quadruplify: Matt Berninger (lead singer of The National) with forehead on microphone, eyes closed ([Music] The National - microphone)
[personal profile] quadruplify
••• First of all, THANK YOU SO MUCH for all the well wishes you sent my way since my last entry, both here and on Facebook. It was a tough time for all of us, so all your comments really helped, and I appreciate that.

The only real official thing we did for her was a wake/viewing the Monday after it happened (6/18). My dad's only surviving brother showed up with his family, as well as the widow of his other brother and her daughter, who in turn brought along her husband for support. (I have three other cousins on that side of the family, but they live in Chicago, North Carolina, and Maine, so they couldn't make it.) Nannie's two sisters and members of their families showed up as well, who I'd never met before, so it was good to see them. My mom's brother and his wife came to give her some moral support, as well as one of her close friends, and some other family friends made it too. Overall it wasn't a big thing, which is how Nannie would've wanted it (although she probably wouldn't have wanted such an event in the first place, just because she would've been embarrassed about so many people making a big deal about her ^_^;).

I was the only one of my family who didn't bawl my eyes out just before we left. Maybe it hurt too much to see everyone else do it. Maybe I'm just not an emotional person. I'm not sure if I'll ever know the reason why, or if I want to. Still, it hurt to see her laid out in front of everyone like that.

It's been a month now, and things have (relatively) gone back to normal. My dad has slowly been clearing out her house, and my mom and sister have organized the thousands of old photos that were left behind. There are still things that need to be done -- selling the house, estate sales, etc. -- but life has gotten considerably less stressful around here. It's not so weird to talk about her in the past tense anymore. You move on from grief because it hurts to revisit it, and it's one of those things where revisiting the pain doesn't make it any easier to handle. What else can anyone say that hasn't already been said?

••• The last month and a half has been rough on me, and not just because of the stuff I just mentioned. I've gotten into a habit of going to bed and getting up later than I feel comfortable doing, sometimes to the point I'm having "breakfast" at 3 in the afternoon. I know there are tons of people out there with worse sleeping schedules, but it's really thrown me off, to the point where I'm sorely tempted just to stay in bed all day for days on end. (I haven't actually done that, thankfully.)

And last night my mom was telling me about how I need to start taking classes again, to start an exercise regimen, to meet new people, etc. But I just don't want to think about any of that, because I've convinced myself that life will only become more boring, more tedious, colder, and more stressful if and when I do -- that this is as good as it's ever going to get. I've gotten far too comfortable with where I'm at right now: my parents still (mostly) taking care of me, limited responsibilities, having all the time in the world to spend as much time on the computer as I want, all the comfort I could ever ask for and more. And with no real strong incentive for me to get out of this bubble, both from outside and within, I don't want this to change. I mean, how could anyone, if you think about it? I don't want to do anything, I don't want to do nothing, all I want is to escape/transcend this whole concept of "doing anything," "doing nothing," and just "doing" in general. Because a part of me is absolutely sure that no matter how many talents or how much potential I have, I could take over the universe and still amount to less than nothing. And knowing that it's impossible to stay in that cocoon forever only makes me want it more. K. wrote about this same sort of thing here, and I completely relate to it.

Of course, I do know better, at least on some level. It's been over two years since I graduated from college, and that's long enough to wait for some kind of inspiration to make the effort to do the things I need to do to make a life out for myself, one I can define on my own terms. The only thing I can do now is get over myself and follow the Nike slogan, "Just do it." Do the research, make some plans, set some goals. I just wish it wasn't so easier said than done. I wish I could focus and not get distracted so much. And I wish people could believe me when I say it's harder than it sounds.

••• And then there's the psoriasis as well, which hasn't been getting worse, but hasn't been getting better either. Last weekend I started taking soriatane, which should help the light treatments be more effective. It won't kick in for a couple of months, and I have to go for regular blood tests because oral medications for psoriasis are pretty strong and could do some damage if you're not careful, but here's hoping it works. :P

All right, enough depressing stuff. Here's some of the better news:

••• The Low concert was absolutely excellent! :D Unfortunately, K. had to cancel on me because she had to get really fucking sick that afternoon arrrrrrrggggghhh. >_<; Stupidly, I thought we could salvage this by having her come later, because I really really wanted her to show up (it's just no fun going to a concert all on your lonesome, no?), but right when I got there she texted me saying she had thrown up for the umpteenth time, so I told her it would be a good idea to stay at home and focus on getting better. So yeah, the concert would've been better if I wasn't alone, but I had a good time all the same. ^_^;

