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raindrops on roses

Rain Drops on Roses

January 28, 2013

in this i believe

One of my favorite movies, as cliche as a cliche can be, is indeed The Sound of Music. I often thought to myself, “I should start a list of ‘My Favorite Things’ just so I could remember the little things in life, the fleeting moments, the silly indulgences, that make the sun shine, that remind me what it feels like to be free and alive.”

I should clarify that these are the things that demarcate the “me moments”. I guess this is ultimately a selfish list… These moments insulate me from the outside world, everything that is Not-me. They suck the air out of the space around me and create a vacuum that is almost imperceptible (except, of course, if this were literal, I’d be gagging for air. Duh.) Do you know the feeling you get when you put on a pair of noise cancellation headsets and you switch the noise cancellation voodoo magic on before you turn on the music? There is an indescribable (to me but probably not to somebody like Raymond Carver) yet tangible texture of tranquility, of emptiness in that split second.

To put it plainly, these are the moments that make it easier for me to imagine I am a heroin in an aimless, plotless European art-house movie, wandering the cobblestone streets looking for discarded playing cards appearing in random corners.

1. French bread sticking out from a paper grocery bag. ha ha.
2. Stomping in puddles in my rain boots
3. Burrowing myself into a pile of towels or bed sheets fresh from the dryer on a cold dreary day
4. Flowers sitting on my kitchen table. Or the idea of it since I seldom buy flowers…
5. A good book (or my Kindle) and a cup of tea or coffee
6. The sound of rain
7. The smell and fluffiness of freshly laundered plush 100% Egyptian towels
8. The scene in The Sound Of Music when Maria teaches the children to sing “My Favorite Things”
9. Toblerone
10. Falling into a perfectly made bed when I check into a hotel on a business trip
11. A bath surrounded by lit candles. Alone.
12. Hanging out at the Starbucks in the Metra train station with my laptop on Saturday mornings
13. Pathétique by Tchaikovsky, especially the 4th movement. No multi-tasking. Simply, listening.
14. December by George Winston. ibid.
15. Brushing my hair with long, calming strokes that are disturbingly similar to creepy brush strokes seen in scary movies
16. The feeling of my hair against my back when I tilt my head back
17. Lying inside a patch of sunshine coming through the window on the floor
18. Bench seat at a bay window
19. The delicate fragrance of flowers from a tea olive shrub
20. A piece of black forest cake, of course, at a quiet corner inside a darkened cafe. No ants.
21. A cup of tea on fancy china, with proper cup and saucer
22. Full moon that looks monstrously huge
23. Any moment when I am alone yet not lonely

This would be a laundry list that never finishes, kind of like my laundry in real life. Many more little things will be remembered and designated as a favorite thing only if I become self-aware and consciously register my enjoyment of it. That designation itself is fleeting for I will also need to remember to add it to this list. #FirstWorldProblem I know. This exercise has been good for my soul though as I walked through the minutes and hours today forcing myself to dig deep into the recess of my memory for the forgotten, precious moments that made me exclaim silently, “I am so glad I am alive.” Another #FirstWorldProblem yes. But you don’t live inside my head so please don’t judge too harshly my neurosis.

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I saw Duran Duran’s live concert on Friday. I have been excited and nervous about this for several months now. When I announced to my boss and my coworker that I was one of the lucky people with tickets to the sold out show, they said, “That’s embarrassing.” I LOL’ed. “No. We mean it. Don’t tell anybody!”

That’s the problem with a band called “The Pretties Boys in Rock” during the 80s when they were super popular. The magazines called them The Fab Five. And I remember arguing with my girlfriends who was the best looking. My favorite has always been Nick Rhodes. What can I say? I have a thing for guys with mascaras. Except Clockwork Orange… The other girls would always come back with John Taylor. Oh yes. That man (boy?) was gorgeous, with a square jaw that was perfectly chiseled. It makes you shiver just thinking about it. Curiously it was never Simon. Just seemed to be too obvious an answer to claim that your fav is the lead singer. Duh. Ho-hum. So we continued to fight between the Bass guitarist and the keyboardist.

