Tag Archives: pop culture

Hannah Hunt

I’ve been thinking a lot about writing a “Best Albums and Songs of 2014” list as a blog post, which I will invariably have to make because it would be a tragedy to you as the internet to not hear what a 24-year-old music snob considers the best few minutes of instruments and voices to be released this year, and also because this was actually a year in which two of my favorite musicians of all time put out highly-anticipated new albums that both gave me a lump in my throat upon listening. However, before talking about the good, I guess you have to talk about the other stuff, right?

I didn’t make a “Best Albums of 2013” blog post last year, but if I did, I’m sure Modern Vampires Of the City would be on it. MVOTC is an album that came out last year by a band called Vampire Weekend that has probably been the butt off too many “so-called” hipster jokes (but also one I personally never wrote about, so I guess not every hipster joke, right?). It was well-received in the indie music circles that obsess over 4-piece scruffy white dude bands and way-too-highly paid music critics who work for Rolling Stone and SPIN alike. It was a slightly different sound for Vampire Weekend and I know that there’s some technical term that escapes me for the way the audio engineer mixed the tracks, but suffice it to say that it sounded more “recorded” and “new age”. It still had bouncy melodies and tribal drums and nonsense lyrics that were fun to guess like Vampire Weekend’s older 2 albums and it ended up as a huge spring-to-summer playlist pick of 2013.

I guess it was a small bit personal, too.

I remember that you bought the album before I did, since you were always reliable at doing so. My memories are a little shaky, but I would almost go so far as to say that I think you preordered it on vinyl, as that was a habit that only solidified our chemistry, because we both valued tangible old-school technology and actually paying for music we loved. Living in Nashville at the time gave us this automatic veil of respect for the art of an album that we carried like a banner everywhere we went, and liner notes were our bibles. “Music City” is a nickname we hate but love in its simple perfection, because it fit our favorite thing to talk about. This unbridled passion for talented artists and very lifeblood of discussing new songs we heard on the local radio station that were about to blow up or how every band was trying to be the Lumineers in 2013 (which sucked) or how the Grammys were a joke yet somewhat important fueled our conversations at Tennessee coffeehouses and off-the-highway dive bars, which were, coincidentally, also full of other critics and songwriters drinking and discussing and karaoke-ing, too.

But, I digress.

Before I purchased Modern Vampires Of The City, a good friend of ours had told me that she’d nearly been moved to tears upon the first listen, which wasn’t an uncommon compliment in our musically-saavy community, but still stuck out in my mind. A few days later, you had listened to the whole album one night (with a glass of whiskey nearby and the candle I convinced you to buy at Target burning) and told me all about it over the phone in a tone of almost-reverence. It may not have been the most important album your well-tuned ears had heard, but you convinced me that I needed to listen to it because it was really something. 

And so, I did listen to it in your car the next day. We were driving around Interstate 440 with multiple people in the backseat- naturally, I was riding shotgun, as my neediness was in full swing- and Modern Vampires Of The City was playing as our background music, which isn’t terrible, but, as we both agreed, isn’t ideal for the first listen of an album when you’re trying to analyze it and see if it stands out. Oddly enough, you kept skipping Track 6 with little explanation, just mentioning that neither you nor I was  “ready” for it. About an hour or so later, we’d dropped off our caravan of riders and were alone the car. You looked at me with a seriousness that felt odd for a midday drive, and then you skipped to Track 6 with the dashboard controls.

“It’s time. You ready?”

(Sidenote: This was always something I admired about you: how you let things speak for themselves. I always feel the need to upsell my favorite things to people before letting them dive in, as if they require rationalization, but you were convinced great things held their own weight. I would have given a speech on why Track 6 would change your life, but you just pressed play with a confidence and the tiniest hint of a “you’ll-thank-me” smirk.)

It began. We listened to 3 minutes and 58 seconds of indie-music-somewhat-love-song bliss in full with the sun shining through the car windows, like we were scoring the soundtrack our own poorly-directed episode of Girls or a dollar-store imitation of Garden State. It was my first listen to this particular track but it sure-as-hell hit me. This was so different for this band we’d both loved- it sounded so personal. With the speakers up high and Ezra Koenig’s voice pleading with me about being afraid of growing older and trust and time and money, I felt very 23 and just a little emotional. Suddenly, at the 2:39 mark, the song just changed oh-so-slightly and that was it- I was hooked. I wanted this song in my back pocket at all times and I wanted to hear it again and I wanted to talk about it, but also not talk about it right away as to not ruin the magic or the moment.

