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logic will break your heart

Oh Internets... why are the people we like and the people we're attracted to not always the same people? Furthermore, why we must be subject to silly things like logic and reason and morality when it comes to affairs of the heart? And dammit, since turning 30, how do i keep managing to attract 23 olds?

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Another meme for the kids of the Reagan era...


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So it all started back in 96… but lets jump back even a tiny bit further to begin. I was the anti-smoking poster girl. Actually, I was pretty much the anti-everything poster girl. I was so good it hurt. I was vice-free. Well… except for boys. I've always been a sucker for their floppy-haired nonsense. But even with boys… I was a good girl. (OK, maybe a good girl with a bad reputation, but it was wholly undeserved!) I didn't drink. I didn't smoke. I didn't have sex. I went to church every Sunday. I was a freakin' ANGEL. And then I fell ;) But the moral of this back-story is that I was about as anti-smoking as they come, and probably pretty obnoxious about it.

I coughed and rolled my eyes at relatives who smoked. I was horrified when a few of my girlfriends lit up at the bars after Prom. When I got to college I nagged all my Freshmen friends about the dangers and horrors of smoking. I was relentless. And then, one evening at the legendary O'Briens, about 4 Alabama Slammers in, Michelle Sullivan whipped out a pack of Djarum Reds. And hers smelled sooo good, that when she offered me one – I took it. And the I proceeded to shock the hell out of her (and me) by lighting it, smoking it (although truth be told I mustn't have been inhaling because I didn't erupt instantaneously into a fit of coughing), and loooving it. I mean FUCK. With sugar dipped filters and that heavenly spiced aroma – how was I not going to love it? And so I had another. And another. Only at O'Briens, only with Michelle, but all winter break, there were delicious, delicious cloves.

Spring semester came & went with nary a puff, but oh the memory of those cloves was already etched upon my pliable teenage brain. So when summer rolled around and we were back at O'Brien's and "oh the horror!" OUT of cloves… it wasn't that huge of a leap for me to try my first Parliament Menthol Light. I don't even think I liked it. But it was minty, and made my head tingle, and it stuck. Even then, all summer long it was nighttime smoking only. The thought of inhaling hot smoke on the beach made me wretch – why would anyone ever smoke in the day time!? Ew. But that summer was intense for oh so many reasons, and I used my new habit for all it was worth. I packed my Parliaments like a champ. Upon opening a fresh pack I ceremoniously flipped one over and stuck it back in the pack where it would stay, somehow infused with "luckiness", until it was rolling around by its lonesome in the box, waiting for me to close my eyes, make a wish, and light it. And then there was the "angst" of it all… My very first chain-smoke was straight out of freaking John Hughes movie (only with a slightly less discerning soundtrack). I sat outside my bedroom window on the sidewalk, back up against the stone wall, headphones on, discman on "repeat single" nursing my freshly bruised heart with cigarettes and (dear lord) Donna Lewis' I Love You, Always, Forever. Melodramatic much? ::sigh::

By the end of the summer, I'd come down with a nasty case of mono (good god, how humiliating to have to call every boy I'd kissed in August to warn them), and so I started Sophomore year with orders from the doc to not even think about alcohol until October. School felt like a prison sentence, but cigarettes were still a relatively occasional thing, until my "haven't kissed you yet because I'm contagious, but you're so about to be my boyfriend" threw an all-night kegger – and well, what's a girl to do when she can't drink or make-out? I'll tell you - she chain smokes THREE packs of Parliaments without batting an eyelash. And while I'm fairly sure I was ill the next morning, that was the lynch pin right THERE. I was a smoker. I smoked. At parties, between classes, before exams, after dinner, after sex – I smoked. And I loved it. When I moved off campus Junior year, I moved in with three other girls and the FIRST thing we bought for the house were ashtrays. (The cute old-school metal kind with plaid beanbags underneath so that you can sit them just about anywhere and they'd stay) And that, my friends, is when the cartons started. We were a 20 minute drive from the Delaware state line & the glorious, glorious "Discount Cigarette Outlet". Cartons were something ridiculous like $22 a pop. And I started smoking non-menthols, because we'd all buy "house cartons" to share. We'd get 100's or 120's and called them "Divas". We bought Audrey Hepburn-esque holders and chain-smoked through countless viewings of Breakfast at Tiffany's. My favorite cigarette of the day became the one I'd have sitting on the couch in my bathrobe after stepping out of my morning shower –it was absolutely magical. We smoked in house, we smoked on the stoop, we smoked in bed, we smoked on the boardwalk, we all switched over to Camels and collected our Joe Cool Cash to buy… more cigarettes. We smoked in a box, we smoked with a fox, and well, you get the picture.

