Monday, December 31, 2012

twelve things in twenty-twelve

It's hard to sum up a whole year in a post. How do you decide, out of everything that happened in a year, what is important enough to mention? Certain things can be measured, or at least kept track of in some way (concerts gone to, planes taken, notebooks filled), while others cannot. Who's to say how much I laughed this year, or cried? Who's to say what, out of all that, really matters? 

Looking back on this year, it is a mosaic of ordinary moments that stands out. All the texts sent, football games attended, miles run, new friends met, volunteer hours racked up, hours spent babysitting, hours spent studying, books read, movies watched, musicals and plays attended, car rides, bus rides, plane rides, etc. etc. etc. Everything that happened, 525,600 minutes. Plus a little extra. 

It was a good year. I lost some things, sure, but I've gained a lot of good experiences and I think I've learned a lot as a result.  

And I suppose if I had to narrow it down, here are 12 things that stand out about 2012:
  1. I took part in launching Fernweh, along with some good friends. 
  2. I started watching TV again and managed to get into Downton Abbey, Doctor Who, Sherlock, The Office, Parks and Rec, and Merlin...yes, it was a very productive year thank you very much.
  3. I went to L.A. for the first time during spring break...decided it was a little too big for me but still enjoyed people-watching at the Getty and reading The Perks of Being a Wallflower in the hotel room.
  4. I gave film photography a try and took a lot of pictures.
  5. I became a vegetarian (for the most part).
  6. I went to Spain, my first time in Europe since I was four, so basically in my memory. 
  7. I went ziplining, a terrifying and exhilarating experience. Also, I went camping again which I hadn't done in a while.
  8. I went to camp in Florida and on the same trip, went to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and rode a real roller coaster for the first time.
  9. I got my cartilage pierced rather spontaneously, just because.
  10. I joined cross country, which is not a thing I would have envisioned for myself a year ago at all, but I started running regularly, made new friends, and overall decided it was an A+ decision.
  11. I went to ACL, which was amazing.
  12. I got my driver's permit finally, and drove on streets for the first time.
And lastly...I made a playlist. It's songs that defined my 2012, with no exceptions. So, uh, it has The Smiths...and Justin Bieber, The Lumineers...and Billie Holiday. It's songs I jammed out to at concerts immediately followed by ones I sobbed to on my carpet. It doesn't always flow well, but hey, that's life; that's my year. A lot of the songs have specific moments attached (remember when the band played Sweet Caroline and we all sang along and swayed together and it felt like belonging; remember listening to Asleep every night before I fell asleep, for a few weeks at least; remember when All My Friends came on during Painting and then I went home and found it in my iTunes library). A lot of them just remind me of certain feelings, like pure happiness, or pure...unhappiness. Of wanting to go, and being happy to stay. Some of the songs I just like.

Enjoy. Oh, and just so you're aware: it's 5 hours long. No regrets.


Goodbye, 2012. You were swell.

Here's to 2013.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

christmas in k.c.

I got back from Kansas City last night. It didn't feel like I took a lot of pictures, but when you add them all in a blog post it always feels like more. Anyway. 

We made cookies. Well, they did. I took pictures and ate too much of the batter.

Oh, Christmas tree. You shine so gloriously, even when you only have three ornaments clumped together on the front because you were decorated by the boys.

Union Station, once the second largest train station in the country, all decorated for Christmas.

 Lights lights lights.

 We had a fancy dinner the last night. The multiple forks kind that induce those moments of panic -- "hey, guys, do you start from the inside or the outside, again?"

It snowed!

Not pictured here: the biennial family Christmas party of the 'napkin on fire' fame which this year consisted not of pyrotechnics but of lots of delicious macaroni and cheese and copious selfies; seeing Les Mis (aahhhh!); the return of the 12 hour car ride there and back (that need not ever be a preserved memory).

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! I still have to write about this year so I'll be back soon. Ciao.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

in which the world does not end but I almost die of frostbite anyway

Yesterday in celebration of Mayrose's birthday my friends & I got pizza and cupcakes and then went to the Trail of Lights, which is what it sounds like. Suffice it to say it was colder than I thought it was going to be, and by the end of the night my hands were a very unhealthy shade of red. I think I got that low tolerance of cold thing from my mom. Right now my hands are cold even though it's 64 degrees outside. Ugh.

Also, at the time I thought my 50mm lens was broken so I had to use my kit one which is not as good with low light situations so that kind of explains the pictures. However, I managed to fix it this morning so that's good news!

Ah, SoCo! ♥ So many memories...

photo of me by Elizabeth
I ran the Trail of Lights 5K last weekend, but I was too busy, you know, running to really get a good look. This time I was able to appreciate it a little more (to an extent). Anyway, it was lots of fun even if it was freezing, and I'm very glad the world didn't end even though I almost died of frostbite and also of a car accident; no, just kidding, Madisen is a very good driver.

