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Feel It In My Bones (plus music fix 6… Kings of Leon, Sia, Tiesto, and Lights) 30.08.2009

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Wow, what a week. It’s been almost ridiculously packed and I know this post will be ridiculously long so I can write about it in full.

To start off, it was the first week of my senior year. Normally I wouldn’t be NERVOUS on the first day of school, maybe just a little anxious. But this year, for some reason I was actually nervous this year. I had good reason, though. To start with, my schedule was all kinds of fucked up. My first five classes are locked: meaning that they are the only class periods I can have them. So that means that the last two classes are available for the four classes I signed up for. Do I get these, no. I find out that I can’t get into K-level (sort of like Honors) Economics or Government because they aren’t offered 6th or 7th period. Then, I find out that I am in Personal & Family Development, which might classify as the most useless and stupid class on the face of the planet. I sat in it on the first day and thought that my brain would explode. Either way, I went to my favorite (and no longer assigned to me) counselor and halfway begged him to put my in the Anatomy class that period. Stupid decision as I thought that it was a health credit, but no matter. At least I’m not in PFD.

And then there was Wednesday when I found out that my co-editor decided to quit the website without so much as mentioning to me that he was going to. At least I found out about his change of heart before he was planning on me finding out: he wanted it to be a “surprise” he said. This was like a slap in the face, in my opinion. It was so unprofessional and cowardly and unexpected that I was taken aback. Needless to say. I didn’t really get it.

His decision now leaves me editor-in-chief of a publication that I don’t have a lot of passion for. I stumbled on a blog called “29 Until 30” which has lately been discussing passion. It’s a fantastic blog, by the way, it just makes me feel a little incompetent, especially when it comes to the website. I want to have the passion for it, and I know I need to. But, and this is the question on my mind lately, how do you make some kind of passion when you aren’t sure WHAT to be passionate about? After deciding this past summer that I’m going to take the design route, at least for now, how do I meld that and the specifics of the website into each other?

A surprise passion, though, that arose out of the urging of my ex-co-editor and one of my closest friends, Katy, has become theatre. I’m surprised that I’m enjoying it as much as I am… at least right now. I auditioned for the first play of the year, a delightfully whimsical and romantic comedy called Almost, Maine, and got called back! It was so much fun. I hadn’t acted since freshman year, and not on stage since my 8th grade year. It was sort of momentous. And I loved it, every minute of it, even if I felt sort of awkward or self-consious (then again, when don’t I?). All in all, a rewarding experience. And what’s weird is that I REALLY want to be in this play. At first, I thought I would be content not getting a part or maybe a part in shadow cast. But now, it’s sort of like I was when I was applying for editor-in-chief: I HAVE to get a part.

UPDATE HERE: I found out that I am in shadow cast of the play, but that’s fine with me. Our director says that shadow cast members that stick with it will get their own show. I’m still excited. (:

So therein lies how busy I will be until at least Oct. 4. Rehearsals, newspaper, GSA, STAND. There’s a list of just a million different things that I want to get involved in and do and that I’ll have to find time for. But, I can do this. I believe in myself.

I guess that’s about it. I’m sorry this is more of a diary post this time, instead of offering something at least mildly insightful or deep. It’s going to be a lot harder to sit and think this year, now that all of this is happening. Here, however, is some awesome music to help you pass the time.

First is Kings of Leon. For some reason, I’ve sort of backed off on my love for them as of late. But I figure I will get into them again soon, if any indication of my re-love of this song is true. It’s called “Arizona” and it’s from their best album, in my opinion, Because of the Times.

Sia is one of those artists you stumble upon in and out. I’ve never been really BIG into her, until I heard her song “Breathe Me” a couple of weeks ago, again. And then, it was just like the love was meant to be. Here it is, off her album Colour The Small One.

The name of this blog comes from the addictive and delightful song “Feel It In My Bones” by Tiesto and featuring Tegan and Sara. It’s the first new song from them in quite a while and you guys know that any new Tegan and Sara song is fine by me. And with less than two months until the new record, AH, i’m excited. (: Here’s the song, which will be featured on the album Kaleidoscope.

