Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I'll probably read this tomorrow and wonder why I would ever post it for public scrutiny.

This is me sharing some of the stuff I spend hours writing at night. Hope it's worth the dark circles and unattractive bags I wear to work the next day.


Their thoughts connect at night when there’s nothing left to distract them from the vacant feeling they’ve become in one another. Habitually, he watches his life play out in photos he’s not in; completely unable to realize that she’s simply compensating for a dull haze that’s prevented her from truly living in those moments. She stands smiling for the camera and it’s forever documented, but it’s a posed reality that doesn’t transcend beyond the seconds it took to snap the picture.

This is while she nurtures a masochistic tendency that involves weaving elaborate stories for his social escapades. Ultimately, it only serves to encourage her suspicions of his emotional flippancy. And it’s an indifferent nature that doesn’t really exist outside of her analytical mind--she could never know the painstaking and deliberate attempts he makes at shoving her from memory. Or how it’s a difficult and unresolved task.

Often, they both close their eyes at the same time not realizing the synchronicity of their behavior. And they could go on like this forever. Living separate lives in separate spaces, only coming together at night to unconsciously indulge in an ignorance fueled by fear and insecurity.

Around 3 AM, she’ll close her eyes and try to sleep but instead she imagines an uncomplicated place where words are said out loud. She allows herself the fleeting image of what they look like without their baggage stacked between them. It’s someplace special that doesn’t flutter away at the tremble of her eyelid.

His thoughts will draw a line to hers and without them possibly knowing, they’re both existing together without complexity. Their thoughts parallel to one another, they are momentarily complete in their separate reveries.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Hey Hemingway: If you're not using your cabin, I could use a place to stay. For like, ever.

I’ve let another week go by without blogging. And I’m sorry.

You should be proud to know though that I have been writing more. It’s usually late at night after I’ve exhausted myself on Pinterest or checked that anonymous twitter account I created to tweet about my job (in hopes of gaining a book deal) that I switch from my obsession with social media to my obsession with word arrangement. From my dim-lit room, illuminated in fleeting doses of blue lights that bounce from a television screen quietly projecting images of Alton Brown, I write little stories that I share with no one but myself.

Lately (well, really, for the last year) I can’t escape the tendency to write without naming my characters. At first I thought this trait developed out of pure laziness, but then it started to become something more. Characters so generic, they could be anyone. Their non-assignment of names being a character description in itself. But then I think, how can something so generic be interesting? It’s a tough line to walk because as human beings, we generally harbor an innate self-indulgence. Anything that places us in the character’s shoes or that makes us feel closely connected to the storyline is something that will typically keep us reading. But on the other hand, you don’t want to create a world so close in resemblance to the reader’s that they leave feeling unchanged or uninspired. No one wants to look through a photo album of themselves sitting on the couch watching re-runs of Seinfeld--they want someone to show them what they look like doing something great or at least mildly interesting.

I feel like I need to shut myself away and concentrate only on this idea. There’s a reason I keep coming back to it every time I sit down to write and I just need to let it happen. And create whatever it turns out to be.

Self-indulgent, whining bullshit or abstract enlightened masterpiece--it has to be one of those two, right?

Writing Music

Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Saturday Morning Song Keeps Cigarettes In A Rolled-Up Shirt Sleeve.

Late 50s style has been on my mind a lot lately. While I’ve personally always had a thing for cardigans and cuffing your jeans, it feels like music and fashion and home d├ęcor are winking at that era more than ever.

And I love it.

The "50s guy" look on a girl. So cute!

More specifically, I’m sort of obsessed with 50s gangs. Think “Crybaby,” with the most-attractive-he’s-ever-been, Johnny Depp. White tee shirts, dark denim, black jackets. And I really want to buy a black leather motorcycle jacket so I can pair it with the most feminine, pink floral dress I can find. It’ll be like my boyfriend who drives a motorcycle and beats the crap out of guys who’ve done me wrong, gave it to me. But then there’s also a part of me who wants to channel the guy’s look and just dash it with femininity, because it is 2012 and all.

Despite the battling 50s fashion aesthetics, I’ve nonetheless been practicing some serious restraint. This is mainly because the impulse to tie a small red scarf around my neck and be the girl who signals the beginning of a car race between rival gangs, has been stronger than normal. And the song I usually hear when I envision this race? It sounds a lot like “Ready Teddy” performed by Little Richard. The jaunty rhythm combined with a performance that feels like it’s tracing the cusp of unruliness, is sort of perfect for the showdown between rebellious teens of the 50s.

I hope you guys can handle this wild, sin-inducing tune. I’ll see you later in the nearest back alley way for tonight’s street fight.


