05 August 2009
This summer has been a perfect mix of two songs:
Mstrkrft (probably too applicable)
this song, which was last summer too but now I like it more.
Hellyeah. Summer 09.
And, can't believe I forgot this.
01 June 2009
(I think I should have graduated back in 2006, but who is keeping track anyway?)
Am I any different? It’s supposed to be a milestone, but for me, it’s more just a sheet of paper (the diploma, I mean). I’m not any different. I’ve had no epiphanies or life-changing moments.
I’m the same eighteen year-old girl with the same tendencies as I’ve been since December. And that milestone, turning into a legal adult, made me no different than I was before that.
I’m basically the same kid I’ve always been. I’ve lightened up, maybe. If anything, I may have gotten younger. I think I was born a solid thirty, but rather than getting closer to middle-aged each year, I’d like to think of myself as more of a mid-twenties kind of gal. I’m as self-sufficient as I can be at eighteen while I live with my parents, but I still shirk responsibilities I know that I can.
That’s change I can believe in.
I once tried to write a research paper on how people need to stop searching for the elusive happiness and smell the fucking proverbial roses. Contentedness is heavily underrated and we should appreciate what we’ve got.
(Needless to say, that’s a terribly tough thing to prove and cite sources for.) But it’s relevant, I swear!!
See, so far this summer, I’m the most comfortable I’ve ever been while killing time. That’s how I see summer, as the in-between time. Usually I hate that time. The interminable time spent waiting for something better. I’m at a spot now though where I’m completely okay with both where I am and where I’m going. I can’t wait until August and moving to New Orleans. But I reallllly genuinely like my friends. I like drinking and listening to Alanis Morissette. I like hitting up QuikTrip and the park. I like surviving suburbia. I take naps and smile.
I’m living the dream. And I’ve finally got the first of a few diplomas that say I can.
14 April 2009
(AKA I always need something in my life. A new revelation, actually.)
I rewatched Brideshead Revisited with my parents the other day. I was in awe of how completely this family took over this guy’s life.
I mean, really. To the point where, after five years, he picked up and went to Morocco because the mother asked.
I began thinking that was ridiculous and being glad that I would never be that malleable. My own life would be mine, and I’d do what I wanted to do in it.
Then, of course, I realized my folly. (Wouldn’t be writing a blog entry if I hadn’t, yeah?) Letting things completely and utterly take over your life? Isn’t that what always happens to me? In some weird way, I constantly need an obsession. Something to occupy my time and save me from seasons of mediocre tv and other, worse, vices.
What are some previous things that occupied my time?
Well, potentially embarrassing, but I’m enough of a cliche to have done high school theatre. But I’m cutting edge (hahah) enough to have started that phase back in middle school, so it was out of my system by halfway through sophomore year. Don’t doubt my dedication, I’ve slept on that stage, on the apron, in the wings, in the greenroom. Not because I was getting out of working, but because I’d been there all night, after school until 11 for tech week, and the like. When you’re fourteen and school starts at 7, that is sort of a big deal. No, I didn’t do theatre because I am Gus Langley’s sister. I hated when people assumed that. “Why are you here? Oh yeah. You’re Gus’ sister.” NO. We both did theatre because we’d been bred to do theatre. Our dad did it. Our mom did it. I’d have done it with or without my brother’s influence. But thankfully, because of my brother’s said influence, I could get out of that world a little bit more quickly.
I participated in Odyssey of the Mind for ten years and was a spectator even before that. It’s been in my life longer than my little brother has. I’ve donated hours, puns, tears, and arguments to regional, state, and world competitions for nearly as long as I can remember. And how does it end in my senior year? We completely fuck up. Don’t even write a script. I’m okay with that. It’s not a part of my life anymore at all. Went out with a bang, at least, and had some of the most fun I’ve ever had with it. Still. Something that was a big part of my life fizzled. A phase, albeit a long one.
Then there’s that whole school business in general. I cared a whole heck of a lot back in middle school, when nothing mattered. I was in nine clubs. I was Gifted Student of the Year. I tried. I did my work. I was involved. I’ve got nothing to show for that now, except the suspicion that this early dedication is what made me something of a burnout by the age of fifteen.
Let’s blame Barack Obama for a minute. It’s his fault, in a sense, that I can now drink black coffee. I did my college applications (A former, similar obsession, I assure you. For two and a half years, my “11:11 wish” was to get into Brown. I tried to start my application essays back in middle school. Ughh) in just two nights (with plenty of that aforementioned black coffee) since they were due in the midst of GOTV weekend.
