Sunday, December 22, 2013

my year in music

Here is my end of the year playlist! True to my nature, and my year, it includes...well, pretty much every genre possible except like death metal because I'm not about that. I like thinking about my year in terms of the music I listened because it's a really cool and convenient way to look back on it and see all the different things I went through.

Los Campesinos are winter-thinking-about-summer music. Vampire Weekend, especially their new album, is more like actual summer, excitement and anticipation and freedom. Lana Del Rey is driving around on hot, sunny days, imagining our lives are more exciting than they are. Arctic Monkeys are angst and frustration and wanting to dance and going to football games and so much more -- they were most of this fall semester, honestly. The National is sad, late nights doing homework. Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros are their concert, and Maroon 5 is their concert, except for "Sunday Morning" -- that is pure contentedness, a brief moment of happiness. One Direction is, all at once, IHOP breakfasts and obsessions and the rides to and from school. They are everything.

Katy Perry reminds me of cross-country; "Mirrors" reminds me of scraping paint off a house. "Landslide" and "Rivers and Roads" are thinking about how much has changed and will changed and being a bit sad about it. "17" is, you know, turning seventeen.

I'll talk about the specifics of this year later, maybe. In the mean time, enjoy the playlist. I'm sorry about the Chris Brown.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

feels like we've been living in fast forward

This post goes out to Ana for saying she missed my posts. In case you ever want me to do something, that's really all it takes. I miss blogging, too. I mean, it's not an active missing, but when I think about it, I do. Luckily for you, after a short break from school for Thanksgiving I am experiencing a bit of what one might call senioritis. I was doing so well, you know, but once you give me a few days off, man, I can't go back. It really ruins the streak. But what better way to combat this lack of motivation than to blog? There is no better way. It was a rhetorical question. Here we go again.

It's been a hella weird year for sure. I keep saying that and I don't know why but I'm pretty sure it has been.

Like that time last week when I ended up in the hospital...haha...crazy Friday night, am I right? Okay, what actually happened was this: I was out to dinner for my friend's birthday and it was all going smoothly, weird conversations about almond milk aside, until I went to the bathroom right before we were about to leave. As I was coming out of the bathroom, I put my hand right on the wall by the door, and somehow, when the door slammed shut, my finger got caught. I walked back to the table in pain, looking extremely anguished. My friends looked confused and asked me what was wrong. I started motioning to my hand, started to say that I slammed it in a door, haha, silly me, when I actually looked down. There was SO much blood. I ran back to bathroom, not knowing what to do. I don't want to gross you out, but yeah, it was bleeding a lot. My friends came and found me a minute later. By that time I was super dizzy and nauseous and pale; I couldn't stand straight so they told me to sit down. I never lost consciousness but I was super woozy and kept thinking "this can't be happening." No one really knew what to do so one of my friends called an ambulance and I had to answer a lot of questions for the restaurant people filing some report (I'm so sorry) and when the EMS people came. They put me on a stretcher (even though I probably could have walked) and into an ambulance. From there I went to the hospital, where my mom met me, and they got to work fixing me up. I got some stitches and some medicine. By that time I was okay; it was mostly at the beginning when I was freaked out.

It was definitely kind of a surreal experience for someone who has never been in the hospital before, but everyone was super cool about it. My friends came to the hospital, even though they had to stay in the waiting room. I did get to talk to Luxy and apologize for ruining her birthday, although later she said it was the most exciting birthday ever. So there's that.

I didn't write a Thanksgiving post, but, cliche as it is, that night made me realize all the things for which I am so grateful. I'm lucky that other than the occasional accident/self-inflicted injury, my health is pretty good. I'm lucky it was my left hand, not my right. And, maybe most of all, I'm lucky to have people who care about me. I'm thankful for everyone who asked how I was doing in the days following, and just in general. I'm thankful for people. Okay. Good. Cheesy part is over.

I am 7/11ths done with college apps (oh em gee 7/11 see what I did there?) and I have gotten into two schools so far. So that's cool, even if it's ruined my motivation to finish the remaining supplements. Honestly though, it doesn't feel real. Maybe because of that, I've not been worried about college too much lately. I've just been shrugging it off to think of later. Where do I want to go? Eh, I'll figure it out in, like, April. Whatever.

