Saturday, November 27, 2010

Well, at least SOMEBODY's back with some regularity

Trancin' and Dancin'
Originally uploaded by V'ron
And that somebody would be the Trance and Dance Band. Popped by Linneman's the other week to catch 'em. they used to play out a lot, oh, back in the early 90s (and I'm sure before then, before I moved to town) and then they would play rarely, so that it would seem that one of their performances would be an event and then they stopped playing altogether. Now they're back, with an almost completely different lineup. 4TA still is the center of it all, leading off each set with the Buffalo Muskrat Show. His son Reuben is now on keyboards, and Chris Loss is on bass. But new people everywhere else.

Hey the smoke eaters finally work at Linnemans! Oh, wait, its not that the smoke eaters work. It's that they don't have to work anymore. That's a side note in all of this, but it's an important one. Smoke wasn't keeping me out of the clubs, but the lack of it is sure an invitation to get out more. Now, if we could just do something about the sound. 4TA's got a terrific guitar player -- Walter -- but I couldn't hear a thing unless I went up to the stage and stood right next to his amp. I knew he was attempting complex stuff because I could see his fingers flying all over the fretboard, but it was a shame I missed it. I don't know if the acoustics in Linneman's are the culprit or what, or maybe the sound mix favors the singers who are normally the attraction of "Linneman's Bands." (You know what I mean by this, don't you? There's "Linneman's Bands" and there's "Circle A Bands" and there's "Cactus Club Bands" and such. "Linneman's Bands" tend to be very singer, lyrics focused.).

Anyway, they were wonderful. Still coming together but close enough to the old magic that they're worth coming out to see -- and that old magic will come by virture of them playing out and together more often. That was the thing about the Trance and Dance band. They didn't so much as start and stop song, they just kind of drifted in and out of them, like a group of people on a long journey together... and this group has just picked up some new passengers, that's all.

Where have I been? Dealing with lots of personal crap, boring stuff you woulc read about in a bunch of other blogs, I'm sure. Nothing critical, just that mundane old life stuff: broken down cars, getting the kids to and from school and scouts and games and birthday parties and all that. A few "Hey, Doc, what's this weird lump/skin lesion/numbness here"s that turned out to be nothing. Whining about the weather.

Self-righteously avoided shopping yesterday, but ended up buying myself a tow truck ride home from the YMCA anyway. But I really do hate the idea of Black Friday anyway. It used to be the day off after thanksgiving that you might as well use to get your Christmas shopping done. Now it's turned into the freaking Super Bowl. And I'm like one of those outsiders that always said, "Oh, I don't care about football that much." But really, if I have to get up at 3 am to freeze with a bunch of people and risk getting trampled on like I was a Who fan in Cincinnanti just to save $20, I guess I really don't need a new DVD player that badly. In a lot of repects, being unemployed last year was rather healthy for me. It put things in perspective, things like what I need and what I don't need. And I just don't need a lot of this stuff.

But I will admit, I do need to get out more. And that I will do, in a couple of weeks on my birthday. I have one of the best bands in the city agreeing to play for my 50th birthday, and as soon as I confirm the other band, I will let you know about this. My birthday's December 8, but since that's a Holy Day of Obligation (not to mention a school/work night), I'm celebrating it on the 11th. With a couple of bands, of course. How else would you celebrate fifty years of Vron? Save the date.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Confidently, a happy birthday

Stella Ubari
Originally uploaded by V'ron
It's been more than a week since Stella turned 12. I'm late with her birthday post. Sorry, Boo-Boos.

Especially when we had a really tight month, especially for a 12 eyar old. She's getting at that age where she doesn't want me around so much, claiming she doesn't need me around so much. s the fact that she still likes going shopping with me is HUGE. We still have fun together, mother and daughter, a kind of fun and knowing in-okes together that I hope we continue to have, even as she dives headfirst into this period of life where she's striking out on her own, trying to define just who this Stella person is. But whether she likes it or not, there's still a lot of me in her. Look at her. She dressed up as a Quentin Tarantino character for halloween for chrissakes? And nobody who knows me is at all surprised.

The best part though, was putting together the costume once she decided that's what she wanted to be. She somehow acquired some mode of confidence this year. It was the moxie that allowed her to put on the pieces as we hunted them down at Goodwill and New to You Kids (that's a boy's sportscoat we found for $4! -- she's still the bargain hunter I raised). It was the creativity she sparked as we figured out how we were going to make Gogo Ubari's weapon: "Well, we could go to Menards and get some chain...."

And she found this confidence this year to start swimming in the deep end of the pool ( a fear she's finally conquered), and to decide she really wants to play a musical instrument, and just the other day, she -- yes, the girl with the massive stage fright -- announced she wanted to get involved with First Stage. She even acknoledged as much: "Mom, I have to learn to get over this. I can't live my life being afraid of doing things in front of people." She's conquered so many fears this year that she's inspired me. Last year she would have NEVER agreed to enter a cart race against grown ups, and in those final nervewracking heats, she would have let her fear get the best of her. No, this year she pushed through that fear and she WON. She didn't give up, she gave it her all and she reaped the rewards. I was happy she won, but I was ecstatic that she didn't give up. She's starting to find that wonderfulness and talent in herself that I always knew was there, and both of us were frustrated that she would never let it manifest itself.

So this year's birthday was especially happy for me. I look back and see how much she's grown in just this past year, not just physically, but emotionally. It's a newfound confidence in herself that I think she's kind of getting off on. It's FUN to conquer a fear. So while I'm sure there's parents who are aghast that I have a 12-year-old who even knows who Gogo Ubari is, I'm right there with encouraging her to choose a costume for a character who, while wacked out of her skull, is beautiful, talented, well trained, and best of all, confident. No, she's not cocky at all yet, and she's still a little frightened about some things. Heck, she's only 12. But this was the year that some kind of self-confident spark finally got lit, and that's cause for celebration in and of itself.

Happy birthday, Boo Boos!