Olive Music

December 21, 2011

PORTFOLIO

Filed under: Uncategorized —— oliviaacevedo @ 2:04 am

Before this class I never thought of myself as much of a writer, but after these blog posts I see that there is more to writing than precise wording and witty phrasing. I thoroughly enjoyed writing about music and the reason I chose the two posts that I did is because I feel that my passion for music was clearly depicted in both of them. The feedback I received from you and my peers was encouraging. It felt good to have you all agree with my criticisms and relate to my opinions. Aside from that, I do think there is always room for improvement and I probably could have been clearer about certain things and I could have said a lot more and branched out more into different genres. I think I was too afraid to cover more information because it was slightly overwhelming to put it all into words.

As for my poems, I chose these (aside from them being the only two I posted) because they are the first pieces of poetry I have ever written. I’m extremely proud of myself for being able to follow a structure and also for showing emotions I wouldn’t normally show in an everyday situation. A lot of the reasons I was encouraged in poetry are the same reasons I was encouraged in my blogs. It feels good to get good feedback on work that might not be your best.

I believe that these short stories have shown the best of my work, I’ve done drafts upon drafts and these two are by far my favorites. This class has pushed me to my limits but of course I believe I have a lot more growing to do.

Blog post #1

So Maybe I’m a Little Critical

Hi, I’m Olive. I’m probably one of the most dramatic people you’ll ever meet and I’m in love with all things music and theatre related. I wouldn’t exactly call myself a musician, I know I’m not the best at what I do but I like to think I know the difference between good and bad music. I know, I know to each his own and all that. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not quick to judge and I’m extremely open minded musically but the truth is, the majority of music our generation listens to is absolute trash. Some might say I’m a snob but I think I’m just highly opinionated. At some point raw talent mattered less and less and it all became a popularity contest. The amount of talented artists who don’t make it in the music business is completely unfair.

Aside from talent, in a lot of cases (hip-hop specifically) we’ve lost even the substance of music lyrically. To quote one of my favorite hip-hop artists A Tribe Called Quest, “If only you can see through your elaborate eyes, only you and me hun, the love never dies” and to quote Lil’ Wayne, “I hit the strip club and all them b*tches find the pole” um… what? -_- Now I’m not going to lie to you, of course I listen to the music I’m talking about; I’ve learned to appreciate music solely for beats at this point. What I’m saying is if these sick beats were accompanied by equally sick lyrics the music would be a lot more aesthetically pleasing. Like The Weeknd for example, a relatively new hip-hop/R&B artist I’m not sure a lot of people have heard about. I’m currently playing his song “The Birds” on repeat <3

So that’s not to say all of this generation’s music is terrible. Two of my top five favorite artists started out their careers in this generation, Amy Winehouse (R.I.P) brought back the jazz tones we were so close to losing and Adele is blessing us all with her incredible voice. So who’s to say pure talent doesn’t count anymore? The point is artists who are less appealing and controversial to the media aren’t getting the credit they really deserve. If you’re not making a spectacle of yourself like Nicki Minaj, Katy Perry and Lady GaGa (all of whom I’m actually a fan of) you’re not getting as far. So yes, the less popular will have to work a little harder but I think its 100% worth it. Good music is what gets me through life, I don’t know what I’d do if it died out.

On a closing note, if you’re interested in good hip-hop, give my friend NyboЯ a listen [[www.NyborStuj.tumblr.com]]. I’m featured on a song or two so you’ll get to hear my talents as well. Hope you like it 🙂

Blog Post #4

Cash Rules Everything Around Me – C.R.E.A.M.

Have you ever gotten lost while listening to your favorite song? So mesmerized by the lyrics and the emotion the artist put behind it? I guess we all have, but what rarely crosses our mind is the image an artist must maintain in order to be successful. Today, the music industry is more superficial than ever, but appearance has been one of the most important parts of an artists career since artists began being shown nationally and internationally on television, and in magazines. To the record industry an artist is a cash flowing product first and an artist later. If Elvis’ appearance didn’t match his soothing vocals, record executives would have thought twice about signing him. This also goes with some of the biggest names in music history, Michael Jackson, the Beatles, Prince, Whitney Houston, and Mariah Carey, just to name a few. This trend followed into the 21st century with artists like Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj, Drake, Justin Bieber and Katy Perry. Some would argue that when money is involved, talent takes a backseat to good looks.

Appearance may be nine tenths of the law, but we can’t forget about sales and ratings. When I was sixteen I auditioned for American Idol, clearly I didn’t make it very far. What surprised me most was the flamboyantly dressed drag queen who made it further than I did. I’m not quite sure the man in drag had talent, but he would definitely attract the attention of viewers at home, which means ratings. Controversy sells just as much as sex, and Jordan sneakers on a Saturday.

