Work: June 2006 Archives

Now they might cure my PMS


During college I interned at Clear Channel, or what snooty indie rockers refer to as Papa Satan. I was a gopher, assistant Xerox goddess, secretary, and designate merch girl wherein I got paid to go to a lot of really cool shows, sit behind a booth, and push shirts and CDs. I also set up a tip jar, though accepted free beer in lieu of tips. I've always loved music. The guy I dated before Chris was a psycho who once stalked me and a three-year-old Liam through a shoe store and peered at us between the shelves. He encouraged me to buy my first guitar, a modestly pink Fender Stratocaster, so we could jam together. I learned quickly and kept it as a hobby long after we split, only to have it find refuge at Chris's studio. It has a gorgeously warm tone which distracts from its color.

I never had any interest to play music anywhere except in the privacy of my own home for my children, though I consider myself music obsessed. I grew up around it as a kid in my grandparents' tavern where they hosted traveling rock bands; around friends; my first concert was to see Al Green at the Fox when I was 16 because I was an eccentric teen who truly liked the Rev.
We own crates, and crates, and crates of CDs, some our favorite artists being U2, the Cure, the Cult, Susan Tedeschi, Johnny Cash, the ensembles from the "O Brother Where Art Thou" soundtrack, Nine Inch Nails, Metallica (pre-"Garage, Inc."), the Sex Pistols, Black Flag, the English Beat, Simple Minds, Queen, etc. We have too many favorites.

Chris' job is a bonus because I get to hear new artists and established artists and taste where music is heading. I would describe my own musical predilection as leaning to blues-based rock and industrial. Not every client Chris and Doug work with fits this vein, and while I normally consider his work nothing more than his work and leave it at that, I've been practically eating the songs by two of their latest clients, Full Day Affair and One Lone Car. To put it simply: If I weren't a loyal, happily married woman, I WOULD STALK THEM.
I've been listening to Full Day Affair non-stop for the past three weeks - the guys featured on the giant skyscraper ad to your left. Remember when I was all stressed and talking about the stress and you were probably all STOP TALKING ABOUT THE STRESS ALREADY? One morning as I was experiencing The Worst of It, I put Full Day Affair onto my ipod and their music - it's like Sunday rock - soothed my nerves and I completely chilled out. It's smart rock; it's a great disc with which to enjoy the afternoon - open your windows, your front door, sit on your porch with some friends and a bottle of pinot grigio.

The big, full-color ad means that their CD is finished and stocked in the studio's new online store; the store will soon feature titles by other Shock City artists. The coordination of all of this is one of the stress factors we've struggled with the past week. All of these CDs are just waiting for new homes! Won't you love one?

I caught this post yesterday on one of the blogs I read and later caught the news piece on KMOV. (Just to say - when I really want to know what's going on in St. Louis neighborhoods, I read Steve Patterson. Also, you know that blogging has arrived when the networks get info for their top story from a blogger.)

Normally I'm all kids, boobs, and poop over here, but this issue strikes close to home as a) Chris is co-heading a much-publicized rehab that qualifies as "gentrification," plus, we're also preparing to move back to the city into a rehabbed area. I want to move back into the city for the diversity and to escape the lily-white hicks who live and die by "Freebird." However, I want to move back into an area where the buildings don't look decrepit, where homeowners take care of their property; a neighborhood that's safe in which my kids can play.

I'm enraged by people like this ("Good for them?" Are you JOKING?), excellently described in Patterson's comments as:
"... represents an anti-gentrification zealot usually no more than ex-suburbanite turned 'bourgeoisie radicals' who took one too many social science classes at university, and now feel compelled to appoint themselves as a guardian of what they perceive as a victimized class, by making victims of another."
FYI - the market determines the price of those "over-priced condos," you butthat.

It's amazing that there are people who think that you must stifle growth in order to maintain diversity. I say "SOCIAL!" you say "IST!" "SOCIAL!" "IST!" "SOCIAL!" "IST!" Yes! Say "no" to an increase in your tax base! Say "no" to more tax dollars for schools and public works thereby condemning yourself to increased property taxes to shoulder the ever-increasing burden! (While whining about the rising taxes.) Dude, that's redneck reasoning.

That mindset truly doesn't understand the city and is determined to ruin it. That, THAT is the real threat.

Two years


Of everything I've done in the past two years of, I'm most proud of this distinction: #1 in a Google search for "nicknames for country grandpa's."

I spent a good portion of yesterday all teary from the e-mails and comments. I feel a bit like Lorne Michaels when he asked Rudy Giuliani "Can we be funny?" on the 2001 season premiere of SNL. I watched the dramatization documentary, became infuriated and got all teary at the end again.
A new day. Another five years.

