Monthly Archives: August 2010

“Well Done.”

My dad’s memorial was about as fun as a funeral can be. My brother gave a speech that made me so proud, his friends John and Mark spoke and it was touching, and his cousins Danny and Bill told childhood stories that had the whole place cracking up. I saw so many people I haven’t seen in years, maybe even decades. People from our old church, my old private school, most of our neighborhood, my brother’s in-laws, etc. I met my Grandma’s stepbrother for the first time!

Lots of my friends came, including some who had never even met my dad, and that was beyond touching. My kindergarten BFF Jane managed to venture outdoors with an awful cold/flu/bug and it meant so much to me and my mom. (Hope you’re feeling better, Jane!) Graham had a fu manchu that would’ve made my dad proud. Peter brought pictures of his baby to cheer me up (and it worked!).

I really wanted to work his favorite song, “Gimme Shelter”, into the ceremony, but … well, it was at a church and they probably wouldn’t have appreciated the lyrics on page 4.

I used to always joke that my dad would be late to his own funeral, and my mom and brother were running pretty late so I guess I was right. My mom had put together this great slideshow of pictures and we didn’t even get to see it because they played it while everyone was sitting down. I’ll try to make a Facebook album of it or something.

We cried a little during the ceremony, especially during the hymns (I lost it during “Amazing Grace”; how cliché) but mostly we laughed. I got to walk my teeny tiny grandma down the aisle and I was happy to do it. Afterwards lots of people stayed for cake and it was so great to see everyone. I wish it was appropriate to take pictures during something like that, you know?

My niece had her first non-family babysitter ever and did awesome. I was really proud of her and glad my brother could show her off. I know I’m a little biased but she’s the cutest baby I’ve ever seen. I’m willing to bet even my future kids won’t be that cute. (But don’t tell them I said that.)

Today we’re going to spread some ashes at the family cabin in Cuba. During everyone’s speeches, they talked so much about Cuba and Arizona and it made me so happy that I insisted on spreading them. I don’t know when I’ll make it to Arizona, but it was my dad’s dream to make it there and I’m going to get him there if it kills me.

My family is in town for one more week (and Justin’s family is coming to town this weekend, too) so eventually I’ll get back out into the world to see all my friends. I miss you guys.

During the long talk that my dad had with Justin, he said that he didn’t know what love really was until the last two years of his life. After last night, I kind of feel the same way. I hope my funeral is that hilarious.

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Filed under Sam I Am

You Came Jumpin’ Out After Me

I know I’m about a year late for this, but I am wildly in love with Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros.

Compared to other people I know, especially a certain hoosier I like to kiss, I am not a music person. Don’t get me wrong, I love music, I just don’t actively seek out new stuff. I don’t go to shows, I don’t have a computer to click around and find stuff, I rarely investigate when a band gets hyped on the Internet, etc.

I think Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Mates of State, Lykke Li, Polyphonic Spree, LCD Soundsystem and Gogol Bordello are the only bands that I’ve really latched onto in the past decade. But I’m pretty sure Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros will be in that category soon, too.

I’ve heard that their shows are like big tent revivals, which is the right thing to say to someone who had a childhood like mine.

For me, finding a band I love has to feel like fate. I can’t force myself into it. I hear so much about bands like The Black Keys and Arcade Fire and I’m sure I would love them, but that isn’t enough to get me to explore them. I have to stumble across it accidentally, and it has to match my environment and my life and my moods exactly. Like Gogol Bordello and Mates of State – their sounds are adventurous and magical, and that was my 2007 in a nutshell.

A couple weeks ago, I tearfully told Justin about how much I would miss my mom’s house when she sold it. I lived there for 25 years. Aside from five years of apartments and a semester abroad, it’s the only home I’ve ever had. I can survive without living there, but the idea of it not being ours anymore is horrifying to me.

When I told him this, we were laying on my boxspring in the room he emptied out, the room where we’ll live in two months. And we realized out loud that from now on, home is wherever he is and wherever I am. That made the situation feel like less of a loss, and more of a gain.

So imagine stumbling across this song a week after that conversation. It also includes my favorite instrument, which is happy shouting by 10+ band members. So it hits the right notes in every respect. THAT, my friends, is how you become my new favorite band.

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Filed under Pop Goes The Culture

#1 Fan, You Guys

I forgot to post this a few weeks ago but dear God, I love Janet:

Janet once told me that, “You and Justin are like my fantasy couple if couples were like fantasy football.” I think every couple (except crazy-disaster ones) should have a #1 Fan. I nominate myself for Jen and Ron!

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Every Band In Brooklyn Is Jealous

Somewhere under that mop is my niece. She owns me for the next two weeks:

P.S. Not to brag but she stands up and reaches for me now! EEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

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Half a Million!

LOOK AT MY HITS, Y’ALL LOOK LOOK:

500,000 hits over the course of 6 years and some change? It isn’t monumental or impressive in the Grand Scheme of the Internet, but it’s feels pretty damn rewarding for a little spaz like me. I used to get 5 hits a day, and now I average about 500. What on earth?

This feels like it deserves some sort of nerdy speech, but (a) I do that every day and (b) I wrote the mother of all entries when I celebrated the 5 Year Anniversary last summer.

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Filed under Almost Famous

The Plague

Lately I’ve been hearing a lot of cicadas outside (and finding molted bodies stuck to yard bags). This confuses me a little because I thought the 13-year cicadas weren’t due for another year. Are these a different brand? Or do they live for a couple years? Have I just been living too far away from the woods to remember these things?

I know for a fact that the 13-year cicadas aren’t due until 2011 because in 1998, St. Louis had a Biblical plague of the 13-year AND 17-year cicadas – an occurrence more rare than Haley’s Comet.

Do you guys remember that summer? Cicadas would fly into your hair every day. If you left your car window open, there would be at least 3 dead ones on your dashboard in the morning, guaranteed. Sunbathers would have to suffer through multiple kamikaze attacks.

Pranks began to emerge involving the piles (yes, piles) of dead bugs. Every outdoor surface had a crispy cicada shell attached to it, usually removed with a flick. There was an extra crunch in everyone’s step. Did you know 1.5 million cicadas can live in a single acre of a forest?

I lived where I live now, surrounded by woods, and I could hear the deafening buzz (apparently the loudest of all insects) from inside my house. While I began the summer with terrified shrieks at every sighting, I eventually responded to them with a nonchalant brush-off.

Looking back, I can’t believe how gross it was or how normal it seemed. I’m glad I won’t have to live through that again. Still, not really appreciating the reminder. I feel haunted. What is going on?

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And They’re All Made Out of Ticky-Tacky

Justin emptied out the prop room with all of his puppet-movie props. It was this big grand gesture for me (and seemingly impossible to anyone who has seen that room) because eventually that will be “our” room.

Well, most of the props, anyway.

The spaceship was especially hard:

I have better pictures of everything, I just don’t have my camera cord here. I’d say 1/3 of the room made it to the dumpster and 1/3 to the building’s (always amazing) “free pile”. Currently, he’s obsessing over making a town with a mountain view above our kitchen cabinets. I love him.

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Filed under Favorite Stories, Picture Pages