Posted in Family, Home, Personal, Relationships

Girl For All Seasons

It’s that time of year again. All of my friends and family are excited for Fall. They can’t wait for the cool, crisp air to break out the decorations, make a wreath for their front door, and get a pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks.

But then Halloween passes and Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Now they are excited to get their Christmas tree and decorations, string lights outside, Winter wonderlands, and get a peppermint latte from Starbucks.

Then everyone rings in the New Year (hopefully with a kiss), they are helping their kids with Valentines for school, and are wishing that all the damn snow would finally melt so they can plant their Spring garden and get a Chai Tea from Starbucks.

But then Easter comes with rain showers and the air is warm, but still a little too cool for swimming and boating. The kids are restless as Summer approaches and everyone is excited for their vacation as they sip their Very Berry Hibiscus “Refresher” from Starbucks.

I’m not one of those people. While I do look forward to holidays, I never wish them upon us sooner than the earth revolves. The changing of the seasons is nice, but it’s also indicative of the passing of time. We can never get this summer back. We need to live and love in the moment that we have now, next season isn’t promised. The faster the seasons change, the sooner we reach that next moment or the new beverage being offered at Starbucks, we are older. Our children are older, our parents are older.

I adore the fact that I get to see the adults that my children have grown into. I relish seeing my grandson mature everyday and learn new words. But seeing those that are younger get older is quite different than seeing those that are older begin to age. I’ve come to terms that I’m not getting any younger, but I’m also not ready to age faster than necessary.

So everyone, please, take it easy. Don’t be in such a rush for the future, slow down for the present. There is still time to bask in the sun, ride bikes, wear those flip-flops, keep your legs shaven, and work on that tan. Fall and Winter can wait a little longer… can you?

Posted in Music, Personal, Uncategorized

The Psychedelic Furs at Emo’s East 9.23.12

Usually when I go to a show that I know I’m going to write a review about, I try to go in as neutral as possible. I stay focused, listening, watching, writing parts of it in my head and taking notes on my phone as the show progresses. Not this time. I was stoked to see The Furs. I had been waiting to see them for 20+ years. I have to admit, I loved the old Emo’s on Red River. I’ve been to some off the best shows of my life there and I loved the intimacy… you were right there in front of your band, face to face. The smaller the venue, the happier the Liz. The fist time I went to the new Riverside location was for the Flogging Molly and Frank Turner show and I went in skeptical. It tuned out to be an amazing time and I spent entirely too much money at the merch stand, then doted over Frank, getting pictures and autographs, and basically falling head over heels in love with him.
Back to The Furs…
What can I say? They rocked my socks off (had I been wearing socks. Instead, I wore my favorite black t-strap heels.) I was (naturally) front row, Grady side, directly in front of Richard Good. And God, he was good. (That’s the left side of the stage when you’re facing it, or the right side of the stage when you’re on it.) As soon as the lights went down, I was giddy. The mood was relaxed. Everyone was excited as we suddenly squeezed closer together. Richard Butler came out and the crowd went wild. They played all the expected songs and some not so expected. Their stage presence was awesome. Everyone was wearing all black from dress pants to jeans, but all black. It was so 80’s and I loved it. They were very active on stage, dancing and moving from one side to another, no doubt making it easier for photo ops. Obviously, Amanda Kramer (formerly of Information Society) couldn’t carry her keyboards around and that’s sucks because I would have loved to have seen her play more during the show. Tim Butler looked fantastic, moving about and singing along, wearing dark sunglasses and occasionally reaching out to the audience. When Richard looked directly at me and shook my hand I thought I would faint. Mars Williams may have been the highlight of the night. His saxophone skills are chilling. I was moved by his sounds and he looked incredible on stage. I was lucky to get some fantastic photos with a mediocre camera. I had visions of posting the videos on Youtube, but the audio came out terrible. It’s a shame, too, because I actually kept my arms still and the video came out fabulous. After the encore, I was sad to see the show end. I mosied over to the merch stand vowing not to not buy another black band tee or tank. My closet is overrun with those. I spent $22 for a vintage-inspired aged pretty-in-pink Psychedelic Furs babydoll tee that I adore. I proceeded to wait by their bus for them come out so I could get a few words and hopefully a picture or two. There were a few die hard fans waiting with me, albums and Sharpies in hand, hoping for an autograph. Time seemed to be crawling along and I was regretting not making a trip to the ladies room before going outside. Those Lone Stars were catching up with me and I wasn’t sure my bladder would hang in there. Most everyone had left and the crowd had dwindled to two other hopefuls next to me. I would not give up. I had waited this long, I could wait longer. Another 15 minutes had passed and a roadie walked backstage with bags of hot food for the band. It smelled like Thai. My stomach grumbled and my mouth salivated. Now I was starving on top of trying not to wet my pants and I was regretting the choice to wear my black t-strap heels. The door guy looked at me with pity in his eyes. Just when I was contemplating copping a squat behind the tour bus, (I wouldn’t really do that) Amanda walked out. I was the lone ranger, everyone else had given up. She was as beautiful as ever, her long blonde locks a stark contrast against her all black attire. Suddenly, I didn’t care about my stomach, my bladder, or my aching feet, I just wanted an autograph. She was friendly and accommodating. I got an autograph on my wristband and a photograph. We chatted a bit about the sound quality of the show. She seemed concerned, but I assured her it was amazing.

