My friend Neil Cleary has just finished recording his third solo CD called I was thinking of you the whole time. It is not officially released until the fall but he has about 100 copies available for early purchase. I came home Sunday from a trip to find mine waiting for me in my mailbox. As Neil describes it "inspired by two of my favorite albums, Liz Phair'sExile In Guyville and Aimee Mann's Bachelor #2, it takes a sorta wry look at hookups and letdowns, except from the perspective of the villainous heartbreaker character on the other end. It's a little trip to the dark end of the psyche -- and with a fun-time summer-rockin' beat!"
My review of it? He is magic. Pure magic. He has the ability to make the girls wonder if one of his songs is about them and the others hoping one could be.
Saturday JB and I celebrated our 7 year wedding anniversary. His parents were in town so they watched the kids while we went out. We started our evening with some drinks at one of our favorite bars. They have the best back patio that reminds us both of bars in San Francisco. We then had dinner at Leunig's Bistro. The meal was excellent but I was a bit bummed on the service. I actually had to get up and as the host for water during our meal because it was never put on our table. Isn't that the first thing put on the table when you sit down? The food was so good it outweighed the bad service. After dinner we stopped at Uncommon Ground for coffee and cookies. We got to sit in the window and watch a fabulous street performer on Church Street. It was a wonderful night.
JB and I met only one year before we were married. We met in May of 1999 in San Francisco. Set up by a mutual friend, we fell fast and furious for each other. We used to frequent a place called Zeitgeist and it is here where we both said je t'aime to each other for the first time. Four months later we found out I was pregnant. Sadly we lost the baby who we call "little" but we knew at this point we were meant to be together . We moved into a tiny apartment a block from Ocean Beach and planned our wedding. We were married 7 months later on June 16. 2000.
After a honeymoon in Mexico we packed a UHaul and left the city that watched us fall in love.
Here is a poem I wrote about JB the month I first met him.
An innocent meeting in an office bright Is when you first came into my sight. I know it sounds corny but yet it is true I never knew what love at first sight was until I met you.
You made my heart flutter my soul melt like butter We spoke or the first time and that was the sign.
I think you are the reason I have been looking so long I think you are the reason everything up until now has been wrong. -----------------------------
My decision to become a vegetarian over 15 years ago forced me to learn more about food and cooking. In order to get the proper nutrients I had to learn to eat more than pasta and cheese. I moved to VT in 1991 when I was a freshman at Southern Vermont College in Bennington VT. After college I moved up to the Stratton area. One of my many jobs was at a health food store in Londonderry. It was here where I learned so much more about food and natural health. I worked in the store during the day and at night I did prep cook work for the restaurant they owned next door. I loved going into the garden each evening and picking the editable flowers to add to each freshly made salad for the customers that night.
After a few years we grew tired of the resort life. I had just turned 21 and I craved music, nightlife and more creative energy so we headed north and settled in Burlington. Three or four years later I had an opportunity to move to CA and I took it. I spent 2 years there before moving back to Burlington after meeting and getting married in CA before we left. Tomorrow will be our 7 year wedding anniversary and 7 years since we moved to VT from CA.
Ever since we got here we have never really thought we would stay. Two children, a house and 7 years later we are still here and I finally feel like our roots are planted. Yesterday I was reminded of just why I love VT so much.
We joined our local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm share program the Intervale Community Farm. We did it with another farm a few years ago where we picked up our weekly veggies at a house in the neighborhood. This one is completely different. You actually go to the farm to get your share. So we pull up with the two kids and we thought there was a party going on. Kids everywhere playing together, climbing trees, and digging in the sandboxes. Watching adults sitting around conversing with each other and the kids playing just gave me this overwhelming sense of community. We picked up our share of food and also were lucky to pick our own strawberries and herbs on top of our share for that week. We stayed to let the kids play for a while. It was truly wonderful. The kids can't wait to go back.
VT has a huge "buy local" kick right now. Supporting these farmers through the csa programs, buying local products as much as possible is helping to add to VT economy. The other benefit is environmental. Why buy lettuce that has been trucked out from CA when you can buy it local? The taste difference is hands down undeniable. Of course the winter months can get tough to buy local veggies but a lot of these farms are also starting to offer winter shares to get carrots, squash etc throughout the winter.
I highly recommend seeing if your area offers a CSA farm share program. Not only are you getting super fresh food, you are also saving money and helping support the farmers. There are so many wonderful reasons why everyone should start thinking local. Help build a better community where you live.
Remember the neighbor hood ice cream truck? Well we have one in our neighborhood but I want to run out and throw rocks at it whenever it goes by. Why? Because for the past 5 years I have lived in this neighborhood we are on the suckiest route. That darn truck only drives by my house at dinner time or right before bed. Now I know I eat a lot earlier than most (6:00) and my kids go to be pretty early (7:00 & 8:00) but come on now. Is it too much to ask to get on a different route one time.
I am not big on the crap they sell in those things but my oldest is 5 1/2, it is summer and I would like to be able to indulge him once in a while. My poor kids hear the dumb music being played from the truck miles away and they jump from the dinner table or run to the window in the pj's to oogle at the truck.
One time a few weeks ago it managed to find its way down my street on a Saturday at around 2:00 in the afternoon. Our ears perked at the sound of the music, we dropped what we were doing and made a dash across the backyard, threw open the fence and flagged down the truck. Before I even gave my order the poor guy got an earful from me about how I think they should put some other streets on the night time shift and give us a break for once. Needless to say that was the one and only time we saw them during the day.
oh well - we don't need all that partially hydrogenated crap anyway.
