Dying young

When people die young, are they immortalized in a way that outweighs their actual talent?

Would they grow old and eventually become not popular, would they become bad, would they become uninteresting, would they become hacks?

Are they more popular because they died young?

I’m thinking specifically here about Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens.

 

 

**Voice memo series

Voice memo

June 2, 2018

Ocean Springs, Mississippi

Messenger musing

I waited

for the little white circle with the blue check
to turn into the blue circle with a white check
and the “active 9 hours ago” to turn into “active one minute ago.”

(For some reason it never turned into an “active now,” which always irritated me)

but probably it’s one of those things that gets lost over the Pacific Ocean.

 

 

**Voice memo series

Voice memo

November 18, 2017

Ocean Springs, Mississippi

I don’t remember loving you

I don’t remember loving you.

I remember going to the big supermarket, and finding the ingredients for punch and being surprised by the things on the shelves, and being excited about being somewhere new.

But I don’t remember loving you.

I remember your visit and showing you to my friends, and showing my friends to you.

I remember crying when I had to leave.

I remember trying to pick apples.

But I don’t remember loving you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

**Voice memo series

Voice memo

December 24, 2017

Ocean Springs, Mississippi

I am not meant to be beautiful

I am not meant to be beautiful. There are some people who are, and that’s fine for them. But I’m not one of them. Others of us are meant to struggle and to have a hard time and to be challenged. And to figure out what it’s like to live a slightly more difficult life. Even if it’s pretty easy in the long run.

And that’s okay. It’s okay to be a little more difficult. It’s okay to not be beautiful.

And it’s also okay to not be ugly.

 

 

**Voice memo series

 

Voice memo

June 2, 2018

Ocean Springs, Mississippi

Stuck in the middle

Why do I often get the feeling that if life is a test, then I have failed?

Or that I’m stuck in the middle of something.

Pretty enough to be considered pretty, but not pretty enough to have it matter.

I’m overweight enough that I need to do something about it, but not overweight enough that anybody else would call me overweight.

I’m smart enough that I did well in school, and got a good scholarship to college, but not smart enough for that college to be outside of my home state, which has some of the worst public education in the nation.

I have enough common sense to get myself to all the places I’ve been so far, but not enough common sense to look up the Saturday bus schedule before Saturday to see that it might just possibly be different than the weekdays.

 

 

**Part of my voice memo series

Voice memo

October 1, 2016

Pittsfield, Massachusetts

In defense of not being polished / person worth something

**Editorial note here: these words reflect my situation and thoughts at the time. Things have changed, as they are wont to do. Read accordingly.

 

In praise of not being polished:

In this day and age, we have to sell ourselves, essentially. You have to have volunteer experience, you have to have a blog, and you have to have an Instagram, and you have to have a Facebook and a Twitter and a LinkedIn. And all of these other signifiers that you area a capital-P Person capital-W Worth capital-S Something.

I am a person worth something, because I’m a person, and so fundamentally I have a right to exist. And I believe that, and I know that, and anyone you would talk to about me would tell you all of my wonderful good qualities. But those good qualities do not include having a successful blog or a YouTube channel, or anything like that really that is currency in today’s world, at least when it comes to getting jobs. If you can’t tell, I’m frustrated right now. Because I’m not a Person Worth Something as far as getting a job. Or an internship, or being in the Peace Corps, or any of the things that I’m considering wanting to do. So. Next move, next stage of the game, I don’t know, is in defense of not being polished.

I’m going to start putting everything out there. I’m gonna post bullshit on a blog that’s not really good, and I’m not gonna censor it, and I’m gonna put Instagrams up and I’m going to write every day, something that I’ve promised myself several times that I would do, and have just started doing recently. And I’m gonna talk about my yoga, and I’m gonna talk about my baking, and I’m gonna talk about my thoughts on gay issues, and I’m gonna do a lot of things. And I don’t know if it’ll make me a Person Worth Something, but maybe at least it’ll make a compelling story.

Voice memo

December 5, 2017

Ocean Springs, Mississippi

Pigeonhole

So I do my writing in a myriad of ways. Or, as some newer stylebooks would request: I do my writing in myriad ways. No, I don’t like that version, but yes, I think it might be correct.

So these many (solved it!) ways include straight-to-the-source-this-blog, random notes in my phone (it’s actually one note, and it’s titled “Ramblings.”), my pen-and-paper journal, and voice notes. Among other things.

So I’m starting a series where I share already-written things that haven’t otherwise seen the light of day here.

This is the first of the series. In it, I’ll include the original mechanism of thought capture, the date, and the location in which the brilliance sparked (ha ha).

Without further ado, here is Voice Note #1: Pigeonhole.

