30 June, 2008, 1104 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

So ah.  My computer cannot read any of my CDs.  I justify my downloading all these CDs from blogs and such with the simple fact that YES I BOUGHT THIS ONCE but my computer is just fucked up.  Rabbit Fur Coat and all my Bright Eyes stuff are the most painful to scrounge up parce que vous ne pouvez trouver tous les chansons parce que personne aime tous les chansons.  The reason I have to do all this shit?  Dad got me a large iPod for graduation.  And you know I’m a freak–I have LARGE amounts of music and I go back and forth from one song to the next.  Know how many times I’ve listened to “The Stakes Were Raised” by Slow Runner today?  I dunno!  I love it so fucking much.

Actually, fuck, yes, let’s talk about music.  Let’s talk about my Current Obsession #1.  “The Stakes Were Raised” by Slow Runner.  It’s just everything unfulfilled about my life and how little I take any sort of risk for fear of I don’t know!  Being disliked?  What I really needed, really needed badly was for someone to give me a slap in the face and say, “PAIGE.  IF YOU MAKE AN EFFORT, PEOPLE WILL NOT DISLIKE YOU FOR TRYING.”  And I did get that figurative slap in the face when Ali and I were walking to Carol’s one evening.  It’s one thing to read on websites and in books that my worst-case scenario plotting is weird and that some people do want me to make an effort regarding my friendships, but you know…you don’t really get the message until someone confirms it and kind of shoves you out into the real world.

The Stakes Were Raised | Slow Runner
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[buy] [direct link]
Slow Runner’s Website
Slow Runner’s MySpace

I just yelled at you in type a lot.  All the currently italicized words used to be in caps.  Feel grateful.  I am just passionate right now.

So this song makes me consider all the potential I have for the rest of the summer.  Right now, I have all these people helping me out, pushing me into different situations, but maybe someday I will be the one who pushes other people.  I hope so.

Also, I think I left my phone at Charles’ house.  Fuck.

The above photograph was taken by Ali and it is perfect.

I now yearn for Europe.  Carol, Ali, Brent, and Paige are all back, and I feel as though they’ve experienced some amazing enlightenment but I am the most American now.  I guess I’m not, but I’m greedy.  Some of the people on that trip didn’t even appreciate it.  I would have died if I’d been given the opportunity to go to fuckin’ Dresden or Berlin, let alone Paris.  Instant gratifying orgasm.  Plus, I just feel as though I need to test out my French and work on my accent because I am so embarrassed at how undeveloped and American I sound.  The grammar doesn’t matter as much as the accent does, not for me.

Thus, I’ve taken action to educate myself in the French ways.  We start with French podcasts, French slang, new French vocabulary, and French music.  And then I guess I don’t know where to go from there.  Maybe accent?  Writing this in French?  I dunno.

Oh, but Current Obsession #2.  “Girl Sailor” by the Shins.  Oh.  I swear, je suis ce chanson.  It just speaks to me.  And then listen to the guitar solo.  C’est mon âme.  It makes me want to melt.

Girl Sailor | The Shins
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[buy] [direct link]
The Shins’ Website
The Shins’ MySpace

I am in a very peculiar mood right now, on the verge of something, maybe.  I want to go out and do something weird or amazing because almost everything I’ve done this week was not enough.  Just sit up at the park and listen to these songs and some smooth stylings of Jenny Lewis and cry.  I want to cut my hair slightly weird just because I probably can.  I want to sit at Slippery Rock and break down and I want someone to come and help me out, but I am not sad right now.  I just have too much energy and too much to think about.  Did I let you slip away?  I don’t even know where my phone is right now.  And I don’t really care, either.  Why am I letting myself get away with so much Avril Lavigne and Switchfoot and radio pop lately when it makes me feel so weird?  What if I revert back to the way I was before, because that is terrifying?  I have a bunch to tell you all tomorrow, and another song for you, but I don’t think the song is good for right now, tonight, currently.

I’ll just ask you:  How come I am so satisfied with my corruption?  And it’s not even me–I am not the most corrupted girl ever, but that doesn’t always prevent me from feeling like a tooootal slut whenever someone throws attention my way because I fall into secret floods of cold, dampened, fantasized love very easily.  I use the excuse that I’ll never be sexy, so I’m allowed to do this, be painfully flirtatious on occasion.  Just, why does it make me feel so good sometimes to corrupt other people even a little bit?  Because sometimes, it doesn’t end up being all that emotionally satisfying.  You know.  You don’t get a bond out of corrupting someone, necessarily, or some level of enlightenment that you’d never experienced before.  You’re just the same.  Drugs, alcohol, sex, morals, whatever.  I don’t know the person I’ve corrupted as well as I would have liked, despite how much I care about them.  Take this however you want, but know that I will never again be the Catholic Avenger or the reliable moral authority.  I’ll just offer advice if you ask.

28 June, 2008, 1236 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

1. Paige’s Studio, 2. Mango, 3. IMG_3344, 4. green revolution, 5. Jim Sturgess, 6. in grape juice veritas, 7. La Citadelle, 8. raspberry sorbet on a very hot day, 9. Red.Petals, 10. Untitled, 11. You can only be young once. But you can always be immature., 12. je t’aime

Here’s how it works:

* Type your answers to each of the questions below into Flickr Search
* Using only the first page, pick an image
* Copy and paste each of the URLs into the mosaic maker


1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What high school did you go to?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. Favorite drink?
7. Dream vacation?
8. Favorite dessert?
9. What do you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. One word to describe you.
12. Your Flickr name.

