Friday, February 29, 2008

Heartache for Everyone

You spent five years saying you'd come my way
That's a little more wait than a heart can take
Yeah now that I know it's just a fantasy
I feel a hard time coming around for me
--Indigo Girls, Heartache for Everyone (All That We Let In)

It's a great song--it's pop and it's folk and it's girlly and it, generally, rhymes.
Ok, so maybe all of those characteristics are not what *some people* would consider the factors of good song. But when my sister sent me this song this afternoon, along with the admission that she'd been made to feel guilty about liking the Indigo Girls, it struck a chord.
A similar chord was struck last night on the dance floor. My roommate and I were kickin' it up kitchen style: goofing around, impersonating our friends, 'locking' and making funny faces at the DJs. There was plenty of room: the tunes were downbeat and soulful, great for us hams, but the other folks on the floor seemed to be squirming.
Then I noticed a blonde in heels teeter up to the DJ booth. Instructions were whispered, and the beats took a turn.
Timberlake. Beyonce. Other stuff I recognized from blasting car speakers.
And the crowd goes wild!
The dancefloor soon filled up; my roommate and I decided it was past our respective bedtimes, leaving the gals to bump and grind like puppies in the snow.
And that's just it: they reveled and rolled in the music, following their instincts instead of the music snobs (as my sister and I are known to do).
Even heartache--the drama of a lost love or the struggle in a long-distance relationship--has a sort of misty, historical quality that deserves it's place on the wall of life.
Don't take down your sappy motivational posters when your intellectual friends come over, and don't hide your Indigo, Girls.

Monday, February 25, 2008

On Showers, at home and abroad

Ahhh... the first shower home.
You know what I'm talking about: no matter how imperfect your bathroom conditions may be, at least when you step under the head you know what you're getting into.
Other people's showers, now that's a different story.
Most recently, I experienced this crapshoot of a hygienic undertaking at my boyfriends' house in Connecticut.
I should clarify: the home of my boyfriends' parents, where he once ran around naked but where now, at least during my visit, naked activities would be limited.
But I have digressed.
Before I go on I should say that the home is beautiful, the visit was enchanting, the parents warm and kind.
And the first shower was great -- hot, pressure-filled, quiet. Perhaps my standards were low after my nightmare of a bus trip from Ottawa, but that's how I remember it.
But on my second day, I found that the lever to direct water to the shower head barely did it's work, with a good half of the water still streaming below. After numerous fiddlings, and a deep squealing of (what I imagine was) water through the pipes, I gave up. I settled for some cool water splashed on my face and stepped out.
At times like this I like to imagine how much worse others must have it.
Like my friend George Swinimer, who occasionally writes extended group emails from his posts in various African countries. He once painted a picture of a bucket bath, his six-foot-plus body squished into a laundry tub, pitching jars of lukewarm water over his head as local kids peered through the window, pointing and laughing...
And at the place I lived in for four months on Molokai, I liked to imagine--at least while in the bathroom, leaky toilet and all--that I was in a third world country. In a developing country you wouldn't complain about getting your feet dirty upon exiting the shower; as an intern in the Aloha State you might. But development, ie. tourism, hasn't quite hit Molokai. Thank God.
And so we go...overseas to broaden our horizons, and open our minds to new ideas about shower quality.
Who knew I'd get this kind of exposure in small-town Connecticut!
And gain a new appreciation for my own shower, to boot.
Endnote: It turned out there was something 'up' with the shower pressure, and I was invited to use the other shower. Two showers! Wow. and I wasn't even instructed to keep the exhaust fan on. don't even get me started on that one...

Thursday, February 21, 2008

First Post: from the Tunxis Community College Library

Here we go...
For years, people have been asking me if I have a blog. Yes years! In Internet time that's a decade, at least. I've always been writing, hiding away my journal underneath my pillow, so I suppose it's a natural assumption I'd jump on the Blog Bandwagon.
And when my mother and my boyfriend both asked me, within the span of a week, "what's a blog?" I realized this media form had hit a pivotal saturation level. (My boyfriend is currently struggling through his computer graphics class, feeling the snickering of classmates as he learns the difference between a desktop icon and a screensaver; my mom is, well, a mom).
Then I tried to create my own website, using dotster and NVU and countless other how-to sites and downloadable applications.
Maybe it was because I was on the "Master Cleanse" (hot water + lemon juice + cayenne pepper + maple syrup, and nothing else) when I first attempted to get a site going, but in the end I gave up and asked for my domain hosting fee back. (So far, dotster seems okay with it, but I have to jump through some hoops and haven't received the credit back on my card.)
So there's the backdrop.
The stage is set.
I spend plenty hours on my macbook every day, I write in my journal just about every day, and I talk to myself constantly...this shouldn't be hard.
What strikes me now is the question: What do people want to hear?
Followed by: And should I give it to them?
Given that this is, so far, a completely random and wide-open forum, I feel tempted to throw caution to the wind and take advantage of the freedom.
And yet...I want a readership.
Which is why I took the journalism route—over the writer's path—in the first place.
Hmmm. My head is starting to tilt in that curious dog way. I like it.
And I have to admit that my slim macbook (no, not an Air) is becoming more comfy than a dog-eared diary.
I'm curling up in new ways, finding this community college library a nurturing home for thoughtful brewing.
I can dig it.
And I can hear those people, those that asked me about my blog, saying: I knew that you could.