Tag Archives: pop culture

Dolly Parton Is A Genius

Dolly Parton is a genius.

Call me crazy, but I can’t help but adore the woman. She’s unapologetic. She’s large, in charge, loud and proud and people are going to continue to think I’m kidding when I say that I truly love her, but I. LOVE. HER.

Think I’m nuts yet? We have the same middle name (Rebecca; thanks, Mom and Dad!) and although I doubt my impact on the music scene will ever be as influential, I’ll continue to look up to Dolly.

She grew up poor and took hold of the world, performing in churches and singing her heart out with the words that shaped her future. She sang about things that affected her and only shined brighter from there. Can anyone express hurt and heart quite like Dolly? Jolene shows her pleading to have her man back even though she knows he loves another woman more. OUCH, there goes my heartstrings! Here You Come Again sounds so easy, but it’s hard to handle as she wants to let go of a relationship but as soon as that man comes close, he’s right back in her heart again. Whether you think it’s overplayed, I truly think the sincerity in her voice in I Will Always Love You (which she wrote!) can cut like a knife. And of course, I’ll be darned if 9 to 5 it isn’t one of the best sing alongs in the entire world, whether you are a sassy woman trying to get ahead in the workforce or not.

She earned her keep as a force to be reckoned with, wrote her own music, and knows 100% of who she is. Her plastic surgery can’t be debated, but she talks about it in such a comical way and sees herself as a larger-than-life figure so everything else comes easier. She can siiiiing like nobody’s business, take movie roles if she wants them, tour the country and still sell out arenas at age 65, wear dresses that make people blush and at the same time, do it all while saying in her sugary-sweet Tennesse drawl that, “I’m not going to limit myself just because people won’t accept the fact that I can do something else.” The woman has her own theme park, for crying out loud! She can do anything with her image and it will only rise, because according to Dolly, “there’s no such thing as bad publicity!”

Can you tell I love Dolly Quotes yet? This confidence she has bowls me over. She says what she wants, dresses how she wants and walks into a room saying, this is me, and I’m going to be it to the fullest extent. (Sidenote: I realize the elephant in the room when I say things like “large and in charge” or “fullest” Laugh with me! Now, move on.) She’s had struggles and it hasn’t been the easiest but she comes out smiling. I’m not saying I want to be the woman, although can we please agree that SHE IS THE QUEEN OF LION-HAIR?!

What a mane!!! I’m obsessed, but I digress.

I don’t desire to imitate her (joke about my affinity for sequins here) but I admire this strong woman who can really belt-it-out-sing and who has proven to the world that if you’re just never afraid to be absolutely yourself through-and-through, every other detail will fall into place. That, and that big blonde southern hair has a place in this world, which, I, of course, will always take to heart.

(Photo Credit: 1 )

Slow Dancing In A Blogging Room

For all intents and purposes, I shouldn’t be a John Mayer fan.

He’s not trendy enough. He’s too well known to blog about. He’s overexposed or sold out. He’s a white guy with soul. He’s easy to hate on because he’s sensitive and can say stupid things and got a sleeve tattoo and yadda yadda and he’s not edgy enough but not simple enough at the same time. HOWEVER, the moment you play me a song, it all fades away. Specifically, six words: Slow Dancing In A Burning Room.

Maybe you’ve already heard this before, internet, but I suggest you turn your speakers up, especially if you want to feel something. (Plus, it’s the live version!)

Listening? Okay, good. Now…do you feel that? He crams so much emotion into the first two notes of the song that it’s utterly breakable and that’s long before we even get to any heartwrenching lyrics! Something about the total package comes together in these six minutes for me. It doesn’t matter if he spouts off anything else ridiculous in tabloids or offstage, these few minutes are sacredly emotionally musically beautiful. Sure, you can call it just another breakup song, but it’s deeper than that. It’s anger, sadness, a little hope and wallowing all mixed together and spelled out in one phrase at a time. It’s three-dimensional feelings and he moves back and forth between them like a man scorned but still hooked.

He’s on a mission to pull emotion out of you whether it’s even there or not.

He’ll make you hurt and hold onto feelings you didn’t even think of until you heard that instrumental wail.

He’s a creature of pain for these few minutes, but it’s a good pain.

He sings like it troubles him and he plays the neck of his guitar like he’s letting go of his demons or embracing his angels, or maybe both at the same time.

He wants to tell this story so tenderly that you are wrapped up in it, wrapped up in his pleas to get rid of a doomed relationship, but faced with the ever-present feeling that he wants to continue this dance, even if it’s killing him and his six-string at the same time.

Consider me wrapped.

Sure, it’s relatable, but I think I could even be having a wonderful day and still feel a tinge of sadness when I hear him sing with eyes closed that, “baby, you’re the only light I ever saw.” GAH.

