Friday, June 26, 2009

Gitnerblog can now be found at Please update your links and/or RSS feeds accordingly. All new posts will now appear at the new site. Thanks for reading!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Summer Sunday

I used to dread Sundays. I'd snicker at references to it as the "day of rest" throughout my epic Catholic education (15 years = a whole lot of snickering). For me, Sunday meant strategically timed showers and meals in order to waste as little time as possible. It meant regretting starting Saturday night at 6 o'clock, because I didn't get enough reading done.

During the worst of Sundays, I'd put on a little soundtrack to bask in my Sunday angst. The Pretenders' cover of Morrissey's "Everyday is Like Sunday" was a particular favorite. To fully comprehend the angst, here's the first verse and chorus:

V1: Trudging slowly over wet sand
Back to the bench where your clothes were stolen
This is the coastal town
That they forgot to close down
Armageddon - come Armageddon!
Come, Armageddon! come!

C: Everyday is like Sunday
Everyday is silent and grey

Before you judge, listen to the song. It's damn good and perfectly captured my sentiments about Sunday. While I'm still a fan of of the song and other Sunday songs, including "Sunday Morning" by The Velvet Underground, I am no longer a hater of Sunday.

Sunday is my savior! It's a day off in a 6-day week when nine hours of sleep feels like fifteen; when I drink coffee just for the taste; when folding laundry is relaxing. Even the half-mile trek to the grocery store is satisfying. Today I splurged on some Norwegian cheese, Snøfrisk, and bought some locally grown blueberries. These little treats seem like child's play after seeing the delicacies (and obscene prices) at the Dupont Circle Farmer's Market, but they're the little joys that make Sunday special.

The day is almost gone now, but it was a good one. When I can wait contentedly at the bus stop for over an hour and make friends with a Cuban named Omar, it's been a decent day.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Give Lady Gaga a Break

Because I promised a post, I will briefly discuss the best thing about commuting to work.

It's the podcasts. At all other times of the year, podcasts pile up in my Itunes library. That pesky exclamation mark appears next to each and every subscription reminding me that I'm masquerading as a pseudo-intellectual. I could never just sit in my room for an hour and listen to a radio program.

Times have changed, my friends. I've cried on the GUTS bus listening to Dan Savage recount his mother's battle with cancer on This American Life. I've fallen in love with The Low Anthem's "Charlie Darwin" on All Songs Considered. I've rolled my eyes about Obama's controversial "conscience clause" on Slate's DoubleX Gabfest.

Perhaps things have gotten a little out of hand. I now subscribe to ten podcasts, some of which take a few weeks to get around to listening. But if you have an Ipod and you commute, I highly recommend you give Lady Gaga a break and listen to some storytelling. Or news. Or comedy. Anything! Spice up your life with a podcast. When the day's done and you're looking forward to going to sleep as soon as you can scarf down your pasta dinner, it's something to look forward to.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Work Hard, Play Hard?

I learned last week that I cannot work hard, play hard. I can work hard, rest for a night, do some laundry, and then can play relatively hard.

I'm getting into the groove of working three jobs, but sadly my blogging has suffered. Big things are in store for the blog though, including a move to WordPress and a new domain! Get ready.

In the meantime, look for a Friday night blog entry.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Thanks EThrash187

Today I learned that an old friend has died. Eric drowned on Thursday in a tragic accident. He was the first person I "dated." At the ripe age of 14 and without a driver's license, this meant an occasional group trip to the movie theater and a lot of online chatting. Eric and I didn't work out. The logistics of traveling 31 miles to see each other was impractical, but thanks to the internet, we stayed good friends. We talked so often on AIM that our chat logs, had I saved them, would've amassed countless pages.

We lost touch after high school as many friends do. Hearing about him today, I was saddened by the news. My sadness deepened as I realized the impact of his life on my own. I wish I could thank him for it today, but instead, I'll settle with this blog entry.

Eric was there when I started learning to play the guitar. When I began the hunt for my first electric guitar, we debated Fender versus Ibanez. These are the two brands most newbies gravitate towards. Ibanez, Eric argued, was the more versatile guitar. As a thrash metal enthusiast, he urged me to choose a metal-friendly guitar so I could later shred to my heart's desire. Fender, however, was the choice brand of my favorite bands at the time. I wanted to play like Blink 182, Green Day, and Rancid. Eric Clapton even had a signature Fender model that I saw in the catalogues, and I knew at the time that Eric Clapton was... someone. Eric called me out. He told me I just wanted a Fender because I thought they looked cool! While that was 100% true, I denied it and bought a Schecter instead. That's how much power the guy had over me!

