Thursday, October 31, 2013

365 Days of Happy - Day 305

I've never been big on Halloween. I mean, my sister and neighbor kids and I would dress up and go trick or treating together around our neighborhood when we were little. Once middle school hit - heck, even before that - I wanted nothing to do with Halloween. I remember a few times where I stayed in my room on Halloween night, either writing or browsing the Internet. I was a boring child.

It was interesting because Halloween fell on a Thursday night this year, a popular drinking night at Whitewater (thirsty Thursdays, anyone?). So of course people dressed up for that night. But people would also dress up on that Wednesday, and then on Friday night, and some even dressed up on Saturday night! Like, WHAT? What is going on where these holidays are spilling out into two or three day events? Ain't nobody got time for that.

But, I did go out on Halloween. And even on Friday night too! Although I was so tempted to stay inside with my cat and look up cat videos on the Internet. I guess it's only fitting that I went as a cat on Halloween. I even made my own cat ears with pipe cleaners and felt!

Here I am with my new friend Amanda! We met at communication advising about a month ago, can you believe it? We were both waiting for the final check and sign-off, and she sat next to me and started talking to me about how I was Intern of the Month and had a photography internship on Mackinac Island! (I was chosen for Intern of the Month in February, and I STILL get recognized because of it. That's pretty sweet.

We talked about how we're both journalism majors, how we love traveling, how she was born in Malaysia and raised in Thailand and how I studied abroad in Ireland, and well, the rest is history! We're like best friends now and even thinking of traveling up to Mackinac Island over New Years Eve, spring break, or after we graduate. She invited me to go out with her friends on Halloween (which was SO sweet of her and I was actually excited to socialize for once), and here we are with her friend Carrie. Amanda (in the middle) is having fun, I swear.

Song of the Day - TBT

When I went home a few weeks ago, I grabbed a CD from my room so I could have some new tunes to jam out to on the 45 minute drive home. I took Maroon 5's album Songs About Jane, which may be my favorite album of all time. I chose this song because I feel like it's one of those songs that everyone knows about. It was such a hit when it was released in 2002 (can you believe it?!) and it's just soooo smooth and sad and just wonderful.

Maroon 5 - She Will Be Loved

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

365 Days of Happy - Day 304

Thanks, Huffington Post, for this gem.
26 Slogans That Frankly Make More Sense Than The Real Ones

Song of the Day

I watched The Kings of Summer this weekend, a little indie movie recommended to me via BuzzFeed. This song was playing during the end credits. It was a great movie. A tie between Moonrise Kingdom and Where the Wild Things Are, I thought. I enjoyed it a lot, and now I can't get enough of this song :)

Youth Lagoon - 17

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

365 Days of Happy - Day 303

I find this introvert-extrovert perception to be so interesting. Must be why so many of my Days of Happy are of articles defending and defining introversion. 
Here are some of my favorite points from What Is It Really Like to Be an Introvert? by Kate Bartolotta

As someone who works with people all the time, you'd think I'd be an extrovert. I'm friendly. I'm not shy. But when I get close to my 'people time' limit, it's time to shut down, be quiet and hole up with a good book. I love helping people, but there's a huge reason that I balance that type of work with where I get to be quiet and dive in to working with words instead of being bombarded with interaction.

It's because - although I don't fall into some of the old stereotypes - I'm an introvert.

I spent years feeling guilty if I wanted to spend time alone instead of doing things with friends. I learned to make the best of it, and often pushed myself to be social - even when it felt exhausting. Many people do this, as extroversion tends to be prized in our society, while introversion is seen as a 'second-class personality trait, somewhere between a disappointment and a pathology.' It is none of those things. For those of us who are wired that way, it can be our greatest asset.

Being introvert has nothing to do with lack of confidence. Many confident people are introverted and gather their strength from the time they spend alone rather than from the input of others. In some ways, I believe that the ability to enjoy being by yourself says a great deal about your confidence.

A lot of us fall somewhere in the middle between the two, and some interactions take more out of people than others.

A few things to consider if someone you care about falls more on the introverted end of the spectrum:

1. Think of each of us as having a cup of energy available.
For introverts, most social interactions take a little out of that cup instead of filling it the way it does for extroverts. Most of us like it. We're happy to give, and love to see you. When the cup is empty though, we need some time to refuel. We aren't mad. We don't stop caring about you. We'll be so happy to see you and talk to you again when we've had some time to decompress.

2. Silence isn't a bad thing.
Really. It's not an insult. It's the introvert's way of conserving energy and restoring him or herself. If we can be quiet with you (and you can be content being quiet with us) it's a huge compliment and a huge relief. Other times the quiet really does not need to be spent alone. We come back when we're ready. It's worth the wait.

