Driving Lorelei to a slumber party, unsure if the address I have is correct.
Me: HeyLo, do you know if Lydia lives in Ava’s neighborhood, where we went to Girl Scouts at that school last year?
Lo: Uh, I dunno.
Me, driving down the street: Does this look familiar at all?
Lo: Uh, I dunno.
Me: You’ve been to Lydia’s a couple times, right?
Me, pulling up to a brown house associated with the address I think it is: Is this it?
Lo: I dunno. I’ll ring and ask if Lydia lives here.
Jack, in the same scenario set up.
Me: Hey Jack, do you know if your friend lives in that neighborhood we went to that park once last year that had a zipline at it?
Jack: Yes, you go down that street that has Price Chopper, and then you turn right on the street where Aaron, my friend from pre-school we once had a playdate at his house lives, then you take a left at that big house with the old car in front. I’m pretty sure the house we’re going to used to be painted blue, but I think they painted it brown last year.
I’ve been sad all day thinking of Adam Yauch’s passing, which is somewhat abnormal for me since I typically just have the brief shock one feels upon hearing about a death. I didn’t know the guy, and never really closely followed his charities and whatnot. I knew he had cancer but to be honest I had thought he’d beaten it. And why wouldn’t he, he’s amazing, right? So like most Americans in my generation, I started a rotation of songs immediately upon hearing about it, because that’s what one does. And as I was driving today it hit me right about the instant Lando barked back to the opening of Sure Shot that for over 15 years now, thinking of the Beasties has been directly correlated to remembering my group of friends in college who were themselves a version of Beastie Boys (replete with Halloween Intergalactic costuming [I'd pay obscene amounts of money for the pictures that were lost on my hard drive]). Like a date stamp on the albums, I can instantly recall hundreds of memories involving the progression of time from dorm to off-campus housing to marriages and kids. Ryan in particular is closely correlated in my mind, obviously, because he was integral to that group and his date stamp cut off suddenly and unforgivably.
But my lingering sadness is not just for lives cut short, it’s from realizing I’ve always been oddly comforted when escaping into the music of a group that epitomized invincibility, because until Ryan wasn’t invincible, he was, and there’s safety in that being remembered like that. But now even they are proving fallible, and that scares me a little.
Because that makes my nostalgia that much sharper-edged, and that makes me sad.
Hi friends, do you love my bolstered promise to write more.. four months ago? Ha. Hahaha… aaaah. Yeah. Sorry about that. The road to hell and all that.
It’s interesting to me: I’ve managed to purposely carve some time to write into my life. Specifically carved it out. And yet I avoid the computer like it’s a term paper I know I can and should do, but just don’t feel like yet. Obviously I can’t find my mojo – as apparent from my post in December about this very reticence, and the subsequent complete inability to do what I swore I would. Sometimes I feel like my whole life is comparable to when I’m reading bedtime stories: I’m observably reading with appropriate voices and inflection, but inside my head I’m making a grocery list or thinking about work. It’s passable for the purpose of reading, but it’s definitely not authentic or engaged. Days pass and I am functionally showered and smiling and social, but when I crawl into bed I feel like I was on autopilot, and nothing much made an impression. Woosh, a whole day totally without meaning. And that’s not always bad, but it’s not what I want. I have always wanted to refuse to be that person who woke up one day and realized X amount of time had passed without appreciating it. And I have lofty (re:future) goals of betterment and growth and joyfulness, but good grief the high-minded self-evolution stuff can be hard to incorporate into mundane breakfasts, conference calls and IEP meetings.
I want to be the zen hippie with ashram calm without giving up my fast food mindset, and the two are antithetical. But I’m feeling the uncomfortable itch that precedes change, so I’ll let you know when I find peace.
Moving on to something more pleasant, I got to cross a huge event off my bucket list recently. I’ve been a Radiohead fan for forever, and when they came to town last month I pretty much made that a non-negotiable date for poor Brandon. Good guy, that one. And the funny thing is that leading up to it, I tried to pretend how much I wasn’t desperately hoping, praying, they’d play songs from their earlier albums. To acknowledge just how much pressure was on the band to fulfill my internal musical montage, as most of my major adult life events included Radiohead in the soundtrack.
