Washed Away

March 22, 2011

3/22/11

I wanted to let you know that I’m starting to miss writing on this blog. The reason why I would abandon it so often was because I kept trying to fabricate a clean slate for myself by making new blogs, hoping to sound like the person I want to be. I wanted my posts to be creative and interesting. I didn’t want to dawdle on the unimportant details of my bad days because no one really enjoys reading that, right? I mean, when I first started writing on this blog I thought I knew myself and what my goals in life were and how I would get there. Now can definitely feel the long transition stage, covering me in a haze of unhappy adolescence.

A lot has happened since I last wrote on this blog. I’ve moved, tried to analyze and understand different sorts of people, missed my friends, cried, gone to concerts, meet Aaron Gillespie for a third time, and made countless mixtapes. I feel that don’t have much drive as of lately; I hate the feeling of obligation and so I just sleep on everything. I feel withdrawn, you know? It’s stupid, I feel stupid most of the time. Though, what I’ve come to realize is that even if you move somewhere new you can’t automatically flip the switch and become someone else, you bring that person with you. In some ways the place may make you, but for the most part you make yourself, and it’s hard to be the ideal image of yourself without putting real effort into it. It might be safe to say I’ve developed an inferiority complex, that is, if you could laugh about. But I don’t know who I am anymore. I want to be one thing and change my mind the next day. For some reason I can’t seem to shake the idea that you can’t be a combination of two things, and you have to stick to the rules someone you don’t know made up. I’ll realize this but fall back into that mindset of wanting to impress fake strangers. I don’t know what I want to get out of writing this maybe just knowing that someone could understand.

I haven’t written anything this meaningful to myself in nearly a month. I’m listening to “Washed Away” from Aaron Gillespie’s new solo album, Anthem Song and this song makes you appreciate everything, like I can feel an energy greater than myself, you know? It’s so refreshing to think back on that little show of his last December at the Main Street Cafe. No matter what he says about “just being a dude,” hearing him speak about his beliefs makes a difference to a lot of people, including me. So I’ll enjoy this spring break and say cheers to writing the first something that meant anything since my last hiatus.

(Listen to the glory that is Aaron Gillespie’s voice.)


I’m still alive

January 15, 2011

Hey readers, I realize I haven’t updated lately.  That’s because I’ve been writing on other private blogs and in my journal.  These past four months have been extremely stressful since I’ve moved to a small town and had to learn how to make new friends (which is still a work in progress) and get comfortable with this change of setting.  I thought since a new year has begun and it seemed as if I’d abandoned this blog, I’d make a new one that I would update regularly.  If you’d like the link just comment and I’ll send it to ya.

I hope all is well.
Phoenixx


A WEARY MIND, A HOPEFUL HEART

October 14, 2010

Phoenixx C.
10/9/10

A WEARY MIND, A HOPEFUL HEART

I had been looking forward to Bradley Hathaway’s gig at the Main Street Café in Kansas City since early September. I wanted that late night nostalgia with the heavy scent of musk draped on every man’s clothing. I didn’t want to forget the scent of all our pleading cries staining our shirts in what the deodorant could not cover up. We hummed a little and sang a couple verses to ourselves on the hardwood floor. The low lights gave Bradley a red glow. When he closed his eyes I could read the somewhat sagging-in-hopes-of-lifting demeanor across his straining eyebrows. “There is love, there is beauty, and there is pain but at the moment I can’t help feeling they are all the same.” This thought is so profound yet the idea is simple, it seems it would take the purging of some emotions to get this onto paper.

– He leaned forward against the small merchandise table, his elbows resting next to his mug of tea, his bony fingers laced together.

What got you started writing?
Well I had gone to see a spoken word poet and then a couple months later it literally just came to me. Like I was driving one day and then it just came to me.

Do you write for yourself or for others?
(loosely) In the beginning, for myself but now there is definitely more of a [demand] for it. You guys are definitely a part of it but at there are also things that are for yourself.

Bradley Hathaway’s way of storytelling is so vivid; I find myself immersed in the flow of his words and his humble laughter. He read us the children’s book Owl at Home in order to perform “Look Up”. There is no love like the night. Did you ever place your thumbnail to the sky and measure the size of the moon when you were little? Back then the moon’s existence seemed invaluable. Are we vainer now that we question everything, of which we ask for answers and to be heard?

