January 31, 2010

I Love Virginia

Okay. I LOVE Virginia. I lived there my tenth grade year of high school, all last summer, and I think I might move back in the fall. There's just something about that place that makes me feel happy and okay with the world. I love the variety of people, the trees, the ocean, the cities, the tobacco farms, the mysterious forests, the fog, the big mansions, the winding roads, the endless shopping opportunities, my friends there, my family there, and the amazing restaurants to choose from. So I'm going to record here some of my favorite moments from my summer in Virginia.

Things I Want To Remember From Virginia:
-Descending the basement stairs of a friend of a friend's house to see that his ENTIRE basement is covered with Marvel comics memorabilia. Every inch of every wall and shelf after shelf were just jammed with action figures, posters, lunchboxes, music boxes, everything you could think of. I've never seen anything like it
-Me giggling about something, and the friend saying, in drunken wonder, "Oh my god. You hiccup EVERY time you laugh." I do. It's embarrassing.
-Sitting on the National Mall on the evening of the Fourth of July, eating cheezits and staring up at huge fireworks right above us, with people crowded all around us and cigarette smoke wafting through the air and mingling with firework smoke
-Walking back to the metro after the fireworks and just seeing thousands of people clogging the streets, with no regard for traffic or stoplights haha.
-Walking around the JFK airport at 6:00 am while I wait for my connecting flight to D.C. and feeling out of place among all the harangued-looking business men and cheerful morning employees
-Watching the sun rise from a random field while my friend plays guitar (Haha very hippie of me, I know)
-Having to pee while in that field and prancing into what I think is a nice copse of trees, only to find myself up to my thighs in a marsh. I dropped my phone, lost a shoe, and stumbled back to my friends covered in mud and little bugs. They laughed at me.
-Sitting in a circle on my friend's porch, basking in cigar smoke and having deep discussions about dying, aliens, color and other things
-Waking up in my aunt's house one summer morning and finding my little cousin Eva to be the only one home. She is precious, with big Italian brown eyes and tiny limbs and a raspy smoker's voice. We played games for like two hours :)
-Attending a party at my friend's big brick house and having him give me a sharpie tattoo that said "Dare To Be Different". That is basically my life philosophy so it was cool.
-Walking around Georgetown with my cousin, taking artsy pictures next to ivy-covered buildings and dark canals and random signs.
-Getting attacked by a sudden, violent downpour and having to take shelter in an indoor mall. If you haven't experienced east coast rain, then there is really no way of explaining it to you! It pummels you with huge drops. You are instantly soaked. It almost hurts, but it makes you feel alive! I miss it like crazy.
-Following a film crew around D.C. and Georgetown, watching them film an upcoming film starring Owen Wilson, Reese Witherspoon, Jack Nicholson and Paul Rudd. I was like twenty feet away from these people! It was so cooooool. Owen Wilson's nose is just as crooked in real life, Reese Witherspoon is TINY (like 5 feet tall), Paul Rudd is very nice (He came over and spoke to the watching crowd) and Jack Nicholson is very dapper looking.
-Going on a 3-mile run through the maze of neighborhoods and trees by my aunt's house. The humidity made it harder to breathe but it was cool!
-Going to an Irish pub with my some of my relatives. Eating beautiful shepherd's pie and Irish whiskey cake. To the sound of a raucous Irish two-piece band. (One on pipes, one on guitar)
-Spending the night at my uncle's Capitol Hill apt (very tastefully designed) and going to art museums by myself all day while my cousin went to his film internship. I love going to art museums by myself. I can stand in front of a piece as LONG as I want without feeling pressured or nudged onward. I went to the Hirshwin (Modern art, lots of lovely Warhols, Lichtensteins, etc), The National Gallery (so overwhelming but so good! Any artist you can think of has work there, and it's the only museum in America to have a Da Vinci!) and some other good ones as well.
