Just this past weekend we celebrated Will's 32nd birthday. I don't turn 28 until May 29th, which means that he looks like even more of a cradle robber for another month. I don't think he thinks it's funny..............I think it's hilarious. I'm not sure why I decided that once you cross the threshold of a 4 year gap that someone becomes a cradle robber..............probably just to torture Will. Yeah, that's probably it. I'm the BEST girlfriend ever -- obviously.
But in all seriousness, his birthday made me reflect on a lot of things. This July will mark 5 years for us. Prior to meeting Will, I hadn't made it past about 18 months with anyone. I got bored easily. Plus, I also tended to date people who were out of their goddamn minds. My dating track record is impressively terrible. My friends have nicknames for all of my exes. Among the many nicknames, "Stalker Steve" and "Bipolar Bear" are probably my favorites. Well, "The Douche Nuvo" is also pretty fantastic. I realize that the name is redundant, but that was the point. It was necessary in order to embody the level of douchiness that this person achieved on a daily basis.
Anyhow..........Will is the kind of guy where one of my friends quite literally said to me, "If things for some reason don't work out between you two, we'll probably keep him anyway." I'm still not entirely sure if that meant that they would find a way to be friends with both of us, or if they would side with him in the "divorce." I think I may have been insulted and didn't know it at the time...............
Will is one of the funniest people I've ever met, which is a HUGE factor for me when it comes to being drawn to someone. Funny musicians have always been my kryptonite. I also tend to gravitate towards guys who are about 5'10" ish with broad shoulders. My dad says I'm trying to deplete the gene pool. I'm pretty tall for a girl, but listen...............I don't like having to crane my neck to kiss someone. I'm just attracted to shorter guys -- I can't help it. Their face is right by my face. It's what I like. Leave me alone.
My sister also informs me that I like "the hairy ones." She's not wrong. I think I'm drawn to bearded men because they look more "manly" or something. The "pretty boys" who can't grow facial hair just don't do it for me. Sorry boys.
Back to the point. (My attention span is that of a freakin' gold fish today..............)
Will is awesome. Plain and simple. He's a freakishly talented musician that can play a ridiculous amount of instruments. He's a chameleon -- it's sick. But regardless of how talented he is, he's one of my biggest fans. He thinks highly of me as a musician, and he pushes me musically because he believes in me. I'm sitting over here thinking, "But I only sing and play the piano............I mean, I played trumpet for like 2 years and thought I could play guitar for a few...........but you play ALL the instruments. WE'RE NOT EVEN ON THE SAME LEVEL!!!" But he thinks we are, which is pretty cool.
I sucked at the guitar, by the way. Like, for real.
Will is smart and is constantly, proactively seeking even more knowledge. He makes me think and doesn't let me get away with having an opinion without solid reasoning to back it. That's the journalist in him -- he challenges me.
He loves me unconditionally, even when I'm super grumpy. A not so great trait I inherited is to get super irritable when I'm hungry.
Although apparently he's dated his fair share of crazy as well, because he laughs at me when I apologize for being grumpy. I guess my irritable moments seem pretty insignificant when you've dated someone who tried to assault you on a regular basis and would lock herself in the bathroom if she didn't get her way. And I thought my Bipolar Bear was bad..............yikes.
Most importantly, Will has a huge heart. He's attentive, affectionate, thoughtful, and makes me feel loved every day.
A lot has happened in the past 5 years. When we met, we were both musicians who worked at restaurants to make ends meet. Between then and now we've both been through grad school, multiple moves (including Tennessee and back), several difficult family situations, changes in employment (some chosen, some not), weight gain, weight loss, and financial hardship, among other things. We've been through it all together.
I honestly can't imagine having been through all of that with anyone else. And the craziest part is that through all of that we never fought. We had some moments, but they were always quickly dealt with, because we talk. We talk a LOT. We deal with situations head on and we do it together.
We're not perfect, but we're perfect for each other. That freakishly talented goofball is one of the best things that's ever happened to me. I think I'll keep him, even though he is a cradle robber.
This post is a little different than my others, mostly because this is what has been in the forefront of my mind lately. I have music on the brain. Lots and LOTS of music.
In preparation for upcoming gigs, I've been making charts and set lists like crazy. It's amazing how time consuming this can be. Between that, practicing the songs, trying to be healthy and work out, trying to keep my house clean, and my day job (which has been double duty for the past month or so with a ton of music/art programming and related parties that fell into our laps -- I'm apparently also a party planner now), it's been a little nuts.
As I was staring at my set list and trying to order it in a way that made sense, it dawned on me that I have really weird taste in music. Like, REALLY weird. My shit is all over the place. I've always had an eclectic taste, but this set list covers everything from jazz standards, to Stevie Wonder, to Black Keys, The Knack, Cake, Talking Heads, Alanis Morissette, Amy Winehouse, Men at Work, and Lit. There's a ton of other stuff on there, but that's just a sampling. It's weird. I'm weird. I've come to terms with it.