Bradley wove a thread through his prose, all speaking of a relatable pain, of which created a patchwork of divine wisdom. The empathy in his bones, enunciated by his teeth and jaw, was viral. There is clarity in Craig Owens’ lyric “we’re screaming at the same moon,” in realizing not everyone has that anchor in their lives to persevere past their depressions and traumas. I felt a sense of accord that although we may be alone, we were not lonely that night for we all felt worth in ourselves. I think Bradley gave us all a taste of hope Saturday night. Watching him perform was not a religious experience but a spiritual experience. Throughout his 90 minutes of musing with us he was able to give light to the sufferings in his writings with a witty sense of humor. Whether he intends to or not, I find it truly a gift that he can reach people, even himself, through his words.


Dear Whoever

September 25, 2010

Dear whoever,

I decided it would be best to type out a long, open letter to whoever finds it interesting enough to read. I wanted to let you all know that I am officially moving. It’s a bittersweet experience but most people go through it, whether theirs’ lean more towards the bitter or the sweet side of things. I think that my experience is fairly balanced. – I know I’ll feel at ease once I’m away from all this stimulation, I know it will be safer there. While at the same time I am finding that I will truly miss a couple of my friends. It’s funny the way some clichés turn out to be true. There are still so many people here that I wanted to get to know (like the boy down my block who is always clutching his iTouch and riding his bike around the neighborhood)! I’m almost afraid there won’t be enough going on to have adventures like we did tonight.

Tonight was my friend’s birthday. Since her block is quiet and generally safe to roam around we went outside in the front yard around 9:30pm to play four square. Instead we ended up running through the streets and through driveways, sloshing the potato chips in the yellow bowl we had been carrying around, and almost getting into trouble with the neighbors. There was some nostalgia in that. I remember when she was tuning 10 or 11 we went out at night and shook baby powder onto the boys in her street. We ran through and from the dust in the street. I missed that. – But when I think about the lurker-esque guys that Emma had directed us not to look at walking the opposite direction of us girls, I was scared. I was more frightened than I should have been because all nine of us had our cell phones, but what with all the stereotypes of what could happen to a girl it gave me an edge.

I came home in all my new bracelets, the Native American poncho that had been passed down from my great-grandmother, with feathers tied in my hair I felt strange. I came downstairs to find the office almost completely cleaned out, boxes pilling it felt less like home. So I made a playlist titled “just chiillll;” the spelling is silly but I typed it to sound like a sigh.

You should give it a listen here.


Something of an Update

September 17, 2010

Where do I begin, really? I’ll start here—

Lately I’ve been making playlists like crazy. I’m currently making a playlist called Cold Feet that features Oceana and Emarosa.

My school year started at the very end of August and my parents and I were initially expecting disaster with the district closing so many schools and combining my middle school with the high school campus. Well, honestly I think it’s been going well considering. I absolutely love my vice principal. All four of the principals respond to any sign of a problem at the snap of a finger, generally without any ranting lectures. There are cute boys to look at from grades above me, and I like my teachers better this year.

The bus rides home are usually the best part of the day not only because I get to return home but because I can come home with the strangest stories. For example one day Hunter yelled, “God, I hate my life!” Then as Peter was getting off at his stop he yelled back, “Not as much as I hate your life!” There a boy named Sam who rides and tends to bring his cute friends along. Sorry I’m going a bit overboard with the eye candy, it’s just that last year there were absolutely none. It was like a barren field.

Today was especially good. Classes were good and I managed to finish most of my homework in class. During art when our teacher called us to gather around her desk so she could demonstrate the next part of the lesson someone from behind me taped my shoulder. I figured it was Trey, trying to annoy me so I ignored it. After the demonstration I sat back down at my table and a cute boy, let’s call him Dylan, complimented my drawing. He’s Mexican, thin, and has a wavy Mohawk-esque haircut and a labret piercing. He’s so cute, -this is cliché- but he’s actually well, bad. And to top it all off when we were leaving class he bumped into me on purpose.

Meanwhile during all my school adventures my parents were still looking for a solution to the school district problems. They knew private school wasn’t a permanent solution. So we looked at a house somewhat in the country yet it’s near a highway so it’s a ten minute drive into another part of the city. It has four bedrooms, an in-ground pool, and a giant kitchen. The schools are fantastic. The curriculum is said to be exceptional. The high school is literally set up as a campus with two different buildings. It sounds really cozy. It’s been an extremely fast process but tomorrow we are getting the keys to the place. I’m nervous. Even though I’ve begun to like my school I am ready for a change, a clean slate with new friends and new people.


