Sunday, October 20, 2013

whenever i start having hateful feelings about all of the modern technology that is super distracting to me, all i have to do is wait. just wait a darn minute and something will happen to remind me just how fantastic it really is. like right now, scotty is miles and miles away from me, yet we were chatting and commenting on things together on facebook. you might say, well, there was always the phone…but neither of us has ever ever ever enjoyed talking on the phone. somehow chatting (and yes, sending silly stickers and personal blind typing challenges are a part of that) just works better for us.

and last night while i was watching the movie “on the road”, sadie and silas went in the kitchen to make ramen…and never came out. but i could hear them in there. they weren’t dead. they were laughing and talking…for 2 hours. finally when the movie was almost over i went in and they were sitting on the floor laughing and proceeded to tell me they were snap chatting. with each other (and probably a gazillion other people miles and miles away). and earlier in the day (or maybe it was yesterday) silas finally got an instagram and within minutes he said “i already have 3 followers!” and it was because within minutes sadie was able to tell their friends (who are miles and miles away) about it. and i just stood there and said “you guys have no idea how unbelievably cool it is to live right now” and went on to explain things like long distance phone calls that were limited to 3 minutes and letters that took days. things they’ve heard me wax on about before. but it’s just so endlessly cool! they can tell a friend something in just seconds…and it can be super personal and deep or it can be that they just painted their brother’s fingernails…with pictures!!

so i’ve been on this crazy fence about how i’d like to reduce the technology in my life. but i get these glimpses of perspective and i realize it’s not the technology i need to rid myself of…it’s that i need to manage my time better. and i bet there is a fancy modern technology device somewhere that could help me with that…Share

Friday, October 11, 2013

i only cried a wee bit when i read this. thank you joey!

"well, thank you to everyone who came out last night! thank you to Capone’s and to Andy Donovan, JoyBang, and The Continental Waylay, and HUGE THANK YOU to Deathly The Dog, who waited until the wee hours of the morning, who endured sitting out in the cold while the alcohol fuzz did random sweeps of the bars, and who put on one of the tightest, most kickass performances of any band i’ve seen, ever. these kids are gonna rank among the world’s best by the time they reach their mid-early twenties, mark my word." - joey tucciaroneShare

fresh mulch show, october 10, 2013

last night was the last (maybe) fresh mulch recording blowout show at capone's. there were 5 acts in all: joey t, a.o. donovan, joybang, continental waylay, and deathly the dog. the lineup was originally a little different but the boys had to wait as it was a night when the abc was heavily pub crawling and silas couldn't be inside the bar (age things) so he was sitting outside most of the night waiting to go on. they finally got on stage about 2:20 am. but it was worth it, they were tired but totally kicked it!!
joey t

this was my first time seeing joey play and i really enjoyed his powerful voice, i look forward to hearing him again soon. the boys went to get some food while donovan was on so we went down the street to talk with them and hang out before going back to watch joybang...who are always a real treat to see.

the boys were set to go on after them but the police were still going in and out and generally just hanging about too much so the continental waylay went on, i hadn't seen them before either and i enjoyed their vocals and guitar playing. but i was so tired and hungry at this point i thought i might just go find a corner and fall asleep and was having a hard time focusing on the music. but i didn't fall asleep or die or anything and soon enough the boys were given a thumbs up to come in and play. and they played!!
deathly the dog

it was so great to hear them on such a fantastic sound system and i really hope joey was able to get some decent recordings...because even though they were tired and a lot of people had unfortunately left after the police/abc came, it was one of their most energetic and well played shows. they got a lot of really positive feedback from many people and i think they felt pretty good about it even with the minor setbacks.

i went home filled with pride and their song "spider bites" stuck in my head.Share

Friday, September 13, 2013

the weeks since camp have been a roller coaster for sure. having gotten a fun little broken ribs injury the last night of camp i’ve spent these few weeks doing very little and taking mild pain meds on and off. the first week after camp i was in an ACTUAL state of euphoria…something i’ve never experienced before and it was awesome. and then one day it all shifted and i started into a bit of a downward spiral of depression. i finally talked to scotty about it wednesday morning and he said it’s a common thing that happens among athletes and is often referred to as “post-ironman depression.” (i just found this in an online article: “but it can stem from any event that has demanded a large amount of your time in preparation and planning, and then is finally over”). wow! i feel better just knowing it’s an actual thing. very validating.

edit: it was pointed out to me by kelly lovejoy that post-event depression it is just like postpartum depression.

but then later that day i took all the kids for their 6 month dentist appointment for cleaning. i was feeling really good and having random conversations with the kids about all sorts of things and then they were all behind closed swingy doors getting their teeth cleaned. i flipped through some people magazines and just as i was about to be thoroughly bored they each came out one by one as usual first sadie and silas…their hygienists telling me all is good, no cavities etc etc.

