emancipated dissonance from the desk of renee ann

emancipated dissonance

Saturday, January 29, 2011

on new year's eve, i arrived to the gym for my 12th visit
to earn a $20 discount on my membership from the insurance that costs me hundreds
and the lights were out, they closed early for the holiday

today, i realize it's the 29th, cutting it too close for the 4 more visits i need

both months, full of sickness and being out of town, i feel justified

but the $40 extra that costs me is, at this moment, more than my net worth

a silly detail in the grand scheme of my many months of unemployment, i know, but it makes me want to cry

and last week i sat in an office collecting primary data for a pro bono project
knowing that i will probably have to borrow money from my parents again to buy groceries

WHEN is this going to be OVER?

posted by renee 5:33 PM

Friday, January 07, 2011

earth made of
soil growing
grass feeding

of all persuasions
each with a piece
the great answer a puzzle
unsolvable with so many
untapped knowers
tilling and becoming soil
rich with ideas
to feed us all

posted by renee 2:54 PM

Sunday, January 31, 2010

disclaimer: this is merely feverish venting and not to be taken as evidence of emotional instability

it appears to me that the first step toward gainful employment is to learn how to be fake. if i was an employer, and someone came into an interview with me prepared with perfect, succinct, canned answers to every anticipated question, and not a trace of personality or passion or thoughtfulness, i would be suspicious. i would wonder what type of a human being lived in all the empty space between those rehearsed responses. a gossip? someone who does the bare minimum, who doesn't think outside the box? someone who would be lazy / creative / whiny / eager / quick / inept / unreliable as an employee? or, if we stretch to imagine it is relevant, in their personal life? i would want to hire someone who is a good friend. someone who is fully engaged and motivated to ever improve themselves both personally and professionally. someone who is humble and teachable, but who is brave enough to speak when they have something legitimate to add to a conversation. someone with a quick mind, who has already identified her natural strengths and hones them while simultaneously pursuing opportunities to learn new skills. I would want to hire a life-long learner. someone satisfied in the moment with making the best possible contribution, but who never becomes complacent.

unfortunately, i am not an employer. and i get feedback about taking a more "formalized approach to interviewing" from people I thought I was just having a conversation with, and i know that is correct advice. if i am going to ever convince someone to hire me, i have to get better at those canned answers to anticipated standard interview questions. it is just an oral exam that does not adequately test your true knowledge. but it kills me that i can't just be myself. i do not want to learn how to be a perfect little robot interviewer. i want to be a full representation of a person. especially in situations where i know that the person i am would be great at the job in question. i want to be able to show up for a meeting with a person, as a person, and to figure out if i'm the best candidate for the job by way of questions with answers that matter, and an honest and fair evaluation of who i really am.

i just don't understand why seeming like a real person is a drawback. and today it all feels really unfair.

posted by renee 11:09 AM

Monday, January 18, 2010

it is time to begin this discipline again
i have started to sense a certain amount of losing myself
in the absence of chronicling the little thoughts for which this digital journal has been my canvas

my growing unfamiliarity with myself is a combination of things, i think
as my poor exhausted brain has finally grown out of most of its crazy spinning
i am no longer gripped by the "analysis paralysis" that caused so much trouble and stress in my adolescence
but i am still not used to floating through life without prodding out the significance of every little moment
and when things happen that should be significant in continuing to inform my paradigm
i am suspicious that i am missing them
it leaves me feeling generally somewhat clouded
i also wonder if fundamental things have changed in me and gone unnoticed
if my lack of analysis is something beyond maturity
if it is more like complacency or defeat

or it might be less esoteric
it might be more about the tension between my interests
i have found music to be more compelling as a part of my life than i ever would have predicted
it is my favorite passtime, my deepest connection to myself and often to others, and many days, it is my saving grace
in the past year, even the past 3 months, i have had opportunities start to present themselves that i find thrilling

i want this life.

