Emily IS Strange

And here I am again, staring at the empty white block of WordPress space. You know, when I started this blog back in 2008, I thought of specific topics to cover in each post. Rants included my fourteen-year-old hatred for Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, and all things normal. On the family computer, I most frequented my blog, MySpace, and Emily the Strange’s Society of Strange. I had over 3,000 posts on that society website. I was dismayed to find it no longer there one day. All of my “hard work” was wasted.

I was “different.” I was “misunderstood.” My hair was red and I skipped around the high school wearing fishnets and crazy skirts, undoubtedly designed by Tripp, the gothic clothing brand. I sported Emily the Strange gear, spent tons of money on band merchandise, and listened to nothing but Escape the Fate, Bullet for my Valentine, and the like. (Not the band The Like.)

Yep, I’m insulting the very girl who began this blog. The only decent things she did was start a blog in the first place, and name it “Blackbyrd” after The Beatles song. It could have been something like “There’s No Sympathy for the Dead” (ETF) or “Kiss and Control” (AFI), but it wasn’t.

My blog is growing with me, and that was made possible by my choice to name it “Blackbyrd.”

As for me, I will keep updating and growing. I’m thanking my fourteen-year-old self for buying those band tee shirts – they make for extremely comfy lounging tees now.

One month later

I can’t recall a month in my life that could possibly be happier than the one I just lived. Robby and I have been nearly inseparable for a month now, and I’ve loved every minute of it.

We’ve been together 11 times in the past 11 days. We see each other at least once a day, no matter what day it is. We do something different everyday, too, and we never have a plan. He comes over or I go over to his house and we just do whatever. It’s as simple as that. There is no prep time to take into account. We’ve watched a million movies, played a million games and had a million conversations. Last night, we walked my dogs and visited my grandparents before he watched me dominate in Guitar Hero in our “rumpus room.”

I’m always thinking about him and always get ideas for things to do for him. I got a great idea today while we were in Target after we went to the movies to see The Crazies (it was okay…just a little gory, but I had Robby there to protect me), but couldn’t tell him what it was. When he asked to know, I simply shook my head and said “you’ll find out soon enough!” He also has something he’s saving for today to celebrate one happy month together, and I cannot wait to see what’s in store!

We have so many plans. This week, we’re going four-wheeling with his dad (who is awesome) and in the very near future we’re going to go on camping trips with both his family and then mine. Summer will be great as long as he can come over everyday. We’ll spend the first month of vacation looking forward to those Yankees games in Cleveland we’re going to in late July with his dad, my dad and possibly one of my brothers.

Which reminds me of another thing. Our school’s baseball teams haven’t had a single game yet, but I’ve already seen Robby play baseball twice. The other day after track practice, I headed over to the baseball field and watched him play for an hour without him knowing. I saw his dad too, but neither of them knew I was there. When I went into the JV dugout to say goodbye to him, the look on his face was one I’ll never forget. When he told his dad later that I had been there, his reply was: “why didn’t she come over and see me?!?!?” That’s when I knew, once again, that I’ve got it good.

Right now I’m listening to my playlist of songs that remind me of him. I just can’t get enough. I’m pretty sure he fell asleep, because he was supposed to call me at one o’clock, but that’s okay. We have a whole day stretching out ahead of us once I get my research paper done today. I have no doubt in my mind that we’ll see each other. I love that.

For everything there is a season

It was like greeting an old friend as soon as my feet found the pavement. The snow had melted just enough and the air seemed balmy in all its glory of forty degrees Fahrenheit. I’ve always found it amazing just how different forty degrees can be, depending on the perspective you’re taking. When the seasons change from summer to fall, 40 degrees seems like the coldest temperature on earth. But, when the winter chill backs off a bit and lets in some of that 40-degree air, it’s as if spring has come early. It’s the same temperature and yet, it’s different.

I had considered making up a quick playlist of songs I could listen to while I ran, but I opted to leave my iPods at home, instead. The birds sang as I left the cul-de-sac I have lived on my whole life and let my legs carry me out to the main road and down the hill. I was surprised at how good I felt and let that carry me through the pain as muscles were put back into use after remaining dormant for nearly two months. The pain gave me something to think about and something to distract me from the mountain of homework I had to do and the hardships I had been dealing with on a regular basis.

