Music, music, music!

I started this post at the beginning of the month and never got around to doing anything with it because my old computer is a delicate flower and trying to search for multiple types of media and add links and compulsively check all my tabs and also actually be listening to music made her a little cranky and foot-stompy. My new computer is a bit of a showoff, and I think maybe she’s daring me to push her, see what she’s made of.

I sometimes identify with each of them. But that is for another post altogether.

So, music. I never listen to music arbitrarily; it is always intrinsically tied to my thoughts, my mood, what’s going on in my world in any given moment. Lately I’ve been actively searching out a lot of new-to-me stuff, listening to a select few songs in a constant rotation, and also remembering and enjoying some artists and songs I’ve not heard in a decade or more. I’m going to publish this with just a list for now, and will keep the edit page open to add links, YouTube videos, lyrics, whatever jumps out at me as I geek out and play with my new toy. I think she needs a name. Maybe Sarabi.

I’ll start with just artists, and will hit specific songs in edits:

Florence + the Machine

I’d stuck to Shake It Out for a long while, then when I started using Pandora to prompt ideas for my Spotify library again, this one really captured me.

Lana Del Rey

I was turned onto Lana Del Rey when I was stalking the staff of researching Dispatch Magazine – Robbie Kanner had tweeted about her new album due the next day, and from the minute I started listening, I was hooked. Definitely one of my new favorite artists. I don’t really love any of the videos on YouTube, but Lolita and Off to the Races are two really fun ones from her latest album, Born to Die.

Scout

This is one of my comfort/torture songs. I have many. I do love it so.

Amos Lee

I knew and loved a couple of Amos Lee songs for a few years before I really started listening to him, just last year. A friend and I went to see him at the State Theater on his Mission Bell tour and he rocked my world. This is a great twofer – Street Corner Preacher is a funky, fun track, and Windows are Rolled Down one of my favorites from the new album.

Regina Spektor

I really loved her sound when Fidelity came out; a good friend introduced me to her and we both enjoyed how, unlike many pop artists, she truly uses her voice as an instrument. This song is a great example of that, but mostly what I love is the overall feel of the music and lyrics together; it puts me in mind of the easy fun of loving companionship with someone who is in tune to your own personal brand of randomness nobody else can quite keep up with. It makes me smile.

Karmin

Ellie Goulding

Buckcherry

Kate Nash

Therapy Thursday

Sometimes I have to sit on my damned hands to keep myself from doing something I really want to do but shouldn’t. And then I get up off my hands and come tell you all about it, because everyone loves hearing about someone else’s crazy, right? :)

I deliberately didn’t blog after therapy last night. I hadn’t cried in session in a long time, but the drought ended in grand fashion. I spent the first half talking about all of the amazing things that have happened and that I’m doing for myself and that I’m hopeful about, and the second half with tears streaming down my face non-stop. I’d love to say they were the cathartic kind of tears, the kind of cry that leaves you feeling refreshed and ready to pick up and move again and just altogether better – but it wasn’t. It was the kind of cry that sits just behind your eyes and nose and in a lump in your throat and a tightness in your chest and waits for you to acknowledge it even a tiny bit and then it threatens to spill all over no matter where you are, what you’re doing, or who you’re with. Right now, I’m fighting this cry at my desk at work, telling it that I only have six minutes left of my lunch break, dammit, and I wanna get this post written, edited, and shared before my time is up.

It’s okay to feel a lot of things all at the same time. And sometimes one feeling will be a little bigger than the others and make it feel like it’s the only one, but it isn’t. And while this means that when happiness and hope and excitement edge to the front, that’s not all there is, it also means that when I feel so sad and lonely and confused, that’s not all there is, either.

I’m really looking forward to this weekend; it’s supposed to be beautiful outside, so I think I’m going to take another nice long walk in the morning and not miss the indoor farmer’s market by ten minutes this week, and then maybe grab Joshua and head to Mackworth or Fort Williams. I’ll even let him choose, since he doesn’t get a choice about whether or not to leave the damned house for a couple of hours :)

Geekin’.

As much as I complain and am legitimately irritated when things don’t work the way they’re supposed to or I’ve been told they will out of the box, I don’t mind the troubleshooting process as long as I’m not on a deadline and I’m not being denied one of the primary purposes of whatever the new item is. I know that the changeover from a much older machine to a new one is not going to be seamless, particularly with iTunes, what with multiple Apple IDs and many devices that have been authorized and have made purchases.

That being said, I still want to cuss and yell and pout and stamp my feet when multiple attempts don’t work and a series of salespeople and support people have condescended to me all night long, and then Joshua’s meltdown over the revocation of his iPhone privileges in accordance with our agreement about homework – let’s just say bedtime can’t come soon enough. It hasn’t been quite a Jonah day, because I am still so grateful for the blessings in my life. I just wish it could’ve ended on rather a higher note. Perhaps a hot shower and the rest of A Knight’s Tale (which I am watching on Netflix, on my computer, because it has Intel inside!) will do the trick.

Goodnight, loves; may angels guard your dreams and guide you on magical adventures along glittering skyward trails.

Wow.

Today has been quite a day for Femme Flavor. First, I received my first ever grant from a private donor to go toward whatever business expenses I feel are the most important at this time. Second, another supporter came through on a new computer for me, which I have desperately needed for some time. So, I went to the Apple Store after work to upgrade my phone and pick up my brand spanking new Mac Mini, which had been purchased online and was awaiting pickup. I spent a couple of hours with good ol’ Charlie, since we had to do some magic tricks with syncing and multiple Apple IDs and such, but eventually I left with everything as it should be. Have I mentioned that, in about 15 years of computer ownership, I have never had a brand new, mine out of the box, computer? I am so psyched, you guys. You have no idea.

The primary reason for the upgrade to the iPhone 4S is that I can dictate anything to a note, to an email, to a text message, to Evernote, to any of the apps that are native to the iPhone; this means that while I am doing the dishes, in the shower, out on a walk, or in the car, all times during which I do most of my brainstorming, I don’t have to either endanger myself and others or stop what I’m doing to try and get my thoughts down. While there are still plenty of kinks to work out, (while I was dictating this post, “iPhone 4S” came out as “iPhone for ass,” for example), the voice recognition is much better than with the apps I’d tried.

As often as people tell us they believe we can do something big, that we can build something from nothing, that we can change our lives and the lives of others for the better, it isn’t often that people will financially back a dream without a formal request, without a promise of a return, without any expectations but that it will be a good investment. And I intend to make my supporters of all kinds proud of the work I do, be it here, in school, at home – it is the best, and truly only even remotely sufficient, thanks I can give.

So overwhelmed with blessings today, not just because of the new gadgets, but because they represent people believing in me and my dreams. That means more than I can say.

Thank you to each of you who supports me in every way you are able. I hope to pay it forward and back and all over, time and time again. Because I know it feels as good to give support in unexpected ways as it does to get it.

Now let’s see if I can teach Siri how to do some tricks before sleep finds me.

Oh hey, Mercury.

Man, getting up that hour “earlier” this morning sure sucked a whole lot. However, it was absolutely made up for when I left work and knew we still had close to two hours of daylight-ish left; I came home, changed into my sneakers, grabbed a water bottle, and went for a nice long walk. I sign Joshua’s BHP’s paperwork on Mondays, so I wanted to stick close to home so I could spend as much time walking and as little getting to and from somewhere to walk as possible, but tomorrow I may change it up and head to Back Bay, or maybe Willard Beach. I’d like some new locales to include in my photojourneying on Pinterest; you can see the pictures of random things that get my attention on my walks on my Exploring Portland Pinterest board.

Mercury in Retrograde is always a bit of a rough time for me, but usually my malfunctions are more of the interpersonal communication variety and less of the technology glitches. This time it looks like I won’t even be spared those, as my new Facebook page has disappeared from my admin panel in my app, so I can only post there from a computer (and actually, I haven’t even tried that yet, so I may be speaking too soon). Not to worry though, we’ll get it all figured out somehow, and if nothing else, it should all work again once Mercury comes out of his snit :)

Gratitude:

Evening daylight!!!

Delicious culinary discoveries.

My lovely friend Jenny and her generosity with her time and talents.

Gum.

New adventures.

ALL THE THINGS.

