‎"...a little 'trouty', but quite good" ~ Eve Kendall, North By Northwest

Saturday, May 31, 2008

freshening up a bit

I had a day of beauty last week. My husband stayed home with the kids while I primped and preened and restored myself to my former gloriously radiant self. After all, he married me because I am me (read: not a very good housekeeper) and so he should understand that I need to take certain steps every so often to maintain the me-ness which originally enraptured him.

In other words, I spent an entire day exploring a new town, going to a museum, having lunch, taking a dance class and oh yes, I got my brows waxed on a lark. I spent my day of beauty in Marblehead and Salem, which I now love very much. Salem is the home of the Peabody Essex Museum, which is in turn the home of Yin Yu Tang - a re-erected merchant's house brought from China. I didn't get there in time to see Yin Yu Tang as was too busy exploring coastal gardens and, uh, having my brows waxed. But I did see the two special exhibits Wedded Bliss: The Marriage of Art and Ceremony and Body Politics: Maori Tattoo Today. My favorite thing in the wedding exhibit was a piece called "Bride Fight." It's a plexi cube in which two wedding gowns and their accessories are frozen in space, caught in the act of tearing each other apart. It's fabulous - especially little details like a miniature satin glove holding a clump of perfectly coiffed hair. The thing I loved most about the Maori exhibit was absolutely everything. I even got to meet the curator (at the dance class - who knew?!?) and had the opportunity to wax typically poetic, spewing accolades such as "dude, that rocked." And then I threw myself on the ground in front of her (actually I almost did that accidentally in dance class).

In Marblehead I had coffee at Atomic Cafe, crashed a day spa called Dayles, and can't remember the name of where I had lunch, but it was delicious. I had dinner at Sticky Rice, and chatted with the owner who I had met earlier as he tended one of his farms. Can you imagine how impossibly fresh that food is? Oh, and I did a little shopping on Washington Street but don't tell Chris or he'll NEVER LET ME OUT OF THE HOUSE AGAIN.

...unless I'm looking a bit not myself, and then he may make me an appointment with a certain museum on the North Shore. Hopefully soon.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Rock Star

I think they're really asleep this time.

I have a couple of spare children here at the house having a slumber party while their Rock Star mama plays a gig. This is how I get my vicarious Hip Mom on. Since a little part of her is here at my house, then a little part of me is, by osmosis, shakin' its groove thing in a club.

Rock Star joined a new band recently and this is her second official show with them. I'm very excited for her and also very excited for me because this slumber party thing is really working out and may prove to be life changing. Tonight I babysit, tomorrow, the world.

It just occurred to me that most of the husbands-of-musicians I know show up at gigs pretty regularly, whereas the wives-of-musicians are a bit more scarce. I have no idea why this is. Any ideas? I will research. Which will require some nights out. Rock Star's husband is one of those princely fellows who is there to help wind cables and haul amps at the end of the night. He's also all "hey, that's MY WIFE you're oggling," which I think is sort of cute.

And speaking of such things, my new best friend Lindsay has just put up her blog - her really beautifully designed blog - Rock and Roll Mama. Her new blog is about keeping one's identity (specifically one's musical identity) after becoming a mom and I am very curious to see what she comes up with. This has been sort of a Theme and Variations around here, what with Rock Star kicking it up and the odd band making their way across our lawn from time to time, not to mention the occasional appearance of a sound board in our living room. We are, by the way, again unable to play ANY KIND OF MUSIC WHATSOEVER in our living room because Chris wandered off with the receiver.

And now I have to go make sure everyone's still in their own beds.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Wellfleet Beachcomber

The really really nice people at the beachcomber are letting me post on their blog: wellfleetbeachcomber.blogspot.com. They obviously haven't read any of my music reviews (see Cracker post, below) or they would never have let this happen.

Woohoo! We'll see how long I can keep it up before they notice what I'm really like.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Cracker

So there I am, right up front at the Cracker show and I am so distracted I cannot hear a single word. I am trying to wrap my brain around the possibility that while I was listening to the opening band, Lucy was sneaking out of bed, climbing out the bathroom window, hitching a ride to the club and DRESSING DAVID LOWERY. It is the only explanation for someone to be wearing a plaid tie with a checked shirt and a floral embroidered suede jacket.