When I was running, I didn’t have to feel anything but the pain from the exertion I was putting my body through. When I thought about it hard enough, I could feel my heart pounding in my chest, but if I just let my mind wander and let my legs do my thinking for me, nothing really mattered. I ran by a business that owes my dad money and considered trashing it. But, I didn’t. I kept running and made my way toward the hill that stood menacingly in the not-so-distant distance.

My energy deteriorated once I reached the top, but I kept on running. I reached my halfway mark and kept going. I thought about how natural it is for me to run and how effortless it can be once I am in good shape to do it. I thought about the summer and how the three of us took part of this same route in an effort to be in shape for cross-country season. I thought about how fast the time goes and how it doesn’t make sense to try and cherish every moment. If you’re too busy cherishing, you’re not living. You’re just trying to keep it in your memory forever. A memory should be something you remember effortlessly, not something you save onto the desktop in your brain so you can click on it and wait for it to load.

I decided against taking a shortcut and instead went the whole way around and back to my street. I took a left, ran down to the green Pennysaver box and then took a right, thinking in my head about that last 200m that I face with every race I run on the track. I ran halfway up my slushy driveway and then bent over to catch my breath. I always do this, and then I bend my knees carefully before reaching my full height (5’2″ if you were wondering) and then walking around a little bit, my hands over my head.

I entered through the side garage door, made my way through the traffic blocking my way to the house door (sleds, snowshoes, etc) and shed my running sneakers (New Balance this year – a brand I never really gave a chance until over the summer), grabbed my already-full glass of water off of our butcher block-esque island and downed it in a second.

My ears stung from the cold and my breathing was wheezy with each inhale and exhale I made.

“How’d you feel?” my dad asked.

“All right,” I replied. “I started out too fast and was dead by the end, but it felt good to run. I’m gonna go lay down now.”

I entered the family room and plopped onto our brand-new couch to catch my wheezy breaths. After thirty minutes passed without my daddy turning on the TV, I went upstairs and grabbed The Lovely Bones and continued reading from where I had left off right before daddy had picked me up at the school just barely an hour previously. We sat there, father and daughter, reading our books of choice: his a Yankee book that someone had gotten him and mine a novel that had been made into yet another movie based off of a book. He wore one of his many pairs of $0.99 reading glasses and I wore the sweat and dirt of a girl who had almost made it through one of the toughest weeks of her sixteen years of living, and was coming out on the other side unscathed and perfectly fine.

At 4 o’clock, I tossed my book down and ran the shower upstairs in the bathroom that all of my brothers had vacated and bestowed unto me (we painted it a light brown and pretty light blue and got rid of the old Mickey Mouse theme that had previously reigned).

Before shedding my clothing, I focused on the length of my hair in the mirror. Back in ninth grade, it was a shock of bright-red curls. Now, it’s back to its normal color (brown/blond/red depending on the season and amount of sun received), though the curls have been kept (I have not dyed my hair since November 2008). I’ve decided that I want it to be long for when I take my senior pictures. I thought to myself Oh yeah, it will be long enough by the summer after this one!

And then it hit me.

I will be taking my senior pictures this summer. It’s crazy just how much time flies and how one change in your thoughts can create a chain-reaction of changes throughout your entire mind. At the moment, I am halfway through my junior year of high school. In June, I will sing in the Chamber Choir and watch some of my best friends ever don those white and blue robes and graduate from our little sliver of the universe and move on to bigger (and better) things. This hit me hard because I realized that I haven’t exactly enjoyed my high school experience that much. In recent months, Misery had taken over my entire being and forced me to look at everything pessimistically. But now, happy little Emily is back, and she plans on staying happy and little until she is forced to grow up in a year and a half.

But here it comes again

Right now Mother Nature is displaying my favorite kind of weather: rain. And it’s not that yucky cold rain that makes everything look miserable – it’s of the nice spring variety; my favorite. It’s the kind that makes me want to sit out on the porch for hours on end. Or, at least, until it stops comin’ down.

