Friday, June 21, 2013

Ladies who Lunch, Live Music, and a Really Great Day.

Yesterday was a good day.

Work was good.  Work is always good.  {tangent} I am so incredibly grateful for my job and all of the sh*tty things that happened that led me here.  Sometimes I need to pinch myself so I know that yes, this is real life.  I do work here and they do appreciate me and they give me so much respect and they treat me like I'm awesome and even if I don't always feel awesome I really love that they say that I am.  They spoil me.  They know that I am capable.  They are wonderful.  This whole "we love you and love what you do" thing hasn't happened for me in years of employment.  Thank goodness for this job. {end of tangent.}

Lunch was great.  Carissa and I met at our spot in the park.  The spot below the tree, just south east of the jungle gym.  The spot that is half shaded and half sunlit so that we can adjust our place on the Rapuzel blanket so that we're always comfortable.  The spot in the park that is halfway between her place of work and my place of work.  We bring our own lunch and we chat.  As always, we chat about our loves, our lives, our jobs, and our books.  Yesterday we talked about loss.  We shared tragic stories that didn't involve us directly, but involved those that we know.  We  spoke about the fragility of life and how paralyzing it is to truly think about how temporary our time here on earth really is.  I walked away feeling sad.  I felt sad because of the situations we discussed, but I felt recharged.  That little recharge that I mentioned back here.  The recharge you get from connecting with your best friend.

I didn't have time to pack a real lunch so I improvised.
First things first.  The shoes come off.
I adore this little bird.
When I returned from lunch I had 4 tickets waiting on my desk for me.  These tickets were for the Guster, Ben Folds Five, and Barenaked Ladies show that night!  They were a gift from our marketing company.  A fantastic gift!  I absolutely love Ben Folds Five, and though I rarely listen to Barenaked Ladies, I like them a lot.  I saw them years ago at the White River Amphitheatre in Washington and they put on the best show!  Not only do they have catchy tunes and plenty of talent, they are hilarious.  If you ever get the opportunity to see the Barenaked Ladies perform, whether you are a fan or not, TAKE IT!  You will not regret it.

I decided then and there that even though it was so last minute, I was going!  I decided that I was taking my baby girl with me.  I would have loved to bring Kyle, but you know, game 7 of the NBA series...  I posted the other 2 free tickets that I had on Facebook and didn't get any bites.  On my drive home from work to grab my girl and head north it occured to me that I should call my aunt Marilyn.  She loves the Barenaked Ladies!  She loves to go to concerts!  She lives near by!  As luck would have it, Marilyn was able to join us.  So last minute!  This was very spontaneous and I loved it.

I was so excited to spend some time with Ayla.  Working full-time I feel that I am lacking in the "quality time" department.  I miss my little girl.  One of the things that I miss the most is driving in the car with her.  Just us two.  I know, that seems silly.  Why would I miss a car ride?  Let me tell you.  Ayla is fun in the car.  Ayla loves music.  Ayla loves to sing.  In the car Ayla and I rock out.  We turn the music up loud.  We sing at the top of our lungs.  We dance.  We have a lot of fun.  I popped in the Lilo and Stitch soundtrack and Ayla about had a heart attack.  She screeched, "LILO AND STITCH! MOM, I DIDN'T EVEN REMEMBER THIS SONG!"  She, of course, did remember the song.  She sang the Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride song over and over.  Then she said, "Can we listen to The King, mom?"  Elvis.  You bet we can listen to Elvis.  That's mah girl!

We stopped at Sonic and to grab some dinner.  Really I just wanted a dirty diet coke and Ayla wanted a watermelon slush.  We decided to grab a dollar item to eat.  Worst decision ever.  Sonic is great for drinks, not so much for food.  Long story short, we waited for 30 minutes while they messed up our order and forgot about us.  I had to march in to the kitchen and ask for my money back.  Whatevs.  We got free food and we took off.  Ayla was asleep 2 minutes after we were on the freeway.

Generally I would be bugged by having to show up late.  I don't like that.  I want to see all of the bands.  I want to experience the entire thing, start to finish.  But last night, meh.  I was happy to show up as Guster was ending their set.  This meant we didn't have to sit as long with a three-year-old.  This was her first experience at a music show and I wasn't sure how she would do.  Turns out that she is her mother's daughter.  She did awesome.  {Once she fully woke up.  All that took was a bag of cotton candy.}

It was fun to catch up a bit with Aunt Marilyn.  Ayla was SO happy that she was there!  Even when Marilyn left us for a while to run to the restroom Ayla said, "Mom, can Aunt Marilyn come back now?"
Ben Folds was amazing.  Just like I expected him to be.  Here's a small clip of the song "Brick".  Plus there's a bonus of Ayla meowing like a kitty at the end.  :)

Once Ben Folds was done we moved in closer.  We got a better view of the stage, which was great!  Unfortunately my phone died and I didn't get any more pictures or videos of the Barenaked Ladies set.  But man, were they good.  They are so talented and their songs are just silly.  You just laugh when you watch them perform.  You laugh and sing and dance.  Is there anything better?

