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as seen on my Tumblr...   
03:04am 18/02/2009
  I haven't mentioned this here, but I've been rambling about it a lot on my Tumblr: My editor at Billboard/UWire asked me if I wanted to cover (namely blogging) South by Southwest Festival down in Austin, TX from March 18-22.

I’m feeling refreshed after a night of blowing off homework and planning my SXSW trip. I will arrive in Austin in exactly one month, and there is still a lot to be decided and figured out with my editor before then. I only personally know four people and one band attending the festival. My editor Jill, my old editor at the Athens News, the booker at the Union, and Southeast Engine (though they barely count, since only two of them even remember my name). I would like to make it to the Blackout Booking showcase (though it will probably resemble April’s Blackout Fest line-up at the Union), as well as SE Engine’s show. I’m a bit concerned because both are at 21+ venues, but Jill says that she thinks getting into these clubs won’t be a big issue once the craziness of SXSW hits. I could get a fake ID? No. Well. Maybe? Ehhh.

Anyway. I will also know the video crew and other bloggers I’m traveling with…once I meet them in Columbus on March 17. I’m kind of nervous about traveling with these people I don’t even know. I mean, I know my editor Jill, but only in the sense that she is my editor and I’ve sent her roughly 100 e-mails over the last six months, spoken to her on the phone, and as of last week, am friends with her on Facebook. I just hope she doesn’t think I’m lame for a.) asking so many questions, b.) trying to hang out with her in Austin, since I’ve never traveled anywhere on my own. Like seriously. I’ve covered festivals and shows alone, but nothing really far away or huge.

As I said in my post about resolutions, one of my hopes for this year was to travel west of Toledo, OH, since this is as far west as I’ve ever been. I am so pleased to have been given the opportunity to take a free trip to a state I never thought I’d visit — Texas. I really enjoy traveling, though I’m only going by the limited amount of traveling I’ve done. My parents don’t really like traveling, at least not anywhere exotic or foreign. I’ve been to North Carolina more times than I can count, Walt Disney World eight (or is it nine…?) times, Cape Cod three times, Washington D.C. three times, Boston twice, Myrtle Beach twice, the Outer Banks, Baltimore, Gettysburg, Busch Gardens, and Canada. Neither of my parents have ever left North America, nor do they have a desire to. That makes me quite sad, as I would really like to see the world — and plan to once I have the financial means and time.

I’m actually mildly surprised that my parents are allowing me to go to Texas. I mean, I’m twenty years old and they don’t even want me driving an hour to Pittsburgh to visit Billy over my winter break. But yet they’re okay with me moving all (but one) of my finals to travel across the country with some people I’ve never met and hang out in bars listening/writing about rock music for four days. They must trust me, or they must think I’m going to get some great experience. Or they’re crazy. Or all three. I’m happy either way, but mostly nervous. I’ll be walking around in this wild sea of sounds with the Central Texas sun beating down on me — a stranger to both its streets and sights.

I imagine I will wander around shops and coffee joints during the day when I’m not sleeping, writing, transcribing, workshopping (I only get the music industry workshop/networking pass for one day of my choice), and eating free food at label parties. Seven p.m. ‘til 2 a.m. will be the work day for me, as I attempt to see every amazing band. This won’t happen. But the bands I would most like to see include: Andrew Bird, Akron/Family, The Decemberists, M. Ward, Grizzly Bear, St. Vincent, The Wrens, Peter Bjorn and John, Devo, Bishop Allen, PJ Harvey, The Hold Steady, Dinosaur Jr, Echo and the Bunnymen, Beach House, This Bike is a Pipe Bomb, SE Engine, The High Strung, Sybris, Dan Auerbach, Kevin Devine, Nice & Pretty, Okkervil River, Janelle Monae, The Von Bondies, The Duke Spirit, Langhorne Slim, Aqualung, The Features, Dan Le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip, Handsome Furs, The Thermals, Justin Townes Earle, Fastball, HEALTH.

I will probably actually see about twelve of these bands, from what I can piece together schedule-wise. AND Quincy Jones’ and Devo’s keynote addresses.

The final consensus: Nervous but excited.

     Read 1 - Post
05:24pm 08/01/2009
  now I have a Tumblr blog. Just for daily musings, videos, songs, etc. You know. I'm trying to make a better effort to document my life this year so that I can remember it when I'm quite old. Anyway, I'll still be posting more personal and longer updates here on this ancient LJ every so often, but Tumblr is just something else for me to mess with online.
01:32pm 06/01/2009
  Seriously....just got this e-mail response from my Billboard.com editor in regards to the huge project I finished almost 2 months ago. I mean, I'd be great for it to be published, since I'd like to use it on my resume and all.  F U C K T H I S.

"Hi Jill  – Thanks for checking in .. I meant to update you sooner but things have been a bit hectic. In any case, we’re going through some transitional stuff here, and the tour guide has been put on a bit of a hold for a while .. we are still moving forward with everything, but the launch date has been pushed back, and I will definitely keep you posted on when you can expect the site to go live. Thank you again for all your hard work, and let me know if you have any questions. Hope you had a great holiday!"

