Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Summertime Musings and Changes to Charlotte Ate Pie

Since I haven't blogged in such a long time, I just thought I'd share some thoughts on the events of the past few weeks.

1. The End of Senior Year. So much happened during the first two weeks of June. Prom was so amazing: I had a rockin' dress, a super-cute date, and amazing friends to party with. Quite an incredible night. Somehow I managed to pass my last quarter with flying colors and got an award for being a good person from the first paraplegic to graduate from Radnor. I had the good fortune of meeting her and she was such a sweet, courageous woman. I'm so proud to be compared to her and I hope I can do her proud in college and beyond. Graduation was totally bizarre. I was used to the atmosphere after playing in the band for the last two ceremonies, but it was weird to be the one being honored. I didn't cry or anything, but I did get pretty misty. I'm an alumnus. How'd that happen?

2. My Highly Productive Summer. So far this summer, I've done a zillion errands; visited the majority of my family; been to three dance recitals; gotten certified in lifeguarding, CPR, AED, first aid, and oxygen administration; gone to an audition workshop with the 11th Hour Theatre Company; and become gainfully employed by HomeGoods. Currently I'm taking a class in ear-training and sight singing with my voice teacher. I'm also trying to finish a bunch of books by the end of the summer, watch a few seasons of some TV shows my friends have lent me (specifically Queer as Folk and How I Met Your Mother...I feel the need to watch TV shows from the beginning now), write more often, and see my friends. This summer may be my first summer home in forever but I'm still keeping busy.

3. The Many Musical Adventures of Charlotte. Since I'll be home for most of the summer, I'm trying to go to a buttload of concerts. This Saturday I saw Matt and Kim play a free show at the Piazza at Schmidt's. It was quite a fun show, really one big party. I had a fantastic time. Still on my schedule are The Arcade Fire and Spoon (8/2), Warped Tour (7/16), and Paramore with New Found Glory and Tegan and Sara (8/4). I'm also volunteering at the XPoNential Music Festival on July 18th and I'm super-siked. A bunch of bands are playing that day, including Dawes, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, Dr. Dog and Robert Randolph and the Family Band, all of whom I'm so pumped to hear.

4. Converting to Tumblr. As we near the first anniversary of this blog's existence, I think it may be time for a change. I love Blogger, truly. They're set-up is really easy, and they've allowed me to share my musings with the world, which is awesome. However, I always feel like blogging is such a big production on here: I feel like I'm expected to write a lot. I don't mind rambling, which I often end up doing, but it's rather time-consuming. Sometimes I just want to share a link to some other content or a song or picture and some brief thoughts on that. I think that Tumblr will allow me to do just that and still write some quality content. It'll also force me to stop myself from rambling. So I'll do a little internet experiment and if it doesn't work out I guess I'll find some way to fix it up. One is allowed mistakes on the internet...unless they involve nude photos or libel.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


5 Songs for Graduation Excluding "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" by Green Day and "Graduation (Friends Forever)" by Vitamin C:
1. "When You Come Back Down" - Nickel Creek
2. "One Clock" - Julia Nunes
3. "The Art of Falling" - Greg Holden
4. "When My Time Comes" - Dawes
5. "Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen)" - Baz Luhrmann

5 Movies I Need to See:
2. Sex and the City 2. I almost went to the midnight premiere last night...almost.
3. Toy Story 3. The kid goes to college and leaves his toys behind. Tell me that's not poignant.
4. Iron Man 2. Notice how most of these are sequels...
5. Inception. Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen Page, Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon-Levitt...but I'm not just in it for the cast...

5 Cramazing Things I've Done in the Past Few Weeks:
1. Went to Boston on my last band trip ever. Roller coasters were rode (at Six Flags New England), boats were partied on, trophies were won (BEST OVERALL HIGH SCHOOL PARADE BAND, SUCKAHS!), and a good time was had by all.
2. Saw Coheed & Cambria live. The mosh pit-induced bruises were very much worth it.
3. Took the AP Spanish Exam.
4. Finished AP Gov!
5. Got a Choral Scholarship to Drexel!

