Archive for September, 2009

Tiller Rides the Rock Wave

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

Tiller saw her first show today. She is three. Okay, not an actual concert, but she did check out of preschool early and go see Phoenix with me at Criminal Records. (Good mother? Bad mother?) It was pretty damn crowded and, evidently, hipsters don’t let kids go to the front so that they can see over all their cold weather hats, so I held her up in the back while they played. Note to self: Get there earlier to score room up front. She liked the songs she knew (Lisztomania and 1901) and kind of put her head on my shoulder and hummed and patted my back during the others. That was sweet. They sounded pretty good, especially his voice. I was proud of Tiller picking out the instrument when they played the keyboards. She said, “Piano!” which is close enough for me. She asked me while we were waiting “Why are there no other kids here?” Then later, we saw another one. She was being taken out of the store, so I guess she lost interest. She was about the same age, but damn, was that kid all decked out. She was wearing rainbow legwarmers for God’s sake. Whatever. . . Tiller totally outlasted her. In fact, tills made it through four songs, and only lost interest when they played Lizstomania for the second time. (Evidently, they had technical difficulties the first time, and they were recording it for radio.) I rewarded her with pizza at Savage. They had pizza at Criminal, but i know better than to mix Tiller, pizza, and comic books. All in all, a nice outing on a beautiful day.

Glad I went, too, as it continues the rock and roll wave I’ve been riding of late. I saw Yo La Tengo a couple weeks ago both at the instore at Criminal and their show at Variety. Sunday night, I saw Frightened Rabbit and We Were Promised Jetpacks at Masquerade. (Great show!) Then last night, Todd and I saw Dr. Dog at The Loft. That was the best of all the shows, in my opinion, and i really like Frightened Rabbit a lot, so that is a pretty bold statement. I still think the Frightened Rabbit album is my favorite so far this year (Thanks for the introduction, Spaceboy!), but Dr. Dog’s musicianship was amazing. They sounded great vocally and they were the tightest band I’ve seen in ages, especially in a venue of that size. Added plus: Got to hang out with Robin and Vanessa.

I haven’t seen this many shows in a one month period in ages. I cannot REMEMBER seeing more than three bands in a week in . . . probably since before I had Rollie. It has really reminded me of how much I love seeing live music and that I need to remember to stop saying, “I don’t have time for that” and start saying, “I need to do this for me.”

Video from Criminal today. Guess not too many folks are back to work and posting video yet, because this was the closest I could find. Sound is great, though. Kind of bummed that I couldn’t find any video of the Frightened Rabbit or Dr. Dog shows. Found We Were Promised Jetpacks, but the sound was kind of funky. Same with the Yo La Tengo. Oh, well.

To Write, or Not to Write

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

Much to say, and just not gutsy enough to say it, so i haven’t been posting. I have been writing, keeping it to myself. Not bottling it up, but not letting it see light, either. Part of me thinks I am a big pussy for not just writing things out in the name of honesty and forthrightness. The other part of me knows that it might cause irreparable damage.

Or maybe the damage is already done. Am I selfish for wanting to purge all of this heartache? Would it be healthy for me? Or would it just be me seeking vindication, revenge. Even if I was doing it for the right reasons, is it possible that those involved would see it that way? No. I don’t think it’s possible.

So, I guess I do have boundaries.

Huh. Didn’t see that coming. . . .

A Picture Says a Thousand Words

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

And this one pretty much sums up the kind of day I had. . . .

"Mama? I used the scissors to cut my hair."

Family Trip to the Liquor Store

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

My Mom came to my house yesterday and last night, she took us to dinner at S&S. If you don’t know what S&S is, it is just like Morrison’s, except they don’t have the same lemon pie that Morrison’s had every Sunday after church when I was growing up. I got the usual, a veggie plate. It is awesome, and when you go at 6 pm, it is you and all the blue hairs, which i love. Sure enough, I saw my neighbors there. It love that where i live, I often run into my neighbors – makes me feel like I live in a small town in the city.

Afterwards I drove over to the liquor store, because darn it, my basement flooded and Mama needed a beer. Since Mom was there, I was able to leave her and the kids in the car while I went in. This is good, because nothing says classy like dragging your three and six-year-old into the liquor store with you, except maybe doing so with a cigarette hanging out of the corner of your mouth.

When i got back to the car, my mom was cracking up. I asked her what she was laughing at, and she proceeded to tell me about the discussion she and the kids had while I was inside.

