His memory is better than mine

Months and months ago (time has no meaning and I don’t remember exactly when this was), Jack learned to say baby and when he combined it with his love of emergency vehicles, it reminded me of a certain song.  We sang it to him for a few days, maybe a couple of weeks, and then forgot about it.

The other day, I had Jack on the changing table, and he indicated that he wanted me to sing and he said, “Oowee.  Baby.  Oowee.  Baby.”  Over and over.  After a couple of minutes, it clicked.  “You want me to sing Oowee Baby?”  “Yup.”  You got it, kid.  Sea Cruise coming right up.

All ball, we all play ball, we’re just waiting for the hammer to fall

The only words in my head are Dr. Seuss rhymes, along with the occasional Queen or Elton John lyric (we watched Bohemian Rhapsody last week and we’re watching Rocketman tonight), so I think I’ll take last night’s waste of time as a lesson and spend this time reading.  (I’m waiting for John to come in from the studio so we can finish the movie.)  Only two and a half weeks before Hugo voting closes!

I used to listen to music for ME, I think. It’s so hard to remember…

Children’s music is entirely too catchy.  It’s really hard to try to write something when the only words going through my head are “Ring ring ring ring ring ring ring.  Banana phone.  Boop-boop-ba-doop-ba-doop.”

I like it fine (that song is right up my alley), but the only songs that drive it away (temporarily) are Sesame Street songs, and is that really helping?

We started re-watching New Girl the other day, and Jack really likes the theme song to that show, but those 20 seconds on repeat might kill me.

Change It Up

I’ve read in a million places that toddlers thrive on routine, but I can’t help but think that can get boring.  And routine doesn’t have to equal doing EXACTLY the same thing at the same time every day, right?  It can mean doing the same KIND of thing, yes?  Well, for my own sanity, the answer to that had better be yes.

I love Sesame Street to pieces, but I can only listen to the two classic sing-along albums so many times in one morning.  I LOVE that he likes them, but we need some variation, so I thought we’d try some Raffi.  I don’t know how I missed out on Raffi – I just looked him up and he was certainly active early enough – but I remember the kids I babysat being into his stuff.  (John doesn’t understand how it is that I am not familiar with “Baby Beluga”.  That’s just the way it is, man.)  Well, Jack wouldn’t even let me get through two songs, but I’m not giving up.  We’ll try again some other day.  In the meantime, I LOVE “Oscar Don’t Allow”, so those two Sesame Street albums can stay in rotation.

A realization, 32 years later

I love Whitney Houston.  I’ve loved her since my first grade teacher sang “The Greatest Love Of All” at the end of the year.  I can’t say exactly when I got her first album and learned all the words to all of the songs, but I finished first grade in 1986, so let’s go with that summer.  (The album came out in 1985, so that’s probably pretty close.)

Anyway, I still know all the words to every song on that album, and if I hear them on the radio, I will always sing along.  The thing is, I don’t hear most of those songs very much anymore, and I’ve known them so long, I don’t really put much thought into them.  The words just come out, like muscle memory.

That’s how I had an epiphany, in real time, while singing along to “Saving All My Love For You” in the car with John this past Sunday.

The song starts.

“A few stolen moments is all that we share”.  My brain pricks up a bit.  Why stolen?  Why can’t they be together?

“You’ve got your family and they need you there.”  Hang on a sec.  Maybe she just means he has kids.

“Though I’ve tried to resist being last on your list”  Could still be that he has kids…

“But no other man’s gonna do
So I’m saving all my love for you.”  Inconclusive.  But now I’m suspicious.  Let’s see what happens next.

“It’s not very easy living all alone
My friends try and tell me find a man of my own.”  Huh.  He’s not hers.  She’s having an affair with a married man!

Skip ahead to the third verse, and any question in my mind was answered:

“You used to tell me we’d run away together
Love gives you the right to be free
You said be patient just wait a little longer
But that’s just an old fantasy.”

How did I not know this?  I can understand not getting it when I was 7, but I’ve known every word and note of this song for 32 years, and it NEVER OCCURRED TO ME to think about what it was about.  Except to giggle inwardly when I got to “we’ll be making love the whole night through”.

I mean, it’s a fantastic song, and I still love her.  (Heh.  I will always love her.)

But what else have I been missing about my favorite songs?

When I’m wrong, I’m wrong.

A correction is needed.  I have slandered the good name of the family.  (Maybe it’s libel, but slander sounds better.  Hush.)  Yesterday, I said “hardly anyone else enjoys Merry Axemas or the Brian Setzer Christmas albums as much as we do”.  I was wrong, and while I have already apologized profusely in person, I feel the need to make a public statement to remove any doubt that this family thoroughly enjoys the Brian Setzer Christmas albums.

I am sorry.  I was wrong.  And Brian Setzer rocks, although that was never in question.

