Wednesday, December 07, 2005

pump up the volume

it's four in the morning, and i'm not tired.
i feel like i'm in that middle place, that nice and safe place, where nothing bad is happening. i am busy enough to not have time to reflect, but i have the feeling that what i would reflect on wouldn't be that bad. not at all. i tend to only write when i'm feeling down. i'm feeling up to flat to peaceful to ... i'm just steady. i'm just getting things done.

i shut the lid of my computer tonight at around 2. i never feel finished, but at a certain point i try to make a rational decision to get some sleep. but i wasn't tired. things are going well enough, i said to myself. i had spent the night boiling pot after pot of tea, sitting there at my kitchen table, formulating endless emails about the album artwork, the This and the That, the captions for the dozens of photos to the sheet music, proofing the lyrics, making plans with my family for christmas. the things that thread themselves together and never unravel and never end. Shit To Do.

i laugh at the idea of anybody thinking my life is all that interesting. i come back to boston from tour and spend time in my apartment, glued to my computer, making occasional trips to the store for nourishment. getting things done, like anybody else. we all know the pile. boring running around and feeding my mouth and resting my mortal coil on a space pillow.

but i didn't go straight to bed, as i thought i would. if you had asked me, my best guess would have been that i would floss, brush, wash my face and apply two kinds of moisturizer, and crawl into bed. i would read the next installment in the julie doucet comic book that lies there spread face-down next to my pillow, set my alarm, read for ten minutes, whack off and fall asleep like every other night.

instead, for reasons unkown, i took a walk down memory lane and treated myself to a movie in bed. movies in bed are great. laptops are awesome. this is rare, i don't usually allow myself to spend two hours that could be spent on sleep or making more beautiful album artwork on a movie. but i'm glad i watched this movie. i fucking missed this movie. i bought this movie on an impulse buy from about two weeks ago, because it came into my head, and it was cheap. then it arrived and it sat there on my stove for a while, knowing it wouldn't be watched.

pump up the volume. it was like the breakfast club for the nineties. i was liminal.i didn't belong anywhere, i was right on the threshold. not really belonging to the eightie sor the nineties. my older brother and sisters were in the car when we came back from the breakfast club when i was about 9. i remember i was still timgling from seeing judd nelson's fist raise into the air as the credits rolled and the sun went down on the triumph of the teenage spirit. i remember resolving to be a cool teenager. i was so jealous of my older siblings, they got to live this. they were IN high school, that mysitcal world of detentions and smoking corners and heavy bookbags.

but once pump up the volume came out, i barley related as if i was watching my own generation on that screen - which technically, i was. it was 1990, i was 14, and i felt like the entire world understood something i didn't, that everybody was in on the joke but me. however, i had my fantasy, and i held onto my fantasy when i saw movies like this. somehwere, i kept telling myself, somewhere THERE IS A PLACE where teenagers riot in high school parking lots because a pirate radio DJ plays sonic youth and leonard cohen and muses about existence. just like i'd believed at 9 that there was some mythical high school where five kids from different socio-economic backgrounds and cliques could show up for a saturday detention and smoke pot and forgive each other. i spent most of high school fantasising that college would finally prove to be the PLACE since high school was definitely Not the PLACE where these incredible things happened. lo and behold, i was totally fucking stunned when college turned out to feel exactly the same. i felt like i was in high school except everybody slept over. it's taken me years to sort through this shit, and i'm not even close. pump up the volume. i had almost forgotten how fucking great it was. it propelled my straight back to high school and all of a sudden, there i was, in the bathroom applying black eyeliner, calculating exactly which route to take to english so i would pass by andrew thompson's locker. feeling inherently fucking confused, with absolutely no way out. feeling like i understood everything totally clearly while simultaneously feeling i had no idea why things anything was happening.

i pressed pause half-way through the movie, in a daze, and went to the bathroom stuck in high school. i couldn't believe i had my own apartment. it was like i was on acid. i was just looking around going "how on earth did i get here?" i felt like i had to be up at 7:30 so i could eat cereal, put on tights and skirts and combat boots and walk to school in the freezing cold, smoking ginseng cigarettes on the way with my walkman blasting strangeways here we come on one side and meat is murder on the other and flipping the tape over and over and over again, morrissey's providing the soundtrack for a life that i could find tolerable when the music was loud enough and every step i took and every tree i saw and every passing suburban car was just a planted perfect prop while the credits rolled by. walking to school with the music blasting was always opening credits. i never did closing credits. not that i remember. in-between classes, headphones on, volume dial jammed, my fellow students were perfectly-cast extras walking through the hall for those establishing scenes where the director is trying to set a mood for a Cool High School movie. What happened? What happened to John Hughes? Do the kids of this generation, the ones who are 16, do they really, really see Mean Girls and relate? Do they leave the theater wanting to run home and throw all their sports pendants and strings of pearls and soccer trophies in the mircowave?

Happy Harry Hard-On is my new personal hero. I don't need reality. That's my new answer. So Be It. I bought my rebellion at the blockbuster mall just like everybody else but at least it makes my stomach stir. i cry at weddings.

i stand at the kitchen sink, filling a glass with water, and i look to my left and see a bottle of dish soap. i'm still can't shake it. i can't believe i OWN this bottle of dish soap. i can't believe it's MINE. i can barely turn around becaue i know what's in the rest of my apartment and i know i'll be completely overwhelmed. a COUCH? where did these things COME FROM? who the hell am i to OWN a couch and a bottle of dishsoap? i mean, i OWN it, i'm not just using it because it's there. I OWN it the way I own my clock and my towels and my books and my dictionary. it's mine forever. if the house caught fire and i fled in my boxers and t-shirt and stood out on the street, the sympathetic passers-by would shake their heads. I'm So Sorry, they would say. I Know What It Feels Like To Lose Everything. No, I would say, clutching my small bottle of fluorescent orange Dawn, I still have this. It's mine forever and nobody can take it away from me, ever.

high school is never over. it just morphs into something more subtle. i had an experience last week in new york which proves this. i've been a curious fan of bright eyes for about a year, ever since i discovered the fever and mirrors record. naturally, since conor oberst (the singer and basically the band itself) represents adolescent pain better than anyone in the universe, i developed a class A adolescent crush on him. i don't get these anymore. i miss them. i prefer sleeping alone nowadays. i barely think about love. i have plenty. i haven't had a boyfriend in so long i've forgotten what it's like. honestly. i have these vague memories of romancing and cuddling and planning and fucking and calling and the whole nine yards and it seems like a blurry fiction, something that i just wouldn't do nowadays, because....well, why would i? i'm happy. i'm rarely lonely. i have close friends and people i can talk to, i don't feel isolated. i certainly don't miss the heartbreak and the drama. but old conor pulled it out of me. he literally screams that you Must Develop a High School Crush on him. so i hauled my ass down to new york because i wanted to pass his locker. now, any girl (or boy, i suppose) knows that this locker-passing technique is ridiculous. if the person doesn't have any interest in you, they are not going to give a fuck if you walk by their locker five to six times a day for an entire school year. if anything, they'll be irritated. andrew thompson probably was. so, in Rock Land, when you're in a band that's Making It you can have your manager call their promoter or/and manager friends to get tickets and passes for shows. Sometimes they can, sometimes they can't. my manager is a Good Manager. he almost always can. so i emailed him and got a ticket and a pass for the bright eyes show in jersey city, and there i was all of a sudden, sitting in a seat in a theater with my coat on my lap and my journal in my hands. to my left was the cooler-hair guiter player from the yeah yeah yeahs, and to my right were conor oberts parents. now, i don't know what kind of cruel and surreal trick god was playing on me by doing this. i can only imagine. while talking to mr and mrs oberst i find of course that (could it be any other way?) they were the sweetest, kindest smiling rock parents you could imagine. so proud of their son, just beaming. conor was drinking coca-colas on the stage and giving a decent performance, but he seemed bored. maybe he's always like that.

my few words exchanged with him backstage before the show were trite and forgettable. he remembered me as the drunk girl who streaked onto his stage glastonbury and we joked. he was nice but not interested in talking to me. his tour manager was not so nice, however, and sort of gave me that full-body scan and sneer and told me that they'd had a great tour and that he didn't want me fucking up the show. what? i said. no, no, no. i am not a crazy person, please believe me. i thought that glastonbury was like las vegas...what happens at glastonbury stays in glastonbury....? apparently not. my one attempt at crazy rock star behavior had been met with steely witch-burning rancor. i looked the guy straight in the eye. please, sir, don't worry. i am not going to ruin your rock show. i am a sane person. i don't do crazy things. in fact, i am a grave disappointment to all the fans out there who want me to be a lunatic. i'm really not. he was half-satisfied, but that feeling shot through me again....what was it? what was it? oh, i remember. it was That High School feeling. i've been so surrounded by people who like me lately that i've forgotten how it feels to walk down a hall of people who all stare at you as if you're a freak and a loser. which is exactly how i felt after the show, surrounded by pretty girls with quilted dresses, stylish shoes with the weird heels in the middle of the foot (i don't GET those at ALL) long hair and bangs. i bet i would like every one of these people, i said to myself, if i could be alone in a room with them, they play music, we have a lot of things in common SMACK why do you feel so out of place? are these people really looking at you so strangely? or are you just telescoping yourself back into tenth grade? i'm inclined to think that after the conor-rejection and the you-dirty-whore treatment from the tour manager that it was the latter. i had a nice talk with mr yeah yeah yeah and i had a nice talk with ms feist, the opener. it struck me that i had invited myself into somebody else's party and why on earth should i expect them to be kind to me? would i be kind to them if they showed up in my backstage after a dresden dolls show? of course. but were they being unkind? what was i expecting, the PLACE? the magical PLACE where bottles are clinking and everyone is everyone's friend in Rock Love and our cups runneth over and music and love bring us all together and it's All Good? this doesn't exist either. i learned this lesson over the summer at the rock fesitvals, where the magazines were pumping the public with stories of the Rock and Roll Life while backstage was usually a bunch of cold and tired musicians standing in line for catering, trying not to offend one another. maybe i just wasn't invited to the right trailers. maybe i don't really want to go anyway. maybe i think too much and they can smell it on me.

