The New Kesha Album

Okay, so I know I talked about one of Kesha’s latest singles here BUT i have to talk about her album, ‘Rainbow’. (sorry Mom) it’s fucking fantastic. I want this to be my life soundtrack. Each song is straight fire, as the kids would say these days.

You have your more emotional songs like ‘Praying’ or ‘Rainbow’ that secretly make you want to cry but also rejoice in the fact that somebody finally understands the nuances of trauma and pain. Then you have ‘Woman’ and ‘Let Em Talk’ that just make you want to dance. I’m actually obsessed with this album and i haven’t felt like this about an entire album in close to years.

It may help that I relate to Kesha’s current legal struggles or her open dialogue about mental health. Or it may help that her first albums were straight up how i got ready for fraternity parties or girls nights out. I have a lot of really solid memories associated with Kesha and I have absolutely no shame about that.

This album makes me feel like I’m covered in glitter, sunshine, and rainbows. But without the lasting effects of finding glitter in your shower 6 months later. I am SO excited that Kesha is putting new music out and I cannot wait to have this album on repeat on Spotify and iTunes.

Don’t forget to support your local artists. They need to make money too, even if you think they already make enough.

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Bear Town by Fredrik Backman

Oh my god. This novel. I say this about a few books but this book in particular, it’s a gut shot, heart wrenching, and humbling. It follows a hockey team from the middle of nowhere in the midst of a brutal sexual assault. And it makes you reevaluate how you see rape & sexual violence.

My mom actually suggested this book because she wanted to get my insight into if the author actually did a good job surrounding hte subject matter. She thought he had but as anybody would, she wanted an insider’s perspective. And it opened a dialogue that was fantastic. This book is a critical read that will be tough at times to read and will pull on everything you instinctually know. But I promise it’ll be worth every page.

The author builds the characters up so that you really know and understand them before you even learn about the assault. Then the second of the novel is a gut punch on every page. It follows the intricacies of how we view and understand sexual assault. How we talk about it. ANd how we dismiss the victim statements while protecting the assailant. It’s a messed up system and you could be the perfect victim, yet you’ll still get the statements that you could have done something differently, you could have done something better to be more believed.

Bear Town hit close to home for me. Which is probably why it took me so long to finish it. I wanted to savour it, i wanted to appreciate it in the only way a fellow survivor could. This is heavy subject matter and I wanted to make sure I was in a mindset to appreciate it adequately. And though the first page alludes to the ending, you don’t see it full circle. You don’t anticipate what’ll happen, though you certainly can appreciate it.

Pick up this book anywhere books are sold. Challenge yourself in how you talk and think about sexual assault. Ask yourself if you would believe somebody if they told you a mutual friend had raped them. And see how you can change that narrative. You can start by picking up Bear Town. 

‘Praying’ by Kesha

First of all, I am all for the #freekesha hashtag that was flooding social media last year and for  good reason. She’s been thru hell & back and her new music is phenomenal. It’s powerful, wonderful, and makes you want to get up & dance. But the one so far that’s really hit home for me is ‘Praying’.

People have made the assumption that the song is about Dr. Luke and the sexual assault allegations last year made by Kesha. Now, this song has some pretty legit trigger warnings but it’s also cathartic. The song isn’t at all what I thought it would be. It’s almost like it’s a letter from Kesha to Dr. Luke (assuming this is who the song is about), hoping he’s found peace and that she’s found power in her voice again.

If you’ve ever been thru something traumatic and are in a place to relatively forgive hte cause of it, this song is for you. It’s a beautifully poignant yet haunting song that will pull at your heart strings and make you want to cry. Take a listen to it wherever you listen to your music (spotify, amazon, itunes….) and support your music monetarily when you can. Especially one as vibrant and as strong as Kesha.

Favourite lyrics: Well, you almost had me fooled/Told me that I was nothing without you/Oh, but after everything you’ve done/I can thank you for how strong I have become 

 

 

Chester Bennington and Linkin Park

TW: this post talks about suicide and mental health. Please take care of yourself first

My heart is hurting this week. As I’m sure several people have let you know already, Chester Bennington, the lead singer of Linkin Park (and the Stone Temple Pilots for a hot minute), hung himself Thursday morning. His memory is survived by a loving wife and 6 amazing children.

As I’ve talked about with other singers like Prince or George Michael, this one hurt. This one struck close to home and was gut wrenching. Similar to Bennington, I’ve struggled with mental health, suicidal thoughts, and more. During the peak of it, a friend turned me on to Linkin Park, saying they were an outlet for her and helped her thru some stuff. We were about 13 or 14 and in the grand scheme of things, I’m sure our problems weren’t massive. But they were difficult and we were struggling in our own ways.

