That Bug

“You and that Bug,” he said, looking at me over his spectacles. It’s the customary look received upon stepping into his office (for me, anyway).

Yep. That Bug and me. The perfect pair.

I had my mom’s Suzuki Forenza today, and she took Bubbles. Why? Because I feared Bubbles lacked room to haul Adam and his belongings back home from Fredonia. Turns out Bubbles would have done the job just fine (Adam doesn’t over pack like I do). Flo (Mom’s car) is nice. She drives well and barely requires a touch of the pedal to get her going.  She even has an aux in outlet, and, with a chord, I can play my iPod flawlessly. What Flo doesn’t have is my personality. Bubbles does.

Bubbles is my baby. She’s a “she” not an “it” and I love her to death. It may seem odd for a person to have such an intense relationship with his/her car. But, if you think it’s odd, then you don’t know me and the way I think.

“You and that Bug.”

Yep, me and that Bug. [Excuse the “me and.” It adds emphasis.]

 

Except Nickelback, of course

I used to be genre specific. Well, I’m definitely not anymore. Thanks to my best friend, I’m really into country; a genre I used to put away in disgust. Now, I’m open to anything. Except Nickelback, of course. *shudders*

For example, I have 114 songs in my iPod’s “Recently Added” playlist. Therein lies the art of some more Vitamin String Quartet, The Beatles, Thomas Newman, Inara George, Psapp, Feist, A Fine Frenzy, Miike Snow, Snow Patrol, Au Revoir Simone, Bishop Allen, Architecture In Helsinki, Taio Cruz, Rihanna, Timbaland, Regina Spektor and Boys Like Girls. I don’t care anymore. Give me something, and I’ll listen to it.

For track practice the yesterday, we had to go out on a long run. Since I seem to be lacking in the running partner department, my best friend gave me her iPod Touch (knowing that taking my 160GB on a run with me would kill me and that I didn’t bring in my old 4GB nano), set me up for her playlist to play and then sent me off on my way.

She’s country (like Jason Aldean’s song). Downright country. She lives on a farm and in their barn, the radio is always attuned to the country radio station. In the morning, she watches music videos on CMT, when she comes over to my house she switches our kitchen radio to 106.5 and in the car she always changes it to her station. She’s the reason why I am into country music now, but my run with her iPod surprised me even more. I listened to every song on her playlist of choice that played, and found that I could tolerate – and even possibly liked – every song that played. It carried me through what would otherwise have been a long, lonely and painful run (let’s just say that Emily needs new sneakers). It was still painful, but it didn’t seem nearly as lonely or long.

I’ve got artists like Lady Antebellum, Carrie Underwood, Sarah Buxton and Lonestar on my iPod. At this point, I can go from Marilyn Manson or Every Time I Die to Lady Antebellum on shuffle without even blinking an eye. I uploaded every CD I owned from when I was little onto my computer and now have all of them on my iPod (yes, this includes Hilary Duff, Lindsay Lohan, Avril Lavigne, Nelly Furtado and Dixie Chicks).

I honestly just don’t care anymore. Music is meant to bring people together, not tear us apart. I will always love bands like Escape the Fate, Bullet For My Valentine and AFI, but they are taking the backseat for a little while. I’m busy exploring other genres and broadening my taste in music. It’s a wonderful thing.

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.

I quit and stared out the window

I sat in the backseat of the car, cursing my misfortune. Sure, I was uber thankful, but I knew I hadn’t thought any of it through.

Tonight I discovered that I truly don’t belong. I also received a reminder that not all friends are good ones. So, there I sat. Listening to some awful pick-me-up girl music that is usually accompanied by a gallon of Rocky Road. Instead, I was literally on a rocky road. My teeth chattered, my legs shook with the cold in my skimpy pink tights and all I wanted was to be anywhere but where I was. When the fifth member of our overcrowded party joined us, I groaned inwardly.

I wanted to be with Taylor. Sitting in the front seat, jamming to Lady GaGa, drinking our Tim Horton’s cocoa, digesting our bagels and cramming McDonald’s fries was a more than welcome alternative. Instead, I was sitting between two bickering girls and could hear the talking/”he texted you, what do you want to say?” crap that was going on in the two front seats. I was stuck in a world where I simply didn’t belong. I was crowded in and surrounded by cheerleaders, listening to the horrid “Glee!” soundtrack and gritting my teeth uncomfortably. All I wanted was to break out my iPod and play some Every Time I Die or something to express the screaming in my head in a way that couldn’t possibly hurt the ears of others.

I tried to break the ice, but when they showed no enthusiasm, I quit and stared out the window. I guess that just shows what kind of people they are.

