Monday, January 28, 2008

Lover In The Snow

It's hard to know where to begin when trying to describe recent events of the last week or so.

Two Thursdays ago, I was driving up to Big Bear with my friends for the weekend. That was an outrageous blur of fun. (Hence the use of my own video in lieu of an actual Rivers Cuomo video for "Lover In The Snow.")

And then we came back and I was sick for practically the whole week... while sad things happened to people I did and didn't know (RIP Devin M. and Heath Ledger). It rained a whole lot... actually, it's still raining. The sadness is just emanating from everywhere.

But despite all these up and down feelings - this weekend felt like something completely new. The last few days have been pretty great for me, partially because I've been editing the Big Bear videos... but also because it's been a weekend of birthday celebrations and good news.

Brandon got a job at United Airlines. I get to go watch presidential candidates debate each other LIVE this week.

And ready? Here's the crazy part...

The old band MAY be getting together soon to record some old songs- according to a short but sweet conversation I had earlier. Wasn't I just reminiscing about this in my last post? While I don't plan on getting my hopes up too high, I'm still gonna' allow myself to feel good about this potentiality. After all, Feb. 5, 2008 is coming up... 1 year and 3 months exactly from the date the last major life-changing thing happened to me.

For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, 1 year and 3 months is the amount of time I've determined to be my "personal cycle of life changing events." It's been a weird pattern that I've observed.

Anyway... why NOT feel good about recording the songs.. right? I was watching a documentary on John Lennon earlier and there was this part where he was being interviewed by some guy who asked if the Beatles were ever gonna' get back together. And he said "I can't really say. If we do, I'll be happy. The memories are fond and the wounds are healed." But he said that he wouldn't make the first move.

And then he was killed.

And in light of the too-close-for-comfort feelings about death I've had in the last few days, it just seems petty and stupid to let some old wounds get in the way of something beautiful. So when O. came up and gave me a hug hello earlier, I found myself blurting out to him that "hey..I wanted to call you.. but I didn't. What do you think about maybe getting together and recording some songs for old time's sake?" And he said he'd been thinking about the same thing too lately. And that made me happy.

I have a really, really good feeling about this year. I hope I'm right.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Falling Slowly

Take this sinking boat and point it home... we've still got time.
Raise your hopeful voice, you have a choice...You've made it now.

I saw the movie Once for the first time this weekend and although it's definitely an acquired-taste type of film, it really hit home for me. It's a weird thing - movies... how you always seem to "accidentally" rent the one that suits exactly what you're feeling at the time.

It makes me think that people really are connected on a broader level - that we're all experiencing the same thing at the same time, just not necessarily in the same way.

Regardless, the movie reminded me of good times... of having a band and the unexplainable feeling of success after writing a song that says exactly what you want it to say.

There's honestly no better test for chemistry between people than putting them together in a room and asking them to create a work of art. That's when the truth comes out - often without words, but instead with a vibe that others feel with you.

And when it comes to music - there's something so magical about being with that select few who feel it as much as you do.

You pull out your guitars, start strumming your favorite songs and belt out with so much conviction that it's like the song was written just for you - just to express that piece of emotion that could never be expressed otherwise. It gives you a sense of hope and longing - and an urge to send your own message out to the world.

Then you realize that there's something deeper there than just a few friends singing some songs - it's real-life magic. It makes other people want to blow bubbles... and watch them vibrate as harmonies stream through the amps. Everybody's smiling and singing, and you're happy because YOU helped other people feel the magic too.

Being in a band with two of my best friends was one of the greatest experiences of my life. It was a different kind of camaraderie and it brought out the possibility of being connected to people in a way that so many other people would never understand.

Sometimes we would have those perfectly "on" days where everything just sounded flawless... when the feeling was all there, and there was nothing to cloud the creativity.

Then there were those days where everything would just go wrong - when we couldn't figure out how to get the recording mics to work, then someone would break a guitar string or the sustain pedal on the keyboard would stop working. Even still, it would be a pretty good day - because we learned something new and we learned it together. We'd just end the day with a shot of Jack and one of our favorite rock albums.

I miss those days. It's been more than a year since we've played any of our songs together... but hopefully time will continue to heal some wounds and one day, we'll be back in the garage playing Light My Fire together.

