music

2017 in three minutes or less: my year according to Spotify (100-90)

lisa

(credits to somewhere on Tumblr.)

I saw High Fidelity for the first time in high school after countless people recommended it to me. Almost all of them would tell me John Cusack’s character, Rob Gordon, reminded them of me. If you have seen the film, it’s probably no surprise why I would struggle with this comparison, but I prefer to think my friends meant well, and were talking about Rob’s almost compulsive need to make lists and use music as the driving force behind his autobiographical narrative. This aspect of Rob’s personality is true to my own, and I’m really fond of it! I think compiling music into lists is the most accurate representation of your memory because it can inspire a flashback better than anything else.

I can go on about the massive change and attempts at growth I’ve gone through this year, but it can be mundane for me to recall and for you to read, so I’m going to try my best to keep my narrative of an incredibly difficult year “catchy”, if you will, and present the songs I listened to the most according to Spotify.

Continue reading “2017 in three minutes or less: my year according to Spotify (100-90)”

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favorites

trash by taylor: november favorites

ash

(my best friend’s strict order to slow down on the mashed potatoes from Publix, during my post Thanksgiving feast. I DID NOT LISTEN)

The root word in “November” is “No” and this word sums up how I have always felt about November. I’m sure I have been pretty vocal about my indifference (read: blind hatred) of Fall; the change in season makes me sad, and makes me feel as if I’m running out of time to finish something. Perhaps it’s a left over feeling from being dragged around school supply shopping by my mom for thirteen years plus college!

I can go on and on about how I have just come to realize I will never have to study for finals again, or how much time I spend studying my cats while they’re gazing outside, waiting for Robert Mueller to come with good cheer for the upcoming holiday season, but instead I’ll reflect on how weirdly peaceful November has been. The nagging voices in my head that have constantly been telling me I’m not doing things “right” as a post-graduate have quieted down a little. I’m learning to move at my own pace, and to listen to my intuition more often. This could change tomorrow but I’m currently relishing in my new understanding.

OKAY, HERE ARE SOME OF MY FAVORITE THINGS:

