Monday, June 27, 2011

Seriously, Universe?

I pride myself in being someone who never asks anyone for anything--I'm not a leech or a hanger-on or any of that. I make my own money and pay my own bills and probably if I keep talking about my singular awesomeness much longer I'll start singing Beyonce and/or Destiny's Child songs and I think we all know how quickly that will clear the room.

When the time comes where I do have to ask for something from a person, I make sure that it's a small something and I make sure that I do all the leg work and that the person I'm asking just needs to do one small part of it that I can't personally do--for example, if I'm applying for a job and need someone other than me to put in a good word about me. As much as I would love to be able to do that myself, I really can't. And I do try to make it worth their while. Shooting for a win-win, always.

You should know that at this very moment I am thinking of ways to disguise my voice and be my own reference...I would do that for me, because I freaking LOVE me. I'm my guy. I'll do whatever I ask, no problem. This I say after my boss was supposedly going to put in a good word for me, once, and ended up convincing a hiring manager that I wasn't qualified for the job I was applying for.

Although, come to think of it, I don't think I have nearly enough insincerity in my voice to pass for my boss, but if it came right down to it, for me, I'd do it.


The girls and I are taking a short trip out of town for a family reunion. We have two cats, and I didn't want to leave them entirely to fend for themselves for the duration of the trip, so I thought I would see if someone would check in on them, as in, maybe someone could come over, check their food and water levels, refill as needed, love up the kittehs, make sure the house hasn't blown over and/or been robbed, and then leave again. No big deal. I figured all of 15 minutes each visit, two visits, tops. Lest anyone should think, "yeah, but pet sitting is still a hassle," please know that I was also planning to pay for this 30 minutes of work, and pay what would amount to a pretty hefty hourly wage to the person who stepped up.

And...NOBODY stepped up.

For real.

I mean, people with other plans, I get that, and I wouldn't fault anyone who was on the way to the lake cabin or whatever, but...not taking what amounts to free money because you'd rather sit on your couch? Seriously?

I had one person who led me to believe that she would do it but when I texted her yesterday to ask when I could get her the keys, she gave me one of those, "Yeah, I meant to tell you..." lines and proceeded to tell me how it would be "too difficult" for her, even though she is an able bodied grown up with two functioning automobiles who has no other plans during that time, who's workplace is within 5 blocks of my house.

And to think I had asked her specifically because I know she's hurting for cash right now and I thought that would be an easy and dignified way for me to help HER.


I guess we know why she's hurting for cash right now, huh?

So that's my Monday "Why?" of the day. Why would you not say "yes" to a simple thing in which all the legwork has been done, and everybody benefits? Is it so hard? When I say that I guess we know why she's hurting for cash right now, it's because I believe that there is a direct connection between your willingness and your results. Are you willing to get up and do something? If so, great! Here's your reward. It really is just that simple, and it applies to literally everything in life.

I expect that somewhere in the middle of my trip, when it's too late for her to do anything about it, my financially challenged friend will text me to ask if I found someone to watch the boys while we're gone. I've been rehearsing my responses, which currently vary from Straight Up Guilt Trip all the way to the Big "Screw You". Some of the responses are wordy and some are just "whatever...". I guess when you are disappointed, you want the people who caused the disappointment to feel bad, too. That's normal.

Rest assured, no matter what I tell her, I'll leave out the part about how my other friends, who live way far away from me and don't need the money, agreed to stop by in exchange for me picking up a bar tab, which, remarkably, is a lot cheaper than what I was going to pay her. That's what you call a win-win-win-win. My cats get a babysitter, I get to leave without worry, I get to guilt the hell out of someone and we all end up at Happy Hour. Wooo!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Another Cab Ride

At the tender age of One Hundred Seventeen, I'm not so much for standing through 4-5 hours of entertainment, but, if nothing else, I am a trooper.  The fact that you are reading this right now means that I survived the standing!  Woo!  It also means that I missed the tweet from @firstavenue offering up a table seat to anyone would could answer the name of Panic! At The Disco's latest album.  DOH!

I went to First Avenue to see Panic! At The Disco last night because I am a fan of theirs.  Conveniently, my 17-year-old is also a fan of theirs, so I had an automatic date.  This worked out perfectly because all night long people were confusing me for a parent who got hooked into taking their kid to a concert.  The truth was, she was a kid who got hooked into going through her parent's treachery.  Don't tell.

