It’s all about the lyrics, baby 

I’m such a lyrics person. But of course, right? I write poetry. I was an English Lit major. Words speak to me. I love a clever turn of phrase. I love repeating it and twisting it around my brain. 

A few weeks ago I turned the car on and when the radio turned on I heard this, “is she not more than the curve of her hips? Is she not more than the shine on her lips?” And before I knew it the song was over but I was hooked. Downloaded it and listen to it daily. 

If you don’t know this song you absolutely should: 

True Sadness by the Avett Brothers

Listen to it more than once. Let the words settle into your bones. We all have it within us. 

Have a gorgeous Saturday, dear friends. 

Xoxo,

Stef

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This is the story of a girl

Who cried a river and drowned the whole world

and while she looks so sad in photographs

I absolutely love her

When she smiles

Do you know that song? You know how you can hear just the words “this is a story” and you can immediately connect the lyrics and sing the whole song 500 times in your head (or out loud) after that? And then your husband (or boss, or teacher, or friend) says “AS I WAS SAYING this is a story about cattle futures and the stock market . . . ” Or, actually, my husband or boss or teacher (if I had a teacher) would never say that. Maybe “. . . about Edward Gorey” or “. . . about intellectual property, counterfeit product sales online and their crossover into phishing fraud.” Or something like that. Anyway – I LOVE THAT.

I find great comfort in the familiar. It’s soothing to me to hear a song I know and love. The cadence, the words, they all flow through my mind effortlessly and, if I love the song, it makes me happy. Like a hug (because hugs make you happy. Unless your heart is cold, black and shriveled up). The same with my favorite old tv shows or the same books I have thumbed through a dozen times or more. The characters are like visiting with old friends and the familiar words are like a salve to my metaphorical open wounds.

On a recent business trip I had to figure out a book to take with me.

(Yes, technologically adept as I like to consider myself I do still have an overwhelming affinity for actual books. I like to feel them in my hands. I like to dog-ear the corners. I fear the term “dog-ear” will go out of fashion in 2.5 seconds due to all the electronics permeating our society. I’m so conflicted).

I have no less than 7 books on my bedside table that I have barely started or not cracked at all, but when I turned to grab one none appealed. Why? Well, there’s a lot of newness in my work life and I just couldn’t stand the idea of embarking on a new journey with a new author and a new story to work through in my already clouded and over-taxed head.

What if I didn’t like it 30 pages in? What if it was sad and depressing? What if it didn’t hug my soul like a tried and true good book can do?

So I chose an old favorite. Through 4 “please watch the safety demonstration in the event of an emergency landing” monologues while “all electronic equipment is switched off” I plowed through my old favorite, smiling at the words, remembering the characters. I found myself immersed, once again, entirely in the movie in my head – how Amelia’s jetty black hair looked (via a bottle, shhh), her blushing indulgence to femininity in her crimson gowns and fancy undergarments, and her painful need to be right and strong ,and her huge heart and conflicted morality. Ahhhh. There is nothing like catching up with old friends on long plane rides.

Or is it catching up with yourself? I have a theory (supported by nothing except my second Diet Pepsi tonight) that when we connect with something from the past – a book, a movie, a song, even a fragrance – it can take you back to the old YOU. The person you were then, when you first loved it, and it can feel like a comfort because it makes you feel like, or connect with – consciously or not – the old you. That old friend that you knew better than anyone, foibles and all, before you went through the experiences that makes you the YOU of today.

Over the summer I made several long car trips by myself (or with my children, but with THEIR electronic equipment I may as well have been by myself) and I had this odd thing happen. On one trip I was in the middle of the Oregon desert, the boys had their headphones on and I resorted to mindlessly hitting “seek” in hopes of finding something interesting. There were 3 radio stations that came in; one was political news (not on your life), the other was in Spanish (and that gets old when you don’t speak it), and the third . . . just happened to be playing a country song I LOVED when I was in high school (and filled with high school angst, I might add). I found myself singing the words before I could even remember the name of the song or who sang it. I just knew that I knew the words and as I sang each verse and got closer to the chorus I remembered the full song and . . . tears. No kidding. Tears. Because that song comforted me when I was a teen and broken-hearted and here I was, so many years later, and BAM! It pulled at my heart and I was in tears. I don’t remember the who, what or why of that broken-heart – I just remember the emotion the song conveyed all those years ago.