Not quite picking up and leaving for Morocco, but pretty damn close for the old me.
I’ve always made fun of people who commit and have causes. That sounds bad, but, oh well. I did. I’m sick of trying out passions and going through phases. I want to be done with that and either have one or not. Ideally, I’d like to keep the one I’ve got -- I like organizing. If I can go two weeks with no more than three hours of consecutive sleep, I feel like I’m doing good things.
I think I’m probably writing this because I’m terrified that I will similarly “snap out” of the community organizing kick I’m on, like some people are so certain that I will.
I reallllly hope not. Once an organizer, always an organizer, yeah?
(This is the part where you reassure me, please)
07 April 2009
Things I like:
Jack and Diane
jet engine planes
the sound carrots make
color me happy
crunchy peanut butter
my mom is a nurse practitioner fml. LOL deborah is a bitch fml. i wish i had a room to myself. and u guys of course. i wanna fuck *****? lolz fml. i want anyone. fml don't give me his phone number sarah i will strangle you not really though because i love you much more than idk anything what is on my left leg????LOL idk..... take off your pants and jack it.... lolz all the leaves are brown and the sky is grayyyyy
Ooh baby I love your way.
Ooh chile things are gonna get easier.
Gonna pull a superchug with that?
Oh. That's your foot.
13 March 2009
My diabetic little brother took 24 units of his fast-acting humalog instead of the slow acting lantus. For those without a family full of diabetics, just know that this is bad. Really bad.
So we called 911. EMTs came in a fire truck. We busted out the half-2 liter of Coke that we had from Thanksgiving and realized we had nothing else in the house that's not diet or low-carb. My older brother was sent to the gas station up the road and bought more Coke with all the change from his car. When he was told by our parents that wasn't enough, he drove back up to the gas station where the man gave him a snickers bar, saying he'd given him more than enough change and to go! go! back to the house. They threw the dog at me, so he wouldn't jump on the medics etc. and told me to look up on the internet anything we could do.
This was the most terrifying night of my life. I had to sit with the puppy, looking at all the ways an overdose of insulin can kill you, how when there's not enough food in your system (And know that there's no way to have enough food to justify 24 units. Average after a meal is like 5.), the insulin will start basically to break down your organs and this is how people commit suicide. Arthur had to have like 230 carbs to justify that much insulin. Eight ounces of Coke is only 27.
So my ten year old brother had to drink Coke and eat cookies until he was sick, while his heart rate slowed down, he sweated, and had low blood sugar and talk to EMTs. My family was freaking out. My neighbor called, assuming my grandmother was the one hurt. "It's Arthur? NO." It was the longest hour and a half ever, waiting for his sugar to go back up and know that he wasn't going to go into hypoglycemic shock and then a coma.
You know what my older brother said, after the medics left and everything calmed down? "Think of all the times we did this right. In five years, we only messed up once, and it was still this bad."
We only messed up once.
We only messed up once, and it was still this bad.
I was shaking all night and couldn't get to sleep. My heart didn't return to normal speed until I woke up to get to school. Arthur is fine now. He's fine. But we're lucky. My little brother who draws Mario figures and told me he voted for Obama in his school election "so other kids with my diabetes can get healthcare" is going to be okay.
It's scary how it only takes so little for everything to mess up. I'm not entirely sure what I'm getting to here -- maybe something about how we should all be careful and grateful or maybe something about how life isn't really fair -- but I think more than those things, I'm telling this story to show how people come together to handle things. I'd never have believed my family could have gotten through that as smoothly as we did. Sure, I was shaking. But not even my mother cried during the ordeal. My neighbor offered to come help. Even the man at the gas station did his part to make sure things worked out.
Despite that comfort, I know I never want to wake up to that again.
04 March 2009
But I found money in my pocket this morning and am going to eat a chikfila biscuit. Everything is proof of balance, I'm still convinced.
Somewhere along the line, I got the idea that things in life are balanced. No, I’m not suddenly overly interested in Chinese philosophy and yin yang signs. It’s more that I had to think that in order not to go crazy.
Call it self-fulfilling prophecy, but this idea of mine has just been reinforced repeatedly. Even if it is all in my head, I'm okay with that.