You sighed pretty heavily as it faded out and simply said, “…and that’s Hannah Hurt” after the song finished playing, and we drove around some more without speaking for a few minutes, as if it was still all sinking in. I’m sure eventually we changed the conversation to Instagram or other records out that week or where we wanted to eat that night, but I remember that 3 minute and 58 second nothing-but-music moment as clear as day. Oddly enough, your original song title was actually incorrect. The song’s name is actually “Hannah Hunt” but your substitution of “Hurt” was an interesting quirk and a point that I’d try to write into every later story of us I told, but could never do successfully, as if it was supposed to be foreshadowing or mean something deeper.

It didn’t.

Regardless, “Hannah Hunt” (/Hurt) would stay with me heavily for several months, whether I wanted it to or not. It would be a song that I would turn to if I wanted to think about you when you were gone, a song that I’d play if I wanted to cheaply exploit my own emotions, and a song that I’d listen to on repeat on both good and bad days. Every time I heard it I went bittersweetly back to your car and that lazy afternoon and listening to something beautiful and sad that I loved all at the same time, with someone I loved at the same time who was a little sad and beautiful, too.

I heard it again last week and it wasn’t the same. I was driving home from work on a particularly windy Austin road and my shuffle-mode iPod decided to grace me with the same quiet beginning and light driving piano I know oh-so-well. I instantly remembered that day over a year ago in a different state and I remembered sitting shotgun in your car and I remembered seeing your face and your haircut I loved that you got after we’d met, but it wasn’t overpowering. It was simply a song that brought something back and though my heart still swelled in my chest at the 2:39 mark, I was okay after it ended. All the hard stuff about reliving the past and relationships ending and moving on and moving away wasn’t attached to it anymore. It was just track 6 on Modern Vampires Of The City, a track I liked, a track I could singalong to and talk about, and most of all, a track that told a story and let a memory exist again for 3 minutes and 58 seconds peacefully. You know, without hurting.

My eventual “Best Songs of 2014” List is full of singer-songwriters and high-rated indie releases that I’ll claim took the most out of me these 12 months and captured my attention and ears and heart, but I’m sure that tucked into the mixtape of songs that really stuck with me this year, “Hannah Hunt” will exist, as it has for over a year now.

And, maybe just as a personal gesture, I’ll go for a drive with it playing and think about sunshine on dashboards and breathe in every note, because I can, and because things are okay. Time changes your favorite things but also heals them.

Plus, when you really think about it, my car speakers are just as loud, there’s a lot of road ahead, and the album doesn’t stop after Track 6.

You’re Gonna Hear Me Roar (Eventually)

We’re gonna get real.

We’re gonna talk about Katy Perry, being sicker than you’ve ever been, long-distance relationships, hospitals, loneliness, and pumpkin s’more donut muffins.

And if that sounds difficult to follow, you may need to get off the ride now.

But if you’re up for it, before you read below, please press “play”-

I knew I was going to love the Katy Perry song, “Roar” before I even heard it. The title was too telling of the content- which I knew would involve some sort of lion or big-cat imagery, which clearly, having donned myself “The Lion-Haired Girl”, I was going to adore- and I wasn’t wrong. From the first notes, I knew I was going to get wrapped up in the overly-produced pop sound and the sweetness and simplicity of the lyrics. I was even more onboard when I realized that she had taken the word “roar” and turned it into “ro-o-o-o-OH-OH-OH-O-ar” during the chorus, which I could easily sing along to at any and all times.

The song came out August 10th, which shouldn’t be overly special to note, but it was.

5 days later, August 15th, my longtime boyfriend moved allllll the way across the United States, (literally, hi Seattle) to live his dream. To “roar” in another state, if you will. (And yes, he will hate this analogy so much because it’s Katy Perry instead of The National, but still). He rode away into the sunset and I remained just about as calm toward the situtation as any early-twenties-millenial-with-too-many-feelings can, which is to say that I ate a lot of deep fried things covered in cheese, made 18 playlists of coping music, texted him nonstop for hours about pointless things, and made impulse purchases of studded leather vests and combat boots because I assumed they would heal my heart (which, let’s be real, they definitely helped).

