Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Auld Lang Syne

I really wish I had the time and energy to write in this even once a week. I apologize to all 10 of you who read this blog for my posts being few and far between. I thought things were going to calm down a little this month, but I was sorely mistaken. Apparently taking on even partial responsibility for a choir that has less than a month to rehearse for a public concert is very time consuming. Not to mention I am now responsible for making sure that 20 something middle schoolers don't bludgeon themselves with 5 1/2 ft. metal poles once a week. Luckily, my winter break commenced about an hour and a half ago and I am relatively free for the next 12 days, 6 of which I will be spending in Costa Rica! Even though I'll miss seeing some of my friends who are home from college, I will definitely appreciate the warm weather and ample opportunities for sleep. Lord knows I need both of those right now.

Since you probably won't hear from me until the new year, some obligatory end of 2009 thoughts seem to be in order. This year has been a 365 day roller-coaster. I've gotten to know some really amazing, talented people and have some truly life-changing experiences. Hell, my life in general has changed so much since last year. So, I figured I'd sum the whole thing up in a generic survey. How conformist of me.

2009: In The Beginning
Where did you go on New Years?: Amanda's house!
Who were you with?: Amanda, my parents, her parents.
Did you kiss anyone on newyears?: Nope
Did you make any resolutions?: Eh, if I did, I probably forgot them the next day :-p

2009: All about YOU
Did you change at all this year?: Definitely, but not completely
Did you dye your hair?: Nope, I like my natural color too much.
Did you get your hair cut?: Many a time.
Did you change your style?: Sort of?
Were you in school?: Indeed.
Did you get good grades?: Mmhm.
Did you have a job?: Occasional babysitting, I'm too busy to hold down a real one at the moment.
Did you drive?: Yes! Got my license, finally!
Did anyone close to you give birth?: Possibly my cousin? Or was that last year?
Did you move at all?: For six weeks to Syracuse :)
Did you go on any vacations?: Yep, Canandaigua, South Carolina, and Orlando. And all up and down the east coast for college visits but that so doesn't count.
Did you leave the country at all?: Nope, but I will be soon!

2009: Your Love Life
Did you break up with anyone?: Nope
Did you meet anyone special?: Well, got to know them better :D
Did you fall in love?: :)
Did anyone break up with you?: Nope

2009: Friends and Enemies
Did you meet any new friends this year? A whole bunch
Did any of your friendships end?: End, no. Did I drift from people? Sure.
Did you dislike anyone?: Eh, sure.
Did you make any new enemies? I hope not.
Did you resolve any fights? I don't think there were any big ones to resolve.
Who were your closest friends?: They know who they are. :)
Did you have any regrets when it comes to your friendships?: Not particularly. Everything is a learning process.
What are you thinking about?: This survey and the fact that I need to take the dog out eventually.

So there you have it. 2009 was a good year. Trying at times, definitely stressful, but I don't regret anything. I've learned so much, I've picked up the pieces from last year, and I think I'm on the road to happiness. Unfortunately, it's a very long road and I'm a pretty impatient person. But if I have one New Year's Resolution, it would be to slow down and take things one day at a time. Shit, I'm graduating in 6 months. I bought one of those huge prom magazines as I always do just for fun and realized that I actually have a prom to attend this year. Everything I've looked forward to in the past four years is coming so fast. It really doesn't feel real at all. Some days I think I'm still a little junior aching to get out of here. Then I look around and realize that I'm the oldest person in the hallway. It'll all be over soon. Half of me is excited and the other half just wants everything to slow down. The best that I can do is just live in the moment and try not to take anything for granted. And that's exactly what I plan on doing.

To all of my friends, family, people I look up to, etc., I just want you all to know how happy I am to have you in my life. It's true. You all make everything a zillion times more bearable and can pull me out of any emotional ditch I find myself in. I hope I can do the same for all of you.

And now I'm going to be a girl:

"But for now, let me say - Without hope or agenda - Just because it's Christmas - And at Christmas you tell the truth - To me, you are perfect."

Why did I wait so long to see that movie?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Just in Time for the Holiday Season...

Why do I agitate myself by watching/reading/looking at anything created by the Westboro Baptist Church? Anything they say just makes my blood boil. Trust me, this is one of the few times I will ever speak ill of anyone on this blog, but I kind of can't stay silent on this one. People like them are why people look at me funny when I say I'm a Catholic. I have no shame, though. The majority of Christians really aren't that radical, myself in particular. Hell, I'm the most liberal Catholic you'll meet. To me the main principle of Christianity is love. "Love thy neighbor as thyself". Why shouldn't that apply to everyone, regardless of their sexual preference? And yes, I am pro-life...but I am not anti-choice. God gave us the free will to make our own decisions. We should have the freedom to educate ourselves and make the right choice for ourselves. So yes, I believe in God, and no, I won't shove a crucifix down your throat. I love you as you are, regardless of who you pray to, where you're from, or who you love.

Now that I've finished my ideological rant, I can digress to slightly more mundane things. Thanksgiving was a nice break, lots to be thankful for this year. For one, I got a part in the musical! I'll be playing Mrs. Potts in Beauty and the Beast at school in the spring. I'm really excited for the show to start. Despite the insanity and drama of it all, I love the show. I love bonding with everyone during rehearsals, the dancing, listening to the music with the orchestra once everything comes together. I think I'm writing this down now so I can look back on it whenever I have a stressful moment or any frustration concerning any member of the creative team or cast. There's a reason why I've stuck it out for so long. I've always loved acting. Sure, it got tedious last year, but I honestly don't think I was right for that role anyway, at least not at that moment in time. Pulling affection out of me was like pulling teeth. I think I'm in a better place now, and in a better part. Only time will tell.

