Sunday, December 30, 2007

Wherein Tenacious S Realizes That Being OCD Pays Off

As Lulu has recounted, we had a lovely evening a couple of days ago sitting around, saying nothing and listening to records on my new turntable. While there is a turntable in our house (which technically is mine),but after fourteen years of marriage has become community property and lives in Mr. Ten S's office, I really don't use it that often since my records are down in the basement, three floors down. So sitting around with Lulu and playing albums at whim and request was quite a treat for me.

What you need to understand is that my albums are my babies and always have been. I remember getting really frosty when my high school boyfriend upon our breakup suggested that I listen to The Police's "I Can't Stand Losing You." In this song it talks about returning LP's and that they got scratched up in the hands of the borrower. While he was equally OCD, encasing each record in the special anti-static/anti-scratch inner sleeve and every album in a clear plastic outer sleeve, the insinuation that I had scratched a record was just fuel for the breakup fire.

Lulu can vouch for me when I say that my albums are for the most part, aside from cat hair from past kitties being stuck inside every single album I opened, pristine. The covers just as vibrant as day one. The lyric sheets in perfect shape. The vinyl itself with no blemishes visible to the naked eye. While over the years I have been mocked from time to time about my OCD tendencies when it comes to the care and keeping of these albums (they are filed alphabetically and chronologically within each band), I am glad I was a twitchy lightswitch licking freak that obsessed about them. Years later I am the proud owner of a lovely album collection that brings me great joy and pride. And now, I will go take my medication. *twitch*twitch*

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas, Everybody!

Hope everyone has had a wonderful Christmas. Thought I'd spread some of the silly cheer we enjoyed today. For a second year in a row, Santa was very good to me. Those who know me, will know that Santa is a mind reader and knew that I would get tons of enjoyment from this:

I know I'm off school for the next few months, but if I seem absent, you'll know I'm ripping and burning, baby! Finally, my beloved vinyl will be available to me 24/7. Oh, the possibilities! In the car, while I study, at the gym... I'm going digital! Merry Christmas, everyone. I do love you all.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

How Much Has Changed?

In 1984, one of my good friends gave us all a copy of this EP (I'll explain on request for those too young to understand) for Christmas. When I look back, this was the year my eyes opened. I saw the world beyond mine. I signed petitions for Amnesty International, I subscribed to the Christian Science Monitor to get news outside our media. I wrote the piece for Africa in our college paper. I knew what was going on. Again, how much has changed? Change the name of the nation. Change the name of the specific issue. How much smarter are we? Merry Christmas to all.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Master Illusionist

Apparently David Blaine is going to attempt to set a world record for sleep deprivation. Ha, ha, sucker! I started first and I'm gonna beat you!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Deer in Headlights Vol. II

Once again I find myself in the unenviable condition of having a large (25 pages) paper due on Friday afternoon and exactly two sentences written. I can't seem to find my way into my writer's mode. I know once the switch flips, I'll word vomit almost ten pages immediately, but I can't seem to make it happen. I predict several sleepless nights this week. This only makes me more happy that I am taking the next quarter off. I just have lost the will to do this for now. I'm so distracted by my life that I can't make school the main focus. And right now, it shouldn't be either. Christmas will have to wait until Friday at 5. That's when I will be released from the prison of grad school for a little vacation. I'm itching to get out, but I have one hell of a roadblock right now. Send good thoughts and any writer's tips if you have any, 'cuz I'm fresh out of inspiration right now.

Monday, December 03, 2007

This One Goes to 11

If I have a fault in life, it's that I don't know how to stop. Thank you, Anandamide, for recogonizing and appreciating my achilles heel, I mean, my finest feature. There's nothing I love more than winning a contest. Well, maybe getting an "A" on my schoolwork, but you get the point.

Two For Tuesday

OK, I'm a bit scattered in general and I kind of forgot I was trying to do a weekly feature. Welcome to my life. This is normal. Anyhow, the idea of this two'fer is supposed to be something old and something new. I'll start with the new.


I think they feel like an old comfortable pair of shoes, a pair that apparently sings and plays lovely music. Yeah. That's it. Anyhow, I haven't had enough time to really absorb them completely, but on first drive-by they remind me of...


Somthing about the atmospheric deperateness in the sound of these two bands. It's retro yet timeless. A heartbreak in slow motion, your breath crystallizing in the air as you walk down the street at night, the loneliness of a big city.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Smooth Sailing

I know this isn't totally new, but thought some of you might appreciate the tongue in cheek humor of the Yacht Rock series. While I would venture to say that this music is about the antithesis of what I listen to, I love watching these hilarious skits. There are ten of them and worth an hour of your time. So, grab a Pina Colada, your captain's hat and sail away with the Yacht Rock experience. Happy Friday!

Sunday, November 25, 2007


The last two weekends have been a bit of a blur. Last weekend, although I had planned on going two days, I was limited to one day at RiotFest due to work, homework and Bink's school project. What a day it was, though. I had the very good fortune of being gifted with backstage passes, which not only got us a sweet spot to hang and see the show, but munchies and free booze. Hence, the blur factor. I could go on and on and bore you all to death with the gritty details, but suffice it to say that Stiff Little Fingers and Naked Raygun were the highlights of the day for me. Last year Jeff had all but lost his voice, and so I was hoping for his sake that he would find a little redemption in this show. Whoa Hey Holy Ho! Naked Raygun rocked my face off. They sounded as good or better than I ever remember them sounding. I was pleased that they were able to crush any doubters out there. Stiff Little Fingers turned in a fierce set as well. Really, every band that played was amazing in their own way. I was just sorry my real life got in the way of being able to see Bad Brains on day two.

Going to Riot Fest is sort of an odd experience. There are a lot of people there far younger than I am and certainly more "decorated." Even in my prime rock-show-a-week days, I was never overboard with the punk gear. Maybe I liked Bauhaus too much to go whole hog with the punk thing. Mostly I think that back then, not that many people were as "punk" looking as some of the kids I see now. There was no Hot Topic. Our fashion mainstay at the time was thrift store bargains. So, I guess I feel like I really don't dress all that differently now than I did then. Anyhow, I was standing at one of the booths looking at t-shirts making small talk with the guy who was working. We talked about some of the bands playing and who we had seen when, enough for the guy to be able to take a good guess at my age. Then he says to me at some point, "Well, you've held up well, ma'am." All I could think was, wow, you are so very young. I think my husband was more annoyed by the comment than I was. I kind of figure it's what's on the inside that counts anyways and the kid was too young to know that. Besides, the sweet revenge of comments like that is that I know someday he'll be 42 and someone will call him "Sir" for the millionth time and he too will realize that it's what's on the inside that counts. And whether he realized it or not, we're part of the same tribe. He's the pesky kid and I'm now the annoying older aunt who's revenge is pinching cheeks when she feels like it.

So flash forward to last night. Last night was the premiere of "You Weren't There." It was a movie made about the beginning of the Chicago punk scene. Last night I was the annoying little brat and many of my aunties and uncles were there. Some of them scoffed at us in the movie, saying we weren't the real deal, the whole punk is dead story. Then what does that make Riot Fest? I guess it's all how you look at it, and in the end, it is kind of only music, but no matter how you slice it, it's somehow more than that. It's a force that drives like-minded people across generations together. You can call it whatever you want to call it. I don't think it really matters. I know I feel at home when I'm near it. I know that it's a part of who I am. Does it matter on a day to day basis? Not really, but it's nice to know it's there when I need it.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Whoa Hey Ho, Off to Naked Raygun I Go!