I don’t know why, but I love the rain. It’s just something new and different after a couple of dry days. Right now I am experiencing a strong urge to tie on my bathing suit and frolic around in the falling wetness. After this long week that seems like the perfect thing to do, but I’ll never do it. Not by myself, at least. I’ll wait until I have a certain someone to frolic with.

The “Roaring” Promenade

Prom. I attended the Junior Prom this year, but now I have my own to think about for next year. I think that prom is an overrated drawn-out thing that shouldn’t have been made into such a big deal. I know girls that spend hundreds of dollars on a stupid prom dress that they will only wear once. All prom is is a dance. A dance where fancy dresses and tuxes seem to be absolutely essential. The prom court is just a popularity contest. Honestly, it’s not much different than its sister Homecoming.

I want my Junior Prom to be a recreation of the “Roarin'” Twenties. This means short flapper dresses, a jazz band, and dances consisting of the Foxtrot, waltz, tango, the Charleston and the Lindy Hop. All of this would take place where else but in our high school gymnasium where prom is supposed to be rather than having it at some fancy-ass resort that costs tons of money. Let’s put aside the money that could be spent on prom and put it towards our Senior trip so nobody will have to open up their wallets. Let’s eliminate the unnecessary limousine costs and have our dance right across from the place where coronation takes place. Let’s go back to how it was in the good ol’ days.

All I want is to walk in in a cute little short flapper dress (sparkly but not too sparkly and outrageous) with my boyfriend on my arm, hear the band strike up their saxophones and trumpets and have a grand time. (Holden Caulfield would kill me for that “grand” remark.) The gym won’t be recognizable, the bar could be transformed into a speakeasy, and it will be so corny that it will turn out to be a blast. None of the stupid rap crap or the preferable dance known as “grinding.” No, instead we will dance the Charleston.

This will never happen, but I can dream, right? I bet my dream for prom is much different than the average teenage girl’s. But hey, we’re in a recession, it’s time to be practical.

Fall down the stairs with Tilly (NeXt article)

Those out there who are searching for something “different” to listen to should consider Tilly and the Wall. Maybe you recognize this name from Leo Lionni’s children’s book, “Tillie and the Wall,” but let me assure you, this Tilly is not the little mouse you may have read about. Though drums occasionally set the beat for this band, more often than not, Jamie Pressnall tap-dances it. Yeah, you read correctly; she tap dances.

Instead of cymbal crashes or loud pounds on a bass drum, Pressnall’s beautiful and precise steps accompany the voices and instruments of the other band members. Listen to “Too Excited” where it seems the title of the song is perfectly suited to Jamie’s enthusiastic opening. The band’s lyrics range from sweet to harsh. There’s a huge difference in the mood when going from “Lost Girls” or “Let It Rain” to either “Pot Kettle Black” or “Too Excited.” Listen to “Chandelier Lake” and taste their interesting choice of instruments along with sweet lyrics. Then pop in “Rainbows In The Dark” to experience the truth in their lyrics.

Usually just Kianna Alarid and Neely Jenkins sing along with Jamie’s tap dancing, but every once in awhile, Pressnall’s husband Derek has something to say (“Let It Rain” and “Alligator Skin”). Check out their albums “Bottoms of Barrels,” “Wild Like Children,” and “O” and have a musical journey with Tilly and the Wall.

We get it! You kissed a girl and you liked it

Katy Perry.

When I first heard her hit “I Kissed A Girl,” I thought, hey, this isn’t bad. It’s actually kind of funny. Then I heard it again. And again. And again. And again. Everytime I turned on the radio. Every single time I flipped to Playlist. Everywhere I turned, people were singing it. I took it off my iPod after having it on there for less than a week. Goodbye, Katy.

I have not listened to her full CD, but the ones I have heard have not brought pleasure to my ears. Namely “Ur So Gay.” Honestly?!? HONESTLY?!?!? I disliked it right away because of the spelling of “you’re,” but then the song was horrible as well. It was mostly the lyrics that really pissed me off.

I hope you hang yourself with your H&M scarf
While jacking off listening to Mozart
You bitch and moan about LA
Wishing you were in the rain reading Hemingway
You don’t eat meat
And drive electrical cars
You’re so indie rock it’s almost an art
You need SPF 45 just to stay alive

You’re so gay and you don’t even like boys
No you don’t even like
No you don’t even like
No you don’t even like boys
You’re so gay and you don’t even like boys
No you don’t even like
No you don’t even like
No you don’t even like…

…and that’s not even the whole song.

