I Need to Know and I Need to Know Now

It happened again today. The news broke that they have finally caught the East Area Rapist. You couldn’t have missed the news – it is everywhere – even twitter. I am a little obsessed – I was living in this area when the rapes and murders started. My much older sister was living in Rancho Cordova, CA – where 2 of the murders happened – he killed a couple walking their dog. Yeah – my sister was married and had dogs….plus, I write a little true crime and this case has been a thorn in our side since I was a young preteen.

Once the news broke – I was captivated. I  kept looking for articles on what happened. Watched the news everywhere. I needed more information and I wanted it right fucking now. I discovered that he was married to a divorce attorney – not mine, thankfully. He has kids – but, I want to know how many. Where do they live? How old are they? They say he wasn’t even on their radar a few weeks ago? Really? How did they know to collect his “discarded DNA”? They say there was no “tip” – really? You just randomly decided to test this guy’s DNA for fucking fun? Not bloody likely, Susan. Did anybody have any idea? I call bullshit on the entire thing. Something is going on here and I want answers, dammit. I know people who live in his area. This is scary stuff.

Don’t get all nutty – I know it is in everyone’s best interest if they don’t reveal too much and I am not asking for all of the gory details, really. Okay – big fat lie. I want to know everything. And I want to know right now! I need to know (Tom Petty wrote that song just for me;) That clip is from The Midnight Special – I loved that show! But, I digress.

Frequently, I make references to how patience is not my strong suit. That when they were handing out virtues, I got lost and ended up in the “swear like it’s your job” line. So many times things are put in front of me and I am pretty sure the only reason is so that I can learn how to be patient. Yeah. While this old dog can learn new tricks – I haven’t grown any patience since I was a pup. You know you might have a problem if both of your teenagers tell you to be patient more that they roll their eyes at you.

So, with that background, it might make sense that I appear obsessed as I comb the internet for latest developments. I don’t know when this started, but it has been going on a while. A big news story breaks and I am checking the news apps – as many as I can find. I keep hoping that the new news will make the news. I am always disappointed. It’s almost a sickness. Okay. It really is a sickness. After I get disgusted with the lack of information, I ask anyone I’m conversing with, “are you following….” as if maybe they know something I do not. Okay – I may have gone past “sickness” to “terminal.”

What is the cause? I don’t know. But, it reminds me of a funny bit Joan Rivers did back in the day when her job wasn’t just plastic surgery tester, it was comedian. This was way back in the day. Way, way back – early 80’s – just after the dinosaurs. She was doing a bit about microwaves. Which everyone has now – but, not everyone had back then. The joke was about Elizabeth Taylor whose weight went up and down. Joan’s line was something like, “only Elizabeth Taylor stands in front of her microwave and screams, ‘hurry!’” Probably I shouldn’t need to write a blog to explain the joke. Bleh.

Funnier thing is, I want my microwave to go faster, too. And my oven. And my toaster. Did fast food and microwaves take away our patience? Did instant access to news as it was actually happening online and on tv create this desire for speed in everything? Could be a California curse. I don’t know. Arguments for all could be made.

Gotta go – in the time I took to write this, maybe there is an update…….next time I will try to use more relevant and current examples – no promises.

My Childhood is a Liar

My childhood was a lie. A big fat lie. Like a lot of kids, I couldn’t wait to grow up. I couldn’t wait to get away from my parents. I couldn’t wait to make all of my own decisions. What happened to the “doing what I want when I want how I want and where I want” adulthood I couldn’t wait to get to?  What happened to that? My childhood was a big fat liar.

I’ve gone on and on about a lot of things that are surprising as we age. Well, I was surprised, anyway.  If last year was the year of children related horrors, this year is shaping up to have a completely different focus.

One of my best friends and favorite people lost her mom last week. She held her hand and loved her until she slowly slipped away. I kept her company with daily texts and support as she was there for me when my mom died. She also remembers the tiny shit show that happened after. We were going to get together at my favorite wine bar a few days ago and raise a glass to our parents and share memories. She had to bail as she had funeral arrangements to handle. I called another friend. When she arrived, she announced she had just come from her Stepdad’s funeral. We spent the evening discussing her trials. Then this morning, another close friend has lost a parent.

