Monthly Archives: March 2013

Musical Elitism

Every time I hear “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana, I think about that time we tried to play it in pep band. It doesn’t translate well into a pep band song. But our Tuba player got stoked on it, gently placed his tuba on the ground, and sprinted for the drum set. He began banging on them fiercely with the song. (See, he always wanted to be a drummer, but his middle school band teacher made him play tuba. And he was good. But dissatisfied, to say the least.) Anyway, the french horn girl turned to me and said “He’s playing the exact drum part in the actual song.” Always cracks me up.

First off, I was a HUGE Nirvana fan in High School. As in, I argued with people about Kurt’s “suicide.” I knew the lyrics. Well, what the lyrics were supposed to be. I wore t-shirts, wrist bands, had all the cds, and listened to them every freaking day. So don’t take the following as disdain for the band, ok?

“The exact drum part.” WHAT? It’s a flipping DRUMSET played by a DRUMMER from the GRUNGE era! I argue that this is a ridiculous statement for the following reasons: 1- Anyone with coordination can play the drums. 2- No one knows what the “drum part” is in a song. 3- It’s grunge music. There is no “drum part” because they didn’t write “parts” for people.

Ok, coordination. No, I cannot play drums. I have yet to master walking. And I’m 23. There’s no way I will ever be able to play drums. But if you can move your hands and feet in a rhythmic pattern, you’re good to go. You swing sticks and tap your feet. Big freaking deal. That is not to say drums are unimportant. Of course they are important! They remind saxophonists like me what the tempo and the beat are for that particular PART. They mostly play quarter or eight or sixteenth notes at different tempos. Woooooo. Anyone who can bang on a surface in a pattern can be an excellent drummer. They’re so overrated.

What is a “drum part,” exactly? Is it the same every time? Don’t think so. It may be an easy instrument to play, but not to memorize exact formulas. And how can you test to see if you’re matching up with the song? Either you’re playing too damn loud to hear the music or the music is too damn loud for you to hear yourself. It’s drums, man!

Finally, grunge music. The guitarist learns 5 chords. He grabs a distortion pedal so you don’t notice he only knows three chords. The singer puts cotton balls in his mouth and people don’t notice if he messes up the lyrics. No one knows what they are anyway! (If you say you understood the words to “Smells Like Teen Spirit” the first time you heard it, you’re a dirty liar.) You think they actually took the time to write a drum part? No! They were like “Hey dude, give us an opening beat on this one, ok?” And then Grohl was like “Yeah, ok man.”

So no, there is no such thing as a drum part, and no, the tuba/drum player in our band was not playing the “exact” drum part. Stupid girl.

And that’s why I’m an elitist. I’m arrogant and disdainful. I apologize, but I believe what I said to be sarcastic, mostly-truths.


Boss-Employee Relationship.

Yesterday afternoon I went to apologize to my boss for being weird lately. I’m adjusting to some major changes in my brain chemistry and it’s made me a little odd. (See previous post.) He said he had noticed some changes, only because he knows me. But then he told me I’ve been “more on top of things”. He said I’ve been doing really well at work.

Because I’d used the word “creepy” to describe myself, somehow we got on the subject of the way I use words like “creepy” and “crazy” to describe myself. He said he knew I was joking but to watch myself saying those things. He told me other people will use it against me, twist it into something bad and blame my mental illness for things outside their control. He was worried about me. He was referring to someone specific, but I can’t post that on the internet.

Not only was the ego-boost welcome, but the fact that my boss really cares, really knows me, and wants to look out for me was just humbling. There are boundaries, of course. I can tell certain things to my husband and to my family, who know me better than anyone, that I can’t tell a boss. But my he bothered to get to know me on a level I don’t think many other employers know their employees. He’s been so generous and supportive. He actively tries to boost my confidence. He’s taken an interest beyond the tasks he asks me to do throughout the day. He even gave me and Tom $300 for our wedding.

I feel incredibly lucky to have such an environment to work in. And lucky to have made a friend in my boss. It was the kind of sedative I needed to settle my brain. I have come into work today with no more fears weighing on my shoulders.

Oh The Guilt

My computer at work totally crashed. Completely. And we lost two months of stuff. That’s a lot of stuff. Closed files I’d scanned in, letters I’d written, pleadings I drafted, spreadsheets I’d kept updated, and ALL the contacts from ALL the clients who were ever put into my Outlook program. This computer is only 2 years old. I know I wasn’t doing only work-related stuff on it all the time, but I never did anything inappropriate. There are many reasons not to, least of all being the wrath of angry bosses if I got caught.

But I still feel like this was probably my fault. One of my bosses was here til midnight trying to fix it. He seemed a little miffed, but after I told him we could bring my laptop in (hello? How’d you think I was writing this? :P) he seemed to perk up. We’re using my personal email to send me things I need. Like pleading paper. And our general letterhead. This, people, is proof of trust.

I’ve been having a few emotional problems lately. Nothing dangerous, just a complete lack of stability. No depression or anxiety, just… things I really don’t feel comfortable going into via internet. There’s a war waging in my body and I just don’t know how to make it stop. Sometimes it’s fun, other times cripplingly distressing. Today I feel better. It might be that certain stimuli are absent from my presence today. But we’ll just have to wait and see. 🙂

Preoccupation with the Future

I’ve been a little preoccupied lately. Adventures in adulthood are abounding. Tom’s taking his GRE in just a little over a month. Then it’s applications for Psych programs. We’ll most likely end up down South. I have to say, what with the real estate and cost of living down there, I’m extremely optimistic. First Time Homebuyer’s loan, our great credit scores, student loans and such… we’ll probably wind up finding a pretty cute little house to live in. I’m really looking forward to it. Leaving friends and family up here in Washington will be tough, but it’s always been my hope to move back down South one day. My politics won’t exactly fit in so much down there. But I won’t feel nearly as timid about it. At college I learned to keep my lips buttoned because some of my opinions are extremely unpopular. I’m not exactly liberal (although not exactly conservative either), and a great many people I was in class with were self-admitted socialists. Yeah. I kept my mouth shut. Except in my British Parliamentary class. That one was fun.

Anyway, I had a dream about a house last night. Tom and I had purchased it. It was a three-story pinkish-brick home with lots of windows and a green door. It had no porch, but a stoop. It was on an acre of land with trees surrounding it. Inside it had two kitchens, so much storage space, and huge rooms. I’m wondering what the significance of the attention to storage and kitchens was about, since I really don’t think about those things often. I’m way more interested in bedrooms, bathrooms and living areas when I stalk houses online. (We all need a pastime. Don’t judge.) And I do NOT want a house with more than two stories. Just thinking about all the stairs makes me tired.

I believe dreams are significant and mean something. I don’t think they’re mystical. But Carl Jung had some plausible explanations of dreams. If I had to pick a favorite psychiatrist, it would be him. Or Katherine Horney, who basically said the exact opposite of everything Freud said. Pretty much, women don’t have genital-envy, but men do. If it had been modern day and she’d said it to his face, there would have been a snap and an “uh-uh” involved. But I digress… a lot.

I’ve been iffy about the novel. Again. But Tom and I discussed perhaps going back to school for photography and changing careers within the next five years or so. Or exploring other options. But supporting our family comes first. And Tom getting his education, too. He’ll be the main source of income after we pay off the student loans. With any luck, that’ll give me some liberty to look into a career change. He’s so supportive. Just wants me to be happy. I couldn’t ask for a better partner.

The Novel

I picked the novel back up again. And by that, I mean I scrapped the whole thing and wrote a few new pages. Similar idea, completely different perspective. I decided to post an excerpt. Please be kind.

I ruined the life of the only friend I ever had. (That’s a melodramatic way to begin a story, isn’t it?) But it’s the truth. She accepted me for exactly what I am. And as thanks, I made her life a living hell. It’s only natural that now she follows the advice of her loved ones, the therapists, everyone who tells her I’m bad for her. She drowns me out when I try to talk to her. When I try to get her to hang out with me, she turns away. It’s like I don’t exist. It’s like I’m fading away.
Her name is Elaina. She was born February 11, 1988 at exactly 11:19 am. She told me many times. Her mother had gone into labor only three hours prior. Elaina joked a few times that she was such a kind spirit, such a decent baby, that she let her mother sleep ‘til a decent hour and came into the world just in time for everyone to enjoy lunch. Then she’d sadly say that that was the last decent thing she’d ever done in her whole life.
I never really understood why she hated herself so much. She always took the blame for whatever problems happened around her. Honestly, she should have blamed me. After all, it IS my fault. If not for me, who knows? Maybe she would have been happy. Maybe she would be standing, not crumpled on the floor in tears. Maybe her friends and family would be hugging her to say “congratulations!” instead of “it’ll all be okay.”
And who the hell do I think I am? How is it that I have so much control, so much influence over a human being? I’m Lila. I’m part of Elaina, as much as her family is. As much as her friends are. As much as her brain is.

Alright, Enough Apologies

I really have meant to update, but I’ve been exhausted lately. Like, going to bed at 8:30 every night for the past week. I have a bunch of outfits to post.

Also, I must confess, I haven’t worked on my story/novel/whatever in about a month. I’ve been feeling a bit insecure and like I was overly optimistic. Top it all off, I’ve actually been enjoying the work I’m doing at my job nowadays. Nothing really different, but I’ve been way more busy with it. And I love having something to do. My bosses seem to be counting on me more and I feel more respected in my job. The office move has presented problems, such as really annoying officemates. But my bosses have been wonderful about it.

I’m not making a promise I don’t know for a fact I will be able to keep. But know that I do intend to post more often now.

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