Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I Saw Laura Marling Last Night.....Thanks to Johnny Flynn!

I love beautiful voices. It really shouldn't be so much to ask for when you buy a CD. A beautiful voice with something to say, but how often do you get that, really?

Chris and I went into DC last night to see Laura Marling at the Sixth and I Synagogue. We had to stand out in the rain for a half hour after we grabbed something to seat at a kick ass Irish place across the street called Fado. I don't even remember what we ate but it was excellent!

This chick with the boots was in line in front of us. We all got wet.

I took my good camera and as it's a synagogue, they searched our bags on the way in and the security guard told me "No pictures!" I walked inside thinking to myself. "Ummm, yeah, OK." Turns out everyone and their mother had a camera of some sort so I needn't have worried.

The inside was pretty cool and the ceiling was amazing! I could have done without the coral paint on the walls, but that's just me. I don't do coral. The wetness of my clothes mixed well with the coolness I felt under this beautiful dome.

That's sarcasm in case you missed it.

They had inscriptions on the back walls, "Remember Ye the Law of Moses" and "Faith in God is Happiness." It was just a different kind of concert experience.

The sound was excellent! I noticed they had microphones set up all over and I wondered if perhaps the acoustics were really good in there, more so than usual. They seemed to be. It would be cool if they recorded it for something. Although I can tell you that it was dark as hell. Sometimes I felt like we were outside. I had a hard time with my camera. I couldn't even see to change the settings so I just stopped trying.

I've never even been in a synagogue and was pretty sure I would never have any reason to do so. Hell, I purposely haven't been to "our church" since River was baptised and I have zero plans to return but that's a whole different post. I still don't understand why a synagogue would want to have concerts on what is basically their alter. I mean maybe that's what they call it, I have no idea. I'm just saying that I can't imagine the church I was married in having a girl standing on the alter questioning the inscribed "Sanctus, Santus, Sanctus" on the alter between songs and sips of the beer she keeps at her feet. It's just weird to walk into someones house of God and see a cash bar. That's all I'm sayin'.

But, all that aside, the concert was pretty fucking awesome! I wasn't a fan of the opening act but the crowd seemed to like her. Not really my thing. I really like what's coming out of London right now, which kind of shocks me a bit. Being from Nashville, I have kind of a love/hate relationship with the banjo. When I think "banjo," I hear "A pickin' and a grinnin'!" I also hear someone squealing like a pig in the back of my mind. Needless to say, this is just a different use of the banjo then I grew up with. Mumford & Sons, Johnny Flynn, Laura Marling, they're all working magic with a banjo. Did not see that coming. I mean while they're all definitely folksy, they're a different kind of folksy. They don't conjure up Peter Paul & Mary for me, but the opening act did. I think that was my ish'. Not that I don't like Peter Paul & Mary, I do, I dig rock n' roll music.

That was a Peter Paul & Mary reference. Google it.

She started out with my favorite song and I'll post the official video for that below because it's a really, really good song. However, I did take this quick video of "Alas I Can Not Swim"

Her voice is amazing and she doesn't even seem to have to try that hard. I just think she's hella talented. I just kept repeating to myself, "How is this girl only 21?" Cute as a button but I always got the vibe from her that she does what she does without explanation. That's always refreshing. She told lots of great stories, my favorite being the one about the homeless women in DC last night that she came across at 2 AM while out alone looking for bottled water. Walking in DC at 2 AM. Yeah, she's from out of town. She asked the homeless woman what she was doing out so late. Umm, she's homeless. The lady told her "Saving white people." Good story.

The last time I'd seen her, her hair was short so I was a little surprised by all that hair. One thing I did notice about her was that she had the tightest jeans on that I'd ever seen. They were so tight that until she lifted her arms between songs and her shirt came up, I thought they were leggings. I'm not complaining. I mean she looked really good. Those jeans were on her like paint but she worked it out. What? I can't say she looked good in her jeans? I'm straight, not blind! Jeez.....

This is the set list from last night:

Rambling Man
Alpha Shallows
Alas I Cannot Swim
I Was Just A Card
The Muse
Hope in the Air
Don't Ask Me Why/Salinas
Goodbye England (Covered in Snow) *solo*
New Untitled Song *solo*
Night After Night *solo*
Neil Young cover *solo*
I Speak Because I Can
All My Rage

I was kind of bummed she didn't do The Water, although I wasn't shocked. While she sang on it, it is a Johnny Flynn song so I didn't really expect her to but I would have loved it. It would have been awesome to hear her do it alone.

There was a write up in the Post

I must say, I find complete solace that I've discovered much beautiful music via Johnny Flynn. Everyone I've discovered lately has played with him at one time or another. Some have even recorded songs with him. All roads lead to Johnny Flynn........I love it!