Tiller: “What is Mama getting?”
Rollie: “She’s buying beer. And Wine. And Spirits.”

Yes, Rollie can read now and had read the signs on the buildings. Luckily, I was at a nice liquor store, otherwise, it would have been, “Mama’s buying beer, wine, nails, pagers, wings, lottery tickets.”

Hmm. I say “Liquor Store.” What do you call it? “Package Store?”

Because If We Don’t Laugh, We’d Cry

Monday, September 21st, 2009

We got a bit of rain today. This is what grandma and Mama might refer to as a Toad Strangler, with lots of God Bowling, although there was a moment in early afternoon of The Devil Beatin’ His Wife.

And this was all over Facebook today, but I am too tired from cleaning out my damn flooded basement to come up with anything original, so this pretty much sums it up. I love how a tragedy or huge event like this flood results in some really funny jokes. This is the best. Pokes at Sonny Perdue praying for rain also crack me up.

Share photos on twitter with Twitpic

In all seriousness, there was some sad stuff in Atlanta today – Loss of life. And I am thankful all my peeps are alright. Tiller and Rollie are tucked in with no school to get up for tomorrow, mama made it to Atlanta and had to pitstop at Lisa’s due to the blocked roads, and Lisa had a tree fall on her house, but all my folks are safe. Even that piece of shit I married, sitting up at the W in NYC, drinking a beer in crisp white sheets. Just kidding T. Send me that check, baby.

I hope that wasn’t thunder I just heard.

Yo La Tengo, Beer, Me, Me, Me.

Sunday, September 20th, 2009

So, Todd is in NYC all week for work, and he gave me the afternoon off yesterday, so that I could have kid-free time before the week kicks into gear. I rode down to L5P with neighbor Scott and his friend Seth. Ah, the glamour of arriving anywhere in a minivan. Nothing like it.

We proceeded to Criminal Records for the 4 pm Yo La Tengo instore. Scott bought the new album and got it signed. He is a record nerd, which always cracks me up. He is v. knowledgeable about music and we like a lot of the same stuff, and I even like him despite the fact that he likes Phish. YLT played a short set (mostly new stuff, including the fun “Periodically Double or Triple,” and a Beatles cover – name? Cannot remember) bantered with the crowd in their usual witty and self-deprecating way, and sounded pretty good. A fun time, despite the fact that I am coming down with a cold, and it was hot as Hades in the damn place.

Speaking of, let’s take a moment to discuss my thoughts on dressing for Fall in the South, shall we? I automatically think that you are a complete idiot if the temperature is in the 70s and 80s and you wear any of the following:

  • Long sleeve shirts*
  • Wool caps or hats
  • Cardigan wrap sweaters
  • Wool plaid skirts
  • FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS GOOD, knitted or wool scarves?
    *These are merely questionable. Why not a short sleeve?

I then bought a couple of CDs (browsing without children! No hand-holding! Awesome!) and then went next door to The Porter. I had not been there before, and I LOVED it. Great beer list; knowledgeable, witty, friendly staff; comfortable bar stools; good pub food (at least what I had – the Porter Poppers – was excellent). I love the atmosphere and had a wonderful, three-beer afternoon to myself, sitting at the bar, reading for a couple hours, periodically looking up to watch the folks outside walking by in the rain.
I am my mother’s daughter, so I did chat up some fellow patrons and the bartender. Met a couple people who had driven all the way from Florida to see Yo La Tengo. I am always impressed by road-tripping music fans. (As long as they like good music, of course.) And then another guy sat down next to me. Turned out we had both grown up in Atlanta and knew some of the same people. Georgia and Ira from YLT came in, presumable for dinner, and walked to the back of the bar. Todd arrived, having pawned the kids off onto my dear sister. We had another beer and chatted with the Atlanta guy, nodding our heads as the conversation got weird, and involved his life and death experience, and how he saw levitating beers come up out of their glasses and float in the air. Nope, not kidding. He said all this with a straight face, and I love my husband, because we both just nodded like we were listening seriously to him, and never took our eyes off him. Nodding, nodding. But we know one another well enough that we were having an unspoken conversation that went something like this:

Todd: “Did he just say that he died and then came back to life?”
Me: “He just said that he and the chick from the band BabyShakes watched their beers leave the glasses and float up solid in the air and then splash back down on the bar. No one else there saw it.”
Todd: “Yep. Did he just say that she understood all this, and that he figured out the whole thing in numbers and did the math? Were there numbers after the decimal point?”
Me: “Yep. They had a connection. What the fuck is he talking about? Is there a mathematical formula for crazy?”
Todd: “Yes, evidently, there is, and he has solved it.”
Me: “I’m going to chug the last few sips of this beer, then excuse myself to go to the ladies’ room.”
Todd: “I’m gonna get the check and pay up.”
Me: “Tip the bartender well.”
Todd: “You know it.”
[Aloud] “It was so nice meeting you. You take care now, okay?”

