Saturday, December 29, 2012

Top Whatever Lists

2012! It's almost over. This year was seriously a great one for me. I don't actually have any problems, which I try not to gloat about (because who wants to hear about how someone else doesn't have any problems? Oh, you? Let's talk!) but I just want to say that I don't take it for granted. My job is the best, my friends are incredible, my husband is super tolerant of my bullshit and is super funny, and I put in place my self-imposed fake "happiness project" which basically involved seeing live music again. And it all added up to a great year. And I've been doing my thang, and meeting some new people, reconnecting with some old friends, and it has made me intensely happy.  2012. Yes, I love you.

So,  I've made some "end of year" lists because any tradition that involves lists is one I can get behind.

I have not really watched much tv in my adult life, but this year I've been doing some serious catching up and duh!? Tv is much better than it used to be and everyone was right.

5. Boardwalk Empire - terrible characters (seriously, everyone is a bad guy?) but Prohibition era shit gets me and it is exciting to see what people will do when they are solid, selfish evil. Richard Harrow!
4. Girls - celebrating being fucked up and unsuccessful! So honest it makes me cringe.
3. Dexter - I'm not even fully caught up on this show but it's just so smooooth. I even really like the opening credits.  I never thought I could fall in love with a serial killer.
2. Game of Thrones - I avoided this show because I've never really been into fantasy, suspense or you know, dragons.  But I learned that I'm a big nerd and I love it. I named our groundhog Daenerys Targaryen, and that is why I no longer hate wildlife.
1. Homeland - Maybe this is just because I watched both full seasons in 3 days, but I guess that speaks volumes. I literally danced around and made up a song when Brad agreed that we should never go to bed and stay up and watch them all.  I also love Claire Danes and her superhuman facial expressions and this made my day (actually it made me ignore the people I was at the bar with and stare at my phone for 15 minutes, cause I'm polite like that).

2013 - I am looking forward to watching Breaking Bad, Mad Men and Downton Abbey (hopefully losing months of my life watching it all in a row), the return of Game of Thrones. Anyone have them on DVD?

No, I'm not talking about movies this year. 

I used the very scientific method of choosing my favorite bands of 2012 by looking at my play count, not my heart.  Because I'm heartless.

7. The Tallest Man on Earth - quick, folky, poetic and somewhat nonsensical, it's a feast for mine ears. I like to listen to it when I run, but I'm a weirdo about running music.
6. Dr. Dog - Their newest album, Be The Void, is great and I've spent more time this year exploring their back catalog. No tour dates around here at this time, wah. Crossing my fingers for this summer.
5. Good Old War - Early 2012 saw a serious GOW addiction and a few really fun shows.
4. The Civil Wars - I am not usually a big fan of a female voice (with Ali Wadsworth and Leslie Feist being the main exceptions for many moons) but Joy Williams has one of those voices that stabs me straight in the heart and makes the back of my neck tingle. Chills. I know this is from last year.
3. Toy Soldiers - I think I may have seen them more than any other band this year. Their live shows are high-energy fun times. Plus, they come to Lancaster a LOT, which brings me lots of joy!

2. Jack White - a perennial favorite. Blunderbuss delivers. I've still never seen JW live, sigh.

1. The Districts - Best find of the year, hands down. I found that I have listened to one song 108 times. People have been making fun of me for liking them so much, but I have no shame and make no apologies.  I've seen them live 6 times in the past 3 months and can't wait to see them again. Their singer, a 17 year-old kid that you might want to take home in your pocket, has another one of those chills-down-the-spine voices, but big and strong when it should be. 

Looking forward to in 2013:  The Toy Soldiers new album, conversion of Tellus360 into a cool, new music venue for my friendly town, lots of Districts shows before they move to the big city or go on tour far, far away from here.

Things I didn't like in 2012

This list is not going to make any sense, because some of this shit isn't even from 2012.
5. The Wire - Brad and I tried to watch this and totally couldn't get into it. I KNOW?! Da fuck? Everyone says this show is the shit and I couldn't even make myself pay attention. Tell me if I should keep trying. I watched 9 episodes of season 1 so far.
4. Photo sessions - I quit them. I love the people and catching up with people was actually really fulfilling, but it all just became too much with work, school and my laziness. Maybe I will do them again, but for now, I'm happy just taking pictures of bands and parties and editing when I feel like it (or when I'm drunk. It's actually fun for me to drunk edit, what a loser). I don't actually "not like" them, I was just feeling overwhelmed and am incredibly relieved to have some real days off. 
3. Twilight, The Hobbit, get the fuck out of here.
2. My braces - another thing I don't really hate but will be happy to be rid of! Though I will miss asking people if I have food in my teeth when I have a shitton of food in my teeth and being immature (jk, immaturity for life.)
1. Semi-automatic weapons. Any weapons, really.

