Work playlist

kitty singing

Monday, Monday.

How do you add some excitement to your day? Personally, I can’t get through the day without music. Well, of course I can, but why would I want to? New music can be especially exciting.

Music speaks to my soul. Whether I am happy, sad, angry, or need a lift in spirits, music is there for me.

Lately I’ve been listening to the same album over and over and over again. It’s just beginning to get old. When I say the same album I mean Beyoncé by Beyoncé and when I say lately I mean ever since it came out two months ago. It’s great and all, but I’m tired of just about everything else saved on my phone and admittedly getting tired of that too.

I was already planning on posting a work playlist on my blog today when someone on Twitter asked all her followers (of which I am included) what we listen to during work. It’s funny how the internet work like that. Also, when I say today I mean yesterday. I haven’t gone to bed yet, so it’s still Monday right? Right? It’s only 15 minutes after midnight in California and I was running around a lot today.

All this to say my boyfriend shared a new work playlist he made on Spotify with me last week and I got permission to share it here. It’s mellow, but there are some energetic tunes in there too. In Paul’s own words, “It goes from indie/electro to dance and then down to soul and mellow tracks.” I actually went back and got that quote from a text like a the weirdo I am.

My favorite songs on the playlist are by Wild Nothing, Blood Orange, AlunaGeorge, St. Vincent and Arcade Fire.

What about you? What do you like to listen to when you’re at work?

Image via Desenhart’s.

Throwback love songs

Sound Bites 2

Happy almost Valentine’s Day! Happy Galentine’s Day! I’m actually not doing anything for either day this year. Myself and everyone I know seem to be really busy lately. We hang out on other non-holidays, so it’s all good.

I’ve been thinking a lot about love lately. It’s everywhere, am I right? Particularly, I’ve been thinking about romantic love and how my ideas of what that means have changed over the years. Whether you’ve been in love or not, I’m sure you can say the same.

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14 books to read in 2014

sitting, reading

This year, I resolve to read more.

I say that every year. I truly think I do read more every year, but the thing is, that doesn’t always mean novels. At times it meant more newspapers or magazines. At this time in my life it means lot and lots of internet stuff. I’m following way too many blogs and Twitter accounts to ever keep up with. The Internet is a lovely place (also: weird, crazy, informative) and I’m having fun with it.

Truly though, I used to read more books, or at least it seems as if I used to read more. So this year, I’m holding myself accountable.  There are too many unread books in my room and on my mental to-read list that I don’t want to keep ignoring. I want to cultivate my love for reading and not let it fizzle out. For that reason, I chose only books that I’m pretty sure I’ll love and not (just) forcing myself to read books that I think I should be reading.

There’s talk going around about how 2014 should be the year of reading women. I’ve seen tweets with the hashtag #readwomen2014 and talks about how in 2013, people mainly read books by men. The Critical Flame, A journal of literature and culture, plans to “dedicate one year of its review coverage wholly to women writers and writers of color.” While I think that is great and necessary, I don’t entirely plan on doing that myself. That must sound very hypocritical of me. What I mean is, I didn’t think about that while coming up with this list. Only one happens to be by a man and there are books written by women of color in the list. What these books all have in common is that they have been on my mental to-read list for at least a month.

Books to read

The books:

Non-fiction

1. A Writer’s Journey – Christopher Vogler
I’ve been reading this off and on for almost half my life. It was one of my dad’s favorite books. I realized recently that maybe I just don’t want to read it all because then it will be done, but I could always read it over and over.

2. War, Women and the News – Catherine Gourley
My grandma let me borrow this one. It takes place from the period of the Great Depression to shortly after World War II. This book is easy enough for children to read and still engaging enough for any reader.

3. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption – Laura Hillenbrand
My mom has recommended I read this before. Now that a movie adaption is coming out, I feel like there’s a deadline to reach.

4. Rookie Yearbook Two -Tavi Gevinson
I’m happy to report that I bought Rookie Yearbook Two last weekend. Even though I’m sure pretty much everything in the book is on the Rookie website too, it was still totally worth it to get the book. The collages and photos are beautiful. Besides that, it’s just always nice to have a physical copy and to support a great organization.

5. Feminism Is For Everybody – Bell Hooks
This book was recommended by a friend whose opinion I highly value. Also, I read part of her book Class Matters and it was amazing, but this seems like a better starting point.

6. Stealing Buddha’s Dinner – Bich Minh Nguyen
This is another I’m currently reading. It’s a very well-written memoir. The author knows how to bring her stories and characters to life.

