Thursday, June 28, 2012


I'm at the car wash.

My car is so dirty! I've been coming to this car wash since I moved to Long Beach 12 years ago. I can't believe I've lived here so long. They do a good job. The only thing I don't like is, they always do the Porsches and BMWs near the front, and my little Honda always seems to be parked off to the side. What, it's a nice car!

It's not the worst car here, either.

I always like pairing up people with their car. This is a nice area, so most of the people and their cars always seem fancy to me. There's an older black Mercedes sedan that I've tied to the woman sitting next to me. She's got frizzy brown hair, is wearing unfashionable but probably very expensive brown sandals, and drinking a small bottle of Fiji water. She has a nice beige leather handbag that would fit with my lifestyle quite well. She just pulled out a manilla folder with some sort of manuscript. It could be anything: I can't see it well enough to tell. I'm nosy but discreet! A contract, a play: anything. She has a pen out so who knows? Maybe she's editing her book. I seem to know a lot of writers these days.

As of yesterday I was pretty happy on my vacation but today feels a little bit like too much of a good thing. I had a dream that I went back to work today. Maybe I should. Except for the flip flops I could get away with this outfit in the office. Well, maybe I'd need a cardigan: my t-shirt is pretty casual. I wonder if new shoes would cure this feeling. I'm willing to try it. Patrick is too busy to have lunch with me. He had an interview yesterday and now has to catch up on a conference call for a meeting he missed.

My car was done faster than I expected so I never found out who the owner of the black Mercedes was. Somehow I will have to live without knowing.

Now I'm waiting for this guy to call me back. Last week when I went to the Apple store at the Cerritos mall, after telling me he couldn't replace my phone, Genius Nathan recommended that I check out this kiosk out in the mall. It just so happens they are opening a real store across the street where they replace screens, this week. The store is opening this week, was that clear? I just called the kiosk and the dude said he'd check with his manager to see if they're opening today or tomorrow. Either one works for me. Maybe foe a grand opening they'll have lower prices. I want to get this thing fixed without spending too much money on it.

Meanwhile I am self-medicating with the Talking Heads. Loud. The only thing that sucks about having a clean car is you have to wait too long to roll down the windows. I need the wind in my hair now.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Hello from... home!

Starting last Thursday, I have been off from work. In a great big blowout of vacation time, I decided to use all my accrued time and take off for a week. A week plus one day. It has been, in a word, awesome. I miss not one thing related to work at all.

Last Thursday night was the flute choir concert. Fun night! My favorite piece was called Songs of the Ocean, by a Japanese composer named Hirose. I was lucky enough to get the flute 1 part alone, and I have to say, that flute 1 part and I were kind of made for each other (when I've been practicing). Hey, I have to say it: I know what I'm good at, and it's stuff that's romantic and floaty and possibly Japanese-sounding. It was a lot of fun to play.

I'm still looking for a good recording of it; for now, you can read a thrilling (?) description, here. Depending on how in tune we were, I might post a recording later. Check back at later. I'm sure I will mention it if/when that happens.

We also played Schubert (fun!), something called Mock Morris (with two piccolos! Me and Paula kicked butt on that one!), and a totally dorky arrangement of "Baby Elephant Walk." Guess which one my dad loved the best? Still, I love that he's been coming to these concerts lately; my sister and mom babysat the baby for me, and he chose to come to the concert instead of staying home to play with him. And the fun part of Baby Elephant was my friend Carol played the drums (abandoning her flute temporarily). Inside every flutist is a drummer, I guess!

After the concert I got to visit with some old friends, and since Patrick and his band were at a gig in Bakersfield and wouldn't be home until late, JP and I stayed overnight in Culver City. That was pretty cool, too. I miss you, Culver City!

Oh, and at some point on Thursday night, I dropped my iPhone on the hard cement floor in the girls' room at Farragut, but we won't be talking about that right now.

Saturday, we went to a graduation party for my niece, who kicked butt at her K-8 Catholic school and has been promoted to one of the local Catholic High Schools. Man, I can't believe she's growing up. Her mom was pregnant with her at my bridal shower!

Dude, I've been married for a long time!

