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Posts Tagged ‘music’

I started this story 2 days before my birthday – two days before your memorial service.

And we even made it in the Tribune, which still seems weird to me.

I think, ultimately, Kerouac said it best:

“I hope it is true that a man can die and yet not only live in others but give them life, and not only life, but that great consciousness of life.”

You definitely do that for me, Joe. You definitely do that for me.

I’m finishing it today – your birthday. It hit me really hard at work today. I realized it was your birthday and I picked up my phone to call you.

And I realized that I couldn’t do that anymore.

And for the first time in a very long time, I had to run out of my work space and hide in the bathroom and start crying. And I didn’t want to stop crying. But I did – in what you would say was “record time, for you” – and finished my day. And I don’t expect that it will be an uncommon occurrence over the next few days.

At lunch, two of my new friends came with me, and we all sat, had a beer, discussed D&D, poetry, and random things, and split food. And listened to you all the way to and from the restaurant. And I listened to you play a lot today, Joe. I had to. I probably will in the next few days. I still listen every week – it’s pretty much a habit, by now, an unconscious thought, a thing I do to complete every week I have.

I did on my birthday, too. I was driving to Dallas, and I put the first CD I ever got from you guys – hell, remember? You got me in the show and I promised to buy a CD, and I did. And that’s the CD I was listening to.

I still can’t believe that you’ve been gone this long. I feel bad I didn’t write this in time for your book.

You brought my life so much, and I don’t know that I told you enough.

If there’s one thing, just one thing, that I can do, in memory of you, it’s to make sure I treasure every moment – friends, family, work (oh man, you should see our Nerf fights) – and I do my best with what I can.

But I still remember seeing you, through the window of the coffee shop, reading a poetry book, and I said “I have to go in and talk to him, because he obviously likes poetry and has good taste.”

And I’ve never regretted it. You knew the shy me, the one a lot of people didn’t. And I remember everything… mostly everything. Including the stuff I’ll never tell anyone.

One day we’ll all laugh about this, together, again. I have faith. I have hope.

“And peruse manifold objects, no two alike, and every one good;
The earth good, and the stars good, and their adjuncts all good.”

Say hi to Walt for me, Joe. Ask him all the questions that we always wondered. Even if you can’t tell, at least you’ll know. And we can all fill it in someday.

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I’m sick. I’m still accepting I’m sick. I’m having to accept I can’t run on all cylinders 15+ hours out of the day. In fact, I’ve had about 1 total hour since I’ve been awake that I’ve felt reasonably normal, and even then I’m maybe at 50% of firing. I feel like someone who is beaten down. I keep kicking myself internally because I can’t do these things. But it’s not my fault I got mono, and it’s not my fault I have zero energy to get things done. It’s a matter now of making sure I stay hydrated, eat enough to survive, and sleep when I feel like it, work on papers when I feel like it, and pray everything works out in a good manner. I’ve resigned myself that I might never get to work at my school again for my work study this year. I have not yet conceded my semester to this illness. I’m a fighter, down to my marrow of my bones.. and right now, I hurt.. to the marrow of my bones. It takes a lot for me to complain about being sick.

I hate feeling negative, so I’m trying not to. Both with not surrounding myself to it, and having it come from internally. So I’m dumping it all in this entry. *breathes*

Something I’ve noticed, especially lately, is the incredible and insane amount of negativity on Twitter.

I realize quite a few of the people I am thinking of are over 10 years younger than I am (or in that nebulous kind of range) and not only will probably not read this entry, but would feel it’s okay to mock it. I also notice that many of them are slyly insulting me, and my friends, behind my back, defollowing me on Twitter, etc. And that’s fine. If they feel the need to make themselves feel better, more power to them.

But they’re wrong in doing so. They are doing themselves damage. No – not because they’re ignoring me (me? that egocentric? nah), but because they’re ignoring my message.

10 years ago I’m not 100% sure I would have accepted what I (and Bill Hicks) are about to say, but I hope the aforementioned people decide to read it.

This much negativity towards: people you don’t like, things you don’t like, people you are jealous of, people you are trying to get attention from and cannot, situations where all you exude are negative feelings, thoughts, and emotions.. have you ever considered, for one minute, that the person on the other side of the internet is EXACTLY THAT? a PERSON? with their own sets of feelings, thoughts, and emotions.

Switch places. How do you feel now? Would you HONESTLY be able to cope with the adversity and all the negativity being tossed at you?

