Expedition to Well-readedness*

Who knew a person could actually own so many unread books? I feel like a hoarder. Actually, I think I might be a hoarder in real life. A book hoarder. (I posted pictures; you’ll see. Just promise not to judge. Or, if you do, don’t tell me.)

I’m not only a compulsive Amazoner (“Oh, look, this book is only $3.99! That’s basically free! I’ve never read that… “), I’m a used bookstore junkie. Ask me about the Schumann and the biography of Elisabeth Schwarzkopf I found at Greenwood Books, just down the road from Eastman. Go ahead, ask me.

It’s not that I don’t want to read them. It’s not that I’m not capable. It’s simply that pesky thing, that life thing, that keeps interfering. I think that half the reason I buy so many, revolves around the simple fact that every time I see a classic I haven’t read and don’t own, or a three-dollar, four hundred page steal, or a twenty-cent gem at a garage sale, I am reminded that I spend a great deal of time meandering about, complaining about how busy I am (occasionally/aka most of the time, I actually am that busy, but I digress**). Whenever I see something I’ve been meaning to read, or might enjoy, I can’t help but grab it and flip through, maybe smell it or something; I fantasize about the gray afternoon in a presumably not-so-distant future where I will curl up with my treasure and relinquish Life, just for a few hours.

It rarely happens. HOWEVER,*** this summer I have vowed, due to my lack of a full time, real-people job (don’t worry about me, though, I’ll still be busting ass), that I will plow through the mountains of books in my room. That’s right: not pile, not stacks, not even singular mountain: MOUNTAINS****.

There are going to be hours this summer where I will stare at page upon page of cyrillic and transliterations and just want to scream. And so I plan to soothe myself with a good old-fashioned English language storybook. If nothing else, I’ll get through some trashy romance novels. And for some tragic drama, toss Sophocles in there (since I found the complete works all nicely bound together in Greenwood! Love that place… almost as much as I love Sophocles). Maybe I’ll add in Vonnegut, and although he might be somewhere in the depths of the mountain (appropriate, actually), I’d like to finish at least the classic Tolkein.

But we’ll see. Maybe I won’t have as much reading time as I’d like. Maybe I’ll pull an Oedipus and stab my own eyeballs out for lack of patience and eyeball stamina. Or maybe I’ll read half my unread library and be pleased with myself.

I have been tallying a books-read count since January. As of right now, I’ve gotten through a whomping nineteen (and a seventh, I have a 700 pager going currently). I’ll keep this updated, maybe. If I remember… ha, ha.

In other news, I am blogging for the first time ever from my bedroom at home in the boondocks. We have previously only ever had dial-up internet, and I am pleased to report that my stubborn mother finally, after nearly twelve years of mutual hatred, read the death sentence to the old-fashioned internet connection after one too many failed attempts with online taxes.

And now I have to resume the cleaning of my barely-unpacked bedroom. Below are my mountains of books… photographic evidence. Remember not to tell me about the judgments I’m sure are to follow.

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You’ll see that at least I have a bookshelf with which to store them (in the background)… albeit a currently empty bookshelf

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There are books in those pink tote guys, too… this bookshelf is about ready to call it a day

* Complete with footnotes and halfway decent grammar

** Holy shit, run-on sentence of my life, right there…

*** Naturally in caps due to its importance, not my itchy caps lock finger

**** Here we see my exuberance, exubing***** exuberantly

***** Clearly not a word, I’m just feeling rambunctious today

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Stream of nagging consciousness

So for most of today I’ve experienced simple, so-happy-I’m-stupid bliss raging blood-spattering war against a persistent nagging feeling that there’s no real reason for me to be so happy. Read that single-comma-ed run on one more time in a single breath and then you have my day in a nutshell.

I just saw a picture of a guy I know on facebook. He had a laughing, pretty girl (much shorter and more petite than I, with a little more charm in her laughing face… let’s face it, who has a charming laughing face?!) on his arm, and a smile that read “I’m getting some.” This guy I know, well, he and I may or may not have entertained the idea of entertaining one another. To some extent we did, for one hot endless summer night.

We talked a little after that but it was obvious that nothing would come of it. But for some reason I allowed myself to build castles in the air around him for a little while, and it took a few weeks for them to gently collapse back to dust in my brain. But the time we had was nice, as he was nice. We were compatible and there was some serious chemistry. And then there was no contact so the chemistry faded softly away, as did the niceness and the friendship.

So why is it a blow to see him with someone else? Why, when I Have Someone now? Maybe it’s the heartsore “what could have been” coming back to nudge me. Maybe it’s the memory of that warm night and his mouth on mine, persistent and electrifying. Maybe it’s the absence of a new and shiny friendship that fell off into nothingness, or maybe it’s simply a bittersweet melancholy that whines at inopportune moments.