i want to know the most amazing, creative people in this world
i want to collaborate with people that take seriously my art and their own and the process of melding two expressions of soul
this seems to be happening. and what could happen if i accepted this as my life?
and what could happen if stupid stupid money overrode the possibility of fully engaging in musical opportunities?

am i brave enough to choose it

when it happens, the tap opens
to my well of creativity
the depth is terrifying
and the discipline required to fully open the floodgates
the sacrifices required

there are songs in there i want to get out

i hope i am willing to do this

i am sure that it is worth it

posted by renee 3:50 PM

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

the way i imagine it happened

somewhere, a man woke up
it was a sunday and the street was quiet
he stared at the ceiling
the fan wobbled, and went click click click click
he closed his eyes again and listened
drumming one finger on his chest with the beat
his mind otherwise blank

after some time
he swung his legs over the side of the bed and sat up
just like every day
the thought came and flitted away leaving nothing
in the kitchen, he poured cheerios into a styrofoam bowl
and skim milk
heart healthy irony
the thought came and flitted away

he stooped on the couch, tall, spine too lazy for good posture
and ate his breakfast with a plastic spoon
eyes lingering mostly on the silent dark television
the fan going click click click click from the bedroom
and his big toe tapping out the beat

he poured the last of the milk down the drain
picked up a stray cheerio from the floor
filled his trash can with the waste of morning

teeth were brushed to the rhythm of the fan
old magazines on the nightstand straightened into a neat pile
and with an empty backpack and the garbage
he locked his deadbolt
and slid the key back under the door

outside, it was september
there was no one out on his street
despite the invitation of sunshine to enjoy the last
lingering strains of summer

he started to walk

the ATM at the gas station three blocks later
told him his balance
it was dissatisfying to find that
after a stack of withdrawn twenties
there was still a balance
a loose end

the clerk was talking on the phone
to her boyfriend or something, probably
and ignoring him
so he started putting twenty dollar bills in the change machine
until it ran out of ones
and quarters

his backpack was heavy now
and he walked and walked
feeling the weight of it on his stooping shoulders lazy spine
and stepping to the rhythm of the fan
it bothered him that he forgot to turn it off
and he thought of the $17.80 in the bank account
but there was nothing to be done about it

i am not sure if the man ate lunch
but i've been wondering
it bothers me
but there is nothing to be done about it

it was late afternoon by now
his feet were tired, the curve of his spine was deep with the weight of the quarters
the street was still quiet
or maybe it wasn't. maybe he was just deaf to it.
but finally he arrived
to the place he had decided on
weeks ago

he did not stand still
looking over the cement barrier through the chain link
he did not ponder
his mind was blank
the plan was non-negotiable now, in the late september sunday afternoon
he did not stand still

he climbed
and as an afterthought
dropped his heavy backpack to the ground

the top of the chain link fence was not sturdy
he had to catch his balance three times
but got over safely
ironically, the thought came
and his feet reached the cement wall

and he didn't dive
he didn't close his eyes and hop or step
his inner ear just disconnected
he turned off the ability to balance
without waiting, his long body tipped away from the bridge

i think time slowed down then
and everything was suddenly vibrant
he could hear the sounds of the busy roads
above and below him
colors were brighter than he'd ever seen them
he felt exhilarated
and then nothing

people ran to look
at his brain
in bloody bits
his lazy spine mangled
by the car that hit him when he landed
tires squealing
jaws dropped

and there were children looking
men and women looking
before the police came
and shooed everyone away

someone had to clean up the mess
the waste of the afternoon
after pictures were taken
hose it all down
he thought of that part
it was the only thing that made him feel a little guilty

and the thing that bothers me most
even more than the looking
more than the conversations
that so desperately shifted to other topics
to put smiles in front of brains
horrified but suddenly grateful
to be in one piece

the thing that bothers me
is not knowing if he ate lunch
did the growl of hunger follow him?
did he think "why bother?"
or did he go through the motions of his last day
figuring that self denial was beside the point

i don't even wonder about his reasons
he wanted to make an impact
to be seen
seen in pieces
he wanted us to understand that we, too, are made of pieces
and that, in the ways we are pieces of each other
there is a terrible black nothingness
that provokes not anger, not desperation, not intensity
but more of itself, growing to swallow up parts of us
and all of him

and all the looking had something to do with acknowledging
our, collective, culpability
it was an apology
a recognition

sir, i am sorry. i am so sorry.

