Watching the Golden Girls and processing approaching realities.
My middle school’s auditorium stage. The color palette, the drama!
“Three variations of a couple pieces, thrift store finds and hand-me-downs!” This is how I originally captioned this post, but I decided I wanted to dig a little deeper…
So, wearing outfit #1 (left most photo) to our local rodeo last week got me called a “hipster.” I guess the hat did me in, and I’m not surprised. How does that saying go about haters again? Like, when you get haters, you’re doing something right? Maybe that goes the same for when you get hipstered? When you get hipstered, you’re dressing something nice? I’m gonna make that a thing; “Hipstered”
No one wants to be called a hipster. Right? Let’s investigate this hipster thing. Thanks to the internet, there is actually a definition for the term now;
De-constructing my personal Hipster – De-hipsterfying…
Middle class, yes (unless you count the massive debt under my name). Young bohemian, no.
To start, I do not reside in a gentrifying neighborhood. Missed a bullet there! Although, I suppose I did live in a slightly gentrified neighborhood in Phoenix. So maybe I get a half point from zero towards hipster. Current hipster status; .5
Secondly, I do not have the patience to listen to alternative rock or indie music. So minus a point from my hipster count and that leaves me at -.5 hipster.
Thirdly, “a varied non-mainstream fashion sensibility”
I honestly don’t know how to react to this because I think it’s awesome that people thrift shop and have interest in aged clothes, or style with history. Also, not fitting/not wanting to fit into trends or be influenced by mainstream aesthetics is commendable in my opinion. If that makes me a hipster than give me a point. HOWEVER, what happens is that people want to be anti-mainstream but lack the risk-taking skills or individuality, therefore developing an aesthetic that looks exactly like their counterparts. I honestly don’t feel like that’s me but I’m going to give myself a hipster point due to the fact that I haven’t paid for a new piece of clothes in years, plus the hat. So hipster. That brings me to 1.5 hippish.
Generally progressive political views… I don’t research enough politics to even conclude a value here, but I do have strong opinions about feminism so I guess that’s probably a half point hipster, which leaves me at 2.
Organic and artisanal foods. I think this is more about one’s attitude surrounding foods versus the foods them self. If you want to eat organic and watch out for your health, good for you! We should all be doing that. If you expect that all people eat organic and local, without considering the fact that these foods are priced and placed for the privileged, than people may consider you hippish. But, if you have a personal relationship with food that you don’t have to shout to the mountain tops every time you eat in a group, or you are working on solutions to bring organic and local food to all populations, than you should get a hipster point deducted! It’s not hipster to care about what you put in your body. I’m deducting myself a point, leaving me at 1.
Alternative lifestyles. My goodness, so vague. If this is a judging factor in hipsterism, than I guess myself and everyone I’ve hung out with for the past ten years is in fact, a hipster.
What’s so controversial with hip anyway?
What words will we use to classify the next generation of inventors? What words will dissociate the creators? What actions will include the Vultures? Or glorify the fakers?
Today, I began four days of summer dance classes on my middle school’s auditorium stage. Eight wonderful little individuals attended my camp, and I was genuinely thrilled to be working with kids again after my June hiatus from reality.
As I approached the middle school, memories flooded my mind; the front lawn where we stood in small groups and waited for the bell, double doors where administrators would post the school supply list at the very end of summer, the art projects of numerous generations pasted to the hallway walls, the dark bathrooms, the linoleum cafeteria where I experienced my first school dance…
I walked down the aisles of the auditorium, the same aisles I danced down with my best friend to the tune of Destiny’s Child. I glided across the stage, the same stage where as a kindergartener, I performed in my first musical; ANNIE. I was cast as one of the maids, and my only line was one simple word – “sheets.” I shared some of the most important moments of my childhood in this auditorium, whether it was belting (and hiccuping through) an acapella version of “A Whole New World” at the middle school talent show, playing the french horn in band, singing with my high school choir, knocking away on drum pads in the drum line, performing as Charity in SWEET CHARITY at the age of 16, or rocking out as Mimi in my senior year production of RENT.