After that, we paid up and met Scott and Seth at Vortex. Not my favorite place to eat, but Scott wanted it, because he can’t eat there with children. This is a common theme for parents. It is like when I don’t have kids with me, I choose where to sit based on it being where I wouldn’t usually sit with the kids. This is usually the bar.

The best part about this was that I got to see the first quarter of the Bulldogs playing Arkansas. The rest of the night, I received stellar and timely text updates from both Brett and Jason B. It was much appreciated, and Brett got extra points with Todd for his unsolicited Auburn updates, including the non-score-related “Auburn fans have a Brokeback Mountaineers sign.” Good job, boys. Will be watching the DVR-ed version this afternoon.

We headed over to the show. I ran into a guy i knew in Athens named Roger. We caught up for a while, and then I headed down to see the show up front. YLT were good, as always. Todd and I discussed the fact that Ira always seems to bring it full-tilt. I like the fact that he is aging, but still seems to rock out and have a blast just like a teenager. I have seen them quite a few times, and they always do a good show, but this was not one of their better ones, in my opinion. This probably owes more to the fact that they played mostly new stuff than to any deficiency on their parts. Highlights for me were still the more rockin’ older songs: Deeper into Movies, Autumn Sweater, etc. Autumn Sweater sounds different every time that I hear them play it and i loved this loungier version. Georgia did a few songs. I love her sweet voice, and that she is such an enduring rock chick. In the face of so many bombastic female voices in rock, her quiet modesty is refreshing.
Yo La Tengo, Variety Playhouse, Atlanta, GA. Sept. 19, 2009
Afterwards, we met friends Gretchen and Brownlee at The Porter for a last beer. (Feeling kinda ookie, I opted for a water.) And headed home! All in all, a great day despite the fact that I wasn’t feeling a hundred percent. Hopefully, the memory of my mostly kid-free day will get me through the week ahead.

A Comeuppance Story

Friday, September 18th, 2009

This is the funniest thing I have seen in ages. . . .

I used to be a huge Dooce fan, and read every day, but i get busy with life and don’t read for awhile. But i have always liked her. Sure, she is self-centered – She has her own blog! Talk about vain. . .

Anyway, it cracks me up that she is so very hated by so many people. All of whom are obviously just jealous of someone who’s living the dream on her own terms. How dare her be successful!

And it cracks me up even more to imagine the look on people’s faces when they get a hold of her latest move, wherein she takes all of their hatred, bottles it up, and sells it for her own profit.

Dogwood Girl loves a good comeuppance story. And also? I just kind of like to use the word “comeuppance.”

I Think It Smells Like You

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

Tiller to me, just now, nose wrinkled:

“Mama, I smell something bad.”

“What is it baby?”

“I think it smells like you.”

Nobody’s getting a big head around this place. . . .

The Quarry and the Death of a Rock Star

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

For the life of me, I cannot figure out how The Georgia Guidestones were built in 1980, just 40 miles from Athens, and I have never been there, much less heard of them. I want to go as soon as possible. Totally cool story!

Georgia’s granite is kind of interesting to me, too. I would love to see what Stone Mountain looked a thousand years ago, without the development around it, a dome of stone surrounded by forest. And then there’s the quarries. I have always found something very creepy about them. But one in particular, outside of Athens, was a destination for us as college kids. I can’t even remember now how you got there, but I know it was east of Athens, probably towards Elberton.

We would go out there when it was warm weather. You drove back on a wooded, deserted dirt or gravel road. I guess we were trespassing, but there was never anyone out there other than kids. There were actually at least two quarries (the pits themselves). There might have been more, but I don’t remember them. One was smaller, and had a sloped side to it at the time. We would lie in the sun, smoke and drink, and swim in the quarry. The water was cool and very clear in this pit, and the sides were not very far from the water. Everything about this smaller pool seemed blue and white and very bright.

