Are you still a fan if you close your eyes?

Portrait of Ludwig van Beethoven

Hey now, Ludwig Van (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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“You wouldn’t like him so much if he were some everyday Joe shoe salesman with a tidy haircut,” my friend says as she tilts back a sip of sangria.

“Shoe salesman? Do they even exist anymore?” I counter, crunching on a baby carrot.

“It’s the rock star thing: guitar, cool clothes, crazy hair. It puts them up there, above the rest,” she explains. “Put him in a UPS uniform and he’s nowhere.”

I don’t tell her that I’ve witnessed some hotness in UPS-issue brown.

“Sure. I get it. If he were a shoe salesman or a delivery guy, I wouldn’t be swooning over his fitting skills, his hand truck prowess.  The point is he is who he is because of his talent —  looks or not,” I say, defending my undying devotion to Jack White, and the idea that we like musicians for their sound more than their looks. Most of the time.

Why must I do this?

If you say you like Justin Beiber, it’s assumed looks come before talent. If you say you like Marilyn Manson, I know it’s about the music. Or, maybe it’s both.

Even around this meeting table with food and wine, the women are split on the looks/talent vote for Mr. White among others. So, which is it?  If you say you like Beethoven, no one says it’s because of his tight breeches or his crazy hair. It’s because he was a master composer piano virtuoso kind of guy. Most of us know Mr. B by his music, not his looks. Although this portrait piques my curiosity:

Intense. Edgy. Looks like he might throw you out of the theater for sneezing. I do like Beethoven. His ninth and fifth symphonies are booming, robust and, dare I say, a bit sexy? Would I like Ludwig Van more if I were able to watch him perform with that crazy hair and flowing ascot?

I think so. But, it’s not necessary.

So maybe my friend has a point. Would you know Beethoven’s music back in the day if you were not privileged enough to attend a live show? It’s not as if the local cobbler’s daughter was fantasizing about Ludwig Van next to the crank-up Victrola.

My friend says she knew Mr. White way back when and has nothing good to report about his demeanor or his appearance. She says she wouldn’t  pay a penny to see him live.

“That may be true, but I don’t care,” I fire back. “I don’t want to date him or chat over coffee with him. I just want him to keep doing that thing that he does so I can listen and go to concerts. It’s about the musicianship.”

“Riiiight, the musicianship,” the other women purr, winking at me and laughing.

It’s hopeless.

They don’t get it and I cannot figure out how to convince anyone otherwise. I remember when I discovered Led Zeppelin. I liked the sound way before I ever watched concert footage of Robert Plant’s sexy hair and tight pants. As far as I was concerned it was a bonus. Same with Robert Smith of The Cure. This was the pre-Internet era. If you didn’t religiously watch MTV or subscribe to music magazines, how would you know what any artist looked like? Album covers and liner notes don’t tell the story.

When I queue up The Cure on my iPod at the gym,  I connect Smith’s searing whine with the face above, even though it’s more likely attached to this:

Yikes! How sad I am to see Mr. Smith is aging along with the rest of us, no longer able to rock the midnight hair and heavy makeup. Which, side note here and a lesson to both genders: heavy eye makeup paired with dark lipstick is no one’s friend after 40. Am I right?

——

If you ‘ve made it this far, forgive this random, pointless post. It’s five years of this blogging nonsense and where has it gotten me? No fame, fortune, or accolades yet. Just a well-worn cushion on the Internet. Carry on.

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Mountain memory

Lost Lake, somewhere in Colorado

The first time I hiked in the mountains, I needed a break, so I laid on my back in an alpine meadow next to a melting snow cap. I was struck by the closeness of the sky, how it rushed toward my bare face, how the silence buzzed in my ears, how I could almost grab a handful of cloud and lick it like a tuft of cotton candy, how the dripping water formed shimmering ribbons coaxed away by gravity, gathering volume and speed, toward life below.

 

(I stole this from myself. I wrote it as a comment on another blog. Is that breaking some blogger bylaw?)

Interruption

One of the biggest disappointments of late is realizing we won’t be moving out West, as was the goal set 12 years ago on our honeymoon. We’ve known (even if we’ve never said it out loud) for the last three years that it would not happen in 2012. If you ever visit our house, this goal will be obvious. Almost every room has a picture of mountains or alpine flowers or something painted by Georgia O’Keeffe or cowboys on the set of “Lonesome Dove.” We even have a sign that says “2012.”