Things I liked in 2012

5 -  My job. I know. Obnoxious. But my co-workers are awesome and my students are seriously great this year and I cannot believe how lucky I am to have found something I like and am good at that gives me money and liberal time off. 
4 - Twitter.  I know. You might think I'm lame-o, but there are a lot of funny people on there.If you do it Jocelyn Plums, Josh Gondelman and Brendan OHare make me laugh so much and it is odd/awesome that some people's exact skill set is consistently making funny, inappropriate jokes at 140 characters or less, but it works. I'm way less productive because now I have way less time for boredom!
3 - My new house - We now have reliable heat, central air conditioning, a monster yard for super parties, a killer 80's basement with my precious jukebox, Lititz is really a perfect little town and I'm all "Kumbaya, in the middle of our street, our house".
2 - Seeing my friends all the time. There have been years where I would only see people every month or two and that SUCKS. Due to showers, bachelorettes, weddings, 30th birthdays, etc... I've spent more time with my friends this year than any year in recent memory and I've loved it. I also decided that I do not care at all about the drive to Philly because it's a great excuse to buy a new album and listen to it alone, on repeat if needed, and quench my thirst for something new. I enjoy the drive (except that time when I lost my car in south philly and me and rose had to walk around looking for it playing Dude, Where's my Car, and then there was flooding on all the on-ramps to the highways so I drove around in the city for two hours before I could get out. That was just last week but it was awful!)
1 - My pretend happiness project. My word to the wise (Shouldn't it be "word from the wise"? or maybe "Word to the unwise"?) is to think about the thing that makes you happiest, (art, music, writing or RPG or remote control cars or something) and figure out why you're not doing it (I mean, if you're not doing it). My favorite, favorite thing -boating- well, I don't have a boat or the money to do that so it was pretty clear why it wasn't happening. But after that, what I love and makes me giddy is live music. There was no good reason I wasn't doing it, other than no one around me was doing it and I wasn't putting in the effort to find the bands I wanted to go see and just going. So I changed it, and couldn't be happier about that. I will make no apologies about making the effort to do the thing that makes me happy, cause I only have this one life, ya know? As long as the thing you want to do isn't serial killing or crystal meth, I guess. My theory doesn't work for everyone.
Blastoff - You.

Any suggestions for things I should watch, listen to, do, etc... ?  Me and a friend have a new secret (not really secret) internet project in the works and someday I'll let you in on it. It's gonna be good. We have some work ahead of us! Happy 2013 and thanks for reading all this!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

About the braces (with grotesque pics)

SO. I have braces. Not those clear, barely detectable totally adult in.vis.a.lign braces that only your closest friends know you have. No. I have metal mouth, tinsel teeth, train tracks, incredibly visible, hideous budget braces. This fact makes me 100% sure you already knew this.

(don't get me started about the grammar issue with this picture. I did not make it.)

But why?

My dentist suggested when I was young that I should have braces and my mom immediately dismissed it.  I know my teeth were never really terrible, but someone who shall remain nameless called me "dinosaur teeth" and they are jacked and I've always disliked them.  So when Brad's new insurance had adult orthodontic coverage I was all "mmmyup".

I am actually as surprised as anyone, to be honest. Brad mentioned that I could get braces if I wanted, mentioned it again a week later, (which I use as my argument that he wanted me to get them. Why mention it on two different occasions? I did it for YOU!) my coworker who has the same insurance told me the name of the place that her kids go.  I called on a Monday and had the braces by Friday.  Wham!

He thinks I look like a seventh grader and I don't really disagree.  The clear ones were about 4 grand more and would taken double the time (I should have these for 12 to 18 months, and the clear would have been 3 years! no thanks!), so I didn't really think that was an option. I kinda liked the idea of having a badass attitude and not giving a shit about a mouthful of metal.  My adult braces comrades promised me I wouldn't regret them.

At first, I was really excited, then they fucking stabbed the shit out of my mouth and I was fairly regretful, then I couldn't eat shit because my teeth were all loose and lost 7 pounds in 10 days so I was excited again (that didn't last - don't get too excited about braces as a weight loss strategy)!  They don't hurt or really bother me anymore. Unless I'm talking to someone I don't really know and then I'm embarrassed, even though I tell myself not to be and I have nothing to be ashamed of.  They are just ugly. I had convinced myself that in my life I'm not really trying to impress people, but I guess that's just not completely true. Also, food gets stuck in them, I think my teeth look super yellow (maybe because I constantly drink coffee, iced tea, diet coke and smoke), and I spit when I talk!  You've been warned.  

