May 30, 2011

'So I turn myself to face me...but I never caught a glimpse'

Ah, a glorious Monday off. This will only result in me thinking we are a day behind each day this week. Hm. How bittersweet.

I heard this song the other day and have been pretty amped on it since. It's from their new release 'No Color', which came out on March 24th, two days after my birthday to be precise. This band is from San Fransisco and has been making music together for awhile now, so check 'em out.

Today is already unusual because the amount of words I've spoken have been few. It's one of those rare days that I'd like to encounter more often (I'm sure the people around me would agree). The mood of this Memorial Day is just peculiar. Instead of finding myself surrounded by a group of close friends or family, I find myself inside wishing the weather was more somber. Does anyone else feel that the sunshine holds an obligation that you're not always jumping to fulfill? I've woken up the past few days to grey skies and moisture dominating the atmosphere where you feel like it can go one of two ways; you can become a recluse for the day or you can get out and accomplish something and feel better about it because you did it all while it was raining...heh.

I did get out and take a walk with my counterpart this afternoon, where we got a little preview of the Chicago summer temperatures that are about to settle in for the next three months. I feel like it is a tad early to be complaining about the summer heat after we just spent a solid 6 months rejecting that wretched cold we are lucky enough to encounter all the way through April. Oh Chicago, I have no hope of you getting it together.

I had to drag myself away off the couch after watching a few Daria episodes because watching a show where the theme is sarcasm and a lack of motivation will not anything for my own motivation, but it might do something for my wit. I've been having Daria moods lately.

I feel like I'm back in that 'lack of motivation' phase, along with a 'I want to dye my hair' phase. I hate my how my drive is so overwhelming when I'm smack dab in the middle of it and then how it has the potential to become lost oh so easily. You know that feeling where you know you need to start making things happen, but at the same time you're just expecting it all to get handed to you? That expectation is never realistic, but I feel that I will encounter what I need to encounter when the time is right. I'm in the vicinity of other opportunities, but I just have to wait for the right one to really present itself. Listening to me trying to figure out what I want to really do with my life is like listening to a 6 year old ramble off their dreams and desires- it changes week to week and generally is a profession that quite difficult to attain. Even if I don't know what I will be doing in the years to come, the most I can hope for is that I will at least be doing something. I feel like we all know what we really want to be doing, but we don't know how to make that happen, or we are afraid that if we do make it happen, we will find out it's nothing like we'd thought it would be. If it's my case, I just get discouraged about the onslaught of competition that I encounter when trying to figure out a career. I feel there are already a million people doing what I want to be doing. There can be a million and one...right?

It's scary to think of how much things change in such a short period of time. I spend a lot of time thinking about the journey on the way to those changes. There are times where you know that change is your intent, and you can feel it happening. You can analyze every little bit and know that you're headed somewhere different, somewhere bigger and maybe a little better than the original start point. Sometimes things change and you haven't even taken time to embrace the journey or let alone even realized you were on one, you just remember a time where things were different and you don't know how you arrived here. Like how those friends of ours can often become strangers to us. I often wonder if the changes we encounter are the ones we want to be making or if they are the ones we feel we have to make in order to fulfill something else. We all know that resisting change is completely useless and rather difficult, it just has the ability to be anything but a positive experience. My uncertainty scares me. Ugh, what a drag. To sum it up best;

Have you ever had the day or that feeling where you actually feel like you're getting younger? Like the decisions you become faced with seem to be the ones you should have had before you years ago? No..?

I have to remember this:

Picture 5

Ah, Foster The People. I really dig this band and this version isn't heard too much. I've been hearing it on satellite radio (Alt nation) and have really eased into it, although I generally stray from acoustic versions of anything. This band comes out of L.A. and claims that they sort of started playing together by accident. Hopefully you like it, it reminded me of that easy, mellow tune you want to be listening to on a sunny day. You can here the other version here-both are great.

In case you're jonesin' for some more Daria, here are some more clips;


May 22, 2011

"...and in that moment I swear, we were INFINITE"

I love this song for all it makes me think about while listening to it.