and then samuel comes out with his hygienist and she says she wants to show me his xray and talk about it. first she said he needed his one and only wisdom tooth out soon and then she showed me an unusual dark area on his jaw bone that they were very concerned about and then another hygienist came out to get me and brought me in the back (a place that has always been off limits if you’re not a patient so i was starting to get worried). and all these doctors and hygienists were all around us and talking at the same time and showing me the xray on the computer and pointing out the dark spot and it was all a bit overwhelming. and then they were emailing the xray to a specialist and wanting us to make an appointment ASAP and samuel was talking about all the dates he would be gone this month and the receptionist was like no you will need to go to the specialist this week. now i was getting more than a little concerned. they said they would call and let us know. we went home and just as we were starting to tell scotty what was going on they called and said they made the appointment for the very next day!

i was trying really hard to hold in my worst fears when samuel started to worry and got on google (something i do not recommend when you are in this sort of situation). he found images of xrays that looked very much like his…and they were all bone cancer. and then he read up on it and found that most people only live about 5 years after getting this kind of cancer (upon doing my own looking today out of curiosity i found this was something he simply misunderstood and is related to a term doctors use called “5 year survival”). so there was a lot of trying not to freak out going on in our house for the subsequent 24 hours. i didn’t sleep well that night. and thursday was the longest day ever just waiting for his appointment, luckily he had to work and so his day involved less pacing and distraction making than mine. i finally had a little break down when scotty got up, i just couldn’t hold it together anymore. all the thoughts i had been suppressing just finally overwhelmed me.

finally, we went to the specialist. the radiologist was super nice and kept telling us over and over how easy we were and nice and friendly…made me wonder what sort of people they were used to dealing with. then she took samuel for the xray, i swear if xrays took as long to develop as they used to i might have had a nervous breakdown by now. but technology is an amazing thing and within 5 minutes of taking the images we were looking at his new xray on the computer screen. and it looked pretty darn normal to me. and so i started feeling excited but waited for the doctor before allowing pure relief to flow over me. and sure enough he came in and took one look at it and reassured us that everything was perfectly fine and that the other xray from the dentist was, using professional terminology, a “crappy xray.” i had the biggest smile and finally i just cried a little. i have never felt so relieved and exhilarated.  he talked a bit about why the wisdom tooth needed to come out and what the procedure would be like and then we left. we picked up sadie and silas and went out for a much needed celebratory lunch and had a lot of fun talking and laughing and making our usual public display of total weirdness.

so for 24 hours i was at rock bottom. the weeks of mild depression were nothing compared to this. and it feels like having hit that super low and then having that super high jolted me out of whatever i’d been feeling about my life. like nothing, NOTHING can ever be as bad as how i felt for those 24 hours. it was definitely perspective shifting. not that one can always be lifted out of depression just by gaining perspective. for me i think it was definitely a chemical thing that happened in my brain and body when that relief spilled over me. major endorphins and dopamine spreading through my body like crazy to the point i didn’t even notice my ribs hurting for a little while. and i think the chemical jolt was enough to undo the spiral i was in. or at least i hope so. i hope this feeling sticks around for a while longer. when i was walking this morning i was thinking about all of this and how i was feeling a lot of self-doubt and frustration and how now i just can’t see any reason to let those feelings and thoughts creep in.

it seems like it wasn’t that long ago we had a similar scare with a lump on sadie’s throat. she ended up actually having surgery to remove it but it was benign. and just like yesterday we were on edge until we knew. i don’t think there is a single thing as terrifying and heart wrenching as thinking your child might die…and try as you might not to, just the suggestion of a possible illness will set your mind down that road of thinking about it.

believe it or not i had about a million more things i was gonna say about all of this but i am just gonna leave it. i feel good. samuel is fine. we are all fine. it’s all good.Share

Sunday, September 01, 2013

in which laura shares crazy

i question my reality on a pretty regular basis. usually it involves things that are very the-matrix-is-broken. like “coincidences” happening non-stop for days on end.

the past few weeks have been like that. i have not been doing much because broken ribs. and i have been taking pain meds on and off (not the hard stuff, just aleve which is like super drugs for me).

one thing i have noticed is that i feel really observant of images but at the same time i can’t follow a conversation or remember key pieces of information i’ve been told. at all. not remembering things is sort of a normal thing for me but it’s just worse right now. but the observant part is really weird. i can’t explain it. but it’s like. stuff, people, even on tv are all…the right size. like everything feels the right size. i don’t know what this means. i can’t really get the words right for this. everything i look at is right and proportionately correct and feels good to look at. the word right is the only one that comes to me. every single time i find myself looking at things. they are the right size. oh man. ummm…next…

so also i have always had the thing happen a lot where you are reading a word at the same time someone says it. or you see an image of a goat and the word goat in a song will happen at the exact moment…

right now a hummingbird keeps buzzing around me and it’s freaking me out!

…so this has been happening but like 5 or 6 times a day sometimes more for the last 2 weeks and it’s starting to make me question my reality. more than usual.

last night everyone wanted ice cream. normally scotty goes on these runs for us but he was cleaning the kitchen so i went. earlier i had been listening to the album “beer in the breakers” by the wave pictures and my ipod was paused on “walk the back stairs quiet” the part with the long solo and so i turned it back on and i was just driving down the road enjoying the guitar solo and suddenly he sings “scoop the ice cream with the dipper” and i bust out laughing for like 2 and a half minutes. because i’m on an ice cream run and…okay it was really funny at the time.

i’m pretty sure the matrix is crumbling

i convinced myself of this once a few years ago when a really random coincidence was just too much…i was looking at a picture of a dinosaur or something and someone said something about dinosaurs. or maybe it was another thing. but it wasn’t a typical word combination and it was weird and i decided i was in some coma and my reality was being made up by conversations going on around me by people visiting me in the hospital.

usually when it happens i tell everyone about it and say “what are the chances” but they started using that phrase as a way to poke fun at me so i stopped.

i shouldn’t share things i think about

or maybe i should share them more and i might find out that other people think crazy shit all the time too and therefore i would feel less alone in the world.

i wish this were the weirdest thing i thought about

but it’s notShare

Friday, May 10, 2013

what do you want to be when you grow up?

i love how conversations amble along…you start in one place and end up down the street in a completely different neighborhood. yesterday, silas and i had a conversation like that. we were in the car on the way home from the orthodontist and somehow we started talking about moving, i think because scotty is finishing school this year and there was some brief discussion the night before about “what if we had to move away if he got a job somewhere else, etc.” he asked why people always want to move to new york (i had mentioned something about how when i was young i thought i would move to new york and be a fashion designer…you can stop laughing now!). so i told him how a lot of specific culture (entertainment, culinary, etc.) is concentrated in particular areas and if what you love and want to pursue is in one of these places you are likely going to want to go there. like hollywood and new york, they have opportunities that are different than other places. maybe. it really depends on a lot of variables. he asked where you would move if you wanted to study bugs, specifically preying mantises. i said it would depend on if you wanted to study on your own or go to school. in the former you would probably get loads of books and go to a place that had a particularly high concentration of preying mantises, maybe find a mentor to work with/for. in the latter you would want to find a school that had resources and curriculum that appealed to you and maybe that had a very specific and specialized focus on what you wanted to learn. oh i also said at the beginning of the conversation “if you wanted to be an epidemiologist…” and we both were like, wait no that’s not right, that’s skin…and then simultaneously we said “entomologist!!”  so there’s that. he said he read that you don’t even get considered for a job as an entomologist unless you have a master’s degree.

then i asked him if he ever thought about these kinds of things, like if he wanted to study something specific one day or even go to school for something. he said he thought about studying bugs (that’s when i said, oh that’s why you knew that about the master’s degree! and he said yeah…). but he said he might just study them as a hobby. and i proceeded to tell him the image that studying bugs as a hobby brought to my mind (it had to do with buggy ickiness and basements and possibly baldness…don’t tell anyone i said that!). and he thought it was horrible and said he didn’t want to be bald OR have a basement…ever. and that he would never even live in a house with a basement. if a house had a basement he would say no thanks. also attics. no attics. no places in a house where you don’t go very often and are dark. and i said you could tell the realtor you would take the house but they had to fill in the basement with cement. and he said no it would just still BE THERE. okaaaay, moving right along…i asked what about garages and he said garages were okay. (i did not say anything about how bugs are mostly in dark places where people don’t go very often).

i think about this stuff a lot…my kids’ interests, their passions. and the question kids get a lot…what do you want to be when you grow up??  i don’t ask that one often. i am really so much more interested in what makes them excited right now. i don’t always ask that one either, but i am always paying attention for signs of it. i think asking “what do you want to be/do?” is often a stumbling block. i’ve seen eyes go blank and sometimes even fear and then shrugs. but ask a kid what they are excited about RIGHT NOW…that gets way more enthusiastic responses. they know the answer to that one. the other is just too far away for some kids to even contemplate. and why should they? there are far more important things they can be thinking about and spending their time doing. right now, the possibilities, discoveries and wonders are endless.

i believe that if kids are let alone enough to explore and supported enough to further their interests that they will come to ask themselves that deeply profound set of questions: “what do i want to do…what do i love doing…what will i becomewho will i become…who am i right now??” and that is a far greater thing than any other, to be able to ask yourself these questions and have the space in which to find your very own answers.Share

Thursday, March 28, 2013

my thank you post from facebook...