I am like a kid running down the stairs on Christmas morning right now. I have my coat on and I am waiting for the cab that will take Mr. Ten S and I to Riot Fest where Naked Raygun will headline at 10 tonight. This is my favorite event of the year. A whole day of local and not-so-local punk bands. Loud music, crappy beer and my buddies in the bands. Life is sweet.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I Got Read To

One of my favorite things in life is to be read to. No matter how old I get, I still really enjoy having a book, any book, read to me by a good storyteller. It can be an adult work of fiction or a simple child's story. the magic is in the delivery. Today, I had to observe a preschool classroom for one of my clients. Unbeknownst to me, it was library lady day! I was giddy with delight when I heard this news.

This particular librarian appeared to be about my age. She looked like a librarian. Funky little glasses, an odd sweater, a corduroy skirt, tights and red Mary Janes. You get the picture. She started by reading a book called The Gruffalo. It was delightful. Her voices were magnificent. Her pacing spectacualr. Her questions well-placed and interesting. I may have enjoyed it more than any of the kids in the classroom. She followed this up with a song about leaves and she scattered pretty colored fall leaves as she sang. Then she donned a Mother Goose apron and hat and told a few Mother Goose rhymes. She finished her performance with a flannel board story about a little red leaf. I was sad when it was over.

Maybe I'm a giant child, but that was the best half hour of my week so far.

Friday, November 09, 2007

The Payoff

I've mentioned that work has been especially hard these last couple of months. I've had a few of my clients going through some pretty serious and important school transitions, so I have needed to give them my full attention and a lot of my time. This has included having to fire an aide and take over because some difficult behaviors had been started and when added to trying to acclimate to a new classroom on top of it, it was just easier to do the job myself than try to explain it to someone else.

It's been a rough go, with many days ending in my feeling like I've made the wrong choice for this child's placement. I wondered if I had pushed him too far. I worried that I might have damaged his progress. Things have slowly been getting better. This week they all fell into place. Thursday was the best day we've had together in the classroom. He was talking a lot (for him) and was able to join in most of the group activities in a meaningful way. I knew it was going well while it was happening. It was a fast-paced day and we both raced through it thoroughly enjoying every second.

On Thursdays, I drive him to his speech therapist's office, since it is on my way home. We've worked through a "seatbelt wearing issue" and so our drive was an easy one. As I made the last turn, I looked over my shoulder to check on him, only to find him sound asleep. I myself was feeling exhausted from the effort of the day, but it wasn't until I looked at him that I realized that he has been putting in just as much effort or more. I felt proud of him, the way that I do with my own children when they succeed at something.

I carried him into the office, still sound asleep and his therapist scooped him out of my arms and guessed that they wouldn't be doing any therapy that day. We both remarked about how we never get to just hold and love the kids we work with. We're paid to push and pull them and ourselves. I left feeling tired, but aware of how much I love my job and the kids I work with. I couldn't love them any more unless they were my own. In his efforts I found extra energy for the rest of our journey.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Better Together

So I was reading and appropriately following links over at Twist O Lemon and stubled upon an Amazon "Better Together" recommendation. They were actually recommending that you read a book on depression and chase it with a book on madness. "WTF?" I thought. Are they serious? This of course sent me on an adventure of my own making. What else could I find that they recommended as a "Better Together" option. I found a book about Lincoln's melancholy paired with "The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression", a recommendation to purchase Celine Dion and Barry Manilow, Rub With Love chicken rub with any fine Popeil product (you do remember the Pocket Fisherman don't you?), Barbie Loves Tickle Me Elmo TMX AND Tickle Me Elmo TMX (now there's some Christmas fun!), and crotchless panties with a one year subscription to TeenVogue. Made me wonder what those folks at Amazon are smoking.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Gratuitous Cat Photo

This is Ed. He likes to drink from the faucet, roll in a clean litter box and sit on top of the guinea pig cage. Ed also serves as an alarm clock. He is very loud. Just don't touch his tummy.

Punk or Poser

Back in the day, being called a "poser" was about the worst comment someone could lob at you. It meant that you were only putting on a front, that you weren't a real punk. I'm throwing it out there. Prove yourselves. Punk or poser. The best show of the year is coming up with an enormous lineup. Riot Fest is only two short weeks away. I have my tickets. Do you have yours?

Seriously, the only thing that would make Riot Fest more fun is if some of you showed up. This year they are allowing ins and outs, so you won't be subjected to the fabulous food at the Congress if you don't want to be. There's plenty of beer and certainly more than enough awesome music. For any old geezers that are concerned, there is seating in the back of the first floor as well as in the balcony. If anyone is interested, please email me (sharonathayhaydotcom) and let me know and we can arrange a meeting time and place. As of right now, I am planning on going to the pre-show bash at the Cobra Lounge on Friday night, doing all day Saturday and at least part of Sunday. This is once again a chance to prove that bloggers are not introverted agoraphobic creatures. Get your punk asses in gear and get some tickets!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Forgive Me

I apologize for not being around as much as I have been in the past. Rough start for everyone in our family this fall and I am the one left to sweep up. I have now morphed into Tenacious S-Super Advocate and will be spending most of my spare energy getting my kids squared away. I am frustrated beyond explanation with the school system. I seriously want to hurt someone at this point. I'm used to this battle because I do it all of the time for my clients. Now it's time to take them on for my own babes. I particularly am pissed off at my son's school and have fantasies about meeting the principal out behind the school and pummeling her into the ground. I can dream, can't I?

Friday, October 26, 2007

Life is Totally Fair...

So, are we surprised that the victims of the California fires are getting the rock star treatment? The fires have conveniently occurred in what is basically a Republican stronghold, better known as the Orange Curtain. W and Ahhhnold have flown over the scene and have aid centers that rival the Ritz Carlton set up already. In one of the most population dense areas of the country, they have managed an evacuation of an enormous number of people. No Katrina here, folks. While I am truly glad that casualties have been low, it smacks of hypocrisy to me. Save the rich! And for goodness sakes, those folks need coffee and a comfy bed!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Monkey Business

No, I'm not talking about the demise of our much beloved Green Monkey Music Project, but I am talking about mayhem created by real monkeys. Although this sort of news is usually covered by Bubs over at the Compound, I couldn't resist. Admittedly, it is a tragic story, but I couldn't let go of the images this one brings to mind.

Apparently, according to a news report, the deputy mayor of New Delhi was hanging out on his balcony reading, when he was attacked by a marauding gang of monkeys. A struggle ensued and the poor man fell to his death. The monkeys are becoming a real problem in New Delhi, where Hindus regard them as sacred.

Lulu's description of the American Club in Dhaka included reports of monkeys in the trees. She has asked me to come visit her. We've talked about going to New Delhi. Of all the things that one needs to prepare for when traveling to a different country, I never thought monkey attacks would be one of them.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Mommy Monster

There are many times when I find myself saying things to my children that sound strangely familiar to me. I call them my "Mommy Monster Moments." Those moments when I am no longer Tenacious S and turn into the Incredible Mommy. I try very hard to never end anything with a "because I said so" mostly because it drove me nuts as a kid, but I do most of the things you will now witness. Behold, the Mommy Monster!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Is It Wrong?