I also got into college! Of course I write a whole rant about wanting to be in college soon and I get in the next day. After waiting for a month or so I was accepted into Drexel University's Screenwriting and Playwriting program! I'm so relieved, at least I know some place wants me. Not to mention it's one of my top choice schools. Plus, I finally got all my college apps out, so I don't have to worry about that anymore! Now we start the waiting game...March be swift!

I feel like I'm getting excited for Christmas too early. It's only December 1st, and I'm feeling super-festive. My tree is up, my lights are out...I just haven't done any shopping yet. I can't wait to see New York all dressed up in its holiday finery tomorrow when I see Ragtime with some kids from my English class. This really is the most magical time to be in the city, and I get to go twice in two weeks! That might be a bit of city-overload, considering I went a few weeks ago, but I don't think I can get all that sick of my place of birth. Besides, Manhattan is so massive, there's always something new to explore.

Things are lookin' up. :)

Hi Mr. Ecklund!

Oh, P.S. Go buy the New Moon soundtrack. Sure, the movie has no plot, but that is $14 well spent. Trust me.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Summing Up a Life in 140 Characters or Less

OH! And here's an article on Twitter that I wrote for the school newspaper last month. Enjoy. :)

Summing Up a Life in 140 Characters or Less

The last social networking website I ever thought I would join was Twitter. Three months ago I passionately despised the site that has users sum up their thoughts and happenings in less than 140 characters. I simply didn’t understand it; I didn’t see the point of telling the world what I was doing at any given point in time, nor did I really care what everyone else was doing. This thought process (and the classroom tangents it inspired) came to a screeching halt during one late night of weakness last May.

I’ve come to realize, as many Twitter users have, that every actor, musician, writer, director, athlete, celebrity-for-no-reason out there now has a Twitter. I, being the entertainment junkie that I am, for some strange reason, care whether Hayley Williams of Paramore is enjoying her horror movie marathon on her tour bus or what Katy Perry’s cat, Kitty Purry, is wearing to the VMAs. Twitter is filling in the gaps that E! News leaves and gives me an inside look into the world of the people I listen to/watch/read on a daily basis. That may sound a little pathetic, but it’s one way to break up the monotony of homework and college applications.

Before you pass off Twitter as a way for the socially awkward to get a virtual life, hear this: it does have practical uses. How did I hear that Say Anything moved the release date of their new album? Twitter. Who tells me when Julia Nunes posts a new video on YouTube? Twitter. Who reminds me to get all of my college application materials in on time? That’s right, Twitter does. As more and more people join Twitter, it will be much easier for organizations and businesses to share information and connect with current and potential consumers. And you thought simple status updates were useless…

Organizations, celebrities, and nerds aren’t the only people using twitter, though. My favorite tweets to read are usually those composed by writers and comedians. The “Twitterverse” is home to some seriously funny people. When I first joined the website, I sought out some of my favorite established writers and comedians, one of them being Diablo Cody. As a huge fan of Cody’s quirky writing style, I wondered if she could retain her humor in less than 140 characters. I was absolutely right. Cody comments on everything from the less than stellar success of her latest flick Jennifer’s Body to her Twilight-esque obsession with roller coasters. Some of her recent highlights include “I realize I should just stop reading tabloids, since they're basically bound, numbered treasuries of my biggest pet peeves,” and “Almost 10 years ago, I was a family law paralegal. I've developed a weird late-night hobby of Googling the kids to see if they're OK now.”

Twitter has also introduced me to other artists and writers. My favorite Twitter discovery thus far has been Caprice Crane, novelist and TV writer for shows such as the new incarnations of 90210 and Melrose Place. Caprice is part of the new generation of female screenwriters lead by Diablo Cody. She generally uses her Twitter to complain about the annoyances of daily life in Los Angeles. Her dry sense of humor shines through in her brief writings. My favorite recent tweet of hers kind of captures her essence: “Professional sports is probably the only job where yelling at others makes you ‘fiery’ as opposed to ‘fired.’”

In what may be the most predictable ending to any article about Twitter, I will now sum up this article in tweet-form: @charlotteatepie You can call me a nerd now, but I’ll be laughing when everyone joins Twitter after reading this article.

Unhinging My ADD Mind

It's bizzare. I feel the need to write, to put my thoughts into words, yet I'm really not sure what to write about. I guess I'll just unhinge the ole' noggin and just start.

Despite the fact that we lost the game (and that I just lost THE game now, damn) for the first time in 10 years, LM was actually fantastic. The pep rally was everything I could've hoped for; all of the acts went off without too much of a hitch (so I slid through a pile of baby powder, whatever) and it just felt great to perform again. All that hard work really paid off. I don't think I could've asked for a better theme or a better class to share it with. When we all ran onto the gym floor and started going crazy when it was over, I felt so much love in that room. I wasn't mad at anyone, or frustrated, or annoyed, or anything. I just took the moment in. This year I think the whole LM ordeal wasn't really that much about the game and beating LM and blah blah blah. It was about what it should be about; coming together as a school and as a senior class. And in that moment, I felt the closest I had ever been to my classmates. Ok, so there's plenty wrong with Radnor, but I'm glad I didn't go to private school. I'm perfectly fine where I am.