7. Bossypants – Tina Fey
It came out three years ago and I have yet to read it. I might get the audio book of this and any other comedy books because I want to hear them in the author’s voice. Does that still count as reading?

8. Amy Poehler’s book (fall release)
The publisher said in a statement that the book is a “an illustrated, nonlinear diary full of humor and honesty and brimming with true stories, fictional anecdotes and life lessons.” I love Amy Poehler, so of course I’m going to read it.

9. Self-Inflicted Wounds: Heartwarming Tales of Epic Humiliation – Aisha Tyler
I’m loving Aisha Tyler’s Girl on Guy podcast, so I’m guessing I will love her memoir too.

10. Adulting: How to Become a Grown-up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps – Kelly Williams Brown
The title alone makes me want to buy the book. Good work to whoever thought that up. I’m also enjoying the blog from whence it started.

 

Fiction

11. Divergent – Veronica Roth
Everyone is talking about this series now. It’s the next Hunger Games, I guess? But apparently not as violent? I never read Hunger Games either, but I’m ready to give this one a try.

12. Sisterland – Curtis Sittenfeld
I ordered this in September when a few of my friends agreed we would have a book club. Then school started and I focused on assigned reading instead.

13. The Lowland – Jhumpa Lahiri
I’ve read and loved Unaccustomed Earth, The Namesake and Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri. I pre-ordered this one back in September and then got caught up in school work.

14. Fangirl – Rainbow Rowell
This book was chosen as Tumblr’s first book club selection. It’s a YA book centered around sisters and fandom. Sounds good to me!

You may have noticed that only 4 out of the 14 books I plan to read in 2014 are fiction. I do love fiction. It just so happens that when I came up with a list of what books I’m excited about reading this year, the non-fiction list ended up longer.

Well, here’s to reading more print in 2014. I’m sure other books will come up and I might end up dropping some of these on the list, but this is my list, for now.

MMM…Monday

I guess I’m feeling the letter “M” today. The first thing I listed to today was M83’s Saturday = Youth. It’s just absolutely perfect for a lazy weekend soundtrack. It practically says that in the name. When I wanted more sound later on I lazily scrolled down my boyfriend’s iTunes library until Memory Cassette caught my eye. He put most of the songs from Call & Response on mix CDs when we first started dating, therefore that album will always hold a special place in my heart. Mexican Institute of Sound was next. rad. I saw them live two Halloweens ago at the KCRW Halloween Ball. Although I only understand every tenth word, I love listening to music in Spanish. Some people think that’s weird. If you’re like me, just ignore the haters.

Happy Monday, friends!

I’m going to Coachella for the first time

Coachella Lineup

This year I will be going to Coachella for the first time. I’m so excited! I’m also a little nervous. That’s how I feel about almost any new venture. As long as the excitement outweighs the nervous feelings then I know whatever the things is will be amazing.

For those of you that don’t know what Coachella is, let me tell you what little I know about it. Coachella is an annual three-day music and arts festival held in the California desert. The event takes place in the city of Indio, which is in Inland Empire’s Coachella Valley.

Continue reading “I’m going to Coachella for the first time”

My top 20 Beyoncé songs

My top 20 favorite Beyonce songs

Beyoncé released a self-titled visual album, which I’m sure you’ve heard about by now. I bought it the day it came out, finally saw all the videos. It’s beautiful and moving. I cried I laughed and it keeps making me think.

So I decided I would write a post about why I love Beyoncé and her new album. I don’t know if I can say it any better than Jess Tholmer did on HelloGiggles a few weeks ago though. Basically, Beyoncé is smart, funny, hot, inspiring, badass and honest in so many ways.

To be different, I’m going to make a list of my 20 favorite Beyoncé songs and tell you why they’re awesome. This goes out to all the lovers and the haters.

20. Beautiful Liar

19. Single Ladies

18. Listen

17. XO

16. Haunted

15. Drunk In Love

14. Run the World

13. Schoolin’ Life

12. If I Were A Boy

11. Diva

10. Halo
This song always makes me think of my man. He’s my angel.

9. Crazy In Love
It’s just so fun to sing and the video is perfect.

8. I Was Here
“I just want them to know/ That I gave my all, did my best / Brought someone to happiness / Left this world a little better just because / I was here.” Me too, Beyonce. Me too. Also, this video makes me cry and leaves me inspired.

7. Love On Top
My love values me and that’s very important to me. He puts my love on top.

6. Blue
This song is so beautiful. Little babies grow up so fast. I know I’ll be singing this to my future babies years from now.

