It Ain’t Over til it’s Over

I’m 33 weeks now, which places me in my 8th month. Almost in the home stretch- but like Lenny Kravitz once said, “It ain’t over til it’s over.” I still have PLENTY to do before then.

Last night I played a wedding gig in Charlottesville, VA. It was a good 3 hour drive, followed by lots of waiting. It was held at the manor of one of our first presidents, so there was lots of exploring to do. They had sheep, chickens, roosters and peacocks, but I found them very unfriendly, so that didn’t kill much time. We did have some fun making up dialogue for the sheep as they chewed away on cud or some such thing, but the novelty wore off. For some reason, all of us went for the same accent for the sheep- 40’s movie gangster dialect, “seeee?”.

"I'm a sheep, seeee?"

We wandered around a cobblestone path lined with hedges straight out of The Shining.

Creepy.

We came across a courtyard that had a game of cornhole all set up for the taking. After playing several very unsuccessful rounds, we gave up and just found a place to hang out and crack jokes til it was time to eat.

Been there, done that.

It’s been so interesting singing through all this. I mean, I’ve sung through every other major change in my life, so why should this be any different? It’s just that physically I’ve changed and I never know what each new day will bring. The biggest issue I’ve had so far is breathing. It takes me some time to re-adjust to my new lung capacity, but so far, I’ve been able to make it work. It’s not that my air is cut short. It’s all still there, I just have to access it in a different way.

Here's a good diagram of how pressed up my organs are, not to mention my diaphragm. Pretty crazy. I'm so thankful I'm able to compensate!

I really don’t know until I start how it’s going to be. Committing to these shows has been decided on a complete “feeling” level, since we have to commit so far in advance. “Do you think you will be ok for late April?” they ask. I think about it and say, “I feel like I’m going to be fine.” Of course there is no way of knowing for sure until it is upon us. I mean, thank goodness my cellulitis problem wasn’t going on this week instead of last week! I’ve finally finished my antibiotics (14 days of 40 pills=exhausting) just yesterday. I’ve still got my eye on it, though, as I’ve heard it can recur easily.

So back to the story. It’s time to sing… finally.  Interestingly, and possibly a blessing in disguise, was the fact that the majority of the requested songs for the night were mainly the responsibility of our male singer, so I didn’t have to press on all night, song after song.

To my surprise, though, I felt even more comfortable singing last night than I did 2 weeks ago. No trouble hitting those long, high notes. No trouble going low. No stamina issues to speak of. I just had be very aware of where I was taking breaths, and be sure to fit them in wherever possible.

Perhaps the most rewarding part of the night was when a guest came running up to me at the break. She made it a point to seek me out to affirm what I was doing. We had a really nice talk and she gave me some excellent advice at a time when I really needed it. So thank you, wedding guest. You really helped me and didn’t even know it. It’s amazing how the universe works. You get your answers and messages in ways that you will accept them- and for me, a complete stranger approaching me is the best way. Thank you again.

The night was a success. I celebrated with a hot chocolate and laughs on the way home.

Mmmmmm. Hit the spot.

But….. it ain’t over til it’s over.

This coming Friday, I have my last gig for a while with my other band, Megasaurus. This will be a full-on, 3 set bar gig. This will be my biggest challenge at this point in my pregnancy, but I “feel” like it’s going to be great. I don’t foresee any problems, and coming off a successful night last night, my confidence will be up. Which is a good thing.

After that, I have to concentrate on finishing up baby preparations and other loose ends. I can’t believe it’s coming to a close (err, an open?). I hope I reemerge like a phoenix at the end of this journey. I “feel” like I will.  : )

And because it’s probably in your head already, here’s Lenny:

Cat Calls and Cellulitis

We were coming home from a gig on Saturday night and stopped for sweet treats. This is a necessary ritual that Steve (friend and drummer) and I must perform after every gig. Of course, this doesn’t always mean something sweet, but after a grueling day’s work (ok, grueling mostly because of the length of time we have to be onsite- sitting around for hours and then performing for the last 2 hours) we need to re-fuel for the usual long ride home.

