Amazing Response to the Ray Rice Scandal

I love the internet. Not only can you watch endless hours of cats running into stuff, binge on 20 seasons of your favorite tv show, and look up useless facts about the history of jean jackets, but you can speak out about current events and social issues in a way that is far more public than scribbling away in your journal. And if you are really creative, you can make videos like this one, leaving strangers all over the world like:

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Please enjoy!!

I once heard that the only way to respond to a horrible situation with humor is at the expense of the perpetrator, not the victim. I completely agree and I think that this youtuber totally crushed it.

Be sure to check out some of Megan Mackay’s other satirical videos including “How to Hunt for a Husband” and “Hobby Lobby Makeup Tutorial”

With Sincere Gratitude

Thank you, creepy asshole man, for grabbing me and forcible hugging me on the street tonight.

I’m so happy that you could see past my “fuck off” exterior and understand my desire for you to give me a tight bear hug.

I’m proud that you didn’t give up, even after me saying “no” and “let go” multiple times, even after I pulled away from you and tried to push your arm off of me.

I’m glad you could tell that deep down I wanted your unfamiliar arms wrapped around my shoulders and my neck, even after I was able to wiggle away.

Thanks for giving me the feeling like I needed to constantly be looking over my shoulder, even after driving back to my apartment; my neck really needed the workout.

Thanks for letting me exercise my neglected imagination by going through a million scenarios of what could have happened if I had been wasted instead of sober.

Thanks for teaching me that it might not be safe for me to walk 5 blocks at night by myself.

Thanks for making me question whether or not I want to go out tomorrow night.

Thanks for giving me pause about wearing an attractive outfit for a night on the town.

Thanks for making me kick myself for not using anything I learned in my self defense class, for wiping my mind of the idea that those moves even exist.

Thanks for letting me experience the overwhelming paralysis of fear.

Thanks for changing the memory of tonight from the night I got to see one of my favorite bands to the night that I felt unsafe, angry, and scared.

You’ll never know how much tonight meant to me.

All About Those Beauty Standards

I was out at the bars with my friends this past weekend when this song, “All About That Bass”, caught my attention. I’m usually an Indie/Pop-Punk/Alt Rock type of girl, but when I’m out on the town, my brain switches to “club music mode” so I can enjoy my evening without getting caught up in an oh-my-god-this-music-is-all-terrible mood. This song caught my attention because of it’s bumping groove and the fact that I heard something about not being a barbie doll. Ok! I’m liking the sound of that! Later, I went to look it up in a setting where I’d actually be able to hear the words, I was a little disappointed in what I heard.

The overall message of Meghan Trainor’s song appears to be about loving your body and not caring about what other people think of it “cause every inch of you is perfect, from the bottom to the top.” She also goes on to call out the unrealistic images of women that we see all the time: “I see the magazine workin’ that Photoshop. We know that shit ain’t real. Come on now, make it stop.” In general, I’m a pretty big fan! I mean, especially as a heavier-than-ideal woman, whom society rarely tells is beautiful, it’s refreshing to hear another heavier-than-ideal woman come forward and declare that she loves her body, and so should you.

BUT

I have a few bones to pick.

While I am happy that she says to be proud of your body, I’m really not a fan of the WHY you should be proud of your body. The underlying idea sprinkled in the song isn’t that all bodies are equal and deserve equal respect. It seems to be that the reason you should be okay with your body is because men find it attractive.

Yeah, my mama she told me don’t worry about your size
She says, “Boys like a little more booty to hold at night.”

I can shake it, shake it like I’m supposed to do
‘Cause I got that boom boom that all the boys chase,
And all the right junk in all the right places.

So don’t worry, dear, if people call you fat. You should like that big butt because GUYS like big butts! Isn’t it great? Guys’ interests have switched from the skinny girls to the big girls! We finally have a chance! Nevermind if you like the way you look. That’s irrelevant. We’re just here for the aesthetic pleasure of men!

Ok, maybe that’s a little extreme, but you can see my point. The whole song screams “love your body because guys love your body!” There is nothing that points out how healthy self love is intrinsic and must start from within. Even the mom, the female role model that most young girls look up to, tells her daughter not to worry because boys like the way she looks. The words may have changed from “alter yourself to please men” to “don’t change! you already please men!”, but the message is still the same.

I also have a problem with the way she criticizes skinny women and women without a lot of “bass”.