Sunday I spent with my friends at a recital. I played a trio with Megan and Patrick, two recent high school graduates, students of my (former) flute teacher. They did a great job, as did all the other performers. I had the easiest stuff to play, and I have to say, I was pretty awestruck by all the performances. Megan played a gorgeous solo that I can't remember the name of (but I loved the piece), and she played a duet with my friend Marilyn that knocked me out.

Everybody sounded so grown up and so good that I was totally inspired. I think I need some more flute playing in my life. I like that I can recognize that. I have no idea how I'm going to make more time for it, but I will try.

On Monday we went to the beach with our friends Sean and Teresa, and their little daughter, who will soon be 1. It was JP's first trip to the beach, but after discovering that that beach is one of the most polluted beaches in all of Southern California, we all decided to stay on the sand. And thus, eye and ear infections were avoided by all. Still, we had a great time. Patrick and Sean got sunburned (kind of everywhere), I got a weird patch of redness on my left thigh only, and the kids, who were better protected, had no redness whatsoever. It was a beautiful day.

Yesterday I relaxed, slept in (8:30! Just think: two years ago, if I had to get up at 8:30 I would've been all, WTF!? This is not sleeping in!), rode my bike around town, and generally enjoyed myself immensely. Today has pretty much been a repeat of same. I wanted to ride my bike, and I'm so glad I have. I didn't go on any long rides (I rode about 8 miles total each day, which is nothing), but I did have fun running my errands on the bike instead of using the car.

My car sits, unused and dirty, in the exact same place I parked it Sunday. Or maybe it was Saturday. I can't remember. I like that so much.

Last night we visited with my brother-in-law and his wife and kids. It was my nephew's birthday, so we had cupcakes and ice cream. JP played with my niece pretty hard, and fell asleep on the way home, even through a trip to WalMart for kitty food (he and I waited in the car). Then, some kind of miracle happened, because in spite of a 3 hour nap at daycare, he then proceeded to sleep in his crib without waking up until 2 a.m.

That's kind of amazing. And, when he woke up at 2, all that I needed to do was nurse him a little bit, and he went right back to sleep, in his crib, until 6 a.m.

Fingers crossed that it wasn't a fluke!

Tomorrow night Patrick has another gig (not so far away this time, though), and we're starting summer flute choir... so I am considering another Culver City sleepover at my mom and dad's with the baby. He had a good time, and it worked out so nicely last time (the only bad thing: the bed in the spare room at my mom and dad's house has a mattress harder than the back seat of some cars I've been in. No, not lately. Do with that information what you will).

Anyway, I've done a lot of exactly what I wanted to do: ride my bike, read, talk to my friends, play my flute, and eat good food. I cleaned the kitchen this morning, and now it's time for me to straighten up the living room and vaccuum. I'm in the middle of laundry. One thing I haven't done, and I'm kind of proud of myself, is watch a bunch of TV.

I may or may not check in again before I go back to work, so adios for now!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


You guys should all know by now about my involvement with City Garage Theatre. I'm not a performer there (well, sort of not... I was in two plays but that was a long time ago and I'm certainly not an actor), but I worked in the light and sound booth (and will again). It's funny, I had lunch with the director about a month ago, and we were talking to this woman she knows who owns a shop on Main Street in Santa Monica. FM introduced me to the woman as their "light and sound booth operator." The woman happens to have a daughter who does that for a living, and she asked me some technical questions that I don't even remember now but at the time I was all flustered.

I had to answer, "Frederique and Charles have cleverly worked it out so that my training makes me uniquely qualified to only work with them. I wouldn't know the first thing about any other light/sound booth." It was kind of funny because I answered her very properly (we'd all been sort of fooling around and talking casually, playing with the baby, laughing at the weird pig masks she had behind the counter. She was a nice lady). Everyone laughed.

Isn't that weird? Maybe I would know the first thing, but there I go again, not feeling very capable, kind of putting myself down. And, it can't be very hard and probably would be really interesting to learn how to really work a light/sound booth. I mean, as opposed to just hitting "go" and "play." Unless that really is all that's involved, in which case, I am a pro, but I kind of doubt it. I might ask Charles to teach me more next time, if there's time (there usually isn't time).

So, it's been awhile since that happened; I've been thinking about it off and on ever since.

But, that's not what this post is about.

