July ’09 was yesterday, but it was also a really fun month (despite the pool letting go). First there was meeting a friend for dinner and asking her to come work for me! Then there was Rebecca Correia’s Iron Horse show. Of course I rallied the troups (all 12 of us!) and we had a great time. I really need to blog about the three-way Kisa had with the girls and who can forget the Wicked Wally?
How could I forget Boston? The trip into the city was amazing because the company couldn’t have been more perfect. They caught the mandarin fish! I have a few pictures from the day of my way, but I’m dying to see theirs!
July was also the return to running. I am proud to say I logged 35.21 miles in July.
- The Skull Mantra by Eliott Pattison ~ this one stayed with me for awhile. I think it should be a movie.
- The Stillmeadow Raod by Gladys Taber ~ cute.
- Close Range: Wyoming Stories by Annie Proulx ~ ugly.
- The Enemy by Lee Child ~ fascinating. Can’t wait to read the others!
- Morningside Heights by cheryl Mendelson ~ middle class society in Manhattan.
- The Light That Failed by Rudyard Kipling ~ a little tough to get into at first.
- The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne ~ back to a classic!
For the fun of it:
- Up the Down Staircase by Bel Kaufman
I was supposed to read a couple of Early Review books but only one arrived in July. I will have to review it in August (I’m reading it now).
I caught up with an old friend recently. Hunched over humongous burritos we hurled hilarious stories at each other. Catching up on each other lives, getting caught in the laughter. How is it possible I let weeks and weeks turn into months before seeing this person, I don’t know. I couldn’t get over how hard I laughed (to the point of tears) or how easily we bantered.
“What do you mean ‘winking at you?’” I asked, astonished.
“I mean, wink, wink. Couldn’t miss it. It happened on four different occasions” came the reply.
“Winking? Not something caught in the eye?”
“Not a nervous twitch?”
“Not punctuating a funny story?”
“Not even talking.”
“Huh. Winking… At you.”
“Your best friend’s spouse was winking. At You.”
“That’s what I thought.”
“Okay. Here’s what you do: wink back.”
I’m bold to suggest such a thing. Flirting with trouble. Wink back? Yes. We sat over big burritos until our bellies were full. Watching the rain whip sideways we let it go. We had nowhere to be. Bring On the Rain. I was happy to be caught just to catch up.
- Tell Kyle
- Bring on the Rain
- Erina Rose
- Miss You
- Oh Nashville
- On Your Way Down
- Goodbye For the Last Time
- No Such Fairytale
- Hold Me
- Sonnet #30
There is something about outdoor music, especially when the weather is perfect and the bugs are held at bay. People pull out snacks, snap open lawn chairs and spread out blankets, complete with coolers and cameras. Laughter bounces off conversations and excitement mingles with anticipation. We are ready for music. The Soul of Me cd release party was like this – a combination of family and friends getting together like a gigantic gourmet picnic in the park and the thrill of new music. Hugging and catching up between sips of wine and bites of food. A backyard oasis of tiny white lights and chocolate covered strawberries. And That Voice.
The above setlist is not from the cd release party. I wasn’t willing to spend my time writing each song down… in the dying light and approaching dark. Instead, this is the track list for Rebecca’s new cd, Soul of Me. Rebecca sang all the songs except “No Such Fairytale” “Goodbye for the Last Time” and “Hold Me.” I was relieved she didn’t sing “Hold Me” because I was ripe for a good cry and I didn’t need to be turning on the waterworks at that particular time! She did throw in some extras like a cover mix, an oldie from Memories of Their Love and a little something about Gene Simmons in her grocery store…
Side story: When Rebecca introduced Chris from ‘The Everyday Visuals’ there was a moment of deja vu. How do I know you? Where do I know you from? Do I know you or is my mind playing tricks on me? As Chris began to sing and tell stories the nagging thought I had seen him before simply would not leave my mind. Turns out ‘The Everyday Visuals’ played in the Boston Pop’s cafe the same night Natalie played at Edgefest (the ticket to Natalie got you in to see ‘The Everyday Visuals’ as well). TEVs were the band I could have seen had my family been interested in a little more music after Natalie…
All in all it was a great night and I wish I could have stayed to see Rebecca’s after-show antics! Maybe next time.