pump up the volume made me want to blog. it's the practical equivalent of having a pirate radio station, but quieter. but that's all i'm doing, vomiting out my head periodically like this.

people leave comments. these posts are re-sent over to our myspace page, where people leave comments. i read them all, in case you guys have been wondering. it's the most satisfying thing in the world to hold a one-sided conversation with an imaginary audience and then hear the reverberations, the echo delay on a random thought. it makes me feel less alone. in fact, i blame you, Yes You, for the fact that i don't want to go boyfriend-hunting (in case you're wondering how the conor story ended, we said goodnight and i left the show but i ran into him at a bar the night after. he saw the error of his ways and asked me back to his apartment, where we stayed up all night, drinking red wine and reading passages form oscar wilde fairy-tales aloud to each other while crying and holding onto each other for dear life and kissing for hours without ever taking our clothes off. just kidding. we said goodnight and i left the show but ran into him at a bar the next night where i decided that tenth grade was over and i didn't say hello, which probably relieved him). i blame you because i think this may be enough for me at the moment, to scream/sing at a crowd, to cry on a stage, to send my blather into the internet and hear the echo. i think it's all i need right now. i think it is. this does not mean that if Christian Slater at age 23 waltzed into my kitchen i would not try to Trap Him and Cage Him and keep him forever. i would set up a little pirate radio station in my bedroom that would broadcast into the kitchen and the bathroom only. every night at 10:00 pm sharp he would dj and rant and play the pixies and bad brains and i would dance wildy, naked, flailing and out of control in the next room, with an umbrella in one hand and a bottle of salad dressing in the other, stuffing string after string of pearl necklaces and sports pedants (which i would procure daily at ever-more-distant salvation army stores) into a mircowave i would purchase at best buy for that purpose. then we would fall into bed, exhausted, complaining about how difficult it is to be in high school and how nobody understands us and how we can't wait to grow up and get the fuck out of this town.

it's 5:30. i could've watched a whole nother movie.


Sparrowjump said...

Ahh, Christian Slater. I had the same kind of flash back when I watched Heathers for the first time in 5 years. There's something about him, he's manic and has the cool eyebrows but isn't quite as creepy as Jack Nicolson...

Kilowog1 said...

High school crush... now you know how you make everyone else feel. Listening to your music is like having a 5 hour intense conversation with the most interesting and beautiful girl in school.

rudelad737 said...

“Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of Heaven; and He overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground. So it goes. Those were vile people in both those cities, as is well known. The world was better off without them. And Lot's wife, of course, was told not to look back. But she did look back, and I love her for that, because it was so human. So she was turned to a pillar of salt. So it goes.”

-Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five

Tony said...

I will TOTALLY miquote this, but "I like the idea that a thought can sneak into someone's head." That's kinda how your posts make me feel. There's this sometimes distrubing, sometimes elating feeling (and usually I know within the first couple of seconds of the post which kind this is going to be) that is crouched beneath the post, waiting to jump out at me, and it kinda gets itself lodged in there.

By the way, don't forget Samantha Mathis. Toplesss. I endured Broken Arrow just to see her again. And, God help me, I'd do it again. Bless all the "unusual girls that make me feel...unusual."

Jos 'Hyakugei' Yule said...

I just wanted to add to the ripple effect. Feel those reverberations...

Komaja said...

Everytime I read posts of yours, I'm transported into the Land Where the Things in My Head Find the Best Articulation Ever.

Which is frustrating as I aspire to be a sing-songwriter and a plain-old-writer. Well, I am those things. I just aspire to get paid to be them someday.

It's comforting to read that someone as awesome and yes *gasp* interesting as you feels these high school things.

My mother always told me that the people that taunted me were, in many cases, in worse pain than I, and the people I admired from a far were people just like me with fears and crazy dreams and longing and not-the-slick-kind-of-happy underneath that smooth veneer polished COOL.

It's absolutely mind-boggling and wonderful to get even the barest glimpse into what I consider "one of the COOL kids'" heads because it simulatneously inspires me to write better, sing better and just be more creative so I can even consider myself worthy to make these posts and also reminds me that I'm enough right now. I may not be (nor ever be) as famous as you. But I read your blog and I feel as if I have this backstage pass and that I'm so very special to get this extra-special glimps into your mind. To know that you, someone whom, I'm semi-abashed to admit, I've put on a mental pedestal that can prolly be easily described as a "high school crush" has the same things.

That you could ever feel out of place -anywhere- immediately confuses me, but then I hear my mother saying "what? You expected different? The woman's human. Just imagine someday when you're famous and gorgeous like she is and how you can't possibly feel that way all the time; no one does; it'd be crazy to. In fact, you'd prolly have a hard time feeling famous and gorgeous no matter how many people write back pledging their undying love or first-born."

It's very humbling when your heroes turn into humans in your head. Some people run in terror and immediately go searching for bigger, better heroes, missing the point completely. Because I don't think they run when faced with the fucked-up, insecure, flawed, bad feelings and things...simply not able to deal with the flawed nature of humanity and trying to escape it. I think they run because suddenly, for the briefest moment, they see and feel those flaws, but also realize that these are great people anyway. That the Hero or Heroine they Looked Up To has made it to a place where there're people worshipping them, having high school crushes about them, buying their records/movies/books as pious and devout as any churchgoer I know. And these Heroes and Heroines did so, not in spite of being flawed, but because they are flawed. They can make such beautiful, poignant, touching art because they are flawed.

And if that's true, that makes that status so much more accessible to Joe-Schmo who's been watching from the sidelines. But then we find out that even being in that status isn't some magical PLACE where everything is wine and roses and kissing for hours without ever taking you clothes off. So they run. To find heroes and heroines who have a more perfect image that they can worship instead of simply admire and aspire to be.

At least that's what happened in my crazy head while reading your post.

That and I was kiddy like a schoolgirl when I saw you use the word "liminal". Cause that's such an awesome word.

Komaja said...
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Komaja said...
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Komaja said...
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brittany said...

Why does it have to be that way? I'm 16 now and I couldn't describe my highschool experience any better.
Oddly enough, I don't think of all of the "cool kids" as an inspiration to my music. For me music just kind of happens. It just comes out. I completely relate to the whole music-playing-credits-rolling thing. I think there's just something about ending credits, nobody ever has them. You can always start something but you can't just end it. There's always more to the story, unfortunately. It's kind of funny because usually in the moring when I'm on the way to the bus stop or on the bus Bank of Boston Beauty plays somewhere along the way. I don't know, perhaps it's just the music that seems so perfect for starting credits.
You're lucky you can happy alone. All of us dependent people seem to be having a bit of an undertaking with the whole situation. How do you manage to be such an optimist about it? Maybe I'm just not because I'm still in high school. Damn. I still have a while to go. This sucks.

brittany said...

Why does it have to be that way? I'm 16 now and I couldn't describe my highschool experience any better.
Oddly enough, I don't think of all of the "cool kids" as an inspiration to my music. For me music just kind of happens. It just comes out. I completely relate to the whole music-playing-credits-rolling thing. I think there's just something about ending credits, nobody ever has them. You can always start something but you can't just end it. There's always more to the story, unfortunately. It's kind of funny because usually in the moring when I'm on the way to the bus stop or on the bus Bank of Boston Beauty plays somewhere along the way. I don't know, perhaps it's just the music that seems so perfect for starting credits.
You're lucky you can happy alone. All of us dependent people seem to be having a bit of an battle with the whole situation. How do you manage to be such an optimist about it? Maybe I'm just not because I'm still in high school. Damn. I still have a while to go. This sucks.

coisa said...

when i have that feeling 'this is all i need' e scream, sing and draw even lauder and believe that’s really what i need… it's christmas nostalgia now and i still feeling the same. nostalgy is so good it makes me feel madly happy when i realize what i have, indeed.
kinda this: WWWOUUUUUUUU!! While i feel like being nice all the time. Crazily rocks.

Categorically NOT Louise Brooks said...

I was talking to my friend in New York this past summer about something of a similar subject and he said to me "where ever you go, there you are," and I tried not to cry. It was hot in the subway and I knew that I looked awful. I'd just gotten over a cold and the skin on my nose was still peeling from having it blown against tissue so many times in so many days.