You know I won’t be no stick figure silicone Barbie doll.

I’m bringing booty back. Go ahead and tell them skinny bitches that.

This seems to be a really big theme within the supposed “Body Positive” movement. They pump up the body types that are typically seen as being not beautiful (good!), but they do it by tearing down the bodies of women who meet the beauty standard (bad!). We see it all the time with those pictures on Tumblr and Facebook praising Marylin Monroe’s curvy body and proclaiming how much sexier she is than very skinny actresses like Keira Knightley and Heidi Montag. And on fitspo blogs that explain how skinny girls are lazy because their bodies come naturally thin.

In the music video, there is a traditionally beautiful woman who has been wrapped in plastic wrap, seemingly to represent the “silicone Barbie doll.” I don’t understand why people think it is acceptable to make fun of women who fit the beauty standard when they have about the same control over how their body looks as anyone does. It’s not a naturally skinny girl’s fault if she is born naturally skinny. And even if she did purposely alter her body to fit the mold (by either diet, exercise, or plastic surgery), what business is it of yours? As long as an adult is making consensual decisions that aren’t causing harm to themselves or others, it is no one’s place to judge them.

I understand that it’s an attempt to infiltrate an environment that has been saturated with a fairly narrow beauty ideal with other options, but putting down those bodies that fit is not the way to do it. I imagine a young girl who is maybe on the heavier side hearing this song and feeling inspired, which is great! But I also imagine a young girl who is on the thin side without much curve hearing this song and feeling inadequate, which is horrible. I’m chubby. I’ve spent my whole life growing up hearing that my body isn’t beautiful, never seeing women who looked like me on tv, being told that I should try to lose weight, not out of concern for my health, but in order to look more attractive. It sucks. It sucks being told that how people look is the most important thing, and what you look like isn’t good enough. The fat girls shouldn’t have to hear that anymore. But that doesn’t mean that the skinny girls should.

We should definitely be giving recognition to body types that break the standard of beauty, but why do we have to flip the script and dismiss or put down body types that fit it? Why does it have to be skinny good, fat bad OR fat good, skinny bad? Why does it always have to be one or the other?

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You said it, Old El Paso girl. Why don’t we have both? How about we stop tearing each other down to try and make us feel better about ourselves? How about we stop trying to live up to whatever standard of beauty society currently tells us is “in”? How about we stop trying to change the beauty standard? How about instead we say fuck beauty standards and embrace ourselves and everyone else just as we are?

Let’s be all about that bass AND that treble. And everything in between.

The Fifth Year and How I Got Here

Today marks the first day of my last year in college. Last time I’ll spend an extra hour getting ready in the morning in an attempt to make a good first impression. Last time I’ll get to watch nervous freshmen wander into the wrong classroom. Last time I’ll strut to class with a superior demeanor because I know that I have more experience at my campus than 3/4 of the student population. This would be way more exciting if I hadn’t already celebrated my “last first day” a year ago.

I am about to start classes as a fifth year senior. All of my friends have graduated. I’m living with strangers. I’m the oldest person in my classes. I feel like a fish out of water, like the one drunk person who won’t leave the bar even though everyone has cleared out, the lights have come up, and the busboys are sweeping around their feet.

This wasn’t the plan. The plan was four years. Four years is what my parents expected. Four years is how the normal people do it. Only stupid people and slackers need to stay past their expiration date. Believe me when I say that learning I was going to be stuck here, alone for another year felt like being punched in the stomach.

My college education has been less than ideal to say the least. As an A and B+ high school student, my world was totally rocked when I dropped out of calculus first semester freshman year. I had been struggling in the class, something that was completely foreign to me, to the point that I had been brought to tears in the middle of lecture on multiple occasions out of frustration. Try as I might, I couldn’t comprehend the material, and after two months of beating myself up, I finally had to drop the class or take a failing grade. I felt like the stupidest person in the world. Out of my failure, I developed somewhat of an inferiority complex and lost nearly all confidence in my academic ability. When I received my grades at the end of fall semester, I burst into tears when I saw my final GPA.