I was super psyched yesterday to write a post and speak all lyrically and shit about my three hour jaunt in this city I call home. Then I was all, I’ll write it tomorrow, and just add some love for the amazing people who made Saturay night a rockin’ good time. Then I thought, oh crap, I’ve lost all the “inspired writer mojo” I had yesterday, and now I should just say eff it. And now I’m feeling remorseful, because I really did want to tell you about the lady who thought I was planning a robbery and how I missed the indoor farmers market by ten minutes and how I just remembered that I used to watch the first boy who ever bought me flowers for valentines day play pick-up ball at the Reiche school basketball court and about the former coworker I saw at the meat market but didn’t want to talk to and then I felt like the biggest douchebag in the universe because he had a grand mal seizure in the store and while I know it would have happened even if I had said hi, instead, I avoided him. I felt about half an inch tall as I collected my purchases and checked out. Walking home, I saw the fire truck headed to the store to pick him up and bring him to the hospital. It occurred to me that it took a hell of a lot longer for them to respond than I thought was right. But who was I to judge “right” when I had just done wrong by me.

This weekend has been so full of emotion, all over the spectrum. And I think that’s part of what keeps me in most of the time – I don’t want to feel so much. Because it is exhausting, my friends. It makes me tired from the inside out to FEEL, so much, all the time.

But, if I’m not feeling so much all the time… I’m not me. The beauty of the hidden flowers I found on my walk, the ache of the missing presence in my weekend activities, the love for my girl Lisa when we talked on the phone, the sense of acceptance and welcome I felt at last night’s fundraiser, the banter with Joshua while he played on the computer and I drifted in and out of sleep this morning, the one-ness I shared with the audience at the Nick, the comfortable fun I had with chosen family at dinner tonight… I do love that I feel all of that. And I want to keep feeling. Stoicism is not who I am.

I have so much to be grateful for today. And always.

Love. So many kinds of love, from so many awesome people.

Freedom to do and be what and who I want.

The knowledge that I have earned the trust of people who are important to me.

Family of every kind.

You. Yes, you, reading this right now. Thank you; I am eternally grateful for you.

Therapy Thursday

I’d love to say that is was solely the fact that I told Richard that I needed a more alliterative blog post subject that prompted him to acquiesce to Thursday sessions… But it happens that he has an opening now, and was going to be gone on Tuesday of the week after next anyway, so why not Thursdays? I’d say this is the last kind thing the universe is going to do for me before Mercury hits direct retro, so I’m takin’ it – from now on, it’s Therapy Thursday, kids :)

In other news, tonight’s session was one of those where it really just felt like catching up with a really supportive friend. I know that therapists are paid to do this. I get that Rich is not my friend. But I do love that it wouldn’t have surprised me a bit if he’d busted out a bottle of Chianti and insisted I take a glass.  We gabbed about ideal interior design, travel wishes, shoe splurges (yes, I bought the damned Fluevogs), to the point where I felt he was actually sharing something of himself when he joked about how finances come into play with his own pipe dreams. I love that I made a joke that I knew he’d play off of somehow, and he took the sarcastic and humorous route. That’s the kind of comfort level I want with my therapist.

Tonight’s session also gave birth to a new project: Adventures in Sister-Mom-hood. I was telling Rich a story about Joshua and cereal and a complete meltdown on my part (yeah, I’ll write about that later) and he said, “And I hope you’re writing about this stuff somewhere,” and something about how it’s a unique point of view that should be recorded and read.

I’ve sometimes thought that maybe I should start a separate place for Joshua-and-me posts, but for a different reason – because I fear that my sister-mom stuff distances me from my community. Makes me less fun, less desirable a companion, someone to take less seriously around discussions that have always been part of my fire, my passion.

But the way I see it, I have a new set of eyes. I have a way – not a replacement, but an additional – of looking at things that makes me all that much more engaged. Many of my friends have children now, and I very much want the world they grow up to live in to be a better one in as many ways as possible. But my kid… he’s already partway grownup. No one in my circle of friends recently popped out an early teenager; it’s kind of a lonely road that way. But through Joshua, we have this portal to a segment of the population that is between our generation and that of “our” children.

That’s a big deal, folks.

So I’m learning from him every bit as much as he’s learning from me. And tomorrow, I’ll track down the origins of Nyan Cat and tackle that prickly beast. Cuz it’s my job – not just as a sister-mom, but as a part of the same community I belonged to before I had a kid of my own. A community that fights for equality, whether the minority is based on gender, ethnicity, class, or any other group in which hierarchies exist.