I got close to this subject with another friend, who is life-hardened, and although he enjoys escapism, he enjoys taunting me more. I'm on a Rocky Horror cast here in Chicago, and I hate the shows, because they're never THAT PLACE as you put it. I said to my friend, "I'm always disappointed. I keep expecting someone to show up, who doesn't, and then I go home, and sit down, and that's that". He rolled his eyes and said "yes, and then the man you're in love with will jump out from the curtains and Neil Gaiman and Terry Gilliam will show up at the same time and they'll duel for your affection while reciting Yeats poetry and they'll all be burned horribly in the face and transmorgify together into some kind of Victorian poet Phantom of the Opera beast and they'll take you away"; it's rather pathetic.

I'm glad you make these posts, and I'm glad you like the echo idea. I hope I'm in your position one day, soon enough. I could also be content with such an echo, I think. Your mind is beautiful and goes to similar places as mine, and that makes me happy. Oh; my friend, the one who taunts me, is a tall black fellow who dresses rather hip-hoppishly. He loves the Dresden Dolls. He was on the train and two girls were giggling over something. In a fit of whimsy they randomy asked him "what's your favorite Dresden Dolls song?". He quickly responded "Girl Anachronism". They had to do a double-take; they simply couldn't believe he was familiar with your work. I thought it was funny. I hope you do too.

frankycastle said...

I am a college student who has also come recently come the relization that high shcool never ends, it just morphs into some other more hidden revolting blob. Plus you get to hear your roommate bang his girlfriend! Awsome.

andrea said...

I remember being about the age of 9-12 or so...wanting to be a teenager, a real teenager. A real teenager for me was 16. And I just knew that when I turned 16 everything would be perfect. I'd have the hair, the look, the rebelious yet everything works out right highschool experiences, best friends to share all my deepest secrets, and last but not least the guy, and we'd go on the perfect date, and I would be so grown up...I would be everything I saw depicted in teen movies, magazines, tv, whatever teens were supposed to aspire to be at that time. You see boys you like and know that they are older than you, they're a real teen, and you can't wait til you are too so you can have them.

And then you get to that age and think, well, 17 will be the age when all that happens...everything will be perfect then. I have one year to fix my flaws and be that perfect teen. And somehow over the course of that year you completely forget all those aspirations and get caught up in the reality of your life...and few more years go by.

Now it's the present and I look back and giggle. I'm in college now and while highschool was, at times for short but never permanent bursts, my epitome of perfect, it never really actually was. And short consists of maybe a few days to a few hours, not even enough time to be recorded as an event in my life. And now sometimes I sit in my room and look around at all MY things and think, wow, I'm still so young and all things that are MINE now won't even compare to the things that could be MINE in a few years. And I have responsibilities. WTF?! No one cares if I make it through college, it's my thing. MY thing. It's like a part of my life that none of my family or friends outside of school know about what goes on...and I could quit and no one would ever really notice unless I told them. It's completely ME, MINE. And with that and work I'm supposed to make time for men? Ha, please, tell me where they are and why I really don't feel lost without them.

I suppose I wrote all of that because I really related to this post. Memories flooded in and I had to relieve them from my head. I guess, and I assumed you feel this way too, that I realized that I don't want or need those things in my life. A man is nice but I'm not going to go out of my way to get one, unless yes I meet someone who takes me back to those horrible crushes and I suddenly find myself thinking exactly the opposite, oh what chemicals in the body can do.

And five years from now I'll probably look back at this and giggle...

BZZZT said...

Yeah that sounds like High School. It follows you through college and career and social gatherings. It's because ultimately we live alone in our heads. We think the laughter when we leave the room is directed towards us. Sometimes it might be,but most of the time it's not. To much thinking?

e_f said...

I am in college and about to graduate in a semester, and I am not all together sure that anyone ever feels like they actually fit in anywhere. Doesn't matter how famous you get, or how much you love your job... the only place people ever really fit is in their heads. That is why the internet is so interesting to me. I think that this is a massive head-space collectively shared by everyone. I find the journals of my friends and of the people I admire to be of great comfort. My generation (and I am 22) doesn't really have a GREAT TEEN MOVIE to rely on... you are right. We have time capsules and magazines, and the internet. I wouldn't be too surprised if many a teen lady looked up to you in much the same way I looked up to Spacegirl ( The thing is, I think a lot of us are glad that you are so honest about the things in your head. It takes some of the mystery out of the Rock Star thing. Don't worry, we all think that you are cool, and most of us would walk past your locker a few times a day.

dissonanceink said...

I'm so with you on this. When I was married, I used to walk into the house and think, "Who's that guy on my couch?" Forget being married and having a couch and house at 19, but the unreality of it all...

Actors always say they like pretending to be someone else for a day. I say, Isn't that every day?

spi said...

HS was much the same for me. Had the obligatory crush or two. Lived on the outside, never was that popular though I found others more or less in the same situation so it worked out.

Real life and being able to own stuff does make a difference though not quite as much as one would hope. It works out.

gargirl-K said...

It's been almost 20 years since high school and you couldn't pay me a million to go back :) However, I still enjoy "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" which was amazingly accurate.

But, the movie that really touches me, the one I watch when I'm down will always be a little Australian movie called "Flirting." I fell in love with the lead character, Danny Embling, the first time I watched it at the local renovated theatre.

madreindeer said...

How funny it is to read a blog like this. Because on one hand, I completely agree. Artists -- be they musicians, actors, whoever -- are regular people who are lucky enough to have pretty cool jobs. They're still human just like the rest of us. I know this, I know this ...

And yet I have to make a confession. Because it's only been three hours since I came back from the post office, having sent off my eBay payment for the demolished remains of a guitar played onstage by Trent Reznor.

Oops. How can I read your blog, and nod my head in agreement, and reconcile that with the fact that I've just purchased a broken, shattered instrument (and I'm not wealthy, so I'll be working souble shifts and eating Ramen noodles for the next two years to make up for what I just shelled out) for no other reason than to say, "Yes, this was played by Trent"?

Simple -- I just argue that the money goes toward Hurricane Katrina relief. Whew! Safe.

No I'm not. Damn it. Now I'm going to be up all night doing some soul-searching. And eating Ramen noodles. Why is it that things make perfect sense in your head, but the teenager inside still seems to exert control?

lindsey said...

i have been privately addicted to your posts for several months now.. it didn't occur to me to post comments.. i suppose i assumed you would never read them - that no one would ever read them.. i dont even think that i would read them.. but now i find myself registering as a blogger.. what a hideous word for such a peculiar pastime...

your rants are comforting - my thoughts are similarly scattered and nonsensical.. but you articulate yours much more eloquently than i do.. this 'comment' is a half-assed attempt at reciprocity.. do let me know if you find it effective..

its such a strange and awkward thing to respond to a post like this.. i read several other people's to see what the 'norm' is.. there doesn't seem to be one.. there is a certain level of presumption that i likely lack.. these posts are like conversations between old friends.. and i can't pretend to know anyone who might read this.. it's kind of hard to get past that..

how can one be so casual with strangers this way - am i less vulnerable if only a computer is staring at me, as opposed to the woman ringing up my shampoo at target?? why do people bother to ask how you are, if you both know that anything more than a one word answer is an over-share?
did this just turn into a sex and the city episode? can i be carrie.. just for a little while so i can start smoking again?

it seems like it's safe to ramble here, in this capacity - i think we all mean to.. but face-to-face, it's still unacceptable or at least unwelcome..

so, thanks for sharing your thoughts.. i do so enjoy them..

m santos said...

i'm in my last year of high school and will graduate pretty soon. you just pretty much summed up everything. you'd think the differences in our age would make our expiriences different, but really, the need to feel cool and recognized is still evident.

i see those girls on the train home from school who will surely grow up and go to hip shows and wear the trendiest clothes and i just wonder if i'll feel as awkward around their type when I get older.

i know the shoes you're talking about. i think their heels look like nipples.

disintegrating_wishes said...

aww!! i wanted to go to the bright eyes show in philly but i had the school play so i couldnt. i hope you enjoyed it!

i would also like to add that you better be in philly during your next tour so i can dress up like a mime and scream/sing your songs along with you!! or i will be heavily disapointed...!

best of luck on the up comming album!

disintegrating_wishes said...

aww!! i wanted to go to the bright eyes show in philly but i had the school play so i couldnt. i hope you enjoyed it!

i would also like to add that you better be in philly during your next tour so i can dress up like a mime and scream/sing your songs along with you!! or i will be heavily disapointed...!

best of luck on the up comming album!

... said...

"i laugh at the idea of anybody thinking my life is all that interesting"

...but it makes you real and a big reason why you are so loveable. And that means so much. Thanks for being out there.


md said...

grandiddly awesome blog.

The whole realizaaaation experience in general i can relate to. that out-of-body: woooah. one of my first one- after watching some seventh heaven (yeah...) episode when i was 12 I remember looking at my mom and being like, "wow, thats my mom. shes my 'mom' like, 'mother,' mutti,' your maker, healer, that gal... i was in mother shock for maybe ten minutes... until my dad walked in the room. then i just fainted.

April said...

