Posts Tagged ‘Life’

I have made a decision. I’ve decided to come out to the world (meaning a very small portion of the Internet) as a feminist. It wasn’t an easy decision – there’s an egregious amount of venom towards the feminist community and I’ve always been the type to shy away from opposition and inflammatory stances.

But I don’t want to do that anymore.

I’ve read a lot of articles (This turns me into a GIANT SQUID OF ANGER), statuses (Labelled “Virgin Test”), comments, and memes that give me that burning feeling of injustice deep in my gut.

Buzz knows what I’m talking about

It comes from all sexes, genders, and ages…and it’s not a fun experience. I’m hoping this will ease the fire, if only briefly.

To mark this point in my journey, I’d like to first dispel some myths of feminism and what that term means. Too many people, male and female, have ill-conceived notions of what feminists stand for.

1. Feminists Hate (or dislike) Men

Hell no! We feel no differently about men than we do women (unless you’re talking about sexual feelings of a hetero woman, but that’s not the point). To a feminist, men and women are simply people, and deserve to be treated based on the way they act and who they are. Are you a man who finds kitchen jokes hilarious and thinks women should wear more clothing to avoid being assaulted? Yes, we hate you, but not because you’re a man. Because you’re an asshole.

2. Feminists Want To Flip Sexism

Maybe the fact that we are focused on women’s rights somehow makes the movement come across as fighting for women to be the dominating sex. That’s not what feminism is all about. Are civil rights activists trying to oppress those of us with pale ancestry? Not that I’m aware of, and it’s the same thing here. The sad thing is, women aren’t even a minority and yet we’re still treated as “other.” There’s something I’ll never understand.

I stumbled across this article recently, which uses the device of satire to get the point across that women (the most common victims of sexual abuse), are told by society that it’s our job to protect ourselves, and that men (as a section in society, not all of them) are told they “can’t help themselves” (which is also derogatory to men!). This article is NOT to be taken as a serious suggestion. Many times feminists “flip” the double standard to gain understanding and point out a ridiculous notion. We are not seriously trying to take away male freedoms.

3. Feminists Oppose Expressions of Femininity

Misguided feminists do, maybe. I was once a young tomboy who refused ANYTHING feminine. In high school I refused to carry a purse or wear the uniform skirt purely out of defiance of all things feminine. But that’s not helpful for anybody. There’s nothing WRONG with femininity, it’s an expression of personality and shouldn’t be limited. As Iggy Pop once said, “I’m not ashamed to dress ‘like a woman’ because I don’t think it’s shameful to be a woman.”

Unfortunately, it’s difficult to view femininity in a healthy way when society is constantly glorifying masculine traits and weakening feminine ones. That’s a little deeper than clothing, but is a subject for another day.

4. Feminists Find Chivalry Offensive

The only thing that would be offensive about chivalry is if the “chivalrous” person believed women to be incapable of certain things. Otherwise, it’s just common courtesy. Hell, I’m chivalrous all the time. If I’m the first person to the door, I’m gonna hold it open for the next person, because that’s the awesome thing to do. If someone weaker than me (a young child…maybe) is carrying a heavy bag, I’ll take it from them to make their lives easier. It’s just nice.

Now that you know what feminists aren’t, here’s what a feminist should be:

1. Feminists Want Men and Women (and anywhere in between) To Be Treated Equally

Fuck gender norms and fuck stereotypes. We want a world where a guy can wear a skirt and a girl can shave her head without mocking, without hate. Where women make equal pay and a stay-at-home dad is as common as the reverse. Personally, I don’t want to have to try twice as hard (at least) to be taken seriously.

2. Feminists Encourage Personal Expression of Any Kind

Do you like societal norms for your gender? It’s totally your choice! I won’t judge you. There are no boxes and you can pick and choose whatever sparks your interest. I like wearing Chucks with a sundress. Unconventional? Sure, but I don’t care. And neither should you. Wear whatever you damn well please.

3. Feminists Want To Eliminate The Gap Between Genders

This all kind of ties in together, but we want treatment to be equal between genders. By the way, this doesn’t just mean we want women to get better treatment. There are a handful of times where men get the short end of the stick and it needs to be talked about. Custody laws are a great example of times when men get shafted. Sadly, most women are fighting other battles, but I will discuss these issues on this site.