5 Concerts I'm Determined to See This Summer:
1. WARPED TOUR. July 16, Susquehanna Bank Center.
2. XPoNential Music Festival, July 16-18, Wiggins Park.
3. Honda Civic Tour featuring Paramore, New Found Glory, Tegan and Sara, and Kadawatha, August 4, Festival Pier.
4. The Dave. Wherever he may be.
5. The Spring Standards. At some point.

1 Serious Life Changes to Come in the Next Two Weeks:
1. Graduation from High School.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Men in Turbans Can Best Describe How I Feel

I've really got a flair for the dramatics, don't I? As much as I try to restrain myself from broadcasting my internal drama to the world, I felt like that last post had to be said. I can only write what I feel, and the other day I felt pretty horrible, which has been a recurring theme over the last couple of months. So, I'm doing my best to keep myself happy, which is a lot easier to do when you've stopped caring about school. I dramatically decreased my stress level by backing out of the US Government and English AP exams. I really wasn't going to get any credit for them unless I got a 5 and I really wasn't looking forward for studying. Either way, I'll be two steps closer to graduating tomorrow: I've got my Gov final in the morning (pray for me) and my graduation project presentation in the afternoon. I really can't believe this year is almost over. I expect the next month and a half to be a whirlwind of emotions...

4/30 - Gov final and Graduation Project Presentation
5/3 - Russ's Birthday!
5/4 - AP Spanish Exam. Fuck.
5/5 - Last Band Concert
5/7 - Phillies Game!
5/8 - Dale's Bridal Shower in New York. My family members are starting their own families. Weird.
5/9 - One year. :-D
5/14 - 5/18 - Last Band Trip to Boston!
5/19 - Denzel Washington. Fences. New York. Fuck yes.
5/22 - Coheed & Cambria concert!
5/23 - Last Band Banquet. :(
5/31 - Last Memorial Day Parade
6/2 - Last Meisters Concert. Possibly ever. Eek.
6/9 - 6/11 - Last Radnor finals!
6/13 - Baccalaureate
6/16 - GRADUATION. Holy nuts.

It's going to be quite a ride. I'm so glad my college friends are starting to come home, I've missed them all quite dearly.

Either I'm feeling better or I'm losing my mind because this is ridiculously entertaining. Thank you, Evan.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Dear Friend,

"I am writing to you because she said you listen and understand and didn't try to sleep with that person at that party even though you could have...I just need to know that someone out there listens and understands and doesn't try to sleep with people even if they could have. I need to know that these people exist. I think you of all people would understand that because I think you of all people are alive and appreciate what that means. At least I hope you do because other people look to you for strength and friendship and it's that simple. At least that's what I've heard.
So this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I'm still trying to figure out how that could be."
- Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being A Wallflower

So I know you don't exactly know what I'm going through. No one knows that but me. Shit, I don't even know what I'm feeling half the time or more importantly why I'm feeling it. All I know is that I don't want to go through it anymore. I can't live like this, if you can call this living. I saw how you were, though, and I can relate. I'm so much like you. I'm just so cautious, though...I'm so caught up in the bad things that I can't see the good that this could do. Then I look at you. You seem like you're OK now. Maybe not totally OK but at least...better. That's what I want. I want to be better. That's never going to happen if I don't give this a shot. I don't have to just put up with this. You didn't.

I won't call this giving up. I'll call it just trying something different. And I know that I can talk to you and someday I will. Everyone deserves a shot at being OK...why not me? I'm still hopeful.

Kate Nash got it right. This time it will be different.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Bring the Future Faster

Things I Have to Do in the Next Three Weeks:
  • Create and give my graduation project presentation
  • Study for and take three AP exams (English Lit, Spanish, and U.S. Government and Politics)
  • Read Pride and Prejudice
  • Memorize "Spark of Creation" from the musical Children of Eden (a musical with no cast recording on iTunes, lovely) for my voice recital next Sunday,
  • Take my Gov final eventually, along with about 4 other tests this week
  • Find shoes for prom, get my dress tailored, book appointments and organize a limo
  • Plan an end-of-the-season party for the Middle School Guard
  • Save my choir teacher's job.
Things I Want to Do in the Next Three Weeks:
  • Sleep.
I guess it was too much to ask for an easy end to the year. On top of trying to graduate, the school district made some major budget cuts and decided to let go of 3 music teachers. Unfortunately our choir director is the third most junior music teacher in the district and could be on the chopping block. We're all working diligently to make sure he doesn't go and that the choral program and musical stay in tact next year, but sometimes I just don't feel up to the fight. I feel really bad about it, too, since I want to help him and the underclassmen out. I'm doing the best I can to make sure there is a musical and a choir next year, but sometimes my best doesn't feel like it's enough.

