"Fire is motion / Work is repetition / This is my document / We are all all we've done / We are all all we've done / We are all all we've done / We are all all defenses."

- Cap'N Jazz, "Oh Messy Life," Analphabetapolothology

Thursday, December 23, 2010

the rising

who wants to form a Bruce cover band with me? name ideas:

1) Springscenesters...
2) Spring(steen) It On...
3) Full Springsteen Ahead

more to come.

am i taking this too far? probably.

Monday, December 20, 2010

take the initiative

i dreamt last night that i discovered an old forgotten live session of Bruce Springsteen's, in which he plays a set of 11-13 songs, with lots of soaring violin and a video of someone hang-gliding or flying an open top plane. lots of blue, yellow and green. and the music, though beautiful and folksy, was less like Bruce and more like The Frames. but it was beautiful and the first song was called "Take The Initiative" and i coveted it as part of my growing Bruce collection.

in the dream i was Bruce's tour assistant, but in the form of Portia de Rossi. the Boss was playing a set and i had to stop him to tell him there was someone trying to bomb his tour bus. the Bruce came right off the stage and tackled the terrorist and beat him with his own (the terrorist's) golf clubs. end of story! Bruce for President!

i then woke up at 8:40, which is kinda early for me, feeling like it was really late and i must be dreaming still, because i felt so well-rested.

---

as part of my new year's resolutions and my birthday-initiated self-reform, i am making a conscious effort to make tv and internet less of a daily habit. i think i've grown too accustomed to frittering away my days with these technological distractions and have grown tired of reaching the end of my day realizing i haven't done anything productive, haven't created anything or bettered myself. the worst and most embarrassing time-suck is Facebook. yesterday, i decided i was going to do it, i was finally going to just delete my account and be done with it. it's super annoying, omnipresent, ever-controlling, and a constant source of anxiety (what are people on the net seeing of me? who is looking at it? is there something that could prove deterrent for future employers?) and yet so many of my friends use it that to delete it makes me worry i'll be left out. gah, the trials and tribulations of our modern existence!

so, as of today (and last night too) i have been limiting my Facebook time to ONCE a day. that means i only get to check it once, and after that i can't until the next day. and, i only get to check my notifications, and i only get to approve friend requests, not go seeking them out on the internet. it probably seems silly and trivial, but i think it will help wean me off of this artificial community and start creating real relationships with people again. and, my hope is that after doing this for weeks, i can get it down to just checking Facebook on fridays, and then after that, maybe i'll get down to just once a month, and then, in┼čallah, maybe i'll be able to delete it altogether from my life.

i'm also trying to limit my use of the internet and tv to about 5 hours combined, which is actually a LOT of time spent on these machines when you say it out loud, but that should say something about my prior habits. the average american spends 5 hours of the day just watching tv and roughly 250 billion hours per year with the idiot box. i'm trying to shave off a little of that time and make it more meaningful. i guess we'll see how it goes but i'm hoping it makes for a happier and less aimless 2011.

welp, my hour's almost up so i should get going!
-stephan!e


oh, and if you're wondering how much time the average american spends watching tv, these nifty scientific reports proved illuminating:

Monday, December 13, 2010

dramatic reading of a real breakup letter

OMG THIS IS HILARIOUS.

my favorite is when the reader (the voice is so familiar, anyone know who it is?) starts cracking up at the sheer absurdity of the prose.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

i want my phd in Springsteenology

i wanna go on a Springsteen-themed road trip, listening to Bruce the whole way and visiting all the seedy little towns in Jersey. i want to see all the towns and streets mentioned in all his songs, i want to grow a beard and wear a denim jacket over a muscle shirt and drive in an open top convertible down the Jersey turnpike screaming "NO RETREAT, BABY, NO SUUURRENDEEEEEER!" man, how awesome would that be?

but for now i'll settle for listening to a ton of Bruce songs, dancing in my bedroom and learning how to play my favorites on the cheap little guitar i got a few summers ago when i decided i needed something to go with my harmonica. today i churned this puppy out, along with a cover of "Fire," which i'm too embarrassed to expose to public scrutiny. but this one is alright so i'll share:



my favorite lyric? "is a dream a lie if it don't come true, or is it something worse?"

hm, i'm not sure when my blog and all my writing became about Bruce Springsteen, but i hope nobody minds. i mean, he sings about broken dreams and broken promises and looking for love and redemption and he fills me with SO much joy that i can't hardly help myself from sharing it. sorry if that's not yr bag. (unfettered joy, that is).
Bruce fills me with so much joy! i just want to listen to this and dance thru the night and scream and shimmy and clap until i get too old to shake it any more (and even then i'll be doing it in my head).