Granted, it's a talented group of people who will be playing this stuff, so we can handle it. But I'm sure the first time they saw the list of songs to learn they were thinking, "Is she high?"
It gets better................
As if it wasn't enough that I handed these guys a song list that looks a drunken monkey just randomly hit buttons on a jukebox....................I'm also making them play multiple instruments. The bass player (who is usually a drummer) is switching to trumpet at times, and the guitar player will play bass on the songs where there is trumpet. Oh, and the guitar player is also gonna bust out the clarinet, because why the hell not. AND, I'm also making them sing on some stuff as well.
It's a "musical playground," so to speak. And also, I'm a little crazy. "I want what I want," as 3 year old me would say while standing in front of the fridge.
I swear I'm gonna bust out my kazoos at some point just to add to the insanity...............
I'm sure the other musicians would LOVE it if I said, "Hey, blow on this while you're at it."
Ha...............that was a funny visual for me.
Maybe I'll make the drummer play the kazoo...........................
If I had to choose a genre(s) where my voice feels truly at home, it would definitely be jazz and anything with soul and grit. That type of music just feels right to me. It speaks to me I guess. So jazz standards, Amy Winehouse, and stuff like Stevie Wonder are right in my wheel house. Good shit.
But...........................there's something super satisfying about performing stuff that you would otherwise have no business performing. It's such a blast. Psycho Killer? Yeah. Definitely doing that one -- because I want to, dammit. You Oughta Know -- Alanis Morissette? Hell yeah! That song is bad ass! Besides, what's the point of being a musician if you can't experiment?
As I get older I just keep wanting to do weirder and weirder stuff..............so anyone that works with me now and in the future.............brace yo' self!
In light of yesterday being National Sibling Day, and my last blog post being pretty angry, I've decided to switch gears this week. Honestly, I had no idea yesterday was National Sibling Day, but waking up this morning to a bunch of Facebook posts with kind words, funny stories, and wonderful photos got me thinking about my own siblings.
My brother, Josh, is 30 years old now -- which is crazy to me. But then again, I'm going to be 28 at the end of May. Oy vey...................My sister, Johanna (aka "Jo" or "Jojo"), is 19 until the end of November. The eight and a half years between me and my sister generally makes people think that she was an "oops baby." The truth is.................she was.
No, no, no...........I'm just kidding. Jo was definitely planned. They just took awhile to recover from me. No joke.
Josh was an easy going kid who made my parents' job pretty easy. They were very lucky, until they had me. Apparently I was pretty good until about 18 months. Then I became the toddler from hell and was extremely defiant. My first word was "no." My parents used to joke that aliens stole their original baby and swapped that baby out with me. To this day I am not entirely sure if they honestly believed that or not.................
I made a babysitter cry when I was 3.............................
My parents came home to find my 5-year-old brother trying to console the babysitter.
He even made her tea!!!
So basically I was terrible.
I'm sure my parents went from thinking, "Look how amazing our little boy is.............we're such good parents," to "Where did we go wrong? Why is she still crying? I think this one is broken. Do we have a warranty on her? WHERE'S THE DAMN WARRANTY???!!!"
I annoyed the hell out of my brother when I was younger. He was always a big kid, and I'm super lucky he was a "gentle giant," so to speak, because he really could've put a good whoopin' on me if he wanted to. He never did though.
We played a lot of video games together, and sometimes I would just watch him play. He could play all the cool games that were too hard for me. We also watched a lot of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Batman.............and I'm fairly certain we wore out our tape of "The Mask of the Phantasm." SO good.
When Jo came along, I went from being the baby to the infamous role of the middle child. It was a rough transition, but I actually became very motherly and territorial with Jo -- even at 8. I carried her around on my hip and was weary of other people babysitting her, or even just holding her. I don't even know how many very capable adults I probably lectured about being careful with my sister..............
I was such a know-it-all.
However, when Jo got old enough to really start talking (and damn did that kid have one hell of a vocabulary), I went from being motherly to thinking that this kid was the spawn of Satan.
It really wasn't until we were in Suessical together (Fall of 2004) where we became close again. I ended up getting the role of the Cat in the Hat, and Jo ended up in the chorus as a peacock. I will never forget how upset she was when she didn't get the role of Jojo. Even though she was about 8 years old, she probably could've played the hell out of that role. It just so happened that a 12-year-old boy with an incredible set of pipes (whose voice hadn't started changing yet) auditioned for that same role..............so that was the end of that.
Dad took us to Tim Horton's after the audition, and Jo locked herself in a bathroom stall -- crying. I had to crawl under the door, on the gross floor, to get her out. I looked so ridiculous struggling to get in the stall that she couldn't help but laugh at me through her tears. We had to spend so many hours together in the car and at rehearsal, from September through December, that we became extremely close. We've been really close ever since actually.