I chucked my failure up to culture shock and vowed to make a fresh start. Things seemed to improve second semester, and I started my sophomore year by declaring a major in Journalism. I had always loved writing, and journalism seemed like a practical field to translate my interests into a career. It only took about five weeks in two intro classes for me to realize that I hated it. Reporting the daily news and spitting out boring quotes and facts seemed like a nightmare from hell. Not everything related to writing could be boring, though. Right? My love of reading and writing had to go somewhere,right?  And it was in the spring that I stumbled into my first creating writing class. It was exactly what I had been looking for: taking what I loved to do and turning it into something tangible, something that I could watch myself improve at. I figured that if I was going to study something in college, it should to be something that I actually liked; this was the semester I changed my major to English.

This was also the first semester I got sick at school. Up until this point, I hadn’t even had a simple cold. But my immune system was making up for lost time by handing me a nasty throat infection. I was out of class for almost two weeks, just enough time to throw a wrench in my schoolwork. When I came back to my classes, I was completely lost and spent every day playing catchup. It was like freshman year all over again, and I barely made it out of the semester alive.

The next year and a half was complete hell. I felt like I was constantly sick, contracting strep, the stomach flu, mono, and two relapses of mono, all with sporadic throat infections sprinkled in between. See, my fear of failure had become so overwhelming that I developed serious anxiety about my schoolwork. The anxiety lead to constantly being sick, and the constantly being sick lead to struggling in class which lead to more anxiety. It was a horrible cycle that I couldn’t crawl out of. And on top of this we also get to throw in worrying if I was in the right major, pressure from my parents to figure out what I wanted to do with my life (something I have never had a clear plan for), and my grandma passing away, only a year after my grandpa. As I watched my grades sink lower and lower, my self-esteem plummeted, and I fell into a depression. I had no motivation to go to class or do homework. I knew that my grades were important, but I didn’t care. I didn’t see the point. And if I failed because I didn’t try, that seemed like a better option than trying and failing because I wasn’t good enough. I spent the majority of my time in bed, sleeping the days away and feeling sharp pangs of guilt as I watched the clock count down to the start of each of my classes from underneath my covers.

Last Christmas after getting my grades for the semester and seeing the classes I had failed, I knew I had to face the reality of my situation, something that I had actively been avoiding. My parents confronted me about what was going on in my schoolwork, and I had a total meltdown as I tried to explain myself. It was like all the feelings that I had been suppressing over the past year and a half came flooding out in a matter of seconds. I had always been the child who excelled in school, who my parents expected so much of, and I felt like I had completely let them down.

After a long, tearful discussion, we resolved that I wouldn’t be graduating that spring. It was like a rock simultaneously being dropped on my head and lifted off my shoulders. Saying out loud that I wouldn’t be graduating college in four years was heartbreaking for me. It was the first time that my projected lifeline had been thrown off course. I felt it shift in a concrete way that I had never experience before. But without the time restriction, there wasn’t as much pressure to be a perfect student. For the first time in over a year, I felt like I could start to relax.

This past semester wasn’t easy, but the fog has been lifted. Or rather, the fog has migrated from swirling around my head/throat area to trailing behind my feet. The main thing that has come out of this spring is the realization that I wanted to change my major. Without an overall negative attitude toward all of my schoolwork, I was able to reflect on where my lack of motivation was coming from, and I concluded that I wasn’t invested in my English classes. In fact, just the thought of having to sign up for another English class was enough to give me anxiety. Shwoops. Time for plans to change again.

So here’s the new plan: 1 more year. 1 new major. 100% effort. In case you haven’t read any of my previous posts, I am very interested in gender issues and sexual politics. Therefore I have decided to change my major to Gender Studies. And let me tell you, the second I entertained this possibility, I got a genuine surge of motivation and excitement for my upcoming education, something that has been missing since the start of my college career. I’m taking that as a good sign.

My parents have been amazingly supportive of my decision and helpful in making my transition. Though my timeline isn’t ideal, they are excited for me and want me to succeed. And I want me to succeed. And I have this beautiful, confident feeling that I will.

After all, fifth time’s the charm!

Why Did They Ever Cancel Freaks and Geeks??!!??!

warning: this post is quite jumbled and rambly and yelly because I am in a state of frazzlement. apologies.

I hate people. People do things. Stupid things like take good TV shows off the air. It’s bologna!!!

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no, it’s not just you

I just spent the last 3 days binge watching Freaks and Geeks for the first time on Netflix, and I am irrationally upset that I have no more episodes to watch. I finished the last episode less than 10 minutes ago, and I almost want to cry. I feel like a friend has died. Well, maybe not a friend. Maybe…a fish? Yeah. A goldfish that I just won at a carnival that I was really excited to own that I had named Pickles that died a week later, gasping for water.