We’ve suffered many financial setbacks, endured job loss, and now, we are slowly rebuilding. Things are getting better, but not good enough to walk away from a house underwater and scant savings. I want to live in the mountains, but not in a tent.

Let me make this clear. I will not let go of the goal. It will happen some day, some way. Right now my biggest goal is to find a happiness in each day right here in Detroit. Yes, Detroit.

Even before I found this site, I began playing a game with myself, one I invented during a particularly difficult time, when depression hovered like a dank mist around my shoulders. My challenge each day was to find one thing to appreciate, to make me smile and feel grateful.  Whether it was the perfect cup of coffee, a clean apartment, an achingly blue sky, a new shoot on a bedraggled house plant,  or a genuine smile from a stranger.

The game continues with today’s offering:

What makes me happy is listening to “Love Interruption” by Jack White, and anticipating the April 24 release of his first solo album.

I’ve followed this guy’s career for 12 years. Even when critics called him a passing fancy, a novelty act, I just knew he’d become a major player in the music industry. I have a little shelf in my office of White Stripes unauthorized band bios, Rolling Stone issues, concert ticket stubs, and one of their original band buttons I scored at a resale shop. You know, basic rabid fan stuff.

Although Jack lives in Nashville, his roots are here in Detroit. He is who he is today (I believe) because he was born of the Detroit ethos. The day I discovered The White Stripes was the day I rekindled my love for Detroit. I couldn’t get enough of their music, of the scene around town. I tried, somewhat successfully, to get to every live show. There was a time when I could go to see a local act at a dive bar and turn around to see Jack towering above the crowd, sucking on a cigarette, a beer in hand, intently focused on the stage, appearing oblivious to anything else. Just another guy in the audience. It felt like a special time. It feels gone now. But the music goes on.

So does Detroit, in his absence, as the scene changes, the focus redirects.  And so do I. There is much to dislike here in Detroit,  but I credit White, among others, for opening my eyes to what is here: the creative energy, the poetry amid ruin, the idea that here lies the raw material to shape into anything the artist can envision.

The White Stripes disbanded last year as anticlimatically as my husband and I realized that we wouldn’t be house hunting in Boulder this summer. The signs had been there all along.

Did you watch Jack’s performance on Saturday Night Live last weekend? I was blown away by the duet with Ruby Amanfu. Maybe you like his music; maybe you don’t.

Sometimes all it takes is the right chord, pitch, and lyrics to turn a dark day around.

Today, I am grateful for good music in all its forms and the power it holds.

 

 

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Hey, doll

Part of a second-hand store's street display during a festival

Right away I want to say I am not a doll person in the sense of a doll collector.

I do not own dolls.

The ones I kept from childhood I passed on to my daughters: a rag doll, a few odd Barbie dolls, and Fisher-Price Little People figures. Dolls are for children as far as I am concerned.

The voodoo doll. Now, that’s the exception. That is always a possibility.

I do not collect dolls. I collect pictures of dolls because I’m fascinated with how people repurpose cast-off toys.  Are you familiar with the work of artist Tyree Guyton? The baby doll nailed to the side of an abandoned house on Heidelberg Street in Detroit, in an area known as the The Heidelberg Project, is an evocative image, is it not? If you are familiar with the problems of Detroit, this doll will break your heart. Even if you are not, it’s still a powerful image.

Not all doll depictions are so gut-wrenching. I have a few in rotation on Facebook that generate laughs and questions from friends and looks of resignation from my husband. He uses Facebook as part of a suite of online portfolios and networking tools. He does not always appreciate being married to a doll head with blood dripping from the eyelids.

Most of the dolls I find in my travels.  The one above, Dementina of the zombie apocalypse, reclined on a mod ’60s living room display in a fairly upscale vintage furniture and fixtures store. A little unsettling but also kind of funny. Would I want that in my house? No.

Not actual size of bald, body-less doll head

I have a wooden doll head that a friend who “gets me” gave to me a year ago. I like the look of this bald, body-less wooden head. The wide, wistful eyes, raised brows and lips pursed in perpetual state of surprise make me think of Cindy Lou Who when she finds the Grinch stealing her Christmas tree.   Truth? I don’t know where this head is anymore.

I could go on but you get the point.

Speaking of dolls, here are links to two other posts I wrote about dolls:

Awkward holiday moments
Doll face

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Someday I’ll marry David Sedaris*

“You studying medicine?” says the wheezy phlebotomist as he searches for a good vein on my outstretched arm.