24 June, 2008, 1030 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I could be a huge creeper with a hobby like this.  Stencils (besides “shake”) are backwards, obviously.  And I know that Santogold looks nothing like Santogold.  I’m getting better, though.


Read. That is what I am going to do with my summer.

You probably think I’m taking the valedictorian speech too seriously, but after picking up the habit of reading the news, I feel empowered or maybe just knowledgeable.

When I was twelve or thirteen, maybe fourteen and just filled with angst, I had my mother take me to the library at the beginning of the summer. I borrowed loads of books, maybe seven or ten. And when I got home, I just started reading. I read for hours. I lounged on the couch and absorbed these books. When I finished the first one the next morning, I immediately began the next. I kept going, and my mother thought that it was unnatural and unhealthy. Maybe it was. I don’t care. Perhaps it helped seal the fate of my eyes. The reason I wear contacts and glasses, after all, is that when I began reading in elementary school, I didn’t want to stop. I remember in second grade, when we moved to Richmond, that’s all I wanted to do. I would lay on the couch and read. Sit at my desk in school and read. Go to recess and read sometimes (or play kickball, hopscotch, hang-glider, or swing). And goddamn, at that point, I hated writing. It wasn’t until fourth grade, when I wrote an essay about how I got this scar on my forehead, that I began to enjoy writing.

I forget most days about that scar. My bangs cover it, on the left side of my forehead. When I think about it, too, it seems so insignificant. A fact of life that has been present since I was four, and I can’t remember life before it. But it’s a story I’ve never shared with you. And you will not hear it today, either.

Anyway. Yesterday, I went to the library and chose seven books, but they weren’t enough. I want to gobble them up. I know, though, that it will take me at least two weeks to read them all. July 3rd. That’s when they are due. I finished the first last night. Montana 1948 by Larry Watson. Which is an incredible emotional journey that you won’t be able to stop reading until you’re completely finished. Maybe I will make a list of the books I read and want to read this summer. I have missed reading for pleasure, and now that I have the opportunity to do it again, I will take full advantage.

I think that it should be noted that while I am a fast typer even by my peers’ standards (but certainly not by my own), I am an incredibly slow reader. I don’t know this in words per minute or anything, but I know that it takes me maybe a minute or two to read a page. While some people would probably pin this on my stupidity, I like to think that I am absorbing the book better than anyone else is. And it’s probably at least partially true. I tend to remember details better because I am spending a longer time with the words than other people are. When I did Book Bowl in fifth grade, they nicknamed me “Buzzy” because I always got the Bonus Round questions so rapidly, and they were correct. Thus, I would never want to change my habit of reading slowly. I do not want to become a skimmer. I enjoy letting everything season in my brain for a bit.

I haven’t written about music in a good long time, though. I wonder who visits my blog every day, and I just assume that it’s probably random viewers from search engines, mixed in with perhaps five solid readers. Merci, though.

Here’s the thing. Today, I will write about the Wombats, finally.

I borrowed the Wombats from some other music blog, most likely All Things Go. I mean, if they ever did an article on the Wombats. Thing is, while I normally don’t like cymbal-heavy Brit-pop, I love the Wombats. And it’s not like they only have one catchy song that will resonate with a few people. Their music is entirely contagious, universally catchy. It’s everything about it that makes it so great, and it’s one of those bands where every time you listen to the songs, something new will catch your ear. I love that.

Anyway, the Wombats have followed me on many important journeys. On my first trip to New York City, I kept listening to “Moving to New York.” I hated New York but continued to love the song. On my first trip to Bounce Funplex with Ali and Carol, Ali included this on a mix CD and added that I should check out “Backfire at the Disco.” So I did, and I enjoyed it thoroughly.

Thus, today I present you with the track that Ali so strongly recommended. What’s funny is that such an incredibly successful, serious band spawned out of a grand joke.

The Wombats | Backfire at the Disco
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The Wombats’ Website

Also, guys, I’ve been inspired by Sara and my sister. I’m going to compile a list of songs that I greatly enjoyed when I was maybe fourteen or fifteen and was heavy into pop-punk and I worshiped it. I’ll upload it soon, after I finish Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut. Et je veux lire des livres en français, mais je ne sais pas où je pourrais les chercher.

16 June, 2008, 1100 am
Filed under: Barrels of Fun, My Experience with Existence

Here’s my one plan.  And if I get in trouble with tha authorities, I’ll blame Mr. Jennings.  He gave me this idea when he said during Diversity Club that there’s not enough graffiti in Lewisburg.  Not muh fault.

I’m making stencils and spraypainting all over the place.  Well, okay.  I’ll try to avoid doing it on houses.  But the streets are game.  Um, almost anything downtown is game.  Except houses.

Here’s one thing I have noticed.  If you walk from the school to Zelda’s via St. Louis (Lewis?  I don’t care) Street, you’ll see little black cell phones on the curbs.  Here’s another thing I’ve noticed.  Despite its close vicinity to the police department, Kidsburg would be a good place to vandalize.  For one thing, teenagers hang out there on a regular basis.  For another, there are so many opportunities.

