{NEW VIDEO} SARAH AND I GET CULTURED

Dear Reader,

Great things are happening!!! Sarah and I have now completed 5 out of the 30 items on the bucket list. We have plans to finish a lot of the others within the next two weeks. AND I already finished editing the vlog of us going to the Toledo Museum of Art and writing on the Before I Die wall!

I still have to finish editing/upload the video of what we did in camera and the one about what the psychic told me, but I really think I’m getting better at making videos! (You can be the judge of that though.)

Anyway, it’s Sunday morning, I’ve got the whole day/week ahead of me, and things are looking good.

Sincerely,

Sammy

SOME SAD LATE NIGHT THOUGHTS

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how the world was when I was a kid. And how it looked to me.

I grew up in a suburban neighborhood in Northwest Ohio. I spent my days playing soccer and goofing around with my siblings and writing songs on my computer from 1995 that couldn’t access internet. Songs about Christmas and stopping and smelling the roses and a cute boy in my class.

Meanwhile, there was this big world outside my window that I wasn’t even aware of. But it’s hard to imagine that it was as bad as things have been getting recently.

Then I think about 9/11 and how that shocked and changed our nation. How much hurt it brought people and how much damage it caused. And I think, maybe the world felt like it was going to end 15 years ago, too.

I love Twitter. I love seeing clever jokes that are carefully crafted into 180 characters or less. I like seeing interactions between and updates from my friends.

But now every time I open the app, I feel this overwhelming wave of sadness and this need to cry. Because like many people my age, I hear a lot of my news from Twitter first. And the fact of today is that people are hurting every day. Some days it’s far away, and the pain doesn’t hit me as hard, or stay with me as long. But these past few days have been brutal.

People killing people. Because of race, because of fear, because of prejudice, human beings are killing one another.

I started learning about Alton Sterling and Philando Castile as their stories were told through hashtags and video footage and then news stories that were shared in between tweets of funny vines and “medieval reactions” and horoscopes. So I closed the app and watched Philip DeFranco and read some articles, marveling at how close these events happened and how the world can still be this way and just feeling that overwhelming sadness again until I had to put it out of my mind and get on with my day.

Tonight I went on Twitter and saw a new hashtag trending, as I’m sure people are aware: #Dallas. More deaths–this time cops. More shootings. Every day it seems there is a story that breaks that is sad enough to last… well I don’t know how long it’s supposed to last until we start changing or stop mourning or whatever. But the point is there’s never enough time. These wounds aren’t healing because more and more is happening on top of them. Our nation is being cut and torn apart and we’re mourning something new each day. 

And I think to when it was 2007 and my biggest fear was going down the basement stairs alone.

Now I’m scared of everything. The future terrifies me. The thought of bringing children into this world worries me more than anything and I think, are kids today aware of the evil? Are they going to grow up completely unaware that in 2016, their parents were so scared?

Then again, some kids do know. They know all too well. The young daughter in the Philando Castile video–who had to comfort her mother moments after his death–she knows all too well.

And I guess that’s privilege. The fact that I learn/ed about the horrifying events of history instead of living them.

I still hold plenty of privilege, but I no longer have the privilege of ignorance bliss. I guess that’s the conclusion I’ve reached tonight. I’m 19 and I’m learning more each day about the reality of our world and the evil that human beings are capable of committing.

Sorry for the word vomit. Sorry I couldn’t be more eloquent on this subject (many people are much better at this than I am). Sorry that I’m failing to see the good in the world tonight.

Sincerely,

Sammy

PS. I still believe this to be true so I’m going to leave this here.

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[SBL2K16] #12. WATCH THE SUNRISE

Dear Reader,

I realized that I never actually gave you guys the finished list of what Sarah and I expect to complete this summer, so you can find that here.

#12 on that list is to find the best place in our hometown to watch the sunrise/sunset. We had this place in mind called “420 park,” but it was pretty disappointing to say the least. First of all, it’s not a park. It’s just a little clearing that’s sort of out of the way, so I’m sure it’s perfect for high schoolers to come and smoke weed. It’s not quite ideal for the sunrise.

