Tuesday, December 21, 2010

home.

i was going to say "you know you're getting older when you'd rather be home in bed than in vegas" but then i thought, is it about getting older, or something else? being a parent? turning into a homebody? becoming boring? sorta kidding with that last one, but it's a worthy option.


i went to vegas last weekend for a good friend's 40th birthday, and while i had a super-radtastic time celebrating with him and a bunch of old friends on saturday night - when i woke up in that hotel room on sunday morning, all i could think about was home. wishing i was home with f & j, more specifically. what is that, about having kids? i mean, there are times when i can't WAIT to get a break, can't wait to get out and go out and tear it up again, and not do the bedtime routine or the wake-up-at-the-crack-of-dawn routine AGAIN. but then i do, and when all is said and done, i just miss my girl, like, a lot, and i can't wait to get back to her again. it's funny.

Friday, December 10, 2010

"no, that is her windpipe closing" and other things you really don't want to hear your pediatrician say.

allergies don't run in either of our families, so j and i were both shocked (and skeptical even?) when around age two, f ate a cashew out of j's hand and within 20 seconds was vomiting, gagging, coughing, and developed hives around her mouth. i mean, the reaction was strong and immediate, but it felt so surreal. we sat on the couch with her for at least an hour after that, and she'd cough every minute or so, but she was breathing just fine and the hives eventually went away, so we put her to bed and just mentioned it the next time we saw her pediatrician. i'm pretty sure they told us to "keep an eye on it" and "just avoid cashews" because no big deal was made out of it.

so we did, we didn't buy any more cashews (j looooves them) and on forms for school/swim lessons/surgery for her ears, i just put "cashews (we think)" in the "allergies?" sections. cashews aren't like peanuts in that they are pretty easy to avoid. but last friday night at a friend's house, f stuck her hand into a bowl of cashews - i was right there and told her to drop the nuts, so she did. and then with the same hand she instead picked up a grape, put it in her mouth, and almost immediately started coughing, gagging, and turning a little red. thinking she was going to throw up, i ran her into the bathroom and our quick-thinking friend ran in with some benadryl for her to take a swig of. she did, and she stopped gagging, and she could breathe just fine, and there weren't any hives on her face this time, and the whole thing was over in about 5 minutes. my heart was racing but it was over so quickly and she was back to normal, so i didn't panic. it helped knowing her pal's dad is an EMT and was right there too.

i knew i should call her pediatrician, thinking "i should probably run all of that by him" because we usually see a different pediatrician these days, and you know, it was kinda scary. i finally had a minute to call him this past wednesday afternoon, and what he said to me blew me away. i described both times she's apparently had a reaction to a cashew (or cashew dust, in the most recent case) and i told him that neither time did it seem like her airway was compromised, and he said "i don't mean to alarm you, but that gagging and coughing? that IS her airway closing."

shit.

he asked me, "do you have a pen? write down this number - it is to one of the best allergists in california, and we are lucky to have them in san diego. write it down and call AS SOON AS WE HANG UP." he told me based on what i described to him, his guess is that she has a serious allergy. that she'll probably need an epi-pen. that this is "no joke." so, we have an appointment on the 30th, a two hour appointment that the receptionist said would cost between $600 and $1000. he gave me a bunch of codes to call and run by our insurance provider, gave me instructions about no anti-histamines for 5 days prior to the appointment, told me they will prick her skin UP TO 72 TIMES to test for different allergens. my heart is breaking as i type that. homegirl is going to get whatever barbie she fucking wants AND a hot fudge sundae after that action.

pardon my french, i'm just a little freaked out. fortunately, meeting with the allergist will give us a lot more information and hopefully we'll figure out if there's anything else we need to avoid from here on out. and my friend tammy has a son who is allergic to all kinds of things, so she's already offering awesome insight and support, as is one of my favorite bloggers, punky mama. i know it's going to be fine and we'll figure it out, but it still seems a little surreal. and scary.

Monday, December 6, 2010

camigos.

f has been so funny lately. sometimes i think about those first few months with her, when i felt so desperate and so crazy, really. i could not even conceive of a time when it wouldn't just be so hard to have a child. i know in retrospect that it was just the shock of having our first baby and the complete lifestyle change that came with it (combined with an insane lack of sleep that went on for months and months... and months) but at the time, i just couldn't wrap my head around how so many moms did it - had kids and still functioned - smiled, even! - in their daily lives. so the fact that f is such a complete and total joy (like, most of the time) now still feels like nothing short of a revelation. i love being a mom in a way that i never could have imagined, in a way that i think maybe no one can imagine, until they are one. and it keeps getting more and more fun with her, like her little personality just keeps emerging and growing and WOW. that girl is a crack up.

she loves to ride in the car with the windows down, and over the weekend began yelling "hola camigo!" at people, out the window. yes, "camigo" with a c. we only let her do it a few times, because i don't want her to get used to the idea of heckling passersby. but "hola camigo!!" had us cracking up. she also now loves the phrase "shake your booty" and thinks it's funny to, well, shake her booty in our general direction. how is a parent supposed to model proper behavior when all i want to do is laugh? ugh. but i'll tell you what. i'll take that dilemma, along with a little booty shaking in my face & confused looks of "camigos" on the street over a sleepless night any day of the week. i can't believe my little camigo is almost four.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

family jam

a little clip from the fm 94/9 station band's set at the 8th anniversary bash on november 13th - j is on bass, our pal and host of the station's local music show tim pyles sings, and my boss garett is the one playing guitar in a black t-shirt with a shaved head. i really do hate being on stage, but when j and i would look at each other while we were playing, it made everything feel a-ok. you might want to plug your ears:

8th Anniversary Bash from fm949sd on Vimeo.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

band practice.

so the radio station i work for, fm 94/9, has a concert every november to celebrate its anniversary, and this year is no different - the 8th anniversary bash is happening this saturday night at a downtown venue called 4th and b. and every year, the station's staff gets together and plays an opening set of cover songs, and it is both awesome and cringe-worthy at the same time. the awesome part is playing music with my co-workers, which have included swami and anya marina (along with special guests like O, matt from transfer, brian & matt g from the nervous wreckords, and steve from the styletones); the cringe-worthy part for me is playing in front of people, because being on stage in front of lots and lots of people is not my happy place. let alone being on stage in front of lots and lots of people while trying not to f*#k up my parts as i play the roland juno 2 keyboard that my parents gave me in 1986, the one i wanted because it was the one nick rhodes played in duran duran. thankfully, we have band practice - like, this is no joke, we have to learn songs and stuff! - and this year, the added bonus is that my boss garett asked if my husband j would play bass for the station band, because he's really good at that. j said yes, and now we're sorta in a temporary cover band together! so romantic.


so aside from that nervous belly feeling i get every time i think about saturday night, band practice this year has been really fun. weirdly, everyone on our staff can play at least one instrument or sing or, you know, keep the beat on a tambourine, so that helps. mostly we have a bunch of good guitar players, but there's also me and then jesse q on the trumpet. with j filling in on bass this year and lenny from our sister station handling the drums, we're actually sounding somewhat convincing. yes, i do write down which chords to play and tape the notes to my keyboard, and yes, i might need to eat some tums before our set on saturday night, but i think it's going to be worth it. the fact that i get to experience my boss screaming "NOW I WANNA BE YOUR DOG!" at me and it's in no way inappropriate AND i get to play in a band with my husband? it just might be the best year yet. as long as i can figure out what to wear.