So, flashforward with me. I’m almost to the end of August and I still can’t get this song out of my head. I’m attempting not to dwell on every question of, “How are you going to make long distance work?” and I’m really doing a good job at taking care of myself. At some point in every day, I still find myself singing or humming the melody and succumbing to the pop masterpiece of “Roar”. I’m wishing I had boxing gloves like Katy had during her VMA performance and by now I’ve learned all the words and harmonies and have even started checking eBay for a knockoff of KP’s tiger satin jacket.


(try not to be impressed by my photoshop skills)

If I was more of a believer in Long Island Medium or the ‘great timing of the universe’, I’d say listening to “Roar” on repeat was supposed to prepare me for September, but it didn’t. In between counting down the days til Katy’s album release in October and working a job with ridiculous hours of 4AM to noon (I know it sounds like I’m complaining, but, stay with me) I got mono.

Yep, that’s right – I get “the kissing disease” after my longtime boyfriend moves away. The jokes just write themselves!

But I don’t just get regular mono. I get mono coupled with a nasty Upper Respiratory Infection and complete with a super fun trip to the ER, which as it turns out, was the first time I had ever been in a hospital for myself and not just to bring flowers to a family member, and as it turns out, filled me with more anxiety than most anything I have encountered on the earth thus far.

(i added some doodles to make this photo of my hospital bracelet less depressing. hooray!)

(i added some doodles to make this photo of my hospital bracelet less depressing. hooray!)

The ER results in everything being okay, just a little scary (thanks a lot, liver levels!). So I take off work for a few days. My sweet roommate and friends rally around me and even my rockstar Mama flies in from Texas to make me soup and take care of me. I go back to work with the instruction that there is no “cure” for mono- I am just supposed to rest and drink fluids for about month and eventually it will go away…and then the defeat sets in. With my job hours already, I go to sleep at 7:30 PM most nights, and so add on being exhausted all the time from mono and I shrink into a cocoon. Not wanting to get anyone contagious, much less have to explain, “Hey, ask me about my mono!” to people, (which, by the way, no one will not freak out after hearing) I don’t see pretty much anyone during the entire month of September, and I certainly don’t listen to “Roar”. I hardly even talk to my roommates. Any calls I make to Seattle to be a supportive girlfriend just end in me whining. Mostly I just fall half asleep and lay in bed and feel sorry for myself. I pout and complain and everything I do becomes an event of “yay me!” or “I’m the worst”. Basically, I’m unbearable.

Now, I don’t say all of this to try and generate a feeling of sorry. People get sick all the time, but September unpolitely reminded me I just clearly am not as strong or independent as I thought I was. I try to talk this big game of being a girl who moved away from all she knew to chase her dreams in Nashville, even if they broke her heart, but all it takes is alone time to feel like I have no clue what I’m doing and to see just how needy I am. The social butterfly inside of me crumbled hard and I began to question what I was even doing anymore.

“But I listen to ‘Roar’ all the time, and every day I wear a lot cat-eye winged eyeliner because I am confident, and I make loud jokes and smile at strangers,” I kept thinking. ” I should be able to handle this! I’m an extrovert and I can tackle anything!” was an attitude I’d adopted forever, but now I was just looking forward to crawling in bed, doctor’s orders or not.

I gave up, in a way. I just kinda was a miserable person to be around and threw one hell of a pity party.

But eventually, about the second week in October, I started to feel better and began to feel like I could stay awake without it feeling like a challenge. I could be around people again and began to actually try and participate in activities that weren’t solely watching bad reality tv and moping. I could spend time with healthy human beings without bringing up how sad I had been and I could make some killer pumpkin s’more doughnut muffins with friends.

However, surprisingly, I didn’t have the immediate “lesson-learned’ feeling afterwards.

As a writer, I want to glamorize things. I want to tell sweeping stories of how life has changed me. I want to hear about your experiences and put them into words that jump off the page or screen and capture the heart.

But I haven’t had that moment. I know September was a lame month, but I didn’t get a big story resolution out of it. It taught me just how weak and spoiled I am, and not having anyone to talk to makes me cranky, but it didn’t give me this deep knowledge about solitude that I felt I could share, so I avoided writing it down. I avoided telling people or I just joked about it (“Remember when I had mono?”) but I still couldn’t shake it, so here I am.

I want you to know, whoever you are reading this, that I’m listening to “Roar” a lot again. I’m probably missing out on “better” and more scholarly music, but I can’t get rid of it, because in some small way, it helps.

