Monday, December 30, 2013


{my year in music}


lauren aquilena // king

imagine dragons // it's time

NU'EST // face

sara bareilles // brave

the cab // angel with a shotgun

christina grimmie // bet you don't curse god

twenty one pilots // semi-automatic

lim kim // all right

thousand foot krutch // courtesy call

regina spektor // eet

SHINee // sherlock (clue + note)

going under // evanesence

unknown artist // again
one republic // stop and stare

goodbye, 2013

hello, 2014
let's see what you have in store. 

Saturday, December 28, 2013

tis the season

today, I did something I didn't want to do. Something that I needed to do, something that was right for me to do, but something that, with all my stubborn heart, I didn't want to do. 

I find that I'm a bit of a miser when it comes to my nights. When something unexpected comes up, if I have the choice, I will stay home, even if my entire family is going out. There's just something sacred about my night-time--it's when I am the most productive, and also the most lazy. If I'm in a "doing" mood, I can write and write and write and then sit back and think "what the heck is this crap?" but at least I wrote. less driven nights, I can grind out a few episodes of various shows, raid Pinterest, stalk Tumblr, explore YouTube...that sort of thing. 

Guess which kind of night happens more often? 

I am not a people person. I don't like to be touched. Talking is extremely hard for me, depending upon the mood that I'm in. That's why I love the Internet so much--it allows me to talk, without actually talking. Which, in turn, makes my dislike for talking even worse. It's rather a bitter cycle, actually... When we have guests who don't have children my age, I usually end up hiding back in my room, just because I can't see the point in staying in an environment that drains me for no end purpose. My parents have come to understand this, and I won't go so far as to say that they are okay with it, but they let me do it anyways. And I love them for it.

But when it comes to people outside of my immediate's not that easy.

"Why's Ely not out here? Is she sick? Does she have homework?"
"No...she just doesn't want to be around people right now." 
"Oh." *aside* "That's kind of rude..." 

I wish I could explain to everyone that, when an introvert goes off on their own, it's not because they're rude or offended. It's because they need to recharge, or they're going to go insane. Loud voices, people talking continuously, crowds of people they don't know's like a giant leech constantly sucking away at us.

I wish I could explain to everyone that, when hugging an introvert, ask first. It's not that we don't like to be hugged--I know plenty of hug loving introverted people--it's just that we liked to be prepared. Do extroverts like being hugged just out of the blue? Can you extroverted peeps give me confirmation on this? I can't fathom it.

I wish I could explain to everyone that, just because an introvert is frowning or looks mad, it doesn't mean they feel that way. You can see their face, but not what's really going through their mind. They're not necessarily mad or upset or feeling anti-social. They're just  in their own little world right at that moment. Say their name a few times, give them a second to pull themselves out of their thought puddle, and they'll be with you in a moment.

I wish everyone could know these things. I wish people were more aware of others. I wish I were more aware of others, and less sensitive about myself. That would make a heck of a lot of things easier.

Unfortunately, we all know this:

Life isn't easy.

Now excuse me while I go curl up into a warm cozy burrito of introvertedness and bask in my solitude until tomorrow...when I have to go out into the wilderness again.


Thursday, December 26, 2013


A nasty wind cut through my jacket as I followed Colt and Linds to the park exit. Linds, exhausted from all the excitement, clutched his neck like a lifeline, her head pressed against his shoulder. 

"Think she's asleep?" I asked. Sam shrugged. "You're a lot of help." 

With a tired grin, she shrugged again. 

I rolled my eyes and kept walking, my aching feet dragging. We were all as exhausted as Linds, I imagined: not only physically, but also mentally. So much had happened today...I needed some sleep so I could process it all. 

Unfortunately, I was next on the driving list. The non-negotiable driving list. 

Even though I knew it was pointless, I turned to Sam, only to find her already staring boldly at me. "What?" I asked. 

"One more," she said, eyes flashing. The wind sent her hair into a crimson whirlwind, but she stayed trained on my face as she brushed it back into place. "One more ride."

"No," I said firmly. "We're done." If I got on one more roller coaster, I was going to puke. There was no way. 

"Come on,'ll be fun!" She grabbed my arm and pointed at a ride. "That one."

"Tornado Thriller," I read aloud. "No."


