December 2007 Archives

With Family

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This time of the year we are usually surrounded by friends and family who knew us back when we were knee high to a grasshopper. Memories flood us of years past and one can get a little misty eyed just thinking about all the things that once were so important to us but now are no longer:

Cathy Quick Curl
Power Rangers
parachute pants
slinkys

You get the picture.
And that is why this video is so appropriate today. Share it with Uncle Bill. Everybody has an uncle Bill, right?

Very Bad Jews

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2091211631_77c257fe82.jpgOn my previous blog I had planned to share all about my experiences in living the life of a Jew after having grown up a Christian. But then I realized that I pretty well suck at being a Jew. In fact I am a worse Jew than I was a Christian.  And for some reason this brings me some peace.


Maybe that's because a few years ago when someone called me a "nice Jewish girl" I knew she didn't mean it as a compliment. I don't know what Jewish girls are known for but I somehow don't see myself as "nice" and I am certainly no longer a girl. Nice Christian girls are known for being teases and getting married early, right? Or something like that.

The point is, there is a lot to remember about Judaism which my brain cannot seem to handle right now. For starters, I cannot seem to remember to light my Shabbat candles every Friday. It's actually one of my favorite Jewishy things to do, but I tend to remember on Saturday or Sunday - too late. But even if I did light the candle, I still don't know all of the prayer. "Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha'olam ... " ?? I kinda dwindle off after that part.
So you can imagine that trying to recite a similar prayer eight days in a row and light candles to celebrate Hanukah  is like asking me to recite all my former phone numbers. Hell ---o. Too much!
Last Saturday night we did the Hanukah dinner complete with latkes (yum) at Mike's Aunt Sheryl's house. My brother in-law had printed out the prayer in phonetics to help us out. There we were: me, girlfriend Jen and girlfriend Kristin, all stumbling through the prayer trying not to look like we were ordering sushi in a Japanese restaurant for the first time. 

And then there's the small matter of the eight foot tree in my living room. The one with beautiful silver and blue ornaments on it(not the one above), presents under it and a big fat STAR on top. Don't you dare sass me about this. I have a child, for chrissakes! (see what I mean)

Lucky for me Mike's dad is Catholic. Hell, I might as well celebrate Visakah Puja while I'm at it. 

Fraying Around

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Because peer pressure is harder in your 30's.

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The book will be available in late January / early February.

IMG.jpg(My Going Away Party 1995 before I moved to Nashville)

A couple of days ago I got an email through my Flickr account about some very old photos I had taken from one of my previous lives as a Christian Band Aid. I do hope you have seen Almost Famous.


I can see I have some explaining to do.

There's a line in one of my old poems "In a previous life I was a saint" and I think of that every time I start to try to explain my involvement and now lack thereof in the Christian music industry. You can read a little about it here and here. But the shortest story I'll ever tell about it is this:

In the early to mid 90's I was a daytime radio personality at the contemporary Christian radio station, KOKF in Oklahoma City. One day in 1994 I drove a rented van around all day for and then new band called Audio Adrenaline that was in town doing a concert. Their drummer at the time was a guy named Brian who I began dating and continued to do so off and on for eight years. Those beginning years of our relationship I got to know some other members of the band, especially Bill McGinnis, and their manager, Scott. Said drummer was fired from the band not long after I moved to Nashville in 1995. Around 2003 I lost contact with everyone after finally ending my relationship with the drummer for good and moving to California.

For about ten years I had more than a few friends who were/are very well known in the Christian Music world. And for those of you who think that is a small world, think again. Christian music outsells Jazz, Classical, Latin, Sountracks and Bluegrass. And every year the sales increase. Christian artists are very much celebrities in the Bible belt states like Oklahoma.

Audio Adrenaline became one of the industry's top selling bands, won some Grammys and literally toured the world almost non-stop from 1994 to 2007. But last April they performed their final concert and have finally retired as a band. The person who found my photos on Flickr works for a spin-off charity of the band called the Hands and Feet Project. She seems like a nice enough girl who tells me she wants some old pictures to embarrass the guys with.

I have several good memories of those early days with the band. I went to a lot of shows and it was their manager, Scott who gave me my first ALL ACCESS backstage pass - something I cannot seem to enjoy a concert without now. I learned a lot about managing bands (later became an artist manager myself), the fine art of the head nod (what you do when you have nothing good to say to the person speaking to you), and the bizarre complications of adulation of strangers. The most useful thing Scott taught me about management is this: A good manager should have the ability to basically deliver harsh criticism (You're fired) to someone and have that person say Thank You before they walk away.

In the last week since this girl's request for my old photos I have reminisced a great deal of those years when the answer to my problems was summed up by my friends bible verse quotes and the only thing I need to not feel alone in the world was a song. I don't feel I am exaggerating when I say that Christian music sustained me during my teenage and early adult years.

Unfortunately, as I got older, my questions about the absence of God were not so easily answered. I no longer believe these lyrics in full. I remember the good times with the people who make up bands like Audio Adrenaline and dcTalk, but I also remember the severe heartache that I experienced then. When I speak about Christian music now - or even Christianity - it feels as though I am caressing old scars that are still tender to the touch.

Though Christianity, by definition is about forgiveness and acceptance, it is precisely the lack of those two things that come to mind when I recall my previous life in the Christian music industry. I watched the footage of AA's last concert and it occurred to me that what I wanted to ask those men now was this:
What did you learn on this trip since those early days when we were friends?

I want to hear the new truth.

I'm not giving my photos to this girl who politely asked for them. It would be like Penny Lane selling her story to Teen Beat. I was a part of what was. Not what is. I think I need to keep it that way. At least for now.

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O Obama

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Well, do you think he'll win now?

I worked at all three places. Deutsche Bank, Chabad of San Diego and Crowe & Dunlevy. If that's not enough to make a person hate the tap dance of office culture, I don't know what is. Which is why I can completely relate to this clip on a serious level.


tent1.jpg(She'll make a mockery of all my teen angst.)


Our Thanksgiving holiday at my sister's house was great, thank you.

But a strange thing happened when I saw my brother. I cried.

Since the day I became pregnant with my daughter the "Tears" switch has flipped on. That was nearly two and a half years ago. That's also when I last saw my brother. I was barely pregnant at our family reunion and didn't know it.

Before this there were two expressions of mine that were familiar to my family:
Stoic and Agitated.

Unfortunately, I am still often both those things. But now I am also:
Eternally Thankful and Crazy and Forgetful and Giddy and Weepy.

I am a whole new set of dwarfs waiting for my own soon-to-be-canceled sitcom.