Tag Archives: Vacation

Winter

In looking through the titles of my last several blog posts I’ve realized that winter puts me in a bad mood. I’ve known that for years, but I’m not sure it’s been so strikingly obvious. I guess it’s just kind of funny. Anyway, at least for now there isn’t really a point to this post. I had meant to work on my mythology when I got home from teaching my CCD kids, but my cousin came to visit and then I answered an email from another cousin, and now I definitely have writer’s block. In other words, I am definitely procrastinating.

I’ve been re-reading the Harry Potter books. I’m a little way into the Chamber of Secrets now. I know I mentioned before that I gave up TV and movies for Lent, and I have to say; Lent has never felt so long. It’s also been cool, though. I’m praying more, and even though the waiting is a giant pain sometimes, by now I know that I didn’t bite off more than I can chew, and that’s kind of awesome because I LOVE a good show or a good movie. I also love a good challenge, and as long as it’s not going to actually hurt anyone, I kind of like picking fights, so I figured I’d pick a good fight with myself. So far, it looks like I’m winning.

This past weekend I bought a present for my brother. This past Christmas he got me a present and I didn’t get him anything because we don’t usually exchange gifts, so I figured I’d get him something for Easter. I got him a loop machine. He plays guitar and bass, and after an annoyingly short period of time, he’s a much better musician than I am, even though I’ve been playing much longer. He’s more technically skilled, but only plays covers. I’m not super skilled, but I write songs, so I guess it depends who you ask. I just thought the loop machine would be fun for him to play with.

I did go to Universal with my family last month. There are some perks to Muscular Dystrophy. I get to skip lines to get on the rides. I’m kind of an idiot. I went on all the scariest rides as much as I could. It’s quite possible that my version of heaven is just an absurd never-ending roller coaster madness. Of course while we were there–at the park I mean–I was a huge Potter nerd, too, but let’s face it, if there’s magic or aliens or weirdness involved, I’m all over it, whatever it is.

Lately I’ve been wanting to sing. I just want to sing. I’ve been wanting to be in a band or a duo or whatever for an insanely long time, but I can’t seem to find anyone to team up with. I think part of the problem is that I’ve really wanted to stick to the same or a similar genre that my original album is, but at this point, I just want want to sing. I’ll sing for pretty much anyone. I’ve had serious musical writer’s block for a long time partly because I’ve just found playing by myself boring at this point.

In my world guinea pigs can fly!

 

Life Stuff

I haven’t posted in just about a month. I really haven’t been up to very much, but at the same time, it kind of feels like I’ve been making subtle changes. I recently joined a Catholic writer’s group. We might go to a conference in April. I was in a writer’s group last year, but I was the only member under the age of forty, and we ended up talking about other peoples’ work more than our own. It just wasn’t a good fit. The members of this new group are all my age, and it’s much more focused on sharing original work. I think it’ll be a good motivator. I’ve felt kind of less motivated to work on my mythology lately, but I have still realistically been getting a decent amount finished.

My dad and I have also decided we’re going to start making mosaics. When I made my first one for my friend’s Christmas present I thought it would be tedious, but it was really just relaxing. I’m going to make a bigger one to put in our basement, unless my mom vetoes it. Otherwise I’ll just put it in my room. It’s hard to explain in words, but it’s going to be Big Bang image from a loving and intentional creation standpoint. When it’s finished I’ll post a picture.

Next month my family is meeting my godparents’ family and a family friend/honorary aunt for a few days in Florida. I think most of the trip is going to be spent hanging out by a pool, which I’m really okay with. It’s been cold here. I’m sick of cold. As far as I know we’ll also go to Universal for a couple of days and we’re doing an escape room at some point. I’ve never done an escape room before. Since we have eight people with us, we’re going to do two different rooms. I wanted my brother on my team, but my mom claimed him. I guess she can do that. I’m going to have my godparents and my dad on my team, though, and they’re very smart. I’m just nervous because I’m not always great at puzzles.

Eons ago I wrote about how I felt God was calling me to formally dedicate myself to him in the Catholic Church. I avoided it for a long time because the idea was freaking me out, but I’ve started really feeling this weird pull that I can’t exactly describe, but I know it has to do with that, and I’m not afraid anymore. I know I said before that I wasn’t afraid, but this time I won’t chicken out. I’m forcing myself not to chicken out. Otherwise this feeling will drive me crazy. Plus, if it’s from God, it can only be good, anyway.

Anyway, this post is admittedly a means of procrastination, at least partly. At the same time, this, along with my more personal journal, is a means of emptying my brain so I can be more focused on my fantasy work. I’m twenty three and I still feel like I have to make excuses for not doing my homework or something. High school scarred me for life.

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

Almost The End

Yesterday was a good day. It was 70 degrees outside and sunny. I had half meant to do some homework yesterday, but it was too nice out, so I didn’t. I had gone for a walk and talked to the neighbors for a while since they were out, and I cut through their yard to get back to my house. Then I went inside to work on a song, but was drawn back outside by the weather and a need to void my bladder (I had to find my dad to help me with the restroom). When we were back inside he told me that he heard one of the neighbors playing an electric guitar. He didn’t know who it was, but I decided that I needed to be louder than them.

I brought my Les Paul out to the driveway and plugged into the wall in the garage with an extension chord. Then I cranked the amp and played all the loud songs I know. Admittedly there aren’t many. I write and play mostly mellow songs, and it’s hard to make them less mellow even with a noisy electric guitar. Eventually Ben came over to see if it was in fact me who was making all the noise. Ben is around 10 or 11, and he and I are the only people in the neighborhood who play guitar. Our families live about 3 houses apart. When he came over my dad and I had him play something on my guitar. He’s getting pretty good. I think he takes lessons at the studio I record at.

I also finished learning “Guess I’m Doing Fine” by Beck yesterday. I had to change the key because Beck sings too low, which involved more effort than I was hoping, but I have it down pretty well now. I also started learning “Lay My Burden Down” by Alison Krauss yesterday. Normally I wouldn’t think of covering it just because it’s not my personal style, but my songwriting partner and I agreed on it because there isn’t a whole lot of music that we both know and like. Her musical background is Christian Pop and Country, whereas my background is more Alternative Rock and Folk. We’ve finished writing a song together, so I think our stylistic differences work well together.

Last night a friend of mine and her parents came over and I showed them all a demo of my album. We had dinner, hung out for a while by a campfire my dad made and then we watched Star Wars VI. Alycia hadn’t seen the series before, so I showed her IV and V a few weeks ago. It’s my mission to get all my friends and family obsessed with Star Wars. I’m really looking forward to the release of the new one, but I’m apprehensive about Disney working on it. As long as they don’t try and make it kid friendly I’ll be happy.

I’m almost done with my Junior year of college, and I’m really ready to be done. I’m really tired of doing homework, and I need time to get planning my CD release party, promotion, etc. I have a lot of ideas bouncing around in my head, and I need to sort out the bad ones. I’d also like to start performing more, but I’m having trouble finding time because of school and because I’ve been trying to get in a few hours of studio time every week.

The past few days I’ve just been in a slump. I just haven’t wanted to do anything despite the fact that I have too much to do; possibly because of this. I just want a few days to goof off, play some video games and then get to work without anything getting in my way. It’s very annoying having papers due and reading to get through and whatever else. It’s always towards the end of the semester, where I have trouble caring about this stuff. I’m definitely not meant to be an academic. I hate doing research, and I like thinking about art and philosophy and whatever else on my own terms.

Anyway, I’ll stop complaining now. I’ve developed a pretty bad procrastination problem in the past few weeks, but I only have a few weeks of school left. I can do this!

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

2013 Camping Recap

All the tents are coming down and supplies are going back into buckets. It’s only a matter of time before we have to get in the car and head back to Massachusetts. As we predicted, my aunt on my dad’s side, one of my cousins on my mom’s side and I were the only ones who wanted to stay longer. Camping is the best… as long as it’s not raining, and we had a VERY sunny week.