"Go on your own."

"It's not as fun by myself."

"I'm not going." She just wanted to laugh at me screaming like a girl again. She couldn't fool me.

"Come on, Matt..." I pressed my lips together and shook my head. This was a moot point. End of conversation. Game over--

"I'll drive for you," she blurted out.

It took a few seconds for her words to sink in. "You'll...what?"

"I'll drive for you," she said simply. "If you'll ride this one ride with me, I'll drive for you tonight. You look like a basket case." She shrugged. "Win-win situation, right?"

Except for the part where I have ride the roller coaster, I thought, rubbing my stiff neck. Was it worth it, not having to drive? The greasy lunch that I'd gulped down earlier now turned my stomach queasy. Getting on a ride while feeling like this...was it worth 4 hours of sleep?

I swallowed hard. "Fine. I ride, you drive. Let's go." 

I could feel the sweat gathering on my upper lip as the ride manager strapped us in. Next to me, Sam wiggled with excitement, bouncing up and down in her seat. "You're insane, girl," I muttered into the harness.

"Thank you."

"I didn't mean for you to hear that..."

"Right, and I'm Jennifer Lawrence."

 I shook my head at her pathetically backward retort and prepared a shot of my own, but then literal warning bells starting going off, and we started moving up the sharp slope before us. 
I grabbed Sam's hand. "Laugh at me, and you die."

She patted my hand patronizingly. "Yes, dear. Feel free to burst my eardrums; I don't mind the screaming."

"Did you just call me 'dear'?" I asked incredulously, but the words were torn from my mouth as the ride reached its peak, and we dropped down, the earth beneath us rushing towards my face dangerously fast.

"THIS WAS A BAD IDEA!!!!" I shouted at Sam, and she laughed gleefully as I screamed in terror. The track twisted and turned, right left upside down--we did it all. My eyes streamed from the speed, and it felt like the skin of my face was burning off.  The whole time, Sam laughed like she was having the time of her life. She waved her hands in the air like she didn't have a care in the world. My hands were glued to the bar before me.

Definitely insane. 

"I'm never doing that again," I gasped out, my legs wobbling beneath me. "No matter what the benefits are."

Holding my arm to support me, she threw back her head and laughed. "You gotta admit, it was kind of fun."

"Kind of? Kind of? There was no fun involved, at all!" My eyes still burned as I stared at her. "You have mental issues, okay?"

"So you keep telling me," she said with a laugh. "Come on, let's go find Colt and Linds. We've got miles to clock!" Her step had a skip in it as she pulled me along, and despite myself, I found myself smiling along with her. It had been fun, in a thrilling, exciting sort of way, but the best part was seeing her so alive like this after today's events.

But I still was never going to do that again, even if she asked me.

if she asked me.

{excerpt from the great ones and the general, by ely s. gyrate}

Monday, December 23, 2013

i celebrate the day

christmas music has always been a rather sacred thing in my household.

not that we reserve these songs for singing in December alone. Heavens no. Our favourite thing to do is drive my mother crazy by singing Good King Wenceslas at the top of our the middle of July.

but there's also this one matter when or where we sing it...I get shivers from the memories it gives me. That song is I Celebrate the Day, by Relient K.

It's a traditional Christmas carol, this I know. But the combination of piano, Matt Thessien's voice, and the beautiful lyrics enchanted my entire family from the moment we first heard it, so much so that it led to my brother buying the sheet music and learning to play the song on our rickety old piano.

And then one day, my dad got an idea.

"Why don't we sing this at the Candlelight service this Christmas? It'll be fun."

I don't know about you, but singing in front of a bunch of people is not my idea of fun. But unfortunately, the rest of my family was thrilled at his suggestion--and suddenly, we were practicing frantically, getting ready for Christmas Eve.

Now, I loved this song with a passion. It was my favorite Christmas song, hands down. But bit by bit, I found myself dreading it when it came on the radio. When we would practice, I would just mumble the words and drag my heels like the obstinate coward I was.  There were many days when said practices would end in tears. I did not want to do this, but they made me do it anyway.

{I'm not bitter at all. Not at all...}

Suddenly, it was performance day. Our church isn't at all big, but it was big enough to make me into a nervous mess. The church was lit by candles only, everyone was dressed to the nines...there were even strangers in the audience. My stomach churned every time I thought about going up to stand by the slightly-less-rickety piano, and these words played over and over in my head: we are so going to fail. 