I went to Kansas City for Thanksgiving, and this tweet of Tavi's describes my vacation pretty well. The most important takeaway is that I watched all the One Direction X-Factor video diaries in one night and my life has meaning once again. God bless them all.

This turned out pretty long and, unfortunately, I still have to do my homework. :( Hope you all are doing well! If you're not, just watch this. You're welcome. I'll try to be back soon -- I'm working on my ~2013 playlist~ so that's exciting. I'm trying to have more songs with explicit warnings than I did last year so I still need to add some. Bye!

Monday, November 11, 2013

this must be the place

~pictures from the summer I never got around to scanning earlier~

SO GREEN at Mayfield Park

Salted Caramel gelato aka the reason I live

Baseball fields at Northwest Park. I don't know why I love this so much but I do.

 Cinnamon Roll Pancakes aka the other reason I live

Friday, November 01, 2013

october in review


  • Too much rain, too many flood warnings
  • Being sick for almost the whole month (go away, stuffy nose)
  • Wanting to be done with college apps so I can have time to read and write and watch TV (which I haven't done in months) and bake and sleep (ditto)
  • Fun times sometimes

Oh, November. You again. 

(Is it Thanksgiving yet?)

Saturday, October 19, 2013

this is what's been up

Yo. I'm gonna try this blogging thing again. For real. I mean it this time. I'm going to do my best to write a real post about my life, with pictures and everything. Here goes.

Okay, I actually have no idea where to begin. I mean, school's been keeping me busy, of course. You know, learning and all that nonsense. So have college apps, but we're not going to talk about that. I'm not going to talk about it until I get in somewhere. That's my official position. Bye.

There was homecoming last month. The dance itself was suitably fun in its lameness, but the best parts were, as always, getting dressed up and then going to Kerbey Lane afterwards for midnight pancakes and enchiladas.

Then there's cross-country. Yesterday we had our district meet. In terms of time, I didn't do as well as I'd hoped considering it was my last meet ever, but girls varsity got 3rd place anyway so I'm pretty pleased with that. (Boys completely dominated, of course, but what else is new?) Afterwards we all got lunch and ice cream and then went to a park. It was a fun day and I'm glad the season ended on a high note. It was kind of a weird season since our coach was out having a baby and the replacement didn't, uh, know anything about running, but it was still good, yesterday especially. I'm sure I'll miss it later, but I've gotta say, right now, it's gonna feel so good sleeping past 5:15. So good. And there's always track to look forward to, anyway. 

In other news, it rained a ton last week and today I think was the first day it was really sunny, albeit cold. I mean, I guess it's that time of year. I'm just still in the shorts-wearing mindset (when am I not, honestly) so it's kind of distressing. But kind of nice. It makes me excited for Christmas. I'm sorry.

Maybe it's the weather, but I'm finally not missing the summer anymore. While I love the craziness of being social that comes with going back to school, I think I love lazy fall weekends even more. Reading in bed while it rains and watching football on the couch and whatever else -- it's nice to just relax when I can. I've been taking a lot of naps lately -- it's how I survive without drinking coffee, I think. Naps are the best thing to come out of senior year so far. Sleep, when it's so hard to come by, is precious. I went to bed at 9:15 on a Friday night last night, for instance. This is the life.

So yeah, I'm liking fall alright, even if I haven't been able to appreciate it fully yet. Bring on the pumpkins. Let's do this thing.

*All photos taken from Facebook, creds to different people's parents. I haven't touched my camera since I got home from Seattle. What can you do?

Friday, October 04, 2013

you've gotta be kind to yourself

"I want you to be nice to yourself today." I know you were talking about how I came to school even though I was sick, but I don't think I've been taking very good care of myself lately in general. I exercise regularly, I drink an insane amount of water, and I make time to write before I go to sleep to clear my head, but it's hard. I'm hungry all the time. I'm tired. Some days I'm too quiet; some days, when I talk, all that comes out of my mouth is covered in venom. I've cried in a bathroom stall and wondered if there was possibly anything in the world less dignified than wiping away your tears with single-ply toilet paper. I've looked at my progress compared to everyone else's and felt impossibly behind.