If you want to hear the concert and you have SiriusXM, it’ll be on the Holly channel (channel 70) Christmas Eve at 3pm ET and at midnight ET (going into Christmas Day).  It’ll also be on the Outlaw Country channel (channel 60) tonight at 10pm ET, on Christmas Eve at noon ET, and on Christmas Day at 10am ET and 6pm ET.  It’s 90 minutes long, and it’s wonderful.

Best Christmas Drive

John and I have made the long (sometimes longer) drive to his family for Christmas for many many many years.  We take the opportunity to listen to our favorite Christmas albums, since hardly anyone else enjoys Merry Axemas or the Brian Setzer Christmas albums as much as we do.  Things usually work out pretty well elsewhere on the radio, too.  Our favorite songs come on, one year we happened to catch a broadcast of The Christmas Carol, and other stuff like that.

This year wins.  We had a five-hour drive in front of us, SiriusXM tuned to a news station, and we were not five minutes out of the house when we heard an ad for The Brian Setzer Orchestra Christmas concert, recorded live earlier this week, playing on some other channel at 8pm eastern.  It was just after 5pm.  Having seen his Christmas concert twice now, we weren’t going to miss that.  I set an alarm.

Guys, it was SO GOOD.  The sound was perfect – it felt like we were there, and the show was fantastic.  We had such a good time listening to it. It made our drive.  We showed up with big stupid grins on our faces instead of walking in the house all beat down from hours in the car.  It’s almost four hours later (this family stays up late), and I still feel the effects.  We’re going to track down that recording somehow.  I need it.

The revolution was a lie

Tonight, we will test just how convenient it is for us to live approximately an hour from Boston. And we will test if we’re really approximately an hour from Boston.  I’m willing to bet we’re not, at least not around 4:30/5pm on a weekday.  But still!  We should get there quicker than we were able to get to Portland.

Why are we going to Boston on a Wednesday night?  It’s a surprise!  But it’s a surprise for John, not you, and by the time I publish this, he’ll already know why we’re going, so it’s safe to tell you.  I mean, he knows we’re going to Boston tonight already.  It’s not THAT much of a surprise.

I’m pretty confident he’ll be happy when he figures out who we’re going to see.  Sort of an early birthday present, I guess.

Les Mis! Again! And alone!

I just saw Les Mis for the 7th or 8th time, and it’s bothering me that I can’t remember if I’ve seen it 7 or 8 times.  Family?  Can you help me out here?

  • I saw it twice before college, both times in Louisville.  One of those times Mario and Dennis came with us.
  • I saw it once in college with John, which was the first time he saw it.
  • I saw it once at Wolf Trap with John, in 2008, the second time for him and so far the last for him.
  • I saw it at the Kennedy Center with Mel, Jess, Margaret, and Amanda in 2011.
  • I saw it at the Warner Theatre with Brynn (former coworker) in 2012.  I think it was 2012.
  • I just saw it last night in Providence ALL BY MYSELF.* More on that in a bit.

That’s seven times, but I feel like I’m missing one.  An early one.  And I can’t believe it’s been five years since I saw it last (although it was more like nine years between the two times I saw it with John).

Hm.  Maybe it’s another DC one.  Did I see it once with Adam and Simone?  At the National Theatre?  That’s ringing a bell, actually.

So, yeah, I went alone for two very good reasons.  No, three.

  1. John’s not a fan.  He would certainly come with me, but I don’t see the point of buying him a ticket so he can accompany me to something he won’t enjoy, when he’s only going so I don’t have to go alone (which is a lovely reason), and since I know he won’t like it, it takes my enjoyment down a notch.  A teensy notch, but a notch.  Anyone else would have had to travel, and while that would have been fun (it has been in the past), see points 2 and 3.
  2. It’s kinda fun to go to things by myself.  Other people (other people I like, I should say) are hardly a burden (I can’t say the same about people I don’t like, obvs), but sometimes it’s nice to do whatever I want to do, however I want to do it, without worrying about whoever is with me.
  3. I GOT THE GREATEST SEAT EVER because I was only buying ONE ticket.  It was one seat, by itself, front row, six seats off the center aisle.  If I’d been looking for two tickets, I would have been way off to the side and further back or WAY further back.

I have NEVER had this good of a seat to see Les Mis, and it was AWESOME.  No kidding, I was so close it felt almost like a private performance, and this performance was SO GOOD.  This was the first stop of this season’s national tour.  The schedule is here.  You should go.

I miss the revolving stage, though.

Giggles

I heard Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game” on the radio today.  I’ve always liked the song (video at the end, if you need it), but since that one Friends episode, I can’t help but laugh when he does his signature vocal move.

I like the way she laughs at him.

Also, I’m totally jealous of his eyebrow raise. I can’t do that.

