An In-Depth Analysis of the First Mix CD I ever Created

That’s right, folks. I’m about to give you an inside look at the musical mind of…you guessed it: me, circa 2004. Having recently re-acquired possession of my entire CD collection from my friend Anson (no, not this Anson), I have come across some incredible gems that for some reason or another did not make the cut onto my personal iTunes account.

If you have ever had the off-chance of speaking with me about my taste in music, you already know that it’s kind of all over the place. For example, two of my favorite artists are Josh Groban and Linkin Park.  If you are ever lucky enough to take a spin in the PDJeep (bring a gas-mask), you are sure to experience some Irish jig music followed by S Club-7 and Lupe Fiasco. To put it simply, you never know what you’re gonna get.

middle school

Unlike all of the rest of my burned CDs, in this amateur disc-making time of my life, I decided to forego labeling this one with the date of creation. I had to put on my research cap and deduce that I created this wonderful mix in the spring of 2004. There are two songs from the ‘Princess Diaries 2′ soundtrack, so my research was actually, in fact, not that difficult. So, let it be known that when I was in 7th grade at Holy Child, an all-girls Catholic school, I valued these 12 songs so much so that they could have the honor of being called “Paige’s Faves.” 7th grade was a very interesting year for me. It was during this time that I became what I feel should be called “emo” and left all signs of preppiness behind. I had fallen victim to the petty drama and bullies that are ever-present not only in middle school, but especially at an all-girls middle school. My personal favorite anecdote from this year was when one of my teachers’ asked us which song we would use to describe our grade. Having been at the peak of my emo, hating-the-world phase, I chose Linkin Park’s ‘Nobody’s Listening.’ If you’ve heard this song, you know that this was basically my way of saying a big “F*CK YOU” to my classmates. If you haven’t had the pleasure of hearing this masterpiece (which I still know every word to and belt at the top of my lungs at any opportunity I get), then please enjoy. Now that you know where I was during this phase of my life, let’s get down to the real analysis, shall we?

1. 1985- Bowling For Soup

Making it to #1 on ‘Paige’s Faves,’ this gem is a song that I am proud to admit I had completely forgotten even existed. Why did we all love this song? I was not a child of the eighties; how dare I pretend to associate with this demographic? Where did this band even come from and why did we just accept that their name was ‘Bowling For Soup?’ WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?! Clearly, I was a bandwagon fan with this one. I must have had some real insecurity issues if this made it onto the prestigious favorites list. Maybe I played this for my friends so that I would look cool and they would think “Oh, Paige loves a band called Bowling For Soup; she must be so rad!” Yeah, let’s just go with that.

2. The Sign- Ace of Base

To this day, if anyone speaks foul about Ace of Base, they are not prepared for the wrath that will follow. Ace of Base is the base thing to come out of the nineties, besides me, of course, and this is one of the few songs that will never, EVER, get old for me. Of course I had their first international release, ‘Happy Nation,’ on cassette and of course I listened to it nonstop. ‘All That She Wants?’- A CLASSIC. Ace of Base was absolute perfection until they screwed up and went and made another album. But let it be known, this song is most deserving of a spot on ‘Paige’s Favorites.’

3. Breakaway- Kelly Clarkson

Ahh here we have our first song from the Princess Diaries 2 soundtrack! A classic K.Clarkson track, this song was every middle school girl’s anthem. “Trying to belong here but something felt so wrong here;” obviously these lyrics applied to me in my time of middle school angst. 7th grade was that special time when you realized that someday, you would eventually leave home and have to fend for yourself. So, naturally, everyone wanted to do it immediately. Rock on with your bad self, Kelly.

4. Somebody Told Me- The Killers

Don’t even try to lie, you know every single word to this song. Boy or girl, this was one of those songs we didn’t quite understand, but would nod our heads along with it and think we were the absolute coolest. I’ll just leave this here: “Somebody told me that you had a boyfriend that looked like a girlfriend that I had in February of last year.” Is he trying to flirt with this woman he is talking to? Regardless, this song was an instant classic solely due to the weirdness that it is.