Here's a video of the lovely Senior Partner Dance. Rock and roll.

I'm kinda going to miss marching band a whole lot, considering the fact that there's a really good chance that I'll go to a college without a band. Therefore, I'm on a mission to find a drum corps wherever I end up going to college. I really don't want the LM game to be my last marching performance ever. Call me a nerd, but I kinda live for this stuff.

I won't miss not having my Fridays free, however. Seriously, I feel like I haven't had just a spontaneous night out with friends or a date with Russ that hasn't revolved around a football game or party in months. I haven't seen a movie since early last month, and there are some really good ones coming out soon. I'm dying to see Pirate Radio. Phillip Seymor Hoffman is the man, and I will watch any movie about rock n' roll. The Men Who Stare at Goats also looks excellent. And speaking of George Clooney, I will most definitely be seeing Up In The Air. How could I not? It's made by one of my favorite directors of all time, Jason Reitman, it's about travel, I can eerily relate to the main character's transient lifestyle and need to be grounded, and it's staring Anna Kendrick, who played Fritzi in Camp, one of my favorite movies (theatre nerds, you must see this movie. No question).

I really need to finish my college apps. More importantly, though, I'm super anxious to hear back from some schools soon. Half my class is already into Penn State or Pittsburgh, and even more people are starting to join those "[name of school] Class of 2014!" groups on Facebook. I just want to know that I'm in somewhere. Preferably before Thanksgiving, too. I want to actually have an answer to those awkward "SO WHERE ARE YOU GOING NEXT YEAR???" questions. It's not even second semester and I already feel like I'm behind the curve because I haven't heard from anywhere yet. I feel like the less I think about it, the higher the chances will be of me getting a response that day. It's not working, but neither is obsessing. I guess I'll just have to wait it out.

Thought I'd list some tunes I'm kind of addicted to at the moment. No explanations why, just some really kickin' jams.
  • "Many Funerals" - Eisley
  • "Gimme Sympathy" - Metric
  • "Brick by Boring Brick" - Paramore
  • "Relator" - Pete Yorn & Scarlett Johansson (yes, that one. She actually can sing!)
  • "That Time" - Regina Spektor
  • "Hail Mary" - Pomplamoose
  • "Less Cute" - Say Anything
  • "On the Water" - The Walkmen
  • "Out at Sea" - Hearless Bastards
  • "White Collar Boy" - Belle & Sebastian
  • "Meet Me On The Equinox" - Death Cab for Cutie
  • "She Won't Follow You" - Say Anything
  • "Everyplace is a House" - Maps & Atlases
  • "Cemetary" - Say Anything
It is rather Say Anything-heavy, but for good reason! Their new album is amazing. It's a kinder, gentler Bemis, but in a way, it works. It's kind of perfect for where I am right now. I'm still trying to figure some things out, but I feel like I'm in a much better place than I was at this time last year. Maybe it's the fact that I threw myself into everything last year (Districts, the musical, etc.), or that I found someone really amazing and supportive, or that I don't have anything to prove now, or that I'm just...over it. This album speaks to me in so many ways. Thank you, Max, thank you, Say Anything. :)

I'm not knocking it anymore...Phantom is a beautiful show. It's true.

End scene.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Ill State of Mind

I spoke too soon. Just when I thought I had de-swined myself, I'm kind of having a sickness/sinus relapse. I stayed in bed all yesterday, missing out on senior girls and an opportunity to make some money for once. I think I needed to sleep all day, though. I'm feeling a lot better. Not 100%, but better. Of course my body decides to get sick right before my last Radnor musical audition ever and LM. I'm pulling through, though. I'm determined to enjoy this week one way or another.

My vigor is starting to come back. Last weekend was pretty freakin' awesome, and included one of the most spiritually exhilarating and rock n' roll experiences of my life. By some miracle my parents let me go to the Say Anything concert on Sunday night, and boy am I glad they did. I really need moments like that with so much energy and love (ignoring the Indie Jesus behind us, he was a jerk...TO HIS OWN CHILD) in one room to remind me that I don't need to be completely stressed out all the time and that the world actually kinda rocks. Of course, the music didn't suck either. :)

Now I'm diving headfirst into the craziest week of the year...LM Week. For all you readers outside of school district, LM Week is sort of a spirit week on uppers, filled with dress up days (pajama day, twin day, 80's day, etc.), the biggest pep rally known to man, and oodles more. It all leads up to the 113th meeting of the Lower Merion and Radnor football teams, the longest continuous high school football rivalry in the nation. This year's rally theme is Michael Jackson, which kinda really rocks. For me, though, this is it. This is my last LM as a student. It's so bittersweet, and it's kind of making me realize how much I actually do love this school. Despite it's competitiveness and "go big or go home" attitude, Radnor is such a family. I've always had trouble pinpointing my hometown. I've moved twice in my life; from Connecticut to New Jersey when I was really young, and from Wyckoff to Radnor in fourth grade. I never really felt a connection to Connecticut since I didn't live there for all that long. Jersey still has a special place in my heart, but I think Radnor is really my home. I'm generally pretty happy here. Besides, I've lived here long enough, 8 years is quite a while.

