TRUE STORY: The Top Five Most “Fangirl” Things I’ve Ever Done

NOTE: The following is brought to you by request from one of my readers, who thought this would make for an entertaining blog post. That being said, I hope you find it entertaining.

Ah, fandoms. We’ve all been a part of at least one in our lives, right? Whether it’s a band following, a book series, or any of the many superhero-related comics/TV series/movies out there, we’ve all got our thing/s that speak/s to us. While I’ve admittedly been a fan of quite a number of things, I definitely had the most fun being a part of music and book series fandoms. Why? I’m a bookworm musician. What do you expect? Anyways, when it comes to the most “fangirl” things I’ve done in my life, I really haven’t done too many. In fact, the reason I called this “top five” is because I could only think of five. But these five things I have done are pretty intense. Let’s just say that when I do decide to fangirl, I either “go big or go home.”

5.) Writing ALL That Fanfiction: Uff. How pathetic was I between the ages of 12 and :gulps out of embarrassment: 20 (or was it…21?)? VERY. I still fear the resurfacing of all those insane fanfics of Linkin Park, Kenny Chesney, Harry Potter, etc. What in the name of all possible higher powers’ green earth was going through my head when I wrote those? Well, given they were written during the craziest years of anyone’s life, who really knows? But one thing’s for sure, they definitely garnered an audience and helped to establish myself as one of the craziest fanfiction authors to ever grace the Internet. I’m not sure if that’s something to be proud of or not (but if I had to guess, I’d say no). NEED THE BACKSTORY? Read about my fanfiction days here:

4.) Ultimate Fan Experience Pack: You know how can you tell you’re a little…you know, different, from other people? When you shamelessly drop one easy payment of (I think it was) $24.95 PLUS applicable taxes and handling fees to purchase the “ultimate fan experience pack” of a band that to the rest of the world, is little more than a long-forgotten one-hit-wonder. But to you, they’ll ALWAYS be the greatest band to ever come out of the 90s. Yes, dear readers, back in 2006, I purchased the Harvey Danger “ultimate fan experience pack” shortly following the release of their final album, Little By Little. It included the following items: a t-shirt (which, fun fact, is to date, the ONLY band t-shirt I ever owned), four buttons (two of which I have since lost, which makes me very, very sad as they are clearly irreplaceable), some stickers and of course, a hard copy of the album, Little By Little. I laugh when I think about how many times I wore that shirt and people would ask, “So, why are you so into high def (Harvey Danger’s logo is simply “HD”)?”

3.) The Trent Reznor Chronicles: To be perfectly honest, I was debating whether or not to include this on on the list. That’s because when I started the series, I was actually a far cry from being a fan of Nine Inch Nails. At the time, I was still carrying the scars from Mr. Reznor and his infamous “death-stare” being longtime figures of my childhood nightmares. The main reason I started the series in the first place was simply because I was dumb enough to find humor in how such a frightful figure could originally hail from somewhere so cute and quaint. I’m embarrassed to say the series was bred out of a terrible combination of immature, teenage humor and brutal local stereotypes as opposed to the desire to pay a comedic homage to a talented, iconic artist. That is why to this day, I still carry such immense guilt over the whole thing. However, as time progressed, I surprised myself by taking a liking to NIN, and eventually becoming a fan. This was then illustrated throughout the progression of the series, where it did end up becoming more of a playful tribute to someone whose work I now enjoyed. So, while it didn’t start out that way, it definitely ended that way. Of course, just because I became a fan doesn’t mean I stopped being afraid of him. Even at age thirty (almost thirty-one, which makes it REALLY embarrassing), I still manage to find him sneaking his way into my nightmares. Perhaps it’s self-imposed psychological payback for the series? Who knows. NEED THE BACKSTORY? Read about The Trent Reznor Chronicles here:

