‘Wanna Be’ by Betty Who

So I just started getting into Betty Who’s music after shazaming one of her songs on the radio (does anyone still listen to the radio? just me? okay cool, cool) and hearing Sophia Bush rave about her. Sidenote: Sophia Bush, from One Tree Hill and general badassery, is life goals. Seriously. Anyway, I’ve listend to ‘Wanna Be’ by Betty Who more than I care to admit and most of her songs on Spotify. Why? Because ‘Wanna Be’ can apply to anybody’s love life complications and the need to be recognized.

This song is a gut shot and really makes you evaluate your craziness in wanting to stalk a crush. Betty Who’s voice is haunting too and you can’t get it out of your head, no matter how hard you try. With this song, for me at least, it was a great representation of wanting somebody you can’t have — whether that person is in a relationship, hooking up with someone else, or just plain emotionally unavailable. We’ve all been there, haven’t we, at least once in our lives? Thought so.

Even if you’re in a great relationship, this song will still remind you of your crazy exes and make you stoked that you’re in a better place now. It’s a reminder that emotions sometimes get the better of us and that my mother was always right, that matters of the heart are always complicated. No matter how much we try to uncomplicate it, the heart has a mind of its own and it’s completely illogical.

It also doesn’t help that this song makes you want to sway during a night of self-care and appreciation. It’s got a beat that makes you want to jam out with a hairbrush as a microphone and serenade yourself in the mirror. It’s a great song. Check it out on YouTube or Spotify and don’t forget to support your local artists!

Favourite lyric: i know she’s sweet but she isn’t me 

 

 

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“The Gift From The Sea” By Anne Morrow Lindbergh

This book is short, sweet, and refreshing. It makes you feel like you’re in a beach house somewhere off the coast where nobody can find you and you come back completely differently. You know, the way a beach house is supposed to be. At least, the ones I visited growing up and dreamed of having one day. Anyway, this book follows the author while she’s on a solo writing retreat, collecting sea shells, and trying to figure out what it means to be a real modern woman.

Though it was written in 1955, a lot of the lessons still hold up today surprisingly. Where you learn that sometimes you just need to get away from it all, go somewhere where you’re forced to relax, and where time is a little slower than the city. Lindbergh goes into how she could never make a full time life by the beach but that might just be why it’s a needed refresher every so often.

The Gift From The Sea reminds us of the old adage and cliche “The cure for anything is salt water — sweat, tears, or the sea”. And it’s something you never really understand until you see for the ocean for the first time. Because we all know a good sweat sesh at the gym or crying big heaving tears can be cathartic. But the ocean, man. The ocean is something else. I can’t really explain it but I always come back from it refreshed, rejuvenated, and recharged. It’s something phenomenal that I cannot wait to get back to again.

The only thing missing from this book was that I was left wanting more. But I’m not sure how much longer it could be while still giving the theme and message of it justice. Maybe I’ll just have to pen the sequel!

4/5 

Well, I’m in Spain, my loves, and I cannot wait explore San Sebastian. Send me your recommendations!

The Princess Saves Herself in This One by Amanda Lovelace

It always seems like after i read an intense book, the next book I almost always read is one of poetry. Maybe because it was my first love or maybe its because it soothes my soul. Or both. Probably both. Anyway, on to this.

The Princess Saves Herself in This One is beautifully written. You’ve probably seen some of Amanda Lovelace’s work on either TUmblr, Youtube, or a variety of social media. It’s short, sweet, and makes you think. It’s gut wrenching at times and exhilaratingly inspiring in others. I finished it in maybe 3 hours, if that, and I have absolutely zero regrets about it.

If you want a good Sunday afternoon read that will tear on your heart strings, comes with a trigger warning, and will leave you feeling strong & beautiful, then this book is for you. It dives deep and swims wide, so fair warning. But you will not be able to put it down. So you can’t say I didn’t warn you.

5/5 

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.

The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis

TW: this will be frank in discussion about sexual assault and revenge. If you are in danger, please either call 911 or, if you need help, RAINN at 1-800-656-4673.

This book has been wreaking havoc with my nightmares and has probably been the main reason why I’ve been in a weird mind space recently. It’s not because of the way it’s written or the themes it dives into. I mean, it’s a YA novel, for goodness sake’s. It’s about the subject matter and how close I am to it, whether i care to admit it or not.

The Female of The Species is heartwrenching and an important novel to read, especially today. It’s about a few teenagers — Peekay, Alex, and Jack — with appearances by other key characters as well. Alex lost her sister in one of the most violently brutal ways a person can go, in my opinion. She goes because someone took the time to rape, torture, and murder her in seemingly cold blood. Or on a meth binge, that part’s not really clear.

Anyway, we come into the novel after the attacker of Alex’s sister has been killed (we learn later on that it’s Alex. this isn’t a spoiler, promise) and the small town is coming to grips with not only one murder, but two. Though this book revolves around high school students and the weirdness that is high school, it dips into some pretty significant themes. Like how do you say no when you’re terrified for your life? And is it rape if you froze? And does God frown upon it if you have sex while on an altar in a historically abandoned, rotting church?

The Female of The Species also takes into account how in several other species, the female is often, more so than not, the protector. The defender. And the one who brings home the bacon, often literally. They’re the strongest links and often the ones that are defended first, not because of weakness but of  necessity. And this novel brings the conclusion that the human species isn’t too far off either from the natural kingdom.

Alex is the protagonist and throughout the book, you can tell she has no problems taking revenge out violently, if the end result takes out a child molester, a rapist, or another vile kind of person. And she understands that her decisions were hers and hers alone. And Peekay & Jack are drawn to her, not because they knew what she was capable of, but because of her strength and her ability to remain standing while everything else was crumbling.

