Monthly Archives: January 2012

geezers for weezer….or, a music festival with showers and a private loo

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tomorrow morning i leave for the Weezer Cruise. haHA! my first cruise, my first open ocean nighttime sky, my first time in Mexico…certainly not my first float, but you could call it my first boat load of music.

it’s been a long time since i went to a good music festival. i cut my teeth on the first few lollapoloozas and punctuated those experiences with Woodstock 94. that was the one where, unless you pitched your tent near the Port-o-Johns that couldn’t be emptied because people pitched their tents all around a bunch of Port-o-Johns, the chaos was lovely, the music was mostly great and we didn’t burn things down or trample each other. then there were scads of local festivals down south, punk rock matinees at CBGBs up north, all of which got gross enough to feel like camping in a bear carcass.

as i got older, i got pickier about epic music events. i’ve considered the bonaroos and the coachellas, a few one-day festivals here and there, but eventually, despite my passion for live music, the visceral awareness of the inevitable eau de crusty-kids in wet grass is just a buzzkill.

it’s time. this week and weekend i will revive my drive, pack plenty of deoderant and sequester myself on the sea with what i’m hoping will be more than a bunch of 20-something dudes. my boyfriend and i will split the ages just above and below the grand-daddies of the ship, the hosts who will grace rockin’ and rocking main stages and events over the four day cruise. i’ll watch them play tunes i was spinning as a college radio dj in 1991 and beyond. will this be j mascis and dinosaur jr rockin’ the greatest hits tour like the breeders did a few years ago? will fans of the other fledgling bands consist of more than the adult music bloggers who can afford SiriusXM subscriptions and boat fare? it’s all good, i just wonder.

or, will me and my guy be one of “those couples” i used to see at festivals when i was 21? the ones where the kids are all thinkin’ a) awe, the old people are here rockin! b) they must be with the band or festival crew, or c) um, this the “Weezer” cruise…the Geezer cruise leaves after they finish installing hand rails on your slot machine seats. i wonder if they will realize we didn’t have to “find” an 80’s prom night themed outfit…just open a dusty trunk and squeeze into memories with disintegrating zippers. i so wish i had my doc martin maryjane’s or my old catfish-toed chuck taylor high tops to complete the ensemble.

the coolest thing about the psycho-social aspect of this adventure is that…haHA again!…i don’t give a crap. the self-conscious need to at least blend with the cool kids exited my life some time ago. i’m not single and goofy and shy anymore. i’m even unperturbed at the thought of tooling around the ship in a bathing suit. i’m a cool kid in my own world, where me and my traveler are set to embark, eyes, ears and hearts open, amped to see some great music and sparkling scenery. we are both primed for pleasure. plus with this evolving version of musical mayhem, i’ll be thrilled to take advantage of a refreshing pool, a clean balcony room and a grown up, full-service spa should i need to escape the creeping scent of boy sweat and dreadlock wax…or the din of drunken bunkmates and high seas hookups…or to above-grass accomodations with doors that lock.  there i can also rest my almost geriatric ears between exquisite sets of disabling distortion and furious feedback, pulsing precision and lo-fi licks.

oops, almost forgot…time to chill tonight’s pre-bon voyage champagne! it’s not korbel and it’s not krug…it’s right in the glorious middle, like i am in age, happily and wonderfully good enough. wish me calm seas and competent crew members. plus a constant tropical breeze of orchids and tuberose, salt and tree fruits to freshen the festival air. more the calm seas and competent crew members, though…if you’re prioritizing.

 

a serious aside: my thoughts and heart go out to everyone affected by the Costa Concordia tragedy. avoidable mistakes that can’t be undone are like torture added to grief. reality can be so difficult when acceptance is your only choice. may the sacrifices made here be the last of their kind. 

 

 

 

 

a lesson on shyness, shambles and the pursuit of “Awww”

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a beat writer fan’s cliche…our smoke on the water riff, if you will…where we first alight, find delight and begin our imitations…

“the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones that never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes ‘Awww!'” – j.kerouac

but i’m not here today to imitate, or to ruminate on the futures and fantasies this quote inspired behind my shy, collegiate eyes. i’m not writing with the same “Awww” in my throat as when i scribbled it in paint, dead center, on the black sheet of quotes and trippy things that hung in my early ’90s dorm room of disaffection and flannel.

what interests me this morning is the beginning of that sentence…the part i’ve never seen included with these words out of their context…the part i didn’t paint on my black sheep’s black sheet…

