Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Rocker Mom Dichotomy

Well, all, it's been a while. That's what blogging as a mom will get you. Between raising a newly burgeoning personality and revitalizing a career that's been between Neutral and First Gear for the last 3 years, I haven't had a ton of extra time for writing. Oh, I should mention that I just released a new EP with my co-writing partner Art Hays called DETOURS and been promoting that as well. However you slice it, this blog gets the shaft each time. It's a labor of love, as are most thing that don't involve potty training, independence stand-offs, balanced-budget homemaking and the occasional show. Even the latter is next on the shaft list...

So that said, I've been pretty busy with all of the above, plus the EP, plus the Billboard/Hollywood Reporter Film/TV Music Conference and Independent Music Conference. I am also taking on the occasional extra role at Riley's preschool while continuing to co-chair Mom's Night Out Committee for the Silverlake Mom's Club.

So, the dichotomy--how is one the "Rocker Mom"?

I kind of adopted the title as a humorous addition to my signature file for emails. It seemed appropriate. I like to rock out. I have led bands that have rocked out on many occasions. I sometimes still can be seen rocking original or cover songs (like "Sweet Dreams" at the Interpreting New Wave show).

But then I roll in from the show at 1 a.m. (sometimes earlier... in fact, often) and rise again at 7 a.m. to the "Mommy Song" as I call it. (It sounds like this "Ma-ma Ma-ma Ma-ma" on repeat.) So those skills I had from days of yore, where you and 6 others slept in crunched-up form in the back of a van across the English countryside, or where you rolled into your 9 a.m. gig with a raging hangover, those skills, they come in handy as I muster the energy to be the Mama.

I sometimes feel like I'm experiencing whip lash if I move too quickly between the two worlds. It's funny because I just auditioned as a "rocker mom" for a show last week and was talking about this exact point. It's a different groove. I need different skills for each role. And just as you get your sea legs with one, the other role pokes you on the shoulder and punches you in the gut. My kid doesn't care how well my musical pitch is in the industry conference. My daughter's cuteness factor doesn't land me the licensing synch. Or the next big booking. Or a blog review of my new single.

You catch my drift.

I had a tough time just accepting the role of motherhood, and that was just as a woman with my own disturbing fears of intimacy, etc. Isn't the lead singer role kind of the perfect place to park all that insecurity? So be real and be patient and be there as Mama, and be bold, be big, be unattainable and magical as a rocker...

I've never been subtle as a personality. I laugh loudly from the gut. I drop F bombs and talk like a sailor. I like freaks and bohemian types. I'm not afraid to costume wildly. I tell it like it is and my give-a-shitter broke a while ago. I like to think that's what folks like about me. Never could pass myself off as a Junior Leaguer or Sorority Gal. Not my cup of tea...

Now I'm raising a mini-me in many ways, and I'm sure I will struggle with this in the years to come. Like, how do you balance truths you acquire from years of living intensely (often with some less than desirable outcomes) with the safety of your kid in those sticky impressionable years? Do you divulge your "partying" or "dating" history as a means of debunking stigmas against it? Or do you play dumb? Or do you play shadow puppets in the middle? Allude a bit here but keep the reality cloaked in mystery.

I don't know these answers and sometimes I wish I didn't have the artist spirit in me to further complicate an already daunting task of raising a child. I see many other mothers who seem to have streamlined the process. I am not naive to think they don't have conflicts in their lives, but do they yearn for that spot on stage? Do they crave the attention? Do they get a buzz from a live room or even a credit in liner notes? I think I'm part of a very narrow segment in the Mother pie chart. I've met others. We can smell it on each other, and we speak a shared language immediately.

So, once again, no answers. Just ruminations. Feedback always appreciated, especially when humorous...

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Losses in Life

I don't even know where to begin. I've been absent. At least with this blog. And my life seems so full with good and bad events of late. I think I last wrote about having Jables leave us. It was a sad time, both watching his decline and accepting the inevitable fact that I was losing one of my closest friends. That said, I feel like a couple other losses equally hit me.