I was apprehensive also because, well, I am a realist. How often when you are reunited with your childhood love do you find that present reality matches up to the memories you have been keeping in a vault?

When I got to Chicago Theatre, it became clear to me that I was not the only one there to relive my youth. I have never seen so many middle-aged women dressed “correctly” for a rock concert in one place. The ladies knew why they were there and they came prepared. There were so many women dressed in their rock regalia, complete with black stockings, chokers, pink (or purple or whatever) hair, and tattoos. Lots of tattoos. Almost everyone was wearing boots. I even saw a pink boa.

What would their teenage daughters have said?… 

It was kickass and uplifting. Fuck those young girls who think WE should behave OUR age. But it was also depressing at the same time. I know I know. I have issues. But it made me sad to reflect on why I was there. To relive my youth. To grasp at something that was not there any more.

Fortunately I very quickly consumed four cran-vodkas and I was my ol’ spunky self again. (You’ve got to know I am being a bit sarcastic about the whole being spunky part…)

If you just google, you will see that Duran Duran has fully embraced the 21st century and social media, and that means they are all over Twitter. Not only was live Twitter stream with the hashtag DuranLive projected on the screen before the show started, in the middle of the show, there was an official Twitter session!

Nick, can I wear your red scarf for 5 seconds? #duranlive

Someone tweeted the girl in front of me is crazy. Am gonna assume that’s not me since im no longer a girl #duranlive

 

In the end, it was awesome. It was awesome not because they reminded me of the gorgeous boys that they once were. I am not saying they are not handsome any more. They still are. If you’re born with great bone structures, unless you totally fucked yourself up with drug and alcohol, time will be kinder to you than to the rest of us. John Taylor for one is still rocking that square jaw. *shiver* And of course, I swear to god, even from the back of the theatre, I could see Nick with his mascaraed eyes and his red scarf being all fabulous and sexy. They put on a great show with great energies, and boy, can Simon sing. In fact, I came home and watched some of their old performances from the 1980s, and I think Simon sings even better now. There is experience in his voice and performance. Like matured wine. Yum. And John can still rock that bass. And Nick… Well. Nick lives forever. (You’ve got to allow me to retain some shameless teenage fangirl crushing…)

Of course, knowing most of the lyrics and being able to sing along made this an even more awesome night. I was glad I went and lived through some time-space discontinuum phenon: It’s surreal to see your band crush perform live on stage, even if there was a 25-plus-year time gap.

For one night the crowd shared a communal experience. We sang. We danced. We screamed. We partied with our teenage selves.

(And in my usual, annoying way, I have to add this:) Then we went back to our normal lives. Most likely in the suburbs. Hopefully this stays with us a bit longer…

Her name is Rio and she dances on the sand
Just like that river twisting through a dusty land
And when she shines she really shows you all she can
Oh Rio, Rio dance across the Rio Grande

 

Pictures of poor quality below and video compilation of even poorer quality after the jump.

 

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Fall

September 17, 2011

in random

Pumpkin spice latte is back!

I am not ashamed to admit that every year I look forward to the arrival of fall because of this.

I have been waiting for fall... partly because of this.

You have heard this a million and one times, I am sure. But fall really is my favorite season.

Despite the annoying process of reorganizing my clothes and shoes according to the change in season. This year I think I am going to be honest with myself and get rid of the pile of clothes that I have mentally labeled as “Keep for when I am back to my pre-kid weight”. If it has not happened yet after thirteen years, it probably ain’t gonna happen.

 

I went to bed at almost 4 am and when I woke up at 8, I still had Amy Winehouse on my mind. Her voice is haunting.

