NOº 1635

30 Things I Love Right Now: [08.27.11]


1. The nattily bespectacled fellas (euphemism! but it’s true: the specs were natty. if euphemistical.) at the hipster cafe who are were watching the YouTube video with this so-called Kathy Griffin lady (who my anonymous sister loves, somewhat incongruously) talking about Michele Bachmann (or maybe to Michele Bachmann?), and these fellas — who, to their credit, have the common courtesy to be listening with earphones so I can’t hear what she’s saying — are, like, fricking cackling. You know. And/or guffawing. Loving every minute of it. Normally I’m not the “I love cackling in public places” sort of guy. I’m not even a huge fan of cackling, period. But for some reason this was fine by me. I was happy for them. They seemed to be enjoying themselves…
2. So there’s this trend, see. In my life. But there’s a story. Which I’ll truncate. (Which is also a trend, I guess.) Blah blah college sweetheart. Blah blah break up. Blah blah broken-hearted tailspin. Etc. So. In the midst of said tailspin — which (ahem) lasted a far larger chunk of the 1990s than I’d care to admit — I saw brick-colored VW Foxes at every. effing. turn. Like I was haunted by brick-colored VW Foxes. Which. Of course. Was the kind of car S— drove. My best-friend-roommate was like dude you’re not seeing more VW Foxes. You’re just looking for VW Foxes. Whether you know it or not. You’re predisposed to seeing something that was already there in the first place. At the time I was unconvinced. Still sort of am. (Where are the VW Foxes now, hmm? Oh yeah. Scrap metal heaps.) But I’m ready to grant the phenomenon of the Subconscious Spidey Sense. In fact: the Subconscious Spidey Sense is one of the 30 Things I Love Right Now…
3. And how the Subconscious Spidey conjures up these bittersweet, uh, pills? morsels? even if you’re not exactly in a broken-hearted tailspin. (I mean. Any more than you’re [which is to say: I'm] ordinarily in a broken-hearted tailspin. Which is to say: how there’s just your [which is to say: my] garden-variety Autopilot Broken-hearted Tailspin and then there’s the Broken-hearted Tailspin that’s brought about by Emerging Circumstances. But that’s a whole ‘nother blog post altogether. Could be actually that’s, like, a multi-volume encyclopedia, even.)…
4. Which is to say: that one song I just heard — catchy-poppy-New-Country type number which isn’t a “good song” exactly — plus that other Josh Whatsisname song (which is a good song: also catchy, also poppy, and maybe even secretly a little bit New-Country-y) that I heard him play on stage a while back. And other serendipitous hearings of songs, which all of these particular songs happen to have the one thing in common that they were on this mix CD a pretty lady gave me not all that long ago when we may or may not have been in the throes of a Misfit Courtship. Which is something like a Misfit Pilgrimage but different. Sort of like how a square is a rectangle but not the other way around…
5. Or but mainly the insight that it’s been nice to hear those songs. Pleasant. It makes me still feel close to someone even though I’m not close to that someone anymore and that’s how it should be and there’s no more especial tailspin. This is maybe a bit of a stretch and I promise I didn’t plan it but it’s sort of like the feeling elicited by #1 above. I don’t like cackling in public, nor am I all that into the Kathy lady. I don’t even care very much to laugh at Michele Bachmann’s expense. But for some reason, at that moment, I liked seeing someone else like all that. And these semi-treacly/semi-twangy pop love songs that have been swirling in and around my life for the last few months — I mean, they’re pretty much not my songs. But I like that they’re someone’s. A lot of someones, actually. And I like that I used to know one of those someones…
6. And also the insight that the me from 20 years ago thought it was nice to be haunted by a fleet of brick-red VW Foxes (not to be confused with Fleet Foxes, mind you, which is pretty much totally different) even though he didn’t really know that at the time. Even though he actually thought, at the time, that it was the exact opposite of nice and/or pleasant…
7. The May-December (really more June-Octoberish) folks at the two-top by the window. He’s June. She’s October. And they’re eating cupcakes. And. Uh. Licking their fingers. Not each other’s fingers. But still. And it’s sort of scandalous, really. Deliciously so…
8. And then there’s the perfectly, perfectly beautiful mussed-just-right May-May J. Crew (adjectives! adverbs, even!) couple sharing a plate of pasta and light but intelligent talk…
9. The fashion, in some circles, of referring to courtship as “talking.” As in: we were talking a little bit back in high school and then we lost track of each other but then I saw her again at the reunion. Now we’re talking again. Been talking for a few weeks now. Which is to say: how “talking” can also mean making out and maybe dancing and also eating some pasta or some cupcakes and licking your fingers. Etc…
10. How I just had the fleeting (which is clearly a word right now for me) thought that if I made a movie about that really tall girl over there who no one — not even her; especially not even her — knows is beautiful because she’s so. freaking. tall. then none other than Miranda July (and probably even Mike Mills too) might love it…
11. Which is maybe a little effed up all the way around but then I thought about how Gillian Welch said she wrote “Orphan Girl” just by trying to imagine a song that Ralph Stanley might like…
12. How 30 Things is a form. No sense denying it. But that’s a delicate balance because the real value of the whole enterprise (it’s a Form! it’s an Enterprise! Yikes!) is that you get to turn on the creative-whatever-thing but it doesn’t really have to add up to anything at the end. Except for 30. But not even really that. (11.938 Things I Love Right Now!)…
13. Striking delicate balances…
14. My new (ahem) Squidoo page
15. My red Chucks…
16. My new buzzcut (except for last night I had a dream about it where this lady who looked like a semi-emaciated Ellen Burstyn did that thing where she asked me where I got my haircut and nodded when I told her and I knew that meant she thought my new buzzcut sucked. So I guess that means that the inner semi-emaciated Ellen Burstyn of my soul isn’t really a fan of my new buzzcut. But she don’t get to write the 30 Things, now do she?! Chew on that, semi-emaciated Ellen Burstyn of my soul! Which is not quite as good as chewing on a sandwich, which is probably what you should be doing. But I [ahem] digress.)…
17. The challenge of fitting all 30 Things on one side of a blank piece of 8½-x-11 even though I’m not even to #18 (which everyone knows is the tipping point) and I’ve only got 2-x-4½” of blank space left…
18. The fastest first three weeks in the history of the job that’s not a job
19. The Sweater Speech
20. The Malaise Speech
21. Prophecies…
22. Mike Flanagan. (RIP.)…
23. The Oriole Way. (RIP.)…
24. Promise…
25. Possibility…
26. I write…
27. I write a lot
28. Also I teach…
29. Just the right amount…
30. Rising to the challenge.


 

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