Saturday, June 27, 2009

East Coast Bound and Thoughts about Michael Jackson

Clearly the Wetus is getting ready for our trip to the East Coast today and self-adjusting to the time difference because it woke up at 5 am with hiccups and has been active ever since. That's fine I guess because it's so bright outside anyway, so I may as well get up. We are off to the DC, Maryland, Virginia area to do, as I have been calling it, "The Farewell Tour." Farewell, to our transcontinental traveling twosome days. There is a lot of visiting packed in including a stay with the Vaslows who moved from Kirkland to Maryland last year, seeing many of Ken's childhood & school friends and a mini-reunion with Ken's family on the 4th of July.

I am looking forward to getting away and seeing all these fine people. I hope my energy level sustains so that it can be a truly enjoyable time. The weather is forecasted in the 80's with 40-50% humidity. We shall see how I do with that. I'm a little nervous about how many ticks they have over there. An alarming number of Ken's family have Lyme Disease from those little pests so I am coming prepared with some pretreated insect repelling clothing and DEET spray in a concentration safe for pregnancy. But being more of an indoor person myself, it might not be too hard to stay out of the ticks' way. At 27 weeks pregnant and still showing placenta previa, I have also been advised to travel with a copy of my medical records (check), know where all the Level III NICU Hospitals are (check) and not lift, strain or engage in any form of exercise (...) Poor Ken, he's going to be schlepping bags this whole vacation.

One very cool thing about this trip is that Ken, his brothers and cousin are going to rent Harleys and take a multi-day motorcycle road trip to revisit some of the significant places in their childhood. They have been talking about doing this for a few years and the timing is pretty good considering what's coming up. Ken has been helping plan the route and make accommodations.

As for this past week, we celebrated our 4th Anniversary which culminated with a lovely dinner at Waterfront Restaurant. Our booth table had a view of Elliott Bay where there were sailboat races going on. It was spectacular. Ken and I both agreed while we like the look of sailboats and they are a fun challenge, we are so glad we don't have to maintain one.

Ken also gave me a cute card in which he made a list which I will share...

Top 10 Reasons I Love my Prius-- I mean, Wife
  1. Still Shiny
  2. Environmentally Friendly
  3. Unlocks as I Approach
  4. Low Emissions
  5. Sleek Lines/Aerodynamic
  6. Roomy (good for carrying kids)
  7. Great Safety Rating
  8. Saves Me Money Everyday
  9. Quiet "Ninja Mode" Feature
  10. Makes Me Smug

Also on the day of our anniversary, Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson died so that kicked off a little introspection. Particularly in Michael Jackson's situation as more information comes out that he had been allegedly addicted to pain killers and surrounded by people who enabled access to substances furthering his destructive spiraling. It reminded me of the Anna Nicole Smith train wreck and the nearly identical Britney Spears situation. Britney at least had her family to save her from that fate but it strikes me that these quite famous and seemingly rich & powerful people attract to them the most sinister associates and "yes-people" who separate them from reality and reason. When you add drugs into the mix, the celebrity at the center of it is no longer in control and their miserable lives become a spectacle that the masses consume as entertainment.

Along the same lines, I guess I don't understand the appeal of reality television. It seems worse in a way because it's more an "I want to be famous" motivation and less an "I want to be a professional entertainer". Because once famous, a reality star has to deal with the pitfalls of keeping fame, continual pressure to be outrageous and a misplaced narcissism that comes without ever having to be talented. I don't watch reality TV but just the amount of news coverage that Jon & Kate plus 8 show got--I worry about our culture and what message is conveyed about "what reality is."

So regarding Michael who was so impactful to my 80's childhood, my love of dance and music--I salute you. He became weirder and weirder as time went on so I chose to remember him as he was in the 80's and marvel at that era which seemed so magical. But like many geniuses and mega-celebrities, his early success was at the expense of a normal life & childhood which could have manifested some of the reprehensible behavior he was later accused of. I don't know, but as my dad says, "you can do anything you want if you're willing to pay the price." It seems that Michael paid that price many times over but can now leave it all behind.

1 comment:

Melanie said...

Enjoy your trip eastward! I wish we were going to cross on the way. 27 weeks is almost all the way home Kali! We can't wait to meet "the Wetus".

The scary thing to me about J&K+8 is the whole life imitates art/imitates life business. I feel like I talk to so many college-age people who want to acheive the same "reality" idealized by such shows (until the wheels fall off the whole thing I maybe it is a good thing?!)