Happy Horrordaze!

IMG_0076

For some people, spending time with their relatives for the holidays can be a nightmare.  Fortunately for me, that’s not the case.  For one, my parents never lay guilt trips on myself or my siblings for not visiting.  They work from the mindset that everyone is busy, and as grownups we all have our own lives to attend to.  I personally like to spend time with my family on either Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Years.  This year I chose to visit my parents in Florida on Thanksgiving.

I drove down the Tuesday before turkey day so that I could leave the following Saturday.  I had a meeting to come back to and didn’t want to get stuck in the Sunday traffic on I-95.  I was also excited to be in the lovely FL sunshine.  Even if it meant missing my Wednesday before thanksgiving tradition with friends to be in a 55 and older retirement community.

I would like to point out that I am not from Florida.  I am from Detroit, MI, a much more suitable place to tell people you were born and raised.  Sure I may stab you for cutting in front of me at Popeye’s chicken but at least I will be able to drive the getaway car.  Glad we got that covered.

I was looking forward to spending time with Rat-a-tat-Pat (my madre) and Big Z (my stepdiddy). It was going to be just the three of us for the most part, except for my aunt and uncle and cousin for a few hours on turkey day.  When I arrived on Tuesday Big Z was well into a bottle of red wine.  He told me he had wanted to open it and make sure it “breathed” before I got there.  Let me be clear about something here.  My family are big fans of wine, however I don’t think you really need to let Carlos & Rossi really breathe, do you?  Isn’t it better if you don’t smell it before you drink it?  I’m kidding really, they don’t drink that crap but I can assure you this bottle probably cost somewhere in the $10 range.  I realize you can get plenty of good bottles of wine for $10, but they don’t usually come in the economy size.

My mother tends to go to bed early most work nights.  She goes to be at 9 to read her scandal magazines and gets up at 5:30.  She stayed up later than usual that night as I didn’t get in until 8:30.  She went to bed around 10:30 and warned Big Z and I to behave ourselves, which we promptly did by finishing the supersized bottle of wine.  We went to bed shortly after so we could be ready for our next day of “bonding.”  By the way, bonding in my family means drinking.  You’ll need to know this for future reference.

My parents have extremely thin walls in their house, so of course I heard my mom up at 5:30 and then heard Z up at 8.  As much as I wanted to sleep in, because this is supposed to be a vacation after all, I decided to get up.  I was ready to knock out our errands so we could commence to bonding.

My mother is very particular and used to getting things her way so we made sure not to stray from the list she gave us to get.  She told us to get some green beans to steam.  This is surprising because my mother doesn’t like vegetables that much.  Unless it’s green peppers or cream corn.  When I was a child, I was anemic.  When I went to the doctor he asked me, “What do you eat that’s green?” I responded by telling him that I eat green peppers and M&Ms. I grew to love vegetables on my own, and in fact didn’t have my first brussel sprout until I was 26! And now I love them.  But I digress… Z went straight to the frozen section.  I tried to tell him that I would gladly by fresh ones and blanche them in a white wine sauce but there was no having that.  Birds Eye was the way to go.

Our next stop was to buy lotto tickets and good bread at the local Publix (Which we kept calling Pubics.  We have the habit of turning everything into 14 year old toilet humour when we’re together.) Then our last and final stop was the liquor store.

I love liquor stores in Florida.  They are such a one stop shop.  I wish it was the case here.  Not only can you buy beer, wine and liquor, but you can buy mixers, good cheese and specialty items.  I found something that I have not been able to find anywhere but New Orleans….Pickled green beans!  Since my travels to New Orleans, I have been spoiled by pickled green beans in my bloody marys.  I adore them. I quickly snatched them up and the fixings for a good bloody mary.  As I checked out, I told the cashier that my mom sent us to the store for green beans and I was going to tell her we bought these for our Thanksgiving dinner.

