I am used to having a fairly tight and regular turn over of friends in my life. This used to be something that really vexed me, but I have since thrown my hands up in resignation. At least it's something I can count on. Every year since my family life finally settled down (or at least as much as it was going to) when I was in middle school, I could count on the fact that each summer would represent getting close to new people.

As I have grown older, this has not changed.

As you can imagine, this brings mixed feelings. I look around my circle at any given time and wonder who will be the ones to phase out, and wonder who the new ones will be. I feel like a sage old wizard when someone exits, as if I had known all along. I feel like an excited little schoolgirl when I meet someone new and feel that spark. The "I would like to get to know you better" spark.

I like those feelings.

I feel like I'm always on the search for the elusive true best friend. I have found it in Corey, and recognized it, and so I have made him my life partner. It would be nice to have a few 'just friends' that I could place firmly in the 'best friend' category. I have best friends, yeah, but sometimes I don't feel like there's anyone who I can talk about literally anything with. I am interested in a lot of subjects, and a lot of them are kind of random or obscure or just generally in the minority of public thought. Sometimes I feel like I filter myself around other people, because I am afraid that they wouldn't care about the things I like as happily and enthusiastically as I do about the things that they like. Maybe it's just the enthusiasm that is lacking..hm.

I know they'll show up. It has to happen eventually.

I'm feeling compelled to write about this because of a party that I went to on Saturday night. I went by myself, though I invited several of my usual consorts. I really, really really enjoyed it. It was a big kegger, and there were a lot of people that I'm only acquainted with for the most part, and I got to engage in conversation with a lot of people I've never met. I'm pretty confident in myself and my social skills, so being in a room full of people I've never met (especially if there's alcohol) is like being in a candy store. Fresh blood, man! It's marvelous.

I guess...I guess I'm just missing that spark. It's an odd thing to feel immediately enamored of someone, only to go back to 'not knowing' after the weekend is over and the buzz has cleared.


"After all this time.." "Always."

Things Keri Geeks Out About: Part 2

My love for Harry Potter is a quiet love.
I didn't go to midnight showings or dress up in robes, I've never written fan fiction about Severus and Lily. I don't own my own wand, I live 3 hours from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando but I haven't gone yet, I don't spend hours imagining what House I'd be 'sorted' into. But my love is a fierce one just the same.

I first came into contact with Harry Potter when in my 6th grade gifted English class, when my powerhouse-of-a-teacher Mrs. Woodell began to read the first book out loud to us. I can't remember why but we didn't make it through the first book (mean parents, perhaps, or time concerns)...but the damage had been done the same. Harry Potter fever swept through our classroom and a new crop of small bookish kids was swept into the "Harry Potter Generation."

That Christmas, I received the first three books in hardback and I read them all in a week...and then I was left feeling empty. Like, now what? What do I do? And where the heck was my acceptance letter to Hogwarts, darn it? I dreamed of going back, I dreamed of that magical mysterious world. The answer of course for me was to read them over again, all of them, multiple times while I waited for Goblet of Fire to come out. This would be a cycle of feelings I would grow intimately familiar with over the next seven years.

I can remember vividly what it felt like to get each book into my hands for the first time. To feel the book jacket, and absorb the artwork until I had memorized it. To note each new color scheme for the binding, and to smell the pages of the new adventure. I can remember exactly where I was when I read each book for the first time, I can remember exactly how I felt when I closed each book after finishing it for the first time. It mystifies me that even the memory of these moment gets me excited, and a little misty. These books enraptured me in a way that few other things have, and turned my imagination inside out.

I am writing about this now, of course, because of the release of the last movie into theaters. Even though, from the very beginning of the movie franchise, I was skeptical and at times upset by details missed and substories truncated, I have fallen in love with the movies along with every one else. I entertained the thought of attending the midnight premier, only because I won tickets to the sneak preview of the first movie when I was in 8th grade...and it would have been a nice way to finish out the series. I didn't go to the midnight premier, but I did make it on Sunday night of the opening weekend...and oh gosh. I decided not to reread the books or rewatch any of the movies just so I could let the last installment sink its way into my brain unadulterated by expectations. I ended up sobbing my way through the movie...heh. I am a crier by nature and the way that some of the scenes were so beautifully handled just obliterated me into a crying mushy-mush.

