What’s Up? (8/17/15)

Seven Thousand Words.
Today I decided I would write one thousand words once a day, every day this week. I don’t t think anything spectacular is going to happen that’s going to require a lengthy reflection. It’s more the case that I want to make up for lost entries. For every time something important happened and it failed to make it to the blog, there will be this week long super-entry to make up for it.

Starting With.
Yesterday I attended a friendly match between the US Women’s National Soccer Team (USWNT) and Costa Rica’s National Team. It was the first stop on the USWNT’s victory tour after winning the FIFA Women’s World Cup. The fervor of their championship victory was still fresh in my head; the way they stomped out Japan, their NYC parade, Rachel Maddow’s giddy excitement over the whole thing. I was swept up by the whole wave of energy, and when I heard they were coming to Pittsburgh, I knew I was going. I felt that I could not miss out on the opportunity to see Wambach, Rapinoe, Lloyd, Morgan, and Klingenberg in action.

What an event it was. With 44,028 fans in attendance, almost every golden-yellow chair of Heinz Field had a fan in red, white, and blue sitting in it. This was the highest standalone attendance for a USWNT yet, and the largest crowd assembled in Pittsburgh for the sport, period. I had a seat with a view I felt you could not beat. I wasn’t the closest to the field, but I had shade from the sun. (Judging from the sunburned and downright over-riped tans of the people exiting the game, it seemed that you really needed the sunscreen that  day). I was looking at the field long-ways, 90 degrees with each goal net. (If this were a match of American Football, I’d be dead center with the field goal).

Football is a funny sport in a number of ways. I noticed the game started without the dramatic flair of an American Football kickoff, which almost always includes rock and roll music and men run full-speed ahead. It started so quietly, that for a moment I wondered if this whole thing was a mistake. What if nothing happened and the whole game was this quiet? Wouldn’t that be the worst?

Yet it took only four minutes to see that things would not be boring. The US scored a goal, and Heinz Field erupted in such an uproar that a cheap microphone, like the one found in your phone, would likely record nothing but white noise. I found myself so overfilled with joy that I was laughing after the first, and every subsequent goal. I would scream, clap, and when I looked around and saw the celebration around me, I could do nothing but laugh at how amazing it was.

There were a lot of daughters in attendance, and the hashtag #SheBelieves was all over Heinz Field. It was inspiring thing, and it occurred to me that some of these young girls were more than fans, but looking up to the USWNT and dreaming of sharing in their success. (This environment contrasted with that of the Benedum Center, showing the musical production of Cinderella. Lots of young girls were in their own Cinderella dresses in 90 degree weather, and none looked as happy as those at Heinz field).

To my left sat a Nationalized Irishman and his daughter. He was teaching her all about the strategy of passing. “You almost never want to run the ball by yourself. You always want to move it to an open team mate.” While he meant to teach his daughter, I couldn’t help but listen and learn from him too. I learned to look at the US players as potential passes. I looked at the woman in possession of the ball, and spotted her team mates and tried to predict where the ball would go. Corner kicks also became a strategic guessing game, trying to envision where the ball would go, and who would try to headbutt it into the goal.

54 minutes into the match, Pittsburgh native Meghan Klingenberg scored a goal. It was during this celebration that the fans of Heinz Field proved they could turn up their volume from 10 to 11. We were already freaking out about the score becoming 7-0, and just as the volume was starting to come down, Klingenberg grabbed a Terrible Towl. You have this Pittsburgh native waving the ultimate symbol of Pittsburgh sports in celebration, and the result is apocalyptic noise.

The final score was 8-0, and it was a blast. I guess the next big thing that matters is the Summer Olympics, in which case, I’ll be tuning in to watch.

Magical Sleep.
The last thing I want to talk about happened today. It was a feverish stream of chain-dreaming. Where dream after dream, distinct from one another, keeps happening. I wake up, nod off to sleep again, and the memory of waking up becomes distorted, twisted into a dream whose premise is that waking up never happened.

A dream can start with me walking through England at night with my friend Naomi, then I wake up and fall back asleep. Now I’m in a house being torn apart by strong winds and rain with my friend Innes. What makes this all strange is that the premise of being in this house begins with me waking up in this house, thinking that bein awake in my bedroom was the dream. It has to be a symptom of not escaping REM. I wake up but my brain has the capacity to invent dreams still.

The feeling is like being under a spell. I don’t know how else to describe it. It makes no sense, it sounds like the talk of a crazy person, but that’s dreaming for you. Try not to think about it too much, just wake up and realize that, while fun, it’s best not to let yourself fall back asleep.

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What’s Up? (1/15/15)

Coffee-Sleep Ratio
So yesterday really tested how much I could function on a bad night of sleep and a nice cup of cappuccino. What I found was that through my Piano and Poetry courses, up until Roman Civilization – I could handle it. I played piano well, discussed poetry like a normal person, ate, had coffee, read Moby Dick for two hours. It was like I had gotten eight hours of sleep. Who could tell? Except when I made it to Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies. “How’s you’re day?” “Well, I’m running on three hours sleep, ha, ha.” —I realized that little tidbit of information is more alarming to people, than charming.— During that class I started to zone out, not be as happy and smiley as I should be. I also did the math and realized I’d be away from my apartment for a full 12 hours by the time I got back.

On Hunger
With fifteen-minute chunks between classes on Wednesday, my food options are rather limited. There was a window where I could have quickly gobbled down a Chicken Sandwich, but it didn’t feel right. I mean, it had been hours since I had a bagel and cappuccino, I was starving. And there they were, a rack of Chicken Sandwiches, Chicken Nuggets, Fries, all from Chik-Fil-A. And it just… oh. It just didn’t feel right. Hand my money to Chik-Fil-A, then go take a Gender-Sexuality class. Make a small donation to “Pray the Gay Away” camps and “Defense of Marriage” organizations, and then go learn about intersectional oppression. It’s not like eating at Chik Fil-A is an inherently bad act, but once you know where the money’s going, it feels like a two-faced, ignorant act. So that’s another thing that made (1/14/15) pretty messed up – hunger.

On Balance
Podcasting, Society6, WordPress, Linkedin, Bandcamp, Moby Dick, Sappho Was A Right-On Woman, Piano, Vagina Monologues… Many assets. Many facets. Accounts. Passwords. Assignments. Projects.

Content Creator.

Content Consumer.

What’s Up? (8/20/14)

Sometimes I look at the things I’ve written down on this blog and think, what the hell was that supposed to mean? I get upset that in the past I choose to be vague instead of just up front about what I meant to say. In as few words as possible: being in Pittsburgh makes me feel like myself again and it separates me from a lot of bad memories and the feeling of being stuck. I’m biking most nights, I’ve remembered how much I love to just throw on deadmau5 and bang out beats in my bedroom, and I’m making drinks on regular no-occasion nights. With being back, there’s a little bit of that old 4AM attitude again. I contemplated just not sleeping last night, since the previous two hours of trying to sleep had been so unsuccessful. When it’s 5AM and you feel wide awake, things go poorly.

My goodness though, life feels so damn tropical. Harry Belafonte’s spinning on the record player, I’m having the Monkey Mocha and Coconut Coffees around campus, I’m sweating bullets in the park while listening to Chico Trujillo, and my hand soap smells like Jamba Juice. I’m outside on the balcony soaking sunlight every day because you just never know, come next week, or the week after that, we can be in 50-degree temperatures, and it’ll be snowing before I know it.

There’s a lot of indecision happening on a regular basis though, in the field of “what the hell do I eat, and should I go to CVS?” For weeks in a row I’ve forgotten the same home essentials, though I’ve remembered to stock up on booze so, what’s with that? I think I’m looking healthier though, and feeling it. Portion control’s working, I’m not ordering extras, and I still afford myself the things I love around town but without less guilt attached, since there’s a lot of exercise happening. I’m still miffed about how some things ended in New York on this whole subject, since I, and I alone make choices about my body. A part of me’s upset for apologizing and coming to some fake resolution to an argument, but whatever gets people to shut up sometimes.

 

What’s Up? (4/21/14)

6 AM, going to hit it again. Twice actually, this weekend.

The first time, in all fairness, was pretty pleasant. Watching the Shanghai Gran Prix was absolutely fantastic. It couldn’t compare to the Bahrain Gran Prix from two weeks ago, but definitely worth staying up until 5AM to see the end of the race live. My boy Nico Rosberg couldn’t vie for 1st, but I was happy to see him recover to 2nd after a rough qualifying session and rougher race start. Nice to see Alonso make it to the podium, and for Ricciardo to overtake Vettel. Rooting for anybody but Lewis Hamilton come May 11th’s Barcelona Gran Prix. (By the way, it felt great to sit down for the start of a sporting event at 3AM when everybody else is in Pittsburgh is winding down or asleep; I’m meant to watch live sports in different time zones).

