Thursday, May 24, 2012

Is it bad luck to sing in a graveyard?

Apparently the people at Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta this weekend were not concerned about singing or dancing among the burial plots...Cistern and I included.

The cemetery is an amazingly beautiful place. Established in 1850, it has plenty of shade and loads of character. This was the second year that they have had this music festival, but my first time ever even going to the cemetery. There are many beautiful memorials and statues, some notable residents--including Margaret Mitchell, and many Confederate soldiers buried there.

This is the most photographed memorial at the cemetery...built by a husband and father for his wife and daughter.

They used that image and added a fiddle and a guitar for the flyer.

We went to see Rebecca Loebe (one of my favorites) who is from Atlanta but I didn't "find" her until she was on Season One of "The Voice." If you watched the show, Adam and Christina both turned around for her, and she chose Team Adam. She was rudely eliminated during the battle Rounds, but I have been stalking to see her several times since, and I think she is awesome. She mentioned her TV time on Saturday, and was super kind in giving me a shout out from the stage, "...the most important judge who turned around was Margaret. She's been at every show in Atlanta since, and I need that a lot more than I need Christina Aguilera." Why, yes, I was beaming like crazy. She is sweet, has a wonderful voice full of power, range, and control, and writes some amazing lyrics. Go see her if you ever get the chance...and tell her I ordered suggested that you go. If you hate her, I'll give you your money back. For real...I have a job now.

The vendor selection was not as wide as I would have liked, but the guys from Pallookaville had a great sense of humor.

Their boiled peanuts lived up to the hype.

And the condiment selection included grape jelly and Hershey's chocolate sauce among many more traditional hot sauces. I'm boring when it comes to my corn dogs, and chose "Perfect--Gulden's mustard," and "Wrong--ketchup." the others were "Delicious--yellow mustard" and "Zesty--pickle relish."

My only complaint was that my shoes (with whom I had established a relationship) chose to give me three blisters--one between the toes. If you had any idea how often I wear flip flop style shoes, you would recognize this as the tragedy potential inconvenience this establishes for me. We did see an accident involving the leg one of the vendors getting caught between a golf cart and the vendor's cart. Cistern completed her obligations as she saw fit: 1. Pointing to me and saying "NURSE!" 2. Not puking. I need to send an email to check on her. She tried to tough it our, but did eventually go to the ER. I'm not sure it was broken, but I absolutely would not have sworn it was NOT broken. I guess that makes my blisters seem not even worth mentioning.

So, when was the last time you saw live music? Where is the most interesting place you have seen music? If you don't like live music, can you explain to me why? (I really do mean that last question...not being snarky, I just don't get it.)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

A week's worth of trouble...

So, between the two of us we are managing a single post per week. Go us! We will try to do better.

I know nothing better to say than to give you a snapshot of my last 10 days. I have seen much music, many friends, and had great fun.

My first musical adventure was to seeCarsie Blanton at the Red Clay Theater just north of Atlanta. A friend from the neighborhood joined me. I had never seen Carsie before, but really love her. She lets you listen to whole CDs at her website...I'd suggest Buoy as a good place to start. I simply adore the title cut. She has a great blog post about her theory of songs. It compares song traits to desirable traits in lovers: brain, heart, and body. She posits that (like lovers) most songs have there three qualities in varying degrees.

She has a throwback "pin-up" kind of look that I love.

My fried Terry came into town, and the next two nights we saw Dan Navarro. He was the musical partner of my friend Eric who passed away about 2 months ago, and I love him and his mop of dark curls to pieces.

We were at Eddie's Attic which has been my go to venue for many years. My favorite place for my feet to sit is on the edge of that stage.

Seeing Dan for the first time without Eric left me less weepy than I might have thought. It was wonderful to see Dan and hear things in his voice that I didn't hear when he was half of a duo. We stayed late at the venue, then moved on to the next bar with Dan, another friend Tommy, and met three other guys: Kodak, Barry, and John. For those of you doing the math--that makes me the lone female at a whiskey bar (who had a BOOK listing all the available choices that was more than three deviations above my pay grade). This part of the evening started with the following joke: "What's the difference between a slut and a whore?" Answer: "A slut will sleep with anyone, and a whore will sleep with anyone but YOU." I'm a tough chick to rattle, but when Barry put his size 15 shoe on the table when I began to dissent with the "Foot to Male member correlation theory," and then unbuckled his pants, I caved.

The next night we drove to Athens to see Dan in a house concert in Athens. Somehow the theory mentioned above came back into the conversation. I swear, someone could start to think that I am the common denominator...

I saw the Jacob Jeffries Band Saturday night with a crowd much younger than I and even danced like I was in my 20's again despite being exhausted. Jacob is a terribly wonderful, sweet person and a hella piano player and songwriter.

Fast forward through Mother's Day (which is cool for everyone else but I'm not really into it).

Bryan and I went to see Jenny Lawson sign her new, fabulous book. Bryan got her photograph taken with Cee Lo our large metal flamingo.

I'm trying to be generous instead of jealous...and mostly succeeding.

