Songs I Keep Playing on Repeat

“Hero” by Faouzia

I found this song through what I believe was a playlist based off of “right where you left me.” I fell in love. It’s so simple lyric wise, but like beautiful. Also, it’s catchy as hell with a great beat.

In a relationship, it’s about an equal partnership. I don’t think that one should save the other. You save each other. You become better people and grow with each other.

“I know this ain’t a fairytale, this is real life.”

“Bitter” by FLETCHER and Kito

Y’all, I have listened to this song ten times today already. Now eleven. This song is beast. The beat. The lyrics. Everything. What girl hasn’t been broken up with and the guy gets with another girl the next day? Damn. Love it.

Also that video is like intentionally sexy as fuck. She’s like “Boy, look at what you are missing.”

“I know you think about me when you kiss her. I left a taste in your mouth. Can she taste me now?”

“In the End” by Beth Crowley

Okay I have always loved Beth Crowley. Even way before she ever got onto Spotify. I love her music. Some of my favorite songs include “Battle Cry,” “Red,” “Warrior,” and “Midnight.” Her lyrics are phenomeonal. So rare and exposed. I love that. Yes, they are mostly based on books or shows or movies, but like, they could be towards everything. Take this song for example.

This is about a relationship that’s doomed from the start. Yes, they love each other, but in the end, they are going to destroy each other. Their relationship isn’t going to last.

“But something this powerful and dangerous will burn until there’s nothing left.”

“Mr. Perfectly Fine” by Taylor Swift

Okay, if you don’t know by now that I love Taylor Swift then where have you been this entire time? I’ve only said it a million times and had three blog posts dedicated to her (Lover: Album Review, evermore: Album Review, and How Taylor Swift’s Music Helped Me Embracing ME). So yes, you should know I love her. And I have no shame.

You know what I also love? Those songs that are actually like throwing shade but they don’t sound like it. Like this one. It’s so like, peppy but she’s basically calling him out. This guy dumped her and he’s over it and with another girl, while she’s not. Apparently it’s about Joe Jonas.

“So dignified in your well-pressed suit, So strategized, all the eyes on you, sashay away to your seat. It’s the best seat, in the best room. Oh, he’s so smug, Mr. ‘Always Wins’. So far above me in every sense. So far above feeling anything.”

“All Your Exes” by Julia Michaels

I feel like if I was going to write a love song, this would be. It starts all sweet. . . .then you get to the chorus and you’re like “Oh.” I love it.

I mean who hasn’t dated someone, and they talk about their exes, and you’re like no. I don’t want to hear about them. I don’t care about them. I’m here. Screw them. This song takes that and runs with it. She’s saying I want to be the only one. There’s no exes. I’m all there is. Those exes don’t exist. It’s such a great song.

“I want to live in a world where there’s no exes at all. Like you were waiting for me to be the first thing you fall for.”

“right where you left me” by Taylor Swift

(Repeats what I said under “Mr. Perfectly Fine.”

Wow. This song hit me right in the feels. (Do people still say that anymore?) Like who hasn’t felt this way? Who hasn’t been oh so in love. Felt wanted. Then they drop you. You’re left there. Just waiting and waiting. And that’s all there is. It’s sad and it’s depressing, and per usual the queen Taylor has put that feeling into words. Thank you, Taylor.

“Did you hear about the girl who lives in delusion? Break-ups happen every day, you don’t have to lose it.”

“Strange Love” by Halsey

Wow. This song. It’s fucking hot. Okay? Like the beat, Halsey’s voice. Their voice is amazing. This song is amazing. Honestly, all I’m picturing is like some dark, smoky club, bodies grinding and winding, with a girl dressed in a kickass black dress that’s probably way too short for public fuck ’em, and fuck me heels staring down a guy across the room. You know, that come hither gaze. Just saying. Hello.

I can spout about the meaning of this song because well, I don’t know. I just like the song, okay? Don’t at me. Thanks.

“And everybody wants to know about how it felt to hear you scream. They know you walk like you’re a god. They can’t believe I made you weak.”

Shivers by Ed Sheeran

Oh, Ed. This song makes me want to dance. That is all. Listen to it!

Now go listen to all these songs! What are you listening to? Tell me in the comments! I am always looking for new music!

-K

Back to Writing

I miss writing.

Yes, I know. That sounds strange. I mean I write on here. I’m writing right now. But blogging is a bit different in my mind. Most of the time when I blog it’s a show review or an album review or you know a rant about how miserable the world is thanks to COVID. Sure, yes, it’s writing. But I miss writing.