</not pleased>

02:30pm 04/01/2009
  I will never be one of those girls. So just stop it. Stop it. I mean it.  
a split level in the woods.   
06:19am 27/12/2008

“I’m going to quit one of these days,” I thought half-heartedly. You could tell I was half-hearted because I was more preoccupied by the gleam of the candy apple red polish on my freshly painted fingernails than any vows to change. I used to think only fembots who really cherish their appearances paint their fingernails consistently, especially colors with appetizing names like “candy apple red.” Now I was doing it. It’s like I don’t even know myself anymore.

What I need to quit is nothing to alarm anyone. I do not have a drug problem. I can be a little heavy-handed when I pour my drinks, but no, I am not an alcoholic. I have no sort of addiction that would disrespect my papa’s name or my mama’s reputation. All I need to quit is the way I think about home. A simple, little thing. And sometimes, all it takes to remind you of something like this is a Brad Pitt blockbuster. I mean, all of my greatest realizations in life came after I saw him play a gladiator in “Troy” or that hot young thing in “Thelma & Louise.”* This time, my realization came courtesy of “Benjamin Button.”

There’s this one part in the movie in which Benjamin, Brad Pitt’s character, comes home after a long time spent away at sea. If you know anything about the movie’s premise, you know that Benjamin Button ages backwards. So he’s been away for a while, and everyone around him has grown older while he’s grown older. Considering that, he says this one line that seems obvious to his situation, but in a broad way, it was a total “duh” moment for me. He says something along the lines of, “Home looks the same; it smells the same; it feels the same. You realize what's changed is you." It was more eloquently-phrased than that, but even my best Internet stalker skills are not producing a direct quote (the movie just opened yesterday, for crying-outloud).

I think every time I come home, I want it to feel the same way about it as I once did. I’ve never loved my hometown, but I used think, “Hey! This place is pretty boring, but let’s just enjoy the place while we’re still young and haven’t moved far away.” I used to not think I was better than this place. I’m not particularly proud to say that I do think that I am better than this place, but that’s honesty. I guess what it comes down to is that I’m better than the person I was when I lived here. Coming back here still makes me feel all itchy inside, just like I did for the entirety of high school. It drudges up memories that seem ages ago and with people I never got the chance to know (yet with whom I spent a significant amount of time). It’s bad habits, like eating fast food and driving around without purpose and habitually rolling my eyes at my mother and buying clothes I don’t need. It’s like revisiting a love affair gone sour every time I enter the Youngstown area. Sometimes (rarely) I get sentimental and romanticize the good parts; most of the time, I just think about how much time I wasted when I lived here.

Of course I’ve changed. Of course home has not changed. Of course I realized this a long time ago. But still, it’s not something I think about all the time. You know, the fact that I’ve changed, and because I’ve changed, the way I feel about all the things that have stayed the same, has changed.

I was driving through the center of town tonight at 1:30 in the morning for no reason whatsoever when I had an urge to pray to God. I said, “God, please do not let my parents die in this town. Please do not let my father die in the house he’s lived in since he was three years old. Please let me know that my parents have another adventure coming in their old age.” My mother told me the first time I came home from college that her worst fear is dying in this house because she hates this place, which I did not know. It was one of the first times in my life that I can remember my mother not sheltering me from the harsh realities of a situation.

I drove past the building on the corner of West Liberty Street and Christian Avenue where my father has practiced dentistry for the last 27 years. Of course I glanced toward it like everyone in my immediate family does when we drive past, as if to assure ourselves that it hasn’t burnt down while were in our house two miles down the road. All I could think about was how my father hates his job and how this town makes his anti-social tendencies flare up. I was sobbing just thinking about coming back to this town, this house in 30 years to bury my father, my mother. Another town, another house. That’s all I want.

I love my parents. I love the very, very, very few friends I have left in this town. I do not love this town. I’m always itching for something bigger and better when I’m in this town. If that makes me a snob, so be it. I’ve just…changed. This town has not.

Guess this is one break-up when the standard “it’s not you, it’s me” line is not total bullshit.


*(Honestly, do I seem like the type of girl who would like “Thelma & Louise"?)

The tongue-tied lightening.   
01:18am 15/12/2008
mood: restless
I'm going through something I've never much gone through. A slight desire to withdraw from society. Silence has never felt so good. This timing is a little funny, though, with Christmas approaching and all. You can't really control these things; you must just take them in stride. But I have a good feeling about this week. It's my last week in Athens before going home for Christmas. The quarter has been done for me since a week before Thanksgiving, but I came back here to work for a few weeks after Turkey Day. This week will see the presence of numerous visitors, a lot of work to finish, and a trip back North at the end of the week. It's a lot to take in for someone who has been hibernating for a few weeks. But I maintain that I think it is going to be a good week. Better than this week, at least.