Is it wrong that when I saw all the little files used for my root canal, all I could think of was Pinhead from Hellraiser? Just wondering.

Thursday, October 18, 2007


Hey, if you're bored and wondering what to do this Friday night, I suggest that you head over to Bill's Blues in Evanston on Davis just west of the tracks, where my friend, and local artist, Anne Elisabeth Hogh will be doing live casting. You can either go and watch people get plastered or you can volunteer yourself. If you love it, she'll turn it into a unique work of art for you. I'll be there from about 5 o'clock on. She'll be there from 4-close (really late and past my bedtime). Love to see some of you there.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Books That I Read

I really wanted to read a novel tonight. Really. I did. I wanted to curl up in my bed after having a lovely root canal today with a glass of red wine and some fine fiction. I wish that was what happened, but it's not. Doped up on pain killers and with a mouth that felt like it belonged to someone else, I plowed through yet another tedious chapter in yet another psychology text book. Sure, some of it is interesting and it absolutely is important, but it just isn't Michael Chabon, is it. I know it's making me smarter, but I'm a Renaissance kind of girl. I feel like I'm so narrowly focused that I'm missing out. My brain wants to run free in a field of fiction, or maybe even some non-fiction that has NOTHING to do with psychology. I'll console myself with the fact that I am honing my craft and sharpening my mind. Truth is, I'm bored.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

WWBD (What Would a Behaviorist Do?) Vol. V

Dear Behaviorist,
I just can't figure out why my children constantly find themselves in the principal's office. They go to an afterschool homework support firm, play soccer for the local and traveling teams, play an instrument, and belong to the youth group at church. Occasionally they complain that they are tired, but whenever I see them they are always giving it their all. I am so proud of them! I tell them this all of the time. I tell them that they are great soccer players, that they are gifted musicians and that they are incredibly bright children. What could possibly be wrong? My husband and I have devoted our entire lives to their success. I don't know what we'll do if we have discipline issues on our hands. This could affect their ability to take part in the traveling team. Help!

Devoted Soccer Mom

Dear DSM,
Take a step back from your hectic life and think for a moment about why your children have snapped. Could it be your own insecurities being played out through their success? Could it be the intense pressure you have placed on them to perform? Could it be as simple as a lack of sleep? I think it is a combination of the three that is the antecedent to the anger outbursts happening at school. Ask yourself this question, when was the last time you asked your child what they would like to do? Or here's another one, do you have any interests of your own other than your children? Placing unrealistic expectations on children can cause large amounts of stress for both them and yourself. My suggestion is this, Try a little negative reinforcement (not the same as punishment). Relieve them of their pressures for a week. If they appear happier then the removal of the schedule is a negative reinforcer, telling you that you have removed the negative stimulus. Let me know what happens. I'll just bet that they will enjoy lowered expectations, but will surprise you by showing what their true interests are. Happy dribbling!

The Behaviorist

Thursday, October 11, 2007

I Predict a Riot

I love autumn. The chill in the air, the subtle hues of a gray sky juxtaposed with the vivid oranges, flaming reds and golden yellows of the leaves, watching the squirrels quicken their pace as they prepare for winter, the two days of chaotic, clamorous music blasting from the Congress stage...

November 17th and 18th are the two days of Riot Fest this year. Headlining day one is none other than my hometown heroes, Naked Raygun. Day two will be headlined by the infamous and seminal band Bad Brains. Some of the other bands on the bill are Stiff Little Fingers, 7 Seconds, Nekromantix, The Casualties, The Bollweevils and so much more. All of this in the fabulous Congress Theater.

So here's where I say we invoke a gathering of the tribe. I know many of you enjoy destroying your hearing as much as I do. Let's unite for this great event! Two whole days of drinking beer, hanging out and listening to some great music. That's what I call heaven on earth. Go to the Riot Fest webpage for all the info on tickets, bands and times and then let me know who's in. Don't make me call you a chicken!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Better Late Than Never

I like to think of myself as the tortoise. Maybe not very appropriate for a Speed It Up mix, but it seems to be my M.O. in life. I eventually get around to things. So here is the illuminating commentary for the Tenacious S Speed It Up mix, along with my grateful thanks to Splotchy for allowing me to participate in the monkey business. The plan of this mix was to start at whatever BPM your heart desired, but it had to continually increase across the mix. For being a tortoise, I kind of like it real fast, so it didn't stay slow for long.

1. Pyramid Song-Radiohead
Does this song even have a beat? Like much of Radiohead's music, I find that it meanders around my brain, crawling into crevices that maybe I hadn't noticed before.

2. Spread Your Love-Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
A slow dirty groove, and I mean dirty. Makes you want to, uh, take a shower.

3. Failures-Joy Division
Post-punk with a sharp beat and a sharper wit. This is where the mix starts to act like it's going someplace and that maybe it might be in a hurry.

4. Groovin' in the Bus Lane-Jazz Butcher
Happy feet! There was a time in my life where the Jazz Butcher probably fell in my Top Ten. I couldn't get enough of the witty lyrics and the gin-soaked lounge singer on the skids tunes.

5. Turning Inside Out-The Methadones
Pure melodic punk perfection. These guys are led by ex-Screeching Weasel Dan Schafer, which is a nice pedigree in this arena. Send your good thoughts out to their bass player, Pete, who was hit by a bus while riding his bike last week. He's OK, but he's been stapled together in a few places.

6. Nicotine Fit-Voodoo Glow Skulls
Oh, come on! Speeded up crazy ass ska. Yahoo! Makes me giddy.

7. TV II-Ministry
While I prefer the more danceable earlier Ministry, I knew they were my go-to guys for the most hellacious BPM's of all. This one is a pure adrenaline rush accompanied by a few whacks over the head with a big mallet.

Hope you had fun.

*Warning-Do not listen to mix while hopped up on Red Bull.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Here It Goes Again

Folks, it's that time of year again. The time where I shamelessly beg you to pay to look at boobs. Sure, they're cute and round and fun, but sometimes boobs get sick. Now it'd be one thing if just the boobs got sick, but see, this disease can kill you. I know, because this is how I lost my mother almost three years ago.

So do me a favor, do boobs a favor, do real people with a real illness a favor, go oggle some boobs and drop some cash. It's all going to the Susan G. Komen organization, which supports breast cancer research and treatment. This wonderful organization that is using one of nature's kind of cool gifts to raise some cash for breast cancer is Boobiethon. My boobs will be there and they thank you as I am one of the people at risk.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Candyman, Candyman, Candyman...

Candyman is my all-time favorite horror movie. Made in 1992 and set right here in Chicago, it is the story of what happens when an urban legend becomes reality. It stars Virginia Madsen, a hometown girl. Watch it and then I dare you to stand in front of your bathroom mirror and utter his name three times. My husband knew this one actually spooked me and would walk up to me when I was brushing my teeth at night and start saying his name. Creep. Thanks for the fun idea, Splotchy!


I know I haven't been around as much lately. For one, we had some problems with our router, but that got fixed. I am under the gun at work. Even when I'm not, I guess I always kind of feel that way. Time is like the hot breath of a pursuer constantly on your back as you try to outrun it. Time has the ability to undermine all that I do. Time is valuable and frightening all at the same time.