“they danced down the streets like dingledodies, and i shambled after as i’ve been doing all my life after people who interest me, because…”

i’ve always chosen the mad ones. jack described their salience so elegantly, so perfectly analogous to fireworks, like the ones i imagined were for me each july 4th as the nation kicked off its trish birthday festivities in anticipation of the 6th. the mad ones. i’ve hung rapt on their burning words. i’ve wished that my presence would explode like sparkling spiders enough to fill a sky full of stars, or even just a room. i’ve always hoped my blue centerlight would pop one day and the world would say “Awww” at all the love, brilliance, hope and wonder i carry in my heart.

i’ve spent a life shambling. i’ve spent a life feeling the cool cast of a shadow…someone’s shadow, all my days. i’d bet that’s not what people might guess. i’ve learned a lot about how those around me perceived me, my shyness and my life over the years. i was always alarmed and amused when i would learn later about people who were intimidated…the ones who thought i was always outrageous, confident, cool and cold. they were as surprised as i was fascinated when they learned i was a shy, nerdy, soft-hearted dreamer. they don’t know i was the littlest of 7 loud kids. they didn’t guess that i was once the awkward girl at school who got picked on or ignored completely. i went through a lot protecting that dreamer. i kept my tender heart a secret from so many, sometimes on purpose. i’m proud to say she’s made it through with bigger dreams, eyes and sighs than ever.

i used to shamble, but i’m picking up speed.

i always chased those mad ones because i thought i couldn’t be one…one of the people who interests me. i wasn’t interesting enough to others to interest myself. i wasn’t wild enough, free-spirited enough. i danced on peripheries looking for places to jump into the fun, afraid i wasn’t welcome. i felt like a wallflower but played the role badly enough to confuse all but the most perceptive viewers. i became a great sidekick to the loud and living. together we developed complex worldviews in galaxies all our own with our desires and perceptions as lenses. i gave them all the credit for whatever i found interesting in my life. strange then, that i chose so much solitude, moving and working always in new places, seeking my inner dingledodie and another one to play with.

i chose the mad ones as my mates. each time, i believed i was a partner, a mad one, half of a perfect dingledodie pair. sometimes we exploded, but too close to the ground, setting wild fires and hearts ablaze with romantic and destructive abandon. but most times i became the practical one, the grounded girl, the shambler. in the end i’d find myself shambling after the important details left strewn behind my mad one. i’d spend my energy admiring and shambling into trouble, picking up the pieces of our lives, waiting for that blue centerlight that was the fruition of their dreams, mine somehow now a footnote.

these days i’m free. free from the need or desire for shambling. free from the shyness that kept me from lighting my yellow roman candle for a crowd. i’ve picked a mate who seems inspired by my madness and need to burn, burn, burn and never say a commonplace thing (though i know i do more often than not). he does much of my yawning for me, leads with his mind and heart, lives for passion, expresses himself eloquently and honestly and never shambles. he cools and calms me, even as he stokes the fires in my belly, under my ass and in my most desirous heart. he leaves me space and gives me safety as i tap into the heat and beautiful chaos of my centerlight. it’s frightening. i have so much time and energy to devote to fulfilling all of these promises i’ve made to my Self…my excuses for inaction are now thin at best.

jack was a mad one. he describes himself in this most famous of quotes. i wonder if he ever realized he was exactly what he sought, what he loved. i wonder if he had a day where he woke up and realized the shambling was all in his mind. i wonder if he saw that in his whole life he never yawned or said a commonplace thing. i wonder if he ever anticipated that his beautiful and tragic life and poetry would explode across my mind and heart every time i set feet where he set his, or read words he wrote that feel like mine. i wonder if he ever looked up and realized how many shambled after him.

this is a poignant post for me, lacking the wit i love to wield behind my words. but, it is my most outrageous revelation of this brand new year, one of several i’m sure i will stew on as my clock ticks toward 40…as i realize that i am what i’ve loved…as i become more outrageously me…and share it with outrageous you.

may we all live out loud and with passion, my fellow dingledodies…and the self-awareness to feel it.

an exorcism of apathy and the scream of dying demons

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ah, the scent of freshly mixed compost and self-sabotage. all around me are new leaves, faces turned optimistically upward at a deepening winter sky. they frost the tops of many aged, rotting ones that are decomposing finally into the soil of my habits.

