I had a bunch of other blogs planned for this week, I swear.
Unsurprisingly, though, life, lethargy, and a new pen haul got in the way and so here we are again, at the close of another work-week (It’s Payday Fri-yay! Except, well, I can’t spend anything due to self-imposed austerity program post-pen haul.), picking apart what’s transpired over the last seven days in order to answer the eternal question…What the heck am I doing with my life?
Well, what are we waiting around for? Here’s The Friday, Currently, Issue the Fourth. Allons-y!
C U R R E N T L Y . . .
R E A D I N G Braving Home by Jake Halpern, which just happens to be among my favorite non-fiction books. Am no means done with A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, but the book is long and my ADHD-brain occasionally needs a change of scenery. In the case of Braving Home, the “scenery” happens to be “…the Underwater Town, the Lava-Side Inn, and Other Extreme Locales” across the United States, where people probably shouldn’t live but choose to do so anyway because of the “…deep-rooted primal magic that not even the fiercest earthly torments can break.” In a not-quite-so-polysyllabic nutshell, the premise of Halpern’s quest is to discover why people persist on staying in uninhabitable places, just because those places are “home.”
I’ve read this book twice (this will be the third time), and it still hasn’t gotten old. Yellowed and spotty and musty, yes, but never, ever old–a mean feat for a book written when Julia Roberts won the Best Actress Oscar for Erin Brockovitch. My only complaint is that the book is a quick read, which I suppose is because there are only so many extreme places a person live.
W R I T I N G nothing much by way of original content, but a ton of calligraphy “exercises.” I bought a ton of Kuretake Zig pens to play with, and have been attempting to get better at the whole brush-calligraphy deal. Taught my first “student” last Monday–my college classmate, Hannah–and by all accounts she’s a natural. Isn’t the student not supposed to surpass the teacher until at least five sessions in?
L I S T E N I N G to random Spotify playlists mostly. I’ve been too distracted (or distract-able) to consciously make artist choices, especially since College Collision is tomorrow, and I’m supposed to be thinking about our set and our soundchecks (yep, Stories Told also rehearses soundcheck songs).
One song I can definitively identify as being on my playlist for this week is Golden by locally-based artist Carlos Castaño, who recently released a crowdsourced music video that features yours truly (hehe). The lyrics are extremely inspiring, with my personal favorite being “I’ve been broken in pieces, but never beyond repair.”
I should probably get to calligraphy-ing that.
W A T C H I N G mostly my favorite Youtube shorts/projects from Shipwrecked Comedy and Pemberley Digital. I became a fan of webseries and web-based storytelling when i discovered The Lizzie Bennet Diaries two years ago, and have been sort of a constant addict ever since, even IRL shipping some of the actors (*coughMKWilesandSeanPersaudcough*). My current favorite director on Youtube is Yulin Kuang of Shipwrecked, and my current favorite actors are the aforementioned MK Wiles and Sean Persaud.
T H I N K I N G
S M E L L I N G up until a few minutes, petrichor. Now, though, it’s a full-on rainstorm FINALLY. It’s been a heatwave for the past three weeks and last Saturday I succumbed to it (more on that in a full-length blog), so wet, gloomy, cloudy weather is a welcome relief.
…Only I hope it doesn’t super rain tomorrow at College Collision because that would suck. #ElectrocutionHazard
W E A R I N G my official Wicked In Manila green v-neck tee, Uniqlo jeans, and Stradivarius knit cardigan/shrug–lazy ad agency casual, basically. Didn’t even bother to put on makeup today.
L O V I N G the Kuretake Zig Scroll and Brush pen in navy blue. It’s the perfect TARDIS blue and the consistency is really lovely. True to Kuretake’s Memory Series, the ink does not bleed, and has a pseudo-watercolor effect, especially on my thin journal paper. Admittedly, brush-pen calligraphy has been taking up a lot of my spare time by virtue of it being a very methodical, steady activity that does not require my heartrate to elevate. Honestly, I need to be in Zen mode for tomorrow.
W A N T I N G to go home and sleep, but admittedly know that I’ll be rummaging frantically through my wardrobe preparing tomorrow’s gig outfit, whilst reminding my mother to contact her friend so she can hang out with her and not complain that, once again, an ST gig is making for another late night. My mum is incredibly supportive, but fortunately or unfortunately she is also pragmatic to a fault, leading to stereotypical tweenager-parent conversations along the lines of: “It’s late, young lady!” “Mom, I need to do stuff for the band!”
N E E D I N G energy. Or sleep. And possibly some hydration. I’ve been incredibly lethargic for the past week, finding it hard to stay motivated with anything except maybe work. This fact sent me into a panic last Monday, as I was freaking out about Hideaway admin duties, but luckily my friends Dani, Morie, and PB stepped in to help.
(I have always depended on the kindness of not-quite strangers. Thanks, guys, if you’re reading this.)
Be that as it may, I’m going to need to sum up more energy next week as it’ll be June already, meaning planning stage critical. If you, my dear readers, know of any potential blogs that might want to cover a spoken word/music open mic, please let me know. Or, if you yourself are interested in joining, well…come check us out!
Voila! Our teaser poster, courtesy of the amazing Kristin Cornejo.
You all are welcome to come! Visit the event page for more details.
W I S H I N G (or, rather, hoping) that tomorrow goes well. And speaking of wishing and hoping…
F E E L I N G the pre-show jitters. My bassist, Dan, and I have been talking this week, since we’re both in search of heatwave-approved clothing for this outdoor gig (the wilds of UP Diliman are cool, but not that cool), and while we both joke that we’re more concerned with what we’re wearing than actually playing (cue all the false bravado a band frankly needs to even survive this business), the truth is the performance is all we’re thinking about. Stories Told is premiering a new, very hugot-y song tomorrow that I’ll basically be performing live for the first time. The stage is the biggest we’ve ever really experienced, and a round stage to boot. It’s a night show. The crowd will probably be pretty big, considering College Collision is an institution…
Cue nerves. I’m trying to comfort myself with the old theater adage of “If you’re not nervous, it means you don’t care enough.”, but previous experience has taught me there’s such a thing as caring too much, and I do. I really do.
…also, there’s something about being onstage that makes me feel, “as small as the world and as large as alone,” to borrow from e.e. cummings. It isn’t like theater, where the stage means a separate universe that becomes almost an escape. With a band, you’re very much in the present world, and subject to its realities. There is no fourth wall, and that makes some things–a “dead” audience, the distant outlines of judges–hard to ignore. And as a vocalist and frontwoman, I can’t help but see everything, being at the literal frontlines as it were.
With blogging, it’s easy to spill my guts. After all, aside from at least one guaranteed reader (hi, Esther!), the rest of you are an anonymous void who will, at worst, tl;dr this and shelve it. I don’t see you. But onstage, I see everyone, even with my legally-blind eyes. Worse, I have to make a connection with everyone, something I find incredibly difficult to do with even one person. And while I can slap on as much bravado as I’m able, the fact is I am unsure of even a single person in that audience wanting to hear me–an especially crippling feeling considering that the subject of my songs is often the desire to be heard.
I guess this is the musician’s form of stage fright, and if it’s that, there’s no real cure than just facing it. Part of the rush is facing the fear, and if tomorrow the fears are especially daunting, I’m going to try to believe that means an especially big rush.
Until then, I remain, yours truly,