Finally, I leave you with a song that I recently discovered I had on my iTunes. It’s by Lights, whose an adorable up and comer who is going to release her debut feature length The Listening. It’s just so sweet. (:

I hope you all have a great week and don’t get TOO stressed out. Remember there’s an abundance of good things that await.

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As we are. 22.08.2009

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I don’t know why I feel the utter need and want to blog. It’s not like I’ve had particularly eventful days; this weekend is tax-free on all clothes, school supplies, back to school such in Texas, so yesterday I went to Montrose, the only part of this swamp worth going to, in my opinion, with Angelique and Michelle, two of my best girls and favorite people, for school clothes. I bought some GREAT jeans, that I already have a feeling will be my new favorites for just $11. Awesome deal! I now officially love resale shops. Put that on my list of places I want to work in college. At this rate that list is going to be longer than my college experience (coffeeshop, bookstore, resale shop… anywhere that’s sort of small, quirky and cute really.)

I’ve become oddly nostaglic for winter as of late. I don’t say oddly like this is an unusual thing for me: I make it known that I ABHOR and DETEST the summer months in Houston because it is SO DAMN HOT here. Houston is one of those cities where, if you dare walk outside at, say, 10:30 in the morning, you are assaulted by a wrath of sunshine and heat. It’s headache-inducing suffering. Last night, however, came the first glimpse of what autumn and winter will feel like, since a cold front passed through, sending an incredible amount of Houston’s famous flash flooding/power outages/quick downpours. After the Noah’s Ark amount of rain, though, came the undeniably amazing feeling of a day with no humidity. Walking out of Freebirds and feeling that made me almost weather-sick. Today it’s the same way, sunny, breezy and lacking in any discernable humidity. The weather channel says it feels like 105, but I beg to differ.

As such, I’m sitting on my couch, my patio door open, blogging and listening to Brand New. It’s a good life, if only I wasn’t so worried about what comes next. I’ve recently come to the conclusion that, due to my mom’s failing health, and the constant worry about where our next paycheck is coming from, sometime between now and November, I will move in with my nephew’s other grandma, Gail. I love Gail and the entire family, don’t get me wrong. They’ve been there so much for me in the past few months when I needed them most. But I’m unaccustomed to so much generosity, and I feel like I would be a burden on them, even if they say I won’t. They live within walking distance of my school, which is nice, especially since transportation is ALWAYS a problem for me.

But I like the independence of living with my mom, especially because she is very lenient and I can tell her I’m going somewhere and be somewhere completely different. I don’t know if that would work with someone else. Or maybe it’ll be better. Either way, I sort of feel abandoned and left out. It’s all very fraught.

But today is today. I’m planning on going and getting my hair cut from the small Asian haircutter next to my house. Not the best place for someone who is increasingly looking like a hipster, but they have scissors and licensed hairdressers, so I figure why not. Plus it only costs $6 for a haircut there. Spiffy. And then comes the inevitable reading I MUST try and do today. I’m about 300 pages away from finishing the book. It’s sort of humorous because I was watching “Stranger than Fiction” the other day, and I noticed that one of the things Dustin Hoffman’s character mentions to Will Ferrel’s character is to spend however much time he has left to live “finishing Crime and Punishment.” Well, there you go, Professor Hilbert, my procrastination has led me to try and finish the book within a weekend. I’m not delusional. I’m only planning on getting through to Part Four by the first day on Monday. I’ll deal with the last two hundred or so pages after the first week. It’ll all work out, I’m sure. Summer reading usually extends through the first few weeks anyway.

So for now I leave you with an excellent song from Brand New, which was my inspiration throughout the writing of this blog. It’s called “Play Crack The Sky” and it’s off their album Deja Entendu. So what I want to say is Goodbye, have fun, and I promise not to leave the lights on.

20 Good Reasons… er maybe 12. 20.08.2009

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I’ve been thinking I’m too negative lately. And as I start school next week, it feels like I have a new start available in my life, a new year, if you will, a new oppurtunity to become more positive and look at the things I love about my life. So every few weeks or so, or maybe every day in one week, or something I might pop in and write a short little list of things I like. I’m not sure. But here goes. Today’s list of things I like:

~ Mememolly on youtube

~ Online social networking devoted ENTIRELY to someone’s style choices.

~ The fact that in two and a half months, Tegan and Sara will have another album out.

~ A tweet leading me to find a great band I’ve never heard of, and their amazing acoustic version of a faboulous song.

~ FarmVille on Facebook.

~ Guacamole.

~ Big, obnoxious and trendy sunglasses.

~ Barney Frank yelling at a crazy fringe-r who believes that Obama is comparable in any way to Hitler.

~ Reading more than 50 pages in Crime & Punishment in one day.

~ The ampersand.

~ Downloading free fonts.

~ Realizing that there are things that still make you smile, somewhere, even when you hate your life to the core. That this isn’t as bad as it could be.

Music fix #5: Tegan and Sara, Mayday Parade, Justice and MGMT 16.08.2009

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Hey guys, hope you had a great weekend. I’m just doing a little music fix before I become exceptionally busy over the next week. I promise to post at least one more time before school starts next week. In the meantime, I have four songs to share with you.

First, I’ve decided that Mayday Parade is an all around amazing band, which actually writes some awesome lyrics if you listen to them. This song is called “I’d Hate To Be You When People Find Out What This Song Is About” and it’s from the album A Lesson For Romantics.

Moving on, it’s been awhile since I posted a Tegan and Sara song, so here is the acoustic version of their song “Back In Your Head,” from a podcast called “Spinner: The Interface.” I remember when this was my favorite song; it was right after Hurricane Ike hit and I’m became obsessed with this one song. And then, the obsession spiraled and now I love them with a depth of none I have. Except for maybe Metric. Maybe.

MGMT is, perhaps, the wildcard favorite on my list. I don’t love them all the time, but when I do love them, I can’t stop listening to them. If you haven’t heard them before, this song is not indicative what they always sound like, but right now, it’s my favorite. It’s called “We (Don’t) Care,” and it’s on the Climbing To New Lows EP.

And finally, I’m including a song that will start your week off in a jumpy mood. It’s called “Never Be Alone” and it’s a mashup, I guess, of Justice and Simian (on my iTunes it’s listed as Justice vs. Simian.) At any rate, it’s the most fun song to listen to while cleaning. Have a great week, and I’ll see you guys soon.

~ “I must go in, the fog is rising.” -Emily Dickinson’s last words.

I feel too close to be losing touch. 15.08.2009

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I now return to what I originally set out to write about Thursday early morning with an extra twinge of regret. My career options, while seemingly endless for I have so many interests, have been feeling extremely limited lately. That’s because, as I’ve mentioned, I’m now a co-editor of the very first news website in my high school’s history. It’s a frightening and exciting step forward for my journalism department, and when I took the position I thought I would really enjoy it. I thought that the prospect of creating something from scratch would provide a welcome breath of fresh air for me. I now realize that it was a mistake.

I hope, however, this is just a very early conclusion, and that the apathetic rut that I’ve been is the cause of my distraught and morose (to take a word from a very close friend) attitude to my predicament. I think the reason I feel so apathetic and unexcited about the website stems from a few different causes.

First, there’s the fact that it is so new. There is no precedent for what we are doing, especially in my journalism department. At the end of last year, our beloved adviser took a job with a yearbook publishing company in her home state of Kansas, so with a brand new adviser, who is also in her first year of teaching, we move forward. But we are all print babies, and, with few exceptions, we are all much more interested in the design aspect of journalism than in the writing aspect. With the addition of a website, which uses a completely new and foreign program to create the sites, the design aspects, in many ways, is completely gone for me.

