Cold boots in the morning.

>

Cold boots in the morning.
the way you’d bite your tongue holding the pythons
of your words at bay for my benefit
(you’d always win if they came out).
The way I was afraid of you
That I never thought someone might hit me before but was
quite sure you would at some point.
The way you never did.

I remember wanting you so bad I could make my heart pound
at a millions beats a minute on command
just by whispering your name.

I remember whispering your name

and never calling you it to your face.
I remember that your name was baby, sweetheart, honey, love.
I remember that these names weren’t unique or special
until we clutched each other like two people trying to survive the apocalypse.
I remember that us clutching became the apocalypse.

I remember all nasty things you heard me say and all the nasty things
I heard you say and how our mouths were closed
(windows) the whole time.

I remember all the hours I’ve spent writing about you since (still)
I remember the way the sky looked over the valley, the way
the people in camping chairs lined up in the parking lot watched and laughed
and pointed at it.
Brilliant nature, possibly deadly, definitely pretty.
You are all of these things too.
Baby. sweetheart. Honey. Love.

I don’t know anything about you and
I know everything about you and
I am alone.

Mostly, I remember all the reasons I tell myself about why you aren’t
in love with me anymore and I feel sorry for myself.
I try not to go get drunk when this happens.
it doesn’t always work.
You would hate that.
I would love that you would hate that.

I remember that I miss you.
Happy anniversary, baby
(we never even decided when that was).

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Work from home Wednesday Thursday.

>Most Thursdays I try to stay out of the office, and take some time out to get stuff done without the immediate emergency drop by your desk questions. Its actually integral in my work life sanity take these days to catch up and breathe and well, do my laundry and listen to music without headphones. Let’s be real, I also go out to lunch with friends, and generally, probably fuck around a lot. Basically everything about working at home that you’d imagine to happen.

I thought for a long time that I’d love a job that allowed me to telecommute 100% of the time, but let’s be honest, that isn’t realistic for me. I’m too into socializing with the people I work with, and in person meetings are ways to create connections and ideas that you just can’t make over the phone or even Skype. Plus, I just don’t have the discipline. Ideally, I’d only be in the office half the week, but for now thats not in the cards and I feel really grateful that I have this kind of one day at home option at all.

Today I spent the morning visiting with a friend up North who I don’t get to see very often. It was nice to bullshit over a warm cup of coffee and take a walk to pick up his munch-kins from school later on. Its unseasonably warm here, and the walk with him made me feel a tad nostalgic and pretty damn happy to be doing just what I was doing right in that moment.

Clearly I did not do my laundry today, and I’m hoping that somewhere in the middle of the weekend I’ll be able to muddle through. But, I hate doing laundry. If I didn’t feel totally ridiculous for spending the money, I’d totally hire a service. Seriously, any other chore from cleaning the bathroom and washing the dishes, to picking up dog shit, I am happy to do as long as I don’t have to do laundry. Don’t get me wrong, I love, love having clean clothes. But the act of getting them there is something that I barely tolerate. I would clean someone else’s bathroom once a week if they would do my laundry. No really, I would.

Someone has to be into skill sharing/trades/even something kinky around laundry doing, right? Who wants to do my laundry? Anyone? Hello?….No? …..

Snow.

>Last night it snowed in 49 out of 50 states (mine included). It was beautiful and quiet and…freezing. I loved it. I spent my evening putting together a mixed cd for a bi-monthly mix club that I’m in, and eating a big bowl of spicy Thai curry I made. The assignment for Dec – Jan was ‘weather.’ Which is so painfully appropriate for last night that I couldn’t resist working on it. I really love music (which I think I’ve mentioned before), and making a mix is really one of my favorite hobbies. It usually takes me a minimum of 4 hours and up to months to compose for me. I’m working on a few different projects right now, and this one in particular was really fun.

I haven’t created the cover art yet, which will be my project tonight. Then I’ll drop if off. The club is anonymous, so you never know whose mix you’re getting, and my friends who put it together are amazing and send out little bonus gifts with the mix you receive. Also, everything is covered in beautiful art. I love it.