After we left the theater, I was in a daze. In not re-reading or re-watching, I hadn't prepared myself to be plunged back into my favorite universe, just to be ripped right back out. I had forgotten just how many memory-ties I have associated with the Harry Potter franchise, and I didn't realize that they would all come flying back into my brain, begging me to remember. I have so many important parts of my coming-of-age that involve a thick book about wizards tucked under my arm...I don't think I fully understood just how many hours of my summers I spent deep inside that universe.

When Corey and I got home, I ended up asking him to hold me and then dissolving into tears again. I couldn't quite understand why I was so upset, until I realized that Hogwarts and the Harry Potter universe is as real a memory for me as another memory I have. My family moved around a LOT when I was young, and I don't have the privilege of going back to my childhood house, or my teenage years house, or even the house where I was post-high school. Those places exist only in my memories now. I keep all of those memories locked away for the most part, all of middle school and high school, and in the same room are the memories of my imagination. In unlocking the door, I couldn't just let Harry Potter out. I let out listening to Radiohead at 2am when I was finishing the 6th book as a sophomore in high school. I let out reading the 4th book in the car with my grandparents when they took us on vacation so my dad could move into a new apartment. I let out finally being grown up enough to take myself to the midnight release of the 7th book, and then covertly reading it at work the next day. I let out the feelings of angst and confusion that I felt as a teenager, the emotions that Harry Potter experienced the same time I did. I let out the feelings that I didn't belong anywhere, and, when it comes to my family, that I still don't have a 'home' to belong to.

Saying goodbye to Harry Potter, and tucking him and his pals back into that locked up room, feels like saying goodbye to being 16 all over again. Even though I put the memories back on their shelves, I will never ever forget what it felt like to be that age and to read these books. I will read them to my children when they get old enough, and hopefully watch them fall into the magic just as deeply and as beautifully as I did. Thank you, Harry Potter, for growing up with me, and thank you for accompanying me through lonely summers and confused teenage years.


Life's not a bitch

I just felt compelled to drop in and share something I just saw on Reddit:

You don't own the atoms of your body. Every atom that makes up your body was here long before you were, and will remain here long after you have gone. You are a caretaker of your physical body, nothing more. Most of the atoms aren't even part of you for the entirety of your life. You are a temporary conglomeration of molucules. They come and go. The water you consumed this morning will pass in a matter of days, if not hours.

That which you think you are will have ceased to exist very soon.

But you will will continue to exist after it happens.

Next week IS the afterlife.

I haven't discussed any of my personal beliefs/opinions about philosophy or religion or politics on here, and I don't intend to make a point of it. Mainly because they are pretty controversial, but also because that's not what my blog is about. This particular passage really resonated within me, to the point where I wanted to write about it, and that requires some backstory.

I am an atheist.
I am also very...spiritual? I have to use a question mark because I don't really like that word.

Basically, I don't "believe" in any organized religions, and I don't subscribe to any Hippie magazines, or anything like that. But I feel like I am connected to the planet, and the people around me. I have this astounding love in my heart for all of life, and everything that life entails. I don't believe in an afterlife, and I don't believe that humans are on the planet for any reason other than chance, which (I feel) frees me up to be the happiest I can be, at all times. There is nothing but this moment, there is nothing but what I am feeling right now.

My personal "mantra" could be summed up as follows:
I live for my own happiness, and I live to make everyone around me as happy as I personally can. I live to cause harm to none. Life is a playground, and any day where I am not laughing and smiling is a day that has been wasted.

Beyond all that, though (and getting back to the passage) - I have been trying to pin down exactly what it is that I "believe." I have always felt this connection to the world around me, but I never talked about it because frankly it sounds a little Pocahontas-y (I'm pretty quick to err on the side of self-deprecation). I like to think of myself as an empiricist- that is, I require tangible evidence to be swayed. My whole 'colors-of-the-wind' thing was kinda clashing hardcore.

And then I found this quote. And it came into focus for me. We ARE connected. There IS tangible evidence. I am one with the universe because everything that I am is made up of the universe, and after my neurons stop firing I will still be a part of the universe. It's more than just being a part of the cycle of life, or an ecosystem. It's so much more. All of my molecules used to belong to someone or something else, I am a temporary conglomerate of molecules and when I pass these same molecules that I own just for now will be recycled and granted to other life and things. This concept is just so, so beautiful for me.


