It's pronounced HAYZ-ler, you dweebs.

Frustrations of a cold spring week

April 9th, 2015

You wake up and wonder if you’ll ever hear the story of an accidental death and not think that person was lucky. But you’re trying to not take any big kinds of chances with your own life anymore. You’re not walking alone late at night or even considering getting a motorcycle. Life is even, at times eventful, but mostly you can anticipate what will happen each day. So, those accidental kinds of deaths seem especially peaceful.

You’ve got a crush again and that’s got the same frustrations of any other crush you’ve ever had. Even if they like you, they don’t like you enough. Either they don’t like you enough because you just think they don’t, always questioning it, waking them up to ask “Do you like me enough?”, knowing that Jesus, duh, don’t wake a man and ask him that. Or they don’t like you enough to announce to the world that they like you and come morning you rub your feet together alone in bed and have a cry over how maybe it’ll always be this hard.

“Look,” you tell yourself, “plenty of people do like you enough. It’s just that they’re not the people you like enough.” And you think about how their realities are similar to yours, but there’s nothing to be done. Some time a long time ago you heard “don’t settle” enough times for it to finally stick. But it’s not like you have a list of qualities. You’re not silly enough to think that’s a good idea. You just find yourself liking a person and you think that this time, it’s going to work out how you want.

You have things alright, or as alright as they’re able to be. You look okay for what you’ve been through. You feel okay for what you’re going through. You are okay for what’s going on. Everything has a qualifier. And that’s okay, for what it’s worth.

Tonight, on the bus, the same two women will talk about where they think they should go for Happy Hour. You won’t agree that Cheese Cake Factory is a good idea, at all. But, it’s not your place to get involved. When you’re walking to your door, trying not to step on those weird pointy balls that fall from the trees along Fulton, the seeds of a sweet gum tree (small delight inside of you to know the name of the tree), you will pass the same couple that you always pass. They will be walking close enough that you’ll think “You guys should probably be professional three-legged racers.” And she’ll have a smile on her face and they’ll be talking about things like they’ve never had a conversation before. You’ll feel happy for them, truly, and sad for you, truly.

Then you’ll get home and you’ll open the fridge five or six times, like you’ll eventualy see something in there to be excited over.

Sigh. Summer will be here soon. At least there’s that.

You Should Know: Ken Tanaka

April 3rd, 2015

Guilt and the Good Day

February 18th, 2015

The day at work was full, productive, filled with moments where I knew what I was doing; knew what choices to make. No distractions. I didn’t feel underwater. I was competent. I was the embodiment of my “You got this.” mantra.

At home we cooked dinner, watched “Nathan For You” and shook our heads over the brilliance of his ideas. We fist-bumped goodnight, remembered to turn out the lights, lock the doors. I was genuinely impressed by how chill my 14-year-old son is.

I was asleep by 9:15, only woke up twice, dreamt of finding a buried treasure, didn’t glare at the phone alarm at 4:30. I felt good. I didn’t mourn for how things were two years ago. I didn’t think about everything I should have done differently. I didn’t fear for the mistakes I could make in the coming two years.

I woke Ayden. We joked in the kitchen. We turned on Spotify radio and played air guitar. We laughed over the time he got detention in grade school for playing air guitar in class after I’d taught the kids how to do a wicked rock’n’roll knee-slide across the kitchen floor.

Then Roger waters struck a ‘G’, strummed it into a ‘C’, and my stomach hit my knees.
“If you didn’t care/ what happened to me/ and I didn’t care/for you…”

Two years ago, as my birthday gift, Trast learned to play one of the many lullabies I’d sung to him over the course of his life. Now he’s gone, but probably still alive, and I didn’t spend one second yesterday making any efforts to find him. I haven’t even figured out what to do if I get the call that he’s been found. What do you possibly say to a child who, despite knowing how much hurt he’d caused the first time he took off, made an elaborate plan to run away again? How do you stop a child who wants to be gone from going?

“We would zig-zag our way/ through the boredom and pain/ occasionaly glancing up through the rain…”

I have never imagined my life without Trast, but had I been asked to, that’s how I suppose I would’ve thought of it. Miserable. Impossible. Boring and sad. Unsettled by the emptiness. And yet I had a good day. If I really cared about him, how could I have had a good day?

Ayden walked into my room, saw my hangdog expression, gently closed to lid to the laptop, stopping the music in its place. He reminded me that my lunch was on the kitchen counter, told me it was time to go, put his hand on the top of my head and shook his own head “no”, his subtle way of telling me that moping is worthless.

Outside we saw an old dude on a motorized bicycle pop a sick wheelie and we laughed so hard that a snot bubble came out my nose. We waved goodbye at his bus stop, still laughing. I turned back to him, pretended I needed to remind him to check in about a homework assignment, but really, I was memorizing the moment, giving it a new song.

To allow myself these good days does not diminish my love for Trast, or call into question my parenting. To have bad days, bad moments, is okay and expected. But these good days are important to the health of my family. Of course, they are important to Ayden and to me. They are also important to my relationship with Trast. I think he will be back some day, and when he is, I will need the strength of a million good days in between.

So, Mope on You Crazy Diamond, because for today, here’s the song I am choosing to tie on to the good days.

Support This

February 17th, 2015

Because it looks like a pretty fun project. If you don’t support it, you will have cooties forever.
Here’s the link to the kickstarter.

Things I Love: Tunes

February 11th, 2015

Here’re my favorite songs of the past year. Get ready to shake your butt, cry, raise the roof, cut a rug, and probably hit the next button a few times. Yes, I know these aren’t all from this year. They’re just the things I was listening to.

