Three long weeks…

I have this kind of OCD ritual. I firmly believe that if someone doesn’t speak to you for three weeks, but you really want them to, there is no hope left for that person to speak to you again.

I started this ritual in high school, while listening to a Streetlight Manifesto song.

The song deals with someone’s mother dying of cancer, so it isn’t really relevant to the huge fight I got into three weeks ago with someone that has led to painful silence, no missed calls, no unanswered messages. Just deep deep deep silence.

Three long weeks.

But there’s something hopeful with the song, when Tomas Kalonky sings the last two lines:

And in the end maybe I’ll see you there/You know I’ll see you there/And in the end I’ll see you there.

So maybe, someday, faraway, this silence will disappear and go back to where it came from. But for now, it’s going to be another three long weeks.

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“She smokes and she ponders this riddle…”

If you don’t know who The Hold Steady is, you probably should stop reading. Because I really don’t want to associate myself with people who don’t listen to good music.  Or you can continue reading, because maybe you’ll be inspired to listen, and maybe I’ll like you. But probably not because, after 48 hours of driving and listening to The Hold Steady’s third album “Boys and Girls in America,” I have decided that I am every single girl Craig Finn sings about.

His girls are always messed up and confused, sad and alone. They listen to hard rock and drink a lot. They’re pretty much lost souls.

Ok, so for those who actually know me, I’m not exactly a lost soul. But everyone feels a little different sometimes, right?

I first got into The Hold Steady last year, when I realized that the title of their “One for The Cutters” paid homage to one of the best movies ever, “Breaking Away.” I immediately related to Finn’s story of a girl, who, sometimes, parties with townies.

And I’ll admit it: for awhile, I only listened to this Hold Steady song. But over the spring, when I started feeling sort of alone and on my own, the whole album became my savior. Almost every single song felt like how I was feeling.

Like “Magazines:”

“She’s always funny in the morning/She isn’t always funny at night./Once she gets a couple drinks in/She’s probably gonna tell you/ You ain’t do anything right/And then you’ll roll your eyes/And then you’ll probably fight.”

Or perhaps “Sequestered in Memphis:”

“In  bar light, she looked alright./In daylight, she looked desperate.”

So if you see me out running with my iPod, I can gurantee you that this is what I’m listening to. It’s the soundtrack to my summer. (Sorry Boys Like Girls. Ew.)

I’m off to raid my little brother’s computer for the rest of The Hold Steady discography, but I’ll leave you with my song of the moment. =)

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The Trial of Miles

“The only true way to marshal the ferocity of your ambition over the course of many days, weeks, months, and (if you could finally come to accept it) years. The Trial of Miles; Miles of Trials.” –John L. Parker, Once a Runner

This weekend, I competed in a 200 mile relay from New Haven, CT to Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass with 11 teammates, most of whom I barely knew before our 24 hour journey. I’ve been running since I was 8, and it has become a sort of catharsisis for me. Whenever things go badly, which is often when you’re melodramatic, running is there for me. Miles of trials.

But this weekend, I wasn’t running away from fights with friends, or break-ups, or any kind of emotional stressor. I was running towards a finish line, one mile at a time. And that made all the difference to me this weekend.

Congrats, SOFA KING AMBITIOUS!

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They’re All Different Names, For the Same Things

I’m trying to achieve fluency in Spanish, a language I’ve taken in school since I was 14. When I was sixteen, I tried my hand at writing poems in Spanish. I’ve had luck with two, and of course, I can’t find them. But I know what they’re about! Two of my favorite Spanish words: la primavera y la pachuca.

“Primavera” is Spanish for “spring.” Pretty basic if you took elementary Spanish. But pachuca might be a little harder for those without a Spanish background. I had to dig up its meaning years ago.

I found it in the title of a song, Pachuca Sunrise, a favorite of mine back in high school, by the band Minus the Bear.

Pachuca isn’t even mentioned in the song. That’s the way most MTB songs are. They actually have pretty clever titles for their songs, like “I’m Totally Not Down with Rob’s Alien.” Pachuca means “bad girl,” but the song is about missing someone.

Midnight on a beach in the Mediterranean…And I miss you…

These words, including pachuca, have spoken to me through years of break-ups and heartaches. And recently, other Spanish words have defined the loss of my recent whatever-you-want-to-call-it.

Spanish words that I thought would never describe what we had, but when I look back on it, it’s all that it was:

la infidelidad

dejar a alguien

discutir

llevarse fatal

falso

insegura

mentiroso

tempestuosa

pasajero

They’re all different names, for the same things.

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Famous Foursomes

Although I’ve struggled with writing over the past year, there has been a re-occurring theme in any of my creative assignments for class: my best friends. I love writing poems, but that has been where my writer’s block has been the worst. I’ve had a few class assignments to write a short story or tell a tale, so I choose to write what I know about. My three best friends from home come alive on paper, and when I was writing a story about our reunion over winter break, I was laughing out loud as I was typing on my laptop.