Big Z and I made it back to the house and he started to make his famous stuffing as I set out to make Bloody Marys before making deviled eggs. The next thing we needed was a soundtrack to our madness.  Z loves music.  He’s played the accordion since he was a kid and now plays both that and the button box.  He plays in a polka band and hopes someday to start his own, called Marty and the Polka Pussies. I believe you’ve already been warned about my family and our crudeness.  But alas, I digress.  I decided to introduce Z to Spotify so I set him up an account on his computer.  Then I set up a radio station based on Dave Bartholomew songs and he was in all his glory.  This is something we share, our love of old music.  We went about our cooking until we were finished and then we had some time to kill before my mom came home.  So we devised a plan. First part of the plan was to switch from bloody marys to greyhounds.

Z: “Let’s mess with your mom.”

Me: “I’m down.  What do you have in mind?”

Z: “I’ll give you the little binoculars, and I’ll take the big ones and let’s sit on the porch and pretend we’re spying on the neighbors when she gets home from work.”

Me: “Why pretend?  Let’s just spy on the neighbors.”

Z: “Actually sometimes I do but nothing interesting ever happens around here.  Normally I just watch this 85 year old guy passed out on a lawn chair in his front yard.”

So we do just that.  We’re sitting on the smoking porch when she comes home.  Their stereo is in the house so we had to have the music pretty loud so we could here it.  My mom comes home and we lift our binoculars to our eyes, pretending to spy on the boring neighbors.  She doesn’t even notice what we’re doing.  She’s home and she’s pissed.

Mom: “What the hell is the matter with you two?  I can hear that shit all the way in the driveway.  Jesus Christ, Marty.  Did you forget to put your hearing aids in again?”

Me: “Hi mom.  We’ve missed you too.  And that shit is called music and it’s AMAZING!”

Mom: “Not at that decible, that shit’s annoying.  Turn it off.”

I go to turn it off and come back onto the screen porch where she is not sitting and smoking a cigarette.  She looks at Z and then at me, and then back at Z.

“Jesus you two.  Did you save any vodka for tomorrow?”

Z: “We have moonshine for tomorrow.  And we bought another bottle of vodka at the liquor store today.  Don’t you worry.”

Mom: “I’m not worried. As long as you made your stuffing the way you normally do I don’t give a damn what you did today.”

Part of me thinks she was a little jealous that we were having fun all day while she had a tough day at work.  I can’t blame her.  The rest of the evening was pretty uneventful except for one of the neighbors coming over to gossip about other people in the park. That’s what they call it, the “park.”  Perhaps because it’s a trailer park? That’s my guess.

The next day was Thanksgiving.  I woke up pretty early because I couldn’t sleep the night before. I get up and this is the first conversation I had with my mother.

Mom: “Will you please wash your hair today so I can see what color it is under all that filth?”

Me: “I just washed it two days ago. It’s not that bad.”

Mom: “Well it looks like crap so go wash it.”

I obliged of course because that’s what you do when you are with your parents.  And my aunt and uncle and cousin were coming over and I wanted to look nice.  They come and all is well and normal until we start taking pictures.  My aunt takes a picture of my cousin and I.  I show it to my mother.

Mom: “What a great photo of you two.  Too bad you’re related, you’d make beautiful babies.”

Me: “Are you out of your mind? He is my cousin, what is wrong with you?”

Mom: “I’m just saying you guys would have cute kids.”

Me: “I think you’ve been smoking those cigarettes with your left hand.”

The rest of the day was pretty uneventful.  We were all tired and wanted to go to bed early. I needed a little rest after the last two eventful (that’s code for drunken) days.

My mother and I braved Black Friday the next day to do some shopping.  We didn’t go to the mall or get crazy and quite frankly I would rather miss all the crowds.  But I was not going to pass up an opportunity for my mommy to take me shopping.  And indeed she did. It was nice to have a day for just her and I.

Saturday seemed to come way too soon. It’s always hard to leave my folks.  We get along really well and we only see each other 3 times a year at most.  We’re all getting older and while I love my life as it is, I wish they were in it more.  We’re already planning their next visit here, and I’m sure I will be down there this summer.  I’ve been instructed that I’m never allowed to bring another boyfriend down there, because, in the words of Z, “You’re just too damn fun on your own.”

Don’t threaten me with a good time.

 

Advertisements

The Art in Losing Someone You Love

A friend of mine recently passed.  We weren’t that close, although I would call us friends.  We have some mutual friends that are very and near to us both.  It was through them that I knew he had fallen ill, quite quickly and while he diagnosed with a couple of months to live, he lasted just about two weeks.  His friends gathered around him in his final days, celebrating his life and the joy that he had brought to everyone who knew him.

I can’t stop thinking about him and all those whose lives he touched.  I’ve been thinking about the fact that while you can’t pick your family, you certainly can pick your friends, and hopefully they will help fill in those gaps that your family may have left unfulfilled.  Sid was certainly that person to many people.  I have lost one of those people in my life too, two years ago.  Her name was Margaret Lauzon.

Margaret and I met through the studio.  She was a true music lover if there every was one.  She played the hammer dulcimer.  She was also a filmmaker, documentarian, rabblerouser, stoner, and a whole lot more.  She was a lot of things to me, she was one of my best friends.  If there’s one thing you should know about me, it’s that I love to laugh.  I try to be funny, I like to make others laugh, and there have been just a couple of people in my life who could make me laugh as much as Margaret.  She had the best sense of humour and could turn anything into a good time.  You also never knew what was going to come out of her mouth when she opened it.  One of the first times I hung out with her, we went to the Orange Peel together.  A guy approached us after recognizing her.  This is how their exchange happened.

Random Guy: “Hey, I know you, didn’t we meet at a party in Fairview?”

Margaret:  “I didn’t have sex with your friend in the closet, if that’s way you mean.”

Random Guy: “Umm…..yea, okay. I’m Rob.”

Margaret: “Sorry Rob, I just had to make sure I was clear about that.  I’m not a tramp. I’m Margaret.”

I just stood there bewildered with the fact she answered the question the way she did.  For years after that I would walk up to her while she was talking to someone at a party and say, “Excuse me, didn’t we have sex in a closet in Fairview once?”  She laughed every time.

IMG_1435

Margaret was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer.  I was in Jamaica when it happened.  All of a sudden I was getting all of these voicemails whenever I turned my phone on.  I had changed my voicemail before I left to say that I was out of the country and please don’t leave me a message unless it was an emergency.  When I finally checked it I had several messages about Margaret being in the hospital.  I was finally able to reach her after several attempts of calling her.  She was scared, in pain, and felt helpless.  As did I.  I couldn’t wait to get back to North Carolina to see her.

It was a long road of chemo and radiation.  Margaret’s mom was there by her side all the time.  At this point she had moved to Shelby and was getting her treatments in Charlotte.  I would give her mom a break and come to take Margaret for her treatments for a few days. It was here that I got to learn all about cancer and what it does to the human body and spirit. I told Margaret I was there for comic relief and did my best to make her laugh, although I have to say it was never one sided.  I was never grossed out by her “poop bag” and made sure to talk about it as much as possible with her.  We both were fans of toilet humour, and having a poop bag just gave us so much ammunition for dirty jokes.

At one point Margaret was declared cancer free after countless treatments and months and months of being sick.  We threw her a party, even made her a pinata of a human ass so she could beat the crap out of it.  She got her colostomy bag removed which was a big deal.  She was always concerned that she would have that thing for the rest of her life.  And I don’t blame her, what 34 year old single girl wants to explain to every guy she dates that she has a shit bag on her hip? She had a big part of her colon removed so between that and the treatments, she was having some issues.  Margaret came and stayed with me for two weeks in March of 2010. Needless to say, her stay was nothing short of entertaining.  During this time she rearranged my furniture several times while I was at work.  While I was working she would sent me text pictures if she had a bowel movement.  “These things should be celebrated, dammit!”, she would say.  This was when the iphone couldn’t get picture texts and I would have to go that website, and enter the long, stupid code.  I would sit there and watch the page slowly load, only to realize I was looking at a tiny turd in my very own toilet.  One day I left for work and she was watching Pineapple Express, I came home 10 hours later and she still hadn’t finished it.  She had been distracted a few, well, a few hundred times throughout the day and just couldn’t finish it.  It was on this visit that Margaret decided to have the surgery reversed and get her bag once again.  She said it just wasn’t worth the pain in the ass she had to deal with.  Literally.

When she went for the surgery, the discovered a tumor in her stomach.  She told me she didn’t want to spend the time she had left poisoning herself with chemo. I have to say after seeing what she went through for the colon cancer, I didn’t blame her one bit. I tried to spend as much time with her as possible.  I tried to make her laugh as much as I could.

Shortly before Margaret passed my mom was diagnosed with anal cancer.  I wanted to tell Margaret about my mom, but didn’t how she would feel or say about it.  On top of going through the last stages of one my best friend’s life and my mother being sick, my relationship was falling apart and my professional life was a mess.  I was one big ol’ sloppy mess.

I drove down to Florida to take my mom to her first chemo treatment.  Margaret had been admitted to Hospice, and I have to say, I really didn’t understand that Hospice meant the end of the line.  I thought she was just trying to get her “drug cocktail” just right and then she would come home.  I don’t know if this was just me willing that to be the case or I was just trying to remain blissfully ignorant.  We were texting everyday and her texts varied in wackiness depending on her cocktail.  She was trying to figure out that right balance of being out of pain but still being coherent.  I have saved all of those text messages from her and often look back at them.

I finally texted Margaret.

“I’m down in FL, my mom has anal cancer, taking her to her first chemo treatment.”

“Well soldier, this isn’t your first battle. You know what to do…”

She was right.  My mom went through 7 weeks of chemo and radiation.  It was miserable, but then again, what can you expect?  Cancer’s a bitch. I just tried to be there as much as possible for her.

After Margaret died, I held a memorial for her, and invited everyone to tell their favorite Margaret stories. There were so many great stories and I was so happy that her brother was there to hear them.

This was the first time that I have lost someone so close to me.  I know it’s supposed to get easier with time and I’m sure at some point it will.  But I can tell you, I have cried the entire time writing this post, taking short breaks to swill some vodka and blow my nose. I think of her often and I have a great memorial piece in my kitchen of her thanks to Whitney Ponder. She left me all of her pottery so all of my dishes are plates from her collection of handmade pieces. It’s hard not to think of all the fun things we would of done together.  We would of created so many great movies and stories together.

If I have one piece of advice to give someone who has a loved one who is sick or dying it would be this: Do not let your fear or pain of losing them get in the way of spending time with them. Do not worry about being awkward or saying the wrong thing or being emotional stop you from reaching out to them.  Margaret and I talked about the people in her life who didn’t contact her after finding out she had cancer. No one expects you to be perfect in these imperfect situations and remember we are all in this world together.  I know how hard it is to watch someone you love slowly or quickly physically wither, but missing out on those last precious moments with someone you love is much, much harder to deal with.

With much love and respect…

And if you want to see some of the cinematic magic we made together….

Drastic Times Call For Drastic Measures

Here’s a little ditty I wrote for the Listen To This Series at 35 Below Theatre

Once upon a time I lived with two roommates.  I owned the house we lived in.  Annalisa was a sweet girl who was a massage therapist that worked out of the house.  She had quite the eclectic personality.  One day, she would meditate for 5 hours and the next day she would listen to psychology book on tape on how to find and keep a man.  Then the next night she would put on a pink tutu and a purple wig and ride her bike to a solstice party.  I would inevitably find her bike crashed into a bush in the front yard. She was also a little overly sensitive, which was good for me, because I tend to be on the opposite end of the spectrum when it comes to sensitivity.  So it was good practice for me to not be so……blunt, harsh, I don’t know which works better.  I would think I was being extremely conscious of how I approached her, I’d say things like, “Hey, Annalisa, are you going to be in the bathroom for much longer, because if you are, I can shower downstairs, I’m totally cool with that, just let me know.”  She’d answer and I’d go about my business and then later that evening she’d say.  “So this morning, when you asked about the shower, you kinda hurt my feelings…….”  Regardless of this, she was a really good roommate.

Then I had another roommate.  Named Blimey.  Blimey lived in my basement, so he had his own entrance and his own full bathroom so we basically just shared the kitchen, which he didn’t use that often.  Blimey was about 10 years older, maybe 12 and I’d known him for a number of years because we were climbing partners.  Now, Blimey obviously isn’t his real name, but it was his nickname.  The reason he had this nickname was because of his accent.  He wasn’t a foreigner, he was from CT, but his accent was a cross between a Cajun/Creole accent and someone from Jersey.  We used to love to tease him about it and he’d say, “I don’t why I talk this way, I’m adopted okay?”  It was pretty funny going to some rural areas of Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia with him because people never knew what to make of him.   Now, Blimey was a pretty good roommate, he kept to himself and we’d go days without talking or seeing each other.  We would often joke how we had to go on climbing trips to catch up with each other.  So for the most part he was great, EXCEPT.  He would always eat my food.  Now this drives me crazy for a number of reasons.  One, it’s mine.  Don’t eat it.  Two, I was raised in a household where we really had to ration our food, so we had to make it last.  Of course this has carried into my adult life so I continue to ration food like we’re in a depression.  I also grew up in a household where you always saved the last of something for someone else.  Which was kind of funny because the last of everything would sit in the fridge until someone FINALLY ate it.  Third, I worked a lot of hours, and wasn’t there that often so I wanted to have a few staple things in the house always.  Basically milk, eggs, and cheese.  Well wouldn’t you know it? These were the exact things that Blimey liked to eat too.  And he ate mine all the time.  And I mean all the time.   He would rarely replace them.  The other thing is these were the items that I always purchased that were organic.  Why?  Well for one, they last longer so it was nice to have that option, and two, they taste better.  It’s not like everything I bought or buy is organic but I would definitely spend the money for eggs and milk to be organic.  So if Blimey did replace them, which was rare, he would replace them with milk and eggs from the gas station down the street.  Yeah, classy.

I had asked him time and time again not to do this, but it just seemed never to get through to him.  It was really frustrating and had been happening for over a year.

So one night, I come home on a Friday evening after working late.  I am the only on there and I am craving some ice cream.  I’m not a big ice cream person, so having a pint in the freezer lasts me a long time.  Well, guess what else Blimey liked to eat?  Ice cream!  So I go into the freezer and low and behold my ice cream is gone.  So I’m upset, right?  I call Blimey, he answers right away.  I yell at him, “Blimey!  Damn you, you ate my ice cream!”  He says, “I’m sorry, I’m at Scullys I will bring you some right now.”  So Blimey comes home and brings me two pints of Ben and Jerrys.

“I really hate it when you eat my food dude.”

“I know, I’m sorry, it was late and I was stoned and I forgot to replace it.  I won’t do it again.”

I forgive him and go on my way.  Keep in mind this is on Friday.  So Monday, I come home from work, it’s pouring down rain, it’s around 9 pm and Annalisa is watching TV.  Blimey is gone, he went up to CT for 3 weeks.  So I  come in, and I’m tired and I have PMS.  Or as my brother used to say, I’m about to start my pyramid.  I go to get some ice cream and both pints are gone!  Both of them.  That’s right, in 2 days time, 48 hours, Blimey has eaten both pints he bought me to replace the other one he ate.  Aaaaaand he’s gone for three weeks!  I am so angry now.  I am pacing in the living room.  Annalisa says, I’ll go down to the gas station and get you some ice cream, which as you can imagine just makes me more angry.  I’m quite over eating things from the gas station.

“That is it, that is it.  I am going to do something to teach him a lesson.”

“What are you going to do?”

I am pacing in the living room, right back and forth, racking my brain, when it hits me and I stop.

“I am going to shit in his ice cream.”

“Excuse me?”  says Annalisa

“Yes, I am going to buy some ice cream, take the ice cream out, put it in the a container marked lentils, because Blimey will be like, what the hell are lentils? And I am going to shit in the ice cream.”

Now, let me do a little side bar here.  I am not an evil person, I never wanted to get Blimey sick.  I never thought he would actually eat the shit in the ice cream, I figured it was kind of like a mobster who sends a pigs head in the mail, or something like that.  I’m not gonna hurt ya, I’m just trying to get my point across.  I would make sure that it was very easy to tell it was poop, and it wouldn’t be eaten.

Now, clearly, Annalisa was a little uneasy.  I’m not sure how I feel about there being shit in our freezer.  I told her that I wasn’t sure if I was actually going to go through with it and maybe I would just put dog poop in the ice cream instead.  That seemed to ease her mind a little.

I didn’t really think about it for a few days, my anger had passed and with Blimey gone for 3 weeks I couldn’t confront him about it anyway.  Then one day I came from work and Annalisa was in the kitchen.

“I’m in”, she says.

“What are you talking about?  In what?”

“I’m in on the set up, the hoax, whatever you want to call it?”

As I said, I had forgotten about it and I asked again, “What the hell are you talking about?”

She goes to the freezer and pulls out a gallon of mint chocolate chip ice cream. Here she said, “I bought this gallon of ice cream.  I even ate half of it so you can poop in it.  Here, go for it.”

I was stunned.  Sweet, sweet Annalisa was going to be my co-conspirator on a plan that I hadn’t fully decided to go through with it.  So she hands me the ice cream, and apparently expects me to do my business on command.

“Ahh, let me think about,” it I say.  “I’m not sure if I just want to put dog shit in there instead.”

“No,” she says, “you have to teach him a lesson once and for all, it’s got to be the real deal.”

“All right, all right. We have some time before he gets home.  Let me umm…get in the mood and I’ll do it.”

So the next night I am stage managing here at ACT for the Rebelles, the burlesque show in town.  I’d been at rehearsals everyday that week and it was nice to have opening here and behind me.  So I go out drinking with a few of my friends after the show.

We end up at my place around 2 am and we’re loud enough to wake Annalisa up.  She doesn’t mind, this is part of the coolness of her, that she doesn’t want to kill me when I show up at the house at 2 AM with three guys.  She starts telling them of our scheme to get Blimey back and the boys are loving the story.  I tell them that I don’t think I have the gall to actually go through with the act.  I barely get these words out of my mouth when my friend Francois goes into the freezer grabs the ice cream and calmly walks in the bathroom.  The rest of us sit there bewildered as to what just happened.  He comes out about 10 minutes later and hands the box to me.  Everyone is standing around me, because of course we have to see it for it actually to be true.  I open the box for all of us to see the teeniest of tiniest turds that you ever did see.  It’s the size of a poop that you would expect from a puppy.

“That’s it?  It’s sooo……….small.  Dude, you’re like 6’4, how can you even produce something that small?  The taco bell dog could produce something bigger than that.” I say.

“Hey, you try pooping on command at 3 am and let’s see what you come up with,” he says.

Regardless, you can still tell what it is, there’s no mistaking it, except you would think it would of come out of the butt of 6 lb shitz hu.   We put it in the freezer and waiting for Blimey’s return.

Flash forward a week.  It’s a Saturday in the middle of summer and I come home from work to find Annalisa lying in my bed, watching TV with the window air conditioning blaring.  She is visibly in pain and rubbing her stomach.

“What’s a matter with you?” I ask.

“I have cramps and all I wanna do is eat some ice cream, but I can’t because there is poop in it.  Ahhhh…….”

I also notice that Blimey is home and he is cutting the grass.  At least he’s doing something, right?  I decide to crawl into bed with Annalisa and enjoy the air conditioning and crappy television.   It’s not long before Blimey takes a break, we hear the lawnmower shut off and soon his heavy steps are in the house.  He comes to my bedroom door, doesn’t knock and just throws the door open.  Shirtless, sweaty and full of piss and vinegar.

“Oh, must be nice, must be nice to be sittin’ in here in air conditioning while I’ll out there mowing the lawn.”

Keep in mind, this is the first interaction I’ve had with him, in three weeks.

“Blimey, you ate my damn ice cream again.”

“He starts to laugh, I know, haha, and I was drivin’ away, thinkin’ haha bitches I’m ate your ice cream and I’m gone and not gonna be back for three weeks, you can’t do nothin’ to me.  I can’t believe you even remember.”

“I hate you.”

“But the jokes on me,” he says, Annalisa and I both sit up in bed.

“Oh yeah?  I ask, why is that?”

“Because you bought mint chocolate chip, I hate mint chocolate chip!  It’s the only ice cream I won’t eat.”

“Noooooooo!” screams Annalisa, gets up, goes to the kitchen takes the ice cream out of the freezer and throws it in the trash.

I went that night to stage manage the Rebelles again.  And again, went out after the show.  I just happened to run into my friend Francois, and I tell him the story.  He tells me to get some Rocky Road and give him a call.

We never actually told Blimey that we did it.  I did however, tell my friend Rose, who told her husband, who then told Blimey.  Apparently he was concerned with his well being and thought he might actually accidentally mistake a pile of poop for ice cream.  Blimey never told me that he knew, but he did stop eating my food.

 

 

Oh My Moogfest….

So here it goes, my first blog post.  I write posts all the time, just not for myself.  Always for my alter ego, which is studio manager at Echo Mountain Recording.  But enough about that place.  I love it, but it consumes my life and this blog is supposed to be the opposite of that.    I decided this first post would be about my adventures during the week of Moogfest.

I started my festivities on Tuesday night with a night out to see the ska band, the Toasters.  I was with a random group of people, first being my bestie aka my wife, Carson.  You’ll be hearing loads about her as she and I are quite like a retired married couple.  We do plenty of fun things but also spend plenty of time on the couch watching really bad tv.  We were invited out by JD and Tim, the guys who work on our houses for us.  Both in their late 50s, they made sure we knew if we met any young cute boys that they wouldn’t be offended if we decided to hang out with them.  Carson assured them that we were quite content to hang with a couple of old farts. And lastly, my buddy Carl joined us.  Carl is the distiller for Troy & Sons Moonshine and Whiskey Distillery.  He was bringing me some provisions for Moogfest and turns out, he’s a big fan of the Toasters so he jumped on the wagon.

I try to learn something new everyday and this day was no different. I learned that the term skanking is not just reserved for the activities of dirty girls anymore.  It’s a type of dance you do to ska music which looks like the running man sans rhythm.  It was a good time even if I wasn’t ever a fan of the band.  And what do you know, we also ended up hanging with some PYTs.

On Thursday, I was invited to a lovely dinner at Zambras with the fine folks from AC Entertainment and Google.  It was very nice of them to invite me out although while I think Zambras is amazing, tapas in not my favorite type of food.  I always feel like I get to just the smallest taste of something delicious.  It’s such a tease.  Have you tried the little potatoes? Oh that’s too bad, they were amazing.  There were 6 on the plate and 8 people at the table.  None the less, it was a good time with some interesting people.  We left there and went to see Justice at the Civic Center.  This was still pre-party for the upcoming weekend and not actual Moogfest festivities.  It was cool, the freaks were already starting to come out as we in Asheville love any reason to dress up.

