An Ode to Guy Clark

guyclark

Oh Guy Clark.

You wordsmith.

You craftsman.

You Texan.

A few years ago I went to a show at the Country Music Hall of Fame. They have an “artist in residence” series in the Ford Theater there. The place seats like 200 people and these amazing people play there once a week for a month….it’s one of the ways that Nashville IS Music City. One of the first people to be the “artist in residence” was Guy Clark.

I hate to admit it, but for most of my life I’ve taken Guy Clark for granted. His music has been a constant for me, and I didn’t even know it. So many hours on road trips listening to Jerry Jeff Walker cassettes with my dad and I didn’t even know how those words were permeating my being, let alone who wrote so many of them. I knew I liked any song that talked about vanilla wafers, but didn’t know of my fondness for the man who wrote them.

Upon getting immersed into the world of “Alt-country” or “Americana” or whatever you want to call it, Guy Clark is like one of the apostles.  While standing in the Georgia Theater in Athens GA selling CDs for a band I loved, “Desperadoes Waiting for a Train” came on and I just started singing it. I don’t recall hearing the song before, but I knew it and it knew me. The headliner of the show that night was from Texas and he happened to walk by while I was singing. He nodded at me and said “Ain’t nothing better then Guy Clark!” I nodded in agreement and made a mental note to find some more Guy Clark music ASAP.

A couple years after that fateful night I was in the Ford Theater. I have only fleeting memories of that evening because it was all simply TOO GOOD to take in. I know that Rodney Crowell performed (always a good thing) and that Guy called Vince Gill out of the crowd to join him onstage (also a good thing!). But the clearest memory I have is the feeling in my stomach when I heard him sing the opening lines to “Dublin Blues.”

I wish I was in Austin
In the Chili Parlour Bar
Drinkin’ Mad Dog Margaritas
And not carin’ where you are

My stomach dropped, in that horrible yet wonderful way it does when you are on a roller coaster.  Those 21 words encapsulated my general feelings that day more then any I could have come up with myself.  I looked at this man who is 15 days older then my father and fell madly in love. I’d heard the song countless times, but that night, sitting in that room, it was all different.

I have since seen Guy play a few different times and a few different places. I love to hear his stories about his home here in Nashville during the ’70s, which sounds like my dream scenario of a “Home for Wayward Musicians.” I love hearing the way he talks about his wife Susanna.  I long to own one of his handmade guitars because I am sure that it is built in such a way that even I could make beautiful music with it.

The life that Guy Clark writes about isn’t always easy and isn’t always fun, but it’s always good and it’s always the way it should be, whether we like it or not. His song “The Cape” in my opinion, distills his general theories on life in the following words:

He’s one of those who knows that life
Is just a leap of faith
Spread your arms and hold you breath
Always trust your cape

1guyclark

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Baby fever…..for real?!?!?

I got to meet Jane this weekend!

She’s precious.

Perfect and small and soft.

She snuggled right up and melted my heart.

She also seems to have turned up the volume on the ticking of my biological clock. I mean, it’s there, ticking away all the time, but now, it’s deafening. I suppose this is a given when one is 35 and (oh so) single. But damn!

Jane’s mom tells of how this is the hardest job she’s ever had. She talks of no sleep. She talks of absolute fear of this 9 lb person. But she does all this with a almost undetectable smile that makes me pretty sure it’s all worth it. I ask about nursing and labor pains and all that stuff, and no matter what she says, I think it sounds lovely.

My mind has been going through it’s contact list in hopes there is some sort of forgotten male who would be perfect to stop this clicking clock. All it finds is Mr. Complicated, Mr. Wrong, Mr. Bad Gene Pool, Mr. Gay. Mr. Ewwww and Mr. Not In A Million Years.

Then my mind takes me to the dark side. Do I want to have a baby so I don’t feel left out? Do I want to have a baby or do I want to have what I’d like to think comes with a baby, a husband (or husband type person) a cute little house with a backyard and silly disagreements about nothing? Do I want a baby just so I am not alone?

Currently all I am sure of is this; the time I spent this past weekend holding that precious little girl was the happiest time I’ve spent in a very long time.

Baby fever……kind of.

