X marks the spot. Y? It’s Z end!!

Readers!! Look over there…do you see that? It’s December! Who put that there?
Doesn’t it seem like only yesterday we were talking about October being…only yesterday?

See how profound I am? I have discovered that time passes.
Somebody tell those MacArthur people.

Well…I’m totally cheating to finish on time. Is anyone surprised?
I am surprised, pleasantly, that I’m not cramming half the alphabet into November 30’s post. Three feels manageable.

So here’s how this is going down:

Nothing starts with “X.” Don’t talk to me, Xylophone. You are already featured on a flashcard set in every preschool classroom in America. (And don’t give me grief about X-Box or Xerox or any of the many dozens of words that do, okay fine, begin with X. I’ll have none of it.) I’m X-ing out “X.”

Exhibit X

(But, seriously, thanx for marking the spot.)

I can handle Y & Z.

See, I felt I would be remiss if I didn’t find a way to wrap up with a music video. And since it turns out that both “Y” and “Z” are in Boyz II Men, I feel totally comfortable with this selection.

I mean it, too. We belong together, readers.

It’s been a fun little experiment. (Damn you, X! there you are again!)
Thanks for playing, and you can alpha-bet we’ll try another group challenge sometime soon. (Oh, I made that joke.)

*Bonus Feature*

(aren’t you glad you stuck around until the end?!)

For December, I’m giving myself a twitter challenge to post a favorite Decemberists lyric every day. #DecemberistsDecember takes me down 21 characters…but that’s the idea for now anyway. Tune in.

I’m eXcited.

July July!

Summer is here, my friends! Birth-month is upon us, and I’m celebrating like any good nerd would, first with some Decemberists:
(there’s no video to this video. just the listening part.)

Then with some new goals! This TED talk I watched today inspired me toward a 30-day challenge. This fella (Matt Cutts, an engineer at Google) urges us to do as Morgan Spurlock (Mr. Supersize Me) would: try something you’ve always wanted to do for the next 30 days.

Goals with expiration dates can be easier to follow for an ADD/ENFP like myself. (So many acronyms!) If you’re dubious on the mental health and/or myers-briggs, fear not. Boiled down, this means I am among the sort who are lovers of new projects, enthusiastic joiners and starters, who rarely leave things completely complete. (Another TED talk from a beat-boxing bipolar spoken word artist {I know, swoon, right?} introduced me to the lovely pun mental skillness. I embrace this idea. Let’s start working with, not against, our problems for a while, shall we?)

So anyway, you don’t really need to watch the talk now. I’ve summed it up & it’s rather short. But if you’d like extra credit, here it is:

My 30 Day Projects are as follows:

1) Write something (non-work-related) every day this month. This is lofty, I know…luckily July has 31 days so I have a tiny bit of wiggle room…

2) Acquire an accordion and start learning to play it by July 31. This has been a dream of mine forever, when I watched “The Lawrence Welk Show” as a tiny kid, then Steve Urkel as a bigger kid, and now The Decemberists & Arcade Fire as former-kid. I only recently discovered that I get to do this if I really want to. That’s what being a grown-up means. Happy birth-month to me!

That’s all for now. No I didn’t forget something. Only 2 goals, you guys! The ADD/ENFP in me is learning to chill. Repeat: 2 goals accomplished > 20 goals abandoned. Step away from the to-do list. Keep your hands where I can see ’em…

something old, something new

Listening to the decemberists while i catch up at work. hazards of love really is incredible when taken in start-to-finish. Sometimes I forget how much I like them.

Speaking of forgetting things, get this delightful story from commercial street antique shopping:

Looking for vintage furniture, I wandered into Bridgefield Galleries: Catfish and Crystal Shoppe. Take in that name for a second, right? This place is an antiquer’s dream: all the crammed wall-to-wallness of a flea market with none of the musty crap. The owners curate it well, and greet you with grandparental warmth.
They let me go about my business while I shopped, but I couldn’t resist asking what’s the story behind “catfish and crystal.” The two guys looked at each other and lit up, apparently eager to have someone to tell their old stories to.

Turns out they both used to live in St. Louis, and frequented a swank cafeteria downtown that had an ornately decorated Catfish and Crystal room. They didn’t know each other then, so the name represents a little hidden connection of their friendship. This anecdote led to a tangent about Explorers Club in St. Louis, how Springfield needs to have one. (I can see these guys leading such a group, Carl-from-pixar’s-UP style.)
They got a little apologetic about their over-sharing, but I loved it all.
For the same reason I love antique stores. Now I look at my desk and wonder what will endure. What will my generation’s grandchildren treasure? My IKEA desk? My Dwight bobble-head? My ipod?

There’s something about OLD vs NEW. Stuff that has a past, a story. Back in my car, I jotted down everything I could remember, adding, “see? there are stories hiding everywhere. Recharged. This is what I miss.”

I believe there’s meaning tucked away in the corners of life. You have to look for it, ask questions to find it. (Maybe that’s also one reason i love the decemberists so much. their songs are about STORY. and their style is somewhat antique.) Thinking about myself sitting in my car, scribbling in my notebook (engine off, of course!), and that feeling I get, I wonder if this is how salmon must feel when they swim upstream: THIS IS CRAZY, BUT THIS IS WHAT I AM SUPPOSED TO DO.

And I forget that sometimes.

I’m bummed that I haven’t had that feeling often enough lately.
Moments like that keep me going when i’m stretched rubber-band-right-before-it-snaps thin, between house and class and improv and work and writing and planning a trip to europe and trying to maintain relationships…(dang! being a grownup!)
That’s why I’m taking a New York Times Knowledge Network freelance writing class online right now–as if i have the extra time–because I need to prioritize what’s IMPORTANT and not just what’s URGENT. (thanks, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People!) I’m only a week in, but I think I’m going to learn a lot, both from the instructor and e-classmates.

Hopefully it will help me become a more intentional writer. If nothing else, you’ll have more blog posts to read…