Hawt Quarantine Tracks

Looking for some music for your quarantine feels? Check these out.

 1. Bettye Swann’s “Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye”
Great for
: shower sing-alongs, light emotional breakdowns.

2. Nina Simone’s “Do What You Gotta Do”
Great for: Feeling bad and good at the same time, light emotional breakdowns.

3. Drake’s “Mob Ties”
Great for: getting angry, pretending you’re tough, remembering those times your brother would scream every time he heard you say “OK Google–play Mob Ties,” and light emotional breakdowns.

4. Mala Rodriguez and Stylo G’s “Estar Contigo”
Great for
:  Getting stuck in your head for actual days, photo-editing, imitating the choreo and feeling like a nerd.

5. The Smiths “Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want”
Great for: those nights when you just want to eat popcorn for dinner.

Enjoy the journey,

Seo

“Angry Girl Music” or: Callin’ Ya Bullshit

“Sometimes I just love driving around, blasting Fiona Apple, and crying.”

We used to refer to Bella’s car as Goldie Hon. It was a gold Honda. I liked imagining Bella  on Lincoln Drive scream-crying along to “Get Gone” or weeping to the tune of “Never Is A Promise.” It made me feel less insane and a little bit nostalgic for pain. Because pain, in some strange way, often meant clarity–or at least the coming of it.

Sometime in winter, I downloaded the Co-star App, and I also began following the company on Instagram. Yesterday, they uploaded a post detailing how each of the signs “reaches out.”

“Cancer,” it read: “With random Fiona Apple lyrics captioned, ‘so us‘”

This is not the first time that astrology has successfully made a caricature of me.

I remembered reaching out to an ex-boyfriend when we were in the process of tearing one another apart at the messy end of our long-distance non-relationship. I opened Facebook messenger and sent him a link to Fiona’s new song “Werewolf.” My following message read: “reminded me of you.”

He replied quickly, as usual. “Aw, you’re thinking of me!”

Later, he actually listened to the song. I knew this because I received another message in which he had written “you’re an asshole.” Breaking up was new for me, and deliciously reptilian.

Fiona Apple’s first album was released when I was six years old. I don’t think I heard it until I was ten. My cool south-Jersey cousin, or perhaps it was even my own mother, introduced my sister, then at the beginning of her own dark pubescence, to Tidal and When the Pawn… I liked the music then, found it mysterious. I imagined the riffs offered some unique meaning for moody teenage girls, as my sister and my cousin were.

When my own middle-school discontent arrived, I often laid in bed at night and listened to “Fast as You Can” on repeat on my discman. I liked that Fiona was both self-deprecating and righteous. It seemed bold to be a woman expressing anger and sadness, to be accusatory and sensitive at the same time.

Fiona accompanied me through middle and high-school and university, off and on, always giving me permission to be confusing and complete. And now she’s here for my adulthood, too, with Fetch the Bolt Cutters. She’s funnier, more confident somehow, but still 100% Fiona Apple. It’s a piece of art, the sort born of necessity and passion. It ignores marketing tactics and says, “easily-digestible narrative? the fuck is that?”

Thanks for this quarantine blessing, Fiona.

Seo

I Know. It’s Been a Minute and a Half.

Dedicated readers, all four of you, please accept my apology, although I never promised you consistency.

How OK I am with being inside worries me, albeit only slightly. In these forty-nine (?) days, I’ve read Marx and Tolstoy and Camus and Hesse and Flaubert. All great guys, really stand-up writers. But I started reading Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie two days ago, and now the thought of returning to Anna Karenina produces a sensation in me not unlike the one I feel when I  think about cleaning out the shower drain.

Read the book, basically. It’s real good.

Other things I’ve been into:

  • This Jeff Buckley cover of “I Know It’s Over.”

  • Wondering what my life would have been like had I stayed in America.
  • Wondering whether I could live in New York City without having a meltdown.
  • Thinking about the past.
  • Inexplicably, missing Greyhound buses.
  • Thinking that education is really, really important.
  • Feeling pessimistic and optimistic in the same breath.
  • Herbal teas.

So that’s all I’ve got for today.

Stay curious,

Seo

There are days when I live in what has been

When I worked as a catering waitress, it was all weddings, all the time. I listened to many  a tipsy toast and watched quite a few first dances that way. For a serial eavesdropper, the job was sort of a dream come true.

One evening, drink tray tucked beneath my arm, I recall crying as I watched a new couple shuffle around the ballroom to Ed Sheeran’s song “Perfect.”

Was it the magnitude of  their love that moved me, or did the song choice make me feel desperately sad? Feelings are hard to name sometimes. I imagined them going home, cuddling up under an obnoxiously large Live. Laugh. Love. sign, and posting sappy open letters to one another on their Facebook statuses. Not only did I think about love, but I also thought “I am an asshole.” Who was I to say there was anything insincere about it? (Pssst: 26, single-as-fuck, and in love with Manhattan Bagel).

Someone had an accident that night. I will never know whether it was a distracted toddler, or an ex-sorority-sister who had twerked a little too hard during “Wild Thoughts.”

I was polishing silverware when I found out. One of the older servers, on dessert duty at the time, burst through the kitchen doors and declared:

“I’m gonna throw up in my gaddamn mouth.”

“What’s up?”

“Somebody … shit… on the dance floor.”

The dish-washer cut the water and the cleaner stopped mopping.

“Excuse me, what?”

“Somebody SHIT… ON THE DANCE FLOOR.”

She marched out the back door to take a moment to herself on the stoop where servers smoked or sent Snapchats.

News spread quickly. The shift manager was soon spotted walking out of the kitchen with a bottle of bleach and a blue plastic glove, yelling:

I’m gonna fuckin’ kill myself.”

I laughed so hard it hurt and the cleaner shook his head in the way one does when they are no longer surprised.

Falling in Love is Wanting to Scream:

from escalators, into the streets, to every friend and not-so-confidant near enough to hear.

Here are a few things I am screaming about lately:

  • Bicycles

    Why does anyone commute any other way? Mere weeks ago, I would subject myself to the full-of-breath morning metro, packed in among the multitudes and sweating before 9 AM. Those days are over. Now you can catch me in the bike lane, singing Joaquin Sabina.

  • Swimming.

    Things swimming does: everything. Just check out this green ass.
    Swimming Booz

  • Bobby Baker’s Exhibition at La Casa Encendida.

    The stars, the moon, the deadly hormonal cocktail running through my veins, and Bobby Baker’s daring sincerity and humor had me IN MY FEELS at this exhibition.

    YogaforWeepers
    Yoga for Weepers – Bobby Baker
  • Searching For Sugar Man, the documentary.

    All I have to say about this documentary is that it is such a good story that I spent the better part of it saying this is fake. It is not. Go watch this if you like music and want to feel there is some beauty left in the world.

x and o,

Seo