Saturday, November 23, 2013

Thanksgiving realness

Hey everyone!  I've been thinking about writing this post for the last
few days.  I gotta say, I am really excited about it.  I was almost
more excited to do ACTUAL RESEARCH about it, and also to share my
findings with you.

I want to talk about Thanksgiving, and I want to talk about the fact
that on the actual day of Thanksgiving, I am sure there will be many
posts and comments from many people regarding the true meaning of
Thanksgiving, and how we have built this country on nothing but trans
fats and Indian bones.  While I don't doubt the manner of murder,
appropriation, and opression that has paved the way for us all, I have
a few things to say about the decisions you all make when you decide
to take up a cause.  First of all, know your history.  If there's one
thing I've noticed about the world, and the young idiots that are
plotting and planning on running this world, it's that you all know
dick about your own country's history.  Here's the thing; I am proud
of you for standing up for social justice issues, because they are
important.  What I simply cannot sit idly by and watch, is when you
all post generic pictures of an indiginous person of the Americas, in
front of an American flag(a flag with 50 stars I might add.  Let's
just say this photo was taken around the 1850s.  There would have only
been 31 stars.)  At the , or a generic picture of a Chief of a non
descript tribe with that horrible giant white meme font over it that
reads something like, "US government lied to you?  That must be
tough."  which is HILARIOUS, because there was BARELY a functioning
government when this photo was taken.  If the first recorded permanent
image was taken by Thomas Wedgewood in 1790, and our founding fathers
signed the Constitution in 1776, that's 26 years of the most basic
government, so internet, check your facts.  ALSO, can we talk about
how every single on of these photographs is of the same man, and is
supposed to represent roughly 18 million people(before the first
European invasions), of varying tribes, the math on that
people.  Your heart is in the right place, but you need to think about
what you're doing when you put up a generic photo with a generic
phrase that was most likely written by a white college kid who just
took Anthro 101, and you think you're really saying something. Well,
you are, you're just saying the wrong thing.  You're generalizing and
marginalizing further, a people who have already been marginalized,
stereotyped, and shoved out of the way in the name of Manifest
Destiny.  '

Now, what I really want to say, is that there is nothing wrong with
the celebration of Thanksgiving in today's modern world.  If you dig
even a centimeter down, you will learn that Thanksgiving was already
being celebrated in England.  It had already been a tradition of
English reformers years before they came to Plymouth

   "Days of Thanksgiving and special thanksgivng religious services
became important during the English Reformation in the reign of Henry

Basically, the church used to have 95 church holidays, where it was
mandatory for all people to attend church, not go to work, ,and pay
for expensive church relegated events.  The Puritans were pretty much
like, "Yeah, this is costing us a million dollars, and we, like, don't
even want to go to this party."  Oh, yeah, the year is 1536, which is
84 years before those 102 passengers, 14 crew members, and 2 dogs
would sail from September 6 to November 21 1620 in search of religious

Ok, so the reformers pared all of these church mandated holy days down
to two days;  Days of Fasting and days of Thanksgiving.  They, being a
religious folk, placed their faith in their god and in the face of
disaster or "threats of judgement from god," resorted to fasting as a
means of penance. The times where they felt god had especially blessed
them were referred to as Days of Thanksgiving.  Canada also celebrates
Thanksgiving on October 14th.  As do Liberians, Puerto Ricans, and the
folks from Norfolk Island.

The history of Thanksgiving in the United States is not well
documented, however, there are accounts of what took place there.  I
would also like to note that of the 102 passengers traveling on the
Mayflower (one of whom was an indentured servant of Edward Winslow,
named George Soule, who is, one of my distant relatives.) only 57
survived that first year, mostly due to the poor traveling conditions
of the Mayflower, and of course, good old scurvy.  Only 53 pilgrims
attended that first Thanksgiving in 1622, along with 90 Native
Americans.  Now, here's where I know all of you are getting your
knickers in a twist.  It's obvious that the Pilgrims didn't know their
asses from their elbows when they got to Massachusettes, and that they
didn't only die from poor conditions on the ship, many of them died
from starvation, probably lack of basic working medical knowledge
(Penicillin wasn't discovered until 1929)  and starvation.  The tribe
that was present for that first Thanksgiving was the Wampanoag, along
with Tisquantum, or as we were all so basically taught in school,
"Squanto."  He was a real dude.  A member of the Patuxset tribe,
Tisquantum was captured by Captain George Weymouth in around 1605 and
taken to England.  There he learned English, and thus became an
interpreter for the white men.  He made it back to New england in
around 1614, and was abducted again by Captain John Smith, who
attempted to sell him and a few other gents into slavery in Spain.
Squanto was taken in by some local friars who were on to Smith's slave
trade game, and Squanto convinced them to let him return home.  He
made his way back to London, and then travelled to Newfoundland in
1617.  One year later, he was back in London, and then finally made it
back to North American in 1619.   Upon his arrival back in new
England, he discovered that mostof this tribe, and the coastal New
England tribes had been killed off by plague, which was thought to be
smallpox, but was more likely that it was "Leptospirosis," which is a
bacterial infection that is transmitted to humans through water
contaminated with animal urine.  Whoa.  Learn something new every day

