Friday, January 27, 2012

Stock Taking and Belly Rubs

Sometimes, you just want to go ahead and have the lobotomy and get it over with.  And then your shift ends and you go home and it's the weekend.  It's been that kind of week.  Not for any reason in particular, but there are just those weeks when it seems you really can't stand what you're doing all day, and you're doing everything you can to rectify that situation, and thus far you're getting nowhere, even with people who seem to be really interested in your skills.  It's been that kind of month.

And then it's five o'clock on Friday, and time to go slalom through the highway/obstacle course to home.  The cat, as always, meets you at the door, and then plops down on his spot on the living room rug, and assumes the "I'm ready for my belly rubs" position.  And someone amazing comes out and greets you with a radiant smile and an incredible hug and an electric kiss, and now it's okay to be tired and giddy and let the stress of the week go back into the recesses of your awareness, ready for relaxation and adventure.  And maybe this time, Monday will hold off for a little bit.

What would help, what would really help, is if your job wasn't completely rote and unimaginative.  If your living was made by doing something that actually makes you excited.  And maybe even involves things that interest you and appeal to your passions.  A job where you don't feel like nodding off at your desk in the middle of the day .  One where you're not constantly micro-managed, even though management is fully aware that you've been doing this for over ten years, and you pretty much have it down at this point.

You think back to the jobs you had that were the most enjoyable, and they usually involved something to do with music, arts, literature, performance, or some combination of them.  Unfortunately, those were also always the jobs that paid the least.  And so your strategy now is to find something that combines at least elements of those things with your current skill set, and if you can find something that at least comes close, you could probably be fine with that.  So you keep looking, because improving your situation doesn't just mean making more money.

But right now, you're home.  You're warm, and loved, and happy.  And you're not all that worried about it, because things are going well, and you have no plans to give up.

Now if only the cat would stop jumping on your head at two in the morning...

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Most Adorable Hardcore Song EVER

I challenge the entire hardcore community to come up with something cuter than this.  She even has the scowl down.  I'm pretty sure she could kick every member of Black Veil Brides' ass.  Actually, I know a lot of people who'd like to see that.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Another One About the Cat...and One Other Thing

Well, more or less.  I guess it's really about adapting to change.  I'm not always so good at it, I admit.  But it's been interesting to watch Finn adjust and adapt to his new surroundings.  The first night in the new house, he basically found some boxes in the laundry room to hide behind, and there he stayed.  Over the next week or so, he gradually started to explore his way around all the new space he suddenly had.  He began developing little routines, finding new favorite spots (Windows are still his primary form of entertainment during the day.  We call it "Finn TV."), and getting used to all the new people in his life.  Jess, he was already well familiar with.  Our roommate Jessie was a completely new person he'd never met before, as well as the frequent visitors and "Whosday" attendees.  He's found a spot in the front room to replace the spot in the old living room on which to receive his belly rubs when we get home. Life, it seems, is pretty good for the toddler.

One of the more entertaining things (for me, anyway) to see was him getting used to hearing noises from above.  We didn't have an upstairs in the old place, and so for a while he'd dash into some little hidey hole whenever someone walked around on the floor above.  He's also developed a habit of trying to look behind all of the pictures we have hanging up.  I'm not really sure what he's hoping to find, but he keeps checking.  I think maybe he thinks they're doors to something.  I have to admit, it would be kinda neat to find out he's right.

I didn't need a whole lot of adjusting to the new house, as I'd already spent plenty of time there.  The commute is definitely different.  The adjustment for me was getting used to living with someone else again.  What made it easier was that, while I'd gotten used to being pretty much on my own, it hadn't been all that long since I'd co-habitated, so getting back into the swing of that wasn't so hard.  And Jess is very easy to live with, which is a plus.  The fact that it's a bigger place, with plenty of room for everyone so we're not always on top of each other definitely helps.  There's a TV upstairs, one downstairs, a library, dining room, etc.  The only thing I really have to adjust to is getting around a city that, before this year, I'd never really spent a whole lot of time in.  Before, my experience with Worcester consisted mainly of driving straight to the venue I was either performing at or seeing someone perform at, and then going home afterward.  Now I live here, and I'm learning how to navigate my way around the area.  It's not particularly daunting, just different.  The only thing I miss a little bit is the ability to walk from my place to the center of town.  Here, we have to get in the car to go practically anywhere we want to go.  Then again, I had to do that in the old place too, if I wanted to head to Providence or Boston or wherever.

