My November is ~right now~

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November is the pre-game to cold winter months. You experience snow, rain, sunshine, gray days, blue days, extreme wind, and humidity all in one. It’s the one month that is guaranteed to be a toss up besides the entirety of spring (fuck spring). Since I like this month and am feeling particularly cultured, here are some things that fucked me up in a good way. (LMK if you know the song the title references, so #trendy)

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  • Man Repeller is amazing. I had heard of Leandra Medine from Teen Vogue back in the day and even more so on Wanelo, back when I was a real ~social influencer~ (I want to write about that sometime soon; to be honest, that was my golden period). I’ve really been investing time in finding new blogs to read and Man Repeller is exactly what I needed. It celebrates the weird and the basic, which is something I try to accomplish in my daily life. It also has great advice for the future, because most of the writers are in their late 20’s. Best enjoyed with a hot bowl of soup and a bag of kettle chips.
  • I am really late to the pale pink and rose gold game. It’s recently been the only color I will wear besides denim and black. I also got a rose gold phone. But more importantly I got a rose gold faux fur jacket with faux suede.
  • Cooper Hewitt is a very swag museum (watch out for a research-based article about the “swag” renaissance) that I went to over Thanksgiving break. I have been delving more into my fashion side, as we saw a few posts ago, and figuring out what I like and do not like. It was a little bit of a spiritual journey and a very cool place to be.
  • Animal Crossing is back in the form of a very addicting app. My one quirky fact about myself is the fact I was a 12-year-old admin of the Animal Crossing Wikia.
  • A company on Amazon makes plus-size tube topsFuck the fashion industry because I am not plus-size yet I am buying plus-size items because the fashion industry HATES BIG BOOBS (POST ABOUT THAT COMING SOON) BUT IT’S REALLY COOL BECAUSE NOW I CAN WEAR THOSE KIND OF SHIRTS.
  • Filter I love: D1 on VSCO. It’s the one that makes everything purply and pink. That is my aesthetic for November and also for life.
  • I have started a sunglasses collection, and I have not looked back.

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  • The save feature on Instagram is like creating your own mood board and not as creepy as I thought it was. It’s the digital equivalent to taking a stranger’s photos and hanging them on your wall (which I also do, but I feel like if it was actual people’s Instagrams that would be strange).
  • “If you miss a beat, create another.” – Patti Smith, “Just Kids”
  • Watching people online shop in class is a form of gathering material and inspiration. It’s also aesthetically pleasing and I get inspired just looking at how other people organize their laptop space. Weird.
  • Studying abroad in America is possible! My dreams really did come true. A trip I can fund myself. What a concept.
  • You can hit someone with a backpack by accident walking in Times Square and they will get mad and call you names. Even though it’s Times Square. My inner thought was “I’m sorry that I’m a woman taking up space.”
  • Take Care will always be the best album of all time, and nothing can change that, absolutely nothing.
  • No matter how much you’ll tell yourself you’ll take videos for a montage, you will not. I need to tattoo “PRODUCE CONTENT” on my forehead or something.
  • If you needed another reason to love Playboi CartiSo proud of him.

 