Yesterday I was listening to this episode of the All Songs Considered podcast and actually got kind of full of myself for a minute when I realized that not only did I already own 20 out of the 25 best user picked albums of 2010, but that also, I had been jamming out to some albums on Bob Boilen and Carrie Brownstein’s top 10 lists as well. Its the little things, really.

More than anything, I am overwhelmed by how much music is out there, and frequently excited about how much of it is just so good (in my opinion). Sometimes I feel like because there are so many options its easy to get scatterbrained about it, but, I like anyone else still get obsessive about certain albums, and they go into repeat status for weeks/months. One such album of the last year for me was Mumford and Sons – Sigh No More. Seriously, what a brilliant piece of music. Orchestral, and meaningful and fun. I love that they rep Shakespearean inspired lyrics, romance, and are incredible instrumentalists. Check out, ‘The Cave’.

Anyway, I thought I’d make my own top ten of 2010. For me, this doesn’t mean that the album had to come out in 2010. Sometimes the same album repeats itself as being important to me many years in a row even.

In no particular order:

1. Mumford and Sons – Sigh No More (See above).

2. Brooke Brown Saracino – Stranger’s Story Though this album came out in 2008, I was given a copy by a dear friend and musician who’d seen her play recently and couldn’t stop talking about his giant music crush on her. Stranger’s Story is pretty damn beautiful. Brooke has an interesting and earthy voice that doesn’t feel like it has to try too hard to make you swoon, which is somehow all the more enticing. Her lyrics are simple and intense, for a great example of some of my favorite tracks see: ‘How To Speak’ and ,‘Lonely Song’ which will, you know, hit you right in the guts.

3. Edward Sharp & The Magnetic Zeroes – Up From Below Headed by Alex of Imarobot fame, this orchestra of jingle jangle joy is just what I was missing when I first heard it. Something about the way that everyone loops their sound together in the group makes me feel so good. The record is also just, well, a little weird and fun in all the right ways. Of course everyone loves the first single, “Home” (Take a gander at the most adorable cover ever, here. I find myself tapping my foot to songs like, “Janglin'” and “Come in please.” Plus, clearly the people in the band are high on LSD or some other mind altering substance like, all the time.

4. Florence and the Machine – Lungs Released in 2009, a friend played “Rabbit Heart (Raise it up)” on repeat one afternoon when we were hanging out and I couldn’t get it out of my head. I feel sort of angry at myself for not finding Florence sooner because this album is so damn good. Florence really has such an incredible voice and knack for putting together music that will rock you just enough to dance, but you can also keep on when things are quieter. “My Boy Builds Coffins” manages to seem haunting and sweet all at the same time. Plus, this video of Florence in the park being so awkward and then drumming on a park benches, how can you not love that?

5. The National – High Violet This is probably on a million top ten lists for the year. Heck, its probably number one with a bullet for most. But, here’s what I want to say, on first listen, I wasn’t really into it. I’d (shocking and appalling I know) never heard of The National before this year and didn’t really know what to expect when a DJ friend of mine sent me this disc. Her tastes run a little less folky and more new wave than mine, so I had no idea what I might be getting myself into. After listen one, I put it away for a month. When I confessed to my friend, she told me to start with tracks like, ‘Blood Buzz Ohio’ and ‘Lemonworld’ and work my way into the album from there. Her advice was fantastic, and now, so is my feeling about this record. The lyrics are brilliant without being inaccessible. Bob Boilen talked about how sometimes lyrics are too good and too complicated to successfully sing along, but that this record let’s you. I’d have to say, Bob, I agree wholeheartedly.

6. tUnE-yArDs – Bird Brains Tune-Yards is the project of Merrill Garbus, an Oakland based musician who slapped me upside the head this year with something new and godamn brilliant. Merrill is an over the top person with some sincerely beautiful and weird music. She’s played with the likes of Chris Pureka (which is a strange and wonderful combination), and is signed to a British record label. Each song on the record was recorded by Merrill using a digital voice recorder and mixing software. Between that and the adorable snippets of the little boy she took care of talking about blueberries and Tune-Yards’ unpredictable, delicious singing this record does it for me in every way. Plus, it sort of makes me want to put on a bird costume and dance around on ice skates. This studio session for the song ‘Real Live Flesh’ is incredible.

