“You’ve Made Me Perfect”

Yes, I know a couple weeks ago I said that Suicide Silence was my favorite band at the moment, but I’ve found myself going back to a band that’s been around longer and comes from a totally different genre. A band that I just love. The band that is the center of my musical obsession right now is AFI.

I was reading an article in the October issue of Revolver magazine about AFI’s new album, their 8th studio album, Crash Love, which is said to come out on September 29th…I’ll be honest: I’m not a die-hard AFI fan. When their full-length debut, Answer That And Stay Fashionable came out  in 1995, I was only 4. So I can’t say I’m a dedicated, die-hard fan, but I can say that I’ve been a fan since 2003.

I remember I was watching FUSE and I saw the video for “Girl’s Not Grey” for the very first time. My mom was in the room with me, and she had to take a double take, looking at lead singer Davey Havok, asking me, “Is that a man or a women?” Looking back on that day now, I smile and laugh, because I was the one that turned her kinda into an AFI fan. Well, not of their old-school stuff, because I honestly don’t think she’s ever heard it, but definitely of the entire Sing The Sorrow album.   

I didn’t just make my mom a fan of Sing The Sorrow, though. It had a surprising effect on the kids at my new school at the time, most who became my friends. Like, none of them heard of AFI. I had a bunch of buttons and I wore a shirt one day, so they started to get curious about my musical preferences, I guess. Not long after, my one friend told me he was blaring it through the speakers in his dad’s car. That made me smile. It’s just amazing how music can bring people together.

After awhile I thought I’d dig deeper into their older albums. This thought entered my mind after I received their 2000 album, The Art Of Drowning for Christmas a year later. I hadn’t listened to the whole thing yet, so I figured I would, and I’m really happy I did. Their sound was more fast-paced and more energetic. Now don’t get me wrong, Sing The Sorrow is great, but something about Drowning caught me, and held me. Seeing the videos for “Leaving Song, Pt. 2” and “Silver And Cold”,  I sort of  fell in love again with the type of sound Sorrow brought, but that didn’t lessen the hold their older material had what-so-ever. I decided to dig even deeper, and I’m, once again, really happy I did.

Out of all their old albums, I personally like Answer That And Stay Fashionable, Black Sails In The Sunset, All Hallow’s EP (yes, it’s an EP, but it’s still great!) and The Art Of Drowning.

The first time I saw the video for “Miss Murder”, I didn’t know what to think. Their sound was new and different, and it honestly took me awhile to get used to it. Yes, I know how bands usually change their sound to keep up with times and sort of branch away from everything that sounds the same, and I totally respect that. It takes alot of guts to change your sound, knowing that fans will either accept or deny it. AFI did one hell of a job.

After listening to the song a couple times, I fell in love with it. I actually have “Love Like Winter”, “Kill Caustic”, and “Affliction” on my iPod. Great songs. Most people would probably say that “It’s not the same AFI” or “What the hell is this?”. I think that’s just close-mindedness at its best. Yes, the sound of, well, Decemberunderground is different but it’s still the same four guys, doing what they love. The only thing that changed is the sound, and let’s face it, who wants every album by a band they really like or maybe even love, to be just a regurgitated version of itself? I think that Underground is a good album. I mean, yeah, it doesn’t sport the same exact intensity as their previous work, but it has an intensity all its own. Any kind of intensity is good. No matter how extreme or minuscule, it doesn’t matter. It’s still the same band.

…From what I read about Crash Love, it’s going to be more of a “guitar record”. Which means no synths or anything like that. I guess that means nothing like Decemberunderground or any other of their records for that matter. I have a feeling it’s going to be something totally different than anything else out there, as Underground was, but with alot more intensity than Underground. No matter what the sound, it’s still AFI. I’m really excited about Crash Love. I can’t wait til September 29th! 😉

Look what you’ve done to me now, you’ve made me perfect.” “The Lost Souls” – AFI

Defective little dreamcatcher

You know how dreamcatchers are meant to keep bad dreams from entering your little dreamland when you sleep? I wonder if there’s some kind of policy against weird, really awkward dreams, too. If there is, then mine is definitely defective.

