What do we do now?

 

What do we do now? Asks my 10 year old little girl and my 13 year old adolescent, who have been very engaged in this whole election process.

What do we do now when America has voted for hate, fear mongering, bigotry,racism, sexism, egomania and incompetence? 

What do we do now when we will say goodbye to progress on halting climate change, to any hope of continuing the steps forward that were taken 8 years ago when we elected our first minority president.

What do we do now when we see the opportunity to empower our girls by electing a president, who is not only female, but  smart, tough and extremely qualified for the job, snatched away by a blustering bully who is proud of assaulting women, not paying taxes and pandering to the worst elements in american society.

What do we do now when all the ugliness that has been quietly festering now suddenly has a very loud voice?

More than ever it is imperative as an individual to practice kindness, tolerance of diversity in race, religion, sexual orientation & gender identification.  It is imperative that we let our kids know that this is not who we are.  We don't close our doors to refugees who have suffered more than we will ever understand, we don't build walls to keep out the rest of the world. We can't base our choices on fear.

So what do i tell my kids? I tell them that they need work hard to be the best people they can be. They need to be kind, work hard, stay informed, reach out to others who are different so they will better understand other's views. They need to ask questions, demand answers, fight for what is important to them. They need to practice love and tolerance. They need to be our hope that someday we, as Americans will make better choices.

 

To my Friend Andrea

 

Childhood friends burn a special place in your heart. Friendships are formed quickly and the bonds remain strong even as life, time and distance stretch them.  

When I think of my childhood, some of my fondest memories feature you  I couldn't wait for the Smith sisters to arrive in NH every summer.  Hours spent chatting, joking and goofing around on the the Brookhurst dock, nights and rainy days spent on the porch, eating corn on the cob and playing cards.  Trips to Dairy Maid and Robbins General store, trying desperately to keep up with the older kids who tried desperately to lose us.  It was a gift each summer when you and Jodi arrived, my own friends, my own age, our own secrets and inside jokes and our own adventures.  Andrea, you probably didn't realize it, but you were one of those girls you felt lucky to be friends with - incredibly cool and confident, quick witted and funny, with a heart of pure gold.

Years had passed since we'd seen each other, but we chatted regularly through facebook and when I got cancer, it was you who got me in to see the head surgeon at Dana Farber and it was you who could empathize with all the discomforts and indignities that accompany such an ordeal.

I am forever grateful that we were able to spend a few hours together last month, laughing over old memories. I didn't know time was going to be so short. 

Andrea, you were a woman of incredible strength, grace, dignity, intelligence and humor.  You will always live in my heart and mind as that carefree girl who made my summers golden.  <3

 

Today I Am Angry

 

Today I am angry.

Angry at cancer.

I am angry for my Uncle Gordon who lost his life to lung cancer after losing so much of his quality of life to a stroke. And for his daughter Susan who had to wage her own war.

I am angry for my Aunt Carol, who instead of spending her time with her gazillion grandchildren, is stuck dealing with the debilitating effects of chemo.

I am angry for my sister-in-law's father Bill who left us way too soon.

I am angry for my mom's best friend Bev whose passing made the world a lot less vibrant.

I am angry for my sweet friend who instead of basking in the glow of pregnancy, instead had to battle for her life and her baby's. Thank God she won.

I am angry for one of my closest friends who while dealing with several of life's other curve balls also had to endure breast cancer.

I am especially angry today for my childhood friend Andrea who has stared cancer down three times and today is back at Dana Farber facing the possibility of having to do it again.

I am angry that this list of people to be angry for is so damn long.

And though it seems especially self-indulgent, I am angry for myself. That despite being told by my doctors that I have no risk factors and "there is absolutely no reason why this happened to you" I had to lose a breast to the beast.

So today I am swinging mad.

Tomorrow is another day.

Love 
Jenn

 

 

Confessions of Suburban Rockstar wannabe mama

 

I am exhausted today. This night time life style of being a working musician was a lot easier in my 20's! Yesterday's adventures of a suburban wanna be rock star mama went something like this…Wake up late due to a late Friday night rehearsal. Ship child #1 off to karate, play blocks and legos with child #2. Oh and Polly Pockets- you know what those are? They are tiny plastic dolls that wear tiny rubber dresses that no one without a degree from MIT can figure out how to get on without ripping. Whoever invented those should be wrapped in rubber and made to sit with a bunch of children while attempting to dress these tiny little torture devices. Manage to get both kids looking respectable despite the fact that child #1 owns nothing other than sweat pants and jeans. And getting him to wear a collared shirt was a battle worthy of several martinis. Go to friends daughter's first communion. Drink too much wine at after party. Get home, find dog has barfed all over the kitchen, clean up barf, clean rabbit (Queen Craps a lot)'s cage. Try to make house look respectable so sitter won't spread rumors (all true of course) about the despicable state of my house. Get in shower 15 min before sitter arrives. Look out window to see both children disappearing into the neighborhood. I have a sitter and no children, I am naked, wet, wrapped in a towel and screaming like a banshee in my backyard. Give up on finding children, commence rockstar transformation. Children find their way home, sitter arrives….hop into car to go to the gig. Get to gig knowing that I am in for a night of cluster-fuckedness. Yes, I just made up that word. Event starts one hour late, I am ready for my pjs and pillow at least an hour before we hit the stage. Get on stage, sans soundcheck, can't hear anything but we crank through our set….oh I forgot the stripper who went on before us…and yes, mom and dad were in the audience. yup. And through it all John and new guy Rob were laughing and rolling with it. They are good sports and I am lucky to be making music with them! Along the way, my new video won three awards..Best Director, Best Cinematography and First Runner Up for Best Video….so that's pretty cool and I have a neat award to put on my shelf. Today, I clean up dog poo in the back yard….

 

Confessions of a Tortured Songwriter

 

Confessions of a tortured songwriter!

I love writing, I mean I hate writing, I mean I love it. Depends on the day, the hour. the minute. Yesterday I spent almost the entire day working on one song. Blank page to......blank page. Well not exactly blank. I've got about 5 different versions of the damn song none of which seem to be any good.

The problem with writing alone is that you are your own cheerleader and your own worst critic. Most times the critic wins.

During the course of the day I hit the euphoria stage. I'm convinced I'm brilliant and this song is going to blow not only my mind but everyone else's. Then I think, well that part doesn't sound right...and maybe I should add a piano part. Well maybe not a piano, how about a harpsichord...or a gong! Yes you can see how this goes.

Writing and recording in the age of technology is a little like shopping in a huge department store. The options are endless and the more options I am presented with, the more likely I am to walk out of the store with nothing more than a pair of socks - that I don't even like. Hence, the blank page.

Back to basics, grab my guitar and sit on the couch...maybe a flash of brilliance will strike! Or a nap, yes a nap might be good.