Monthly Archives: September 2011

The Wilderness Downtown

The Wilderness Downtown

It’s genius. Oh my God, it’s genius. And beautiful. And heart-wrenching. I love 2011. And the art that people make with technology.

Careful, though. You might cry buckets. I definitely did. It was more like slow infrequent tears until this part:

Write a postcard of advice to the younger you that lived there then.

Letters to a young poet.

The Iguazu Falls were streaming from my face at that point. Then there’s the end with the running kid and the trees. Plus, the whole Arcade Fire thing.

We used to waste hours just walkin’ around
We used to wait
All those wasted lives in the wilderness downtown

Holy crap, Chris Milk. Whoever you are.

I’m too sensitive when it comes to anything related to the past. Or home. Or growing up. True story: there are two people on my street who have the exact same cars as my brother and sister. Like same models/colors. It’s weird.  So every day I come home and I see those cars and I immediately get a little heartsick from missing them. Ugh. Grow a pair, Liz.

Moving on… I love Chrome Experiments. Especially the Ok Go video. Seriously, how do they freakin outdo themselves every damn time? Also, the song is so POSITRON. I can’t help but think of this every time I watch it though :/

White Knuckles might forever be my favorite though. Dogs, obvi.

Also, old Ok Go. Lame video, great song. My amygdala dedicates it to the evil ex every time it shuffles up on my iPod. Can’t wait he gets over it. Then I can hang out with my friends again. I’m so damn tired of having to be the bigger person. I’m tense and anxious from lack of socialization. I’m trying to be ok but it’s hard. It really just makes me hate him more than miss him. Hate is unhealthy. I hate feeling this way. The hate also makes me hate myself for doing this to myself. Then I have like 10 “WTF was I doing?” moments every day. I had to change so much to fit into the shape of what I needed to be to make that relationship work that the unhappiness was chronic. Why did I stay for so long? Why did we always keep going back?

Here’s my deepest, darkest secret: I’ve seen all the episodes of Jersey Shore. I’m only bringing it up because there was one shining instance of worthwhileness in this weeks episode that happens to be kind of really relevant to this post.

In a rare moment of being human instead of batshit crazy, Snooki delivered this emotionally agonizing line in a weirdly sincere (although sobby) way…

I’m not happy. I’m not happy with him. But I love him. So it sucks.

Granted, her boyfriend left because she was being a crazy trashy whore in the club… but he’s not really a winner either. And if you’re gonna date Snooki, you have to know that’s gonna happen. Regardless as to the backstory behind her sadness, that sentiment is legit. We’ve all been there. LAST 22 MONTHS OF MY LIFE. How can you be unhappy with someone but love them at the same time? Another instance of emotions NOT MAKING SENSE.

Anyway, I kind of watch Jersey Shore and think to myself that these people are just like us, they’re just more extreme versions. I mean, they get paid to be obnoxious but it’s true that there’s all kinds of outrageous drama in real life too. TV is just edited in a way so that you’re hit over the head with days worth of drama in 60 minutes so it seems like a lot.

But getting to the point that ties all these things together, when I recall the unhappiness and compare that to my life today, it’s easier to cope with the lack of social events in my life. I’m happier now than I was then (even with limited friend interactions) and this is just part of the sucky aftermath that I have to deal with. For the first time ever, I would not go back to that relationship if you paid me $1 million. I really just broke it off, walked away, and was done. Of course there were a few nights of residual missing him here and there but it was never like “oh, what have I done?” regret about breaking up or anything like that.

Sing it, girl. Walk Away.

I am the maker of my own destiny.

Relevant:

But since you been gone,
I can breathe for the first time
I’m so moving on
Thanks to you,
now I get what I want

That whole song is weirdly our whole relationship and the aftermath exactly in every way.

Anyway, you can blame Rainer Maria Rilke for why I have this stuff on the brain. I’m so hooked on Letters to a Young Poet right now.

It is true that many young people who love falsely, i.e., simply surrendering themselves and giving up their solitude (the average person will of course always go on doing that–), feel oppressed by their failure and want to make the situation they have landed in livable and fruitful in their own, personal way–. For their nature tells them that the questions of love, even more than everything else that is important, cannot be resolved publicly and according to this or that agreement; that they are questions, intimate questions from one human being to another, which in any case require a new, special, wholly personal answer–. But how can they, who have already flung themselves together and can no longer tell whose outlines are whose, who thus no longer possess anything of their own, how can they find a way out of themselves, out of the depths of their already buried solitude?