I love your writing. Everytime I read one of your blogs I am impressed. You write wonderful creative non-fiction pieces. Anyways, enough about my admiration, high school never ends and probably will continue to exist in some form throughout eternity. High school is just an awkward place to be.

turtle said...

well fuck u amanda. u spoiled little bitch. ur fucking over sensitized to this "everyone loves me" crap.
but truely everyone does love u.
and thats part of the sacrifice when exposing urself as an artist. not as obvious as the stereotype. we love u
first off because of ur music. then lyrics of the music become another hook. and godamit, all these people relate to ur godamn life. therefore ur life is not extra ordinary, ur just like everyone one of ur fans, but u have the balls and talent(to juggle those balls)to express them.
so fuck u. fuck u for it not being ur fault. fuck u for expresssing urself. fuck u for going on a tangent. fuck u for being possesive of ur fucking dish soap. fuck u for being u. but in contrary to what i just said, i do respect u as spirtually struggling human as we all are. but u dont want what u can get. u want things to run away and be frightened of u. to flee at the very look of u. if u get that true love, where is the drama? u love the drama, its in you. i love the drama, we all do and it shows. so in that case. fuck u. sell out. i hope all goes wrong. i hope nothing but sadness and drama for u, because i love ur last album. "she seems lonely, so her music is good." ur damn right addicted to this drama. cause it make u feel alive, u feel this, its real, it hurts. and hurting is never hidden. shit. u don't neeed this, u already know this. fuck u. bitch.

turtle said...

god i hate u.

turtle said...

Bjork's my new hero, and i'm never posting here again. this is stupid.

Karl said...

So I'm happy/sorry that you're so happy/unhappy lately.

Hey, since you actually read these, I have something interesting to share.

The word "sabotage" comes from 19th century Europe. People called Luddites were upset by the Industrial Revolution and how their skills were no longer needed amidst machines. In fits of rage, they attacked the machines by throwing wooden clog shoes ("sabots") into the machines to jam them up.

No joke.

crazyjaneski said...

SUCH a good post.

I can't claim to have any comprehension of how Connor Oberst couls possibly stir one up, but so many people have told me about his powers that I think they truly must exist, and am immune to them, but I have the worst schoolgirl crushes ever, and I can't really imagine wanting a boyfriend either.

Not sure what what has to do with anything, but... yeah.

Misanthropic Altruist said...

Boys have cooties anyway, Amanda. ;*)

I think I can speak for many when I say we've become accustomed to your style and sound. Your vibe when you write blog entries.The way you write, sing, play... it all gives me hope. Makes sitting in an unbearable crowd/room a bit more tolerable, when having your songs playing in my ears. Stay with us a bit longer, will you?

Misanthropic Altruist said...

And might I add:

I myself am a bit of a "loner." I'm leery of romantic relationships and I have royally screwed myself over a few times before by pushing good guys away. My mother once told me that the only reason why I am so able to push love away is because I have so many people who love me. If I had no love "forced upon me," I would be very needy of even the slightest bit. It makes sense. Perhaps she's right: excess love causes mild to extreme disassociation. And vise versa.

denean said...

your nightly ritual mirrors my own almost exactly. only i use one moisturizer with an eye cream.

artist said...

Yes, I do remember those combat boots, I was there, lingering not as long as I should have on the smokers corner. Yes, Pump of the Volume, HUGE,
"Talk Hard."

Olivia said...

Amanda, I love you.

Now that I've poured it on a little thick, I'm going to drown it-

I've only seen parts of that movie, however, I've felt the urge to see the whole thing for quite some time now, especially at my Mom's insistance. (The movie came out when I was 2. My mom had me young, at the age of 23. She was still not entirely grown up,in my opinion, and all my life it's been like growing up with a sister instead of a mom, both of us fighting with my Dad over petty things...anyway- ) I shall have to go out and rent it soon. I love Christian Slater. Ever seen Heathers? Why am I strangely attracted to that creepy dark side?

High School. High School as of now makes me have panic attacks and want to lock myself in my room and never come out. I'm in love with my best friend and can't tell him, so I stay at home and write a ton of poetry about him, then, when we hang out, he reads those same poems that are about him, that practically SCREAM his name, and he doesn't say a word about it. But I think he knows. I wonder if he feels the same and just doesn't want to confront those feelings right now. Honestly, if he did, I can't say anything would happen. We dated once about 3 years ago and things went sour when I did.

All in all, High School is just a boiling pot of failure soup, where you try to add in a few things that taste good just so you can choke it down, but you can't stop complaining at the awful taste. Fortunetly, I also have Mr. Zoloft to help make things taste better, even though he himself is a little bitter if I down swallow him down quick enough.

You mentioned how you vomit your brain in your blog, or something to that fact. That really connected with me, because I wrote a poem a month or so back for my poetry class that had the line, "all I can do is vomit pretty words laced with lies/lies I can hide behind/and you may never know/Maybe I already do." I feel like I have a connection with you because of that one line, and I know you're probably going to read this long-ass entry and think something like how I'm just a crazed 17 year old fan, but, I don't think you will. But I have my doubts, because I know what it's like to be hated and have people think you're a freak. Why is it that all the good ones are tormented by the idiots? Maybe they're not idiots. Maybe they just don't understand people like us.

Also, while reading the part where you talked about meeting Mr. Bright Eyes at the bar, and you spoke of an inncident that never happened, then spoke the truth; well, that really reminded me of a book I read recently. If you get the chance (I know you're really busy, so no big deal if you don't) maybe you should check it out. It's called, "You Don't Know Me," and it's by David Klass. I absolutely love that book. I really connected with it. And by the looks of these entries, maybe you will, too.

...I thought the streak at Glastonbury was awesome. Me and one of my close friends gave you a million points for that one and you became even more of one of our personal heros.

You rock, Amanda. I hope you don't think I'm insane for writing all this, but the truth is, you inspire me so much. Plus, I'm sick, I stayed home from school today, and I'm staying home tomorrow (even if there isn't a snow day) because I feel so crappy. But you always help me feel better. You make me feel like there's at least someone else in the world who I can relate to, and that feels so wonderful.

Oh, and if you're in the mood for something hilarious, go to and check out Evil Josh and Billy. I think you may enjoy that. ^__^


June Miller said...

Really, Amanda?

Is that the appeal of Mr. Oberst? The fact that he's like the brooding boy in high school that girls would often turn to eachother and whisper 'Oh my god, he's sooooooo hot!'?

For the life of me, I cannot understand why so many people are attracted to him. Four out of the five girls who I've gained an interest in have pretty much fallen head-over-heels in love with this fellow. HE HAS THE TEETH OF A 10 YEAR OLD CORPSE! I DON'T GET IT. Then again, these girls kind of are the girls in high school who dream their lives would work out in a "Pretty In Pink" sort of fashion, I guess. Whatever. I'll always be Duckie (Duckette?).

Although, I was more of a "Ferris Bueller" kind of gal, myself.

the bitter mediocre artist said...

sometimes i like to think that my life is a movie and i'm the star. the reluctant hero. haha haha anway, i hated highschool. well, the last two years at least. forced socialization if you ask me. i'm 20 now and go to a jc. i hope to transfer to UC Santa Cruz in the fall.i know in my heart that college will be different from high school and waaay better. in college, there are no more groups and cliques. people are less judgemental and you aren't forced to have friends and socialize during break and lunch. i like college because you can be on your own with being socially punished for it.
in other news, if i do go to UC Santa Cruz(hopefully). i'll be moving out of my parents house and living in the dorms. it would be a nice chnage to be away from my overprotective parents, living the independent and self-reliant life. this thought kind of makes me feel like an immigrant to a new country or an organ transplant.
haha back to you amanda. i thought the part where you cherish the orange dawn as you watch your apartment go up in flames is pretty funny. i can really relate to what you go through...kinda. well, i can relate to your songs and stuff. i still love you even if you don't shave your legs or armpits haha. i'm going to see you in SF on the 30th this month! i can't wait!. i will totally paint my face and close down the gift shop or souvenier shop of dresden doll crap...what ever you call it! i was wondering if you could play some songs for me during the show? i love boston, have to drive, and delilah. please play those! my name is glenn. i hope you'd give me a hug and an autograph after the show. ah i gotta go back to japanese hw. take care and uh may good fortune lay eggs in your heart.

Kate said...

40 comments? I guess that would make me 41! wow. that is well over any amount I could even imagine getting on one of my blog entries. It's interesting that you don't have a significant other, for a while there I was under the impression that you were with that guy in your band, Brian...I guess I was mistaken, eh? Something my step dad told me before he passed, was to

"be in love with love, and you will always be content."...

Anyway, I dig the rockn' tunes. Don't let the weight of the world hammer down and engulf you.

Wulfenjarl said...

My Powerbook and I salute you!

I think we (your commenters, not me and my laptop) like reading you because you echo what we feel and do not say, or cannot articulate.

(Isn't it interesting - and a little telling - how the not-quite-bright insist on misspelling words to be "cool". u know what i mean. I think they call it "edgy" in Los Angeles.)

Anyhow, thanks for writing. (I'm too tired to be clever.)

tuaregblue said...

"high school is never over. it just morphs into something more subtle."

Amen sister. If there is anything I can be sure of, at the ancient age of 36, it's the above statement.

cryptickim said...

you know. in a way i guess we all feel alone and slightly paranoid about who we are and that our past is actually our present. i guess we never grow out of who we were so we always feel that people will always see us the same way. like when your walking along and you do think people are calling you a freak and a loser.. sometimes the most obscure things... in your case a video.. can just bring all the memories back and we realise our past links evrything we do together. we never truely escape our identity however hard we may try. we may wish we had those wonderfull days of high school were the cool kids were fabulously glamorous and everythig works out great in the end. but in the end.. high school isnt all fantastical like that.. and we leave feeling somewhat dissapointed with the outcome of it and head on off into our existance of teenager pretending to be adult. maybe ive mis interpreted your entire entry. but if i havent. i just think you should know that as unlikely as it seems i can relate to what youve written. maybe im not expressing myself clearly. but your entry really touched me.

