Wednesday, April 21, 2010

[32 Years] Day #1

So, as of 10:53 AM today, I have been 32 for 24 hours.

Personally, I’m kind of amazed that I – and most especially my body – has been around and functioning for quite this long. With normal respiration at 12 breaths/minute, I have taken 22,0752,000 breaths since my first. Equally, there have been 3,195,648,000 heartbeats between April 20, 1978 and April 20, 2010. 168,192,000 eye blinks. So many other unquantifiable things lost in the wake of time: an uncounted string of showers, the exact liquid count of tears or the audible capture of laughter.

After a couple of discussions that always come up around birthdays, I think I’m fairly certain that I would not want to be in my 20s again. Not that it wasn’t a good time, but there is a lot of ownership, self-knowledge and time-earned confidence in being in my 30s. I may not subscribe to the tangible American dream: a house, kids and husband – but I am unbelievably content. And I think over the last year, I realize that might be the goal of life – if there needs to be one. Whose contest am I subscribing to? Who am I competing against? I don’t really know anymore, although I’m pretty sure I thought I did a couple of years ago.

But such maudlin sentiment!

To celebrate my 32nd birthday, I went to a concert. This is all in keeping with the following Chinese New Year’s Resolution:

(1) Go to more concerts; even if I have to go by myself (and I know I will), I WILL go to at least 1/month. I will buy concert t-shirts for local bands and get more random lyrics stuck in my head.

Back in February, I was on a Nurses bender, and researched that they were playing in April with the Tallest Man on Earth. Not just any day in April, either, but my birthday. Score! I bought two tickets – realizing that I had plenty of time to beg, borrow or steal someone to come with – and sort of forgot about it. I also knew that the Morning Benders were in town that week – and snagged tickets to their spur of the moment Saturday show at the Williamsburg Music Hall. After an APB to my maligned associates, I managed to get Brandon and Anna-Maria to sacrifice their evenings to my madness.

So last night, kitted out in my NEW zombie threadless shirt from Anna-Maria (and painting my less allergenated eyes in gunmetal gray with veins of zombie green!), Brandon and I met up outside the Highline for the Tallest Man on Earth and the Nurses. And dude! Kristian Matsson – the Tallest Man on Earth himself – was standing outside the venue only thinly surrounded by unwashed Hipster Types (more on this later). And my goodness, is he a handsome man! I wanted to go up to him and tell him he was the sort of songwriter that guitars were made for, that his lyrics were visceral and beautiful and meaningful. But I just can’t bring myself to accost people. Brandon almost got me to turn back – but instead we went into the venue with me casting furtive and probably creepy glances back at him.

Upon entering the venue, Brandon and I suddenly became an endangered species: probably the only two people who had showered that morning. In fact, we were fairly certain that Williamsburg had pretty much cleared out for the night and were all in the Highline Ballroom. Things I noticed: that I was probably the shortest person in the venue. Seriously. I was the only person there under 5’9” – and that by a goodly amount (I’m only 5’3”). Although I was able to blend in better due to my dark hair, as pretty much every girl in the joint had long, black hair. Also, the WBurg Hipster Type seems to glorify the barest ideals of a thing. So they appreciate a good Cash cover – but would they know who Mother Maybelle Carter was?

The Nurses were pretty good. I bought a shirt from the drummer – who I didn’t recognize at the merchandising table. I also bought a shirt for the Tallest Man on Earth – thus satisfying the second part of the triune ChiNeYeRe #1. Awesomeness.

As good as the Nurses were, the Tallest Man on Earth rocked the place. His pickings were so clean and resonant – and his voice was pitch perfect. Pitch perfect. And thankfully, owning to my shortness in a sea of really tall people, I listen to him for his lyrics. So I could close my eyes and drink in every painful syllable. I don’t have his new Dead Oceans’ album The Wild Hunt (2010) – so I was pleasantly surprised with several new songs off the album – including a borrow of Sade’s By Your Side which kind of drop kicked my heart (in a good way). In particular from Love is All:

Well I walk upon the river like it's easier than land

Evil's in my pocket and your strength is in my hand

Your strength is in my hand

And I'll throw you in the current that I stand upon so still

Love is all, from what I've heard, but my heart's learned to kill

Oh, mine has learned to kill


  1. Did you know you're as tall as Gillian Anderson? (Scully from X-files)

    I'm glad you had a good birthday. And I've never doubted your awesomeness!

  2. I just started watching the X Files from the first season, too. Factoid noted.