My project for Billboard Magazine's Web site about the Athens music scene should be published in the next few weeks, which is all I know because my editor has been v. vague about a time table. It's annoying to look for it every day, especially when I know my parents and some of the folks who worked on the project and a friend of mine who literally asks about it every several days are keeping an eye out for it, too. I'm really excited to see it published, but it also means that I will be sending close to 50 e-mails to the bands and clubs and record label publicists and project members and interviewees to send the link to it that I promised I would send. I'm proud of the work I've put in (it was a long four months), as well as the work that my 9 video ppl, writers and photographers put in, too, but I'm sure some folks 'round these parts will make comments about not including this band or that band or featuring too many indie bands or whatever. I need to grow a thicker skin about these sorts of things. Shitting on the media is pretty common -- I do it, too (hell, I probably do it more than others, since I know a little more about journalism than non-journalists). I'm probably more excited than I am worried, since I'm sure not that many people will even look at it or care. I mean, it's Billboard Magazine's Web site, but it's not like, Pitchfork Media or anything. The project has been an intense learning experience; it's the most I've pushed myself in a long time. And not-so-great jobs and internships lead to good ones, which lead to great ones. Well, I've had some meh jobs in journalism (but they taught me the fundamentals), and this was a good one. Here's to hoping the next one will be a great one. It's going to be a long waiting game to hear if I'm for sure heading to NYC for the ASME internship this summer.

In other (and good) news: Lots of good music flowing through my iTunes these days. I'm listening to the leak of the Andrew Bird's latest, Noble Beast, which is due out in January, as I type these words. It's very folksy & woodsy as usual, and it's a little more rock-y than his past. He's moving away from his "Bowl of Fire" days, that's for sure.

I was putting together my top ten albums of 2008 for a survey of college music critics for UWIRE.com I was asked to participate in. My personal list is as follows:
  1. Death Cab for Cutie, "Narrow Stairs" -- A mature departure from one of the best indie rock bands of this generation.
  2. Vampire Weekend, "Vampire Weekend" -- Overhyped for a reason. I will never think about Oxford Commas and Peter Gabriel in the same light again.
  3. She & Him, "Volume One" -- The angelic voice of a movie star and the signature guitar stylings of an under-appreciated songwriter combine to create '60s-inspired hooks. It was love at first listen.
  4. The Kills, "Midnight Boom" -- Abrasive dance rock that took infectious seige on my mind.
  5. The Black Keys, "Attack and Release" -- These Ohio boys caught my attention when they fused psychedelia with their garage rock meets blues twang this time around; "Strange Times" is the most played song on my iTunes.
  6. Little Joy, "Little Joy" -- Strokes' drummer trades in the New York sound of his former band for the California coast and '60s lounge pop. Took me by surprise -- with a smile.
  7. Beck, "Modern Guilt" -- A more even-keeled effort from rock's chameleon-like classic.
  8. TV on the Radio, "Dear Science" -- These experimental rockers have managed to top the truly epic "Return to Cookie Mountain" -- just barely.
  9. The Raconteurs, "Consolers of the Lonely" -- If there were any lingering doubts that Jack White is not one of today's best guitarists, "Consolers" squashed them.
  10. The Hold Steady, "Stay Positive" -- Anthems for young pessimists from their rock 'n' roll elders. A great summer album with stand-out tracks that demand attention.
Anyway, listening to some of my year's favorites again has brought up some memories of the year. Everyone I know had terrible years. Horrendous. I didn't have the best, but I think 2007 might have been just as draining. Or maybe not. 2008 showed me the meaning of exhaustion in every sense of the word, as well as different types of unhappiness. Here's to shoving all our hopes and dreams into a year that hasn't disappointed us yet. We can all drink to that. Hell, these days, I'll drink to just about anything. That's quite a 2008 habit of mine. Guess 2009 is the year to cut back.

Time to get back to reality. I've done nothing all day. Not a thing. Must finish Christmas cards and go shopping and work and write and put away laundry and edit tomorrow.

my life in words.   
07:39pm 27/11/2008
  Feeling anxious and feeling cold. I need a little self control.

I've stopped writing. It's fucked up and it scares me. This quarter in school was the first time I was so absorbed in the technical parts of journalism that the sight of words made me queasy. I used to be able to turn it on and off so easily. It was my therapeutic source of release. Now I must feel inspired. I must plan out in my head what I will say. I must be alone and be listening to the right type of music -- the type of music that reminds me of times in my life when I wasn't so numb, so easy to forget the things that really sting like a motherfucker. It takes the  Sufjan Stevens tearjerkers that first affected me two years ago this December to conjure emotion in me, or the dissonance of Death Cab's first EP to remind me of how bitter I can be when I let myself ramble with words. I've heard of muses, but "sad" music is a cliched muse if I ever heard one.

