6.30.2006

rejection letter

How strange that this rejection letter somehow felt uplifting and makes me more determined to keep playing, get better, and find my band.
----

Liz,

It was truly a pleasure meeting you last night. I think that if we had a bias about girl drummers before, that is all gone. Your explanation about reading that book that challenged you to consider doing what you want with your life was excellent. If you don’t mind, could you send me the name of the book?



So…regarding music: The overwhelming response we felt and discussed after you left was why didn’t you start playing drums five years ago? If you had, we definitely felt that we would have found our drummer. The only issue we have right now is that we really can’t wait for you to get to the level that you certainly will be and we need you to be. We all commented how amazing it was for someone to be at your level after only a few months of playing.

There is no doubt in my mind that you will land in another band shortly. Your attitude and love for playing music is obvious. This might sound strange but do let me know what you are doing musically as I’d love to see you play.

Regards and best of luck,

(name of bassist inserted here)

---

this is the book that inspired me to begin drumming:
[http://www.livewhatyoulove.com/pages/books.html]

6.29.2006

audition update

so i found hayward, ca without a hitch. they practice in an empty space that used to be a bank.

Bass: he looked like Cameron from Ferris Bueller's Day Off and had similar mannerisms. He was so nice and the main contact during this whole operation. He pulled up in an sweet audi.

Singer: he strolled in late. he had a warm smile and overgrown, droopy curls in his hair. He is from Poland.

Guitarist and studio-in-his-house guy: he is like a matthew sweet, grown-out hair guy. He doesn't like to make eye contact much and his whole life is music. making it, recording it, perfecting sounds, etc.

***

Setting up my kit went smoothly. They arranged themselves so they would be facing me while we played the songs. This did not intimidate me as much as it should have. i had nervous tingles in my fingers and arms like the feeling of waiting to perform on a stage. it was a happy, exciting energy listening to the lead guitar heading into song #1. I enter both songs perfectly on beat and maintain a pretty steady rhythm throughout. this was my goal. I did, however, drop a stick here and there when I would relax too much and try to look around, away from my cheat sheet. I honestly don't know if they noticed cos they were all focused on their own thing and it was pretty noisy. I didn't feel too worried about it. The singer struggled hitting his notes and the guitar and bass had some slip-ups (I only know because they said so). I rocked song #2 all over the place! We played both a few times and some misc. sounds as well.

They played a click track and that helped me to stay on beat, it was like my water wings. This took a lot of the pressure off. they planned to do this before I came, so I can't say it was an indication of my playing.

I feel I delivered what a week's worth of my hard work can present. it felt good. like driving a car. my hands and feet knew just what to do.

We talked a lot and laughed some after playing songs. It felt comfortable, like I had known these guys for a while. It appears as though they are looking to record their drummer into already-recorded songs and play live gigs every month. I think if they were patient with me and willing to take a chance, I could be that drummer.

While driving home, I had a peaceful feeling of accomplishment. I set out to take a risk and try something new and I did it. I was scared and nervous and unsure of myself, but I did it. And that feels good.

I don't think I am the puzzle piece to their open spot and that's feeling more alright than I though it would. Their astonsihment of me only having 4 months under my belt was reward enough for me.

6.28.2006

no sleep..till brooklyn

tomorrow at 7pm i will be drumming my little heart out. i can't remember trying so hard for something so exciting since trying to snowboard a halfpipe in Tahoe. eating meals seems like stealing time away from the drumming. taking mental breaks from trying too hard. practicing so hard.

my arm is weak from the constant hitting of the hi-hat cymbals. my stress level is up and there are so many little details in the songs I have to ignore because it would take me a couple more weeks to incorporate them well into the basic beats I have somewhat mastered. Trying to pull all of them together at this point would throw off the rhythm in the codes I have cracked and cause a ruckus of noise. Must go with basics and hope they realize a week isn't enough time to perfectly master one song, let alone two.

confidence from yesterday turned to mush during spots of frustration today. getting some things wrong and dropping a stick a few times. I have to mentally release the stress from my shoulders as I play and can hear it in my playing once I ease up. it's amazing how well I sound when I am not thinking about it and actually relax. how can i feel that way tomorrow in front of 3 strangers? and my one chance with them to shine?

they will look to me to carry the beats and i will look to them for the musical cues and transition from verses to chorus. will they be in sync? will they sound anything like their recorded selves? Or will it be chaos that greatly distracts me from my playing? I have no idea what it will be like or how I will do under pressure.

