Friday, March 31, 2006

Just Do It

From my "Mondo Beyondo" List, a little over a year ago:

8. The CD I record will not hit the billboards, but it's tracks will be the most requested songs at every karaoke bar in the country.

9. I'll pay off my student loan, my divorce attorney, my MasterCard, and the rest of my parent's house. In that order.

10. I'll buy a house overlooking the Chesapeake Bay, cut my hair short, marry my boyfriend, and start life all over again with a huge kitchen, my cat, and my Grandpa's piano.

During an email with Steven, I was inspired to looked this up again. It really got me thinking about the desires that lurk within us. They leak out as jokes, or dreams, and somehow, over time, they morph into goals.

I’m not about to send demo tapes off to Rounder Records, but I would like to record a CD. Get together with my old accompanist, maybe find a guitar player, and really do it right. I’d just like to have it, for posterity. In 2007, I’ll be largely out of debt, and done with school. I may very well be done with temping as well, after a period of time. I’ll have the time to devote to a project, and might be able to scrape up the money.

I should seriously think about making this happen. Why shouldn’t I just do it?

As I told a certain sax player awhile back, I’ve never had any desire to be a recording artist. It just never really moved me. It sounds like a horrible lifestyle, always on the move, always working, not conducive to relationships or family life, no real chance to put down roots anywhere. Maybe if I was an air sign, I’d have been more into that when I was eighteen, and might have had a real shot. But I’m me. I like to stay still.

The problem is, there are no recordings of my mother’s singing, or my Great-grandmother’s, or of my grandfather’s piano playing. All of this musical talent just disappears. I’d give anything to hear my grandpa play his ragtime, and not just because I miss him. I’ve dreamed of hearing my great-grandmother’s voice all my life. And my Mom? By the time I was old enough to really pay attention, she had lost most of her tone, and virtually all of her breath support. She let her instrument go… and at age 60, it’s likely gone forever.

Her friends, however, remember. I’ll never forget the far-off, wistful look on our friend Thom’s face when he talked about my mother’s singing. “No one had ever seen anything like her,” he said. “No one could touch her.” I felt envy spread through my stomach like a cold blackness. I strain to remember some of the shows he remembered her performing in – Pirates of Penzance was mentioned – but all I remember is her lavender gown, her long black curls, and her dancing. She was in the chorus. I never noticed her voice. And I was, after all, about seven years old.

I want my daughters to hear me sing. And my granddaughters.

Ach, I’ve written about this before. Next item:

My divorce attorney and my Mastercard are paid off! My student loan won’t take as long as the last one did. And my parents house, well, they took out a second mortgage a year or so ago. That was more than I bargained for. My father, however, in the meantime, has taken a new job in the Chicago area which pays well enough that I don’t really worry about them like I used to. He stays with an elderly aunt of ours during the week, and drives home to Mom on the weekends. They miss each other, but he says that the time they spend together is even more special now. And Mom has an excuse to visit Chicago from time to time. I’m hoping they will bite the bullet and find an apartment there. There’s no way they’d move permanently, at least not anytime soon, but I’d love for them to enjoy the city together more often. Mom could use some spoiling.

The truth is that someday, I will inherit that little house in Springfield, Illinois. As much as I avoid thinking of such things, it’s going to happen. When it does… Oy. We thought absorbing my Grandmother’s things was difficult? My mother is a packrat. I can only pray that when I lose her – Goddess, it’s hard to even write these words – my daughter will be old enough and strong enough to support me, the way I’ve supported my mother.

The problem is, my mother had me at twenty-six. I’ll be at least 37 when I start birthing. My grandmother lived until my thirty-third year. My mother… my daughter might be twenty-two. A very young age to assume this kind of responsibility. Too young.

I need to think about these things… and yet, I need to not think too much on them. A difficult balance to strike. The upshot is that paying off my parents mortgage isn't on the list anymore. Not a bad thing.

And the last item:

My hair is, by my standards, pretty short. It’s barely to my shoulder blades, when I’m used to it tickling my hips. It’s growing back slower this time than usual, and I'm ever so slightly anxious about that. I am, however, letting it do what it wants. No color jobs, no excessive ‘dos. I like it.

G and I are indeed getting married, likely sometime next year, possibly on Valentine’s Day. We have good karma on that day. And I really don’t give a damn about the whole double-present thing. Some chocolates and roses and a roll in the hay and I’m happy with Valentine’s Day. Anniversaries, I’d like a nice dinner out. Maybe a book to read. On our tenth, and other such landmarks, maybe some jewelry. I’m pretty easy to please.

But the Chesapeake Bay… I haven’t thought about that place in a loooong time. I’d never have known about it if it wasn’t for Dimarc, my ex. I loved our visits to Ocean City, MD, and our ventures out into the bay on his dad’s sailboat. I have wonderful memories of our mini-vacations to Maryland that will always be with me. The Maryland Renaissance Faire, the Crab Shacks, the piano bars in Baltimore where his friends played, and we’d sing for the crowd, even the cheesy mall shopping, which just seemed more fun down there. Watching his parent’s Pharaoh Hound Lita, rest her soul, run through the open space behind their house in Columbia. She looked more like a deer than a dog. Chatting with friendly locals from time to time. Columbia is a real nice place, and when things were good with Dimarc and I, we talked about moving there someday. I still can’t think of anyplace I’d rather raise kids than Columbia.

Boston, however, is pretty damn cool. And I’m with G now, and that’s his hood, and I’ve grown to love it too. It’s (sorry, Bostonians) just like New York – but shorter. The buildings are shorter. Newbury Street is Madison Avenue. The University area in Cambridge is the west village. Beacon Hill is the Upper West Side. And the Public Garden is Central Park. Ok, it’s smaller. And not woodsy. Which for me, means it’s better than Central Park. I can actually spend time in the Public Garden without itching and sneezing and Visine-ing myself every five minutes.

No place, however, is Bleecker street. Or seventh Avenue South.

Anyway. The Chesapeake Bay. I guess I won’t be moving into that waterfront property. Which is truly sad. Regardless of who I’m with, I really liked it down there.

But I will still have my Grandpa’s piano, and my cat. And my G. And in a few years, a family. Mondo not so beyondo.

And I guess, if I wanted to, I could hop a train into Grand Central and sing with street musicians anytime I wanted. In harmony.

Although making a van rock with Sassy Pat Kiernan probably isn’t in the cards.


I think I have found my motto for 2006:

Just do it.

Fuck Nike. It’s mine now.


Amanda said...

I like it! You just go and do. Are you going to get a Boston accent? ;)

MzOuiser said...

Hah! From Noo Yawk to Bahston! I'd have to drive a cah and throw pahties. Rather than a caw and Pawties.

All I need now is a few years in Chicago and I'll be driving cyarrrs and throwing pyarrrrties.

I love this country.

PatCH said...