Tomorrow we're driving up to Kansas City so I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas! Eat lots of cookies, listen to lots of Sufjan Stevens Christmas songs, and be merry. See ya!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

a love letter to the world

The world's supposed to end tomorrow, and although I don't believe it will, I can't deny there's something poetic about it, something sort of beautiful about imagining everything going to pieces around us while we flail and cling to our vastly insufficient mortality. It's a morbid kind of beautiful, but it's there nonetheless.

No, I don't suppose it's Armageddon just yet, but it doesn't hurt to have one more excuse to say "I love you" -- or one more excuse to feel guilty about being too shy to say "I love you," maybe. Well, world, I love you, always have, always will, and even if you implode tomorrow and kill all 7 billion human inhabitants and billions more non-human inhabitants in a destructive fit of rage, I'll still love you. You gave me everything in this life I love, and I suppose I'll never be able to say I'm grateful enough. I'll love you forever in all the capacity that my mortal heart can carry, long after it is buried under piles of ashes or soot or whatever it is that's supposed to happen tomorrow. I'll love you forever, past forever, for there must be something longer than that, and I'll miss you even more. You were quite literally my everything. Maybe I'll scream, "How dare you?!" and smash a few dishes if you decide to leave me, or maybe I won't, because I'll be dead, but either way, dear world, still I will love you. I will love all your mountains and oceans, forests and rivers, prairies and dried-up creek beds. I will love all the man-made features you scoffed at but secretly enjoyed -- all your dams and highways and buildings, schools and restaurants and homes. I will love them not for the ugly emptiness of the concrete but for all the stories they have seen. And I will love you, most of all, world, for all the people you gave shelter to and raised as your own.

I don't plan on dying tomorrow. Please know I will be very cross if I do -- there's still so much ahead, you see -- but at the same time, I think you should know that no matter what, I love you. I love you for all the bruises caused by your dumb force of gravity, for all the times I cried and you turned your head away, for all the terrible things you let happen under your watch that make people question the existence of benevolence. Despite all that, I love you. I love this planet and I love this life and I am so very happy I got to share it with you -- for whatever amount of time we have. I don't care.

If all the bridges break and if great floods consume New York City until the Statue of Liberty is merely an arm and a torch, if the power goes out from Tokyo to London coating the earth in an inextinguishable darkness, if zombies rise from their non-existence to conquer the planet, none of which I believe in, well, I'm still very glad for the time I had.

love, me.

P.S. I suppose this is partly inspired by this passage of Lemony Snicket's which is my favorite ever and which makes me cry and which is one of those things that sometimes floats up in your mind randomly because it has lodged itself there so firmly because it is so perfect.

Friday, December 14, 2012

sunday at the park

Just some pictures from my friend's birthday party on Sunday.
(The winter sunsets are back.)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

one more week

Today in Spanish class we were supposed to be working on a review but Caitlin and I were really just listening to Ke$ha and Lady Gaga and I was literally almost crying listening to "The Edge of Glory" and I don't even really know why except that the end of the semester hath stolen my sanity and also it just gives me a lot of emotions...

Yesterday was 12/12/12 and in Stats my teacher asked us if we'd done anything interesting at 12:12 on 12/12/12 and no one really had except someone said at 12:12 AM they'd been working on their English paper and I was like oh! me too! (#lasaprobs?)

I haven't gotten much sleep lately and I'm probably sick and pretty much every song I listen to makes me want to cry because nostalgia. I have a bunch of stuff to do like an art paper to write (hahahaha) and a bajillion finals to study for that I'm going fail anyway and ahhhh I am still expected to act like a normal human being like no sorry I can't function as a normal human being right now. I can't do this punctuation thing either right now and it takes all my effort not to just use abbreviations in place of words.

Ugh. I ain't about that end of the semester life.

I don't want to just complain, though. Yeah, I'm pretty stressed and would rather lie in bed watching movies for 14 billion hours but I'm okay here. There are things keeping me tethered to reality, at least, you know, as much as possible. Things like going running, and listening to Christmas music, and finding the rest of a package of Skittles in your coat pocket (only a day old, don't worry). Things like building brains out of Playdoh in Psychology and pretty much completely failing (I told my friend what we did later: "Was yours a good model?" "No...our teacher told us it looked like a brain after drugs..."). Things like, yesterday in English we had a 1920s party inspired by the ones in "The Great Gatsby". We all had characters from that era or from the book to dress up as and I was Amelia Earhart. I think the best part was hearing Jordan Baker say to Zelda Fitzgerald, "Have you seen your raging drunkard of a husband?" and then turning to see F. Scott completely passed out in the corner clutching an empty bottle of wine. I know that feel, bro. No, not really, but I wish I could've taken a nap. He looked so peaceful.

And the end is in sight. One week from today, I'll be done with school. I'm going to celebrate my friend's birthday, and the end of the world, and I am going to relax and watch lots of movies I've been meaning to. I am going to go to Kansas City and see my cousins and celebrate Christmas the way it ought to be celebrated. And then I'm going to come home and it will be a new year and it will be good.

