Sunday, May 30, 2010

Life is too damn short


boat rigging :: grand cayman :: november 14, 2008

We went up to the Nubble Lighthouse and then to The Goldenrod this morning.

How can something simultaneously break your heart into a zillion pieces and at the same time give you so much hope? That’s what the Short Sands Beach region of York, Maine does to me. I think I’ve said it before—it was my father’s favorite place on the earth. We used to stay at the Sands Hotel (as it used to be known) for one week every summer and every morning, without fail, he’d wake me up doing this version of reveille that sounded like it was being performed by a rooster. We’d hike up to the lighthouse, watch the sun rise, and then we’d head to The Goldenrod for breakfast. Until I went to college, it was our yearly ritual.

I suppose it goes without saying that that’s the only place in the world where I truly feel as if my father is right beside me. I feel his presence in other places, in other ways, but it’s that area between Sohier Park and The Goldenrod where I feel him the strongest. I really needed to be with him today. Thankfully, J understood it and we hopped in the car, no questions asked.

I’ve had a rough couple of weeks… J left for Ohio two weeks ago to spend time with his mom before she passed away. He got almost an entire week with her before the cancer finally claimed a long overdue victory. I joined him last Sunday, for what would become one of the longest weeks of my life. I had limited access to the outside world - no cell service and definitely no internet access (thank you, AT&T). I suppose I could have used my sister-in-law’s laptop, but I didn’t want to do personal stuff on her computer. No email (business or personal), and definitely no Twitter or Facebook. I didn’t want to run the risk of forgetting to log out. My iPhone is probably less secure, but at least this way, I know she can’t log into one of my accounts accidentally.

I don’t “do” family. I don’t know how. My own family had disappointed me so many times that I just shut them all out. Except my father, and when he died, well… It was weird to be around all these people and not know a single one of them except on the most basic level. I worry a lot about the concept of “love”:  Is it possible to love people I don’t even know, and to be honest, don’t really have any need or desire to know? (That sound? Every single in-law’s jaw dropping, I’m sure.) I’m too damn independent for my own good. I know this. I’ve surrounded myself with the people I want to call my family. I don’t need, or want, a “family” that’s forced on me just because I married one of them.

That said, I DID enjoy their company. I DID enjoy letting them into my world, albeit on MY terms. I’d apologize for shutting them out, but I’m not going to. It’s who I am and I don’t plan on tearing down my walls any time soon.  As I’ve said before, I refuse to apologize for anything I’ve done in the name of protecting myself. They don’t know, and can’t possibly truly understand, the events that caused me to build those walls as big as they are.

At any rate, I spent a good chunk of today’s trip wondering if the people who lived in those oceanfront houses knew how lucky they are. How much I’ve coveted them - the older ones, not the new McMansions which lack all the charm. I saw the house my father always wanted to buy. The house I want to buy. I know it’s been in the family (or was) for several generations and that the guy my dad talked to had no plans of ever selling it. I know I’ll never be able to afford it. Not unless I change a lot of things about the way I live and spend money…

I think the same thing - do they know how lucky they are to live there - when we go to our land. We recently discovered that we’ve had trespassers on the property, and that got me fired up to build sooner rather than later, but instead of tightening up the budget, reevaluating our investments, putting more towards the debt snowball, etc., I just let it fall by the wayside.

Not anymore. I’m building that damn house. I will be ready to break ground in five years. FIVE. Do you hear me universe? Stay out of my way. I’m on a mission… by then I’ll be 40. I don’t know what my expiration date is. No one does. But you can bet your ass I don’t want to wait any longer than necessary to get that house built. Life is just too damn short. My mother died at 46, my father at 55, J’s mother at 59.  Those numbers are hitting a little too close to home as I’m in my mid-30s. My mid-30s… it seems so odd to write that, but that’s where I am. That’s eleven years until I’m as old as my mother was when she died. If I’m due to kick the bucket that early, I want some time in my lake house. The one I should have inherited from my father had he lived another couple of years.

I’m done thinking “do they know…” and I’m ready to start thinking “I’m so lucky…”

It’s probably a good thing I’m such an Excel Ninja…

Posted by Matty on 05/30 at 04:18 PM

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Jerkface made me cry!


orion and rollz :: valentine’s, albany, ny :: may 8, 2010

So, when we last saw our heroine, she was deep in a bipolar snit. The likes of which only really happen once a year. (Thank you, Lord!)

