St. Pat’s Adventure

March 19, 2007

Last year for St. Patrick’s day, I took my then 11 year old cousin Steve to see if we could vicariously experience the Flogging Molly concert at the Mesa Ampitheatre.We planned to sit on the grass and listen and be chased around by secuirty guards. Instead we ended up watching Flogging Molly perform from the top of the conference center for the hotel, after being snuck in by some strange guy and his buddies.
This year (and not on St. Pat’s, but Sunday night, as Staurday turned out to be insanely crowded at the concert), as I am 8 months pregnant, we decided to take Luke’s truck, some blankets and a picnic dinner and listen to the concert from the parking lot – slightly closer to the action and with the added benefit of being public parking so we couldn’t be chased off!
Steve and I were bummed that Luke wasn’t feeling well and didn’t come with us but we loaded up the truck and headed to the concert. It was much less crowded (adding credence to Steve and my mad skills regarding concert attendance guestimates) and we found a spot close enough to hear the music, enjoy the sunset, and eat out dinner.
Saturday when we attempted to crash the concert, Steve had bothered some security gaurds to sneak him in. Much to his chagrin they refused and he was left to skateboard on the outskirts. Last night, after finishing dinner, he grabbed his board and said:
“I’m going to see if those security guys remember me and let me in”
Feeling secure in my knowledge (no security guard ever let ME in when I was trying to sneak into concerts in junior high!) I told him to go ahead and settled back for a nice concert.
About 10 minutes later he comes running back: “THe security guy said he’d let me in if I left my skateboard here!”
“What? no he didn’t”
“he did! I’m gettin’ in!”
“Steve if you get fucked up in there your mother will kill me, don’t even”
“I’ll be fine” This last bit was yelled over his shoulder as he sped off.
Still feeling secure (if irritated that a security guard would mess around with a little kid) I didn’t yell for him to come back. I  was sure that he would come stomping back, fumung after a jerk security guy told him he was kidding around.
10 minutes passed.
I realized that he hadn’t returned. My jaw fell open.
He actually got in.
Feeling slightly panicked I called his sister first: “um, your mom is going to kill me. I let Steve go into the concert by himself. I didn’t think it would actually work. Call me back”
I called Luke: “I don’t think I should be raising a child. I just sent a 12 year old into a punk show by himself. It’s very possible he’ll be killed.” (Luke found this all wildly amusing by the way)
I called whomever I thought would be in town to help me figure out a way to track him down inside the concert. Paul didn’t answer. Mollie didn’t answer. My cousin Ben didn’t answer.
Steve’s sister Natalie called me back: “He actually got in by himself! Holy crap!”
“Natty! Your mom is RIGHT THERE! She’s not supposed to know!”
“ooops”
“Okay, whatever, just come down here and help me figure out how to retrieve him”
“we’re on our way!”
Mostly I wanted to track him down because 12 years old isn’t the ideal age to attend a punk show by yourself, he had no cell phone and no money and there were upwards of 3000 people at the Ampitheatre. It was alightly alarming.
Natalie and her mom arrived, both cool as cucumbers, Natty was certain she could get us into the concert without having to buy a ticket. I was sure we’d have to wait it out by the truck and just wait for him to come back after it was over.
We had no idea if he’d ACTUALLY gotten in or was just canvassing any security gaurd he could find around the perimeter.
So Natty and I went to work. We chatted with security gaurds, asked at will call and racked our brains. We found out that indeed a little kid HAD gotten into the concert although it “was not authorized”and so were reassured that he was in the midst of all the folks.
As I talked to my aunt on the phone again, Natalie had the brilliant idea of asking the guys at the Edge booth for tickets. She told them our predicament and asked if there was anything to do. Once again I rolled my eyes, sure. they’ll just hand you the free tickets for this huge show.
And what do you know they did. Out of their bag came two tickets. General admission.
And once again my jaw dropped open.
I called Luke: “um, babe, I’m going into the concert. We got tickets from the radio station.”
“Have fun!” he was still wildly amused.
So the pregnant lady and the absolutely opposite of punk looking 18 year old walked up to the security gates to get into the concert to look for the errant 12 year old.
When we got in I was struck by how much I didn’t actually want to be there. Any other time I would have been thrilled but being pregnant at a punk show is not the best of situations. I didn’t want to be around the cigartte smoke, I didn’t want to get a contact high from the thick layer of weed smoke, I couldn’t sit on the grass for very long without my insufficiently padded rear getting sore, I was worried that the deafeningly loud music would somehow make my wee child retarded.
Although, all of that aside, it was pretty cool to get in. And Authority Zero was fabulous. As was Flogging Molly. 😉
Natty and I wove our way through the crowds of people, we sang along with the band, and generally kept our eyes peeled. I knew if we didn’t find him by the time Flogging Molly started we would just have to enjoy the free concert and meet him at the truck later.
As the last band finished, we split up and began asking folks in the pit if they’d seen a 12 year old galivanting. Natty gave out her phone number to half of Mesa and a whole bevy of girls asked to touch my belly, being tickled to see a pregnant lady at a show.
Just before FLogging Molly took the stage my phone rang: “I found him! I found him. I found him!”
“Don’t move. Don’ t move a muscle. I’m coming to you. Marco”
“Polo”
“Marco”
“polo…I see you! Look up!”
Turns out the security gaurd told Steve to hide out up at the top of the Ampitheatre and stay out of sight. Much to Steve’s credit he did as he was told and only gazed longingly at the pit where giant men crashed into one another to the dulcet tones of Authority Zero. He stayed put at the top of the ampitheatre and enjoyed seeing the show.
After calling my aunt and assuring her he was intact, we decided to stay and enjoy the concert.
We left early because I’m a party pooper but got to hear at least one of their big songs. I took some pictures on my cell phone (T-Mobile hates me currently and I can’t send them to my Flickr account but I’ll upload them later), I let Steve venture to the edge of the craziness with his sister (she hung on to the back of his shirt and he jumped around like a loony), and wished very much that I could knock back beer.
The show was great, a little loud (does that mean I’m to old? Or just that my sensitive pregnancy hearing was on overdrive?), and I could have done without the copious amounts of smoke but I sang along with the songs I knew and danced on the grass with everyone else.
Overall, it was another fabulous random St. Patricks Day adventure (albeit one day late) and it has set the stage for tradition. As long as Flogging Molly plays the Ampitheatre for St. Pat’s, Steve and I will be there seeing the show for free somehow. Maybe next year we’ll even manage to get backstage. You should come, Steve and I have mad random adventure skilz.
😉