Still, we woke up a little after five and drove to it and recorded some stuff, so I figured I’d at least edit it into a video. Besides, Sarah got a sweet timelapse of the sunrise (it’s better on her twitter because she puts it to the song “Catch & Release,” so check that out here if you’re interested.)

I’m just currently a little frustrated because I have this nice camera that I’m a little too incompetent to use and I’m spoiled at school with Adobe Premiere Pro, so being at home with nothing but iMovie (and my sister’s laptop because mine is lame) is annoying. It’s easy to use and everything, I just want it to look nice. I want to upload high quality shit, ya feel?

Anyway, no one started out as an expert, right? And the best way to learn is by doing, right? These are the mantras I repeat to myself on a daily basis.

So here’s the final product, if you care to watch.

Of course, none of this matters. Because at the end of the day, Sarah and I had a great time going to the “park” and having a nice conversation while we watched the rising sun on a blanket near the river.

I’m loving life, I’m loving summer, and I’m sorry I can’t better capture that for you, but I’m also glad I have the perspective to love where I’m at in my life right now.

Sincerely,

Sammy

SOMETHING TERRIFYING HAS HAPPENED

Dear Reader,

I’ve considered myself a serious fan of YouTubers since about freshman year of high school. I don’t say that to sound intense or to elevate myself in any way (if anything, the phrase “serious YouTube fan” probably sounds a little lame), I just want to clarify because it was a realization.

It’s weird when you’re on the internet for so long, watching these videos of people with huge followings, and then you go and talk to your friends and they are completely unaware of these, let’s just say the word here, celebrities.

They’re much more well known now because of their books and their crossovers on television and the overall increase in social media fame, too, but there was a point when the only people I could really reference to classmates were NigaHiga and Jenna Marbles.

It was at this point that I wanted to become a YouTuber–and who wouldn’t?? I’m not trying to undermine anything that they do, but even they will admit that it’s the best job out there. Money aside, even, you get to spend your days traveling and collaborating and socializing and being creative.

I wanted in from the beginning, but I didn’t have a particular talent. I grew up writing in my room for hours on end and I was completely content with being alone to entertain myself. I wasn’t necessarily a natural-born performer.

Besides, I didn’t have any content I wanted to produce. I couldn’t sing. I couldn’t really act. I hadn’t ever tried writing a skit and I couldn’t even tell stories particularly well.

Funny enough, I now have a YouTube channel even though none of that has really changed.

But the difference here is that I’m not trying to make YouTube my job. It might be if I could choose, but I can’t. Not really. It’s more up to people–to the audience–to decide who makes it big on YouTube.

So I’m just here trying to find a new medium to document my life. Sometimes I make videos to pass the time. Sometimes I make them to try new things. Sometimes I make them to share something I love.

I got a text back in the fall from a friend–completely out of the blue–that said, “wtf you have a YouTube channel??”

He found it because of a stuuupid mistake, and seeing that text made my heart drop, but it ended up being one of the best things that happened for us. He loves YouTube, too, and is creative in expressing himself (see his blog here) and we became really close because of it.

Other random people in my life know about it, and other close friends do as well, but yesterday I had the same feeling that I had this past fall when I walked into the kitchen and saw my mom watching the video of Sarah and I sharing our summer bucket list.

I love my Mom and I tell her most things. I’ve complained to her about hangovers and confessed that I’ve only ever cracked my phone (or dropped it in a toilet) when I’m drunk off my ass. And her seeing this one video of Sarah and I (especially since she really didn’t seem all that shocked or confused by it–she only commented that she liked my editing when it zoomed in on Sarah’s face) isn’t a big deal. It’s what could come that is.

If my mom knows something, she will most likely tell my dad. And if she knows my “Sincerely Sammy” username, they could easily find the channel again. Or, more importantly, this blog.

I would have no problem letting them know about the channel. I could vlog more freely and make videos with Sarah when they’re actually home. I could use her computer to edit and not have to lie that it’s for a school project. Things would be easier.

If they know about the blog, things could get harder.

This is my safe space. I come here to vent and to analyze and to clarify and eventually grow. I come here to make sense of my life and I often pick apart pieces of my past when trying to make sense of my present.

I don’t care if they read about my trip to Gulf Shores or my book reviews for The Empty Bookshelf.

