MY, OH, MY IT’S BEEN TOO LONG

Hello, internet! My laptop charger broke and I was without my precious MacBook for nearly a month, but I’m back and better than ever. Other than that, life has been tremendous. Being without a computer was quite wonderful, honestly. It gave me time to do things other than stare at a screen for hours on end. So, I’m going to recommend some things that I enjoyed during my absence from the internet.

1. Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion

I finally read Joan Didion’s Slouching Towards Bethlehem (happy belated birthday to the truly inspirational Didion- she just turned 80 and is still as stylish and lovely as ever) and it blew me away. Her prose will make you want to be a better writer. It will also make you want to read everything she’s ever written.

2. Twin Peaks (TV series, 1990-1991)

Shamefully, it took me until 2014 to finally watch Twin Peaks in its entirety. It’s still haunting me. David Lynch has a way of doing that- peering into the darkest places and making you feel terror that shouldn’t exist outside of actual nightmares. The scenes with Bob have given me nightmares like nothing else.

3. Yes, Please by Amy Poehler

Yes, Please is so incredible and honest and my, God, we are lucky Amy Poehler exists in our lifetime. I suggest you read this one right away. It’ll make you want to take the world by storm and experience everything.

3. The One I Love, 2014, dir. Charlie McDowell

I saw the trailer, which reveals little but intrigues a lot, and was transfixed. Mark Duplass tweeted that it was finally available on Netflix and I watched it immediately. You need to do the same before you hear anything about the plot. It’s the most uniquely original film I’ve seen in quite some time. I was entertained from the first scene. It should also be noted that Ted Danson is in this for little bit, which makes The One I Love well worth watching just for that. His stepson, Charlie McDowell (son of Malcolm McDowell and Mary Steenburgen), directed the movie, and Mary Steenburgen’s voice is featured in one scene. It’s a family affair!

5. “Birthday” by Selena Gomez
My friend Rachel heard this song while shopping in Forever 21 and immediately reported back to me on how girly and fun it is. It’s been our car ride go-to, and it really is the most girly and the most fun.

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SONGS THAT SCARE

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I’ve been thinking about songs to add to my Halloween playlist this year for a long time. I didn’t want to include your standard Halloween playlist fare, like Thriller and This Is Halloween or any of that nonsense (though I did include some, c’mon, I like to do the Time Warp again just as much as the next guy). So here it is! A 40 song, nearly 3 hour long fun, funny, half-party friendly/half blood curdling-make-your-skin-crawl scary Halloween playlist. Enjoy!

A few fun facts and some opinions:

1. Inna-Gadda-Da-Vida may not be considered a scary song, but it has always given me the creeps, personally, so I included it on here.

2. Pink Martini’s cover of Doris Day’s Que Sera Sera was included in this ultra-creepy teaser for American Horror Story: Asylum. The song was originally recorded for Alfred Hitchcock’s The Man Who Knew Too Much, and was also featured in the classic 1988 black comedy Heathers.

3. You probably know The Lettermen’s Turn Around, Look At Me from the third installment of Final Destination. It’s the song that precedes the death scenes, which makes it pretty creepy.

4. Red Right Hand by Nick Cave was featured in Wes Craven’s Scream, but the song alone is a scary story.

5. Kate Bush’s Get Out Of My House sounds like what a nightmare feels like.

6. Chainsaw by The Ramones is based on… can you guess? Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

7. I get chills of terror up and down my spine every time I hear Tiny Tim’s Tip Toe Thru The Tulips. It’s just plain scary, but it was also prominently featured in Insidious.

8. Frankie Teardrop is horrifying. Don’t listen to it at night by yourself. It’s a scary story set to a tune. Other musical scary stories included in this playlist are: What’s He Building In There? by Tom Waits, Country Death Song by Violent Femmes, It Fit When I Was a Kid by Liars, and Subway Song by The Cure.

9. Why Didn’t Rosemary? by Deep Purple asks the question, “Why didn’t Rosemary take the pill?” as in, why didn’t Rosemary Woodhouse of Rosemary’s Baby take a contraceptive. SPOILER: If she would have taken birth control, she probably wouldn’t have been impregnated by a demon.