2.) Max Bemis Song Shop: When I first heard that legendary emo artist Max Bemis opened up a song shop where you could place an order to have him write you an original song about anything you want, I fangirled so hard my roommate at the time thought I needed to go the hospital from all the hyper-intensity of my emotions. It was almost too good to be true. Think about it, how would you feel if you found out one of your all-time favorite artists was offering their services as a song writer to the everyday person!? I couldn’t believe he was doing this. Unfortunately, it would be another decade before I would be in the right position to buy a song. And this past November, I was finally able to live out the ultimate emo fantasy and do so. I decided to have him write a song about the reunion of me and one of friends (long story short, we were BFFs in kindergarten and first grade, then we both moved away from each other, were separated for twenty-two years, and were reunited not by social media, but fate…pretty cool, huh? Now, if only we lived closer to each other), who is also a former emo and fan of his work. It took well over seven long months, but as of a week ago, it FINALLY came in! I don’t think I ever felt so excited to hear anything in all my life. At the same time, it also (to a strange degree) felt like getting the results back from a difficult test. My heart thudded with anticipation as I clicked to download it. And…well, it was good, but not what I expected. See, the thing with emo is, it’s a genre all about the lyrics. Given Mr. Bemis’ incredible lyrical history, I guess you can say I had some pretty high hopes for this song. Unfortunately, I felt the lyrics were just a bit…rushed. The music part was OK, but man, those lyrics were lacking some heart. I couldn’t help but think that by the time he got down to my song, he was so burned out he just wanted to get it over with. Although I wasn’t completely disappointed, I definitely didn’t feel…fulfilled? Is that the right word? I don’t know. All I know is after waiting ten and a half long years for one of his songs, I just…eh. Perhaps this is one of those situations where the fantasy should have just stayed in Fantasyland.

1.) A Letter from Mrs. McCallum: And now, dear readers, I present to you, the most fangirl thing I’ve ever done in my entire life. If you know me, you know that I’m a long-time Alice in Chains fan (seriously though, I’ve loved them since I was six). Of all the grunge artists, I personally feel they were the best. And when it comes to 90’s rock in general, to me, they’ll always be tied with Harvey Danger for the number one spot. Anyways, several years ago, a friend of mine informed me that you could actually write to the late Layne Staley’s mother, and she would write you back. I looked at my friend, made a questionable face and said, “Yeah, right.” I found that REALLY hard to believe. Unless of course, she had someone else doing the writing, and it was the same template/response sent out to everyone. You know what I’m talking about. Well, needless to say, I never forgot this bit of information. And one afternoon, while bawling my lonely eyes out to “Heaven Beside You,” I found myself looking up to see if whether or not the opportunity to write his mother was still there. When I found out it was, I decided to do it. Why not, right? What have I got to lose? At first, I wasn’t sure what to write about, so I turned to the website for help. It mentioned memories, so that prompted me to telling her about the first time I heard AIC. From there, I went into how much Layne’s voice and the band’s music meant to me throughout the years. After rechecking it at least thirty-five times for any possible errors, I signed, sealed and mailed it. In just a short handful of weeks, to my astonishment, I received a letter back. I ripped open the envelope and read what had to have been one of the most heartfelt and genuine letters I’ve ever received in my life. It didn’t just bring me to tears, but a full-fledged downpour from my eyes. I was floored by her sweetness and dedication to keeping her son’s memory alive through taking the time to connect with his fans. Looking back, maybe it was a weird thing to do, but the opportunity was there and let’s face it, we all do pretty strange things in the name of immense, soul-crushing loneliness. I think though, perhaps, over the years, this has been her way of coping with the loss of her son. By hearing from those who loved him, it has helped her know how much of an impact he made on this Earth in the short time he was alive.

Afterthought: What’s the craziest fangirl/fanboy thing you’ve ever done?

Second Afterthought: I think it’s terribly fascinating that the mother of a deceased rock star was able to take the time to hand write a letter to me, a complete stranger, and I can’t seem to get members of my own family or circle of friends to respond to a simple “Hello, how are you?” text. That’s a bit weird, right?