Little Miss Jane is finally here and I cannot wait to meet her and kiss her chubby cheeks and play with her chubby feet and bask in the general glory that is new life.

It has dawned on me that the true heroes in this world are mothers. I know my mom is my hero and a lot of my friends would say the same about their moms. Seriously, you bring a life into this world, love it, take care of it, deal with it being a little asshole….all the while thinking it’s the most perfect thing ever. That is some heroic stuff right there.

For the early part of my life I never doubted I would have kids. At least a couple (only children are weird–I can say that, I’m an only child). After some dubious years in my early twenties, I then started wondering if I really wanted kids. I knew that if I wasn’t sure, I shouldn’t have kids. For the ten years since I decided that it would be ok if I didn’t want kids, I vascilated between never wanting kids and wanting nothing more then kids. Yes, it can be exhausting being me.

After a surgery a few years ago that took an ovary and a fallopian tube, I started facing the fact that having a child might be more difficult (although Jane is proof that one ovary is all you need) and I thought more about whether I wanted to have a baby or be a mother. Most people would think that these things go hand in hand, but I disagree. I don’t think that not actually “birthing” a child makes the act of being a mother any less heroic. Plus, I’m single (oh so single), have that one ovary and know that there are lots of kids out there who just want/need to be loved.

I often feel like I have to much love to give, or not enough people to give it to (again, it’s exhausting being me!) and while no one grows up playing “Adoptive Single Mother House”….the idea keeps churning around my head. I mean, there is no way I would think of adopting a child right now….but perhaps in the not too distant future? I’d like to think that I would be willing to adopt an older child, and maybe I would. But if I had my way, I would get a baby. Some new litle person who I could use to prove that nurture can beat out nature from time to time. A little person who knows me as mom, not because I carried them for 9 months inside of me, but because I love them unconditionally and forever.

Of course, I type all of this while really looking forward to having alcholic beverages on a patio this evening, then sleeping a good portion of tomorrow and taking Noodle to the dog park. What am I thinking? I mean really, what kind of fool am I to think that my selfish lifestyle could go away just because I feel like my life will mean nothing if I’m not a mother?

Have I mentioned it’s exhausting being me?

To Marie and Jeremy…and Jane

In approximately 33 days, the ‘good guys’ are going to be one girl stronger.

Little Jane Elizabeth will finally grace us with her presence and I, for one, can’t wait! Good things come to those who wait and goodness knows that you guys have waited and struggled and laughed and cried and had hypochondria issues galore ( I kid Marie!!) But know you’re in the home stretch and there are so many great things just around the corner.

Jane is so lucky to have parents like you. Parents that compliment each other in so many ways. Individually you are super cool, collectively you are a force to be reckoned with. You both care for each other and your friends and family in ways that are not sicky sweet, but caring the way people want to be cared about. You have amazing senses of humors and all kinds of quirks that make being around you a treat.

Hearing Marie worry about early life with Jane and Jeremy worry about things like taking her fishing, the girl is going to be taken care of. She’s going to have great taste in music, varied taste in movies and be a reader. I just know it. I wonder if she’ll be a planner or a dreamer, or maybe the perfect combination of both?  All things are possible in Jane’s world right now and she has the type of parents who will do all they can to continue to make her feel that all things are possible, without giving her false hope.

Little Miss Jane, we’ve been waiting for you. You’re not here quite yet, but we’ve gotten some things in order for you. We have a great President in office, that’s a good thing. We’re working on the global warming thing, sorry about that. Hopefully all the wars will be over by the time you are aware of such horrible things. Bottom line, you are already loved and your parents have so much love ready to give you that I can’t even express. So if they get stressed when you cry all night or ticked when you won’t eat….don’t worry, they will always love you. And if you could be a napper…that would be good to. They would appreciate that.

Chemistry.com: The Truth

This is not some expose on a online dating site. This is, rather, a more truthful response to the extensive profile I filled out on the aforementioned dating site earlier today.