Why do we put so much faith in the little things? Because it’s easy, I think. I rely on medicine I purchased at the store with a coupon to heal me, so why can’t a 99-cent single on iTunes do the same?

I’m not 100%. I don’t think I’ll ever be 100% satisfied with everything, but I know that I can listen to “Roar” now and not feel like I’m the worst. I can hear it as a fun pop song and get a little bit of empowerment about it, even if I feel like it’s not the dramatic show-stopping song that usually accompanies a huge moment in my life. I can promise myself that just because my life isn’t a movie and that I don’t get to have a “getting better montage,” I am still getting better. I can still bounce back. I can still, well, roar.

So I dedicate “Roar” to mono. I dedicate it to bad days. I dedicate it to thinking you’re depressed when really you’re just young and stupid and have cold feet. I dedicate it to timezones that keep me away from the person who has challenged me for the better and loved me stupidly well the past year. I dedicate it to insecurity. I dedicate it to not learning the lesson immediately, because sometimes it’s okay to say that you’re only 23 and you don’t have it figured out yet and that just because you have a blog does not mean you have to act like you have all the answers.

Regardless of confidence levels, you’re gonna hear me roar. In sickness and in health, you’re gonna hear me roar. Even if it means I have to accept some things as not finished yet, you’re gonna hear me roar. From Seattle to Nashville to New York, you’re gonna hear me ro-o-o-o-OH-OH-OH-ar.

And frankly, if you’re not okay with me roaring, I kinda hope that you get mono.

Kickstarter Campaigns I Would (Actually) Support

I have mixed feelings about Kickstarter.com. I think it’s great to be able to take fundraising global and to reward people who donate to make movies, albums, artwork, charity and inventions possible, but I also think it can breed laziness. Regardless, things I love have been accomplished via this medium (namely, the new Veronica Mars movie, which means the contiuation of my undying love for Logan Echolls!!!!) and so it’s only right that I’ve dreamed up a few of my own ideas that would inspire me to give money to accomplish a goal.

Kickstarter Campaigns I Would (Actually) Support

Bringing A Whataburger to Tennessee (because this just won’t cut it)

Bringing back the Pony Express (because handwritten mail is awesome and ponies are even more awesome)

An app that locates the closest person who needs a hug or who is down to give a hug at that moment

An app for an alarm clock that is actually just the voice of Ryan Gosling saying, “You’re brilliant and beautiful just the way you are, but your hair will look even better if you get up now and fix it before work” and that just gives out compliments when you try and press “Snooze”

Another iPhone video app to add to Vine & Instagram videos, because lord knows my generation needs something else to complain about on twitter

A Hoverboard (or at least a prototype)

Continuing the seasons of television cancelled too soon, or giving  Party Down a 3rd season, Firefly and Freaks and Geeks  2nd seasons and Pushing Daisies a 2nd-18th season(s).

The formation of a tv network that plays nothing but Disney Channel Original Movies from the early 2000s, 24/7

 While we’re on tv, some sort of memory eraser that deletes any memories I have of LOST from this entire earth and never mentions it in any casual conversations that leave people mad at me for years to come because I’m sorry, but, ARE YOU ACTUALLY SERIOUS WITH THE CORK IN THE ISLAND AND THE POLAR BEARS

An ATM machine that dispenses glitter and/or hummus

An initiative to revive the musical careers of Damien Rice, Outkast & Shania Twain, or at least encourage them all to release ANOTHER ALBUM because honestly I can be patient but you know you can’t just turn off genius and there is bound to be something for my ears between the three (technically 4) of them

A widget that adds onto Facebook that asks every single user, “REALLY?” before they decide to post another out-of-focus photo of their lunch

An in-depth tutorial of how to wear and pull off a crop top without feeling like I forgot half of my shirt and brain (this one doesn’t even have to take long to fund, seriously, I will just pay someone $10 if they can tell me this without using the phrase, “you better werk!”)

A waffle iron in the shape of Leslie Knope’s face

An Actual Hotel For Dogs, where the dogs run the hotel and they wear little bellman caps and carry your bags and don’t really care when you check in or out as long as they can cuddle and look at you lovingly with those sad eyes, oh and COMPLIMENTARY PUPPIES

Michael Bay’s Retirement Fund, where we pay him to NOT continue a cinematic career

An iPhone charger that runs on sarcasm

Glasses that sync to display the lyrics to whatever song is currently playing so that you can learn all the words

A magazine with a really smart sounding title like “Business Success And You” that looks like you’re reading to further your career and are impressive but is secretly filled with photos of adorable baby animals

A magical Utopia that holds all you could ever want  Just kidding, we already have the internet.

What would you kickstart?

Olympic Sports I Would Actually Watch

Who Can Put Together A Cute Outfit Using Only Animal Print

Pie Baking

Which Puppy in this Group Of Puppies Can Fall Asleep Fastest

Speed Knitting

Miniature Pony Barrel Racing

Who Can Bedazzle This Jean Jacket The Cutest Way

One Big Worldwide Danceoff

Most “Honey Boo Boo” Quotes Spoken In One Minute

Team Fingernail Painting

Barista Latte-Foam-Art Finals

Dolly Parton Impersonator Face-off

Multiple-Language Karaoke

Making The Most Clever Tweet

Job Interview Relay Races

Speed Swiffer-Dusting

Team Grocery Shopping

80s Style Aerobics

Real-Time Playlist Building

Picking The Best Instagram Filter

Team M.A.S.H. & MadGabs

Who Can Make The Biggest Beehive Hairdo

Connect-Four Semi Finals

One-Handed Ikea Furniture-Assembling

Only Coverage of Ryan Lochte (#noshame)

Things I Will Never Be Able To Accurately Express With Words

Surprise- I made you a list post, internet! But really, you should expect them by now.

I aim to always be able to use words to express how I’m feeling, tell a story, explain a phenomenon and sing along, but sometimes I can’t string them together well enough. Being a blogger, I swirl ideas around constantly and keep a running commentary both written and spoken to add on, but there are times where this just doesn’t work. You see, there are a few subjects and occurrences that I am left high and dry on and struggle to even say. So, that’s what I’m after today. Blame it on writer’s block, but here are the –

Things I will never be able to accurately express with words:

How much I miss Clarence Clemons’ saxophone on the newly-leaked Bruce Springsteen album

How hard it is to stay focused on ANYTHING when you are unemployed, 21, moving out, applying to jobs, getting interviews, getting rejection emails, and trying to figure out where to live in your postgrad life all at the same time

How cute baby kangaroos are

How much I turn into a needy buy-me-this child whenever I see a piece of clothing with sequins and/or glitter on it

How I could live inside this video/how the lyrics can be felt in my very SOUL/how soothing the voice of Ray LaMontagne truly is:

How much running out of coffee give me anxiety

How many days I could survive on only grilled cheese and pancakes

How hard it is to act professional and grown-up when your phone accidentally goes off and the ringtone is Beyonce’s “Countdown”

How much better I need to get at loving people in general

How hard I am hyping The Hobbit coming out at the end of this year

The amount of sadness that is experienced when you lose your favorite leather jacket to a night on 6th Street in Austin

How much joy Adele sweeping the Grammys brought to my heart and made me wanna buy 5 more copies of “21” (again)

How much better I sleep after I’ve spent all day talking and laughing and playing with my favorite people

How great an idea “never-ending breadsticks” was and is and continues to be

How frustrating writer’s block is when you tell people constantly, “Yes, I would love to be a writer when I grow up!”

How hard it is to NOT go to the animal shelter and set loose all the kitties and puppies and steal them away in my Rav4

How simple the phrase “Jesus loves you” is and yet how its repercussions are so huge and forgotten by little old me

How greatly I wish I could be crafty and DIY-ish but fail miserably each time

The overwhelming love I feel from the internet and beyond on a daily basis. Thanks, yall.

Why It Would Have Never Worked Between Justin Timberlake And I

Now that we all know that The Timberlake is engaged, I just want to reassure everyone that was worried about he and I’s future relationship, that it would not have worked anyway. You see, Justin and I have differences that would tear apart our romance, and I just didn’t want him to have to go through that pain and anguish. Despite the fact that I may or may not own his albums on vinyl and had a poster of ‘NSYNC in my bedroom growing up, I am willing to admit that he and I could not weather the difficult seas of love, and here’s why;

Reasons why Justin Timberlake and I would have never worked out:

1. I would probably bring up embarassing moments for him constantly, like the ‘wardrobe malfunction’ that happened at the Superbowl between him and Janet Jackson and the jerry curl that he used to sport (even though I adore big hair).