That scares the living shit out of me. I am slowly coming to realize that, while writing holds a dear place in my heart, the idea of not practicing design on a solid, fufilling basis is even more terrifying. I love inDesign too much and I love the feeling I get after completely a layout that I know looks good too much to let it go. And as for writing, there’s always writing novels or blogs to fufill that need. As much as I love the idea of being a critic, (a longstanding dream that has recently resurfaced) being a magazine’s art director or graphics editor or creative manager holds so much promise, so much excitement, so much hope in my own mind.

And so there you have it, I guess, the rub, why I feel like I will be unhappy for the next year: I won’t be designing as much, if at all, this year. Instead, I am heading into what will be the most epic amount of writing for me in my entire journalism student career. And while I know this will satisfy my journalistic yearning, it’s also so boring it feels. I can’t even get excited about the interview I did just last night which lasted about two hours as a friend of mine told anecdotes from a recent trip to Ireland. And that scares me slightly because I’ve never felt that way.

My other reason for feeling so apathetic seems to be from what makes me cringe deep inside. High school drama. Shit. I feel like I’ve been cast aside, isolated, left out of the group of friends I was so excited about being on the website last year. I don’t know what happened this summer, but some of us have lost the chemistry necessary to be friends. It upsets me and pisses me off, since I think I know the culprit behind the isolation. Why he feels the need to do this to me is beyond my normal span of comprehension. We have so many mutual friends, and out of respect for him (which, granted, might be extremely limited, but enough) I don’t, and have never, talked about him, or aired frustrations about him to people he is friends with. He, however, does this all the time about me. It takes a lot for me not to do the same thing he does and post terribly mean and hateful status updates about him on my own Facebook (one I was thinking about in my nap-fueled frustrations was “You’re a douche. Thanks for ruining some of my closest friendships with your stupid shit.” But I didn’t. Unfortunately. Maybe he’ll read this and think about how much of a hypocrite and an asshole he is. Doubt it. I know him well enough to know he doesn’t care what I think or feel. That’s become really evident in the past year and a half.)

If it wasn’t for the fact that I have some really great friends that are outside of the publications niche, I don’t know what I would do. This summer has made me realize how much I really appreciate my best friend, Michelle. She’s probably the only person I can truly talk about anything with at anytime and not get bored with. She does so much for me and I don’t even think about how boring or unexciting my life would be without her. Even the simple little adventures we go on, like looking for the entire collection of Teenie Babies a few weeks ago or just the simplicity of hanging out at her house. It’s something that I look forward to and will miss once the school year starts and the unlimited free time we have now is gone.

I’m going to stop there, since 920 words is a lot and it’s probably late wherever you are. Good night, guys, have a safe one.

~ “You cannot live on hope alone, but without hope, life is not worth living” – Harvey Milk

Does this deafening silence mean nothing to no one but me? 13.08.2009

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I originally set out to write a blog about my recent career worries, about the split feeling I have about whether to go into writing or design when I grow up. But right before, I stumbled upon the Facebook groups memorializing two girls I did not know but have had such impact on my friends. Both girls (Sydney Owens and Amber Jeffrey) died in car accidents (Sydney in November 2006, during my freshman year, and Amber on June 30.) Both girls were beautiful and many of my friends were also friends with them. It made me realize and think about how trivial my worries are.. most of their friends are still reeling and grieving the loss.

Whatever the case, these deaths make me feel very surreal and almost uncomfortable, for I never got the chance to get to know them. But more, I probably wouldn’t have taken the chance to get to know them. They weren’t really the kind of friends that I would’ve reached out. But that doesn’t really diminish the fact that they are gone. To lose someone like a friend I think is even harder than losing a family member at times. You come to LEARN to love friends, but the love of family always feels a little more obligated than the love of a best friend. For that to be taken away in a split second due to drunk driving (in Amber’s case) or drag racing (Sydney) probably feels even worse; this death is the kind that can be prevented.

I’m trying to accept and embrace a new philosophical way of dealing with the stress, anger, frustration and overall hard-ness of my life. Accepting and subscribing to the notion that everything happens for a reason somehow takes on a more difficult and surreal path when it’s saying that these girls died so young for some unknown, godforsaken reason. I don’t know how I will handle a friend of mine dying, and while I hope it never happens, I know it will. It’s only nature. I hope, though, I can keep the same mind. It happened for a reason.

