Sunday, February 6, 2011

Here's to the Soundtrack of your Life

“How do you do that shit? How do you? How do you?  How do you?  How do you?  How do you?”

When Nicki Minaj sings, raps, dances, speaks: I listen.  I can’t help it.  There’s something so alluring about everything she does—she’s magnetic?  I guess for that to be true, I would have to be metallic, or at least my ears would have to be.  And then I have this terrifying thought that maybe my vestibular system is metallic and Minaj’s voice is actually magnetic.  Think about that for a second…that’s terrifying right? 

Right, I’m not crazy, I realize that none of the above is plausible, practical, or even interesting to think about.  It’s simply inane.  Silly ramblings really.  Nonetheless, I find myself wondering things like this all the time.  Odd things.  Ideas, thoughts, musings, and postulations that really have no basis in reality frequently pop up in the life of Joshua Plattner.  Yessirree: I’m a strange one.  Here are ten more examples:

1)      Is Rocko’s Modern Life a comment on the nuclear family, conventional beauty, and eating disorders? 

2)      Does embarrassment lead to the loss of an erection, or is humiliation simply a codeword for flaccidity?

3)      If I actually spend all my time on my tip toes, will someone notice, point it out, and then recruit me to study why walking on the balls of your feet and never allowing your heels to touch the ground is better for your posture?

4)      Sunglasses should be worn at all times because the sun is always out there waiting to damage your eyes.

5)      There’s nothing you can do about feeling like shit.  Sometimes, it just happens.  Try as you might to erase any feelings of self loathing or personal disregard, it might just be useful to take it in stride, grow up, and understand that you just have to take the bad with the good.

6)      Is Isabel Lucas actually wearing a baboon on her head as an accessory?  (To be fair, this isn’t an actual example.  In a photo taken by Mark Seliger that’s hanging on my wall, Isabel Lucas is actually posing with a baboon.  It just catches me off guard every once and a while.)

7)      Does music sound better when it functions as a sound track to your life?  I’m inclined to say yes.  For example: I’ve never been more interested in Maroon 5 then when I’m in a relational funk.  Whether it’s a failing friendship, acquaintanceship, a bad date, a bad night with the roommates, there’s just something about listening to She Will Be Loved that reminds me: this too shall pass.

8)      If I tried hard enough, I could actually summon gusts of wind to blow away my enemies, shape water into attack fountains, call forth vines from the depths of the earth to ensnare the stupid, and conjure fire in my hands to help heat this freezing cold house.  Oh, and what if I could do all of it at once and other people could too?!  Would there be contests to prove who was the best?  Who could possibly judge such a competition?  How would could you qualify to compete?  Maybe only certain people can do it?  Maybe people CAN do it, and I just don’t have such powers?  That’s depressing. LAME!  There’s that new film with Diana Agron and some terribly attractive dude about such powers (I think) and it would suck if they actually are capable of such things and it’s not special effects.

9)       Will I ever write something respectable?

10)   Does humidity actually change the way an espresso shot runs through a machine or is it some clever ruse by our superiors to maintain absolute focus when creating the perfect drink?  Is there a very frightening counsel of baristas that dictate such information?  OMG!  Are they the institutions of power that decide what a fact is?  This, my friends, is a terrifying thought.  Can you imagine if the world was run by baristas?  I can, and not only does it make me want to crawl into a hole and watch the world drown in hippy love, it also tastes delicious.

Yep: those are the kind of things that run through my head at all times.  If I am sticking out my tongue and “focusing,” I’m probably just thinking really fucking weird things and allowing my mind to swim through the masses of information that remains untapped in our every thoughtful atmosphere.  Oh, yeah, I think our minds leave our bodies and hang out in the air with other minds, that’s why we ask questions.  No.  I don’t actually think that, but it’s another thought.  And yes, my tongue is currently tapping the tip of my nose in rhythm with some songs by The Killers.  See: all the time.

“You’ve gotta help me out, don’t you put me on the back burner.”

Here’s something I wrote while I was reflecting on J Term the other day:

Snow and coffee taste so great together for one late lunch with you and the truth that’s easier to see why we and you and me could never be for good.  I get you’re sad and angry and cold and I don’t mean to say I told you so scream if you can and be mean and shout and crush that doubt that eats you up inside the kitchen with jars and cars and far away worlds that glow like stars across the dying sky that bleeds for you and I so that pain is painful and too much to handle when you can barely feel the sins of the flesh in that cold, cold soul and soulless night time sky cries out like wolves in woods and run for days through snow and cold and old fallen limbs and cracked, crooked rocks that jab at paws and cause pain and strain and strife and life is harder than we ever planned and more difficult to stand alone and tired and so afraid to speak my mind will never let me rewind, unwind be kind and careful and carefree to be the simplest me.

