music, Rambles, Things Happening RN, Things I Like

WHO’S GOT THE BEAT: I TRY TO FIND NEW MUSIC

Historically, I have bad taste in music. I don’t think so, but I’ve been told so. I have the kind of musical taste that people will unceremoniously aim for a new vibe whenever I have control of the aux cord. In conjunction with that, I’m also picky. I’ll listen to the same song over and over until I’m sick of it, then I listen to it even more until I hate it, and then I’ll move onto something else. If something doesn’t immediately jive with me, I don’t give it any chance. This combines to making it extremely difficult for me to find new stuff. I’m writing this is the hopes that I can The Secret new music.

Over the past few days, with an unusual ferocity, I am deleting songs that I don’t listen to on my Spotify. I’m a hoarder by nature (thanks Dad!) so I hardly ever delete music – what if it’s the exact song I need to through that tough set at the gym?? What will I do then? – and I’ll just skip through until I find one I like.

Eventually, I realized that I was spending more time skipping through songs than I was actually working out/modeling in front of the mirror-wall. Beyond that, I basically only listen to Cupcakke’s new album, Ephorize, at the gym anyway, so I don’t know why I haven’t just caught on and put that on shuffle yet. Too old to learn but too dumb to realize, I guess.

Suddenly, everything in my library annoys me, and it’s kind of no wonder. Currently, it’s an emotionally disturbing cross-section that includes The Greatest Showman soundtrack, music by drag queens, piecemeal rap, and Kelly Clarkson. I mostly listen to music when I’m at the gym. When I’m driving, cooking, walking, doing laundry, sitting quietly in the corner, I listen to podcasts. But I find podcasts hard to listen to at the gym – either they’re too funny, and I laugh at an inopportune time, or I find that it doesn’t propel me forward in my workout. So the music I tend to gravitate to at the gym typically is super-emotive and thinspiring.

But I’d like to get into more music, and the road I’ve been traveling down is just not cutting it. Roughly every six months, I pick a new vibe and cultivate music around that. In the autumn and winter, I’m moodier and rocky-er. I pick songs that are similar to my youth (I was formulated – Powerpuff Girl-style – on the Kooks, Arctic Monkeys, Florence and the Machine, and Rilo Kiley). In the summer, I live for a good bop (Carly Rae Jepsen – more like Carly Slay Jepsen! I’m gay and I hate myself). Two autumns ago, it was a Bastille-Halsey moment. Last summer was all about Grace Potter. This summer was dedicated to Kesha, and in the autumn, I fell back in love with Joanne and Miley Cyrus’s Younger Now.

But lately, I’ve been going further and further down a country/folk/rock/indie avenue, and I need help. The vibe I’m going for this spring and summer is “chill” meets Call Me By Your Name meets “indie rock” meets “country pop” meets “long, winding summer road” meets “pine tree” meets “winsome romance.” Unsurprisingly, that is not a “Mood” that you can click on Spotify’s Browse.

I created a SS18 (spring-summer 2018) playlist expressly for the purpose of encouraging the new sound, and it’s definitely threadbare. Their “Recommended” and “Discover Weekly” features are also a total let-down, because it pulls from the songs that are in your library. For me, that produces a heavily-skewed coterie that’s more suited for poppers and raving than it is for me living my actual, human experience.

Music, for me to get into it, has to invoke a strong emotional response. You know how there are some people who can listen to an album and “appreciate” it? Or sit through a terrible art film and “examine” it? That’s not me. Ephorize makes me want to be a total slut; Vince Staples’ Prima Donna gives me swag; Kelly Clarkson’s Meaning of Life fulfills every karaoke fantasy I’ve ever had. I’m in a period of flux at the moment, and I’m kinda teetering on Big Adult™ decisions, so I want something that reflects that and inspires me.

I’ve started listening to a little more country – definitely country lite, like Maren Morris, Kacey Musgraves and Russell Dickerson. I’ve been in a more softly contemplative mood lately, and I find that mindless pop – that includes you, Katy Perry, with your “activist” pop – isn’t really cutting it for me. I used to hate country music – it was too square and too heteronormative and square – but I like what it feels like for me. It feels a little evolving, and a little slow, and a little contemplative. And that’s, overall, the vibe that I’m aiming for in the next few months.

