Last week, as a pre-birthday gift to myself (today marking my official entrance into either my very early mid-twenties or very late early twenties), I attended the Atlanta stop of the Welcome to Nightvale tour.
Welcome to Nightvale for the most-of-you who don’t listen to it, is a twice-monthly podcast that is probably best described as Prairie Home Companion written by Lovecraft. It is narrated by Cecil Baldwin (voiced by Cecil Baldwin), who is both the cypher for the town’s own weirdness (there are angels that don’t exist, a dog park which is forbidden, and librarians who are scaly and to be feared) and himself the sort of person who would volunteer to be a public-access radio host.
It was a lovely hour of live theatre, with some charming folk music thrown in for good measure. This I had expected. What I hadn’t expected was the completely delightful people-watching options afforded by attending an event full of nerdy, nerdy 16-year-olds (said, as a former 16-year-old nerd who is now the sort of person at nearly-23 who attends live recordings of podcasts by herself, with all the love in my heart).
Image courtesy of Emily Chapman. Licensed under CC BY 2.0.
I spent last Sunday vomiting up a wide variety of food and drink. Veggie burger. Orange juice. Blueberries. In my house. In my dad’s house. Out of a vehicle onto Morningside Drive, in front of a family out for a bike ride. (My profuse apologies to whoever’s streetfront that was.)
Unprepared as I was for the sudden strike of gastrointestinal upheaval, I wound up having to call my dad and ask him, feebly, to retrieve me so that if I collapsed from dehydration, someone would notice and take me to the hospital. (The cat, though he is a lovely roommate, is not very considerate about these things.)
I livetweeted the whole event, of course, because I am disgusting. When I returned to work on Tuesday, I was reminded of which coworkers follow me on Twitter, because they all started conversations with me by saying, “Oh good, you’re not throwing up anymore!” So that was illuminating.
I occasionally joke that I don’t watch movies. There’s some grain of truth in it—I much prefer TV, if given control of the Netflix account—but just this week I saw two separate films in theaters, and another a few weeks before that. The issue is that the movies that I pay an unholy amount of money to see are not just a little bit embarrassing to disclose.
I haven’t seen a single serious film this year, but I have managed to see Frozen, The Lego Movie, and (most camp-fabulously) Vampire Academy. The first two made me cry. For all that I give off the impression of being a terrible snob, I delight in some particular campy-awful aspects of pop culture. I bored a coworker half to death with my Feelings* About Teen Vampires the other day, and then managed to fail to get a Big Lebowski joke***.
Y’all, I am failing hard at my East Coast Private Liberal Arts College snobbery.
(Maybe it’s because I went to a Methodist school. They’re so earnestly nice, guys. So nice.) Continue reading →
Image courtesy of Scott1723. Licensed under CC 2.0.
I was 15 when I had my first migraine. My family was at a moderately-fancy movie theatre, and it was a bright grey day, and I looked over into the parking lot and noticed that it appeared to be moving, which seemed unusual. I poked my dad and asked him to confirm whether the parking lot was moving or whether I was having an aneurism.
On the downside, the parking lot wasn’t really moving. On the upside, not an aneurism!
The migraines, a legacy inherited from my dad’s side of the family, didn’t make much of an additional appearance until I was in college. Either I was a remarkably low-stress high school student, or something about routinely eating fruits and vegetables staved them off until I started feeding myself a diet consisting of store brand boxed wine and Amy’s microwaveable meals. Continue reading →
Image courtesy of epSos.de. Licensed under CC BY 2.0.
I’ve spent a lot of the last few weeks listening to Sufjan Stevens’ “Seven Swans” album, thanks to Spotify premium and a friend who–after getting a tattoo of a swan–reminded me of the thing’s existence. It is a lovely album, spare and Christian-y in the way that Sufjan Steven’s things are. I’ve been listening in particular to “All the Trees of the Field Shall Clap Their Hands.”