You should've seen that peacock duke it out on stage with the bumblebee (also an 8 year old) every rehearsal (and performance). They kept trying to upstage each other, and it was hilarious. Even though the bumblebee was bigger, Jo won. That's my girl...............
Josh has one of the most beautiful tenor voices you'll ever hear. Seriously. When he sings Nessun Dorma he puts Pavarotti to shame. Well, I think so anyway. He's really freaking good, okay?
Anyhow, he's a tenor, and a particularly high one at that, but is also a lineman, and is definitely built like one. So when he played the role of Gaston in Beauty and the Beast, he was a shoe in for the body build, but Gaston has a fairly low vocal range, It was between him and our friend Matt (who happens to be a bass) for the roles of Gaston and the Beast, and if you knew the two of them, it ended up having to work out that way for a lot of reasons, despite their ranges. Plus, I was Belle, and ew. Granted, Gaston is after Belle, so still ew. But I digress.
My brother and I have performed quite a bit together, from piano duets, to show choir, to musicals and variety shows. It's been really cool to be able to do that.
Have the three of us always gotten along? Absolutely not. But honestly, we're pretty lucky. We've never had legitimate problems or fights. Anything we ever fought about was the dumb stuff all young siblings fight about. You know, "he/she won't let me play," "she got into my makeup," "she bit me," "he/she called me (insert name)," etc. The usual stuff.
So far, as we've gotten older we've gotten closer. Josh has 2 adorable (soon to be 3) daughters who Jo and I absolutely adore. My sister-in-law, Lynda, is pretty awesome too. She's actually quite a bit of the glue that holds the family together since she makes it a priority to schedule things with all of us.
I want my brother to sing at my wedding and my sister to be my maid of honor. These decisions are not being made by default, or because I feel obligated to include them. I've always known that this is what I wanted, because they're important to me and I love them to pieces. They're both smart, sweet, talented goofballs............and they're my goofballs.
Happy belated National Sibling Day!!! Go love on your people.
(This blog entry has been edited to be slightly less offensive, because apparently my grandmother reads my blog. Sorry grandma!!!)
As a society, we seem to be giant pansies. I'm just sayin'............
There must be some kind of biological tendency to just let the a-holes win. Maybe it's some sort of weird dominance. Are we being submissive? Are most of us actually masochists -- secretly getting some sort of pleasure from being treated like crap by those that seem to run our lives?
Or maybe.....................maybe we're just giant pansies.
Bad people generally tend to have the final say when it comes to important decisions that affect our well-being. Politics drive decision making, even when those decisions are clearly not the right thing or the best thing. Ultimately, these political decisions dictate the quality of our lives.
When I say politics, I don't necessarily mean government politics. That's part of it, but what I really mean is the politics in our daily lives: work, school, church, family, friends, etc.
We play "games" in order to not offend people or step on anyone's toes. We stand idly by while people make horrible decisions that negatively affect us -- decisions that only benefit them and actually hurt the greater good.
As human beings, we should absolutely strive to keep peace and not create more conflict -- but there has to be a limit. I'm not advocating acting like a jerk, but constantly letting selfish people run the show is definitely not the answer. Otherwise you open yourself up for them to walk all over you -- and they will -- because you're a giant pansy.
Why do we strive to make these terrible people happy at the expense of others, including ourselves? Why do we let them manipulate us into furthering their selfish agenda?
Honestly, I think one of the answers is that if we didn't bend over backwards for these people, we'd end up putting their heads on pikes. So it's one extreme versus the other -- go to jail for barbaric murder or bend over and take it. Apparently we tend to choose the latter -- because we're giant pansies.
It's one thing when the "powers that be" make self-interested decisions that affect us financially, but when these decisions start to affect multiple areas of our lives, this is when it becomes sadistic. Especially if it affects our well-being and our happiness. It means they don't have empathy, which from a psychological standpoint makes them a sociopath. That means they're batsh*t crazy and they don't care about you one bit. THEY DON'T HAVE FEELINGS!!!!!
Clearly this rant didn't just come out of nowhere. Clearly I'm angry and would like to go vigilante justice style on the people that think it's okay to toy with not only my existence, but the existence of the people I care about. Will I actually go vigilante justice style on them? Only in my daydreams............because I don't want to be made someone's prison wife. No thank you.
But for the love of God, can we please stop letting our quality of life suffer in order to appease these selfish megalomaniacs?
Because apparently we're freakin' giant pansies.
I may not have children yet, but I have a strong maternal instinct. You don't eff with my people. I tend to hulk up if you do. And honestly, I really can't afford to be buying new clothes right now. So please don't eff with my people.
An angry giant pansy
I'm an "adult," or so I've been told. I do "adult" things, I have an "adult" job, I pay bills, and I drink bourbon and wine. I have great friends and family, an amazing husband, and generally a pretty good life. I have achieved many things, yet so little at the same time. I'm in my 30s, yet I feel more clueless than when I graduated college. This is how I "adult."