5. I Decide- Lindsay Lohan

Guys, I wish I was kidding. But, here we have the second song from the Princess Diaries 2 soundtrack. And, yes, it is by Lindsay Lohan. Do I still know every word to this gem of a song? Absolutely. I will say, though, that this song ignited my love for Lindsay’s music. #TeamNoShame. Do I own both of her albums? Of course. This song could have been every mid-high school girl’s anthem, but, apparently, it was only mine. I decide who I love, MOM!

6. Headsprung- LL Cool J

Seriously, I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried. I am legitimately giggling to myself as I write this because WHO DID I THINK I WAS?! I am not an LL fan, I literally don’t know if he has any other songs, but for some reason, I straight JAMMED to this song back in the day. Apparently, this was before LL stuck to wearing golf caps at awards shows, I don’t know? Also, if you were wondering, yes- I can rap this entire song.

7. Baby It’s You- JoJo

I’m really not even sure I need an explanation for this. This song is EVERYTHING. My previous roommate, Lauren, and I would frequently dance like freaks to this in public at any given opportunity up until three months ago. JoJo was the cool girl that we all wished we could be. She had the style and the attitude of a street thug, and it was so admirable. Girl could strut, and listening to this song made you think that you could, too. Not included: the Bow Wow version. It’s equally as good.

8. Fly- Hilary Duff

As a huge HilDuff fan growing up, this song is so deserving of being on the list of ‘Paige’s Faves’ that it is not even funny. In addition to being on her self-titled album, this song was featured on the soundtrack for one of her more phenomenal roles, ‘Raise Your Voice’- you know, that movie where she was a lost girl trying to find her voice in a music academy? Again, don’t try to pretend that you didn’t love this movie. Similarly to my situation with Lindsay Lohan, this song was pretty much the fuel to my fire that was a long relationship with HilDuff music. I owned all of her albums, including the greatest hits, and, again, I have no shame. ‘Dignity’ was and still is an incredible piece of work. There, I said it. #TeamNoShame.

9. Cameltoe- Fannypack

I’m just going to leave this here. I have no words that would justify this.

10. Accidentally in Love- Counting Crows

Besides the weirdness that is this music video, this song was a great one. Still played on radio stations to this day, you can’t help but sing along to this classic. Personally, I am going to have to disagree with 2004 Paige and say that this did not deserve to be on this CD. Great song- nothing special.

11. Basketcase- Green Day

I’m going to be honest- I wish I was cool enough to say that this was one of my favorite songs. Nope- this is all my brother, Peter. I have him to thank for getting me into Green Day, Hoobastank (of course), and some other great old school teen angst bands. Not Linkin Park- I did that all on my own, thank you very much. Still, though, I can say that I know all the words to this song and I probably wouldn’t change to the next station if this came on the radio today. Solid choice, Paige  Peter.

12. On the Way Down- Ryan Cabrera

This song is still amazing. I still remember bonding over this song with one of my best friends in middle school. We became friends because we had both been ‘victimized’ by middle school mean girls, and this song spoke volumes to us. “LOL, get it, on the way down, we both save each other! OMG it’s our song!” No, but actually. Every time I hear this song, I immediately go back to the basement of my middle school, sitting next to the lockers, and listening to this with one earbud and her listening with the other. #Memories. And don’t lie- you had a huge crush on Ryan Cabrera in middle school. This is what he looks like now. Sorry :/

Well, that’s a wrap folks. I hope you’ve enjoyed reminiscing on 2004 through my incredibly eye-opening musical tastes. Hopefully this brought some of you back to your time in middle school, full of regret and really, really weird choices. What embarrassing music did you listen to in middle school? Anything that beats mine? Holla atcha gurl.

Me? Athletic?

If this was a week ago, I would have scoffed in your face and proceeded to stuff a Chipotle burrito in my mouth just to prove you wrong. Paige, athletic? That must be some kind of joke, right? The girl who sits for hours on end watching re-runs of Criminal Minds? The girl who spends more time tweeting than she does spending time with friends? [I actually do have friends, I swear.] The girl whose favorite thing to do is play with fonts and edit her resume? [Again, I am not completely anti-social.] The girl who has (literally) always been in the shadow of her two younger brothers as they shattered swimming records, played 3 sports a year, and made at least one All-Star team a year? Well, low and behold, this girl has officially turned over a new leaf and has a new-found appreciation for athleticism.