 

Thought: change the name of my new blog “Everything” to “Pigeonhole.”

I’m reading Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, and she says, “Let other people pigeonhole you however they need to, and pigeonhole you, they shall. Because that’s what people like to do. Actually, pigeonholing is something people need to do, in order to feel that they have set the chaos of existence into some kind of reassuring order.”

So the reason that I named my blog “Everything” is because I don’t like to be pigeonholed. I don’t want to be stuck into some particular thing.

So, maybe instead of calling it “Everything,” which is kind of a boring title, I’ll call it “Pigeonhole” because it represents what I don’t want: I don’t want to be told I can only do one type of thing, I want to do everything. But if people want to pigeonhole me, they can, but for the meantime, I’ll be clever and creative.

Voice memo

December 1, 2017

Ocean Springs, Mississippi

 

***A real scintillating peek behind the curtain here, I know. But this is the kind of shit I want to read, as a reader of blogs, and I promised myself my blog would not fit into any already-defined category. Necessity is the mother of invention, after all.

Stay tuned for more. They’ll be juicier, I assure you.

What inspires you?

What inspires you?

Is it the coffee shop that feels like a friend’s living room?
Or more likely their kitchen, a little too warm, but nice by the window.
Even if there isn’t a breeze.

Is it delirium?
The feeling of shaking just under the surface, of too much coffee and too little sleep and all the other, little clichés?
Feeling like not-a-human and saying things sometimes wittier and sometimes dumber than you would without the syrupy glaze laying lethargically over your eyelids?

Is it caffeine? Is it alcohol? Is it some other, less legal drug?
(Legality comes in shades, you understand. It’s grayscale.)
They’ve inspired me, oh, how they have spurred thoughts in my head and actions in my bones. It’s a special feeling, you feel like you’re the only one in the world and you love it and you crave it.
And you inevitably feel a lingering piece of shame like a string of apple between your teeth.

Is it music?
Angry (-sounding) words (you don’t know) spit over tripping bars? Symphonies of sound and you can’t name a single instrument. Soaring melodies and fast beats and twisted lyrics you have to write down to puzzle out.

Is it death?
The shocking and sad occurence that surprises and grieves you but all at once feels so separate, so distant, that it’s not really like that person died. Not actually.
Does it make you want to live better, more, stronger, harder?
Does it make you want to reach out and grab people and shake them and tell them their time is so short, shorter than the realize or plan for, and the things they’re upset by are really, really, trivial… but then so is everything else.
Does it make you want to slap people who say it comes in threes?
Because you know, they’re right.
It did for me.
Don’t worry, most of them you won’t know personally.

Maybe it’s being naked. Or sunshine. Or a particularly good TED Talk.
I’m not here to judge.

What inspires you?
Does anything inspire you?
No, listen, really.
You have to. You have to find something.
I don’t care what or how, it can be stupid or vague or laughable or pitable.
But you can’t live without inspiration.
I mean that quite literally. Something makes you nourish your body, something makes you draw breath. It makes you choose to feed yourself, with food of course. And with love. And satisfaction and contentment.

This is how it works.
The inspiration. Starts.
The thing comes to you. And then.
Then you’re able to feed yourself, to draw in the next thing, the thing that makes you happy. And you feed on the happy, the satisfy, the content.ment.

What inspires you?
What inspires you?

What is it, then, that inspires you?

Don’t worry.

I won’t tell.

 

 

 

 

Post-hiatus

There was a hiatus. And now I’m back.

Links for today, real writing coming soon.

Of Montreal is one of those great, weird bands that’s been successful enough to make music for many years, but weird enough to never really get mainstream recognition. They played in a city near me recently and I couldn’t go, but I listened to some of their music for nostalgia’s sake (I was v. into them in college) and I ran across this gem: why is it not a feminist anthem yet?

If you haven’t listened to Daniel Caesar yet, you should. His music is plaintive and pretty and real and raw and encompasses a broad spectrum of human emotion, while remaining playful at times. NPR just dropped a Tiny Desk concert featuring him and some incredible bandmates/backup singers/guest artists and it’s really worth the whole 16 minutes if you have it.

And to finish us up, this is the video that got me into Hayley Kiyoko, and boy am I into her now. Aren’t you curious?

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How normal is your sense of humor?

Definition of normal

1a conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern 

  • normal working hours
  • He had a normal childhood.
  • the effect of normal aging
b according with, constituting, or not deviating from a norm, rule, or principle 

  • The normal way to pluralize a noun is by adding -s.

