we have to shout above the din of our rice krispies

Tonight Ralph and I attended a parks meeting at the Hoquiam City Hall. It was ill-publicized and sparsely attended. I enjoyed myself, though. I learned a bit more about the Way Things Are Run (a bit more). I asked many questions and (when it seemed valuable) gave my opinions on how the parks plan might best be served (my suggestions included a bent to public restrooms and covered spaces, bike and pedestrian-accessibility, and navigable areas for those with disabilities, the elderly, and carers of small children). My husband and I both had different impressions as we left the meeting. We talked over a drink at the Ale House. At home Ralph collapsed into what I’m hoping is a restorative sleep.

I think a lot about cynicism. The adopted belief that things will never improve; the decision not to take people at their word when they report their intentions to work for the greater good. People’s egos are fragile things; they often don’t want to appear fools so they adopt cynicism and sarcasm to defend these egos. The problem is, rehearsing these exercises leads to apathy. I’ve never spent much time in apathy; it’s just not me. But I am no stranger to cynical thoughts. Yes, given the economic hardships experienced by many where I live, and the lifestyles experienced by those who represent us, I remain unsure if the City has the willingness to serve the interests they claim they do. But what is the alternative? To stay home, to never offer my presence or my assistance?

Today it rained but I went running anyway. I run with earbud volume at 11 right in my eardrum. Mostly because I love TEH MUSIK in many forms. Today it was rock and roll – The Police’s “Synchronicity II”, Ratt’s “Round and Round”, Winger’s “17” (good lord… how much driving buttrock goodness has such unconscionably vile lyrics? So painful to be addicted to crunchy dirty rock whilst having the conscience of a decent human being). And a bunch of other stuff that made me laugh while I blew the streaming rainwater off my face and dodged logging trucks and waved at every passerby.

It was a good run.

(Small Stone #20*)

My feet have been cold all day.
My heart feels hardened.

Small stone project

rock out with your c*ck out

I want every day to include a rock concert where I get to watch my husband perform his own stuff, and he’s so awesome, and it’s so much fun, and I love his music so much, and he’s so awesome, and it’s so much fun…

Pre-Show Jitters

Only a fraction of the people who said they’d turn out to his band’s performance tonight actually did. But that’s okay because I know people are busy and also, sadly some people seriously do not know the level of Fucking Awesome that Ralph and Flo bring.  The band got hosed via their scheduled slot (first band on Thursday night; obviously the later positions, especially Friday’s, are better for audience participation), but even given that I would not say they had the potential to be crowd favorites (although they certainly garnered lusty cheers from the smallish audience assembled).  I honestly think Aberdeen and Hoquiam are still more interested in the grunge snorefest of rather unoriginal, plodding guitar-lick laden stuff.

Don’t get me wrong, I like a lot of grunge.  Some of my best friends are… um, grunge?  No seriously. I can belt out the Pearl Jam like no one’s business.  Just ask all those poor victims at the Paylor’s summer barbecue event last year.

And I’m not saying the other bands that played were snore-inducing. Shit. I’m just talking myself into a corner here. What I am saying: Ralph’s group is hard-pressed to find their screaming fanbase in this locale. Good enough?
Powerful Stuff Korg, Glock, Rock FLO ON GLOCK
This was the second show with Flo and she and Ralph were amazing together. They used “hired gun” Geoff on drums (an old friend of Ralph’s; they were in a previous effort together). The three of them brought it.

The kids and I sat with a small group of vocal and awesome friends who cheered the group on with much gusto. I couldn’t stop aggressively tapping my foot and singing. I don’t know where we’re going to get the scratch to record another album but I know it must happen as it’s too good not to.

Sophie wore her new nightgown as she loved it very much. She wasn’t sure of the propriety of doing so; she worried she’d get it messy (I told her I would happily wash it – and she didn’t muss it anyway as it turned out) or that people would make fun of her (I validated this concern; she also knows what I think of such potential opinions). Gee, I am sensing a need to further help her deprogram from some absurd social concepts. She was a doll at the show, helping look after her younger friend E. and supporting her father as a loving daughter does.

