Friday, November 30, 2012

Roller coasters...

So I have All-State Orchestra auditions tomorrow... yikes. Despite the fact that, yes, I made it last year, I'm still about ready to pee my pants, dry heave, or sit in a corner and suck on my thumb... or maybe a combination of the three... we'll see how much sleep I get.

Moving on!

Life's a roller coaster. And I, despite the fact that I don't seem to be your typical teenage guy, am somewhat of an adrenaline junky.

I wasn't always so into roller coasters though. The first time I rode a roller coaster that wasn't contained in a theme park's kiddy section was easily one of the most traumatizing experiences of my life. Why was that hill so big? You mean we were going to get in a tiny car and ride all the way to the top of THAT? Why was everyone screaming like they were about to die?! This couldn't possibly be fun. If anything it was borderline suicidal. What if my seat belt breaks? What if the car derails? What if I get stuck next to some fat guy and he falls on me and crushes me? What if the ride camera took my picture and I looked like an idiot?

All of those nagging worries passed through my head while I was waiting in line for what I was sure was going to be my imminent demise. Doomsday had come, boys and girls, and its target was me specifically.

Eventually I got to the front of the line and the ride attendant was like "Hold up, little man. I need to make sure you're tall enough." Everyone in line probably rolled their eyes. They probably thought I was some brat that was going to waste time in line and then not be tall enough.

"Looks like you're too short." I was relieved. I wasn't going to die today.

"I'm only kidding. You're tall enough. Go right on ahead." F*** my life. I started saying my prayers. I didn't even have a will written up. Who was going to inherit my Nintendo 64? Or my Gameboy? WHO THE HELL WAS GOING TO TAKE CARE OF MY POKEMON?

Next thing I knew I was sitting in a roller coaster car, making a slow ascent to the top of a 200-something foot hill. You could see until forever from on top of that hill. It was awesome. I was on top of the world. And not like Jack and Rose when they were on the front of the Titanic. No iceberg was going to sink this ship.

Until we went down the hill. My ass left my seat. My stomach flew up into my throat. Everyone was screaming. This was it. The moment I had been waiting for. My short short life was over. Done. Finished. We were going to fly off the track. We... we...

Started to go up the second hill. I was on top of the world again! Still no icebergs in sight.

And then we went back down the hill.

I don't know how many times this process repeated itself. I just remember getting off the ride and thinking "I'm alive... and that was actually pretty fun."

All of that worrying had been for nothing. My seat belt didn't break. The train didn't derail. Not one fat person fell on me during the course of the whole ride. Yes, I looked like an idiot in the picture... you win some you lose some.

I've gone through my whole life over-thinking and worrying about everything. Even if it's things that I can't control. I was once told that life is too simple to be so damn difficult. I think that phrase has a lot of value and meaning to it.

Maybe people who live in the moment do have it better. Why worry about the past? It already happened, you can't change it. Why worry about the future? You can't guarantee what's going to happen and you'll only be wasting what could be a very nice moment.

It seems kind of odd that I would be preaching that mantra. Biological predisposition made me a worry wart by default.

Why waste the time though?

When you're on the roller coaster you don't worry about the next hill.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

I have officially conceived a food baby...

Thanksgiving. A time for being thankful. A time for being with family and other people you love. It's also the one day during the year where you and your dinner plate can have an intimate relationship that results in you conceiving a food baby. Just me? That's cool.

This year I feel like I appreciate the situation life has graced me with more than I have the past few years.

Maybe it's because this is my first Thanksgiving that I spent as a legal adult. Maybe it's because I hit my head one night while I was sleeping and now I'm just a much perkier person. Maybe that last possibility is a little far fetched. I don't know. Sometimes I feel like the status of my life at this moment is a little too good to be true. Then again, I don't want to bury it over its head in questions either. Instead I'm going to list things I've been thankful for recently:

- My music. Both the music that I've been blessed with the ability to create and the music formed by other people that I've been blessed to hear. A lot of people don't understand exactly what it feels like to play a piece and make it yours. Sure, some other (probably dead) person wrote it. You get to add your personality to it, though. What you feel when you make music is you. Not the potentially dead person that wrote it. It's similar to the artist finishing their masterpiece. The athlete scoring that game winning touchdown or dominating that race. The actor delivering a killer monologue. The singer (who are musicians... but I'm trying to cover all of my bases) being solid on every note and bringing a crowd to their feet. Making music sort of feels like that. It's just so instantly gratifying. Revoke my man card (as if I ever really earned the right to carry one) if you want, but it's pretty awesome and there's nothing in the world I love to do more.