(My mother is reallllly into serendipity and signs and being spiritual. I’ve never been convinced of that whole God business and signs and all, so you can’t chalk this up to that.)
What do I mean? Well. I had a pretty awful July, but it was followed by some of the best months of my life. I thought everything was crashing in September, but without that scare I wouldn’t have appreciated October.
I lost powerfully in a senatorial election I worked on (even with landscape maps), but I got into college. I didn’t get into my “dream school” but did get to work on a campaign.
Yeah, this mindset makes me nervous when things are going well. But I also think it makes me enjoy it even more. It’s modified karma, I guess.
Blehhh. The chicken biscuit connection fell through. But hey, my art history teacher shared her coffee creamer with me, and I am going to the river after school. Things will ultimately be okay. Or balanced, at least.
I’d known you for half my life. You watched me grow up, in a weird way.
I went from watching sing a longs in the backseat with revolving OM teams to driving around at all hours of the night.
I sat in Waffle House parking lots and even a liquor store one on Halloween. A long, not funny story. Not bad either. Just. A story.
You were the quirkiest car I’ll ever have. The lights turned on when we made left turns, locks locked and unlocked, a scar down the right side, and a missing handle that was a battle wound from the night you spent in a Denny’s parking lot. My car sounded like a go-kart.
Up until the end, I found door hangers in places all around the car.
I’ll remember you always.
I’ll remember going to drop off more walk packs, only having that one Janis Joplin cd and singing Me and Bobby McGee more that anyone should. And I’ll remember another election day, futiley saying, No, please don’t bring a wine glass into my minivan at 2 in the morning when I’m already past curfew, not supposed to be driving other people, and don’t have my license since I lost it a few months before and have been driving anyway.
Seriously. I’ll miss my minivan.
13 February 2009
I woke up at 4 to make cookies for a friend's birthday and was overall not in a good mood, sleepy and alone and sad that I have to put my trusty minivan to rest. On my way out of my lit class, my friend Sammi points to a Valentine on the floor. I pick it up. It's for Sarah! From Allie. Apparently, Sarah is purrrfect. There's a picture of a cat on it too, in traditional elementary school style.
So this is for Allie, wherever you are. I hope the intended Sarah doesn't miss her valentine too much, cause I needed it. Made my day.
I left it in a different hallway for another Sarah to find. My little contribution to somebody's happiness for the weekend.
08 February 2009
In case I’d forgotten where I live (I guess I’ve surrounded myself with too many people who read blogs and care about the world), I was reminded that Georgia is indeed red. There were a couple hundred people crammed into the Sugar Hill Community Center. Palin bumper stickers outnumbered black people (there were seven).
The Fair Tax crazies and even one ardent Anti-Federalist who went everywhere with his copy of the Constitution and defending states rights came out to the meeting. I was one of maybe ten people under thirty. I’d have been surprised if there were more than a dozen Democrats. One of my vols who came left twenty minutes in because she couldn’t stand it. I’m glad she left.
It was frustrating. I’d forgotten people could be so hateful.
Linder was very paternal in his sweater, citing classical economists and Cicero for his opposition to the bailout and championing the Fair Tax as the solution to the country’s ills that were being caused by illegal immigrants and unwed mothers. He, as well as at least half the people in the room, genuinely believed this.
When one brave woman praised FDR (not even Obama), she was booed and laughed at. Even Linder chuckled.
He made sure to call on a black person. When she asked, “Since it looks like the bailout will pass, how do you plan to secure some of those jobs for Gwinnett?” she too was booed.
One man stood and asked, “Senator, how do we fire Washington?”
So many things are wrong with that question, the least of which is that Linder isn’t a senator.
Another man suggested we hold another Constitutional Convention. When everyone started talking over each other about how they wanted things to go back to the way they used to be, another of my volunteers and one of the seven black people in the room said out loud, “I don’t want to be a slave.” She was shushed.
Of course there was the Second Amendment question. "Obama is on the bullet train to taking away our bullets," said one guy in the audience. Linder said he wished Obama would try and that he wouldn't let that happen. How comforting, just like Big Daddy Saxby.
The bailout was of course a popular topic. One person asked Linder what he was doing to stop it and who he could call. He said that Washington should leave America alone and let the market fix itself.
We can’t use this as an excuse to pay off all the interest groups that bought the election, said the woman standing next to me. She and I then had a “discussion” that ended in her yelling at me in whispers about ACORN and then stalking off when I mentioned how a third of the campaign funds came from donations under $250. I finally got a chair to sit in.
