It’s probably a pretty accurate assessment to say that every generation thinks the music they grew up with is the best music. I’m sure it’s part of some type of formative years/nostalgic psychological phenomenon thing, and realizing it sure does make you feel old.

I made this playlist a few weeks ago, and it’s just so weird how much these old songs make me feel transported back to ~2010.

This isn’t the whole playlist, but a very representative sample.

I also looked up some modern pop-punk bands and was surprised to find that there are still bands making this exact kind of music. Even the big bands from back then (hey, Fall Out Boy) don’t make pop-punk like this anymore.

I don’t post many updates here anymore – though looking at my last draft, it seems like I meant to post something in August of 2020 and forgot to. Whoops. Honestly, I’m a lot more private than I once was, and I don’t really want to put my whole life anywhere online, even including this site that I control. But I can’t go all of 2021 without writing something, right? checks date Better late than never, I guess.

I’ve written several more short stories and novels since my last update about Ghost. Reiterate has been done for quite some time, I’m just super uncertain of how it turned out, so I haven’t published it. I wrote a short story with a working name of Cauliflower (it has nothing to do with vegetables) that I have no plans of publishing. I mostly wrote it because there was one specific scene I wanted to write, so I wrote a story around that scene. Heh.

My biggest project has been a novel called The Storm. I finished it a couple months ago, but I’ve only given it a once over and need to really dig into it for editing. It’s the longest novel I’ve written at around 91,000 words, so it’ll take a while to carve it up and figure out if I want to put it out into the world. In the meantime, I’ve been working on a short story that’s a sort of re-imagining of a story I outlined and partially wrote in 2011-2012.

Outside of the writing world, I’ve been playing Genshin Impact quite a lot since it launched. I’m sure that would come as a shock to no one that knows me, but I guess it’s worth mentioning.

Perhaps slightly more shocking is that I suddenly became a fan of Twice this year – completely randomly decided to try listening to some KPop and now here I am. I’ve only really dabbled back in the SNSD/Girls Generation days, but boy, was I big into JPop back in the early 2000s (did I mention that I met and got a picture with Taku Takahashi of m-flo and saw him do a live show at Otakon 2019? Cause I still can’t believe that happened).

Speaking of Korea, Solo Leveling is such a great read. If you’re into comics (it’s a full color manhwa/Korean comic), I highly recommend it. I started reading it last year, but the series just ended this week. It’s in the ‘power fantasy’ genre (MC suddenly gains a lot of power/abilities), and while it doesn’t really do anything unique, it plays in its space remarkably well.

And hey, look, if you’re reading this and I know you personally, I probably don’t need to tell you, but just in case, please get vaccinated. I don’t want to see anyone I know on /r/hermancainaward.

It feels really strange to admit this, but for years now, music has not played a very significant role in my life.  These posts are now all hidden, but if you’re a longtime reader of this blog, you may remember the many times that I’ve written about all of the ways that music induces emotions from me – elation at the news of new album releases, being in awe of amazing lyrics, grief when bands broke up or went on a hiatus, being bummed out that I couldn’t make it to concerts or that artists just didn’t go to Louisiana – this is just a small part how music has affected me in the past.

I still listen to music on occasions, but not in the same way.  Sometimes I get a song stuck in my head, so I listen to it a few times, and that’s that. Most reliably, I’ll listen to music while I’m writing, but it’s a very specific album that I’ve probably listened to hundreds of times that helps me concentrate (R/D’s “Liquid Heart Keeper“).

Really, the biggest impact music still has on my life is that every once in a while when I’m feeling nostalgic about something, I dig up an old song and relive that moment that ties me to the song.  That was really the inspiration for me writing this post out – “Eden” by The Mayfield Four randomly popped into my head, and I instantly had flashbacks of hanging out in that weird little atrium in the geology building at LSU.  This, in turn, made me remember trying to read “Neuromancer” for the first time in that same room, and also, perhaps more importantly, brought back fond memories of writing garbage romantic flash fiction in the hall outside of one of my geology classrooms while waiting for the current class to leave so I could go in.

Another really strange feeling I’ve experienced before from music is a bizarre sense of nostalgia while listening to songs about things I’ve literally never lived out.  I suppose you could say those songs were powerful enough to transport me somewhere else and give me that brief sensation of living vicariously.

But nowadays, I just can’t seem to get into any new music.  It just feels like that part of me is gone, replaced by podcast after podcast after podcast.  And maybe that’s a good thing too; I certainly enjoy my podcasts, but sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever be able to feel the same way about music again.