The Hardest Part of My Day: A JT Love Story

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This is a story about a girl.

This girl has first world problems.

And this girl just decided she doesn’t want to write this story in third person.

So, anyway. I was listening to some JT today, pumping through my busy work, generally and metaphorically wading through the songs’ pretty alright verses and choruses to get to some of the sick, sick breakdowns.

That’s what blows my mind about Justin Timberlake. He’s talented. His songs are catchy. But his breakdowns. Mercy. I always anticipate the end of every song. I only ever listen to Mirrors to get to the breakdown because, as much as I hate Mirrors, the breakdown makes me want to weep.

I hadn’t listened much to his FutureSex/LoveSound album, so I was giving that a try today. Two things happened: 1) I have a new favorite JT song. And 2) I’m going to slap whoever is responsible for this album.

The song? Well technically, it’s called “Medley: Sexy Ladies/Let Me Talk to You (Prelude),” but that’s just stupid.

So instead, we’ll call it “Cowbell Sexy.”

Cowbell Sexy takes up the last bit of the song, which would make it appear to be the breakdown. But, it’s not. It’s actually a type of prelude/remix of the more popular song “My Love.” Which is the next song. On its own track.

Cowbell Sexy has nothing to do with the first part of the song. In fact, the first part of the song is actually not very good. It’s boring. Not catchy at all. One of my least favorite JT songs. It drawls on for about 3:45 minutes, and then?

A hard stop.

Not a choreographed transition.

A literal moment of silence. Awkward, painful, pungent.

And then it goes into Cowbell Sexy. Like nothing ever happened, and no idiot ever made that horrible, horrible decision to combine those two unrelated songs on one track.

So, what does this mean for my day?

I have to listen to 3:45 minutes of shit to get to my 1:00 favorite song.

I’m so sorry JT. I love you. But you need to talk to your manager or something and get this album you released eight years ago fixed, or I’m going to talk to him for you.

You ruined my day.

I love you.

 

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My 5 Big Beefs with Busy Work

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Does my writing look infected to you?

I hate to be one of “those people,” but work has gotten in the way of all my passions and dreams a little bit. I’m in a position that’s brand new to my company, which means I have to work my ass off to “impress” them. If I don’t impress them, then I probably lose my imaginary job and have to live a life of wandering and pursuing said passions and dreams and eventually lose all sense of material worth and that which society deems me responsible to be and live on a beach.

And, thus, I work ’til I’m fried.

The amount of work I’ve done every day, and the nature of quite a bit of the work I’ve done, is mind numbing. It requires incredible focus, speed, and just a pinch of creativity that can be at times hard to access when my brain gets too hot. And really, no matter what you’re doing, if you have to work off of eight Word documents open at a time, your brain is a little bit just like “FUCK IT.”

Which got me thinking the other day (or what little thinking I could do during my hour of “quiet time:” if you can’t visualize it, it’s me sitting with my hands propping up my forehead and staring unblinking at the wood fibers of my desk, like a turtle with a mildly boring but still quite traumatic Vietnam flashback):

I wonder if I’m incurring brain damage every time I get to this point.

What’s more, get to this point for the sake of dispassionate, formulaic, protocol busy work.

I’m sure there’s an article somewhere on the internet titled “Busy Work will Kill Your Brain.” I could just do a Google search to see, but I’m too tired. I could also just use that title for this article and make it up as I go along. But I’m too tired to do that, too.

These are my five biggest beefs with how much busy work consumes my life, and why it must go.

1. Brain cancer. This is how it will kill your brain. With brain cancer. I’m assuming.

2. Wasted time. Every moment I spend filling in fields with data is a moment I could have spent filling in fields of my screenplay with character names that seem normal but actually mean something in Latin that defines their character similar to but not quite the same as George Lucas once did.

3. Gives me permission to be lazy. Shit, I’ll be lazy any chance I get. And that’s the problem. While I’m working hard, I’m giving the creative and logical parts of my brain a break, at times for way too long when I’m engaging in busy work. I want to be exercising those bits of myself almost constantly, only giving my motor functions a break every now and again.

