This Goofy Thing I Did

The things you do for love.

If you know me you also know that I kind of sort of like totally really love and am maybe obsessed with the band Arcade Fire. I suppose my level of love and obsession can’t quite name me their number one fan. That title probably goes to someone younger with more energy and perhaps more predisposition to obsession. I don’t run a fan site. I don’t follow them around the country. I haven’t memorized every lyric of every song (though I know a good many). There are no Arcade Fire themed tattoos (or any tattoos of any kind) on my body. I listen to their music. A lot. I can be found regularly perusing the Arcade Fire posts on tumblr. I cannot bring myself to delete the recorded performances on Saturday Night Live and Jimmy Fallon.

Last March we made it to Minneapolis to see their Reflektor tour. It was amazing! With a good stroke of luck I was right near the stage front and center. I had ample opportunity to touch the long legs of lead singer Win Butler. For most of the 2 or so hours I stood with my hand to heart, in definite awe and definite bliss.

There was only room and budget for one Arcade Fire concert, though. They played 2 dates in Chicago recently but I knew it would be too difficult to go.

Then I heard that the lead singer, Win Butler, was going to be doing his DJ thing at a Chicago bar after one of the shows. Win Butler up close. I had to go.

I fretted. It seemed like a stupid thing to do. You know, drive four hours on a work night/school night to hang out at a bar way past my usual bedtime. But still, I had to. I have friends in Chicago with spare rooms. So I asked to stay. I talked my husband into taking the day off work. I secured babysitting for the kid by way of my parents (halfway between our city and Chicago). She would miss school, but this was Win Butler! I made it happen.

And we went.

Here’s the bad part: I got a rip roaring headache. Probably because I put on some eye shadow. Whenever I wear eye shadow I usually get a headache. Pretty much anything that could possibly cause one a headache gives me a headache. Lack of sleep, too much sleep, poor diet, msg, pms, changes in weather, stress, lack of caffeine, make-up, cleaning chemicals, wine, cheese.  I don’t really know about the cheese part, I’m just guessing. But I’m 40 years old and I was going to a bar and it was Win Butler! I really wanted to wear eye shadow.


So it’s only like 7pm and I’ve got a terrible headache and still hours to go until Mr. Butler would be arriving at the club. Because I have a certain amount of paranoia about missing out on things, I figured we should get there early in case there was a line. There was no line. And we were really early. Mark and I had one drink each and then we left the bar to wander the area. There wasn’t much to wander. We walked up and down the street like 5 times. Finally we decided on getting dessert and drinks (coffee for me) at one of the restaurants. I chose the stupidest dessert ever. It was a ginormous cookie ice cream sandwich and I ate it. It didn’t help. I don’t think dairy mixes well with alcohol. At least in my stomach.

We went back to the bar–The Beauty Bar. They offer manicures. I didn’t get one. Mark and I sat in old hair dryer chairs (the kinds with those plastic half bubbles that come down over your head). We drank and we waited. A couple other DJs played music before Win arrived. The second one was a bubbly semi-androgynous dude. Super skinny, long black hair. He was mesmerizing as he bounced about to his beats. Skinny girls holding drinks swayed nearby. Everyone else in the place looked Latin and a couple guys danced like no one was watching. I am fond of this type of dancing.

Finally he arrived. It was so weird to see him just walk in and be standing right there. I mean, when you are a fan, you know the person is real but it is still hard to make sense of it when they stand there in the flesh. So tall. And adorable. Wearing a goofy hat and a Dr. Dre shirt.

I seemed to be some sort of novelty because people kept talking to me. The androgynous dj play danced with me and told me I must be a big fan and when I said he was a good dj he held my hand to his heart. It was weird and kind of lovely. Other fans (when they arrived, after the concert got out) talked to me, too. Maybe because I’m 40. Was I an anomaly? I’m sure there were other 30-40 year olds there. Not many, but I spotted them. Win Butler is in his 30s. It’s not like I was trying to hang out with Ezra Keonig (not that I wouldn’t want to). I’m hoping I looked interesting and not out of place. Either way, people were nice.

He played for a couple of hours. David Bowie, the Talking Heads, Nine Inch Nails, Michael Jackson, Kate Bush, The Knife. I sort of danced but mostly I just stood near the DJ booth and stared/not stared. I wanted to stare. I was trying not to stare.

The conga players from his touring band had come along. They were enormously friendly Haitian guys with long braids. They shared a bottle of something (rum? something. It was strong. I had a sip because one of the conga players poured me one but I couldn’t take more than a sip). One of them gave Mark some drink tickets and urged him to head to the bar. It was fun. It was weird.

