Thursday, February 28, 2013

365 Days of Happy - Day 59

I don't remember when I discovered this, but it has stuck with me ever since. No matter what religion you are, or whether you believe in God or not, you should watch this. It's spoken word at it's best. I showed this video to my friend Nelson last year, and his response was, 'It's literally the that means it's sweet.'

This might not be a secret to anyone, but I'm trying to figure out my faith. I'm trying to figure out what I believe in and what makes sense to me. I went to Campus Crusade almost every Tuesday last year and this year I've been exploring Buddhism. I don't have it figured out, but this video makes me get chills and I tear up every. single. time.
Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus

What if I told you Jesus came to abolish religion?
What if I told you voting Republican really wasn't His mission?
What if I told you Republican doesn't automatically mean Christian,
And just because you call some people blind doesn't automatically give you vision

I mean if religion is so great, why has it started so many wars
Why does it build huge churches, but fails to feed the poor
Tells single moms God doesn't love them if they've ever had a divorce
But in the Old Testament, God actually calls religious people whores

Religion might preach grace, but another thing they practice
Tend to ridicule God's people, they did it to John the Baptist
They can't fix their problems, and so they just mask it
Not realizing religion's like spraying perfume on a casket.
See the problem with religion, is it never gets to the core
It's just behavior modification, like a long list of chores
Like let's dress up the outside, make it look nice and neat
But it's funny, that's what they used to do to mummies while the corpse rots underneath

Now I ain't judging, I'm just saying quit putting on a fake look
Cause there's a problem if people only know you're Christian by your Facebook.
I mean in every other aspect of life, you know that logic's unworthy
It's like saying you play for the Lakers just because you bought a jersey
You see this was me too, but no one seemed to be on to me
Acting like a church kid, while addicted to pornography
See on Sunday I'd go to church, but Saturday getting faded
Acting if I was simply created just to have sex and get wasted
See I spent my whole life building this facade of neatness
But now that I know Jesus, I boast in my weakness

Because if grace is water, then the church should be an ocean
It's not a museum for good people, it's a hospital for the broken
Which means I don't have to hide my failure, I don't have to hide my sin
Because it doesn't depend on me. It depends on him.
See because when I was God's enemy and certainly not a fan,
He looked down and said I want, that, man.
Which is why Jesus hated religion, and for it he called them fools
Don't you see so much better than just following some rules
Now let me clarify, I love the church, I love the Bible, and yes I believe in sin
But if Jesus came to your church, would they actually let him in?
See remember he was called a glutton and a drunkard by religious men
But the son of God never supports self righteousness, not now, now then

Now back to the point, one thing is vital to mention
How Jesus and religion are on opposite spectrums
See one's the work of God, but one's a man-made invention
See one is the cure, but the other's the infection
See because religion says do, Jesus says done
Religion says slave, Jesus says son
Religion puts you in bondage, while Jesus sets you free
Religion makes you blind, but Jesus makes you see
And that's why religion and Jesus are two different clans
Religion is man searching for God, Christianity is God searching for man

Which is why salvation is freely mine, and forgiveness is my own
Not based on my merits but Jesus's obedience alone
Because he took the crown of thorns, and the blood dripped down his face
He took what we all deserved, I guess that's why you call it grace
And while being murdered he yelled,
'Father, forgive them they know not what they do.'
Because when he was dangling on that cross, he was thinking of you.
And he absorbed all of your sin, and He buried it in the tomb
Which is why I'm kneeling at the cross, saying, come on, there's room.
So for religion, no I hate it, in fact I literally resent it,
Because when Jesus said, it is finished, I believe he meant it.

Song of the Day - TBT

Etta James - At Last

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

365 Days of Happy - Day 58

Tonight, I got invited to attend Expressions of Love with my friend Ryan. It was put on by Delta Sigma Theta sorority (ΔΣΘ) and Omega Psi Phi fraternity (ΩΨΦ). Ryan and I arrived at 6, thinking we would be late, but we were the first ones there, until 6:30! 

Tangent - Being fashionably late is common for Delta Zeta women. In fact, we go by 'DZ time' which is at least 15 minutes after we agree on a time to meet. Being late is in my blood. I'm always the last one ready, the procrastinator, the last one out the door. It's not something I'm proud of, but it does make me happy that I have around 100 sisters who are the same way. However, I do get flustered when I'm late or even on time to an event, such as Expressions of Love. 

