Friday, May 18, 2012

Johnny Flynn in Vogue!

June U.S. Vogue to be exact.

The write up is short but sweet.  It's just nice to see him  in a magazine like this because we don't get it very often.  I feel like I get the short end of this acting stick since I live in the US, but it's nice for him.  I would love to see an all guys Shakespearean play.  I mean he's playing Viola for God sakes!

His plays travel to the West End later this year which means I don't get to see Johnny until at least 2013.  This will just have to do.

This is the cover:

Damn I love that boy!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

The Hand that Rocks the Cradle is the Hand That Rules the World

“When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child.”

“Biology is the least of what makes someone a mother.”

I am a stay at home mom to literally, the coolest two kids I have ever met.  They're smart, they're fun, they really genuinely love playing together.  It's nice.  They don't really fight yet and while I'm sure that day will come, Owen is and has always been very gentle with his sister so I'm not worried.

“A mother understands what a child does not say.”

It's Mother's Day.  I think it's my 5th Mother's Day. If you're a mother that works outside the home all week than I'm sure the best thing you can think to do on Mother's Day is spend time with your kids.  I get it.  You don't see them as much as you would like during the week.  It makes sense.  I'm in the other boat on this one.  I spend all week engaging my children on a mad hunt for new things to do.  I seem to always fail because my kids like to do the same things over and over.  I honestly think I could draw you a friggen blueprint of the B&O Railroad Museum because we have been there so much.  The boy likes trains, so we go whenever we can and seriously, it is drudgery for me.  I feel like a zombie when I'm there but they both love it.  If it were up to Owen, we would go there daily.

“I know how to do anything - I'm a Mom.”

River likes to be seen.  I'm not joking.  She likes to go to the mall and walk around and listen to everyone tell her how pretty she is.  It's her thing.  She gets it a lot.  I used to think it was because I dressed her so funky but it really doesn't seem to matter what she wears.  She just garnishes attention wherever she goes.  I just step aside these days and let her soak it in.  My genes will catch up with her soon enough so I want her to enjoy it while she can.  She'll start packing on the potatoes soon enough.  Tiny little thing though.  It confuses the hell out of me.

 “No language can express the power and beauty and heroism of a mother's love.”

"As is the mother, so is her daughter."

"Insanity is hereditary; you get it from your children."

I spend all day, everyday with my kids.  Well, when my son isn't in his half day pre-K class.  We do a lot together.  We play, we take photos, we shop, we take photos, we meet friends, we take photos.  Our time is full so on Mother's Day, I'm going to do exactly what I want to do.  I am leaving the house early and I'm coming home late.  And I'm doing it alone.

I'm going to take my laptop and my phone and I'm going to go to Starbucks and sit and I am going to write.  At some point I plan to go and get a pedicure and perhaps a manicure because as God is my witness, my nails look like I've been walking the earth for centuries.  I don't usually have time to care about them but tomorrow I will.

"A mother is not a person to lean on, but a person to make leaning unnecessary."

So, I will spend Mother's Day with my best friend.  She thinks I'm a great mother.  She thinks I am funny.  She thinks I am smart.  She thinks I am beautiful.  She thinks my shit doesn't stink.  She thinks I can do no wrong and she even thinks I can be an asshole but she loves me like I'm perfect.

I sure know how to pick em'!

"Making a decision to have a child--it's momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body."

Some words for my babies...

If I teach you nothing else, let me teach you this.

If you love yourself, others will love you.
If you treat yourselves with kindness, others will treat you kind in return.
If you keep the sparkle in your eye, others will be drawn to it.
If you lay down, people will walk over you.
If you accept failure, you will fail.
Set the tone or others will set it for you.
Lead and people will follow.
Follow and you will be lead.
Cry when you want.
Dance when you want.

Kick a little ass.  It's liberating.


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

I'm Too Pretty to Work

An annoying conversation with my three year old daughter:

“Before anyone plays with anything, I need you both to pick all this crap up out of the sunroom.”

Moments pass….

“Momma, River isn’t helping!”

“River, are you helping your brother clean up your toys?”



“Because Owen can do it.”

“That isn’t the point. You helped make the mess, you help clean it up.”

“Why if Owen can do it?”

“Because I said so! Now clean up this crap or I’m throwing it out and you’re going to your room!”

“OK, I will go to my room and come out when Owen is finished cleaning.”

“That isn’t how it works. If you go to time out, your toys are going into the trash.”

Insert fake cry here…..“I want my toys.”

“Then clean them up and put them in your room!”

“But I shouldn’t have to clean. I’m just a little girl.”