This blog is also a music fix, though the three songs I have chosen are much more somber and I won’t really have the same kind of introduction as I have in the past. The first is by Damien Rice, and I listened to it while writing this blog. It’s called “9 Crimes,” and the lyrics make it seem oddly, though distortedly, appropriate. It’s on the album 9

From Coldplay’s third album X&Y, it’s “Swallowed In The Sea.”

And finally, I’m including Mayday Parade’s long titled but very powerful song “You Be the Anchor That Keeps My Feet On The Ground, I’ll Be The Wings That Keep Your Heart In The Clouds.” It also seems vaguely appropriate dealing with the question “Why are we here?” I hope you guys have a great weekend.

~ “You cannot live on hope alone, but without hope, life is not worth living” – Harvey Milk

The only way out is to give in 10.08.2009

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It’s so hard to blog once you’ve decided you are going to do it often. When I started this blog in the middle of a July night, I had all of these grand plans of blogging 3, 4 times a week. And now, I can’t seem to write one even if I try. But I’m going to now.

I’ve had an incredible, yet semi-shameful weekend. I got drunk for the first time, relatively speaking. I’ve gotten somewhat tipsy/borderline drunk before. Saturday night I was completely and utterly plastered. So plastered I forgot my shoes at the house of the host of the party I went to; I don’t know her. I also puked all over her floor, and on my best friend’s car. I don’t remember much of that night; my memories are extremely out of focus, just like I know my vision was.

And the thing is, I’m ok with it. I’m ashamed of myself, of course, but at the same time I enjoyed myself… up until I projectile vomited that is. And I’m also happy with the fact that I did get that drunk; it showed me what my limits are and what I need to know the next time I go to that kind of thing. The kind of shenanigans my friends and I get into…

On a completely different note, this Friday is the launch of the very first news website at my high school, and I am co-editor of it. I’m excited and nervous at the same time. It’s scary to think that I am helming something completely new and something I don’t really know much about. But it’s really cool to know that I am helping to start something completely new with the help of people I really love and trust (our five person staff consists of my closest friends that go to my high school). It’s also exciting to know that when we unveil this thing there will be people who are excited about it. I hope, I hope, I hope.

~ “You cannot live on hope alone, but without hope, life is not worth living” – Harvey Milk

Just a little music fix part 3 04.08.2009

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Hey guys, I know I haven’t been posting regularly, but that’ll start to change hopefully? Right now, I want to share some music with you:

First is probably the best funny song ever; it’s by LMFAO which is probably hard for dyslexics to remember. The song is called “YES” and it’s off their debut Party Rock

And now some actual music, haha. One band that I have a love hate relationship with is Coldplay, the reason being that I love their music, but they are so popular it’s almost ruined for me. But then I hear “Yellow,” and it all comes back to me. The lyric “For you, I’d bleed myself dry,” gives me chills. It’s from their debut Parachutes.

I try hard to include all my favorite bands so here is one of the best Modest Mouse songs they’ve ever recorded. It’s called “Custom Concern,” and I think what really gets me about it is the way he sings “This will never stop” at the end of the vocal part. The entire song is almost bone-crushingly sad, and yet so beautiful. It’s on the album This Is A Long Drive For Someone With Nothing To Think About.

And to end it off is one of the best songs I think I have ever heard. Tracy Chapman is one of the most beautiful and sincere folkies that I love. I can both blame and thank my mom for instilling a fascinating love for her. This song, while long, is gorgeous. I hope someone will sing this to me one day. It’s called “The Promise,” and it’s off her best record (at least in my opinion) New Beginning.

~ “You cannot live on hope alone, but without hope, life is not worth living” – Harvey Milk

Internal and External Circumstances (plus Metric, Dixie Chicks, Where the Wild Things Are and Lady A for music fix 2) 28.07.2009

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After a week of no posts and more retrospection than i’ve had in a while, it’s hard to come up with a way of organizing and making my thoughts easy to understand, so bear with me, I’ll try my best.

