Monthly Archives: January 2012

Studies Have Shown That We, Like Sheep, Are Prone To Sure Fatal Doses Of Malcontent Through Osmosis

Feeling the debilitating angst of unidentified emotions but have too much stuff to accomplish to take the time to figure it out? And you absolutely can’t find any music to pacify said angst enough to be productive?

Well… Andrew Bird HAS YOUR BACK.

Thrills

Thank the heavens. Amen.

Sunday Night Throwback

Mañana – Desaparecidos

Circa 2002. That was 10 years ago. I just blew your mind, right?

Yes, today we are giving birth to our own future.

Two Songs For Making Banana Pancakes And Other Sunday Staples

Gravity, you’re knocking me out
You’re shaking me up ’til I twist and I shout
Oh, gravity
It’s okay in the clouds
But I love it right here with my feet on the ground
Gravity, Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers 

Pain throws your heart to the ground
Love turns the whole thing around
Fear is a friend who’s misunderstood
But I know the heart of life is good
The Heart of Life, John Mayer 

Stress About America, Not Marriage

So… State of the Union drinking game… I got a little too drunk. Thank goodness we didn’t have class today. Before you judge me, keep in mind that the outlook has been kind of bleak as of late. Empty promises and false hope all across the board. It’s a difficult thing to stomach without significant intoxication.

The weird thing about my drunk habits is that I always overdress for bedtime. On a sober night, I just sleep in undies and a t-shirt. After a drunk night, I wake up wearing every article of clothing I own. This morning, I got out of bed wearing my Steelers sweats, an IUP t-shirt, and a Penn State hoodie. My intoxicated dressing habits indicate that I’m subconsciously missing the homeland A LOT.

Speaking of home…

‘Cause it’s a long and rugged road
And we don’t know where it’s headed
But we know it’s gonna get us where we’re going
And when we find what we’re looking for
We’ll drop these bags and search no more
‘Cause it’s gonna feel like heaven when we’re home
– The Wailin’ Jennys

Relevant (from 10/2/11): Maybe I need to go everywhere not because I’m a transient non-settler but because I actually believe in home and settling more than anything so I’m desperately searching for exactly the right place?

And the truth is I’ve been dreaming of some tired tranquil place
Where the weather won’t get trapped inside my bones
And if all these years of searching, I find one sympathetic face
Then it’s there I’ll plant these seeds and make my home
– June on the West Coast, Bright Eyes

Yep. More than three months later, I can conclude that the previous sentiment was, in fact, an accurate assessment.

This is also why I have real problems with even getting to the point of considering a relationship with a guy. I mean, some of that does have to do with the Matt disaster, but even before him, I refused to date anyone seriously because I just didn’t like any of them enough. I’m picky, but it’s because I believe in passionate living way too much. And I’m not going to settle down in a place or with a person until I know it’s absolutely worthwhile… in that it has the potential to be exactly right.

A huge part of me knows that home is Pittsburgh because I guess that’s my ultimate goal but there’s obviously something else that’s pulling me away from Pittsburgh and making me need to explore everything. Maybe it’s so I know, with certainty, that Pittsburgh is the place? Maybe I have to know for certain that what I’m looking for isn’t someplace else and that it was in Pittsburgh the whole time. Or I guess the other possibility is that it isn’t Pittsburgh and that’s the reason I left. Which makes me sad because I want it to be Pittsburgh. But obviously, the reason I didn’t stay is because my soul is in search of something else. Or maybe Pittsburgh is the place but I’m subconsciously in search of the person to establish a sense of home with. I don’t know. All I know is that I’m here in Mobile right now. And probably half starting over in New Orleans next January. And then going from there.

It’s hard to feel panicked about anything when you don’t even know what it is that you’re looking for.

And the fact that girls are starting to become afraid of the fact that they might end up as a lonely crazy cat lady with a tedious life is insanity to me. First of all, I would never let my life become lonely because I inherently just stumble across good people who become my lifelong friends. Secondly, I’m never going to have cats. I generally hate them. I might be a crazy dog lady, I guess. That doesn’t even sound so bad though. Thirdly, tedious? Yeah, that’s not gonna happen either. I don’t know how it’s possible to feel like life is uneventful when there’s so much to do and see. And there are always ways you can channel your boredom into helping other people also.

So, I guess even in the worst case scenario of perpetually being single until I die, life still seems pretty damn awesome. Still getting a boat no matter what happens. And having the time and resources and lack of obligations to allow me to actually travel the world regularly seems awesome too. Life is what you make of it. Don’t be stressing about how you feel like you’re not going to get what you want. Make it what you want, no matter what the situation is.