Before I divulge into this new adventure, I think it is pertinent that we travel back in time and revisit all of the moments in my life that might lead you to think I would never ever be serious about exercise. Let’s start off when I was a toddler. At the ages of five and six, most young girls were taking ballet or jazz, or some sort of dance lessons, and you can bet I was right there beside them. However, I’ve kind of always had this thing where I wanted to be different from everyone else just for the sake of being different, which lead me to pursue a different art form: ice-skating. Oh, I wanted to be the next Michelle Kwan. I was practicing my triple axles everywhere, perfecting skating on one leg, the whole shabang. Yes, ice-skating was quite the thrill, but needless to say, it didn’t last very long. I soon realized that, in fact, I would not be the next Michelle Kwan, and I was really only in it for the fabulous costumes, and became discouraged to continue on with the sport.

Next, came the ever-exciting elementary school years. Naturally, I participated in soccer and softball, the two classics when it came to VYI (Vienna Youth Incorporated) sports. Oh, I was on some of the best soccer teams: the Vienna Lazers (1997), the Green Leprechauns (1998), the Orange Aliens (1999), the Maroon Martians (2000), the Blue Bombers (2000), and a revisit to the Green Leprechauns in 2001. However, for some reason, the softball team I was on stayed the same throughout the years: the Braves. As you can tell from the photographic evidence, having my hair-wrap in the picture was far more important than attempting to keep my eyes open. I’ll be honest here, I was no real asset to these teams. Yes, I wore the team shirt, and yes I was one of the few team members to show up on picture day, but that was about it. Clearly, these were two sports I did not wish to pursue in my future endeavors (and it’s probably for the better).

Then came middle school. This was the time that everyone figured out what sport they actually liked playing and stuck to it. Since soccer and softball were kind of a bust for me, I turned to my old mantra of being different for the sake of being different and decided to pursue Irish-Step dancing. If you’re not sure, yes, I am referring to Riverdance. My reasons for having an overwhelming need to Irish dance are a bit hazy these days, but good lord did I love it. I even coerced two of my best friends, Jessica and Allie, and even one of my brother’s good friends, Katherine, to do it with me so that we could lead the Irish-Step dancing revolution that would change the world. We were even students of one of the top Irish-Step dancing schools in the world…we might not have been the top students, but hey, that’s got to count for something, right? We participated in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade down Constitution Avenue for three years and were able to display our talents to the whole world. Needless to say, I absolutely loved Irish-Step dancing. What I didn’t love, though, was the thought of sacrificing my entire life and life-savings for the sake of Irish-jigging my way to Ireland for the Worlds competition. Thus, the Irish dancing dream days had to come to an end. [Additionally, if you know anyone who is interested in the beautiful cardboard-based ensemble pictured to the left, please contact me.]