I ask a lot of my friends. I really, really do. Support this unsigned artist. Donate to my
run walk. Come to this new restaurant with me. Hear this crazy-azz dream I had. Calm me down. Pick me up. Givegivegive. It’s amazing the amount of love I asked for from my friends. It’s amazing how amazing my friends really are.
Why all this gushing? Not only did the great ones donate to my 60 mile, three day walk for Just ‘Cause, they rallied together to support Sean Rowe’s cd release of ‘Magic.’
We piled in the magic truck and bombed our way to Cohoes, NY. Laughing all the way, we weaved in and out of traffic and got there in record time. Just in time to miss just one song. We got there in time to catch ‘Jonathan’ and get caught up in the electric vibe. Sean sounded great and I couldn’t wait for every word. After waiting for brownies and a monkey-something-er-rather we got settled by the stairs. I think B had bathroom duty without realizing it. Crammed in I couldn’t see Sean but, I don’t need to see the man to hear the words and feel the sound.
After the first set my friend I have dubbed God (don’t ask) snagged spots at the top of the stairs for all of us. Great spot! The view looking out over the crowd was great. The sound was phenomenal. The fresh air from the back door was heavenly. The company was cool.
Wait. Let me talk about that for a minute. I always stress about bringing someone new to see unknown music. It’s always a gamble. I took someone to see sirsy a few years back. Virgin territory. She walked out halfway through the first set and never came back. So I worry. I convince someone to make the trek and maybe they’ll hate it. Hate me. Not so Sean night. B doesn’t know me all that well. Knows the music all that less. Maybe even knows Cohoes not at all. Not only did he subject himself to all that, he survived it all. He had good things to say about the venue, better things to say about the beer, and the best things to say about Sean. It rocked. He rocked.
But, back to Sean. He also rocked in all the right ways. I love the new version of ‘Jonathan.’ I say new because I’m used to the pared down, sparse and folky version of the song. This version builds in intensity that matches the lyrics and the passion. It’s perfect. In some ways it’s even better than the version I’m used to. ‘Trademark of Fools’ almost didn’t make it out of Sean’s mouth. Luckily, the motto is “the crowd is always right” and we got him to get it out. As usual ‘Wet’ wrecked me. Happens everytime. Having the fortress of friends around me really, really helped. Manda, your tissue delivery was well timed. I would have snotted Ruby if you hadn’t magically appeared!
I had to ask Sean for a setlist and here’s the laid back, way-cool answer:
hmmmm. i don’t know if i quite remember
duct tape man
you’re so real
blue grass baby
draw the line
vincent black lightning
trademark of fools
why i sing the blues
there is a man
my father’s name
the long haul
i may be leaving something out and some of the tunes i may have the order slightly wrong but i think this is pretty accurate. hope that helps. xo
Sorry this isn’t much of a review. Now that the album is out I want to sit silent and listen to it from start to finish. I’ll write something more Magic-centric then. For now, trust me when I say it is AMAZING!
I had to say no several times yesterday. What a weird concept. Usually I skirt around the issue, not wanting to come right out with not participating. How liberating, how honest to just say no. Not now. Nope. Why haven’t I thought about this before? Why haven’t I dared?
In the case of the work whiners it was easiest when I could look at the time and say we need to continue this tomorrow. My charges? To find out what makes some so damn inefficient. Easier said than done. No Grace under pressure. I had to admire this one administrator. In mid-sentence she was told she needed to be somewhere else. It didn’t ruin her day. It didn’t ruin her attitude. She was able to slide over to a new way of thinking. When I asked her how she managed she looked at me and deadpanned, “interruption is not a word in my vocabulary.” I love it. Word to the wise. Wise up.
It’s harder to say no to friends. I had plans to get together with someone who really means a lot to me. Yet, I need to stay on my training schedule. I couldn’t have done both successfully. It bothered me that the training won out. It bothered me to have to tell her no. After all, she is my inspiration. She is my hero. Yet, I put her off, hero or not. This is the way it had to be. No, I said. I need to train. Her graceful acceptance allowed me to walk nine miles. I got it done because I didn’t give in.
