Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Persistence of Love

Today at work, an older woman (mid-to-late-60s) asked me for my opinion. Me, being full of opinions, obliged. She emerged from the fitting room in a pair of bootcut jeans with embellishment on the back pockets. They weren't overly blingy or whiskered; they were dark, simple, age-appropriate. I liked them. I told her I did.

She wanted to be sure she looked nice in them, especially from the back. She went on to tell me that her husband told her that he was going to burn her old jeans because he couldn't see her figure in them. He also wanted her to get ones that hugged and lifted her butt.

"I mean, these are tighter than normal," she said. "He just loves to see my body." She shook her head with incredulity at the notion.

"I guess if these don't work, they'll just go in the fire too."

I laughed and told her I thought it was cool that he still wanted to see the shape of her body. She smiled and nodded her head in agreement.

It was then I was reminded of the persistence of love.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Stuck in my head: Tool, "Stinkfist"

Thanks to my friend Ryan Vox (lead singer of Avoiding the Angel and a few other projects and a good pal from back in the Illadelph), I now have this song stuck in my head. He posted a lyric from it on Facebook and it just started the desire to hear it going strong.

"Stinkfist" is a great Tool song - not one I count among my favorites, mostly because I forget how awesome it is. It's definitely one of the best live tracks at their shows, superintense and raw. A line that sticks with me is "I'll keep digging until I feel something." The grit in Maynard's voice when he sings that reminds me of how I used to feel when I'd get angry and self-destructive. It doesn't matter if you find hurt or pain, you just want to feel anything but the way you do in that moment. This song has been with me during long runs, nighttime drives, crying hysterically punching walls and also being the happiest I've ever felt. Tool's one of the few bands whose music allows me to experience a full range of emotions, rather than just one or two. To me, their songs are angry, beautiful, raging and cathartic all at once.

So, thanks Vox, for bringing this track back to the forefront of my brain and onto this page. Without further ado, "Stinkfist":

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Stuck in my head: Lady Gaga, "Poker Face"

So this crazy biatch won like 100 MTV Video Music Awards the other night and has been all over the TV and whatnot after asking the legendary Cher to hold her meat purse. And I have to admit, I love every minute of this attention.

I confess... I love Lady Gaga.

I just watched Fuse's "Loaded: Lady Gaga," a 30-minute block of her music videos (ironically, Fuse actually plays music videos unlike MTV and I am loving the network in a big way right about now). If I actually get any of the Halloween nights off this year, I'm totally dressing as her (which also means I had better restart my gym regimen like tomorrow).

Be a hater if you must, but Lady Gaga is awesome, catchy, an art form, a constant supporter of gay rights and just a Tisch kid with an awesome voice and a vision who fell into pop music.

Love her, and love "Poker Face." Blue swimsuit, FTW

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Struggling to lack judgment

One of the things I learned after moving to Colorado was that I couldn't change many of the people or circumstances around me, so I had to learn to change myself. I don't mean to fundamentally change who I am, or who I want to be, but to change the way I react to and perceive the world around me. I'm a firm believer that you either change things or learn to deal with them as they are (in the meantime, at least... I do not believe in complacency). It's high time I started living my life, fully, by that conviction.

Here's where I'm falling short: my judgment of others. I don't do so outright much of the time, mostly because it's not my place. If my friend tells me about a problem or a dalliance or something I don't agree with, I'm mostly there to listen and not make assumptions or tell them my opinion of their action or situation (unless they ask, of course). I try to accept people and give the benefit of the doubt (however, I cannot say I give strangers and acquaintances the same consideration in these terms as my close friends). The problem is that, in my head, I am judging. I am formulating an opinion about you based on your actions. And I need to stop.

My biggest challenge with this right now is my judgment of people who *aren't* helping with the fire situation in Boulder (more on this later, I can't even muster the emotional energy to write about it). I've spent my last three days off volunteering for the relief effort through the Humane Society of Boulder Valley. We've been helping both people and their pets by running a donation drive; the response has been amazing. I truly live in one of the most generous and willing communities ever, and that's what makes the inaction of those who don't help out even more egregious. I'm not saying I deserve a medal for this - I'm a flawed person and volunteering doesn't right any of my wrongs. But, goddamn, does it feel good to give back after spending so many years in self-indulgent ignorance of the outside world. I think what bothers me most are the excuses: "I'm too busy," "I work," "I have a family." Every day I volunteer with people who have all of those responsibilities, yet never complain of not having enough time. I stand at work all day, often in uncomfortable high heels, and my feet fucking hurt and I'm exhausted by being nice to strangers who could give a fuck all day. But spending five hours outside sorting through people's donated clothing didn't feel like a chore; it felt incredible. But that's me, my experience. I have no right to judge others, especially if the action doesn't translate into their ethos.

I have to separate my own personal fulfillment from that of others. I need to stop being frustrated with others and deal with my feelings of resentment in a constructive way. Does that mean I stop being friends with people I judge? I don't know. I think that decision is not one to take lightly but is definitely situational. In this case, I think my resentments are founded on prior experiences, ones I need to let go of or will eat away at me forever (and at my positive perception of an individual, which is unfair to them). People need the chance to change and act in their own way, without my judgment (silent or not).

I should take heed of the quote from Buddha that I myself put in my Facebook profile: "Those who are free of resentful thoughts surely find peace."

Time to take my own advice and leave my opinions of others at the door. My opinion of myself is what matters and it will only get better as I work toward a lack of judgment.

“Those who are free of resentful thoughts surely find peace.”

Friday, September 10, 2010

Friday Night Lame

Friday night television is filled with wedding shows. Okay, TLC's Friday night lineup is filled with wedding shows. When I get home from work, I'm usually too brain dead to flip through the stupid amount of channels on the TV, so I stop around TLC and let myself get sucked in.

Anyway, here's what my lame ass has observed over the past few weeks (okay, maybe it's been over the past few months...) about weddings. Getting married has never really appealed to me, but I've still formed opinions about what I like and dislike when it comes to the hullabaloo surrounding one's wedding:

1) Traditional, big, crazy weddings can be fun, but man, they are just not something I want to plan. Or pay for. I'll be shooting for laid back.

2) If you are nervous, is that a bad sign? I wouldn't know because I've never walked down the aisle, but I feel like if I were nervous I would take it as a sign and run for the hills.

3) If I'm gonna dive into lifetime monogamy, I damn well am going to have a blast doing it and it's damn well gonna happen on the beach or in the mountains. There will not be a church, or $10,000 worth of flowers, or relatives I don't know. It's going to be destination, with awesome food and drinks and close friends and fam.

4) My wedding is the one day where I can buy shoes that cost more than my rent and no one can pass judgment (I've already done this once in my life and even I judged me).

5) No gifts, please. I got a rice cooker once three years ago and I still haven't plugged it in.

6) How do people decide that buying a $23,000 wedding dress is a good idea?

7) 85% of my budget will be spent on food, because food is awesome and I will want to eat after spending the six previous months fasting to look bangin' for one day.

On a programming note, wedding competition shows are a fascinatingly awkward phenomenon. There is this show called "Four Weddings" on TLC where four brides compete to see who has the best wedding. It's entertaining because these chicks are so subtly (and, sometimes, not too subtly) judge-y. Women are hilarious when they compete over shit like this.

And there is some crazy shit pulled at these weddings. For example, this episode of "Four Weddings" is featuring a 7:30am breakfast wedding for a bride in a blue dress, one of the most heinous brides ever (in personality) and a couple who is four years younger than me and has $20k to spend on a wedding.

I would feel lame about how much I've thought about all of this if I weren't so unwilling to leave the house when these shows are on.

Good morning, beautiful: Hipster D-heads

Just when I thought my day was all about work and then being too tired for the early morning I have tomorrow, I saw this on Boing Boing. It is awesome. And completely profane, so don't listen to it at work (without headphones).