Thursday, January 26, 2006

songs for happy

a couple posts ago i listed some of the best wallowing, feed-your-depression music. now i need to counter that with some of my favorite happy music. most are on this list because they remind me of something from my life that was obviously a good time. therefore, they may not be universally recognized as songs to make you feel better, but they always work for me, and many are just part of a good soundtrack for an already good mood.

"Unwritten" or "These Words" by Natasha Bedingfield - she's just fun, makes you want to skip.

"All You Need is Love" by The Beatles - "Love, love, love. Love, love, love", it really is all you need. pass it on.

"Everything is Alright" by Motion City Soundtrack - i get to rock out, and it reminds me of The Zoo.

"All Right Now" by Free - where's my car? cause i need to drive with All the windows down Right Now.

"Always Love" by Nada Surf - a good reminder when you're stewing about something.

"Sittin on the Dock of the Bay" by Otis Redding - the "i'm just chillin'" and really content with it song.

"Dancin' in the Moonlight" by Harvest King - clap your hands dammit! makes me wanna dance.

"Maneater" by Hall and Oates - ok, this one just makes me laugh, which makes me happy. It also reminds me that I used to sing it "Oh, oh here she comes, watch out boys she'll chew you up. Oh, oh here she comes, she's a MAD GATOR." Hey, it still makes sense at least.

"Geek in the Pink" by Jason Mraz - ok, Mraz in general just makes me happy and i love geeks and pink. Also "Curbside Prophet" and "Life is Wonderful"

"Tiny Dancer" by Elton John - one of the best. plus there's talk of dance and that section with the strings.

"Don't Leave Me This Way" by Thelma Houston - disco baby. infectious.

"My Sharona" by The Knack - 4 words: Janet. Reno. Dance. Party. "I said no moshing!!" plus it reminds me of freshman year and alicia.

"Build Me Up Buttercup" by The Foundations - it just makes me happy. and there was that time i tried to download it to becky's computer, but i was searching for "Fill Me Up Butter Cup". yea, i'm an idiot.

"Chariot" by Gavin Degraw - because he's my boyfriend and it reminds me of senior year term 2 when i made everyone listen to his cd all the time.

"Everybody's Got Their Something" by Nikka Costa - makes me feel good about myself and it's got a great sound. "I know that there's a time for every star to shine."

"Middle of Nowhere" by Hot Hot Heat - Los Angeles summer 2005 baby.

and while I'm at it...

"Beverly Hills" by Weezer - reminds me of my drive to work every day this past summer right through the 90210.
"California by Phantom Planet - sang this song for the 2 months before i left and then all the way to cali.

"Two of Of Us" by Aimee Mann - cross country drive or any car ride in the Lumina. always a good time.

"Thank You (Furlettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)" by Sly and the Family Stone - everything about this song rocks. just look at the title. then there's the killer funk sound that makes you want to put on a sweet leisure suit and walk down the street with a boom box.

"Girls Just Want to Have Fun" by Cyndi Lauper - CLR memories of my favorite girls. and also to go along with that - "Boom Boom Boom Boom" by Venga Boys, "Like a Prayer" by Madonna and "Send Me On My Way" by Rusted Root. any song associated with my girls is a happy one. =)

"Pass That Dutch" by Missy Elliot - best song to walk to and reminds me of driving in the Mustang with my roommates on a saturday night to go out dancing. hoo de hoooooo!

"Clarity" by John Mayer - term 3 senior year. and the time caryn a. and i sang it on the way to Harris Hill - her only singing the oo oo oooo part.

"Land Down Under" by Men at Work - you know you want to skip to this song. great use of the flute. plus it's Australia and i miss it.

"Stop! The Love You Save May Be Your Own" by Jackson 5 - who can resist peppy, cute, little MJ instead of creepy old child molester? plus, it reminds me of teaching at the Ja'Duke dance workshop with Kim and doing the crab walk while she did her little mermaid impression.

"Amsterdam" by Guster - i love guster! just an infectious sound that makes you want to bounce. and then there are the memories of the 2 guster concerts and rocking out to it when i worked at bath and body works.

"Weapon of Choice" by Fatboy Slim - "walk without rhythm and it won't attract the world" alicia and i freshman year. plus the video is a dancing Christopher Walken.