It's going to be so weird to leave. I can't really imagine fall Fridays without football games, or no LM week, or no musical practice. Still, I'm excited for college. I'm excited to move on. I think I'm just stoked for life again. :)

Oh, and if you haven't yet, go pick up the Say Anything's new self-titled album. It may be a softer, gentler SA, but it's awesome. I think they've got a wider audience at their fingertips now, yet they're continuing to make great music. I may write a more in-depth review later, so stay tuned.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Black Plague of 2009

I generally love the month of October. Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. The trees are burning red and yellow and looking absolutely perfect before this state becomes a frozen tundra for three-ish months. Despite the stress, the craziness of LM preparations and practices is actually kind of fun. Football season picks up, baseball postseason is in full swing (no pun intended), school spirit is generally increasing. So why have I been sick twice this month already?

My whole body hurts. I could barely walk down the stairs this morning. I can't really speak.

Unfortunately, this is the third day of this.

This swine flu business doesn't even make me special or anything. Everyone is sick. I've never seen so many people updating their Facebook statuses (generally to say "sick" or "DYINNNNG") when they're supposed to be in school. I can't even figure out a plan of action for this. I guess we could do what the nearby Catholic high schools did and shut down the school to sterilize it. At least that way we wouldn't be missing that much work.

Maybe this is a sick way of my body telling me to slow down. And trust me, I'm going to try my darndest to listen from now on. This is so not worth it.

I guess I'm just mad because a) my dad watched the Phillies clinch the NLCS last night in person while I sat on the couch in pain, or b) I clearly can't go to the haunted house with band tonight.

I want to get out of this house. I NEED to get out of this house. I actually want to go to the football game tomorrow night. I want to see people. I'm tired of being isolated.

There's a few things keeping me from completely losing it: the Phightin Phils, my DVR of tasty programing, and my boy. :)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Paint the Black Hole Blacker...

I think I'll talk about my feelings today.

So I've officially thrown every notion of what I thought Senior Year was going to be like out the window. Then again, I was fairly certain that was going to happen anyway. This idea that this year is the best year of your life is kind of BS. As a friend of mine put it, if this is the best year of our lives then we're really screwed. We're only 17/18 for Christ's sake.

I always thought this was the year that I didn't have to care (thanks a heap, former Seniors). Guess who's caring, as usual? I guess I'll never get used to the, "Eh, this doesn't really matter" attitude. I'll probably be studying even when I'm out of school. It's probably the Virgo in me, the over-achiever. I want to do well. I want to impress people. I want to be successful. And how do I go about doing this? I give up sleep, I make myself sick (not literally of course), I sacrifice weekends that I could've used to get away from this town, I constantly overbook myself. All in the name of my education. All for the need to be the best.

Maybe I'm predisposed to this thinking. Maybe it's my anxiety. Maybe it's the hyper-competitive school I go to. Whatever it is I'm sure I'll figure it out somehow, even though I'm slowly learning that there are only a few things in life that we're able to control. In the meantime, all we can do is count our blessings and leave the rest up to Jesus.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Silly Love Songs...

I should seriously consider a career in novelty songwriting. Here's a little diddy I came up with the other night.

I Don't Wanna Be Your Yoko

Sit yourself down
Let's talk awhile
And let me assure you
You still make me smile
But I came to realize
That I kinda need some space
when I overheard your friends
The other night at your place

They were talking of Bed Peace and Beatles
And not in a good way
So after that I figured out
What they were trying to say

I don't wanna be, I don't wanna be, I don't wanna be your Yoko
Oh no, oh no

Don't get me wrong,
We've been so great (We've been so great)
You're perfect for me
This may even be fate
But we've been virtually inseparable
And your band's starting to complain
The fact that I could lead to your demise
Just drives me insane

Not saying we should break up,
Of that I am sure
I love you, but let's be honest,
I love your band a little more

Don't wanna be the one they blame
40 years down the road
But I really don't want to lose you
And this confusion is starting to show
So stop bringing me to practice
And focus on your jams
Just don't forget about me
Among those thousands of fans

Ok, so it's no Keystone, but I had some inspiration and I just had to act on it. And it's not based on personal experience, don't worry. I get inspiration in the most inconvenient places. i.e. the shower, or while driving.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Blah, blah, blah...

Going back to school always makes me sad for some reason. Ok, the reason is obvious, but I'm taking it pretty hard this year and I'm not sure why. I'm a senior. Life is good. Not to mention yesterday was my 18th birthday. I should be so happy. Why do I feel like a truck hit me? Maybe it's this whole college process. Maybe the fact that I'm a senior and I have to leave this place is slowly hitting me. Sure, I sorta felt it when I was leaving for Syracuse, but I knew I was coming back. Now I'll have to start all over. I'm officially an adult and I am sooo not ready for that.

However, my birthday weekend didn't suck too much. The torrential downpours of Friday got me out of the football game, and although I didn't get to see my band friends from the school we were playing (sadness), I had a lovely night off anyway. Thanks to my dad (but mostly his job), I got to spend four hours in a skybox at the Phillies game on Saturday, which I must say is awesome. Free food, lots of comfy seats, extra TVs, shelter from the's the way to go. However, the crowd didn't have the same vigor as that of the regular seats, and I felt like a bit of a daddy's girl. What can I say, though, it was a good time. Sunday (my real birthday), I went to New York with Mama Dow and my aunt. I missed the city, seeing as the last time I'd visited was January. It was good to be back. I got some pretty sweet gifts, too. Highlights include a car ('06 Honda me some small SUVs) and The Beatles: Rock Band, which I have yet to play, but believe will be both sick and nasty in the best possible way.