What do I mean by that? I mean that I miss writing. I miss creating a world and characters that are fully mine, completely from my imagination. Don’t get me wrong, I still write but it’s either poems or it’s fanfiction. I still consider fanfiction writing. I have a Harry Potter fanfiction that’s 64 pages long. I’m super stupidly proud of it and honestly, I really should just post the finished chapters on fanfiction.net and Archive of Our Own (Ao3). I have a Supernatural fanfiction that’s a good 21 pages long. I’m taking a break on it because I got frustrated and I try to not write when I’m frustrated. It usually ends with shitty writing. I have a MCU fanfiction that I’ve been dying to write but I keep getting stuck on it as well. I recently got into The Vampire Diaries and now I’m writing a fanfiction about that in my head. I love all these worlds, that’s why I write about them because I can’t let them go. It’s why I read fanfiction because sometimes, I need the comfort of something familiar rather than something new.

But lately, I’ve been feeling a bit stuck. Harry Potter, Supernatural, Marvel, The Vampire Diaries, etc., they aren’t mine. They aren’t like my poems where all those words and feelings came from my head. And yes, I create some really awesome OCs (original characters) for these fanfictions but at the end of the day, it’s not my world. I didn’t create it. And for a while now, all I’ve been doing is writing fanfiction. I think it was because I was so afraid to actually write my own stories. So something that I did was I finally started writing again on two out of three of my original story ideas. I’m not saying I’m giving up writing fanfiction but I want my own world.

I’ve spent so much time talking about these three original stories. So much time. I’d talk about them but that’ sit. There was nothing written. And I found myself wondering why that was. I got so stuck on the world building, which sure yeah, is important, and yeah, I probably should know who the bad guy is, but I realized all of that was preventing me from actually writing. So I basically said you know what no more worldbuilding, no more trying to have the entire plot planned out. Let’s just write. And I did. And let me tell you, it worked.

Now I have three original story ideas. I’m working on two of them. The third is based off my grandparent’s old house in Fayetteville, it’s currently called “What Lurks in the Woods.” I have no idea what I’m doing with it plus writing on it or thinking about it kind of hurts since my grandpa died in 2017. Not to mention it’s a bit too similar to one of my other story ideas and I didn’t want to confuse myself. The two stories I am writing on are “The Necromancer’s Daughter” and “Ash, Lava, and Bone.” We’re going to talk about those today.

The Necromancer’s Daughter

“The Necromancer’s Daughter” is set in a world basically like ours. Except for one thing: magic has always been apart of our world. Everyone has magic. And the rare people who don’t have magic are called Blanks. (Name might be changed, might stay the same. Who knows.) So just picture our world but where magic is infused in everyday life and our history, etc. Now, in “What Lurks in the Woods” there are nymphs and fairies and all that jazz and only people who had an ancestor who was a nymph or a fairy or whatever can have magic. In “The Necromancer’s Daughter,” nymphs and fairies and all that jazz are just a myth. However, I am throwing in some Arthurian legend because I realized there was an element missing from this story. Plus it seems to fit this story. And I have lots of ideas.

Every person can do you know, basic magic like scrying and warding and stuff like that. But they also have their specialty which I call Arcane or Arcanes. There are 11 Arcanes and some are more common than others, while others are extremely rare. The Arcanes are: Havoc, Elemental, Psionic, Alchemy, Feral, Superior, Stealth, Eternal, Mystic, Savior, and Necromancy. I’m not going to explain them because I’d like to have some surprise to the story. I’m sure you can probably figure out what each means. The names are a bit direct.

Our story follows Ginger and her six friends who go on spring break and find out that Ginger’s younger sister mysteriously went to this widely popular magic school even though the school doesn’t really teach the Arcane her sister has. What starts off as a sort of comedy of seven college students going to this magic school thinking that everything is alright and Ginger is just simply paranoid turns into them stumbling into this huge conspiracy and plot that goes all the way back to the beginning of the United States. It’s going to be kind of comedic and like one of those road trip movies you watch but then as it progresses, that tone changes.

I only have around 7 pages written on this story. It’s not a lot but it’s a start and those 7 pages do a great job of introducing the main characters of Ginger and her six friends. I kind of know where I’m going. But I’m not rushing it. I’m writing until I get stuck then I switch over to “Ash, Lava, and Bone.” This system seems to be working. I don’t like forcing myself to write when I lose inspiration.

Ash, Lava, and Bone

Who doesn’t love apocalypse stories? “Ash, Lava, and Bone” is a post apocalypse story. Now, there are no zombies. Instead, think of disaster movies like The Day After Tomorrow or 2012. Basically, Yellowstone exploded and the world exploded because volcanoes and earthquakes and tornadoes and all that fun stuff.

It’s written in a different way which I’m really excited about. There are entries from the main protagonist’s journal, Emma. The journal entries start at the very beginning of the end of the world, while the actual story takes place maybe a month or so after the end of the world. So you’re reading her initial thoughts when everything started while also seeing what she’s doing now. What I’d like to do is also have like sketches included too but that’s something that would happen after the story is completed.

