Away From The Norm (A July Anomaly Pt. 2)

7:55 a.m.

It’s that time again. Both of my windows are grey and rain-stained. Thunder pounded the sky, while lightning streaked across it not long after. The power went out for a second or two, buzzing back to live just as quickly as it had gone.

Rain. A far-cry from the norm.

There isn’t any of the dreaded heat or humidity that weighs down your mood, no matter how chipper you are. The air is cooler, feeling more like the Autumn season I love. Even better with a Lipton raspberry iced tea and Placebo thrown in…This Saturday morning couldn’t be more perfect.

The simplest of things can make the biggest of difference.

Advertisements

Walk Between The Raindrops (A July Anomaly)

10:28 a.m.

There isn’t any sun shining through the two glass-block windows of my cellar dwelling. Such blinding sunshine is replaced with the familiar, long-lost grey hue associated with those chilly Autumn mornings…The ominous grey tone, rain-stained windows, thunder, a total downpour…Everything.

While it doesn’t particularly feel like Summer because of the rain, although it is probably still pretty warm (even though I can only speculate because I haven’t been outside yet this morning), it sure is a welcome relief from the hot, humid, headache-inducing weather we’ve had for some odd weeks. Rain trumps heat and humidity every time…Something tells me it’s going to be a pretty good day.

Walk between the raindrops so you don’t get wet.

The Bubbles & The Bear

I watched the bubbles as they floated in the air, being carried by the occasional wind, while others hit the concrete before they could be devoured by the big monster in the yard. I felt like a kid again, blowing bubbles on a nice Summer day. Until the big monster in the backyard ate them…The monster I’m referring to is my dog, Tucker.

When I say that Tucker is a monster I don’t mean he’s a Great Dane or anything like that. He’s not a massive dog, he’s only massive compared to our other dog, a Beagle/Jack Russell mix. We think that Tuck is an English Foxhound, or at least that’s what he looks like. Every year since I got him for my 17th birthday, I’ve watched the AKC Eukanuba Dog Show to see which type of hound he might be, and my vote rests on the English Foxhound theory. I remember when I first got him he was a bag of bones, and that’s exactly what he sounded like when he laid down. A bag of bones. The same cannot be said now. Now he’s roughly 80 pounds and crashes into anything and everything. A couple of months ago, he rammed into the gate opening up to our backyard and just yesterday he ran right into an outdoor fireplace that is now used to hold potted plants. It’s like he doesn’t even feel whatever it is he runs into. He just keeps on moving…

A while ago I had this theory that if Tucker was a person he would be English actor Tom Hardy. It didn’t really make much sense until we found out what type of dog he might be. The theory only became more plausible when I found out Hardy’s character in the movie This Means War is indeed named Tuck. Yeah, it does seem silly but whatever…What can I say? I’m a Tom Hardy fan.

…Tucker (or “The Big Bear” as we often call him) is now obsessed with the bubble machine that we unearthed from the depths of the garage. At first, he wasn’t too sure where the bubbles came from or what they were. He just stared at them as they hit the ground, trying to figure out where they went. One of the bubbles managed to hit his back. After one popped on him, it was all over. Tuck managed to find that the bubbles were indeed coming from the bubble machine and not some kind of random manifestation. He then proceeded to stand in front of the machine and bite at the bubbles. Yes, you read right. Bite at the bubbles. It was the funniest thing.

“The Bear” was like a child, fascinated with something new and amusing. Like all good things have to come to an end, the merriment of the bubble machine was cut short, but that didn’t seem to bother Tuck one bit. Once the machine was shut off, he continued chewing the stick he found in the large pile by our fire pit. The simplest things make him happy. Sometimes I wish I was a dog.

You know your dog is like you when they fall going up the stairs.

Reminds You You’re Still Human 

Two summers ago, I wrote about how I endured (somewhat painlessly actually) the snakebites that now adorn my lip in aqua labrets. This winter, I’m writing about something else I endured rather painlessly as well…My first tattoo.