“Ouch. What?” I say, wincing as the needle pokes my quivering vein like a nervous virgin on prom night. After a few awkward moments, he’s in and taking care of business.

Having scored, the phlebotomist, or Mr. P as I call him,  jams a cotton ball on my deflowered flesh and slaps on a bandage. His technique has all the grace of the Incredible Hulk dressing a Barbie doll.  I unclench my eyelids and glance at the plastic chair in the corner. Propped on my purse is the book I’m reading, “When You Are Engulfed in Flames” by David Sedaris. I consider the skull on the cover.

“Oh, my book;  it’s David Sedaris,” I say.

Mr. P — a towering man well into his fifties, face blooming with gin blossoms, hands big enough to crush a puppy with one squeeze, and a generous tuft of white chest hair erupting from the top of his is button-down — knits his brow as he considers the name David Sedaris.

“Is he a scientist?”

No.

“Historian?”

Where’s he going with this, I wonder.  Maybe he’s never met a cigarette-smoking skeleton.

I explain that Sedaris is a humorist, author, and radio commentator. Then I wonder silently if commentator is even a real word. I’m pretty sure it isn’t, but decide it wouldn’t matter to a phlebotomist who doesn’t know who David effin Sedaris is.

“NPR?” I say, hopeful this would stir his memory.

“NPR, the radio station? Nah, don’t listen to it,” he says with a wet wheeze. (Mr. P is seriously the most unsettling phlebotomist I’ve ever met.)

As Mr. P labels the blood-filled vials and yanks off latex gloves, he stops to tell me his son is very smart. So smart, in fact, he began reading books at two and now is an international rep for a major publishing house. (Wow!) The change in topic lets me know Mr. P isn’t interested in any more small talk about this skeleton named David Sedaris.

Thing is, now that I am in love with David Sedaris and plan on marrying him someday, I assume I’m joining the worldwide fan club. Late to the show sure, but going over the storyline with anyone who’ll listen so that no one will suspect I slipped in through the back door.

OK, here’s how I change the subject: If you are not a wheezing phlebotomist and you know who Sedaris is, you still might not know that Sedaris kept a pet spider in his house in Normandy, France. It was a tegenaria duellica named Alice. He faithfully captured and fed her flies. He even took her to Paris on a train. Then, the situation got out of control and he had to let her go.

Does that story ever sound familiar to me. See? We are kindred spirits.

*Yeah, yeah, I know he doesn’t swing in my direction.

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Mind matters

My right leg is a mess. Shin scraped raw. Knee swollen purple and scabby.

My instinct is to hide the mess.  It’s what I do with all the messes in my life. Throw a cloth over it and call it good.  But we’re in the grip of a fierce Indian summer; there’s no hiding the legs in shorts and skirt weather. Uncharacteristically, I’ve been showing off my wounds.

I earned these abrasions on an amazing ride. Geographically, it was seven difficult miles. Metaphorically, it was a personal journey of a million light years.

Yeah, I’m still the same old me on the outside, prone to injury and scar-covered to prove it. But under those scabs are the seeds of enlightenment. Seeds so small you’d need a microscope. Nonetheless, they’re there.

This pain is the fruit of a standing date I have with a good friend. We meet on Tuesdays. We do something outside: walk, ride bikes, ice skate. Whatever. I suggested bike riding on this last Tuesday. She named a park — one I’d never visited before — and I agreed. Little did I know what sort of trails awaited at this park.

Within moments of entering the densely wooded single-track, I encountered sandy hills, hairpin turns, exposed tree roots, low-hanging branches, large rocks, wooden bridges spanning water and mud, and gravel, lots of gravel. The first five minutes nearly killed me. I was in the wrong gear and couldn’t gain enough speed to shift. Eventually I got off the bike and began pushing it. Then I stopped.

As I scanned the dense woods for a sign of my friend, I thought about my yard sale hybrid bike, which has never felt sturdy in the grip of my hands.  I thought about the bike shop guy (who calls me “ma’am”) telling me to keep this bike off trails with bumps and holes. I thought about how little I knew about real mountain biking and how the last time I really rode like this I was a child, testing my mettle at a customized bike lot in my Detroit neighborhood. I remember the humiliating trek home, dragging my little blue bike in three pieces after it broke apart going over a gnarled tree root. I remember the punishment that followed the discovery of the bike in ruins. My head buzzed like a jar of angry bees.