Then I got my first car, and a new love affair was born. Summer, Winter, rain, snow… as long as I could have the radio blasting, and a cigarette dangling in my left hand, I was golden. I felt like Keroac, I felt like I could go anywhere. This. This was what freedom was all about. Even after moving home, and cutting waaay back on my daily nicotine intake, I always had a personal smoking lounge with wheels. And that's just the way it went for years. I smoked while I was driving. I smoked at shows. Then (damn you Bloomberg!) I smoked outside shows. I made friends; I met boys, yummy boys who tasted like nicotine. And it was good. Until it wasn't. 8 years later, when I had given up my car and cut back on the shows by oh – 60%, I was down to about 2 cigarettes a day. Which was fine. Except that I'd still end up binging on them at parties and bars or whenever I was sad or stressed (or both). Oh, and they were still killing me. I found it easier and easier to go a day or two without so much as a drag. And one day, after smoking one sheerly out of habit, I realized, in disgust, that I was 30. I'd been smoking for nearly 12 years, and I wanted to quit. I never thought it would go on this long. I figured I'd grow up, get married, have kids, and basically just grow out of the habit. But smoking had become a crutch, an excuse, an addiction. I realized that I used cigarettes as a way to diffuse difficult conversations. They were a way of biting my tongue, of avoiding eye contact, of making those horribly pregnant pauses in conversation somehow seem less awkward. I was hiding behind a cloud of smoke. I had become a cliché. And so I said it out loud. I'd thought about quitting before; gone days, even a week here or there and thought, maybe that was my last pack. But I'd never announced it, never made it real. So I told my best smoking buddy, and he decided to quit with me. Then I started telling other friends that we were quitting. Then I told my parents (who practically leapt for joy) and so here I am - having finished the last of my New Year's pack, having purchased the "carpet bombing" of nicotine lozenges - 48 hours into my new life as a non-smoker, and it's really real. It's also really fucking weird.
But the lozenges are minty, and they make my head tingle, so I'm thinking… it just might stick.











memes make the world go round...

Instructions:

1. The first article title on the Wikipedia Random Articles page (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Random) is the name of your band.

2. The last four words of the very last quotation (or the whole quote if you like) on the Random Quotations page (http://www.quotationspage.com/random.php3) is the title of your album.

3. The third picture in Flickr's Interesting Photos From The Last 7 Days (http://www.flickr.com/explore/interesting/7days/) will be your album cover.

4. Use your graphics programme of choice to throw them together, and post the result.

Mine:

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2007 by Shows

Its like I did my shows this year on the foreman grill - you know, "cut the fat". All that was left was exactly what I wanted to see. Which means even though I only attended 41 shows (62 sets) I had at LEAST a 90% AWESOME rating. And I'd say that's way better than ever before.