Chances are, I doubt it. But – again – I do not know, as I do not know a lot of these people and I will not project negativity at them. I will hypothesize and say no. I don’t pretend to know your life. I don’t think I ever could. However, that doesn’t exclude me wanting to find out more about you – as a human being, as a person, as (insert name here), so I can understand you – and it – better.

Something I’ve realized, since I was 18, is how crazy people get on the Internet. How insane people can take it offline. I didn’t grow up with the Internet like most of the world.. my first exposure was when I was.. 16? 17? Life is different now.

So, an anecdote. Here’s something I don’t talk about much: I used to have a stalker offline. She sent me death threats. She brought them to concerts where I was working. She put nails in my tires when I had a 3 hour drive home at 2 am so I might get run over when I got a flat (her words). (PS, this is pre-cell phone – in fact, i still carry around a prepaid phone card, not because I need it, but just because.)

Would you like to know why? Because I dared to not have sex with a band member of a band I worked with that she was OBSESSED with. More specifically, “You told him no, and you should die for that.”

I’ll let all that sink in a bit.

Now.. that’s pretty much one of my excessive examples. But any kind of passion taken to the extreme negative like that always gives me chills. it also gives me a damned good perspective: there is no reason – no reason – to be nasty with someone you have never, ever met.

People do not realize that their negativity means they will draw more and more of it to them. I didn’t understand this until this year, but I understand it in dividends right now. I have people keeping me sane right now, because they care enough to tell me “you’re being silly. quit being hard on yourself. you didn’t make yourself sick, but you can make yourself sicker unless you take control of yourself.

I hear you guys. I hear you. And I thank you for continually saying it to me. And I ask my friends to hold me up while I’m sick, because it’s really devastating to me. This is just this important to me, and needed to be said, and out of my head.

I promised a Bill Hicks quote, and he says in just a couple paragraphs what I’ve spent a ton of energy on and after this I’m going to go nap. (Emphasis mine)

“The world is like a ride in an amusement park, and when you choose to go on it you think it’s real because that’s how powerful our minds are. The ride goes up and down, around and around, it has thrills and chills, and it’s very brightly colored, and it’s very loud, and it’s fun for a while. Many people have been on the ride a long time, and they begin to wonder, “Hey, is this real, or is this just a ride?” And other people have remembered, and they come back to us and say, “Hey, don’t worry; don’t be afraid, ever, because this is just a ride.” And we … kill those people. “Shut him up! I’ve got a lot invested in this ride, shut him up! Look at my furrows of worry, look at my big bank account, and my family. This has to be real.” It’s just a ride. But we always kill the good guys who try and tell us that, you ever notice that? And let the demons run amok … But it doesn’t matter, because it’s just a ride. And we can change it any time we want. It’s only a choice. No effort, no work, no job, no savings of money. Just a simple choice, right now, between fear and love. The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks on your doors, buy guns, close yourself off. The eyes of love instead see all of us as one. Here’s what we can do to change the world, right now, to a better ride. Take all that money we spend on weapons and defenses each year and instead spend it feeding and clothing and educating the poor of the world, which it would pay for many times over, not one human being excluded, and we could explore space, together, both inner and outer, forever, in peace.

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I’ve been tossing around my ideas for writing for Speak out with your Geek out.

And honestly, the only thing that comes to mind? poetry. Which is, in all fairness, fairly geeky to me. And since it’s been a while since I posted a freeverse… I’m just riffing on a bunch of things I’ve been told over the years, stereotype or otherwise. And it probably doesn’t make a lot of sense. But hey… sometimes that’s me too.

~

Say What?

You laugh and say I live in a world
of fantasy and I ask you what is more
realistic – a land of elves and fairies
or a land where people say one thing

and do another. Which is more honest?
Me, pretending to be an armless fairy
in a game or you, telling your girlfriend
you love her via phone while you roll your

eyes? Yes, I wear big glasses. Yes, I’m
clumsy. I’m not a barbie doll – think more
50s era girl with a different mentality
about many, many things. Like it’s -really-

awesome for girls to play video games.
(I’m fairly sure the game companies have this
figured out – I don’t see too many guys
running around with pink 360 controllers and

rose coloured DSes. Okay, I fit that stereotype.
Sue me. I love pink.) Yes, dear, I DID play
Counterstrike on PC. Dirty rotten camper?
(de_dust and cs_office were my faves)

Oh, I can’t possibly care what’s under the hood?
Did you know my dream car is a 67 Shelby?
Did you know I HAVE a dream car? A girl can’t watch auto
racing? and like sports? Pardon me, I need to laugh.

