So its a new year, and I'm still not quite sure how I would rank the albums I listened to last year. Some pretty great albums, but nothing that absolutely blew me away except maybe
1) Dirty Projectors- Bitte Orca
2) Grizzly Bear- Veckatimest
3) Bibio- Ambivalence Avenue
4) The XX- XX
5) Manchester Orchestra-
6) Phoenix- Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
7) Washed Out- Life of Leisur
8) Dead Man's Bones- Dead Man's Bones
I really can't even rank that. I really love the first four on that list, and Washed Out could probably be higher, but I haven't had it for very long. I dug some other stuff too. Freelance Whales was good for a while. Thrice is actually starting to grow on me. Fun just couldn't live up to my expectations of Nate-- its just not as good as a release from the Format. I listened to the Antlers and Passion Pit quite a bit, but didn't really love either of them (I had really high expectations for Passion Pit-- absolutely loved their EP). MPP was alright. I didn't bother listening to it until last night, and I'm starting to get into it. I guess overall it was a year with some pretty good releases, but nothing quite blew me away.
I missed out on a ton of albums last year. A lot of stuff just flew underneath my radar. Hopefully I'll be able to keep up a bit more this year. I haven't touched anything from 2010 yet, but there is certainly a lot of stuff I'm looking forward to listening to...
Yeasayer-- a bit nervous about this one. I think I'm expecting too much and after hearing Ambling Alp I'm a bit worried they're going to lose what made them special in the first place
Frightened Rabbit-- The Midnight Organ Fight was my favorite album of 2008. I have high expectations for the new album. Whats more, they might be the one band I think can meet them.
Coheed and Cambria-- Favorite band ever. Doesn't matter what they release. Nostalgia factor is just too high. They could release shit on a plate and I would eat it up and ask for seconds.
Toro Y Moi-- Like what I've heard so far. Will probably listen in the next day or two.
ummm there are quite a few more, but I'm blanking right now.
I don't know how we do it. This college thing. How the hell are we supposed to balance everything. Its like this place, this campus, is an entire different world. Normal people do not live like this. I keep telling myself to work hard and party harder, after all, I'm only going to be here for 2 more years, but Jesus, what the hell am I doing.
It becomes especially hard when you run into a few minor setbacks. And when I say minor, I mean your best friend's mom being admitted into the ICU, and your other best friend deciding he is through with you. Just thinking about the latter makes me feel like I'm in high school, and I have to admit, its probably better off that we are through. I don't have time to deal with people like that when the person who really matters to me, the one person who I can be sure really cares about me as much as I care about her, is suffering.
I don't have time for class, I have real life to worry about. How am I supposed to figure out what I want to do with my life if I am required to spend all my time either in class, studying, or working? I don't have time to try to think of some constructive criticism to give to a girl who obviously only spent five minutes writing her poem. I don't have time to live supply curves and price ceilings as simple as these concepts may be. I don't have time to discern my Greek professors overwhelming accent when she speaks faster than this madness is passing.
I mean, what is the most important thing I can get out of these four years of madness? How do I find a balance between learning to interact with other people and keeping up with my ever increasing work load. Is balance even a realistic possibility?
Every time I look out my kitchen window and into my neighbor's house I see them sitting in their living room playing Madden or Fallout 3. How do people do this?
I seriously admire all of you who have gone through this, and all of you who are going through this mess and finding success. I think the hardest thing for me to get my head around is how unsure I am of why I am actually here. I've finally decided on a major, but I'm not even sure that it is the route I should be taking.
I've been having a great time this semester, but I think these past few days have really made me realize that I am not taking the right approach to this madness. I need to sort out my life. I need a set of clear and definite goals, and I need to live by them every day. Of course I should continue to have fun, but I need to have something that compels me, something that drives my day to day actions, that plays a role in the choices I make. I have yet to really improve in the indecisive area, and this may not help at all, but I really need to figure out the things that I want, and do my best to get them.
I suppose I should write down some resolutions. I have some very clear ones in my head, and I feel like it would be a good idea to get them down somewhere that I won't lose them. Now, in one years time I can look back and see if I accomplished anything.
I don't have any specific goal resolutions, that is, goals that can really be reached or measured. Instead, my resolutions are more about personality characteristics. I should however, be able to determine whether or not I followed them.
