Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Muke rocked the house

So, I took the boys to see Muke in concert tonight. They were playing as the opening band for Canoe at a friend's house. I knew my boys had too much energy for such an intimate setting, but I really adore the host, so I wanted to support his event. He assured me that the bands would be kid-friendly, so I decided to keep the boys up passed their bedtime and bring them along.

We were among the first people there, so we had a chance to watch the bands set up. Luke (the second half of Muke) was practicing his human-beatbox at a mic that he had already adjusted to his level. As more people began to arrive, my oldest boy, James, started to feel the need for some attention. Timidly, he whispered in my ear that he wanted to sing. I asked him if he wanted to warm up for Muke, and he said that he did. With pretend hesitation, James walked into the middle of the floor and tried to find a song to sing. It didn't take long before he realized that he didn't have a microphone and he started to tear-up because no one would be able to hear him. As time ticked away, he got even more upset that he wasn't getting a turn to sing. Finally, Muke took the stage and James retired to the couch were he quickly forgot about the stage and started flirting with a college hottie to his right.

Jackson, who had been running wild since we walked through the door, curled up on my lap and got ready for the music. It didn't take him long to realize that he had never heard the song before. I'm pretty sure the song was Barnacle Bay, and though they listen to it over and over in the car now, Jackson decided that he didn't like it...and he said so....loudly. I was mortified, because we were just a couple of feet across the hardwood floor from where the local band was standing. I tried my hardest to hush him up, but it didn't stop there. The second song, he asked if they would play over again, and during the third, he asked if it was time to go. I finally got Jackson into a positive mood, then Muke started playing a nice quiet, slow song. They weren't half way into it when Jackson tried to lift up my shirt. I turned him around and asked him to knock it off, but then he asked "Mommy, do you have a 'gina?"

I knew it was time to go!

Regrettably, we didn't get to see Canoe, but we had just enough time to buy a Muke CD and have Maddie and Luke sign it before we took off. Now, the boys ask to hear it in the car all the time, and we've added the "Hamburger Song" to our ipod playlist. The only frustrating thing is that there are two cute little characters on the album cover (which my boys identify as bears) so they keep asking me to play the "Bear Song"...but there is no "Bear Song" and no matter how many times I tell them that, they keep asking for it! Please, Muke, I beg you! Will you write a Bear Song?

During the live concert, Maddie confided in the audience that she wasn't feeling great. She had food poisoning and as a result her voice came out a bit weak, but the CD is fabulous. We love the Hamburger Song, not only for the tounge-in-cheek beauty of the lyrics, or the delicate double melody, but there's a great electrical rock solo at the end that gets me going every time I listen to it.

I really like Muke. I'll be excited to hear a few more songs with fun lyrics. Besides that, Maddie is absolutely gorgeous and beautiful to listen to as well. Did I mention that Luke has just about the best human-beatbox in the world? If you ever get the chance to buy a Muke album, I suggest you take it!


Congratulations to everyone getting the chance to read this post. It's many, many years in the making and I've finally decided to take the time to scribble down my thoughts on this subject.

Notice the extra "in" in the title? This post isn't just about embracing the act of being feminist, but about embracing the art of being feminine. The discord comes when society believes that the two are mutually exclusive. I've come to understand that the the most beautiful harmonies of a woman happen in the moments where this dichotomy is expressed.

Though feminism has come to stand for more than equality (the term now rings with tones of female power and sometimes even male-bashing) I've never been one to discount the benefits of men. I prefer to embrace them ...*wink*... rather than condemn them. I do, however, think it's wrong to discount the value of a person just because of race, gender, or sexual orientation.

Call it feminism or call it human rights, but I believe that it's just ridiculous in this day and age to expect that there's anything that a man can do that a woman can't. It may have to be done differently, but I believe that we can both achieve the same end result. What's even more ridiculous in my mind is to expect that there are things that a masculine woman can do that a feminine woman cannot.

Nurturing our looks is a personal choice, but it's not the only thing that accounts for our femininity. Feminine traits are generally those that are associated with being submissive or weak: softness, elegance, patience and nurturing behaviors. Things like baking and sewing are seen as acts of service and are also considered very feminine.

My view is that women shouldn't try to shake the stereotypes of womanhood, but create more. Are you a woman who plays football, fixes cars and lifts weights? Cool. But you can do that without taking away the validity and self-worth of a woman who spends most of her spare time in the kitchen or raising her family. Are you a female computer scientist who plays dodgeball and takes out your own trash? Awesome, but you could still wear make-up and show cleavage. There's no need to sacrifice femininity for feminism, or vice versa. Don't eradicate stereotypes, broaden them. Take them all! Woman should be in the kitchen, taking care of children, paying bills, doing yardwork, working as CEOs and be in charge of homeland security.