I'm just going to come right out and say it:  She's not a fun date, my daughter.  I mean I'm sure she's a fun date for people her own age, and I know that she's a fun person in general, but for me?  Meh...there was nobody with me to make, or listen to, commentary about other audience members, or have a drink, or, if enough drinks were had, sneak a cigarette break.  My kids are not the biggest fans of my humor (remember?) and would throw me down and step on my head for smoking.  Freaking buzz kills.

The evening started a little like last year's June 11th concert (Justin Currie) with my companion having mixed feelings about taking a taxi to the venue.  Last year, my best friend's girlfriend almost didn't let her go because of it!  To no one's surprise, the cab ride was uneventful, then.  This year, my daughter told me a story about how a friend of hers was driven to a secluded area and mugged by a taxi India. 


Not interested in driving downtown or attempting to find parking on a game night, I said if it bothers you that much, as soon as you get into the cab, text the name of the cab company and the guy's license number to everyone in your phone book so they'll know who to go after if you don't show up where and when you're supposed to.

"Oh, mother..."

Needless to say, the transportation was uneventful.  Again.

We arrived to the longest line I have ever seen outside of First Avenue, and, it was not just one line, but two--one going down 1st Avenue and the other doing down 7th Street.  Was I glad I bought tickets on the day they went on sale?  Yes.

And...for those of you just joining me who have never read one of my concert "reviews" before, I should disclose at this time that I don't actually write concert reviews.  I can tell you about the uber gross couple that was hanging out in our general area, doing their best to breathe only each other's exhales, with their faces never more than an inch away from each other.  I can tell you a lot about them.  But I don't remember what anybody on stage was wearing or if they hit an off note or anything like that.  It was a very good show.  Sorry.  When I go to see professional musicians, I expect them to be...well...professional.  And they were.  And I don't know it that's wildly newsworthy.

Now more about the uber gross couple.  Seriously?  Ew.  I'd say that they were between the ages of 16 and 20, and I'm not kidding--their faces were never more than an inch apart.  He kept sniffing her hair around her ear and lilting up his nose like he was sniffing some other dog's ass and she kept one leg wrapped around him the entire time.  I'm sure the after-show sex was awesome for them, but everyone in their vicinity suffered for it during the four hours of foreplay--and now that I mention it, four hours of foreplay can only really lead to some anti-climactic sex, not matter how, er, climactic, it was.  I kept telling myself that one day, they would be grown up enough to exercise a little decorum, but then I'd catch sight of them out of the corner of my eye and think, no, they're just revolting, and at their age it's too late to smack it out of them.  A future tragic love story in the making.  

But enough about them...

At one point in the evening, my daughter asked me what the venue was used for when not holding concerts.  I drew a bit of a blank.

"I....I mean...what?  You're asking me what First Avenue is used for?"  

I opted out of the history lesson.  "Music," I replied.  "That's all that happens here."

Because of the venue's history, I half expected somebody in one of the bands to bust out a Prince song last night, since it wouldn't be too much of a musical stretch for any of them.  The cover that Panic! opted for instead was completely, and awesomely, unexpected: Carry On My Wayward Son.  Yeah, yeah....sorta lame that it was dedicated to the parents, cuz it's an old song, but that song is way the hell older than me, darling, so you can keep your dedication.  A damn good cover, nonetheless.

Not far from me, a dad who ate that Kansas dedication right up, kept snapping pictures and video of his kids enjoying the concert in between taping and photographing most of the show and marveling, yes marveling at the fact that large groups of people knew all the words to the songs by one of the openers, Fun.  I'll admit to never having seen or heard them before last night.  I'll admit that here.  However, I would have never have shown any astonishment that other people have heard of them while everyone around me was belting out all of their songs at the top of their lungs.  That's just nerdy, and not the good kind of nerdy.

We wrapped up the evening with the obligatory stop at the merch table, and, t-shirt procured, spilled out onto the street, grabbed the first cab with an empty back seat and were home before 10:30.  Wow, kid concerts end early!  Crazy.

Oh, and I lied.  I will mention a thing or two about what actually happened on stage.  Fun (The band, I mean...) is truly excellent.  Truly.  I mean it.  I don't care if you're 14 or 44 like me.  Well worth the price of admission if you get a chance.  I kept thinking how I would describe them to my best friend who wasn't there with me, and all I could think was a cool, modern, Queen, but that doesn't necessarily do them any justice, so forgive my limited reference.  I thought Scissor Sisters, a little, too, but that's not really it, either.  They're just...Fun.  Duh.

