The First Time I Heard Fiona Apple

Man, I’ve sure got a lot of things to get off my chest.

I think

distracted at 6 a.m.

on a cat hair yoga mat

digging through old notebooks

instead of sun salutations.

Mom got rid of MTV

when I was a kid

after she saw me

through a crack in the bathroom door

exposing myself in the mirror

and singing Madonna songs.

Later I would see her do things

outside my bedroom window

through a hole in the blinds,

but getting rid of MTV

wouldn’t make those things go away.

I buried them.

We buried my pap

on a quiet cemetery hill.

Pale September.

His urn next to grandma’s urn.

Only five people were there.

I dug my fingers in the earth.

Dirt under my nails.

Buried.

I heard Fiona Apple for the first time

curled up on the carpet

on his apartment floor

and felt invigorated.

Sleep to Dream on an old tube TV.

The first time I had seen MTV in years.

I was a teenager,

eager to expose myself

to more than just a bathroom mirror.

“Don’t look, Rod!”

A few days before he died,

Pap instructed my dad to avert his eyes

as the nursing home resident down the hall

raised her shirt over her head

exposing a weathered and sagging chest.

6 a.m. notebook in my lap

cringing at a buried me.

Man, I’ve sure got a lot of things to get off my chest.

But not today.

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It’s all bullshit and I’m wasting my time.

Today in Nanowrimo, I’m actually sitting down to write and I’ve had enough distance from my work that I seem to hate everything.

We’re to the fun stage of progress where I want to throw it all out the window because I’m a talentless hag and this shit is boring hack.

Weekend Warrior

How much living and creating can I fit in to the weekend? Apparently a lot.
Yesterday was a trip to Cleveland with the purpose of seeing Glassjaw. We haven’t been to House of Blues Cleveland in over 10 years, the last show having been Silverchair on their Young Modern tour. The venue was as nice as we had remembered and a friendly bartender even let us in early. I felt comfortable and tipsy and a-okay.

Here’s some photos from Cleveland/the show—

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NanoWriMo is slow going, for sure, but I’m so proud of  the chapter that I churned out today given how exhausted I am after Saturday. I feel like it is so much stronger than how I started. I will likely scrap everything before it and use it as my opener. I also find that listening to Nine Inch Nails “Ghosts” while writing is exactly what I needed to really propel me into the appropriate mindset thematically.

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We had lunch at my parents’ house today, and my dad gifted Eliot a hand-me-down writing desk that he is mad stoked on right now.


Overall, a healthy balance of creative productivity and mindless fun this weekend. Good stuff.

NanoWriMo – Day 1

I’ve been writing copy all day at work for what feels like an eternity. I did my domestic duties and then I sat down for an hour and wrote some more. AND here I am fucking writing AGAIN.

I’ve gone mad and it’s only day one.

Tonight’s word count: 476

Not abysmal, but not ideal either. It’s a little under two pages done. Massively unedited, but ideas and names and shit are forming, so that’s cool. I imagine when I finally sit down to edit, I’ll take out 25% of that and be left with at least a short story. hahaha

I also deactivated Facebook today to minimize distractions (as well as removing the app from my phone’s home page). I’ve only instinctively went to check it about 14 times or so. Christ, what a ridiculous habit!

xo,

me

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?