Today’s Playlist

Simple Song – The Shins

Back in Your Head – Tegan and Sara

In My Veins – Andrew Belle

Fall Hard- Shout Out Louds

I Buried a Bone – Blind Pilot

Youth – Daughter

Zombie Love Song – The Vanilla Beans

Skinny Love – Birdy (cover)

Runaway – The National

Evening Kitchen – Band of Horses

 

 

 

 

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Seven years

Today is the seven year anniversary of being in my current job. Seven. SEVEN. I don’t know how that happened. I mean, I know how that happened. I’m lazy, and I abhor change, and I’m not particularly ambitious. I’m also good at what I do, and I don’t have to deal with customer service, which I appreciate. That’s a topic for another day, though.

Today, as I am trying to wrap my brain around seven years in my position, I am struck by the fact that I’ve never actually nested here. There isn’t a single thing on my desk that would indicate who sits here: no pictures, no knickknacks, no plants. Nothing. I spend 40 hours a week at this desk. A full third of every weekday. And I have nothing here at all of my own, for comfort or as a reflection of my personality. If I were to stand up right now and walk out of this building, I would only leave behind a bottle of Excedrin and a lint roller in my top desk drawer. That’s it. Seven years, and I’d leave no trace of myself.

Progress!

I finished reading “And the Mountains Echoed” by Khaled Hosseini. January was a success for keeping resolutions! Unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I had hoped I would. I liked “The Kite Runner” and LOVED “A Thousand Splendid Suns”. This one had a solid start for me: tears by the second chapter. Somewhere down the road, it just lost me.

I have a harder time enjoying something that has this book’s kind of structure. I don’t have a problem with switching between narrators. I just like to not switch between narrators for every section of a book. Some of the stories were very moving, and they were all well written. Despite the stories all being connected in some way, I just didn’t feel the connection with all of the characters. I wanted a more streamlined story, and I wanted to dig further into just one or two stories rather than skimming the surface of a bunch of different stories.

Regardless, that’s one book down. Now I just have to figure out what to read next. Suggestions?

Adulting

I am not always one for New Year’s resolutions, but I figured I’d give it a shot again this year. I’m notoriously bad about neglecting my health. This was bad enough when I was younger, but it really isn’t something I can keep doing as I get older. This year, I resolved to be better about taking care of myself physically. Since that is a bit vague, and since I tend to shirk responsibilities, I set a goal to do something for my health each month this year. To keep myself accountable…or to at least attempt to keep myself accountable…I’ve decided to post about my attempts here.

Today I went to the optometrist and the dentist. Neither of those were particularly fun, but I consider January a success as far as health is concerned. My gums hurt, and I bled an embarrassing amount. The chipper hygienist informed me that I should feel lucky, because at least I didn’t have to get a deep clean! She said this after 30+ minutes of jabbing a metal pick deep into my gums and lecturing me about my abysmal flossing habits. If what she did to me today wasn’t a deep clean, I am legitimately scared of whatever a deep clean entails. And apparently I have to buy a waterpik. I am not thrilled about this new development, but I really don’t want to have a repeat experience when I get another cleaning in 6 months, so I guess this is happening.

I’m set up for February as well. I have a follow up dentist appointment to get my cavities filled (oh, joy!) during the afternoon on February 5th. I also have a doctor’s appointment to get a wellness exam…on the morning of February 5th. Efficiency! I haven’t had an actual doctor’s appointment in years, so I really don’t know what to anticipate other than discomfort. So now I just have to line up appointments for a dermatologist and a gynecologist and figure out what to do for the other 8 months. Diet? Get focused on exercise? Get an allergy panel? Eh. Maybe something each month was too ambitious.

My second resolution (that’s right, I’m not done rambling) is to read a new book each month. I love to read, but I keep spending my free time watching hours upon hours of Netflix. When I do get on a reading kick, I tend to just re-read books that I’ve already read countless times. Or I crack out on a book series and read them all in a few weeks, just to spend the rest of the year curled up on the couch watching Pretty Little Liars or the  entire series of Gilmore Girls.

