Highlight from last night

NOTE: This was meant to be posted Thursday, 25 July 2013 but time constraints, technical difficulties and the simple fact that life sucks has led to its delay.

At the coffee shop this morning:

“Hey, how are you doing?”
“I’m covered in cat hair.”

Yup, that’s how my day started. I woke up on my friends couch covered in cat hair. To me, that’s the sign of a good night. To me, that’s living. If I could start every day that way I probably would… but then, maybe not. Perhaps the balance of extremes are what allows the extremes to exist.  Let’s face it, I kind of like the extremes. Call it what you like: reckless, irresponsible, blowing off steam, obnoxious or childish but I just call it life.

One of the random strangers I ran into last night asked me what the highlight of my day was. At this point I felt like it was still too early to say but now I can. Here are some highlights from last night:

  • Discussing the happy topics of post traumatic stress and suicide at Grumpy’s bar in Northeast.
  • Seeing Al Sabola’s current rockabilly band, The Bad Companions. I’m not a huge rock rockabilly fan but when it’s done well, and all these players have been doing it well for a long time, it’s a good time for sure.
  • Seeing Courtney Yasmineh perform at the Terminal Bar. She is always a treat to see perform. Check out her website and if you get a chance to see her perform live, please do. Her song “Stones” is in my opinion one of the best songs ever written. Every time I hear it, it gives me chills.
  • Catching a ride for me and my bike to Club Jager with my friend Justice. Just crazy timing but I love how things work out sometimes.
  • Remembering how much fun Transmission with DJ Jake Rudh can be and how I really do enjoy all the beautiful people there.
  • Eating Pizza Luce Pizza. Okay, by this time I was pretty wasted and I have no idea what was on it; pretty sure there was meat but it was delicious.
  • But the number one highlight of my day was receiving a text from a friend who was having a rough day. She said she spent the evening reading through my blog and wanted me know that it helped her a lot. Knowing that something I have done has helped someone else is the best news I can get.
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Redemption day

This is going to be one of those “matter of fact” posts. I’m getting so behind in my daily updates. Actually, this style of blogging is totally back-asswards. The more I have to write about, the less time I have to write.

Anyway, If you didn’t read my last post, please don’t. It’s the most embarrassing thing I have ever written. Of coarse if you don’t, this post won’t make any sense either.  I’m okay with that.

So this post is about Saturday, the big day that I didn’t want to fuck up by getting too fucked up on Friday. But I did and woke up at my best friends place 8 miles from home. Now I had to bike home in the freezing rain before I could even start my big day. Plus because of getting fucked up the night before, my big day was going to be even bigger.

[Here was suppose to be the meme I posted on my facebook wall that said “I’ve go 99 problems and I am all of them”. But I after an hour of searching for it I couldn’t find it. I guess there are a lot of people blaming their problems on someone else.]

BTW, I love Jay-Z. Not just because we have the same name but because I like what he has to say. I think he is an amazing artist.

So the first thing I had to do was get my synthesizer to a friend so he could ship it to South-by-Southwest. My friend who works for Green Room Booking posted something about needing an 88-key weighted keyboard. I have one of those so I offered it. My only concern was that I didn’t have a case for it. I mean I do, but it’s this huge fucking hard-shell flight case that weighs as much as the keyboard itself. Luckily I recently got got my tax refund so I could buy a more suitable case. Heading to Guitar Center was my first task.

Apparently the synthesizer was needed for Lisa Germano. OMG!!! If you don’t know who this woman is you should totally check her out. She is amazing! Okay, I have never made it to SXSW but my keyboard has and it is being played by one of the most talented artists in music today!

lisa_08

Lisa Germano playing my synthesizer at South By Southwest

Still, that can’t compare to what I did next. I went to the birthday party of my favorite 3 year old in the entire world. I’m totally done having kids, but I love being a part of human development process. I love being invited to children’s birthday parties. This kid can be quite a handful at times, but I love him as if he was my own.

But still, I’m a blog writer so I need to get to work. We don’t get a day off. I headed to a coffee shop where I could get wi-fi. Of course I ran into a friend there who invited me to join her. I said I needed to get some work done and she was fine with that because she needed to get work done too. But more than that, she needed someone to talk to. That was me. I am not one to think that I am more important than the person in front of me so I gave her my time as long as I could. I did not get any writing done.

Oh, I totally forgot what I did between dropping off the synth and the toddler birthday party. I dropped off a case of beer at my bff’s place and brought her couch cover to the dry-cleaner’s.

Yeah, and now I needed one of those beers. In headed to her place to grab a  beer. I also needed to do a load of laundry since I had pissed her couch. I love doing laundry. Snip snap done! Then we watched Black Swan which I had never seen. How the fuck did that happen?

Anyway… amazing movie. Probably not for the reasons my friend liked it but that is part if what made it amazing to me. I guess that is what makes it art – we each get to see our own story in it.

Moving connections

I’ve been struggling all week trying to write about what happened last weekend. It finally dawned on me that I was making it way more difficult than I needed to. I wanted to capture the transformative nature of the weekend but that is not really necessary  The nature of transformation is that it sticks with you and it continues to change. In other words, there will be plenty of time to write about all that.

What I need to capture is just the events as they occurred and my feelings, thoughts and state of mind in that moment.

If I just gave you the events, it would sound something like this:

I spent Saturday afternoon helping one of my closest friends move out of Minneapolis into her boyfriend’s house in Oakdale. It took two trips filling my van and a pickup each time.

Afterwards we had diner at The Green Room in Stillwater and drank wine from a vineyard the couple had visited in SLO California when they were there over new years.

After that we went to meet the boyfriend’s dad at a karaoke bar across the river. We drank beer, eat peanuts and talked about everything under the sun. The boyfriend did an amazing job singing The Piano has been Drinking by Tom Waits.

