Thank you all for coming today. I know these types of occasions **points to casket** are somber, full of reflection, you’ll probably get drunk. But I want to remind you that not all movings on are melancholy, there is celebration in watching an entire decade wither and die to the ticking of a clock. The memories of those times, a type of confetti, fluttering down around you mixed in with those annoyingly sticky number 30 confetti pieces that I’ll find in sofa cushions for another ten years.
But pause with me a moment while I snatch a handful of confetti out of my brain to share with you. They are but tiny happenings in the stretch of a decade, but they are my happenings **blows confetti in your face, laughs, sucks confetti into my own mouth on an inhale**:
My lil Ridgewood apartment, my lil Astoria apartment, my Shakespeare troupe, the pizza place my mom and I went to our first few hours in New York that was coincidentally right outside that Shakespeare workshop theatre some 3 years later, Peter Pan donuts, Rosie in Socrates park, camping upstate with my favorite camping couple, perfectly drunken nights at The Continental, my first real job in a NY advertising agency, my second more awesome job in a branding agency (may she also RIP), walks through Astoria Park, beach vacations with said awesome camping couple, nights of New York talking with a friend who far exceeds this simple decade, summers on roofs with other friends who were lucky enough to have roofs, parties in random apartments, welcoming friends to New York, not crying until they’re safely in the cabs going back, days at the chocolate shop, family visits that swell my heart up, Kings of Leon/Black Keys/Muse/Alabama Shakes/Ting Tings/Fratellis/The Whigs/Hozier/I’m probably missing some, iced coffee and solo walks past brownstones, weekends with Heinz, adapting to bubble tea, welcoming my spit fire sassy weirdo donut hole into this world, Alligator Lounge and lil pizzas, meeting The Whigs, experiencing Shake Shack with Erin (you don’t know joy until you see her there), being cool around random celebrities on the street, writing and writing and writing, reading and reading and reading, everyday soundtracks to sidewalks that evolved from Brand New and Bright Eyes to playlists from some cool person I know, park days watching my lil grow a friendship with her favorite lil, farmers markets and new brunch spots, laughs on a train-bus-sidewalk-restaurant-apartment-elevators because I acquired the funniest group of people in New York, having more friends from Texas in NY than in Texas, finding way more of me without realizing this was a treasure hunt for my soul… and I think for me, the most recent highlight of my 20’s was seeing my phone ring one random morning, seeing my best friend’s face as the caller, knowing throughout my whole body what she was going to say and that doing nothing to stop the rush of emotion- Erin is having a baby and I can’t wait to meet that lil no neck raisin baby as a distinguished 30 year old.
This was a damn fine decade, I didn’t always win, sometimes it pissed me the fuck off, but it was damn fine all the same because I’m right here- with all of you- with the biggest bi-state family I’ve had the pleasure of curating and nurturing. Don’t look upon this casket of a dead decade and cry- laugh first, pour one out for the 20 year old homies, sing a cliche funeral song and wonder how I paid for such an extravagant funeral for a metaphorical death.
TO 30!!!!! **refuses to wear bras from here on out**
What was on your mind when you voted today? And I don’t mean candidate selection or platform necessarily. Personally, I was surprised to have a very emotional response walking with my early voters into a shared space where we all made our choice, for our own reasons.
And let me be clear, I’m not dense. I didn’t make my vote thinking the next president was going to make all my dreams come true. That’s not a reality we live in. But each one of us make up our collective progress as a country and the drive, desire, thoughts we have while casting that vote is what will bring change to this country. Whether that will be good or bad change, well…that’s up to you. And if we cared about all elections, federal or local, like we did this presidential one…I believe good things could come. So please, share with me your drive, the emotion you felt while casting your vote. Let’s make this election day about the desire in our hearts, let’s make this election about the people and not the rhetoric or politics for a short moment.
For me, I put forth thoughts and energy to my daughter. To a new generation of daughters. Thanks to the Hamilton book I’m reading, I thought of our forefathers and mothers who came from different walks of life but educated themselves and exposed a heart and mind for a new country. On the flip side of that coin I also thought of those indigenous to this country that we ruined and continue to ruin and the respect they deserve as a people. As humans. My heart was open and raw for all the minorities who have a lot to lose and a lot to fear regarding our government and communities.
