Archive for April, 2012

Source: Pinterest

Source: Pinterest

Spring and summer are defined by hot weather, new opportunities, and concerts and festivals. The decision on what festival to attend preoccupies the mind of many hyper-active music lovers. Their choices include: the Warped Tour, SXSW, Coachella, Bamboozle and Lollapalooza. I intervewed some festival lovers from accross the states for their imput and personal experiences with some of these festivals. The interviewees shared stories of first kisses, celebrity encounters, and musical euphoria.

SXSW (South by Southwest))

Dates It Takes Place (2012): March 11-13

Ticket Cost: Prices vary. Some artist and bands do free shows, others charge.

Spending Range:  $0-$750

Type of Artist that Play the Festival: All types: indie, techno, jazz, rock and punk.

What to Wear & Bring: ID, water bottles, cash. Dress for the Texas heat so wear loose and light clothing: shorts, tank tops, dresses, etc.

Atmosphere: Toni Sanchez, 24, of Waco, Texas, described it as a “free atmosphere.” She continued to say, “I don’t feel judged when I go. I feel very welcomed. It’s like a feeling of comradery there.”

Favorite Memory?

Ms. Sanchez described her encounter with her crush, whose band was playing the festival. She had never been kissed and, “after he got done with his show I went up and talked to him. I decided that I probably would not see this guy after this concert, so I decided that I was going to ask him to be my first kiss. While we were talking I asked him if he would be my first kiss and before I could finish asking the question he leaned in and kissed me. Greatest moment of my life,” Sanchez enthusiastically recounted.

Coachella

Dates It Takes Place (2012): April 13-15, April 20-22

Ticket Cost: $285 for wristband without shuttle.

Spending Range:  $285-$600

Type of Artist that Play the Festival:  Popular artists like Kanye West and Jay-Z, but also smaller bands, like LA Riots, and artists of all types of genres.

What to Wear & Bring:  Shorts, dresses, etc. Bring sunscreen, chapstick, cash, ID, a sealed plastic water bottle (they take opened ones) or an empty refillable one. You also need a camera, aspirin and your phone. Kaitlyn Cyrier, 19 of Orange County, California, offered this advice to anyone wanting to be intoxicated during the event, “beer is expensive so people like to sneak in alcohol, as well as weed and other drugs. Yes the experience is still amazing without such things; I did the entire weekend sober.”

Atmosphere: Cyrier also called the atmosphere “freeing” and emphasized the friendliness of the attendees and celebrities. Coachella is filled with celebrity so you can expect one or two encounters with them.  Cyrier encountered eight celebrities during her Coachella experience.

Favorite Memory?

Cyrier enthusiastically recounted memories of the festival and almost had nothing negative to say about it. Her favorite memory, however, was “when Kanye was headlining on the last night of Coachella 2011, a stranger hoisted me on his shoulders during ‘Dark Fantasy’. It was a complete moment of freedom where I outreached my arms, closed my eyes, and appreciated the experience and the fact I was lucky enough to be there.”

Lollapalooza

Dates It Takes Place (2012): August 3rd-5th

Ticket Cost: $90 Per Day

Spending Range:  $60 (Secret Sale)-$600

Type of Artist that Play the Festival:  Very eclectic but lots of indie bands/artists and big name artists too, like Coldplay and Lady Gaga.

What to Wear & Bring:  Shorts, summer dresses, tanks, little backpack or small sling purse, (you might be given a camelback pack to carry water in), water bottle, flip-flops with a strap or slip on shoes, sunscreen and sunglasses.

Atmosphere: Toya Wimberly, 22 of Chicago, Illinois, describes the atmosphere as “more of a young adult crowd, like eighteen and over, between eighteen and thirty,” but she offers these comforting words to people wanting to bring their children, “they have a kids section and there were pockets of teens.” She said the demographic was “hipster central.”

Favorite Memory?