Emma gets separated from her girlfriend and her friends while they’re on their slow way to Colorado to meet Emma’s family. Emma continues on her way to Colorado, leaving notes for her girlfriend. Along the way Emma finds a teenage girl who has been on her own since the world started, and an older black man who is also searching for his wife and his children. Emma, the girl, and the man become this mismatched family and make their way to Colorado. Of course they run into trouble with some asshole men but they stick together.

I like that it’s three people. And that there’s not a love interest. Emma doesn’t need a love interest, she has her girlfriend. I’ve thought about actually going back and forth between Emma and the girlfriend’s point of view but I haven’t decided yet.

I really love what I have written so far. Plus it’s 22 pages. 22 pages of pure all me. And I’m loving it! Like with “The Necromancer’s Daughter” when I get stuck on “Ash, Lava, and Bone” I switch over to “The Necromancer’s Daughter.” It’s a great system, and so far seems to be working. You can tell which one I’m really inspired by.

I’m not giving up my fanfictions. I imagine I’ll go back to those when I get stuck on “The Necromancer’s Daughter” and “Ash, Lava, and Bone.” But I also want to continue this nice and steady pace I have with my original stories. Who knows, maybe by the end of this year, I’ll have one finished.

Happy writing, everyone!

-K

evermore: album review

Remember how I said Red is my favorite Taylor Swift album? Well, I have a new favorite album. Remember how I said Lover is Taylor Swift’s best album? Yeah, I was wrong. evermore is her best album. folklore is what Lover and folklore tried to be but didn’t quite reach the mark. (My thoughts on Lover is here.)

Taylor Swift has probably saved the disaster called 2020. Because let’s be real, 2020 was a doozy of a year. Hell, only 7 days into 2021 and there was a riot at the Capitol.

Yeah. That happened.

But we aren’t going to talk about that. Because you know what, it is now President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, and I am here for it. They’ll save us. I just know it. But let’s talk about the artist who saved us in 2020. Taylor Swift.

She released folklore in July. Then, surprise, she released evermore, the sister album in December. Oh, and there are theories that there could be a third album. (Let’s hope so, again, 7 days in and yeah, 2021 might not better than 2020.) Taylor released folklore without any promos. She was like “Here I am. New music! Enjoy!” With evermore, she posted on social media about how they couldn’t stop writing songs and to expect a new album. And while I do enjoy folklore, I think that evermore is the better album. Every single song on that album is deep and powerful. Whereas on folklore there are a few strong songs but then it gets a bit. . . .lost? Like with Lover, there are songs on folklore that don’t hit as hard as others, and thus get drowned out by the more powerful songs.

evermore, on the other hand, seems more composed. All the songs can hold their own on evermore and are deep, meaningful and impactful. Now that’s not to say that there are songs on evermore I prefer to the other songs. Because there are. However, before we get to the review of evermore, I thought I’d give my top four songs on folklore. These four songs I think are the strongest ones on folklore, and the ones I had on repeat for a while.

exile

“exile” is a duet and it’s so beautifully done. It goes back and forth between the male and the female then towards the end the female voice (Taylor) is answering the male.

This song is about to ex-lovers who see each other again after a break-up, and how quickly one moved on. It mentions warning signs and how maybe, they should’ve known that the relationship wasn’t going to work out.

My favorite lyrics are:

"I can see you starin', honey like he's just your understudy. Like you'd get your knuckles bloody for me." 

cardigan

I played this song so much when it first came out that it made it on my 2020 Spotify Wrap Up and folklore came out in July. I love this song so much that I still listen to it and don’t get tired of it. Ever.

According to Taylor Swift, this song is apart of a Teenage Love Triangle story. I interpret this song a bit differently. I think it’s about first love. It’s that love that new and fresh. The first time you fall in love and it’s so easy to fall. You’re fearless.

But then that love fades. You grow up. And you realize that it’s time to move on.

My favorite lyrics are:

"I knew you, tried to change the ending, Peter losing Wendy, 
I knew you, leavin' like a father, running like water."

Also, the video to this song is incredible. If you haven’t watched it, you need to.

the lakes

This is actually a bonus track. I heard it first when I was on a playlist on YouTube and then fell in love. It’s such a beautiful song, and per usual, the lyrics are incredible. If you haven’t heard this song yet, you need to. It has some of the most eloquent and stunning imagery.

"While I bathe in cliffside pools with my calamitous love and insurmountable grief."

It’s magnificent. I can’t tell you what this song is about. To me, it’s like she’s saying “Let’s get out of this place. Let’s go some place where we can just be and be.”