But first it’s weekly music time. First up, we have Dixie Chicks. I’ve loved them for about the past year, but it seems like this time of year is the time that I come to fall for them all over again. This song is called “Easy Silence,” and it is from their brilliant Grammy-winning album Taking The Long Way. The vocal hits me right where it hurts, and what’s more, the lyrics are stunningly multi-faceted.

So you don’t have to skim to the bottom for the meat of the post, I’ll start talking here, interjecting with musical goodies in between. I went to journalism camp this weekend, 4 days of intensive work on the very first website my newspaper will attempt to publish and make successful. This is so far out of my comfort zone it’s unreal. I have to learn an entirely new program and be one of the co-editors of something I’m not comfortable with-not yet anyway. This is something new for me: I’m such a control freak that doing something new is always something hard for me.

At the same time, I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am. I’m going to working with a team that I know and love (all 4 of the other staffers are very close friends of mine) and starting something new is always exhilarating. I am so happy that our new adviser is young and fresh, that she’s quirky and funny and I thing that is going to benefit us.

Speaking of exhilirating, I CANNOT wait to see Where the Wild Things Are. Maybe it’s just the Arcade Fire in the background, but doesn’t it look amazing?

Another thing I thought about at camp was the situations and circumstances I find myself in as I start my senior year of high school. This will either be one of the best or worst years of my life. So much of these past three years has made me realize that I am a stronger person than I think I am. But there are times where I realize that my insecurities and jealously make me feel like I’m suffocating. I can’t help these things, it’s just how it is, but I still feel like it’s my fault.

On a completely different note, congrats to Lady Antebellum for their first number one single, I think? Haha, this song makes me happy inside, and I don’t know why. Takes me back to last April when everything was so crazy, but at the same time all made some sense. It’s called “I Run To You” and it’s off their self-titled debut.

One last thing: when people say I hate my life, I think I realize what they are talking about. All they hate is the external circumstances, not really the internal stuff that happens. I’m depressed but I realize that my depression will probably be there for as long as I live in Houston, at the very least. It’s odd how simultaneously I am both comforted and freaked the fuck out by the idea that I won’t be living in Houston in a year. I think every teenager leaving their hometown feels like that. And I can’t be any more excited to see what happens next.

To finish this off, I will leave you with my favorite song of the moment. Last week, I gave you Emily Haines solo, this week I offer her in Metric. From their Polaris Music Prize-nominated album Fantasies this is “Gold Guns Girls.” Have a great week, and I’ll see you guys very soon.

~ “You cannot live on hope alone, but without hope, life is not worth living” – Harvey Milk

Music Fix 1: Emily Haines, T&S, Owl City and Lykke Li. 20.07.2009

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So every Monday or so, I plan on posting a few of my favorite songs at that moment, in hopes of creating a digital anthology of great music.

First up is Emily Haines’ “Our Hell.” She’s the lead singer of Metric, and I stumbled upon this song on Pandora radio. It led me to her 2006 solo effort called Knives Don’t Have Your Back. It’s great, check it out.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that I am head over heels for Tegan and Sara. This is a rare demo of their song “Soil, Soil,” one of my favorite songs off their most recent album The Con, which, in itself, is fantastic. I am SO excited for their next record called Sainthood, which will see release on October 27.

iTunes rarely gives me something I can fall head over heels for, but this week, they released “Fireflies” by Owl City as their free song of the week. The attention from iTunes pushed me to him again, and now this is my jogging song. It’s the lead single from his debut full length called Ocean Eyes

And finally this week is a song that I’ve found myself going back and forth on but finally deciding that I really do love the song. It’s by the Swedish singer Lykke Li, and was released last year on her debut Youth Novels Apparently, it was the big single or something, but I stumbled upon it on Pandora. It’s called “Little Bit.”

~ “You can not live on hope alone, but without hope, life is not worth living.” – Harvey Milk