It was decided that she would head to beautiful, scenic, friendly, Albany during the final weekend of The Ick for some much needed music therapy and time with friends she doesn’t see nearly enough.

It was exactly what she needed - including the moment she burst into tears because of what Orion said to her. (For the record, Orion’s a st00pid doodiehead… but more on that later.)

Now, back to first person because writing in the third makes me feel like a ‘tard.

I don’t know how I do it and it definitely isn’t something I mean to do, but I get friendly with people in bands. It’s my thing, I guess. It started with Scott-the-Roadie from BiG MiSTAKE and it’s only gotten worse(?) from there. I can’t count instrument, since I knew D from college, so it really started with Soup and Skinny from All Crazy. Then that crazy little circle of friends included Bill and Orion from Black Mountain Symphony. Now it includes Wild Bill from All Crazy and the rest of Black Mountain Symphony. And Larry the Lumberjack from Sound in Stone. (He’s a lumberjack and he’s ok… DUDE! He plays the tuba. He. Plays. The. Tuba. In. A. Rock. Band. ZOMGWTFBBQ!!!!!!!111!)
I want to talk about Larry first, even though he’s really a bit player in this drama. (I have a bit of The ADHD tonight. I’m still in a manic phase and I had fencing. Mania + exercise = bad combo for me. Prolly the main reason why I don’t exercise like I should… but I OH! LOOK! A CHICKEN!)



After the show, I went outside to find Sound in Stone and see if they had discs. I recognized most of the band members, but when I went over to them, they kind of looked past me. Not Larry. We engaged in a nice chat about the Worcester area and their attempt to get into the Boston scene. He asked me how I discovered Black Mountain Symphony. (Yes, I’m the crazy girl from New Hampshire that drives all over creation to support my favorite bands.) He talked about playing brass instruments and I told him about my tweet where I said it was cool that he carried the bass line on the tuba when the bass player moved to the keyboards. It was good bonding. I gave him $10 for a CD - doin’ my part to support the local scene - and the look on his face was kind of interesting. I don’t think most people pay for their CDs. It’s a demo, granted, and it looks and sounds like a demo, but they still had to pay for the discs, ink, etc. Like I said, I support the scene. Even when it’s bands I don’t know. (Honestly, crappy production value aside, its a good disc. Not as good as their live performance would have lead me to believe, but it’s good. Definitely one of those discs that take a few go ‘rounds on repeat before you really get in the groove, though.)

Compare and contrast: a band named Gone By Daylight opened for All Crazy at their last Hartford show. They reminded me of Fall Out Boy, not necessarily in a good way, but the music was catchy, so I went in search of a disc. I got it from the lead singer’s girlfriend who took my money and shoved a CD at me without saying a word. No “thank you”, no “please sign our mailing list”, nothing. Not even a freakin look my way. Hey, GBD, I loved you live, but I’m so not going out of my way to see you. I’ll save my gas money to see bands that actually APPRECIATE the people who buy their CDs. Got it? (Long story short, guess who’s going to go to another Sound In Stone show at some point?! August. Portland, ME. I’m serious as a heart attack. Bear was very right when he said I’d like them.)

It all comes down to how you treat people - your current fans, your potential fans, and the friends who have been there for you. All three groups are vital to your survival. Larry treated me well. Scott-the-Roadie treated me well. Soup and Skinny treat me very well. And Black Mountain Symphony…

Well, they have a little guy that made me cry.

When I walked into the bar, Bill saw me before I saw any of them and I got a hug tackle. Annie and Rollz came over to talk to me, too. It was so nice that they were as excited to see me as I was to see them. (Although this now makes two or three times Annie has said they’ve been talking about me. Should I be weirded out by this? LOL) I had very nice chats with all three of them, both as a group and individually. It’s nice to walk into a bar and get welcomed so warmly. I hate bars and I’m probably never going to be 100% comfortable in them for any of a dozen reasons, so it’s REALLY nice to get the warm welcome.

After the show, I went to talk to Orion. I thanked him again for the nice things he posted to my Facebook wall. Then we talked about my drive and some other things… the end result was that he made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. It was REALLY nice to hear such kind things from him. It totally made my night. My weekend. My month. But the end result was that I burst into tears the minute I hit my hotel room. He had been TOO nice, TOO kind, and I’m not used to hearing stuff like that. That’s not to say that Soup and Skinny don’t deliver the high octane warm fuzzies, but this was… different.

