Category: Nonsense

Procrastinators, unite

A+ to this blog, wherein the writer details bits of her life that happen while she’s *not* doing what she’s supposed to be doing. The task-to-be-procrastinated-upon is the turning of her dissertation into a book. While part of me would like to snap a whip at her so that she can get it done (so that I can therefore in turn buy, submit for her autograph, and then read it), part of me is thrilled with the happy at the concept of seeing how someone else goes upon her own version of procrastination.

So, once more, in case you procrastinated on reading it the first time, here’s a link that you should click.

On Bin Laden’s Death

What follows is a collection of random thoughts about Bin Laden’s death, in hopes that I can finally turn them off long enough to get some sleep.

I feel strange, but not alone, that my first coherent thought after hearing about Bin Laden’s death was to wonder how much it would help Obama’s re-election chances. I say first coherent thought because my first-first thought was something along the lines of HOLYSHITBALLS.

I’ve seen a bunch of footage of people celebrating in the streets of Manhattan and DC, and a bunch of people on the internet get pissy with those people. I figure the internet-pissy people can shove off for a while. Yes, it’s tasteless to celebrate someone’s death. At the same time, I don’t know that I believe that the people in the streets are celebrating so much as mourning in a particular way – not mourning Bin Laden’s death (that, I think, is probably difficult for the best of the best of us), but mourning the people who lost their lives because of Bin Laden’s actions, and because the events today brought all those feelings up again. I hope Bin Laden’s death (I am getting tired of typing that phrase) will give some people a better sense of closure than they’ve ever been able to have post-9/11. And, well, I hope they can sleep a bit better now.

I feel fairly disgusted that, as according to this Reuters Business article, oil has already dropped and the dollar has already risen based on the news – like if I needed any more proof that our whole economy is a collection of smoke and mirrors, this sealed it.

I remember driving by Ground Zero a month or so before Brownie and I moved out to KS. We saw it at night, two giant holes in the ground surrounded by fences with bits of flag and flowers and tiny memorials, all brightly lit by harsh construction lighting. It felt haunted. I can’t imagine living, seeing that every day, and not feeling at least some measure of grim satisfaction knowing that the guy who started the whole thing is finally dead.

I wonder, now that Bin Laden is dead, who the History Channel will use for the role of “Third Antichrist” in their documentaries about Nostradamus and whomever else. The triumvirate has been Napoleon/Hitler/Bin Laden for so long, I can’t quite picture it being anyone else. I imagine the writing staff there is going to be busy.

And not finally, but maybe finally for the moment, I can’t feel happy myself that he’s dead. But I’m emphatically not sad about it either. I don’t know how to feel – his death feels completely abstract to me, but it’s abstract in a way that I’m processing emotionally more than logically. At the same time, the emotions aren’t settling into anything identifiable. So I feel like I’m spinning, and it’s frustrating.

With that, I’ll attempt some sleep. My sincere and heartfelt thanks to the troops who do their jobs so well.

ETA: One more thought: it is repulsive that “Jack Bauer” is trending on twitter right now. Seriously, people, this shit isn’t a television show. Although, as Simon Pegg pointed out (also on twitter), some of the more excitable parts of the media are acting like we just won a particularly difficult video game.

Handstands at 31

Yesterday I did a handstand at work and it was awesome.

The handstand was because I had just written up a review for New Belgium’s Somersault, and the owner decided we should try to get a picture of me doing a somersault to go with the review. The thing is, though, if you’ve ever seen a somersault in action, then you know it’s not a photogenic position. So I didn’t want to do that. I did think I could maybe work with the upside down idea, however, which is how I ended up doing a handstand over a case of beer, my feet up against the cooler doors for balance, my hair pooling on top of the beer.

I hadn’t done a handstand in something like 20 years and wasn’t sure I was going to pull one off without falling on my head. At the same time, I do work out a lot, I do still have good balance, lots of upper body strength, that sort of thing. So I tried it. And I got up. Four times.