Who I am and who I am looking for:

I am borderline neurotic. I have a vivid imagination and a tendency to over-share. I can tend to be clingy, but need my space. I feel alone in crowds. I love my dog too much. Sometimes I forget to brush my teeth. I never put away my clean laundry. I like the idea of eating healthy, but eat crap out of convenience. I have pretty blue eyes, and I know it. There is no way for me to have cleavage. I fall down a lot. I laugh way too loud. Sometimes I hold in my sneezes in some weak attempt at femininity.  I enjoy museums and such, but spend large amounts of time watching random reality shows.  I sometimes think people are looking at me in admiration, but in my heart know it’s not true. I relate very well to gay men. Gay men love me. Straight men are much less interested. I sometimes have a horrible time holding up my end of a conversation. I try to be a people pleaser to the point that I either come across as super boring or eventually freak out and spill all the dissenting opinions I’ve been holding in. I was once a registered Republican, but currently am terrified by Republicans in general. I believe in God and think Jesus was probably a cool dude, but, in general, Christians scare the hell out of me. I don’t care what anyone does as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else. Stealing is bad. I drive too fast. I sleep too much. Sometimes I take 3 showers a day. Sometimes I don’t shower for 3 days. I have 2 cats, and am ashamed of that sometimes.  I’ve kissed a girl. I can’t understand why people like me but am crushed if they don’t. I have a philanthropic heart, but a lazy ass. I love gossip. I may want to have children, but probably for all the wrong reasons.  I’m loyal to a fault. I’m nosy. I’m mostly a mess, the wants to be loved.

I am looking for a man. I like dark hair and beards. I want someone who listens to the minutia of my day and can tell which of my two friends named Erin I am talking about without clarification. I like boys who drive trucks. I like smart boys, who aren’t too smart to act stupid.  I want a boy who is more attractive then me, but doesn’t know it. I want a boy who will hold my hand. I want a boy with a healthy sexual appetite. I want a boy who understands the ridiculous nature of porn, but isn’t too “high brow” to enjoy it. I want a boy who cooks, or at least will eat my cooking. I want a boy who loves Nashville, but wants to travel. I want a boy who can hold his liquor….but doesn’t hold on to it too tight or all the time.I want a boy who will get pleasure out of seeing how excited I get at a Reckless Kelly show. I want a boy who thinks it’s great when I want to hang with “my girls” or even better, when I want to hang with “my boys.” I want a boy who knows more about me then anyone else, but still wants to know more.

I’m pretty sure that even if I had forked up the $50 to get an actual subscription to this dating site, had I filled out the form honestly, it would have been $50 down the drain. I’m all for online dating for others, but it just ain’t my thing. I lack the self confidence to open myself up like that and would much rather spend that $50 on shoes.

So there.

Maybe it’s just a phase….

In addition to the family drama of this past weekend, I got to spend some time with my cousin’s three little boys, Jackson (6) Joshua (almost 3) and Lucas (almost 2) and it’s got me thinking about kids again. While it was exhausting just watching my cousin’s wife take care of their every need at all times, it was heartbreaking to watch them cuddle up to her and look at her like she was the most wonderful person on the planet. No matter how much I love my dog, it’s just not the same.

From watching Jack play little league to helping Josh learn to play the wii to watching Luke run around in perfect circles on his tippy toes, it all was so wonderful. I can’t imagine anything more fulfilling then having little lives like that be around you, and molded by you. But I’m almost positive I don’t want to do it alone.

So, it gets back to the whole marriage thing. Well, perhaps not marriage, but at least a committed relationship, committed to the point that I would want to have children with this man. I guess, pretty much marriage.  Will I wake up at 50 years old in a cold sweat feeling like my life has been a total waste if I don’t do the husband and kids thing? At this point, I’m pretty sure I will, and this scares the hell out of me. What is the point of a life if you leave no physical legacy?

I’m happy with my life right now. Things are going well. I’m in a better place in the universe then I have been for a long. long time. But will this contentment make me complacent as to moving forward with my life? Will I get comfortable and never marry or have children? Or is it better to be comfortable and let things happen as they are meant to then it would be to actively pursue marriage and children, which may result in them being scared off?

I don’t know, but it’s pretty much consuming my mind these days. That, and the face below, who could SO be my kid and I totally should have snatched when I had the chance 🙂  My cousin has two more kids, would he really miss one?

Married!!!!!

