(this is annie)

Tell me, how does it feel?

The newspapers say that today is Blue Monday, allegedly the most depressing day of the year. The formula takes a variety of factors into account:

weather conditions, debt level (the difference between debt accumulated and our ability to pay), time since Christmas, time since failing our new year's resolutions, low motivational levels and feeling of a need to take action.

If I still lived in Chicago, I'd probably feel pretty blue right now. It's not the city; it's the SAD. The first year after moving to California, I was shocked by how much lighter I felt during the winter months. Without having to endure frigid temperatures and face-whipping wind tunnels in the Loop, I am in an overall better mood. Don't get me wrong, Chicago's a fine town. But you really understand the unique brutality of its weather only after leaving.

I remember the moment when I decided to leave Chicago. It was around this time a few years ago. I was shaking and shivering underneath multiple blankets; my teeth were chattering and my fingertips were blue. "There are people who don't have to deal with this nonsense," I said to myself. And then it hit me: I could be one of those people. Packed up and moved that spring.

So if today is the most depressing day of the year, it's nice to get it out of the way. I suspect 2010 is hiding harder days up its sleeve, but I feel good about this year. Maybe I feel that way because the end of 2009 was so difficult that things have to get better. Whatever the reason, I have a lot of faith in the year ahead, like the way you feel when you're 17 and you don't know where life's going to take you, but it's exciting enough just to be going.

Edited to add: Perhaps I spoke too soon. Just found out that Carlos Hernandez Gomez died last night. He was 36. I never met him, but hearing his "I'm Carlos Hernandez Gomez" signoff was part of the backing soundtrack to my years in Chicago. Some of my friends counted him as a colleague and friend, and by all accounts he was a great reporter and a good man. So it is indeed a blue Monday after all.


The Name's Dan. Dan Electro.

Longtime readers, all two of you, will remember that I bought a guitar a few years ago. Sadly, my plans to launch a Moss Icon-y (Moss Iconic?) band died before they were born. Which, when you think about it, is right in line with all of the together-for-ten-minutes bands that came out of the mid-90s hardcore scene, so I guess I did that right.

Anyway, I had to sell my guitar to help pay for my move to California. It was unfortunate, but not emotional. In a way, I was happy to see it go, because it represented failure. I wanted to learn how to play guitar well, but my hands always cramped up, and then I got lazy. Typical story. And yet, I missed strumming my cruddy power chords and pretending that I was gonna be in a band. Which is why I bought the Danelectro:

I found it on Craigslist and bought it from a woman in her 40s. She'd put banjo strings on the guitar, so it has a tinny twang. But I love it all the same. I wind up playing it more frequently than I played the old guitar. I'm still a pretty bad guitarist, but I wind up spending hours tinkering around with the thing, and slowly my muscles are remembering chords. So far, I can play these songs from memory and everything:

  • "Want": Pathetically, I envision recording this one and giving it to someone who will probably not appreciate it, thereby increasing my misanthropy levels to previously unimagined heights. Tortured artist! (See earlier admission of humiliating love of the original Jawbreaker song.) I also set up the bassline on the 303. Because I am not a very fast guitarist, the song winds up sounding forlorn in its slower pace.
  • "Love Will Tear Us Apart" I don't know how it happened, but somehow Joy Division has become my favorite band. I think it's the winning combination of moodiness and beauty. Anyway, the opening chords are so easy to play, and they burst forward shining. I don't have a keyboard for the melody, so I have to sing "DOOOOOO, doo dee doo doo doo doo, DEE doo" like the cut-rate musician that I am. Sabrina is going to learn the bassline, and then Monarchs of Laze will finally be able to complete our first song. Even if it is a cover.
  • "Clash City Rockers" My poor downstairs neighbors must have grown so tired of hearing these eight chord-bursts for, like, three hours straight last weekend. Sorry, guys (but, to be fair, I can hear your snoring in the mornings. Call it even.)
  • "Ceremony" Jesse showed me part of this song a while ago, so it was easy to delve into the dusty recesses of my brain and produce the necessary plinkings. I still need to look at the tabs for this one, but I only started learning it last night.

This list will expand, of course. You can say you knew me when. Just as long as I don't try to join Ghost of Curtis, things should be just fine.

Labels: , , , , ,

say hello

    it's anniet at gmail.


© 2009 avt

custom counter