Birthday or not, any year of Samara is worth celebrating

image The blog-o-sphere is like a train station, with hourly arrivals and departures we either connect with, make part of our routine or miss completely. When Samara pulled into my WordPress depot a few years ago, I knew hers was a crazy train offering stunning viewpoints as well as stretches of dangerous track. But I also knew no matter how close her stark honesty and razor-wire wit might come to causing a derailment, I could trust we’d always arrive safely at our destination because of her caring heart and adeptness as a writer.

So when I was invited to join other bloggers in wishing Samara a Happy Birthday today with a post — and a musical toast — I hopped aboard quickly. Although, to be honest, I would’ve been willing to steal a horse and gallop alongside in order to catch this train of well-wishers. That’s because I’m as much a fan and admirer of her blogger persona as I am of her person: devoted and kick-ass mother to equally kick-ass Little Dude; astute and introspective writer who can be simultaneously sarcasitc and warm, tough and vulnerable; and devoted friend to the coolest collection of “sisters” in the blog-o-sphere.

When it came to choosing a song that represented my thoughts of Samara, I knew it needed to be something a little edgy, classic and something which — like the birthday girl — had an underlying message of goodness beneath the bravado. Those who know me probably expected an AC/DC song. But when it came down to it, the opening lyrics to Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train” said it best:

Crazy, but that’s how it goes
Millions of people living as foes
Maybe it’s not too late
To learn how to love
And forget how to hate…

These words, in contrast to Osbourne’s driving vocals, represent Samara to me: Though the attitude is pure unapologetic hard rock, there is a softer message being delivered beneath the melody that is universal in its desire for something better — For all of us.

That’s why when I think of Samara, I think of “Crazy Train.”

Plus, I’ve heard she has a nice caboose.

Happy Birthday, Samara!


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Ned's Blog

I was a journalist, humor columnist, writer and editor at Siuslaw News for 23 years. The next chapter in my own writer’s journey is helping other writers prepare their manuscript for the road ahead. I'm married to the perfect woman, have four great kids, and a tenuous grip on my sanity...

39 thoughts on “Birthday or not, any year of Samara is worth celebrating”

  1. It’s really lovely to see the blogger love. Nicely done, Ned!

    Crazy Train is on a large rock playlist I’ve made for my son who has started asking for Rock songs. Turns out he likes the hard stuff 🙂

    1. Thanks, Ann 😉 I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to sing some praises for Samara.

      And it sounds like your son is definitely on the right track. Don’t forget “T.N.T.” which is the song that got me hooked on AC/DC!

    1. Thanks, Paul!
      (And I haven’t forgotten about your post at Cordelia’s Mom! So sorry it’s taken me so long. It’s been nutsville here the last few weeks. My apologies!)

          1. Just that you’re loved by me and and by all of us. You have to come back to the MandiCave soon. I have some of your friends on deck for next week.

            1. I truly appreciate that, Mandi. I’m flattered and honored to be thought of that way by such a terrific and talented group — And the feeling’s mutual 😉

              I’m looking forward to your next installment of the MandiCave, and making another visit there sometime!


    You’ve been a great friend to me, pretty much since I started blogging.
    You’re an incredible person, and I’m so glad we got to connect in the World Between the Wires.
    Little Dude and I may actually be in your neck of the woods around Christmas. Care to set another two plates for dinner?

    Thank you for this. I love you.

    P.S. I do have a nice caboose. Wooo, woo!

    1. Haha! I thought you might!

      Yes, I remember those early conversations well, and how impressed I was by your heart — in its conviction and concern. I continue to be impressed, and glad to call you a friend.

      As for Christmas, I always cook too much food. Tell Little Dude to bring his appetite.

  3. This is fabulous! 🙂 Unapologetic hard rock with a softer, universal melodic undertone… yep! The song and the birthday girl. Perfect. (Happy birthday, Samara!)

  4. I had to go check her out , read a couple of posts and now following! I am always looking for brave , honest women and if your birthday song is Crazy Train, well that pretty much sets it in stone. Your a stand up kinda guy Ned- nice shout out.

  5. This tribute was wonderful, Ned!
    Happy Birthday Samara! I absolutely love the song choice, too. The unapologetic rocker attitude wrapped within a softer package…er, nice caboose.
    Now, I’m gonna hop on the track and see if I can find the other birthday well-wishers.
    Love you both!!

  6. A new song to me, but actually just PERFECT, and such a wonderful way to celebrate the birthday girl. I’m just so psyched that this whole madcap idea went so well! Thank you for being part of it 😀

  7. I always thought the lyrics to that song were “Something something something on the crazy train.” And now I’ve spent a scintillating 15 minutes on the net trying to see if anyone else in the world thinks that the bass intro to “Crazy Train” sounds suspiciously like the bass intro to “Papa Was a Rolling Stone.” Apparently I’m all alone, on my own little crazy train.
    Happy day, Samara. Nice tribute, Ned.

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