The thing about Lewisburg is that you can’t just do it in an open place like Banksy does.  The authorities probably won’t understand that you are attempting to beautify the city.  They do not appreciate art.

Here’s where I got the idea.  Mr. Jennings.  Banksy.  Ali.  Mr. Towslee.  This kid from my Geometry class in ninth grade who asked me if I made the stencil that Mr. Towslee lent us to make tee shirts.  Is it bad that half of my inspiration comes from fucking…teachers?  Or adults, rather.  I think not.

Well, I’m off.  I need to finish making stencils.

16 June, 2008, 1208 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

I should have decided this earlier.  However, from now on, I will make an effort.

While it is certainly great that I’ve started to gather news and make art, it’s not necessarily enough.  I have to share it with people, and seriously…how many people are impacted my my blog?  Let’s say I get 100 hits a day.  Sometimes, that’s one person hitting me multiple times.  More than one person does that.  I am not impacting many.  How do I impact many?  I make my acquaintances into friends.  I share information with my friends.  I still read.  I spend less time on the computer.  I read the newspaper.  I ride my bike.  I make art.  I share.  That’s the whole point of enlightenment.  Sharing.

So tomorrow, I will probably go to the library.  Sometime soon, I will buy my first sketchbook and record images.  And this week, I will make plans on my own with friends who are not in Germany.  And when my friends in Germany return from Germany, I will make plans with them.

How about I write down some summer goals, as inspired by Ali’s list of 66 things she wants to do before the summer is over.

1.  Have a picnic.  And not a half-assed picnic, like, oh hai I just happened to bring my sandwich outside, but a real vibrant piquenique with muzak and maybe even a basket.

2.  Make newspaper-reading a habit.

3.  Read at least two books/week (though if I try hard enough, I may be able to make that two books/day, but that would be enlightening yet depressing).

4.  Make another issue of zine, post first issue online in PDF file of some sort.

5.  Finish another headband.

6.  Clean room and keep it clean.

7.  Throw away things I really don’t need (makeup, things in closet).

8.  Make a new bag.

9.  Attend at least one Skankathon.

10.  Attempt at conversation with person with nice eyebrows.  He intimidates me, but he did make an effort in the past, which was repelled by me because I was intimidated.  Threatened in unfamiliar territory.

11.  Sell at least one bag for a decent price.

12.  Turn in job applications.

13.  Cut out gelatin, carmine, and things that may be cooked in animal fat completely.

14.  Make stencils and spraypaint somewhere.

15.  Get my eyebrows waxed so I have a definite outline to follow since they are uneven.  This sounds simple, but the last time I went, I mourned for days because they made them too far apart in the middle and I looked like a circus freak.

16.  Get a happy bathing suit that allows me to accept myself.  Right now, I have a morbid tankini that hates my body.

17.  Make my camera a regular.

18.  Little black dress.

19.  Walking slouched makes me look like a drunk hobbit.

20.  Postcards.

21.  Jam.

I’m fucking tired.

12 June, 2008, 1243 pm
Filed under: Barrels of Fun, Film, My Experience with Existence | Tags: , ,

Upon the opening of my eyes, Divya decided to pop in Amélie.  We watched it with English subtitles, and from the first lines, some things were lost in translation.

However, upon the ending of the movie, I was changed.  I must make art.  I must continue with my plans to give strangers anonymous love and encouragement.  Thus, I shall make my postcard(s) this weekend.  I shall go to Barnes & Noble today.  The thing that saddens me slightly is that perhaps someone will get my message and believe that I am a sappy creep (which is exactly what I am).  Or maybe no one will get my message.  It’s the anonymity that makes me happy, knowing that there’s a chance that I helped someone because many people do, in fact, believe in signs (even the skeptical, sometimes).  But in order to increase that chance, I need to spread out my hits and make each note of encouragement different and meaningful.

On the way home from Divya’s, I sang to myself in French, conversed with other drivers in French, and pretended that I was all-around French.  It felt good.


I would risk salmonella for a juicy, ripe tomato right now.  Tomatoes remind me of Brent and what he lied to me about.  Actually, he didn’t lie.  He joked.

And guys, let’s talk about being green.  I’m not talking about the colour.  I’m talking eco-friendly.

First, I need to introduce you to The Body Shop.  I experienced this lovely store for the first time yesterday while I was at Short Pump Town Center with Divya.  It was BEAUTIFUL not only because of the causes they support (animal rights, human rights, protecting the planet), but because they also filled my crazy francophile need for French.  Their products have French names under the English name and there’s even a beautiful, BEAUTIFUL canvas bag with their missions in French on one side and in English on the other.  While I am normally against buying bags because I can make my own in a jiffy for a fraction of the price (or sometimes free), I would have bought that bag if I’d had money because I believe a certain amount was to be donated to a good cause.  I cannot find it on the interwebs, though.

Oh, and look at this.

Moving elsewhere through the mall, which is the most fucking ridiculously pretentious mall I’ve ever been to (and it’s five minutes away from my old home and I would like to call it a ridiculous waste of land because ten years ago, there was a forest there), we came across Delia’s.  Half of the t-shirts in Delia’s are green-inspired and honestly, I don’t know how I feel about that.