From here we pretty much know what happened, or what we think
happened.  Tisquantum was introduced to the Plymouth colonists by "the
Abenaki sagamore, Samoset." who was actually the first indiginous
person to make contact with the Pilgrims.  Tisquantum's involvement
from here is somthing that we may never know the exactness of, but he
was accounted for in the records and writings of Edward Winslow.

Listen, I know this is a lot, and I know that when ya'll read this,
you will be bored, (and maybe a little mad).  It is your natural
reaction to history, I know.  I'm almost done I promise.  I'd like to
bring it back around to this simple fact, the Pilgrims celebrated
Thanksgiving as a celebration of familiar traditions from their former
home.  They packed up their shit and left their home, hoping for
something better, and those first few years brought them a whole lot
of death and misery.  Having a celebration after a shitty year, to
ring in your accomplishments, which were, at that point, just staying
alive, seems pretty decent in my book.  Sure, the Thanksgiving we know
and love now is, I am sure a far cry from what it was in 1622, but
that's ok.  I'm sure if the Pilgrims had canned yamms with
marshmallows on top, they would have loved it.

Traditions are a funny thing right? I bet, if you looked at any
holiday, or tradition throughout your own cultural history, you would
find events in history much like Thanksgiving.  Also, I would like to
remind EVERYONE that I know how fucked up our collective American
history is, and I'm not denying that relations between the white men
and women who landed in Plymouth had a perfect Pleasantville
relationship with the people who arrived first, but I would also just
like to remind everyone that if your ancestors, or mine had never
decided to get out of the hells they were living in, none of you would
even be here.  It also should be noted that once upon a time, all land
masses on the planet were connected and early men, women, and children
walked across vast expanses of land in order to find somewhere new for
whatever their reasons may have been, most likely, food availability,
shelter, climate change, etc. Basically, we come from here, but our
ancestors ALL come from everywhere, and if they hadn't made that trek
to where they are now, your happy asses wouldn't be staring down into
the depths of your iphone reading my bitchy blog.  The entire world
has a sordid, bloody, and unjust history strewn with the bodies of
those oppressed, enslaved, and held down by those who put themselves
in charge of other people.  Instead of posting some bogus meme trying
to convey your feeble attempts at social activism, do a little
digging, learn a little something about what you're actually saying,
and then come at me.  History is important, and there are no excuses
for not knowing your own country's heritage.  Yes, it has had its
horrifying moments, and no, we are not finished, and may never be
finished fighting the good fight, which is, making sure that every
single person in this country, in this world, has the same rights, and
is treated the same regardless of your color, or whether you do or do
not believe in a god.

History is extremely complicated.  Facts are sometimes hard to check,
they are not always the most accurate, they are often biased, and they
are constantly being challenged, contested, and amended.  Our
collective history as Americans is something we need to learn from,
and learn about, so take a second and learn about it.  From Chicago,
take the interstate straight west towards the Mississippi, and take in
the landscape.  Can you imagine being one of the first people to lay
eyes on those bluffs, let alone, that wide, soulful river?  Can you
imagine travelling for months only to discover Yellowstone?  Can you,
for a second, imagine being on a musty old tall ship for the better
part of two months, smelling other people's shit and vomit, wondering
if you're going to make it there, wondering if you're going to die,
wondering if your family is going to die, wondering what the hell you
just did, and if you made the right choice?  Can you then imagine
arriving to the place you were sailing to, and then watching half of
your friends and family die in that first year?  You might get to
thinking that you made the wrong choice.  Then, by some miracle, a
group of helpful locals basically take pity on your dumb asses and
teach you how to cultivate the land, grow your own food, and how to
live off of what the land provides.  At the end of that second year,
you've managed to grow a bunch of food, and your remaining family and
friends will live to see another year.  Who wouldn't want to
celebrate?  I sure would.

In closing, I urge you to remember where you come from and what and
who got you here, and what you truly have to be thankful for as a
person of this country.  I also urge you to involve yourself in the
history of this country beyond superficial knowledge, and to attempt
to truly understand what it is you want to say, and are saying about
it.  I leave you with this:

"Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday
epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how
we experience life and the world." -John Milton


Thursday, November 21, 2013

The sometimes bearable lightness of being.

