My Mom Is Better Than Your Mom

OK, so this may not be categorically true. Only one person was polled: me. I am sure your moms have done great things too and are superheroes in their own way. My mom turns 75 today and instead of a gift, she asked that the people who love her write a note to her or create a work of art. This is a little of both. Happy Birthday Mom. I don’t think she will mind this existing in such a public forum.

My mom has had many roles over the years, but I want to focus on one, motherhood. She has been a mom for 55 years now and if you added up all the years for every child, it is over 350!

11203570_10206205266758210_7823587336853467529_oAnd just in case you were wondering if that’s where she got all her gray hair from, then what about the purple or the blue?? Where did she get that colorful streak? I think it is from her sense of adventure and whimsy. There are so many stories, and I want to share just a couple with you that helped shape me into the woman I am today.

My mom had 6 kids under the age of 6. After they pick their jaws up, people always ask me how she did it. I am not sure anyone knows.  When she had the twins in 1967, before ultrasounds were the norm, she fought with the doctor for much of her pregnancy because he was insistent that she was carrying one baby when she knew there were two babies were in there. Imagine the chaos when she brought those two home to add to the four of us (ages 5, 4, 2, and 1.) And what a gift when she brought home one more 5 years later to make our family complete. Even with her hands so full, there were many things she did to make each of us feel special.  One of those days for me was when I was almost 10. She stayed home while my dad took a bunch of us somewhere, maybe to the Great New York State Fair. When we arrived back at home base, she had made me my very own bedroom (I think she gave up her sewing room.)  It was very special to have a space of my own with so many in our family. Thanks Mom, for teaching me that no matter how busy or chaotic life is, there is a way to treat people like they are important.

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#overpassfest

Many say that Syracuse is just an average college town, but with much more snow. There is at least one person out to change that perception (besides my mom, champion of the Near West Side) and his name is Michael John Heagerty, voted Best Community Advocate in 2016’s Best of Syracuse, run by our local community publication the Syracuse New Times.

 

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Last week I was once again at #overpassfest. It’s an informal gathering of artists and musicians that has been happening every week since June. So far there have been #overpassfests at the Onondaga Creekwalk, the Inner Harbor, the Erie Canal Museum, and at the Great New York State Fair, and each one has been unique and amazing. Musicians with guitars, basses, tambourines, trombones, and even a couple of cajons (a percussion box that you can sit on and play at the same time) show up at the designated place at the appointed time and just start to perform. The groups constantly change as the evening goes on. Add in photographers (like my friend Lisa Kane), artists of all sorts of media, and for at least one week, a guy with a typewriter that wrote poems on demand. Every week people gather and create together in a community space that otherwise doesn’t see a lot of action.

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Tramps Like Us

I spent much of the day today rockin’ it out to Bruce and his new album, Chapter and Verse, released Friday. It’s a companion CD for his book due out today, Born To Run. The songs on it were fun and span his life in music, but some of my favorites weren’t included, so I thought I would put a few of my own out there for you all to enjoy. Today is my birthday (those of you on facebook have already been informed several times!) and it is so cool that at 9:27 a.m. on 9/27 I am blogging, doing something I really love.  #lovemylife

Tenth Avenue Freeze Out (1975) 

This song is my very first Springsteen song, introduced to me by my college roommate Joanie.  We even had a dance, which we are sure to resurrect when I visit her next winter in Key West.

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Big Sister Little Sister Fair Day, 20th Anniversary Edition

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“At least I don’t work in a lemon!”, I said to Jen as we walked by someone pouring lemonade in a giant lemon.  I  could have been a little more humble; I had three part time jobs and none of them seemed like they would pan out.  It was 1995 and I was distracting myself from the reality that I was 33 and had just moved back home to Syracuse and in with my mother (nothing personal, Mom.)

Last year Jen and I celebrated the 20th Anniversary of Big Sister Little Sister Day at the Great NYS Fair. We have a path we have worked into a groove, although we do try to put one new and different thing in every year. This year for the first time we didn’t go together, which may be OK since the landscape has changed significantly and our memories are just that, memories.

Curly fries with malt vinegar This is usually our first food item, within the first 2o minutes.  No matter how much malt vinegar we shake onto the overfull plate of fries, it never seems enough. Later in the day I always go to the Dinosaur BBQ booth for a sausage sandwich, then finish up the trip with a cinnamon candy apple. Continue reading “Big Sister Little Sister Fair Day, 20th Anniversary Edition”

You Can See The Stars And Still Not See The Light

Sweet voices rang out: “You can’t hide your lyin’ eyes, and your smile is a thin disguise. I thought by now you’d realize, there ain’t no way to hide your lyin’ eyes.” No instruments, just voices, singing in perfect harmony. It was a bold artistic choice to start the song this way and my breath caught in my throat as I listened. And who pulled off this performance?  None other than one of my bands, Day Ja Voo. One of the strongest skills in their wheelhouse, their harmonies, were showcased when Day Ja Voo first performed Seven Bridges Road, a vocally challenging song by Steve Young, then moved to Lyin’ Eyes.

http://www.dayjavooband.com/

The guys were invited to participate in Tribute Tuesdays, a music series at The Ridge, a golf course and restaurant in Chittenango, NY, near where I live. This song was just one of the many amazing musical moments that happened last Tuesday night. I would like to take this moment to thank Melinda for her hospitality and her great staff for excellent service. Julie and Lexie were amazing! Now that she has listened to both the Van Morrison and the Eagles tributes, I think Lexie is finally realizing that she does know classic rock!  I have been to The Ridge several times for musical performances, including other Tribute Tuesdays for Bob Dylan and Paul Simon and I just love the venue. Unfortunately, I have been out of town for one of the most fun shows they have, Ridgestock, and hope to make it out there next year .  My sister and friends went last month and thought it was a spectacular day of music, recreating the music and covering the bands of the original Woodstock!

http://www.golfattheridge.com/

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And, I’m Back!