3. Text. Write letters. Email. We love it.
There are times that you can't beat a face-to-face conversation, I'd agree 100 percent. But for introverts, sometimes being able to stay connected and stay in touch in a less intense and less draining way is a huge help. Being in crowds is tough. Even long conversations can be tough if we're already 'peopled out.' Having the freedom to respond when we are ready is a great feeling. Sometimes, it's right away. If it's not, don't be offended.

Song of the Day - Covers

Benjamin Francis Leftwich has such a distinct voice and lullaby-like melody, so much so that I think I like this more than the original by Tom Petty.

Benjamin Francis Leftwich - Won't Back Down

Monday, October 28, 2013

365 Days of Happy - Day 302

One of my favorites from The Important Things and Advice to Know That People Generally Aren't Told.

There is no such thing as highbrow and lowbrow.

Or if there is, who cares? School has bamboozled us into thinking Shakespeare is superior to Gilligan's Island. As someone who directs Shakespeare plays and reads "King Lear" for fun, I'm here to tell you that the only great art is the art you love.

Life is really fucking hard. You have to deal with losing jobs, getting divorces, paying taxes and fixing the toilet. Don't add to your troubles by telling yourself - or letting someone tell you - that you're a moron because you prefer beer to expensive champagne.

If something is beloved by experts, 'refined people' and scholars, there probably is something wonderful about it. If you want to spend an hour with me, I'll explain to you why Shakespeare is wonderful and what you'll get out of his plays if you spend some time studying them. But it's not a requirement. You're not in school any longer (Or if you are, you soon won't be). There's no teacher waiting for you to turn in your homework.

I am not a better person than you because I read Shakespeare. I read Shakespeare because I enjoy it. If I read it because I 'should,' I'd be a fool.

Art is primarily sensual. It can sometimes politicize people or give them intellectual ideas, but what art does best is feed you: it feeds your eyes with colors; it feeds your ears with sounds; it feeds your nerves with 'what is going to happen next???' Life is short. If Star Wars feeds you more than Hamlet, enjoy your feast!

If you feel guilty about watching American Idol when you 'should be' watching Masterpiece Theatre, then agree to challenge yourself once a month. Once a month, go to a museum or watch a foreign film. The rest of the time, watch and read and listen to whatever makes you sit on the edge of your seat. Whatever makes you sing and dance.

If you're an 'intellectual' like me, take a break from the Bergman films and Shakespeare plays once in a while. Sure, sure, American Idol is the death of American culture or whatever. But a couple of episodes of it. It's pretty engrossing and fun.

Get out of the habit of labeling things as high and low. There's stuff that feeds you and stuff that doesn't. There are acquired tastes which don't feed you now but which might feed you in the future, once you get used to them. As soon as you get the urge to categorize one thing as 'art' and the other thing as 'just entertainment,' try to stop. There are different sorts of meals, and it's great to live in a world with both caviar and Pop Tarts!

Song of the Day - Music Video Mondays

This is absolutely brilliant. From a song that's gotten so much media attention it's ridiculous, this video needs to have just as much attention. It embarrasses me and makes me laugh so much. This feminist parody rocks my socks. #notfuckingplastic

Law Revue Girls - Defined Lines

Sunday, October 27, 2013

365 Days of Happy - Day 301

I honestly thought this would be kind of dumb, but it's actually hilarious. (And also sad, because if kittens don't support print journalism, there is no hope for me.)

Saturday, October 26, 2013

365 Days of Happy - Day 300

Tonight, I got together with one of my sorority sisters, Allison, and we made dinner together! This in itself is a Day of Happy for a few reasons. 

First, I haven't spent time with Allison in FOREVER. We're so much alike, and even found out some eerily similar things about ourselves tonight, and this was one of those rare occasions for both of us where we actually made a meal. Not just macaroni and cheese or cereal and toast. Granted, the chicken and pasta isn't much, but we were proud of ourselves. Oh, and I made cupcakes for us!

We drank wine and watched The Notebook - which she's never seen! Can you believe it?! I had SUCH a great night. :) It's pretty unbelievable that if we weren't in Delta Zeta, we never would have known each other.

Here is a picture of Kayla, myself, and Allison two years ago at a Delta Zeta recruitment event!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Guilty Pleasures - Songs, Part II

Okay... I'm a bit ashamed of this post. But no one reads this blog anyway so there's no reason for me to be ashamed! I totally jam out to these when I hear them on the radio. 
Anyway, I like these songs because they're sung by artists I don't really like, but you can't even tell who's singing these songs! Jam on, my inner teenager!

Selena Gomez - Come and Get It

One Direction - Best Song Ever

Avicii - Wake Me Up

Katy Perry - Roar

Lady Gaga - Applause

365 Days of Happy - Day 299

I think I found Kate Middleton For The Win in Glamour magazine months ago. It's brilliant.

