After mostly taking the month of July off, I’m getting back into the swing of things. You may or may not have noticed I’ve been a little more absent than normal. While I’ve tried to check in on Twitter from time to time, I pre-wrote many of the posts you’ve read this month so that I could have July mainly free. I visited my sister in Chicago, went on a family vacation, and attempted to recharge my energy and attitude. It is July 29th as I type this, and I’m struggling with the concept that for all intents and purposes, the school year begins next week. It’s actually only registration for the resident teenager in my house, but you would swear her life is coming to a swift end. Mine too, if I’m going to mirror her emotional tirade of the moment.
To be fair, she’s really looking forward to the normalcy of going to school. As I’ve (over)shared here, school was a train wreck last year. She knows that, I know that, and I think we both have PTSD from the experience. We’ve vowed to do things differently. Okay, well, it was mostly me that vowed to make changes. She barely peered up at me from drawing on her computer tablet, her animation-gloved hand frozen in mid air, as I began my (somewhat long) monologue on the importance of the school year ahead. I did get a full blink from her (surely that must mean she heard me and registered the words, right??) before she turned her head and zeroed back in on her current character sketch.
In my case, I’m going to attempt to be a little less stressed out about her homework and attitude. (HA HA HA) In her case, well…we’ll see. Maybe she’ll just settle back into school again, and be happy. That’s an improvement right there.
Our lives have changed a bit over the summer. She’s learned something new about herself (I’m sorry for the vagueness), but suffice to say it has answered a lot of questions I’ve had about how certain things I’ve said or done have affected her the way they do. Oddly, it is something she and her older brother share, and I should have seen it, but didn’t. Learn something new every day, right?!? Coupled with that nugget of reality, I’m still managing my own stuff. You know, the health “ick” that seems to come barreling at you as you hit middle age. I hate talking about it because everybody seems to have something. Nobody leaves life unscathed, am I right? I remind myself constantly that we all know what happens at the end of life, so there’s no use in focusing on what is going to eventually take us out – it’s the getting there, the living part – that matters. Enough said on that front.
Teenagers, am I right? Please tell me I’m right. I need to take some deep breaths. Again.
Like it or not, these days I find that nearly everything affects how I deal with this site you’re reading. Even learning about issues with my kids seems to change how I handle or feel about the blog, or even my fandom. That’s probably the same for many of you reading, even if you don’t take the time to write about it as I do. Fandom changes. Our own perspective changes. I see things so much differently now than I did even five or six years ago. I have a certain amount of anxiety about how I acted or what I did as Paper Gods came out. Back then, everything the band did felt monumental to me. A lot of that is because of this site. Sure, call it a nasty case of self-importance. I believed this blog mattered more than it really does, and I was convinced it was my “duty” to share my thoughts. It feels odd even typing that. Regardless, the point is that these days, the band can say they worked with a band named Chai – known (not by me, that is for sure) for chip music (something else I didn’t know existed until last week), and I can barely do more than blink before I move on to something else in my real life that needs my attention.
For a while now, I’ve wondered if my lack of response equated to a lack of interest. Does this band not matter as much to me? Why am I not completely freaking out over every last bit of news??? Well, the truth is that sometimes – I do still have that momentary freak out. I guess the difference is that some of the time now, I don’t write about it. (but sometimes, I still do!) That’s not necessarily due to lack of interest, though. It’s due to knowing that I shouldn’t always comment until I hear the final result. Does it do anyone any good at all to read a diatribe from me about a piece of music I’ve not even heard yet? What would I even say?
I still love Duran Duran. I’m also 50 years old now, and feel a lot more settled and satisfied now than I did at 30 or 35. (or 45…) Different things matter. It isn’t as though I don’t care about what the band is doing, it’s that I recognize that whatever they do—however this album sounds, wherever or whenever they tour, etc—doesn’t affect me so much. I don’t have to feel affronted every time they make a business decision. It isn’t essential to react each time something is announced. People will not think any more, or less of me, if I don’t immediately announce whatever is going on in my head about the band. My real friends will still be my friends. My family will still be my family, and my goal of getting a hard cider company off the ground and into a tasting room is still my goal. The music is the cherry on the very top, so to speak.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m very much looking forward to hearing whatever was to be gained from collaborating with a band known for chip music. My daughter—the very same one I wrote about above—is into anime in a big way. She knows way more about Chai and chip music than I could ever hope to gain on my own. She’s curious about Duran Duran working with them, and particularly so about an anime music video. Never mind that I burst her bubble by excitedly sharing, “Duran Duran already did that. You should watch their manga video for Careless Memories!” I earned a full eye roll for sharing that tidbit! Tough crowd.
This is the song that was shared on Whooosh! to feature Chai this week. Check it out and see what you think!
Yep, this school year is going to be interesting. Send help.