Jeez, Louise! Joy in existing.

  1. Who am I?
  2. If I had just 4 months to live, how would I spend that time?
  3. What would I like to have contributed when life my life is complete?

Three questions posed by the Rich Roll podcast. Three pretty obvious “la la woo woo new agey self development” questions. Maybe not? To me, at least. I’m no stranger to that woo woo shit. But, are you surprised that these three questions absolutely fucking paralyze me? Especially that “who am I?”—who is anyone? FUCK.

I try consciously to notice love and joy in every moment of the day (I’m looking at you sweet ‘lil chirping birds in the trees outside the Children’s Museum this morning), but I also get easily caught up in negativity and expectation (both societal and self imposed). My emotions fluctuate a lot in day, hell, in a hour sometimes. Digressssss. During this podcast, there was mention of the things that stirred happiness in your six-year-old self. I suppose that’s a good jumping point from my gravy brain, so I am going to attempt to suss some of this out.

As a six-year-old, I was talking to trees. I was standing on stumps and singing to grass. I was outside a lot. I was riding a bike (I want a new bike—this is something recently on my mind). I drew pictures of super tall women and portraits of my family. I watched movies and kept to myself a lot. I wrote in my diary. I recorded songs from the radio onto cassette tape. I begged my mom to buy me poster boards from the grocery store and I would spend an entire afternoon making a GIANT collage from old Metropolitan Home magazines (We lived in a trailer; I resented the shit out of this magazine and I know my mom never willingly subscribed to it. There was this weird time bubble in the 80s and 90s when magazines just appeared at your fucking house—it’s a fact).

The past couple of nights Eliot and I have spent an hour or so working on collages made from old National Geographic magazines Joe picked up at a yard sale (from the 80s, no less—I’m just putting that “coincidence” together at this moment). I found myself in that sweet spot where you lose time. Even cooler to get to experience it with your eight-year-old kid. (Will he sit down and write something like this one day?) I have a lot of ideas and feel cool about making simply for the sake of it.

I’ve been caught up the past couple of years in having a “plan” financially to get out of my day job. I’m not entirely divorced from that mindset, but it has almost always included a way to make money from art—not that I’m downing that—but it really helps you to lose the whole purpose of making art in the first place. I think most creative minds can attest to that. The making, the doing, has to be the first priority or the rest of it is just an inauthentic wank off fest.

To quote David Lynch: “Enjoy the doing. So many people do stuff but they don’t enjoy the doing of it. And I always say, that’s your life going by. It’s important to enjoy the doing of something. Jeez, Louise!”

So, I suppose I do find joy in making. Joy in existing. Joy in creating. Joy in expressing myself and convening with nature. Joy in consuming the art of others. I am pretty sure that answers all my questions in one. I’m not shocked they are all interconnected…I’m sure that’s the point of the entire exercise. I need to do all or part of these things every day with that intention alone—joy.

How do these questions make you feel?

The Consumption! #2

I sat down to write this next post about the media I am binging on and — would you look at that — the 2016 Austin City Limits episode is on PBS with Ryan Adams and Shakey Graves. Duh. Ryan is a no-brainer. But, I’ve never given Shakey Graves a listen. Just fell under my radar, really. I’ve been doing Yoga With Adriene videos on YouTube for a few years now and I know he contributed the theme song. That’s all I know. But, man, this dude is crushing shit. He sounds awesome. So, yeah, gonna have to delve into that dude’s tunes.

Speaking of tunes, here’s some other stuff I’ve been listening to:

Forth Wanderers. They popped up on my Spotify discover playlist and I really dug it. Definitely in the category of a lot of newer bands that are clearly very influenced by the ’90s blah blah and all that same old tired shit that Pitchfork and Stereogum and whatever-the-hell-else article says. Whatever it sounds like, I like it. There’s a tone deaf, droney, unpolished sound that speaks to my angst.

Some other music I have reallllly been digging on is Trentemøller. He’s an electronic producer from Denmark. Super dancey goth rock. Another style that holds a really special place in my nostalgic heart. This particular song has a guest vocal from Jehnny Beth from Savages (whom I love, too…even more so after seeing them live this year. Such an ace band. Highly underrated).

Speaking of live shows, I am really jonesing for a Deftones show. We had tickets to their tour with Refused this fall, but things fell through. This is the first year in a long time I haven’t gone to a Deftones show. HOWEVER, today the mail gifted us with our Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds tickets for June (JUNE. IT’S SO FAR AWAY). But, the anticipation for that bucket list gig will carry me for quite some time. So unbelievably stoked for that show.

Music done. Let’s move on to this AWESOME podcast (I’m sorry I keep ALL CAPS yelling and giving these asides; feeling a little scattered today). It’s called Homecoming. It’s new, so there’s not a lot of catching up to do.

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Amazing cast: Catherine Keener, Oscar Isaac, David Cross, David Schwimmer, and Amy Sedaris. I don’t want to give away too much of the plot, but it’s damn good fiction with absolutely fantastic and realistic production. You feel like you are IN this story. It is exceptional and you should totally be listening to it if you like podcasts.

Welp, this has been fun yet again. I am about to go watch the newest SNL. I’m already fantasizing about the new pillow Joe bought me today, so I doubt I’ll make it through the whole episode. Whatevs.

Peace, y’all. x

 

 

The Consumption!

I thought it might be cool to start perhaps a weekly / bi- weekly / monthly?? (dunno, still sussing this out) blog post about the books I’m reading, podcasts I’m listening to, music I’m obsessing over, etc. (you get the idea).

I have been doing a lot of podcast-listening these days. Perhaps it’s an escapist thing given the current fuckery of the world. Not perhaps. That’s definitely it. Especially given the nature of the media I am consuming on the daily. Aliens. Bigfoot. Skinwalkers. Werewolves. Witchcraft. Mothman. GIMME ALL THE CRYPTO.

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Example: A handsewn Mothman patch I sent to my friend Angela

Current podcasts in heavy rotation:

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I love this misfit podcast. Jessica Chobot and Andrew Bowser highjack a corner of Nerdist studios and talk about weird shit, current events, bodily functions, and Junior Mints. They are at times irreverent and aimless, but I don’t mean that in a negative way. It’s refreshing to hear people sit around and bullshit about subjects that some people take far too seriously. It reminds me of my friends and I in high school and college lounging around and discussing theories and possibilities of the universe.

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Recent obsession

The above, Astonishing Legends, I have been binging for the past week. They just wrapped up a four-part series about the Mothman. They also introduced me to the stories of Skinwalker Ranch. I am really surprised I had never heard of this place and the lore surrounding it, but I am now on a mission to read all the books referenced throughout the episodes about it. Speaking of books, this podcast is really great at sprinkling in really great reading suggestions for all-things-weird-obsessed folks like myself. Do check them out. I am also planning to start donating to their Patreon page which can be found here.

Current books I have lined up are in the same ilk as the above mentioned content (all of which I bought recently at a book sale to benefit the Mt. Wood Cemetery in Wheeling, WV).

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Mt. Wood Cemetery photo from Facebook event page

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Love Stephen King and this is a classic I didn’t have. Finally gonna get to read The Mist!

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Alien abduction. Need I say more?

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My friend Matt spotted this one. This is the real deal, y’all. (see below)

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Just in case…

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Thank god. I’ve always wondered.

Cool. This was fun!