I meet most of the kids I work with when they are quite young. There is always great hope in these moments. Everyone I work with makes very nice progress, but some progress much more quickly than others. It's those kids who don't move as fast that set me in motion. I am tasked with trying to catch them up to their peers in a race where the finish line keeps moving further away. It's exhausting for all of us I can assure you.

This year I have more than a few kids that fall into this category. It has been a rough few months filled with bumps in the road and detours that have wasted our precious time. Many days I work from the time I get up until I go to bed. Maybe this is why I kind of snapped this last week. I am grateful that I am in my quarter break right now, so I can devote more energy to my work. While I know school is important, it is yet another greedy monster, eating up precious hours every week. There are days at work that I feel like I'm battling a blazing house and I've got a squirt gun to do the job. It can be a little overwhelming. Most of the time, I try not to think about it too hard, because it doesn't help to worry.

But right now, worry is what I am filled with. I worry that some decisions that were made weren't correct. I worry that we are racing as fast as we can and that we might not finish the race. I worry about ten years from now. I have to. It's my job to constantly adapt plans as progress is made. I have to remind myself that everything we do is good. I know it doesn't all rest on my shoulders, but I also know that I have to keep running because I feel that hot breath on my neck.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Loose as a Goose

If someone were to judge my character based on my activities this week, I think I'd get labeled with names such as "deviant," "exhibitionist," or "slut." I spent Tuesday morning getting plastered in more ways than one. My neighbor is an artist and in preparation for the upcoming Boobiethon, she cast my frontside and will be painting on it. For good measure we threw the backside in as well. A couple of Screwdrivers made the whole experience a little less, shall we say, tense. I'm starting to like this Boobiethon ritual. It forces me once a year to make peace with my body. Standing butt-naked in my neighbor's home covered in plaster also forces that peace process. For the record, a thin layer of plaster doesn't hide much.

Apparently I didn't have quite enough nakedness for the week on Tuesday, so when I was begged to show up at our friend's bar for a male dance revue, I just couldn't say no. Mind you, I'm not super excited by beefcake. I spent my dating years with some seriously scrawny dudes. I felt a little weird heading into this event, so I did what any sensible girl would do, I drank. When we got to the bar, the four guys who were going to perform were all hanging out in back and were actually just nice guys. I'm not sure what I expected, but they were pretty normal. When our group of girls went in, we discovered that we were pretty much the only ones there. I guess they didn't promote the event very well, and quite frankly, this is Evanston. This is probably the raciest thing that has happened here in years.

We all hung out and had a few drinks and the guys postponed the show in hopes of drawing a larger crowd. Well, it didn't happen. They were going to get paid by the bar no matter what happened so we decided to tell them that they didn't have to perform for just us. They weren't having it. They told us they had made a commitment and were going to make good on it. I have to say I was a little nervous when they put our four, yes four, chairs right in front of the stage. Since I was well on my way to having a real good attitude, I was feeling pretty game. Oh my. Let's just say there were four dancers and four girls and plenty of that special time in the chair onstage. I am really not an extrovert or an exhibitionist, but I am beginning to wonder after this week. I kind of felt like I was enjoying it just a little too much. I decided to just go with it and let those boys fulfill their contractual obligations! Really, normally I don't even like standing in front of a crowd, yet there I was smothered in beefcake and put in semi-contortionistic poses with some nearly naked dudes I didn't know. I'm now wandering around wondering what snapped in my brain this week. All the while, I am planning for Boobiethon...

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Brains on the Wall

Went with Sweetness and company to a show on Tuesday night. I was geeked about seeing Metric, but had no idea what brain blenderizing fun the opening band, Crystal Castles, would be. They have made a name for themselves remixing songs from other bands like Klaxons and Bloc Party. My brain is still buzzing with the memory of their set.


Next up, and headlining, were Metric. Every one of them was an accomplished musician and the fact that they were led by an amazing tough as nails and sarcastic chick made them even better. One of the tightest sets I've heard in years. Interesting time signatures and rock your face off dance inducing tunes. If they are heading for your town, I highly encourage you to go see the show.

METRIC-Dead Disco

I'm flipping out and twitching just a bit because there are more than ten shows I really want to see in the next month. I know I'm going to have to pare that list down, but I am giddy with excitement.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Helping is Easy

Some of you have expressed a desire to sponsor a child. I can only tell you that we have had a very positive experience with Children International. When our first child was conceived we decided that since we would not be adopting, that we should help out another child in the world. We sponsored him from age four to age eighteen. What I did not understand when we signed up was that not only would we be supporting a child, but we supported his family and the village he lived in by improving conditions and bringing aid to the area.

We recently finished supporting this child, who lived in India, and are anxious for the next. I have enjoyed hearing about his growing and love receiving his picture each year. The picture of a healthy educated child. A child who has hope. He often wrote to us telling us of his love for art, which is my daughter's love. I hope that as he continues in life that he will continue to have hope and will continue to succeed. I know that our small commitment to him made a difference.

The organization we went through is Children International. They are reliable, non-sectarian, and give a great portion of the money directly to the child being sponsored. I didn't do it to make myself feel good, I did it because it felt like the right thing to do. I have no regrets and can't wait to start all over again.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Hot Spot

I am trying to get to Santa Barbara for a conference, but am socked in at the San Francisco airport. Not really a big deal in the grand scheme of life. Just wanted to let all of you know that I have not been avoiding you, but that we are having issues with our wireless network, the router in particular, and it has been difficult for me to get to my blog and all of yours. So, here I am in a "hot spot" with time on my hands.

I have not been away from my family for three and half years and have never been away for work. It's nice to do something besides what I typically do on a Wednesday. I have homework to do when I get to the hotel, but for now, I'm writing and roaming. Fall has been busy so far getting all of the kids that I work with and my own transitioned into school. It's been a bumpy ride, but we are all making it through. I've managed to hire and fire people in the last week, which is possibly my least favorite aspect of my job. This week I am attending a conference that will give me certification in a newew form of the therapy that I do. The fact that I have to go to Santa Barbara is not unwelcome.

It was my Mom's birthday a couple of days ago. I don't know if it's the medication or the fact that I've been so busy that I haven't really been able to think about it, but I felt like I made it through the day this year a bit better than in years past. The whole fall is filled with last memories, so I approach the season rather hesitantly. The past couple of years, I have felt kind of hollow around this time, but I do feel more full of life in this season of change.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

As Summer Fades Away

As summer fades away I find myself clinging onto the last sunny days spent with my kids. Somehow in my mind, summer marks their changing stages of childhood. Sweetness no longer really enjoys playing in the sand at the beach and I wonder how long before Bink will feel the same way. We are making our last trek to the beach tomorrow before they close it for the season. This year Bink still enjoyed hanging with me at the beach, content to make sandcastles while I read or splashing around in the water with me. I wonder if next summer will be different.

We as a family are sucking the marrow out of the last days, while readying ourselves for Tuesday's drastic change. There's still time for a couple more barbeques, a couple of evenings on the porch and looking for that last cicada. I think for the first time, I'm dreading the end of summer more than my kids. I hope everyone enjoys this last weekend of summer.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Why Study When You Can Dance?

Star in Your Own JibJab! It's Free!
Thanks, Dale. I'm easily distracted.

