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Things I’ve learned about dating in the two years since I composed my anti-polemic and spiraled into a maddening dating frenzy!

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1. Don’t make a mixtape! The person who makes the mixtape is always the one who is more invested. The person who makes the mixtape, even if it’s hip enough to wrinkle a suit and make a math teacher wiggle, is the reacher. There are too many risks in this endeavor. For one, it’s likely the person will never listen to it, which is actually the best case scenario. Worst case scenario is that they hate it and judge you based on your musical selection. Even if you are sharply honed at the mixing craft – be wary of this in dating. It can have disastrous results! It is also too soon to show all your cards. Keep them cloistered. Remain a mystery. Make your date work a little harder to figure you out.
2. Sometimes divorce is the best way to save a marriage. This might sound antonymous, but it is true at least in small ways in terms of space, risks, and decisions. What a recent experience with a friend has shown me is that sometimes the best way to restore intimacy and trust is actually to take space. And, beyond that even, to end the limbo period by making a decision. Divorce is not an easy decision nor is it one that it is very pleasant. However, breaking the cycle of “will they?” “won’t they?” is both liberating and rejuvenating. Divorce is a risk. But, if it’s done in a gentle, thoughtful manner, it can also be a stress buster.
3. Dating is like repeatedly going on successive job interviews. You are a nervous wreck. You aren’t yourself. You are always overdressed. And you can’t stop thinking “did I get the job?!?!” after every awkward dinner. Just give the girl the job already, geez!
4. Dating means having to shove the feelings and feeling-based words back down your throat. Shh self… you can’t say these things! Your inner self will be miserable. Occasionally, you’ll find yourself crying in a bathtub. You’ll stress over every text message, phone call, email, and dinner conversation. Did I say too much? Did I not say enough? Did I ramble too much? Did I have too much caffeine before the date? Was that too personal? Get over it. If the messages were not well-received, it’s not YOU. The only rule you need to remember is TEMPERANCE – DON’T OVERDO IT.
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5. “Ghosting” does not mean you get to make a blanket fort and cut holes for eyes in sheets while wandering around in the dark with flashlights. It is definitely not that exciting. What it means is… you’ve been dumped! Imagine, if you will, that you have gone on 3 or so of those job interviews. You’re pretty sure you are in line for the job. Your resume is pretty well rounded and moderately impressive. You’ve had relevant experience to the position. You were well-spoken and you showed genuine interest in the position. And then you know what happens? Silence. No call back. No emails. No job offer. Nothing. Crickets! This is the new craze in breaking up. It’s when your date decides he’s no longer interested in you, but doesn’t want to expend the necessary effort (or guts) to actually communicate his disinterest in you so he vanishes. He dissolves whatever relationship or plans you had pending and disappears into the ether. The really troublesome part here is that, like a ghost, he will probably come back around to haunt you later. He didn’t make a clean break so technically you’re still jaggedly dangling on the line. Well don’t accept it ladies!
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6. Stop crying in the bathtub eating Fritos and go get a hobby. Seriously. Some people stop being themselves when they start dating and, instead, morph into gigantic mush piles of sobbing, over-eating pathetic. Don’t do this to yourself. Cultivate who you are. Find some new interests. Explore your community. Knit a sweater. Plant a garden. Revise your resume. But don’t let yourself disintegrate. This will never help you feel better.
7. Approach every potential suitor as a new friend. You like meeting new people and making new friends, right? This is a giant pressure release. If you haven’t tried this before, watch out when you release this valve, your head might actually explode.
8. Don’t use collective pronouns. Ever! Eliminate “we,” “us,” and “our” from your vocabulary. I don’t care if you are talking about the house you share with your roommates or the fun you have playing board games with your cats, don’t use these pronouns. Shy dates will wilt at the mere sound of these words! And, again, you will find the irritatingly triumphant return of crickets in the soundtrack as your pronouns reverberate in the room like you just yelled out “poop” at the top of your lungs the very same moment the music stopped.
9. Sell your spinster starter kit. I am in my late twenties, I live alone, I have 3 cats, and I vacation with my parents. I have bought the spinster starter kit. Egads! Even if I am also funny, interesting, creative, and witty – I have severely diminished my dating pool with the purchase of my DIY spinster kit. Ditch the kit!
10. “You’re awesome, but ______” is the new ghosting. This time your date has the guts to dump you, but wants to do so in a friendly way so he/she decides to write a complimentary preamble into the dumping. Hello….I’ve still been dumped! Yes I know I’m awesome, but I also know that in the manners book, compliments are not supposed to be conjoined with rebuttals. That’s backhanded. And this isn’t tennis. You won’t score with that swing, buddy.
Which brings me to 11…
11. There are no manners in dating. Dating is the modern equivalent of mulling about in the primordial soup. Every person in the dating scene is a selfish job-hunting representative of him or herself. It’s a savage free-for-all. There’s no chivalry in dating – that’ll get you slapped by a feminist or jailed for assault. What happened to honesty, tenderness, and politeness? Out the window with the pearl necklace.
“You don’t just walk away without a trace – tell it to my face. ‘Cause you’re coming back. You don’t just play around and get away. Hear me when I say you’re coming back. Oh you’re coming back. MANNERS – Take a second look and you’ll see, there is no one like me. MANNERS – You better reconsider ’cause you will never do better.”

 

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Radiating Light

Radiating Light

This is how it should be:

Because the cosmos is lit with magic and full of wonderment, it contains inside it all the reactive elements needed to create new universes inside itself.  With the flit of a small set of wings, so much can be changed, created, dismantled, renewed, and restructured.  In the merest of moments, entire universes can collapse into vague nothingness — floating particles and embers faintly blinking with the memory of the kinetic life that once was.  In a bang (tiny or gigantic), there is a collision!  Two people — separate beings with mutually exclusive social matrices never before having shimmied past one another in this universe of undulating molecules — suddenly collide.  And in that moment (tiny or large) of collision — a glance, a word, a pause, a misstep, a clank, a footstep, a brush — those entirely separate beings become cosmically intertwined.  Perhaps the people will quickly free themselves from the moment, untangle their elements, and part.  But, then again, perhaps the moment of collision carries with it all the cosmic elements of creation and in that moment – bang! – the pair of strangers silently and perhaps subconsciously aware of the cosmic shift toward one another become enmeshed in an instantaneously beautiful, sparkling union.  Hand in hand.  Eye to eye.

But since it is not so….

Any singularly creative spark in the cosmos may be ignored by two people unaware… people do not collide in this manner.  People collide in much clumsier ways, erecting complex webbed surrounds to house their insecurities and fears and secret wants and politeness and confusion and rules.  Unable, for some reason, to be vulnerable in the arms of one another floating out in the dense, hot expanding arms of the universe.  People tether themselves to their extant environments, sheltered from becoming adrift in the unstable elements of the cosmos.

We don’t date, my best friend and I.  Dating is so dangerous and clumsy.  We say too much.  We worry we’ve not said enough.  We misrepresent ourselves.  We bumble all over ourselves with successive missteps.  We try so hard to explain the universe that we fail to feel the explanation of the universe that we embody…. My best friends and I shrink into the wallpaper of social coterie, and reduce ourselves to quiet conversation… On one such occasion, my friend Mark posed and attempted to diagram this question: “could there ever be an explanation of the universe so real it came alive?”

Today I ask this of the cosmos: could there ever be a single collision so powerful it changes the fibrous composition of its creatures?

I believe that amazing new creations can form out of nebular messes.

I believe that this rag doll could come to life with a little cosmic magic.  I believe her heart could beat in the palm of tenderness.

Can we have a little tenderness?  A little honesty?  A little feeling?  A little plain talk?  A little collision?

I don’t date because I rush in… When I begin to feel, I feel deeply and fall into the cosmic chink completely untethered.  I do not date.  I fall fall fall fall.  I hope with desperation that I will be wanted as much as I want others, and that others will be able to tell me how they feel and what they want.

My best friend does not date.  She cautiously unravels the universe’s cosmic fingers and unhinges herself from the moment of collision.  Or she too jumps in and recoils, like I, when others fail to tell us how they feel.

We do not participate in the dating game (for surely so often it is a game with winners and losers yet few ties) ….  too tired for the rules of it, bereft of all the needed pieces for the match, wishing hopelessly for a games chancellor to assure the fairness of things, wanting instead to jump lightfooted out of bounds — to say how we feel, what we want, what we hope for, what we need and to embrace the moment, the person, in our arms beset with radiating light.

We do not date.  Instead, we wait…. we hope that these foolish walls will tumble…. that the people we meet will not shy away in fear of falling and will just allow the universe to lead us…………………………………………………………………………

Super Mobility

The world continues to whirl on at maddening new speeds. As Paul Virilio wrote in The Art of the Motor, ”Required to locate himself beyond screens that have vanished, in an artificial world peopled by imperative signals, the man of tomorrow will not for long be able to escape an envirinmental control that will dog his every step.” This man will have a smart phone and will be subject to a contextualized reality that is possibly beyond virtual because it incorporates both a virtual stratosphere and a moving, shifting physical landscape. Welcome to virtual reality on the go. Jetsetbf can now blog from anywhere!

Albums and Releases to be Excited About This Year:

February

2/17 Sholi  “S/T” on Touch & Go

March

3/10 Mirah “(a)Spera”

TBA March

Album/release art not pictured; this is a portrait of the artist

Note: Album/release art not pictured; this is a portrait of the artist

– Bell — new single/EP as yet untitled

TBA 2009 (Unconfirmed/Unofficial Supercosmic Jetset Wish List!)


– Diane Cluck new full length

– Dirty Projectors new full length

Other Mentionable Releases

1/20
The 1900s: Medium High mini-album [Parasol]
A.C. Newman: Get Guilty [Matador]
Andrew Bird: Noble Beast [Fat Possum]
Matt and Kim: Grand [FADER]

1/27
Of Montreal : Jon Brion Remix EP [Polyvinyl]

2/3
Heartless Bastards: The Mountain [Fat Possum]

2/17
Alela Diane: To Be Still [Rough Trade]
Beirut/Realpeople: March of the Zapotec/Holland [Pompeii/ Ba Da Bing] [U.S. release]

3/3
Marissa Nadler: Little Hells [Kemado]

3/10
Arbouretum: Song of the Pearl [Thrill Jockey]*

3/17
Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy: Beware [Drag City] [U.S. release]

3/24
Dan Deacon: Bromst [Carpark]*

4/7
The Thermals: Now We Can See [Kill Rock Stars]

*Baltimore Artists

Cold December Flew Away

Batted my eyelashes and one year slipped away into the next.  All that was left of the yesteryear was smudged eyeliner on my cheek and this charcoaled best of 2008:

Jetset’s TOP 3 ALBUMS

1. – Ra Ra Riot “The Rhumb Line” “Too Too Fast” by Ra Ra Riot
2. – Fire on Fire “The Orchard” “Hartford Blues” by Fire on Fire
3. – Bell “Bell EP” “Echinacea” by Bell

While we love wordpress in so many ways, it is a little limited.  We wish we could paste our imeem player in this post for you to hear, but we’ll have to settle for a lil link instead.  So jetset yourself here to listen to our mix of the year’s best cuts: 2008: The Year in Songs **HINT** If you wave your mouse cursor over the linked songs in the above list like a magic wand, a pop-up player will appear for your listening pleasure!!