I don’t know, exactly. Maybe it’s a combination of them all. But what pisses me off the most is that I let it interfere, for even one moment, with the happiness I have right now. The pleasant fizz under the skin at the thought of moments that might arrive, the ever present maybe of thrills that may or may not ever be realized. The challenge, the adrenaline of discovery… I have that now, or at least a taste of it. I don’t want to ruin it by worrying myself into a paranoia that complicates it all just because something made me sad and that prods me into thinking I might not be justifiably happy.

Standing in the sunlight, laughing

Why is it always so bittersweet to remember things? I can’t watch old home videos without being miserable, because I’m happy there and I’m happy remembering… but I’m sad thinking that time’s passed. My grandpa’s not here anymore, but he’s there, and laughing; my cousins are all living with their parents in those movies, not off in different cities, some, different states, living their own lives… not that that’s a bad thing. My parents are younger, healthier.

As for me? In those old movies, I have big choices to make, still. I can save the hard decisions and the bad decisions for another day, because in those movies I’m content to live in my small bubble: one that consists of bickering and playing with my baby sister and romps in the backyard with my favorite yellow dog. It’s a perfect thirty minutes of childhood, preserved for anyone who wants to watch.

That’s why it hurts to remember. I can sit here and remember happiness felt this past summertime and just want to cry. Sunlight and green things, and iced coffee with lots of chocolate and extra ice; movies and pool nights, the Happening and farm work and guide rail. I had decisions to make, then, too– but they were a little more complicated than an eight-year-old me sitting on the floor unwrapping birthday presents in the living room.

I wonder, if I had decided to press the issue with him, if I’d be this miserable now. If I’d chosen potential over years of friendship… If I had said, “I think I’m in love with you,” when I thought I did, would we still be fighting? And, fighting over what, exactly– that I lost my temper? that I was sad and tired and stressed? that I was stretched thin to brittle, and closed to shattering?

Is that what this is about? That I was rude? That I’m a terrible friend? I thought you knew me better than that.

And what about all of that “I hate it when my friends change themselves” crap I heard for almost a year? What happens when you change? What then? Do I get to sit here and hate it, like you did? Or am I expected to just roll with it and accept that when I need you, you can’t be there for me like I need you to be, because you’re changing– into someone who has friends who are less serious than I am, more fun, with less to do and less at stake… I’m sorry I’m not spontaneous and fun anymore. I have to focus. I have to. I’m sorry.

This is why it hurts to remember. It’s one thing to remember the man you knew in the summertime, but in the cold winter daylight when things aren’t as perfect, you have to face the boy he decided he was, and any frost that comes along.

Final-ly (blog for 407T)

Well, I’m done! For the summer, for the semester. Until August, I’m done with school!

Not really, but the thought’s a nice one.

I don’t have to go to school for grades, now, though. And that’s where I get giddy. I can be self-motivated and study and learn because now I have the materials and the tools. I can learn things because I want to learn them and because they make me happy.

I guess I won’t comment in depth about how much I’ve changed. I’m really glad I made a new blog, a new chapter, for this part of my life, because you can see from the very, very beginning of my summer (last summer) how different things have gotten. I feel like my mind’s been stretched and warped in so many new and interesting ways– not all of them good, but then again, whose mind is all good? I figure those parts will iron themselves out as things continue to shift and change.

I did a lot of thinking last night as I laid in my bed in 407T for the very last time. It’s strange to think that I’ll never spend another night in this room. I remember thinking that about my room at home last summer (but of course I’m headed back there and have been there since last August). Still, the nostalgia is kind of the same. And it makes me a little melancholy to dwell on how many hours I’ve spent in here, thinking and ranting to Lucy, doing work, tapping out aural skillz rhythm patterns… good times. And bad times: the vicious homesickness, angsting over problems with people I thought were my friends, learning who was really going to be there for me– like the invaluable support system Professor Cowdrick spoke of– and who I’d be there for.

So much that has contributed to my personal growth and change has happened here. While I was sitting in this uncomfortable, ugly chair at this cluttered little desk.

I know it’s just a room, and I won’t linger sentimentally over it once I’m out of it. But for this moment, I’m going to sit here thinking about the year I’ve spent here, in 407T.

And in springs May

I’ve updated! Finally. Made some much-needed, pleasant redecorations.

I also did some spring cleaning on my computer. Not physically– the screen’s still splotchy and dirty and there are the *cough* few little droplets of coffee here and there around the keys, but everything’s in proper working order so I’m not concerned. I’m talking about the inner spring cleaning, the going-through of all of my school papers and theory projects and compositions and whatever that were sprawled across my Desktop willy-nilly. Essays with names like “omgggdfakdjlkMUE111ESSSSAY” and “asdjffjkjkdshitttfinallythispaper.” Random photos that I posted on tumblr, some miscellaneous notepad entries with cryptic phrases like “bach cell0 suite in g major for marimba.”