So I switched up the mast and changed some colors.
This month also marks the second anniversary of spilling my trials, triumphs, and misadventures on this website. I blogged for a year prior on a different Blogger site before changing things up, so three years of blogging in total. The purpose of my blog has changed somewhat to suit my needs over the past two years. I began blogging initially as a way to keep writing after I left the office and came home to freelance and care for Liam. Blogging kept me on the bicycle. It began to make me money, which we needed, despite the women who wrote in after my SAHM piece and insinuated that I must be rich to stay home HOW NICE FOR ME that I'm rich. Being rich would erase some of life's problems, but no, not rich! The money I make pays for our health insurance, Liam's asthma meds, and other bills. She works hard for the money.

This month also marks a year since I had Mamalogues trademarked - as it's paying bills and such, I need to protect my bass. Which is why I got a weensy bit angry when I discovered that some yuppie Beverly Hills boutique was trying to pass off my site name as their property and making cash off of it - which is why I made a call to get all ghetto cease-and-desist-y on said yuppie boutique after they ignored my previous polite requests to stop using my name. And I was so polite! I'm normally very polite, very straightforward, but so polite! However, I can get really, really white trash, BRING IT pushy.

I love sharing my experiences with you all and I've met some truly awesome people through my website. I'm astounded at the number of old friends that have found me through it. I'm astounded further by the number of kindred spirits out there who read daily. So many of you write in to share your own experiences, offer well-meaning advice; a few of you regulars (Jen S., LeAnn, MN, Sarah W., others) send me links to things you'd think I'd find interesting. Jen S. once sent me a photo of a classic mulleted redneck (saving for a future post) that caused me to choke on a gulp of orange juice. That so many of you take the time out to drop me a line and put a name with one of the thousands who read each week, that's pretty remarkable. I feel like I'm connecting. I appreciate it.
Thanks. Warm fuzzies, AWWW.

Also thanks to Craig who helped beat my site design into submission. Last but not least, a MAMMOTH thanks to my host and friend, X (and his luuurvely wife, my friend Nicky), who lets me park my site on his server and totally bailed me out with the move to MT. I couldn't do what I do without him. And without you all, I'd just be droning on to nobody.

**ADDENDUM: LeAnn has informed me that I am also #1 in a Google search for Darth Vader is lots of awesome. I want that on my epitaph.

WOW. The mail has been ... wow. I feel loved. Actually, it picked me up off my backside when my stress level topped Elmo last week.

My two-year affair with Blogger is officially over. I noticed that Blogger wouldn't publish while I was in Washington; it also stopped saying "I love you" when I called it on the phone. I e-mailed them and inquired as to what the deal was, yo. Others were also having difficulty with Blogger. Blogger sat on its a-double snakes. The only thing to do was to move my website from Blogger's platform to that of Moveable Type, something I've been considering for awhile now; I just didn't want to do it RIGHT NOW as the timing couldn't be worse. Plus, I know precisely crap about CSS. In Blogger, I chopped up and re-did some of the HTML to suit my needs; I had to get help with Mamalogues 2.0.

Herein lies my BIG thanks to several awesome people who helped me through this hell, my generous host, Martin, the man with the driest humor EVER (so dry! It's awesome!). He and his wife, Nicky, rock and I love them both because they refrained from making fun of me when we saw "28 Days Later" and I scream-talked back to the screen throughout the movie.

A big thanks to Craig Wagner, who I called in my 11th hour and was all "Moveable Type is possessed. Or I'm just stupid. I'm positive it's the latter." Craig has Jedi CSS skillz. He's fluent in every computer language! He designs awesome websites! He does it fast! He needs work! E-mail and hire him!

So now ... introducing ... Mamalogues 2.0.
You'll notice that besides the new three-column layout, there are several other new features: Categories! Permalinks! Trackbacks! Commenters will also be required to leave an e-mail address when commenting, which I'm sure will whittle down those drive-bys. I do not do anything with e-mail addresses or anyone's private information ever; those are the animals we sacrifice in my son's homeschool classes.

Despite the pain it took in getting to this point (Blogger was so easy, therein lies the problem; MT is much more complex, tricky, and somewhat confusing), I'm happy with the end result and I hope that you are, too. There are a few things left to tweak (some of the sidebar links included), and I'm sure that I'll have to work out a few future glitches here and there as I acclimate to my new platform and learn CSS, however should you stumble upon a bug or problem, please drop me a line and let me know.

I've missed you.

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