I felt comfortable walking into the tattoo shop again, this time with my mom and sister, despite the fact I wasn’t getting anything pierced. I felt confident. I felt outrageously excited and not at all nervous as I spoke to the tattoo artist and told him what and how I wanted it to look and where. After drawing it up and figuring out how the size and such, I was taken back to my tattoo artist’s designated space. With the correct placement and agreement on said placement reached, I was ready to lie down in the tattoo chair and begin what I’d come here to receive. My first tattoo…On my lower stomach.

Before you start to freak out, it honestly didn’t hurt. Sure it was a little weird, but in all honesty it felt kind of good. It’s strange to say, but what else can I say? I guess I have a high pain tolerance. If only some people’s tolerance for other things were as strong…I would like to say that there was small talk  while I was getting the needle expertly carving words into my lower stomach, but there wasn’t. And there didn’t need to be. I didn’t squirm. I wasn’t screaming bloody murder. I admired the assorted artwork and articles on the wall of his station, and smiled whenever I heard him sing whatever song was playing overhead. Yes, I smiled. I couldn’t help but smile.

After a little over a half hour, my first tattoo was finished, and I found myself still smiling. How could I not? I’d just gotten my first tattoo, and I loved it. Well, I love it still, but you get the idea. Looking back at me in my reflection was ‘Walk Between The Raindrops’  across my lower stomach in black, the dotting of the “I” in raindrops being a light blue raindrop. Still gushing uncontrollably, I was told by Travis (I actually got his name this time) how to clean and take care of it, then proceeded to shake his hand and thank him for the great work. I was still gushing as we drove back home, and I’m still gushing as I sit here listening to Maroon 5, writing this post.

I’m surprised. I’m delighted that I went through with it, getting a tattoo, let alone my first, on such a spot as that. It was a big decision, especially actually going through with it, and being able to say it was enjoyable. Especially since it’s permanent. It’s something that will be with me for the rest of my natural life, and I love it…Now, my biggest decision this early Monday morning is whether or not to go to sleep, swooning to my Classic or finish watching Gangster No. 1 on Netflix. If only all decisions in life were that simple.

Pain is the most beautiful thing in world…It reminds you you’re still human.

Lack Of Sleep And A Higher Education 

It’s been a long time since I’ve written any kind of ranting post. I mean, it’s not that there’s nothing for me to rant about. Believe me, there are a lot of things I could be ranting on and on about, but would any of it be interesting or well, worth ranting about?…Then again, why am I asking the potential followers of this blog? I’m not too sure either.

Right now, I feel like I’m somewhat running on empty, which is absolutely no excuse for me to be ranting, but for some reason, I find myself noticing things more and more because I’m tired. You’re probably wondering why I’m running on empty and the answer is pure and simple…I worked overnight last from 10 at night to 6 this morning, scanning for price changes, and I didn’t get enough sleep beforehand. I did, but at the same time, I didn’t. I wasn’t falling asleep at all while I was scanning and walking around to different parts of the store, but I sure as hell felt the familiar cloud of sleepiness come over me. Don’t get me wrong, my first night of price changes was actually pretty peaceful and uncomplicated…And yes, I actually just said that price changes at the wee hours of the night/morning is peaceful because it is. I didn’t have to deal with any customers and their never-ending slew of questions, but I have to say it was pretty creepy hearing music over the speakers with practically no one in the store. Very creepyyy.

With the reason for my sleepy eyes accounted for, let me first start my little rant by saying that summer needs to be here already…It’s on everyone’s mind and no one seems to be saying anything, so I figured what the hell? I love how snow looks falling on the ground just as much as the next young lady, but it seriously just needs to stop altogether and be summer. I honestly miss warm weather. I mean, humidity gives me the worst headaches, but I would much rather have a headache that can be taken away with some good ‘ol Excedrin, then have a cold that takes a month to fully rid of. Headaches I can deal with, colds I unfortunately cannot. I seriously miss that great second season known as Summer. I miss going to the park and laying out in the grass or swinging on any available swingsets…Yes, I am indeed a child at heart…I miss swimming in my purple bathing suit and lounging out on the swing in my backyard, listening to whatever music happens to be on shuffle. All and all, I think it’s more than safe to say that I miss that beautiful and humidy-stricken thing called Summer. I only hope that it comes soon as oppose to later.

