Posts Tagged ‘writing’

The truth hurts.

That phrase, that ugly goddamn phrase….well, it’s spot on.  The past few months for me have been a little about freelancing, some about hugging my nephew and a LOT about self discovery.  In fact, if I could somehow become friends with Jared Leto I’d make him star in a series of (semi) successful Youtube videos called “My So Called Life 2, Sara and Jordan Catalano Make It Work.”

During all of this employment downtime and cerebral, um, ‘up time’ (?) I made the weirdly easy decision to go back to Graduate School to get my Masters and hopefully PhD because ambition is such a wonderfully intoxicating upper when you haven’t yet engaged yourself in the physical labors of writing 100 page papers and crying at 5am because you’re sick of Toni Morrison and you just want to read your People Magazine.

Some people could claim that Grad School is just a prolonged escape from having to enter (or in my case, re-enter) the real world, and yes; for some this may be true.  It’s kinda like the undergrad who goes to school for seven years, only this time you are fooling people a little more because horn-rimmed glasses are involved and there are COMMITTEES  to which you defend really, really long thesis papers. That sounds pretty serious, pretty good, right?

But for me, it’s a nagging, insatiable feeling that nothing will be right, nothing will be correct until I am writing.  Learning about it, teaching it, talking ad nauseum about it, cursing it, hating it and then loving it all over again.  In my opinion, it’s the correct and just reason for seeking higher education.  And according to this blog post, there’s a great chance I will make no money doing it.

And you know what? He’s right.

Seth Godin is my go to guy when I need inspiration and/or information about blogging, social media and above all, following the path you desire.  It’s a short blog post, only a few small paragraphs, but the reiteration of the obvious in such a squat, powerful little block is a hit in the face. It’s kinda the equivalent of being grabbed squarely on the shoulders and shaken.

Let me tell you, it’s a hell of a thing to all of a sudden remember that you want to be at the mercy of a career that is not as lucrative as others and it’s another kick in the balls when you know that this is where you need to be, student loans and all.

If a drunk relative tells you that you’ll never make any money doing what you love you smile, mumble ‘fuck you’ and then head over to the cash bar.  But if Seth Godin tells you that for every one successful book there are 10,000 flops, you make silent amends and try to envision that with the right lighting a studio apartment isn’t so bad and that ramen noodles can be transformed into Thai delights with the right kind of sauce.

This is not pessimistic; in fact, I think that the way we all make peace with our facial features that we needed to “grow into” is the same way that we (hopefully) make peace with our course of happiness and what that entails, even if it means having to live at home for a year or maybe go to a few less concerts for a summer.

So play writers, operatic singers, music theory majors, yoga instructors and guitar playing broody guys, keep doing what you’re doing.  Seth Godin doesn’t ever want you to stop ; he (and I) just want you to do it for the right reasons….even if you never make it on any type of “best of” list.



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Hip_Hop_Harry1Music buffs and fly bitches, please take a seat.  This is not a musical dissertation and certainly not going to be documented by Norton Anthology for your consideration.  Yes we can talk about the block parties of 1970s Bronx, Rick Rubin’s influence or N.W.A.  But you know what?  I’m not even Licensed to Ill.  Rather, I’m a head band wearing, VW driving, Catholic school attending white girl from the east coast and this is my story.

I started thinking about this post the other day when I was flipping through my iPod and noticed that, yes, in fact it is bogged down with “sad indie songs” (as my friend Nick put it).  How could it be that my nano had become swallowed by only Bon Iver, Great Lake Swimmers and Fleet Foxes when I know every word sitting pretty on Tupac’s All Eyez on Me album?  It seems I was suppressing the ill nana that was begging to come out.  It was time to figuratively pop some Cris and roll the doj.  I’m not saying I’m going to trade my J crew chinos for Apple Bottoms jeans, but are you Picturin’ Me Rollin’? I know you are.

As evidence by this blog and other works,  those in the know are familiar with my love of words.  Using them, reading them, writing them- – language is beautiful.  To me there’s nothing better than taking an oatmeal blah of a paragraph and transposing it into a spicy Cajun something- it’s the sexy equivalent of black stilettos. Ever since my first writing was published at the age of 9,  (a little diddy about Earth Day, spare me the heckling) I have been destined to appreciate the poetic ebb and flow of placing Louis Vuitton Don into a song nine times. 

There’s certainly an arguable stance on each side of the table for the musical merit of hip hop but for me it’s Jedi mind trick ability to put me in a good mood seems reason enough to turn Lupe Fiasco on at a Rufus Wainwright kind of  intellectual soiree.  Hip hop can be incredibly painful and stunning like Lauryn Hill’s Miseducation of Lauryn Hill or downright dirty, nasty, silly like Ludacris’ Chicken n Beer.  Where you want to fall on that color wheel is up to you.

When I’ve had an awful work day and a parking ticket is waiting on my car you bet I’ll choose Biggie over Neil Young.  If you’re in a bad mood who wants to be The Only Living Boy in New York when No Sleep Till Brooklyn is one flick of the iPizzle wheel away?

My belief is that a lot of the appeal to my demographic is for three fleeting minutes we can sit on dubs, drop it to the floor, check chedda like a food inspecta or serenade our loved ones to the sweet sounds of Jeremiah’s birthday sex.  College shortys can get low and accountants daydream about switchin four lanes in the Rove.

This past spring I was out in downtown Denver at a hippy bar, with a hippy band and the visceral smell of patchouli and the insistence of forgoing showering for grad school papers; naturally about art therapy and tree sap emulsification.  Sounds like a typical granola night, right?  Well when this hippy band decides to cover Ice Cube’s It Was A Good Day, who is singing, “I gotta go cause I got me a drop top /And if I hit the switch, I can make the ass drop?”  That’s right, 150 pantagonia-coveting, Birkenstock wearing local brahs and the women that love them.  If that’s not a case for getting on Amazon right now and buying Jay-Z’s Blueprint 3, I don’t know what is.

Yes the word poser could probably be a synonym for my name, maybe worse depending on how you see my opinion.  But if a few thousand white kids at Vanderbilt’s Memorial Gym can get em high for Lil Wayne for the sake of having a good time, who am I to not join in? 

By the way, I did join in and it was one of the best concerts I’ve ever seen.


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