My “Weird” Taste in Music

Yesterday work was a little chaotic. We had two call-ins and a coworker was injured and had to be sent home. It was “fun”. For the last hour since we were closed and there weren’t any families with young ears shopping near by I turned on my phone’s play list. My taste in music is a little “unusual” since most of my tastes lean towards the 100-200 year old range because there are oldies and then there are oldies.

A perfect example is “Finnegan’s Wake” which is an Irish ballad that was the inspiration for a novel by James Joyce by the same name. For me that’s a “fun fact” for most other people it’s “what the hell/why should I care?”. It also freaks people out when I say that I’m indifferent about music in general. I don’t have a favorite song. The music I listen to tends to be narrative. For me it’s more of a case of I don’t have time to read a short story or novel on my break, but I can listen to a two-three minute song/ballad and I’m generally not going to find these songs on the radio.

Sometimes an older song sneaks into pop culture. I had a lot of fun telling my coworker that “Whiskey in the Jar” is an old Irish song, not a Metallica original. I have a whole CD of modern artists covering pirate and sea songs in their own style and it’s one of my favorites. I can’t listen to it at work because some of the songs are NOT family friendly and it’s not labeled as such, but I guess they expect people to know that pirate songs will contain some sailor worthy expletives.

My taste in music actually makes a lot sense when you consider that I’m an aromantic-asexual. The Top 100 Billboard songs will generally stick to a classic, yet very profitable theme. There’s nothing wrong with having love as a theme. I just prefer my love songs to have fermented for a couple of decades first. I’ll also lean more towards Celtic traditional songs as a nod to my ancestry. Why listen to a big label driven love song when I can listen to songs about battles, shipwrecks, smuggler stills, and history.

One song I stumbled upon recently is called “Viva La Quinte Brigada” by Christy Moore. It’s about a group of Irish volunteers who fought in the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) which was something I didn’t know about until I looked up the song’s history. I like learning little bits of history like that. My dream job is a historical fiction screenwriter and those bits of history would be my focus. I crack myself up thinking about how the big trend right now is shared universe movies like what Marvel did and what DC and Star Wars is trying to do. Historical fiction is naturally a shared universe without even trying. 

I took one screen writing class as treat to myself and my classmates were very enthusiastic about my ideas and were like “Why isn’t this a movie yet?”. Well, I still have to make a living and pay rent so that’s why I haven’t written it. Then there’s the whole mess of Hollywood and TV being very tight-knit businesses to the point that unless you know somebody who knows somebody you’re not going to get anywhere. Producers get hundreds of scrips a day and while I might think a historical film about an obscure history reference is the coolest thing ever, the underpaid script monkey that has to read all the crap that comes in might not think so.

Another struggle is research. Personally, I don’t like doing research. It’s one thing to hear a “new” song I like and type the lyrics into Google or look at a wikipedia page, but actual historical research is super boring and difficult because you have to find first and second sources, look up historical documents, read diaries, and if your historical documents aren’t in English then you have to hire a translator and it just gets time consuming and expensive really fast. Once I take all that into consideration I usually just decide the world doesn’t need a movie; Somebody already when to the trouble of recording a song so why mess with perfection?

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Carnival of Aces July 2017: Barriers to Off-Line Ace Meet-ups

Hi folks! This is my post for the July Carnival of Aces hosted this month by the Asexuality Archive under the topic of “Ace-ing it up Offline”. I decided to write about barriers that I’ve personally run into when it comes to meeting aces Offline.

Barrier #1: Location, Location, Location:

I live in a small city in Texas. I pass SIX churches on my 8 mile drive to work everyday. People in my area still can’t even say the word “gay” like it’s a swear word or something. My closest major city is San Antonio which for me is a 40 minute drive (we count distance in time in Texas because it’s makes the drive seem shorter and that’s going 5-10 miles over the speed limit like we do). I haven’t been able to find any info about meet ups in San Antonio because when you look up “aces in San Antionio” on Google it takes you to the local community colleges website which is called the “ACES portal” so not helpful.

According to Google there’s a pretty good Ace presence in Austin which is an hour and a half drive away and in Houston which is three and a half hours away, but then we run into the next barrier-

Barrier #2: Time and Money:

I don’t work a 9-5 job. I work part-time at a grocery and because it’s summer time we lost all our labor hours, but despite all that I’m still working 40+ hours a week! Somebody called in on Tuesday and my supervisor asked everyone and their mother if ANYONE was willing to stay. Even though everybody says they want more hours they’re not willing to work for it when we need it. I was already scheduled 40 hours this week, but I was the only one willing to stay so I worked 12 hours on Tuesday. Friday rolls around and I finished all the work in my section and as much fun as it is to get paid to stand around and do nothing, I asked my super if I could leave early since I was over hours from Tuesday. Literally one minute before I’m about to clock out my supervisor calls me and asks if I can stay because apparently one of our new employees (chick hadn’t even been there two weeks) had just quit on the spot. So, I end up working 11 hours on Friday.

