“You’re Not My Homeland Anymore”

Or “So I’m Leaving Out the Side Door” Part Two

Since this post is a sequel to that one, I’m posting the lyric video again.

In “exile” from folklore, Taylor Swift and Justin Vernon of Bon Iver are singing to and about an ex-lover. For me, the song has taken on a totally different, personal meaning.

It’s held steady as my favorite song on folklore (with many others way, way up there, at this moment the next closest has to be “the lakes”) because the whole concept of exile seems to fit my life right now. Even if it’s (semi) self-imposed.

For me the you of the song isn’t an ex, isn’t a lover, isn’t a person at all.

It’s medical school. It’s medical training as a whole. It’s the medical education industrial complex.

“So I’m leaving out the side door”

I’m leaving medical school.

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The Artist’s Way Reflections – Week Seven: Recovering a Sense of Connection

fall flowersWeek Seven: Recovering a Sense of Connection

Listening

In this section, I liked the juxtaposition of thinking of creativity as “getting something down,” like transcribing, instead of having to think it up.

For writing, that comes pretty naturally to me. And maybe that’s especially true since I write a lot about real life, explore past experiences, and so forth. When I’m doing other things, especially working out on the elliptical, or listening to music, or walking alone, I often just have words and feelings I want to write down. I pre-write in my head a lot, always have.

Nowadays, I do less of it because there’s just so much other stress and noise, and I drown it out with too much podcast listening and pop culture consumption and social media distraction. But still, this notion of getting something down feels natural to me when it comes to writing.

That said, I don’t think what I’ve written has ever, in all my years, really lived up to what it was in my head. I wonder if that’s true for all writers? It’s something I’ve come to accept: that even though in my head I’m pre-writing in words, when I get to actually putting it in words, it never quite matches or captures what I thought it would.

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Creativity Goals Check-In October 18, 2020

goals12Goals from Last Week – How Did it Go?

Writing

  • work on blog at least five days – two, maybe three?
  • at least five sessions of digitizing old writing – Six.
  • work on disability letter for the school – not at all.

Music

Lifestyle

  • sleep without the phone (a struggle you can read about here) – this will put me at 210 nights (30 weeks) in a row – oh boy, yeah, I broke my streak after 206.
  • write Morning Pages every day – YES.
  • don’t look at phone until after Morning Pages every day – did this a couple days, until I broke the phone streak above.
  • do an Artist Date – yes, went to The Differentialists group, which I love. It’s a group started by some classmates where we work through medical mysteries, and it feeds my imaginary life of being House.
  • finish sorting through clothes – still in progress.
  • finish sorting through books – still in progress.
  • sort through file cabinet – Yes, completely.
  • sort through storage – not started.
  • sort through kitchen cabinets – almost done.

Reflections on the Week

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The Artist’s Way Reflections – Week Six: Recovering a Sense of Abundance

neapartment

Week Six: Recovering a Sense of Abundance

The Great Creator

This section strikes me kinda off. I hate to say that but it’s probably the part of the book I have the biggest problem with, and not in a grumpy, skeptical way as I do with other essays in the book.

A lot of the quotes are obnoxious and somewhat contradictory to things she writes. And I think things she writes contradict each other and the lack of internal consistency bothers me. So does the feeling that this chapter drives home, that yeah this is written for middle class people or above, SES-wise, and that bothers me.

But I also think about how AW came out in 1992, and given book publishing timelines and her own telling of how AW came together, she probably wrote a lot of it in the ’80s, which was a different time in terms of cost of living vs. wages, families being okay on just one salary, and so forth.

It just seems like it’s geared towards people who are depriving themselves of joy out of some idea of martyrdom equals goodness, and I get that, but there’s something glib about it that I don’t like. Like yeah, a lot of people would love to dump a drudgy job, or put art first and money second, but for a lot of people that’s just not possible because the money concerns are survival concerns. It’s like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. A lot of us would like to prioritize creativity more, but it’s hard to do if your basic needs at the base of that pyramid aren’t met.

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My Unofficial Guide to (Smart, Funny, Thoughtful) Bachelor Podcasts

The Bachelorette comes back tonight! As I mentioned last week, I’m excited for this season even though I haven’t watched in awhile (didn’t watch Peter’s season at all; it would’ve been a different story if they’d chosen MIKE). I’m excited because of the drama we know about, and being compelled by having some different types of leads, and seeing how it’s’ going to play out in quarantine, and also let’s be real because nothing else is on.