Plus, I feel like all guys our age are just developmentally behind in some way. They don’t have the same values or motivation. I’m tired of babysitting. But I’m not ready to date 30 year olds either. Maybe in another 3-4 years I will be. We’ll see what happens.

So, all that stress that’s out there… I just don’t feel it or understand it. I really really have no idea why everyone else is FREAKING OUT about this. Let’s all just relax, ladies. Don’t define yourself by the existence of men in your life. Live it up. That’s what our twenties were for. Honestly, once you have that first kid, your little black dresses will never look the same, if you can even fit back into them at all. And you won’t have time to go out and wear them either. I’m really seeing no perks of being married right now. It all seems like one big disadvantage to me. Date men, yes. Marry them, no. Freak out about not being married, DEFINITELY NOT.

Destiny

noun ( pl. -nies)
the events that will necessarily happen to a particular person or thing in the future : she was unable to control her own destiny.

This was my favorite toy when I was a kid… hands down. I remember being obsessed with listening to hearts. It was mindblowing to a 4 year old.

Not as mindblowing as a real stethoscope though. I feel like I’m a 4 year old all over again.

I don’t really believe in destiny, per se. It’s not like this was written in the stars before I was born or something. But I do believe that what you’re interested in as a kid probably means more than you think in terms of where you end up as an adult. Had I just thought about that damn medical kit, I think the answers to my confusion would have be obvious all along. I loved diagnosing people (and stuffed animals) and then deciding what needed to be done to fix them and then providing them with the requisite care and compassion. On the inside, I’m 50% science and 50% nurturing and apparently have been since preschool. The Bill Nye the Science Guy episodes about the human body only fueled the fire.

As 90s kids, I really think we all owe a lot to that man. Here’s a list of episodes dealing specifically with the human body. Check them out if you ever get the chance. The memories will come flooding back.

#4: Skin
#7: Digestion
#23: Blood and Circulation
#20: Eyeballs
#28: Bones and Muscle
#34: Brain
#40: Respiration
#76: Heart
#91: Smell (includes stuff about other animals too, as I recall)

In general, our bodies are amazing. But it’s crazy when you listen to your own heart doing everything that you know hearts do and working in the way you know hearts work. It’s in you right now filling and pumping. I know I sound like I’m high. This is probably less than incredible to you. But one day it will hit you. Get a real stethoscope and listen to your heart. Then think about what a pumping heart looks like. If you’ve never seen one, I’m sure you can find something online. It’s like something is alive inside of you.

It’s like a whole new level of self-awareness. Babies look in mirrors. 20-somethings listen to their heart.

Our bodies are complex and beautiful. It’s like  everything is perfectly choreographed. I mean, just study the basics of homeostasis. So many things in your body have to be at just the right levels to keep you alive. And all the systems work as feedback mechanisms to other systems and somehow it all comes together to keep you breathing and conscious and capable of doing things.

Aside from the CNS, the musculoskeletal system is probably my favorite. I really think everyone should be required to take A&P. Once you know all the major muscles of the body and know what they do and how they work together to move you, life can never be the same.

And it’s weird to think that every single part of you is alive pretty much. Your cells are metabolizing and communicating with each other and fighting battles and all kinds of things. Aside from non-mitotic cells like neurons and cardiac muscle cells, your body is one big circle of life. Cells are born, they divide, and they die. Instead of feeling like one living person, sometimes I feel disjointed because what we really are is just an amalgamation of trillions of cells that are perfectly specialized weirdly work together somehow. The feeling that you’re alive as yourself but are also made entirely out of smaller things that are also alive is a strange one. There’s life in every part of you. Even your BONES are alive. And when you think about it like that, you hit some kind of super-awareness zenith where you feel like you’re bursting from being TOO alive. I don’t know. I definitely do sound high. It’s hard to explain this feeling though.

The human body isn’t exactly perfect because if it were, we wouldn’t die. However, there are some pretty perfect things about it that make me feel perfectly alive every day.

And in a lot of ways, I feel like I actually was unable to control my own destiny. Primarily because of what happened when I just let go. Destiny took over and now here I am where I was always meant to be, I guess.

We Love The All The All Of You

I have an extensive 90s playlist. It’s pretty critical to my existence right now. 150+ drugs to memorize? Yeah, not happening without this.

Or this.

Or this.

I could go on forever.