Let’s preface this with some general statements concerning me and my thoughts on marriage. I respect the institution of marriage. I still hold out some hope that one day I will be married. Marriage isn’t easy under the best circumstances, but can be completely worth the effort. In general, I believe that most of my friends’ marriages are enviable.

I have a friend. He is a musician. He is one of the nicest people I have ever met, but has a “naughty” streak that makes him all the more likable. He’s got a great talent, a raspy voice, an amazing sense of humor and a wife. His wife is gorgeous, but not in a fake, Hollywood way. She is gorgeous in a way that I want to be gorgeous. She is fun to be around, easy to talk to and they love each other in the sweet simple way that is a treat to see.

My friend has not only musical talent, but a talent for making me feel special. When we talk it’s like I’m the only person in the room. He asks me questions about my life, my opinions on things, etc…and listens. Listens, and months or years later will bring these things up, so he not only listens, he retains what I’ve said to him. He has a devilish smile and these dimples that tear me up. He winks at me from the stage. He swears he can hear my screams over others in the crowd and he appreciates how much I pay attention to the shows.  He buys me drinks. He puts me on the list from time to time. He makes sure I’m aware of any show within a 6 hour drive of Nashville and calls me when the band is coming through town on the way to somewhere else. Again, he has a wife.

We got to chat this weekend after a show. Apparently some medication I am on makes me about as hormonal as a teenage boy. So, as we chatted, we got closer and closer to each other. Someone called to him that they were going to another bar, and he nodded that he was going to stick around where we were for awhile. Each comment either one of us made seemed to necessitate a hug or other touching. In any other situation, things would have been moving in the exact direction I wanted them to. But he’s married. At some point, the angel on my shoulder took over (the devil was probably getting a cocktail or something) and I decided to ask how the wife was. Had our conversation been taking place in a cartoon, you would have heard brakes squealing and smoke would have emanated from our bodies. We talked about his wife for a bit and he mentioned how much she and I have in common, etc…but the turn had been taken. The devil was back on my shoulder and was PISSED, but I felt as though a good decision had been made.

Later in the evening, after being mis-directed to another bar, etc…we (Snikki, the boy and I) ended up at a funky bar just chatting and having cocktails. I never am at a loss for words with him, but I’m pretty sure I could sit in silence with him just as easily. Being around him makes me feel comfortable and happy and (sometimes) happy in my panties. In the end however, we are friends and he is married. So I will be content knowing how fortunate I am to know this awesome fella and be left with my imagination, memories of the best hugs ever and the little lick in the ear that closed off the evening…

“If I know what love is, it is because of you.”….Herman Hesse

One year ago today, I was living my life. Loving my new job. Thrilled to be out of my old job and feeling as though I was back to being myself, perhaps an even better version of myself then I had been.

That was a Monday. The next day, Tuesday, I looked around the Craigslist pet listings as I was known to do to kill time. For some reason, that day, I decided that I wanted a dog. Well, I had wanted one for awhile, but that day I decided I was going to get one. I wanted a small dog. A purse dog. A dog that I could take with me pretty much wherever I wanted. I came across an add for a Pomeranian/Chihuahua mix. The ad said it was 6 months old, pretty much full grown and up to date on shots. The little picture was the cutest thing I had seen in a long time.

I responded to the ad immediately. Turns out the ad had only been up for like 5 minutes so I was the first call. I made plans to drive to Clarksville that night to “look at” the puppy. Sweet Nikki agreed to go with me and she, Brianna and I piled into the car and drove to Clarksville.

I had made plans to meet the woman in the parking lot of WalMart. After some interesting searching….do you know how many blue mini vans are in the Clarksville WalMart parking lot?…we found her. What I assume to be her daughter brought the puppy out and it was a done deal. I grabbed that little ball of fur, handed over the “adoption fee” gave her my email so she could send me the vet records and then and there, I was a dog mom.

