Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Newest Member of our Family

Hello world,

Cannot tell you how long it took to finally get my paws on the keyboard.

The humans think I was born in January of this year, somewhere in Virginia. They also think I'm part black lab and some type of hound. Maybe a coonhound. Like the one banned from Nantucket last week.

I was found wondering around and brought to a shelter. One that would kill me if I wasn't adopted in so many days. I'm afraid of any floors that are white. The humans I live with think that is because I was scared in the Virginia shelter.

In the Virginia shelter different humans found me and drove me for a long time to a different type of shelter. One that would let me live until the right humans found me.

And the right ones came to the shelter when it was warmer outside (I'm told it was July). The little ones crawled into the crate I was in while I hid in the corner. The bigger human (he's really big) liked a different dog. One that jumped and crawled all over the little ones. But those little ones just kept saying they wanted me.

They wanted me.

So here I am. With my family.


Monday, September 28, 2009

Fourth Annual Fluff Fest

This weekend, which was partly spent on soccer fields and ballet studios, was also spent in the neighborhood that created Fluff - that distinctly New England foodstuff. Australia has Vegemite, New England has Fluff.

This year's Fluff Festival (aka "What the Fluff?") was more crowded, more chaotic. They even ran out of white bread at the Fluffernutter tent (Fluff and Peanut Butter - get it? Fluff-n-Nutter?) before the festival was over. The line to buy a t-shirt, kid you not a t-shirt, was 30 people long. My friend who lives one block away from the festival, and volunteered at said t-shirt booth, commented that this year there were more folks who were not "from the neighborhood". I would like to note my family attended the very first Fluff Festival in 2006. That should give us some street cred.

Or Fluff cred.

But we got to celebrate in something that is very silly. A sandwich spread made of marshmallows. And what better way to spend a Saturday evening?

And now I bring you a Fluff commercial.

Music Monday at Soccer Mom in Denial

And maybe... maybe? Linky Love is back. Just in time for the wonderful set of you who play along.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


That pretty much sums up how the boys were during the U2 concert on Monday night. In awe.

We got off to a bit of a nerve-wracking start after a colleague told me it took him 3 1/2 hours to get to the stadium for the previous night's show - causing him to miss the first 45 minutes of U2's performance. While the boys were very calm about that prospect, one did say "I'll be sad if we miss Beautiful Day."

I would have been as well.

We managed to get to the stadium (a mere 15 miles from our house) in under 2 hours. We got to hear most of the opening act, wander the stadium, sign up for the One campaign and get white rubber bracelets, bump into some friends, acquire some free bags with the Blackberry logo and buy the boys their concert t-shirts (using money they had been saving from birthday presents).

From our seats we could see the band enter the stadium. The boys just sat frozen while all these adults around them were screaming and cheering. They were not frightened. Just in awe.

I had warned them that I would be standing up to dance to various songs, explaining that this is what people do at concerts and they shouldn't give me any "sit down MOM!" lines. At one point after I got up for a song Bono yelled to the crowd to stand up and start clapping. One little man did as he was told like he was in school. I leaned over to tell him Bono wasn't talking directly to him and he didn't have to get up if he didn't want to.

He sat down with noticeable relief.

They did get to hear their jointly favorite song, Beautiful Day, but to my disappointment we didn't hear Pride. The boys understood that song after our visit to Memphis in 2008.

It was fun to sing With or Without You, loudly, while a son was hugging my waist. But both guys struggled with what Sunday Bloody Sunday meant. Or why there were images of people covered in blood from Iran shown on the large screens. The car ride home was a bit long for that reason. "What is going on in Iran?" "What happened on Sunday? Why was it bloody?"

In the end the investment, time and loss of school productivity (I can only imagine what these new teachers think of me as a parent) was worth it. Because they had that look in their eyes.

That look of seeing idols. Real idols.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Beautiful Day

A while ago, one of my boys declared that particular day was "a BEAUTIFUL day!" His exuberance caused me to break into U2's 2000 hit which led him to demand to hear the real version (as if my rendition somehow paled to Bono's).