4. Little impact on the world. I save no lives doing busy work. In fact, even the client I’m filling out information for will probably only glance at it and then make a grunting noise and then do something else. That’s pretty sickening.

5. Doesn’t let me watch Netflix. Wait….what?

Here is where I spin you for a loop and tell you the argument I’m really making here. Busy work is not okay. UNLESS, it’s so mind numbing that I can watch Netflix effectively while I’m doing it.

Ta-da.

Did I fool you? Or do you agree?

Thoughts of a 20-Hour Driver

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M and I took a road trip this weekend to see a friend in Texas. We don’t live close to Texas, so as you can imagine there was a lot of driving and not a lot of bathroom breaks. Your driving strategy for these kind of trips starts to include purposefully dehydrating yourself  so as to avoid the need to stop along the way in the middle of the night. It’s very unhealthy, but very invigorating. Invigorating in the kind of caffeine-high why-did-I-grab-this-bag this-is-not-food fueling sort of way.

M doesn’t really buy into the caffeine thing, so he slept more than I did. I spent a lot of hours alone, staring across dark deserts, allowing my eyes to glaze over, and thinking about what it all meant.

And here’s what I came up with.

1. I don’t think parents really mean what they teach their children. In fact, when they talk to children, they aren’t really talking as people. They’re speaking on behalf of a corporation. The corporation of “CHILDREN ARE THE FUTURE.”  There are just things you’re meant to say to them. But, when parents become people again, do they really think that anything’s possible? That it’s never okay to lie? I don’t think so. Why don’t we start teaching children to think in shades of gray sooner?

2. Breaking Bad is a really good show. How do I know when a story is good? If anyone can create an irony and develop it to the point that it makes me want to cry and dwell on it for days, it’s good.

3. I can’t imagine where my life would be if I hadn’t decided, without a doubt, that film was my path in life. I don’t think flexibility would be a good thing for me in this area.

4. Drooling in sleep. I’m glad I’m not asleep right now, I’m not in a drooling mood.

The rest of the many hours on the road were spent with a blank mind.

I can only guess my sleep-deprived subconscious was churning out some real doozies. Because the whole of my trip I spent in sort of a relaxed state of wonderment.

Texans like donuts. Cowboys are real. America is still a source of pride for some. Local aviators are better than internet-bought aviators.

What an awesome trip.

Now I’m going to go sleep for eight years.

 

 

I Am a Hipster and I Love Ke$ha

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People have called me many things. A girl, “hey you,” and a hipster.

That’s all I can think of right now.

As a society-labeled hipster, I have to be very careful about the interests I have. I must prefer Bon Iver to Jack Johnson. I must like men with beards. And I must end my love affair with Ke$ha.

It’s just so hard, Internet. It’s. So. Hard.

I don’t think I have a single person in my life right now that supports my love of Ke$ha’s music.  “It’s not natural. It’s disgusting. It’s like you have chlamydia.” There is not a single loved one of mine that loves me as much as they want to. All because they haven’t accepted that I love Ke$ha yet.

So I’m going to defend myself.

I started listening to Ke$ha halfway through college. When I graduated highschool I was an organic hipster, as pompous as they come. I refused to listen to the radio, unless it was the local grassroots station that played crunchy Jazz between 2 and 4 pm. Yeah, I had to listen to crappy crunchy Jazz as I drove just to prove my commitment to art. Stupid art.

I don’t know what came over me, but I think I was pushed over the edge one day. It was my second year of college, and I think the last of one too many Ani DeFranco songs caused me to spasm and change the station.

Katy Perry. “What is this strange magic?”

I listened to all this new music, interested but not surprised. Black Eyed Peas had lame lyrics. Katy Perry had lame bridges. Pink had a weird anger that seemed very unfounded and directed at nobody in particular. Fun. had been cool, but they turned to the dark side. Kelly Clarkson SHOOT ME. For the most part, I felt assured that I hadn’t been missing anything spectacular in the world of popular music.

