The Year is Half Over, What Have You Done?

On Saturday I woke up to the realization that the year is half over. And what have I done?

Well, I’ve had a lot of fun.

I’ve been to a bunch of Happy Hours with my girlfriends. (I almost never go out to dinner, but I am the queen of Happy Hour.)

I’ve done some cool hikes with my husband.

Sunday we went here.

Malibu hike Charmlee Wilderness Park
A beautiful hike through Charmlee Wilderness Park in Malibu

I’ve been to a bunch of concerts and country music festivals.

Brandy Clark. Coastal Country Jam featuring Jake Owen. Jay Nash, Tony Lucca & Matt Duke. (OMG – if you have a chance to see these guys – just one or all three together DO IT. They are amazing.) Stagecoach. U2. Oakheart Festival. Boots and Brews.

U2 Joshua Tree Tour Stage
U2 Joshua Tree Tour. I’ve seen U2 at least 10 times. I’d gladly see them 1,000 more.

Four festivals and three concerts are more shows that some people will see in a lifetime I realize, but those are not my people. God that sounded super assholey, didn’t it? That was not my intent. I’m super grateful to have gone to these shows. And I’ve got more on the way this year.

Hall & Oates with Tears for Fears (OMG!) Adam Ant (OMFG!) Green Day (Finally!) Thomas Rhett with Old Dominion & Walker Hayes (Cannot effing wait). And something called Retro Futura with Howard Jones, the English Beat and a bunch of other 80’s throwbacks. (Bought for a steal on Groupon – going with Dave and the kids. Should be a blast.)

So yes, it has been and will be a good year for music. Because live music more than anything is what makes me feel so alive. And young. (Seriously, so fucking young.)

And fun is great. Important, even. But I have goals this year that I have not achieved. I wanted to interview more artists like I did last year with Matthew Ramsey of Old Dominion and Matthew Nelson of Nelson. But I haven’t. Because that takes effort and I’ve been busy with a new(ish) job and life and just trying to keep all my balls in the air.

You know. Like everyone else.

I’ve only written seven blog posts all year. And maybe two newsletters (which you should totally sign up for because I obviously won’t overwhelm your inbox and you get a free book. Or rather bookette).

I did write this piece for my friend Jessica’s blog that I’m quite proud of, but only because she asked. And really. It was just a reworking of a piece I’d already written.

And my WIP – the sequel to Frosted Cowboy. LOFuckingL. I have an outline (ish). It’s actually a great story (at least that’s what everyone I’ve told the plot to says), even better than the first. And I’ve written some of it, obviously. But. But. What?

I’m just busy.

And lazy.

And so damn scared.

Because writing is so hard. And what if it’s terrible? (And like any first draft, it is so terrible.)

So, sure. I’ve had some goals. But I haven’t really had a plan. And  A goal without a plan is just a wish. I read that on Pinterest. Or maybe it was Twitter. One of those very philosophical websites.

A goal without a plan is just a wish

Saturday as I was cleaning that pile off my dining room table I came across an article I ripped out of Sunset Magazine by Anne Lamott called Time lost and found. And even though I was “so busy” and I’ve read it at least a dozen times before, I knew that this article about finding time to write was exactly what I needed and I sat down and read it again and it made me cry.

Because Anne Lamott knows the truth.

It’s so easy to make excuses. To be too busy to write. Busy job. Busy social life. Keeping all those balls in the air.

I’m not going to stop going to concerts or hiking with my husband or (god forbid) Happy Hour.

But what if I didn’t work through lunch every day. Or let one of those balls drop? (Or two? Or three? Or four?)

What if when I get up at 5AM (and I do, every single day) I actually write a blog post? Or contact a musician’s publicist? Or stopped being so scared to tackle my WIP?

Maybe in six month’s time – when the year is completely over, I’ll have done more than just have fun. More than just work. I’ll have created.

And my year will be one that was not half-lived.

 

*The quote “A goal without a dream is just a wish” is attributed to Antoine de Saint-Exupery (but you can find it on Pinterest). 

 

 

Adam Ant is Old and Fat (Says the Pot Calling the Kettle Black)

Adam Ant at the Mayan Theatre
Yes, that blurry creature in the pirate costume really is Adam Ant!

Two weeks ago my girlfriend Lisa took me to see Adam Ant. I was excited. I’ve loved Adam Ant since the early 80’s when he was still Adam and the Ants. (Ah the memories of me going to my friend Kellie’s every day after school in 12th grade to eat chipped beef or tuna on saltine crackers -trust me, it was delicious- and watch music videos on this brand new thing called MTV while we did our homework.)

I’d never seen Adam Ant in concert before, which seems unbelievable (to me anyway), because I’m a big concert-goer. At least I was. You know, when I was younger. These days I’m lucky if I see one or two shows a year.