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  • waves – Tame Impala remix by Miguel ~ Literally just so cohesive and smooth. It feels like a burst of color. The people of Tame Impala (it really can’t be just Kevin, can it?) are BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE.
  • Yung Gravity by Yung Gravy ~ Whenever I hear the beginning I want to cringe so hard, but it’s really catchy. “Yung gravity, I pull your bitch.” It’s a joke. I totally get it. I overheard this in the New World Tortilla line at like 4:58 p.m. on a Thursday. Also, his voice is really familiar sounding to me, maybe I know him.
  • Powerlines and List of People (To Try and Forget About) by Tame Impala ~ I think I really cemented this calendar year of 2017 as the year I came to accept Tame Impala as my true favorite artist. Their surprise drop of Currents’ B-Sides on Spotify was truly the cherry on top.
  • Sure Thing (Andrey Azizov Remix) by Miguel and I Fall Apart (Andrey Azizov Remix) by Post Malone ~~ Andrey Azizov is arguably one of the best artists on Soundcloud; his remixes are really crisp and glittery and high-energy in a way that doesn’t make you feel like you’re covered in sweat at an EDM festival.
  • Shuggie and San Francisco by Foxygen ~~ There’s a light holiday mood in both of these Foxygen songs, which is why I think I like them so much. But I also like dramatically singing “BUT YOU DON’T LOVE ME, THAT’S NEWS TO ME, THAT’S NEWS TO MEEEEE” in my car alone driving while bitter once again.
  • Dance for You by Dirty Projectors ~ I feel like this song would be at the end of a crucial scene in Gossip Girl, maybe where Blair kisses Dan (which I hated, but loved the song in the scene!). I love finding gems that Rory and Riley introduce me to, because now whenever I listen to it I think about them and how much I adore both of them. This song will pull me through to Christmas break, accompanying late night walks home from the library.
  • Affection by Cigarettes After Sex ~ Two people I work with are in love with each other and conveniently dating and the girl in the relationship plays this at work a lot. It was one of my November songs last year so it’s fitting! It’s depressing, yet warm and all about love.
  • The Weekend by SZA ~ I’m getting into more of CNTRL at the current moment but this song is quite the jam. I love this girl, what a great girl. Empowering. Beautiful voice. Makes me feel like men are interested in me.
  • Prayers Up by Calvin Harris, Travis Scott, and A-Trak ~ I am for some reason just always going to get behind Travis Scott and his high-pitched adlibs. This song is no exception. The wavy and piano-driven beat has been my month’s aesthetic.
  • Blue Cheese by 2 Chainz and Migos ~ The song of the month! The song of the season! The song of the year! (Goldlink should win that Grammy though.) I have been obsessed with this song and Pretty Girls Like Trap Music way much later than cool people who listened to this when it first came out but it’s fine. If there is one song I listen to every day it is THIS ONE! (Honorable mention: 4 AM)
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Naive Melody

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Home is where I want to be, pick me up and turn me ’round. I feel numb, born with a weak heart, I guess I must be having fun.

The less we say about it the better, make it up as we go along. Head on the ground, feet in the sky; it’s okay, I know nothing’s wrong.

I’ve got plenty of time. There’s light in your eyes. And you’re standing there beside me, I love the passing of time. 

Home is where I want to be, but I guess I’m already there. I come home, she lifted up her wings; I guess that this must be the place.

If someone asks, this is where I’ll be.

Last semester I was obsessed with the song Home by LCD Soundsystem. Partly because it repeats the phrase “take me home,” which was very relatable at the time (and sometimes still is) and there is a built-in wake up call at the end.

If you’re afraid of what you need, if you’re afraid of what you need. Look around you. You’re surrounded. It won’t get any better.

While reading the Wikipedia page for the song one night, I discovered that the song This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody) by Talking Heads was the inspiration for some of the lines in the song. Fittingly, this song has defined this semester. I added it to my fall playlist September 24th and rediscovered the pretty Kishi Bashi version over the weekend.

It may seem like I have an obsession with my home, but I’m really fascinated by the idea of place. It’s the focus of one of my final papers and the focus of my daily thoughts most of the time. I think about place when I dress for the weather or an aesthetic or where I am going to end up being in those clothes. I think about place when I buy a pack of gum after I eat soup for dinner, alone, and decide where I want to post up at the library. I think about place in obvious ways too, like on highways and trains. I guess that’s why I like public transportation; you don’t have a place, just an origin and destination.

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It’s so weird that we all have two or more homes at this age in life. I come home and find out new things about everyone, things that happen at their homes I have not lived through. Michael will tell me about Boston, Riley about Philadelphia, Marcus about Long Island. We all used to have variations of the same life; even all my friends at UConn lead vastly different narratives, with differing majors, clubs, sororities, dorms.

And if you think about it, at college we definitely do live variations of the same lives, but just miles apart from each other. Or maybe even feet apart, if you choose your own path. Yes, everyone studies and has tests and sleeps on a mattress topper, but the rest is really all up to luck and decision, both equally I would say.

I adore the line “I love the passing of time.” No one ever says that. If anything, people wish that experiences would never end. But we don’t talk about the sweetness in the passing of time. Yes, I love all my classes and professors right now, the crispness in the air is refreshing, I absolutely love the holidays, but as the time passes, soon I will be in an apartment, and the guy I have feelings for will break up with his girlfriend, it will be summer again, etc. The passing of time is the greatest gift we have. There is certainty in the fact that nothing is certain.

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List of People (To Try and Forget About) – Tame Impala

Past Life – Tame Impala

 

Surviving Freshman Year: A Playlist

Everything is coming to a close and I don’t know what to make of it. I’ve been sick for the past few days so all I’ve been doing is writing and cleaning out my Spotify playlists. I realized from Spotify mainly how much changing I’ve done and how sentimental (well, isn’t it always) music was to me this year. At first I thought I still listened to the same music, but my curated playlists from high school and now are pretty different.

