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escapism

​escapism

has its legs wrapped around me, or rather, i would hope i’d have my legs wrapped around it.
that’s as much action i’ll get as i’ll ever need

because i want you
and nobody else
because you evoke my escapism
and pretend to propel today into tomorrow

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last day in bowling green

i visited a log cabin

when the weather was hot

my black t-shirt clung to my body like a badge of honor

and a man looked at me

that’s all i ever wanted

 

i skated under a street light

with a boy i’d never met

he stuck his tounge down my throat

and put life inside of me.

my mom told me never to do that,

but i did it anyway.

and i lived a life full of sin

 

for two years and ten days

i stayed up all night polluting my lungs and kissing his fingers

after we shared doughnuts at GADS and survived another late night cooped up in Mass.

he left me one summer afternoon

and my life started

 

i sat under bright lights as he scooted next to me

and he held my hand

giving me more action than i had at seventeen

it was wrong it was wrong it was wrong wrong wrong

but for someone in her late teens,

i didn’t know what life meant to me.

 

goodbye to a platform that made my voice loud

when i had no idea how to speak

televisions blare

and messages tear at me all the time

but they’re not as loud

as when you asked me to be yours

in your car parked at the Sonic

i had to be in spanish class in 20 minutes

what a day that was.

 

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untitled

i’d leave the bags of clothing on the floor

every shirt stuffed and rolled

if that meant you were going to unpack them.

 

you told me i have a “heart of a doctor.”

you tell me how i heal, and drop everything to make sure everyone knows how to discard fears and eliminate that rage that builds up when she does this, and other girls ask why she did that?

i find myself trying to block out noise in my head

because all i can hear are the songs we listened to together on the radio

in that all-too-brief moment where i was all right with the world

and i threw my head back and laughed like we used to do.

when we were younger and we’d walk around the shopping mall to get closer

to all of the lights

 

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I’ve been Gilmore-d!

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(My idea of a good night, circa freshman year of college.)

I’m sure I could speak for a lot of us when I say I’m incredibly relieved that we survived this past week. In the midst of many tears, marathon complaint sessions with family and friends, and incredible doubt for the future, I’ve been able to hang on to a huge ray of sunlight; the new “Gilmore Girls” revival premieres on Netflix in ten (10!) days!

My first text to my best friend this morning had to do with our collective excitement for the revival. We have been planning a huge marathon of the show for ages, complete with Lorelai and Rory style amounts of junk food. We’ve been struggling to find a mutual time to with the Stars Hollow homies for a long time, but somehow, we’ve been okay with that. Having Gilmore Girls to share over our separate collegiate and post-collegiate years has been of great importance to our long distance relationship. Shortly before Ashley graduated college, she completed the series. We’ve texted one another back and forth several times to squeal over how easy it’s been to relate to Rory Gilmore’s anxieties after her Yale graduation in the show’s final season.

“Gilmore Girls” has been a constant companion for me during many “firsts” in my life. I discovered the show at an incredibly young age while watching it on ABC Family after my daily double dose of “Full House” reruns. I was much younger than Rory, but I was really excited to relate to a TV character on a strong level. I was quiet and starting to form my incredibly introverted personality. I was completely sure that I would probably face many of the same situations Rory did once I got into high school.

The first episode of the show I ever saw was the episode with The Bangles. I was a huge Bangles fan at twelve, and I became obsessed with Lorelai and Rory’s unique tastes and the quirky cast of characters living in Stars Hollow. I watched the episode in my grandparents’ living room; once the episode was over, I went to the bathroom and shaved my legs for the first time. I don’t know if there was any connection between the show and my impulse to shave my legs, but I’d like to think I was verging on a badass womanhood or something.

I don’t remember how, but my Mom became a fan of the show soon after. I remember how happy I was that she no longer hesitated over me enjoying an “adult” show, once she watched an episode for the first time. It became a ritual for us to watch episodes together. I was so excited over how much Mom laughed over it. We soon collected all of the seasons on DVD, and they began to play in regular rotation in the house.

I remember having an ad for the fourth season DVD box set torn from a J-14 magazine taped on my locker door in sixth grade. I became even more obsessed with the show as I progressed through middle school; I was bullied on a regular basis, and I became reliant on my Gilmore Girls DVD’s as a security blanket. I somehow knew that there would be better days for ~quirky~ people like me, because Lorelai and Rory told me so.

