Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I mention leaves a lot in this one.

It's late, I have to work at 6am, and, as usual, I'm trying my best not to go to sleep. My mom said when I was a baby, I would literally slap myself to stay awake. I figured I couldn't sleep unless I blogged, so here it is. I could be reading my Bible or drinking a hot toddy or practicing my bgv's for Lauryn Peacock's CD release party in Philly, but here:

Lately, I've been taking walks and writing my scooter, both of which have made me a lot more aware of the world around me. I feel hot when it's hot. If something's wrong with your catalytic converter, I can smell it. Things that would normally just bounce off my windshield are now hitting me in the face-- like leaves, and wasps.

But lately, what I've noticed most are the trees. I've never given them much thought, except those awkward moments when I tried to be "inspired" and "earthy." This time, it just came naturally (pun intended). I finally understood why artists always painted landscapes: nature is the most perfect blend of spontaneity and form. No shape in nature is predictable. Every human being (or Canadian) knows the look of a leaf or a blade of grass, but no one can predict the shape of a cypress. Everything is built and shaped by slow growth, constant erosion, random accidents, eruptions, splatters, bones, wildfire. Trees knot. Badgers make holes. Leaves fall on the ground and curl up at the edges, surrounded by thousands of similar leaves, all uniquely bent and twisted. Cicadas scream their little heads off. The result is a multimedia presentation that we call "noise" and "underbrush." The end result is home.

This, apparently, is not enough. We know Home is eternal, so we invent our own eternity. We renovate our home and make up new absolutes-- like the Right Angle, the Perfect Circle, iambic pentameter, the "verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-modulate-chorus-end" formula-- like we know what those should look like. But those things aren't native to our planet. God didn't make them. Maybe God's perfect circle is lopsided. Maybe all of Eternity is misshapen, and God says it is good. Maybe He says it in free verse.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Doesn't the bull represent the encroaching industrialization of the North?

cravin ihop.
about an hour ago · ·

    • Jonni Greth At least this time you didn't say it really loud in the middle of Waffle House.
      about an hour ago ·
    • Jenny Marie Perrin hey, that's unfair! those women had ears like vultures!...and they knew i was right.
      about an hour ago ·
    • Jonni Greth Whatever. If you want to eat breakfast like a yankee, you can go do it with the yankees.
      about an hour ago ·
    • Jenny Marie Perrin the yankees clean their grills......
      about an hour ago ·
    • Jonni Greth And that's why their hash browns are so dadgum dry.
      about an hour ago ·
    • Jenny Marie Perrin fine, next time we're going to Greens.
      about an hour ago ·
    • Jonni Greth I don't even know what that is. You're getting too fancy for me.
      about an hour ago ·
    • Jenny Marie Perrin holy crap! you've lived in l**** and you've never eaten at greens!
      jonni....jonni jonni jonni...
      about an hour ago ·
    • Jonni Greth Alright. Will go. But they better not clean their grills.
      about an hour ago ·
    • Jenny Marie Perrin it's dirty, and you get served by old southern women who call you baby and sweetie pie.
      about an hour ago ·

Monday, February 28, 2011

The feeling is mutual, I'm sure.

Dear Nashville,

As turned off as I am by autotune, faux hawks, and the "Nashville sheen," I am thoroughly impressed by your lack of djembes.

I will grow to love you one day.

Tepidly Yours,
Jonni Greth

Friday, February 25, 2011

A short conversation between me and my roommate:

Roommate: Dude, the other day I saw cereal in the toilet. How did it get there?

Me: I didn't finish my Crunch Berries, so I flushed them.

Roommate: That is quite possibly the most bizarre thing I've ever heard.

Me: Um, I don't think it's that uncommon. Some people flush their cereal.

Roommate: I have never heard of that in my life. Dude, that could clog the pipes. We've got a garbage disposal. Come on.

Me: Some people were raised without garbage disposals.

Clog the pipes? Not sure he knows, but turds won't clog the pipes, either.

Meatballs, however, will. Don't ask me how I know.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A post inspired by Deerhoof and off-brand daytime cough syrup:

A few things have been happening in my life lately.

I've found the boldness to tell you because, if you're reading this, it means you actually want to hear what I have to say, which means you have given me permission to shamelessly spill my guts-- and perhaps even tell you how to live your life.

So. New things:

1) I have finally fallen in love with Deerhoof, which is so typical of 20-somethings who have spent any time in Chicago. But don't fear, I have found a way to make my situation into a totally un-typical one: I have fallen in love with them several years too late. Therefore, instead of being totally indie and listening to them when the hip kids did, I have acquired the oh-so-distinguished taste for their awesomeness at exactly the same time as everyone else has. Thus the "I was there before you were born" mentality so typical of hipsters has been thwarted by my new, relatively ingenious tactic: getting WITH the times, if not slightly behind.

I call it being "fashionably late."

2.) Up until about a month ago, at least one of my co-workers was convinced I was gay. Then he found out I wasn't. It went a little something like this:

Me: Hey [Edgar], what's up?

Ed: I'd like to punch whoever put this song on in the face.

Me (foolishly assuming Stevie Nicks' voice was Patti Smith's): Really? I have to admit, I've been enjoying this a lot.

Ed: Man, you're just reinforcing the stereotype.

(pause. I look at him curiously.)

Me: What stereotype is that, Ed?

Ed: You know... gay guys and Fleetwood Mac.


Me: Dude. I'm straight.

He felt bad about it, but he shouldn't have. It's not the first time that's happened, not by a long shot. If there was any part that offended me, it wasn't that he thought I was gay. It was that he called me "typical." Therefore, I felt the need to prove I was a straight guy who liked Fleetwood Mac.

Hello, unpredictability!

These two things have caused me some unrest, some sort of dullness and self-disgust in my heart, a feeling that I have hurt myself somehow. It feels very unhealthy, like my soul caught the flu. Or mono.

Now that I've caught a real flu or cold or mono or something, I've been forced once again to slow down and think about what I'm doing. Mostly, I've been thinking about art, like I always do. And the struggle comes down to two things: creativity and ego. It always does.

How do I know which is which? Do I like Deerhoof because it resonates with something deep inside me, or do I like them because their music is complex and unusual? Do I listen because they speak some truth, or do I listen because they're avant-garde and entertaining?

This also applies to my own art. It makes me wonder why I should even write in the first place, makes me doubt if my creative impulses are pure and Godly.

A friend of mine from Chicago put creativity very plainly:

God is a Creator, and we were made in His image. When we create, we're saying "I want to be just like my Dad."

We're just children drawing pictures and writing stories for our Father. We color outside the lines. We misspell words. We get all the proportions wrong. But God loves what we give Him. The more I think about that, the more I wonder if I'm writing with that in mind.

Do I want to be a brilliant artist, or do I want to be a child of God? Am I writing from my God-given creativity or from my ego? Do I sing so God will hear me, or do I sing to impress myself? Don't ask me. I'm sick and half-delirious, and I won't know the answer until I get well.