MEW-SICK

~~~~~~~~~

~Tommy Keene- “Places That Are Gone”: I’m incredibly disappointed to jump on the Tommy Keene train posthumously. Keene crafted extremely fine and perfect power pop in the 1980’s, which is my bread and butter kryptonite. I had heard his name from his collaboration with Robert Pollard as the Keene Brothers, but unfortunately haven’t taken the time to discover his music. I immersed myself in reading about Tommy’s legacy via obituaries and essays on Twitter and have been indulging in his music and escaping down the YouTube rabbit hole!

~David Johansen’s Animals medley- Between the New York Dolls and the Buster Poindexter era, David Johansen recorded a live album with a medley of songs by The Animals. The video for “We Gotta Get Out of This Place/Don’t Bring Me Down/It’s My Life” got a lot of airplay on MTV when it was released, and it was one of the few music videos from the era my father remembers with pleasure and does not grumble about incessantly. It was one of those songs I remember from growing up and never grew tired of.  For some reason I have spent a lot of time strutting around while “working out” this month, and I’ve had a lot of fun with it. Johansen’s vocals are gritty and sexy, making his tribute ring true to the original.

~Modest Mouse- “Beach Side Property”: Modest Mouse was a band I’d been exposed to through my time at my school’s radio station, but never really truly discovered until I went back to their discography myself, as it served along with Whiskeytown, as my chosen soundtrack to ~cleanse~ myself whenever I’m up in arms about various affairs of the heart. Modest Mouse is really so much more important than that; their earlier releases serve as a blueprint for independent music as we know it. I’m really partial to their first two records!

~Kristin Kontrol- “Concrete Love”: I’ve been a huge fan of the Dum Dum Girls for a long time and was really excited to discover one of the members had branched out on a solo venture. I discovered “Concrete Love” as part of the playlist my friend and former partner at the radio station made me, in order to keep me hip on the new releases in the college circuit as I sit and wither away while listening to Steely Dan. Kristen Kontrol’s music is right up my alley with its mysterious synth pop laden sound.

~Ray LaMontagne- “Let It Be Me”:  I’d heard this song many times upon its release on the radio, and am kind of embarrassed to admit I brushed LaMontagne’s music off because I don’t know how to pronounce his name! I really started to pay attention to his discography while binge-watching (sorry, Ford) my current Netflix choice, Parenthood. I’m a sucker for music that pairs well with a movie or television scene, and “Let It Be Me” went very well with a poignant moment in season one.

PODCASTS

Sometimes the only way I am able to get in the mood to work and conquer my procrastination habits is to listen to podcasts! My two favorites of the month are Girly Mags and Capsule ’98 which both fuel my fire for an era I was too young to fully experience first hand, except for my ravenous Titanic obsession which I’m still in the midst of, thank you very much. I’ve been obsessed with teen girl culture for as long as I can remember, so these podcasts make me want to wear glitter again!

~Beauty~

I feel really out-of-place but official when I write about beauty. My skin is ULTRA sensitive which prevents me from wearing makeup (I felt like a champion when I wore mascara for a ~date~ earlier this year). My relationship with acne has been my worst and I’ve spent the last decade trying to find a remedy for it which had some pleasing long-lasting effects. As if the internet gods were listening, my grandmother looked up the various uses for apple cider vinegar. lo and behold, it was mentioned a lot as an acne remedy! I apply a cotton ball’s worth every morning and tear up a little (in all seriousness, it can burn, so keep that in mind) and let it soak into my skin. I am incredibly happy with my results after two weeks! My adult acne has done a number on my self-esteem so to have found something that truly helps has been an incredible mood booster!

So, in conclusion, this particular November wasn’t filled with as much “No” as previous Novemembers. I’ve got some pretty cool projects in the works, and I’m finally feeling somewhat optimistic over what’s to come!

 

trash by taylor

home is what you make of it, i guess

bemis

The holidays are weird. They are a time where a lot of us get reflective over ourselves and pay close attention to those things we wish we could change (I bet those of you who know me are like, Taylor, you’re always reflective. I know, the holidays are my reflection period, with all of the calories). My friends and I haven’t been strangers to the reflection bug and the desire to make sense of what we’d like to change in the new year because let’s face it, 2017 was pretty awful.

This year I fell in love. I fell out of love with long-held ideas and desires. I grew my hair out. I lost my cat for a few days, and she came back. Most importantly, I spent a large chunk of time wondering if I could cure my longstanding dissatisfaction by moving back to Bowling Green, the town where I went to college, and “grew up” in more ways than one. The place where the best doughnuts are, and where there is still a record store in the shopping mall.

Continue reading “home is what you make of it, i guess”

poems

a fancy poem about being left on “read.”

I have nothing to say to you today

and I act like this will be the last word

as if you could fill it up with words and phrases

because speaking to you feels like shouting into the void.

each word reads like a promise

or a declaration

a promise so big

because as humans we want to cover all the bases

like we can reach the bottom line

that brings security and all of these other life affirming desires to life and there’s nothing you ever have to leave behind.

however,

in the thick of it,

these are just words on a high-resolution phone

swiped with a flick of my finger like it was dancing around you

but the screen is only a platform for finger prints and it’s cracked in several places

and i have a thing about finger prints on an electronic device

and the worst thing of all,

these words holding all of my meaning and promise and understanding

with an emoji thrown in for good measure and for you to think i’ve got better things to do than to analyze and vigorously try to understand is the all too often chance..

you’ll leave me on “read.”

 

trash by taylor

one year later

me

It’s officially been one year (and a few days- Procrastination is my middle name!) since I started my blog. This picture was taken in the library of my college, exactly where I started my blog; I was supposed to be doing spanish homework I think.