I mean, try as I may to avoid the John-Mayer-trance, he gets me every time. Now, after the six minutes are over, I can go back to not being a John Mayer fan just like that, but there’s always the catch: I’m scared to hear this song in public. Because I can act tough most days, but the notes this song starts with to the last brutal question of “don’t you think we ought to know by now?” will cripple me and knock me over with the sap and the riffs and the spilling-of-guts- emotions.

To whomever broke John Mayer’s heart, thank you a million times over, because heartbreak sounds so deliciously good on your former flame.

Invisible Shoes and Ideas

I have a big mouth and I talk nonstop. (See Exhibit A.)

I fill silences, speak at increasing speeds and craft sentences at the drop of a hat. What do I do with that?

I have plenty of time to spend talking about nonsense, but every now and then I get this feeling that I want to talk about important things. Important ideas.

I look at organizations and movements like TOMS and Invisible Children and feel so small. They were started by people not much older than I. Where did that great idea come from? Divine intervention? Chance? Happenstance? Fortune cookies? Right-Place-Right-Time?

I want one of those moments.

I can’t search for my genius idea or manufacture it or wait for it to arrive in the mail. I just want that idea, that life-changing idea, that idea that gets other people as excited as I am about things, because, well, I can be really excited. Honestly, I have experience celebrating often and I can jump up and down with great success, so all I need is a really good reason to do so.

So what DO I have to get this great-idea-process off the ground? The ability to speak, at least.

I have to talk to people. Hear their story and share it with the world. Get out there and chat it up with those who haven’t had a voice. Discover!!!  Because hey, I can watch a documentary and buy a pair of new shoes (ps, Santa, I’m a size 9) but ultimately the impact should be much more. Furthermore, even if all my efforts don’t go into the specific organization-of-the-moment, learning about anything exciting or revolutionary or grass-roots-driven should spur me on to find my own challenge to bring to light.

If there’s anything that The Social Network taught me (besides the fact that Aaron Sorkin is a boss), it’s that one little idea, whether good or bad, can take the world by storm, even if this idea is developed by an emotionally-unstable nerd. And here’s the thing– I’d like to think I’m at least a rather emotionally-stable nerd, so hey, that should make my chances even better.


I used to cry often Freshman year. Sometimes for legitimate reasons, but mostly because I let little situations get to me. I would get frustrated with the smallest things, I would feel bouts of loneliness or insecurity and I was crippled by little frequent panic attacks. Mostly when all of these hit, I would just have to throw my hands up in the air and sniffle for a little while because it was all I knew to do.

I don’t write this out to evoke a feeling of sorry or of diversity; in fact, most people I have talked to say that college was a distinctly hard transition for them as well. I’m not ‘special’ for taking a while to adjust. (And yes, I’ll admit that years of theatre and choir probably made me a little more dramatic than most anyway, so tearing up is already well established in my normal repertoire.)

Point being to all of this, at this very moment it’s 3 AM and I’m at the end of my first week of classes back at college for the spring semester and I have to write all this before I forget it or fall asleep, so here goes nothing.

I have grown so immensely in my three years here at Texas State so far, mainly from the fantastic people that surround me and the situations I have been placed into, but I have cried every single night since being back this week. Here’s the thing, though- these particular tears have been from laughing so hard that I have to clutch my side and nearly get a tissue.

I don’t often write when I’m feeling heightened emotions because I’m afraid it will sound terribly depressing or equally-terribly cliche, but I can’t help it because I’m just so soul-jumping-out-of-my-body-happy-joyful to be where I am right now, at this very moment! The friends-become-family I am surrounded by that encourage me and love me because He first loved us, the classes I’m taking that (finally!) interest me, the conversations that I never want to end- it’s all what motivates me to wake up in the morning with jumpy energy and also what keeps me from sleeping, awake at night because I’m like a little kid that wants to keep playing and doesn’t want to miss a single thing. And of course, it’s what makes me cry. But, you know, since I’m already playing the sentimental-cliche card, what the heck, I’m now a firm believer that crying isn’t so bad after all.

Oh and one more thing,



Tigers and Bears Ain’t Got Nothin’

Confession: I don’t actually think of myself as a lion.*

*Okay, so there are occasional moments, but mainly the title “Lion-Haired Girl” derives from my enormous mane of hair and the accompanying nicknames it has gained throughout life. After various occasions, I grew quite close to the title “Lion-Haired” and so established it as a blog name, for better or worse.

However, in taking on this title, I have suddenly become more aware and interested in Popular Lion Culture. After all, if I am to go on representing lions everywhere to society, I might as well know them through-and-through.

And what better way to do that then with a list?! (Yeah, there might actually be a better way…but I happen to love lists.)

Lion-Haired Girl’s Popular Lions To Know!