Monday, November 1, 2010

cheesy, part deux

after my last experiment in cheese making, my good friend tara told me about easy homemade ricotta, and i was sold. easier than mozzarella (that we totally messed up)? sign me up. now that f is almost 4 (dude!) i've been finding it easier to cook and bake a little more. she helps me out on a regular basis, and that is ridiculously fun and messy. but attempting some grown-up dishes and things has been giving me so much joy lately, i am totally into it. so after t told me about homemade ricotta AND the l.a. times food blog tweeted a recipe for it, i called my friend jessie and we went to town.




and guess what? it was so easy, and it was FLIPPING DELICIOUS. warm, a little salty, it was like heaven in a bite. look at it! makes you want to just dive in, no?



after a few bites, we decided to put it on top of strawberries and we drizzled honey over the top of that. unreal, camille. i made it again a few days later and i think it's safe to say i'll make it again soon. homemade cheese + me = love.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

the love that knocks the wind out of you, kinda like.

this morning, f and i were on our couch, hanging out after "breakfisk." she had a little stuffed bunny in her lap and was telling me about it, that it was her "real" bunny and that she was going to tuck it in so it could sleep. f was naked, did i mention that? she loves to be nude, so she was. all naked, curled up in the corner of the couch, arranging the snuggly blanket around herself and her bunny, putting the bunny in the corner next to her, then changing her mind two seconds later and putting the bunny on the other side of her, that kind of thing. and then she grabbed the bunny and said something that just made my heart feel like it was my whole body, with the pure beauty of it, the sweet sweet, blissfully in her own skin and unaware of the world and what it can put on girls and our bodies-ness of it: she said "come here on my body, bunny. it's so comfty, i promise." and dude, her little body IS so comfy. i seriously can not get enough snuggles and loves from her. she's still so little, she fits in my arms, she snuggles up against me all the time, and i just breathe it in and try to soak in her little perfectness with every single cell in my body. the love! it is so big.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

"where's my surgery?"

and just like that, f's surgery has come and gone and all is (knock on wood) well again. it all happened really fast. tuesday afternoon at 2pm was her (2nd) appointment with the ear/nose/throat specialist at children's hospital - j picked her up from school early and took her, since i had to be on the air until 3. and at 2:30 the hotline rang and it was j, calling from the scheduling desk, saying "they want to do the surgery and there's an opening tomorrow morning at 11:30 and otherwise they can't get her in until november and i can get the day off can you?" and wow, it seemed really rushed. we took the appointment for wednesday morning, but i made him promise to relate every single last detail about the appointment to me when we got home, and that we could cancel if it didn't feel right. he promised.

so tuesday night he told me everything the doctor said, which basically echoed what the pediatrician has now said at the last two appointments and what the other ENT doc said at our first visit to children's last month: she needs tubes in and adenoids out to really stop these awful, chronic ear infections. maybe it's because we'd already been through ear tube surgery once, but it just felt ok - i didn't really hesitate. and maybe i have too much blind faith in western medicine, which really i don't, but i know the tubes were miracle workers last time we had them put in and her recovery lasted about two hours before she was back to her old self. so we got out the paperwork and looked it over, fed her one last big meal, and to bed she went.

and really, the hardest thing about surgery day yesterday was the not eating part. the surgery was at 11:30, so she could have popsicles, jello, and juice before 8:30am, and after that - nothing else, not even water. i think the hunger combined with the weirdness of the day in general was making her a little buggy - she was a little grumpy in the waiting room, that's for sure. it may have had something to do with trundling around to three different desks to check in and then sitting in a room full of noisy, fussy kids for an hour or more. j and i were trying to cut her some slack in the behavior department. finally around 11:45 they led us into the little private waiting room, where we talked to the kindest surgeon, dr. kearns (sp?) and anesthesiologist (dr. nieman i think?), and f said "bye guys!" and walked back to surgery with nurse nancy like it was no big deal.

and it was over so quickly. j and i had brought books so we just went back to the waiting room and after 20 minutes - it was that quick! - we got called in to another room and the surgeon came in and said it all went great. they removed her adenoids, because apparently they can push up against the eustachian tubes and prevent drainage, and the recovery is nothing like tonsils - he said she may have a little sore throat that night, but that could be from the intubating tube too. the only bummer is that he could only put a tube in her left ear, because the hole from when her right ear drum perforated in july (during the first infection after the last tubes fell out) still has not closed and it's too big for a tube. so that one has nature's drain, for now, and she'll still have to rock the fetching ear "putty buddy" plugs and neoprene headband combo whenever she swims. we can handle that. and back out to the waiting room we went.

after seeing the surgeon, it was another 45 minutes before they called us back to the recovery room. when we walked in, my heart sank. it was full of tiny kids on tiny hospital beds, most surrounded by family, and most of them were just wailing. but the nurse led us around the corner and there was our sweet beeb, sitting up, happily eating a purple popsicle, watching "lady and the tramp" on the hospital tv. she smiled at us and looked at me with unfocused eyes and asked, "mama, where's my surgery?" and after they took out her i.v. i wrapped her up in a blanket and held her in my arms, and that was just about the best thing i could even imagine then and there. she was still drowsy and a little out of it from the general anesthesia, but she was peaceful. they checked us out after taking her vitals one last time and giving us the run down about what to look out for, and we were outta there. and by 4pm yesterday afternoon, she was jumping on the couch again, singing us songs and laughing it up. it really was that quick. the doctors and nurses at children's were, to a person, kind, warm, and reassuring. they were great. i just hope we don't have to see any of them ever again. at least not in that setting. at the beach would be ok.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

all ears

when f was around 15 months or so, she had surgery to put tubes in her ears, thanks to chronic ear infections she'd been having. and while that kind of surgery is very common, it still was no fun, and one of the most pitiful sounds i've heard was the pathetic, sweet little whimper she made as i held her while she came out of her anesthesia haze. but they worked - her ear infections stopped immediately, thank goodness, so it was worth it.

we knew the tubes were designed to work their way out eventually, but the hope is that by the time they do, the child's ears won't need the tubes to help them drain anymore. f's tubes fell out sometime this summer (her pediatricians can see them when they look in her ears and gave us progress reports on the tubes each time we visited) and right away, she started having ear infections again. the first one in early july got so bad that her right ear drum perforated. thankfully, she never complained of pain with that one, so i think we lucked out. the others since then have been painful to her - she's had three total since july. we've now been to her pediatrician three or four times, used ear drops and oral anitbiotics, seen the surgeon at children's hospital who did her ear tube surgery the first time, postponed swim lessons, even had her wear ear plugs when we wash her hair - you name it. but they keep coming, and last week we went to see her pediatrician again for a follow up, and she said this: "her ears are a mess." she said the hole from the perforation in july still has not healed, and she said her left ear drum "looks like a deflated balloon." then she told us to get another appointment with the ENT surgeon as soon as possible. ugh.

the good news is, f is in no pain right now, aside from hating taking the antibiotics twice a day. the marshmallow chasers seem to help. the bad news is, it sounds like we might be looking at another surgery, for more tubes and adenoid removal. we'll know more after our appt. on tuesday. boo.

