and if not college, remember being that age. and deciding that every lyric in every song was about you and your life, you and your boyfriend, you and, well, everything.
no, well, then let me tell you about 19 year old me and a little Ani DiFranco. yes. i am that much of a cliche.
i first started listening to Ani in earnest my freshman year of college. and then, well, i was a lost cause. i craved authenticity. i didn’t really know what that meant. or what it was. but, boy, did i crave it. i mean, it doesn’t mean anything if it’s not authentic. right? and i still feel that way. but, at least now i have a better idea of what that means. back then, my authenticity looked just like everyone else’s.
but, that all said. this song made more of an impact on me and my future life than i would have probably thought possible. i am more concerned with trying to make an impact on the world around me than the money. i am more focused on staying true to those principles. maybe i’ve sacrificed a lot to be near my family and be there when my dad or mom needed me. but, at the same time, i’ve refused jobs that were offered to me because (despite the money) it didn’t feel true. since my mom passed away (nearly two years ago) i have been trying – oh so hard – to find a way to bring some sort of authenticity back to my life. (newsflash! it’s hard.)
i’m still trying to figure that out. i figure i will eventually. maybe i’ll be old and wrinkly by then. but, it will be figured out.
Maybe I’m totally naive and hopeful, but I’m not really scared of the Tea Party movement or whatever Glenn Beck is frantic about today or tomorrow. I would honestly venture to bet that a significant percentage of the people watching Fox News, or listening to Beck and Limbaugh, are actually…
beautiful. and said perfectly.
when all is said and done, the most important thing we can do to maintain control of OUR democracy is vote.
“You are no more than a thought.”“I’m showing you the pavement/I’m telling you what for.”
I LOVE the Old 97s.
They have slowly become one of my favorite bands over the past few years. And this song. This song is one of those “get you right in the gut where it hurts.” It reminds me of so many things. So many moments. Saying goodbye. Or, not saying goodbye and just leaving. But more than that, I think it’s one of the most awesome Old 97s songs ever. I love the sound. I love the way it feels. I love the way the guitar plays. When I bought my guitar a few years back I was trying to emulate my brother, but now I wish I had chosen Ken Bethea as the person to emulate. I heart that sound. I love that sound. I could fall in love with someone who played that for me. My guitar playing days were for never, but I just love to hear it done well. One can talk all they want about the pretty of Rhett Miller (and hot damn, he is.) But, more than that, this band for me is about the guitar. And the sound on this one song is what does it for me. Enjoy.
This song became a bit of an anthem the summer I studied for the bar. I listened to it nearly every day. It popped up on every “bar study” playlist I put together. And it felt so right.
Studying for the bar is one of the most ridiculously masochistic things one can do. Taking the bar is like taking any old exam – but the preparation for it is what gets ya. If you take a prep course as you are brainwashed into being convinced that you need during three years of law school, you find yourself back in a classroom. And if you’re lucky like me, you find yourself back in that classroom a mere two days after graduation.
Not only are you back in a classroom, you are also most likely watching 3 hour long videos everyday where professors talk about some of the most boring topics known to man. And maybe there’s one self-professed “kooky” professor who is a big fan of mnemonic devices and suddenly you find yourself humming “it takes two” and “it wasn’t me” at random moments over the course of the summer. And really, it carries over to the rest of your life. Because, even now, when I hear a problem with the grantor in a quit claim deed I immediately think “it wasn’t me.”
So, not only are you bombarded with this legal fun in the morning session (if you’re me. there are also afternoon sessions and evening ones too). You then get to go home and maybe eat lunch (or maybe, if you’re me, you run to the nursing home where your mom is recovering from open heart surgery and watch Days of Our Lives and eat). And after all that lunch eating, you set up shop somewhere to study.
I chose the Newington Library to do all my studying. I happened on it one day by chance. (It was, in fact, a crazy happenstance…) And I was overjoyed that they had an in house coffee shop and the librarians didn’t care about food or drinks. I could go set up in one of the little study corrals and sit there for the next few hours. I would have my headphones ready, my playlist set up, and started nearly every study session with this song. I had just learned who the New Pornographers were and I was overjoyed. Ecstatic even.
It’s true what “they” say. Law school does little to prepare you for the bar (or the actual practice of law – but that’s another post.) And you will never know general law as well as when you are studying for the bar. I knew everything cold. And, honestly, although I was convinced of my failure come the last Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of July 2003 (oh did I mention I took both New York and Connecticut…) I knew my shit. When I finally found out, MONTHS LATER, that I passed. Honestly, I wasn’t surprised.
The ethics exam, however, is another story.
And, my friends, that is the summer I commenced my slow descent into alcoholism.
But not really.
i want this. so so so so badly.
Skillet on the stove, it’s such a temptation/Maybe I’ll be the lucky one that doesn’t get burned/what the fuck was i thinking?
This was the first original song I ever heard by Jenny Owen Youngs. The chorus applies to most aspects of life. I feel like I am usually asking the question. Whether it’s relationships or work or personal dramas or shoe shopping, it seems to populate my thoughts.
I could write more. But, really, the song is pretty abundantly clear.