the summer of 2012 all I listened to was frank ocean and fiona apple. they both put out new albums that spring, and i listened to those two things over and over, one after another, again and again, all summer. that was the summer before my sweetheart and I really started dating. we kept on doing incredibly romantic things together, but I didn’t ask her out until the end of august. we listened to those two albums and held hands and lay on my bed told each other stories.

august was hard. she was out of town, then i was out of town, then she was out of town again. i think we got one afternoon together between all the family vacations. when she was in the boundary waters without cell service i was basically in hell. that suffering was bad, but it helped convince me that i really had to do something and tell her how much i cared. it was worth it to get us here.

i’m not good at augusts. there’s usually a point where i feel absolutely miserable. i don’t think it’s come yet this summer, but i’m waiting for it, and maybe that’s making things worse. or maybe things aren’t great already.

my insomnia’s been bad, worse in a way that i’m not used to. and i haven’t been writing as much as I like to, which bothers me. things have been slightly out of sync all month, maybe longer.

soon enough it will be september, and then my birthday, and i’ll have an excuse to be outrageously happy. for now i just need to make do, muddle along. there’s a new frank ocean album to listen to, and that’s making everything better. having the right soundtrack for your melancholy is incredibly important. i’ll always remember what the summer of 2012 sounded like, those two albums again and again, and i figured out what to do about falling in love.

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i don’t like people who are younger than me who seem to know what they’re doing with their life

and i don’t like people who are older than me who think they know what i should be doing with my life

and to be honest, i really don’t like people, like, at all, hardly ever

which sometimes makes life hard

but whatever

there are a few people i love

and that’s enough

fuck what the rest of the world says

the things i can not change

which vastly outnumber the things i can

grant me the wisdom to know the difference.

 

today does not have to be a bad day

today can start to get better right now

i’m on the brink of another beautiful positive summer.

middle school jams

it’s getting close to two in the morning, and I’m listening to Stadium Arcadium, which is objectively a Bad album, but it does have some damn good songs. It’s far too long — anything that takes up two CDs is simply too long, even if it’s all good music that’s too much music at once. And this is not all good music! some of it is the opposite of good, and a fair chunk of it is mediocre. but like, “Dani California,” that’s a tune. it was on the radio a couple weeks ago, and we were watching music videos earlier tonight, and I remembered that it had a great one. that was one of the first music videos I ever remember watching. I was in middle school, and we were using laptops for something, and the school had youtube blocked, but not google video. I definitely didn’t get all of the references at the time, but it was still pretty entertaining. I want to make a playlist of all my middle school jams. this era of Red Hot Chili Peppers is the furthest outlier from what I’m into now, what I’m the least likely to admit to digging. I own my emo stage of Panic! and their ilk. I have no shame about Green Day being my punk rock gateway drug. Death Cab, the Killers, Franz Ferdinand were all signs of what was to come, things that fit in with my current listening if they come up on shuffle. I don’t know what to make of this Chili Peppers album. back then the Cities still had an alt rock station, which I listened to more than the Current. it played the singles off this album all the time. there was a summer where I swear to god every second song was either “crazy” or “steady as she goes.” it wasn’t a bad summer at all. Drive 1-0-5. they played some good stuff. and then, like, fucking Guster or whatever. stuff that I can’t call good, but does have a certain nostalgic appeal. it’s not shame I’m feeling, but just — I know better now, alright? I need you to trust me, I really do know better, I make better decisions than this. I mean, the evidence might contrary, what with the listening to Stadium Arcadium when I really should be sleeping. but I swear, most of the time I listen to much cooler shit in the middle of the night. this is just a throwback. a lot of the stuff from my life is stuff I’d never want to return to in a million years, I was kind of miserable back then. but this is a decent song. it made me happier when I was in like seventh grade? I don’t want to google the year. I bought the CD from the Borders on Snelling. it’s all just a throwback. I’m not going back there — that Borders hasn’t existed for four years now. this song can still make me happy now, if I let it.

kill yr idols so they can’t surprise u & die in the middle of what’s already a bad week

I want to write something about Prince, but I’m not sure what I want to say yet. It hasn’t even been a full day yet. I was barely awake when I got the news. A friend asked me if I was alright, and I didn’t what it was about, and I already wasn’t. I’ve had a cold for half a week, the Wild played some exceptionally sad hockey, and there was a thing about having to do the dishes when I got home around midnight last night that I’m not going to try to explain, but made me cry. So waking up and finding out one of my favorite rock gods had ascended to another plane was not a fun morning.

But honestly, I think I’m alright? I mean, I listened the “The Cross” on a website called GodTube and cried some, but like, other than that, I’m alright. I turned on the Current, which was playing all Prince, in chronological order. It was still in the early eighties. I got dressed — purple jeans, purple striped socks, purple hoodie, purple lipstick, and my awesome Minnesota Nice shirt with a picture of Prince on his motorcycle. All that purple was able to protect me from the terrible world. Work was quiet. We talked about how sad we were, and I kept on listening to the Current’s stream, through the highlights of his career. The DJs shared their Prince stories, and everyone talked about how sad they were. It helped.

Tonight I could have gone out and done something. There was a block party, and then dancing at First Ave, but I have a cold, and I hate crowds, and rain, and sad drunk people. My sweetheart came over and put up with me being sad and sick and clingy. We watched half of Purple Rain on MTV, and then caught up on The Outs. Maybe I’ll regret missing some sort of landmark occasion, but tonight I’m too tired to care. I’m doing alright. I’m maintaining my fragile alrightness. If I tried to go anywhere I definitely would have cried more.