He was so small and furry and snuggly. I couldn’t believe he was mine. We went to PetSmart to get all of his accessories. Here is the first picture I took of him:

The “Nature’s Miracle” package in the background was pure coincidence. We stocked up on his needs and got back in the car to drive home. The whole way home he snuggled up into my neck and eventually fell asleep. It was LOVE!!! Nikki and I tried to come up with names and quite frankly, I can’t remember any of the names we discussed. Out of nowhere, I remembered a dog that a friend of mine had drawn. We joked about making a whole cartoon about this dog and becoming famous. I even “wrote” a theme song. The dog’s name was Noodle. It was perfect. Cute, fun to say, spoke of my love of carbs and just worked.

I finally got home, introduced him to the cats and there I was, Noodle’s mom and my life was more complete then I could have imagined.

Our first week together was a dream. I couldn’t wait to get home to him. He peed on his pee pee pads. He chased the cats. He slept with me and made cute little puppy noises at night. It was ideal. Until I broke him. After exactly one week of being together, he ran out from under a chair and I stepped on his little leg. He made the most horrific noise and my heart broke right there. Eventually I found an emergency vet and off we were. I was bawling my eyes out and he was licking my hand. His concern was my happiness, not his injury.

The first thing I learned at the vet was not the state of his leg, but rather, the fact that the woman who had placed the ad for him was either delusional or a big fat liar. He was only MAYBE 3 months old, no where near full grown and had no sort of Pomeranian OR Chihuahua in him. Not that it mattered at that point, I was in for the long haul. After some x-rays and such, it was determined that he had a broken leg. They brought my little guy out with a big blue cast on. My heart broke all over again. But when he licked my face the second I took him in my arms, I knew it was going to be alright.

He used that cast any way he could. He ran around like a pirate dog with it knocking on the floor. It didn’t slow him down. He would bang it on the floor when I wasn’t paying attention to him. He used it on the cats as a weapon. He would make sure I remembered it was there whenever he was getting in trouble.

As a result of his injury he had a lot of vet trips. As a result of the vet trips, he got to come to the office a lot. He was an instant hit. If you ever start a new job and have trouble meeting folks, bring a little puppy with a broken leg and a great personality in and you will meet everyone. He was the agency mascot. We joked about putting him on the payroll as a “Vice President of Good Moods.” It was great.

About the time his cast came off, he was four months old, which is a good time to determine what size he would be. He weighed about 12 lbs at 4 months, which meant he would be 25-30 lbs when he was full grown. If he was going to be a purse dog, I was going to need a MUCH bigger purse. Friends joked that he wasn’t just “Noodle” anymore….he was more like “Lasagna” but as his size grew, my love for him grew too.

I would like to not come across as a crazy dog lady and hope to go on dates and such, but dammit, I love my dog. Seriously, I can have a horrendous day and as soon as I remember that his furry face is going to greet me as I open the door…it’s all OK.

He’s an amazing listener:

He likes to stay well read:

He protects me:

He’s good on car trips:

He likes ice cream:

He’s not afraid to give me his opinion:

He knows how to enjoy a nice relaxing day on the couch:

He lets me dress him up (but doesn’t alway like it):

But most of all, he makes me super happy and has brought things to my life that I didn’t even know I was missing!:

Happy anniversary my furry friend. I hope to some day be half the person you think I am. I also hope to find the human version of you…..but maybe I should hope for half the human version of you 🙂

Scene

int: Semi-crowded bar, night.  The post trivia crowd has started to dissipate, but the air is still charged from the marriage proposal that all had just witnessed. A girl, brown hair, cute top, huge smile and stomach ache from the evening’s laughter is deciding if she is ready to leave or not. She looks across the table at the boy, dark hair and eyes and a sly smile, who consumes her thoughts as of late.

Girl:

I think I’m going to head out

Boy:

(extends hand in a gesture that is asking for “five”) Be good, be safe.

Girl:

(gives him “five” but grabs his hand and uses it to pull herself closer)

I can’t leave without a hug.

Boy:

(Pulls girl tight and squeezes, pulling her face into the crook of his neck where she becomes intoxicated with his smell)

But I might not let go.

Girl:

Would that be so bad?

(She looks up from where she is buried in his neck into his sweet, happy eyes)

Boy:

(shrugs and pulls her back in to him)

Girl:

Uh, well, some of us have to work tomorrow…….

ext: girl finds herself walking down the street to her car wondering WHAT THE FUCK HER PROBLEM IS!!!