The song title, like most on the album, is a Bible reference. Because I was raised a heathen and my Methodist schooling mostly served to teach me about Hindu holidays, I didn’t know the verse. Google helped me out–thanks, Google!–and provided Isaiah 55:12:
For you shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the fields shall clap their hands.”
Which is lovely. It is some Disney-level optimistic imagery. It is done justice by banjoes.
I’ve been thinking about the religious implications of the song this week, in part because I’m preparing to fly out of town for a cousin’s bat mitzvah this upcoming weekend. I’m excited to see the relatives, and pelt my cousin with marshmallows, and perhaps see what Nebraska has to offer.
Explaining my upcoming weekend plans has, however, led to multiple conversations about whether or not I am, in fact, Jewish. (Chapman is not, on the whole, a wildly common Jewish surname.)
This past weekend, I went to a concert for the first time in possibly several years (I’ve lost count). As anyone who follows me on Spotify can tell, my identity is not wrapped up in my musical choice: I alternate between listening to the Decemberists, the Avett Brothers, and Ke$ha more or less on loop. The process of finding new music is overwhelming to me, and so for the most part I don’t.
Needless to say, the show was not my idea–a friend texted me on Sunday evening, and reasoning that I didn’t have anything else planned, I agreed.
The show itself was at Wonderroot, a venue I had not been in since I was 16. It’s one of those all-purpose arts Things that I suspect most cities have–Atlanta has several–located in a big repurposed house with a recording studio and painting space and general artsy goings-on. There’s a community garden out back, because it’s that kind of place. They throw parties for folks who buy new art, and though I felt both too square and too old to be there, I am generally pleased that it exists.
The venue itself had all the aesthetic charm of someone’s Athens basement house show–dark and warm through other people’s body heat (and actually in a basement). Because I’m secretly a squirrel, the tight quarters and the darkness were fine by me. The fact that the beer was $1 a can was icing on the basement concert cake. I chatted with my friend and drank my beer and enjoyed being out of my element. Continue reading →
Next weekend, I begin round two of improv classes. I will no doubt continue my fine tradition of walking the thin line of complete mortification at my own failures while also being secretly quite pleased when things work out (improv, my personal life, whatever). I am very much looking forward to it.
The first time I took improv classes, my main takeaway was that even if I sucked–and I was very, very sure that I did–it was okay. I could fail and it would be fine. I could fail badly and it would be fine. Nothing would eat me. And as completely cheeseball as it is, that has stuck with me in the months since.
Since I first took classes, I’ve continued with my volunteering at that improv theatre (I’ve quit writing about it because “this weekend I sold people tickets, drank beer, and hauled trash” is only compelling fodder for so many entries). Most nights that I’m there, I sell tickets to folks. When I started that volunteer position, I was actively, painfully terrible at it. I blushed and stuttered and couldn’t tear the ticket stock right. I was very sweaty. It was mortifying. Continue reading →
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“But I do think that 2012 showed me that I can do a hell of a lot in a pretty short span of time, and that no matter what 2013 brings it cannot possibly cover the insane emotional ground of 2012′s travel-dead dog-malaria-cancer-job hunt extravaganza.”
I am very, very ready for 2013 to go crawl off and die in a haze of fireworks. Because this year? Was awful. Thinking about it the other day, I realized that in the last 12 months my mother died, I spent 6 months lost and sad crying in my car just constantly, I spent 5 months working overnight in a shift that kind of made me crazy, and I had one car totalled and another de-bumpered. In the middle, I made a moderate ass of myself on Twitter, and after dropping my honors thesis I managed (though I did not blog it at the time), to turn in a final paper in a graduate course on completely the wrong topic. Two days ago, my radiator exploded, nearly killing my cat and ruining my things. Continue reading →
Image courtesy of Dominick. Licensed under CC. I have a deep and abiding fondness for Christmas lights. They’re silly and a little bit tacky and I am completely, totally into it in the same way that I’m totally in to … Continue reading →