He would hate my witty puns about his past mistakes and feel that they were real digs against him. You see, with his high-pitched voice, there’s bound to be a sensitive nerve or two in his body, and I would find a way to step on it.

2. I would distract him from making a new album. I mean, it’s been nearly 6 years (can you believe it?) since ‘FutureSex / LoveSounds’, my roadtrip staple and guaranteed-to-make-you-have-a-dance-party album, was released and if we were together, he would be so busy learning ukulele to impress me and looking for adorable puppies on the internet to send me pictures of and watching marathons of Doctor Who with me to ever have time to get back in the studio.

3. I was never a member of the Mickey Mouse Club. He would silently judge me for this.

4. For a long time I thought “Timbaland” was a place, not the name of his producer. He would silently judge me for this.

5. I am wearing sweatpants right now. He would silently judge me for this.

6. I would email YouKnowWhat’sCool.com to him and laugh when he opened it and then he would feel like his role in The Social Network wasn’t worth anything. But it was, Justin! We were all rooting for you! You delivered! You played that Napster guy with such confidence, such fearlessness! It’s just Aaron Sorkin’s fault that this line turned into an internet meme and makes us all laugh! We take you seriously as an actor!

7. I don’t have an all-denim ensemble to match the one he wore with Britney circa 2001 (yet).

(never forget)

Everyone knows that clothing trends come back, and I don’t want him to have to rock this look alone. Worst of all, I don’t want him to walk into my closet (because at this point in our relationship, I am comfortable asking him for style advice) and not see enough material that coordinates with him and his GQ reputation.

8. If we ever karaoke’d, I would forbid him from singing “Space Cowboy”…just so I could have the upper hand in the relationship. And, of course, in respect of Lisa “Left-Eye” Lopes. (R.I.P.)

9. His parody to Beyonce’s All The Single Ladies video was more popular than any that I ever made. I wouldn’t be able to handle his bragging about it.

10. Justin is a multi-million-dollar recording artist and I am a unemployed blogger who makes lists about why he and I would not work. This seems sufficient enough.

So, sorry J-Timbs (can I call you J-Timbs?), but it’s just not going to work. We were doomed from the start, just like the photoshoot ‘NSYNC did with the glitter. Enjoy your life with Jessica Biel! I hope she is everything you dreamed of. She better not start writing a blog anytime soon, though. I hear competition is pretty fierce.

(Photo sources 1 & 2)

Song Lyrics I Wanted To Post As Statuses in 2011

By all standards, at age 21, I am too old for some things. Besides being too tall to ride the kiddie rides at amusement parks and getting strange looks if I order off the children’s menu, I should really not post song lyrics as a status or a tweet.

Don’t lie, you know we all used to and have at some point in our lives written lyrics to show the internet how we were/are feeling. However, there has to be a line, right? We can’t be emotional middle-schoolers forever!

I know, I know, it’s not a big deal, but sometimes I just hear a line that’s so perfect and I relate to it and I want to type it out so badly!

Here’s my problem- I’m a music nut and more than anything I have those dramatic days when I just want to tell people how I’m feeling with a well-crafted lyric written by someone else. However, this gesture often seems childish and silly and so in trying to grow up, I resist as often as I can.

However, I have this blog, and this blog is, more often than not, used to get out a few words I can’t say anywhere else.

So, hypothetically, if I HAD posted a lyric-filled status in this great year of 2011, these would be just a few I might have used.

Lion-Haired Girl’s “Song Lyrics I Wanted To Post as Statuses (Stati?) in 2011”

(Also, each song title is a clickable link to a video/audio recording of the song if you want to hear for yourself! Enjoy!)

“‘I wanna do right, but not right now.'” Look At Miss Ohio, Gillian Welch

This song packs more emotion in these words than I thought possible in a whole conversation. It is the perfect line about being in this weird transition period of adulthood and trying to keep right amidst everything in this crazy world.

“A year from now, we’ll all be gone. All our friends will move away and they’re goin’ to better places, but our friends will be gone away. Nothin’ is as it has been and I miss your face like hell, and I guess it’s just as well, but I miss your face like hell. Rivers and roads, rivers til I reach you.”Rivers and Roads, The Head And The Heart

Basically a song to encapsulate the end of college. Oh, this song! I get an intense case of goosebumps every time I hear it and the harmonies that go along with the words.

“Lord, have mercy on my rough and rowdy ways.” Down In The Valley, The Head And The Heart

Let’s just say this year was a big year for The Head And The Heart and this lion. I say this phrase in my head at least 4 times a week.

