Thursday, March 10, 2011

Blah Blah Blah...

Meeting Mike Mills (less blurry)
NOTE: I've been trying to write this post for several days now. Maybe the words will finally fall together the way I want them to this time. Read at your own risk.

R.E.M.'s new album came out yesterday. Kudos to Allison for reminding me to buy it. I downloaded it on Amazon last night and have probably listened to it five times since then. "Collapse Into Now" is the R.E.M. I fell in love with when I was a socially awkward 15-year-old raiding my dad's stereo cabinet. It also helps that I had the experience of going to a listening party with Mike Mills himself.

Still waiting for him to email me, by the way. Haha. My homemade demo CD is probably sitting in a pile somewhere on his desk. Or maybe he sat on it and broke it while it was in his back pocket. It remains a mystery. I'm not really expecting THE Mike Mills to contact me regarding my amateur demo, but it is cool to think that he has that option.

Oh man, was it only two weeks ago that I was in San Diego? I was so ready to conquer the world when I came back. What happened? Today I've been stuck in a bit of an emotional slump (with R.E.M. as the soundtrack, of's like 10th grade revisited...). I know that I sometimes come off as the girl that can put on a sparkly mini-dress and power through life, but this crazy post-college adventure isn't without moments of intense self-doubt.

I found a note from The Poet under my door this morning, reminding me yet again that I'm not crazy. It found it's way under my door just when I was thinking of going back to bed. Last night I confessed to him that I felt stuck and I hadn't played the piano in four days. This alarmed him, as it probably should have. Making music is usually a daily thing for me.

I guess my groove got thrown off last week when I got weirdly sick while driving to my parents' house. I had been feeling sick like that throughout the week but this time it was really bad. I felt dizzy, my head ached, there was a weird tingling feeling down my spine, and half of my body felt like it was about to go numb. After taking a mental inventory of all the baked goods I consumed in the past 24 hours, I ended up going to urgent care and taking a series of evaluations that felt like sobriety tests. The doctor was really nice and did a good job at convincing me that I was not dying but rather just experiencing a really bizarre migraine headache. Then again, I could be suffering from intense anxiety or chronic carbon monoxide poisoning. The building I live in is ancient and full of fumes, so that last one seemed probable.

When I was calmed down and about to leave, the doctor told me I might have HIV. He followed that up with the following sentence: "And syphilis is making a comeback. You don't want to rule that out."

I nearly laughed. Did he know that my neighbor just had a melodramatic syphilis scare because of a weird rash on her foot?

Also, I feel like I would know if I had syphilis. I think there is some sort of gross rash involved, but I don't think it starts on your foot...

Anyway, I don't think any urgent care doctor should ever be allowed to mutter the words "You might have HIV" unless they plan to do some serious blood work or have decent evidence to back it up. Even if the patient casually mentions having set foot on the continent of Africa at one point in time (yes, my trip to Egypt came up somehow).

I think Jack White wrote the song "Girl, You Have No Faith In Medicine" with me in mind. But I digress. After spending some quality time with WebMD and Wikipedia, I convinced myself that I do not have HIV. Instead, I became convinced that something in the building I live in (the pipes, the radiators, the chemicals the construction workers are using downstairs, etc.) was slowly eating away at me. For the first time, moving out of the commune seemed like a possibility.

I went to see a neurologist and he couldn't really pinpoint the cause. He suggested changing things about my lifestyle and environment. Not a bad idea. So I'm on a mission to eat healthier, get on a regular sleep schedule, and exercise more.

Though I can't help but be a little paranoid about my apartment. I plugged a carbon monoxide detector into the wall and it hasn't beeped at me yet. But what about the water that goes through those crusty old pipes? What about the fumes from construction? Antique mold hiding in corners and crevices?

I hope I'm just being neurotic. But a couple of my friends here have experienced milder versions of my symptoms. Maybe I'm the canary in the coal mine and we're all destined to go down in history as those hippies that all died from lead poisoning/syphilis.

It's all been a bit of a wake-up call. Right now, I'm really not feeling that well physically or mentally and I'm realizing that my days in the commune come with an expiration date. I'm calculating my next move. Or trying to, at least.

I've noticed that other people are beginning to talk about what they are going to do when they move out of the commune. One of my friends (TMBG Girl) already moved out. For most people, it's not the toxic fumes. It's a whole number of things - the ever-changing group dynamics, the petty politics, issues with The Management, the lack of consistent hot water and laundry facilities, etc.

A guy that lives on the second floor had a frightening nervous break-down a couple of days ago. It was Magic Butter Guy. Not someone I really hung out with but not someone I expected to snap and trash the kitchen. He is best known for playing the pan flute and reading poetry from a scroll. The sudden burst of violence freaked everybody out a little bit. I didn't witness it and it wasn't even my kitchen that it happened in, but it's still weird. I guess when you put a bunch of artists in a building together, it makes sense statistically that somebody is going to have a scary melt down. It's still unsettling though. And it's changed the vibe around here.

In other news, I'm trying to let go of something that's been an important part of my life and my identity for nearly half a decade. I think that's a big part of why I've been in the mood to mope around and listen to R.E.M. instead of making my own music. But I'll get over it.

On one of my first nights in the commune, The Chef invited himself into my room and ended up crying on my couch while eating shrimp-flavored cheese puffs. It was rather moving but also fairly awkward (there was a strange old man crying on my couch...). I will never forget what he said: "The only thing we ever really have is the ability to love and the ability to create. We may think we have more, but that's really all we have." I think there's a lot of truth to that statement.

So I'm not going to let this slump get the best of me. The thing about having a day where you stare at the blank pages of your journal and play the same album on repeat is that when it's over, you can consider that part done and move on (theoretically). That being said, I've already got the next insane plan in my head and tomorrow I'm coming back with full force (theoretically).

Sorry this post hasn't been the funniest. I usually try to avoid these kinds of entries and I'm debating whether or not I should click "PUBLISH." I think I'm just going to click it and if I'm unhappy with that decision in the morning I can delete it.

Stay tuned to hear about my adventures at a vegan potluck. I promise you that will be actually entertaining, not just a jumble of whiney, self-reflexive ramblings.

Gold stars to anyone who made it this far. Love you, bloggy friends.

Oh! I almost forgot!

The Fonz left this at my door shortly after our gay club adventure...

Peeps singing a Fat Boy Slim song...

That's all I've got. Over and out.


  1. Kudos to you for having the guts to give Mike Mills your demo. Whenever I'm around writers I admire, I get all tongue-tied and shy and I can't even get the nerve to tell them that I want to be a writer too.
    I think that the slump that you find yourself in is perfectly normal. Maybe you're just feeling burned out and you need to take a break to do something fun that relaxes you and gets your mind off of everything.

  2. When something starts to feel wrong, chances are that its time to move on. It's when we stick it out a little bit too long, just because we're scared, that we get stuck and can't move forward. I'm not saying move out today, but the times are a changin' and you don't want to get left behind. Especially if you have syphillis, that's so 18th century.

    I don't mind the melancholy posts, they remind me that everyone has bad days. Its comaraderie, almost. I like it...not your pain, but the comfort of it all.

    It'll get better. :)

  3. Oh wow. Hi. I love all of you. Thanks so much for your kind comments. :)

  4. holy shit i cant believe that urgent care doc said that to you


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