We stood in front of everyone and sang our hearts out; or at least, most of my family did. During the first verse, my sister and I were too petrified to sing. I think I moved my lips a little and prayed no one would realize that there was no sound coming from my mouth.

but then we hit the chorus, and something snapped into the place. The music took over, and it didn't feel like we were standing before a crowd of people anymore. It was comfortable, just as if we'd been standing in our living room practicing. And I felt brave enough to open my mouth and sing.

My family is very tightly knit. We're always together, and we know how to get along, even if we aren't exactly happy with one another at that moment. But I can definitely say that, on that Christmas Eve, standing in front of friends and strangers grouped together, we'd never felt closer.

That's what Christmas is, isn't it? Being with family, holding each other close, worshiping together? That's my definition of Christmas: celebrating the day with my family, whether it be with our words, our voices, or our actions. As long as we're together, there's nothing that can compare.

{on a side note: I made a Facebook page for this blog! If you have FB, check it out and like it here.}

Sunday, December 22, 2013

the hardest thing

on the screen, there is gunfire and explosions, and daring men run around, trying to save the world one day more. My brothers are glued to the screen, their faces ghostly white from the television's aura, and they huddle together under the blanket like excited and nervous puppies. I feel nervous too, but for a different reason.

I understand the subtle look my parents gave each other before they left the house. I understand why they told me to turn on the mind-sucking machine that usually lays dormant in our home. I heard their whispers, the hurried phone calls, the brushed away sobs. The distractions don't have any sway over me, and I know it all.

it's lonely to be the only one with the weight of a secret pressing on your shoulders.

outside, rain rattles down the drainpipes, and the sky is dark from storm clouds. If it was clear, I would go out and look up at the full moon and maybe that would relieve my racing thoughts, but the rain merely traps everything, making it hard for me to breathe.

a tear trickles down the side of my cheek. Only one, I tell myself. Only one, or you lose.

the boys laugh hollowly at something. The sound gives me chills. I want to tell them; I want to give them some encouragement, and in so doing, encourage myself, but every time I open my mouth, my mother's weary eyes flash before me. And then I lose my courage.

another tear falls.

there's a crash of lighting, and my phone buzzes simultaneously. I jump to see who the text is from, praying it's my mother or my father--but no, it's from my best friend: the only one besides me who knows what's happening on this terribly dark night, why my parents had to rush off to the hospital late in the night.

I wish I could be with you right now...

I try to smile and fail miserably. I wish you were here could make me laugh and see the good in this. Right now, with three hours of driving between us...smiling isn't going to happen. 

I close my eyes against the oncoming flood and take a deep breath. You can't lose this time, girl. You've got to stay strong.

it hurts to stay strong. It hurts to win.

these days, all I want is to have the ability to lay down and lose, just for once.

but I know there's no way in heaven or on earth that that will ever happen.

Friday, December 20, 2013

i will try and fix you

{i'd just like to say that i'm indebted to my sister for her crucial assistance in this post...without her, i'd still be sitting at my desk scratching my head and trying to come up with questions.}

 Interviewee: Matthew North
Age: 19
Gender: Male

how/when did you first meet Colton? Why did you become friends with him?

 I've known Colt since I was in middle-school, I think. Jonathon introduced us--they were in the same remedial English class. At first, he was closer to Jon...I thought he was an annoying jerk who flirted with any girl who was remotely pretty, but then we had to be partners on a science project and...we just suddenly became friends. It think it had something to do with the scorpions that he brought to class and then lost, and how I covered for him when the teacher started freaking out. We've been around each other constantly since then. 

 what are some of the things you draw? drawings are personal. I don't talk about them to anyone. Not even Colt. 

 what's your favorite memory of you, Jonathon, and Colton together?

 last summer, before everything went crazy, Colt convinced Jonathon and me to go get our ears pierced--just for kicks, he said. We knew it would drive dad through the roof, and I think that's why we went along with him. I kept trying to back out of doing it, but my brother kept coming up with ridiculous scenarios of why I shouldn't leave. I hadn't laughed that hard in was also the last time I saw Jon really smile. 