If you’ve got any suggestions, or any advice on how to find new music, plz send me a postcard. I need your help. America needs your help.

https://open.spotify.com/embed/user/1237130065/playlist/0JQlpZOW32PIBaUQTJ6sxo

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Life, Rambles

UPKEEP

I literally have nothing to say right now. I think I’ll write up something about the new healthcare bill that was voted on and passed in the House today. It’ll go to the Senate next (and fun fact, it discriminates against people with pre-existing conditions like mental health, rape and post-partum depression), so I’ll educate myself on that.

But really right now I’m in the throes of graduation. I had my last class yesterday, and now all I have is a paper and several hours of graduation ceremonies before I’m unleashed upon the adult world. It’s…stressful to say the least.

I literally can’t think of anything else to say, but I wanted y’all to know that I didn’t forget. I might have quinoa tonight. That’ll be fun.

BYE.

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Source: Dailymotion // “I’m a college graduate and I expect the best!”

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college, Essay

IN MY LANE

I’ve been avoiding going on Snapchat. And when I do go on, I avoid the Stories of my friends and peers, preferring to stick to innocuous celebrities and “influencers.” I’m avoiding Snapchat because I’m jealous, and if I see one more “I’m employed” snap, I might crack my iPhone over my knee and use the shard to slit a jugular.

So staying off Snapchat is a way to protect me from me, and more specifically, my jealousy. It’s hard not to be jealous around this time. People are broadcasting their successes on social media—suddenly we’ve turned into our parents and narrate every goings-on digitally: “Insert Name is so pleased to announce that I’ve accepted a job at Such&Such! Message me if you’re also moving to (this place)!”—and those that aren’t are silently stewing or, in my case, broadcasting their feelings on their blog.

But jealousy is a complex emotion—particularly right now—because it’s hardly ever just jealousy. It’s jealousy mixed with pride for your friends and their accomplishments, soured by a seething monster named “Why Not Me” and reddened by anger at yourself for not just being blindly and simply happy. So you’re jealous and happy and resentful and self-admonishing and stressed and depressed and can’t stop eating French fries.

I realized I was becoming jealous but I wasn’t able to really verbalize why. Why was I gritting my teeth so hard bone shards were popping out of my mouth? Why were there half-moon crescents on my palms from my nails? For me, the most lingering of the emotions was shame—embarrassment that I have not gotten a job but the more pressing shame of being so jealous. No one wants to believe that they can get jealous, particularly over others’ success, but I think—at least for me, and I’m hoping others—naming it and saying it out loud can help process through it.

A friend of mine—someone who has made regular appearances on this blog, Nina—said something that’s stuck with me since I vented about it Saturday night.

“Do you want to switch places with them?” she asked as I took a sharp staccato breath after ranting until all air had been squeezed from my lungs. “Do you want their lives?”

I thought about it for a second. Everyone I was jealous of…I wasn’t particularly jealous of what they had achieved, only that they had achieved something. And the accomplishments I’ve made seemed paltry and invisible in the face of a tactile job offer, a definite plan.

“No,” I admitted. “I don’t want their lives.”

“So,” she shrugged and leaned back in her chair, “if you don’t want their lives, wouldn’t want to switch, then you don’t need to be jealous.” And just like that, the stoppered green bottle in my chest loosened and exhaled a little bit. It didn’t empty completely, but I felt some pressure alleviated.

I’m happy for them and in the same breath I’m anxious for myself. It’s not weird or bad or good—it just is. And if I can separate my own emotions and name them and recognize them, I can begin the process of staying in my lane. There is not a finite amount of success, especially not across industries. One person succeeding in this moment does not mean that my moment has spluttered out on the floor. Stay in your lane, and focus on your end-point.

On Friday, I found out that I’m graduating magna cum laude for my journalism degree and cum laude for my English (English, wtf, I’ve been speaking you forever). In the moment, I diminished it because I thought, “Hey, that didn’t get me any jobs, so what does it even matter?” But after telling a few people and having them be excited, I reconsidered. If you know me in real life, I’m constantly cutting emotion with humor and I have a chronic disability to receive a compliment.

But these Latin honors are more than just Latin honors. During college I started to grow (started—haven’t finished yet). I came to terms with my own depression and anxiety and went on medication. I went to London and interned. I started my blog, this very weird, wonderful blog, as a method for self-expression and honing of my own voice. I got two degrees in four years. I had an on-campus job and worked as a fashion writer and city editor and a radio DJ and a copywriter and blogger and did plays and organized events and gave tours. I started going to the gym and coming to terms with my own body issues. I made friends. I lost friends. I made new ones. I came into my queerness. I traveled to six countries and countless cities. I wrote pages and pages of articles, blogs, essays. Hundreds of Instagrams, thousands of Tweets. Walks in chilly night air and in hot summer heat. I was sad, I was happy.

