Friday, July 31, 2009

An assortment of weekend happenings...

This is by no means an exhaustive list as there are hundreds of things to do in Austin on any given day. These are just a few of the things that stuck out for me. :)

Friday Night:

All Austin All Handmade Bash at the Beauty Bar (support your local artisans):

Miracle Berry Flavor Trip at The Belmont (for a good cause):

Peel's Farewell Show w/ {{{Sunset}}} at Baby Blue studio (support local music for cheap):

Buttercup/Deathray Davies and more play at The Mohawk (cd release party, support TX musicians):


Cupcake Smackdown (family/dog friendly plus yummy!) at One 2 One:

Room 710's Final Weekend with Pong and Foot Patrol @Room 710 (say goodbye to a great venue, they're having shows every night, but the Saturday one is the one I'd go to):

The MJ vs Prince Raspberry Criminal Party at The Scoot Inn (costume contest, great djs, custom clothing onsite, etc.):

The Steps / Southside Sanctuary cd release party at Stubb's (local music and local graphic designers):

De La Soul at Emo's (do you really need a reason?):


Free Austin Symphony at the Hartman Concert Park (a family friendly way to get cultural):

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Gadabout

n. One who roams or roves about, as in search of amusement or social activity.

See also: Synonyms of gadabout

Ugh... so apparently on Jeopardy the other day, which, along with Tyra and Judge Judy, is what people who are unemployed or stuck in their homes either without "the good tv" (i.e. cable or satellite) or much to do seem to watch, there was a person in a sparkly ascot who was introduced as a self-proclaimed gadabout. This, of all things, inspired my child's (unemployed since January for an indefinite amount of time by choice rather than lack of opportunity), father in some way. "That guy's kinda funny," was the explanation. I really don't understand this, so I'm going to say that it's probably a guy thing. Sorry guys that don't get it either, I'm blaming the Y-why-why- why- wh- wh- wh- why-Chromosome (imagine me singing into a vocoder to the tune of Jaime Foxx's "Blame it (on the alcohol)" song) for this one.

I found a link to the self-proclaimed gadabout... After reading that and seeing the clips and whatnot, from here on out, I think the term gadabout should be used to describe hipster-douchebags. My friend Leigh and I had a brief talk about hipster-douchebags on twitter the other day.

What I posted: Aren't these two groups sort of the same definitionally? :-P from @ultra8201 : Hipsters meet douchebags, douchebags. Hipsters. Mingle....

Leigh replied: @astar_alone I always thought of a hipster as more of a "fashion" person going for a certain kind of a look, certain labels. A douchebag is...
basically a guido outside of new jersey...and they don't have to necessarily be orange-skinned... so in a nutshell, hipster for "fashion" and douchebag for personality. hence a hipster douchebag in single or combo... or you can have the ultimate scenester hipster douchebag, whom of which should be avoided at all costs

My reply: @schatze78 - Based on your explanation, I'm imagining a Venn diagram: american apparel -hipsdouchesterbag- abercrombie w/circles and colors.

Here's where I tried to draw the diagram I was talking about, but with "gadabout" as the designation for the overlap:

Click for Diagram

Probably if I slept more and didn't live in an efficiency apartment with a four month old, or if I had faith that someone would magically show up to bail us out, I'd want to be a gadabout (at least so far as the pursuing fun with no consequences sort of idea/definition goes) too, but I still don't think I would've ever, even at my most hedonistic, embraced it as one of my labels because I'm a process person. I don't like labels because I know I'm going to change and outgrow most of them in short order. I wonder if there isn't a point in everyone's life where you just want... if not something else, at least MORE? If there's a point where the parties and the drinking and the hangovers get old? What does a self-proclaimed gadabout grow into? Where do you go from hipster? What's the next step in the evolution of your life?

Of course, I guess I should say that, as with greatness, some are born with a label while others have it thrust upon them. Like me with the whole Mommy thing. That's my label now. I wasn't born a Mommy... and I'm still more than just a mom. I'm not too worried about labeling what else I am right now... but gadabout is certainly NOT any part of it. <3

Monday, July 27, 2009

Trainspotting and whatnot

Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a fucking big television, Choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players, and electrical tin openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol and dental insurance. Choose fixed- interest mortgage repayments. Choose a starter home. Choose your friends. Choose leisure wear and matching luggage. Choose a three piece suite on hire purchase in a range of fucking fabrics. Choose DIY and wondering who you are on a Sunday morning. Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing sprit- crushing game shows, stuffing fucking junk food into your mouth. Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pishing your last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish, fucked-up brats you have spawned to replace yourself. Choose your future. Choose life... But why would I want to do a thing like that?