A lot of my musical growth this year has come from boys. Most of my interactions with guys started over music, Mac Demarco being the main player. It’s funny, because in two weeks when I see him it will basically be a reunion of me and every guy I’ve ever expressed interest in this year.

One of the first guys gave me The Strokes. The Strokes were a big part of my fall semester playlists and they were basically all I listened to as I walked from class to class in the brisk weather. He also gave me Courtney Barnett, whose Avant Gardener I will never forget. I learned all of the words to that song in a heartbeat; it’s hilarious, it’s UVM, it’s amazing.

The guy who painted my spring semester with music gave me a lot: LCD Soundsystem, Kaytranada, $uicideboy$, and renewed appreciation for Cage the Elephant and Matt & Kim. He reminded me of the L Train and he has a girlfriend now, or at least that’s what I’ve gathered from his Instagram. LCD will always be a solid walking-to-class choice, thank you.

Lastly, I’d like to thank my old suitemate for letting me lay in his bed, smoke his weed, and listen to Lonerism. That really set the tone for my UVM experience. Also, thanks for being the only straight (?) man who appreciated unreleased Lana.

The following songs are songs I’m going to listen to as we drive away from my new city, possibly for the last time, loaded with boxes and boxes of clothes, memories, textbooks, and my winter boots. They’re the songs that characterized this translucent April, the April that helped me realize a lot about myself. Spring has always been like that for me, but April is ending in peace this time, and not open chaos. April came in like a lion and out like a lamb.

ragged wood – fleet foxes

“come down from the mountain, you have been gone too long. spring is upon us, follow my only song. settle down with me by the fire of my yearning. you should come back home, back on your own now…”

feeling whitney – post malone

to each their own and find peace in knowing, ain’t always broken, but here’s to hoping. show no emotion, against your coding, and just act as hard as you can…”

the dreamer – the tallest man on earth

“oh sometimes the blues is just a passing bird, and why can’t that always be?”

shine – mondo cozmo

“stick with me, jesus, through the coming storm, I’ve come to you in search of something I have lost. shine down a light on me and show a path, I promise you I will return if you take me back…”

an illustration of loneliness (sleepless in new york) – courtney barnett

wondering what you’re doing, what you’re listening to, which quarter of the moon you’re viewing from your bedroom. watching all the movies, drinking all the smoothies, swimming at the pool, I’m thinking of you too…”

hang loose – alabama shakes

“hang loose, hang loose, let the ocean worry about being blue. hang loose, hang loose…”

atlas hands – benjamin francis leftwich

“take me to the docks, there’s a ship without a name there and it is sailing to the middle of the sea. the water there is deeper than anything you’ve ever seen, jump right in and swim until you’re free. I will remember your face, ’cause I am still in love with that place. but when the stars are the only things we share, will you be there?”

The following are songs I’ll characterize with the uncertainty of the beginning. The plane rides, the sweat, the crunchy hair days when everything was humidity. Dropping my eight dollar wrap on a sidewalk in the District while my headphones flew out of my ears. Making myself Nutella rice cakes and doing my Spanish homework ten minutes before class. When I tried so desperately to pretend I had it all figured out, and all my dreams were so, so big. And towards the end of my fall semester, when everything seemed like a tragedy and I went home numb.

the moment – tame impala

“in the end it’s stronger than I know how to be, and I can’t just spend my whole lifetime wondering. I fell in love with the sound of my heels on the wooden floor, I don’t want my footsteps to be silent anymore…”

crane your neck – lady lamb

and how it hurts, even in the sun. it’s a god-damned joke how we can hurt even in the sun. for a heart beats the best in the bed beside the one that it loves, oh yes a heart beats the best when in a head, death becomes irrelevant. ’cause if you’re dreaming about dying, then you’re not really living, darling. you’ve gotta be starving, you’ve gotta be starving for it...”

lonely – mean lady

it’s almost over, time when we’re not together. I feel it getting better all the time. and what if it takes too long? what if it takes too long and I’m lonely? how can it break me and make me so strong? what if it takes too long?”

new person, same old mistakes – tame impala

“and I know that it’s hard to digest, a realization is as good as a guess. and I know it seems wrong to accept, but you’ve got your demons and she’s got her regrets…”

wanderer, wandering – slow club

“I’ll ask where you’re going, and what you’re doing. you have no answer, ’cause you’re a wanderer, wandering, you’re a wanderer, wandering. and every second is a pounding drum, you’re leaning over me to put another record on, and every other guess is just cold hard luck…”