The butterflies have risen!

You know how you have to be in one of those moods to really appreciate artists like Marilyn Manson, Eyes Set to Kill and Every Time I Die? Well, I’m in one of those moods. I had Persephone going on shuffle, and she was doing pretty good until an ETID song came on, and I realized that I am in the mood for them today. I don’t know why; it’s not like I’m cranky or anything at the moment, now just seems like to right time to listen to something that is so beautifully screamy. I just can’t describe it.

I’m feeling pretty damn good, actually. The butterflies are alive again within me (you’d have to be a regular reader of my poetry to understand that reference, and I am the only one that fits in that department) and they flitter and flutter every once in awhile to remind me that they’ve been released from their cocoons once more.

So, there’s this guy. Well, actually, there are several guys at the moment, but whatever. He doesn’t even go to our school (and plus I know the ones from G-Town could never click with me…and the one that actually could has a girlfriend, even though he agrees with me on that subject), and yet for some reason I have a good idea about him. See, I’ve known him practically my whole life. The last time I saw him, he was shorter than me and kind of geeky. Okay, really geeky. We just didn’t mesh. Now, we received a Christmas card from them, and I couldn’t take my eyes off of him. I don’t really know if he’s my type, but I’m willing to find out. He’s tall, not anorexic-esque skinny, but nicely shaped and he plays hockey. Yeah, the hockey thing is what won me over. I like a guy who can play a real manly sport (that ISN’T football).

I told myself yesterday that if he came online in the facebook chat thing, I would say hello. Well, he came online. My heart started beating faster, but I didn’t do anything. Instead, I just kept clicking “Home” to distract myself with the posting of meaningless statuses by my other “friends.” I think that if we were to start hanging out, that’d be pretty cool, regardless of the driving distance between us. It’s only, like, an hour, so so what? Once I get my license I’ll be able to make that commute.

But, I’m not promising anything with anyone. I noticed several different guys making eye contact with me at the dance (will post pictures later, I promise!) and I became attached to one and realized that I wouldn’t mind hanging out with him, too. I don’t want to date anyone, I just want to go on dates and see how it is. Kiss a few guys, take in a few movies, hold a couple different pairs of hands; that’s all I want. I’m back to the “he likes me, he likes me not” thing again, and I am thoroughly enjoying it. This time, I’m not going to sit around and wait for something to happen (with the one exception yesterday!); I’m going to do something about it if I want someone that bad. I’m going to drop hints and be flirty and cute in a subtle way and play hard-to-get. This is what’s fun about being a teenager; fun that I’ve been missing out on for years because I was always stuck solely on one person.

Well, watch out. Have you ever felt that pitter patter of your heart when you see someone walk down the hallway? I have, and it’s not focused on just one person anymore.

It’s Blitz!

Don’t get me wrong, I love my iPods and the fact that I can download new music in a second, but there is still something so satisfying about purchasing a new CD or vinyl. The last time I went on a big CD shopping spree I bought MGMT’s Oracular Spectacular, Tilly and the Wall’s O and Punk Goes Pop Vol. 2. Three CDs in one trip is a lot when you figure that you have to make the time to listen to all three enough before you buy another CD to add to the collection.

For Christmas, my brother bought me Flyleaf’s Memento Mori. Album versions are always better and this was proven when I compared the quality of the songs on the CD to the versions I already had on my iPod. I thought the songs sounded great on my iPod, but they sounded even better coming from the CD.

I borrowed my boyfriend’s copy of 1997’s On The Run and have yet to even pick it up and listen to it because I went crazy buying CDs yesterday (well, not to too crazy by some people’s standards, but crazy for me).

My brother and I went to FYE and I went up and down the CD aisles looking for a trace of Tilly and the Wall, The Bird and the Bee, Eisley or Silversun Pickups. Instead, different CDs caught my eye. I picked up a copy of Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ It’s Blitz! that was only $9.99 and kept it in my hand. On the way down the aisles I picked up Marilyn Manson’s The High End of Low, some Huey Lewis and the News, Radiohead and Garbage. In the end I decided on Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Garbage and Radiohead – the last two being cheap used CDs that I had wanted but never wanted to pay the full price for.

The reason why I rarely listen to CDs anymore is because of this: http://www.last.fm/user/xEmilyBemilyx

My friend got me hooked to last.fm and I eagerly started to build up my profile and play count (I failed to realize I could have scrobbled in what I had already listened to on my iTunes from years previously – if I had realized that I would probably be up into the 20,000s by now). What I listen to on my iPod transfers to the website to count toward my play count. This is the reason why I never listened to CDs. All I wanted was to build up my play count. But, now that I am nearly at 10,000, I feel satisfied enough to listen to the CDs I bought and not worry about it counting toward something. Though I thoroughly enjoyed listening to lots and lots of music in a short amount of time, I knew I was listening to it for the wrong reasons. I had even stopped listening to records; something I had enjoyed.