Eventually I got over it and could concentrate on other things like the fact that the words I love are coming out of someone's mouth, and also what a beautiful guitar Johnny Hickman is playing (I noticed his guitar despite the fact that he's ridiculously charming on stage and makes one want to just gaze at him and say things like "oh, Johnny, you're sooooo dreamy").

I also noticed the bass player's tuning pegs (he would not hold still so I could get a photo) , and the drummer's hat. The hat was from the 40 watt, and if I had stuck around long enough to make a dork of myself fawning over their songwriting genius, I would have asked about the 40 watt, specifically if he's ever eaten at the Grit - because all signs seem to point to the Grit and I want to talk to someone who's eaten there before I break it to the kids that we're not going to Disney World this year either since mommy has to go eat at some restaurant in Athens, GA.

Now back to this dressing David Lowery thing. I have only been privy to female musicians deciding what to wear for shows, but I imagine men put some thought into it too, yes? I mean, they can't just go on tour and pull things out of their luggage/off their floor willy-nilly, right? Do they all go shopping together and say things like "I think it's a little too matchy, try the plaid one"?

I would have asked Chris these things but early on in the show I left the club, climbed back in a window, scaled the rafters and dropped to the floor just in front of the bass player - essentially ditching Chris back by the bar. I even tried texting him ("buy new cd, please"), but wouldn't you know there's no digital signal way out there in the dunes. Ironic how as a teenager I dreamed of being the girl up front/in the band room/ hanging out with musicians and now that I am that girl it is only by the grace of being married to Chris. Fortunately I didn't want to marry them, I just wanted a better view into their songwriting heads (I also like being where my feet go numb from the vibration of the floor).

I would have stuck around to adulate, except I had to leave during the last encore so I could make sure Lucy had made it home alright. Mothers of fashion consultants can't stay out all night, you know.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

breakfast

This morning I was looking at the two woodfired bowls sitting on the living room table and thinking about how we collect things and use them and love them but when the time comes to pass them along to our children it may turn out that they never really liked them, don't want them and will drop them off at the Salvation Army on their way to their new apartments. And I thought about how I picked out the bowls so we could use them now and appreciate them - not because they'll be worth something to someone on down the line.

Then Lucy's toe caught the edge of one of the bowls and despite the fact that it is built like a tank and I always thought I could drop it safely off the roof should the spirit ever move me to do so, I knew it was going to break as I watched it teeter off the table. Into about fifty pieces, as it turned out.

A little piece of my soul threw itself on the floor and kicked its feet while the rest of me went for the vacuum.

When I came through Lucy's room I noticed she was lying on her bed. "Did you put yourself in a time out?" I asked. She shook her head no and I saw that she was about to cry. "I really liked that bowl," she said.

We talked about stuff and how although we take good care of our stuff and appreciate that someone made it and it is beautiful, it is just stuff and is only as good as the use we put it to. In this house, given our fondness for food, it was put to very good use.

And hey, now I won't find it catching drips under a kitchen sink or being used to prop open a window when I go visit the kids' new apartments.

Friday, May 23, 2008

opening day

Today a man helped me to the car with a large piece of sound equipment. We had to take it out of the box so we could fit it in the trunk and then stood looking at the empty box. "Do you want it?" he asked. "You can cut some windows in it and rent it out for the weekend." Which I think was just his way of saying "I hope you're not taking Route 6 home because YOU ARE GOING NOWHERE."

Or in other words, it has begun.

I know this kind of traffic is normal for lots of people, but it is not normal for us and we have absolutely no idea what to do with it except honk and weep and sometimes bang our heads on the steering wheel. In places where there is heavy traffic year-round they have things like stoplights and extra lanes and air traffic controllers. Here, you just figure out how to spend the next three months without ever taking a left hand turn. And then the people who are trying to take a left hand turn will suddenly get fed up with it all and say "okay I AM GOING NOW." and they do, no matter what else is going on in the world. And you can't really blame them because if they waited for a break in traffic they would be there until labor day and the sound of the person behind them honking and weeping and banging her head on the steering wheel would maybe make them want to throw themselves into oncoming traffic. Which they do.

But there are bright sides to all this.
  • Mac's Shack is open.
  • There are many, many places to get fried onion rings in any width you could possibly desire.
  • Opening night at the Beachcomber was last night.
I love opening night at the Beachcomber more than puppies and baby bunnies combined. You see everyone you know and they really seem delighted to see you because it's been a long time since we talked to other human beings and, you know, any port in a storm. Last night I happened to say "how is that baby of yours" to the frontman of one of the bands in the line-up and the next thing I know he's got out his cell phone and is showing me twenty pictures of said baby.

I was feeling all nostalgic last night, thinking about all the things that have happened on opening weekends past. One of the bands on opening night a few years back announced our engagement. Then there were the large-with-child summers, followed by the large-with-mudslides summers and the summer we met our future friend-in-law. And then there was the summer we discovered our friend Steve was having a baby with someone nobody knew.

When I got home I stood at the end of my driveway for a moment, amazed that I could hear the ocean. And then I realized that my ENTIRE HEAD was ringing from the Greenheads set. They are the loudest band on earth and sometimes make my hair follicles bleed - a small price to pay to hear the ocean at the end of my driveway. Just think what kind of rent I can charge for that box I brought home.

insect midwifery and other acts of alchemy

I am here to say that I single-handedly produced a butterfly where once there was a caterpillar. And to think I almost failed biology.

The real miracle is that it didn't get its exquisitely delicate wings caught in the 16 feet of packing tape I used to secure the chrysalides to the top of the bug box. I can just imagine how that conversation would have gone. "Sweetie, of COURSE it will be fine with one wing!"

Lucy discovered the emerged butterfly first. She has been on Butterfly Watch practically since their arrival and has been recording their vital signs hourly - increased diameter, color change, rapid eye movement, etc. I kept trying not to ask "are they dead yet?" At one point she told me that if they didn't emerge now, they surely would turn into butterflies next year - just like some of those bulbs we planted. We would just put it in the garden and when the time was right - after months of beating sun and driving snow - it would get around to coming out. There's always an escape plan.

The remaining chrysalides look like there may be hope for them, too. If you look carefully, you can see the pattern of the wing inside (click on the image for a better look). I can't believe I am taking macro pictures of bug blobs.

Today a second butterfly appeared and we decided to let them both run free, before they got caught in the packing tape or tired of my delicious cooking (brown sugar and water, per instructions). We took the two bug boxes outside and opened them. The one pictured above was a little drunk on brown sugar water and wasn't interested in moving out. The one not pictured requested the portion of goods that fell to it and then wasted its substance on riotous living. I did not happen to have a camera handy to capture exactly what that looked like.

When last seen, both butterflies were fluttering gaily in the lilac bushes - where they were probably eaten by the chickens.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

the squeamish leprechaun

Mothers-in-law pass along many things - the perfect meatloaf recipe, a knowledge of traditional herbs, tips for making pie crust, whatever. My mother-in-law did not share recipes with me, but she did give me her ability to find four leaf clovers.

Familial lore says that one day my mother-in-law was dashing across a lawn trailing her 3 delightful offspring when she suddenly stopped, picked 3 four leaf clovers and gave one to each child.

I had never found a four leaf clover, until one day when I was taking baby Lucy for a walk in her stroller. Something caught my eye and lo and behold, there it was. And after that every time I took her for a walk I'd find at least one. It got sort of silly. I smashed clovers in all my biggest books - they still sometimes fall out when I'm not expecting them.

It may not seem like this is a valuable thing to pass from generation to generation, but I think it's rather like those vague biblical blessings and people killed each other for those so there's got to be something to them. I am pretty sure the import of this will present itself over the years and I am also pretty sure I am on the verge of something big.

I am on the verge of something big because today I found a FIVE LEAF CLOVER. Now don't go leaving me a comment about how it's actually a Barred Cinquefoil and not a clover because I found it and it's a clover just like all its little three-leafed neighbors. So there.

And speaking of things found in nature, there is once again way too much nature inside my house. I know it seems like I'm one of those moms who's all experiential and stuff and is all about growing brine shrimp (my first lesson on the legal system stemmed from my desire to sue the Sea Monkey people for false advertising), but I'm not. I'm not even the kind of mom who would get an ant farm or a worm village or a caterpillar transformation kit.