I’m going to veer off the subject of annoyances for a quick second because, quite frankly, I’m not too keen on what I can complain about at the moment. Sure, I’m running on said hours of sleep and there are plenty of things I could complain about. Believe me, there is. No doubt about that fact…Everything from the lack of sleep because of the overnight shift at work (despite the fact that I enjoy the silence and solitude) to the ever-growing fact that I’m not as close to some people as I was at the end of school year.

Yes, I think I found something to rant about all of a sudden. I remember somewhere around this time last year, I was talking about how I was getting ready for graduation and my plans after said graduation. Unfortunately, those plans didn’t turn out as well, planned. Call it being a loser or just one of the consequences of not saving for college ahead of time or whatever you damn well please, but I’m currently not going to school like the majority of my peers. Why? I honestly couldn’t afford it at the time. Sure, I had big plans of saving for college and strangely, I would have enough to pay for one semester with the money I have saved now plus the amount I was awarded, but I’ve opened my eyes to one simple fact: I don’t need to go to school right out of high school. I know I said that I was going to wait a while anyway and go in the Spring or this coming Fall, but honestly, I don’t really think I want to attend school even then. College would just be one more stress that I don’t think I need now, and I think anyone will agree that if you can put off something that’s stress-inducing until a better time when it might not be so stress-inducing, then why the hell not? Sometimes I seriously think that’s what separates me from some of the people I used to be close with at the end of the year last year, the simple fact that I’m not gaining some higher education at the moment. As if just because I’m not attending college, it makes me some kind of inferior person, basically a loser in every respect of the word. I’m somehow the lesser person because I’m working and not cramming my brain with information that may or may not benefit me in the long-run. Go figure. Thankfully, I don’t see it that way, or else I would be in school right now. Granted the entire reason is because I didn’t have the funds at the time, but still.

Once again, call it what you will, but I’m glad I’m not waking up early to go to school every day or designated day. I would much rather wake up early to go to work, being wired on caffeine to combat the lack of sleep, as oppose to the routine of waking up early and listening to a lecture that I would most likely fall asleep during. Coffee and energy drinks were invented for better causes than that.

For some reason, I’ve lost the fuel to rant at the moment…Whether it be the sleep I lost catching up with me or what have you, I feel like I have nothing to rant about anymore. It seems like I can only muster the brain power to rant about how much I miss Summer and how I don’t need the stresses of college right now, but I’m not too worried about that. Sure, there still are things I can rant about, and I’m more than positive they’re things I’ve ranted and raved about before, but they’ll have to wait ’til another time…When I’ve had more sleep and am not sleepwalking through Wal-Mart, helping my mother look for couch covers…I’m totally serious. It happened….Luckily, the two Grande orders of Starbucks somewhat helped.

(Kudos to whoever created the Cinnamon Dolce Latte. Your contribution to the arts of fine coffee-making is greatly appreciated.)

My lack of sleep and a higher education are just astonishing.

Aside From The Bleeding & Bruises…

Yesterday was a day that most highly superstitious (and sometimes more than likely neurotic) people, would steer clear of, watching every step they made that day out of some cautioned fear of bad luck falling upon them…The day I’m talking about here is the dreaded Friday the 13th. Strangely, bad luck didn’t have its constant, gray rain cloud over me. Just everyone else…

First just let me say that I just might have to write a totally separate post in order to get in the entire night of experiences and annoyances. Yes, there were quite a lot of annoyances. I mean, I tried not to let it get to me per say, but it’s kind of hard to ignore something when it’s just around every corner of your local concert venue.

