Story, Goal, Song: part V

We certainly assign a lot of significance to the New Year, don’t we? I try to pretend I’m not a part of that, but then I catch myself frozen at my keyboard, blank-minded but determined to pull something really meaningful out of thin air. It’s my last post of 2014, I kind of want it to be good. I’d like to go out on a high note, thank you. But then the rebel in me snidely points out the arbitrariness of a calendar year. “365 days” wasn’t a thing until someone decided it was, and then the cast of RENT sang about it. Part of me thinks, “hm, maybe I’ll make it a point to really think about this in the coming year,” while another (bigger) part recognizes how enormously ironic that would be. Isn’t it fun when I talk about nonsense? Let’s do that more.

But before everyone cracks open the champagne and Jenny McCarthy kisses an unsuspecting stranger, let’s wrap up this series of stories, goals, and songs.


A story: One of the things which makes very little sense to me is how late most parties start. If I eat at six, I can easily be ready by seven – but then I have to sit around waiting for like three hours till it “starts,” and then another hour till it’s socially acceptable to show up. Is anyone really doing anything important between 7-10pm? No. So let’s start at seven and just get it over with, and I can go to bed at eleven.

Back in March, my friend Sav and I were gearing up to attend one of these functions. We were in that awkward post-dinner, pre-party time of day, didn’t really know what to do with ourselves. But lucky for me, Sav is an idea machine and soon we were in throwback city, playing a game from our freshman year of high school… Hangover.

“Hangover” is a simple but competitive game invented by our freshman lunch table, in which the plastic ring is removed from the neck of a Gatorade bottle and flicked back and forth between two players. It’s basically poor man’s ice hockey, except instead of flicking it off the table, the aim is to get it hanging juuust over the edge – hence the name “hangover.” Fourteen years old, and already inventing games and mastering wordplay. Get on our level.

Well, Sav and I did this for approximately two hours. Eventually we had been playing so long we started forgetting our scores, so we started keeping tally with crayons:

My "score" at the end of the game - I won.

My “score” at the end of the game – I won.

The soundtrack of this intense athletic event was, appropriately, a bunch of 80s pop. Heart, the Cars, Madonna. A little Tears for Fears. God I love 80s music…

Anyway, this was a great little 2014 moment I thought I’d remember (ya know, publicly).

A goal: Every so often, I read through the journals I’ve kept so far in my life (unshockingly numerous). Usually I stick with my more competent writing (10th grade onward), which means I tend to forget there is any valuable sentiment in, say, my 11-year-old musings. This is a shame, because when I was eleven, I wrote about how badly I wanted to go down and help the victims of Hurricane Katrina, something I was unable to do at such a young age. I resolved to give my hands to whatever cause I was passionate about, as soon as I was old enough to do it on my own. Well, friends, I am now old enough to do it on my own – I have been for a number of years. But I’m not fulfilling those charitable aspirations I had in my heart as a kid, even though they’re still there.

I realized this the other night, and to be honest I was pretty disappointed in myself. Here I am, privileged, acutely aware of the injustice and hurt all around, with a strong desire to do something about it… and yet I don’t do anything about it. It is very important to me that I change this. If you have any thoughts or suggestions, hey, that’s what the comment section is for – I’m not lying to myself, I know this will be the most challenging goal I’ve made, so any comments are more than welcome.

A song: I am ending this year with my favorite retro find of 2014: “Next to You” by the Police. In all the other Police songs I’ve heard, they lean toward a slower tempo and reggae vibe. Ska? I think they’re missing the horns. I don’t know my music genres. But this song is incredibly high-energy, so much so that its repetitiveness doesn’t bother me in the slightest.

WHAT CAN I DOOOO, ALLIWANTISTOBENEXTTOYOUAAA


Happy New Year, readers far and near. May 2015 be filled with friendship, pizza, great antique finds, good hair days, and lots of songs that make you think. I appreciate all of you.

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Story, Goal, Song: part I

Here begins a series of posts I can really only describe as cliche (a label I am consistently trying not to care about). I know I’m not the only victim of the tidal wave of sentimentality that accompanies the last month of the year, so I’m deeming it okay to kind of give into the appeal of both reflecting and resolving – so that is what I shall do. I am going to tell a memorable story from 2014 (with a grainy iPhone photo, naturally), explain one of my goals for the coming year (unrelated to the story, because who has time for that kind of thinking?), and since it brings me great joy to incessantly barf music recommendations on everyone, I will include a song that has come to embody my year. Let’s go!


A story: In February, I took a little weekend trip to Oregon with my family. My little sister’s volleyball team was playing in a tournament at UO, aka the worst place in the world:

My father and I wondering what we are doing in the land of the Ducks.

My father and I wondering what we are doing in the land of the Ducks.

It was incredibly cold, so much so that inhaling felt like unwillingly swallowing a 10-gallon bucket of ice water (no exaggerations to be found here). Pretty much everyone was sick, the girls were losing their games, and the coaches were visibly grumpy. Also, as I said, we were in Eugene. Enough said? Enough said.