For example, I think this shirt is kind of cute.

You know, at first glance.  But then when you think about it, this dinosaur shirt is an exclusive club.  You have to be vegetarian to wear it or else you’re a hypocrite.  And I’ve been against those sorts of shirts since my elementary school days, when Limited Too had sports shirts and shorts and I fit into none of the categories they provided because I was a bookworm, not an athlete goddamnit.  Also, you’re taking credit for being vegetarian.  You are advertising, “I am a better person than you are because I do not eat animals.  Street cred.”  But you don’t see “vegan” shirts at Delia’s, probably because veganism is a bit too radical.

Then you get into their other green shirts.  You’ve got Snoopy, arguably my favourite comic character, lounging on top of his dog house, and underneath, it says, “Save our planet.”  Horton sticks in his head to remind us that “every voice counts.”  A shirt proclaims, “Make art not war.”  There’s this Omni Peace 2025 tee shirt with Africa posing as a hand, and there are fingers forming a peace sign above it.

I have grown to dislike the exploitation of cartoon characters.  Well, good cartoon characters like Snoopy, where the creators are dead and can’t prevent the exploitation.  Snoopy probably doesn’t give much of a shit about saving the planet, and Horton doesn’t care whether or not we vote.

As for “make art not war,” AGREED AGREED AGREED, but fuck, if you’re so artistic and creative, make your own fucking shirt.  Don’t buy it from a store that may use sweatshops (“Made in USA” does not necessarily mean what you think it does–look at all the islands our country “owns” out yonder in the Pacific).

Omni Peace 2025 is a cool shirt, too, but again, child labour and…how many people who shop at Delia’s are educated enough to know about the child labour thing and the situation in Africa?  I’d be willing to bet NOT MANY because they can buy their clothes elsewhere.

My sister, for example, who owns this shirt, is all about “peace and love and no dramaramamama” around her friends, but at home she is a belligerent person and she knows nothing at all about Africa.  She would probably have a fairly difficult time locating it on a globe.  She doesn’t give a shit about Omni Peace 2025.  She bought the shirt probably because one of her friends said they thought it was “cute.” In fact, she probably doesn’t even know that it’s promoting Omni Peace 2025.  She probably doesn’t even realize it’s Africa.

I’m not saying I’m more intelligent than she is, but when I say I support a cause, I do.  And I research it thoroughly until I’m fairly well-informed, and then I attempt to inform other people.  It’s just hard to inform people about animal rights or child labour or anything without it being against their will, because they are so unwilling to admit that they are at fault, even if I’m just trying to help them change their ways.  And when it is voluntary, when they do ask, I can’t make a lasting impression on them.

And Rachael, mysisterRachael, bought a peace-sign necklace from American Eagle recently, thinking she was so awesome and hip, but what she didn’t know is that the necklace part is made of leather and she probably paid close to ten dollars for it, which is so not awesome and not hip.

As much as I love Urban Outfitters, too, “Made in India” is not for me, and I’m surprised how many supposedly hip people go in there to buy aesthetically pleasing clothes and don’t realize that.

I mean, I’m fucking guilty, guilty as the next person, maybe more so depending on who you are, but at least I’m willing to change.  And here’s the thing:  This “green” movement has got to inform people better.  I like where it’s started, but it needs to expand.  It shouldn’t just encourage them to buy hypocritically green shirts.  It’s got to make them think about the welfare of others.  I’m not just talking about future generations, because even that is a fairly selfish motivation.  I mean that we have to reach out to the people around us who are still alive today.  People and animals.  You would like to think we’re all so different, but we have more in common than you’d know, and we could have more in common if you’d just stop and think and listen and go a bit out of your way right now to find out some new tidbits of information.

Since I got here on Saturday, I’ve been having regrets about consenting to go to college in Richmond, where drivers are assholes and everyone hates you automatically until you do something nice for them.  I love Lewisburg because it’s quaint and people are kind and you make friends fairly rapidly (I say that because moving to Richmond in second grade made me a depressed lump of lard because I had no friends, as opposed to moving to Lewisburg, which made me a happy lump of lard because I have friends).  But now, I’m thinking that Richmond might need someone with the insight of a small-town person, so maybe I shouldn’t be as scared as I am.  No, I didn’t fit in with the fashionable beautiful people at Rilo Kiley.  But I guess I hope I never do, because then I’d lose my mission and I would be blissfully ignorant.  Can you backtrack from enlightenment?  I don’t think you can.

But guys, if you come across places you like that don’t use sweatshops, hit me up in the comments and I will check them out and write about them.  Expect a post on the Wombats soon.


You’re probably wondering why it’s Tuesday and I haven’t written anything about Rilo Kiley yet.  After all, they are my favourite band.  You should expect something by now.

Well, I’m just so sad it’s over.

The opening acts took forever.  Benji Hughes was first up.  Although I was aware that he was an opening act, I opted not to check him out before the show because I was too interested in Thao.  However, I’m kind of glad I didn’t waste my time.  While I fell in love with the greasy-ass guitar player (not Benji, some other guy), I did not enjoy the music generally.  Additionally, jokes were made in our social group about the way Benji looked.  We referred to this one kid at our school as Miss Piggy, and Benji looked quite a lot like this kid.  Hair and all.  As much as I appreciated Benji’s style, completely carefree and hippie-like (I wore my dreamcatcher necklace and this hippie-like headband that I made), only one or two songs clicked with me.  But I don’t remember them.  The crowd did not enjoy the act very much.  I think I will give Benji Hughes a second chance soon, but I can’t right now on account of the fact that I don’t have my music library avec moi.

