The short list just got shorter- An homage to Chris Cornell

I never wanted to write these words down for you…

If you knew me, you could not help but see how many aspects of my life seem to have moved in this circular motion, somehow always making these ironic connections.

If you knew me, you would know that I have a few favorites. They are: Johnney Depp, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, U2, The Doors, and anything Chris Cornell.

I take my music very seriously, and for a while I have been planning to write this post, except one of my favorites died today. It feels like the end of my youth.

(See My dad the rocker. https://wordpress.com/post/superstew39.wordpress.com/476).

If you knew me, you would know that I was very much a part of the Seattle grunge scene, except that I lived thousands of miles away at the time. Countless concerts and dreams of being a groupie and following a band around. Just like Penny Lane in Almost Famous, minus the slutty part. I know song lyrics for days. People that do not know me that well might find it all surprising, like my tattoos.

I saw Chris Cornell with Audioslave in Cleveland, OH. I stood just feet away from Tom Morello’s guitar. I probably would have gone to a concert every day, if I could afford it. Across all the bands and solo work, I think Soundgarden was my least favorite. Audioslave and Temple of the Dog top my list. Temple of the Dog played here recently, but I found out about it too late.

The right place, the wrong time.

And now, fast forward twenty, or so years, and here I am. Living not far from that city where it began. I feel like… with my people, actually. I could not be anywhere else right now.

Melodramatic? It’s not like I knew him. Is anything different in my life today. No, except that his music got me through many of the difficult times in my own life. Beautiful melodies, with an often blues filled softness. Two of my all time favorite songs: Call Me A Dog: Temple of the Dog, 1991, and The Getaway: Audioslave, 2002. Song lyrics that really transecended whatever their true meaning may have been. And now I will never hear a new song by that amazing voice again, and it hurts.

I watched a series recently about my generation, Generation X. In it they claimed that Kurt Cobain stood for the generation. And while I do have a fondness, even visited the park in Aberdeen memorializing him and drove by his childhood home, he did not represent me. Not in the way that Cornell’s music did, and what a musicain and song writer. His level of talent far outweighs that of Mr. Cobain in any way. There is no comparison between the two. The Jim Morrison of our time, or Robert Plant. Music like this does not exist anymore today.

They say he killed himself. By hanging. I cannot help but wonder about the moments that led up to this. The private demons he must have been struggling with. I cannot get the disturbing image out of my head. I think of his children, and the wife and family he left behind, and I am saddened.

I feel like I can never finish this. If Chris Cornell killed himself, what does that mean for the rest of us. It’s not like he had public scandals for us to piece together an explanation, at least not for many years. He was real. He had flaws, and depression, and addiction, and he overcame them. Try watching a film as you hear that voice slowly creep in on many a movie score. He had outlasted that ‘Live fast, die young, I’m a rock n roll star living on the edge phase’, and he was one of the few who made it. It made us proud.

It wasn’t supposed to end this way. In the next few weeks the mystery will unfold for the rest of the world to see. While I, Mr. Cornell, one of your biggest fans, sits by wishing it was all a hoax, as I have done since the day I heard the news.

 

 

 

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Not Quite A Year

The words spoken by my husband resonated in my head, “maybe we’re not meant to be here.” Can it be true? Maybe. It is certainly not for a lack of trying…but for a long time, it seems that things have just not gone our way. And for the first time in a long while, we do not have to move because the military tells us we have to. Yet, we have considered it on our own.

He was a soldier–and a damn good one. One of the best. One of the few that was not just looking out for himself. They underestimated him. Took him for granted. A different kind of military. He felt it was time to move on.

It has not been quite a year since he left active duty military, and joined a National Guard unit. I can honestly admit, it has been one of the longest, most trying years that we have spent together; full of many ups and downs, and we have had a few.

Before he even left active duty, he found a job. I say found, however, it was more like he pushed himself and worked really hard. He passed rigorous physical and mental tests to be accepted into the State Highway Patrol. It is a looong process, which very few make it through. But he did.

In fact, he was still on military leave when he was put on the payroll. He worked there most of the summer, before attending the academy in August. Unfortuenately, his career was cut short due to an injury he sustained while on active duty in the military. That day, I received one of the most shocking and unexpected phone calls I have ever gotten from him, “I’ve been eliminated from the academy.”

With only one income, and now, no income, needless to say, it was a little bumpy.