All of that has been either deleted or relegated to my EASTMAN 2010-11 folder. So it’s nice and cozy. Also, all of my stories and to-do lists are neatly filed away. My background is currently rotating photos from home (in the summertime, outside, I might add). And I’ve got less than four days of Rochester left (!!!!!!). Tomorrow is “Reading Day,” where I will barricade myself in my room with a study plan I hope to have arranged by this evening (well, later this evening). Wednesday I have theory and music ed. Thursday I have ed psych. And Friday is the open book (LOL) Italian final and I am OUT OF HERE.

For home, for summer. My first summer as a grown up, I guess. I feel grown up now (not really, but I don’t feel like a child). I certainly don’t feel like I did before. I’m about ready to start actually contributing to the world. What a notion.

I actually do plan to be productive. In addition to my job, I’ll have practicing to do. Friday is also “Raid Sibley Day” so I’ll hopefully have a massive collection of German (also!!!!!-worthy) to learn! And three more of Tchaikovsky’s six romances.

But that’s for four days from now. So until then, I’ll sign off, bid adieu or what have you, and maybe read for a while.

Time for the fall

I had it out with my mother last night.

Those of you who actually know me, and/or my mother, will realize that this is not the simplest or most enjoyable activity.

Those of you who don’t know me, and/or my mother, will please take note that we are quite similar… type A personality, somewhat aggressive and domineering, like to be in control, fairly intuitively aware of when someone is having a difficult time with something. The difference is, my mother will confront this struggling person with a “what’s your problem? your tone sucks” (i.e., that’s what she said to me yestereve), whereas I will either allow said individual to continue to work out whatever it is they’re dealing with in peace, or I will ask them about it (hopefully a smidgeon less abrasively… although I’ll confess to being an abrasive soul on occasion).

Anyway. So we were sitting on the porch. Me: bowl of popcorn and some grape juice, Nora Roberts’ The Villa in one hand and a texting conversation with Michael in the other. Ready to relax and burn up the forty-some pages left in my book before the natural light faded.

Mother: “So when are we going to Wal-Mart? What else do you need to get?”

Me: Rattled off list of supplies still necessary.

Dad (eavesdropping by the grill, pretending he’s not being awkward standing there): “Are you going to bring your fridge?”

Me: Explanation of how I don’t know because my roommate’s sister facebooked me about how they have a fridge already. Further explanation of how, even if I don’t bring it this year, I will need it next year when I have my own room.

Mother: “You know, you sound like this all has to go your way. Like, you are entitled for everthing to be exactly the way you want it.”

Me: “That’s not how it is–”

Mom: “That’s what I mean. Your tone… sucks.”

And that’s when I ignored my father pretending to be part of the conversation and forgot to calculate the effects of what I said or how I said it.  Basically I just spewed out what I didn’t know had really been gnawing at me.

“I’m going to a high-intensity musical conservatory in less than two weeks, where I know no one and I’ll be expected to work my ass off every second of my day. Not that I mind, but on top of that I’ve never done college before, have no idea what to expect or what to do or how to do it. No one’s there to help me and I’ll be completely on my own. I’m sorry if that gives me a ‘tone’ since I’m terrified and will have no idea what I’m doing. It’s just a little bit of added stress, if that’s understandable. Just a little stressful for me.”

So now it’s said and aired, and I have come to the realization that leaving has really started to worry me. It’s like the wait before an audition, before a performance. I feel prepared, but unsure of how I’ll actually perform. I mostly am anxious because I don’t know what’s in store, I don’t know what’s waiting at Eastman. Hogwarts, it feels like, but I doubt it will be that fun. Challenges, stress, coffee, no sleep. Hopefully it will be the time of my life, but who knows, really. I’m sadly undereducated and as much as I love music, I don’t like to be behind.

I just don’t know what to expect, and that worries me. The wait pressures me. All that I’m leaving behind here seems so final, so like the end of summer, the end of childhood.

I’ll deal with it and kick its ass with intensity, but for right this second, it’s stressing me out.

My love like a voice

It’s been awhile since I’ve blogged anything. A few weeks, anyway. It’s high time the writing’s continued, especially this is the summer before I head to college for the first time.

This is the sequel to my previous blog of two years, Kick Drum Heart (http://amnerisblue.wordpress.com); the title of this one is the other half of the phrase the Avett Brothers sing of in their song of the same name. It’s a step forward, of sorts: a new stanza to the same song, if you will.

So! Take a look around, read some of my thoughts and rants and musings. Leave me a note if you’d like, I appreciate any and all input (and the fact that you give a crap what I have to say will undoubtably make my day, whether your comments are nice, nasty, or otherwise).

Anyway it’s about time for me to wrap this up, so, have a great day. :)