4. Feminists Appreciate Polite Gestures

Just like anyone, we want to be treated like a person. We don’t need to be coddled, but if you are the type of person that opens doors and helps out whenever possible, well that’s wonderful. The world needs more people like you.

 

I hope this post, at the very least, gets people thinking about how they react to feminists and to women in their lives. It can be difficult to realize the seemingly small, daily injustices against women and femininity, and even harder to put it to words. My only hope is I will be eloquent enough to get my point across on such a complex, mired-in-hate issue.

This week I will be reading syllabi and finding my classes for the last time. My final schedule is set and I’m ready to graduate in May. And I couldn’t be more excited. Really.

Although there is this nagging fear

It’s more than just graduating though. I’ve graduated from things before…middle school, high school, like most people. This is the first time that, when I look at the last day of classes, there is an abyss that is called “The Future.” It’s almost like a cliff waiting for me – I’ve lived for as long as I can remember with the same basic schedule of school, break, school, break, etc. with some extra activities thrown in, but that consistency is going right out the window about mid-May.

It’s bizarre thinking about that change, which I’m sure will feel completely normal after less than a year. I can do anything with my time after I graduate (as of now I have no commitments) and yet I can’t. I have to make the decision to do one thing while deciding to not do the numerous other options that are just as viable. So this semester I’m attempting to find a method to cope with that weighty decision. Here are my thoughts:

1. Decide Short Term

Figuring out the present is always a good idea (duh). What many people don’t get is that you have to choose to do something now to get momentum and be inspired by your progress. By making decisions for tomorrow, next week, and a month from now, you’re setting small goals that you can look forward to.

Currently, I’m planning a ski trip for this weekend, focusing on my classes for this week, and hunting for a part-time job. Oh and I plan out and look forward to a delicious dinner every night 😉

I’ve also decided to take my health into my own hands and do an Elimination Diet, which I’ll get into more in another post as it takes some explaining…

2. Think Long Term

Physically taking the leap and doing something is a great way to get started, but there should always be a bigger plan in place if you want to accomplish your goals – whatever they happen to be. Want to work in the music industry? Go get an internship, you crazy sonuva bitch (because really, you have to be crazy to be in this industry…). Want to be in a financially viable band? Start rehearsing and studying how to actually make it profitable.

I have a few goals for myself as of right now. This summer I am going to take a road trip (hence the part-time job), after summer I will find a job working for a venue in New York or Boston, and eventually I will start my own venue, which I’ve already begun planning. I definitely know this is a lofty goal, but I’ve always been taught that you can’t succeed unless you try…so dammit I’m going to try.

3. Don’t Freak Out (Find People To Help)

There’s not much that’s less helpful than being paralyzed by fear, anxiety, or indecision.  Focus on figuring one thing out at a time instead of peering into the vast chasm of empty space that is your future. Baby steps, my friends, baby steps.

Also, find a handful (or more if you’re an extrovert) of people to be there when you need a friend, a few people who know what you’re going through to be mentor figures, and a vast network of people who can potentially give you advice or opportunities. Focus on meeting friends and get a good foundation, then branch out from there.

I’ve never been one to have a huge group of friends. I generally end up with one to three people I regularly hang out with or talk to and a slightly larger group of people (that are probably friends with my close friends), who I hang out with on occasion. I am totally fine with this. Find what makes you feel most comfortable and do that.

4. Make Decisions For You

I’m just guessing here, but I’d say most people think they do this (myself included). I’ve discovered in my time as a music business student that most people are doing a LOT. Organizing concerts, fundraisers, tech startups, etc. It can be intimidating and frustrating, because really, being surrounded by so much success can seem to diminish the successes in your life if you aren’t careful. I find myself wanting to take on more and more projects, even if they are not directly to the benefit of my end goal. Not such logical decision-making…

Solution? Block everyone and everything out for a while (done). Spend some time figuring out what really interests you (done). Consider every opportunity available to you and evaluate how helpful it will be to reaching your goal (in progress…).

Now be happy for all the other successes around you (and that you’re in such a positive atmosphere) and keep on chugging toward your goal, distractions be damned.

5. Know There’s Always Another Option

In my college career, I have at least dabbled in all the different paths in the music industry. From songwriting, to management, to social media marketing, to music journalism – everything except law basically. Each time I take on a new endeavor I find a new love. It’s always refreshing and I feel motivated all over again. Will I have to pick something to stick with for a while after graduation? Yes. But I know that, if worse comes to worst, I’m not being forced to stay in that field. I’m free to seek out other opportunities or create my own and that in itself can be a freeing feeling.