The second one was VERY DEEP. The walls rose from the water, probably something like at least 50 feet. Maybe more? A hundred? The walls were a sheer drop, straight down. There were rickety old iron stairs or ladder running from the top down to the water. People would run off the edge and jump into the quarry. I never did it, as I am a big old wuss and very scared of heights. My friend and roommate Honey did it and my heart was in my throat the whole time. I thought she was one badass girl for doing it. I still think that she’s a badass.

There was also a huge crane there. I remember talking to a boy at a party one night in Athens. The next week, I heard that he had jumped from that crane to his death. I cannot remember his name.

The crane and the larger quarry, they seemed dark and foreboding. Awesome and ancient, even though they were man-made. I wonder if they look any different now – Seems that if they still use the quarry, it’s landscape would change between 1992 (or whenever it was we were out there) and today. Or maybe it looks as if no one has touched it. My God. 17 years.

This picture, found on Flickr, was taken in 2000. But the scene looks pretty much the same. I assume this is the same quarry.

Another photo to give you a feel of what it looked like, here.

One other reason i will never forget the quarry. I went there the day Kurt Cobain died. I was walking home from school. I am guessing it was March or April. I know it was spring. And i know it was still cool out, because I was wearing a coat. I was walking with Chris Bilheimer down the street in Athens, and we met a girl named Felicia. I don’t remember her last name. She worked with me at The Grill, and had a brother and sister. All three of them were nauseatingly beautiful people. She told us that Curt Cobain was dead. I remember being pretty stunned at first, but also thinking later that people got pretty upset over someone who wasn’t that great. Not that I didn’t love Nirvana, but come on. I never thought he was a complete God or anything.

I walked on home to my house off Pulaski. My roommate Scott was there, with Dave and Karen. I told them the news. We got in Karen’s jeep and drove out to the quarry. Someone took pictures, but it wasn’t me. Scott or Dave, if you read this and have the pictures, twould be AWESOME to see.

How is that for a cliched 90s story? And a totally disjointed blog post. Take this away from it: I want to go to these Guidestones. I want to go back in time and spend a day at the quarry with Ryan and Dave and Honey, Duke and Madison, or Scott and Dave and Karen. I still wouldn’t jump.

If you’re reading this and lived in Athens, did you go to the quarry? What do you remember about it? And where is it, exactly?

Game Day, or “How I Became That Mother.”

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

My little man is getting so big. He learned to ride a bike without training wheels, he has loose teeth ready to fall out, and Sunday, he had his first baseball game. I have turned into a Soccer mom, chauffeuring kids to school, and bus stop, and baseball practice, soccer practice, and ballet. I have somehow become a person who attends a kids’ baseball game, a soccer game, and a soccer clinic every weekend in the fall. I have an actual magnetic soccer ball on my minivan. I have a minivan! I know where to buy ballet shoes, for fuck’s sake! I don’t even know who I am anymore.

I always said, “Oh, I’ll never be one of those parents who [insert crossed-that-line-already variable here].” I am one of those parents. Soccer ball. Minivan. Little girl who wears dresses, owns Barbies. Too much tv. Chicken McNugget. Name a line that I drew in the sand; I have since crossed it. Oh, except Bratz. NEVER IN MY HOUSE. EVER.

The funny thing, though? You realize that parents don’t do these things because they want them, necessarily. (Although I am sure some do.) They often do it because they realize it is what the kids want. My kids like to play baseball and soccer and do ballet. It is good for them to run around. They like Barbie and Hot Wheels. Tiller likes dresses and bows. Rollie got excited about putting the magnetic soccer ball his coach gave him onto the van. I couldn’t say no to that! I countered it with a Mac sticker.

And in participating in all that (and I have never been a joiner – I do not tend to like to be part of a group), i have found that it is not so bad. It is kind of fun to watch your kid on a baseball field, having fun. You remember what it was like to stand in left field or right field, bored out of your mind, dancing in the wet grass, or kicking some dirt at third base. Watching your daughter meet other kids during the game and run around and climb trees, or play in the creek behind the field, or swing from the bleachers, you remember that once upon a time, you were that kid keeping yourself occupied while a sibling was on the field. You check out the goods at the Concession stand. You remember that after the game, whether you win or lose, you get pizza or ice cream.