5. Partition
Beyonce really embraces her sexuality on this album, even though it’s her first since becoming a mother.

4. Irreplacable
It’s so fun to sing and it’s a good lesson that if someone is causing you harm they need to get gone.

3. Countdown
I was watching a YouTube video about Beyonce’s documentary and she said hipsters love this song so she had to put it on “4.” I laughed out loud because I had already been singing it every day for a little while. Yep. I’m a hipster.

2. Pretty Hurts
I felt a very strong emotional connection to this video. She is so brave for making this piece that shows how ideas of beauty can be destructive.

1. Flawless
We strive for perfection. That’s a theme that’s repeated throughout her newest album. But no one can ever be perfect. I love the back story on this song. She brings her childhood performance on TV into it. She also brings in Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I watched her TedTalk video today on YouTube and I think everyone should see it.

Let me tell you something. I haven’t been a Beyoncé fan my whole life. I wasn’t listening to Destiny’s Child as a little Girl. I like rock and country because my siblings did. I was a strange kid who didn’t like pop music much. I wasn’t into Destiny’s Child or  The Backstreet Boys or Brittany Spears or The Pussycat Dolls, whoever.

I’m a Beyoncé fan now though. This list was so hard to put together!

Beyoncé’s new record isn’t full of singles and it deserve to be seen as a whole. It shows like a film. Themes come up again and again, there’s great symbolism and it’s breathtaking. But since the above is a list of my favorites out of all her music, I’m leaving some of the songs off this list. That doesn’t mean they’re not good though.

One more thing! All five of the Beyoncé are on her YouTube channel now. Here’s Part 1 to get you started.

Featured image via Marie Claire.

Winter playlist

Winter playlist

Happy winter! Last week I had fun making this winter playlist for The Campus Crop. You can see the original post, along with all the YouTube videos for the song here. It’s a fun little playlist with some indie songs and some newish songs that very well could turn into classics.

I love making playlists! Although I like to include songs I already know and love, I usually end up discovering gems along the way. “Winter Song” has been one of my favorites for five years now. (Wow!) “Sweater Weather” and “Warmest Part of Winter” were both recommended by a a coworker. I heard “Something Bells” playing in my boyfriend’s car when the music from his iPhone was on shuffle and I fell in love with it. Just kidding. I’m in love with him, so I guess I fell in a deep like with the song. (Side note: I say love a lot.) The other six songs in the playlist are ones I discovered on this wonderful thing called the Internet.

I think these winter-y songs are pretty awesome and hopefully you do too!

The playlist below has all the songs from my “10 Songs for a Winter Night” post, except “Got Something For You,” a collaboration between Best Coast and Wavves. This song is pretty damn adorable and you might be cooler for listening to it. It’s not on Spotify, but you can hear it from this YouTube video.

Happy listening! Merry Christmas!

P.S. I’ll be posting once more before taking a break for the rest of December. I don’t know who I’m saying this to, since I don’t have a lot of followers. Just know that there will be an amazing cake recipe posted tomorrow, then a break and then I’m moving full speed ahead!

Katy Perry appreciation post

my happy place

I’m proud to declare myself a Katycat. I’m not as big of a Katy Perry fan as other people I know, but I do like her.

There was this one summer I would watch a lot of music videos on YouTube while singing along, choreographing my moves, and altogether being a big dork. That was right around the time that “Hot and Cold” and “Kissed a Girl” were hot stuff.

Flash forward a few years and my guy and I are rocking out to Teenage Dream (the album) multiple times a week. We saw her 3D movie in theaters with our favorite couple soon after it came out. My most recent Katy Perry moment happened at my cousin’s wedding a few months ago when I got to dance with my grandma to “California Girls.” I told her the name of the song and she said, “That’s us.” I love her. She was refusing to dance at first so my uncle literally picked my grandma up and carried her to the dance floor. That made it all the more special.

I preordered Prism and I’m pretty happy with it. I’ll have you know I have only preordered a few other things. Those things are: 1. The Gaslight Anthem’s third album “American Slang” and 2. Jhumpa Lahiri’s newest novel “The Lowland.” I’m a big fan of them as well.

Mindy fans, remember when that one pop culture snob told Mindy that her favorite singer is probably Katy Perry and she agreed? He tried to make it sound like it’s a bad thing. Well, I personally think it’s not at all. I love Katy Perry and at one point (way back in junior high) I was even super into John Mayer. Like who you like! The bands I like tend to have more depth, but there’s nothing wrong with falling for a pop princess.