Amanda Kramer (formerly of 1980’s electronic band Information Society) and current keyboardist of The Psychedelic Furs.

Right on Amanda’s heels, Richard walked out. I had gotten two of his guitar picks at the show and a shit ton of great pictures, but I wanted more. He happily signed my wristband and made a point to leave room for the rest of the band. He was a genuinely nice guy and looked even better at eye level. (Don’t you agree?)

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Richard Good (founding member of San Fransisco band The Pleased) and current guitar player for The Psychedelic Furs.

My next treat was Paul Garisto. I wanted to tell him I loved his glasses, they reminded me of Bono and his skills were fantastic, but along with Amanda, he was concerned about the audio. He said things didn’t sound right on stage. I don’t know what he heard, but it was the angels singing in my ears! (I didn’t have the gumption to tell him I’m partially hearing impaired and completely biased.) If he minded lingering to chat and take pics, he never let on. I really enjoyed the conversation with him and was a wee bit awestruck. This guy has played drums with some serious legends.

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Paul Garisto (previously done work with Iggy Pop, David Gahan of Depeche Mode, Steve Jones of The Sex Pistols, and many more) current drummer for The Psychedelic Furs.

By now, everyone had gone to the bus and I had only met half of the band! I knew I would be disappointed if I didn’t get to meet everyone else, so I stuck it out some more. The door guy retreated inside and for a moment, I thought I would just slip in unnoticed. Just as I was about to make my move, the door guy walks back out, looks at me and says, (smiling) “Here they come!” I could tell he was rooting for me. Mars Williams emerged through the door and I tried not to gasp. This guy is a musical genius and I didn’t feel worthy to share the same air as him. I gathered myself and asked for a picture. He agreed. I didn’t want to bother him for an autograph, but he spied the Sharpie in my hand and offered. What an incredible man! Again, he saved room on my wristband for everyone and I was falling even more in love with this band.

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Mars Williams (formerly of The Waitresses as well as having performed with Billy Idol, Robert Palmer, Billy Squier, Massacre, Ministry, and Die Warzau among others) current saxophonist for The Psychedelic Furs.

I was almost there, all I had left was the Butler brothers, and I wanted to meet them so badly my heart was pounding through my dress so hard you could see it! The anticipation was mounting and finally, Richard Butler exited. He didn’t notice me at first and I timidly squeaked out, “Um, Mr. Butler, may I have a photo with you please?” He turned around and flashed me a genuine smile. He signed my wristband and posed for the picture. I could have listened to him talk about the weather with his accent sending chills up my spine. I had worshiped him as a teenage girl and suddenly I didn’t feel nearly 40 anymore. Of course he had aged, (hell, he’s 56 years old now) but he was as dashing and fit as he was when I first fell for him in the mid-eighties.