This is a dumb post but I wanted to procrastinate on my homework because lol that's how you create stressful situations, right?

Friday, December 07, 2012

various degrees of narcissism or, "photobooth"

So, I was looking through photos on my mom's computer tonight (Friday nights are fun, no kidding) and I may have accidentally found all of these from the past year or so and I may have accidentally posted them all on here because I am an obnoxious teenager with an inflated ego (I really don't know why it's such a big deal, though). No, but really, looking through old photos makes me quite introspective and stuff so of course I'm not going to post all these without writing some essay reflecting on the visible changes that such forms of documentation make so accessible, or something along those lines...I mean, c'mon, you know me. Actually, I'm not really in the mood for an essay right now but I'm still going to write something. Duh.






Tonight (12-07-12)

Looking at these made me realize a few things, such as: I haven't had tea in a long time. Or worn tank tops. But those are both season things, not really indicative of me. There are others, too: I like having long hair. I mean, I like my hair right now but the layers are annoying. At least I know what I want now.

Objectively, the first picture is my favorite, but I think I like the person in the last one better. I think I do. This year has been good for me and I'll probably write a longer post on New Year's Eve talking about everything I did this year and stuff, as is customary, but right here I'll just say this. Change is good. Growth is good. New experiences are good. A lot can happen in a year. I look at the first picture and I look happy. Maybe I was. I know I wasn't depressed or anything, but sometimes it takes finding something better to realize what you were missing out on before. You know? I think that may be the case here. A lot of times I still feel like that girl, and that's okay. Just because you get stuck sometimes doesn't mean you're not ultimately moving forward.

P.S. Does anyone else find it really weird to like, see themselves? Sometimes when I look into a mirror I see my reflection and it's just so weird, because most of the time I just feel like my mind and thoughts and words but when I look into a mirror I realize that I am a body too and it's just so strange. I don't know. That probably doesn't make much sense. It just struck me as odd to be staring at a picture of myself wearing the same clothes that I'm wearing right now and to remember that that is the same person. Me. Weird.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

it's december again? what? wait, seriously?

december collage (lately)
I don't know what I'm going to do without my Delta (study hall) period next semester. I'm in here and I should be doing my Statistics homework or my Physics review or my English homework or my APUSH terms list (oh, the end of the semester!) but instead I'm trying to write a blog post. I say trying because I have no idea where this is going to end up. I wish I had some sort of clue about where I'm going but I don't. It's kind of like my life, ahahaha cute.

I had a good weekend. Saturday was quite productive in that I got up at 7:30 to go running, volunteered at my elementary school for an hour, did homework and drivers ed, went shopping and finally bought some more pants, and still had time in the evening for social endeavors. I went down to the Christmas tree lighting downtown with my family and some friends where we sang Christmas carols and strolled down Congress looking at the lights. Afterwards my friends and I went to a Christmas party which was interesting enough. I mean, I mostly just stood around the fire pit even though it was like 80 degrees and started watching "Love Actually" but only really got far enough to realize why it was rated R. Oh, and I ate some of those delicious sugar cookies that they have for every holiday and that are my favorite ever. That was good times. Sunday was more of a chill day but at youth group I ate an entire 2.5 serving box of holiday themed Junior Mints, so that was fun.

Now it's Tuesday and I'm at school supposed to be doing school-related things. Bleh. School is hard. We have 8 more days of school until finals week so now teachers are beginning to pile on assignments. It's almost that time of year when half the populace shows up in sweatpants and/or pajamas. I haven't succumbed to this yet but don't think I'm above it.

Hmm...I kind of want to go to track practice but I don't want to go alone because I'm dumb about things like this and the only person who I could count on has something pretty much every day after school. I'm always hesitant to start things though I slip into them easily enough and it doesn't take me long to get attached. It's just easier to do something when you have someone else with you, right? A part of me thinks I should just suck it up because there will always be things I have to do by myself, but the other more primal part is just

Okay, I'm looking at my Stats homework and does anybody want to help me? Losers, someone help me. I forgot everything we learned last class period because um it's Stats.

I'm going to go now. I'll hopefully try and post more this month but you know how that goes.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

'tis the season of nostalgia

I miss things altogether too much. I think it is because I care too much -- it's my downfall -- I attach too much meaning to certain moments and then they pass me by and I'm left missing them. Sometimes it's worse than others, and right now, at the onslaught of winter, it's pretty bad.

I miss soccer. I miss the game and the aggression -- you can't really purposefully slam into people in a race without deterring yourself as well -- but mostly I miss the team. I miss going to Starbucks in between games at tournaments, I miss laughing inexplicably during scrimmages at practice, and I miss that first year I joined my new team, back in seventh grade, when we made it all the way to Western District in Corpus Christi and won second place. 