Except for one.

Ke$ha.

That spectacular, spectacular bitch.

I couldn’t explain it at the time. All I knew was that I continued to listen to pop radio for the rest of my college days, and I believe it was all out of the hope of possibly hearing “Tik Tok” that day.

I’ve had plenty of discussions with my more philosophically-minded friends about the issue, and all I ever get in forms of a retort are statements along the lines of “Ke$ha? KE$HA?” “You’re just wrong.” and “She has a dollar $ign in her name.” But no other artist makes me want to dance like Ke$ha, and hers is the only celebrity hair I’ve ever seeked out the forums of the interwebs to recreate for myself.

Her obsession with glitter is insane. It feels like she’s tapping into a magic that not enough people know about yet.

She looks like she’s hung over all the time. It’s fantastic.

She is always yelling a little bit. YEAH. LETS YELL ABOUT BOYS. THEY LIKE IT.

Her melodies have very little diversity, but all her thumping chord progressions back them up. Her lyrics are all about partying and boys, but every once in a while she’ll word something in a way that makes me go “Huh. I never thought about partying and boys that way. U R a dinosaur.”

The most philosophical I can get on the matter is by suggesting that she is the ultimate embodiment of freedom and confidence. She likes boys, and she likes looking sexy for them, but she doesn’t need them. She’s there for her girls and to dance. She’ll kick them boys to the curb.

(Unless they look like Mick Jagger.)

She wears ripped leggings, gnarly tops, all sorts of disorganized braids and feathers in her hair, and she looks great while doing it. Anyone who advocates the use of yesterday’s eyeliner as today’s eyeliner is my ultimate fashion goddess.

There’s something about her whole demeanor, and the way that it reflects directly onto her songs, that is incredibly empowering. I promised myself I wouldn’t even argue the fact that she’s apparently a genius, but it’s interesting, isn’t it? So many people would argue “Why isn’t she doing something useful with her intelligence?”

Maybe that’s why I listen to Ke$ha. I’m smart and I’m artistic, but when I listen to her music I don’t feel like I owe my talents to anyone.

I JUST WANNA DANCE AND YELL.

Laughing at the Symphony

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We went out to the symphony on Friday night to hear Dvořák’s New World Symphony. Like always, they tricked us and snuck in a strange and unrelated Russian modern piece in the middle of the concert.

Typical symphony.

M knows music better than I do. As soon as he saw the program he rolled his eyes. “This piece is going to be some shitty experimental thing, just watch.” And he was right. I tried really hard to enjoy the song, because I really like liking things that M doesn’t like.

But, he was right, it was a little bit shitty.

I can respect the aims of experimental art across all mediums. But when it comes to music, and my role as a “viewer,” I can’t just scan, absorb, and move along. I have to listen to every note and essentially experience every intended idea. And if I don’t want to experience every intended idea, well then that’s just too bad because everyone would see me leave and know that I’m a rude person.

One moment of the piece in particular was just a bunch of noise. The percussion section especially sounded like they were just speaking some sort of not-that-pretty language with their mallets. Similar to how American English sounds as a non-English speaker. They’re definitely words you’re hearing, but you’re not quite sure what they mean and you’re not sure that you should care.

Right in the middle of the mallet mess, a phone started ringing. The woman in front of us jumped, realizing it was hers. She scrambled for her purse, and embarked on a two-minute journey to locate the phone, and then the off-switch.

Her cell phone ring was one of the standard and most popular iPhone rings. The bright little marimba one.

And it sounded EXACTLY like the song. Only the ringtone had more structure.

Another woman down the row stared this frail little lady with the darkest of scowls. Punishing her with the most sophisticated of weapons: disgust and disdain in the face of art and class.

But, judging on the lack of glares I saw all around, I think our neighbors were overall enjoying her contribution to the piece.

To me, it was the best part of the song.

