Rising improbably from the ashes, are we? That’s how I feel trying to carve out some time to chat here at the end of a long day and long week and long whatever it’s been since I’ve last written here. Racing towards the end of another year, last fall seems like just a few months ago, but suddenly we’re picking apples and getting pumpkins again and raking leaves into neat piles. This year, I’ve explained to the kids, there really is no jumping into the piles allowed. I’m going to be very watchful this year… no turning my back… they won’t even have the chance to disturb a leaf. They just giggle when I say this.
But Sydney loves school, and Isaac is doing well at daycare a few mornings each week, and Karen is volunteering in the school and still running her town property reuse committee and joining multiple moms clubs, all while still finding time to have dinner piping hot and ready the moment I walk in the door lest there be a ruckus. We just refinanced the house and got a nice low interest rate, so I can now pour our monthly savings into new guitars and effects pedals. Yes, the whole family is getting behind my new solo musical effort, Killer Moth. My debut album, coming out in time for Xmas, features some provocative cover art of me in a moth suit with fangs and a few, terror-inducing drops of blood. We used real goat blood for effect. Might sound obnoxious, but it was really done quite tastefully… at least all my colleagues at work seem to think so. Though I do eat lunch alone these days.
No, in all seriousness, a couple mornings ago a moth flew out of my pants as I pulled them out of the closet before work. I took that as a reminder that while my waist size hasn’t changed since the 8th grade, that doesn’t necessarily mean I should still be wearing the same pants I wore in 1988. Noted. I’ll be looking for sales at The Gap if anyone wants to hang with Killer Moth in Canton.
Yeah, so just 27 years to go on the mortgage. Isaac will be 30 and still living here, given his undying love for matchbox cars and his mommy. Maybe it’s too early to tell, but we’re starting to worry about his employability. His resume says little more than “car freak” and he is emotionally attached to his favorite outfit of orange shorts and yellow shirts. Sydney on the other hand is showing real interests in the medical profession, which by the time she grows up might just entail programming robots to scan our brains and shoot lasers at us. Which will make it hard for us to discern when they decide to attack. The robots, I mean, not the doctor programmers.
Sydney will be going as Darth Vader for Halloween this year. The kids love the original Star Wars movies — the holy trilogy, as some of us coined them at work. And Sydney loves “Dark” Vader and does a pretty good impression of his breathing behind the mask. Isaac wants to be a ladybug, which will make them a great pair. I’d say they have gender-confusion issues if I didn’t go absolutely gaga over a diaper bag that I was purchasing for a coworker’s baby shower last night. Maybe it’s all the ugly, embarrassing diaper bags I’ve had to lug around over the past few years. Or maybe it’s the old-meets-new-world handmade, eco-friendly craftsmanship of this bag we discovered at a boutique in Davis Square. Why was I in a boutique? The alternative was trying to get from Cambridge to a Babies R Us in Everett during rushhour… and I’m not that much of an ass. So we opted for Davis and this bag, made by some woman in Portland, OR (it’s oh so Portlandia, if you’ve seen any of those sketches, i.e. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2LBICPEK6w), which cost more than the entire amount we had collected from our coworkers to spend on “gifts.” We haggled on the price and got it for the exact amount we had. I think it’s not leather, because that would be cruel, but this vinyl material feels very much like fine leather, with nice stitching… it’s definitely purse-like, and my coworker couldn’t resist telling everyone else how much I was fawning over this thing, much to everyone’s amusement. But I’m no less certain of my manhood when I say, “It’s a gorgeous diaper bag.” Then today I filled it with sensitive-for-newborn baby wipes and butt cream. What?
Hands down, most embarrassing post yet? For me and you, for reading this far? Hey, I’ve decided to give up on growing up. I mean I’ve tried it and, like a suit from J.O.S Bank, it doesn’t really fit. Luckily I seem to have a family that’s willing to fit me in… and a job at a company that tolerates jeans. What more could I ask for, aside from a record deal. Ah, speaking of which, I just posted a new song called “Leggo my Ego” at www.reverbnation.com/ericfriedman. Something I wrote on the piano a few weeks ago, but the title comes from a joke a fellow Peaceworker once told to Timothy Shriver as part of a discussion apropos of this one. We were talking about politics and public policy and public service and how hard it is to get things done with competing personalities and agendas. And my friend was saying, we just have to let go of our egos and really try to work for something beyond ourselves, beyond our own immediate interests. And it’s so true. Our egos lead us into the abyss… like killer moths to the flame. And I’m too tired to think straight I think… so until next time, may your diaper bags be stylish, your pants fit for 20 straight years and the moths be the non-killer types.