When musicians I adore die one thing I think about is how when Lux Interior died in 2009 I started listening to the Cramps. I had heard of them before, and I knew it would be something I’d like, but I hadn’t taken the time to really explore their music. But then seeing the collective mourning from other people I respected motivated me to check it out.

There’s some kid out there who’s really listening to Prince for the first time today, and it’s changing their life. And sure, he didn’t have to die for another kid to realize how great he is, but at least there’s something good coming out of this. He might be gone, not throwing parties or showing up out of the blue, but his music is still here. I’m not going to run out of Prince music to be fascinated by any time soon.

knitting a lot

I haven’t been blogging, which isn’t the same as saying I haven’t been writing. I just haven’t been writing enough. I should be writing more. I should always be writing more.

I’ve been knitting a lot. I finished a sweater to send to my newest baby cousin, and it turned out a little bit lumpy. This shade of green looked better as a skein than it looks all knit up, but I added cute silver bear face buttons that make it work. It was made with love. I bought the yarn the day after the baby was born, the fact that I’ve finished anything is an accomplishment. Now I just need to get it in the mail. That should be the easy part.

I’m fairly sure I have my cousin’s right address. Like, ninety percent sure. But ten percent uncertainty is a lot when you’re trusting hours of your life and pain in your wrists to the US Postal Service. It would be easy enough to check. I could message her on facebook, or if I want it to be a surprise I could ask her brother. It wouldn’t be hard. It shouldn’t be scary. This is family, I love these people, I even like them quite a lot too. It shouldn’t feel as daunting as it does.

If that’s how anxious I get about messaging one of my lovely cousins, imagine what’s going on in my head when I think about sending someone my writing. There was a thing recently where I could have sent in some samples and applied to possibly get paid for writing about books. It looked like a really cool opportunity. And I didn’t get anything put together. Because it’s easier to hide in my little corner with a blog I don’t link anyone to where I can say whatever I want. There isn’t any quality control here. No risk of rejection. No attention paid to me at all.

I should write more, and perhaps just as importantly, I should put my writing out there more. The write ups I stick here are partially for my own records, because I know I benefit from making myself process in words. I could do better at making those words hold together. I could not go a week without posting anything at all. I should be writing all of the time.

But I’ve been knitting a lot, and that’s been good. This sweater might be done, but my other cousin’s wife is having a baby in a couple months. I’ve got a lot of cousins and they’ve got a lot of babies, and I want to make them all lumpy sweaters with love. It’s an offering. It’s a way of showing love.

Just like a blog post is, kinda sorta. I dunno. I should write more.

 
I haven’t been sleeping very well. It’s been alright because even if my mind has kept me up until four in the morning I’ve been able to sleep until noon. At least until today, where I had to leave the house by eleven to go into work.

Work was busy and hard, and I did something to fuck up my ankle yesterday, and I didn’t make myself eat anything except for half a cliff bar that had been in my bag for a week or so.  Which was not a good choice on any level. Today has not been a day for good choices.

I got home from work, made sad frozen pizza, and turned on the hockey game. The Wild got scored on twice in the first minute and a half. They’re down 6-2 at the end of the second. I could turn the tv off, but then I’d be stuck obsessively refreshing twitter to see how they’re fucking up, and honestly that sounds worse.

The best part of my day was when I had a break from work and I went over to the central library. I sat on the floor between two bookshelves and read a handful of poems by Apollinaire, then got mad at myself cause I have too many fines to check out the book. Which like, this is not a bad moment. I was listening to piano covers of alt rock songs and reading poetry. I love downtown Minneapolis, I love that library, it was good poetry. I should be happy with this.

I dunno. I guess I’m just tired.

my poor wrist

My wrist has been fucked up all weekend, which isn’t that unusual, my wrist is at least sort of fucked up all the time, but it was worse this weekend, to the point where the pain and watching the Wild lose on Saturday afternoon almost made me cry. It’s a little bit better now though. My partner came over, and made me buy a new brace when I couldn’t find either of my old ones, and made me stop trying to do things. We watched a lot of movies, and cuddled on the couch. It was really nice. That’s all we did yesterday as well, which is a perfect Valentine’s Day. We watched Lilo and Stitch, and Ghostbusters, which she had never seen and didn’t love as much as I do, and then hours of This Old House, which was inspiring. There had been a piece of trim held onto the kitchen sink with duct tape and desperation. This morning I yanked it off to uncover the rotten wood and see what’s going on in there. I have a plan to fix it up, which should be cool. I’m not all that handy, but it’s one of those things where no matter how badly I fuck it up it’ll be better than before, cause it won’t be held up with duct tape. At least some attempt to fix it will have been made, and it’s about damn time. This house is coming apart all around us, and my parents aren’t exactly motivated to do much. They’re never going to sell this house. They talk about moving sometimes, but they’ve been talking about moving since I was like ten years old, and it’s never going to happen. I’ve made my peace with this, I’m just gonna do what I can to keep it together. I’m only working one day this week, so I need a project, especially since my wrist is still fucked enough that I’m not sure about typing too much. Like, I’m doing it, obviously, right this very moment, but I’m definitely limited, and trying to be actually producitive like this would be a fucking terrible idea. Taking that piece of border off and tearing up the falling off tile was also a terrible idea, but well. I’ve got time.