I don't want to be one of those "cry at celebrity death" types, but the Robin Williams suicide gave me pause. Not so much for him, but for what it brought up for me. You see, I had an equally crazy, generous, intelligent, overbearing and bigger-than-life former boyfriend who also hanged himself. After my ex and I broke up, we never really spoke again. His energy and the instability of our relations was too much for me. My life worked without him in it. He reached out once or twice and I considered reacquainting, but I was still scared and cautious of what the mayhem it could wreak for me, so I replied with silence.

Three months after moving to Los Angeles (where I was fairly calm knowing I wouldn't bump into him on the street), I got a call from a dear friend at 7 in the morning. I can't remember if it was then or earlier. It felt unnaturally early. The kind of calls you get by east coasters who don't know you moved to California or the ones that deliver bad news. This was the latter. My friend wanted me to hear it from her. I responded - honestly - that I'd been waiting for this kind of call about him for some time.

It's strange to feel like you know someone won't live a long life. Perhaps they shine too brightly or burn hotter than most. In my opinion, you can't sustain that. What was a sad story made even more tragic. I still hope he's at peace, or if you're not into the spiritual stuff, that he found what he needed right before he took his life.

I watched the memorials pour in on the web. He was clearly loved and terribly missed. I'm sure some of the women (in particular, being that my ex was a bit of a ladies man) had similar experiences with him to my own and maybe they moved on from it, or maybe they too chose silence. I'll never know and it doesn't matter now anyway. I always try to see the goodness in his soul and heart and know that the battle he fought every moment of his life eventually overtook him.

Sadly, this past week I was once again to hear of an old friend, a vibrant light of a person, had also passed. It is unclear if it was the result of a medical condition or by her own hand. All I know is it was sudden. And frankly, it doesn't matter how it happened.

I remember the last time I was in Austin, I returned to her home, the one where I'd stayed many times in days past, the great times I'd had smoking cigarettes and drinking Diet Cokes for breakfast with her in the back yard. Her infectious smile. Her clear, light blue eyes. Her crazy schemes. Her openness and generosity. She was amazing. And like anyone with all that larger-than-life energy, she was definitely not the run of the mill woman or mother. Some may say crazy. I might say crazy from time to time, but kind and good to me over the years.

She no longer lived in that house, and I didn't know where she moved. I asked about her to the new residents, but they kind of blew me off. I would likely do that too if some stranger was in my yard asking about the previous owners.

I hope both of them are at peace, truly being themselves without limitations or the hardship that this world seemed to grant both of them.

On a less final note, I'm sending Riley off to preschool for the first time this week. This is a big milestone, for us all. I was saying just this morning that while I know it's time and that she's going to grow so much from this experience, that I hope she doesn't change too much. She's been so loving and snuggly and close lately. It's this closeness that I know will change and alter as she gets older and pulls away from Mama to embrace the world and her new friends. It's this change I fear and also accept is coming with a sense of melancholy. I wish for her joys and growing pains and hope to all the joy in the Universe that she doesn't ever come to a point where the world seems too much for her, like it was for my friends who also lit up rooms with their presence. I can only let go and be there along the way. For each growth comes a loss of something to make room for it. So here's my losses in life of late and I'm trying to be open for what is coming...

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Transitions at Casa Holmes and Saying Goodbye

I'm facing the realization that I will be putting my cat Jables down next week, and it's killing me.

Many of you may remember the post I wrote after his initial diagnosis. The vet expected only a few weeks. Jables muscled through that and more. It's been four months since that vet visit and for a while, he was doing OK. We opted for quality of life approach and have been trying to dedicate our time to being loving and present with him while he is here. Sadly, he's not a happy cat anymore. His back paw/leg is entirely lame. He has trouble getting around and has been sequestering in different places. He's still very loving in the times that he chooses to be near us, which makes the decision even more difficult.