Ryan and I ended up sitting (by ourselves... merrr) until around 7 when other people sat at our table. We even made some friends!

Anyway, on to the real news. Why is this a Day of Happy? Because it was an amazing and inspiring event! Expressions of Love was an event with dinner and live entertainment, which I'll get to later.
We had a home-cooked dinner (which was SO delicious!), sparkling cider, and this incredible banana creme pie. 

During dinner, this well-dressed guy stood up and sang this song, This Time by John Legend. Listen to it while you read the rest of the post.

Check out these babes!

One of my favorite parts about the event was the entertainment, especially when a few people performed spoken word. The only spoken word I've ever been introduced to is Anis Mojgani, which is more poetry than spoken word, I think. Another one of my favorites is Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus

The spoken word tonight was so real, and the speakers were so humble, but at the same time so confident. I wish I had their confidence. I wish more people would perform spoken word, because I think it's so magical and it makes my heart melt and my mind spin. I caught one line from someone's performance. It isn't much, and it might not mean anything to you, but I love it. It goes, 'Glitz ain't glamour... but her love hit me like a hammer..'

Everyone at the event was dressed to the nines! I loved it! Check out this sweet Trinity knot. Classy, right?!

After the event, Ryan and I got Shamrock Shakes! I haven't had one of these in years. Even Simba likes them!

As if my night wasn't perfect already, when I got home I found this beautiful wedding invitation! My sorority twin, Lauren, is getting married, and I couldn't be happier! I've never gotten a wedding invitation so this is a BFD. Come to think of it, the only weddings I've ever attended would be my older sister Cary's wedding in 2006, where Beth and I were junior bridesmaids, and then when I took photos of weddings with Andrejka this summer.

Yesterday night was the epitome of Happiness.

Song of the Day

Ben Rector - Hide Away

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

365 Days of Happy - Day 57

It's no surprise that I'm an introvert. I'm fit introversion to a T. If you looked up the word introvert in the dictionary, you would see my face, but does anyone even have paperback dictionaries anymore? I've always known that I was shy, and I thought that something was wrong with me. Only recently I realized that there is nothing wrong with me! Introversion is a good thing.

According to The Introvert's Way: Living a Quiet Life in a Noisy World by Sophia Dembling, introversion is a gift. 'You're not shy; rather, you appreciate the joys of quiet. You're not unsociable; instead, you enjoy recharging through time alone. You're not unfriendly, but you do find more meaning in one-on-one connections than large gatherings.' I'm about halfway through this book and it has given me so much insight on why I am the way I am. I highly recommend it for any of you introverts out there!

I make fun of my introversion and my hermit-ness, but it's okay, because I am happy who I am. I'm glad I'm an introvert. I wouldn't have it any other way. I'm not the only one making fun of introversion. These memes are too! My friend Patrick showed me this today and it definitely made my day! Thank you so much, Patrick. 

This is me, in a nutshell.

Song of the Day - Covers

I had no idea this was a cover! Bon Iver (well, I mean Justin Vernon) is so good, I thought he was the original mastermind behind this masterpiece. Bonnie Raitt originally recorded this  in 1991. I definitely think Bon Iver's version is better though. What do you think?

Also, here are some fun facts about Bon Iver: The majority of the time spent working on his 2007 album For Emma, Forever Ago was in a cabin in Medford, Wisconsin. He went to UW-Eau Claire where he majored in Religious Studies and minored in Women's Studies. The name Bon Iver is taken from from the French phrase bon hiver which means 'good winter.'

Well shoot, Justin Vernon, since we live in the same state, how about you and I get together? Maybe you can serenade me? I don't care that you're 10 years my senior. You're handsome, you're a hipster, in all the photos I've seen of you you're wearing flannel, and you can sing really well. AND you like cats?! I can hear wedding bells already.

Bon Iver - I Can't Make You Love Me

Monday, February 25, 2013

365 Days of Happy - Day 56

In honor of the Oscars Sunday night, here's an adorable video of Jennifer Lawrence being cute as all hell.

