Life Updates, or something like that

This is just more of the head-bubble-ing (i made that up, but it works?) that all my posts from this summer have been like, but I think that’s what happens when I’m left without a concrete schedule for an extended period of time.

here’s some stuff I’ve been doing when I wasn’t here:

1. I’ve been traveling quite a bit over the past week, which has given me a lot of time to listen to Bleacher’s new album, Strange Desire. I lalalalalooooove it. At first I found it overwhelmingly simple, but after many more listens (and reading some interviews with Jack Antonoff) I’m still trying to fully uncover it. It’s complex without feeling heavy, fun without lacking sophistication, interesting without losing enjoyability. it’s gr8.
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I really love this quote from a recent interview Jack did:

I want to contribute to mainstream. I don’t want to be reactionary and apologetic, and I don’t want to be in an indie band that, like, pulls back because it’s afraid of mainstream. I wanna go straightforward, but I wanna be better… I’m more in love and attached to the connection from music than I am to music. What I love doing is like working on things and imagining like the whole world hearing it. I’d rather have an impact on a bigger level, and I’d rather believe in what I do and think it’s worth having a cultural impact and then going for that instead of existing in some subculture. I think it’s bullshit and it’s tiring. You know what’s cool? To be awesome and mainstream, not to be awesome and only let a certain amount of people hear it. And I just feel very attached to that and try to be less ashamed of feeling that way. Because it kind of feels like you have to be either hunched over your guitar not giving a shit, or Kanye, and there has to be a middle ground.

I just feel like that little blurb encompasses so much of how I feel about music and life in general. It’s very easy to hate things because you want to be different, rather than because you actually hate them. It’s hard to like things that are popular without feeling like you’re sacrificing your cool factor, when really being “cool” should be liking things that you like, because you’ve formed your own opinions about them, rather than relying on other people to tell you how to feel.

2. I found these quotes in a note on my computer, and can’t remember for the life of me why I put them together, but I kind of like them that way:

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The first one is from Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger, which is one of those books that I couldn’t read without a pen to underline, because everything just felt so gosh darn important. I find it pretty difficult to accurately explain that quote to anyone who hasn’t read the book, but Tavi Gevinson does a great job in this speech (that I’ve mentioned before, and which sparked me to read the book in the first place, although I conveniently forgot everything she said before I read it).

3. I also found my old diary, which merits its own post. it’s good though, I promise.

4. If I want to do things I have to reach out and DO them, even when I’ve convinced myself that I’ll never be able to get it quite right. I’ve submitted a grand total of zero articles/essays for publication this summer, which I’m constantly kicking myself for. I think I’m scared by the fact that getting more things published means solidifying my presence online, and what people will think of me when they look me up. So it’s not only a matter of “Do I like this?” or “Will they publish this?” but also “Do I feel comfortable letting this piece define me?”. And most of the time the answer to one of those questions is a resounding “NOOOO!!!!” and I go back to where I started.

5. My lovely friend Meredith came to visit me last week. Humidity is a bitch, but we pretty well conquered Boston either way. I’m so lucky to have so many people in my life that I feel comfortable and happy around. It’s really easy to feel very alone in a crowd, and I’m thankful for the people who make me feel less insane. These people also tend to be very far away, so I will hold them tight when I can.

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If you like vintage/thrifted clothes and live anywhere near Boston, the Garment District is the way 2 go.

6. I spent this past weekend in Chicago and rural Illinois with my parents. Our first night we went to Second City, the place that has launched the careers of, like, every relevant comedian of the past fifty years. I was afraid I might have built it up in my head and that I’d be disappointed, but I really loved the performance we went to see (Apes of Wrath, if you’re in the area). I just love funny people, and they were so good at making me think while I also laughed until my cheeks ached.

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My cat is being very persistent that I pet her RIGHT NOW, so to avoid too much one-handed typing I’ll end my post here. Thanks for reading.

Space Jams: A Playlist

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Every once in a while I get prompted to do a thorough search for good music in the deep abyss that is the internet. There is SO MUCH OF IT. Yesterday, I was partially inspired by this Rookie interview where Charli XCX mentions her love for Connan Mockasin. Considering that she has impeccable taste when it comes to pretty much everything, I checked him out. Turns out, he is fantastic.

I’ve decided that music isn’t good unless I can imagine it as the soundtrack to a road trip in my spaceship (rhyme an unintended but happy surprise) or my next intergalactic space party. No space sounds, no good. Minimum 1 robot noise per 30 seconds. No exceptions.

Here’s a mix of some of the music I found yesterday, plus some of the stuff I’ve been listening to forever that has the same vibezzz:

Don’t fight me on the last song, it fits perfectly.

What happened? Nothing, and here’s why

I’ve been seriously slacking in the blog department since summer started.

From my point of view, not much has changed; I still check social media constantly and write drafts on the daily, but I realized today that my last post is from a week and a half ago. A WEEK AND A HALF. And my last two posts have been “this is lame but I’ll put it here for now and write something better later” filler posts. NOT COOL OLIVIA. Not cool.