Eric's influence didn't stop there. He opened my eyes to more than the pop punk music I listened to. He pointed out the simplicity of Green Day and Blink 182 songs, that they were just a bunch of power chords with catchy melodies. While I was still allowed to like them (and I do), he showed me the way to greener pastures. He started my music education slowly with Metallica's Master of Puppets. I listened back through their discography, and eventually learned to play my first guitar solos ever with "Fade To Black." I learned that Master of Puppets was Metallica's masterpiece and that it was all downhill afterwards. Eric would later send me in the direction of other musicians I would've taken a lot longer to embrace: Jimi Hendrix, Opeth, Black Sabbath, and more.

Although I wouldn't have consciously thought this before, Eric had a huge impact on the person I am today: my music snobbiness, my random knowledge of metal, even the electric guitar I own. It's crazy to think about the butterfly effect he created. Eric is gone now, but I won't forget his influence on me. Thanks a lot, EThrash187. Your friend, jlgpunk182.

Radio Meditation

I write this from my favorite summer meditation spot, the radio studio. During the year, it's only empty from 2AM to 8AM. In the summer, it's gloriously free almost all the time. I park myself at a couch or even the studio window where I can be alone with my lap top, my thoughts, and a Subway sandwich. While my student card no longer provides me access to computer labs or the library, I can at least come here without feeling like I should be gone.

Man, I feel old. But I'm young and I know it! How can I combat this paranoia? For the past few days, my left hip has been bothering me and my first reaction was to flash forward to a scene at age forty where I have trouble walking. I suppressed that image only to be bombarded by an even scarier scene: me having trouble walking at age twenty-five! And then I thought of health insurance. And then I metaphorically slapped myself in the face, addressed myself as "Jessica," and told myself to get a hold of myself.

I came to the radio station to do just that. For the past 2.5 hours, I wrote some emails, nibbled at a foot-long tuna sub, and stared at the racks of cds meditatively while listening to the rotation playlist. I think I feel better now.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Saying Goodbye

Every now and again, I get so emotional about an event that I am forced to restrain myself from blogging. Graduating. It happened to me almost two weeks ago. Some would even argue I made it happen. I accomplished it. I'd rather not take responsibility for an event so traumatizing.

Four years ago, I wouldn't have guessed that graduating would be such a painful process. As a freshman, I contemplated transferring to Columbia or NYU. I viewed my new friendships with floormates on D6 with suspicion and was repulsed by the preppiness of many of my Georgetown peers. My cynicism, however, could only withstand so many good times. My love of Georgetown grew to epic proportions with each basketball game, group dinner at Leo's, and covert dormroom pre-games.

Four years later, I found myself living with five of my closest friends in the greatest house in all of Burleith (see photo above). It truly was a home with everything that a home should have: a family, good food, good conversation, and comfy couches. It was not unusual for at least one housemate to be awake between the hours of 6AM - 4AM. Consequently, round the clock moral support, as well as delicoius baked goods, were in constant supply.

After graduation, I was the last housemate to depart our Burleith paradise. I braced myself for each of five "goodbye's" and though I knew I'd see everyone again, I cried. It was the dismantling of our family. The drama of it all was emphasized by empty rooms and white walls. Surprisingly, it became easier when everyone left. My anxiety floated away, and I felt like I could finally rest. Maybe because I had tried so hard to stay up late and wake up early hanging onto every moment while everyone was still here.

The sadness of leaving the house behind lingers with me. I am living only a block away now, but it's hard not to remember how great it was as I walk by each day. Now is different, I tell myself. But different is not as good as before. I was lucky to have experienced such an amazing senior year and overall college career. I know that I am lucky, because when I tell people how hard it was for it to end, some can't relate. They can't identify with the feeling of loss.

Graduation may be the most traumatic thing I've gone through, but I think that means I've had a pretty good life so far. Moving on isn't all bad. I do feel accompished, and I am excited to see how I'll turn out. Will I be successful? Will I move somewhere new? What will my first apartment look like? I'm excited to see how friends turn out too. What will they be when they grow up? I think the Class of 2009 thought it would have a clearer idea by now, but the economy has us on our toes.

While I wait to find out, I've got some exciting plans for the next 4 months. In addition to a few jobs to keep me busy, I'll continue writing this blog. I'll write more music. I'll listen to more music. I'll even read. Unfortunately, Suze Orman is high on the priority list.

As a grown-up blogger, what will I write about? I'll figure it out soon. Thanks for reading.