It makes me think of;
glamorous women blowing out cigarette smoke between their red painted lips,
naive school children in the 50's that are curious and excited about the future,
thoughts of tyranny, French women swaying carefully to music on balconies, and lastly, those ritzy parties that you see going on in old movies where pearls, fur shawls, and endless amounts of booze always seem to make an appearance. One of my favourite lines of all time is within this song;
"I have the key in my hand, all I have to find is the lock..."
that is exactly how I feel about things right now.

I'm currently watching a gnarly storm roll in. I love the energy that big storms bring. You know, that moment just before it starts to rain where the air becomes saturated and you can feel the air surrounding you get colder. Here is what it looked like on radar from KLOT view. We live just NW of this huge squall line that is going on. We basically got the ripple effect of this storm, not the most severe, just the small repercussions of on the outskirts. No hail, just good winds and quick downpours. I didn't see too much lightning, but that doesn't mean it's not producing a ton of it.

This morning started off so beautifully too. I knew I shouldn't have spent my morning sleeping (regrettably until 11:15 A.M.), but it was just too glorious of a sleep to try and dash out early. I'm just glad I got my walk in before the huge raindrops were unleashed, you know, the kind that pound you as they fall? Always a sign greatness is rolling in when it goes dark at 4 P.M.

As this month continues to fly by, I can only hope for a good week to unfold ahead of me. The past week was full of ups and downs. I have a real tendency to let the little things get me down, but on the contrary I get lifted up and motivated by the smallest occurrences (like when Terri Hemmert played 'Call Me Al' the other day for her closing song as I was about to implode. Magically, it changed the scheme of things) It gets hard to strike a balance, but it is vital. The disappointment is heaviest in the subject of communication; when something you're trying to stress is being completely missed. Have you ever told someone a problem you were having and then just after you finish they try to convince you that it isn't so? Anything that proceeds this is useless, you just have to outsource your problem, send it away. Or bottle it up. Never shake this bottle.

Enjoy! (seriously, do a little dance)

Can I please express my disappointment that I did not get the chance to see Paul Simon grace the stage of the Vic theater last week?! Just...ugh
::slapping self::

Whenever I hear this song, I think of this scene in 'The Office' when...

That is the magic of it all. Music can change everything. It's kind of like when I go to a party and someone puts on the tunes and I'm up doing the shopping cart (the dance move, not the object) within 10 seconds or whenever I'm about to flip out and XRT plays 'There, There' to allow me to hold on to my sanity just a little while longer(XRT is a serious fixture in my workplace). Here, take a listen for yourself. One of my favourite Radiohead* songs;

Music just has an amazing ability to really take us on a journey. It can evoke endless emotions or make us stay content or amplify the ones we have. Have you ever been in the mood to listen to music that you know will make you cry, but it's the thing only you can handle? Or one that makes you feel like you should be in a certain setting? I live for that one moment in a song that I just cling to. There's always a part in a song that hits me hard, even if it is just a small addition to a note or a vocal fluctuation. My favourite is when music makes you feel infinite; when you feel that power being thrown in your direction and the feeling of ability is slapping you hard across the face-like you can truly do anything. When that energy surges through you, it's remarkable. Or when realizations become unfolded in someone else's's beautiful. When it comes down to it, these moments are too fleeting, but I assume that if they were there all the time, we'd just be overly cocky.

You can find this page in one of my favourite books, "The Perks of Being A Wallflower".

*The other day I told someone that I would love to be Thom Yorke. I'm sure that wasn't received as well as I would have hoped, but what can you do? To me, he is just brilliant; how he leaves me enamored by the sounds that come out of his mouth or the way he puts you in a trance when you watch him move. He is just an odd fellow and I always admire the oddities that surround us. I can also respect the environmentally conscience things that he does, like paperless tickets. Although, some of us would like to have a little memento from your concerts, Thom.

At the end of the day, skating is my favourite way to move to music, although there isn't any in this clip;

Hopefully you can see it.
It's a layback, backscratch, into forward scratch :)

May 7, 2011

Tin Man & The Wizard of "Ahh's"

Today, Oak Forest had plenty of spirit buzzing through the air.
People had gathered, Public Access television was rolling their camera, and cheers were sent out as the Tin Man made his way back to the top of his loyal home, the roof of a heating & air conditioning facility.