I really can't wait for APs to be over with. Fortunately and unfortunately all three of my tests fall in the same week. Even though my brain will be completely fried by that weekend, I'll be done with them, and I'll have an entire week to relax and get ready for our band trip to Boston the next weekend. I'm really looking forward to the trip this year; we're going to Six Flags, seeing Blue Man Group, and visiting Salem. Not to mention Boston is just a cool town :). The trip will be pretty bittersweet since it's my last, but I can't wait to spend five days with my favorite band/guard nerds.

Committing to a school feels kind of weird. I mean, the fact that I'll be in college in 4 months is bizarre itself; it feels like just yesterday that I was making a list of places I was remotely interested in. I'm happy to be done with the stress of choosing, though. If I still had that decision hanging over my head, these next few weeks would be even more torturous. I love Drexel, too. Accepted Students Day last Saturday was awesome and I can't wait to start in the fall. :)

I also saw the musical Rooms: A Rock Romance last Saturday with my dad at the Prince Music Theater in Philly. It was an intimate two-person rock musical centered around two Scottish musicians in the late 1970s - Ian, a gloomy guitarist, and Monica, an ambitious singer-songwriter. The two pair up when Monica asks Ian to help her write a song for her neighbor's bat mitzvah. They find they have not only creative chemistry but romantic chemistry and take the emerging punk rock scene by storm. Rooms is kind of the Scottish lovechild of Rent and The Last Five Years in that it is highly energetic but also rather intimate. I felt like I was really in the story, and felt every emotion the characters did. The songs are super-catchy and mostly appeal to fans of contemporary musical theatre (though my dad who generally doesn't like most rock musicals really enjoyed it). I would highly recommend Rooms. It's playing in the Prince Music Theater's Independence Studio until May 2nd and is presented by the 11th Hour Theatre Company.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


Once I received all of my college acceptances, I found myself having a hard time choosing between them. They all had great qualities: impressive programs, cool locations, fun extracurriculars, etc. The schools had so much in common that I just couldn't narrow my decision down to one school.

So I let their mascots do it for me.

I decided to compare each school's mascot, grading them on a scale from 1 to 10 in categories such as ferocity, appropriateness to school/location, effectiveness (how good their sports teams are) and cuteness. What transpired was the Ultimate College Mascot Showdown.

Ithaca College Bombers
Ferocity: 4. Ithaca College's mascot is a pilot who drops bombs in battle. The fact that he could blow up a small village in Pennsyltucky is rather frightening, but take away the airplane and weapons of mass destruction and you get a less than terrifying skinny guy in a funny hat and goggles. This guy's not exactly making the competition run for cover.
Appropriateness: 2. The Bomber was apparently conceived from the resemblance of Ithaca's baseball team's uniforms to those of the New York Yankees, also known as the Bronx Bombers. Otherwise, the mascot is rather inappropriate for a school with a high population of pacifists. Many anti-violence groups within the school have protested for a change of mascot.
Effectiveness: 5. Ithaca may be an NCAA Division III school, but their sports teams have had some success over the years. The football team has one the DIII National Championship three times and has one of the best women's soccer teams in the Division.
Cuteness: 0. There is nothing cute about a fighter pilot. Sorry.
Total Score: 11/40

Boston University Terriers
Ferocity: 5.
Though they were originally bred for fighting, Boston Terriers are known for having friendly personalities. Don't cross Rhett, the BU terrier, though. With his trademark snarl, he is probably one of the more stubborn members of his breed.
Appropriateness: 7. He may not be the scarlett red of BU's colors but he is a Boston Terrier after all.
Effectiveness: 6. The Terriers won the NCAA Division I Men's Hockey National Championship last year. Other than that impressive feat, the Terriers have had national success in men's basketball, field hockey, women's soccer, and women's lacrosse.
Cuteness: 7. Boston Terriers are adorable for wrinkly dog lovers like me, but can be a little stubborn and bratty. It's kind of a "different strokes for different folks" cuteness situation.
Total Score: 25/40