 Outside of the US, where is the place you most way to go?

 Somewhere quiet. Preferably low population--the less people the better.

 Colt says I should go live on a desert island. Ha. He's hilarious.

...though that is kind of an interesting idea...

 what is your favorite thing to do with Sammy and Linds?

We don't do things together. She keeps her business to herself, and I take care of myself. We don't get along. At all.

Colt says that's rude of me. Oh well. 

what's your favorite kind of dessert?

 I'm not especially fond of sweet foods, but I do like the occasional piece of dark chocolate. 

what's your favorite band/song?

 currently, I listen to a lot of Coldplay, and I think I my favorite song from them is Clocks. 

 do you enjoy playing or watching any sports?

 Jon played soccer up until high school, but I never got into sports. I liked watching him play, I don't. 

what is a book that you read, and it instantly became one of your favorites?

One book that's always particularly fascinated me was Till We Have Faces, by C.S. Lewis. Also, Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card.  

Colt says my books are depressing. He's depressing. Or, his lack of intelligence is. I haven't decided which yet. 
if you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

A liar would say nothing--they're happy with how they are.
I wouldn't change a thing.  

I'm semi happy with this sketch...semi-happy...

 if you have any questions you'd like for Matt (or any of my other character, be they from the great ones and the general or not) leave them in the comments below!

Hope y'all have a fantastic Friday and weekend!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

the dark's not taking prisoners tonight

I fully intended to do a Muzak Monday yesterday. Truly, I did. But then I ended up sitting around a table reminiscing about fictional crushes with my brother and his wife until about 10 o'clock at night, and by the time I made the trek back was 11 o'clock. And I needed to sleep. So I have failed you all once again. But who says  you can only talk about music on Mondays? Tuesdays are just as good, in my humble opinion (though I do kinda like the alliteration aspect of things...)

my introduction to twenty one pilots was not exactly ordinary (but then what is ordinary when it comes to this band?) I was lucky enough to see them in concert, along with Imagine Dragons, Churchill, and two or three other bands that were a bit bizarre in my opinion. When I first looked them up (I figured I should know what the bands I was going to see sounded like...) I wasn't really sure what to think. I enjoyed the one song I heard, which was Car Radio, one of their more rap-based songs, but I wasn't sure a concert experience would entail--especially since I was going with one of my best friends--someone who was very in love with rap music--and my father--some who is very not in love with rap. (And yet they manage to get along...) I'm on the fence when it comes to rap--I like it, but I also like to be able to sing along with my music. And I definitely don't have a fast enough tongue to rap. Yeah. It's just not a good idea.

Well, we drove 3 hours and arrived at the concert, and it was hot and we were sweaty and we had to wait about 6 hours for Imagine Dragons to show up, but we had a pretty decent time, entertaining ourselves (i.e. goofing off with our phones and a pair of binoculars...we were probably the creepiest people watchers in the stadium...)


 And then twenty one pilots came on the stage.

and we no longer needed to entertain ourselves. We were entranced.

These guys are seriously talented. Some of my friends say they can't stand them, that "the music is too schizophrenic" for them, but I just love how much they do. As a pianist myself, I love the amount of piano they incorporate into the music. Their energy and passion lights up the stage, and their constant movement makes me tired just from watching them. Seriously. Never in my whole life have I ever seen someone leap off a speaker, dance while rapping on top of his piano, and run around across the stage like crazy. We didn't know any of the words, but we were singing along just the same. The imagery in the lyrics, as's more like poetry than music...

I can't really choose a favorite song by them--I love them all equally. The music videos, however...let's just say House of Gold was a bit of disappointment. I love love love that song (ukeleles for the win!), but the video was just plain disturbing and disgusting. So that made me sad. But pretty much any of their other videos are fantastic.

I really recommend you check this band out--even if you think you might not like them, give them a shot. I thought I wouldn't like them, but look at me now. I respect these two men as singers, and also just as ordinary everyday people. They're just plain amazing.

 {psst. And they're just as good live, too.}

Saturday, December 14, 2013

...blink and it's gone...




it snowed. 

ok, it's official. I can accept the fact that Christmas is like 11 days from now.