Last night I had a dream that instead of building a super cushy new booth (ha ha) for me in the new space, Charles built me an... orchestra pit. And Frederique put me in charge of hiring an orchestra for the show they were doing (I don't know what the play was). It would be totally cool to have an orchestra and a pit in the new space, but a little... unrealistic.

I don't know who the other musicians were (random dream musicians, apparently) but I hired my friend, bassist Jeff Schwartz. The conductor was my flute teacher/flute choir leader Patty Sikorski. And me. I hired me, because I saw me in the pit with my flute.

I've been in pits with my flute as a semi-professional musician, and it's a lot of fun. I'm mostly fine with the fact that I never earned a college degree in music or worked more as a musician, but sometimes... once in a while... I wonder about it. I mean, then I remember that I'm pretty lazy, a terrible hustler, and not that interested in teaching, so I think ultimately not being a professional musician was a good choice, leaving me to love playing for the sheer joy of playing... right (even to me that sounds a little bullshit-ty)? Oh, well. Too late now, I guess. I should just think about my great pay, 4 day work week, retirement and benefits instead.

Anyway, back to my dream: there was a rehearsal in the pit, and then me and Jeff went for yogurt at some yogurt shop next to the theater afterwards. Is there at yogurt shop at Bergamot Station? There was in my dream. I've never eaten yogurt with Jeff Schwartz. I've never, I don't think, eaten anything with Jeff Schwartz. So I guess that's what dreams are, right?

Maybe next time I can dream about flying or Stewart Copeland, or flying with Stewart Copeland or something. No offense, Jeff, I'm sure getting yogurt with you would be awesome, but maybe I need to dream a little bigger. I mean, if we really wanted to, that's an event that could actually happen, right? No big deal.

So. Note to self: dream bigger.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

100 Questions. Because you are a glutton for punishment, and because I am not prepared to write anything else today.

Taken from here. Not a blog I read on a regular basis, but she seems like fun, no?

Are you young at heart, or an old soul?
I am definitely young at heart. Foolishly young at heart. Do with that information what you will.

What makes someone a best friend?
They stick around.

What Christmas (or Hanukkah) present do you remember the most?
My blue and white bike. I think I was 8 or 9. It had a white banana seat with blue flowers on it, a white basket, tassles on the handlebars, and was just all kinds of awesome.

Tell me about a movie/song/tv show/play/book that has changed your life.
The World According to Garp, by John Irving. I read it way too young - I was maybe 12 or 13? Awesome book. Thank you John Irving! Now, I'm not enjoying his most recent book all that much, but I'm thinking one of us needs to try harder.

Name one physical feature that you like about yourself, and one you dislike.
My stomach. Obviously this is one that I dislike. Have you seen my stomach lately? No, and you won't see it, either. On top of having a baby, I just never had a great tummy; baby didn't help anything.

I like my mouth. And my beauty mark.

Would you like to reconnect with any friends you’ve lost contact with?
Some of them. Thanks to Facebook, I have a relationship with some people I'd like to know again, in a closer way, but time and distance keep that from happening. And there are some people who I've reconnected with in just the absolute perfect way. There are others who I think are better as fond (or not-so-fond) memories.

Name a movie that you knew would be terrible just from reading the title.
"What to Expect When You're Expecting;" any Adam Sandler or Will Ferrell movie; any movie with the word "Medea" in the title.

What holiday do you most look forward to?
Thanksgiving. Food paradise.

How is the relationship between you and your parents.
Fine. They are great grandparents.

You’ve got the TV on, but you’re not really watching.
This so rarely happens anymore. I love TV! If it's on, it means the baby is asleep and I'm into it!

What channel is the TV on?
Usually a cooking show, or Patrick is watching Pawn Stars. Occasionally we watch music concerts. And then we watch a lot of Sprouts. I suspect that Patrick has a crush on one of the cute young women who host those shows. Those chicks are hot; I suspect that's why they hire them. I'm sure the kids don't really notice but the daddies sure do!

Name a song that never fails to make you happy.
Just one? Silly you.

