My Month in Music – February (2019)

I can’t believe it’s already March! February went by crazy fast, but I still found the time to listen to some great music! I hope you did too. Here’s what I listened to last month:

You can listen to the playlist here.


Every once in a while, I feel like looking at some Harry Potter stuff and so I go on Tumblr. It always starts with one tag, and I re-immerse myself in my love for Harry Potter. This time it was #remadora and I kid you not, I scrolled through e v e r y post under the Top section. But I mean just look at them!!!

Also sorry (but not really) to my few friends that follow me on Tumblr…oops.

Anyway…this led to me taking a trip down memory lane to my very short-lived obsession with wizard rock (wrock), where I found and rediscovered some great songs (full EP’s and albums, actually). So that’s why there’s a good number of Oliver Boyd and the Remebralls’ songs on this playlist. I felt like I needed to point it out, since it’s sort of different from everything else on the playlist. (You know because I usually listen to music that isn’t about Harry Potter).

Special Mentions:

Here are the wrock songs I remember from middle school the most clearly. Obviously, two of these are a bit more Sirius than the other one. (I tried so hard not to make that pun, but I just couldn’t resist the urge).

At the Oscar’s this year, Queen and Adam Lambert opened, and as per usual, they were amazing. I think everyone needs to see it, so…

One more thing! I know the Super Bowl was a while ago now, but I still wanted to show a few performances from the Foo Fighter’s Super Saturday Night concert. As per usual, they killed it. No surprises there. Here are two great performances by my favorite Dad Band™️:


Thanks for reading! ❤ ⚡️

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My Month in Music – January

I know we’re already really far into February as I’m posting this, so sorry for that! I still want to talk about the music I’m listening to, but I got sort of tired of the way I was doing it before, so now I’m just going to make a playlist of the songs I listened to each month. I might also mention some other music things like I do later in this post 🙂 Anyway…onto the playlist!

Listen to the playlist here.

I am aware of the…ummm…theme in the songs above, which I think will change as I remember to track more of what I listen to every month. For now…I guess too bad if you don’t like Chris Cornell??! (Also…how?? If you don’t).

Special Mentions:

I have started listening to The Tudors soundtrack while I study. I still use the Reign soundtrack and Harry Potter soundtracks. I love writing to Reign and use the other ones for other homework.

Also…on January 16, a five-hour tribute concert for Chris Cornell was held at the LA Forum. I thought I would share some of my favorite performances (that I saw, I definitely didn’t see all five hours). 


Thank you so much for reading! Happy listening!

2018 Wrap – Up

As 2019 starts, I wanted to reflect on my 2018 in the books I read, the music I listened to and things that happened in my life. I love reading posts like this, so I thought I’d make one myself

Music

  • I finally listened to and fell in love with hopeless fountain kingdom by Halsey, which along with Badlands is one of my favorite albums. (Seriously, she is amazing at making albums that are perfectly put together)
  • I fell in love with Soundgarden
  • I fell in love with Semler and loved Six Feet Under All the Same, which she released on Halloween
  • I listened to Harry Potter soundtracks as well as Reign‘s soundtrack constantly while studying
  • After seeing Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again, I listened to a lot of ABBA
  • I listened to Shane Dawson’s music a lot
  • Troye Sivan released Bloom and I listened to it non-stop
  • Hands Off Gretel released both Kiss Me Girl and S.A.S.S which I listened to non-stop (though I felt weird about listening to Kiss Me Girl since it’s a little yikes. But such a bop :/).
  • Gabbie Hanna released Honestly and Monster, which I loved (and the second parts of both: Honestly (Encore) and Monster (Reborn))
  • I fell in love with Audioslave
  • I saw Bohemian Rhapsody and listened to a lot of Queen

All of the music I listened to this year is documented (mostly) in my Month in Music posts, if you’re curious about any of the music I talked about. I also will be continuing this in 2019, but editing the format somewhat.

