The Beatles Were Also More Popular Than Grandma

 

Meet The Beatles

Parents are experts on crushing dreams. We will ruin our children’s lives over and over again. In my case, this mainly involves denying my daughter chocolate whenever she wants it. I’ll be the first to admit that others may have more complex dreams to crush.

Teghan would disagree.

No one is better at keeping score than kids. Think long and hard about the things you say no to; it could come back a thousand times to haunt you. No pressure. Some of it is unavoidable, but you may want to throw caution to the wind once in a while and say yes when your instincts are giving off sirens. Or when your pocketbook is empty.

Sure, your kid might give up piano lessons a week after you buy that piano….but it’s better than a lifetime of being blamed for destroying their career as a concert pianist. It’s amazing what we believe we’re capable of when we don’t have to prove it. For Pete’s sake let’s make them prove it.

Other times parents only have to give their all-powerful permission. No further effort or monetary contribution necessary. But being responsible worriers by nature, parents often say no because they have no idea what they are really saying no to. Sometimes parents are offered the unique opportunity of crushing their children’s very souls. Think about this:

In 1966, my mom should have met The Beatles. Continue reading

Touring the Motor City

Motown

I’ll admit, we seldom think of driving to Detroit. We live halfway between Chicago and Detroit, so either one is a two hour drive. Can you guess which one we have visited more? I suppose in some kind of burst of Michigan pride, I realized we were missing out. So we ditched any plans for The Shedd Aquarium, Field Museum, or The Museum of Science and Industry- and headed for the Motor City instead.

Taking Teghan to a museum is risky. But if it’s a really big one, it feels safer. The Henry Ford Museum is perfect. It was easy to get into, and on a Tuesday there were no crowds at all. We will have to go back, since we did not have time for Greenfield Village. The place is overwhelming, and includes such pieces of history as the actual Rosa Parks bus, Kennedy’s limousine, and the chair that Lincoln was shot in. It is actually multiple museums in one, so if you plan on visiting I would recommend two days. It will not disappoint.

But for all of its impressiveness, The Henry Ford was not the standout museum of our day. Believe it or not, we took Teghan to Motown.

We already know she will hate it. Hitsville USA is not a big place, and seeing the Motown Museum means an hour-long tour. It includes a fifteen minute movie, lots of standing around listening, and absolutely no touching. Not only will Teghan hate this, but no one in our tour group will enjoy her hating it. Especially not us.

So when we go in, our plan is to take turns. That way one of us can stay outside with Teghan. When I approach the counter, a woman tells us that a tour is just starting and we can go ahead since we haven’t missed anything yet. She also mentions it will be an hour and a half. Concerned about time, I explain our situation and ask if it will be convenient to step away during the tour in case Teghan acts out. She assures me it will be no issue. Okay, that might work.  Continue reading

Creative Differences

Teghan Piano

 

My husband and I are creative opposites. We do not share the same abilities. In fact, we are quite terrible at the things the other one is good at. Sometimes this works out well. For example, Dave is very gifted at putting music together. It’s a language that makes sense to him in a way few people really understand, even most musicians. It’s why I fell for him in the first place. And while I may have musical ability, I do not possess the same talent for composition.

He is in his studio recording songs right now- songs without words or vocal lines. He isn’t as good at that part. I find words, melody, and harmony easy. I am a singer…. while Dave somehow manages to sing terribly in perfect pitch (that may even be its own talent).

These differences allow us to be a great pair for songwriting. However, these differences also mean that songwriting has led to our most legendary battles. Nothing (and I mean nothing) has made us angrier with each other than a disagreement over music. There is a reason some of our best work is still lost in studio archives.

Knowing this, I am not sure why I had the brilliant idea of working with him on a comic book. I don’t even like comic books. Something about having to look at pictures and read at the same time annoys me. It gives me motion sickness or something. And, if you recall, I cannot draw- anything. My stick figures are bad. Dave (of course) is a great artist. He has plenty of experience, too. He just can’t write.

Seems like a perfect fit, doesn’t it? I am hopeful, but skeptical. The closest we ever came to breaking up was over time signatures, after all.  Continue reading

Books, Covers, and Assumptions of Nothing

 

Saturday night I watched some startling movies. An old friend was over, and shortly after midnight we decided it would be fun to watch the VHS tapes I have of our high school talent show. After a long time of watching Dave bring down the VCR we never use and figure out how to combine old technology with new technology- we were finally back in 1993 again.

It was worth it. We laughed pretty hard. Mostly at me and a guy I used to regularly sing with in those days. We specifically enjoyed the time he lost his voice and walked off stage. Comedy gold.

But who was that girl? I sang alright, but I looked like I didn’t want to be there. And not just when my partner had an onstage breakdown. Even in my solo performance, I looked like a girl who had just caught her boyfriend making out with her best friend back stage. I looked legitimately devastated. Ugh. Why wasn’t I more ecstatic over how incredibly skinny I was?  Continue reading

Because the Devil’s Music Might Just Save Your Soul

 

 

Very few things in life are better than listening to music alone in my car.

It has never been on a top ten list or anything, but that was clearly an oversight. I just forget sometimes. The biggest thing I have in common with my husband is that music will trump everything else when given a chance. And lately we haven’t been giving it a chance. It often gets replaced by secondary loves.

For example, Dave is completely focused on artwork right now. He has partnered with a friend on a comic book project, and his recording studio is getting dusty. Meanwhile, here I am stringing words together. Here, there and everywhere– as if anyone really needs to know how I feel about life. But these things are very close secondary loves, so they do hold us for a while.

I used to be better at combining them.

But it’s the car ride that gets me. Sometimes I drive to work in silence, but it makes no sense. Technology is too perfect now for driving in silence. So I plug in my phone and listen to something. Today I actually wanted to wait in a drive-thru longer so I wouldn’t get home too soon. I wanted more time to listen; to think about what the world is like inside that particular soundtrack. Because the world can look and feel different when you change what it sounds like.  Continue reading