So as the concert progressed and each song passed, I became more and more worried they’d totally skip The Bends and OK Computer. I’m not going to lie it was conflicting to know this was my mecca trip, and yet I felt disappointed. I thought I might actually (ridiculously, I fully admit) cry that they would leave me with nothing until it came time for the second encore*, when they honored my literal begging for just one more song, and came back out to strum the first chord for ‘Paranoid Android’.
Holy hell I have never come as unglued at a concert as I did right then, I swear to God. And I wasn’t even high.
And though I attempted to video some of the earlier songs like the nerdo I am, I know from experience that I am a sucky videographer (and always manage to tape myself singing), so I chose to just enjoy that moment, in that moment. I regret that now, though, because it was fleeting and I would like the memory recorded. Perhaps that’s why I’m having a hard time grasping the Buddhist principles. Heh.
But I did get most of ‘Weird Fishes/Arpeggi’ from In Rainbows, and despite that I was in the thousandth row, if you close you’re eyes you might be able to imagine how amazing the experience was for me.
P.S. * Encores are awkward and embarrassing for everyone. We know you’re going to come back out, you know you’re going to come back out. Why not just tell the audience you have to use the bathroom and get a drink? The faux pretending** is so weird, and I’m continually surprised that every single band I see plays into it.
I know music hipsters are over Adele (if they even admitted to listening to her), but I’m a sucker for all versions of this song.
Every once in a while I mungle on to my blog and think about writing something. But with each passing year I’ve noticed my thoughts becoming truncated down from thoughtful post to clever Facebook status to clumsy tweet. Luckily I don’t have the patience for Twitter, or my brain would be reduced to a vacuum of white noise.
Part of the reason I haven’t blogged as much as I used to is that I don’t have the luxury of time like I did when I stayed home with the kids. When my days were mostly homebound with Jack, and my thoughts were mostly centered on new motherhood and the universe we lived in. It was a blissfully innocent time then, despite wading through the world of autism, and on my most mentally tired days now I sometimes find myself wistful for the simplicity I had then. Which, please don’t mistake for me saying I want to go back – I don’t.
Had there been any doubt in my choice to leave (and there wasn’t), it was brick and mortared this last year. And then soldered in adamantium and buried in the middle of the earth.
No, what I wish is that this wave would stop fucking moving, so that I could finally slow down and try to find that focus again; figure out what percentage of me can be devoted to what and whom, and then settle back down again. I miss the freedom I had then to feel passion about parenting. Or anything to be honest. I want to think about my family’s nutrition again. I’d like to maybe take a cooking class – I’m about a decade too old to cop-out on my inability to cook functionally. I want to read books and participate in my book club more than perfunctorily. I want to be able to invest time in being a doula again. Or find a writers group or volunteer program or anything that I know I once had the energy for, and would be something that makes me feel less like my days are spent just trying to focus on the next bright spot.
I know that part of the reason I don’t write more is that it’s harder to know where I stand with my audience. A good friend is going through a messy divorce, and I’m reminded again that everything involved in that – whether there’s drama tagged along or not – is like being turned inside out for all to see. (And evaluate and opine on.) A time when people will call you for coffee just so they can look you in the eye and tell you what a horrible person you are. AS IF the previous 10, 20, 30 years of being an acceptably good person suddenly carries no weight once you cross a line they draw in the sand. I still can’t get over the entitlement, and it’s been years since I separated. I had a blog for years before anyone gave much of a rats ass about my choices, and the self-centeredness that is inherent in blogging was fine then, because I obviously didn’t have as much to worry about. And aside from the ongoing legal shit
(because hey, let’s drag this out for another year! Let’s make attorney fees in the TWENTIES OF THOUSANDS, SHALL WE? Hooray!),
I don’t have anything to hide now. But I am tired and wary. And unsure if I even WANT to entertain anyone with my thoughts, if doing so leaves me open to the same criticism now that I apparently didn’t deserve then.