My favorite lyrics are:

"A red rose grew up out of ice frozen ground with no one 
around to tweet it."

the 1

First, the tone of this song — and really the entirety of folklore and evermore — is so casual. There’s nothing strained about it or forced. It’s casual and simple and easy.

“the 1” to me feels likes a song about the one who got away. That person who could’ve been the one and they kept trying but they didn’t click. The puzzle pieces never fit together. And while this could be a sad song, it doesn’t feel like it. It’s like a remembrance, rather than a goodbye.

My favorite lyrics are:

"I persist and resist the temptation to ask you, if one thing had been different, 
would everything be different today?"
evermore by Taylor Swift

Now let’s get evermore. When this album first came out, I waited (impatiently) for it to appear in my Spotify then proceeded to listen to the whole album twice when I really should’ve been sleeping. As always, I have my favorite songs but I love this album. It is practically perfect in every way. Like Mary Poppins.

willow

This was the first song we got to hear from evermore. And boy, did it deliver. This song had me at the first line.

"I'm like the water when your ship rolled in that night."

I am a music lover (obviously) and just like when it comes to books, the first line or the first beat is what gets me. “willow” had me from the start. It’s got such an easy, almost joyful but not like up-in-your-face quality to it. I love the simple instruments with the guitar and the piano. That’s all it needs is those instruments. Nothing else. The lyrics speak for themselves.

“willow” is a love song. It’s like a version of “Lover” but different. “Lover’ is more yes, up-in-your-face and still a great song. Whereas “willow” is sweet, easy and casual. I love the vibes. It reminds me of one of those movies where the girl falls for the guy but it’s drawn out or like he’s dying or she’s dying. Basically, a John Green novel.

My favorite lyrics are:

"Wait for the signal, and I'll meet you after dark, show me the places where the others gave you scars."

champagne problems

This song hits me almost as hard as “Last Kiss” does. But in a different way. “Last Kiss” is so raw and sad that I tear up nearly every time that I hear this song. “champagne problems” still has that rawness but different.

Taylor is telling the story about a woman who was too afraid to love and left a great guy. I can relate to that. Who can’t? Who hasn’t looked at this great person and wondered why they deserve it? The woman turns down a proposal because she’s not ready. And yes, it’s sad but maybe he’ll find happiness somewhere else. Maybe she’ll be braver the next guy around.

My favorite lyrics are:

"I never was ready so I watch you go. Sometimes you just don't know 
the answer 'til someone's on their knees and asks you."

gold rush

This isn’t my favorite song on this album. It kind of reminds me of “Gorgeous” from Reputation. It’s an okay song but it’s not like gold. (See what I did there?)

This song is about looking at someone and being jealous of them, or rather jealous of the fact that everyone wants that one person. But Taylor wants them.

My favorite lyrics are:

"I don't like that anyone would die to feel your touch. Everybody wants you.
Everybody wonders what it would be like to love you, walk past, quick brush."

’tis the damn season

For me, this song is about a love that come and goes. It’s like a summer love. Or in this case, a holiday love. A love that you begin then you leave to pursue dreams and maybe meet someone else. Then you come back home and then you see that old flame. Sparks fly (See what I did there?) and it’s a rush. It’s beautiful. But it’s just for a weekend.

"So we could call it even. You could call me 'babe' for the 
weekend 'tis the damn season."

It’s like a Lifetime or a Hallmark movie. The one where boy meets this girl and she’s wonderful and mysterious and it’s only a weekend. Then he spends the rest of the movie looking for this girl. That’s how I see this song.

My favorite lyrics are:

"Sleep in half the day just for old times' sake. I won't ask you to 
wait if you don't ask me to stay."

tolerate it

Can I just say about this song? Ouch. This song makes me sad. Man, do I relate to this song. Whether you think it’s about a child speaking to their parent or a woman speaking to a man. This song hits. It’s sad and raw. As all us Swifties know, the number 5 slot is reserved for the heartbreak songs. Previous songs include “Cold as You,” “White Horse,” “Delicate,” “The Archer,” “Dear John,” and “All Too Well.”

This song is about loving someone and trying to doing everything, absolutely everything, to try and get their love. You do everything for them. Try to be the best for them.

"I wait by the door like I'm just a kid, use my best colors for your portrait, 
lay the table with the fancy shit."

You want their love. Their devotion. Like what you’ve given to them. But you don’t have it, and the truth it, you’ll never have it. They simply tolerate it. Tolerate you. And I think everyone could relate to this song somehow. It hits differently than “All Too Well” which is one of my favorite songs from Red. But it still evokes such feelings in my soul.

