The Best Things for Me This Year (A Playlist)
Art by Kim Salac
- “Motion Sickness” by Phoebe Brigers
I was going through some really bad Sad Girl Hours earlier this summer, so I started listening to “Motion Sickness.” I then took the Sad Girl Hours outside with my speaker to add extra dramatic effect. After spotting my RipStick that I hadn’t used in probably a year, I hopped on to see if I was still fast. I used to race my middle aged neighbor up my driveway before my family moved into our current house. This led to dramatic RipStick dancing that I would video and send to my cousins.
Here is a link to one of the first ones I did to “Roma Fade” by Andrew Bird.
- “The Adults Are Talking” by The Strokes
I think this song is genius. Everything about it. The entire album slaps, but this song in particular is just so smart. Besides that, I’ve had to listen to a lot of adults talk about a lot of absolutely insane mess this past year. My mom wouldn’t get the vaccine and believes in a shadow government and that Biden “stole” the election. My uncle sends me Breitbart articles. My cousin says gay people are going to hell. Half of my mom’s Facebook friends think the virus is a hoax even after a year. I know this song isn’t about all of that. It actually has an entirely different meaning. The one part of the song, however, that fit for me was slowly gaining the skill to blur out the insane-mess adults, the way the song does to the voices. The Strokes play their instruments (I couldn’t tell you which ones) in a way that sounds like adults talking like on Peanuts shows when adults do the “wah wah wah wah wah” kind of deal (of course more ~musically~ though). This year has shown over and over again the necessity to have these difficult conversations with our loved ones and friends. The key word is conversation, however, and many of those around me have proven that they are incapable of this. So I have learned when to blur things out in my mind and pick my battles for when I know that it will actually generate fruitful results because otherwise things turn into being yelled at for hours on end and not being able to defend anything I say and many other things being threatened. Anyways. This song is a whole bop outside of all of this too.
The Strokes play their instruments (I couldn’t tell you which ones) in a way that sounds like adults talking like on Peanuts shows when adults do the “wah wah wah wah wah” kind of deal (of course more musically, though). This year has shown over and over again the necessity to have these difficult conversations with our loved ones and friends. The key word is conversation...
- “Roslyn” by Bon Iver and St. Vincent
I finally read Midnight Sun by Stephanie Meyer, so I had to return to my roots and listen to the New Moon soundtrack again (the best soundtrack). I will say I didn’t read the whole thing, I just read my favorite parts that are in Twilight (aka honestly them just kissing and saying “I love you” and figuring out how Stephanie was going to try to validate Edward sneaking into Bella’s room without her consent in the year of our Charlie Swan 2020). I’ve reread Twilight every single summer since seventh grade, so finally getting my hands on the *real* Midnight Sun was an absolute dream. I was the kind of twihard who printed and read the pirate copies of her first drafts of Midnight Sun just after it was leaked by Meyer’s editor (or whoever did it). It even rained that week, as it does every single time I read Twilight.
- Melodrama by Lorde
I can’t choose a song, but I listened to the album as I crocheted a lot. My biggest projects this year were the Harry Styles Cardigan I made for my best friend and then some earrings of flowers I found out I could make. I generally hop from hobby to hobby because my attention span is absolutely awful, but I did do those two. Crocheting is something I did before COVID, but it is a great activity for when I need to do something and concentrate with my hands, but my mind can fly off to whatever direction it wants to go. I probably need to start doing that again.
Okay, I guess because of my crochet completion dance, I have to include Harry as well in my playlist. Thank you Harold.
- “Oh Sheila” by Ready for the World and the Pride and Prejudice (2005) soundtrack
Both of these contributed to my making of a Birdstagram. As Ready for the World says, “what’s good for the geese is always good for the gander.” I was finally ready to gander. My dad spontaneously bought me an amazing camera so I could take pictures of birds. Before, I would play a balancing act with my binoculars and my phone camera. I still have no idea how to do anything other than the automatic setting, but I’m learning and having fun taking pictures of birds. Nothing is better than birdsong, but I will say the Pride and Prejudice soundtrack is a close second for me. (Though it does open with a birdsong as well, so maybe I’m biased).
- “Baba O’Riley” by The Who
Sad Girl Hours were real, but over Christmas break, I got a new desk and completely rearranged my room. I cried a lot while doing it, but in many ways, it felt like my “teenage wasteland” was finally kind of gone.
This song plays at my work a lot, but I added it to my playlist when I cleaned my room. First semester this year, my room was disgusting. Sad Girl Hours were real, but over Christmas break, I got a new desk and completely rearranged my room. I cried a lot while doing it, but in many ways, it felt like my “teenage wasteland” was finally kind of gone. I feel like I’m ready to leave now (and not come home every single weekend anymore maybe haha). Then again, I’m so used to being home now, I’m going to get very homesick and have trouble adjusting. But aren’t we all worried about these things in these troubling times?
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