Tag Archives: perimenopunk

Perimenopunk Tips for Sharing the Second Shift

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This pic has been going around Facebook the last couple of weeks.

Have dinner ready – no, just no

If you happen to be married to a man, your husband can make his own fucking dinner, and/or when family dinners are a priority he can cook on some of those nights too. When he doesn’t, he can wait until you’ve gotten home, probably after getting groceries on your way from work, and had a chance to cook said dinner that you wanted to start an hour earlier but couldn’t because your job kept you late. Everyone should be planning ahead for dinner. Your husband should be communicating with you about what needs to be defrosted or bought from the store. Cooking meals for you and your family saves money and ensures healthier eating, but leaving all the planning and prep to one person when both partners are working is just cruel. Planning and preparing meals takes up a lot of psychic energy and the burden should be shared.

Prepare yourself/Take care of yourself because no one else is going to

Take care of yourself. Take off your goddamn bra; take it off in the car. When you get home, if you feel like putting on a loose-fitting house dress, do it. If you feel like going straight into your pajamas fine, but for crap sake, take off that bra, put on some chanklas, cuddle up on the couch with your kid, or if yours is a teen, with a cuddly pet.

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Sometimes this perimenoponkera can’t even wait to leave work before taking off her bra

Clear Away Clutter

Your husband can pick up his own shit so you don’t have to do it after you’ve worked all day long and plan on cooking dinner too. Make your kids to pick up their shit too. “Your house should be a haven” for you all to rest in. You should also be able to lay on the couch dead tired and not have to look at back packs, soccer shoes, jackets, sheet music, and junk mail.

Prepare the children

Hold small children close, but prepare older children to cook, clean, and pick up after themselves. Teach them not to be total dicks who expect others to do everything for them. Teach them to help others when others are ill, injured, or elderly.

Minimize all noise *snort*

Play whatever music you like as loud as you like, especially if you’re cooking or cleaning. Play X-Ray Spex, David Bowie, Downtown Boys, Adam Ant, Selena, or The Clash. When you have time play you’re your instrument, uncover the drums and play them, practice the guitar. On weekends ( when the neighbors’ children are not napping), turn the amp up to 11.

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Play a baby drum set if you have to!

Some do’s

Do make sure any children understand that they have two parents and both can be called upon to help with homework, discuss school, the weekly schedule, make doctor’s appointments, and sign field trip forms shoved in their face at the last second. And make it clear that you expect everyone in the house to help clean up after dinner before going off to watch their shows, surf the internet, or do their homework

Some don’ts

Don’t just do everything around the house because it’s easier than asking for help, because you’re better at washing dishes, or because they don’t know how to operate appliances. Don’t perpetuate gender roles by being unwilling to teach your husband to do shit that he somehow didn’t learn somewhere else along the way.

Make him comfortable

Um, I’m not fluffing anyone’s pillows who is past the age of four years old.

Listen to him *rolls eyes*

I’m sure I’ve never seen a list that urges husbands to listen to their wives.

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PC: The Digital Artist via Pixabay

Make the evening his

What about you? What about your evening?

The goal

Take back your life. You are perimenopausal and you are tired of working for free; you want to sit back and relax too, unwind, read a book, sip a glass of wine, renew yourself “in body and spirit” and not have to wait until your dead.

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The author in her fave house dress and no bra

Punk Rock Reunions

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At a recent reading I did for The Spitboy Rule, someone said that they heard that Spitboy was going to reunite to play a reunion show. I would like to state for the record, and as publicly as possible, that the likelihood of Spitboy getting back together to play a reunion show is next to none. There are a couple of different reasons that would make doing so pretty impossible.

That said, since writing The Spitboy Rule: Tales of a Xicana in Female Punk Band, I have had the same or similar recurring dream. Spitboy is going to get back together to play a show, probably at Gilman, and just a couple of hours before the show I realize that I don’t remember any of the drum parts, and that some of us haven’t seen each other in like fifteen years. In the dream, I begin to panic. How will we play if we don’t even know the songs or each other, and then I wake up. When I wake up, terror is replaced with a sudden relief that it was all a dream, that I don’t have learn to play my own songs again in two hours, but then the Lookout Records Reunion show happened.

