Monday, January 14, 2008

I’m not saying we could save you, but we could put in a place where you could save yourself.

Last Tuesday evening, I went to 63B girls’ night. It has long been a second-Tuesday-of-the-month tradition. It began for many reasons. One reason was so that we could finish conversations that we had started on the bus. There were a handful of us who rode the same express bus in to work and back home every day and we naturally just started having conversations. Of course, since we were on the bus, the conversations were limited to 20-25 minutes and frequently we’d have liked them to be longer. The group became very fluid, including some guys, people who no longer rode the bus, people who live in the neighborhood, friends of bus riders, etc. Throughout the years of this group, we’ve gone to each others’ parties, gone on vacation together, watched each other’s kids, networked, and all the things friends generally do with each other.

Back in March, on the working-day after I got laid off, another woman from the bus was laid off as well. We each sent our resume to all of our friends, including the friends from the bus. While sharing job-search strategies, I found out that a few of the bus people had been going out of their way to help her out. Her situation is very different so I can understand how they might be more inclined to help her.

However, these people have done absolutely nothing to help me. And, on more than one occasion, they had been in a position where they could help. At one point I asked one of them for specific help and the help he provided was the bare minimum of what he could have done. Even after the other woman has a new job, even after they know my unemployment has run out, even after they know that I’m temping and this job sort of doesn’t even pay the bills, they still can’t be bothered to help at all.

This is especially bothersome because a handful of other people have been going out of their way to help me out. Some with job finding, some just by paying for drinks/food when they can or not charging me for sharing a hotel room, and some just by keeping my music library up to date. And by other people I mean old friends, new friends who I've known for less than a year, ex-boyfriends (or whatever) and people from the Hold Steady message boards. I mean really, some of these people don't even know me and they are doing extraordinary things for me. Seriously, the necklace guy has done more for me.

So, on Tuesday when I met the bus girls I had to ask how much a Yuengling draft was because I only had $4. They all saw/heard this. Then, they sat around and talked about their promotions and raises and successful businesses. And when it was time to pay, they took my $4.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

The 80’s almost killed me.

Thank you THS. Back in March, when I met Galen, Tad and Franz for the first time, all I wanted to do was thank them for saving music for me. On that first night, when they invited me to drink with them, there was no way to know just how much they were to change my life, or how much they already had.

For a very long time, I was pretty down on new music and tired of the old music. Nothing was catching my attention, nothing was making me want to listen, actively listen. I’ve heard a bunch of people say that THS has inspired them to pick up their guitar/drums/band again. Since I’ve never been a music playing kind of person, THS inspired me to like music again. And with that, two THS related people have sent me mixes in the last month or so. Mr. Howard Roberts of Leeds is one of the most amazing and sweetest people I’ve never met. Mr. Franz Nicolay is, of course, keyboards for THS. Bonus: I’m expecting yet another CD from another THS US member (who can, if he wants, just give me the CD when I see him in Tampa).

1. Mr. Howard Roberts’ mix cd. The first track is Cherry Lips by the Archie Bronson Outfit. I have no idea what’s on the rest of it because every time I hear this song, I listen over and over and over. Songs shouldn’t be this good. Okay, I DO know what’s on the rest of it and it’s pretty darn good. If you’re lucky, I’ll play it for you some time.

2. Mr. Franz Nicolay’s mix cd. Well, it’s not really a cd. It’s his 50 favorite songs of last year, sent via sendspace or whatever that thing is. (Disclaimer: I skipped the Churchill speech and one song wouldn’t load so I only have 48.) With few exceptions, these songs are completely knocking me out. Exceptions equal good songs instead of amazing songs. I’m listening at work and am completely distracted. Shhh, don't tell anyone.

Highlights from Franz' mix:

  • Give the Anarchist a Cigarette, Chumbawamba (nothing ever burns all by itself, every fire needs a little bit of help);
  • I Love Louisa, The Band Wagon (beer goes very good with beer);
  • Me and My Gin, Dinah Washington (I got juiced last night and took my man to his wife's front door)
  • Tickle My Spine, Looker (Reminds me of the Prissteens, who I love(d));
  • These Windows on the World, The Gena Rowlands Band (This is really beautiful and sweet and just a bit strange);
  • Direct Hit, Art Brut (I adore Art Brut - top of the pops!);
  • My Shit’s Fucked Up, Warren Zevon (hysterical - I think that only Warren Zevon can pull this off);
  • Famous Virgins, Kate Ferencz (I can’t love this song more, I have to listen to it at least twice every time and strangely, it mentions Immanuel Kant and asks Lewis Carroll, “when it’s raining in wonderland, what do you do?”);
  • Bloody Mother Fucking Asshole, Martha Wainwright (I think this was my theme song about a month ago);
  • To Hell with Good Intentions, McLusky (Reminds me of LCD Soundsystem, but angrier and more rockin');
  • Used to Call Me Baby, Split Lip Rayfield (Used to call me baby, now she don’t call at all . . . we played Donkey Kong all the day long);
  • All Men are Liars, Nick Lowe (Every so often, I stumble upon a song I'd heard forever ago and never thought I'd hear again, this is one of those);
  • Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps Please, Splodgenessabounds (this reminds me of something else, another band and another song, something about buying things in a convenience store);
  • I Drink, Charles Aznavour (I give you a toast to the wine and the roses, to the deadly cirrhosis)

P.S. Thanks, MC, for solving the dilemma of my last post without even knowing you were doing it.