Of course, never quitters, I was fortunate to be offered a long-term substitute position I might otherwise have declined. Between unemployment checks, and a zillion job applications, he was eventually offered a job. Not his forever job, but a job nonetheless.

Where I feel like I had a fair year learning a great deal in the field of education and teaching, full of many new experiences, and new connections, I, too, have had my share of disapointments. Job opportunities that should have been mine falling through for this reason or that. Conversely, I have watched a man slope downward into misery. Not happy with what he is doing, and not satisfied with the way things have turned out.

Timing. Sometimes it feels like you belong in a certain place, but things can change. When do you decide to give up, let go, or move on. Design a new plan–a different one, possibly far, far away from this place. How long should you wait. It has been less than a year, but what if this is not where we are supposed to be.

I don’t have any of the answers right now. But I do not think I am ready to give up just yet.

Still holding on.

 

 

 

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Two-Way Street

Sometimes it gets old always being the one to initiate a friendship, or keep one going; a conversation, a phone call, a visit, a card, a letter, a gift, or a message. It’s tiring. And for years in many of my relationships, I have been the one to do this.

Some have come to expect it without ever realizing it’s a two-way street. Oh, I’m not saying it’s like this with everyone, but when have you done any of those things lately? There are definitely those of us that can pick up– right where we left off, after any duration of time, and I truly appreciate that.

But incase you haven’t noticed, I may not have been in touch lately, and I’m only a little bit sorry about it. I mean, truthfully, sometimes I forget, or I don’t have time. It has no personal meaning about or against an individual/persons. I still feel the same about you. It’s just me taking care of my own life. After all, I am the star of it, along with three other main characters.

Truth is, I don’t always offer to share personal troubles of my own with everyone, in fact, rarely. And believe me, my life is far from perfect. Maybe if you’d asked.

And maybe it sounds harsh, but most of the time I have too much going on to remember or worry about everything that is happening in everyone else’s life. It doesn’t mean that I don’t care about you. But it’s hard enough these days just to keep my own life together. Does that make me a bad person or friend? Well, if it does, than so be it.

I know, for years I have been the one doing it. And because of this, it seems that I am not allowed to stop. EVER. Without pissing a few people off and even losing friends because of it.

But seriously, it works both ways, and I shouldn’t have to do all the work. Thanks.

 

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Pipe Dream

Pipe dream: a hope, wish, or dream that is impossible to achieve or not practical–Merriam-Webster.

In a perfect world, flights would take off and arrive on time. Airplanes would not break down, and people would not be rude.

Flight attendants would get based at their first choice upon completion of 6-8 weeks of “charm farm” treachery. They would not have to commute, or fly stand-by, or spend extra money for a “crash pad”. Family would live closer where they could be more helpful, or the job would actually pay enough to have a nanny, or a husband that could quit his job to be a stay-at-home dad.

But that’s not reality. I know this, because I have lived it. The above mentioned became many of the same reasons why I quit almost nine years ago after the birth of our first child.

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Do I miss it? Sure, there are things I miss about it. Like…

Layovers in some amazing locales, for sure, and a hotel room all to myself. Being able to travel for free or next to nothing, which certainly fed my need for adventure, and gave me the ability to visit family and friends more often. The comraderie of my fellow super stews, of course, there’s nothing like it. And yes, in some ways that feeling of I-have-this-really-cool-job-and-you-don’t-trotting through an airport in my uniform, pulling my roller board behind me…as I crowd to the head of the security line.

It’s those things that seem to make me do this to myself once every few years. I begin to long for a trip, an adventure (which I cannot afford). I start to recollect the glory days of my flying career and youth, and consider applying to an airline as a flight attendant all over.

Yes, I desperately need a vacation somewhere, but seriously, not enough to put myself through training all over again at a new airline, back at the bottom of the seniority list, with a bunch of twenty-something newbies without a clue about what being “out on the line” is really like. “Flight attendant school” does not really teach you that.

Red lipstick and hair buns, panty hose, and spending days learning how to fill out various forms that only take minutes in real flying life. Fakeness and how to be polite in the face of complete reproach. Sure, there are some very important lessons like putting out fires, evacuating airplanes, and saving lives, but I can’t.  I just can’t. 

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So thank you “blank” airlines, but I reject your video interview opportunity at this time and probably forever, actually.