These might seem small or big or extreme or obvious—but that’s kind of the point, no? I’ve had millions of experiences, kaleidoscopic and varied and sharp. And I’m here. I fought the good fight. We all did. I cried and laughed my way to the top (some moments had more of one or the other).

And the point is that these things shouldn’t be erased because I don’t have a job lined up right away after graduation. In fact, I refuse to them be erased. I became a more full and depthful and wide and colorful person. Every moment, good or bad or heartbreaking or joyful—these things don’t lose their meaning because I don’t know where my foot will land next.

I’m looking forward to the future, but this past has been great. Horribly, wonderfully, weirdly great.

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Rambles

WALKING ON BROKEN GLASS

Written while on the Amtrak coming back into Boston

“I’m feeling faint from blood loss.”

I’m writing this on the train because when I get off the train, I’ll be trying to navigate through vast swathes of people back to my apartment. I’ll be walking right into the Boston Marathon—not into it, but like in it, ya know?—and once I get home, I’ll be getting cute so I can join in the festivities. That’ll probably end with me falling asleep at five p.m. and waking in a saliva-damp haze at 10 p.m., by which time the moment for blogging will have passed.

So now is best. I only have shitty Amtrak Wi-Fi right now, so I’ll have to upload this when I’m home, which brings us back to the original problem of the saliva-sleep. Whatever. C’est la vie.

Easter was this weekend, and if you don’t follow me on Twitter you didn’t see my hilarious retweets. I mean, I didn’t do anything except retweet something that someone else wrote that was hilarious, but still. Gary Janetti, a writer, had a series of tweets centered around “Jesus’ Gay Friend,” which is both the most hilarious angle to take and also skewers exactly how dramatic it is to gather all your friends for a last supper, fake your death and then resurrect a few days later. STUN.

Yesterday, after a large diner brunch, my mother, sisters and I were sitting outside, sweating in the heat at our patio table. We had fixed the umbrella that morning, making sure it was nestled in the brackets and flush with its cinder block base. The wind was blowing softly, and I was working on an article.

Suddenly, the umbrella flared as a gust of wind whipped underneath it. The pole, set so painstakingly in place by me and my mom, began to lift with the pressure. As the umbrella wrenched itself free, the glass table surrounding it broke into a thousand-thousand pieces and rained, tinkling, over my lap, legs and the deck. My laptop dropped to the floor, yanking my earbuds out of my ears with it.

Everything happened both so quickly and so slowly—silence deafened me as I stared dumbly at the glittering glassine chunks in my lap. Slowly, we moved away from the table. I lunged for my laptop and set it carefully on a nearby chair before picking up my iPhone off the ground. My LaCroix—Pamplemousse—could not be saved and was buried under essentially a sand dune.

“Are you cut?” my dad asked, brought outside by the deafening crash. “No, no,” I assured before I actually looked down past my shorts—dusted with glitter (glass)—and realized that my legs were scored with pinpricks of blood. I was the only one bleeding—blood dotting my slippers and beginning to run softly down my legs.

(At this point, the train pulled into the station and I was right—I didn’t finish it. It’s now 11:43 a.m. on Tuesday)

I stood, frozen in place, because every step led to slight pinpricks as the glass shards whispered, “I’m here!” It wasn’t the big chunks of glass in my slippers that scared me. It was those little shards that were tangled in my leg hair, or taking up residence in the folded-up cuffs of my shorts. My upper thighs were speckled with small lacerations and glittery little teeth—it was almost like the glass was saying, “Maybe if you weren’t wearing such short shorts we wouldn’t have cut you up here.” Being slut-shamed by pre-sand is never a good idea.

After I waddled away—having been combed over by the spout of a vacuum—and got changed, I then had to go out and help my family clean up the mess. In a blood-stained white t-shirt, gym shorts and big Timberland work boots, legs covered in dried blood, was the most masculine I ever looked, and will ever look. So I spent the rest of the afternoon of Jesus’ a-rising squatting, using a spackle to flick chunks of glass out from in-between slats of weather-beaten wood.