On a total sidenote, a big thanks to my husband for taking one for the team. He'd been up since 5 AM and I know he would have rather been sleeping.

Rambling Man:

Monday, September 12, 2011

A Bun for my Ballerina

River's first day of ballet is tomorrow. I'm excited because I really think she is going to love it. I know she loves the clothes! Anytime she's in a tutu (which between you and me is often) she runs around the house yelling "Look at me! Look at me!" I think she might actually think she's a princess. I guess that's fine since she's only 2. If she does it at 22, my reaction will be different.

I signed River up for ballet because I was looking for something for her to do while Owen was at school. I'm still looking for more for her to do but for now this is it. It's a Mommy & Me class. It's actually the same class I took with Owen just after River was born. I would take him to class and he'd run around with his friends and not do anything he was asked while hanging from the bars he was specifically asked not to hang from while River sat in her bucket and coo'd. I can't wait to see how she acts in class, if she does what she's told. I mean she's only 2 so she has some wiggle room but I hope she listens because the class can be fun if you participate.

She's got the leotards (I even got her a purple one ~ I hate purple) and the tutus. She's got the tights and the ballet slippers. My only concern for River taking ballet is the friggen bun. I've been practicing the ballerina bun and I have to say, it isn't easy. I've never been a braider and River has my thin, fine hair so doing anything fancy with it is almost a joke. That being said, a bun doesn't really look all that difficult. Trust me, it isn't as easy as it should be.

That being said, is anyone not busy at 9:00 tomorrow morning because clearly I'm screwed. This looks more like an atom splitting than a ballerina bun. I'm so ashamed! Maybe I need to wrap something cool around the "bun" to hide it's poor quality.

Oh well, thank God she's beautiful! Maybe no one will notice?

Unparalleled Guttural Rage

If there's fault to be found in something, I'll find it but days like today that start out crappy and continued on a downward spiral into shitsville make me so angry that I want to gut something. How much shit can happen in one day?

I was doing laundry this weekend and as I turned to leave the laundry room, I saw something out of the corner of my eye. I quickly realize it was water dripping from our furnace. With a heavy sigh and the sound of money flying out of the windows in my ear, I turned to my husband and shared the news. He came into the laundry room and opened the cover on the furnace which he found was filled with an inch or two of water. Great. So while it technically isn't broken, it seemed smart to turn it off, suck the water out and call someone to fix it as opposed to pressing our luck and making it worse. So, no air conditioning. Luckily it's only oppressive at night.

My husband and I met some friends out on Saturday night to hear a band and just hang out. We don't get to see them much these days. We got a baby sitter for the kids (only their second and it was the same girl both times) and came home sometime after midnight. I walked in the front door (not sure why because we always use the back door) and I put my purse and keys on the kitchen counter, as opposed to hanging them on the hook like I would have done had I come in the back door. We didn't leave the house on Sunday so I had no use for my keys. This morning when I went to drive my son to school, no keys. My assumption on what happened to them is that they were pushed into the trash can and the trash had been taken out the night before and picked up only an hour before I discovered they were missing. Nice. I blame River.

My husband came home from work and gave me his keys so I could get Owen to school late (ghetto) and then River and I drove by Honda to see how much it would cost to replace the two sets of keys and clickers for both Hondas. I almost shit my pants when the guy told me the hundreds of dollars it costs to replace keys. What a total fucking scam but we have to have them. I'm in the process of scouring the house to make sure neither of my little angels did something else with them but I am 99% sure that they're gone. Don't even get me started on the key chain that is gone as well. I got this thing at EXPERIENCE Twilight in St. Helens Oregon when I was on my Twilight Trip. I'm sick that it's gone and will look into replacing it. It's not like I can just pop into the local market and buy this. I got in on the other side of the country. So annoying.

Once my husband got home to give me his keys, I rushed to get Owen to school only to realize my gas light was on. I screamed obscenities, I can admit it. Hopefully the music was loud enough to drown it out, but I doubt it. I got to the Exxon, which for some reason at 9:30 in the morning was packed. I would have had to wait for a pump had I not snagged one from a slow mover and then I filled the van with a nozzle that was broken and I had to hold it the whole time. I did my best to take a deep breath and count to 10 while I let the liquid gold fill my car. I'm really annoyed by a pump that I have to hold the whole time I fill my car up with $60 worth of gas. It isn't necessary. Just fix the damn thing! However it also leaks because as I let the handle go and then pulled it out, it drooled gas all over my arm and leg, leaving me smelling like I took a bath in that shit. I think this is the moment I slipped over the edge into my "I'm going to kill someone" phase of the day which is not good because I still had to go to Walmart.

