Tag Archives: entertainment

February 2015 Playlist

I have a new Spotify playlist for you! Woo! I meant to post it earlier in the month, but then stuff happened and I didn’t. Story of my life.

Work’s been busy, and I’ve spent the last several weeks hunched over my keyboard writing various reports and applying for a super huge grant. I need music to concentrate when I’m writing, so I’ve been relying on Spotify to get me through my days.  A few weeks ago I discovered a playlist called Appalachia Rising, and I got all excited because my favorite music is the kind that sounds like it should be played over a montage of the Honey Boo Boo family skinning rattlesnakes down by the river in their underwear.

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Or, you know, a mountain man dancing with a raccoon.

One afternoon last week I was the only person in the building (or so I thought), so I unplugged my ear buds from my computer speakers and decided to blast the shit out of Appalachia Rising. I was enjoying a particularly loud crescendo involving multiple pairs of spoons and what sounded suspiciously like a guy beating two hubcaps together when a guy from across the hall walked in. I scrambled to turn it down the second I saw him, but I knew that he heard. I could see the judgment in his eyes. Not that I blame him – you kind of deserve to be judged if you get caught doing the white man’s overbite to a banjo solo, you know?

Anyway, I spared you (mostly) and only put one hillbilly song on this list. You’re welcome:

(For a good time, listen to track 11 while watching the man/raccoon gif. It’s magical.)

January Playlist

When I was in college, I developed an addiction to creating monthly playlists. I’d scour shady file sharing sites for cool songs and then burn them to CDs for my roommates, because that’s what we did back in 2006 when dinosaurs roamed the earth and One Direction hadn’t been foisted upon our eardrums and America’s Next Top Model was the best thing on television.

It was the best of times. Also, I’m old.

Anyway, I recently became the last person in the world to start using Spotify, and it’s rekindled my obsession with creating monthly playlists. I thought it would be fun to start posting them here, since it would be difficult to send each of you a CD every month. Although I totally want to.

Here’s this month’s playlist (hover your mouse to the right of the tracks to scroll – there’s 15 songs):

There’s kind of a lot of moody stuff on there, but that’s what happens it’s the middle of the winter and you work in a remote schoolhouse that’s encased in freezing fog all day, every day. (It’s safe to say that I’m ready for spring.) What are you listening to this month?

My Top Five Christmas Albums

Confession: I’m currently watching Love Actually for the second time this week. The thing is, viewing Christmas movies outside of the holiday season totally depresses me, so I have to get my fill of all my favorites during the month between Thanksgiving and Christmas. A third viewing of Christmas Vacation will probably happen this weekend, and I’m not ashamed.
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Anyway, I was watching Rick Grimes profess his secret love to Keira Knightley when I realized I totally promised a post about my favorite Christmas albums and I still haven’t written it. So here it is guys: My 5 favorite Christmas albums:

5. Sufjan Stevens, Songs for Christmas

Sufjan Stevens Songs for Christmas

Warning: This is super hipstery. Like, you’ll probably feel like you should be listening to it on a vintage 8-track tape deck while knitting organic Alpaca hair PBR coozies for your Etsy shop. But, just like your friendly neighborhood hipster, it’s quirky and different and that can be refreshing after hearing 19 different pop versions of Jingle Bells at the grocery store.

Fave Song: Come On! Let’s Boogie to the Elf Dance!

4. Amy Grant, A Christmas Album

Amy Grant
I don’t know anybody my age who didn’t grow up with this album, and the song “Emmanuel” will forever remind me of helping my mom and grandma make my great-grandma’s sugar cookie recipe the day before Christmas Eve. And by “helping,” I mean, “writing angry poetry about the injustice of not being Taylor Hanson’s girlfriend and sneaking bites of dough while their backs were turned.”

Fave Song: Emmanuel. Duh.

