Day 6: Seven Days Until Thirty-Two

Will be turning 32 soon and for the next seven days leading up to my birthday, I’m going to try to write down any lessons I may have learned from the past year when I was 31.

My best friend Ryan invited me to Madonna’s MDNA tour concert when it hit Yankee Stadium – it was probably the best concert I’ve ever seen. I was probably blinded by the magnitude of it – because I really am considering the number two best concert I’ve ever been might actually be better than Madonna’s.

I first heard of Metric from Scott Pilgrim versus the World movie, where their song “Black Sheep” was featured. I fell in love. I instantly downloaded the current album then, Fantasies. I rocked out to “Help I’m Alive” in the shower, I strut to “Stadium Love” while walking to the subway on my way to work, I fell asleep listening to “Blindness” on repeat every night.

When I found out they were coming out with an new album, I patiently waited for that tweet saying they’d be on tour. And when the Sythetica Tour was announced and they were going to be in New York City in September, I thought: perfect birthday gift. Well, it was a botched birthday plan but my best bud Ryan came along and I still had a good time.

Can’t wait until Metric swings by New York City again.

Advertisements

Day 1: Seven Days Until Thirty-Two

Will be turning 32 soon and for the next seven days leading up to my birthday, I’m going to try to write down any lessons I may have learned from the past year when I was 31.

Years ago, singer-songwriter Aimee Mann released @#%&*! Smilers which included the track “31 Today”. I remember thinking I can’t wait to turn thirty-one just so I can sing the song. And turn thirty-one I did. And boy, did the song hit me hard.

It’s a song about turning thirty-one and realizing that things could be better. I don’t own my house. Aside from a retirement account, I don’t really have much assets. I’m in a relationship that is stagnant at best. No wedding ring, no kids.

Things weren’t BAD. In fact, things were not horrible. But things were basically substandard. And frankly, this is happening because I lack the will to do something about it. I do not own a house because I feel comfortable renting a place with the same roommate I’ve had since I moved to New York. I do not have any assets because I don’t clamor to own things. And my relationship is stagnant because I resigned to hold on to my boyfriend’s hand and just slow down to his stride. I am not settling, worse – I am just plain lazy. And I have given up on dreaming big – because whatever I want, I actually have already. And maybe that’s what I just need to wake up, my ambition. Ambition that knows how to appreciate what is already is on hand, and strive to make things better – and not a blind greed of just wanting more.

Yes, it’s a song about turning thirty-one and realizing that things could be better. And let this console your seemingly old soul: things would be better.

And I’m Ready to Suffer and I’m Ready to Hope

I remember starting 2012 on a sour note – I was home staring at my tv, watching people choke on confetti in Times Square. There are two superstitions I learned in growing up in the Philippines and both I hold close to my heart because they tend to be true:
One – jump when midnight strikes on New Year. Jump as high as you can because it will make you grow tall. I never did as a child and now I am stuck at 5’5 on a good day.
Two – whatever situation you have going on on New Year’s day will be pretty much the set up for the rest of the year.
2012 was generally a sour year because I started the year on a sour note. There was a small spat with the bf – and the year was riddled with small spats with the bf. I’m lucky he has the patience that he has, because I would have broken up with me years ago. Interestingly enough, I wasn’t drinking that night and I have been relatively sober for 2012. I have to admit though, I miss drinking and being silly – maybe it’s just a sign I’m growing up slash getting old. Generally, I welcomed 2012 with a dark cloud over my head, and the cloud stayed.
But a new year is coming, and I will desperately shake this cloud away. I made dinner plans with some out-of-towner friends from college, my best friend is gonna catch up, boyfriend is gonna snatch me away to a house party with great positive vibe friends – there will be drinks and dancing. So watch out 2013. I’m ready for you.

And I am done with my graceless heart
So tonight I’m gonna cut it out and then restart

A Better Man

Over the weekend, I went to a live taping of Professor Blastoff – a podcast hosted by Tig Notaro, with David Huntsberger, Kyle Dunnigan and Aaron Burrell. It was fun, it was Tig’s first show since she moved here in New York, and after a series of very very unfortunate events. Their special guest was Ira Glass of This American Life. I actually have never seen him live, and it’s a shame I don’t listen to the weekly podcast considering it’s free. Side note: subscribing now.

Glass told a story about this lady who is very liberal politically who happens to have a Republican friend. She told Ira that she really like this person but she was having a hard time reconciling his beliefs with hers especially on social issues. She was considering cutting him off from her life because of their differences.
When Ira presented this to us, he said we can easily dismiss her as a nutjob, that she was somebody who is basically an extremist. But he also presented the opposite – which is he’s just a pussy. That he is okay knowing somebody he likes has a very different view than him, and he has no urge to “convert” them.
It’s all relative. It really is. If I tell a friend I have doubts about my relationship, I am usually greeted by horror. I never really thought of doubt as a bad thing. I just never believed in blind faith. It seems reckless to do that. I prefer having doubts and questioning the validity of something like my relationship. Because questioning it makes me look for answers, and there is comfort in answers.
That being said, like any relationship, it is never smooth sailing. I really wish I have more people to talk to about it, but most of the times I find myself staring at an empty space and talking to myself. The best arguments and discussions I ever had are usually with myself. A break up, as viable as an option as it is, is not something I consider because I think finding a better man is a quick fix. Being a better one is a more substantial course, despite how much harder it is.
I do worry that people think this is me settling. I think there’s a line between that, and finding a compromise. But every now and then – you list down the things you have compromised for and wonder if you should be getting more than what you have now.