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Richard Butler, founding member and lead singer of The Psychedelic Furs.

I managed to regain my composure and though I did blather a bit about being a long time admirer, we did have a nice conversation about the show. He seemed interested in my thoughts about the show overall… the set list (see pic), the lighting, the sound quality, the performance in general. Apparently the entire band kept hearing a “boom,” but I was front row and never heard anything like that. So, it happened. All that bladder holding and waiting paid off. I got to meet some of my favorite musicians, shake their hands, get their autographs, and sneak in a few photos. I was on cloud 9. As I waved good-bye to Richard, I practically danced to my truck. (The last vehicle left in the parking lot.) I think the entire Emo’s staff left before I did. I was still on my high, sitting in my truck reliving meeting the band. That’s when it hit me….
I had been so starstruck over meeting Richard Butler that I left without getting so much as a wave from Tim Butler! (the bassist) What an idiot I was! I could hardly believe myself, I was so disgusted. I started up the truck, still reeling when I felt the hand of God on my shoulder. I realized that I had just met 5 out of the 6 members of one my favorite bands. I was one of the lucky few and instead of focusing on the one thing I didn’t get, I should be appreciating the many things I did get.
I pulled into Whataburger, sprinted to the ladies room, got some food in my belly, and poured through the camera, impressed with some of the shots I got, feeling thankful and blessed for the many opportunities I have been given in life. I hope you enjoy these pictures….

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p.s. – I know this didn’t end up being a typical show review… it’s more like lengthy diary post from obsessed fan. So what? This is my blog and I can write what I want. Had I been writing for a publication, it would have been purely professional and not filled with stories about me. I admit it, I’m a fangirl. Whatever. I had a fantastic time at the show and I wanted to document for posterity. Maybe next time I’ll write a less biased review!

Posted in Personal

Damn, They Still Make That?

I stopped at the liquor store the other day when I got off work to pick up some beer for the rafting trip I had planned the next day. I hate liquor stores, but a trip to HEB or Wal-Mart was out of the question on a Saturday afternoon. It had been a particularly crappy day at work and I was in a shitacular mood. Not wanting to run into anybody I knew, I scanned the place for familiar faces as I entered the store. Looking around, I saw an older man wearing a tropical print Tommy Bahama shirt, white shorts, black dress socks, and white deck shoes. He kinda reminded me of Barry Weiss from Storage Wars. There were two college aged girls in the beer section trying to decide between Bud Light and Bud Light Lime. Ewww. I could see their bikini straps tied around their necks under their t-shirts and I figured they were going rivering. Tourists. There was a hippie looking dude in the rum section wearing a tie-dye t-shirt, khaki shorts that had a zillion pockets, Jesus sandals, and longish-wavy hair. He reminded me of the guy from the freecreditreport.com commercials and I thought he was kinda cute. The woman in a navy pant suit and bad flats was eying the wine bottles as if they were Chippendales dancers, while the middle-aged guy in an LSU t-shirt and jeans was eying Navy Pant Suit lady. The guy behind the counter was young, early 20’s, with a 90’s goatee and eye glasses that were too small for his face. He was busy counting lighters at the check-out and didn’t even look up when I walked in. I silently sighed a sigh of relief. There wasn’t a soul here that I knew. I walked to the back of the store for my 12 pack of Lone Star. College Girls were still debating the Bud Light issue and I smiled as I moved between them to get to my beer. They did not smile back or even move out of the way for me. Fucking tourists. I squeezed in, grabbed my beer and headed to the check-out. Barry Weiss guy was at the front of the line asking for cigarettes and lottery tickets. (So many vices in one small place!) LSU dude was in line behind him and I took my place next. College girls had settled on Bud Light Lime and stood behind me. One was yacking away about her cat while the other was busy texting on her phone. They had longneck bottles instead of cans. Friendly Liz wanted to tell them that glass is not allowed on the river, but Sassy Liz told her, (in my head) “Fuck it. Let them get fined.” Hippie guy walked up with a bottle of Captain Morgan in tow and I imagined him drunk and stoned with his friends, putting one leg up and proclaiming, “Yeah, I’ve got a little Cap’n in me!” Navy Pant Suit was at the caboose with three bottles of wine in her arms, cradling them like a baby. My feet hurt, I was tired and cranky, and yes, I was a little impatient. LSU dude turned around and said to me, “You smell very nice. What’s that scent you’re wearing?” God, I was not in the mood to get hit on. Sassy Liz wanted to say, “Nothing, it’s my natural body odor. I was born smelling like flowers,” but Friendly Liz stepped in and said, “Thank you, it’s ‘Colors’ by Benetton,” with a forced smile.

