bentangle

Tag: marriage

Macklemore

by on Mar.27, 2013, under money, music, philosophy, politics

It started with silence, empty air. It’s been a while since I’ve listened to the radio in the car even though I still appreciate new music. I’ve always had a thirst for knowledge, so my morning and afternoon commutes became a vehicle to slake that thirst. I can certainly bore you with the details of my podcast consumption habits that formed from there, but that isn’t really the point of this story. The point is that with the recurring set of shows I had come to listen to, I had gotten ahead of my supply with plenty of road ahead of me. So, recalling hearing good things about The Nerdist from somewhere, I queued up the latest episode and was instantly hooked.

Two weeks later (late last week), I’m listening to Chris Hardwick chatting with this YouTube Rap/HipHop artist named Macklemore. It was a compellingly interesting episode, but without clips of his songs my curiosity was only mildly piqued. But over the weekend, on an evening after the kids were in bed, I sought out his supposed breakout hit, and here is what I found:

Say what you like, but this thing is hilarious, catchy, clearly not kid friendly (glad I listened after bedtime), fun and light, and also has a message nested in there.

Jump to today – there has been a bit of a Facebook movement where people are changing their profile pics to red squares with pink equal signs on them (or some variant thereof). This is in support of marriage equality and coincides with the Supreme Court’s initiation of hearing arguments about California’s Proposition 8. I’ve read the arguments that this is a weak move and that a stronger action would be to donate money to causes, etc. I don’t care – I partook and I stand by the sentiment that it stands for – we all deserve to live and love equally.

So this evening as I’ve relaxing (once again having gotten the kids settled for the night) and perusing the musings on Facebook when an inkling tickles the back of my brain from that Nerdist episode – Macklemore also spoke of another song he did that got some mixed reaction called Same Love:

I watched this and got goosebumps and nearly cried, emotions swelled – a mix of pride and hope as well as shame and sorrow. Watch it, and you will get it (or you won’t, you are entitled I guess). This is more than just a music video – it is a short film as well as an anthem for the marriage equality and gay rights movement. I immediately posted it to Facebook.

The point that I’m getting to here is this: I could sit here right now and write entire blog posts about each of these videos. And if I did, the Venn diagram of their traits would be a small sliver of awesome. The one – a serious and moving story and diatribe about the plight of a yet oppressed minority within our nation and world, the other – a light, pompous romp about making fashion gold out of Goodwill fare (with an unveiled jab at the fashion/consumerist establishment). Together, these songs (and many others) paint the picture of a complex, intelligent individual who has a decided talent for expression through verse – one whom I now have a great appreciation and respect for and had otherwise no knowledge of two weeks ago.

Am I about to start clothes shopping at thrift stores now? Not likely. Am I gearing up to march on Washington over political issues? Not this week, but I wouldn’t rule it out. What I’ve really learned from this is two things: First, never underestimate a medium – I was never a big fan of HipHop and mostly dismissed it as the messages were all gold, guns, and girls, but here I was proven wrong. Second, labels don’t always fit – Macklemore doesn’t get much radio airplay as he is unsigned and pretty much a YouTube artist. But Billboard is starting to get where the audience is, and as such, he made it on the charts AS an unsigned YouTube artist and has since been on SNL and various other gigs (again, I could likely do a whole blog post on this topic as well).

The bottom line is that if I can still have my mind opened further at the age of 37, we all can if we let it happen. If it’s from this, you’re welcome. If it is from something else, that’s great too. But the moment you close out new experiences you stop living in the world, and the world is a variegated and interesting place.

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Happy Anniversary to my Down-to-Earth Bride

by on May.31, 2009, under About Me, family, parenthood

Rise and shine – it is the dawn of a new day!  At least the sun is technically on its way up.  I’d like to have slept later, but my 2-year-old son scrambling up the stairs to my room prevent that from happening … much like my responsibilities 12 years ago.  I had to be up at the crack of dawn to drive all the way to the church to drop off the license and stop at the soon-to-be-in-laws to drop something off for my fiancee before heading out with the guys to get our tuxes.  Upon returning to my apartment (almost all my groomsmen slept at my place), I have to practically jump on each of them to get them into gear … much as my son is now jumping on me – but only long enough to get over me and snuggle in-between my wife and I.  He is all smiles and fully recharged ready to take on the world.  We take him downstairs and get him some milk and something to eat and veg out on the couch while he watches a show with breakfast.

Later, his 5-year-old sister makes her way out of her room and downstairs to join us.  Before she reaches the bottom there are already a series of questions such as ‘What is he watching?’, ‘Did he eat breakfast yet?’, ‘Do I have school today?’.  I’m barely awake and she is already in a rush to figure out what the day is going to bring … 12 years earlier I’m rushing – rushing from the mall to make it to the church on time.  I get there and get dressed in time to greet a few people arriving early only to be nearly knocked off the sidewalk by my future in-laws pulling up barking for me to get inside as the bride is almost here (which is odd since it is at least a half-hour until the wedding is supposed to start).  So I and my second head inside and are cloistered to the priest’s office adjacent to the alter – as I jog up the aisle to get there, I notice the table in front of the alter has a tapestry hanging from it with a fish in the middle.  While waiting impatiently in the office, the weight of this day starts to hit me … now the weight of my son sitting on my chest starts to wear on my patience so I suggest some breakfast and get to making something (though mostly a mess).

