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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.

I managed to.. hmm… bumrush an old friend, Anthony, into being a ‘jailbird’ for me when I was doing my stint at MDA, and now he needs to raise donations because he’s a nice guy (and happens to work in the call city I worked on). I had thought his company would just make a donation but, uh, I guess not. Zoinks.

So do me a favor friends o’mine and go here, to his donation page, and give him a dollar for me? Por favor? It’s for a good cause, all the money goes to the kids locally, and if he raises the full bail he gets a trip to Vegas, so I’d like to repay the favor for helping me out.

Thanks~

Hope you are all safe and happy this season~

xoxo

Let’s Myrtle and Minerva it this weekend. Boones and skittles on the Plaza?

Hawt.

It was sunny EVERY SINGLE day. (That’s so ironic it’s.. bah.)

Whatever, the trip rocked.

We listened to some Pharoahe Monch.

We saw/visited/ate at the Space Needle, EMP, a Sonics game, the ferry to Bainbridge Island, some seafood and sushi restaurants, Salumi, Seattle Center, Pike Place Market, the Aquarium, Volunteer Park, a jazz/rock show by Crack Sabbath and U of WA.

We took pictures, and you can see it all here. 😉

But that’s all I gots today, friends. I am stupidly exhausted and spending time with the kidlets.

Happy Monday!

I remembered Sara (aka Tuck or Sugar)’s birthday in advance. Huzzah!

I hope you have a wonderful day, amiga. You deserve it. 😉

Happy Birthday!

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For the love of all that is holy I wish I had thought about that before I posted that picture. I figured the whole doula/Bradley thing might have bought me some credence, but I guess not. You all must not have read the last 6 month’s worth of me saying I think today I might lose my mind.

(Trust me, if’n we ever make that decision, surely you will have heard me debate it with all of myselves on here first.)

So, happy Monday! I had such a fun weekend. Here’s why:

1) We leave for Seattle in two days. TO DRINK AND EAT SUSHI. I CAN’T BE PREGNANT, SEE.

2) On Friday, after the kids were down, I stepped out for a bit to see a friend in town (Jimmy aka Jim, Jimmy James, Leggs), and to have adult conversation for an hour on a crazy day. Thank you Jon, I appreciate it greatly.

3) Our good friend from college, Brandi, sent me the German goods – chocolate and ear plugs. Behold:

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Now, I don’t speak German. But I do know that one of the ingredients listed on the back of that manna from heaven is Butterfett, which, despite my attempt otherwise to be ignorant, I know is the cognate it looks like. But oh man is that Butterfett good stuff. And the earplugs were sent in reference to my mentioning needing them for sensory overload in every day life, but the timing of those babies (which, ironically, I thought they were condoms at first) is poyfect, because when I really need them is for the flight.

Very thoughtful of you, Freund. Danke

4) Some more good friends, our beloved Sam & Misty, were also in town. On Saturday, Brandon, Jon and I walked 5 blocks in a stupid downpour to go to a crazy-fun new dueling piano bar called Howl At The Moon located in the starting-to-be-revitalized downtown area called the Power and Light District. The main musician (Ryan McCall, go see him and tip well) who plays is good friends with Sam & Mist, so we went to hear him and see them. Unfortunately, the three of us were the only idiots in all of KC who a) didn’t park in the attached parking garage, and b) couldn’t be bothered to bring an umbrella.

(How do you say drowned rat in German?)

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We missed Misty and Jamie, Ryan’s wife, by about 20 minutes, but luckily M&S stopped by last night to hang and talk babies (hers, not mine, see) and politics. Holy batman I adore them and sorely miss New York. In fact I may still accidentally get on a flight heading East on Wednesday. It’s a strong pull. It’s also a testament of my adoration that I’m going to post a horrible picture, but only b/c every time they come into town, the pictures of Misty never come out. So, be so amazed by my bravery and their beauty you just skim over it, mmkay?

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Finally, to cap off my weekend, M&S brought me a sweet purse bought on the actual streets of New York. I have no idea if it’s real, stolen, knock-off or not supposed to be, but I lurve it. Again, thank you friends.