I miss summer. I miss walking around Spain taking pictures and watching the Olympics every night and that time we went to the Cheesecake Factory and had to ask if the bread was free because we're all cheapskates. I just miss the potential of it all, the possibilities that the season encompasses, the way it makes me dream of afternoons at Barton Springs and sleepovers devoid of sleep even though I never really did that. 

I even miss fall, a little, too, perhaps prematurely. Fall was good, it was change, it was growth, it was fun, but now I'm worried that winter means slipping back into my shell and hibernating for a while. Maybe that's what I need, I don't know, but it's not really want I want.

I especially miss random people I haven't really talked to in a while. These recollections won't mean much to people who don't know who I'm talking about, but I do.

I miss one of my good friends from middle school, how everyone said we looked alike and all of our shenanigans in art class and how at her birthday party one year I stayed up later than I ever had before and I still remember some inside joke about toasters.

I miss my old best friend from third grade, how we'd used to play dress up and make commercials and jingles ("Bess's Dresses, they're the best!"). I see her around school and I'm fairly certain she's going to be very successful today and it makes me kind of sad that we grew apart, but you know, c'est la vie.

It's weird to think they're both graduating in a matter of months.

I miss my best friend from sixth grade who lived down the street from me. We were only really friends for about a year, but we were close. She introduced me to a bunch of movies my mom probably wouldn't have let me watch and we had a bunch of adventures, like our encounters with our strange neighbor who tried to shoot me with a pellet gun after I dumped water on his head one Fourth of July. We failed completely trying to bake a rainbow cake and went to the midnight release of the last Harry Potter book and were going to write a book together. Once I read a quote that said something like, "You never have any friends like the ones you have when you're twelve," and I think that's kind of true.

I miss my two best friends from fifth grade. When one of my friend's sister died of cancer, I skipped school to go to the funeral. And it was the first funeral I ever went to and it was for a teenager and I cried so much even though I hadn't known her all that well, only glimpses of her and her room. And I remember how they played "How To Save a Life" and I still want to cry every time I hear that song. That wasn't the defining feature of our friendship or anything but it's what sticks out when I think about it now. I saw my friend a month or so ago at a cross country meet and we talked a little and it was nice.

Heck, I even miss my first best friend, who I shared a nanny with when I was a baby. If I wanted to, I could pull out any number of fading pictures from our shared childhood, but that's too much effort. Instead, I'll just rely on the faulty narrative of my memories. I still clearly remember the layout of his house, his room, his backyard. I remember one year at his birthday party I won a whole jar of Skittles in a guessing contest and it was the greatest thing ever until my mom threw it away.  

+ + + 

Winter's never been my season. I love summer and I love fall and spring is more like almost-summer, anyway, but winter is just darkness and death and missing things right and left. That doesn't mean that I'm going to be completely depressed throughout it all, but rather that I just have to work a little harder to surround myself with things that make me happy. It's a conscious effort.

Everything's going to be okay.

That's what I end most days repeating to myself. Everything is okay, and if it's not, it's going to be. I'd like to think I'm starting to believe it.

And for the record, after writing all of this, I feel like I should say that for the most part, while I miss these people and these memories, I'm at peace with the fact that they had to move on in order for to make room for other people and other memories in my life. I'm glad they happened, just the way that someday I'll be glad what's happening now has happened, but I'm okay that they're over. It's the ebb and flow of life, and it's all natural and necessary. I used to not be okay with that. Now I have accepted it. (Maybe this is growing up.) I still feel twinges of missing people, as this has clearly evidenced, but now I'm just happy that I ever had those times. Yeah, we had some good times, but there are far far greater things ahead than any we leave behind. 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

thanksgiving break


my city

my city

Thanksgiving break has been nice and relaxing. I got to do most everything I wanted: I went shopping, volunteered at the Turkey Trot Thanksgiving morning, worked on drivers' ed, went running, read a bit, took some pictures, and ate a bunch.

There's one thing I didn't really focus on, and that's writing. Uh, NaNoWriMo? Yeah, I kind of gave up on that around Day 13. There are a ton of reasons and they're all sort of entangled in each other. For one thing, writing is hard (understatement of the century). It's hard having to decide each time you sit down where to take the story, hard having to write a plot and characters, hard having to write so much every single day when you have so many other commitments in life that get in the way.

And I guess another part of it is, I let life get in the way. Because I could understand pushing away other commitments to make room for writing if it was my job, my livelihood, my life -- but it isn't. It's something I enjoy very much, but it's not the sole focus of my attention. And right now, I kind of don't want it to be. I want to have real experiences and be around real people, not just live in my head. You know? I still journal my thoughts and musings at the end of most days, and I blog here, but I don't see myself writing a full-length novel right now. There's a balance between observing and participating, and I'm still trying to find it.

There's a Hemingway quote I love that's been circulating the web and I feel like it kind of encompasses a lot of how I feel on this subject:

"The most solid advice for a writer is this, I think: Try to learn to breathe deeply, really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell. And when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough."

I love writing, but in order to write, you kind of have to live first. So that's what I'm focusing on.