And yet that's what I have on my bookcase right now: a caterpillar transformation kit. Two, in fact. Lucy and Studley went to a birthday party on mothers day and to add insult to injury they came home with two bug boxes with a total of five caterpillars in them. That's right, by association I got bugs for Mothers Day.

I think caterpillars are fine, as long as they are the fuzzy ones that look like they belong in a Dr. Seuss book. I like my bugs to be cute, thank you. These are not cute. They are brown and lumpy. To make matters worse, once they wrapped themselves up in gross little bundles that look like the aftermath of a sneeze, I had to cut them free of their little cups, being careful not to dislodge them from the lids, and then tape them to the roofs of the bug boxes. I wanted to do this using one of those grabber things that people use to get things off of high shelves, but my kids were watching and I had to appear nonchalant, otherwise they will file away the information and chase me around the house with bugs for the rest of my life. Which would be short.

So in a few days we will have butterflies making their way out of chrysalides. And if they, perchance, find and eat my five leaf clover, I will smash them into my World Atlas where they will be preserved forever.

respectfully submitted,
Nature Girl

Monday, May 19, 2008

driving

Overheard just now on a playdate:

Littler friend (to Bigger Friend): Mommy, will you drive me to school now?
Bigger friend: No, you can drive yourself.
LF: But I'm too little!
BF: I don't want to drive you to school, so now you're in college.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Ellyn Weiss

The last few springs we've made a pilgrimage to our nation's lovely, cherry blossom-bestrewn capital. We don't make this pilgrimage because we are good citizens. We make it because we are unabashedly addicted to the National Air and Space Museum.

We missed the trip this year and now I'm REALLY TWEEKED about it because I just discovered Ellyn Weiss' blog about alternative art spaces in the DC area. Seriously, she could sell it as a how to/where to/why to find art in and around DC. When I get there next spring I am printing the whole silly thing out and writing dates and directions all over it. If you're already there, feel free to get started without me. I have to make a teeny stop at the NASM and then I'll be right along.

Missa Gaia

Last summer Curious George made an appearance at The Armchair Bookstore in Dennis. My kids like the Jack Johnson soundtrack, so I took them to meet the monkey.

I was all excited about getting a picture of the kids with George so I could check "take Christmas card photo" off my to-do list. We stood in line and it was fine. We got sort of close and it was sort of fine. When it was our turn the kids were paralytic with fear and would not respond to threats or bribery, nor could they be physically moved toward the 5' tall monkey because they were rooted to the ground never to move until he was safely back on a plane to New York.

I chalked it up to experience and then spent the rest of the summer shielding them from team mascots, fairground Sponge Bobs and a particularly frightening Disney Princess. All was well.

Except over the winter I forgot about this and went ahead and got tickets for the whole family to go see Missa Gaia. The next thing I know there's a 12 foot brother moon/woodland spirit/wiccan freaky thing LEANING OVER MY CHILDREN. I know I am sometimes prone to exaggeration, but it was really truly about 12 feet tall and it really truly did single out my children in a darkened theater (there weren't that many kids in attendance, making mine a tempting target).

Imagine my surprise when Lucy and Studley did not burrow into the seat cushions. And when a tree patted Lucy on the head with its long creaky-crookey branch arm, she did not throw up in my lap. Instead, they were enthralled.

It's a good thing they don't let you take pictures during these things because I would have missed it entirely due to the 5,000 pictures I'd take of the look on my kids' faces. The money shot was Studley sitting on his dad's lap - ramrod straight, unblinking, jaw slightly dropped. Chris' jaw was dropped slightly too, but that's because he was napping. I sort of wished one of those trees would come poke him in the head. Still, it wasn't as bad as that midnight Christmas service when he fell asleep and dropped his candle. We shan't be going back to that church again.

So I had never even heard of Living Arts Institute or Big and Small Mask Troupe but when I heard that Chatham Chorale was involved in a production called Missa Gaia, I figured how different from Missa Solemnis can it be?