I picked this book up for selfish reasons. I wanted to read a book where an assailant got justice, vigilante or judicial. Mostly, I wanted to see someone with a harrowed past actually be talked about like they were human, instead of some space case where what has happened to them will be all they ever be. And this book broke my heart. It made me cry more times than I care to admit, not because anything necessarily sad happened. But because I know the themes all too well. Maybe not to this degree but Mindy McGinnis has a way of writing that even the coldest of hearts will have their muscle grow a few times too large after reading this. Even the Grinch couldn’t read this without a little change in soul.

Anyway, if you have the steadfast resolve to pick this book up and finish it cover to cover, be prepared for your insides to go through the ringer. Be prepared to question so many things and be at the ready to have things distorted for you.

Maybe it’s the current political climate, maybe it’s that women make up most of the purchasing decisions, but YA novels are becoming more and more nuanced with real, honest stories. ANd though I often feel a little old to be reading, it feels really great to know that a generation is being taught through novels that sexual assault is nuanced, gray, and horribly complicated. And according to this book, revenge is a dish best served cold.

Favourite quote: I wonder what would happen if I went down there, took a ball out of the cage, and pretended to have sex with it. I think people would stop & look….but boys will be boys, our favourite phrase that excuses so many things, while the only thing we have for the opposite gender is women, said with disdain and punctuated with an eye roll. 

6/5

 

Flogging Molly and Skinny Lister

So Monday night, I found out that Flogging Molly was playing at the House of Blues Tuesday night. And small secret, seeing them live has always been on my bucket list. Combine that with the main room at the House of Blues? It was basically a necessity that I went. So I asked my boyfriend if he wanted to have an impromptu date night in the middle of the week, listen to some irish punk music, and dance on a work night. Maybe it’s my charm or my level of excitement but he said yes.

So we did dinner and the concert. We were even able to jump the line because we spent money in the restaurant! Fun fact, if you get dinner and it’s above the minimum, you can jump the line at the House of Blues and get in 20 or so minutes early. This allowed us to get to the front of the mosh pit with the best seats in the entire venue. Standing room only but it was worth it


The opening band, Skinny Lister, was a band I’d never heard of before but they were SO much fun. They passed around a huge jug of what I’m assuming was either guiness or distilled whiskey. Luckily it was out before it reached me because the smell was awful. But if you have a chance, SEE THIS BAND. I’m usually not a fan of opening bands but these guys were hilarious, charming, and the most irish ever.

Now to the main event. Flogging Molly and Irish punk reminds me of home. I spent some time growing up in London and we traveled to Ireland frequently because of my dad’s work. So Ireland always just felt like a second home at the time. And Flogging Molly (along with Dropkick Murphys and the like) make me realize just how lucky i was to have grown up there.

Especially with the terrorist attack near London Parliament on Wednesday, it seemed even better timing that I had a taste of home with seeing FLogging Molly live. They were hilarious, the lead singer is probably in his 50s and absolutely killed it. Their enthusiasm was infectious and you could tell they thoroughly enjoyed what they did.

I love concerts where you can tell that the bands, no matter how many shows they’ve played, are still completely in love with what they do. And Flogging Molly was no different. I was pulled into their stories, how avidly they loved Guiness, and how stoked they were to simply be alive.

If you have the chance, go see Flogging Molly live. They’re brilliant. Even more so if Skinny Lister is opening. And hug your loved ones. Terrorism knows no boundaries and it knows not of where you come from.

‘The Year of Yes’ by Shonda Rimes

Now, if you watch any form of TV – whether it’s Hulu, Netflix, and/or cable – you’ve probs heard of Shonda Rimes. She’s the brains and writer behind fan favourite shows Scandal, Grey’s Anatomy, and, my personal favourite, How to Get Away with Murder. If you haven’t, you’re probably living under a rock. Because her shows are rich in story telling, diverse backgrounds, and the best/worst cliff hangers you’ve ever witnessed on a show. Holy wow, those cliff hangers. If you watch How to Get Away with Murder, you know cliff hangers. That mid season finale? Oh my god.

Anyway, back to the point. I recently picked up her book The Year of Yes because it came highly recommended by a friend of mine and i love Shonda. I want to be friends with her and know how on Earth she could put my heart through the ringer every week without thinking twice. Whatever, anyway.

This book is lovely. It’s a little slow to start but it picks up. And it’s great insight. It follows her journey into the year of yes, inspired by something her sister said during Thanksgiving in 2013 or 2014. And her goal was to say yes to basically everything for an entire year. SHe couldn’t say no. Now, Im sure this excluded anything that was illegal, vastly immoral, or other caveats I’m not thinking of right now because I ordered Chinese delivery for the first time in forever.

The Year of Yes is filled with great side notes about your favourite shows as well as her journey of saying yes to everything and then some. You learn how she mustered up the courage to speak at the Human Rights Campaign awards show, take on Jimmy Kimmel, and change her own narrative into something motivatingly fantastic. You learn about her insecurities as well as her triumphs and how saying yes for a year turned into a lifelong habit.

This book, at times, is cheesy but you feel as though Rimes is encouraging you along the way, when you haven’t the words to do so yourself. It’s an easy read, perfect if you just finished an intense book or you need something that doesn’t take much brain cells to follow along. It’s funny, darling, and everything I needed right now.

It’s inspired me to do my own year of yes and take on my fears head on. It’s a self help book that doesn’t feel like one at all. ANd if you like Shonda’s shows, just wait until you read her book. It’s wonderful. Pick it up wherever books are sold and you’ll be in for a ride you weren’t expecting.

Favourite quote: No one is meaner than a pack of human beings faced with someone who is different.