I feel stunted in my growth as a writer, unable to progress past this point if I do not have the means to practice. In a twisted sort of way, however, I know that my feelings of inadequacy as a writer have discouraged me from wanting to write, whether publicly or privately. I know I can handle journalism writing, even long-form magazine narration. That is the stuff that can be taught and molded, especially for someone who has been writing her whole life. But it's the real writing, the stuff that really stirs the soul and has a part of you in it that just...challenges me, scares me. I'm continually looking back at what I've already written and already said. I'm rarely surprised in a good way. There is but a handful of pieces from my past, whether formal or informal, that seem tolerable to me at this point. Maybe that itself is a sign of progress, but I even read the last thing I posted on this Livejournal, which dates back from early September, and I feel annoyed by my word choices. First drafts will always be first drafts, but still. Creative writing non-fiction class taught me a lot about myself and about my unintentional writing tone in this past quarter, yet I still feel like a fraud of a writer. How can someone who feels so numb and unmotivated to write anymore improve?

My whole sense of self has been defined by words; little remains of my self-perception when there are no words left to be written that have not already been said.

I was just looking over the "book" I wrote in high school. There's a reason I leave it at home, and I know it every single time I read excerpts of contrived "deep" confessions of being different. But I wrote about being different to feel less different, to emulate books like "The Perks of Being a Wallflower." My tone was straight Holden Caulfield. J.D. Salinger has always stuck with me, not necessarily in a positive way. I was a fraud, a phony (as Holden would say). I created a sense of being an outcast in my head, convinced myself that no one has ever understood me. The truth is that I don't understand myself enough to identify if someone else really absorbed the small eccentricities of my being. I'm assuming yes, someone has at some point in my life, but I didn't feel like this for a really long time.

I believe I will always feel like my old writing is truly embarrassing, perhaps even in two or so years when I inevitably stumble upon this old entry, too. I never forget about the old proclamations of emotion; they will always surface again. They will always, always, always haunt me. I'm really superb at haunting myself.

I had a friend last night tell me that she thinks I've accomplished a lot in 20 years. It's not that I disagree, but I still feel like there is so much for me to learn. But it's all moving so fast and the idea of halting it scares me. I know I would regret slowing down. I need to come to terms with whatever it is that is stopping me or plaguing me at this time of opportunity in my life. But perhaps what I need to come to terms with is the idea that I don't always have something with which to come to terms. Sometimes life is just a mystery that works itself out without analyzing. God I hope so.


I'm a lot like you.   
01:31pm 08/09/2008
mood: cynical
first day of classes. getting back into the swing of things. it's hard for me to not feel guilt and overwhelmed anxiousness. i waste time so adeptly, trying to break myself of the habit. i waste time now as i type these words from my desk at work.

this year feels different. grown-up apartment, grown-up classes like magazine editing and production (aka, blahdyblahblah my egocentric editor-prof makes us create our own magazines and brainstorm audience demographics at his personal whim), philosophy of love and sex (aka, head of philosophy department searches for meaning in carnal urges), and creative non-fiction writing workshop (aka, whose personal essay has enough obscure details and bizarre outlooks to make it seem original in a sea of mcsweeney's-wannabes). oh, and 1 one-hundred level class about plants and people.

i have an internship/scholarship packet to put together already, via major urging from my jour adviser. it's for the american society of magazine editors' program for this upcoming summer (more details www.magazine.org/asme/internships/aboutinternship/index.aspx). ANYWAY, i don't love the magazines participating, BUT it's the real deal and NYC or D.C.-based, so i'm dumb not to apply. she already said she'd nominate me as her pick (ou only gets to nominate two students each year). sooooo we'll see what happens.

would i rather intern at an entertainment rag? yep. kinda hoping billboard will like what i do and take pity on my soul and throw some love my way. the idea of heading down to decatur for a paste magazine gig sounds so nice, though -- still really want it. i'd get to rot, southern-style, for once in my life. because lord knows i wouldn't move down south for reals unless a great offer came my way. d.c. sounds incredible, though, and nyc scares the shit outta me. partially because of thee ex residing there, partially because it's fuggin' nyc.

people trust me, a 19-year-old procrastinator, with too much responsibility. i don't think i'm lazy or anything, but seriously, why do people trust me with this shit? i must be one helluva persuasive bastard.

i gotta do this work. my boss come backs tomorrow, and i really don't want to get sacked. ya dig?

i just think about myself too much. i need to be more observational again.

     Read 1 - Post
I'm half awake in a fake empire...   
01:59pm 25/08/2008
  In one week I will move out of this free room I've been living in here at school and into an apartment of my own. It will be my home, and I will treat it as such. The complexities of the place and of the roommates who will inhabit it are something I've romanticized. I'm just happy to have more then one room in which to place my belongings. I feel cooped up. I feel too close to myself, too close to my own emotions in this small space.

We miss being ruffians. We miss being deviants.
11:44pm 21/08/2008
mood: cheerful
I am an easily excited person, but I must say, I just received the most exciting news potentially EVER. I have just been offered a position at Billboard Music's Web site, Billboard.com, leading a team of student writers, photographers and videographers for Billboard's College Town Music Guide for Athens.