Some notes:
* I refuse to call Irving Plaza anything other than Irving Plaza
* My Upwelling count was only 6 this year - but I think it's fair
to say they played way less locally (yay touring & record deal!!)
* Suckiest Sound Ever award goes to The Highline Ballroom
(for equal parts earsplitting volume and feedback!)
* Favorite show of the year goes to... Travis
(for putting on a most magically delicious show)

1/18 - The Upwelling
(Mercury Lounge)
1/25 - Morning Theft
(Mercury Lounge)
1/26 - Ted Leo / The Forms
(Northsix)
1/26 - Freezepop
(Galapagos)
2/27 - Sparklehorse
(SPINhouse Live)
3/7 - Stellastarr*
(Gramercy Theater)
3/12 - Youth Group / The Submarines
(Slim's - SanFrancisco, CA)
3/13 - The Upwelling / Third Eye Blind
(The Fillmore - SanFrancisco, CA)
3/14 - The Upwelling / Third Eye Blind
(The Fillmore - SanFrancisco, CA)
4/11 - The Feeling / Mat Kearney
(Webster Hall)
4/24 - The Upwelling / Third Eye Blind
(Nokia Theater)
4/27 - The Upwelling / Third Eye Blind
(Starland Ballroom - Sayreville, NJ)
5/7 - Arcade Fire
(Apollo Theater)
5/8 - The Upwelling / Third Eye Blind
(Mulcahey's - Wantagh, NY)
5/31 - The National
(Bowery Ballroom)
6/5 - Interpol
(Bowery Ballroom)
6/19 - The White Stripes / Citizen's Band
(Irving Plaza)
6/23 - Bling Kong / Ad Frank
(TT the Bear's - Cambridge, MA)
6/26 - Ryan Adams
(Hiro Ballroom)
7/2 - RUSH
(Jones' Beach)
7/15 - Travis
(Irving Plaza)
7/22 - Aimee Mann / Ron Sexsmith
(The Planting Fields Arboretum - Oyster Bay, NY)
8/9 - Daft Punk / The Rapture
(Keyspan Park - Coney Island, NY)
8/17 - The National / The Forms
(South Street Seaport)
8/22 - Indigo Girls / Girlyman
(The Planting Fields Arboretum - Oyster Bay, NY)
8/23 - Stellastarr*
(The Highline Ballroom)
8/25 - Counting Crows / Live
(Dutchess Stadium - Fishkill, NY)
9/7 - The Upwelling / All American Rejects
(The Hilton - Atlantic City, NJ)
9/9 - Farm Aid
. Willie Nelson / Neil Young / John Mellencamp /
. Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds /
. The Allman Brothers / Counting Crows / Guster
(Ichan Stadium - Randall's Island, NY)
9/12 - Morning Theft
(Luna Lounge - Williamsburg)
9/21 - Tragedy / Super Diamond
(Irving Plaza)
9/25 - Bat For Lashes
(Bowery Ballroom)
9/28 - Rilo Kiley / Jonathan Rice
(Webster Hall)
10/11 - Tori Amos
(Wamu Theater @ MSG)
10/30 - The Forms
(Cake Shop)
10/31 - Ryan Adams
(Hammerstein Ballroom)
10/31 - Apes & Androids
(Warehouse on Wythe - Williamsburg)
11/3 - Gogol Bordello
(Terminal 5)
11/17 - Against Me! (encore only)
(Terminal 5)
12/9 - Yo La Tengo / Redd Kross
(Maxwell's - Hoboken, NJ)
12/29 - The Forms
(Union Hall - Brooklyn, NY)

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An Ode to 2007...

or, you know, the yearly meme...

[1] what did you do in 2007 that you'd never done before?
go on a business trip, see San Fransisco

[2] did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don't do resolutions, but my motto for the year was "no bullshit in 07" and I think I stuck pretty well to that. And I'm quitting smoking in 08. I've had enough.

[3] did anyone close to you give birth?
no

[4] did anyone close to you die?
thankfully, no.

[5] what countries did you visit?
Actually, I stayed firmly within the borders of our nation this year.

[6] what would you like to have in 2008 that you lacked in 2007?
ha. Less chaos? A general plan for life? An actual boyfriend?