Later, an invitation to chat. Under any other circumstances I would have loved sparring with this flirty friend. He’s quick with the compliments and quicker with the innuendos. I love the sass. I love the challenge this conversation always presents to me. Who can be the most indulgent, the most daring? But, sigh of all sighs, I had to tell him and his innuendos no. I needed a warm bath and a hot cup of tea. As I let the water wrap itself around my tired legs I thought about this new no I seem to have. While I don’t necessary like it or want it, it works for now. For now.
Larkin, Philip. “Church Going.” The Less Deceived. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1965,
Larkin, Philip. “I Remember, I Remember.” The Less Deceived. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1965.
The beginning of “Church Going” is the most fascinating. The author visits a church (not his first, nor his last) and describes what he sees and does in this latest church. There is a sense he doesn’t quite believe in the place or his unspoken reason for being there. There is a skepticism in his tone that suggests a deeper disbelief. It begins with the very first line, “Once I’m sure there’s nothing going on” [in the church] (p 28).
“I Remember, I Remember” is a little more straightforward but as equally honest. The speaker is traveling with a friend and discovers a forgotten place from childhood. Immediately, the remembering begins. My favorite line is delivered by the friend, “You look as if you wish the place in hell” (p 38). I can think of a few places in my life where I would have that look!
BookLust Twist: From More Book Lust in the chapter, “Poetry Pleasers” (p 189).
“I’m guilty just the same.
Sometimes you’re needed badly so please come back again…”
~Duran Duran Hold Back the Rain
The last month has been a weird sort of hell. While the house has been awesome, getting settled hasn’t been all that fun. We are still moving out at the same time as moving in. Still. We are still living out of boxes. Still. Yeah, yeah. Don’t tell me because I’ve heard it before. These Things Take Time. I should be wearing the words as a slogan across my chest. Or tattooed on my forehead. Something. Yeah, yeah. I know the words. It’s not like I haven’t moved (17 times) before. My frustration lies in the lack of time I have to dedicate. It takes time but I have no time to donate.
Last week They were on campus. They are the same They I talked about in my Entitled to Tell You So blog. They stormed the gates again and this time I took it personally. Here’s another yeah yeah moment. I KNOW they weren’t talking about MY job performance. I KNOW they weren’t talking about ME when the listed the library as a concern, as a weakness to the institution. Nothing they announced was new. So, why do I take it so personally? I’ll tell you why. I have been busting my azz to say We Need This- We Need That. My words went nowhere. But, talk is cheap. Words are well, just words. think of all those sayings – put your money where your mouth is, talk is cheap, actions speak louder than words…blahblahblah. I felt like I was screaming into the wind when I should have been learning to harness that wind and fly. DO something.
I have stressed so much about the upcoming, inevitable failings that I have blown off friends and family. I owe my mother a phone call. I owe my nephew an apology. I owe just as much as I woe. My head has been up my azz looking for the sh!t that makes work work. If that makes any sense. Because now that it’s done I feel dumb. I worried for nothing because They didn’t tell me anything new, nothing I didn’t already know.
Now it’s done. I’m done with the rant, too. I got it out. I got over it. Now, it’s time to do something. It’s time to start flying.
It’s like a mantra. Things happen for a reason. Things happen for a reason. Things happen for a reason. I know this to be true. We didn’t succeed with the first few houses because they were not ours to have. Something bigger and better lay at the end of Ivy. The timing was all wrong in November. February couldn’t be more perfect. Things happen for a reason.
When my friend decided not to walk the twenty miles for Project Bread. I was not surprised, yet disappointed all the same. It took me a day to think things through. Would I walk without? Would I want to? It took me a week to bail myself out. Things happen for a reason. In reality, walking for hunger is a good cause for someone else. I am wedded to the crusade against cancer and domestic abuse. Been there, done that. Keep doing this. I decided to walk away from the Project Bread walk and find my Just Cause. 60 miles in three days. For breast cancer. This I can do. This I don’t mind doing on my own. I walk for Nor. I walk for me. This is the walk I am meant to walk.
