Thursday, May 31, 2012

a lazy weekend (and post)

B went camping with my family for Memorial Day weekend, so we did a lot of sleeping and movie watching. We saw First Position, an inspiring documentary about young ballet dancers. It made me desperately miss dance and also realize how far away from the top I was, despite my talent. The level of dedication and involvement (and money) required of every family in a dance household is insane, and something I never came close to having. I did love rooting for the children and it was fun to come home and watch the So You Think You Can Dance season premiere afterward. Have I mentioned how much I  shamelessly love that show? Oh, once or twice?
We also saw The Dictator, which I found to be muddled, slow and not very funny. I think Sacha Baron Cohen is a total genius and loved what he was trying to say, but I found it to be more of the wrong kind of awkward than the right. Still, I can't look at him without seeing Freddie Mercury anymore, so I am waiting on pins and needles for that Queen biopic to become official (which is to say, to actually have a release date and trailer).

I didn't take many pictures over the weekend because I was too busy being the laziest human alive. I see so little of Taso these days and, when we are together, we have a rather high maintenance 10-year-old to entertain. I kept my phone in my purse and just enjoyed listening to music with explicit lyrics and going to the movies to see what I want. I took a picture of a pretty sunset on the way to Taso's hockey practice, but that's about it.
Sunday was our friend Dameon's birthday, so we hung out with the Index crew -- a bunch of skateboarders of varying ages. The guys with wives and toddlers, the guys with girlfriends and jobs, and the young guys with groupies who still really skate. It was good. Good food, lots of love, babies and a fair amount of debauchery.
I'm sorry my pictures are so bad. Maybe if I keep posting them someone will get tired of it and buy me a really nice camera for my birthday that I can also use to make the short film I said I would make this summer. Any takers? No? Okay, then it's back to work for me. 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Austin Field Trip

Last Thursday B went on his school's annual 4th grade trip to Austin. They left at 6 a.m. and got back at 8 p.m. and I was a bundle of nerves the whole time. Even though I'm usually working while he does homework, practices piano and plays video games, it's nice to have him here during those after school hours. I really missed him. But he had a great time and learned a lot about Texas history and government (seriously he talked about it for like two hours). He got to ride (and watch movies) on a chartered bus, tour the capitol building and eat beef jerky (ew), so he was stoked. I felt better that there were other parents waiting anxiously for their 4th graders to get back, taking pictures and hugging them tightly. These are the best I could get and apparently even these were super embarrassing.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Tulsa, Pokey-Os and the Middle of Nowhere Drunk Driver

(Brilliant title courtesy of Laura.)

I met Charlotte and Laura in New York when Hanson did their "5 of 5" concert series. Five shows, five nights, a major album in its entirety every night. It brought together Hanson fans from around the world, and brought these two from Toronto to my doorstep. Charlotte crashed in my tiny NYC apartment for the week and I knew I had found two people that I was meant to find. There's something to be said for being immune to the teasing that comes with loving a band like this, and still being a normal person. No, more than normal. Charlotte and Laura are gorgeous, fun and interesting. I spent the following Thanksgiving in Toronto with them (a $10 bus ride worked where a $600 flight home didn't) and our friendship was sealed. When Hanson advertised a weekend-long "members only" event in Tulsa (Hanson's hometown), they booked their flights and the countdown began.

It's funny that I'm still on such a high from their visit (they left last week), because the Hanson part was actually quite a disappointment. The event was poorly run, the band was mostly MIA and the fans who came from all around the world (literally - Australia, Brazil, the Netherlands) were largely ignored and even treated poorly. It was very sad for us, as three people who have stuck by them and put up with a lot over the last 15 years. It's not really something I can explain in a way that most people will understand, and I'm glad that an explanation was unnecessary between the three of us. I guess that's what was so good about our little vacation. When you have a mutual understanding about something that's personal and important to you -- all of the intricacies of a particular fandom, the relevance of a song, the way you felt at a specific time in 1998 -- you begin every conversation and experience every moment at a deeper level than you otherwise would. Those moments when you are sitting in a coffee shop in Oklahoma City saying, "This is good, I'm exceptionally happy right now," though the experience from the outside is ordinary.

They flew to Dallas and together we drove to Tulsa, stopping in Oklahoma City to look at its perfect bungalow homes and pastel colored shops (who knew?) and to sit for a minute at a near-perfect coffee house covered with art and full of nooks and crannies. I drank a spicy drink with almond milk and we signed the guest book with Hanson's symbol -- the mark of our journey to the Motherland to perhaps understand what it is that propelled three smart, interesting women so hopelessly into a band we discovered as pre-teens.