[7] what date(s) from 2006 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
April 17th – the flood
August 18th – My 30th Birthday Celebration


[8] what was your biggest achievement of the year?
surviving

[9] what was your biggest failure?
not actually subletting for the summer? Lucky for me I have kick ass friends.

[10] did you suffer any illness or injury?
stupid banana-peel upset has ended my year on an ouchy note with the sprained wrist, etc

[11] what was the best thing you bought?
my gorgeous gown for Audrey's wedding

[12] whose behavior merited celebration?
Audrey & Adam tying the knot, my family for pulling together, Jed & the Ingber-Stearns for their hospitality

[13] whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
esurance for screwing over my dad

[14] where did most of your money go?
California? Ha, and I suppose re-building my wardrobe...

[15] what did you get really, really, really excited about?
Going to Napa, the Upwelling getting signed.

[16] what song will always remind you of 2007?
The National – Mistaken for Strangers it just… fit this year somehow.

[17] compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder?
happier I think.

ii. thinner or fatter?
about the same

iii. richer or poorer?
richer

[18] what do you wish you'd done more of?
running. I kept getting derailed by completely unrelated injuries, but I was enjoying it.

[19] what do you wish you'd done less of?
living out of boxes

[20] how will you be spending Christmas?
I spent it with my family. Lots and lots of family :)

[22] did you fall in love in 2007?
no

[23] how many one-night stands?
zero

[24] what was your favorite TV program?
Friday Night Lights!

[25] do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
no. and I feel really good about that.

[26] what was your favorite book?
wow, I read SO much this year... I may have to give it to Harry Potter by default.
Otherwise – Pamela DeBarres' "Im With The Band". Loved it.


[27] what was your greatest musical discovery?
so much of 07 was about new albums from bands I already loved. But I'll go with Mika.

[28] what did you want and get?
for Audrey and Adam to have an amazing wedding day

[29] what did you want and not get?
my life to settle

[30] what was your favorite film of this year?
Juno

[31] what did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I had an amazing weekend of shows and drinks and bbq, and an amazingly beautiful dinner with some of the best friends a girl could ask for. And I was 30.

[32] what one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
I would have liked a second date.

[33] how would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2007?
bitten.

[34] what kept you sane?
the beach

[35] which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Riggins. Yum.

[36] what political issue stirred you the most?
the utter lack of a presidential candidate that "stirs" me

[37] who did you miss?
Lawrence – who I feel like was MIA for a lot of this year, and Motor.

[38] who was the best new person you met?
Did I meet anyone this year? I guess Aigner. It was good to finally meet him.

[39] tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2007:
in the end, all the "stuff" we hold onto doesn't matter as long as we have our memories. also, we accumulate a lot of CRAP

[40] quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
"We expected something, something better than before. We expected something more."

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But I finally found something this morning that expressed a feeling I've been having - and felt guilty about having. Or have been made to feel guilty about having? In any event, let me preface all this by stating, unequivocally, that I am not "anti-green". Not that there necessarily is an "anti-green" movement, but I think you know what I mean... I'm not off to club baby seals over the head, I don't think we should be building cars with lower & lower mpg rates, and I'm not in favor of dumping toxic waste into the oceans. I am, however, in favor of clubbing the next person who brags about how “green” their existence is.

Now, having said that...

I do not currently own a car. It doesn’t make a lot of sense for me to own one right now. If it did, and I was looking for a new one, I would probably be in the market for a hybrid, but mainly for their excellent mileage, and because I don't have a family of my own to cart all over g*d's green earth. (pun - sort of intentional) I do still occasionally drive, and I feel zero guilt when I do. I would pick driving over taking the bus 9 out of 10 times, because let’s face it - if you have to be stuck in traffic, you'd rather not be stuck with 40 strangers in an enclosed space that smells vaguely of fast food, industrial-strength air-freshener, and tidy bowl. My ‘druthers aside, like most people, I take the bus when I have to. Public transportation makes my world go 'round in a big way and I'm fine with that. But I live in the epicenter of the best public transportation system in the world, (I'm completely making that statement up - I have no idea if there's a more complex system out there somewhere, and I’m too engaged in what I'm writing this second to go and look it up. But from personal experience, NYC has the best transit systems going, and the rest of the Northeast corridor does pretty well for itself too) and I don't dare to judge anyone else living outside this glorious radius of convenient public transportation.

