Friday, May 30, 2008


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I don't know how best to describe the month of May in this household. I'm not trying to be a martyr here, but this, after all, is MY martyrdom is what suits my current mood.

I'm not organized in a traditional fashion. My husband is not "clean" in a traditional fashion. My children are not terribly self-sufficient though they appear that way, thus misleading me. These are the basic ingredients to which we add the insane schedule of people who are probably too social and too involved.

The calendar is just not viewable day by day at this point in the year, and that makes every day seem nearly undoable in terms of logistics, who goes where, etc. Add to all that any minor little stressor: a big case for my husband at work, a family issue, hurt feelings somewhere in my circle, etc. and KABLAM. The castle of toothpicks starts a' wobblin'.

It's not a cheap month, either. We've shelled out, for activities and medical, over $3000 in the last two weeks. My children are going to exactly one day camp apiece, so this is not including that expense. I'm not complaining, for it is a wonderful thing to have dental care and a pool to swim in on these already-hot days. Still, as you all know, the money worries eek into your brain and start to spread like mold.

I'm trying very, very hard to take care of myself. I am not great at remembering to be grateful at night, but I am grateful....for good nights' rest most nights; for exercise (my new goal is to be sore at least once a week. Today's sore is brought to you by: Tennis With the Children. How is it that they are great at every sport? My thighs are crying.); for sweet new babies in our life and their calm, loving parents; for a job I enjoy and that includes rewards like children telling me they want to be singers when they grow up; for online Scrabble; for a month until the conventions; for Memorial Day and a relatively relaxed schedule; for sneaking away with a friend and her mom to catch a movie that, whilst not the finest film I've seen in May, gave me an intense belly laugh or two; for the concerts seen and anticipated; for my family; for a house with air conditioning; for the Trader Joe's guacamole kit; for loaner books from friends that were sweet little truffles of enjoyment; for a purpose in life that seems bigger than my petty woes.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

You have to hand it to Ellen DeGeneres for taking a stand...she's getting married, LEGALLY, and now she's wondering why the rest of the country can't catch up to her state. She wonders, in fact, aloud - to John McCain.

The clip is found here...I can't find it on YouTube.

Those of you who know me know that I tend to date gay people in my teens and twenties, and that a lot of folks I love are gay. What you may not know is that Ellen and I agree pretty much down the line. I think that gay rights and perhaps even gay marriage in particular are this generations' desegregation and racial equality statutes. Twenty years from now, when I'm pretty sure that every citizen will have the right to marry regardless of their sexual orientation, what are you going to tell your children about where you stood in 2008?

This is about as rabble-rousing as I get, so if I've just pissed you off, SORRY! And Happy Memorial Day! I work tonight and then BAM! Holiday weekend with some fun relatives and our new niece. There, have I taken the edge off???

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Two concerts in two months - a record!

We saw The Swell Season at one of the arguably best acoustic venues in town on a recent Thursday night. That said, the venue is usually used for the Symphony, so Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova both seemed to feel a bit formal at first. They said so. After a while, though, they got very comfy and easy with the crowd, so much so that the onstage banter begain to overcome the music.


Glen and Marketa are, if anything, earnest as hell. You know that if you saw their Oscar night speeches and performances. Their lessons to the crowd were lovely and optimistic, and all about "make art, make art" and the like. All in lilting Irish and Irish/Czech brogues.

But I've never been one for stage talk. I like the occasional powerful, funny, or relevant bon mot. Any more than that makes me squirm. Glen and Marketa as people were not annoying, but after a while I wondered if they didn't have enough faith in the music they were making.

Which was astounding!

I think I liked Marketa's song best - "If You Want Me". And "Lies" is so incredibly powerful in the movie "Once" as well as on the album that I almost couldn't believe how excellent it was live. The stage manager did a Steve Earle song, the violinist did some tricks with his on-stage recorder doohicky...and that was all fine and dandy. Why did we need it, though, when Glen's guitar and vocalizing are intense enough to hold a hall spellbound? Marketa is a precise pianist and I really like her voice - she's matured since the album was recorded it seems. The band was great, too. Have faith, Swell Season. You sound divine.

Check out this clip (it's not great, but it gets the job done) from Glen's version of "Astral Weeks" - recorded in Louisville a night or two before our show.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

My first movie was a short entitled "Jammin' In the Streets". The director has gone on to relative fame in regional theatre; my co-star can currently be seen in the HBO series "True Blood". She can also be seen in a new film premiering in NYC first week of June. I, of course, have become the publisher of a small but vital online journal. The plot of "JITS" was simple: two bored teens with nothing to do are loathe to while away their summer in their stifling hometown. But wait! They can roller skate - with boom boxes! And they do, with style (dashikis, MC Hammer pants) and relative grace. They do tricks, pop in and out of the screen, and then finally come home, exhausted, to fall asleep. The movie has been screened countless times, and if y'all are lucky, I'll try to find a way to post Super 8 to the Internet. Thus, you'll be able to see it, too.

Until that time, and that time may never come, please enjoy the world premiere for the Flight of the Conchords' video, " Ladies of the World":

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

I love it. I love it all.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Spinning on That Dizzy Edge

Myanmar and now Western China, plus the cruel month of May have me in a funk. New Cure, anyone?

Also, I think that Effexor is much more awesome than John McCain.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

To take our minds off of election-night angst, I'll focus on wine! Delicious red wine. And a wine controversy! I love that something that is so tasty and fun for the masses has such a sophisticated, complicated history and structure surrounding it. Like the church. Or Obama. KIDDING!!!

Monday, May 05, 2008

I live in a house divided when it comes to the local, state and national elections. My husband I are truly split on several races, and split on purpose in one race because we are friends with the two people running. Thus, serious guilt. (Don't worry - the candidates are both great and would both do the job well.) But Senator Obama, when you offer free tickets to Arcade Fire and Superchunk on a beautiful Friday afternoon - and it's a school holiday so my children can go - and the show is great and if not a bit ridiculously issue-laden, then fun in a rallyish sort of way, may have won a vote.

And my GOD - Superchunk! Mac and Laura's KIDS were on stage with them. My husband and I figured we hadn't seen Superchunk in about 12 years.

We also got to meet and greet with Win Butler after (Regine didn't come over to us, alas). He was nice to the children.

My son, however, preferred Superchunk: