I am thankful for blah, blah, blah……

Deep breath…okay, here goes. This could be the post that makes me sound like a thankless bitch….but I hope I am just saying what others are thinking. And even if no one else is thinking it, I will be thankful that my reflexes have always been good so I can duck and cover quickly.

It really gets under my skin when I see everyone on facebook and twitter posting about “30 days of thanks”. I know that sounds harsh and cold, but those posts bug me. I have bitten my tongue and sat on my fingers for as long as I can. Let me just say, I have not unfriended anyone because of their posts and I don’t have negative feelings toward any person posting these things. That’s the disclaimer…

Often, when I see one of those posts, this is how my brain translates it “My life is awesome and I have the best people for friends and family and my job rocks and my kids are the cutest and my dog is the smartest and my house perfect. And I will tell you variations of this same sentiment over and over again for my #30daysofthanks, but after these 30 days are up, then I am back to complaining and bitching about my life and I’ll be back to taking all that good shit for granted again. Oh yeah…and if your life sucks right now, sorry, but I am going to keep rubbing my good fortune in your face.”

Okay…there ya go. It’s out there. I know, I know, it’s very cynical and really might shock people who know me. It doesn’t sound like me. But, I can’t help it. I always want to post something snarky back, but I don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings. But I just can’t help thinking about friends who are maybe hitting some hard times right now….instead of compassion, they are getting slapped in the face by everyone flaunting their so-called wonderful life. And I also can’t help wondering what these people are doing the other 335 days of the year. How do they show their thankfulness besides typing it on their smartphones. Are they generous with sharing some of their good fortune with others, either through time or treasure? Do their everyday actions reflect that they understand and appreciate where they fall in this world?

Instead of daily postings about how fucking thankful I am that my life rocks, I hope others can see me as a positive, generous, helpful person who is compassionate and respectful of others every day of the year. We all have become more aware of childhood cancer through Lane Goodwin and I just think about how painful it must be for his friends and family to see posts like “I am thankful for my kids’ health”. Of course you are….who wouldn’t be, but why inundate people who haven’t had that luxury with a reminder of what they don’t have. Be thankful and whenever you think of how lucky you are, say a prayer for those who don’t share your circumstances.

Maybe I am just too simplistic to get into the 30 days of thanks….because, pretty much I can narrow my thanks down to friends, family and music. And that would just get boring to read day after day. Okay…rant over. And adios to those who just read it and said, “wow…I never knew she was such a thankless bitch!” And hello darlin’ to everyone else sticking around. Your prize is I’m going to tell you about one of the best bands of the year (actually, they have been together for more than 10 years!) and when and where you can see them play, you will be thankful. haha Trust me….you don’t want to miss The Features (with The Fervor and Whistle Peak) at Headliners Music Hall on Wednesday at 9pm ($12 tickets). They have energy and stage presence out the wazoo!

I have to say I have seriously enjoyed looking for a good video by The Features…I have seen them live numerous times, but I have never looked at their YouTube channel and the videos that they have made have had me laughing tonight!

This has been a wild year in so many different ways and I hope that I am able to express to each person who has been a positive part of it how thankful I am to have you in my life.  However, you won’t see any broadcasts from me on social media. ha!

(End note…..I borrowed the title from a friend’s facebook status. I read it while writing this post and it just fit! Thanks, JP!!)

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My music rut has been broken!

I am more than willing to admit that I can easily get into a music rut. I have the tendency to listen to a song or album over and over and over again if I really like it. I am pretty sure I spent years of my youth with American Pie on repeat….except the repeat technology wasn’t so good then. It took much more effort to rewind the tape at the end of the song. I even got fancy and recorded multiple tracks on a tape, so I could listen 2-3 times before having to rewind. Ah, kids these days don’t know what they are missing (and just to clarify….I was not even born when the song first came out…it was just a gem I discovered one summer in grade school).

At least my music neurosis nearly always revolve around good music (I am proud to say I was never into the New Kids On The Block!). Well, for the past few months not only have there been just a small handful of bands that have come out of my speakers (minus my morning dedication to WFPK), but I have been spoiled by those same bands because I have had the pleasure of seeing them live…some of them more than once and some more even more than twice!! I’m talking to you Walk The Moon, Ha Ha Tonka, The Features, Langhorne Slim, Ben Sollee, and The Head And The Heart!! In fact, this blog has been quiet because I can feel you all rolling your eyes when I bring up any of the aforementioned bands….I know I have made it known how much I love them.

And some pretty amazing things have happened with those bands since the beginning of the year – Walk The Moon has just exploded, especially with the ‘young people’…makes me still feel young. haha Langehorne Slim launched a PledgeMusic crowd-sourcing campaign that was fully funded within days and he just released a new album that has broken the Billboard top 200!

But let’s move to the fun amazing things that are connected to me. 😀 In January, I started working with Ben Sollee as his social media and Team Sollee coordinator. It has been a fabulous ride that allows me to use my brain for something other than mommy stuff!! I actually get to use my good ole’ Bellarmine University Communications degree for something other than trying to interpret baby babble. Woohoo! Plus, it gives me a chance to help an independent musician whom I fully support and respect. Then Ha Ha Tonka was playing at Uncle Slaytons around my birthday (I had gotten to know them when I interviewed them), so my hubby helped organize a group of friends to come to the show and to my shock and dismay, Ha Ha Tonka called me up on stage, mentioned the blog and lead everyone in singing happy birthday to me. These guys are great and always so kind and friendly whenever I see them (I promise I am not a groupie, but I have seen them 3 times in 5 months and even went 8 hours away to see them….don’t worry, it coincided with an already planned trip!!). Lastly, The Head And The Heart. I started following them very early in their career…just as they were self-releasing their album (before they got picked up by subpop). And I still have trouble believing how all of the pieces just magically fell into place and it is hard to write about them because it just really doesn’t seem real. All I know is that I was able to have dinner with the band before their Louisville show at Headliners, gave Charity a ride to the show from dinner and shared bourbon on the tour bus with Josiah after the show. An entertaining twitter convo was also thrown in there. All of the above groups are just so real and genuine. I am afraid the bar has been set pretty high for any and all future groups that I fall in love with!!

So, you can see why I was pretty content with my musical rut (and see how I am totally trying to justify my craziness!!). Except, I was starting to feel like a fraud for not posting about the newest and greatest music out there! And something new just jumped out at me. The Lumineers. I had heard of them and even heard some of their stuff on WFPK, but for whatever reason I hadn’t paid that much attention to them. Until I was watching tv with my 6 year old daughter and a commercial came on and she said “i know that song”. It was familiar to me, too, but I had to shazam it. And what do you know, it was Ho Hey by The Lumineers. I checked them out on spotify and immediately order their cd. And now, because of my neurosis that we have already established, my kids and I know just about all the words to the whole cd. We’ve had it for 3 days. I love them, I love them, I love them. My only problem is that they aren’t scheduled to come to town. I guess that gives me some time to figure out how I can make friends with them, too. Enjoy this earworm….

Really?!

I sat down to write a post about how fabulous this past weekend was, but I couldn’t. I kept getting stuck and wadding up paper after paper, starting over at every turn (okay, okay….so it wasn’t paper, but it was the delete button that I kept using over and over!). I couldn’t get my dear daughter’s words out of my head. I figured I better get them out here or I would risk the words getting stuck and continuing to strangulate my thoughts.

As I was tucking my almost 6 year old in last night, after what I thought was a pretty good weekend, she says to me, with tears in her eyes, ‘I wish you didn’t have so many meetings and I could spend more time with you.’ Ouch. Insert the knife coated with Mommy-guilt. Trying to recover from that blow, I say to her, ‘I know its hard when you are in school all day, you probably miss me.  I miss you too.’ She thinks for second and says, “No. I just don’t like it when you go out so much.” Ah. Kids. Gotta love, em, right?

Now, I have seen my seemingly sweet daughter bring other people to their knees with her questions or observations, but I haven’t been on the receiving end too often (I am sure that will come in a few years!). My favorite was when she had a stare down and verbally challenged a local prosecutor. I am pretty sure said prosecutor was sweating nails and was anxious to back to her murder trial after encountering my daughter.

This line from the song, Kids, by The Features reminds me of her: They were born screaming. They had fire in their eyes. And its a kick-ass song from an band that kills it live! (If you live in Louisville, you catch them again on March 23 when they open for J. Roddy Walston at Headliners. I advise going!)

And do you know how much I LOVE that about my girl?! I LOVE that she is strong, self-confident and don’t hesitate to speak her mind. I wouldn’t change that for the world! She is exactly the type of girl I want her to grow into. My challenge is how to handle her right now.

I thought about trying to rationalize with her. I am a stay at home Mom. I am ALWAYS there to pick her up from school and I am ALWAYS there to take her to her music class. When I go out at night, it is usually only 30-60mins before her bedtime and when I can, I arrange it for after she is asleep. And my meetings are for things that help other people, like raising funds for scholarships to Bellarmine or helping to improve things at her school. Sure, I have my fun time in there and go to concerts and basketball games, but, I wanted to tell her, if I don’t get the me time you would be wishing I was gone more often! ha.

But, I didn’t. She is nearly 6 and wouldn’t really get it. And if that is how she feels, then that is how she feels. My first instinct was to clear my calendar and to make sure I am home every night. And then I thought better of it. That would make me miserable. I enjoy (usually!) being at home but part of that is because I try to balance everything and not completely lose myself and keep active in things I care about. I hope that I am being a good role model for my kids as they get older. And I hope that my skin gets a little thicker because I am sure I will hear more of these comments that cut to my core. :-S