Combined, appearance and ratings or sales go hand in hand. Adele is the perfect example. She doesn’t fit in with the Gagas and Beyoncès of the industry because she is not “slim enough.” I can’t tell you how many times Adele has been judged by her appearance and not by her soulful voice and heartfelt lyrics. Because she doesn’t spark controversy, have a famous hair cut, or wear produce as apparel, she is pushed aside in order to make room for those who do. Luckily, Adele’s talent doesn’t go to waste, once people look past the superficial things and hear her music she’s appreciated. Adele is also on her way to being the top selling artist of 2011, with her album “21” being more than three times platinum (she is a musician, her job is to sing not to look like your fantasy). Although Adele faces much criticism, she proves that entertainment, sales, and appearance take a backseat to talent.

With one person breaking the trend, I hope it continues. This may encourage those with talents who don’t fit the “norm” to reach for their dreams.

Poem #1

Untitled

Help me get rid of this pain in my chest

This life is becoming too much for me

Spinning in circles my head is a mess.

 

It’s been far to long since I’ve laid to rest

Piles of papers are all I can see

Help me get rid of this pain in my chest.

 

Work, work and more work; oh God there’s a test?

Nine hours a day no time to study

Spinning in circles my head is a mess.

 

Burnt out, is the semester over yet?

Is this really worth a college degree?

Help me get rid of this pain in my chest.

 

My mind is broken, a leaky faucet

Dripping and dripping it drains all of me

Spinning in circles my head is a mess.

 

Desperation kicks in; temptations set

This life is becoming too much for me

Just one little fix, that isn’t far fetched…

Help me get rid of this pain in my chest.

Poem #2

Untitled

I don’t want to write a love poem,

I’m not sure what love is.

Instead I’ll write a hate poem,

‘cus they kind of go hand in hand.

I hate how quick we are to use it,

We sound so ignorant.

Don’t say it if you don’t mean it,

You can’t mean it, you don’t know what it is.

 

How will we know if we’re in love?

Don’t tell me you just know.

This isn’t just some fairytale,

Your actions DO have consequence,

And your lies can fuck us up.

Untitled (short story)

I was only fourteen when I died. I used to think I was immune to all the crazy things I heard about on the news. Clearly I was wrong.

I was your typical wounded fourteen-year-old. My parents abandoned me before I can even remember, I had been a foster child my entire life. The only thing I knew was running away from my so-called “homes”, fighting with my so-called “parents” and being thrown into some other stranger’s care.

I met my best friend on one of the many nights I had decided to run away again. My foster dad came home and headed straight to the bathroom to hit the needle, as usual foster mom went ballistic. I was no where near prepared for another night of screaming and broken furniture so I climbed out my window with no intentions of returning anytime soon…or at all. I walked to the little kiddy park a few blocks down and sat on the swings until the sun came up. Around five in the morning I figured I should probably leave the area before my foster parents realized I was gone. Walking out of the park a guy around sixteen or seventeen came up and asked me for a light. Human interaction never really was my thing so I dismissed him pretty rudely. Didn’t stop him from following me down the block trying to get my name though. I wasn’t in the mood to fight him so I let him strike up his conversation. Turns out he was a foster kid and he was running from an insane family too. He was like an open book this kid; I’d never met anyone so eager to talk. I can’t lie though it was a bit refreshing having someone I didn’t have to explain myself to what with foster parents always asking, “What’s wrong? Why are you so quiet? Don’t you like your new home?”

We walked around aimlessly for a while, he told me about his crazy religious foster parents who spoil him to no end because they think he’s the messiah or some shit. They cry when he acts out and then force him to go to church the next day. He got arrested for possession a couple of times, they told him he needs to repent and the only high he should be feeling is from the love of God. Nutcases apparently. So I told him about my drug addicted foster father and my psychotic foster mom. That’s not something I normally share with complete strangers, or anyone for that matter but I was oddly comfortable around him. I felt sane for the first time in a long time.

We walked and talked until it started to get dark again. It was around five in the evening when we realized neither one of us had eaten yet so he took me to a cute little cafe. He was a sweet kid, didn’t let me pay for a thing. Eventually he said he had to go home or his parole officer would have his ass. Earlier that day I had no intentions of going back to that hellhole but he convinced me. Something about him made me need him, and I felt like he needed me too. It was the start of a not so beautiful friendship.