When it comes to listening to music, though, it's just as satisfying. Just in a different way. Have you ever heard a song and felt chills because of the way the sound strikes the pleasure center in your brain? If not then you're really missing out. For me it's movie soundtracks mostly. Howard Shore (Lord of the Rings), Harry Gregson-Williams (Chronicles of Narnia), Alexandre Desplat (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Parts 1 and 2) and Hans Zimmer (Holy shit... uhh... The Dark Knight, Inception, COD MW2, Pirates of the Caribbean, Sherlock Holmes, Kung Fu Panda, Black Hawk Down, The Da Vinci Code... you get the picture) are my personal favorites. Pardon me for sounding like an extremist, but their music seems to give me some kind of high. Odd way to phrase it? Maybe. But I can't think of a better way to word it. The way they can manipulate sounds to fit into the plot line of a movie and actually add to the movie instead of distract a viewer is incredible. And on top of that their music can still stand alone and be listened to sans movie. It blows my mind.

- My huge ass family. No, I can't name 9 out of every 10 people I see on Thanksgiving. Yes, they all seem to know who I am. No, it's not fair. Oh well. I make progress on facial recognition every year darn it and at least I'm putting forth an effort. Granted at these shindigs I don't really say a whole lot (crazy, I know) because they all really like to talk about football and, for anyone who knows even the tiniest bit of information about me, I know absolutely nothing about football. The atmosphere, though, is awesome. It's sophisticated but borderline chaotic. There's a good chance we've exceeded a building's maximum occupancy limit on a number of occasions. And the food... don't even get me started on the food. You will never taste ham or roast beef as good as what I get to eat around Thanksgiving every year. Unless we're related... then you might.

- Quality bonding time with friends. The first thing I wanted to mention was the Student Council lock-in I just went to a few days ago. Dear God it was insane. Do not give my council a ton of sugar and very little sleep because it gets the tiniest bit loud and the tiniest bit hectic. I'm incredibly thankful for this lock-in though. It gave me the opportunity to chill with a few people on StuCo that I probably never would have bothered getting to know otherwise. Before long we were answering questions about each other on a mock dating game (which was weird), hiding together at the top of the bleachers in the gym (we were playing hide and seek... and getting down was a little dangerous), and talking about crotch odors (don't ask). It was exactly what StuCo should be... tons of fun yes actually pretty productive... or at least I heard it was productive. I fell asleep. My bad.

And as fun as that lock-in was it didn't hold a candle to the amount of quality time I got to spend with one of my favorite people in the whole damn world. I've heard before (and don't ask me to remember where... because it's like two in the morning and if this blog turns out to be halfway coherent I'll consider myself accomplished) that there are friends in your life who become more than your friends. They become a defining factor in who you are. They're the people that you can sit around and do absolutely nothing with and still manage to create the moments that you will never forget. I talk about how little time there is left before I go my own way and head off for college (God knows where that'll take me) so every moment I get to spend with any of my friends means more than the world to me. And over the past week I haven't done anything that an outsider looking in would consider to be very extraordinary. Actually the only things I've done with friends this week is A) sit on my ass and watch Criminal Minds and B) go out on Black Friday. Given the time of year that's some pretty normal stuff. Get this, though: Watching the show wasn't the best part. Being in the mall on Black Friday wasn't the best part. The best part was watching my friend become attached to the show. The best part was the ride to and from Independence Center and the crazy stuff we talked about. To use the word "friend" doesn't seem to do the relationships I've been blessed to have any justice. There isn't any other word for it, though. I would never voluntarily stay up until 3:00 AM or go ugly Christmas sweater shopping for just anyone (and the vest I bought is hella nasty). I wouldn't trade these moments for anything. Gah, I just want to go hug the crap out of my best friends right now. Would that be weird? That'd be weird. Screw it I don't care.

I have a lot to be thankful for. Music and people, mostly. I'm also thankful for the fact that I now own TWO Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers shirts (the Blue and Green rangers... holla!) and the fact that I have been well equipped to deal with life's daily bull shit (sarcasm is a powerful ally). Mostly my music and the people, though. Those two things are the high points of my life. They always have been and they always will be.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and managed to create a nice food baby or fall into a food coma. Or both.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Can we lower the speed limit...?

There are a lot of things I'll never understand in my lifetime.

I'll never understand why people in school insist on walking right in the middle of the hallway.
I'll never understand how a camera captures a photo.
I'll never understand why the people on the Titanic didn't see that monster ass iceberg. 
I'll never understand how people get those model boats inside of a glass bottle. 
I will NEVER understand how the Kardashians became famous. 
I'll never understand why I'm not a part time model... I mean... let's be real.

I also don't realize why people have this perpetual dislike for high school. I mean I look like a zombie every morning just like everyone else, but I think it's awesome. There's no need to be a diva about it. You can look like a hot mess just like everyone else, dammit. 