No one wants to make the decision too early. I called his vet. I talked to another to get a second opinion about his behaviors. They both agreed that the time was dependent on me, but that he didn't seem to be in a good place. I don't want my little guy to suffer just so I can keep him around longer for me. I'm wracked with guilt and sadness and grief. I've had the misfortune to say goodbye to friends and lovers far before their time, but nothing prepared me for this wave of emotions over a pet.

I suppose if you accept a cat or dog or other animal into your life and heart as part of your family, it makes total sense. This is my friend of over 12 years who has lived with me through nine homes, two coasts, several cross country trips in a car, and many years sleeping at my feet. I remember him at different points in my life crawling up to my face while sleeping and petting my cheeks softly face to face. Both jarring and so intimate, he stared up at me with his big gumball eyes and slowly talked to me with eyes instead of words. Crazy, maybe?!? But I think all animals at our basest level are able to do this, and humans are no different than cats or dogs in that way. He is beautiful and loving, but he was also a son of a bitch at times. Biting me when I didn't get up to feed him on his schedule. Hissing at me when he didn't like my immediate reaction. Fighting with his smaller sister Cage with claws drawn. Yes, it hasn't all been roses, but with the end in sight, I see the complexity of love that we shared. I don't look forward to the week ahead. I am saying my goodbyes...

And while that is a lot in and of itself, my life has become extra full of late. I'm performing live again, in a more deliberate and frequent way. Beyond playing in new rooms, I've found I'm meeting more and more people who I am connecting with through music. Some are new collaborators. Some are audience members who connected to my songs. Some are musicians I've met and written with in the TopTune shows in Los Angeles. I've been lucky to hear some amazing performers. I've been challenged to write at my "game" level both for artistic pursuits and for fun (once again, Top Tune...). In each interaction, I sense that I'm regaining my strengths as a writer and performer that have laid dormant for the last 2 years as I raised my daughter from infancy. It feels good to reclaim my shoes and to grow in ways that are going beyond what I could do before. It's part of this "transition" that I've written about in the past.

As far as other transitions are concerned, Riley is growing into her "big girl" self. Beyond stringing sentences together and making past-present-future associations in conversation, she's also tackled the big task of potty training. While every day is an adventure, she's really good with it. We're cheating a bit by having her sleep in Pull Ups instead of going cold turkey on diapers completely, but she has really taken to the "big girl" stuff and seems genuinely happy to be achieving it. We also switched her car seat around so she now sits in the big girl "special seat" position. She starts preschool part time in the fall and that too is a HUGE transition, for both of us. She'll be taking her first steps into having time away from Mama among other kids her age, and I'll be regaining more time to do work or to do nothing at all. It's daunting too. I know I'll be a big blubbering mess once I walk out of the school on her first day, but it's also a step we both must take in the acceptance of growing older. She will get more and more independent from here onward and I want to be a parent who accepts that she's going to take those steps and eventually leave altogether.

Then, my hub Brad has made a huge career transition to real estate. He's become a full-time agent and while that is incredibly exciting, it comes with a burden of the new. He's doing well with clients and the adjustment of a new schedule has made us healthier as a family, but there is the unknowing of how a new business will fare. When you're in business for yourself, it varies all the time. It's a different mindset and it takes a skill set that you figure out over time on how much do you work, when do you rest, how to do you continue to grow and thrive. All very daunting stuff. I know I've stalled out with it more than a few times with music, so I am trying to be as supportive as I can be.

With time comes change. With change comes happiness and sadness. Growth is never easy, but it gives you opportunities to look at yourself and see where you've been and perhaps where you're heading. The middle is the fragile time. I'm in the middle now. Wish me well...

Monday, April 28, 2014

Discovering Oakland and Remembering...

I just returned from an all-gal's weekend to the East Bay to visit my dear old girl friend Carrie. I brought Riley with me when Brad was out of town for a bachelor party. The lil one was a champ on the flight and overall, the entire weekend. It's kind of amazing when you trot a not-quite 2 year old onto a plane for a 2-day visit with people she barely knows. I should mention they also have a dog who is skittish around toddlers. Ripe for lots of baby melt downs.