Thao was next, and ahh!  She was amazing.  My pals didn’t really enjoy her.  They thought that her dancing was weird, but I found it endearing.  She danced like a lion, by the way.  There’s really no other way to describe it.  I craved “Bag of Hammers,” and I was surprised when she didn’t deliver right away.  When she did decide to deliver, though, she started off beat-boxing, so I didn’t really recognize it, but I was impressed.  Oh, and people did not dance as much as I wanted to when she started going, “SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE THE FRAME OF THIS HOUSE DISTRESS THE WOOD MAKE IT SHOUT!!”  I was ready to flail the way I did to Miley Cyrus’ “See You Again” at Prom.

Then again…there wasn’t really room to pull that shit.  It’s a good thing none of us were claustrophobic.  There was this couple standing in front of me, actually.  I think it’s worthwhile to note that no one was really very much taller than me.  Even the guys were mostly reasonably short.  except Jay, Jeremiah, and Derek.  They don’t count, though.  Back to the couple, though.  When I go to shows, I don’t want to be groped.  I want to DANCE.  I want to make a fool out of myself.  I do not want someone constantly kissing me and holding me.  So the couple in front of me, of course, had this pussywhipped guy holding onto his girlfriend and I felt terrible for her.  She must have been suffocating.  Not only did he piss me off immensely, but she did piss me off a little too because her HAIR was this frizzfest and it kept getting in my fucking mouth.  And one time, she reached back to put it over her shoulder and she whipped me in the face with it.  I mean, her hair was beautiful, don’t get me wrong.  It was just getting in my way.

By the way, it was hotter inside than it was outside, and during the day it was 100 degrees outside.  We were sweaty and gross and thirsty, but if we stepped out of the crowd to buy a drink, we would never return to the good spot we had.  By the way, we were to the right of the stage about fifteen feet back.  It was awesome.  We would have gotten better spots if I hadn’t gotten lost on the way to the parking lot and walking to Toad’s Place (which was only about two blocks away tops but I thought I was walking South when I was, in fact, walking North).

Well, Thao was beautiful.

Okay.  So at the end of her act, Thao tells us that Rilo Kiley has planned a super duper surprise, and she hopes we brought adult diapers for this one.  We’re all speculating that…it’s Conor Oberst!  Jenny Lewis will throw candy at us!  Everyone will come out naked!  Jake Gyllenhaal is here!  Blah blah!  Well, we look up and we NOTICED that Jenny Lewis is on a ledge above us watching the opening act.  I shat my pants at that point because THERE SHE IS.  My idol.  Just looking down.  And I couldn’t make myself smile because I was mortified.  Nervous, I guess.  She’s so beautiful and intimidating.  She is the one person I aspire to be like, but I can’t be like her because I’m not sexy.  And she is.

After Thao, Blake Sennett came out and told us that he had a super surprise.  By this point, we’d guessed that it had to be a person.  Well, he brings out these two strangers that a bunch of people cheer for who are from Tennessee (Erika’s comment was, “GOOD!  YOU SHOULD HAVE STAYED THERE!”).  I still don’t know what their names were.  But ah, they played alright, if a bit too hillbilly for me.  The crowd lapped it up.  I was ready for Rilo Kiley.  In fact, I thought I would die before I got the opportunity to see Rilo Kiley.  I was so fucking thirsty.  I felt that a heat stroke would be appropriate, and then maybe Rilo Kiley would visit me on my deathbed and tell me how much they appreciated me rockin’ out to their not-so-fabulous opening acts.

Rilo Kiley FINALLY came out after what seemed like eons, and I felt that I could not stand for much longer.  I screamed like a schoolgirl (which is what I am) when they came out and I almost died when I saw Jenny Lewis up closer.  She was wearing a headband much like mine, the way I wear mine, and she wore her bangs on the same side as I always do.  Not a huge deal, but you know I’m going to wear my headband for the rest of the summer.  And you know that I’m going to grow my hair out longer like hers.

She opened with “Close Call,” followed by several other Under the Blacklight songs.  Rilo Kiley’s delivery was not disappointing, but the song choices sort of were.  No “A Man/Me/Then Jim.”  We got a rockin’ version of “Ripchord,” which was excellent.  Everyone sang “’cause nobody loves you” together.  Blake held side conversations with the audience, and Jenny smiled at people.  “I Never” was incredible, as were “Silver Lining,” “It’s A Hit,” and “A Better Son/Daughter” (which I was surprised the audience wanted to hear).  The concert secured my belief in Rilo Kiley and my admiration for the members.  I can’t help but think I’m sad it’s over, though.  It wasn’t like the Arcade Fire, where I had real stories to take back.  Jenny Lewis did make some incredible faces while singing, though, and–oh yeah, she wore these black Maryjanes like I have.  I guess I just don’t want to talk about it all, except for the fact that I love Rilo Kiley so much.

