I’m getting rushed back on a whim

Spotify made one of those end-of-the-year things where it shows you what songs, artists, etc you listened to the most… Apparently my top song was “Bluish” by Animal Collective. Which is kind of funny because when I listen to it, it pulls my mind right back to around this time last year. “Bluish” is the sound of getting ready to go out in the cold; smoking a cigar at New Year’s; standing on a balcony downtown; spinning around and around in a kitchen chair.

Looking over my Top of 2015 list now, other moments from the past year pop up fresh in my mind.

Famous” was playing pool on a wintry Sunday afternoon with Patrick. I remember wearing his shoes because my feet were too cold on the basement floor and both of us throwing ping-pong balls at each other.
True Affection” was after getting engaged and wondering how to become a better person.
Useful Chamber” was all the hours spent alone in the warehouse at work unpacking boxes. (My work moved in the spring, I moved out of my parent’s house in the summer, a couple weeks ago I moved across the country… I am done)
As Lucerne/The Low” was Poncho’s confirmation week and springtime. Cleaning the house, driving barefoot with the windows down in a hurry.
Lonely Town” was painting the house at Lawnwood. Sometimes it was not-so-lonely, with Dad and Patrick and Luke helping me. (I also think of painting the house whenever I hear the band Cake, because the radio station had a Cake marathon one night when Dad and Patrick and I stayed really late working and then listening to Dad’s crazy stories. “All the Cake you can take until 1 a.m.”)
Baby Just Break” was trying to squeeze all the juice out of summer, enjoying car rides and the feeling of impending freedom.
Downtown” was showing off my one true talent: Memorizing All the Words And Delivering Them With Gusto.
Magnets” was this fall, dancing alone in the living room with the bass turned up and decorating for our epic Halloween party.

There could be so many more. It’s cool to look back at my music and see the different phases I went through, and the way my habits changed with circumstances and the seasons. Also, I like that you never know at the time what music is going to become the soundtrack of this blip of your life. It’s not something you can force, it’s just whatever music is playing in the speakers or in your head when the moments happen.

And I think that my song-phases are the reason I remember the moments, actually. Some people take a lot of pictures. Some people say that smells can conjure scenes with clarity. For me, the same rush back in time can happen with first breathy sigh of “Bluish“.

What a year. Here’s to the last few weeks of 2015.
-Pen

Here comes the feeling you thought you’d forgotten

It’s summer? I feel like one day I woke up and all the leaves were popped out and the sun was shining and my brain just made the adjustment like, “Okay, so that happened.” And now it’s so freakishly normal to resume my favorite lifestyle– the one where I never wear shoes anywhere, only carry them around to places in a half-attempt at being civilized. This summer is weird, though, because I have already been to the beach approximately five times. Despite living here all my life, I’ve rarely been to the beach at all because my dad hates germs and the city.

But now already I’ve gone on a few trips to Edgewater with Oliver to sit on rocks, eat ice cream, and watch sailboats, all as the sun sinks into the lake and we discuss such idyllic topics as trial-by-combat. Also we had a picnic there, which involved a box of wings which we devoured like mad hyenas. And Huntington twice, where we climbed a shale cliff, walked all over, climbed onto a broken chimney that was sunk in the water, waded in a creek, found a ton of beach glass, sort of got a tan, and played volleyball. (I actually hit the ball a few times. Such sporting, wow.) Also while we were there the dogwood trees were shedding their cotton like snow and it was glorious.

The nature on that beach restored me somehow. I think it’s not just the way everything looks, though there is so much there that’s lovely and interesting. But it’s the fact that I could touch everything, all the rocks, the water,the sand, the grass, feel the breeze and the sun, for hours and hours, all day long. I felt like I absorbed everything through my skin. Maybe it’s not the salt water that heals you. Maybe it’s just the beach.

And amazing books. I just read one such book called Annihilation, and then I told the entire plot to Oliver on a car ride, and then to Bug, except Bug got excessive hand motions and me shouting, “NNNOPE! NOPE!” to explain major points. When Eliza got back from work and I was still at their house, Bug mentioned that I had been telling her about a book… Eliza asked, “Oh, what is it?”
Me: *flails and falls to the ground* “AAAAUUUGGGGGHHHHHH”
Eliza: “OK, I don’t actually need to know.”

So, actually a lot more than just beach-combing and book-reading has been going on, but I don’t even know what else to say specifically. Except for one thing that was specifically not mentioned, which is: I got a car today. (!) (?) (!!!!)

It is a Pontiac Grand Am as white as porcelain. It has woofer speakers that make people give me a sideways stare at stop lights. It is almost as old as Poncho. It has shiny chrome wheels and it doesn’t smell like something died inside of it (Yay, bonus). But that’s all I can say about it for now. I’ve only had it for a day, and besides that I am tired of talking cars for the time being. It is exciting, though. And I never thought I’d actually be excited about getting a car.