I have to hand it to Riley, though, she was absolutely great. She took some time to warm up, but became friendly and social with our hosts within an hour and came to love Q-Tip (the dog) like her own. I write all this because as some of you know, my times with R have been peppered with drama in the past. This is not to say that we've crossed a line and all is merry from here on out, but I was so glad to have had such a loving and fun weekend with my daughter, as well as to share her with one of my oldest/dearest friends and explore a new part of the world together.

I have to also admit that I love Rockridge. The craftsmen homes, the tree lined streets, the family-friendly street vibe, the cute boutique and appealing eateries. I know it's a bit bourgeois, but I felt very at home there. I could imagine a life there and yet, I have no clue what I'd be doing. Music travels well enough, but there's the obvious higher standard of living there that would likely require me returning to work full time.

While I was there, my friend Carrie asked me what do you think are the biggest differences between northern and southern California? I had a lot of reactions as we drove above South of Market toward Hayes Valley.

The air is cleaner. The fog is stunning in the Bay Area. The architecture is different. The populace and its characteristics favor different things--like LA has a lot of beautiful people and SF has some of the smartest people I know. Folks dress differently. You live a lot more in your car down south and there's more people in alternative transit methods up north. SF has a small town feel in ways and LA feels vast and sprawling. Both are neighborhood-y. Is one better than the other? I guess it depends on who you are.

I lived in San Francisco from 1997-2001. It was the absolute perfect time in my life to be there. I was one year out of college and listless. I was "trained" to be on a strict career path and found that I generally disliked that way of life. I wanted the freedom to be freelance without the pains of scraping by to afford the lifestyle. At the time, (pre-original dot.com boom) San Francisco offered this kind of life. I remember having $495/month rent in a two story Victorian flat with 3 roommates, one of whom was my boyfriend at the time. I also scored a job early on first at a newspaper and second at a now-defunct web browser (Snap.com) writing weekly web site reviews. I wrote freelance film, music and lifestyle pieces on the side. I made my month's expenses in one week's pay that usually required working about 3 days.

But times change...

Then as R napped this afternoon, I had some down time and caught a few Sex and the City episodes. Rapid fire dialogue. Fast paced adventures. Full of vanity, social climbing and love affair chasing drama. It was dizzy and made me smile. It also reminded me that my life is NOTHING like that now. I felt a little misty for the old vibe. I shared a lot of that kind of life with my friend Carrie who I just saw. How both of us have changed and how much our lives don't resemble that show anymore.

I know NYC is not SATC, nor was my life a reflection of the girls on the show, but I did have some fabulous times with some amazing ladies there. I dressed better. My hair and makeup were almost always done more than here. I wore heels a lot more. I went to new bars and restaurants with some regularity. I saw a lot more live music and played out far more. My life was external to my home. Now my home is my base with the external being far less visited. I'm a mom. I don't know what else I am sometimes. It's frustrating. Then again, I always felt like I was running to keep up the best appearance of what I was in NYC. Or maybe the city just speeds things up so fast that you doubt who you are all the time...

Discovering and remembering are important to me right now. In this time of personal growth and transition, I need both to help me sift through the shaky territory. I'm hoping in time that it will all make sense. In the meantime, I have a wonderful daughter to challenge me to see new things and old friends like Carrie to remind me of who I was and who they know me to be.

Friday, April 4, 2014

The beauty of growing and the pain of letting go

Hello all, it's me again. Currently, I'm sitting on a couch facing my back yard. The canyon breeze is rustling the leaves and coaxing our wind chimes to play. It's about 70 degrees and sunny, a lazy kind of sunny with some haze to keep it diffused. It's quiet and I feel calm. The baby is napping after a lovely mama and baby hang hosted by our mama group's member Claire. I have time to rest and think.

I'm very fortunate. Let me begin there. I love my home. I love my friends and I love my family. We are all healthy and doing well. Riley has always been chattery, but now she's not only expressing concepts but is making small sentences to describe what she sees, what she needs and what she remembers. It's a great time to be around her. She loves life. And while curiosity can make a mama insane at times (Don't put that in your mouth? Don't climb onto that table? etc.), in the long run, it will be a good quality to have.