After years of dreaming of Lollapalooza the most interesting story she shared involved a mudslide and druggies. “The rainstorm was pretty intense, but wonderful mudslides happened. It was like Woodstock. My personal stories involve druggies. I think the funny, but cool, thing that happened was that I randomly met a guy who was super sweet, high as a kite, but sweet and then the next day someone on Facebook posted a picture of him. They were looking for him since last Lolla and I was able to solve their little mystery.”

As these festival goers show, the most profound part of a festival are the experiences. It’s less about the bands playing and more about enjoying music and company. If you have the money and time, then attending one of these music festivals is a must.

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In 2006, four guys took a ride on a purple bus across North America. Their mission was  to complete a list of a hundred things to do before you die.  Those four guys were Ben Nemtin, Dave Lingwood, Duncan and Jonnie Penn. Collectively they became known as The Buried Life. A name that transpired after Jonnie read the poem  The Buried Life by Matthew Arnold for his English class. On the boy’s first journey, they decided to ask strangers “What Do You Want To Do Before You Die?” This became part of their routine, for every list item they completed they helped a stranger complete a list item. # 19 on TBL’s list is to be on the New York Time Best Seller list. This book is their attempt to do that.

The book is a hybrid of illustrated list items, and personal stories from them and their friends. The illustrated list items are ones they’ve collected over the last five years from fans and friends. They range from heartwarming things about falling in love, to more scandalous things like a threesome with John Stamos and Sandra Bullock. Some of their  personal stories are from some of the people they’ve helped on their short MTV show, some stories from people who have done some amazing things, and TBL’s own stories of their trials and tribulations growing up, and their journey as The Buried Life.

From the fan community the book has been receiving mixed reviews. Some fans love it because they feel the boys, once again, prove why they’re so honored and admired. Others, think the boys didn’t put enough effort into the book, and instead of making something inspirational, they put together something marketable.  The Buried Life guys often walk that line between being inspirational, and just doing whatever will make them money and get fans, a typical dilemma of anyone in the entertainment industry.

Originally, as a fan of the guys, I was excited about the book, but when TBL’s marketing strategy focused so much on crossing off number nineteen, and less about making something substantial, I had written the book off. The more I heard about the book the less excited I became. However,  the last couple of months before the book was released they focused a lot of their campaigning on using this book to inspire.  This awakened my enthusiasm and I think the boys keep their promise to inspire with this book.

The elements that work strongly for this book is the personal stories. TBL’s stories gives the fans insight into parts of  their life that the fans  may have never discovered without this book. The fans hear constantly about Ben’s depression, but it’s not until reading about it, in his his own words, do they fully get the impact of that. Anyone who has suffered through anxiety or depression can relate to Ben’s turmoil. Dave offers a light-hearted, but just as meaningful story about dealing with weight gain and anxiety. Dave being such a charismatic person it’s hard to imagine him ever being insecure, but him sharing that story allows anyone struggling with weight to realize even the most confident person has had insecurities. Jonnie, clearly a debate/English major, writes so elegantly that it’s sad he has written his own book yet.  He captures his readers and  then takes them along for the same ride TBL experiences five years ago. Duncan’s proportion is the shortest, and is the most criticized among the fans. It receives the harshest criticism because of it’s lack of emotions and straight forward nature, and for not sharing enough.   Duncan’s part works, because, like Dave, he seems very much a confident person that has everything he wants in life , in his few paragraphs you see elements of insecurity, unhappiness, and pain, something many fans don’t expect from Duncan. It’s easy to admire and respect someone from a distance, but it’s when they’re most vulnerable you begin to understand them. The Buried Life’s personal stories  let them show the fans who they are, and where they’ve come from. It creates a bond with the fans by completely showing that they are just ordinary guys who decided they wanted more from their lives then just the nine to five grind. If  men who experienced things almost everyone struggles with can create this big empire, then can’t anyone?