That's the worst thing. Colds go away in time but those sort of poisonous thoughts take root in your brain and have to constantly be cut away. It feels like no matter how hard I try, my grades are still bad, I'm still the slowest person on the team, I still have an extra bulge on my stomach that taunts me every time I look down. Some people have already received college acceptance letters and I still haven't asked my teachers for recommendations because I'm too goddamn scared. You want to know the real reason I haven't been blogging lately, besides not having enough time? This is it, right here.

And I see people who look like they have their lives together, and I let my weakness turn to bitterness and make me angry, and that is what I hate the most. I am not an angry person, most of the time, so why do I let my jaw clench when other people speak to me with such harshness? It all comes back to me. My anger, my failings, my fault.

I want to escape. Anywhere sounds nice: last year, San Francisco, my bed. But that's impossible. The only way out is through.

So I have to constantly give myself pep talks. I have to remind myself what is true: That I can do this, that I have done it before. That crying doesn't mean I'm weak. That I am strong because I always get through the worst nights, I always pick myself up off the floor and put myself to bed and keep going. That I have many good qualities and I am loved. That I am capable of doing this all by myself, but that doesn't mean I have to do it alone.

I want you to be nice to yourself today. Okay? Start by telling the truth. Honesty is a kind of cleansing, and anything cleansing is self-care. Let yourself be vulnerable. Tentatively, slowly now. Unpeel your roughness, your toughness, until it's just the inside left, like a squishy baby orange. We are all born soft, some softer than others. Some are bruise more easily. But we all have to take care of ourselves. Watch your favorite movie, eat some ice cream, take a nap. Treat yourself.

Remember: You are stronger than you think. You can do this. I love you.

Sunday, September 29, 2013


So, it has come to my attention that I haven't blogged in twenty-seven days. That's almost a month. Dang. This has never happened before in my entire career on this website, which spans back to the incredibly prehistoric age of 2008. 

Usually when I don't blog for a while it's either because I'm so busy or because I'm going through a dry spell and can't come up with anything to say. Or, actually, it's like so much is happening I don't know how to possibly pin any of it down into comprehensible posts and I don't have enough time to try. I think maybe that's the best explanation for this past month. Senior year is complete and utter madness. 

One day you're at an Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes concert waiting for lightning to stop, talking with your friend and someone you just met, and the next day you're back at school, taking a test. One day you're playing Capture the Flag in the streets after dark, cursing yourself for not wearing better running shoes, and the next day you're at a college visit, thinking about where you might end up next year. Some days you're up at 5:15 and don't get home until after 1 in the morning. Okay, that was only once, but you get my point. It's crazy. Senior year is frequent trips to Sonic, it's "will you proofread my college essay for me?", it's Arctic Monkeys and Avicii and whatever's on the country station. It's our last homecoming, our last spirit week, everything a countdown but we can't focus on that. It's so many emotions at once. So many things to do. So much. 

How do I sum it up? Hmm. Let's just say I don't have any trouble falling asleep these days.

I guess I just wanted to pop in and reassure you that I'm (somehow, miraculously) still alive. We'll return to your regularly scheduled programming... maybe not soon, but...uh, as soon as possible. 


Monday, September 02, 2013

senior year

So, I've officially been a senior for a whole week now. In a word, it's weird. It's weird because it's different and no one prepared me for this.

Part of me is caught up in how different things are from how they were last year at this time, and another part of me is thinking about how different things will be a year from now. I guess the two feelings are connected in that it feels like everything's changing and I'm caught in the middle. I'm missing the seniors and having someone older to look up to and be entertained by. I'm missing a lot of things about last fall, actually, at least the way I perceive it now in retrospect, because it seemed so good then and now it's so, well, different. I can't think of a better word than that. It's senior year so I'm starting to get stressed out about college apps and the future and all the hard work that has to come before then. I have no idea where I'll be a year from now and that's kind of exciting and kind of terrifying.

So, yeah. It's weird.