Mistakes are staring me in the face and haunting my dreams. Oh, what did I do? Ehh, I guess just learned the hard way. Nothing that catastrophic. And at least now it’s a lesson that I will never forget. I weirdly thought that because the only thing that really has ever mattered and ever will matter is love, that it was worth pursuing above all else. WRONG. I mean, that’s true to an extent because I still believe that about love. Like I would not even hesitate to drop my own stuff to raise kids even if it meant putting my career goals on hold. I would have no problem working at a high paying job I hated if something happened to my significant other and I had to support us. I would move across the country in a heartbeat if my serious boyfriend landed his dream job and had to go and we decided that there was a decent chance we had a future together. But on some level, you have to know that they would do exactly the same thing for you. And you make decisions together when your dreams conflict. The worthwhile type of love is the one where you encourage your significant other to maximize their personal potential and self-worth. Basically, self-actualize. And they do that for you. And you both become better and more successful versions of yourselves because of it. Because you have that support and comfort and love.

There’s a fine line between the selfless devotion of love and losing your whole self. Basically, they key point is knowing that they would do for you what you do for them and acknowledge which choices maximize the benefits for both of you. Min/max optimization calc problem. Easy.

They’re your partner in crime. You’re still intact as single entities and you want each other to be exactly who you are as individuals because you love them for their whole and true selves.

Love is like a good high-five. You go 50, I go 50. In a bad high-five, someone doesn’t pull their weight and it’s not a solid success with a good smack in the middle but rather a weird slip or an entire miss or one hand pushes the other one back instead of them both just stopping after the hit.

This advance (at first very much against the will of outdistanced men) will transform the love experience, which is now filled with error, will change it from the ground up, and reshape it into a relationship that is meant to be between one human being and another, no longer one that flows from man to woman. And this more human love (which will fulfill itself with infinite consideration and gentleness, and kindness and clarity in binding and releasing) will resemble what we are now preparing painfully and with great struggle; the love that consists in this: that two solitudes protect and border and greet each other.

I love the last part. Especially the border part. You’re still just two people. But you take care of each other and interact with each other in a way that you can’t do with anyone else. You are autonomous humans but coexist next to each other in life with a spiritual understanding that flows between.

I cannot wait to experience this type of love. The post-breakup healing is going amazingly well and soon enough I’ll be whole again and able to put some emotional resources toward a relationship.

I’m gonna write a letter to my true love
I’m gonna sign my name
Like a patient on a table
I wanna walk again
Gonna move through the pain

And obviously I’m making this sound way easier than it actually is. And honestly, what the hell do I even know about this type of love since I’ve never experienced it? I might just be a blithering idealist. But at least Rainer Maria Rilke and I can be blithering idealists together.

Now I’m going to quote a viewpoint which undermines and contradicts everything I just wrote up there… but I can’t help but find this to be incredibly fairytale-ish yet appealing.

In his dialogue The Symposium, Plato has Aristophanes present a story about soulmates. Aristophanes states that humans originally had four arms, four legs, and a single head made of two faces, but Zeus feared their power and split them all in half, condemning them to spend their lives searching for the other half to complete them.
– Wiki, on the topic of soulmates 

I kind of just love the idea of two people completing each other. I can’t help it. Especially in a destiny sense. Where you need the other person in order to be finished and perfect.

Sigh. Hopeless contradictions of everything in my brain every day. Doomed to make more mistakes. Forever.

Nope. Never mind. Fuck that sentiment. This is on the front page of Reddit right now and it brought me back to my senses. I’m on a metaphysical journey to find MYSELF and not a soulmate who completes me.

I don’t know when I’ll be back.

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Redheads Are The Love Child Of A Volcano And A Tornado

Truth. Sadly, I can’t even begin to refute that. John DeVore knows it’s true. He wrote it.

Another instance of girls being likened to extreme weather and natural disasters:

I wanted so badly to lie down next to her on the couch, to wrap my arms around her and sleep. Not fuck, like in those movies. Not even have sex. Just sleep together, in the most innocent sense of the phrase. But I lacked the courage and she had a boyfriend and I was gawky and she was gorgeous and I was hopelessly boring and she was endlessly fascinating. So I walked back to my room and collapsed on the bottom bunk, thinking that if people were rain, I was drizzle and she was a hurricane.
– John Green, Alaska Young

Mary says I quote things too much in my entries. My brain is actually just a disaster web of everything I’ve ever read or listened to. The excessive quoting can’t be helped. Just like the disaster web can never be untangled and organized.