Mr. Blue Sky, by Electric Light Orchestra
My Sweet Lord, by George Harrison
New Toy, by Lene Lovich
Love is the Drug, by Roxy Music
Another Time, by Adrian Belew
Big Eyed Beans from Venus, by Captain Beefheart
Science Fiction, by Divinyls
Away, by Meat Puppets
Naive Melody by Talking Heads
Breathless, by X
Into Your Arms, by the Lemonheads

Almost any fIREHOSE song
Lots and lots of Radiohead songs

You know at least one person named Michael. Tell me about him.
He's a comedian, and a newly published author. We met at Rizzoli Bookstore in Santa Monica; he was a clerk, I was one of the managers. He's way smart, super funny, and he thinks I'm funny too. Thinks I can write! What can I say? Someone who is a comedian and who laughs at my lame jokes is a prince.

Have you ever read the “missed connections” on Craigslist? Have you ever posted one, or wanted to?
I read it once, a long time ago. It actually made me a little sad.

If you could pick anywhere to live the rest of your life, where would it be?
I like where I am, but it is a dream of mine to move back to Culver City. On the other hand, on a trip to Portland with Patrick, we kind of fell in love with one of the residential neighborhoods we explored (I can't remember what the area was called but it was near the Kennedy School). There might be better neighborhoods in Portland, but that one grabbed our imagination. I don't know if moving that far away would ever happen, though, or if I would really want to.

Can money buy happiness?
Probably not, but wouldn't it be fun to try to find out?
(everyone answers this one this way!)

Do you drink? Smoke? Do drugs? Why, or why not?
I drink a beer or two now and then. I like beer.
I quit smoking about 8 years ago. It was gross, and it will kill you. And as a flutist, what a dumb thing to do. Once in a great while I miss it. I liked having something to do with my hands, and I liked the way the paper smelled.
The only drugs I do are allergy medicine, Advil, and caffeine. I'm a new coffee drinker, and I'm in love with it. Milk and honey: perfection. I also love my Diet Cokes.

Is there anyone close to you that you know you can’t trust? You don’t have to give names.
Not anymore.

Where was your favorite place to go when you were a little kid?
My uncle Alfredo's house. He lived in a huge house that had all these interesting places to hide and play. Also, he was very creative and had lots of cool stuff (like found art that he would put together, or his girlfriend Helen's artwork). And my cousins were super cool and fun to visit, too. His girlfriend Helen's house in Santa Monica was awesome too: she was an artist, and her home was a converted church. Really neat, loving, exciting people.

Have you ever spent a night in the hospital?
When I had my baby, we spent two nights in the hospital. I didn't want to go home! The nurses were super sweet, and I loved being pampered. Then a couple of months later, I had to have surgery on my breast when I got a pretty bad infection/mastitis. I didn't technically spend the night there but I was there for what felt like a very long time.

Do you enjoy being with only one or two friends, or with a large group of people?
I am much better with one or two friends. I get a little overwhelmed in large groups of people.

Do you like the type of music your parents listen to? Do your parents like the type of music you listen to?
Not really! My mom listens mainly to Christian music, and Country. My dad likes Country too, but he also likes his "oldies", which I do enjoy. My mom always worried that the music I listened to would invite "satan" into my brain. Yes. That is a true statement.

Have you ever been bullied? Have you ever bullied anyone else?
Yeah, I've been bullied, but it's not worth talking about. I don't know if I was really a "bully." I was probably not very nice to some kids at certain points in my life.
If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
I don't think I could do that or would want to.

If your partner wanted to wait until marriage before having sex, would you stay in that relationship?
I'm going to not answer this one. I guess that sounds like my answer would be "no" but who knows? It's not an issue now.

Do you believe in a god?
I don't know. I think so. Here's what I do know, and I'm going to quote Bono: "The god I believe in isn't short of cash, mister." I don't believe in a god that requires funding, or would exclude anyone. I don't believe in the rules that people always get all caught up in. I'm still kind of working this one out. I don't believe that what I believe or what you believe is necessarily what everyone else should believe.

Of all the social networks in the world, why use twitter.
It's fun, once in awhile.

What’s your favorite hashtag to track?
Stewart Copeland, of course. Actually, I don't really track any hashtags. I don't have that kind of time.

Would you call yourself/your family “middle class?”
Now, sure. When I was growing up, no.

Name a TV series you didn’t enjoy until after it ended.
The West Wing. Beverly Hills, 90210.

Have you ever bought a product from an infomercial?
Not ordered from the TV, but I have bought stuff at the "as seen on TV" store. I like that citrus stuff for the laundry. Mostly, though, that stuff is crap.

