Vincent

One of these days I’ll manage to see Car Seat Headrest but it’s hard when they tend to play small clubs in bigger cities or are part of a giant lineup at a festival or a place like Madison Square Garden. Not going to do it.

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Trash

New York Dolls – Trash

My daughter called me at work when she got home from school and said the house smelled like trash, strongly. I told her to check the potatoes in the pantry, look around (smell around) and open the windows. She checked, she looked, she smelled, opened the windows, but she couldn’t find the source. It is trash night so I thought maybe my husband had taken some stuff out of the fridge and put it in the trash before he left for work and then forgot to put it outside. There wasn’t much I could do about it while I was at my office though.

As soon as I walked in the house, I could smell it. It was bad and it got worse as you walked through the rooms. I couldn’t hang around though because I had to turn right back around and go pick up my daughter from her club meeting. I told my son to start looking around and walked out the door.

While I was driving, it occurred to me that there were some apples in one of those paper totes that were leftover from when I made some apple butter a couple of weeks ago. Once I got off the highway I texted my husband and told him to check the apples. One of them was bad and so he tossed it, but come on, they must all have been bad so I told him to trash them all.

I felt pretty good about having figured out the source of the trashy smell without even being in the house. When I got back home we started getting dinner underway. Even though I’m a vegetarian, my husband isn’t and every once in a while, he likes to make himself some fish. He was rummaging in the fridge, taking out the parsley he bought, the butter, lemon, but he couldn’t find the fish. We bought it this weekend and I remembered putting it in the grocery bag so I told him to move out of the way and let me look for it.

Guess where he found the fish? In the grocery bag. Still. It never made it into the fridge. Since Saturday evening it had been sitting there, just wrapped up in that brown paper they use at the butcher/fish counter but not refrigerated. Gross.

So was it the apples or the fish? A deadly combination of the two? May we never repeat the experience to find out. He went off to the store to get himself something else to eat and I opened the windows and burned some candles. I don’t notice the smell anymore so I hope that it clears out completely before my mother arrives for Thanksgiving.

Crazy (live)

R.E.M. – Crazy (live cover of a Pylon song)

A friend of mine recently posted about being taken to a concert by her parents when she was very young, a toddler really, and how you don’t see that happen these days. The very next day she saw Robyn Hitchcock at a small venue where a couple had brought their two young children under four to the show. It didn’t go well.

This whole situation reminded me of this one time at work a few years ago, when we had an office lunch outside in the summer, and the conversation turned to concerts we’d been to. A younger guy in our department, he was maybe 30 at the time, mentioned that he had always felt kind of cheated because he’d never been able to see some of his favorite bands when they were still touring. For example, he lamented that his mother could have brought him along to see R.E.M. play when he was a toddler. The very idea horrified me. I didn’t even like having frat boys at R.E.M. shows because of their lack of maturity, I sure as hell wouldn’t have wanted actual pre-schoolers in attendance. Hoping to end that line of thought I said that as a mom I so enjoy going out on my own, to have a break from the kids, and would never want to bring them along because I wanted to enjoy myself and not be worried about my kid.¹

But the nightmare didn’t end there. Somehow the subject changed to what was the best concert you’ve ever seen. I can’t remember what most people answered because I was gripped with panic. What was I supposed to say? My best concerts are the best I’ve seen because of how they left me destroyed and exhilarated at the same time. I couldn’t reveal anything like that to co-workers. Of course I wouldn’t have to say that but I was afraid that even just naming the show would betray a level of privacy that I would then never be able to regain. I debated lying, just pick some show that everyone would nod about and move on to the next person, but I worried that my body language would give me away. I am sure I am the only person at the table who was overthinking this thing to death. Probably because of the young co-worker’s earlier mention of having been left at home with a babysitter instead of at an R.E.M. show, I was really sweating it. If I said the best show I’d seen was R.E.M. at a 3,000-person, beautiful old theater in Providence, Black Monday 1987, would he press me for details?² There in front of everyone? I would probably have suddenly been a much cooler person in his estimation but I have spent decades obfuscating my devotions and this hardly seemed like the opportune moment to trash it all.

Just as it was nearly my turn to have to come up with something, our boss arrived and the question was to put to her. She was in her mid- to late-sixties and she answered without hesitation, “The Beatles!” I immediately declared that no one could top that so we should all just stop trying. Crisis averted.

But it bothered me for days afterward that I had been so tormented about it. I still don’t know what I would have answered. Why should it be so difficult for me to say what my best concert experience was? I toyed with the idea of telling him separately later but ultimately decided against it. I am still plagued by the fear that this knowledge in the wrong hands would be my undoing. Whether through cluelessness or maliciousness, I never wanted anyone to be able to unmask me. If people don’t know what your buttons are, they can’t push them.

When your favorite concerts are life-altering events, intensely personal defining moments, giving that away is too hard.

1. I would take my daughter with me to a show if she showed any interest but it’s only been in the last two years or so that I would have felt comfortable doing so.

2. Black Monday, October 19, 1987, the largest single-day crash in stock market history. Also, now a Showtime series. Something tells me they don’t include the awesome R.E.M. concert that night in the series.

P.S. Coincidentally, today (11/18) marks the 10th anniversary of the last R.E.M. show ever. My own last R.E.M. show was, holy shit, more than 29 years ago.