I have to continue to remind myself that this is a fun and exciting experience and it's not a reality t.v. series where people will make fun of me if I screw up. I will most likely never see any of these guys again so it's really nothing more than an experience to play live music. Which is something recently sought-after and new to me.

on the off-chance i turn out to be okay and jive with this band, it would be completely amazing. like stars in the sky are amazing and my son's eyes are amazing. unearthly amazing to me. and that hope scares me into some fear of disappointment for anything less. actual potential to feel a little hurt and dejected and that feeling sucks. so i want to avoid that. but it's too late because i sort of really want this to work out. i want to be good enough. i want my exhausting practice to pay off right away. not in several other auditions later, but now. this week. tomorrow.

so if it doesn't, which is a possibility I have to realize, I have to be okay and learn from the process. More importantly I have to remember to relax and have fun while I am there and live in the joy of playing my awesome DRUMS! instead of fearing an aftermath before I give myself the chance to succeed.

so here's to being on the fence between

A) it's a fun experience who cares what happens!

and

B) i want this to work out. here is my sweat and tears. let's be a band.
going to church penguin-style

6.27.2006

song #2

Dear Song Number Two-

i hate your guts right now. you are impossible to learn! you are not constructed like a traditional song and my arm is going to fall off from trying so hard to learn you. i wish you were a bug so i could throw you against the wall and watch you splatter. i will get this and master you. i am told this is what the process of learning a new song is supposed to feel like.

i should look really cool by thursday for my audition after i have ripped out all of my hair.

from a new mother of 2

"When they are both asleep it's like I have a million dollars and can't decide what to spend it on."


6.26.2006

million dollar smile
this was just a leaky eye, he wasn't crying

6.25.2006

ohmy

I am actually scheduling an audition for a band in the next couple of weeks. To try to be a drummer in a band. My palms are sweaty and my blood is flowing faster and everything is in technicolor. This so exciting, more than it is making me nervous. I am still learning 2 of their songs and have the support of the husband and the drum instructor. I am most worried about putting the drum kit together properly in the heat of the moment in front of people who are supposed to think I am cool and talented. And the middle section! It isn't in shape! UGH! Isn't that a big deal like in a job interview you want to look good and perform well? Damn you middle section for refusing to burn calories on autopilot like in years past! Couldn't you have waited until AFTER the audition stage of my life? And what do I even wear? How am I supposed to transition from career woman to housewife to drummer with clothing? I have no idea.

Time for some all-nighters alternating sit-ups and drum practice.

---

This band sounds pretty good (coldplay-ish) and are more grown-up than not (mid 30's). They have recorded in a studio and practice 1-2 times a week and play gigs once a month. Am I really ready for this experience-wise? Probably not. I have the confidence in my natural talent to get there and play all that I know. I am just so thrilled with the idea of sitting down with my drums with some musicians who know a lot more than I do about how to play music. With instruments I have been in awe of since adolescent years. Even if it is only for an audition. Even if it is only for one song.

I feel like a kid booking a trip for Disneyland.

6.24.2006

someone else's story

robert took the kids to this i-max skate movie once, josh was about 4-5. one of the songs they played was..."if i die before i wake...when i'm in heaven i will skate..." josh used to go around singing that.

thanks for making me laugh out loud this fine afternoon, Jenni

it makes me so excited for my own stories of Zane when he gets older
Skate or Die, BABY!

6.23.2006

Sir Francis Drake

If we have another cat this will be the name.
Or if I have a band and I get to name it.
Or become the Queen, then I will seek out a Francis Drake just to make him a Sir.

6.22.2006

middles

Living east lends itself to not needing a swimsuit for, oh, say seven years.

In that time a lot has happened with the organic structure. Running. Not Running. Eating out a lot. Eating salads. Mashed potatoes 5 days a week. Losing, gainging, losing. GIVING BIRTH. Leftover sagginess I never thought could reside on my body. Hardcore Running. Fit! Aerobics. Chocolate. Winter. winter. winter.

BLAM. we live in california. it's sunny here. a lot. it's getting warm. hot. sweaty. must utilize pool.

During the past decade I have learned to love this skin I am in, no matter the condition. I did not think making a necessary transition to the dreaded one-piece swimsuit would be so shameful.

Some would argue this is in good taste for modesty purposes, given that I am married and a mother.
I, however, insist that it is a sign of giving in to the letting go of the middle section, the allowing of it to be lazy.
The middle section was not given much thought in pre-birthing years. Genes provided me with other areas to target at the gym. The middle section has woefully been neglected as its newly, overbearing needs have snuck up on me too rapidly. This is what it means for me to purchase the one-piecer. The middle section is frowning and asking why I haven't given her more attention prior to this gift of swimable summer.