The show’s soundtrack CD was a staple for my mix tapes in high school. My biggest high school crush reminded me so much of Jess, and I made him my fair share of tapes complete with songs from the show on them (I don’t think he watched the show, but he told me recently that he still had my mixes. Thanks!)

When I got to college, my seven seasons of Gilmore Girls traveled from one dorm to the next. My neatly stacked box sets always had their own shelves, and I would often bring a television set for the sole purpose of watching episodes of GG after classes. My roommates always had my Gilmore shelf to break the ice over. “Oh! So, you really like Gilmore Girls, huh?” was a question I heard many times.

“Gilmore Girls” has always served as endless entertainment for me, but also serves as a bandage for me as well. When I got to college, I met a b-o-y who quickly became my boyfriend, and he was sucked into my pop culture fueled world as a result. I remember PLEADING to him to watch an episode with me. I remember getting through the first two episodes with him, and he didn’t really seem interested. I propped the first season box set on his TV; Lorelai and Rory would now always be watching him disapprovingly.

After two years together, life slapped us both around, and Nate had to move back home and go to school there. Even after two additional years of being in a long distance relationship, there’s not a subject that will reduce me to tears faster than how much I miss seeing him on a daily basis (I’m blinking now.) Somewhere along the way, Nate discovered the show on Netflix. It didn’t take long before our text conversations were constantly laced with “oy with the poodles already!”

My best friend, Ashley, had a similar relationship with the show. She always made fun of me for loving a show that ran heavily on ABC Family! I somehow knew that she would eventually catch on; she is an incredible mix of Lorelai and Rory… it was only a matter of time. On a hazy Summer morning in Bowling Green, I finally got my chance to show Ashley the pilot episode of the show. As soon as she told me that she liked it, I was done for.

Having Ashley watch the series seemed like a full-fledged charge into adulthood. Somehow I realized that she and I were now the same age as Rory during the later seasons, and suddenly the show became extremely therapeutic. Not only would we lay on her apartment floor surrounded by Taco Bell and hummus while watching the show, we would find comfort in our new life transitions through Rory’s transformation into adulthood.

I’m now a second year senior in college. I’m not happy about it. I have days where I’m angry at myself for delaying my transition into the real world. I’m in the midst of a major transition as I prepare to move back to Nashville full-time next semester, and I have a ton of unknown life aspects to sort out. Watching the trailer for “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life” had me in tears by the umpteenth viewing. I’ve hesitated to make any predictions over the course of Rory’s life in the last eight years, but I was incredibly moved by the fact that she’s at a crossroads and seems to have NO IDEA what to do.

(Possible spoilers about the trailer ahead)

That scene with Rory and Jess where he promises her that she’s always been a “contender” mirrors many conversations I’ve had lately. I’m really not sure what’s next, and I’m upset about it sometimes, but I know that I’ll always have episodes of “Gilmore Girls” to consult when the going gets tough.

Oy with the poodles already!

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Post- election Warble

I seriously thought I would post this sooner.

I had a schedule laid out. I was going to write this post at my desk on Tuesday morning before my roommate and I left to go vote. The tone was going to be light-hearted. I had planned to share some of my election memories. I’ve got some strong ones, but none of them compare to last week.

I opened Facebook on Wednesday morning. I had kept tabs on the election results for the entire previous night. I had gone to work with my best friend a few hours earlier, and he remarked that I was giddy as I was dancing to X’s “Fourth of July” followed by XTC’s “Here Comes President Kill Again.” The latter is not a song you can really dance to; I sat in my chair and finished my weekly radio programming.

On Wednesday morning, I could hear my roommate stirring as the sun wasn’t quite up. I knew what she was doing; the light from her phone had been bright. I wanted to ask her, but I didn’t. I needed those three extra hours of sleep.

I cried. hard. I had to be at work in half an hour. I texted my mom, but she was too shocked for a phone call. My roommate knew the news I would wake up to. She scooped me up and we hugged for a while.

My friend had tweeted something along the lines of how he felt uncomfortable being funny on the internet. It didn’t fit right. My daily route of crafting a dry and/or witty tweet seemed trivial as hell, so I didn’t. I didn’t really know how I could craft a witty take on the absolute disbelief and pending fear brewing. I frantically texted my boyfriend, “what do I do now?!”

We couldn’t really think of an answer to that question. I knew in the meantime that I had to keep going with my normal routine; I could soothe my feelings with some Clash. I played a “double shot” of them on the radio as I sat in my shift, and talked to my co-workers for the first time; we were ALL asking the collective question of “what now?!”

