January 2009 is officially the first month since we got married that Aaron and I have stayed within the budget we made. Woooooohoooo! That is of course if we don’t spend more than $19 tomorrow, the 31st and final day of January. But we’ll just pretend like tomorrow is February. It’s short a few days anyways.
Listening to Dean Westman’s nasally midwestern accented voice brought it all rushing back.
The nights crammed on school buses, wreaking of sweat and shrieking “but you say he’s just a friend” as we pulled into the high school parking lot. Dragging ice-filled water bottles and dorky clarinet cases to school every day and learning to feel no shame for the social branding. Standing for hours in the heat. Marching for hours in the heat. Mentally plotting self-inflicted injuries in the heat. So I wouldn’t have to march. So I wouldn’t have to work so hard.
But I put myself through the pain because the joy of music is like nothing else. The ecstasy of art, and the pounds of flesh paid to create it. Nothing else taught in school can compare. Math has concrete, finite answers. History is only the practice of regurgitating memories with accuracy. Music has no finite goals. It challenges you to never stop. To try and try knowing there will never be a point where you say this is “good enough”. Because knowing there is no set answer, no end point, drives you to perform far past any potential you thought you had. Holds you accountable to every other musician working towards that unattainable goal, sucks you in to those rare moments of being a part of something bigger.
It’s occurred to me recently that as far as television programming goes, I watch the absolute worst garbage available. Most people use the common mainstays of shows such as Lost or Heroes or heaven forbid Dancing with the Stars to bond with people they don’t know so well.
I don’t watch any of them. I like my TV savory, salacious and generally demeaning to as many groups of people as possible.
Shows you can use to strike up a conversation with me:
How Clean is Your House
Brothers and Sisters
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
The Hills/The City
TLC Shows on Obesity
TLC Shows on Beauty Pageant Moms, IE Toddlers & Tiaras
There are worse things out there, I’ll admit. And every now and then I’ll dabble in a little Surreal Life marathon or some COPS with Aaron, but for the most part I do have a crap threshold. But the point I am quickly digressing from is this: I watch some crap and now I’d like to comment to someone, ANYone who watches the same shows I do about the atrocities I have witnessed.
1. The Bachelor. I’m a big Johnny Come Lately on this show as I only picked it up last season with what’s her name and the guy who has a kid, but I’m completely hooked. One could assume that women could not sink much lower on The Bachelor. Twenty-five women vying for such a hot commodity as a successful, attractive, reasonably sane man is sending a pretty clear message of inferiority and desperation. But this year, we’ve decided “we’ll take worse!”. “I’m willing to be a baby’s mama too if I can still have the successful, attractive, reasonably sane part”. So demeaning. And I know they think this is all progressive and blah blah blah but the truth is that we all know if this were a bachelorette with a kid a whole lot less men would be trying to get on TV and win her over.
2. Toddlers & Tiaras. This is the sole reason why I wished more people watched the same shows I do. Because, really, there are no words.
3. How Clean is Your House is genius. I’ve learned so many things from those awesome, crazy-ass British ladies who insist on not only witnessing, but sniffing and sampling everything foul in every house they encounter.
a) Soda is corosive enough to remove limescale from toilets.
b) Banana peels can be used to polish shoes
c) Coffee makes a great polish and stain for old wood furniture
d) If anything smells weird, pour some vinegar on it.
e) feather boa-lined rubber gloves really spice up any occasion where you are “getting the nasties out”
I like to make mental lists and run them in my head often and with an OCD type fervor. If I can’t remember things, I am irked.
Current List: Every Concert I Have Ever Been To, In Chronological Order
1. Reba McEntire, First concert ever at Rodeo with Allison and my parents
2. Amy Grant Christmas (I believe Vince Gill was there too?) Nicole, me, and our moms
3. Backstreet Boys, Katheryn Draper’s B-day in elementary school
4. Shania Twain, Chelsea, Nicole, Ashley List, me and a limo. Has to be the weirdest group ever.
5. 98 Degrees, Nicole, Rodeo, Don’t ask.
6. Dixie Chicks, Rodeo, Can’t remember?
7. Jars of Clay, Astroworld with Lizz and Allison
8. N’Sync, Chelsea and me, seventh row
9. Pat Green, Rodeo with the Pinky Pals
10. Death Cab for Cutie, Thida and Punag?
11. Green Day/ Jimmy Eat World, Thida at Reliant
12. The Used, roommates and various drinking buddies from Texas State, at Stubb’s
14. Dave Matthews Band, Chelsea in the Woodlands
15. Billy Idol, at Stubb’s with Marton
16. The Rocket Summer, Emo’s with Marton
17. Jimmy Eat World, Chelsea at Emo’s
18. Dixie Chicks, Allison at Erwin Center
19. Britney Spears (March 30, 2009) with Nicole, Kristen and Emily!
The fact that there are ones I can’t remember drives me nuts (even more than the fact of how horrible and embarrassing many of these are). Even more so, I’m starting to doubt I ever saw the Dixie Chicks at the rodeo. Maybe I imagined it. Maybe I just wished I had and saw them on TV enough to believe it happened. There is nothing more unsettling than a faulty memory.