When my friend of 35 years had a heart attack I had mixed emotions. A long history of ups and downs, goods and bads clouded my real emotion – fear. You don’t want people your own age to die. It’s not your time so it shouldn’t be theirs. Butbutbut, things happen for a reason. For the past three months I have wallowed in self indulgences. Since Thanksgiving I have been giving into temptations of every persuasion. Fat and lazy, I have become. When someone told me I looked beautiful I knew it was a lie. A sweet lie, but a lie none the less. I’m heavy. My heart failing friend woke selfish me, myself & moi up. Things happen for a reason. As soon as this house thing happens I am running back to healthy. I swear.
When a good, good friend brought up a painful memory it was hard to face it. Hard to take ownership of it and say yes, I really did do that. It’s unimaginable now, but yes, I really, really did that. Blame game. Pointing you out for no reason other than to strike out. Things happen for a reason. I’m glad you brought up the past and that awful time. I’m still struggling with what happened and more importantly, why butbutbut I’m done burying that past. I can dig it up and say I take responsibility for being so awful to you. I take all the blame for the blame game. It wasn’t you. Never was you. Sorry I said it was you. I’m seeing things better now that I’m so removed.
We have reached a compromise – or so we have been told. It’s now safe to resume packing. All systems go. 251 boxes later and rooms are starting to echo. Walls look a little more bare. Boxes are getting more difficult to fill with just one designation. Suddenly, I’m faced with the nitty gritty of moving. The stage I crankily call “crap packing.”
We have ten “zones” for box designation: living room, kitchen, dining room, upper bath, bedroom, work out room, dude room, utility room, garage & office. Nowhere in the plan is there a room called, “useless sh!t I haven’t seen in seven years” or, “I have no idea what this is but there is no way I’m parting with it.” Letters from strangers who weren’t always that strange, postcards from places I’ve never been, newspaper clippings of faded interest, road maps from before I was born, pictures of places I don’t recognize, mixed tapes from people I don’t know, buttons, beads, baubles. Bullsh!t I said I would do something with and never did. What do I do with this stuff? What won’t I do? It’s utterly amazing the things I have unearthed.
But, for all it’s craptabulousness I am unearthing priceless memories, too. The Paint the Town Red, White & Blue trip mom, sis and I took to New York after 9/11. The orphan Thanksgiving I hosted in New Jersey. Thanksgiving in Quogue with ancient finery and Don’t Touch Anything attitude. My penpal from Africa’s first letter where he states he is 16′ tall. My sister’s graduation. My graduation. My first ‘date’ with kisa. The Early Bird luncheon where I was crowned Queen of the Court. Even sad memories. A friend’s slow decline into alcoholism. Another friend’s suicide note. The journal I kept after dad died. The car accident. The divorce. The miscarriage of twins. Yet. And yet, for all the memories there is a sense of promise. Change of name. Change of address. The keeping of old friends and their letters. All these memories make up my life as it was, as it is, and how it shall be.
So for now, I crabily crap pack. With a smile.
According to the time line we are almost at the end of the ride. This thing I’ve called roller coaster is finally coasting to a stop. We are nine days away from being home owners. Nine days and three steps closer to a new craziness. I’m okay with that because it’s different from the old craziness. Anything is better than the old craziness. All that is left is packing and signing. Packing and more signing. Three days and the ride comes to a halt.
According to the time line I can stop celebrating the craziness that was my landmark birthday. This thing I’ve called turning forty is finally finished. I’m now forty and a few days. Soon it will be forty and a few weeks; a few months. Old news. I celebrated with my husband hunting for house wares and making homemade brownies. I celebrated with the ladies and got to hear my favorite drum solo. I celebrated with my mom with steamed lobsters, chocolate whoopie pies and a big 4 candle. It was perfect – all of it – but now it’s time to move on.
There are other things coming to a halt in my life. Things that have run their course and run out of time. Promises made, promises broken. I should be bothered but I’m not. I’ve been here before. The path is not new. I don’t need a map. While it all makes me sad I am not surprised.