“Damn, they still make that?” he said.
Maybe he wasn’t hitting on me, maybe he was just a dick.

Before Friendly Liz could stop her, Sassy Liz blurted out, “Nah, it was discontinued years ago, but lucky me, I’ve got a lifetime supply!” Friendly Liz started yelling at Sassy Liz inside my head. “What the hell was that? What does that even mean? Dumbass.” Meanwhile, Barry Weiss was still at the front, gripping his bottle of Crown Royal and leaning across the counter as he continued to pick out his scratch-offs. LSU dude tilted his head, confused, and said, “Oh, yeah? How’s that?” My heart skipped a beat for a second and that’s when it happened…

Sassy Liz took over and began to explain that after I found out it was discontinued, I ordered as many bottled as I could from Benetton’s website, then onto e-Bay, Amazon, and Overstock.com. “You know, the ‘O’?” I said, making my very best ‘O’ face, pausing so he could get it. (He didn’t get it.) I noticed that College Girl #1 had stopped talking about her cat and College Girl #2 had put her phone put away. They were both listening intently to what I was saying. That’s when I started to getting into the science of the matter. I explained that I was able to store the bottles in my wine cellar. (As soon as the word “wine” passed through my lips, Navy Pant Suit looked up from the floor she had been staring at for so long and was suddenly interested in what I was saying.) “You see,” Sassy Liz explained, “wine cellars are ideal for perfume storage. The cool temperature and perfect humidity level keep the oils from evaporating and leaving just the alcohol. You know when your grandma wears the same perfume that has sat on her vanity for umpteen years and it just stinks? That weird old lady perfume smell? That comes from improper storage. Most people don’t realize that perfume has a shelf life of about one year.” I kept chatting on about how once a perfume has “turned” it may smell nice in the bottle, but when it interacts with the natural oils on the skin, the scent will change for the worse and it can be difficult to wash off. Looking around, I realized that all eyes were on me, hippie dude looked amazed, Barry Weiss guy had stopped to turn around and listen to me, and I noticed my friend John standing in line behind Navy Pant Suit with a bottle of Jagermeister, smiling. (When did he get here?) I felt like Lisa Kudrow in ‘Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion’ when she explained how she had invented post-it notes to the bitches from her class.  I had no idea what I was talking about and I was pretty sure that at no point ever Benetton had discontinued making ‘Colors.’  But Sassy Liz was confident. She may not have known what she was talking about, but she sure sounded like it. I was rather impressed with myself. I shifted my weight to my left side, the Lone Star felt heavy in my arms. Barry Weiss completed his purchase, thanked the clerk, and turned around towards me. He smiled and tipped his imaginary hat in my direction before he left. I looked back at my friend and said, “Hi, John!” He said, “Hey Liz,” then went back to focusing on College Girls’ butts. I heard the clerk ask LSU dude if he wanted a bag. He didn’t. As LSU stepped aside to put his change in his wallet, I set my Lone Star on the counter, relieved from the weight. I pulled out my card to pay as LSU looked at me and lifted his arm with his beer in the air as if to say “Cheers!” That’s when I noticed the 40 oz. Olde English Malt Liquor he was buying.

Without hesitation, Sassy Liz looked at the bottle, looked at LSU dude and said,
“Damn, they still make that?”