Besides their personal ones, the stories from people they help really show that anyone can do anything. In particular, Sam and Lebon’s story (a father and son that hadn’t spoken for seventeen years, but were reunited by TBL on the first season of their show) really resonates with a lot of people. Many children go their entire lives not knowing their father, or only meeting them later in life. It’s great to hear both sides of the story, because it captures an element the Television show doesn’t reveal: the emotional impact this change had for these two men. Another great story in the book is one from a girl who kept waking up at a certain time, only to end up saving a life. Most people have those inexplicable moments that really make them realize that everyone is born for a reason, and maybe it’s just to offer a loving shoulder when someone has reached their breaking point.   The rest of the non-TBL stories are  about  once ordinary people doing things to make them  become extraordinary by tackling their dreams, or helping others. It’s hard not to find inspiration in these stories, so this element is one of the strongest of the book.

The only element that didn’t work as strongly was that some of the list items chosen lacked depth. Reading about someone wanting to smoke pot with someone famous just translates to silliness. It’s good to have a mixture of meaningful list items, and funny ones, but overall, the chosen list items felt like things TBL thought were cool or funny, instead of things that are more  globally funny or inspirational.  TBL isn’t buying their books the fans are,  so that should probably be considered more in the future. To inspire someone you have to know your audience. TBL forgot their audience with some of these.

As a person who admires the boys, but judges them by their actions and characters more than anything else, I wouldn’t recommend this book unless I believed in it. I don’t support this book because it’s TBL’s book. I don’t get a commission for this review, unfortunately, so I can honestly say buy this book.  I actually don’t recommend you buy it for yourself. I suggest you buy it and either give it to a friend that’s never heard of them, or a complete stranger that needs inspiration. The thing that drew me into The Buried Life was the idea of causing a change. The idea of creating a world of people who actually go after their dreams, instead of just talk about them, and people who help others as they achieve their dreams.  I think even doing something as small as giving this book to someone can help make the movement more of a possibility.  Buy the book for yourself, or buy it for someone else. Just buy the book, then ask the question: What Do You Want To Do Before You Die?

The Girl In The Picture

Posted: April 19, 2012 in Stories
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The sun and the birds began their wakeup call.  Diana came alive.  Her hand reached to the other side of the bed. It was still warm from his body’s imprint. The humming of water running signaled it’s time for her to go.  She moved to his side. The pillow smelled just like him: beer, aftershave, and sweat. She soaked it all in, remembering every inch of him. When they were together, in those moments, the rules didn’t matter. He was her. This was the only way he could be hers.

As she got dressed, her eyes turned to every direction. His clothes tossed all over the room. Textbooks still taped in their original wrapping, his one poster of Johnny Cash staring back, and his endless piles of photos neatly stacked by his bed. During the day, when she watched him,  she noticed he wasn’t without his camera. He lived behind his lens.  The first night they met, she wanted so badly for him to take a picture of her, but she knew that wasn’t their deal.

With the temptation set in front of her she grabbed the stack of photos.  The first picture, a girl’s back turned to the camera. Her long light brown hair moved with the wind. The white dress she wore clings to her body, trapping her innocence forever in this picture. The sun blesses her with the life of a goddess. Picture after picture honoring  this girl. Faceless, but the girl dreams are made of. Diana’s stomach cringed. How do some girls become worshipped and others hide in the shadows? She thought.

The bathroom doorknob started moving, and she quickly placed the rest of her things from last night in her purse. Off she went, back to being his nothing.

Her roommate didn’t ask where she was last night. They were pass that point in their living situation. They didn’t speak. Diana grabbed a bagel, slapped it with tons of cream cheese, and then searched her purse for the notes on Thursday’s lecture. She searched through old gum wrappers, barely used makeup, notepads of unorganized notes, and busted pens. She grabbed for the notepad and then realized she accidentally tossed the stack of photos in her purse as she made her exist.