Lux said...

This year I suffered a massively overwhelming crush on Trent Reznor. It ended this summer when I saw NIN in Glasgow. I suppose it was very good while it lasted, but was so draining as it took over my thoughts for weeks.

On the plus side, I discovered the Dresden Dolls via the crush and now follow this diary - it's superb. I like the way your mind works.

The best school-film I've seen in ages was a Swedish film called Onsdkan (Evil). School drama at it's sinister best.

kateherself said...

When I saw "Pump up the Volume" the first time, I went home and painted "talk hard" on my leather jacket.

Rachel said...

this has nothing to do with your blog, but i love the dvd and learned all the songs on it in addition to writing some of my own with my boyfriend after watching it drunk. im so excited for new years san francisco...if i was so inspired over the dvd, i cant even imagine what the dresden dolls live and in person will be like...

also, total agreement on the "college is Not the PLACE" statement...i live in san jose and it is comical how badly most california college students want to continue living high school, only with organized cliques (fraternaties and sororaties), more alcohol, and more matching school sweaters. san francisco is the one of the only escapes here...

muruch said...

Ouch. Connor Oberst sounds like a whiny little bitch. Though I realize you can't control who you crush on, it's a shame that your infatuation allows a peon that resides far below your place in the universe (and music) to treat you so disrespectfully.

turtle said...

...and so now i post again in remorse to Amanda Palmer. Her hairy legs and pungent hairy armpits, in which i somehow connect to equal rights, are to concentric to the way i think. Amanda u seem like a bitch, that has had her ass kissed to much. walk away. i think now would be a good time to go to a foriegn country and do nothing but stare at the floor, eat, at clear the mind, think of nothing. suffer because there is no reason to suffer; the human condition. nakedless wanker wanking. so i apologize for the last few comments but i believe u need people to leave u, fans to turn thier backs...for them to love someone u love (like that teenage girl, grungy looking... i forget the name.)so u can look up to her and wonder what attention like that could only be like. nothing beats the imagination. closing ur eyes while wanking is better than porn. is the sheep better shaved or not? who knows, but only the loyal imagination. so do what u have to do, gather that drama which fuels the anguish and anger which only makes sense in parallel to reality and humor. wank, eat, sleep, repeat. ah, but don't forget bowl movements, the ugly things in life we assholes tend to point out. point ur finger which tends to only point back at u. we love u, and fuck if u can't handle that. whats it gunna take to make u miserable again in order for u to feel ok about how u can express urself. this is absurdity, but i truely understand. the consequences are atrocious, but there must be action. gittyup.

Stephenc33 said...

You have an interesting vocabulary.

Skye said...

you published this the day before my 16th birthday (dec 8) and it was just mind blowing to read. people have been trying to tell me what being 16 is supposed to be like and i just have no clue!

i love love love that there are freaky connections in the universe that lets my favorite music type lady write just what i need to hear <3.

Matthew said...

High school... is that what it's like when I leave? Fascinating. Plugging to all my intellectual friends? What? One? Yeah, great.

PHiL DeViLL said...

What's worse than being able to look around your apartment and see everything as YOURS, is what it's like in my situation. 20 years old, still at home, and now myspace has come around and I see these people I knew as children. They're off at college, living on their own, and I have my dead end job and my partially touring band. I'd love to impress them, to catch their attention sometime, "Look how popular I am!!! I'm a success too, just in a different way." They wouldn't see my little punk band with small sold out shows in these big cities as a success. Maybe if I was playing arenas and I was on MTV I would feel equally successful as their college life must feel. It must be the same situation for you. You are in The Dresden Dolls, a huge success, but you know that you aren't at Green Day's current popularity, and most people don't know of any music if it isn't on the cover of every mainstream magazine. You run into old friends and they have stories of becoming doctors and lawyers, and even though thousands of people are paying to see you in every town, you still feel a little ashamed to let them know what you have been up to since high school because you're pretty sure they've never heard of your "little band". They might just see you as some bar-room weekend gig musician. That's what will knock your ego down the most when you just start to feel that you've taken a good route in life.

Daftie said...

You're right. College is highschool all over again. I thought people would at least treat each other with dignity and respect. But I was wrong about that too. You're blessed to have the talent you have, and the life you live...many people would like to have a not-so-ordinary life.

(This is probably inappropriate to ask on your blog, but when New Orleans is back to [almost] normal, would you think of coming around? We'd love to have you.)

Dave said...

thank you Amanda. This is a lovely entry. Your writing always inspires me to work to improve my own, be it in blogs or songs or whatever else.

And now I want to go buy Pump Up the Volume, damnit. It's been too long.

wyked witch of oz said...

"feeling screwed up at a screwed up time in a screwed up place does not necessarily make you screwed up"

its kinda funny how time passes so quickly as you get older eh?

as a kid (or teen/early 20s) confusion, desperation for more independence brings on depression, identity crisis
and confusion , accept me, or i'll shock the hell out of you , either way you'll know im here, i exist

- every person seems to handle these times just a bit differently - all the same its not ez ,
the youth of this world gets manipulated by the horror show out there on the planet ....and they dont even know, that they dont even know .

but you take the punches and do stupid stuff and you go on anyway .

then one day you wake up and your thirty , and for some fucked up reason you go through the same stuff all over again
only now you know your not immortal any longer , your looking backwards instead of forwards, at the choices you made ...the clowns in the closet bite and some times that really sucks .

but you live w/it cuz what else can ya do right ?

you and brian are such a great pair , and your music is incredible .
you guys bring pple (of many ages) together , and we enjoy your shows in our own ways on many levels .

i guess what im saying is , dont freak out too much about how you got where your at - just be glad yer here cuz you have brought a lot of FUN into pples lives for however long you plan on doing what you do least you contribute something to this fucked up world that isnt hurtful and harmful to everyone.
its important to know that , if you may have forgotten

bout how so many pple suck and all, i dont think it changes when you become a "rockstar" or "artist" or whatever it is you become - pple are still pple , some are not sensitive to anything around them except their own presence (heh) maybe thats just their own way of assuring their own egos , maybe they only feel safe among their own kind - either way, theres no reason to waste your time w/the ones that dont make you feel good about yourself , you prolly spent enuff of your younger years doing just that - so dont waste time on these pple , find the good ones told there are a few out there ;)

meanwhile know theres a bunch out here on the wires who are happy to share the same planet,
thoughts and ideas with you , and enjoy your talent while you enjoy .....well, whatever it is we offer to you .

im very sure there are many pple right out your front door who also feel the same .

oh , and 'reality' whatever that means is and will be in the TV/video games/psp's/cell phones and all those devices which one day will cause our heads to explode, its just the world we live in i guess , i love a good movie or cd myself , but i'll always hate those stupid cells ;)

take care amanda ,

wyked witch of oz

Jean-Balthazar said...

Know what ? Reveling that you actually do read all the comments to your diary entries may not help reducing their amount and kick you out of this kind of virtual reality… I’ll create a different blogger ID and send you tons of hate mails, so you will be disgusted, you will quit and your will return doing real things in the real life ! So finally you may love me for my hate mails… weird. ;o)

A different point of view could suggest : if you feel currently satisfied with this situation, what’s so wrong about it ? Your “no touring / no shows” days may be ordinarily boring / lonely / empty / unproductive / comfortable, but they also may be a necessary compensation for those other days of 200% activity. As long as you don’t turn into a complete antisocial web-addict, I would tend to see this as a natural, and even sound, reaction to your rock-star life. Yes, I know, you said your life wouldn’t be so specially more interesting than anybody else’s, but if we would compare, I’m sure it would comfort you ! :o) “Transactional analysis” calls “stroke” the emotional impact you get when you interact with other people. Everybody is supposed to have its own “stroke comfort level” : if you get less, you feel depressed ; If you get more, you might need some rest. You might belong to the second category today. Getting loads of love and affection from your friends and fans may explain that you’re not hungry for a love affair. You may have belonged to the first category in your school life (like everybody else ?), therefore feeling like you have missed something at that time. Forgive yourself, you were seeking for an illusion. Teenagers are no good friends you can rely on and sincerely communicate with.

Blogging may be easy, narcissistic, kind of indecent, … but who suffers from that ? Not me (except for some beginning headaches I have to thank my poor understanding of informal English). Not you (I hope so).



indigo strange said...

I won’t be long because it seems you have a lot of comments to read.
I just wanted to tell you that you inspire me so so so much.
You are amazing.
Never forget it.


Sunshine said...

How bizarre. I'm only just catching this blog entry (always a week late and a dollar short, heh). I work part time in a CD/DVD store, and last week I set aside (for later purchase) a copy of the Pump Up The Volume DVD I'd found while putting away stock.

I was so obsessed with this movie when I saw it back in the 90s that I had to construct an extended soundtrack to include all the songs not on the official one. I didn't know all the artists who had been featured, so I found it on VHS and squinted at paused screens of the credits. :D Talk about your garden variety geek-a-zoid. To do this, I also had to buy full-length cassettes of the albums each song was on. Richard Hell & The Voidoids, Leonard Cohen (oh how I searched far and wide for "If It Be Your Will"), The Descendants, etc. and so on, ad nauseum.