Upshot: I feel oddly kickass about myself right now, like I could do anything, simply because I could do a handstand yesterday. It’s funny what raises my self-esteem.

Right. So last night, I got to playing around on iTunes (for reasons which are beyond me because I really shouldn’t be playing around on iTunes until I get my paycheck deposited – due to the stupidest ATM on the planet, I am unable to do so until Monday). Last night, however, complete and total lack of fundage to play did not deter me from playing on iTunes (merely from purchasing). I think iTunes needs a wishlist/bookmark feature, seriously. If it has one and someone could point me in that direction, that would be fabulous.

The upshot of my playing is that I now have a list of something like 10 albums I’d like to download, some of which are Beirut (see my accordians post from a week ago), others of which are by Scottish bands whose singers have accents so thick that I can barely understand what they’re singing half the time (which may actually be part of the charm).

So, in hopes of being not the only person stateside who has ever heard of these two bands, go find The Twilight Sad and  Frightened Rabbit. Frightened Rabbit has an album called the Winter of Mixed Drinks. I mean. Whoever titled that deserves a million dollars and a pony.* Also, brilliant lyrics. The Twilight Sad mostly makes upset, angsty walls of noise (i.e., they’re shoegazers). Which, again, million dollars and a pony. Or at least a thank you for taking the parts of Sonic Youth I’ve always liked while dumping the bits I wasn’t so fond of.**

Bonus points: the Twilight Sad station on Pandora has already played Pavement and Morrissey.

Anyway, so that’s what I’ve been doing when I haven’t been at work or writing. I’ve mostly been at work.

*or maybe not a pony. I’m not sure if a pony would fit into a mixed drinks sort of lifestyle.
**Admittedly, Sonic Youth is a better band overall. That said, I’m not excited about Sonic Youth right now, and I *am* excited about The Twilight Sad.

This is for everyone

This is a video of a wee tiny penguin. The Amazing Dr. B (or her equally amazing husband) found it:

You’re welcome.

I’ve very recently become sort of obsessed with the accordion.

Unironically, even. Seriously, I like it. And this disturbs me, because accordion is not my usual soundtrack of angst-ridden guitar- and piano-laden lo-fi post-punk alternative-folk-rock-pop.* It’s not even that I refuse to venture outside my standard musical parameters,** it’s just that I very rarely see any reason to bother. I don’t often get to choose my soundtrack any more, so when I do, I’m going with something I like.

The reason I’m not in total control of my soundtrack is because of work. If you were following along during the holiday season, you may know I work in retail. You may even know that I’m one of the lucky retail types, in that I don’t hate my job. I actually shamelessly love most of it.

I don’t love the music.

The music at work is generally Variations On a Theme of Smooth Jazz, also known as Jazz of the Type Wherein Every Song Is Named “This Was For a Paycheck.” It’s that hideous, random, nonsensical and emotionless sort of jazz, the type piped in overhead in order to make sure it isn’t completely silent in the store.*** It’s the type of music so awful that the occasional wine rep will come in and, on a slow day, ask me how I can stand it. I can’t. That conversation is usually a short one.

The thing is, everyone at work except the store owner hates the Smooth Jazz. It even came up at our most recent staff meeting, the general grumbling being such that the manager finally told us we could listen to Not-Smooth Jazz when the owner wasn’t around, so long as Not-Smooth Jazz was free of swear words, not too loud, and not distracting to the customers. Since then, we’ve listened mostly to Smooth Jazz, Contemporary Piano (read: elevator music), Blues, and, very occasionally, Classic Rock.  And sometimes, if I get lucky and no one else is around who cares, Folk Rock or “Coffeehouse Blend.”+

What I’ve discovered in the past month is that, so long as we’re not listening to Smooth Jazz, I pretty much adore whatever it is we *are* listening to. This is where the accordion comes in.

