Thursday, April 30, 2009

I have recently been informed that I overuse parentheses and hyphens in my writing, not that this is news to me, particularly. I wonder if it's because I like to imagine myself giving an elaborate speech with a mildly ironic tone as I write.

Dear God.

It's cooled down outside, for which I am supremely grateful. By the time it gets really hot again I'll be home, and I have central air at home. Another thing for which I am supremely grateful.

I have one more class left of my sophomore year of college - Modern American Writing, which I have tomorrow morning. And then I'll be left - with my two papers, my take-home final, and my three regular finals. Which is flipping ridiculous, especially seeing as I'm only taking four classes. Why, why, why do so many professors find it totally acceptable to assign a long-ass paper due and then think it totally acceptable to expect you to take a final the following day? It ought to be a final paper OR a final exam (or some combination thereof, in the case of the take-home final.) Not both. No. Not at all.

At which point, I'll be halfway done with college. (Assuming, of course, that I pass all my classes - not that I'm really concerned with that.)

I had my final History of Rock class today (snff) and it just brought me back around to Nirvana again. Things I thought I had grown out of. Angers and passions that I thought I had moved on from. But we were watching the "Smells Like Teen Spirit" video and all of a sudden I was fourteen again, watching those cheerleaders with the anarchy signs emblazoned on their uniforms, my blood boiling and heart pounding, and Kurt Cobain was this blond, scrawny, bratty, utterly ingenious form of Second Coming. An annoyed, smirking, reluctant superstar, tragic in his hilarity.

I thought I'd grown out of all that, but there are still these moments - and apparently today was one of them - where I'm back there again, back again in a place where I was discovering grunge and where Soundgarden and Hole and Pearl Jam and Nirvana - especially, especially Nirvana - were my new saviors. Only I was discovering it a good thirteen years or so after everybody else, and so it was already over - and I was clinging to something that was long gone. I knew how the story would end.

When I was about twelve or so, I asked my mother what grunge was. She cocked her head and thought about it, and after a moment she responded, "It's something like...listless punk." I nodded, further intrigued about this phenomenon.

She has absolutely no memory of this exchange, and is still rather in awe that she produced such an evocative and fairly accurate (not 100%, but still pretty spot-on) definition. It's worth noting that my mother is a few months younger than Kurt Cobain.

So I'm listening to my whole collection of Nirvana - which is not nearly as comprehensive as I would like, or as lengthy as my obsession with the band and the lore of the period would suggest - just the three studio albums and a couple of B-sides and live tracks. But I'm listening to it all, in chronological order, and, well, it's still great. And it turns out the Kurt's ghost is still kind of around for me.

Go figure.

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