“What the fu@k?” Yes, I said this in my sheer astonishment. “Who told you girls don’t clean?”

Shrugging of shoulders. That means she made it up. “River, if I have to ask you one more time to clean this crap up, you are in time out and I am throwing your toys away.”

Minutes pass, “Momma, River is just eating Goldfish and not helping!”

I think this is where my head exploded. A, I didn’t give her Goldfish, she horked them when I snuck off to pee alone. B, she hasn’t picked up one friggen thing!

“River, time out, NOW!”

“But Momma, I want my toys!”

“Kickin’ yourself now, aren’t ya?”

It’s been fifteen minutes and my daughter is still yelling for her toys which are now sitting on the deck in a trash bag. I won’t throw them out because Strawberry Shortcake toys are expensive but I will be dipped in shit before I give them to her before she has earned them back. I’m breaking hard core on her attitude. I’m okay if my kids have a little bit of asshole in them because I think it serves you well but I need to teach them how to channel it and use it for good. Clearly I’m going about it all wrong if my daughter thinks she can tell me that little girls don’t clean.

Have I taught her nothing?  Does my daughter really think she can win a bottle of wills, with me?  It's never too early for a good life lesson.

This is the speech I gave her before I slammed the door, locking her into her room like the Cinderella she portrays.

“River, everybody cleans. Boys clean, girls clean, Momma cleans and Daddy cleans. But I’m not throwing your toys away because you think you don’t have to clean. I’m throwing your toys away because you think its okay for someone else to do everything for you. Well it isn’t! Not in this house!

If you think you’ll get through life waiting for someone else to do everything for you, your twenties are going to be very long! No one does for you until you do for yourself and if you think I’m going to wipe your ass for the rest of your life, you’re delusional!

It’s nice to be cute but there is nothing worse than a cute girl who thinks she’s above it all just because she’s cute. Cute is a four letter word and it means nothing if you’re a total asshole.

I love you but CLEAN UP YOUR ROOM!”

Here's the funny part, she's in her room yelling "But momma, I want to listen to Johnny Flynn!"  She's totally trying to butter me up so I will let her out.  She yelled it over and over until I finally yelled back.  "I can listen to Johnny Flynn without you!  I hear he doesn't like little girls who don't listen to their mommas!"  Then I just cranked up Been Listening to drown her out.

Too much?

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Marcus Foster and Sam Bradley in Vienna Virginia!

Still on the high from my five hour trek to see Johnny Flynn in Brooklyn on April 1st, I headed down to Virginia to meet friends and see another show. I'd never seen Marcus Foster and Sam Bradley before but I was hella excited. If it's British these days, I seem to be all over it. I think Kings of Leon is the only non British band I really like and they're from Nashville which I still find hard to believe.

While I was excited about seeing both these guys, I was also a little ambivalent. All ages shows scare me.  You never know what you'll get.  The first time I saw Johnny Flynn live I stood beside two girls that were so young they had bows in their hair.  I heard them talking about Robert Pattinson and I cringed inside.  Hey, I like him too!  Cute as a button that one is but I don't go to see bands play because he once farted near them or had tea around the corner on a Tuesday while a fat lady sang in the alley.  Get me?  I just like good music.

 I bought his CD on iTunes and it really is excellent.  I've bought so many shit CDs in my days that it's nice to get one that is just plain good.  I was kind of bummed that I got it on iTunes because it feels like I'm missing something.  When a CD or an artist is really good and I mean crazy talented, I like to have the actual CD in hand, the way it was intended.  I mean if you buy a Beyonce CD, she IS her packaging.  Hell, I've seen her ass more than I have my own so when I buy her stuff, I know what I'm getting.  People like Marcus Foster are different in that his talent is his packaging.  I can't look at him and know what he's all about and I appreciate that.

I actually went to see Marcus Foster for a reason that was a little different than why I see most artists, even Johnny Flynn who is my Meca. I write. Every day I write. For the most part I've always done it but there were a few end of relationship and kid bearing years that I didn't because I just wasn't in a place where it was forthcoming but I'm going strong now, perhaps more than ever.  I write long, long stories for many reasons and about many things but right now I'm writing a story about a girl named Immi.  She's nineteen  and she's been through unspeakable things but the whole point is that she make a journey and get to where the person in the song "I Was Broken" is.  Which is not an easy thing to do, no matter the reason or how long the journey.  So that song is special for me and it is the reason it was the only song I recorded that night.  I'm so glad I did and I will post it below.  I've heard other versions and recordings of this song and to be honest, they've all been crap by comparison.  I don't know how to hear Marcus Foster preform this song and still be okay with anyone else doing it.  His version is so good that it just seems wrong.