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Hot Hot Heat*

March 16, 2007

*not the band, the temperature.

Today, it’s a balmy 96 degrees.
Today, I am midway through my 36th week of pregnancy.

These two facts certainly contribute to the insane desire to take a nap in a baby pool full of gelato right now.

But only because I could enjoy the gelato for both it’s icy coolness AND it’s deliciousness. Otherwise what’s the point?

TOMORROW NIGHT: Steve, Luke, and I attempt to recreate one of my favorite memories from when I was losing my mind.
Last St. Pat’s I was pretty out of it (I remember very little of February, March and April of last year, due I would assume to my breakdown) but I got it together enough to try and take my cousin to listen to Flogging Molly at the Mesa Ampitheatre. We were going to sit out on the grass, run away from the rent-a-cops and enjoy the warm weather. As we rushed to hear them that evening (we had to leave the concert earlier in the day to take care of Nana) we ran into a guy who needed to use a cell phone, he was trying to get ahold of his friends on the roof of the hotel next door to the concert. I looked at Steve and I said to the complete stranger (let’s all remember that I was the weeest bit manic those days) “You can use my cell if we can crash the roof with you”. He told us it was cool if his hook up was cool with it. 5 minutes later we were climbing up the side of the building on a ladder, we came out on the roof overlooking the sea of people in the Ampitheatre…not 2 minutes before the band took the stage.
It was phenomenal.
The band was amazing, we stayed far away from the crowd of people and one of Steve’s first concerts was a pretty damn fabulous experiences. I have pictures on my old cell phone, I need to get to them and send them around. It was by far the best way I have ever seen a show, no crowds, no smoke, perfect view of the stage, and sound was as clear as a bell…It was a bright point in that pretty shadowy period.
I exchanged numbers with the guy (a high schooler who seemed amused by the fact that a 20 something chick was willing to commit breaking and entering to see a punk band with her little cousin) but it’s been disconnected…which is a bummer.
That fact notwithstanding, we’re going to hoof it to the Ampitheatre tomorrow evening to try and recreate the madness! You all are welcome to join us if you’re up for excitement, if we can’t get on the roof of the hotel we’re going to stick with the orignal plan from a year ago so be prepared to be sneaky and evade the security folks….