Several days later, my answer still isn’t completely clear. However, my Dad came to my aid through a text message. I was very upset that I couldn’t be with my parents right at this moment. I knew their confusion was as vast as mine, and I wanted to sit in my living room. I wanted to hold my cat. I wanted to ask “what now?!”

I told my father that I loved him.

He said, “I love you too. We must keep fighting the good fight.”

I started to cry for a different reason. His words brought a clear landscape; we can’t ever sit idle. We must stand up for what we believe in. I’m going to make my voice heard, and I am going to provide love and understanding for those who may feel afraid to do so.

I am still extremely frazzled. I didn’t go to an on campus protest on Wednesday night. I stayed in my dorm room and streamed the experience through the Facebook live videos of several friends. My roommate went to go see what was going on. I opted to stay glued to the confines of my room.

I’m not going to do that forever. Of course not. I went out and voted, because I firmly believe that I could make a difference. No matter how big or small my contribution is, I’m going to give a little especially before I can give a lot.

Right now, I’m still sorting through the kinks. I’m struggling with wondering if it is still okay to do so. I’m asking what I could do as an individual to contribute to the greater good. I’m still asking myself how I’m going to “fight the good fight” as my father encouraged me to do. For right now, I’m going to love.

I’ve laughed a lot, too. I’ve hugged my friends tightly. I’ve told my significant other how much I love him. I finally got to hug my dad last night. I’m taking the necessary steps to talk back and fight back! I was STUNNED when I saw a student at the protest tell the camera that we should “accept” what had happened. I’ve heard several times that the desire for protesting and speaking out was a “pathetic” one.

I’m going to stay informed. I’m not going to stop listening to and watching the news. I’m going to take what I hear as an extreme learning experience. I’m going to educate myself on the steps I can take to help everyone in my community. I am part of a community. I will stand tall. I will be present. I will be aware. I will be a source of love and kindness.

As I take the steps to combat my own uncertainty, I will do something no different. I’m going to be peaceful. I’ll be understanding. I want to be an ear. I will be an outlet. I will be awake, aware, and alive.

#notmypresident

 

 

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A Love Letter to My College Radio Station

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If you’ve discovered or read my blog today, there’s a pretty good chance that you know who I am. You’ve met me once in real life or we share an online “friendship” on one of the many social networking sites that I spend a lot of time looking at while hunched over my cell phone. Regardless of how you know me, I’m sure it hasn’t taken long for you to discover that I have an obsessive love for my college’s radio station, Revolution 91.7 (WWHR), in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

I wear my Revolution logo with excessive pride. I have a logo stamped on various t-shirts, my messenger bag, and I used to have a sticker on the back of my beloved leather jacket. My love looks like overkill and high school me would have definitely agreed. I’m a little socially awkward, so it would’ve been unheard of for me to be a walking billboard for a school organization. Four years later, my socially awkward self is still intact; I’m just much more comfortable expressing and celebrating who I am, and it’s because of Revolution 91.7.

My discovery of college radio happened “down the road” from Bowling Green. As a senior in high school, I was plagued with the task of selecting a college to attend. I’ve always been an average student, but I’ve gotten so much more joy out of a creative path. After spending four years at an arts magnet school, I was less than thrilled to enter what I perceived to be the monotonous world of college. I was going to go to class, read some books, and go to sleep. My whole outlook changed one morning when my Dad turned his radio dial to 91.1, which was the home of Vanderbilt University’s radio station, WRVU.

I have a distinct memory of hearing the deejay play Rod Stewart’s “Gasoline Alley” followed by Public Image Limited’s “Rise.” I was captivated with the deejay’s passion when she did a break and talked about her selections. My mind was made up; I would go to a college that had an active college radio station. I had no experience in radio broadcasting at the time, just a fire for the music. The search for my perfect college was now underway, and I knew exactly how I wanted to spend my time.

As luck would have it, I ended up choosing Western Kentucky University as my home for the next four plus years. Other factors influenced my decision to attend WKU, but my desire to deejay at its radio station was still tucked away. I knew no one when I arrived in Bowling Green. I spent my first night in college hiding in my room and listening to “Rain Dogs” by Tom Waits. I was NOT going to keep my door open to “meet new friends” as encouraged by my too perky RA.