If you could give up your car and never have to drive again, would you?
YES. If only the places I needed to go were bike-able, or if public transportation was easier to use!

If you go back to one point in time to give advice to yourself, when would you go and what would you say?
Probably my early 20s. Here's what I would say: There are things you want to do but you are afraid: go for it anyway. You have nothing to lose. Literally. You are braver and stronger and more capable than you think.

What’s your “quirkiest” habit?
I write letters in a public place (on a blog) to Stewart Copeland, and I address him as if he and I were actually friends. I like to pretend that I am friends with him! He has never responded. Poor me! I'll keep doing it anyway. Maybe one day he will!

What is “normal?” Are you normal?
I don't know what normal is. Yes. No.

Someone close to you is dying. You have the choice to let this person live for 10 more years, but if you do, you cause the death of 10 strangers. You don’t have to see them die. Do you take the offer?
I don't want to think about this. Sorry.

What is one thing you could never forgive?
I don't know. I tend to forgive everything. If I love you, I love you. And I have a terrible memory.
Forget I said that.

Would you rather be in a relationship after the honeymoon period ends, or be single?
Relationship. There are always things to work on.

Is it possible for guys and girls to be just friends?

Where do you and your friends go to hang out?
We don't really hang out anymore. Life is not "Friends," or "Cheers."

Write the first sentence of your obituary.
Irene Palma, the youngest, prettiest, third wife of Stewart Copeland, was found dead today. She had a big smile on her face.

This is a joke. Because Fiona Copeland is gorgeous and could probably kick my ass? Yes.

What is the best TV theme song ever?
Ummmm... Alice? What was the name of the show that Valerie Bertinelli was on? I liked that one.

When you were young, what would you dream you would be when you grew up?
A mail carrier. True story.

When you’re alone in your own home, do you walk around naked?
Sure. Alone? I do it when Patrick is around too. What do I care? Nobody can see, and anyway, who else wants to look at me? My house has lots of windows but they mostly face the backyard. It's easy enough to do and we have plenty of privacy. I guess when JP gets older I'll have to cool it, though.

What gets you out of bed in the morning?
The alarm. The baby. The knowledge that I have to go out and earn a living.

Do you want to have more friends than you have right now?
I'd like more time to spend with the friends I have.

What part of the past year sticks out in your mind?
March 31, 2012. Private memory.

You win a scratch-off lottery game that gives you $2000 a week (after taxes) for the rest of your life. Do you keep your job?
Hell no. But wait, can I get another job, later? I would probably need to work again at some point, right? Part-time mail carrier sounds like the perfect job.

Could you be in a long-distance relationship? If you’re in one, what makes yours work?
I don't think so, but it's not really an issue, nor is it likely to ever be an issue.

What’s the best route to your heart?
A sense of humor. A willingness to share everything. Love.

Have you ever met someone through the internet, then met them in real life?

What is your favorite sport?
I don't really have a favorite sport. I'm not all that interested in sports. I like to ride bikes but I'm not very knowledgeable about it or interested in it as "sport."

What has been troubling you lately?
Distance. Time travel. My right hip.

Did you enjoy your high school prom? If you haven’t gotten there yet, do you look forward to it? If you didn’t go, why not?
Not really. My prom was populated by the popular people, of which I was not one. Being around those people made me very uncomfortable. It would've been better if I'd felt my own value a little more as a teenager. It was fun to get all dressed up and to go with Adam, because being with Adam was almost always fun, but I was pretty miserable when forced to look beyond his face. We should've gone out somewhere else, instead.

What do you use more often: your intuition or logical reasoning?
Probably intuition. I'm not super logical. I'm totally ruled by my heart, actually. Well, maybe not totally, but enough.

Do you know what makes you happy?
Yes. No, I'm not going to tell you. Well, I will tell you one thing: my adorable, sweet, beautiful boy makes me very happy. There are other things but he's the best.

Tell me about the last book you read.
I finally finished "The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao," by Junot Diaz. I liked it a lot but it was very sad.

What is the nicest compliment you’ve ever been given?
Recently, a high school kid told me the other day that he really loved my flute playing. I liked what I had played, and I had tried to make it beautiful, so I was glad that he was moved to tell me that. Someone else once told me that they thought that I "don't take any shit." I liked that though I'm not sure it's true. Another person once told me that I had beautiful eyes, and while I also find that one hard to believe (because my eyes are crossed and weird), it was said in a totally believable way, in a totally romantic situation. I want to believe!
Who was your first crush?
I have had lots of crushes! I think the first one was Jeremy. Kindergarten.

