May 26, 2012

As for goals

I've been hearing a lot about goals lately, and it has me scared. In commencement addresses, scraps of advice, children's books...

People tell us young people: go. Make a difference in the world - make something! Know what you want to do and go do it. Strive and fail and achieve.

I love their words. I soak up the speeches and think about the possibilities we have in life at this crucial turning point, another of which I will face again in four more years. I understand.

But my great failure on this Friday night at 12:43 AM - the last Friday night of the school year - is that I don't know. There are people who know, and if not the means, then at least an approximation of their ideal crowning achievement. To revolutionize the economy, fix the environment, educate, lead, discover. They see something in their mind's eye with a twinkle of fear and excitement, even if that something changes every day.

And yet, all I see is something. It is in bold; it is in some way remarkable. But I don't know what it is - I have no idea. I never felt that vigilant idealistic determination to "change the world."

But in a sense - I do. I know I want to make a mark and make progress and affect change. But it's never been in some grand fashion - I've never fantasized about becoming President or Queen of the World. I never spent too much time sympathizing with the animals on the endangered species list. Deep down, I always felt, no, feel, that I am kind of an awful person. A fraud.

Even so, many people have gone on to accomplish great things in the pursuit of ego. World-altering discoveries have been made in the pursuit of pure accomplishment. I suppose that is how runners must feel: nothing is done by crossing that finish line in record time, but damn it must feel good. And damn, I like to feel good. I like to feel proud. And no, this is not a bad thing. It really can't be. Because in the race towards accomplishments and pleasure and the opportunity to feel proud, each pace does not just cross a couple feet on a worn track, but rather, life! Change! POWER.

The power to affect change, that is noble. And what I wish to affect, in what ways, towards what goal, well, for tonight those questions will go unanswered. But at least I tried. And over the next four years, I need to make a promise. A promise to myself and to the world, which we all have the power to change. I promise to never relent. We need to promise that. I promise to let no time or opportunities go wasted, to let no stride towards that elusive finish line go surpassed. Even if it is for ego, for something in bold, then so be it. I must at least make that something, well, something.

May 25, 2012

As for 7

A couple of weeks ago, Hannah introduced me to The Lumineers. Needless to say, now I'm hooked. I'm on one of those artist binges where i just endlessly cycle their music, and since I only have two songs by them....I've been playing them on a loop. Yes :)
Flapper Girl - The Lumineers

Also, I just found out I have to take senior finals, which I thought I was exempt from. I'm frustrated, but there's nothing I can do about it now, so I'm not letting it get to me. The end of this year will now in no way be a tapering off, but rather, pounding the pavement for seven more days and then summer. I found out in addition to my menial froyo selling job, I will probably be regularly babysitting a six-month old boy. Awww. I love children, until they get annoying (toddlers). 

As for 8

Eight days left. I found myself reading in bed last night, doing research for my International Relations generalizations, and copying quotes from Lady Chatterley's Lover for my AP project. I realized that this type of work in this place at this time of night would not happen so much in the future. It will be different work, in a dorm room or library states away, still late at night, won't be the same blend of work or stress or tinged with the same eagerness for the future.

I find that this quote really articulates why I love listening to music. Following are two songs I really feel exemplify this lift.

"In the best rock songs...there's a moment when all the gears come into play - a pause just before the chorus when everything in the universe seems, for the briefest of moments to expand and your scalp tingles and lifts a millimeter toward infinity." - Kirk Johnson

Death by Chocolate - Sia

Transatlantacism - Death Cab for Cutie

May 22, 2012

As for summer employment

Well, I guess this day had to come at some point. I am now the (not proud) owner of a position at a local frozen yogurt shop. The classic teenage summer job. It's semi-corporate with awful decor. I feel like such a sell out! My morals are rearing their ugly heads, but I'm taming them for the money. Oy. This is where I acknowledge and beg pardon for my privileged white girl speak above. I'm sorry. I really really am. All my past summer experiences have been unpaid and entirely academic - now that I'm essentially doing a brainless job all summer, guess what I will be doing in my spare time? YOGA AND READING. That's all. I'm just going to be so mentally healthy, it'll be ridiculous. There are some local discounts for first timers at some yoga studios, so instead of paying an outlandish $15 dollars per class, it will theoretically be more like $2 for about a month or a couple of weeks depending on the studio. Basically, I will do what I did last summer in Cambridge - just bounce around studios using their discounts :) Mwahaha.Yoga just makes me feel better, physically and therefore mentally. I love getting limber. Mm.