It’s like that movie with Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks. Sleepless in Seattle? And she’s in the car driving and listening to him on the radio, in a bit of a trance, and he just says something that clicks with her heart (something her mother had said, about love & magic) and she’s crying. Just like that. Those things they reverberate in your soul.

Or is that just me? Bah. Maybe. But that’s okay. I can own it.

So – if you find me listening to the soundtrack for The Sound of Music in my headphones please don’t mock because I’m probably a major stressball and I’m just reverting to my childhood happy place as a coping mechanism. Back when my mom and I used to pop popcorn and watch this movie every year around the holidays when it came on tv and I felt loved and when I watched Julie Andrews sing and I could breathe and I knew ALL THINGS IN LIFE WERE POSSIBLE.

Ahhh. Sigh. Breathe. Repeat.

Mucho amor, mes amis!

Stef

(No, I don’t speak Spanish. Or French. It’s Frenish. Just go with it).

My Little Bubba

That’s my little dude, my little Bubba. He’s one of the coolest kids I know. And his smiles are almost always genuine.

My little Bubba loves music. In the car when we flip through the stations we have to pause long enough for him to assess the music and he will either say “Cool” or “Next.”

We frequently have dance parties in our living room and, the other day, after listening to a bunch of “cool” songs I put on Bruce Springsteen’s Rosalita (cool, in my book) and Bubba threw a fit! “No, that song is NOT cool. That’s OLD school. I want NEW school!” Hee hee.

I love him so.

-Stef

My New Friday Anthem

I FREAKING LOVE the Glee version of Friday by Rebecca Black. It’s HAPPY and uplifting and makes me smile. So I’m sharing it with you, my little friends.

You might think I’m a little late getting this anthem posted today but I say au contraire, ma soeur! It’s 5:30 and that means my Friday, and the kick-off to my weekend, is JUST BEGINNING.

My boys are home from their impromptu camping trip and my husband is preparing dinner as I type. I’m looking forward to fun with my guys, good BBQ, and a cold (adult) beverage.

*sigh*

Is there anything better in the world than the start of the weekend??

It’s Friday, Friday
Gotta get down on Friday
Everybody’s lookin’ forward to the weekend, weekend
Friday, Friday
Gettin’ down on Friday
Everybody’s lookin’ forward to the weekend

Partyin’, partyin’ (Yeah)
Partyin’, partyin’ (Yeah)
Fun, fun, fun, fun
Lookin’ forward to the weekend

Happy Friday! Have a wonderful weekend, mes petits amis.

Note: I didn’t actually retain any French that I “learned” in high school. I just have a fascination with Google’s Language Tools.

Flashback Friday – the Cruisers edition

When I was young I used to hang out at my best friend, Erin’s, house across the street and watch the movie Eddie & the Cruisers over and over. AND over. We would lay on the floor in front of the TV in her parents’ family room and people had to step over us to get through the room. Erin used to push the buttons on the VCR with her toes. Odd the things we remember, isn’t it?

Anyway, I loved the movie then and I still do now. Here are some clips for you:

If you haven’t seen it then I fully recommend watching it some Sunday afternoon when it’s raining, the kids are sleeping or gone, and you’re feeling a little introspective. And drool over Michael Pare in tight jeans and leather jackets (long before he turned into the asshole, cheating husband in Hope Floats). Note: the Eddie & the Cruisiers sequel isn’t even a fraction as good as the first one, but it does tell you what in the hell happened after the somewhat ambiguous end to the first one. Personally I LIKE the ambiguity; I don’t need to know the whole mundane story. But maybe that’s just me.

Enjoy! Happy Friday & glorious 3-day weekend, peeps!

Friday Night Q&A

In the immortal words of Hammerstein:

Getting to know you,
Getting to know all about you.
Getting to like you,
Getting to hope you like me.

Okay, now that that ear worm is firmly embedded in your brain, let’s move on to the Q&A/getting to know you section of our blog today. (Ours, today, because I would like your participation. Yes, YOU).
I’m pretty sure only about 3 people are reading my blog but let’s play a game and find out. I’ll answer some questions (completely random and made up by yours truly) and you answer them back to me in a comment, okay?
Here we go:
Q. What’s that one song that, no matter what, always stays in your top 5 favorites?
A. I love music. I do. I’m not one to pro-actively go hunt down new music and what I listen to is far from esoteric. To me, it’s all about the emotion the music provokes; it could be because that’s the song I danced to in 8th grade at the Y dances while getting my heart broken by my first crush (Love Bites by Def Leppard), or something newer that tugs at the heart strings (almost anything by Adele). So – since 7th grade I have LOVED Just Like Heaven by The Cure. Even when I went through my country music phase.
Confession: I even thought Robert Smith was hot once upon a time.