Car

Oh yeah, that reminds me– I have developed a serious love for gifs. Among other things… It’s like I just discovered the internet. It used to be just a few websites to me, and now it’s a whole big thing and greatly amusing.

Anyway, I guess that’s all for now. But I’m sure there will be no shortage of new adventures to tell in the near future.

2010…2011

Tonight, as we rode home from a New Year’s Eve party, I asked my family why the new year was a big deal. Personally I don’t like cut-offs; in real life, one thing flows into another smoothly, slowly, constantly. But anyway. Dad replied, in his usual manner
“It’s just another excuse to get drunk and have a party. Of course it’s really supposed to be a celebration, you know, new beginnings and a new start, new year, whatever. People make resolutions they never keep…”
Me: “I never make resolutions. First of all because I will change my habits whenever I feel like it. Second of all… I never make plans for the new year because it never turns out quite like I expect it to.”

And that is my philosophy. I mean, I never could have predicted or planned for what happened in my life in 2010.

I think I did a lot of growing up this year, a lot of changing and becoming my own person. I learned a lot and tried a lot of new things. Maybe I even took a few risks. I can’t even remember what happened in 2010, or exactly when certain changes began, because my brain doesn’t work in sudden cut-offs like January First, but I know that there was so much that happened to me and around me this year that I wouldn’t have time or space to mention it all. There is no resolution that could prepare for or be better than everything that happened to me over the course of 2010… and now, 2011.

The new year… shapeless in my mind right now. It does not feel different, or particularly promising, even. But I like it that way. Changes don’t come suddenly at the stroke of midnight. They come slowly, one by one, maybe starting so small that you don’t even notice them at first, can’t trace their origins after they are realized.

I am so happy, as I turn over 2010 in my mind… And now 2011 has come… 

The earth has turned all the way round, and it isn’t stopping yet. 

Good night, and happy New Year!
Love,
Pen

‘Cause when you’re Fifteen…!

My birthday was this past Saturday. I am now officially fifteen! It was fun. I went to writers’ group and gave them all birthday cookies (aka chocolate chip oatmeal… my favorite!!!) which they were very appreciative of. One of them broke on in half and saw how soft and yummy they were and declared them “lethal” , which I am going to take as a compliment. :)

On Saturday it was just Mom, Dodge, and me because Dad and Poncho were camping with Adventure Guides. I opened my presents, ate dinner, read the beginning of “At Bertram’s Hotel: a Miss Marple Mystery”, played with Dodge (my playmobil hedgehogs thought that his lego Kitt Fisto was the ‘Hedgehog King’, much hilarity ensued), and watched part two of Cranford on Masterpiece Classic. And this Saturday it’ll be Return to Cranford!! I didn’t even know what Cranford was before I stumbled upon the show by accident, but I am totally addicted now.
Then, yesterday, Dad and Poncho came home so we went out to dinner and had ice cream cake at Grandma and Grandpa Vegas’ house. Oh, and Mom and I went shopping all afternoon. The mall was a huge bust. Icing wanted like 21 dollars for a clutch purse, and I was like, If I pay that I won’t have any money left to put in there! Then Forever 21 and Charlotte Russe let me down, too, so we went into Wet Seal and were shocked because for once it looked… normal. Wow. Usually I don’t even go in there because it’s been kind of scary lately, the things they sell (glittery sequined undergarments… and my first thought was “wouldn’t that be itchy?”). But still, there wasn’t anything really great so we left the mall and went to Kohl’s, but they were very boring that day, so we decided to go to Salvation Army by our house, as a last stop for the day. It was closed because it was Sunday, so the we said, “oh, just try one other thrift store”, and I bought four things!! At a very nice price, I might add. I love thrift stores. They usually have long skirts or cute dresses, despite if it’s the fashion. Soo yeah. But I’m also thinking about making some of my own clothes, so i’m saving the rest of my birthday/babysitting money for fabric and patterns.

Today I found out something GREATLY AMAZINGLY GOOD!!!! But I can’t tell you what it is because it’s still under wraps. I just want to say that I’ve been praying for this for a while, and it happened!!! Thanks be to God!!! One more week. One more week and it’s final and then I can tell you what it is. One more week.

I suppose that’s all I’ll say for now. Hopefully by the end of the month I’ll have posted the gingerbread post I’ve been planning. I just hope y’all won’t be confused… like in Lost when it’s all woooooooooooo and then smash! we’re in the 1800’s! Oh no wait, we’re in 2000! Um no, it’s the 70’s! Sheesh. ;P

Ciao,
-Pen