Among this craziness, there's two things keeping me going: my friends and various forms of entertainment. I've compiled a list of some of my "musts" for the late summer. Because I want to be Entertainemnt Weekly.

Must See Movie - (500) Days of Summer - There's something to be said for music video directors: they're definitely the some of the most creative filmmakers out there. And when you have to tell a story in about 3 minutes, you really have to be. However, it's sometimes questionable whether short form directors can make the jump to feature films, but Marc Webb does it beautifully in this film. The stories seems typical - boy meets girl, boy loses girl, so on, so forth - but it is told in a very creative way, jumping to different points in the plot and effectively utilizing fantasy sequences, which I love in anything. It also helps that the stars, Zoeey Deschannel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt rock in pretty much anything they do, including this flick. I've already seen it twice. You should, too.

Must See TV - Glee - I fell in love with this show, as many did, when I saw the pilot in May and anxiously awaited its return all summer. And boy, did it deliver. As a fan of musical theatre, of course I was going to love this show. However, it is so far from the hokey High School Musical crap that's been out there in the movie/tv musical category as of late. It's witty, well produced, well cast, just so well done. Also, whenever I can hear choral versions of popular music, I'm all in. This show is even great if you don't like musicals, it's just fabulous TV. Watch it on Wednesdays at 9, watch it on Hulu, just watch it somehow. You won't regret it.

Must See Theatre - Billy Elliot - Though this musical is a British show at heart, it's themes are universal: fighting for what's right, the struggle to be seen, being yourself. I believe that this show deserved every bit of its 2009 Tony Award for Best Musical. It has everything; a great story, a fabulously talented cast, exciting choreography, exciting and creative direction, high overall production value. And the Billys! They're only 12 or so years old, and they dance with more precision and passion than some people 20 or 30 years their senior. I'm certain that they'll all enjoy healthy careers and totally deserved their Best Actor Tony. I'm also fairly certain that this show isn't going anywhere, so if you get a chance, head over to New York and see it.

Must Hear - Imogen Heap's Ellipse - I love this woman. She makes electronica...beautiful. I wasn't quite sure if her new album was going to live up to her last effort, Speak for Yourself, but it did. In fact, I think she surpassed it in a way. She seems to have matured on this album, and her songs have a great deal of variety. Their exciting one moment, slow another, pensive the next. I particularly like that she's stepped away from the vocoder on some of her tracks; she's even included an instrumental piano track ("The Fire"). This has to be one of my favorite albums this year. Key tracks: "Little Bird", "First Train Home", "Canvas", "Earth", "Swoon", "Aha!".

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Band camp is this week, and it's just a little bit insane. The actual marching isn't too bad, but I've been so wrapped up in learning new work for color guard and trying not to suck at it that I haven't really learned much of the marching show. Hopefully that can change today, since we're really behind the rest of the band. The color guard work is much more challenging this year and I'm also starting to realize that I really don't work well at night, which is unfortunate because that's the only time our instructors come. So I end up looking like shit for them when in reality I can generally do the work. Not only that, but I get super-frustrated with myself. I honestly don't think there's much I can do about it other than get more sleep and keep repeating my "I love color guard, I love color guard, I love color guard," mantra. I have to go through this for everything I do, whether it be color guard, theatre, singing, band, school, swimming, whatever. I've just gotta push through; the end product is worth the pain.

In other news, the blink-182 concert totally lived up to all the hype I gave it. The whole night was just amazing, despite some minor setbacks (not getting to meet up with my districts host, spilling on myself, the drunk guys behind us, psh whatever). Weezer was ridiculously good; I had no idea Rivers Cuomo had so much energy. He seems so chill in the media, but he's freaking electric on stage. They put on such a good show, I will most definitely see them again. blink-182 themselves were epic; they actually surpassed my expectations, as the general consensus is that they suck live. They were insane in my opinion. Every song totally rocked and the energy was amazing. Not to mention, I had one of the best concert buddies ever :). Overall, I'd say it was a very very good night.

Anywho, I must go, but before I do here's a little mixtape of excellent back-to-school jams.

"Does He Love You?" - Rilo Kiley
"Will You Return" - The Avett Brothers
"First Train Home" - Imogen Heap
"Hate Everyone" - Say Anything
"Open Your Heart" - Lavender Diamond
"Hallelujah" - Paramore
"Now, Now" - St. Vincent
"(If You're Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To" - Weezer
"Ignorance" - Paramore
"Run This Town (feat. Rhianna & Kanye West) - Jay-Z. That's right.

