Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Amazing, Awesome, Relax, Obey, Neat

This is a picture my daughter made for my husband on Father's Day last year, but it doesn't really have all that much to do with what I want to writer about today. I've been thinking about (and on a more private level, writing about) my parents a lot lately. I've never really thought I looked like my mom, but every once in a while I look at myself in the rear view mirror of my car and see her staring back. I forget how much of her I have in me.

And then I look at my daughter, who I also don't think looks like me, and I see a better and brighter version of myself bubbling inside her. She writes like crazy -- by the time I was a grade older than her I was writing 50 page "novels" and dreaming of writing for Rolling Stone, and she's going to be at exactly that same spot. Today she wrote a letter to the publisher of Archie comics, praising them for their work, for Pete's sake. While I sometimes fear that she's also inherited my anxiety, my shyness, and my tendency to be so very very hard on myself, when I see bits of myself in her, I feel nothing but pride.

Anyway, the point I wanted to make, is that I love seeing people with their parents. There are few things in this world that thrill me more than the opportunity to meet my friends' parents. I love seeing where the people I care about come from, if they look like their folks, and how they interact, if they share quirks. I am always so happy to receive invitations to friends' weddings just so I can see their parents. If their fathers cry, it's an added bonus.

Alternately, nothing makes me sadder when I hear that people have crap parents who they can't bear to include in their adult lives. Although I'm always fascinated by hearing those friends' stories, it breaks my heart to think that a parent could have failed his or her child so drastically. The thought of ever getting to that place with my own kids is one of my greatest fears.

So let's hear it for the great parents. Including my own.

Monday, January 21, 2013

In my kitchen... lately

Lemonade cake, watergate salad, crab and bacon rolls, chicken satay with spicy noodle salad, risotto balls with spicy tomato sauce and cauliflower. Recipes? Ask and I will deliver.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

We're Like Some Birds...

This is a picture of myself, my daughter, and pop singer Nelly Furtado. I had the opportunity to take advantage of a VIP ticket package to Nelly's recent concert in my town, which included a meet-and-greet (which is basically music industry-speak for a backstage session where fans/contest winners/people who pulled some strings get herded through a backstage hospitality room to get a quick autograph/photo with the artist) and private acoustic set. I'm not the world's biggest Nelly Furtado fan myself, but I do like her music well enough and I have a soft spot because she was the first big artist interview I did after Ruby was born (it was a phoner and as a mom I figured she wouldn't be upset if the baby woke up and started crying during our conversation).

I decided to bring Ruby as my date for a couple of reasons. First off, I think Nelly is a great role model for young girls -- she writes her own music, her songs aren't just all about boys, she's a mom who is still pursing a career of her own, and by all accounts she's a really nice person. Ruby has developed a recent interest in pop music and I thought it would be a good introduction to a pop artist who doesn't shoot whipped cream from her bra cups or brood over bad-news dudes like John Mayer.

Also, I wanted to demystify the pop star and backstage experience for her. I've been backstage at more than a few concerts in my time, sometimes professionally, sometimes socially. And Ruby learned a very important lesson of music industry culture the other night -- hanging backstage is more often than not incredibly boring. It involves a lot of waiting, usually in plainly decorated, boring hospitality rooms, while other people are working hard to put the show together. And while pop stars are usually super attractive and have magnetic personalities, they're just regular people, not any more exciting than any other adults she comes across. I wanted her to appreciate that the lady she met was singing so well on stage, but I also wanted her to appreciate that that lady is also not all that different from her mom, her teacher, or the other adults she knows.

So, hopefully this, and any future opportunities (though my music world ties are getting fewer and fewer) will get Ruby to a place where she can enjoy music without the hero worship that caused me so much angst in my teenage years. Because as much fun as I had, say, sneaking backstage at concerts when I was 17 to hang out with guys in their 20s or 30s, I don't think that's necessarily what I want for my daughter. And if she is going to be hanging out backstage, I'd rather it be because she's IN the band, not hanging off a member of the band.