All of those emotions culminated at one moment in time, as the school doors opened and a smile met me at the door with a cheery good morning. Those thoughts flourished further when I walked up to my district table and saw two students whose well being and rights balance on this election, those same students who must have been up at the ass crack of dawn to participate and volunteer this morning.
This election has an energy and face we haven’t seen in a long time, let’s ruminate on our drives and desires and keep that spirit alive for the next election years.
Just imagine it. You’ve seen what you want, waiting on the street corner, elements react and it’s all the feels.
The wind whipping at your girly blouse, your hair dancing and drawing attention your way…oh wait, my hair is in a bun… ahem, your bangs dancing and drawing attention your way… your thoughts, alive with a desire like no other, send a message to your lips- smile.
Smile. At first, a sweet one. Coy. But your plans for this craving build until the smile turns seductive, hungry…
And at that sparked and carnal moment, you realize that you’re making eye contact with a boy walking your way. A boy who has somehow come innocently into the line of sight of your beloved Frites&Meats truck. The cheese drizzled fantasy that erupted upon seeing your Thursday crush in the form of a big yellow truck withers away as I realize the boy is smiling back. Just as coy.
Oh, honey. *frowny face* I mean, yeah you’re cute and stuff but do you realize what’s behind you? The Mecca of potato. The Bradley Cooper of cheese. The J Law of fried seduction. My oozing food sexuality has no time for mere mortals wearing cool clear frame glasses.
Obviously, at the end of the day, I’m flattered you returned the smile meant for cheese. You’ve taught me a valuable lesson about how to come off sexy in future selfies, think of fries and cheese. Not to mention helping to strike up a hearty concern that I would look so openly flirtatious amongst daydreams of diet faux pas.
*eats french fry* Well, maybe not that concerned.
*Trump walks to center stage, his nose breath audible, a singular light shines down on him*
~the piano tickles to life~
The price of my win is not a price that they’re willing to pay.
I say some gross shit
now I’m fighting with feminists, hey
I’m still huge.
Republicans made an arrangement and I’m gonna stay,
You’re mine to abuuuuuse.
And in spite of my loss
I have got a small query for you-
What Comes Next?
Experience is not what this country needs.
You think you know,
you’re wrong, POW!
NRA and Putin take a bow.
We’ll build a waaaaall!
Life wasn’t hard with daddy on the call.
But she’ll win,
even though people say they hate her…
they won’t give consent. To. Me.
Da da da da da
Da da da da doooouchebag
I’m a dou-ou-ou-oooouchebaaaaag.
Well, Moma… it’s your birthday. OH MY GOSH YOU DIDN’T KNOW? Sure is, and my pleasure as your middle kiddo is to ensure you feel a burst a love today.
I know I normally write a little status but what I have to say today goes a little longer and you deserve a blog post of your own.
So, fuck. I’m so proud of you. What you have done with your life is down right amazing and I’m not sure how aware you are of this fact. I look around at the life I’ve built for myself and I know the foundation, I never have to test its sturdy platform, I’ll never second guess the support it offers. Your support.
You see, I can accomplish anything with the support you’ve given me. The creative channels you’ve kept alive and satiated have grounded me on a path that never surprises me.
What surprises me and fluffs my heart all up is the fact you’ve done the same for yourself without that support. From the get go you’ve had to lift yourself up, take what is given without being told you’re worth more, clock in clock out in a world you knew wasn’t yours but who was there to tell you otherwise? I’ve always been hyper aware of the fact that you wanted more with your life. I watched you make classroom crafts, drill team knick knacks, my ballerina ice cream cone cupcakes have been seared into my memory because “Wow, look what moma made for me!”
I wondered for many years why you couldn’t just do those things for your job. I was pulled through thrift stores dreading what threads we’d find but there was no denying with what appetite you walked through those stores. I hated the clothes, but you were so convincing I walked out with a silver metallic velvet long sleeve shirt. Your love of the place, the hunt, the spark in your eye… This was your world.
And now you’ve got that world in the palm of your hand.