Song of the Day - Music Video Mondays

Ah, Bombay Bicycle Club, this video gets me every time. It's simple, it's beautiful, it's acoustic, and it's super indie - which is what most of Watch Listen Tell videos are. I love the main singer's awkward and dorky introduction, the rack focus on the guitar, their British accents, but my favorite part of this video is the bicyclist that wheels in the background a minute into the video. It's so perfect.

Bombay Bicycle Club - Dust on the Ground

Sunday, February 24, 2013

365 Days of Happy - Day 55

I wish people knew how important using correct grammar and spelling is. The minute I see a misspelled word, a comma where it shouldn't be, or run-on sentences in an e-mail, article or poster, I'm done. I exit out of that e-mail, click to the next article or avert my eyes to something more pleasing to the eyes. 

I'm totally serious. I'm a grammar nerd to the max, which is a good thing because I'm a journalism major. Copywriting is in my blood. I edit papers for fun. I subconsciously scan a piece of writing for any misspelled words before I start to read it.

And if you want to be taken seriously, I suggest you read this article I stumbled upon today.

By Dave Kerpen

The number of poorly written emails, resumes and blog posts I come across each month is both staggering and saddening. Grammar is off. There are tons of misspellings. Language is much wordier or more complex than necessary. Some things I read literally make no sense at all to me.

Writing is a lost art, and many professionals don't realize how essential a job skill it is. Even if you're not a writer by trade, every time you click 'Publish' on a blog, 'Post' on a LinkedIn update, or 'Send' on an email, you are putting your writing out into the world.

Your writing is a reflection of your thinking. Clear, succinct, convincing writing will differentiate you as a great thinker and a valuable asset to your team.

If you want to be thought of as a smart thinker, you must become a better writer. If you want to be taken seriously by your manager, colleagues, potential employees, clients and prospects, you must become a better writer.

It's not just you who must become a better writer - it's all of us. I'll be the first to admit, I too have had to learn to become a better writer. So here are five ways that I've become a better writer over the last several years:

1. Practice, practice, practice. The old joke comes to mind: A tourist in New York asked a woman on the street, 'How do I get to Carnegie Hall?' and she replied, 'Practice, practice, practice.' The truth is, the best way to get better at anything is to do it repeatedly. Write a personal blog or begin a novel you've always wanted to write. Offer to write some content for your company's marketing team. Write a short, interesting LinkedIn update each day. The more you write, the better you'll become at writing.

2. Say it out loud. I read all of my articles and books out loud before I publish them, and many of my emails out loud as well. It's great to hear my writing the way others will 'hear' it as they read. Especially since tone in emails is difficult to convey, it's valuable to say what you're writing aloud, and then consider a quick edit, before you put it out there.

3. Make it more concise. Less is often more, so during my editing process, I'll often ask, 'How can I say the same thing in fewer words?' People don't have the time to read a long email, memo, or article, so out of respect for your intended audience, practice making your writing short and sweet. I'd even argue that tweeting has helped me a lot with this, as it obviously limits you to 140 characters.

4. Work on your headlines. A mentor once told me that 50% of your writing is the headline. So, spend equal time and energy working on your headline as you do the piece yourself. Whether it's the headline of a blog post or an inter-office memo, or a subject line for an email to a sale prospect, your headlines will either grab your reader's attention, and get them interested in what you have to say, or not.

5. Read. Besides practicing writing, the number one way to improve your writing skills is to read great work. I read at least one book per month, at least 20 articles per week, and countless tweets, Facebook posts and emails per day. I know we all have limited time, but truly the best way to become a better writer is to become a better reader.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

365 Days of Happy - Day 54

Here's another Thought Catalog piece! If you don't like the amazing Thought Catalog articles I post, you should probably go.

But for real though. Everyone should read this (even you haters out there). But not just read it. Take it in... live it. Maybe if everyone did these, we would all make the world a better place. 'Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.' - Alexandrinus Philo

22 Rules Everyone Should Live By
By Chelsea Fagan

1. When you're in a grocery store checkout line and the person behind you has one or two items, and you have a cart full of stuff, offer to have them go in front of you. Don't make them have to work up the courage to ask you, in full fear that you might be a dick and say no. Be the bigger person and offer.

