Verboten Music

One of the most regrettable parts of no longer constantly being depressed is the music. There are entire categories of music I love deeply but am afraid to re-listen to other than in passing on the radio due to an intense fear that if I start listening again, I will be dragged down into the awful, desperate dark spaces in which I used to be mired.

Like an addict returning to old haunts or old friends, that’s how I view certain artists and albums. Little triggers. Hidden minefields.

I used to lock myself in my room and listen to Radiohead, Erasure, The Cure, or Tori Amos on repeat for days – even weeks. All in the attempt to wallow. (And quite frankly, what an enjoyable wallow it was.) There was something beautifully broken about being gloriously depressed. Reveling in pathos. Tragically melancholy.

Seductive lies about art and sadness. I mean, seriously. Why can’t our culture glorify art and joy? As if only true art stems from a dark, broken place.

What is my fear, exactly? That I’ll be drawn back to the lures of tragedy. To want to go back to the siren song of drama, insecurity, and unbearable sadness. There is something still so dangerously enticing to that old life. The lie that angst and brokenness and irreparable damage are more beautiful than wholeness and healing and vibrant living.

I turned in my Manic Pixie Dream Girl Card ™ a decade or so ago. I don’t want to lose my fourteen year sobriety chip just because I miss some tunes. (Plus, who’s going to take care of my three wee ones?)

However, I’m slowly coming around to the idea that I can listen to this music again without triggering a depression spiral. That enough decades and healing have intervened and the music is no longer a minefield and back to just beautiful music.

Sadly, I can’t say the same for movies or fan fiction. Entire broad categories of Spuffy BTVS fan fiction (especially those by the incomparable Herself) and certain angsty Alias Sarkney fanfics (but especially the Complicity fic by Behind the Red Door) are now either unavailable except through the Wayback Machine or by personal choice. Now by all means, these are not my favorite fan fics, just ones that particularly trigger my angsty self. There’s a reason why I tend to read Regency Romances nowadays.

And as for movies, no matter how much I loved it on first viewing, I will never again be able to watch Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. I think fiction and movies get me too invested in characters and I just can’t divest myself from the feelings. THE FEELINGS!!

Actually, I feel somewhat embarrassed at just how much I have geek-checked myself in this post but WHATEVER.

Anyhow, since I’m the one with the trigger problems, there’s no need for YOU to deprive yourself of some awesome (albeit, somewhat older) music. Here then, a sampling of songs with which I would put on repeat for days:

– Radiohead: Fake Plastic Trees, High and Dry

– Erasure: Rock Me Gently, Piano Song

– Tori Amos: Winter (ok, pretty much everything)

– Delirium: Innocente (ft. Leigh Nash)

– Sarah Mclachlan: Fear

By no means is this list all-inclusive. It’s only what I can easily recall late on a Sunday night.

So tell me, am I crazy? Am I the only one?


Just Call Me a Late Adopter

I know I may be the only one, but I really don’t get Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram. (Now, get off my lawn!) I mean, I understand the theory behind them; I just can’t see myself using them. I remember I used to beg my younger brother to send me invitations to the latest internet crazes (eg: Gmail, MySpace, Facebook, etc.) and took pride in being, if not the earliest adopter, at least an early-ish adopter. No more. 

Let me air my grievances.

I am annoyed, TO THIS DAY, that Hapa Papa convinced me to sign up for Twitter. He said it would help promote my blog. I suppose it would if I tweeted anything other than my blog posts. Or, had conversations with people back and forth. Here’s the thing, though. Why would I have a public conversation? If I wanted to talk to someone, I would just text/email/IM (does anyone still do this?) them IN REAL LIFE. Oh, I don’t really know them? THEN WHY AM I HAVING A CONVERSATION WITH THEM?

Ok, I guess I have “conversations” with people I don’t know already when I participate in forums or comment on articles, but there usually is a huge separation in time. Versus in my mind, Twitter is more like a real time conversation. I don’t know, people. I don’t really use it correctly.

What also annoys me is that Hapa Papa is all proud of the fact that he has amassed a decent Twitter following. He has goals for how many followers he gets and how many tweets he tweets/twits/twitters. This would be great if not for the fact that OMG HIS TWEETS ARE SO FUCKING BORING. He even admits it. They are 99.9% work related and that means he’s tweeting or re-tweeting articles on web testing and optimization. OMG I KNOW THIS IS HIS JOB BUT WHY? I WANT TO STAB MY EYES OUT THEY ARE SO BORED BY HIS TWEETS. Sorry. My capslock got stuck.

I mean, it’s great that he’s got all these followers, but unless one of these “followers” makes him a sandwich, I’m not impressed.

Furthermore, I really can’t imagine anyone wanting to read what I tweet/twit/twitter. Hapa Papa‘s tweets may be boring, but at least they serve a purpose and are useful. Who in their right mind is going to want to read drivel such as, “Gamera just peed in the potty! YAY! #pottytraining #nocharts #barebottom #iliveontheedge.”

