Friday, December 8, 2017

My Life in Accordance to Taylor Swift

In honor Reputations recent release, I decided to revisit where I was in my life at the release of all 6 of TS's albums.

Taylor Swift
This was released at the beginning of my seventh grade year. It's funny, because I didn't think I became aware of Taylor until way after she was popular but I actually had "Teardrops On My Guitar" on my brand new ipod nano that same year. When I was in seventh grade I was heavily influenced by my best friend at the time who was all about causing a bit of harmless trouble. It was one of the most fun years of my life but also the year I got bad grades, a few too many detentions and that trusty ipod. My younger sister was way more into TS than me who only had that one single. I remember making fun of her while she watched the "Picture to Burn" music video on our desktop computer. I just wasn't into country and thought Taylor was akin to teeny bopper Miley Cyrus who I scorned.


Fearless
This one was released in the fall of my ninth grade year. I remember enjoying "You Belong With Me", even the music video and seeing Taylor on the cover of a few of my People Magazines. Aside from thinking she was pretty and reading the back of her concert t-shirt on the girl who sat in front of me in health class, I just didn't think much of her until the summer of 2010. I guess M had bought Fearless on her green ipod nano and began to play some of it for me. Both of my sisters and I became enthralled with "The Best Day" which I still consider one of her most beautiful songs. We belted it out on our plane ride to California and I borrowed M's ipod whenever possible during that trip. Soon, songs like "Hey Stephen" and "That's The Way I Loved You" were among my new favorites.

Speak Now
This came out in the fall of my Junior year. I'm pretty sure M bought it for E for Christmas and we spent the winter listening to it in the car CD player. I think we kept starting it over so we only would really listen to the first 8 songs or so. It was awhile before I finally heard "Long Live" which we later set to a slideshow for my mom's 50th birthday and I consider one of my favorites. I had a great time my junior year, I had a lot of friends and enjoyed my classes to the point of actually liking school for the first time. I wanted to go to the Speak Now tour but the ticket sale day fell while I was in school, I told M to buy them but she couldn't figure out the website and we didn't go. I still regret this because SN is one of my favorite albums of hers.

Red
I think I remember the release of this one more than anything. I was a freshmen in my dorm room and listened to the new album in full on a sunny day between classes. I wrote a track by track review because I was so much in "school mode" that it just felt right. I think this is one of her weaker albums but it still had some gems on it and I played it nonstop for months and months. I had my ipad by this point and it was my main source of music, I would set it up to shuffle Red and make anatomy and physiology flashcards or write papers. My time in that dorm room was a wonderfully focused and simple time. I remember dancing around to "Lucky One". I miss those days. That spring we went to the Red tour and let me tell you, it was one of the best nights. It was so cool to see a star as big as TS in person. And she sang "The Best Day" which was an awesome serendipitous event.

1989
By this point, I was at a new school with M. It was fun to be with my sister and take writing classes but I hated the school. Anyway, when 1989 was released, we sat in these cubicles and listened to it on our respective iPhones We each wrote reviews, which I had deemed tradition. I was really dismayed by this album at first. It was just so different at first and I did not thin I liked it. It grew on me pretty quick even though I still think it has a few too many "throw away' songs. I wanted to go to the tour for this album, partly because I really wanted to see her try and sing some of these songs live. Again, we failed to get tickets.

Reputation
So anticipated, so waited for. This came out three years after 1989 so it was a pretty big jump. I'm about to graduate and at yet another school! Ah how I imagined what this album would be like for a long time. At first, I was angry and horrified. Where were the poetic lyrics? Where was the pretty stripped down acoustics? I still don't like the autotune and layered vocals but I'm so surprised at how my feelings have changed. After a few weeks of listening on repeat, I now consider this to be among my favorites of hers. It's more mature, sure and yes, it lacks a bit of lyrical complexity on some tracks. But it's fun, it's playful, it can be dark. There are a few songs I could take or leave (End Game, Don't Blame Me) but oh my, New Years Day is the most beautiful she's ever written. I hope she sings it at her concert which M and I will be at! We just bought tickets yesterday and I can't wait for July!

Now is the time where I look to the future and wonder what I'll be up to when TS's next album comes out. I'm honestly a bit more curious as to what she'll be up to. Will she wait two or three or more years? Will she still be dating Joe Alwyn? As a thirty (or older) year old woman, will her focus and sound change even more? Will she ever do that much desired folk album?