Books:

  • I read 10 books this year
  • My favorite books I read were: Hit So Hard by Patty Schemel (review), I Hate Myselfie by Shane Dawson (review) and Dirty Blonde: The Diaries of Courtney Love by Courtney Love (review). (I also re-read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K Rowling, but I thought I should pick new books)
  • I also finished the Graceling trilogy, which I would highly recommend (Graceling and Fire are better than Bitterblue though. Fire is my personal favorite).
  • I finished The Merciless series, which isn’t super well written but is a really fun read. (Book 2 Review, Book 3 Review, Book 4 Review).
  • I didn’t finish the TBR list I put up in September…it was much too ambitious. My 2019 TBR will be up soon 🙂

Life:

  • I posted more random posts about issues I care about on this blog
  • I interacted on Instagram with Semler, which was really cool
  • I interacted more with Lauren Tate (of Hands Off Gretel) on Instagram and Facebook, which is always so cool
  • I got tickets to see Queen and Adam Lambert in August of 2019!
  • I graduated high school and started college
  • I survived my IB exams and the senior slide
  • I finished an essay on why Courtney Love didn’t kill Kurt Cobain and gave it to my teacher
  • I went on fun vacations with my family
  • I turned 18
  • I went to what felt like 5,000 grad parties
  • I watched Reign, which I loved despite how inaccurate it is (and reviewed it).
  • I started watching Sick Note and Big Mouth, both of which I love
  • I loved and obsessed over Shane Dawson’s series
  • I hung out with friends more during the summer
  • I voted
  • I took classes I loved my first semester in college
  • I survived midterms and finals for the first time in college

2018 was filled with change and new beginnings for me. I’m excited for a year where there is less of that, but I did enjoy the changes (mostly). How was your 2018?

Thank you for reading ❤

My Complex Feelings on Johnny Depp

On Halloween night, I decided to watch some movies. I started with What We Do in the Shadows (please, please please watch this if you haven’t, you will not regret it), Coraline and Sleepy Hollow. I had never seen Sleepy Hollow, but I read the original story in my American Literature class and when Halloween came, thought it would be fun to watch. I went into the movie knowing that Johnny Depp played Ichabod Crane and felt a little weird about watching it for that reason. But it’s a very popular adaptation of Irving’s story and I know it’s a good movie. Here’s the problem: it’s a lot easier to remember how bad someone is and why you refuse to support their art (I had to pay $4 to watch Sleepy Hollow on YouTube) when you’re not watching them act excellently.

An additional issue is that Depp as Ichabod Crane is sort of similar to Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow (and Willy Wonka, but we won’t talk about that). They are very different in many ways, obviously, but their personalities are sort of similar. Both are in charge of something and attempt to act like they know what is going on, but clearly, they both bullshit their way through a solving a murder and being captain of a ship, respectively. This makes it even harder to reject Johnny Depp completely, because I loved Pirates of the Caribbean as a kid, and watching Sleepy Hollow made me nostalgic. It also made me remember that even though Depp is a huge asshole, he’s a very talented actor. This is sort of a hard pill to swallow, because it would be so much easier for me to not care about him if when I watched his movies as a kid I didn’t like him, or if his portrayal of Ichabod Crane was really bad. But it’s very good.

The news about Johnny Depp abusing his wife and being an alcoholic is old news by now, but I’m bringing it up now because Depp is in The Crimes of Grindlewald. It comes out tomorrow, and ever since seeing the first movie (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them) I have felt conflicted about whether or not I should watch it. I didn’t know Depp was in the first movie but felt angry after seeing him in it. When I saw the first one, I felt angry that Depp even got more work after that, but of course, I wasn’t surprised. Men in Hollywood are redeemed quickly, often with little impact on their careers. This is improving, thankfully.

On the other hand, the world of Harry Potter has been a part of my life since 3rd grade. I really think it shaped who I am as a person and has remained something I hold very close to my heart. With that being said, I would have a hard time not watching anything Harry Potter related that comes out. (Except The Cursed Child, which I never want to see. But that rant is for another time…) Although I am disappointed in the casting (particularly in J.K Rowling supporting it), I would have a hard time not seeing The Crimes of Grindlewald. Seeing Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them made me so happy and nostalgic, despite my feelings about Depp. Ultimately, I think my love of Harry Potter might win this. And I feel guilty about that. Really guilty.

I think the example of Johnny Depp brings up bigger, general questions about forgiving or not forgiving people (in this case men) in Hollywood and what repercussions those actions should have on their careers. These issues are very complex and not all cases are the same. Additionally, not everyone will have the same standards for when to forgive and when not to. As exemplified in this post, other reasons or biases might convince you to just consume what you want, even if you aren’t sure how to feel.

