January 2012

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I do not know to whom these boxer shorts belong, save some faceless young man with no fear of exposing his drawers. It may be slightly redundant to say that I quite like them, having taken a photo on the sly and all, neat cassette tapes and fond memories of days before digital. The beautiful garbage made after being jettisoned from a car window, brown plastic fluttering and alive in the slightest breeze.

Yesterday was a weird day, part shitty crapper-doodle, and thanks to friends near and far, part best of the best. Today is better, though cold, cold, cold. I am yearning for an escape (back here!), to lie in warmth with bright light shining in my eyes, but since there is no sun to be had for miles upon miles, and my bank account is not bottomless, I have, a la Mr. Snazzy Boxer Shorts, made a mix-tape, hoping it warms me from the inside. It’s dreamy-rocky-hip-hoppy and as golden as summer skin.

“Tequila Sunrise” – The Eagles

“Someday Some Morning Sometime” – Billy Bragg & Wilco

“Expecting to Fly” – Neil Young

“Going to California” – Led Zeppelin

“Sea Side” – Devendra Banhart

“Warrior’s Ring” – Shiva Rea Yoga Trance Dance CD, to which I lost the sleeve.

“I Know You Got Soul” – Eric B. & Rakim

“The Idiot Kings” – Soul Coughing

“Would?” – Alice in Chains

“The Golden Hour” – Marisa Anderson

“The First Taste” – Fiona Apple

“Moonlight Drive” –  The Doors

“Half-Light” – Lanterna

“The Eclipse” – Fionnuala Ni Chiosain

Our girl Paris is almost seventeen and still tears around the house like a kitten. Every day she brings us, with great fanfare – a wild chorus of meows and yelps, one of her toys, usually a mouse. She is a giant fluff of beauty, sass, and sweetness.

Even after thirteen years together, they are not great friends, Paris being the great mystifier, playing for one moment before growling fiercely and trying to beat the tar out of Milo. That being said, he does his fair share of tormenting, biting her ear to claim her warm spot a favorite pastime. Siblings at their worst, I suppose.

Look at his nutty face. Our boy is cuddly as ever and does very little running around the house, save when someone rings the doorbell, and he’s off like a shot. He’s got old man hips and a crooked gait, but will bring string or ribbon in the most nonchalant fashion and patiently wait for you to summon it to life in wild swirls on the floor, happily pouncing for one minute before getting bored and sauntering off.


When I was a sophomore in high school, I camped out for U2 tickets with my friend Dionne and a boy named Ed, a boy I had never previously met, a friend of a friend, who had a camper, and was as eager for good seats as we were. We met at my house the night before, a Sunday, I think, and parked next to the Peaches Records and Tapes on 72nd and Federal. We didn’t sleep a wink, both out of excitement and fear – the neighborhood being slightly sketchy, listening to U2 in the dark, tape after glorious tape, while we spoke reverently, and in hushed tones, on every manner of subject related to the band.

We got our tickets after they made the horde that assembled by morning all cross the street then run back, P.E. style. Ms. Schenk would have been proud. The effort paid off, and we got floor seats! We congratulated ourselves on a job well done, bid adieu to Ed, only to see him one more time at the show, wearing a green plastic visor with flashing lights, ensuring he’d be caught on camera while they filmed Rattle & Hum.  Though I don’t remember if he was.  It’s been a long time.

Dionne and I went back to her house, skipping school (with our parents permission – we were good girls with excellent negotiating skills), and, in hindsight, made an entirely appropriate decision to watch The Gods Must Be Crazy. For just as a Coke bottle falling from the sky is crazy, so would be the notion of camping with a stranger for tickets to hear music rather than obtain food or something life sustaining. We humans, and in particular, teenage music fans, are a funny lot.

Thanks be to the digital age, we can now buy tickets from the comfort of home or a wi-fi hot spot, with the help of a credit card and swift fingers. I learned this firsthand on Saturday, after deciding that seeing Radiohead, live and in person, is something I must do before I die.

Truth be told, I am rather surprised at myself. I never thought I’d go to a show like this again, generally preferring small venues over being jostled and lost in a crowd, no, a sea of humanity.  But being that they are in my top three bands of all time (How very high school of me!), the bullet was bit and seats procured, though for five times what I paid for a show back in the day. Ouch! It’s a different world.  Now where is Kadeem Hardison?  Maybe he can come with me if the hubster can’t…

I would be remiss if I failed to mention the instigator of my great love of music, my dad, Jim.  Growing up, he played record after record from a collection of hundreds, introducing me to a very wide world, and for which I am eternally grateful.  Thank you Daddy, and Happy Birthday!


An old love visited me in a dream recently and is now happily ensconced in my conscious, walking beside me, gazing across a crowded room, and every once in a while, if I listen very closely, he whispers something in my ear, though I don’t understand the words.

The hubster and I talked about it (Yup, he’s that cool), how life is that way. The thousand million ways we are bound, six degrees or less, by cables capable of sustaining bridges, others fine filaments scarcely visible to the eye. But each wraps around us every day or for a solitary moment at the most unusual of times, coming in like a flood, in the flesh or the place of dreams, taking up residence, bringing gifts, and sometimes fleeing before we have the chance to ask, Why? My Nana a story, my Aunt Mary a shamrock, my Grandma Frances a scent at the supermarket, my friend Dionne a certain consistency of ice.

Thinking about Joel made me incredibly happy, that we met at just the right moment in our lives, and shared something beautiful, something worth remembering, though not in complete detail. Is that the reason for the visit? So I can sketch the full picture, nuance, light, and shadow, of our time together and embroider it on my heart? Maybe, maybe not, only time will tell.




Nothing like a bit of sweat and Jim Morrison singing “L.A. Woman” to get the demons out, whatever they may be!

Not very visible in the frame is Milo, sleeping on a cushion on the floor. I love the juxtaposition, and how neither cat seems terribly interested in me dancing like a madwoman just inches away (Paris was on a chair in the corner). Their singular concern this time of year is to be in the warmest room of the house, even if it means pumping bass and a crazy mama jumping up and down.

Happy Friday!


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