 

I need to make a confession: (Because it is funny in a tragic, pathetic kind of way. And also because I believe somewhere out there, someone is going to read this and go, “O.M.G. I thought I was the only one that did that! I can now finally stop feeling guilty!”. Or so I hope. You are welcome. And feel free to pretend so I feel better about the whole thing and can finally stop feeling guilty. Thank You!)

Last Wednesday, I took my usual 6:30 train home and when I got into my car and started driving towards the TKD school to pick up Mr. Monk, it was already 7:15. I had been listening to, yes, sorry, here she is again, Amy Winehouse on repeat, when the screen on my phone flashed, indicating an incoming call. It was not a number that I knew so I decided to ignore it. I mean, who actually calls people now, right?

Here is the thing: whenever I listen to music, I get lost in it. I really really do. That’s probably the point of good music to begin with, and probably happens to everybody so yeah you are probably smirking. But I mean I forget everybody else. Including my kids. I forget that I am a mother. A wife. A cog in the machine. I am just me. Enveloped in the sound and the beat. Me alone with myself. In my mind, I am doing all sorts of interpretive dance to the music, often in a way BEFORE incongruity is detected.

When the phone “rang” (how many phones nowadays that still actually ring?) for the third time, I decided to answer it.

“Mom?”

“Who’s this?” I actually forgot that I have a kid.

“It’s me.”

“Who?”

Name withheld for protection.”

Oh, right. My son. My youngest child.

Oh shit. Something must have happened since TKD did not end till 7:30. Any time you get a phone call from your child, there is trouble at hand. They don’t really call you just to find out how you are doing until they become parents themselves.

“Where are you?! What happened?!”

“I am at gymnastics.”

At this moment I became completely disoriented because my oldest is the one that has gymnastics practices. Did I get my children mixed up? What’s happening to me?

“Why are you at gymnastics?” I was genuinely confused.

“You told me to come find brother if you don’t show up at the choir practice…”

I had completely forgotten that he had choir practice every Wednesday and I was supposed to pick him up at 6:45 pm. At 6:45 pm, I was still on the train! Just like that. Forgot about my child. A black hole opened up in my memory and he fell through it.

 

The feeling that you have in your gut when you suddenly realize you have forgot to pick up your child from somewhere?

 

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Happy Monday. Or not.

July 18, 2011 through the looking glass

In case you are wondering what the hack is happening to this blog. “I did not sign up for a PHOTOBLOG! (not that anything is wrong with it…)” My dear readers, my most sincere apologies. (And if you are actually happy about not having to read my ramblings, you are absolutely welcome!) Just got back […]

12 comments

The Perfect Meeting

July 14, 2011 through the looking glass

 

11 comments

A-Ha

June 23, 2011 through the looking glass

As I was sitting in the cafeteria during lunch hour today, I noticed that the music selection has been veering towards the 80s this week. “Did you notice the music?” I asked my one co-worker who has transferred to the new office with me. (So yes I am now surrounded by actual people every day […]

50 comments

Money Money Money

January 9, 2011 Making sure you know I read the Economist so you know I'm not dumb, just obnoxious

I LOVE the smell of money. I am being 100% serious here. Have you ever held a brand new bill in your hand? Rubbing it between your thumb and forefinger and feeling the intricate texture on it? Taking in a deep breath of the intoxicating smell that is so much better than the new car smell? My […]

55 comments

Ants

December 11, 2010 therapy in session

I have been thinking about ants a lot lately. Or rather, the absence of ants. It probably has a lot to do with all the holiday-related activities happening in this house: cookie baking, frosting, sprinkling, gingerbread house decorating. Every time when I see Mr. Monk walking around with a sugar cookie that he has added […]

35 comments

Sundays in My City – Flying Over New York City

September 12, 2010 through the looking glass

I love New York City. I truly do. I wish it were really my city. . . . . I took these pictures in August when I was there for BlogHer 2010. I was thinking of New York City more than usual because of the anniversary of September 11 which was the day before this post […]

23 comments