Finally, my final endeavor in the world of athleticism was in high school. At Holy Child (yes, this was the name of my middle school and high school that I went to for ninth grade), I played volleyball. I had never even touched a volleyball before the tryouts, but by some miracle, I was actually sort of good. And by sort of good, I mean really good. I was on the B team (catholic school system), but still participated in every single game. This whole time, I was too busy being astounded by my miracle talent to notice the immense throbbing in my hands after every practice and game. It turns out, my coach had been hoping I would never discover or question the pain. Upon asking her about it, to my dismay, I found out that I was hitting the ball completely the wrong way, and, in fact, if what I was doing didn’t hurt so much, everybody would have the miracle volleyball talent that I thought I was so special to have. Well, I tried hitting the volleyball the normal way, and, you guessed it, I was awful. I attempted to play when I switched schools, but I was pretty much hopeless. Cue the end of my volleyball career. [This is the only picture I could find that provided evidence to me being on a volleyball team. Apparently, my parents knew that I was an awful player and chose not to document the destruction on the court. Thanks mom and dad.]
After the failure of volleyball, I finished all three of my remaining high school years playing lacrosse. I’m not sure exactly why, but I adored the sport. Additionally, and, again, I am not exactly sure why, I chose to be left-handed in lacrosse. When I first started learning how to play, I figured I didn’t know how to play with either hand, so in order to be different, I chose to be a leftie. I’m not going to lie, lacrosse might have been one of the best things to ever happen to me. It’s most certainly what prevented me from becoming obese, that’s for sure, seeing as I hated exercise and loved food. Sophomore and junior year, I was on the junior varsity team and loved absolutely every minute of it. I was with some of my best friends playing a sport I loved. Did I care if I actually got any playing time? Of course not. That didn’t matter to me whatsoever. To me, playing lacrosse was one of those moments where I knew I was most definitely not the best player out there, probably not even in the top 10 best players, but I loved playing so much that I didn’t care. My senior year I was finally on the varsity team. Still not getting much play time, I ate it up. I chose to attribute a different skill that I didn’t even know I had yet when I would play defense on the field: networking. Oh, I would just chat it up with the opponents about their life, if they had any tests this week, which girls on their team were really good. Even though my coach (and some of my teammates) absolutely hated it, it sometimes worked and distracted the opponents just long enough to make them think I was actually on their team. While the majority of my lacrosse career was either spent on the sidelines or verbally distracting the other players, it was definitely the most athletic moment in my life and one of my favorite memories of high school, without a doubt.

All of this has led me to now: three years into college, three years without playing an organized sport, and probably the most athletically minded I have been in my entire life. I’ve finally come to the realization that exercise doesn’t need to be difficult and isn’t a hardship, but is rather a necessity in order for your body to be functioning to its fullest potential. No, I haven’t done any research, I didn’t see the light, I just ran 5 miles one day, and even though I was completely wiped and felt like collapsing on the ground, I felt incredible.

So, cheers to all the years that I have been living in the shadow of my younger brothers as they eat 12 brownies and then somehow manage to turn it into muscle. Cheers to the length of my lacrosse skirt in comparison to my teammates in the picture above. And finally, cheers to growing up and becoming responsible for myself. I am now off to run into oblivion throughout Tysons Corner, so keep your eyes peeled for the girl whose face turns beet red and whose sweat flows like the Niagara Falls.

The Ever-Annoying Introduction Post

So here I am, making a blog. I’ve got Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and now even Google+, yet somehow, the purpose of this online outlet of self-expression already far exceeds those of my other social media websites. Sure, I like to log on to Facebook and stalk some people that I never talk to, pretend that they’re my friends, who doesn’t? And, yeah, I tweet several times throughout the day because I have to update my 178 followers every single time I eat, obviously they are very concerned for my well-being. But this…I am already anticipating writing my next post and I’ve yet to even finish the first paragraph of my first post.

To be absolutely honest, I could care less who reads this. Alright, granted I would appreciate it if at least one person would read it, but, the thing is, I really don’t have any preference as to who that one person is. The entire purpose of this blog is for me to put my passion for writing out in the open and for me to have an outlet that’s a little more professional than a Facebook status or a Twitter rant. By writing for an audience (regardless of how big or small), my writing takes me in an entirely different direction. I am able to reflect back onto something I have written and literally not be able to comprehend that I actually wrote it. That’s what I love about writing- you really have no idea what the end product is going to be until you’re completely done and reading the finished copy.

Upon coming home from school, my room was not the pristine condition I had left it in, but was still suffering from its use as the guest bedroom while I was gone. Naturally, instead of re-organizing all of my nick-nacks back to where they belonged (in their organized piles under my bed, of course), I went to town perusing through all of my high school treasures. It’s not like this was something new for me, I actually do this quite frequently. I have a thing for nostalgia and I already foresee myself ending up on one of those hoarder shows where the old woman is slowly dying because she can’t seem to get rid of anything. Anyway, going through my childhood things, I found a great deal of exciting items and collections. I tended to have an incredibly creative side, and a majority of the things I have kept from elementary school through high school are arts and crafts projects. Some notable homemade items include: iPod mini cases constructed out of duct tape, a million and one friendship bracelets, and a binder full of magazine collages. But the most important things that I found, which I plan on never getting rid of until the day I die, are my composition notebook summer journals.

