30 October, 2012

How To Go To A Concert (Also, The Two Door Cinema Club Concert)


I lost my concert-attending virginity at exactly 7:38 p.m. on the Friday of October 26th, 2012.  Just last Friday.  I am no longer a concert virgin, if you will.  The morning after, when we were both fully conscious, my sister and I argued whether I actually lost it the second I stepped into the venue, but I think it was official when the opening band started playing.

See, adorable junior-in-high-school Jessica really wanted to go to a Two Door Cinema Club concert last winter.  She really did.  She cried with excitement.  She didn’t know when was the last time she cried over excitement, but she didn’t think it possible until it happened to her.  I mean, she was about to lose her concert virginity to Two Door Cinema Club at the House of Blues.  Anyway, she called three days too late, and it was sold out, and she hated herself for two weeks after.

Of course, a true miracle happened, in the spirit of this hellish extended summer, where I got all the grades necessary (this is still how deals are made apparently?) and purchased tickets about three months in advance.  When I printed them, and they were physically in my hands, I couldn’t stop holding them.  I, like, sniffed them.  They didn’t smell like tickets (duh, ‘cause I printed them) but they looked like them and they had my last name on them and they said TWO DOOR CINEMA CLUB | OCTOBER 26TH, 2012 | SOMA SAN DIEGO and I stared at them and I got a little bit of teardrop on one of them.

Look at my cute, naive outfit of choice from the night before!  I am adorable, really.  I mean, I busted out tights.  And a sweater.  And a skirt.  I mean.  I mean.  Luckily, my friend, my namesake, Jessica J., straightened me out, telling me that it was going to be literally five-hundred-and-thirty-two degrees inside, so I should just wear shorts and a t-shirt.  And, guys…  it is so hard…  to watch a pretty outfit go… and replace it… with denim shorts… a striped t-shirt…and tennis shoes…

I think the best part about the hours leading up to the concert was when we stopped at the In-N-Out down the street (you bet I’ll never stop rubbing in the fact that I’m always no more than five minutes away from an In-N-Out) and I spotted a boy in a Chambray shirt, a beanie, and gauges, walking with another boy with those jackets that look like ponchos (?), and I told Jessica (not me speaking in third person, my BFFFFFFFFF Jessica) “God, they’re walking to the concert?” and my sister—she’s so adorable—said: “How do you know they’re going to the concert?” and Jessica and I both whipped our heads and raised and eyebrow and called her a sweet, sweet child.

Also, my first time at a concert was stained.  I cut in line.  At the very front.  Where two other friends were waiting and they let us cut.  At the front of the line.  And bless the people already there, they didn’t beat us up.

They had two opening bands (I didn’t know this was a thing? I’m such a toddler): Bad Veins and Friends (gosh, guys, listen to ‘A Thing Like This’, live, it was the best) and combined, they were like an hour and half, or something of the sort.