My favorite lyrics are:

"I made you my temple, my mural, my sky. Now I'm begging for footnotes in the story of your life."

no body, no crime

When I first heard this song, my immediate thought was “Goodbye Earl” by The Chicks and “Two Black Cadillacs” by Carrie Underwood. Those great country revenge songs. It takes us back to Taylor’s country roots but rather than the pop-country, it’s that old country. It’s The Chicks and Reba McEntire.

This song follows Taylor as she talks to her friend Este who thinks her husband is cheating. Well, the hubby kills Este and Taylor is suspicious. Well, Taylor knows he did so she revenges her friend’s death and pins it on his mistress. It’s simple but has a great meaning. Plus, who doesn’t love a good ole revenge song?

My favorite lyrics are:

"And I noticed when I passed his house his truck has got some brand 
new tires. And his mistress moved in, sleeps in Este's bed and everything."

happiness

I really like this song. First, the title is deceptive, because the song itself is sad and melancholy, not just the lyrics but with the music.

This son gis about a relationship that ends, an dit ended up being toxic, decaying in a way, and acknowledging that, but also, not forgetting the good times. Just because a relationship ends and sure, it may have ended badly. That doesn’t mean that you can’t remember the good times and love those sweet moments.

My favorite lyrics are:

"Tell me, when did your winning smile begin to look like a smirk? When did all our lessons start to look like weapons pointed at my deepest hurt?"

dorothea

This song is simply, cute. It’s a bit jarring after “happiness.” Since that song is very slow and sad, while this song is still got that acoustic. It’s just a different tone.

This song is a bit confusing. Not sure what it’s about. I think it’s about a friend who is talking about a girl who ran off and left the small town. Wanted a change. This song is her friend saying, hey, do you remember us? Do you remember where you came from?

I really just love Taylor’s voice in this. She plays with high notes and low notes. A sort of rough, rusty, raw quality to her voice.

My favorite lyrics are:

"And damn, Dorothea, they all wanna be ya. But are you still the 
same soul I met under the bleachers?"

coney island

The beginning of this song. Just the soft guitar and that’s it, basically. It’s so beautiful. The lyrics of this song go back and forth between Taylor and the male singer. And I think this song has some of the most beautiful, imagery lyrics with the simple, casual back and forth conversation.

This song, like a lot of Taylor’s songs, is about an old relationship. It’s about loss and nostalgia. It’s about how one gave their all and the other didn’t try. It wasn’t equal, and the relationship couldn’t work if they both didn’t try.

My favorite lyrics are:

"But you were too polite to leave me. And do you miss the rogue who 
coaxed you into paradise and left you there? Will you forgive my soul 
when you're too wise to trust me and too old to care?"

ivy

This song grew on me. At first, I ignored it but then I really listened to it and went, uh, wow. Okay, I love it.

Now, according to others, this song is about a wife who falls in love with another man who is obviously not her husband. I don’t really see it, but this is one of those songs that I think is really open to interpretation.

My favorite lyrics are:

"I'd live and die for moments that we stole on begged and borrowed time."

cowboy like me

Oh my gosh. This song. I can’t even. This song is perfect. This song reminds me of like those Hallmark movies.

"And you asked me to dance, but I said, 'Dancin' is a dangerous game.'"

Like when two people meet but they don’t plan on falling in love and they do. It’s so country and slow and beautiful. This is a song that goes back to her country roots with the soft guitar playing. It’s when two people are slow dancing and they just meet and there’s this spark. The guy is holding this girl, maybe his friends bullied him into going out and he’s like ‘Wow. This girl is really something.’ And it’s just, wonderful.

My favorite lyrics are:

"And the skeletons in both our closets plotted hard to fuck this up. And the old men that I've swindled really did believe I was the one."

long story short

This song is again, a bit jarring after the ballad “cowboy like me.” It’s a fast paced song. It’s almost like, she’s making fun of herself? And also like a resolution of her past and like you know what, it’s time to let go. Let’s have some fun.

Also, this line in the chorus (below) makes me giggle.

My favorite lyrics are:

"Clung to the nearest lips, long story short, it was the wrong guy."

marjorie

I can’t listen to this song. Not because I don’t like it, but because it reminds me of my grandpa who passed away August 9th, 2017. This song hits me hard. It’s about Taylor’s grandmother, Marjorie. An ode to her and her memory. how when you lose something, you want to cling to them. You want to keep everything of theirs so you have them with you. Always.

My favorite lyrics are:

"I should've asked you questions. I should've asked you how to be asked you to write it down for me, should've kept every grocery 
store receipt 'cause every scrap of  you would be taken from me."

closure

This song is different than the others because of the background noise that’s like drums? It’s almost a bit, edgy? Like something Alanis Morissette or Liz Phair would sing. I kind of want more of this edgy rock Taylor. That would be interesting, not going to lie.

This song is about an ex and Taylor is basically like I don’t need your closure. I can still be mad at you. Get over it.