I guess life has just been quite “meh” lately. It’s not exactly that I don’t have inspiration, but that my inspiration never turns into anything I like enough to share. Which creates quite a “meh” blog, if I do say so myself.

Here are some of my other theories (works in progress, mind you) :
-I fell off the face of the planet
-I fell off the face of the planet and into that all-white void that Squidward finds in that one episode of Spongebob, and have only now managed to find my way back
-My brain turns to goo in weather over 80° (For example: I copy and pasted that degree sign from a wikipedia article instead of just writing “degree,” which obviously isn’t difficult since I have written it two times in this convoluted explanation.)
-I decided that being productive is TOO MUCH WORK and I’d rather just sit on my floor and think about the things I’m not doing
-I’ve found endless entertainment in going through my old drafts, so it only makes sense that I should write more to laugh about later.

If I spent less time worrying about not doing enough stuff, I definitely would’ve gotten about 100000x more things done in the month of June. That makes no sense, but I’m sticking to it.

This is my promise to you, loyal reader, who probably has not even noticed my absence: I will keep myself on the face of the planet for the month of July (unless NASA gets back to me on my vacation to the moon, then it’s SEE YA, but you know how tricky THEY can be), and it will not suck. I promise.

Sylvia Plath: Let Me Live, Love, and Say It Well in Good Sentences

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I’ve found so many incredible quotations in The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath that I had to find them on Goodreads so I wouldn’t have to type them all out. I have yet to read The Bell Jar, but I have so much to learn from Sylvia Plath.

“I am jealous of those who think more deeply, who write better, who draw better, who look better, who live better, who love better than I.”

“I can never read all the books I want; I can never be all the people I want and live all the lives I want. I can never train myself in all the skills I want. And why do I want? I want to live and feel all the shades, tones and variations of mental and physical experience possible in life. And I am horribly limited.”

“I have the choice of being constantly active and happy or introspectively passive and sad. Or I can go mad by ricocheting in between.”

“I like people too much or not at all. I’ve got to go down deep, to fall into people, to really know them.”

“And when at last you find someone to whom you feel you can pour out your soul, you stop in shock at the words you utter— they are so rusty, so ugly, so meaningless and feeble from being kept in the small cramped dark inside you so long.”

“I am still so naïve; I know pretty much what I like and dislike; but please, don’t ask me who I am. A passionate, fragmentary girl, maybe?”

“…What is my life for and what am I going to do with it? I don’t know and I’m afraid. I can never read all the books I want; I can never be all the people I want and live all the lives I want. I can never train myself in all the skills I want. And what do I want? I want to live and feel all the shades, tones, and variations of mental and physical experience possible in my life. And I am horribly limited. Yet I am not a cretin: lame, blind, and stupid.”

“I love people. Everybody. I love them, I think, as a stamp collector loves his collection. Every story, every incident, every bit of conversation is raw material for me. My love’s not impersonal yet not wholly subjective either. I would like to be everyone, a cripple, a dying man, a whore, and then come back to write about my thoughts, my emotions, as that person. But I am not omniscient. I have to live my life, and it is the only one I’ll ever have. And you cannot regard your own life with objective curiosity all the time…”

“I want to taste and glory in each day, and never be afraid to experience pain; and never shut myself up in a numb core of nonfeeling, or stop questioning and criticizing life and take the easy way out. To learn and think: to think and live; to live and learn: this always, with new insight, new understanding, and new love.”

“I do not love; I do not love anybody except myself. That is a rather shocking thing to admit. I have none of the selfless love of my mother. I have none of the plodding, practical love. . . . . I am, to be blunt and concise, in love only with myself, my puny being with its small inadequate breasts and meager, thin talents. I am capable of affection for those who reflect my own world.”

“And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”

“I act and react, and suddenly I wonder, ‘Where is the girl that I was last year? Two years ago? What would she think of me now?”

“Read widely of others experiences in thought and action- stretch to others even though it hurts to and strains and would be more comfortable to snuggle back in the comforting cotton-wool of blissful ignorance! Hurl yourself at goals above your head and bear the lacerations that come when you slip and make a fool of yourself. Try always, as long as you have breath in your body, to take the hard way, the Spartan way- and work, work, work to build yourself into a rich, continually evolving entity!”

I am hypnotized.

Rainy Friday Link Party!

I’ve never done one of these before, so I don’t really know what I’m doing…

Here are some links to things that I like and hope you’ll like too:

- Meghan Trainor successfully wrote the body-positive anthem of the summer and I can’t stop listening to it.

- If you’re looking for more summer music, Miniature Tigers is pretty much the best band ever. Their tunes are catchy like fun. and groovy like Tame Impala. Cannibal Queen is their most popular song, but I honestly haven’t heard a song by them so far that I don’t like. If you sign up for their mailing list you’ll get a free download of Swimming Pool Blues.

- In case you’ve been living under a rock, The Fault In Our Stars movie came out last week and it is perfect! The soundtrack is also perfect, especially since it highlights Birdy, whose new album Fire Within came out last week in the US. I recommend People Help The People and All About You if you’re looking for a place to start.