And then I left early. A four hour drive to Chicago, hanging out hours before, kid out of school, and I left early. But, I swear, I felt terrible. Terrible terrible. The headache was so bad and on top of that I was nauseated. It wasn’t because I had too much to drink. I only really had one cocktail, but the night was not agreeing with me.

Yes, I’m mad at myself for leaving nearly. If I had stayed just a half hour longer I probably could have perhaps really met him (and not just shook his hand from behind the DJ boot–this after I communicated with him a couple of times via notes on my iphone–once to ask him if Regine was sleeping :( and once to thank him for playing Kate Bush–to which he smiled and then shook my hand. God.).  But all I could think of was getting to bed and putting ice on my head. So we left and I never could really meet him and yes, I’m 40.





Memories of Meals

Before I gave up red meat at 12 (and later all meat at 17), our family ate  a lot of –

Pot Roast (meat, potatoes, carrots)

Steak (which my sister and I dipped in Western dressing. This was originally her tasty idea. Do they make Western dressing anymore?)

Turkey Tetrazzini

Something comprised of toast, melted cheese, ham, asparagus, and yes, Western dressing. This was a favorite.

Pork chops.


I also often strongly encouraged having breakfast for dinner. French Toast was a favorite.

These are the meals my daughter will have memories of (because she only likes about 8 things)–

Fake chicken burgers with a fake chicken patty, ketchup, and a white bun

Egg “tacos” –a white flour tortilla, scrambled egg, and fake bacon

Annie’s Mac and Cheese box dinner with the cheese packet (although she now says she is sick of this)

Spaghetti with marinara

Noodles in butter with parmesan cheese

Fake meat corn dogs

Cheese Pizza

Seasoned tofu and sticky rice (mostly eaten at her best friend’s house. Her best friend’s mother is Thai and she’s a wonderful cook and makes perfect sticky rice).

She will sometimes eat broccoli. She’ll eat carrots if she can dip them in ranch dressing. Cucumbers too. But salad is pretty much against her religion.



this photo makes me laugh

this photo makes me laugh

these two ladies like to compete for my attention. one cannot stand if the other is receiving love and she is not. two old ladies. betsy the dog and edith the cat. i love them, the shits.

Saturday Night

She likes to eat dry cereal (with a glass of soy milk on the side) and watch Pokemon movies. Sometimes at the same time she’ll play a game on the iPad and work on some sort of list that makes no sense to me (words with numbers next to them). She likes to make lists just like her dad. She’s like him in other ways, too. They make the same expression when they are concentrating and they have a thing for sequences and systems. 

I’m wrapping presents, eating cereal (with the soy milk in it) and listening to one of my Pandora stations. Dinosaur Jr. sings, “I feel the pain of everyone. And sometimes I feel nothing.” I know how it is. 

My chubby beagle looks at me from the couch, her chin resting on arm. She wants to be with me always. Her love is infinite. 

Dulcie got a ukelele for her birthday in August. I wish she and her dad would learn to play it already. It would be nice to hear some Ukelele around here. 

the days go by so fast

I don’t remember last week. Or the week before that. I don’t remember being 31 or 32. Last night was like most nights. I watched TV. I read some. I ate cheese tortellini for dinner. The kiddo didn’t want to work on her homework and got frustrated that she couldn’t play her video games. 

This is my life. I eat a lot of cheese tortellini. Some other nights I eat spaghetti. There is a lot of sameness. I have my ears pierced but I rarely remember to put earrings in. 

Today I remembered to wear a necklace. I was hoping it would be the start of something new and special. Alison remembering to think about her appearance! Alison will start exercising! Alison will eat more greens! Alison will finish her novel!

The days are going by and in just over a year I will be forty and I know it is going to be hard because I’m going to think MY GOD, WHAT HAVE I DONE!? Or rather, MY GOD WHAT HAVEN’T I DONE? The answer is, a lot.

AT the same time, I hate hate hate to be thinking like this because, for really reals, life is good. I have all my limbs! My kid is a good kid. My husband cooks most of my meals and gets up and shovels the walk on snow days. Plus he’s cute. I have a good job. I like my job. I make a difference in people’s lives! I love my house and my animals and my family and there really isn’t anything preventing me from getting exercise and eating better and finishing my novel except my own laziness.

And isn’t it ok not to be great? I think it is. We have to be OK with not being nobel prize winners and famous authors and wealthy and breathtakingly beautiful. I think we do. I tell myself I do. I do most of the time. 

I wear a necklace and I guess it is a small thing to help the day be different and more special. Because they go so fast and I don’t remember all the little things. I don’t want it to be that way. Even if I don’t figure it all out and get it all together and have greatness. I want it to matter anyway. 


Top 100 all time favorite movies (I think) because Nathan Bransford Said So

I’m a big fan of Nathan Bransford’s blog (etc.) and I love movies and this sort of honors my hubby too, because he is such a list freak.