I care if they read about my depression and my ADD and my analysis of their parenting. I care if they read my entries from freshman year (and even this past fall semester) and see, firsthand, how much I was struggling.

I don’t want them to find out how much I’ve kept from them. Because what they know won’t hurt them, and ignorance is bliss. I don’t want to shatter that now.

Because just like how this blog brought Zach and I closer together, it could act as a wedge in my relationship with my parents that could drive us even further apart.

Sincerely,

Sammy

{NEW VIDEO} SUMMER BUCKET LIST

Dear Reader,

I am SO behind with everything. Because of my summer class, I haven’t really had the time to relax and get organized, like I planned on doing, but I’ll officially be done with it after today which means I can get back to my life!

In other words, I can get back to sharing my life.

I can get back to blogging.

But I have a lot of projects in the works right now. I got back from Cuba a week ago and I have a ton of footage to edit and stories to tell and pieces to write, but I also have other ideas for this summer.

Sarah and I are doing a bucket list (we made this video like three weeks ago and I uploaded it last week so sorry for the tardiness) this summer and I think I’m going to get back to writing book reviews (I’ve finished Yes PleaseChina Rich Girlfriend, and The Summer I Turned Pretty trilogy recently).

Also Sarah really wants me to write another “If We Were Having Coffee” posts. She hardly ever reads my blog but she loves the ones I write like that for some reason so I’ll probably do one soon.

Anyway, I have a ton to do before my class is officially over, so I’ve got to get back to work, but yay for it being finally summer!

Sincerely,

Sammy

[BOOK REVIEW] ME BEFORE YOU

Dear Reader,

Two days ago I went to Books a Million because Me Before You (the film) comes out on Friday and I obviously have to read the book first. Despite having the mission to find and purchase one book, I spent $100 on six (and a membership). But even though my wallet is hurting, my blog will now THRIVE with all the new book reviews, right?

9780718157838-me-before-you-reissue-jacket-2.jpgAnyway, I started Me Before You late that night and in between the chores, grad parties, and now online class that I have to work on, I’ve been reading this all-consuming book.

As an aspiring writer who understands the distance I have to go in order to mature my writing, whenever I read books, I will either underline certain parts or write them in my notes app on my phone or label them with a sticky note to later transfer into my journal where I write my thoughts and reflections after reading a story.

This book was filled with stickies.

JoJo Moyes reminds me of John Green in the sense that her writing–her phrasing, the descriptions, even some of the vocabulary–is so impressive. And maybe part of that is because she’s British and I really enjoyed seeing words like “bloke” and “lardarse” used throughout the book. But it’s also the fact that she is truly a talented writer, and it seems to come across as effortless.

The story itself is beautiful and tragic and thought-provoking and makes you want to talk about things and figure out what you believe. Just reading this story and recognizing when I didn’t like a certain action from a character, but then exploring why and, further, working to see the story from their side as well is eye-opening. It’s a beautiful thing when you get to learn more about yourself by partaking in a 400-page journey.

Reading it sparked at least five new ideas for blog posts that I can think of right now, so there is plenty more I want to say, but I’ll save it for another time. For now, I’m just going to strongly recommend this book to anyone and everyone and I will be first in line for my tickets to the show on Friday.

Also, sorry this isn’t a real review where I tell you what it’s about and the who the characters are and what the biggest problem they face is. I’m just sharing the fact that I loved it and I’ll be writing more on it later to discuss what parts tugged on my heartstrings and filled my eyes with tears.

There’s plenty more to say.

Sincerely,

Sammy

[VIDEO] THE ONE WHERE SARAH GRADUATES

Dear Reader,

 

Sarah graduated on Sunday and will be attending a college in the fall that is four hours away from me (which is a problem because neither of us will have a car).

Until we part ways, you can expect a lot more videos (vlogs and otherwise) that feature her.

I’m excited.

Sincerely,

Sammy

LATE-NIGHT LYRICS

Dear Reader,

I want to get back to blogging–especially now that summer is (practically) here and I have much fewer obligations.

I’m having a little bit of writer’s block, though. I have been writing, but nothing I finish sees the light of day because it’s either too long and wordy, too dark, or just too incoherent. None of it is of quality and I don’t want to post just to post.