See, one day recently we put on some kind of film score station. We spent the afternoon happily stocking bottles and playing “name that film” and generally having a whee of a good time. The station was fun – it was playing everything from Forrest Gump to Lonesome Dove to the Godfather and beyond. And then it threw in the accordion waltz from Amelie, a piece of music I’ve always loved because I feel like it catches the whole tone of the film perfectly. Plus, I adore that film.

So I think those are the first two causes of the accordion thing: being so sick of Smooth Jazz as to glomb onto anything else, and hearing a piece of accordion music that I already liked due to happy associations.

Then, last Monday, I was standing behind the counter psyching myself up to gather the trash, when this song, Mount Wroclai (Idle Days) by Beirut, came on the Folk Rock station I’d managed to turn on. I was listening, thinking that I sort of liked it, when a customer came in. She made it three steps in the door when her eyes went wide and she asked me if we were listening to my iPod or radio. When I told her it was radio, she asked me if I liked the song. I told her I thought I sort of did. This was enough for her to tell me who the band was, that she adored them, and that she’d bought herself an accordion on eBay++ in hopes of learning how to play most of Beirut’s back catalog of songs. Then she paid for her wine and left. I listened to the last minute or so of the song, thinking that, all told, I did rather like it. The accordion line was nice.

When I got home, I listened to the song again.  And then downloaded it. And then downloaded more Beirut. And then set up a Beirut station on Pandora. And then listened to nothing else.

Translation: in the past 72 hours, I’ve heard a fuckton of accordion. And I like it. A LOT.

Moral of the story: if you want to break someone with extremely narrow music taste, make them listen to 30 hours+ a week worth of Smooth Jazz. Eventually they’ll learn to like ANYTHING else.

Finally: too much retail does weird things to a person.


*translate this to “Radiohead” and “bands that sort of try to sound like Radiohead, or at least count Radiohead among their biggest influences”

**which could probably also be described as “narrow” or “pretentious”

***We’ve had silence in there before – it’s honestly preferable to the Smooth Jazz, although I think the silence may be a bit awkward for the customers. It does get loud, the silence.

+Where the hell do they come up with these names?

++When the next generation of kids gets to school and is incapable of dealing with capitalization rules, I figure we have things like iPods and iPads and eBay to blame. Honestly, what the hell is up with brands that have to make their second letter, rather than their first, the capital letter?

Dude. ‘Sup.

So, like, I just realized how long it’s been since I posted, and, um, I promise I’m not dead. I’m exhausted, but I’m not dead.

Mostly what’s happened is that I’ve been pretty much making good on the idea of making myself write a bunch during Lent (in hopes of making this into a for-realzy daily habit), and in making myself write a bunch, I’ve (ironically, I suppose) not been writing here. This sort of does make sense – this is my procrastination blog, after all, and I really haven’ t  been procrastinating much.

My other problem is that I’ve been working more (which isn’t really that much of a problem, given it gives me a bit more money to play with), and so I flat haven’t had as much time for anything. I feel like I’m something like three weeks behind on my online life, like I need to blog more (especially on the alcohol blog), catch up on my comic reading, and spend a bit more time with my internet friends. At the moment, however, no can do. Too many nights spent working until 11 (like four per week)(seriously, I like my job, but that’s a fuckton of working really damn late).

So anyway, yeah. That’s where I’ve been. When I’m coherent and not thinking MUST WRITE NOVEL STUFF NOW, I’ll dig up the brand-spanking new teaser trailer for the Three Musketeers for y’all. I haven’t seen it yet, and therefore promise to hold off until I can spew my reaction here.


Some timewasters for you

This tumblr was recently pointed out to me: hungover owls. This blog continually cracks my shit up, but I don’t think the pictures are funny. The whole thing is funny solely because of the blog title. As a note to writers/me: titles are important. I hate titling my work – it never feels catchy or clever enough. I love hungover owls because it reminds me why I need to keep working on titles: when it’s right, it’s really, really right.