(Afterward K. told me she wanted to make it up to me by taking me to another concert; I suggested Explosions in the Sky playing at Toad's Place on August 9. I was hoping we'd get to talk about whether or not it'd be a good idea...but she went and already bought the tickets. So I guess that's a "yes," then! :D)

The opening act was Mike Doughty, who used to be the lead singer for a band called Soul Coughing back in the 90s. I've heard of him before, but I never really got into his music, and after seeing him perform I don't plan on it anytime soon. It's not like I didn't like his music, far from it actually -- he was pretty funny and had great stage presence (considering it was just him with a guitar and someone else with a drum kit), and his songs were well-written and catchy. It's just that it was pretty standard indie guitar rock, and nothing really stood out at me. I did like his performance of "Looking at the World From the Bottom of a Well," though, which was the song I listened to when I first heard of him.

I expected a phenomenal performance from Low because they're one of my all-time favorite bands, and they didn't disappoint. They played with the lights down very low, and against a backdrop of vintage film footage of airplanes, nature, cityscapes, acrobats, and the like, which somehow suited the music well no matter what kind it was. And Alan Sparhawk's guitar playing was really good, especially in how he incorporated feedback and reverb to make something beautiful. Just...wow. I'm pretty bad at explaining why it was so good without sounding awkward or like a weirdo, so I've linked some YouTube videos of the concert below to give you an idea. (And someone uploaded audio from two other concerts from the same mini-tour here, in case you really want to get an idea. ~_^)

After the concert I bought yet another tour poster (:3) and CD copies of The Great Destroyer and their latest album The Invisible Way (which was an album I enjoyed the first few times I listened to it but couldn't get too enthusiastic about, but after hearing a lot of the songs live I realized that they were actually very good, so I had to buy the album for myself). So yeah, as far as eventful nights go, I've had plenty worse. XD

Anyway, here's the setlist:

--"Plastic Cup"
--"On My Own" (which was far and away the best song of the entire show, especially the EPIC breakdown and wall of sound at the end -- even though it kinda sucked the best song of the show had to be so early in the set)
--"Clarence White"
--"Holy Ghost"
--"Monkey" (the first song I heard by them, and without doubt one of their best)
--"Waiting"
--"Witches"
--"Especially Me"
--"Dragonfly"
--"Hatchet"
--"Silver Rider"
--"Pissing" (someone uploaded a video of it here)
--"Mother" (because it was so soon after my grandmother's death, this song REALLY hit hard -- honestly, just listen to the lyrics and you'll see what I mean)
--"July" (which Alan said was a request; here's a video of it)
--"Just Make It Stop"

Encore:
--"Dinosaur Act" (another request from the audience)
--"I Hear... Goodnight"

••• Apparently Tumblr has started censoring posts from certain blogs from showing up in tag searches as a way to crack down on porn? From what I've read (and here's an article with more information), the site has been flagging various blogs as either "NSFW" or "adult"; if your blog is flagged as "NSFW," your posts won't show up in tracked tags (other than the people already following you), and if it's flagged as "adult" they won't show up not only in any tag searches, but on outside search engines like Google as well. And as far as I know, this flagging is done without the blog owner's consent, and there's no way to undo it once it's done. The justification for this is to make the site more friendly to advertisers (after all, Yahoo bought out Tumblr precisely because they were having trouble making enough money to stay afloat), but the end result is that if you really want to look up porn on Tumblr (or just discover new content in general, if the blogs being flagged don't exclusively post porn), you have to be linked to it directly.

Now, I'm hardly the most pro-porn guy on the planet (I'm not a fan of how it the porn industry exploits women, or how it makes men less empathetic and more prone to Internet addiction and unrealistic expectations about sex), but I indulge in NSFW stuff just as much as anyone my age would, and I realize this would have a huge effect on fandom, not to mention other kinds of content that has nothing to do with porn. And, well, I'm really not a fan of it. :/ I'm curious what everyone else here thinks about it, though.

••• Two more months:


Guys, this looks fucking awesome, and I absolutely cannot wait for it. 8DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD



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