As for me, I think I know better than to try and predict and make plans. It's not scary for me to not know my future anymore, it's kind of thrilling. In two or three years, I want to be happy and I want to still have the desire to sit and write an album review.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Christmastime

Here's what's coming up for me this holiday season:

December 1st: My friend's Christmas choir concert and out to eat after
December 2nd: Annual wine and cheese Christmas party for my dad's side of the family
December 3rd: Buy and decorate Christmas tree
December 8th: The grand opening of my cousin (El's mom's) new shop
December 9th: Church Christmas dinner
December 14th: My Christmas shopping day with  my mom and dinner with her and her friends
December 15th: My last exam and last day as an undergrad!!!!j
December 19th: Wrapping day!
December 24th: Christmas Eve church services and get together at my cousins house
December 25th: Christmas morning fun and afternoon get together at my uncle's

Have I mentioned that M and I are going to Disneyworld in January to celebrate my graduation? it's happening. More on that later.

Mid (Late)-November Musings

I thought of reversing the publication date on this post as I have in the past but I'll be honest instead.

It has been a BUSY month. I have written and rewritten and finally, written a whole new, statement of purpose for my grad school applications and I finally submitted my first application last week. It felt so thrilling to acknowledge all of my hard work and then pass it off into someone else's hands. Ha. I'm hopeful that I can submit one to two applications per week in the coming month in order to be done before Christmas. What a weight off of my shoulders it will be to have them all complete!

This month was also my sister and dad's birthday. We celebrated M with a shopping trip (I took the day off, woo) and my dad with dinner and a movie (Wonder! A movie I have been waiting to see for years). We also had a lot of family dinners and brunches, went and saw a few other movies and had a nice thanksgiving. On black Friday my sisters and I went doorbusting, to breakfast, the mall and movies as usual. It was a great day even though I was too poor to buy anything exciting! Once I begin full time work in January I will be in much better shape :)

Right now I am listening to Jack Evacho's Christmas album (my favorite) and getting ready to leave for my first class in about half an hour. I can't wait for Christmas and all of the fun that comes with it. It really is the most magical time of year and, add in the fact that I'm graduating in a few weeks, it will be extra exciting! I'm going to do another post outlining all of the holiday events coming up.

Happy Monday and Mid Late-November!

Friday, October 27, 2017

My Definitive Ranking of Halloween Candy

Just for fun and because I met my quota of paper writing for today :)

These go from worst to best. 

25. Tootsie Rolls: no one wants them at parades let alone the best candy night of the year. 
24. Dum-Dum Suckers: I liked these when I was six and my mom fished one out of her purse at the mall or doctors office but...on Halloween? It's like giving a bride a single dandelion as her bouquet. 
23. M&M's: I know I'm in the minority but I these are just so disappointing to me. The candy coating is almost crusty and the chocolate is so minuscule, what's the point?
22. Snickers: I'll eat these when nothing else is there but they're just so lackluster. If there are more nuts than chocolate, I'm out. 
21. Mounds: Same as Snickers.
20. Baby Ruth: See above.
19. Laffy-Taffy: It's fun and all but wait a few days and the wrapper sticks to it so bad that you end up eating bits of plastic. Plus, I feel like Halloween is a chocolate candy holiday. 
18. Whoppers: Years ago these would have been close to number one but they have since changed their recipe and now they're vaguely waxy. Boo.
17. Tootsie Pop: It's like, ok. Better than a dum-dum but the payoff is a tootsie roll? Not impressed. 
16. Starburst: Partly for the same reasons as taffy but they're pretty flavorful and coming upon a package of two pinks is like stumbling o a gold mine. 
15. Crunch: These are good, I like a bit of texture in my chocolate. But, the chocolate itself is not very tasty. Nestle < Hershey's.
14. Skull Suckers: Maybe these existed only in the 90's but they were white on one side and brown on the other and had a wonderful magic flavor. 
13. Blow-Pop: Yes please. All the flavor that Tootsie-Pops lack and an actual reward of chewing gum. 
12. Skittles: They are everything M&M's wish they were. Flavorful and worth it. Plus the color of the shell actually means something. 
11. Milk Duds: Who doesn't love to shove a bunch of these in their mouths and chew for hours? They lose points for being a bit overwhelming though...
10. Milk Chocolate Hershey Bars: Plain, classic, delicious milk chocolate delight. 
9. Three Musketeers/Milkyway: To this day I always forget which is which. I know one is more fluffy but that's about it. They're similar is what I mean. Both tasty but not something you want to eat a lot of. 
8. Butterfinger: A little toffee is always a plus. The Butterfinger loses points for begin wasteful though. You bit into one and the chocolate coating just flakes off everywhere. 
7. Reeeses: A quintessential Halloween treat. I love peanut butter and I love Reeses but they just aren't my favorite, you know?
6. Almond Joy: There is one almond in an Almond Joy bar and THAT is the joy. The simplicity, the careful placement right in the center of all that tasty coconut. 
5. Take 5: Pretzel, caramel, chocolate and peanut butter are a winning combo. 
4. 100 Grand: This beats out Take 5 because it has a cookie part and as you will see, that cookie part means a lot to me. 
3. Cookies and Cream Hershey Bars: How are there not more Oreo candy bars? These are divine and props to them for brining white chocolate to Halloween when Easter usually dominates it. 
2. Kit-Kat: The combo of the chocolate and wafer is top notch, I could eat myself sick with these. 
1. Twix: I told you, it's all about that cookie bottom. Chocolate, caramel and the best tasting foundation around. This has been my favorite candy bar for as long as I can recall. 