You’d think with all this overtime I’m working, and remember I’m just a “part-time” employee so I should only be getting 30 hours a week, I should be rolling in money. I go to check my account so I can pull some cash to go on a pub-run with my coworkers (because this Friday I needed it) and I have $12.80. So, no Pub-run. I can’t pull from savings because my car needs new tires this month, plus I already owe over 700 dollars on my credit card. I get paid well above minimum wage, but clearly it’s not a living wage.

What all the hell am I buying? Bills. Food. I like a hot lunch and why reheat rice&beans when I could just steam a bag of frozen veggies in the microwave (2.65 plus employee discount) or have a nice hot bowl of soup (2.99 plus employee discount). My personal favorite is the single oatmeal cups (99 cents) because I like to toss in some trail mix (45-80 cents). I’m having flashbacks to Les Miserables “All the bits and pieces/Jesus, it’s amazing how it grows!”

Barrier #3: Making a Connection

One of my friends from high school is aro-ace like me! How amazing is that? Think of the odds. We share the same awkward “what’s wrong with me?” “Am I broken?” “What’s an ace?” experience. I was the one who blurted “I think I’m asexual” and she said “me too” so we should totally be besties hands down, right? Yeah, not what happened. I actually don’t really know what happened other than we had our own crap to deal with and lost touch. I’ve talked to her maybe twice since I came back to Texas. It sucks, but the reality might be I’m just not enough or the right kind of support she needs right now. If I had to make a guess I would say that it’s because she’s black and I have the genetic diversity of Wonderbread. It doesn’t mean I’m not a great person, it doesn’t mean we don’t have anything in common, but I will never be stopped by a cop and fear for my life or freedom. I trust that she knows what she needs in her support network and I’m not going to be offended if I don’t fit those needs. Sometimes people just can’t connect or the connection doesn’t hold up when people change.

I personally have a hard time connecting to people under the age of 25. I run into this problem when I’m online too. Sometimes I just want to vent or I need emotional support over a topic that a younger person hasn’t had to deal with yet. For example my parents are having marriage problems. That means something completely different when you’re closer to 30 than it does when you’re still a teenager. It would be nice to talk about it over a (as in singular) beer and some nachos because I have work at 6AM the next day. I really like talking to my older coworkers because we’re all going though similar experiences and it’s nice to have that “is this normal?”/”oh, yeah. Me too,” conversations.

Honestly, being ace is old news to me now and it gets kind of tiring hearing the same conversation of “Last year/month/week I realized I was ace because…and my family reacted like…” Now I need the conversation, “I’ve identified as ace for X amount of years…” and then what? I want to connect with other aces offline, but emotionally I need to connect with other adults more.

Preferably somewhere less than an hour away with a budget under 20 dollars and I can’t stay too late because I (more than likely) have work the next day.

Well, Sh*t…

I wish I had older friends. A lot of people I associate with at work and elsewhere are all under the age of 25 and a good chunk of the time I feel like I’m left hanging. For example my coworkers want to do a pub crawl on Friday and kindly invited me, but today shit went to hell and reminded me I have a life that needs dealing with. Unfortunately no amount of greasy food and alcohol is going to change that and I’d rather not be strapped for cash later. It would be nice to have people around me who understood that.

My day started out pretty usual. I went to work after only about four hours of sleep which turned out to be a blessing. For the most part I was too tired to snark at people and the cheese I had to peddle was a stupidly easy sell. I sign and everything so I only needed to say about two words total to people. I could just lean against my table and relax. Time went agonizingly slow, but all in all it wasn’t the worst of shifts.

Then I got home. I should have been suspicious when my dad texted me asking if I could pick up his usual beer. Turns out my dad’s mom had died today. She had been in hospice for over a week so they knew it was coming, but he can’t fly up for the funeral and help his brother deal with things because there are no flights no where that he can afford. If he was going to drive he would have needed to have left today, but he couldn’t because our house issues have erupted as well. As far as I know my dad had a meltdown, my mom had a meltdown and left this morning and she hasn’t been back since (currently night), and there’s really not a whole heck of a lot I can do about.

My mom is depressed. We know she’s depressed, but we can’t talk her into getting help for it. If we push or bring up the subject she just reacts even worse and my dad gets the brunt of it. From my point of view the situation isn’t great for the both of them, but I’m not a child in the middle of it. I’m an adult and part of that is I understand that I have no say in how my parents do things. It would be different if I were still a kid, because then they would have the parental obligation to put my needs first, but now if I need or want something I can get it myself. If I want therapy, my job benefits covers 3 visits per issue. I’m still a student so I have college resources. I have my own doctor who can make a referral and my own insurance. The only things I don’t have are a house and a car. I rent both from my parents, but it’s more like I’m getting a REALLY good discount since I do have to budget and pay for rent and maintenance.

The situation with my parents doesn’t make me feel helpless. Right now I feel more numb to the situation than anything. It’s like if someone came up to me at work and asked were an item was in a different part of the store. I do my best to point them in the right direction with what I know, but deep down my standard response is “Not my department”. Right now I feel like the situation with my parents is the same. It matters, and it affects me, but it’s not about me because it’s on them. Maybe once they get their own crap in some semblance of order I can find the time to sit down an grieve because I was told today that my grandmother died and that somehow got pushed down to the bottom of my shit-list.