I've been watching her morph from a baby into a little girl. It's fascinating and altogether so amazing. I'm lucky to have the time to do this. I'm also lucky to have friends experiencing the same thing. We're each others' sounding boards. We're also growing closer as our kids spend time together. We'll be forged together for years to come having shared this time with each other and with each others' children.

I'm happy to watch my husband, Brad, evolve as he takes on a new career. I'm seeing him open in new ways and experience a lifestyle with work that he has seldom seen, as his previous career as a TV editor. Nothing like a blast of midday work sunshine on broker open houses to combat years of editing in a dark room...

I'm growing slowly too. While I haven't had much interest in writing of late, I've had a great opportunity to work with a fellow mama Bess on her theatre show, Death of a Boob Man, where I perform 3 of her songs at the top of the production. It's been a fun time working in a live theatre again. And it's a great experience being part of a 3 woman team!

As with all growing times, there is letting go. I have to let go that I'm not working like I used to. I have to let go of the notion that by not working as I once did that I'm not contributing anything positive to the world around me. I have to let go of perfection, because there is NO perfection.

Sadly, though, and more reality-based, is I have to let go of my dear friend and 12-year-old kitty, Jables.

Around the weekend of my 40th, he started limping. Now, he's an outdoor cat a good bit of the time so I figured that he just twisted an ankle jumping off a wall or had bad arthritis. A visit to the vet kind of took the wind out of my sails when his doc told me an x-ray showed a large tumor in his hind leg. The bad news was that the location was not good for operation and given how quickly the symptoms came on, it was likely a very quick to grow form of bone cancer, which is usually a quick death sentence for cats.

So, I think to myself, I'm waiting for a cast on a possible small fracture and you're telling me inoperable cancer with weeks or months to live. Shit! Well, I didn't want to subject the poor guy to lots of vet visits, poking, prodding, MRIs and other nonsense when he could be hanging out with us focusing on the best quality of life. And that's what we did...

Jables has been on some meds since the 25 February and sadly, been on a slow, steady decline. His back leg where the tumor resides is nearly lame and while he still gets around on the other 3 well, he lays around a lot more than he usually does. I know it's not time yet, but I recognize it's coming. I've had to research vets who make house calls, euthanasia and cremation services, which is heartbreaking.

At one minute, I'm fine and doing the business of being a responsible pet owner. Then, I flashforward to the scene of putting him down in the garden (his favorite place) in my arms and I lose it. In fact, just typing this, I'm crying.

Then there's the business of knowing WHEN is the right time. I struggle with this because I don't want to feel in any way that I rushed it for Jables. In many ways like today as he suns himself on the brick porch under our lanai, he seems like the old Jables, no cancerous tumor, just chilling in the rays. I want to remember him this way but I don't want to live in denial. He's going to die and likely not too terribly far away from now.

I got Cage and Jables in 2002 when my then landlord's cat got knocked up by a tom cat in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Sounds like the lyrics of a Tom Waits song, I know. There were 4 kitties born and I took two from the litter. Jables was named "Cutie" by the landlord's kids because he was the most handsome of the litter with his big white neck and stomach against his grey-brown tabby coat. He also had HUGE ears, paws and eyes. The former two belied what was to become my huge (nearly 17 lb) cat. His sister, Cage, is like a little replica of him.

A little background on the names, they're named after nicknames of Tenacious D's Jack Black and Kyle Gass, from the short lived HBO series of the same name.

Jables and I have also been through a ton of health issues with him. He's a "crystal producing" cat, which for those not in the know has nothing to do with sci fi and everything to do with UTI. His body chemistry produces stones that block. When cats block, they can't go to the bathroom and can eventually die from this without surgery. He's blocked 3x in his life. The 3rd time he had a very intense surgery called a PU surgery, which essentially emasculates him allowing him to not "block" in the male aparatus. I know, TMI... but this is his story. I always wanted to make t-shirts that said "I love my TG cat!" Too much?!?

