2010 in Review

I tried going through this past year’s 262 entries and I only made it through February before I started getting angry and feeling depressed all over again.

2010 was hard, and my attitude didn’t make it any better. I understood why I kept my distance. I wouldn’t have wanted to be around myself, either.

It’s been a year since I gave away the bunnies, Chicken and Pig. I don’t really talk about them much. I cry for them sometimes.

I guess I got some important stuff done. Didn’t get any Bs in classes. Worked/ing on some fun projects. Had a couple of publishing opportunities. Learned some really cool things. Got great jobs. Did some wonderful traveling.

All the while I loathed myself. Because I wasn’t myself.

Just imagine what I could have accomplished if I’d been more positive.

I’ll just keep taking life one day at a time.

Try to be better each day.

Fitter.

Happier.

More productive.

New year.

11:20 pm. Midnight’s too far away. I’d rather sleep now.

Smile, and dream big.

So We’re Still in the Poetry Unit

And when the instructor begins the class by having us to listen to the Decemberists and Radiohead and Andrew Bird, I almost cry.

This is so cool.

School is great.

Lyrics to the songs whose names I caught below. How do the formal elements tie into their meanings?

“Fake Plastic Trees” – Radiohead

Her green plastic watering can
For her fake Chinese rubber plant
In the fake plastic earth
That she bought from a rubber man
In a town full of rubber plans
To get rid of itself

It wears her out, it wears her out
It wears her out, it wears her out

She lives with a broken man
A cracked polystyrene man
Who just crumbles and burns
He used to do surgery
For girls in the eighties
But gravity always wins

It wears him out, it wears him out
It wears him out, it wears him out

She looks like the real thing
She tastes like the real thing
My fake plastic love
But I can’t help the feeling
I could blow through the ceiling
If I just turn and run

It wears me out, it wears me out
It wears me out, it wears me out

If I could be who you wanted
If I could be who you wanted all the time

All the time…
All the time…

“Measuring Cups” – Andrew Bird

Get out your measuring cups and we’ll play a new game
Come to the front of the class and we’ll measure your brain
We’ll give you a complex and we’ll give it a name

Get out your measuring cups and we’ll play a new game
Can’t have the cream when the crop and the cream are the same
Liquid or gas no more than the glass will contain

When you talk about the hand of glory
A tale that’s rather grim and gory
Is it just another children’s story that’s been de-clawed?
When the tales of brothers Grimm and Gorey have been outlawed

I think they’re gonna make you start over
You don’t want to start over
Put your backpack on your shoulder
Be the good little soldier
Take your places now
‘Cause we’re all predisposed

Measuring cups, play a new game
Front of the class, measure your brain
Give you a complex and we’ll give it a name

When you talk about the hand of glory
A tale that’s rather grim and gory
Is it just another children’s story that’s been de-clawed?
When the tales of brothers Grimm and Gorey have been outlawed

Put your backpack on your shoulder
Be the good little soldier
It’s no different when your older
You’re predisposed
That’s all for questions now
The case is closed!

I Found “Pablo Honey”!

Incidentally, it was while trying to look for a tank top I wanted to wear for kayaking this morning.

Coincidentally, it was while “High and Dry” was playing.

I’ve needed to hear a few songs from Pablo Honey. Ones that weren’t “Creep.”

Not that I don’t like “Creep.”

I found the CD in a crate of books and CD liner notes.

The tank top was not there.

I’m such a doofus.

Naps and Caffeine and Photos Instead of an All-Out Recap of the Concert

Those first two are what I had today. Or yesterday. Saturday. It’s 5:38 AM right now. Sunday. So, I watched a lot of Olympic coverage. I’d flip between NBC, CNBC and USA. And I’d look at the results online and see that synchronized diving was live, and I’d try to find coverage, but there was none. I watched a little bit of badminton, and I didn’t bother with boxing, but men’s volleyball won my attention when the crowd was cheering against the United States and cheering for Venezuela.

I also caught up on the opening ceremonies. That was quite impressive. I had to wonder how many other countries observe only one time zone when their geographic area covers more than 15 lateral degrees. Then that makes me think about other governments and the type of control they want to maintain. It’s not like Daylight Saving. It’s weird, and I’m having trouble reserving judgment.

Anyway, I’m going to post some photos from Friday night’s concert. I saw three other groups that I’d never really listened to. I stood in the rain for 30 minutes while listening with my friend, Janine, and her friends, Liz, Hannah and Devon, to Mates of State. I liked them quite a bit. (I didn’t take any pictures of them.) Then the rain cleared and the sun came out while I listened to the New Pornographers. They sounded familiar, and I know they’re popular, but their name always deterred me from exploring their music. Then I listened to Andrew Bird. He’s quite talented, and he’s a great whistler.

