Thursday, April 5, 2007

Wild Night

And I wonder how it is that this girl ended up on drugs. Seriously, some people should never become parents and I think this girl's mom and dad probably belong in that category. Idiots.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

With a Little Help from My Friends

When I set out to write a blog, my only real intent, or rather the foundation of what I was doing, was simply to have an outlet.

I found motherhood so isolating and life-changing (duh!) that I had to find a way to explore my own essence, the little bits and bobs of who I am that come to the surface through personal writing. I realized that the hopes and dreams of the life left unrealized, along with the frustrations of the life I chose, were grinding me down and somewhere along the line I just didn't feel like me anymore. Hell, I didn't even look like me, but it took me three years to realize that. Blogging gave me a way to draw my own map out of the darkness, a light to shine on the parts of me I'd just as soon keep hidden so that I could scour them clean, repair them, or cast them aside.

At some point, I realized that there were other women out there who felt in ways very much as I did. By blogging I was not only adding my voice to the chorus of joy and woe being sung by countless other mom and dad bloggers, but I was also giving a voice to those not yet ready to share their own experiences.

In reading other blogs, I found hope and encouragement. At times I've read things that broke my heart, others that made me laugh out loud. Many, many blog entries have made me pause to appreciate this life of mine and the many blessings in it, while others have made me yearn ever more for the freedom I gave up to become a parent. The one thing the blogs I enjoy most have in common is the way they make me feel connected to humanity as a whole.

I know. It's crazy. A little mawkish, perhaps. But honest and real.

When I read that A.'s children aren't sleeping either, it allows me to see that I'm not the only one and serves as a reminder, that like millions of mothers before us, both she and I will survive this time in our lives as difficult as it is. And when I see Evilynmo's list of the seven songs she's currently into, it gives me a peek into the life and interest of someone else and opens my eyes (and ears) to new possibilities. It's the same way I feel when I read cable & tweed. I may not listen to half the stuff I read about or go to any of the shows listed, but reading the blog keeps me aware of all the possibilities and who wouldn't want to do that?

Where am I going with all this?

When I first started to write, I often wondered what the hell I was doing. I wondered if anyone would ever read what I wrote and if they did what they would think. I wavered between thinking it didn't matter what anyone thought and actively hoping someone, anyone, would read my blog and react positively to it.

Right now, a friend of mine, who writes a killer blog is thinking of dropping it because he's not sure that it's relevant or that anyone will want to read it. Other friends suggested that his interests are too specific and only people interested in the same stuff would want to read it. At least that's what I took from the e-mail he sent me today.

The thing is neither of us knew the other had a blog until yesterday. I sent him a link to my entry about my NY trip because I was short of time, but wanted to share what happened with him. In turn, he told me about his blog and what's going on.

I think it would be a shame if he quit blogging. Of course, he may convert it all into a web site that is less personal and more focused on his musical interests and that's fine. I just would hate for him to be discouraged and think it's not worth blogging because someone thinks his interests are too narrow.

That's such a big part of why I read blogs. I love taking a peek into the lives of others and seeing how they're not only similar to mine, but different. It makes life far more interesting and rich and varied. I was so happy to read Jeremy's blog and get a peek into what he's reading and listening to; hearing stories about his son.

This was a long and roundabout way of saying thank you to all the wonderful bloggers that help me keep it real even if they don't know they're doing so. And an even longer way of saying to a friend that what you're doing really does matter.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007


Many moons ago, I wrote about some of Brendan's cuter malapropisms and unique word creations, my favorites being rainbrella (umbrella) and piratescope (telescope).

Today, he sprang a new one on me...detectafying glass for magnifying glass. I think it's awesome that the words he makes up really get to the actual use of the item or what he perceives as the use. Pirates use telescopes. Detectives use magnifying glasses. You use umbrellas when it rains.

He's very practical that way. Or literal, I guess. He also just told me, in reference to Porky Pig, that Porky sounds like a name for a porcupine. Of course, he also calls the Tasmanian Devil the Great Devil, which, for some reason, I find very amusing. Maybe they have it all wrong in the Middle East and we're not the Great Satan after all. They've got the wrong's him they're after.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Black River

Here's one of Scott outside Z's apartment. Her street was lined with trees covered in white lights. It was like a fairyland.

It reminded me, for some reason, of the first line of Scott's song, Black River.