It took me about two hours to get to Jammi Java as I was coming from Maryland. I hit some traffic but if you're going into Northern Virginia and you don't, I think it's a sign of the apocalypse so don't get happy just yet when you sail through because you may have to offer your still beating heart to get out alive.  The traffic in that area is a fucking nightmare but I digress...

I got there with not too much traffic and I was even early.  I sat in the parking lot and listened to some Sam and Marcus and well as Johnny Flynn because I don't hit the road for any reason without his CDs in the mix.  I just refuse.  The true test of a show is if I listen to him on the way home.  If I do, I'll never seen you as an artist again because what's the point? I don't turn off Johnny Flynn for too many others but I should want to listen to your music on the way home from your show or I'm done with you.  On the way home from Laura Marling and even Mumford, I listened to their music when I had Johnny Flynn in the car, that says something about them and how good I think they are.

I parked directly in front of Jammin Java and immediately saw someone I recognized.  I didn't know his name at the time but I knew he was with Marcus.  Her sat in front of my car and had a conversation with someone for thirty minutes or so while I waited for my friends, who live in the area by the way.  I beat them from another state...hello?

I wasn't sure what to make of Jammi Java because it looks like nothing from the outside and the bar is super tiny but why they pulled the curtain back, there was a good sized room full of tables.  We ran to the front and got excellent seats right at the stage.  I mean, these are my damn feet!  Can you get a better seat than that?  We even had some nice girls sitting across from us.  One of them gave me her card so I could forward my photos to her and I swear I can't find that damn thing but it will turn up.  I lose everything at least once.

Sam Bradley was first and I swear, that guy is super fun!  You can't watch him and be in a bad mood.  He's kind of like a cartoon character and I mean  that in a good way.  He's just so animated.  I am not as familiar with his music as Marcus Foster, but he really was great.  I needed him to grow on me because I'm not the type to like music just because I'm supposed to.  Actually if someone says to me, "You should love him because he's so much like Johnny Fynn and Marcus Foster" it actually turns me off and give him an even bigger hurdle to jump.  A/ because I want him to stand on his own and B/ because he really doesn't sound anything like either one of them, if you're actually listening.

He's very energetic and as I sat directly in front of him, he must of looked at me 50 times.  I was right in front and I had a camera plastered to my face the whole time.  Also, if I'm really trying to hear you, I don't sing so much and I like to listen without being disturbed so the look on my face might be one that you could read incorrectly if you don't know me.  He may have thought I hated him, but I didn't.  When I met him after the show, he asked me how many photos I took.  He seemed shocked when I told him.  I think I took just over 500 before Marcus came on stage but for me that's normal.  I deleted a lot for poor lighting or other reasons.  That's really nothing.  I once took over 1400 photos at a Johnny Flynn concert.

I also have this thing where I take a photo of every one's feet when I have seats like this.  I know I know, it's weird but I have a great one of Johnny Flynn that I actually made the cover photo on my Facebook page and I love it!  These are Sam's feet.  I like the way he stands on the balls of his feet while he plays.

After Sam was Marcus and God of all creatures great and small was he a breath of fresh air!  He was so amazing to listen to that I was sad to leave!  His songs move me and I actually got a little teary at one of two points in the show.  It's odd to see someone with that level of talent sing a song that he wrote, that is so sad in some ways.  Makes you want to dig into his brain a little, see where that comes from.  He even played one song at a piano, which you don't get to see a lot of at these smaller shows.  He really was fantastic and soulful beyond his years.  While I really liked him before I went, I needed to see him live to fall in love with him and that's what happened that night.  I fell in love and could listen to him sing for hours and have.  I listened to his CD all the way home not once thinking of Johnny Flynn and that's saying something.

These are Marcus' feet photos.  He gets two because of the piano and because I just liked his shoes better.

                                              See?  His boots look like they've got a story to tell.

Perhaps the best part of the night was getting to meet them after and thank them.  It's always nice to be able to tell someone how far you came to see them and have them be somewhat blown away and appreciative of it. I thought Johnny Flynn was going to fall over when I told him I drove five hours and these guys actually hugged me and told me how nice it was to hear.  So sweet!

We bought some stuff, they signed some stuff, we talked for a bit and then we took photos and hit the road.  It was such a great night and I hope they come around again because it was totally worth the trip.

They're really talented sweet guys and if you get the chance to see them, you should because it was worth it!  Love them!

Under no circumstances can I post all of the photos I took at this show on my blog but I have them on my Flickr account and you can go HERE to see them.

I was Broken ~ Vienna Virginia