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.