still, amid the clearing and cultivating of so many neglected parts of the garden, there are sections now languishing, no longer loved nor appreciated…no matter even that they are necessary for the care and feeding of my tiny family. it’s a conundrum, a puzzle, flavored with dilemma sprinkles and disregard. mary, mary quite contrary, how does your garden grow? with silvery dreams and frustrated screams, and pretty mistakes all in a row…

pretty, shiny leaves:

my diet has finally come together. i never really made a “decision” to improve it…i’d been trying to do that for years. once upon a time i was an absurdly healthy eater, which made it even funnier and more tragic that once i got pregnant all i wanted was fast food. after delivering my mcdaughter, and through the long, dark latte-with-whip time of my soul, i found i couldn’t force myself to crave brown rice and veggies just because i used to. i began to wonder if i would sink permanently into that vat of transfats, depression and anguish. so it surprised me when the improvements happened naturally, as i watched good cravings stack themselves atop a growing repulsion from junk (coincidentally or not, right after my Reiki treatment a while back. for details see: this train of thought will make all local stops transfers are inevitable at most-stations and its prelude, the hovering of hands…how was your metaphysical today?).

i quit smoking more than 7 months ago, for good…or for as long as my life seems worth living, which i expect will be for quite some time. with a few tragedies under my almost 40 year-old belt, it would take a lot to reduce me to that place. i could imagine what, but i prefer not to. worry is only borrowed trouble.

i recently hired a giant personal trainer dude to come to my house and abuse me. i found him on craigslist, he’s legit, and posted the only ad i saw with rates for someone on a smaller budget than Jennifer Aniston or anyone in my landlord’s neighborhood. it was as though the Universe herself had been waiting these last 20 years for me to get off the bench and back in the game….i felt her pat me on the butt in encouragement as i rose and began to pluck the splinters out of my flabby cheeks. (for the record – skinny is a “shape” but not the same shape as “in shape.”)

my romantic life is a dream…my friendships are growing…my daughter is a magical delight to me, attitude and all….

new, purty leaves.

browning, curling, dangling leaves:

professionally i feel paralyzed. my 9-5er fruit is rotting on its branches. i’m letting the pieces fall. i’m eating what i’m lucky enough to salvage. i’m here now trying to get my appetite back for that work, for that success, for what i’ve promised to do and for what i’ve done for the last 12 years.

guilt from that negligence is stifling my freedom to pursue my best road out of the corporate cult. as a result, i write less, feeling that i should devote more time to my paid work, and i balk when i have the energy to work on my website and copywriting business knowing that i haven’t met other obligations. i’m as afraid of success there as i am of failure.

so my “work sector” is frozen. it almost looks stable, except that i know it’s ready to shatter, or soon melt into a crushing, freezing sludge of embarassment. sometimes i can imagine my 2012 turning into a new york city snow dump in april….with my daughter and i struggling to find food morsels and a hand up out of the muck.

then there is my battle of evermore, where i fight administrivia with the dull blade and plastic stones of procrastination. i catch up sometimes, but here i am today…ready to call verizon wielding my overdue payment, ready to slay the disconnect notice i received this week, or at least poke at it hard and run away. for logistical and technical reasons, not financial, i find myself in this position with them several times a year.  that’s just the first detail monster in a corp of oppressors…my weak efforts to bludgeon a list of simple things leaves me anxious on days like this. time to sharpen my to-do list of doom. sigh.

today the Universe (and Brain Mysteries) captured these ruminations and turned them onto a book i now desperately want to read: What Makes Your Brain Happy and Why You Should Do the Opposite by David DiSalvo. brain science is so cool, and apparently this a useful summation of new discoveries about our how minds function for and against us. self-sabotage seems to be a uniquely human pursuit, like golf, culinary arts or a house with bedroom-level laundry facilities. readers describe the “takeaways” from this one as “resonating,” “practical,” and “enduring.” i want to learn my way out of self-sabotage. i want to turn a leaf on the procrastination pile. i want convergence of this love and light and all of these desires. i want a consistent, authentic life where the path i seek is lined with provisions for my beloved charges.

alas, i sit here planning to change some things…neh…planning to read about changing some things…about changing this one thing to match the other changes i’ve made. i’m impatient with being patient with myself…i can hear the whip cracking in the distance…or maybe that’s my soul gettin’ crackin’ on all this desire.

brick by brick, my citizens, brick by brick, says the Emperor Hadrian of Rome…to the citizens of my brainspace, both the demons and disciples of Love…and to you my gentle readers. namaste.