P.P.S. While I have bootlegs (tapes) of a number of the shows I went to, so far this is the only video I’ve found from an R.E.M. show I was at. Not the last, but close to it. Even sharing this video here is hard for me and I’m only doing it because it’s on YouTube and there’s nothing preventing you from finding it on your own. Dodgy quality but what do you expect for 29-year-old video filmed on a smuggled-in video camera?

Campus

Vampire Weekend – Campus

Today my daughter and I toured another college campus. She’s a senior in high school and while we visited a bunch back in April, I had felt there was plenty of time to do schools in New England when we both had more time in the fall.

There is never more time in the fall, I don’t know what I was thinking. But summer isn’t really a good time since many college campuses don’t have much going on and work was super busy for me, she also had a summer job, so here we are.

I’m sure you all remember that I was not enamored with my college experience. While I have tried really hard not to make this whole process be some kind of attempt to re-do my own college search, I think I have some valuable knowledge and if I can help my kids have good options available to them, then I’m going to do what I can to make that happen.

I was talking with my mom this evening about the campus we toured today and she surprised me by saying that she feels badly now that she didn’t take me around to look at schools. I told her she shouldn’t feel that way because how could she have taken me anywhere, when we were living in Maine and I was determined to go south of the Mason-Dixon line. Plus, my junior year grades were, shall we say, not my best work so it probably would have just made my disappointment greater when I got all those rejection letters. Besides, with my oldest sisters at Yale, and my mother’s job at a small liberal arts college, it’s not like I didn’t already have an image in mind of what college should be like. Therein lies the problem; nowhere I could have gotten in was ever going to match up to my expectations.

My daughter is less specific about where she wants to go. I think it still feels so far in the future to her that she hasn’t been able to put herself in the mindset of being done with high school and away from home. Going on campus tours definitely helps. With the deadline to get her applications finished looming, I thought reminding her about the end goal might motivate her a little. If that backfires, I’m moving on to bribes.

Talking Straight

Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – Talking Straight

I was listening to a story about Brexit on the radio in the car this evening. Two of the three people pronounced it Bregg-zit. The other person said Brecks-it, like I do. It was so distracting that I just kept repeating Brecks-it, Bregg-zit, Brecks-it, Bregg-zit, and now I don’t remember anything else they said.

Confessional

Omni – Confessional

It started snowing this evening. It was hard to notice at first because the flakes were so light, but I could see them in the headlights of a car stopped at an intersection. Ever since we set the clocks back it has been dark by the time I leave the office however today, I had to leave work early to get my daughter to an appointment. This one car thing is old and tiring but there isn’t a good solution so when someone needs to be someplace, I need to be home so they can do it.

After I dropped her back at the house, I went to pick up my husband, then we headed out to a local grocery store/deli and picked up some things for dinner. When we got home, some of the food was still warm so we sat down to eat it right away. By now it looked like midnight out there, dark and cold with snow covering everything. I had stopped noticing what the actual time was but if you’d asked me, I probably would have thought it was close to 6:30. No. With dinner done and no dishes to worry about, I sat down in the living room and saw it was only 5:30. I couldn’t believe we were already finished with dinner. It looked later than that outside, it felt later than that inside, and I felt positively geriatric for having already had my dinner. The New Yorker in me is appalled. Dinner at five?! Ridiculous.

Not Great Men

Gang of Four – Not Great Men

It seems Turtleface is up to his usual pot calling the kettle black shtick. I saw a number of headlines about him today. One was that he refused to bring up a bill to protect Mueller for a floor vote (who is surprised), and the other was he wrote an op-ed calling for bipartisanship, chastising Democrats in advance should they not roll up their sleeves and help the Republicans pass legislation. It was not in The Onion.

HA! HahAHAhahaha! HAHAHAHAHA!!! Oh, Mr. My Top Priority Is To Make Obama A One Term President wants us to sing kumbaya now? Good ole I Refuse To Grant A Hearing For Merrick Garland is looking for some cooperation? HAHAHAHAHA!!!!

Of course, he doesn’t mean it. He is just making the statement so that he can then later claim to have been right, those Democrats, just obstructionists through and through. You are as transparent as a window, Senator Hagfish. Fuck yourself five ways to Friday, asshole.

Fun fact. Did you know that his first wife is a feminist scholar and retired a few years ago from running the women’s history archive at Smith College in Massachusetts? Gloria Steinem spoke at her retirement party. I happened upon this a couple of years ago when I got to wondering if he had any children (yes, three daughters). I mean, we all have our regrets from our younger days but can you imagine?

New Moon

Steve Gunn – New Moon

Now that it’s dark for my drive home from work, I notice the moon phase more often. It was just a little sliver the other day. It was also really low in the sky so that little sliver looked really gigantic hovering just above the tree line.

We are coming up on a full moon just in time for Black Friday this year. No, thank you! I will stick with Steve Gunn and his creepy video for New Moon.

Living My Life

Deerhunter – Living My Life

It feels like I didn’t have a weekend, and I didn’t have today off either, so forgive another lame entry here. When I don’t even get home until 7:30 p.m., it’s so hard to gather the momentum needed to figure out what I want to say, or what song I feel like writing about. But I listened to this album in the car today when the traffic started getting to me and it seems like a good option just before going to sleep.