I was slipping into a hole of despair, one I’d been working on all my life, digging with a small spoon. I lost track of time and place. My friend, no doubt blissfully navigating the bends and twists far ahead, was out of sight.  It was just me, the woods, and my mind.

My fucking mind.

It’s killing me.

You can’t do this, said the mean girl in my head. You are a lazy, gutless poser. I felt tears building in the corners of each eye. I felt the smack of shame on each cheek.  The logical, bespectacled part of my brain piped in: Excuse me, but this is a one-way, narrow, seven-mile trail, it said. You’d best stop this nonsense and get moving.  Another part, probably the loving, grandmotherly part of my brain, nudged its way to the front:  Hey, hey! it shouted in a motivational way. Look around you, embrace this gift of a day, go find your friend, you have two legs that work and a healthy heart and lungs. So maybe you aren’t rippling with muscle tone.  So what? So what if you are behind? So what if those guys on their fancy bikes with their fancy gear sneered a little as they passed you on the trail? So what if your daddy hated you so much he gave you a junkyard bike? All of these things are excuses for quitting. You are not a quitter or have you forgotten?

Shameless whiner? Yes. Quitter? No. I clamped an open palm on the yapping mouths chattering in my head, jumped on the bike and tried to distance myself from his awful thing that had me in its grip. Something happened. I lost awareness of my feet, pedaling and pumping until my quads erupted in flames. But even that pain felt distant. I lost focus of my hands, which somehow steered the bike around hazards and shifted for the trail ahead. For a few beautiful minutes, I was a multi-colored spirit gliding through shapes, shadows and dimensions.

Then I crashed. Hard.  Both front and back reflectors snapped off my bike. My water bottle toppled into the underbrush. As I lay in the pebbled dirt, panting, feeling the sweat drip from under my helmet, I felt the abdominal contractions of a laugh. I lifted the bike, stood, inspected it for the expected (but nonexistent) damages, looked at my shredded leggings and at the dots of blood oozing from open skin. My eyes leaked. My nose ran. My body rippled with joyous laughter.

My friend found me. Are you OK? she asked. Never better, I said, alternately laughing and panting, swiping my runny nose on my sleeve as I gathered the scattered plastic and brushed bits of rock and dirt out of my open wounds.

My friend offered to trade bikes. Even in the swap she disappeared quickly on the trail as I wobbled around the curves. That’s when I missed a tree and ran into myself. Clarity flowed into that jar in my head, displacing the buzzing bees.

It’s not the bike. It’s not the trail. It’s not my shitty childhood.

It is me.

As if life itself grabbed me by the collar and pushed me face-first toward a pool of still water, forcing me to look into the mirror of my truth, I choked on the clarity.  I carry a backpack stuffed with convenient  excuses for every obstacle. Every bike I ride has a flaw. Every trail is designed with failure in mind. Facing the mirror of truth, I instinctively look away. Instead, I search for the familiar, distorted sketches in my mind. The box is empty.

Enough.

What if I dropped the load? What if I let go of myself long enough to ride the current? What if every day could be as exhilarating as this one?

Since that ride, I attempted another trail with little success. My still-throbbing knee sent a message to my brain that said: Soon, but not today. This week, I bought a better bike.

My leg is healing. My head is somewhat clearer. What will the next ride deliver?

 

 

 

 

 

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Letting it go

image by bink_d via creative commons

Bikes have been on my mind all year. Riding. Shopping for a new model. Joining a biking club.

I let a casual acquaintance know and she said, coincidentally, that she was selling her bike.

We arrange a time and day for me to come to the Victorian-era duplex in Detroit where she shares space with a half-dozen folks. After a bit of small talk, she leads me out to a big wooden storage shed. She wrestles with the padlock, throws open the wooden doors, and stands there silently for an awkward amount of time. I stare at her as she stares inside at the array of rakes, brooms, and garden implements. She squints. She clicks her tongue a few times and continues to stare.

Then, as if waking from a trance, she shakes her head, sighs with a big huff,  and pushes closed the wooden doors.

“What’s going on?” I ask, because what just happened here?

“Well, I guess I don’t have a bike to sell you.”

She laughs, latches the lock with a snap, and turns toward the steps.

I follow. I wait. I don’t say anything.

It isn’t easy. God’s truth is I’m wondering why she isn’t getting mad, or firing off rhetorical questions about the missing (stolen?) bike, or looking for her housemates to ask them questions.