Autumn

September 4, 2010

Autumn

I feel it. The air is chill but the sun is still warm against my skin, rough and comforting. I know the grass will soon crunch under my feet as well, thick with freezing dew in the mornings. The sky will be dark again but the leaves and the moon will illuminate everything. I don’t remember September ever being this beautiful. I remember September as dreary and passive.

The Summer Solstice at Mark’s cozy little country home -the one with all the nooks and crannies filled with The Beatles collectors’ items and CDs- was the best part of summer. Max and Eva invited us and we hugged and I realized how much being with them affected their mood. My mom’s optimism was rubbing off, and I know she was damn well trying. It worked. I was chased around the tall grassy yard by little kids and got to roast vegan marsh mellows over the fire. The food was good, it was different. I met a little boy named August who called himself Gus and sat on my mother’s lap and told us how beautiful the sky was. A couple bearded guys sang folk songs back and forth to each other adding, not taking away from the sound. The night became sticky but the sky almost seemed streaked purple. That is what summer should always be like.

The Autumnal Equinox is coming up and Mark is hosting another celebration on my mother’s birthday. I have a good feeling it will be beautiful; the women with long gray hair wearing baggy t-shirts, the guys with beards, and the little country kids that were perfectly content living practically in the middle of nowhere.

Goodbye summer. You were good to me. It was hot but like Hannah said, I loved the time to myself to write and read and listen to my favorite music at night. It felt theatrical though it was too humid to open my window and hear the cars rush down my street. The concerts were good; I hung out with my cousins, and earned a little spending money. Now school is back in session and in the beginning I was terrified but in one short week I’ve grown to like it. I’ve seen a few cute boys this year, I’ve got –excuse me- attractive vice principals, and the thought of gaining knowledge and reading literature, not books sounds so rich, just the thought of turning pages and scribbling notes. I’m finally getting situated and my parents want us to move out of the city. I hope this autumn isn’t so cruel because I think we’ve paid off most of our karma.


Birthday wishes

August 26, 2010

Today is my little brother Val’s birthday as well as our old friend Ian, and the musician Craig Owens.

After Craig was booted from Chiodos I was –this is very, very cliche but– heartbroken. They really had something good going for them. Chiodos are still alright but those sparks will never burn as bright, burn as big. I still follow his solo project and listen to his other deceased projects such as Cinematic Sunrise and Isles & Glaciers. But it seems he is still growing musically and as a person because he posts updates of his new band and self-help quotes on Twitter.

Craig has been one of my heros lyrically for a short while. I think I started listening to Chiodos at the beginning of 2009, though I wish I could have bragging rights over say, three years. Chiodos as a combined effort changed the way I listened to music; by that time I was far from my Disney roots. Today the harder or faster music I’m listening to is mainly from the likes of Set Your Goals, Four Year Strong, A Day To Remember, Pierce The Veil, and Underoath. Chiodos was like a gateway drug into this fascinatingly insane music — I think I can say I have warped roots now. Craig’s voice was piercingly highpitched but he never failed to come back with a growl. I loved how he could sing the most hateful, blunt, heartfelt, and truly creative lyrics yet they could sound so beautiful. His voice is a gift and that he chose to share it and connect with people through music is an accidental accomplishment.

I support whatever he continues to do with his mucial career and hope that some day I meet him so I can tell him all of this. 

“No Hardcore Dancing In The Living Room” will always be my favorite.

***Love you Val!


Warped 2010

August 20, 2010

8/2/10

Without seatbelts and cigarettes shoved into our bag we sped down the highway on our way to the 2010 Vans Warped Tour. “State Avenue west exit,” Tyler kept repeating to Mackenzie. As we neared the west exit Mackenzie see’s the State Avenue east exit and as she’s about to turn into it Ashley and Nicole shout, “WEST!” We swerve out of that lane and I think about if my parents were driving behind her they’d get mad because of her reckless driving that I love.

We walked over to the big blow up billboard with all the set times patched onto it and onto the burning pavement that covered most of the Sandstone amphitheatre’s ground. All I could really feel was my sunscreen covered skin burning underneath the sun. Out of all the days Warped Tour could come to Kansas City they picked today August 2nd, the hottest day of the year, the temperature reaching a staggering 100 degrees with a heat index of 110.

