Goodbye, cruel phone room!

by Shannon

notebook

This is what happens in all of my margins. Clearly, I should do this for a living.

Remember when I promised to update this thing like three times a week? HA. I don’t know what happens with my life. I don’t accomplish enough that I feel like neglecting this is really something that is excusable, but somehow I just never seem to get around to it. And I wonder why nobody reads. The temp assignment I have been working has just sort of consumed my soul. All it is is answering phones in a dingy office, but somehow by the time I get home, I’m in too much of a coma to do anything really meaningful. Luckily, tomorrow is my last day!

Anyway, due to the fact that my weeks are sucked as dry as a really dry thing, I have more or less spent my weekends puttering around my works in progress and fragments of poetry. This does not necessarily translate to productivity, as it were, but I have found in my life that productivity with writing is more a gradual process than something that happens, and weekends are a lot easier than weeknights or the god-awful hour I have to wake up. But now I at least want it, I am thinking about it, and it’s a priority. This in itself is progress. I am even considering not reading 1Q84 (!!) any time soon so as not to break my concentration, and Murakami to me is the sweetest kind of kryptonite.

The illustration above is from this past weekend, which I spent driving from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh and back again. By driving, I mean camped out in the back seat. My parents, my sister and I went out to see my siblings for their respective birthdays, so we departed Saturday morning and returned on Sunday. I spent the ride alternatively staring out the window and scribbling in my notebook.

One thing I learned that I possibly never appreciated near enough: Pennsylvania is a gorgeous state. The older I get the more I feel like I could really be okay living in the middle of nowhere, all farms and mountains, fresh produce and good hiking, far away from the cities I profess to love. Hey, if it was good enough for Thoreau…

At any rate, one autumn, I will take a road trip across the state. There were so many places where I wished I could stop the car and take a billion pictures. ONE DAY, INTERNET, I will share with you the beauty of the deciduous forests that Pennsylvania was named for.

Anywho, trip. My brother goes to Duquesne, but my sister’s school is actually a few miles west of Pittsburgh, in Steubenville, OH. It’s a peculiar place, let me tell you. This alumni celtic/folk (ok, is there a genre for follows-fiddle-music-around-the-world? because there should be) band called Scythian played and they are pretty talented, but they made a comment about that show being “the wildest party at any college” and my brother and I just kind of looked at each other. For the uninitiated, Steubenville is a very clean, extremely catholic and staunchly conservative school that is prone to spontaneous and elaborately choreographed swing dancing. I also witnessed at least one line dance. And by line dance, I mean two lines facing one another, opposite genders meeting and prancing down the middle. Suffice it to say that my sister, while certainly at a school that suits her, is not having a typical “college experience.”

Other things of note:

  • I went to Popped Festival! I won tickets on twitter, which if you follow me you could not have missed. My friend Sarah and I went. Bands of note: Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., COMPANY OF THIEVES (oh, Genevieve, I would literally marry you), Girl Talk, Foster the People, and Pretty Lights. I had to leave part-way through Pretty Lights, which breaks my heart and I desperately want to see them again. Foster the People was also a zillion times better than I thought they would be. The version of “Pumped Up Kicks” they played was better than the original, which I did not think possible. Anyway, I managed to get a couple of pictures the second day, and I may put them in another post.
  • I submitted my poetry, again. How many times will I do this? More rejection letters are imminent, but at least I am trying, right?
  • Barnes and Noble declared war on the Kindle! Neil Gaiman was apparently really angry about this on twitter, as it meant that they pulled Sandman from the shelves, but as a Nook owner, I personally find it reassuring that they have my back. What people don’t think about is that by making something Kindle-exclusive, they are also making it device-exclusive, as the Kindle has its own file type not readable by anyone else. (Pottermore is not the same issue, because they are cross-platform and, even failing that, DRM free and therefore convertible by calibre.
  • I have now learned just how much absurd effort to which people will go in order to avoid including their spouses in basic household matters. Answer: A LOT.
  • My sister got one of those awful feather things in her hair. I don’t like them because I resent murdering animals just so that you can selectively appropriate native cultures at school for a couple weeks. She got a pink one yesterday at some salon for twelve year olds, and promptly broke out in hives. Is karma a bitch, or am I?

Anyway (I say “anyway” a lot. Does anyone have any good casual transition words I can introduce to my vocabulary?) I’m reaffirming my spectacularly failed vow. I will post once every week! I will. It will happen on Saturday or Sunday every week, and I will work up to deserving my own domain! If I own my own domain, maybe I won’t feel too weird to post my writing online myself instead of requiring the affirmation of a stranger’s blog, and if I post every week, maybe I won’t feel like I’m wasting my money by buying one.

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