I did almost everything on my camping to do list. We had a boys vs girls Capture The Flag game and to my utter most shame, the boys won. It wouldn’t have been as big a deal except most of them were 10 years younger than us, which meant they were around 6-10 years old.

The talent show went way better this year. The audience was bigger and a few more people were willing to participate. Both of my Godparents did something, which was cool. I distinctly saw a guy with a guitar hiding in the back and I tried to coerce him into playing something, but he chickened out. I need to figure out a way to get more musicians interested in it next year. A lot of people complimented me and said I did a great job hosting it, which was super nice since I’m not exactly used to doing that kind of thing.

Yesterday I swam a mile with my mom, my brother and a bunch of cousins. My dad played floating life guard from his green canoe, which mostly amounted to antagonizing swimmers. The waves weren’t so bad on the way to 3rd Beach, but they were awful on the way back to camp. I’m not the best swimmer, and I was pooped by the time I got back. There were a lot of boats out, and on top of that, it was windy. I ended up going to bed around 8:30, and I matched my sleeping record; 15 hours after finals week last semester. I sleep great at camp anyway.

Some things that I hadn’t anticipated happened as well. I got to hang out with a very cool cousin on my mom’s side who I had previously only known through Facebook. He had a very interesting take on spirituality and he was very fun to talk to. I also did quite a bit of guitar playing and did a little promoting. Today I got to be part of a jam circle which consisted of 4 guitars and a banjo, which turned out to be very fun. We actually jammed on one of my original songs.

I’m doing 1 or 2 open mics next week and I’ll hopefully get a recording session in before summer officially comes to a close for me. I have a week and a day before I’m back to the grind. I’m not looking forward to school as much as I usually do at the end of the summer. I guess I’m just sad that camping is over. It was exceptionally good this year.

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

Northbound

It’s raining. Sometimes I think rain is a sign of good luck. It always rains when I do an open mic. I usually pick a few dates per month to perform, and it invariably rains on those days. We’re leaving for a week to go camping in Maine tomorrow. Camping in the rain is awful, but the forecast looks good for tomorrow and the rest of the week. We have a few super fun plans for this trip. The first thing on my list is to go to my uncle’s house and learn to shoot a gun. It just seems like it could be fun. I would probably never own one, and I’m not exactly a fan of hunting, but just shooting at targets or something seems like it could be enjoyable. It’s just something I want to try.

My brother and cousin and I are planning to organize a Capture the Flag tournament. Whichever team wins 2 out of 3 games will win. We’ll have one game at night and one during the day and we’ll have a tiebreaker if we need to. Most of my mom’s extended family comes, so we’ll have plenty of people to play.

We also do a mile swim every year. I’ve only made it all the way a handful of times, including last year. Of course I’m going to shoot for it again this year. I’m usually the last one to finish, but I think the trick is to take it slow. It’s not really a race; we just like to see who can make it the whole way.

I’m also organizing a talent night with another cousin. We did it last year for the first time, and it actually turned out okay. It probably would have been better if the weather had been nicer. Last year was specifically a jam night; meant for musicians only, but this year we’re doing a talent night to hopefully get more people. There are plenty of odd people with odd talents at camp, so I figured we’d get everyone we could. I think our other mistake was that we were trying to get people to sign up ahead of time, but this year I think we’ll just do it free-for-all style. Last year the rangers let us use the amphitheater where they show movies on Saturdays and Thursdays. They show a lot of Disney movies, which is fun. I made my cousins watch “Chicken Run,” and I think they’re still scarred.

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

On The Horizon

I just finished my paper MUCH earlier than I thought I would, which is AWESOME because I didn’t and don’t have to stress out about it. For ONCE I planned my time well. I’m so excited my head might explode because after I do my presentation in class today I’m DONE with that class and that professor. Let’s just say he and I didn’t exactly see eye to eye.

