I love my therapist.

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So I went out last Friday. Like, OUT out. Out with friends, out to a show, and out some more after that. But I was worried, because I hadn’t been looking forward to it. Not at all. And, while the night turned into something supremely spectacular, I had trouble getting in the groove.

The next day, I was thrashed. Even though my sister was in town for the weekend, even though I’d just had this great night in the city, I couldn’t enjoy myself. I was kind of reminded of that Phish show last winter, where, despite all efforts, worrying about how I wasn’t having a good time totally spoiled my good time.

That Phish show turned out to be kind of a tipping point in my emotional life, and I spent the better part of two months trying to get back on the right side of the tracks. And so I worried – would this be the same? Would this be the beginning of the next slide down?

Then, astonishingly, I got sick. Honest to God, fever and chills, DayQuil-chugging sick.

And I was like, oh, so that was that, then.

My therapist often compares living through depression to being very sick (“sick” in the “traditional” sense, which seems more respectable, somehow), and taking that for what it is. She suggests treating the oncoming clouds as one would the first symptoms of the flu, and knowing, you know, here it comes, it’s gonna suck, but I’ll get through it. The challenge with that, for me, is to stop analyzing my emotions to the point where depression becomes an endgame instead of a passing virus, to where the clouds become fog that settles over my mind for months.

When I mentioned my flat-affected Phish show in session today, my therapist said to me, “If you went to that show with a really bad cold, would you have worried about how you weren’t having a good time? Would you have worried about that, and then thought ‘oh, this is my life, and it’s passing me by’, and ‘I can’t REMEMBER the last time I had fun’ and everything that comes with those types of thoughts?”

And I was like, woman, how are you reading my mind. HOWAREYOUREADINGMYMIND.

“You know, you WOULDN’T.” She said.

I was speechless.


PHIL GIORDANO WILL RUIN HIS CHRISTMAS PRESENT IF HE READS THIS POST.

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Fair warning.

So two of my friends got married this summer, and, as their wedding present, I offered to document the ceremony and reception. I thought it would be a cheap, fun present, right? I just bring my camera down there, shoot the thing, bring it home, digitize, cut at my leisure, then get them the final edit by fall. A fine idea it was, until my camera broke. Then a cheap, fun present turned into a rather expensive and stressful present, depending on how you split the cost of rental, repair, and tax offset.

But let’s put that aside.

I rented a camera, covered the wedding, digitized the footage, and then got very, VERY busy. Super busy. Too busy to work on this cheap, fun, expensive, stressful present, no matter how much it called to me. Which, let’s be honest, it didn’t.

Lucky for Phil and Christina, work’s lightened up until after the holidays. I just completed my last freelance edit of the season, and lately (read: this week) I’ve taken to staying up very late while working on my new (!!) computer. Suddenly, their cheap, fun wedding present becomes a cheap, fun, insomnia-driven Christmas present. Right? Right!

UNTIL!

Both the bride and groom are pretty big Phish fans, and, after soliciting advice from their two best friends, I decided on a song for the final montage. It’s one of my favorites, and, after cutting no less than six wedding montages to “I Gotta Feeling”, seemed a welcome break. I worked on it for about four hours last night, sipping wine and tweaking edits, and tonight, at midnight, I sat down at the laptop for another session of quasi-manic late-night adventure. I was really rolling, man, I was just making things HAPPEN. I was sliding edits one frame at a time, I was doing motion effects and time remap, I wasn’t even stopping for cigarettes. The song built to its final crecendo, I quickened my cuts in anticipation of the blissful, inevitable release, and then…

and then…

those fucking hippies jammed into a whole other song. A song I didn’t download. A song I’m not about to cut a whole other wedding montage to. I mean, COME ON, Phish. Your shit may rock at live shows, but, from a postproduction standpoint, YOU TOTALLY SUCK.


The devolution of man at a three-day festival

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CAMP BISCO: DAY 1 (Thursday)

You start out all sunny and fresh with your specially bought snacks from WalMart and your brand new shiny glow sticks. Underslept and overcaffienated, you’re in good spirits despite spending hours in line waiting for a gaggle of Hells Angels to cavity-search your car. You have ice-cold Budweiser tallboys and are flush with Camel Lights, which you smoke as though they were not a finite commodity. Once inside the venue you cheerfully set up your tent, make use of the PortAJohn, (surprisingly clean, considering!) and set off for the food vendors, whose varied wares glisten like so many gems in the fading light. The sun sets over a happy parade of revelers, Pretty Lights takes the stage, the weekend spreads itself out before you: an unending tapestry of wondrous adventure.