We hit a 7-11. It was an actual sweet treat stop for me this time, because the cupcakes at the reception looked SO DELICIOUS, but I did not get one. I replaced the idea with a Rice Krispies bar and a 12 oz cherry Slurpee. I can’t say they lived up to the beautiful cupcake, but I enjoyed them nonetheless.  So as we’re getting in the car, Steve says, “Did you hear that?” I was like, “Nooo.” “You just got cat called, girl!” I was like, “COME ON. Surely they were joking.” I remembered back to the time when Sr. Perpetua, my 5th/6th grade teacher, told us that a gang of construction workers had hooted at her at age 60 in her habit. We all thought it was pretty funny, she wasn’t sure if they meant it or not. Steve didn’t seem to think these particular guys were kidding. I glanced over and saw 4 dudes smiling my way. Jury’s still out.

Before I go on, I feel it necessary to quantify the following statement, as to not be confused with over-the-top, self-proclaimed beauty and writer Samantha Brick. I think every woman on the planet has been on the receiving end of cat calls and other unwanted advances. I don’t think I’m “special” for the attention. I believe we all deal with it. And on we go…

Don’t hate me for being beautiful, or conceited. Thanks.

Cat calls is something I’ve learned to live with. As a frequent walker, since around age 13, I’ve been dealing with it. As a young girl, you don’t even know it’s for you. Slowly you realize, and it’s “Who me?” Then you may find yourself feeling pretty good about yourself. “I must look a’ight.” Then, after the initial flattery wears off, these guys become “total losers”. They are total losers for quite some time- probably reaching the apex of annoyance in your late 20’s. But then, if you go out and nobody beeps or yells, it’s, “Hey. Where are all my losers?” You find yourself wondering if maybe you aren’t so hot after all. I’ve never quite broken it down before now, and I’m not proud- but it turns out cat callers can get in your head.

Total Losers

I’ve not been too much at a loss for the callers and the hitter-onners at work (another fun group of “total losers”).  I thought it might all be over when I got engaged, then married. No. Not so much. Almost worse, really. Then, I thought  when I got pregnant and started to show that MAYBE it would finally be over. But no. Not really at all. I’ve had several come-ons while dragging around, feeling horrible and looking (at least to myself) like some sort of bloated zombie. Granted, spring has been in the air since February. I think maybe men are blinded by biology. Maybe you’ve had this experience also- the one day you don’t shower, you are wearing sweatpants, no make up, hair all a mess and you just have to run a few errands…. that is the day you get the most “hollas”. It’s like some sort of cruel joke. Especially on the heels of going out to a bar when you actually tried to look good, and had no takers. I found around my mid-twenties, that it all was just kind of funny. The guys can be SOOOO serious about their hoot or holler… and then ZOOM, they are gone. I’ve often wanted to yell something back, like, “Wait! I think I LOVE YOU!” but really, we shouldn’t engage. Ever. Just let it go… in the end, it’s all just ridiculous.

Just yesterday, I went to buy some soft slippers after being diagnosed with extreme swollen ankles and cellulitis on my right ankle, which is some sort of bacterial skin infection. As I’m standing there waiting to check out, feeling pretty bad- rockin’ my “clankles” that have a diseased looking infection, this man rounds the corner and looks at me like he’s never seen a lady before. He was roughly 75. He stopped short and said, “Well, HELLO.” “Hi,” I managed to get out but just looked the other way. I couldn’t engage. It was all too much. Leave me be with my problems, kind sir.

So in regards to the infection, I’ve been ordered off my foot for the next 2 days. I’m not happy about this at all, for so many reasons. Turns out being pregnant is no joke. Doctors don’t fool around with anything. Whatever is going on on my ankle- whether it’s cellulitis or some other thing, they don’t even want to cut into it to culture it unless they absolutely have to- for fear of letting some other bacteria into it. So far antibiotics seem to be getting me going in the right direction, but doctors are still treating it seriously. I guess the big worry is that whatever it is could enter the bloodstream and hurt the baby. So I’m being closely monitored.

Ahhhhh, marvel at the shapeless wonder that is my ankle and foot. We’re in trouble if the redness goes outside the pen mark.

In conclusion, I’m going to go get my feet up. If my cat-callers could only see me now- “YOOOOWWWWW!” ; )

I am a baby in my universe- I live forever

I remember when my grandmother turned 80, my cousin Terrie, a college student, was living with her. I used to hang out with them many weekends. Terrie said to her, “Grandma, I can’t believe you are EIGHTY. I mean, EIGHTY!! What does it feel like to have lived so long?” I will never forget what she said, as it really stuck with me in regards to the way people view their lives.