We like to call ourselves FINE. FINE is an acronym we made of our love for each other. We took the last letter of each of our last names, and, ta-da, instant friendship, members only name.

Megan and I have been friends since middle school, and she went to junior high and high school with Katie and Giselle (and despite three years of friendship, I still have to check Facebook to make sure I spell Giselle’s name correctly). Megan introduced me to her two friends once we all graduated from high school, and our bond was instantaneous. We began to travel about our small town in a flock, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

During this school year, we were all pretty spread out across the world: London and Austrailia just to name a few places. Even this summer, I’m traveling to Oviedo in Spain, so our time together will be somewhat short. But thanks to ever growing technology, my favorite girls are never more than a click away.

Something else sort of keeps us together too: famous foursomes. All across pop culture, there are people, who, like us, travel in groups of four. The girls and I are constantly discovering them, and these discoveries lead to intense arguments over who is who.

Our favorite is probably the favorite of any other group of four girls:

Megan, hands down, is Miranda, and originally, Giselle was Charlotte, Katie was Samantha, and I was Carrie. But we established this two summers ago, and I think things have changed a bit since then, especially on my part. I’m more of a Samantha these days. It will probably be brought up the next time we’re all together (June 12!!!!).

I’m also a fan of this group, just because our logic behind it is pretty absurd:

Ok, so there’s more than 4 girls here, but my friends and I could easily tell you who we all are in this picture. Megan is Nastia Lukin, because they’re both blonde. Katie is Shawn Johnson, because they are a similar height. I’m Alicia Sacramone, because I would be the one everyone says messes things up. And Giselle would be anyone who has brown hair. I don’t think she likes this foursome very much.

But, she does like this one, and so do we:

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants is the quintessential young adult novel for any group of friends. Bridget, Tibby, Carmen, and Lena have such different personalities in the series, but it doesn’t make their bond any weaker. A lot like FINE. Again, Megan is Bridget because she’s blonde and she plays soccer (Note: every notice that if you’re blonde, you’re automatically amazing at soccer?), Giselle is Lena because she’s artistic, Katie is Carmen because she’s goal-oriented, and I’m Tibby because I’m extremely moody.

All of these women are great, and their friendships, most of them fictional, are inspirational, but I think this, by far, is my favorite famous foursome:

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When I Was Eleven…

…I started writing. I just dug through a picnic basket (I have no idea why I keep my writing paraphernalia in a picnic basket) full of my old journals and poetry notebooks, looking for my first ever book of self written poems. Unfortunately, it appears to being MIA. I haven’t bothered to read it during the past nine years, so maybe it felt unloved. That’s how I felt at 11, full of pre-pubescent angst that I would NEVER have a 3 day long relationship EVER.

I was hoping to find that notebook and post one of my angst-ridden poems from back in the day. I can remember the title, “Little Girl Lost,” (I was obsessed with Drew Barrymore in middle school, hence a poem with the same name as her memoir) and the subject matter- not being asked to dance at my first semi-formal. How devastating it was to be eleven!

I wrote more than angst-ridden poems during my pubescent middle school years, though. I was sucked into the poetry.com scheme, and I was so excited to receive an e-mail that “Roses and Rattlesnakes” was to be published and maybe even receive an award!

So that’s what I was doing at eleven. Being moody, watching “Never Been Kissed,” and writing poems. I certainly was not doing this:

Continue reading

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This Side of Paradise…

I used to write everyday. Either a poem, or a lengthy entry in my journal. Then, something happened that I just stopped. I don’t know if I became busy, or discouraged, or whatever. I just ceased to write; my writer’s block has been almost a year in the making.

I treasured my writing, and I kept it close to my heart. I shared what was in my various notebooks with only those I felt would get it. A few months ago, I made the mistake of sharing one of my older poems with someone I thought really cared about me. Unfortunately, doing so was the catalyst to the long and slow demise of our friendship. He told me, “It was just too much too soon.” It wasn’t a poem about him; it was one of my older pieces. I just wanted him to see what I loved to do. I wanted to share a piece of myself.

I think that may have been a problem, as I glance back at it with retrospect. I put my poetry and my writing up on a pedestal, along with the people I chose to share it with. I was only setting myself up for heartbreak. So maybe it’s time to start sharing with more people and being more open. Maybe the rejection and criticism will hurt less. I don’t know.

So with this blog, I want to share my writing process. My journey to be a writer again. It may take awhile for me to actually produce something worthwhile, but I’ll share what’s inspiring me at the moment. It’s usually music or books or other poems.

Like right now, I’m thinking about the title of this entry, the title of this blog, and my background image. Can you name what connects them all?

Last summer, I did a personal tour of F.Scott Fitzgerald’s novels. My particular favorite was This Side of Paradise, and my journal from last summer is filled with quotes from the novel. Thus, the title of this blog. And the background image is none other than crazy Zelda Fitzgerald, a muse and a nuisance to her husband. I also read her novel Save Me the Waltz. I reccommend it along with anything else written by The Lost Generation.

I suppose that is all I have to say for now. I hope you’ll check back to watch my process to become a writer again.

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