17 – youth lagoon

“surrounded by nothing, but nothing’s surrounded by us, it’s just me in my room, with my eyes shut. oh, when I was seventeen, my mother said to me, ‘don’t stop imagining, the day that you do is the day that you die…'”

hard to explain – the strokes

“I say the right thing but act the wrong way, I like it right here but I cannot stay… I missed the last bus, we’ll take the next train, I’ll try but you see, it’s hard to explain…”

The following are songs I’ll associate with the sadness of excitement. With the first drives up for the purpose of orienting myself here. With the Champlain sunsets, the firsts, the endless Ben and Jerry’s post-class outings, the sun catching itself perfectly in a window as I study. With the times I’d looked around with a soft sense of realization and wonder and knew I would be okay, and times I’d fallen asleep blurring the lines between here and home.

man on fire – edward sharpe & the magnetic zeroes

“come dance with me, over murder and pain, come dance with me, over heartache and shame. I wanna see our bodies burning like old big suns, I wanna know what we’ve been learning and learning from…”

reality in motion – tame impala

it made my heart run in circles and overflow, and I was closer than ever to letting go. it made my heart run in circles and overdrive, and I was closer than ever to feeling alive… heading for the deep end, soon as I remember, baby I surrender, I just need to breathe out, decisions are approaching, reality in motion…”

tiny cities – flume ft. beck

“can I? should I? find my way home? now did I, think I’d better go home. all I said I needed was gone, but I thought I heard it all wrong… but it’s never easy when you think you have it in control, somehow you get caught up in the moment and you never know…”

where the skies are blue – the lumineers

you’re gonna leave, it ain’t gonna break my heart, mama, cause I’ve never seen nobody quite like you. and if you ever change your tune, oh the world’s got the best of you, you can always find me where the skies are blue…”

settle – two door cinema club

“’cause I see the world in different colors to someone like you. the city will pull you in, romantic and drenched in sin, love. you only have but a time until this place will swallow you whole…”

no no no – beirut

don’t know the first thing about who you are, my heart is waiting, taken in from the start. if we don’t go now, we won’t get very far. don’t know the first thing about who you are…”

rivers and roads – the head and the heart

been talkin’ about the way things change, and my family lives in a different state. if you don’t know what to make of this, then we will not relate… rivers and roads, rivers and roads. rivers ’til I reach you…”

2016 Reflection

I’ve been reading a lot of posts that in one way or another reflect on the past year. My therapist also had me write a little bit about how this year went through some guided questions. But honestly, I feel the most effective way is going through month by month and digging up the experiences and lessons that challenged me or changed me.

In January, I started out with a lot of New Haven trips. It was midterm season and break. I painted a lot with my friends and burned a lot of candles. January’s are consistently filled with baths and movies and writing. For some reason I always feel super inspired. The break is rejuvenating, and it is especially more so now that I have a whole month. January brought me more of the heart of fencing season. Fencing season was an important part of me becoming obsessed with Connecticut.

February was interesting. All I can recall are awkward dates, my red peacoat, No More Parties in LA, really really cold bike rides, and a snowy trip to Boston. February increased my love of trains and public transportation. My favorite memory of February was probably visiting Hopkins’ campus outside of New Haven. They have the hands down best view of the skyline, and I’ve climbed East and West Rock. This is the month I realized I had no idea what I was doing when it came to college. My applications were sent in and I realized I had no interest in Cambridge. Or really anywhere I applied.

March was really the beginning of the end. It started to get increasingly warmer and I would lay in my bed with my skylights open, birds chirping, writing about how much I’m going to miss high school. I also became increasingly apathetic. And I wore sunglasses a lot. On St. Patrick’s Day I went to the Met for the first time and we also had the chicken hat during that trip. I also didn’t eat for two days during this month because I was being sad and dramatic about a boy breaking up with me. Mac Demarco got me through March.

April was Tame Impala’s Currents. That’s pretty much it. Also, the Lumineers’ new album. Ophelia to be exact. I committed to UVM in April. I bought a blue dress with pink flowers on it that I wore every day pretty much. This is also the month of the Vampire Weekend renaissance, and track. I also finished Gossip Girl, which was huge. This month was a lot of loopy handwriting and reading Gatsby in Humanities. I saw Bernie Sanders speak at a rally. It rained a lot.