The first thing Mackenzie said when Vic Fuentes, the lead singer of Pierce The Veil, walked up to the microphone after the guy wearing the day of the dead costume completed with a giant sombrero finished his intro was, “They’re cute,” with a smile turning her lips. Pierce The Veil opened with “Besitos,” the first track of their new record Selfish Machines. “Open that pit up!” Vic kept instructing. Each time the pit calmed down Nicole reached out for my hand as we wormed our way to the front. After a few more songs Vic came down into the crowd. Nicole ran to the front to reach at his sweaty arms and I whipped out my camera and followed her. The best part of Pierce The Veil’s set was before they played “Drella” Jaime, Vic, and Tony were working on build up guitars and Mike on drums then the clip of Ludacris’s “How Low Can You Go” soprano voice came in and Jaime, Vic, and Tony raised their guitars all together that read in colored duct tape, “GET FUCKIN’ LOW.” Then the clip ended and the guitars came back in as they headbanged in sync.

You Me At Six walked onto the makeshift Altec Lansing blow-up stage in all their British glory. I was stoked to be seeing them to the extent that I showed up to the stage ten minutes early. I claimed my spot in the front row but I burned like a leaf under a magnifying glass. You Me At Six put on a fair show but sadly the crowd was very, very weak. There was no excitement of a moshpit and I only had to hand up one crowdsurfer. They mostly played songs from their new record Hold Me Down but I was content with jumping around to “Underdog” and echoing Josh on “Stay With Me,” though they did play “Save It For The Bedroom.” I wanted to inhale excitement at the You Me At Six set. I wanted to be pushed against the barricade and have fear I’d get stuck in the pit if I got pushed. I wanted Josh to look at me and sing back to me, something.

Walking away from their set sweat was literally dripping down my legs and the air didn’t seem so hot anymore since there wasn’t so much combined body heat building up. A dizzy head and with queasy stomach, my hands were slippery with sweat and dirt stuck to my fingers from the little valley we would sit in to cool off. I walked over to Tyler and said, “Can I have that water? I feel like I’m gonna pass out.”
“Really?”
“Yeah.”
I slid down to the burning pavement that had been heating the barricaded sound system and drank what was left of our boiling water.

After visiting the sprinkler showers again I caught the last of VersaEmerge’s set. I left the crowd when Never Shout Never came on to climb the hill and sit in the seats with Tyler as Mackenzie and Ashley left to cool down the car.

Driving home in Mackenzie’s air conditioned car we all complained about how much we smelled and how grimy we felt. Then Tyler said from the passenger’s seat, “I’m as fresh as a fuckin’ daisy.”

I cherish Warped Tour no matter how miserable it can be in the heat because it’s usually my last summer stint. It feels like home, like a giant party. It’s the last something that means anything before I go back to school. So I bought a red Set Your Goals shirt with a picture on the back of Jordan Brown singing to a crowd of kids. It reads lyrics from “The Fallen…” – May I never lose my youth/All of this is too unforgettable.

(pictures)


August 13, 2010


, originally uploaded by sadie w. harris.

I like this picture a lot. I’d also like a film camera.


Do I fight shy of everything?

July 9, 2010

It’s all too overwhelming. As soon as the first month of summer break dries up the new school year seems too close. It’s like falling face first into a cement sidewalk. The aftermath is a bunch of scrapes and a few cuts, maybe a bruise to the cheekbone. It’s moderately better than having a broken face yet still comparable. I don’t know. I’m not really sure what to do. When I think about it too much (which I have a bad habit of doing) I feel like swallowing rocks.

It’s my second year at a new school I don’t much like. I graduated last year with a 4.0 (surprisingly that didn’t take as much effort as I imagined) but it’s not the classes I’m worried about it’s the kids that sort of hate me. And to my previous science teacher, I don’t need after school academics to throw around unconnected pointless dates and historic events that I have never been taught to remember. I am ambitious enough to achieve whatever I truly want on my own. — I wear my purple hoodie some days to give me Gabe Saporta confidence and I live by the Sid Vicious quote, “It’s not really my problem if they think I’m weird.” I’m not worried about them bullying me about the way I am, I’m more worried about them bullying me about last year’s end of school drama. I fugging hate that. I don’t deserve to be pulled into that nonsense and I’ll tell everyone off again and spit venom if it’s necessary, though the inner city kids at my school are physical to say the least.

So I’m listening to Paramore’s The Final Riot! which is calming me down, especially the acoustic rendition of “My Heart”. Hayley’s voice is soothing. Earlier I was in hysterics and my mom looked at me funny. I’m listening to music all the time (though it’s kinda hard to boost your iTunes playcount on a brand new computer). It helps me write and it helps me think. I should just remind myself not to overthink everything.

Here’s a playlist I am in love with: http://8tracks.com/xiu/light-on