30 Things I Love Right Now

by tjbeitelman

(1) This new blog post by Laura. | (2) Episodes. (That sounds ominous. It’s not.) | (3) Saturday. | (4) My day job. | (5) Also: that my day job doesn’t feel like a job. | (6) Vintage post cards. | (7) This one requires a little explaining: So I’m engaged in this process of trying to make a “documentary” with/about my friends (also: friendship; also: men/manhood (so-called); also: staving off death once you’ve reached middle age (so-called); also: music, road trips, hopes, dreams, aspirations, etc, etc, etc…). Here’s the kicker: I don’t know how to make a movie nor do I have the proper equipment. What I do have is about five hours of video (some good, some not so good), some more or less scratchy sound to go with it, and lots of still photos. I’m pretty much in the weeds with all of it right now. That’s because not only does it require (A) figuring out how to weave the threads of the story together, it also requires (B) figuring out what to do with the fact that none of the footage is “good enough.” How to doctor it, how and when and where to use sleight of hand, smoke and mirrors, etc. Plus this: at this point, addressing (A) will pretty clearly require gathering more footage which means more (B), only this time I know that, as I’m gathering said footage, new compositional problems arise for the process. A process, let’s repeat, I have no idea how to manage under the best of circumstances. This is reminiscent of days of yesteryear, when you’d  have a sleepover and you and your friend would build forts out of couch cushions and have a massive sock fight. To an outside observer, it’s quite clear they aren’t real forts for a real war, but it’s all very real and thrilling to those making the forts and slinging the socks at each other into the wee hours of the morning. Anyway: so what I love right now is that I’m in the throes and thrills of the moment in making this mess of a thing, and I don’t really care too much about outside observers, nor am I too worried about mom or dad waking up and putting the kibosh on everything. I’m just making forts and slinging socks. | (8) Camp Taco, particularly the grilled shrimp taco and the brisket with poblanos and onions taco. | (9) All in all: a very cool August. For this neck of the woods, anyway. | (10) Where the Wild Things Are, the one by… (11) Maurice Sendak, of course, but also the one by… (12) Spike Jonze. | (13) Letterpress posters. | (14) This podcast (letterpress, Letterman…). | (15) My friend Don’s homemade pizza. | (16) Stone slabs, the ones you cook a pizza (or bread?) on. I want one. | (17) Rockwell Extra Bold. | (18) Verdana. | (19) 17 + 18, in the same document. | (20) “Confident Thieves”  | (21) Multi-talented friends. | (22) The routine. | (23) The Boy from Lam Kien | (24) My Nikon Coolpix S560. | (25) Also, though: disposable cameras. | (26) This weird realization: I’ve gotten much better at playing guitar — and much more consistent/religious/diligent in my guitar practice — now that I’m not taking lessons. This was/is not at all my instructor’s fault. I would literally not pick the thing up all week then show up at my lesson and say, uh, yeah, let’s just do what we did last week because I didn’t practice at all. Which is a total pain in the ass to the instructor, I know/knew. Now, somehow, I get antsy if I don’t pick the instrument up on a daily basis. It’s become an appendage, especially when I want to zone out. Weird. Sometimes the best way to try is to not really try. Or to not try so hard. Or something. | (27) [That said: I still can’t sing while I play, but I’m getting a little better at it.] | (28) Somehow I’ve entered another phase of my life. I’m not sure how or why (though I can make some educated guesses, and mostly I think it has to do with making a sequence of educated guesses that have panned out as I hoped they would, or anyway, they’ve pointed me in a new direction). It’s like that last line in… (29) “Fat” by Ray Carver… | (30) “My life is going to change. I feel it.” There’s an ambiguity threaded through that proclamation, for sure, in the Carver story. Hell. There’s an ambiguity threaded through the Whole Entire Cosmos. However: yes to change, yes to evolution(s) and insight(s), yes to the (pun intended, for those who’ve read the story) larger versions of ourselves — this is always something to love. Whether or not it turns out like you think it will.