Mt. Rainier and Lenticular Clouds - Dec. 2008 copyright: JMM

February 16, 2008

Under the weather

The creepin' crud seems to be going around up here big time. My coworker has been really sick for the past 3 weeks with what sounds like bronchitus or pneumonia. Then on Monday, my poor boss barfed all over himself in his car on the way home. No small wonder that by mid-week, I was feeling pretty crappy too. All the good of my "Xmas Holiday Pajama Vacation" is gone because the work-stress is absolutely crushing again. I've also been going through some personal mental and emotional stuff too, so overall, I've been pretty bummed out (with huge thanks to Julie, Liz, Michelle, Bobbie and Sharon for your love and support).

We canceled the trip to Long Beach for this weekend b/c Brian was unable to get away and he has a business trip to Oregon next week that he's not looking forward to. For some reason, they always send him down there on a Thursday so that he's stuck coming thru Portland, Olympia and Tacoma in Friday rush hour traffic. It's just as well. I was really upset at first, but now, being sick, the last place I need to be is on a cold, windy beach.

When Brian got home on Thursday night, he was feeling a bit ganged-up on because he works w/ all women and they gave him a really hard time about the fact that we don't observe Valentines Day. His boss gave him the "stink eye" when she overheard him tell one of the women that he didn't get me anything, nor did I get anything for him. They kept saying to him that a "woman doesn't really mean that she doesn't want anything for V-Day" and he "should have at least gotten me a card". I mean, it was so bad that he actually asked me if I could shoot one of the women an email to assure them of our arrangement!!

We used to observe V-Day when we first got married, but eventually, we decided to phase it out because for one thing, he and I go all out with presents for each other's birthdays and Xmas. Cards are ridiculously expensive. We say "I love you" every day, so we don't need a $5 card to say it again. Flowers, which are also expensive, die after a few days. I have a ton of stuffed animals, and I don't need a box of candy in the house to tempt me. We don't observe our anniversary either, other than to say, "Happy Anniversary" and sometimes we'll go out to eat.

What I came to realize a long time ago is that it's the little things during the year that count and mean more than a manufactured holiday that guilt trips men, and women, into spending copious amounts of money to fill the coffers of Hallmark, FTD or the jewelry companies which have resurrected their stupid "He went to Jared" and "give her the gift she REALLY wants: DIAMONDS!!!!" commercials for Valentines Day.

You know what means the world to me? When Brian goes to DQ to get a burger for himself, and brings back an oreo cookie ice cream blizzard treat for me. Or if he goes to the store and brings me back a candy bar. Or if he goes somewhere else and sees something he'd think I'd like & gets it for me. That means he's thinking of me. Or if he's not feeling well or having a tough week and I buy him a DVD or book that he's wanted, or I see something he'd like at the antique show or during my travels. Without being prompted by some stupid guilt-trip commerical or minor holiday. I'm sure there are many women out there who only receive gifts for V-Day. I'm one of the lucky ones. Brian and I give each other little gifts all the time, and that means far more to me than a card and flowers on Valentines Day.

And that leads up to the massive surprise I got from him yesterday. For the past few weeks, I was having a super difficult time and in tears a lot. Some time last week, Brian said, "There are 2 packages coming to the house and I don't want you to look at them. Just leave them on the porch and I'll take care of it. It's an extra-special present for you." I said, "For the holidays or for now?" and he said, "For now." I couldn't imagine what it could be. I wracked my brain for something I might have said but nothing came to mind.

Yesterday, I'd had a dr. appt. and she told me I had a low grade fever and I should go home and rest. I went back to work for an hour and then I came home. While home, I saw the UPS driver stop at the street and haul a very large, but clearly light, box up our driveway and leave it on the porch. To say my curiosity was piqued is an understatement. What in the world......?!! After Brian came home and listened to Damien's BTR show from 5-6, he hauled the box in and let me open it.

Imagine my utter shock to find he'd bought me:

Yes, it's a high quality electronic drum kit. I was not only completely surprised but absolutely delighted at his thoughtfulness!!!

You see, I am a frustrated drummer. When I was in the 3rd grade and my elementary school was recruiting children to start band, I begged my parents to let me get the drum pad and learn drums. My mother said, "Absolutely not. It's not lady-like to play the drums." Throughout the years, I pestered and begged....I knew I would be a great drummer, but always was rebuffed with that same excuse. Yes, because I was already so "ladylike" as it was. I hated wearing dresses, I spent my summers running around in a cowboy hat and cap gun and my winters exploring the woods and building forts. Personally, I think my mom didn't want to listen to the noise and she was afraid that I'd bug the neighbors if they'd put a drum kit in one of the other buildings on their property. By that point, I'd already been drumming along to my Partridge Family records, using coffee cans and other items. I was good at it and I knew if I could just take drum lessons, I'd be really good. It's the one musical instrument I knew I would be able to play. My ethnic background is Italian/Portuguese and I have rhythm in my genes. Anyone who knew my dad, knew what a fantastic entertainer he was: Singing in the chorus and solo's in the annual Sandwich Lions Club Minstrel Show, or playing the organ and singing for my parents' many parties.