I don't really have a memory of writing this, but I love how impressively eloquent I can get when it's late, and I have had a few beers. Time is both cruel and kind to us all, and what we recognize as darkness only turns out to be light in the end. I have been thinking a lot about this life I used to live, And how difficult it can seem to adjust to the final acknowledgement of adulthood.  The best part of all of this, is that I have made some truly beautiful, hilarious, and sad memories, and that, dear friends, is the point.  All of the blackness and tears, and happy drunk times, and feelings of accomplishment and failure, are what makes you a person.  Just because you scream "YOLO" every chance you get does not mean you are living any sort of interesting of fulfilled life.  Getting to truly know yourself, and realize that the incredible journey you are on  takes so much less time that you'd imagined is where the true magic begins.  This being the month of giving thanks and all, I am grateful for the overwhelming power of human memory, and it's ability to transform a place as simple and comfortable as my room, into a virtual photo album of people, places, imagined loves, and very real losses.  I am grateful to this city for introducing me to all of you whom I have the pleasure of calling my friends.  I am grateful for the opportunities I have been given, and for those that have been taken away, and I am grateful to be alive to see the change in myself and in others as we grow, and age, and truly live over and over again.  Please enjoy the semi-drunken musings of a 31 year old person who is on the journey...

 October 27, 2013

 It's like I forgot what it was like to be sad, and emotional, and like I forgot what it was like to listen to records in my apartment, and think about how heavy we all thought it was. It was so heavy there for a minute. it really was. We were all just sitting in our living rooms listening to this music that is/was just a complete replica of what we were feeling at that time. I was thinking about how much I used to love, and how much I still do love Death Cab for Cutie, and that tonight, I searched, and scoured through my CDs, for my Death Cab albums, because I wanted them near me. I wanted to hear them, and to feel that tangible sadness, and to think about who I was ten years ago when I was listening to all of this. I wanted to remember that I used to get emotional about everything. I used to have emotions. Before we were hipsters, we all used to be EMO! Don't let the world allow you to forget that once upon a time, we were all scene kids who wanted to be awesome and meet every member of every band ever, and be cool. We really just wanted to feel like we were cool. In a way, think of it like, people who were late twenty-somethings in the 90s, who knew Curt Cobain, or Courtney Love, and who felt like that and that those people were their anthem. For the early part of my twenties through the later part of my twenties, all I wanted to was to give Ben Gibbard a hug. I didn't know how sad I was until I realized I was sad. early Death Cab really set the bar for sadness, and I think that it was absolutely the right thing and the right time for me to feel this emotional. I wanted to think that somewhere out there, was a man, not unlike Ben Gibbard, who needed me to save him. He was out there somewhere, and I was here, and I was waiting for him to appear unto me, and together, we would work through our crippling sadness, and what I have later described, and understood to be depression, and we would have this beautiful, and perfect life together. He was the real and genuine manifestation of what I thought and felt all men my age, at the time, wanted, thought, acted like, and appeared to be. This much may have been true, but I wanted so much more. I have lived one thousand lives before the one I am living now, and the one that seems most genuine, the one that makes the most sense to me, is the one I was living when I was 21, in the South Loop, alone, drinking white wine, and showing up places alone, and meeting people who were in the same mental place I was in. Also, I get it. Ten years ago, when we were 21, we were all mostly in the same place, and were living out the same fantasy about our lives. I understand that. I get that we were all fucked up, and we were all thinking of different ways to figure out how to escape. Something About Airplanes, and The Photo Album saved every part of my life, and stood for everything I was feeling even if I didn't know it was a feeling I needed to be feeling. I just wanted to live in this dramatic fantasy life where Dave Eggers was my emotionally connected and intuitive husband, and Death Cab for Cutie was the soundtrack to my every move. Every move,watched. I imagined my life playing out like a cool hipster romantic drama, before those were even a thing. I wanted so much from a person I had no chance of ever knowing. "He's unresponsive because you're irresponsible." is one of the best lines ever written ever. EVER. These songs are about breakups, and extreme heartbreaks, and listlessness, and the general ennui that comes with being a mid twenty-something person. I wanted to think I was above this, but I wasn't. I am not. I am absolutely at the level, I am at sea level with this information. We are basically equal, and we are 100% ok with it. I am not a bitter, or jaded person, at all, I mean, maybe a little, but no more than the next person.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Late night sad jams

