Lucien is nearing the end of an intense two week tiny home building seminar at school. The kids are building a tiny home and examining whether or not tiny homes are an effective part of the solution for homelessness. When they're not actively working on the tiny home, they're meeting with homeless shelter directors and handing out warm socks to the homeless on downtown streets. I love that he's engaged, interested, and thinking about big complex issues for which there are no easy answers. That's daily life as an adult, kid, might as well practice now.
What I haven't loved about these tiny home building weeks is Lucien's refusal to wear a jacket. Even on the coldest, rainiest days, The Loosh slips into his Converse sneakers, pulls on a thin-ish hoodie over his favorite jeans with giant holes in the knees and calls it good. It offends every shred of maternal instinct I possess. When I attempt to tackle him in the front hallway with a jacket -- "at least wear this, it's raining and you're building a tiny home outside, you fool!" -- he ducks and weaves away from that jacket as if it was made of vegetables.
It seemed a losing battle. Then I received an emailed picture of the tiny home building team from Lucien's teacher. I couldn't find Lucien at first but soon enough deduced he was the one wearing a garbage bag. His teacher, fed up with a cold and sopping wet Lucien day after day, cut arm holes in a garbage bag, made another hole for his head to poke through, and cut a second garbage bag into the shape of a pointy hat. The Loosh looked like a small shiny witch, or perhaps a glossy black Crayola crayon. All I could see of his person were his little eyes peeking out between the layers of garbage bag. His eyes did not appear to be smiling.
The very next morning, Lucien put on a jacket without being asked. And that's why we pay the big bucks for private school.
I've worked with a few teams of rodent specialists over the years and they all seem to share a few things in common. They sometimes trail off mid sentence to suddenly dive under your house. They often enthusiastically show you their old raccoon bites. And they get really excited about things not usually considered exciting, like rat poop.
The man I had here last week jumped around and clapped his hands and said, "I'm so excited, I found a bunch of poop!" I think he meant it in the context that he may have discovered a potential entry point into our basement but I don't know.... he seemed awfully happy about just the poop itself.
While I'm talking about being a little different... there's another collective group of folks that are also a little different: the audience at a George Clinton concert. A group of us went to see G.C. perform Saturday night because when presented with the opportunity, one should always go see George Clinton. He's a living legend, innovator of funk music with the P-Funk, always decked out in outlandish outfits and technicolor dreadlocks. He is so much cooler than I will ever be.
I see a lot of live music. It is one of my favorite things to do. I've seen all kinds of shows with all kinds of artists, so trust me as a source when I say no audience compares to the variety found in a George Clinton audience. The people are black and white and the entire rainbow of colors; they are very old and very young and every age in between. Some are drag queens, some are not. Some are dressed like Janis Joplin and some look more like Animal from the Muppets. Many seem lucid but many, many others are possibly still enjoying the hallucinogenics from the early 1970s P-Funk heyday.
The few common denominators between attendees resulted in a fascinating yet distracting experience. I think I spent more time looking around at all the different kinds of people standing around me than I did looking at George Clinton -- and he came out wearing some type of rams head headdress so was quite eye-catching. I didn't see George emerge onto the stage because I was too busy looking at the guy next to me thinking, "Damn, that dude is really rocking the Black Panther meets Willy Wonka look."
There is, however, one commonality between a George Clinton audience and any other audience -- and that is the large number of people being dicks and shoving past you to get closer to the stage. It's the similarity that unifies us all -- losing a touch of our humanity for a chance to get marginally closer to a famous person.
We're off for Spring Break next week. Spring Break isn't as crazy as adults as it was back when we were in college, but it is still highly likely Alex will do a keg stand and enter a wet t-shirt contest. The fact that we are skiing and not on a beach will not deter him in the slightest. Go, Al, go.
May we all get as excited about something this week,
as excited as that guy was about finding rat poop,