Collide

February 23, 2007

Today is my birthday. One of my favorite days of the year…
Today I have been ruminating on a lot of things, having been up since 7:30 or so (cut me some slack, since I started my 9-5 I can’t sleep past 8:30 usually, birthday or no)
mostly the ups and downs of my life over the last 25 years. The important things I’ve learned:

-Trust your gut.
-Always make sure people know how amazing you think they are
-Take risks
-Find one thing every day to be joyful about
-Learn to cook well
-Be flexible
-Take nothing for granted
-Nothing is what it seems, or what you plan, or sometimes even what you hope…

This last one the most simultaneously painful and joyful lesson I have ever learned. The essence of it is that elements of our lives are whizzing by us at an incredible rate and every so often we get lucky enough for 2 or 3 things to collide at just the right moment and create something astoundingly beautiful. Sometimes these collisions result in a life changing, painful, blinding explosion but if we try and control that process, we might end up mising the best thing to ever happen to us.

So today, this day of my birth, I am taking the whole day to be grateful for all those little collisions that led me here. And for all the people who helped me survive through them.
Thank you, thank you, thank you, a million times.

"The dawn is breaking

A light shining through

You're barely waking

And I'm tangled up in you

YeahI'm open, you're closed

Where I follow, you'll go

I worry I won't see your face

Light up again

Even the best fall down sometimes

Even the wrong words seem to rhyme

Out of the doubt that fills my mind

I somehow find

You and I collide

I'm quiet you know

You make a first impression

I've found I'm scared to know I'm always on your mind

Even the best fall down sometimes
Even the stars refuse to shine
Out of the back you fall in time
I somehow find
You and I collide Even the best fall down sometimes
Even the wrong words seem to ryhme
Out of the doubt that fills your mind
You finally find
You and I collide You finally find You and I collide You finally find" -Howie Day, Collide.

Late

February 21, 2007

when I finally do have this child, I know, unequivocally that I will look forward to the day when he comes in after curfew because I can say to him: “You have ALWAYS kept me up nights my darling”

insomnia sucks

Adventures in Hospitaling

February 7, 2007

Hooray for histrionics!
Thanks to a seemingly unrelated series of symptoms my OB sent me to the hospital yesterday. While there I got to wear “the gown”, get strapped to fetal monitors, watch my faux contractions on a screen, worry for about an hour that I was going into pre-term labor, get a shot from a nurse with 9 fingers, a ride in a wheelchair from the same nurse and watch Luke pick the lock of a locked hospital bathroom…
it was an awesome day.
I am, in fact, fine. But I was dehydrated (which caused my contractions and in turn caused them to give me a shot of Albueterine – a muscle relaxer that works like Proventil, the asthma medication, in that it relaxes a your muscles but makes you super shaky, also it has a reaction in some people (ME!) that mimics your blood pressure plummeting, but only if you’re hydrated -)so today I begin drinking like I was doing the detox diet again…
“what’s this detox diet?” you muse
surely you knew me when I went on the crazy detox diet?!?! no? you’ve never heard about that? OH MAN. Is that a crazy story. A story for later.

QUICK DISCLAIMER: If you’re related to me or if you don’t like hearing about me and sex in conjunction I’d skip this one if I were you.

Before I tell you what I did last night (you’re already thinking sordid thoughts I know) I should give you a little background.
I am one of those feminists who don’t so much mind porn. Who enjoy sex and it’s various incarnations. Who find sex toys entertaining and amusing. Who think that stripping can not only be fairly lucrative but empowering as well.
I’m one of those.
I make very few judgments where sex is concerned, (my judgment however will come down like hellfire if I hear about any sort of sexual anything involving parties who didn’t implicitly say “this is ok by me” read: rape, molestation, beastiality, etc.) You say you’re gay? good times, me too (I believe it was my friend Marcos who began calling me “The Half Gay”, like: “oh yeah, I’m half gay, on my mother’s side”)! You say you’re a straight guy who likes a little ass play? hot. You say you’re a lady who likes to be tied up? Who doesn’t? 🙂
I was raised in a household where sex was thought of as a natural thing, it was discussed in a frank and open manner and very little stigma was attached to it. One of the most surprising aspects of my own sexuality is that I waited so long to come out to my parents (in my 20’s) who have shown through their affiliations and choices of friends to have no problem with bisexuality or homosexuality at all. I have experimented enough with sex and have talked with enough different people about it (sex industry workers, porn shop owners, ministers, strippers, friends, etc) to feel fairly knowledgeable about the act itself.
Long story made long: I have no beef with sex. I have minimal hangups about sex. (I have no libido generally, but that’s a whole other can of worms).I know about the sex. Hooray sex.

