February 1st, 2012


New Beginnings and Old Crushes

If yesterday was the ten-year anniversary of my layoff, then I guess today is my ten-year anniversary of not having a boss. I didn't really know that it was the start of anything at the time, though. I got laid off on a Thursday, and I'd already planned for that weekend to be a big reading binge, since I'd just gotten into the Harry Potter series and had finally got the fourth book (the most recent at the time) from the library. I just started a day early on the reading instead of letting myself worry about what I'd do for the future. I figured that could wait for Monday. I do recall that my reading was frequently interrupted, as all the former clients were calling to express their outrage and to offer me freelance work, and by the end of the day I had a meeting scheduled for Monday, and that was what made me decide to try not looking for a job at all. I'd also just come up with the idea that became Enchanted, Inc. and although I didn't start writing it for more than a year, it was in the back of my head that I wanted to be able to write that book.

I dug up my old Air Supply tape, and I learned that listening to the romantic angst music from my youth doesn't work for dredging up those feelings, since now that music just gives me the rosy glow of nostalgia. And, you know, some of it was really good. It's got a melody, good lyrics, and some of it you can even dance to. I was doing a foxtrot around my kitchen while cooking yesterday. I do prefer the songs where "the other guy" who's not the usual lead singer takes the lead because I like his softer, huskier voice better than the brasher voice of the usual lead singer. It may even be worth getting some of this on CD.

Actually, romantic angst is so far in my past that it's hard to remember. For the past fifteen or so years, most of my romantic angst has been of the "how can I make sure he knows I'm not romantically interested in a way that will allow us to remain friends?" variety. Or, with some of the "you spoke to me, so obviously you love me" convention stalkers, the romantic angst has been of the "how do I make it clear that I'm not into him in a way that won't make everyone else think I'm a raging bitch?" I don't think I've met anyone I was really into romantically and wanted to like me that way since the 90s.

I did have a lot of the unrequited love angst as a teen, in spite of most of my crushes coming because I thought the guy might be into me. My usual pattern was that I'd notice behavior in the guy that made it seem like he was taking an interest, and then I'd get excited about the idea that someone might like me and work myself into a big old crush. And then usually it would turn out that he didn't like me that way and I'd discover it when I learned he had a girlfriend. Usually, all the invitations to come over to his house and hang out turned out to be strictly because he wanted my help with his homework rather than him using the homework as a convenient excuse to invite me over and hang out, as I'd hoped. It's possible that I might have been right once or twice, but if so, then for some reason it totally freaked him out to get the slightest hint of an idea that I might like him back so he fled screaming (figuratively) rather than it being a nice "I like you, you like me!" start to a relationship. It's kind of hard to get myself back into that frame of mind, since I have the benefit of hindsight and perspective. I've seen how all those guys turned out, and all I can think was that I really dodged a lot of bullets. I find myself just laughing at that pining. But I do think I can recall the feelings well enough to write them. Oddly enough, it's not music or any of the other usual emotional triggers that brings it all back. It's the memory of being on a school bus, and then two particular scenes that happened on school buses come back in a vivid flash.

While I was digging around for old tapes, I ran across a CD I haven't seen in years and have been trying to find for ages, so that was good. It somehow ended up in a box that had nothing to do with music. Tapes were only in there because they'd fallen in from somewhere else.

Today I'm going to get down to work on the revisions, though it will be a short work day due to three choir rehearsals -- preschoolers, chorale and choir. I have a solo in the chorale piece for Sunday. It's an old-timey gospel number that's essentially a solo with choral backup, and the director has divided the bits of the solo among us. I'm really only "solo" for a few words and then sing the verses together with an alto, since they have an alternate higher melody written in and that's the part I'll sing, so it will be kind of harmony (even though I don't think they're meant to be sung together). We'll see how it works. It's all pretty low in my range because it's written as an alto solo, but for once I'll get to bust out my torchy jazz voice in church. I can sing really low if I'm allowed to get torchy with it. It's just a challenge when I'm supposed to be sounding classical.