…Instead of going on and on, droning about my night of observations and slightly frustrations with this generation we’re currently living in, I will start on a good note. I’m more happy about the events of the night, especially all the bands I got the chance to see and the two amazing chaps that accompanied me, my boyfriend Timmy and his friend Ben.

Almost immediately after entering the venue, all three of us were pretty much drenched in sweat, thanks to all people already packed into the tight space and the obvious lack of air conditioning. Honestly, it was quite annoying waiting around for bands to play because even though there was a piece of paper that said what bands would be on at what time, none of it was right because we didn’t get into the doors until after 4. The concert was supposed to start at 3. Blame the insanely long line wrapping around a fence outside one of the two entrances of the bar. After some time of just standing around, sweating profusely, or walking around (also sweating profusely), we came across a band that had some promise. The band was called Last Chance To Reason and they were from Augusta, Maine, as mentioned by the lead singer a few times. Speaking of the lead singer…At first glance, I totally knew that he reminded me of some lead from another band, I just had no idea who. I looked at him a bit closer, and realized that he strangely resembled Atreyu’s lead Alex Varkatzas. Now, I’ve never seen Atreyu live before (and no, online really doesn’t count!) but I wouldn’t say that his stage presence is anything like Alex’s. LCTR’s lead is more like cross between Suicide Silence’s Mitch Lucker (on the stage presence front), and Whitechapel’s Phil Bozeman (on the vocal end). Yes, it’s that extreme. After finishing up 4 or maybe 5 epic songs, he mentioned that they would be upstairs in the merch room, across from the air conditioned (yes, air-conditioned!) Rockstar Cleveland room.

The three of us ventured upstairs to check out the band merchandise and to get some much-needed water and A/C. To my astonishment and possible amazement (I don’t care if it’s a word or not!)…The merch room wasn’t the sign of relief we were looking for as far as air-conditioned was concerned. I mean, it’s great that band’s sit there and sell their own merch and what not, but sitting in the heat when you could just go across the way to an air-conditioned room…I have a new appreciation for musicians now. But as I was saying before I went on about the A/C, to my astonishment and possible amazement…Standing, well sitting (if you want to be technical and correct), behind the table of Kittie merch was none other than lead singer of the all-female, Canadian metal band, Morgan Lander. I had, as my boyfriend penned it, a ‘mini aneurysm’ upon meeting and having her sign a shirt I’d purchased. Yes, I purchased a Kittie shirt and Morgan politely signed it for me in the permanent silver Sharpie marker, provided by Ben. She then proceeded to sign the back of Timmy’s Lamb Of God shirt and Ben got a new signature to his cast.  By that time, I was totally and completely all smiles. After all the hysteria had died down a bit, we walked across the room to Last Chance To Reason’s merch table. Manning the post, was the lead singer who, strangely, wasn’t anything like what he was on stage. No lie, he was the nicest guy in the world. Very humble, really talked to us. I mean, really talked. He told us things about their new album and that they would be having a video game come out for XBox 360 soon. Needless to say, Timmy and Ben were kind of speechless when he said that, but it was the coolest thing. Just seeing someone on stage, having that kind of presence and then meet them off stage, and they’re the nicest person in the world.

Feeling oh, so accomplished, we finally decided to make our way across to the air-conditioned Rockstar Cleveland room. Immediately, you could feel the coolness rising up against the heat outside, but for some reason, it took a while for it to hit me. I still felt the same as I did when I walked in. Outrageously hot and tired. Some ice water and physical pieces of ice later, I was feeling better. After sitting in the A/C for a while, we thought we would venture downstairs again to see what bands were playing. We walked right in the middle/almost end of Motionless In White’s set. I’d just started listening to them early this Spring and was happy I got to see them, let alone hear them. Out of nowhere, Timmy and Ben decide to go up and try to crowd surf to (which they succeeded with flying colors). We then proceeded to walk around from the two main parts of the club, making our way back to the main stage to see the acts Impending Doom and a couple seconds of Stick To Your Guns.