 

Posted in Family, Home, Personal, Relationships

Oh Brother…

My sister Kat and I are almost exactly 2 years apart, with me being the youngest. From birth, we were very best friends. That has never changed. We’ve lived in different states since I was 16, but we still have no one closer to our hearts than each other. Though we both have busy lives with full time jobs, houses to keep up with, children & grandchildren, and active social lives, we still manage to call or text each other nearly every day. I don’t think there are many people in the world that are as lucky as we are to have each other.

We have an older brother, Brett. He is 6 years my senior. I don’t recall ever being in the same school at the same time as him. Brett and I were close as well. He was especially influential in my musical tastes. Brett was very protective of us and made sure to include us as often as possible, even when it meant he had to drag us along on one of his high school adventures. Once my Dad passed, he took on an even more protective role. Those were large shoes to fill for a guy still in college. Brett and I don’t talk nearly as often as Kat and I do. In fact, we mostly just text. He loves my children dearly and is especially attached to my son, Brandon. (I think after growing up with 2 sisters, he’s ready to have another dude in his life!) Bran goes to visit my bro, usually at Christmas, Spring Break, and a week in the Summer. They both look forward to it very much and it makes me happy to see them bond so well. Brett helps with back-to-school clothes and supplies for him. This year, Brett bought him two awesome pairs of shoes, one pair of Vans & one pair of Osiris. (Brandon is the only dude I’ve ever met that was a bigger shoe whore than I am!)

My brother does cool stuff for my girls, too, but yesterday takes the cake. My company held our “End of the Season” party, starting out with a 5 hour float trip down the Guadalupe followed by a catered dinner riverside, filled with drunken debauchery. Perfect. I had my daughters come out for pulled pork and potato salad so they could end the evening with us. We all had a great time. The girls headed back home while Sandy and I stopped for a few needed items. I arrived at the house to find two large empty boxes sitting on my front porch. Wondering what was up, I stepped inside the foyer, and this is what I was met with…

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Sixteen packages of twenty-count diapers Brett had sent my daughter Dallas for my grandson Lyric! “OH MY GOD!” I exclaimed as I covered my mouth with one hand and covered my heart with the other. The girls were sitting on the sofa and started cracking up when they saw my expression! “I know, Mom, can you believe it? I’ll never have to buy diapers again!” Dallas said. I wanted to get in my truck and drive to Houston just so I could hug my brother and thank him in person. If ever anyone was moved to tears because of diapers, they weren’t nearly as moved as I was last night.

After getting in bed, I thought of my sister. I took that pic of the diaper pyramid and sent it to her with the caption, “Look what Brett sent Dallas!” Her reply was almost immediate and in true Kat fashion, it was witty & perfect :

“Are those diapers? Looks like stacked bricks of gold! (basically, the same thing!!)
She was right.

Momma sure did a good job with her 3 kids.

Posted in Family, Home, Personal, Television

Rude Awakening

Everybody remembers what they were doing that morning. This is my story:

Mikayla wasn’t in school yet and Brandon was scheduled for a blood transfusion in San Antonio, so I let everyone sleep in while I got Dallas off to school. I stopped to fill up the tank just as the news was breaking over the gas station radio. The clerk got a phone call to raise the price to $5/gallon. I was already sick to my stomach. Rushing home, I raced in the house and turned on the television just before the 2nd plane hit. There were all of these wild reports and so much speculation, each station reporting something different. My mom was in North Carolina visiting my sister and was supposed to fly back to Minnesota that morning. I was afraid to call, I didn’t want to hear any more bad news. I ran in my room, jumped on the bed and starting shaking Eric, “Baby, baby, wake up! We’re under attack!” He shot up in bed, confused, and reached for the mini-blinds, tearing them down in the process thinking our home was under attack. What a rude awakening. Everything after that was a blur. I called the school to see if I should pick up Dallas. The secretary hadn’t heard yet and I had to fill her in. My mom and sister got through to me on the phone line. Mom made me promise not to drive to San Antonio and I made her promise not to get on a plane. We were positive there were more attacks coming and we all said our good-byes in case they were our last. Me, Eric, and the kids all cuddled up and glued ourselves to the TV, horrified, terrified, crying, absorbing everything trying to understand. We never did and we never will.