So yeah, for all those reasons, I’m psyched. For the show, and for the return of podcasts recapping the show.

(Oh and I’m going to take a side note to say that something I said last week is a bit wrong, and I couldn’t be happier. In Matt James’ season, currently filming in PA, there is a contestant who’s hard of hearing, so that makes a second person on the show, in what, eighteen years, with a disability).

Back to podcasts! I listen to a lot of Bachelor-related podcasts out there. Even more during this endless quarantine. While writing this, I may or may not but definitely do have an old episode of a Bachelor podcast playing in the background.

Broadly, I’d divide the podcasts into two categories: those hosted by people associated with the show, and those hosted by people who aren’t associated with the show, by fans. There are some fun ones hosted by people who’ve been on the show, and I’ve listened to some, (Bachelor Happy Hour, A Beautiful Podcast to Fall in Love, Almost Famous, etc) but I personally enjoy the ones by fans and commentators a lot more.

So I’m going to highlight four podcasts hosted by people who aren’t associated with the show. All of these can be found on Apple Podcasts or wherever else.

2 Black Girls, 1 Rose

I love this podcast so much. During the early days of quarantine, I heard about it from another podcast (either Here to Make Friends or Bachelor Party) and binged the whole podcast from the beginning and spent way too many hours addicted to Justine and Natasha’s commentary on the show.

One thing I love about 2 Black Girls, 1 Rose is how they incorporate so much into the podcast. Their recaps go from discussion serious topics of race and representation (and their was an episode, and I don’t remember which one because I binged them all so quickly, where they talked about disability on the show, and you know I’m here for that) to commenting on fashion.

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Creativity Goals Check-In October 11, 2020

goals11Goals from Last Week – How Did it Go?

Writing

  • work on blog at least five days – three.
  • at least fourteen sessions of digitizing old writing – oh boy, I did six.
  • finish disability letter for the school – worked on it, didn’t finish.

Music

Lifestyle

  • sleep without the phone (a struggle you can read about here) – this will put me at 203 nights (29 weeks) in a row – yes.
  • write Morning Pages every day – oh no, just two (yesterday and today).
  • don’t look at phone until after Morning Pages – once, just today.
  • do an Artist Date – yes, two actually. As mentioned in this week’s Artist’s Way Reflections column post, I spent an hour listening to music and sorting through my clothes, and I’m counting it. I did one this morning too. I went to “The Differentialists,” a weekly meeting organized by some classmates where we go through and try to figure out medical mysteries, which is aligned with my imaginary life in Week Two of The Artist’s Way of being House. It was the most fun out of any Artist Date I’ve done in a long time.
  • clean my apartment – it’s gotten totally out of control and I have to move in less than a month so yeah – yes, finally. It was really stressing me out.

Reflections on the Week

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Better Call Saul Episode 106 “Five-O” Recap

bcs106Wow, the Netflix description of this episode is…almost misleading. It’s all about Jimmy going to further lengths than he thought he would to help Mike. While this is technically true I suppose, it amounts to spilling a cup of coffee. And very little screen time for Jimmy.

This episode is all about Mike. After knowing him from the Breaking Bad Season Two finale onward throughout his time on that show, now in this prequel, we finally get Mike’s backstory.

Episode Summary

Teaser

It opens with Mike getting off a train in Albuquerque. Inside the train station (which is so fancy it took me quite awhile to figure out it was the train station), he meets Stacey, his daughter-in-law, who seems, well, not exactly thrilled to see him. Before leaving, Mike indicates without outright saying it that he needs to use the bathroom. He goes into the women’s room and gets a maxipad from the dispenser and then goes into the men’s room, where he reveals a bullet hole in his shoulder. He changes the dressing, using the maxipad to redress the wound.

Then Mike is at Stacey’s house, outside, playing with h is granddaughter Kaylee on the swings. Eventually, she goes inside while Mike and Stacey sit down and talk outside. She wants to know how long he’s staying. “For the duration,” he says. They talk a bit about Mattie, Mike’s son, Stacey’s husband, Kaylee’s dad, who died. Mike says he’s here now, he wants to help. He’s better than he was, he says. This is the first hint that Mike had quite the drinking problem after his son’s death.

