Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Twittstasnapface.

How can any human being with a physically active life need to have so many different types of social media accounts?  It's craziness.  It's just craziness.

I have never thought these things had any positive use:  as in, if it were never invented, we might actually engage with other people in more healthy ways.  Who needs more than email and instant messaging?  I've refrained from all that stuff for so long, though I have this blog, (which very few people read, I'll remind you... You, just you).  FB is okay, although it is also cumbersome at times.

I have only had a few gmail accounts, and FB for several years.  I didn't know how I could possibly keep track of anything else... My head would be spinning, I thought...

Oh, and it did.

Because I did decide to try out Twitter, and Instagram, in an attempt to understand these people who are all around me better. (Snapchat just scares me.  Please, I just can't... I can't..).

Anyway, the purpose and appeal of all this software alluded me, but I decided I should investigate.

Holy moly!  What the hang?!  Let me out!  I resurfaced from the tides of 0s and 1s.  I got away.  I deleted the accounts for both T and I, within a few days of engaging in the activity each one required.  It was terrifying.  Why would I want to talk about strangers about what is the best substitute for soymilk in a healthy smoothie?  I didn't want to.  Yet I ended up so frustrated by rapid-fire-rejections of Almond milk, that I suggested human breast milk.  And that just took a turn that wasn't something I was prepared for.  Just use freaking Almond milk, you know?  I couldn't help but reply to rejections of Almond milk because of its "trendiness."  That's where I mentioned breast milk, and what "we" were capable of:  I meant the female ability to make copious amounts when necessary, not that we would ever pimp out our boobs for smoothie stores.  WTF.  I'd lost control of that conversation, for goodness sakes.  Get me out of here, I thought.  I had to remind myself that I was speaking to someone who didn't know me, wouldn't know me, and couldn't stalk me to explain to him more about human mammary glands.
I still felt exposed.
Whew.
Delete that account.

I don't have a formal job right now, and I could barely keep track of all of that craziness.  How can anyone with a family, or who is employed full time maintain multiple online statuses?  I've even tried getting the heck off Facebook, a few times, but that never works out so well.  People think I've blocked them, or I'm dead, or people tagged in pictures I had posted suddenly don't get to have those photos in their album... or my comments on their photos are suddenly gone, so it looks like they had a conversation with themselves, and that's just awkward.

And I get it.  I've had that happen to me, the friend deleting her account, and her comments were deleted too.  It was awkward.   In that one example was under a photo Sam posted of my son and I pretending to surf on a boogie board on the beach a few summers ago.  I'm in a bikini. My friend commented: "Holy Abs, Joanna!" Then after I responded she said, "You're amazing.  You always look amazing."  However, when she deactivated her FB account, her comments weren't just grayed out, they were gone.

I don't usually look at photos of myself, so it was quite a while before I came across that picture again, and oh my, it looked like I was just commenting on my own body: "They look more pronounced than they are.  I don't have a crazy six pack or anything," then, "No, you're amazing, lady."  You see how that's a bit weird to read those comments, written by myself, under a photo of me, which clearly seem to be stating I think my abs are worth pointing out, then I'm telling myself I'm amazing, third person.  Oh.

Yeah. Luckily most of these social media sites are for individuals' personal egos.  If one has accounts on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, who really is most closely paying attention to what that person is saying most of the time.  It's them.  They are the ones who are paying the most attention. I mean, really: It's personal time, (so much time), spent by individuals...  On their self-image.

Social media sites are encouraging (or more frighteningly not) people to consider how to phrase something, or think about what profile picture speaks to their mood or personality/yet also also makes them look attractive at the same time?  I mean...  It's really a lot of work to be charming in social media.  Charming in every way.  Every way charming.  

Like, right?
Look how clever I am in only 140 characters.

I can't sunbathe and not take a picture from my knees down, manicured feet included in foreground near the pool or on the beach, because, duh, that's a cute angle if I kind of point my toes, and flex my calves.  Nice.  

What's the freaking point of doing fancy, contortionist yoga poses just for my own health benefit? I'm going to Instagram that shit.  Everyone is going to tell me I'm really unbelievable.  That's right. Acroyoga bitches! You can't do this shit.  And I'm only posting these pictures and memes, because, you know... 

Youtube!  Let me humbly sing in my bedroom with my guitar, and post videos...  But, um, yeah, I can sing!  Listen to me sing those covers!  I will get discovered and I'm famous!  Famous!  I can apply makeup so great.  Watch me and learn.  Learn and watch.  I  get free "hauls" from skincare and makeup companies, and test their products and tell you all about them.  I'm hilarious!  Oh, gosh, especially when my pet just jumps up in front of the camera.  It's so adorable.  Bad kitty.  Where was I?