"Closing Time" by Semisonic - still the greatest end of the night anthem. plus, officer road trip to NYC.

other happy songs: "Somewhere Over the Rainbow/Wonderful World" by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole, "Doo Wop (That Thing)" by Lauren Hill, extraordinary machine by fiona apple, "Such Great Heights" by The Postal Service, "Midnight Train" by Journey (or "Separate Ways" cause the awesome 80s synthesizer), "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" by Stevie Wonder, "I Want Candy" by Bow Wow Wow, "Instant Pleasure" by Rufus Wainwright, "Did You Ever Look So Nice" by The Samples, "You Can Call Me Al" by Paul Simon, "A Thousand Beautiful Things" by Annie Lennox, "American Baby" by Dave Matthews Band, "Joy to the World" by Three Dog Night, "Melissa" by The Allman Brothers, "3x5" by John Mayer

ok, so the list goes on and on because I just love sharing music. but i'll stop now.

be happy. =)
be sad. =(
be yourself. s(:~P <------ me

Monday, January 23, 2006

snow day suggestions

MOVIES: Finding Neverland, if you love Peter Pan, Johnny Depp and your imagination. Just a wonderful story and beautiful film.

War of the Worlds, if you'd rather watch a Spielberg sci-fi thriller. And it is good, no matter how crazy Tom Cruise is in real life, the truth is, he can act and he does in this, alongside an always scarily talented Dakota Fanning and really great computer FX.

MUSIC: The Fray, "Over My Head (Cable Car)" It may not be on hot 100 stations yet, or whatever, but if you listen to independent or college radio (which I would highly advise) it's there and it's good. Lyric example:
And suddenly I become a part of your past
I'm becoming the part that don't last
I'm losing you and its effortless

TV: Charles Dicken's Bleak House on PBS. Now, before you laugh at me or get huffy because you think I'm being pretentious by suggesting something presented by public TV and Masterpiece Theatre, this TV mini-series, originally made for the BBC, has everything your mainstream TV series has, and more - a huge controversial court case, death, murder, secrets, love letters, drugs, rich people, poor people, drama, villians, creepy cemeteries, etc. (and that was just in the first two hours). The only thing I can think that it might be missing are terrorists and a deserted island. However, I do hear that later in the series there's spontaneous human combustion.

I happened upon the show last night (as I was listlessly flipping through the 13 TV stations my mom gets) and to be honest, what first drew me in was Gillian Anderson, who plays Lady Dedlock, a rich, bored Victorian woman with a secret past. I hadn't seen Anderson since The X-Files ended, so I thought I'd check it out. Now, I am hooked like its an episode of 24 or LOST. Anderson isn't the main character among the large ensemble cast of British actors, and that doesn't matter because everyone is talented and the story is compelling.

The 8 hour mini-series started last night with a two hour opener and will continue as hour spots for the next 4 Sundays and conclude on the 5th with another two hours. If you want to catch the beginning, I am sure PBS will be re-running it throughout the week. I highly recommend checking it out. As it did for me, it may change your view of period dramas and Masterpiece Theatre.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

20 questions (ok, only 10)

one of the best shows on TV is Inside the Actor's Studio on BRAVO and my favorite part of that show (besides the will ferrell spoof on SNL) is james lipton's 10 questions he asks every person at the end of their interview. i think the questions are great and i've decided that since i will never have a chance to be asked those questions by mr. lipton, i will instead ask and answer them myself right here. i would encourage you to answer them as well and post it cause i'd love to read them. =)

1. What is your favorite word? enigmatic. i don't really know why. just like it i guess.

2. What is your least favorite word? cunt. i'm sorry, i didn't even want to write that there i hate it so much.

3. What turns you on? music.

4. What turns you off? ignorance and disrespect.

5. What is your favorite curse word? either shitballs, or fuck me.

6. What sound or noise do you love? the ocean.

7. What sound or noise do you hate? any metal utensil scraping against a metal pan. eeek.

8. What profession other than yours would you like to attempt? acting.

9. What profession other than yours would you not like to do? accounting.

10. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you reach the pearly gates? "The swings are over there, the dance studio is all ready....oh, and flashlight tag starts at 8."

Monday, January 16, 2006

soundtrack for self-deprication

in my recent attempts to just be, live in the now and be happy, i have realized how hard those things really are for me. i have the horrible habit of daydreaming of past issues and projecting on the future the worst scenarios i know will never happen, but like to occupy my mind anyway. i do not understand this need my subconscious has to imagine heartbreak and disasters, but i do know that it is so much easier just to let my mind go on its little tangents instead of reigning it in to the present, which is usually problem, heartbreak and disaster-free. however, i have to keep trying to stop these mind-benders before they start because i think the paths my mind take are unhealthy and don't do me any good except to make me sad over something that hasn't happened and probably won't. (i mean, it would be different if i found out i was psychic or something and could start using my powers to save the world, but i'm pretty sure that's not going to happen.)

at the same time, i have also come to terms with just having a day to wallow, without it becoming a regular occurrence. tonight was just such an instance. sometimes just what i need is my bed, down comforter, eeyore and a playlist with sad, heart-wrenching, beautiful music. so, if any of you also like to indulge in these moments, here is a great list of artists to source for a pity-party soundtrack:

1. Counting Crows - whatever hits home for you can probably be found in one of their songs: Round Here, Colorblind, Long December

2. Tori Amos - no one does angsty music with a pounding piano line quite like tori amos: Little Earthquakes, Me and a Gun, China, Spark, and on and on and on.