Do you believe that there is life on other planets?
I don't know. It's fun to think about but I have no idea. I guess that's a no. Or maybe it's a yes.

Predict what your life will look like a year from now.
JP will hopefully be potty trained. Other than that, I have no idea. Chances are it will look a lot like it does right now. That's mostly OK.

Often, people will ask how your last relationship ended. I want to know how it began.
We met when I was a 16 or 17 year old page at the library. He was probably 21 or 22, way too old for me, a library assistant. He had a crush on me, which was intriguing, because that rarely happened, but he was toooooooo old, and I had a boyfriend. We were friends for a long time, and he was patient.

Where is your favorite place to go out and eat?
Fatburger. La Casita Mexicana. Enrique's.

What is something you want to change about your current situation?
I'd like to get more than 3, 4 hours of sleep at a time. I'd like more opportunites to play my flute, ride my bike, read, cook.

Early bird or night owl?
Unfortunately right now I am both. The kid keeps us up, and then wakes up bright and early, Mr. Happy.

Are there any childhood possessions you still hold on to?
I have my first Yamaha flute, which was actually my sister's. Hopefully one day JP would like to play it but it will require a bit of an overhaul before that's possible. I'm pretty good at giving up crap, though, so I don't have a lot of stuff.
Give me an unpopular opinion you have.
A lot of "alpha mom"-types are advising me that it's time to let JP "cry it out" so that he will sleep on his own. I totally do not believe in this. Neither does Patrick. Not going to happen.

What was the last song that was stuck in your head?
New Toy, by Lene Lovich! Oh ay oh! It's still in there!!!

Where do you live? Be as general or specific as you want.
In the smallest house on the nicest street we could afford. It's green, with a pretty Chinese magnolia tree in front.

Do you believe in giving kids medals and trophies for participation?
I don't know. I'll let you know as JP gets older and this starts happening. I think we got certificates and stuff for getting involved, but depending on the age of the kid, it seems like a medal or a trophy just for showing up is sending the wrong message.

What was the longest car ride you’ve ever taken?
Drew and I drove to Oregon once, in the snow. It was fun. A long, long time ago.

Have you ever taken part in a protest?

Would you ever use an online dating service?

What is your ethnic heritage?
Mexican-American. More American!

Describe a person that inspires you.
Excited by life. Open. Relaxed.

If you earn minimum wage doing what you love, would you?
If I only had myself to worry about, I might consider it. But as this is not the case, nor can it ever be again, no.

Do you believe in luck?

Describe the last time you were very angry at someone.
I don't know if I can describe it. It's personal. It got worked out. I think I wasn't so much angry, as disappointed and sad.

Do you want to live until you’re 100?
I don't really want to consider that one day I will die. But...

Do people change? If so, how do you keep a relationship together when both of you start to change?
Yes, people change. You have to want it, and work on it.

Have you ever risked a friendship by telling someone you liked them?
Yes. Multiple times. It usually worked out one way or another.

Would you rather be alone doing something you enjoy, or doing something you don’t like with your best friends?
What a sad question. Right this second I'd rather be with my friends. I guess it depends on what the thing is.

Do you practice what you preach?
I try really hard. I suspect that as JP gets older this will be more important.

If you take precautions to stay safe, do you ultimately act more recklessly?
I can be reckless. Dude, reckless is fun. On the other hand, I absolutely refuse to jaywalk. Jaywalking is stupid.

What do you value more in a significant other: Attractiveness or intelligence?
If I love you, I love you. I think you're attractive based on that.

Are you hard-headed?
I don't think so. Maybe you should ask Patrick.

Have you ever laughed uncontrollably when it was socially inappropriate?
Yes. Uncontrollable laughing is so much fun. Except when it ends in pee.

When have you felt most alive?
I don't know... Maybe during the last solo I performed, which was in December 2010. I was 8-1/2 months pregnant. It wasn't the greatest performance (I made a big mistake; my breathing was wacky; and I was not as in tune as I thought it was); but, all that said: it was the most exciting, most emotional performance I've ever given. I may have been hormonal, but I really felt like I was giving it everything I could give. I can't listen to that solo without tearing up. I felt like I was really doing my best.