Unless dragging my family kicking and screaming in the summertime to the free Sunday concerts-in-the-park  to see Queen and Bon Jovi cover bands counts as going to concerts. No? I didn’t think so.

Adam Ant was playing at the Mayan Theatre downtown so we had to battle weeknight commuter traffic to get there. Ugh. I don’t know how people drive in that everyday and retain their sanity. I also don’t understand why there is traffic going into the city when it should be coming out of the city – such is the beauty of LA.

We wanted to find somewhere to eat near the Mayan Theatre before the show. Have you ever tried to find a place to eat dinner in downtown Los Angeles? It’s nearly impossible. Unless you’re near the Staples Center, downtown LA is a scary ghost town at night. Fortunately The Staples Center is only a mile away from the Mayan, so we were able to find a place to eat (after driving around in the wrong direction) without too much difficulty.

We chose El Cholo. (Yes, there is one downtown now. And yes, Yum!)  Green chili and cheese tamales + Caesar salad + margaritas = two happy ladies.

After dinner we were walking back to the theater and I felt this HUGE splash on me. A car full of kids drove by and blasted us with an industrial-sized water gun or bucket or something, and as I was on the street side, half of my body was entirely drenched. Drenched! I squeezed into my favorite jeans, put on my cutest mid-life-belly-hiding-top, left the suburbs and battled ninety minute traffic to get a freaking bucket of water poured over half my head?!

And my hair looked really good that night. I even put on eyeliner!

Lisa started laughing because she only got a tiny bit wet and didn’t realize how badly I’d gotten soaked.

“It’s not funny Lisa!” I screamed at her. I might have screamed some other things too. A lot of other things. In retrospect I do not think I handled the situation very well. I think I said the “F” word a few times. (Or maybe a lot of times.)

There was a group of guys behind us and one of them had a camera. “Hey,” Lisa said, “did you get that on film? Let me see your camera.”

“What?” the guy said.

“You’re camera. Let me see it. Was this some sort of caught on film thing?” Lisa took his camera and started to scroll through his photos looking to see if they were in on the prank.

Nope. The guys just happened to be there. They were actually really nice and one of them walked me into the wine bar we were passing and got me some napkins so I could clean up. I thanked him and went into the bathroom to confirm my suspicions – yep, I looked like a drowned rat. At least on one side.

I told my kids the story the next morning at breakfast (minus the profanity) and how upsetting it was because it was very disorienting and at first I didn’t quite know what happened. And also I had looked really nice that night and it ruined my hair and make-up.

“Well, that doesn’t matter Mom,” Marley said. “You were just going to a concert. No one was going to see you. You weren’t trying to impress anyone.”

No one was going to see me? I wasn’t trying to impress anyone?! Adam Ant was going to see me! My 12th grade MTV crush! (At least one of them.) It didn’t matter where I was standing in that club. Surely Adam would find me and lock eyes with me and declare me the hottest and most desirable middle age mom woman in the crowd. Jeez! Haven’t I taught my daughter anything?

Because Lisa is a good friend (and was driving) she bought me another margarita when we got to the club. “Make it strong,” she told the bartender. “She needs it.”

As we were standing there I had a realization. A flash of an old memory. (And let me tell you, my memory is shit these days.)

“You know what?” I said to Lisa. “I think maybe I have seen Adam Ant before. In 1995 maybe. I used to work with a band called the Murmurs and I think they opened for him at the Wiltern. I think it was him. It might have been Joe Jackson. I’m not sure.”

“Well, one of them has a piano and one of them wears a pirate costume,” she said. “That’s a pretty big difference.”

I laughed. “Yeah, I know. My memory sucks. I’ll ask my friend Mindy. She’ll know.”

(Uh… Mindy – could you leave that in the comments please?)

Adam came on. The sound at the Mayan was terrible. So terrible that if Adam were more of a diva (and I hear he’s quite a diva) he’d have screamed the F word a few times and stomped off stage. You know, like I did when I got water dumped on half my head. (Uh oh, maybe I’m the diva.)

But Adam performed like a pro. He was awesome. And okay, he’s 57 years-old and still wears a pirate costume (which has morphed into something a little Jack Sparrow-ish if you ask me) and is maybe a little let’s say… fluffier than he used to be, but who isn’t these days? (Who isn’t fluffier I mean, not who isn’t wearing a pirate costume. Although, plenty of people were…)

And the audience loved it. Loved him. Despite the bad sound and extra fluff. The house was filled with die-hard fans singing and dancing to all the hits.

And in case you are wondering – yes he did lock eyes with me. My hair had dried by then so it was okay. Even though he’s old now and probably needs glasses. But then, who doesn’t these days?