Thursday, October 18, 2012

"The Concert Goer Dilemma" or "the moment I realize I'm not 18 anymore"

I LOVE MUSIC! Okay, okay, I know there are you cynical people out there that are like, "well, duh, who DOESN'T love music". But there is something deep within me that really connects everything in my entire life to music. I compose, I musical direct and vocal coach, I play instruments and sing, I can connect any time in my life or any event with a song. Music evokes emotions that I feel I can't express. It's almost like I feel like someone gets me through a least it is a cheap form of therapy. There might be a reason I can rock the Melancholy Tunes category on SongPop.

I started going to concerts in all types of venues when I was about 16. Big or small, I always wanted to be front and center - right in the smack dab middle of the action. One of the first I remember was a ska festival in SLC at a club. I was 17 and really not opposed to the sweaty, smelly people all around me. I felt a connection with all of the concert goers. The experience and music went hand in hand. I got to see Smashing Pumpkins around that same time. The big screen behind them looked like one of those screensavers that has random shapes changing like a kaleidoscope (I'm no dummy) and even though the whole place was smoky and I was sure I was getting second-hand high, I really just wanted to stay to see if they played my favorite song.

 I think I was 20 and pregnant at a Green Day concert when it started. Billy Joe was squirting only heaven knows what from a super soaker at people in the audience, my prego super sniffer was overloading from sweat, gas, and various other smells emitting from the people around me, and I just started walking. I didn't stop until I was in the very back. The cool air hit my body and I felt like I could breathe. The music wasn't so dang loud, either. I actually really enjoyed myself. Huh.

The last 10+ years have been full of my going back and forth between the need to feel the bass bursting from my chest and having a comfy seat with earplugs so I could actually hear what the singer is singing about. I went to a music festival at Thanksgiving point with a friend when I was 28 and we were sure to get a good spot up front. It was a chill group of musicians with the exception of one group that certain fans were there to see. I was getting smashed...and it smelled like teenage boy/canine gas passing.......and I almost blacked out. I went a few feet to the front of the stage which had a gate around it so people couldn't get right up against it. I signaled to the bodyguard and he lifted me over and I could breathe again. I rode out the remaining songs from that band in the back buying stuff from vendors and made my way to the front again for the main event, but after that concert, I chose a side. I chose the old people side. Or at least, I thought I did.

Have you seen the really old people at concerts who don't know they are old and they are up front and dancing like they don't have a care in the world and it looks really awkward and you can't help but laugh but at the same time you envy them? I'm pretty sure I'm going to be one of them someday. I'm almost there. I look at all the youngin's totally enjoying themselves and not minding that they are being smashed into a stage and I feel like I've lost touch with who I really am. I want to do that, I feel the need to jump up and down in synchronization with the crowd, pumping fists and whatnot, but the smells, the sweaty people all up in my space, the LOUD.

I just went to a concert a week ago in support of my rocker bassist friend (who did rock, I might add) and these are the facts: 
  • We got there early enough to be just 3 people away from the stage.
(this picture was taken by the bassist from the side of the stage)
  • It was sort of noisy with all the commotion and then the first band started to play and I thought my eardrums ruptured (I immediately headed to the bar to purchase earplugs).
  • It was held at a bar/venue in a seedy part of town and I felt wary (new for me).
  • I danced and pumped my fists.
  • My back hurt about 2 hours in.
  • My friend had a wireless whammy bar ring and it blew my mind. At first, I thought it was just his unique way of feeling the notes play out until I noticed the blue light on his hand. That was cool.
  • I found myself just standing and taking it all in, more than connecting with the crowd.
  • I loved the feeling of the bass bursting in my chest.
  • When our friend's band ended and people started to smash up to the front to see the headlining band, I convinced everyone to head to the back where we wouldn't be sweated upon and smashed against.
  • We left early, before the band even played their most famous song, to get pie at Village Inn. 
Is there a middle ground between the young, fresh, eager concert goer and the old, awkward concert goer? If so, that is where I am. I am seasoned. I know what I like, I spend my time doing what I want and don't want to deal with anything else.  I've been around the block, one might say, as far as concert going is concerned. I've seen my fair share of bands and I enjoyed every experience but in different ways. The same friend that I went to the all day music festival at T-Point with was there with her new husband, enjoying it in their cute, youthful ways and I felt out of touch...but I also felt like I knew who I was and I accepted it with pleasure as I breathed the cooler air in the back of the room and savored that pumpkin pie.

Friday, October 5, 2012

To Paleo or not to Paleo...that is the question.

In February, I embarked on a journey that was pretty amazing.

Because of some health issues, I was told by my doc to embrace the Paleolithic lifestyle. My working out, eating, sleeping schedule, EVERYTHING changed. I quit grains, dairy and sugar cold turkey and wasn't sick, lost a ton of that baby weight, and just plain felt awesome.