The main reasons that I quit in the first place are the same as those whom I’d miss while on a trip and on the road, in an environment which I had very little control over…longing for them to be there beside me. This I know. Plus, the older I get the less I really care about what anyone else thinks anyway, truly.

So, there you have it. However, if an opportunity to work at an airline in another capacity, such as training or safety were to arise, well, hmmmm…that might be different. Also, it’s not really a pipe dream if you have already achieved it.

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She Buried Her Little Boy Today

She buried her little boy today,

As I try and figure out what to say…that could possibly take the empty feeling away,

I realize that nothing can do that. Ever.

I try and plug my ears,

while the world complains about insignificant silly little troubles, but I really want to scream “shut up!”

And she buried her little boy today.

 

Why do people say “there are no words” when someone dies?

There are words, so many words.

I’ve never lost a child,

But what I think it must feel like is drowning, just barely keeping your head above the water,

Not being able to breathe,

A pain in your heart that never subsides.

 

I have thought of her and wondered how I would deal with such loss

While I tuck in my own precious son each night.

She’s living my worst nightmare,

Losing a part of yourself,

so young, so loved,

An angel that is now soaring above.

 

I can walk away from this when it becomes too painful to finish, turn my mind off to these heartbreaking thoughts,

but she can’t.

Each day she must wake up knowing her little boy is not here anymore.

He is here… though not physically to touch and hold.

He is here, all around us.

 

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Why It Doesn’t Matter That Your Husband Is An Officer And Mine Isn’t, Revisted

This happens so rarely, but when it does, it quickly becomes very awkward and unwelcome. Not the first time I’ve written about it either, and I’m sure it won’t be the last…so just don’t be this spouse. Please, I’m begging.

Why It Doesn’t Matter That Your Husband Is An Officer And Mine Isn’t

  1. I am not the one in the military (and neither are you). Sarah to Jareth in the Labyrinth, “You have no power over me.” lab
  2. Take the word ‘military’ out of the equation and let’s see how far your false sense of entitlement gets you (you know who you are).
  3. Oh, because I really just don’t care. Our spouses took different paths within the military. That is all.
  4. We are all wives first that each have the potential to do great things no matter what our husbands rank. rank
  5. You come second to the military just like I do.
  6. This stigma gets redundant, it’s 2016 people.
  7. We’re all in this together.
  8. Still not caring…
  9. Some officers wives have been my best friends, still are.
  10. I treat others how I want to be treated. In fact, I’m probably nicer to them than they are to me. No amount of “officer spouse only” exclusive grooming classes can teach this.
  11. If you think it matters- than you are a part of the problem.

For the record, I have my own coffee group where everyone is invited.

toys

 

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How do working moms do it?

As I woke up and prepared for my first day of working in over a year, it was also the second day of school for my children. In typical 6-year-old girl fashion nothing fit, or matched. Shoes felt tight, every pair of socks felt lumpy, and anything that could become an issue- did. The day before I’m pretty sure I broke my pinky toe doing something clumsy, and I got my first “C” on an assignment in years. All of this set the tone of my mood.

I have always prided myself on being that fun, creative mom, throwing cool birthday parties, being crafty with school projects, being available, and super involved. Not having a full-time job makes this possible (And I am grateful). AND being a parent IS already a full-time job. SO do not forget that.

So I will ask a question that I really need answered: How do working moms do it?

Yesterday I hit a brick wall. Fact is, I’m a mom, and I’m a student, and I’m a volunteer in several capacities, and now, I’m working part-time. How can I do all of these things and be really good at any one of them? Moms of the world, what have we done to ourselves? OR what am I doing wrong? How is it that husbands get to choose one or the other; go to work, or stay home. And moms have to do it all.

So when I'm stressed I'll just yell,

There’s just not enough coffee in the world.

Wake up kids in morning. Tell them to brush their teeth and get dressed twenty times. Ok yell at them. Feed them breakfast. Finally get out door. Oh, right. I did not have time to eat. Go to work and school. Come home. Oh yeah. Forgot to eat again. Maybe clean house. Maybe do laundry, okay probably not. Shouldn’t I be skinnier? Soccer practice, or some other extracurricular activity,stop at grocery store, and two papers and a bunch of schoolwork later…

And if your husband  doesn’t look at you like “what’s for dinner?” after you worked an 8 hour shift and sat at soccer practice for an hour and a half, lucky you, and you’re my idol.

Let’s just say that dinner may or may not have gotten cooked.

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