Here’s the song.  If you’re familiar with it, you know what I’m talking about.  If you’re not, he does it on the chorus, first time at 0:52 in the video.

There isn’t an ocean too deep

Today was a good day for a bike ride.  One that I am out of shape for.  (My butt is not too crazy about me right now, and my legs only stopped burning 20 minutes ago.)

John had an idea of where he wanted to go, so I said, “I will follow you,” out loud, to his back as we took off, and for the next half hour, I had Little Peggy March’s “I Will Follow Him” in my head.  I didn’t have headphones, I didn’t even have my phone, and we were going too fast to chat.  I had only my brain to save me, and oh, brain, you failed.  Little Peggy March faded to Sister Act, back to Tiny Peg, back to Whoopi not measuring up to her choir, and all the while, I was resisting the urge to be the crazy person pedaling madly after a man, singing “He is my destiny!” at the top of my lungs.

Moods

Some songs that make me both happy and sad lately.

Sorry – I don’t usually bother watching videos on other blogs.  I prefer to read, but sometimes I can’t word.  I won’t be offended if you don’t watch/listen to these.  Like I’ll know anyway.  🙂

Too tired to sleep

I am SO VERY MUCH ENTIRELY TOO OLD for this late night crap.  We didn’t stay for the whole show (we caught a few songs from the headlining band, but then we left), so we got home around 1am and still got up at 6.  I don’t regret it – the Arkells were freakin’ amazing and we were right up against the stage and no, they didn’t pull John up on stage this time, but they didn’t do that bit at all, so it’s okay, and we got to have a nice conversation with the singer after the show, and MAN I love them.  So I don’t regret it, but it’s 8pm on the day after, and my eyes are so tired they hurt.  Hurts to close them, hurts to leave them open.

We met this trio of college girls, friends from high school, who have taken the week off to get together (they don’t go to the same schools) and follow the Arkells and Blossoms (the other band who played last night) from Portland to San Francisco to Coachella.  They were hilariously excited.

Gotta go to bed.  I think tomorrow might be harder than today was.  Because I’m old.

Tonight’s the night

Tonight, in just a few hours, we are going to see the Arkells again and YAY!!!!  It looks like they’re the opening opening act, and – I think I said this before – we may leave as soon as they’re off the stage.  Sure, we may miss out on falling in love with another new band, but we’re tired and we get up early and we didn’t take tomorrow off and we’ve never heard of the second opening act or the headliner and there’s only so much new I’m up for when there’s a 2-hour drive home to contemplate.

So. Arkells!

Hey, they’re going to be in Cincinnati for the Bunbury Music Festival for three days in a row at the beginning of June.  You Kentucky people?  You should consider going.

(Of course, they misspelled Cincinnati on their website, but give them a break – they’re Canadian.)

How many times can I surprise myself with this?

I just remembered that we’re going to see the Arkells in April.  They’ll be back in Portland opening for some band we’ve never heard of, and for $11 each, we’ll deal with a show for a band we’ve never heard of.  Assuming we stay.

Anyway, I just remembered that, and April’s almost here, and it makes me happy because we REALLY like them.

Rock star

I didn’t post yesterday, but I had a very good reason, Person Who Is Berating Me For Not Posting Yesterday For Some Reason: I was at a really, super good, fanTAStic show in Portland last night, and most of our day and night was spent working, driving, dancing and singing, and then driving again, leaving no room for blogging.

Sorry, Person Who Is Berating Me For Not Posting Yesterday For Some Reason.  But I’m here today, and I’m going to tell you all about it!

Last night was a perfect example of “Hey, we don’t have any responsibilities except work so we should take this opportunity.  No excuses.”  (We sometimes have to remind ourselves.)

I don’t even know what order to tell this in.  Chronological?  Best to worst?  How about I start with “what am I talking about” and “how did this come about”, huh?

What I am Talking About:

Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls played a club in Portland last night (Tuesday night) and WE WENT.  We missed him last time he was in Portland – by the time we found out about the show, it was sold out.

How This Came About:

It was a very lucky stroke of wonderful timing.  I follow this actor we like, Timothy Omundson, on Twitter, and on Sunday, he tweeted about seeing Frank Turner in LA.  That made me think hey, if he’s on tour, maybe he’s coming near us, so I checked and OHMYGOD HE’S COMING TO PORTLAND IN TWO DAYS, followed by OHMYGOD TICKETS ARE AVAILABLE AND WOW THEY’RE CHEAP!  Clearly, I bought the tickets.  (Our struggle with “but it’s in Portland and it’ll be a really late night and then we’ll have to get up really early and work the next day” was short-lived.)

Side note: I tweeted at Timothy Omundson about it (as a reply to his tweet) and he responded!  Squee!