After all, no girl could sit through game
after game after game week in and out
and care beyond “omg, they look good in their
uniforms.” (That’s just an added bonus!)

Please note my sarcasm on the topic. Would
you care to comment on the state of the financial
situation of the club? or perhaps on the
fluidity of the defense in the latest match?

Switching topics – yes, I know all the words
to the songs I’m hearing. yes, I may have
sold merch before. Once or dozens of times.
Did you just seriously ask if I fuck them?

Honey, i work with the bands, not on them.
Not everyone is a stereotype. Many of us ignored
“you can’t” and went straight to “watch me do this”
because of people like you ….

Maybe one day, they’ll make the molds
out of us instead of trying to fit us
into them. Who knows? In the meantime,
care to play a game?

~

Please note.. this is just me sitting here, rambling about things I swear I’ve heard in the past 5 or so years off and on. Not PC, it just is what it is. If you’re offended by it, I don’t mean to offend anyone. But I hope that it makes people realize that it doesn’t matter if you’re a girl or a guy, you can be interested and love and, in fact, geek out, over virtually anything.

And it’s okay. In my world, at least, it’s encouraged. I encourage anyone who read this, even if you think the poem was awful, to be yourself. It’s always best to be yourself. It’s never any good to be anyone else.

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As I’ve been reflecting upon the past week… there have been a lot of things that have gone on in those particular dates – July 3-July 10 – in my life.

I’ll start out by saying this July 3-4 were some of the best of my life. I got to meet my wonderful friend Quinn. I’m so happy I got to meet Quinn – she’s the kind of person I know I’ll have in my life until my life no longer exists. ❤ in an unrelated thing, got to say yes to a question that undoubtedly has and will change(d) my life forever. (yay for happy cryptic messages.)

So.. here's the sad parts, and they are really rather personal and painful. So.. bear with me.

The most recent.. and rather, very painful.. was the passing of my cat Truman last year on the 9th. I was going to write a blog post about it, but this one will suffice. I still miss him so much. I cried and sobbed and had to bite back the sobs that wrack your body and soul when I was telling someone very special about him. I feel guilty because I haven’t been able to donate as much as I wanted to to the Veterinary Cancer Society. When I get a job, I will… or when I win Month at the Museum.

Me and my cat Truman!

Further back a few years… 2004. It was I think 7.6 or 7.7.04. I went to see Lucky Boys Confusion in Myrtle Beach at the House of Blues. I then drove back to Wilmington, NC, where I lived, and headed to the airport to go pick up my cat Sheba.

Yes, you read that right; Bathsheba is from Las Vegas. She was rehomed with me because of a kind person donating their frequent flier miles so a rescuer could bring her to me (as I already had Furball at this point, and Nicky, and both were somewhat feral, another feral cat didn’t bother me, and it greatly helped the rescuer).

So I turned left into the airport, I saw a flash of light, and felt a sudden lurch and pain all around me, smelled smoke, and when I opened my eyes I’d spun 270 degrees and my car’s totalled. I got out, looked in hers, saw 3 kids under the age of 10, no car seats, her screaming for a lawyer, and I just walked over, sat on the curb and the grass on the side of the road out of the way and stared at my car. I remember someone asked if 911 was called, and someone talked to me. My parents called going “We have a weird feeling, are you okay?” and that made me start hurting everywhere and crying. Oh, man, did I hurt. I still feel that hurt some days.. snowstorms make my left leg almost impossible to stand on, for example.

So I ended up in an ambulance on the way to the hospital… laid there in the ER in a cold room for almost 2 hours, by myself, no one to check up on me.. couldn’t do anything.. apparently the accident made the news and the ensuing cleanup actually blocked off the airport road for 5 hours that night.. Later she tried to sue me for the $300,000 medical bills she accrued.. while the lawyer got me off the hook (as uh, sorry, it wasn’t my fault she blew a red light), he wasn’t able to get State Farm to pay my medical bills that were overdue, so until a couple years ago I was still repaying ~$15k that insurance didn’t cover. (It’s since been paid off.)