We left there and I suggested we go to the Southern, to have a second dinner, because if there’s one thing I love, it’s late night food.  The guys were into it and we headed there as I spoke highly of the deviled eggs.  There are a few things that I love like it’s my job; my dog, the Golden Girls, and deviled eggs.  I will find any excuse to make them.  And I can make a damn good deviled egg without mayonaise.

We sat down and it wasn’t long before we ran into Les Claypool and Jay Lane from Primus.  The AC dudes knew them and introduced me.  I had such a great conversation with Jay.  He told me all about his family, his wife and kids and some pretty cool things about his mom, who adopted him as a single mom when that was something unheard back in the 70s.  He ended up leaving and I ended up hanging with the rest of the dudes until it was just Les and I.  He started giving me relationship advice.  Now here’s the thing, he’s been married for a long time, has two beautiful teenage children and has been out of the dating game for a quite some time.  So let’s just say I don’t think he’s the best person to take advice from.  I on the other hand, am a newly single woman, in my mid thirties who has never been married and yet I too, don’t know much about dating in today’s world. The first thing he pointed out to me was that I wasn’t getting any younger and I better hurry up and find myself a man if I want to have a baby. The thing is I don’t know if I want to have children or not.  But he seemed to think my biological clock was like a grenade that was about to go off and I needed to “shit or get off the pot.”  This is not his quote, but one from my mother that she loved to tell me as a child when I couldn’t make a decision.  The other little nugget he bestowed upon me was that I should join an online dating service.  I tried to explain to him that if he knew me he wouldn’t say that, that I’m not the type who would join a dating service because I have no problem meeting new people.  And I like the idea of meeting someone through someone, or bumping into them at the supermarket, something where you see someone, and you don’t know them and they make your heart race.  His stance was a dating service takes all the guessing out of it, that running into someone with your cart in the grocery store was great and all but it was going to take you some serious time to figure out whether you were compatible with that person. With a website, you are paired with someone with personal interests, weed out the guys that who smoked if you didn’t like that, do they have kids, etc.  While I agreed with him, I pointed out that people lie about themselves all the time and just because they put it on their profile doesn’t mean they aren’t a chronic nose picker, or that they’ll divulge their Precious Moments collection on their profile.  But then again, I guess when your biological clock is a ticking bomb, you might as well speed up the mating process as soon as possible, right?  Hard tellin’, not knowin’.  I’m sticking to my guns on the dating service thing, despite the fact that some of my friends want me to join.  I am not in the space to date anyway right now.  I have plenty to do and would rather spend my time doing other things.  Like writing this blog.  What would the three of you who read this do without my internet musings?  You should probably read a book…  While we were having this discussion, numerous people would come up to us and take our picture and buy us drinks.  I don’t know if you know this, but when you are sitting next to a well known musician, people will buy you drinks too!  And they take your picture because they are not sure if they should know you are not.  I kept telling people I was a back up dancer.

We closed the bar and I walked him back to his bus.  He invited me on to the bus, I joined for a moment, took the tour and then said that my mother always told me nothing good happens after 2 AM, especially on a tour bus.  I excused myself and went home.

The rest of my Moogfest was great although none of the stories are as good as this one.  It was a blast from the past to see Richie Hawtin and Carl Craig, reminding me of ye old rave days back in Detroit. Santagold was my favorite and made me really want to be a back up dancer.  If it wasn’t for this damn old lady hip, I would give it the old college try.

Here’s my proof that this actually did happen.  I don’t know how many other pictures I ended up in.  I only know of this one because it happened to be posted on twitter.  Good times.