I hadn’t realized how far we had gotten from home, turns out he only lived a few blocks from my hellhole. We took a short cut through an alley I was always too afraid to go through alone. The alley was a hell of a lot longer than it looked, I was starting to get nervous. Shit really hit the fan when some creepy older dude popped out of nowhere and started whispering to me about how sexy I was and how I should let him take me home. I didn’t have to think twice after that, I broke into a run followed by my newfound friend until we saw the streetlights. Once we caught our breath, we both bust out laughing. I think it was the best laugh I’d ever had in my life. Little did we know…

I completely regretted my decision to come back home after an hour or so, more yelling, fighting, questioning. Normally I’d just leave again but I couldn’t abandon the only friend I’ve really had. He said he’d see me tomorrow and for some reason I believed him…his promise kept me going. So I sucked it up, went to my room and ignored the noise.

I sat staring out the window for hours daydreaming about what my life would be like if my biological parents loved me enough to keep me, or at least make an attempt to find me now. I wondered what they looked like; did I look more like my mother or my father? Did they love each other more than they loved me? Are the still together, happy with a family that never included me?

Movement outside my window interrupted my thoughts. Eagerly hoping it was the boy I’ve become so familiar with so quickly, I walked to the window but the person was gone as abruptly as it came. This eerie feeling came over me sending a shiver down my spine, but I chalked it up to exhaustion and went to bed. Mistake number one.

The next day was Saturday; I didn’t get a number or anything so I didn’t know how he expected to get in touch with me but it didn’t take long to find out. I woke up to the doorbell ringing and my foster mom yelling up the stairs for me. I was too disoriented to wonder who was at the door being that I had just woken up but as soon as I got to the bottom of the stairs I was wide-awake. There he was, smiling his huge smile in the most obnoxiously charming way possible. I had never been so glad to see someone at the door.

This happened every Saturday morning for the next couple of weeks. He was the best friend I always wanted; I wasn’t my normal cynical self around him. I was happy. I was naïve. Some weekdays he’d come pick me up from school and we’d walk around and talk for a while. One Friday after school, I can’t remember the date, it was getting dark and I noticed a man walking close behind us. I didn’t pay him any mind though, I felt safe with my best friend next to me. I can’t say that I regret trusting him so much… but I do regret not trusting my better judgment when I was with him.

It was getting dark and we were on our way home when I saw the same man walking towards us from up ahead. I didn’t think it was odd until I recognized him as the man we had run into in the alley way the first night we met… the same man, I realized, who was standing outside my window that night. It occurred to me that my friend probably hadn’t made the same connection I did. I didn’t know what to think. The man was to close he’d be able to hear me if I said anything. So we kept walking… I stopped breathing.

Next thing I knew I was on the ground, my friend looking down at me with regret in his eyes. A blow to the face and everything went dark. Next thing I knew I was laying on the cold ground in the dark with a swollen face. The realization of the fact that my new best friend had betrayed me hit me harder than the blow to my face. I was disappointed in him, but more in myself for being so stupid. I was so numb I couldn’t even cry…I was scared out of my mind but I couldn’t scream. I couldn’t believe I had let this happen to myself. I didn’t matter to me that he seemed to regret his decision to set me up I hated him. I was too angry to feel anything else.

The second I decided he was the biggest piece of shit I had ever come across in my entire fourteen years of life, the door opened and a light came from the top of the stairs. I forgot about my anger and damn near pissed myself with fear. I couldn’t move. Even if I could, there was nowhere to go. I was trapped, all because I trusted this idiot boy. Flashes of fear and anger as I heard someone climbing down the stairs. Two sets of footsteps. Was that fucking traitor there too? I should kill him. Why me man, why fucking me?! Someone’s crying. What the hell is going on? Halfway down the stairs the footsteps stopped and I saw the silhouette of a person being thrown down the stairs. The other set of feet went back up the stairs and slammed the door shut.

It was him; a rush of simultaneous relief and disgust overcame my whole body. I suddenly found my legs, stood up and started throwing anything I could find at the boy who made me trust him. He stood there silently taking all my blows until I paused long enough to let him explain.

He told me he and the mystery man had been working together for a while; his job was to lure young girls like me into his home. After that he hadn’t the slightest idea what the man did with them, he was being paid generously so he never asked questions until now. He had gotten too attached to me, he questioned the man and followed him home until the man got fed up and threw him in the basement with me.

I was fuming. I couldn’t believe he was giving me an apology speech when we were both locked in a goddam basement. But I was glad I wasn’t alone…partially because he made me feel safe, mostly because I’m an idiot. I forgave him because for once in my life I couldn’t be self-absorbed. No matter who’s fault it was, we were in this mess together and we needed each other. There was no sense in being angry with him, especially when I saw how scared he was for not only himself but me too. I could see how sorry he was in his eyes and I couldn’t hold it against him, not in a situation like this.