What are your opinions on this issue?


Thank you for reading! ❤

My Month in Music – October

Albums:

New:

IMG_3074Six Feet Under All the Same – Semler (2018)

This album is really good (and it was released on Halloween which fits perfectly). I love the quality of her voice and the sound of each song. The album is cohesive, but there is also a good diversity of sound. Semler sings about everything from heartbreak to murder to falling in love with a vampire, so there’s a lot of different topics covered. I certainly can’t say that for most albums I listen to. I’m glad to have more music to listen to around Halloween!

Some of my favorite songs (this is most of the album… there are only 7 songs. I’m bad at picking favorites):

Old:

  • Harry Potter Soundtracks

Still how I am making it through very boring reading for class. And interesting reading (but it’s still really long, so I need something to keep me reading for a long time). This will probably be the same for a long time. I just really still love Harry Potter, so this way I can involve it in my life all the time. Also, to anyone that wants to make fun of me, yes I know I am 18, judge me all you want, I will never be shamed for my love of Harry Potter. 💛⚡️📚


Songs:

New:

Old:


Thanks for reading!💀❤️

My Month in Music – September

Albums:

New:

Audioslave – Audioslave (2002)

Aaaaaaaand we’re back to me listening to old albums for the first time. Talking about Bloom last month was the first time I actually talked about a new album. Anyway, onto this excellent album. I loved it! After listening to all 3 Audioslave albums, I think this one is my favorite. I like the mix of songs like Cochise and Gasoline, which are really loud, with songs like I Am the Highway and Like A Stone. It shows the range of what they were able to do as a band as well as what Chris Cornell was able to do with his voice.

Some of my favorite songs (because listing around 8 songs is a bit much):

Out of Exile – Audioslave (2005)

I really like this one too! Not quite as much as Audioslave, but it also has many good songs on it. Again, I like the mix of louder and softer songs, because it showcases Cornell’s amazing vocal ability. Some of it’s great for dancing around to, while Be Yourself is a simple but good affirmation of self and Dandelion makes my heart melt. (Cornell wrote it for his daughter before she was born and it has the line “Little dandelion, let your heart keep time” I mean…)

Some of my favorite songs:

(I couldn’t find any more gifs :/)

Revelations – Audioslave (2006)

This album is great too! (This is getting repetitive…blame Audioslave for being so good). Basically, the same as I said with the other two: good mix of loud and softer songs (but Badmotorfinger by Soundgarden is one of my favorite albums, so this is in no way a requirement I have for rock albums). Overall, all 3 of these albums are great and what I spent most of September listening to.

Some of my favorite songs:

Old:

I talked about it last month but listened to it a lot at the beginning of September too.

  • Harry Potter soundtracks

A.K.A how I get all my reading done for class and can actually stay focused on it. (I love my classes, but Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography is reallllly boring).


Songs:

New:


Thanks for reading! 🤘🏻🔥

Top 5 Wednesday: Favorite First Sentences

Top 5 Wednesday was created by gingerreadslainey and hosted by Thoughts on Tomes. To join or learn more about T5W, go to the Goodreads group here. This week, we’re talking about our favorite first sentences of books. There are so many good starts to books I couldn’t mention here, but here are some great ones!


1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone by J. K. Rowling

“Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.”

2. The Lost Hero (The Heroes of Olympus, Book One) by Rick Riordan 

“Even before he got electrocuted, Jason was having a rotten day.”

3. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

“The morning after noted child prodigy Colin Singleton graduated from high school and got dumped for the nineteenth time by a girl named Katherine, he took a bath.”

4. Binge by Tyler Oakley 

“Go ahead, binge. I’m not saying go out and snort a bunch of cocaine or do anything that’s going to seriously put you or the people around you in danger, obviously.” (Okay that was two, but it’s really good, and I wanted to put it in. I’m sorry. Kill me. *Is way to sarcastically dramatic for no reason*)

5. Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

“So she tells me, the words dribbling out with the cranberry muffin crumbs, commas dunked in her coffee.”


Comment Below: What is a great first line from a book you know?