PS, my friend and the most awesome photographer in the ATL, Christina, is visiting this Fall. We plan on channeling our obsession with 50s teen rebels into a photo shoot (so stay tuned for that!) but until then, follow the inspiration on our Pinterest board. Oh, and thanks to Best Coast’s “Our Deal” music video for being so influential! Did you know Drew Barrymore directed it? I swear, we are soul sisters.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

True Life: I am overly aware of how awkward my arms are when I attend concerts.

I mean, really. What do you do with your arms? I refuse to wail them around weirdly like I’m auditioning to be the background lyrical dancer for the band, but when I cross them, I look like I’m completely unenthused by the performance. So what I end up with is either the “I’ll just casually hold onto my purse strap for dear life” or “Let me clasp my hands together near my heart almost like I’m praying but not.” I kept wishing I had a drink so that my hands wouldn’t be so stupid and then I wondered if that’s the real reason so many people like to drink at shows.

Those were just some of my thoughts during the Best Coast/Those Darlins show last night.

Best Coast
Regrettably, when Kacie and I first got there, I couldn’t stop incorrectly referring to Those Darlins as Lil Darlins the same way a mom will somehow always be slightly off when they try to reference something their kids are into. They were a great band who deserved to have their name said correctly and I'm glad I was able to see them live. They're very retro/country/punk--pretty eclectic, but they have some really catchy tunes. One of my favorites was "Fun Stix Party." If you can get past the vulgarity, the beat and tempo is really what I loved about it. Plus, it is kind of funny. (Also, that link is the only one I could find for the song. Sorry there's a weird guy trying to mosh alone in parts of the video.)

 Those Darlins were sort of the perfect opener for Best Coast, who were as wonderful as I hoped they would be. Best Coast’s sound is like 50s prom meets stoner teenager meets punk rock girls-- I know there’s a lot going on with that description, but it is truly an accurate encapsulation of their style. I think my favorite moment was when they performed “Our Deal” and the disco ball came on and the whole room was sprinkled with little specks of light. It seriously felt like a homecoming dance and I’m pretty sure the audience experienced the wash of nostalgia like I did.

Bethany of Best Coast. Loved the floral headband.
Overall, it was awesome. One exception might be during Those Darlins when the jerk crowd totally obstructed Kacie’s path back down to our comfort zone (which was near the trash can and close to a ledge that offered convenient seating when our flats gave out on us.) Eventually, she became defeated (which I totally understood as a fellow non-aggressive crowd member) and I acted like I was with the people next to me in hopes of not looking like a weirdo who attends a show alone. I guess I could have always taken out a notebook and lived out that dream of being sassy journalist, Suchin Pak.

Bobb of Best Coast.
Sometime near the end of the opening set, Kacie was able to cleverly follow a group who plowed their way through the sea of rude PBR drinkers and ironic tee-shirt wearers. And luckily, I didn’t have to embark on the doomed-from-the-start search mission for her that would have probably led to my own entrapment somewhere else in the bar. The rest of the night would have been spent politely tapping on shoulders, thinking softly murmuring words like “please” or “excuse me” would be enough to release me from crowd imprisonment.

Ultimately though, we were at a good venue with great music, and as Kacie pointed out, lots of quirky eyeglasses. So basically, it was a good time.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Saturday Morning Song Puts on Velvet and Goes Underground

Freshman dorm featuring The Velvet Underground & The Strokes

I started listening to The Velvet Underground around my junior year in high school. At that point in my life, it was pretty much decided that my twenty-something self would be Suchin Pak--a hip, notable, young music journalist living in the city, wearing concert tees under cardigans, and calling up bands like, “Hey, when’s the next show and stuff?” Basically my 17-year-old self placed in an idealistic future.

So during one of my “gotta read Rolling Stone cover-to-cover, homework can shut its face off because it’s stupid” sessions, I came across an article about The Velvet Underground written by Julian Casablancas of The Strokes. And because The Strokes were the band I had scribbled across my spiral notebooks in attempts to stifle suicidal levels of boredom during math, I hung on every word Casablancas wrote.

Interestingly enough, when I listened to the casual, conversational vocals of Lou Reed and the melodic, yet careless tunes drifting behind him, it was like I was listening to The Strokes. “Loaded” was my first Underground album and it was really the moment I began to love not only music itself, but the complicated, entwining history of it. I started picking up on how this artist had influenced that artist or the way being in a certain area of the country didn’t just impact the lyrics, but the sound and the vibe. It’s so obvious to me now (8 years and two music history courses later) but as a teen, it kind of, like, totally blew my mind.

