Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Near, Faaaaar

So, as I bet 98% of you could tell from the title, I saw Titanic for the first time last night.

And while I hate James Cameron, and wish he would burn a fiery death in flames of fire, it was actually very enjoyable. Emotional moments, the 3D was an excellent touch (what? WHAT? Did I just say that?), and the nostalgia factor alone was nearly overwhelming. I came out of that movie with a lot of feelings. An uncomfortable amount of feelings. My husband already wrote a beautiful post about his experience, so I won't even pretend to go there. Instead, I present:

Things that I wanted to do after seeing Titanic :
  • Constantly sing "My Heart Will Go On." Either on a big grassy hill, or into my hairbrush while staring emotionally into a mirror. And most definitely with wild, gesticulating arm motions. Note: both are actual things I did repeatedly when the movie first came out.
  • Post pictures of Leo DiCaprio (circa 1998) around my room and incessantly talk about how dreamy he is. Maybe even giggle a few times.
  • Watch What's Eating Gilbert Grape and moan about how talented Leo DiCaprio and Johnny Depp were before they sold out. This desire was compounded by trailer for Dark Shadows they showed before the movie. Oh jeez. That movie looks ALL KINDS of terrible.
  • Read Ghost's I Have Been, my favorite YA book about the Titanic. My old copy is worn old and thin with multiple readings.
  • Find a boat and scream 'I'm king of the world!' Duh.
  • Have one of my male friends ask me for romantic advice, because the girl he likes is unattainable/stupid/withholding/a fetus/a crone/blonde/threatens his masculinity/ won't stop talking about this other guy she's dating. Whatever it is, I'll just pat his shoulder and wisely say 'there, there. A woman's heart is like the ocean.'
  • Buy new eyeliner. Thanks for the inspiration Billy Zane. ZING!
  • Go swimming.
  • Ask Bill Paxton how to recite lines like a block of wood. Really, his talent for it... it's uncanny.
  • Spit in someone's face. And learn to spit actually.
  • Go Irish dancing. Be far too full of bravado.
  • Speak only in over-the-top cliches for three days.
  • Talk about the quest for unobtainium. Wait, wrong movie.
  • Find someone I love and spend the rest of forever together. Hold on, too real! Also been there, done that. Um..... have a torrid affair whilst on a cruise?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Bird Songs, pt. 2

It had been three years. Three years since I'd seen him live. But last night, all that was remedied. Last night, I sat in the presence of Andrew Bird again.

I have to admit, I was a little nervous. Last time was so incredible, but I'd changed. The music had changed. What if it wasn't as good? What if the larger venue and the passage of years made me lose some of that connection and glory from the last concert?

Well, good news. As soon as he started playing, I was transported to that same ethereal plain. I was lost. I was ridiculously giddy and yet superbly at peace. I was the music's, and it could do whatever it wanted with me.

Honestly, I loved every moment of it. It's the strangest thing--hearing Andrew Bird live completely transports me. Every time, there's these moments where I feel completely transcendent. The combination of the layers of sound he creates, his incredible voice, the beautifully designed set and lights--it's heavenly. Listening to him, I have these strange moments where I feel like I'm one with the world and nature and that everything falls into place and moves to the rhythm of the earth. It's profoundly peaceful. Odd? Maybe. I'll give you that one. Inspiring? Incredibly so.

Here's some favorites parts of the concert, with videos stolen from other performances.

-I melted into a puddle when he announced "Why?" as the second song of the night. So early? What? YES.

When he does that live, I..... I don't know. My brain short circuits. It races around the theater ceiling a few times and then explodes. It's awesome.

-This was the first song with the live band (go Dosh!), and it was unexpectedly delightful. One of those cases where something I didn't love on the album becomes a new favorite. It felt like a party onstage.

-But my personal highlight came the first time he pulled out his guitar. That lovely, golden glowing guitar that I covet in my dreams. That might have been good enough, but then he stepped forward and said "Here's a little song called 'Measuring Cups.'"

It's my favorite Andrew Bird song. He never plays it live anymore. And at that moment, that ridiculously perfect moment when he did, I almost wept.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

It's The Livin' and Learnin'

Sometimes, I am deeply unsatisfied.

Not with the essentials in life--those are quite nice--but with certain particulars. Namely, my job.

Now, don't fret. All is not lost. My tutoring gig is not the exquisite torture it once was. In fact, it's quite survivable now, thanks to some endearing kids that somehow manage to make me chuckle. But reason number one? Listening to this song every day on my trek to work:

That always boosts my spirits. And not just because DBT's singer slightly reminds me of my dear friend Al, but because it reminds me that "nobody told me that it'd be easy/ or, for that matter, it'd be so hard/ but it's the livin' and learnin'/ it makes all the difference/ it makes it all worthwhile." Sometimes I need to hear that, set to upbeat guitar chords. Sometimes I just need to know life sucks, but you deal with it.

Especially when I've been plagued with the yearning that's been haunting me lately. You see I want something.

That. That's all I want. I want my own space, a space I can fill with book posters and writing tips and rules on the wall. A space with my handwriting on the board. A space where I can put my bookshelf filled with books for my kids to borrow. I'll even put my John Green novels on there, despite the fact that the students will trash them, because I love the stories so much that I know it's more important to share them than it is to keep them pristine. That is, as long as they come back to me in the end.

Speaking of which, that's what I want more than anything. My own students. My own minds to fill with my own lessons. My own teachings echoing around a classroom that I design and I control. My own classes with students that are my responsibility--report cards, conferences, keeping after class, encouraging comments in red ink. Keeping them after class to say I know they can do better. Watching their knowledge grow from day to day. Watching student interest and behavior morph. Observing the frantic stretchings of adolescents as they struggle into adulthood, as they take on their own ideas and beliefs.

I miss that. So much that it's a constant gnawing in my stomach, that proverbial ache that won't go away. I'm a teacher. And I want my classroom.

Non-related side note for all those who made it to the end: Yes, I got married recently. My friend Luke took my bridals, and posted some on his blog. You should go there and check it out. A) I look awesome, B) Luke is a freaking wizard, and C) He referenced the White Stripes. Could it get any better? All right. Requisite marriage talk over.