Also, how the FUCK could people forget the lyrics to “The Frug” when they were DYING to hear it?  I know I would crack under pressure, too, but DAMN.  Get past the “And I can do the Frug.  I can do the Robocop.  I can do the Freddie.  I cannot do the Smurf.”  It’s sad, and everyone in the band was so disappointed.  I guess it’s Jenny’s fault for not wanting to sing.  But still, if you’re going to get up onstage, you should know the lyrics.  You’re a lucky fuck and you just ruined your shot at impressing my idols.

Yiih.  I’m going to Tropical Smoothie later today.  I just realized this weekend how much I hate Richmond and why, and how much I love Lewisburg and why.  For one thing, people in Richmond are asshole drivers.  I got stuck at a toll booth, and the guys behind me were laughing and hollering like obnoxious dicks.  And then I had to switch lanes on Cary Street because a car was geting towed, and about ten cars went by before someone was kind enough to let me in.  One car even passed me, and the passenger laughed loudly at me out the window.  I was all, “What the fuck’s your problem?”  And there is no air conditioning in my car, so I was all sweaty and intimidating.  I actually didn’t say that “What the fuck’s your problem?” shit.

It’s just so hard to connect with people in Richmond, too.  They’re selfish, they don’t want to help you out, and they already have friends so they don’t need to worry about being nice to you, even though for me it’s just a common rule to be nice to everyone unless they’re an asshole to you first.  Every sarcastic thing I said to my kind-of friends at dinner before Rilo Kiley was either disregarded or taken completely seriously.  Jokes flew over people’s heads, whereas I know that Carol and Ali would have laughed and not ignored me if they’d been there.  I only found one of my not-quite friends very nice and not at all annoying.

Also, everyone at the concert was so superficial, dressed up in their best scenexcore clothes to go see Rilo Kiley and I was like, “Whoa there, pardner.  It’s just a concert.  Jenny Lewis probably won’t look at you and your perfectly straight hair and awesome eyeliner job.”  That’s why I chose to take the plain “dirty hippie” approach to everything.  Wear what I want, dance how I feel.  And I felt comfortable.  I mean, except when Jenny Lewis looked my way, in which case I had to stop lipsynching and start trembling and try to form a big dopey smile.  I guess that’s just what happens.

The “indie” kids there, by the by, reminded me of the scene girl Ali and I encountered downtown in front of the community center, and I still haven’t gotten over how fake and snippety she was even though it was no big deal at all.  I mean, Ali said, “Ooh!  I love your hair colour!” and instead of thanking her, the ungrateful bitch responded, “Uhh, well, it’s the same colour as yours…”  Fuck that shit.  I didn’t say that to Allison when she complimented my hair colour and our hair is pretty much the same.  I thanked her wholeheartedly and I really did appreciate it.  See, that attitude comes when you get too many insincere compliments from snobs.  You get ungrateful and you forget how to differentiate between insincere scene kids and real people.  Oh, and even though I’m short and Ali is thin, I think that scene bitch thought that Ali and I were Amazon women come from South America to kidnap her and eat her for dinner.  Because she was less than 5 feet tall and she was a full grown poodle.

9 June, 2008, 131 pm
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How can this happen?  How can this be allowed to happen?  How can one group have so much unfair power and have the absolute balls to use it against so many people?  They are willing to risk putting two million people at risk for starvation.  2,000,000.  Tsvangirai has to keep trucking for the people even after sixty people have died for his cause.  And he has to contiune to carry that guilt and push to keep himself alive and make sure that those sixty supporters did not die in vain.  But Mugabe can spare a few million innocent lives without guilt just so that he can retain his power.  That is so manipulative and just frightening.  We are so unsheltered.  We are allowed to have opinions and act on them and share them.  They are not presented both sides of the argument because the government is so in control.  If they do disagree, though, they are not allowed to show their disagreement.

It is happening and I wish there was something or anything I could do about it at all.

8 June, 2008, 954 am
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I spent yesterday covered in sweat with wind blowing through my hair constantly while cramped in a car with Derek, Satan, and my father, and right now, it is the perfect temperature in Richmond.  Not too hot with a fan on, but still extremely warm.  I am not sweating, but I wouldn’t particularly mind if I was right now.  My dad’s air conditioner is broken, but I really don’t mind.  I’d rather open the windows and hear the birds and lawnmowers and summer sounds than be isolated in coldness.

I am going to see Rilo Kiley this afternoon, and when I bought the tickets I assumed that this day would be delayed infinitely.  But here it is.  And I bet Blake Sennett, Pierre de Reeder, Jason Boesel, and Jenny Lewis will feel the extreme heat today, too.  Just like me.

Oh, by the way, I graduated on Friday.  French Honor Society braids and all.  Then again, a lot of kids had French Honor Society braids and not all of them earned them at all.  Of course, I didn’t have the required “four years” thing down, but I chose not to correct anyone when they inducted me.  I was in French IV this year.  It’s all good.

Graduation, though, was quite a spectacle.  I’ve been to Deep Run’s graduation ceremony for the past three years because of band.  The band plays.  We get free passes in, and we sit right next to the makeshift stage where I should have received my diploma.  The part I looked forward to most, then, was the part where students make speeches.  Of course, the principal’s speech is required to be cliché.  It’s about growing up and moving beyond the shade he’s provided or something like that.  This time, Mr. Himes’ speech was about an eagle raised as a chicken.  The eagle didn’t realize his abilities until he was really presented to the world beyond the chickens.