Anyway, what I'm getting at is how bizarre the timing of this blog post and my setting aside of said movie happened to be so close.

Thank you for all that you do, Amanda. I can only speak for myself in saying that I really appreciate how you open yourself up to us in blog form (as a supplement to song form) and thusly cut through the smoke and mirrors that separate the adored from the adoring. It takes a pretty brave soul to do that, I think.

I'm still a bit wary of the blogging thing, but you make me think a little differently about it.


aagje said...



(sinks into her own high school memories, smiles at the particular thought of a former high school crush and wonders how many children and kilos he has gained by now)


i love you, Amanda!


Tanner said...

As a fellow child of the generationless generation, I too can say that when I watch that movie it seems to transport me to a time that I always thought I had escaped. However, I spend a great deal of time in that space, being a 26-year old college freshman will play tricks on you like that. I have the weird dichotomy of my non-school friends who I go out drinking with and my school friends who aren't old enough to remember when Christian Slater was a big star. Weirdness.

patrick said...

I totally know how you feel concerning this neverending high school story. I'm in college right now and its an absolute joke. The only thing that separates the two is alcohol, and when I spend a night without alcohol, I am doomed to sitting around thinking about crushes. Its funny because none of us at this godforsaken school are any different than we were in H.S. We all just pretend we are more mature, because our parents aren't around now. If we every are in trouble, though, we run back to them. But in most cases, parents don't really help with girl/boy trouble. The process of looking for love is the only moment when we can strive to be mature. Since we are all little kids who can't accept that we introduce massive amounts of alcohol which numbs us from our problems and such (which is often good). I still feel that alcohol cheapens the situation, but without it we are all a bunch of blubbering crush stricken fools.

I just wish there was an easier way to deal with these high school feelings, but as you said, high school never ends. Well, your music helps me deal with these situations better, so at least I got that.

Mystery Bug said...

Holy crap. I thought I was the only one that recalled that movie and still liked it. That movie fucked my teenage head in all the right ways.

The blog does seem like a pirate radio station, Myspace especially so. The only drawback is EVERYONE has the technology. Sure, that is great in a "people have the power" kind of way, but it also takes the mystery away. How does one make a unique blog when so many people are in on the deal. I don't know if it really matters.

I get insanely jealous of my friends blogs, because they have tons of comments and people reading every word. I think I couldn't get arrested even if I had something great or unique to say. So I blog to keep track of my own thoughts, and to bleed the poison out of my worried head.

A Unique Alias said...

I love that funny inverse deja vus of feeling like my high school self is in my 26-year-old head and is suddenly looking out at my life today, feeling completely and utterly on the outs with everyone, misunderstood and frustrated.

It provides a cathartic release akin to crying in a movie theatre about fictional characters and their fictional problems.

Which is probably one reason I like your art so much :-)

Spine Raptor said...

Thank you ever so much for these blogs.
I don't read other people's blogs. But yours are very relaxing...
I enjoyed this one even more so than others...
Keep...up...the good work? o_O
I guess...

blag said...

That was a great movie i loved the sound track with henry rollins doing a kick out the jams cover with bad brains. i fell in love that day with that version of the song the best one yet. it is truely strange isn't it how music can and will take us to different places in life and the odd thing is we stay the same in the mental state yes we might grow up but we are who we still are and you experiance on this last entry i have had alot i guess we might all go thru this we wake up and think to ourselves damn is this real is this me is this a joke or just plain truth? who really cares but you. and that is all that truely matters no?

after hours said...

high school. There is sick pleasure in reading someone else describe highschool in the exact shades of greys and reds you live by, and appreciating the romantic side of that, most often, living hell. Highschool pain is addictive, horrendous and immortal. And for all that you say your life is uninteresting, your thoughts are like a drug. Like pain killers or medication. You grab what you write and twist it in a way that leaves me still and thoughtful and oddly close to tears, and not only because you "get it."

EJ Wasson said...


It is refreshing that there are those in our age group that still feel the way you do.

Looking fwd to the next album..and tour in CINCINNATI.

masha said...

amanda - this is totally OT, but if you have not yet seen videos of Blixa doing "German HomeDepot" commercials, go here! it is truly marvelous.

and i really loved and identified with your post (although my college experience was much better than high school).

iwik said...

I went overseas for five years after high school... I lived in three continents, met amazing people, and left that high school geek so far behind it was bizarre... I was confident, unique.. and nobody could make me feel inferior...

Then I went home. I'd been home three days and I got invited to this party with all these people from high school. Within five minutes of being there I was back to my scared high school self. And then I thought fuck it... I am not this person anymore and I acted as if everyone there didn't think I was a complete loser. It turned out most of them didn't.. and the ones who did hadn't grown up that interesting so it actually didn't matter which was a really weird feeling...

Cool is a matter of perception...

The Plastic said...

I am the 16 year old in 10th grade. I don't know why old people always say things like "I wish I was back in highschool" cause I wish I wasn't in highschool. I wish I had that orange bottle of dawn which was solely mine.
No I don't feel like life is like mean girls but I'm not the best person to ask because I really don't care about things. Never pulled the locker walk by but like you did I wake up, eat cereal put on tights, some dirty black dress, combat boots and I'm on my way with my cd player blaring you.

Movies don't know anything baout highschool

Phelix said...

Hey Amanda - Edward (K-Spell) asked me to convey his warmest greetings :-)

The Pink Dots played a kick-ass show one week ago in Frankfurt ("Belladonna" is almost getting my cry everytime.. but boys don't cry.. haha)

So I guess it's time for you to show up here again :D

Can you remember the tape I gave to you for Em the last time you've been to Frankfurt (the day Anna showed you her Dolls-Pink-Dots-C93-Comic ;))? Maybe if you happen to stumble over it just turn it over to her :-)

All the best and liebe Grüße aus Frankfurt also to Emily and Brian!


scibberfidget said...

cooler hair guitarist from the yeah yeah yeahs looks like the guitarist from the band "lapus lingue" (spelling? ick)that supported you in Glasgow - same hair and eye make up. it was also that guy that served me in the barfly one night and was stoned out of his tattie, he couldn't quite grasp the meaning of "southern comfort and red bull". not the yeah yeah yeah guy. the other. obviously.

scibberfidget said...

and also it was that night in glasgow when I was standing directly in front of you in a ridiculously big skirt when i wimped out of giving you two small dolls that vaguely represent you and brian. and I meant to post them but I didn't because life ate me.

writingincode said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
mollixs said...

when i watched Mean Girls I definitely didn't relate to it. but i love love love the breakfast club.

and i, too have a high school type crush on conor oberst (except i actually am in high school)

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Russell said...


Merry Christmas :)

vo0do0chile said...

glad to hear you're feeling more comfortable with your life lately. I hope Brian is doing well, also (i know he had some personal issues a while back).

Pump up the volume is an awsome movie. However, Teen movies were (And still are) unrealistic. There is no magic place where goths become beauty queens and boys with a shitty attitude get the pretty girl (thank christ).
I think that's part of why your music is so popular... It's very real and very raw for so many people out there. There's no hollywood factor, you just say what you feel. I think more people want to be able to relate to an artist than want to be swept away into a complete fantasy world where everyone is awsome and the world changes because of some award winning phrase someone utters.
It's nice to be able to go "damn, that's the same shit I went through" or "holy shit, that's exactly how I feel" when listening to music or dealing with other forms of art and entertainment. No one knows what it feels like to be the school's hero for having a pirate radio station or to instantly have a hot chick fall in love with you because you spend a day acting like an ass.
However, Alot of us know what it feels like when you grow up and the schoolhouse has moved and your friend doesn't live near you anymore. Alot of us feel like the pills came a couple days too late or hate part of our family or are proud of ourselves for taking out the trash when we've had a bad month.

There is no nonsense world like john hughes would have us believe, and i think you do an important thing by speaking to us out here in the real world and letting us know we're not alone.

Liz said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Liz said...

woops I accidently posted before finishing. now a repost

Sometimes it scares me how much I can relate to you, yet despite the numerous amounts of times I've seen you, been ridiuclously close to you in proximity, I haven't been able to say anything. I know I know the whole thing where you think you can relate to a famous person, or are similar, when in fact you don't even know them.

I used to do that...but I stopped because I found it ridiculous. Then I remember the first time I heard the music you and Brian create a few years ago, and the way you play piano. and they way it seems your guts get poured out whenever you play, whether you want to or not. I'm completely tone deaf and have no musical talent, but I feel like if I did make music, it'd be in a similar manner to you. The way you make music, tackle the piano, reminds me of the way I make art. My hand, my touch, is always there whether I want to or not. I have no desire to make a pretty image ever. No matter what I do, whatever piece I do, it's packed with emotion. Sometimes to the point it where it scares me. I feel like I have control, or am balanced, and then out comes my soul it turns out uglier than I thought. At the same time, I'm so glad I have a vent to release it, and that is'getting out at all. I feel that same effect with your music. Every song, and everytime you play it's just so raw, and so ridiculously beautiful

I lost where i was going this, but I adore reading your diary. I find myself being able to relate to so much of what you say, that it'd take too much time to pinpoint it. Maybe another time I'll plague you with that, and maybe another time I'd have something more...informative to say? relevent?

oh well.

keep on being you.