- Savannah Brown, also known as savanamazing on Youtube, posted this awesome video about harnessing your passion and doing things that you love.  You might remember her from this video response to Nash Grier back in January. This slam poem about the future is also pretty cool. Her Youtube videos are just the right balance of thoughtful and entertaining, which has quickly made her one of my favorite Youtubers!

- This twitter. I cannot get enough of it. The username is “sweaty five dollars” and none of the tweets make sense, but they are glorious. Glorious, I tell you!

- Welcome To Ladyville’s link party from this past Wednesday, which gets pretty much everything that I missed. Especially Jenny Slate!

SUMMER and Less Interesting Things Happening In My Life

IT’S SUMMER!!! Even though I’m taking three online classes ( :( ) and working part-time (with the glamorous title of “salad/take-out girl”), I can’t help but enjoy the extra time and sleep and beautiful weather that comes with this season. (Re that beautiful weather: an hour from now, I will have officially spent 24 consecutive hours inside the borders of my house for the first time this summer. That is a beautiful, beautiful thing.)

Last week, I had the opportunity to work Boston Calling music festival with a few of my friends. It was cool, but probably not as cool as it sounds — while we got to spend the nights listening to music, we spent 6 hours on Saturday and Sunday standing at the front gates, yelling at people to PLEASE GET IN THIS LINE or TAKE THE LEFT RAMP FOR VIP AND WILL CALL. If you came to Boston Calling, I probably yelled at you. For $8/hour. It was very fun, if you’re into that sort of thing.

We had quite a bit of time to explore all the pretty little corners of Boston…

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Did you know that Boston has its own patented shade of brick, only used on houses following the path of the Freedom Trail?

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MUUUUUUUSIC

And Newport…

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Posing in front of our future home

 

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The only pack of Camels worth buying

And Connecticut…

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So many books. So many cats. I could set up camp and live here forever.

And New York City…

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Just a random building that I thought was nice. Ur welcme.

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Ingrid Michaelson, being perfect.

Now, I’ve got an amazing amount of nothing planned for June, which I’m actually really excited about. I’ve been go-go-go for the past few months, so I’m looking forward to having some time to reflect and sleep in my own bed for a while.

By the way: that thing about the patented shade of brick? That’s not true. You are gullible, and I am maybe/possibly/probably a pathological recreational liar. Sorry.

What are you up to this summer? Let me know! I’ve been severely neglecting my WordPress peeps and I miss you all dearly.

The Middle Years and Feeling Inadequate

Maybe I’m having a fifth life crisis.

Everything feels very big and serious and important in my head.

Up until about a year ago, everyone I knew was doing more or less the same thing – we all had different hobbies and interests, but we spent the majority of our day in the same place: the public school we had attended for 12 years. It feels like now is the first time that we are really making our own choices, and that those choices are affecting our futures. This makes me feel like every choice I make is magnified, and if it’s not going to help me reach my goal, why bother?

I’m not even really sure what my goal is. I want to be a writer. I want to be a part of the music industry, maybe as a publisher. I want to travel aimlessly and do odd jobs to get me by, like a pre-Titanic Jack Dawson. I want to do everything and nothing all at once. Most of all, I want to create something that resonates with other people.

Something tells me that if I don’t focus on the future, I’ll get behind my (mostly imaginary) competitors and never reach their level of success. How messed up is that?

I’ve got it in my head that if I want to be successful, I need to do everything now. It doesn’t matter how many people tell me this is not the case (trust me, they have tried); it will always be in the back of the mind, affecting every decision I make. I’m caught in a cycle of doing too much and feeling like I’m not doing enough.

What kind of future do I even want? I could get a nice office job in finance (or something equally normal) and a picket fence and raise kids in the suburbs. I could move abroad and learn to live life in a new language. I could move to LA and chase fame and dye my hair bleach blonde. I could join the army. I could spend all my money on booze and drink myself into oblivion. The scary part is that any choice I make now limits the choices I will be able to make in the future.

I hate wishing my life away as much as I hate living in the past- I think both are very unhealthy. I love where I am right now, but I feel this sense of urgency to do something big and exhilarating. I want to create something that makes an impact on the lives of other people and makes them think and feel. Something bigger than myself. I think I have the potential and the work ethic to do it, but I’m still waiting on an idea that I can stand behind for more than five minutes. I feel like my life is on hold until I find it.

Right now, I’m just working on finding my voice and cultivating a platform to make it heard. That is a very vague goal, but I’m doing my best.

That was a lot of feeeeeeeeeeeeeelings, here, watch this!

P.S. I went to Brazil for two weeks. It was cool. I know I should talk about it and tell more stories from it, but they are doing quite well in my head so I think I’ll keep them there for a little longer if you’ll forgive me.

Here are some pictures, starting with a kick-ass Jesuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuus, J to the C Superstah, J Chrizzle (also known as Christ the Redeemer) :

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