Thursday, July 30, 2009

growing up.

it's funny, now that i have this place to write and muse and ramble, i've been laying in bed thinking about things to write about, and all these diary-type thoughts keep popping up, things that have no rhyme or reason but just keep coming up in my dome (as j calls it). and i mean, i think this blog is mostly going to be about my life as a mama who's in the radio business and what happens when those two worlds collide. but the thought of being able to get some diary-worthy stuff out of my head is really appealing, so every once in a while, you just might have to bear with me. just skip to the next entry if emotional purging isn't your thing.

i was not the happiest teenager in the world. there was a lot of turmoil in my family, stuff that almost every teenager seems to deal with in one form or another. i was a generally happy, positive kid but once i hit the teen years, i got pissed. i mean, i definitely had a lot of fun, too, but deep down, i was PISSED. insecure as all get-out, partly thanks to the serious boobs i got in 8th grade and how that changed the way people dealt with me; also, i was confused and scared and mad. and then more things happened (things that don't happen to every teenager, thank god) and i sort of just burrowed down deeper inside of the pissed-off-ness. the thing was, i wasn't surly or mad or mean on the outside. and probably, most kids during those years aren't. but on the inside? yikes.

music was the one thing that felt rock-solid to me, really steady, even loyal, and it was something i could be fiercely loyal to right back. i went from loving madonna and kid 'n' play to slayer and death angel and bad religion. well, i take that back - i never stopped loving madonna and kid 'n' play, but i loved slayer WAY more all of a sudden. which, now that i'm a mom, i can feel how that must have scared the crap out of my sweet mama. sheesh - it's hard to even think about. anyhow, when i was 16, my high school sweetheart made me a mix-tape (remember those?) full of descendents, black flag, misfits, bad religion, and big drill car songs. and we lived in manhattan beach while pennywise was just starting out in next-door hermosa beach, so we'd go to house parties and pennywise would be the ones playing in the backyard. and then i was almost 17 and i'd found it - punk rock. i thought that was IT - i clearly remember thinking i would NEVER like any other kind of music besides punk rock - that was IT! i was usually the only girl tagging along to go to the shows at the country club in reseda or the palladium or all the other random spots we went to. once i met my pal angie, that changed - she'd go to all the shows with me. but the girlfriends i grew up with weren't into it, which in retrospect makes perfect sense, so i flew solo a lot. which was fine with me.

then i went to college and thought i was still super pissed (as pissed off as a UC irvine anteater can be) and i started wearing doc martens and creepers and lots of black, and i dyed my hair every color of the rainbow (save yourself the trouble, i'll tell you right now: neon orange? not a good look) and started collecting tattoos. i'm cringing a little as i type this.

i'm rambling, so here's my point: what i know now is that i think i WANTED way more to be a punk, and what that meant as far as being a part of a scene or a tribe, than i actually felt like a punk on the inside. i wanted it, but i wasn't really it. and wow, i went there! for years! my first commercial radio shows were punk rock specialty shows. i dated a mohawked lead singer named "scooter" who lived in a spider-infested basement. i actively recruited tinnitus at countless shows. i collected seven-inches, got drunk and cut my own hair off, traveled with the warped tour, read everything henry rollins ever published, even went straight-edge for a year! i totally TRIED. but now that i can look back on those years and see them for what they really were, i know that i never truly FELT it. i wanted it SO badly - i wanted desperately to be part of a scene, to feel part of a group that was different than everyone else (at least back in the late 80s and early 90s, they still were), to be able to claim as my own something that my parents knew nothing about, something that scared people who weren't into it. i LOVED that.