SO
it would come as no surprise to anyone who knows me to see me at Fascinations last night (not that I frequent it, but that I would be there at all). I’m sure the surprise would be voiced to see Luke with me, but hey! It’s a fun date to go the porn shop! To look at the silicon dicks and the expensive videos and the “Sexy Dorothy Gale” costume…Fun for all!
In a fit of boredom last night I suggested we visit the store and see what we could see, perhaps the new Suicide Girls DVD would be out. Maybe we could purchase some jokey Valentine’s Day presents for each other. So we got in the car and grabbed dinner first (we’re so romantic, “Pizza before porn darling?” “Oh yes!”) and talked politics, like we do. Then we drove over to the store on Elliot.
It was packed full of people. Which I found surprising. I’d been there on the weekend before and usually the store had a grand total of 10 folks browsing. Last night there must have been 40 or so people there. A lot of couples enjoying themselves, it was really heartening.
Luke and I did a slow circuit of the floor, noting the big poster for a Valentine’s Day promotion they had going : “Free Boudoir Photos! Here!” and “Be our next Model!” I can only assume the large amounts of folks was due to that.
I will state for the record that shopping at a porn store is not nearly so entertaining while you’re hugely pregnant as it is when you’re cute and skinny. The lingerie won’t fit you and you realize that your mere presence is driving up condom sales.It was salvaged by the presence of Luke who had only been to a porn store once or twice and is certainly the more…inhibited, let’s say…of the two of us. I reveled in showing him the crazy vibrators, the giant silicon cast of Ron Jeremy’s Johnson, and we enjoyed perusing the vast collection of adult films they had. We mostly steered clear of the lingerie because it made me feel so giant.
As we finished our second lap of the store we were approached by two women who plesantly informed us that the photography they were doing was free! And everyone got one free print to take home! And would I like to take some sexy photos for my guy there? I smiled at them and told them that boudoir photography of giant pregnant ladies is not so much hott as it is alarming. They just laughed and said that they took a lot of photos of pregnant ladies and they had time open.
Part of my head thought: Don’t even, huge one. Nobody wants to see that.
The other part thought: What the hell.
And so I went with them. And I had my picture taken (topless no less!) by a very nice husband and wife team, who complimented me a whole lot and took some really great shots of me and the belly. And even took a few of Luke and me together and gave us 2 free pictures, which was super nice and I think it was because Luke talked camera talk with them and I just whipped my shirt off without blinking. We were amusing.
After that adventure we decided to wrap up our visit. We went up to check out and we chatted about how busy it was, how nice the photographers were and our purchases. As we got up to the register I realized that it was a nice place, the customers were friendly and there was a lot of interesting things to look at…
SO what I guess this whole long story is saying is:
I applied for a part time job at Fascinations last night on a whim, but I think it would be fun to work there. So, if they call you, tell them I’m awesome and that I know about the sex.
And that just having me on the floor will drive up condom sales.

Rhythm

January 3, 2007

I am trying, in my gestation/unemployment, to try and come up with some sort of rhythm and schedule for my days. To not fall into the habit of napping whenever I feel  a teensy bit tired or get all aflutter with worry everytime I cramp a little.

This is made hard by the fact that I am not what’s known as a “self starter” (please imagine my doing this like the Chris Farley “van down by the river” character, it will make it more visceral). I like assignments and schedules and what have you. I like to be creative within the confines of a deadline but darned if I don’t like a deadline. I’ve been enjoying spending time researching grants and pulling info for a couple of organizations but the last couple days of doing it on no schedule I’ve looked up at the clock and 4 hours have passed without my notice. It was slightly panic inducing to realize that I had become a corporate drone. But there it was.  In terrifying technicolor.

This morning I woke up at 6, not having yet mastered the art of staying asleep while someone is up and about getting ready (very quietly) for work. L. and I chatted, while it was still dark out and I had a little breakfast. I looked at my to do list for the day and looked at getting up 2 hours early as a bonus! Look at all the time I had! WHEEE!
At 9:00 I was tired again, having moved things around and sorted and started laundry. So I climbed into bed to take a short nap.

(A note for me to remember if I ever want to do this growing a person thing again: I DETEST sleeping whilst pregnant. Detest it.  I usually sleep on my stomach but with a gigantic bump in the way that is out of the question. So it’s mostly sides for me, as sleeping on your back apparently puts undue pressure on your vena cava, a major vein or artery or something. (not that it works, 9 times out of 10 I end up on my back after being a rottisserie all night) This would be fine but I’m packing about 25 to 30 extra pounds these days and it’s all mostly on my front so I have to creatively prop my stomach up and find a way not to squish the mattress with my massiveness. Also, being in my third trimester means I have a wee child pushing into my diaphragm and lungs making breathing a might difficult so that wakes me up to.