Fo’ real, I am very blessed to have such wonderful people in my life. I appreciate and love you all, and will moreso when we start curbing the procreating rumors.

xoxo

Happy Valentine’s Day, you little fart. Muahahaha.

(Side note: I think it’s a sign of seriously, seriously warped thinking that I saw it will hit 42° today and was excited. A warm streak! …Wait…)

How is everyone today? We’re well enough. We have T-minus one week until we leave, and not a moment too soon. I’m already in preparation mode, but despite the things I am thisclose to forgetting (like a playdate tomorrow and the fact Jack has a school conference today), I realized this week has been quite the media-filled one for me, so I’ll talk about that instead.

First, we have finally tasted the cocaine that is The Wire (pun obviously intended), and are now planning mid-week showings with Brandon, because waiting even a day after the Netflix gods have supplied the goods is just not an option. Those who think I’m being hyperbolic obviously know nothing about need. Fo’ real, the show is amazing. We’re currently DVRing this season, and will get through the first 5(?) seasons as quickly as humanly possible. Crack, yo.

I also finished Running With Scissors earlier in the week, and I am thankful it wasn’t as disturbing as I had feared. I think that’s more the author’s detached-but-obviously-survived voice that makes reading the account manageable. It’s so beyond comprehension that the unemotional narrative lends the reader -or at least me- the ability to choose to distance themselves also, as if it were simply fiction and not a memoir. At any rate, I’m glad I read it, I think life stories are fascinating. (Oh, and I’m almost done with Cholera, and it’s picking up, so that’s a good sign. And for those of you who are internally parenting me with questions about my Bradley work – I have one book report left. Trust me, you’ll know when that’s done.)

I’ve also been drowning myself in new music lately, which has been both overwhelming and very fulfilling. I dig discovering new things to love and add to my impossibly long and contradictory ‘favorite’ list. I tend to be the kind of person who listens to things for like.. weeks.. at a time, then up and moves on. So recently my brain has been a little frantic trying to decide what it wants to perseverate on, ha. That said, Jon bought an album from The Editors (An End Has A Start) and it’s been sort of relieving to listen to it, because it doesn’t bend any comfort levels for me. It’s not amazing, though it’s not bad at all. I’ve said before it’s like Michael Stipe’s less-angsty brother. Anyhoo, I know I’ve posted this song (Smokers Outside the Hospital Doors) before, but I think it’s the best one on the album. Listen, purchase, thank me later.

And that’s about it. Lo took a dive off the stairs while I was brushing my teeth this morning, and looks just awesome with the knot right in the middle of her inherited, gargantuan forehead. Please don’t call CPS, I don’t feel like being flagged for the no-vax thing. 😉 But obviously the drama is not lost on the child, so I imagine she’ll survive.

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I kid. I don’t really care, though I’ve heard those die-hard Dolphin fans are pretty annoying about that record, and I do feel kind of badly that they’ll still have a one-up barb against the Pats. (Kind of like some KU people I know.. Ha.)

We attended a party last night, and although I was super tired, I was pleasantly surprised at how well Jack did. He was still kinda quirky, but not too much, and really, he handled all sorts of new people talking to him like a champ. I’d had a conversation yesterday where the idea of Zoloft (or likewise) was mentioned as something to think about, but last night sort of solidified my instinct that it’s just not what he needs right now. Though I do think I should talk to his teachers and see if they have any ideas on fresh ways to navigate whatever stage we’re in that I’m not understanding. This whole thing is humbling, I tell you. Love ain’t always enough, people.

So I had started reading ‘Love In The Time Of Cholera’ by Marquez, b/c I had loved his other work so much, and at first I really dug it. But I have had simply the hardest time staying focused, which, unless I’m reading.. a book on calculus.. just isn’t like me. I’m sure I’ll finish it, b/c I’m stubborn and I really believe there has to be a major event to tie this exceedingly-long development, but my heart just isn’t in it currently. BUT, I did find in the morass of my dresser-top the other book I purchased at the same time, a memoir called Running With Scissors, and I read a couple chapters last night. Wow. It’s pretty fascinating so far. I purposely haven’t read a whole lot about it, but I seem to think I’ve heard it’s disturbing, so I’m a little wary. But, like I said, it’s really interesting, and I know it’s on the must-read list, so there you go. I’ll let you know what I think when I finish it. (And Cholera, to be fair).

