Monthly Archives: January 2010

Music and other thoughts at 1:03 am

I wish I knew how to really articulate myself when it comes to writing about music. When I talk about music I use adjectives like: amazing, soulful, awesome, rockin’, and if I’m really feeling frisky, badass. There is a skill very few have when it comes to writing about music. For me it’s a feeling. It’s a resonantion of a time or feeling. Music can be our friend when we are mad (I crank Fiona Apple), lonely (Carol King), hopeful (Mavis Staples), hopeful for love (Ray LaMontagne), in love (Ben Harper), it can make us feel better in times of despair (Bruce Springsteen).

When natural (or horribly man-made) disasters happen I am glued to the television. Watching the sadness and fear in faces,  hearing stories of death and survival, and honestly feeling like I will never be able to really do anything to help beyond writing a check to do something because I am not as self-less as I can be. I got so obsessed with the news coverage from Katrina I had nightmares. I wouldn’t let myself do it this time with Haiti. I couldn’t stomach it because I was so wrapped in my depression I couldn’t take on more.

But I’m a music lover so I watched the Hope For Haiti Now telethon, and not only did I discover and finally see coverage of the awful, gut-wrentching situation. I was horrified. My first thought was “I want to adopt to Haitian baby.” Now I know I can’t do that at this time, but I still want to do something. I’ve considerad volunteer opportunities but I’ve been lazy and spending too much time thinking about what I want to do, and not what really needs to be done or who needs the most help.

It’s hard not to be down at the state of the world. I’m angry about so many things in America, but I also realize I’m a  very lucky women.

So, now that this post has taken a completely different turn from the beginning, I just want to vow this: this year I will volunteer and on a very different note, I want to make more iTunes playlists…and write about how the songs I’m into a certain week is also like a journal. I miss making mix tapes, and I wish I still had many of them. They are an audio diary of our lives, and that’s important to me.

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What I’m Into This Week

It ‘s been a while since I wrote these posts. I love them and one of my favorite to write. It’s a journal for me of sorts (duh!) to look back on and remind myself–well–what I was into.

Jane Eyre–It wasn’t until I was almost 30 that I began to read classics. I didn’t read many of the big ones in high school or college. Though it was slow going, I’m loving Jane. I’m loving Charlotte Bronte. I find her character fascinating: she’s part feminist; at times confident, at times insecure; sheltered and supressed and sometimes just plain odd. I’m about 300 or so pages in, but I really look forward to my book club’s discussion–that is if we have one. Mostly it’s just talk of men, sex, jobs, houses, and gossip. I also want to read some analysis of it and maybe watch a BBC or Masterpiece Classic movie version.

I also love the writing. What I love about the classics is the language. It just all sounds so much more sophisticated. The love scenes are so pure and romantic. The character descriptions so blunt (I love the pure honestly of calling Mr. Rochester “an ugly man.”) I find it fascinating that dialogue and language is itself historical and classic. I hated history in school, but as I’ve become older I’m curious about many things and desire to learn more history. This concludes the book section of what I’m into this week (how’s that for segue?).

NBC and the Great The Late Show Debate–When I couldn’t sleep as a kid I turned on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. (What I really tried to stay up for Letterman, but I’m sure he’s a post for another time.) Though most of the world is keeping abreast on the terrible situation is  in Haiti, I get enough of what is going on NBC. Here’s why: Conan is calling his bosses out for making bad decisions, and I’m jealous.

I’ve always been a Conan fan and was terribly excited he would be on an hour earlier (when I may actually be awake and able to watch it more). Conan’s letter announcing his position was brilliant, classy, and in the right. Sometimes you just don’t mess with tradition, and that tradition is The Tonight Show. Conan has been the nice guy too long, and now he’s pissed and acting out. I’m jealous because that is just what I wish I could do at work. In the five years I’ve been at my organization I’ve watched its demise. The Board and those in senior positions have made tons of mistakes and many have suffered because of it. It’s frustrating and sad and really wish I could pull a Conan because if I don’t change my attitude soon I’ll be begging to be laid off. Get my three to five month payout, go on unemployment, and be forced to figure out what exactly I do want to do next. Even if I have to bag groceries for a couple of months–I’m to the point where I really want out. But I’m also scared because unlike Conan, I won’t get 30 million and I won’t feel secure in this state of the world. It’s a debate I obviously have with myself because I really am scared of what would happen if I did lose my job. And now that I’m totally off topic, let’s move on.