Friday, September 17, 2010

indie jam.

this year's indie jam ran like a well-oiled machine. at least from my perspective - it was mellow and fun and i only stressed out a wee little bit. see, my comfort zone at work is in the on-air studio, alone. i love occasional visitors, and people pop in and out of the studio all day long on a regular workday. but if anyone ever wants to just hang out in the studio with me? i don't do very well with that. i get self-conscious whenever i have to go on the air, and then i end up getting distracted by that, and then i focus on how lame it is that i can't hang, and then that just messes with my head even more. while i'm on the air, i'm pretty much constantly doing show-prep online and plotting my next break. so to have to maintain a conversation with someone while i'm trying to do that? i'm just not good at it. so anytime we have a live broadcast somewhere other than the studio, i tend to get the nervous belly feeling well in advance of each event. doing a stage announcement? on stage, with thousands of people staring at you? don't even get me started. i'm starting to sweat just typing that. i don't exactly look forward to our big events - i take that back. i do. i am always happy to see good live music and to hang out with friends and coworkers, and to meet the bands and see old friends and stuff - that part is super rad and i am very grateful to get to experience the behind-the-scenes parts of shows. but the interviews and broadcasting in front of people and getting on stage to introduce bands? sheesh. i am never able to relax until my shift or my stage announcements are over with.



this year's indie jam was a little different, though. for some reason, i was sort-of able to relax! a little bit. our broadcast was from an oceanview suite at the westin across the street from the oceanside pier. it was so nice! our promotions director, adam, had hit costco on an empty stomach, so there was a ridiculous amount of good snacks and beer. it was mellow, we had the emmys on TV, and bands came and went without it ever feeling crowded and stuff. it was just right. i got to interview the whigs, brian from the nervous wreckords, and alex ebert from edward sharpe and the magnetic zeros, who was a little intimidating but ended up being gracious and talkative. the whigs were super relaxed and funny, and beez from TNZ is a friend so we just laughed and winged it. and i only had to do two stage announcements - one before rogue wave, and one before ed sharpe, with the rest of the station staff. i had some tacos for dinner up on the pier, got to spend some time with good friends, and, once we wrangled carlos into the car, got to kiss our sleeping girl and get in bed before midnight. also: i'm apparently turning into my mother. bed before midnight, even!




now we get to start practices for the fm 94/9 station band's set at our 8th anniversary bash in november! my hands feel clammy.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

breakfisk

three and a half is an awesome age. tough and challenging and stressful sometimes, yes, but also funny and fun and sweet and creative and ridiculously cute. one of my favorite things about f right now is some of the things she says "incorrectly." i put that in quotes because to me? they are just right. my current favorites:

she says "comfty" for "comfy"

"breakfisk" for "breakfast"

and we just checked out pooh's heffalump movie at the library, which she excitedly keeps referring to as the "heffalon!" movie.

seriously, universe? please don't let these ever change.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

camper van beethoven

now that f is sleeping better and getting a little older, we decided it was high time to get our little girl camping. j grew up camping, like, all the time, and i grew up going here and there and have really good memories of it, so we both agreed that camping was an experience we wanted f to have from an early age. we made what we've been calling a "dry run" back in july - just went for one night out to lake morena, to work out the kinks, see what worked and what didn't, etc. and she loved it! too bad we didn't, not exactly. sleeping in a tent together was awesome, and she slept well for the most part, so that was huge. the campfire and checking out the lake (which you can't swim in because it's a reservoir, boo) and the hanging out with auntie and her friend amelia - that was all fun. the part that wasn't so awesome: camping about 10 feet away from loud, obnoxious grandparents who were threatening and verbally abusive to their grandkids, listening to those kids cry as my heart just broke completely for them, and then the next morning ending up in coversation with said loud grandparents who made a point to make more than one racist statement AND boast that their house was within a half an hour of FIVE WALMARTS, TWO OF WHICH ARE TWO STORIES!!!!!! holy crap. it was that kind of camping. needless to say we had higher hopes for our trip to big bear.

and it was great. we went on a monday, so a lot of people were leaving when we were arriving. the sites were huge, the people were sparse, and those who were camping near us were quiet and super friendly, people we'd be happy to camp with anytime. we camped in the tall pines and it was about a two minute ramble down to a private (meaning it was just the three of us - no one else! kinda nuts) beach on big bear lake. the weather was perfect during the day but in the 30s at night, so that was a little chilly. we rented a pontoon boat and took a picnic lunch out on the lake. we even peed in a floating bathroom, which of course was one of the highlights. j taught f how to cast with her new fishing pole (ask him about how i almost took out one of his eyes with that thing! he'll be happy to share) and we fed the ducks. we had breakfast s'mores, took showers in the dark, played baseball, swam in the lake, and collected rocks. and while i know i prefer brushing my teeth in my own bathroom, it was so good, just the three of us, camping together. i even think i might be looking forward to doing it again in the spring.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

gratitude.

today is f's last day in the classroom she's been in for the past year - next week she starts in a new room with mostly 4 year olds. which, while it is exciting and she's so ready for it, it's also bittersweet, you know? this morning as she was eating breakfast, i mentioned this to her: that she'd been in this class for a whole year, and today is her last day!

she said, "yes! sunday, wednesday, firsday, friday, monday, wednesday! a WHOLE YEAR OF ALL THE DAYS, mama!"

"yes!" i said. "a whole year."

she thought (and chewed) for a second. "i is so lucky," she said. we milk cheers'd to that. we is all so lucky, my little sugar buns.


(on the IB pier with auntie jenny)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

the naked babysitter

somehow i ended up here today - i think thanks to a link on my friend amanda's blog, and i read the most current post and had to laugh. i wanted to comment, so i started writing about our babysitter from hell experience, then i realized i'd never written about it here, so pardon my lazy copy/paste, but this is the (LONG! sheesh.) comment i left on mama manifesto's page, which tells the story of why we'll never use a babysitting service again. like, ever ever ever:

for the first year of our daughter's life, we used a local babysitting service that had been highly recommended to us by more than one person. we used them 3 times total, and only when we were really in a pinch. the first two times were fine. and then we hired one of their sitters, a girl in college, for new years eve 2007-2008. she seemed great, all was fine, that was that. she was on the phone with her boyfriend in florida when i got home at 2am, and we chatted about how they'd been on the phone for a while and how it was 5am in florida. whatevs. or so i thought.

fast forward to almost exactly a year later. as i was uploading some pictures to facebook on our mac, it brought up every single photo that had ever been put on our computer (even the deleted-out-of-iPhoto ones) and i noticed some nudie pictures in the mix. they were thumbnail sized, and i didn't bother double clicking on them, but figured i'd mention them to my husband to see if he could "explain" them. i told j about them and he seemed honestly clueless & said he'd check them out when he got a chance (you do that, honey!).

a few days later, he comes walking out the office with a freaked out look on his face. "babe, you HAVE to come look at those pictures. i have no idea who the girl is, but the pictures were taken IN OUR HOUSE." insert chills here. we immediately thought of every possible situation: did someone break in? that would be weird. was it from when we had a (male) friend staying as a guest for a couple weeks? maybe. but really, we were just like WTF? we went back into the office together, blew the pictures up big on the screen, and as soon as we saw the LIT UP baby monitor (!!) in the background, we figured it out: it was the babysitter from last new year's eve. taking nudie pictures, in our house, while our little girl was sleeping upstairs. taking nudie pics of herself in our guest bathroom too. and then uploading them to our computer, maybe sending them to that florida boyfriend? and then deleting them... or so she thought.