I think this song might have been Scott's greatest success of the night as several people commented on how pretty it was.

Knoxville Girl

I'm putting up some more pics from Friday night. Here's one of Chris playing Knoxville Girl while Scott and C. look on.

Scotch and Chocolate

Scott and Chris playing
Originally uploaded by belleoftheblogATL.
Where to begin describing one of the best nights of your life?

Maybe at the beginning?

Our original reason for traveling to New York this past weekend was to attend a dinner party hosted by our friend Z.

Z. is an old friend of Scott's from college, actually an old girlfriend. And a really amazing person. She's smart, beautiful, works for a prestigious magazine, and travels among New York's most urbane, sophisticated circles.

Z organized a dinner and music night for Friday evening and we couldn't pass up the opportunity. It was a unique opportunity for us to mingle with a host of individuals from the art world including photographer Dudley Reed, the painter Steve Ellis (who is also one heck of a guitar player), along with half a dozen or so other editors, gallery owners, and random famous people.

The focus of the night was on good food and great music featuring the playing of Grammy-award winning mandolin player and Nickel Creek member Chris Thile; his girlfriend C, who has the voice of an angel and plays ukulele and banjo; Scott, who played several of his new songs; and Steven, who has an extensive knowledge of American bluegrass and traditional music.

Scott and I were the first to arrive at Z's. We came bearing a bottle of Bowmore Darkest Scotch and visited with Z and her beau, W., an architect, and very good cook.

Soon the other guests began to arrive and we all began shuffling around trying to find a place to land. Scott and I ended up in a corner, opposite the front door, talking with Steven and W. about Chapel Hill, New Orleans, and, naturally, music.

We soon realized what a great decision it was to bring the Bowmore instead of the typical bottle of wine. Everyone who came in expressed curiosity about it and ended up having a glass. Including Chris Thile.

When he came in the room and was offered a glass of Scotch, he got excited and said that it was one of his favorite single malts. He was the only one who had heard of it, and as it turns out, is quite the Scotch afficianado. He gave us a quick lesson on Islay Scotch and then we settled in to talking about everything from root canals to religion.

I was a little surprised that he sort of locked in on Scott and me right away. Then, it dawned on me that we were the youngest people in the room, other than Z. and Chris's girlfriend, C.

So.....after talking and enjoying a delicious supper of chili and salad, Z. asked the musicians to gather their instruments and get to work playing.

And play they did.

It was easily, hands down, the best night of music I've ever heard in my life.

Steven played first, playing a Robert Johnson song. Then Scott played his song Vampire. Chris jumped in and played mandolin on both of them.

Ultimately, between the four musicians, over twenty songs were played, more than a couple of hours worth of music with only a 5 or 10 minute break in between. Chris and C. sang and played a cover of The Decemberists, Yankee Bayonet. I thought my heart might just disentegrate from the sheer beauty of their harmonies on the song, not to mention Chris's delicate playing.

C. also played one of her originals that just really blew me away. Her voice is really magical and I feel honored to have had the opportunity to have heard her in such an intimate setting.

And, God! Hearing and seeing Chris play like that and on Scott's songs, too! Wow! Words can't do justice to what an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime experience that was. There was just something chemical going on between the two of them. Chris really seemed to enjoy playing along on songs he had never heard before and which weren't nececssarily easy songs to play.

I am still having chills when I remember his performance on Still Life, especially when he and Scott harmonized.

Oh! And then, there was the Bach piece he played. One of the most moving experiences of hearing classical music I've ever had in my life. I hope he records it some day, because unfortunately, it has already begun to fade from my grasp.

Really, really, really just one of the most remarkable experiences of my life. I was so proud of Scott and the fact that Chris genuinely liked his songs and enjoyed playing with him. On one song, he said, Killer chorus! And at the end of the night, he told Scott that it had been a great experience to play with him. Naturally, Scott said the honor was his.

I'm still kind of stunned by the whole thing. Mostly by the fact of what a stand-up guy Chris Thile is and what a lovely person his girlfriend is. They may be the two sweetest people I've ever met. Not to mention two of the most talented.

I'm thrilled to have had the opportunity to be there with Scott as he had the chance to play with them. They all put on a terrific performance. It was hard to believe Scott had anything left the next night, but Saturday's performance might have been even better.

I'll write more about that later.