but then i turned 26, had an identity crisis, went through a bad breakup, and got into a period of serious soul-searching. it was way more hardcore than any punk show i'd even been to (keep in mind, however, that i never saw gg allin live), and way deeper than anything i'd accomplished with therapy. and i realized my truth: that wannabe punk is not who i am. i am that happy, positive, super dorky and proud of it person i'd always been. i'd just been angry and searching for so long that i forgot who i really was. and once i figured that out, wow. it's like i got comfortable in my own skin again. i could stop trying to be something and just be. and i did, and i'm still doing it today, and i'll always be grateful for being 26 and what that meant to me. ready for the cliche: it set me free, that realization. ahhh life.

a little P.S.: when lars from rancid came to the station a couple weeks ago, we were laughing about how when i'd interviewed him almost 10 years ago, i had to cut it short because he had been SO "punk rock" - so foul-mouthed that i couldn't air it. and then we started showing each other cell phone pictures of our kids, and i couldn't help but tripping out a little. because he seems like he's still there, you know? he is never going to let go of that kinda rude, kinda belligerent, kinda immature "punkness". and i'm sure he's older than me, and i'm 36. and granted, my theory about bands is that they totally and completely enable endless extended adolescence. but with lars, though, i wonder. maybe that IS who he is? maybe it is him, he is that, a punker, and if that's what feels like HIM to himself, then that's ALL good. but i'll tell you what: hanging out in the studio that day, it just reminded me how grateful i am that i'm not there anymore. i really believe "to each his own", y'know? as long as it is you and you are it, celebrate that. i do, now. and my hope for f is that she is always able to do that, always, that she never veers away from being true to herself and what feels good to her. makes my heart hurt just thinking about her ever going through some of the stuff i went through. does every parent feel this way? probably. ahhh, life!

meet her imaginary friends, kiki and gaga

all of the sudden, f has two pals who seem to be around quite a bit, doing all kinds of things. i've never met them, but there certainly a big part of her world. kiki and gaga, everybody! y'know those two, don't you? always at the zoo, or at school, or wherever f's head will take them? her new imaginary friends. "mama! kiki went to the STORE and got FRUIT!" or if i say "f, it's time to take a bath," she says "gaga is taking a bath, mama! GA GA!" it's kinda awesome right now, but if it sticks... hmm. anyone else have any experience with imaginary friends? 

update, 8/07/09: she has added a third friend to her imaginary posse: "juicer". hmm.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

the potty training necklace

parenting, like life, sometimes feels like one long string of humbling experiences. ok, that's way too pessimistic. it feels like a necklace (stay with me), one where most of the beads are humbling experience beads and like every other bead is a joyful or a frustrating or a pure love or a funny bead. that's more like it. makes me want to run to the bead store. anyhow. potty training has been one giant string of humbling and frustrating beads with a few joyful beads thrown in, you know, so i can wear the necklace with more than one outfit? right. so f started showing signs of being interested in using the potty around 18 months. we did what all the books said to do - we bought a potty chair, put it in the bathroom, and acted all casual about it. oh that? that's a potty chair. what? you want to sit on it? sure! whatever. oh, you want to try to pee in it? right on. whatevvvvvver works. and so she did, pee in it, from the get-go she peed in it almost every night right before we put her in the bath. we praised her but tried not to make too big of a deal about it. and then the books and the websites - i'm a research junkie, always feeling like THE ANSWER! IT HAS TO BE OUT THERE SOMEWHERE! I JUST NEED TO FIND IT AND EVERYTHING WILL BE OK - i looked everywhere and read everything and decided that this is our window! her window! if we don't jump on the potty training train right now, she'll be in diapers until kindergarten! so, we borrowed "everyone poops" and netflixed "elmo's potty time" and got the pamphlet from daycare and spent 3 weekends driving ourselves batty with the diaperless - run her to the bathroom as soon as she starts to go - set the timer for every 20 minutes - think we are going to lose our minds with this, kids wear diapers to kindergarten all the time, don't they? - method. and here we are, 10 months later, and she still doesn't tell us when she needs to go.