Yesterday's adventure just might merit it's own post. Lots of fun(ny) photos. I'll get to work on it.

So, what has everyone else been up to?

Sunday, May 13, 2012


Yes, we called her that. That's what she called her mother, so it seemed to be what one did after one graduated from "Mommy."

There are not enough words in cyberspace to capture our mother in print. You will never get a good picture of who she was. If I describe to you the laugh, the vibrance and the sheer wonder of her personality, and somehow capture that aspect of her (which I doubt I could do), you would never be able to round out that picture with an accurate aspect of The Crazy. Since it's Mother's Day, or will be by the time I hit post, I will skip (for the most part) The Crazy, and focus on the Fun. Because the woman was fun.

She enjoyed being the focus of attention, but she loved having the swirl of activity around her in a group. One night at a family reunion when she was so exhausted she couldn't stay awake another moment, she said goodnight to everyone and then admonished us "Y'all have to go to bed now! No sneaking around having fun without me!"

She was a terrific hostess. So much that the day before we had to be out of her house of 20 years, we had a party to celebrate it with her friends. Only one of the friends we called didn't think it was a fabulous idea; everyone else came with very little notice.

Her sense of style & bearing was such that when she realized at the end of a business trip that she could make it to a party at the High Museum and went straight there (wearing her long denim skirt and pink Reboks, I'm sure), no one blinked an eye at her attire. She realized later it was black tie.

In her mid-40s, she took up crewing on C-15s. In this video the crew is the person with their rear end just a foot or so off of the water. I'm about that age now, and I am not about to pick up that hobby. (This is just a random video off of the internet, she is not in that video. It's just an example of what the crew is so you can see how crazy it is.)

She was getting it together, I think. She was not equipped in some ways to handle what life brought her, and it took her longer to learn some of the lessons she needed to learn. And yes, she had a flair for the dramatic. It was not out of character at all for her to die on Mother's Day, although as I tell her frequently, it's not like we wouldn't remember her if she'd picked a different day.

I could tell more stories. All damn day, I could tell stories. I've tried to tell the stories, both of The Wonder and of The Crazy, to my kids so they have a fair picture of life. Some of The Crazy can wait, of course. Some of The Crazy they are getting a taste of, because I learned how to be a Mommy from her. I hope they are tasting The Wonder as well.

Thursday, May 3, 2012


You would think that two relatively bright and literate sisters could maintain a blog with a bit more consistency than this. Evidently not. I guess part of it is that Bryan has been super busy and not really able to blog. The other part is that I have been not terribly busy except for with things that are not bloggable.

Nobody wants to read stuff written by a redhead who whines because she doesn't have a job. Who whines because employers are really stupid for not hiring her. Who whines because they are stupid for not hiring her and not even having the good etiquette to send a "drop dead, dumbass" email after she got dressed, drove for two interviews, and managed not to utter a single curse word during EITHER of those two interviews. This doesn't even include the people who are stupid and do things that make her thrilled beyond belief that she does not work for them...yet still won't offer her a job.

Please don't ask me why I wrote that last bit in the third person. Well, since I make it a point to not to bitch and moan about my employers while they are paying me, at least I can get a bit out of the way while I am waiting.

The other things that have been going on involve someone else's business and a bit of my own that I'm hanging onto for the moment.

So...some random nonsense:

I know that the more common method is for people to write their own lists of 20, 50 or 101 things, but I think I'm going to make a list of things about my sister and anxiously wonder what shit she might spew about me then let her do the same.

1. She is a Pisces
2. Her favorite color is blue.
3. She is one of the smartest people I know.
4. She cannot for the life of her close a kitchen cabinet. When we lived together I could always tell what she had prepared and eaten when I was gone.
5. She is the middle sibling...I'm older and we have a baby brother who is going to be 42 next month.
6. She eats pizza with mushrooms...anything else is a bonus but unnecessary.
7. She threw up when she caught me smoking and insisted on sharing.
8. She acted in college and was damned good.
9. She has a cat named Cassi Opeia.
10. When she was pregnant with my niece she ate more melon than she has eaten the rest of her life combined.
11. We didn't like each other for a bunch of years. Somehow we managed to get over that and become very close friends as adults. Kinda like soldiers who made it out of the same war.
12. My father refuses to let us be on the same team when we play Pictionary.
13. We have a bunch of weird phrases that came from movies, jokes and other long forgotten places that are woven into our language.
14. She doesn't have cable.
15. When I loan her books and tell her not to read them in the tub, she understands that it means I would like them back sans water damage and doesn't take it personally.
16. She will come over late at night when I am having an anxiety attack about packing for a trip.
17. She knows I would do the same for her.
18. We share the belief that a po boy sandwich from Henri's Bakery makes the universe look much less shittier even on a really shitty day.
19. She is an excellent educator and I wish someone would pay her to teach.
20. When we were in our 20's we used to go to a bar called "The Spot." It was kinda like our Cheers and people called us "The Slam Sisters."
21. Chances are that she will remember how we got that nickname. That kinda shit is her job, not mine.