I’m really bad with keeping up with this blog but figured I should post something before the year ends.
Since the last time I updated, I started my MA program at NYU and moved to New York. It’s been a huge change (one that was quite difficult at first), but it’s definitely been a learning experience. I’m happy to say that I’m enjoying my time there now and school has definitely contributed to my overall happiness. The beginning half of this year was possibly the hardest time period in my life – having to learn how to accept “no” as an answer multiple times, realizing that I need to stop acting entitled just because I have an expensive sheet of paper, learning how to be happy for other people even as my self-confidence dwindles, learning how to swallow my pride and face the fact that nothing is really “below my standards,” and so on – but I do believe I am a better person overall for having experienced it. Did it suck? Obviously. Would I do it again? Hopefully not, but I am, in a strange way, grateful for January – August because I’ve learned a lot from my mistakes and how to be satisfied and thankful for any opportunity that comes my way.
Now that I’ve explained my current and past mentality for this year, I’ll move on to much more exciting and entertaining things. This is a post about the pop culture-y things I’ve enjoyed this year – anything from movies, tv shows, music, YouTube videos, etc. I have to admit there isn’t anything groundbreaking here as I was/am a bit slow to catch onto things, at least for 2012, due in part to my lack of time and (mostly) in part to my laziness. Some of these items listed are things I’m sure most people already know about and may have even moved past or gotten over. Oh well!
So here are the things, in no particular order, that provided an escape, entertained me, or helped me procrastinate:
Again, I am really slow with catching up with shows, but I’ve FINALLY gotten around to this show and have managed to catch up. It’s actually embarassing how long it took me to start watching this considering just how AMAZING AND GOOD IT IS. All that hype is definitely true. I only finished the first two seasons during the fall semester because of school, but I spent the last few days sitting on my butt marathoning the show. I finished season 3 in two days and season 4 in about a day and a half. Yes, it’s that good. This show definitely will cause you to feel anxiety like you’ve never felt before and make you turn on your favorite characters so quickly. It’s brilliant and I’m excited to see what happens next when the show comes back next summer.
I absolutely love how cinematic the show feels and the shots are just so beautiful.
GAME OF THRONES
Another example of how late to the game I am with things. During my “forever winter break” aka my unemployed/nothing going on in my life period, I finally got around to watching GOT season 1 and promptly fell in love. It’s a fantastic series with great characters. I’m not as heavily invested in this series as others (I’ve only read the first book and was in the middle of A Clash of Kings when I had to return it to the library, oops), but I’m very happy I’ve finally crossed it off my list of things to watch. Season 2 was not as great as season 1, in my opinion, but still leagues ahead of other stuff on television now. Plus the kid actors are awesome:
LIFE OF PI
Because of school, I’ve absolutely failed at watching movies this past fall. Life of Pi was the only movie this fall that I actually saw in theaters. (I know, embarrassing.) I LOVED IT. I actually started the book earlier this year, but never finished it because like ACOK, it was due before I could finish. However, the movie was so great and so visually stunning. Suraj Sharma was perfect as Pi (and it was his first film!) and the animation for Richard Parker was amazing.
It also made me think about life, as cheesy as it sounds, what it means to be here on Earth, and what our purpose is. Or what my purpose is. I think any film that does that deserves to be on any favorites of the year list.
IT’S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA
This is still one of my favorite shows of all time. Yes, the most recent seasons haven’t been as good as the first few, but it’s amazing that Glenn, Charlie, and Rob (as well as Kaitlin and Danny DeVito) have managed to produce a show that’s just finished it’s 8th season and is still funny and relevant. More importantly, it doesn’t feel like it’s dragging. I think a lot of shows, comedies in particular, reach a point in which you can tell the writers and creators begin to feel tired, as though they’re running out of ideas. I will admit there were a few times in the past couple of seasons I started getting that feeling about IASIP, but then they’d create an episode that was a CLASSIC and belonged with the greats like Sweet Dee is Dating a Retarded Person and Gun Fever – Who Got Dee Pregnant?, Dee Reynolds: Shaping America’s Youth, and Chardee MacDennis: The Game of Games are some of my new favorites. This season I completely loved The Gang Recycles Their Trash for their postmodern take on themselves and Charlie’s Mom Has Cancer because Mac and Charlie’s speech had me rolling and P.Diddy as some kind of garden/doctor/bass player.
I couldn’t write a 2012 post without mentioning them, could I? I’ve written a blog post in the past about how much I adore them and it’s true, I do. Really, I don’t even mean in an ironic way or anything. I genuinely think they’re adorable and they make fun pop music so I’m always ready to link or recommend something, a video interview or a song, to get people to become a fangirl as quickly as I did.