And so a U2 fan was born.

When U2 announced their 2009 tour dates I promptly asked my husband (aka Amazing Guy) if we could take the boys to the show. He grumpily agreed to purchase three tickets but was convinced there was no way two 9-year-old boys would appreciate the value of these tickets.

Leading up to their birthday I cut out a U and a 2 from posterboard and plastered images of the band on them. I also included a note in each gift explaining they were being taken to the U2 concert on September 21st.

The evening of their birthday, after dinner, they were given their gifts. New ball caps, Elvis Pez dispensers, a DS game, and other items were unwrapped and appreciated. Then they opened the "big" gifts.

And stared blankly at the large U and large 2 in their hands. I finally mentioned the note and one guy picked it up and started reading.

And they started yelling.

And crying.

And fell to the floor.

And got up and hugged each other, yelling.

Then ran to me and Amazing Guy to hug us.

And Amazing Guy was crying too.

It truly was a beautiful day. And will be tonight at the concert.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Johnny Clegg and Juluka

When I was in Paris in spring of 1990, one of the few bright spots - aside from being with my dear friend Mimi - was the crazy hostel I stayed in. The women's "dorm" was a large room with four or five bunk beds. The advertised "hot showers" were not quite that. You stood in the shower and pushed one of those nobs like in the sink of public bathrooms. For 30 seconds you were blasted with the most frigid, cold water to ever leave a shower head. But by then you were covered in soap or shampoo which you had to get off so then you screemed through two or three more stinging pelts of the "shower".

Add to that someone laughing - hysterically - in the room. I came out, blue and a bit bruised, and she kept smirking.

And so began a friendship.

TM was from South Africa. The only other woman in the dorm was a petite Japanese who spoke no English. We figured out (through hand gestures, maps and some amazing shoes she bought) that she had been to Morocco, alone. TM and I felt pretty wimpy just being in Paris by ourselves.

I didn't run around Paris with TM but we exchanged addresses (this was, after all, pre-email). Once I got home we started to write (paper) letters to each other 3-4 times per year.

A few years after meeting in Paris, she wrote that she had a new job working for a South African musician. She didn't write his name out. I wrote back that I was (note: still am) a huge fan of Johnny Clegg. A white South African who formed a racially mixed band in the early 1980's during the apartheid government, he also published several academic papers before his music career took off.

A few months later I received a package with various signed items. It seems my friend was working for Johnny Clegg.

Johnny Clegg and Savuka - I Call Your Name (1988)

TM has moved on from music but whenever I hear Johnny Clegg I think of how she gave me a connection to one of my favorite musicians.

Music Monday at Soccer Mom in Denial

Who is playing this week?

Fourier Analyst (you gotta read her "coming clean" about her wild music performing days!)

Monday, September 07, 2009

In Suburbia

We got back from vacation late last Sunday and have been gearing up for the fall to begin. Today I could see my breath while walking this morning. Hard to believe that just 8 days ago I was sweating in thick humidity south of the Mason-Dixon line.

But what got me through the past week of non-stop school forms, new schedules, missing soccer gear, and work re-entry was knowing that I was going to see the Pet Shop Boys in concert for the first time with my dear friend who didn't make last year's Yaz show. They were suppose to open for Depeche Mode in the mid-1980's but canceled right before the tour began because they couldn't get the sound right (or how I remember it).

PSB came onstage and I did not stop dancing (and hurt all day Sunday for that). They sang the oldies "West End Girls", "Always on my Mind" and "It's a Sin". They sang from the new album (which I LOVE if you are looking for new music) as well as a hysterical cover of Coldplay's "Viva La Vida".

The song that resonated with me the most though was "Surburbia".

Because that is where I - now the soccer mom - reside in denial.

I only wanted something else to do but
Hang around
Hang around
Hang around

Music Monday at Soccer Mom in Denial