Besides that, I have a 130 book-long reading list to attend to, so I won't be without entertainment. Good times will be had for all (my brain and I, that is). Here's hoping this summer will be a good one, even if it does get too boring or lazy.

As for proximity

First order of business, you might've noticed that I've begun to upload my playlists to under the username rhymeswithyes. If you go here you can see all of the mixes I've updated thus far all together!  All future mixes will be linked from here, as usual.

Second, check out a local band, Goat Boy. You can download and stream their album online - it's superb. Every single song kills me. Just do it. (Favorite: Birds, I Won't Miss It, Oh Well)

Third of all...ugh. I have so many projects wrapping up right now. None of them are extremely hard, but just putting in the effort to do them all at once is proving quite trying at the moment, with 8 days left of school. AP Lit paper (and finish the book), International Relations generalizations, Foods project, Psychology test. Yuck. Instead of gradually detaching myself from school - weaning, if you will - I need to increase my efforts! I know everyone does this for finals, but what with my grades being great already, me being into college, and relaxed, it's kind of difficult to dedicate the time I need to. Here's the clincher: I actually am! I'm doing the work. I just really really vehemently don't want to be. This is my version of senioritis: still doing all of the same work at the same level, just not wanting to more and more.

May 20, 2012

As for summer days (in anticipation)

Below is the quintessential summer days sitting outside reading a book and eating grapes playlist. It was made in the summer of 2010 - quite an emotionally eventful one - and this mix was an effective relaxant. I hope it can be for you too! 

Cotton - The Mountain Goats
World Spins Madly On - The Weepies
Gimme Sympathy (Acoustic) - Metric
The Cave - Mumford & Sons
When I'm Alone - Lissie
Valerie - Amy Winehouse
Save Tonight - Eagle-Eye Cherry
At This Moment - Michael BublĂ©
Let Her Cry - Hootie & The Blowfish
Still Fighting It - Ben Folds
Late - Ben Folds
Summer Skin - Death Cab for Cutie
Brothers On A Hotel Bed - Death Cab for Cutie
Star Mile - Joshua Radin
3 Rounds And A Sound - Blind Pilot
18th Floor Balcony - Blue October
Terrified - Rainer Maria
You Really Got A Hold On Me - She & Him
Call It Off - Tegan & Sara
Heavenly Day - Patty Griffin

I also made ciabatta bread this weekend; it was a two day process. On Friday night, I threw together the sponge, which is a yeast mixture that starts the bread. This is the sponge after the obligatory 20-odd hours.

Then here is the final product after two rising periods (about four hours total) and some quality time in the oven!

May 17, 2012

As for bread products

I just started listening to the Feist album Metals for the first time since I purchased it and went on my initial burst of listening to it on an endless loop. Just rediscovered the song Graveyard. Nice!

Plus I've been cranking like crazy on this culminating art history paper! It's so long and it's so hard but it's so worth it. I'm learning so much. *smiles to self in nerdy joy*

Also, Please Do Not Go - Violent Femmes

Also, my project for the weekend: bread making. Hold me to this; I'll get back to you on how it goes.

Update: I finished the paper. Phew. It was really hard. I also made a baguette and buttermilk currant scones :)

May 10, 2012

As for the end of an era

I can't stop thinking that I am in the midst of a formative time period. That right now is a time I will look back on as significant. Because it's supposed to be. Because it's the end of high school - this period of life gets positively obsessed about in almost every bit of pop culture I enjoy. Classic television shows like My So-Called Life and Freaks and Geeks, awesome movies like Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink, and just plain old memories. I am not even close to the person I was 2 years ago, 4 years ago. Freshman year was cute; looking back it was pretty much an extension of middle school, although some of the papers we wrote were pretty formative in my analytic skills (World Civ paper!). Living in Cambridge really changed my outlook and corrupted me a bit more, but still within a definitively innocent perspective. Sophomore year was claustrophobic (especially through January), breaking up with my first boyfriend, and then...sophomore spring. Well, we know what that was. It sounds cheesy, but it definitely was figuring out the moral shades of grey and what I was comfortable with. Junior year was kind of the logical continuation of that, and just pounding the pavement with school work. SATs, AP classes and tests, college tours. Boys/men, oy vey. No regrets though. That year was...a learning experience. Now this year - I don't know. I definitely had the stereotypical senior claustrophobia. Logically enough, this was the year I've been most ready to move on. Lots of boredom in malaise in the fall. Ennui. Directing the play was immensely fun but things have been pretty static in the personal sector. Just waiting...