Has there really ever been another band that seems so effortlessly cool? A lot have come close, but at the end of the day they’re mostly just channeling these guys (and then girl. Can’t forget Nico, who I can’t totally love or totally hate.)

I don’t know about you, but today I’m in the mood to wear a concert tee and some Ray-bans while reading Andy Warhol’s autobiography. It should be assumed that the look of indifference will be appropriately expressed on my face.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Hey, spell check, epiphanous is a word (and other professional concerns)

I was cleaning out my favorites list when I came across the link to my Jeff Rupert feature. I don't think I actually shared it with many people, which is truly a shame because I should have been really proud of it, but instead I remember being sorely insecure. That’s not surprising though, considering self-deprecation was the running theme of my life that last semester of college. Even tonight as I re-read it, the lone, remaining “said” in a sea of “says” bothers me more than I’d like to admit .

I did become a little sad as I thought about college, though, and particularly the comments from my feature writing professor. I remember at the end of the semester his parting advice to me was that as long as I was writing, no matter if it was fiction or journalism, I’d go far. It seriously makes me teary-eyed thinking about it, and not because of how happy and encouraging his words were, but because of how much I feel like I’ve disappointed everyone.

After I graduated, I felt this overwhelming anxiety about what I was suppose to do next. I had my degree--my ticket--but I just wasn’t sure which train to board and what type of professional itinerary I needed to follow. It was like everyone around me had these neat, little portfolios all bundled and ready to lead them to success while mine had been dropped during a wind storm and all I could see was pieces of paper swirling in mid air.

I wanted to write--this had been the unadulterated constant in the social experiment that is my life--but how I was suppose to support myself on whims of creativity and inconsistent blog entries was uncertain. I thought I could be a journalist, but I didn’t have enough passion for the field in order to overcome the fear that swelled inside me when I was forced to report stories I didn’t want to report or interview people I didn’t feel comfortable even making eye contact with. So, I accepted the only position I applied for post-college to at least pay off bills.

I hate to be the whiny, emotionally self-indulgent brat who has nothing to complain about but her own constraining insecurities, but here I am. The poor girl who complains about her steady job. When I write my complaints out and stare at them, I feel a sinking guilt because I am selfish and unappreciative. But it’s so difficult to quiet the yelling desire inside you for something more. It’s even more frustrating when you’re not even sure what “more” looks like, you just know it isn’t where you’re at. And the further away from college I get, the more I find myself drowning in a tide of monotony and cynicism and paranoia that my creativity is dulling.

So I keep a journal and I keep this blog and I keep hoping I’ll get it together eventually; that some epiphanous stroke of motivation will happen one night when I open a word document and my life will be forever changed.

It’s either that or I start updating my Twitter account in hopes that Judd Apatow and Diablo Cody notice my witty hilarity and it inspires them to mentor me while I write the next indie classic.

It could happen, guys. Winding dialogue and quirky soundtracks are kind of my thing.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

You're not celebrating America's birthday right if your friends and family aren't placed in immediate danger by your pyromania.

Red, White and Kaboom
No matter how old I get, I will always be mesmerized by fireworks. And I feel like pretty much everyone can relate to me on this. The bursting bright lights that sprawl across the sky demand attention. It's not just because of the booming pound of the explosion, but from the genuine beauty of it all. They look universally flattering on any setting and there’s something wonderful about how unifying that is. Over a lake, reflecting off the windows of tall buildings, or peeking between tree limbs like they were last night--regardless of where they are in the country, you know they’ll be beautiful and that the crowd will all be looking upward.
Lake Mirror before the fireworks

I hope everyone has a good and safe fourth. Enjoy lighting things on fire near your homes and loved ones, because today that type of thing is socially acceptable. And don’t forget to watch “The Sandlot” because if you don’t, you’re pretty much missing out on the best all-American movie I can think of.

Happy 4th.

Now Playing: America the Beautiful--Ray Charles

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

I think it's a requirement to wear socks and sandals at the beach if you're using a metal detector

I went to Sand Key yesterday and really loved it. It was my first time being there so when we were driving past Clearwater Beach, I started to get a little apprehensive. It’s always somewhat disheartening when the beach is barely visible from all the stores selling airbrushed tee shirts and the douche bag guys high-fiving each other. But it was amazing that just over a bridge, Sand Key was completely different. It was just a beach. No frills, no gimmicky tropical cafes and no one was playing a LMFAO album--just some water, sand, and in the distance a few hotels.