RENTON: I chose not to choose life: I chose something else. And the reasons? There are no reasons. Who need reasons when you've got heroin?

This movie is one of the first things I saw in the theater when I got to college. My parents kept us from seeing Rated R movies in the house until after I was 17. Trainspotting was far and away the most liberating, horrible, and changing thing I'd seen up to that point. I'd never seen anything about drugs other than Health class films. I'd never known anyone in a club scene. It was sort of a crash course in a whole other world. I even read the book. (The glossary was a huge help since it's written in dialect.) I chose to read this book and watch this movie. I chose to bail on the goody two shoes life and be someone radically different in college... and not having the tools to deal with that choice, I got crushed like a bug by people who take advantage of people who are anxious to lose their innocence. I tried on a hundred different suits and I survived it but that's not the point here.

I didn't choose a regular life with the washers and dryers and game shows and all of that because I wanted to know more than that, because I wanted to experience other things. I still haven't chosen whatever life that is because I still want something more than that. I don't look down on the people who have all that, it's a nice life if you can swing it, and who knows? Maybe one of these days I'll turn into someone who wants that stuff, but for now, I mainly just want enough to get by and maintain my artistic integrity. I will never sell my soul for a job just to get THINGS... but I'm starting to feel the pull to get things for my son. It's weird, I want him to have EVERYTHING, but I don't want him to be spoiled. It'll be interesting to see how this plays out in the future.

History and its place.

Tomorrow makes it a year since I found out I was pregnant officially. I'm one of those people who, once I've discovered something interesting or out of the ordinary, starts noticing every little thing about it and I'd noticed alot of strange things happening to my body. I thought that I'd hit my head too hard while playing soccer and had finally shaken something loose in there because I was clumsier than I'd been since Junior high and kept getting dizzy and had other issues. (Eight concussions including a very severe one my senior year of highschool made me a little paranoid about aneurysms and damage and whatnot.) Turns out, it wasn't that at all. Turns out that I wasn't brain damaged, and that I wasn't finally losing it. Turns out that yes, my world HAD shifted and I was unbalanced because my center of gravity had completely changed both physically and in every other possible way.

Science has come so far that once I went to the doctor we were able to track back to the very day James was conceived. But before that, sitting at home 20 days after the fact, holding my breath, it took mere seconds for the official word in black digital on the pregnancy test to abruptly appear: Pregnant

I forgot to breathe for a little while right then and every possibility ran itself through my head from abortion to adoption, from running away and not telling anyone to killing myself, I had to sit down for a while. I wanted a cigarette more than anything in the world, but when I went and found my pack, all I could do was look at it, crush it in my hands, and throw it away. At that moment, basically the choice was made, but there was a great deal of agonizing over it after, of course. From that day through the present and for the rest of my life though, my center of gravity is my baby. James. My world revolves around him.

I've been keeping notes on my facebook page. I've been debating over transferring them here or just leaving them there and starting over.

It's hard when your whole life has been turned upside down and inside out not to grab at the familiar. Not to hold onto what was. New things are scary. New routines, new people, new selves. I'm not ever going to be the same girl I was a year ago. I'm still trying to figure out what sort of girl I am. Or woman really. I think that maybe one of the hardest parts of all of this right now is that girlhood really is over.

James isn't hard to care for. It's easy to take care of this baby. He's happy and healthy and active and wonderful. It's the rest of things that are hard. Taking care of me. Taking care of the bills, the chores, being back at work. All of that is hard. Trying to figure out how to interact with James' father without crying about it (the loss of one of my best friends, the fact that his life is basically the same and mine absolutely isn't, the fact that all of our friends still go out with him alot and I haven't even seen hardly any of them). Trying to figure out how to keep my friendships together, how to make new mommy friends, how to maintain a new relationship with a new guy, or how to let him go and just be grateful for the time he's been here helping me if that's what he wants.

What's hard is figuring out how to organize everything so that it fits. Knowing what to leave behind and what to keep. Maintaining order for my child when I've always been a sort of disordered person. Trying to cut out all the drama I used to have swirling around me. Drama is for the bored. I don't think I'll have time to be bored again. It's alot easier to let things go when you don't have time to think about them. Of course, when I do have time, everything sort of just crashes right on in and I have to deal with it in a big pile all at once instead of having little bits on a regular basis. I've found that I cry harder, but for shorter periods of time than I did before.