Here's the thing about the last couple of weeks of school from my perspective from the midst of it - I'm bored. Nothing exciting is happening, I'm not going through any major dilemmas, social life is still the same as it was in September. Which is fine, it's just a let down. The weather is getting warmer, even if it's raining and storming. Right now it's brilliant outside, the tail end of a late start day. Things are fine, just not different. I'm going around town after this to get job applications. Eh.

Here's a mashup of what I'm currently listening to. That's the most exciting thing going on right now - new music discoveries!

You Are What You Love - Jenny Lewis
Daisychains - Youth Group
Blue Skies - Noah and the Whale
Highway 1 East - John K. Samson
Musician, Please Take Heed - God Help the Girl
I Should Have Known Better - She & Him
Mamma Said - The Shirelles
Ain't No Reason - Brett Dennen
Melt Your Heart - Jenny Lewis
God Help the Girl - God Help the Girl
Age of Consent - New Order
Longitudinal Centre - John K. Samson
Creature Fear - Bon Iver
Death by Chocolate - Sia
Funny Little Frog - God Help the Girl
It Wasn't Me - Jenny Lewis

[Listen Here]

As for the play

This here's the playlist for The Real Thing and the pre-show soundtrack! Put this baby on shuffle and go back to the '60s and you're set to go.

I'm a Believer - The Monkees
I Got You Babe - Sonny & Cher
A Whiter Shade of Pale - Procol Harum
You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin' - The Righteous Brothers
Skaters' Waltz
I'm Into Something Good - Herman's Hermits
Alpine Symphony - Strauss
You Know My Name (Look Up The Number) - The Beatles
Build Me Up Buttercup - The Foundations
Baby, You're a Rich Man - The Beatles
Harvest Moon - Neil Young
One Fine Day - The Chiffons
Then He Kissed Me - The Crystals
Be My Baby - The Ronettes
It's My Party - Lesley Gore
Big Girls Don't Cry - The Four Seasons
Breaking Up Is Hard To Do - Neil Sedaka
Calendar Girl - Neil Sedaka
Will You Love Me Tomorrow - The Shirelles

May 5, 2012

As for ringing in May

I have had four hours of sleep over the past two nights. Sunday night I was working on my International Relations outline until 3:30 and last night I was working on my Psychology outline (on the heritability of intelligence!) until 4:30. I've never gotten as close as I did last night to pulling an all-nighter on a school night!

Alright, it's currently Wednesday. I'm still sick. Last night I napped from 5-9, which helped. I also saw My Week With Marilyn and Closer. I highly recommend both. Michelle Williams is forever an inspiration; I respect her acting and movie choices so much. One of my favorite films she was in is called Me Without You, and it changed my life a little bit. I just loved her representation of growing up, best friend-hood, and the insecurity of smart girls. Good stuff, guys, good stuff. Another movie I just recommended to a friend today - Atonement. Just do it, you won't regret it. BUT you must read the book first. And while you're on your Ian McEwan kick, Saturday is my second favorite book of his. Just do it. You will get sucked in and won't ever want to leave. His writing and his stories are freaking beautiful. One of my favorite authors. Nearly my favorite, I couldn't say.

Also, I just began listening to John K. Samson's solo album, Provincial. John K. Samson? I thought to myself. Who?! Monsieur Samson is, in fact, one of the members of The Weakerthans. The Weakerthans! I freaking love that band. And I freaking love his solo album. Congratulations, sir, that is a beautiful piece of musical work. You can stream it here. Also, check out some of Tavi's mixes here. Her 60s vibes are perfectly in sync with mine! The Real Thing's soundtrack was almost exclusively 60s pop. Hate to love it, you know?

Recent realization - that smokey sadness blend of music really encapsulated my fall jams. Maria Mena, Cat Power, Feist, Dum Dum Girls, Olivia Drusin, Ed Sheeran, Joni Mitchell. Mostly ladies! Sad, claustrophobic type music. I suppose, just how I was feeling.

A good book will always motivate you to wake up earlier to read.

Cat Power, why must you kill my heart so sweetly?

Blue - Cat Power