Saturday, June 1, 2013

show, woods, action

I had a great birthday. Stupendous mood all day. Rode the bike to work--while zipping down Forbes I caught myself smiling. I was all, "hey I'm smiling!" and then a bug flew right into my teeth. Steve came to Oakland for lunch, a present and tofu wrap in tow. Rode home, showered, went to the gig in a nice dress.

I had a blast at 720 Records. I did two sets, which worked out well since the audience completely changed between them...though I wish I had gone with my gut and brought a thicker stack of options. I was pretty beat by the second time on stage, I'll admit. Nothing another iced coffee couldn't cure. JB was there which was lovely--we were partners in crime in the audience. And the audience itself--the majority of the seats were filled with women and I loved it. Vie was an amazing host, engaging the crowd and running a solid show. And Selecta was, of course, amazing. I forgot how damn good he is--his spot-on style seemed like a punctuation to each reader. Special shout-out to that bagel with mustard too, as it saved me from epic stomach growling. I love love love 720 Records.

Around midnight I met up with my buddy Luke at Ava. We ran into Noah, a fellow soccer player, and his friend Jess. At closing time we made a beeline for the comfort of a 24 hour diner(aka Ritters). Also met Jess' dog Bear who eats the face off of every toy in his possession(but only the face). I fell into my bed just after 4:30 in the morning. The birds were chirping was we went our separate ways(Luke: what is that? Me: It's morning.).

Today was another epic hike. I can't stay indoors, and I can't stay outta the woods. There was a day last week, post-work, when I went to the park and sat on a flat rock in the middle of a bustling creek, squinting and scribbling in my notebook. Today I marveled at the twisted and broken structure of a tree recently hit by lightning. The way the initial thick branch fell to split another tree below it in was like following a tangle of wires or decoding dominoes. The sun burned my shoulders and lips. I'm so lucky to live next to a giant park where I can get lost in the greenery. It is definitely something I miss about living in the country. That and the crickets, and stars.

I will admit that I was a bit grumpy today because my mom didn't contact me at all on my birthday, but I can't say I'm surprised. It's a messy bramble of feelings, that one. To not be surprised by the absence, to be hurt about not being surprised, etc. It is what it is. I still had a great day for myself.

Operation Save a Life has a round on the South Side this week so I'll be joining them, and next weekend I start volunteer orientation at RMHC. I'm really excited. They provide a great service for families that temporarily live away from home when a seriously ill child needs to travel for treatment. It's been pretty awesome, taking action. As opposed to reading the news and stewing in my own exasperation and feelings of helplessness. Helping others helps me make sense of things too. It pulls me out of my head and does my heart mighty good. I love getting in there and seeing what is going on. Plus I've been meeting some fascinating people via volunteering(not to mention getting to hang out on the set of WQED's cooking show--I was genuinely excited to see the kitchen in person and it did not disappoint).

If you live in Pittsburgh and are curious about volunteering and helping others, I highly recommend This is a great database resource for ongoing opportunities. We all tend to stay in our private bubbles of routine, ease and privilege--it's worth getting out and gaining some perspective.

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