I don't buy carbon off-sets. When I first heard of them I thought for sure that someone was pulling a fast one on the eco-conscious elite. (Just think about that for a second... maybe it's just the cynical New Yorker in me but come ON, it sounds suspiciously like a snake oil pitch) I'm happy to say that I was wrong - these offsets appear to be perfectly legit and I get, even respect, what they aim to do. Personally, I think there are charities that deserve my limited funds more, but to each their own, and more power to anyone who chooses to donate to any worthy cause - green, red, purple-polka-dotted or otherwise.

My problem with the big green wave is that it's becoming (or really, has already become) FAD-tastic. The Media is all over it, Madison avenue is all over it, and Hollywood seemingly started it - which makes the whole thing reek of insincerity to begin with. It's an inconvenient truth in a town built for convenience. Hollywood is so full of existential guilt that it cannot function without a cause to anoint, and this is it. And I don't think I'm alone when I say that the advertising campaigns for this holiday season alone make me want to scream "ENOUGH ALREADY!". This whole practice of labeling anything and everything even remotely close to being environmentally-friendly "GREEN" and promoting it as if it might literally be the next messiah ("save the earth!") is nauseating. The air of smug self-righteousness that the movement seems to have developed in the last two years is equally awful.

There is no "saving the earth". One day, the entire planet will be consumed by the sun & that will be it. It would be nice, in the meantime, if we could manage to get along a little better, preserve some quality of life, and manage not to slowly kill off all species entirely before the sun finishes the job. There are things we can all do to encourage our survival as a species. I’m all for recycling, reducing our dependence on oil by making sustainable energies more practical, preserving what’s left of our more “untouched” wilderness, even planting new wildernesses… but nothing we do - (including extinction) is going to stop "global warming". Slow it down? Possibly. Stop it? No. If every human on the earth vanished tomorrow (ala Will Smith's new apocalyptic thriller) the earth would still get warmer. No matter what we do, the weather will get crazier, certain countries and shorelines will end up under water, and then it's going to get really really cold. Elephants will start growing fur coats & the planet will change again. Because that's what it does - and blindly accepting the words of marketing geniuses and kowtowing to the altar of "Green" in order to satisfy some existential crisis and feel somehow universally significant and superior to those who cannot afford the luxury of sustainable living - isn't going to change that.

This hasn’t necessarily been very cohesive, convincing or even coherent for that matter. By now I’m probably coming off like some bitter, raving lunatic. But here is a tidbit from the article that (along with every billboard/store window/news story/magazine feature I’ve been subjected to over the last 6 months) sparked my little rant:

In terms of the great green ledger in the sky, there is no way for most of us to know whether expending the energy to produce 6,000 pounds of shredded paper topiaries is really a “better” choice than just flying in crates of carnations, or whether making tables and chairs out of recycled cardboard makes more sense than just renting them. As Mr. Stark pointed out, what you’re really dealing with are symbols.

James B. Twitchell, a professor of English and advertising at the University of Florida, agrees. “It’s all about symbols and sensation,” said Professor Twitchell, whose many books deal with how marketing shapes a society. “That’s what I find so fascinating about our Prius culture. We know things are wrong. We don’t know what we can do. We can’t know. And so we do what marketers encourage us to do to get those feelings we want to have. We buy the Prius, we recycle at the party, pretty much overlooking the fact that what we know about these objects and these actions comes from their marketing.”