If you do decide your chosen path isn’t turning out as wonderfully as you imagined, make sure to bow out respectfully and with your reputation in tact. There’s no worse a feeling than forcing yourself to carry on without inspiration and failing your employer and co-workers.

As for me, I will likely always be doing a little bit of a lot of things, and that’s perfectly fine in this industry. In fact, nowadays it’s almost required.

It’s difficult to say exactly where I’ll be and what my life will look like by the fall of this year, but hopefully I can look into that chasm and find my way across.

I’m gonna be honest, it’s been kind of a rough week, but there were some awesome parts!

For instance:

The Oats played at Don Pedro’s Friday night and rocked the place (naturally). I had to scrape together a mailing list signup due to shitty circumstances, but we made it work, and got 7 new fans!

Smiley faces are infinitely better than giant Xs

Checked out the Highline for the first time! Why haven’t I been there before?? It’s beautiful. And has delicious gelato (pistachio fucking ROCKS)

Beautiful

Went to a show at Bowery Ballroom (by myself, because I’m cool like that – also I’m writing a review for it) and discovered this AWESOME rhythm-based, bass heavy band, Brick + Mortar.

And of course saw River City Extension, who were fantastic, unsurprisingly. There were, however, several drunk uber fans that made the experience significantly more sweaty and mosh pit-y (at a folk show? Really??)

I really should be writing that review, but the events of this week have left me emotionally drained, so I think I’ll devote today to listening to Muse, Mumford & Sons, and just not a giving a damn.

Who’s with me?

I had a week that was so full of the most jolting ups and downs, I had to resist the urge to look for Ashton Kutcher (Punk’d anyone?).

In order:

1. Started managing The Oats (awesome)
2. Confronted my venue internship supervisor (not awesome)
3. Got my purse from the MTA lost and found!! (awesome)
4. Was mugged by a ballsy 16-year-old in Brooklyn (not awesome…don’t worry, I’m fine)
5. Now work 4 days at Ariel and have a 3 day weekend (awesome)
6. Can only sleep on the weekends (not awesome)

I think my body decided to shut itself down yesterday due to some kind of PTSD. I slept 10 hours, then took a 3 hour nap

Because I now have no phone, there is a lack of pictures to document the past week…Also, I’ve been living off of bagels and peanut butter and jelly because he got my debit card. Welcome to Brooklyn.

To fill in for the lack of pictures, I was going to post a visual representation of why Pinterest is pushing women’s rights back few generations, but I decided I needed something soothing in my life instead.

Therefore, I bring you puppies:

 

 

Source: google.ca via Marla on Pinterest

Source: petapixel.com via Sara on Pinterest

Source: via Ashton on Pinterest

 
 

Source: lnkgt.com via Smile on Pinterest

You’re welcome.

I know pretty much everyone says this, but good lord this summer is going by too quickly. I’m almost halfway through and I feel like there’s still way too much I want to do. Looks like I’ll have to cut back to NO sleep. That’s feasible right?

Here are some snapshots of my 4th week:

Went to see a band who are here all the way from Mexico called The Oats in Williamsburg and noticed this brilliant number marking system. Dominoes. Who would have thought?

Saw my boy Evan play at Googie’s Lounge! 4 weeks in NYC and he’s already had two gigs. This kid’s going places.

Saw this and got very confused…Kind of dark for subway art, don’t you think??

Found a FREE SHOW (two best words ever) for White Rabbits (<3) in Williamsburg with openers We Barbarians. It was awesome to go to a bigger show like that, I’ve been going to too many open mics.

But the best part of my week had to be enjoying the sweet chewiness of a Now and Later. Like a cool kid from the 90s.

Does anyone remember these things?? I used to eat them by the handful.


I HAVE AN ANNOUNCEMENT

So pay attention (please).

The band I mentioned at the beginning of the post (The Oats) will now be managed by yours truly! Get ready to hear a lot more about them, because it’s about to take over my life and I really believe in them as a band. I promise they won’t be the band of the week ALL the time (I guess). If you like The Strokes, Arctic Monkeys, or The Pixies, you should probably check them out and come to a show or two. If you like them, email spreadtheoats@gmail.com to be added to the mailing list!