My favorite lyrics are:

"Don't treat me like some situation that needs to be handled. I'm fine with 
my spite and my tears, and my beers and my candles. I can feel you smoothing me over."

evermore

Like with “exile” from folklore, this song is a back and forth with Justin Vernon.

This song is such a sweet ending to this album. It’s hopeful and sweet. A true ballad. It’s about being depresed then suddenly, feeling better after so long. It’s such a beautiful song. (I need a new word. I use that a lot.) But it is.

My favorite lyrics are:

"Can't not think of all the cost and the things that will be lost. Oh, can we just get a pause?"

And now that I’ve reviewed the entire album. Here are the songs ranked. 🙂

  1. champagne problems
  2. cowboy like me
  3. willow
  4. tis the damn season
  5. no body, no crime,
  6. ivy
  7. coney island
  8. tolerate it
  9. long story short
  10. evermore
  11. marjorie
  12. dorothea
  13. happiness
  14. gold rush

I hope you enjoyed this review of evermore. If you haven’t listened to it, or to folklore. Do it! You won’t be disappointed.

-K

COVID Ruins Everything

My sort of New Year’s resolution to blog at least once a week was wrecked. Why? Because this girl got COVID. Yeah, I know, right? COVID ruins everything. Seriously. I could make a list. (The baby shower, my graduation, my vacation to Massachusetts, I could go on. . .)

Here’s a breakdown/timeline of how this went.

January 14th, I started not feeling good. It was just sinuses. The weather kept changing, I mean, it is Arkansas — are we really surprised? But yeah, wasn’t feeling good but mainly my sinuses and that was that. I went and had lunch at Olive Garden that day with my bf. Everything good. Then Saturday when I saw him, he wasn’t feeling good at all. We went to Texas Roadhouse and he didn’t even eat the rolls so I knew something was wrong. He dropped me off and he went home.

Now, either that night or Sunday, I suddenly was hit with fatigue. Not sure it was my insomnia or if it was COVID. Either way, I went to bed at like nine o’clock and passed the hell out. I got caught up on sleep and felt good.

My cousin Paige and I go to work on Monday. My bf gets tested I believe it was on Tuesday and got his results on Wednesday. He tested positive. Wednesday, I was not feeling good and only went to one job, especially after he tested positive. Paige got tested and got her results on Thursday. Paul and I got tested on Thursday and got our results Friday. We all tested positive. While my aunt (Mom) and Jack tested negative.

Paul and Paige got a lot of the symptoms, checking a nice little box. I on the other hand was simply very tired, had a headache (but that also could be because lack of caffeine), my taste buds were all wonky so nothing tasted right, couldn’t smell anything, and my stomach was very upset. I had a cough for a little bit but that was it. Also, I don’t believe I ever had a fever. But my body temperature also runs at a nice cool 96 (it once read as like 93 when I got drug tested for my job and I swear the lady thought she read it wrong) which means when my body temperature is like at 98, 99, it could just mean that my inner temperature is finally semi-normal. (I could possibly be anemic. Who knows?) I also had a sore throat.

Here are the symptoms of COVID. I’ll bold the ones I had and italics the ones Paul and Paige had. It they are both then we all had that one symptom.

Fever or chills

Cough

Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

Fatigue

Muscle or body aches

Headache

New loss of taste or smell

Sore throat

Congestion or runny nose

Nausea or vomiting

Diarrhea

Paige also had trouble breathing. Keep in mind that Paige has underlying medical problems. She already has heart problems and breathing problems and doesn’t have the best immune system. Neither does Paul. But basically, having COVID was like having a bad cold. Luckily, we only had a mild case. From what I understand/heard/read, COVID affects everyone differently. So people, like us have a milder case while some have no symptoms at all, and then others have more severe case.

I slept a lot mostly. Forced myself to eat crackers and drink apple juice. I couldn’t have soda or my favorite mint tea for days because they both tasted horrible. Since my aunt and Jack were both negative, Paige, Paul, and I wore masks when we came out of our bedrooms to use the bathroom. My aunt used this rolly cart and put our food and drink on it and rang a dinner bell for us. That was we kept out of her and Jack’s way and not infect them. She’s a saint and we owe her like a vacation or a steak dinner or something. Both, probably.

I did what I usually do, which was binge watch shows. That got boring after a while so I colored in my adult coloring book and wrote some, did some research so I can figure out my life. (Ha. Maybe.) Paige got this cool diamond art thing that I wish I could do but like, I’m blind.