Song of the Day - Friday Favorites

Rogue Wave - Eyes

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

365 Days of Happy - Day 296


This is George. Yes, I am one of those people who gives names to my cat's toys.

Simba likes to stretch. All over my computer, apparently.

When Simba fell asleep in this little purple basket, I would slide it under the chair. I captured the moment when I told him that.

We like watching Arrested Development together.

I really should have seen this coming.

Song of the Day - Covers

Nat King Cole - Love (Multilingual Version)

Monday, October 21, 2013

365 Days of Happy - Day 295

Check this out - Here Is Today, created by graphic designer and illustrator Luke Twyman. It's an interactive website that will seriously put things in perspective for you.

Song of the Day - Music Video Mondays

Passion Pit - Take a Walk

Sunday, October 20, 2013

365 Days of Happy - Day 294

I really want to write more. I feel like I've lost that creativeness. But I already have ideas for the next blog I'm going to create, and it will be mostly all original content. But sometimes it's so hard to be creative, sometimes it's so hard to write a good sentence, and if you're anything like me, you pore over sentences and word structure for hours. Here are some of my favorite quotes, from 25 Insights on Becoming a Better Writer.

'Don't just plan to write -- write. It is only by writing, not dreaming about it, that we develop our own style.' - PD James

'You can never read your own book with the innocent anticipation that comes with that first delicious page of a new book, because you wrote the thing. You've been backstage. You've seen how the rabbits were smuggled into the hat. Therefore ask a reading friend or two to look at it before you give it to anyone in the publishing business. This friend should not be someone with whom you have a romantic relationship, unless you want to break up.' - Margret Atwood

'Find your best time of the day for writing and write. Don't let anything else interfere. Afterwards it won't matter to you that the kitchen is a mess.' - Esther Freud

'Have the courage to write badly.'

'If you get stuck, get away from your desk. Take a walk, take a bath, go to sleep, make a pie, draw, listen to music, meditate, exercise; whatever you do, don't just stick there scowling at the problem. But don't make telephone calls or go to a party;  if you do, other people's words will pour in where your lost words should be. Open a gap for them, create a space. Be patient.' - Hilary Mantel

Saturday, October 19, 2013

365 Days of Happy - Day 293

Did you guys know that I have a cat I'm obsessed with?

The constant affection (and one of my favorite gifs).

22 Ways Your Cat Is Your Significant Other

You support each other.

22 Ways Your Cat Is Your Significant Other

This is your biggest fantasy.

22 Ways Your Cat Is Your Significant Other

Chores are fun to do together.

22 Ways Your Cat Is Your Significant Other

It's true love.

22 Ways Your Cat Is Your Significant Other

Friday, October 18, 2013

365 Days of Happy - Day 292

The 18 Types of Annoying Cats on Instagram? How about the 18 Types of RIDICULOUSLY ADORABLE Cats on Instagram? This only reaffirms my idea that cats on Instagram are better than people on Instagram.

Song of the Day - Friday Favorites

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes - All Wash Out

Thursday, October 17, 2013

365 Days of Happy - Day 291

A little blurb from The Power of Introverts. I am an introvert and damn proud of it.

Today we make room for a remarkably narrow range of personality styles. We're told that to be great is to be bold, to be happy is to be sociable. We see ourselves as a nation of extroverts - which means that we've lost sight of who we really are. Depending on which study you consult, one-third to one-half of Americans are introverts. If you're not an introvert yourself, you are surely raising, managing, married to, or coupled with one.

If these statistics surprise you, that's probably because so many people pretend to be extroverts. Closet introverts pass undetected in playgrounds, in high school locker rooms, and in the corridors of corporate America. Some fool even themselves, until some life event - a layoff, an empty nest, an inheritance that frees them to spend time as they like - jolts them into taking stock of their true natures.

It makes sense that so many introverts hide even from themselves. We live with a value system that I call the Extrovert Ideal - the omnipresent belief that the ideal self is gregarious, alpha, and comfortable in the spotlight. The archetypal extrovert prefers action to contemplation, risk-taking to heed-taking, certainty to doubt. He favors quick decisions, even at the risk of being wrong. She works well in teams and socializes in groups.

Introversion - along with its cousins sensitivity, seriousness, and shyness - is now a second-class personality trait, somewhere between a disappointment and a pathology. Introverts living under the Extrovert Ideal are like women in a man's world, discounted because of a trait that goes to the core of who they are. Extroversion is an enormously appealing personality style, but we've turned it into an oppressive standard to which most of us feel we must conform.

Song of the Day - TBT

The Band - The Weight

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

365 Days of Happy - Day 290

I was looking at some of my albums on Facebook from when I studied in Ireland, and oh my goodness I'm about to have a panic attack or something I miss it so much. My heart literally aches when I look back at photos from when Rose and I traveled around Europe. 
Belfast was one of my favorite cities, and here's why:

They have funny road signs with graffiti over them.