In Tulsa we had breakfast every day at Blue Dome Diner. Downtown was mostly sleepy and rather empty, as most midwest downtown areas are, but once we found the right spot, we fell in love. The coffee and local handmade goods shop, the side-by-side patisserie and chocolaterie, the cool bowling alley and diner that shared the same babely waitress and played 50s and 60s music. So many eccentricities, so many fascinating, energetic, young people in one small, midwest town, all working together -- despite the odds, I would say -- to make it better.

An then, of course, 3CG -- the record label Hanson started when everyone was done laughing at Mmmbop and the band had faded to "Where Are They Now?" status. The struggle they went through and the integrity they showed, and what it meant to us as fans. Regardless of how this particular weekend went, one could easily see how this place reared that type of person (three of them, in fact).

Mother's Day was not ideal. As the title of this post suggests, we had some trouble getting home and I didn't get to see the one who made me a mother until the next day. But there was a moment of indulgence in that awesome Tulsa diner, sitting longer than I normally would and eating something sweeter than I should, with two good friends and the realization that all of this is about more than one bad show and that the weekend was not actually wasted at all, but gained.

Back in Dallas we vented our frustrations with the weekend to each other and the band, and then we ate pizza and walked around Uptown and posted pictures to Instagram and everything was almost perfect. 
In New York I started to take for granted the gift of having amazing female friends around all the time. My life is awesome now and I have no reason to complain, but if there's a deficiency, that's definitely it.  So, I reveled in drinking Birthday Cake tea and cooing over my cat and playing Scrabble while listening to Prince -- not to mention in driving to the Middle of Nowhere for a Hanson concert.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Why you over there lookin at me while my job's standin here... (I'm so sorry I just did that.)

I have this problem now where I can't do anything on my computer but work. The learning curve of entering a new line of work for a new (and pretty different) company has me majorly backlogged, and I can easily lose an entire day to a few projects. This leads to me feeling like I'll never catch up, which leads me to feeling the need to work ALL THE TIME. I'll get on my computer at midnight and decide I'm going to write a blog post or catch up on things, then instantly feel guilty and get lost again in work emails.

I had a couple friends come in from Canada, so I took the weekend off for a little road trip adventure. Cut to Sunday night, I'm lost on some awful, pitch-black road in the middle of nowhere behind a drunk guy in a pickup, convinced that our trip is going to end up like Texas Chainsaw Massacre... and one of my patented MIAP migraines (TM) starts to form. There's so much work waiting for me at home! WHAT IF I DON'T EVEN MAKE IT HOME... WHO WILL DO ALL THAT WORK?!

Sooooo. I kind of accidentally took Monday off, then took some deep breaths and breaks to go outside the last couple days, and now I'm feeling good. Still behind, but no searing pain behind my eyeballs or any of that jazz. My dad texted me today saying he's in need of a blog post, and I realized that I haven't really updated (or seen, I guess) anyone in my life lately, so it's probably about that time. 

For starters we are all moved and settled. Maybe a little bit regretting not holding out to move to Austin but... it's good and we're all pretty happy. Baby steps... or more like first steps after some horrific accident that left you thinking you'd be paralyzed forever but now you're miraculously recovering. (I'm referring, of course, to living in New York and signing our lives away for grad school.) I miss NYC every day but, for now, this is really good. I still haven't taken any pictures of our place, but I will this weekend, K, dad?? My cat did mysteriously fall off of our loft, but she's ok and is getting over the grumpiness of being forced to move.

It's early and I am sad from dropping off the last of my Canadian friends at the airport, so I'll leave you with a couple pictures of a really nice Saturday. Two weeks ago we went to the Etsy Dallas Spring Bash, bought some handmade goods and supported local artisans (Bradley got some black hand soap in the shape of guns that has been blowing his mind), then headed over to Oddfellows for brunch (I give it a hearty meh). As much as I enjoyed the Etsy Bash, part of me feels like there's something even the best parts of Dallas just can't get right. Something missing... like they're trying really hard to overcome this city but the expanse is too wide for all the best creative minds to converge. Maybe it's just that the money is not behind them, or the city is too big and powerful and they get pushed (literally) to the outskirts. Still, as long as we're here I hope we'll leave our little suburb as often as we can to support stuff like this. 
P.S. How handsome, right??