Countdown to 18 - 11 days

Saturday, August 22, 2009

This is Why I Love Max Bemis

Max Bemis is amazing. He's been answering questions about Say Anything, their new album, their old stuff, etc. via Twitter recently and today he was asked a question about songwriting. Here's what he had to say:

@danenglishh songwriting; I think the first step is coNfidence; realize what u have to say is worthwhile; u can write as well as ur idols

I completely agree. I've always had confidence issues with my art; I can't live up to my heroes, I'm just not that good, I actually think something's good but I don't want to sound cocky. I'm starting to realize that putting myself down is such bullshit. Letting those vampires get to me isn't going to get me anywhere. So I've been going with an attitude of "Fuck it, I'm awesome,". I won't boast or be douchy about it or anything, but I'm done putting myself down in public. I'm going to start speaking up for my work; if I think something's good, I might as well say so. It's some weird complex that comes with being a girl; we seem to have contests where we sort of brag about how lame we are (i.e. "I'm fat," "I can't sing," "I'm not as pretty as Megan Fox,") and whoever has the most problems wins. I find it kind of really annoying. I'm making it my goal this year to complain less and feel as awesome as I possibly can (without being a douchbag and putting anyone else down). And it's going to start with trying new things. Screenwriting, songwriting, photography, coaching color guard, I'm gonna try to do it all and maintain my sanity. It's gonna be a fun year. :)

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Syracuse Reflections and Ramblings

As my time at Syracuse is coming to a close (crossies for now, at least) I've been thinking about my time here. It's going to be pretty strange coming home. I've gotten so used to living here, sometimes I forget what my room looks like. Ok, that's kind of a stretch, but you get the point. This has become like a second home. Sure, there's not much to do off campus. Sure, I have a pretty small circle of friends. Sure, I've been working pretty damn hard in the summer. Otherwise, though, I've had a pretty good time here. I've learned so much, and I've solidified my choice to be a communications major. Yeah, whatever, I'm still a little torn between journalism and TV/Film, but I've learned enough about both subjects to make a decision at some point. Besides, with most of the schools I'm applying to, you don't even have to declare a specific major within the communications school before your junior year. Plus, taking voice lessons here, I'd be happy to minor in vocal performance. I'm not going to let myself stop singing just because I'm not majoring in music. As with everything here, this program has made me realize that I can do this whole college thing. I'll be alright. Honestly, I'll be happy to come home but I'll be really sad to leave. I like Syracuse and I'll definitely be applying here in the fall. Better start stocking up on warm clothes. :)

On a different note, there's some super-sick concerts coming up back home that I'm dying to see:

8/27 - blink-182, Weezer, Taking Back Sunday, Chester French - Susquehana Bank Center - Chances of going: Very high, seeing as I already have tickets. I just had to add this again because I'm that excited. :)

9/17 - It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: The Nightman Cometh Live - Tower Theater - Chances of going: Mediocre. I would love to see the live version of the completely absurd musical from the TV show (which was absolutely hilarious), but considering the amount of concerts in September (and the possible lack of tickets available) it may not happen. However, we can hope.

9/19-9/20 - Dave Matthews Band - Susquehana Bank Center - Chances of going - Relatively high, I mentioned the show to my parents a few weeks ago and they seemed game. Yeah, going to shows with your parents is a little lame, but everyone needs a good excuse. I'm a big fan of the DMB and have yet to see all of them live (I saw Dave alone at Farm Aid '06). And I'm fairly certain I won't be the only Radnorite there.

9/23 - The Walkmen - TLA - Chances of going: Medium. I do like the Walkmen, though I only know some of their music. I'm always up for a good show, and I jumped a little at the chance to see these guys with my friend Laura. However, my chances of going have been lowered by the fact that this next show is the next day...

9/24 - Regina Spektor - Electric Factory - Chances of going: In my opinion, high. I will be at this show. I kind of need to see my idol live. It's on a weeknight, you say? Psh, hasn't stopped me before. :)

9/25 - The Spring Standards - Kennet Square, PA - Chances of going: Unfortunately slim. Yes, this trio is one of my faves (definitely check them out if you haven't heard of them, they're delectible), but unfortunately they scheduled a concert on a Friday night during football season, which means I will be twirling a flag on the football field instead. The things we sacrifice for love.

11/1 - Say Anything with Eisley, Moneen, and Moving Mountains - TLA - Chances of going: High. I'm going to this one, no questions asked. Say Anything is just too good to miss, and Eisley ain't half bad either. I'm so excited for what's in store from SA; new single and video in a few weeks, new album in October, concerts galore, all of which I'm sure will be excellent.

Needless to say, It's gonna be a fun fall. :)

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Lists and Things.

Since I haven't blogged in a little while and I don't have anything substantial to write about, I figured I'd make some lists.

3 Things I'm Not Proud Of:
1. My impulsivity - I have AD/HD, and most of the time, you'd never know it. Except when I act out of impulse. Like when I get carried away and don't think things over. Or like Friday when I dropped $205 at American Eagle in about a half an hour, and then proceeded to return $60 of it five minutes later out of fear that I wouldn't be able to eat for the next 2 weeks. Which leads me to...
2. My anxiety - I'm a worrier. I get stressed out by things that I can't control and start worrying. I think it's in my DNA, I come from two families of worry-warts. I'm learning to control it, though, along with my impulsivity. Plus, I'm learning to embrace spontaineity, rather than let it stress me out. But enough about my psychological woes...
3. The music I've been listening to lately - i.e. Pitbull, Lady Gaga, "Stanky Legg", Solja's bad. However, catchy as it may be, I am deeply disturbed by Shakira's "She Wolf". What happened, Shakira? WHERE'S THE BELLY-DANCING? THE LATINA SOUND? And auto-tune? Really? I thought you were better than that.