Aaaaaaa!
#Selfies!  
("My hair is sooooo cute today, and I'm driving, but look how cute my hair is!" Ducklips, and peace fingers at red light... So cute.  Love it!  Oh, not red light, I think... Oops, green light. My bad.  #caraccident. Love my new highlights!") 

"I'm an amazing parent! Watch this adorable video of me interacting with my children. I'll even vlog about it.  Being a parent is really tough, but you just have to love your children unconditionally and feel blessed that they are part of you.  Blessed by my amazing children." (#Ilovemychildren #amazingparent!).  

#Workingonmyfitness...  "Trying to get in shape for summer, y'all"  See my abs, and workout outfit? I'm totally not in shape, but I totally feel comfortable in a sexy sports bra, yoga legging ensemble.  

Sigh...

I bet most people wouldn't be motivated to do a lot of the healthy things we do, if we didn't get to digitally brag about it, and show how good we look doing it, or because we've done it, or just, like... You know. Who climbs Mount Everest and doesn't tell anyone about it?  How many famous people do humanitarian work in secret?  Remember that quote from The Catcher in the Rye?  Who doesn't?

It's actually Mr. Antolini quoting Wilhelm Stekel:  "The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of the mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one."
And no, Mr. Antolini does not touch Holden inappropriately, and he isn't a creeper.  I hate that analysis. Rubbing his head while he sleeps is something a parent does to their child, and you know, it doesn't seem like his mom or dad really made him feel safe and secure in the world.  Mr. Antolini seems to be the only person in Holden's life that actually understands the kid at all. Maybe I'm wrong.  I think J.D. Salinger would tell people to stop analyzing and dissecting his writing at all.  That's right, it's as if J.D. Salinger wrote because he wanted to write, and he didn't give a damn what anyone thought about it, or want phony press or any press at all. He wanted people to leave him the Hell alone.  He wouldn't have "Twittstafaced
 if he was offered hundred's of thousands of dollars...  Just never.  He never would have.

But you do.  And you can't stop yourself, can you.  Right?  Admit it.  It's true.  Hey, I know I'm not posting pictures of myself in any type of outfit right now and saying, "I gained 20 lbs this winter. Also, I think it's because I drink too much alcohol and I have been so depressed I don't really get out of bed for more than 30 minutes at a time, before laying back down.  Oh, and I tried bleaching my own hair, just a little bit lighter, and it turned kind of like white and orange at the same time... patchy or spotted sort of...  I had to dye it brown, because there was no saving that fubar, and I gave myself a haircut.  It's pretty even on the bottom.  I don't know, though because I can't see the back of my own head very well.  That might deter other people from cutting their own hair, but not me.  YOLO! And, woohoo, I can't wait for hair hair to grow back and not feel like straw, and it will be so cool to have the energy and be mentally stable before summer, so I can get back in shape and not look like a shitty version of myself."

Is our society dominated by a need for affirmation, albeit, virtual ego-stroking, so we as individuals can feel self-worth?
Self.
Worth.

Can't we love ourselves, if we aren't constantly compliments in our online social circles?  You know, "our friends"?  They should be openly appreciating us, right?!  Right!!!!

Yuck.  The current president of the United States, who shall not be named, is a Twitter, social-media-freak. What is this country/social reality coming to?  He-who-shall-not-be-named makes grammatical errors in his Twitter posts!  Often.  Gagging.  Blech.  Nooooooooo...

So, in this blog that somehow is public, (yet so obscure and impossible to find unless I tell ya how), I'll write that I couldn't possibly post 140 characters before I'd proofread it until my eyes crossed.  But, I realized I was wasting a whole lot of time on something that meant absolutely nothing in the scheme of human life--Not the living part.

And, you know, I'd rather work on living in real life.  I need to work on that.
And if that's what I should be doing, I'm thinking there are so freaking many other people who should be doing that too...

Do it.




Sunday, March 19, 2017

Fidelity.

I'll just keep with a music theme in my writing until songs stop being the main precipitator, (Eh, more like condensator)l of my most current feelings and ideas.  That's okay, yeah?  Good.

I can't even remember how I "discovered" Regina Spektor:  I think most possibly from the youtube video suggestions that are stacked on the right side of the screen, when I looked up a video by a similar artist.  Oh. I think it might have been NPR! Fresh Air with Terry Gross.  I'm sure of it.  Spektor famously left the Soviet Union during Perestroika, leaving her piano behind.  All of this was important because finding out she was Russian, I bought the CD for my little sister.  My sister graduated from high school in 2006.  She is half Ukrainian (Transcarpathian), and was interested in and excelled in Russian Studies in high school and college.  She continued to read and learn on her own. She is very smart, that sister of mine.  She recently shared books with me written by Belarusian journalist Svetlana Alexievich, which have educated me greatly.