3. Aqualung - my newest addition to the crew, something about beautiful piano and soft-spoken, slightly whiny british singers that does me in: Breaking My Heart, Good Times Gonna Come, Another Little Hole

4. Coldplay - definitely my favorite, and the absolute kings of heart-break (again with the piano): What If, The Scientist, Trouble, Warning Sign

5. Elliot Smith - a talented and tragic artist, if the first lines of "Miss Misery" don't hit somewhere in your heart ("i'll fake it through the day with some help of Johnnie Walker Red, send a poison rain down the drain to put back thoughts in my head"), you are the Grinch (i.e. your heart is 5 sizes too small), also "Someone I Used to Know" is worth checking out.

6. Radiohead - may beat Coldplay out for the depression-throne, ok probably does. if i didn't choreograph dances in my head to the music, i would explode from the need to feel it all: Talk Show Host, Exit Music, Creep, Let Down, Karma Police.

7. Fiona Apple - ranges from the beautiful sad to the angry sad, the addition of sttings in some songs hit home for me, to me the violins sound like a heart bleeding: Never is a Promise, I Know, Love Ridden

Some other favorites that you probably already know: "Why" -Annie Lennox, "Brick" -Ben Folds, "The Drugs Don't Work" -originally The Verve, but also check out Ben Harper's cover, "Good Morning Heartache" -Billie Holiday, "And So it Goes" -Billy Joel, "Tiny Vessels" -Death Cab ("you are beautiful, but you don't mean a thing to me", ouch), "Mad World" -Gary Jules, "Me and My Charms" -Kristen Hersh (those strings again), "Hallelujah" -i'm partial to Rufus Wainwright's version, "Dust in the Wind" -Kansas, "Hurt" -the johnny cash cover of NIN

Monday, January 09, 2006

the _________ ___ happiness

today while researching archetypal psychologist James Hillman (for no specific reason really), i realized that no matter what career change i have made since undergraduate school, i will always be drawn to study pieces of psychology and criminal justice. what fascinates and thrills me has not changed with a degree of a new name, i have just expanded my pool of opportunity and experience, and maybe embraced a side of myself that i did not have the confidence to pursue straight out of high school.

however, what i have also come to recall today while thinking on my psychology degree is something that someone said to me recently, after hearing that i had majored in psychology in undergrad. i cannot even recall who the person was or where i was or any of the specifics of the encounter, but the words they said still cause a pit of dislike to form in my gut. they said something to the effect that "yea, a lot of kids major in psychology because they don't know what they want." maybe psychology is a major that is seen that way, as a catch-all for everyone who doesn't want to be a liberal arts major or doesn't really want to work, but as a person who took the time and effort to take hard, non-required courses before declaring the major to make sure i was interested, and then working hard to earn a degree in the subject, i take offense to that. and i'd have to say that i know quite a few people i had classes with in school who would also find that statement annoying.

just because i have not opted for a career in that field does not mean that i chose it because i didn't know what the hell else to do with all that time in school. nor would i expect my classmates who are pursuing their graduate degrees in the subject to say they chose the field out of apathy or indecision towards declaring a major. i may not have gone to school knowing i would major in psychology, but once i started it, it was something i found extremely fascinating and still do. if i hadn't caught the creativity bug, i would probably happily be earning a masters in it right now. it is also something i don't think i have fully left behind.

people who perpetuate the stereotypes about a psychology degree are maybe taking their notions from college history and not the present day. i wonder if whoever said that to me, if speaking with my teacher friends, would have asked them, "so is it true, 'those who can, do, and those who can't, teach?'" whatever that saying does to the hearts of those of you who worked your asses off to become the under-paid, under-appreciated guides of future generations, is also the feeling i get when someone implies that my psychology degree was just something i got when i was confused.

lastly, who's to say that if you know exactly what you want to do when you start and finish college that it is what you will end up doing anyway? no one's life is that simple. no matter how certain i think i am about the place i'm headed, i'll once again find myself running in circles, cutting another path or just happily going along for the ride. i am the first one to admit that my degrees in psychology and criminal justice look kind of funny on my resume just under my M.S. in advertising. however, i will not concede that the disjointed path was due to "a kid" who didn't know what she was doing. i am happy and proud to have such a varied and interesting piece of paper that, if nothing else, brings up some questions to whoever is looking at it. "criminal justice, huh? so you could, hypothetically, arrest the people making the horrible advertisments?"

sometimes i wish. but, hypothetically, and actually, i can do, or not do, whatever i damn well please with that degree and any of the others. and happily, i will.