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In fact, it's gotten to be somewhat of a running sardonic joke between my mom and I, about the drumming. She'll say, "Yes, Yes, I know: You will never forgive me for not letting you take drums". And it's true. Instead of encouraging my interest, she shot me down. I was what, 8? 9? It's not like I dropped the subject; my pestering about learning drums continued on into high school. So I would sit in my dark bedroom at night, air-drumming along with all my records, crushed that I'd never get to try it myself. The drums are always the first thing I pick out in a song. I'll often learn all the drum parts long before I learn the lyrics. Once I got out of college, I just figured that I was too old to learn so I never bothered to take lessons when I went out on my own.

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So alas, since 1973, I have been a frustrated drummer, playing my steering wheel or my "air drum kit". When I asked Brian what made him get me this b/c it was so out of the blue, he told me that he thought about getting me a drum kit years ago and had looked into it, but never found one he thought would be good. But then the other day, when I was sad, I mentioned forelornly, "Julie takes drum lessons" and that put the idea in his head, that if she's taking lessons, then why shouldn't I? Who says I'm too old to learn? I mean, besides me of course.....my venture into banjo lessons in 1996 was a flop b/c I learned the practice piece upside down and backwards......
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I love drummers. Always have. Mickey Hart, Billy Kreutzman, Bev Bevan, Gene Krupa, Simon Crowe.....and let's not forget the massive crush I had on Lou Cataldo when I was in high school, drummer for the Cape Cod punk band The FreeZe. Ever hear the entire 7+ minute version of Benny Goodman's "Sing Sing Sing" with Gene Krupa? It's amazing.
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The one time I got to play "drums" onstage was back in college, when I was in a lip synch contest. I convinced our friends to do AC/DC's "Shoot to Thrill" and for that one night, I was "drumming" onstage, even though there was no real kit in front of me. Fil stole the show, dressed up as Angus, running around the stage playing air guitar like a maniac....boy did we have fun. It was such a rush.
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Even last night when I got the sticks in my hands, I started drumming in my lap and Brian told me that even doing that little bit, he can see that I have the rhythm & skill, I just need to be pointed in the right direction, so maybe I will try to find someone to give me drum lessons.
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I just wish that Madi, our other resident drummer besides Julie, could also check in here to see my kit, but alas, she's off to London today to begin the next chapter in her life. I even said that to Brian last night, how I wished Madi could see what he got me!
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So a big fat loving THANK YOU to my wonderful hubby for such a thoughtful gift. Wish me luck, guys, cause I'm going for it.

14 comments:

  1. Note: Stupid blogger would not double space b/t the paragraphs, hence the lines.

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  2. Sounds like the best Valentine gift for you EVER - and why SHOULD you 'celebrate' something I think was invented by the card companies ;0) My folks have been married 55 years this year and have never, EVER exchanged Valentine cards/gifts, at least, not while yours truly has been around - which is quite a while now ;0)

    Have fun!

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  3. that is the best thing ever. very thoughtful. and while i do like v-day, not in the industry way, but more as an excuse for us to get away for a few minutes w/o kids in tow, i agree w/ you that is all the other little things that matter more. good luck, can't wait to hear when you start lessons.

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  4. Anonymous8:06 PM

    julie...

    i am so glad for you. you can do it. now we'll both be drummers. it really has added to my life.

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  5. you guys have a good thing goin' on! nice skins, too...drumming is therapeutic. we don't do gifts in the usual ways either. hope you feel better.

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  6. Oh, very cool gift from Brian! Hope you feel better soon Jojo.

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  7. Oh, good one, Brian! What an unusually thoughtful guy.

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  8. Yeah he REALLY took me by surprise!!! I still think I'm too old to learn but he has the confidence in me that I can, so I'll have to try!

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  9. Lizzard12:59 PM

    Hey Jojo!
    YEAH!!! DRUMS!!!!
    Just like you are never too young to learn- you are never to old.
    HMMM.... to think, we could have been playing the drums in band together....

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  10. Learning is ageless Jojo!Those are so cool!I always wanted some of those (even though there was a full set in our house that were my brother's)!I have what I call dance rhythm but not drum rhythm.Too much brain power in drumming for me right now!;)

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  11. (i hate valentine's day, too)

    what a cool present...maybe you and madi can get together and "jam" together. i'd pay good money for that!

    isn't it awful how some parents stifle their children's talents for stupid and shallow reasons? good for brian for encouraging you and your talents! (does he, perhaps, have a single big brother?)

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  12. I agree with you Jojo -it's the little things that count for more than cards. Sounds like you guys got it all going on. Lucky you!

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  13. Wow, Jojo!
    You have the coolest husband!!!
    (Brian, I always wanted to see Washington...hint, hint) LOL!!

    I never knew you wanted to be a drummer, unless I forgot. Of course, I also thought of Madi first when I read this.

    Go for it, honey!
    Rock the world!!!!!

    xxx

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  14. I told Madi about your drum kit...she thinks you'll be great at it..but she was a bit miffed that you left Roger out of your list of great drummers :-D

    We haven't celebrated V day for years...there is no need for stupid cards and gifts when you KNOW you love each other anyway

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