This post is about redheads, dating, relationships, and John DeVore. Every time I see a new post of his on The Frisky, I stop whatever I’m doing and read it. And generally, I smile the whole way through because they’re hilarious. Yes, I read the Frisky. I’m a girl. If you think it’s an exaggeration that we all sit around and discuss what we read there that day, you’re wrong. (See also: The Gloss and Jezebel)

Here’s the most recent post which spawned this entry. Because I’m a narcissist and because that sentence activated my “oh my God, they’re on to us” sensors, I had to see if he ever wrote anything else about our kind. Easily enough, I found another whole post about it.

After mentioning our “combustible temperaments,” he does throw out this disclaimer:

Every single she-ruby I’ve ever attempted to date has failed to acknowledge my existence, taken a flamethrower to my heart, or disappeared in the morning like a cinnamon mist.

I don’t know, bro. You’re not the only one we’ve ruined.

Of course, there was no third day of hot jungle love, nor any subsequent day thereafter, because she informed me with the emotional detachment of a Vulcan that she was “just exploring” her options.

Eff. Every instance of me being a horrible person comes flooding back. I want to say that I don’t do things like that intentionally and that I’m just naive. No, not true. I think on some level I know what I’m doing and just don’t care. Heartless. I will try to be better. Maybe it’s not a redhead thing. Maybe it’s just a coincidence that I exhibit all evil redhead qualities. Or this could be an instance of the “You’re so vain, I bet you think this blog post is about you, don’t you?” thing. Narcissists make everything personal.

I don’t know if the “redhead personality” is really a bad thing. To call them evil redhead qualities is perhaps too harsh. I see the feistiness as a triumph of spirit.

Out of the ash
I rise with my red hair
And eat men like air.
– Sylvia Plath, Lady Lazarus

Another thing that stuck out in my mind as a rude awakening in terms of my flaws and those of girls in general was this quote from the How We Say “I Love You” (Without Actually Saying, “I Love You”) post.

4. We Swallow Our Fear And Absorb Your Monthly Freak-Outs Like Understanding Man-Sponges
We don’t know why or what we did, but we’re sorry. How about a back massage while you vent about your evil walrus-shaped boss who hates you, that celebrity with the eating disorder who makes you hate yourself, OR your best friend whom you hate because she brags about her perfect, rich boyfriend with the loft and quaff whom everyone knows is in the closet but it doesn’t really matter. Did we mention we’re sorry? And please notice the furrowed brow, pursed lips, and soothing head nod – we’re concentrating on your every word. Seriously, we are. Even if we’re not, appreciate what isn’t being said. Exactly – we’re saying nothing. Let it all out and just know that if anyone were to really threaten you, like a mastodon or terrorists, we’d go all Die Hard on them. But until such a moment, we listen, and do nothing but listen, because we love you.

Humorous. Eye opening. Sweet.

To all the guys of the world, thank you for hanging in there. Thank you for being sponges that absorb all our bullshit. Some of you are assholes (well, a lot of you are assholes) but we’re assholes too. The love and dating game is really just an arduous operation in finding the specific type of asshole that you can tolerate/adore and who can tolerate/adore your asshole-ness as well.

Goodness. Such negative views of life and the world.

John DeVore has a slightly more positive “you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find the prince” outlook.

The big story of success, in sales or in love, is actually many smaller stories of failures.

Pretty profound. I still haven’t figured out if I’m failing or they’re failing. Maybe I’m failing when they’re not and vice versa. Maybe we’re making each other fail like two reactive elements. Stable on our own but God help us when we get together. Maybe dates and relationships are various shades of those concepts/states at different times.

Here’s what I learned, and it applies to dating. Love is an opportunity. Cold selling anything means you have to have an appetite for rejection. A hunger to fail. A salesman gets rejected 80 percent of the time, but he makes his living from the 20 percent of the time he succeeds.

Every time I was rebuffed by a woman in furs or a man who really didn’t like comedy, I got closer to making a sale. Love is an opportunity and the more you put yourself out there, the luckier you get.

It’s an opportunity and also kind of a chore where hard work and experience pays off? Insight noted.

Marco was talking about this virus concept the other day related to another aspect of dating. It’s been his observation that when people aren’t quite over their ex or previous fling, they have this virus that they got from said person. And when they start dating someone else, they pass it on to this new fling/person so when that lovehate affair ends, the new fling/person stays hung up on the person he/she got it from and then and passes it along to their new fling/person who stays hung up on that person and the cycle continues. My contribution to this theory is that it spreads until we’re all infected and dying.

Marco’s principle is a biblical truth supported by empirical science. (Hypotheses like that are hard to come by.)

That being said, I guess some of us are lucky enough to find the one asshole out there who gives us an immune system boost to fight off the nefarious decay and has the very specific antibody to our very specific disease and we live happily ever after slowly healing with time. I think people from older generations stay together until they die because the virus wasn’t as widespread back then so they never got it. But now we all have it. It’s like HPV. Every time I go to the gynecologist for my yearly checkup, they tell me that if you’ve slept with two people, you probably have it.