Granted, I post such drivel on Facebook, but that’s only blasted out to 557 of my closest friends. (Ok, the actual number is much smaller than that since most of the people on my Friends list are shunted into Acquaintances and therefore cannot see most of my posts. But you get my drift.) It isn’t blasted across the interwebz so that any schmuck can read it for all of posterity. Plus, this 140 character count would require too much thinking, clarity and lack of wordiness – all of which I try to avoid in my life. I very much enjoy my non-thinking, opaque verbosity, thank you.

As for Pinterest, when I first got on Pinterest, I pinned quite a few things on boards and stuff, but after a day or two of that, I just stopped caring. I have no desire to see endless pictures of people who organize, cook, dress, DIY, craft, and EVERYTHING better than I could ever possibly on my best day. I suppose since I never cared for physical magazines in these genres, it makes sense that I don’t care about them in their online forms.

And Instagram? I don’t get it. How is it different than posting a pic to Facebook? Or Flikr? Or Picasa? And now, because I just typed that sentence, I actually went to Instagram’s site to read what it was about. (How mortifying. Not the seeking out knowledge part. Just the fact that I really didn’t know what Instagram was but still don’t care and insulted it.) Bah. Even after reading what Instagram does, I don’t care.

Clearly, because I don’t care about these products, they’re not geared towards me. I’m sure you’ll all tell me in the comments what an idiot I am for not doing XYZ and that I totally don’t understand social media or puppies or ANYTHING THAT IS AWESOME AND GOOD. I accept. I am totally OK with this. What I am MORE interested in, however, is what things everyone you know likes and uses but you think is just dumber than a bag of hammers. Don’t be shy now.

When Did *I* Become the Grown Up in the Room?

Ladies and gentleman, I am thirty-five years old, have three small children, am married, and own a business with my mother. Yet somehow, when I stop and think about it, I am completely baffled by this turn of events. How have I been entrusted with the daily responsibility of keeping alive three babies? More importantly, how have I kept them alive so long?

I recall about three and a half years ago, I was giving a talk to a bunch of junior high girls for the Soroptimists (I am not one, but an acquaintance of mine was) at a local high school. All of a sudden, someone pulled the fire alarm and we had to evacuate the class room. I looked around for an adult to follow and then stopped short. HOLY FUCKING SHIT. I was the adult. I had to make sure all the girls in my class met at the appropriate meeting point and then accompany them back to the classroom. What the what?


How in the world did this happen? Who allowed this? To whom should I lodge a complaint?

I don’t know if it’s the Impostor Syndrome, the fact that I think I’m younger than I really am, or just complete denial of reality. But I find it so weird.

Does anyone else feel like this? That their view of themselves hasn’t quite caught up to reality yet?

I mean, I know I am a mother now. A grown up taking care of small children that are MINE (for reals) and that no one is coming to take away. I have responsibilities and I perform them (reasonably well). Yet STILL. It seems strange.

Granted, it is less surreal now than it was about four years ago when I was just about to have Cookie Monster. I wonder if that feeling of “Is this really my life?” will ever go away? Or whether at every stage in life I’ll still be somewhat surprised. I am reminded of these lyrics from the song, Once in a Lifetime.

You may find yourself in a beautiful house with a beautiful wife
You may ask yourself, “Well, how did I get here?”

You may tell yourself, “This is not my beautiful house.”
You may tell yourself, “This is not my beautiful wife.”

– Once in a Lifetime, Talking Heads

When I was younger and heard this song on the radio, I thought it was one of the stupidest things ever and hated the song. It made no sense to me. How could anyone not know their house or their wife? Plus, I thought the song sounded weird. Then, when I heard it in the trailer for the Nicolas Cage movie, The Family Man, and finally watched it, I started to like the song because it reminded me of the movie (which I really enjoyed). But it was only after I had Cookie Monster that I finally understood what the song was talking about.

I know. I was a little late to the party.

Now, I absolutely LOVE this song. It perfectly captures my bewilderment when I really stop and look at my life. I never in a million years would’ve thought I’d be a SAHM with three kids (and contemplating one, perhaps two, more). I thought I would be just like my own mother and work. After all, I turned out ok, right? RIGHT?

I remember a friend of mine telling me once her son was born, she knew that she was born to be his mother. She put on hold her career as an optometrist (a career she loved) and became a SAHM to three kids. When she told me this, I was stunned. I just couldn’t imagine someone giving up a career (temporarily, obviously) for a BABY.

I clearly lack imagination.

As soon as I saw Cookie Monster‘s squishy little face and huge dark eyes, I knew – just knew – that I was made to be his mother. Three kids later, I still know to the core of my being that being a mom is the best thing that has ever happened to me and that I don’t mind being a SAHM at all. In fact, I LOVE it. It is what I was born to do. I would rather do this than any other job (well, except perhaps the job where I get paid to lay around all day reading, watching TV, and stuffing my piehole with as much food as possible. Or as Hapa Papa would call it, “The Weekend.” As soon as Friday hits, I have a tendency to forget I’m a parent and force him to take care of our children solo.)

Anyhow, this is all just a rambling long post just to say that I can’t believe this is my life – but I am ever so grateful.

And with that, I leave you with the live version of Once in a Lifetime on YouTube since I can’t find the album version of this song.