Missa Solemnis: according to Wikipedia Beethoven referred to this as his finest work. I'm also pretty sure it's the first performance Boston Symphony did in their new Symphony Hall (in 1900), but can't seem to find proof of that in less than two minutes so you'll just have to believe me.

Missa Gaia: Think "Mannheim Steamroller celebrates Earth Day."

Chatham Chorale, plus dancing, plus really gigantic puppets... what's not to like? Curious George, we are so over you.





(adult human being in front of ridiculously large puppet)

Saturday, May 17, 2008

art tarts

I have been pondering the term Stay at Home Mom lately. At first I thought it was an oxymoron, since most of the moms I know are whirling dervishes of activity - school, ballet classes, soccer practice, playdates, zoo, groceries, library, hardware store, insane asylum - skidding into their driveways just in time to make dinner, administer baths and toss the kids in bed. Then I realized it's because when we want to go out, we find ourselves staying at home.

Unless we beg and plead and cajole, as I have this week.

This week I made it out to see "The Miser" in Dennis with my theater friend. We stopped at Gracie's Tables on the way and had snacks at the bar. I believe they are called Tapas, not Snacks, if one is to be all picky about it. Our snacks included banana fingerling tartiflette (which I order solely for the enjoyment of saying it out loud), some ridiculously yummy wild mushroom thing, pate (theater friend is a devotee of the organs of fowl) and something else I am forgetting entirely but which was delicious I am sure. I ran my theory by my friend and she replied that yes "stay at home mom" is an oxymoron for just about everyone except of course for that poor woman in the basement who was really the ultimate stay at home mom, at which point I watched Patatas Bravas come right out of a woman's nose a few seats down the bar. I was glad to see this as I had been wondering if she was listening. She then asked us which play we were going to see and where it was - perhaps so she could maybe go somewhere else.

We went to the play because a) we like going to plays, and b) my friend Cat was in it. I will go to pretty much anything Cat is in, including but not restricted to the occasional demolition derby - which she has been known to win. I can't tell you how knowing a Demolition Derby winner just makes my little heart sing with pride. She's also a radio personality and has interviewed my husband on the air. Not that an interview with my husband is anything at all like a demolition derby. I didn't mean to imply any such thing. Especially not last year's derby, in which Cat's car caught fire repeatedly.

Where was I? Right, the play. Cat very nearly stole it entirely. We tried to say hello afterwards but she was probably whisked out the back door into her waiting limo. Fame, it does such things.

And then because I was on a cultural roll and because I am working on my application for SAINTHOOD, I took Lucy to her friend's dance recital. And then because I have been so good all year and the universe owed me a little something pretty - the recital did not suck. No really, it didn't. In fact I'm all set to send Lucy to join her friend's class next year because unlike the one I just went to, I am pretty sure Lucy's recital is going to be nothing short of cataclysmic. We have not seen her NINETY DOLLAR costume yet and because there seem to be star-spangled tap dance moves involved I am just sure the costume will make her look like a very patriotic hooker. And then we'll get to buy the video so we can remember it always.

Speaking of recital videos, there was one playing in the lobby tonight of a past year's recital. There was a group of teenage girls clustered around it pointing to themselves and shrieking. One of them said "Oh my God I was so skinny then!" She is now a full size zero, I am sure. I cannot see the monitor from where I am standing and wonder to myself what she must have looked like when she was skinny. To no one in particular she continues "that was when I weighed 86 pounds."

This makes me think I should take Lucy out of dance class entirely. It's just wrong. But then we all file back in for the second half and it looks like so darn much fun I am not only back to enrolling Lucy, I'm thinking I should take some classes myself. Yes yes I am already taking a dance class but in THIS class I will weigh 86 pounds and look like THAT.

Or maybe I'll enter the demolition derby.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

emotional toast

I had a realization the other day involving Lucy and her uncanny ability to turn me into a complete lunatic. She's in that phase of Finding Her Boundaries and delights in doing things which make me turn that color she likes (magenta). And then I realized that she was doing exactly that - trying to turn me magenta - and when I realized it, it became sort of a game. She'd push my buttons and keep trying different combinations and waiting for the tumblers to fall into place while I hummed the theme to I Dream of Jeannie, which drove her insane. This was in itself completely worth the effort it took to keep humming.