 The idea of college scares me shitless. Life is just kind of flying by at this point. 

If my life was a car and I was the person that decided the speed limit, I'd have it set at a comfortable 35. But my life's all like "Nah, bro. Let's go 70." What? NO. That's not what I said. Okay, life, now you're getting a ticket. Too bad you can't write up life and make it pay for tickets and make ridiculous amounts of money. 

I've expressed my fears of going to college to people before... but they always just seem to brush it off and make it sound like it's not a huge deal. What nobody seems to realize is that we're talking about the REST OF OUR LIVES. 

I can't stand the thought of not seeing my friends every day. Why do you think I wake up so early every morning and go to school looking like the living dead? It's not because I love learning. I could get home schooled and wake up whenever I damn well pleased if I had any love whatsoever for textbooks and homework. However, being a normal human being, I find juggling 7 classes a day the tiniest bit tedious. 

I go to school to see people. To interact with friends and to laugh and actually have a bit of a good time. I would think it would be perfectly rational to maybe worry about missing that once we've walked across that stage and received that diploma. 

But people are like "You'll make new friends in college. It's not a huge deal." The hell it isn't a huge deal. I have worked very hard to get my friends accustomed to my dry and sarcastic personality. I've emotionally bonded with a very small number of people that I've actually grown to really really like being around. And if you're one of those people you should feel pretty proud, because I typically don't like people. 

Nothing pisses me off more than when I express this specific fear and people that I thought I was really good friends with just blow it off. I mean... hi. You've had a major impact on my life in one way or another and I'm telling you "I don't want to not be around you." You blowing it off tells me either A) "Well I just don't want to be around you" B) "Despite the fact that I seem to have made a significant change in your life, you haven't made one in mine and I'll be just fine without you later on in life" or C) "We were never really good friends to begin with, and you shouldn't have let yourself think we were." 

Talk about a downer. I'll admit that I don't get along with a lot of people because a lot of people are annoying and I have the horrible misfortune of being easily annoyed. However, the people who don't annoy me have a very special place in the spot where my heart should be. Sorry for being the tacky "heart on your sleeve" guy but I just needed to get that off my chest. 

It sucks that I can't seem to express with words what some people mean to me. It's also kind of nice to know that there are people that I am close enough to to be able to be in that situation. 

I'm hoping that this post will open some people's eyes a little more. 

For some of my favorite people, whom I care about more than anything in the world, there's a good chance our time together might be limited, depending on where our separate lives take us. 

I can't make life follow a speed limit. It's going to go by as fast as it chooses to. I hope we can appreciate the time before it passes. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Unwritten Rules of High School You're Still Expected to Know...

Since I started my high school career I've noticed that there are some general rules that, though they aren't documented (at least I don't think they are), you're still expected to know them. Some of said rules are as follows:

1. When walking through the hallway you must walk on the right side. If you're driving down the road do you drive on the left side of the yellow line? No. That would be stupid. Pretend the hallways have a big yellow line going down the middle. Don't be the kid driving towards oncoming traffic. That would make you dumb.

2. When you are walking up a narrow staircase and it's crowded you must walk single file. Otherwise any harm that comes your way you as a result of you potentially falling down the stairs is nobody's fault but your own. What did elementary school teach you about line basics? 

3. When in the parking lot and leaving the school YOU MUST TAKE TURNS. No ifs and or buts about it. Don't be that douche bag that doesn't let the kid who was patiently waiting into the line to leave. You're just asking for your car to be keyed the next day. 

4. If you go to school with the expectation of being treated like a princess you will be treated like a peasant. No exceptions.

5. Athletes have no right to make fun of musicians. When was the last time your sports team took second in a national competition? I didn't think so. 

6. Likewise musicians should not treat athletes as intellectually inferior. 

7. If you see one of your good friends in the hallway YOU ACKNOWLEDGE THEM. They might be having a rough day (commonly known as "Monday") and you could easily help turn their day around. 

8. There is no reason for you to be wearing full camo to school. Contrary to popular belief it just makes you stand out more. All of our walls are bright shiny colors now. 

9. If your favorite bathroom is across the school it is perfectly okay to walk across the school to use that bathroom. You should be able to tinkle in comfort. 

10. There is no excuse to leave dirty clothes in your locker. That is nasty and EVERYONE can smell it. Either take it home and wash it or burn it. Whichever one the situation calls for.

11. That being said, please don't clog the school's oxygen supply with a plethora of fragrances. I like smelling nice smells, but not a bunch at one time. Chill with the perfume, ladies. And guys Axe body doesn't smell good. It just tells everyone else "hey... I'm kind of a douche bag." 


13. If it went to the lost and found you'll probably never see it again. Just sayin'. 

14. Nobody goes to school to learn. You know it and I know it.