(+ accompanying pros and Cons of each)

Simba, The Lion King

PROS: He cannot wait to take the throne, is a bit of a romantic, makes friends with outcasts from all walks of life and sets the standard for a well-maintained mane.
CONS: Has vivid dreams in bodies of water, an odd accompanying baboon, and a bit of a rough family life, including a slew of daddy-issues and an overbearing uncle.

Aslan, The Chronicles Of Narnia

PROS: He is gentle yet intimidating, literally self-sacrificing, fights battles with ease, was written into existence by one of the greatest literary geniuses to ever live, and has, in my opinion, a very soothing voice.
CONS: You have to live up to his already-high standards. I mean, what does anyone talk about with Aslan? You can’t just water-cooler it up. He’s got the worries of Narnia’s inhabitants and the burden of protecting them, so I hardly think he’d be reading US Weekly and googling pictures of cupcakes with me.

Elsa, Born Free

PROS: She’s abandoned so a couple takes her in and they raise her and then they have to set her free….I mean, she loves them…and…they love her…and then she comes back…and her paws…sorry, I need tissues for this one.
CONS: Has anyone else ever seen this classic? Anyone? I always reference it and get blank stares. But oh well, my grandmother and I will keep singing the main title and sniffling at the end.

Leo The Lion, The Beginning of every MGM Film

PROS: He’s pretty famous and recognizable and gets to roar his loudest before several great stories are told via film.
CONS: It’s like Aslan, I mean, who’s going to live up to that? He’s practically an icon. You just know he’s a diva, even though all he’s got going for him is that one measly meow.

Conclusion: While this is not a competition, it’s clear I’ve got some serious standards to live up to. I will not take things lightly. If I am to grow this mane, I promise to protect the Lion image, internet.

Yes, I will stand for justice and loyalty and leadership and freedom and massive manes everywhere.

But first, I’m working on my roar.

(Photo Credits: 1, 2, 3, & 4. Edited/”Enhanced” by yours truly.)

Words Of Wisdom; Citrus Conspiracy

(Note: I like to quote people I love and call it “Words Of Wisdom”.)

“A grapefruit? It doesn’t even look like a grape! It’s a great pretender! THIS is what Freddie Mercury was talking about!”

-Mom, contemplating the fruit basket we received for Christmas

(Shortly after spoken, she then launched into a rendition of this classic. The video makes it ten times better.)

Somewhat-Impossible Christmas List

It would be easy to send you links of practical presents I want, internet. I could rattle on about material things I desire, but instead, I’ve compiled a list of things that are nearly never going to be achievable but I can still wish away towards! So without further ado, I present:

Lion-Haired Girl’s Doesn’t-Fit-Under-The-Tree-And-May-Be-Impossible-To-Get Christmas Wishlist 2010!

1. A job at Sterling-Cooper Advertising Agency on Madison Avenue, NYC, circa 1962.Sure it’s a fictional place of business and yes, I probably watch Mad Men a little too obsessively often, but I think I could make a real viable addition to the office, that is, once I stopped drooling over how beautiful my coworkers are and how fabulous the Sixties-Era-fashion is.

2. Ukulele Lessons (and/or just general lessons in how to be awesome) from Julia Nunes

Ahh, this girl. Where do I even begin? She is wonderfully talented at ukulele and guitar and sweet harmonies, makes killer videos and yes, internet, may be part of the reason why I first picked up a uke in the first place. If I had to pick a favorite video- this one is pretty marvelous. But please, go see for yourself, I promise you’ll end up a fan.

And while we’re at it,

3. Soul-singing lessons with Adele

She’s barely 21. This is her acoustic with no one enhancing any sort of sound. Homegirl knows what she’s doing. I. GET. CHILLS.

4. A DeLorean

Why? Because the way I see it, if you’re gonna build a time machine into a car, why not do it with some style?

And finally,

5. The ever-present wish that MY LIFE WAS, IN FACT, A MUSICAL

What a glorious feeling this would be indeed.

I hope you have the merriest Christmastime possible and your heart stays warm (but just metaphorically, because heartburn really ruins Christmastime snacking) all day and night!

(Photo credits: 1,2,3,4)


Hipster Harry & Hedwig suggest you go see Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows! ASAP!

Thanks, Sorkies!

I hiiiiiiighly recommend going to see The Social Network.

Or, if you want to geek out like me, you can always reread the screenplay.

The opening scene? Absolute perfection. I’m not a studied critic of film, but I could replay those lines over and over and still be so in love with them.

I remember when Aaron Sorkin got a Facebook and asked users to ask him questions so he could get the full experience to write a movie about Facebook. A Facebook movie? Seriously? But you know what? Thanks, Sorkie. Thanks for living up to all your hype.

And to geek out some more, there’s always this gem-