I’ve never had a dreamcatcher, but I’ve always thought they were interesting. I was over my sister’s house a month ago or so, and she was getting rid of stuff she didn’t want. I ended up getting her dreamcatcher.

For some reason, I didn’t put it up by one of my windows right away. It just sat on my desk for a couple days. My bedroom is actually in the basement of my house, so I only have two windows, that aren’t that big. I finally decided to put it in the window closest to my bed, the most obvious choice, I guess.

Nothing really changed in Noelle’s little dreamland until a couple days ago. Lately, I’ve been having just down right awkward and weird dreams. Just completely random and just really, really weird. In one of them, my former friend and I both attend the same elite academy and are on some kind of field trip. We’re standing among a bunch of other people, and I’m standing on some platform and for once, I was actually taller than her. With a little help from my Doc Marten’s of course. It’s weird because she’s 5’11” and I’m 4’10” and I was wearing boots and standing on a platform and was taller. She then proceeds to tell me that I look “alot prettier in the summer and winter because of the outfit I was wearing.” I guess it wasn’t pretty enough for her. It was really strange.

In my latest, one of my relatives, who I haven’t seen in awhile, is talking to me, and I’m not paying attention because I’m too busy reading an article on Christian Bale. We were in my backyard and for some reason, she had a pair of binoculars, looking at the houses behind my house. I didn’t even wanna know what she was doing. I really didn’t care. I just wanted to read the article. Out of nowhere, she tells me to “Make her a sandwich”…And I’m like “What? Make your own.” She tells me to “Stop reading and make me a sandwich.” I’m like, “You’re kidding, right?”…Next thing I know, I’m making her a freakin’ sandwich, crying my eyes out. I don’t even know what she wants on it, I just make it. Apparently, I didn’t make it right because she just looked at me and continued to say things I didn’t wanna hear. That’s what you get for not letting me finish the article on Christian Bale. I make you the wrong kind of sandwich. Ha! The other half of the dream was me and my two friends who don’t even talk to each other anymore. All 3 of us were in school, except our school looked really…different. Really weird and just not how school looked. We were in the hallway and this monster-looking thing passed us and took my cell phone. Or maybe I just lost it. But I could have sworn that the monster thing took it. We went into the computer lab, expecting to go on the computers or something. Instead, people were scratching the computer screens with keys to access their email accounts, and people were getting piercings done in the smaller room attached to it. Needless to say, I didn’t go on any of the computers and I didn’t end up getting anything pierced. Even more stranger than the first.

Everything about both of those dreams is just weird and out of the ordinary. If there is some kind of policy on dreams like that, my dreamcatcher is definitely defective.

Sometimes dreams are stranger than reality. Sometimes reality is the sanest place to lay your head.

Never Forgotten?

I watched the speedometer’s needle go to 20. The speed limit was 15. I tried to distract myself…Blaring “Vendetta” by Slipknot on my iPod, trying to drown out any words being said. Looking out the open window at the planes flying so low that I felt like I could touch them. I even clutched the large Vanilla Latte that I’d purchased before continuing onto my final destination. I don’t know why I ordered a hot coffee on such a sticky, humid day, but I did…Anything to keep my mind off the task at hand.

I don’t know if I’d really been looking forward to yesterday or dreading it. I honestly don’t know. I think I just wanted to get it over and done with. The cemetery looked even bigger than it did a year ago. Granted, everything looks bigger and alot more clearer if you haven’t been there in awhile. My mom asked me where she wanted us to park, and I told her. She asked me if I was sure. I was sure. 100% sure. We got out of the car and I immediately walked over to where I’d remembered it was. Apparently, my memory wasn’t as good as I thought because he wasn’t there…I couldn’t find my friend.

