The Man Crush

What’s up with the man crush? First of all, let me say I am the least homophobic person on the planet, and indeed, I think the more liberal America has become, the more okay they are with the man crush. However, I am not okay with the man crush!!

When men crush, they crush hard. They wrestle each other, they exchange adorable witticisms, and to be sure, they act, well not really adorable at all.

Maybe I am just bitter and jealous of my husband’s current man crush. The two exchange witty banter on Facebook ad nauseam, and I am really tempted to add my comment, “Why don’t you guys just get a room already?”

When my son did his latest School of Rock performance, Man Crush came. He did not sit at our table but hovered by the bar sending drinks over to my husband. I guess he did not want our ‘fierce competitiveness’ to get in the way of his good time.

Of course my husband spent a good portion of the afternoon at the bar entertaining Man Crush. My daughter kept asking me, “Where’s daddy?’ to which I answered, ” At the bar making out with Brian.”

Today is Valentine’s Day. My husband posted a very nice comment to me on Facebook along with a YouTube link to a Paul Westerberg song. I thought this was all very nice and sweet, and commented in that vain,  but I did wonder, why Paul Westerberg? I don’t really like Paul Westerberg. Within minutes I say that Guy Crush commented on the post as well. ‘Paul Westerberg, awesome,’ he said. Ah, it is all becoming clear to me now!

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The Infinite Wisdom of Anjelica Bean

During my tween and teenage years, Ronnie James Dio was one of my favorite artists. I loved Dio, I related to Dio, I worshipped Dio! I would come home from a day of being teased at school for liking rock music and I would blast Ronnie James Dio’s music, and suddenly all their words would seem so small.

Growing up without a father wasn’t always easy. I know this is going to sound silly, but in my messed up teenaged mind, sometimes I let Dio fill that void.

"Dad?"

“Dad?”

"Child!"

“Child!”

Dio died of cancer in 2010. He was 65 years old. When I heard this news, I was saddened that the world had lost such a great artist, but I also felt like I had lost a friend. And with this loss, a chapter in my life had closed.

Now, so many years later, my son has been assigned to play bass on one of Dio’s songs for his School of Rock Show. Obviously, this song, “Rainbow in the Dark” has been playing in our house on a fairly regular basis.

It was after one of my son’s practice sessions, that my daughter, in all her 6 year old wisdom and sagacity, said,

“If that guy Dio was alive today… I’d thank him for the best song ever.”

Am I proud that my daughter appreciates heavy metal music? Of course. Am I glad that my daughter seems to have inherited my love for Ronnie James Dio? You bet I am!

But this goes so far beyond a genre and an artist. This is about the gift of music. This is about the gift of a song.

My Mom Will Probably Kill Me

Another one from my son Jesse saving rock and protesting homework…one kid at a time!

Crazy Little Sister

This is a song that my son performed at his School of Rock Acoustic Tuesday performance. He was called up last minute when one of the other kids didn’t show up but despite him not quite being prepared, I still think he managed to shine through. Re my post ‘Calling All Rock Stars’, I am looking to my son to save the future of rock n’ roll…one kid at a time!

Play Dates from Hell

As the mother of two, I am currently play dating with about 7 mothers.  As a somewhat unsocial type, I never thought my social calendar would be so full.  I guess it’s partially my own fault because I feel that if I schedule a play date for my daughter, I should probably schedule one for my son, which has me running all over Hell’s half acre trying to get this one here and that one there and get this one from here and that one from there.

But what I have come to expect is that for every child that wants to hang out, there is a mother who also expects, a chit chat at the very least if not a whole afternoon of gossip, sitting on the sidelines of whatever park, pool or cultural center we have picked for the afternoon, while hoping our children are polite and don’t beat each other to a bloody pulp. This was not the norm when I was a child, but, as they say, it’s a different time. This makes no sense to me but obviously translates to the fact that I will have to be social with parents well into my children’s teenage years i.e. there is no end in sight.

Now of course some of these women are truly lovely, but who wants to hear about them? Much more interesting is Sara, the recovering alcoholic and divorcee who left me and my child waiting for her and her daughter for two hours when we last play dated. She often questions her mothering skills and her house is a mess,  and I don’t mean a delightful, lived in, clothes strewn on the floor mess. I mean like dishes in the sink with remnants of food that are ready to get up and walk away mess.

Now let me introduce you to Mariam. Mariam seemed like a nice, sensible woman until I recommended her son join my son in one of his classes at School of Rock. Apparently my son and I are now responsible for the measure of her son’s success or failure in the class, to the point where she is insisting my son come every weekend to help her son practice, visits which are, as far as I can tell, completely fruitless.

And finally, there is the lovely Lucy who invited me to her Pasadena townhouse to show me  ‘her world’ which consists of her handmade clothing and self decorated bedrooms and bathrooms. She also bought clothing for my daughter in the hopes that she would be there to model the clothing. Alas, she was not as she, of course, had a play date of her own. I know Lucy probably sounds lovely and well she is, but the whole thing smacked a bit of heartbreaking desperation and favors I couldn’t possibly return.

So what is play date etiquette here? I could just never call these women again and hope my children don’t request another play date, a prospect that truthfully racks me with guilt not to mention awkward run-ins at the supermarket or schoolyard. So what do you say? It’s not you, it’s me? We just got out of something serious and it’s too soon to make a commitment? We need some space? Or maybe we should just choose the brutal truth and say: Listen lady, just because our kids are friends DOES NOT mean we have to be friends.”

And while on the subject of play date etiquette, I wonder, how long do you wait between play dates before you call again? If the three day rule applies in dating, do we then translate this to a 3 week rule? And how far in advance does the play date need to be planned? Do we just casually call the night before and say “Hey, if you guys aren’t doing anything tomorrow… because, you know, we’re not desperate or anything…”