I think this is a pretty nice segue to (because I am an expert, I’ve attended one concert, in a tiny venue):
by Jessica Sandoval
  1. It is most likely going to get hot if it’s an enclosed space.  Even if it’s in the middle of the winter.  Even if it’s Hurricane Sandy right outside (that is a joke please button up don’t go outside it is dangerous don’t do it)—wear shorts.  Or a skirt, even, if you’d like. Jeans will make you sweat and stick to your legs, as will tights, most likely.  I am so glad I didn’t wear the tights and skirt.
  2. Do not, for the love of God, bring a bag.  I made this stupid mistake.  My friends warned me, too!  I thought I needed it for my wallet and my phone and, like, my lipstick.  Jesus Christ.  My friend Jessica stuck her money in her shoe and carried her phone or put it in her breast pocket.  I, on the other hand, kept hitting people with my bag, or kept having it thud against my leg when I jumped.  For the love of all things holy, just carry your phone in your hand and stick your money in your shoe/pocket/bra/hair.  You do not, in fact, need anything else.
  3. Drink water before.  But not so much you need to pee during the concert.  Before the concert even started, I panicked and asked Jessica, like, five times whether she thought we might get dehydrated and passed out.  She got so tired of hearing it she said “We might. We’ll be fine.” and I panicked but my throat didn’t get dry and the security guards had water bottles at the front that they kept tossing at as, they were total sweethearts.  Anyway, don’t get dehydrated, but pee right before.
  4. Bring an extra hair tie.  Or two.
  5. Don’t be the asshat that starts pushing everyone around.  Kids got kicked out of the show ‘cause they started a “wave” in the back and caused a Domino effect that made people fall over and push all the way to the front.
  6. Apparently, try to bring earplugs.  On the car ride home, Jessica’s father told us that the loud boom of the speakers was dangerous for our hearing, and because we’re dumb there’s , like, 60% more chance that we’re going to go deaf by 25.  Not really, but you won’t look stupid, you’ll hear the music just the same, and you won’t have an annoying ringing in your ears that night when your ear gets close to the pillow.
  7. If it’s a standing concert, don’t lose your friend.  I was pressed against the railing, at the way front, and when those idiots started pushing again, I somehow was standing right behind my friend Jessica.  It was unfair, but, seriously, I’m 4’11, I could get lost for days in between all those people, don’t die, place a tracking device in your friend’s ear, and you’ll be okay.
  8. If you don’t want to be in the way back, don’t get there an hour before the show starts!!!!!!!!!!1111! Be like my friends, the pioneers, who got there seven hours before.

Two Door Cinema Club came on at 8:46 p.m. (ahem) and I screeched like I never have before.  Two Door Cinema Club is my favorite band (or at least, is so far), and last year I swore I couldn’t possibly die without having seeing them live.  I also swore the same with Bon Iver…but…we know… how that turned… out…  For weeks leading up to the concert, I kept fawning over the thought of just SEEING them.  In front of me.  Less than a few meters away from me.

And they were, Lord Jesus, they were.

I mentioned I was at the way front, right?  Alex was positioned in the middle, Sam was at the far left, and Kevin was at the far right, right in front of me.  He looked…  adorable.  And, dare I say it, looked into our general direction, like, ten times the entire show.

They played eighteen songs, both from Tourist History and Beacon, and came out for an encore, and I kept jumping around, and I even threw an arm in the air, and I screamed all the lyrics, and I fell in love with this kid who kept closing his eyes and whispering the lyrics to himself, and his hair was in that beautiful way where it swoops up at the front, and, wow, it was just the perfect first concert.

I plan on going to a Two Door Cinema Club concert every day for the rest of my life.  Every day.  And, gosh, now that I know anything is possible, I am going to an obnoxious amount of concerts now.

Hurray for my concert!

THINGS TO DO IN SAN DIEGO: If you live in San Diego (shoutout! or something! tell me!) or in Southern California or plan to visit San Diego sometime, you should plan to go to SOMA—it’s next to the Sports Arena, it’s much bigger than I thought, and concerts are, apparently, the greatest fun in the entire world.  Also, my ticket was only $23, and I almost fell out of my seat.

16 October, 2012

Drop It, It’s Dead


I’ve learned a pretty good amount of lessons lately, and I want to share some of them, because sometimes learning from other people’s experiences, even if you don’t need the advice, can inspire you to do something better today.
I started school in the last week of July, and I’m now a senior in high school.  I keep forgetting.  My birthday was on the twenty-fourth, and I also keep forgetting that I’m seventeen.
My “senior project” that I set out for myself (I don’t know, so far, from all the books and movies I’ve seen, it looks like a every character ever, during the summer before their senior year, decides that they want to do something with their life, and that it should happen during their senior year?) was to start a magazine at our school.  Not the school newspaper—a magazine.

