Apologies for not posting this yesterday, folks! I’m going to be honest: it completely slipped my mind. In fact, it probably would have never hit me that I’d forgotten if someone hadn’t asked me about my blog at an event I attended today.
In fact, speaking of events, it was sort-of because of one that The Friday Currently got pushed back to a Saturday night. See, last Thursday, my officemate Jovel celebrated her birthday, so last Friday, I made a very uncharacteristic decision…
…of going out on a Friday night.
Yep, that is not Photoshop. I am actually sitting with my officemates in a booth in one of The Fort Strip‘s most popular watering holes, Cable Car. And while the only “watering” I actually did was with, well, water (my teetotaler ways are well established; thanks vocal nodules), that does not take away from the fact that legendary Lola of Manila and self-proclaimed agoraphobe, Frankie Torres, actually socialized on a Friday night. Of her own free will, I might add.
Happy Birthday, Jovel!
Now that I’ve given my excuses, let’s jump right into the meat of the matter. Ladies and gentlemen, it is Saturday, but as of Friday I was C U R R E N T L Y…
R E A D I N G The Lake of Dead Languages, a Carol Goodman thriller in the tradition of Donna Tartt’s The Secret History. It takes place at a boarding school in the Hudson River area (I’m not that well-versed in US geography to give more detailed specifics) where Latin (the aforementioned “dead language”) is a featured subject and Classics scholarship is still somewhat valued. There’s all the elements of a good boarding school mystery–death and thwarted love and the tangled webs girls weave with their secrets–set against the background of Goodman’s rich, very sensuous language. This novel got me buying her books, and while all of the ones I’ve read were really good, The Lake of Dead Languages holds a special place in my heart.
W R I T I N G more songs. I hesitate to say that I’m on a “roll,” but I am finding it easier to put words together lately. More so than usual. I’m afraid of the drought that inevitably comes after, but in the interim I’ll try to squeeze as many verses out of this chord-challenged brain of mine.
Actually debuted two of my new (complete) songs tonight at the event I went to, Logos: Gethsemane. The first one, Last Line, was far from a hit–fumbled with the barre chords and had trouble tuning; mistakes that made my hands shake though thankfully not my voice–but I think The Brightest might be more-or-less ready to demo. I’m still a bit shaken by my mistakes…but more on that later.
L I S T E N I N G most of the week to the Acoustic Covers playlist on Spotify–lots of moody folk and billowy indie to offset the staggering amount of pop-rock and punk-pop I’ve been listening to lately. I’ve discovered a couple of new favorites in the process: Edge of Seventeen (originally performed by Stevie Nicks) and the acoustic version of an old The Darkness favorite, I Believe in a Thing Called Love.
I between covers, I’ve also been listening to the archives from This American Life, a storytelling/slice-of-life podcast that I’ve been subscribed to for quite a few months now. In the process, I’ve discovered yet another song favorite: Selective Memory by Eels.
Take a listen, if you haven’t heard it yet. It’s gloomy and sad, but isn’t that perfect for the weather?
W A T C H I N G nothing new, to be honest. Not a big TV-watching week for me.
F E E L I N G irritated that my laptop’s slowing down again. *sigh*
S M E L L I N G the lemon from my lemon-water.
W E A R I N G my PJs, as you do.
L O V I N G the beef strips from Cable Car, and the new song that me (I know that technically should be I, but I do what I want) and Stories Told’s “hitmaker,” Aned, started cooking up this afternoon. The Elinor Project x Stories Told anyone?
W A N T I N G to get better at guitar, frankly. But wanting is, of course, distinctly different from doing something about it.
My attempt to remind myself to “do something about it.” And yes, that’s Stories Told‘s Jian who liked the stat. #SupportiveBandmate
N E E D I N G energy. Or potato chips. Or both.
T H I N K I N G
Which, depending on how you swing it, could be a good thing or a bad thing.
W I S H I N G I didn’t screw up as much. Or, conversely, that screwing up didn’t bother me quite as much as it did. Does. Honestly, I hate making mistakes, and I don’t mean in the way most people do, which I imagine looks something like this:
RBF: Resigned Bunny Face
No, when I make a mistake–or feel like I’ve made one/am making one–the (usually internal) is closer to this:
Oh great…now what?!
Tonight’s Logos event really put that panic instinct to the test, as I faced every performer’s worst nightmare: screwing up onstage. Several times. As the opening act of the night Great.
But the truth is, I do care. Frequently. Slipping up is a fact of life, but it’s a fact I’ve had a hard time reconciling myself to, owing largely to the cataclysmic results I imagine will always occur because I’ve had the all-too-common lapse in judgment or off moment. Take for example tonight’s hiccups: failing to tune my guitar properly, fumbling with barre chords on my original song, rambling nervously through my opening spiel, and clearly having a hard time holding eye contact with a noisy, animated, sometimes-supportive but still-terrifying audience. All these are, easily, chalked up to experience which, let’s be honest, I actually need–The Elinor Project hasn’t really been a regular on Open Mic rosters. But there’s that little voice in the back of my head that whispers “You should be better than this by now.” It’s the same little voice that told me I’d somehow lost all credibility as an artist–all the charm and intensity I might have shown before the night began–with those elementary mistakes.
Part of me probably will keep believing this voice for a while, or at least won’t have the guts to tell it to shut up. However, I’m not a complete neurotic mess. I am well aware–in fact, I even referenced it in the rambling speech to introduce my two new songs–that making mistakes is human. More than that, it’s when you make those mistakes that you feel the most human. Fallibility and vulnerability are part and parcel of what makes us humans and not perfectly-programmed automatons, and I’m beginning to recognize the need to accept that, realizing that fretting and looking the part of the perfectionist doesn’t in any way make up for your errors–it only makes you look like, at best, a mental case and, at worst, a humblebragging attention seeker fishing for compliments and/or sympathy.
After all, if I hadn’t made any mistakes, I wouldn’t have any stories. Certainly, I wouldn’t have the two songs that I ended up performing tonight. See, the “theme” of Logos: Gethsemane was to tell a story of a time that made you feel the most human. I couldn’t think of a time when I felt most human, so I for a recent occurence when my humanity was shoved in my face: having to admit to myself that I’d liked someone I shouldn’t and made a fool of myself in the process. Even at twenty-two, supposedly a mature adult, I’d made the highschool mistake of blowing an infatuation out of proportion, and I suffered the consequences both socially and emotionally. But, after clearing up the rubble of my ruined reputation and self-disappointment, I’d realized that this really just was another useful lesson to take into account on the road to actually becoming the so-called grown up I’d perceived myself as failing to be. Our hearts (and hormones) will inevitably betray us–what makes us mature is our ability to move on from that moment, recognizing the good in the bad, the human in the error.
The Brightest, the song I *did* managed to perform somewhat-well (average, to be honest; I am rusty on guitar and need more practice), is largely about that decision I made to let that person go, while acknowledging the feelings I’d once had and, admittedly, occasionally still had to battle away for the sake of self-preservation. It is acknowledging the experience for what it was: a moment of vulnerability, and an opportunity to learn.
So there you have it–I’m making peace with mistakes this week. Goodness knows I’ll make more of them, but I guess that’s really only a consequence of playing life by ear. Which is, really, all we can do, right?
That has been this week’s very GIF-heavy The Friday, Currently. If you’ve read to the end, thank you for tolerating the experiment in style and please let me know if I should try it again next week. Until then, I remain, yours ever…