My Love for Buses, Explained

It’s been one of those months where I have been at a total creative standstill – a slump, if you will. My days are spent trying to figure out what to do with myself, and my nights are spent moping in defeat because I never actually figured out what to do with myself during the day. To be fair, this isn’t every day of my life, but it’s started to take up a big chunk, and despite my being happy, I’ve been drawing blanks when it comes to conveying that happiness.

For a long time, I thought there was no immediate cure for this unfortunate lack of inspiration, but I have made a very important discovery in the past year: bus rides. I’m talking morning or mid-afternoon, long, scenic bus rides; I would never advise anyone to hop on around five on a weekday, when everyone is forced to play a not-fun game called “how many tired and irritated people can we squeeze onto the 67?” But speeding along the freeway on a bus, catching glimpses of city skylines between the passing semis, that is where I find the gears in my brain beginning to cheerfully whir again.

One of my most developed skills is staring out of windows, so I put that to good use, obviously. No matter where I am, I’m never at a loss for things to look at. Another thing I’m very good at is listening to music, and for bus rides I usually choose to focus on one album – Babel by Mumford & Sons, Achtung Baby by U2, you get the idea. This is one of the few times I have the time and/or energy to give the album, as a whole, the attention it deserves. Maybe it’s a bizarre hobby to admit to having, but analyzing lyrics is flippin’ delightful and I’m gonna do it till the day I die. So basically, sass aside, I have found my happy place and it is on public transportation. Who would have guessed? NOT CIERRA.

Huge thanks to Chimp, my roomie and best friend, for letting me stay at her house, eat her food, and use her nail polish. And for giving me an excuse to ride the bus, making me feel a little more inspired than I was before this weekend. I think I’m back on the up and up now.

D'you know what else is inspiring? Harry Potter. Which must be accompanied by homemade butterbeer, of course.

D’you know what else is inspiring? Harry Potter. Which must be accompanied by homemade butterbeer, of course.

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And now I know everything.

I have officially survived a week of college, guys. You can applaud me if you want.

But seriously, never has my life changed so drastically in a matter of nine days. In fact, I have so many things to talk about that I might have to split this subject into multiple posts. Just so, you know, I don’t seem annoying or something… maybe it’s too late for that.

Anyway, I moved into my dorm last Thursday. My roommate and I pretty much have the greatest dorm room the world has ever seen, complete with a bathroom and a pretty nice view into the neighbors’ windows across the courtyard (be mindful of your blinds). Also, we have a Parisian Corner. Observe:

Tres adorable, non?

Outside of my lovely dorm room, I have learned many valuable things about college life. Since I’m bored and have an affinity for lists, I will share with you some of the discoveries I have made:

  • It is socially acceptable to shave your head on the third floor terrace.
  • Peanut butter in excess is just… no bueno.
  • Books are expensive. Especially books you don’t really care to read.
  • Guilty because of your caloric intake? No problem, said the seven flights of stairs to your dorm room.
  • When every single floor TV lounge is full of guys, there is, without a question, a football game on.
  • Blueberry hibiscus tea looks like blood and tastes like Splenda.
  • College is full of people who want to take your picture for a fashion blog. (personal victory #131)
  • Contrary to common belief, college isn’t about learning. It’s about doing icebreakers.
  • Quiet hours? What quiet hours?
  • People who sing in the hallway generally aren’t the people you want to be singing in the hallway.
  • Granola bars have some rare magical property in them, and that’s why they’re TWO DOLLARS each. Well, that’s sort of just a theory.
  • Literally everyone likes Harry Potter.
  • Literally everyone likes Apples to Apples.
  • Following a big group when you don’t know where you’re going doesn’t always work in your favor.

As you can tell, I pretty much know everything there is to know now. I don’t even know why I’m still here… Just kidding. I am enjoying this experience immensely.

Do you know what else I am enjoying immensely? Babel, Mumford and Sons’ new album. My ears think it’s delicious.

Mumford and Sons: SO MANY FEELINGS

Winston, Ted, Ben, and Marcus. Oh they’re so dashing.

A few years ago, I was browsing iTunes (as I do quite often; I buy my music legally, thank you) and came upon a song that used the F-word very frequently and with much ardor. I wanted to like it, oh I wanted to like it so bad. The twang of the banjo was calling my name. But I was, at that time, anti-swearing Cierra, and no I would not fund their dirtymouthed lyrics! No, no, no.

Now I look back and think, wow, that was really stupid reasoning. But my clean-eared past is sort of beside the point. What I’m trying to get at is the fact that I am seriously obsessed with Mumford and Sons.

I became obsessed probably a few months after the initial hearing of Little Lion Man (the song I mentioned above),  whereupon I bought that track and a few others. It’s quite embarrassing, but I didn’t actually purchase the whole album (Sigh No More) until last winter when I was in Vancouver, BC. Believe me, though- I made up for lost time by listening to that CD every single day on my way to and from school. And I still listen to the whole thing on every road trip I go on, however small. I am in love with that album.

I think the first time I saw them live was at the Grammy’s in 2011, when they performed the Cave. I was completely blown away. The way they play their music is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen- they feel every note, every word, every everything. There’s just so much passion, it’s incredible. It’s like they were made to make music and share it. And as a result, I sit there just gaping like someone who doesn’t know if their heart is going to explode with joy or not. Honestly, I don’t think I know any words that could accurately describe it.

And I have been flipping out for the past week because they’re releasing a new album (Babel) in September. Flipping. Out. I’ve listened to a lot of the tracks- they have soared over my expectations (which were admittedly pretty high to begin with) and I just can’t wait to hold the beautiful CD in my hands… and, of course, be very careful not to scratch it.

In celebration of their marvelousness, I thought I would share a few of my favorite songs/performances:

I can’t stop listening to this:

A fantastically done cover:

And last but not least…

Not to be melodramatic, but if I never see them in concert, I think I might just die.