But you can see it my eyes, you can read on my lips
I’m trying to get a hold on this
And I really mean it this time
And you know it’s such a trip
Don’t get me started
I’m trying to get a hold on this.

Metric Setlist – Radio City Music Hall, September 23, 2012

I’m just as fucked up as they say
I can’t fake the daytime
Found an entrance to escape into the dark
Got false lights for the sun
It’s an artificial nocturne
It’s an outsider’s escape for a broken heart

***

***

And when the days that followed past

In another mansion built to last
From our window we could see
Only possibilities down the road and back

But then the storm returned for more
In a comedown of revolving doors
We auctioned off our memories
In the absence of a breeze
Scatter what remains
Scatter what remains

***
I’ll shut up and carry on, the scream becomes a yawn
I’ll shut up and carry on, the scream becomes a yawn

***

***

***

We’re all the time confined to fit the mold
But I won’t ever let them make a loser of my soul

***
Call me out
My regret
Only makes me
Stronger yet

***
I’ll wait
Is this my life?
Am I breathing underwater?

***

***
Tits out, pants down
Overnight to London
Touch down, look around
Everyone’s the same
World wide, air tight
No one’s got a face left to blame
And all we get is

***
Wanna make a trade
Cougar for a snake, wanna fall in love
Wanna make a deal
Angel versus eel, owl versus dove

***
ENCORE
***

***
I fought the war but the war won.
***
The Wanderlust and Pale Blue Eyes
With Lou Reed of The Velvet Underground
Sometimes I feel so happy,
Sometimes I feel so sad.
Sometimes I feel so happy,
But mostly you just make me mad.
Baby, you just make me mad.
Linger on, your pale blue eyes.
Linger on, your pale blue eyes.
***

***

***
From setlist.fm.

Aimee Mann is a Labrador

I remember liking the Buffy the Vampire Slayer soundtrack because of two songs: Blue and Pavlov’s Bell. Pavlov’s Bell, I thought, was the first Aimee Mann song I knew. Turns out, some years earlier, she also had a few songs for the Magnolia soundtrack, of which Save Me was a favorite. But still, that’s not the first Mann song I liked. The first Mann song I really like was from ’85, when she was still with Til Tuesday – and the song was Voices Carry.
I was really young when I first heard the song, and funny enough, I remember the video. I was fascinated with the rat tail – and it’s funny how that was a plot device in the music video.
Aimee Mann has a new album out, with Labrador as a single. The music video is pretty hilarious. She did a shot-by-shot video of Voices Carry, rat tail and all!
Labrador, like many Mann songs, is musically haunting, lyrically sad, always poignant. Its about devotion and staying around even during the lowest of the low. It’s gonna be played in a loop, and my iPod will get tired of playing the song.

Chronicles of an Alone Non-Single Guy – Part Two

Tuesday night, I checked out the movie The Right to Love: An American Family. It’s basically about a gay couple and their two kids, and what they went through during the big hoo-haa of Proposition 8. It was a good documentary of a family doing “normal” stuff. I think it was the point, families with gay parents don’t really ask for anything special – just be treated the same as everyone else. The Prop 8 issue on the movie kinda dated it, which makes the movie feel “old”. I worry it dampened its relevance, because it is still a timely issue. Unless marriage is made equal on the federal level, I think the movie would remain important.
After the movie, I joined a bunch of HRC volunteers for drinks. I should consider doing volunteer work. But I think of myself too much to do volunteer work. That;s why I just give money. As Karen Walker would say as she writes a check, “Guilt begone!”
Thursday night was great! I enjoy comedy, I love the East Village, and I enjoy dive bars – so when I heard about a comedy show in a dive bar in the East Village, I knew I had to show up.

I heard about it through Dave. I’ve been listening to his podcast with Ben Harvey. They have a radio show now at Sirius, but I don’t have Sirius so I download the iTunes feed.
I’ve never seen him do stand-up so I went. A pleasant surprise was Craig Baldo! We’ve met once before, we have a common friend who happens to be a former professor from Colorado.
I probably had too much that Thursday night – by the time I got home, I felt feverish. By the morning, I could hardly breathe because my throat felt closing up. My tonsils were inflamed, and it hurt so bad. I did something I haven’t done in a long time – called sick and took the day off. I stayed in bed and watched America’s Top Model reruns. I also Googled tonsillectomy. Videos are available in Youtube. I saw images of removed tonsils, they look like gonads. It was disgusting and fascinating.
I was up as early as six this morning. Just probably excited – Andy is coming home today 🙂 I’ll pick him up later from Jersey. In the mean time, since I still can’t eat, decided to cook soup.

***
Cutting through the darkest night are my two headlights
Try to keep it clear, but I’m losing it here
To the twilight
There’s a dead end to my left
There’s a burning bush to my right
You aren’t in sight