when i called the babysitting service (which is run by two moms) they were great - they were horrified, falling over themselves to apologize, and assured me she'd be fired. i told them i needed at least a follow up call after they indeed confronted and fired her, which they gave me. they said at first she denied it all, then called them back and said the pictures had been for "an art project." right. real artistic. she was fired and that satisfied us. just knowing she knew WE knew, and the fact that she lost her job, was enough for us. she made a really, really stupid mistake, our little girl had been sleeping and was never harmed, and as gross and freaky as it was, we felt like that was about all we needed to do. needless to say, we've never hired a sitter we don't know again.and if we did - she'd have to be mary flipping poppins for me to be ok with it.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

cheesy

it all started with the book animal, vegetable, miracle by the seriously awesome barbara kingsolver. poisonwood bible, anyone? just as we were building our raised bed garden in our own backyard, i read all about barbara's family's year of the locavore, and i loved it. one of the things babs - can i call her babs? - does in her book is make cheese. she also cans, stores root vegetables, and raises turkeys. but the cheesemaking? she even included a recipe and made it sound real easy. and really, who doesn't pine for a rowdy night of cheesemaking? so i gave the book to my friend christine, who aside from having an organic garden in her backyard too, hosts a weekly CSA drop-off on her front porch. i knew she'd dork out on the awesomeness of the book as much as i did, so when she told me she'd ordered a cheese making kit online from the place the book mentions, i did a back-flip and headed over to her place. it went a little like this:

first, we heated the non-ultra-pasteurized whole milk on the stove after we combined it with citric acid. here's christine, stirring:



then we added the (vegetable) rennet, stirred, let set, cut into cubes, strained, nuked, kneaded the whey out, etc, and eventually, got this:


which, after much kneading, just continued to crumble. apparently, you're supposed to be able to stretch and twist the finished product - we were so sad when our cheese ended up more like cottage than string. ahh well. at that point we were a few glasses of wine in and all we could do was giggle. we did make pizzas, and the cheese? it's good! f wouldn't get near it the next morning when i offered her some, but christine said her kids gobbled it up. ahhh well. up next: homemade jam. and have i mentioned the giant phallic cucumbers we've got going in the backyard right now? sweet jesus. they are the best tasting cukes i've ever had, no joke. and don't even get me started on my role in our squash blossoms' sexual intercourse. gardening! so hot!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

family art day, an update

early friday morning (08/06) i read a tweet about shepard fairey's hillcrest mural having been "defaced" overnight. because we had spent time there last weekend and had loved it so much - f included - i felt shock and sadness when i read the news. (apparently my shock indicated i "don't get" street art, according to one local woman AND the museum of contemporary art itself - more on that later) but silly me, i was surprised and bummed. i went out of my way to drive by it on my way to work, took pictures, talked to the property manager who was out there filming the damage (blue paint had splattered all over her tenants' cars), and then i posted the pictures on twitter when i got to work.



a woman named kelly who works for a local weekly paper tweeted, after i posted the photos with the words "unbelievable!" and "so awful" in my tweets, that basically anyone who was surprised that his mural was tagged "doesn't get street art" - and her statement was then retweeted BY THE MUSEUM ITSELF. because i don't follow her on twitter but i do follow the museum, i saw their retweet, and honestly? i was floored that a museum would tell people how they were "supposed" to react to the mural being painted over, and flat out endorsed the thought that if people didn't have the "right" reaction - i.e. a neutral, unsurprised one - we "don't get it".

WOW.

really? see, because in my obviously very limited, uneducated understanding of art - and this may sound ridiculous - but i thought there was never a "right" or "wrong" reaction, to the art itself and then to it being painted over in a pretty messy & awful way. same for music, or any other kind of art for that matter - anyone's interpretation of art is so personal - who's to tell anyone what their reaction to seeing art they like being defaced should be? the museum, apparently... at least whoever is writing their twitter feed, which of course represents the museum itself. they said if anyone was surprised, that person just "didn't get it". so, should only people who "get it" go see the art? develop feelings about it? go to the museum itself? i felt really stung by that, that basically i was being told by this woman, and then by the museum itself by their retweeting of her message, that my surprise - my reaction - to seeing a piece of public art defaced/tagged/whatever the people who "get it" call it - was WRONG. shame on me! i should just stay away from art, shouldn't i?

an hour or so later, the co-curator of the exhibition was interviewed by KPBS and seemed to have a different take on it. and today i learned that the mural was covered in some sort of coating that makes washing off graffiti easy, and that the museum is in the process of cleaning it up today. which makes me feel happy, whether or not that's the "right" way to feel about it. oh well.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

artsy fartsy

so i married a musician and i play music on the radio for a living, but i can't sing to save my life (i sound pretty convincingly like a dying cow) and i can play "chopsticks" on the piano, but that's about it. ditto for art: my doodles and any painting i do with f - let's just say she and i are about on the same level, artistically. and she's three. but my love of art in all forms - my love of music, dance, theater, drawing, painting, photography, sculpture, graffiti, performance art, film, poetry, literature, am i missing anything? i love it ALL. in our little family we are all about trying to encourage f to explore art in all its myriad forms and we (usually) have a good time getting messy doing it. we collect art, little by little, for our home, and we are don't discriminate: if we like it, we try to buy it. it means so much to me that our house is full of our funky little art collection and i feel fortunate to live in this border town with such a thriving arts scene. yesterday i walked around our house and took pictures of my favorites - after our family street art day this past weekend, i've had it on the brain.

this one my mom gave me for my 21st birthday. when my sister turned 21 my mom gave her pearls, so when i turned 21 my mom said i could have pearls or i could have some money to choose something equally special. this is what i picked:


big al taplet, heavy in more ways than one:


this one was a gift from tim mccormick:


this was a birthday present from j a few years ago:


a wall in f's bedroom:


and we have a couple things in our office too. these paintings i got from my friend tammy's garage sale - they were hung in her grandma's house in hawaii and i fell in love with them.


and that one in the middle is by jack - it's still one of my favorites. he's got a good point, no?


it's nothing fancy, but it makes us happy, our little collection. and when we heard about viva la revolucion, we really wanted to go check it out, with f in tow. so last saturday morning she put on her favorite princess dress and lime green crocs and we buckled in and headed out. we had printed out a map, thanks to the MCASD website, so we headed into hillcrest first to see shepard fairey's huge mural on 5th. it is awesome:






after hillcrest, we headed downtown and drove past invader's "the mothership" on the side of the art center building:


we ripped around and saw these, and though i'm unclear about whether or not they are part of the official exhibition, they are still rad:



we saw the os gemeos one on the south side of horton plaza and a couple others too, and finished up in south park where we checked out the other shepard fairey mural, which may be my favorite. the monk:


my picures hardly do any of these justice: carly ealey took a bunch of great ones, mike maxwell shot some awesome video of the installs and sezio has a good look at the street installations and the museum exhibition too. family art day rules. up next: family street taco day. odelay!

Monday, August 2, 2010

you know where you can put that salami?

alternate title:

OUR DAY AT THE FARMER'S MARKET, in which not a very big deal gets blown all out of proportion in my head because i'm a rookie mom who hates confrontation and tends to have a hard time letting things go.

alternate alternate title:

IF THESE ARE OUR PROBLEMS, WE'RE ACTUALLY DOING PRETTY DAMN GOOD. even if we never get to eat the mean lady's salami again.


so f and i like to go to the hillcrest farmer's market about once a month. i love it for all the fresh, regional-if-not-local organic produce, and she loves it for the kettle corn, peaches, and the 7th day buskers. and we have a little routine: once we find parking, we walk straight to the kettle corn guy, buy a $2 bag to share, then go park it in front of the band and enjoy the show. a few months ago, steve poltz showed up and sang with them - f LOVED him & i loved seeing him perform after not having seen him play in a long time. and this past sunday, while we were sitting there waiting for the buskers to start, f said to her new friend celina, "are you ready to rock out?"

celina just stared. she was only 2. she may not know what "rock out" means yet. she'll learn.

anyhow, this past sunday got off to a great start. we watched the band, ate some corn, danced around a little and soon enough f was ready to get our shop on. she was on a peach mission, but i had a few stops in mind first - we were having friends over for dinner that night, so i wanted to buy some good cheese and a good old fashioned nitrate-free salami to serve with it as an appetizer. we had great luck at the cheese tent and made our way over to the salami people. that's when it started sucking.