Amongst all the chaos, we noticed the drummer of Kittie sitting alone at the bar. The three of us walked up to her, practically convulsing, talked for a while and then got her autograph. It was the coolest thing, just seeing her sit there, with almost, like, no one by her or seeming to notice who she was. Then again, I’m not sure a lot of people knew who Kittie were because when they hit the stage a little while after, everyone, except for a selected few, seemed utterly shocked and surprised by the way they sounded. It was almost like, how could you not know what they sound like? They’re a pretty well-known band. I mean, I myself have been listening to them since my freshmen year. But enough about how almost no one knew Kittie and back to how they sounded…They sounded pretty damn good. I only wished I would’ve paid more attention to the stage presence and not the insane circle mosh pit/hardcore dancing spree that was going on not too far away from me. Yes, there was circle moshing and hardcore dancing, and it was hard not to ignore it. Needless to say, Timmy and Ben went in when there was moshing, not hardcore dancing, and paid for it afterwards. Cutting to the chase, Ben sort of got lost somewhere in the chaos and confusion and ended up with a very, very bloody nose. Timmy ended up walking out of the moshing after the set ended and got punched in the right side of his mouth by some random mosh patron. Me, I just ended up getting pushed a couple times because Ben was getting pushed and was in front of me. That, my possible followers, is called cause and effect. It sucks most of the time.

With all the injuries accounted for, we headed back upstairs to the A/C and ice water. By that time, I was so tired that I really didn’t want to stand anymore and felt horrible that I probably wasn’t radiating the best mood. It seemed like we waited forever. Instead of going downstairs and trudging through the unbearable heat to see Evergreen Terrace, we opted to stay upstairs and listen. We walked from the bar to couches to this little semi-closed off booth until we finally got comfortable. After Evergreen Terrace finished their set (which they were really, really good, by the way), we were almost tempted to go back downstairs and watch Born Of Osiris…I’m happy we didn’t. Born Of Osiris, while they are a good band, it seemed like they took wayyy too long. It honestly didn’t seem like Evergreen took that long. Maybe they did. I honestly wasn’t keeping  track of how long each band was. It was the last two songs or so in their set and we decided to watch from the walk-out balcony that. When I said I’m happy we didn’t go downstairs, I truly meant it. The crowd was insane! There was practically no space between people. They were all bunched up together. It was pretty crazy.

A little while after they finished their set, we finally went back downstairs and went straight to the bar so we wouldn’t get pummeled by all the people that crowded around, waiting for Asking Alexandria. Even though I hadn’t been listening to Alexandria very long (just a couple weeks ago, maybe longer, I heard them while driving in Timmy’s car), I kind of had the expectation that they would be good live. First off, never expect anything. If you like a band, and you go to see them live, expect the unexpected. With all of this said, you can either infer that Asking Alexandria were either amazing or horrible. Honestly, (and I have never said this about a band that I thought would be good before because usually I ended up being blown away) they weren’t as good as I thought they would be. Any and all AA fans can strike me down where I stand now because I don’t care. I’m not saying they were a bad band live, I just thought they would be better than what they were. If I had to choose between the live Asking Alexandria and the CD Asking Alexandria, I would choose the CD Asking Alexandria without hesitation.

Even though we only stayed for a couple AA songs and the boys both got hurt in some shape or form, it was still a fun and eventful night. I still can’t believe that I got my shirt signed by not one, but two members of Kittie, sisters Morgan and Mercedes. That enough made my night. Even if I didn’t see any bands, I think that would definitely would’ve made my night. I’m glad I got to partake in such an awesome concert on a usually rumored ‘not-so-awesome day’. I hope there are more shows like that to come.

There’s something new and exciting waiting…You just need to know where to look.