7. Gregory Alan Isakov – This Empty Northern Hemisphere Credit for this music amazing-ness goes to my rad friend Becky. Becky has impeccable taste, and also told me emphatically (at least 10 times in a kind of tipsy trip home one night that I simply HAD TO get my hands on this album. She was (of course) right. This album breaks my bruised up and battered heart in ways I wasn’t emotionally prepared for, and I love it. Gregory is a phenomenal guitar player, and I love the use of strings on some of the tracks. But really its his gorgeous voice and make you wanna cry lyrics that get me the most. Favorite tracks include, ‘Big Black Car’ and ‘That Moon Song’. This album came out in 2009, and I will definitely be listening to it for many years to come.

8. The XX – xx Hopefully I don’t have to say too much about this album. Just take a listen (if you’ve been in a deep dark hole and have managed to avoid hearing it thus far). Something about the simplicity, and almost disinterested tone of the entire thing, makes me want to wrap this album up in a blanket and cuddle it on the couch forever. Also, after you finish listening to it, go here and download this entire album again, mashed up against Biggie Smalls. Oh yeah, maybe that snuggle on the couch will now get a little dirty.

9. Joni Mitchell – Blue Okay. This album is perfect. Its been perfect for decades and its still perfect today. For some reason it came up and knocked on my door again this year, and I spent a lot of time feeling thoughtful and singing along with Joni. Slow dancing in my living room, crooning along in the car, tea drinking on the couch. Blue is just as meaningful and intimate as ever for me. If I could drink a case of you, honey. I’d Still be on my feet.

10. The Mountain Goats – Heretic Pride This album spent the entire winter being on repeat in my car. Seriously, John Darnielle, you do it to me every time. One of the best song writers I’ve ever heard, and the warbling washing strongs hold this album up to my ears in the most incredible way. Songs like, ‘Autoclave’, ‘San Bernadino’ and ‘Marduk T-Shirt Men’s Room Incident’ are absolutely incredible.

Honorable mentions: Bon Iver – Blood Bank, Neutral Milk Hotel – In the Aeroplane over the Sea, The Arcade Fire – Suburbs, Olof Arnalds – Innundir Skinni, Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.

August 24, 2008

>Found this tucked away in a box with a bunch of other poems, and tax forms.

Sometimes he felt as though he could lift up the streets and
make them into riverbeds
Plant seeds that would sprout and
vine over the stone building statues. Put his
finger to his lips and soothe
away the noises that were not the sounds of rain falling.

Sometimes he felt powerful.

Other times, he jerked awake at night and
felt the cars and voices and settling sounds
of the city streets curl into his window like
a finger of cigarette smoke and wrap around his chest.
Sometimes when jostled to waking this way he would become as volatile as a summer storm and moan and crash,
thunder.
Sometimes, he wished he could
evaporate into the sun,
and sleep there until a better morning.

Charlie’s; A love affair.

>Awhile ago, I went to my favorite neighborhood joint, “Charlie’s” and realized that I haven’t been there since my ex girlfriend’s birthday a few years ago. I remember that this was the night the woman who was sitting at the bar near our table started vomiting on top of the bar as she was sitting, and then tried to stand up and puked on the floor and then tried to ask for another drink and instead was offered a phone to call a cab. I think she must have puked 3 or four times before she finally left, and as the smell of vomit filled the dark musty bar, I remember thinking that probably never coming here again was a good idea.

Apparently, recently, I forgot my resolution and I went to Charlie’s again today for the first time since that night. I went there to eat alone, and relax for a minute before hanging out with friends. I debated as I walked down the street about what I might like to eat. I thought about Korean BBQ, and about Papoosas, but for some reason ruled them out. Maybe, mostly because I was feeling like sneak, sitting around somewhere dark and writing tragic things, which is painfully cliché of me, but also is the truth. So I thought, Charlie’s, well Charlie’s is dark. Charlie’s is one of those places where it actually seems like really wrong that it’s not filled with cigarette smoke.