Another man asked when the Republican Party would kick out Olympia Snowe for voting with “those Democrats.” At one point, Linder said (and I quote, because I wrote it down it made me so angry), “Thankfully, all the big newspapers are dying,” so then the liberal media would stop influencing the country so much.
I don't know if I've been living in a bubble where there's hope for the world or if they all are living in a bubble that still wants plantations.
At the end of the meeting, one man from the crowd came to the front and took the microphone. He told us he’d been in Nam (cue the standing ovation) and had the solution to the economy’s troubles. Pause for dramatic effect. Pray. We just all needed to pray and leave it in God’s hands.
I was really impressed my car didn’t get keyed. I came home and cried.
06 February 2009
Earlier this week, I was at a show in Atlanta. The guy in front of me, in his sweater over his plaid shirt (I'm always shocked by how much plaid I see when I'm at a show), said of the people on the floor, "Yeah, all the hipsters are down here." From the way he said it, it seemed like he didn't consider himself one of them.
And, embarrassingly enough, I scoffed at him. Like I didn't consider myself one either. Like I was removed from the scene.
Isn't that what I didn't like about him?
Is that wrong? I mean. I knew where to find the cheap parking around Variety Playhouse just like everyone else. The secret exit to the secret parking lot? Dozens of hipsters streaming out of it after the encore. Why do I think I'm better than the girl who wore cat ears? The multitudes in their wool hats? We were all there to watch Andrew Bird. I was no more entitled to enjoy the show than they were, just because I starting listening to his albums three years ago.
The term "hipster" originated in the 1940s, describing people, who, sort of like the beatniks etc., smoked a lot of weed, rejected their supposed roles in middle class society, and liked the alternative jazz music of the time. Seems sort of familiar.
I think, essentially, what makes a hipster is the qualification that you need to believe that you are not a hipster. Not many people embrace the term, despite what Stuff White People Like may suggest.
I know a kid who has a tan line from his American Apparel deep-V shirts. He doesn't think he's a hipster.
Today, these people "escaping" the mainstream have coalesced and created their own. You like Girl Talk? Isn't it a shame that Arrested Development got canceled? What's your favorite Wes Anderson movie? Is Chuck Klosterman too much like Dave Eggers? These are all conversations I've had at least once. (Yes, oh yes, Rushmore, and No! Go read Killing Yourself to Live.) After a bit, I wonder if I actually like the things I like. Or if maybe since we're all the same, we subconsciously just adopt the same interests and then pretend we discovered them. Or it could be coincidence?
The hipster movement is post-postmodernism cemented into a culture. It's the reaction to postmodernism, the reaction to being self-aware—being so self-aware that you realize you don't want to be. That that's not cool. It's wearing non-prescription glasses and pretending you don't read Pitchfork. And, I guess, it's writing blogs about hipsters.
Maybe I'm too hard on myself. I hope.
25 January 2009
24 January 2009
On the way home from Washington DC, yesterday, I found myself telling a Midwesterner that, while it was okay for me to make fun of the South, I wouldn’t tolerate it from him or others who didn’t know what they were talking about.
I realized this came up several times in the past week, so I’ll address it.
I’ve talked about being a Georgia girl with Jonae. We’re typically nice, warm, and take care of people. If we don’t like somebody, bless their hearts/God love ‘em, we’re still cordial and accommodating. We can’t hide our emotions. We care probably too much and, as typical of the South, have large and loving families.
I can’t help that, on one side, my grandparents’ first date was the Gone With the Wind premiere and the others met because he sold her dad moonshine. I make damn good cornbread in my grandmother’s cast iron skillet and have never picked up a date at a family reunion. Surprisingly enough, our schools do have running water, and I even wear shoes sometimes. While we have some of the lowest SAT scores, it’s partly because we make everyone take it. We’re in the teens when ranking AP scores by state. Really. I couldn’t make that up.
We’re by no means perfect. We’re still a red state, barely turning purple. I’m not saying the South will rise again and I’m not about to lecture on the War of Northern Aggression or anything. I have every intention of moving away and will be among the first to make fun of my state. Lots of Georgians are dumb and some are racist. Same with lots of Americans, though. We have a higher concentration of them, sure, but my aunt makes sweet tea that converts even Northerners to liking sweet tea. So don’t write us all off. Otherwise, you’d have no Otis Redding or Sarah Langley.