I’m also adding a new feature to my Sunday updates. I’ve been going to so many shows every week, I decided to start keeping track. So here’s to introducing the show counter! (try to contain your excitement)

SHOW COUNT: 7

 

So, in conclusion, stay away from alligators and please, feed a Mexican.

Second week down! I can’t believe I’ve even been here that long. This week was fairly insane; I didn’t have two seconds to myself, and I loved it (for the most part). Here are some pictures to recap:

Went to about 4 open mic nights this week. I never thought I’d have friends so talented.

Walked nearly four miles in the rain…for no reason. The life of an intern.

Berklee was here…

Got to see Lara Marling for free in Prospect Park! She’s pretty badass, and she has an English accent.

Met a goat on the street. NBD.

Couldn’t ask for a better way to spend my time than playing some music next to that skyline

Tip for making friends: Play music in the hallways for about an hour. Some people may quietly hate you, but the music lovers will come out in droves.

Tuesday I’ll give you guys a peak at the daily life of an intern in the music business, so if you’re thinking about interning at some point, you might want to check it out!

I’ll leave you with this:

My Life. Through Music.

Posted: June 12, 2012 in About Me, Bands I Like
Tags: , ,

-This post is about to get very self indulgent. If you couldn’t give a rat’s ass about my personal life and are just waiting for the music reviews and business articles, skip it! If you’d like a glimpse into my life, this is the place to be.-

I have always had a close, meaningful relationship with music. Sure I’ve wandered into embarrassing territory (I was young), and I’ve gotten stuck in ruts, but I could easily segment my life based on what I was listening to at the time. And that’s just what I’ll do. Hopefully there will be some bands on here you know, as well as some you don’t. I’m all about discovery.

Conception-6yo

This was a good time for me. I didn’t have to worry about ANYTHING. I grew up in a small town in Ohio and my parents both worked. My dad’s a civil engineer and (at the time) my mom was an aerobics instructor. I have an older brother who has brighter red hair than me…he always believed I stole our parents’ attention as kids. My parents are the most wonderful people I could hope would raise me; they knew that I loved music and singing from a young age and encouraged that passion completely.

Those of you who have parents who discourage the pursuit of music, I don’t know how you do it, but it’s fantastic that you do. Keep on keepin’ on.

Music that defined the era: Classic rock, second wave punk – Ozzy Osborne, Ted Nugent, The Offspring, The Presidents of The United States of America, Queensryche

7-11yo

Wakeboarding is what I remember most from this segment. I learned the water sport at the tale end of being 6 (summer birthday) and competed in amateur competitions for 2 years. My parents have always been very entrepreneurial, which is where I get my desire to be my own boss, and my mom ran a boat business at the time. I’m pretty sentimental about the summers of too much sun and competing against boys twice my age (and winning, you know how I do). I also started a private elementary school, which, in its PRIME, had about 100 students for K-8th grade. It was one of those schools where we called teachers by their first names and didn’t have bells to end each period.

This is also where I met my best friend of 13 years, Courtney. She introduced me to Pokemon and that was that. Bonded for life. To your right, you’ll see one of our *rare* moments of insanity==>

When I transferred to public school I was way ahead in math and way behind in science. My school wasn’t perfect, but it encouraged me to be independent and, more importantly, taught me that authority figures are human beings, just like everyone else, at a young age.

Music that defined the era: (This is kind of a “lost era”) Boy Bands, more classic rock – NSYNC, Backstreet Boys, Avril Lavigne, Styx, REO Speedwagon, Rush

11-15yo

Easily the worst years of my pre-college life, middle school was nothing short of torturous. The transfer from private to public school was such a shift, my innocent little self was not prepared for the jolt. I’d never really experienced bullying or “cliques” or any of the typical social pains of school because everyone was kind of forced to hang out with each other at my old school. In a new class of over 200 students, I was pretty much lost. On top of that, Courtney had moved out of town and I could only see her every once in a while. Luckily, I had my music as a sanctuary. I was taking piano lessons, private singing lessons, and was accepted into a very prestigious children’s choir in Ohio. I also began to acquire a little bit of chub by 8th grade, which was lost after a choir trip to Europe where my picky eating prevented me from eating anything but bread, followed by a month-long camp that kept me active. Going into high school (Catholic high school, no more public school for me), I was excited to find a place, and I did. I met my two best friends of high school, Katie and Cate, on the first day and we were pretty much inseparable the whole first two years.