Two For Tuesday (Sweetness & Co. Edition)


Today's two are inspired by Sweetness and her friends and what I hear coming from her speakers and her friends' iPods. First band up, Metric. Headphones were gleefully stuffed on my head by one of her friends as she walked in the house. We now have tickets to see them at the end of Spetember.

KLAXONS-It's Not Over Yet

Sweetness herself tends towards the more abstract and fantastical. This is her pick for who she'd like to see this fall, because she thinks they would have an interesting show. I feel pretty fortunate to have such a cool kid. As she once said about a peer, "She was sucked into the hip hop vortex." I think we're both grateful it didn't happen to her.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Mirror Neurons

I've been studying about mirror neurons. Is it wrong that everytime I think of them, I think of this?

I hope that watching this doesn't cause me to imitate this action, or God help us, those haircuts.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Dedication to Medication Vol. III


Day Three-Half dose. Migraine in the middle of the night last night has left me a little worn out today. My sinuses are still messed up and today I feel more calm, but more detached. I'm actually enjoying just sitting at home watching the rain. I dreaded taking my dose this morning, because I never know what it will bring. I'm hoping I won't have another night like last night. I realize this is not thrilling reading, so I'm not offended if you bypass these posts. Honestly, I feel like I'm sick and want to crawl in bed and stay there. Not much energy for anything else. I'll be more fun soon. I promise.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Echo Back

Here's the game. Every time you hear the word "sexy", insert the word "Echo." Our leader has returned from his exile in the wilderness. All hail the king of the GEWS. Echo! Echo! Echo!

Dedication to Medication Vol. II


Day Two-Half dose. Since this is not my first ride onto meds, I have memories that are flooding back now. Woke up this morning with a sore throat and sinus pressure. I remember this from before. It's actually a documented side effect, so I know I'm not just getting sick. My head hurts because not only do my sinuses hurt, but my jaws are so tight that it's contributing to the general headache I've got going on. This is why I've put this off for so long. I know I'll feel better next week, but this week is going to suck. After a day of alternate mania and exhaustion, I fell asleep at 9:30, which is really early for me. I actually slept really well, which surprised me, as I've had issues with insomnia in the past. I can feel the weird dreams coming. I enter a dream state much quicker than I typically would and they are always more graphic. I still remember one of the dreams I had last time I was medicated. I could feel the rain. Really feel it. And if you ever wondered if you can dream in color, you absolutely can. Vivid color. Yesterday when I dozed off in the afternoon, my dream had a soundtrack going.

In general, I feel kind of tense. My muscles occasionally twitch or jerk. I feel like a walking experiment at this point. I'm glad I have the day off today, as I certainly am not feeling myself. I don't feel slow or groggy in any way, but more like my body is detached and on a ride of its own. If anything, I feel hyperaware and a little tense. I definitely understand why some people refuse to medicate and don't make it past week one. If you didn't know what to expect and weren't able to ride it all out, you'd give up before you felt the full effect. I know this is going to be good for me in the long run, so I know I have to ride this out. It helps to have a supportive family.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Dedication to Medication Vol. I

Day One- Half dose and I'm pretty much feeling like I could take over as the lead singer of Fishbone. I'm jittery and wired for sound, yet oddly can tell I need a nap. I'm purposefully making trips up and down the stairs to burn off excess energy. Stomach is a little queasy. Hey, I'm a Master's student in psychology. I figured I'd document the whole ugly cycle of leveling out on meds. As far as I can tell, I am behaving like my cat Edward, who occasionally rips through the house like a white tornado only to crash fifteen minutes later. Hey, this should keep me entertained for the rest of the summer. Just don't let me do something stupid like sign up for a marathon while I'm feeling like this.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Bridge That Broke the Camel's Back

How thoughtful of them to build a new bridge next to the bridge that sealed my fate. When I was about 21, my friends and I piled into a car to take a daytrip to the Isle of Palms off the coast of Charleston, South Carolina. Up until this point I had driven around with no problems to speak of for a good five years. In perspective, that's not very long, but at the time it felt like forever and so I confidently got behind the wheel of the car and drove towards our destination. I had never been there before, but it was a quick trip and I couldn't possibly have guessed how a few minutes would so radically change my life.

As we neared the Isle of Palms, the only way to get there was to go over the Cooper River Bridge, an old steel bridge with pretty narrow lanes. I approached the bridge with not a worry in my mind. As I began to drive across the bridge I had what was to be the first of many panic attacks. My hands go numb, my body stiffens, my breathing rate and heart rate increase dramatically and everything gets a little dim around the edges. I had four other people in the car, including Lulu who was there for a visit. She was in the front seat with me and noticed I was having problems. I managed to make it over by staring at the bumper of the car in front of me, but was concerned the entire time that I was going to pass out. There was no place to pull over either. Lulu drove over the bridge on the way back, but that first crossing sealed my fate forever.

From there the attacks grew and spread to include other things like high overpasses on freeways and eventually to all freeways. It's a classic phobia I've been told. One where you begin to build all these behavioral responses to certain stimuli. I feel like I'm on a runaway train when the attacks start. My mind knows that it's ridiculous, but I can't seem to stop the reaction that my body goes through. When the attack is over, I am spent. It exhausts me and ruins what is left of my day as I'm usually left with a wicked headache and my body is busy mopping up the massive adrenaline overload.

I initially tried the cognitive-behavioral therapy route. After many months of therapy there was no improvement and because it involved driving, doing desensitization was dangerous. I was left with one option and that was to try medication. Three drugs later, I've found that an SSRI called Lexapro is the one that works for me, although I'm left dealing with some of the side effects of that which include tiredness and some weight gain. I've been off my medication for about two years because I just needed a break from it. But now I have new clients that I literally can't get to unless I'm medicated. I often feel like I am a prisoner in my own body. My freedom in life has been curbed by some crazy chemicals that don't behave like they're supposed to.

So back on the meds I go. I know I need to, but I don't want to. In general I function much better when I take Lexapro, because along with the panic attacks, I suffer in general from bouts of depression and have a generally high anxiety level. Funny, Lulu and I were talking about which Winnie the Pooh character we were one day. I immediately answered Tigger, but Lu corrected me and said I was more like Piglet. I don't think I like that. Lexapro lets me be Tigger, so I guess it's a good thing.

Two For Tuesday


Today's 2 are from the same band. It's a Now and Then kind of pair. Crowded House is back together again. Although sadly missing Paul Hester, I expect that they will not disappoint. Neil Finn seems to have a knack for writing perfect introspective pop songs that get under your skin. They always sound so shiny on the outside, but have a brooding quality just under the surface. I'm happy to say that Mr. Ten S and I will be seeing them live on Sunday night. If it's half as good as The Finn Brothers show I saw a couple of years ago, it will be fabulous.

CROWDED HOUSE-Better Be Home Soon

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The Quiet Place in My Head

When I am stressed out or depressed, I really do have a quiet happy place that I go to in my head. My place is everything that is good on this earth. It represents peace, which as far as I can tell is what I really want from life. Our family has been vacationing at Sugar Maple Lake in northern Wisconsin since I was a small child. My own children now vacation there and have since we returned from California.

What makes this place so special? The biggest town that the lake is near is Eagle River. Even though there's a fancy new bypass around the town, the main street is relatively unchanged. Some of the stores are different, but many remain, including the ice cream and candy store where I bought many treats as a child. There's nothing fancy about this town. The little town closer to the cabin we rent is even smaller. Phelps has not changed at all since I was a child. There is still a bar, a small grocery, a post office, a bait shop, a boat rental and repair shop and a cafe. That's it.