Would you prefer to live? A city? The suburbs? The countryside? The mountains?
I would love to find out if I prefer the city to the suburbs. I think I would but I don't know, as I've never lived in a city.

Do you often skip breakfast?
Breakfast lately has been a big cup of coffee and a cookie. Does that count as not skipping breakfast?

How do you know what true love is?
You know.

Would you want to know the exact date and time you were going to die?
It's enough to know that that day is going to come eventually. I'd rather not think about it.

Where is “home” for you?
My little green house.

What song best describes your life right now?
Another Time, by Adrian Belew. Just a gorgeous song.

Do you want to be perfect?
I realize that it's impossible. Doesn't stop me from thinking about it.

What have you never tried, but would really like to someday? What’s holding you back?
Oh, lots and lots of things. What holds me back is easy: fear.

How do you express your creativity?
Musically, writing. I'm not as good at those things as I wish I was, but I could never give either one of them up.

Describe your neighborhood.
Quiet. Safe.

Name something you only liked because it was popular.
This is a funny question. Um... fluorescent colored clothes. When was that? 6th grade?

Give me the story of your life in six words.
Who would have ever thought I could be a mom? Wait, is that ten words? Are you still there?

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Meme - Rule of 7

I'm not feeling particularly creative today (my eyes are so red from allergies, I'm sure my co-workers think I've been stoned since Monday. Tom Petty on the iPod isn't helping. What this has to do with feeling creative, I do not know) but I wanted to blog today, so I ripped this off from here. Enjoy.

Seven things that scare me:
  1. Spiders, slugs, snails, potato bugs
  2. Alien invasion (spiders, slugs, snails, potato bugs...)
  3. The ocean (namely, being blind like I am, and hit by a wave, dragged out to sea and drowning; also, creatures in the ocean that look like spiders, slugs, snails, potato bugs)
  4. Some of the crazy music that Patrick makes and/or listens to; the artwork that accompanies some of the crazy music that Patrick makes and/or listens to
  5. Falling from a great height
  6. Speaking in front of large groups of people, particularly at work
  7. The day that my laptop dies (it could be soon) and I lose my iTunes library (everything else is backed up on Dropbox). I have an external drive that I've backed up to but not recently. Yes, I need to do it. No, I don't have time right now.
Seven things I like:
  1. Adrian Belew, the Talking Heads, Radiohead, X... music in general, these guys in particular right now, very much
  2. The song "Bears" by Lyle Lovett (surprise! Betcha didn't see that one coming!)
  3. Hugs and kisses, especially from my beautiful boy!
  4. Long bike rides
  5. Fitting into smaller jeans and pants for the first time in probably 10 years
  6. Buying shoes (um... I LOVE buying shoes!)
  7. Massages, facials, pedicures, lip gloss, eyebrow waxing: all these so-called "girlie" things that I never thought I would enjoy, but I do
Seven random facts about me:
  1. I love the show "The Big Bang Theory" - I crack up, while Patrick sits there, totally unimpressed, wondering when "Pawn Stars" is on again
  2. I have a little patch of freckles on my left shoulder, and a few on my face (with my complexion, that's a little unexpected). This was recently pointed out by my esthetician, who quickly said that they were "cute," and didn't look overtly "age-related." Um, thanks?
  3. I love the swings at the park
  4. I like to redesign parking lots in my head
  5. I don't like strangers talking about Jesus to me
  6. I'm better at relaxing than I thought I was
  7. I've worked in the light/sound booth at City Garage more times than anyone, ever. Of this I am proud. Can you tell?
Seven things I want to do before I die:
  1. Learn how to drive a motorcycle (is "drive" the right word? Obviously I have some lingo to learn too)
  2. Take a bike tour of Europe
  3. Sleep more than 2 hours in a row
  4. Eat a meal, have a conversation with Stewart Copeland
  5. Write a song
  6. Remodel my house
Seven things I can do well:
  1. Organize my desk
  2. Make Ina Garten's Cranberry Conserve
  3. Drive
  4. Play the flute
  5. Worry
  6. Soothe my boy
  7. Get lost in a book and/or music, sometimes at the same time
Seven things I can't do but wish I could:
  1. Time travel
  2. Write a story that other people would want to read (blogging doesn't count)
  3. See without glasses
  4. Apply makeup
  5. Buy, wear jewelry
  6. Sing
Seven phrases I'm known to use:
  1. "Dear Stewart,"
  2. (not a euphemism)
  3. Then again...
  4. On the other hand,
  5. That's/you're awesome/rad/delicious
  6. Fucking shit!
  7. Holy cow!

