Wednesday, September 24, 2014

I am NOT going to buy the new iPhone...

I am NOT going to buy the new iPhone.
I am NOT going to buy the new iPhone.
I am NOT going to buy the new iPhone.

It will cost me at least $10/mo more than I pay on my service plan now, which is already too much.

My current phone (iPhone 5C) is my favoritest phone I have ever owned. I would miss it. It's canary yellow! It works great. It has good battery life. It's perfectly acceptable for EVERYTHING I use it for...

I don't need every new device. I don't even love the design of the new iPhone. It's good and if I didn't have to replace my last phone back in March, I'd be happy to upgrade to this phone, but I. DO. NOT. NEED. IT.

This is my year of no new electronics. This is the hard part. I knew this would be the hard part. A new iPhone that I don't purchase. This will be the first year since 2011 that I haven't bought a new phone...if I get through this I will be golden. This is the last temptation of the year. I can do this. I can do this.

I am NOT going to buy the new iPhone.
I am NOT going to buy the new iPhone.

I am NOT a mindless consumer.
I am NOT a hopeless Apple fangirl.
I am NOT reduced to my need to hold all the new electronics.

Hold me to this, friends. Help me. I might not make it.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Unexpected Identity Progression

This year I've strayed far from the path of intention.

I meant to write my face off, but instead I've fallen into the performance of identity. I've started a vlog. I've begun the likely expensive and arduous journey towards becoming a DJ, both on internet radio and at local clubs. I've picked up the eyeliner pencil more times this year than the previous 10 years combined; and this year I've done it not out of a need to make myself "presentable" but out of the same child-like creativity that got me to start wearing makeup in my teens.

I started a new job this year that involves working at all the public service desks at the library (circulation, reference, children's, teen, and computer lab). I was very fearful of taking this position, even though it's the exact thing I've wanted to do at the library since I started there ten years ago. At the last minute I took the job after almost turning it down. The position didn't exist before I took it back in March. As the director told me a few months ago, "You're kind of an experiment." Ha. From my perspective, the experiment is going very well. I've taken over programming for Cari, the teen librarian, while she's on maternity leave and I love it. I was able to see the magic of Summer Reading up close through the eyes of the creative force that is the children's department. I never thought I'd work with children, but I generally like working with all age groups now, though I am still partial to teens and the over 60 crowd. I'm VERY happy with my job(s) now. I have always loved flittering about to different groups of people, and the "floater" position has allowed me to get paid for my tendency to wander.

An unexpected side effect of subverting society's tendency towards caution is that (mostly the imaginary kind of self-imposed) obligation has become irrelevant to me, mostly to my advantage, but often to the cultivation of ennui. Depression caused by inertia or no, my determination to commit to the "flow" remains, because this attitude has led to radio, DJing, and YouTube. Had I stayed the path I set out for myself last December, I wouldn't have made a tiny zine instead of the regular expensive one. Had I walked the premeditated course, I wouldn't have said yes to a DJ gig. I would have simply said, "I'm not a DJ..." and that, as they say, would have been that. It had never occurred to me that I could do it. My instincts for picking the right music at the right time have always existed and I've been making mixes since I was at least 10 years old, but I never thought that I could get paid for it. I have now been paid in a DJ capacity, but not because I decided I could do it. I took the gig and did the thing expecting only to endure it and see how it felt. In the moment, it felt awful. I was paralyzed with anxiety and nerves. Only now, three days later, am I starting to come out of the haze of confused adrenaline to analyze the situation.

Most of my adult life I've analyzed opportunities to death, like I literally kill them on the vine by relentlessly talking myself out of them. Life is easier to navigate when the analysis can happen after the experience. I don't know what changed this year, but I've somehow internalized the mantra I made up for myself LAST year:

Do it now. Be ready later.

This affirmation works for me because I've always stumbled through life, whether I wanted to or not. Before my instincts were smashed by internalized societal insecurities, this was how I operated. I just fucked with things until they made sense, and if they didn't I let them go.

Rupaul gives advice that applies in this blog; something to the effect of taking unexpected opportunities and letting the universe draw you to your purpose. People have been telling me for years that I should DJ and I waved my had, "pfffffft"ing the idea away.