I’m not sure how I feel about it.  But there it is—some silly free writing.  Still, I wonder what was pressing at me so forcefully that I needed to spew it on to paper.  Meh, whatever!  Oh, that’s also characteristic of me: tossing aside my feelings, notions in favor of moving on.  Actualization or fear?  Interesting how they’re completely polarized and, yet, I’m not sure which of them it is.

Well, January Interim is over.  Overall, I would say that J Term was a success!  And how do I know this?  Take this quote from Sibley Mattson: “..because honestly, Josh, you haven’t changed at all.”  This meant all the world to me.  Oh, and I loved my class, I met some really, really awesome people (haha, I almost wrote ‘kids’ instead of people because I am so damn old around this place!), and I fell in love with this place all over again.  Oh, and I figured some things out.  I gained some relationships, and I lost a very powerful one; change has been tough, but mostly it’s just been a beautiful, beautiful thing.  And I am trying to embrace it.  More on that later?  Maybe.
“I think I’ll go to Boston.  I think I’ll start a new life.  I think I’ll start it over where no one knows my name.”

For now: I’ve learned something this January that I will forever remember about this month.  January of 2011 is when I decided to be happy.  I decided that there are far more important things in this life than living to please the people around you, living to make everyone else’s existence easier at the expense of your own sanity.  I’ve come in touch with Josh.  At least, I think I have.  I think I’ve started to peel away the layers of my self, of my being.  I’m discovering for the first time that there are parts of me that I really, really appreciate.  For now, here’s the most important one: I’m not going to grad school next year.  I’m taking a year off to figure out what makes me happy and I don’t give a damn if you think I’m making the wrong decision.  I’m not.

When I told my mother, she immediately said: “Well, I’m just worried you won’t go back.”  Okay, fair.  Statistically, I won’t go back to school.  Luckily, I’m not a number. 

I’m an individual.

I am an individual that values laughter and hitting the snooze button and embracing the day that I wake up to.  I am an individual who understands that education is important and who LOVES being educated.  So here’s this promise to anyone else, like rummy dearest who finds this decision to be devastating: I’m going to get an advanced degree, it just may not be in the year you all thought.  Also: this decision makes me happy, so I’d thank you to be happy for my happiness.  Happy, happy, happy.  Isn’t that what we’re all aiming for?  We are looking to experience bliss in life, to understand and constantly gather what makes us glad, joyful, beautiful.  What makes us whole.  What makes us complete.  What makes us…us.

So, yeah, it took 1600 words of distraction to set myself up with enough confidence to say it: but I’m taking a year off.  No, I don’t know what I am going to do, but I do know that I will be discovering more about my life goals and my self than I would in an educational institution.  Plus: it’s only a year.  Your plan for my life is only being detoured, controlling family forces, so don’t worry. 

So, for now, “today is gonna be the day that they’re gonna throw it back to you.  By now, you should have somehow realized what you gotta do.  I don’t believe that anybody feels the way I do about you now.”

In other news: life is ripe for the taking. 

For now, I have class tomorrow, the last first class of my undergraduate career!  Oddly, I’m not sad or worried or freaking out.  I am actually very ready: it’s time to live each day as a moment and embrace what comes my way.  This is just another opportunity.

“If you ever, ever feel like you’re nothing: you’re fucking perfect to me.”  Thanks, Pink, you’re the best.

Oh!  And this week, I’ve made myself a little bet.  I’m going to ask someone out for coffee. 

I’ll let you know how it goes.


  1. Josh--

    I really enjoy reading your I just wanted to let you know that I am creepily following your blog posts because I think you are a wonderful person with really interesting thoughts. I thoroughly enjoyed J-Terming with you and I hope our paths cross again soon!
    Wishing you a strong, delightful start to your final spring semester at GAC,

  2. Ah, Caitlin, Thanks! I am really glad that I can entertain you with my ramblings :) Oh! And not creepy at all...I definitely stalk you too ;)

    Hope today goes well for you--here's to another semester!