I’ll start off with this: I was at the library the other day, looking for Jennifer Weiner books (since she’s visiting Cedar Rapids in June), and I saw a copy of The Princess Bride in a featured display—so of course I grabbed it.
And of course I’ve read it before, but it was when I was, like, twelve. I remember it included the scariest scene in any book I’d ever read (it involves a spider, and it’s not in the movie) and I have this mental image of me sitting on my bed—which is how I know this took place when I was twelve and not fourteen, because my bed was still next to the window at the time—and literally tossing the school library copy away from me because I did not want to turn the page and keep reading.
And then of course I did.
(And then I was too keyed up to go to sleep, which is what I was supposed to be doing all along.)
Well. It turns out that the scene in question isn’t that scary anymore, at least not from my 37-year-old perspective, and it’s also a lot shorter than I remember it being.
Honestly, I don’t think I’ve been scared by a book in a long time. That might be one of the privileges of youth (also, these days I tend to read fewer books that include full-page illustrations of young girls with spiders crawling out of their faces*).
But it was also kinda fun to throw the book away from me—like, on my bed, I knew it wasn’t going to get damaged or anything—and then decide to steel my nerves and pick it up again. ❤️
*If you don’t recognize what book I’m referencing by that description alone, it’s… not The Princess Bride. But it also includes some horrifying spiders.
Then I spent a couple of years performing those songs up and down both the East and the West Coasts, at various comic conventions and house concerts and JoCo Shadow Cruises.*
A lot of those songs were just okay, and many of them were made better by my performance (which is to say that if you’re able to make an audience laugh, you can cover at least some of your creative shortcomings).
But a few were pretty good.
And I’m going to get to sing one of the best ones at a jazz concert next Friday.
(I’m also going to cut the last repeat of the chorus, where I make the Firefly joke, because Joss Whedon’s Firefly isn’t as culturally relevant as it was in 2012.)
Anyway, what I mean to say is that even as we get older and our identities change, the best stuff from our past doesn’t have to go away.
We can still keep it, and share it with people. ❤️
*So… Jonathan Coulton has an annual cruise called the JoCo Cruise, and cruise attendees create their own slate of performances/events/etc. to accompany the official performances/events/etc., called the Shadow Cruise. I got to be part of many Shadow Cruises.
Today’s open thread is brought to you by an absolutely gorgeous day that I can’t wait to go outside and enjoy.
I’m also probably going to celebrate Independent Bookstore Day today instead of tomorrow, because it’s supposed to rain all day tomorrow and the temperature is scheduled to drop back down into the 40s.
So… today I buy the books, and tomorrow I read them.*
How about you? What’s on your mind this Friday? ❤️
*JUST KIDDING I am totally going to start reading the books tonight.
Today, I suggest reading Tara K. Shepersky’s thoughts on Good Friday, which are appropriate regardless of your current faith. I spent last weekend performing with Chorale Midwest in an absolutely beautiful Catholic church, surrounded by stained-glass saints and Stations of the Cross, and it made me think about all of the stories we tell and the rituals we perform to acknowledge the changing of the seasons (and the way our own lives change over time).
I’ll be honest: as a person who stopped attending services after spending five years as a church organist, it also made me think “I wish Christianity was mostly about people getting together to discuss how to live and having regular celebrations based on a shared narrative, because I would be down for that.”
The trouble is that so many of those discussions devolve into xenophobia and homophobia and arguments about whether guitars are appropriate in church (which is really just an extension of the old “but what if we didn’t always speak in Latin” argument), and it quickly becomes less about discussing how to live and more about bickering over the details.
Anyway. This is an open thread, which means it’s time for me to stop going on and on and let you share what’s on your mind. ❤️
I’ve got vacation on the brain, first because it’s Spring Break and a lot of people I know are either traveling or getting back from travel or preparing to travel, and second because I just started planning my own vacation for this summer. (More on this next week. It ties into the creative practice, I promise.)