Friday, September 7, 2012

Dancin' the Night Away

This week I survived the official first day of school.  It was a day fraught with terror, but completed with my own unique brand of reverence and ritual.

The old?  Forcing down a breakfast of scrambled eggs on toast, fighting a stomach tight with nervousness.  From my first day of Jr. High as a measly twelve-year-old, I've been cursed with this near-manic excitement and apprehension at school's start.  Back then it was worries about whether my teachers and peers would like me.  Would they accept me?  Will I get lost?  How will I know where to go and what to do?  Now, it's concern over whether my students will warm up to me, and if the other faculty will be nice.  And whether I'll adjust to the schedule of a new school, whether I'll know when to dismiss classes and where the students will go.  So basically, will they accept me and will I get lost?

The new?  Going to a concert the night before school starts.  This is the second year in a row I've done it, and I think I might try to keep up the habit.  It's a nice way to keep my mind off the upcoming day.  My excitement for the music at night staves off the vomitous butterflies of nerves during the day.  That sense of
excitement/anticipation is basically the only thing in common between this year and last.  Since I'm a sucker for year retrospectives (I often look at every day in comparison to the year before.  It helps remind me of how well I'm progressing in life), let's compare, shall we?

August, 2011.  The artist?  Death Cab for Cutie.

I miss chubby Ben Gibbard.  Come back!

I was so looking forward to Death Cab.  And musically, the band did not disappoint.  It was just too bad everything else did.  This experience marked the beginning of a long four months that continuously and harshly proved to me that my time in Utah was over.  I might have been there, but I was not a part of it.  Last fall helped me understand how expired milk feels--my presence in Utah was also a nauseating, unwanted one, an act in me taking up fridge space in a place I was no longer needed.  And let's throw in smelly and lumpy, just for the sake of the metaphor.

It didn't help that I was so nervous about seeing Death Cab, full of terror that I might run into the ex from a nasty break-up.  I had planned to go with a bunch of guy friends, dudes that could offer a good support system. Instead the only guy that showed up sucker-punched me with the presence of his summer girlfriend.  Seeing a band you love while your friend and his semi-significant other are canoodling beside you sucks.  Especially when your own canoodler is 1000 miles away.  If anything deserves a fail label, that does.

September, 2012.  The artist? My friend Amber's band, Varnish.  Check 'em out.

This year I traded the back of an awkward stadium general admission for the intimacy of a tiny bar.  I think it's a good indicator of my life this time around.  Maybe it's not as outwardly glamorous, but the events around it are genuine, filled with peace and belonging.  Like the previous year, I was walking into a concert experience (essentially) by myself.  But rather than sit around the edge feeling uncomfortable, I chatted with people.  I rocked out to this band headed by a woman who had an intense commitment to music, to her identity, to her life. The authenticity of the experiencewas through the roof.

So that progress-o-meter?  Doing well.  This year has been streets ahead so far.

Random Segment: What's Making Me Happy This Week

On my beloved Pop Culture Happy Hour, the final segment is always a small focus on what is making each cast member happy this week.  And, for the first time in a while, I actually have something that is not the podcast itself that is making me happy!  Win?

Two years ago, I would obsessively watch the True Grit trailer.  It was a sure-fire cure for the blues.

I'd like to introduce this year's contender for the most happy-making trailer.  A trailer that feeds country and funk and snark and gore.  A trailer with history and anachronism.  Mostly the latter.  A trailer made for me.  A trailer made as a precious gift for you.  A trailer for the masses.  Without further ado, I present: Django Unchained.

I may or may not have just watched this five times in quick succession.

I regret nothing.

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