Monday, August 4, 2014


There are so few days in my life where I know exactly what I need and want. I'm usually only certain of one thing and that is that I will generally wake up feeling that I am lacking something. It is probably a first world problem curse: the luxury to introspect, the gall to declare "not enough". However, as one hearty seaman once told the world, "I yam what I yam."

Anyway, today is not one of those days. I know exactly what I need and want. In no particular order:

  • A really long, confusion inducing nap
  • A flavored seltzer
  • Exactly eight more pairs of Advil or Alleve
  • Some sort of food item wrapped in a tortilla 
  • The removal of any library patron complaining about any arbitrary thing, especially when what they are really complaining about is not being able to get what they want, when they want it
  • A brief respite from the faded sort of general unease that accompanies every good feeling
  • An ice cold sidecar
(ETA: I wrote that introductory paragraph on Saturday morning and not a goddamned thing has changed today, a Monday afternoon.)

In pursuit of that penultimate bulleted point, let me relive some good feelings and tell you about what a wonderful birthday gift I got from my sister and friend this year. They took me to see the Cabaret revival currently on Broadway. To say it was wonderful would sound incredibly trite, but I have never mastered the art of writing about music. (Sincerely, how do people do that? How can you write about music without succumbing to a litany of comparisons to the things that came before it? I digress.) The set design and the audience design is so evocative that, had it not been for the proliferation of tourists in their "dress up" khakis, it would have been easy to believe we were having drinks at the Kit Kat Club. And as we all know, in there "life is beautiful." At least during Act One.

Cabaret is one of my favorite musicals of all time and I have seen the film version countless times. I feel a little like Sally Bowles whenever I paint my nails green ("I think it's pretty!") and the story never fails to surprise and move me. I hadn't known that no one else in my group knew anything about the show and I'm glad I didn't give away the ending beforehand. What I noticed, however, is that there were certain members of the audience who might have benefited from knowing the ending beforehand, considering that they were unable to pick up on pretty obvious cues that story changes dramatically from Act One to Act Two. There were still people catcalling Alan Cumming as he makes his final, heartbreaking appearance. Did I ever mention how terrible and stupid most people are?

Anyway, it was another fantastic birthday gift by the fantastic people I have in my life. I'll hold on to the memory during tomorrow, my actual birthday, when I'm not doing anything apart from applying to more jobs and working in the evening while simultaneously getting older and saggier.

Like clockwork, the balance of the universe makes itself a major plot point in the everyday things I observe throughout the day. This afternoon, on the eve of me getting older, I am at work in the young adult room. I witnessed a group of 16 year olds (that would mean they were born in the same year I graduated college) interacting with each other. One of the girls was wearing a Nine Inch Nails tshirt, waxing rhapsodic about the concert she attended recently. One of the boys said "I've been spending some time with 1984." He meant Orwell's dystopian novel. He said that today's dystopian novels paled in comparison. When his friend approached the group he said "Do you know 1984?" to which his friend replied, "The Van Halen album?" Another kid, on not being able to remember the name of a song said "I better get my AARP application ready." And yet another kid, later on, imitated Beavis' Cornholio routine. I felt a bit dizzy and displaced, as though I were watching a scene from a teenage movie about the 90s. I felt dizzier still in the realization that enough time has passed to make my youth and everything in it retro to these teenagers. The world of my early years is so old that it is idolized and referenced by a new generation. While it made me so happy that some of the best things are the things that seem to have staying power (pleated, tapered pants notwithstanding), such a realization (and on the eve of my birthday!!) must needs be the catalyst for feeling like...well maybe it is better if I express how I feel in the language of today, photographs:

Happy birthday to me!

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