This is another ugly chapter in adulthood. While I can usually find the silver lining, it kind of sucks. You spend all this time growing up, getting a job, getting married, building a family, getting a divorce, building a new life and you are just about to enjoy your adulthood, when all hell breaks loose.  I was making plans for a fun retirement, and I may be caught up in a few things that will impede that fun. And, chances are, by the time I am done with all of that…I will be ready to attend the funeral I have already picked the music for. Yes, I have really chosen the music for my memorial/party, whatever. Have you heard some of the crap that plays at funerals?  If I hear Bette sing about being a bird again, I might lose it. And, while some of the other traditional songs are beautiful, they are just not my style. Besides, why on earth would I want the same songs from everybody else’s funeral?

My dad’s health is failing and his memory is going, going, almost gone. He has lost his will, I think and that is the hardest thing for me. Who can blame him, he has no siblings left and most of his friends are gone? His closest relative is his cousin and both are in such poor health, it is unlikely they will see each other again. He is in constant pain and spends many hours “doctoring.” He no longer resembles that Dad I had, physically or mentally. I’ve been grieving him a little bit for a long time. I’m completely okay with his decisions and plans. And, if he is ready to go, I must let him. He has taught me so many things in life, I guess now he is teaching me to die. Even though some of the best lessons he taught me are how to live.

I know this is a normal occurrence. I do. Your parents should die first. I am lucky to have had my dad for so long. But, now is the ugly stuff: dying, death, funerals, wills, estate settling, and a long (hopefully) future without any parents. I have never been “Daddy’s little girl.” I wasn’t spoiled like that. But, we have spent most of my adulthood very close. Who will I call when I don’t know what to do? The tears just started…so, done with this line of thought.

So many things have turned out be be lies. Next, I suppose, you will tell me that my face won’t freeze that way and I can get sick from not wearing a coat. 

I have started 20 blogs about the last few weeks. But, I can’t seem to get everything organised. So, I’m just going to throw out there where I am. And, oh yeah, I need an assistant.

I Found My Muse!

I have a muse. I am definitely a real writer now.  I HAVE A MUSE!!!! I am so excited. I didn’t know I needed one (of course, when you write erotica……) More than just a muse, I received a fantastic gift. Here is what happened:

I keep tweeting that we broke up but the truth is ….. I am always going to love him. Always. But, I know there is more…..than 1.  He was just the 1st “love of my life”…..so….I put the picture away…..and ignored him.  For 6 months…and a few weeks ago, he came back….the same as before….but, I was not the same……instead of eagerly taking him back…as I had every other time…..I responded. Crisp and cool. Not cold. Not warm and definitely not HOT! Scared him I guess, because he hasn’t replied.  He will, I know.  But, not sure I care anymore.

And, then last week….I was at a local bar watching a really good local band with some friends…..and HE walks in!!!!  Like he is being chased by a spotlight whose bright blinding light is bouncing right off his overly processed blonde head. I’m guessing….actually, now that I think about it…his hair looks remarkably like it always has. I know I can only grow grey these days and I don’t know any natural blonds in our box group who don’t process…so, who does it? Does he do it at home? A lot of celebs marry their hair stylist, now I know why.  

With a laugh, I realize, I already know where he gets it done….he goes to the local salon owned by another has-band (yes…he married a stylist, too).  He probably goes on “RockStar Mondays”…..incognito.  Hair salons are closed on Mondays – probably for just this reason – the celebs (real or imagined) wear dark glasses (and maybe hats) and arrive through the back…probably not in limos….this is Northern Ca after all. Then they can sit around in foil and color under dryers while they try to look….you know, cool and manly. However it happens…..his stylist does great color.

I can’t help but notice him as he heads towards our table…(spotlight beacon and all)….all I can think is “what is he doing here?”  What the F is he doing here? It was a little like lightning (odd?).  I mean why not?  I was here. True. But, I also had not played to live audiences all over the globe as recently as last year. And…..as I think about it….there are only a few decent venues in town where you could find good live music in this tiny town. This bar is okay…cheap booze and they do book good bands. If I wanted to stalk/meet him…all I need to do is hang at one of the 3 venues when a good band is playing and eventually it will happen. We have been in more than one bar or event at the same time over the years.