CAMP BISCO: DAY 2 (Friday)

So you haven’t slept at all, except for a small nap in between the end of the late-night dance party and the beginning of the morning sets, but that’s OK because you’re having an AWESOME time. You wait out the day’s heat in the shade of the tent and drink your tallboys, which, admittedly, are getting kind of warm, and smoke your Camels. After an unfortunate encounter with a filth-ridden PortAPotty you’ve taken to peeing in the woods, but Dieselboy hits the decks in the afternoon, Bassnectar throws it down in the evening, and the New Deal is slated for 2am at the late night tent. I mean, who can NOT be thrilled? Music festivals are awesome, I’m here with ALL my friends and life is GREAT.

CAMP BISCO: DAY 3 (Saturday)

Oh God. You stayed up until the sun was rising and then took a Trazodone to knock you out. These people NEVER turn off their fucking music, seriously. Sleeping all day in the heat in a zip-up hoodie and a mummy bag, you’re a mess by nightfall. The spigot is now surrounded by a swamp of mud, so rinsing off is an exercise in futility, and once night falls you’re peeing behind your car. You don’t have any more ice, so your beer is totally hot, and all the nice folks who were selling their beer before have found themselves in the same plight. Cigarettes are not tasting so good anymore. Then it starts to rain. Hard. For a long time. You amuse yourself by playing poker on your iPhone and eating the rest of your candy. Everyone else is asleep.

CAMP BISCO: DAY 4 (Sunday)

Your camp is a litterbox of spent glow sticks and Rolo wrappers. Everything is wet. You’re now peeing next to your car in broad daylight and changing clothes right where everyone can see you. Dignity is a distant memory, and even the pay toilets have long since stopped flushing. You’d kill your own sister for a cup of decent coffee or a way to wash your hands. Luckily, there’s no music today. After two hours of restless sleep, you break camp at 8am, gratefully returning to the world of indoor plumbing and odor control. As you leave the grounds, you marvel how much this whole episode resembled something out of Blindness, and how quickly we slide when left to ourselves.

Lesson learned: next time, bring baby wipes and more ice.


I’m glad to be 30 and not 21.

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I went and saw Phish the other night, got back to my hippie roots.

No, wait, I shouldn’t say that. I was never a hippie, and, even though in college I would have professed to live for Phish, going to their shows always gave me mixed feelings. I had special “hippie gear” that I’d bust out for the concerts, so I’d fit in, look appropriate, seem like I ACTUALLY toured with the band and wasn’t just a hanger-on. At the time I spent every waking moment with a group of Phishead dudes, guys who could quote setlists like other people quote Shakespeare, and I loved them more than anything. They were my family from ages 19 to 22, and, as in my biological family, I always felt a little like the black sheep. Try though I might, I had no head for setlists, and I could never call a song before it was played. I didn’t know trivia or stats, and in my heart of hearts I really liked all the songs my dude friends thought were lame. Insecure as an acne-struck teenager, I’d worry that I was dancing too fast or too slow, that I was moving my arms too much or not enough, that my mascara gave me away for the priss that I was, or that my lack of mascara made me look like a corpse. I always felt a bit on the outside of the inner circle, and I’d cling to the group like a life preserver even as my friends all split away to get closer to the stage.

When college ended so did those friendships. Although we stayed close for awhile, eventually there were brunches I wasn’t invited to, weddings I wasn’t part of, and babies I found out about on Facebook. Was it because I never memorized the dates from the 94 summer tour? Of course not. Did it hurt like hell? You bet. It was a boys club all along, I decided, it always had been.

Going to Phish brings back all these feelings, and I was in a terrible mood all day. I woke up in the morning and put on my standard uniform: black tank top, jeans, sandals, not giving a second thought to fitting in at the show. I got annoyed by the slow-moving hippies on the way to the venue, I was bored waiting for the concert to start, and I didn’t get worried about my makeup at all. Once the music started, I danced without a care in the world. Somehow, old wounds aside, hearing Phish felt like coming home, and there, under the lights, everything was right again.


FYI: Lasers and stuff

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If you ever go to the “Laser Floyd” show at the Boston MoS, I’d really suggest taking some acid first. At least a little. It’s just too ridiculous when you’re NOT tripping.

Not that I’ve seen the laser show while thusly altered, but honestly? At this point, the whole “Dark Side” mythos is so overblown that I can’t hear a note of it without being thrown back into some cliche college legend – probably one involving scag weed and “The Wizard of Oz”. Sitting in the planetarium, head craned back and neck cramping from the angle, I was acutely aware that if I’d done this years earlier I would have had the good sense to enjoy it in a much more fitting manner.

It can really only be cool that one first time, so do it right is all I’m saying.


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