Listen, I’m not all about gay rights or anything, but this song and these lyrics are so awful! There are plenty more creative people with meaningful lyrics that deserve what she has and more. Sure, she may be homophobic, but that does not mean she has to profess her dislike of the gay population to the whole world. I mean, c’mon! She kissed a girl! Should she not be sick with herself?

She got famous with the most meaningless song on the planet, became even more famous with her other meaningless songs, and now her music is sung by young girls across the country? What’s wrong here?

I hate the little onesie things that she wears for concerts. I watched her performance on MTV one night, and her voice was even worse than her lyrics. She’s like one of those Disney kids where you can tell just how much technology has interfered with their “talent.” (‘Cause for some reason every Disney kid has to sing as well – that’s another thing I get pissed about.)

I respected her at first. I thought “I Kissed A Girl” was neat because it was different; no other artist I know of would ever come up with something so bizarre. Now it’s old, and she’s trying to use another single off of her album (the soft song on the album) to show her vulnerable side. Well, I don’t see it. Keep kissing girls and telling people that they don’t even like… PENIS. (Seriously, look up those “Ur So Gay” lyrics and you’ll know what I am talking about.)

Emily out.

Don’t “go with the flow”

These days I live in a world where people quote lines from movies constantly. Maybe I am bitter about this because I do not tell stories or quote movie lines very well, but it gets annoying when I ask a question and someone responds with a line from Stepbrothers or Juno or The Dark Knight. It’s as if there are no more original thoughts anymore… it’s like everyone has their own personal screenwriter. I guess people just piss me off in general.

Am I the only person in this world with confidence? When I first brought my knitting to school, everyone laughed at me – but was I discouraged? No. I kept bringing it to school despite what people thought or think. If you like something, don’t be afraid to express it. Liking something makes you who you are and what’s wrong with showing who you are? Watch me walk down the hallway in what people call my “hooker” boots and my adorable Tripp skirt. Sure, people will stare, but do you know what they are really thinking? I think that they are wishing they could do something like that; dress like that; be who they really are. I can tell when someone has their shield up…and it’s kind of disappointing. I am kind of sick of taking the initiative. There are too many people that just “go with the flow.”

I have a friend who has changed a lot in the past year. Sure, I have changed too, but I haven’t changed what I believe in or my sense of humor or anything. My friend (he has been a friend for years) recently discovered his love for God. He goes to this church that sucks people in (at least, I think they do) every Sunday, and for the extra teen things that they do. I think of it as a cult. Going to church (should church be capitalized? ‘Cause I really don’t think it should be) so often has changed him completely. It’s as if he thinks he needs to be righteous all the time and do the right thing. If we gossip around him he gets pissed off. Oh, but when he wishes to gossip, it’s okay. I really miss who he was before he became super religious. Before he started bugging me about going to church. I feel like he has a wall up, and it needs to come down. I wish to knock it down, but we fight everyday over stupid things, and I never get the chance. I am very opinionated, and he can’t seem to accept my opinion, so he gets all cheesed off when I say mine. When he says his, I consider it. I don’t really know about him anymore. He is a completely different person these days. I don’t know what happened.

Anyway, yeah, people piss me off. Most people are selfish and it drives me nuts. I may not seem like it, but I think about other things besides myself. I am concerned about world hunger (which is why I visit the Free Rice website often), the economy – I was even thinking about how I was complaining about having to wake up early to go to school this week. Then I thought about it and here’s what I came up with: here I am complaining about going to school to be with friends when there is some kid who has to wake up early to go to school and gets beat up everyday and comes home covered with bruises that his/her parents don’t even notice. Yeah, suddenly waking up early to go to a place where I have friends and am at no risk whatsoever of being beaten up (unless I piss someone off) doesn’t sound too bad.

I have scratched the two resolutions I wanted to tackle. I can’t just quit everything cold turkey – I will ease into breaking free from my habits. Right now I am trying to be extremely thoughtful. And people still piss me off.