A lot of people gathered together this week all over the country and the world for various reasons. (Beirut, Washington DC & New York, Illinois) All of them being more serious than what I witnessed today outside of King Heating/Air, but all of them having their own significance to the people that come out to support these matters. All of them have a different tone to them. This one, being the most frivolous, was one that I was glad to be a part of.

The crowd gathered outside for the spectacle that was set to take place just after noon. The sign had been placed outside weeks ago displaying;

"The tin man is going back on the roof!
May 7'th at Noon!

I couldn't contain myself!

I was so excited, anxious, and genuinely worried when we weren't sure if this whole event had been insured (operating a crane around a large group of people...). Eric had told me the story of the Tin Man a long time ago, when I first was becoming familiarized with this town (I live just down the road from the establishment). The 6 foot 6" Tin Man was perched on the roof of King Heating & Air Conditioning for 30+ years, until he met his fate four years ago to the date. They took him down to repaint/repair him and when they approached the time to put him back up, an ordinance had been passed that restricted his return. The town, was apparently outraged at the then-mayor, JoAnn Kelly. It was their "landmark", as I heard one long time resident claim today. You can tell this is the most excitement this town has seen in a long time. There was so much adoration for this man constructed of scrap tin. I even fell hard for the tin man. I requested off work so I could attend this whole event. After all he was charming.

When I say this was the most excitement this town has seen in a long time, that wasn't a snide remark. It was just so funny to witness it all. The crane hoisted this tin man from the ground up, all to the tune of 'The Star Spangled Banner' & 'Proud To Be An American'. HILARIOUS. I was trying not to crack up as those songs blared through the speakers as this tin man was suspended in the air for all the crowd to see. (The best song they played while I was in attendance was definitely 'Pump Up The Jam')

At the end of the day, this made people so happy. Even if it all was for a short period of time. It would be nice if local government would make decisions that are more effective and less useless-and enact more things that could benefit everyone as a whole. I find a cute aspect in the fact that the current mayor used the tin man as a sweet spot in his campaign speech in 2009, saying that the tin man "would find his way home". Less about local Government and on with the pictures!

Does this remind you of anything?
It reminded Eric and I right way of past images of the raising of the flag.
He remarked, "This tin man is this town's Iwo Jima."
Does that put the adoration into perspective?

At the end of the day now, Oak Forest residents walk away with an assurance that the Tin Man will now resume his watchful eye over the town.

May 4, 2011

Documented. The week in photos & songs.

Let's start this entry off right;

Every time I hear this song, my mood changes. Normally, it makes me more contemplative.
I generally hold a song in high regard if it has the ability to change my mood, it's a huge reason why I hold Radiohead near and dear to my heart. I kind of get sad when I hear this song.
I feel that's the emotion it is trying to convey. It's remembering a time when things were just different.
Sometimes change is for the general good. Some things change that you accept and adapt to them without even realizing it, and then when you take the time to reflect on those changes you've inadvertently picked up and adapted to, it makes you sad, because things just move in a whole new way now.
It is because you cannot get that way of life back.

A little bit of the past week or so is documented here in photos;

This is a cutter I saw and had immediately had the urge to decorate it.
So I baked it, popped some frosting on it, put it on a stick and sold it.
I loved this cookie, as did my counterpart.
The worst part? The customer was not even enthused upon purchase. 
I decorate a lot of cookies on a stick that sell very well.
I love it when people pick it out--especially kids, and they are genuinely excited about it.
The same feeling I had while decorated was definitely not the same one the buyer had.
No Tolstoy action here. Therefore, not efficient or effective "art". Bummer.

Don't dare forget your teachers or nurses! It's appreciation week celebrating both.
I've decorated tons of apples and schoolhouses this week, along with nurse bears & 'Thank You' messages.

 .    .    .