Except I need to, because when I do every once in a while mungle on the blog, I read old posts I had totally and utterly forgotten about. Things I simply would not have remembered had I not written it down out of SAHM boredom. So even though my life is infinitely busier and more stressful, I know I will regret it if I stop writing altogether just because it takes energy and time I may not have currently. If I were to create a timeline of my real life vs what you’re seeing on the blog, it’s ridiculous how much is missing. I think 11 posts in all of 2011 demonstrates that. Hell, I got married in July and am just now mentioning it. Why? Because I couldn’t decide whether to shit or get off the pot with this thing, as it limped along not being anything real.
Therefore I am officially, publicly committed to writing more. My family deserves it as an amazingly technological record-keeping tool, if nothing else. Plus my memory is beginning to suck, and though I may not have the luxury or innocence to while away my days like I once did, it doesn’t mean life isn’t going by just as quickly and without worthiness of preservation. So at least twice a week. To start. And that makes me excited, having an excuse to make myself do something that once brought catharsis if not happiness.
The gossip fodder is just an added benefit of course, but mostly it’s about the kids. Our family.
It was one of the coolest live songs I’ve ever seen – nine guys playing a total wall of sound.
If you don’t know of them yet, get on it. However, if you decide to go to a concert, you’ll need to find some ill-fitting 70s thrift store clothing, and grow your beard out (and get some Buddy Holly glasses) before you go – otherwise you’ll never be hipster enough to appreciate teh cool. I persevered, but it was rough: Hipsters can give a mean stinkeye if they think you might be encroaching on their elitist stronghold, but the truth is if you only cheer for the song when the words begin, and not during the first three bars of music, you’re a poseur.
3:41 – I take Lo to a friend’s while we drive downtown to get Brandon.
3:42 – Jack starts reading his book.
3:43 – 4:18 **crickets**
4:19 – Jack shuts his book.
4:19:03 – Jack says:
“Hey Mom did you know Cooper gave me a Pokemon card today? Cooper D___ from Cub Scouts? You know, Cooper D___ from school? He gave me one of his older ones but it’s still in pretty good condition. The card is Shivy, I think. I think it’s called Shivy, and it does 20 damage. They all have different names and powers and stuff. Here, Mom, see, if you look in the right corner you’ll what all you can do with it. And on the bottom, too, I think. I think I’m going to see if Brandon wants to get some cards and learn to play it with me; you and Lorelei can play it too if you want, but it’s OK if you don’t want because I know sometimes you ladies want to do other things than do what Brandon and I do, like play video games and stuff. I wonder how much these cards are more expensive than like, my mini figures and stuff. I should probably look on eBay to see how much they are because if they’re like, a dollar or something, I probably would save my tokens and spend them on Pokemon cards instead of video game time. I don’t think I’m going to play video games until like, Sunday, so I can read about Pokemon and how to play and how much the cards are and stuff. Do you think your friends’ kids want to have a playdate this weekend to play Pokemon? I bet if they’re older than me, like say 10, they probably would know more about Pokemon and how it works and the best cards to get. They probably could tell me how they got started and what cards are best and stuff. So you should probably call your friends and see if they want to play. Are they brothers or twins, these boys who play Pokemon? Do they have little sisters that might want to play with Lorelei, because I don’t think she will want to play Pokemon yet, I just don’t think she cares much about cards and stuff. Cooper gave this to me today at recess when we were done playing soccer. The teachers sometimes divide us up on to teams and we count off to make two teams and today Pedro Jose was on my team and he’s really good. I don’t think I want to play soccer again next year because I just like playing at recess but not for like, a real game and stuff. I wonder if it’s very expensive to get into Pokemon or if I’ll have to save up like I do for my Legos sometimes. I think maybe tonight when we’re done with dinner I should go on to the computer and check eBay to see how much the cards are to start so I know how many tokens to save. I think you can get these cards at Target and card shops and stuff, but I think we should see how much they cost first, but I bet Brandon will be excited to play with me because he likes this kind of thing I think. Right, Mom?”
4:23:05 – Jack takes a second breath.
4:23:07 – I smile.
4:23:08 – My head begins to pound a little behind my left eye.