And thus ends my usual disjointed Monday post. I hope yinz (holla Jen-nay! You’re rubbing off on me!) had a good weekend. Tomorrow I’ll post a special youtubetuesday for Casey, so I’ll see you then.

Ciao

Just wanted to add a quick eat ’em up for my Cats.

Go State!

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So they replaced all the machines at the gym, and have updated most of the ellipticals with these new beastly Terminator versions. I don’t remember the brand to try and find a picture, but suffice it to say you can do short stair steps and really long running strides. PLUS it has just enough tension to feel like you’re running through sand/water AND it’s so much kinder to my knee. I did it for about half an hour last night, and can barely move today. This thing is awesome.

And I mention that first because I’m sore, so I keep remembering, but also because I’m surprised that I’ve ever reached the point where I like to exercise. Really truly I enjoy it. Six months ago I would have been irritated by whatever Pollyanna would have written that – so for that I apologize – but it’s interesting to me, because my whole life I’ve categorized myself as the one whose brain muscles were the strongest ones in me. (That sounds horribly egotistical, but surely you understand what I’m saying.) And it’s not just the vanity results I’m enjoying, it’s the overall feeling better. More energy, less stress. (They weren’t kidding about that people! It’s true!) Yesterday I had an angering conversation, and later it felt good to go do something about it. I told my friend that if I can have at least a drink or a run, I can handle anything. And this is definitely a new stage. Well, the latter is, anyway. Ha.

So that’s that.

Moving on.. Jack has been a turd lately, in case the previous posts hadn’t clued you in. He’s done this before, punishing Jon for having to go to work, but I can’t figure out what triggered this latest attitude. It’s a whole new level and it’s hard to watch. I know someday he’ll understand, but now it hurts me to see him internalizing it and associating it with.. whatever he does. I’m guessing abandonment. Doesn’t really excuse the way he’s been talking to us, but I definitely feel empathy for the monkey.

And that’s about all for this mind-numbingly cold morning. We’re going to see good friends and possibly the second season of UK Office this weekend – not to mention a rash of birthday parties – so that makes this last day of the week happier. Sometimes I like the anticipation just as much, y’know?

Anyway, I hope everyone has a great weekend and is feeling well. Misty, you in particular are on my mind, amiga.

xoxo

Tomorrow morning my friend Crazy – oops, I mean Cyndi – will be boarding a plane to fly to AZ to run a half-marathon. I’d fly to Arizona in the winter for a lot of reasons, but running surely is not one of them, even if it is for a good cause.

This loony has gotten up at dead-o’clock in the morning for five months to train, starting out as a non-runner. Some of us try the Couch-to-5k thing. Not this stubborn one. It blizzards and she runs. H. Pimp threatens to hit her with his car and she runs. She’s tired, she’s sore, she’s worn out and she still runs. She only paused to catch her breath when she developed shin splints so badly she could hear her tibia cracking. That’s a whole lot of commitment in my book.

So on Sunday morning when you roll out of bed, slurp some coffee and eat a cinnamon roll, think of Cyndi as she begins her three hour run. That’s nuts.

But it’s just another example of her strength, and I’m proud of her.

Everyone wish this mama good luck!

ETA: She did it! CONGRATS!

Whew. That took a lot of willpower not to write ‘Monday’ after that. (Must… try…harder…fight… cheesy…alliteration..)

So hullo, how was your weekend? Mine was good. I was finally introduced to the dark side (aka, the British ‘Office’), and I have to admit it was worth it – props to Brandon. I love my shiny Hollywood show, but the English version is so much more believably awkward. The people aren’t beautiful, the lighting isn’t bright – it’s so real. I still maintain that Dwight Schrute is a genius character, maybe one of the best ever, but I can safely love them both like children that are similar and yet different.