I hope you all had a nice Thanksgiving break, and don't have too much trouble easing back into the routine tomorrow. I just realized we have less than a month of school left in this semester, and a whole week of that is finals, so it's winding down pretty fast. Winter, and Christmas, is on our heels. But today is a glorious fall day, as evidenced by the foliage by the lake. It's still November right now, after all.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

the obligatory thankful post

I have a lot to be thankful for right now, but I'll try to make it interesting because I know everybody and their mother talks about what they're thankful for this time of year. I'm thankful for things like food and television, too, but these are what really make my heart feel full.

I'm thankful...for those moments when you're in the passenger seat of your friend's car flying down the highway after the last football game of the season and you're blasting Taylor Swift and singing along like your life depends on it, and those moments when you're laughing so hard at stupid cat videos that tears stream down your face and just when you're about to stop laughing someone else's laugh makes you laugh even harder, and all of those other moments when you're just so happy that you can't help but think, this is how it's supposed to be.

I'm thankful...for my family, for providing me with a home (parents), singing along to Taylor Swift with me (sister #1), and eating all my chocolate from my Halloween candy (sister #2) so that I didn't go into a sugar coma (awww how thoughtful) (sarcasm). I'm thankful for my extended family, too, for my grandparents and aunts and uncles and especially my cousins who I'll get to see at Christmas again.

I'm thankful...for all my friends: Mayrose for driving me around and responding to my silly texts with equivocal amounts of enthusiasm, Caitlin for being on the same pop culture wavelength as me and for kicking me in the shins when certain people walk by, Elizabeth for telling me to join cross country and for being my twin except not, Claudia for always being entertaining company and for getting me saying things like "YOLO", Deborah for exchanging critical faces when Claudia says something questionable, Sydney for being so Sydney-like, Sarah for laughing at like everything I say so I feel like a comedic genius, Erina for being there to make fun of people with, Luxy for being the funniest 11-year-old I know, Madisen for being my Stats buddy and always asking me for Goldfish, and my online friends for constantly inspiring me and encouraging me.

And I'm thankful for everybody else who's probably never going to read this. All the people who've made me smile or laugh lately, all the people whose company I've enjoyed whether at school or youth group or cross country, all the people I used to be close with, all the people I've grown closer to. I'm so thankful that all of you exist.

I'm thankful...for the ability to express myself in writing. Writing is kind of like exercising: I don't do it because I really want to, but because I feel so much better afterward, because it clears my mind and keeps me sane and healthy. (...We'll discuss NaNo later.)

I'm thankful...for music, and I legitimately mean all types of music: alternative and (indie) rock when I'm traveling, classical music for when I'm working, country music for when I'm feeling nostalgic, pop music for when the radio's on and I want to sing, hip hop/rap for when I feel like it, gosh. (I've pretty much exclusively been listening to Kanye West for the past few days so that's a thing.)

I'm thankful...that I live in the ATX aka the coolest city I know and home to some of the coolest people I know (that means me).

I'm thankful...that I have both wonderful memories to look back on and wonderful plans to look forward to.

And last but not least, I'm thankful...that CHRISTMAS IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER. I mean, yeah, I'm pretty sure I've seen at least one person in a Christmas sweater every day since November started, and we've been listening to Christmas music in Painting for a few weeks, too, but now I can enjoy all that, and more, guilt-free! Huzzah!

Monday, November 19, 2012

room changes

This is what my room looks like now (in over-saturated hues and ugly lighting).

I got a new, full-sized bed to accommodate the precious family heirloom that apparently is that headboard. I also got a new bedspread and a new carpet and new curtains that aren't pictured. Everything else is pretty much the same, but the room feels so much smaller because the bed takes up more space. It smells funny, too. Like airplane. Gag. I hope that goes away soon.

I haven't even slept in my new bed yet, because my mom's friends were visiting and she generously offered to loan them my room for three days. But it's okay. It's practically Thanksgiving break so I'll have lots of time to sleep soon. I mean, probably.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

roman numerals

i. I keep starting posts and abandoning them. I hate fragments; I like for my writing to be long and focused, but I don't have the time or creative energy for that these days.

ii. You can think of these as poems if it makes you feel better, or a list, or just one long essay chopped up. This is meant to be cathartic; we'll see how that goes.

iii. Right now I have a headache because I accidentally slammed heads with someone and because I'm an idiot. That's two things that need fixing. The first will go away with sleep and water; the second, I'm afraid, may linger a while.

iv. I've lived in this body for sixteen years and four months and two days and I still frequently feel like a newcomer to this planet.

v. It was cold yesterday morning (today, too, though not as much). Cold enough for boots and jeans and a jacket over long sleeves, but not quite see your breath, wear two pairs of wool socks to bed cold. Not quite cabin cold.

vi. Incidentally, they've sold the cabin. I haven't really thought about it all except for now, realizing that there won't be any more winters up there, and if there are, they won't be the same. Ordinarily, maybe, dwelling on this would make me kind of sad, but I am so done with being sad.