i love the internet, even facebook ;) because when have we ever been able to so easily wish people happy birthday or any other sweet message we might want to send.

i just went through and liked all my fb happy birthdays, i hadn't planned to do that. i was just going to do this single thank you. but then i noticed there were so many that i hadn't even seen because of the way fb does notifications now all lumped together. so i went through them all, one by one. and it was wonderful. i think there were at last 40 that i didn't see yesterday. wow.

i love that i got wishes from people living right here in my house, close friends nearby and from states far away, old friends from high school, people in the unschooling community all over the world that i've never met and those that i have but rarely see, people i have become friends with online because of mutual interests (usually music) and on other social media sites (like tumblr), and from musicians that i admire from nearby and in other parts of the world whose music i adore.

never has there been a time when that could happen so quickly and effortlessly. some people might say that because it's so easy that it means less than a card in the mail. but i disagree. sure, it doesn't take but a second to wish someone a happy day, but that doesn't make its effect any less significant. they all, every single one, made me smile.

so that is why i will continue to wish people happy birthday on facebook, whether we are family, best friends or even if we aren't super close or don't really know each other...simply because it might just make someone smile.

Friday, March 15, 2013

what a difference a year can make

last year, samuel started recording music in his bedroom. he was frustrated with not being able to find anyone to start a band with and decided to just do it all himself. he got a 4 track app for his phone and went to work at it. he played all the instruments and did the vocals and mixing. he won’t let anyone listen to those early recordings but they were an important part of the process. then he saved up for an actual 8 track recorder and started making his first demo, again by himself, which he put up on bandcamp under the name that sadie gave him for his “band”…deathly the dog.

he continued to make more recordings and eventually did an acoustic open mic show with only a guitar. it went pretty well but he was itching to play electric with a full band. shortly after that silas started showing an interest in drumming for him (there was absolutely no bribery involved *cough cough*). pretty soon they were playing their first open mic together as a band. having silas on the drums was exactly what samuel needed to make his dream of having a band come true AND the confidence to get out in front of people and not be nervous. he said that he didn’t think he could do it without him now. silas grew to really love doing it and is a phenomenal drummer.
they started playing open mic nights regularly at the same coffeehouse to very receptive crowds who grabbed up all their CDs and talked to them after their sets. when they finally decided to play another venue, the place was empty by the time they went on and it was a bit disheartening but it was a good learning experience. PLUS, it was the night they met another local teen band called war penguin (liam, joe, and emma). and they’ve all been playing together regularly ever since. samuel now plays drums and banjo for WP and liam has become the bass player for DtD.
a few weeks ago, samuel, silas and liam headed to a real studio to lay down tracks for their first professionally recorded demo. i was so impressed with their performance and competence, they knew what to do and got 5 songs down in under 5 hours. last night samuel went back to do the vocal tracks (they had just done scratch tracks on the first day). he gave samuel a couple “mini mastered” cds to take home and make some notes of anything they wanted to change before doing the final master.
today, we put it on the bose and cranked it up. we talked about the early versions and how different these are. these new recordings sound amazing even in their work-in-progress state. when i took samuel to work we played it in the car and even with my slowly dying speakers it still sounded fantastic. 
i’m really excited about this demo. it shows how much they have learned individually and as a group in the last few months alone. how playing live shows has made their performance stronger and tighter. i’m blown away by the talent of these young people and i agree with what my friend who recorded them said “i can’t wait to see what they do next.”

photos taken by ren allen at the down home on march 6, 2013


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

my teen partners

i made a joke earlier today that watching any series on netflix was a full-time job. and it’s true. but it got me thinking about the many different “jobs” i have had over the years under the single title of “mom.”
this year all three of the kids are turning milestone ages: 13, 16, and 18. my mind has been on this a lot lately. i’m reminded of when they were all 5 and under and people would ask what it was like to have 3 young children. i would often describe it as having 3 very different jobs with 3 different bosses. each child having unique needs and how you have to learn how to meet each of those needs, that you cannot parent all children the same. even how you show love to each child can be different depending on the child’s personality, emotional needs and receptive ability. 
it took me a few years to realize that while that may have been how i described it, it wasn’t necessarily how i experienced it. i found better words for it as the kids got older. i found that i didn’t really see my children as bosses but as partners. i knew early on that i was seeing the world through each of their individual lenses and experiencing right along with them and facilitating when needed. but that depth was always hard for me to describe to people.
now that they are all in their teens (well almost, sadie being still 12…but really she has been a teen since she was 3) i still feel like we have a beautiful partnership and i continue to experience new things through them.
i remember people warning me that i would have 3 teenagers one day (gasp!) and that i told them right away how much i looked forward to that day. it is here and it is awesome…actually even better than i thought it might be. i was right, but i still had no idea.