I originally applied to Billboard for a student position as a local music reporter for soon-to-be-launched blog “Hear and Now: America’s Hottest Music Scenes” and was told that while they had intended to offer me a position, the blog was being put on hold because their advertiser, Sony Ericsson, had dropped out. I was pretty disappointed, but then I received an e-mail today from my editor at Billboard that said the following (among other things):

"Since the blog is on hold, I wanted to let you know about another project with Billboard, the College Town Tour Guide, which is a comprehensive guide to the music scenes in various college towns produced by the students who live there and know it best. You can check it out here.

It's another great opportunity, so I wanted to see if you were interested in taking part. I've attached an outline detailing what exactly this entails, so if you know some folks who might be interested I'd love to go over the details with you further. The next batch of schools is set to launch mid-November, so we'd like to get y'all working as soon as possible."

Yes, my Billboard editor said "ya'll." It made me feel a little better about saying "yins" during my Speakeasy staff meetings.

So, I am going to do it. And fall quarter is probably going to kill me, but you know what? How could I pass up this opportunity and still live with myself? My motto is really cheesy, but it is as follows: I can sleep when I'm dead. Let's jam-pack every single day with as much life as I can live before collapsing.

I haven't finished putting my team together because I'm not really sure how many people Billboard was thinking. Groups of 8-10 from student publications produced the College Town Tour Guides on the Billboard site right now, so that might be a good estimate.

This is the outline my editor attached with the e-mail:

Billboard.com College Town Tour Guide:

* Town overview:

o 250-word description of music scene
o Photo(s) that best sum up scene

* Best local bands (minimum five):

o 100-word profile
o Links to Web site/MySpace
o MP3 file (to be included in a “Music Spotlight” streaming playlist)
o Photo

* Best about town

o 100-word profiles on a minimum of two in each of the following subsections:
+ Venues
+ Stores (at least two that are music-related)
+ Eat & Drink
+ About Town – include at least one of the following:
# Music-related tourism spot
# Festivals/annual events
o Vital stats
+ Web site
+ Address
+ Hours
+ Misc., i.e. cover charge, age limit, cost of beer/CD, dates of festival, etc
o Photo
+ Include a minimum of one photo with each subsection, but feel free to include as many as you’d like

* Video (minimum one; ideal 3+)

o One video
+ 3-minute overview of music scene on the whole
o 3 +
+ Minimum one band profile, one venue profile and one retail shop profile

* Photo Gallery

o Can be of anything related to the music scene, i.e. festival, band, venue, etc

     Read 3 - Post
bathroom knees.   
11:49pm 20/08/2008
mood: cold

In the basement of my office, there is a bathroom made for one. It is the only bathroom in the vicinity, so despite the fact that appears to have last been cleaned before I started working there, I use it. I fold my hands and stick them between my knees while I piss. It makes me feel less anxious and hides certain parts of me from the world that exists behind the broken lock on the door. But mostly, it makes me feel less anxious.

It is not the broken lock that is unnerving to me, but rather, another malfunctioning function of the cement-block bathroom. The light in the hollowed-out stall does not flash on immediately. I find myself on a daily basis just incessantly flicking the light switch up and down, up and down, up and down. Sometimes 20-30 times, and while I do it, I tell myself that it’ll just be a few more flicks until it turns on. And the light bulb never lets me down, never lets me down.

Today was trouble, and I should have known. Whenever other parts of my life go too smoothly, I must surrender to our maker and say, “Dear God, please just punish me now so that I may stop being more paranoid than usual.” I’m paranoid about things like large groups of traditionally attractive males making fun of my awkward looks when I trip over my own feet in public, or flying out of the just-slightly-ajar passenger seat while we fly down the I-80 going 75. I am not paranoid about bathroom lights not turning on. But perhaps I should be.

It didn’t turn on today. I still sat in the stall with my folded hands clenched between my naked knees. I felt more anxious than usual, and my hands felt cold.

Even the tiniest parts of life can let you down.


I think I shall take an evening walk. I so desperately want life to be simple. I so desperately want to wander down city streets feeling comfortable in my own skin.

because you're all dying to know...   
04:00am 17/07/2008
  so, my friend Erin (spanwayhits) and I recently started a Simple Pleasures blog. Erin and I have a slight obsession with life's small joys, and we have been talking about finding a way to chronicle them for a long time. We originally thought we would write a book, but that just seemed way too costly and unrealistic for such a simple hobby such as savoring Simple Pleasures. Anyway, it's all in good fun and full of photos, so have a looksy, especially if you like the simple things in life.

Summer is hectic. I'm tired. I think my ankle has been broken for the past three weeks. and my finger hurts. I'm fucking falling apart!

Finally reading David Sedaris, and I must say, he is amusing. He's coming to speak at OU in April.
Take me or leave me alone.   
02:17am 08/07/2008
mood: stressed
There are certain types of men I will never be with. As much as I desire the sensitive type of boy who sits atop coffee shop stages candidly plucking the strings of his guitar while simultaneously plucking my heart strings, I would never be with someone as seemingly "earnest" as this.