I remember being a senior in high school, and talking out my beliefs with a school mate (I believe it was called a 'heated argument' back then though...heh). He was trying to convince me that there has to be a God, because of all of the beauty in the world. I countered that, to me, it is so much more intensely amazing to think that every thing in this world came about through billions of years of trial and error. I look at my hand and I can imagine the journey it took to become me (I can try to imagine it, anyway)...the fact that I exist at all is such a statistical mindfuck, and I am that much more beautiful because I am the product of every single thing that came before me. Each person represents an entire universe worth of history and memories and birth and death, that all had to take place exactly as it did for us to exist.

It's just, like, mind boggling, man. (hehe)


The beauty of the universe is organic and spontaneous, and so heart-stoppingly epic in scope. I love every single breath that I am alive to take.



Sometimes when my brain is full, I have moments where I have to shut down all extraneous processing and just focus on the involuntary stuff...yknow, breathing and existing and all that.

My brain is full..and has been for a few days....so I said STFU, brain, we are going to sit on this-a-here couch and watch movies and surf for new music for the ENTIRETY of this weekend!

And that's what I did. For real, I have a bunch of free Blockbuster Express movie codes and I got 8 movies between Saturday and Sunday. For the record it is way easier to stay home and not do anything but relax when you dont.have.any.money. Oh my gosh. All of our money is going straight into wedding stuff (future post fodder? you bet!) which makes it easier for me to say no to outings and dinners and whatnots. I enjoy alone time tremendously but normally my alone-time plans are consistently interrupted by last-minute plans and hangouts. I guess I'm just a silver-lining type of lady but it is nice having an excuse to say no. I'm sorta bad at that.

If we're looking for silver linings, then I can go ahead and praise my broke-ness for giving me time to bang out a birthday mix for my older sister, Lisa. I haven't done a post yet on my sisters but they are two of my most cherished friends on this entire freaking planet. Lisa happens to live on the other side of this entire freaking planet at the moment which completely blows, but she's on her last tour in the Navy before retiring so she will be here before we know it! The thing I hate most about her being gone is that I don't get the chance to do all of the little sister-ly things I want to, like I can't just pop in and clean her house for her or bring her dinner or drink wine and watch cheesy rom-coms with her, and on days like her birthday it's even worse. I figured that the least I could do was put together a playlist for her. We're a very musical family, and sharing music can bring you close to someone if they're far away. /cheesymoment haha

So I figured it's time for another music play-by-play post...because talking about my musical tastes can't get any more free! Ahaha. Are you noticing a trend? I'M BROKE SON! ...and also a little delirious. Man, it's time to go HOME.

Hehe. Anyway. Onward!

Song List:
1. Look Me In the Eye Sister/Groove Armada: This song is just awesome. Strong open, dark 80's sorta sound, plus it has the word 'sister' in it. A+!

2. My Touch/Toro Y Moi: This is a new find of mine, as of late. I just love this chill ass song.

3. Weak/Gretchen Parlato: This song is my JAM. I was introduced to it by a friend last year, and I have fallen in absolute love. This is a cover of an old 90's song, done by a jazz singer who is sultry and magnificent and oh my gosh I love it. I got to see Gretchen this February and she is a flawless talent. I realized I've never made a point to share this song with Lisa, so I figured now is as good a time as any! There are actual a few of those songs on here...hmm.

4. Constant Surprises/Little Dragon: Hey, here's another one of those songs I've been bogarting! Haha I love this song too, it just puts me in that perfect "I am a part of everything, and everything is good" kinda moods. Just divine.

5. Fucking Boyfriend/The Bird and the Bee: "There is something wrong, and there is something right..when you will take by the hands and I will close my eyes..." this song captures me from the opening line and doesn't let me go until the song is over. Upbeat and catchy as all get out, there's just something about a sweet melodic voice saying curse words that I can't get enough of.

6. The Truth/Handsome Boy Modeling School: Time to cool it down a little bit. I love trip-hop, and HBMS is perfect when I'm in that mood. Head-bobbin' body-swayin' music. Love it.

7. Abigail Silk/Ugly Duckling: Corey rocks my socks so hard sometimes, I swear. He played this for me and I was instantly rocking out. It's so smooth and delicious, I love me some upbeat hip hop love songs. It's just beautiful.

