I’m getting rushed back on a whim

Spotify made one of those end-of-the-year things where it shows you what songs, artists, etc you listened to the most… Apparently my top song was “Bluish” by Animal Collective. Which is kind of funny because when I listen to it, it pulls my mind right back to around this time last year. “Bluish” is the sound of getting ready to go out in the cold; smoking a cigar at New Year’s; standing on a balcony downtown; spinning around and around in a kitchen chair.

Looking over my Top of 2015 list now, other moments from the past year pop up fresh in my mind.

Famous” was playing pool on a wintry Sunday afternoon with Patrick. I remember wearing his shoes because my feet were too cold on the basement floor and both of us throwing ping-pong balls at each other.
True Affection” was after getting engaged and wondering how to become a better person.
Useful Chamber” was all the hours spent alone in the warehouse at work unpacking boxes. (My work moved in the spring, I moved out of my parent’s house in the summer, a couple weeks ago I moved across the country… I am done)
As Lucerne/The Low” was Poncho’s confirmation week and springtime. Cleaning the house, driving barefoot with the windows down in a hurry.
Lonely Town” was painting the house at Lawnwood. Sometimes it was not-so-lonely, with Dad and Patrick and Luke helping me. (I also think of painting the house whenever I hear the band Cake, because the radio station had a Cake marathon one night when Dad and Patrick and I stayed really late working and then listening to Dad’s crazy stories. “All the Cake you can take until 1 a.m.”)
Baby Just Break” was trying to squeeze all the juice out of summer, enjoying car rides and the feeling of impending freedom.
Downtown” was showing off my one true talent: Memorizing All the Words And Delivering Them With Gusto.
Magnets” was this fall, dancing alone in the living room with the bass turned up and decorating for our epic Halloween party.

There could be so many more. It’s cool to look back at my music and see the different phases I went through, and the way my habits changed with circumstances and the seasons. Also, I like that you never know at the time what music is going to become the soundtrack of this blip of your life. It’s not something you can force, it’s just whatever music is playing in the speakers or in your head when the moments happen.

And I think that my song-phases are the reason I remember the moments, actually. Some people take a lot of pictures. Some people say that smells can conjure scenes with clarity. For me, the same rush back in time can happen with first breathy sigh of “Bluish“.

What a year. Here’s to the last few weeks of 2015.
-Pen

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This is my jam!

Lately I’ve been thinking about the radio. I don’t usually listen to the radio, but my (*coughs out the word*) boyfriend (I cough this not because I dislike the current state of affairs, but because it just sounds weird to say. Like I should at the same time be flipping my hair and chewing bubblegum with vigor.) listens to a particular radio station in his car, and it’s starting to grow on me.

Because what happens is, you hear the same songs all the time, and it’s like the soundtrack to your life, but it’s one you don’t choose and have ultimately no control over. Which I guess sounds kind of depressing, but that’s not how I mean it. It’s like inspiration that you don’t and actually can’t look for. Plus, you’re listening to the same thing everyone else is listening to. So not only is it the soundtrack to your current life, but also everyone else’s current life. Somehow that’s a comforting thought, although I don’t know why. Maybe I’m just tired of being the only one in the whole city who sees fog and starts singing, “See how the fog from the port in the bay / lays like snow at the foot of the roanoke / hear the frog going courting / til the day he croaks”. (Sorry, but once the weather gets cold, it’s like my brain is a CD player in which a Joanna Newsom mix is permanently stuck.)

Which reminds me of what the radio reminds me of: Weather. Or maybe the constellations. You can’t control it or when it changes, though it does. And even though it’s kind of in the background, it still somehow affects you and everybody who is currently experiencing it.

I used to listen to the radio. Not in the car– I had a little yellow portable radio thing, and I used to sit on the swings in our backyard listening to… I don’t even remember what station or type of music. (It could have been NPR, who knows.) (Actually, it was probably the classic rock station. My childhood musical taste pretty much consisted of whatever Dad was listening to.) And then some years later I had a teacher who would put the radio on whenever the class was doing mindless homework, and everyone loved this one pop station so much that even I listened to it at home. Now whenever I think of it, I remember cold, sunny days and open windows and late afternoons.