“And it’s hard to dance with a devil on your back, so shake him off! I am done with my graceless heart, so tonight I’m gonna cut it out and then restart, cause I like to keep my issues strong. It’s always darkest before the dawn.” Shake It Out, Florence + The Machine

For all those nights when I’ve just wanted to give up, but dance it out instead. Florence, you’re a lifesaver.

“I told myself that you were right for me, but felt so lonely in your company, but that was love and it’s an ache I still remember.”  Somebody That I Used To Know, Gotye feat Kimbra

Gotye and Kimbra will stick in your brain and never leave it. The emotion in these harmonies? Crazy good. I haven’t been in this dramatic of a relationship, but something about this song just grips you.

“So with the angst of a teenage band, here’s another song about a gender I’ll never understand. If this is a rom-com, kill the director, please!”Kill The Director, The Wombats

YES. I’ve written about the magical powers of this song here, but if you’re ever frustrated with relationships and your life not measuring up to those fake-falling-in-love-movie-scenes that you’ve watched all your life, BLAST THIS SONG AND FIST-PUMP ALONG. Finally a frustrated not-in-love song! Have no shame.

“Somewhere between that setting sun, ‘I’m On Fire’ and ‘Born To Run’, you looked at me and I was done and we’re, we’re just getting started. When I think about you, I think about 17. I think about my old jeep, I think about the stars in the sky. Funny how a melody sounds like a memory, like the soundtrack to a July Saturday night; Springsteen.”Springsteen, Eric Church

Play this for any Bruce fan and see if they don’t feel something. Also, I got to meet Eric Church in Nashville and have so much respect for him now – he’s an incredible artist. Also, this song is pretty much a great deal of my life story. Good enough for me.

“I don’t wanna be laid down, no I don’t wanna die knowing that I spent so much time when I was young just trying to be the winner! Don’t care ’bout being a winner or being smooth with women or going out on Fridays and being the life of parties; no no no!”Losers, The Belle Brigade

I would like to dedicate this song to our generation- the one that feels like their lives aren’t worth anything if new Facebook pictures aren’t tagged of their ‘crazy’ Friday night parties every weekend. Be satisfied with your life, stop competing to win! Life is not a popularity competition! Throw your fist in the air to this song!

“Some say life will beat you down, break your heart, steal your crown. So I started out for God-knows-where, I guess I’ll know when I get there. I’m learning to fly, but I ain’t got wings. Coming down is the hardest thing.”Learning To Fly, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

I have listened to this song on nearly every highway and back road of Texas and Tennessee highways, half-singing the lyrics and half-praying for the future. It’s a song that I’ve had in my back pocket for years and always cheers me up and helps me get a little perspective on life. It’s a song that makes me feel safe and like I’m where I need to be. That, and it sounds so good blasting with the windows rolled down.

“Home is wherever I’m with you.”Home, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros

The most simple but the most true. This is the type of song I will always wish I’d written myself. The sentiment applies to my friends, my family and my savior, and I guarantee you can’t play this song and not smile. Try it.

What’s a song lyric that you wanted to post As A status (or did post, if you’re brave!) this year? I love hearing new music!

Pop Culture Taught Me : Meaningful Mornings

I know that I can talk about the ongoing love affair that I have with my coffeemaker pretty constantly–

(we're thinking a June wedding)

–but until I actually get coffee into my system, no talking usually occurs. You see, I’m not exactly a morning person, and by “not exactly” I mean that I walk around in a zombie-like state for a long time and every day I bless my parents for having to grow up with the grumpiest crankiest child for 18 straight years of mornings.

However, television makes me feel even worse about this.

On every show that seems to have any little trace of family values, the morning is used as a normal, productive time. Television show characters all sit around the breakfast table and drink neon-orange juice out of spotless glasses, Dad reads the paper with his coffee mug in one hand and Mom asks the kids about their upcoming school days. IS THIS REAL LIFE?!

I’m not saying that my family didn’t communicate and love each other, but it certainly wasn’t as put-together and picturesque. I mean, everyone in tv shows is dressed and ready and super-awake when the sun comes up. Full House was always a party in the AM. Leave It To Beaver constructed major plot points before 7 o’clock. Heck, even the drama of The OC had happy times with bagels!