So as it sits there, a new lil bud on the stem of your life, know this- You have my support. You have Clay’s support. You have Travis and Caitlin’s support. You have a community of like minded people’s support. The one person responsible for nurturing your life who didn’t step up to the task will never amount to the family YOU made that lifts you up and showers you in love.
You are a stubborn, opinionated woman but believe this stubborn, opinionated spawn of yours when she says, You are loved beyond measure and you are supported by the sturdiest minds that you yourself nurtured.
I love you so damn much. Happy Happy Birthday 🙂
Foreword By Erin Wakefield (my best friend for every life we have):
I want you to close your eyes.
Close your eyes and imagine a world where the love of your life marries someone else. Then imagine that you see your soul mate’s spouse out in public, at a bar. What do you do? Get real? Tell him/her that they have your life and it isn’t fair? Or go the classy route, nod, smile, and move on.
This is the world Erika Anne Lindsey was living in July of 2014 while at a bar watching the World Cup in New York. There Lily Aldridge sat with some friends, having a drink. Erika had a decision to make, tell Lily the truth about the future – that Erika and Caleb were going to be together, or let the moment pass and wait for destiny to do its work. The first option would only upset Lily and Caleb by proxy. Erika could never hurt Caleb, so she did what only a person TRULY in love would do, she took a deep breath and acted as if this were just another day, in just another bar, filled with just another group of people.
Thank you, Erin. I humbly accept your declaration that I’m the best person in the world. But enough about me, let’s discuss my bottom bro Caleb and his familial crew of southern badasses with humor and guitar pickin’ skills.
The idea behind her foreword was to lay the base of my 12 year relationship with Kings of Leon (not to display an usual attraction to a lead singer, Lily ❤ Caleb 4 eva). I may not have always dug a direction and many times grit my teeth against cancelled shows…literally anytime I got pit tix **weeps openly**…my love for them stuck stubbornly in place. Sure, there are some albums I don’t listen to, but from the moment I heard Taper Jean Girl, from the first tingle of Red Morning Light, from being challenged to sing Joe’s Head in total off the cuff (and in a Caleb voice for extra points), from screeching Trani anytime I can, from the eye rolls of friends because they really thought I’d get over this band by now (no fucking chance)…
These guys are my soul. They marked the sound of my first adult adventure and relocation, from Texas to New York at 18. They matched my steps to class, to work, in my dead sprint to catch a subway. They blared from my dorm room, people told other students they could find me by the sound of Milk coming from behind my door. This is not just a band, this is the band that I have grown with.
And the growing pains were well worth it with the release of WALLS.
The slender, choppy, southern grit of a boy finding music has broadened into a man that can take his time, to be a Waste A Moment crooner.
I have felt a lot of things listening to their albums, certain songs dredge up that feel 19 feeling, the parties that went too late, the angst of feeling like I don’t belong, hell… even that fight with religion. Their lyrics blanket huge aspects of my life and no matter how long I listen, that’ll never change.
But with songs like WALLS, Muchacho… a new dynamic has emerged, from finding your groove (and yourself) to losing someone you love (shout out to making me cry on the subway, bros). I can’t write anymore about Muchacho without crying more, but hands down my favorite song on the album.
The singles, Around the World and Waste A Moment, are not only prime for radio but have that flare of quirk that’s easy to catch in their rapport with each other, with a shout to the imagination it takes to survive southern summers in the woods as kids (curated by an adult).
I was insanely pleased to catch lil throwbacks in songs like Eyes on You, with the melody so on point for 90’s country during “If you don’t like it, then try it.” that I immediately became a heart eyes emoji for my Texas youth. And on the other side of that coin, sits Over with a lower croon mirroring the gloom of a 90’s pop rock song.
All in all, this album is as perfectly coiffed and quirky as the branding that went into it. They’ve had many jams but I think it’s safe to say they grew into one awesome groove.
But if I could just address the band themselves for a moment:
Boys… I could say mouths more of my love for this album. YOUR album. YOUR band. I know the likelihood of you seeing this is slim, but thank you. Thank you for pushing through and allowing me to grow up with you. Thank you for the deaf cab rides back to my apartment after your shows. Thank you for the music that has become the constant vibration in my head and heart.
I know it’s sappy, but your music is “my favorite friend of all.”
Love you, dudes.