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Dear You,

You, who still calls me, "you", (just as you always did, soft and lilting, as if we were beyond the need for names) one of the last tattered trappings of an intimacy worn thin over too much distance, too much silence... once upon a time, I dreamed I knew you. And maybe, upon waking, that dream wasn't quite what I'd imagined. To see you now, exactly the same as you always were, it seems impossible that we should be strangers, yet even more improbable that we ever were beyond that. I wish I knew you. I wish I'd known you - I think I always wanted to, meant to. You were so charming, so effortless with everyone... but I wanted behind the music, I wanted all-access. And maybe I didn't end up with a laminate, but I like to think I hung out backstage for a bit. Its just not the same now, maybe I'm spoiled, maybe I'm too used to getting my way (maybe that's the same thing?) but I can't bear to watch the show from GA with the rest of the unwashed masses.

I can't always have what I want (possibly because half the time I don't know what that is) I'm well aware of this, and sometimes what I want doesn't exist outside my overactive imagination. Maybe this is all there is. Maybe knowing you really was a dream... even that lilting "you", who am I to say if it was ever meant just for me, or if it just felt that way. Maybe we've reached a point where friendship is a silly, girlish notion. Then again, everything about me was silly and girlish when I was around you. Maybe I haven't grown up so very much in the interim? I don't know, I don't know... maybe I did.

I think I make you nervous these days, and I wish that weren't so. If I were a little stronger, a little surer of myself, I would set you at ease. I would be the one to reach out, offer my hand, and fly us up & out of our stifling, safe little spot. But the truth is, for all my grand talk, I'm scared to death. And this, this open letter of sorts, is about as far up as my happy thoughts can carry me (and I'm still white knuckling the bedpost). I took my time, I've risen this far on my own, and this is where I am. And even if you never see this, even if I'm just talking to myself, I know I put it out there. I may make a better Wendy than a Tink, (I always knew as much) but you know I do believe in faeries, I do. I do.


Never & Always,
me











like a rollin' thunder chasing the wind...

I have this theory that all the major parts of my life can not go well at the same time. Or really, that the best and the worst events of my life seem to coincide rather dramatically. I've openly referred to this as my "theory of convergences", (which I completely stole from Diane Court, and by extension Cameron Crowe - it always comes back to Crowe doesn't it?)

"I have this theory of convergence, that good things always happen with bad things. I know you have to deal with them at the same time, but I just don't know why they have to happen at the same time. I just wish I could work out some schedule. Am I just babbling? Do you know what I mean?" - Diane Court
"No." - Lloyd Dobbler


I didn't know what she meant either. Until I did. It was November 11, 1990, I was 14. A bunch of us went to go see the movie Avalon - which I think might be a very good movie, but seeing as how we were very busy throwing popcorn and slowly re-arranging our seats from all boy & all girl rows to a more daring "boy-girl, boy-girl" configuration, I really didn't notice. All I know is that Tony Sayegh went out of his way to sit next to ME, and magically enough, three hours (and several frenzied phone calls from my bff Katie McGurn) later, he was my first real boyfriend.

I was suitably giddy (which for a 14 year old girl, means I was barely containing myself from doing continuous back flips) and smiling from ear to ear, and then the phone rang. I lunged for it, certain it would be Tony. But it wasn't. It was my uncle Jeff, who in an uncharacteristically shaky voice, asked for my mother. I could hear my Aunt crying in the background, and I just knew what had happened. My heart dropped into my stomach as I shouted for my mother to pick up the line, and then I covered the mouth of the receiver and waited for him to say what I knew he would, "Gayle, Joe died this afternoon". And I then I hung up. I hung up as if that would somehow make it not true. That my 84 year old Grandfather, who'd been unsuccessfully recovering from a stroke for 11 months, who had deteriorated to the point of mistaking me for my 28 year old cousin, to forgetting his children's names, to needing a nursing home and finally a feeding tube, that this man who I'd just barely gotten to know, was gone. I cried. And I cried more when my father came home and my mother sat him down to tell him his father had passed on. He crumbled, and my heart broke open. An hour later, the phone rang again. This time it WAS Tony, and my heart beat triple time when my mother handed me the phone. And that was the way of it. My first tastes of love and death in the same day, and from that day forward, the theory of convergences was real to me.