I'm not really planning on writing any more about Soviet/Russian history, but I'm giving you some background on the context of how I heard Regina Spektor's songs when I first heard them.  You might better understand how I viewed her music before I happened upon her song "Fidelity" several years later in my life, with a different brain. 

Spektor isn't only a "Russian" singer, but an Indie singer.  She's a beautiful singer:  unique, folksy, and very intelligent. 

I never loved nobody fully
Always one foot on the ground
And by protecting my heart truly
I got lost in the sounds
I hear in my mind
All these voices
I hear in my mind all these words
I hear in my mind all this music


I loved many of her songs, and really enjoyed most of her albums... but she wasn't an artist that I kept in my regular rotation.  I'm not sure why.  I really did like her.  I loved her albums Soviet KitschBegin to Hope, yet, it wasn't until I heard the Jasmine Thompson cover of "Fidelity" on a "Sia Station" I had created on Pandora, that I really felt the words, as opposed to hearing the quirky style of Spektor's version, when I was younger and in different circumstances.  We change every day, I think.  We change and hear, taste, smell, feel things a bit differently.  We should change and grow.  We shouldn't stop moving.

And it breaks my heart
And it breaks my heart
And it breaks my heart
It breaks my heart


I was cleaning the house, and the Pandora station was playing from the television.  It was the song, and hearing it from her voice, and her pared down, acoustic version, that I truly listened.  And I stopped.  I had never heard Jasmine Thompson.  She mostly does covers.  I sat on the floor staring at the screen, which as you probably know, doesn't change when you listen to Pandora.  It's a black screen, with the artist's album artwork, and then the title of the song and name of the artist in white lettering. And I listened.

I never love nobody fully
Always one foot on the ground
And by protecting by heart truly
I got lost
In the sounds
I hear in my mind
All these voices
I hear in my mind all these words
I hear in my mind 

All this music
And it breaks my heart
It breaks my heart


Did I think she was writing about regret for having fallen in love?  Maybe it's more that cliche idea that "it's better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all." She does say "suppose" before what seems to be the recollection of fond memories.  Is she trying to imagine who she would be, as an individual, without those experiences and memories?  Or, did she learn to let go and open herself up to love, even if it seems bittersweet.  And...

And suppose I never ever met you
Suppose we never fell in love
Suppose I never ever let you kiss me so sweet and so soft
Suppose I never ever saw you
Suppose we never ever called
Suppose I kept on singing love songs just to break my own fall
Just to break my fall
Just to break my fall
Break my fall
Break my fall


...Maybe she's just living in an imaginary world, though.  Was she just trying to believe in and feel things that didn't seem possible for her?  Did he start to find a way to make meaning out of all the music, and voices, and words in her head to try to stop breaking her own heart.  She had to break her own fall.  Otherwise she'd be falling... She'd just be falling forever. 

How about me?  I was listing on a Pandora radio station, playing through the speakers of a television.  I was staring at that screen, and listening, and I thought, oh... I have been lost for a long time:  and I knew it.  I knew I was looping.  I was a needle stuck on the vinyl LP, and the record player wasn't balanced, was it?  It wasn't level.  I was trapped in one groove.  And who do you talk to about that, because being in my own head for so long was obviously very destructive... Hmmmm...   

"Hey, so... I'm not here... um... I'm not sure how to come back.  You have any ideas?" 

Oh!  Regina Spektor has a song called "On the Radio", which was also on her Begin to Hope album. Maybe I should also mention that song, since it expresses the, "Hey so..."  moment in time, quite clearly. Hear one song... feel another...  That's poetry? That's life.

(...On the radio
We heard November Rain
That solo's really long
But it's a pretty song
We listened to it twice
'Cause the DJ was asleep
This is how it works
You're young until you're not
You love until you don't
You try until you can't
You laugh until you cry
You cry until you laugh
And everyone must breathe
Until their dying breath
No, this is how it works
You peer inside yourself
You take the things you like
And try to love the things you took
And then you take that love you made
And stick it into some
Someone else's heart
Pumping someone else's blood
You hope it don't get harmed

But even if it does
You'll just do it all again...) Here.



Oh goodness...  I'm off the rails and this post is getting a little confusing, me thinks. 
Perestroika. 
Original artists.
Transcarpathia. 
Hearing.
Belarusian journalists.
Song covers.  
Feeling.
Looping.  
Song Lyrics. 


I'm either doing an exceptional, adept job weaving all of these subjects together to explain a greater message, or I'm scattered and losing my focus, and your attention...  Boo!  

Wake up!  Obviously I'm super thoughtful and everything I write makes sense.  I don't lose my focus, blah, blah, blah.  I'm so super, hyper-focused you probably can't follow what I'm saying... You don't even know where I'm going for paragraphs, and then you get to the end and your mind is blown. It all makes complete sense.  