When I walked to the back (because inside Charlie’s there’s a restaurant in the front and a bar in the backwith a pool room! ahh!), there were three men yelling at the bar tender about how she had somehow lost their credit card. So, they are yelling and I’m standing awkwardly in sort of the middle of the hallway, waiting for them to settle down so I can ask to sit down somewhere. Finally another waitress came back and said I could sit wherever. This, well, was fine.

I didn’t want to take up too much space, or sit near the yelling men (who were still yelling) so I picked a table on the other side of the bar, a small two-seater. Directly to the right of it is sort of another elevated level (two steps up) where there are a few more tables. So there was a table the same size as mine two steps up with like a weird ships railing in between. Have I mentioned that Charlie’s is dark? Like REALLY DARK. So dark that I didn’t even notice that there was an older couple sitting at that very table, just an elbow in the shin bump away from me. Which made me feel a little uncomfortable, because unless I know you, and even really if I do, I don’t want to sit so close to you when you’re eating. I was closer to them than they were to each other actually. Well one of them. It was like we were all on a date together, at 5:30PM on a tuesday in a REALLY DARK bar, with badly stained carpet everywhere, and some men (STILL YELLING).

So, I’m sitting there trying to ignore the men when I hear it…the sound of LIP SMACKING, and then SLURPING, and then NOSE BLOWING and I think, oh dear god. I haven’t even ordered my food yet. And so, I look around and realize that it is not one, of but both halves of this older couple who are full on chewing with their mouths hanging open, chewing and slurping and talking to each other about things that I can’t understand because THEIR MOUTHS ARE FULL OF FOOD.

Then I hear one of the yelling dudes yell that he has found his credit card, and

“SEE IT WAS RIGHT HERE THE WHOLE TIME I TOLD YOU SO!!!” “UNBELIEVABLE” …

and on and on…then I realize that even though the dudes have the errant credit card and have obviously paid their tab, they are deciding that they will continue to stand next to the bar and YELL TALK to each other about everything. Apparently, these dudes weren’t actually upset, they just CANT CONTROL THEIR VOCAL VOLUMES or something.

But still, even though this is going on under twenty feet away and is VERY LOUD, I can hear…the lip smacking good time of the older couple sitting next to me and I think, I could just move, there is a lovely looking decrepit booth just across the aisle from where I am sitting and as long as the yelling guys are still here I for sure won’t hear lip smackers any more….RIGHT. Then I think, that the lip smackers might notice me move and think I’m really rude or ageist or something. So, I think, I’ll just continue to sit here, and be grossed out and eat my food with my mouth closed and not be as gross as them, but not feel any better for it, and not enjoy my food, because this whole thing is really pretty disgusting.

Then the yelling guys finally leave, and it is much quieter, which would be great except but for the aforementioned reasons or something. So the waitress comes and looks surprised that I order a diet coke and not a giant can of 4loko or something because how could I be here and not drunk right now and not be working here. When she brings it back I order hot wings and a salad covered in cheese and Caesar dressing because that’s the kind of healthy eater I am, and again the waitress looks surprised, and sort of maybe a little skeeved out by me. But that could be because I’ve pulled out my iPad and am typing away.

So the concerned faced waitress walked away and then I saw him; a man sitting at a table a little ways across from me eating. This is seemingly normal, right? I thought, thank God. One normal person in here, because all ive felt is disgustedness and anoyedness (neither of which are actually real words I realize). Anyway, there was something off about the man and as I openly stared at him I realized that it was that he had a sort of mangled looking kleenex hanging out of his nose. Now, this man was a lot older, so I thought, aw, maybe he just forgot it was there or something? He will surely realize in a second and take it out. I stared in awe over the table as he enthusiastically ate what looked like pot roast (they have pot roast at this place?! what!) and left the kleenex exactly as it were. Now, I looked away, embarrassed because I was clearly staring and went back to the game of scrabble I was playing on the computer. After the waitress brought my tiny salad I noticed the man again, still with Kleenex. When the waitress asked, “Sir, do you need anything? Maybe some more napkins?”

