Friday, November 30, 2007

I ain't got the time

I think music is a lot like books.

A bit too much attention is paid to the top 40 (in terms of books, that would be Oprah's Book Club or the New York Times Best-seller List)-- meanwhile, there are generations of musical works and literary works that-- if they're lucky and they play their marketing just right-- get their day in the sun and then are never appreciated again.

A good education usually includes knowledge of the classics, both musical and literary, and then one's own taste takes over in adulthood. Then most people's exploration of music rarely goes beyond the Top 40. I guess most people don't read a whole lot, either.

I think iTunes is the equivalent of Cliffs notes for music. And maybe blogs are the equivalent of radio for literature. It takes out the work/pleasure (depending on your view) of investing time in listening to an entire album or reading an entire book/article -- you just cut out the middleman, so to speak, and buy the one popular hit you wanted. Or you cut straight to the point of the story. Or, in cases of blogs and radio, you cut straight to what someone else thinks is important.

I wish there were radio stations that played not just to entertain and have background music, but maybe with programs that really explore sub-genres and artists and meaning behind music. A station where the DJs are not prattling nitwits that just provide noise, but are knowledgable about real music and all the things that go into the art.

I guess I could've gotten that knowledge if I had taken music classes in college. But I really didn't have time. What a shame.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Making a difference

Most of us say to ourselves, at one time or another, that we want to make a difference.

I wonder how many of us ever come to a point where we feel we're making a difference. A significant difference-- significant enough to satisfy whatever urge it was that led us to desire such results from our life in the first place.

I'm pretty sure there's no standard rubric for knowing when you've done the right thing with your life and when you haven't. Once I might've said that you could probably just plain know when you were doing the right thing, but honestly-- I find that a lot of people seem to know a something or other that just plain happens to be untrue.

Well, crap, there's a big can of worms right there. Maybe I don't want to go down that road.

I wonder if any of us will ever really know if we made a difference, or if we'll just convince ourselves that we did the best we could (even if we didn't), and simply have to be content with that.

Wait, I think I just described life.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Don't look at me.

I went to yoga class yesterday. I got there kind of early, so I had to stand around for a few minutes before I was allowed to go in the room (it's held in a room at a very large gym facility).

I wonder sometimes if I should take some kind of tranquilizer before going to the gym. While that may seem counterintuitive, the intent is that I could go to the gym and simply exercise without being visually hyperstimulated by the crowds of gym bunnies and meatheads flailing around on elaborate pieces of machinery.

The closest I can get to such a state of blissful ignorance is visual ignorance; i.e., not wearing my contacts. All the details of bright, reflective footgear, and ruddy, sweat-smeared faces aren't clear enough to distract me.

Also, there's nowhere to look when you're just standing there at the gym. Look to the right, and there's a legion of thirtysomethings on the stairmasters and rowing machines. Look to the left, and there's some dame doing her pre-yoga warm-up stretches. She's already got her shoes off and everything. How can ya walk around a gym barefoot? Like, "I am sooo spiritually centered that I want to be one with the energy of a thousand bodies sweating in unison."

There's something so vulnerable and intimate about seeing people exercise. I sure-as-pectoralis major can't do it, and darn if I want anyone watching me, either. I think it's sort of voyeuristic.

Taking actual classes at Das Gymnasium doesn't make me feel as violated, though. In the enclosed yoga room, nobody's there except for to take the class. We're all just a group of bendy chicks in awkward positions that render us unable to look anywhere except the backs of our knees.

Also, no cute guys in yoga. Ever. Thank God.

Monday, November 26, 2007


I often find myself getting annoyed by how not in a hurry all the drivers around here seem to be. On Saturday this was the case as well. I just wanted some efficiency in my driving, gosh darn it.

But suddenly I asked myself, "Why am I always annoyed with other people's slow driving?"

I guess if I were always late, that would be one thing. But I'm usually on time. And driving-- I enjoy it. I'm not anxious to get off the road.