Men like that are almost as cliched to girls like me as big-breasted bimbo types to, well, most men. They're both attractions hugely based on behavioral assumptions. My assumption is that these boys are the most in touch with their emotions. You know, because they play music not overtly for sake of verifying their own masculinity, or for the incessant love of "rocking out."

But they probably still do it, at least partially, in an attempt to score chicks.

Just not chicks like me. Actually, I'm more of a person who also happens to be female than a chick, babe or other animal-inspired, gender-specific classification. I'm coming to terms with this, though. I think I have been my whole life.

But there are those girls who do not and cannot come to terms with this. There are a few things you can tell about them, including (but not limited to) the following two points:
        1.) They are not nearly as deep as they believe themselves to be.
        2.) They try too hard (i.e., flirting with uninterested singer/songwriters as they linger around the merch table post-performance).

Some of us went through this phase, and it is only when we spot these girls still experiencing it do we feel a tinge of shame. Admittedly, there are a few musical artists for whom I have (and would) stoop to these "groupie-esque" levels. I am not proud. No, I regret it in hindsight. They are just people doing their jobs.

It is small lessons like these that will, over time, probably make it easier to interview the types of individuals I usually have to interview for story assignments. You know, musicians I typically like and respect.


Re-reading Klosterman books makes me wish I could be a brilliant essayist like him. I think that would require me to be a bit more intelligent on a vast array of cultural topics (he manages to compare NBA teams to minority groups with as much ease as he discusses the socio-political implications of Internet porn and ranks the importance of Zeppelin within rock's history) and a whole hellluva-lot funnier. Le sigh.

This week is either going to be vastly entertaining or monumentally stressful. Or both. I'm doing it again; of course, I do it to myself with the stress and tasks to be completed. My to-do list grows as I type this.
     Read 1 - Post
Because I have to, if just for myself...   
10:43pm 08/06/2008
  Throughout my almost 20 years on this Earth, I find that we, as humans, most often contemplate our actions toward the beginnings and ends of time increments. The middle parts...well, we were always too busy or to give it a second thought, eh?

Now, I happen to think a year is a substantial enough amount of time to consider a separate unit of time at this point in my life, especially considering that life seems to change from year-to-year in college. I'm sure once I'm 40, that jump to 50 will prove full of a far fewer amount of changes. But I digress...

This week marks the end of my second year in college. I'm scared to death. I used to not be.

I used to say, "Hey real world, c'mere so I can kick you in jaw with my unbelievable levels of success!" Now I see my own brother, the trailblazer of my immediate family, preparing to leave the college bubble. He's always tested the waters before me in many life stages, despite our vast array of inherent differences. I tend to take comfort in his own successes, perhaps for no other reason than it provides me with personal hope because we received the same upbringing. But I can no longer do that, as the path he prepares to travel down does not resemble the one I know I must take in two years. My pride in him will still continue, though, even if it has absolutely nothing to do with me.

I know how this story began, but how it will end, I haven't the slightest idea. People always tell you that if you try hard enough at something, then it will happen. I used to believe this, too. It's a load of crap when you consider how many components of life are out of one's control. I wouldn't be scared one bit if that statement were true.

I'm not a total cynic, though; I believe in Karma and in fate. If something is meant to happen, then it will. The problem is, however, that there exists such a disparity between what is meant to happen and what we try to make happen. This is the point at which disappoint sets in. 

The point of this whole ramble is not to intellectualizing over something too often intellectualized -- what the future holds. This is the point where I make a point, so here I go.

Change is always happening, and the end of this year has made me realize just how much has changed, for me, in one year's time. That is a bit bewildering, but ultimately, I feel like I've found my personal footing in the world just a bit more thoroughly this year. I've made many friends and lost a few; became apathetic about certain relationships while simultaneously placing more time and energy into others. I've lost passion for some interests in the pursuit of discovering new passions; joined organizations and faded out of others.

I've felt like a part of something more unifying and bigger than myself so many times this year, perhaps even simultaneously. I am always thankful for this feeling because there was a time in my life that I didn't really feel unified with others, at least socially. When I say "thankful," though, I really mean hat I am thankful for are the people themselves who make me feel included, make me feel like we're all a part of something so much bigger than just individuals coexisting parallel to one another on this planet.

Furthermore, I can recognize that even more change is upon me. I'm usually okay with change; it's just the decisions I have to make either to inspire change or as a reaction to change that trip me up. As I prepare to enter my last two years of college and take on even more responsibility and independence, I hope I can make the right decisions.

The definitions of "right" and of "wrong" are so very subjective in a world filled with subjective "truths," but I hope the "right" decisions will be the ones that lead me to the places that I imagine in my mind. Then again, fate is a force to be reckoned with, so I need not worry as much as I do.

I started writing this partially as a means to procrastinate writing a paper, but now I'm feeling sentimental. Why do emotions come out in such a cliched, contrived-seeming, New Age-y manner?
you can do better than me...   
03:00pm 22/05/2008
mood: guilty
...but I can't do better than you.