Then we got to the good parts beyond the chickens.  Our class president’s speech was fairly nostalgic, but only for people who specifically grew up in Lewisburg.  Some memories I could sort of relate to.  Field day at Nuckols Farm Elementary was rad.  And I liked playing freezetag and TV tag with Kelly and Neil when I went to Spring Garden Elementary.  Moody Middle had few good memories because the IB program was so time-consuming, but I did think of sitting at lunch with Justin Bates and Katie Carroll as Justin raved about roller coasters and Britney Spears.  And of course I thought of Divya and bus rides and our obsession with Sailor Moon and lunch last year.  But it wasn’t enough to make me cry.  I would describe this one as the “good times” speech, and at high school graduations, there will always be a “good times” speech.

Next up was this chick from SUN ACAT (commonly referred to as SUN Tech).  She just told us the goals of SUN Tech and how it helped her become a hard worker.

Our salutatorian delivered his speech next.  When he said, ““Think about some of the best times that you’ve had, times that you’ve been the happiest. Try to imagine having that much fun, having that incredible experience without anyone to share it with,” I thought of balloon stomp by myself and almost started laughing.  I would call his speech more of a “great memories” inspirational speech, but something he said did ring true with me.  He spoke of a visit to his friend/graduate of Lewisburg.  This friend was located in Richmond, I guess because of college or something.  Well, he was talking with his friend and two of his friend’s friends about how great Lewisburg is and how much he will miss the high school and town when he moves on to college.  And the friend’s friends were confused.  They hated their high school.  There were so many cliques and people hated one another and they certainly wouldn’t miss that.  As much as our class president’s speech missed a connection with me, the salutatorian’s speech made up for it.

I just agreed.  And I also wondered if the friend’s friends were from Deep Run, because that would be so goddamn true.  The students there don’t even realize what they have.  They take everything for granted.  That immense cafeteria.  Decent sports teams.  A huge school.  A ginormous football field.  Amazing teachers and staff.  Great custodians.  An INCREDIBLE band–marching and concert, they can do both.  Opportunities.  If you go to Deep Run, you live in the fucking West End.  The Far West End.  Short Pump.  You live in a huge two-story house that I would now consider a mansion.  You have built-in air conditioning and probably a nice working fan in your house, but your mom just likes to open the windows.  You have seven cats who are always comfortable who don’t fight all that often because they have enough room to spread out and a nice farm field to run in behind your back yard.  You have your own room and a queen-sized bed and privacy from the neighbours and even from your family.  Nobody ever has a reason to enter your room.  You can have sleepovers and be loud as shit and everyone else in your house will still be able to sleep.  You can work out in your room if you want because there’s space.  You get to lock the door when you shower and you don’t have to share the sink when you’re brushing your teeth because there are five sinks in the house–one for each person if you want.  Your mom hugs you sometimes because you’re the “forgotten child,” white as a vampire and always holed up in your convenient room.  You get along with both of your sisters because you rarely have to see one another, except at dinnertime.  Your yard is big enough to play kickball in and you could play volleyball comfortably in the side yards, too.  There’s a deck in the back yard, too, and a playground that you never use, and maybe a huge pool that only takes up a fraction of the yard or a hot tub, or else maybe your parents just always got you an inflatable kiddie pool for hot days, which is okay, too.  You could eat popsicles in the pool.  Your house is probably only ten or twelve years old and you’ve lived there since it was built.  You have a driveway and a two-car garage and maybe even three cars and two and a half bathrooms.  Four fucking bedrooms.  Separate kitchen and dining rooms.  A living room anda separate family room.  There’s an elementary school right across the street and you can go up there every day of the week and run a mile or two on the track (8 laps = a mile).  Your best friend in the world lives right down the street in a house that smells incredible and cultured.  You could walk to the mall in ten minutes and it would be a beautiful walk, but instead, you drive in your little black car and you feel special.  And you’re stupid because you take all that for granted.  And I was.  I took all that for granted.  The house, the space, the yard, the school, the car, the cats.  All of it, even until after the stressful move-out day, which is the last time I was absolutely covered in sweat and nauseous like yesterday.  But I wouldn’t go back because I’ve experienced Lewisburg.

The speech I looked forward to most, though, was the valedictorian’s.  If two-thirds of the speeches were nostalgic, then this one had to be inspirational.  And really, the valedictorian could control my emotions with his speech.  His was supposed to be the best.  This speech more exceeded its expectations.

He started by making the audience laugh.  Silly cardboard squares on our heads, big green gowns.  Ha-ha.  I agreed.  I felt ridiculous, too.  But he didn’t delay what he wanted to say.  His voice rose.  He scolded us for our SUVs.  For all those animals we kill for such a low monetary price, just so we can be trendy.  He jumped into the bulk of wrongs in the world.  Rape, homophobia, genocide, and countless others.  He attacked us for our obvious materialism and for the fact that we take so much for granted.  We don’t think of the consequences.  We sit on our asses and don’t make a difference.  We are a largely apathetic Class of 2008 and we only care about ourselves.  But instead of just reprimanding us for all of that, how wrong we are, he encouraged us to change and make the world a better place by reading excessively and doing something about it.  I wish you could read the speech.  I can only get you excerpts.  But even reading it wouldn’t be enough.  You’d have to see it or  even experience it.  The way his voice rose, the conviction in his tone, the look on his face, eye contact.  That’s something you can’t experience now, and I’m honoured to have been there.  At the time, I just stared at him and nodded, smiling sometimes because it’s just so true.  It motivated me.  I have to change.  I will change.  I am changing.  And I will read more and I will do something.  Not starting tomorrow, either.  Starting now.