Who am I mad at? Am I really mad at the driver in front of me? Or am I mad at myself for having such inner stress that I can't take a simple trip to the mall without being overcome by its innate disorder and chaos?

There's no peace in being a person driven by a need for order. Order... balance... justice... whatever. And I'm not quite sure that either the productivity or the self-satisfaction yielded by such a drive is enough to compensate for how cumbersome it can be on the things that don't really matter.

I still straighten hangers at stores. while shopping.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

home is where the mattress is

I came home from "home" this morning.

When I was with my friends and family, it seemed like I had never left Ohio. Walking around Easton with Beth was just like it had been the last time we walked around Easton. Lunch with Mary and dinner with Tami gave the same satisfaction it did back when I lived in Columbus. And, as usual, I didn't want to leave town to come back when I had to. But the minute I stepped into the Richmond airport, I was quite comfortable with being back here.

It's nice that it isn't a big ordeal, going back and forth from "home." I do entertain the thought of staying here after my fellowship is over (although I would not stay here long-term unless I had a very good reason-- I currently do not have one). I think it would be relatively easy to live here and still keep Ohio in my life.

Of course, I miss living life with my friends. But that may be a cost I should consider paying one day, because I have to go where the future is.

I still worry about what my decisions will do to the people who hope I'll do one thing or another. Honestly, sometimes all I want is for everybody to be happy (with me?). I know what a stupid thing that is to hope for, because it'll never happen. And I know that's not the point of making decisions about your own life. But I feel bad when people are disappointed, whether it was something I could have helped or not.

I spend a lot of time feeling bad about everything. I feel bad that people do asinine things to people who don't deserve such treatment. I feel bad that, half the time, I'm the one doing (saying) asinine things to the people who don't deserve it. I feel bad that the things we love can't stay the same and the things we hate, we can't make go away. I feel bad that it's just impossible to make people happy-- really happy-- with light entertainment and pop culture references.

I'd like it if the guilt complex could go away. Simple logic has, to date, not been enough to do so.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Why the makeover?

A lot of changes--major changes-- have happened in the past few months. As a result of the ol' changing of the life seasons, my personal life has taken a nosedive. And what is the appropriate response when one's personal life takes a nosedive? One blogs.

Yesterday we had to put down our dog, Abby. We had her for 15 and a half years. It hurts a lot to know she's really gone now, but in a way I feel it's symbolic of a lot of old things wrapping up in my life.

When I was in my early college years, Abby was starting to get older and slower, and I was afraid of her dying at any given time. I made her promise she wouldn't pass away until I had found a nice boy to settle down with. Because, I mean, how could I make it in life without my trusty dog unless I had found someone else who could be comparably trusty?

Last month (when I came home for a friend's wedding, actually) I had to release her from our pact. Not that she had ever verbally agreed to stave off death until I held up my end of the deal, but she sure did hang on to life for a suspiciously long amount of time. I wondered if perhaps I had been unfair in expecting her to live forever-- or at least until *I* was ready to live without her.

Anyway, things in life often don't turn out the way we'd like. That fact becomes a little more real to me every day.

And it leads me to suspect-- maybe I've been living in the past. Or at least holding on to it for an inappropriately long amount of time. I think I have to grow up a little more. Again.

I wish everything were funny again.

But-- while the lack of bright, distinct humor and levity certainly makes an impact on life, it does not ruin it! There IS more to write about. There IS more to discover and discuss. There has to be. And I want to find these things that are worth being found. And maybe-- maybe--write about them.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

New blog, new you

Welcome to the weblog re-launch. It's like a lame party thrown by your neighbors-- you're not that sure you want to go, but you'll feel bad if you don't at least stop by.

Follow me in my new, wacky, Viriginia-flavored misadventures.

What's nice is that everyone can leave comments, or so I understand (but that doesn't mean they will).

This blog is a continuation of my xanga blog that, I feel, has jumped the shark. So let's look at this new blog as a sort of "cousin oliver" addition... or maybe a switch to a new network to raise the Nielsen ratings.