I'm coming to terms with my own puzzling unhappiness. Something is not right, but I'm struggling to categorize just what it is. Summer begins in three weeks. I'm staying here for two university jobs and a newspaper internship. Let's see if I feel better in my summer skin.

It's a Death Cab sort of month. A chilly, rainy May.

It's not happening, and I know it more than you.

To quote the Avett Brothers, "New York, quit calling/New York, I'm gone." I mean it, but I also kind of don't. I'm just too terrified to really think about it, so I don't. You crop up every once and a while, and I just cope.

I want to deeply sleep away my days. My mom calls it "depression," but she's wrong. It's called "complicating your life to the point of self-inflicted exhaustion and frustration." To quote Radiohead, "You do it to yourself, you do/And that's why it really hurts."

I still love the smell and feel of magazines.

I might be getting a press pass to Lollapalooza...? I guess I'll sell my ticket at that point. I want to stop paying for concerts. I'm a member of the press, damnit.

God, I would so not like myself if I were not myself. I'm too envious to be happy.

New Weezer album leak disappointed me. No surprise there. Rivers resembles a '70s cowboy on the album cover.

I'm trying this whole minimalist thing. It feels foreign and bleak. I don't really hate fun as much as you would perceive from my journal entries.
I'll dig a tunnel from my window to yours   
01:43am 25/04/2008
mood: anxious
Sometimes the beauty of music overwhelms to the point of complete speechlessness. That isn't good when you want to do what I want to do for a living. I liken it to a religious experience, I suppose. That sounds insulting to those who are very religious. Ehhh.

I've been thinking a lot lately about this idea I've taken from the play M. Butterfly, which I'm reading for my English class. One of the main characters says, "We are all prisoners of our time and place." Basic yet poignant. We trap ourselves in our current situations and sit back obsessing over it when it is all just so temporary.

I feel really sick to my stomach right now. I cannot manage to be productive. I did have a good night, though. Acoustic guitars & friends & coffee shops & laughter.
Friday, April 11 whilst on the road to Pittsburgh...   
04:42pm 13/04/2008
mood: pensive

on the road in the hills of West Virginia and Pennsylvania as we cruise through the moist highway. the fallen rain splashes up, moving slowly up the wind shield before the wipers push it away. to watch the streams of water creep up the glass is a sobering thing, I’ll tell you. the water, fighting to make its way up the wind shield, is wiped away with such haphazard, such disregard. it reminds me of human behavior, in a weird way.

naps in the car, with the rainy clouds above. I wake up with the sun shining in my face, with Carrie and Erica screaming about chickens cooped up in semi-trucks. the meandering, beautifully layered sounds of Grizzly Bear surround me, and in that moment I feel happy. it was one of the most pure moments I’ve had in a while. out on the road, in the mountains of Appalachia and the mountains of my mind.

what a terrible week I’ve had, what an uncomfortable time of it lately. the stress and the emotional block. I felt better when I got a summer job and internship in Athens alongside my friends. work has been bogging me down, both mentally and physically. I need pure beauty and clarity and nature in my life to feel peace. I’m not an outdoorsy person, but there is just something just so undeniably depressing about spoiling away in a window-less, white-walled office nine hours a day.

I needed it to feel natural, and I feel like maybe it’s finally getting to that point. my cynicism is breaking way to a kernel of optimism.

car carrier breaks my concentration. I see a sign that reads “CECIL, PA.” I’ve lost my thought on the highway of life.

It’s the simple things I dream about, really. of warmth and of nuzzles and of smiles across the room. sly looks, bedroom eyes, the sound of rustling sheets against skin as we turn restless in the night. I feel myself lost in my thoughts, and welcome these distractions as I imagine shades of pink and orange with a sepia tone. my emotions are sometimes too overwhelming to think about in terms of words, let alone actions. colors, and sounds as well, set a tone for me. natural sunlight is harsh but it’s at least it’s real, at least it feels so real.

your face is covered in a beautiful dew – not of sweat but of your own natural essence. that dew just glistens in the light. it’s not disgusting -- it’s not anything, really. your hair looks ruffled, and I like it that way.

banking on a lot here. that look in your eyes is priceless.


dinner at eight in the suburbs   
07:49pm 18/03/2008
mood: annoyed
so, the internet just blew my mind, and not just for being totally awesome this time...

just found out blake sennett, guitarist/singer from rilo kiley and ex-lover of ms. jenny lewis, is child actor blake soper, who played pinky on "salute your shorts" and that scrawny bully joey from "boy meets world."

wow. how did i not know this? how did i not notice the resemblance when i was on my "salute your shorts" kick last winter quarter? i'm basically an idiot.

buh. i'm avoiding writing the three final papers i have to turn in thurs/fri. i had a news writing final and worked all day and held individual writer/editor meetings with some of my writers and made fun of terry a lot a lot whilst he just shook his head at me and bitched about the union being closed over shitty dining hall food. i like the conjunction "and." at least i finished laying out/writing almost half the spring magazine at work today. my boss was way happy. well, by way happy, i really mean a big hick with something resembling joy strewn across his dumbfounded smile and relatively blank face.