I didn’t get my wine last night. After working all day, stressing about the house (or lack there of), the upcoming accreditation, and going out with the girls, wine never seemed right. I thought about it. For a second.
We got to the place and it was busy. Finding a table for four was a feat unto itself – until they made us a table right in the middle of the dance floor. Center of attention. A table that easily sat eight had half. Then we were told the table would be going away in 45 minutes…so eat fast. Great. No problem. Until they took forever to take our orders and even longer to deliver the goods. We decided it was my fanned pear salad that caused the hold up (either that or they had to make the bread for my friend’s grilled cheese sandwich).
Wine would have been impossible after dinner as well. Jostling girls in show-it-all- outfits, boisterous boys with big (beasty?) feet, loudloudloud music. When the band started I slipped away from my girls to watch my drums. A minute showcase was worth millions to me. Even thought there were two all I cared about was the talent of one. It was good to see smiles. Even better to see laughs.
Here’s the thing. Three beautiful women came out with me to celebrate a milestone in my life. We couldn’t share conversation. We couldn’t share a taste for the music. Hell, at some point, we could even share eye contact it was so crowded. But, they stuck it out for what matters to me. So, no wine but three perfect roses.
You didn’t think I would take you up on it. You are oh so wrong. I updated my ‘about me’ page and was able to change most of it. I think you owe me a peanut butter and pickle sandwich. Love, me.
Every once in a while an opportunity comes along that seems almost too perfect to pass up. They are the moments that grab you by all the attention you have; so much so that you can’t look away.
I was on Face trying to save face. Normally, as my sister can tell you, I fly under the radar on FB. If she catches me “on” she considers it just that…catching me. Then she chats. Most of the time I don’t mind. It’s early morning and no one will notice. But, as a rule I don’t spend more than a minute looking at my own face. I say a few things to other faces and I’m outta there. But, back to the other night. I allowed myself to be “caught” by four different people (none of them being my sister, go figure)…for almost two hours.
When I was finally let go I came away committed. And with that commitment came the profound understanding that not only was I back on the TrainingForSomethingBig bandwagon, but that I was actually happy about it. And what’s more – I was looking forward to every little thing about it.
So, here’s the deal. We are walking for Project Bread. 20 miles. May 3, 2009. You read that right. Walking. 20 miles. I have kisa on the brain when I think about running anything more than five. I see his stern face and his No.Remember.Your.Knee look. It’s a look of concern. It’s a look of caring. But, it’s also an I’ll Kick Your Azz look. He was the one who had to put up with me directly after The Fall.
Duly noted. So we walk.
It has taken me some time to come to terms with her passing. Doesn’t seem right. More than doesn’t feel fair. I’ll say it yet again – cancer just isn’t fair.
They came to the island as love birds; a dating, doting couple. Binoculars and a sense of biology, they came to the island year after year to love the birds. The years gave way to marriage, kids, property, and a dog. A sense of belonging to the community became so strong the island couldn’t remember a time without them. It was as if they had always been there.
I don’t remember the first time I met her. It was that long ago. I can only remember her as I last saw her four months ago. Feisty and forcing fresh baked cookies on us, she commanded from the couch. Slipping water through a straw she surveyed the world outside her kingdom. A huge picture window afforded her a priceless view. She smiled as she watched a pheasant family creep jauntily through the high grass. Father pheasant’s neck arched and stretched searching for bugs, pecking as he went. His eyes were bright, watchful and wary. He paused as if to say I know you are there and she paused, the glass lifted halfway to her lips, as if her stillness could keep him there.
Binoculars, books and Bean gear. She was always ready for the birds. She kept a journal of the season’s best spyings. A log of feathered friends encountered throughout the seasons. As she grew sicker, too ill to hike her ornithology conquests had to be counted from the couch. Her bird’s eye view of the birds was limited to the ones who came to her big picture window. Mostly it was the pheasants. Soon she could tell us how many families were in the area. How many babies were born that year. Always the pheasants. They became her friends. That is why when I see a family of pheasants I will always think of her.