Instead, she pour us cups of ginger tea and leans against the Formica countertop, scanning the recipe books on a nearby shelf.

While I stew in silence she contemplates stew for dinner.

I know her well enough to know there really was a bike in there at one point; she isn’t messing with me. But what I didn’t know about her until now is how well she handles life’s sucker punches.

Although it hasn’t happened yet, I know as sure as the sun will set  in the west that I’ll go home and rant about this to my husband. For at least 10 minutes. I’ll vent and pitch a million unanswerable questions out of the ball park. Then I’ll remember (because it’s always just around a dark corner inside my head) the one that got away.

In 2001 my mountain bike was stolen from our garage in rather dramatic fashion. There was ruckus and a brief police chase. I was at work at the newspaper and heard it on the police scanner. My husband called excitedly to tell me about the drama in our neighborhood. He called back a few minutes later, his voice much quieter, to say it was my bike that starred in that show. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten over the loss of that bike. I’ve had inexpensive replacements, but they were never the same. One thing I know: I had no idea what I had until it was gone. You’d think international spies had kidnapped my precious firstborn. It’s embarrassing, really.

It’s taken me a decade (that’s a lot of obsessive thinking, folks) to recall the make and model of that stolen bike, for when it happened I went blank. I had a mental image of letters in a pattern but I could not put them together to form words at the police station.

During an Internet search for high-quality used bikes, I found a picture of that bike. The color, the logo, the lettering, all unlocked a dusty box of memories. It had been an indulgent Mother’s Day gift from my first husband after the birth of our daughter. It was an expensive Band-aid to a hemmoraghing marriage. I thought about all the places I rode that bike. How I rode it hard to work off stress and heartbreak.  How on that bike I dreamed of escape. That bike traveled with me away from that marriage, into single motherhood, and then into the garage from which it would disappear forever.

I wonder what I’m really holding onto in this unresolved anger over a hunk of metal and rubber? Is it the inability to replace what’s lost? Is it the shock of realizing how attached I am to material objects? Is it that I am unable to forgive?

I’m working on this one.

What keeps you stuck in a rut on the road to self-improvement?

 

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Of course, it's the apocalypse

… or Armageddon or the Rapture.

I don’t know. I stopped getting the paper a while ago.

Do I care? Heck, looks like most of us here (as in the gay, liberal, heathen, artsy-fartsy burg where I reside) are heading in the same direction. We’ll have a party.

At least I don’t have to worry so much that my roots have grown out an inch and a half.  The scale at the doctor’s office says I’m eating way more than I trick myself into thinking every day. Bah! I say. More insulation against the eternal hellfire.

End of the world? Judgment day? I say bring it! As a dearly departed friend used to say to me though a veil of laughter-induced tears: We’re riding the greased pole to hell, sister.

Perhaps in hell, with a backdrop of molten lava and flickering flames and all the obligatory thigh and butt maximizing red jumpsuits we’ll be wearing, I won’t feel so bad that my skin is covered head to toe in huge, angry red welts. I won’t be shunned; I’ll be well accessorized.

So, yeah, what better time to break out in a mysterious case of the hives? The itching began last week on the tops of my feet. I was on a long walk around the neighborhood when I stopped to give my feet tops a good scratch. I blamed it on the wet grass. After a while, I found myself doing odd things like leaning against sign posts to scratch with abandon. When I reached my car,  I took off my sandals and found my feet screaming with red blisters.

As the week went on the creeping malaise migrated north, sparing nothing along the way. I was a walking exclamation point.

Part of me is wondering if this is my early pass to hell so that by the time I get there I’ll be as red and miserable as the devil. Part of me is wondering if I’ll be wearing a head-to-toe veil when I go out tonight. Part of me (remember there are more parts of me than ever before) is wondering if I brought this on myself. Not so much in a Catholic guilt kind of way, although I know that stuff is ingrained, but in a gee-how-much-more-stress-and-worry can I carry before some major system in my body just fails?

The doctor thinks food or environmental allergy. Shots and many tests await.

Cheers. I’ll either see some of you in the fiery furnace or I’ll post on Tuesday.

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Celebrity encounters

I’m struck down by “the sick” again. I guess this is just the way it is when you volunteer in preschool and elementary school environments weekly. Oh, and have I mentioned we’ve had nothing but rain and rain and more rain and damp and chill? In light of that, I’m taking San Diego Momma’s PrompTuesday about celebrity encounters and rehashing a post from December 2009
.

jackwhite

"It Might Get Loud" movie still via img.com

I hope my husband is happy.