Happy Early Halloween all! May your holiday be full of Twix and Kit-Kat's with minimal Tootsie Rolls ;)

Thursday, October 12, 2017

One Less Thing to Worry About.

The Indians lost to the Yankees last night and I'm pretty heartbroken.

At the same time, it is one less thing for me to stress about...

I'm sad that such an amazing team won't make it to the series like so many had assumed they would but they will always have that record breaking streak. It has really become too much for me to watch their games, I honestly can't take the nerves. Now that I don't have that hanging over my head through the beginning of November, I'm hoping I can focus even more energy on my grad school applications. It is a process but I am getting stuff done and slowly, it feel like a weight is lifted off of my chest. I will be ecstatic in a month or so when I'm actually completely and sending everything in. Once it is in somebody else's hands, I can relax! Even if I don't get in anywhere, this has been a great learning experience.

In other news, I went through the whole month of September without getting sick! That's only the second month in an entire year that I haven't been ill. I am hopeful that this means good things for my immune system in the upcoming winter.

I'm pretty sure I've said it before, but I'm rewatching LOST and it's been a great time. I forgot how enthralling that show is, all of the characters and the beautiful score by the genius Michael Giaccino. I'm currently half way through season 2, I had anticipated being done around Christmas time but we'll see how that goes. I might watch HIMYM again afterward, just a nice familiar show for the winter months :). Oh and in devastating news, Netflix decided to take Friday Night Lights off. Seriously? I had been planning on watching it again this summer and it was going to be awesome. I guess I'll just have to take my business to Amazon Prime!

Despite my life being very stressful right now, I am really looking forward to the upcoming months. This month has Halloween and a fun girls weekend with my sisters and I. Then come's M's birthday, my Dad's birthday and Thanksgiving, then the Christmas season begins! Oh and in January, M and I are going on a celebratory trip to Disneyworld for my graduation! It's really the light at the end of the tunnel and I can't wait.

Ok, so I do feel l like crying because of the Indians but time will dull the ache. And it is just a game, they'll play it again in April.

Friday, September 22, 2017

The Most Stressful Time of My Life?

I keep thinking that I'm in the thick of it but then I remember the year I was 7 and how paralyzing and awful my fear of being kidnapped was. Or when I was 11 and had to deal with an impending surgery and so much more. Or when I was 17 and SO STRESSED about my senior project working out. Or adjusting to life in the dorms....or switching schools twice.

My point is, it's easy to get caught up in the stress of right now and forget all of the past stress I'm on the other side of. It's easy to long for "the good 'ole days" and forget that no days were all good. Yes, I have a ton to do. Yes, it is stressful and scary to apply to grad schools and face the unknown. Yes, I worry not just about getting everything done, but about getting it all done right. But, this too shall pass. Come Christmas, all of this will be behind me and guess what? I'm betting I'll find something new to stress about. I have to try not to do that.

I'm excited for my future, I really am. I know I don't need to go to grad school right away and I might not even end up wanting to but what I'm striving to do right now is give myself options. I don't want to feel limited or stuck.

And hey, ambition is my boyfriend right now, let's not forget ;)

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Stalling

I have so much to do. Right now I'm trying to write my first short story for my fiction workshop. The professor has a lot of preferences and it's making the process difficult. I like the story but I'm having trouble rounding it out.

Not to mention two other papers and my portfolio and grad school stuff that I'm having second thoughts about.

Is it December yet?

The bright side, the air conditioning is broken in the library today so for once in my life, I am pleasantly warm. Also, my boys won their 21st game yesterday. How am I possibly going to handle the stress of tonight's potentially record breaking game??

Happy Thursday ya'll, may yours be filled with a lot more productivity than mine.