She's a Real Mother

Mutha's got eyes in the back of her head.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Don't Buzz Kill Me Santa

When I was little, like many kids, I was taken to see Santa in a department store. I was amped up for it but a nervous kid in general, so I was also flat-out scared. My older brother took me and claimed the line wrapped around the store. As we got closer and closer I got more scared.
What will I say?
What if I can't understand Santa?
What if Santa says I was not good enough to get a present?

What if I have to tinkle?
My brother said I was fine until I got to be next and then I burst into tears and refused to go. I remember it in sharper detail than that, plus my internal dialogue (IamnotscaredIamnotscaredIamnotscared). But I agree: I cried and backed away after all that time in line. Boy, was my brother pissed at me.
To say the least, it was a buzz kill -- when really all I wanted to feel was relief.

I am thinking of this tonight because I am in the frantic moments before leaving work for a week's vacation. I do want simple relief: no commute, time to read. But, Santa -- I am also in the mood for a buzz. You owe me one.

Happy Holidays and see you in 2007.

Friday, December 15, 2006

It's a......BLOG!

I have kept my fertility a closed subject until now, but this news is meant to share. Mutha has given birth to a brand new blog!

  • Tell Me A Story, Mutha

  • This will be a home for my fiction. So, if anyone is interested in checking out "flashes" from a novel in creation -- please check it out. All feedback is appreciated!

    Now I'm gonna go lay down. I think I deserve it.

    Wednesday, December 13, 2006

    Free To Be You and Me and...That Girl

    I had the chance to watch part of the "That Girl!" marathon this past weekend on TV Land. I am proud in the knowledge that I am perhaps the only grown woman who squealed (yes, squealed) with delight when I saw the train tracks that marked the opening to the show. "Why on earth?" you might demand. It was because I LOVED Marlo Thomas when I was a little girl.

    Marlo was so groovy looking to me. Especially her incredible eyelashes and always-present black eyeliner. She slept in it, showered in it, it was a thing of wonder.

    On "That Girl!" Marlo played Anne Marie who lived in New York City and tried to make it as an actress/model. She had a boyfriend (Donald) but never acted very interested in getting engaged. She only wanted to date, wear incredibly adorable, mod clothes and have a fabulous career. Far Out!

    When "That Girl!" ended Marlo went on to direct the production of Free to Be You and Me

    I was in first grade when it came out as a TV special, a book and an album and was immediately hooked. Songs about Mommies being people ("people with children...but there are a lot of things a lot of mommies can do") and how William might want to play with a doll. Rosey Greer singing about it being alright to cry. Stories about how girls might be strong and fast and boys might be sensitive and loving. Very few collections of songs and stories for children have ever come close to challenging the status quo as this one did -- let alone doing it with such humor and style.

    Marlo went on to do TV specials and marry Phil Donahue or talk show fame. She also took over her father, Danny Thomas', charity work after his death. She is still a very active leader of the fund raising for Saint Jude Hospital.
    Imagine my shock when I got the inside UGLY skinny on Marlo. I was working for a Wall Street employment agency in New York City in the early 90s, and beside filling positions with support staff, traders, high-level admin assistants, we also had requests come in for personal assistants. One day, I got the file for a position that had had several candidates "fall off" -- which meant they were hired, started the job and then quit. I read further and found the assistant was for none other than Marlo herself. I got so excited thinking, "I HATE my freakin job! I am going to apply for this one and work for the grooviest gal in the world!"
    Then I read the notes from the last attempted hire: "Applicant must be ready to work for a bitch."
    Is nothing sacred?
    I was too scared to apply for the job.

    Wednesday, December 06, 2006

    Band In Boston

    * Note: This post is from the archive, in the "I'm sure no one read this" group. I liked it, so in acknowledging my bloggaversary, I'm giving it a second life a year later. Rock on.

    Lucky enough to have heard many a great Boston band live and blessed enough to miss the likes of Peter Wolf, Aerosmith, the Cars, and -- of course -- Boston (sorry kids, I just ain't a fan) here's some space devoted to my favorites:

    Mark Sandman was a very nice man -- one of the nicest men ever on the Boston (which means Cambridge as well) music scene. When he died suddenly, poetically, of a heart attack on stage (1999) people walked around town in a blur for months, illustration to the sense we had had for years that Mark and Morphine were a powerful presence, irreplaceable. Mark was nice but his music was naughty and original and soulful. Promise me, who ever you are, that if you have not heard this astounding blend of three string bass, two saxophones played at once by one man (Dana Calley, WTF!), and some of the sexiest drumming around from Billy Conway -- that you will go out of your way to right that wrong.

    The Lemonheads
    Evan Dando had a rep for being a whining jerk, but damn if those songs aren't as catchy as hell. And in their prime, the Lemonheads were a very good time in a small club. If you were lucky, you got to be at a show during the period when people threw boxes of the Lemonhead candy on stage. You get extra points if you were at a show when Evan got hit. And I will personally send you cash if you were the one that hit him. All that said, their special brand of pop and Evan's lyrics (which could be about a ship without a rudder, or his abandoned stove, or his pal Ray) were part of a fun time for the Boston sound.

    The Pixies
    I moved to Boston during that epic period known as "Before Grunge Hit". During that time there was no term for the Pixies. They simply fit no mold. They were a "garage band" or "new era punk". But, they included haunting lyrics, off-beat harmonies, and humor in a way that defied those half-assed tags. In the end, they were their own animal, although hindsight 20/20, they were one of the godparents to the sound that ended up defining the early 90s. And LIVE, they were a reason to believe in God.