Besides getting terribly burnt on my back and having a seagull stalk me the entire time, I enjoyed myself. Which I usually do at the beach because it’s a very inspiring place for a writer to be. I kept arranging lines of poetry in my mind about the sensation of floating but also had notes on a humorous essay I’d like to write about girls who insist on wearing a full face of makeup and end up looking like Heath Ledger a la The Joker by the end of the day. (I mean, seriously ladies! I love beauty products too, but false eyelashes at the beach? I saw this yesterday and about lost it.)

I could also tell by the songs I was listening to, that it must be a very inspiring place for musicians as well. I couldn’t help but connect the beat of the melodies to the bobbing buoys in the water. And then I was inspired to share this with all of you.

I listened to this mix every time I found myself out of the water and in the sun (and trying unsuccessfully to get rid of excess sand on the towel. By the end of my struggle, I was basically lying on top of a sand castle.) Overall, this mix ranges from that Beach Boys, laid-back yet melodic vibe to super upbeat and fun songs Frankie Avalon would play at a beach party today. So, if you guys venture out toward the deep blue sea or stay home and spray your face with salt water, you should still have the right summer mix.

Enjoy. And go outside!


Oceanic Mix

1. Catholic Pagans--Surfer Blood

2. Waves--Electric Guest

3. The Next Time Around--Little Joy

4. Gratisfaction--The Strokes

5. Summer Mood--Best Coast

6. Till the End of the Day--The Kinks

7. Goin' to the Party--Alabama Shakes

8. California English--Vampire Weekend

9. God Only Knows--The Beach Boys

10. Another Late Night--Catfish Haven

11. Most Wanted-- Cults

12. California Waiting--Kings of Leon

13. Words of Love--Buddy Holly

Sunday, July 1, 2012

One of my biggest fears is creating a Facebook event and having everyone publicly decline the invitation.

I’m the type of girl who starts thinking of themes for her apartment warming party and the high-pressured risk of creating a Facebook event for it before she’s even found an apartment. So that should give you an idea on where my priorities are.

I went looking with Ricky (who is moving out on his own soon, too) yesterday knowing pretty much nothing about how to find an apartment for myself. Necessities, in my mind, are all aesthetically based. I know what I want everything to look like and if it doesn’t feel like me, then it’s out. I knew I wanted lots of natural light and bookcases or room for bookcases and nice views and plenty of dancing room in the kitchen when I want to recreate scenes from “The Big Chill.”

But I guess there are things like safety and budget and utilities and other words that when I hear them, all I can make out is a cacophony of Charlie Brown adults yelling. And I’m like, “Huh? You mean I can’t just wave this plastic wand I bought at Target and have a confetti of awesome shoot out and make everything exactly how I want it without having to really think too hard or pay moniez?”

It was interesting because even though I am clearly not a child anymore (clearly, after I make a reference to plastic wands and irresponsibly use the letter “z”), I felt like one going into these places. Awkward as always, I was the shy little girl who I can’t seem to outgrow, pretending to be an adult. I kept amusing myself by imagining the conversations sounding something like, “How do you do? What a wonderful establishment you have here! Do you fancy my monocle and top hat? What great joy it is to be an adult in search of an adequate dwelling space!” and then I chuckle heartily as I check my pocket watch.

Instead, I sat mostly in silence when they’d ask if there were any questions (which, yeah there are. Like, has anyone ever been murdered here? Is it okay if I accumulate an abnormal amount pets because I now have my own space that I can save stray animals in? Will my life be like the fun times I see on episodes of “Living Single” if I move here?) Then, I found it. As soon as the lady opened the door to the apartment, I smiled. It was how I always imagined living on my own would look like.

I feel like this point in my life will be something really special and defining. Before I get older and become someone I probably wouldn’t recognize today, I want to be independent--even though I’m sensitive, shy and insecure, I feel like this is the right decision. And I am fully aware that I will probably cry hysterically my first week there, worrying that I’ll be alone in my apartment eating cereal out of the box as my dinner for the rest of eternity, but I know I’ll get over it. Or just write about it and hopefully get some type of book deal that becomes a movie and then I can just buy stuff to fill the void. Company is nice, but so is La Mer eye cream.

Author’s Note: You might be wondering, well what is this magical place you found where birds fly in through the windows and help you decorate while various other woodland creatures somehow get past residents to come keep you company? Listen, I’m not telling anyone the place because 1) I’ve become creepily possessive of it and would rather not advertise it for someone else to go steal and 2) I pretty much plan on moving there, so all the weirdos who might stumble upon this entry, ACCESS DENIED to my address.

Since there was no Saturday Morning Song (sorry for the already present blogging inconsistencies!) here's one I thought was appropriate for this entry.