Thursday, May 19, 2016

Jersey face with the Oakland booty

I can't believe I'm about to spend time talking about celebrity Twitter shit, but here we go. I hope I don't die today because then the last thing I wrote was about Blake Lively.

I honestly don't even know who Blake Lively is but I guess she's in trouble on the Internet for the crime of quoting Sir Mix A Lot while white, or "cultural appropriation" as the kids are calling it these days.

I don't want to waste a lot of time on this so let's do bullet points

  • Quoting a decades-old, Grammy-winning, top ten hit is cultural appropriation? Of what, her grandfather's CD collection?
  • Is hop hop supposed to be just for black people again? Didn't we get past that in the 80s? I'm pretty sure hip hop is a music genre, not a race. Or if we're talking appropriation, sure, hip hop is a culture, but that doesn't mean you have to be deep in it to salute it. If quoting hip hop lyrics is some sort of culturally insensitive act of colonization then call me Christopher Columbus. 
  • You know what I find more problematic, and a bigger sign a broken culture, than a white person quoting "LA face with the Oakland booty" on Twitter? Women posting pictures of their asses on Twitter. 
  • Obviously we all have too much goddamn free time. Let's get back to worrying about something important, like what genitals the stranger in the bathroom stall next to us had at birth. (JUST KIDDING HOLY SHIT THAT WAS SARCASM THIS BATHROOM SMOKESCREEN IS TRANSPHOBIC, SEXIST, AND ABSURD). There, now if my bus drives off the Richmond Bridge today the last thing I wrote is no longer celebrity Twitter shit. Have a nice day.

Saturday, May 07, 2016

This is 40: Not Perfect

There are many ways to spin things. Social media has made everyone semi-pro at making their life look amazing (be jealous of how much fun I have with my photogenic friends!) or punishing (feel sorry for me!). I've never bought into that. When I need to vent, I vent. When I'm having fun, sometimes I want to publicly praise the bar or taco truck or national park or whatever that is giving me a good time. I do not -- consciously -- have a social media agenda. And maybe neither -- consciously -- does anyone else.

I do the same in my head. On a bad day I'm a middle-aged failure. I work in a grocery store, I live in a neighborhood some of my friends are scared to visit, and though I never wanted kids I'm not sure what I'm supposed to want instead. My husband is probably sick of me. Hell, I'm sick of me.

The key is to catch yourself telling yourself the woe-is-me version and pretend you are some selfie-obsessed 26-year-old making her life look AMAZEBALLS. (I'm sure the kids don't say "amazeballs" anymore.) Sure, I've been seriously indoctrinated with a whole bunch of classism about which jobs deserve respect, but in the end I have a job I can stand going to, and that's not bad. I don't have to take work home with me, I don't have to work more than 8 hours a day, no one bothers me on my day off, my looks and age don't matter, and I work with decent, reasonable people who mean me no harm. And I get a 401(k) and paid time off and free alcohol. Why doesn't EVERYONE work in a grocery store? Okay, next.

It's true that I live in a place that's easy to judge. But I own my house, and our down payment was comprised 100% of our own money we saved from making lifestyle sacrifices for years. I'm proud of that shit. And my neighborhood has way better tacos than yours.

I'm happy with my lifestyle. Most of what I eat is food one of us cooked ourselves at home. I drink and snack (mostly) in moderation. My job keeps me active and I'm generally healthy. I read books and am relatively up on current events. I'm still capable of forming a complex thought in 2016. I'm doing well.

If my husband couldn't stand me, he wouldn't be here. He's still a great guy to come home to after all this time. We know some awesome people. We don't see any of them as much as we used to but it's good to know they're there.

So most nights, I come home from my job that I am now under no further obligation to think about. I get to hang out with my husband of many years who I still love, eat a good dinner, pop a bottle of beer or wine, watch some quality television on Netflix, pet my cats, maybe read a little, maybe snack on some cheese and crackers, and go to bed feeling pretty good. THAT'S what I want instead of kids. That, most nights, forever, is okay by me.

In the words of the prophet Tim Minchin, "It's not perfect, but it's mine."

Thursday, April 14, 2016

This is 40: Dancing in the dark

Bruce Springsteen was only 35 when this song hit big. Call it premature enlightenment. Or call it another smart Springsteen song ruined by mid-80s bombastic pop production.

I get up in the evening
And I ain't got nothing to say
I come home in the morning
I go to bed feeling the same way
I ain't nothing but tired
Man I'm just tired and bored with myself
Hey there baby, I could use just a little help
Messages keep getting clearer
Radio's on and I'm moving 'round the place
I check my look in the mirror
I want to change my clothes, my hair, my face
Man I ain't getting nowhere
I'm just living in a dump like this
There's something happening somewhere
Baby I just know that there is
You sit around getting older
There's a joke here somewhere and it's on me
I'll shake this world off my shoulders
Come on baby this laugh's on me

Saturday, April 02, 2016

This is 40: Lifetime Piling Up

I've always felt that the song "Lifetime Piling Up" by Talking Heads was at least partially about feeling old. It started to resonate with me in my early 30s. All the more so during what can only be described as a mild, mostly-existential crisis that accompanied me turning 40 in 2015.

Imagine my amusement to discover this song came out the year David Byrne turned 40.

I can see my lifetime piling up
I can see the days turn into nights
I can see the people on the street
Open those windows up
A hundred floors below me
Pilin' those houses up
Pilin' them higher, higher, higher
I can feel them swayin' back and forth
Building it higher, higher
This tower's leaning over. 

I've been sleeping a lot lately. I'm TIRED. Life just keeps piling up. In my more lucid moments I know my life is great, and 41 is relatively young....just...zzzzzzzz.....sleep is so good...

The video for this song is clips of old Talking Heads videos. Nope. You don't get to do that unless you're Johnny Cash.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Happy Friday, whosever Friday it is today

One of the things I miss about being a bartender was being able to control the music on a busy night so you could drop in a song like this every once in a while. For 30 to 60 seconds it looks like everyone hates it, then the first phone goes in the air to Shazam it.