So, here goes:
1) Stop thinking so much-- I am one of the most indecisive people I know. I attribute this mainly to the fact that I think everything out before I make a decision. I am cold and calculating, and I cannot seem to just make a decision based on my instinct. In 2009, I hope to stop thinking about everything, especially matters of the heart, and instead, follow my gut instinct.
2) Pursue my dreams-- Figure out what I want to do and do it. I am only turning 20 this year. I am young. I have time to do anything I want, make mistakes, and start over again, but that time will slip by if I don't start acting on my dreams. There is never time to sit back and hope things will work themselves out. Again, this kind of goes along with my indecision problem. I need to make a big decision in order to pursue it.
Those are the big ones, but I also am resolving to write in this blog more often. I have not done as well as I would like.
On another note, here are my top albums of 2008. This is in no order yet. I'll probably repost it when I figure the order out, but that could be a few days.
Right away great Captain
Los Campesinos-- We are beautiful, We are Doomed
TV on the Radio
(Dear and the Headlights)
(In parentheses are in the list even though I'm not quite sure if they belong-- maybe honorable mentions)
Wow. Christmas really took me by surprise this year. I was in no way prepared for the annual spreading of joy and gift receipts that is "our saviors" B-day. Not only did this December never feel like December, but it was the worst month of my year, which kind of took away from the whole joy and goodwill theme.
I guess I haven't really been writing in this blog as much as I would've liked when I started it. I suppose this has something to do with the things that have been consuming my thoughts for the past couple of months. After all, I never wanted this blog to be entirely about a girl. Unfortunately, thats all anything is about-- see, its this shit that I'm going to look back on and hate myself for writing, god I sound like a high school girl-- anymore.
K.C. really has been fucking with my emotions. All I want is to be with her this holiday...
I have been awake for 44 of the last 48 hours. I don't know how I managed it, but I've gotten all of my shit done. Granted, the paper I just finished was not great. It turned out to be one of those papers that I end up getting a little more than halfway through and realize that I have more to say than I have space left to write it. Its amazing how I can think I won't be able to fill seven pages, and then have trouble staying under eight. On top of that it ended up being a paper which needed to have its thesis changed because I realized my conclusion wasn't going to really make sense or say much of anything. I really hate open ended papers. I mean what the hell kind of topic is Love in Annna Karenina anyways?
So poor paper aside, I survived. There is a big part of me that still cares about my grades, but then there is another equal part that wonders why. Nothing I picture myself doing really requires a 4.0 as a prerequisite. Yet I still get upset with every low grade. Yep, in a few days that paper is really going to piss me off.
I'm not sure why I thought blogging to stay awake was a good idea. I've been writing for the past 12 hours or so. My eyes are so worn out I had to turn up the resolution to grandparents mode...
And now I'm falling asleep as I type. Class is not going to be fun. Only two more hours until can worry about that though. Shit.
I can't believe I'm going to be potentially be getting up this early every other day next semester. I see lots of four hour nights of sleep in my 18 credit future. Yeah, thats probably not gonna last for long.
This chair is now causing me physical pain.
Time to take a break from this screen for a while.
I'm not sure I can quite handle everything that is being thrown at me right now. I mean sure, I'll get by, but I'm afraid that in getting by sacrifices will need to be made. I was supposed to have a review of Margot and the Nuclear So and Sos new album turned into my editor on Saturday. Its now late Monday night and not a single word has been typed. I guess I could contribute this to being sick for the past few days, but I should have had it done last week, and now it has become just another one of the stressful additions to my week. With the review, four tests in the next four days, a considerable chunk of reading, and a potential audition, all on top of being weak from a cold that I'm not even sure I'm quite over yet, well, I've got my work cut out for me. Something isn't going to get done. Something is going to get sacrificed.
The audition is something I just found out about this morning. Thanks to the people at the university theater for posting auditions a week in advance. Sure, thats plenty of time for busy college students to prepare. Its not like we have other things that might take up our time. Anyways, bitching aside, the audition is for Hair. Unfortunately I have never seen Hair so I don't really know what I should prepare for an audition. Either way I am expected to come ready on Saturday to perform two monologues not exceeding five minutes in combined length. On Sunday the vocal and dance auditions begin. I'm really pissed that I didn't know about these auditions sooner. I definitely don't have an adequate amount of time to memorize two monologues and two contrasting musical pieces on top of all of the other shit I have this week.
