Saturday, October 30, 2010

be my thrill

Tonight I had to choose between this

and this

I should clarify. I wasn't going to fight club, I was going to the annual Halloween multi-stake dance as one of the Jane Austen Fight Club girls (or, alternatively, Relief Society Fight Club). And I wasn't going to be a Muppet. I was going to the Weepies concert.

It's probably not really a surprise that the Weepies concert won. I had bought my ticket in August, the venue is a five-minute walk from my apartment, and it was the Weepies.

They were awesome. Better than awesome. Best concert ever. Ever. I had paid for a reserved seat at a table in this tiny venue, so I was thisclose. My friend Dani came with because she's awesome. (Awesome being the appropriate adjective for such a night.) They sound just as good or maybe a little better live. And they're the cutest couple. That's right. I, cranky-pants McGee, just declared someone the cutest couple. Ever. And if you ever call me cranky-pants McGee, I'll hurt you.

There were two things I really loved tonight, other than the music. One was that there was just the right mix of performing songs and talking to the audience. Poets and other writers could learn a lesson from musicians, or at least these musicians. If the audience wanted to hear your poems, they could read them out loud. Of course there's the added benefit of hearing the poem the way the poet hears the poem, but really the audience wants a little more than they can get from just reading the book. They want to feel as if they know the poet, know the poem, a little more from the reading. And by "them," I mean "me." So listen up, poets of the world. Give me what I want.

The second thing I loved tonight was an example of the first thing. The Weepies are Deb Talan and Steve Tannen, and they're married. (This is important for the next part.) Steve shared the story behind the title track of their newest album, "Be My Thrill." They had a fight, and he was mad, and he wrote a song. He took it to Deb, and said, "This is an angry song," and played it for her. She listened, and then said, "That's not an angry song, it's a love song." She took his angry song and made it a love song. "And that's marriage, guys," said Steve.

I love this story. And I'm a little embarrased that I love it. If you're reading this blog, you probably know that I have a little minor obsession with marriage and weddings. (The stack of wedding magazines at the foot of my bed might dispute just how little that obsession is.) I've never felt that I had the right to think about relationships and marriage and love as much as I do--as much as I want those things, I'm not sure that I'm the type of person who has those in their life. But tonight's concert was about love and respect as much as it was about music (and making money from the second round of people crammed into that room). It was beautiful and fascinating and I have a new favorite song.

Friday, October 29, 2010

good morning

sometimes I come home from work and I'm tired and I just want to not think. I watch an episode or two or three of a show that entertains and nothing else. I eat dinner, which is the most thinking I do for a few hours. I sequester myself in silence and artificial life. and then I slowly emerge from the break I've given myself. I want to do things, I want to talk to people, I want to be brilliant again. the only problem is that this usually happens close to the world's bedtime. I'm not going to pick up the phone. I lurk online--gmail, facebook--hoping someone will say hi. I never say hi first. because you might be just about to sign off.


I just realized that my iTunes, which has been shuffling for hours, has played "Elephant Love Medley" more than twice tonight. This can't be a good sign.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I didn't fall in a ditch

My friend Lindsy taught GD this Sunday. She mentioned a "grateful" journal she kept on her mission, and that "I'm grateful I didn't fall in a ditch" was a frequent entry.


I didn't fall in a ditch today. I did wait for the bus this morning for close to 40 minutes in crazy wind. I spent my morning prepping for a meeting that was cancelled. I was stranded hosting a going-away party for a man who didn't want a party. But there are things to be grateful for. When the bus came, it was close to empty which means I got to sit on the 10-minute ride to campus. The wind made everyone look a little disheveled today, so no one noticed that I didn't really get ready this morning. Prepping for the meeting led me to the solution to a problem that has been haunting me since July. And there was cake. Chocolate cake.

And I didn't fall in a ditch.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


I may have said that sometimes it's hard to go to church. While I was at church. Standing at the "pulpit".

"Pulpit" is in quotations because our branch has moved to an elementary school, so the pulpit is more a lectern-type stand in the auditorium. I find it oddly refreshing, although the missionaries seem a little weirded out by not being in a traditional building.

This is not what this post is about. And my last post, about being stuck, wasn't actually meant to be about work. It was meant to be about writing. This post too. I just get so distracted by everything--work, church, social situations--that writing becomes more and more difficult to concentrate on.

Right now I should be writing a poem. About red and names and maybe God, man's relationship to.

I just read the title of this post and remembered what I logged on to write about. Honesty. And about sometimes being too honest. Where do you draw the line? How much do you tell someone? In this case, there is a specific Someone who I told many things to and who repeatedly complimented me on my honesty, saying it was appreciated. But did that Someone deserve my honesty? And was I dishonest when I didn't tell this Someone Everything? (The caps are getting to be a bit Salinger-esque. Not really.)

I'm not saying that I would have lied to this person. Or to any person. I just don't seem to have that filter that stops me from oversharing--that's what I mean by too honest. How much of my personal experience do I need to share with people for them to feel that I'm being open and honest? Is honest even the right word to describe what I'm talking about? I'm not sure.

After I told this Someone somethings about myself, I realized that I had left something out--maybe subconsciously, but maybe a little on purpose. And I know I'm being vague here. Because right now I'm embarrassed about opening up that much to Someone who isn't a close friend or a therapist. But it's made me thing about what I choose to share and what I keep to myself.

You know what? I think I have a poem to write now. See you later.


Saturday, October 09, 2010

is so completely stuck

My life has been reduced to a series of Facebook status updates.
  • Editorgirl is having an "I hate numbers" kind of day.
  • New personal rule: no talking to engineers in elevators.
  • GRE word of the day: Help.
  • deciding just how nice I'm going to be today.
With the exception of the GRE, they're all about work. I've been overwhelmed lately, and nothing seems to work. I even tried to run away to Utah for a weekend--which was lovely--but I seem to be stuck in a land of numbers and policy and things that in my head really don't matter. Even though I know they do.

I keep trying to figure out what I'm doing, why I'm doing this job. I thought I was going to be writing or editing or teaching or something having to do with degrees in writing, editing, and reading. Instead I'm going line by line through expense reports, pounding the hell out of my 10-keypad.

I tell myself it's temporary. Actually, I tell everyone it's temporary. Nine months and I'll have masters degree number two, and maybe a spot at a PhD program. If that PhD doesn't happen this year, I'm going to start looking internally for a position that fits me better.

Does this sound like I'm not grateful? I am. I know how lucky I am to have a job, one with benefits, one that lets me eat while I study poetry. I like the people I work with, I like that I still get to work for the university, and it's really not all that bad. I'm just stuck right now. Not so much with work, but with everything else, and work is the easiest thing to point my finger at and say "See. I'm not crazy."

I am crazy. But you knew that was coming.

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