Sunday Morning, September 1, 2013 Currently, it is 5:14AM, and I have been thinking about this for the last few days. I've thought long and hard about how I should write about anything. I just need to write. I'm listening to musicals, and I'm sad. So sad. I'm listening to Barbara Streisand, so you know, I'm serious about my sadness. I want to think, that by this time in my life, I would be over being so sad about meetings and partings, by I'm not. I think about everyone's lives, and I think about how everyone is just living their lives,and I am living my life, and I am not a sad person. We are not sad people. I am so happy for you. I want you to know that most of all. I am so happy for you. I have wanted nothing for any of us, except for us to be happy, and for the most part, we are. We are happy people, and we are living our lives, and we are being happy living those lives. I want you to know, that even though every time we meet, I am so happy, and so sad at the same time. I take every second for granted because I think I am going to go home, and see you tomorrow, or next week, or something. I think that I will see you whenever I want, and I need to remember that I won't see you for probably another few months, which isn't any time at all, but it is SO much time. Time is so fucked up, and if I never had to say goodbye to you ever again, that would make me so happy. If it were a different time for us, maybe it would have been a different emotional situation. It just isn't that, and that is just something I have to learn, and something I have to live with. It's just the way this fucked up place works. I don't have words, and that is something I wish I had. I tried to talk to my cab driver, and I decided that what was going to work best for me tonight, was to just listen to some sad musicals, and cry it out, and deal with it. Just fucking deal with it. Just fucking live my fucking life, and you can live yours, and we're a part of each other's lives indefinitely, and nothing about that will change. Ever. I just think I was so stupid about time, and timing, and that that if we would have known anything about anything, it could have been totally awesome to be with you forever. I know that is fucked up to say, and idiotic, and all manner of inapropriate. I'm sorry. I have to feel my feelings when I feel them, and I want to feel them now. I want to feel destroyed by my emotions over a person who I will unconditionally love forever as my friend because this shit is real. I want to write about everything because I want everyone to know that even though I feel fucked up, and like I'm being fucked up, I can't blame it totally on how much I have had to drink tonight, and how many sad songs I will attempt to listen to over the course of the next few hours. I want everyone to know that I am capable of loving someone this much. I want you to know that I love you this much. I will love you forever and I will love you as intensely and as desperately as a person can love another human being, and that I will love you forever despite what happens in our separate lives. I will love you through everything and anything your future holds, and I hope you will love me through my future loves and losses and triumphs and tragedies. I don't care that we may have fucked up, I don't care that you have another person to love and spend your days loving. I mean, I do care, of course I care. What I mean is, I don't mind that that person is not me. It's ok, and I can handle it. I love every second I get to see you and spend time drinking beer with you talking about basic bullshit, and I will treasure every single moment of our friendship from our humble and fumbling beginnings until a time when we are too fucking old to even remember anything about anyone. I will love you until time ceases to exist, and aliens are punching us all in the face to make up for the fact that Will Smith punched one of them in a movie once. I will love you even when I can't help that I love you, and I will keep loving you even after that.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Conversational Time Lord 101

4th Doctor Tom Baker and a Cyberman

I have been in the throes of an extremely passionate affair with the television show Dr. Who.  Yes, yes.  It's true.  I have accepted the nerdery and the addiction, which is the first step right?  Ok, so I've
been watching Dr. Who everyday all day for about the last few weeks, and I am having a very real and visceral reaction to the storyline. Mainly I am having an emotional reaction in my loins regarding my love for David Tennant (Hello, Scotsman.  Delicious accent.), and the sadness I feel for his
incarnation of The Doctor.  Before I really got into this series, I'd only seen a few random episodes, and recognized David as Barty Crouch Jr.
from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Polyjuice, Mad-Eye, Dark
Mark and the lot of it.  Squirrly, skinny, David.), also, he played
Hamlet onstage in London, and then reprised his role for a BBC film version.  Hamlet is one of my least favorite Shakespeare plays because
I think Hamlet is a whiny twat, but, upon listening to his soliloquy, and hearing him suck in and exhale every single word so magnificently, I became so infatuated with this person, that I literally cannot stop
looking at him.  I cannot stop listening to him, cannot stop internally fainting whenever he smiles that crooked toothed smile and I cannot stop thinking about Dr. Who, and how sad it is that he is who
he is.  The Doctor I mean.  I've bounced back and forth through the seasons, and while I do enjoy David Eccleston (Season 1 of the rebooted series), David's Doctor is able to convey all of the darkness
the Doctor carries with him.  All 903 years of war, and darkness, and companions who he can never really be with because he is able to regenerate, thus granting him eternal life, and because eventually,
they will die.  He can never have a proper life because he is the Lord of all time and space, a warrior consumed by his obsession and devotion for keep everything safe, he is brilliant and destructive, a
living god sailing through infinite galaxies transforming every person he meets by simply taking their hand and leading them to understand they were meant for so much more.

I feel such sadness for the Doctor that I wish I could save him.  We all do.  Anyone who has watched and who has felt any obsessive connection to the show will say the same.  The Doctor may be a
foppish, snarky, bastard, but he has seen and lost nearly everything in his life, and with the exception of his love of Rose and River, he has lived an extrordinarily long and lonely life.  He is all alone in
an infinite blackness, travelling...forever.