It has been too long since I have posted a blog. I have no excuse, and yet I thought I had many: too hot, too tired, too busy, not feeling it…and none of them are good enough. This is a new month and it is time for a new Band Wife (that means me!).

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This gorgeous sunset picture was taken at Scusset Beach and is just one of the many memories I have of this summer.  I went to Cape Cod last week with my nephews Nick and Diego and, being teens on their phones for much of our time together, renewed my interest in social media and reaching out to everyone, so here I am committing to 2 blog posts a week for the month of September,

I will be improving the website, writing more blogs, and tweaking my brand with help from my consultant, Linda Lowen at Always Wanted To Write.  More about her to come as we continue on my journey!!

Follow me and I promise some fun stories of my escapades this past summer and reports of all the great things that the bands are doing!!  These guys have been playing and practicing all summer and want to share their music with you all, party people!!

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Almost Famous, Band Wives Edition

First of all, let me say that the Band Wives need a tour bus. There are details still to be worked out, like full-time jobs and families and children, and how the two bands would tour together, but Mobius Jones, Day Ja Voo, and more importantly, the Band Wives, need a tour bus.

Ever since everyone started joking about how I have been stalking Day Ja Voo and Mobius Jones three years ago, people have told me I needed to watch the movie Almost Famous. There is actually an entire list of movies I have never seen, and we are working through it slowly, one by one, so I just put this one at the bottom.  Then I caught the pilot episode of Roadies, the new series on Showtime this summer by the guy who wrote Almost Famous, Cameron Crowe.  After watching this very engaging and electric first episode on Netflix (where they try to get you sucked in to try their Showtime app), I decided to put Almost Famous at the top of the list.  This morning I caught the movie, and I now see what the hype is all about.  This movie entertained me like no other in my recent movie watching history. And I want  to be Penny Lane (Kate Hudson’s character), but without all the sex. And the drugs.  OK, maybe just for Halloween.

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I Want You To Want Me

At the last minute, I decided to join a couple of the band guys at Taste of Syracuse. It had been a few years since I have gone to a festival in downtown Syracuse, but after a really great concert the night before (Ringo Starr and the All Star Band at the Lakeview Amphitheater) we thought it would be fun to check it out the headliner, Cheap Trick. I met John and Bryan on the NE corner of Washington and Franklin Streets (it’s a Plessas thing), and we wandered into the venue area where we got our $7 craft beers (Shocktop is a craft beer?) and listened to one of the bands of my youth. Well, OK, one of the bands of my high school boyfriend’s youth.  I went to a Cheap Trick concert in high school because Duck (not his real name) loved them and bought tickets for his birthday.  It must be said that later on in our relationship I drew the line at seeing Rush; I bought him a ticket and then I stayed home!

We were pretty packed into the crowd (it was a free concert, after all) and it was hard to move. Despite the cramped quarters, I was proud that I was able to get our 3 beers from the beer tent in the back to the guys without spilling a drop. My secret?  I just found the biggest guy I could and followed him through the crowd and leap frogged from guy to guy until I got back to the guys!  Now if only I could find it as easy to do that when dating, LOL.

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Everywhere You Look…Come Home To Fuller House

Tonight I was channel surfing and my remote landed on Nick at Nite and the 90’s sitcom, Full House. It was the two-part series finale, where Michelle gets amnesia. There are other storylines included, with Jesse doing too many things and not getting any of them right, DJ deciding to not go to her prom, and Stephanie trying get a guy from drama class to kiss her. In the end, Michelle gets her memory back, Jesse learns his lesson about focusing on what is important, Steph gets kissed, and DJ gets to go to the prom with her boyfriend Steve. Touching speeches are made, and there are Tanner family hugs for everyone!

I loved Full House.  A bit older than the intended audience, that did not stop me from watching Full House most Friday nights.  I worked as a group home night counselor for teenage girls.  We watched together and they loved the TGIF lineup, even though their lives were a far cry from the kids in their cushy surroundings on TV each week. The drama, angst, goofiness, and laughter of the original series still make people laugh today, and the powers that be tell us there will be more of the same in the new Netflix series Fuller House, available on February 26.

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Ryan Reynolds, Will You Be My Valentine?

Yes, I know Ryan Reynolds is a little out of my league.  Yes, I know he is People’s 2015’s Sexiest Man Alive.  Yes, I know he is very happily married.  Yes, I know he is a new father and is devoted to his daugher, James (he is on the cover of People this week as the Sexiest Dad Alive.) And yet, I want Ryan Reynolds to be my valentine.

I first discovered Ryan Reynolds on television in 1998 when he starred in the sitcom Two Guys and a Girl (originally titled Two Guys, a Girl, and a Pizza Place).  As often happens when there is a choice between a pretty boy and a responsible, preppy looking type guy, I chose to crush on the preppy Pete. I thought Ryan’s Berg was a little dim and self absorbed. Immature and goofy, he was just not my type.

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