Then came July.....
We had a family reunion, a trip to a cabin with friends, a wedding coming up, my life felt stressful and to top it off, I was showing a lot of signs of a postpartum anxiety disorder that I couldn't shake. I started to downward spiral and used the excuse of it being too hard to start cheating. A little sugar here, a little bread here, never hurt anyone, right?  RIGHT?

It was hard. We went to the cabin for a race and everyone carb-loaded the night before. I tried to bring enough of what I needed to keep me full. I tried to find alternatives. It was harder than I thought it would be and after MONTHS of doing it right, I started to NOT do it right. The family reunion brought a pizza night that was unavoidable and really I should have eaten before, but I didn't. I just went and had a couple of slices.

After going completely cold turkey off of these things and not seeing much of a difference physically when starting them back up, it was really hard not to cheat more....and more.

I also started to feel hopeless with what to eat. I didn't want to put in the effort to cook different things and my family wasn't on the same meal plan as me. I can only have bacon and eggs for breakfast, a salad for lunch and stew or chicken for dinner so many times before I get a little sick of it and feel WAY overloaded with meat. I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and when looking into some doctrine a bit more, I just started to question a lot about the 'lifestyle'. Aren't grains good for us? Is eating all of this meat really bad for me, even though I am feeling awesome and losing weight and not sick? Is there really *one way of eating for everyone? *To be clear, I am not questioning the Word of Wisdom as referred to before, just diet fads in general. I think I have just been trying to understand the guidelines from God a little better.

I have friends who are raw vegans, friends who strictly count calories with healthy food choices, and friends who eat whatever they want. In every single category, there are people who are very healthy and people who aren't.

For me, Paleo worked. I can't do it forever and that is the problem. I think that is the problem with most diets. If you are going to do something, it should be for forever. Not a quick fix. 

So, this amazing journey I embarked on? Now I'm just amazed I stuck with it for so long.

Food rant for the day....

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


LMS for Rate

Don't know what these mean? Tried to interpret them on your own before finally giving up and googling them? Don't worry, I did the same thing with YOLO.

On Facebook, it is always much easier to use acronyms rather than spelling things out all the way.

LMS = Like my status
TBH = To be honest
IMHO = In my humble/honest opinion

If you haven't seen these, it is probably because you aren't FB friends with teenagers. The lil' darlings I'm referring to are kids that have searched me out because they know me from when I was their elementary school librarian years ago, or if I've taught them youth theater or been in plays with them. Some are people I've been in contact with from going to the same church.

WHY would you put yourself through the humiliation of being "rated" by one of your peers for the whole FB crowd to see? WHY would you say something horrible about someone and think you can get away with it purely because you say TBH or IMHO. WHY is this acceptable?

I have seen this, not joking:

LMS for rate & TBH!
"Honestly, I don't really know you, but you are okay. 4"

4? They don't even know them and they are giving them a 4? I know, you are thinking "well what if it is a 4 out of 5?" Well, it isn't. It is usually out of 10 and then the people they really like or want to like them, they give them like 1 million trillion.

It is a shallow, horrible way to bully people. I'm sick of it. I've seen people try to stand up for themselves and then get cussed out by the other "friends" of the person rating them. I've seen someone defend their standards while at the same time judging and belittling a girl who hasn't made the same choices.

The internet is interesting. It brings out a lot in people. Good, bad, and in between. It's kind of like having an older brother that could beat the crap out of anyone if they mess with you, so you say whatever you want, feeling like you will be protected by him. Only, he can't protect your feelings when someone says something hurtful back to you.

I try, with all my might, to be true to who I am but at the same time being aware of other people's feelings. I have probably said a few things before...out of sarcasm, pms, frustration, insomnia, hunger, you name it...but I really hope I haven't ever said anything on the interwebs that have hurt feelings to the point of bullying.

Cyber bullying is real. It can get way worse than the examples I am giving, like actual violence ensuing, but here is a minor example from what I've observed.

Girls at a local Jr. High were talking about someone (the girl knew they were talking about her) back and forth on Facebook. They were using a foul nickname and were calling her VERY degrading things. More people got on board. It was like a witch hunt. A public and embarrassing witch hunt where they were getting so very mean in ways that I didn't think were possible. I couldn't believe that *these kids*, who I know, were acting like this. But, in a way, I could believe it. Not because they are bad kids. I don't think any kids are bad kids...I just think they get dealt bad cards and have to deal with them the best they know how.

TBH, it breaks my heart that this is happening. I can't handle the bullying, the incessant language that is the norm these days, and the pictures they put up of themselves just so that other people will tell them how sexy or hot they are.

Why do we look to the internet for validation? Is it because it is where most of us have social interaction in these modern times?

The internet is a wonderful place to connect with friends, but I will say this: I am SO GLAD that this wasn't around when I was in Jr. High or High School. Heaven help this least when I was younger, it was all said behind my back and I only heard wind of it a couple times. IMHO, that is better than being publicly humiliated and seeing what they are all actually saying.

What do you think? Would you rather know what people are saying about you (everyone else will know, too) or just know people are talking and not know who is saying it or what they are saying?