I had big dreams for my blog. I still do, but the dreams seemed to be much bigger then. Everything seemed to be much bigger to me one year ago. I was finishing my last semester of school that I would spend on campus, and my biggest focus was graduating and moving on into the next phase in my life; as cliché as it is, I wanted to have a career in radio and I was extremely hellbent on maintaining my relationship at the same time, eagerly ready to propel it into the next level- just because I thought that was what you were supposed to do.

One of my first posts on the blog was about my love for Gilmore Girls. I was extremely excited for the Netflix revival, which was supposed to air on Thanksgiving. I haven’t talked much about the revival publicly or even in conversation, because it resonated with me on a deep level. The thought of watching it evokes extreme sadness, which I think is a little ridiculous because it’s a TV show, and you’re not supposed to get “worked up” over something as trivial as a tv show.

I was so transfixed with the show. Each episode represented a season in a year in the lives of Lorelai and Rory, a decade after the original show’s conclusion. Watching the show one year ago was exciting for me due to the focus on time passage. I was happy to see changes happen to the residents of Stars Hollow, because change is a given. Ten years had passed, so of course there would be differences in the characters’ lives.

I had not yet began to feel stagnant in my life. I had a plan and I was taking the steps to follow it. In the revival, Rory’s life was stagnant and she struggled with trying to figure out what came next. She made various types of decisions and none of them seemed to fit together for her. One year ago, I watched the revival and couldn’t really relate. One year later, I do. I feel like I’m Rory. Among other reasons, it’s hard for me to watch the revival because it feels like we’re taking a deep look into my current situation.

Before you tell me this period of the unknown isn’t permanent, I know that. I feel extremely defensive when I talk about feeling stagnant because you’re not supposed to feel this way at this point in time, when it feels as if everyone around you has a plan. I do not give myself credit for modifying my situation in life because I knew I needed change; I trusted myself. I knew I needed to figure my life out and make new discoveries before I committed myself to what I viewed as permanent situations.

I wasn’t very happy a year ago but I stayed in a place of unhappiness because I thought you were supposed to have a plan despite however negative you might feel. Sometimes I miss where I was a year ago, but that’s only because I miss the idea of having a plan. I know some of you might be thinking, “well, make some sort of plan if you are so unhappy about not having one!”

I’m doing that, I promise. What is most important about taking the time to make a plan is to take some time to figure yourself out. I really really needed to do that. I’m going through a period now where I’m getting to know myself better as a person. I’m learning something new about myself daily, and frankly, I don’t like some stuff I’m finding out about myself. However, it’s still important for me to come to these conclusions, because they will serve me well in figuring out the “next step” in my journey… whenever I figure that out. I wasn’t thinking a lot one year ago. I am now, and as cliché as it is, I’ve learned to tell myself, “where you lead- I will follow.” (UGH I AM SORRY)

 

favorites, trash by taylor

october (the month where i discovered mushy peas. does anyone want to hook me up with some)?

babymarsha

October was a MONTH. Not just a month, but a MONTH! I normally do a “favorites” post at the end of the month, but I forgot last month and just really didn’t feel like I had a lot of “favorites” in October. It was sort of the beginning of the fall season and I have a “thing” about hating fall because I have an unexplainable fascination with time passage, and I associate it with sadness; I honestly had zero expectations for this month.

I kept meaning to write some separate posts for events that happened in October and unfortunately I  felt like I couldn’t write because they affected me really hard. Tom Petty passed away suddenly early in the month. He is probably my second all time favorite artist; he and the Heartbreakers are responsible for creating a big chunk of my life’s soundtrack. I don’t think I listened to any music not featuring Tom for two weeks afterward. It’s a waste to mention his music ruled my entire month! I’m planning to write a more detailed post about my relationship to his music.

The biggest event (and shake up of my life) happened at the end of the month, and I’m so thankful to say it has been resolved! My cat went missing one Sunday night and was AWOL for six days. It was really devastating because Marsha has always been an indoor cat, and none of us had left the house or opened any doors leading outside. It was one of those events we couldn’t explain; she had somehow made her way into the garage and out the door. She won’t fess up to where she’d been, but she came home the following Saturday, running full speed into the garage… I had seen her run into my old doll house out of the corner of my eye and discovered it was Marsha, and not a possum! I don’t think I have cried more in my life and I am definitely so much more thankful for the wonders of the universe. I’ve long struggled with the idea of relying on unknown powers above us and I’m worried about coming across as pretentious or hypocritical, but I have definitely felt an influence of protection from the universe. Marsha was not hurt at all and she was relatively unscathed from the experience. She has been home and has relaxed for nearly a week, and I am still literally crawling on the floor behind her and showering her with kisses!

No matter what happens, I always have time to discover new music and create new playlists! Here’s some stuff I’ve gotten into this month:

 

The M. Ward track was discovered via the credits of the new Patton Oswalt Netflix special which is highly recommended and has the Trash by Taylor Seal of Approval (I’m never going to do that again). It deals with the constant universal confusion of living in the era of Trump, which of course is something I deal with on a daily basis. Oswalt also speaks candidly on his grief over losing his wife last year; I was touched by Michelle McNamara’s mantra for life and kindness in this world, “it’s chaos. be kind.” I’ve thought about this nearly every single day since watching the documentary.

Of course I’m still watching my favorite, “This is Us”, and bothering everyone with my weekly post-episode sob-by exhale. I’m currently binging (sorry, Ford) season two of “Stranger Things” and it has been incredibly helpful with getting me into a Halloween mood amidst a lot of grief.

