Put it in the universe.

EmmaCate3 EmmaCate2 EmmaCate1

I was going to wait until tomorrow to jump back up on the blogging horse, but then something happened in the car today that reminded me of happy times, prompting me to start early.

So here I am.

You are likely wondering why these pictures are leading this post, right? Or not….but I’m going to tell you anyway.

The first thing to know (if you don’t already) is I put the ‘fan’ in FANactic when it comes to all things associated with the Dave Matthews Band. I’ve been a stalker fan since they’ve been a band (1991), and have attended an obscene number of shows. There are some very uncanny coincidences associated with my love for all things DMB.

~~ Dave and I were both born on January 9th, although he is 5 years my senior.

~~ He has a song titled “Dancing Nancies” which I used to think was about me, until I read somewhere that it’s about male transvestites in the Red Light District in Amsterdam.

~~ His charity organization is called “The Bama Rags Foundation”. I’m from Alabama, but he is not.

~~ My first choice for college was a small, private liberal arts college in Virginia called Sweet Briar College. I applied and got in, but couldn’t afford to go, and instead accepted a scholarship to the University of Alabama. Dave met his wife at Sweet Briar College.

~~ I haven’t missed a tour since they started doing them, and often attend concerts alone if The Man is busy and I can’t find a running mate.

~~ When I turned 30, I said to The Man, “On my 35th birthday, if we have more money than we know what to do with, will you please hire Dave to play at ‘our’ party?”  He said, “Of course, Baby Girl.”  **Side note: I did end up meeting Dave, but it wasn’t because The Man hired him, and he wasn’t playing at our birthday party…lol. Through a strange twist of fate, a dear friend was able to hook me up with a gig working as an extra on the single episode of “House” Dave played a role on, and ironically enough…we taped the day after I turned 35. I made sure to introduce myself, even at the risk of being tossed off the set. He knew exactly who I was (apparently he’d been told I would be there?) and wished me a happy belated birthday.

Anyway, the pics above were from the 2nd crazy coincidental meeting we had. Below are a few facts leading up to these photos:

1. These pics were taken in 2007, on Sugar Bean’s 8th Birthday at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Irvine, CA.

2. About 3 weeks before these were snapped, a publicist friend of mine who knows of my obsession, called and said he was having brunch with another friend who used to be Dave’s publicist, and wondered which show in LA I was attending on that tour, in case she still had connections and could set up a meet and greet. I told him the show in Irvine, because Sugar Bean was going with me as her birthday present. Unfortunately, he called a few days later and said she no longer had an “in”. No worries.

3. Exactly 2 days before the concert, while I was in hellish traffic on the 405, my cell phone rang. I answered, and a girl named Lauren said she was calling from “The Warehouse” (the official DMB fan club…which I am a member of) and wondered if I was attending the show in Irvine later that week. I told her I was planning on it, and then she asked if I would like to meet Dave before the show. I think I muttered something to the effect of “Oh holy hell…did Alfred put you up to this?”  She said she didn’t know an Alfred, but my name had been randomly selected by the fan club as the winner of a pre-concert “meet & greet”…for reals. I continued to grill her, until I was satisfied I wasn’t being Punk’d, and promptly wet my pants, grinning from ear to ear all the way home. YES. THAT REALLY HAPPENED.

4. I took that t-shirt away from her once we got home and promptly stored it in an air-tight container. It’s never been washed and she will only get it back at my death.

Photo_092607_001

How about that grin???

Proof positive that it pays to put things into the universe if you REALLY want them to happen, huh?

Now…why am I telling you all this? Because I want to. And because it’s relevant to the happy time I was reminded of today in the car.

Each time I gave birth, I was listening to music through headphones. Guess what artist was playing? If you answered “Dave Matthews” you win a gold star! Now, in fairness to each individual life I brought into the world and because each of the The Beans has her own unique personality. Despite the fact, I didn’t know what each bundle of joy would be like once she was born, I chose a different song for each one, and put that on repeat until they entered the world. They all know what their song is, both by name and when they hear it, as well as what their sisters’ songs are. Call me crazy, but it’s an important detail in my estimation.

Sugar Bean’s song is ‘Jimi Thing’, Butter Bean’s is ‘Trippin Billies’ and Sweet Pea’s is ‘Rapunzel’. Of course these are also 3 of my all-time faves, hence why I chose them 🙂

Anyway, today when I picked Butter Bean and Sweet Pea up from school, ‘Jimi Thing’ was playing on the stereo, and was quickly identified by Butter Bean as Sugar Bean’s song. Oh, and if you are wondering if I’m “that mom” who rocks out with the windows down while in carpool line….I TOTALLY AM. Wouldn’t have it any other way. But I digress. Back to the conversation that ensued:

BB: This is SB’s song!!