But that’s kind of what this is.

960.jpgI mean, not really. I was just listening to some songs and these lines would jump out at me and be so relatable that I would just pause what I’m doing and stare into space for a minute, letting the words sink in.

I wrote down some of these lyrics tonight and thought I’d share them. Back to back they seem random. There are definitely recurring themes, but there are also contradictions. And some don’t even relate to my life specifically as it is now. I just generally resonate with all of these words.

And besides, they’re all good songs so I thought I might as well share something.

Maybe after this one of these lyrics will spark something in me and inspire a blog post that isn’t entirely made up of things someone else has said.


“If I could be just one thing, I would be what you’re craving … but I’ve lived long enough to see you will never be craving me.” Iris – Mike Posner

“She just wants to feel something and I don’t think that’s asking for too much.” She Lays Down – The 1975

“And I don’t want a never ending life. I just want to be alive while I’m here. And I don’t want to see another night lost inside a lonely life while I’m here.” Spirits – The Strumbrellas

“I don’t have the right to ask you where you go at night but the waves hit my bed to think someone’s in your bed. I get a little bit Genghis Khan, I don’t want you to get it on with nobody else but me.” Genghis Khan – Miike Snow

“All alone I watch you watch her like she’s the only girl you’ve ever seen.” I hate u I love u – Gnash

“Don’t wish, don’t start. Wishing only wounds the heart. I wasn’t born for the rose and the pearl. He loves her so, I’m not that girl.” I’m not that girl – Wicked

“All of your flaws and all of my flaws they lie there hand in hand. Ones we’ve inherited, one’s that we’ve learned, they pass from man to man.” Flaws – Bastille

“I’m stumbling off drunk, getting myself lost. I am so gone, so tell me the way home. I listen to sad songs, singing about love and where it goes wrong.” One – Ed Sheeran

“And my hopes, they are high, I must keep them small. Though I try to resist, I still want it all.” Fools – Troye Sivan

“Don’t go out much at all. I’ve never been the type to call. I realize to be happy, maybe I need a little company.” Happy – Marina & The Diamonds

“I would rather be at home all by myself not in this room with people who don’t even care about my well-being.” Here – Alessia Cara

“If I’m honest I know I would give it all back for a chance to start over, rewrite an ending or two for the girl that I knew.” (And honestly the whole chorus) She used to be mine – Sara Bareilles

“There is a map in my room in the wall of my room and I’ve got big, big plans.” Maps – The Front Bottoms

Sincerely,

Sammy

 

STILL A VIRGO

Dear Reader,

So a little about me: I really don’t like zodiac signs. To be fair, I haven’t looked that much into astrology and everything I know about horoscopes comes from the last page of magazines like Seventeen and GL.

I just can’t get behind the idea that every person who was born within the same 30 days or whatever have the same personalities or are living lives by the same design.

It’s kind of become a running joke between Sarah and I, actually. When we see people retweet stuff like “the signs as breakfast cereals,” or “how to make the signs happy!!!” we’ll go through the lists and decide who we are first and then find out, oh my god I’m such an aquarius! 

I’m not. I’m a virgo.

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According to Universal Psychic Guild, this means a few things. My element is Earth and my stone is Sapphire (whatever those mean–I do like the stone, though), and my secret desire is to love and be loved in return. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you might be thinking, wow, that’s pretty spot on.

But then it says my two defining traits are caring & confident.

Hilarious.

We know of my confidence issues, but honestly, I don’t think I’m that caring. Like, I care, but when you grow up in the same household as Sarah, you understand what it truly means to be a caring person, and that’s just not me. It says virgos are givers, and that’s just something I’ve never identified as. Again, it’s not like I just take and take, but I don’t think caring and confident are my two defining qualities.

In fact, I think I’m more of a sagittarius–optimistic and honest. But I wasn’t born in November/December, so I guess I don’t seek adventure and independence as much as I’d like to think.

At the same time, though, having the virgin as my symbol is very fitting.

Anyway, the reason why I’m even writing this post in the first place is because someone I follow retweeted “signs as people I know in real life” and the first two under Virgo are so spot on–and not like “loves dogs more than people” because, like, who doesn’t?