Top 5 Wednesday: Favorite Literary Father Figures

First off, sorry for basically ditching this blog for a month! I got very busy in May as school was ending, and then proceeded to run out of ideas of what to blog about when I did have time to blog again. But I’m back! And with a new addition to my blog: Top 5 Wednesdays! I’ve seen this all over the blogosphere, and I’ve really wanted to do it, so I finally am! So this was created by gingerreadslainey and hosted by Thoughts on Tomes. To join or learn more about T5W, go to the Goodreads group here. The theme for this week is: favorite literary fathers or father figures.

1. Rubeus Hagrid 

Throughout the Harry Potter series, Harry has a few different father figures, but Hagrid is the one that never wants anything from Harry. Hagrid just wants him to be happy, and for that reason, he’s one of the best father figures I can think of.

2. Hans Hubermann

In The Book Thief, Liesel Meminger has an amazing foster father, Hans, who is able to make her feel comfortable and safe from the moment she gets to his house, and helps her feel calm, even when air raids are occurring. He cares for her so deeply and understands her so well, which makes him a very good father to her. Additionally, he is witty, funny, and musical which makes him a very fun character to read about.

3. Atticus Finch 

To be fair, I haven’t read Go Set A Watchman, and it seems like Atticus becomes a less positive or good person, but judging from To Kill A Mockingbird, he was a good father. Although he was too old to play with Scout or Jem much, he helped them learn important lessons from a young age, and cared about them a lot. This makes him a good father in my book, and one of my favorites.

4. Cinna 

For Katniss, in the first two Hunger Games books, I think Cinna really acted like a father to her, and helped her through hard times. He helped her rebel and feel safe in a time that was very difficult for her. He was such a kind person, and a strong one too. I loved his conversations with Katniss, and the fashionable yet rebellious outfits he made for her.

5. Arthur Weasley 

Arthur worked so hard for his family and cared so much about all of his children, even those that weren’t his own.*cough* Harry *cough*. This goes to show what an amazing father figure he was. I really loved hearing his attempts to use Muggle devices as well, and his constant wonderment at Muggle life.

Comment Below: Who are some of your favorite literary father figures?

The Bohemian Rhapsody Book Tag

I’m back with another tag! Again, I wasn’t tagged to do this, and again I saw it on Cátia @ The Girl Who Read Too Much‘s blog, and needed to do it. I love “Bohemian Rhapsody” and the questions are great, so I decided, why not?


1. Mama, just killed a man – a fictional character’s death that really upset you? 

If you have managed to avoid reading the Harry Potter series, then SPOILER ALERT!!!! Other wise, continue reading. There were a lot of deaths in this series I got really sad about, but one in particular was Snape. He was a complex character, and he did some bad things, but ultimately, he died for someone else’s selfish need for power. That scene was so sad to me, especially when Snape told Harry to take the tears so he could fully understand the past. It just shows how much he loved Lily, because he was protecting Harry until his last words by helping him.

2. Carry on, carry on – pick a book that was hard to keep reading, but was worth it in the end? 

I really liked Pride and Prejudice, however, I got really busy while reading it, and given that it’s not a super easy or fast read, this one was a little hard to finish. But it was definitely worth it in the end!

3. Sends shivers down my spine – pick a book with a beautiful spine/cover

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I love the beautiful colors on this cover and I think it matches the book really well. (By the way, if you like books that talk a lot about music or other kinds of media, this is a great book for you!)

4. Goodbye everybody, I’ve got to go – a book that you couldn’t finish? 

Dracula. There were parts of that book I really liked, but other parts that really bored me, and in the end, I didn’t finish it. It also took me forever to read, so I just got bored of it because of that.

5. Thunderbolt and lightning, very, very frightening – which book did you find very, very frightening? 

I don’t read very many scary books, but I read Oblivion by Sasha Dawn a few years ago, and it really scared me. It deals with murder and physical abuse, and so at points it got scary. I remember not sleeping very well the night I had finished it. Although, to be fair, I get scared pretty easily.

6. Bismillah, no! We will not let you go – which book/series do you wish there had been more of?

Pretty Little Liars! Just kidding. There are enough already, I would say that for sure. I know this is a basic answer, but more Harry Potter. Are you ready for an even more basic answer? A Marauders’ Spin-Off series. I know everyone says that, but it’s for a reason! It would be awesome! I want to get to know more about their world, because it seems so fun and all of those characters are amazing. Plus, I would be able to see some characters like Snape that I already know except younger.