I started writing daily in my first summer journal during the summer of 2003. At first, I had to give myself a strict set of rules for writing in my journal: I had to write at least one page, every single day, and it had to be before midnight, or else it would count as the next day’s page. I know, it seems a little much for someone who had just finished the 6th grade, but the rules seemed to have worked, because I soon began writing more than a page, and sometimes, more than once a day. The topics which I chose to write about were always very serious, ranging from how much money I made babysitting for my neighbors at the pool, to providing the full names of all 16 people I saw at the pool (this was a recurring topic), to descriptions of what every shirt I bought at Abercrombie that day looked like, etc,. On more than one occasion, I decide to divulge into my deeply confusing romantic life. For the sake of you understanding the seriousness of my day-to-day boy issues, I will provide a short excerpt from July 23rd, 2003:

“Right then and there I realized that Billy-Bob is really hot! Like, really! So, we followed him for a while around the pool, and I think he noticed! So finally, the girls got in a fight with the guys over the soccer and basketballs. You know what too, I can actually have fun and play with a guy! Guess which guy? Joe-Schmo! Did I tell you that one day two years ago we both decided and officially declared that we were friends? We even shook hands! He’s really hot!”

Obviously, I changed the names for fear of these men ever finding out how deeply in love I was with each of them. Most entries during my middle school days were very similar to this. Although, I do recognize a kind of reporter’s writing style seeing as I would report the entire day’s events to my journal, oftentimes unbiased. Maybe I can use my description of the 7th grade dance at the community center as a writing sample for future job applications.

It’s when I hit high-school that my journal entries really started to get interesting. I spent my freshman year at an all-girls Catholic private school with a class-size of 50 girls; clearly I was just swimming in the fishbowl of diversity. It was also right after freshman year when I discovered that I suffered from ADD. In my mind, I thought I was just more fun than all of my classmates, but in reality, I couldn’t focus on one thing at a time if my life depended on it. Consequentially, many journal entries include me breaking out into Fall Out Boy lyrics and draining on about how Zac Efron and I were soul mates and how I knew we were going to meet one day. Another fun fact from freshman year: I was desperate to be an actress. I absolute needed to make it onto Disney Channel or I did not feel as if my life was worth living. It was the summer before 9th grade that I went to see Aly & AJ in concert and some no-name band that called themselves The Jonas Brothers opened up for them and had a meet-and-greet. From that day, June 16, 2006, and forward, my obsession with Jonas Brothers would reach disturbing heights. Most pages of my journal are covered with the various things I liked about each one of them and how I would DIE if I didn’t see them again soon. I also began to sign off each entry with an acronym, that of which I have spent the past 20 minutes trying to figure out what exactly it stood for. There is a ‘JB’ in the middle of it, so I have deciphered that it has something to do with the Jonas Brothers, but that’s as far as I got.

If you’ve made it this far in the post, I commend you, for you have stuck with me from 7th to 9th grade, which we all know are the dark ages in one’s adolescence. My posts from now on will not only be about my middle school years, although I am sure I will dive back into those waters every now and then. I will also not use this blog the same way I used my journals, by pouring out every detail of my day, naming names, and signing off with an acronym about how I plan on seducing all three Jonas brothers. It is just so entertaining to me to be able to look back only 6 years ago and see what my life was. Sure, I can look at pictures and guess that I must have been having a good time, or remember having a blast at that one concert with my friends; but being able to read what my exact thoughts were and how my mind interpreted everything that was going on in my life at a certain time, that’s something that I truly cherish.

I was unsure of where exactly I’d be going with this post, but I’m happy with where my writing took it. It is so much better to just sit back and let your fingers and your thoughts do the work for you than to try and stick to guidelines and have a predetermined destination. Hopefully this blog will be similar to my summer journals in that I will write about exactly what is on my mind; however, I’m hoping I’ll be able to do it without forcing rules upon myself and maybe writing with a little more eloquence. Just maybe.