Newsflash: he’s not.

Q. Think back to your life and identify a crossroads, a decision you made that altered the course of your life. If you had chosen the other path what would it have been?

A. The thing about crossroad-decisions is they are so impactful that it’s hard to separate the decision from the effects that followed. Often one path isn’t particularly better than the other – just different. For me, right around the time I got engaged to my husband I had been applying to a semester abroad program. I chose marriage, and then a job, and a family followed shortly after. If I went on the semester abroad program I likely would not have married my husband, I would not have my babies, and I would be in a very different place now. I have no idea if it would be better or not – I certainly would have had different experiences. But I also wouldn’t have these cheese-monsters so how in the world can I argue with that??
Q. What do you typically do on a Friday night?

A. Friday nights are usually family nights at our house. Tonight, however, the hubby is out with friends, the kids are in bed (now – after a long Plants vs. Zombies game they needed my help with. They *asked* for help. I swear.), and these are my companions:
Some people may think this is sad. I, on the other hand, can’t tell you how peaceful my house is right now or how nicely the wine is going down. Silence. Sip. Ahhh. 

(In case you were worried that I ate the whole box of cookies I must tell you that I put the cookies away just after I took this picture. Scout’s honor. The wine I kept out just a teensy bit longer.)

G’night!

Redefining white knights

The older I get the more I see that life is about the moments. I’m having one right now and I love it. I’m sitting in my darkened office looking out the window. It’s an overcast day but that suits me fine. I’m listening to Train, “Marry Me.” This has the same effect on me as listening to Taylor Swift’s “Love Story.” I get all gooey and warm inside and revert back to that 16 year old girl waiting for the fabled Prince Charming on his white horse. This makes me think of a flurry of pop culture-ish quotes:

Charlotte from Sex & the City:

I’ve been dating since I was fifteen! I’m exhausted! Where is he?

Faith Hill, “This Kiss”:

All I wanted was a white knight with a good heart, soft touch, fast horse

I think, ladies, that those of us that have been married for more than a couple years know that there is no white knight to come in and save the day. Life isn’t about being rescued, and if you are depending on a man to save you, support you, and buy you bon-bons you are on a collision course with reality and will soon be landing smack on your face.

I don’t know what I expected marriage to be like when I got married at 25, but it wasn’t a white knight to make it all better. I expected a partnership and equal division of labor (being somewhat of a feminist, if you want to use that term) with a lot of love. (Picture: vacuuming and dusting together, gardening together, folding laundry – together). I was in love in a way I hadn’t been before. It was a powerful meeting of the minds (and other things) and it happened very, very fast. We finished each others thoughts. We were different enough that we complemented each other; we were alike enough that we often enjoyed the same things. When people ask, “how did you know” the answer was, and is, always, “We just knew.

July 14, 2000

Next month is 12 years since we started dating. I’m still in love – but it has changed so much. We have grown together. We still love some of the same things and we both still have our own separate passions. I think I lost myself for awhile but for the past few years I’ve been fighting to get myself back. To remember again what *I* like – flavors, scents, music, things to do and read, etc. I lost myself from being a mom & wife, but as I get to know myself again I think that only makes our marriage stronger. He likes my strong & sassy side. (Sometimes more than others).

We still argue and bicker and get our feelings hurt. But I don’t think it’s like it used to be; we aren’t so self-righteous now. We’ve been through some things now and, for me at least, I see that nothing is ever black & white.

It’s all about the moments.

I took today off from work. This morning I pulled on a jacket and shoes over my PJ’s to drive my oldest to school while the hubby drove our youngest (they go to separate schools due to the Autism thing). I had just pulled into the garage and was turning my car off when my cell phone rang.

The hubby, “did you go straight home?”

Me, “yes, I’m in my PJ’s.”

Hubby, “I’m going to get you some Starbucks since, you know, it’s a special day. Do you want cold or hot?”

Me, “hot please.”

That’s MY white knight.