So far, my most important blog posts have all been fairly depressing. So this time, I'm going to reflect on fun memories and things I enjoy doing.
I've indulged in many hobbies throughout my lifetime. Musically, I've taken guitar and swing dancing lessons, and sung in several choirs. (My vocal range is closest to the range of Hayley from Paramore and Florence from Florence + The Machine. I've sung both soprano and alto.) I've also engaged in a multitude of sports: yoga, pilates, ballet, tap dance, horseback riding, ice skating, swimming, rollerblading, and karate. I like to hop from activity to activity, getting a little bit of everything. Even now that I'm not involved in any sports, I enjoy taking invigorating walks.
In high school, I spent a year in NJROTC. That's right, I once considered a career in the military. I found the other members of my squad to be far too focused on winning competitions and far less focused on comradeship, so that didn't last long.
(My commanding officer was my favorite. Once, during our mile runs, I threw up and passed out. He backed away from me quickly, commanded me to throw up far away from him, and then didn't help me back to the classroom -- he waited until I'd woken back up and could walk myself. Another time, a mock torture interrogation was given. The interrogator kept asking the commanding officer to stand up. Said commanding officer hid in the back, because he considered his life much more important than ours'.)
I spent one summer taking acting classes, and indulged in plenty of creative writing classes even before college. I took a photography class once. I was for a while as a kid involved in a Christian youth group. In middle school, I was in the honors society.
I've been to several concerts.
My first concert was a Hilary Duff concert, all the way back when I was a little girl. (I loved the Disney show Lizzie McGuire, and admired Hilary Duff for being a strong, human, three-dimensional girl without feeling the need to act like a bitch all the time. She was sweet and wholesome, but not weak or docile. Or at least, that's how she always came across to me. I really respected that. I admire Taylor Swift for the same reason.)
My aunt took me. Everyone else was just standing still in the dark, listening to the music. (They were mostly adults, there on the behest of their young daughters.) I couldn't understand that at all! How could people stay still when they listened to music? I was dancing and jumping around like crazy, having the time of my life!
My next concert was a rock festival in high school. I had a best friend in high school; she was very into dyed hair, goth fashion, morbid humor, and rock music. She invited me and we went to see the very first iteration of the Projekt Revolution festival. I got to see My Chemical Romance, Linkin Park, and Mindless Self Indulgence all in one day.
Certain memories stick out. At the Mindless Self Indulgence show, which was on the small stage during the heat of the day, Jimmy jumped up on top of one of the speakers while singing. It began swaying precariously and some roadie had to run out in a panic and hold it in place. Jimmy had tall, huge hair I could see from all the way at the back of the audience, and he wore a long, shiny coat that had "As Seen On TV" on the back of it. Lyndsey was wearing noticeable, skintight hot pink pants, and she had girl thighs, which meant she was a girl playing at a rock concert, and that was SO COOL.
After MSI, we bought Projekt Revolution T shirts and bags, and made our way to the big stage where all the major bands were playing that night. I still remember how hilariously people were dressed -- dark clothes and eye makeup. It was all so cliche. (People who dress to fit a certain style make me giggle inside. They look funny.)
That night, we sat away from the main part of the show, on a grassy hill above the stadium. We lay back in the grass and could see the stars as the music played. On one side of us was a group of teens smoking pot -- a security guard kept coming up to them and scolding them; countless times, they would move to go away, and then when she left they just sat right back down and started smoking pot again. On our other side was a couple making out on a blanket.
At one point, we looked around and they'd disappeared. My friend and I stared at each other. "Oh my God -- they exploded from lack of oxygen!" We both started laughing hysterically.
Taking Back Sunday was godawful, but for the most part the shows on the big stage were really good. My Chemical Romance stood out as the best of the night, a bunch of black-garbed skeletons jumping around on the faraway stage. At one point, a girl threw a pair of underwear at Gerard on the stage. He picked it up to show the audience. "Huh huh -- cool," he said, thus proving himself to be every man playing at a rock concert ever.
Linkin Park were probably the best showmen. They started out behind a screen, the flashing lights turning them into ghostly silhouettes -- the screen slowly raised to reveal them standing there. They played videos full of nature footage on the stage behind them as they did their set. They thanked their fans for sticking with them, because they'd just changed their entire sound recently.
("BOO!" my friend called as they spoke. She hated their new sound.)
All in all, it was a pretty incredible day.
I also saw MSI separately once at the House of Blues. I stood on the ground floor in the back, shadowed, away from the crowds, wearing a long black coat, watching underage teens grab bottles of beer from off to the side and no one stop them. (One pair of teens had come from hours away just to hear MSI in concert.)
One man dressed like Jimmy was so high, he kept stumbling to the back of the audience and passing out. Then he'd just get right back up and throw himself into the fold to dance again. A thirty-year-old man once asked my high school aged friend to dance. (She said no -- over and over again as he kept asking, pretending not to hear her.)
MSI's predecessors were funny -- "I'm gonna throw up all over this keyboard and it's gonna be really fuckin' funny," said one musician with long white hair, grinning as he chugged water.
Jimmy was particularly outrageous that night. He took a soiled pair of underwear thrown at him onstage, and tied it around his head like a bandana. He also invited a girl in a Tigger costume to come up on stage and dance with him. ("This is going all over YouTube! I'm really gonna get a job at Kinko's -- yeah, like a fuckin' tigger!" Jimmy shouted gleefully.) At the end, he led everyone in a mock prayer for all the drunk and high people not to get pulled over tonight.
I've also been to San Diego Comic Con twice. Both times were with my sister and an aunt and uncle, though for one of the cons I met my friends there and went off to spend most of the day with them. Comic Con is incredibly crowded -- I once was physically carried away by a mob -- and has incredibly long lines -- one line once had so many twists and turns it made me nauseous; we got to the front only to be turned away because the auditorium was already at full capacity. But the excitement in the air is so palpable, the convention center so vast, that it's pretty hard not to enjoy yourself, decked out as you are with your bags and badges.
Some images stand out:
A necklace made out of clock parts. A bunch of fairy art. Countless little comic booklets. Shelves full of manga volumes. A massive LEGO statue.
I met Chandra Free there, and also Jhonen Vasquez. Jhonen signed things for a friend and for my sister. He rarely looked up from his signing, so he never actually physically saw me, and frankly he seemed pretty bored (though no one seemed to notice that but me). One teenage girl with blue pigtails asked him to sign her sandwich. He seemed rather bewildered and amused. He tried to sign the sandwich, but ended up dotting his name because it was surprisingly hard to write on wheat bread.
So don't get me wrong. I have had fun, too. An incredible amount of it, actually.