Also, according to Binks, my mom cracked this joke at the Sunday dinner table…

Q: What’s the difference between an Irish wedding and an Irish funeral?
A: One less drunk.

Ahaha. I bet my dad was slightly displeased with that one. Especially at Sunday dinner.  He’s kind of uptight. I guess it’s not his fault though. He comes from a family of non-drinking non-partying conservative Christians.

My mom’s side of the family loves Jesus just as much, but they also like to have a good time. And if people on both sides are getting into heaven, I know which one I’d rather be like.

At least it’s now obvious to me where I get it from. My alcohol tolerance was not something I earned. It was a gift. A beautiful genetic gift.

A Turning Point In American History

Everyone should wrap themselves in an American flag and run through the streets right now.

Clint Dempsey pulled off a hat trick today vs. Newcastle. Why is this a big deal? He was the FIRST AMERICAN to do it in a Premier League game. USA USA USA!

I’m wondering if it’s overkill to wear my Dempsey jersey every day this week.

To me, this is like Neil Armstrong walking on the moon. One small step for Clint Dempsey, one giant step for American soccer players and fans.

Soccer is the greatest game ever invented. It does seem kind of boring at first. But then as you watch more of it, and you’re able to take it all in, you start to pick up on the subtleties that make it the most exciting thing you will ever watch. Even if only 1 goal is scored the whole time, a regular game is so intense/emotional/heartbreaking/exhilarating. It makes people fall off couches and dance on bars.

I need more people to love it. Like if you think watching a Steelers game with yinzers at any yinzer bar in Pittsburgh is an exciting time, you should watch a soccer game with any group of non-Americans when their favorite team is on. I was in Chile for a few of their World Cup qualifier games. That’s the moment I knew I was in love. A lifetime of growing interest became full-blown love at some point during that summer.

There are some rabid soccer fans in the US too. It’s just kind of difficult to find them. If you live in Pittsburgh, Piper’s is the place to be. I don’t think there’s anything like that even close to Mobile, unfortunately.

I’ve tried to arbitrarily pick a Premier League team to love but since I have no real ties to any of the teams, it’s just not the same. I still love to watch it because it’s beautiful and mindblowing but I’m never really emotionally invested in it. I kind of passively follow MLS soccer but it’s kind of the same deal. I don’t really have a team because they’re relatively few and far between and also, the skill level is obviously not at the Premier League level. It’s like watching any college sports game between two teams you don’t care about. Still cool if you’re interested in that sport, but not really as exciting/engaging.

I need more people in the US to care so that we can have all kinds of formidable players and more more MLS teams and more sponsorship and game attendance. Get interested then throw money at it! Because it will be just as cool/profitable to play here as in Europe.

And most importantly, we’ll win the World Cup. The day we win the World Cup will actually be the best damn day of my life. Forget all those other life landmarks like the day you get married and the day you buy your first house and the day your first kid is born and the day you get promoted to CEO. When the US men’s team wins the World Cup, I am going to quit my job and celebrate for an entire month. And I don’t care if I’m 90 when it happens. This is going to happen in my lifetime. I refuse to die until I see it happen.

I was too young to remember when the women did it in 1991. But I sure as hell remember when they did it in 1999. It inspired a nation. And as a (just barely) 12 year old girl, it inspired me to just be awesome in general. On July 10, 1999, I learned that women are just as badass as men. I think the women on that team are still my heros. This is how I feel every time I accomplish something awesome:

(That’s iconic shit. I wish it was more appropriate to rip off your shirt in public and drop to the ground. I’d probably do it a lot.)

ESPN says they’re still the best, too.

The women’s team won again in 2003. And almost won last year. That quarterfinal game was absolutely THE BEST thing I have ever watched. I’ve never felt such explosive joy and maybe never will again. I’ve never gone from “Oh my God, this is hopeless and I’m OUTRAGED” (because there was ALL KINDS OF BS going down in that game) to “HOLYFUCKINGFUCKICANTBELIEVETHEYPULLEDTHATOFFOURTEAMISAMAZINGANDNOONEELSECOULDHAVEDONETHATTHISISTHEBESTDAYOFMYLIFEUSAUSAUSA” so fast in my life.

10 players from the 66th minute to the end? NO PROBLEM. I still get all riled up about this obviously. I could rewatch that game over and over and over again. Pretty sure I had a 10 foot vertical jump that day. I also remember just collapsing on the floor after it was all over. I probably shed a tear. The moment is forever burned into my brain. It’s PROOF that you can overcome situations that are blatantly unfair and still succeed. I haven’t given up on anything since.

