“Now I still get laughed at but it doesn’t bother me. I’m just so glad to hear laughter around me.”

For years I made a list toward the end of December: my top ten favorite albums that were released within the current year. As time went on I found that my lists dwindled to five and then turned into my top five favorite songs that were released within the current year. And then that list became nonexistent. I thought about this today while driving the forty minutes from my house to Aj’s. What happened and whose fault is it? What are the variables that have brought me to a point where I can’t even make a list of five songs that I really enjoyed that were released in the last twelve months? Oh. Man.

The more I thought about it though I realized that it’s no one’s fault (duh…) and shit just happens. It’s not as if I dislike music now or listen to it any less. In fact as an “adult” I’ve found that I not only have all of the time in the world to listen to it, but I also have the money to afford it in all different forms, be it vinyl or digital- I can GET it. Those are not part of the problem. I have a way to listen to music no matter where I am, there is always sound around me if I so choose. And money, it’s not plentiful, but I mean- I don’t do anything so I might as well spend my extra cash on something that I listen to constantly. That just makes sense. So the money and the means to listen to it are not problems at all.

I thought about the music I had been exposed to this year. I thought about how much of it was made within the last year. Then I thought about why exactly I didn’t like these artists. I could ramble on and tell you exactly what I thought of but I’d rather not go on that way because I realized something. All of my issues with “today’s music” is not any reason to scoff at the artists that create it. As much as I don’t understand it and probably never, ever, ever will… There are plenty of people out there that do enjoy it. I also realized something else that I am terrible of accusing others of- I very well might be stuck in the nineties [and early two-thousand’s]. I’ve decided that I am okay with this and it’s pretty comfortable and familiar here.

All of that being said- I do not have a list of favorite songs or albums from this year for you. However I do have a couple of other lists, including one about music you should already be listening to. I feel it’s fair to say that considering most of the albums have probably been out for at least five to ten years or so now…

The Top Five Things I Am Terribly Guilty of [or a List of Things You Won’t Like About Me]:
1. Having a Large (but hopefully quiet and in check) Ego – I was going to start the description for this with “if I were an animal, I would be an elephant!”, but then I realized that no, that’s not accurate at all. I was going to compare our memories and that saying about how an elephant never forgets. I don’t know how much truth there is to that, but I know for a fact that Jean’s do forget. A lot. However, I am one of those people that will remember something nice you said about me until I reach my grave. I keep it filed in somewhere along the back cabinets of my noggin and when I get bored or my head has nothing to think about, my brain goes- oh hey, remember that one time so and so said blah blah blah? And I’ll just be like, yeah head, that was cool. This is what it’s like to deal with my brain.

I can remember how in middle school, a bunch of people liked these cartoon people I was drawing- one person asked for a drawing of one, so I drew it. Then another, I drew it. And so on. I carry that memory with me everywhere and always simply because it made me feel like I was good at something for the first time. I can remember (though he probably can’t) the time that my boyfriend told me he thought I was funnier than him and I didn’t have to try. I remember my creative writing teacher saying that he enjoyed my writing and once even mentioned one of my pieces as the most mature piece we had read all year. I can remember my english teacher telling me with my attitude I could be whatever the fuck I wanted, I didn’t need to go to college like everyone else. I remember him enjoying my writing to an extent that I didn’t do real assignments more than half of the time. I would just write him things, any things, all the things. It didn’t matter. I remember someone in the office catching wind of me taking creative writing more than once and reading my assignments. I remember how excited she got and asked if she could proof read things, if she could help. I also seem to remember myself being an ignorant, snotty teen and denying the help. What I wouldn’t give for that now.

I guess it isn’t so bad except that with the ego I do have and try to keep underwraps tends to make me feel-

2. Constant Guilt- I am also the type of person that will purposefully do slightly worse than I normally would so the person that would come in second, gets first, and I get to see them stoked. I just always feel everything means something more to someone else so why whouldn’t I give something up to see someone else happier than I would be, if I were to take first? Why would I not? That makes me sound like an awesome human being! Except that sometimes I do it simply for the sheer fact that if I don’t, I’m worried about how someone else frowning over getting second is going to make me feel. I do it because I don’t want to be forced to either feel incredibly guilty or feign happiness for the sake of looking like I reeeeally wanted what I won. Or received. And in Mr. Second’s eyes, stole from him.

If I make dinner I always make sure everyone has more than my own plate does. If I do Aj and I’s wash- his clothes get hung up first in case they’re not all making it to the closet that evening. I will go to work feeling like shit just in case one of my coworkers needs to be out because they feel like shit. I’ll stay sober so i can drive. I’ll give you a cigarette if you’re out and I have plenty. I will give you my last dollar and I will let you borrow my shit. But I’m going to do this, I want you to know, not just because I want to see you happy, but because if I didn’t- I would mentally beat myself up over it for a solid month.

3. Worrying- I don’t try to, but I worry about everything. I worry about everything to extents that would make most people physically ill trying to keep up with my thoughts whirring by so quickly, so fleeting. Not that I believe that I think faster than your average person, I’m just saying- My worrying is a bit too much even for me at times. When i think about other people relaxing it’s not the same way that I know how to relax. When i think about the procedure it takes to wind down after something serious (or even not so serious at times) happens, I get anxious. It’s outrageous. And as I’ve stated in a previous entry, I have some very unexplainable worries. They seem so unnecessary.

4. Being Too Passionate- When I was younger and I spoke up, the adults said I was passionate. Now when I speak up as an “adult”, everyone calls it being an asshole. It is what it is, maybe I am an asshole. I’ve decided that I’m okay with that because if I believe in something enough to speak up for it then I suppose I believe in it enough to be an asshole for it. Eh. That being so, I could afford to step back, dial down my immediate disgust (usually) and try not-

5. Speaking Before I Think- Nine times out of ten people do not take me the wrong way. They take me the way I intend for things to sound. They take me the way they’re meant to because most people don’t think I’m an evil turd, preying on them, waiting for them to fuck up or fuck off. I just get excited. I get excited and string the wrong words together and sometimes worry about how someone that isn’t as sure of me, might think I was being an awful human being. Sometimes I am. Also I could probably benefit from shutting the fuck up more and listening. But I’ll always feel that way. I also overexplain myself.

….I also overexplain myself.

My Top Five Favorite Bands from High School [According to an old Livejournal]:

1. Fall Out Boy
2. Taking Back Sunday
3. Brand New
4. UnderOath
5. Thursday

Not only are those in the worst order they could possibly be in, but that’s a very sad, sad list. I hope some people got a kick out of that. Hopefully high school me was not alone in her shitty music expedition and someone else had recorded their own shitty music taste at this age. [Please feel free to share in comments, I would love to feel better about this.]

Some Good Albums That Have Been Out for a Bit:
1. Jawbreaker – Dear You
2. Elliott Smith – Either/Or
3. Amanda Palmer – Disc 3 of A Night With Neil Gailman and Amanda Palmer
4. Saves the Day – Stay What You Are
5. Bright Eyes – Digital Ash in a Digital Urn
6. The Lawrence Arms – Oh! Calcutta!
7. Streetlight Manifesto – Somewhere in the Between
8. The Get Up Kids – Four Minute Mile
9. Tom Waits – Small Change
10. Paul Simon – Graceland

This was very difficult to put together because I have a million favorite albums, but these ones seem to stick. Which says something else about me. I probably should have held off on getting those Circa Survive tattoos… Oh well.

Over and Out.

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