I think about The Doctor, and I think about his sad life, and I feel a genuine pain in my chest, my heartbeat quickening with every episode hoping that just this once, The Doctor can be happy, that he will live
forever, happily with Rose...but he can't.  He can never be anything more than a lonesome man, a solitary child and protector of the universe.   Maybe it is David's face that I'm drawn to, I mean of
course it is, but when I look into his sad eyes at the end of any episode where he has lost a companion, or anything, my heart burns for him.

I tore myself away from the tele and The Doctor today for about two hours, and in that time, (and yes, I realize what I am about to say is VERY dramatic), I felt as if I had been ripped away from my child, or
from the love of my life, and I thought about  how much I was affected by this silly little television program.  A few months ago, a similar thing happened when I started watching Breaking Bad.  I couldn't stop
watching, I couldn't stop thinking about the show, what was going to happen with the plot, and what was going to happen to the characters who I had become so attached to.  It was like I was a part of
something, but I couldn't do anything to help anyone.  I feel so connected to these characters that I can't bear to think about what it will be like when they are no longer in my life.  Why haven't I finished or caught up with Breaking Bad?  I can't think about what will happen to Jesse and Walt.  I can't handle my emotions regarding
who is going to die or live and what the consequences will be.  I have two episodes left of Season 4 of Dr. Who but I'm stalling, because these will be my last few moments with David as The my Doctor.  It is as if he is dying, and there is nothing I can do.  I just want to keep as many moments with this person as I can.  I want to keep him in my memory, in my present and not my past.  I never want to let him go, but this is the way it must be.  This is always the way.   This is the only way.

Clocks tick on, sleep cycles begin and end, moons wax and wane, and the earth spins on forever.  My love for this Doctor and for this television program, is perhaps the most complete and absolute love I have ever had for something on the TV.  When his time is over, and when he regenerates into Matt Smith, I will feel as if I am being left behind as the Doctor travels on to his next greatest adventure. Acceptance of loss is letting go, and while the Dutchman must always have a captain, my incarnation of the Doctor will remain safely stored
in my memory...forever...travelling through the infinite possibilities within my brain, leading me to my next story, my next confessional of my love for television, or my love for David Tennant, of sad
soliloquies, or of being a flippant youth.

Quite right.  Allons-y!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Angela? It's Rayanne. Put Ricky on the phone.

A few months ago, I wrote some semblance of a treatise on what it was
like for me to turn 30.  For what it was worth, I produced an
extrememely emotional and sickeningly twee version of what really
happened.  It was all smoke and mirrors ya'll.  I'd been inspired
artisically before I wrote it, by a documentary about Keith Haring
entitled "The Universe of Keith Haring," Woody Allen's Midnight in
, Albert Camus' The Stranger, And Patti Smith's book Just Kids.
It sounds great, and I was able to access some of my unhappiness, and
the unsettling nature of what it is to turn 30.  The real story was
that I wanted to spend my birthday alone crying in my room listening
to Joni Mitchell's Blue on a loop.  I wanted to squeeze my cat and cry
about everything I forgot to cry about when I was in my 20s.  Oh no, I
was not "mourning the death of my 20s," although that seems much more
dramatic and just my style.  I have nothing that happened in my 20s to
mourn.  I suppose I was mourning the fact that I thought I was or
would have been smarter about my choices.  I thought I knew who I
wanted to be by now, and I thought that by the time I was 30 things
would have been much different.  Of course, we never turn out the way
we thought we would, and that is more than fine.  I would rather spend
a lifetime enjoying each new moment and adventure as a new experience
I can learn something from, or meet some interesting stranger, than be
bored with the life I forced myself to live because it is what I think
I wanted.

When I was 16, 30 was a million years away, and I couldn't have given
less of a fuck about what it was going to be like.  I was too busy
imagining what it would have been like to be with Jack Kerouac ( I
think when I was a teenager, I had a VERY different idea of what
"being with someone" meant, and that is to say, I never thought about
having sex with someone, only the fact that when I was 16, all I
wanted to was to get away from where I was and become someone else).
I imagined that I would be living in San Francisco, preferably above
City Lights bookstore, although I know I said I would want to live
above a Starbucks( 16 year old brand whore!).  I didn't have a clear
career in mind, but I knew I wanted to be some kind of artist.  Either
a writer, actress, painter, photographer, or most likely a combination
of all of those things.  I would have a fabulous apartment, with a
turret that faced out onto the street.  I would live in North Beach, I
would probably have some excruciatingly handsome artist boyfriend
person,  and then I would be living my dream.  Instead I went to
college for a hundred things before I decided that yes, I am an
artist, and I want to live in Chicago and be an artist.  Which I did,
and here we are.

