Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Now April Is Over! Here's Some Music...

Back in November I confessed to being in a music rut of sorts.  I'm doing marginally better with this in 2013.  Following is some new (to me, anyway) music that I've been listening to this month.

I have to give a lot of credit to BAGel Ted at BAGel Radio for getting me out of my music rut.  If you haven't tuned into him you really should.  He is awesome.  Pittsburgh is lucky to have some truly great radio- three public stations and two college stations (I don't know why you would ever sit through radio commercials in this town).  And yet.  When I can, I find myself going to BAGel Radio out of San Francisco.  BAGel Ted is probably my favorite dj anywhere (no offense to anyone I used to work with).  He has a good sense of history, while at the same time, embracing lots of new and fantastic music.  He can mix it up like no one else.

OK.  I'll stop gushing now.  These first two videos are bands I've discovered on BAGel Radio in the past few weeks.

Vampire Blow Let's Go Out

Yes.  Let's.  They seem like nice Danish lads.  Such a great song and the video is good fun too.  It reminds me of the videos of my youth.  sigh.  Their EP Unicorn comes out this week.  I have made a note on my to-do list to check that out asap.

Pretty & Nice Yonkers  

I've listened to several of their songs now and I pretty much love everything that I've heard.  They seem to have been around for several years, so I feel spectacularly out of the loop for just now finding out about them.  Their release Golden Rules for Golden People also comes out this week.  Another one to add to my to-do list.

This next band was brought to my attention courtesy of my son.  Because it has come to that.

Macklemore & Lewis feat. Ray Dalton Can't Hold Us

Actually, the Boy introduced me to Thrift Shop.  He and his friends were really into the video.  After I heard this song and Same Love I went out and bought The Heist.  The writing is smart and the music is catchy.  I don't often buy hip hop, (Beastie Boys being the exception) but I really like this album.  And this song.  I love this song.   I couldn't love it any more if I tried.  It is a perfect song from start to finish.  The Girl and I throw this one on repeat.  All the time.

Johnny Marr Upstarts

You can break up the band, but my love for the members will never die.  And The Messenger is a damn fine album.  Oh, Johnny.  It's good to have you back.

Any one else I should be sure to check out in May?  Let me know in the comments.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

It's a Privilege

A few weeks ago I became concerned about my memory.  It used to be so, so sharp.  I could- and still very often do- vividly recall many memories.  All the way back to the tender age of three.  (Although my earliest memory is probably closer to age two.)  Names, birthdays, phone numbers, other peoples family members, an infinite supply of insignificant details, all of this stuff lives inside my head.  Don't ask me anything about high school math, but if you want to know my high school boyfriend's sister's middle name I can totally tell it to you (it's Louise- and, by the way, her birthday is June 13).  I'm sure that you feel richer for that knowledge.  You're welcome.

Names and faces are a big deal.  People so appreciate it when you remember them- especially if you didn't have much previous interaction with them, or if you haven't seem them in a while.  To be remembered is flattering.  I used to remember people like 95% of the time.  At least until recently.  It feels like my memory is slipping, fading, something.  It's a little frightening.  And then I think is it age?  Is this some kind of subtle side effect from the cancer, or from no longer having a thyroid?  Or is this all, as a friend assured me recently, I-now-have-a-second-child syndrome?  And, as the girl gets older, will my memory go back to the way it was?  Good God, I hope so.  I hate not feeling like myself.  Also, when you have a reputation for being good with names, people really take it quite personally when you don't remember them.  I mean, I don't take it personally when people don't remember me.  But then, my expectations aren't terribly high either.

Anyway.  Aging.  I hope that this isn't an early warning that I'm aging incredibly fast, or that I'm headed for early onset Alzheimer's, or something like that.  My grandmother was just diagnosed with early stage dementia, but she's 93.  Which, everything after 90 just seems like gravy to me.  I should be so lucky to live to be 93.  And to have one of my kids look after me the way my mom looks after her mother.  It makes all the difference.