I'm happy here, Finn seems pretty happy too, and so far it doesn't appear that Jess has any problems with us being there full time.  In fact, the adjustment has gone so well that we announced to our families and friends this weekend that we're engaged.  Yup, we've agreed to be each others ball and chain.  We're planning for late October, at a venue to be determined.  We're still figuring out the details of all that, but it's going to be one hell of a hooley, that's for damn sure.

Other than that, pretty quiet.  And you?

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Because I'm Young

2012 came in with a yawn.  Not because it was boring, but because it was the first low key New Year's Eve I've had in a very long time.  Back when I was doing standup, New Year's almost always meant a big money show, the trade off being that everyone was drunk and loud, and you weren't so much doing a standup act as herding cats.  When I joined the Gobshites, we all piled into Pete's house for New Year's Eve with our instruments and had a fun seissun.  Last year was spent in Providence, seeing my friend Natalie's band Thunderbox, the all-girl metal tribute supergroup, and Sasquatch and the Sickabillys, the all boy rockabilly/punk supergroup/bar fight waiting to happen.  This year was decidedly more quiet.  Just me, Jess, her cousin and her cousin's husband at their home, having dinner and laughing.  Relaxed, no alcohol (for me, anyway), watching Kathy Griffin take her top off and Anderson Cooper trying to keep up.  The last couple of weeks of the year were, in fact, a very nice break from the norm.  I only worked a total of five full days, and had two mini vacations wedged in there.  We had Christmas, new babies, a couple of Dr. Who-athons, and a lot of relaxing and reflecting.  Definitely what I needed to close out 2011.

I tend not to make resolutions, because I know I'm just as liable to get distracted and either forget what I promised myself, or I'll feel so crappy about breaking those promises that I stop trying altogether.  With any luck (and a big assist from medical science), I'll be a lot better about all of that this year.  So instead of resolutions, here's what I'd like to see happen for 2012...

First, I'd like to continue my personal winning streak.  All of the things I've started in the latter half of 2011 need to continue throughout this year and beyond.  I also need to kill off whatever voice in my head that keeps asking "Yeah but, aren't you a little too old now?"  No, asshole, I'm not.  I'm 42.  Even if I'm a little over halfway through life, that still leaves plenty of time to get some things done.  There's a reason they call it Middle Age.  I want to keep learning new things.  Musically, artistically, creatively, and whatever else-ively.  I want to finish the songs I'm writing, write some new ones, bring them to a live setting, and maybe even record some of them.  I want to continue developing as a prose writer, and maybe finally tackle some fiction/short story writing.  I want to get back into illustration, possibly take a class, and get one of the tattoos I've designed inked on me.  Or maybe even someone else.  That might be neat.  Unless the tattoo is later used to identify someone on a wanted poster.  That would not be very neat at all.  Maybe I'll just continue designing them for me and not commit any crimes.

I'd also like it if I could keep a lid on my patience for any of these things.  All too often in the past, I'd forget that most people can't just pick up a skill and master it right away.  I'd get frustrated from lack of significant progress, rather than take pride in what I'd learned to do already.  Then I'd put it aside, and sometimes never come back to it.  I don't want to do that anymore.  Positive changes, positive growth, positive attitude.  It pretty much all boils down to that (cue Gorilla Biscuits reference in 3...2...).

A lot of this depends, of course, on my continuing to maintain a grip on my mental health, and all of the issues that go along with that.  So I guess this could be considered a resolution:  I am determined to keep working on that, and do whatever I need to in order to be able to do that.  I've lost a lot of time and opportunities through mental illness.  I'm pledging to myself that this will not happen again.

All the things people usually say about fitness and getting in shape are things I'd like to continue as well.  And smoking, well, it's my only remaining vice (not counting frozen Hershey almond bars).  Hopefully I'll be able to replace that with something better and less diseasey this year.  Plus I think I'm finally going to just go out and get a bike.  I've been wanting one for years.

A more lucrative and satisfying job is in order as well.   I've got a couple of leads, one of which seems very promising.  Same type of job I've been doing for years, but in a much more creative, right-brain type of environment.  Candles have been lit...

So here I come, 2012.  Nothing completely set in stone, but a bunch of things I'm determined to do.  One or two of those things may fall short, but they will not derail the rest of my life.  It is resolved.