like a pair of bottle rockets

My name is Sophie. I'm a writer.

sophcw at gmail dot com

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#Life

If I told my teenage self that in the future I would write something that ended up becoming and XKCD comic I think I would just be very, very confused. 

If I told my teenage self that in the future I would write something that ended up becoming and XKCD comic I think I would just be very, very confused. 

  • me: DJ essay is getting progressively less shitty
  • Tom: Read that and for like a quarter of a second thought "Wait who is DJ Essay?"

I’m sitting in my backyard on a beautiful day. Earlier I had brunch with my father who happens to be visiting from California and his college friends. Afterwards, my boyfriend and I walked through Central Park. We lay on the grass and I thought about us and all the people in the city and in the world and how small we all were, how small my little life is in comparison to the vastness of space, time, the universe. Then I got a text from my mom telling me my grandma had two more mini-strokes and might never remember who I am again. 

Now I’m sitting here with this stray cat as my neighbor plays pop punk and Katy Perry out her window. I should be working on an essay, and I just found out I’m writing another piece for a big deal publication. 

The neighbor started playing The Dodos. I remember when I drove down to San Francisco to see them at Amoeba. The cat is stalking something in the grass.

How strange it is, etc. 

The oral* history of Music Tumblr 2008-2014: your responses »

markrichardson:

crumbler:

Some great rejoinders to my piece from yesterday about the rise and fall of Music Tumblr. A few worth pointing out:

  • katherinestasaph: “I would blame the economics of journalism long, long before I would blame YouTube and Bandcamp and Spotify, because one has at least opened up far more…

Really enjoyed seeing all of this. Sounds like I joined tumblr just after what some consider the best moment of this particular corner of “music tumblr.” I also find it interesting that I found pretty quickly many of the folks that might be said to comprise this loose scene. I joined tumblr after prr I think so that never factored in for me. I might be remembering wrong but I think early on I saw something from Ewing where he said it reminded him of early ilm and I agree with that. I’ve learned a ton here and it’s been a fun place to experiment. I’ve always found tumblr relaxing for some reason, unlike any other social media. It’s the only platform I’ve ever actually liked and not participated in out of professional obligation. I’m sticking around and I hope others do. On the lookout for new people to follow.

I only found out about the original post, in which I am name-checked by someone who I’ve never heard of (not a dis! thanks for the shout out!), via Dan Kolitz's Facebook, on which he among others were joking (or “joking”) about being offended we were not asked to participate in this. I honestly think that the PRR side of Tumblr and the “music criticism” side were slightly different if overlapping cultures. PRR was “about music” only loosely. Mostly it was about being a young person living in NYC with creative aspirations. A lot of the people who were involved in “music tumblr” fell into that category, and I think one of the other reasons that the “scene” isn't necessarily as big of a deal now is that a lot of those friendships migrated from online into real life. And yeah, a lot of us are in our mid-20's now, and when this whole deal started we probably were slightly more naive and excited about the possibilities of music and writing and having a connection to people who wrote for websites that still seemed beyond our reach if it weren't for Tumblr. 

It is actually insane how much of my life has been shaped by this website. The person who hired me for the internship that brought me back to New York did so largely on the strength of what he saw as my “personal brand” on my blog. When I was at NYU I became friends via Tumblr with one of my favorite music writers (and one of the most important unmentioned founders of “music tumblr”) and he even agreed to have coffee with me, which was the equivalent of an Almost Famous moment for me at the time. My friendships with Dan and Jeremy led to them living with another friend of mine who moved out here from California. This is why it’s funny to me when people still draw thick lines between things that happen on the internet and the rest of reality. Because if it weren’t for the internet, so much of my own reality wouldn’t even exist. 

I haven’t been writing for both the reasons given by people in the original post, and those brought up by Katherine in the response post. I was incredibly broke until very recently (now I’m slightly less broke), which led me to take on a bunch of service industry jobs which took away from my ~tumblr time~, and also led me to focus on writing for money, since that’s really all I could afford. But I’m not going anywhere!

Lastly, in another strange meta-event, I DJed several Tumblr company events over the last few years, including their Christmas party in 2012. At one of these events I was drunkenly chatting up David Karp and he told me my DJing was “brilliant,” because that’s what people tell you when you play “Empire State Of Mind” into Grimes for a bunch of wasted advertising people. 

#reblog4ever

My cat ate a pill off the floor this morning and I spent all day in the pet emergency room by myself. I had to make a tough call about spending money on pet care on my own for the first time and I cried in an empty room while I waited for the vet. I didn’t get to go see John Darnielle read from his new book or to the indie pop show I was planning on meeting a friend from far away at after. But my boyfriend came over and made me food and drinks and now he and my cat are both sleeping next to me. So I am grateful. 

theswinginsixties:

Edie Sedgwick

Last night I spent several hours with someone who once lived with Edie Sedgwick and knows countless other legendary artists. It’s insane and amazing to realize that these figures who I’ve always seen as beyond regular humanity, almost mythical, totally untouchable, were really just people like me, with friends, families, challenges, petty dislikes and dreams. It feels profound and humbling to remember I live in the same city as this history and as the people who made it,

theswinginsixties:

Edie Sedgwick

Last night I spent several hours with someone who once lived with Edie Sedgwick and knows countless other legendary artists. It’s insane and amazing to realize that these figures who I’ve always seen as beyond regular humanity, almost mythical, totally untouchable, were really just people like me, with friends, families, challenges, petty dislikes and dreams. It feels profound and humbling to remember I live in the same city as this history and as the people who made it,

I haven’t been writing much on here recently. I’m in Australia. It’s a “vacation” but it’s hard to not feel guilty for relaxing when I don’t have a “real job” at home to go back to. Every second I’m not working towards the obscure goal of “creative success” or at least of making enough money to live feels like a waste of time. But I am really enjoying myself, and I’m not really looking forward to being back inside the icy claws of New York. It’s been very up and down for the last few weeks. Some days I feel like I’m on the verge freedom from worry, and other times I am weighted with total certainty of failure. 

I went to a wedding yesterday. It wasn’t as warm as we thought it’d be. There’s still a lot of salt in my hair. I haven’t swam in the ocean yet. 

RIP ceramic green Ikea bowl

I found you on the sidewalk outside my old loft. You were chipped, but otherwise looked alright. I carried you inside with a bunch of other kitchen supplies. We used you for almost a year and you served us well - you were the only bowl we had that was the right size for microwaving. We imagined what your life was before we found you and wondered why someone would discard you so easily. 

Two days ago our kitchen was a giant mess and while moving some pots my roommate dropped you on the ground and broke you. Now we only have some ugly brown and white ceramic bowls from Salvation Army which are too shallow to use for much, and one larger glass bowl that’s a little too big to eat out of without feeling stupid. But it’s all we have, so until we get ourselves back to a thrift store, it will have to do. You will be missed. 

“If you’re automatically sure that you know what reality is and who and what is really important — if you want to operate on your default setting — then you, like me, will probably not consider possibilities that aren’t pointless and annoying. But if you’ve really learned how to think, how to pay attention, then you will know you have other options. It will actually be within your power to consider a crowded, hot, slow, consumer-hell-type situation as not only meaningful, but sacred, on fire with the same force that lit the stars — compassion, love, the subsurface unity of all things. Not that that mystical stuff is necessarily true: The only thing that’s capital-T True is that you get to decide how you’re going to try to see it. This, I submit, is the freedom of real education, of learning how to be well-adjusted: You get to consciously decide what has meaning and what doesn’t.”

– David Foster Wallace, This Is Water