Rockin’ Codgers

Last week my son and his family flew from Seattle to Detroit to visit Al and me. It was so fun to spend so much time with them. Breakfasts! Dinners! Baseball on television! Owen, Owen, Owen:) The first night, I picked them up at the airport, made dinner for us, and fed Owen chicken and string cheese. He played with his new toys and the other unbreakable things I had left around in my child-proof sweep. Then Owen had his bath and bedtime in the nursery nook I made in the guest room.

Al missed all that having gone to the Rolling Stones concert and not returning until 10 am the next day. No, I did not know he would be out all night. He usually comes home. About 5 am I went looking for my phone and there was a mostly inscrutable text about lost keys and dead phones. So. I texted the number (not Al’s) many times and made many calls but to no avail until maybe 7 am when Al called and explained his story which has nothing to do with other women and is complicated and a little tedious.

Saturday my family and some friends came over and wow was I knocked off my feet. I have been crutch-less for 11 days and so thought I could handle a big bash, but my feet, legs, knees, and entire body ached by the time everyone left. Worth the long happy day. My little Owen is a joy and none of my family had met him yet! I love my son beyond words and I had to hold myself back from grabbing him and hugging him too much. But I got in quite a few and goes without saying Owen was hugged almost constantly. Al worked his butt off for the party and our special day on Friday (we got to babysit all day!) with Owen too,

Now I am home alone. Al is helping his dad move and the kids are at a lake house up north. I could have gone but I needed a day. My editor sent me a few scene adds and on top of the writing I needed to rest and recover and have done that. Donna is coming over for lunch tomorrow (plenty of left overs as we always make way too much food) and I will be happy for a girlfriend day. In the middle of all this joy and the Al hoopla we lost a good friend, one of Donna’s oldest friends and somebody special to me. The kids had plans the night of the service so Al and I were able to pay a visit to the funeral home and that toast at dinner with many friends to our dear pal. Too sad. 58 years old. Cancer sucks.

RIP Cindee
RIP Cindee

Today I watched a movie about Al Pacino as an aging rocker ala Neil Diamond (so, really not a rocker at all) who gets a letter 30 or so years late from  John Lennon in response to his first interview. It would be like me getting a letter from Erica Jong, except Al Pacino’s character was rich and famous. So, really not the same except artist gets letter from idol. Pacino decides to change his life and become the man and artist he always wanted to be. I think I have mostly done that. I mean, honestly, I didn’t have a choice to sell out, haha. Which it turns out is probably good. Annette Benning was in the film. What movie is not made better by her in it???

Then to cleanse my palate I watched Montage of Heck, the Kurt Cobain doc on HBO. It made me cry. They had family video of Kurt at his first birthday and Frances Bean on hers and on Saturday Owen had a pre-birthday cupcake as his first birthday is in just a few weeks. Owen’s first sugar looked like Elmo, which his mom decorated, although I made the cupcakes. And the potato salad. Al made ribs. Aunt Louise brought copious amounts of dessert. Much wine and other spirits were imbibed.

Me, Dad & Owen
Me, Dad & Owen

I was thinking if Kurt had lived he’d be a bit of codger now. Look at Foo Fighters. I have finally forgiven DG. If Courtney can forgive him, I can. I was 36, Mike’s age, when I first saw and heard “Smells Like Teen Spirit” on MTV. I asked Mike if he has found any new bands or is that going away for him too. I still find them, but less and less. Mike says same. Al just keeps listening to the same ones from when we were kids. Owen seems like he might be a drummer as his favorite toy was a spoon and a Tupperware container that he banged on every day.

This post is a montage of me this week. So many things with Kurt in his early years reminded me of my life when I was that age. That angst he captures so well in Teen Spirit. I’d recommend if you’re a rocking’ codger you look for Kurt’s doc, but be ready with tissue. I can’t figure out if music and writing saved him or killed him or if he just had low serotonin because of the heroin. Courtney gives her opinion. Watch it and tell me what you think.


xmas 09 064

When you need to make an important decision but your head is chaos-ridden with yes, no, maybe, but, and if as well as and then that it’s difficult to see which direction to go. I had just such a quandary this morning. I needed to post an entry here because I need to write, and right now, today, a blog post is the quantity of words spilled and time spent will see me through until I can get more writing time. Because blogs are shortish and take less than an hour. Mostly.

So what to write about? There’s been this thorn in my side concerning “rules” ~ you know what I mean: Ten Things to Never Blog About, Ten Terms Bloggers Need to Know, Ignore These Blogging Musts at Your Peril. Articles, entries, posts, tweets, links, and rants with this type of instructional title used to grab my attention and then invariably cause misery as I realized that “Gee, I hardly ever post photos with my entries and it says here that photos are a must.”  And I could kill this darling “Don’t write about writing. Too many people are already doing it.” Yes, and I’m one of them. Sometimes I comfort myself with the ego boosting thought that I’ve been doing this for a long time. (See title. That’s my number of posts). Oh yes, and there’s the rule that titles need to mean something. Well, mine does, but you have to read a while to get it.

Tell it to Shakespeare. His editor (if he’d had one) would still tell him that “you can’t make an idiot say wise things, so strike out To Thine Own Self Be True  Polonius’s advice to his son.” But Bill is set on the phrase, argues for it, and Bill’s boss thinks, hmm, his last play didn’t do so bad, so says “Go ahead, keep it. But give the speech to Hamlet.” Shakespeare is much older than I am and wrote more words. Also better words. Than anyone ever. I’m just saying. Someone somewhere would try to tell him how to do things better.

One of the wisest writing rules I’ve ever come across is “break every rule.” Both theme and title of Carole Maso‘s refreshing book on writing. As a writing teacher, and a person who has written a book about writing, this is something it doesn’t pay the bills to trumpet over the vastness that is the internet. But merely adding a few words: “Learn the rules, then feel free to break them” goes down much easier on teenagers who do not know why we still insist nevermind is two words. KC knew there were two words there. He didn’t care.

Without even realizing it, I’ve got a blog-sized post. (I read a rule they should be 250 words, but I think four or five paragraphs is respectable.) It was not what I intended to write about. I wanted to say that I know I made the correct decision not to leave my writing desk in the middle of March for a sunny vacation. I know this because when I woke up this morning, and sat at my desk, I was filled with joy.