at first, it seemed fine enough. we walked up and i began telling the lady behind the table that i was hoping to find a salami that was not too spicy, something to serve tonight with the cheese blah blah blah. f was standing at my left, looking around. as the lady handed me a piece of one of the many salami samples she had on her table, f accidentally knocked a little (maybe a foot by a foot big?) white-erase board off the leg of the canopy - it had been precariously clipped to the canopy leg at, oh, about three-year-old kid eye level. f jumped when it fell off - she clearly didn't intend to knock off the little sign. and nothing broke - all one had to do was clip it back up. i started to apologize for f doing that when the woman glared at me and said "HONESTLY!" she was SHOCKED that a toddler could DO such a thing! i said, "excuse me? that was an accident!" and she yelled, "SHE JUST GRABBED OUR SIGN!" all mortified-like. and then i started to get even more worked up, but as i have an aversion to confrontation that causes me to start lamaze-ish breathing and almost break out into hives, all i got out was "SHE'S THREE YEARS OLD! IT WAS AN ACCIDENT, YOU AWFUL WOMAN!" ooooh, biting, i know. i hit her where it hurts. "awful woman!" was the best i could do. sheesh.

needless to say, we walked away, right over to the cookie tent. f was shaken up and had a million questions: "mama, why did that lady yell at me? mama, why was she mad? what happened?" over and over. i got down on my knees and just held her and talked to her about it, telling her mommmy knew f didn't mean to knock the sign down, that i knew it had been an accident, that f had not done anything wrong, and that the lady was mean because she doesn't have a happy heart and that's why mommy told her she shouldn't yell at f. GOD i was so pissed. and f couldn't let it go - she was by no means traumatized, but it stayed with her enough that she told everyone else we encountered, for the rest of the day, about "the mean sausage lady."

after we got cookies and my blood pressure started to go down, i walked back over and took a picture of her with my phone, so i can warn other parents about the mean overpriced salami lady and her evil ways (she's the lady in red):

looking back on it, i think had f knowingly torn the sign off the pole or something, my reaction would have been VERY different. but i saw it happen out of the corner of my eye, and i KNOW it was accidental. and, it was a stupid little plastic sign that did not break. and, she's three, and the sign was at her eye level. AND, HELLO MEAN OVERPRICED GARISHLY RED LIPSTICK FOR A SUNDAY MORNING SALAMI LADY WITH YOUR EVIL WAYS: KIDS COME TO THE FARMER'S MARKET! YOU PRECARIOUSLY HANG YOUR SIGN AT THEIR EYE LEVEL, CALL ME CRAZY, BUT THERE'S A SLIGHT CHANCE THAT SIGN MIGHT GET MANHANDLED BY A SHORT PERSON WHO DOESN'T POSSESS YOUR DEFT HAND-EYE COORDINATION! YET! because if she did - that sign might not have fallen on the ground. it may have been hurled RIGHT AT YOU.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

did i say this was my favorite age?

i may have spoken too soon. because, sweet jesus. all of the sudden, like, since monday? f has been acting out at school in ways that have me freaking out a little bit. when i'm done giggling, that is. every day when i pick her up, if she's had a "good day," her teachers just smile and everything is peachy. but when she's had a "bad" day, the teachers give me a list of her transgressions and then usually we have a little pow-wow with f to talk about it. which, you know, is easy and fun, when she's climbing all over me and her friends are coming up to chat every 2.2 seconds or to shove lego alligators in our faces or to yank her lego alligator out of her hands which causes her to yell and run after them which results in the perpetrator getting a talking to from the teacher who was just trying to talk with us. see? easy peasy.

monday, i was informed she pulled her pal c down by the neck and also elbowed her friend j in the stomach. (ok, those ones are not funny. but i do know she has been on the receiving end of that kind of thing too - they all seem to be rough with each other from time to time. not excusing it from her, just, you know. they are kids...)

tuesday, i was told she "didn't use her good listening ears" and "used too much soap" when she was washing her hands. (how dare she?)

yesterday tickled me the most: when i picked her up, her teachers said, "well, she had a good day, for the most part, although she did call one friend an 'idiot!' and told another friend, when they sat where she wanted to sit, that she was going to "cut their head off!"

yikes.

don't get me wrong - j and i are taking this seriously and have been talking with her about options for handling situations when she gets mad, etc. nothing has changed at home; if anything, she's been sleeping great lately and we've been having a lot of fun at home of late. she's healthy, as far as we know, and we haven't discovered any food sensitivities (aside from an allergy to cashews) so i don't think it's anything physical. she's one of the "older" kids in her classroom now as a lot of her friends have already moved up to the next level - that could be part of it, and she'll join them come september. but sometimes, i just have to laugh a little bit. i mean, wow. "you idiot!" coming out of the mouth of a (usually) sweet 3 year old? it just makes me giggle (somewhat guiltily). her teacher said while at first she told her "mommy says it!" when asked where she had learned that, she later admitted that "they say it on shrek!" which, well, they do. ditto for the head chopping. so we've been talking a lot about how TV is pretend and even though they may say things in movies, does that make it ok for us to repeat them? no, it doesn't.

so much for my plan to plant her in front of this tonight:

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

the studio.

it's my office and my home away from home: the fm 94/9 studio. every morning just before 10am i shake off whatever is going on in my world and lean into the door to get inside (that dang door is soundproof and SO HEAVY). i set my stuff down: my coffee and water bottle go here, my purse goes there, my backpack over there. and then i start my routine. i imagine everyone has a routine when you are first starting work each day, right? what is yours? or is it a slight case of OCD? anyhow, i digress. it goes like this:

move the monitors (mikey stacks them, i like them side-by-side)
turn off the studio TV (because, really, cnn? you call that news?)
press the "mic 1" button
take all the pots on the mixer board out of "off line"
grab my music log
sign in on the commercial log
press 20 million more buttons on the mixer board
move the mic front and center
log into our audio recorder
and finally, plug in my headphones.

and then i can start. thank goodness i have beck looking out for me.

Monday, July 26, 2010

whore races

i am learning that regardless of the near-constant challenging nature of living with a three and a half year old, i also might have decided it's my favorite age so far. that being said, i hear from a lot of moms that EVERY age becomes your favorite age as it's happening, but i also get the feeling that many moms feel the need to put on a front of "i'm loving every second of this!" when most of us know that it's also possible that that's complete bullsh*t. and maybe they just neglect to include the caveat - who knows. what i do know is the love she showers on us combined with the fountain of insanely epic phrases that come out of f's mouth lately is an awesome combination of sweet and entertaining. if i mentally block out the lightning-fast mood swings and screaming assertions of independence, it really does feel like my favorite age. and the things that come out of her mouth, well, i can't write them down fast enough (though knowing she'll be our only, god knows i try). my favorite recent nugget is this one: while pretending we were in a horse race yesterday, she kept yelling - at the top of her lungs - "WHORE RACES!! MAMA, WE'RE WHORE RACING!!"

when i stopped her and said "HORSE! it's HORSE racing, f!" she said, with renewed vigor, "YES, MAMA!! WHOOOOORE RACES!!! GIDDYUP!"

