Last night, I ventured out to see Kevin Devine at South Paw in Park Slope. While I was watching him play, after having just consumed a meal made up entirely of sushi and chasing that with a glass of dry white wine, I imagined writing something spectacular about his music and the show. I imagined creating new words and aligning them just so in order to take people there with me after the fact.

And wouldn’t you know, I don’t remember the words I came up with. I just don’t remember what they were anymore.

I knew that I would forget them all by today. Last night, I thought to myself that I should become more like the girl in Kicking and Screaming (it’s not every month you get to link to it twice). She carried a pencil and a notepad along with her everywhere she went. She took life notes to use later. “I should become more like her.” I thought. —This fictional character that nobody knows about.

But I left my orange notebook at home.

(A few weeks ago, actually it was on New Year’s Eve, Missy, Toby and I were watching Freestyle. During the film, they brought up a “Rhyming Dictionary” It was then we realized that Jay didn’t come up with it out of nowhere.

But I do actually have an orange notebook. It has nothing to do with Rhyming.)

Last night, after Kevin finished singing and I dropped my words, I spent the rest of the evening (well, my evening, they continued out after the curtains closed, and there were actually curtains) talking with the violinist. Her name is Margaret White.

Margaret plays violin with Cat Power usually. She has a dog and a cat and a car and she lives in Brooklyn. She’s probably the nicest person I have met since returning to New York City. I could have talked to her for hours more. And I hope I get that chance to do so soon.

Truth is, I’m a little sad today and I’m not sure why. I fear the old Michele stopped in for a visit—the one who I thought we left for dead in San Francisco. You know, the girl who walks around feeling somewhat troubled and writing about it? Her. She’s visiting. And while I truly enjoyed the show last night, I fear that it has brought back an old familiar feeling; I should be further along than this.

I wish I could go back and find the words I dreamed I created last night. I want people to walk around with musical instruments instead of grumpy frowns. And I want them to sing at people when they are angry and someone bumps them on a crowded train.

I want to not care about what I read and the emails I receive. And I want to actually give this meaning. Last night, I watched two people pluck strings with their fingers and make sounds with hair from a horse’s tail. As they shared the words they wrote, designed and remembered with their mouths which shadowed beneath the lights hung behind drawn curtains, I couldn’t help but think to myself, “What is it you’re doing with all of this?”

I am just not sure.

Yesterday was a rough day. Today I’m suffering from its vestige.


  1. But are your thighs chafing?


  2. Thank goodness, NO! No chafing today. Maybe tomorrow, tho. Yesterday, I took the day off from the gym. :]


  3. I know it’s a cliche, but I believe it’s cliche because it’s true: Familiarity breeds contempt. You don’t value the things you do well because they just don’t seem special and new to you. But I come here every day and always value it, and I’m sure that MOST of your readers feel the same way. I suspect that there are quite a few people out here whom you have never met who read regularly and feel that there is something precious and valuable in it. Or maybe I’m just deluded and psychotic. But my thighs are clear.


  4. listen to GJ, it’s true. if only I could come up with one logo, one swath of pattern. i know when i love what i see but i can’t make it. i am glad designers exist. you’ve got lots of gifts, horse hair is just not currenly one of your tools. but this blog is, and your work is.

    change and growth are painful but even positive moves can feel really difficult or damaging, what with all the chafing and tenderness. violins and notebooks might just be your vaseline.


  5. Put on some music you love and dance around the apartment until you feel better. The “old” Chele doesn’t hang around too long usually. Don’t let her get to you.


  6. Everyone feels troubled sometimes…to not care or feel is to miss out on part of the experience that is life. Sounds kind of backwards, I know – who likes being hurt or sad? – but in the end, good things are bound to come out of a funk.

    Of course, if people did walk around with instruments instead of grumpy frowns, life would be very good. Or it would at least make for amusing people-watching.


  7. Dear mihow,
    The sadness will pass. You are allowed flashbacks of lowness now and then, as long as they don’t dictate who you are (and they never seem to with you). A co-worker just told me about Christo + Jean Claude’s latest work in Central Park and, even though some will say they have overdone it with the wrapping of stuff and all, it still makes me happy.


  8. Yes, go see The Gates! I wish I could. Maybe I will, sometime. Take photos. Let your camera, if not your words, be your instrument.


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