I mean it.
“All I ever wanted was to know was that you were dreaming.” – Stevie Nicks
So what exactly does a person say on a day like today?
Song 364 (Day 0)
On the Eve of a made up Holiday? Or on the Eve of an actual Holiday? On the Eve of nothing or maybe something? The day before some people plan on beginning a War? On the day you met Morrissey? On the day you attended a benefit for Girls Rock Chicago? I mean, how do you really FEEL about Thursdays anyway?
None of this means much to anyone anyway, if they don’t know why there is a light that will never go out. Or what it means to a little girl who traveled miles alone to hold a guitar for her first time. Or why a person feels compelled to “Remember, Remember the 5th of November.” If none of that rings a bell then maybe this means nothing. Or, maybe somehow, it does mean something.
So, if you’re me, you might as well start off with a simple reminder.
“I am terrible at Math.”
That is how, I am here at day Zero, still with one day to go.
And from there, I guess I just say whatever.
Don’t forget, it’s only Facebook.
This Non-Place that most people I know look at on a Semi-Regular Basis.
This slight turn, just past the fork, in the pretend road.
The pit stop. The gas station.
The little place in the middle of nowhere.
It all depends on how badly you need gas. Or a snack.
Or how badly you have to go pee.
It might mean nothing, or it might be a life saver.
Either way, here we are, together.
After you have procured yourself a computer. And established Internet Service. And registered your New Mailing Address with the Global Postal Service. Here you are, with me, Online. In our little town. Where we do exactly the same shit we always have done…just on a much, much larger scale.
We show each other pictures of the stuff we love. Our families and our kids and our homes and what we ate for dinner. We share information and we talk about current events. We make jokes. We make plans. We do business. We share joy and we share sadness. We show each other videos and sometimes we even play songs.
We. Make. Friends.
This might be the Futureworld.
But we have actually been at this for Centuries.
Just never the way you are experiencing it.
In your lifetime. In this lifetime.
The one we are in, no matter where life finds you on the surface of the planet.
It is still home. ♥
Here’s the thing. I only have three songs left. And part of me had decided what they might be. Especially, my last song.
But I made a rule a long time ago to only follow. To just go where that day went.
Condition Oakland indeed. Song 363 (Day 1)
There are many things that contributed to how I feel right now. It’s just like a math equation.
One Year Long.
+1 Many months ago I was stunned to discover that my beloved Chrissie Hynde had been a student at Kent State and was a friend of one of the people killed.
+1 I started reading things about the way you feel. And about the places your thoughts come from. Especially those that seem to come from nowhere. Like the one I had today, while walking the dog. “Two abroad and One at home.”
+1 I spent my birthday thinking about Dr. Martin Luther King, as has been my habit, since junior high when I noticed the line in the U2 song Pride. It seems that something terrible once happened on that day, ten years before I was born.
+1 There is a group of boys on my block that only get older. I watch them. They are small enough still to say things to like “Are you gonna pick that up?” But that day will pass. And then where do any of us go from there?
+1 I have been a part of and/or attended fundraisers this year to pay for: Medical Bills both for sick children and for women who were attacked on the streets I live on, for free After School Programs and Kids Camps all of which were set up by private individuals, for Sex Ed for teens, to Support Women’s Rights, to support Animal Rescue Organizations, to provide relief to people whose lives have been overturned by Natural Disasters the world over, to support various Environmental Causes and countless other things that the badass people I know are involved in. And don’t get me wrong, I love parties. But I have yet to attend any kind of function to pay for War, because apparently there is always plenty of money for that.
+1 I have watched strangers and friends being crushed by the housing market. And not because they did anything wrong. But because the market crumbled around them. And there is no relief to be had. No compromise and no bailout. I have also been a personal witness to how poorly large banks handle Foreclosure. From the mounds of paper work to the state of properties that they now own and do not properly mind to a bunch of people at a third party agency celebrating Halloween by dressing up as “Homeless Former Homeowners”.
+1 I have listened to more than one friend, ass deep in liquor, tell me how broke they are despite the fact they work 40 hours a week.
+1 I have listened to more than one friend, ass deep in liquor, tell me about how hard it is to find a job.
+1 I have watched things go down on Social Media that were not reported by the major news sources most people look at until it was SO public that they had to say something. And then a lot of them choose to say REALLY dumb shit.
+1 I have gotten in several Facebook “fights” with my beloved cousin, currently serving this country in Afghanistan. He is also disappointed with the Government, but we have very different views on the situation from there forward.
+1 I have watched a Peaceful Rally, in a major US city, thousands strong, fail to make headlines. And I have watched ones that turned violent spread through the Media like wildfire.
+1 I have been there while Protestors have had lovely conversations with the Police in my town, all of whom are facing budget cuts and closing stations.
+1 I have been there when other people chanted, “Fuck the Pigs” at those same cops.
+1 And, I have been told “how it is” more times than I can possibly count.
So, what does all of that equal? You. Tell. Me.
The only thing I know for certain is that it will all still be here when I get back. Sweet Jesus. ♥
The years go fast but the days go so slow.
That sentence has never left my head. Not since the day I first heard it.
To me, that’s poetry.
Song 362 (Day 2)
Ladydudes and Gentlemen, may I now present you with the one, the only…
Ms. Andrea Bauer.
November 6th, 2011 – November 6th, 2012.
“I wanted to do something, anything, but I didn’t know what to do. So I did this. This is my something.” –Jason Watt
Song 361 (Day 3)
A little while ago, I got a card in the mail. From my Mom. And that is what it said.
There are things I thought might happen if I kept a very public record of my life for one year. And being embarrassed was high on my list of possibilities. Par for the course I guess. I guess mostly, because I don’t play golf, so I am not really sure what that means.
But I assume it means that what comes along with what you do happens because of what you are doing.
I, for one, never thought that watching me complete a year, a difficult year, would mean so much to people. And never in my wildest dreams did I think that it would make someone say such lovely words.
“I’ll have what she’s having.”
One Post, for Every Single Day, of One Calendar Year.
You are officially up Ms. Bauer.
From the power vested in me by a giant pile of nonsense.
I can’t promise you an easy ride.
But I can tell you this.
You will end up somewhere you can’t even begin to dream of.
I had only planned on playing a song.
But if the words just start coming, here is my advice:
Let them. ♥
How on earth I am lucky enough to have so many people in my life who are willing to make complete fools of themselves, the world may never know.
Let’s dance this mess around indeed. Song 359 (Day 5)
There is this thing that keeps bugging me the more and more I say out loud about how this country seems to be working incorrectly. And it’s this one word.
Life should be fun. Because what else is there really? Fun for you and fun for those around you. And if there are people around you who are suffering, well then how much fun are you really having? And just what is anyone fighting for in the first place?
I am not saying you shouldn’t work hard. You should. Because if all you do is have fun how would you even know when you are having it? But on the other side of the same coin, if all you do is work and never find a way to have fun, or at least find a way to make work and even hard times funny, then I don’t know what else to say to you but this.
You’re doing it wrong.
People who are happy do better shit. They create more and they care more. And they don’t take themselves too seriously. It might sound silly, but it’s the key. Finding an inner happiness is what gives you enough space to remember that you are not on this planet alone. And that all it takes is one twist of fate for it to all be over anyway.
So keep telling me how it is. And how it has always been. And what can or can’t be done. And I will keep laughing at how silly you seem. So convinced that there is something you need to control, outside of yourself.
You can go ahead and make the world around you as crappy and as predetermined as you want.
Just don’t be surprised if nobody wants to live there with you.
A lady named By Bonnie Ware, who worked for years nursing the dying, once shared the top five things people said on their deathbeds along with her feelings on each point. And it’s some of the best goddamned advice I have ever heard. ♥
1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
This was the most common regret of all. When people realize that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled.
Most people have had not honored even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.
It is very important to try and honor at least some of your dreams along the way. From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realize, until they no longer have it.
2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.
This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret. But as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.
By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you think you do. And by creating more space in your life, you become happier and more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to your new lifestyle.
3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.
We cannot control the reactions of others. However, although people may initially react when you change the way you are by speaking honestly, in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
Often they would not truly realize the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years.
There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.
It is common for anyone in a busy lifestyle to let friendships slip. But when you are faced with your approaching death, the physical details of life fall away. People do want to get their financial affairs in order if possible. But it is not money or status that holds the true importance for them. They want to get things in order more for the benefit of those they love.
Usually though, they are too ill and weary to ever manage this task. It is all comes down to love and relationships in the end. That is all that remains in the final weeks, love and relationships.
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realize until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives.
Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.
When you are on your deathbed, what others think of you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying.
Everyone. Looks. Like. Babies! ♥
Song 330 (Day 34)
I still remember the day this video was filmed.
I was sick as a dog, with the dog. I actually don’t get sick very often, but whenever I do give in, forget about it dude. I get SICK. I go into a fever state and can sleep for 24 hours straight. Well, I can sleep until the dog gets in my face and makes a demand anyway.
But you know what’s weird? Whenever I do get sick like that the dog actually gets as close to me as he can. It doesn’t seem to bother him that it’s boring. In fact, he always seems determined to cuddle up and help make a hotpocket with the comforter.
Maybe it’s good for you to have a fever once in a while.
So needless to say I am not in it. I had been planning on holding up “Dirty” by Sonic Youth and fashioning up an EAT ME Stones shirt ala Kim Gordon in the 100% video.
Which is funny, because if you told some of the dudes in THIS video that ten years later they would be in a band with one of people IN Sonic Youth, I doubt they’d have believed you. But that’s just how it works. In no way that you can predict. No matter how hard you try. Trust me on that one.
My friend Claire is also not in this video. She was living in Prague at the time and also she wasn’t my friend, yet. She was my then boyfriend’s friend.
We met later that year. In Prague. When I went on tour with my boyfriend’s band.
Ten years later she is still one of my very best friends.
What is also weird is that I met my then boyfriend a year or so before that when I was in Prague. I had gone on a two-week trip with my college to do an arts exchange program. We partnered with a school there and took over an abandoned theater, creating installations from the debris. I still have a mark on the bottom of my foot from where a rusty nail went through my tennis shoe and a bomb shelter sign I found in the rubble.