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Posted in Home, Music, Personal, Work

Starry Starry Night

Even though I share my birthday (March 30th) with some of the greats, the one I have always felt most kindred to was Vincent van Gogh. Secretly, I’ve lived in fear/relief at the thought that I too would leave this earth at the age of 37. My 37th birthday came and went this year without even a sneeze. Believe me, I held my breath on July 29, 2012, fearful that if I drew in any air, it would be my last. Though I have been dealing with this tumor in my head for 3 years now, I can’t say for certain that it will be the cause of my demise. But I’ve always known that what would kill me would be something inside my head, be it a tumor or emotions. I’m the type of person that puts my all into my work, whether it is my job/career or the personal work I do on the side that doesn’t get monetary compensation. So today, as I sit at my desk and work on my next project (to be revealed next week) I was listening to Pandora… Don McLean’s “Vincent” came on and it brought me to tears. I was so full of emotion, I can’t explain why or where it came from. I want to reach across the starry starry night and hold Vinnie’s hand, I want to tell him his work is beautiful and appreciated, I want to tell him I understand. I hope he hears me.

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Posted in Uncategorized

I Walk Alone

“My shadow is the only one that walks beside me…”

This is my independent grandson, Lyric walking down the hallway without a care in the world. Notice he is down to just his ‘The Who’ t-shirt and Vans, but you can rest assured, zero fucks were given that day. He rocked that diaper with pride.

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Posted in Culture, Music, Personal, Relationships

Hip To Be Square

We were unlikely friends. She being 15 years my junior, fresh out of high school when we met. She is tall, thin, athletic, and personifies the girl next door image. She has a million dollar smile with perfect teeth that are so white, it’s almost unnatural. Her hair is virgin, untouched of dyes & chemicals, it’s silky & shiny, and her baby blues can pierce your soul. Every parent wants a daughter like her. Every parent wants their son to marry a girl like her. Her Facebook updates are usually sentimental lyrics from a country song I’ve never heard. She works out everyday, counts calories, reads books, does sudoku puzzles, loves to hunt & fish, and gets her kicks cleaning. She’ll strike you as naive and sheltered, but once you know her, you’ll realize she is worldly and deep, clever, devious even. I almost fainted when she showed me her tattoo. Funny though, she is now in grad school and still hides it from parents. She is basically everything I am not. Yet, we get along fabulously and have been friends for 5+ years.
I think we enjoy each others company because we are so vastly different. Both of us are filled with a desire to acquire knowledge and we have a lot to learn from each other. I love the way she tells stories. Her eyes get wide, she is fully animated, face and hand gestures throughout the story, tucking her hair behind her ears every few seconds, but it’s so healthy, it just swoops back down across her cheeks. I can tell she likes to share her experiences with me. She knows she is taking me down a road I have never traveled and I listen intently, absorbing everything. When the tables are turned, she props her elbows on the desk, rests her chin in her palms cupping her face, doe-eyed, and only focused on me. I love that. My storytelling is similar to hers except I say, “You know what I mean?” and “dude” way too much. (That’s something I’m working on.)  Every once in a while, she asks me something and I’m caught off guard. Usually because it’s something that comes up in ordinary conversation with my regular crowd or it’s a reference to something I’m used to everyone around me knowing. (Pop-culture, mostly.) And that is what led up to the day she asked me, in complete seriousness…

“Hey Liz, what is a Hipster?” I liked her emphasis on “is.”