After the bar closed a group of us returned to the boyfriend’s parents house to hang out. We drank and talked, I played the piano for a bit, and we partied ’til the sun came up.

Boring! I mean the day was in no way boring but what made it exciting was not the things I did, it was the connections with other people that made it meaningful. The events alone make it no different than any weekend in my life. What makes my life special are the people involved.

I was so grateful to be asked to participate in this move. I love helping people move and I’m pretty damn good at it by now. Moving is a major life change and I feel very privileged to be part of these monumental events. As I was helping my friend move I hearkened back to the last time I helped someone with a move out of this residence. That was a much more solemn life change filled with negativity and destruction. This time had it’s share of negativity but it felt like a move forward. It felt like growth and new opportunity.

What was so special about being asked this time was that they didn’t need to ask. I’m not talking about not needing to ask because I would help regardless, like I already had it on my calendar – which I did. No, I mean not needing to ask because they didn’t really need my help. I’m sure that the boyfriend could have just hired movers and have been done with it but he didn’t. They took the risk and asked for help. I find that noble.

My brother-in-law once said, “any problem that can be solved with money is not a problem”. I like that. I believe that. By the way, I think that poverty is a problem that can be solved with money, but that is clearly outside the scope of what I am trying to accomplish with this entry.

My point is that the boyfriend could have simply solved this problem with money. I’m sure he’s got it. He drives a brand new Lexus, works for his dad’s company which from what I could tell is doing perfectly well. His parent’s house reminded me a lot of my dream house which I have created in my head just in case I wind up rich. Their’s might actually might be a little bit bigger and I’m sure it’s not their only house. Surface it to say, they have more money than most of my artist friends.

… but not all. I feel very fortunate to have friends at all levels of the socioeconomic scale. It’s all part of my love of diversity thing. I believe it takes all types to make the world go round. I just don’t like it when some people are valued more than others. I grew up in a middle-class family that struggled financially at times. Nowadays, my parents could be considered rich I guess. Saturday I was asked how I define rich and I responded, “if you have so much money that you need to pay someone to spend it for you, I would consider you rich”. My parents do that on occasion.

Me? I’m pretty fucking poor. Most of my friends are poor. It might just be that our economy is totally fucked up. I mean most people are pretty poor and this is the richest nation in the world, right? Per capita, we are number seven but again, I’m getting beyond the scope of this post.

What I am saying is, regardless of your income, race, sex, disability or any other way we want to categorize people, we are all human. We all have the same human limitations. We all need to eat, sleep and shit. We are all constrained by only having 24 hours to each day. We all get older and we will all one day die. In that, we are all the same.

Money cannot buy friendship, not real friendship, certainly not my friendship. That’s why I was asked to help with the move; to build friendship. I was asked to be part of a meaningful life event not because my help was necessary, but because I was wanted. That means the fucking world to me!

They didn’t get off cheap either. I think I only bought one beer all night and I can drink! The boyfriend covered my gas and took me out for a really nice diner. You know what? Hiring movers would probably have been cheaper.

Not dead yet

It’s okay. I’m not dead. I know I haven’t posted since last Friday but I’m still here. I’m still writing. I just had a really monumental weekend and it’s taking a while to get the actual events into a post.

I was up until 3:30 in the morning last night reading and writing and I still think I’m only half way done with Saturday. It’s not going to get done tonight either. I just got home from running around all day and I am completely drained. I am struggling to form sentences I’m so tired. Plus I’m getting up early tomorrow to drive friends to the airport before work. It’s going to be an early night.

I feel that it is well deserved though. I’ve had a full day. I woke up at 9:30 because I agreed to drive a friend around so she could do some things she needed to get done. I was under the influence of alcohol when I agreed to do this but I would have done it anyway. That’s what friends are for and it was great to spend the day with her. Plus she made me an awesome purple and green hat that sparkles. It was a win all around.

What I hadn’t accounted for was the effect snow would have on my day. Before I could do anything I needed to shovel a foot of snow off my side walk… and then my van. The roads were pretty awful in some spots. It made driving feel more like surfing at times. It’s a skill I’ve gotten pretty good at.

I don’t know if I can say the same thing about the guy I helped push out of his driveway. I will always stop to help someone who is stuck if I can… and I usually can. Two minutes out of my life is nothing but it can make a huge difference in someone else’s life. I’m just questioning whether the difference I made this time will be a positive one. This guy was clueless. He had no idea how to rock the car back and forth. He was flooring the gas and the wheels were just spinning. He also didn’t seem to understand the concept of straightening out the wheels. Maybe he didn’t speak English, maybe he was deaf, but I fear that we may have just released his from this predicament only to have him wind up in a bigger one down the road.

My day wasn’t completely free from driving follies. While driving my friend home I could hear metal dragging on the road underneath my van. I pulled over and crawled under the van to take a look. There was a big rusted out concave piece of metal stuck to the muffler. It took some work but I was able to detach it. I don’t know what it is. I suspect it’s from my van but I don’t know for sure. In any case, my van is running fine without it.

I picked up my daughter at her mom’s apartment  She had the day of off school because of the snow. We had half an hour to kill before her circus class so I suggested we stop by my house and see if the phone we ordered had arrived. There was no phone but in the 30 minutes we were parked outside my house the snow plow had come by and completely plowed me in. I had to shovel my van out before I could go anywhere.

That wouldn’t have been so bad but I was already running out of steam and having a hard time walking. Just before noticing the snow plow situation I was putting bags in the back and slipped underneath the van banging my shin against the door frame. I’m just glad my kids are accustom to hearing foul language.

I’m fucking done with this day! I’m going to bed.

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