Deeeeeeeep, man. I know. I am having all these deep thoughts while I avoid eye contact with my manuscript that I should be editing right now, so that I can instead sit here blogging and eating leftover mei fun.

Last night on the way home from the Chinese place I ate all the fortune cookies. One of the fortunes was, “There is absolutely no substitute for a complete lack of preparation.” I read it aloud to Mom, and we tried to decipher its meaning. I jokingly (sort of…) said that it must be a bad omen for my trip to Kansas. Yep, I’m leaving for Kansas in a couple of days, to visit Eliza at her college Out West. It’ll be my first-ever all-alone plane trip (or trip of any sort). And even with her and Poor Bill’s helpful tips and advice, do I feel totally unprepared? Pretty much.
Mom: “I think it’s backwards. Wait. Read it again.”
Me: “It just sounds like a spam robot message. They have computers making this stuff up. You know they do. Nobody actually sits around writing these.”
But people actually do sit around reading them, apparently. What, I like to have something to read at meals! Why do you think they have stuff written all over cereal boxes, huh?

Although once, I did get a pretty interesting fortune that I still remember, and relate to. It said, “Life is like learning to play the violin in public.” I’m pretty sure some variation of that was already a saying before I found it in a fortune cookie, but whatever. I relate to it both on the intended simile level and through the fact that I actually do learn to play instruments in semi-public, since I always used to play the flute on our front stoop and I still prefer to practice my whistle outside. Amidst the ceaseless smacking of basketballs and the weird disembodied voice that calls from the school up the street, and the churchbells sounding and the trains in the distance, why shouldn’t I join in? I add to the character of the neighborhood. Or at least that’s what I tell myself as I chirp out yet another imperfect rendition of “Blackthorn Stick”.

So that’s kind of what’s currently going on… Kind of. An overview. Not really. Actually a side note. Actually I don’t know what’s going on.

But you get the gist. Soon to Kansas. Travel. Musical obsessions. An overactive brain. Also fall.
Also, I should probably go get ready for work.

musha ring dam-a do, dam-a da

So, the other day I thought it would be really fun to climb on these stumps that Dad brought home and had not yet chopped up into firewood. (Yes, this is his most recent obsession: Free Wood. There’s this thing called Emerald Ash Borer that is killing trees in our area– or rather, it infests some of them and then everyone freaks out and chops down EVERY ASH TREE IN SIGHT WHICH IS NOT COOL BECAUSE OF REASONS WITH HISTORICAL BACKUP but I will not get into that, although it reminds me of a quote I saw: “Those who don’t study history are doomed to repeat it. But those who do study history are doomed to watch everyone else repeat it.” Aka, this is exactly what happened with Chestnut Blight and do you SEE any chestnuts still around? NO. So, yeah, just, GAHHHHHHHHH. OK. Anyway…. So all these trees got cut down and then the people are giving the wood away and Dad likes to prove how macho his truck is by hauling away an inordinate amount of stumps. *end of tangent*)

Well, these stumps all stacked in the yard looked really cool, and up I climbed. Dodge was in the yard, too, and as he watched me he said, “You’re going to fall and break your face.”
Me: “I am not.” *dances around on a stump*
Dodge: “Yes, you are. And I’m gonna laugh and go inside like nothing happened.”
Me: “You wouldn’t leave me here alone! And anyway… I’m not going to fall.”
Me: *falls*
Me: “My broken face!!!”
(Or, for people like the DHFs and me who have watched Tangled excessive times: “You broke my smolder.”)
Well, I didn’t actually break my face or my smolder (I don’t have a smolder, apparently, because the other day the DHFs and I were trying to do that, and eventually just goofed around. Francis said: “Yeah, that’s how it would really be. Pen would look spazzy, Bug would look… like whatever that is, and Eliza would have that sweet smile.”), I just bruised my arm. At any rate, there goes my career as a stunt guy.

I mean, it’s bad enough that I can’t climb trees– but I can’t even climb a wood pile! Pathetic. What a city kid.

In other news, the past few days have been: write, write, write, and while not writing, practice the tin whistle I got over the weekend at the Irish Festival. Not to brag, but I’m pretty good. Thank you, years of regular flute training. Also thank you, Youtube, for basically being my Professor Of Everything Including How To Clean Out Spit.
Dad: “That thing is actually pretty loud.”
Me: *gleeful and excessive jigs*
Dad: “Ok, well… Bye.”