I hate to contradict the above decision to analyze later rather than sooner, but I suspect I might be stumbling towards a more actualized self. If I can stay out of my own way, perhaps I'll be a DJ, a zen house cleaner, a librarian, AND a writer.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Top Ten Books

So there's that rash spreading on Facebook wherein you tag some friends and force them to tag other friends...and it's all about your ten most "influential" books. I'm doing it in a blog so I can describe why I like the books without the overstimulation of Facebook churning in the background. My, that site can be distracting...

I choose to interpret "influential" as being the books that changed something about the way I think. They are in order of appearance into my life:

1) Drawing Blood // Poppy Z Brite -- This is probably my favorite book of all time and I cannot separate how much of this is because of the quality of the work itself versus the impression I made of it when I first read it. This is a book about wayward youth and the listless darkness of the goth soul. If that sounds laughable, perhaps you're not a real goth. Poseur! Poppy's prose is exquisite and I still reread this book at least once every couple of years. It's like a comfy cardigan that's never too frayed as far as you're concerned, thankyouverymuch.

Fun Fact: The copy my bff Kim and I first read still resides at the original library in which I checked it out for the first time. That very book has been read by all the tortured goth kids of Joplin over the last two decades.

2. The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching // Thich Nhat Hanh -- I spent a lot of my teenage years searching through spirituality and religion for something that "fit". I researched absolutely everything from Satanism to Astrology. This is the first book about Buddhism I ever read and I was hooked. The tenants of Buddhism are still important to me and if I ever need to refocus on a way of thinking that really centers me, I go back to Buddhist texts. This is the book that taught me drishta dharma sukha viharin, a phrase I've never forgotten and might get tattooed on my body someday which means "dwelling happily in the present moment".

3. Queen of the Damned // Anne Rice -- Rice is maligned pretty much everywhere these days, but I buy her version of vampires. I like 'em verbose, beautiful, and full of religious guilt. This book truly celebrates Akasha, the baddest villainess in all vampire popular mythology. The book outlines the birth of vampires in Rice's world, the most compelling vampire origin tale I've ever read (and I've read a LOT of vampire books). I have a very beat up paperback copy of this book. If that doesn't say, "Book, you are good enough, you are smart enough, and gosh darnit people LIKE you!" I don't know what does.

4. High Fidelity // Nick Hornby -- I like my fictional characters in three simple varieties: a) a music-obsessed weirdo, b) a gay or gender-confused weirdo, and c) a goth and/or supernatural in a dark way weirdo. This book fulfills category A. I'm not sure what else to say about it. You've seen the movie...the book is better, but the movie is my favorite movie of all, it's pretty fucking good. Now I want to read it...

5. Hardcore Zen // Brad Warner -- This is my second favorite book about Buddhism told from the POV of a straight edge punk that loves Japanese monster movies and sitting zazen. If Warner hadn't pointed out how punk Buddhism is in this book, I might have had to do it...'cause Buddhism is soooo punk, yo. This book talks about Buddhism in plain language.

6. Love is a Mixtape // Rob Sheffield -- My favorite kind of nonfiction is a music memoir and this is the ULTIMATE music memoir.

7. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies // Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith -- Ultimately, what I love about this book is the Austen part of it, but I have to admit that before this book caught my attention, I hadn't read Jane Austen. I know! Despicable, but true. I've since read the real "Pride and Prejudice" several times and damn if that isn't a classic!

8. How Not to Write, by Someone Who Doesn't // Delilah Des Anges -- Del is a dear friend I met in a vampire chat room back in the '90s. This book is the most frank and to the point writing guide ever and I really appreciate it. Just shut up and write, bitch! My output has been slightly larger because of reading this book. Go buy it.

9. Hunger Games trilogy // Suzanne Collins -- These books are probably the most powerful fiction I've ever read. I read them during the winter of 2011 after the tornado and I cried SOOO much while reading them. I'm not a big fan of tragedy, usually ever, but Collins' dystopia seemed so real that I couldn't walk away. Katniss is the character I relate to most of any fiction character I've ever met...except the bow and arrow stuff.

10. Ready Player One // Ernest Cline -- This book is just the most fun dystopia of all time.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Year of no new electronics...

