A Righteous Babe calls, I come running.

My friend and employer, Ben, called me from Israel the other night, at ten o'clock. He wanted to talk shop, and because of the interesting time difference, it seemed like a good time: morning for him, just before bedtime for me. Obviously he doesn't understand that my brain stops working after around nine, leaving the functions of eating and spacing out as my only options.

"Do you have time to talk?" he asked.

"Well, normally I would," (which is true, although I may not be totally responsive) "but I'm actually on my way out the door."

"At 10:00 at night?"

You would think, from my friend's response, that I have no life. You would be wrong, I do have a life, a very strange and interesting and exciting life, but it's true that I don't have much of a night life. This is because 1. I am in essence a morning person, love waking with the birds and sitting with my little cup of tea and my notebooks and being perfectly happy by myself in the young hours of the day, 2. We live in a town the size of a much-used pencil, and the nearest town is the size of a less-used pencil, with no desirable night activities, 3. You could also say that I am now a mommish person with three young children, the youngest of whom still wakes up occasionally at night to cuddle and nurse and be generally pesky.

It does happen, though, that I go out at night. It was most common when I still lived in the City, but this past weekend a big festival occurred on my backdoor, and one night I had the opportunity to go and see the babe herself. Her show started at 10:30. I've listened to Ani Difranco's music since I was a wee lass of thirteen, when I was awkward and skinny and tall and belted out "I am not a Pretty Girl" at the top of my lungs with all of my being. It practically saved my self esteem, the act of scorning the idea of "pretty". I was more than pretty, I was, well, awkward and skinny and tall, which is much better. And looking like somebody's Uncle Larry with my terrible haircut (don't let cheap salon people near curly hair, or you may end up looking like Napolean Dynamite) and my large red glasses, is way better than being "pretty". Not only that, I was artsy. Which is perhaps, the best of all.

So, off I ran to see her play, and I arrived at 10:30 and I met my superstar husband there, and we held hands and ran through the festival, because we could hear her set starting. (At one point something hit my knee, as we were running through the dark, and I thought someone had thrown a rock at me, but later, as we discovered that my cell phone was missing, I realized what had actually hit my knee and we had to retrace our steps. I told you that my brain stops functioning at night.)

The first thing I noticed was that she was holding her guitar in a really strange way. As in, way out in front of her body like it was resting on a large belly and she couldn't hold it any closer to her. Was Ani pregnant? She was also looking more mommish herself than I had ever seen her, in regular jeans and a yellow sweater and nothing that crazy going on with her hair. (Except that it was purple, but you know, not braided or dready or anything like that) And than at one point she said, "I'm wearing my stretchy mama pants," and the mamas in the audience cheered and I thought, wow, she really is pregnant.

It made me wonder how that will effect her music, her writing. Because I'm thinking a lot about my own art lately, how having children has both changed it and not changed it, about being a mother and being an artist.

Anyways. It was fun. I don't agree with all of Ani's statements, but she is a great musician and it was fun to stand there leaning back on my superstar husband with his arms around my shoulders like an arm mink, listening to great music in the cold and smoky dark.

And then to get home at 1:30 and to complain about being tired for the next two days. That was fun, too.