3 Things I'm Looking Forward to...
1. My 18th birthday - Holy poop, how did I get this old? I don't really feel 18; I feel a little more innocent than my peers since I don't drink or party and I didn't get my license until last June even though I could've had it in March '08. For being one of the oldest people in my grade, I feel like the least mature. Then again, sometimes (and this is going to sound soooo hipster) I feel a little more emotionally mature than them. It's a weird place to be, but I'm OK with who I am. I don't really feel the need to do anything more I am now. Getting back to the subject, though, I just love birthdays. They're a good time: presents, friends, being princess-for-a-day :). Besides, I'm gonna have to make up for the semi-suckfest of a birthday I had last year; true I had a solid party, went to Broadway on Broadway, and saw [title of show], but I had a driving class and a practice SAT test on my actual birthday and some people kinda bailed on my party. I shouldn't really talk, though, it ended up being a good time.
2. The End of this Summer College - Yes, I'll be sad when it's over. Yes, I'm having a good time. However, I'm ready to come home. I miss my family, Teddy, my boy, my friends (many of whom are leaving for college before I get back) and my bed. Not to mention not having to do work, although with my luck, my mom would be nagging me to do college apps/summer reading anyway. Plus, when I leave I get to go to my uncle's lake house on Canandaigua Lake for 4 days of sun, swimming, wakeboarding, and family nagging (annoying, but endearing). I could really use a vacation at this point in the game.
3. The blink-182 Concert - Thanks to the wonderful Mr. Russell Weidenmiller, I've been rediscovering blink's jams and getting really pumped for this show. The setlist looks awesome, and Travis's spinning drum solo just sounds so epic. Not to mention the fact that Weezer is opening for them! This will be a musical event/blast from the 90's past of epic proportions.

3 Favorite Youtube Channels
1. jaaaaaaa - Julia Nunes is my ukulele hero. She's so very entertaining and seems like a legitimately nice person. Not to mention, she's out there doing what she loves, which I really admire. She makes her covers her own, and writes super-sick songs. One time I did a stickam chat with her and she answered my question ("How do you feel about the song 'Birthday Sex'?" She's not a fan.)! Of course she's playing a show near me next weekend, and of course I can't go. Damn field trips to Niagra Falls! Ok, I'll stop geeking out now, go check her out! Personal fave videos: "Woe", "Balloons", "Jesus Walks", "Bubbly", "Underdog", any of her answers videos.
2. The Battery's Down - I've followed this online comedy series about a guy (generally unsuccessfully) trying to make his way as an actor since the beginning. Jake Wilson is a genius. As with any series, some episodes are better than others, but overall the acting, singing and dancing is great! Creator, writer and star Jake Wilson is really creative and rather talented. Plus, some episodes have some sweet Broadway guest stars. Definitely one to check out if you're a theatre dork like me. :)
3. schmoyoho - This is a recent fave of mine. These guys (The Gregory Brothers) do the popular "Auto-Tune the News" series, and whenever I get to see politicians and newspeople sing and dance, I'm all in. They're songs are damn catchy, too, addicting even. In this case, it's true: everything does sound better Auto-Tuned.

Wow, I get on a topic and I just keep going. So much for having nothing to talk about. :)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

While We're On the Topic of Music...

I've evolved as an appreciator of music. I've finally started buying (and listening to) whole albums again. And in my mind, that's such a good thing. The way I listened to music totally shifted once I got my first iPod (a pink was totally boss at the time, but it slowly became only slightly more useful than an 8-track) and started buying individual songs rather than entire albums. Before then, I had to actually go out to Sam Goody or FYE or whatever and physically purchase Good Charlotte's The Young and the Hopeless, Aaron Carter's Another Earthquake! or Pink's Try This (I had a wonderful taste in music as a fifth grader. And I actually didn't buy that last album, I got it for Christmas. In retrospect, I probs should've left it off the list, Peaches's appearance on "Oh My God" was a little much for my 11-year-old innocent brain). I didn't mind that part, but it was the process of having to skip or sometimes sit through the tracks I didn't like, and eventually tiring of a disc but being too lazy to change it that I wasn't a fan of. I was more of a single-song girl rather than a whole-album fan. Naturally, iTunes was like heaven for me. I could sift through their vast catalog of tunage picking and chooosing the 20 or so songs I wanted that month (not that I still don't get a kick out of it. The first of the month [i.e. when I get my iTunes allowance] is my favorite day.) However, after a while I started missing actually listening to entire albums. Listening to a good album was like reading a good book, more or less; you get really excited in the beginning, go through the entire range of human emotions via song, take the stories in, and feel fully satisfied at the end. So, I started buying albums again, both physically and virtually. And it's been musical bliss ever since (more or less, I do get some duds occasionally, such as Duncan Sheik's Whisper House. Just dissapointing).