Let's not forget Frank
Our favourite custom orderer.
Not only are this man's request crazy, but they've become quite fun for me to conquer.
He's come up with yet another crazy design, and he is fond of celebrating only half birthdays.
I've done some really crazy things, this is almost normal compared to some of the others.
I can always dig a challenge;

The request was:
An upside down pterodactyl flying over two stick people holding signs.
One to say 7 and the other to say 1/2. Write Hannah upside down.
M&M cookie cake. Use red & green colors.

This is essentially what I do.
I never thought that I would be able to lay down frosting on these cookies like I can now.
I remember going in to apply and thinking "yeah...I don't think I can do this."
I've really developed myself in this line of work. My eye for things is different now.
I am thankful for many things I've learned and experienced here.

But let's be real. After 10 hours with minimal food, I go a little crazy.
I was so amped when I changed our dinner menu from porkchops/rice/salad/rolls to PORTILLO'S!
It was a simple text headed for my counterpart that entailed the sole question: "Portillo's?"
The response? "oooooo Portillo's"
Done & Done.
"I'll take a beef, dipped, hot peppers, two large fries, two plain hot dogs, and a medium root beer!"
I place my order like it's a military order.
I don't think I could have said Portillo's anymore in that sum up. NICE.

Oh tiffany shoes, I love you so.
I love this sock/shoe combo, one of my particular favourites.
I actually scored a pair in a similar style but they are plaid.
Obvious choice.

What an exciting day for Toby!
I scooped up some birdseed at the store the other day and got a window feeder.
I also laid down some seed in a pile by the window on the other side.
I love watching birds/animals and I love watching my cat get all sly while doing the same.
This little guy was at our window while his squirrel counterpart was at the other window.
Nothing could scare these guys away. They stuffed themselves for sure.

.    .    .

Here we have some Brett Dennen

This song has been making me move all week long.
When I say "move" I mean that it's making me full on rock out.
In my car, in the shoppe (don't think I didn't run out in the lobby & dance when customers were there),
in my kitchen this morning, etc, etc, etc.
This song takes me off guard, I don't usually like music like this, not often anyways.
Way to go, Mr. Dennen!

Hopefully it makes you get out of your chair!

May 1, 2011

Reflections of College & Correspondents.

160'th post.
Saucy, saucy!

Let's kick it off with some PJ Harvey-
"Hanging In The Wire"

I listened to this my walk today and it seemed to suit the mood just right.

So the other day I dropped by my parents house. My mom, as usual, was more than thrilled to give me any mail that had arrived for me during the course of time between visitations. I got that pesky survey from the community college I had attended and got my associates from, College of DuPage. Each time it comes, she urges me to fill it out and send it back. My response is always "Yeah, Yeah, I know, I will." ::cue to me throwing it out:: IN THE RECYCLING BIN -(that counts for something). This time there was a different course of action as I actually took it home, I put it on the counter, and I eyed it for two days before doing anything. This morning, I started to make check marks and circle numbers corresponding with the various questions about performance and accessibility. All of this allows me to face my college career in the face, or at least analyze it for what it was worth.

I'm not ashamed of my college experience in any regard. I actually start my own written review off by saying; 

"I really valued my time spent at C.O.D. I met some wonderful people, I took some great classes, and I had the honour of being taught by some really intelligent and phenomenal professors"...

That is only a glimpse into how I feel. I went to community college because that made the most sense for me. I felt like, and still do feel, that University is one of those things people do because they feel like they have to. For some people, I feel like University is vital to their well being; they can thrive from it and continue to explore more about their points of interest and expand their horizons in terms of opportunity. There are others who find themselves within classrooms who would be better suited working at a hands-on job, learning the tools of the trade as they go, from people who have worked it and are proven to be a more desired source of information versus textbook teachings. I find a lot of people venture to different schools only to find that what they really needed was embedded within some other path. The people that lingered in some of these classrooms were some of the best. I feel that a community college offers something different, or it caters to a more well-rounded group of people, the people of which, are awesome. You get your; extremely smart kids who are there to save a dime and transfer to a four year "ASAP", the mellowed out stoners clad in Dead shirts sitting along the wall, the moms who are making up for lost time, the kids who are totally with it but just don't have their career path down, and the kids who just don't give a damn. This mix is P-R-I-M-E and it always leads to making a few friends or at least having a few solid debates in class. Don't get me wrong, I worked hard, but it WAS college, and there was ALWAYS time for Tom-foolery. 

