Saturday, November 30, 2013

My "Depressing" Blog

Sometimes I feel that my blog readers think that I'm like this:

Granted, sometimes this is what I actually am like when I blog.
And then they feel bad for me, or tell me to cheer up, or get over it, or whatever.  To them, I say this:

And some people acknowledge that, and to them I say, thank you, and keep on reading.  To those who don't say that, keep reading anyway.

Love you guys.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Fluffy Bunnies and Santa and Disneyland

My mother doesn't even read my blog, but she heard about it at a Thanksgiving dinner at our family friends' home.  I imagine it was kind of embarrassing for her to be surrounded by a zillion grandchildren who weren't hers when all she had to brag about was how her still-single daughter got an A in the class with all the dead bodies.  But anyway, she told me the following:
"I think it would be better if you had a positive blog instead of a depressing blog, even if it isn't true."
So, per my mother's request, here I go!  Feel free to listen to some Lesley Gore as you read.

I have never been happier in my whole life!  Coming back to Boston was absolutely the best decision I've ever made because I get to be around so many close and trusted friends who totally left room for me in their lives even though I disappeared for a year to focus on my career!  Sure, I'm single, but it's great because I really get to "work on me," because even though I've been alone for 27.4 of the 28 years of my life, I've still got a lot of finding myself to do!  And it's totally cool that I'm not having any babies, because who would want to spoil such a rockin' body as mine with a pregnancy?  Not this lady, let me tell you!  Life is totally worth living and love conquers all and Christmas is magical and also America!


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Why I Don't Want It to Snow

It snowed for a minute today, but just a minute.  It also did a similar thing a few weeks ago.  People got really excited, but I didn't.  I don't want it to snow yet.  I want the snow to wait, possibly for forever.  Here's why:

Anyone who knows me (in real life or on Facebook) knows that, for the past few months--basically since I've been back in Boston, I haven't had the best outlook on life.  And by "I haven't had the best outlook on life," I mean, "I'm no longer 100% convinced that life is worth living."*  Anyway, despite my better and more realistic judgement, I'm hoping this could change, and that maybe things will be better one day.  The thing is, however, that whenever a character has the realization that life is worth living after all, like in Its a Wonderful Life, or this song, or the Christmas episode of Buffy,** that miraculous moment (the "George Bailey Moment," I like to call it) is accompanied and enhanced by the first flakes of falling snow.***

I haven't had that moment yet, and right now, all the snow is going to do is remind me that I haven't, like a big, cold, crystalline slap in the face.  So snow clouds, until I have that moment, please just wait.

Also, this is so not real snow.

*This is just my life that I'm talking about.  I'm sure other people's lives are chock full of joy and meaning.
**This may be a faulty metaphor, because in Buffy, snow was the thing that convinced Angel not to kill himself, because apparently when it snows in Southern California the sun doesn't come out all day and vampires can just walk around without the fear of bursting into flames.
***And real life is totally, 100% like the movies.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Alt-Service Sunday: Friends Meeting at Cambridge

Some Alt-Service Sundays are a matter of convenience and happenstance.  Two of my friends invited me to attend a meeting with The Friends (aka The Society of Friends aka The Quakers) this morning, and since it was an hour before my regular sacrament meeting was scheduled and just across the lawn from where I normally have church, of course I was going to attend!

When the Longfellow Park Chapel burned down in 2009* the Quakers across the lawn were really great and helped throw us an open house when we were up and running again in 2011.  They're really nice people, and I'm glad I finally got to go to a service there.

Society of Friends Meetings are very interesting.  If you're Mormon, imagine them like a Testimony Meeting without the compulsion to fill the silence.  The meeting is 90% complete "worshipful silence," and Friends stand up and speak briefly when Spirit prompts them to.  It was actually really cool.  The meeting gave me time to meditate and write in my journal, and I had just completed a paragraph posing a rather depressing problem.  Not long after, someone stood up and said something that addressed the very same problem I had been pondering!  It was definitely a moment when I felt that the Spirit was there.

The following are quotes I wrote down from things that Friends said during the meeting that I found to be particularly inspirational:
"Be generous when you are hungry" 
"Forgiveness and acceptance of what is opens the way to make what is, better."
So profound.

After the worship part, the meeting got very meeting-y with announcements and such, but this was generally a time to witness how Friendly (pun unavoidable) everyone was!  We introduced ourselves as visitors and lots of people came up to chat afterwards.  I don't think I could ever be a Quaker, as I'm nowhere near contemplative enough to sit and meditate every Sunday (and also I'm pretty set on the whole Mormon thing), but it was really great to learn about the Society of Friends.

