Things Don’t Always Go Better with Rock

Hi Darling Ones,

My brain is pretty much a never-ending jukebox. I sing songs I know, songs I don’t know,* songs I make up, and nonsense jibber-jabber constantly. I am the star of a very special musical in my mind.

The only time I turn it down is when I’m sleeping it off. Ha! I just wanted to get that line in because I love that song.

But for real, the only time I turn down the music in my head is when I’m reading a book. It’s nice, a little bit of quietness for a brain that never shuts the fuck up. Especially when I’m reading fiction I can get lost in the story and it stills all the chatter. It happens less so with non-fiction.

Occasionally, a book will get a song stuck in my head and it will drive me bananas. It happened when I read Vampires in the Lemon Grove by Karen Russel and my brain had to Weird-Al the title to the tune of “Angel in the Centerfold.” It happened when I read Freedom by Jonathan Franzen too, and let me tell you having that Wham! song stuck in your head for the entirety of a Franzen tome is zero fun.

This week I read Olympus, Texas by Stacey Swann which combined two of my favorite things: Cowboys + Greek Mythology. Yum! My one complaint is that all the characters live near or on the Brazos River in Texas. For people not afflicted with jukebox brain this is probably not a problem.

However, the jukebox brain in my head has been singing “Mineral Wells” by Amanda Shires nonstop for the last three days. This usually wouldn’t bother me because I think Shires’ is one of the most underrated songwriters working. She’s brilliant and I could make a really strong case for her being an even better writer than her husband, Jason Isbell. But when I’m trying to find all the Greek myth Easter eggs in the cowboy story, having at night I dream I’m in the Brazos river. . . on a loop in your head it makes it a little difficult to concentrate.

Thankfully, I finished the book today before my nap.

Your jukebox hero,

P.S. I started a new gig today and due to technical difficulties I ended up having two hours of meetings in a row. Let me tell you, my body, my mouth, and my social muscles were not prepared for that. I’ve been freelancing for twelve years, if I have two one-hour meetings in a week I need to whine and bellyache about it for at least thirty-six hours.

After the meetings I had to lay down and take a short nap. The pandemic has made my already quick-draining social battery drain even more quickly. I’m legit afraid how I’m gonna cope when the Sister Club comes to town in a few weeks. It already takes me a day to recover from having The Olds & The Youths over for dinner.

How long does it take to rebuild those social muscles? Are there exercises I can do?

I remember in the way before times when I would work eight hours at an office, go to a class at The Loft, and then out to a bar. WHO WAS THAT PERSON? How did I even manage to do all that without shriveling up into an incoherent blob all the time?

Anyway, yay, new fun job!

*One time I had this weird song stuck in my head for like a week and I couldn’t find it at all. I sang it to my friend Adam and he went into super Google mode. A few hours later he comes back with, you’re singing two different songs, one is Ferry Cross the Mersey by Gerry and the Pacemakers and whatever the name of the other song was that I don’t remember. He only questioned me a little about how I was singing songs I barely knew.

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