vii. Well, I mean, I would be if I could be. Maybe what I'm trying to say is that I'm done being sad over silly, small things like that, like changes I can't control. Instead of being sad about things changing, I'm trying to be excited about the new things that the change means.

viii. For instance: my mom just told me that today she bought our tickets to Paris for next summer.

ix. If we're really being honest here, talking about traveling to places like Europe makes me feel a bit uncomfortable because I'm all too aware a lot of people don't get that opportunity and it makes me feel like a spoiled rich kid when I say it. Or rather, other people make me feel like a spoiled rich kid when I say it.

x. Today my friend asked me, jokingly, what I did last summer, so I, jokingly, mentioned everywhere I had traveled, and then my other friend replied, with an edge in her voice, "Well, not all of us are rich." ("Yes," I almost said, "that's why I live in a mansion and am getting a car for Christmas and have had an iPhone since I was 13...oh wait.")

xi. I hadn't really been to Europe until this summer, and I remember thinking the same exact things about my cousin, who's lived and been all over the world. We'd talk and I was always surprised when she said she was jealous of me, that she hated moving and would rather just live in America.

xii. But I think I understand her now. Traveling doesn't mean a thing if you don't have a place to call home. I could visit every country on every continent and see the most amazing things but I'd still rather belong to one place than wander everywhere.

xiii. I dislike it when people generalize and say things like, "I hate everyone" or "I've lost faith in this generation" or other such ignorant and depressing comments. Maybe you've been annoyed by a few people but I bet my life you don't hate everyone. Similarly, just because some people enjoy listening to music like Justin Bieber doesn't mean that society is completely ruined and hopeless or even that music "isn't what it used to be." I mean, have you heard "As Long As You Love Me"? Chills.

xiv. Similarly, I dislike it when people say, "I hate this school." I don't know but I'm pretty sure that you don't have to go to school here. You applied to go here, and if you don't like it, you can leave, and you won't hear me protest.

xv. Okay, maybe that's a little counter to my previous, albeit, implicit argument that everyone should just love each other. But we wouldn't have this problem if we were all more positive, right?

xvi. I like my school, for the most part. People care too much about grades and freak out over small things, but I think they have a lot of passion and it comes out at events like football games. I like how for the most part we are able to maturely and independently handle situations. This morning, for instance, in physics, my teacher had to go to another class, so he just had a student run the class. He went over the homework just like our teacher normally does and then we broke into groups. A substitute came in about halfway through and saw the kid at the whiteboard and was like, "Oh, sorry to interrupt." I just thought it was kind of funny.

xvii. Forum (advisory, homeroom, what have you) operates more as a music history and appreciation class than anything else. My teacher basically just shows us a variety of music videos, and sometimes we talk about things like Field Day, which is next Tuesday. Today we watched/listened to this song and I actually recognized it because somebody played it at cross country practice a few weeks ago. Now it's stuck in my head.

xvii. Interestingly enough, I've been invited to three parties in the next few weeks, so I guess my worry that the social atmosphere was dying down or whatever was somewhat unfounded. I'm pleased.

xix. While we're on the subject of nothing in particular, can I just say that, "Don't be afraid!" is pretty terrible advice? It is. Fear is such a primal, irrational thing -- it's so hard to just stop being afraid of something. There's only one way, really, and that's to just to do it, to face your fear. So, I think that's a lot better advice. Be afraid, but don't let that fear paralyze you. Be brave, not fearless.

xx. I feel better now. I think I've said most everything I want to say for now, and it makes me feel good. My head still hurts, but it will go away. The important thing is that the blogger's block has gone away.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

no sleep november?

Today my friend and I were talking and she mentioned that she was only ahead on volunteer work and APUSH work and was behind on everything else. And I was like, what am I ahead on? Nothing. I'm literally behind on everything.

I'm definitely not on top of all my schoolwork, I haven't been running in a week, I don't have nearly enough volunteer hours for NHS yet, I haven't been to youth group for the past two weeks, my progress on NaNoWriMo is a complete joke, I haven't practiced guitar as much as I should have, it feels like ages since I've blogged, and I sure haven't been sleeping a ton, either. You know that triangle that's like, "good grades, social life, and sleep, pick any two"? Well, I guess if you add it all up I have maybe one total. So, uh, there's that.

Such is this time of year.

But it's not like I've been doing nothing. Here are some things that have happened since November started almost a week ago:

  • I have eaten an inordinate amount of sweets, mostly candy from Halloween.
  • I went to a Regina Spektor concert last night (!). It was amazing, as is to be expected.
  • I have written almost 5,000 words of a novel, after completely scrapping the first idea (but leaving the words, because I did write them and I want them to count) and starting over three days in.
  • I have celebrated Dia de Los Muertos with an altar and Mexican food in the library and the most bothersome face makeup that took forever to get off, and I have celebrated my friend's seventeenth birthday with caramel apple cider (autumn in a cup) on the way to school and lots of sweets at lunch, as per tradition.
  • I have continued to listen to far too much Taylor Swift and procrastinate on the internet far too much. (See: right now.)
And now I'm watching the election results trickle in, a little anxious and a little excited.