Then they beat France (psh, easy) but lost to Japan in the final. Sad. Until I found out that the women on Japan’s national team only practice at night and basically have to keep part-time jobs on the side to pay the bills because they don’t sell a lot of tickets to games and don’t get endorsements or sponsorships or anything due to lack of popularity. (http://hararie-japan-tokyo-tokyo.com/japanese_culture/2011/08/post-1.html)

Plus, there was the whole tsunami thing and it was a huge morale boost for the country. Sometimes it’s ok for my team to lose. This is one of those times. Job well done, Japan.

Anyway, soccer… love it, please. More fans –> more players –> more good players –> more teams. I want an MLS team to live and die by. For awhile, I was kind of a Liverpool fan by default just because Matt is arbitrarily a Liverpool fan. Since that was the only reason I rooted for them, I obviously could care less about them at this point. Maybe I’ll become a Chelsea fan. That would be cathartic.

Back to Clint Dempsey. Can I get a print of this for my office?

That’s him scoring the 3rd goal. THAT’S HISTORY.

Start watching some US men’s games. Even if you actually end up not liking soccer, you can at least have a good time watching Tim Howard yell at the subpar backfield every time they fail. I love Tim Howard. He saves our ass all the damn time. We’d be nothing without him. He’s so good. SO GOOD.

In other sports news… Pens game last night. I didn’t watch it but after my phone started blowing up, debilitating homesickness set in because I wanted so badly to have been watching it with everyone. Sports-related things are responsible for 99% of my acute homesickness episodes. It was an explosive joy type of game, apparently. As we all know, those are my favorite. I only saw the highlights. But they were damn good highlights. First of all, Letang is BACK and so are the Pens. Praise Jesus. Second of all, MALKIN FOR MVP! Incredible performance. And he’s scored 8 goals in the last 10 games or something like that. I think I need to name my first kid Geno. That’s probably something you have to bring up right after the proposal while your husband-to-be is still elated (immediately after he proposes… basically during the actual proposal). This is how the scenario plays out in my head…

– Of course I’ll marry you. We’re going to name our first kid Geno.
– I love you so much that it doesn’t matter. And let’s name the dog Letang.

And now, here’s something that’s not sports related at all. Geography lesson!

Where is Alabama? I think y’all need some assistance with this.

Drew called me the other day. The beginning of the conversation went like this…

Drew: When do you have a 4 day weekend or any time off? We have to go to Odessa.
Me: Where the hell is that?
Drew: Texas. I figured that since you live in Alabama, I could just get you on the way.
Me: Do you know where Alabama is?
Drew: Close to Texas.
Me: Not really. There are TWO states in between. It takes like 8 hours to get to just the state line, I think. Why do we need to go anyway?
Drew: Grandma Lane was born there. I need to connect with my roots. She hasn’t been back since the late 70s. I think it’d be cool to meet some new extended family and see if her old house is still there. And I need to get out of NY. I’ve also heard good things about the taco trucks.

While he’s talking about this, I’m Googling Odessa. It’s almost on the other freaking side of the state.

Me: It’s a 16 hour trip from Mobile!
Drew: What really? I looked at it on a map. It didn’t seem like it’d be that long. I thought you said it was 16 hours from Pittsburgh to Mobile. It can’t be that long from Mobile to Odessa.
Me: DO YOU KNOW HOW BIG TEXAS IS?
Drew: No, but how do you? You’ve never been there before either.
Me: … Well, it looks pretty damn big on a map. And Google confirmed that it’s pretty damn big.
Drew: Ok, so not happening during a 4 day weekend. Maybe a half-day trip after ACL Fest?

(Austin is 6 hours from Odessa, according to Google Maps. Sigh.)

And then today, Kelly was like “I just looked at a map and Alabama is not where I thought it was. Definitely going to apparate,” when she was looking into travel options for visiting me in April.

I love you guys. Forever.

However, so that there’s no more confusion as to where I’ve gone, here’s a map of the United States of America. Alabama is circled in red. Everyone take note of where it is in reference to you. Pennsylvania and New York are circled in green. For Drew, Texas is circled in blue. (Notice how much bigger the Texas circle is compared to Alabama. And even the circle that includes both New York AND Pennsylvania.

Also, Drew… please make sure you look at a map of the world before you suggest that we go find your long lost relatives in Veracruz and swim across the Gulf of Mexico to get there.

It also maybe needs to be noted that Mobile is at the very bottom of Alabama. Here’s a map in case you have any questions about the actual location of my city. It’s circled in red.