With love or infatuation, if you’ve been scorned or rejected twice, you probably have the trojan horse or brain parasite of heartbreak. Tricks you into thinking all is well and you just need to find someone else until you get close enough to them to pass it on. Then it strikes and takes no prisoners. Doomed to destroy each other.

Anyway, play them off, keyboard cat. And by keyboard cat, I mean Weezer.

Any day now, you’ll call me up on the phone
Say you love me more than you ever did before

It’s all that I can do right now
To make it up to you somehow
And meet you on the other side of home

Take no prisoners here in this knock down drag out war
That we’re waging on each other forever more

Theme song of lingering post-breakup nonsense emotions.

These blogs are getting out of hand.

We Tripped On The Urge To Feel Alive

I think about those days, and I think about a motto etched onto the sleeve of one of those Pavement singles: I AM MADE OF BLUE SKY AND HARD ROCK AND I WILL LIVE THIS WAY FOREVER.
– Rob Sheffield, Love is a Mix Tape

One of those ridiculously honest personal accounts that I read 3+ years ago.  Run to the library and pick it up. I think half the book was about Pavement. Amazing band. My 16 year old self would have died without them. Anyway, I’ve never encountered a sentence that described my soul so freaking well. And of course it’s in the sleeve of a Pavement single. How could a sentence of that magnitude be anywhere else?

Somehow, I got away from that for awhile. But I’m back. My old self/soul are being ripped from the depths and they’re flowing into the world at an outrageous pace. I’m healing and moving on so much faster than I ever thought possible. It feels crazy. I feel weird. It’s like the Big Bang. Even my bones feel alive. It’s psychological AND somatic, I swear.

I’m having a Henry Miller-esque spiritual awakening.

The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.
– Henry Miller, Tropic of Capricorn

The weather was incredible. I painted. I got stuff done. I read on the porch swing. I went to Portuguese class. I started the process of becoming an ACLU volunteer. I listened to the Felice Brothers. Their self-titled album will kill you. It will make you too happy to live.

Please don’t you ever die
you ever die
you ever die
You moved me all of my life
all of my life
all of my life
Hum our radio songs
radio song
radio song
after every radio’s gone
radio’s gone
radio’s gone

One of the best choruses of all time.

And it makes me think of this quote (also from Love is a Mix Tape)…

…and sometimes I think, man, all the people I get to hear this song with, we’re going to miss each other when we die. When we die, we will turn into songs, and we will hear each other and remember each other.

That is absolutely true. Your soul turns into songs.

Your body breaks down to chemical elements though. Your atoms get taken up into something else and you spread out forever and ever through organisms and geology and time. Science is soothing. I like knowing that there’s nothing more than just the physical circle of life. And we used to be stars. I hope you know that. All of our atoms were formed inside stars. I like knowing that I’m a tremendously small little fraction of recycled star matter.

Anyway, that quote up there makes me think of this quote down here. Always. And it’s pertinent to yesterday’s post also.

I thought to myself that in the palm of my hand, there was this one tape that had all of these memories and feelings and great joy and sadness.  Right there in the palm of my hand.  And I thought about how many people have loved those songs.  And how many people got through a lot of bad times because of those songs.  And how many people enjoyed good times with those songs.  And how much those songs really mean.
– The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Stephen Chbosky

Not only are songs the primary medium for the safe keeping of souls, but they hang on to memories, feelings, joy, and sadness. Their like the Bank of Transcendence. Easier to deposit than withdraw though. Which is the opposite of a real bank.

And then that quote up there makes me think of this one down here. Which is also relevant to that post from two days ago.

“Yes,” Judith said. “Or destroy it. As you like. Read it if you like or don’t read it if you like. Because you make so little impression, you see. You get born and you try this and you don’t know why only you keep on trying it and you are born at the same time with a lot of other people, all mixed up with them, like trying to, having to, move your arms and legs with strings only the same strings are hitched to all the other arms and legs and the others all trying and they don’t know why either except that the strings are all in one another’s way like five or six people all trying to make a rug on the same loom only each one wants to weave his own pattern into the rug; and it cant matter, you know that, or the Ones that set up the loom would have arranged things a little better, and yet it must matter because you keep on trying or having to keep on trying and then all of a sudden it’s all over and all you have left is a block of stone with scratches on it provided there was someone to remember to have the marble scratched and set up or had time to, and it rains on it and the sun shines on it and after a while they don’t even remember the name and what the scratches were trying to tell, and it doesn’t matter. And so maybe if you could go to someone, the stranger the better, and give them something–a scrap of paper–something, anything, it not to mean anything in itself and them not even to read it or keep it, not even bother to throw it away or destroy it, at least it would be something just because it would have happened, be remembered even if only from passing from one hand to another, one mind to another, and it would be at least a scratch, something, something that might make a mark on something that was once for the reason that it can die someday, while the block of stone can’t be is because it never can become was because it cant ever die or perish…”
– William Faulkner, Absalom! Absalom!