 I hated this birthday more than anything I have ever hated in my
life, and I didn't hate it because I think I am old.  I don't think I
am old.  I don't feel old, and feeling old is totally relative.  Your
age is seriously just a number, and really, what the fuck is a number
anyway?  What is age?  What happens when you die?  Is there a God?
what is God?  Who invented language?  Is Santa Claus real?  Seriously.
 Stop worrying about it because ultimately none of it matters.  Every
year you get older, numbers ascend towards something, and whatever
that something is, is all you buddy.  Turning 30 was horrible because
I just felt like I would have had so many more random things done by
now.  For example, I would be famous for being a fashionable "It"
girl, or an amazing documentary photographer.   I would be an
intellectual lecturing all over the world about Francis Bacon, or I
would be winning an Oscar for some sweet gorey makeup or something.
Never did I think that I would be sad because I was alone.  I love
being alone.  I love doing everything alone, and most things I would
prefer to do alone.  However, 30 is closer to 40 which is closer to
spinster which is closer to dead( Married is not a thing I aspire to
be, but seeking companionship is something I do desire.  Seeking a
friend for the end of the world indeed).  I didn't ever think that I
wanted anything from anyone, but what I found was I wanted everything
from everyone, and that all of the flakey ass drunk idiots I called my
friends when I was 20, were nowhere to be found.   I never thought
that I would want to puke back every drink I had ever because my
parents got me books on how to make "gourmet jello shots."  Basically,
turning 30 made me feel like an epic loser, which, of course I am not,
but you see where this is going.    Epic turnaround.

Turning 30 has made me feel like a failure and a fucking genius.  I'm
not in my 20s anymore.  Praise.  I am now in an elite club of people
who are also not in their 20s.  We're better, faster, stronger, we
remember history better, we remember life without the internet, we
remember taping songs off of the radio onto a cassette tape, we
remember fanny packs and Reagan.  We pioneered looks in the 90s that
American Apparel wishes they could replicate, and our generation
produced more bizarro children's programming than Sid And Marty Croft
could have ever dreamt of.  We realize that all the idiots we were
once "friends" with are still selfish idiots and the fact that they
look at us and can only talk about shit we did when we were drunk 8
years ago is because we were never really friends.  Our friends have
been with us forever, and will be with us forever.  They are the good
ones from high school, college, and our formative years when we moved
to Chicago when we were 20, and didn't know our asses from our elbows.
 We can FINALLY talk about how we don't understand things the "kids
these days" are doing( 4Chan.  SrslypplWTF?)

In my previous entry, I romanticized the passing of time, the ticking
of clocks, the Stranger, indifference to time and life and people.  I
wanted to make it cute and avant garde for you.  I wanted to put on a
cute dress, red lipstick, black pumps, and pretend we were in some
hazy French student film, all vaseline on the lens and 16mm.  I wanted
to dress it up to make it less serious.  I wanted you to feel
something fuzzy and warm with me, and I wanted you to fall in love
with me, but what I really wanted was to tell you that I was real real
sad for my entire birthday month because time is passing, and clocks
are ticking out of control, and I didn't know what to do.  I wanted to
cover my turning 30 with glossy metaphors and close up magic.

Somewhere between feeling like some sad sewer asshole, and now, I
realized, fuck it man.  Aging is all part of the process and some
things are made for certain times, and then you graduate.  I read the
Stranger because I don't want to be bored like Mersault.  I want to
live and live and live for everything.  I live and die for modern and
contemporary art because it bleeds like I do.  Your 20s are to Jackson
Pollack what your 30s are to Donald Judd.  Pared down, perfect slices
of your modern life.  You are still a person.  You just don't need all
the ejaculatory paint splatter every which way.  You know who you are
now, and it is much simpler to explain.

My motto from now until the end of all of my time here is, in the
words of a very early Youtube viral video goddess Kelly, "I'm gonna
get what I want!"  Why?  Because I'm 30, and I can.

Viva our 30s.