Like for instance in this math class which I found absolutely deplorable-
I was not a fan of the teacher, but had a class with a buddy. I brought wine glasses &
a bottle of Perrier and we used to drink in class with class.
I dropped this class as soon as I realized I had the ability to.

My College experience was very good, but no doubt, it could have been much better and much more commendable. I left high school completely unsure and that is probably because I went through high school being completely oblivious to everything, I feel. I had Ivy League dreams when it was far too late and knowing you already blew it while you're STILL IN high school is infuriating and extremely disappointing. I know I made up for high school with my time spent in college, but that doesn't change anything. I can hardly tell you what I was doing when my friends were cooped up doing homework and feverishly making flashcards for their Spanish exams, but it wasn't necessarily making mischief. I had fun in high school, minus the 2+ years of hell that ensued when an eating disorder consumed my life. I was concerned about socializing and other things that revolved around socializing; I should have gone into Public Relations or Journalism right off the bat, but I didn't. With my social skills and ability to get information from a mute you'd think I'd pursue one of these routes. "EYES & EARS, EYES & EARS!" I decided to be broad-based and snag a degree in....General Studies. How does one get more well-rounded than that? (answer: MULTIPLE DEGREES & PIE EATING CONTESTS)

Although my survey is not completed, I know it will contain a lot of "I could have done better/taken away more/asked better questions/etc...." With these feelings I have over the course of my reflections on my college experience, I can only be glad they are not making me physically write out my opinions of my high school happenings, for it makes me want to go back to do it all over again. I got fairly good grades in college, but I worked for them. In high school, my grades were sub-par, if you could even throw that title on it (and trust me, you couldn't). I was just consumed with other things, and maybe those things led me to where I am today. At the end of the day, I cannot regret them and feel bad about not doing better, I can only laugh about the times I thought it would be a brilliant idea to run down the halls in my full Gumby suit-and don't you worry, it was.

I can only hope I will find myself seated in an Academic setting again soon. I need to be able to put my thoughts and desires into action. I feel like I've got the momentum and I'm really moving towards something here. I can only hope to pursuit something that entails a good future--something that is realistic and stable. I have a few ideas of what I'd like to go after. I'm anxious to see where they'll go. When I find papers like this, it makes me muster up the motivation to do it all over again;

And yes, I made my college professor a CD.
Making CD's for people is without a doubt within my blood.
I love creating soundtracks for peoples lives.
See-sharing MUSIC and opinions is vital!

As journalism finds itself to be a real potential candidate for something I'd like to study further, it was really nice to hear President Obama thank and commend all the journalists for their hard work and dedication to the craft last night at the White House Correspondent's Dinner. I think that would be such an honour. There are certain moments in your career that I can imagine you are proud of, but I feel that there are other times when it hits you even harder, like when the President is thanking you for your time and practice. It might have been even better to hear Seth Meyers do a sound off on Fox News, Trump, and C-Span. I loved that he was invited to speak here and I think he did a fine job of bringing the right people into the spotlight and his remarks were nice and sharp!

Okay, Okay. I guess now we can understand why there has been no new Saturday Night Live's on for two weeks now. I won't be holding any grudges, only applause. Of course, Seth Meyers was not the only one to rip into Trump, as Obama took part in the fun too. I enjoyed what he had to say. Apparently wise cracks aimed at you are always funnier when coming from the president because Seth couldn't seem to drag that smile out of him. Check it out;

Of course, Trump fires back by calling Seth Meyers a "Stutterer" (what?!) and claiming he was all anybody could talk about. Don't be too modest, Mr. Trump, I promise, you weren't the focus, only the clown.

I'll leave you with;

"Donald Trump often talks about running as a Republican, which is surprising, I just assumed he was running as a joke." - Seth Meyers