It's my last year of high school, which in itself is crazy (where has the time gone?!?). Everything feels like a countdown but at the same time, life goes on. I can't spend every minute worrying because I'm still expected to go to classes and do work (ridiculous). This year I'm taking AP Environmental Science, AP European History, Creative Writing, AP English Lit, Painting, Advanced Mathematical Reasoning (basically like an alternative math class), and AP Gov (this semester, Econ next semester). And an off period, which is nice because on A days it means I'm done by 1 if we don't have advisory. My schedule isn't easy per se but the workload shouldn't be too crazy, either, and most of the classes seem interesting enough so far. That's good because I can't afford to get senioritis yet. 

To be honest, the first week back was kind of hard -- not terrible, because there were definitely some good moments, but like a lot of transitions, it was a bit rough getting back into it. Like I said before, it was just kind of a shock, but at times it felt like I was just slipping back into something I'd done a million times before. There were a few times I wondered why I was even there. It felt like I should have been done with high school already.

But this weekend has been good for me. It's like a chance for me to reclaim my footing after stumbling a bit the first week. I'm so thankful for it. Friday night we had our first football game. We played a team we usually lose to, and so I was expecting a fun but not spectacular game, but amazingly enough, we won. It made the nightmarish drive out to a small Texas town worth it. It was great to be back in the student section and now I have high hopes for the rest of the season (*cough cough* that we beat McCallum). The next morning we had our first cross-country meet. My time was not that great and there are a lot of things I could blame (the heat, the dust, the hills, getting 5 hours of sleep the night before, it's the first one so I'm still getting back into the swing of things, etc.) but when it comes down to it I just have to work harder. I have the rest of the season to improve so I hope I am able to do that. Besides running, it was fun. We went out to barbecue afterwards as a team and I wondered, per usual, why I was a vegetarian. Then that night I went to the UT football game with Caitlin. I haven't been to one in forever but it was cool to be there with almost 100,000 other people. It's definitely a different experience than high school games.

Yesterday I slept in and lazed about all day to make up for all the sporting activities of the previous 24 hours. Somehow it's September now. I think I'm okay with that. I know that as the days progress I will get more comfortable being a senior and all that.

Either way, it's going to be an interesting year.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

a map of these last three months

alternatively titled, things I forgot to say when they were still relevant

I never told you about the boy who gave me flowers, did I? Well, I didn't tell you because it didn't really mean anything. Because it's not like that, because my life is not like that. My life is him turning around on the bus, holding some yellow flowers in his fist, saying, "Here, want these?" I braided them into my hair. They fell out sometime when I was running to the showers. Flowers without water die pretty quickly, anyway. I never saw those people again.

over the atlantic
Everything seemed like a dream, then. It was all so fast, disappearing in the rear view mirror before I fully had time to process what had happened. It was like there was some sort of fog over me. I thought I must have left the last of whatever sense of reality I had left in Charles de Gaulle, or maybe it was on a rest stop on the way to Colorado, or maybe it was still in the trunk of your car from all those weeks ago. Blame it on the jet lag, or too many hours on a bus, but I didn't know where I was and not just physically.

I had never felt the pull of two places at the same time so strongly. "It's not that I'm homesick, it's just that when I see two friends laughing it makes me miss my friends," I wrote. And so on. I think sometimes we lie to ourselves and don't realize until later that it wasn't the truth. But at dinner in a French restaurant upstairs, with the window open looking out onto the Parisian street, eating pumpkin soup and the best bread, the sun not even close to setting... Why would I need anything else?

I found a dollar on the ground at Pike's Place, right by where all the men were throwing fish to each other. I thought about giving it to the homeless man I saw on the street, but at the end of the day I remembered it was still in the pocket of my pants, which I had already carefully folded back into my suitcase because I was leaving again early in the morning. Always leaving, I sighed to myself then. I think the dollar might still be in my jeans.

I ate the best ice cream of the summer here. It was new but it almost felt familiar. Because it was hot and I was with just my family and we were walking through city streets -- how many times had I done that before? I could breathe easy because I knew the next place I would be was home.

My home and, in the summer, my interim. Where I long to be when I am gone and where I am happy to leave. Someday, before I leave you for longer than just a week long vacation, I'll write you a whole letter, a whole post about how I love you, but that day is not today.

