Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Natural Snow Buildings - Monsters/Depths 7"

One of my favorite recording artists these days are Natural Snow Buildings, and they've recently released a 7" vinyl record called Monsters/Depths. (Those are two different songs/links, ahem). Seeing as how they have no issue with people digitizing and sharing their music (listen to this interview), I thought I'd help those of you who were not able to obtain one of the 300 existing copies of this record. This music is crack for those of us who are addicted. If you are not yet addicted, obtain as much of their material as you can (it is virtually all available online if you look for it) and try to listen to everything at least once. If you don't hate, it may soon grow on you. Even my seven-year old has started humming along.

Friday, May 18, 2012

You don't need that, really

Sometimes I make myself miserable because I want to help people, and I think I know what they need, but they won’t take it. Today I realized I’m wrong to assume I know what anyone needs. Maybe my husband’s IBS won’t be cured by a gluten-free or lactose-free diet. Maybe no one will truly benefit from the “insights” I think I’m doling out on my various blogs, twitter, etc. Perhaps I have been fooling myself to think that my creative writing could make certain people feel less alone in this world, or that I can change the world for the better with the lovely child I helped create with my husband.

Who am I to think I know what anyone needs?

Things are what they are – or what you make of them.

Now even if someone were to come up to me and say, “I need X,” I can’t trust their assessment. Perhaps they are fooling themselves, and if I give them X, then it really won’t help the way they think it will. So, no, Daughter, you do not need every Rainbow Magic Fairy book, anymore than Husband needs the house to be sparkling clean and neat every day of the week.

Likewise, there are things I think that I need – and I am probably wrong about most of them. I don’t really need that piece of chocolate right now, nor every Paavoharju track ever recorded. I also don’t really need to go on this knitting tour of Iceland

See, now we are getting into the realm of wants and desires, and that is a whole ‘nother can of tuna.

Oh I could send myself to the crazy house with this kind of thinking, I know.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Drop the magazines if you know what's good for ya

You’ve probably read the research saying that women have decreased self-confidence after spending time with a typical women’s magazine. I just experienced that with Seattle magazine, which reviews fancy local restaurants. I looked at all these fabulous places to eat and had a moment of sadness, because fine dining just doesn’t work out well for our family. I’m gluten-free, lactose-intolerant, and mildly allergic to pork. My husband is the classic picky eater who prefers a simple soup and sandwich or pizza to just about anything else, and who always manages to get sick if he goes to a restaurant and spends more than $50. On top of it all, I have a little kid, and you know what that means. All these things conspire to assure that I rarely, if ever, get to go to a “nice” restaurant.

Going to a fine dining establishment means I have to spend an hour online perusing menus to find some place that that actually has something my husband will eat. Basically, there has to be chicken breast, halibut, or pizza, prepped in a manner that will not bring out his inner paranoia about food safety, shellfish or raw animal flesh. Once I find the one or two places that will work for him, I look to see if there’s anything I can eat, beyond “Caeser salad, hold the croutons.” Once the restaurant is picked, the sitter has to be lined up. Usually by the time all this is figured out, the restaurant is already completely booked for the night.

So I felt a little sorry for myself, reading this Seattle magazine. But then I realized something truly awe inspiring: I am happy to be the mother of a small child. I love the fact that I know what foods give me trouble, so I can avoid them. I love the fact that my husband is a picky eater, because it gives me leverage when he wants to watch a movie I don’t want to see (“I’ll watch this movie that will scare me and make me cry and run to the bathroom multiple times, after you come with me to a sushi place and eat raw fish, mkay?”) I love my family and my life the way it is. I don’t need fancy restaurants!

Likewise, those women’s magazines? I won’t let them make me feel crappy about myself. I would rather have the body I have than spend lots of time and money trying to look like someone I’m not.

Even “O” magazine depresses me, with all its “here’s how you can be happy and find your true calling” types of articles. Whatever my true calling is, I’m already doing it, or I’m on my way there, whether I’m conscious of it or not. Telling me I could be happier, does not make me feel good because it implies there’s something wrong with the way I am now. And there’s not. So just stop already.

Now the only thing I need to make me happier is to stop looking at these magazines entirely, hmm? Back to the books.