To get some actual thought out before I end this short blog, I find it very interesting how certain events can reveal the character of your friends. The event in this case, being sick. College is about the least advantageous place to be sick. Who do we need to take care of us when we are sick? The people who care about us, i.e. our friends. So, when the people who should care the most don't come to see you, when they don't even call to see how you are doing, what should you assume? When the person who comes to take care of you isn't one of the people who you have considered your "best friend" what does it say about the people who are supposed to fill this position? Not even a single phone call.
I'm totally unfocused and need to get some rest. I can't let this cold last much longer.
I have a few minutes to spare before my next class, so I thought I would go ahead and get some thoughts out.
So, first of all, I'm physically exhausted. Last night I went to see Coheed and Cambria play the whole of their sophomore album In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3 front to back. It was one of the more epic things I have ever been a part of. Coheed has been one of the most important bands in my life. As odd as that is to say about a band like Coheed, they were a huge influence in my musical taste throughout high school and remain one of my favorite bands to this day. I sometimes forget about how much I love them, but last night was a very sweet reminder. The whole experience though-- driving to Chicago, waiting for the show to start, being thrashed about for almost two hours, sweating off about five pounds, driving the two hours back home-- has left me completely burnt out today, and I'm completely fine with that. In fact, today could have been a great day. I have nothing that important to worry about, a halloween costume maybe, and I was expecting a great day. That is until I got a text from one of my best friends this morning.
The text that I received from my friend wasn't really a bad text at all. It was just to let me know that she couldn't get lunch with me today. The real problem stretches beyond this text. Lately I have been having weird feelings about this girl, about our friendship that is. She dates my other best friend, and I have witnessed him feel the way I am feeling on countless occasions. Basically, the aforementioned texting friend has a way of making people feel unimportant. She exudes a feeling of general apathy in her relations with other people. When you are with her things can be great, but when you are apart, it is easy to have doubts about just how much she values your friendship.
You see, my friend and I have lately fell into a schedule of sorts. We see each other for lunch every Thursday, and then over the weekend at parties and on Saturday mornings. This is all well and good, life is hectic, people are busy, I am just as much the problem as she is-- the problem being that we only see each other at these scheduled times, that our friendship is planned and not spontaneous, that we can't, even if we do have time, see each other at other times. However, the past few weeks this schedule has been bothering me, and I have wanted to have more quality time with this person. I don't like going almost a week without seeing the people that I care about, and going from Saturday night until Thursday at noon can be a long time without contact, especially when you value a person as one of your most important friends.
So, the past few weeks I have been putting myself out there, trying to see this friend more often. The problem lies in the fact that when I make an effort to see this friend, she does not return the effort, at all. For instance, take last weekend. When both my friend and I were not doing anything, I attempted to get together with her to hang out, and she basically blew me off to sit at home and do nothing. Ok, everyone needs that once in awhile. The following day I do the same thing. I send a text message. She sends one back asking what I am doing. I reply and ask if she wants to hang out later. I never get a return message. Two days in a row, nothing.
Now, I haven't exactly told all of the story and I have class in about ten minutes so I won't have time, but there are other factors which make this kind of a big deal. This all makies sense in my head, I just don't have the time to get it out.
My friends are frustrating me, and I really need them right now, more than ever. And I don't even feel like I can tell them. I don't even feel like the they will care.
The conclusions this leads me to are ones that I don't want to contemplate.
Everything is so upside down right now. A great weekend, a great day, a feeling that everything will be ok, all of these can vanish in a moment.
This has not been a very focused effort, I'm very sorry if someone else is actually reading this.
Well, my last tangent got cut a little short, but I don't really fell like going into any more detail about it now. I had meant to elaborate that day, but catching up with a friend can sometimes go a little longer than you expect.
For now I just feel the need to write. I fell the need to be creative. And even if this isn't the most creative thing I could be doing right now, I feel like its a good start. Baby steps. One foot after the other. Eventually I will get to where I want to be.