On this warm, late summer night, easily one of the best bands in No Cal is in this club. They need more fans…..they will get them. They are really good. But, at the time, a Saturday night and 20 people in the bar…seemed an unlikely place for a B- list celeb.  Maybe he is important…..but, he is so nice and easy that it is easy to forget. Plus…this is No Cal…we aren’t impressed with celebs. Music doesn’t garner the same respect here as in other cities.  Hard to say….  If you are not in the music industry or into metal…you will not know his name. If you are under 30…you will not know his name. I could go on and on…..plus….I have seen him dozens of times in these live  venues. He is always pleasant, always nice and always alone….a fact that had escaped me until now. Okay…I will admit…before this very moment…I never cared. At all. For a million reasons…blonde, bass player, local, not big enough and not quite nobody (I personally don’t care his “status”…but, musicians usually care and I had already spent a marriage with a frustrated one). And you know…the obvious real reason is…musicians aren’t made from unicorn glitter like some people might think. Okay…nobody over 12 thinks that.  But, you get my point.

Doesn’t matter now, because….well…I can’t stop staring. Not sure when the last time was that that happened.  What am I so captivated by? He is not bad looking….not model pretty (which is a good thing)….nice masculine features (so many musicians have little pixie faces)….amazing skin, really. He is clean. Not only clean…he lacks the one thing all rock stars have. He has the one thing I haven’t seen on a musician in years……ink free arms. Wow….I like it. Who knew?

I have an eclectic group of friends……but, this could be the dividing line…..if I brought him to a party with group one….they would think “for fuck’s sake, Bianca….stop dating musicians. You keep saying that you are going to but you never do.  Does this one have a job? Play drums?”  They would accept him and be nice to him….but, they would have no idea who he is. And they would think he is making payments on that sissy little white Mercedes he drives around while he lives in his tiny college apartment. Or, his mother’s basement. It is taking my friends a whole lot longer to get over my divorce…..obviously.

The other group….well…..½ of them would say….”hey….Dave”…the other half would be…..”how does she know Dave? I wanna meet Dave.”

But, you know what…none of this is the issue or point….the point is…. I have spent 30 years thinking that there was only one for me. As soon as I let him go….as soon as I let him go….I find someone. Now….I know….you are going to say…what makes him the one? Do you even have a date? Does he know your name?  You don’t even know him. What makes you think he is interested in you? And….I will say……there are about 10 immediate reasons reasons for me not to date this gay……(hahahahahaha…I typed “gay” when I meant guy”).

And..yes…we’ve been introduced.  But….here is what he gave me. The best gift.

30 years. Haven’t met anyone that I was remotely interested in. Haven’t met anyone who was ever on the same level in my heart.  But, here he was…..someone who could actually fill that void. Which means……there are people who could fill that void. This one was nice, some baggage….but, no kids, no crazy exes, no drug problem, loves his work, independent, not trying to sleep with all the 20 year olds. He had an easy-going personality and people loved him. He was gracious to fans in the most easy going and non impressed with himself way. He was funny and fun….stone cold sober. And he had the nicest smile. He wore jeans for a living. He was tall. He was blonde…but, I could live with that. This one is one I could see myself with…on paper anyway. So….know what that means?…..there are others. And they don’t all have to be working financially stable musicians. God…I hope none of them are. I have no illusions about our future…..because what future? I may still be single…and horny as hell….but, I have hope now. I had hope before….but, now….now I have a muse AND hope.

And….I am aware that there is a little romanticism in my description above….beer goggles, so to speak.  So…..all I’m saying is I liked what I saw…..and, it has been some time since I got all bunched up.

So…as Carrie and I are reviewing the evening she mentions something about him….” he looks just like he did back in the day….”  And, it clicked……1989 had walked right into the bar….and into my life.  And…boys and girls…..you can take the girl out of the 80’s….but, you can’t take the 80’s out of the girl. And, then she says,…….”you have a muse!”

“No, I don’t.” Because I am too old to “fan girl” and I never gushed (writing erotica makes word choices so much more fun) over him before.  But, the next day…..I wake up smiling and singing a song from the band the other night.  I have a muse.  YAY!!!!

I love how life lets you know when you are headed in the right direction.  

(The moral if you missed it is……you have to let go of what isn’t working before you can move on to something that does.)

Ah Tom, My Heart is Breaking…..

What The Fuck?  And, I mean:  What? The? Fuck?  We lost another one.  A big one.  My favorite one.  The one whose music has been in my ears since “American Girl” hit the airwaves.  The one whose pictures (45 sleeves) were taped up in my locker for all 4 years of high school. The one who I try to see on every tour simply because he is my favorite. This loss is huge……even if he has already made his impact on the music world and it is unlikely he would have broken new ground or released something so big…he became a household name again.  But, I am going to miss him all the same.

I know who he is.  You know who he is….but, many kids today don’t know.  Don’t care.  And that is probably okay….his impact has already shaped much of the music they are listening to anyway. But, I no longer breathe the same air that he does. I no longer live in a world where he does. And, I no longer will be able to see or hear him perform any of my favorite songs live.  And, that is heartbreaking…..no pun intended.

I saw him a few weeks ago…..40th Anniversary and all.  Awesome show. Solid. Always a joy to be in the presence of rock and roll greatness.  To witness the professionalism, the tightness of a band that has been playing together foralmostfuckingever, and to just enjoy it so damn much….always a pleasure. While I am aware many musicians (including Petty) deliver a scripted show…..I am good with that.  It demonstrates all that Tom Petty believes in musically…..work hard, deliver your best, and give the fans all you’ve got.  I saw him several times and I will say…he never disappoints.  He always leaves me satisfied and confident that my musical taste was impeccable….even as a pre-teen.

This tour was particularly poignant for me…..he played some songs that you would only know if you listened to his entire albums like scores of music fans in the 70s and 80s, including me. Songs I loved and had forgotten about. I was so moved, actually…..I pulled his first 5 or 6 albums out and just played them on shuffle for the next few weeks.  What a joy that was. He took me right back to where I was in my life when those songs weaved themselves into to my heart and memories.

As I sit here writing and crying and trying not to sob at work…….I am thankful he shared his greatness with us…..which sounds so trite……and thankful I saw him so recently.

Incidentally…..I was watching Running Down a Dream a year or so ago……they interviewed his mom (I think it was her).  She said his dad tried to beat the music out of Tom.  Couldn’t.  It made me think…..some things we are just born to do. Well….some of us are.  He was going to be Tom Petty no matter what. He knew deep in the fiber of his being that he was born to do what he was doing. And, then he went and did it. Fantastically. How great would the world be if we all knew what we were supposed to do? And, if we actually did it?  I am not sad for him and a life cut short……he lived his life his way doing his favorite thing. And, he made so many of us happy by sharing his gift. But, I am going to miss him.

RIP American Boy

Dear Dex:

Last night, as I listened to “Gone Away” at the Shoreline Amphitheater, I composed the following letter in my head…..

Dear Dex….I’m a 50ish year old single mother of 2 teenagers….one of each.  My financial situation is such that concerts are a treat for us. A few months ago, we walked into Vans Warped Tour and saw the bill with Offspring and Sublime with Rome. Lawn seats $20! This was a single motherhood trifecta….a band we all liked, a band I had yet to see and had been dying to see for years, AND ticket prices I could afford. Since we live in Sacramento area, I have to fill my tank up with gas and drive 2.5-3.5 hours one way to attend this event.  Because there are three of us…I must purchase 3 tickets. Did I mention I had gotten up at 5 to get to work early so that I could leave early so that I could drive to attend this event?  So….6 hours of driving, a full workday and money spent.

While I did not take the kids out of school early….my son did miss a football game and my daughter missed choir rehearsal for her concert tonight. I’m not even going to mention how tired they will be for the rest of the week because of the 5 hours of sleep they got last night (or, maybe I will). While some parents might question my parenting because I took kids to a concert on a school night…..I say….hey….Dex is a great role model…he recently put his band on hold to get his doctorate.  (I read an interview or something where you stated you wanted to make a difference….don’t discount the impact you make on people every day with your music. You have made a positive difference in the world. Music is important.) Everyone had sacrificed for this night (even the X….this is his week with the kids) and probably expectations were high.  All 3 of us were thrilled to be seeing the Offspring. I am sure you can imagine that it might be difficult to find a band we all like. I was looking forward to Sublime…..I am still angry about the waste of Bradley and all of his genius we missed out on…..but, I was not really a huge Sublime with Rome fan.  My daughter was looking forward to adding to her list of “bands seen.” My son……really only knows the top 3 Sublime songs.  So, when we were late and missed Sublime (wait for it) we were okay with it….because, after all….we were there to see the Offspring.