I am so sorry, middle section. Your signals of overflow have motivated me to run this month. However, I dare not allow you out of the basement to see the sunlight until another summer when I have better prepared you for the swimming pool. I still love you. You are still part of me and we will work together on this. I will empty out that junk food cabinet tomorrow, which has recently grown into 4 shelves. As soon as I finish that last Red Vine.

The teenage girls across the street aren't helping much with the healing process.
Neither are their bikinis.


I think this might be what it will feel like to turn 30.

6.20.2006

home sickness




I miss wearing my pink coat

fall

loud New Yoawka accents

the fashion forward people around me


no chit chat from the cashiers

bronx river parkway

the duck pond

my stoop

Zane's blue & yellow room

being settled, things in places where I want them

my safe, smaller home with only one entrance to secure

the neighborly dry cleaning discount

my porch light

borrowing an egg from mimi, my neighbor

The grumpy italian guy down the block

The Jesus statue in his lawn

the crazy dad that yelled at his kids on the other side of the fence

the girl on Kensington who played basketball out front after school

my drumming lessons

the wedding store that always had a new, dazzling dress displayed in the window

the cobbler! we had a cobbler!

my refrigerator that didn't close on me with brute force

my oven lock

afternoons at the park with friends and their kids I have seen grow since birth

being there for a friend who needs me

getting a slice with that friend when I need her

m&m's

So....the momentum and excitement of moving to CA has started to settle itself. It turns out there is very little reason to step outside of my little town on a day-to-day basis. Anything I need is within a 4 mile radius. I have not gotten lost a single time! That is a first for me. Especially considering the fact that I would get lost after living in a 'hood for over a year in NY.

I don't have interesting pictures to post. Somehow this new place seems all too familiar.

These are all the brilliant reasons (in addition to several others) that led me to insist we live in Walnut Creek. It's charming, safe, beautiful, convenient. It just doesn't provide a great deal of blog material.

We plan to get the momentum started again and have begun a list of places to visit and things to see in SF and surrounding bay areas. I have yet to venture out into SF with just Zane, but that's a goal of mine for next month.

Time to shake things up and get out of our comfortable routines. And how the hell did comfortable become so quick to achieve? Funny, one waits 7 years for easy street and then one goes looking for opportunity to drag the stroller around and complicate the day further away.

p.s.
Dear Hayward Fault,
By 'shake things up' I didn't mean I want an earthquake. Ever. Please don't.

6.18.2006

hallmark holiday

Even as a kid I would smile on the inside when I would see a dad with his kids. I wondered what they talked about and what they did together for fun. I imagined what my dad and I would do if he was in my life. Maybe get ice cream. Perhaps see a movie? Even just play catch. What a waste it was for me to throw a perfect spiral and not have a responsible, biological father around to catch it on the other end. To compliment how well-positioned it was. These are reasons why the happiest days of my life are the days I simply watch my husband and son laugh together.

***

Shots of fathers and kids are some of my favorites.


6.16.2006

six happies

Nick

Enjoys...

long walks on the beach
pretty girls
kids
traveling
reciting poetry
working out, a lot
music
high fashion
seven jeans
New York

6.14.2006

names worth stealing

But I don't think we will steal.
Roxcy
Bergen
Grayson
Sophia
Betty
Jane
Scout
Jasper
Jackson
Ashleigh
Madison
Brooklyn
Hannah
Ammon
Brinsley
Amelie

-->no, this is not an announcement. unfortunately.

6.12.2006

light in the foyer

I wonder how I will know when I am feeling a small earthquake. Last night I thought for sure I did around 2am, but it turns out the neighbor has a motorcycle he likes to rev up for a long time in the garage before he peels out.

Today I spoke with my friend, Debra, who grew up in CA and incidentally lived in this exact home right before we moved in. She advised me that you will know an earthquake is happening when the light in the foyer sways. And yes, it swayed several times when she lived here. Then she said the sideways ones are not a big deal, but the up and down ones break everything.

Some nights I fall asleep quickly and peacefully. Other nights I lay awake waiting for the earthquake to shake it up (oo-oo). I imagine how fast I can run down the hallway, one flight of stairs, and down another hallway to get to my baby and protect him. If I ever have to execute my manic dash in an earthquake I will really be wishing we had looked into that Family Bed method, afterall.

6.11.2006

little orphan orange

The proper way to eat an Otter Pop:

1. select favorite flavor, but leave the blue for your sister

2. cut the end open which contains the least amount of frozen delight

3. bite off about an inch of otter pop

4. allow the remaining otter pop to defrost until you see signs of condensation

5. crush remaining otter pop with hand, resort to teeth crushing if necessary

6. push up like a well-flavored slirpee

7. enjoy

8. repeat process, but always remember grape is never good, so leave it as a last resort

9. Never, I repeat NEVER eat otter pops in their liquid, unfrozen state!!!

6.09.2006

for the wheelers

Because they left before all of the buds blossomed.

