There have been some developments in my life lately, some of which I’ve already talked about, the most pressing matter being that I quit the job I did have at Five Guys Burgers and Fries because, well, I hated it, and I couldn’t bare another moment of it. Well to be honest I probably would have eventually gotten used to it, but it was an awful feeling, and I couldn’t think about anything other than how much I hated the job, and maybe I psyched myself out, but whatever, it’s time to move on. I have another job now at Pottery Barn (retail? Heck yes), and while I’m nervous I’m also excited about this job, because I think I’ll enjoy it and I don’t have to flip burgers and come home covered in acne and smelling like potatoes; and I’m probably going to be doing mostly stocking, which would be great, it’s just the kind of repetitive job that doesn’t deal with people that I think I might enjoy.
Also I’ve been trying to meditate, or at least to calm down a little. I found these podcasts on iTunes for meditation and I go to sleep listening to them, not every night but when I do it helps a lot to calm me down. I think the most helpful thing I’ve found is that when you’re angry or you’re afraid or you’re panicking, the best thing to do is to embrace that emotion, to feel it fully and accept it, and it flows right through you and you’re left with peace. I found a video on YouTube earlier this year where someone said something similar about overcoming panic attacks, to embrace the fear, to give it love, and it no longer has power over you and you’re free from it and the anxiety leaves. It’s a very helpful philosophy, and I hope that if I need a way to calm down I can remember this and use it.
Really, I feel like I’m on the edge of being an adult, and I’m so happy about that, I just hate being near my family. I don’t feel like I can do anything when I’m around my mother, I don’t want to be here, but I need to be here because I’m provided for, even at the expense of some intense emotional issues, and to make things better I’m starting college in January. It’s this place called North Georgia College, it’s not specifically a military school but it seems very military-oriented. It is, however, a community college, so I’m sure that there’s a bit of everything (I, as you can perhaps tell, am not a military person). But the best part is that they offer student-housing, and I think I read something that said living in the dormitories is $200 a month, which I could easily pay if I save the money I make from this (possibly temporary/seasonal) job at Pottery Barn. Then, I’ll be out of my family’s house, living on my own but still closeby everyone, I have a truck here that belongs to my stepfather that I’m free to use (in fact, he may have even already given it to me), and once I get my license I should already have a lot of things in place for myself.
So, my goal for January is this: to have my license, to be driving regularly, to be doing well at my job, have money saved, and begin college living in student housing. I know this is odd, but living in a student dorm is literally one of my dreams. Like, along with being a famous musician and traveling the world and finding love, I want to live in a dorm and have college friends, and do college things, and go to parties, and not go to parties, and go to people’s rooms and fall asleep in people’s beds and have boyfriends and break up with them and play pianos in big auditoriums. It’s something I desperately yearn for, and unlike being a musician, it can’t wait forever, because I’m getting older. I’m 21 now and I’ve barely done anything close to growing up. I need college, on many levels. I need to have friendship and happiness and laughter in my life.
This whole Georgia thing has been a big clusterfuck shitfest ever since I got here. First there was the whole long-distance phone-flirting thing with Chris, then came the possible relationship that Jeremy that completely sunk when I found out I wasn’t attracted to him whatsoever, then dealing with his obsessive depression over me, the awful job at Five Guys, the multiple threats that I was going to be kicked out in the middle of nowhere Georgia, and then more recently I got involved with someone else who I knew from the beginning was a bad idea, had an uncomfortable experience and hurt his feelings, I mean really this whole fucking move has been terrible, and my life has been flipped upside-down, which is hard to do when I barely had a life to begin with. I live outside in a camper on an uncomfortable piece of foam stretched over a table that serves as a well-enough bed, I’m trapped in this house most of the time, I’m fighting to keep my agoraphobia from coming back, my vision seems to just be getting worse and worse so that I can barely see anything, it’s just a whole fuck of a lot to deal with.
But I’m going to do this job at Pottery Barn, it was what I wanted and I got it, seasonal or not. I have to get away from this family, I have to make friends, I have to play music and I have to do all the things I want to. The time for waiting is over. I’ve spent the time since I was 13 years old dreaming of life being different, and now I’m going to make it different, if it’s hard, I’ll just get stronger until it isn’t hard anymore.