“I’m feeling faint from blood loss,” I joked from my deep squat, joking but hoping against hope that someone would be like, “Oh you should sit down!” No such luck.

So now I’m sitting in a glass-enclosed box of the law building, with a “I’m Healing Here!!” Band-Aid, a nail broken from where I stabbed myself with a fork while doing dishes, and numerous mental scars from being with family for any amount of time. So that’s fun.

I think the lesson here is 1) Never go home for a religious holiday weekend, 2) Don’t fuck with umbrellas, and 3) Never go outside. Bubble-boy it forever.

This was the worst blog post ever, but whatever, it’s done. HOPE YA LIKE IT.

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Rambles

SPIRALIZED

A spiralizer is one of those crank-by-hand devices that turns vegetables—your zucchini, your squash—into “spaghetti”-like noodles. It’s for people who are “healthy” or “hate themselves.” No one well-adjusted uses a spiralizer. Because the concept is bizarre: you take something awful but benign and spiral the shit out of it and turn it into a facsimile of something else, a bizarre perversion of what you thought you once knew. Spiralizers are the funhouse mirrors of the culinary instrument world.

Why, you ask in a soft, concerned voice (to not startle me), would you begin this (very late) blog post with a polemical diatribe about spiralizers? What did Giada de Laurentiis ever do to you?

She did nothing, but I feel like I put my life into a spiralizer today.

It takes a special kind of crazy to turn a nothing-something into a something-something, and for everything to spiral mildly out of control. Mildly, because I caught my crazy in the bear-trap of my rationale, which has its own peaks and valleys.

I’m not going to talk about it because I realize now—peak—that it is something that I might regret later—valley—so ISN’T THAT FUN??

Things that have been happening in my life in No Particular Order:

1). I finished the Gilmore Girls revival and I HATE IT.

2). I’ve been listening to rap music a lot lately, to ~pump myself up~ at the gym. And by “rap music” I no longer mean the rapping part of “Satisfied” from Hamilton. I mean real rap. God I’m so woke.

3). I’m excited for the holigay season. I love Christmas, and eating cookies, and drinking hot cocoa and burning my tongue and L.I.V.I.N.G. in sweaters.

4). I’ve been watching a lot of comedian Netflix specials. They just make me stressed while laughing.

5). WESTWORLD EPISODE 9.

Literally nothing else is going on. I thought I had something funny to say, but I’m mostly just in a bad mood and I want to throw a brick through a stained glass window—THE ONLY KIND (I think) OF WINDOW YOU CAN’T JUST REPLACE—and call it a day.

BYE. BYE. BYE.

I’m going to put in a YouTube clip to make you think that this blog post is longer than it actually is. 

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Life, Rambles, Things Happening RN

I’M HOT ENOUGH TO COCKBLOCK AND YOU KNOW ME, TIFFANY

Written after seeing a bunch of “If”s—you know. I saw a “Bulbasaur if he was, like, the hottest guy at CrossFit” and “Prince Harry if he was a Science teacher in The Breakfast Club or Robin Williams in Flubber.”  

I really don’t have a lot to write about today. I know it’s hard to judge my blogs when they have veritable content versus when they don’t, because everything is relative and eventually we’re all going to swirl into a black hole or be consumed by a supernova, but I have really no content today.

I’ve been basically out of the house from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and I went to the gym before that, so that’s about eight more hours of work than I’m used to. Usually I do one twenty-minute activity before taking a twelve-hour nap, and then repeating the cycle. I don’t get very much done in my day. I had two English classes, a meeting with a professor, a quick nip downtown to request court records because I’m a journalist and enterprising as fuck, and then a coffee hang with my friend. Then I just laid in bed for an hour and a half and now I’m cooking a shepherd’s pie. Wait, actually my day has been so eventful.

Since I don’t have, like, a cohesive blog, but things have been happening to me l8ly, I figured I could just do a stream of consciousness because WHO CARES, THE BAR IS SET SO LOW.

1). I went over to Nina’s house Sunday afternoon, recuperating from a long weekend, and we got underneath her covers in her bed—it’s cold and we’re college students—Grey Gardens-style, and did homework. I wrote a piece about Taylor Swift and listened to Frank Ocean, she read some law book (idfuckingk) and passive-aggressively requested that we change it to something without words.