Crap, I think I got off topic again. A one second snapshot of my brain would contain approximately one million different things. The original point of this whole thing is that it feels good to be alive. In every way. Not get sidetracked with depressing Faulkner stuff.

Today felt like the first day of my life. It’s weird when you start to grasp concrete parts of yourself. Like you really understand some things about yourself and who you need to be and what you need to be doing.

I guess I just assumed that everyone feels lost their whole lives. People really do grow up and grow into themselves. I wonder what it’s like to be 90. I kind of can’t wait to find out. Not that I want to rush to the end. But it will be awesome to look back at the ghosts/echoes of my previous selves. Maybe I’ll change a lot. I’m not sure.

What I know for certain is that I AM MADE OF BLUE SKY AND HARD ROCK AND I WILL LIVE THIS WAY FOREVER and that all the different shades of who I’ve been will share at least that one thing in common.

Bridge And Tunnel

And in that moment, I swear we were infinite.

Summer is my free/limitless season where everything is possible and I exist in a purely happy state. It’s my favorite, hands down. And so I resist fall on every level until I’m forced to acknowledge it. But I ease into it. And realize that I love fall too.

Sweater weather… pumpkin beer… gorgeous leaves… football… Halloween.

Tonight, it rained a little and I got agitated from being inside because I could smell the rain on the breeze. Everyone thinks that summer rain smells the best and that’s not necessarily true because late September rain is one of the best things you can experience.

I think I was also agitated from life and loneliness. This whole social circle change/weird dynamic/upheaval is kind of wearing me out. Well, more like wearing me down. I regularly feel despondent and it sucks.

Anyway, while in that unsettled state, there’s really only one thing I can do. Get in the car, roll the windows down, turn the music up, and go for a drive. I know I should be more environmentally conscious but really, sometimes I just need to go and there’s nothing I can do about it.

Pittsburgh is one of the greatest places to drive at night. So many bridges and tunnels and rivers and hills and curves. I think one of the reasons I picked Pitt for college is because I wanted to have that experience regularly. The infinite one.

There’s something about that tunnel that leads to downtown. It’s glorious at night. Just glorious. You start on one side of the mountain, and it’s dark, and the radio is loud. As you enter the tunnel, the wind gets sucked away, and you squint from the lights overhead. When you adjust to the lights, you can see the other side in the distance just as the sound of the radio fades because the waves just can’t reach. Then, you’re in the middle of the tunnel, and everything becomes a calm dream. As you see the opening get closer, you just can’t get there fast enough. And finally, just when you think you’ll never get there, you see the opening right in front of you. And the radio comes back even louder than you remember it. And the wind is waiting. And you fly out of the tunnel onto the bridge. And there it is. The city. A million lights and buildings and everything seems as exciting as the first time you saw it. It really is a grand entrance.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is real and honest and heartbreaking and encouraging and painful and beautiful and powerful and devastating and relatable. It’s universal.

And Stephen Chbosky pretty much precisely describes exactly how it feels to fly out of the Fort Pitt tunnel in the middle of the night.

And when the September mist/air all over you and you have this song on your iPod, life reaches an infinite level. I will never get tired of that feeling. It really is like the first time every time. Maybe it’s unsafe to drive fast with my hair flying in my face but the emotional and spiritual cleansing is worth it.

I really do love Pittsburgh. And I have to go away for awhile. But when I’m done getting everything out of my system, there’s no place I’d rather be for the rest of my life. It’s the absolute best place to come home to.

And when I listen to Angels and Airwaves, I will forever think of this Shakespeare quote because life memories have eternally linked them together. And it’s actually applicable to right now kinda.

There is a tide in the affairs of men.
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat,
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures.

Et tu, Brute?

I can’t think of Julius Caesar without saying that in my head. I apologize for the irrelevant outburst.

In all seriousness… the high tide, people. It’s right now. Don’t miss your opportunity. I, for one, am about to let it float me out to sea.

More irrelevance: here’s your daily dose of the Avett Brothers… Die Die Die
I think there should be a competition where someone earns the title of “World’s Biggest Avett Brothers Fan” because I would win. Y’all don’t have a chance.