“Well, I just have this nose bleed, no big deal. Yes, some more napkins would be nice.”

LEAVE THE DAMN TABLE AND CLEAN YOURSELF UP MAN

Then I saw the blood soaking the kleenex right around his left nostril and began to feel nauseous. Not because blood makes me squeamish but because he was ….EATING POT ROAST. I really, really, really had to stop looking at him now, otherwise my salad was definitely going to start tasting like boogers. My wings arrived and I pulled up the New York Times to read while I ate. Am I really this guy? A guy who stares at his iPad reading the New York Times while he eats his dinner alone?! PLEASE TELL ME IM NOT THIS GUY.

So I’m eating and reading, and eating and reading, when I notice (which I’m not sure I hadn’t earlier) that a couple has come in and are sitting at the booth across from me. The couple, are the skinny jean, flannel wearing, hipster variety. I think the girl had a pair of sun glasses with her. SUNGLASSES, IN SEATTLE IN DECEMBER. What the fuck.

The reason I noticed them is that they immediately started to argue. The girl saying something about the boy not telling her that he used to date so and so and that all she knew is that they had gone to some wedding together, and I’m imagining that she is so upset because they were also dating at the time or something like that, but I could be projecting or whatever. Anyway, obviously this is sort of boring, except that in the span of the half an hour that I was sitting there eating and eaves dropping on everyone, I mean reading the New York Times on my giant iphone, they ordered 3 rounds of drinks; three rounds that were each, tallboys of PBR and double shots of whiskey. By the end of the half an hour and by the time I was leaving, the girl was in tears, and the boy wasn’t even looking at her, and when they did speak, it was a blubbery drunken mess.

I imagine that the boy paid. I imagine that the girl felt pretty good about making a nice hefty tab for the jerky boy. But who knows? Maybe the boy wasn’t a jerk at all. Maybe the boy was actually sweet and wondering how he got here to this place where this crazy girl that he was never even really dating and who was yell whispering at him about some wedding that he went to with his high school sweet heart and of course they were dating and how did she lure him here and oh god she knew where he lived because he had slept with her that one time after that show at his friends house. It had been a big mistake CLEARLY. Hadn’t his friends warned him? But he had tried 4 loko that night for the first time and didn’t even know he was so drunk, and it was probably okay, because he definitely wouldn’t have stayed awake at all had it not been for the caffeine, and yet, from what he does remember the sex wasn’t even very good and just sort of made him sad and miss said high school sweet heart.

But here he was with a weird bearded chicken wing eating New York Times reader, a chew with your mouth open old couple, a guy with a bloody nose and this crazy girl whose name he still had trouble remembering even though it sort of sounded like Tara…or Lara..or something. He didn’t know what to do except pay and try to get home, or maybe he should go to his buddy’s house where she had never been and ask to crash on the couch until he could figure out how to convince his housemates that this girl was trying to hurt him. Except she hadn’t and the whole time he was having these thoughts he was also thinking about what a jerk it made him and how probably this girl was just lonely, just like him and couldn’t he give her a chance. Except she had done that weird thing when they were fucking of staring intensely into his eyes and telling him she loved him….that was a little much. Also she had a rep. And he knew from his moms, that a rep was an anti feminist thing to consider about women, but it wasn’t a sexual rep really, it was more about the fact that she was crazy and attacked the girlfriend of someone he knew.

So he paid, and they left, and I shook my head back into reality, and they probably went home and had hipster make up sex or something, which is probably just like regular make up sex, but takes longer because when your jeans are that tight it must be a process to get your clothes off.

I do not finish my dinner. I do not finish my game of online scrabble. I do tip the waitress in an excessive way.

Thanks, Charlie’s for being just the way you are all the time.