I asked the students, “Who knows the art teacher?” and they all raised their hand.
“What if I told you she was my MOM!”
The expression on their faces was priceless, an instant bond created. Some of the students were attending the same dance studio I attended during my years on the dance team, and working with beloved teachers and coaches. Most of them were on the same education track as I , aspiring with bright eyes to one day be at the high school.
Being from a small town has it’s flaws, but the benefits greatly outweigh the quirks. I can’t express in words how grateful I am to be from this town, one that cherishes its people and its spaces, cultivating a true sense of “place;” something familiar to come back too. There is not enough of this in the world, and I know that only a small population of young people get to have moments like the moments I experienced today.
There is no better feeling than leaving your home and returning with new treasures to share. I have to admit, teaching today made me question my future, why? Because I love it so much. I love to learn from the youth by means of sharing what I know. My natural connection to education and exploration is a great gift, one that I most certainly developed in the past six years of my life. I miss my desert dance community, every individual that I had the privilege of seeing every week. You got me here! And if you are reading this, I am thinking of you! I am thanking you! Because today, I am full.
I present to you, the material I’ve been sitting on for about two years. I had big plans for this music, but you know what? Big plans took me to high expectations, and high expectations lead me to big plans, and all I ever really wanted for this project was to release it into the world. If this music can relate to one of you out there, well that’s a mission accomplished for me. So with that being said, I hope you enjoy…
“Same Ideas, Different Origins”
Demo EP by Evar After
June 22, 2016
All-original production. Electronic soul i.e electronic music from the soul.
It’s time to go out
An oddness becomes me
I fashion my hair
A mohawk of sorts
A ponytail sits
Beneath two buns
Round groupings of hair
If you didn’t know
Bangs swept to the side
Like message requests
Short pieces of hair
If you didn’t know
I look alien
For I fashion my hair
In my own character
And my spirit smiles
The clean ends of fresh cuts
Strands that laugh with life
Call it running free
I get dressed
I go out
And catching the eyes of strange passerby’s…
A phase of the haziest days.
Meet “Shi Shi” the dog;
My time in the Bay area? Food for the soul. I got a lot of rest, exchanged a lot of words, had a lot of laughs, and danced through multiple tees!
Spending quality time with friends and mentors was the highlight of this trip, more so than the time I spent in San Fransisco. Not only did I explore, I made time to relax. This leg of my journey reminded me that “traveling” does not always mean “see and do everything humanly possible” which in actuality, can mean “become exhausted and grumpy.” That’s what I’ve found personally, at least.
When I travel, I like to immerse myself into a “local” experience. You’re probably thinking, well duh. But how “local” do we really get, when we’re only in a city for a week? I’ve found that there are subconscious approaches to traveling that we implement in order to feel like we’re getting the most value out of the trip (well because traveling ain’t always easy to plan, or affordable for that matter). Getting work off, saving enough money to cover all expenses at home while you’re away, plus expenses of the trip; get a bang for the buck right? If you think about it from a marketing standpoint, the tourism industry feeds on our search for valuable traveling experiences; we are encouraged to “live it up” by doing this, “seize the day” by doing that. Get “the most” out of our experience, here! Of course, carpe diem is the proper mindset to have when traveling, but how much of it has a price tag? Which price tags are necessary, and which are not? Can’t I seize the day by going thrift shopping with a friend? To be “experiencing San Fransisco” did I need to go to a sporting event? Did I need to tour Alkatraz? Did I need to walk the Golden Gate bridge?
The way I see it, some days the “most” of the experience might mean skipping out on the plans to see the whatchamacallit, and instead, grabbing dinner from the market and watching a movie, or discussing life amongst the people you care about, your new friends, or simply with yourself.