Oh, and by the way, if you haven’t checked out our new show, Border Blaster, and you get done with my excellent playlist and want to keep up all the tunes, go have a listen. World music videos. Good, solid stuff.

Things I Love: This Episode of Huell Howser

February 9th, 2015

Because who else would just humor the letter of a local old jibber-jabbering dude claiming that he is in possession of a rock from Mars?

I love that he starts this interview in the middle of the street for no reason at all. I love that there’s a group of hapless, useless lookie-loos in the back of that scene. I love that he treats this like it’s a real possibility when it’s just a rock. And I love it that at at 9:01, the guy starts to make fun of Huell’s demeanor and Huell doesn’t like it one bit.

Things I Love: Henry Cram

February 6th, 2015
The sculptures of Henry Cram

The sculptures of Henry Cram

Is it weird to say you love your co-worker? Aren’t they supposed to be the people you barely tolerate and sometimes enjoy sitting with at lunch? Or if I say I love this dude, do you automatically assume it’s some workplace hanky-panky or a Pam and Jim “The Office” situation?
Well, I actually work with several people who I look forward to seeing every day. I don’t have the sort of work situation where I am forced into not being myself, because I work with a bunch of people who are also totally themselves and that’s just how we do. Those people are especially wonderful because they do all of this cool stuff when they aren’t working. Maybe it’s the nature of employment in “independent public media”, because I work with a whole lot of massive weirdos who are all really creative.
I’m probably not supposed to pick a favorite, but stop telling me what to do, already. My favorite co-worker is definitely Henry Cram. I love this guy because he makes me laugh to the point of tears on a weekly basis, he totally gets me, and he’s wicked talented. I once nearly stabbed a bunch of people over his water color of an avocado.
So, today’s Thing I Love is for def Henry. He’s a painter and a sculptor and he looks kind of like Kenny Loggins. Also he made a rap video. So watch out, other rap stars.

 

Also he’s pretty good at Vine-ing the Sunset.

Anyway, check out his artwork so you can love him, too. Maybe even buy some of it.

Things I Love: These Comedians

February 5th, 2015

This list could be really long, but if I were booking a show right now, I’d kidnap these four and force them to perform. I’d let the first three leave after the show. The last one would stay with me forever and ever. Because he loves me, too.

See them live if you get the chance. Short of that, look up everything they’ve ever done online and watch that.

Jerrod Carmichael

Adrienne Airhart

Annie Lederman

Anthony Jeselnik

Things I Love: ASMR

February 5th, 2015

I end nearly every night laying in my bed watching YouTube videos of people pretending to talk to me. When I wake every few hours, there they are, still talking to me, asking me questions about how things are going. They assure me, they do my nails, they draw pictures of me. And I never have to say a word to them.

If you somehow missed this, ASMR, which is an acronym for a bunch of words that sound like a load of horseshit, is this extremely real thing that happens to some people, and if it happens to you, you know. Have you ever been talking to someone or hearing some sound that made you start to get really tingly, mostly in your head? Well, that thing is called ASMR and YouTubers figured out how to make it happen to you any time you want.Unless you don’t have a computer and internet. Get those things.

Here are my favorite ASMR-tists.

Whispers Unicorn

She was my first, and I just adore her. This is one of her videos that I watch over and over. I think she does the best job of making me feel like she’s actually looking at me.
Toni Bomboni

Yeah, I know he’s wearing make-up. He does that a lot. Sometimes the videos he makes are pretty damn strange, too. Strange enough to be featured on Tosh.0. But I love me some Tony, and I’ll tell you why. Most importantly, his videos and techniques are spot on and make me tingle all over. But also, he’s a wonderfully open guy who faces hoards of trolls ever day of his life and still seems to shrug it off. Someone calls me fat online and I have a meltdown. Tony takes constant bullying for his make-up, his sexuality, his really strange videos, and everything about his face. And then you know what he does? He doesn’t bitch about it. He just keeps making videos that make other people feel great.
Gentle Whispering

Every time Maria says “Hello” at the beginning of her videos, my body relaxes. I usually have one of her videos running on my second monitor at work. Shhh. Don’t tell my boss. (If you’re my boss and you’re reading this, just un-read that last part and give me a raise.)
Paul Artwork

In my real life, if anyone even tells me that they’re drawing a picture of me, it gives me ASMR. This dude is like, looking straight at me and drawing me. Yes, I know not really. Spoil sport.

Anyway, these are only four of the thousands of people making videos like this, and they’ve gotten so popular that you can find a video that matches whatever “trigger” you have. (If you have them.) Friend of mine gets set off by people talking about astrology like it’s real. Some people like to hear chewing sounds. I don’t get that one, because I think chewing sounds are totes grody. Point is, if you’re up late at night all wound up and stressed out, try putting in your earbuds and looking around the YouTube at ASMR vids.

It’s LOVE TIME, Y’all! Things I love: This Song

February 5th, 2015

It’s that time of year when I get to tell you about the things I currently love, because I love Valentine’s Day and you can go step in dog poo if you don’t love it, too.

This year has been a giant suckfest full of pretty horrible stuff and some days before I even open my eyes, I have the two thoughts.
“This shit again.”

and

“Please no more.”

And so, to kick off all this love, here’s the song I have loved most this year. It is a song that has gotten me out of bed, and a song I have heard so many times in my brain. This song has made me laugh and cry, and I am so glad it exists.

Rilo Kiley, I love you.