I think it rained in every place I went this summer, but none of it even comes close to how I feel when it rains at home. It stormed last week, when I was running down by the lake. I hadn't checked the forecast but I started seeing lightning before I got to the pedestrian bridge, and by the time I got to the other side, it was pouring. Did I mention it was completely dark, too? And I was by myself? I think this is a recipe for happiness. No, not happiness, something we confuse for happiness: exhilaration, freedom, just feeling alive. Getting caught in a storm, truly caught, with nowhere to go inside, is something I recommend you experience at least once. A kind woman asked me if I needed a ride anywhere, but I kept walking until I found the car. And completely soaked the seat so that it was wet for the next few days. Worth it.

I don't know what else to say. Except that there's no place like home. Even when it changes. Even when certain people aren't there. Even, maybe especially, when you plan on leaving it. There's just no place like home.

right here, right now
Writing this, or parts of it, made me a little sad. I don't know why, because it was not exactly a sad summer. I mean, I think I spent a lot of it longing for something else & missing people/places but I did my best to enjoy where I was, too. It was a very full summer, though it might still be too soon to offer any sort of summary. Like I've said before, all I have are these moments, now memories. I'm not going to bother trying to fit them into something bigger. Anyway, that was then. And now, at the end? I am almost exactly where I want to be.

School starts in four days and for the first time, I'm not completely dreading it. I'm actually kind of pumped. This is my last year of high school and although that's slightly terrifying, it's also wonderfully exciting. I don't want to say I can't wait, because there are still a few more days of summer I don't want to discount. I am excited, but before that, I am going to fill the last few days of summer with nice things. It is August 22nd, and this is a good place to be.

Monday, August 19, 2013

oregon coast

We went to the Oregon coast one day. It was foggy (as you can tell) and freezing (which you can't). I climbed the biggest sand dune and stuck my feet in the Pacific Ocean for the first time in over two years.

I still have a bunch of pictures from this vacation and summer in general, so I might post those later, but for now I want to take a break from long photo-filled posts and return to your regularly scheduled posts. Summer is coming to a close and I want to be able to talk about that while it's still relevant, too. Hope you're all doing well!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

roche harbor, san juan island

San Juan Island. It felt like Hannah's Woodland meets the island from Moonrise Kingdom, with a hint of Abbey's lake. When we got off the boat from Seattle in Friday Harbor, one of my first thoughts was how Canadian it looked. I mean, I have never been to Canada, but I think that this was very close. Friday Harbor was like a Canadian version of Richard Scarry's Busytown. It was small and cute but we spent most of our time on the other side of the island at Roche Harbor. We stayed in these cabins which also made it feel like camp. It reminded me of a lot of different places, clearly. 

It was really beautiful. These pictures don't even come close to showing that, but that's just one of those things you have to live with as someone who takes pictures.

We saw deer and dogs and horses and bald eagles (#merica). We roasted s'mores (favorite summer tradition). We walked into the little town (that's probably a little generous) and all the way to the end of the dock, past $7 million boats and the terrible smell of fish. We (some of us) biked 22 miles one day to go whale-watching. It was all beautiful.

But the most beautiful thing I didn't get any pictures of at all. It was the last night. We ate dinner at this restaurant, that white building with lights around the roof. It was a nice restaurant and I had a delicious meal of vegetables and mashed potatoes and lots and lots of bread. Since we were a large party, I guess, we had a whole room upstairs and a balcony all to ourselves. Every night, down on the docks they had a flag-lowering ceremony (another reason it felt like camp) where they played the national anthems of Canada, America and maybe England as they took down the respective flags and shot off a canon and at the end all the boats in the harbor would sound their horns at the same time. We watched this on the balcony before our dinner came and then watched the next display: the sunset. It was one of the Top 10 sunsets I've seen in my life, probably. It was so pretty that the next morning, our taxi driver asked, "Did you see the sunset last night?" The sky was streaked with the most outrageous shades of pink until at the last moment it got dark. And when it was dark, walking back to the cabins in the cold, we could hear the music from a wedding reception across the street, drifting over. It was a good last night.

