I have just made the executive decision to view the glass as half full. I’ve hit a rocky patch lately and I have allowed myself a few days (weeks maybe now that I think of it) of wallowing, but I’m ready to get past all of that now and focus on the good that’s been going on.
If you ak-sen-chu-ate the positive, you will e-li-minate the negative, as the song goes:
So in honor of Arethra that’s exactly what I will do now. Here is a list of why not working has been such a positive force in my life as of late:
However, something was off last night at Melkweg. My heart wasn’t in it, I was distracted and nervous (?), and they didn’t play nearly as well as they did a few years ago upstairs at Paradiso (autumn of 2006). Seriously, that show long ago was awesome. Does anyone remember it? (photos by Martijn Booij)
Back then, they were more enthusiastic and happy, the crowd was more receptive, the venue was more intimate. Here is my review from 2006.
This one….it just lacked something. The band started off with slower, flatter songs (although they did eventually pick it up a bit), they weren’t nearly as active on stage, and everyone was talking over the music, not really listening to it. So, all in all it was just wrong. I hate the Melkweg for concerts anyway. Paradiso all the way.
Peter Bjorn & John, Melkweg Amsterdam
Maybe they were just having an off night. I know I was.
Tonight I broke my two main music rules. I ventured into two music genres that I swore up and down I would never like, let alone even LISTEN TO: jazz and country.
It started out at the hotel last night. The bar was fairly busy, and towards the end of the night three guys came in for a nightcap. We got to talking and it turned out they were musicians on tour with a jazz pianist from Japan named Chihiro Yamanaka, and were playing at Paradiso the next night. They offered me a spot on the guest list, which was really cool, so of course I said yes please!
I brought a friend along tonight, and on the way to the show, we admitted that we had no idea what to expect.
“So…what is jazz like?”
“What kinds of things do you say about jazz?”
“‘Bee bop a doo be dow, yeah daddy-o!‘….like that?”
“I think so…”
So as you can see we were pretty clueless.
We settled in at a table and waited to be clued in. When the band started, we were just blown away. There’s no way to admit how great the show was without also admitting that I was an ass for automatically hating jazz without ever giving it a chance. So here’s my admission: I was wrong.
As my friend said, whispering to me halfway through the second song, “I owe the jazz world an apology!”
Let it be known: Jazz world- we apologize.
They were downright fascinating to watch. The effort, the enthusiasm, the passion that they showed was just incredible. My eyes mostly flitted between the pianists’ fingers flying over the keys, to the drummer and how involved he was in his drumming. But that’s not to say that the bass celloist was any less fascinating to watch. All of them: incredible.
Afterwards, everyone headed downstairs, where another show was on- the one and only Lyle Lovett.
You heard me ladies and gentlemen- I followed up my first ever jazz concert with a country music/bluegrass concert with Mr Lyle Lovett.
And loved it.*
At one point my friend and I turned to eachother, and just kind of went, “Huh? Jazz? Country? What’s going on here? Is it a full moon tonight?**”
So consider my horizons broadened, my interests diversified, my tastes cultivated. I’m not saying that I’ll be a jazz snob now, but damnit I won’t knock another music genre until I’ve given it an honest try. You have my word.
*although I will admit that the wine and company definitely added to the enjoyment!
** it was, in fact, NOT a full moon tonight.
I have heard of caffeine withdrawal headaches before, but I am today experiencing caffeine re-addiction headaches. After eschewing coffee for so long, I am back in the habit it seems, and those few cups that I had today are wrecking havoc on me.
I should never have taken the Senseo coffeemaker out of the kitchen cabinet (way in the back where I had hidden it out of sight and out of mind until I went cleaning and found it again). Everyone knows that if you give coffee an inch, it will take a mile, it will consume your every waking thought.
But, on the plus side, it is doing its job. I feel ragged, but awake and motivated to continue on this story that Andrew, my flatmate, and I are working on. Its a fiction novel, and we’ve nearly got all of the plot worked out. Now just have to work out a few kinks and get started writing it, and then it will be a best seller and we’ll get filthy rich and stinking famous.
In the park today we came across a man walking a fluffy little white dog, no bigger than Lola and Mylo (mid-shin height). The dog became distracted by my dogs, and a few other dogs that came to sniff butts in a circle.
The man called to his dog several times (Boyd! Boyd! HERE!), and when it wouldn’t come to him, went over, picked it up by the scruff, held it in front of his face shaking it, and yelled at it (You COME when I call BOYD!)
Thoughts of anger.
Thoughts of grabbing his ears with my two hands, bringing his head down to connect with my knee.
Thoughts of bloody noses.
Thoughts of foot kicking groin.
Thoughts of justifiable homicide.
Thoughts of stealing fluffy little white dog and showing it what a loving home is like, where it can sniff other dog butts in the park if it wants.
I know it is frustrating when your dog doesn’t come when called, but if you bring your dog to a well-known dog park and are uptight enough to be annoyed because it is distracted by other dogs, then maybe you shouldn’t have a dog.
What was I thinking when I took this photo two days ago?:
What's going on in that noggin?
a) Gee, it’s nice that I don’t have to work on such a lovely day, but can lounge around in bed at 2 pm and surf the internet and take photos of myself for my blog. Who needs money? How about a nap instead!
b) This is my lowest point. I cannot go any lower. The only way is up. Think positive. Stay focused. Be grateful. It could be worse. You are not selling issues of Z – De Straatkrant (Amsterdam’s Homeless Paper) outside of the supermarket……yet.
How did you do?:
If you answered A, you are an eternal optimist. Go to hell.
If you answered B, you are clearly well versed in stony-faced post-crying-session faces of the female variety. Congratulations! You have won! Your prize is the smug satisfaction you get from being right. …And that’s it.
If you answered C, well then you must know me, because puppies are never THAT far from my thoughts. Consolation prize: smug satisfaction from being nearly right.
This photo was in fact taken just after hearing that yet another job that I really wanted was given to someone else. I finally broke down and cried. And cried some more. And felt sorry for myself. And then got over it.
I’m still on that last getting-over-it part, but I’m working on it (see previous post).
BBC’s Red Nose Day. Yes, it’s all about comic relief, but they also mix in these really sad stories of how the money raised will go to good charitable causes.
I’m watching it now and Annie Lennox just went to Africa and met this family of 4 boys who had lost their whole family to AIDS. The boys had no one else, and the oldest- just 15 years old- had to take responsibility for the whole family. They were tested for the HIV virus but luckily were negative.
Lawd have mercy on my premenstrual soul, but I can’t deal with these kinds of sad things at this time of the month.