A friend and I, having had enough of the group travel mentality, saw that the 90 Day Men were playing in nearby Dresden and decided to take an overnight trip. I don’t remember her name but she was from a “Floater” community in Iowa. (Don’t even ask.)
But I knew a couple of the guys in the band and since this was before pocket internet, we just showed up. I can still remember the look on Rob Lowe’s face when we walked in the door. He looked at me strangely for a second, like “Hmm. That looks like Sarah.” And then looked away. He then turned back and was like “What the hell!” It was actually really funny. He’s a pretty animated dude when he’s surprised.
A couple of years before THAT, I was living in Krakow, Poland with my friend Urszula. I was a student. My friend Jeremy came to visit me and at one point we took a trip to Prague.
While there, in a matchbox sized antique store (Jeremy was/is crazy for old cameras) we ran into Johnny Depp. Yuuuup. He looked like a backpacker stoner and said he was in town to film a Jack the Ripper rip-off movie. Which is funny, because when I got back to the States, “Chocolat” had just come out.
I guess I thought he had just been yanking our chains. But a couple of months later I got a phone call from a very excited Jeremy exclaiming that he saw a poster on the side of the bus for “From Hell”. Johhny Depp don’t tell no lies.
And here we are in this year. The one in which I was the Minister at my friend Jeremy’s wedding. Tada. ♥
I guess the point is, you simply cannot predict how it works.
It just does.
I wouldn’t even be telling you this story tonight if a certain clock hadn’t caught my eye in a music video by INXS. Literally.
So what is there to worry about?
It’s just going to go how it goes, if you let it go.
Who the fuck needs Kevin Bacon anyway? ♥
(Except for in Footloose. I NEED him in Footloose. A lot.)
I have gone number two in a Jewel bag stretched over a bucket because there was no working plumbing.
More. Than. Once. Song 331 (Day 35)
I wasn’t planning on this but I am going to tell you something very, very personal tonight.
It just happens to me sometimes. And I don’t really know why.
Maybe because I want to try and explain how low you can go.
And show you that there is always a way back up again.
I guess I should feel embarrassed.
About more than the Jewel bag. But I just don’t.
Although it does help that the VHS copy of my student art films seems to have gone blank.
I used to live in a haunted house.
The walls used to mock me by not moving. And the floorboards used to moan under my feet. Every single god damn tile and all of the grout in between. The kitchen counter and each window pane. The whiteness of the bathtub making echoes out of the dull hum coming from inside each electrical outlet.
My bedroom door even shut differently than all the others.
Because it wasn’t hollow.
Because it wasn’t supposed to be the door I slept behind.
I, was supposed to sleep upstairs.
Several years ago now I came to own a house that was a wreck inside. I took it down to the studs, down to the skeleton, down to almost nothing, and built it back again, with my very own hands.
And I didn’t do it alone.
Imagine being in your bed, with your eyes closed, knowing that if you opened them you’d be surrounded.
By the ghosts of Home Depot days gone by.
It used to frighten me so much that it took almost a half a bottle of Tequila to shut them up.
I’m not proud of that, but well, that’s how it went down.
Laughing in this house means more to me than you can ever know.
And that’s the reason I celebrate every single thing that makes me smile.
Worse things than that will happen to me someday.
That’s how it works.
But for now, please don’t tell anyone that I don’t own this record.
Just make a joke and show me that video you made in college instead. ♥
I could say this:
Your choose your best friends because they make you face your true self.
But because I crack myself up, instead I say:
Nothing like spending time with your inside magnets to remind you why the desert once ruled your dreams.
It’s annoying right?
Well, not quite as annoying as a funny little snarky fish smoking all your cigarettes and telling you…
Forget about the water. ♥ Song 330 (Day 36)
Today the first human I talked to, a stranger, told me that his friend in the FBI said they get most of their info on a new suspect from Facebook. Which made me laugh.
You can guess why, I’d assume.
But what do I have to hide? I’ll tell you anything. And have. That I smoke? (considering quitting) That I swear a lot? (fuck that is gonna be hard to stop) That I think a lot of weird ideas? So do lots of people I know. It’s a free country, right?
If the USA wanted to bust me for something what could they even pull out of this pile of fruit loops?
But then a post I saw the other day crossed my mind.
What if that really was it. As silly as it seems. What if that was the thing most peaceful people could legitimately be arrested for according to the current laws? Not even if you had actually done it?
Guilt by association. Guilt by a friendship.
Guilt by a funny comment.
Just enough something, to have a reason.
Listen man, I might be into a lot of stuff, but conspiracy theories are not one of them.
You figure it out. And report back. But not on Facebook.
In fact, send me a postcard, stoner. ♥
Shit, now you’re in for.
What do people say instead of Shit?
I really don’t think people are going to take me seriously if I say Shazbot instead.
Crap is still ok, right? Even my Mom says that.
(I’d say ‘Sorry Mom’ but she says that one. A lot. ♥)