Chicago apartment with east-facing sunroom: acquired (for unbelievably cheap).
Roommate: Moe. No further words necessary. Because he’s Moe.
Graduation: in 5 weeks (fuck you, quarter system).
Amalfi: in 6 weeks.
Today thru the day I leave for Amalfi: a bunch of academic bullshit that doesn’t matter now and will never matter in the grand scheme of things.
Love is a striking example of how little reality means to us.
I was practicing Liszt today, and I finally got a really difficult octave passage perfectly right. I heard a “woohoo!!” from outside and looked out the window to see some guy standing in the parking lot, giving me a double thumbs up. Not gonna lie, I’ve been waiting for that to happen for four years.
things i learn at work
Sometimes, elderly people think they are entitled to be assholes because of their age.
I don’t care how old you are. If you do not treat me with respect, I will ignore you.
“By turn hilarious and haunting, poet Shane Koyczan puts his finger on the pulse of what it’s like to be young and … different. “To This Day,” his spoken-word poem about bullying, captivated millions as a viral video (created, crowd-source style, by 80 animators). Here, he gives a glorious, live reprise with backstory and violin accompaniment by Hannah Epperson.”
So far today, I have
1) had 8 AM Irish Cream Lattes with this wonderful human,
2) taken a long walk along Lake Michigan, during which I encountered not one, not two, but THREE puppies playing in the snow, and
3) watched two back episodes of This Old House and realized that I want to be reincarnated as Norm Abram.
Perfect day is perfect.
I’m sitting in the library, reading an article about the negative effects of advertising on the female psyche.
At the table next to mine, relationship drama is unfolding because Girl thinks Boy doesn’t find her pretty.
I wish I could cite “life” as a source for this paper…
I just spent the last three hours looking for jobs/internships for next year. The only thing I’ve managed to do is open up that deep pit in my stomach that always accompanies the job search.
Nothing is appealing, I have no idea what I’m doing with my life, and I feel like the last 4 years have been a complete waste of time and money, because all I want to do is go out to Washington state and live in a house in the woods with a piano and a writing desk.
I’m done with people. I’m done with resumes and cover letters and career counselors telling me that my specific skill sets are too specific for fields outside academia and solo piano performance and my transferable skills are too general for jobs in education, arts administration, or museum/library studies.
I’m sick of feeling like I have no place in the decidedly corporate/finance-skewed work force of this country.
I’m sick of feeling like my preferred career path as a classical musician is not respected or desirable.
I’m sick of people responding to my passions for literature and music with a smirk and a sarcastic “You really picked the two most useful professions out there, didn’t you?” If you’re going to say that to me, you know what? Fuck you. I refuse to stand there and smile uncomfortably while you disparage my life’s work. Fuck. You.
I’m sick of worrying myself sick about my future.
You don’t ever have to feel guilty about removing toxic people from your life. It doesn’t matter whether someone is a relative, romantic interest, employer, childhood friend, or a new acquaintance — you don’t have to make room for people who cause you pain or make you feel small. It’s one thing if a person owns up to their behavior and makes an effort to change. But if a person disregards your feelings, ignores your boundaries, and continues to treat you in a harmful way, they need to go.
When in doubt, use permanent press.
The earth never tires,
The earth is rude, silent, incomprehensible at first, Nature is rude and incomprehensible at first,
Be not discouraged, keep on, there are divine things well envelop’d,
I swear to you there are divine things more beautiful than words can tell.
30 Day Challenge, Day 12: Men
[Clearly this is going to take longer than 30 days.]
At our age there’s really no excuse for men to be acting like boys, so I hereby change the title of this challenge from “Boys” to “Men.” The same applies to the next topic (Girls -> Women).
When I meet a man for the first time, my gut reaction is to approach him as if he is an emotionally stunted narcissist with a penis for a brain. It’s wrong and I always check myself, but I’ve spoken to other women, and I’m not the only female out there who experiences this phenomenon.
I wish I didn’t assume that simply because a human being happens to be male he thinks about sex all the time and cannot express his feelings in a constructive way. But just look at the mania surrounding the James Bond movies. Bond is Western culture’s idea of the manliest man of them all. When he’s not blowing shit up or adjusting his suit he’s getting laid by a woman who conveniently dies before things get complicated, so that he can carry on saving England and by extension the world (sweet baby Jesus can the pipe dream of imperial yesteryear get any more vivid?). The only difference between Bond and his nemeses is that Bond is polite about the whole seduce-women-and-kill-people thing, which somehow makes his heteronormative, nationalistic chauvinism pass as classy. Really? Is this misogynistic asshole with a gun the pinnacle of Western masculinity? And I thought I had low expectations.
(Incidentally, and I would love to have this conversation with you, one can also do a more fascinating reading of Bond as a victim of the patriarchy he has been conditioned to protect. But that makes him an aging, weak, uninspiring antihero, a mere cog in the enormous wheel of international espionage. And that shit doesn’t sell.)
I brought James Bond up because he is a great case study for the larger societal trend of “gendering.” By that, I mean assigning labels of “masculine” and “feminine” to certain human characteristics. According to American culture, women are supposed to be innocent (yet sexy), inclined towards verbal expression (yet silent), and sensitive (yet self-sacrificing), whereas men are supposed to be tough-skinned, physically as opposed to verbally expressive, experienced, independent, and competitive. Basically, this ad sums it up:
American men are not supposed to show any signs of weakness (read: femininity), ever. The minute they do, they lose their man card (I’m not kidding, that’s a thing. Click the link and prepare to retch). Never mind that “feminine” and “masculine” emotions are a HUMAN EXPERIENCE and do not in fact occur along specific gender lines.
When they’re raised in a society that tells them to be the strong silent type, OF COURSE the vast majority of men are going to have some serious issues, because even if some men aspire to the above image of masculinity, IT’S IMPOSSIBLE TO ACHIEVE, and those who don’t aspire to it are nonetheless negatively pressured by the image.
Simply acknowledge and embrace your humanity, as opposed to your “manhood,” and you’ll become a better man for it.