Wednesday, December 26, 2012

"You and I are more than friends. We’re like a really small gang."

I’m off work today and tomorrow. I’ve only been at my job since the beginning of August, so I only had two paid days off for this year. Which is fine, I didn’t need more than that or anything. The only thing is I had to take them before the end of the year, because they don’t rollover. Which is dumb, but whatever. So I’m on vacation. Taking a couple days after Christmas seems like a great idea.

And it is, probably! It is when you have family and friends who actually like, live near you, and you can go do stuff with them. But my problem is… my extended family who used to live in Colorado Springs moved back to Texas last year, and all my closest friends are scattered around the country. That’s what happens when you go to school out of state and/or seek friendship on the internet.

Obviously I wouldn’t trade any of these friends for the world, but I WOULD really appreciate it if teleportation finally got invented, because then the distances wouldn’t matter and I could pop over to Elizabeth’s in Columbus whenever I felt like it, instead of obsessively talking to her on Skype chat every single day. And we could have gone to my aunt and uncle’s house in Fort Worth yesterday and seen our family, instead of not doing that.

So now I’m in this weird situation where my best friends here in Colorado are my friends at work. And trust me, I don’t want to be at work right now, because I don’t want to be doing actual work. But this is the first time I’ve gone this long without hanging out with my work peeps since I met them, and it’s really weird.

In case you were wondering, no, this blog post doesn’t have a point. I’m writing this from a place called Jake’s Brew Bar, which is probably my favorite place in downtown Littleton. It is the first place I ever drank and enjoyed an entire beer, and it is the first place I ever chugged a beer, and it is our number one choice for places to go after work on a Friday night because it’s close to our office and doesn’t stay open late enough for us to risk getting super drunk on a work night (we work on Saturdays). I haven’t been here this early before, but the vibe is nice, the bartenders know me and I feel comfortable and happy. And naturally, the beer is delicious.


(If you go here, get the Tivoli Helles Lager. It’s amazing.)


I guess I’m just realizing that it’s a weird place to be in your life when your best friends are people at work. Is this what adulthood is like? I mean, it makes sense, because those are the people I spend the most time with – I think I’ve spent more time with them than I have with anyone else this year, even living at home and being unemployed January through July. If you add all those hours at work up plus all the hours after work at various bars and that time we went to a hockey game and that time one of us had a brunch at their house, it’s just a lot of hours. And I’m so grateful for these people because they make me happy to go to work, even though our job is boring and pointless. They’re just a huge blessing to me. They’re the reason I feel like right here, in Denver, and doing this job is where I’m supposed to be at this point in my life. I feel like I was supposed to meet them.

So I guess what I’m saying is… these paid days off are nice, but I am really, really bored.


In other news, here’s a good song.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Then I Heard the Chords that Broke the Chains I Had Up On Me

Like probably the majority of the people on this planet, I think about music a lot. I talk about it a lot, I listen to it all the time, and there are some days I don’t actually think I’d be able to get through without it. It confuses me when people don’t have favorite bands or songs and just listen to whatever comes on the radio. I don’t mean I expect everyone to have some kind of Beatle-mania level obsession with a band, but I can’t even begin to understand people who don’t passionately love a particular song for whatever reason. (I know they exist. I’ve met one.)

I was talking to Elizabeth the other day about the Americana music trend that’s kind of in right now. The kind of folk-y not quite country type of music, like The Civil Wars (RIP), Angus & Julia Stone, The Lumineers, etc. We both agreed that it is great and that we want it to continue for a while, at least a couple of years. Later on, I was driving and listening to Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros and thinking about how sad I was going to be when this kind of music isn’t the cool new thing anymore. At that point I fully expect to become one of those people that talks about how music used to be good, back in my day, and whatever this new stuff kids these days listen to is total garbage.

But then I realized that just because someday the type of music I like to listen to now won’t be hugely popular anymore doesn’t mean the songs I love now will get taken away from me. It’s not like I won’t get to listen to them ever again. They’re real and they exist and I can listen to them whenever I want. The greatest thing about music is that nobody can take it away from you. Musicians make music and then they give it to you. Once you have it, it’s yours. You get to keep it.

Music just has this extraordinary ability to get you to feel things. Music is cathartic. I listened to “High” by Jamar Rogers and cried in the shower after I found out about the Newtown shooting. The song is about someone who used to need to do drugs to feel alive and the pain in his voice when he sings is just ridiculously palpable. It has nothing to do with violence or death, but it was the only song I could think to listen to in a moment like that. It has this hopeless aspect to it, but in the end he comes through it. Like I hope we all will, with this.

Music is just so amazing, guys. I made a whole Spotify playlist the other day of these songs that have been gifts in my life, and they still feel like I’m opening the present again every time I listen to them. Some of them have stories behind them and some of them don’t. Some of them I remember exactly where I was when I first heard them and some of them I couldn’t begin to guess how I found out about them. The only thing they all really have in common is the strength of the feeling I felt when I heard it the first time. You know. When a song comes on and you’re like, “Oh I like this.” And then you’re like, “Oh. I REALLY like this.” And then by the time the song is over your life has changed. That one.

These are my gift songs. They aren’t my all time favorite songs, necessarily, and they aren’t always even my favorite song by these particular bands. But I love all of them because of how they make me feel.

You have songs like this. I know you do. You should tell me what they are because I would love to know. You know, or not. But who doesn't like talking about music?