Now I'm not sure if it just became a self-fulfilling prophecy, or if my life really did always balance out something good with something bad, but I believed in it. Especially when it came to boys: James came with Mono; Scott created a rift in my family dynamics (and then his house burned down); When Kris and I finally got together my uncle died, my cousin's suicide brought us back together years later; Joe ended up destroying my most precious friendship; and everyone since then... well, there have been consequences for almost all of them. Sometimes it's directly related, sometimes it's coincidental, but as a result - I don't trust happiness. I may give into it occasionally, but it inevitably betrays me. And I'm always, always waiting for the other shoe to drop.

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the fall of the worlds own optimist

I could get back up if you insist, but you'll have to ask politely

here's the thing. I've been sad lately. and by "lately", I mean "for a while", and by "a while" I mean nearly a year. Now I am prone to bouts of melancholy, as is well WELL documented here, but this year has been different. For one, I haven't cried as much. Real tears, on people's shoulders - whatever. It's been a much quieter, much softer sadness. The kind that creeps in on me like shadows, falling in the absence of light. It seeps into voids in conversation, in activity, in life... filling up each gap, darkness spilling over from one into the next, finding new cracks in my facade along its way. And I feel it, I feel it everyday. My tolerance is weak, I snap at what i once might have laughed off, I'm angry and sad and holding it all together on the outside is becoming such a burden that I retreat all too often from the glare of the public.

At first my sadness would come like summer shower, intense but brief and almost cathartic. Now it's more like a drizzle or a mist, but one so pervasive that you'd barely notice it except for the shivering. And I am. Shivering. It's instinct. It's survival. This overwhelming and involuntary movement you make to stay warm. And I can feel my brain jolt violently, trying to generate warmth, trying to shake free of this mist, this cloud it has settled into. And it works, for a while. I have good days. I create them with good friends and good conversations, I feed them with beautiful music. And I manufacture hope. Yes, I manufacture it these days. THAT is what is different. THAT is what is missing this time around.

I haven't ever had much luck with love, and haven't ever really had much ambition of my my own past that. But as beaten down as I've been by love, by life, by circumstances (inside or outside of my control), I was ok. I had hope. The "springs eternal" kind. And I had it by the boatload. Faith, not only in a cosmic order of things... but that somehow that grand design would bless me with some version of the life I'd always dreamed of for myself. And that faith was tested, that hope brought to its knees, and yet always proved steadfast before. Only I'm tired now. Its too heavy for me to shoulder, and it hangs limply by my side. Like an apparition that one might see, but can't quite believe in. Maybe it's part of getting older, more than likely its having what feels like my last vestiges of innocence undone. Whatever the impetus, I looked up one day and honestly considered that it might not happen for me, that I might live my life entirely without ever making my dreams into some semblance of reality. And when I let the weight of that realization sink in, it felt so heavy, so heavy I fear I may not be able to shake free from it this time. Hope my shield, or perhaps my cataract, I'd never accepted the possibility before.

So where does that leave me? Do I valiantly set out, change direction and plot a new course? Find a road to contentedness with or without love, my dreams, my family? Is that giving in? Is that giving up? Or is that being realistic? Or do I dig in my heels, stick with what I know, aim for what I've always wanted & hope I don't come up short? Maybe choosing isn't what scares me. Maybe there's not really a choice after all, and that is what is most disturbing. I know all I can do is let go. Let go of expectation, let go of hope and doubt altogether and just free fall into the unknown. Stop worrying about the future and concentrate on my now, on me and what I am, not what I would be. But damn that's hard. You've got to move clouds for that. and well, much as i've come to love the rain, sometimes I just wish I had an umbrella.