Happily, after the PU surgery, he never blocked again. That was almost 8 years ago. I felt like we had the bad stuff behind us because like most pet owners I guess I thought he was immortal and would never die. Now I'm facing this reality and man, it's tougher than I ever thought it would be. I'm also being real about it and just showing him with as much love as I have for him but maybe lost track of in the haze of having a new baby.

One of the things that really kills me though is Riley knows the kitties now. As in, she knows them as OUR kitties. She pets them and kisses them occasionally, and calls them by name. This just kind of happened in the last few months. So, now, beyond saying my own farewell, how am I going to explain this to her?

I'm filled with doubts and grief and also a bit of relief in that I know when the time is right, we'll be together here and he won't have undue suffering. So, those are the transitions at Chez Holmes. I'm happy to have today where everything has gone really well and I'm feeling both emotionally strong but also serenely vulnerable. Growing and letting go, like breathing the air over and over again...

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Finding me... one conversation at a time.

I've recently taken to taking meetings. I know, very LA of me. Yes, it's true. I'm meeting people over the phone and over a lunch table to talk business. Interestingly enough, the business tends to center on something I am acutely familiar with... myself.

I know this sounds odd and trust me, I couldn't agree with you more. BUT... as I attempt to re-ermerge as both an artist and a woman (now with a child), I've found I may need more help than I originally thought. As a result, I'm taking meetings to find open ears on who I now am and to help clarify where it is I want to go.

I am in a place of deep soul searching, as well as creative output, having just released a new single (The Only Moment in the World) on my label, lining up another tune for release this summer and creating a collection of new songs that may or may not be an electronic album in the works. I've been cranking out all kinds of music and most of it has no words. That too is interesting to me because it's symbolic of me not knowing who I am or how to express it.

I've been performing, mostly because I like it and it's like old hat to me. I can dial it in if necessary, but honestly, because I don't do it as often as I used to, it's a rare treat. You can't really count impromptu dance parties or song performances to a 21-month old as "shows" even when the audience in your head is Wembley but the audience in front of you is throwing yogurt on the ground and rubbing oatmeal in her hair.

So, as I say, I'm taking meetings. Or would it be better to simply say, I'm meeting the next connection that will lead to yet another connection. Sounds hippie dippy, but I believe that this grand spider web approach to life works. I've had a lot of really odd things fall into place lately through new connections. I've also been open to trying new things, some outside my comfort zone (like this month's performances as part of Death of a Boob Man with Bess Fanning). I used to rely more upon the web of connections approach while living in New York, but the distance in Los Angeles added to the time commitment of motherhood, kind of zaps my spiritual "me" space. I schedule to the hilt to be sure my daughter is not bored at home, or better yet, is engaged in the world around her. I have the time before everyone is up, my daughter's nap time and the time before I goto bed to "go there." I also nap a good bit of that time of late.

It is a goal of mine for 2014 to be working more. I don't want to settle for yet another retail sales job, which I could do, and probably well, if you're into soul zapping activities. I'd love to be working as a true songwriter--making music that I can add to film or TV, creating collaborative works with other artists or even crafting songs for other artists.

But I was asked today in one such meeting, "Everyone's barking up that tree. What makes you different?"

Shit, 50 million dollar question, right?!? I wish I had an immediate answer to this, and yet, I do not. This is where the true work begins. My life changed so much, and so quickly, when I moved to LA that sometimes I feel like I'm in a bubble where I'm an alien on a different planet. Things seem familiar to me and I do many of the same things I did in New York City, but it's all just a bit off. It's been one of my biggest challenges out here. That and finding reliably great food in a restaurant with cozy ambiance...

And another thing, all this focus on self seems a bit... selfish. I know I have to let some of that emotion go because I'm the only one who can answer these questions. I also have to recognize that I will be a better mother and partner to my husband if I can find happiness within myself and in my work.