Monday, August 12, 2013

how to miss someone

step 1. care about them. a note before you proceed any further: this is dangerous. crucial, but dangerous. and like many dangerous things, it is just going to happen whether you like it or not, screw all your precautions. you don't have to know someone very long for this to happen -- I don't think you even have to have met them. you've just got to kind of see some light in them. so, yes, care about them. spend time with them. laugh with them, work with them, go places with them. and oh, God, let them do nice things for you. this is killer. cultivate an image of them in your mind. imagine they fill some sort of secret space inside of you. care.

step 2a. and then: say goodbye. cry.

step 2b. or: don't say goodbye. slip away. cry harder.

step 3. leave. or wait for them to leave. for how long is irrelevant because time is irrelevant when you miss someone. so is how far away they are. they could be across the street but you can still miss them because they're not with you. that's what this is about. there are no other rules. step three: imagine, in their absence, that some part of you is empty.

step 4. run over all your memories of them, one by one, like a montage in a movie only you can see. the happier they made you, the more you will miss them. guaranteed.

step 5. listen to pink floyd's "wish you were here" when it comes on the radio on the way to the airport. feel like a giant cliche; cry some more. don't sleep at night -- or rather, don't come home until 1 a.m. because it's so much easier to fall asleep that way. drive down streets past places you've been with them and note how they've altered your whole sense of geography.

step 6. wonder what they are doing right now and know that it's probably something wonderful and life-changing that they deserve. selfishly allow yourself to wish they were here doing nothing -- doing anything -- with you instead. concede your loneliness. concede that sometimes, when one person is missing, the whole world seems depopulated. concede you'd rather go grocery shopping with them than go to Paris or meet your favorite celebrity or win a million dollars.

step 7. by now you miss them, huh? I told you caring was dangerous. like love. and I don't think it's altogether wrong to say I miss you is another form of I love you. maybe that's why those words were always hard to say. like love and maybe some regret, some sadness. I love you, come back to me.

I miss you.

(something I wrote the other night in the wee hours of the morning when I couldn't sleep. I get really melodramatic at night. but still. I don't know how many more goodbyes I can handle, even the ones that aren't my own. I'm ready for reunions.)

Saturday, August 10, 2013


I'm baaack! I've been home a few days now, but I was waiting to get my film developed before I posted anything because I have this thing about posting chronologically. But now we can proceed.

I brought my digital with me, but I only took out my film camera in Seattle. I like film because it's an exercise in self-control and patience, and it requires you to have a certain amount of faith. I don't like it because it's expensive and scanning all the pictures myself is a hassle but it's the only option when I don't want to pay any more.

Mount Rainier, probably

Our hotel was right by the Space Needle

Inside the EMP (music) museum

By the water (lake, not ocean, though my cousin said it tasted salty)

Cousins frolicking ft. Space Needle

Shaded streets

So apparently One Direction was in town the same time we were. Like, I was in the same city as One Direction. I was breathing the same air as Harry Styles. I think that's pretty major, idk. We learned this when we happened walk by the arena where they were playing and saw a million girls lined up outside carrying signs that said things like "I ♥ 1D!" There were so many scalpers on the streets trying to sell tickets and I was kind of like WHAT IF but yeah, obviously that did not happen and I'm not terribly heartbroken. It was mostly just funny. (I took this picture that same night so that's what it has to do with that.)

Chihuly glass thing

 Pike's Place so perfect

Gum wall

 Pretty pretty Pioneer Square (or somewhere around there)

We went to the aquarium and I saw the otters including this most adorable sLEEPING OTTER OH MY GOODNESS I could literally not stop myself from using caps lock because tell me that isn't adorable.

Blue trees! Another one of those things I'd seen before but just happened to wander across on our travels across the city.


Public Library staircase ~iconic~

So that was Seattle! We were there for a day, went to San Juan Island for a few days (which I'll post about later), and then came back to the city for another day or two, so we weren't actually there too long. But I still felt like I got to see a lot, and I liked a lot of what I saw! It was cold, though. Seattle reminded me a lot of San Francisco in that regard, and in others. It's nice.