Now begins my second phase of learning, which is memorizing songs. I’ve always wanted to do this, so, we’ll see. Anyway, the Irish Festival was fun, and… interesting. It is a long (and now told approximately 800 times) story, so I’ll spare you. But there is another Irish Festival I’ll be going to, this time with Bug! I am really excited. Although, as we all know, the laws of physics dictate that every time we take Bug somewhere, the unexpected will most definitely happen. We never know what the unexpected will be (see: the weird train place, the Ripe festival failure… the only unexpected thing that didn’t happen was, we never did see the Mythological Rory. However, maybe that’s because I expected that would be the unexpected thing. “Reverse psychology!!!” Poncho would yell– even though it’s not exactly reverse psychology. It’s just his new thing. As Inigo Montoya would say, “I don’t think it means what you think it means.”).

I guess the only other thing that’s been going on around here is Poncho’s enormous obsession with Doctor Who (he is firmly a Matt Smith fan, and refuses to watch any of the other doctors even though there was a really long wait for the next season at the library). Whew. Lots of parenthesis today. Also movie quotes.

Yours till the TARDIS lands in our backyard (it could happen, just ask Poncho),
Pen

the snow’s coming down, I’m watching it fall

It’s snowing!!!!! YAAAAAYYYYY!!!!!

I was so excited when I woke up this morning and saw the flakes sliding past my window. I stood up on my bed and announced “It’s snowing!” to the world. Or, um, myself. Whatever.

Well, I’ve been sick with a cold for the past few days. (But poor Mom had the flu…) Of course that didn’t stop me from my volunteering job! This time I worked with a med student named Erin who was very nice, and also formed an… interesting… view of me.
Her: “So, are you a med student too?”
Me: “No. Well, I’m not really any kind of student.”
Her: “So what do you do when you’re not volunteering?”
Me: “I work at the library and I write.”
Her: “Oh, that’s really cool. So, did you go to school for English?”
Me: (stifled laughter) “Erm. No.”
Her: “You just started writing out of high school, then?”
Me: (thinking: holy cow, she thinks I’m in college or out of college…) “It’s kind of something I’ve always done, so yeah, even before high school. Yep.”
Later I overheard her telling someone I was a librarian(!) and, well, it was kind of a nice fairyland that I was experiencing there, where everyone pretty much assumed I was an adult. I didn’t confirm or deny. As Mom would say, “That would be true, and also, not a lie!”
It was also very fun giving her book-present suggestions. (Mom said, “Now look what you’ve done, she’ll give that to someone and say it was recommended by a librarian!” To which I replied, “It’s a classic, okay!?!”) (Because yeah, you guessed it: I recommended Alice.)

Hey, I know, let’s jump around in chronological order so that I can tell you about all the fun things that happened recently!

Like the…. JARS OF CLAY Christmas concert! They played Christmas music! They played “Closer”!!!! Aaaaaand we were the only ones dancing? (By we I mean: the DHFs, me, and Poncho the Awesomesauce, of course.)
DHFs: “I mean, how could you not dance to that?”
Me: “I think they drank the poison cool-aid, you guys. They were dead as doornails. Bumps on a log.”
Francis: “I don’t think the band could see us dancing way back there.”
Me: “Of course they could see us. We were the only things moving in the whole place!”
Oh, and did I mention that we all had to sing “The Twelve Days of Minecraft” (thank you, Youtube parodies, for killing my sanity) on the way there to cheer Poncho up? (“Fiiiiive gol-den blocks!”) It took PoorBill half the song to figure out that it was a Minecraft thing… Yeeeeeah.
The next morning (we slept over), we all discussed how apparently no one understands “The Long Fall Back to Earth” album even though it perfectly sums up a CHUNK OF MY SOUL.

And… The Hobbit! (I said this in a singsongy voice.) (In my head.) I had a more detailed critique,  but my main thoughts were:
Hi, Mr. Thornton.
The singing is lovely.
I want some dwarf friends.
Bilbo is awesome.
The end.
Oh, and Dodge came. :)

Speaking of movies, I finally watched “A Hard Day’s Night” yesterday while resting from my sickness. I had meant to watch Captain America, but my DVD was damaged (it looked all burned and weird. I blame HYDRA). So I found A Hard Day’s Night online and watched it, and wow, it was weird. It kind of reminded me of Alice in Wonderland (possibly the movie versions more than the actual book, due to disjointed-ness) because it was so nonsensical.