Hofstra University Pride
Ferocity: 8.
The Pride, represented by two lions, is pretty ferocious. One lion is scary enough, but two lions? That's pretty much a death trap. Unless it's Simba and Nala. Then you only really have to worry if you're a warthog or an antelope.
Appropriateness: 2. The name of the mascot stemmed from a PR campaign stressing pride in the school during the 1980s. Unfortunately this campaign was necessary for the school to save face after being stricken with financial troubles in the 70s and laying off 100s of employees. Oopsies.
Effectiveness: 1.
Hofstra's Division I men's lacrosse team is doing well this year, but the school plans to terminate their football program next year.
Cuteness: 3. Lion's are pretty cute...until they eat you.
Total Score: 14/40

Syracuse University Orange
Ferocity: 0.5. The only way an orange can hurt you is to squeeze juice in your eye, blinding you for about 3 minutes tops. Otherwise it's a delicious snack filled with Vitamin C for every other mascot to enjoy.
Appropriateness: 5. Yes, it agrees with the school's colors, but the weather in Syracuse is much too cold to grow oranges, despite the fact that there is an orange trees planted on SU's campus. The orange yield of those trees is a bit questionable.
Effectiveness: 7. SU's men's basketball team had a very successful season this year and their men's lacrosse team won the Division I National Championship last year. If only their football team was a little better...
Cuteness: 8. Bizzare as it may be, Otto the Orange (essentially a cheesepuff with a hat) is adorable. I'm a little upset that I didn't buy a plush Otto doll for myself last summer.
Total Score: 20.5/40

Drexel University Dragons
Ferocity: 10. Not many beings can claim to be more badass than a dragon. Those things can rip your head off with their massive claws and then scorch you until your entire body resembles burnt toast. Nothing beats a dragon.
Appropriateness: 7. Drexel gets major points for alliteration. Drexel Dragons has such a nice ring to it. I can only think of a handful of schools who create alliterations with their team names. Plus a dragon is pretty creative, representing the creative types found at this school.
Effectiveness: 6. The Division I women's basketball team participated in the NCAA Tournament last year and recently had one of their senior members drafted to the WNBA. Drexel's men's lacrosse team is also doing pretty well for itself this year and is #11 in the nation.
Cuteness: 3. The actual Mario the Dragon Mascot costume is pretty cute, but if you encountered a dragon in real life (not that you would), you probably wouldn't think so.
Total Score: 26/40

It was a very difficult decision, but I think the mascot comparison helped a lot. I find the strength of a school's mascot to represent the strength of it's academics. Nothing says "Hire me!" like an animal/fictional character/piece of fruit with an attitude.

So, the winner is...DREXEL! I will be joining Drexel's Class of 2014 in the fall and I couldn't be happier. I love the campus, the honors dorms, the program, Philadelphia, and of course Mario the Dragon. September, be swift!

Note: I did not actually base my college choice solely on mascots or athletics, nor am I looking to offend any of these schools because they're all great. But I am going to Drexel. :D

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Summer Song - A Poem

"Why do I wait for summer?
Why do I yearn for three sun-drenched months on my own?
When I sweat away my body weight
and run from killer insects in vain.
When I'm left to my own devices,
free from everyone who needs me.

I enjoy the crisp fall air,
the new experiences it brings.
A world full of color,
yet full of tears
as the dead of winter draws near.

Spring is fine, I do like spring,
teasing as it is.
The world is coming back to life,
but I'm still tucked away,
the last bud on the tree to bloom.

It is the uncertainty that summer brings
that makes it worth the wait.
Routine is gone, responsibility eased.
Nothing to be done, yet so much to do.
I cannot say what will happen in the summer.

I cannot say what will happen in my life."

Oh, spontaneous inspiration in English class, how I love thee.