and see, the pamphlet, the one with the "3 day potty training" method we had to go through before daycare would include her in the potty training group? why did it do that? it lied to us. 3 days? THREE DAYS. three days would have been awesome. three days would have been totally cool. three days would have rocked. 10 months? the pamphlet lied.

and now we're back to the humbling part. because one of the things i'm realizing as we grow up together here, which may seem obvious to everyone else and rationally, makes sense to me but in practice it kinda threw me for a loop is that every kid is totally different and, those answers? they aren't necessarily out there in any book or on any website. so rude of them, those answers! to not be out there for me! but as i let go more and more of my quest to figure it - her - out and just give in to the journey (anyone smell patchouli?) i am humbled by how "her own person" she is, and how we're doing this on her time table, and how she actually is doing pretty well with it - going potty on the potty most of the time, having accidents less and less. i'm the one who needs to just relax and go with the flow, pun intended. even if we have to always instigate the trips to the bathroom, she usually doesn't have any issues going once we get there. and i need to remember that that is pretty good for a 2.5 year old. right?

so. we're still in the extremely encouraging phase, trying to reinforce the good stuff. you know, potty prizes, lots of high fives, bragging about her potty prowess while she's in earshot, buying her a pony. well, a plastic one. and the praise and high fives, those are huge in our house. so last sunday when we were out to lunch and she pooped in the restaurant's bathroom, i told her "YES! AWESOME! i can't wait to tell daddy! he's going to be SO proud of you too!! GOOD JOB! dad's going to love to hear about this!" not taking into account the happy pressure i was building up in her proud little soul: YES! CAN'T WAIT TO TELL DADDY! MUST TELL DADDY AS SOON AS POSSIBLE! which led to this: we stepped out of the bathroom, started walking toward the table j had found for us in the very crowded restaurant, and f, bursting with the news, yelled to j - across many tables full of people enjoying their sunday lunches - as loud as she possibly could: "DADDY! I JUST MADE A GIANT POOP IN THE POTTY! A GIANT POOP!!" she was beaming. BEAMING. she was so proud! that's our girl.

Friday, July 24, 2009


...and then he said, while we squeezed in a conversation as i drove from work to f's daycare to go pick her up, "you should start a blog. your own blog, like, totally separate from work. your own thing. register your domain. do it." and i thought, "yikes". and now it's a week later and i'm sitting here listening to the new transfer record (working title: "future selves") and, well, blogging? i'm blogging. i'm typing, and pausing, and typing a little more, and stopping as i get lost in another song because this record is going to be so damn good (listening to a song called "my suspicions" right now). and meanwhile, it's bittersweet. because my husband j was in transfer, like, forever. he was in ten pound brown back in chico, and they all moved here to san diego to "give it a go" and then they broke up and they started transfer and he put his heart and his love and his time and everything into transfer, and then last februrary, he called it a day. now transfer have a new bass player (shaun) and a new record and i'm listening to it as i type, and it's bringing up all these feelings: gratitude for my husband and our girl f and that he realized how huge and important it was for him to be home more and touring less, or, not at all; sadness, that he's no longer a part of this awesome creative force that was his passion for so long; and hope, that maybe THIS will be the record that finally "does it" for transfer. but i digress.

so, here i am, blogging. where does anyone start, when they start a blog? i guess i should go back and look at dooce's archives, and design mom and jordan ferney and ask moxie and all the people whose blogs i adore, whose blogs have gotten me through another day, when i was deep in the heart of new parenthood or, more recently, struggling with being a mom and a wife and a friend and a DJ on the radio and all that they all entail. and there's more than that, even, as there's way more to everyone, right? so much more. so where do i start? back in high school, when i wrote in yearbooks that someday my friends would hear me on the radio? or back when i got my first "real" radio job on KNAC? or, when i met j? or i could start with how it took us a year to get pregnant, and then we did, and then the station i had worked at for almost 10 years laid me off, four days after i told them i was pregnant? or, f's birth? where to begin? where to begin. right here?