Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Nostalgia outfit

Over the past month or so, I've been suffering from an attack of acute nostalgia.  I don't know what brought it on.  Perhaps my mid-life crisis, which makes it hard to listen to songs from the 1990s?  Perhaps because the NYU students in my neighborhood (and yours) have been getting ready to graduate, and my heart goes out to them - their hopes, their futures, the unsteady job market that I hope does not thwart them. 

The 1990s were my prime, musically.  I was just out of college myself, and I had bought a Sinead O'Connor record and heard the rock, breathed it in, felt it come down over me like a veil.  I saw most of my heroes play live often - the Sineads, the Juliana Hatfields, the Jeff Buckleys, even the Morrisseys (what a strange phase that was).  Then I moved to San Francisco, and I discovered the used cd stores of the world, and was introduced to Barbara Manning and Lisa Germano, among others. 

Years passed, and my own catalog of songs grew.  I knew that one day I would record an album "just for fun," and that I would play songs with my imaginary band and take over the world.  Then, cold reality set in ... it's hard to make a record, and it's harder still to get people to come to see you play.  It's hard to imagine that you'll become a rock star when your songs consist mainly of homoerotic flourishes.  I put my rock star fantasies on hold.  By doing so, I became less and less interested in music (today I barely even listen to my headphones, and I don't even have a speaker for my computer at home).

But when I heard that That Dog was playing a show at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, I had to go.  I'd wanted to see That Dog perform for years.  They opened up for Weezer once in Los Angeles, and I flew in partly to see them, but Alia was pregnant then, and she stalled and stalled until finally I went to see them by myself, but just missed them.  Another time, in New York, they were opening up for the Amps and the Foo Fighters, but again Alia stalled and stalled and I missed them again.  Then they broke up.  I thought all was lost, and that I would never get my chance to hear those songs from "Retreat From the Sun" that I loved so much. 

Anyway, Zon and I went out to see them on Friday.  From the very first song, my heart sank, and I realized that they suck live.  The ladies were a little too cutesy for my taste, and Anna was using some jive open tuning for every song.  Still, I stayed to hear them play "Minneapolis," and it was awesome, even though Anna punted the solo.  I practically ran out of the Music Hall of Williamsburg after that. I was wearing a "nostalgic" outfit ... something I thought I might have worn in the 90s ... an "ironic" orange-red polo from Lacoste and a pair of grey Levi's, plus some Pumas (of course). 

I don't know when this current wave of nostalgia will end.  Usually, my method of keeping nostalgia at bay is to have sex with one different NYU student per year, just to prove that I've still got it.  I sort of did the same thing this month, though it was disastrous, life-altering sex that I wish I could take back for his sake.  But then, this show, and a different sort of temporary salvation.  For one magical night at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, a band named That Dog cured me of my regret and poignant, bittersweet sorry - just by making me realize that I missed nothing - nothing! - by not seeing them 15 years ago.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Peace in Pumas

In recent years, I've only felt utter peace on two days.  As soon as I felt the peace, I thought to myself, "uh-oh.  Probably the world will drop from underneath me tomorrow."  Sure enough, it did. Stupid peace!

I felt a little bit of peace today, although by the time I realized it, the anxiety had crept back in.  Probably because an anxious person can't enjoy a moment without getting anxious that the moment has arrived, and that it can only go downhill from here.

What did I do today to achieve peace?  I flaked on going to the gym before work.  Instead I snuggled with my cat.  I put together an optimistic outfit of Steven Alan, Levi's and Pumas.  (I put on the Pumas because they are quite uncomfortable, and I thought they might force me to make an appointment at the podiatrist).  I went to work, where everything was busy and where a couple of authors sort of got on my nerves.  I had a nicotine lozenge.  I looked forward to seeing Jeanne tonight and my new therapist tomorrow.  (She has her work cut out for her, as they say). 

I don't know why peace comes when it comes.  I know by now it doesn't come from outfits, and it certainly doesn't come when I drink cup after cup of coffee, as I sometimes do, unwisely.  Maybe peace is like a man walking next to us on the street.  Some days, we keep apace with him, and sometimes he pulls ahead of us, or falls behind.  Maybe he falls behind us so that he may stab us in the back, which I always fear whenever anyone is walking behind me.  One day, of course, that final man of peace will arrive - the sweet, sweet peace of Mr. Death.  Or, maybe there is no peace in death, just nothing at all.

Heidi took this pic of me.