As a kid, my brother and I would ride in the back of the station wagon on the way up, counting cows and watching the puffy white clouds in the blue Wisconsin sky. The ride was long enough to really feel like you were going somewhere, but short enough that before you knew it, you were there. I loved all the little towns we passed through on the way as well. I remember throwing open the car door and immediately running down to the lake, just to make sure it was still there. We always got called back up to help unload the car. Mom was smart and packed our bathing suits and towels right on top, as she knew the first thing we'd be doing was going for a swim.

When I was younger, the week was spent swimming, catching tadpoles, playing board games in the evening and riding around in a rowboat with my dad's small outboard motor on the back. As I got older, I still swam a lot, but really enjoyed reading out on the raft and just laying in the sun on the pier. This was when I developed my love for that exact feeling, the one I go to when I'm losing it. My moment of true peace is laying on my towel on my stomach in the sun with my ear to the boards on the pier. It's more about sound than anything else. It's the sound of the lapping of the waves against the boat and the boats bumping gently up against the pier. I can instantly go there anytime I need to. It's the nothingness of the moment, I guess, that makes it perfect. It's knowing that there is no rush, that it's OK to relax and that in this place I am always surrounded by those I love. Having returned to this place as an adult, I can say that it is as true today with my family as it was as a child and a teen. It's a reminder of when all is right and gentle and perfect. I hope that my kids find their moment of peace as well.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Two For Tuesday

SPOON-The Underdog

This song hooked me on the first listen. Sure, the horns are clean and bright. Yeah, the lolligagging beat eases you along, but it's the lyrics that immediately caught my attention. "You have no fear of the underdog, that's why you will not survive." Now those are some powerful words. They made me think about everything from politics to daily social life. Put this one in heavy rotation.


Hear some similarities? I was listening to Spoon thinking that it sounded new and yet familiar and then I realized that they reminded me a lot of Van Morrison. Similar arrangements, don't you think? Happy Tuesday, everybody!

Friday, August 03, 2007

Crazy T & Lu's Bargain Sale!!!!!

Last chance for a crack at some of Lulu's books and other priceless treasures. It's that time of year again. Time for the Ten S family's yard sale. This sucker is huge as some of our friends do this with us. You name it, we've probably got it. This weekend only from 9-4 Saturday and Sunday. Leave a comment if you want directions!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Got the Blues in Chicago (Imagine That!)

I'm a Master's Student
Duh Duh Duh Duh
I study all day
Duh Duh Duh Duh
While everyone is playin'
Duh Duh Duh Duh
I'm makin' hay

Cause I got the low-o-down
Master's Student Blues
I'd rather be playin'
But it's studyin' I choose

My friends they keep leavin'
Duh Duh Duh Duh
I'm lonely as sin
Duh Duh Duh Duh
I'm an aging punk rocker
Duh Duh Duh Duh
Going through crisis again

Cause I got the low-o-down
Master's Student Blues
I used to go playin'
But now it's studyin' I choose

OK, well, I'm not exactly Muddy Waters or Buddy Guy or even BB King, but you get the point. Sick of school. Migrating friends. Irritating job. Shit, y'all, I just need to go to bed. Sleep will cure most any kind of illin' you have.

Monday, July 30, 2007


Here is where Tenacious S learns that leaving is easier than being left behind. All of my life I have been the one to do the leaving. I moved away from my Chicago neighborhood to move to the suburbs. I moved away to college, watching and wondering why my parents were blubbering messes. I left the college I was at and went to another one. I left there and went home to Chicago. I managed to stick around for about a year and I left for Europe for about half a year. Came home from Europe and left Chicago again for California and graduate school. I stayed in California for ten years. I finally realized after all of the leaving that I really wanted to go home. After years of wandering, I realized I missed the place where I grew up. I realized I missed the place where people are actually nice. I missed my hometown.

So now I find myself in the place of the one being left behind. I feel as if I can't say a thing except "Go." In all of my travels, I feel like I discovered bits of myself here and there. I learned that I am very self-reliant. I learned that I can make a home anywhere I want to. I also learned that no matter how hard I tried, I was always a Chicago girl in my heart. You can take that with you anywhere. Even when you're the only Chicago native in a a 500 mile radius, it's who you are.

I hope Lulu has fantastic adventures and meets new friends and loves her new job. For once, I'm the Chicago girl, hanging out here at home, looking forward to her visit next summer. Life will go on. I'll miss her dearly, but I wish for her all of the travels and experiences I've had. I'll be here. At home in Chicago.

Bon Voyage!

OK, so Lulu isn't going to California like Kermit and Fozzie were, but I'd say this is a similar trip for her. Adventure, new experiences, and opportunity are just hours away now. Bon Voyage! Have a safe trip and a soft landing in your new home.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Not Dead Yet...

I recently got tagged by Frank of The Sirmarco Letters, I mean, Guacamole Pants. Anyhow, I'm supposed to get all morbid and stuff and come up with a list of songs I would want played at my funeral. Well, I can say that having lived part of my life enthralled with the whole goth thing, this wasn't too much of a stretch for me. So here we go. Fifteen songs that I want blasted when I perish:

1. Youth-Love and Rockets
2. What a Wonderful World-sung by Joey Ramone
3. Where I Belong-Duvall
4. My Body is a Cage-Arcade Fire
5. Slice of Life-Bauhaus
6. 1000 Tons of Ice-The Bomb
7. Hold on Hope-Guided by Voices
8. The Life is the Red Wagon-Jane Siberry
9. Walk in Cold-Naked Raygun
10. The Past is a Grotesque Animal-Of Montreal
11. Tonight, Tonight-Smashing Pumpkins
12. Sweet Soul Dream-World Party
13. Keep Me in Your Heart for Awhile-Warren Zevon
14. Cynical Girl-Marshall Crenshaw
15. I want to hear what YOU think my last song should be.

Do I get to decide where I want this function? Can I rent out Metro with a full bar and have a live band as well? Stage dive for me, will you?

I'm tagging Beth, Julia, Echo, and Grant.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

My Brain is Like Swiss Cheese

There's no way I'll ever remember all of the shows that Lulu and I have seen, but here is what I've managed to retrieve from my memory.

Naked Raygun, Smashing Pumpkins, Violent Femmes, EIEIO, The Suburbs, Trip Shakespeare, Cheap Trick, Lenny Kravitz, INXS, The Cars, The Thompson Twins, The Church, Bauhaus, Love and Rockets, Iggy Pop, The Ramones, The Smiths, The Dickies, New Order, Phranc, Jesus and Mary Chain, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, The Bomb, The Methadones, Matthew Sweet, Wilco, Peter Murphy, The Finn Brothers, Detholz, Big Black, Ted Leo, !!!, 7 Seconds, The Bollweevils, The Blue Meanies, Mustard Plug, 7000 Dying Rats, Liquid Soul, a bazillion blues bands at 4 am at Kingston Mines, The Briefs, The Buzzcocks, Head Cat, Dick Dale, Sugarcubes, Jane Siberry, No Doubt, Marshall Crenshaw, Dave Edmunds, The Drovers, El Vez, Nicholas Tremulis, The Waterboys, Bob Mould, The Wallflowers, Garbage, Duvall, Paul Westerberg and we're going to go see The Smoking Popes and 4 Star Alarm on Friday night.