I had a CAT scan, tons of Xrays.. was sent home with a prescription for a painkiller that i was allergic to. For 2 days after the wreck I had no painkillers (I have a super high pain tolerance…. ) caught a cab to the motel where the rescue lady was staying at… the taxi driver was kind enough to help us get up to my apartment, turned off his meter while we got the cat settled, and didn’t charge her for the time. (we tipped him a lot). I also called him a couple of times so i could get prescriptions filled (again, two days after for painkillers). I still, to this day, have scars from the accident, which is why i won’t wear some clothing, I’m so self conscious about it. They remind me too much. (I have a scar on my hip that is from the seatbelt cutting through 5 layers of clothing). I had bruises for weeks. Even today, I have problems with my left achilles tendon locking up on me. I have a weird … thing, phenomenon… whatever you want to call it… with my collarbone that cracks and even after xrays we can’t figure it out. My neck is naturally weakened and my back (i have scoliosis) has even more issues because it didn’t really heal correctly after the accident. Stuff like that.

As not to completely dampen everyone’s spirits.. I remember two weeks afterwards loading up a rental car with my friend Echo and driving to Boston to pick up a friend Krissy from Norway and go follow Hanson and The Whatnot up and down the east coast a bit. This trip was planned long before I had my accident, and it was happening.. come hell, high water, or bruises from head to toe. Thankfully they were super flexible and the rental car company gave us a gorgeous car to drive… At least I wasn’t on crutches anymore (though it might have helped to fight off the teeny boppers). It was beautiful, and everything AND I MEAN EVERYTHING hurt, but it was so worth it. Also, rental car + driving in Manhattan = holy… never again thanks.

There’s a reason why I wear a seat belt, and why I require others to wear them in my car. That’s because wearing a seat belt was the reason I walked away from this accident. This is a 98 Cavalier and I hit a Caddy head on .. I was doing less than 20, she was doing 45.

front view of my car, 7.2004

closerup view of my car.

inside car

driver's interior view

I broke the head visor thing when I smacked it and ate the airbag.

oi.

this umbrella was in the trunk. when the back seat broke, it rocketed up into the passenger seat and bent the handle. (It’s an emily strange umbrella with cat ears. I’ll never find another one.)

I have pictures still of all my bruises and such, but meh.. no need to post them. These make me cry enough.

I know who was watching down on me that night. That’s a blog post that will never be written.

So, really.. is there an Ides in July?

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So even though the Declaration of Independence wasn’t signed until July 6, we celebrate here in the USA on July 4.

I believe that the current modes of celebration are both good and bad.

The great parts – family getting together, partaking in yummy food, great fellowship, amazing fun. I have been up at my friend Quinn’s family near KC for the past day. We got to meet up, run around, had a great time last night, and saw fireworks overlooking the lake. It has been a very good time and completely worth it. I have met some very kind and generous people.

The bad parts – people using it as an excuse to go get drunk, drive, otherwise operate machinery that they shouldn’t, and accidents occur. Not to mention all the fires from unnecessary fireworks, accidents from those, need I go on? This is not the reason for this day. You all know where I’m heading with this.

My family has been in America (on my mom’s side) since 1732 (no folks, seriously. Not Portuguese..) and while I never joined the military, I have a LOT of friends and family that have. I’m rather outspoken about it, and I have a rather.. abrupt opinion of anyone who decides to start ragging on anyone who is a veteran or active duty. While you (and I, sometimes) may not agree with why or what our country does, that does not mean we do not support our fellow humans, our brothers and sisters, our aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, parents, classmates, guy down the street who always seemed a little off after Vietnam, the kid that you remember from 8th grade English who you saw walking one day down the street and… no, that’s true, he’s missing a few fingers.

I cannot understand why humans feel the need to do things like war. I can understand fighting for something bigger than you, for something that is worth it. For this, I thank every military member out there, regardless of branch, regardless of years. You’re doing something I cannot.

So, on this Independence Day, I offer 3 videos. Watch them. Look at them. Listen to them. Think. Think of your actions.. not just today, but every day. Think of how you treat your fellow man. Think of how, instead of hurtful words, how kind actions could change our world. Then, maybe, there would be no need for all the things we cannot make sense of.

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I felt I needed to delineate both topics. The Wicked book and subsequent musical hold a dear place in my heart.

Wicked is the alternate story/parallel of the Wicked Witches of the Wizard of Oz written by Gregory Maguire. It has 2 sequels, but the original is brilliant.

The book is an absolute must read. I don’t care what kind of book you like – you simply MUST read Wicked. I would say just buy it, but going to your library is another awesome option.

I absolutely refuse to spoil it, so you can look it up on your own. This goes for both the book and the movie – Wiki has tons of spoilers throughout, so if you don’t want to spoiler it, DO NOT LOOK IT UP.