So here are 100 of my favorite movies. I’m listing them with numbers, but I’m thinking that after 20 or so they can be somewhat interchangeable.

1. The Apartment (Wilder)

2. Rushmore (Wes Anderson)

3. Kiss Me Deadly (Aldrich)

4. Close Encounters of the Third Kind (Spielberg)

5. 2001 (Kubrick)

6. Splendor in the Grass (Kazan)

7. Days of Heaven (Malick)

8.Blue Velvet (Lynch)

9. The Piano (Campion)

10. Ordinary People (Redford)

11. A Room with a View (Ivory)

12. Exotica (Egoyan)

13. an angel at my table (Campion)

14. Jesus’ Son (MacLean)

15. Sex, Lies, and Videotape (Soderbergh)

16. East of Eden (Kazan)

17. North by Northwest (Hitchcock)

18. Being John Malkovich (Jonze)

19. Crumb (Zwigoff)

20. Harold and Maude (Ashby)

21. You Can Count on Me (Lonergan)

22.. Annie Hall (Allen)

23. Mulholland Drive (D. Lynch)

24. Buffalo 66 (Gallo)

25. Bottle Rocket (W. Anderson)

26. My Neighbor Totoro (Miyazaki)

27. The Shining (S. Kubrick)

28. Persuasion (Michell)

29.Rosemary’s Baby (Polanski)

30. The Royal Tenenbaums (Anderson)

31. Irma Vep (Assayas)

32. Picnic at Hanging Rock (Weir)

33. Magnolia (P.T. Anderson)

34. Touch of Evil (Welles)

35. A Bug’s Life

36. American Movie (Smith)

37. The Double Life of Veronique (Kieslowski)

38. Manhattan (Allen)

39. Slacker (Linklater)

40. The Magnificent Ambersons (Welles)

41. The 400 Blows (Truffaut)

42. there will be blood (Anderson)

43. Before Sunrise (Linklater)

44. Young Frankenstein (Brooks)

45. Breaking the Waves (von Trier)

46. My Sex Life—Or How I Got Into an Argument (Desplechin)

47. The Night of the Hunter (Laughton)

48. Hannah and Her Sisters (Allen)

49. Sweetie (Campion)

50. Beau Travail (Denis)

51. Kicking and Screaming (Baumbach)

52. Tootsie (Pollack)

53.  The Red Shoes (Powell, Pressburger)

54. Bringing Up Baby (Hawks)

55. Dr. Strangelove (Kubrick)

56. True Grit (Coen Brothers)

57. The Sweet Hereafter (Egoyan)

58. Rebel Without a Cause (Ray)

59. Raising Arizona (Coens)

60. Flirting with Disaster (D. O. Russell)

61. Adaptation (Jonze)

62. Ghost World (Zwigoff)

63. West Side Story (Robbins, Wise)

64. A Separation (Farhadi)

65. Moonrise Kingdom (Anderson)

66. This is Spinal Tap (Reiner)

67. The Big Lebowski (Coens)

68. Mutual Appreciation (Bujalski)

69. The White Ribbon (Haneke)

70. Masculin Feminin (Godard)

71. Memento (Nolan)

72. Some Like It Hot (Wilder)

73. Trouble in Paradise (Lubitsch)

74. Metropolitan (Stillman)

75. The Host (Bong Joon-Ho)

76. The Squid and the Whale (Baumbach)

77. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Gondry)

78. Chungking Express (Wong Kar Wai)

79. Vanya on 42nd St (Malle)

80. Red (Kieslowski)

81. Election (Payne)

82. Barcelona (Stillman)

83. Talk to Her (Almodovar)

84. Bad Santa (Zwigoff)

85. Shock Corridor (S. Fuller)

86. Donnie Darko (Kelly)

87.  empire of the sun (Spielberg)

88. Vertigo (Hitchcock)

89. The Best Intentions (August)

90. Naked (Leigh)

91. The Exorcist (Friedkin)

92. Stand by Me (Reiner)

93. E.T. (Spielberg)

94. Cache (Haneke)

95. L’Atalante (Vigo)

96. Duck Soup (McCarey)

97. Fight Club (Fincher)

98. Pulp Fiction (Tarantino)

99. A Place in the Sun (Stevens)

100. Say Anything (Crow)



I thought I just hated Mondays, but today I don’t much care for Thursday, either.



I like this. Loobylu had it posted on her site and I was all over it. I need to get my creativity on more, I really, really do. Also, I miss picture books. I miss bringing that huge pile of delicious looking stories and pictures home from the library. I miss discovering some truly beautiful, precious, inspiring, neato-benito, cool, artsy books for the little ones. Oliver Jeffers, Kevin Henkes, Martin Waddell, the list goes on.


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