Because why not?

It IS the best city in the world.

I"m going to write for this newspaper some day.

They had this sweet fish by the harbor.

Ah, Belfast. You are so wise.

Really, really wise.

Song of the Day

James Morrison - Nothing Ever Hurt Like You

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

365 Days of Happy - Day 289

There was a time when I was obsessed with Lucille Ball. I asked for a complete set of I Love Lucy DVDs for Christmas one year (still have yet to receive them), I started wearing red lipstick like her, and I started obnoxiously yelling, 'Honey, I'm home!' to my boyfriend when I went over to his place, and I decided that I wanted to name one of my children Lucy. I even wrote about her in my creative writing class sophomore year. It's really stupid. Don't read it.

She’s adorable in a cartoon sort of way.  Her bright blue eyes are enormous, embellished with long, fake black eyelashes.  Her apple cheeks are rosy and shiny.  Her skin is enviable: smooth and clear like porcelain.  Her bubbly voice fills the air like music.  She is always either beaming or pouting, but in both cases her lips are always full and red.  I would imagine they are red, but she lives in a black and white world so her heart-shaped lips appear a dark grey.  I have never seen her hair down, not even when she goes dancing with her husband Ricky.  Her curly, feathery red hair is always pinned up, sometimes wrapped up beneath a patterned silk scarf.  She wears head wraps when she does house work.  Her hair is a reddish bronze color, a few shades lighter than the vibrant red lipstick she always wears. 

Sometimes she makes this face.  It’s a little ugly, which is incredible because how can a woman so beautiful make such an odd looking face?  Her eyes get really big and cartoonish and her mouth forms into this stern surprised pout, if you can imagine it, and she makes this face when she knows she has messed up, which is often.  Her life on screen is a joke and she can make any funny face you can think of.  A curious kind of comedienne.

In her prime, she had a slender body and slight hips.  Her arms and wrists are slim as well.  She usually doesn’t wear jewelry, or maybe I just don’t notice it when she does.  She wears her wedding ring and earrings and occasionally a necklace or bracelet but she likes to spend her money on other things she loves, such as chocolate or dresses.  She would sometimes go to the grocery store or the bank.  I’m sure the groceries in her bag were colorful and vibrant, but I could never tell because I only saw her life through a black and white filter.  She is a typical woman but she has spunk.  She is graceful but goofy at the same time.  She is hard headed but humble.  She is a stern business woman but a passionate lover.  She is a fascinating train wreck. 

It is true that men want to be with her, and women want to be her.

The first time I saw her was in the big black box that sat in the living room of my parent’s house.  There was a big, full heart, on it her curlicued heading, and then she appeared, sitting on the couch in the living room of her apartment.  I forgot about her for a few years but picked up interest a few weeks ago.  When I saw her again, I fell in love.  I loved her and I loved her life.  Her show was one of the most memorable to date, and she won four Emmy Awards and her face on a post stamp to prove it.

In the television, she lived in the 1950’s, so she was used to chivalrous men and shirt dresses that went down to the knee and low heeled pumps and just sitting on the davenport in her living room listening to rock and roll music.  She looked good in pearls and dresses with prominent collars and cuffs on the sleeves.  She lived in an apartment and had a milkman deliver her milk in glass bottles in a metal crate.  She had next door friends.  Her husband was at work most of the time so she had to fend for herself, being the clumsy housewife at home.  She was scatterbrained, which didn’t work the best for her.  Her frivolousness usually turned into a disaster and when her husband would return home from work she would cry, “Ricky!!” and he would come to her rescue like any good husband would do.  Those two.  They were madly in love.  They even got married in the year 1940 when she was 29.
She is beautiful.   She shines next to her husband Ricky, and that’s probably why they named the television show after her.  She is a doll.  She is a star.  She is hilarious when she tries to argue, adorable when she is herself, and admirable when she wins over everyone’s attention.  She is one tough cookie, and because of it she was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame.

She died from an aortic dissection, a tear in the wall of the aorta, which led to blood separating the aortic layers apart.  What a shame for such a beautiful, fiery red-haired woman to die.  Her big heart was the death of her.

She is rubies, she is roses.  She is Lucille Ball.

Song of the Day - Covers

Original is by T.I. I first heard this cover on Gossip Girl. Of course.

Anya Marina - Whatever You Like

Monday, October 14, 2013

365 Days of Happy - Day 288

This graph is too funny. It's clear which type I am. Considering I regularly take two hour naps every day, I'm the napper. As well as the list maker, the cleaner, the internet researcher, the snacker, and the perpetuator. I'm fantastic at procrastinating.
Thanks, Mashable.