Where do I want to be? That question kind of came out of nowhere, at the moment anyway. Its something I think about all the time. With my current state of mind, that is, the state of mind I have been in for the past month or so, I find myself asking myself this question more and more frequently. Right now I have no direction. I have an infinite set of paths that are laid before my feet, and I can choose to walk any one of them. The problem is that these paths, like the choices we make every day, all lead to different ends. And more than that, much, much more than that, these paths themselves are vastly different.
However, before I truly consider the steps that I will take, the path that I will tread, I must first choose the destination. I don't want to go blindly into the dark, to walk a path with no foreseeable end, to have no idea where I am going. This is one of my biggest problems right now. I feel like I am simply walking. Not really trying to get anywhere in particular, just walking. And although this may seem like the path to contentment, to walk for the sake of walking-- that is to live for the sake of living-- without any destination, ultimately leaves you tired. In not knowing where I am going, in having no destination, I have no goal. I have nothing that I am shooting for, and because of that I have no incentive to push myself.
I know what I want, I know what I want to do, I know where I want to be. But the path is not clear. Its foggy, and eerie, and cold and dark and I am scared as fuck to take that first step.
And until I do, until I stop being a coward, and give up everything thats holding me back, and stop making excuses and stop wasting time, until I drop everything and run headfirst into the darkness, not until then will I be happy.
I know what I want, but I am so afraid of failure that I may never go after it. And thats killing me.
Ok. So I haven't really been keeping up with this. I really should be considering I have the opinion that I owe it to myself to keep this blog. I also really should be considering the mini crisis I am currently in. Most of the same stuff as always, but perhaps a little bit more concentrated than normal on the fact that I don't know what I am going to do with my life and it horrifies me.
I should be writing these thoughts down, trying to get them out might make me realize just how stupid they really are, might help me, no, make me, take another perspective and realize that all of this, all of this fear, this apprehension of the unknown is gratuitous. This is normal. Everyone gets scared of the unknown, but knowing that I should realize that I have no reason to be scared.
I think the main problem is that I am floating through my sophomore year in college. I am doing well in classes, acing most everything, but I am in no way content with my life in Madison. I just feel like this town has given me everything it has to offer. However, this notion is bullshit. I have explored only a very small sect of this city, of this university. Although I imagine that my thoughts are correct and college life is all pretty much the same, I have not explored all of my options here in Madison. But I'm getting ahead of myself now. I now have ventured a little deeper into my thoughts than I had hoped to and have run out of time. Five minutes is not enough for this story.
Work is amazing. Today I started my new job at Electric Earth Coffee. All I can say is wow. While I know it is only my first day, and things will probably get much more difficult, in a stressful way-- no, probably not actually. I am certain that this will be the best job I have ever had. That isn't really saying much considering the jobs I have had in the past, data entry, the assembly line of middle aged, absolutely depressing people, and Baker's Square, but still. This job is great. Sitting here 2 hours after my shift it dawned on me that I would be completely content if I were still working. No monotony, no annoying, grouch employees, no idiot bosses, even the customers are nice.
My coworkers are great. They are the kind of people that I can really learn from, the kind of people that my friends mostly pretend to be. They are intelligent and interesting, but not pretentious about it. They are completely laid back, easy going. They have great taste in everything, and its real. I mean, classical Russian music! How excellent is that. There not faking that to be interesting, especially not for four hours. I mean, someone who has read War and Peace. Thats a person I can talk to. I mean, people who are respectful yet fun, and still hard working. None of that lazy bullshit that I had to put up with in everyone at Miller Electric. These people actually want to be where they are. They work at a coffee shop, and they are more than happy to do so.
However, this is only the first week. I have only worked with four other people. Thats not even half of the staff. There could be whiny bitches in our company. There could be lazy, annoying, crabby, lifeless bitches who complain every second and would rather be anywhere else, and show it. And the new people, I'm not the only new person, they could be really sad, not like the rest of us, not part of the happy family that I have clearly been welcomed into with open arms. They won't go out with the rest of us. They won't be engaging, they won't even want to talk to us. They will flock to each other, and split our company into the new, and the old, because some of the old employees might automatically associate me with these other new recruits, they might not realize that I am a part of their family.