it's fuckin' freezing in here.

i really want to go to lollapalooza this year. that is, if the line-up is goooooood. i, unfortunately, do not know where i will be residing this summer, so i am hesitant to purchase tickets. i do know for sure, however, that i will most likely not be residing back home in hubbard, ohio, as the copy chief at the youngstown vindicator likes to select his copy editing interns before i completed my full-day try-out because he assumed i was no longer interested/got another internship. lame. but whatevs. copy editing 40 hours/week 'til 11 p.m. at night in an office located in youngstown's ghetto-iest of ghetto probably would have annoyed me by like, week three. the only thing i hate is the idea that i can't go home. i mean, it's not an option, at least job-wise.

i've still got my fingers crossed on some of the more interesting internships for which i applied. i would be really content staying here in athens, working for the university and upping my hours at my current student writer job at the lab, though. many of my good friends are staying, so that's a plus, too. who knows what will happen. i'll probably be here this summer. i'd make good money and have good times, though.

i really need a nap. i really need a new layout for this ugly journal.
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02:30am 14/03/2008
mood: contemplative
the birds in the tree
they're just like me
we relate so well
as I put myself through hell

settling down on the first limb
picking out wallpaper trim
building such a fragile nest
it's only because I'm such a mess

everybody sees through it
you know I try to make things fit
picking out baby bird names
hoping he will feel the same

the birds in the tree
they're just like me
we relate so well
but I chose this hell
oh, I always choose this hell


things are okay. i am preparing myself to actually prepare for next week, which is finals week. yay for ten-page papers about modern sodomy law!

i am looking forward to spring break. i want to be barefoot and cook in my kitchen and hug my parents and listen to the big stereo in my living room and nap in the leather recliner with epic wooden arms and be alone and not just kind of alone for a little bit while my roommate is on the phone in the study lounge but actually alone-alone because i choose to be.

remind me not to bare my soul to drunken friends via AIM.

i have a lot of plans.
pull this thread as I walk away   
10:35am 21/02/2008
mood: drained
okay. so. hectic week. perhaps most hectic of the quarter. today perhaps most hectic of quarter, too. nevertheless, i'ma fit in quick nap after updating right tight.

i'm scheduling today for classes. i realized that i'm kind of way ahead of the other sophomores in the journalism school in terms of courses i've been able to get into. for example, i'm taking my fifth journalism class now and have finished my 200-level jour core classes, whereas most of my peers are taking their third journalism class and still need two more cores. furthermore, i've been lucky enough to snag spots next quarter through special means in two of the four journalism electives i get to select within my sequence of magazine journalism. i will be way ahead at that point, which excites me.

another thing that excites me is that after much contemplation and research, i'm ready to declare my required specialization areas with my journalism adviser. i was battling internally among music history, sociology, english, even political science and environmental biology at one point. i will be taking two specializations, one in music history and another in english, with the intention to take creative writing courses. i am considering picking up a minor in one of these two areas, but i think it will be english because i don't think i would benefit much from all the theory and performance classes required for a music minor, despite enjoying them.

i am feeling anxious about my schedule for next quarter. although i am taking interesting classes that i want to take, i had to take 18 hours instead of my normal 16 due to three-hour classes and hour requirements for my scholarships. i'm glad to be done with nearly all of my gen eds.

so, i'm taking:
jour 363 - review and criticism
jour 338 - graphics and audiences
hist 314j - cultural rebels in 20th-cent U.S.
mus 427 - folk music  in the U.S.
eng 284 - writing about culture

lots of culture right there. good stuff.

i feel sleepy and worried. i will probably sleep against the cold wall and be plagued by bad dreams. i will probably also drool a lot, as i only seem to do when i nap.

i'm going to miss my gay politics class. it's probably the most interesting class i've taken in college thus far, as well as one that is actually taught like a high-level college class should be. i'm sick of fuckin' power points and professors spoon-feeding us information. i want to read and listen and actually absorb. i want essay tests that require me to go beyond the surface, so that i actually need to contemplate and theorize and connect the dots myself. that's why i'm here, that's why we pay the big bucks. i don't want 13th or 14th grade in the public school system.

i will not, however, miss my newswriting class. my decrepit prof is the toughest grader known to man, it's at 8 a.m., the subject demands no creativity within writing and we turn in about five articles/quizzes every single class. it's really the 8 a.m. part that destroys me, though. i'll probably get an A- or a B, which irks me because i really wanted to keep my 4.0 GPA in my major. 

i think i'm going to train to be a DJ on ACRN next quarter, or maybe i'll start training the end of this quarter. anyway, i'm thinking my DJ name will be DJ wordsmith. i'd want to have a specialty show that focuses on current music that is heavily influenced by the beatles. that's probably a dumb idea, though.

i have like 5 article ideas i want to do something with before i need to submit my clips for certain internships, but i think i'd have to not sleep all weekend to squeeze one in.

nap time. project that is due at my job tomorrow might kill me.
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