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

2006 OR BUST!!!

Today's show is about memories. We've dug into my summer jam dancey alongy fun and sad bastards of the great white north, thus, the natural next step is, "Songs I used to play over and over again while drinking Ketel One and tonic and getting ready to go to Berlin for the 5th night in a row with all of my nearest and dearest." aka "My pantyhose are always dirty because I've been climbing onto the stage all night and wading through a mixture of booze and god know what else is caked on that floor." The year is 2006. I am in my senior year at Columbia, I am an Art History major, I work at H&M, I am 24, I live in a ghettoplex in Boystown, my apartment houses 2 relatively comfortably, but is known affectionately as the "HOMO-tel" due to the high volume of crashers and live-ins. The year is 2006, and I just got a hot pink Motorola Razr phone(RIP). I fucking LOVE SNAKE!!! Almost every night of the week, I would come home from work, pick up a 30 pack of PBR from the Gold Crown Liquors, or sometimes a bottle of liquor, sometimes liquor and a few bottles of Boones for Steve, we'd drink most of the beers and/or liquor, and then we'd roll out to Berlin where we could still smoke casually and dance until the sun was blazing in the sky. Sometimes we would stand in the middle of the dancefloor smoking because we were in protest of the horrible song that was playing. Sometimes our jam would blast on and we would shimmy for our lives while accidentally(sometimes) burning neighboring randoms with our lit cigarettes. We'd stumble on out onto the street, and then I'd stumble on home to bed. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. These were the days when we just could not be bothered to give a dern (Laura Dern! J/K, I love her. Jurassic Park 3-D 2013!). Our lives centered around being fabulous sparkling diamonds, and we didn't care if we woke up the next day, and went to work in the same clothes. Our lives were incredible, and we owned every precious minute. There are times when I think about 2006, and sometimes I think, "Jesus and Mary chain! I used to be so much more fabulous! I used to wear the same blue dress with white flowers, white patent heels, and a sailor hat almost every night I went out. What happened to my swag mon?" When you're 24, just graduating college, (yes, I took my time), and me, the future is not real. The concept of time doesn't loom overhead like a great ugly ogre. All we wanted to do was drink pretty cocktails, get photographed for the Scene papers, and dance to incredible beats. All goals were accomplished. I used to feel bad about looking back on a great time because I felt like it was keeping me in the soft focused, floral nostalgia of the past. Today, however, and to be honest, after last Thursday night, after I dissolved into a complete puddle of "girl cries over boy into the arms of another boy she's met twice," aka "Major BONER KILLER" aka "DRUNK HAWK DOWN!!!" I decided that I don't need to be afraid of my feelings, nor do I need to be afraid of the past or future. Living in the small moments and remembering the grea times we used to have s a forever picture album in my memory. No, of course I won't ever be like that again (It takes me two days to recover from a horrible hangover now.), and we're all in different places mentally and physically now, but for the sake of this process, and the sake of keeping the memory of our youth alive, let's remember the jams. Here are my top five "Ready for the Floor" jams of 2006. May you be a light in dark places. #5 Hot Chip "Over and Over" Cutest gang of hipster boyfranz ever! #4 Mariah Carey "Emotions" You got me feelin' em ya'll. #3 Ladytron "Destroy Everything You Touch" I had all of those haircuts. #2 Bloc Party "Helicopter(Weird Science remix)(Feat. Peaches) We used to LIVE AND DIE for this one. #1 Goldfrapp "Number 1" Every day every night always and forever. I love this jam. You're my favorite moment. You're my Saturday. XOXO B.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Sad Bastard jams of the Winter times

December 12, 2011 " Escape the trappings of your epic narcissism and
come with me into the great white unknown"

In the summertime, the songs we gravitate towards are the ones dealing
with getting wasted and non-stop totally tubuloso parties, dancing til
dawn, getting wasted AND dancing til dawn, or some kind of generic
ballad/club cut in the style of "summer lovin," that takes place after
we've gotten wasted and danced until dawn. We can stay out all night
and soak up summer's warm embrace because it's one million degrees and
we're sweating all over each other, so why not right? Summer is for
making plans and taking road trips and getting into buckets of
hilarious fun with everyone because we're all, like, totally best
friends for ever right? Right.

I love the summer, but summer's fleeting love can never hold me like
the sharp darkness of winter. Everyone pretends they hate winter,
because they feel like they have to. Cold equals discomfort which is supposed to
equal bad, but I love it. I love it because it reminds me of when I
moved here. It reminds me of standing on the train platform waiting
forever in the snow for the damn red line. It reminds me of sitting
in my apartment downtown smoking cloves and listening to Jimmy Eat
World. It reminds me of walking to the Fireside drinking Old Style
out of a coffee mug. It reminds me of running through the streets on
New Years yelling at every cab to please take me home. Mostly, it
reminds me of being in Michigan, and of driving around town late at
night, thinking about my future, pining for a closeness with some
person I would never be close with, longing for a hopeless romance
with someone who will most likely never speak to me again, desperately
clinging to a romantic loneliness that only being 20 years old can

Happy jams are not for the winter. These are my "sad bastard jams."
Oh yes. Tears in your beers, sad Keanu eating a sangwich on a park
bench sad.
I love these jams, not because I am sad and they speak to
my lonliness, although, at times that has been true. I love these
jams because they feel as cold as i feel when i walk outside and
around my parent's house. They remove me to a place built in my
imagination, and with each song, a new memory appears, gently clasps
my frostbitten hands, and transports me to a deep emotional place
where, I just want to be alone man.

In honor of my favorite season of movie montage worthy lonliness, here
are my go-to jams for when you just need a minute.

Bon Iver- " Blood Bank"

Born in the frozen tundra that is the entire state of wisconsin, this
man speaks to me because he is in pain. At least he was. At least it
seems like he was. When you're alone, driving around Escanaba at
midnight, this song understands your problems and your trepidation
about your life. It holds you and warms you with what you can only
recognize as desperation due to isolation.