The first two are “big time stalker yet all your crushes suck” (true in the sense that I don’t stalk the people that everyone is obsessed with… but obviously don’t think my crushes suck) and “you have a hard time looking people in the eye and prefer to stare intensely when they’re looking away.”

The reason why this made me stop and think about the signs is because I didn’t think other people do the last one! I am constantly complaining about how eye contact is hard, but mostly just to Sarah because not a lot of people relate to that. So, honestly, I just kind of thought it was an ADD thing or something, but now I’m like, wait, is this a Virgo thing?

Which I hate thinking, honestly, because I’m sure not every person born between August 22 and September 22 has trouble looking at people in the eyes, but it just made me think, you know?

But then Sagittarius is “you can accumulate loads and loads of shit bc you think you’ll need/miss it later” and Pisces is “you need to be told and told again” and Taurus is “you cheat at board games” so here I am back to square one.

Again, don’t know where I’m going with this, but if you stayed until this end, here’s something I thought was funny: someone the other day tweeted that they used to think hepatitis was a Greek God.

I don’t know what to do with that, but it made me chuckle.

Sincerely,

Sammy

SOME LATE NIGHT THOUGHTS ON HYPNOTISTS

Dear Reader,

I really don’t know a lot anything about hypnotism separate from the time when a hypnotist came to Miami for our back-to-school event my freshman year–and I wasn’t even in the audience for his show. I just heard that everyone was blown away because of the way he hypnotised these people.

But for some reason, my brain has decided to really speculate the effects of hypnosis and really think of it as this power that could be used for good. And sometimes when my brain is overflowing with thoughts, my go-to instinct is to open a word document or a note page (or twitter) to catch some of them.

These thoughts could not be condensed into 140 characters, however, so here we are.

I really just want to get these thoughts out and, like, talk to someone about this, you know? I guess this is where another person would come in, but it’s 3AM and no one has reached out to my tweet so I assume they are all asleep (Or not in the mood to amuse me).

Which brings us to the present, where I am communicating these ideas to you.

cat-cat-transparent-psychedelic-acid-lsd-dmt-trippy-cat_200sAlright, first of all, can I please just be hypnotised so that every time I hear the word “kazoo” or something I go and do all of my homework? And then like every night I can have my roommate or someone be like, “Sammy, kazoo,” and my face will go blank as I fall into this trance and sit down at my desk to complete my work. And then in an hour or two, she can be like, “Sammy, tapioca,” and I’ll come to and my assignments will be completed.

Of course, this can prove tricky if the person hypnotised can’t remember what happened while they were under, but all I’m saying is what’s the use in having a person start acting like a chicken every time a word is said when instead you could be like, “hey guess what, every time someone says peanut butter pudding, you’re gonna make your bed” or “you’re gonna clean your room” or “you’re gonna call your mother” (that last one would be hilarious).

But then this brings me to the questioning of how words are chosen–or do hypnotists even leave their participants with this quiet life change? Or do they reverse it before they get off the stage? Because if not, do these people have to disclaim that they did this thing once before freshman year and now they have this strange trigger word? Or would they even know??

Can you imagine if you were on a date with someone and they were like, “hey, I just want to be upfront with you. You can’t say *passes paper with a word written on it* (side question: can they say the word themselves?) around me because I will immediately jump up and start doing “Gangnam style” until you say rowboat.”

What if that were the norm? Hahahaha can you imagine??

And yeah, so how do they choose the words? Because, sure, I don’t think I’ve heard the word “kazoo” said aloud in quite a while, but the possibility is still out there, you know?

Anyway, I don’t know where I’m going with this. I just have a lot of unanswered questions but I don’t want to actually start Googling them because I have work I can be doing and I’m afraid I would spend far too much time doing research if I start going down that slippery slope.

I just really want to be hypnotised to run a few miles when someone says “trenchcoat lingerie” (I feel like that one’s safe) because running is one of those things that could benefit my body so much if my brain would just get out of the way–as are many things in life, I feel.

Man, did I just have a philosophical breakthrough?

Let this be a lesson to everyone that you should always encourage and amuse your “pass the blunt” thoughts.

Sincerely,

Sammy