In January 2017, as a part of 924 Gilman’s 30-year anniversary activities, there will be a weekend of shows by reunited Lookout Records bands. I know that some people think that reunions are stupid and that they take away time, space, and money from current local bands, and while I sort of understand that argument, I am still super excited to announce that I will play guitar with Kamala and the Karnivores who will play one of these reunion shows. Here’s the ultimate irony. Not only did I suck at guitar when I was in the band in 1989, but I don’t even really know how to play guitar anymore, so like the dream, I have to relearn all these songs, songs that I knew how to play at one point. Thankfully, I have more than two hours to learn them.

It was Kamala who approached me about reuniting to play this show. She contacted me; I contacted Ivy, and Ivy contacted Lynda, the line-up on the Lookout Records 7, Girl Band. Ivy said, “Sounds like a fun time for some old ladies.”

Within a week we had set a time and date to have dinner to discuss how we’d approach practicing, knowing that we’d all need to relearn all the songs.

It all came together quickly that it made me think, this is why women should run the world.

Lynda who lives in LA and who has two small children, was not able to make it to the dinner, but Kamala and Ivy and I were all there with our husbands. Like punk rock, we are all well into our forties, and some of us our fifty, and being more or less cis women, we are all married with what our parents would call respectable jobs, but we’re still a bunch of weirdo music nerds, only now with grey hair and menopause.

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Since I’m a grownup now and not 19, I paid money to have my guitar worked on before our first practice, rather than asking Kent (yes, of “Ask, Kent” fame), Ivy’s husband, and one of my fave people in the world, to do it for me. I’m actually playing my son’s guitar this time around, the best guitar in the house. I took it to Broken Guitars to have it set up for me to play. I told Justin who does that work there what I needed, easy to play strings, low action on the fret board, and new strings, which he’d had to put on for me, so I could start building up some callouses as soon as possible. The next day, I went to Ivy’s house to learn some of the songs. She had hand-drawn some tabs for me, and we were both surprised that I could remember how to form most of the chords without her showing me. We had a good laugh over the fact that when I was in Kamala and the Karnivores in 1989 that she had to draw very detailed diagrams of the fret board, the notes, and chords. Learning to play guitar a bit better when I played in Hateplate with Dominique made a big difference even if I haven’t really played since 1997. My son, who is a talented jazz pianist who can sight read and all of that likes to say that I really don’t play guitar, and he’s right. I’m really a drummer, but I can still add something, even if it’s just well-placed feedback or on-point tambourine. While Ivy and I ran through the songs way faster than either of us had anticipated, I showed Ivy what I did remember about how I was playing some of the songs. Arrangements that she herself had written.

“Oh, that’s so clever. I see what we were trying to do there,” she said.

“That was your idea.” I’d remind her each time.

We laughed a lot more than we did when she used to have to teach me how to play a song she’d taught me to play that I had gone and forgotten in a few days because I had barely any grasp on it at all. When we got to the song “Bone Bouquet” and I saw that it had a dreaded F chord in it, Ivy said, “Yeah, F is totally the reason to learn bar chords.”  Then I remembered I played tambourine on that song. Phew!

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On August 28, with Frank, Kamala’s husband, sitting in on guitar, Kamala, Ivy, and I played “29,” “Love Like Murder,” “Black Thumb,” “Bone Bouquet,” and Back to Bodie,” and we almost sounded like we did on the 7.” Kamala still plays drums with the sound and ferocity of a freight train, and Ivy can still sing like she did when she was 22. Frank was kind enough and is talented enough to learn all the songs by ear since Lynda lives in LA, and won’t be able to make it up to practice more than once a month or so. By the time she does come up, we’ll know at least three or four more songs, and we’ll be ready for her to come and put her stamp on them. Two hours went by quickly at that first practice, of many to come, and we, like Ivy predicted, had a lot of fun, but we had to stop practicing before Ivy lost her voice, and so I could get home and get into bed before 10.

I promise I’ll stay up later the night of the show.