9. The infamous murderer John Wayne Gacy, Jr. is the eponymous subject of the song by Sufjan Stevens. He’s known as the “Killer Clown” because he would dress up like a clown for charity events in his community. He was convicted of killing and sexually assaulting a minimum of 33 young boys between 1972 and 1978.

10. Pink Floyd’s Careful With That Axe, Eugene instrumental and eerie. Be prepared for Roger Waters’ blood-curdling scream at about 3:07.

LET’S TALK ABOUT MILEY CYRUS’S VISUAL ART

As someone with an art degree, I take art very seriously. I also try to take an objective view of the art that I see. Lots of celebrities have ventured into the art world, Jay-Z, Shia LaBeouf, George W. Bush, and, of course, James Franco, to name a few, have tried their hand at visual art. Not a single one of those celebrities have elicited such a negative response toward their artwork like the controversial Miley Cyrus.

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TO PORTLAND: I’VE LOVED YOU FROM AFAR

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I crave the Pacific Northwest. I’ve never been there. In fact, I’ve never set foot on land farther west than Mississippi. For some odd reason, though, still, I have a crush on the Pacific Northwest. 

It started when I was a sophomore in high school and I discovered Nirvana. 

“Kurt Cobain is from Seattle. It’s usually cold and rainy there. I need to be in Seattle” were sentences that ran through my mind on a regular basis. I thought Seattle to be awfully romantic, and I, of course, romanticize Kurt Cobain, it’s hard not to. Keep in mind, I was chin-deep in teen angst at the time and I thought the idea of sublime artistic suffering while watching the rain fall with a coffee mug in hand and blanket wrapped around my cold, frail (I say frail because in this particular daydream, I was a starving artist. I am by no means frail, mind you) body, listening to the emotional strain of Kurt Cobain singing over and over again, Something in the way… Something in the way… was the direction my life needed to be heading toward. I decided I wanted to be a music producer and after college, I would work for SubPop records. Easy as that. 

The teen-angst ended, luckily it didn’t involve me doing anything my parents would disapprove of- I basically just listened to a lot of 90s grunge and discovered the indie scene and art house films. While I still love Nirvana, the complete obsession died out, too. I forgot about the PNW for a while and focused on other things, like boys, high school melodrama, and my budding music production career. Once in college, I realized music production was not for me and I pursued graphic design, which was very much for me. I graduated from high school in 2010, and then, in 2011, Portlandia premiered.

There’s something about the name, Portland. The syllables hit hard, almost like a staccato, before exiting the mouth. Port-land. Elliott Smith was from Portland. Mark Rothko was from Portland. Gus van Sant is from Portland. Portland. I developed an idealistic perception of this dream land where I wanted so badly to be. In Portland, I would be free to be a liberal without having to explain myself and argue with anyone who asked my opinions on political and social issues. In Portland, I could say proudly that I’m a feminist and support gay rights without being accused of being a lesbian- the two don’t coincide, guys! Straight people can support gays and lesbians, too! Look at me, I’m straight, I think everyone should be able to get married! In Portland, I would never be more than 5 minutes from a record store. In Portland, I could dye my hair lilac and receive compliments instead of dirty looks. In Portland, my boyfriend and I could ride bikes everywhere and have an adorable Siberian Husky named Ripper and a gray cat named Tattletail. In Portland, I could do anything I wanted and succeed, because I would be in Portland. 

It’s strange, isn’t it? It’s almost like I’ve become Jay Gatsby and Portland is my green light; my Daisy. The truth is, I know nothing about Portland. I’ve invented my idea of Portland. I’ve conjured it up completely on my own. Sure, I’ve done research and read PDX Blogs- I think I follow more Portland-area twitter accounts than I do Huntsville-area twitter accounts- but I’m okay with that. Because as long as I’m in Alabama, I’m going to continue dreaming about Portland, and maybe one day, I’ll get myself there. 

 

 

MIXTAPE: EXPLORE THE OUTDOORS

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It’s a dreary Monday here in Alabama, and I needed a pick me up this morning in order to feel like it was even remotely possible to make it through this gloomy day. So, here’s a little playlist that will hopefully set you on the right foot this morning! Click through to listen via Spotify.

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