2. When someone holds the door open for you, say thank you, instead of just acting as thought they're your personal slave who owed you for some door holding.

3. If you want to compliment something, always make sure it's something you actually think. Don't just say, 'Oh, you look good,' or 'Have you lost weight?' because you think it's what they want to hear. Find something that you actually believe is true and focus on that.

4. When you post something to your blog or profile, make sure you credit it from where it came from, or at least make it a click-through. Don't just steal people's work willy-nilly.

5. Don't show up to a party empty-handed and then proceed to drink/eat all of their shit, especially if you knew the party was BYOB from the get-go.

6. Don't invite a bunch of randos to said party without first consulting the host and making sure it's okay. (And understand that it may not be possible to invite all the extra people for logistical or personal reasons, and that does not entitle you to get mad at the party thrower.v

7. Do that little wave when someone allows you to cross a street or cut in front of them in traffic.

8. Don't wait for people outside of their stall/outside of the bathroom while they're trying to poop. Don't ruin their pooping experience like that, don't be that guy.

9. Don't but on egregious amounts of perfume/cologne and then go into a small public area, such as a subway car or elevator.

10. If you're going to write nasty things about someone on your Twitter or blog or whatever, don't actually tag their name in it so they have to see that shit while scrolling through their tags or checking their interactions. It's just not nice, and you know you're only doing it to be bitchy and get a response.

11. Don't walk down a sidewalk four-deep, and if you do, at least scoot out of the way for people who are trying to get by you.

12. Wait for people to get off the subway car before you get on it. Don't push everyone out of the way like some insane rugby player because you're in such a hurry to stand up and hold a metal pole for 20 minutes.

13. Actually say 'please' and 'thank you' to cashiers at various places you buy from, instead of just standing there on your phone, halfway acknowledging them just enough to put money in their hands and grunt in the affirmative when they ask if you want the receipt in the bag. Treat them like, oh, I don't know, actual human beings.

14. Don't make the salespeople's lives a living hell by trying a bunch of things on when you have no intention of actually purchasing anything, on top of leaving things in a crumpled pile in the dressing room for someone else to attend to. (If you say, 'Oh, that doesn't happen,' you've never worked in retail.)

15. Chew with your goddamn mouth closed.

16. Work on being both a good guest and a good host, meaning that you both offer something to your host when you are there to thank them and try to be as helpful/amicable as possible, and you make sure that you treat your guests with kindness and make them feel comfortable and welcomed.

17. Try food that other people cook for you at least once (unless you are allergic, of course), and be polite and grateful even if you have to decline eating the rest of it.

18. If you are a couple and you end up, for whatever reason, going out with just one other person, make sure that they don't feel like a complete third wheel by trying not to be too 'couple-y' and including them in conversation and activities.

19. Give up your seat on the metro for the elderly or the disabled or the mother with her baby. Do it because you know it's the right thing to do and so few people actually do it.

20.  Give other people's music a chance when they want to make you listen to something they really like, even if you're sure that you won't like it yourself.

21. Tip.

22. Don't make fun of people when out at an event, or wedding, or what have you for trying to dance. If they look awkward and uncomfortable, it was already likely extremely difficult for them to work up the courage to get out on the floor - and honestly, we could all afford to dance a little more in life. Don't stamp out their little flame of rhythm.

Friday, February 22, 2013

365 Days of Happy - Day 53

My World of Ideas professor, Mr Reinhardt, showed us this TED video in class this past week. Ahh, I love me some TED videos. I was really intrigued by this video and took in every single word. 
Jonathan Haidt, formerly a professor of psychology at the University of Virginia and now a professor at New York University Stern School of Business, talks about conservatives and liberals in this 20 minute video. I think it's pretty great.

Song of the Day - Friday Favorites

I first heard this song a year or two ago and instantly fell in love. I mean, how can you not?! It's fantastically indie chilled greatness.

Local Natives - Who Knows, Who Cares

Thursday, February 21, 2013

365 Days of Happy - Day 52

I stumbled upon this video accidentally, and thought it looked intriguing. Halfway through it, I got chills up and down my arms and tears in my eyes (and I never cry). This video is called 'Best Job,' part of a campaign by Proctor & Gamble titled 'Thank You, Mom.' This first played during the 2012 Olympic games in London.