Along with the constant kicking and moving around from the baby.

And L. snores.

Loudly.)

For some reason this nap was filled with comfortable sleepnig positions. Turn to the left, perfect spot! No aches, no difficulty breathing! The baby decided to nap with me, no random alien flutterings and sharp kicks to my sides! Turn to the right, no shortness of breath, stomach perfectly propped! It was heaven. So I napped for 2 hours. And lost all of my morning headstart.
sigh.

When I woke up, I decided to eat lunch and re-strategize. I watched a little TV, I made another list. I felt the rhythm coming back. And so I proceeded with my list, checking things off here and there. But no matter, the time was lost and I didn’t get everything done. The rhythm of my day apparently takes a ton of time to get into gear.

stupid rhythm.

More than missing the rhythm I miss the company that having a daily rhythm brings you, at a 9 to 5 job you seee your co-workers, if you’re in school you see your classmates. As an unemployed person, if you don’t find a rhythm that involves seeing other people you find yourself alone for 8 hours a day…and your rhythm gets all shot to shit…because of the ever present lonliness.  (please insert sad face here)

So step number two in learning how be unemployed…finding people who likewise have minimal responsibilities during the day to entertain me…

With the understanding the in 3 months, I won’t be around so much because I’ll have to, you know, care for another living being exclusively.

New Year’s Musings…

January 2, 2007

This past year will forever be known by myself, my family, my friends and my therapist as “The year Meg got her shit together, grew up and learned how to be herself.”

I have been thinking a lot about the past year and how change, open to it or not, happens at such a lightening fast rate you have no choice but to go along for the ride. Sometimes it is exhilerating, sometimes it is terrifying, sometimes you slow down long enough to think on all the little things you could have done to change the outcome and then you’re off and running again.

I didn’t think it was possible for me to feel like a “regular person”. And I thought that life was just supposed to be frustrating and hard with little glimpses of contentment. That love was a daily struggle and if it was to be worth it you had to fight and fit the other persons vision of you perfectly everyday to keep it. That my dreams and my goals could be put of indefinetly to ensure other people’s happiness. I thought that feeling crushingly overwhelmed by little things was normal. That keeping my true self careful in check was how people wanted me…I was wrong.

It is uncanny how we can convince ourselves that toxic situations we put ourselves in are perfectly adequate. I look back over the past year and I see myself shedding of the toxic layers that took me YEARS to accumulate. Before my divorce, before my gandmother’s deaths, before my acting out. The past year was difficult in the sense that I had to take stock of my life and finally say: “I’m sick, I need get help. I’m self-absorbed, I need to think of other people. I’m frustrated with my life, I need to re-evaluate the patterns I’m falling into.” And I did. And I haven’t looked back…

It was an overwhelming year. And this New Year’s, more than any before, deserved the tagline: “Maybe this year will be better than the last”. Earlier in the week L. and I went out to breakfast with his parents and his sister and her boyfriend. We talked about where we had been each New Yeear’s Eve since 2000. It was so interesting to hear what they were doing and to think back on what I was doing, what I was thinking at each point. I have had mostly quiet New Years’ for the last 6 years. (Probably to make up for the partying I was doing year round), I even worked one year and came home after midnight. This year we went to church, went out for sushi with friends, went to bed early, set the alarm for midnight and fell asleep, awaking only breifly to celebrate…and it was lovely. They all were.

Looking back on all those memories makes me realize the one thing that has remained a constant in my life, my ability to make the best out of a situation. To find the joy in my life and hold tight to it. Even if it seems like there isn’t much there…because it’s always there.

Even with that knowledge, for a lot of people this will be remembered as the year I changed. Everything. My personality, my partner, my family, my job! And for a lot of people it will be remembered as the year they said goodbye to me. I know that I will remember it as the year I said goodbye to them. But I think that both sides know that it was better. It made both of us stronger and more ourselves. To be able to say: “This person you have become is not in my story, is not on my path, and so I bid you farewell” has been the greatest lesson I have learned.

That and how to cook steak. That was a good lesson.

See? You learn something new every day!

And I hope to always provide that service.

With a smile.

But not one of those creepy, “oh dear god help me, I’m trapped in retail hell” smiles that you see a lot these days.

A sincere one.