Lastly, regarding the (noticeable, by me anyway) lack of material from PATD's previous album in the set...I get it, I get it.  It was a slight bummer that it was like they went from their first album straight to their third and Pretty.Odd almost never happened, but honestly that album was fairly different from the other two and not a lot of those things would have fit so neatly into the set we saw.  Not one bad song was played.  I'm not going to lie--the first time I heard the new album, I was worried, because I loved Pretty. Odd soooooo much and thought, what have they done?  That sound is gone!  But hearing songs from albums 1 and 3 snuggled up together really illustrated a continuation of a Panic! At The Disco sound, and I'm not about to begrudge them that.

And now, I'm off to do the 2 hours of yoga and hot bath soaking that it will take to erase the pain that 4 hours of concrete floor standing causes to an ancient body.  Maybe next June 11th I will have recovered enough to take another cab ride downtown.

Saturday, June 4, 2011


I do love digging and plunking stuff in the little holes and then seeing what beautiful things happen.

I planted Orientals because the smell is intoxicating, but this Asiatic won the First Bloom prize this season.

I live in an old brownstone with neglected gardens that, until this year, I neglected, too.  The quiet joy one gets in hanging with plants and making them do things, sometimes against their will, is very satisfying.  I can't believe I put it off so long.  Happy Summer, y'all.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Nothing To See Here...

It is quite true that after knitting for the entire month of May I have nothing to show for it except a pair of acrylic slippers (though the colors are lovely), one garter stich scarf (65 inches of the softest and most luxurious garter stitch, ever), and this semi-sad lace headband made with leftover sock yarn.

It's like back to beginning knitting school around here.

But I would like to take this opportunity to say, "Thank you, knitting.  Thank you."  Thank you for pulling my mind away from those things in my life that cause me pain and hurt that I cannot change, and allowing me to focus on creating a thing that is useful, and hopefully beautiful, from that energy. I could not have made it through this past year without you.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Snark Is Always On The Calendar

Do you know what I did yesterday that was good? 
I mailed my Netflix movies back. 
I know that doesn't sound like such a big deal, and maybe to some people it isn't. 
(insert moaning, aching, oh-my-gawd-the-drama sound)
Mailing movies back has become the biggest of the big deals, ever.  I blame myself.  We get a couple movies, maybe watch one right away, but not everybody is home, so they ask to hang on to it for a bit longer so they can watch it sometime on the weekend, then the next thing you know, 6 weekends have gone by and we've had the movies so long we forgot all about them until I notice them while dusting** and declare THESE WILL BE MAILED BY TOMORROW, SO WATCH THEM NOW OR FOREVER HOLD YOUR PEACE!
7 times out of 10, I end up watching them alone because the children are just not in the mood to watch movies at the same time I'm in the mood to purge myself of month old rentals, and may I just say right now that I am so glad that they were not in the mood to watch Love And Other Drugs last night, because holy shit there's a lot of ass in that movie.  Not that I mind my almost-grown teenagers seeing adultish situations in movies, but I'm sure we would have all been squirming at the sheer level of OH-MY-GOD-THERE'S-HIS/HER-ASS/TITS-AGAIN.
(Movie advertising is funny, isn't it?  That one gave all the signs of being a semi-light-hearted love story, which I think it was in the end, but everything leading up to the last 20 minutes was fuck-fuck-fuck-fuck-fuck...)
I once again made a big show of walking to the corner mail box at 9PM to deposit two movies (the other was Inception, which did not produce any squirming at all...) that I'd been sitting on for a month and a half.  Will I do any better with the next two that are coming in the mail this week?  Hell, I don't know...
My ex used to say that if it's not in the day-timer, it isn't happening, and, this is what it's come to.  My entertainment is now on a calendar.  How very spontaneous of me.  I have to set a reminder on my phone to watch movies before I stop being excited about them being in the house.  Enter Lamesville.
I'll put the "Enjoy your Netflix movies!" notation right next to the "Take out the recycling, stupid!" reminder on my calendar.  Perhaps I can find a special ring-tone for that alarm-the 20th Century Fox fanfare comes to mind.  I'm sure I'll have better luck getting the children to participate in movie night than I do getting them to help with the recycling.
**HA!  That's a funny.  Did you catch that?  For dramatic purposes, I pretended that I actually dust.