Song of the Day - TBT

This is one of my favorite Beatles songs. Enjoy.

The Beatles - Michelle

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

365 Days of Happy - Day 51

I stumbled upon this video on Mashable this afternoon. The headline, 'This Animated Anti-Bullying Poem Will Change Your Life.' caught my eye, and once I started watching this, I teared up. While this isn't exactly happy, it's inspiring, beautiful, and something that everyone should watch and remember.

'The memories of bullying during childhood can haunt you forever - which is why spoken word poet Shane Koyczan is creating a message through a poem and animated video that will stick in your mind from this day forward.

Koyczan's video, entitled 'To This Day,' details the scary and trying moments from his own childhood that shaped his life.

The video is haunting and beautiful, powerful and startling, sad and relatable. And, above all, the video and poetry will reshape your views on name calling, harassment and pain, encouraging you to confront and end the cycle of hatred and bullying kids face.'

''My experiences with violence in schools still echo throughout my life but standing to face the problem has helped me in immeasurable ways,'' Koyczan writes on the 'To This Day' website.

The line that speaks to me most is, 'As if depression is something that could be remedied by any of the contents found in a first aid kit.' I've posted the lyrics at the bottom of the post. Please watch. This is important.

When I was a kid, I used to think that pork chops and karate chops were the same thing. I thought they were both pork chops, and because my grandmother thought it was cute and because they were my favorite, she let me keep doing it. Not really a big deal.

One day, before I realized fat kids were not designed to climb trees, I fell out of a tree, and bruised the right side of my body. I didn't want to tell my grandmother about it cause I was scared I'd get in trouble for playing somewhere I shouldn't have been.

A few days later the gym teacher noticed the bruise and I got sent to the principles office. From there I was sent to another small room with a really nice lady who asked me all kinds of questions about my life at home. I saw no reason to lie. As far as life was concerned, life was pretty good. I told her whenever I'm sad my grandmother gives me karate chops.

This led to a full-scale investigation, and I was removed from the house for three days, until they finally decided to ask how I got the bruises. News of this silly little story quickly spread through the school and I earned my first nickname: Pork Chop.

To this day, I hate porkchops.

I'm not the only kid who grew up this way.

Surrounded by people who used to say that rhyme about sticks and stones, as if broken bones hurt more than the names we got called, and we got called them all. So we grew up believing no one would ever fall in love with us. That we'd be lonely forever. That we'd never meet someone to make us feel like the sun was something they'd built for us in their tool shed. So broken heartstrings bled the blues as we'd try to empty ourselves so we would feel nothing, don't tell me that hurts less than a broken bone. That an ingrown life is something surged and cut away, that there's no way for it to metastasize, it does.

She was eight years old. Our first day of grade three when she got called ugly. We both got moved to the back of class so we would stop getting bombarded by spitballs. The school halls were a battleground, we found ourselves outnumbered day after wretched day, we used to stay inside for recess because outside was worse. Outside we'd have to rehearse running away or learn to stay still like statues giving no clues if we were there. In grade five they taped a sign to the front of her desk that read, Beware of Dog. To this day, despite a loving husband she doesn't think she's beautiful, because of a birthmark that takes up a little less than half her face. Kids used to say, 'she looks like a wrong answer that someone tried to erase but couldn't quite get the job done.' And they'll never understand that she is raising two kids whose definition of beauty begins with the word mom. Because they see her heart before they see her skin, because she's only ever always been amazing.

He was a broken branch grafted onto a different family tree. Adopted, not because his parents opted for a different destiny. He was three when he became a mixed drink of one part left alone and two parts tragedy. Started therapy in eighth grade, had a personality made up of tests and pills, lived like the uphills were mountains and the downhills were cliffs, four-fifths suicidal, a tidal wave of antidepressants and an adolescence of being called 'popper.' One part because of the pills, ninety nine parts because of the cruelty. He tried to kill himself in grade ten, a kid who could still go home to mom and dad who had the audacity to tell him, 'get over it.' As if depression is something that could be remedied by any of the contents found in a first aid kit. To this day he is a stick of TNT lit from both ends. Could describe too in detail the way the sky bends and the moment before it's about to fall. And despite an army of friends who all call him an inspiration, he remains a conversation piece between people who can't understand, sometimes being drug free has less to do with addiction and more to do with sanity.