Smelling like a gas can, I finally got my kid to school and had to apologize because I smelled so bad that it was giving myself a headache. The wipes did nothing for my stench. One funny thing though, when I dropped Owen off, his teacher came out and told me that next week his class is working with scissors and wanted to know if I could send him with some hairbands so they could minimize the risk of him cutting his hair off. Don't you know as soon as I got home, I threw a bunch of those things in a baggy and slipped it into his backpack. If Owen cut off his hair I'd be pissed! Although it was nice of her to mention this to me. I guess he does have the longest hair in his class.

At Walmart I tried to keep to myself. We needed a few things but I knew with my demeanour and out and out evilness today that no good would come of me conversing with a Walmart shopper and/or employee. I actually skipped a few aisles because I saw potential troubles. I skipped the tissue aisle because I saw a chick with giganto hair, velveteen pants and a zebra top. Even if she hadn't been pushing 400 pounds I would have tried to avoid that hot mess.

After I got Owen from school we rushed home because the Orkin man was coming to start our treatment for these fucking ants. I am over them! I had a dream last night that they were swarming in my mouth. It woke me up in the night that thanks to no air conditioning was hot as hell and I was furious.

One thing I forgot to mention is that this morning while I was rushing the kids out the door, I noticed a trail of ants coming in from the back door, up the wall, across the windows and to the table between the couches. I lifted up Owen's bike helmet and tons of them were under there, on the table. I freaked my shit and killed them all while I made the kids go outside. I didn't want them to see and/or smell the carnage. I gassed them. I gassed them all. Then I wiped the area clean of the evidence. This is why I rushed home with the kids after getting Owen. I wanted to pull the couches out and clean and vacuum behind them, making sure to clean the window sills and vacuum behind the couch and love seat. I did this and then I flipped the couch on it's side and saw a sight that made me actually cry. TONS of ants in one spot under our couch. How I didn't vomit as I committed atrocities on those fuckers is beyond me but I can honestly say that not a one of them got away. I sprayed the perimeter and worked my way in. The clean up was a bitch but I killed them all. My goal was to kill them and the create a mass grave in the trashcan because I didn't want to use the vacuum. I could just see them sneaking out in the night and crawling into my mouth.

Needless to say, it took every fiber of my being not to shove these couches out the back door and over the deck. I actually started to do it but thought Chris might get mad and we have no way of getting them to the dump without help. I'm going shopping tomorrow for a new couch. I can only hope I can get it delivered soon. Thankfully we'd been talking about getting a new one so we'd looked around a little bit. We had planned to wait until next year because we've been hemorrhaging money lately but it is what it is, as my husband would say. Ants are all over our house but mostly in the kitchen. I've had an ant or two crawl across me when I sit on the couch at night but I had no idea that nonsense was happening just under my ass. I don't even know why they were there. It's not like they were crawling on something. I mean the kids often eat breakfast on the couch but it's toast and grapes not sausage and gravy so I'm still at a loss and to be honest, I couldn't give two shits. I just want them gone. I was still crying when the Orkin man showed up and talked me down. He told me they get worse when there is a lot of moisture and he's been on a lot of calls like this in the past few weeks, since the first big storms. He assured me that while this seemed horrible to me, it really does get much worse. He just felt sorry for me. I met him at the door yelling "I don't care what you do, just do it! I feel like I live in a a fucking trailer!"

Anyhoo, hopefully tomorrow will be a better day. River has her first ballet class and then we're looking for a new couch immediately after. I still haven't replaced my keys but I'm saving that for a day when I'm in a better mood. Charging me hundreds of dollars to drive my own car makes me feel homicidal. I need to work up to that. Baby steps......

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Gettin' Granny

Never am I happier than when I get to take my truth and shove it up someones ass. It adds a smile to my face and a spring in my step when I get to scream "I TOLD YOU SO!" to the tune of $650.

My beautiful children and I were leaving the Starbucks parking lot (minding our own business) when the novice driver in front of me (without looking) backed up into me. Now, you wouldn't think much would come from that because how hard could she possibly hit me when only backing up? The answer is the cost of a cracked bumper.

Here's why I giggle. The novice was a sweet 16 year old girl who had yet to be tainted by her grizzly granny and perhaps her parents in the art of "say nothing and accept no responsibility" because after backing up into me she immediately jumped from her car, well technically that isn't true. I had time to scream "MOTHER FUCKER!" right in front of my babies before she got to the car but being the sweet girl she was she jumped from her car where my window was still rolled down because I'd just accepted my Frappachino of love from the drive through window and she said "Oh my God, I'm so sorry! Are you OK?" She really was like an angel as I look back but in that moment I was concerned for my kids and furious that this had happened again not two damn years from the last time a novice was set free. Hell, at least this one had a permit. Lucky for that fucker who backed into me while I was 4 months pregnant with River ON MY BIRTHDAY that I didn't blog back then because I would have torn him a new asshole along with his parents that sent him out without a driver's license to take his brother to school. He was apologetic as well until he got home and his dirty asshole parents tried to lie. In the end, they were fucking with the wrong bitch and I made sure they paid for every cent including our deductible.