If you're not prepared to be a trailblazer, don't worry. This path has been cut. It's been done. Now, you can just follow in the footsteps of women like Gena Davis. She played the organ, flute, piano and drums. On top of that, she's fluent in multiple languages and a member of American Mensa with an IQ of over 140.

Another is Mira Sorvino. She graduated Magna-Cum-Laude from Harvard and helped found the Harvard-Radcliffe Veritones. She speaks French and is fluent in Mandarin.

Natalie Portman also has a degree from Harvard, and she speaks English, Hebrew, French, Japanese, German and Arabic.

The truth is, there is no shortage of woman who are strong, smart and beautiful. I, for one, think that it's fantastic!

Masculine and Feminine No. 4 © Doug Craft, 1980
Picture of Geena Davis courtesy of Imageworks.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Next Time....Installment #1

The next time it rains, stop what you're doing and go stand outside. It doesn't matter what time of the day or night. Just take a short little break and let the drops bounce against your face as you count to five.

Next, stop counting and just stand there. Try not to think of anything except the distance that those little droplets of water had to travel for the privilege of caressing your skin.

Lastly, open your eyes, look at the sky and ask yourself "Why the hell am I still out in the rain???" Then go inside, for Pete's sake, you don't want to catch a cold.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Just a note

When everything gets hazy and I can't seem to focus, I pick something on the horizon and try to bring it to the forefront...because when I'm able to define the enigmatic for myself, sometimes I make things a little more clear for others, too.

Absolute Absurdity

Have you ever woken up wondering which side of crazy you were on? As a child, I was convinced that I had crossed that line, and I was proud of it. During college, I wanted to walk that line, ever so carefully, making sure not to move my toes too far to either side, which was tough because my feet are huge.

No, seriously, have you ever seen my feet?

Now I find, as I begin to embrace my adulthood, I am increasingly more willing to live in the realm of normal, boring, and even mundane. This need for normalcy was provoked with the birth of my first child. I wanted to provide the same type of family structure that I was sure my friends had while I was growing up.

So that's a lie, I never really had any friends.

My friendships all started out well enough, but I always seemed to ruin them within two years. Somehow, I believed that a person could only have one true friend at a time. Through my school years, I had come to expect monogamy on the playground. For some reason larger groups of people always made me feel less, not more, secure.

Besides, my parents couldn't afford to pay all of them to hang out with me.

Friends were hard to maintain because I expect so much from people. I have always been unyielding in my criticism of myself and those around me. I got that from my father. No success was ever good enough, it was always just another stepping stone to climb out of the comfort zone. I was taught that it's wrong to be comfortable, you have to continue growing and growing causes pain. Pain is good, it is inspirational. Pain is a good motivator.

And I'm generally motivated to eat gallons of ice cream and huddle under a blanket.

All of this motivation has lead to a weight problem that is starting to become a big deal. I was already fighting off extra weight from having two children in two years. Now, I'm battling stress weight and insomnia. Lack of sleep is nothing new to me. I've never been able to fall asleep very easily. My mind travels all over the place, picking up stray ideas as it tumbles around. These ideas hijack my head and steer me far away from slumber. Once I do fall asleep, I tend to dream that I'm working.

My ex-husband used to dream that I was working too, it's something he thought he would never see.

Now, I'm essentially a single mom, which means every moment of my life is work. The best thing about my current situation is that love surrounds me every moment. I'm happy in everything I do, because I've made my choices very carefully. I'm a lucky woman. I won't pretend I'm not. I just wish that luck would carry over to the Powerball jackpot.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Not everyone looks good in tights and underwear.

If you could be a super-hero, what would your special power be? Would you choose one based on how it could benefit you, or how you could benefit the world?

This question comes about, thanks to this article:

So, it seems that we're close to having a version of an invisibility cloak. It's probably safe to say that this material isn't being developed for intense games of Hide-and-go-seek or Marco Polo. My guess is that there's some sort of military motivation for this research. But let's not focus on that. Let's not focus on the potential for hiding planes, tanks and landmines. Let's not think about invisible snipers sneaking up to the home of "suspected criminals" and taking action without any accountability. Let's choose, instead, to look at all of the great things that could come from the invention of such a fabric.

Imagine the embarasment that could be avoided if teenagers wrapped their pr0n in invisible paper! It doesn't stop there. Romance novels, diaries, all become safer posessions when you can use them discretely.

Pimples will never be an issue again! Stick a piece of this paper on your problem areas and create the illusion that the irritated spot looks the same as the rest of your face.

Maybe they'll incorporate bits of this into jeans and I'll finally be able to get rid of the extra tummy pooch that I just can't seem to reduce with crunches!

This product is going to be a dream! I can't wait until it's available for everyone! What could go wrong?

Personally, though, if I had my choice I would prefer the power to read minds - then I'd know what other people are hiding under their invisible cloth :D

Just an observation, but...

When you live in a fantasyland, you have to go through the Spooky Forest to get just about anywhere.