I Know What I Am


Me: You know, I have a critique of these lyrics.

Randy: Really? Because it sold millions of copies.

Me: I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about a criticism I have of the lyrics, which are awesome. Except this one thing.

Randy and I sat in our bed, living our normal routine, which we’ve taken from the last house to this house, which is to ignore a bunch of shit that needs to be done and watch music videos on Youtube instead.

Randy played a slew of “Michelle” songs which are songs he can’t go wrong with. We listened to Lola by the Kinks.

Me: I just don’t think they needed to explain the song.


Me: I mean, it becomes obvious pretty quick that Lola is a man. I think they over-explained with the line “I know what I am, I’m a man, I’m a man and so was Lola.” It’s like explaining a joke or something.

Randy: You’re questioning the cleverness of Ray Davies?

Me: I’m just saying. He should have left it alone. He over explained. That line could have been more clever.

Randy: Like how?

Me: How the fuck do I know? I’m not Ray Davies.

Randy: I know what I am, I’m a frying pan?

Randy: I know what I am, I’m a banana man?



Me: Yes, those are the only reasonable alternatives.

So anyway, Randy and I had a 4 day weekend. Today is the last day of my much needed vacation time.

We spend a lot of time having conversations like the above. We ate a lot of food, drank some booze and went to bed super early every night.

We did some local things and ended up at the American Sign museum which just amazing. These pictures don’t do this justice.


It was nice to disconnect from work and from politics for a few days.

Okay, I didn’t completely disconnect from politics. I mean, the redacted Mueller report did just come out.



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  • That song sounds dated now and I remember how shocking it was back in my teens. But then again, life is so different now. I think that line worked for the song then. Now we don’t think twice about being transgender.

  • When I was in my 20s, my boyfriend’s dad had a cassette tape of his top 10 songs from the 50s. He’d play it all day everyday, singing outloud to each song. He had the lyrics all wrong. I swore that “when I reached his age,” I’d at least know the lyrics to all my favorite songs. Ha.
    Now at 52, I still don’t know the lyrics to Blinded by the Light. I swear it talks about a douche. 🙂

    • Haha, Bruce Springsteen writes a lot of lyrics that are hard to understand. In Down Bound Train, there is a line that I swear says “hunting down a cross eyed Horton in the rain”. Pretty sure that’s wrong.

  • I saw the Kinks at the Concord Pavilion in the mid-eighties, and Ray teased the crowd with Lola by starting to play the opening chords, stopping, and saying “You’re not ready for that one yet.” twice.
    He also prefaced “You Really Got Me” with “Are you listening, Eddie?”
    Also at that show, my friend’s girlfriend Brenda vaulted the little barricade and rushed Ray and planted one on him, earning her a loud cheer before security booted her off of the stage.
    Ray just acted like that shit happened all of the time.
    I never really thought Lola was shocking, I just kinda figured that all kinds of stuff like that went down in the big city all of the time.
    And it turned out that it does.
    I’m glad you got a little vacation, we’re beginning what I hope to be a big adventure right now.

  • wow.
    way to bury the lede!
    you got to go to the american sign museum!? I am soooooooooooo jealous! it is on my bucket list of things to do!
    I would have so much fun there!
    (“I lead a sheltered childhood” would be putting it mildly. Think patriarchal, fundamentalist religion. Now it seems obvious, sure, but at the time I really needed that lyric to help out my poor little brain.)

    • The America Sign museum is goddamn awesome. Seriously, it just made my brain so happy and those pictures don’t come anywhere near doing it justice. So so so cool.

  • So glad you are enjoying your extended weekend! I got back home to find a shower in my hallway. Which I might add most people do not have showers in their hallway. Broken pipe from the level above. However, in tune (haha) with your music genre story I had stereo wars with the restoration guys. I admit to staring at him when he actually tried to blast cello music. Me. I have home field advantage and speakers. You are going to listen to stuff that you were not even born yet music. Him. Do you think I was born when that cello piece came out? Ok. I had to give him that one.

  • Still here. Finishing the move with a broken leg and a husband with dementia. 3 days waiting for Comcast. I now know the definition of true HELL. Will contribute more after a few bottles of Xanax and when I unpack the last box. Which will be never it seems. Missed being here in the right frame of mind. We lived in Chile when Lola came out and were stunned by the fact that nobody understood the words. It was really popular in night clubs. That and “Honey”. I believe she dies in that song, yet it was a great favorite and everybody knew the English words. Perhaps nobody bothered to translate them. The original “American Woman” too. Big favorites.

  • A man… interesting. Maybe he had to explain it more because I didn’t get it. Or, a neon sign with the lyrics written out might have worked. I hope you enjoyed the last drabs of your vacation.

  • Oh hell no. You did not just mess with The Kinks. Well, I’m a week late because I was also on vacation and seriously limited my use of the internet, and I’m sorry, but, seriously, do not fuck with me when it comes to The Kinks. And I’m disappointed that there seem to be some other fans of The Davies Brothers here who don’t know that these are the lyrics:

    But I know what I am and I’m glad I’m a man
    And so is Lola

    Is that better? There’s some clever ambiguity there–is Lola glad the singer’s a man or is Lola also a man? Maybe it’s both. It’s a mixed-up, muddled-up world and that’s the way it should be.
    And I’m glad you had a nice vacation.

By Michelle


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