Anywho, I've been listening to a few albums this summer. Here are some of my faves thus far:

The Decemberists' The Hazards of Love - Somehow, even though I got tickets to the show backing this album, I didn't actually listen to any of the songs until a week or so before the actual show (damn you, Junior year!). I bought a few songs off the album, and instantly got pumped for he actual show. The Decemberists are known for writing folksy-rock, "story songs", but I'm pretty sure this is one of their first attempts at an entire concept album. The story here (which, I'll admit, I didn't pick up on at first) features a young woman named Margaret who basically gets knocked up by her shape-shifting lover, William, and faces the wrath of his forest queen mother and a lavacious rake (yes I did get the phrase "lavacious rake" from Wikipedia, eat me). The band played the entire album, front to back, at the concert, with Becky Stark and Shara Worden (my new idol) in the roles of Margaret and the forest queen respectively. The album goes from hard rock to folk to ballad, and transitions between its many phases beautifully. As a fan of musical theatre, I'm always a sucker for a good story, too, and the Decemberists deliver. This is one of those albums you have to listen to beginning to end though, so it could be a tough sell for the shuffle crowd. However, there are some solid stand-alone tracks on there as well.
Key Tracks: "The Hazards of Love 1 (The Prettiest Whistles Won't Wrestle the Thistles Undone)", "Won't Want for Love (Margaret in the Taiga)", "The Wanting Comes in Waves/Repaid", "The Rake's Song", "The Queen's Rebuke/The Crossing"

Regina Spektor's Far - I honestly worship the ground this woman walks on. She kinda can do no wrong in my book. This album is like...the sound of sunshine. She's on top of her game in terms of songwriting; like the Decemberists, she tends to go for the storytelling approach, and she tells some really good stories, I won't lie. I mean, who else could write a song about a lost wallet and a Blockbuster card? Musically, her sound is a little different than some of her previous albums; cheerier, but it still sounds destinctively Regina. However, I think she could have picked a better first single. "Laughing With" is kind of a downer, and honestly doesn't represent the rest of the album. Then again, different strokes for different folks. Of course, my favorite effort of her's is probably still Soviet Kitch, but Far could overtake that soon. :)
Key Tracks: "The Calculation", "Eet", "Blue Lips", "Folding Chair", "Dance Anthem of the 80's", "The Wallet"

That's all for now. I probably would go on, but I do have a flight to catch in the morning. I'll do reviews from time to time. I'm a big music fan (and a musician myself), and love sharing my tastes with anyone who will listen. :)

Guess Who Wrote a Song?

I DID I DID! May still need a little tweaking, but I wrote an actual song! With lyrics and music and melody and all that! Huzzah!


It just can't be that time again
Just doesn't feel real
Just as I got used to things
As I've begun to heal
Not time for me to cut and run
Not time for me to go
I thought that this was normalcy
Guess I'll never know

Oh, oh, oh
Not time to go
From this place I know
So well

Finally got what I wanted
Finally have a home
That keystone I come back to
A sort of cornerstone
But it's time to go now
Can't stay here for so long
Always been my mantra
Yet now it feels so wrong

But like it or not,
It's time to go
From this place I knew
So well
Gotta move on
It's time to go
And now I know that I can
Do well

Monday, July 20, 2009

One small step...

Sooo I just heard some weird bowling alley-esque sound coming from outside my dorm window. Odd. Probably the construction.

Now that I've probably lost your attention, I'll go on with my normal rantings. Today, as many of y'all know, is the 40th anniversary of the moon landing. No big deal, right? Of course it's a big freakin' deal. It's an even bigger freakin' deal to me and my family because my grandpa helped build the Lunar Module (or the fancy-lookin' spider-y thing that they went on the moon with). I think he worked on one of the legs? Correct me if I'm wrong, family. Anyway, that got me thinking a lot about legacies. This is one of the most important events in U.S. (and world) history, and my grandfather was a part of that. And then...nothing. He kinda faded into oblivion more or less, took care of his family, yadayada. People kind of forgot about him. I really don't want that to happen to me. I want people to remember me. I want to have an impact on...something, and I want to be remembered for it, ya know? Maybe it's my quest for fame that started when I wanted to be a pop star when I was 7. I guess some things never change...

I want waffles. And fried chicken. Both of which are available in Syracuse. :)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Welcome Back, Blogger.

Alert the presses! Oooor not?

Yes, after nearly a year and a half of silence, I have re-joined the blogosphere. I kept a blog from 7th grade to halfway through sophomore year, tried to go back, but to no avail. I guess I'm a different person than I was then; I've felt a pretty big life shift since. Soooo, I'm going for a fresh start, and at a pretty pivotal part in my life, too. SENIOR YEAR (of high school, that is).

I'm feeling mixed emotions about senior year, but I guess everyone does. I'm half excited, half scared shit-less. There's all the fun stuff (seniority, LM, homecoming, prom, driving, yadayadayada) and the less fun (college, AP classes, college, leadership, college, stress, etc.). So join me, won't you, for the ups and downs of this bat-shit crazy year.

Jesus, I feel like a game show host.

Anywho, I'm currently at Syracuse University for their Summer College program, learning about communications and media and photography and all that good stuff. It's a good time and I am learning a lot. For one, I think I can handle this whole college thing. I mean, we'll see how the whole midterms nonsense goes, but I think I'm handling my work pretty well. Socially, it's still a little clique-y, but I've found some pretty cool people. However, I am missing home and some especially lovely people there (one in particular :)), and I'm not really sure what emotional state I'll be in at the end of my 6 weeks here. We'll see how that goes. Expect updates on the whole ordeal.

That's all for now. I hate ending blogs, it's always so awkward. I feel like I need to wrap it up somehow, but I'm strugglin'. I should probably work on that.