Most of the class, though, was talking.  It’s so characteristic of him, right?  Yeah, he had to mention SUVs.  Had to get back at Mrs. Pickering.  They didn’t GET it, though.  It was perhaps the best live speech you’ll ever be forced to hear, hell, that you’ll ever hear, period.  It pointed out your flaws and directed you to the right door of opportunity.  Completely clear of any clichés, unlike this piece of writing ici.  Yet the Class of 2008 didn’t care.  We were still apathetic.  We took it as a circus show instead of a wake-up call, and there’s really nothing more anyone can do to save us as a mass.  We can pray that some individuals caught the meaning and are now motivated.  But the figurative ball is in our court now.  We have to do something about that.

Notably, unlike the other two or three speeches, Joe’s wasn’t personal interest-related.  It regarded broader interests, like an interest in the well-being of fellow humans and animals and the environment.  Take your pick.

So I need to get ready for some Rilo Kiley madness, but I will be back sometime later this week.

1 June, 2008, 1000 pm
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I’m a bit of a bitch as far as romance goes.  I’m so reluctant.  Maybe it’s just in the rare event that it’s so easy to lure someone in.  I mean, if I was a guy, I probably wouldn’t fuck me.  I get insecure at that thought, and I think that people flirt with me just because they can, because I am secretly in love.  But I need someone who will just stealthily come up behind me and hug me without warning.  That’s my idea of romance, I think.  Meaningless hugs and picnics and kisses on the neck.  And spontaneity.

I’m graduating on Friday, but I’m not ready for college.  I’m just worried that my music won’t be enough to help me survive.  And I know that’s silly, and of course it will be.

But also, despite the fact that I’m moving back to the Triad and Divya and everyone, I’m actually intensely sad that I’ll be so far from my new friends.  I mean, we’re just kicking things off and we have all summer, but…ah, how to sound unlame?  They’ve helped me get rid of a good deal of my anxiety.  And I feel good about myself the way I am.  And I can sing around other people and not care.  They seem to understand the awkwardness, and instead of thinking it’s silly behind my back, they understand, and we can all laugh about it together.

On the other hand, I feel that my friends are helping me prepare for college.  I am like a baby bird, and they are feeding me and giving me confidence and teaching me right now so that by the end of the summer, I will be my own person, and I’ll be able to fend for myself.

Speaking of baby animals, a lot has happened over the past two weeks.  One of the things that happened is that Charles found a baby rabbit by the road and brought him to me.  He was very hot and very little–eyes still closed–but I was determined to nurse him back to health.  He was so helpless, and it was so urgent.

Things went fine for the first two days, and Alexa named him Leverett.  But on the third day, Leverett apparently aspirated, so he began choking.  Despite the fact that I gave him the heimlich maneuver several times, he only got worse.  His organs gradually shut down until he couldn’t breathe, and then Ali arrived at my house, and I was a mess, and she sensed the urgency, and then he died.  I bawled.  We mourned and went to Rita’s, and then the next day, we had a funeral for him and buried him on my side yard with the help of Paige and Carol.  Although I was hurting, the funeral was a strangely happy one.  Sometimes, I can’t find the right emotion, or I try to make things seem lighter than they are.

Leverett didn’t deserve to die.  I held him in my hand for his last hour, and it was just the most frightening experience of my life.  Louie all over again.  He would sleep and wake up and hyperventilate, and then it seemed that he had seizures, which led to paralysis, which required rapid chest-rubbing.  And then the cycle would return.  It happened for hours on end, apparently.  It was just the most dreadful thing–indescribable–to know that he would die and that there was nothing I could do about it.  At one point, I called my mom and screamed for her to drive us to the vet, and she said that no, there was nothing they could do.  But they could have done something more than I could have, right?  It will haunt me forever that I didn’t do everything in my power to save him.  And I just keep thinking–should I have returned him to where Charles found him?  But Charles later found his sibling in the road–killed by a car.  Leverett was a helpless newborn.  I’m just stuck.

As far as other changes go, I feel tension building between myself and Derek, and it makes me upset.  It’s not that I don’t want to spend the summer near him in Richmond.  It’s that I don’t want to live with my dad.  And I love my friends here.  And really, Sara summed it up best–I may be in love with Lewisburg.  I want to get a job here this summer and make money and just sort of slowly say bye.  It’s not that I won’t be back, but I will be away for a while.

Besides, I first experienced Lewisburg over the summer, and that’s why I loved it.  Now that I live here, there are more things to do and I have friends.  And I can make plans and I can meet new people who are looking for this connection.  Before, I didn’t understand why anyone would move to Lewisburg as an older person.  But as a teenager, I kind of get it.  It’s a college town, and it’s just lovely.