Wednesday Rambles

Pinewood Bowl Amphitheater

You might have noticed that last week’s post was a little shorter and more scattered than normal. That’s due to the fact that I was trying to write it from a hotel room in Lincoln, Nebraska, and have it done in time for us to see “Weird Al” Yankovic in concert.

The bambino collected on his birthday present at long last, and we enjoyed a mid-week roadtrip. Well, Jay sort of collected on the bambino’s birthday present as well. He’s been a Weird Al fan for as long as I’ve known him.

And though most of what I know of Weird Al comes from the “Eat It” era, the concert was a lot of fun. I can also say that I feel like “Word Crimes” should be my unofficial theme song, because it speaks to my inner grammar police force.

This marks the fourth concert we’ve attended this year. The bambino and I still have one more to go. Come September, we’re meeting up with my sister and one of my nephews in Chicago so we can see Social Distortion and Flogging Molly.

The Slackers vinyl album

I think that will be it for the year, unless I can find a way to get back to Chicago right after my birthday to see The Slackers again. Because I’m still kind of obsessed with Glen Pine them after the show in Omaha.

Or to Louisville ON my birthday to see Wilco. Because seeing them live in St. Paul a couple years ago was such a fun experience, I’d love to repeat it.

Railroad Ephemera

Remember how I keep saying that I’m going to STOP BUYING scrapbook/journaling ephemera, and just use what I have? I’m not going back through old blog posts to determine if I’ve mentioned it on here, but I keep harping on it in real life.

I am a weak-willed sucker when it comes to old forms and checks and things like the above-pictured railroad ephemera. I don’t know if it’s because when I was ten, my mom gave me a copy of The Boxcar Children, and after reading it, I wanted to BE one of the Boxcar Children, or if it’s because I’ve always dreamed of grabbing a bag with a few items of clothing, my camera and my journal, and running away to ride the rails across the country.

(Which is not rational, given that I have a family and a job and a bunch of other adult responsibilities, but the nice thing is, dreams are free, and my imagination runs wild)

It could also be due to our train trip out to Ohio six years ago. Whatever the reason, I buy up old train tickets and tags and cancelled checks and managed to snag that railroad company time book. 

I haven’t decided how I’m going to use it just yet.

It’s from 1910, and has lists of railroad workers, their hours, and the type of labor they did. Checking rail lamps. Repairing cross ties.

It’s so flipping cool, I hesitate to tear it up to use in my journals or for mail art.

But I still struggle with the whole actually using things I buy/accumulate, rather than just buying stuff to have it and never use it. 

Monarch Butterfly

Though I’ve spent such a huge part of my life online, it still amazes me the connections I’ve made to people I’ve never actually met face to face. Two days ago, I discovered that one such online friend had passed away, back in July.

We never met in person, but like a lot of my online friends, The Replacements are responsible for bringing us together. I still find it odd in a really cool way that there are so many of us misfits, weirdos, and awkward individuals who all connected over the same now-defunct band, and found an extended family of sorts.

It is a bit of a struggle, mourning someone you never really knew, but at the same time, did know, at least a little bit. I’ve also struggled with feeling a bit like a jerk.

In the past, during the holidays, I would bake up loads of cookies and then send them to my family, in lieu of gifts. I tried to do it again last year, as a way of pulling myself out of my usual holiday depression, which was worse than any other year had been.

As I usually did, I’d share the occasional picture of what I was working on or had planned to bake. Mary commented on one of my photos of cookies, and because I had more than enough, I offered to send her some.

But things happened.

Some of the cookies didn’t turn out as planned. Others never got made. At one point, I knocked over a full container of cooled cookies.

After that, I just abandoned the whole idea for the year, and no one got any cookies.

And now that Mary’s gone, I can’t ever make good on my offer to send her some cookies. So I feel like a jerk for letting little mishaps get the better of me. 

Since I mentioned them already, I’ll leave you with some Social D lyrics. When my sister and I saw them last summer, this song got to me, thinking about all the things my dad never got to do and has missed out on. It’s been hard not to get caught up in stupid meaningless nonsense, but I’ve been trying to be more present, and live more in the here and now.

“So if you please take this moment
Try if you can to make it last
Don’t think about no future and just forget about the past
And make it last”