-Driving through various forests
-Going to a Spanish restaurant in Arlington with my grandma, cousin and aunt. It was a Tapas style restaurant, which means you order three small things and it was so cool! I had delicious smoked salmon on toast and a baby octopus!
-Going boating with my Italian relatives on the Potomac. My high strung Italian aunt got into a screaming, swearing fight with her husband and everyone else just kind of sat there awkwardly.. but it was fun!
-Driving in my friend's BMW, listening to Lil' Wayne as the trees whipped by
-Going to the premiere of the new Iphone at 4 am in Alexandria. I sat bleary eyed on a chair while my friend and his brother discussed iMacs with an employee.
-Going with my cousin on his bread truck delivery route, which starts at midnight and ends at ten am! It was so crazy to go into empty grocery stores at like 3 am to restock the bread shelves. Afterward, we went to Red Robin and we were so starving and wired and brain dead that everything was funny.
-Having my Italian uncle come over and cook dinner for his kids. I love his cooking.
-Renting movie after movie with my cousin and binging on them. (They have one of those unlimited movie rental things at Blockbuster. Pretty much the best thing ever.)
-Seeing Coon Skin caps worn in total seriousness.
-Having my cousin sit in a state of total shock and then run around the house grinning when two of his films got into a festival.
-My friend pushing me in a shopping cart through an empty parking lot at 3 am
-Driving on this ridiculously windy road in the middle of the night. There were literally 90 degree turns and huge sudden hills and drops. So exciting!
-Eating Arabic sweets in my Lebanese friend's kitchen.
-My friend thinking my grandma worked at Pottery Barn, when really she is an eccentric poet
-Walking by a random beautiful lake
-Driving around eating Flintstones Push Pops and listening to summery tunes
-Sitting outside the Ford Theater in D.C. and thinking about all the things that have happened there. (Abe Lincoln getting shot, people getting out of their carriages in the 19th century to go there)
-My aunt telling me that the painting I sent her for christmas inspired her to finally be a dance instructor like she always dreamed.
-Eating Chinese food and discussing movies for like 3 hours with an old family friend.
-Staying at my aunt's adorable beach house in Delaware
-Seeing a scary man in the middle of the woods and everyone in the car screaming for about five straight minutes
-Going to an all-night diner at 5 am and being served by a fastidious man in a bow tie that bowed to us! Named Herman!
-Going to my friend's and learning that he has a Mastiff dog. There are no words to describe the size of those dogs! It could have eaten me whole! It was almost taller than me! Yikes!
-Walking into 7-11 on 7/11 without realizing it and getting a free slurpie
-Hitting a deer on the way home from Delaware and killing it! We went into a random family's trailer until the tow truck could come. There was nothing else for miles!!
-Finding out that my friend's grandpa got gored during the running of the bulls in Spain. Luckily he was too drunk for it to hurt too much!
-Going to the showing of Harry Potter at midnight and running into people I hadn't seen in years!
-Getting locked out of the house at 4 am in summer clothes and no shoes! I first tried to sleep in the backyard playhouse but it was cold so I slept in the back seat of my aunt's car haha.
-Swinging at elementary school playgrounds
-Thrift store shopping!!!!!!!!!!!!!
-Showing my friend the band Beirut and having him say "Wow. I used to LIVE in Beirut!"
-Missing the last train in d.c. and having to walk 13 blocks at 2 am with homeless people around and people sleeping on the sidewalk and being scary!
-Watching the film Crash for the first time and being utterly speechless!!!!!
-Walking around Virginia Beach and seeing a man play a 7 string bass
-Witnessing a fight between two bros outside "Ocean Mystique Jewelry"
-Floating in the dark blue swells of the ocean
-Conquering one of my biggest fears (falling into water at night) and jumping into a reservoir at night! I was sooooooo proud of myself!!!
-Driving through an underwater tunnel and listening to Transatlanticism by Death Cab. The tunnel was so long that we got to hear the whole part that says "I need you so much closer....)

