Recently I'm taking stock of the things that own me and pass my time, and I'm wondering if I need to shorten my list. I'm what? A writer and an amateur photographer, a branding firm employee and a freelancer? A band manager and a website administrator, an eco-enthusiast, a gardener, a blogger and a cook and a decorator, a thrifter, a reader, a pet nut, a handyperson, a vintage car owner, a landscaper and the caretaker of an ancient house. (Also add to that wife, daughter, sister, friend and colleague, but those titles need to stick with me.) Where do my allegiances lie? Everywhere and nowhere, it seems. How many hats until my head tips just enough and they all cascade to the floor? Some of them are already slipping, and it makes me feel awful. No photographs this week. Or last week. No progress on the band website. No, I haven't finished the blinds in the house or the book I started reading.
But just now, I realize that I did do a bunch of things. I worked my butt off at the full-time job. I cooked three straight, giant, party-style meals and hosted all manner of folks at my house, then made lunch for 7 on another day. I cultivated a couple freelance gigs, saw four live bands, cleaned the house a bunch of times and budgeted my finances within a cent of its piddly existance.
But that's all. How come that's not good enough? And what do I do now to shuffle the deck back around to the things I miss?
September 5, 2009 :: patio music, 2 am
At 10, we grab the wine and head outside. Bats swarm the stacks, flitting, flickering UFOs swooping insectivous snacks. Cicadias razz the trees, the back-and-forth call of the end of summer. We set the iPod in place, run the cords, light the devotional candles and pray to the alter of Costello, Lovett, Cash, then Sia, MacLaughlin, Mitchell. We sing and harmonize, clap hands and vow drum-offs and new lyrics once the sun hits the sky. The neighborhood churns along--OTPers from the bars to their cars to their suburbs, taggers chased by bearded vigalantes, late-night dog walkers. It's midnight, one, nearly two, and I catch Blake in the dim light of the Powerbook, DJing Rhapsody, and I am suddenly so in love with this night and my life.
Probably every married couple does this. And, to be honest, I resent being so typical, as well as having to set a night for Blake and I to ditch our pots, pans, dogs and couch time with Netflix and join the messy pot of regular society we used to jump directly into nearly every night. I mean holy majoley, we don't even have any kids. But, stuff changes, our finances don't allow such luxuries right now, and yadda yadda...we're an old boring married couple and apparently need a weekly "Date Night."
It's Wednesdays by the way, and there are rules (because if I don't make it some kind of challenge, I will die from the utter lameness.) You can't spend more than $20 a person, and some combination of food, drinks and entertainment must be involved. Two out of three being optimum, but three of three within the cash limit being sort of a date night grand slam.
So far, we're one and a half nights in. The one half being that this wednesday each of us had other comittments and put it off until tonight. The first one was a rip-roarer (Yacht Club to Star Bar to El Myr) and we should have quit while we were ahead, for sure. But tonight sounds even more exciting: Our friend Adam's band The Pinx at Criminal Records (free, with free food and beer), one of our other friend Goldman's many side-projects, Henry Porter at Kavarna later on (free), and very likely a stop at the Yacht Club (or the Porter, if I'm feelin' spendy) in between. (not free, but horribly necessary.)
Know this, as well: we aren't particular - please feel free to double-date-night it with us. We'll be the dude in 50's glasses and the tattooed chick with ponytails in Little 5.
Oh yeah. That's kind of half of everyone. So much for not wanting to be typical.
*Pictured: Stall #3, woman's (and I say this, tongue firmly in cheek) "rest" room at the Star Bar. Little is truly restful about a festering, damp pit with no hot water and one-hinged stall doors, but I do like the big poster and the graffiti. Happiness in small things, I guess.