TOP FOUR AND SO ON…
(cannot  be numbered for reasons unmentioned)…

– Thao with the Get Down Stay Down “We Brave Bee Stings and All”
– Fleet Foxes “Fleet Foxes”
– Ida Maria “Fortress ‘Round my Heart”
– Laura Marling “Alas, I Cannot Swim”
– Girl Talk “Feed the Animals
– Ponytail “Ice Cream Spiritual”
– Vampire Weekend “Vampire Weekend”
– Jolie Holland “The Living and the Dead”

Where are the diamonds of yesteryear? Where is this year’s “Rise Above”? There just isn’t.
Still looking for that shining masterpiece for the year… there are plenty of solid choices,
but nothing that stands up by itself outright and promises to be timelessly classic and shattering!

OTHER BESTS

Best concert of ’08 is a two-way Balto-tie:
–White Williams, Ecstatic Sunshine, and Rings at the O-Bar
–F-yeah Tour with Death Set, Team Robespierre, Matt & Kim, and Monotonix

Best New Artist: Olga Bell!!
Classically trained pianist with sweet Russo voice and a penchant for
sparkling electronics — oh how it does befit her surname!

Best Guilty Pleasure of the Year: Those Dancing Days (I love Swedish teenie boppers, I really do!) and Ben Folds with Regina Spektor (of course, of course) — these songs truly tested our virtuous fortitude!

Too much productivity this year (Best of the Prolific): Herman Dune (minus the sexy umlaut)
— how many EPs and a full length this year? How do I even begin to sort through it all?

Best Anachronistic Anthem of OhEight: “Our Friends Appear Like the Dawn” by Bodies of Water
(how come I didn’t discover them earlier? Why am I not so pleased with their contemporary release?)

Best Contemporaneous Anthem of OhEight: “Swimming Pools” ?? (Or is it still too early to tell…?)

————————————————————————————————————-

OVER-RATED
Once excited about yet overrated? -Lykke Li “Youth Novels”
Even more overrated — MGMT… ugh… Can we live that down yet?!

Near hits (near miss): -Santogold? (poppy goodness, but warranting top ranking stature?) She & Him? (Cute but solid enough?)

Still not sure about: -Johnny Flynn and the Sussex Wit? Larkin Grimm’s “Parplar”?

Disappointed about: Josephine Foster’s new album

Nifty Gifty! Amnesia by Fire on Fire


"Time is Up" by Ali Cavanaugh

"Time is Up" by Ali Cavanaugh

Time is up.

NaNoWriMo has ended.

December 1st has passed.

We survived.

And this, this is the story of survival.

"Covering Shame" by Ali Cavanaugh

Survival begins much uglier than you might think.

It begins with guilt and shame and a desire to fade into the white and the flurry of fragments — of self and storyline and understanding.

The story is a blurred and spinning motion show.  It is circulating cascades of colors and lights and fragments of faces and pieces of periphery.

The story of survival is substantial, but it is not ordered or ordinary.  It is out of order and spinning spinning spinning spinning.

And so, in the face of our own survival, with the force of bed spins weighted at our temples, we begin here: We failed the challenge.  We did not produce 50,000 words in 30 days.

"A Perfect Sway" by Ali Cavanaugh

“A Perfect Sway” by Ali Cavanaugh

We plunged into the starkly cold early winter waters, foraged in the dark depths with our toes, and fought against the current.  Yet we could not hold our breath until the end.  We bubbled to the surface just shy of ourselves, just short of discovering our inner underwater worlds waiting to be exposed, written and read.  We nearly made it and yet we did not.  There are thousands of reasons why we did not make it.  Which would you like to read?  Which would you believe?  Which reason suffices power and force enough to yank us up from submersion in our inner selves just as we are about to discover a new lifeform and bring it to the surface for questioning?

Well it begins here: somehow we lost momentum, our tethers tensed up and flung us away, and our surface selves beckoned our immediate attention.  For me, my dear car was totaled and I was called to a different reckless adventure in search of new mobility.  For Ms. Bernstein, graduate school and cold weather and the indescribable and unexpected arrival of foreignness in another country pulled her outward of her attempt.

And although the story of our survival begins there, it does not end there.  For, though we did not meet our mark, though we did not produce our 50,000 words, though we did not amass a new lifeform — we did not fail.

Failure does not suffice.

It does not suffice our survival — our bravery, our attempt, our experiences.

"I See Your Heart" by Ali Cavanaugh

"I See Your Heart" by Ali Cavanaugh

“It’s not what you thought when you first began it / It’s not going to stop until you wise up / It’s not going to stop so just give up”

We nearly made it, but we did not fail.  I do not call FAIL.  Not just yet.

Although we did not surface with an undiscovered underwater lifeform in arms, we do not defy its existence.  We have circumstantial proof only, but we have enough not to deny the truth of possibility.

Our NaNo novels are non-mathematical postulates, non-logical axioms.  They are truths waiting to be proven.  Words waiting to be counted.  Virtual pages waiting to be given tangible life in ink.  Feral children waiting to be given homes and parents and structures and culture.

We have characters who, alternately, have stories and lives and words and creatures for whom they are responsible.  We have towns that do and do not exist, alternately — for they exist in our storytelling and perhaps even in actual space.  We have much to prove.  We have much yet to do.

I do not call FAIL.  Not for us.

The Internet Meme

FAIL: The Internet Meme

Even if failure is the best word we have available in our present, shared lexicon — failure itself is a story.  In fact, it is an internet meme.  It is a phenomenon of virtual culture.  It is globalized.  It circulates the global in intangible form at unimaginably rapid speeds.  It is shared by thousands and thousands of people, strangers to one another, each day (on different days in the world and in the world’s time).  Even in this photograph, fail is called for an ironic and probably, in all likelihood, unintentional shelving order for a bookstore in NYC (that same bookstore that gave away the free postcards that my Bernstein used to mail me delicious bites when she was an undergraduate student first living in the great wide city).  But even this failure is not failure.  Failure does not suffice this photographed shelf.  Failure does not suffice its irony and subtextual meaning.  Failure does not suffice metaphor.

Our NaNos exist betwixt — betwixt the truth and fail — betwixt success and failure — betwixt sexuality and relationships.

We have not failed.  We have only just begun.  And we shall not let go.

"I hope you never leave my arms" Ali Cavanaugh

"I hope you never leave my arms" Ali Cavanaugh

This entry has made generous use of Ali Cavanaugh’s watercolor frescos.  Please visit her personal blog to preview more of her work, to support her efforts,
and to read more about her biography and aesthetic.  As printed on her website, “[Cavanaugh] is fascinated by the dichotomy of the seen and unseen in the human condition…
body and soul…Cavanaugh’s art brings to light the complexity within contemplation.  Her signature poetic titles are part of this engaging discourse.”
Her frescos have been used in this entry to evoke the inner experience of survival and its complexity (shame and happiness and selfishness and selflessness and inner exploration).
Please visit: Ali Cavanaugh

The Midpoint of a Nebula

Rachel Bernstein and I have made it to the midpoint of NaNoWriMo.  While we have not actually made it yet to the midway in word count, the golden 25,000 words, we are not far behind and I am confident that we will make it within the weekend.  Much has transpired through the course of this NaNo nebula.  Social lives have suffered, rational judgment has suffered, sleep has suffered, resistance to caffiene has suffered, friends and lovers have suffered together, emotions have suffered, stability has suffered, money has suffered, my poor Jetta (Gemma) has suffered.  Yet, we are doing it, we are perservering, we are sticking to it.  Character depth and development has suffered, but the words are there.  The ideas are there.  Plot has suffered.  But, even in their inactivity, our characters are living — and living as recklessly and dangerously as we are in the moment.  This is the essence of immediacy in writing.  This is the midpoint of the nebula.  Let’s take a moment to breathe, to congratulate ourselves, to pat our backs and fix our fenders, and then let’s move on to the next half, the next 25,000 words and beyond.  Let’s finish these damned forsaken albatrosses around our necks and free ourselves!

Sufferance

Her grill may have been stolen while she was at rest and her fender might have been cracked when she braked, but she moves on, Gemma moves on and so do I! We shall not be dissuaded!