May was just a lot of crying and sunshine at the same time. Also Change the World by Mac Demarco. Also, more Dairy Queen visits. I miss sitting at Dairy Queen for hours with my friends talking to the other kids who came in and roasting people. Everyone painted their lockers during school in May and the Senior Courtyard was filled with people again. Coloring Book came out. I remember crying riding the bus up route 79, sitting by myself listening to Blurryface on the way to my last track meet. I didn’t even like track too much but it was so sad. Rothko and increased beach days. The smell of my driver’s ed teacher’s car. My 18th birthday. Resonance.

June was a lot of the same. Changes. Lasts. Graduating. Getting spray tans for two proms. Muhammad Ali dying. Making mistakes. Seeing twenty one pilots and screaming my heart out. Getting emotional 24/7. Graduation parties. Perks. 10,000 Emerald Pools. There was a beautiful day during finals at Stony Creek that I spent with Wyatt and Michael. It was probably one of my favorite days of the year. It was also the day the wind was absolutely incredible, and we were getting blown away down at Lighthouse Point. I took some great photos that day. I was so happy. Late nights, last dinners, smiles and tears. Gilmore Girls. Rt. 222. Jesus Camp. So many amazing, happy memories.

July was sailing. I got insanely tan. I listened to Wagon Wheel a lot. I watched fireworks and went to weird coworker parties with my family. I took a trip to Bear Mountain with Catie. I went to great restaurants and had a lot of Cohen’s. Manhattanhenge. Getting what I want. I wore my first bitch outfit. First blog post about said relationship. SEEING COLDPLAY. I drove right after summer rain just before golden hour on route 80 to East Haven listening to PGHB. I almost cried at how perfect the moment was. Many, many grad parties. Blueberry Basil Lemonade. The Democratic Town Committee. Capsizing. Slow mornings. Late breakfasts. James Farmacy with Ella in our little corner. Do You Love Me.

August was rushed. August was filled with the pressure of ending summer with a bang. I was so nervous. I drove to Brooklyn and saw Beirut. I said goodbye to a lot of people. I figured out I really love applewood smoked gouda. I was the lead in a play and didn’t totally fuck it up. BIRI. My red dress and buying Jack Rogers. Riding bikes around the island with Ella, Wyatt, Brett and Michael was probably the best memory of that month. The town fireworks. Help Me Lose My Mind. Sailing. Misquamicut and Dave’s Coffee and talks with Kitty. I said goodbye and Brett sang to me in the car and it made me feel so much better. Leaving home was the saddest thing I ever had to do. I went to school and basically immediately bought a plane ticket to D.C.

September was a lot of trying. My new classes weren’t engaging. My professors were cold. It was so hot and I didn’t know what I was doing. I bought too many crepes. I spent way too much money in D.C. I cried on the plane home and when I touched down in Burlington. That’s when I knew things weren’t going to be that okay. I went to the farmer’s markets and watched Across the Universe a lot. I spent a lot of time eating overpriced snacks and watching Gilmore Girls.

October is when things started to go downhill. I got home the first time and felt frantic. I sailed in a regatta and cried driving away from the beach. I cried when we passed the Massachusetts border later in the day. Someone scratched “H2O lean same thing” into the bus window and I accidentally put beer in my coffee. It got super cold super fast and I bought a yellow jacket at Second Time Around. I got to experience Boston two weekends in a row. At the end of the month, I was done for.

November was the most uncomfortable experience of my life. My roommates hated me and I didn’t come home until 2 a.m. most nights because I didn’t want them to yell at me. I got a lot of stress pimples and realized I could not pass math. I became a recluse basically. I did make a few friends but I just really started to miss home. And then I went home after a weekend in Boston and realized I completely lost myself. Then I came back, wore turtlenecks, lipstick, and listened to Cigarettes After Sex.

December was better, filled with realizing things. First semester ended. I went to a few hockey games. I accepted what happened and moved on. I lived with Russian people and sold my clothes online. I suffered through school related depression and became addicted to mushrooms. I got in a car accident on the way home from school and my hands and feet literally froze. I worked, slept, wrote. Started my transfer applications.

2016 was probably the worst and best year of my life. It was filled with a lot of depression and sadness but so many happy things happened in the first half of the year that I can’t discount them. And my travels to Boston and D.C. first semester were positive experiences that got me away from my reality for weekends. I realized where my priorities lie this year, and worked towards them. I can say that I got what I wanted. Or at least I’m halfway there. My experiences this year are so valuable to who I am today that it’s incredible I’m not a completely different person. I have grown up and become more of who I was meant to be.