After an enjoyable breakfast (with its share of distractions and escape attempts) and some much needed coffee, my wife and I start thinking about what we should do … I do – that is what I plan to say, what I’ve been waiting to say.  And now with that moment just moments away I start to clam up a bit.  As I work on focusing myself, I remind myself that I’m not afraid of the marriage – I’m looking forward to that – but the wedding.  I’m marrying my best friend and confidante.  The anxiety and fear I feel are all about going out there in front of some 100+ people and trying to make it through an hour(ish) of loosely rehearsed ritual without looking like an idiot.  Focusing on the goal, I find some peace and calm and bottle up the anxiety for later.  And with that, the ceremony breezes by – it is funny how fast your own wedding seems in comparison to everyone else’s.  Other weddings seem to drag on … my son is dragging a chair across the room so that he can reach the lock on the door to go outside.

The weather is nice, so we let them out back to play for a while (give us some time to relax, maybe do some writing).  Occasionally there are some shouts about sharing the swing or where it is appropriate to dig, but generally they are having a good time … 12 years prior, people were having a good time at the reception.  After my new father-in-law did wedding party introductions (many of which were padded with their role in helping set up the keg for this event) and a very good buffet meal (made by Mennonites), we got to the dancing.  Our reception was about as cheap as they come – rented tent and tables in the in-laws’ back yard, buffet catered for $8 a plate, and music a la a borrowed 50-disc changer filled with our CD collection.  We had a list of about 50 songs to play, but every time got to about 20-22 songs into programming it, it would lose everything.  So we stopped at 20 and went with requests from there on (I think that “Bobby McGee” got played about 7 times) … after about the eighth time of telling the kids not to put dirt on the slide, we decide to move on to the rest of our plans for the day (and hide the shovels).  I give my wife her anniversary gift which she is surprised by and asks me how I paid for it (she is that practical).  I whisper into my daughter’s ear to tell her mom ‘happy anniversary’ and as she does with a big smile and then her brother parrots the sentiment and they both charge in to hug my wife, I know that there is no where that I’d rather be.

After twelve years, my wife is still my best friend in the world.  And the only love I’ve every felt that compares is what I feel for my two children.  I cannot imagine my life without my family and I plan to continue to enjoy their company for decades to come.  I can only hope that this past 12 years has simply been the dawn of a beautiful era of my life.

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Date Night

by on May.23, 2009, under family, health, money

They are too few and too far between, but this evening I took my wife out to dinner.  We considered extending the evening by going to see a movie, but after paying the bill for our fancy dinner, we decided to call it a night.  But it was at least nice to eat a meal together where we could eat and converse without outbursts, interruptions, or the frustrations of getting our children to sit still and eat something.

The reasons that we don’t do such things more often are many, but here is the short list:  lack of time, lack of money, and lack of available sitters.  On the issue of time, there simply doesn’t seem to be enough of it lately.  I often don’t get home from work until 7PM, occasionally have to do more work in the evenings and weekends once I’m home, and the free time that we have together is always busy doing things as a family.  We are lucky to manage to sit and eat three meals in a day at all none the less together and with significant planning.  As for money, a single income only stretches so far.  My wife is very sensible and frugal and stretches every dollar she has an opportunity to spend.  But with a mortgage and 2 car payments, our entertainment fund is nearly non-existent.  Finally, sitters – we have yet to actually procure paid sitter services.  I know that there are sites where you can find and contact local and reputable sitters, but neither of us have the time to vet one properly and that would also have to come out of the entertainment fund.  We do have access to some free sitter services, but schedules rarely align properly.

But tonight, things seemed to align – we had a willing (and free) sitter available, the kids were in good spirits, it was a nice day … and we had a coupon.  So we got dressed up (ish) and headed out to a nice little Italian place (the kind with a fairly short menu and very few pasta dishes on it).  We had a pleasant conversation along with good food from appetizers to dessert.  And now that we have done so, my wife can feel less guilty next weekend when she leaves me with the kids to go camping with her girlfriends … on our anniversary (our 12th – what is that, silk?  I can’t think of any camping items that should be made of silk).  I kid – no guilt necessary.  It is just a day after all.  We celebrate the marriage every day.  And the milestone will be no less important apart.

Hopefully we will make the time to go out more often in the future.  Only time will tell.  But expect to see more entries this week relating to my significant other and related topic.  In retrospect, as important a part of my life as she is, I probably should be writing more along those lines all the time.  The sentiments are there, just the expression seems too few and too far between.  I’ll have to work on that.

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Home Alone

by on Apr.10, 2009, under family, home & stuff

It’s quiet.  Maybe eerily quiet.  I’m sitting here in silence at my laptop – my only noise accompaniment besides the clicking of the keys and the slow cadence of my own breath is the sound of the washing machine wooshing upstairs.  At this time of the night, that isn’t really that unusual – if my wife is still up, she will often also be sitting at her laptop typing away.  But tonight I type alone.

The reason for this is simple:  I AM alone.  From basement to attic, the current head count in my house is one (counting me).  This has been the population peak since Monday afternoon and will not likely be surpassed again until Saturday night.  Why, you ask?  My family has taken to the road. (continue reading…)

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2 – 1 = 1

by on Oct.25, 2008, under family

From a recent IM conversation with a long-time friend:

HIM:  I’m getting myself an expensive Christmas present.
ME:  Cool.  What’s that?
HIM:  A divorce! (continue reading…)

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