The musical. The original Broadway cast was absolutely amazing. The subsequent casts have been amazing. Stephen Schwartz is a brilliant composer and assembled an amazing team of individuals to bring together this amazing show. Have I said how amazing this show is? Yeah. I saw it twice on Broadway – the second time 3? days before Idina’s last day, from 6th row that time (6th row! oh my god.) I also took my parents to see it on Halloween night in Wichita, and we also had AMAZING seats. (They really, really enjoyed it. It was their first real musical.)

The original cast starred Idina Menzel (who, if you haven’t realized by now, is someone I greatly admire), Kristen Chenoweth (also a woman who I highly admire), and a PLETHORA of others.

The music … for someone like me, who used to have a 4.5+ octave range, it was simply heaven when I heard it the first time. Every time since then, I still get chills down my spine when I listen to it. I can’t really do Galinda (It’s Glinda, with a GA, to paraphrase) – Kristin’s voice is just too ethereal, and too high for me. No matter how hard I try, I just can’t sound as good. (and no wonder..)

But I still try, because it’s good to push my limits.

99% of Elphaba’s parts are perfect. Out of any musical I’ve ever sung pieces out of (with the exception of Millwork from Working… also by Stephen Schwartz), Elphaba is the only character I can sing any song from and do it with confidence. (The other character is Nessarose, who is the Wicked Witch of the East. Pity my favorite song of hers is one that is not on the soundtrack. 😦 )

I know this entry seems paltry, but I really can’t express how this musical and book make me feel. I identify so, so strongly with Elphaba in so many ways in both versions. More than I think anyone on this earth knows.

I’m having so many problems figuring out what video I’d like to link here. Defying Gravity? maybe. For Good? Possibly. In the end, it comes down to two of them for me… and I can’t decide after 5 hours, so I’ll link them both.

This one is just audio. The Wizard and I, by Elphaba.

This doesn’t do it justice, but it was oh wow. I just. Wow. I love this song for all it says, for all it doesn’t say, and it’s just a beautiful love song. This is probably the one duet I would love, love, love to be able to seriously sing with someone.

As Long As You’re Mine, by Elphaba and Fiyero.

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This is one of my oldest fandoms, I think. It dates back to high school. I dated a real asshole that I hope I never see again, because if I do I would probably end up arrested for beating the ever living daylights out of him. (Ahem.)

Fortunately, something good came out of the relationship: a love of the musical Rent.

Now, since the movie has come out, there’s really no excuse if you’ve never heard of it before. The original cast was amazing, with people like Idina Menzel, Taye Diggs, Jesse L Martin, and a host of others. Many famous and infamous people were in it on Broadway, until it closed down in 2008 (I think I saw it three times total on Broadway. So lucky to have seen it at the Nederlander.) It has since been slated to reopen off-Broadway this year and I am thrilled about that. Despite it showing its age just slightly, it really is a timeless story.

Basically, it’s a rock opera loosely based on La bohème, set in the Alphabet City/Bohemian area of NYC in the 80s/90s, when AIDS was just starting to become known as AIDS. It discusses literally everything you can think of in the film – from sex (both vanilla and S&M), to lesbians, to being gay, to being straight, to fighting life, to fighting for life, to fighting for love, to follow your heart, follow your bliss, follow your dreams, to sticking together, to learning how to live life to it’s fullest.

There is tragedy tied to the musical, as the amazing, brilliant talent known as Jonathan Larson was cruelly taken by an aortic aneurysm the day the show was set to debut off Broadway – January 25, 1996. The first preview was cancelled and all of his friends, family, castmates did a sing through in his memory that night. (I can’t even fathom.)

The production was nominated for ten Tony Awards in 1996 and won four: Best Musical, Best Book, Best Original Score and Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical (Heredia for Angel).

It is one of my favorite musicals (along with Working, Wicked, and on a lesser scale, Les Mis and Phantom).

The music is incredible, it is absolutely a blast to sing along to (when I was younger I really thought I’d be a great Mimi. As time goes on, I realize how much more I am Maureen.)

I would probably talk about and sing this incessantly, but I’ll just leave a video that will do better than I could ever try to.

This is the original cast, and if you get a chance, listen to the original cast recording before you see the movie (if you haven’t done both). There are differences, but the movie did very well to hearken the original.

And by any means, if you’re in NYC, go visit New World Stages and see it. If it doesn’t change your life in some way, I will be amazed.

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