Me: Yes…it is 🙂

SP: What’s my song again?

BB: Rapunzel

SP: Right! Now what is that song about? Princess Rapunzel, or another Rapunzel?

BB: Mama, what’s it about?

Me: Oh…I’m sure it’s about Princess Rapunzel (smiling devilishly).

Thank God they didn’t inquire about the meaning behind ‘Jimi Thing’, right? 

 

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Hoops and hurdles

never be afraid to let your feelings flow

Confession time.

Last night, I did something unabashedly selfish, and I am not the slightest bit ashamed to admit it. After helping with homework (times 3), cooking dinner, feeding The Beans, washing tiny bodies with lots of long hair, and making sure all little people were situated on the couch with a bowl of their favorite ice cream…..I vanished.

For a whole 45 minutes.

This is how it went down…

I grabbed my yoga mat, headed into our guest room, and closed the door. Yes, I considered locking it, but figured there was no point, because as I suspected, everyone who even gave a shit about where I might be, was eating ice cream. Then I used $1.29 from an iTunes card that belongs to Sugar Bean, and downloaded “I’m Alive” by Kenny Chesney (with Dave Matthews) to my iPhone. Once it was done, I jammed some headphones into my ears, set the song to repeat and hit play. Instantly, the world stood still. I was whisked away, and dropped right into my idea of Heaven. Left with nothing but my thoughts and music as therapy. Finally, I sat down on the mat, closed my eyes, lost myself in the lyrics and just breathed. And stretched. My entire body, part by part. The reason I say ‘part by part’ is because I not only stretched my physical limbs, but also my emotional ones. The inner most muscles and particles that you can only reach in moments of desperation, despair or heartbreak. The ones you should stretch all the time, but you can’t. Because it’s too painful.

Yeah. Those ones. 

Of course,  I was brought to tears. Silent, soul-shaking sobs in fact. I realize  I’ve been doing a lot of crying lately, but I know it’s not because I am weak; but rather because I have been strong for too damn long. My life has been a series of hoops and hurdles. I jump through a few hoops, earn a brief water break, hang my head and catch my breath, only to look up and face a long track full of hurdles to jump over, one by one. Honestly, I’m convinced I’ve lived at least two past lives: one as a circus dog, and the other as an Olympic hurdler. The skills are coming in handy, as I’ve become quite adept at hooping and hurdling. Dare I say, mastered the technique. What else would you expect from a perfectionistic Capricorn though? Maybe that’s why this path has been chosen for me. It makes for a good show! Thanks, God. Really. I mean it. Being good at something is a blessing, after all, and I’m good at two things….TWO! Yay me!  God, I know you are laughing, and it’s okay. My life is tragically funny.

Anyway, I came to a couple of conclusions last night. One, is that I don’t know rabbit turds from jellybeans about the proper way to do yoga. However, if what I did is even close to the real thing…..I am soooo in. Sign me up, baby! Best 45 minutes I’ve ever stolen for myself. Second, I am done hooping and hurdling  for other people who have no interest in helping themselves. From now on, this is my 3 ring circus/course, and unless the obstacle has a positive impact on my life, or the small people I brought into the world, I’m not bothering with it. This doesn’t mean I will stop helping people when they need it. I am a nurturer by nature. But there will be a catch. They must help me help them. Period. Otherwise, they can jump inside their own hoop and shimmy ’til they drop. And their hurdles? I know how to walk around those. Why this change of heart, you ask? Because 34 years is a really long time to hoop and hurdle.

And I’m exhausted. Plus….it makes me feel like this, when I do it too much. 

Okay, I’ve rambled long enough, and was just reminded of a hoop I have to jump through in about an hour and a half, so I’ll wrap it up here. In case you aren’t familiar with the incredibly soulful and inspirational song I listened to at least 20 times last night while vanishing from my life for 45 minutes…..I’ll leave you with the lyrics. Here they are:

So damn easy to say that life’s so hard
Everybody’s got their share of battle scars
As for me, I’d like to thank my lucky stars
That I’m alive and well

It’d be easy to add up all the pain
And all the dreams you sat and watched go up in flames
Dwell on the wreckage as it smolders in the rain
But not me, I’m alive

And today you know that’s good enough for me
Breathin’ in and out’s a blessing, can’t you see?
Today’s the first day of the rest of my life
And I’m alive and well
I’m alive and well

Stars are dancin’ on the water here tonight
It’s good for the soul when there’s not a soul in sight
This boat has caught its wind and brought me back to life
Now I’m alive and well

And today you know that’s good enough for me
Breathing in and out’s a blessing, can’t you see?
Today’s the first day of the rest of my life
Now I’m alive and well
Yeah, I’m alive and well

~Kenny Chesney & Dave Matthews

Breathe in, breathe out. Be well.

