Saturday, January 8, 2011

Reasons I Will Never Have Street Cred

(Janelle Monae rocks Ariat.)

When Peters was visiting last weekend, we got into a discussion about how one of the things we both miss most about Hoofbeat is the physical labor and discipline -- going up to the barn, finding the barn director, asking what we could do, doing it, checking to see if there was anything else to do before we headed out, and thanking the barn director. Sure, there have been times in which the efficiency was there and not the spirit, and other times when the spirit was there but not the efficiency -- but whenever both elements were just "on" and camp was running like a well-oiled machine, it felt so amazing to work hard and feel the rewards of it. I enjoyed ending my days completely exhausted -- and maybe that's a little masochistic, considering how exhausted I was all the time -- but oh, how well my body sleeps after throwing hay-bales into pastures and kids onto horses all day. Somehow all of the so-called easy human things that I struggle with doing well occasionally -- namely sleeping and eating -- became easy because my body was mine. It belonged to me, and it was strong, and it did pretty incredible things.

(Once, a kid who was bigger than me expressed concern that I wouldn't be able to lift her while giving her a leg-up bareback, and I ended up accidentally throwing her over the horse. True story. She landed on her feet, we laughed about it a lot, and then we tried again.)

Anyway, I'm resigned to the fact that I will never feel that gorgeous physical kind of exhausted while working in an office.

(Every so often I consider joining a gym, but then I remember that I actually hate working out on my own. It feels too much like a hamster running on a wheel. In college I took dance and yoga through the dance department pretty much every day, and that was perfect. Unfortunately, that, too, is tough to fit into working in an office, plus it's expensive.)

But! I have a point! And I'm getting to it! And that point is that tonight I had my first working shift as a member of the Park Slope Food Co-op -- and it was the closest I've come to feeling a camp-like work ethic in awhile. I was assigned to the receiving squad, and I didn't really know what was going on -- and as somebody who happens to have huge eyes, I have to avoid this as much as possible because I absolutely look like a proverbial deer-in-the-headlights when I'm confused, and sometimes also when I'm not -- but I could feel my instincts kick in, shift into a sort of mania in which I was everywhere. Yes! I will unload that box! Aisle Seven! I will become one with Aisle 7! Restocking fancy organic kale! You got it! Crushing boxes? HULK SMASH!

Anyway, it felt fantastic to do real physical work for once. Plus, while I was restocking, I kept seeing delicious products that I want to eat, like dark-chocolate almond granola bars and pomegranate-lime juice. In the end, my squad (the same people I will be working with for my once-a-month shift) finished our work ten minutes before the end of our shift, which was apparently a record. Not bad!

Also, for posterity, I would like to establish a list of why I will never have street cred.

(So the beginning of this post ties in with the end, and also because it is true, I will add #.5 -- I'm pretty much a dirty hippie with my fancy organic kale and Kashi Crunch and Annie's Mac & Cheese. Deal.)

#1 -- This picture sometimes works on me.

AWW. Look! One is running the wrong direction! That one's me.

It is my dream to someday own a herd of corgis, so when I need cheering up, I can throw something and then they will all run toward it with their tongues all hanging in the air and their bellies flopping. No, better! I will pretend to throw something, and they'll run away! My imaginary corgis are getting better and better at entertaining me. (I mean, I'll love them, too, of course. I'm not heartless.)

#2 -- I am fond of pretty, shiny, things. You know, like a magpie.

(Alexander McQueen by Sarah Burton.)

#3 -- I will admit to liking this song and music video, even though it's creepy how T. Swift doesn't ever age even after she has kids and I know that there are differing points of view on how her lyrics fit into feminist perspectives. For the record, I think Kate Harding and her ilk are much more convincing than her counterpoints -- but for what it's worth, Taylor Swift manages to capture part of what it feels like to be a [admitting privilege here -- white, able-bodied, neurotypical, heterosexual, cisgendered] high-school girl. A lot of her songs aren't sophisticated, and some of her lyrics and metaphors are straight from the worst poems I wrote in high school, but there's an earnestness that makes me nostalgic. Her song structures are all formula, but the formulas are there because they work sometimes.

Relatedly, lately I've been obsessed with the idea of the "perfect pop song," and how to write it. My pick for right now is "The Fear" by Lily Allen, but I'd be curious to hear anyone else's contributions.



I don't know who the people are in either of these photos; I just found the pictures online and oh my goodness, those yawns! Yawn away, my leetle puppeh friend!

And on that note, good night.

1:29 AM EDIT:

#5 -- One last thing: when I find a song I like, I will repeat it ad nauseam (everyone else's nausea; not mine) and I just found a new one, which I have so far listened to five times.

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