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The Artist’s Way Reflections – Week Five: Recovering a Sense of Possibility

whitepumpkinThis was another volatile week for me. I think it’s just a volatile time. I had a hard time sticking to things like Morning Pages, after thinking I’d turned a corner on that.

The damn pages just aren’t letting me ignore feelings that I’d much rather ignore and it’s annoying.

In this chapter, she talks about wanting to be left alone, and I’m definitely feel that to some degree, and also in these quarantine times, the need for human connection feels paramount, especially as someone who’s living the quarantine life alone.

It feels somehow that this is out of balance for me, like I’d like to work in more connections in some ways and less in others and I’d like to think and write on that to re-center as it applies to in-person, virtual, phone time and social media.

Week Five: Recovering a Sense of Possibility

Limits

One thing that really spoke to me in this section was the bit about how we’re miserly with ourselves because we’re afraid of overspending any spiritual abundance. For me, it manifests as a fear of jinxing things, a fear of getting my hopes up, a fear of what horrible thing will happen if too many good things happen.

Does anyone else feel this way?

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My Origin Story with The Bachelor franchise

It’s kind of an odd show for me. I’ve never been into reality TV all that much.

I mean sure, I watched some early seasons of The Real World back in the day, and there was a summer where the guy I lived with watched a lot of reality TV (the summer of 2006) so by proxy I saw a lot of Big Brother that summer, and Rock Star (I think that’s what it was called, where people competed to be the lead singer in a band) and some real trashy shows I only vaguely remember. I’ve seen a season or two or three of Survivor and got majorly turned off when there was a contestant with a disability, I think she had a prosthetic leg, and some other girl on the show bullied her and all these people said all these horrible disability tropes like she’s doing it for sympathy and shit like that. I was OUT.

But other than a couple other random shows here and there, none that I remember enough to even know by name, and other than singing shows, I prefer my TV scripted.

And then…enter The Bachelor.

bradandemily

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Creativity Goals Check-In October 4, 2020

Goals from Last Week – How Did it Go?

Writing

  • work on Moonchild (writing project) all seven days – only two, more on this later
  • work on blog at least five days – DONE.
  • at least seven sessions of digitizing old writing – DONE and then some, had more like THIRTEEN, more on this later too
  • work on disability letter for the school – minimal progress

goals10

Music

  • seven guitar practice sessions – did TEN, making up for last week, not quite fully caught up yet.
  • get up through song 100 of Book One of my Hal Leonard Guitar Method Complete Edition book (catch up from last week) – which means FINISHING BOOK ONE! – and move onto songs 1-4 (all very short) for the first lesson in Book Two, which focus on the Am chord – DONE. Yeah for starting Book Two!
  • seven piano practice sessions – did TWELVE, to catch up from all the missed ones last week.
  • Finish last week’s keyboard goals – catching up on Technic and Composition sections – and move forward, getting through page 61 – DONE.

Lifestyle

Reflections on the Week

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Better Call Saul Episode 105 “Alpine Shepard Boy” Recap

bcs105This episode starts something that continues through much of Better Call Saul, and that’s Jimmy and Mike having separate storylines. Sometimes, an episode will cut back and forth between them, that’s more typical, but in this one it’s more like a relay race, with Jimmy’s world getting the bulk of the airtime before he passes the baton onto Mike.

Summary

Teaser

Unlike some others, this one doesn’t jump into a different timeline but picks up right where the last episode left off, with the five-dollar bill Chuck left on his neighbor’s driveway when he stole the newspaper. The neighbor has called the cops.

Two cops go to Chuck’s door and ask him to open up. “We know you’re there, you’re casting a shadow through the peephole.” Chuck says he’d rather not, that he has a condition, that he can’t go outside. They don’t believe him since he was just outside stealing his neighbor’s newspaper.

He starts to cite law on probable cause when one of the cops goes around to the other door and calls the other one over. They see all of Chuck’s camping stove fuel and they think he might be cooking meth (hello, Breaking Bad resonance) and go back to the front door. Chuck still refuses to open the door and says they can only come if they don’t bring any electronics. No cell phones, no flashlights and especially, especially, no tasers..

They break open his door, and go in, and taze him.

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