She said, “I am the same person I was at 5, 20, 35, 50, 70… I’ve just always been me, I don’t feel any different.”

It was an eye-opener. At then 16, I thought, “Wow- you know, she’s right.” We are who we are, we just know more and have more experiences. But we are always that same person we were from the start. An interesting thing to think about with a little wiggle-worm in my stomach.

I feel like little Patrick is really starting to feel pretty confident in his own little universe. He’s able to do whatever he wants, live life on his own little terms. The feeling I get from him is that he is in there just having his own little adventure, already learning and practicing for the next step- even though he doesn’t know what that next step is, or that it is necessarily coming! It’s a lot how we live our lives and transition to death. We always think of death as the worst possible scenario- but really- it’s just the next step. In Patrick’s case, soon he will go from being a free-floating being to a helpless slave to gravity. He will have to figure it out as he goes along, as will his mom and dad. We will all be in it together.

Upon thinking about all of this, I wondered if there was a song that might encapsulate it all. So I googled, “in my own universe song”. I came across this crazy song by Daniel Johnston. Turns out the guy is manic depressive and schizophrenic, which could have been guessed just by listening to the song. I chose a cover of this song to share, because it was slightly less disturbing than the original. : )  The people who covered it took it a step further also, adding higher and higher ages, which brings me back to my grandmother. No matter where we are in our lives, we always have this feeling that we will live forever. The funny thing is, I think we are right to feel this invincibility- of course we will all “die” someday, but that doesn’t mean our souls don’t go on- forever.

“Where are Patrick and Megan?”

This question was posed to my sister by my 3 1/2 year old nephew today. My sister said he just said it out of nowhere. They hadn’t been talking about me, though they had seen me on Friday, where we talked about the baby some. I didn’t know he was on a first name basis with him yet, but find it so sweet. My little guy is going to have cousins his own age, which I never really thought would happen. I think of my cousins, and there are no closer people (besides my siblings) who understand me better than them. The shared family experiences and behaviors are the ties that bind. I’m glad Patrick will be able to experience that. Cousins are the best!

So, where were Patrick and Megan today? Most recently, we were stuck at my work, waiting for the police to show up. Lemme ‘splain.

We close at 9pm. I had a few stragglers in there tonight, but finally got everyone out by about 9:15. I was busy catching up, because my evening help didn’t show up.  I was working alone, yet again. At around 9:30, I saw an SUV pull up. I thought I better go hit the lights-usually that makes people pull away. Not these people. They were still there at 10:25 when I finally broke down and called the cops. I really didn’t want to- but there was NO CHANCE I was walking out there alone in my condition.

It’s amazing to me how vulnerable I feel right now. It’s not just me anymore. The old me would have probably just called a friend and closed up anyway. There’s a lot more at stake now. There was no way I was walking out that door alone- I couldn’t begin to make myself. I guess this is a new mother instinct. Already protective. Also, I can’t say that my instincts aren’t usually on. I genuinely don’t jump to conclusions, but if I do, there’s usually a reason.

A cop finally showed up and checked out the people and the vehicle.  I was dying as he shined the bright light in their faces, and talked to them over the loud speaker. Oh, man! They’d think again about hanging out in front of a store after hours! After a few minutes, he sent the people on their way and signaled for me to exit the building. He said, “They said they were customers- they were in your store earlier.” I said, “I really couldn’t see them with the rain and glare on their windshield, and we closed an hour and a half ago.” He said it was a man and a woman. When they left, the man got out of the SUV and drove off in another car. They left separately. What I don’t understand is why did they get in the same car and pull up to the building? I said, “I don’t know, but if that’s true, they knew I was in there alone. Plus, they parked between the door and my car!” The cop assured me I did the right thing by calling. I think I did too. Just because it was a man and a woman talking, doesn’t mean they weren’t up to no good. If it’s who I think it was, they were first time customers. I’d never seen them before. Who knows what they could be up to?!

And so concludes another ridiculous day in my ridiculous life.  I wonder what the rest of this week will bring.

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