He thinks that I’d dump him for Jack White, that I’d run away to live in the hills of Tennessee with the former furniture upholsterer turned guitar god with the penchant for dressing like a dandy, channeling Delta Blues musicians and crafting guitars out of wood, a nail, a glass bottle and wire.*

Good thing Jack White only has eyes for tall, leggy, doe-eyed redheads or maybe I’d have a chance.

*ahem*

Seriously. Several times, by happy accident, I’ve stood elbow-to-shoulder with the man and trust me, his attention was elsewhere. My husband has never let me forget those evenings. Not that I could. It was thrilling to be able to just share the same floor space with someone of such talent. Back then he was just a local guy drinking a beer and sucking on a cigarette at a popular dive bar. Honestly,  my favorite memory is second-row seats at a Raconteurs concert positioned directly in line with Jack White as he did that thing that he does. I don’t know Jack White, the person. He is a stranger to me. I do know Jack White, the musician and performer. I don’t want a date; I want concert tickets.

I don’t know what to do around “celebrities” of any sort. Even when I was a reporter, I’d skip those assignments in favor of interviewing an everyday Joe or Jane.  Years ago at a David Bowie concert, I stood in a concert T-shirt line next to familiar young man who turned out to be Steve Yzerman of the Detroit Red Wings. I didn’t realize it  until I’d left the concert venue. My friends were jealous, pumping me for details.  I didn’t have any to share since I just assumed it was a guy from high school.

Yzerman

Via About.com: Hockey

Before The White Stripes called it quits, it was kind of an inside joke that I was president of the local chapter of their fan club.

So it was with deep embarrassment that I learned at a children’s birthday party for god’s sake that he was named musician of the millennium or something like that. I went home and looked it up. Here’s what I found:

Their fourth album, Elephant, was named No. 7 on a list of most influential albums of the decade.

Jack White was declared the rock and roll musician of the decade.

I know. Lists, schmists. Everyone and their brother is going to compile these lists as we slip from the aughts to the teens. And what do I know of the caliber of the Guardian U.K.? Even the White Stripes’ and affiliated Web sites have failed to make note of these honors, so I’m not sure what to make of them myself.

While I’m thrilled that Jack is getting the attention, acclaim and respect I’ve felt he’s deserved all along, I’m rather embarrassed that I had to hear about this from a fair-weather fan over cake and ice cream. I hope my husband is happy; it’s obvious I have more pressing matters on my mind than the latest Jack White news.

Perhaps, if my spouse would stop this foolishness for a moment, he’d realize I’m thinking about him.

(Little does he know he’s getting a guitar for Christmas. That, and a pair of red and white pants.)

*I dated my share of out-there artsy types who did things like drive Hearses, dress like people from different eras, wear make-up, and get in character for their art. They always ended up embarrassing and frustrating me.

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Pictures of my life, Part 3

Midlife crisis, an ongoing saga

A few weeks ago I accompanied a friend to a piercing studio. I entered the earthy shop in a nearby suburb armed with more expectations than I care to admit.  A collection of tribal masks, idols, and tools on display seemed both cliche and indicative of the collective pain captured within these walls. But a generous display of environmental and animal rights magazines on the tables, the trip-hop drifting from hidden speakers, and the soft-spoken woman behind the counter balanced the aesthetic.

The only pain we’re into is our own.

I felt a little out of my element. While my friend filled out forms,  I sought the familiar: a display case of sterling silver bracelets and pendants. Next to it was another case twinkling with mysterious metallic objects. What was this stuff? Where did people put these things? How did they get them in? A quick browse through the studio services catalog cleared up some of the confusion.

Oh, my.

As my friend situated herself for the procedure,  I prepped for my role as official hand-holder.

I listened as the piercer explained the tool sterilization process, the horrors of piercing guns (I had no idea. Did you?), and the after-care process.

Then it was showtime. I grasped her hand and watched as metal clamps pinched flesh, as the hollow tube and needle joined, penetrated, and retreated to make way for the metal ring.

Zip. Zap. Done. No blood. No shrieking. Not even a clenched fist or jaw. Morrissey wailed “Meat is Murder” through the speakers.

Impressive.

Did I feel faint? offended? disgusted?

No.

I wanted one, too.

So, you know, I got one.

Midlife crisis. When does it end?

My middle-aged ear, which now has a rook piercing.

 

 

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