Anyway, I thought since I have time to write a good, long blog post that I’d tell you all about some cool stuff that will be going on this summer. As mentioned a thousand times because I’m obsessed, music will be happening this summer! In other news, a girl named Hope from my Creative Writing Nonfiction class had a lovely idea. She sent out an email to the whole class suggesting that we make a list of everyone’s blogs, since apparently half the class or so has a blog. It’ll be pretty cool to see what the peeps are up to. It’s funny because I checked out Hope’s and Kat’s blogs and they’re both a lot more organized and in a way, more serious than mine.

I also had a cool idea as a result of taking that class. One of my essays (writing about faith) was about how I write worship songs (so I could avoid writing about faith) that I titled “Passenger,” which is the title of what is probably my favorite song (out of the one’s I’ve written). My idea was to write a bunch of stories or essays based off of or at least sharing the titles of all my songs. It’s not a huge, crazy endeavor because my “Passenger” essay was around four pages long, and I would sort of model the rest after that. It would be mostly just for fun and I’d probably just publish them on my blog.

That’s about it in terms of cool stuff other than reading and making noise. I’ll probably end up going to Canobie Lake Park with either my cousins or my friends once or twice, ’cause it’s just kind of what we do. We might go up to Portland for the Fourth of July. We haven’t done that in several years, and it would be really cool to do it again. We are going up to Montreal to visit my cousin Amber in a couple weeks. As I mentioned, she was here on Friday, but it’ll be cool to hang out for a whole weekend. She has a job up there this summer, so she won’t be coming home again until Christmas. She’s super nerdy and super fun to hang out with. She’s going to force me to eat french fries with gravy and cheese on them because apparently that’s a thing up there. I can’t decide if it sounds disgusting or pretty good. We also might go to a restaurant where you eat in complete darkness to experience what it’s like to be blind. It’s a cool idea.

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

Good News

I don’t have too much to say this time around. I mostly didn’t want to have something depressing as the first post on my blog.

I’m about half way done with my exams. As I mentioned, Shakespeare went very well. I just have to look over my philosophy paper one more time for grammar and organizational type stuff, but it’s pretty much ready to hand in. This afternoon is reserved for studying for my science exam, which I’ll take tomorrow morning. Then all I’ll have left is an English project that is due on Thursday.

Provided the world doesn’t end on Friday (the 21st), we’ll be having some neighbors over. I know at least one of my friends will be back from school, so he should be coming. That will be nice. He’s obnoxious, but I still love him. 🙂

A week from Friday I’m going in for a recording session at the studio. Once I get this new song recorded I’ll have half my album finished. I’m really excited for that. The titles of my songs are as follows:

Searching: an instrumental with two guitar parts and symbols

Stuck In My Head: A song about a song being stuck in my head with guitar and piano

You Answered: Worship song with 2 guitars, 2 part harmony, bass, drums and piano

Passenger: About going somewhere late at night and a friend is driving: 2 guitars, bass, drums and 3 part harmony–metaphorically about faith, but probably no one will get it unless I explained.

Understand: I don’t actually know what it’s about to be honest: Currently I only have the melody and one guitar part planned. I’m going to figure out more of the arrangement before I go in to record it.

Just Be Nice: Sort of self explanatory: I may go the uber simple rout and do just one guitar and one vocal part

Missing You: Worship song: Will probably have 2 guitars, bass, drums and 3+ part harmony (I want to go crazy with this one). It would be sick if I could get my friend to play violin and/or piano on it.

Julia: I wrote it for my friend’s birthday a couple years ago. I haven’t recorded it yet, but It will probably have 2 guitar parts, and one vocal part. I haven’t decided on the rest

Sweet Avenue: Jets To Brazil Cover: I’ll probably do it just like they do but change the key. I don’t want to mess with it too much because it’s my favorite song.

Summer Day: About a party my family used to have every summer. Will probably have 2 guitar parts, bass, drums and possibly vocal harmony.

I have a new song called “Christmas Song” about half written, and I was thinking about putting it in with the others once I finish it, but it doesn’t quite fit as nicely. I’ve written a bunch of songs besides these, but these ones are my favorites and they will sound awesome together, I think.