So this is true:

Now for some grotesque before pictures so you can see how jacked they were/are. You probably don't want to see this, but here ya go anyways! You are warned! Look away! I can't believe I'm posting these! (Moira, you told me to take these and never show a soul why would I not talk your advice?!)

And this is what they look like now, 9 weeks later:

A little less jacked! I'll report back! So sorry you decided to see this!

Monday, December 3, 2012

'Tis the season (uh, you mean It's the Season?)

I don't love Christmas.  Neither does Brad.  We like the actual day, to be honest. We don't see or talk to anyone and don't do anything. We don't even give each other gifts, we don't listen to Christmas music or have a Christmas tree.  It's a day to spend quality time with our laptops, couches, coffee, maybe watch some TV and drink if we feel like it. It's good.

But I am a little jealous of the people who are bursting at the seams with joy at the thought of the season: people that get all starry eyed at putting up the tree, love the lights, the decorations, the singing, the wrapping, the cheesiness, the MAGIC {jazz hands}.  I guess it's somehow related to being an atheist (seeing as it's generally celebrated as a Jesus birthday party [though it is historically a secular holiday. Oh, I will not be getting into that here. But if you want to know more about my heathen beliefs: FisheswithFeet]) but I think there's something more than that for most people.  I loved it when I was a kid, and I was (unknowingly) an atheist then, as well. I guess it was just the presents and I was a greedy little punk?  And now that I live a life where I pretty much buy myself whatever shit I want I'm just a lazy little punk? Oh, this is a bit more of a depressing character sketch than I'd considered.

Anyhow, I'm hoping that when I have kids someday I will feel a little bit of that magic again, and maybe won't hate the thought of needing to buy gifts, and you know, do a lot of shit and then clean up a lot of shit afterwards (sidenote: I still haven't put all the halloween decorations away and will probably leave that sweet life-size zombie family poster in my garage forever).

I appear to be painting myself in a terrible light here. Part of my holiday indifference is that I really appreciate thoughtful gifts and generally fail at procuring and distributing said thoughtful gifts in a timely manner for Christmas so I'm disappointed in myself and the stupid Onion book and Phillies hat I buy Brad every year (in my defense, he always wears it and manages to lose it before the next Christmas) (Also, I bought the same Phillies hat for my boyfriend during college, which takes it to the next level of uncreative) (non-creative?) (Oh mah gah with the parentheses, I think I need parentheses rehab).  I feel guilty when I get thoughtful gifts and annoyed when I get shitty gifts* and also, don't care.

There was one year that we got a tree and had a little spirit. 2006. Here is some fantastic evidence:

Anyway, here is the list of what is going to be putting the joy in my heart during the most wonderful time of the year, this year:
  • 3 weeks off from work ( I KNOW! I'M SORRY! I HATE ME TOO!)
  • Watching a shitload of The Wire
  • Good Old War at the TLA
  • finishing up this ABA1 class (it's not horrible but enough already, school addiction.)
  • The Districts at Tellus 360 (fuckin yeah! Dec 21st! You should come! And sleep over my house!)
  • Not going to see the fucking Nutcracker at The Academy of Music (my mother's strange addiction, so boring the 11th time and every time after that)
  • Christmas Eve Eve where all the coolest people gather to get kicked out of McGillan's and like it. 
  • Laying on my ass and day drinking on Christmas. 
So I'm going to accept that as enough. We're not getting a Christmas tree or decorating our house (our new neighborhood is realllly Christmased up, so we're going to try and ruin it for everyone).  I might play a few She & Him Christmas songs if I need motivation to clean my kitchen if people are coming over.  That's my holiday spirit and I'm sticking to it. 

*Once my mother bought me a boat when I was a sophomore in college, living in (landlocked!) State College.  Yes, I said boat.  A really, really old mustard colored boat that got passed by a sailboat the one time we took it out.  That I couldn't tow and had nowhere to store.  Also, I didn't even have a car at the time.  And one year she bought my sister a full set of living room furniture and I got a pair of $30 boots from Target and her response was "It's not your year".  The boat year had apparently been "my year". Christmas has always been different for me, but it makes a good story, so I'm not complaining!  Oh, Linda, keepin' it fresh.