(But the New World Symphony was amazing.)

 

I’m Sorry That I Have to Do This.

M

I’m so sorry.

But I have to take a minute and talk about how great my boyfriend is.

I met M at a film festival a little under two years ago. His film had won the year prior, and he was there to look pretty in front all of the young aspiring filmmakers in our community. I was a volunteer worker for the film festival, so I wasn’t really supposed to be “networking.”

I really hate “networking,” anyway.

But there was something about the way he looked that was so impressive. He wore a fancy gray blazer over a t-shirt. He was composed and stoic, but when he laughed his eyes crinkled up in this amazing little way.

I told myself, “If you don’t go talk to him well, then, you can just die filled with regret, I guess.”

So, I forced myself to talk to him. I thought it was an exercise in becoming more courageous, a better networker. What I didn’t realize was, that strange impulsive decision on my part would change my life. Completely, unalterably, and for the better. No exaggeration.

He was crewing up for a feature film he was directing. He needed a script supervisor. I was a script supervisor, but I made him believe I had more experience than I did. I had never done a feature-length film before. But every time he laughed, I knew I had to say whatever I could to get him in my life.

Working together on a film all summer sped up the process I normally take with the people I date. We were instantly comfortable with each other, and went from that stage to tearing at each other’s throats quickly. All those exhausting all-nighters on set didn’t allow for us to have any bullshit with each other. I was working right at his side, and as often as I was helping him with the logistics of filming I was also driving him up a wall with my suggestions to “improve” the script. And every time he missed a little detail in the script that I found to be extremely important for whatever reason, I was up the wall with him.

And yet, we’re still together today. Not only that, but every day we become more and more entwined together. A lot of people use some semblance of that expression, “growing closer each day.” What I think it means to me is that every day, every conversation we have, a bit more memory is logged away. My memories of him, and his memories of me, they grow a bit each day and take over the other memories, the ones that don’t matter. We are partners in crime, roommates, best friends, and two people who are in love with each other.

We have created so much beyond a normal life together. We have created stories, films, and whole worlds together. And the interesting part is, our world views are vastly different. Most conversations we have resemble arguments, but I can’t believe how much this stretches me. Grows me. Nobody can make me more irritated than he can, but something about that irritation is so exciting. It’s the kind of irritation that, now, I don’t know what I would do without.

My relationship with M hasn’t been my easiest relationship. But my easiest relationship was also easy to leave. If I had to lose M, something inside me would snap off and go with him. That something would be made up of the feeling of his scruff on my skin, mixed with my outlook on life and a large part of who I am today. Without him, these things would be gone, and I don’t know who I would be without it.

He has taught me more than any other person has. These lessons include:

  • How to show the mean Internet company who is boss over the phone.
  • How to purchase land.
  • How to adjust an aperture (and what the hell that really means).
  • How to correctly act around dogs.
  • How to correctly recover from a wounded ego.
  • How to start a business.
  • How to edit an action scene.
  • How to convince others that you’re the shit.
  • How to be the shit.
  • How to be a tiny bit less messy than I was before.
  • How to keep my cool around bison.
  • How to keep my cool in general.
  • How to know when I’m in the right place.

I don’t know how I ended up where I am now. It was either insane luck or divine intervention. But however I got here, I could never question whether or not it’s the right place. Being with him is the best possible place, and he helps me see it every day.

Take this cheese and do what you want with it. Thanks for reading!

What is Yoga?

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Like, really… what is it?

Should I do it?

What’s it going to do to me?

Will I die?

Will anybody see me when I’m doing it?

Why do you do it?

Can you teach me?

Can I watch you do yoga?

Can I not, actually, that’s weird?

Is that weird?

Is it hard to do?

Is it scary?

Do you die?

What do I wear?

Can I do it without one of those purple things?

What purple things?

Can I do it anywhere?

Is it expensive?

Can I do it for free?

Can you teach me for free?

Yoga?!?!?

I really want to try it. But I need these questions answered first.