Okay, now I’m going with best to worst:

  • BEST – In the middle of a song, the second opening act (which was very good – more coming up) asked the crowd for a guitarist and they picked John, largely due our proximity to the stage and my nutso jumping and pointing.  It also helped that he’s tall.  So John, our very own John, went up on stage with a touring band during a real rock show, and played for a minute or so with the band.  It was so great and I HAVE VIDEO.  I did my best to hold the camera still.  Please forgive my screaming at 1:27 and 2:01.  Yes, the singer is talking about Betsy DeVos.

  • Frank Turner was freakin’ amazing – there was screaming and dancing and singing along and they played all of my favorite songs of theirs minus one and I will go to his shows any time he tours anywhere near us.
  • The second opening act was this Canadian band, The Arkells, who are our awesome new band to love (and emulate because oh yeah, John’s in a band again and they’ve entered a contest and they had a gig a couple of weeks ago and they have another one next weekend and I’ll tell you all about that in a few days).  That’s who pulled John on stage, and they were a really great surprise.
  • The first opening act was this acoustic singer-songwriter guy from England, Will Varley – funny jokes, good songs, and we bought all his CDs after the show (because we’re suddenly very conscious of supporting smaller acts now that, oh yeah, John’s in a band again and they’ve entered a contest and they had a gig a couple of weeks ago and they have another one next weekend and I’ll tell you all about that in a few days).
  • There was crowd-surfing!  It was limited, but I don’t think I’ve ever been to a show with crowd-surfing before.  Frank Turner met a barista earlier in the day, and she came to the show, so he pulled her on stage and got her to crowd-surf with specific directions to the crowd.  We had to get her to the back so she could high-five the person running the merchandise table, detour to the bar, and then come back along the other side to the stage.  We helped her get back on the stage at the end.  And then, during one of the encore songs, Frank crowd-surfed himself, WHILE SINGING, and we helped.  He was sweaty.  But I touched sweaty Frank Turner!
  • Our drive to Portland was fun on its own.  We binged Frank Turner songs and brainstormed ideas for John’s band (because oh yeah, John’s in a band again and they’ve entered a contest and they had a gig a couple of weeks ago and they have another one next weekend and I’ll tell you all about that in a few days).
  • Late as it was (we hit the road at midnight), the drive home was kinda fun, too.  We stuck to the decades stations on Sirius and had a sing-along to stay awake.
  • We ate at a southern BBQ place for dinner before the show which was…not bad.  Total hipster restaurant, from the menu to the diners.  At one table, there was a bearded guy wearing a black button down shirt and a matching black wool beanie on his head.  At the very next table, there was a bearded guy wearing a gray button down shirt and a matching gray wool beanie on his head.  I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP.  The second guy had a toddler wearing a lumberjack flannel shirt.
  • WORST: Getting up this morning was not easy.  I got 4, maybe 4 and a half hours of sleep before I had to get up and work.  John didn’t have any morning meetings, so he slept longer.

There’s probably more, but I think I’m out of words.  For now.  Until tomorrow!  I hope.  If I have time.  Because there’s more cool stuff happening tomorrow.

Huh. I can tell the exhaustion is setting in ’cause I can’t seem to stop.  Stop.  STOP.

Not it

No jury duty today!  On the one hand, I’m happy because I don’t have to disrupt my life for it.  (Where “disrupt” means what?  Not work for the day?  I probably could have handled that.)  On the other hand, I’ve never done it, and I might enjoy it.  I’ve never even gone to the courthouse to possibly get chosen for one.  I’ve only been summoned twice, and both times I’ve found out the night before that I don’t have to go.  Maybe next time.  I do think it’s a little weird that I got one summons in VA over the course of 12 years and then got my OR summons in less than a year.

I did decide to put my “I can’t focus on work” minutes to learning ukulele chords instead of playing sudoku online.  If I just do that for a few minutes every day, I might actually be able to play a song without fumbling through chord changes one of these days.  I will consider that a major accomplishment.  The next step will be singing and playing at the same time (!).

Doing it during the work day, using time I wasn’t working anyway (everyone needs a break!), makes me happy.  Banjos might sound happier than ukuleles, but I think it’s a close race.

Jamming

I don’t like the word “jamming”.  I think it’s dumb when it refers to music.  I like the concept just fine, but the word itself makes me uncomfortable.  More when I use it than when others do, though. I feel like an imposter.  Plus, it makes me think of making jam, and since that has NOTHING to do with music, the juxtaposition bothers me.  I guess.  Or something that makes more (or less) sense.  Whatever.

That’s how I take a stand on something.

I’m thinking about it (and being made uncomfortable by the word) because the action is what’s happening in my basement right now.  It’s just Will and John, and they sound good, and I like the stuff they’re coming up with.  I’m happy to have it going on, but I would appreciate it someone would come up with a better word for it.  Get on that, someone, would you?

Oh, weirdly, I’m totally okay with the jamming when it refers to blocking electronics.

The more you know.