This is from 2010, taken at my sister’s old house next to the rice fields. It was a chilly and windy day but we were happy to be spending time with our niece whom we love to bits. Just looking at her face in this pic makes me want to fly to California right this minute so I can smooch those cheeks.
I lied. Disco music did not save my life, but it did teach me the Hustle. My friend Tammy and I listened to that 45 record a thousand times on her dad’s rec room hi-fi, taking turns dancing around with the lights off while the other shone a flashlight as a spotlight like we were on Solid Gold. She in her Dolphin shorts and rainbow tank top and me with my feathered hair and Pegasus t-shirt – we were total foxes. Sort of. OK, I lied about that too.
Have you ever met a person who doesn’t listen to music? I know a handful of people who couldn’t care less about it. They don’t own any music and solely use their earbuds for phone calls and as a ruse to keep tourists from bothering them for directions in the subway. They are unmoved by music. This flips me out because I believe I would wilt and die without music. It’s been a cherished part of my entire life. Hell, it was even my career for many years.
Three top favorite concerts: Crystal Method, Dead Can Dance, The Black Crowes. Favorite artists: Zeppelin, Journey, Ray LaMontagne, Thievery Corporation, Soundgarden, Ryan Adams, Rage Against the Machine, Dolly Parton, Crosby Stills & Nash. I am not a huge Stones fan but “Gimme Shelter” and “Can You Hear Me Knocking” blow my mind entirely. I am also a not-so-closeted Whitesnake fan. You heard me. I love me some Whitesnake. And Lou Rawls cannot be denied. I dare you to try!
Also, the Bee Gees are gods (or at the very least demigods but I am too lazy to Google “mythology” and sort it out right now).
There are those folks who only listen to country music. Or jazz. Weirdos. That’s like eating only potatoes your entire life. Enjoy the whole food pyramid, people!
I could go on endlessly about music but I’ll restrain myself…for now.
P.S. The new Beck album is dreamy and beautiful and sounds like summer.
P.P.S. Has anyone made or received a mixed tape lately? Oh how I miss those.
Here are my parents on their wedding day, happy and brimming with youth and hope. Shortly after this (but more than 9 months–this weren’t no shotgun wedding) I came along and put a crimp in their carefree lifestyle.
From my father I developed a passion for music, and learned the importance of storytelling within a family and out in the world. From my mother I acquired a love for interior decorating, and was taught the value in making guests feel welcomed into your home.
Is anyone else as itchy as I am? This cold weather has me feeling like a dried up corn husk…one that’s been slathered with heaps of coconut oil. Not only is my skin as parched as the desert but I get a shock from everything I touch. Each night when I arrive home from work I wash my hands (subway cooties, not OCD) and get a static charge when the liquid soap touches my palm or when the water hits my hand. I hate getting shocked. Growing up, it was one of the things my younger brother did to annoy me. He’d rub his socked feet on the brown poly blend carpet and come at me with his finger pointed, gleefully anticipating the big zap I couldn’t escape from. Little creep.
During the summer I complain about the drenching, stifling NYC humidity but this dry weather is worse because it (a) makes me itchy and (b) gives me wrinkles. Even the soles of my feet now have wrinkles.
Hallelujah, I found a cure! You see, I have been smearing myself with a variety of organic, holistic products (cuz that’s how I roll) that cost a fortune but don’t leech dangerous synthetic substances into my body BUT THAT WAS OBVIOUSLY THE WRONG WAY TO GO. I caved and purchased a cheap crap brand loaded with petrochemicals and Lord knows what else. And that shit worked the first day I used it. Am I ashamed? Hell no. My skin was so scaly that if someone told me the only way to cure it was to rub myself with the blubber of an endangered baby seal, I would have considered it. Then again, maybe I should just drink more water.
A friend recently sent me a mysterious birthday gift: an empty glass Ball jar. Now I can live out my dream of canning pickles and making jam! But no, this is a gratitude jar. Every day I add a folded slip of paper upon which I’ve written one thing I am grateful for. Think it’s hard? It ain’t. I am not bragging when I say there is much to be thankful for: a roof over my head, food, a 40 degree day during a cold NY winter, two hands with ten fingers with which to type this post, my goofball dog, funny and caring friends, candlelight on a snowy night, Trader Joe’s pumpkin butter, clouds, homemade Bloody Mary’s, baby deer, stillness, Friday pizza night, Skip Bo, trees…I can go on and on.
Many years ago I went through a depression that deposited a heaviness over my life and prevented me from seeing anything but darkness. Faking happiness sucks. I was fortunate enough to find a shrink who gave me the tools I continue to use to this day to stop myself from sliding into misery. I can still feel it though, lurking behind my eyes (yeah, I am aware of how weird that sounds but that’s where it lives) because it’s part of me and is never fully gone. It doesn’t worry me at all because living in the dark has given me a better view of the light.
The next slip of paper I place into that jar will read, “I am grateful for depression.” I mean it y’all.