All This Talk 

Last year as a junior, I remember overhearing all this talk about college, the future and what a headache it was. It’s all too safe to say that I now know what everyone was talking about.

It seems like right when you have all your plans neat and in a row, something comes along and ruins them. I’m not saying that that’s bound to happen, but it’s something that generally does. Don’t ask me why. I didn’t make the rules. I can say that my plans for the future and college have changed dramatically since last year, though. I thought that I’d had everything figured out last year, I thought I knew exactly what I wanted to do. Turns out I was wrong.

People change their minds a million and one times before they finally know what they want, or they know exactly what they want and go for it. I think that no matter what type of person you are, there is no true way of denying that your future isn’t set in stone. Things change for better or for worse and it seems like a lot of people think that they can work their way around that, the ever-changing events of this thing called Life. Just because they know what they want to do and know how to accomplish the said goal, nothing will happen to them. They’re invincible…It probably sounds like I’m being an outrageously morbid dream-killer, but whatever. I’m just clearly saying that things change all the time and some people don’t think that it will ever apply to them.

I’m just now starting to realize, with less than a month left of school, that I’m overwhelmed for the first time in my life. Yeah, it might sound like I’m exaggerating, and believe what you want, but it’s the truth. All this talk of college and plans for the future, and everything else going on, it’s not hard to be swallowed up by the ever-growing multitude of things to come. Luckily, I know exactly what I want. It’s just a matter of accomplishing it. I’m overwhelmed but not so to the point that I don’t know what I want.

My freshmen year, I never would’ve thought I’d be making journalism my college major…Yes, you heard right…I’m majoring in journalism. Is that such a crime? I didn’t think so. I remember freshmen year I was so caught up in the new experiences of high school that I had no idea what I wanted to do years down the road. I’d thought about maybe going into graphic design or something because my other passion (that I often put on the back-burner) is drawing. Art. I love it and everything it entails. I’m good at drawing, but I think I’m even better at writing. Sure, writing might not be as lucrative and in-demand as graphic design is at the moment, but I don’t care. You should be able to do something you love because you love it, not just because it pays the rent. My major is journalism and that is that.

Instead of starting classes in the Fall like any normal person would, I’ve decided to start my classes either in the Spring or next Fall. Everyone is different when it comes to well, just about everything, and my decision is no different. At first, I thought I HAD to go to school in the Fall. I thought it was something that just HAD to be done. I wasn’t even thinking that I had the choice to take time off from school. It wasn’t something that was going through my mind at the time. I was stressing about starting classes in the Fall, and I had absolutely no reason to because I didn’t have to start in the Fall. I’m so totally not starting in the Fall. I mean the last year of high school is stressful enough, why make it even more stressful by having to go through more school less than 4 months after you graduate? It might sound like I’m a total loser, not going to college right after I graduate, but I don’t see it that way. I want to be somewhat established in one way or another before I go off to college. It’s better to have a general idea of what you’re going to do, then storm through it all, guns blazing. Or at least that’s how I see it. The whole-guns-blazing-thing is only good for somethings, not all, and I don’t think college plans qualify as one of those things.

Right now, at this very moment in time, I’m happy to say that everything is planned out for the most part. Yes, like I said, things are bound to change whenever, but for right now, it’s safe to say that everything is good. School is over in less than a month, and while it would usually seem hectic and overwhelming (as I just stated a million times over above), that’s all a part of the ride. Prom is in a than a month, too and that’s something I’m actually looking forward to. Whether I happen to have a date or not, I’m going. I have the cutest dress (a dress I’ve had for a couple years now, actually) and I know exactly how I want to look.

All this talk is just that…Talk. It means nothing unless you actually go through with it, and all this talk is finally starting to turn into something. It’s more than safe to say that I have nothing to stress about anymore. I’m ready for whatever life has to throw at me, yet again.

Life is overwhelming and I’m just starting to realize that. Look ahead and hold on tight. It only gets more intense.