I also went last-minute Christmas shopping (mostly for craft supplies, as I made most of the presents this year, but also for some hard-to-find items) with Eliza and Bug. (I just realized that I do basically everything with Eliza and Bug.) (And they’re going to comment like, “What do you mean you just realized? This has been going on for years!”) Now I am almost done with all of my Christmas presents, even though I’m now going at a somewhat breakneck pace and will probably be finishing some on Christmas Eve. (Bug knitted through The Hobbit in order to finish a present! Now that is some dedication!) Or The Second Day of Christmas. Ironically, the ones I started the earliest are going to be the last done. My life in a nutshell, people. But oh well, they’re fun to make.

Then I shall commence with wrapping. Well, I have already commenced somewhat. I am really excited to wrap everyone’s differently and with much more creativity than in previous years. And we also have to finish decorating and tidying the house… Excitement! Anticipation!

(O come, O come, Emma-a-anuel…)

Yours from beautiful snow-land,
Pen

PS: As I wrote this, Mom and Poncho were wrapping presents at the table where I am working… Poncho said in a creepy robot voice, “I want to be the wrap-inator.”

the world is treating me ba-a-ad (misery!)

So… I had this big long story planned out in my head all last week, and I kept adding onto it as a new catastrophe occurred (daily), and I was going to tell you all about it in great length and detail with full-fledged conversations and witty asides.

But now that it’s all over I’m kind of too exhausted and also I never want to re-live last week ever again, even through writing it down. History can go jump off a cliff. It will take all my energy to tell the story of last week just once to my future grandchildren. And they probably won’t be able to hear me, because of the iWhatevers that were surgically implanted into their brains at birth. Or else they’ll be out of earshot, off in the woods shooting squirrels through the eye. (That was a Hunger Games reference, Mom.)

Basically, the Pre-Apocalypse (as it shall henceforth be called) started with the power going out– and then every catastrophe that could have happened. The power stayed out for a week, during which I stayed at the DHFs’ (you know, now that it’s just Bug there, I guess could just say I stayed at Bug’s) “indefinitely” and at the House of the Vegas Grandparents for a while, too– considering that by the third day of no power, we could see our breath in the house. BUT I AM NOT GOING TO TALK ABOUT THAT. No more. I am sick of thinking about it!!!!! Hence the overuse of exclamation points and the shouty caps-lock.

The only thing that restored me in the Pre-Apocalyptic aftermath was…
The Beatles.

Yep, the first thing I did with my newly restored power was to plug in my CD player (aka the crummiest machine known to man– but it only skips on songs I don’t like, so maybe it simply shares my indubitably excellent taste?) and jam to Beatles music. And by “jam” I mean I danced madly as I unpacked all my stuff, all of which seemed to have multiplied like loaves and fishes. Except for my clothes. I mean, come on. Throw me a bone, here. A matching pair of socks. Anything.

The other day I was planning my Eighteenth Birthday Extravaganza (just kidding– I would never in a million zillion years, or “over the rainbow, far away, over the ocean blue and a bird will fly you there” as Poncho would say– have anything resembling an “extravaganza”, a word which makes me think of sparkles and, well, I stop thinking there before I upchuck) and anyway, the point is that I was trying to plan something for my birthday, but I got sidetracked and instead made a list of every Beatles song that I like so far.
There are thirty-eight.

I am trying to expand my musical horizons, I swear. Especially because I really, really need a playlist for a story I’d like to work on. Other stories, I can put on the same old Pink Floyd songs and go with it. But this one… It’s demanding. It wants a Shakespeare play and its very own soundtrack. It’s quite a precocious little thing.
(I know I sound weird now– just be glad I don’t have mental conversations with the characters, okay?) (Never mind. Mine does sound weirder than that, even. Because characters are like– like, if they take on a mind of their own, it’s because you made them so real in the story that they just have to act a certain way, even if it’s not what you originally intended. They have to take the path that would actually be true to the character you invented. But the story itself telling you things? That just plain don’t make sense.)
But at any rate, I just love the Beatles. They just sound… cool.
(I had a lot more to say on that, but…)

I just wanted to write a post to let you know I’m still alive. I actually have a bunch of stuff to do now, namely the finishing off of manuscripts for writer’s group tomorrow. Also the writing of a poem.