Linkin Park’s music was the first band where their songs instantly connected with me. They resonated and they made me feel like i wasn’t alone. Chester Bennington’s voice definitely helped me through some seemingly dark days and I still use them now as a go to when I was having a rough day. Sometimes, you just need music to scream to so you can get all the darkness out. Eventually, I got help and I found the light again. But I’m not sure if that process still would have been jumpstarted if I hadn’t found this band at that pivotal moment.

Which is why Bennington’s suicide was a straight gut shot. He helped me, as well as thousands of fans, through some really dark, difficult times. And I’m sure he saved a countless amount of lives with his music. Listening to his  music now, it’s different. It’s apparent he was crying out for help in his songs and though we found the light and we’re no longer one step closer to the edge, I so wish he could have found that same light himself. I wish he found what we all found in his music.

May his family be able to heal and may Chester not only rest in peace but may he finally have found it.

If you are suicidal or depressed right now, PLEASE REACH OUT TO SOMEONE. Either to me, a close confidant, or either of these two lines below. 

The National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255 

The Trevor Project:  1-866-488-7386 

Both networks have chat or text options available if you are unable to talk on the phone. They are also 100% free & confidential.

You are so needed, so valued, and so loved. You are worth every single breath you take, even when it doesn’t feel like it. Please reach out and know that I believe in you. You’ve got this and you are needed beyond measure. There is a light, it will flicker and dim but let someone help you find it again. 

Rita Ora ‘Your Song’

To be completely honest, at first I thought this was Rita Ora doing a cover of Elton John’s infamous ‘Your Song’. And this is the first time I’ve been perfectly content to be wrong when it goes to Sir Elton John.

First off, I’ve only recently discovered Rita Ora and to say i’m obsessed would be a disservice to her talent. She’s from the old country (England) and her songs are just uplifting enough to make you want to dance but they often also are a straight shot to the feels as well. And this song isn’t any different.

It’s basically a song about the honeymoon phase in a relationship. You know what I’m talking about, those butterflies in your stomach that won’t stop dancing in your abdomen and that awful waiting time for them to text you back. But she does this in a way where you really capture that excitement only known in the beginning stages of a relationship. For me, at least, this song gets me good.

It perfectly describes the girl that isn’t used to falling in love but does. And it’s new and it’s uncomfortable and it’s weird, but damn, does it feel amazing. This song is me starting off my relationship with my current boyfriend. #blessed #seenoevilmonkeyemoji.

If you haven’t gotten a chance to hear this song, check it out on Youtube.  I promise it’ll make you believe in love again as well as want to hit the dance floor with that person who’s caught your eye recently.

Favourite lyric: I think I’m falling/I’m not proud/But I’m usually the type of girl that would hit and run.

 

Dollop Coffee

Okay so I’m finally settling into a routine back here in Texas and knew that i HAD to do a post on Dollop Coffee in Chicago’s Gold Coast. This place is freakishly adorable and only a couple blocks to Lake Michigan. Which is just plain fantastic since if you sit in the right spot on their patio, you can totally see the lake. And if it’s nice out, there’ll be people out enjoying the start of summer.

If you’ve never been to Chicago, I definitely recommend checking out the lake and surrounding areas. It’s got this vibrancy that isn’t really similar to any place else unless you grew up on an ocean or at another spot on Lake Michigan. This body of water is freakishly huge — i’m still sometimes surprised it’s a lake. But anyway, back to coffee.

Apparently, Dollop Coffee has a few spots around Chicago but the one I went to is just off the Miracle Mile, a go to if you’re a shopping fanatic. I’m not but kudos if you are. I ordered their almond milk vanilla latte and though it wasn’t the best cup I’ve ever had, the location, atmosphere, and the staff more than made up for it.

Their pastries looked fantastic but my stomach was acting funny so decided to stay with something I already knew and take a walk in my old stomping grounds. But this place is small, cute, and totally perfect for what a local Chicago coffee shop should be.

4/5 

4/5

Difficult Women by Roxanne Gay

I am obsessed with this author. Roxanne Gay is phenomenal. I’ve also read her book Bad Feminist and it was enlightening. Difficult Women was no different. Gay divides up the book with short stories about — you guessed it — difficult women. Each story is endearing, heartbreaking, and gut wrenching. They highlight women, real women, with lives, secrets, and scars. It’s beautifully written and you won’t want to put it down.

I highly recommend this book. As a woman reading this, I related to more stories in this than i care to admit publicly. I fell in love with characters as well as the possibility that my story was difficult but still so incredibly valid.

This book is wonderful. It’ll punch you in the gut at times but it’ll make you fall in love with your “flaws” as well. It’ll make you proud of all the things you can accomplish with the body you’ve been given and it’ll remind you that there are women out there just like you.

Pick this book up wherever books are sold. It’s a quick read but it’s worth it.