I don't know why, but it seems as if this year has rushed by without me being able to sit and down and take everything in. I went to Wisconsin, got my wisdom teeth removed, got to see two of my favorite bands in concert with one of my very best friends, memorized way too many verses than my brain capacity could handle, wrote some, read some, MOVED to a new town, lost a friend, gained one or two more...a lot has happened in the past twelve months. I kind of miss the old, lazy life I used to have...but then I remember how much I enjoy being busy and doing things with the people I love. And then I don't feel so overwhelmed by all that's going on right now.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

...fabulous fifteen...

15 years ago today, something giant and life-changing happened to me. A person walked into my life (well, not literally) and I doubt that I would be the same girl that I am today if she hadn't showed up. And pretty much all I remember about that day is that it was cold.  Because I was like two.

That's right. Today, my baby sis turns a whopping fifteen years old. Man, is she old. And short. And since she doesn't read this blog, I can make as many short jokes I want to. ehehehehehehehehehehe..

In all honesty, Megan (or Mekana or Goose or EliMeg, as she is so often called) might be the best thing that ever happened to me.  When she was born, all she got was an ornery and obstinate ginger old sis, but I gained a cohort, someone to gang up with against our older brother, a partner in crime. She was so very different from me, and sometimes that caused tension between us, but I don't think I've ever truly been mad at Megan before. How could you ever be angry at someone who makes faces like this? 

Mekana's a bit like my guard-dog--if she sees me looking like my hypoglycemia is kicking in, she hurries to make sure I have something to eat and stays by my side, often clutching my arm. On days when I just can't get my mouth open to talk to the cashier or a clerk, she takes control and asks them for whatever we need. She takes care of me, and sometimes I swear she's physic. I hope I have the chance to be as good of a sister as she is to me. 

People have a hard time seeing around my somewhat brusque and sarcastic manner and assume that I don't have a great relationship with my sister. To the contrary, my sister is my best friend. If she left...I seriously don't know what I would do. What would you do if the person you can converse with only your eyebrows and fingers, who knows who it is that makes you giggle like an idiot, who has been there for you in thick and thin, suddenly disappeared from your life? I don't ever want to imagine that. 

Megan and I pretty much have our own private language. We share a YouTube account, so we watch all the same things, we used to share a Pinterest (until she finally got her own...), and we read the same books. Over and over and over. My parents swear they don't understand half of what we say these days--but we do. Every single word of it. And it's awesome. 

*A Simple Guide on How to Speak Sister-ese*

'ladies don't start fights...but they can finish them!'


'rave mode rave mode rave mode'


the amount of chicken/Onew jokes we make is rather sickening...



aaaaand we also make too many 'taemin-you're-adorbs-but-you-really-do-look-like-a-girl' jokes...

heh heh heh

pretty much anything from this makes its way into our conversation. Our parents think we're crazy. I hate to break it to them, but they're right. 

seriously guys. She asks me about once a day where my heart is. And I am obligated to reply with "In my big toe." 

we have a very dumb dog. His name is Bear. Apparently, if Bear were human, he'd sound a lot like this. 



I'm an INTJ. She's an ISFJ. Coincidence? I think not.

and lastly but not leastly (that's not even a word...) the video we've watched together the most. Of all time. 

sooooooo, in conclusion...

I love my sister a lot. I'm proud of the person who she's grown up to be, and I can't wait to see her become the woman that God has blueprinted in her from the start.  I hope we'll always stay this close, and I pray she never tires of hearing my lame jokes. 

Happy birthday, sis. You're the best.

Monday, December 9, 2013

...ah, tea, you complete me...

I am a firm believer in Chai tea. My world would not be complete without it. Especially right now, when my room feels like it's in the sub-Artic. Maybe I should investigate a career of being an Eskimo.

Well, my "break" (read here: laziness) from NaNo is over, and my nose is to the grindstone once more. It was nice to have a few days off,  but towards the end of the week, ideas kept flooding in, and my creative side threatened to quit if  I didn't start writing again.

Creativity is such a petulant beast...

On my last post, I said that a the great ones and the general themed Muzak Monday was in the works. This time, I did not forget that today was Monday, like I did last week. *awkward turtle face* Sorry 'bout that...