6.08.2006

new girl in town

I have been a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints since November 1998. I have found much strength, joy, guidance and blessings from my faith.

I have also become part of an amazing world-wide networking system!

Each time we have moved (6 times in 7 years) we have found a gaggle of Mormon strangers to meet us on our doorstep to assist with unloading the moving truck.

With each move I am grateful and touched by the generosity of people who do not even know us, yet provide comfort and support.

With this move I had someone (hi, Karen!) accept my car before I came, provide dinner for me and my son that evening and invite my whole family to dinner the following week.

This was followed by a ladies party last night, a craft get-together tonight, a play day at the park tomorrow morning and a few other events on the calendar for the following weeks. My calendar is filling and it’s only 2 weeks into the ordeal!

*

With each move I also get the ever evasive question:

“Do you scrapbook?” with eager heads turned, waiting for my response.

It’s like that moment in teen movies when the party goes silent and the record scratches to a stop.

“No, I do not scrapbook”.

Usually there is either an awkward silence or someone else changes the subject quickly as if there was a major party foul.

I decided from now on I am going to respond with one of the following:

1) “More importantly, do you listen to indie rock?”

2) “Where did you say you got that big bow in your hair from? I really love it!”

3) “Oh, only when I can fit it into my tight schedule of PRO SKATEBOARDING. You skate, don’t you?”

4) “Sorry, I am a drummer and it’s against my band’s code of ethics.”

5) Liz, time to get over your lack of crafty insecurities and let the conversation ride.
Mormon moms are always a good bunch to spend time with because they are also trying to be more like Christ and raise their kids right. Especially the Scrapbookers.

6.07.2006

bizarre love triangle

There are so many bands I neglected to pursue interest in and regret.
They are as follows:

Sunny Day Real Estate
My Bloody Valentine
The Church
The Cult
Pet Shop Boys
Oasis
The Vines
New Order
The Clash
Tears for Fears
The Vandals
Jawbreaker
Sex Pistols
The Beatles
The Sundays
The Cranberries
Echo and the Bunnymen
Buffalo Tom
Chemical Brothers
Chapter House
Carter USM
Levelers
Anything from Sub Pop
Anything from Look Out!

6.06.2006

seventies superstar

Sometimes I think I was really supposed to be a young adult in the 70's. I owned too many funky-floral dresses. Some of which in college required, well, less support than others. I prefer no make-up and find I am one of few of my acquaintances to be content with long, straight hair- rarely styled. Ok, never styled.

Before living in NY I was pretty laid back and truly loved everyone I met. I even had a bumper sticker on my car once with a tie-dyed sun on it and probably some others among the 200+ stickers that would further prove I was born into the wrong generation.

This is why I think we were destined to live in our current home. It's totally a 70's pimp plaza. Complete with wet bar in the living room. I love the mirror wall with decorative gold embellishment and wood burning oven. The peep hole in the front door is like a captain's telescope on a ship. It moves! You can look up, down, or either side. Each time I look out of it I imagine a pimped-out guy with shiny white loafers and a half-buttoned polyester shirt, tight white pants once stood there watching his guests arrive for a groovy party.

I am only slightly curious what the original kitchen looked like, but I bet it was pretty cool. I prefer the current update, though, cos it completes me. I never thought I would feel this way about a kitchen. Mike has to lure me away from it with chocolate or his pimp-like moves.

We so belong here. The house totally says: 'Fullers. Where have you been all my life?'

6.05.2006

Who knew having a garbage disposal to throw egg shells down would be so liberating!

6.03.2006

perks

In-N-Out Burger

Chick-o-Sticks galore

7*11

Shiny, high-tech gas stations

Plethora of salsa choices in any grocery store

Calistoga water

Red Vines

Dairy Queen

skate park 5 minutes away

6.01.2006

my thursday night enfant

This is the view from my kitchen window in the evening.

I chuckled inside this week when we went for 'sushi' in SF while I ate my California Roll.....IN California. I often have to remind myself that I really live here now and say it out loud to make it seem more real. That my zip code starts with 9. That we can (and did) get sunburns.

Each day it feels less like a vacation and more like my new home. I can't get over how bright it is and how blue the sky is EVERY DAY (so far). In NY you have to jump at the chance you have a fully good-weather-day: one that's not too humid; sunny, but not chilly. Then you drop what you are doing and get the kid to the park before it changes. I feel like I landed in paradise.

Don't get me wrong, David Gray's latest album suffocates my heart each time I listen to it -for what I have left behind so far away, what will never be replaced no matter where I live or who I meet.

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