Her mind began racing. It was an accident. He’d have to understand that. The pictures were evidence of her crime and they had to be disposed of soon.

The rest of the day went by quickly; a meeting, phone conversation, laundry, errands, and avoiding her.

Daily, Diana passed girls like the one in the picture. She never envied them, because their lives existed on different plains. They were never her competition, and she was never theirs. But somehow now their path and hers were in direct collision. Beautiful, mysterious, fun, adventurous, dreamy, they were the girls’ guy fought dragons to save. The girls that had blogs dedicated to them, songs written about them, the kind guys never forgot. Those girls that attack men’s minds at the height of their ecstasy, grab their hearts, and bring them to the warmest sense of hope. She is his heaven.

Diana never wanted anything more than she did right now. Her hair not long like that day’s night. Her legs not endless like the ocean. Her body not perfect, like a mermaid.  Her eyes not blue like the sky, her face not smooth, like silk, and no voice of an angel. A girl by sex, but not by poetry.

At the bar he worked, no one knew her, nor did she make an entrance. No one bought her a drink, or talked to her. She sat there waiting for him to look up at her for twenty minutes. When his eyes finally glanced upon hers, there was a sense of recognition, but not much else.

“Hey you”, he said.

She gave him a half smile.

“Can I get you anything?”

“No. I just accidentally picked up something at your apartment.”

He glanced around the room the minute she mentioned apartment. She chuckled to herself a little, noticing it. She guessed she had no right to be angry about that.

She took the pictures out her purse and handed them to him.

“Oh thank you”, he said staring at the pictures. He left this world and entered to the girl’s in the picture. Smiling to himself, and looking at one picture after another.

“I bet she’s really pretty”, Diana said.

“Mhmmm”

“Do you know her, or is she just a muse of some sort?”

“I met her once. Freshman year”, his hands glided on the picture and his eyes never left it.

“Do you love her?”

“Huh?” He finally looked back at Diana.

“I said do you love her?”

“Oh that be silly, you know? I only had one conversation with her.”

“But it was enough to make her the subject of so many pictures.”

“Because she’s beautiful. Like a dream.”

“You can fall in love with beautiful dreams….I did.”

He gave a half smile. Diana bit her lip down and fiddled with her purse. Trying everything she could not to break.

“You should go after her. You know? Make the beauty a real thing.”

“Di…why are we talking about this? Are you mad about something? Trying to end things.” He whispered.

“Can’t end what you never had.”

“Okay….so we’re cool?”

“She’s really beautiful.”

“Yeah, but you’re great too.”

“Oh, great too. What every girl dreams about hearing.”

“Di, please don’t make a scene. We can talk more about it later tonight.”

“We won’t talk tonight. We never talk.”

“Okay? Is that what this is about? Talking?”

“Do you think I’m beautiful?”

“Yeah, you’re very pretty.”

“I didn’t say pretty. I said beautiful. You don’t think I’m beautiful. I’m not her, so I’m nothing to you. I’m nothing.”

“I thought we were mature enough to not have a conventional relationship, and you’re overreacting about a picture. “

“Not one. Forty. Forty pictures of a girl you had one conversation with, five years ago. Pictures you keep by your bed. We’ve been together, if you want to call it that, for four months, and you haven’t once taken a picture of me.”

“I’ll take a picture of you now. Just don’t be dramatic. I don’t need drama right now.”

The water from her eyes made the vision of him blurry. He just stared at her, no longer speaking, waiting for her response.

“She’s really beautiful.” Diana said staring at the girl in the picture, her hell.

The Girl In The Picture

I’ve been seeing a lot of pictures like this on tumblr. And in some ways I really love them, and others I despise them like an enemy. But this one in particular inspired the story I’m going to write and post tonight.

Buy The Ticket. Take The Ride

Posted: April 13, 2012 in Uncategorized

I’m at that point in my life where I’m really questioning if everything I’ve done for the last twenty-four years were worth it. If all the heartbreaks, lost friendships, gained friendships, bad grades, good grades, sleepless nights, happy, and sad moments really had some grand divine purpose.  