Roger Ebert’s Journal–I’ve always been a fan of the Eb’s (as I pronounce it, da’-eebez). His writing is really creative and thoughtful–be sure to read the entry on food and memory.

NPR’s Monkey See Blog-A must for pop culture lovers. (I secretly wish I was Linda Holmes. What a cool job!)

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Filed under Get Lit, Media, Weekly Loves

Bored

Okay, so this writing three times a week thing is ambitious. I’m working on it. Here is something I wrote while at work Monday (and ends abruptly).

How do you get over the boredom in your life?

Because I’m terribly bored of writing different versions of the same press releases, e-newsletters, program descriptions what-have-you, I started paying more attention to my real life–my outside of work, personal life. Every since I turned 31 I’ve been on some quest find out what makes me tick. I’ve pushed myself to try new things, and for the most part my self-experiment has worked. A few months ago I started tap dancing class, and I really like it. This Wednesday I start a pottery class. I’m trying new hobbies in the hopes of striking some chord within myself that I wake up one day with an “A Ha! Moment” and instantly know what I want to do with the rest of my life. The only thing I know for sure is this office environment is slowly killing me. The days seem so long, my work so unrewarding, and the fact I have little respect for my nonprofit organization mixed with my menopausal boss sure make waking up in the morning difficult. I don’t even like who I’ve become Monday through Thursday. I’m grumpy and withdrawn and smile the same fake smile and make the same simple pleasantries day after day. Truth be told I don’t know what I want to do anymore day after day. I always wished when I was little I really wanted to be something–sure I had my phases: actress, singer, journalist, radio DJ…but nothing I felt passionate enough about to pursue. After journalism and radio classes in college I knew it wasn’t for me. Maybe I gave up to easily because one teacher said I had a voice for lite FM, and I also could never write a decent lead. But I didn’t have the kind of cravings kids do to be a pilot or a doctor and there was no coercion into running a family business. So finding out what is next is terribly frustrating because I have interests: interior design, writing, culture (high, low-brow, and pop included), crafting–but I don’t know how to make those work for a career or if I want to make those work for a career because I’ll lose something. Like I used to love going to bookstores to get coffee and read magazines and then I spent nights and weekends in my early 20’s working a second job at Border’s and my feelings of hanging out in bookstores forever changed.

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Filed under Human Behavior, Musings

Notes from a cold mind

I’m to the point in my cold/flu where I feel like I could burst out in the frusturated tears at any moment (which is what I did when I got home from work–I wrote this earlier today). It always comes to this feeling for me. I get tired of  my back and upper rib cage muscles aching from coughing, my nose feeling dry and red, of applying lip balm every 20 minutes, of my eyes feel hollowed out, and I just want to be sleeping in bed. I don’t feel like being at work, but felt the need to come in today because the boss is back and I’m not sick enough to be home any more. Unlike many, I worked most of the last couple of weeks, so unlike many, I’m actually caught up on work. Also, at this point a monkey could do my job if said monkey could type emails and communicate to the press. All day my eyes have been drawn to articles on the net with headlines like “5 Antidotes for Job Burnout” or “Where the Jobs Will Be This Decade.” What I’ve learned today is that 49% of Americans are depressed and unhappy at thier jobs. So at least I’m not alone. I’m afraid of turning into one of those bloggers who only turns to writing to bitch and whine. Like the girls I used to like reading– their adventures in dating, friends, work and life, only to discover all they did was complain in a plethora of cutesy ways. Truth is, that may be me some days so suck it.

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Filed under Human Behavior, Musings