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M. and I, when we're both sad or at loose ends or stuck, play what [ profile] iamsab calls "Misery Poker.", trading hands of "my life sucks because..." Now, no matter the circumstance (except for the insanely crappy 18 month period when both my parents were in the hospital) M. usually wins. Mostly, he wins by being a dumb ass. But then, I usually get to feel smug and think, "no really, I win. My situation is worse because your problems are all made up and all your fault and mine aren't. Nyah."

Obviously, I'm the mature member of the household. But, M.s issues are equally valid. And a number of my issues come from my own dumb-assery, which just manifests itself in different ways than his do. The learning curve on this has been harsh, but useful.

So as I come out of the latest round of "I hate my life, the world hates me, I will be stuck in monkeyworkland forever, I'll never get laid again, I'm a failure as an artist, a human being, a friend, etc..." I realize that I can come out of it. That every time I do, I gain a little perspective, take a little more responsibility. Or at least I hope so. I appreciate both the encouragement and the ass-kicking I get from the people in my life though, the willingness to listen and roll your eyes away from my line of sight:) I look at those Brutal Honesty memes and think, wow, I'm not opening myself up for that (for many reasons, most of which are that anyone who loves me and can't tell me to my face that I'm being a dumb ass doesn't stay in my life for long, and if one doesn't fall into that category, I'm not that interested in your opinion anyway unless I've hurt you, and then I'll apologize. There's a reason we don't tell random strangers hurtful things. Generally, it's because those opinions are about us, not them.

Anyway, this week, I'm living someone else's life (unfortunately, that person doesn't seem to be having any more sex than I am and if I had all their free time I'd be trying to have WAY more sex). I've been to two shows, I've had dinner with friends, I've watched movies at the house, I've exercised, I've gotten enough sleep, I wrote a music review on one of the shows I went to. It's crazy.

Last night was The Mountain Goats at The Troubador, and they were fabulous. Such a fascinating juxtaposition to The Magnetic Fields show where everyone was giddy and devoted, but seated because Merritt has demands of his audience, uses his music to connect to the world but still and always, clearly on his sardonic terms. His work is beautiful, perfect, and engaging, but it is controlled. That performance was stellar, life changing for a music geek, but John Darnelle is... just crazy, geeky, not so good with normal people words that don't have a chord attached glee. The band all wore suits without ties, are all these normal dudes, no pretense, all heart and talent and as soon as the music starts it just... transforms them into these eloquent saviors. When Darnelle talks between songs, mostly to introduce the songs ("Have you ever felt like your toxicity was so great that if anyone got to close to you they'd be murdered, falling down into a pile of goo... This song is about that. It's a love song.") He's sort of stuttering and specific, like your favorite college Latin geek who translated all the Star Trek episodes into Latin - brilliant, and a little autistic, and then just joyous because he knows what he's doing, the interaction is sincere, real, joyful for him.

They played a fabulous set, and at one point during the encore someone shouted out that they not play the same thing as the night before, and Darnelle (skinny, geeky, suit wearing, indie folk rock music making boy) said, "Every other indie band in the country tours with the same set list. The Mountain Goats do not do that. Do not be fronting." and the crowd went nuts. And then he gave us the opportunity to choose between two songs, "Not with woos. I know some of you need to get your woo on. But do not do that. Hands only." And "This Year" won, which thrilled me, because seriously, "I will survive this year if it kills me."

It occurs to me that I could spend ALL my time going to shows, and I'd be happy. I'd feel old, and ridiculous and wonder why the younger girls are wearing clothes I rejected in the 80's as being absurd and wearing girl mullets and thinking i'm ancient, but still, I'd be happy.


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January 2016

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