So. Yeah. Jerkface made me cry.

Things have changed in my life - drastically - since I took the new job. I definitely have less time to play than I would like, but it will even itself out. I don’t know how and I don’t know when, but the meantime, I’m itching to find the time to head back up to Albany.

Even if it means Orion makes me cry again!

Posted by Matty on 05/11 at 09:59 PM

Friday, May 07, 2010

Breaking the Silence


black mountain symphony :: lucky dog, worcester, ma :: march 31, 2010

Staring at the floorboards for what seems like an hour. Looking out the window, it’s starting to shower. They say, “It’s all in your head.”
“Grandfather” - Black Mountain Symphony

How I wish it were all in my head!!

I mean, I know it is all in my head… it’s bad brain chemistry, but I wish this was something I could control.

Some days, the meds just don’t work. There’s no fighting biology some times.

And that, my friends, fucking sucks.

Such is the life of someone with bipolar…

I have been having a REALLY. BAD. TIME. lately. Really bad.

Since I’ve started the new job, and finally have an excellent idea of just what I’ve gotten myself into, I’ve really been keeping a tight watch on my cycles. I’m careful to work like mad one weekend and take the next one off. I’m trying to avoid anything and everything that could even come close to stressing me out. (Outside of work stress. There’s no way to escape that yet. Except working weekends…)

Well, all the prep and calendars and med management in the world couldn’t keep me sane during the past few weeks.

I’ve been in the middle of a manic cycle and I just knew my father’s anniversary was going to suck. It wasn’t a self-fulfilling prophecy (as was suggested by someone GRR!), it was just a fact. I knew that it was going to be rough - when the nightmares start, I’m a walking wreck. I’m sorry. That’s just the way it works and I was having the nightmares long before the anniversary. So yeah. Reliving the afternoon I found my father and then ID’ing him in the coffin every night for a week or two is certainly a harbinger of what’s to come.

As if the nightmares and manic cycle weren’t enough, Mother Nature decided that she had another trick up her sleeve: PMS.  Thank you, Mother Nature. Take an already mentally unstable person and screw with her…

Oh yeah, my mother’s birthday is May 3rd. My parents’ wedding anniversary is the 10th and Mother’s Day is the 9th this year.

Recipe. For. Disaster.

I started reaching out to those who knew me before all hell broke loose. I started reaching out to other members of The Dead Parents Club.

Apparently, that was an ingredient in the recipe.

I don’t know why, but EVERYBODY and their mother (ha ha ha) decided they all knew what was best for me. How to beat the bipolar. How to move past the 30th. What kind of clothes I should wear to fencing. What kind of house we should build. What I should do with my hair. Even a well meaning friend added fuel to the fire when they commented on what type of bicycles the hubby and I should get.

I just kept getting so, so, so upset that I went pretty nuclear.

The meds normally keep me from getting to that point, but it was pretty much “abandon hope, all ye who enter here” by then.

I don’t know what to say…

I know who I am. I know what I want…

I am grieving. I am an orphan.

I want my father back.

If anyone has any suggestions on how to bring him back (and not zombie-back, because EWWWW!), then I’m open to your advice.

If not, please keep your opinions to yourself.

I can’t deal with people telling me things that go contrary to what I want or who I am. Not right now, at least. I don’t have the strength to deal with it…

Talk to me next weekend - after The Ick has passed and I have regained my sanity.


Posted by Matty on 05/07 at 08:19 PM

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

40 years and 4 dead…

(I’ll be back to the photoblogging shortly. Just not enough time in my day anymore. *sigh*)

My dad always wanted to to visit Kent State. He was obsessed with the shootings there. He planned on going May 1, 2001. He died April 30, 2001.

This is for him:

Tin soldiers and Nixon coming,
We’re finally on our own.
This summer I hear the drumming,
Four dead in Ohio.

Gotta get down to it
Soldiers are cutting us down
Should have been done long ago.
What if you knew her
And found her dead on the ground
How can you run when you know?

Gotta get down to it
Soldiers are cutting us down
Should have been done long ago.
What if you knew her
And found her dead on the ground
How can you run when you know?

Tin soldiers and Nixon coming,
We’re finally on our own.
This summer I hear the drumming,
Four dead in Ohio

“Ohio” - Neil Young

(On a side note - I got to see the original handwritten lyrics at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame while Dad was still alive. He was not impressed. WTF?!?)

Posted by Matty on 05/05 at 11:11 PM