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

wordplay.

yesterday afternoon, f's swim school called to tell me class had to be canceled because there was a "fecal accident" in the pool. when we got home, i told j about it, because the phrase "fecal accident" made me giggle like the 9 year old that i really am. as i was telling him about it, f asked "what's a fecal accident?" so i explained to her it's what happens when one of the little kids has a poo poo accident in the pool. she was somewhat fascinated by this, being 3 1/2 and newly potty trained herself. we discussed the concept of fecal accidents and their repercussions at length. it was pretty awesome.

this morning, we decided to check her class calendar to see what they'd be doing at school today. since they're learning about the letter "V" right now, "vehicles" was on today's agenda. when i read that out loud to her, her eyes lit up and she said "vehicle, mama? LIKE POO POO IN THE POOL! A VEHICLE ACCIDENT!"

that's our girl.

Friday, July 16, 2010

my fair lady

we took f to the san diego county fair this year and took advantage of all the fair has to offer: photo ops with livestock, rickety rides in kiddieland, and some greasy, salty fair food. we saw sheep and cows and monster trucks and wood carvers and a man with a tattooed face pushing his kid in a stroller. we made friends with a mom and her daughter who was f's age, and they went on a few rides together. we rode the tram and put our hands in the air when we went through the tunnel under jimmy durante blvd. and we saw fried s'mores and fried ice cream and fried avocados being sold. y'know, the fair! a crowded, nutty little slice of americana.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

food for thought, if this video was edible

my mom sent me this link not too long ago, and i've watched it a few times now and have felt everything from fascination to fear while seeing what dr. philip zimbardo has to say here. y'know the stanford prison experiment? the real thing, not the band? that dr. philip zimbardo. for your perusal:

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

the 4th

growing up, there were 10 kids who lived on our little block, including my sister and i. my mom and two of the other sets of parents still live in the houses we all grew up in and have been there since around 1970. we share a lot of good history and have all been there for everyone's ups and downs over the last almost 40 years. when we were kids, we all walked to school together, rode bikes together, went to the beach together, celebrated birthdays and holidays together. as adults, we are all still friends and now have become friends with each others' parents on an adult level. i adore our little block.

one of the neighborhood traditions that began in the early 1980s was the annual 4th of july block party. we blocked off the street and had a "mini-triathlon" which included riding our bikes around the block, running around the block, then swimming laps in the mileski's pool. we barbecued, swam some more, got out the slip and slide, decorated our bikes and had a bike parade. in the afternoons, we'd all walk down to the park and have a neighborhood softball game with the west side of the street playing against the east side. in the evening we'd grill and have a pot-luck dinner and then the dads would set off fireworks. it was awesome, and i missed those parties when i moved away from home in the early 90s.



in the past decade, some new young families have moved onto "our" block - including my sister's family - and a new generation of kids have taken over. there are now fourteen kids on the block, including my sister's three (all under the age of 15). they all run around together, ride bikes together, go to the beach together, and the 4th of july block parties have, after a few years' hiatus, resumed again. this weekend j and f and i went back there and spent the weekend at my mom and step-dad's house and once again, it was awesome. the softball game - so much fun! swimming in the mileski's pool - f LOVED it. and then, a progressive dinner that included tacos and dessert and lots of wine and beer. f was in hog heaven, running around with her cousins and all the kids she's getting to know because we go visit every few months. it was idyllic, really. and i so envy it.


here's the thing: we can't afford to live in my hometown anymore, and we won't be able to in the future, unless we win the lottery. and our hearts and most of our friends and jobs that we love - all of that is in san diego. i don't want to move back to my hometown, but i envy it - the community, the sense of history, the kids all on the same block, the parents all helping each other out - all of that. my sister knows everyone and everyone's kids and hearing her talk to everyone and know who is who and which kid is doing what - i love that and i envy it. it just seems like an ideal situation in which to raise a kid, you know?

i am fully aware that the grass is always greener, and that everything involves a give-and-take. j and i chose the house we bought two years ago, and we love our home and we love our neighbors. but there are only 3 other kids spread out on our loooong block, and i think we run into them outside about once every two months. now, we have an awesome community of kids and parents through f's school, and my love for some of them is already so strong. i am so grateful for the people we have met over the last three years and between them and our playgroup, our lives are full of wonderful families and with people i hope f will get to be close to for as long as possible - i want them to grow up together. that being said, we are all spread out. we live a few miles apart at least. i think it's the proximity i envy, the "mom, i'm going across the street to play" thing that happens when you all grow up together, on the same block.

so here's my question: how do you find that kind of 'hood anymore? a safe one with good public schools and lots and lots of kids running around? is it about money? because we don't have much money. and i hate to think that it takes money to "get" that lifestyle. does it take luck? i think that's part of it - you luck into a neighborhood, good or bad, whenever you move, because it's impossible to really know until you move there, right? do those kinds of blocks even really exist anymore? i know they do... but how does anyone find them? we're not moving anytime soon, so this is all just me sorta thinking out loud. i think this weekend was just so damn wonderful that it got me thinking, really thinking about the kind of childhood i want for f. knowing that she will be an only child is part of it, absolutely. and maybe as she gets into elementary school, we'll start to meet more nearby families and start to feel most connected within our neighborhood. i hope so. in the meantime, we're taking steps to feel more connected to our neighbors, even if there aren't a ton of kids on our block; we're starting by planning a summer's end BBQ at our house, and i'm already excited about it. even if there will only be two other kids running around, it's a start, right?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

where the pinots are big and the sales tax isn't

it's funny. we know quite a few sets of parents who routinely take vacations without their kids, and it's no big deal to them. i also know parents who have not had a night away from their kids since they were born, and bless their hearts, but that is hardcore. i think j and i fall somewhere in the middle: we spent one night without f in a local hotel for our 7th anniversary, but the only longer times we've been away from her have been the last two coachella festivals, and both times i was working for the entire weekend. so, you know, not so romantic. not to mention how much we both missed f the whole time. it's a conundrum; the routine, the work, the intensity of parenting and working and trying to "balance" (that word makes me throw up in my mouth a little bit) it all makes me long for a break, but as soon as i get one - even sometimes when i'm just out to dinner! - i miss her so much that i physically ache for her. wtf, you know?

anyhow. southwest notified me i'd earned a free round trip and we ran it by my mom and j's sister and picked a city and made a plan. 3 nights! just me and him! away! i could hardly wrap my head around it. we chose portland because i've heard so many great things about it (for a while there, the utne reader mentioned portland in a good light in almost every issue) and j had been there a few times to play shows when he was still in transfer and he'd loved it. j's cousin jameson lives there and we have good friends who live on a few acres about an hour south of portland, so that just sweetened the deal. the possibility of a visit to voodoo doughnuts was thrown in the mix and i was sold.

and we went for it! flew out on a thursday morning and were having cocktails on the 30th floor of the tallest building in portland by 5pm. the sun was out, which i was told was pretty lucky, and it was beautiful.

we met up with jameson, had great drinks and dinner at clyde common, caught the last 11 seconds of game 7 in the lakers/celtics playoffs (lakers!!!) and called it a night. friday we hit stumptown coffee on our way to voodoo doughnuts and i had a contender for best latte ever, which then washed down half a bacon maple doughnut and half a voodoo (raspberry jelly filled! so gory.) as we sat on the edge of the willamette river.


we got lost in powell's bookstore, shopped in the alberta arts district, had lunch and chocolate stout floats at rogue and bought bread at pearl bakery on our way out of town. and while i thought of f again and again, i was able this time to let go and really enjoy my time with j. we knew she was in good hands, and i knew that if i let myself feel guilty for being there without her or whatever, the getaway would just be counter-productive, you know? it took some doing, but i did it - just let go and had fun and stopped worrying. it rocked.