My original whimsical and/or wistful, hazy dream was that a bunch of girls with the same sense of aesthetic would meet in a room during lunch once or twice a week, and I’d bring my laptop to school, and we’d play music that felt right and cut stuff up that we’d treasure and then, in between moments, talk about things that are stupid that we’d later regret calling stupid, and then build long-lasting relationships that would last throughout the year and maybe, if lucky, a year and half after high school.
Instead, it became a pretty big idea, and then we were thinking about making it an actual magazine with actual contributions and then getting it printed and handing it out or selling it at school.
Simply put, after the idea was getting bigger, the next few weeks were me enduring one or two panic attacks too many.  I stressed out over how I didn’t think I was ready for the responsibility; how I don’t know how to talk in front of an audience yet; how I need to do this to have an impressive application for college; how, if I didn’t do it, I was going to regret not doing something exciting in my senior year my entire life; and, worst of all, how I was wasting so much time thinking and staring at myself in mirrors, hoping my reflection would somehow reveal some groundbreaking news, or something.

Because I’m incredible and didn’t take a Health class my freshman year, I am now.  We’ve been learning about mental illnesses lately, and today we learned about depression.  The causes of depression, our handout said, were:
  • A shortage or imbalance of mood-influencing chemicals in the brain, along with possible side-effects in medication, illnesses, and infections.
  • People with low self-esteem or those who constantly degrade and punish themselves are more prone to becoming depressed.
  • Genetics—people can “inherit” depression.
  • Certain severe, life-altering situations can cause depression.
Among these, piling on too many responsibilities and getting incredibly stressed can lead to becoming depressed, as well.

With the piled-on stress (I don’t even remember signing up for my AP Art History class, but that happened), I decided I didn’t feel like taking a chance.  So I decided to just not.  No to the magazine.
But it’s upsetting, because this thing mattered to me.  I really wanted to do this. It would be my senior experience.  Plus, it was my last chance of being impressive for colleges.  Because, unfortunately, my grades for the past few years aren’t a correct representation of who I am.
The thing I am grateful for, though, is that this experience has taught me things about myself.  I decided I needed to manage my time.  I decided I didn’t want to risk having my anxiety get worse.  I didn’t want to hate myself every day the entire year.  And, I decided that my senior experience would be me growing as a writer.  Practicing as much as I can, send pieces out to be published, read as much as I could to be able to proudly attribute “writer” to who I am.
Basically, even if it was just this one time, I learned to think about the consequences and how it could affect my life and my happiness.  Which is also something that I learned…  respect your body and how happy you are.
Which leads to something else (how convenient, all these life lessons tied together!)—work hard, play hard.  I used to have an unhealthy “it all works out in the end” philosophy, which seems like it’s a good philosophy, but I was irresponsible with it.  For everything to work out in the end, you also have to make sure you contribute.
Although I admit it’s too late, this year I’ve been working my hardest and studying like I never have before—and I can honestly say I’ve never been so proud of the straight A’s I currently have and all the 100%’s I’ve been getting.  I have this additional personal rule where I swore I would never apologize for not posting consistently or try to explain why there hasn’t been an update in a while, but I felt like I should record in history the fact that internet use has, in fact, been limited because of my sudden dedication to, like, my life.
I should also warn you I won’t read this post over before I publish it, this is pure honesty mixed with embarrassing word vomit at its finest.
I’m grateful for how much I’ve learned about myself.  I used to think I was a free spirit with a bottomless supply of energy, but last week I fell asleep in class for the first time.  I have heard of people who say that they fell asleep in a class (“Yo dude, Econ was so boring, she lectured the entire time, I passed out and slept the entire time.”), but I never actually believe them, because, well, who falls asleep in class?  Who is actually, physically able to fall asleep in class?
At least, that’s what I used to think.
After a night of crying over my neat pile of textbooks and studying, I went to bed at two o’clock in the morning.  But, I the brilliant person I am, drank coffee all night to stay awake.  So guess who only slept two hours that one night?
After about 15 minutes in my Art History classroom, with the lights dimmed and my teacher lecturing us from the back of the room, I gently placed my head on my textbook and woke up ten minutes later to find my teacher still lecturing, talking about Byzantine art.
Jesus Christ.
Guys, love your bodies.  Please.