We weren't the only kids who grew up this way.

To this day kids are still being called names. The classics, race, stupid, hey spaz. Seems like every school has an arsenal of names getting updated every year. And if a kid breaks in a school and no one around chooses to hear, do they make a sound? Or it just background noise from a soundtrack stuck on repeat. People say things like, 'kids can be cruel.' Every school is a big top circus tent, and the pecking order went from acrobats to lion tamers, from clowns to carnies, all of these miles ahead of who we were, we were freaks. Lobster-clawed boys and bearded ladies, oddities juggling depression and loneliness playing solitaire spin the bottle trying to kiss the wounded parts of ourselves and heal, but at night, when the others slept, we kept walking the tightrope, it was practice yes, some of us fell. But I want to tell them that all of this is just to breathe. Left over from when we finally decide to smash all the things we thought we used to be, and if you can't see anything beautiful about yourself, get a better mirror. Look a little closer. Stare a little longer. Because there's something inside you that made you keep trying despite everyone that told you to quit, you built a cast around your broken heart and inside of yourself you decided they were wrong

Cause maybe you didn't belong to a group or a clique, maybe they decided to pick you last for basketball or everything, maybe you used to bring bruises and broken teeth to show-and-tell, but never told, because how can you hold your ground if everyone around you wants to bury you beneath it? You have to believe that they were wrong.

They have to be wrong. Why else would we still be here?

We grew up learning to cheer on the underdog because we see ourselves in them. We stem from a root planted in the belief that we are not what we were called. We are not abandoned cars stalled out and sitting empty on some highway. And if in some way we are, don't worry...we only got out to walk and get gas. We are graduating members from the class of we made it. Of the faded echoes of the voices crying, 'names will never hurt me.' Of course they did.

But our lives will only ever always continue to be a balancing act that has less to do with pain and more to do with beauty.

Song of the Day

Wolfmother - Vagabond

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

365 Days of Happy - Day 50

Here's another amazing piece of writing from Thought Catalog!

32 of Life's Most Underrated Activities

By Christopher Hudspeth

1. Going to the movies solo. Seriously - you can eat all of the snacks and it's just you, the film, and your own thoughts.

2. Receiving and opening packages in the mail.

3. A long, hot shower. Getting the water to a point of steaming hotness and standing or sitting in it until you're relaxed or dozing off is awesome. Everybody should indulge in closing their eyes and being pelted by drops of hot water.

4. Staring at the sky. It's so massive and far away - to just lie on your back and admire its beauty is something we don't do often enough. If there are clouds to watch float by - even better.

5. Eating foods that you get to dip. I think this derives from the magical tastiness that was Dunkaroos, but now it extends to various things from chips and queso, to chicken nuggets and dipping sauces.

6. Being completely lazy with a significant other. Just hours upon hours of nothing but conquering multiple seasons of television shows, and then mastering the art of sluggishness.

7. Using a brand new toothbrush for the first time.

8. Hitting the brakes, slowing down and timing the red light changing to green perfectly, thus avoiding never having to come to a complete stop.

9. Rock, paper, scissors. Sometimes I try to find 'not-it' situations just so I can suggest they be settles by a game of rock, paper, scissors.

10. Stepping on and hearing the crunch of piles of leaves.

11. Waking up and saying 'screw it,' to productivity or obligations for the day. That means calling in sick, going back to sleep, and spending the day doing - or not doing, whatever you please.

12. Building and lounging under a blanket fort.

13. Listening. Not only because you're likely allowing someone to blow off steam and release their bottled up stress, but because sometimes it's pleasant to play silent therapist.

14. Flicking through an entire rack of posters at Spencer's, Hot Topic, or some other dimly lit mall store.

15. Coloring. It's like nobody does it once we get to a double-digit age, but it still possesses the relaxation equivalent of a cup of hot tea and a book.

16. Nighttime drives with the windows down and the music blaring through your speakers while you're alone with your own thoughts and tunes.