oregon is so flipping GREEN. like, every shade of gorgeous, lush, greentastic green - it's everywhere. combined with rolling hills, bright flowers, high clouds and red barns every so often, driving south to monmouth was the bee's knees. even the weeds are pretty, there in oregon. our friends derek and kathy just built a house on 3 acres of tall trees and hillside and that's where we spent the rest of our weekend: having early morning coffee in their jacuzzi, watching birds rip around in the sky outside our window, watching "hot tub time machine" as we nursed our hangovers. it was great!

derek played with a blues band fronted by the coolest six foot five african american woman one could ever hope to get a hug from on friday night, and on saturday we went to micminnville for lunch on the roof of mcmenamins and wine tasting at some local wineries. we had a bonfire saturday night and derek and kathy fed us some killer meals.

the whole thing was just right, it was just what we needed. by the time we left on sunday morning, we were both so ready to see f and to get home - it felt like we'd had a real break, the kind that makes you appreciate what you have that much more. oregon! thanks. i like you a lot.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

wine o'clock

until yesterday, we hadn't had any of those parenting moments you hear about. you know, the ones where your kid loudly asks you an embarrassing question about a person who is well within earshot? or your child just does something horrifically embarrassing and you can't. believe. they. just. did. that? i mean, f has done some awesomely inappropriate things in public (like, oh, constantly having one hand on my right nipple? like that) but fortunately (or unfortunately, depending) i am not easily embarrassed and tend to think her innocent little social mishaps are cute and really, just how kids are, being uninhibited by social graces and all. i remember being reprimanded for staring at a person with a glass eye in the grocery store when i was about 5 or 6. my poor mother. but glass eyes! so interesting. anyhow.

yesterday our winning streak came to a screeching halt in the middle of ballet class, in front of a gaggle of women i don't know very well at all, in a voice loud enough for the entire ballet school to hear. parents are not supposed to be in the room during class, but we are allowed to watch through about a 2'x4' window that we take turns looking through so we can catch glimpses of our pink-leotarded little angels twirling like dervishes and flapping their butterfly wings in front of the giant mirror. yesterday, the waiting area at the ballet school was unusually full of people; the big recital is soon approaching, so a committee of some sort was using the lobby to make important decisions about tulle and crudites and the like. and when i peeked through that tiny window and f saw me and motioned that she wanted to talk to me, i thought nothing of opening the door a crack to listen to what she needed to say, or maybe to grab her little hand so i could lead her to the bathroom. but as soon as i opened the door, i could tell she had nothing in particular that she needed to say, and she didn't need to go potty - she just wanted that little bit of reassurance that goes a long way when you are three years old. in that split second i could see her little mind scrambling for a reason, something important enough to say that it would justify having needed me to open the door to talk to her in the middle of class. and out it came. quite loudly, i might add:

"MAMA, DO YOU... NEED... SOME WINE? DO YOU NEED SOME WINE, MAMA?"

hi there, everyone in this godforsaken humid tiny VERY FULL OF BALLET TYPE PEOPLE waiting area, i'm that mom. that's me! i mean, i laughed out loud, because it was so random in the true sense of the word, but as i looked at the mom nearest me, who was giving me the "aw, i'm embarrassed for you but SO GLAD IT WASN'T MY KID WHO JUST SAID THAT" look, i realized that, really? NOTHING i can say here is going to make it look any better. "she's so funny! i'm not a heavy drinker! i don't know where she came up with that!" even though that is all the truth, it just sounds like someone trying to backpedal, does it not? "i swear, i don't even drink that much!" just comes across, when your daughter has just asked you at 4 o'clock in the afternoon if you need some wine, well, it comes across a little thin, a little flimsy in the cover-up department. so i didn't even try, i just kept laughing, and thinking "DUDE, that was so awesome in its awesomeness. that was one for the baby book." i also couldn't wait to get out of there so i could call j and tell him, and then call my mom and tell her, because i knew they would both crack up. and they did. because we know that's ridiculous! i don't need a glass of wine at 4 o'clock in the afternoon! so silly.

i try to wait until at least 5.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

i hope yes!

f is saying so many mind-bogglingly good things lately, i've been jumping up and running to the office or to the kitchen to write them down verbatim on a regular basis.

some recent gems:

her (happily): "i'm a doctor! i promise i'm going to hurt you!"
me: "i hope not!"
her: "i hope yes!"

playing with her dollhouse, she grabbed one of the male dolls and said "this is god, the furniture guy!"

"i am the queen, and you are the king! and i am the king and you are the king!"

"when i grow up, i'm going to be a store opener."

and the honesty! me: "f, do you want to talk to grandma?" her: "no!" or this morning, when i dropped her off at preschool and her buddy was trying to get f to chase her: "i am DONE playing with you right now!" - how liberating to be completely honest when you don't feel like doing something. with absolutely no regard for social graces. so awesome. i hope that honesty will stay with her in the years to come. who knows? it may serve her well. you know, in her career as a store opener.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

the most gracious rockstar

growing up in manhattan beach, one of my closest friends was tammy brown. there was a little posse of us: tammy, kelly, chelsea, becky, jenny m; we were in brownies and girl scouts together (tammy's mom chris was our troop leader more than once), played AYSO soccer together, did jr. lifeguards together - to this day, i feel beyond lucky that i grew up with the friends that i did. most of us are still close friends and now our kids are becoming friends. life has been good to us.

tammy's cousin is jack johnson. i remember hearing stories about jack and his brothers in hawaii. something about jack not wearing a seat belt as a baby (back in the 70s, when seat belts weren't taken as seriously) and chris reaching across the car to grab him as the car door opened when they went around a corner? stuff like that - the family lore you get wind of when you grow up together. no big deal. tammy told me one day when i'd first started working at 91X that her cousin jack was playing music at some surf industry parties and stuff, and that either surfer or surfing magazine was going to include an EP of his songs in an upcoming issue, and would i want a copy? so i got a few of his songs from her on CD and i remember listening to it and immediately feeling like it was going to be big. at least in san diego, on 91X, i felt like people were going to LOVE it. his song "flake" was on the EP and that's the one that stood out to me, so i started taking it to the 91X music meetings (once a week we'd all get together in muckley's office and check out all the new music). it felt like i brought that EP in to those meetings every week for a couple months - i would not give up. it just felt so RIGHT, that song, for what was going on in san diego right then. bands like buck 09 and sprung monkey and sublime were huge, as was bob marley, and jack seemed to fit in there somewhere, real good, in my humble opinion. i'm not sure if my program director bryan schock just got tired of hearing me beg or if he finally started to really hear what i was hearing, but he one day said "let's do it," so we did. recently jack was interviewed for yahoo music and he talked about getting on 91X (it starts right around the 3:15 mark or so).



i remember the first time i played "flake" on 91X - i was nervous and THRILLED and i could not believe it. i was so, so happy that my instinct was being given a chance (thank you, bryan and chris) and i was so scared that my instinct was going to be wrong, and that it would be just another flash in the pan (i had also lobbied hard for "jolene" by spring heeled jack at one point, and that bombed). thankfully, i didn't worry long, because our phones started going nuts for "flake" and really never stopped. jack became HUGE in san diego and now, worldwide, and his success makes me so happy every time i hear about it and him. i've only met him a couple times, but my impression of him is that he is kind, gracious, loyal, and overflowing with integrity and love. he chatted up my nephew at tammy's wedding when i told him my nephew was a big fan - that meant a lot to me. he has a beautiful family, his wife is awesome, and he has done really good things with what he has to work with. so to hear him give tammy and i credit for taking part in getting him on the air back in the day - it humbles me and reminds me what a good guy he is. here it is, over a decade later, and he still mentions it! so cool. i just thank my lucky stars it wasn't, say, limp bizkit i was lobbying for. *pee shivers*

Friday, May 21, 2010

amen, sister.

kelle hampton's blog is a treat to read and look at. her nella birth story, in all its honesty and beauty, had me sobbing out loud, and her awesome photos of her beautiful family just make me happy. but it's her most recent post that has really spoken to me, because it pretty much perfectly sums up feelings i've been having since f was born about going out and going to shows vs. wanting to stay home and tuck her in and be with her. the back and forth, the constant inner conflict, the knowing that it's good for mamas to be out and do some things just for ourselves, but shouldn't we, aren't we supposed to also be home with our babes? anyhow. i don't go out that much, i think i average about once a week. when i do, the thoughts of f are never far from the surface, and they bubble up often. but sometimes, going out to see a band or something is so good for the soul that it makes me a better mama. thanks to kelle for saying what i've been thinking.

