Sunday, February 14, 2010
A lot Valentines Days I make a mix tape for my loved ones, because I am a person who makes mix tapes. Call me narcissistic, but I am. Humble people don't make mix tapes, as they come from a deep, sincere and megalomaniacal place in the maker's psyche that honestly believes that if you give someone a tape with a bunch of songs on it, they will listen to it and think wistfully about how cool you are. Hence, people over the age of 25 generally do not make mix tapes. But I do.
I had this great idea this morning as I was lying in bed at 10:30 sans baby (thanks, Best Husband Ever!), and that idea is that I was going to make a mix tape and post it here, on this very blog. Because I love you and I want to to think I'm cool. However, as the day wore on, I realized that I don't know how to do that. And also that it's possible that I did not read Blogger's "Terms and Conditions" when I set up this here thingy, but I'm pretty sure it probably says something about copyrighted material. But you know what? Screw'em! That's right, because I want you to be my Valentine! And I can't do that unless I try to impress you with mp3s!
So, I split the difference and only made a mix tape of 3 songs, all of which are good.
Happy Valentine's Day, Valentines!
PS. To those who wonder, "What the hell, and why doesn't Jesslyn post anymore like a complete maniac who doesn't have anything better to do?" Well, gentle friends, in my professional capacity, I plan a conference every year, and it's coming up THIS THURSDAY. So after that, I will be a lot more prolific. Yep--wish me luck!
Sunday, February 7, 2010
I live in Athens, Georgia. When I am someplace else--say, Savannah or Asheville, North Carolina--and I tell someone where I live, it generally follows that they happen to have an I'm-not-kidding-you-the-craziest-story-you've-ever-heard-in-your-life about the town I live in. The stories usually take place when that person was between the ages of 16 and 25, and generally start with that person either coming to Athens for a football game or to visit a friend who was going to college here, and end: "and later, a nurse in the emergency room told me I was really lucky to be alive." Usually it's because that person drank so much he got in a fight outside the Georgia Theater and then had to get his stomach pumped.
People come to my town to drink and to listen to music or to drink and watch football. Getting people drunk is our special little cottage industry. I don't drink, and I've never been to a UGA football game and I generally don't go out to watch someone play music--however proficiently--because music in Athens doesn't start until around 11 PM. Blah blah blah. I'm old and crotchety...blah...need my sleep...blah blah...music is always too loud...blah blah blah...bars smell gross...blah.
Anyway, every February I make an exception to my not-going-to-bars-in-Athens rule in order to see Vic Chesnutt and Jonathan Richman. Last night, I went to see Jonathan Richman like I do practically every year, but this year Vic Chesnutt wasn't there because he died this Christmas.
Vic was a local, and though I didn't know him personally, I liked him. He used to sit out on the porch of a house on Franklin Street which was on my walk to work, and sometimes I waved to him, and sometimes he waved back. He was a little man in a wheelchair with wispy brown hair and a high, funny voice and a sense of humor that made you laugh and feel terrible that you were laughing. But West of Rome will always be one of my favorite albums of all time, and when I close my eyes and listen to those songs, I am 22 and walking down Chattooga Street in July, smelling the railroad ties and the kudzu that's growing up the ladder of that old water tower, listening to the homeless guys' laughter from their hangout under the Chase Street bridge, and thinking hard about some personal drama that will never matter to anyone else--that won't matter to me in three months--but at that moment seems so heroic and hideous, so transcendentally important.
Anyway, I was proud to have Vic as a neighbor because people like him are the people who make my town--this town where people come to party and make stories for themselves--a place where people live. Vic told the stories of this place so well, and in a way I recognized and loved. I read in an interview recently that he once said he wanted to write a song about every single person in Athens before he died. I think he might have managed it.
Here's some old Vic Chesnutt.
And some newer:
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Odessa is a baby. But you know what? She's getting to be a smarter baby than she used to be!
Case in point: our cat, Babesby-Kitty (whose given name is Robin, which ended up not being the name of his Soul, so nobody calls him that) is a cool customer--patient and yet complex. His collar has a tag on it that says "Robin Mean Cat", which means that he is not afraid of opening cans of whoopass on squirrels and peoples' arms who mess with him. This is because he is a tolerant sociopath who can be violent and yet is good at snuggling. Sometimes I wake up in the morning to find Odessa using Babesbey's fat roll (or "Le Sport Sac," "hoop skirts" or "book bag," if you'd rather) as a pillow. The other night we were having family couch time when it transpired that Odessa had been sitting on Babesby's head for a good 3 minutes before I asked "is that the tornado siren--what is that sound?"
Anyway, lately there have been some baby/cat standoffs. Babesby can ignore Odessa while she dandles his collar tags for a little while, but then he'll nonchallantly put out a paw, place it on her adorable, chubby little hand, and dig in, all the while, staring deeply into her eyes. Odessa is fascinated by this behavior, and yet it hurts. Of course it hurts. And so she cries. It happens nearly every day.
This morning, Bryan took some footage of Odessa and Babesby (also, you can view it here if this one doesn't work. I learned how to YouTube today! Woot!):
It's like there's an invisible fence around that cat!
Sometimes I wish I had an invisible fence....
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
My Granny, who will be turning 100 this Bastille Day, told me recently, "I don't understand how all my grandchildren got to be consultants. You're all too young to consult anybody about anything."
Granny has a point there.
I am a consultant, and I pretty much have been in one form or another since I was 21. It's kind of strange that there are so many consultants in the world because if there's one thing that nobody wants, it's advice. Seriously. Nobody wants advice, even if they think they do. I've had people who desperately didn't want my advice BEG me for it. This is strange, and I suspect what people want when they ask me for advice is for me to tell them they are currently doing everything exactly right. It's like the professional version of asking somebody if you look fat.
But if I think about it, giving advice isn't a bad job, even if nobody wants it. I mean, I could be a hospice nurse. Or a prison guard. Or an insurance adjuster.
Oh God, you guys--I could be an insurance adjuster.