They really have had an impressive year. Two albums, SNL, the Olympics, VMAs, taking the world by storm, etc. It’s really amazing to think back to the start of this year in January when I showed my friend this video of this random British boy band that has “this really cheesy song” with some “kid who dated some 30 year old!”…and how I am now one of those people who know who’s voice sounds like what, the order of the track listing, and what they’re up while in New York. Is it sad? Probably. But I’m not ashamed to admit that they really were the only thing that made me happy for awhile during the beginning half of this year.
I also LOVE their newest album, Take Me Home. It’s actually a great pop album filled with a ton of catch songs. I realize pop music isn’t everybody’s taste and that’s fine, but if you are susceptible to getting a great pop song stuck in your head every once in awhile, do yourself a favor and listen to these songs:
Bat for Lashes – The Haunted Man
Bat for Lashes’s Two Suns is one of my favorite albums of all times and was something I listened to a lot while traveling during my quarter abroad in England. This album, along with Phoenix’s Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix are two of my most listened to albums ever. I was super excited to hear Natasha Khan’s new material and though on first listen, I wasn’t sure if I liked it, The Haunted Man has grown on me A LOT. I absolutely love a lot of these tracks and much like how Two Suns became the soundtrack for travelling during a certain time period of my life, this album will definitely be what I think of when I think back to my first semester of grad school and commuting on those subway rides. My favorite tracks:
Jessie Ware – Devotion
This one was a bit of a late discovery for me, but it’s all I’ve been listening to recently! I love this entire album and cannot get enough. There’s not much more to say but please check out some of these tracks:
What an adorable film. The story was simple, but I loved the visuals.
Beach House – Bloom
Another late addition for me, but this album became my soundtrack for reading/homework-ing/procrastinating, especially after I realized that the new The XX album wasn’t as good as their first album. I only got into Beach House after downloading a free sampler on Amazon and they had Lazuli on it. Since then, I’ve listened to the album numerous times and that track is one of my least favorites! Isn’t it funny how that happens? Well, regardless, here are some of my standouts from this album:
Awesome Female Pop Singers – Marina and the Diamonds, Ke$ha, Azealia Banks
I feel bad for lumping all of these awesome ladies into one category because they’re not really all POP singers, but I love all three for not being afraid to speak their minds and being strong females. Also, did I mention how catchy and great their songs are? Because all three put out albums/EPs that were definitely on my most listened to this year and their music were my soundtracks for travelling, reading, procrastinating, solo dance parties, and so on. Enjoy!
This Coke Zero Ad
My classes and internship this semester have made me much more aware of creative and innovative advertising. I think it’s something I’m definitely interested in and who knows, maybe I’ll continue to go down this path. I love that it isn’t just a straight up “BUY COKE! WATCH JAMES BOND!” ad and that it’s pretty interactive. There are so many different tools and features available to companies and advertisers so it’s nice to see something different like this ad.
“Pop Life: I’m in a Girl Group”
I’m a sucker for documentaries and I loved this one! It’s always fascinating to learn about the behind the scenes drama and history of your favorite girl groups.
Beyonce’s Countdown: Snuggie Version
Which I cannot embed for some reason, but please watch this amazing video and BOW at this guy’s precision, skill, and dedication.
Solange – Losing You
This song became my paper writing anthem only because it’s both upbeat and relaxing. Go Solange for finding her niche! It’s always hard being in the shadow of someone, but when that someone is Beyonce? Girl….
Disneyland’s World of Color
Because after I failed to get FastPasses (you need a FastPass to see this show, seriously) to see this two years ago, I was determined NOT to miss it this time around. And it. was. SO. WORTH. IT. I’m a Disney nerd and I’ve watched a YouTube video of this show numerous times and I get choked up from that. You can imagine how I felt when I finally got to see it in person last week. It was perfect. And they’ve changed some of it around to accomodate Brave!
My favorite parts were probably The Little Mermaid and the bits with Up and Toy Story. I also don’t know why they need to have the most TRAUMATIZING PART of The Lion King in there, but whatever. Just have those tissues ready.
I’m going to end the post here because I’m sure I’ve killed your browser or computer by now (if anyone takes the time to read this), but I think it’s nice to end it on a Disney note (seriously, I’m a Disney dork). This year hasn’t been the easiest, but it was a learning experience and took an upturn towards the end thanks to a change of scenery and a leap of faith. Much like Disney movies (or because of them), I try to be optimistic about things and hopeful about new beginnings. Here’s to a productive and entertaining 2013!