Even more irrelevance:
In Rainbows. Best Radiohead album? Decisively yes. I decided that on my drive tonight. Is Reckoner the best Radiohead song? That’s still up for debate. Attempting to conclusively resolve that question that is like trying to find out how many licks it takes to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a TootsiePop. The world may never know. I think it’s just my temporary favorite right now because it’s so raw and so am I. Thom Yorke does raw like nobody else. “Reckoner” was almost the title of this post because that’s such a badass title for anything. But the Honorary Title happens to have a song with a name that is so unbelievably fitting for when you’re discussing Pittsburgh’s civil structures that I couldn’t pass it up.

Finally, Matt Costa.

And we’re bound for where we started
With a downwind course through the harbor
At sunset I was sorry

Boats. Metaphors.

Why Guys Shouldn’t Buy Drinks (Or Anything) For Girls

True story. Last night, Desi and I went to Hough’s alone for the Steelers game as a result of that whole being excluded from a lot of stuff now thing. Still, we were having a damn good time. We pregamed with whiskey gingers at my house then ate some quesadilla burgers and drank Southern Tier Pumpking at the bar. Could not have been happier. Steelers + whiskey + good beer + best friend = perfect Sunday night. I think that kind of makes us old men. Oh well. Around half-time, the bartender comes over and says that some guys across the bar bought us drinks. How nice. NOT.

They effectively ruined my enjoyment of the game and whole night. Basically, as soon as we were notified of said drinks, they came over and were the most unattractive, unintelligent, unamusing guys I’ve ever met. Not only that, but because they bought us a drink, I felt obligated to talk to them. I was obviously nowhere near interested. But they just kept talking and talking perhaps thinking that they were doing well. What happened was I couldn’t watch the game because these guys were bugging the crap out of me and they stayed there ’til the end apparently not getting the hint. Somewhere in there they bought us another drink (kind of against our will actually) still trying to win us over, I guess.

Anyway, I automatically resent anything that comes between me and Steelers football. I’m sitting there being a little Polamalu in my jersey and literally living and dying by what’s happening on the TV and this guy thinks it’s a good idea to come over and talk my ear off about stupid stuff like how he’s signed the wrong form at AIP where he used to go to school and is now $4000 in debt because of it (seriously?) and also about how likes “90s music” like Lifehouse. God, help us. Lifehouse is terrible. And also NOT FROM THE 90s. But this kid seemed to think that their first single came out in 1998. Anyway, he’s talking about all this crap thinking that we’re hitting it off or something when I’m sending CLEAR signals about how uninterested I am and getting more irritated that this close game is being interrupted by some guy who even explicitly stated that he’s not that interested in football. Ok, fine. You don’t have to like it but stop ruining my enjoyment of it because I actually do like it.

After the game was over, Desi and I went to peace out ASAP. I mean, I did have to work at 7:30 this morning anyway. Then this guy called me out for texting a lot during our conversation and about the fact that we were leaving and not having a victory beer with them. For real, bro? THEN he said he hopes to see us next week because he “watches” the Steelers game there every week. Uhhh, not happening. Now I can never go back to Hough’s for a Steelers game. Thanks for ruining my favorite thing ever, douche with no social skills. Also, accusing me of not paying enough attention to you is needy/pathetic.

Tangent: Hough’s is becoming more and more ruined which sucks because it really is my favorite bar. Reasons:
1) The crowd seems to be getting older in terms of available men. They all seem to be married.
2) I’ve met a decent amount of guys there so a lot of times when I go back, it’s awkward to see the ones I’ve been out with (and weren’t really into) while I’m on a date with another one. During every moment of singleness in my life over the last few years, I’ve just gone and sat there alone then reliably within 30 minutes (max), a guy comes over and we have a good time. But now I think I’ve exhausted that as a resource. And it’s weird/messy now.
3) It’s where I make pretty much every non-Hough’s guy I meet go on a first date with me. I suggest it and they love it and we have a good time… but again, awkwardness for the same reasons as above. And also, because I feel bad. It makes me feel like Hough’s is some kind of first date assembly line where I lure them in and push them out when I’m done with them and then I get weird about maybe how possibly insincere I’m being because they have no idea that many guys have been there in that spot with me before. I realized this especially when I was there with a guy I actually did like because that felt more significant/special than something that should have happened where I’d been with tons of guys before. No more first dates at Hough’s. It’s decided.
4) It was our Cheers bar back in the day when everything was good between Matt and I and we all went regularly as a group and made lovely memories but now it’s kind of bittersweet and sometimes actually painful to be there because nothing is what it used to be. I’m really more upset about losing the group dynamic than losing Matt.
5) Their specials aren’t as good now that it’s a super popular spot. And it’s reliably crowded. Like sometimes you can’t get a seat. There used to be weeknights when we’d be the only ones in there.