But of course they will, thats just the kind of people they are. They are not the judging type, they don't make assumptions about people, or think that a person has to be a certain way to be valid and worthwhile. They are completely open, and welcoming and only want people to be who they are. The only time they judge is when a person is a repeat offender, the kind of person who clearly shows distaste in others and does so in an ongoing manner. Until a person is a repeat offender, they are given respect, after all everyone has bad days, and they understand this. They are understanding, respectful, and understanding, and outgoing and friendly and above all, they are honest.
Isn't that nice. Honesty. Honest with themselves, and with others. This is the kind of person I want to be, and it is so, so hard. I'm not sure if I can do it in my current situation, but I absolutely have to try. I have to stop pretending to be something I'm not. It's not that I'm always faking it. It's just, that the people that you surround yourself with sometimes rub off on you. At least they do in my case. I pick up on their mannerisms, and am compelled, as if by reflex, to imitate them. In this manner, I tend to act a lot like the people who I am friends with. And this phenomenon morphs from group to group. For instance, as they are much different people from my college friends, I am a much different person when I am around my high school friends. It could just be because they are familiar, because I am comfortable with them. I'm not out to prove anything when I am with them, I feel safe in my own skin. The armor isn't up. Then again I could just be acting the way they act. More likely this phenomenon--in the sense that my personality, my entire personality, not just the little mannerisms, changes-- is most likely caused by the inverse of the above situation.
When I am around my college friends I am out to prove something. I am out to show them that I am worthy of their time, that I am interesting and hip, and cool enough to associate with. In a word, I'm insecure with these people. I never feel good enough. I am not worthy, I am insignificant, irrelevant, petty. I am constantly climbing the ladder that reaches their height, but I never quite make it to the top. Its like one of those ladders that firefighters use to get to the top of a burning building, but the ladder is covered in grease, and I can't quite keep my grip, and sometimes I don't even want to.
My girlfriend sees this phenomenon, recognizes it just as much as I do. It is because of this very phenomenon, well mostly, that we are only good together when we are alone. I am honest with her. I am certainly honest with her. I can be me. I don't have to be the hippest person in the room, she doesn't care if I don't listen to Of Montreal, or Deerhunter, or Dan Deacon. She wouldn't care if I liked football, if I wore clothes that were made for boys. She is accepting. Granted, people have to have chemistry and find the people they are with intriguing, but not to the extent that they put down people who are different. Thats just sad. How can you think of yourself as superior. Is looking down on people a part of being superior? I am not at ease with people like this. Especially when they seem to be faking so many of the characteristics that make them so superior, doing things to fit into the cliche of the unique. You know who I'm talking about. I don't have to label this group. I am not happy being one of these people, but surrounding myself with them makes me just like them. The phenomenon is unavoidable.
I know they are good people, and as I have said before, they are individuals, as much as any of us ever can be, but ,as I have said, they are hiding. And not all of them put other people down as hard as I say they do, its mainly one of them, but at the same time it is the one who is the most important to me, and this makes no sense. Why am I putting myself in a relationship like this when I know it is making me miserable, and I think it is complete bullshit. It is complete bullshit. Yet I still love this person. As unhealthy as loving this person is. And I don't know if this person will ever come out. And I don't know if I can wait.
Its beautiful to know that there are people that are honest. It gives me hope. These are the people that I need to be with. Not because they are oh so hip, but because they are honest about it.
A home is a safe place, a secure place, and I may have finally found one.
Today I was given a very nice present from my current, temporary, employer JSM properties. A boot. In the ass, out the door. Its as if Christmas has come early.
This really does fit perfectly into my current schedule. Lately I had been feeling very agitated with the 9-5, in reality, 8-4:30, lifestyle. What BS. I am young and beautiful and full of life, and I have been wasting my youth with a day job that drains me of energy and joy and time, precious, precious time that could be spent doing any number of useful activities such as reading, writing, practicing music, studying spanish, running through the streets of Madison naked, screaming at by-passers that I have arrived, that I am here in this city, this city that crawls with the vapid, trendy, 20-somethings who are my peers, all of them trying to be quirky, over the top, unique, but in their attempt, do nothing but create a thick, oozing solution of bland, fake, boring people, and I, I am one of them, and for the next two weeks I will devote my nights to drinking way too much and repeating, night after night, the same polite conversations, until the room becomes hazy and I wake up beside a stranger.
