New Order


New Order – Shellshock

It’s been a very busy couple of weeks, big projects at work that kept me late, family visiting at the end of the summer, and finally, the start of the school year.

Sometime in there I was also added to the Facebook group for the 30th reunion for the high school class that I attended up through 10th grade. Even though we moved away for my last two years of high school, I had spent all of my earlier school years with those same kids and had a number of friends that I’d reconnected with on Facebook. People started posting old pictures from high school to the group. I even spotted myself in the class picture they posted as the cover photo for the group. It’s funny because I never would have remembered the event but then when I saw the picture, it came back to me.

With all of these images from 30 years ago fresh in my mind, my daughter started high school. I was definitely more nervous about it all than she was. I tried to hide that but I’m not really sure how successful I was. She has had a good start and seems to have adjusted pretty well. I, on the other hand…

First of all, the school bus goes past our house at a completely ridiculous hour so for years I had told my daughter I would drive her so she didn’t have to wake up before 6 a.m. Instead we both wake up by 6:15 and then sleepily shuffle through the bare minimum to get ourselves out the door by 7. As we sit in the drop off line, I watch all the teenagers pile out of cars and into the school. Even in my pre-coffee state I can see history repeating itself.

Last night was the Open House. There was precious little information about what that entailed but I knew we were supposed to get our child’s schedule and then follow through their classes for brief introductions from the teachers. Where to go inside the building, how long it would last, where all the classrooms are, were all things they just expected you to know. There weren’t any special signs just for the night to help out the freshman parents. The announcements on the PA were barely audible, the building has a confusing layout so the main entrance on ground level is actually considered the second floor. Not that it says that anywhere.

I wandered through the hallways alone, feeling very small and totally lost. I saw some people I knew but nearly all of them were breezing through the place like old pros and they seemed not to recognize me from elementary school events three years ago. I’m sure it’s partly a question of logistics that they have us all follow our kids’ schedules but I also think they are trying to give you an idea of what your kid’s day actually looks like. French class in this hall then race over to that wing for math, all the way to the far corner for gym class (led by Mr. Clean’s twin brother), up to the third floor for history.

It was just as awful as I remembered high school being 30 years ago. The walls of lockers, the tight staircases, the buzzing bell telling you to change classes, the smell of an old, sweaty gym, the cliques (yes, even as parents) you aren’t part of clustering in the hallways; all of it unchanged. I was walking around growing increasingly haunted by flashbacks. This was not helped by the presence of cheerleaders in high ponytails with heaps of baby blue sparkly eye shadow. I really don’t think it was the school’s intention to make my palm’s sweat but I’ll give them extra credit for recreating that authentic experience for me.

I can’t remember what I dreamed about last night but I woke up this morning with this song stuck in my head. When I went to find the video this morning, I realized there was a shorter edit of this song in the John Hughes movie, Pretty in Pink. The subconscious works in mysterious ways.

This Time of Night

New Order – This Time of Night

Normally I am not around at 3pm on a Monday afternoon but there was no bus transportation for my daughter’s school today and my husband couldn’t pick her up so I took the day off and took care of some local things as well. I turned on the radio and hit the button for the local college station. The DJ said he was going to be down in New York on Friday for Peter Hook’s show at which he and his band are playing Low-Life and Brotherhood back to back. The DJ decided to play both albums in their entirety as a kind of tribute.

As “Love Vigilantes” started up I said, “Oh, I love this song!” and turned it up and started singing along. A surefire way to embarrass your young teenager.

I then launched into an unasked-for explanation about why I was not also going to this show. Lots of the usual logistical reasons but also I’m not sure how I feel about the whole Peter Hook playing New Order and Joy Division songs with the Light and New Order playing without Peter Hook thing. Bands break up all the time or kick someone out, get a new drummer, but this is weird and uncomfortable, like when a couple you know breaks up and you still want to be friends with both of them but they want you to choose sides. I can’t do it!

To say my daughter didn’t care in the least is an understatement. She was further perplexed by my insistence that the voice singing these songs should be Bernard Sumner, even though I acknowledged that he isn’t a “good singer” which is really all my daughter seems to notice at this point in her musical development. Then “The Perfect Kiss” came on and I said, “Oh, I love this song!” Eye-rolling in the passenger seat.

But she wasn’t asking me to change the station and any chance I can get to expose her to music that isn’t on the top 40 station is a good thing. I tried to explain how just because someone may not be a great singer doesn’t mean that the way they sing isn’t great. I don’t think I convinced her but I like to introduce the idea to her. I am not immune to the power of a beautiful voice, far from it, but I love a lot of bands with singers that would never make it in an a cappella group. And I love them, in many cases, not in spite of but because of that imperfect voice.

We made it home and I went in and turned on the stereo so I could pick up where we left off in the car. “Sunrise” came on and I heard her laugh as I said, “Oh man, I LOVE this song!” and she wandered into another room. Just wait, I thought to myself. Just wait.


New Order – Regret

Warning: stupid rant ahead

After months of deliberating, I got my haircut on Saturday morning. I delayed it for so long because I can’t find a hairdresser I like near either my home or office. The last two times I got it cut while visiting my mother, and the woman did a better job than the previous cuts I’d had, but I also didn’t really try to get the cut I want.

Which is what, you might ask. I have no clue how to describe what I want and I never find a picture that really matches the idea in my head. I think I used to have this haircut, pretty much, not exactly right, but closer than I’ve managed since, well this New Order song was new.

This time I had two pictures that were not alike at all, really, but both had elements of what I wanted. I explained that I did not want a standard short haircut. That I wanted to be able to flip my head over, use a hair dryer, scrunch it up so it would be wavy (which my hair will do now in the hot and humid summer weather), but that I can’t stand having hair on my neck. So, it’s a short haircut, very short on the nape of my neck but long enough elsewhere to curl up some.

She started cutting and was making the very bottom hair in the back way too long. I told her, really, make it much shorter back there, I don’t want it on my neck (which it would have been in a big way). Ok, she made it much shorter and continued on. It seemed to be going fine. It was only when she was nearly done that I thought, fuck, I’ve got the standard mom short haircut. How did this happen? It looked nothing like the pictures I’d brought along when she was done. There’s no difference between my head flipped over or standing up. There’s not enough length to curl anything. I can make it poofy but that’s it. Yeah, the back is short but even that is still not right.

Sigh. In high school my mother used to limit my sister and me to one conversation about hair a day. I’m sorry, it was the early 80s. Hair was a big topic (pun intended) even if we weren’t big-hair girls. I got a short haircut during my senior year of high school and went off to college with one of those asymmetrical short haircuts that stood out on my campus full of Jersey girls with perms and teased bangs that sat up four inches high. I grew out the uneven cut and discovered that if I went to the on campus barber and held most of my hair out of the way, I could get them to buzz cut about an inch of the part on the nape of my neck by telling them to make it like the top of a ROTCs head. I believe you would call this undercutting but I didn’t know that then.

It’s hard to describe to people how to cut something they can’t see. I have failed, yet again. Here I am with the good hair weather before me (warm and muggy is perfect) and yet my hair is now too short to take advantage of it. I should have gone down to Astor Place. I should have waited until I went back up to my mother’s. I couldn’t take the hairgrow I had any longer though and now I am really regretting it.

But, only one conversation about hair a day. Everyone at work has seen my cut and heard it wasn’t what I wanted, though they all said they liked it. If you saw me over the weekend you probably are thinking, what’s your problem? It looks perfectly normal. Which is my problem. It’s probably much more age appropriate, and it is a big improvement over my grown out cut from just a few days ago, but it’s very ordinary. It looks good, she did a nice job, it’s just… not right.

Yes, that’s Peter Wolf of the J. Geils Band in the Astor Place video and no, I don’t want my hair cut like that either.


New Order – Ceremony

This came on the radio while I was driving home today, window down on a beautiful day. I love this song. Love it. Turn it up and throw your arm out the window, not caring what the drivers around you think.

This might also explain why I don’t carpool.