I want to summarize this post, to give it a spin and end with some sense of conclusion, but I can't find those words. I'm not unhappy. I'm in the grey space. It's also evening and I'm going to get some decent rest tonight, so I'm signing off for now. Just an update on where I am.

On a side note, for those tuning in for the Riley part of this blog, I am happy to report that she is speaking 2 word sentences regularly now. She is also counting to beyond ten given the day. She rides a little scooter with a helmet. She's still obsessed with cars. She's forged a new obsession with the jumper at Peekaboo Playground in Eagle Rock. She's lovely and funny and smart and very attached to Mama again. I'm trying to engage her in new activities like our 3 meals a week I cook from the Blue Apron food delivery/recipe service we just joined. She's really into trying to eat garlic. I think all this is very good and promises to make her an even more unique woman someday.

Friday, February 7, 2014

I'm emerging... I think.

If you've been wondering where I've been for a while, I might be kind and say I'm just down in a new project. That would be true, partly. I've been tweaking away in my studio working on a bunch of new electronic music. None is done, and there is not set deadline. A lot of collaboration is afoot, and midi plays a huge part of it all.


I would also be more honest in saying I've been sick with some kind of sinus, dry cough, congestion and all kinds of ick since Christmas, and I'm really trying to kick its ass in early February. I even got a new doctor and WENT! Now I'm on a Z pac and a steroid nasal inhaler for allergies and hoping for the best.

That aside, yes, I'm thrilled about some upcoming news.

First up, I'm releasing a new song on Feb. 25th called The Only Moment in the World. I co-produced and mixed the song with Jimmy La Valle of The Album Leaf. The song was written as part of a digital pop-up book project, A Picture is Worth..., published by Proseed Books. In it, I was paired with photographer Veronique Roblin's photo series and had to create a work based on the imagery I received. The pictures were stunning. There were many haunting photos of an industrial French river towns at the break of day. I wrote a tune that tells a story in that town. It follows a couple as they wind their way along the water and through a history of their affair.

I'll be sure to let everyone know when it's for sale and what the links are. Also, there will be some press attached to the release (radio, write ups). I'll post those too. Hopefully, I'll get them all up on my web site and Facebook pages.

I also felt like the whole song and imagery conjured up the spirit of Monica Vitti in such Antonioni classic films as L'Avventura and La Notte. I tried to capture a bit of that in the artwork. I really enjoyed the experience of playing a character in the song and in the artwork, a kind of Cindy Sherman experiment.

And that brings me to the next theatrical project...

I'll be joining forces with fellow Silverlake MOMS Club mama Bess Fanning in her month-long run of "Death of a Boob Man." It's a one woman comedy in which I will kick off the show performing 3 of Bess's songs. Those are also characters I'll be performing, the different stages of women around our age... I'll leave it at that as not to give away any details. I'm psyched to be part of a theatre show. I haven't done anything like that in ages. Bess is a good friend and our kids are 3 days apart and share a name. How random is that?!? Kismet, I say.

And what would a blog entry be without a Riley update? Well, the little lady is climbing like a monkey. Her favorite locations are the couch, the step ladder, the bench by the door and the chairs in the dining room. She loves to bounce on the couch. She's ripping up a mad vocabulary, even stringing little phrases together. She loves sound effects and is a superb listener. One way both of those are exhibited are when I beat box. She watches, listens and then tries to repeat back the sounds. It both amuses and challenges her. She still sleeps like crazy during the naps and overnights and eats nearly everything we give her. Thank God! But the rumblings of her upcoming 2nd birthday are rearing their heads. She's been known to throw a few tantrums (expected) and seems to be very sensitive about stuff that didn't necessarily bother her before. Guess it's all normal. Some days I'm better at dealing with it than others. I have a bit more help and I may be picking up a freelance writing gig in addition to the music stuff, so that will be handy. Oh yeah, and it's preschool interview time. I've seen about 8 schools and we're applying to a few. Wish us luck! And we're potty training...

That's the latest. Here's to more good news soon!