Friday, April 12, 2013

Weighty Matters.

They say a lady doesn't tell her age or her weight. I've already told you how old I am, so you may as well just know: I weigh 155.

One hundred and fifty-five pounds. I've never weighed this much in my life. I got married in a size 4 wedding dress that not only had to be shortened, it also had to be taken up in the bazoom. That was 23 years and about 40 pounds ago, when I wasn't concerned with weight. I vowed I would never be one of those people obsessed with her weight.

Now, 23 years later . . . I wouldn't say I'm obsessed with my weight, but I do think about it. It's hard not to think about it when you pull out last year's summer linen slacks and they don't fit anymore. It's hard not to think about it when you go through your old stuff for the Goodwill and toss out a bunch of S labels because they make you look like an overstuffed sausage, if you can get them on at all. It's hard not to think about when you buy a size L t-shirt and the damn thing is TOO SMALL. Granted, the women's t-shirts now are cut pretty tiny, but still. I'm not LARGE.

Larger than I used to be, yes, like a lot of women my age, but I don't think anyone would say I was LARGE.    However, I have a few size 12s in my closet, and 12 is considered a plus size.

Really? Do any of you who have seen me in person really think I'm a PLUS SIZE? I mean, come ON.

Yes, I have done the diet & exercise thing. The truth is, though, I love to eat and I hate to exercise much. I go for walks, I lift a few weights, I practice a little yoga. Sometimes I dance. I try not to eat too much junk. That's about it. I've held pretty steady at 155 for awhile now, so this may be where I stay. I don't particularly like it, because I don't care for the womanly squishiness 155 pounds has brought me, but it ain't going away overnight. Heck, it may not go away at all, which means I better just get used to the idea.

I'm trying. It's a struggle, when I consider my tiny 21 year-old self, but I'm trying.

I remind myself there's quite a bit of muscle under the squish. I can lift & carry a 52-pound box of copy paper, which always leaves the delivery guys stunned. I can tote a giant bag of dog food on my shoulder. I'm also pretty bendy for an old broad. My last physical therapist called me Gumby. (I thought everybody could bend over at the waist and put their palms on the floor.) And I can still do the splits - not as effortlessly as I once did, but I can still do it. My cholesterol is "beautiful" (doctor's exact words) and my vital organs all still work, so I reckon that's all good. It's going to have to be.

Acceptance is a bitch, but she forces you to be honest. I hate her and I love her at the same time.

Till next time --- accept yourself.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Best. Weekend. Ever.

Well, one of them, anyway. How can it not be a fantastic weekend when you go to see Richard Thompson?

Most of you know that I am absolutely crazy about Richard Thompson. I have to admit, though, I am late to the game. I mean, I always was aware of him - heck, I had a Rolling Stone subscription for most of the 80s - but beyond hearing him on the radio here & there, I didn't pay much attention. And then, one evening, I was driving up to Hendersonville and I heard this piece on Fresh Air: Richard Thompson - Looking Back. By the time the show was over, I was completely gobsmacked. Why did I not know about this before??? What rock had I been living under?

I got out of the car to meet Mister and our friends to set up for an event, and I was babbling like an idiot. "OhmyGAWDyouguys, I was just listening to this Richard Thompson interview, and it's like, HOLY CRAP, he sounds like 4 people playing the guitar! And the songs. SWEET FANCY MOSES, THE SONGS."

Mister said, "Yeah, my old roommate and I used to listen to RT a lot back in the day."

I may or may not have accused him of holding out on me. "We've been married 20 years and YOU NEVER TOLD ME???" He just shrugged. The next week I commenced to buying up RT downloads on iTunes. He came to town just a few weeks after my Great Revelation, but we were too broke and too busy to go that time. We finally did get to see him at the Belcourt in an acoustic solo show, which I wrote about in an earlier blog post. Saying that it was magical doesn't even do it justice. The fact that I'm still talking about it two years later should be a clue.

This time, RT had a band with him: drummer Michael Jerome and bassist Taras Prodaniuk, both incredible musicians themselves. He joked about them being a power trio, but that's definitely what they were. Now, I'm not a guitar player, and I don't have any desire to be one, but I'm always amazed by people who make it look effortless. It's like magic. Logically I know it takes work and practice, but still . . . magic, as far as I'm concerned.

I imagine that when you have as large a body of work as RT does, it's hard to choose what songs to put into a 2 hour show. Of course he did several songs from his new album, Electric (just go buy a copy; you'll thank me later), but there were a few surprises, too. I didn't really expect to hear "Did She Jump or Was She Pushed?" or "Wall of Death," but there they were. And if that wasn't enough of a surprise, the power trio launched into "Hey Joe." Yes, that "Hey Joe." It was nothing short of magnificent. A couple of my favorites were missing, but I was pretty content nonetheless. He ended with "Tear Stained Letter" and had the whole house singing along.

The ultimate in geekery for me, though, was "Sidney Wells," a murder ballad (of course!) in 9/8. I love murder ballads, and I love 9/8, so to get both in the same package is pretty darn exciting. And how often do you hear a slip jig played on a red Fender?

So. Richard Thompson on Saturday night, followed up on Sunday afternoon with an Irish singing class at McNamara's with the lovely and charming Michelle Burke. Yeah. Best. Weekend. Ever.

Till next time --- may your weekends be glorious.