Same s***, different year

I’m finding it hard to pinpoint how I feel.

This morning I cried as I packed up my belongings. I left tear stains on Robby’s tee shirt.

Still.

Still, as Bubbles cruised down those oh-so-familiar country roads, my feelings changed. I know this! I know where we’re going! my conscience screamed.

And now I’m here. Sitting under my same sheets, different bed. Same stuff, different room. Same me, different me…?

I have reached an age where I can clearly remember four years ago. My sophomore year of high school. I wore my fishnet-print skirt (…and I still wear it…four years later…), teal tank top, teal footless tights and my Emily The Strange flip flops for the first day of school.

See? Crystal clear.

Now I’m going to be a sophomore in college. Holy shit. A sophomore in college. It may not sound like that significant of a feat, but this blogger is the youngest of four children and the only girl in the bunch. Jordan, Trevor and Adam have already done this. They’ve come and gone. It seems crazy to me that it’s my turn. I helped all three of them move into their different rooms/houses/apartments year after year. Being a sophomore in college sounded so old and sophisticated to me.

Guess I’m in their shoes now. I just thought it would take me longer to fill them.

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.

Marina is a dreamer

There are 6,080 songs in my iTunes. A majority of it them are by The Beatles and Red Hot Chili Peppers. However, recently I have added more to my collection.

I used to be the biggest fan of bands like Bullet for my Valentine, Escape the Fate (I even met them once) and LOVED Marilyn Manson. I still listen to this music from time-to-time, but I haven’t even bothered with Escape the Fate’s new album. I think this shows just how much I have grown up over the past few years. I put all of my band tee shirts away, and the only one I wear is my newer Beatles shirt. Even my Emily The Strange stuff has been shoved in a drawer; those tee shirts don’t get hung up anymore (though I am currently wearing my Emily yoga pants – they’re so comfy!).

Anyway, I’ll get to the point. Now, the top six artists that I have listened to for the past two years (according to last.fm) are The Beatles, Paramore, Tilly and the Wall, Flyleaf, Imogen Heap, Eisley, The Bird and the Bee and Vampire Weekend. Things have changed, huh?

I have quickly transitioned from being completely closed-minded when it comes to music to listening to anything and everything. I love almost every genre (though screamo does give me a bit of a headache now). Recently, though, I’ve become an indie girl. It’s catchy and I cannot help it.

So, I recently expanded my iTunes library even more. I downloaded tons of Florence + The Machine, Adele, I Blame Coco and many more. However, I knew that I was onto something the moment I listened to a song by Marina & The Diamonds.

Since downloading her music last week, I have listened to her 148 times. She’s all I listen to on my iPod and all I have on CDs in my car. Her sound is just so different from anything I have ever heard before. She’s completely original and creative. Her music videos are INSANE (and I usually don’t watch music videos, but I had to see what hers were like) and her music is just so damn catchy. Her lyrics are completely blunt and awesome; she’s not afraid to express what she thinks. She’s beautiful and talented and does not have to dress like a slut to make it so her music is popular.

From “Girls”:

“Is there any possibility
You’ll quit gossiping about me
To hide your insecurities
All you say is ‘blah, blah’

Girls they never befriend me
Cause I fall asleep when they speak
Of all the calories they eat
All they say is ‘na na na na na’ (na na na na na)”

My favorite song of hers (though it sounds odd) is called “Hermit The Frog.” I think that I’ll be obsessed with her music for awhile. I can’t wait for more CDs to come out.


Sleepy Hollow(een)

Things are only a big deal if you make them into one. This applies to certain days, too. They’re only a big deal if you make them one. Kind of like today. Happy Halloween. Big whoop.

It was fun when we were little. My mom made our costumes (I don’t think she EVER bought one) and we went out to gather up pillowcase-loads of candy. We came back, turned our bags upside down to empty them of their contents and then sorted into piles based on the kind of candy. Trading ensued, but we never ever traded a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. That was part of our Unwritten Constitution (<-APUSH reference).