Now, as I've mentioned, I listen to a variety of music while writing. Depending on my mood, I listen to a combination of movie soundtracks, Christian rock, some pop, kpop, and the occasional rap song. This group of songs is not necessarily what I listen to while writing, but rather the music I think of when thinking about this novel. It's quite the eclectic mix.

counting stars // onerepublic

all the rowboats // regina spektor

machine // exo-k

guns for hands // twenty one pilots

i don't need a soul // relient k

too beautiful // he is we

standing still // u-kiss

silhouette // owl city

watching over me // thousand foot krutch

with love // christina grimmie

trap // henry

i love you // avril lavigne

well, that was fun. I hadn't sat down and weeded out my playlist for a long time--now I have that insatiable urge to write more...which is not a bad thing. 

there are probably tons more songs that I will discover along the way, but for now, these are what makes the great ones and the general real to me. 

Because without music, we writers would probably be in a sorry state. It doesn't even bear thinking about. 


Friday, December 6, 2013


i'm still alive but i'm barely breathing...


because a thing called geometry happened.

I really hate math, guys. Always have, always will. And I know I'm not alone in this (though it doesn't help having a math maniac for an older brother...) but some days I just want to throw the book across the room and be done already. 

*math books may be substituted with pandas if necessary*

just a few more months, and then you'll be graduated and you won't ever have to deal with math again... is what I keep telling myself. Unfortunately, it's one giant lie. Unless something miraculous happens and I CLEP out of math, I'm stuck with at least one more course in my college-life existence. And then you know what happened after that...real life. *shivers*

I just tried to combine shivers and shudders into one word. Shidders? Shuvers? Hmm. I'll have to think about that one.

As you might be able to see, I'm a bit tired. And crazy. And needing sleep. And I might've had one too many jelly beans... This is my first day this week where I didn't have a social obligation/dinner/work...the list goes on. I did get to go caroling for the first time in my life the other day, and that was quite fun, though I think I did more laughing than I did singing.

I finished reading Insurgent as well--FourTris is about to drive me up a wall. Yes, I understand that most everyone on the planet who has read these books lives and breathes for this ship, but I don't get it. In Divergent, it was okay, but in Insurgent...well, I don't like the "oh, we're together, but if you do this one more time, we're over" and then "oh, you're struggling emotionally and need someone to hold you oh look we're together again" sort of relationship. It makes me want to rip my hair out.

Please, if I ever write something like that, set me back on the right track. Thank you.

I also bought Portal 1&2 over Thanksgiving. And practiced drawing my anime-style eyes with Sharpies (which is, by the way, a brilliant idea when stuck in a small room for an hour. Let the headaches ensue.) And listened to music. A looooooooooooooot of music.

OK. I lurrrve this song. I've listened to Evanesance for a while now, but not really listened to them, if that makes any sense (they'd come on Pandora, but I wouldn't think "Oh, this is Evanesance, gotta sing along.) Her voice pretty amazing, and I find the video hilarious and thought provoking at the same time. Am I the only one who thinks that the dude drops her, he totally looks "Oh shoot. Shouldn't have done that." instead of freaking out like you would think he would? That part cracks me up every time.

I can't believe it's December already. In my head, it feels like it should be November or October still. Unfortunately, outside begs to differ. It's been about 20 degrees Fahreinheit consistently for the past two days. Brrrrr...

lemme explain what I go through on a daily basis, just to give some clarification about this.

Me: do you understand this now? Did I explain it well enough?
Megan: "I do believe you-you! I do believe you-you! I--"
Me: I'm leaving.

Me: *walking down the hallway* Megan, have you seen my shoes--
Megan: "Be-lieve! Be-lieve! Be-lieve!"
Me: That doesn't even have context!
Megan: Sorry sorry sorry sorry, neaga neaga neaga meonjo--
Me: *leaves yet again*

Sisters are great.

I may get to see this movie tomorrow--depending on if we end up getting our Christmas tree tomorrow or not. But either way, I'm rather excited. I'm not a giant fan of seeing animated movies in theatres...something about them tends to give me a headache, but I think this one might be worth it. We'll see.

I'm trying to create a playlist of songs that suit the great ones and the general, and am finding it to be a bit of a tough job. I love this book, but finding music that flows with's hard. Hopefully, I'll have enough songs squirreled away by Monday to give a playlist version of Musak Monday. 

What have y'all been up to lately?
Happy Friday! (YAY for weekends!)