And Fidelity! Fidelity (fi·del·i·ty fəˈdelədē/ noun) *faithfulness to a person, cause, or belief, demonstrated by continuing loyalty and support. "he sought only the strictest fidelity to justice" synonyms: loyalty, allegiance, obedience.

antonyms:  disloyalty.
*sexual faithfulness to a spouse or partner. synonyms: faithfulness, loyalty, constancy, true-heartedness,
formal troth.
antonyms:infidelity, disloyalty

Is it ironic she chose to title the song "Fidelity"? So often we are not faithful to our true nature, and not really showing up in life.  I mean, by not living in conscious awareness.  She's lost in the sounds.  If rehearsed often enough, do we begin to believe the folklore we script for ourselves. We drift so reflexively into ignorant, yet steadfast-held beliefs, keeping our world small.  Its smallness might serve to make it all the more
comforting, or help us feel in control, when we just aren't.  Can we protect our hearts truly?  Should we?  Or couldn't we let it beat to its own rhythm.  Our hearts.  Our lives.  Ourselves.  

I hear in my mind all of these voices
I hear in my mind all of these words
I hear in my mind all of this music

Breaks my Heart
Breaks my heart


Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Crazy, crazy, crazy.

Love

Look at you kids with your vintage music
Comin' through satellites while cruisin'
You're part of the past, but now you're the future


Signals crossing can get confusing

It's enough just to make you feel crazy, crazy, crazy
Sometimes, it's enough just to make you feel crazy

You get ready, you get all dressed up
To go nowhere in particular
Back to work or the coffee shop


Doesn't matter cause it's enough
To be young and in love

To be young and in love


I can't write about Banks (see here), and not write about Lana Dey Rey, particularly when she comes out with a new single like "Love."  Oh, Lana, I loved you when I was discouraged from listening to your music, (maybe I was listening obsessively when I was not feeling very well mentally, I'll admit that), because your songs can be very haunting and depressing.  I'm already a depressed gal, so I can see why moody, low tempo songs, and fatalistic lyrics might feed the darkness I experience.  Ah, but when I heard Lana's new song, I felt something hopeful. I shan't be chastised for listening to "Love", because it's optimistic and... Lovely.


Look at you kids, you know you're the coolest
The world is yours and you can't refuse it

Seen so much, you could get the blues

But that don't mean that you should abuse it

Though it's enough just to make you go crazy, crazy, crazy
I know, it's enough just to make you go crazy, crazy, crazy

But you get ready, you get all dressed up
To go nowhere in particular
Back to work or the coffee shop
It don't matter because it's enough
To be young and in love
To be young and in love

Don't worry, baby
Don't worry, baby





When I heard this song, before I saw the official video, I could imagine my college years, and a 
collage of our experiences... stumbling and laughing on our way home from the bars, sitting in the sun on the green between classes talking about everything except our classes, and being... young.  
Just kids, we were.  

It was perfect, when I think back, although I wouldn't want to relive the experience.  At the time, we were very innocent, and we all loved each other.  We drank too much.  We danced every weekend.  We ate too much pizza.  We overslept.  We stayed up too late.  We kissed. We talked about what was present and relevant to our lives at that moment.  We lived in every moment, right then.  We didn't talk about the past...  We didn't really.  We could tell our friends something once, if it was important, and it was never brought up again.  It was in the past, and we were always living in the future:  What were we doing that night, that weekend?  We lived in the moment.   

Maybe that's what all 18-22 year old kids do.  Maybe it's the only time any of us get to live that way?  It's funny that maybe college is the escape, when so many young people believe they are free if they graduate from high school and don't have to go to school any longer if they don't want to.  But, it's the independence, and freedom of a youth we didn't fully explore, living at home, while we attended high school. Those four years at UVM my friends and I were absolutely irresponsible; yet in the midst of all our hangovers, mistakes, fun, and learning, we didn't even know we were figuring out how to be grown ups at the same time. We didn't think about that.  We didn't need to.  We were "grown up," but so very young... and the responsibilities?  
Pass your classes.
Don't skip lecture hall classes, (even if attendance wasn't taken), to go shopping. Pop quiz. Always.
Don't party too much.
Appreciate your education.
Don't get 3:00am noise violations...   
Stay alive?  

 We did.  We were alive.  We were alive the entire time.

And it's enough just to make me go crazy, crazy, crazy
It's enough just to make me go crazy, crazy, crazy



I get ready, I get all dressed up

To go nowhere in particular
It doesn't matter if I'm not enough
For the future or the things to come
'Cause I'm young and in love
I'm young and in love

Don't worry, baby
Don't worry, baby

Don't worry, baby



        -Lana Del Rey, 2017