Some shows have countered this with a little more truth. Modern Family probably gets the most realistic, everyone-on-their-phones approach,

and, of course, Arrested Development will ALWAYS take the cake in my book,

but even so, I still feel like every morning is supposed to be shiny and Brady-Bunch-happy-go-lucky!

This is probably not ever going to be reality–

–but give me a breakfast taco and some caffeine and I’ll do my best to add my own laugh track. Or, at the very least, a coherent sentence once in a while before I rush out of the door to bigger and better things: like, say, lunchtime.

Photo credit (1,2,3)

May The Odds Be Ever In Your Trailer

I was going to write something much more philosophical today, but I can’t think of much else except that THE HUNGER GAMES OFFICIAL TRAILER HAS BEEN RELEASED!!!


First things first, if you haven’t read the books, you should. They are amazing and totally NOT an over-hyped teen book sensation that goes off the deep end towards the finale (I’m looking at you, Twilight). They’re dark, fast-paced, and suspenseful and you can finish them in like a week! What’s not to love?

Secondly, seeing this trailer lets me breathe a sigh of relief. You see, in my pop-culture-obsessed-heart, I have been let down by so many book-to-movie adaptations before. The characters become too literal, the scenes don’t match up like they should and the casting is more Hollywood-focused than actually using great talent that fits. But this one really looks just like I imagined that it should- everything from the muted colors of the districts to the over-colored city life in the Capitol, all with that end-of-the-world urgency and sweeping music to tie it all together. AHH! Could we have another masterful book-to-script-to-screen masterpiece like the holy duo of Lord Of The Rings and Harry Potter on our hands?! DO I DARE COMPARE?!! DO I NEED TO GET A LIFE BESIDES WATCHING FILMS AND MAKING ANALOGIES ABOUT THEM? (Probs.)

I’m really hoping that The Hunger Games trailer doesn’t just pull a bait-and-switch and cause the happiest overflowing joy in my soul, only for the movie to lack actual delivery (I’m looking at you, Across The Universe*), but I’ll keep crossing my fingers. I also might start a countdown until the movie comes out on March 23rd. I also might pretend I’m Katniss Everdeen every time I’m in a forest-y area now and that I’m training for the Games.

Judge me, internet.

(*This trailer gave me goosebumps and made me tear up for months. The movie was alright, but the plot just sorta hung there with nothing super interesting. The soundtrack/songs were really the best part. But seriously, whoever edited this trailer should be given an Oscar. Or just a big Beatle-y hug from me.)

The World Is A Golden Girl

I judge people based on which Golden Girl they most closely resemble.

(i'm a dorothy, obv)

Ever since I decided owning TGG (oh yes, it has its own abbreviation in my house) on DVD was a good idea, it’s been so apparent. You see, I have this little routine where I watch at least one episode before I go to sleep every night. It’s lighthearted and fun and features four strong women with bold fashion choices, so naturally it is a great pseudo-lullaby or bedtime story.

But the problem is, now I’m fully invested and think about the Golden Girls far too often. I mean, with some tv shows, the writers present a lot of material to chew on. With a program that’s a sci-fi gem like Battlestar Galactica, you can delve into the storylines and arcs and look for symbolism and references. With a comedy like Community, you can wonder about the will-they-or-won’t-they chemistry between Jeff and Annie. With The Golden Girls, all that you can speculate on is what flavor of cheesecake they are going to eat in the next episode.

So, while it’s not exactly edge-of-your-seat-tv, I find myself thinking about it long after I’ve stopped watching, and then applying Golden traits to those around me, for better or worse.

  • I’ll hear someone telling a long story with no end in sight and I’ll think, “that’s so Rose Nylund of them!”

  • I wait for old women to mention how their life was better back in Sicily like Sofia.

  • Those girls I see that are always updating their statuses on Facebook with love song lyrics and tweeting about boy problems? Total Blanche move.

  • If I make a good sarcastic comment, I’ll feel myself channeling Dorothy. I can’t help it!

And because I’m a Dorothy (based on my low voice, short temper fuse and adoration for puns), there might be times where I’m annoyed with Roses around me, roll my eyes at those Blanches and cottle the Sophias that I know, but when it all comes down to it, at the end of the day, we all live in the same house and we all eat cheesecake together to solve our problems. See?! It works! I think that sentence may provide the answer to world peace. Let’s all just be active retired females and get along! You’re welcome, world. Thank you for being a friend.

(Photo Credit: here and here)