Seventh grade was the last time I went trick-or-treating. That was five years ago. Last year we ran around as our XC team, but that was in celebration of the team’s victory that day and we  only stopped at a few places along the way because we were on our way to our coach’s house to get candy out of him.

My brother, Trevor, went trick-or-treating up until his senior year in high school. At the time, it seemed like he was too old for it and I figured he must have been the only kid his age who went around with his friends. Now I’ve realized that a lot more do it than I thought. Everyone’s facebook statuses said something about going trick-or-treating, and that definitely surprised me. Trick-or-treating strikes me as something for kids in elementary or middle school; not high school. I’m not trying to be a stick in the mud or anything, I just feel that I’m too old to go parading around in a stupid costume just to get some candy off of people.

It sure is sad, though. That I feel too old to go trick-or-treating, I mean. I probably would have gone in ninth grade if I had not have had musical rehearsal that night (damn you, stupid musical). I opted not to go in eighth grade because I wasn’t allowed to go with friends and it seemed lame for me to go around with my dad.

I never wanted to grow up. I did, though.

Tonight I stayed in. My boyfriend came over and we carved pumpkins, passed out candy when my parents weren’t home (to our grand total of 9 trick-or-treaters) and then watched Sleepy Hollow with the ‘rents. We ate candy, listened to music, baked cookies and admired our pumpkins after the movie. It was fun. The only thing that made me feel festive was the Emily shirt I chose to wear that has a mummy cat on it. Other than that, it was just another day in the life. It was just another movie night with my boyfriend. It was just another fun time.

Holidays are only a big deal if you make them into one. Happy Halloween. Big whoop.

The cherry on top

I had two choices.

Either I lose my sanity and do the musical this year, or I keep my sanity in check and just focus on school and running instead.

Guess which option I chose?

If you’re thinking the first one, you’re an idiot. I may be crazy enough as it is, but I still have my sanity. I think.

Anyway, they changed the musical to “The Wiz” and I was like, “see ya!” And, that’s that. I’m done. I chose my road, remember? It doesn’t involve the yellow brick one that probably appears in “The Wiz.” I chose the lovely red brick one.

So, instead of spending my nights at the school, I’ve gotten stuff done. Good stuff.

I did a project on the novel Jane Eyre. It definitely had the “wow” factor to it. I made a powerpoint, and modeled the sentences after the Dick & Jane books. (Ex: See Jane. See Jane run. Jane runs fast. Run, Jane run!) The best part? Because I was trying to get the point across that Jane Eyre is, in fact, gothic literature, I used Emily The Strange as Jane. Yeah, that’s right. 13-year-old Emily starred in my little movie as Jane Eyre. I was so proud of myself, and I could tell that my AP English teacher was impressed. The icing on the cake? The cherry on top? “Aha!” by Imogen Heap accompanied Jane (Emily) on all of her little adventures. I will never tire of that song. Ever.

Ever since I decided not to be involved in the musical, my life has gotten better. I have no unnecessary stress. Right now I’d be down at the school, but instead I’m here. I’m writing for two newspapers, a website, my blog, doing homework and running cross-country…I don’t have time to participate in silly musicals. There’s no point. It’s hard to walk away, but what’s done is done. My presentation wouldn’t have turned out as well as it did if I had had to be at the school rehearsing last night. And, that’s that.

I lived today

Creekside ParkI started early, took my bike

and visited the creek.

The sparkles on the water

came out to look at me.

For my new job I am both the writer and the photographer. So, for the story I am working on at this moment I set out early this morning to capture the necessary photographs.

I learned today that it is not all about me. For my job I am merely a bystander capturing happenings in the lives of others. I’m slowly adjusting to the fact that for my future I cannot write about myself, much as I want to. That’s what I have a blog for.

I rode my bike downtown with my rucksack in tow. My rucksack held my camera, two memory cards, Pandora, a bike lock, a notebook or two, a bottle of water and a pen (of course!). I timed myself and found that it took about twenty minutes to get all the way down to St. John’s park with Tilly and the Wall keeping me company the entire way. I got there, was shaking a little bit when I had to lock my bike up, but I swallowed my nervousness and got right to work. I wandered around snapping pictures left and right. 10-15 minutes later, I was finished. I unlocked my bike and rode off into the sunset (okay, not really).