    I am a sucker for power trios, but female power trios are to die for. Quivvver (yes, no typo, three v's) made it their business to rock the house in thrift store get-ups (including an incredibly charismatic drummer who usually wore a wig and prom dress), and sing about off-beat things like mermaids unapologetically. I saw them play at the Middle East (not the war-torn region, but a great bar/restaurant/venue in Cambridge, MA) the night OJ Simpson was being chased by the LAPD on TV. When the room showed signs of filling slowly, the band acknowledged that OJ might be keeping people in front of the tube. Kristina (the already mentioned drummer) announced that she wasn't gonna let a wife-beater screw up her night and they proceeded to kick the crap out of their set. I miss you girls!

    The Del Fuegos
    During their touring days this band was notoriously hit or miss. Get them on a night all were in synch with their tempers and substance use and you were in for an incredible treat. Other times, not so much. In fact, at that time that I loved to hear them play, a friend started calling them the "Del Fuckheads" because of how verbally abusive they had been to their fans during a recent show. Now that's rock-n-roll.

    Machinery Hall
    Another power trio that won my heart with their original line-up during years of playing locally. They were followed by an incredibly loyal fan base whom they never seemed to let down. Lead-singer/guitarist, chief song writer Mark Nelson could both croon and yell, unspooling emotional, intelligent lyrics against driving rock that could edge on speed-metal. One thing I found very endearing at live shows was that Mark would warn the moshers to "Watch out for the girls" in the crowd. I would smile to myself and then scream, "We can take care of ourselves! Why don't you shut up and play!" Aaah memories. And play they did.

    And "Guilty by Association": Scarce
    Scarce was actually out of Rhode Island, but they played so much locally in the early 90s that they seemed to be adopted as home-grown. As wonderful as this band is recorded (and I strongly urge you to get a hold of a recording if you have not heard them) they were outrageously good live. The artistic tension created on stage between presence and sound gave birth to an energy I have felt very few times. When one band member had a brain aneurysm, the band stayed together to welcome him back months later after a full recovery, only to set the stage for their break up. The stuff for Mexican soap operas and for a club-going-buzz-kill I have never completely forgiven them for.

    Saturday, December 02, 2006

    "I Ain't No Dog Tied to a Parked Car"

    This quote is from a Lou Reed song. He says it in reference to his desire to stay married and it has always stuck out to me -- even when I heard it first in my very early twenties.


    I think it is because lots of books, songs, poetry, etc are made in the name of the first blush of love and just as much, it seems, describing the experience of love ending, but very few describes the in-between: the staying together. There is ofcourse the amazing Al Green's Let's Stay Together as an exception and, to be honest, some pretty hokey-shit movies with "Aaaaaaaaah" endings. But not a bunch describing the day-in and day-out of loving someone long-term. Causing people to say "Wow, how do you do it?" if you have managed to pull it off past ten years -- but behind that wonder is the understanding that the answer is probably frighteningly dull.

    I don't believe that to be the case. So, I wanted to devote a little space regularly to this question: What is it like to stay together? How do you keep it going?

    One answer is: have a more varied social life in your mind.
    In my childhood, Jimmy Carter was nailed by the press for "lusting in his heart" (Jesus, and Bill Clinton thought they were after him). A parlor game I play based on this notion is "Who are you dating in a parallel universe?" In this game, one entertains the idea that it is possible to date people in your mind. Time travel is also possible in this game, which is terribly convenient if you want the chance to date someone who is now dead (my list: John Lennon), or was hot when they were young (my list: Paul Newman, 1966). It is also a way to date folks much younger than yourself guilt-free. So, if you found you had a crush on, say, the kid who plays Harry Potter (Uh, I didn't say I lusted after Daniel Radcliff, at least not out loud), in this parallel universe you could also be 16 and avoid run-ins with the law all together.

    To be honest, my husband wasn't all that happy about this game at first. He found it disturbing. That was until we saw a Beyonce video together and he declared, "Damn, I'd date her. Who the hell wouldn't?" Which of course, I couldn't argue with -- so we both added Beyonce to our lists.

    I found something interesting in playing this game though. After my husband saw a picture of poet Nick Flynn, one of my parallel universe guys, he made the observation that Nick resembled the guys I used to date in some key ways. Mostly, he looked like he might need a good meal and a bit of care. And I had to admit, this was the one element (along with a kind of anti-hero esthetic) that described the other wise very different members of the "Guys I Used to Date" group. (DISCLAIMER TO MR. FLYNN: I am in no way suggesting you are not well fed or cared for. Infact, I think you are very talented and...only ever reading this in my imagination.)

    Now I am no dummy, I got the fact that my husband was also making the point because he breaks this mold all together. He did not look like a stray when I met him. He was quite capable of taking care of himself. In fact, I may have married him because he was able to help make sure I was taken care of --- what a radical idea. So, this was an added benefit to the game and another reason I recommend it.

    I welcome anyone's own list.

    Friday, December 01, 2006

    Happy Bloggaversary To ME!

    I started my blog a year ago today, so it feels like there should be a bit of a party.

    It does feel kind of exciting to be able to say I have carried on for a year, had fun, and met some interesting folks at this cyber cocktail party.
    This weekend I will repost a couple of very early offerings that I know for a fact no one has ever read. Okay, Doug read some of them when he was writing my blurb for the Wednesday I posted on Waking Ambrose. But I think we are all in agreement that there are not many dawgs like Doug.

    So grab a plastic hat (the green one is mine) and a handful of silvery streamers. The beer is on me.