The other website recently brought to my attention is Catalog Living, a delightful little site which uses pictures from catalogs to tell the life and home story of Gary and Elaine. It’s excellent. Plus the catalog pictures remind me of Fight Club. There are some truly bizarre objects out there being offered for our conspicuous consumption.

As for me, I’m finally all set to get back into serious business writing mode, having spent the past few days setting up my new wine-and-beer-amalgamation blog, Feel free to drop by! I’ll be posting all of my reviews there, and I’ll keep up my ADHD-fueled writerly nonsense here.

On Being a Not-Morning Person

I am currently sitting at a Panera, waiting to go to work in another hour (work being further down the strip mall). My coffee has cooled to the point it’s *almost* drinkable, which should do something to indicate how long I’ve been here.

The place is fairly full – there are at least as many occupied tables as there are not, and there’s a steady stream of customers coming in the faraway door (which I am hiding from, because people, it is 4 degrees outside). Everyone here seems happy and genial and like they’re functioning perfectly fine.

I hate all of them.

It’s not anything personal, mind you. It’s merely that it’s 7:55am, I’ve been here for 20 minutes, I’m bleary, and they’re all chipper. Not to be too stereotypical about it, but morning people piss me off.

It’s not their fault. I know this. Given I am doing this bitching at pretty much 8am, I know that most people are functioning perfectly fine by now and the morning-hating issue is on me more than them. I also know that later at night, say 1am, I will be wide awake and perfectly functional, and they will be wasting precious nighttime hours sleeping.

Part of my problem today is sleep-deprivation. It is my choice to have gone to bed at 2am in full knowledge that I would have to be out the door by 7:15. That said, when I did finally go to bed, I wasn’t tired. I had stopped writing for the evening and was reading* in a fruitless attempt to make myself tired. So when I stare groggily at the chipper morning-lovers around me, it is part in frustrated sleepiness, knowing that they don’t share my desire to faceplant into a pillow for another 4 hours.

I’m jealous. I tried for a solid year (2003-4: The Year I Tried To Be An Motherfucking Adult) to turn myself into a morning person, to get up by 7 when I had no reason to and function just as well as my morning person then-partner could. I would have figured that getting up at 7 every day and going to bed by 11 every night with few exceptions would have been enough to shift my circadian rhythms into the sort of cycle that is shared by chipper morning people everywhere.

Every night was the same. We’d go to bed. He’d fall asleep within a few minutes. I would lie there, growing steadily more awake by the moment, brain fizzing and spinning and popping, until I’d finally manage to pass out from sheer frustration around 1:30. Then I’d drag my sorrowful ass out of bed at 7 am, hoping that my lack of restful sleep would be enough to propel me into sleepiness earlier at night.

It never happened.

So here I am, 2 weeks before my 31st birthday, staring sleepily at my laptop screen, waiting to go to an uncharacteristically early shift at work, waiting for my coffee to kick in, wondering if I’ll ever be functional at a time when most normal adults have been at their jobs for 20 minutes, wondering if I’ll ever be a motherfucking adult.

Or maybe I’ll figure out at some point that being a night owl does not necessarily mean I’m somehow an over-old adolescent. If I come to that conclusion, it will probably be because future best-selling novel 😀 will have been written nightly between the hours of 11pm-3am, and my inability to sleep at normal person hours will have been justified.

Until then, I’ll settle for trying to convince myself that everyone else’s generic cheeriness is not meant to be an assault. They’re enjoying their mornings. 16 hours from now, they’ll be enjoying their pillows, and I will be writing.


*I was reading The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary Pearson, which is not at all (as I had initially assumed) about the popular girl at high school whom everyone loves to hate. Unexpected YASciFi FTW, yo.

One more post today

because I am obviously not getting much writing done, having used my snow day to do fuckall…

A week or two ago, I thought the picture in this post looked like quite a bit of snow.

I know that was wrong, because of the picture from earlier today in this post.

Also, the blizzard broke Wrigley field.

Tomorrow, I am going to write if it kills me. It’s not like I’ll be going anywhere.

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