Super Sunday Hamster Blender Blog

17 February 2008

Twelve Inches Taller Than Usual

The Bobka Girl turned to me, saw my benevolent grin, and asked with her own beaming smile, “why are you so happy?”

I can’t recall my answer exactly, namely since I stumbled over my tongue and recited phrases-sans-verbs.

But the Bobka Girl’s observation cannot be denied. I wasn’t just happy; I was stupidly, unambiguously, ludicrously happy. I was perfect in my spot.

I know, this isn’t something to over-question or poke at with a skewer; however, for me, it was a revealing moment to be prodded.

No, wait, that’s a lie. Nothing was revealed, there wasn’t an epiphany.

It was just coming face-to-face with a collection of gratifying details; like the leaves of autumn at your feet. Pretty, yes; but if you ate them, they would taste good, too.

No matter what, everything at this moment would taste good.

And why not? Well, for starters, as the song goes -

I’m paranoid, I may be skeptical, I’m also hesitant, and I’m cynical.

Autobiographical, yes, but I will not delve into its boring depths at this time. Let’s just say that finding the perfect spot where even the leaves taste good is a welcome affair. The song where the aforementioned line resides is Super Sunday Hamster Blender’s The Love Behind Our Backs, which is actually passionately optimistic. And singing it Friday night at the Hall of Fame Billiards; well, I don’t think I have ever been happier singing. Which isn’t too shabby for someone who really – let’s be honest – cannot sing. The stage lights helped blur the faces of the crowd, and I felt blind to my own self-consciousness; alone in my own glorious skin.

But I wasn’t alone. The brothers’ backing vocals gave me the chills. It swelled around me, and I wanted to rip each word out of the air and swallow it. I imagine I might have actually been smiling during the song.

So, yes, Bobka Girl, you are correct. I am so happy. Happy you let us share your 21st birthday with you, your friends, and your family.

I am happy and – forgive the religious overtones – blessed to be able to play in a band with your Dad and a pair of Uncles. They are amazing to work with. Besides tolerant and patient with my unsubstantiated Stalin-esque qualities at times (“Continuity! We need more continuity!”), they are talented, modest, and remarkable people.

Just to be able to play out in our goofy little band, and have family and friends be supportive. To come see us, to spend their night with us, all the kind words and encouragement – shit, yeah, happy. Why not? Blessed, thankful, you name it. Friends do that for you.

Hell, I got to sing from a stage. OK, it was more like a platform a foot off the ground, but still, it was a place where I wasn’t accustomed to be, and it felt like being an eight-year-old on Christmas morning. Trivial, sure, but not insignificant.

There wasn’t anything insignificant…

…Kara and her SSHBWear, all torn and saucy. Andrew and Cee Dev, capturing moments from behind their respective lenses. Recent New England transplant and co-worker Pickles, coming by herself, making the grave error in telling me her nickname is Pickles, to see what? Us? Who the fuck are we? Everyone’s time, effort…

…Bobka Girl’s flat-mate Leah (I apologize for the spelling, as it is probably wrong) singing all those horrid Third Eye Matchbox Goo Goo songs, word for word…and still liking our music. Maybe that inspired her to kick Cam’s ass in pool. James/Jim talking about Minor Threat, just like my kids…

Yeah, my two kids, who began a band before SSHB had any amoeba of an idea of playing out. When Dan and I saw them play and how they just went and did it – learning to sing and play guitar, writing their own songs, booking themselves in bars and playing their hearts out in billiard halls like this; well, it became reality for us. Maybe we could do that, too. If it weren’t for them, I never would have had my platform moment.

Maybe it was the smattering of collegians in attendance bringing my kids to mind, but in talking with the Bobka Girl – who remembered us playing Waterfalls in practice a decade ago, playing with Peachy the Chicken with my kids – I recognized her sense of independence, optimism, and confidence that mine have as well.

And that makes me happiest of all. Something about having faith in them – in youth, I suppose; theirs, ours – that keeps us on the platform, one foot higher than we are accustomed to.

I imagine it would be very easy to become accustomed to, and it’s probably easier than I think. How’s that saying go? Something like “you don’t stop playing when you get old, you get old when you stop playing.” It’s just a platform. And the leaves taste pretty good up here.

Super Sunday Hamster Blender sincerely thanks Gene’s family and friends, The Bobka Girl for letting us dominate her party, and all our friends who came to see us.