The next day, my Mom sent me a post from Revolution’s facebook page encouraging freshmen to stop by their recruitment booth. I marched myself to the bell tower and talked to the deejays who either met my extreme excitement with enthusiasm or incredible irritation. For the first time, I was excited to do something in college; I had plans to attend that night’s recruitment meeting!

My first year spent at Revolution was marked with ups and downs. I was extremely nervous to go on air. I had the desire to do it, but every time the mic would be turned on, the words would just escape. I was extremely shy and didn’t know how to properly explain my fear. With the encouragement of my program and quality assurance directors, I finally turned the mic on and spoke. From that moment on, I couldn’t stop covering shifts. Since we were broadcasting live 24 hours for seven days a week, I often asked to do the three AM shifts.

I spent the next three years as the station’s music director, which is the title I am most proud to have held so far in life. I applied during my second semester not knowing anything about how music directing was operated. With the position of music director, my taste in music totally expanded. I went from listening almost exclusively to bands who had broken up years prior to my birth, to listening to bands who were defining college radio in modern times.

During my time at Revolution, I have served as Music Director, Station Manager, and I’m finishing my time out as the Program director. I’ve met several people who have become my friends for life, and I’ve met mentors that have shaped my life forever. I’ve seen a countless number of bands, had the opportunity to attend the CMJ Music Marathon in New York City back in 2014. I’ve undergone an extreme transformation; I’ve learned how to be my own person and to embrace every aspect of myself.

I’m sitting in the Revolution studio as I write this on the sixth annual College Radio Day. Every time I enter this studio, I am reminded of every countless memory I’ve ever had. I’ve slept on this carpet, I’ve laughed until I’ve cried, I’ve openly wept (sometimes seconds before going on air), danced like crazy, hugged my friends, kissed my boyfriend, spun until I was ill in our tiny little desk chair, hid under the desk to try and steal a quiet moment, had panic attacks, and accidentally cursed several inches away from the microphone. I’m elated to be part of an organization that has made me into a better person and has continued to teach me about the person I’m still becoming.

I salute you, Revolution. Onward now and forever. ❤

Cheers,

Taylor “Queen Elvis” Hodgkins

 

 

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Introductory post

I’ve been toying with starting a blog for a long time now. I’ve worried about keeping up with it, and neglecting writing like I’ve been doing for a few years now. I’ve kept journals since I was roughly eight years old; my first journal was a green notebook modeled after the  Anastasia Krupnik series! I’ve stopped wondering if anyone will be interested in reading my posts when I remember what an important role writing has played in my life from an early age.

I don’t remember exactly when I started to write. My parents were religious about reading books to me on a nightly basis. Picture books were read to me until the illustrations were committed to memory. Library visits were weekly staples. I was obsessed with the idea of checking out books! I poured over my borrowed books, and started paying close attention to words. I’m still fascinated with dictionaries and finding meaning for new words.

I guess “finding meaning” is why I was so interested in writing from an early age. The idea of having the ability to express myself through written word was the coolest concept! I started to keep a journal in third grade; my face was on the cover, so I reveled in how personal it felt. I detailed every aspect of my day in my crooked handwriting. I finally had a private place to cut loose and sort through the sheer confusion of being a nine year old.

When I was in middle school, I was the central definition of a geek. I had some close friends who were also classified as “geeks” on the middle school social scale, but I had an extremely hard time navigating outside of my small friend group. Writing was the safest outlet for security! I felt very safe trying to analyze my feelings and celebrating my interests that were often called “weird” outside of the confines of my journal.

You will soon discover the influence music has had on me. From an extremely young age, I was running around and responding to the music my parents were playing around the house. I didn’t really have many friends who were aware of the older music I listened to, so I turned to the magical land of the internet with the intention of writing about music. I couldn’t wait to reach a new level of music geekery, so I started writing product reviews on Amazon. I’ve deleted some of those reviews since then; who wants to read a 13 year old’s analysis of the first Pretenders album?!

The name of my blog is an extremely loving (I promise) tribute to my first blog I kept in high school. I embedded YouTube links and poured over b-sides from Susanna Hoffs, and tried to digest some grunge in an attempt to land a b-o-y. The image I selected is a “relic” from those MySpace days. I often sat down to write in that “Flashdance” inspired Goodwill find. I’m a little more insecure about my shoulders these days, but I’m not going to hesitate to write about how much I love “What a Feeling.”

I hope you enjoy reading this blog! I don’t know what direction I’ll take with it, but I’m looking forward to sharing my ~journey~ and detailing my ~experience~ trying to navigate this thing called ~life.~