Radiohead sounded better to me on Friday than they did five years ago. I kept hearing people around me say they sound so much better live than recorded, and I have to agree with that. They were impeccable. They played songs from all their albums. They began with “15 Step” and sang for two straight hours and ended with “Fade Out,” but they gave an incredible encore of four more songs. Everybody sang along. Everyone was happy, from neurotransmitters naturally produced in the body or some synthetic/herbal chemical alteration. I told my friend Janine I liked Radiohead better this time around because I’m more familiar with them. I’ve listened pretty extensively to whatever I have of theirs, because it’s hard to be a casual listener. Over the past five years I’ve picked my favorite songs and set the less personally appealing ones aside. They started me on a journey with more traditional-sounding rock, then they progressed in their innovation and conscientiousness, then they made themselves a little more accessible and a smidge less of an acquired taste and decided to leave it to thinking human beings to contemplate how much music should be worth. It’s been an interesting process, and I’m glad to have joined them at Liberty State Park as a part of it. Thanks, guys.

IMG_3621
tent tops cover port-o-potties
IMG_3629
fans trickle in before the rain

   

IMG_3640
heavy blanket
cumulonimbus
cool cloud northeast of the park
Andrew Bird
Andrew Bird

 

Radiohead
because I am short

 

Radiohead
ghost hands
Radiohead
alien abduction

 All Points West Set at Flickr

Just Stuff

The reason I didn’t do a music review yesterday was all the other stuff going on: season finales, today’s concert. Sometime over the weekend I’ll write up my experience about today’s concert. It rained a lot last night; I hope the weather cooperates today.

Also, the Olympics begin. The Olympics begins? Single subject? Conjugate with single verb? I could see where it can go both ways. Anyway, something about John Williams’s Olympic Fanfare and March gives me chills. Much in the same way The Star-Spangled Banner does, when it’s done just so.

Oh, I’ve decided to believe Dara Torres. I’ve been reading up on her and listening to NPR snippets, and I’m gonna give her the benefit of the doubt. I’ve brushed off the skepticism and I’ll go back to believing in good, old-fashioned hard work and determination, as well as resistance stretching. Plus, as often and randomly as she’s being tested? And she’s doing so voluntarily? And she’s come up negative over the last four Olympics? That gets pretty hard to doubt. Plus, I’m thinking about her toddler. I want to believe because of her child.

I’m not, however, going to believe Paris Hilton’s stance on our nation’s energy.

I can’t believe China has banned Team Darfur from visiting for the Olympics. Joey Cheek, specifically. I mean, I can believe it, but I just don’t understand it.

I had it in my mind at the beginning of the week to do a funny review of Sinead O’Connor’s “Nothing Compares 2 U.” Because nothing, you know, can take away these blues. (Blue black red yellow green! Olympics, Olympics, gooo Olympics! Woo!) I’ll do it at another time, when I feel especially snarky and nostalgic at the same time. Well, that’s just another time, then.

I got dizzy watching the toilet flush this morning. Does that happen to anyone else?

August Announcements

Friday, August 8: I’ll be attending the All Points West Music & Arts Festival, and I’ll let you guess who’ll be performing. Peter, Paul & Mary? That’d be fun, but no. Fergie? Thanks, but I don’t really feel like torturing myself. Kool & the Gang? Seriously? You’re not even trying. Let me just say it. Radiohead. I’ll be going to see Radiohead, and it’s going to be a fabulous show. I know some of you are jealous, and I’m sorry. Wow, full circle. I’ll be seeing them nearly five years from the last time I saw them. I wrote about it here and here.

Thursday, August 14: I’m going to The Daily Show with some friends. The Colbert Report was fun; that was over two years ago. Jon Stewart should be a blast. Yay.

Saturday, August 16: I would LOVE to be able to attend The Green World Festival up in the Catskills and camp overnight. (As of this posting their website is down, seems their domain expired. I hope they renew it.) It’s in a town called Windham, northwest of Woodstock. A few folk singers will be there, and I’ve never been camping while I’ve lived here, and I NEED to go!

Saturday, August 23: I’ve been invited to help build a cob house in Pennsylvania. I hope it works out. It would be a lot of fun, a unique experience, a chance to really get my hands dirty. Maybe it’ll help me decide if I truly want a cob house of my own.

I can’t believe the summer is starting to wind down already. It’s AUGUST, people.