I’m away a lot. You know when you read that in books something bad is about to happen. “They were married, but he was away a lot” = he’s going to start cheating on her during business trips, or she’s going to divorce his ass. “She was away a lot” = she’s flighty, unreliable, and likely to be fired soon because she can’t keep herself invested in the long-term commitments others find commonplace.
If you have hardwood floors in your house, and if you own a cat, and if that cat has a tendency to shed, and if the floors aren’t particularly clean, well then… rather than hearing the usual pat-pat-pat when you walk on the floors in socks, you hear a sort of muffled pffft-pffft-pffft sound from your footfalls.
It’s not a collection of dirt and grime that would crunch under your shoes; it’s just a layer of soft puffs of kitty hair.
It’s February, and I’m convinced that February in the Pacific Northwest is one of the most dreary experiences known to man. It’s almost superimposed depression—inescapable and paralyzing. Apathy is binding and compulsory.
The February-like qualities of the Pacific Northwest (cold, wet, dark) are often present throughout the year, but they’re heightened and exaggerated right now—to the extent that the earth’s foggy dampness seems to permeate human brains and bodies.
Each February that I’ve spent in Olympia, I’ve noticed a trend in my own behavior: wanting to sink into the most soul-crushing, mind-numbing, bodily degrading demeanor I can, trying to find a delicate balance between practicing existential self-awareness and completely ignoring my own sanity.
I probably have around 20 half-written drafts saved in WordPress that one day, I swear, will see the light of the Internet. (I also have a book about overcoming procrastination that has been sitting in my Amazon wishlist for over three years.)
Kicking things off with a list of the albums I listened to the most in 2013, because I’m pretty darn sure nothing will come along in the next 18 days that I will listen to more than these. It’s been a long, long year.
10. Arcade Fire – “Reflektor”
9. They Might Be Giants – “Flood”
8. Pinback – “Nautical Antiques”
7. Screaming Trees – “Dust”
6. Pearl Jam – “Riot Act”
5. R.E.M. – “Collapse into Now”
4. Alt-J – “An Awesome Wave”
3. Crash Test Dummies – “God Shuffled His Feet”
2. Vampire Weekend – “Modern Vampires of the City”
1. Pearl Jam – “Lightning Bolt”
As I’ve been poring over my Facebook news feed lately, I’ve gotten lost once again in lists. “Top 13 GIFs of 2013,” “Our favorite Internet-sensation dogs of 2013,” “17 Reasons 2013 was the Best Year Everrrrrr,” etc. While I’ve managed to steer clear of most of those, I do find myself caught up in the self-aggrandizing “Best-Of” lists—the ones from sources which, supposedly, are the absolutely best-equipped to present all the media you missed in 2013 and make you feel guilty about it.
For instance, NPR Music’s 50 Favorite Albums of 2013 was guaranteed to make me wallow in self-resentment. I hadn’t even heard of half of those artists, let alone all the albums. I used to be so ahead of the curve. For every overrated album on a Top 10 list I saw, I could name three more that were underrated or unheard. Continue reading “end-of-days”→