SAM said...

happy christmas amanda, thank you for changing my life.

veronica said...

hey. im a new fan, and i love your music. and i guess i wouldnt be a normal fan of yours? becos yes, my friends all live off of mean girls. thats their life, celeb gossip and all that, im friends with them. but i am not like them. believe me, im just as lonely as the kid who has no friends and gets called the weirdo at school. i dont have a place to fit in. the punk/goth kids dont like me becos i wear abercrimbie and have blonde hair. and the popular kids dont really like me becos im kind of shy, and i listen to music like you, and bright eyes. brand new. stuff like that. im different. and i guess people just dont appreciate that. "they dont understnad what tey dont get?" i think that applys. i really like reading your posts. as a 17 year old girl. it gives me something to look foward too, owning an apartment, being able to be alone and not feel lonely. oh sure i have friends, i try to stick to the ones like me. but sometimes i feel so outcasted. whoever said highschool is the best time of your life was full of shit. i hate it. i dont know what its like to be a outcasted weird kid who everyone looks at funny. but i know that its probably just as lonely as being friends with a bunch of fake snobby bitches. i try to be nice to all. i just wish there was someone i could really relate with. idk, but your blogs are amazing. the way you word things. its great. if you wernt a musician would you want to be a writer? your really good at it. ok well thats enough ranting. just thought you should know its just as lonely on the other side..

Antithesis of Jack said...

Since you do, in fact, read all of the comments your fans leave for you, I have to add my two bits. I feel compelled to. Your music has helped me through hard times in my life. It helped me through the struggle I had with depression. Your music and your online diary give me comfort by reminding me that I'm not the only half-sane person trying to eek out a decent existance. I find that I can relate to the things you blog about, in my own definetly-not-a-rock star way. And I think everyone who's ever watched a melodramatic coming-of-age movie has had a faint hope that there is a place where everyone goes insane and all the cliques disband for a time and forgive each other for their differences. It's the side-effect of hope.

Perdedor9 said...

You know...I read all your posts here, and if I ask myself why, as I am now, the answer is probably that when I do, I hear a part of me that I've always liked but that has also always been repressed.

I apologize that I can't explain this more breifly, but please just bear with me.

The immediate image you project by means of your music and your (especially stage) appearance, whether you like it or not, is in a phrase: punk rock. It's exciting, rebelious, loud, angst-ridden, badass. It's that rock star fantasy that so many youths are enamoured of.

On the other hand, when I read the blog, (and I know this has been said before) you become human. I see you not as a rock star, but a normal person (admittedly not always living in normal circumstances). And I find that...refreshing? curious? satisfying.

You see, I've got that rebelious, stick-it-to-the-man spirit inside me. When I saw Pump Up the Volume I felt like I totally should meet Christian Slater and that we should hang out. And you're sort of my Christian Slater of the 21st century. I want to sit down and talk over drinks while listening to The Deadly Snakes, the Tough & Lovely, The Dirtbombs, The Riots, Neutral Milk Hotel, etc.

But as a teen, that part of me, while it savagely burned inside, became impotent if I ever tried to express it outwardly. All of my friends were indie rock fucks, and I wanted to be an indie rock fuck too, but I never really managed it. Kurt Cobain lost some of his grungy appeal when I pinned Nirvana posters on top of wallpaper with little footballs and blue helmets on it. I always got good grades. Never skipped class. Never drank underage. Never did drugs. Never got in a fight. My jeans weren't stained and torn. My hair has always been short and clean cut. Hell, I never even grew a badass goatee. And it continues today. I'm a graduate student at a gigantic university in central Ohio. I teach Spanish there. I iron my shirts. And when I'm done there, I'll move on and probably be a professor or perhaps get some government job working for a government I don't support.

So the reason I read your blog, the reason I listen to your music, is because you're a normal person like me, but unlike me, you've succeded in outwardly projecting the more artistic, subversive, human side of yourself. And I'm sure that even when you were in high school, and you felt alone, and Andrew Thompson was busy not noticing you, there were others who admired you for that reason.

And incidentally, the high school crush feeling is something I hope I never become immune to. So hurry back to Columbus (or Toledo, Cleveland, Detroit or Cinicinatti) so I can pass by your locker.

stacie said...

I can't wait to see you guys tonight!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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xoxoxmmmegan said...

being in high school is nothing like those moves. im 18 and i've seen all the teen comedies and dramas and felt utterly alone every time. resolution, no matter how hard you try, never comes. there is no truce between the jocks and the nerds, because one doesnt need to be made. the school violence is not staged, and stereotypes are not so easily made. at my school, everything is twisted. when the girl everyone wants is bi, and love is a kiss on the cheek and a ride home. relationships that are supposed to "last forever" end because a girl won't put out. and the guy goes for somthing better. he never sees that he loved her and tries to make it better, and it is never resolved.

i believe what you say... high school after high school is just more high school.

greenie said...

you read comments? you read comments. I suppose I would too, in your place.

i get your journal rss-ed to LJ, where it comes easily and swiftly to my friends list. I can sit on my couch with my laptop overheating in my lap and read about you teenage crush on conor oberst and the almost bitter way you own an apartment.

the internet is an insane, insane, insane thing. this is my first comment because i do not really like one-swided conversations, but i thought your post provoked enough thoughts to earn some incoherent babbling for you to skim over, smiling at the fact that the Blog Of An Ordinary Girl (tm) can be discussed, admired, revered(?) because of that Power Of Rock.

I'm using too many caps. I hope if you watched another movie it proved just as rewarding, and you get some sleep tonight.

mazeofmemories said...

I'm surprised you actually read these. Or possibly you only read the MySpace comments.

The feeling you described having at the Bright Eyes Show is similar to what I feel at your shows. Here I am, this indie rock snob, prancing into a concert hall full of happy people who seem to be so much more accepting than I am.

You are one of my favorite musicians, and the fact that you have a high school girl crush on someone I look at as my inspiration in life in general is amazing.

I like pretending you care what I think. It's like I have a chance to leave comments on the Bell Jar or something.

Subtlely Chalant said...

I would just like to point out that, with the exception of select friends and family members, you are without a doubt one of my favorite people in the entire world.
And it's because of the honesty and realism of your life in all aspects that makes me adore you so.
You will never need another lover as long as people like me are still breathing. I feel no shame, go ahead and blame me.
You're worth it.

don't worry, ladies and gentlemen, he only has wood in his lungs

My darling Amanda, may your show always go on. Never stop changing, but never forget who you are.
I love you <3


The paragraph about the fluorescent orange Dawn was particularly orgasmic. Thank you for the smile <3

Jack P Toerson said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jack P Toerson said...

I don't understand a lot of the above from the perspective of the creative process. It seems that when something creative takes place reasons are often ascribed after the effects. Which may mean a fallacy; because something takes place after a particular set of circumstances it must be those circumstances that led to it. For instance, being down can help articulate something that couldn't be articulated when up, but the particular down may not work without a preceding up. Though that doesn't really make sense and I'm being a bit of a simpleton because given just how odd we are as a species, particularly with regards of feelings (and sex, love, money ...), it could mean that there was a compound lead-up to a particularly creative spell. Which would explain why it is often impossible to recapture a particular state of mind, because it may not be possible, or we may not even remember the particular circumstances that led to it. In fact it can be dangerous for obvious reasons (getting rainbow shit faced in the extreme because I did last night and I had a good idea this morning). It does not surprise me that your routine is fairly conservative when at home. Aside from the figurative option of living in a barrel and wanking in the market, living requires, as you point out Shit To Do. High school crushes are insane. They're horrific idealised things, and their antidote is to think of the target of the crush having shit themselves next to you, on public transport (Conor on the subway, real sulphurous). Only then can you get to know them objectively.

Ramsey said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
mdhatter said...

well said.

you do think too much, and they can smell it on you.

Domestibot said...

It does raise the question if we've ever really left high school to begin with. Isn't the Earth just one big, high school, complete with lunch ladies, teachers, and the ubiquitous classes that serve as our obligations? Earth HS. I like the sound of that. It would also suggest we would be rival schools with mars or some other planet where their principal is a bit more literate and thus suited for his/her job.

High school for me was...well, amusing. I wasn't popular, I wasn't particularly known... if anything, I was the kid in the shadows. The side dish, just watching the main course get eaten. I loved being the observer. I would never get any attention or go looking for it. There are a few exceptions like... hmmm...Oh, my hot sister. Every once in a while one of her suitors would talk to me, in what I would surely know to be foolhardy attempts to get into her pants. Save for those few encounters, and whenever I had a school project to complete, my interaction with everyone was incredibly minimal. My sister still has some residual hotness, but no suitors are willing to fly across the country from her current location for some desperately needed tips. tis a shame.

in a few short days, I'm moving into the next sect of high school: college-landia. I've stopped into that realm for a brief period in time last year before I was forced to leave, but from what I do remember, it was the same thing as high school only the teachers wouldn't care if we used profanity or drank Mondo Mango in class.

But then every so often, I would run into one of "the stares." they seemed to follow the same pattern as someone needing to sneeze everyday. All sneezes may sound different, but they all mean the same thing. A tender, ladylike "achoo" to the most indistinguishable muck of noise ever to be carried by Earth HS' oxygen. They all mean the same thing: there's crap in my nose, here it is. Stares also could have their degrees in differences. one of them could say "who the fuck are you?" while another could just be a simple "hmmm." In any event, a stare to me was always a sign of someone trying to figure me out. and they didn't stop after high school. in fact, didn't they start in high school?