OK, I admit this isn't a complete list, but I have a brain cramp now. Too many venues, too many shows, and wow, if you add it all up, a whole lot of cash was dropped (add another few thousand on beer). Lu, feel free to mention any that I've forgotten.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Club Lulu Day Two

Because Lulu and I know that Gordon Gano's hands are very tiny. Saw these guys live at Harper Junior College in about 1984 (same vintage as this video, just not the same joint). I may try to recap all of the shows we have seen at some point this week, but I know my memory will fail me severely. We managed to sneak in an interview on this occasion and it is one of my favorite memories.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Club Lulu (party like you're going to Dhaka)

Since Lulu is busy packing and doesn't have time to hit the clubs this week for some last minute fun, I thought I'd bring the clubs to her via the internets. Behold, the sassy pants fun that is Tenacious S and Lulu drunk and dancing and listening to loud music. First stop on our tour is Smart Bar. Hot sweaty Smart Bar. At least it was in the basement.

Whew! That was fun! Anyone need another drink?

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

It's Like 1988 All Over Again

Does this haircut look familiar to anyone?

Neurotransmitter of the Day-Vol I-Dopamine

Neurotransmitters, friend or foe? They can help you get shit done or they can screw up your functioning good and proper. Today's neurotransmitter is dopamine. Too little and you end up with a disease like Parkinson's, too much and you end up with one of many forms of psychosis (well, it's a little more complicated than that, but you get the picture). Appreciate the fine line you walk each day.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Two For Tuesday

MY TEENAGE STRIDE-They Are Alone in Their Principle

Hailing from the Northeastern U.S., this band entered my radar when they were featured recently on my beloved eMusic. A bit of a throwback to the '80's bands like The Chills and The Go-Betweens, My Teenage Stride has fab melodic tunes with relatively snarky lyrics. Right up my alley.

THE GO-GO'S-Head Over Heels

So, you want to know what I look like when I dance? Watch Belinda Carlisle in this video. I suppose it's not too shocking that I dance like an '80's chick. I learned to dance in the'80's. What do the crazy kids dance like now? Do they still dance? I have to say that among my favorite memories are weekends spent in Smart Bar dancing until I was sweaty and drunk. Now that's some fun.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Unbridled Optimism

Yesterday may have been one of the most perfect days of my life. I was invited by Lulu to join two of our very best friends to go see a Cubs game. It was possibly the most beautiful day of the summer so far and a beautiful day for a ballgame. I was giddy at the thought of going to Wrigley Field as I haven't had the chance to go since we moved back to Chicago six years ago. This is a long time for me to go without my Cubs.

Yes, it's true. I'm one of those people. I am a die hard Cubs fan. Win or lose, they are my team and I will never desert them. I am one of those people who really believes that this is the year they are going to win. I am one of those people who even when the Sox won the World Series, I refused to switch loyalty. I politely congratulated the Sox fans and was happy my city had a winning team, but still turned my thoughts to next year.

I've often wondered what the secret sauce is that makes Chicagoans a very distinct breed. I am convinced that it has something to do with having to survive somewhat harsh winters, but I believe that even more than that, it has a lot to do with the Chicago Cubs. Anyone who has ever been a Cubs fan for any length of time knows what true optimism is. It's always believing that it will turn out right in the end, that there is another chance waiting, that the impossible can happen. Now imagine a whole city (or at least half of a city) filled wth a bunch of people who have taken the defiinition of optimism to heart. That's a Cubs fan. That's a Chicagoan.

Watching the Cubs yesterday reminded me that the Cubs are actually part of who I am. I would never describe myself as a sports nut, or even a baseball nut, just a loyal Cubs fan. I inherited my love of the Cubs from my mother, who watched almost every Cubs game on TV while she sewed or did other chores. She's the one who took my brother and I to games when we were young. I inherited optimism.

So, when I tell you it was a perfect day yesterday. It was indeed perfect. The weather was warm, the sun was shining, I was with my good friends, I had a hot dog and beer, I sat in Wrigley Field and of course, I watched the Cubs win. That's a perfect day.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Name That Tune!

In the midst of studying about the ethics of animal research, I suddenly thought, "Let's play Name that Tune!" I am a professional procrastinator, folks. Expect more postings from me now that I am back in class. I also crave candy-coated diversions from the far-too-meaty material presented in my courses. I nearly went insane earlier today reading research about unilateral neglect. By the time I was done reading the research, I couldn't tell my right from my left and felt my grasp of consciousness fading away.

So, on with the game! This is easy, here's how it goes. I quote some moldy old lyrics and you guess the song and artist. Simple and fun! Put your thinking caps on or climb into the way-back machine.

1. "So I'll sing you a new song."
2. "Do what they say, say what they mean."
3. "She floats like a swan, grace on the water."
4. "Don't take no rhythm, don't take no style."
5, "And you want her, and she wants you."

Have fun! Answers revealed on Monday!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Two For Tuesday

Remember when stations had gimmicky stuff like Two for Tuesdays? Oh, wait, they still do have gimmicky stuff. Anyway, I've decided that I haven't posted near enough videos lately. I feel as if I have been slacking. So, I'm thinking I'll post something old and something new on Tuesdays. Well, until I forget that I decided to do this.

First up is a groovy tune from Fountains of Wayne. I like them. They don't seem to take themselves or the world around them too seriously. Added plus, generally bouncy, trouncy music.

Next up is an oldy and the definition of one hit wonder. I was listening to the radio on Saturday when this came on and immediately felt my feet start moving. This song reminds me of a place called Phil's Beach. There are a lot of tiny little lakes in Northern Illinois near the Wisconsin border and Phil's Beach was located on one of them. It had a great canteen and one of the original waterslides. The thing was metal and floated on a raft out in the lake. The thing I liked most about Phil's Beach was that they played music over the PA system. It was classic. I think there may even be a short clip of this place in the Blues Brother's movie. Anyhow, nothing says summer like listening to The Kings "This Beat Goes On/Switchin' to Glide." Phil's Beach is gone now, but I can still get my new wave on and dance around to this one.

Monday, July 09, 2007

The Early Bird....

It's summer. No one should have to get out of bed at 5:30 a.m. in the summer. Tomorrow morning is going to suck!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

All Clean!

Because every kitty just loves a good scrubbing, I decided it was time to clean up a bit around here. I finally fluffed the old House of Ten S a bit today. I started adding some new links and made a few minor changes to the place. Hope you all enjoy your stay. And like any good cat, I won't be cleaning up again like this for a long time. I think I need to go nap in the sun now.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy 4th of July!

GALAXIE 500-Fourth of July

When I was a kid, our family was always in northern Wisconsin the week of the Fourth. It was kind of cool, because I got to experience small town celebrations of the holiday. Often we attended the parade, which was basically a firetruck and some kids on bicycles. Sometimes we'd go to the water ski show, but we always went to the fireworks display. They were modest, but good enough to make a small kid happy.

We no longer vacation the week of the Fourth. I have really enjoyed being home these last few years. I love the town I live in and they have a great fireworks show every year. It's probably the only time of the year I don't mind being in a crowd. There's something about walking down the middle of a street shoulder to shoulder with people from your community.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Adopt A Ten S

Well, I'm sure you've all heard about Lulu's upcoming adventure to Bangladesh. I am excited for her and can't wait to go visit her there. But there is indeed a problem that this has created. Lulu has been my partner in crime for more shows than I think either of us could ever put down on paper. Now I have a shortage of show going buddies and might need a stand-in. Mr. Ten S does attend many shows with me, but some of the music I enjoy is not exactly his favorite. So, please let me know if you'd like to adopt a bouncy, trouncy, flouncy, pouncy Ten S for show going amusement. I usually offer to pay for rounds of drinks and I don't run off to the bathroom to reapply makeup. You must be willing to stand close to large speaker stacks.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Home Sweet Home

The Ten S clan is finally home again. We visited several interesting places, saw good friends again and gave Californians a good reason to grow more grapes due to the sizable dent we put in our friend's wine cellar. I did not forget how good the wine is out there and our friends live in Amador county, an up and coming wine region. I can tell you that this region seems to specialize in Barbera and Pinot Noir, my two favorite varietals. Enough about the wine.

First stop on the tour was Monterey. The above picture was taken in front of a tank of jellyfish. Bink loves jellyfish. We all loved the aquarium and personally, I was way more interested in the otters hanging out in the ocean than the ones in the tank. My family is scourged with phobias, so I was unable to go out on the boat to do some whale watching. Maybe next time. I think the theme of this vacation was Phobomania. Between the lot of us we know now that collectively we have phobias of the following:


We are a twitchy bunch. We still managed to have a great time. It was just a little extra interesting at times. Guess which item on that list is mine.

We then took a tour of San Francisco, where Mr. Ten S delighted in making the kids squeal as he drove up the steepest street he coud find and then let the car roll backward just a little bit. We went to the beach and had a lovely lunch at The Cliff House. They recently restored The Cliff House which was good and bad. It now is back to one of its original footprints, which is cool, but the National Park ranger station is gone and so is the arcade of old games from days gone by. In its place is a kind of upscale restaurant, nice, but not the same. You can still watch the birds and the seals, but it has lost some of its pedestrian charm.

From there we went up to Jackson. Our friends Glenn and Sandra live there. Jackson is up in the foothills, in old mining country. The downtown area looks like an old Western town with the saloon down at the end of the street. Their house is up on the side of a hill and overlooks a beautiful valley. I enjoyed this part of the vacation most. We relaxed and played cards and drank REALLY good wine. I'm happy to say that after one night of gaming, Mr. Ten S and I were up four dollars.

Next it was on to the home of our friends Stuart and Loretta and their kids in Stockton. Stuart was the pastor of the church we attended when we lived out there. He is originally from Austalia and at one point was a race car driver. He is an anomaly. His first question for us was, "Have you ever had a passionfruit martini?" They cooked traditional Australian food for us one night and we drank, ate and talked until the wee hours. The kids all hung out and reestablished their friendships.

In the end, this trip was less about the place and more about the people. While I certainly enjoyed revisiting old favorite hangs, I enjoyed catching up with old friends more. You could have put me in a paneled basement with these people and we would have had just as much fun. I also realized that moving back to Chicago was the best thing that ever happened to me. I love where I live and I love my life here. I guess the image I have in my mind is of an empty cicada shell. Our life used to be there, but it's somewhere else now.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Presented Without Comment...

Courtesy of Nerve's Scanner blog...

It's Not Like We Didn't Warn The Boy...

I distinctly remember saying: "I really don't think it'll go down..."

Dear Faithful Readers,

When I said I wanted you all to rock 'n' roll....well, let's just say this wasn't what we had in mind. Always practice safe sex!

Truly Yours,

The Management

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Tenacious Terms, Vol I

I really don't know when exactly Tenacious S decided to abandon her GEWish roots, but I think it was somewhere around the time she decided to become an *academic*. I know academics. Some of my *best* friends are academics. I've seen what can happen when people decide to get smarter-er...

I do, however, applaud Tenacious S in her academic pursuits. I just wish she had more time to post her feelings on GEW-ology. I wish she would take her studies a little less seriously and her rock'n'roll a little more seriously.

That's why I am promoting a new concept based on old school ideas. When I was in college, I drank liberally, inhaled robustly, and studied as little as possible. I graduated and found success in my life. If it worked for me, it can work for you too! It's Dianetics for GEWs and we call it: *Slackademics*!

Study a little - you know? Just enough to be able to converse at the most superficial level on those topics that will have your friends and family thinking you're a genius! It only takes a few minutes a day, but the reward of snookering those around you and getting a high paying job in the future for those miniscule efforts is enormous.

Don't wait! Act now! Study *Slackademics* and you too will reach your full - albeit limited - potential!

Monday, June 18, 2007

And Now A Message From The Schrute

Dear Readers of Slum-acious S,

I have taken over this blog due to the inability of one *Tenacious S* to fulfill her duties in providing welcome packages to new GEWs (Dig through the Unofficial if you need more info). Consequently, this blog will now be dedicated all things *Schrutey*.

Please take this time to look through your worthless souls and realize the many times you have improperly employed a verb tense or the many times in grade school you incorrectly defined the pluperfect. Am I clear? That will do.

Tenacious S will be allowed to return only after she has returned to fulfilling her duties to our GEWish faith.

Yours In Battle,

Dwight K. Schrute
Assistant to the Regional Manager

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Smelly Unwashed Hippies

We're heading to San Francisco today. Hippies, hipsters, and a fabulous cast of thousands. See you when we get back!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

A Very Good Day for the Ten S Clan

Today my father got remarried. This is a very good thing. His new wife is a lovely woman. After such a painful recent past with the loss of my mom, it was good to go to a happy family celebration. They were both desperately lonely after losing their respective spouses and finding each other has been very healing for both of them. I met my new step-family today and they were all very nice and just as happy as we were to be celebrating.

To cap off a great day, we stopped by Harms Woods on the way home so that Bink could get to view the cicadas. There are none by our house, but the woods are full of them. After being all buttoned up at the wedding, he appreciated the chance to frolic and play with his beloved bugs for awhile. We all arrived home a little lighter, a little happier I think.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

What Do I Need?

Because I can't seem to resist a meme, I pinched this one from Lulu and discovered just how fun it was. As instructed, I googled my name and the word "needs." Oh my! I think I have some issues.

1. Sharon needs to be told to stop shooting and start talking. (I am pretty good with a squirt gun)
2. Sharon needs a new word. (Maybe one that would adequately describe my state of sleep deprivation)
3. Sharon needs more time to work out a peace policy. (Bink and Sweetness are about to be *sprung* from school. I definitely need more time!)
4. Sharon needs therapy. (duh!)
5. Sharon needs understanding. (Maybe this is why I need therapy)
6. Sharon needs to create a new special unit to do the dirty work. (Yeah, baby! Have somebody else do all the crappy stuff.)
7. Sharon needs some more money. (Again, duh! Graduate school + home project=Killer Debt)
8. Sharon needs a friend. (With Lulu leaving soon, this couldn't be more true. Who will go to all the concerts with me?)
9. Sharon needs your gowns. (My life is so posh, I've run fresh out of gowns.)
10. Sharon needs to hear from people tonight. (On second thought, no. I'll be writing a paper.)

Well, that was fun and a lovely way to avoid my homework for a few minutes.