Friday, December 10, 2010

don't call me chicken

i had a dream last night where me and my boyfriend were driving around late at night looking for a place to eat before driving a long way home. we were in some dark and desolate country-looking town. my bf made us stop at a gas station so he could get cigars. i filled up gas. then he saw this chicken and biscuits place and wanted to stop there for food. he got out and talked with ppl in line while i waited in the car. i watched a man that looked like Mickey Rourke but smaller wearing a jean jacket and some bleached hair drive a big semi past my car and pull up to the side of the chicken place. he got out and fumbled with something in the ground, and i realized he was digging for a gun. two people appeared in the dark alley and asked him what he was doing, told him to stop, and he shot them. then an old man with a long beard who looked like a Hassidic Jew version of Paulo Freire walked up minding his own business on the other side of the chain link fence at the end of the alley and Mickey shot him too. then he ran away. i went inside to get ben. the sign at the chicken place said it was $36 dollars for a chicken and biscuit sandwich, $56 if we ordered two. we could also donate chicken and biscuits to charity. there was a really skinny woman there with big glasses who said they were so good she came every night. an asian man in a metallic puffy jacket came with a big canvas bag to collect his donations for the night. ben decided he didn't want chicken and biscuits after all and decided to leave. we walked to the car and i started yelling, 'why don't you want to eat there? why can't you decide what you want?' i started the car and it made a strange fast sound like gunshots. i looked over at ben and asked, 'did that sound weird?' he gave me a look and we sat in the car a bit to let the car warm up. i felt strange and was about to lock the doors, when a strange fat middle-aged man with stubble all over his face and wearing a haiwaiian shirt came up to the car, opened the back door on the driver's side and asked what we were doing. i told him to shut the door. he laughed. 'driving around at night with two twenty-somethings, sure seems safe.' i freaked out and slammed down the gas and did zig zags in the parking lot and thru somebody's lawn and into the street where i kept swerving around, even though i saw a sign posted that said no swerving (a swervy black arrow with a red line thru it). i was swerving mostly to try to shut the open door in the back of the car. i looked to ben and told him to close the door. he sat very still and said no. i asked him if the fat guy managed to get in the car and ben said no. 'why won't you shut the damned door!??' i started thinking something was extremely wrong with him. and then ben looked at me and said 'there's someone else in the car.' and then i woke up.

whoa scary right? and i still had chick-fil-a a few hours later.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

across the sea

last night i dreamt my partner and i were floating on a couch on an icy vast ocean. it was pristine blue but opaque. i jumped in and took a swim around and then it occured to me there might be sharks. ben me and my dad set afloat in a large glass tupper ware container and a spoon and tried to drift across to the gas station across the sea. sharks circled us everywhere. a tall man in our camp was eaten because he couldn't fit into the shoe they were trying to use as a boat. we went on a tv show at the end of the dream to tell people all about it.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

spread some darkness so we can shine!

man, i love the holidays. i love the seasonal festivities and the excuse to be home with my family, i relish the occasional snowy blizzard that shuts everything down and makes you stay inside, and i love how dang happy and busy all the little animals seem to be. and dang-it, i love holiday food and getting all fat and happy and listening to smooth jazz at home with my parents as we are wont to do around this time of year.

what i do not love is the Holy Daze. the way people get around this time of year seriously freaks me the heck out. fighting in lines at the post office. ravenously consuming things at the mall at the Target at the Walmart at the whatever. the crazed looks on people's faces as they sit in traffic. the way people get all Animal Kingdom over a parking spot. it is INSANE. George Romero knew what he was doing. hungry zombies trapped inside a mall – does it get any scarier than that? emphatically no, and that's the same level of terror i experience whenever i am coerced to enter a mall around this time of year.

i think what makes the holy daze especially depressing is how obvious and conspicuous my/our suburban privilege becomes. and how even in the light of all this material excess, there's still a want for more. and how unachievable "more" can be. what i mean is, the kids and the adults in the suburbs are some of the saddest people you'll ever meet. and isn't that so spoiled, so excessive of them/us? like, gosh, they/we already have so much! and yet we're depressed in our warm houses, sadly crying into our chicken noodle soup or Starbucks coffee or whatever. we/they're living out our/their American Beauty tragedies. and yet, that is some real, non-neglectable sadness. serious stuff.

which is what makes this song so beautiful, so "exactly what i want to say," so... perfect. there is joy and an upbeat relentlessness to it, but what they're saying is really a cry for help and escape. they totally get what i'm trying to say about the Holy Daze. they're sad and feeling kinda weird about the whole situation but that doesn't mean they're not averse to dancing all those concerns to the side.



this is the one stand-out song on the Arcade Fire's new album that i just can't let go of*. i've been listening on repeat for practically the whole month and probably won't stop until i've escaped this suburban funk. this song makes me feel like it's possible.

keep dancing in the dark my friends,
stef



*but i still think their debut album Funeral was insurpassably their best work so far.

geez, NPR, calm the eff down!



you're going to make us think the world is a dark, unfortunate and violent place.