15, 16, 17, 18, 19 (Playing catch up)

19.) A song from your favorite album.

“Treasure” from Flyleaf’s Memento Mori 

18.) A song you wish you heard on the radio.

“Pot Kettle Black” by Tilly and the Wall. I love Tilly and this song kicks ass.

17.) A song that you hear often on the radio.

I don’t listen to the radio very often, but I’d imagine this one is probably being overplayed right now (and I love this song). “We Are Young” by Fun. feat. Janelle Monáe

16.) A song you used to love but now hate.

“Decode” by Paramore. Not their best work (its association with Twilight could be to blame, just sayin’).

15.) A song that describes you.

“One Day I Slowly Floated Away” by Eisley.

(The background is weird, I know.)

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.


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.

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.

Now I know my ABCs…

When I have weeks like the week I’ve been having, I need something that will make me smile. This succeeds.

On Monday I got a test back that I had failed miserably. Science just isn’t my forte. I did 3x each corrections, and I’m hoping that that will boost my grade up to above a 64. We’ll see…

Yesterday I took a quiz in Global and definitely did not get my best grade ever.

Yes, I’m all upset because of my grades. I know that I’ll never remember this once I get to college, but it’s important to me now. It’s all because of the Anthology. I’m making great progress on it, but I get so absorbed in it that I can’t focus on any other class, and it’s killing my average. In Science I would get sudden inspiration for my Antholoy, so I’d work on my Anthology instead of taking notes. Bad, I know. But now I know that I can’t let my Anthology interfere with my life for the next two weeks. I just need to get it done and off of my chest so I can focus on something else.

Thank you, Tilly, for your creative way of helping me learn my ABCs – it helps me feel smart.

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.

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.