This is a perfect description, it gives you an idea of what my life is really like, what my friends are really like, what I am really like. Don't get me wrong, we are all unique in some way, but we have also all forgotten what that way is. In attempting to be unique and different and a little bit more interesting than the next American Apparel wearing, late night taco bell eating, obscure indie dj listening, kid we have completely hidden from one another what it is that really makes us special. For instance I have no idea that Helen was a junior martial arts champion and had practiced Tae Kwon Do regularly up until College. I have no idea that Adam was in ballet for 12 years and had considered going off to Alvin Ailey instead of settling in the diverse metropolis that is Madison WI. All of these details are lost in favor of displaying an image. We are hip, and for it, we are boring.
I hope this is something that I can break through this year, because these people really are interesting. They are all individuals, and they all have a story to tell, and I hope that I can go beyond the hip, beyond the pretentious music, literature and film. I hope I can penetrate their defenses, discover the layers that I know exist, the layers that are the real flavor of their fruit, that their shell, their facade, is trying so desperately not to protect, but to mask, to hide. Being far less employed should give me a bit of a chance to do this. While I know much of my interaction with these people will occur in a slightly intoxicated state of mind, I also believe that I can remain straight enough to have a real conversation, and maybe, just maybe someone will decide that they are ready to be the person that they are, the person that they were before they came to this factory of mass produced identities.
Tonight is the first night of a quest, a quest for identity. They say college is where you discover who you really are. So far, this has not been the case. I have only discovered who I want to be, someone who fits in, who is well liked, who is greeted with a smile at parties and is doted upon for being hip and young and attractive. This isn't who I am, I used to know who I was, but somewhere along the way I lost track of that person, and tonight I will begin my search, my search for who I was and always will be. I'll go out into the mass that is my fellowship of insecure peers, and somehow I will rescue the boy that is me, and I will pull him to the front of the crowd, and standing there naked in front of that awestruck group of armored thespians , he will announce that at last he has returned.
I have been thinking about starting a journal-like blog for some time now. I even pretended to start at one point. That however, didn't last long. I tend to have a problem with many of my creative endeavors, and considering a blog as a published piece of writing, this problem plagued the expedition of this or any blog. The problem resides in my complete lack of satisfaction in anything that I ever create.
As a songwriter, I often start a song, but rarely finish one. Normally, I get about halfway through. I'll have say, a verse or two written, and then kablam, out of nowhere, like an unexpected slap to the face, a sensation occurs, a sensation of disappointment mixed with apathy. Often having no inspiration for the songs I begin to write, I question their quality, and if I am not attached to the material I am writing in some kind of emotional manner, it becomes flawed. Like the third cup of coffee that leaves a bitter taste and a queasy stomach, I can bear it no more.
Recently I have had trouble picking up a pen when I am uninspired, but I can't let that discourage me. I must trek on, I must start the jog, knowing that, despite the exhausted agony that each additional mile brings, the culmination of my efforts will result in the feeling of accomplishment that douses the fire burning my tired legs.
So this is it.
But first I should announce my intent.
This is for no one but myself. I am doing this so that I can not only get in the habit of writing, but have a reference, something to look back on to remember, what I was like, what I thought, how I thought.
So reader, if you are out there, beware, this will often be mixed up, jumbled, incomprehensible. Feel free to comment, but remember, this isn't for you, this is for me
Tomorrow afternoon I have an interview with Cursive. I should not have taken it. I don't know near enough about them to justify asking them questions. Sure I like there music, but I'm not a hardcore fan by any means. I don't follow them, I couldn't even name their entire discography.
I was just wondering if any fans had any questions they would like to hear answered. I can probably come up with some basic ideas, but I want to make sure that I show this band the respect they deserve by asking them questions they will want to answer. I'm hoping I get some help here so I don't have to spam the forums.
Any questions, anything insightful, anything at all that you want to know... I would appreciate the help.
Have you ever talked to someone and been completely blown away by the things that they taught you? Coming into a conversation with nothing, and leaving it with a reformed and enforced frame of mind. Awakened and revitalized. Inspired.