caramba! ! !


tres bien!

At March 19, 2007 7:28 AM, Blogger Mando Mama said...

Haha! Si, Senor Bains. It's a different side of MandoMama, no? Once in a while it's just good to be sure I'm not misinterpreted.

I should have had my red cape out the other evening, maybe my Blitz score would have been higher! LOL!

Buenos dias, mi amigo!

At March 20, 2007 8:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My dear MandoMama, I do love the way you write--the puns on "bull" are quite well done!

I'll try to keep my head up this week, but that's proving difficult already.

Love you.


At March 20, 2007 5:59 PM, Blogger Mando Mama said...

Dear Shadow, it is unfortunate that some of us have become a little too familiar with "bull" in many forms! Ay!

I hope you are doing better -- let me know how I can help, si?



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