Cool vimeo about City Garage

Watch first, then read.

Hey, guys,

Your donation will enable Charles to build me a totally rad new booth. I'm picturing a plush new stool, cup holder, crib for the baby...

Wait, what? My comfort is not the point of all this...?!

Seriously, any help at all would be greatly appreciated. City Garage does awesome work and deserves to thrive in 2012 and beyond. You should know that almost everyone involved with City Garage, myself included, donates their time. We don't get paid to do this: it's an act of love and we take pride in the work we do. That work has been honored and rewarded time and time again: clearly we're doing something right.


- Irene

Monday, June 4, 2012

What I had for lunch: Anoushka Shankar

On my way back from picking up lunch today (Subway, as usual, but with a twist: got the oven roasted chicken breast on flatbread with bacon and avocado; needless to say it was delicious. Thank you, bacon, I'm so glad you and I are friends again), I caught a story on KPCC's show "The World" about Anoushka Shankar and her new album, "Traveller." Yes, those double L's bug me but I'll get over it. I ended up sitting in the car listening to it after I got back to my office.

For those of you who don't know who she is, Anoushka Shankar is the daughter of Ravi Shankar, and a musician herself. I like Indian music but I know very little about it; I only know who she is because of my fondness for "Concert for George" (the Indian music portion makes me cry every time I watch it, also her duet with Jeff Lynne on "The Inner Light" is gorgeous). I've heard a little more of her dad's recordings (and once we saw him at Disney Hall, which would've been awesome, except I bought us seats in the "Orchestra View" section, which seemed like a great idea, right? Except those seats were murder on our backs and behinds.) She's beautiful and talented, and probably wouldn't be down with what I ate for lunch, and that's about all I can tell you.

Anyway, she has a new album coming out, and it marries traditional Indian music with modern flamenco music. In typical NPR fashion, the story caught me from the second it started (they played about 2 seconds worth of the music before the guy started talking - I was sort of daydreaming while listening to "The World," which I've stopped listening to on a regular basis because it seems to me, and yes, I know that I'm probably wrong, that the stories are all depressing, about rape or genocide, and I'm sorry, I like to be informed, I really do, but lunchtime is just not the moment for me, for those topics. That sentence, it lost its way... Anyway, I had it on because I have been listening too much to too many songs about love [current favorite, on repeat, "Another Time" by Adrian Belew], so I decided I'd better get some news in me. Instead I got this story, and I was glad.

The story was really interesting, mostly because they interviewed Anoushka and she talked about her music herself. She sounds incredibly knowledgeable, and I bet I'd be intimidated by her in person, but she also sounds like a natural teacher and boy does she love music. I like when you can hear that in a person's voice and by the things they say. I'm not the most intelligent talker (and possibly thinker) about music (this sentence and a few others in this post prove this) and I can't always say what I feel very well, but she can, and does.

(The World doesn't seem to have a link to this story yet on their website. I'll keep an eye out for it for you.)

My favorite part of the story was at the end, when she mentioned that both flamenco and Indian music have a strong connection to dancing. I knew that about flamenco, because I'm not (some of my writing to the contrary) an idiot, but I didn't know it about Indian music. They took the time to record dancers and included those sounds. I think that drummers in general and my husband in particular will really enjoy those parts, because the dancing sounds like a really fast double-bass drum - it has that rapid fire, machine gun quality that Patrick likes in music, and while I know that it's a dancer and not a machine gun, the juxtaposition with the totally awesome liquid-y music really got my attention.

They also played clips of her playing sitar with a pianist that is just jaw dropping gorgeous.

Anyway, go ahead and check it out when you get a chance. The album doesn't come out until the 19th (I think; I can't get the website to load all of a sudden, so I'll have to verify that for you later, too). I'm pretty sure I'll be getting it. For now I'm going to put on my earphones and listen to Concert for George.