Saturday, October 1, 2011

Stellar Mix Tape

I had stars in my eyes when I first met Will. Which is appropriate. If he had been born a girl, his mom wanted to name him Celeste. It suits his celestial nature.

I wanted to name Katie "Stella" but Will nixed the idea. He didn't want people screaming "Steeeeelllllaaaaa!" at her her whole life. Actually, that's not the entire reason. We used to go camping at the annual bluegrass festival in Winfield KS. Every night we'd be in our tent, making out, drinking beers, laughing, talking. And every night, in the background we'd hear our temporary neighbors inside their tents doing the same. And beyond that, about every ten minutes or so, we'd hear some young man scream, "Steeeeelllllaaaaaa!"

This was a hippie bluegrass festival, not a Tennessee Williams film fest. Why were people screaming "Stella" at regular intervals?

Will told me the legend, and now I will tell you. Evidently one year some college guy brought a blow up doll as a joke. Oh, I should mention. At Winfield when you camp by stage five, the thing to do is walk around the dirt road that encircles the encampment. It's like mardi gras for the midwest. People carring their drinks, their guitars and mandolins and banjos and harmonicas, and just wandering around, stopping here and there to jam with some folks, then rolling on, keeping the energy going.

Well, one year, the guy who brought the blow up doll decided it would be fun if he and his buddies brought Stella along for their drunken stumble around the loop. Stella couldn't play any instruments, so she was pretty lame at jams, but, like a giant floaty ball at spectator sporting events, she became the life of the party as she was tossed from partier to partier throughout the night. The next morning, Stella was gone. No one knows what happened to her. Not even one square inch of her plastic skin was ever recovered.

So that night, College Guy and his buddies drank again, this time mourning the loss of their poor, deflated Stella. And then they began wandering the campground, round and round the loop, taking turns shouting, "Stella!"

Each successive year, campers keep up the tradition of calling out Stella's name, late at night. Midwestern boys calling out for their plastic Lorelei.

And so, yeah, my husband didn't think it would be very appropriate to name our daughter after a missing blow up doll. No matter what a stellar name it is.

It's not just spacy names I like but spacy songs too. I like to close my eyes and listen to them. It feels like I'm floating in space.

Want more stellar tunes? Slide your eyeballs just slightly down, down, over to the left, yep, right here: