“but when you’re down and you’re out and all feeling is gone — don’t forget where you’re from.”

The video for this song was shot in one day and doesn’t really capture what this song is about, but I prefer to post YouTube/Vimeo links to the music here for the sake of easy access.

Before you watch the video, I strongly suggest just leaning back and listening to the song and its lyrics. It’s a lot more powerful than the video suggests, and sometimes the important things can get tuned out by visual distractions.

“No Place Like Home”

Roland Albertson

2010

Legends of the Sun

 

So, one could argue that this is “Jenny from the Block” for depressed white people who like Jack Johnson, but it was a pretty spot-on song in that I spent Sunday night at my parents’ house, which is about 45 minutes away from my place. I haven’t actually “lived” there for five years, but I still can’t help calling it home. Even though I’ve lived in my current house for almost two years, home is still 45 minutes away with my parents, my golden retriever, and all the nooks and crannies within a 10 mile radius that I explored for 18 years. Even though my bedroom is no longer painted bright red and I now worry about knocking a lamp over where my childhood fish tank used to stand, there really is no place like home. Sometimes, when I’m near my breaking point and I feel like I can’t go another minute without having a complete mental breakdown, I feel like home (and that which it entails) is the only thing that’s holding my seams together.

WARNING: Wall of text about my life and various junk begins here — feel free to skip my ramblings.

My life has sort of been more than a bit off-kilter recently, clearly, in a number of ways. Yesterday, everyone was laid off from my company. Anyone who chooses to stick around will be working on commission only, and I don’t know if that will last very long, if at all. Our company opened early this year, and being brand new and unknown, we weren’t able to develop enough clients to get off the ground. Costs were rising and viable opportunities were dropping off the charts, so things just spiraled down from there.

Besides the obvious issue of now being technically unemployed, I really feel like crap about this on a personal level — though I’m not entirely sure how the guilt I’m feeling is mine to bear.

When I had to leave so suddenly after my original gallbladder attack, we’d actually been doing pretty okay — especially considering the economy. I’d actually just gotten a pretty substantial raise, and we were getting ready to fill two new positions in the office, one of them being the first official member of my marketing team.

As CMO, I’d been handling all the design, editing, production, and distribution of our materials — not to mention our PR, standard advertising, and whole office’s IT needs. While it was a bit stressful, I did enjoy all of it, and all those responsibilities at once were only really manageable due to the size of the company. A while back, I’d requested that a position be created that could include support for the marketing department — we were finally at that optimal point to go through with a major campaign. And then, bam, I was gone.

The first day of work I missed was August 23rd, after I’d spent the previous night in the ER. I never expected everything that followed — the severity of the infection, the surgery, the slow recovery, the setback that was the abscess, all the procedures to deal with the abscess, the bedrest, the endoscopy, the additional bedrest — none of it.

That first night in the ER, I responded very well to the pain medication they gave me, which helped me calm down a great deal (I’d been absolutely sure my appendix had burst and I was going to die). After a couple hours of IV treatment, I was no longer in pain and I’d been pretty sedated by the morphine. It was also very late at night, and the pain that prompted the visit had woken me up from a dead sleep at home — so it wasn’t long before I was just tired and wanted to go home.

As far as a diagnosis, the most the ED doctors had suggested was that I may have just been having some kind of common gastric irritation. Not only did I feel like an idiot for making such a big deal out of pain that (I’d been told) was pretty much nothing, but I felt like an enormous jerk for dragging my mother out of bed late on a Sunday night for a long stint in the ER with me… for nothing.

Three days later, after my pain hadn’t resolved itself, my doctor sent me in for an abdominal ultrasound in a building adjacent to the hospital itself. Within an hour or two of arriving for my ultrasound, I was in the hospital, being taken into surgery.

Never having had “real” surgery, I figured I’d be back at work within a week or so. I had no idea how miserable I’d be during my recovery — an internal organ came out through my navel, after all — and I definitely didn’t know that something was going to go majorly awry with my liver. I ended up basically losing 1/4 of the year while I was following my instructions to do nothing. I slept a lot, got pretty depressed and listless, and by the time I began my second shot at bed rest, I was dying to go back to work to just do anything at all.

I basically missed three months of work — and it just so happened that those three months were the most critical for the department I was in charge of. The best I could do was give the new employee (who I only met twice) a list of leads to follow and research to complete… generally, things that should have occupied a week or two — not three months.