Also the mad dancing to the music that makes me happy.

(insert title here)

Mom: “My favorite blogger has not been blogging…”
Me: “Mhm, okay…” As I finished stitiching up my patient– You see, I was performing minor surgery on a leather jacket. It needed its tonsils (fine, I’ll say it: *gulp* shoulder pads) removed, desperately. The surgery was successful and now the jacket can live a happy, fahionable life as a member of my wardrobe. But it can only eat ice cream for the next week or so.
Me: “Anyway, I have nothing to blog about.”
Mom: “Um, your job?”

The first week, I dreamed of sorting books. For three nights in a row, all I did was sort in my sleep, shelving in sections made up of spinning racks with endless rows of last names beginning with O. Jeepers. Luckily that has worn off and I am free to enjoy my usual variety of dreams about being Prince Hamlet and fighting lions and solving murders and leading rebellions.

I also got my temp license renewed for ID purposes (though I do intend to start driving soon), and I got a bank account in the same day. The picture on my license is… Well, let’s just say that I laugh every time I look at it. I was trying to smile gently and not look like a moron. To no avail: my eyes appear to be half-closed, and my mouth is rumpled grouchily. Oh well.

The bad thing is that lately I feel like the Red Queen, or rather Alice when the Red Queen is pulling her along by the hand. Because I don’t accept this running-as-fast-as-I-can-to-stay-in-place thing as the only way of life. I am trying to adjust to the new schedule, and to being organized. I’m just not there yet.

Hence why my blog has been neglected thus…

Anyway, I did manage to squeeze in the beginning of Basket-Making Attempt no. 4, planting fall greens and collecting flower seeds, and dancing crazily to “It Won’t Be Long” as it spins, slightly scratched, around and around Dad’s record player. (Dad may or may not have been the one who, back in his youthful days, drew pink-highlighter glasses on all the Beatles’ faces.)

Oh, and drinking tea. The temperature suddenly became a teensy, tiny bit chilly. I have decided this means it’s now permissible to drink gallons of Earl Grey and wear sweaters.

So that is life at the moment. Hopefully I shall be back here soon, with many more thoughts.

Yours truly,
Pen

…and that’s why I stole Lady Sybil’s new frock.

Last night I had a dream that invovled a wicked fairy’s spell, a dark forest, and a secret chamber full of rubies, crystals, and sapphires. Basically a weird mash-up of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and the Brothers Grimm. Not really sure why my brain conjured that, but it was interesting because it was the first time in forever that I actually got to the end of a dream before someone woke me up. It actually said “The End”, like it was a movie.

Anyway.

So yesterday, Dodge and I were riding our bikes around the ‘hood, or rather, the outer rim of it. We took the backward route past the library– well, we meant to. We came down the main road, through a bunch of sidestreets, past the two schools… and then just as we were passing the huge field in front of lots of people, my skirt got caught in my bike chain. Halfway home. Of course, it couldn’t have happened on our block, where I could have just carried the bike home and then had help extracting my clothes from it. No, it had to happen right there, too far to carry it home, too far to walk really slowly while still attatched to the bike, or any other such solution.

Dodge and I tried pedaling the bike backward, but that’s the brake, so plan A failed.

Me: “Crap. Crapcrapcrap.”
Dodge: “No capes.”
Me: “I know. Fine. I’ll sacrifice it.” I took out my pocket knife and, cringing, went to cut off the part of my skirt that was stuck in the bike. The knife pocked through the cloth, but it wouldn’t really cut, and besides, we would still have to walk because the chain was still messed up. 
Dodge: “Just call Mom. Have her come with the van and take us home.”
So I did. And it took her a long time to get there, meanwhile I’m doing my best to nonchalantly lean on my bike, pretending that we’re just stopping to take in the scenery (of a disused school– sure, right) and not because I’m stuck to my bike.
Me: “This is so embarassing.”
Dodge: “Tell me about it.”
Me: “Gee, thanks a lot.”
Dodge: “Well, if you would just…”
Me: “Shut up. Don’t even say–”
Dodge: “…wear shorts when you’re riding your bike…”
Me: “Never!”