posted by renee 9:44 AM

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Between March 2008 and March 2009

in airplanes, assorted rental cars, and a big blue van that's cheating death

I visited:
Spokane, Seattle, Portland, the Oregon coast, Vancouver, Chicago (twice), Thunder Bay, several "Up North"s, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Detroit, NYC, Danbury, CT, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, San Jose, San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Lincoln (like six times), Clive, IA, Kansas City, Oklahoma City, Dallas, and Austin

of 24 places, i'd only been to 5 before.

not bad. not bad at all.

posted by renee 8:09 PM

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

squinting into austin springtime
with fear of sunburn occasionally rising to the surface of my consciousness
increasing demands on all five senses
are sufficient to overwhelm the always otherwise picking apart
i do, of things

instead i find a challenge
in sorting through the music (see: humanity) pouring out
over every doorstep
on sixth street
and attempting to identify the who where why of my fellow wanderers
each conversation is as if with some strange species from an alternate universe
and i soak it up with no mental filter (crazy, mister, you are just crazy)
this strange mecca, or non-mecca
a cartoon version of its own self
filled with two dimensional people
mouths moving jerkily
weighing nothing

trudging through the tundra
after my ill advised toosoon northern migration
should feel familiar

but the approach to the same old door
is as surreal as the rest of it
for its filled-out-ness
its picked-apart-ness
its understand-able-ness

reminds me of the time i cried
after airplane wheels touched ground in america
when i realized
that i could understand all the words
echoing off terminal walls plastered in ads
in english

the most dangerous time
is the collision
of reality
and its exceptions
for the way you relearn
what it feels like to understand
and what pieces you remember and forget

i want to remember
fireworks on a river, reflected on glass buildings
behind a band with a too-appropriate name
twinkling and roaring
and the odyssey toward it, droves of locals, tour hard musicians, hipsters with cash

i want to remember crazy pachyderm rv breakfast
and the strange non-allure of hare krishna
despite the beauty of the prophet

i want to remember
opening the door to my mother's kitchen
to see nine of my musical comrades camped out on the living room floor
as if it wasn't an oxymoron

i wouldn't mind forgetting
the large and sweaty flannel shirted fan of echo and the bunnymen
although, i would remember how he laughed
and how the people around me laughed
when i told him he shouldn't sing along
and he knew it was true

i managed to avoid sunburn
but the rest of it, a pile of stones to be turned over
picked apart
is going to take awhile to work back into
this place i so far call "reality"

posted by renee 11:01 PM


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my band(mates)
thomas built the wall
casey on the drums

other friends
joa jean
nate t
nate b
the MAN i hate
my ex-neighbor

some i wish were my friends

music i listen to
band of horses
zoe keating
rilo kiley
(jenny lewis)
mr 1986
regina spektor
iron & wine
the new pornographers
radio on
the combo
emiliana torrini
sigur ros
nickel creek
trampled by turtles
the hold steady
the decemberists
del the funky homosapien
death cab
tv on the radio

the guys that review it
jason (in a kilt)
peter c

and the places to hear it
the fine line
varsity theater
the 400 bar
first avenue

found magazine
my pottery teacher
my favorite designer
aesthetic apparatus
the friendly stegosaurus

railroad illusions
we'll go sit on a coal car
bask in the soft light
and dream of a someday
simpler than this one

take a walk with me tonight, my dear
away from complications
away from fluorescent lights

we'll go lay on a rooftop
breathe in the sweet smoke
and talk of a place that’s
so far from this one

take a walk with me tonight, my dear
away from complications
away from conditioned air

we'll get lost under covers
smile at our trite words
and fall for a vision
so far from the truth

take a walk with me tonight, my dear
away from complications
away from the flightless facts

LEMUR is the answer!!