How's your life?

Hopefully I'll be back soon with more coherent thoughts and such. But right now, with a million other things on my plate, this is all ya get. Peace out, girl scouts.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

life lately

Pre-Homecoming. Stolen from my friend.

Let's see...what's happened since the last time I wrote? We had our homecoming football game against our rival on Thursday. It's the most fun game by far because pretty much everyone wears purple to school and at the game the student section is like three times as big as it usually is, and it usually is the best by far anyway. I don't know why they even bothered having classes: they were all cut short because of the pep rally and we spent like half of Spanish just putting on war paint and glitter. To add to the excitement, a bunch of seniors spend the night at the school to guard the campus from any possible pranks from the opposing school. When I got to cross country that morning, there were a ton of cars in the parking lot and I was quite confused until my coach opened the door to the training room where there were a few dozen people sleeping on ground. We may have lost the game, but we definitely had the most spirit.

Then Saturday was our homecoming dance. I didn't go the past two years so I decided to finally get my act together and go this year. It was interesting and I don't really know what else to say on that subject. I had fun. My friends volunteered to clean up afterwards, and since they were my ride home, I had to stay too. It's weird, but being at school at 1 AM is actually not that different than being there at 5:50 AM. I spent the night at my friend's, staying up until about four, and woke up the next morning to go straight to volunteering at my sister's school's carnival where I made cotton candy and sold people corn dogs for four hours.

That's been life lately and I've been enjoying it but now it feels like we're transitioning again. Cross country is over, and our football season is basically over, and it seems like most of the things I'd been looking forward to are over. After Halloween, I don't really have anything to look forward to until Thanksgiving. It's kind of a dismal prospect for me. I like to have something to anticipate each week to keep me going: mostly social activities like meets or games or dances or festivals. It seems like with November approaching, the world is gearing up to hibernate, and it makes me sad. I guess I'm just going to have to work harder to make sure that I still get out and do stuff and don't become depressed.

Oh yeah, November. That means NaNoWriMo. I've been equivocating for the past month or so over whether or not to participate this year and I finally decided to just give it a try. I've never actually written 50,000 words, only smaller goals with the youth version, so I'd like to have that in my repertoire. My reservations are, admittedly, somewhat strange. It's not the usual "I'll be too busy" excuse, because as I've explained above I'll probably have more free time, but I'm worried, perhaps irrationally, more about the content. You see, I'm so terribly self-absorbed that I'm afraid if I start to write a novel, it will come out at least partially autobiographical and I'll end up spilling all my secrets to the computer screen and not be able to share it with anyone lest they guess.

Of course, I'm still not completely sure what I'll write about. You know me, I don't decide things until I absolutely have to. I have a very foggy general idea for a subject and I guess come Thursday I'll just sit down and write something. My approach to life is generally one of "take it as it comes" or something. I'm not really sure. Whatever happens, happens.

So it goes.

(It'll all be fine, and no one's even died so there's that.)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

you won't be sixteen forever

These past few days have been kind of emotional for me and I don't know why. I guess it was mainly just stress and my tendency to make big deals out of things that aren't big deals and smaller things triggering feelings of inadequacy, but sometimes you just fall apart and you don't even have a good reason.

This morning in physics instead of paying attention to the lecture on forces and equilibrium like a good student, I wrote three pages and played pretend that that my science notebook was my diary. I wrote about second chances and secrets and things that weighed on my mind, trying to talk myself out of the seemingly purposeless unhappiness that was clouding my head. And because I'm sixteen and I can get away with not caring about consequences beyond the short term, I don't regret it.

When you're young, you can get away with stuff like that. You can get away with crying over dumb things and getting emotional over pop music and spending too much time worrying about homecoming dresses. You can get away with texting your friend seven times in a row before she can respond and going out to the parking lot at lunch to watch people attempting to drink a gallon of milk in an hour throw it all up. You can get away with executing dumb pranks to the amusement of your friends and writing long journal entries about everything and skipping the second half of the workout to just lie on the track and talk (or listen to people talk, if you're more like me).

You're allowed to do those sorts of things when you're young: dumb things, silly things, things fueled only by what you feel now without any regard to the future. I guess when you're grown up, you can still do some of it but there's not the camaraderie of teenagehood, not the excuse of, "oh, I'm still just a kid."

I just think there's something kind of nice about this weird stage in life. Everything is exaggerated; bad news is the apocalypse, good news is the happiest moment of your life. One could say it is both miserable and magical. Beauty through the pain and whatnot. Writing about it, though, I feel kind of strange, removed, like I'm looking back on this time of my life instead of living through it, like maybe I'm not supposed to have this sort of level of introspection yet since I don't have the hindsight. I don't know.