17. Grabbing a plate at a buffet and having at the unlimited amounts of grub you can pile onto your plate.

18. The drive back on a road trip. Sure, there's excitement, anticipation and mystery on the way there - but the way back is when the entire experience is discussed and reflected upon from all the participants perspectives.

19. Watching great performers perform. For example: LeBron James playing basketball. The fact that he's scheduled for 82 games every season, plus the playoffs might make us forget that (like it or not) he's the best player in the world, and we're actually able to watch a man in the process of creating his legacy.

20. Peeling protective sheets of plastic off of our brand new electronics.

21. Random, lucid dreaming moments in which you know it's just a dream, yet you're still in there with full control of yourself.

22. Living like a slob in your hotel room. It's a short-term mess that we'd never allow in our actual home, but since this is temporary we leave clothes, food, papers and garbage everywhere. Also, we don't have to make beds or be neat with towels and junk - room service neatens things up for us.

23. Being underrated. yes, it's be fun for people to hype up and support you all the time, but as an underdog you're given the opportunity to prove doubters and naysayers wrong.

24. Saying 'yes' to somebody - doesn't matter what they're asking of you, something about being able to say 'yes' is pleasant.

25. Partaking in a hug that began with a running start and sometimes is met with one or both parties in midair.

26. Going through loud, wet, sudsy car washes that feel like a poor man's Universal Studios special effects experience.

27. Throwing on clothes that came straight from the dryer.

28. Making someone who's having a bad day or isn't in the best mood genuinely smile or laugh.

29. Sharing high-fives with competitive strangers over something you can both appreciate.

30. Removing your shoes by kicking them off with your feet, and never having to bend or kneel down.

31. Getting out a string of 3 or 4 rapid sneezes in a row.

32. Verbally taking advantage of being able to tell your loved ones you love them while they're around to hear it, and you're around to say it.

Song of the Day - Covers

I bet you didn't know that this isn't the original! It was originally produced by Tears for Fears in 1982 and Gary Jules covered it in 2001. It was also the final song in the movie Donnie Darko.

Gary Jules - Mad World

Monday, February 18, 2013

365 Days of Happy - Day 49

This afternoon, I was given the opportunity to take pictures of these fine gentleman for their campaign next year. Justin and Dylan are both on Whitewater Student Government, and they are running for president and vice president, respectively. I love taking pictures of people, and we had such a fun time on the photoshoot! I wouldn't dream of getting paid for this sort of thing. I don't think I'm a great photographer by any means. I just know how to take a pretty picture and edit photos well.

Here are a few of my favorites from the photoshoot.

Song of the Day - Music Video Mondays

I am a huge fan of Lana Del Rey. I love her unique style, her deep voice, her beautiful auburn hair, everything. You could say I have a bit of a girl crush on her! This song is one of my favorites by her.

When Rose and I studied abroad, we traveled to Barcelona for a long weekend, and as some of you might know it was the worst trip we've ever taken. Hearing the word 'Barcelona' gives us shivers and makes us cringe, I kid you not. On the last day we were there, we stayed in our hotel room, drank cheap wine and watched television. The only channel that wasn't in Spanish was the music video channel, so we had it playing all the time. When this music video would come on, it would always make me so happy and content, and hopefully it does to you too.

Lana Del Rey - Blue Jeans

Sunday, February 17, 2013

365 Days of Happy - Day 48

If you haven't seen Life in a Day yet, I strongly recommend you watch it! It is a crowdsourced drama/documentary film comprised of people sending in video clips from around the world on one day - July 24, 2010. The filmmakers had to decide from over 80,000 submissions and 4500 hours from 192 countries which clips were the best, the most interesting, the most intriguing.

I'm not sure the exact day when it was available to view online, I think around Halloween of 2011, but when I stumbled upon it that night, I put off doing my homework, cozied up on the futon in my dorm room and watched it, beginning to end. I took it all in, and I loved it.

It's one of my favorite movies to date, and this music video-esque short film is very similar to it. It's called One Day on Earth - the music video.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

365 Days of Happy - Day 47

I stumbled upon this gem a few weeks ago and I absolutely love it. Read through it, see if you agree, and think if you have people in your life who fulfill these needs. I know I do.
  21 Things We All Need
By Nico Lang

1. Someone who really understands us and gets not the person we want others to think we are, but the person we really are. We need someone who sees that person and truly cherishes them, just the way they are.

2. Someone to lie next to at night, whether that's a pillow that you hug, the teddy bear you still have from your childhood, your best non-human friend or the love of your life.

3. To know that it's okay when we screw up and that we are both forgiven and loved for not being perfect. We need to know that it's okay to mess up, so we can work on getting better.

4. People to push us to be better people, who love us too much to let us stay scared and broken. We need people who lift us up and help us be more whole.

5. To feel like we are doing something in the world. It doesn't have to be a big something - like earning a Nobel Peace prize or being the Meryl Streep of your generation. It can be something like starting a website with your friends or helping your hoarder grandparents clean up their life. But we need to feel like we are of service and use to other people and that we are a force for good in the world.

6. A day off or a break every once in a while. In a society that's always pushing us to be bigger, stronger and more productive, sometimes we just need down time with our friends, hanging out and watching Arrested Development in our pajamas.

7. To feel sexy and attractive to other people, even when we aren't trying. We need someone to tell us that we are beautiful without makeup and that they love waking up next to us, before we've had that moment to sneak out of bed, brush our teeth and pretend we woke up just smelling like that. We need someone to tell us our stinky breath is hot, even though it absolutely not.

8. The agency to make our own decisions about our bodies. We get to decide how curvy it is, what goes in it, who touches it and what we do with it.

9. To be held every so often and have that hug that lingers too long, when you know someone is crushing on you with affection, or that cuddling session that lasts for hours, when you're just wrapped up in someone else entirely.

10. To be honest with ourselves and other people about our goals and aspirations - in order to push ourselves to achieve them. We need to not be scared to want too much or too little and have the courage to ask for it.

11. An unexpected compliment or affirmation from someone we respect or admire. We need to know that the people we look up to think well of us and that our heroes believe in us, too.

12. A connection with the world around us. We need to feel like we are a part of something: a family, a community, a bowling league, a book club or a world that's changing for the better, one where our privileges can be shared with others. It is not enough to hope. We must also feel like we are a part of that hope.

13. To struggle. We need to feel things that aren't easy and tackle things that are bigger than us, things that no person should have to deal with at our age. We need uncertainty - to know what it is to hurt and to be lonely, or we'll never know how lucky we are when we make it through to the other side.

14. The ability to surprise ourselves every once in a while and do something we didn't know we could. We need to feel pride in our accomplishments and a sense of astonishment at the person we are becoming.

15. Magic in our lives, even the everyday kind. We need those moments where you catch the train on time, and you feel like you control the transit system - that it bends to your mighty powers. Or that magic moment where you find your remote control or the charger that you presumed was lost, just to discover it was right in front of you all along.

16. To witness a public spectacle with the people we love around us. Whether it's the NOT OVERRATED Beyonce taking the Super Bowl's power away with her fierceness or going to see The Avengers with everyone we know, we need that moment where we are all tuned into the same thing, where we are all part of the same discourse, where we are all united in having something to talk about. And we definitely need Beyonce.

17. Moments where we kick back and let ourselves slide, whether that's eating chocolate when we're training for a marathon or procrastinating on our thesis with Downton Abbey. We need to remember to mix our work and our play.

18. To stop caring so much about whether other people 'like' us and focus on liking ourselves. We need to stop living for other people's approval - obsessed about how many hits our article gets or whether our status gets a million likes on Facebook. Start dancing like nobody's watching you.

19. That unexpected moment of progress, going that extra mile when you feel like you can't run another step or finally getting through that Jeffrey Eugenides novel you've been putting off. We need to know that we can achieve what we set out to accomplish and we have the ability to make it better.

20. To catch up with old friends and have those moments of connection with our past. Sometimes we're so focused on where we're going that we forget to think about where we came from and the people who made us who we are now. We need to be mindful and respectful of the fact that we are a process and we are still in development.

21. To stay home on a Friday or Saturday night. As important as it is to have food and a roof over our heads, it's equally important to just exist in that shelter and cherish the simple privilege of existing in your own space. We need to allow ourselves to close our eyes and just be. Enjoy the silence.