We are not your ordinary concert goers…their dad is a picky musician (is there any other kind?)….After many years of slogging around bars to support him….I learned a few things: I can tell when the drums sound tight. I know when the mix is good or bad. I also know when mistakes are made…..I used to be like almost everyone I was surrounded by last night….I was just happy to be there and thought it sounded great.  But, now…..WOW…if the mix or the audio is bad…..yeah. Not good.  Both kids follow their dad around to gigs and concerts and the daughter has been in choir for 7 years and taught herself to play guitar.  So….we have had a pretty good night other than missing Sublime… when you came out and started with one of my all time favorites.  Unfortunately, though….the speaker was out or there were audio problems across the back section of speakers….because I could hardly hear you. Instantly girl and I were discussing and assessing and trying to figure out who to notify (this is our standard M.O. at gigs….) and by song 3 things seem to have been figured out. And then they weren’t and then I wrote this note…..in my head. 

Here it comes…..

Imagine my surprise when you had hardly played and I was just getting over my sadness….girl had decided that you probably were a better studio band…..I think that if you were a better studio band…..you wouldn’t still be around 30 plus years later. I told her we needed to come see you with better tickets/seats next time. We debated this for a short time before we realized….

CRAP.  How is it that Offspring is not headlining?  How is it that Sublime with Rome…..a re-act is the headliner? Maybe this is one of those tours where they flip the bill? I don’t know.  But, C’MON…….the Offspring have way more hits and way more really fantastic songs. Well….I could argue this point all day. And….we did.  Still are. We cannot believe that we got this so wrong. Then I realize I wrote the letter to the wrong person/entity…this complaint/whine is a job for Sublime or Shoreline.  Anyway…..I hate it when I have all this righteous indignation and it is all directed at the wrong place.

One-Eyed Doll

A long time ago I discussed that I may have missed my life calling…I should have been writing about music a million years ago. (I discovered another missed opportunity last night) some of you would argue that I write about music all of the time.  Well…I finally found a “band” worth spending an entire blog on.

When I first heard the name….you know what I pictured….yes you do.  Something with one eye that you play with.  A toy for a boy or girl. Fun for a boy or a girl. But, One-Eyed Doll is a 2 people band…..Kimberly Freeman…singer/guitar player and Jason Rufuss Sewell….snare drummer.  No bass player….some would argue this is not a band.  Many more would say this is definitely not a metal band. Some would say this is a folk group……hahahaha.  Everybody is right and everybody is wrong…..we can debate any day if you are buying. I have been around and interested in music for a long damn time. I have white hair, remember?  But this band…..you will not believe.

Before you click this link…..please promise me that you will at least watch the first 90 seconds……it is worth it.  Just be patient and resist the urge to skip…you impatient fucks. Okay….it was me…I wanted to skip through some of it. But then…I couldn’t tear my eyes away. I just wanna watch her play guitar and wear those striped tights and whip her hair…and, no…no girl crush here….but, she is so visually compelling that you won’t be able to tear your eyes off of her. I know I couldn’t.

If you haven’t already…..check out:  CommittedAfflicted and…..You’re a Vampire…”it’s decorative”….is a funny little line from that song….listen for it.

Honestly…..Everything about this band is compelling.  You can’t see everything for long enough (ok…maybe that is just me)  and while you are trying to watch…..you can’t believe what you are hearing…metal guitar….banjo…..good solid music, percussion that doesn’t get in the way, great lyrics…she is twisted and scary in a completely hilarious and fun and yes, disturbing way. And, she can sing.  There is so much going on….I wanted to watch in silence.  Then, listen in darkness.  I wanted to absorb all of it. 

Do yourself a favor and check them out……if they come to your town.  And if not…check these videos out.  You may not love it…but, you will have a hard time looking away….. And, at the very least……you can show it to people.  Anyone under 20 will be impressed.  I know how we all live for that…….