I hadn’t been there since last year, but my one best friend had been there later last year, so I called her and asked her exactly where it was. I already knew where it was, but like I said, my memory isn’t that good. She told me and I started walking. After 5 minutes of walking, I became extremely aggravated. Mostly from the heat because it was so hot and humid and because I had a feeling I would never find it. I must have been walking, literally, like an hour around the same section of the cemetery, looking for my friend. Finally, my mom suggested that go inside the office there and ask one of the professionals that work there. I was relieved.

Right when I walked into the office, I felt my body temp go down about 10, maybe 20 degrees. Okay the 20 degrees is exaggerated, but I felt instantly cooler walking in. I asked the woman behind the desk if she could help me find a grave, which obviously she could since she worked there. I gave her the name and she explained it, providing me with a map of the cemetery and where his grave is. She was very helpful and nicer than I honestly would’ve expected. I wish I would’ve caught her name.

I held the map tightly in my hand as my mom rode back to where we started. We both looked at the map and followed the instructions gave by the helpful, nice professional in the office. Even though we were looking in the correct place, we couldn’t find him. I was starting to think that maybe someone was screwing with me. That maybe all of this was a dream. That he was still alive and breathing at his house or with friends. My mind instantly flashed to that ever strange, but familiar room, with flowers galore and playing in the background was the music he loved. Of course it was true. No one was screwing with me. It was real.

Finally, after what seemed like hours, we found it. I must’ve walked past it five or six times before actually stopping to notice. I found it next to a headstone with 117 written in the lower right-hand corner, complete with a #2. According to the map, my friend’s grave was 117, #1. I found it, but it wasn’t at all what I thought. It was just a grave marker. No headstone. Or nothing else for that matter. No flowers, no teddy bears, nothing. Just a grave marker.

I was completely shocked. Tears filled my eyes as I looked at the discolored grass that was growing in just beyond the marker.

How could someone be so negligent? Especially parents? Especially friends? Yes, in an economy that’s rough as hell, it’s hard to afford things, but something like that should be a priority. One year later, and there isn’t even something immortalized in marble to show how amazing your son was? Spare me! That’s pure disrespect for someone who’s fallen. It just disgusted me that there was no headstone. It disgusted me even more that the only flower that I saw visible was the yellow rose I’d put into the ground. His own friends didn’t bother to remember him. Show that they miss him. Show that he wasn’t forgotten. Some friends. I at least thought they’d show that they still cared, still had enough sense to remember him. Just goes to show you how much people change. How much his friends, my friends, our friends changed.

My memory was just as good as I thought it was, I remembered. Never forgotten, huh? Some things just never change.

Live your life everyday like it’s your last because you never know what tomorrow brings.

 

Where The Hell Did Freshmen Year Go?

It seems like it was just yesterday that I was standing outside of my high school, in my Avenged Sevenfold shirt and jeans, Converse and Alkaline Trio messenger bag. I was totally overwhelmed and one of the newbies. I was a freshmen.

Being the freshmen I was, completely inexperienced in the tricks and trade of high school, I thought everything would be hard as hell. Like really, really hard. Silly me. Everything was surprisingly easy. Only having four classes might have been the reason. English, math, physical science, and World History. Maybe it was because I had the most best friends that year. I mean, I still have kick-ass friends, I guess, but it’s just not the same. I still think having only four classes and a block schedule was the reason.

I’ll admit, I was naive. Then again, it seems like everyone is sometimes, so what does it really matter? But at the time, I kinda felt like I was just trying to fit in with everyone else. Maybe I was, maybe I wasn’t. I tried to be myself, no matter what the hell hit me. In the end, I think I was just attempting to please my friends. Or people I thought were my friends. Whatever the reason was, I felt like I had to kind of fit in somewhere. After awhile though, I honestly didn’t care about what people thought about me or who talked about me or stuff of that nature.

I have to say, that was the funnest year of high school. Yeah, most people say that their senior year is the best and most fun, but I’m just getting to that part. . .