I try to be careful with how I use that word these days. Merriam Webster lists 8 (!) definitions for the adjective normal, right off the bat. But sometimes, when we (I) say normal, we (I) mean average. Or even compliant. I think most people who use the word normal willy-nilly don’t have any ill intent. They just don’t necessarily choose their words as carefully as I do.

And that’s probably a good thing.

A real thing that happened in my life, a few days ago: I was at work. A co-worker didn’t fulfill their (singular neutral, I’m not tryna blow up anyone’s spot) duties at work in such a way that, eh-em…how to put this politely? supremely fucked up my shit. Afterward, once the damage was done and we fixed it as best we could and said co-worker righted their mistake, they apologized to me.

Person who effed up: Hayley, omg, I’m SO sorry about that.

Me: It’s fine. (Begins to walk away, I have other things to take care of. Reconsiders, stops.) Actually, it’s not fine. But I accept your apology. (Actually walks away this time.)

Bear in mind, this is a job I’ve had barely two months. And this co-worker is not necessarily senior to me, but they have been working there longer than me, and I genuinely think they are a nice person and typically good at their job.

But since I’m apparently obsessed with choosing the right words, saying what I mean, and meaning what I say, I dropped that zinger of a truth bomb.

Now, some of you are probably shouting at your computer (phone? tablet? I obviously don’t know how to read the metrics on WordPress that tell me about my ~audience~) “YOU GO GIRL, PUT THAT GENDER-NEUTRAL MYSTERY PERSON IN THEIR PLACE!”

And some of you are probably considering more thoughtfully, “Wow, yes, how great, we as women have been conditioned to apologize for everything and to accept apologies, but wouldn’t the world be a better place if we felt more free to speak our minds in a straightforward way without being labeled ‘bitches’?”

But what most of you are probably thinking (and what I thought immediately after I managed to shut my dumb trap) is Ouch. That was a bit harsh, don’tcha think?

I totally get that we as women have been conditioned to be meek and apologetic, and that speaking your truth to power is, well, powerful. But there’s also something to be said (I myself have a history of saying a lot about it) being kind. And allowing someone to eff up a few times before you’re a total bitch to them. And trying not to get a reputation for being the office Bitch with a capital-B.

Anyway.

Before that giant digression, we were talking about… choosing one’s words carefully, in relation to the word normal. Right?

So, back to the episode title: how normal is your sense of humor? How normal are any of us, really? There are seven billion people on this earth, and I’d be willing to bet you’re not the only one with your sense of humor. Not to make you feel un-special, just a bit more connected with the rest of the human race.

Me personally? I dislike The Simpsons, Seth MacFarlane, and Superbad, as a general rule. I love Parks and Recreation and this joke: What do an elephant and a plum have in common? They’re both purple, except the elephant. … Get it?? Gets me every time.

I also love My Brother, My Brother, and Me.

That’s honestly how my whole sense of humor can be summed up. If you don’t like MBMBaM… well, we can probably get along just fine, because I don’t know anyone in my life personally who likes or has even heard of them (I’ve tried to convert a few friends, but they’re kind of a you’re-obsessed or you-don’t-get-it type of humor, in my experience). BUT. If you do like them, please @ me so we can be best friends, because I am kind of obsessed.

They’re three brothers from Huntington, West Virginia, and they host a podcast that’s an advice show for the modren era. It’s bizarre and inexplicable and makes me laugh out loud in such a way that they’re kind of dangerous to listen to in public. I first discovered them because Lin-Manuel Miranda tweeted about them so much I finally decided to take a listen. That was probably 2014? Maybe? I listened regularly for a while (they put out an episode every week) and dropped off occasionally as life intervened, but have always picked them back up whenever I was able.

Anyway, since I’ve entered this new stage in my life, I have a lot of free-ish time (commuting, cleaning, getting ready, being alone with my thoughts and boy who wants that!?) so I caught up with their most recent episodes, and then I decided to embark on a journey.

I would listen to every episode. From the beginning.

They started recording and posting their podcast in spring of 2010. I have made it to fall of 2011. So far I’ve paused the re-listen (or, more accurately, the first-time-listen until I catch up with myself) a couple times to catch up with current episodes, but I think I’m making good progress. It’s fascinating to listen to their progression over time, and the couple of times I’ve dipped my baby toe into the online world of People Talking About Things™, I’ve decided forums aren’t for me, so I’m gonna continue to re-listen on my own, and I’ll track some of my observations here.

I realize this is an incredibly niche (do you say neesh or nitch?) story arc, so if you don’t wanna pay attention, feel free not to. But maybe, some MBMBaM fan might find this and laugh along with me. If so, hello! If not… well, you’re not reading anyway, are you?

It’s familiar. But not too familiar. But not too not familiar.

Until next time.

xH