An editorial attributed to the London Daily Mail on Obama’s Victory
A victory for the hysterical Oprah Winfrey, the mad racist preacher Jeremiah Wright, the mainstream media who abandoned any sense of objectivity long ago, Europeans who despise America largely because they depend on her, comics who claim to be dangerous and fearless but would not dare attack genuinely powerful special interest groups. A victory for Obama-worshippers everywhere. A victory for the cult of the cult. A man who has done little with his life but has written about his achievements as if he had found the cure for cancer in between winning a marathon and building a nuclear reactor with his teeth. Victory for style over substance, hyperbole over history, rabble-raising over reality.
A victory for Hollywood, the most dysfunctional community in the world. Victory for Streisand, Spielberg, Soros and Sarandon. Victory for those who prefer welfare to will and interference to independence. For those who settle for group think and herd mentality rather than those who fight for individual initiative and the right to be out of step with meager political fashion.
Victory for a man who is no friend of freedom. He and his people have already stated that media has to be controlled so as to be balanced, without realizing the extraordinary irony within that statement. Like most liberal zealots, the Obama worshippers constantly speak of Fox and Limbaugh, when the vast bulk of television stations and newspapers are drastically liberal and anti-conservative. Senior Democrat Chuck Schumer said that just as pornography should be censored, so should talk radio. In other words, one of the few free and open means of popular expression may well be cornered and beaten by bullies who even in triumph cannot tolerate any criticism and opposition.
A victory for those who believe the state is better qualified to raise children than the family, for those who prefer teachers’ unions to teaching and for those who are naively convinced that if the West is sufficiently weak towards its enemies, war and terror will dissolve as quickly as the tears on the face of a leftist celebrity.
A victory for social democracy even after most of Europe has come to the painful conclusion that social democracy leads to mediocrity, failure, unemployment, inflation, higher taxes and economic stagnation. A victory for intrusive lawyers, banal sentimentalists, social extremists and urban snobs.
* * *
My dad just sent me this, citing the highlighted portions as examples of his difference in political orientation and sources of “grave concern” (I think he is afraid he may have lost me to the liberals). I told him I would call this article strands of truth among dark, heavy clouds of pessimism.
Isn’t there something to be said for self-fulfilling prophecy? Isn’t Hope the point? Aren’t we to visualize success? If the renewal of our country is truly dependent on the effort of many versus the few, aren’t we to believe that a man capable of inspiring action is more capable of creating the change than someone qualified to create change all on his own?
I like to think of Obama as the new FDR. Stepping in in times of crisis and taking decisive action. Creating programs, getting the wheels moving. Building bridges, rebuilding America. Celebrity love of liberalism and celebrity status of Obama meant little to me when I voted. If it really meant that much to others, we were already doomed before the vote was ever counted.
In doing some work-related research on movie release dates, I came upon a very exciting discovery- the book Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs will be made into a movie that is set to release September 18, 2009!
Does anyone else remember the spectacular brilliance of this “children’s” book? It’s dark in a way few children’s books are, and while I had hoped for that artistic brilliance to carry over to film, this Wiki entry citing Anna Fariss as a co-star and describing the movie as a “parody” of other disaster films such as Armaggeddon and The Day After Tomorrow leaves me less hopeful.
Although I feel the same way about seeing animated movies in a theater without having kids as I do about planning trips to Disney World without kids (sorry Katie) I might actually fork over the money. Or not. $10.50 is a hell of a lot to pay if they are going to turn such a foreboding masterpiece into a campy, goofy parody where Anna Fariss runs around as if in House Bunny 2.
Having one of those days where I don’t like normal. I feel defeated by the real world. Feel constrained to a nine to five existence. Constrained to remain exactly who I am, rinsing and repeating. Weekends are for that- rinsing the brain, washing the laundry. Starting all over again with the same old things.
I’ve been a been advocate of Twitter these days, mostly because I feel like it fills in the gaps for when I don’t have time to blog. When I don’t have the mental energy to compose my thoughts.
I’ve been wondering what I would use to fill the void left by election drama. Been reading a lot of CNN.com. Very unusual behavior, I know. In all that feigned interest in the “grown up” news I managed to stumble onto something miraculously horrible.
I curse the person that planted the idea in my head that how you spend the first few hours of the new year determines the rest of your year. I remember them emphasizing how I should do something fun, something amazing. As if there wasn’t enough pressure already.