Music that defined the era: 70s and 80s rock, post-grunge, Brit Pop – Journey, REO Speedwagon, Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, Creed, Nickelback (these two were later banned from my ears…), McFly (Cate, Katie, and I obsessed for a few years)

15-17yo

Oh my. Ooooh my my my. Boys. Boys are what took up my thoughts during my Junior and Senior years of high school. What can I say? I was a late bloomer.

My first few forays into relationships and attraction were filled with nerves, anxiety-induced weight loss, intense connections, and life-altering rejections. But mostly I was just being over-dramatic. I also used my teenage angst to start writing more seriously and picked up the guitar to be able to actually back up the lyrics and melodies in my head. At the end of my senior year, I was rejected from my top two choices for college and my first real boyfriend, and I started the worst job I’ve ever had, all in during spring break. With all of these seemingly dead ends thrown my way, it’s safe to say I was at a pretty low point in my life going into college.

Music that defined the era: angst, Alternative Rock, new folk, pop punk, Female Rock Singers – Taking Back Sunday, Bright Eyes, Hellogoodbye, All Time Low, Paramore, Flyleaf

18yo

My first year of college was not so great, to say the least. Somehow I wound up surrounded by people with some serious issues, who didn’t like me all that much. I spent most of that year in a relationship that was maintained through manipulation and threats. Again, the light in the tunnel was my music. I wrote more that year than I think I ever have. I also reapplied to my top school choice (Berklee College of Music). Persistence pays off and I’m now attending that school. After i was accepted, I really took a lot more initiative in finding other musicians and that summer was the best one of my life. I played several shows and felt so on top of the world preparing for Boston.

If I hadn’t had that year, I really don’t think I would have appreciated the opportunity I was given coming to Boston.

Music that defined the era: Alternative Rock, Hard Rock, FolkCartel, Paramore, Flyleaf, Rise Against, Taking Back Sunday, Anberlin

19yo

Berklee ftw! I was so incredibly lucky to be able to take advantage of everything that school has to offer. I went in with a determination I had lost over the previous few years, and damn did it pay off. My first year I joined the Songwriters Club and volunteered to do EVERYTHING I could. The president at the time really liked my competence (his words) and basically became my mentor for that year. I ran my first events and shows and met so many amazing and talented people. This is also when I realized that I’m not meant to write songs for a living, which was a blessing and a curse. I always dreamt of performing, but when I tried it, I kind of really hated the pressure and never being satisfied with a performance. I still write occasionally, but it’s mostly just for my benefit. 19 was when I realized I want to be successful, not famous.

Over the summer I lost some friends and made some mistakes. Mostly due to the full discovery of alcohol upon entering Berklee. There are times I wish things happened differently, but I see it as a way to learn and not fuck up again. Which I’m sure I will some way or another, but hopefully not too badly!

I also met many more boys, had a few heartaches, and learned how to move on quickly (i.e. write a song about it).

Music that defined the era: Alternative Rock, Dubstep, Folk, Berklee music – Passion Pit, Muse, The White Stripes, Mumford & Sons, Skrillex,  songwriters at Berklee (Charles Johnson, Jesse Beauchamp, Giorgi, I could go on)

20yo-now

At this point (my second year at Berklee) I was running the Songwriters Club and founded and ran the Ski and Snowboard Club. I also wrote for the Music Business Journal briefly and tried just about everything under the sun that I might be interested in. I met the guy I dated for 8 months (longest relationship yet!) and that support allowed me to buckle down and get a lot done. My grades improved, I ran two of the biggest student run concerts at Berklee and managed the other 3-4 shows we put on a year. The only downside was that my social life just tanked. As in it was essentially non-existent for a while. Again, learning experience.

I applied for the internship program in New York in the Spring semester, searched for internships obsessively, and found some pretty fantastic places to work for the summer, including the school magazine.

Music that defined the era: Alternative/Blues Rock, Folk, Dubstep, Blues/Jazz, jam sessions – The Black Keys, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nina Simone, The White Stripes, Punch Brothers, Skrillex, jam sessions…which I didn’t take part in because I can’t improvise to save my life.

That pretty much brings us up to date on things you probably didn’t know about me. It’s pretty much impossible to sum up a life in a few paragraphs, so I might go into more depth about some things as I feel like it (if I feel like it), but mostly I’ll post about my current life and about the music industry.

Questions? Comments? Concerns?

Want to know more about my life as an atheist in a Catholic school?

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