So, I feel like I should have seen this coming, and I don’t know… maybe I did, on some level. The problem is, I have no idea what I should/could have done to accomplish the important work that was so overwhelmingly urgent at the very moment I was blindsided by one of the worst experiences I’ve encountered with my health. I’m full of “what if”s right now, but even more that that, I’m filled with a persistent feeling that I could have or should have done something that could have prevented the company from failing while I was gone. I know that the entire business wasn’t dependent on me because I was some kind of demigod, but I feel pretty confident that, had I been there, the collapse wouldn’t have happened… at least not like this.

So, I went three months without a paycheck, expecting to get right back to work and start paying off the debts I’ve incurred and re-start the small savings account that I had to clean out to pay three months worth of bills, gas, and groceries. Eventually, I might have even had disposable income again.

Instead, I’m completely broke, there’s no job to go back to, my personal life has gotten a  little weird in the interim, and though I know I never had conscious control over my internal organs, I feel like I brought this all upon myself.

I’m trying to convince myself that I’m going to bounce back the same way I always do, but just the thought is incredibly overwhelming. Maybe it is always darkest before the light. I hope so, anyway.

“i got beauty, i got class, i got style, and i got ass.”

I’m just going to say the obvious: Beyoncé Knowles has incredible pipes. And this video is fantastic.

Why Don’t You Love Me?

Beyoncé

2010

I Am… Sasha Fierce

“biggie, biggie, biggie, can’t you see? sometimes your words just hypnotize me.”

Hypnotize

Notorious B.I.G.

1997

Life After Death

“and i’m at my best with my head laying on your chest and my arms circling your neck; my heart at rest.”

At My Best

Hannah Miller

2009

Somewhere In Between

High-quality audio is HERE.

Through the wind and the rain

You always come for me

Through my many mistakes

You always come for me

And I’m at my best

With my head laying on your chest

And my arms circling your neck

My heart at rest

Through the battles that rage

You always fight for me

Through my dark and my day

You are the light for me

And I’m at my best

With my head laying on your chest

And my arms circling your neck

My heart at rest

And I’m at my best

With my head laying on your chest

And my arms circling your neck

My heart at rest

My heart at rest

My heart at rest

My heart at rest

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“well, fuck you and all that jazz as we fall down”

SO, I had surgery six days ago, during which I delivered an bouncing 23-year-old gallbladder that needed to die in a fire. I am on all sorts of medication for pain and nausea and gastrointestinal battles.

Then, a couple days ago, I was put on antibiotics for bronchitis, “walking” pneumonia (emphasis on the “walking” because I cannot actually do much of that), and a soul-crushing cough that probably kills kittens. Now, I have a completely different cold that is evacuating all the snot from my nose.

This is all happening at the same time. Oh, also, a brand new contact broke right after I put it in my eye. My body does not know WTF and neither do I, so I got three songs today. Morning, afternoon, evening. Have a blast — I’m going to take more stuff that turns me into Droopy Dog (1:12).

 

I  think this first song accurately depicts my attitude to my immune system right now.

Fuck You!

Cee Lo Green

2010

The Lady Killer

 

I think the context of this applies, as well. After telling my body to go fuck itself, much like Velma Kelly killed her sister and boyfriend, I decided to dance around like I’d pretty much won and just didn’t care anymore.

All That Jazz

Catherine Zeta-Jones

2002 (original: 1975)

Chicago: Music from the Miramax Motion Picture

 

And finally, this is my Waterloo.

Going Down

The Rayees

sometime between 2007 and 2009

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“i heard the phrases for ages in different conversations; we wanna be stars while disrespecting the constellations”

Soul Cannon

click to play mp3

Phrases

Soul Cannon

2008

Kaboom

“before it ever mattered what i had in my bank, back when i was tryin’ to get a tip at Subway, and back when i was rappin’ for the hell of it — but nowadays we rappin’ to stay relevant.”

Airplanes

B.o.B featuring Hayley Williams of Paramore

2010

B.o.B Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray

I’ll be honest, given a good enough hook, mainstream hip-hop can usually appeal to me. Of that variety, this is one of the few songs that holds some sort of lyrical intrigue for me.

Every time I hear a radio, though, this song is playing — so there’s a 99% chance I will hate it by next month.