Thursday, March 30, 2006

Songs from the Year of Our Demise.

Jon Auer's record release show is April 27th in Seattle, WA at The Sunset Tavern, and there will be a show the next day in Portland, OR at Towne Lounge.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Back in my little town...

Darian and I were going through my old yearbooks mostly so we could make fun of all of the wall of hair people in the late 80's/early 90's. There were plenty of girls with The Claw on the top of their heads and spiral perms. (It was a sad time for hair.)

We were flipping through all of the senior pages. They were filled with people making quotes such as "Carpe Diem" and "Party on dudes!" and whatever other typical quote you might expect. Everyone had either a half page or a full page filled with nicely typed out poems and baby photos juxtapose to senior photos.

Then we got to my page. (I will scan it in at some point if I get around to it)
I took my half page and turned it into a collage of photos and drawings and doodles. It is pretty hard to miss as it is the only one like it.

My senior quote, which means something entirely different to me now than it did then:

“It is folly to expect men to do all that they may reasonably be expected to do”
-Richard Whately

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Give me my magic beans.

Memory triggers. I have so many of them.
Certain actions, flavors or scents remind me so vividly of people or things sometimes. Today the trigger is coffee.

I have been having a love affair with coffee since I was 15 when my first boyfriend took me to my first cafe'. It was this little cafe' in the middle of Nordstom in downtown Anchorage. (I know, by Seattle standards this hardly counts as a cafe' but this was Alaska in 1989. It was a cafe'. ) I loved that place and I was so crazy about the boy.

Coffee or tea was $0.25. You dropped a quarter in a little cup and helped yourself. All of the "alternative" kids would congregate there after school or when they were skipping school. There was always someone writing or drawing in a journal. There was always political commentary about what was happening in the world, where the next protest would be, the next dance and so on... It was a safe haven for all of the misunderstood kids, the misfits if you will.
For some of them it was the only place they would feel accepted all week, a place to detox from the bullies at school. For a long time it was a secret, almost magical, home away from home "where everybody knew your name". The irony that the cafe' was set up smack in the center of a store known for propagating conformity was not lost on any of us.
Eventually security started to run us out of the cafe'. They didn't like the look of all the strange hair colors and white makeup and lipstick on boys I guess. They said it was not the sort of clientele they were looking for.

The boy is no longer alive, but I still think of him and that magical time sometimes when I am having my morning coffee.
I have to wonder what he would be doing right now if he were alive. What would he think about what I am doing with my life? Would he be married? Would he have kids? Would we still be friends?

If he had not died would I still think of him while sipping my morning coffee?

Goodbye my friends.
I hope I get the chance
to know you again,

But not too soon
because I've got a lot to do
to make up for all of your
lost time.

Did it hurt when you finally let go?
Or was it in the blink of an eye?

Well, I need to know
so I won't afraid when my time comes to
be with you again.

I miss you.

-JD's Song DJL

Monday, March 27, 2006

After turning on the news & seeing nothing but pain for the last 72 hrs...

This was just the shot in the heart I needed.

We’re all equal in the face of what we’re most afraid of...

On Saturday morning something jerked me out of sleep at a few minutes before 7AM. I didn't think anything of it then.
Around 10AM I got the first call.
Did you hear anything?
Do you know anything?
Was it close to you?

I went up the street a few blocks and confirmed there was major police activity happening up the road.
My relatives had been calling all day, I guess that happens when your neighborhood and street make national news.
A lot of my relatives have not seen me since I was a teenager so in their minds I am still the little goth/punk girl who would have been at one of those parties.
The truth? The latest confirmed victim was only 3 years older than my own daughter. I'm looking at this heartbreaking tragedy not only through the eyes of someone who would have easily been at one of these parties ten years ago and know what types of bonds these kids have, but mostly through the eyes of a mother who can't understand what would make someone do something like this. I can't even begin to fathom what the parents of these kids must be thinking. I try to put myself in their place in my head and I just cry, want to be sick, and want to put my daughter under lock down indefinitely. I know that is impractical, but nothing about the events of this weekend were practical or logical. I don't think there is anything that could've been done to prevent it either. I don't blame the rave. I hope it helps with stricter gun control laws, but who knows if even that would make a difference?
I question the age of some of the kids who were at a party at 7AM, but then I remember when I was 15 and how I would tell my parents I was going one place and I would really end up staying at places very similar to the house where this particular party took place.
With each generation our young people get older, are faced with bigger problems, more temptations and more pressures. I doubt many of the parents of kids who were at the party really knew that their kids were there. They probably thought they were staying the night at friend's houses.
It is a part of youth, a right of passage if you will, to sneak out and get into a little trouble. To stretch your wings and try things out for yourself. Most of the time the kids don't find themselves in potential war zones or in the center of history making violence.
This is the kind of thing that parent's nightmares are made up of. This is the kind of thing that will haunt me forever. I will think of it every time my daughter leaves the house for her remaining teenage years. The same way I remember that little 11 year old girl snatched outside of the car wash walking home in broad daylight and later found dead, when my daughter begs to walk to the store on her own. Or Adam Walsh who's story has haunted me since I was younger than he was when he disappeared and who I think of every time my daughter tries to leave my sight in a grocery store even now. Or how I think of the children of Columbine every time I send my baby to school.
The ghosts of these kids will pepper every decision I make from now on whether it is conscious or not. I will think of them in 6 years when my daughter asks to go to a dance or a party on her own. I will think of them when I am considering letting her have her own car and the freedom that goes with it.
My heart goes out to their mothers.

"When the moment strikes
it takes you by surprise and
leaves you naked in the face of death and life
there is no righteousness in your darkest moment
We’re all equal in the face of what we’re most afraid of
And I’m so sorry
for those who didn’t make it
and for the mommies who are left with their heart breaking
Search for meaning in sores
The sentences they might form
It’s the grammar of skin
Peel it back, let me in
Look for hope in the dark
The shadow cast by your heart
It’s the grammar of faith
No more rules, no restraint"

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