You can spell “Miley” with “Emily”

Miley Cyrus has been on my mind lately. Her new album, BANGERZ, is partially to blame, considering I’ve had it on repeat in my car for about three weeks now. This is from the same girl who wrote this post six years ago. That was how I felt then, this is now.

At a party last semester, I distinctly remember a girl taking note of my rather short –– and then, boy-like –– hair.

“Don’t tell me it’s because of Miley,” she said.

It struck me as a funny thing to say. What would it have mattered to that girl if I had? And why would that be such a bad thing?

I’ll admit I was shocked when “We Can’t Stop” came out. I couldn’t tear my eyes away as I watched it in my secluded little cubicle at work, hoping nobody would interrupt my private viewing. Shock turned into laughter when I saw her ridiculous teddy bear outfit and the sight of her just writhing on a bed. You have to admit the line that leads to the chorus –– “La da da da di, we like to party, dancin’ with Miley, doin’ whatever we want” –– is catchy.

I wasn’t alone for “Wrecking Ball” when it came out. Paige pulled it up on her computer and we watched it on my friend’s front porch, beers in hand. Then we laughed about it. And raved about it. To me, the music video for “Wrecking Ball” is extremely entertaining. She wears undergarments, carries a sledgehammer and rides naked on a wrecking ball. It’s so ridiculous it’s hysterical.

It’s silly to get all worked up over things celebrities do. And if you’re worried your children will look to Miley as an example for behavior, why the hell are you letting them watch things like the VMAs or her music videos on YouTube?

But let’s mix this up a bit. We went through headlines that attack Miley in my social media in business class and were asked to find the story the headlines don’t tell. My group and I decided to talk about how great of a role model Miley is for women our age.

I’m not lying. She is. Specifically for those of us in the 19 to 25 range.

Her supposed “fall from grace” is relatable for a lot of young women who make the high school-to-college transition. Life opens up. The I can do whatever the hell I want mentality is born and some take advantage of it. Miley did, too. The only difference is she has millions of dollars at her disposal.

She’s a brilliant example of public relations because people are talking about her. 

She’s a brilliant role model for me to have because she doesn’t give a fuck. 

She does what she wants and doesn’t let opinions stop her. I crumble when I know one person doesn’t like me for no reason; Miley has millions of people who hate her and she doesn’t stop. She can’t stop.

And even if the Miley she puts forth isn’t precisely who she is, that Miley is, at least, relatable.

The reason why we’re obsessed with Miley is because she has apparently derailed from the Disney-friendly version of herself. I find the short-haired, blond Miley extremely refreshing.

An abundance of Emilys

There are 44 Emilys currently on this campus.

Yep. Forty-four. Cuarenta y cuatro.

This includes an administrator or two, but still. Forty-four out of maybe – maybe – 2,000 students, and that’s without separating male from female.

My mother’s name is Nancy. You don’t hear of many Nancys walking around.

My academic (and life) adviser grumbles about how many Emilys he currently has in his life. I don’t like that. I don’t like that I am just one of the many.

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adore my name. I think it suits me. But how can a name – a label – suit me as well as millions of other girls and women? How is it that names are so flexible?

When teachers peruse their rosters, a name like Emily isn’t one that jumps out. It’s far too common. But names like Annabelle and Deidre; they stand out. How many Annabelles do you know? I know only one. And I don’t even know a single Deidre; I just remember hearing the name in one of my classes.

People given unique names automatically stick out. Me? I have to work for it. I have to possess an attitude that sets me apart. I have to do something to be sure I am noticed and remembered. She’s not just another Emily. 

Of all the Emilys you will meet in your lifetime, I want to be the one that stands out. I want to be the Emily whose last name you fill in without even thinking. It won’t be “Emily… What’s-Her-Face.” You’ll know exactly what last name follows those first five letters.

Maybe that’s what makes names so flexible. Your label doesn’t necessarily signify the content.

Oh, and you know what I want, but I’m not gonna beg for it? A new nickname. My oldest brother has called me “Millie” for as long as I can remember. I wish it would have caught on with more people.

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.

What every girl wants

My room situated in one of the four corners of the second floor (third if you count the basement as a floor); right in the front. I have two windows: one on the side of the house and one on the front. The side window looks out onto the roof of our first-story garage right next door. The front window looks out to our walkway up to the porch and the driveway that leads up to that garage I just mentioned.

On Friday I decided that I would not be attending our optional Saturday practice the next day. I made up my mind to sleep-in that day instead.

Like clockwork, Saturday morning I woke up at 8:00 without the help of an alarm (which I had promptly turned off the night before). I was pissed. I rolled over and fell asleep again.

I woke up the next time to “Rapunzel! Rapunzel! Let down your hair!” and heard the sound of quick footsteps on the pavement in my driveway just below me. It took me a second to clear away the dreamy haze around my thoughts to decipher the meaning behind the shout and the footfalls. When I realized what was happening, I jumped right out of bed and ran downstairs. My dad beat me to the door, and just beyond it stood a group of boys covered in rainwater and showing it off on their naked upper bodies.

“Where’s Emily?!?” they called.

“She’s sleeping,” my dad replied.

“Umm…no I’m not!” I said and then stepped outside to confront my visitors.

The whole cross country team was beaming at me as I stood there in my sleeping shorts, old stained Super 8 shirt, and extreme bedhead (but, what did I care?). Kevin (the one who yelled the thing about Rapunzel) lifted me up to wake me up and left me soaked from the water on his body. They had run all the way from the school up to my road and figured they might as well drop in and say hi to me. Before they all ran off, I grabbed my boyfriend and kissed him.

I woke up to a group of shirtless boys standing on my front porch looking for me. That’s probably what every girl wants to wake up to in the morning. It sure did brighten my day considerably.

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.

…so I live to know…

He touched me, so I live to know
That such a day, permitted so,
I groped upon his breast.
It was a boundless place to me,
And silenced, as the awful sea 5
Puts minor streams to rest.
And now, I ’m different from before,
As if I breathed superior air,
Or brushed a royal gown;
My feet, too, that had wandered so, 10
My gypsy face transfigured now
To tenderer renown.

~Dickinson

4/27/09

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.

Name obsession

Trevor always has the best music playing when we go for a ride somewhere. He’s the one that really got me into the music I am into today. He also helped fuel an obsession of mine.

One day a few years ago, we were riding along listening to a mix when a song announced itself with a bold acoustic guitar. Then a screechy voice came in. I wasn’t really listening until I heard “there’s no one in the world like Emily.” All I could think was, hey, he’s right! Come to find out that the song was “Emily” by From First To Last, and though Sonny’s voice is somewhat annoying in the song, I absolutely adore it. It’s…cute.

After I gained the love for music that I now possess, I began searching youtube for new music. I found a song called “Emily” by Anadivine. When I typed it in to download it, another song came up that had my name in the title. Hmm…

One day I spent a lot of time at the computer, just searching iTunes for “Emily.” It’s an obsession of mine.

Here’s what I have today:

  • “Emily” by Alice In Videoland,
  • “Emily” by Anadivine,
  • “Emily” by Bowling For Soup,
  • “See Emily Play” covered by David Bowie,
  • “Rocky Loves Emily” by Four Letter Lie,
  • “Emily” by From First To Last (of course),
  • “Emily” by Keane,
  • “See Emily Play” by Pink Floyd,
  • “Me and Emily” by Rachel Proctor,
  • “For Emily, Wherever I May Find Her” by Simon and Garfunkel, and
  • “Emily” by Stephen Fretwell.

My favorite?

It’s between From First To Last, Pink Floyd, and Stephen Fretwell. I simply can’t choose.

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.