But, ok… back to the real point of this post. Why guys shouldn’t buy drinks (or anything else) for girls.
1)  It makes us feel obligated to talk to you. And maybe you think “Oh, if I can just get her to talk to me…” No. Mostly we’re just annoyed that we have to waste our time doing that unless you’re amazing. If we’re out doing our thing and we don’t make eye contact with you at all the whole night or acknowledge that you’re at the bar or even know that you’re at the bar, don’t waste your time/money. Talk to us first then go from there. What if I had a boyfriend? You would have wasted $4-$8 before you could even find out.
2) Guys who are amazing don’t buy girls drinks. Because:
a) they don’t have to because they’re hot and/or smart and/or funny and/or interesting
b) they know it’s a waste of money because that’s just common sense
3) Related to #2, guys who are way less than awesome buy girls drinks because they have no other way to get them so buying us drinks automatically makes you seem incompetent because that’s what you’re associated with instantly
4) Bitches will take advantage of your drink buying inclination and pump you for them then leave without giving you a number or going home with you or promising to go on a date with you

It’s one thing to start talking to a girl, hit it off, have a pretty good feeling that she’s into you, and then offer to buy her a drink in a casual way. Like “Here, let me get the next one” or something. That’s a nice guy gesture. Not a socially incompetent creeper gesture.

10,000x more successful and cost effective… “Hi, my name is _____. [Insert something about how you think we’re cute]” then follow up with absolutely any conversation starter.

Easy.

Personally, I hate when guys buy me anything in general. It’s unnecessary and almost unappreciated. It freaks me out. Maybe it’s the walls, maybe it’s the independence. Maybe it’s just easier to get to know someone when no one owes anyone anything. Paying for my stuff just takes it to a whole other level. Like a boyfriend level. You don’t have to act like a boyfriend on the 4th date. It’s too much.

I guess I just feel like when they pay for something, it immediately rips away my freedom and the cloud of obligation comes and hangs over my head and I feel tense and I don’t know why. Perhaps I need to man the fuck up and just accept this graciously and not feel bad if it doesn’t work out because they’re the ones who foolishly spend the money and that’s not my problem. But that sentiment sounds equally as hostile as being hostile about the fact that they always try to pay. I also don’t understand why guys are always like “I hate paying for girls because they use me” BUT THEN THEY ALWAYS DO IT. Seriously. I can’t even wrap my brain around this issue and I have no way how I should feel about it or how I should deal with it or how I should react to it. Sigh.

Indian Summer

Ok, so I think it technically has to get legitimately cold and then warm again for the weather to fall under the indian summer category. It was in the 50s a few weeks ago and that’s cold to me so I’m categorizing this day as such just because I can.

Anyway, I’m not blogging about flying today like I promised. It’s too gorgeous outside to sit in front of my computer. High of 79 and pure sunshine. Perfect day for a street festival and BBQ. My two favorite things of all time.

Drew got up outrageously early to go fishing and then called me at 7:30 because apparently it’s the 7th anniversary of the best day of our lives which we’ve never celebrated until now because neither of us really remembered the date before.  Just that it was the best day ever. During idle time at work a few weeks ago (after a Seneca Lake weekend), he figured it out then put a reminder in his phone for today. You people with calendars in your smart phones are living the life. Having a best friend who’s a morning person sucks most of the time. But sometimes it results in the best wake up calls ever. Plus, as long as it’s the weekend, you can just go back to sleep for 20 more hours.

Time flies. 17 doesn’t feel that long ago.

Semi-relevant:

Clocks slay time. Time is dead as long as it is being clicked off by little wheels; only when the clock stops does time come to life.
– William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury

For the record, I think I hated that book. But I saved the quote because it’s a good one. I think I hated As I Lay Dying too. So William Faulkner novels were not anything I was a fan of. But for some reason I picked up Absalom! Absalom! at the library one day and loved it in every way. Then bought a copy because it was so good. It’s probably one of my top 20 favorite books of all time. And I’ve read a million books so top 20 is kind of a big deal.

Songs For Staying In

Exhaustion on every level. I might not make it out for the second night in a row and this makes me feel super lame. Happy Valley is the cause. WORTH IT.