There’s something about being fully clothed but snuggled in bed that’s actually the most intimate. Like, I’ve slept in the same bed with people but that’s when it’s like actually for sleeping. I don’t generally lounge in bed with friends, but this was super enjoyable. I brought sweatpants and lounging socks to really overstay my welcome.

2). Nina says that I cockblock her when we hang out. At first I was like, “Get over yourself,” until I realized that that meant that I’m hot/tall/masc/cute enough to appear to be her boyfriend. I try to remind her that if I were straight, she wouldn’t be attractive enough to date me (I’m a 9), but I think I’ve insulted her so much that she’s developed some sort of emotional callus to avoid my harsh words from sinking in. I need to start varying up my behavior towards her, so that—much like the Tasmanian Devil—you can never anticipate my moods.

3). I was talking with some friends about how annoying it is when people pretend not to recognize me. It’s happened twice in the same week, where someone has been like, “I feel like I recognize you,” and I have to scream, “YOU KNOW ME, TIFFANY.” It was no one named Tiffany, but I can’t—for legal reasons (?)—say who’s been doing it to me. My logic is that, even though we go to a school of 16,000 undergrad, I’m very distinctive. I’m 6’3, redheaded, and loud as fuck, so there’s no way you can avoid seeing me. And even if you don’t recognize my face, I scream enough in public that my voice has probably haunted your dreams on numerous occasions. So let’s not play these games, TIFFANY.

4). Today in my Pre-1860 American Lit class, I called Taylor Swift “petty as fuck, but not in a bad way.” I think it was probably as well-received as you would imagine a polarizing statement such as that could be. Previous things I have said in that class: “Sex and the City is an example of an epistolary novel” and “Have you guys ever seen Reign?” I don’t know if I’m doing well in that class.

5). I’m listening to Joanne, and enjoying it probably as much as one can with a high-concept album such as this. My favorite songs are “Diamond Heart,” “Grigio Girls,” “John Wayne,” and “Sinner’s Prayer.”

6). I was screaming about avocadoes in a coffee shop today, and how guacamole doesn’t give me the firmness I require from avocadoes for enjoyment, and I looked up to see a former classmate staring at me in shock/horror/amusement. SEE, I’M DISTINCTIVE.

Okay, nothing else has ever happened in my life, or anyone else’s, so I’m going to end the article here. Do I even have the right to call this, or any writing I’ve done, an article? God, that’s so demeaning to all of journalism. Whatever, I’m already the Kim Zolciak-Biermann of journalism.

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Life, Rambles

WHAT A JOKE OF A POST

So I didn’t write a second blog post on Sunday (my typical writing day) and I was really busy today, and also I’m a rag. A complete and utter rag—wrung clean of ideas.

So I guess instead of not posting, and missing out and being old and bitter and full of regret, I would just post a little smidge.

I find gum really weird. Like, who thought of making a non-edible, tacky, plastic-y material that makes your breath smell good? It’s the same reason why I think that cologne is weird: who smelled something and then went, “I’m gonna rub this on my body.”

Valentine’s Day is coming, and I’m FULL OF LOVE but mostly for John Krasinski and Texas Toast, so I’m really excited to celebrate in my own way—binging on pictures of John and eating a lot of toast.

Omg I literally have no ideas. Omg. The other day someone asked me how I always have material for blog posts, and I answered: “Um cause I’m always living,” so apparently I must be a ghost today because I have nothing.

I’ve really been enjoying this gif and have been using it in multiple instances.

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Source: WordPress

Also I got a haircut today—“Why?” my mom asked; and I responded with “MIND YA BUSINESS” (No, that’s not true)—and my hairdresser complimented my boldness on wearing a light-wash denim, and we promptly discussed New York City and Beyoncé in the Super Bowl Halftime Show. It was probably the most meaningful conversation I’ve had all week.

Also I made the most epic lunch today. Usually I sleep so late that I brunch it out and make eggs, but today I had breakfast, then class, then the gym, and then I had a decent chunk of time before my next thing, and I was hungry, so I really went all out. I did a toasted ham-and-chorizo sandwich and as a side (i.e. another entrée) sautéed kale and peppers with a fried egg. I was so full and it was so good.

It was one of those lunches where you’re like “Omg” like Rachael Ray when she eats a total bitchin’ brunch on $40 A Day. That kind of exaggerated, “OMG STOP FOOD IS SO GOOD” face.

Wow okay I need to be done. I need to watch a movie. Or more realistically, YouTube videos. Bye.

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