Sufjan Stevens- "To Be Alone With You."

If I could be alone with Sufjan for one hour, we would be instantly in
love and live out the rest of our days in a cabin on the shores of
Lake Superior, where we would play music and sing with each other
until the day we died in each other's arms as the sun filtered through
the Autumn foliage. The. End.

All-Time Quarterback- "Rules Broken"

Ben Gibbard made some recordings between work with Death cab using
broken and out of tune instruments. The result is something that will
haunt you all the way to your feelings zone. This album throws me
into a time machine and hurls me back to being 21. It reminds me of
college and of being with a million people all of the time, but
feeling like no-one knew me at all. The best and worst of times

Jimmy Eat World- Really, any song from Clarity, but I guess I need to
pick, so I pick "Goodbye Sky Harbor"

Can you still feel the butterflies? Oh I can. The other day, I was
dusting all my tchotchkes on my vanity (I am Miss Havisham in
training), and I listened to this entire album. I still knew all of
the words, I still remembered writing for hours and hours in my
journal about one particular person, and playing out scenes in my mind
where I would get exactly what I wanted from him, and my life, at that
moment, would play out exactly like any song from Clarity. I used to
get drunk, and put this album on in the bathroom so I could pass out
on the cold floor listening to it, which, makes absolutely no sense,
but I was 22, and I romanticized being a hot mess every single day of
my life.

Joni Mitchell - "Both Sides Now"

Joni Mitchell was something like 23 or younger when she wrote this
song. I could listen to this sad masterpiece for the rest of my life,
through every up and down, back and forth, right and definitely wrong,
and it would fit. It is immaculate. Her voice is immaculate. She is
one of those most incredible musicians I wish I could say I knew, and
her ferocity and simultaneous vulnerability will forever be the truth
for me.

Jenny Lewis- "Acid Tongue"

The harmonies in the song are tight, the changes are simple, the
lyrics cut deep into my psyche, and I appreciate that more than I can
really express. "To be lonely is a habit, like smoking, or taking
drugs, and I've quit them both, but man was it rough." That's enough
for me.

Sunny Day Real Estate- "Phuerton Skuerton"

This song is a mystery. I like to pretend that I am well versed in
Sunny Day Real Estate, and their, "We fuckin' invented the phrase,
'SAD BASTARD!" demeanor, but really, this is the only song I know
well, and I think I tripped over it by accident a decade ago, when I
was looking for something else on Napster. It is so obscure and
beautiful, and I kind of love that it is the only song of theirs I
know because that way, I won't have to worry about being disappointed
because the rest of their songs sound totally different.

Sigur Ros- "Saeglopur"

Layer up piano, vocal distortions, tiny keyboards, chimes, and the
rolling consonants skipping through the Icelandic language, add
driving by yourself on a dark and winding Upper Michigan back road,
and you will feel as if you've finished wondering. A clearing appears
ahead and a white light splits the sky apart. You're done here. Time
to sail away to the Grey Havens.

Elliot Smith- I can't pick one song, so I pick the entire album XO.

Every song kills me, and makes me think of walking around London when
I was 19. The first time I heard this album, I felt like I had just
been born. I didn't understand his voice, and he seemed like the
grand master of this poetic sadness that I felt like I related to even
though I had no idea what he was talking about most of the time. I
wanted to be a part of those emotions, but the closest I can get is
being able to sing the same words.

Death Cab for Cutie- "405"

I could pick every song, but I pick this one because the lyrics are so
perfect. Basically, I took up with this person who was everything,
that turned out to be a superbly wrong turn, I drank my way through
it, until I could finally find the exit. This has been a reality for
all of us, and when you're driving on the 405, it all makes sense.
Southern Califonia's freeway system is fucking confusing!

"Company Calls Epilogue" is a very immediate second. This is what I
live and die for. Some person who was so crazy craze for me, that
they show up at my wedding fucking tanked out of their skull, all
slurring their words, and accidentally pouring champagne on all the
kids faces, but never confessing to me that is should have been them.
We may both know the fucked up truth, but we just leave it as, "the
white routine, to be ingested inaccurately."

It is 100% ok to take a three or so minutes to be sad about things.
The world is a mostly beautiful place, filled with mostly beautiful
and interesting people. However, there are equally as many monsters
and nightmares. Nothing in this life will ever be as perfect as you
are led to think it will, so you should hug your feelings as they
shift and change because it will make you less of a robot. We process
being alone as something that shouldn't be desired, and that being
alone makes you an anti-social weirdo. Nothing is more weird than
trying to deny your tendencies to feel something other than happiness
all of the time. You are so much more to me than some cold, robotic
being a la Siri. Feel it all, or you've squandered this existence,
and don't deserve another chance.