This is to pay homage to the love of art... and to pay homage to writing about trampolines and people named Charlie.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Whistle For the Choir

I was having lunch with some friends one day when this stranger caught my eye as he walked into the restaurant. He was hardly what average people would call attractive, but I was initially drawn to him because he had beautiful eyes and super curly, long hair - similar to that of the lead singer of Hot Hot Heat.

Still, as he kept getting closer I noticed how average he was. As soon as he passed my immediate line of vision, I was pretty much over him. And then I thought to myself (and simultaneously blurted out to my friends)... I am just not easily impressed anymore.

Where did this new development come from, I wondered. My friend James agreed with me... he's just not easily impressed by people anymore either.

So is it the fact that there is a significant lack of "head-turners" nowadays or is it just that people are so damn average now that it seems like very few people are worth getting to know?

I think I'm finally starting to notice a REAL trend in terms of who I'm attracted to (not just romantically, but for friendships too)... the ones who have a story to tell, the ones who are slightly crazy, the ones who are smart and the ones that "average" people tend to overlook because of their differences.

As the Fratellis say... So if you're crazy... I don't care, you amaze me...

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

So this is the new year... and I don't feel any different.

I was originally saving my first blog entry of 2008 for some type of introspective "year in review" but next thing I knew, an entire week had already past without as much as a thought of how I was planning to conduct such an endeavor.

So I figured that before I let the entire month of January pass by (which I have a natural talent of doing) without writing anything, I should probably just get on with it in whatever manner comes spewing forth through my keyboard.

Here's 2007 in my self-imposed nutshell:

We went on our annual trip to Big Bear. It didn't come close to the first two trips back in 2003, but it was still fun... despite some unavoidable awkwardness and the overwhelming feeling of "missing my girls." On the 3rd night of the trip, I got drunker than I had ever been in my whole life and I insisted on smoking a cigarette in the 0-degree backyard in nothing but pjs, a tank top and my snowboard boots.

Josh moved to San Francisco... after all these years of living in the same house, it felt strange to say goodbye.

I quit my job at the Body Shop to focus on my final semester of college.

February through April
For the most part, I stopped talking to people who weren't directly involved in my day-to-day routine. All that mattered to me at this point was becoming an editor of the campus magazine and everything else school-related.

I spent less and less time with my regular group of friends, and more time with new people. In retrospect I attribute it to a subconscious "sorting" I was doing to weed out the bad "friends" and maybe also as an effort to surround myself with people who "understood" me. What was comfortable was falling apart... I had to do something different.

This attitude may have persisted throughout the rest of the year, but it was most significant during these few months.

Also in April - We went to New York City for Spring Break. It was wonderful. We had a laugh attack at the Paradise Cafe and wandered through Greenwich Village. We may have spent too much time at H&M.

I graduated from college with a bachelor's degree in magazine journalism. I was pleasantly surprised when you attended my graduation.

I got hired at The Acorn and started off immediately as the lead reporter of the Simi Valley edition. I was sucked in to the real world, perhaps too quickly to have really enjoyed it. I missed school.

The summer flew by without incident. Except for my birthday (which was exceptional this year), I hardly noticed it.

Halloween was mediocre. But Francis had fun as Harry Potter.

I was getting desperate and wanted very badly to move to San Francisco, or New York, or anywhere.
I couldn't move so instead, I spent a few days wandering SF by myself. I stayed with Josh but he had to work. Napa was great. Nothing bad happened in November - which was record-breaking compared to past years.

Thanksgiving reminded us of how important traditions were. As a family, we made the most of the holidays. We were all very much closer than usual.

"They" say that whoever you celebrate New Year's Eve with will be the same as those surrounding you in the coming year. On Dec. 31, 2006 - I didn't see any of my regular friends. On Dec. 31, 2007, I made it a point to see the really close ones.

So this is the new year... and I don't feel any different.
As Ben Gibbard continues to sing...
I wish the world was flat like the old days
Then i could travel just by folding a map
No more airplanes, or speed trains, or freeways
There'd be no distance that could hold us back.

I'm hoping 2008 will be better than 2007. And it'd be great if it was anything close to 2003. So this is the new year...