 

 

 

 

 

put this antique on the roadshow…a life less lustrous

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it is nighttime, not typically the right time for my write time, but this first day of a brand new year begs for words to greet it. tiny christmas lights twinkle their last wishes my way as i finally sit down and start to play with my words. mmm, words…they tickle and comfort me with soft ideas and breathy inspiration, so close to my heart they change its rhythm sometimes. so special is the feeling, that most of my reflections on the passing of 2011 fall on how i found my words again.

my writer’s mind started this day by reading again a “note” i posted the same day last year. i was in a similar mood. new year’s day seems to find me pensive if not a little melancholy…i’m noticing a trend. i wonder if it’s always been that way.

at that time, i timidly published those private thoughts on facebook, shared among friends, and was humbled and warmed by the responses. i had no idea why i would make public what amounted to a typical, front porch, rocking chair-style journal entry. i quiver a little now at the implications of that morning and of those words i released into this balance of electricity and magnetism we call life.

i’ve often claimed i was a writer, the declaration always carrying the casual, apologetic tone of weekend artists and idols.  i hadn’t earned the right to describe it as more than a hobby, often started, often stopped. i still haven’t. i’m still scared i never will. and so i was afraid to talk about how i was feeling, that my words were coming back to me, flirting with me, teasing me…that it felt like they were coming back to stay, maybe to change my life.

but seven months after describing what i could only hope was an awakening and not just another lucid dream, i started this blog. during those seven months, all filled up with other kinds of living, i almost let it happen again…the steam evaporate from my passionate breaths and dreams. but something tugged at my focus, sending reminders on airplanes to denver, pulling my emotions to the surface on the surface streets of jack and dean’s LoDo, painting rainbows over mountains and monuments like a child in a coloring book. the awakening continued.

i write. i can say that now, at the beginning of 2012, without the internal wince of a fearful fraud.

woven throughout my post last year is a desire to break through my apathy. i desperately wanted to give some things to myself in 2011. i was hoping i could find the “discipline” or “motivation,” to make and break some habits, imagining what it would look like when i got everything right. the fantasy view. knowing how my soul rebels against the words “discipline” and “motivation,” i pushed a prayer out there with a promise to myself to keep down the  “shoulds,”  embrace when possible the “coulds,” and not worry so much about making them “dids.”

looking back today was a spiritual moment. i had prophesied my year and then fulfilled it. i didn’t do it with resolutions. i didn’t do it with promises. i gently gave myself the right, not the obligation, to keep trying…to know we never really get it right…to be happy that i’m doing my best, even when my best doesn’t impress me very much.

i spent 2011 making and breaking habits i’d struggled with for years, decades, a lifetime in some cases. i was afraid to mention a single one loudly for fear i would flag again and shrink further from those who had encouraged me.  the jinx i would deliver myself was ever-impending and inevitable. i preferred to try and fail in private…no need for the world to know the weakness of my follow through.

but i did mention it…in  some detail, out here for the world to see, and on display in my physical world too…and the jinx never came. my cautious, intentional steps toward things i finally really wanted continued, even as i sensed the heights i was reaching, even as i lost touch sometimes with the earth beneath my feat. and feet.

i grew to love 2011. i imagine it will always be a favorite, despite its pits and zits. it’s in the record books for me. it started with such a lackluster opening act, but at the time, i wasn’t really interested in lustrous things anyway.  i wanted to see everything at its rawest, most naked…where i could trust it and my own perceptions. i knew that recently, as the luster had worn from some of my treasures, i found i’d been fooled by a more than a few.

sometimes your favorite things turn out to be pretty unspectacular, even ugly, when all the sparkly parts are gone.

sometimes under a little patina you find a masterpiece aging with its own tasteful hue. and that was me. my life in 2011. i found the masterpiece under all of the shiny tragedy and fantasy.

and i found out that sometimes luster can be restored. a little can be nice.

i started it all by putting it out there on facebook. my private words and thoughts. i only apologized a few times for doing it, and i will only apologize once here. i still don’t know what i’m doing. but i’m doing. and i’m less and less afraid to do it out loud…to live my outrageous life as outrageous me.

i kissed 2012’s arrival much more sweetly than 2011’s.  last year was like a rocket launch with all of that potential energy on the launchpad, not much movement at first…then slowly it rises…until it inconspicuously hits cruising speeds that barely translate in the earthly mind. and that all fits neatly into my lustrous little world view. 2012 sounds so space age to me. i think i’m cruising for a while, with some good systems go.

i’ll see you same time, same place next year, alphabet. you and me…we’re good together. and to my friends and readers, happy new year…again.