That accident is why I waited for the police to come. I don't understand that switching numbers bullshit. Yeah, if you're at fault you have nothing to loose by switching numbers and bolting which is what the Grandmother who sat in the passenger seat told me we should do. She kept mentioning it over and over and as her Granddaughter had started crying the minute I asked her "Did you not think to look back?" My voice may have been a little elevated but you just slammed your car into mine which is carrying my angels so I'm entitled. Also, it's a fair question.

I told them to pull across the street out of the death trap that is the Starbucks parking lot. Someone had to take charge. The first thing that Grandmother did was get out of her car (finally) and walk to the front of my van announcing "There's no damage to your car!" Great, apparently she was a fucking mechanic back in 1898!

I'm well versed in this game and Granny wasn't winning this one. I had called the police before I'd even gotten out of my car. In the most gentle way possible I told the driver this. As far as I was concerned, Granny was an extra and I was treating her as such. I hadn't got the words out of my mouth when Granny said, "Do we really need the police?" I ignored her as her Granddaughter busted out in hysterics and I (not her Grandmother) tried to comfort her. I assured her that I wasn't mad, that my kids were OK (which was clearly my main concern) and that if she had to ram someone, I was the one she wanted to do it to. Not cool for me but for her, I wasn't going to sue her. I didn't grab my neck and claim injury. I was going to get an estimate for my car and be done with it. While Mrs. Auto Mechanic 1892 was assured there was no damage, I knew better. The last guy that hit me in the same way caused unseen damage under my licence plate to the tune of $500+ so I knew there was damage because she hit us much harder. Lucky the kids were in car seats and I had time to brace myself and honk, not that honking did me any good.

Granny had made mention over and over again about there being no damage to my car and other passive aggressive remarks about just switching info. Now had she been the driver and her sweet 16 year old granddaughter not been there I would have attempted to be less accommodating of her. Because she's crusty I would have given her more time than say a 30 year old but at some point I would have told her to shut her fucking mouth and go fuck herself. What was going through her mind when she was purposely annoying the person they just hit? I didn't hit you! Shut that hole in your face before I sweep your fucking legs! At some point I'd had enough of her mouth and told her that they hit me so it's my call. When someone slammed into them, they could do what they want but on this day, it was my decision. It didn't come out that nice but it wasn't as bad as it could have been or as bad as I would have preferred. I'm a firm believer that when you act like an asshole, you deserve to be treated like one. The sweet 16 year old saved that crusty bitch from the better side of me.

Some inmate had escaped in Annapolis earlier in the day so it took the police officer forever to get there. When he rolled in, I thought the driver was going to vomit. The cop couldn't have been nicer and I warned him after I explained what happened that she was very fragile. She practically screamed "Am I going to lose my licence?" I felt so bad for her.

Anyhoo, I took photos, he took our info and gave me the report number. Even thought my licence plate was bent, I knew there was damage behind it and I was right. My main priority was making sure the car was safe for travel with my babies. I'm not going to believe a passenger in a car that hit me that there is no damage. Hell, they all say that! Turns out she cracked my bumper so there was over $650 worth of damage. I'd like to take that estimate, turn it sideways and shove it up Granny's asshole.

As soon as I got home in the nightmare of a rental car and got the call about the estimate, I got on the phone with our insurance company to set the repayment of the deductible in motion. I as a rule, don't like to sit back and assume everyone is going their job. When I have done that it has bitten me in the ass so I don't allow that anymore. I'm a stay on top of shit kinda gal and it's served me well.

The rental car they gave me was an Impala. I'm not a fan. First off, their latch system SUCKS! I've loaded and unloaded my car seats in and out of several cars and have never had such issues. NOT USER FRIENDLY! Also, the side mirrors are so small that it's comical. I guess it's OK if you're visiting from Munchkin Land but a normal size non Singer Midget would have troubles. Not to mention I had to leave my stroller in the back of the van because I couldn't fit it into the shitty trunk.

There was also this much gas in the tank when they gave it to me. Have you ever heard of such? A quarter tank of gas in a rental car? T-A-C-K-Y!

I was able to find the humor when they marked up the imperfections on my van like a fat girl at a pledge party.

So, this is what $650 worth of damage looks like:

These are my little angels getting release in the back seat, where they sat for over an hour waiting for the police to come. That's Crusty McCrustington in the back. The kids are fighting over my frappachino. I would normally never give that to my kids because of the caffeine and the fact that IT IS MINE! One of the many things to give up for my children. This one hurt.

Good times. I should have my car back on Friday. My fucking stroller better still be there!