A million things were running through my head. I had visions of Pabst Blue Ribbon in the can, mustaches and beards, dudes on “fixies” riding around SoCo, skinny jeans, organic coffee and tea in recycled bio-degradable to-go containers. Girls with scarves, tights with boots, cats, knitting, a collection of Apple products, and hundreds of memes with the caption, “You’ve probably never heard of it.” Throw in a liberal arts degree, Whole Foods, and words like “ironic,” “progressive,” “indie,” and “vintage.” It was hard to explain it to her. Luckily, the internet is chock full of resources specifically for times like these. With a quick google search, I was able to pull up ‘Anatomy of a Hipster’ and give her a basic idea of the Hipster-look. But the Hipster-attitude was more difficult to address. It’s a state of mind. I desperately wanted to take her to Austin. I desperately wanted to take her to Houston. I wanted her to meet my friend, Chris who now goes by Topher and has been since ‘That 70’s Show’ got popular. He likes to send me inbox messages without a message, just a link to a song from a band I never knew existed. Something inside me doesn’t want to like it, but I always end up loving it and adding it to a Spotify playlist. I wanted her to be introduced to the culture. Some things aren’t easy to explain, you have to experience it to really know it. Every generation of twenty-somethings has a lifestyle they subscribe to. Before the hipster, there were flappers, beatniks, hippies, new-wavers, punks, and more. They have the need to stand out while fitting in. Or is it fit in while standing out? I can dig that. They seem to think they are wiser than the generation before them, pretentious, and more educated, but let’s face it. It is a phase marked by the eagerness at becoming a young adult, the inner-rebel, a slap in the face at our parents and society… Then, you reach your 30’s, become a spouse and parent, responsible and sensible, conservative even, yet still cling to parts of the style, attitude, and music. At nearly 40, I still channel my 20 year old self. It’s part of what molded you into the adult you are and while I wouldn’t want an electric blue mohawk at this stage in my life, I have moments in the bathroom where I pick up the clippers and think about. Sensibility steps in and stops me.

Look, nobody likes labels. Who wants to be boxed in to one specific culture or sub-culture? We all like to think we are well rounded and can fit into any group. Shoot, ask a hipster if they are, in fact, a hipster and the answer will almost always be a resounding “NO!” Why the shame? There is nothing wrong with being who we are, whatever that may be. This whole “Death To Hipsters” movement is both sad and lame. Let them have their moment, let them have their mark in history for future generations to revise, mutate, and make their own. Besides, who’s to say you can’t learn something from them? And on that note, I’d like to thank Chris, erm, Topher, for having introduced to some of the best music I have ever heard. Thanks for knowing stuff before the rest of us do, Hipsters.

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*Related Story:
Topher, if you are reading this, I want to say I’m sorry if it seems like I’ve been condescending towards Hipsters, you, and your choice to go by a nickname. We are kindred, my friend! You know me as Liz, but from the time I was born until I reached high school, I went by Beth. (That’s what the folks nicknamed me and others knew me as.) I always preferred Elizabeth over Beth and once I reached the 9th grade and started a new school, I made a fresh start. Sure, the kids I went to elementary and middle school with still called me Beth, but there was a whole new set of people that I introduced myself to as Elizabeth and I liked it. I remember my first day of school in Ontonagon, Michigan. I was a junior and was sitting by myself, pissed that I had left my walkman at home. Then, Tanya (Guddy) O’Connell, always the outgoing extroverted one, walked up to me and introduced herself. I said, “Hi, I’m Elizabeth!” and she invited me to come sit with her and her friends. When we reached the table, she said, “Everyone, this is Liz… Liz, this is everyone!” Without even realizing it, Tanya had given me a new name and 20 years later, it has stuck with me. I remember Laurie, Mary, Carissa, Melissa, Dawn, and the rest of the girls all being very friendly and welcoming. It was too late to go back or correct her. By first period, every person in the school knew me as Liz. I love that story. The birth of a nickname, founded by benevolence and one girl brave enough to include me in her circle.

Posted in Family, Home, Music, Personal, Relationships

iStupid

My friend Manny once told me, “You can’t put an iPod together overnight, Liz. It takes time.” He was right. Manny was the first person I ran to for help when I got mine because his was full of my favorite music and I borrowed it every chance I had. That was quite a while ago. Once my kids gave me iPod101, I worked hard, over time added all my favorite music, and thus began my love affair with my partner-in-drive… until, one day, I couldn’t find it. Anywhere. I tore apart the cars, the house, my best friend Sandy’s house… nothing. It was gone. Forever. I finally came to peace with the loss of my friend. It took a while to get there, but I mourned her and moved on.