7. Mamma Mia, Mamma Mia – which book/series should be made into a musical? 

Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira, because it already talks about music so much, it would be fun to see them perform it live. Plus, the story line is really interesting, so I think it would make a good play.

8. The head-banging bit – which book made you facepalm? 

The Waiting Tree by Lindsay Moynihan felt underdeveloped in parts and all over the place, so probably that book. There were way too many plots happening and ugh!! It was very facepalm inducing.

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This was me reading this book

9. Oh baby, can’t do this to me baby – pick a moment from a book where you felt like the author was being mean to you?

There were a lot of moments during Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (or just the series in general), where I felt like J. K. Rowling was being mean to me, but Fred’s death felt particularly mean. The Weasley twins always made the hard parts funny, but with one of them gone, it’s just not the same.

10. Nothing really matters to me – which character(s) did you not care about?

I don’t know if this counts, because I just didn’t like the book in general, but I didn’t care about any of the characters in Matched by Ally Condie. They didn’t interest me, and felt generic. To be fair, I don’t think I got even halfway done with it, so if it got better, I wouldn’t know.


I Tag: 

…and anyone else who wants to do this tag!

A Guide to Surviving Fictional Character Deaths

As you could probably figure out, there will be lots of spoilers in this post, but if you hadn’t guessed…***SPOILER ALERT***

I love books, movies and TV shows (good ones anyway), but usually, at some point, something bad happens to a character. That happened this last Sunday to one of (if not my) favorite characters on Once Upon A Time. (SPOILER!!) And this time, we know there is no saving Hook, it seems. There are a lot of specifics, but basically, they figured out that even the Underworld had no way to save him. (He gets saved in the next episode actually, but I have yet to see it. Either way, it was still hard to deal with when it happened, so just go with it). And I deal with this kind of heartbreak on a relatively frequent basis.

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A character I really cared about dies, and it’s really hard! Ughhh. I think there are a few kinds of character deaths, and different ways to deal with them all. Below I will help you, and we will survive this pain. Our fangirl and fanboy hearts will survive. Somehow.

A character you really loved a lot: Like Captain Hook, maybe there is a character you really love that added a lot to your movie/book/TV show. For example, Hook added humor, sarcasm, sassiness, romance and character development to the show. He was one of the best characters, and had a very good story line. But another character like this for me is Fred Weasley (SPOILER!!) or Rudy from The Book Thief (SPOILER!!).

Ways to get over this kind of death:

  • Let yourself cry (I cried about Hook while taking off my makeup, for example. Maybe not then, though. It makes the eye makeup remover sting. I’m telling you this so you don’t have to experience what I did. It hurts really bad). But really sob. Let yourself be sad. There’s no point in denying the pain you feel.
  • Talk to people about how great the character was so you can properly grieve
  • Do not under any circumstances you ever re-read or watch the part where said character died. Do you want to cry more???

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I shouldn’t have used this. This scene was too sad, and now I’m thinking about it. Ughhhh NO!

  • Try not to think about it, and when you do, think of the good times. Like when Emma and Hook were together and kissed for the first time, or when Hook had sassy arguments with Regina 🙂

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See? This makes me happy 🙂

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This comeback thooooooo

A character you had mixed feelings about – I think this might be the hardest character to deal with because your emotions are more complex. You are kind of glad, but you also cared about them.

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The best example of this for me is Snape. He was good! But so bad, too! Ugggggh.

Ways to get over this kind of death:

  • Think of all the bad things they did so you don’t feel sad
  • When you’re ready, think of all the good things they did
  • Cry. Cry more.

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Cry until you look like this gif of Leonardo Dicaprio

  • Eat ice cream/other sweets while watching/reading more of the book/show so you can deal with the pain
  • Again, do not re-read/re-watch the part where said character died. Too many feels to handle.

A character you hated – This is the fun one! There’s nothing to get over, you just get to celebrate! For me, this was Dolores Umbridge. I mean, Voldemort too, but especially that pink bitch. She deserved what she got.

Ways to get over this kind of death:

  • Plan a party. Have your friends over, eat some good food, and celebrate! They died! You’re favorite characters are safe!
  • Sing!
  • Dance!
  • Go back to watching/reading your show/book while smiling like a crazy person.

Comment Below: Did you experience a character death recently? If so, did you like the character? (If you want to mention names, please put a spoiler alert first!)