Living to age 90 would be fantastic. That seems like a good, rich, long life.  The things that you would get to see in 90 years would just be amazing.  The world around you, to say nothing of your own family, and all of the changes that you would witness.  Incredible.  Whenever I feel like I'm getting old, losing my memory, looking old and tired, all the things that bother me about no longer being 30, I have to remind myself that aging is a privilege.  Last year, when I had cancer, there was a time when I was terrified that I wouldn't make it to 44 or 45.  A time when I would have given anything to make sure that I could be guaranteed to have those years.  And, honestly, I still would.  

Friday, April 12, 2013

So, It's April Now!

Where the fuck did March go?  Watching my writing and blog-upkeep slip away from me last month, two things suddenly made a lot of sense.  First, I understood why my last post in 2010 was written on March 2.  And secondly, I understood why, when I began blogging again last year, I didn't start until the end of May.  Even though I got my diagnosis a month before.  And I went to the doctor a month before that.

Basically, March just usually kind of sucks over here.

All of my obligations seem to get busy in March.  I never think that March is going to be busy because the actual events take place in April.  But of course, we have to spend time getting ready for them in March- the month that I keep telling myself will be the month when I can relax because... clearly I have problems remembering this shit from year to year?

Anyway.  One thing that I learned last month is that people seem to be increasingly entitled and selfish.  So yea for that.   It didn't matter which project I was working on.  People felt the need to either try to get inside information, or work angles, or make demands- sometimes at the expense of others, or bully people, or cover their own asses.  And all of these things are sometimes people just giving in to their basic human nature, I guess.  But it would be nice if once in a while people would think about themselves as being a part of a larger community, and how their actions impacted the lives of other people in the community- including children.

Statements like this are the reason my husband likes to refer to me as a communist.

Of course, I do realize that there are many, many people out there doing amazing work for the communities that they live in- both large and small.  I work with people every day who work incredibly hard at making their corner of the world a better place.  I just wish that there were more of them.  People like that were in particularly short supply in my life last month.  Maybe April will be different.

(Can you believe that yesterday I was told that I am an optimist?  And that I was referred to as a 'glass-half-full person'?  And someone said that I was a very positive person and they felt that they should hang out with me more?  Maybe all of my negativity just comes out when I write.)

Not everything around here is doom, gloom, and me being so fucking judgey.  Today happens to be our wedding anniversary.  Sixteen years of wedded bliss.  It was drizzly and chilly in Pittsburgh the day we got married, and today's forecast looks to be about the same.  We celebrated our anniversary last week by going out to a fantastic dinner and then going to see Book of Mormon (hilarious!).  My in-laws had such a good time watching the kids that they've insisted on coming back this week so we could go out to dinner on our actual anniversary.  My husband is thrilled because it means the house will get (sort of) cleaned two weeks in a row.  woo hoo!  And, of course, we're also excited to go get delicious food in a grown up restaurant twice in one month.  I can't remember the last time that happened.

I was going to post a picture of my husband and I here as happy newlyweds, but we got married in 1997.  Which means everyone was still using this thing called film and just about all of my pictures from the twentieth century were taken that way.  So they're in books and photo boxes.  (Fun fact- the first two years of my son's life are also mostly on film because even in the early 21st century I was resistant to digital cameras.  I can remember telling my husband how much I liked film and that's what I was going to use and blah, blah, blah.  And now I want to get a scanner so I can have all of my children's pictures on the computer and my husband can't roll his eyes at me often enough when this comes up.  What did I think?  That digital cameras were a passing fad?) 

Instead I'll post a video.  The spring we got married Odelay was everywhere.  It had been out for over ten months, but apparently people couldn't get enough of it.  We heard the album so much that weekend, we joked with our friends that it was the unofficial soundtrack to our wedding.  I have a distinct memory of riding to the reception in the limo with our friends, all of us singing along to Devil's Haircut.  You're lucky I'm not posting a recording of that.