It wasn’t until around last week, around Wednesday or so that I finally felt more like myself. We stopped wearing our masks around Thursday since none of us had symptoms and we were cleared by the Arkansas Department of Health to stop quarantining on the 30th anyways. Paige and I got retested on the 29th and yeah, we’re still positive. But according to the CDC, you can remain positive of COVID for up to 90 days but not have symptoms and not be contagious. I sent an email to both my jobs and I get to return to work! (That’s where I am as I write this actually. We are so dead at the school. Save me.) Paige gets to return Thursday. My aunt is hoping she can return but her job requires a negative from all of us (She and Jack are still negative) but that won’t be for a while. On the other hand, my bf is now negative.

In other news, Pagan had her baby! My new niece was born 11:52pm on January 25th. It’ll be a while before we can see her though. Emery Millie Bates is beautiful. Now I have three nieces/nephews. Eliana or Ellie as I call her is my brother Tristan’s. She turned two December 19th. Salem Hunter Mace is my sister Chloe’s. He was born December 4th. And now, Emery! I do like that they gave me girl-boy-girl. It works with me. I can’t wait to hold Salem and Emery when I’m able too.

I really hope this passes. At some point. Then we can get back to normal. . .maybe. Not holding on to that concept. We will probably never be quite back to normal.

Since this is the first day of February, I’m making a February resolution. (If that is a thing. It probably isn’t. It is now. A Valentine’s resolution? Ew. No. We’ll stick with the month.) Either way, this is my New Year’s resolution starting in February, to blog at least once a week.

Hope everything is doing well. Stay safe. Wear a mask. Live a little. Pet your dogs. Don’t forget to breathe.

-K

Enjoy The Now

If you know me, you know that I love movies. I want to make movies so yeah, I love them. I enjoy superhero movies, horror, psychological thriller, the occasional romance and yes, sometimes, I watch really trashy movies that only ever come on Syfy at like two in the morning. (I’ve seen every Sharknado and every Tremors movie. Don’t judge me.) It all depends on my mood. And like all people, or like most people, I love Disney and Pixar. Although now I suppose it’s DisneyPixar since Disney is our overlord and owns everything. My favorite Disney movie is Mulan. Now when it comes to Pixar, that’s more difficult because they have some incredible movies. And the thing with Pixar is that their movies always have some deeper meaning. Some hidden depth in them. That’s why I love them. (Even if they do have the tendency of making me cry.)

Take the movie Inside Out for example. I didn’t expect for it to make me cry and have a deeper meaning than it did. Inside Out follows a girl named Riley who moves with her parents. She struggles to adjust to the move and make new friends. It also follows the emotions Riley is going through. Those emotions are Joy, Sadness, Anger, Disgust, and Fear. For Riley, Joy runs the show. For Riley’s mom, Sadness runs the show. For Riley’s dad, Anger runs the show. And it really makes you think. What emotion runs the show for you? I think for me, like Riley, it would be Joy. I’m always smiling and then when I don’t smile it’s instantly “What’s wrong, Keely?” The line that stuck with me and made me bawl like a baby was right after Riley ran away. She tells her parents:

 I… I know you don’t want me to, but… I miss home. I miss Minnesota. You need me to be happy, but I want my old friends, and my hockey team. I wanna go home. Please don’t be mad.”

Riley, Inside Out

As someone who moved all the time growing up, I related to this so much. I hated moving. Especially when we moved from Broken Arrow to Tulsa after eighth grade. Suddenly, I was a new freshmen and I had no friends. My friends and I talked about how excited we were about high school. Then suddenly, I was at a new school. It really sucked. Yes, I made friends but I still missed my friends from before. Then we moved back to Broken Arrow before my junior year, suddenly the friends I had in middle school had moved on without me, and it hurt.

Inside Out really made you think about emotions and the brain and how does it work? Here’s a review of Inside Out.

I recently watched Soul. It follows a man, Joe who is a middle-school band teacher. His passion is jazz and the piano. After finally getting a big break, Joe unfortunately has an accident and ends up in a coma. He finds himself in another realm where there are souls who haven’t been born yet. He meets one soul, 22, voiced by the wonderful Tina Fey, who has been there the longest. Joe tries to get 22 to find her spark and in the end he does. It’s a beautiful movie with a great meaning.

Joe spends his life always focused on his music and his passion, which is not a bad thing, but he forgets to live. In the end, it’s 22 who helps him to live. Yes, he helps her to not be afraid of coming to Earth and living, but through 22, Joe realizes that he’s spent so much of his life thinking about the next step. The next move so he could do what he always wanted, be a jazz player, that he didn’t enjoy life. He wasn’t live. He lost that spark. And 22 helped him to find it. (For more thoughts on Soul, check out “19 Moments In The Movie ‘Soul’ That Will Tug Your Heart Strings” and “29 Fan Reactions to Disney+’s ‘Soul’ That Will Give You All the Feels”

My favorite quote when one of Jerry’s asks Joe “How are you going to spend your life?” And Joe says:

“I’m not sure. But I do know I’m going to live every minute of it.”