Sunday, September 23, 2012

I have a split personality. No I don't. Yes I do. AND...the perils of a scary movie habit.

I love Halloween.

I started decorating my house yesterday. I wanted to get it up early so I could see what the house still "needed" to make it just right. I bought a GIANT crapload of new decorations and decided to make a spider's web with decorations caught in it. Cute, right? I still need the fishing string to attach it all, but I have been having a good ol' time with putting up the owls and banners, witch's hats and brooms, and old Halloween pictures of my fam.
I love to get dressed up. It HAS to be the theater geek in me, but putting on fake eyelashes and wigs and being somebody I'm not is a ton of fun. One year, HUBS & I were Ozzy &  Sharon. Another, he was a Devo band member and I was an 80's teenybopper. We go all out. This year, L wants to be a roadkill panda with a mustache. She is the coolest 12 year old around. HUBS is still trying to figure out what to be and I am going to plan around his costume. BABY is going to be a ladybug because guess what, the dang costume was on clearance last October and I am too tired and busy to make anything else.

I also love the treats. I had some pumpkin bread from Kneaders yesterday and it was DELISH. People start to bake things when the weather gets cooler and the cool people bring me those goodies to eat. Thank you, cool people, in advance.

Isn't Autumn heavenly? OH. MY. GOODNESS. The breeze, the smells, the trees changing color, the night coming is all just so lovely. Fall is my favorite season. Add football to the mix and this chica is one happy camper.

I hate Halloween.

Haunted Houses (including forests, circuses, whatever) suck. I hate them. I have NEVER liked them. So, 2 boys that I went on dates with to Haunted Houses years ago, lucky you. Poor HUBS loves crap like that. So, if you are going on a date and need an awkward 3rd, give him a call. 

Trashy Costumes. 
No...not the kind where you wear a black trash bag and become a California Raisin, the other kind. Why does there have to be a super sexy version of Annie out there for a teenager to wear and sing Tomorrow ala Marylin Monroe? Why does a skimpy Hermione costume exist? Why does Halloween = free pass to dress like a lady of the night? The fact that I grew up in UTAH where 3/4 of the time there was snow on the ground and I needed a winter jacket to go trick-or-treating makes these costumes so foreign to me. It is still super cold around Halloween. Don't they get cold? Am I over thinking this? How do they trick-or-treat in those heels? OUCH. I'm such a grinch.

Disgustingly scary costumes. Ick. I don't want to see a zombie baby eating another baby's brains. Is that too much to ask, Halloween Specialty Stores? I will spare you the picture. How about a whole section in there devoted to the Scream movies. BLAST and WRETCH that high school boyfriend who thought I would enjoy seeing it in the theater. 

*I just had to move my chair so that my back is to the wall and I can now see my surroundings. Don't want any creepers sneaking up on me, now do I?*

HORROR MOVIES. I just can't handle it. I went through a phase as a youngin' and watched too many Horror films for my own good and now I think I am seriously scarred for life. BE's like any other habit. You start small, like with a couple of the scarier episodes of The Twilight Zone and move on to the B movie Horror films that are so lame, it's hard for them to be scary. If you need examples, just holler. And then, one day, you just decide it would be a good idea to watch something really scary. I blame my own walk down this path on my father. I don't know, though, if I should thank him or make him feel guilty for the years of choosing to watch movies like Scream or 7 and then not being able to sleep (judge was during my dating years and I wasn't strong).

Maybe I should thank him...I did get to see some pretty hilarious and awesome scary movies in my time. I am older and wiser and I know how those movies get to me and I am smart enough to choose NOT to go down that path.

I don't mind the trick-or-treaters...they are cute enough. I love Halloween parties. Any excuse for a party is a good one. See my dilemma? I don't know whether to love or hate this phenomenon that comes around for a month or so in the fall. 

What do you think?

Saturday, September 22, 2012

It has been 442 days since my last post.

Once upon a time, I had a blog. I was a sassy librarian who liked to be snarky and have a good time. I was working, had a husband, and a daughter who was grown and was mostly able to take care of her little, independent self.

I went through YEARS of infertility. That is another post for another time.

One fine day, I found out I was pregnant...and this time it lasted long enough for our sweet 2nd baby to come into our lives.

I am still quite sassy and maybe a little bit less publicly snarky. I have been married even longer now and my grown up,12 year old only needs me as a taxi service (snarky). I left my amazing job to be at home with my new little adventure.

Again, I used to blog. I had many intentions of sharing those special moments with the bloggerverse, but apparently life had other plans.

I have had so many amazing experiences. I have done so many awesome things. I have FELT things with a more tender heart. But those are stories that I may or may not share. I don't want to stress myself out feeling like I need to cover all of my bases. I won't feel obligated to share every little thing that happens...even if what I share happens to be a very little thing. Which, will probably be the case most of the time.

I have missed this. I love to express myself through the written word. It relaxes me. It helps my jumbled brain feel organized. It helps when I am jonesing for something to fill that artistic void.

Stay tuned.