@Kate Dixon, this one’s for you.


Back in the day, I used to visit my sister at college in DC. She’s five years younger than me, and we’re different as sunshine and rain. My college days involved Simpsons and Phish concerts, while hers involved… clubbing. And not the type of clubbing where people offer you little white pills.

It was quite common, on such evenings, for me to be the only legal drinker, and I would gamely swill vodka while fending off heavily-perfumed men. They all wore dress shirts, it seemed, and sweater vests, and medium wash jeans. They would appear out of nowhere, taking form on all sides, and coax you, in a heavily-accented voice, to dance with them.┬áNow, number one, I’m not a great dancer, and, number two, I prefer to dance alone. So I grew quite adept at extricating myself from such would-be advances.

One night, at a bar called Hawk n’ Dove (“It’s a MARINE bar!” squealed my sister, as though this should be meaningful), I was approached by a large, heavily perfumed black man. He asked me if I’d dance.

“No thanks,” I replied, “I’m gay.”

“You WHAT?”

“Gay. Lesbian. Sorry!”

“You mean, you don’t like DICK?”

“Not really. No offense.”

He was so intrigued by the notion that a woman might actually NOT LIKE DICK that we wound up spending a good twenty minutes talking about it – much longer than I would have spent dancing with him. And then, in the end, he asked me if I’d like some cocaine. So maybe my sister’s ‘clubbing’ *was* the kind where people offered you drugs, after all.

I love my therapist.


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.



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!


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.

I’m glad to be 30 and not 21.


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.



thanks to yesterday, I’ve had “Gotta Jibboo” in my head for the past 12 hours. That’s what you get for writing a post inspired by a song. I swear to god, I DREAMT about it. A dream of a thousand dirty hippies swaying with their eyes closed, every one of them mouthing the words

mama sing sing when she gotta jibboo
papa sing gotta jibboo
mama sing sing when she gotta jibboo
papa sing gotta jibboo
mama sing sing when she gotta jibboo
papa sing gotta jibboo
mama sing sing when she gotta jibboo
gotta jibboo and you keep on drinking too

DO YOU FEEL ME? Anytime someone wants to come round my office with a semiautomatic, I’m totally ready.

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