During my stay in Brazil (a country where I could barely speak the language), one of the greatest accomplishments my friend and I made as foreigners, was completing our first successful grocery shop. I’m talking; walking for blocks, finding the store, picking our items, checking out, counting the currency properly, exchanging a couple words in portuguese with the cashier, and finding our way back to our hostel. To me, that was travel. It was one of the hardest and most uncomfortable things I have ever done. Not only did I gain a better understanding for the area we resided, but I also gained a deeper understanding of being “foreign;” how hard it could be for young refugees, or immigrants coming to America, possibly having no experience speaking english. Even more important to point out is my privilege, that I can travel by will and not by force. I could only imagine the added element of moving to another country because of events like war, disease, or even traumatic family matters, but I digress.
And I guess what I’m getting at here, is finding a new angle at which to live in the moment. By all means, we should experience the characteristics of a place; landscapes and arts and culture and food which makes a city great! But what I’ve learned in the past year specifically, is that you can ALSO travel through the people that you meet. It is the people and their hands, passion, hard work, that give the “sights” their life! And you can bet they have plenty of stories to tell, stories just as magical and astonishing as the golden gate bridge, or a famous underground club (that has since become a completely unfamiliar establishment due to new management, which I found out from long time attendees, see what I’m getting at here?). Take their stories, add your imagination, and wala! People give the sights their life.
With all this being said, yes I exercise my tourist muscles, but I try to do so while conscious of the above. As I walked up the steps of Montgomery station, I was filled with joy at the energy of the city. The architecture bewildered me, the trolly cars made me smile (the two hour line to ride the trolly cars? Thanks but I’ll walk up the hill). I felt my surroundings melt into sensory data upon my skin. Then, I was reminded in that moment that the people passing were continuing onwards to their jobs. Every great city comes with undertones; a fee, a hustle, a struggle, a reward. I thought for a while on this.
Later, they’ll go home to a space they strive to call their own, and it may be that they can barely afford the rent. This space will be filled with fluctuating emotions, stuffed with memories of their past, and the past of prior tenants. Maybe they’ll share this space with a significant other, maybe they wish too. Perhaps the upstairs neighbors are very loud, but the downstairs neighbors have a dog that seems almost human the way it observes passerby’s through the window in the mornings. They’ll have a wonderful view of the streets below, or no view at all. Maybe their bedroom will be right next to the train tracks, and they’ll show up to work fatigued due to a lack of sleep. After an evening of eating, bathing, or reading, or working out, or crying, or laughing on the phone, or playing video games, or painting, or scrolling through instagram, they’ll sleep, they’ll wake up, and take another crack at the day all over again, or maybe they wont.
It’s life, and it’s what our parents parents have done, and what we, whether we’re into it or not, are doing right now…
Where in the world is Carmen San Diego?
The Oakland Airport terminal which provides my departing flight to Seattle this morning is under construction, which makes things a little… interesting to say the least. Lines which intersect with other lines, due to high volume of travelers and poorly thought out detours. People are infectious when they’re confused or disoriented. Twisted expressions and deep sighs of irritability spread quickly! When I found myself getting frustrated at the lack of organization, I remembered the truth of Louis C.K;
“Is it not enough for you? You’re on a chair in the SKY!”
I change my tone.
Thank goodness for comedians.