It's worked great, until tonight. She was going through the motions of being in turns defiant/sassy/whiney/insert annoying behavior here and I was humming along to myself, barely holding on because she was really giving it her all this time, and then she said "you never help me." And I turned magenta.

"I spend most of my day helping you," I countered in a not completely mentally balanced tone. "I have given up just about everything I have done and been so I can spend my days helping you." As I went on (and on) in this vein I noticed movement in the corner of the room and realized Chris had come home and was standing in the kitchen with his jaw dropped.

Lucy stopped her sassy defiant whining and stared at me. And then she came over to be hugged. "I love helping you," I told her, "but it's like if you told me 'you never feed me dinner.' Would that be true?" She shook her head, eyes still saucer-like.

The thing with epic blowouts is that when the pieces fall back down to earth they don't land in the same place. Hopefully one has Feng Shui-ed the pieces while still airborne, making them land in better places. I think maybe this happened tonight. Oh sure she'll use the same line again when she wants me to blow up in that amusing fashion, but I'll know it's just a line. And she'll know, somewhere deep inside, that I love her more than all the late breakfasts, the f-word and anything else I may be currently forgoing.

At dinner she told me she loved me more than anything and I told her she could never know how much I love her. "Actually," I said, "someday you might have a baby of your own. And you will look at that baby and think, my mommy loves me this much."

And then she sang me a song that a mother sings to her child in a book they read at school. It is essentially "you will always be my baby and I will always love you."

"Yeah," she said. "It makes my teachers cry when they read it, too."

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Clutch: the meta-interview

Before I even had a chance to prostrate myself on their lawn, the new music/arts/life newspaper I mentioned earlier asked me, ASKED ME, if I wanted to write something for their first issue. And then, in a moment of shining glory attributed to either synchronicity or sheer dumb luck, I scored an interview with the bass player from Clutch, Dan Maines. I'm submitting that story tomorrow, but there's just oh-so-much-more to the story - after all, what kind of story would it be if it went smoothly and without near-apocalyptic mishaps? Here's the Too Embarrassing for Publication version of how my interview with Dan Maines went.

The night before the interview Chris set up his Google Grand Central account so I could connect the call to Dan through Grand Central and then record it. We practiced on my brother-in-law, making several attempts and then finally figuring it out. As if by magic, an audio file shows up in our inbox when we end the call. Smooooooth. Smooth, that is, when it works.

It didn't.

I probably sounded like I was on amphetamines in the interview because I was babysitting a couple of extra kids and I had something like 4 minutes and 53 seconds before they realized I Was Not Available and started poking each other with screwdrivers.

Right off the bat I thought I was going to have a Deep and Meaningful conversation about music sharing and intellectual property (they allow recording at their shows and there's a venue for tape-trading on their authorized website). This is something that interests me and I'm always curious to hear where artists come in on the question. I asked him about it and he essentially said (faux quote) We're okay with taping, but don't really have much to do with it (end faux quote). And then I moved on because this is not a conversation it is a mission - a mission which must be completed before three children discover the box of matches.

I think I need to use faux quotes since I didn't tape the conversation on taping.

Clutch has been around for nearly 20 years. That's a long dang time to play some of the same songs and I would think that playing a song over and over again for 20 years would make you want to bang your head on something or maybe throw some bottles. Now that I think about it, we're talking about Clutch here and I suppose both activities are not out of the question (I've heard tales). Bottle throwing and head banging aside, Dan told me they change up the set lists quite a bit. He refers to Fugazi shows (I didn't go as was having tea with my mother that day), where they pretty much shout out songs to play as they go. "It makes the set less robotic," says Dan.

He also told me a bit about playing with Bad Brains in Atlantic City August 2nd. Bad Brains, as it turns out, is a big reason he knew he wanted to play in a band. I don't have a good question to ask after he tells me this because I am trying to stop myself from saying “omg, did you just Pee Your Pants when you found out you were going to be playing with them?” I may actually have clapped my hand over my mouth and held the phone at a safe distance to keep from saying it. Because really, rule number one may possibly be Do Not Ask Rock Star About Pant-Peeing.

