Adam Yauch

I originally posted this on Facebook, because I wanted the friends I mentioned to know I was thinking of them. But it bears repeating here.

The first time I ever heard of the Beastie Boys, I was 10 years old and at the swimming hole in Woodstock with some friends, one of whom shouted, “You gotta FIGHT! For your RIGHT!” etc. In my memory it was Christine but I doubt that’s true since I didn’t meet her until at least a year later.

I did not *get* the Beastie Boys until years later. Mostly I remember when I was 16 or 17 and used to drive around Woodstock with Hesh blasting Check Your Head.

I’m so fucking sad about MCA dying. I think when someone has been sick for so long you don’t think they’ll ever actually die. Plus, he’s MCA. Fuck, man.

The time Jay Munly saved my marriage

Ten years ago, give or take a week, I flew to Los Angeles on one of the first commercial flights post-9/11 to see my boyfriend and Slim Cessna’s Auto Club. Airport security was strange and frightening, and for the first time ever Will did not meet me at the gate, but in a remote parking lot they bused us to. He and I had only been un-broken-up for a couple of months, but I felt an intense sense of togetherness and was weary of the 2200 miles between Chicago and LA.

The Auto Club show was amazing. Will had never seen them before; I had seen them twice, which in no way diminished my enjoyment.

After the show, we said hi to the secondary front man, Munly. He recognized me and said, “What are you doing here?” I explained that I lived in Chicago, where we’d met before, and my boyfriend lived here.

“No,” he told me. “You can’t be so far apart.”

munly

That was September, 2001. In March, 2002, I quit my job and flew to Los Angeles. In July I flew back to Chicago and packed all of my things into a truck. Will flew out to meet me and we drove the truck to LA. In September, 2003, we got engaged, and in October 2004 we were married. Now we have two children and we still love the Auto Club.

Last month, almost ten years to the day, we saw Slim Cessna’s Auto Club play for the first time since Munly told us to stop living apart. When we walked into the club, he and Slim were sitting at the bar. Munly stared at me. After the show, Will and I went over to buy their latest CD. Munly said he’d known we were there to see them, even though we’d arrived so early. I wanted to tell him the story I’ve just written down, but it was late and I was tired and although he’d recognized a kindred spirit when we’d walked in, he didn’t remember us from ten years ago.

But part of me thinks maybe he did. I should have told him.

The Rock Band Problem

I’ve only played Rock Band once and I didn’t care for it, probably because I played drums and they’re about as counter-intuitive as these things come, especially if you’ve ever played real drums (not that I am any good at those either). We have Guitar Hero I and II and I like those well enough, as long as I play on Easy and am allowed to skip the songs that make my eardrums bleed (“Heart-Shaped Box” I am looking at you) and pretty much just play the one I like (yes, one, singular, and of course I mean “Tonight I’m Gonna Rock You Tonight”).

One of the things that appeals to me about Rock Band (besides having better songs, which is debatable anyway) is not having to listen to the rotten impressions of the singers (“Heart-Shaped Box” I am looking at you). Of course, you do have to listen to your friends instead. Ha!

So I’ve been thinking about possibly taking one of our friends up on the offer to play Beatles Rock Band (we have several offers, though they are all from back when the game was released so maybe everyone is over it by now) and doing vocals. But I’ve hit a snag: I swore never ever to do karaoke as long as I live. Does Rock Band count?

Pretend there is a poll here, and elaborate on your answer in the comments.

I Probably Shouldn’t Be Allowed On The Internet.

So I decided today to check out blip.fm, after noticing that one of my Twitter friends uses it. I clicked over, signed up, started DJing, and promptly broke it. I don’t know how one breaks a website like that without access to the back-end, but I feel pretty certain that if anyone could do it, I’m your girl.

I did what I always do when I break something, and pressed as many buttons as possible, as quickly as possible. It worked! It wasn’t broken at all, it just wanted me to listen to someone else’s selection. Said selection happened to be “Rump Shaker.” Oh. Yeah. Baby.

I was immediately 18 again and the oldest non-chaperon at my friend Jimmy’s Junior Prom. Ginny Riker got the DJ to play “Rump Shaker” for me and we danced. It was awesome. Somewhere I have pictures of us all dressed up.

Anyway. I am on blip.fm under the usual username and I did not break it. Yet.

It’s passage of time, Rick.

Holy mother of god. According to Twitter, today is the 15th anniversary of Kurt Cobain’s death. That is HALF MY LIFE ago. How is that possible? Not to mention that when he killed himself he had only existed to me for two years, which is how much older than him I am now. WEIRD. (This post was going to be longer, but it turns out that I wrote the rest of it five years ago.)

My kid is more punk rock than your kid.

He is feeding me pre-licked potato chips right now. That is not what makes him punk rock, it is just cute. But he is doing it while wearing a Ramones t-shirt. And as everyone who shops at Goth Topic knows, being into the Ramones is punk rock. (I am a bitter old woman who hates these poser kids and their fake punk leanings. I will have you know that I liked the Ramones way before it was cool to do so. Uh, in my age group; I am only 30.)

Here Sam dances to one of the bands at Rock ‘n Read:

And here he dances to Rebecca reading (he also shrieked a little; I should have apologized):

And here he plays King Fu Panda with his Dad, who was so tired and just wanted to go home and is a total Rockstar Daddy:

It is not easy to take a two-year-old along to something like this. It would have been easier to have a sitter or for one of us to stay home. But I am really glad that we sometimes do things that are not easy. It is good for Sam and it is good for me and Will, too.

Also: I won the raffle and got a HUGE bag full of books, CDs, t-shirts, and all sorts of other stuff. I already have three of the books, so stay tuned for a contest. Yay!

(P.S. I think your kid is punk rock too. Honest. I was just teasing.)

Dreams

When I was about 15 I heard a song on the radio. It knocked me flat on my back. It spoke to me the way music can only speak to you when you are a teenager. It was the most incredible song I’d ever heard. And the DJ did not announce the song title or artist.

I had a panic attack.

My mother called the radio station and found out what the song was. Being a teenager can be really rough, and the smallest gestures can mean the very most. My mom, being human, did not always do what I needed her to do — I have to tell you, she was deficient in the mind reading department. But that one tiny little thing, which sounds so insignificant when I write it out, was possibly the nicest thing she’s ever done for me.

I haven’t thought of that in nearly fifteen years. Tonight I’m watching My So-Called Life for the first time in nearly as long. When Patty comes in to give Angela the condom talk, she’s listening to The Cranberries. And it all came rushing back. And I thought, you know, the internet should know how awesome my mom is.