Yesterday I started a new novel, The Host by Stephenie Meyer. I know, I know, please hold all comments ’till the end. I’ve read the Twilight series. Yes, it is true. I read them all before the first film ever went to theaters when I was in 12th grade. It was an okay series. Since the series blew up and became a massive fandom, a lot of people have made some pretty valid points about Stephenie Meyer’s writing style, but altogether, there are much worse author’s in the world, and I’ve always thought that she seems like a nice person in interviews, even if Twilight is just the teensiest bit fucked up. The Host does share some similarities with Twilight, but it’s a different story altogether, and it’s pretty immersive. The obvious similarities are the main character, a teenage, dark-haired female, falling madly in love at first sight with an overly masculine, musclebound hunk. However, their quick attachment to one another is somewhat more believable because The Host is set on a post-apocalyptic Earth in the western part of the US where 5 billion of the world’s human beings have been wiped out and their bodies possessed by alien parasites, as opposed to a rogue clan of moralized vampires going to high school in a rainy town in Washington. Also, the main protagonist, Melanie, is a thousand times better of a character than Bella. Melanie is driven, powerful and fearless, fighting to keep her younger brother alive, where Bella is an angsty, self-loathing pushover. The love story is also much more romantic, two people living in hiding, fearing death at any moment, as opposed to (ahem, let me equip my droning, robotic monotone and narrow my eyes) “Oh, Edward… you are… so… beautiful…” (yawn), “And I… cannot… stop loving…um… you… Please… I want you to have angry rough vampire sex with me… and please also stalk me… and watch me sleep at night…”
The story isn’t told from Melanie’s perspective entirely, because our main protagonist is an alien named Wanderer who has been placed inside Melanie’s body, but Melanie’s consciousness has not faded, and Wanderer is left sharing Melanie’s feelings of longing for Jared, along with her own feelings of inadequacy and weakness for not being able to control her host body. So far, all of Melanie’s story is told through dreams and flashbacks. As was the case with her previous series, Meyer does have a tendency to get a bit giddy with her descriptions of rippling pectorals and squared-off jawlines (seriously, what the HELL is this woman’s obsession with JAWS?), but so far The Host has been a far more rewarding read than Twilight.
And in other entertainment news, Florence + the Machine’s second album, Ceremonials, was released a few days ago. Due to a combination of me having no money and no patience, I went ahead and downloaded the leaked copy of the album a day before it’s release date, but I still intend to buy it when I get the chance. I haven’t heard the album in it’s entirety, I did however have a fantastic time listening to the studio version of Bedroom Hymns, the song I was most looking forward to. Both Bedroom Hymns and another song, Strangeness & Charm, which was our first glimpse into the new album (Florence performed the song live at the Hammersmith Apollo for Between Two Lungs, the UK re-release of her debut album, and many times on tour afterward) are featured on the second disc as B-Sides, but that doesn’t inply that they’re lesser quality songs.
In fact, I haven’t really been brave enough to listen to most of the album yet, because of the sheer LENGTH of the thing. Every single song is between four minutes long and five-and-a-half minutes long. The other thing about this album is that all the songs are very similar, they use the same instruments: harp, chamber choirs, tamberine, strings; however the interesting thing is that this doesn’t hurt the album. Usually when songs all blend together it makes for a bland, uninteresting album, but Florence is unbelievable as always and even though most of the songs are grand explosions of sound, using the same giant choirs and dramatic electronic effects, the songs still keep their own unique personalities. She’s still just as talented as she always was, and this album is a full, lush work of art, but it is very intimidating. Imagine if every song on Lungs were Cosmic Love, or a 5 minute long version of Drumming Song. It’d be grand and incredible, but a lot to take in all at once.
One reviewer said of the album, “Ceremonials suffers from a repetitiveness that’s akin to looking at a skyline filled with 100-story behemoths lined-up one after the other, blocking out everything but their own size.” I definitely see his point, but I’m not going to criticize Florence, this album is a triumph of creativity and sheer epicness, at least from what I’ve heard of it so far.
Surprise! Dream Stuff
Oh yeah, I also had a dream about Florence last night. This is actually the second time I’ve dreamt about her, the first time I was on a family camping trip and just ran into her at a campground. I remember that when I woke up I was really mad because I didn’t ask her why Swimming was never included on Lungs. In this dream, she and Tori Amos were performing, together, in a store in the mall that was a sort of combination of Hot Topic and a restaurant. Afterward I was sitting down and caught sight of Florence on a nearby couch, and we moved to a booth and started talking together, and I remembered this time to ask her why Swimming was never included on Lungs. She got sort of fidgety and kept saying, “Ummmm…” and couldn’t seem to come up with a good reason, but basically I got the impression that she felt that Swimming felt like a B-Side, and when I said this she agreed. Swimming is fucking awesome, by the way, so don’t blame me for what dream-Florence says to me. Interestingly after I woke up and went back to sleep, I had another dream about Tori, except that instead of it being modern-day Tori like in my previous dream, it was 1992 Little Earthquakes-era Tori (score!), and I was seeing things through her perspective, and she was doing an interview walking around on a sidewalk (in what felt to me a lot like a strip-mall across the street from where I used to live in South Carolina, where I once applied for a job at a sandwich ship) talking about being a musician and being famous, and she said that a store offered to tile her floor for free if she became a member of their store.
Oh! and one more thing, I’ve been listening to the Dresden Dolls lately. That’s not entirely news since I’ve mentioned Amanda Palmer in the last few blog posts, but if you want to get into this band I seriously suggest starting at the beginning: the first Dresden Dolls album is really a fun experience from beginning to end, I’ve listened to most of it, and it all flows very well together. I’ve heard bits and pieces from all of their other albums, I like the opening track, Sex Changes, from their second album. Amanda’s newer work seems to involve a lot of ukelele and sillyness, and while that’s all well and good, it seems like she’s stopped doing full-on studio albums for a while, since about three quarters of her second solo album, Amanda Palmer Goes Down Under, are live recordings, and the follow up album in 2013, Amanda Palmer Goes Into The Bush, probably will be as well. But, people are allowed to make music however they want to, and her talent hasn’t stopped shining through on any of her projects.