Welcome back to Volume One, where I felt for the first time, both love and hate. The very same feelings I’ve felt for this month.

Last week I said I’d be listening to Neon Blonde, a one album wonder from 2005. I also mention they resembled a band we all liked called The Blood Brothers. Turns out it’s because Neon Blonde was a brief side project by two of the Blood Brothers members. Solves that mystery.

This band and their one album is a slight departure for the macabre music of Blood Brothers which we all loved. I remember Danny showing it to me, he and all his friends were in bands, and they asked me if I wanted to play piano with them. I wanted to so bad, but had never just riffed before. I wasn’t a jam-band pianist. I took lessons and learned from books. I played ballads, and Scott Joplin pieces and could listen to music and play it, but never had I just made up stuff.

So I never played with them. I was too scared and didn’t (and still don’t) know how to bridge the gap between playing what other people wrote to playing what I write. But everyone could play the piano bits from The Blood Brothers. And it felt so much like a circus that I fell in love with all the chaos of the style. Amanda Willis can probably still play their songs on piano.

Neon Blonde is a touch too much for me, and perhaps that’s because I haven’t sat with a scream-o band in over 10 years. However, I did like one song. Chandeliers and Vines:

A ballad so indulgent I felt like touching myself. I felt like if I cried, no one would blame me. Are we in Vegas, alone, watching a singer past her prime beg an audience to care she was ever there? We get a vague variety to Whitney’s crooning, a brief relief from the sound walls all around this song. I’ve noticed myself singing the bridge “It’s a long way from New York City to Santa Fe. Back where we belong. You’ve got luxury colognes.” Then the sound wall of smashing and screaming. Which I don’t hate, because I’m crying anyway and fuck you and fuck you and fuck you. They bring it back to the crooning, please see me, then back to screaming, fuck you anyway “well go on chew your food talk about sports, weather and stocks.” The music and the swells of screaming suck you into a vortex of emotions you’ve purposely been neglecting.

I write more about the album here if you’re desperate to be told how to feel about something.

Moving on, I literally completely forgot about my mission to quit my shit talking. Which seems so convenient. I’m not giving it up, I think it’s important. I just hope I don’t actually subconsciously rip people apart when I’m not actively trying to be mindful.

This week I went and saw The Cher Show on Broadway. The show itself was emotional and powerful and so inspiring. It’s the story of Cher’s life told by three different ages of herself. All three of the women who played her were so talented and funny, they have incredible voices. The whole experience was amazing.

Of course, the only thing anyone could talk about was how Cher, real Cher, showed up for the show that night. She walked right passed me and my boss was hitting my arm and before I knew what happened the crowd engulfed her. But she walked by a few times (I was near the aisle seat) and made an appearance on stage.

The photo I panic-snapped of her as she floated by me.

For my adventures this week I’ll probably be inside museums a lot. It’s supposed to rain, so unless I’m in the mood to break out my Dancing in the Rain choreography, I’ll be inside. I may check out the Morgan Library and Museum because it doesn’t fulfill my nerd fantasy more than to combine a library and a museum. City Reliquary sounds interesting also, a museum of the history of the boroughs of New York.

I’m also taking on a long-term project. Tiny Jac was ambitious and deeply insecure (it’s amazing how we grow up into such ambitious, insecure adults). She was afraid of wasting her time, afraid that it was all slipping away and she’d never squeeze all the things out of life that she wanted. I swear so little has changed about me I’m afraid I’m in a time loop. Get this:

3-8-09 (I 1000% meant 06 but often wrote in the morning when I was v sleepy): “I want to learn as much as I can. I want a lot of knowledge. So if I go to college I can take higher advance classes rather than regular classes. It’ll look impressive. Because…. I want to be a photographer or journalist or artist or a design editor-in-chief at VOGUE magazine. I want to live comfortably in NEW YORK! I can do it. I will do it. I have a lot of high ambitions, I’ll make my goals and achieve them because that’s what I want.”

Awwww. Two things on this; 1. Technically I’m a journalist now, yeah? (Cue drums) 2. I’m living in New York. “Comfortably” is actually a goal I write in my current journals.

I talk about wanting to learn as much as possible throughout my journals. I’ve always just wanted to open my pages and fill them with as much as I possibly could. And so I take on this project. Conveniently enough, like the go, do and have fun project I’m continuing weekly, I had a list I kept on my computer of all the things I’ve wanted to learn. It includes the Mill’s Mess, a juggling technique you could lose a hand over (jk, I just wanted to be dramatic), learning to make my own weapons (which I guess you could actually lose a hand over) and learning morse code. Why? Short haired shrug emoji.

Starting this week, I’m going to learn to cook. If you’re reading this, you already have to know that I’m notoriously bad at cooking. I’m not just a bad cook, my smoothies are gross. I can’t blend things together properly. I mix liquors that shouldn’t touch, I’m even pretty bad at ordering good food at restaurants. It has haunted me my whole life, but no more. I’m going to learn to cook food that tastes good, and not just accept that I’ve acquired a taste for my shit cooking. I’m going to cook for other people, so anyone who’s willing (in a few months, I’m not trying to trick anyone. I can’t afford a lawsuit) to be a guinea pig, step forth. This will be remembered as the moment when everything changed. I have standards now. No more shit food (except the egg and cheese from the corner bodega cause I go so often the guy always serves me first no matter how big the crowd).

So just to keep myself on track, I’m opening up, meeting people, going, doing and having fun, I’m not worrying I guess. I’m choosing to be aware of how I talk about people, I’m writing a book and now I’m learning everything. It’s chill, I got this. “I can do it. I will do it. I have a lot of high ambitions, I’ll make my goals and achieve them because that’s what I want.”

Wish me luck and give me some cooking tips.

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