The second 6AM, the one I’m in right now; also not unpleasant. Do I want to be up? I mean, I wouldn’t be writing this if I didn’t. At this point, I’d be happier spending another fifteen minutes writing rather than not recording this mindset somewhere. Still, I wish I could have finished some of those essays earlier – but I’m a stickler for detail. Honestly, I could have turned it all in back at 4AM, but proofreading turned out to be incredibly valuable. Would I have lost any points for writing “show” where I meant to write “shop?” Probably not, but it’s my final paper and I give a shit about things like that. If I’m going to be up this late working, it might as well be for some quality work.

I’m not out of the woods yet though; the final and most dry and boring of all papers must be written later today, for World Literature. Gayle, if you’re reading this right now, I’m sorry – it’s not your class that’s dry – it’s the prospect of writing a few thousand words about it. Still, the semester is over in less than 48 hours. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel… though that may just as easily be the sunrise coming through my window.

Ease yourself on down
And if you’re bound and frowned 
You better put it on down 
‘Cause 4am, gonna hit it again 

What’s Up? (2/12/14)

I don’t even dislike not getting sleep anymore. When the nights come where I have to work until daylight in order to finish assignments, I don’t hate myself for waiting until it was too late to finish something, I’m not even upset; I just deal with the fact that what needs to get done, will get done, no matter what. It’s 8 AM on 2/13/14, so I’m actively lying by calling this the 2/12/14 edition of What’s Up, but I don’t care. This is what was up yesterday: I knew I’d be here, doing this, I knew as far back as Sunday night that I’d be here. In my naivety I thought I’d be done with work by 5 AM, har!

That might have been the case, but I gave away about an hour and a half more than I needed to, in order to read some of One Hundred Years of Solitude  by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. That book was worth it though, it reminds me of East of Eden by John Steinbeck, because it tells this rich, large-family, multi-generational story. So an hour and a half went to reading, and another hour went to watching this week’s Broad City and The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. “Oh what a waste of time” you say, but you’d be wrong. I’d rather enjoy one last hour of fun, and finish the day at 8 AM, than working through the night to finish at 7 AM. If you ask me, keeping yourself happy is more important than adding an hour or two to the nap of a night’s sleep you’re going to get, if any.

Which, I’m undecided right now actually, about whether or not to sleep. See, staying up through an all-nighter really reminds me of taking classes at Pitt over the summer, and do you remember what I liked to do on the mornings of all-nighters? Exercise! That’s right, like a freaking lunatic. Yes. I am actually considering heading up to The Peterson Events Center gym, (if it’s open) and getting in maybe thirty minutes of rowing, before coming downhill, having a bagel at Bruegger’s, and well, who knows after that. I tell you what, I’d be much happier with going to the gym right now, than getting three or four measly hours of sleep before I’d have to wake up and get ready for class and yadda-yadda-yadda.

You get the picture, the horrible, twisted picture. This is life, now, living.

What’s Up? (2/5/2014)

You know what’s amazing? Waking up early for class. No, I’m serious! This week I’ve been giving myself three or four hours of extra time before class. None of my classes start until around 2:00PM, so I could wake up as late as 1:00PM if I wanted to. For the most part, I have slept as much as possible, rushing through my “morning” routine before class as a result. This whole, being able to take my time has really improved my mood though. I can wake up, eat breakfast, watch TV, and shower, and not rush it all into a single hour? That beats extra sleep-hours by a long shot. More sleep is the natural response, I have to fight the urge not to go back for more sleep, but exercising willpower into waking up has really felt great. The more time I have to wake up, the better!

What’s Up? (12/21/13)

Rocking “Beat Connection” by LCD Soundsytem right now, wrapped up in the blankets of my bed, yet again. I have spent an incredibly disproportionate amount of time here in my bed, compared to time spent anywhere else. I bet it’s something like, a 60-40 split, considering all the time I spend sleeping, lazily browsing the internet, making music, and listening to music. So what’s up?

I listened to Queens of The Stone Age’s “…Like Clockwork” (2013) for the first time yesterday, so a review of that album is coming soon, which leaves just three more albums to review from my mad-dash music review rush list. Now I’ve started listening to “Yr City’s A Sucker” by LCD Soundsystem, which according to my iPod is my most-played track by the band, which is cool. I’m planning on seeing “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” tomorrow; I’m one of those select few who still have not seen the film. On Tuesday I’m going to get a second dose of Jennifer Lawrence in “American Hustle” which looks like a fantastic film.

I’m very tired. I could use a day where I sleep until 2:00 PM. Everything in my house is so comfortable, I could sleep anywhere. As I speak, the blankets pull me deeper, I slump from sitting upright to laying down. The synths of LCD Soundsystem lull me to bed. Had a dream about girl, I’d like to have that dream again.