 

Musical sacraments, and star-gazing

I'll be alright, just not tonight.

Yesterday I didn’t get to post. Because I spent most of the day, in shock, and the entire evening….in tears. Don’t ask. Can’t tell.

Anyway, my lack of a post yesterday……irked me all day today. You see, this blog, my writing…it’s not really for you. It’s for me. My therapy, for lack of a better term. And holy shitsnacks, did I need some therapy yesterday. Who am I kidding? I need therapy round the clock at this point, or at the very least a Bat Phone that leads directly to God’s desk. Of course, I would likely ask to speak to my mama when God answered, but you get the point.

So, I’m dealing with some impossibly tough circumstances at the moment. But I can’t write about them. Specifically, that is. At least not right now. In time, friends, in time. Cool your jets though….I’m not dying of a terminal illness, nor are any of my family members. At least not that I’m aware of. Something like that would do me in. Literally. But I digress.

What I CAN tell you is every single time I have a “Really? WTF?!!” moment in my life, I listen to Dave Matthews and his band of geniuses playing instruments. I’ve come to accept that Dave is my “wtf moment” savior. Maybe it’s because we share a birthday, despite the fact that he is 5 years older. The music library on my iPod…90% DMB. Seriously. I had the pleasure of seeing them play their very first show back in 1991 in Charlottesville, Virginia, and have been to an obscene number of live shows since. Think triple digits. Anyway, it was shortly after my mom was diagnosed with lung cancer that I began listening to their music, and it just spoke to the fibers of my soul. Every song seemed to be about me, and whatever crisis I happened to be experiencing. They even have a song titled “Dancing Nancies”, which is rather eerie  because my name is Nancy and I have a BA degree in dance. If you know DMB, and are thinking “But that song is about…” Yes, I am aware the song is about transvestite hookers in Amsterdam. Let’s move on. Without the slightest hesitation, I can say that Dave, is the other man in my life. And The Man is just fine with that. Through several, crazy, my stars must have been in alignment coincidences (which you will read about another time), I’ve met Dave on a few occasions. Therefore, I can report with confidence that he is a very nice guy. He looks directly into your eyes when he speaks, and while listening to you, making you feel as though nothing else in the world matters to him at that moment except what you have to tell him. Truly a rare, and remarkable personality trait. And he likes to drink Jack Daniels. A good ole boy, if I’ve ever met one, who happens to be a rock star. And in my religious worship of music, he is a sacrament. Plain and simple.

So.

Last night, long after I should have written a post, and way past my bedtime, I was lying outside in my pj’s and bathrobe, on the front lawn, looking at the stars, with headphones shoved into my ears, listening to Dave, and silently sobbing. At 1 am. The Man came out there and asked me what the hell I was doing, as if he didn’t know, and told me to at least go onto the patio so the neighbors wouldn’t think “we were weird”. Too late for that, I’m afraid. Regardless, I went inside and crawled in bed. Then I got up and danced, cried some more, and thought about how this is only the beginning of a very long, personal DMB show for me.

xo,

N

***If you’d like to read about Beyoncé being a sacrament to someone, click here. That way, you’ll know I’m not completely bat-shit crazy. Although it wouldn’t be the first time, and I doubt it will be the last.

I need some space

Just as I sat down to write this, Sweet Pea comes over and stands so close to my arm that I don’t have room to move. “Sweetie, give me some space, please.” She obliges. Wish I had been that lucky last night!!!

Went to the last of the DMB shows I will be able to see until 2012. The Man was working, but I went anyway. Alone. Since I had two tickets, I had two seats, which I tried to explain to the lady who was standing in them dancing & flailing as if she was seizing and might need 911 any minute. She was a lot taller than me, so I began treading carefully in my attempt to claim my rightful territory. Um….that went over like a lead balloon. As flatly as she could, she refused to move….and then had the nerve to ask if I had an extra hair tie!!! What did I look like, GOODY??? Feeling my temper flare, I decided it was not the night to be tossed out of the Hollywood Bowl for brawling. So I gathered my things and stomped all over hers as I left the row for higher ground with friends. Thank you to my Cool Peeps from Dallas who let me crash their date night & stand with them. Y’all rock 🙂