In a week I will be a senior. Granted, I was officially a senior when I got my report card that said I’m a senior this year. Which I kind of knew I was going to be. I mean, yeah, I had my doubts, but doesn’t everyone? It seems like those 3 years went by so fast. Freshmen year. Sophomore year. Junior year. It’s just really hard to believe that I’m a senior this year.

The fact that I’m starting school a week  is overwhelming, but the fact that all my friends and I are going to be seniors is even more overwhelming. From what I saw from seniors last year, it’s pretty stressful and fun at the same time. There’s prom and graduation, but there’s also the chance that they might not graduate. At my school, there are a series of 5 tests that you have to take sophomore year, and if you don’t pass all of them your senior year, then you can’t graduate. Pretty stupid, I think. Luckily, I passed them all already, so all I would have to worry about are my grades and college.

It’s actually kind of weird thinking about college. During freshmen year, I didn’t think about that. I didn’t really think much about my future, just what was happening right there and then. I mean, honestly, it’s not as hard as I thought it would be. I already know what I want to major in, which is journalism. Granted, I have other possible talents and interests, but I can always incorporate those things in, which I do sometimes anyway. I already know what college I’d like to attend and how to accomplish it, but it still seems like it’s all just…flashing by  me.

Maybe I can’t believe I’m a senior because well, I’m 4’10” at almost 18…Strangely, not the shortest at my high school, though. Maybe it’s because I honestly never thought I’d make it this far. Something inside kind of made me feel like I wouldn’t make it this far. For whatever the reason, no matter how weird or silly, I’m a senior in high school this year and I’m ready for whatever the hell life throws at me.

Blink and you can miss an entire chapter of your life.

Happy?

Are you happy with the person you’ve turned into? Happy about the decisions you’ve made? Happy that you’re in with everyone else’s trend? Happy that you can say that you’ve been to that party, and gotten so drunk that you can’t remember what day it is? Yeah, I thought you would be.

I don’t know whether to be disappointed, ashamed, or disgusted by you. It’s that bad. I used to think that you would be an exception. You were so perfect, it made me choke. Now I choke on the person you’ve become. Does it make you happy that you can say you’ve been there? Are you happy to say that you’ve had so many boyfriends that you can’t remember where the last one ending and the new one begins? Happy that everyone talks about you behind your back? All the rumors that go around about what bitch you are. Hate to break it to ya, but they’re all true. Totally and completely true. I should know. We used to be the best of friends. That all changed. For the better.

Disappointed. Disgusted. Ashamed. I can say you make me feel all three. Disappointed, because I was stupid enough to be believe that you were better than this. Disgusted, because you’re so below everything you once were. Ashamed, because I actually cared and loved you enough to call you my best friend. Are you happy when you come to school, where you don’t even bother showing up anymore, to see your friends? Don’t think I don’t see your bloodshot eyes. I do. Everyone probably does. Are you happy that, when you are in school every now and then, you brag about the party you were at last night? How high you got? How drunk you were? I smile at how incredibly stupid you are. I don’t tell you what I think of you. You probably already know.

I’m even more DISAPPOINTED, DISGUSTED, and ASHAMED by you. I gave you a second chance, when I never should’ve called you my best friend in the first place, let alone my boyfriend. Are you happy that you probably go through girlfriends like a drug addict goes through his drug supply? Don’t try and deny it. Are you happy that you wasted an entire month with me? Lying. Are you happy that you were so high and drunk at a party that you spilled your heart to some random girl, only to be cheated on? Making your outlook on love dismal and distorted. The reason why you could never fully, truly love again. The reason why you can never love me. Or supposedly anyone else for that matter. Are you happy?

Is it safe to say that you’re happy? That you’re completely content with your life? The things you’ve done, with or without consequences…I don’t know about you, but I’m the happiest I’ll ever be at this point in time.

Is it safe to say that you’re happy? How many times do you need to ask yourselves before you settle with the truth?

Only true friends will be there till the end.