The game was a blow out. Granted, they were playing Eastern Michigan but it’s still nice to see PSU kick ass. Plus, any day I spend with Binks is a good one. He’s the best little brother a person could hope to have. When I hugged him goodbye, we realized we’ve seen each other for the last 4 weekends in a row. That never happens. Ever. I went home for Labor Day then there was PSU/Alabama then home again then the game today. And we have a family thing in Reynoldsville next weekend and the weekend after that is PSU/Iowa. That’s a total of 6 weekends in a row. Usually, we go 6 months without seeing each other. Penn State brings families together. That’s the take-home lesson from this.

Anyway, the drive from Pittsburgh to State College is one of the most gorgeous road trips you can venture upon. Especially in the fall. I-99 around the Altoona area is breathtaking. You’re basically on top of a mountain and you can see for miles across the tops of other mountains. And the big wind turbines are beautiful. RENEWABLE ENERGY! All I want to do is build a house on top of one of those mountains and live happily ever after. In my normal self-sabotage way, this made me question whether I really need to go south to be happy. Everything I’ve ever wanted is here. Maybe. I’m just doing that destructive second guessing thing again I think. Alabama/Louisiana soon, house on a mountain later. I have the rest of my life for that. Limitless New Orleans crazy times can only be enjoyed during a short window of time. Basically, your 20s. And anyway, you can’t live on the top of a mountain AND live on a body of water so that conflicts with the pier/boat dreams. I guess I could have two houses, but that seems unnecessary. I’d rather take the money I would use for a second house and do something good for the world. The best plan is probably do one at a time. Like have a mountain house then a water house or vice versa. Or move between the two. This is quickly becoming absolutely unrealistic.

I think I just love the earth.

The more I type here, the more tempted I am to stay in. Sometimes it’s just nice to chill. Obviously, it’s nicer to chill if you have someone to snuggle with. But being single has a trillion benefits and I’m more than content because being single means that there’s no mess to deal with in my life right now and that makes me feel free and happy and infinite every day. Relationships are nothing more than messes. Wow, that’s shockingly pessimistic. Bleh, what is wrong with me? I wish I could kick the negativity.

Moving on… Favorite staying in activity: watching documentaries on Netflix. I want to cancel my Netflix account so badly especially since it got way more expensive (and what’s up with that whole “splitting into two services” thing?). But I can’t. Not when it shows me a specific category of options titled “Understated Documentaries” (what does that even mean?) and I realize that I want to watch all of them.

Here’s the list:
Microcosmos
Ingredients
The Warning
Mugabee and the White African
Unmistaken Child
Colony
Objectified
Up the Yangtze
Picasso and Braque Go to the Movies
Russian Revolution in Color
Sound and Fury
The Listening Project
The Fall of Fujimori
High Lonesome: The Story of Bluegrass Music 

I don’t even know which one I would watch tonight because they all seem awesome.

And this is the “based on your interest in” list from the selections above:
God Grew Tired of Us **
Man on Wire **
The Cove
The Business of Being Born
Food, Inc.**
The Buddha
The Human Experience
The Art of the Steal **
Exit Through the Gift Shop

The documentaries that are starred are the ones that you absolutely have to see because they’re phenomenal.

Ok, it’s no contest at this point. Staying in: 1, going out: 0. Well, at least that’s the score for tonight. I think the lifetime total is… staying in: 11, going out: 7,381.

I hope this doesn’t become a pattern of unsociable/nerdy behavior. It’s bad enough that I read National Geographic… but documentaries on a Saturday night? Ugh.

Actually, I choose not to care. Do what you want. Be yourself. Love the simple things. Strategically, I should be out roaming the city for a potential new guy. But honestly, I’m totally content with being alone right now. And realistically, any guy I actually want to date is probably also at home watching documentaries on Netflix so we’d never find each other anyway because that’s how the universe works. And historically, finding a new guy has never been a huge part of my going out agenda. My priorities are 1) having a great time with my friends and 2) drinking. The South Side is full of bros anyway. And Lawrenceville is full of hipsters. And Greenfield is full of guys who have their shit together. And Oakland is full of college kids. And Shadyside is full of annoying guys who have their shit way together. And Bloomfield is a little crazy but it’s my favorite right now. (Squirrel Hill is weirdly ok for meeting new guys)

Plus, there’s no shame in taking it easy after you were gone all day. Especially if the next day is going to be outrageously busy as well. Premier League soccer –> Little Italy Days (I love Pittsburgh) with the Bloomfield crew –> BBQ at my Greenfield house –> Steelers game into the night (location TBD).

PS – the 9/24/11 road trip album: Ode to Sunshine by Delta Spirit. I think I listened to it 3 times because everything about it was perfect for this particular September day.

PPS – Mary’s at a rodeo. She sent me a pic of it with the Rocky Mountains as a backdrop. I want/NEED to go west.