I mean, thank God we do grow up. I'm just not particularly in any hurry.

It's like that one Metro Station song that came up a few nights ago when I was listening to playlists on 8tracks and feeling moody. You won't be seventeen sixteen forever and we can get away with this tonight.

Friday, October 19, 2012

who would have thought?

You ever have those moments when you're so far from what you'd normally perceive as your comfort zone, when you're doing something you never really pictured yourself doing, and you kind of feel like you don't really belong but it's not necessarily a bad feeling?

I had one of them this summer in Florida, sharing a hotel room with people I barely knew, miles and states away from everyone and everything I did know, and I had another one of them today.

I was sitting in the second row of a minivan, being driven around by someone who last year was just another girl in my art class I occasionally shared looks with, surrounded by people whose names I hadn't known a few months ago. I was thinking, this is weird, because I've never really done anything like this. I was thinking, I feel like more of a teenager than I usually do. And I was thinking, I am happy.

I suppose I should back up for the sake of clarity. Today was our cross country district championships and we got to skip school (second Friday in a row for me...) to compete. My school did quite well: first place in both varsity and JV boys, and second place in varsity girls. JV girls (that's me) got an honorable mention, at least.

Right before we ran, our coach told us, "Have fun!" And I did have fun; not for the seventeen or so minutes I was running, but pretty much the whole rest of the time. I enjoyed dancing to the music (the people in charge really liked Rihanna today) and chanting & cheering right before the start and clapping so hard at the finish line my hands turned red. I enjoyed all the high fives I gave & got after running and watching people's faces light up as they received their medals & trophies and, yeah, the fact that I was there instead of in APUSH writing an essay analyzing the effectiveness of Eisenhower's administration in dealing with foreign and domestic issues.

Afterwards some of the team went to Jason's Deli where I had lunch and a laughably awkward conversation and a complimentary soft serve ice cream (it's all good). Then we kind of circled the city for a bit and that's when I found myself thinking about situations that a lot of other people probably don't dissect to such lengths.  We ended up at a park and I sat back and thought some more. I thought about how some people say you should always carry around a notebook so you don't forget anything, but I think that sometimes it's best just to let things play out without interruption. I thought about how taking opportunities almost always ends up better than not taking them. And I thought some other thoughts that I don't remember because they were halted by loud noises. By that I mean there was a man in the creek by the park playing the fricking bagpipes. In the woods. By himself. Playing the bagpipes. So that was the background to much of my afternoon.

It's so weird the way the world works, isn't it, how one decision made several months ago can have so many implications later on. It can affect what you accomplish and who you talk to and how you feel. Even though my head hurts and I have new blisters, today was a good day. And I am happy.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

music festival times

Yesterday, I went to ACL, which stands for Austin City Limits, which is a big music festival that happens every year in town for all y'all non-natives without a clue. I went when I was in fifth grade, because you're free when you're 10 and under, but I haven't been since. A ton of people at school always go so I always hear about how great it is and whatever and this year I finally got a Friday pass for my birthday. I didn't go to school yesterday, because I mean, why bother, so my friend and I arrived at ACL around noonish. We first listened to Los Campesinos for a little bit, and they were good but I don't know many of their songs at all. Then we headed over to First Aid Kit, which I was really excited about.

They introduced themselves as "two Swedish sisters...from Sweden" and they both wore awesome dresses and they played all my favorite songs and even one of my favorite Simon & Garfunkel songs!

Ben Howard! We were pretty close up since my friend wanted to get there early, and I'm glad we did. I don't know a lot of his songs but he was so good. Also I'm pretty sure I heard someone scream out, "I want to have your children!" at one point so...that was interesting.

~interlude of milkshakes and long lines for the disgusting "bathrooms" and listening to a bit of Tegan and Sara from far away~

Then....Florence + the Machine! It was the greatest. She is the coolest person ever and I can't even really describe it. Just, uh, you should have been there. Seriously.

The Black Keys! Since they played at the same stage as Florence, we just stayed there and waited for like 2 hours. It was so crowded and uncomfortable -- literally so packed with people I could barely turn around --but whatever, I survived, and it was cool.

The disco ball came down during "Everlasting Light", and also during that song a lantern descended from the sky (?? I didn't really know what was going on?) right behind us and it smelled like smoke and then all these people were stomping on it to make sure that nothing caught on fire. So then I was like, "Well, thank goodness that wasn't an everlasting light," because I can never resist a good bad pun.

Well, that was my festival experience, although if you wanted to be more accurate, you'd have to mention the awful sunburn I got from the hot hot, blazing sun, and how sweaty and smelly everyone was by the end, and how my feet felt like falling off by the end of the night, and, you know, the random strangers who were definitely under the influence of various substances, offering vodka and acting generally inebriated (and also very excited). But it wouldn't really be a festival without all of that, would it? No, it most certainly would not. And I wouldn't change a thing.