strange magic

It makes me sincerely sad that I can't post here as often as I used to! I miss when I recorded all the things I'm inspired by more consistently. With growing up in general there's more bad stuff, but also more good stuff, but also I better understand why the bad stuff is so bad which sucks, but I also better appreciate it when the good stuff is good which is nice, so really I just try to sleep whenever I can.

Rookie has been the biggest time sucker but I can't think of anything else I'd rather be doing. It feels like such a natural continuation of all the ideas and aesthetics I've explored here for a few years now, and it's nice to apply those and see how people whose writing/illustrating/photography I love (or, our staffers) interpret them. At the beginning of each month I email everyone the theme for next month (since we work a month in advance) along with a few topics it entails and a moodboard. Then all the articles and photos come in and a calendar goes up once that month starts, compiled of images from the way we've all explored the theme.

The inspiration moodboard I made for Girl Gang:
The moodboard-calendar on the site:

And for December/"Home," this:
Became this:

I've had this blog for a long time and now when I come back to it it's hard to avoid falling back into how I've always written and the kinds of things I used to write about, so it's nice having a change of scenery. Obviously it's my blog and I can say whatever I want on it (with the exception of certain plans I might hypothetically have to hurt the president, which I recently learned can get you in jail!) But as part of growing up and going through phases and whatnot, sometimes it's nice to come back here and be creative like I used to be, and sometimes it just feels like I'm in middle school again, which I despise.

Anyway, you can see a list of links to everything I've written and styled on Rookie here. Here's a hand-picking of some that I feel readers of this blog would especially appreciate:
And interviews I've conducted with:
And stuff I didn't write, but which I think readers of this blog with especially enjoy (this coming from someone who has just about every post MEMORIZED):
PHEW. And there you go, your reading list for staying home New Year's Eve because you have no friends, haha! I don't either and I can't figure out why :((

School is a big time suck, too. I'm less thrilled about that one, but I think most teenagers spend a lot of high school wishing they could get out, and since I am lucky enough to get out and have this other thing going on, I appreciate high school a little more and hate it a little less.

I feel the same way about the town where I live and the house I've been growing up in. I've been trying to figure out for a while why terrible music from the '70s makes me so sad, even with all the awful cheap organ robot sounds, and I think it's because it makes me think of The Virgin Suicides and Freaks and Geeks, and those kinds of characters, of teenagers who spend a lot of high school wishing they could get out, of the scenes where the Lisbon sisters are only able to talk to the boys across the street by playing records quietly into the phone in their bedrooms, and of how desperate Lindsay is to relate to something the whole series until the final episode when she dances to a Grateful Dead record alone in her room. Of that very adolescent-specific longing for some kind of world that's greater than the one at home, and of the world you create for yourself trying to satisfy that longing until you can pursue something greater.

A couple months ago, I went to see Daniel Clowes and Seth interview each other at a book store event where I live. When I met Clowes to get my books signed, I said that my school hasn't been redesigned since the '70s (he asked how school was, I wasn't just like LET ME TELL YOU ALL ABOUT THE ARCHITECTURAL HISTORY OF MY HIGH SCHOOL, in all caps), and I was about to say that made it more pleasing to be in, but as an adult who lived through the '70s, Clowes' reaction was of deep sympathy! I mean, when I think about it critically, my school and all the houses in my neighborhood I get obsessed with spying on, all the ones that also haven't changed since the '70s, they are really ugly! All the beige curtains and the wood paneling and tacky family photos. But they just make me think of Freaks and Geeks and The Virgin Suicides, and of the stories of the people inside. It comes back to this kind of feeling, which is from a post I wrote a month or so ago:
It makes me nostalgic for something I've never really experienced, which is, I guess, life without internet, when those characters' records were some of the only access they had to a world outside changing families and classmates they've known for years. I guess I actually have had more time to blog than I'm making it seem, but keeping some things to myself has become more special. I've been drawing and collaging as always, and while none of it is very revealing, it feels too personal to show others. And I keep notebooks, and the world around me is just as interesting to me as it's ever been, but the prospect of sharing it isn't as exciting as it used to be. Like, not everything that anyone could find at all entertaining/interesting/funny has to be tweeted, you know? And I kind of resent that mentality in this here SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD we now live in. KIDS THESE DAYS, etc.

"Strange Magic" by ELO has been the biggest culprit in the tear-jerking. I have not carefully examined the lyrics, but I'm pretty sure it's about a boner. And yet! I find it so unbearably melancholy! The simplest reason why is that it plays when Trip and Lux win king and queen at their school dance in The Virgin Suicides, but as I've been listening to it this fall, I've come to associate the "magic" part with the same kind of magic these characters I've been talking about create for themselves from their records or books or daydreams, or anything that could be a hopeful sign of life after high school, like the road trip the boys imagine in TVS, or Lindsay leaving home to follow the Dead once summer starts. Aesthetically I guess this means '70s with some element kind of sparkly or witchy or magical...

Unknown, Raquel Zimmerman by Juergen Teller
Pamela des Barres and someone I don't know, Grace Miceli
By Petra Collins for Rookie, Juergen Teller
John Divola, Akris Fall 2011
Richard Prince, Heart's Dreamboat Annie
Freaks and Geeks, which technically is set in 1980-81, but is also set in middle America, where it was still probably the '70s.
Jil Sander ad, Saturn's rings
Drew Barrymore by Inez and Vinoodh for AnOther Magazine, unknown
Both from Retrospace
Unknown, and a magazine called Sassy (no, not that one) that existed for 2 seconds in the '70s
From the set of the Virgin Suicides, probably by Corinne Day
Peter Lindbergh for W, 1997
The Virgin Suicides (around the moment "Strange Magic" starts playing) and Retrospace
The post that went up on Rookie today of Spencer's mom's photos/diaries/letters/notes from being a teenager in the '70s are a big part of this, too, as I've been insisting on looking at them every time I've gone to their house for months, until finally she let me borrow some of them. You really just have to look at it all for yourself, but just how she and her friends reported on every detail of everything that happened at school, how jealous her friend was when Susie got to go to California, the zillions of notes they wrote each other in class...sniffle.

This playlist is mostly the TVS soundtrack, plus a couple:
Strange Magic by ELO Subliminal Message by Happy Birthday Alone Again (Naturally) by Gilbert O'Sullivan Magic Man by Heart Cruel by St. Vincent I'm Not In Love by 10cc So Far Away by Carole King Old Age by Hole A Dream Goes On Forever by Todd Rundgren Come Sail Away by Styx (plays in the school dance scenes of both TVS and F&G)

Oh, and this post was kind of a part two to this post from about a year ago.
It is the longest post in the world and congratulations if you read all of that.