Maybe a stare is something else that comes with puberty? You know, you get the body hair, you grow a few inches, and let's not forget you suddenly have the ability to staaaaare at people. They really should've written that chapter in sex ed.

Chapter 5: Staring.

Since you're older now, your opinion, however small it may be, now carries weight. thus, you can STARE at something to get your message across. Pretty nifty, huh billy?

Even though I don't mind these stares in the least, I find that they're like mount everest. just there. In college, oh yeah. unavoidable. Yet they never bother me, and if any one of these gawkers ever took the time to try and speak with me, they'd find that I'm a really nice guy who would be more than happy to kick back and get to know them. since they typically don't do that, I fair very well at just amusing myself.

Well, my bike and I have a date. See ya around. oh, wrong blog.

winterstill said...

So, Conner looked bored eh? Wow. I suppose there's not much left for him if pouring out his angsty poetic soul to dozens of scene kids hanging on his every moan is no longer stimulating.

I came to your last Chicago show at the Metro because a friend of mine, Chris, was doing a mime as an opener. For the record, I'm thankful you didn't look bored.

Actually, I have to say that the show was, overall, really fantastic. It's so rare to have two great opening bands (Faun Fables, Devotchka) in addition to an incredible set main stage.

agent sometimes said...

I'm moving at the moment. All of my "belongings" in ratty boxes with missing lids. Pillow cases and tape casettes and dish soap. All of it mismatched without a system of any sort but still, the only thing I can ever think is "how the hell did I get this? How is this mine?"

I always felt like maybe the world was in on some sort of joke that I wasn't privy to either, but that's the probably the joke in itself. I think everyone wanders through life looking for the mythical clique and parking lot party. I guess the PLACE is now.

trtreffi08 said...

heh well it seems that I am quite the latecomer to this post. Ironically I spent last night, after watching the new dvd which randomly appeared on the shelves of the best buy I work at) reminiscing about high school. Although senior year was only a couple years ago, the scars it has left have already started to show their face. It is also definitely true that the issues that seem so crucial in high school just alter a bit as time goes on and never really go away. (hell I went from worrying about how I was accepted in school to dodging hurricanes while going to college in new orleans). I guess it's just an endless cycle of more and more fucked up problems in a sense. Oh well, it does keep life interesting. Sorry for the amazingly late echo hehe.

marre said...

The Oberst tour manager is hilarious.

Heaven forbid something INSANE or ever so slightly unplanned happen at a ROCK show of all places.

Rock is very serious thing..

dresdendollsfan said...

If it means anything when me and my friend met you at the RecCenter concert you were the sweetest people on earth! You treat your fans as friends. Also, when your off tour and all, My friend and I want to take both of you to lunch, or dinner, or something.....we're paying... and we will come to you. E-mail-

Rach said...

Much love to the dolls. You should have watched another movie if it would've made you happy. *smiles at own stupidity* I love you guys with all my heart.

love_and_art said...

I laughed through this whole thing. it was like reading a good, funny version of something I would've written. I'm a huge breakfast club fan and everything you said mirrored my thoughts excactly. especially about the high school high school never leaves you, and college is just a toned down version of it...I couldn't agree more. I usually don't feel out of place but there are those times where I'm with someone and I feel like the nerd stuck in a room with the most popular girl in school, and it's both interesting and terrifying. I haven't heard your music before but i'm going to now. I like the way you think! thanks for bringing some laughs into my dull life.

love_and_art said...

I like the way you think. thanks for making me laugh, it was much needed. I've never heard you guys before but I am going to now! You mirrored my thoughts exactly. I think high school could be summed up by shakespeare "all the worlds a stage, and all the men and women merely players."
and it stays with you. it's nice to hear a real person talk, not some actor on a stage whose words are lines written by another.

Emi said...

The feeling of being out of highschool and wondering where the hell this all came from...that feeling is so very familiar, and all so recent for me.

I was never normal enough to have that high school crush. Or maybe too spacey.

So maybe instead I make another blog because I wanted to post to the Diary of the singer whose CD is always in my car's CD player. I sing along when I drive down to NC from VA to see my parents. One of these days I'll get to see a show.

Maybe that's like a High School Crush for me.

< /babbling >

Kristyne said...

I haven't been good at keeping up with my blogs but I always enjoy reading yours when I get the chance. I can't help but to "feel you" on this post in particular. At 30 now I still get that "not cool enough" feeling around certain people I know and I have to work on it all the time. I'm assuming it's my inferiorty complex working overtime. ;) At any rate, Pump Up The Volume is one of my fave "high school" movies, though I still have it on VHS (one day I'll replace the damn thing onto dvd) and it always resonated with me more so than The Breakfast Club, obviously for the fact that I was in high school when I saw PUTV. I felt the same way in college thinking things would change and they "almost" did, though funny thing is I was accepted by more of the people that counted me as an outcast in high school rather than the people I really wanted to hang out with - the uber goths ;) - *sigh* I'm actually back in college now and thankfully I have no worries about the whole fitting in thing there b/c I'll be more focused on my schooling than trying to make an impression on anyone almost half my age! It's the people my age I have problems with!

Btw. I saw The Fever in NC and immediately went to their merch booth to buy both of their cds and I was glad that I ended up talking to the whole band. I almost peed myself trying to express to them how much I loved their sound and that I wasn't one to ever be "fully impressed" by a lot of bands today etc. cause I'm stuck in the 80s - hello just saw Bauhaus perform ya know. Anyway, those guys were so genuinely nice and excited that someone actually cared that they were part of the show (they were opening for The Faint) and dug their sound!! I jammed out to The Faint of course, but I had a great time NOT even knowing any of The Fever's songs jamming out to their set! They had me with their cover of "Glamorous Life" though...

ansomd said...

Hi I just wanted to drop by and say thank you so much for forming the Dresden Dolls. I've been to one of your concerts (hyperventilated 3 1/2 times, was awesome) on Jan. 1 2005. I bought there a DD hoodie, A Is For Accident, A DD wristband, and the Dresden Dolls CD. I don't know if you remember, but you signed my hoodie ("Happy Birthday Jimmie".) I turned 11 that night. 12 now. Thanks 2 u and brian
<33 (((H))) *cul8r*

kujhmbn said...

I had fiveash too. I love you.

Ramsey said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Cat said...

So Amanda...I blame you ;) For me having to start a blog so I can comment to this. I have always sat and silently read, your ramblings of "life" and sometimes I want to smack you for your self deprication and sometimes I want to laugh at the simple genious in what you see and how you say now i started my silent pirate very first very first I figure you owe it to me for making me vulnerable to another late night distraction to read my very first entry in my journal and dare i hope comment?! So I will know for at least one second, I was a distraction, one more little snippit before you move on to google. Because I always find myself coming back here, for jsut one more second one more moment of soemthing anything other then having to give in to sleep, because i have so much to do and never really do i cheat and get my fix through the observation of others......i have started yelling, give the boring suburban drama queen her echo =P

store bought bones said...

Thank you for being honest in your posts. I think alot of people can relate to your feelings. Thats why we appreciate you. Its sometimes hard to describe how one feels, or even to be honest with yourself, so its nice to have someone that brings out these thoughts in such articulate manner and make you feel less alone. I feel out of place alot in social environments, im socially retarded to be honest. Maybe its my extreme shyness or the think too much curse. i related to your awquardness, living near LA and going to shows with all the pretty scenesters clone girls, blessed with hip shiny hair, and slender bodies. But i dont really want to be like that, i just feel like they have it easier? or have it together? i can also relate to the unrequited attention from a crush.and robyn hitchcock is playing on monday in san francisco and i cant go, booooo

store bought bones said...

oh man was i expecting college to be a lot different from high school with regards to the students. It was dissapointing to find that some people don't actually continue to grow, and mature but stay the same mindless fucks as always. Am i being too harsh? its just a sad reality.

eboe said...

seeing you mention this movie makes me feel even better. happy harry hard-on was mentioned in an interview by she wants revenge... freaks unite.

giantmidget said...

I'm slightly dim. Was that turtle guy being ironic? And I don't get why I'm asking this as no one will answer it. All the same, I do have an amazing pair of stress balls next to me. I love them.

shAnnon said...

i never felt that i fit in high school - yet i tried, and therefore split-off inside of myself even more.

now, at 31, i can see it all for what it is.

we all just want someplace to belong.

Sin luz no se puede said...


The movie is my favorite to, i to feel the wrap of words that sting so real and make me see that it is not that diferent. that living in a generation does not suck that much like seeing those generations pass and you stuck on time, on an idea or a feeling you just can't get enough. my time, is as thin as air, i do what i am supposed to do, feel a bit cool with it, but feel like a ghost to my surroundings. although i think im starting to live when i supposed to be half way, yet always asking myself is it really worth it or what is new. shattering dreams that i thought as a kid that at this time i would acomplished, but hey. better struggle than to let go, give a fight than to surrender to it, for what ever they think they don't care, it'll be the same if your in or out. thinking always how did this much things come to be mine, and what was i thinking, why can it feel easy to leave but never taking that first step. well i read this a bit late, agreeing with you that the movie is a favorite of mine which actually represents something i crave with the spirit of anarchic youth struggling to express who they really are.

thanks best regards...