I picked up “And the Mountains Echoed” by Khaled Hosseini a few weeks ago. It’s been sitting on my nightstand ever since. I really liked “The Kite Runner” and “A Thousand Splendid Suns”, and figured this would be a good book to start with…if I ever get started. I still have 11 days. I can do this! I can do this?

I’m not sure what it says about me that my first resolution is to do something that most adults just do as part of being an adult human.

Delicate little flower

I’ve always had an aversion to conflict. Don’t get me wrong, I can be excessively cruel, but I prefer to be mean via cutting remarks at normal speaking volumes. Shouting matches, or even angry tones, are my undoing.
The anger doesn’t even have to be directed at me in order to mess me up. I remember curling up in a ball at my desk and (usually unsuccessfully) fighting off tears when classmates would get in trouble in elementary school. I had managed to avoid tears by the time junior high rolled around, but I would still get a stomach ache from nervousness whenever a teacher would raise their voice.
I thought this would fade away with age, but that hasn’t yet proven to be the case. If people are arguing in the office near my desk, I head to the other side out of hearing range until the discussion is over. I recently put in headphones and cranked iTunes to drown out a heated conference call that a coworkers was participating in via speakerphone.
I thought that was the limit to this aversion. I can’t handle conflict, and that’s just something I’ll have to live with.

I was wrong.

Our affiliate company is doing construction on a building across the street from our office, and the building has been filled with the cacophony of machinery all morning. To most people, this would just be a minor annoyance, but I am emotionally & mentally losing my shit.
It’s like a part of my brain has decided that the machines are fighting with each other, or at least really pissed off at that building. I’m on edge, my stomach feels queasy, and I can’t focus on anything. It’s swell.

So there you have it. If you ever wish to render me helpless, all you have to do is sound angry near me. However, I do urge you to refrain from taking advantage of my candor. Sure, you can spaz me out with some simple loud noises. But once I pull myself out of the fetal position, I will be super bitchy. Just, you know, quietly bitchy.

Mike asked me a question the other night, and I’ve been mulling it over since. He had recently gone to a Phish show, and was talking about how he’s just too old to try to get right to the front at a concert anymore, though he’s never been the one to rush the stage. I mentioned that the last time I can remember trying to get anywhere near a stage (other than friend’s bands concerts) was seeing Dashboard Confessional in Kirksville years ago. At one point in time, I owned all of his CDs and listened to him regularly. (I know it’s ‘Dashboard Confessional’, but it’s pretty much just Chris Carrabba right? Thus the regular references to ‘him’ rather than ‘them’.)

I remember going out at midnight when ‘The Places You Have Come to Fear the Most’ was released and just sitting in a friend’s car with them listening to it from start to finish because we didn’t want to wait to get home to hear it. And then listening to it again and again on my own. I fell asleep to that CD with my discman and headphones in my bunk bed freshman year when I couldn’t fall asleep in a new and strange place without something comfortable and familiar to comfort me. I lived and breathed that album. And the ones that followed.

Mike asked me this simple question: “Is there anything in your life right now that you would go out to get at midnight?”

….holy crap. There really isn’t. I don’t mean that there aren’t things that I enjoy, things that I love. I just don’t have anything that I just had to have RIGHT THEN, anything I’m so excited about that I anxiously await it’s arrival and rush out to get the first moment it’s available.

Part of that is due to the nature of technology and accessibility in our everyday lives. If I want an album, I can just buy it on my phone. I don’t even have to buy the entire CD; I can pick and choose whichever songs I like. Sometimes I love this. It’s nice to have so many things at the tip of my finger. But it takes away SO much of the experience. There’s no delay, no anticipation, no impatient excitement and the eventual (and much greater) satisfaction of finally getting something that you’ve been anxiously awaiting. It’s just there. I just have it. I don’t have to really do anything. No wait.

I think I miss the wait. I miss that feeling of connection to something tangible, even. The crinkle of plastic on the new CD, the liner notes. The feeling of having an album, not just a song. Something I can hold in my hands. Something solid. I miss that feeling of being connected to a band, and not just isolated songs by a number of different bands. I miss feeling impassioned and excited.

Is there anything you’d go out for at midnight because you just can’t wait and have to have it as soon as you possibly can? Or are we just too disenchanted these days?