And then I had to stop asking questions because there was a dental floss related incident which required my immediate attention. Fortunately I caught it before the kids completely encapsulated themselves in floss, to emerge later as butterflies.

When we finished talking I turned around and discovered the children swimming in packing peanuts. So I did the most professional thing I could think of, which was to take a picture of them and send it to Dan's wife. Dan's wife is Rock & Roll Mama, about whom you'll be hearing more because she's a writer who is up to great things. I just used the word "whom" in a post about Clutch.

For the interview I wore my fuschia Dior by John Galliano dress and an elegant yet understated updo. I forgot to ask Dan what he was wearing.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Second Annual Mother's Day Post

Good morning, all you mothers and non-mothers.

I'm on the couch at an absurdly early hour of the morning, considering that today I am supposed to be sleeping in. On the bright side, Chris is making pancakes and Lucy is putting the finishing touches on my noodle necklace. Studley hasn't yet grasped the concept of kissing up to mom yet and sneezed on me this morning. Which is why I got up, now that I think about it. There are some battles just not worth fighting.

So yesterday my sister introduced me to my new best friend, Rock & Roll Mama. We didn't get to meet each other in person, but we had both done some internet stalking and thanks to the wonders of Google had essentially already been out to coffee and on a few playdates by the time we talked on the phone. She googled me and found a picture of someone standing on a boat flipping the bird. It's not me in the picture, but I thought it was a nice introduction. I will tell you more about how my own googling went in a future post.

We chatted about the very real danger of losing one's music identity when babies arrive and take over most of one's life and a gigantic portion of one's brain. One day you're all Smashing Pumpkins and the next thing you know you're singing Five Little Pumpkins Sitting on a Fence. It's insidious.

And in other music news, Chris went to the Iron Horse in Northampton with Patty Larkin last night. On the way home they thought they'd listen to the cd from the opening band. So Patty rumaged around in the dark and popped in the cd, but instead of:
On A New York Night
You Tasted Someone Else’s Smile
Once you cross that line
You couldn’t help but kiss her twice
And isn’t it nice
To have
A secret of your own
When you’re alone
(Julie Loyd)

they heard:
Hello, everybody, so glad to see you
Hello, everybody, we're so glad to see you
(Music Together)

These are the dangers of motherhood. Be very, very afraid (and enjoy those runny eggs and spilled o.j. in bed).

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

professional life

So tonight I threw down a total hissy fit about how I had these two big deadlines and had to get things in the mail tomorrow and blah blah blah and then I barked out some marching orders and retired to "the office" which is only differentiated from the rest of the livingroom by the fact that it is substantially messier.

In the office, where I made faster headway than I anticipated, I listened to Chris talk on the phone to a potential new client/venue/fodder-for-our-vanity from the comfort of the couch, where I had exiled him. I listen to him use all his fancy industry talk and tried not to ask stupid questions. He spoke about things like their "target" which is of course where I get summer shoes for the kids and Method cleaning products. I don't think he meant that.

I heard him say, "well it's crunch time around here, I think we're going to have to pass this month but count us onboard for next month."

"WHAT?!?!" I shouted from the office.

"Strike that," he says. "We'll get you something early next week."

Deadlines are things you complain about when you don't want to make dinner and aren't in the mood to go out for cocktails with those boring people down the street. Deadlines should never come between the deadliner and a fun new project. And heck, our new deadline is DAYS after the looming deadlines.

And sleep? Totally overrated.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

smelly

You know when you hear a bit of a song and you know that you know it but can't quite come up with what it is? I had that happen at symphony. Except instead of "Name that Tune" (which would have been easy, seeing as it was symphony and I had a program in my lap), it was "Name that Perfume."

The woman next to me was wearing something I wore and discarded many years ago. I sat there and rifled through familiar scents, trying to narrow it down. And then I started to recall where I was and how I was feeling, and yes, even what I was wearing when I wore it. It was so vivid, I nearly hit the invisible buzzer, jumped up in the middle of Beethoven's Piano Concerto and shouted "Paloma Picasso!" Do they still make Paloma Picasso?

I bought a bottle of Paloma Picasso at Saks Fifth Avenue many moons ago. It did not come to be mine completely legitimately.