At some point during all of this, my beloved Android phone took a dive and was no longer functional. Frustrated with t-mobile and their lack of assistance, I switched carriers to AT&T and got a new phone. An iPhone to be exact.

Fast forward to last night. Brandon came in my room and asked for an iPod charger. (Seriously though, how the hell do my kids lose every iPod, cell phone, and laptop charger they have ever owned? I’m certain there is some mountainous secret stash of chargers hiding under my house along side the other sock that goes missing from the clothes dryer.)

I gave him my old iPod charger saying, “Well, you can keep it since I don’t have my iPod anymore.”

“Mom, why don’t you just put your music on your iPhone?”

“Because Brandon, I LOST my iPod, remember? I can’t sync them without it,” I said exasperated. (As if he didn’t know it was gone. Everyone in my regular circle had been privy to my search and mourning.)

He let out a frustrated sigh and asked me for my phone and laptop. I gave him everything and in about 5 minutes flat, he handed me my phone and said, “There, now all your music is on your phone.” I stared at him blankly, slowly beginning to understand what he had just done…

Y U NO TELL ME YOU CAN DO THAT?!? (I became a rage comic in my head)

He was laughing at me saying, “How did you not know that, Mom?” I could see it in his eyes. My 16 year old thought I was complete dumbass. How was I supposed to know? I had been faithful and loyal to my Android for so long. And while I’m on the subject, why did it take MONTHS for someone, anyone, to tell me I could do that? I know my kids all knew, I know Sandy’s kids all knew, I know a large majority of my friends all knew. (That includes you, FB friends!) Everyone that is, except me. And they all kept me in the dark and musicless for months. I was both thrilled and pissed at the same time.

So, this morning when I picked up Max for school, I was so excited to tell him the story! We talked all the way to NBHS and didn’t have a chance to listen to any songs. (I converted him a while back and now he is a huge Bowling For Soup fan) I could tell he was secretly judging my lack of iKnowledge, but being the awesome guy he is, he just said he was happy for me with a silly grin on his face. I dropped Max off at school, got to work, closed my Spotify, turned on my music and my phone, and began to sort through files that had been sitting on the back desk in my office. I had put them off for way too long and it was high time I took care of that mess. I got through most of it quickly and when I picked up one of the last remaining files, I felt it. The file was too heavy for paperwork and something was awkwardly sliding around in it. I opened the file and looked inside… Lo & Behold, there it was, my missing iPod.

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Posted in Family, Home, Relationships

24 Carat Something…

Just a sample of the kind of conversations I have with my 14 year old daughter, Mikayla.

Mikayla: “Hey Mom, have you seen 24 Carat?”
Me: “I don’t think so. Is that a movie?”
Mikayla: “No, that’s my new pet!”
Me: “Pet? What pet?”
Mikayla: “He’s in my room. Wanna see?”
Me: “Holy crap, Mikayla! I thought we agreed not to bring anything else in the house that poops!”
Mikayla: “I don’t think he poops, Mom.”
Me: “Doesn’t poop? What is he? A pet rock?”
Mikayla: “Um, I’m not really sure what he is. I’ve got him in an aquarium. Here, see?”
Me: (nervously peering into the aquarium) “There is nothing there… (frantic) Oh my God, did he get loose in the house?!”
Mikayla: Uuhhh, oh! Wait, there he is!

Straining, I look in the aquarium and finally catch a glimpse of 24 Carat. I don’t know what he is either. Most likely a reptile or amphibian. He is kind of like a slug with feet and a tail. Not really a lizard or salamander, more like a tiny alien. I don’t know where she got him, what she feeds him, or why she named him 24 Carat, but he seems to be doing just fine. Also, I’m not entirely convinced he poops, so I guess he can stay.