I’m done listening to music for the wrong reason. Now that I’m at 10,000 plays I feel satisfied enough to dabble into my record player/CD player/radio once again and not worry about finding my radio hookup for my iPod so that the plays count for something (what I listen to on my iPod can count for track plays once hooked up to the computer). I’m going to keep listening to the CDs I bought and not give a crap.

I’m sorry, Pandora

After another month of writing, I have enough for yet another big purchase. I’m typing on my HP Mini right now, and yes, I absolutely adore Eurydice, but now I have someone/something else on my mind. There’s something I’ve been wanting for a few months now, and right now it seems unbearable to me that I don’t have him (it) yet.

Pandora just isn’t cutting it anymore. This little square 4 GB iPod that I received for my fourteenth birthday was the light of my life for so long. But, in the past month, Pandora has seen more of the ground than she had throughout her entire two year existence. I was the first one in school to have the first video nano, but now it’s outdated and doesn’t have enough storage. She’s right next to me in her little pink leather jacket and is connected to my record player’s iPod jack so I can hear some Tilly and the Wall at a higher volume. But, at the moment I’m really craving some of The Submarines, whose music I did not have room to fit on Pandora.

For about a month I contemplated what iPod I would get after I got my laptop. My first choice was always the iPod Classic. I realized that the iPod Touch is basically for people who just want the apps and aren’t all about the music, which is the sole purpose why I want/NEED a new iPod. I considered the new iPod nano (Chromatic), but then realized that having a video camera on an iPod with so little storage would be tempting and stupid at the same time. Once again, I would be too busy monkeying around with that rather than listening to tunage. I do plan on purchasing an iPod shuffle in the future, just to have to run with or whatever, but it’s not going to be my main man.

And so, the choice was unanimous. Next week when I get my check, I’m off to the Apple store to pick up Orpheus and let him join my electronic family (Pandora, Narcissus and Eurydice; I have yet to name some other things). I will most likely end up buying the silver iPod classic, just so it’s not identical to my brother’s black one. He and Pandora will have to share my iHome, but I think I’ll put Pandora into retirement for a little while. She’s done a good job for two years and deserves a break. I’m just excited to finally be able to go from every Brand New CD to Paramore’s released and unreleased music to Vampire Weekend to John Mayer to Lady GaGa all on the same iPod. The thought of having my entire music library in my pocket is exhilarating. I can’t wait to put song after song on an iPod without having to take something off, first.

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.

It all started with a record player

A few weeks ago, I bought myself a record player. I was ecstatic to find it at such a good price, and was beaming as I walked out of the store with the box in my arms.

When we got home, I immediately took it into the Living Room and set it up. My parents taught me how to use it and to be careful not to jump around whilst listening to it. My mother and I ventured into the cave (our basement) to retrieve some of their old records to bring back some of the past. We carried armload after armload upstairs to the Living Room and left them in stacks all around the room. I left the ones I bought earlier that day (Coheed & Cambria and a Fueled By Ramen package that were extremely cheap) on the couch and my dad and I had a look-see to pick out what I should listen to first.

I thought my brothers would think it cool for me to have purchased a record player, but they avoided me like I had the plague. They seemed pretty pissed off and jealous that I got to one first and because my parents’ old one needs a new needle thing. Trevor especially because I bought Coheed & Cambria. Because he likes them, I’m not allowed to. Oh well.

My dad sat on the couch as I rifled through stack after stack, holding record after record up seeking his approval. All of the ones with his name written on them were the ones approved – all of the ones with Barbra Streisand on the cover were kept in a pile that I would not listen to. Sorry, mom.

I have discovered a whole new music taste thanks to my record player (though it does have a CD player, radio and iPod hookup included, I tend to listen to records on it more). I found out that I love the bands Sweet, REO Speedwagon (You Can Tune A Piano But You Can’t Tuna Fish), Joan Jett & The Black Hearts, The Knack, Boomtown Rats, Supertramp, Cheap Trick, Pink Floyd, London Town and some Pat Benatar. I still love Escape the Fate, Paramore, Tilly and the Wall, and all of the other bands I have always loved, but I am now broadening my music taste. It’s cool to think that my parents played these records once at the same age I am now. I wish I could go back and meet the teenage versions of them. My mom and I would be identical, and I bet my dad and I would have fun listening to music together – just like we do now.