Nels of course was dying to be involved stage-wise (Ralph schedules all-ages shows whenever possible so The Boy can stage-dance). He’s so suave he totally got past a “SECURITY” fellow standing at the stage curtain; a few minutes later when I went in to retrieve The Boy the same “SECURITY” fellow stopped me and wouldn’t let me pass. I gave it up, figuring it was his ass when my son Phantom of the Opera’d down from some rigging.
Backstage Pass

Ralph, Sophie, and neighbor-kid/friend Little P. stuck around a bit longer to support some of the other bands; Ralph came home early enough to deliver Little P. home to his family (school night and all).
Ralph Watches The Competition

Tonight was their last show as Redbird Fever, as the band has changed membership since that moniker was agreed upon. Their future shows and recordings will be as LiiGHTS.

I like it.

the hefty dose of ROCK helps the nostalgia a bit

Last night my girlfriend Jennifer took me on a date that was twenty years overdue.

I remember the first time I heard a Def Leppard song.  I was 11 and with friends at the Harborena, our little roller skating rink here in Hoquiam home to a hive of villianous packs of eleven-year old boys who will hate-cut you, so watch out.  The crunchy guitar and reverby bombastic drums intro of “Pour Some Sugar On Me”* during All-Skate held me entranced. And the song just got better as I listened, smutty lyrics and all.  I couldn’t really believe how much I liked what I was hearing.  And I had to hear more.

My then-best girl Jen and I went on to become Def Leppard fans.  I mean, really big fans.  I wore their band shirts every day I could and at age 12 dyed my hair black. My bedroom held all the band posters I could find.  At Jen’s house we watched VH-1, MTV, the rock biopics you could get at the record stores (remember those stores? they sold tapes and CDs and stuff). We sang together, the same songs, over and over – we lip-synced them on top of her windowseat in the little bedroom of the house on Karr Street.  While other girls my age were stalking NKOTB I was delightedly bouncing on the couch belting out the impossible rock-screech falsetto notes in “Photograph” and it must be said, about a thousand-percent in crush with Joe Elliot, the lead singer who sounded American enough but in interviews and a few lines of his music revealed his meltingly-cute Sheffield accent. And it wasn’t just that I felt like I was in love with the singer of a rock band.  I wanted to be in a rock band.  I wanted to be able to belt out that music, bending backwards with a fist pumped in the air, wearing tight jeans and a long fierce mullet.  I really did.**

Last night for the first time ever Jen and I finally saw the group live at the White River Ampitheater (a pleasant enough locale – but I can’t recommend it since it had terrible acoustics). Jen and I spent a wonderful few hours together. We don’t talk about rock and roll videos any more; we talk about our husband, families, children, and friends.  But we sang along at the top of our lungs and we had a great time.  And you know…  I felt – sitting on a grassy hill with the summer sky large above me, fragrant and expansive, pulling me against gravity – I felt so very sad that it had taken me this long to see the band.  I almost missed out entirely.  I guess I “grew up” in middle school and realized it wasn’t cool to like hard rock, or it wasn’t what other girls liked, or maybe I just got into the real boys to be found a little more locally, but I’d left it behind and thought the whole thing kind of silly until last night, when I was overwhelmed with the memories of how much it had meant to me way back then before I lost so much of my sense of self.

And I was too far away to throw my panties on stage.  But I liked thinking about it – you know, a nice, respectable pair of cotton knickers sort of floating down like a little cozy blanket.

Thank you for the rock and roll, boys.

* The cut-up band t-shirt and uber-shredded jeans – which Jen and I absolutely drooled over as young teens, and I made a pair for myself in seventh grade, before I lost my fashion authenticity for many years – is not the only sartorial awesomeness donned by Mr. Elliot in the signature video.  I had forgotten the athletic shorts with the 1″ inseam and the charming little black bolero jacket.

**P.S. I did, in fact, marry a rock star.