3. The Carpenters, Christmas Portrait

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The nostalgia factor is also high with this one. One time my sister and I popped it into the CD player of her Geo Storm on our way home for Christmas break during college, and it got stuck so we had to listen to it for the entire 8-hour car ride. The fact that we did not drive off a cliff after the sixth repeat is a testament to Karen Carpenter’s soothing alto voice.

Fave Song: It’s Christmas Time

2. She & Him, A Very She & Him Christmas

She & Him

Again, HIPSTER CENTRAL, but HER VOICE.

Fave Song: Silver Bells

1. Home Alone Soundtrack

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LOVE. Although whenever I listen to it, I get the sudden urge to hit somebody in the balls with a crowbar.

Fave Song: The Drifters, White Christmas

Now tell me about your favorite Christmas albums in the comments.

And Now the ‘Ghost Busters’ Theme Song is in My Head

I am a total pansy when it comes to scary movies, but for some reason I really like to watch “Ghost Hunters.” I also like to watch “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” and any reality show ending in “-zillas” so take that for what it’s worth.

Anyway, last week I got the urge to watch some ghost stories, which sucks because Netflix only has “Ghost Hunters International” available for streaming, and I’ve already watched them all on account of GHOSTS IN EUROPE.

So Frawnch

Source   Sadly, none of them looked like this.

When I want to watch regular Ghost Hunters I have to add the DVDs to my queue and wait like two days for them to come in the mail like a goddamn peasant. The disc finally came last Friday, and when I popped it into the DVD player it worked for about 10 minutes and then started skipping. And here is the weird thing: This happens every time I try to watch a Ghost Hunters DVD. EVERY TIME. And it’s only Ghost Hunters that this happens with. Ergo, my DVD player is totally haunted. At this point all I can do is hope the spirit was killed because he uncovered an embezzlement plot and will lead me to a bank account filled with $4 million.

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Source  Fact: I have watched “Ghost” too many times.

(Just in case I was overreacting with the whole “my DVD player is haunted” theory, I contacted Netflix and told them the disc was damaged so they would send me a new one. I popped it in last night and it skipped so bad it wouldn’t even start playing. I put in an “Alias” disc right after and it played fine. QED.)

Why I’m a Little Dumber Than I Was Yesterday

Dave bought us a flat screen TV and Roku for the bedroom with his tax return last month, and it is simultaneously the best and worst thing that has ever happened. Our evening routine has always involved watching a little TV before bed, but back when we just had a regular old TV we were forced to watch DVDs of things we already owned. But now, a virtual Bacchanalia of shitty reality TV has opened up before us and we are powerless before it.

Last night, for example, we got sucked into Marriage Boot Camp: Bridezillas, which basically involves 10 human turds living in a mansion and “working on their marriages” on national TV. Oh, and they are all former stars of Bridezillas.

Juno-please-dont-judge-me

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Just kidding, you should totally be judging me right now.

We’ve only seen the first episode, and already I hope the series finale ends with the ground opening up and and swallowing these morons. (I’m looking at YOU, San Adreas fault.) And yet I totally want to keep watching. I can’t decide who I like the least, but here are the frontrunners after the first episode:

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These living examples of why half of U.S. marriages end in divorce almost left the show because they were assigned the smallest room in the mansion. He would, and I quote, “rather be homeless” than sleep in a measly 16×16 luxury suite in a Los Angeles mansion. Here, I’m pretty sure he’s counting the number of times he’s had the syph.

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Their faces say more than any caption ever could.

I hate these people almost as much as I hate myself for wanting to watch them on TV.

In other news, Dave turns 30 today, so I wanted to take a moment to publicly wish him happy birthday. And remind him that I’ll still be in my 20s for four more months.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Thoughts I’ve Had While Watching the Olympics

– If you can do it while wearing a three piece suit, it’s not a sport (I’m looking at you, ICE DANCING).

– Speaking of ice dancing, stop trying to make “twizzle” happen. It’s not going to happen. (My friend Sarah and I made up an ice dancing drinking game: Dial 9-1-1- and proceed to take a shot every time you hear the word “twizzle.” See if you’re still alive by the time the medics show up.)

