Feb 26 2013

Music Monday: Frank Ocean

10ocean1-articleLargeThis is hardly what you’d call a discovery. Everyone has heard of Frank Ocean by now and most people who have given this album a listen are smitten by him as an artist, musician and storyteller. I know I am.

On Saturday night in the middle of a very loud crowded dance floor at our school parent dance party/fundraiser, My Little Springroll’s hubby brought up Frank Ocean. Frank Ocean wasn’t playing and I really can’t remember the context aside from some rowdy dancing. In my blurry mind’s eye he was bopping around to a really great song and he just yelled How about FRANK OCEAN! And I was like Ya! OhMyGOD! And we both did a little swoon, eyes to the heavens gesture and yelled out a few SO GOODS, SO GOODS!!! before getting back to the business of getting down.

The point of this little anecdote is that channel ORANGE IS a really great album. One of my favorites for this year, for sure. It’s definitely one that rewards listening from start to finish and it doesn’t get old because every song tells a story and sounds different – which is saying something for R&B.

And, truth be told, it made me happy to have had this tiny music moment with a friend, within a bigger music moment on the dance floor. Because that’s what good music does – it moves you. ¬†It takes you out of your head, back to your past, over to other music, way deep into your body, in and out of emotions and it connects you to other people.

It moves you.

Enjoy Bad Religion.

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Photo credit: Ryan McGinley for the NYTimes


Feb 24 2013

Girl Talk

girlsSupergirl and Devil Baby are still pretty little – 10 and 6. Itty bitty, really. But the other night, in the most nothing of moments, I got a really vivid glimpse into our girlie future together.

It was bedtime and they were lollygagging on my bed while I washed my face. I had whipped my hair up into a hasty knot and when I came out of the bathroom, Supergirl looked at me and said You look really good in a bun. It took me completely by surprise because she’s never really commented on my looks before. Not to mention the fact that I’m not so sure I look really good in a bun at all. I sort of stopped in my tracks and grinned. Really? And then Devil Baby nodded emphatically. Oh, ya. Totally.

There it was. My two ragamuffins, who wear boy clothes and color on themselves with markers and have skinned knees and tangly hair and wipe yogurt on their collars – they notice things and they have an opinion. And these moppets already know how to sit on a bed and dish.

This is going to be really fun.


Feb 16 2013

The Tipping Point

valentines-day-sermonsValentine’s Day is an unofficial anniversary of sorts for Doctor Dash and me. It was on that day during our senior year in college that we cooked steaks with blue cheese in my little blue house in South Bend and finally fell into couplehood after months of being best friends and dancing around it. Actually, I was the one doing all the dancing. Dancing up close one day, dancing away the next. Dancing all in circles. A fickle whirling dervish, indeed. Dash, it turns out, is a patient man. Thank goodness for that. Then and now.

This Valentine’s Day marked 21 years of our being together. My math man also pointed out that we have now been together more than we’ve been apart in our lives. I have spent more than half of my life with Dash at my side. It’s staggering. We didn’t meet that young and we’re not that old now, so how can it be? Yet there it is. It’s simple math, and it blows my mind.

We spent Valentine’s night with the kids and we usually do, and I cooked steaks with blue cheese sauce as a small nod to our wee beginnings. We’ll get our proper date night on Saturday night when we go see Book of Mormon and then out for bites in some twinkly bar. I can’t wait.

I suppose I could say how different things are from way back when, but they don’t seem that different. Aside from more responsibility and less flannel, he and I are pretty much the same. I still look forward to seeing him at the end of the day, stepping out with him on a chilly night or lingering at the table after dinner while the kids bounce about not really clearing like they’re supposed to. Actually, when I picture any after dinner scene, I guess it is different. Perhaps I’ve forgotten how footloose and fancy free we once were.

But you grow, adapt and live, with the days piling up behind you at an alarming clip and then one day, you tip. Which means not much more than a moment in time to look back and to look ahead and be grateful.

I love you, Dash.


Feb 9 2013

Superheroes

dt-1.common.streams.StreamServer.clsThese window washers dressed up as superheroes to wash the windows of the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh the other day and apparently, not surprisingly, it was a hit. The kids were enthralled, running in and out of rooms to ogle them as they washed, wiped and rappelled.

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Feb 8 2013

This Season We’re In

securedownloadRed Vogue emailed me a little winter promo she had put together because the jumping fish girl is actually Supergirl. When I saw it, I just sat with my chin in my hands for a few minutes and stared. It’s so lovely.

The feeling I get from seeing these two photos side by side is the essence of Minnesota life for me. The lakes loom large for our families, in winter, spring, summer and fall and to see Harriet dressed in her two most contrasting costumes is a good reminder that winter is not forever. And also a good reminder that winter is not forever.

Y’all know I’m a fan of a wintery lake. When I was the mystery guest in Supergirl’s classroom, my clues for favorite places were 1. Clancy’s meat market in Linden Hills, 2. First Avenue and 3. the middle of the lake in the middle of the winter. Tiny dancing is still one of my life’s most unique and mind clearing ¬†pleasures, but trucking out with the kids, Dash and Foxy Brown (or any combination thereof) is equally warming – warming in all ways.

If you haven’t walked out to the middle of Lake Harriet by yourself, with your dog or with your kids, you are missing out. Truly missing out on a physical and mental sensation that is ephemeral and uniquely tied to this time of year. I’ve said this before: It is found ground. How can we not enjoy standing on its firmness and marveling at our spot in the world?

When I’m out there, my pooch tearing around like a chocolate blur, I find myself slowly turning 360 degrees to take in the white expanse, the variegated sky, the winking lights. When in life do we ever take a slow 360? It’s so rare.

I take the big clearing breaths I don’t remember or get to take the rest of the time when I’m wrapped up in my bulky sweaters, hunched against the wind or over a cup of hot tea.

I note that what’s missing in color and saturation is more than compensated for in pattern, texture and shadow – all courtesy of the wind and the clouds and Mama Nature’s deft hand.

And I am grateful for the cold that makes it possible, because that is no longer something we can or should take for granted.

Winter is not forever.

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