Anyway, I'm not complaining, or well, maybe I am, but I don't think I'm the only one among the mothers who has these thoughts.

I'm not going to cheese this blog up with fluffy platitudes or pretend I'm an uber-mom or that a gentle series of rainbows and stars came out of my uterus in the delivery room and were handed to me with my perfectly clean child. This isn't the movies. The reality of right now is that I love my child with all my heart, I would seriously harm anyone who ever harmed him, and I love to play with him, watch him learn and grow, but some days, his smile and the promise of others in our future together, is basically the only thing standing between me and taking a dive off a really tall condo building. :)

To get back to the real point of this. History and its place. I think I might repost some of the blogs I wrote a while back here and there, just to have some of the background here, but for the most part, I just want to move forward. I'm not that girl anymore. That's not my life anymore. I am a mom. My life is something else.

20 questions about motherhood...

1. How old were you when your first child was born?

2. What month and year was your youngest child born?

April 2009

3. How did you feel when you first found out you were pregnant?


4. Who did you tell first?

My sister.

5. How many pounds did you gain during your first pregnancy?


6. What did you crave while you were pregnant?
Tacos, chicken wings, creme brulee, coke classic, macaroni and cheese, hamburgers, steak, odwalla super food (the green one), seaweed salad, chocolate pudding, human touch

7. Did you find out the gender of your first child? Why or why not?
Yes. I needed to be able to at least try to plan and it helped me feel more connected and less scared of him.

8. Did you have any complications during your pregnancy?
I had Costochondritis and Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy

9. How much did your first child weigh?

8lbs 1 oz.

10. Was your first child early, late, or on time?

Exactly on time, practically to the hour. 8:40am.

11. What is the most difficult challenge or health issue that any of your children have faced?
So far, James is pretty much the healthiest and happiest kid I know about.

12. What's your favorite part of being a mom?

"Talking" with James. Seeing his face light up when he sees me.

13. Do you think it's easier to be a mom or a dad?

If you're a single mother like I am it looks a whole lot easier to be the dad.

14. What is the best piece of advice you could give to someone who is about to have their first child?
It's okay to be confused and to love so much you hurt. It's okay to not know who you are at first because you really won't recognize yourself in the mirror for a while. Get as much sleep as you can, take good care of yourself, and plan before the baby gets here because once the baby's here, there's just no time.

15. Did you always think you'd have kids?
Certainly not.

16. What's been the biggest surprise about motherhood?

When you think there's nothing left, but then there is. I had no idea I could do this or how, but somehow I just am. I can always find the energy somewhere to play with and take care of James even if I haven't slept in days.

17. Are there things you miss about life before kids?
I miss going out. I miss spontaneity. I miss the days when I spent hours trying to figure out what parties or shows I was going to every week. I miss sleeping.

18. How many children do you have?

19. Do you plan to have any more children?

No, but I didn't plan to have James until after he was already on his way. I think that every child needs a sibling, so there's a distinct possibility that I'll have another at some point.

20. Who's the mom that you admire most?

Yo mama. :P

Friday, July 17, 2009

What's in a name?

I was never a hipster, but I went to hipster parties and shows, drank hipster beer, and I wore hipster-lite clothes. I was into American Apparel before alot of people. I was one of the first to buy a shirt from Threadless. I like bands that no one's ever heard of. I've totally made fun of people for their lack of taste in music or for not knowing who the "coolest band ever" was... even though that title was awarded to different new bands at random and often. I guess maybe I fit the hipster definition pretty well, even down to the denial part. What can you do?

Anyway, my life changed pretty dramatically when I discovered that I was pregnant, and even more so now that I have a delightful baby boy, but I still love the music and spreading the word about the next big thing. I love the fashion. I still love the feeling of finding out about a cool party and RSVPing and getting on the list. I love telling people about the cool stuff going on, especially the cool free stuff since some of us are working for two now.

This blog is going to be a mix of everything: from my thoughts and feelings on life and my kid and whatnot, to what I love musically, and cool things I find to do or get.

Here's what the Urban Dictionary says about Momsters. But I like the idea that maybe it's a hipster who grew up a little bit and became a mom. <3