Mom finally arrived, and then realized that we had actually tried pedaling backward. I guess I should have told her to bring some tools, or a plan, or Dad, or something. But anyway. Some guy was randomly walking by, and he stopped to help. He explained that we needed to disconnect the brake with a screwdriver, then pedal backward to free me. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a screwdriver, or any coins, keys, or library cards that would suffice, so our next idea was to fold up the van’s back seats so both the bike and I would fit, and go home. But my bike is rather large, the country old-fashioned style type, which makes for comfortable riding but very difficult into-car maneuvering. Finally I got in, and got home (Dad: “No capes”) and was freed in time to dash off to choir– I mean, Spirit Ensemble. Which is totally cooler than choir, by the way.

I mention Spirit Ensemble because it leads me to:
a) Katie Cooper convinced me to compete in music at the Feis, too. She loaned me her “Irish music Bible”, and I’m actually kind of excited even though I’ve never played my flute in competition. Or anywhere, really, except church and even that makes me kind of nervous. Strange, because I never get stage fright when I perform other things, like dances and plays and poems.
and speaking of poems, b) Katie knows all about The Lady of Shalott. Random, but also really cool.

~Pen

PS: the title is a reference to Downton Abbey, when Lady Sybil wears the skirt/pants thing… I need one of those! People would probably look at me with the same shocked expression as they did to her, but for totally different reasons.

Notes from Within the Shelter

I have just had the most wonderful 2 days! Because:
A) I got to sleep over at the DHFs’!!! Which of course meant that we were hyper, and silly, and dressed as opera-singing pirates with a bunk-bed ship. “Gimme the mascara, I need a mustache” is one memorable quote by Bug, and I believe it was Steph who admonished the crew, “It’s a pirate ship, not an art gallery!”
B) We went to see Jars of Clay in concert!!!! WOOO!! It was awesome. They played a bunch of old stuff that was new-to-me, on account of it being the 15th anniversary of their band being a band. Which means their band is about as old as me. Weird. Anyhow. Flood, Dead Man, Work, Worlds Apart, Out of My Hands, Small Rebellions, Weapons, Two Hands, and Shelter are songs that I can remember them playing at the moment. We went into the mosh pit! (Which was not really a mosh pit, more of a group of people standing around the stage and intermittently swaying/clapping/dancing/singing). After I tripped over myself to get out of the pew thingy, of course, because what fun is anything without falling on my face? But the moshing part was fun and I was not injured. I think I accidentally stepped on someone’s foot though. Too bad. I had to dance.
But after the concert was over….
C) We. Met. JARS OF CLAY!! In person! Bug and I were star-struck and I handed them my CD to sign. They were friendly. Eliza asked the singer to sign her CD to Poor Bill, because PoorBill was supposed to come but could not due to illness!! So when he said he couldn’t come, we said, “Poor Bill…” and that is exactly what was written. One of the guitar guys asked if we were all sisters. Sadly we are not! By blood anyhow. So yay!! That was really cool. Of course Dodge is soooo excited (note the sarcasm) that I got a new Jars of Clay CD. Now he gets to hear all new songs and find them annoying! He calls them Cans of Pop. I am not really sure why…?

Now I’m home again home again jiggety jog, sitting on the couch with a sleepy dog. Hey, that rhymed!
As you can see, the randomness has yet to wear off.

Sigh… So tired… But so happy….

Yours till the carrot sticks,
Pen

I’ll let you understand; I am not a lonely soldier.

So. The above quote (of course it’s a quote, this is me we’re talking about) seemed fitting considering that tomorrow is Memorial Day. It’s from Spirit’s “Soldier”, which is a song that I uually listen to when I’m a: depressed, or b: practicing various Irish dance exercises. The beat is perfect for doing ups and downs, points, and turnout practice.

Speaking of Irish dance, the Feis was today and it was so fun! The DHFs came!! I got second place in treble jig!! I wore my new school dress!!

Then I came home and baked apple cinnamon scones. Yum.