"Just stop for a minute and you'll realize you're happy just being. I think it's the pursuit that screws up happiness. If we drop the pursuit, it's right here." -James Hillman

Sunday, January 08, 2006

a wet, hot mexican winter memory

so tonight i'm at Hurricane O'Reilly's with nicole and kevin, dancing, drinking, whatever, and this song comes on that gives me the funniest memory from my trip to cancun. please visualize this:

at the main pool in our resort there were different sports and activities for people to participate in throughout the day. every day around noon one of the event staff would lead water aerobics for anyone who wanted to join in. many of the days my mom and i did the aerobics session, which mostly consisted of jogging in the water and doing a lot of arm motions to hip hop or dance music. one of the days, i decided to sit out and continue reading my book instead, but my mom went in anyway. so i'm just laying pool-side half-listening to the music, reading my book and partially watching the pool. all of a sudden a song comes on that practically makes me fall off my chaise lounge. i look at the pool and there's my mom and about 15 other middle-aged women jumping up and down and doing arm curls to, "you gotta lick it, before you stick it, you gotta get it soft and wet so we can kick it." of course, everyone else seems oblivious to the words of the song (maybe because i'm surrounded by little kids and their parents), i hope at least the pool DJ was also finding it amusing. it was really the funniest thing and i had no one to share it with at the time. so now i'm sharing. it's probably a "you had to be there" kind of thing, but really, just picture your mom doing jazzercise to that song. priceless.

Friday, January 06, 2006

click here to see my new portfolio that will hopefully get me a job soon

so pass it along if you know anyone in advertising, marketing or graphic design. i will be your friend forEVER. or if you prefer, i'll stay away from you forEVER.

a bedtime story

once upon a time there was born to the greek gods zeus (god of all) and demeter (goddess of the earth and agriculture) a beautiful daughter who lived happily among nature and was greatly sought after by many of the gods. one day while picking flowers with the nymphs, hades (god of the underworld) arose out of a chasm in the earth and kidnapped the girl, trapping her in the underworld and making her his queen. after realizing her daughter's disappearance, demeter descended into a depression that halted life all over the earth as she searched for her missing child. helios (the omnipotent sun god) saw what had happen to the girl and quickly relayed the occurrence to her mother and father. demeter was so sad and angry that she took her emotions out on the world, making it cold and dark. zeus could not allow for the earth to suffer while demeter mourned, and demanded hades return the girl. they reached an understanding, but before she was released, hades gave her the seeds of a pomegranate and tricked her into eating some of the fruit and it bound her to always return to him. therefore, half of the year she is allowed to be with her mother on earth and the other half she must return to her post as goddess of the underworld. while she is on earth, it is a green, bright and beautiful place, but when she is with hades, her mother's grief causes the earth to become barren and bitter. the girl's name is persephone (per-sef-o-nee), and her tragic story explains why we have the seasons.

since falling in love with the name while reading the odyssey in 9th grade english i said if i have a daughter i would like to name her after persephone. funny thing is that in the dead of winter i almost feel like the mother who mourns her absence.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

mexico = a lot of margaritas = clr = my girls = missing you all.

i know this is in my away message right now, but i had to put it here to keep it forever and to honor the anniversary of the first CLR (for those not in the know, CLR is Central Location Reunion and is when, on average, seven of us girls from EC 04 get together, drink margaritas, eat like shit, laugh our asses off and basically pretend we're still in college). i wish i was seeing my girls again, but everyone's busy with their lives and we know that we have weddings coming up anyway that will serve as CLRs this year. so in honor of six of my favorite ECers, here is a conversation that only they may find as amusing as kristin and i did:

RENTRENT82: seriously... these reunions were such a great idea

Chari0t13: yea and we have to try really hard to keep them up
Chari0t13: even once people start getting married and shit
Chari0t13: we need to be those old ladies that still have reunions

RENTRENT82: for real
RENTRENT82: lol yes!!!

Chari0t13: still wearing our nasty ec sweatshirts

RENTRENT82: hahaha
RENTRENT82: omg we will be a riot

Chari0t13: haha
Chari0t13: "never have i ever, broken my hip on the stairs"

RENTRENT82: ahhhh

Chari0t13: "jess, you better drink double"

i love and miss you girls like crazy!

this week on, "the young and the jobless"

i have 2 degrees, yet i am unemployed with no car.

i should feel worse about this, but hell, i've got a tan and my brain is still in vacation mode. stay tuned for next week's dramatic episode when memories of blue ocean are covered by snow, my car's fate is determined and i enter freak-out mode.

oh, i also might write about cancun and post some pictures soon. that's sure to be more fun to read about than a broke, job-less, car-less panic attack. unless my problems make you happy. and in that case, enjoy the show.