I got to see one of my oldest friends, Sara (aka Sugar or Tuck), for a bit on Saturday. I enjoyed seeing her son Isaiah, but I was unabashed that the reason I was going mostly was to see her daughter, Stella, who might truly be one of the most beautiful babies I’ve ever seen. And I have to swallow a lot of pride when I say that, because I have some damn cute kids. Her eyes were so fiercely blue, and she looked at you with this look in her eye like she’s no dummy so don’t bother trying. God she’s cute.

Next it was a good old fashioned cry-down with Megawhomp. And lest I give the impression that I eat like a bird, I’ll let you know that we got a pizza and I consumed, uh, multiple pieces in about a minute and a half. I was close to gnawing on my arm I was so freaking hungry. (I was also glad there were no boys around, because it was hot.) We ended up watching Bridges of Madison County, which historically has necessitated the ugly-cry shirt (y’know, when kleenex aren’t enough? I know the women out there surely know of what I speak) but thankfully was not needed this time. I dunno, I’ve seen it in different stages of my life and I thought I’d be more upset than I was. I will say that I think maybe ol’e Clint Eastwood might have been a hottie way back. It kind of skeeves me to say that, but it’s the truth.

Then Meg and I crashed the guy’s night back at our house, and we all played Guitar Hero for a couple hours. We lead exciting lives, people.

But aside from a (not surprisingly) wordy weekend recap, the reason I meant to post today was that I thought I might share some of my favorite songs on my playlist d’jour, so that if anyone else wants to expand their musical repertoire this year, maybe one of these will be a candidate. They’re all a bit slow, and that’s not reflective of my mood, but more that I generally don’t think to pass on fast songs – I’m too picky and I assume others are as well. I figure if you have a soul, SURELY one of these songs will catch you. Now, if you’re a music snob (*cough*Brandon*cough*) and won’t bother to even listen to them, well I can’t help you.

Smooches.

So, randomly:

Lucy Kaplansky – “This Is Home” This song isn’t overtly mindblowing, but it’s very sweet and has the sneaky ability to make you cry. It’s a cuddle song.

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The National – “Start A War” This is my newest favorite. I couldn’t find the lyrics online so I actually spent time writing them down line by line. ..Luckily it’s not that complicated. And if you’re curious, he’s saying (I think) But if it went away, I’ll get it open now. I’ll get money, I’ll get funny again.

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Bonnie Raitt – “I Can’t Make You Love Me” Yeah, I know, not much of a pick-me-up. But I’ve loved this for many years and it’s so pretty. This woman is amazing.

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And finally we have my bi-annual push to spread the word on one of the most beautiful songs EVAR: Sia – “Breathe Me”.

Man I love this song. And what’s surprising is that I don’t usually love this kind of breathless, almost whiskey-voiced singing. It goes against all musical training I’ve ever had and usually makes me want to clear my throat or blow in their face (it forces a person to take a deep breath). But the lyrics and music suckered me with this one, big time. I love how she’s timid and vulnerable in the soft beginning, with the repetitive piano note to give a slight discomfort to it. Then when she repeats the second verse she’s less ashamed of asking for help, and the music begins to build. Finally it crescendos to the last section of the song being just competing rhythms and sounds, with multiple violins (sigh) added. There doesn’t need to be any more lyrics because everything has been said. Bellissimo, this is one of my favorites of all time.

So there you go. Happy (music) Monday. 😉

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Again, filler.

..The blog and I might need to DTR soon.

Happy New Year everyone!

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Most of the BV gang.

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Lorelei just found out there’s no Santa.

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Fifteen minutes later..

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Donato, Matt, Linds and Mike

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Jon’s sister, Leigh-Erin, and Jack in front of my MIL’s beautiful tree.

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My current favorite mama, Jill, due in May.

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LE’s last night in town – LE, Megan, me and Dr. Annie.

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Great gene pool

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Badd-ass Brandon, Jon and Sgt. T.J. Lynch (added just b/c it will make Brandon mad. 8) )

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Real words tomorrow, friends. I feel like it’s been years..

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