For the last 10 years, Gregg -- ever the drama queen -- has been telling me that he would never make it to 30. Well, not only did he make it, but he celebrated with me and Justin, his friends for the last decade. We can never really predict where life is going to take us -- especially in our twenties -- but we can pick out people to take the ride with us, and hold on to them as tightly as we can for as long as we can. For his 30th birthday he had a small party, and we all dressed up (I wore a dress my grandma made for my mom in the 80s, complete with shoulder pads and purple sparkles) and ate rainbow cake. At the end of the night we sent off 30 paper lanterns, one for every year that has shaped my dear friend, with memories and wishes for the future. It was perfect. I look back on our friendship with gratitude that I have a memory for every year of Gregg's twenties, and that he's still here with me and Justin, the same funny, dramatic, loyal, great dancer he's always been.
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
B's last band covered "British Invasion" music, mostly post-Beatles. It was a good time for everyone in this house because we are big, big fans of The Kinks, The Stones, The Zombies, and so on. Taso and I walked down the aisle at our wedding to The Kinks' "Strangers" and exited the ceremony to "This Time Tomorrow." BIG fans. With the exception of Led Zeppelin and Queen, there is no other era in music history that B loves more than 60s Brit-rock. His primary instrument right now is drums, which he played on "Hold Tight," "Silhouettes," "Not Fade Away" and "I Can Only Give You Everything." He also did backup vocals on "Time of the Season" and played keys on "House of the Rising Sun" -- which he is so obsessed with that I had to buy him the vinyl single so at least, if I have to hear it over and over on constant repeat, it sounds its best. He struggled to learn the "House of the Rising Sun" solo, but it's now his warmup every day when practices piano. B is a perfectionist and a harsh critic of himself, and that artistic temperament can be difficult to deal with in a small house, but I've never seen him as fulfilled and confident as he has been since he started at School of Rock. Every season there are several bands to choose from, so he's always learning new music but still has options. He gets to collaborate and perform at real shows.
SOR also provides him with amazing opportunities, like when he was invited to meet the Zombies at their show in Dallas. We got to watch sound check and he had a chance to really talk with members of the band and the road crew. It was great to see him connect with the people who wrote some of the songs he loves, and to talk instruments with real guitar and drum techs. We stood on the side of the stage for the show, where he danced and sang on the top of his lungs the WHOLE night, much to the entertainment of the band/opening band/crew/crowd. Our good friend Britt, who knows more about music than anyone I've ever known, was also at the show and B was enamored with him.
^ This is Jim Rodford. He was in the Kinks and then the Zombies. When I told him my name is Brittan he said, "I'm from there!" He also told B to take a picture with him so he could prove he was taller than someone. I repeat, this man was in the Kinks and the Zombies. He also got to meet Colin Blunstone and Rod Argent, but our pictures didn't come out...
It was kind of a surreal experience for B to play a couple shows of this music and then go see the real thing. Experiences like this, and how happy they make him, make it worth trying to find a way to pay for lessons every month.
Posted by Brittan at 11:48 AM
Monday, May 13, 2013
Alas, we had to put Jare Bear on a plane early that Monday morning. It was a tearful goodbye on B's part, and Jaren was pretty quiet on the way to the airport. B didn't have the best day at school that day... or that week, but he's recovered and is begging to have his buddy back this summer.
We miss you Jare!
And, just because, here are some adorable vintage pictures of baby B and Jare for your enjoyment:
Posted by Brittan at 9:14 PM
With my kitchen still buried under dirty dishes and every surface covered in a thin layer of Butter Beer, the boys and I decided to go out for breakfast. They had giant cinnamon rolls, breakfast tacos and hot chocolate. Jaren tried a shot of carbonated water and wasn't sure how he felt about it. I found a picture of them when they were two years old, and realized how little they've changed. Katie (Jaren's mom) even pointed out that they still have the same hair cuts! I sure do miss their little toddler cuddles sometimes.
We did Easter baskets and went over to Taso's parents' house for Easter dinner and dessert, but most of their day was spent playing outside, talking in secret, and enjoying their last day together.
Posted by Brittan at 8:50 PM
Remember when the owl brought B's Hogwarts letter? The day finally came for our house to turn into the School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. Sabrina helped me bake all day and my grandma made these awesome house flags that are now hanging in B's room. The front door was transformed into Platform 9 3/4.
Our house is small so we just had a few family members and friends over. Since Jaren was in town, B opted to invite only his other closest friend, Tanner, instead of a big group. It was exactly what he wanted. There was Hagrid's cake, super authentic Butter Beer, lots of food, and Quidditch Pong (which Sabrina and I enjoyed but was largely under appreciated by everyone else). The three boys had a sleepover and stayed up way too late chatting. It was determined that B is in Ravenclaw and Jare is in Gryffindor. B's now reading the Harry Potter series again (for the 4th time, I think?), which I discouraged at first (there are so many other books out there!), but I think it's helping him prepare for moving on to middle school. In some ways, the party felt a little like that too. The last "kid" party, a chance to talk about memories and upcoming adventures, the first sleepover party.
It was a great time. Even Nonny was wiped out by the end of it.
Cake recipe: Fat Pants Cake from the Baby Cakes cookbook (thanks, Sam!)
Butter Beer recipe: Here (it was complicated but awesome.)
Posted by Brittan at 7:29 PM
I've been waiting to post until my new Wordpress blog launches, but Taso is still building it (also I am terrible at picking out fonts) and I can't take it anymore. I'm backlogged and my brain feels flat. It needs some exercise, even if that's just writing about what we've been up to the last couple months.
So, I'm stretching here, but let's go back to that day at the end of March, when B and Jaren went to the museum. By the end of it, they were wiped out (see here) so we headed over to Grimaldi's for the best pizza you can get in Dallas and I ate while the three guys talked about sports. We were about to go to Jaren's first hockey game, and he wasn't sure he was going to like it. First, he wanted to know as much as possible about hockey -- the teams, the best players, the rules of the game, so he would have an idea what he was getting himself into. How cold is it in a hockey arena? B was happy to share his knowledge, but Jare wanted it from closer to the source. He grilled Taso, our resident hockey player and superfan until he was satisfied that he was ready for his first game.
We got to the game early enough for the boys to go down and watch the Stars warm up. It was very exciting (I guess at that time we still had a couple exciting players, who have since been traded -- I listen!), and they worked together to catch a puck that one of the players tossed over the glass. Jaren got to take it home as a memento from the day he fell in love with hockey.
Oh yeah, he fell. It was Mike Modano Day (or something?), so Taso was super happy to see (from a significant distance) his hero and #1 guy crush. Jaren got to see a lot of action, several fights, and a big win for the Stars. He left proclaiming to be a true hockey fan, and that is favorite team is definitely the Stars.
Posted by Brittan at 5:22 PM
Sunday, April 7, 2013
Friday we visited the new Perot Museum of Nature and Science, where the boys found all the anatomically correct representations of mammal bodies hilarious. The awesome building was built directly over a tiny single story building where I worked for a non-profit film festival in the years before grad school. That little building is long gone now, and the one that replaced it is a work of art and science on its own. The boys weren't much into all the picture taking, but I have a job to do. Here it is:
Posted by Brittan at 3:43 PM