Joe, Soul

And it got me to thinking. Some deep thinking.

Lately, I’ve been burned out. I’m taking the next two semesters off because I ran through undergrad with no break. And I feel like I did college all wrong. I was so focused on getting good grades and keeping my scholarships that I didn’t really make friends in undergrad. I didn’t attend games or events. It was always school, school, school. Did I live? No. I simply existed. I think that’s what a lot of us do. We simply exist. We go through the motions. Maybe we shouldn’t. Maybe we need to stop focusing on the big ten year plan and just focus on living.

I think that’s my problem. I keep focusing on the next step rather than enjoying the step I’m in. Enjoying the now rather than think about the later. So that’s what I’m going to try to do. Enjoy the now and not think about the later. Not stress about the next step or what happens next. Otherwise, I’m going to miss out on a lot of things because I’m so focused on the future that I can’t see the present right in front of me. It might save me a lot of grief and headache.

-K

Snow (A Poem)

You disappeared like the snow in the south — the snow that falls, barely sticking but we all cheer as it does, like a child, and the snow is perfect, pristine, and pure, so, so white that when you see it, it blinds you. The trees are coated in cotton balls, the branches almost crystalized like a mosquito in amber. A magical frozen picture.

But then people march all over it, soiling the snow with their secrets and lies and pain, and then the snow is gone, melting into nothing. It was only there for an hour, but oh, what a beautiful hour it was. One shining, blinding moment where everything stood still.

That’s how you made me feel.

You stopped the noise, the world with your very presence. The calamity, the fear, the cruel words that dug into my head with sharp claws, was soothed like honey on a sore throat. Like the first crisp taste of tea in the cold mornings. Everything went away and all that was left was us.

And I assumed you’d be there, next to me, like you always were, your warm hand in mind as you pulled me into the world I’d long hidden from — ashamed, afraid but you always made me feel brave. But you let go of my hand and I was left, cold, oh so cold. I reached for you and you were no longer there. And I’ve never given thought to what I would say when that happened.

The girl who scrawls words in a battered notebook so rapidly that ink stains the paper, always struggled to speak. The words getting caught in my throat like glass, silencing me with all the edges. You always had the words, perfectly delivered while for me, getting out a Hello was a struggle. When you left, you took my voice with you.

Now I can only write this and hope you see these words:

Thank you. Thank you for making me brave. Thank you for giving the strength and courage to step out of my shell and to taste the cool air on my breath and explore the beauty around me. Thank you.

-K

Why Masks are a Good Thing: The Return of Eye Contact

I’ve been trying to think of why masks are a good thing. Well besides the whole obvious thing of keeping people safe and helping to stop the spread of COVID-19. There are a lot of negatives when it comes to masks. Such as it makes it hard to breathe, fogs up your glasses, and well, probably more. I didn’t want to think about the negatives. Then a week or so ago, I realized that there is one good thing that came out of wearing masks and that is this:

People now have to look other people in the eyes when they talk. 

I don’t know if you’ve noticed (you probably have, tbh), but everyone is on their phones. Even when people are having dinner or at home they are on their phones. Hell, most of the time I am on my phone browsing Facebook or Instagram or reading on Archive of Our Own or Fanfiction.net when I’m watching a television show or movie. I usually put the phone down when I’m watching something I haven’t seen before.

The point is, hardly anyone looks up from their phone — even when they are talking to someone else. Technology is amazing, don’t get me wrong. It allows me to keep in touch with my friends in Massachusetts, New York, and Oklahoma. But at times, I feel like technology is cold. It lacks intimacy and we are so focused on our phones, we don’t know what’s happening around us.

There is a sort of intimacy that has been lost for a while that has now been brought back thanks to masks. Sure, people are still on their phones. But now, they have to look up if they are talking to someone in order to really listen to the person since they are both wearing masks. Wearing a mask, even if you have a loud voice, muffles your speech. So when you talk to someone you have to pause your phone and look at them so you can really hear what they are saying.

I’ve caught myself doing this. I’ll be talking to someone who is wearing a mask and put my phone down so I can actually focus on what is coming out of their mouth. There’s eye contact and it’s great. You can see that that person is listening to you all in their eyes.

I’d like to challenge you for one hour to put down your phone and not look at it. Whether you’re watching a movie or a show or just hanging out with friends or whatever. Put down the phone for one hour. My cousin Paige and I did this yesterday when we watched a movie called I See You. It was nice to just watch the movie, and enjoy the movie, without the intrusion of a phone. It’s definitely something I’m going to do more of. I feel like I am on my phone a lot when I could be doing something more engaging and creative and productive.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and a great New Year’s! We made it past the year called 2020. Here’s to hoping that 2021 will be a better year.

-K