That was the summer when Mr. Millionaire was trying to buy my affections (if not actually trying to buy ME). I was in his city on a work related trip and he had offered to take me to dinner. He did not especially like the linen suit I was wearing and so we went to dinner by way of Saks, where he picked up a very tasteful dress, purse and shoes for me. I am not sure how this was okay, but I hadn't taken up kickboxing yet so I went with it.

We went to dinner and as I oggled the delicious, delicious, delicious things on the menu I heard him say "and the lady will have..." I nearly dropped my fois gras. I don't know about everyone else out there, but I've been dressing myself and feeding myself for a really long time and seriously, what's up with that?

Anyway, we had dinner. And then over dessert, when I had pretty much stopped listening, he said "your parents would love me as a son-in-law." I did not drop my dessert fork because I never, ever drop my dessert fork. But I was very confused. After all, we had spent a total of maybe ten days together, spread out over several months. And because it was late and I was tired and confused I started to think about what it would be like to marry Mr. Millionaire. I could go to ballet classes all week. I could join the Symphony Guild. I could meet other women who were in similar positions and I might like some of them. We could have lunch. And oh by the way I'd have to acquire a bit of a drinking problem so I could deal with being married to Mr. Millionaire. After all, shaken or stirred might be the only decision I was able to make for myself.

I flew home and went straight to Saks, where I returned the purse and exchanged it for the perfume and a pair of Betsey Johnson pants. I loved those pants.

The funny thing is, I remembered all this while I was at symphony, feeling a little sore from my dance class. I have met women who are in similar situations to mine - many of whom I like. We have lunch. I also have 40 tomato plants in my livingroom, chickens in the yard and a band in the basement. Most importantly, I have a husband who has not yet driven me to drink.

And that, my friends, is my review of today's performance.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

lunch and laundry

Yesterday Fairy Queen called Chris at work for technical support. He was, as we all have suspected for years, out to lunch. Fairy Queen reported to me that Chris had ordered brown rice with broccoli and tempeh.

Who eats brown rice, broccoli and tempeh on purpose and voluntarily? We decided that Chris would be happiest living in a commune in the '70s. By "we" I mean "I." As soon as it was out of my mouth I caught Fairy Queen casting a furtive glance around my livingroom.

Okay, so he does live in a '70s commune. There are now eight people living here, plus guests. I have a table in the livingroom jammed full of vegetable seedlings. There's a pot of curry on the stove and of course there's Rainbow, Delilah, Cassidy and Dharma out in their coop. I think it might be time to give up my current job and start making bayberry candles.

Bearing all this in mind, consider my surprise when my presence was requested for a design consultation at my local church. They said "we want people to feel at home here. Don't you think we should make it look more homey?" So I reached in my pocket, found a pair of Studley's dirty socks and tossed them on the floor.

Chris orders brown rice and tempeh. I have dirty socks in my pocket. We are one dreamy couple.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

music news

So here I am, slogging through some of the more tedious parts of my job, and up pops an email from a new (so new, in fact, that it does not yet exist) local music/arts/life newspaper thingy. It's called C.O.D. and is described as being like the Phoenix (specifically, the old Phoenix). I love the Phoenix.

I have been derailed by less. I prowled through the media kit and tried to go to their website, but again, it is so new as to not actually exist yet.

Why am I so excited about this? Chris used to have a music magazine - an indie rag that had a bit of a local cult following. I don't mean that the local cults* followed it. I don't think it's especially up their alley.

Chris wants to throw himself, and me by association, back into the publishing business and I cannot in polite words tell you how not onboard I am with the whole harebrained idea. For starters, we have the business acumen of an empty stapler. I think actually that's my whole argument. That business thing. I would probably give the thing away within the first week to a bunch of good causes and a few nice people who just happened to be walking by at the moment.

So now someone else is starting C.O.D. and I will sleep better knowing that the looming void of art & music coverage is being filled, and not by us. We will, however, send them submissions daily until they finally agree to publish us. If you see articles with outlandish pseudonyms on things like which art openings have the best food and which local musicians know all the words to the songs in Sound ofMusic, you'll know who wrote them.

*For more information on our local cults, you'll have to pick up a copy of the Cape Cod Voice.