– I miss Johnny Weir. Frankly, Jason Brown is the only male skater who has really brought the fab in the costume department so far. In future events, there better be fewer black pantsuits and more Leprechaun Pirate Bullfighters:

– ET airs before primetime Olympics coverage, and I’ve suffered through the end of it several times now. Groundbreaking information I’ve learned so far:  Alec Baldwin’s 18-year-old daughter likes Instagram, one of the Backstreet Boys is getting married, and why Shakira named her new album “Shakira” (spoiler alert: IT’S BECAUSE HER NAME IS SHAKIRA). I have never wanted a DVR more than I do right now.

– Bode Miller is still hot.

I had planned to do some (drunk) live-blogging of the Olympics over the weekend, but obviously that didn’t happen so I’m shooting for this weekend instead. You better hope your pinkeye has cleared up by Saturday, Bob.

My Holiday Plans (With a Side of Nutcracker WTFery)

I haven’t used much vacation time this year, so I’m taking the next four days off of work and heading down to my parents’ house for Christmas. I’m pretty excited to spend the next few days eating, watching Christmas movies, eating some more, baking, and eating the stuff we bake. My suitcase is filled with stretchy pants and Tums.

The only thing harshing my holiday buzz right now is the fact that I won’t be spending Christmas with Dave (he doesn’t get to take much time off around the holidays … newspaper life, I do not miss you). He’s staying here and spending his one day off with his family. On the other hand, when I told him that our extended family of about 16 people all come over with their gifts on Christmas morning and open them one at a time his head looked like it was going to explode, so I’m guessing he’s relieved to have dodged that bullet this year.

Speaking of heads exploding, Netflix recently added “The Nutcracker” to the holiday favorites section on “watch it now.” I loved that movie as a kid, so on Sunday morning I was like you know what Netflix, I WILL watch it now, and then I regretted it because it turns out The Nutcracker is CRAZY. The funny thing is that I don’t remember thinking the plot was weird or confusing when I was 10, but when I watched it yesterday I had SO MANY QUESTIONS. Like, what is the deal with all the rats? Why is this considered a holiday favorite? Why does Uncle Drosselmeyer look like he belongs on the Megan’s Law site?

I’m guessing this was under the “holiday” category because it starts out at a Christmas party? Maybe? I don’t know, I was distracted by the fact that the parents at the party seemed to be intent on teaching their kids that it’s cool to interact with guys who look like this as long as they promise to give you toys:

Drosselmeyer

If you think these toys are neat, you should see the ones in the back of my van!

So here’s what I’m sure of: Clara gets a dollhouse and her little bitch brother Fritz gets a rat puppet, and then also this nutcracker ornament falls out of the tree and Clara grabs it, and then Fritz breaks it (told you he was a little bitch), so Uncle Drosselmeyer bandages him up and the party is over. After that, shit gets weird. Clara comes back out to the ballroom to check on the nutcracker, and the rat puppet turns into this:

Rat King

More ballets should feature killer rodents. How much more awesome would “Swan Lake” be if it featured swan-on-rat fight scenes? YOU’RE WELCOME, ABT.

And just when you think ALL IS LOST, the nutcracker comes to life and kills it before disappearing into the dead rat’s clothing and morphing into a prince with seriously questionable facial hair:

Nutcracker Prince

Curses! Foiled again!

And Clara is all:

12.23.13 Clara

Just kidding. She totally digs his Snidely Whipstache and they fake-sail around the world dancing together blah blah some more cool dancing blah blah they are crowned king and queen and then you realize IT WAS ALL A DREAM. And at first you’re all “whew, at least the giant rat king wasn’t real” but then you realize that Uncle Drosselmeyer happened before she fell asleep so it’s still kind of creepy. The end.

I didn’t really mean for that to morph into the worst movie review ever. I think it’s time that I step away from the computer and toward some sugar cookies. Merry Christmas Eve Eve!