I visited the office where I work and asked for my portfolio back, and then, with that added onto the load I was carrying on my back, I rode on to Tim Horton’s and got myself a well-deserved Iced Cap. The cashier (whose nametag revealed that her name was Hayley and that she was “in training”) told me that she loved my wallet and added an “Emily the Strange, right?” to which I nodded and said “I’m obsessed” and she added in her love for Emily as well. I was planning on staying in the restaurant and writing by myself, but I was surrounded by old people and the weather was too nice out to be inside.

I steered my bike with one hand over to Creekside Park and sat on the cement block that juts out of the ground. I enjoyed my Iced Cap and watched the water. Then I removed my notebooks and pen from my rucksack and added onto the assignment I already started. I sat there on that cement block just enjoying being really alone for the first time in a long time. I wrote a poem that I am really proud of and just enjoyed the little bit of nature hidden in our little village. I discovered that I really like being alone. I didn’t have to talk to anyone. I didn’t have to deal with anyone. I didn’t have to worry whether or not my companion was having a good time or not because, well, I did not have a companion. Some people can’t deal with being alone, but I definitely handle it well.

After my realization I was in such a good mood that I mounted my bike with Tilly in my ears again and took a leisurely ride through the neighborhoods that surrounded me. I probably received several dirty looks for smiling for no reason (nobody seems to smile anymore!) and singing along to the music playing in my ears, but I didn’t care. I couldn’t stop. I haven’t been this happy in a long time. The weather was nice, I used all five of my senses, and I actually lived today. I took a couple hours off from reality and really lived. I enjoyed every minute of it.

Closer to Emily

This is so cool. Right here as I am writing this, the co-author of The Lost Days (Jessica Gruner) is answering questions that the many Emily The Strange fans on the web forum have been itching to ask. I’m an aspiring writer, of course I’m going to get star struck when the real McCoy is knocking on my door in cyberspace.

When I first started reading The Lost Days I was apprehensive. I already had a vision of Emily in my mind, having written several stories centered around her myself. I honestly did not like it at first. I thought it was a pointless book. Then, I really got into it. As the mystery continuously unfolded I couldn’t put the book down.

Now, Emily is different in my mind, but maybe that’s for the best. She’s not my character to mold and create into my own; she’s Rob Reger’s, Buzz Parker’s and Jessica Gruner’s (and others too, I am sure). After devouring The Lost Days, I feel ten times closer to Emily than any of the other mini-books they came out with made me feel.

Climbing to the top

All County tomorrow.

Am I nervous? Naw… I have a kick-ass outfit laid out that is dressy and sophisticated, yet it lets my style show through as opposed to the first outfit I had picked out. Now all I need to do is pack my bag, get some sleep, shower in the morning (this is my review time for the music I’ll be singing that day, of course), gulp down some coffee and a bowl of the last bit of shredded wheat I saved specifically for tomorrow, paint my nails, get dressed, put on some eye makeup so my eyes don’t disappear, clean my glasses, and get out the door successfully. It can be done; I’ve done it all before.

Last year I successfully climbed to the top of my All County ladder and held a major solo in my grasp. Unfortunately, our concert was canceled due to bad weather, but I am certain that that will not be the case this year. If it does happen, I might just jump out of a five-story window. Kidding, of course.

Tomorrow I have to be prepared for anything and everything. You’d better believe that one of my many Emily bags (which to choose?!?) will be transformed into the Barney bag for a while. If you need it, I’ll have it.

Tomorrow’s going to be awesome. I get to sit in a room all day with people that competed to get where they are, just like I and a few of my choir mates have. I get to listen to someone that knows what he’s talking about (not that I don’t get that everyday anyway, because I totally do), but this guy teaches those who are at a college level (my current teacher included). This will be interesting.

My only hope is that we get a nice cozy auditorium with comfy chairs. My bottom hurts right now just thinking of the chairs we had to sit on last year.