Sunday, October 28, 2012

Short Post and a Song #25: Slutty Halloween of Doom

Four Dansmen of the Apocalypse, in reference to Hurricane Sandy being headed toward New York: “Do you think God’s smiting New York because of our slutty Halloween parade?”


“Fade into You” by Sam Palladio and Clare Bowen

You may have guessed by now that my taste in television can veer a little soapy—I count Revenge and Pretty Little Liars among my favorites, knowing damned well that real life is never that dramatic or ridiculous. My new slightly shameful show is Nashville. But though I may be a tad embarrassed by how much I care about these characters’ romantic entanglements and secrets of illegitimate children, I am not at all ashamed of how much I love the show’s music.

The boy singing in this song, Gunnar, recently convinced Scarlett, the girl singing, that the poems she writes are really the lyrics to songs and they’ve started songwriting together. Unlike the song the two performed in the show’s first episode (actually written by my beloved Civil Wars), “Fade into You” totally seems like it started out life as a poem. Listen to those lyrics. There are metaphors—actual metaphors in a world where one of the most popular current songs is called “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together!” 

I know I should be posting a scary song for Halloween. But this song could TOTALLY work in a horror movie. While poetic, this is a pretty creepy idea of love, eh? I could see this song playing while some Edward Cullen creepster is watching his lady love from afar, but it would be suitably terrifying rather than dreamy.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Short Post and a Song #24: Old Wooden Eyes

A fellow trying to sell me “free” spa care on the street paid me a rather bizarre compliment in an attempt to lure me in:

“Hey there, miss, are those your real eyes?”

I said nothing and walked away quickly, as is my usual practice with the many sidewalk salesmen that litter Manhattan’s busiest streets. But I did feel very tempted to tell him that no, I lost my eyes in the Battle of Gettysburg, and these ones are made out of wood.


“Girl With One Eye” by Florence + the Machine

I imagine this song playing at that exact moment at the end of a thriller or horror movie when you realize, “Oh, fuck. EVIL HAS WON.” Like you see Grandma Sue giving a particularly creepy smile, and you know that the demonic ghost didn’t REALLY die when Sally did—it just hopped onto the nearest body to possess. Or when Lola, after Lady Macbething the crap out of a bunch of gangsters and subtly convincing them to kill each other, wraps a scarf around her hair and drives her convertible into the sunset with a trunk full of stolen diamonds.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Short Post and a Song #23: What freelance writers really want Yelp to tell them.

It’s nice that this cafe twelve blocks from my apartment has a "quirky atmosphere" and "exquisite Sweet Potato pound cake." But are there more than two outlets for the café’s thirty customers to share? Is the café’s Wi-Fi pretty consistent, or is it spotty? Are the chairs comfy, or of the rigid, scoliosis-creating variety?

Tell me THAT, Yelp.


"La Foule" by Edith Piaf

In keeping with my vaguely intentional Creepy Songs theme for October, I give you "La Foule" by Edith Piaf. I chose this particular video of a live 1984 performance since it provides a translation of the lyrics into English and also displays Edith Piaf's unbelievable stage presence. The song is about a woman and man who are pushed together by a crowd of people, but then that same crowd tears the two apart. Listening to this song makes me think of whirling through a carnival at night; intoxicated and happy but also terrified of what surprises the evening might bring. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Shoes make Hulk ANGRY

I’m a big fan of a café called Urban Vintage. I’m aware that its name is exactly what a writer would call a café in a story making fun of Brooklyn hipsters, but it provided a warm, friendly office away from home when I was working on some particularly stressful revisions. The coffee and food are also delicious.

I was on my way back from Urban Vintage when I spied this thing of beauty:

Someone had thrown a pair of shoes tied together over the street sign. I don’t know if some kids stole these shoes from another kid and threw them up there just to be dicks. I hope that’s not what happened.

Instead I like to imagine a dude walking down the street who became suddenly, venomously angry with his shoes. He was like “MAN WAS NEVER MEANT TO WEAR SHOES!!” Then he Hulked out and ripped off his shoes (which somehow got tied together in the midst of all the Hulking out), and flung them hard as hard as he could at the nearest street sign.

I lost my iPod a while ago, so instead I think about shit like this on my walks home.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Short Post and a Song #22: Landlord of Party Central

I just want to take a second to thank a certain pencil-wielding vandal who lives in my building for what he or she did to a sign on the wall beside the elevator: 

Now whenever I'm waiting for the elevator, I get to imagine a landlord welcoming a new tenant to a building and saying something like this:

"Every night there is ABSOLUTELY drinking, smoking, or hanging around the staircase. This is mandatory. If you fail to do at least one of those things, we will evict you. Now go forth and party on, my friend."


"Falling" by The Civil Wars

I mentioned my enormous love for The Civil Wars in my very first Short Post and a Song, but have never actually featured one of their songs on this blog. Joy Williams and John Paul White are incredibly talented and have some of the best performance chemistry I've ever seen. All their songs are great (and I don't say that lightly) but I've been attached to this one lately due to its haunting melody. My dark fantasy WIP is kind of taking over my life at the moment (in a good way) so don't be surprised if the songs continue to be a little on the creepy side in the coming weeks. Let's just pretend it's a Halloween theme, yeah?

Thursday, October 4, 2012

I wonder what else I've been doing wrong my whole life? Probably eating salad. I'm TERRIBLE at eating salad.

I recently came across this guide to improving your handwriting by Dyas A. Lawson. The guide gives a detailed description of how to hold a pen properly. Some people might think, “I don’t need to be told how to hold a pen. I’ve been holding pens for years!”

Well, you’re probably wrong about that. Because I’ve been holding pens for DECADES but that didn’t stop me from doing it completely incorrectly.

You’re supposed to hold your pen between your thumb and index finger, resting the pen on your middle finger. I hold the pen between my thumb and index finger but rest it on my ring finger. Ms. Lawson admits in her guide that this is a thing people do, but it is absolutely the wrong thing.

I attempted writing the correct way, and it didn’t go very well. I’ll show you the horrid handwritten pages themselves, but I’ll also transcribe them below since I highly doubt you will be able to read them:


Is this how most people write? It feels extremely uncomfortable. I don’t write properly. I NEVER LEARNED TO WRITE! 

Maybe writing in cursive would be easier? 

(In cursive) Hello! My name is Jillian. How do you do? 

(Back to print) Haha I always read cursive in a British accent.

Dude I’ve been writing wrong for so long. It does not look better now that I am writing properly. I am probably a lost cause, doomed to life as a gypsy hobo, because what else is a person without proper handwriting skills to do in this day and age?

I've failed you, Ms. Lawson. I'VE FAILED YOU. I will just go sit in my box house now and weep as I make a necklace out of garbage.