The door opened and we both reached for the other’s hand. I don’t remember much after that besides watching the mystery man slit my best friend’s throat and chop him into pieces. Then it was my turn…I was frozen. I let the man have his way with me and then I was dead.

Now here I am, the ghost of girl who watched her best friend die before meeting the same fate, waiting for my chance at revenge against the man who killed me.

The Walking Dead

It was the darkest of nights you could possibly imagine in a cold, wet forest where the trees covered the sky. Ophelia wandered aimlessly, pondering the latest events. No more than twelve hours ago she was to be wed to prince Lawrence. He was perfect, everything she had ever dreamed of. Her father had chosen the perfect suitor. She thought it was too good to be true… She was right.

Lets rewind to earlier that day …

She looked beautiful in her white dress. She was happier than she could have ever anticipated, the perfect bride, sitting in her dressing room waiting for her moment. The door opened and in the blink of an eye she was being held at knifepoint. Looking into the eyes of her attacker she knew her fairytale was over. Now here she is, wandering the forest, the corpse of Ophelia in her beautiful white dress. The Walking Dead.

She roamed for a while until a breeze sent a smell her way, the sweetest scent she had ever come across. She followed the charming aroma to find a hunter at work. Acting on impulse she charged at the man and before she knew, she had torn his flesh with her teeth and eaten his insides. Realizing what this meant she immediately formulated her plan of revenge.

There had always been talks of the Walking Dead in the city she was from but she thought she knew better than to believe old myths. Now that she was living this so-called myth, she saw it as the greatest blessing in her life…or death. But she had to be careful, the people of her town all knew the myth of the walkers so they knew very well how to get rid of them. A blow to the head and that’s the end of a walker. She needed back up, an army.

She searched the forest until she had bitten enough of the living to make a small mass of walkers. She led them into the quiet part of town to gather more for her army. When she felt she was satisfied with her numbers she went in search of the one who attacked her. She knew she had to remain hidden until her target was found, not an easy task when leading a small army of walkers. They remained in the shadows until they reached the church where, not so long ago, Ophelia was to be wed, the very church in which she was killed. She could see through the stained glass windows that the wedding had not been called off. No one had noticed she was dead. Confusion …

As it turns out, being dead improved her detective skills. Her attacker was a peasant; an evil, miserable nobody, and she had tried countless times to take Ophelia’s place as Prince Lawrence’s bride. Ophelia could see that the woman at the alter held an uncanny likeness to herself when she was living. The peasant woman had altered her appearance to resemble Ophelia in order to take her place as Lawrence’s wife.

Her rage was unmatched; she barged into the church prepared for a fight. The guards took action immediately; the others hesitated with fear but fought against Ophelia’s army as soon as they sensed the threat. In the chaos of the battle Ophelia wanted nothing but to find the bitch that took her life. Tearing people limb from limb as she walked, she made her way towards the alter where she found the man of her dreams protecting the woman he thought he loved. One look at Ophelia, dead as she was, he knew it was she. He let down his guard and looked to the stranger he had been protecting first with uncertainty, then fear, disgust, and then rage. He stepped aside to let Ophelia rip the woman to shreds and devour her insides.

When Ophelia was satisfied, she turned to Lawrence, lunged at his neck and sunk her teeth in as deep as she could. Now they were both walkers…walking together for all of eternity. The Walking Dead.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

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One Response to “PORTFOLIO”

  1.   jenny abeles Says:

    Hi Olivia.

    So, all you need for Portfolio 3 is two short stories. The Retrospective is supposed to be your thoughts about your learning this semester rather than samplings of your writing! Can you post that before I submit grades on Wednesday?

    You untitled short story sounds like a pilot to a tv show, some sort of mystery series where the relentless and also dead detective-girl methodically stalks her killer in order to…what? bring him to justice? wreak vengeance? destroy his life and make him suffer over time? In any case, you’ve done a good job creating a likeable character—the girl, her friend is still a little fuzzy as a character—and a tense, suspenseful set of situations.

    “The Walking Dead,” wch is actually the name of a tv show, is also interesting and strangely familiar to your other story. Why all the interest in dead, vengeful women? This feels more a summary of a story rather than a story itself—so much is glossed over that could be described in rich detail!

    You’ve done some good writing this semester, but your three absences and a couple missed assignments—including the retrospective—lower your grade. You’re hovering in the C+ range at present.

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