Like most of my goals for the year of 2014, this one was kind of broken when I,

a) had to buy a new phone in March when my iPhone 5's screen went all hot and bothered with pixels misfiring and general glitchy strangeness. Jill says that doesn't count because I needed a phone. I did buy the exact phone I wanted though --a yellow iPhone 5C-- because I'm extravagant like that.

b) bought Michael's old 3DS. M says that doesn't count because it's not new.

Buuuut, something interesting has happened:

1) I'm really really happy with all of my current technology without any plans to upgrade.

I love my phone (though as SOON as I can leave Verizon for Virgin Mobile/a plan that's 50$ less each month, I'm doing it!) a lot. The battery life is spectacular on the 5C and it's so freaking cute with its canary yellowness. The camera in it is amazing and it does everything I'd ever want it to do.

I'm really enjoying the 3DS with Animal Crossing: New Leaf and Mario Kart 7. Totally worth the huge discount my husband gave me on a great gaming device.

I appreciate my iPad mini and don't see that there would be any reason to upgrade it anytime soon.

Even my computer is now approaching four years old and I'm considering buying more storage and memory for it, but I don't want to abandon it at all.

The previous statements are SERIOUS progress for me. I don't feel that I need ALL the new things! The last several years I've talked myself into buying each new iPhone, several iPads and other various devices.

2) I completely forgot about the huge Apple Event today announcing the new iPhone 6 until Michael mentioned it to me at 930 this evening. I completely FORGOT. Usually I am glued to watching all the live coverage for Apple's events announcing new products and this year I FORGOT.

I'm officially considering my electronics addiction broken. There will be further temptations. When the new iPad mini comes out with a color-corrected screen (the current model has some issues with color accuracy...yes, I notice that shit) I'll want it. But I'll resist because I don't even need an iPad. Really, I don't. I have an ereader and I have a smartphone. Sometimes I go days without using my iPad. I prefer to read on my ereader and if my iPad isn't rightthere I use my phone instead.

I want to beef up my computer. I want 500GB of hard drive and 8GB of memory...maybe while I've got Honeycrisp on the operating table I'll replace her battery as well. However, I have no desire to get one of the new Macbook Pros because they don't even have a disc drive and the cheapest model is 1300$.

In other news, the iPod classic (the last remaining iPod with the iconic click wheel) was quietly taken off the Apple website today. Sad. That click wheel made it just over ten years and is still one of the big reasons I became obsessed with Apple's design. I'll use my iPod classic I got in 2011 until the day it dies...probably even then I'll scour ebay for a new one.

Anyway, I'm taking a moment. It's a big deal for me to realize my 2014 goal of not buying new electronics has actually had the effect I wanted it to have. I don't check cNET every day anymore. I'm not up to date on all the new devices. I still follow Apple's new products, but I actually truly don't feel like I NEED to own all of them.

Yay me.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

I have no words.

Three hours of sleep last night.

The teens beat me down tonight, simply because I don't know how to raise my voice and set boundaries.

But it dawned on me earlier today that I AM the teen department while Cari is on maternity leave. I am IT and knowing it all has to be me makes me feel a little better.

But for now I am Jack smacking my face up against Karen's hand...

Monday, September 1, 2014


Back in the hopeful first days of January I decided that September would be a month in which I would blog every day...

I wrote a bit in my journal earlier on what became a dismal Labor Day and I hated all of my thoughts. I declared that I would journal every day in September, but I might not blog.

Now I'm wishing back from my meandering wash to think that maybe I'll blog AND journal every day in September. I'm going to attempt to call it success if I post SOMEthing, ANYthing...even if they are thoughts I've posted in some word order or another since I was 14. Because as I said above, I am SICK of my thoughts.

This year there are many more things on the DIDN'T do list than the did. I've stopped posting articles to The Current, Etc. I've posted barely anything in this blog. I've essentially stopped writing. I keep reminding myself that I have started a radio station and I have started a YouTube channel that now has 60+ subscribers, the bulk of which are people I don't even KNOW! But those two ventures don't take up the time that writing does.

I haven't even been reading much either. It has turned into a year of rest and I feel less guilty about it than perhaps I should.

Perhaps this month that will really change, though I've been saying that all damn year. Perhaps I'll manage to post some sort of bumbling detritus paragraph once a day here and maybe save the REALLY angst-ful stuff (it gets more angst-ful? Yes, sadly.) for my journal.

I long to fill real pages with scrawled thoughts again like I used to early in the millennium.