This weekend started out right with an early morning yard sale adventure with two of my friends. There is this super funky neighborhood in our town that has a sale every year. If you are into funky, vintage items for some reason this street has it all. I usually hit the same house first. I hit the jackpot this year. It is the home to an artist who opens up her backyard studio and sells vintage clothing and nik naks. It picked up 6 pieces of clothing and a table cloth for $7.00. This new clothing came at the perfect time. JB and I were headed out on a date that night. To see our first movie at a theater together in 5 years.
My friend gave me movie tickets and a night of babysitting for my birthday. She is pregnant and due at the end of July so we decided to use the gift now before she give birth. I picked out my outfit from my new selection of clothing. It felt amazing to put on some new clothes and feel comfortable and new for my date. The evening was gorgeous. We had a drink before the movie. It felt so good to be out with JB.
The experience rejuvenated me. I have been feeling frazzled and burnt out. It is amazing what a new outfit and a night out can do to refuel you.
Well last night I performed at the Moms Who Rock show at Higher Ground. I was a wreck all day on Sunday. The nerves finally kicked in and I had butterflies all day. JB dropped me off at the venue at 5:00pm where I met up with the other 25 moms who were performing that night. You could see us all scanning the room trying to figure out who could really sing and who couldn't. We got the song order and I learned I would be #21 out of 25 performers. I was pretty bummed. We all took turns going up on stage to get a feel for the mic and the setting. I got a bit nervous when a few of the moms belted out a few notes to test the mic. Um yeah non professions - I think not.
So the show began. JB was there and a group of my friends. I felt a bit better as the show started and several people forgot lines and froze on stage. It made me realize everyone was in the same boat as me. That is until a few of the ladies got up and it was crystal clear these moms have sung in bands before (which was supposedly against the rules) they hit every word, hit every note perfectly and pretty much made me want to puke.
My turn finally came. I waited on the side of the stage as they announced me and read my bio. We were asked why we joined the Moms Who Rock competition. The announcer read my response which was "I want to prove that being a mother is more than playdates and playdough." I was pumped to go up on stage. Walking up the stairs and crossing the stage was the BEST feeling. The band started and I felt very comfortable. I got through my entire performance as I had practiced, didn't miss one word, BUT I sang it completely off key from the band. I knew it but I couldn't fix it and I just decided to give it my all. I was proud I went up there, proud I didn't mess up and freeze on stage. The singing (if you can call it that) was off but man did I rock out and have fun.
The evening ended when they called everyone up on stage to present the gifts that all the performers were getting. A brand new Shure microphone, manicure/pedicure, pot of flowers, gift card to Pizza Put, and a bag filled with soaps organic snacks and goodies. I felt like a winner. Three first place winners were chosen and they got a spa overnight in addition to all the goodies we got. Of course it was the three who obviously sang in bands before. They did a great job and deserve it of course but I did find it a bit irritating that people were allowed to perform who obviously were very experienced at playing with a band and being on stage. It just seemed to go against what it was supposed to be about.
See we never got to play with the band before last night. We were given a cd of the original recording of our song choice and that was it. We had to practice with the cd and then show up to play with a band doing their version of the song. I have never sung with a band before so I had no clue how to try to match them once I was into the song. I am done feeling embarrassed about it. The first time I watched back the video I cringed at the vocals. The second time I watched it I could see beyond the vocals and focus on my stage performance which freakin' rocked. I did look comfortable, I did rock out, I did look like I belonged there. I am going to take this opportunity to push myself harder, practice more, get back out on the open mic scene and keep rockin'.
All in all it was a very successful benefit for the Burlington Woman's Rape Crisis Center and that is what it was really all about. They are truly the winners. Someone at the event even gave a $1,000 check. Amazing!
**Thanks to everyone who came out for the show. The place was packed. Special thanks to my friends who came out to support me and the cause.
So Sunday is my big show. I will self promote for a minute here again - Sunday 7/3 at Higher Ground I will be participating in a benefit for the Women's Rape Crisis Center of Burlington. It is a called Moms Who Rock and you can read about it here.
So I am starting to get pretty nervous. I have performed only a few times. My first was in Highschool (which is my avatar pic right now) I played my guitar and sang a Sinead O'conner song. Funny huh. I went on to do two more events like that in college. After college I played at a weekly open mic in Southern Vermont at a place called the Red Fox. After moving to Burlington and having kids my playing generally stayed in the basement. I have only done one open mic since moving here (7 years ago). The other bit of important info is that I am not very good. I have been involved in music since picking up the clarinet for school band in middle school, finding the guitar in highschool and involved in chorus and select choir all through high school also. I have also been writing poetry and songs since elementary school and that has been my driving force to sing and play guitar. BUT I am not that good. I am just a person who has an inner drive to write and sing even though I know I will never try out for Americal Idol or anything. I just can't stop. It is what I do and it is what I have to keep doing.
So I am going into this performance on Sunday with an open mind. It is my first time ever singing with a band. It will be my first time and probably last time playing on the stage at Higher Ground. I mean what an opportunity right? That is why I had to jump at the chance. One of the many things that having children and aging has taught me is I can push away my fears a bit easier and just go for it. In an age of American Idol where people are expected to be perfect I just have to hold on to the hope that there are still a lot of great performers out there who have made who would never have even passed the first try out on American Idol.
I am not perfect but I have something to share with the world and nothing will stop me.