But despite all of this, I count that weekend among my favorites of this year. Everyone else was quite clearly miserable, but I was having a delightful time – I got to spend three straight days with my parents, eat nachos and experience a Seahawks victory in a local pub, watch episodes of Lost as I went to sleep at night… and to top it all off, my parents and I were the first to stay in a newly remodeled room at our hotel, meaning I was the first ever person to sleep on this pull-out bed mattress:

Am I weird for being excited about things like this?

Am I weird for being excited about things like this?

So, yes. Against my better judgment (being a natural-born rival), I made some fond memories at the University of Oregon. And on the drive home, we happened upon a Noodles & Co, which we had only ever seen in Denver – dreams do come true.

A goal: Apparently 2014-15 is the year of mass scattering for my close friend group – one of my best friends is on a multi-month whirlwind tour of Europe, another has been in Norway since August, and yet another will be in Scotland for the remainder of the academic year, while many others are in different corners of the state. Come April, I will actually be putting pen to paper in the sun-soaked streets of Rome, so I suppose I have jumped on the bandwagon as well. But as exciting as all of this is, it has been and probably will be problematic for me – I am not phenomenal at keeping in touch.

Although I’ve been lucky to have a lot of close friends who are persistent enough for the both of us, I’d really like to step up my game in the coming year and combat the whole “out of sight, out of mind” state of thinking (a state which is involuntary in my case, I assure you). It’s really a matter of re-prioritizing and being intentional, which, unsurprisingly, is an idea at the heart of most of my resolutions. To put it concisely: I want to get better at showing the people who are important to me that, even though I am far away, I still consider our friendship very valuable and something that is worth maintaining. (and I refuse to apologize for how cheesy this is)

A song: With a whopping 1,700+ tracks saved to my many spotify playlists this past year, picking out just four or five to include in this series of posts is SO HARD. So, to make things easier for myself, I am making the first one a very recent favorite (recent, like I discovered this song a week ago). It’s called “Even the Darkness Has Arms” by the Barr Brothers.

One of the many songs with lyrics I wish I had written, and one of the many songs that makes me really, really want to pick up a guitar and learn how to play it. I am seriously excited about the music this band is making, and I encourage you to listen to their newest album, Sleeping Operator – you can stream it on spotify, or just buy it (probably the better of the two options).


And with that, I will say “till next time.” I hope your day is lovely!

Week one.

Rain is a somewhat disheartening way to start off the new year. So is a hefty pile of class readings. But by some miracle, I am a happy camper.

I’ve had bad years, I’ve had good years, I’ve had years I can hardly remember (aka middle school). 2013, I think, was an important year; I’m hesitant to say it was ‘pivotal’ since, you know, I only have ten days of perspective. Nonetheless, I spent a lot of my time thinking and listening and – this is the exciting one – speaking. I won’t start yanking everyone on-board my crazy train of thought over the past 12 months, that’s not what I want to write about today. But I am an increasingly sentimental person, so how could I let an entire year of smiling and crying and laughing and internally screaming at people slip by without at least writing a paragraph about it? That’s right. I can’t.

Anyway. About a week ago, I was not feeling the new-year-new-quarter excitement. In fact, I was being reduced to a puddle of tears – sitting on my floor, listening to “Antichrist” by the 1975, and experiencing a new and dangerously intense wave of sobbing every time the lyric “and I love the house that we live in / and I love you all too much” found its way out of my speakers (does this story make me more endearing? probably not). Quite often, I find myself dreading the inevitable pain with which life will one day smack me, and this, friends, was one of those dire times. “LOVE IS PAIN. TIME IS PAIN. PAAAAAIN.” (sidenote: sometimes I think I should get one of those choppy emo haircuts and write depressing poems on my hands in sharpie, like really.) Generally I’m a reasonably optimistic person, so this is not how I pictured day 4 of 2014.  You can’t really anticipate the bad days, but they happen. Conversely, though, you can’t predict the days that’ll be the happiest of your life. And eventually I realized this. And I got up, and I took a shower, and I ate craisins and watched Lost*.

And in the days since – despite the rain and the pages of reading piling up – I’ve done a lot of smiling. I’ve enjoyed some fantastic company. I’ve learned so much in my classes already. And I’ll be damned if I haven’t savored the moments when I can just curl up in my bed and stare out the window. Ahhhhh. Life.

In other news, I rearranged my room and it's basically heaven.

In other news, I rearranged my room and it’s basically heaven.

AH YEAH

AH YEAH

I was going to try to document my outfit everyday, but then I quit. Oops.

I was going to try to document my outfit everyday, but then I quit. Oops.

As you may have noticed, I gave my blog a little makeover. Not crazy about the size of the text, but I can deal. Makeovers are fun.

Here’s to the (ten-day-late) New Year!

*I am on season 6, and seriously (!!!!!) if anyone spoils this for me I will make your life miserable. Already had a spoiler scare when I watched This is 40 a few days ago, DO. NOT. WANT. AGAIN.