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!