My outlook of life has been better during the last few days and I’m thankful for it. I’m getting excited for this year to be over! cheers, y’all. hug each other! kiss your pets! if you’re me, listen to someone else besides George Jones!

trash by taylor

i went to a salt cave and was not salty about it.

saltlamp

My 2017 can be defined by a few very specific factors: graduating from college, Ryan Adams’ discography, anxiety over politics and the safety of the free world, and my introduction to the serenity brought on through salt lamps. Some time in the summer, my grandmother started raving endlessly about how she had heard about the calming sensations salt lamps could bring to you, and how they have been proved to help with anxiety, and let me tell you, I would try absolutely anything to aid my newly emerged consistent  anxiety.

Pretty soon my Amazon recommendations were filled with salt lamps. Between my grandparents’ house and mine, I am in a room with a salt lamp in it every day and I truly feel the positive effects from spending time in a salt lamp lit place. A visit to a salt cave was a definite after I ordered a salt lamp for my bedroom and began to notice I was sleeping better.  Amidst all of the changes in my life this year, I’ve really started to appreciate anything that can bring on a sense of calmness and serenity. By the time October rolled around bringing a vague sense of my least favorite season of the year, I was beyond ready to let some things go while surrounded by miles of salt and shiny lights.

I had no idea what to expect from a salt cave. I was really excited to discover you are sitting in zero gravity chairs during your session; like most, I’m happiest when I can have the minimum amount of physical activity. The floor below is covered in endless white salt, which you navigate while wearing plastic bags over your socks; of course I had to remember some dumb harrowing memory of my first Kentucky snow when I got stuck in a deep snow bank and no one helped me out, but was quickly relieved salt doesn’t restrict your movement.

Lights are dimmed for your entire session and you are given a salt pillow and a blanket after settling into your zero gravity chair. For someone who has an awful relationship with gravity, I was really surprised at how easy it was to become one with the chair. My favorite part of the experience was the zen music played through your headphones. I have always been one of those people who struggled with the serious healing power that zen music can bring to you when you are in the right moment. I’m one of those people who has trouble controlling their laughter in serious or nerve-wracking situations, and I was nervous I was going to succumb to my notorious giggle fits I’m famous for at parties and the very occasional church service.

It is incredibly important to allow yourself to try to let go of everything around you while you’re in a salt cave because salt can have some extremely positive physical and mental health benefits. As someone who very much enjoys being in control of herself and likes to have some idea of how to navigate her surroundings, I discovered a great deal about myself during the 45 minute session. Keep in mind the experience will be different for everyone. My mind just travels miles a minute despite being completely present within a situation.

I have trouble with meditation and I have not taken a nap since 2013, so here are some things I discovered about myself and thought about, during my first salt cave experience:

  • How did I ever survive the beginning of the Tower of Terror ride at Disney World?
  • Has David Lynch ever experienced a salt cave because Twin Peaks has definitely been influenced by salt lamps.
  • I really clench my jaw a lot.
  • Wow, my feet are fat and they feel like big weights.
  • Why is Tomi Lahren so out of touch with reality and how come Mike Pence’s head is so small?
  • Clutching the salt pillow really made me aware of how my muscles actually feel.
  • God, the Spice Girls were so influential.
  • Wow, do we really produce this much spit? Spit is like, some natural drink.
  • I am so glad there are no bats here.
  • I need to do this constantly!

Maybe with more sessions I will learn to completely give myself to the cave. Every body part was so relaxed, and as corn ball as it sounds, I was pretty amazed at some of the functions our bodies do naturally seemingly without any interference from our brain. If you’re able to go to a salt cave or buy a salt lamp, or use salt in your bath, do it. Absolutely do it. You will not be salty about it (sorry).

 

 

 

trash by taylor

it is not normal to cry into a sandwich about nuclear war: 2017 (so far) line-by-line.

bulletjournal

I am currently reading Theft By Finding by David Sedaris and have been incredibly inspired by his ability to keep a journal for a quarter century. I don’t know if I will ever write for this long, but I’m excited by the prospect. 2017 has been a year for me– I decided to document some bullets of my own journal writing because I’m always trying to preserve my fascination with the concept of time. It is the last day of September so I’m not blaming myself for lack of growth or anything; I’m excited by the prospect of more to come.

Continue reading “it is not normal to cry into a sandwich about nuclear war: 2017 (so far) line-by-line.”

trash by taylor

books, etc.

books

(here’s a sample of my growing pile of books on my bedroom floor. is this art?)

When I wake up every morning, my glance almost always goes to the pile of books on the floor of my room or next to me on my nightstand. I’ve got them divided into piles of “read” and “not read”, and I’m extremely careful to not let a single book spill into another pile. When I was in school, my growing pile of books were always on the windowsill, and I could always time my roommate’s sighs whenever I came back from the bookstore. My books during my college years were always spilling into different piles. If I looked at my book organization habits on a deeper level, I’m sure it would be really easy to come up with an answer to why books played such a pivotal role in how I perceive the world around me, and how they have become symbols of various points in my life.

Continue reading “books, etc.”

music

fall by numbers

blog photo

 

I’ve got an extremely complicated relationship with Fall. I can remember feeling unhappy in the third grade for the first time during the season because my mom made me go to church choir against my will, but that is definitely another story for another time.

this playlist contains music dating back to my freshman year of high school, when I started to make a point to try to remember song association. The latest tracks are from last year. A lot of songs chronicle growth, heartbreak, triumph, and other lessons that occurred with leaves turning orange.

I hope you enjoy this playlist! Let me know, and I will post more from my Spotify library.