Sometimes I forget what live music does for me and how important it is to me.  I know that music can reach a person like nothing else, but live music?  Oh man.  It doesn't even need to be a song that I know or even a band that I'm familiar with.  Live music is just powerful.  The ear-piercing wail of an electric guitar being strummed for the first time that set, the bass drum that seems to beat through your own chest, the static, the chaos, the purity...  The feeling that I get while watching live music rivals only the feeling that I get from a roller coaster.  You know that feeling when you are strapped in and you are slowly clicking your way up an impossibly high ramp?  You're questioning your sanity {I AM GOING TO DIE} and you are wishing that you never sat in this little rickety car.  Your heart feels like it going to pound it's way straight out of your chest, or maybe out of your stomach - what is that awful feeling in your stomach?  You are terrified.  But oh man, it feels SO GOOD.  I love that feeling.  That's how I feel when I listen to live music.  It's excitement.  And joy.

Cotton candy mouths.

I watched my little girl feel that excitement and joy for the first time.  Oh, she loved it.  She didn't seem to get into Ben Folds Five much, she was still too excited about her cotton candy and her aunt Marilyn, but she sure loved the Barenaked Ladies.  When they sang "Gonna Walk", they included the crowd.  He would sing, "I'm gonna Walk" then we'd repeat.  "I won't quit."  Repeat.  "Until I get!"  Repeat.  {all together!}  "To the bottom of your heart!"  Ayla sang along at the top of her lungs.  After every line she belted out she would laugh.  A hearty, mouth-wide-open, laugh.  She clapped along with the beat.  She swayed.  She screamed after each song.  The first time she cupped her hands around her mouth and let out a "Woooo!" she looked at me hesitantly.  Her expression was cautious as if she wasn't sure she was allowed to yell.  I responded with the loudest "WOOOOO!" I could muster.  She laughed and squealed, "WOOOOO!"  I think that screaming after each song was one of her favorite things.  Also, singing "If I had a million dollars..."  She rocked that song.

And oh, Ayla.  One of her favorite things to say is "Chickety China the Chinese chicken!"  She heard that line of the song "One Week" at some point and has adopted this as a replacement for "I love you".  Really.  We do this thing where we say, "I gotta tell you a secret!"  Then you whisper, "I love you!"  She loves this game.  She plays it all the time.  Out of nowhere she started saying, "I've got a secret!"  Then she whispers, "Chickety China the Chinese chicken!" in your ear.  So you can imagine her joy when they sang that song.  The whole time I was amping her up for it.  I was like, "They're gonna say it, oh my goodness, it's almost your part!"  She was buzzing with excitement.  And finally they said it, "CHICKETY CHINA THE CHINESE CHICKEN!"  And then they said it again.  And again!  They said it three times!  If you know the song you know that they usually only say it once.  But oh boy, I love love love that they said it three times.  I love love love the squeal that escaped from Ayla after each time.  I love the way she laughed and the way that she bounced on my lap and clapped her hands.  I loved everything about this.

This was just another way for me to recharge.  It was quality time with my girl.  It was family time with aunt Marilyn.  It was fabulous music.  It was a great, great night.

The one thing that brought me down on the way out?  Some teenaged kids were making fun of a woman.  They were blatantly mimicking her dancing and her weight.  They were putting her down.  That brought me down.  A music show should be a place to escape real life.  To be free.  To have fun.  To dance!  No matter the dance moves.  No matter the way you look.  It made me sad for these kids to be mocking this woman who surely had the time of her life.  Why were they not discussing the awesome music or laughing about the goofy way that they let loose and danced in the aisles?  Why did they have to be tearing down an innocent, unknowing woman.  It made me wish that I had been next to her and that I had been dancing like an idiot with her.  Someday, perhaps when they've grown up a little, I hope that they can enjoy a show and let go and dance like fools and smile at the fool dancing in front of them and realize that we are in this together.  We're all fools trying to have a good time.

We had a good time.  It was better than good.  I am so glad that I got the chance to go on this spontaneous adventure with my girl.

What a day.  A terrific Thursday.

1 comment:

  1. I couldn't agree more. I always feel so refreshed after a visit with you. It is nice to talk to someone who likes to have real conversations {happy or sad} and to leave all that fake "Hi! How is life?!" at the door.

    I will forever love our mid-afternoon, Rapunzel lounging, summer afternoons :]