8. Kool Aid & Frozen Pizza/Mac Miller: This is an official entry in my "Summer of 2011" music books. His whole cd is so light and breezy, but this song in particular has me wanting to go outside and light an L, and drive around the city. I'm actually not really sure what Lisa feels about hip hop, but dammit I love it and everyone I know should too!

9. So Real/Jeff Buckley: This song is kind of a genre jump, but it's a favorite of mine. Whenever I hear it, it makes me want to wear some flannel and watch old David Duchovny movies...Don't ask me why, I guess that's just what I associate with the 90's. Hehe anyways, I thought it might be a nice throwback for Lisa. Lord knows I could listen to this song every day and never get tired.

10. Under the Milky Way/Church: This song was actually released the year that I was born, when Lisa was a senior in high school. I love the dark atmosphere of it, and it makes me think of being a teenager in the 80s...mm.

11. Black Hearted Love/PJ Harvey & John Parrish: Lisa has been listening to PJ Harvey for years, and I couldn't remember if I'd asked her about this song or not. Regardless, this song kicks ass! It's so hauntingly sexy and powerful, all while in that cool growl of PJ's.

12. C'mere/Interpol: Speaking of high school songs, this song was a favorite of mine when I was a senior in high school. 'Nuff said.

13. Wishes and Luck/Cool Calm Pete: Ok, this one was a Reddit discovery from my sanctuary r/hiphopheads. I was like hmm...cool...calm...I like both of those things. Let us listen!! And then lo and behold, the song was FREAKING amazing. Let me tell you, I don't use all caps lightly. This song is really that good. Crack to my ears. In fact I'm gonna go listen to it right now...

14. Feather/Nujabes: I'm a real late comer on this group, which can be described as more jazz oriented hip hop...I guess. It kinda sways across a few genre sections. I like this song because it has a nice piano sample, and then goes on to make a few different references that actually shocked me when I first heard the song. Things like Flowers for Algernon, or American Pie. What? For real. A hip hop song referencing a book about neurological science? Be still my heart.

15. The Strain/Blockhead: Blockhead is a producer who makes music comprised of original beats spliced with a lot of old samples, from tv and movies and old songs. It's really cool. It's always a mish mash that just feels right. This song starts with an old song about two teenagers, from neighboring Indian tribes, who fall in love even though they can never be together..and then turns into a completely different thing from there. Ugh I just love it so much. Corey put this on a mix for me, not because of the subject matter but because of the chilled out gorgeousness. So good!

16. Broken/Gorillaz: I love this song because of the sweetness combined with such a melancholy undertone. This really is a beautiful song. I also like this song because I completely passed over it (accidentally) when I was first listening to Plastic Beach, and then one day when I was riding in Margie's car she had this on, and it blew my mind. I am going to have to write a blog post about how my sisters have influenced my musical tastes, and how having them around makes me continue in my search for good music all of the time.

17: Anytime/My Morning Jacket: The mix ends on one of my all time favorite songs. This song represents that special blend of hopefulness and resignation, the feeling when you are getting over someone and you're just starting to see the light, the bittersweet feeling that that entails. I've had the joy of seeing this song performed live twice now, and my love for this song and the band deepens all the time. I have some crazy sentimental ties to this song, and I like to pass along the love.

Whew! I think that about wraps it up for Musical Musics part deux.
I'm gonna go listen to this mix again!


And I am never real; it is just a sketch of me

I've shared a little bit about some of my other hobbies, and it's time for another hobby post!

Our post today children is about painting. Do you like to paint?

Hehe. Anyway, a few weeks ago my best friend Alex and I met up at Joann's and went crazy getting some canvases and watercolors. I already have a pretty good acrylic paint selection from my ceramics work. We bought some wine on the way home, and had ourselves a good ole' fashioned girly movie night.

We watched My Big Fat Greek Wedding, and Step Up...both hilarious awesome movies. Alex and I are SUCKERS for rom-coms and cheesy dance movies. Relaxing with wine and comedy is the best way to just sit back and watch your art unfold...

It's still a work in progress, but for me I'm just proud to have started making something. Overcoming fear of creation has been my number one goal for this year, and with every hobby I endeavor in I feel one stop closer. I'm not sure what it is I want to do in my life, but I feel the life of a creative calling me...own a boutique? Be a perpetual student? Graphic designer?

I don't know. I don't know where these roads are leading me yet, but I know that I every day I create is another day spent in the proverbial classroom. I feel like everything my hands touch right now is another step towards realizing my dreams.