All in all, it was definitely the best summer of my life. I cannot wait to go back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

December 22, 2009

Concert Review: Iron & Wine/Okkervil River

Okay. This is LONG delayed. Haha this concert was back in August! But I really haven't had a steady internet connection until now. So anyway, this was a beautifullll concert. It was free and outdoor, which is a plus. Okkervil River opened, and they were really who I was excited for! I LOVE the singer's voice, and he writes such gorgeous lyrics! It felt surreal to stand there (on a conveniently placed cement slab) and hear his voice in real life! Here is one of my favorite songs by them, For Real:
So that was great, and then Iron and Wine came on! I was surprised to just see Sam Beam come onstage alone! I thought Iron and Wine was a group but its just Sam and his guitar! But let me tell you, that's enough! He stood there and held his guitar lovingly as he sang. (See the picture above) Highlights included Boy with a Coin, Naked as We Came, and Woman King but the best moment was when he burst into his beautiful version of "Such Great Heights". The whole crowd went wild (if they weren't already), screaming along joyfully. He really was such a talented musician to see! He plucked his guitar so fast and never made one mistake! His beard was also quite the sight to behold. I'm so glad I got to see it in person.

October 6, 2009

I'm A Creep

Wow. I realize that it has been a LONG time since I've posted, but hey. It's not my fault. I was in Virginia all summer without reliable internet, and now my computer is broken. I write this from the awkward lab on campus. Anyway, I wanted to write about Radiohead's Creep because we analyzed it in my inequality class and it pretty much blew my mind. I mean, I have loved this song for years, but the lyrics just never clicked in my head. I didn't realize what an aching, brave, vulnerable song it was.
In this song, Thom Yorke basically bears his soul, saying he is hopelessly into this girl (You're just like an angel, your skin makes me cry) and he has low self esteem (I'm a creep, I'm a weirdo) and doesn't understand how she could want to be with him.
The girl totally has the upper hand in this relationship. He says "Whatever makes you happy, whatever you want" saying he will do anything for her. That is a dangerous thing to admit, because then the other person in the relationship could totally use you.
We talked about this song because it seems like the girl is usually the one in the relationship with the lower hand. Guys usually have more control because they don't act quite as interested.
But Thom is admitting that he's obsessed and saying he doesn't know why this girl is with him. So it's really interesting to hear this kind of thing from a guy.
Radiohead is an AMAZING band obviously, and I'm so glad I finally got the meaning of this song.
I used to think it was kind of mocking the girl, saying "You're so fucking special, I wish I was special", to mean like "Ohh I wish I could be special, you're SO special."
But it's actually sincere and vulnerable and just breath-taking.

May 8, 2009


No, this is not a review of Beyonce's new film, although I would like to see that someday, if only for the cat fight scenes.

I LOVE this self portrait of Andy Warhol's. I can never get over how AMAZING he is, and what an influence he has on art, not to mention hipsters, to this day. I love high contrast, shadowy portraits. I saw a breathtaking Warhol exhibit a few years ago, and they had the self portrait of his with the bright blue background.... and I just stood and stared at it. I can't imagine painting something even 1% as good.

Anyway, the point of this post is not to blab about Warhol, but to share a few songs that I'm addicted to. These songs are like.. crystal meth to me right now. I can't stop listening to them. I worry that I'll get sick of them but... I just don't have the willpower to pull away. They call to me, drawing me in with their intoxicating aura and I'm just helpless.

1. Whispertown 2000- Atlantis (mp3)
This song! I have been a casual listener of w2k for a few years, but when I stumbled across Atlantis, I stopped in my tracks. Seriously it was like in the movies when someone sees someone and thinks "Where have you been all my life?"!! The aching, tender, rock-candy vocals just get to me so much. I love the way her voice cracks on the line "let me in!". The harmonizing, the unique vocals, the sad, plaintive melody and the imagery of the ocean and Atlantis are a lethal combination for me.

2. CSS- Knife (Grizzly Bear Cover) (listen)
For some reason, Grizzly Bear's Friend EP was the first album of theirs that I heard. For some bands, EPs are just left-overs or second rate cuts, but since Grizzly Bear is Grizzly Bear, all the songs were amazing even on the EP. I especially love this cover of Knife by CSS. It is such a pure, simple song. Short and sweet and intense. CSS definitely perks up the song, adding electronic elements and their signature touch, but the angst is still there, and I love it.

3. Beach House- D.A.R.L.I.N.G. (mp3)
It took me a while to get into Beach House, because I am automatically averse to super-hyped bands, but I have to admit, they're good. I really love d.a.r.l.i.n.g. especially. The song is dark, sexy, and foggy. Rodarte said "Beach House is an amazing band that manages to sound like a glass box filled with sand, metal, rain and thunder" and I think he's right.

April 28, 2009

Cool Remix: Lykke Li

Lykke Li Pictures, Images and Photos
It's no secret that I love Lykke Li... and I also love remixes.. so the combination is really dangerous and delicious.
This is an awesome remix of Dance Dance Dance done by the always solid Buraka Som Sistema.
It's short and sweet, with a nice thumping, almost tribal sounding beat that really compliments Lykke's delicate vocals.
Download: Lykke Li- Dance Dance Dance (Buraka Som Sistema Remix)

April 23, 2009

Ulrich von Lichtenstein!

Artwork by Roy Lichtenstein
I'm in a really good mood. Which is weird, considering how much stuff I still have to do before school ends. I have three more days of school, then exams! I have a final project in art due Wednesday (yikes) but it's going really well! I'm doing a dramatically shaded charcoal portrait of Jenny. She is positioned kind of like a Roy Lichtenstein girl, looking over her shoulder at the viewer. I am really excited about it. For the other part of the project, I'm probably doing a brightly colored acrylic painting of Blake. I figure it will represent both the bright and dark elements to their music... and relationship. Haha I love pretending that I know what's going on with them.

Random Thoughts:
-I hope I can go to Whispertown 2000 on Sunday.
-I can't wait for Rilo Kiley's rarities album to come out!
-I can't wait to see Jenny this summer! FINALLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
-I am glad I'm going home this weekend. I miss my family.
-I sat by a hilarious European named Vlad in Art History today.
-I got told that my animal look-alike was an English Spaniel. Not sure how I feel about this...
-I'm excited to get a job for the summer.
-I hope I can go to Virginia this summer at some point.

Anyway, I'll stop babbling. Here is a really cool remix of Midlake by Cassettes Won't Listen. Straight from CWL's twitter page!
Download: Midlake- Young Bride (Cassettes Won't Listen Remix)