My wife can't stand Barbra Streisand. But she has sparked a Babs renaissance by asking for a whole shitload of Streisand for the idea for another novel. I combed through what I have imported into iTunes, conferred with a friend of mine about what would be good for her story and in so doing, realized that Barbra Streisand's Greatest Hits was NOT imported into iTunes. I mean, seriously. How did that happen? (answer: most of the songs are on other albums already imported.)
Anyway, listening to all that trying to figure out what to send her without making her barf all over her iMac got me listening to "Don't Rain On My Parade" which serves as the end of the first act of Funny Girl. I always loved the movie version of that song - so full of bombast and drama, just like any song that finishes the first act of a show should be (see: "Defying Gravity" from Wicked.) It reminds me of a lot of things, but what "Don't Rain On My Parade" always seems to remind me of most is biochemistry.
I took biochemistry at the University of Iowa in the fall of 1992. It met at 8:30AM on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Back in those days, 8:30 was the crack of dawn for me and I remember vividly saying "I will NEVER have a job that requires me to be to work at 8:30 AM" which cracks me up because by 8:30 at my current job, I've frequently put in 90 minutes of work already. I also hated biochemistry with a passion. It was all catalytic reactions and ATP and enzymes and I just didn't care about chiral sugars and guanido compounds, especially not at 8:30 in the morning.
In the fall of 1992, I was also very lonely. I had transferred to the U of I to go to pharmacy school, knew practically no one and because I felt so fish out of water, I was not the best at making friends. I did eventually meet people, but in the run up tot hat, I took a lot of solace in "Don't Rain On My Parade," especially the "I'm gonna live and live now" part. I even named one of my typewritten journals "Live and Live Now!" and yes, they are as painful to read as you might imagine. But that's being too hard on the 20 year-old me. I have to be nice to him because he is a part of the 37 year-old me.
And he's also the one that heard, thanks to biochemistry, what actually is "nobody, no nobody is gonna rain on my parade!" as "guanido nobody is gonna rain on my parade." Listen, it's at 2:47 here (but start at 2:41 - it's so damn dramatic!!)
It totally sounds like it. Of course, I didn't think that was what she was ACTUALLY singing, but it sure sounded like it.
And that, my friends, is purely and uniquely Dan. As I have said before, this is my brain. It's a lovely place to visit, but I get to live there.