Monday, May 10, 2010

with a BIG delight!

f is saying the coolest things lately. the way she is understanding language, the way we can see her thinking so hard to try to come up with the right word, the way she strings together a combination of english, spanish, and gibberish to create the most epic sentences and statements. i can't get enough of it and sometimes i wish i could just follow her around with a tape recorder (do those even exist anymore?) and record her musings. yesterday she said something about someone doing something "with a BIG delight!" and j and i just looked at each other and giggled at the cuteness. ok, i giggled - he chuckled.

anyhow. the best is when she "reads" to us. she picks up a book and tells us the story in her words. she usually starts with "once upon a time..." and her voice gets louder and softer relative to the confidence she feels in her choice of words. so her gibberish is almost said under her breath, but she just keeps babbling and talking and creating the words she needs even if she doesn't even know them yet. "and then (she takes a deep breath while she thinks) and then he JUMPED up on the flick flack and sussed his CHICO to the airport!" we hear a lot of "all the day!" - not sure where that came from, but when she makes up her own songs (which happens pretty often lately too) she throws "early in the morning" in about every four lines. all of it is precious, and classic, and beautiful in it's purity. mother's day was just right at our house, and f "reading" to me and singing me songs throughout the day was a big part of it. i can't get enough of her.

Monday, April 26, 2010

coachella wrap up

here it is, one week later, and i still feel like i'm catching up with my life a little bit - still trying to find my groove again. it's coming; it's just trippy how much time it takes for me (and for f, we're learning) to get "back on track" or whatevs after we've gone out of town for a bit. after all the lead-up to the coachella weekend, and then the non-stopness of all three days, and then f being so happy we were home (as were we, of course) but then mad at us for leaving - it's been a nutty week. and i've been meaning all week to jot down some of my coachella weekend highlights, to present them all neat and juicy like a bacon-wrapped anything. but now that a full week has gone by, i fear i may have forgotten some of those awesome details that make coachella weekend such a cool experience. let's see.

my first interview of the weekend was with vampire weekend, and they showed up right at 10am, right as i first cracked the mic. our engineers had set up the broadcast in the upstairs living room and we hadn't even had a chance to test out the connection when the band arrived. i was nervous! i always get nervous before interviews - i wish i didn't! but i do. fortunately, the guys, chris & ezra, were chipper (!), friendly, and talkative. about halfway through our interview i began to relax and realize that everything was going to be ok. and you know what? it was. all weekend. every band - every one! - was cool and friendly. every band seemed happy to be there. some artists even hung out for a while at our house and made themselves comfortable, like andrew and ben of MGMT who ate lunch with us, or chris and ezra from vampire weekend who let my j cook them some breakfast sandwiches while they all listened to the new broken bells record. overall, it was the best, most joyful, most peaceful coachella weekend i've ever had. good good good.



after vampire weekend finished their egg sandwiches and left, mark and gerry from devo showed up. gerry especially was quite chatty and it was the one time during the weekend when i felt like i was truly in the presence of legends, you know? it was awesome. the british band one eskimo came next and were soundchecking their equipment right up until the moment i cracked the mic to start their interview. they were in a good mood and their performance (we have mics set up in case bands want to play some acoustic songs for us) was stunningly, surprisingly great. they harmonized like there was no tomorrow and i got the feeling everyone in that living room was converted. that afternoon, MGMT, tokyo police club, and britt from spoon all stopped by the house too. and that night (after an insanely silly walk through campgrounds and mud to get to the festival), them crooked vultures , jay-z, and lcd soundsystem blew us away.

day two brought sune and sharin from denmark's raveonettes to the house - they were serious but talkative, and they told us they were a little stressed because they were going to have to perform as just a duo that night at the festival; their bandmembers were stranded in europe, thanks to the icelandic volcano disrupting air travel. worth noting: the raveonettes arrived with a full documentary film crew who set up and filmed the interview (and subsequently interviewed sharin and sune downstairs in the family room) and who were being funded by none other than little steven van zandt. trippy! fortunately, the film crew was chock full of interesting new yorkers who ended up hanging out at the house for the rest of the afternoon with us, drinking beers in the pool and instigating some shenanigans.

the cribs were supposed to come by the house too, but none of them made it out of europe and they had to cancel their coachella performance entirely. bummer. band of skulls came by and performed - they sounded great. ed from grizzly bear came by next and he was so relaxed, chatty, and regular-guy seeming, it was awesome! he impressed me so much. just very genuine and friendly, not snooty indie rock god guy in the slightest. he was pretty funny and entertained us all with the story of how he became friends with jay-z and beyonce.

hockey
came by and had a ton of good energy, and they played along with our plan to turn the tables on them and film it all,which made me like them even more. they walked in and we stopped them and asked if instead of them performing for us, could we perform for them? and maybe they could give us (our staff band, which was really just woods from the morning show, amanda from big sonic chill and i) some pointers. they sat on the couch looking a little confused, but the gig was up as soon as we started playing a very, VERY bad version of poison's "every rose has its thorn". their bass player jeremy even joined us on the acoustic bass! it was pretty awesome. they played along and sang along and were generally just champs about letting us have a little fun. i think at that point we were all a little stir-crazy from having been in the house all day.



and then, after dinner and garett's coachella-tradition of mint juleps around the pool, we headed to the festival for night two. faith no more killed it, MGMT were great, muse were flamboyant and loud and good, and we ended with the surreal scene backstage before the dead weather's set - it was me, j, garett and travis, hanging out drinking beer with jack white, alison mosshart, tony kanal from no doubt, giovanni ribisi, and beck and his wife and two kids running around. it was a pinch-me moment and also, one of those moments that just makes me thank my lucky stars. crazy.

sunday was relatively mellow; thomas and christian from phoenix came by (and charmed amanda and i with their kindness, senses of humor, and accents) and then just as i was getting ready to be done with my shift, white rabbits showed up and decided to play live on the air. that was the icing on the cake. they were super cool (i'd just nterviewed them a couple months back for our holiday show) and they were friendly and relaxed and when they played live? holy CATS. may have been the best performance of the weekend in that house. unbelievable. spot on vocally, great harmonies, really interesting acoustic interpretations of their stuff - it was so rad.

and that was it! as soon as 3pm rolled around and white rabbits wrapped up, j and i packed our stuff and headed out. all we both wanted at that point was to get home to see f. we both kept talking about how much we missed her and we were on a mission. i was so glad j had come with me for the weekend. he hung out and shot a bunch of pictures throughout the weekend, and he chilled with everyone in the house while i was working. going to the festival with him at night was a little slice of heaven too. so we drove home up over the mountains and down to temecula, which was a beautiful way to go. we listened to the avett brothers and wilco. it was a great ending to a great weekend. now i kinda can't wait for coachella 2011.