My first experiences on the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) were pretty great. I successfully transported myself to and from the city center, and to the airport, with only a couple delays in the process. Sometimes the trains we’re packed, other times they were completely empty. I think one of the most pertinent characteristics of the BART was the loud screech of the train cars moving over the tracks. The screech sung a tune of history; “I’ve been here for many years…”
and It goes a little something like this
Late night departure – overnight drive – processing life – sleeping – storytime with dad – sleeping – sunrise – grumpy emotions – loss of debit card in walgreens atm – more grumpy emotions – eat food – less grumpy emotions – cancel debit card – final leg of the trip – arrive home – greeted by the dog – unpack car – say my goodbyes – “remember you’re either happy or you’re not” – move possessions to empty space – turn on Seinfeld – fall asleep until 4pm – greet and eat with mom – sleep –
Wake up at 7am – take mom to work – take car to mechanic – wander – get coffee – get food – wander – get on the wrong bus – get on the right bus – pick up car – pick up mom – clean art classroom – reunite with childhood friends – margaritas – get ready for the evening –sundress season – first fridays – mean bartenders – lots of fun – sleep –
Wake up at 8am – ask myself why I’m awake – where is who’s car and what car and when – go home – move wood – prepare patio for summer – dear friend’s high school graduation – relax in the breeze – admire a beautiful summers day with mom – smoothie and a bagel – find the lost gift cards – back home – nap – eat – nap – sleep –
Wake up at 8am – really mom – “lets go to yoga” – ok fine lets go to yoga – yoga by the river – challenged – smoothie and a bagel – home to change – meet with friends – afternoon rafting and laughing – pizza dinner – home – meet with dear friend who graduated – catch up on life – home – pack – sleep –
Wake up at 545am – another early morning – finish packing – wake mom – drive to bus station – board charter bus – appreciate nature – arrive in denver – take the train – walk around with all my bags on a construction road like a weirdo – arrive at friends brewery – chit chat – have a beer – have two beers – chit chat – let time pass – take a lyft to boulder – nap on the couch – wake up – watch the office – wait for sister to get home – catch up with sister – sleep –
Wake up at 615am – early bird gets the worm – ride with sister to Boulder – coffee and a burrito – chit chat – pearl street – hang out at starbucks for the free wifi – walk to bus station – take bus to airport – long security line – finally at the gate – take out my computer – wait –
In February of 2010, I met you for the first time.
You were warm, and outgoing.
I was nervous, like the first day of kindergarten.
I packed my 1992 Jeep Cherokee in August of 2010 and drove to you, because you had the resources I desired; a college degree in Dance, and an endless summer.
I learned how to be a student, I learned how to be a teacher.
I learned who would be me, how to be me, and that I could change who me could be.
I fell in love, and out of it.
I made lasting friendships, I nourished standing friendships so that they would last.
I got angry. I laughed, I cried. I danced. Oh boy, did I dance!
Never have I seen so much dance, and I danced. Yes, I danced more and more, because your people danced.
Your people showed me what it’s like to belong, to have culture, to build culture.
Your people embraced diversity as a bonding agent, not a barrier.
I saw 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, and 23 beneath the heat of your never-ending sun.
I watched lives shift, I felt lives split.
I made life new, and it’s all thanks to you.
I am marveling at the fact that I can be on a charter bus cruising through the Rocky Mountains.. then take a slow motion video on my phone, edit it, upload it, and post it.. Right here, right now. Is this a dream? I am impressed to say the least by technology these days. Full wifi internet access, plugs for your cords, big spacious seating, and big window views to make you say “woah.” I think back to when people rode a bus or train for upwards of ten hours with no “entertainment” besides the scenery, a book or a journal, perhaps. Accompanying me on this bus, there are travelers of all ages.. the young and old, the coupled the single. And not only is it safe, it feels safe. It’s pretty exciting to be alive in a century when there is what I would call “independent access” to traveling; independence of much help from others, or specific items such as a vehicle. It’s awe! I remember meeting international friends in college and hearing their tales of public transportation in America. I always thought to myself, well why are we Americans not doing that more often? Time? Convenience?
I gasp at the views and the picturesque surroundings, but am I really present to this traveling experience while my phone is in my hand? It’s hard to decide, and maybe it’s not bad or good, or present or void, maybe it’s just different. A beautiful different. A different that allows us to personally connect our intelligence and understandings with the world in an artistic and creative manner. I think that’s ok… In moderation! Tata for now.
If I felt unique for walking on the roads in Arizona, I feel much more so here in Colorado. Every other vehicle is a roaring truck, exhaust fills my nose as I hike the hill from the mechanic. My fire orange hair, parachute pants, purple nails, and quirky sunglasses probably influence the man working at the gas station to believe I’m an out of towner, and perhaps I am these days! I thought about mentioning “Oh I grew up here” after questioning the bus schedule, but what do I have to prove right?