Ummm…. Yeah, that’s all I’ve got for tonight. I sure hope a lot of you read this, cuz it’s a lot of shit that’s important to me. That is all. :)

Yay, shoes!

While they are not the Fluevogs I have had to stop myself from buying about 72 times in the last 24 hours (that would be these) [ETA: That link will now bring you to the main Fluevog clearance page because someone *cough* bought that particular pair], they are pretty rad, and I desperately needed them since I gave my last pair of kickass cross-trainers to Mom to use in rehab (she’s graduated from the wheelchair to the walker, woot!).

Since my phone and WordPress do not always play nice, you will have to click on my lil link to see the new kicks on Pinterest. Interwebz, do not try to thwart me. I will always find a way.

That being said, I need to tidy up my Pinterest boards now that I have a better idea what sorts of things I’m pinning and for what purposes. If you’re there and we’ve not begun following one another, lemme know, ditto if you need an invite, or an explanation of what Pinterest even is, followed by an invite :)

I also scored a clearance pair of ballet flats my sistafriend Lisita told me to check out; maybe we will have to wear them and be matchy-matchy one day when she visits me in just over three months!!!!! Ohmigosh, the wait, it is eternal.

Okay kids, that’s what mama’s got for tonight. Now to keep myself from buying those Canas and maybe read for a wee bit before bed :) Therapy Thursday tomorrow, woooooo!

Postponed.

I know Therapy Tuesday is a big hit around here, but it shall be therapy Thursday this week, which sounds way better and maybe I’ll ask Rich if we can make that a permanent change. I do love some good alliteration.

Just watched The Social Network with Joshua, then we both took quick showers and commiserated about whether alarms need to be set earlier for his asscrack of dawn o’clock followup appointment to make sure his spinal curvature hasn’t increased. Thankfully it actually seems to me, especially as he has spent more time out in the community and is regularly participating in phys ed and other non-sedentary activities in school and out, that his posture is much improved and his awkward stance is no longer the norm. But, best to keep an eye on things as he hasn’t entirely finished growing quite yet.

In other news, I find two things both amazing and disgusting. One: that cats (one cat in particular around here) have an uncanny ability to find the most obnoxious places to vomit. For example, the floor directly beside my bed on my side, and on the tasseled/knotted bit of the kitchen rug. Second, that one never discovers these prizes with one’s eyes, only with one’s feet. And when one is already rushing to get out the door.

Gratitude:

Recognition for efforts made.

Whey protein. I love the energy boost, and am so glad not to be dragging ass every day at work.

Patience. I know it’s not my strongest virtue, but I have so few of them that it seems like a big deal that I have any at all ;)

The upcoming time change. Yay, lighter evenings!

The fact that, if I *had* had therapy today, I wouldn’t have had any pressing issues that came up in the last week. That’s kind of huge, especially during Mercury Retrograde… Now we’ve an extra two days to try to evade the crazytown, but hey, it could happen, right?

Changes.

Tonight, I met with Joshua’s case manager for perhaps the last time. She was told when she submitted our last review that she should plan to discharge him by March 10th, and, after she and I exchanged a few emails, we agreed that the time had come. This is a bittersweet milestone, because while it means that Joshua is receiving the support he needs at home, it also means I’m losing a support. She has been a wealth of knowledge, a sympathetic ear, an advocate, and an ally. We both waxed nostalgic this evening, her remembering each of the teachers’ classrooms she’s visited over the years, me remembering her delivering clothes and bedding and goodwill vouchers and a hug before Joshua’s state checks were transferred over while I was mostly unemployed.

Most of the time, the kid I live with seems to have always been just as he is – boisterous and silly and occasionally maddeningly teenaged. But the fact of it is, over the past year and a bit, Joshua has developed into an entirely different person from the boy who came to stay for good last January. One who – not always, but frequently – wants to engage with others. One who knows how to care for himself in ways that were unimaginable a year ago. One who, more often than not, speaks in full sentences, asks for what he wants and needs, performs routine tasks without assistance, and has a personality that is not hidden from all but those few people who are a part of his everyday life.

I’ve got quite the rad young man over here. And his case manager got to see that happen. For that, I am truly grateful.