Uh, what was I talking about? The thought of scones distracted me. Oh, right, now I remember.

So, back to the topic of depressed music… I think my dad’s theme song would be “Why Can’t I Be Free?” because that is the question he asks about every other day. Someday I’m going to bust him outta this city. See if I don’t.
Mom says that she would like her theme song to be “All My Tears” by Jars of Clay, which is a nice thought but she totally stole my idea! Just kidding. No, really though. That was going to be my theme song, dang it! It goes “When I go, don’t cry for me/in my father’s arms I’ll be…/it don’t matter where you bury me/ I’ll be home and I’ll be free/ it don’t matter where I lay/ all my tears be washed away.”

Now you see why I wanted it, and now you probably want to adopt it as your anthem, too. Hmph.
As for my theme song… I guess it would change. I tend to pay attention to the drum parts in songs, since I like a driving beat, but I also tend to pick apart lyrics. I always talk with Mom about what I think lyrics mean. I had to explain the song “Good Monsters” to her, and a few weeks ago we tried to decipher “Heart”. Maybe it’s the poet in me, but I love to think about what the different things in songs might mean. Maybe that’s why I generally dislike country songs. They’re too obvious. They’re always about love or fishing or being a redneck or something. They don’t have more than one meaning, or more thna one way of being interpreted, which is the whole fun about discussing what one thinks a song means.

For example, “Closer” by Jars of Clay is my favorite song. I like it because you can take it from a God-to-person/ person-to-God POV, or from person-to-person. It can be about God asking, “I don’t understand why we can’t get close enough”, like, “why won’t you talk to me? Why won’t you get closer?” or it can be a person feeling like they are disconnected from God or that he is a far away, and they don’t understand what they have to do to feel closer. (I can relate to that sometimes, for sure.) From person to person, it makes sense too. All the references to the leaky boat, tears, a bomb, it’s like saying that “we’re falling apart here; I’m trying to keep us together, but if you want me to love you you have both get closer to me and allow me to get closer to you”. 

Maybe I over analyze, yeah? But anyway. That’s what I think.

It kind of gives me an idea… Maybe I could ever so often post my thoughts on certain songs, and how they relate to life as it is right now…. We used to do something similar at schoolschool, but I forget what we called it. When I brought in a song the whole class wanted to know what band it was, which made me wish I’d brough some Jars of Clay instead of whatever I did bring. 

Hah. My musical taste was deemed cool for a day. How funny.

To close… Take a listen to this and this.  (My favorite and second favorite songs… The second, you might recognize if you’ve read some of my earlier posts. I quote it a lot, ha.)

Yours till the kite strings,
Pen

A Million Bright Ambassadors

Yesterday, Dad and I were sitting on the couch watching the sun come in through the western window, and the little dust flecks in the sunbeam. For some reason we both like to sit and watch the sunlight in the evening. Then he said something about “a million bright ambassadors” (it’s more like a billion, in my opinion)… And the boys showed up. We took turns walking through the sunbeam of dust, and just when we settled down again, Lily appeared. After a pause she started chomping the air. Trying to eat dad’s bright ambassadors, along with anything else that moves… Goofy dog.

But now I know where I get my quoting thing. I just realized how Dad does it all the time, only he quotes Pink Floyd instead of Lewis Carroll. We are so alike. That’s why I love him even though he annoys me sometimes, because I can totally see how I have a lot of his personality traits. I even have his ears (left human, right elven). And may I say that though I’m a teenager and supposed to be thoroughly embarassed of/angry at him all the time, I’m actually not. Don’t get me wrong, we have our days, but generally I just like talking to him, listening to his stories and riding in the car. I like when it’s just the two of us and we can blast the music all the way to the library, with the windows rolled down. Dad always says that full volume is the only proper way to listen to good music. I happen to agree. Mom doesn’t. So it’s like our special thing. And whenever I think of camp I invariably think of certain music, a certain way of the sun hitting the hills and the road, the taste of Deerfield General Store vanilla ice cream.

As you may surmise, I am pining away for camping with Dad. He’s off at some camp with Dodge this weeked, and before that he was gone with Poncho. When will it be my turn?

In the meantime, I’m just sitting here on the couch– as I write this, actually– watching a million bright ambassadors come streaming in on sunlight wings.

-Pen