*This was actually the very first time I ever went to Boston.  We were trying to go to church and kept getting rerouted by all the firetrucks.  Turned out church was where the fire was.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Difference between Rock Concerts and Classical Concerts

As I mentioned last weekend, Kate Nash was my first non-classical concert ever (unless you count Trans-Siberian Orchestra's Christmas concert in SLC in 2008 or this outdoor music festival with the Spin Doctors that I went to in the Spring of 2012--but those were different kinds of things, I think).  I made some observations about the distinctions between the two types of events:

Classical Concert:  Be there 30 minutes early.  It's just good manners.
Rock Concert:  If you walk in halfway through the opening act, nobody even cares.

Rock Concert:  "Everybody make some noise!"
Classical Concert:  "Please turn off all audio alerts on cell phones, pagers, watches, and small children."

Rock Concert:  Everyone is basically cheering the entire time.
Classical Concert:  If you clap during the set the conductor will shank you with the baton s/he hasn't put down yet, you filthy, uncultured, philistine.  You should be ashamed of yourself.  

Classical Concert:  "Absolutely no food or drink in the auditorium (except for that cough drop which you should have opened before the music started)."
Rock Concert:  I don't know whose beer that was, but now it's on my shoe.

Upper Respiratory Tract Phenomena
Classical Concert:  If you cough, everyone will know, and they will hate you forever.
Rock Concert:  You could probably die where you stood and nobody would notice.

Concert Attire
Classical Concert:  Fancy Schmancy*
Rock Concert:  Not-trying-too-hard hip with comfy shoes you don't mind getting beer spilled on.

I'd say that's a pretty good primer.  Though given my advancing years, I probably will only be attending classical concerts from now on.

*Unless you're one of those uncultured philistines who thinks that jeans, a college sweatshirt, and a baseball cap are appropriate to wear to the opera.  Yes, I'm talking to you, half the guys at BYU who must have obviously confused the HFAC with Lavell Edwards Stadium and whom I obviously wasn't friends with because I'm a snob.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Kate Nash!

Or...evidence that I probably haven't figured out the camera on my phone all that well.

I went to my very first pop concert!  I was told that people don't actually say "pop concert" but I think I wanted to make a distinction between this kind of concert and the kind where you sit down and there's a conductor and a program (i.e., a "classical" concert), since I've been to plenty of those.  Turns out the two are different (stay tuned for a post on how).  But a 'celebration' of sorts, my friend Jourdan and I went to see Kate Nash at the House of Blues last night.  Now, 90% of you will say you have never heard of Kate Nash, but you're wrong.  If you're reading this blog, you've heard of Kate Nash.  Not only is she mentioned in most of my "My Music" posts, but also, the title of this blog is based on one of her songs!!

The opening acts were a girl group called Potty Mouth and a female-fronted band named La Sera.  It was some fantastic angry-girl alt-rock.  I felt like Julia Stiles in 10 Things I Hate About You or like some other rebellious west-coast teenager from the late nineties (it doesn't take much to make my brain go weird places).  Both groups were really great; I actually want to listen to La Sera more.  After the opening acts and a lot of waiting around for set changes, Kate Nash finally appeared!

This was actually taken at the end of the concert, but it's a good whole-stage shot.  Also, I have no idea to make my phone take better pictures than this.

Now you probably all want to know what she played (even though you probably have never heard of half of these songs), so here is a (partial) set list:
  • Death Proof
  • Kiss That Grrrl
  • Take Me to a Higher Plane
  • Doo-Wah-Doo
  • Mouthwash
  • Mariella*
  • Fri-End?
  • 3AM
  • Foundations
  • Girl Gang (a cover of some other girl band)
She played a few other songs as well, but either I don't remember what they were or they were songs from her new album that I didn't know.  But holy crap, she had so much energy and stamina!  She came onstage basically scream-singing the first number (but it sounded great) and dancing around the stage and I was like, how is she going to keep this up for an hour and a half? but she totally did it.  The woman is a literal rock star.  Such a good performer!  Also, there was one moment in Doo-Wah-Doo where I could possibly believe that she and I made eye contact, so that was pretty neat.

I could see her a lot more clearly than this.
Normally I just go to concerts for the music and I tune out when people start talking in between, but I didn't this time.  Kate Nash is probably one of the coolest humans.  So normal and relatable and hilarious.  She spoke for a bit about how life is short and we don't have time to deal with horrible people.  She encouraged all of us to go delete the horrible people from our phones this morning--such good advice (unless you want to keep their numbers in their phone to dodge their calls).  Also, it turns out she's a rocking feminist!  I mean, it wasn't a surprise or anything, but she talked for a while about how lame it is that there aren't more female songwriters and she's actually starting a foundation to teach music and songwriting to young girls.  So great.  And, being all about the girl power, she's a Buffy fan!  We could totally be besties.

The downsides to the concert were that it was forever long (but that's just a consequence of me being old and allergic to times after 11:00 pm), and that it was much louder than I had expected (replace the piano in her recordings with two electric guitars) so my ears were kind of ringing afterwards.  Consequently, this might also be my last pop concert, but it was awesome, and I'm certainly glad I went.

*This was the first Kate Nash song I had ever heard in Laura's car back in the fall of 2009, and so it was AMAZING hearing it live