I received nearly perfect grades up until college, obeyed my parents, have never gotten in real trouble, and still have had a rather eventful life. Not the amazing “Wow I’m so blessed life” but the “Wow. why do bad things happen to me?” one. I don’t blame my bad fortune on anyone, I never have. But I’ve come to realize it doesn’t really matter if you’re perfect, or a screw up a lot, because crappy things happen to everyone. 

I haven’t spoken to a lot of the people I care about in awhile, because life hasn’t been going according to plan. I wanted to be in LA right now, working part time as a waitress or something, and the other part of my time as an intern for some film production company. I wanted to be making connections, and  gaining life stories and knowledge. Instead, I’ve been stuck in Chicago, trying to get any job that I could, and failing miserably. Living at home with my parents and other adult siblings. Resorting back into my teen life style that I hated so dearly. All of this sucks, but I’ve decided I could just go deeper into loathing myself and my life. Or I could take bolder chances. Throw caution to the wind. I used to be one of the most cautious people ever, as my previous paragraph suggested, and yet things in my life seriously got out of control sometimes.

So I think it’s time for me to buy more tickets. Take more rides. 

We all die, no matter if we look both ways before crossing the street, or not, but we don’t all get to live. I’m choosing to live. Booking a no return flight to LA very soon.

I wanted to start this thing off by posting something simple, but mesmerizing. I’ve heard a lot about Burning Man these last couple years, but it never appealed to me. Something about being in the desert with a lot of, probably, high, strangers doesn’t seem fun. But this video’s mixture of whimsy, Dr. Seuss, and creative editing and filming really makes me want to give it a try before I turn thirty.  Use Dr. Seuss in anything and I’m sold.

Thanks to my friend Sam for giving my daily inspiration today with this video.

Hello world!

Posted: April 12, 2012 in Uncategorized

Decided not to delete this, just make it mine.

Basics:

What you can expect with this blog is mainly my writing: fiction, and nonfiction. I’ll post reviews of things I like, love, or hate. I’ll also post stories, some not so great, and some even really good, from my inner dreamer imagination, or my tragic real life. I have a lot of blogs out there, but this is my first (and possibly only) wordpress blog. I mainly post on tumblr, but I wanted to create a semi-professional, semi-organized, semi-way to post my writing and get actual feedback, good or bad. I’m, also, using this blog as a to say to the world “hey, I’m serious about writing. Not just a hobby.”

So that’s why this blog was made. Now to who I am. My name is Jerrica Tisdale, as my blog states (but the name may be changed. Something too honest about a blog being your name). I’m twenty-four and five months. I am a college graduate with a B.A in English Language and Literature, but that doesn’t make me an error free writer. I, often, make lots of errors, grammar mistakes, typos, and spelling no-nos, but I’m still learning. So, if you happen to stumble upon this blog and see a bunch of errors, don’t be a douche and say something rude. Just point them out in a polite way.

I also minored in Film & Media Studies & Psychology. I like studying people, I guess? I’m currently unemployed. I’ve been out of college for ten months and been unemployed the whole time. Sucks. But hoping to not be for long.  Remodeling my social media presence to help with that pesky unemployment dilemma. Creating this blog is one of the ways I’m trying.

What do I want to do when I grow up?:

Right now, I’m focusing on finding any work possible, to pay bills, but eventually I want to. …Drum roll please…..you guessed it! Be a writer. I want to mainly be a screenwriter, but I also wouldn’t mind being a novelist. Working at a publishing company or a film production company are the goals for the next five years. Writing is  my passion, and the love of my life, so nothing can match that feeling I get when I write. A life without passion is not a life worth living.  One way or another, eventually, I’ll be a successful, famous, rich writer.

For Now

Just living. Learning. And Posting.