I have decided it’s time for new icons. I love my ragtag bunch, some of which have been with me for years, but maybe it’s time to upgrade. Maybe. So, the search is on. Three new ones tonight. Though I have found some highly comic images and nearly given them new homes, I have settled on these three because they’re sort of cool and they are, above all else, useful.
1. In college, I had this crappy, crappy futon, a Wal-Mart issue futon that I tucked under my bunk bed once I had my own room during second year, my second semester, when I became an RA. I really liked being an RA, and I was really good at it (for a while), and I made some very excellent friends right off the bat at training. There was very little sleeping, that semester, that year, from then on. And so one day, I was kind of laying on my futon on the floor of my room, one arm up over my head, kind of half-on, half-off of the futon (because it was about four feet long), and my friend Mike walked in and said, “What are you doing?”
I remember that I felt very floaty, half-awake, kind of happy and tired, and I said, “Sometimes, you just need to lay.” This became a kind of motto for us, and I think it’s still useful and true. Because sometimes… yeah. So here’s an icon for that (though it is much more cosmopolitan than my dorm room):
It’s a moderately touched-up version of an album cover, Fred Avril’s “That Horse must be starving.”
Next story, next icon. Freshman year. Also college. Three bands came to campus for a free concert. I had heard of, oh, about one of them (Big Bad VooDoo Daddy), though I’d heard a song or two by the other band (Ben Folds Five). And I went to the concert with some of the other kids from the paper, and floated between standing with them and standing with some kids that I knew from the dorm. They were mostly there to hear BBVD, and so when they wrapped, the dorm kids left and the newspaper kids settled on the bleachers. And I stayed because I wanted to hang out with them, not because I knew anything about the music, and one of the songs — I know now it was “Steven’s Last Night in Town” — was really bad and grating. But some of the other songs were pretty good. Over the course of the next few days, two melodies really stuck in my head, and everyone was playing “The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner” over and over and over again in the office, and eventually… that music just stuck to me. I went home for the summer and I took my own copy of “Reinhold Messner” and I bought my own copies of “Ben Folds Five” and “Whatever and Ever Amen” and even the live album, and I made my friends listen to them all, and I was talking about the music but really I was talking about school and friends and being away. That’s what music is supposed to do, and so, here’s a Ben Folds icon for that:
Yes, his head is cut off, because it’s not about the man, it’s about the music. Right? Right.
So, enough serious stories. This is from a Hallmark card I saw yesterday and mailed to my mom, with the message Thanks for working enough for both of us. So here’s to and for working: