I think there's a time when you need to realize that you've grown out of certain stages in your life.
I used to have a birthday party every year. Sometimes I'd even have a Halloween party! I loved getting together with friends, no matter what drama shook up, and just having fun. I was actually very social, very friendly, maybe even fun.
When I got to high school, this all sort of changed. Now, I don't really like going to parties. I'm calm. I have a few loner qualities. I don't like rowdiness, I don't like craziness. I'm going to be one of those women who only loves the party where you mingle and you already know everybody. I don't like bunches of loudmouths I don't know, no matter how cool I know they probably are. It's just awkward for me.
I went to a Halloween party tonight. It might have been enjoyable had I known more of the people there. But no, this was a party held by somebody I've been friends with since first grade — we now go to different schools, have since second grade — and all except one other person (besides her) were people I did not know. They had all these inside jokes and crazy antics, and I felt so out of place. And I knew I would: it's like this almost every time I'm with this friend now. And I haven't even seen her in two years or so. That's kind of why I went. Because I used to love going to her house and hanging out with her. Our friendship has definitely... morphed, to say the least. Going years without talking? And then her inviting me to her Halloween party after I see her at her place of employment? It's odd. But I'm nostalgic.
I'm okay with being more solitary than perhaps I used to be. I'm okay with not liking parties, with staying home and being by myself. I have friends that I love hanging out with, but I'm finally fine with not being with them all the time.
I just hate how sometimes, I do want to revert back to those old tendencies. When it didn't matter if I didn't know the other people. When I was better at saying whatever came to mind.
Growing up sucks sometimes. You know?
Getting closer now: closer to the release date (I have a test on Macbeth that day, ewies), closer to the release party.
Saskia and I need to finalize plans, figure out what we're doing, when we're going to get cool clothes for party and such.
I'm so deathly curious as to who is going to be at this party, writer-wise. Some of my favorite authors live in/around NYC. How cool would it be to meet them?!
(I'm also deathly curious as to the layout of this site! How's it going? I'm getting so impatient to see its beauty, haha.)
Until then, I'll be watching the World Series (13 to 1! I love my Red Sox), Ugly Betty (oh, Henry!), Chuck (oh, Chuck! ha) and Gossip Girl (wtf Nate's dad! and how I love Penn Badgley, drool).
I know I need to be staying on track, especially now in my senior year. But as November 8th and 15th approach, my mind begins to wander much more often.
I need to calm down! And plan out what I'm going to talk about when I talk to Saskia's group of kids about songwriting. That should be so. much. fun. (Except that I'm terrible with little kids. I just can't say no!)
I purchased the issue of Vanity Fair that mentions RED. It's just a little paragraph, but it's astounding: we're in Vanity Fair!
I also thought it was superneat that we're in an issue with the Kennedys on the cover. I have this small fascination with the Kennedys (yes, as does much of the country, Amy), so knowing that we can be put alongside the Kennedys is pretty freaking awesome.
But what really got me? What drove me nuts with excitement about being in this specific issue of Vanity Fair?
IT CONTAINS AN ARTICLE ABOUT SERGE GAINSBOURG.
HOLY. FREAKING. CRAP!
I've never ever seen an article in an actual magazine that talks about Serge. His daughter Charlotte, yes, and Charlotte might mention him, but an article just about him? Never! So when I turn the page and see Serge and Jane Birkin on the page, flip and see that there are multiple pages with multiple pictures and an article!, well, I go a little nuts.
Serge Gainsbourg is kind of one of my hugest inspirations. I don't have to be fluent in french (god do I want to, though!) to know that his lyrics and music are amazing, to know that he was so ahead of his times and the minds of his listeners. He spans decades and genres, and really was the epitome of cool. Who doesn't want to be as cool as him?
Man oh man oh man. This just excites me so much. We're in a magazine that talks about Serge Gainsbourg! Ahh ah ah! We are as cool as Serge Gainsbourg, you guys!
• Laney and Mr. Turner — the two main characters in my novel. No matter how stuck I get with writing, when I just read through a scene with the two of them, something inside of me flutters a little.
• The Red Sox. Sure, they were three games down to the Indians. But, uh, 2004? Three games down to the Yankees? AND THEY TOTALLY KICKED ASS? 'Nuff said.
• Kenyon. After visiting yesterday, I discovered my love for it. My true, undying love. Funny: I never wanted to go to school in Ohio, never
, but driving around to and from Kenyon, walking around campus, I completely forgot I was in Ohio. It. Was. Amazing.
• Stephen Colbert. I just finished reading his book I Am America (And So Can You!)
. Um, freaking genius. (Is he really running for president?! 'Cause I'd vote for him. I would. Sorry John Edwards. But this is STEPHEN COLBERT. Ahem.)
• Meeting authors. This month (well, late September and into this month) I've met... uh. Mark Z. Danielewski (Only Revolutions
is AMAZING, but I've yet to read House Of Leaves
). Scott Westerfeld (I haven't read any of his books yet — am about to start Uglies
, though — but he's friends with John Green, so he's been on Brotherhood 2.0. Nerdfighters are kind of the best ever). Poets Jessica Care More, Naomi Shihab Nye and Nathalie Handal (after going to each of their readings, I was overwhelmed with this need to write a few things of poetry that helped me get to know Laney a little more). Anthony Rapp (RENT GOD, but he wrote a book, too!). Yeah, this month kind of rocks. A lot. I'm so stoked for the RED Release Party — and I'm so curious, because I'm dying to know if any favorite writers of mine will be there :B haha. (This reminds me, I've gotta e-mail John Green and beg him to come to my school! Pretty pleaseeee?)
• Purchasing tickets! Money-eaters, but do you know how exciting it is to receive your Spring Awakening
and Altar Boyz
tickets in your inbox? VERY exciting is the answer.
• Brotherhood 2.0
! Nerdfighters rock.
Not much to say, really. Tomorrow, I leave for college visits, which should be... well. We'll just see.
Two things to mention, though.
1) Gossip Girl. I AM TOTALLY IN LOVE WITH GOSSIP GIRL RIGHT NOW. Namely Penn Badgley, the superattractive guy who plays Dan. Saskia and I kind of want to find a shooting location of the show and stalk our favorite actors >.> WE'RE NOT REALLY THIS CREEPY. We're just kind of obsessive. And in love. Um. XD
2) This afternoon, the tickets for SPRING AWAKENING arrived in my e-mail inbox! Oh, excitement! Hayley, Saskia and I are going to see Spring Awakening on the Saturday we'll all be in NYC. It's gonna rock our socks off (assuming we'll be wearing socks).
I was going to leave you with a music video, but apparently I can't embed YouTube vids? Oh well. Just go and look up Spring Awakening. Maybe you'll fall in love, too ;) (AND BY THE WAY, ALL THE GOSSIP GIRL EPISODES ARE UP ON YOUTUBE. You all should go watch that, too. XD)
Only one more day of school this week — then our "fall break" which is really just a four day weekend (all my teachers keep calling it a fall break, but to me it isn't a break unless it's a week off). And how am I spending my two days off? College visiting, yes! I guess it could be enjoyable, except that I have to do my interviews, and I'm not that fond of interviews. It also doesn't help that I've been sick this week.
I just finished reading Party of One by Anneli Rufus. We had to read a book for my AP Psych class, write a review on it, blah blah. Overall, the book sort of annoyed me, but it did make me realize that hey, it's not bad to not really like human interaction all that much. The only downside is that the world is made up of mostly social creatures. And unfortunately, social creatures tend to get a better heads up in the world than solitary creatures, no matter how much more qualified the solitary creature is. Yeah. Sucks.
I'm not really a loner. But I'm not a nonloner, either (that would be Rufus' term — nonloner sounds odd, but it works, I guess). Perhaps that's one reason why the book sort of bothered me — I can see the world from either viewpoint, and so when Rufus would make sweeping generalizations, it bugged the crap out of me. Anyway, I can be social when put in the right situation — say, my interviewer is super cool and asks the right questions and engages me — but usually, I'm quiet and like to listen and soak in information. What's so wrong with listening? Honestly, it's a skill that a lot of people these days lack.
Sigh. I would elaborate more here, except I have to go read some Psych and the memorize a poem for English. Sucksss. But such is the life of a student!
Oh, and happy Ally Week!
So we've seen the sketch of the future site — I have to say, I adore it. Shades of red, beautiful, boxy — I'm a sucker for squares (perhaps because I tend to be one — ha!).
We're supposed to be giving suggestions for what we might like to see out of this site. I'm thinking that it might be easier to give ideas and such once that initial design is up and running — probably because, well, the way the site is now... it contributes nothing to my imagination. It's just so bland! I'm eager for excitement!
Also, though, I'm not entirely sure what to expect out of this site. Obviously, we'll each get blogs to let people in on our lives "post-RED," but, um, what else? Maybe I'll go check out other book and author pages. Then get back here with links and ideas? Ooh, that sounds like fun, actually....
Oh, am I allowed to ask when the new design will be up? Certainly not up and finished, but at least up for us to try out? No rush, I mean — I'm just super-excited after seeing that sketch. :D
Off to do some research! Hee.
Me: can i ask you a question?
Me: say you decided you wanted to visit the RED site — what sort of stuff would you want to see on there? (how general... but we're supposed to be coming up with ideas and such, and i am STUCK.)
Vincent: stuff about the writers
Vincent: i like the idea of you all talking about each of your essays
Vincent: and maybe everyone have like a follow-up on the essays or something
As thankful as I was that Vincent answered my question and all, I think that all of that is a given. Haha. But I do agree, this all is stuff that I definitely would want to read. I'm very curious as to what all the other Red authors are up to!
I honestly didn't find a lot of author websites that stood out features-wise. (Some of them were particularly pretty — but I'm very partial to the design that Katrin's posted, hee.) But seeing tons of websites did spark a few ideas.
• Videos and/or Gallery — We're supposed to be very wary of safety, putting ourselves out there, etc. However, perhaps pictures of the party, things each of us have done to commemorate Red (the t-shirts Saskia and I did, pictures of us receiving our books, etc.). Plus, I've lately been fascinated with video blogs (I heart Brotherhood 2.0, and I know some of our own writers do their own vlogs!), and I think it would be SO fun to have a page for any of the writer who want to do Red- or writing-related vlogs.
• Message Board — I know we already have a forum; however, it seems a little less accessible than a regular forum. I usually think of forums as you click on a topic and there is every post, perhaps within a few pages. Ours is very... well. You have to individually click on each response. It's a bit annoying. o_o
• "For Writers" — A lot of authors have a little tips page for writers. Usually theirs are about how to get published. If we had a "for writers" page, it probably wouldn't have publishing tips, but I think it would be nice to have a page for every teenage writer about there. This idea is definitely not very developed, but it's a nice little thought.
• Soundtracks (and other media?) — I know there's going to be a Red CD (how exciting!). But it would also be kind of neat to see what music, and even other movies and books, inspire each Red writer. I know that iTunes has iMixes that you can post for people to purchase — and some authors definitely use those (for instance, E. Lockhart and Lara M. Zeises) — so, for any writer willing to create one, we could each possibly make iMixes, or just lists of artists/songs (and books, movies) that inspired us in writing our essays and/or current projects.
Lastly, I went out and actually bought the issue of Vanity Fair that contains the blurb about Red. Seeing it made me so giddy!
I read the last two essays this morning after waking up. (I'm actually lucky I've finished it by now at all. I conveniently lost Party Of One on Wednesday, the book that I'm reading for my AP Psych class.) I would have finished yesterday, except that when I sat down in the comfier (that word just looks messed up) chairs in the library and got out my book, a presentation to a group of freshmen about finding trustworthy sites started — and then Vincent got out a magazine and was talking about various things he read in it — and I saw Blake Lively on the cover of CosmoGIRL and had to read her "article" (length being one page, what?) — and we ended up giggling like mad the rest of sixth hour, as we usually do when stuck in the library at a computer or with the magazines. It's very funny, because in sophomore year he drove me mad with his jerkitude — last year, we could stand each other more often but definitely had tiffs at least once a week — and this year, after telling him of my adopted motto ("Suck it up and DEAL!"), we've just dropped the drama. Sure, I'm still flaring up with anger occasionally — this week being particularly flamey, for some reason (I blame it on the test-laden Tuesday) — but he even told me the other day on AIM:
him: you make me laugh
him: like in the good happy way
And that just made me happy.
But this isn't what I was going to write about. How did I get onto the topic of Vincent? Oh dear. Backtrack to "I would have finished yesterday" — but, to shorten that, I was simply distracted. After sixth hour, I had Literary Magazine — which beforehand, I chatted with my English teacher from last year about various grade-related stuffs, and turns out Saskia had shown him The Book! More on this in a bit — and then after that, we (being me and three other friends) saw that our freshmen English teacher was sitting in a classroom — she had retired, and turns out she is currently long-term subbing! So we chatted with her for a good forty-five minutes (which is so easy to do, she being the teacher who told us story after story and always got so off track but it was still enjoyable — and I told her how I always remember the story about the guy with the afro sitting in front of her when she went to go see The Godfather — why do I remember that one specifically?). Finally she left (go to out to eat and see a movie with her "main squeeze" as she called him before answering the phone) and my friends and I traveled towards our lockers but then got sidetracked talking to our US History teacher from last year — chatted for ten minutes and he finally left. Finally, I made it to my locker and outside and in the car and out to eat and then to my counseling session.
This is where I meant this entry to get to. I started going to counseling at the beginning of last year (my junior year) — mostly because it had gotten to the point where every morning I ended up in tears because of how much I didn't want to go to school — no classes with friends, afraid of many of the people with whom I've shared classes for years. I started going every week or every other week, and then at the end of this summer I realized that I didn't need to see her as often. Suddenly, I had less things to talk about, I was happier, I was actually talking to other people (and I have less classes this year with friends than I did last year!). Yes, Amy is actually happier!
That's why now, I look at my essay in the book, and I think wow. I wasn't happy. People could be (and can be) cruel, but I saw everything in a negative light. Now, I've learned no, am learning still — to see positively, to realize that it's not entirely my fault or theirs as to why we never were friends, but more like both. The Evils aren't evil anymore, because I've talked to them now, sat next to them in my classes and have ended up joking and laughing with them. People I thought were terrible suddenly are funny and appreciate when I compliment them on a part of their presentation for a certain class. People are actually nice. And as funny as that realization sounds, it was truly a realization. Something that took time to notice, but once I saw it, my vision changed dramatically.
I still get a little fidgety about speaking up in class, about giving presentation (although for a girl who used to say home "sick" or stutter over words or always end up in tears either way, this week's English presentation over Wuthering Heights was an absolute success!). I still get a little afraid about how these people will perceive me — but let me tell you, these fears don't consume me as much as they used to. And being able to break away from such fears is an amazing sensation.
But this leads me back to something I mentioned earlier — Saskia showing The Book to our English teacher from last year. At first, I thought, "Oh no, he's going to ask me about it...." He hasn't read either of our essays yet — both of us too busy reading The Book to let anybody else do so — but he asked me a few questions about various things. And meeting with my counselor, talking to her about the fact that maybe I'm too modest for this, too shy, she told me that maybe it's just because having this essay out there for not only the entire world to read, but classmates and teachers and parents! — she brought an obvious but amazing point as to why it scares me to have people I know read my essay. It makes me vulnerable. But maybe, just maybe vulnerability isn't bad. Now, they'll know how I felt those freshmen and sophomore years — maybe they'll realize that I wasn't some weirdo but somebody who was simply afraid and unsure. The thought that my teachers want to talk to me about The Book — are proud of me! — shouldn't push me to hide away, but should allow me to smile and thank them and be ecstatic and share stories and thoughts. I don't need to be hiding it away in my backpack — I need to be showing my teachers, letting them read my essay regardless of how personal and raw it is — because they are people who are excited that me, a student of theirs!, is experiencing this success. I need to some day allow my parents to read it, because I'm their daughter, and shouldn't they have some insight into years of my life in which I was hollow and angry? I need to let people read it, and understand that though I've grown since I wrote it, though I've changed my viewpoints on life, it's still me, and it still is personal, it still makes me feel vulnerable, hearing comments made about weight still makes me cringe. But I can't hide that away any longer. I've got to let it out, now. It's okay to show my soul to the world.
This book is amazing. I'm not sure I'll ever be able to let it out of my sight.
I'm not quite finished with the book yet (school keeps getting in the way, ew) but I had to come on here and say two things before going off to finish. (I have two, three, four left?)
Reading these essays, this words, these thoughts, it's crazy because all I can think when I finish each one is: Me? Me I'm in this book, this amazing book with all of these other amazing writers, this book that I would buy even if my name wasn't in the table of contents, this book that I would make me squeal even if my own words didn't grace its pages.
Also, I feel a little bad and thus feel the need to mention this: I've been reading the blog entries and such on here, but commenting? Holy crap am I bad at commenting. On LJ even, I only really comment on a few blogs. But I'm reading the posts on he re! And anytime someone has mentioned me and my essay, I just have to say: I love you. Haha. I've read both of your essays by now and yes, they were amazing, and oh my god yes they made me think and sit and wonder.
Okay. Maybe when I've finished the book and have made it back home (writing this up at school right now, er), I will have more to say. Until then! Bye :)
Not really website-related — but certainly RED-related. :D
GoogleChat Conversation with Saskia
Me: DID YOU GET IT??
Saskia: get what/
Saskia: THE BOOK?
Saskia: DID YOU?
Me: DID YOU GET IT??
Saskia: I DON'T KNOW!!
Saskia: *goes to check*
Me: I'VE ONLY READ PART OF THE INTRO SO FAR
Me: BUT IT'S AMAZING ALREADY
Saskia: I'M ON PAGE 224!!
Me: and when i saw my name in the table of contents
Me: holy crap
Me: I LOVE THIS SO MUCH.
Saskia: OH GOD THIS IS REAL ISN'T IT??
Me: red shirts tomorrow, y/n/cheesecake?
Saskia: MY DAY HAS JUST BEEN MADE
Me: MINE TOO
Saskia: holy *** i HATED today until after school
Me: ME TOO
Me: i had three tests and the english presentation
Saskia: three wtf :|
Saskia: i had test quiz english and dfghldkjgh :(
Me: chem, psych, calc
Me: at least i didn't stay home "sick" or burst into tears because of english...
Me: i've improved oh so much since freshmen year!
Me: (since last year...)
Saskia: hah me too
Me: well. i am going to go now, post about this on the RED blog (haha) and then READOMGREAD and maybe eat dinner
Saskia: do i want to read hayley's or sarah's
Me: i am going to read
Me: sarah's first
Me: and then hayley's
Me: and then
Me: and then
Me: samantha g's
Me: all the people with whom i have talked to a bit
Me: i mean
Me: with whom i have talked a bit*
Me: stupid grammar
Saskia: *skims them ALL AT ONCE*
Me: i wish i could have that superreading ability
Me: that you see in movies
Me: that disney movie with that kid who cloned himself
Me: and the clone was like
Me: and could read SUPERFAST
Me: i think it was a clone
Me: that was a cool movie
Me: but srsly. time for amy to skedaddle. dinner + reading and then GSA.
Me: WE ARE THE BEST SASKIA. WE ARE AMAZING.
Saskia: AAAH AAAH AAAH :D :D :D
This is kind of amazing.
The good thing about no homework is that I can read read read all night now. Hopefully I'll have the book finished by tomorrow. I can't wait to read everyone's essays.
In NYC, we all have to autograph each other's books. :B How dorky... but how fab.
I guess I should start talking a bit about what I think of this site and such, haha. That's the whole purpose of my testing out this site after all, right?
I guess right now, I'm thinking mostly in terms of accessibility. It took me forever to find out how to post a blog — and it would be kind of nice to have a homepage with links to writing a blog post, the forum, etc.
Now, I don't know if this is entirely possible, but it would certainly be nice! :)
Let's see... what else....
The colors are certainly going to be different, right? More... REDesque?
The menu, I keep thinking of something similar to either Maureen Johnson's menu bar (here's a link
) or LiveJournal's (link
). One is really, really pretty, haha (color-coded!) and the other is really nice and functional — you can get to different pages just by hovering over the menu subject. Perhaps even a combination of both!
Oh! One thing I've just noticed — when I try to write in tags, it automatically puts in tags that I've used before, even if I don't want to use that tag. That's kind of annoying.
If anything, though, the site just seems very... bland right now. I wish I could think of really specific things, but it seems hard to really pinpoint what I think the site should look like. Perhaps once it's changed up a little bit, I'll be able to think of more. :)
I should really go now. I have three tests tomorrow, plus a presentation — and Chuck is on tonight! Oh TV. Stop distracting me. Maybe Saskia was right... maybe TV is
I have to say that I am VERY excited. VERY. As November creeps closer, I'm beginning to actually realize the fact that this! is! happening!
And it's so, so cool.
I really need to be doing French. I'm doing this online French course and am a little bit behind it in (got a few weeks behind because I tried to get out of it — but they wouldn't let me! Poo! and now I'm about a week behind, mostly caught up, I'm getting better, I promise!) but now that this beta thing is up... man. Man oh man!
I figure, I took the French SAT Subject Test this morning. I'll go work later tonight. Pfft. I must distance myself from it for now.
Even though colleges and senior year in high school are important and all (I swear I'm not slacking off, though), RED has just taken over my life. And it's making me so happy. I can't wait wait wait! :)
(God, this post makes me sound like such a slacker.... Nice one, Amy!)