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me after the last episode finished

UGHHHHHHH! Why do TV stations do this?? Destroy perfectly good – no, great! – shows in their infancy?

It has stimulating topics of conversation:

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It has hot guys!:

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It has big laughs:

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I did this to myself. I knew that people love this show. I knew that it only had 18 episodes. I knew that it contained a plethora of actors that I love and had the high school rebellion/outcast/puberty/awkwardness/young love plot lines that I adore in a nostalgic, idealistic-fantasy-of-what-my-formative-years-could-have-been-like way. I knew that it was cancelled 14 years ago.

OH MY GOD I’M PISSED ABOUT A SHOW GETTING CANCELLED 14 YEARS AGO.

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I know. I’m pathetic.

I don’t know if I’ve ever created such a strong emotional attachment to a show this quickly. I mean, I was sucked in within the first 4 minutes of the pilot, the way it used different songs/genres to introduce the different cliques. By the time Mr. Weir’s started spitting off a string of “you will get pregnant and die” snips, I was hooked.

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Can we just for a moment talk about how fan-flippin-tastic this show is? It’s one of those shows that I feel is often missing from TV these days: a show about the everyday lives of everyday kids in an everyday town. There are no millionaires. There are no teen pop-stars. There are no supernatural beings. There are no psycho killers. None of those bullshit gimmicks.

Lindsay Weir is so goddamn relatable! She is probably the most normal lead character on a TV show I’ve ever seen, besides maybe Lizzie McGuire. She is my spirit animal, my patronus. She is simultaneously the most insecure and the most I-don’t-give-a-fuck girl. She will defend the boy with special needs from assholes and then go off let her friends talk her into throwing a kegger even though she doesn’t really want to. She wears the same green anorak every single episode, rejecting the unrealistic, ever-growing closets of most TV characters. She is really smart and goes back and forth about whether or not she wants to pursue her intellect. She doesn’t do her hair and makeup every day. She has a crush on the dashing, brooding Daniel and gets over the crush without ever being outright rejected by him or having her heart broken. She adopts an entirely new friend group because she is sick of the way her life is going. Whether or not it’s for the better is debatable, but that’s not the point. She wants to change her life and she does it! THIS IS GREAT STUFF!

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You said it, Lindsay

And it’s not just Lindsay. Most of the main characters are multidimensional. Daniel is hot but a bad boy but good to his friends but a total slacker but genuine with his girlfriend but a manipulative asshole but nice to (some) nerds. Kim is a raging bitch but a loyal friend but a thief but from a fucked up family but occasionally violent but completely insecure. Nick is super sweet but lazy as hell but passionate about drumming but overeager about Lindsay but a total burnout but totally adorkable.

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Everyone is just so believable, which was a combination of great writing and great actors. THERE ARE SO MANY PEOPLE ON THIS SHOW! Linda Cardellini, James Franco, Busy Philipps, Jason Segel, Seth Rogan, Chauncey Leopardi (aka Squints), Thomas F. Wilson (aka Biff), Riley Smith, Lizzy Caplan (aka Janice Ian), Ben Foster, baby Shia LaBeouf, and Ben Stiller to name a few. There are very few, if any, instances of overacting, which is especially impressive from the younger members of the cast. I feel like a lot of today’s shows geared toward a younger crowd end up feeling disingenuous. Freaks and Geeks does not have this problem. And besides a couple (what I would consider) missteps, such as Nick being “addicted” to pot and Daniel going punk, the episode conflicts are never over dramatic, never get after-school-specially and never feel forced.

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I love that Sam got the chance to be with the pretty popular girl. I love that he got to learn that being pretty and popular doesn’t make you interesting. I love that the geek got to dump the princess. I love that Ken, played by the ever-type-cast Seth Rogan, was dating a girl who was born both male and female. I love that when he talked about it with his friends, she was never treated like a freak and the topic remained serious and curious. I love that Daniel wouldn’t even tell Kim about it. I love that Lindsay saw Daniel’s flaws and got over him painlessly on her own. I love that she calls out her friends for taking advantage of her. I LOVE when she chews out Daniel for asking if she was on her period.

I love that the main guy (Daniel) and main girl (Lindsay) don’t get together or ever even hint at it being a possibility. Daniel’s got Kim who he adores and Lindsay is just plain uninterested.  I love that even though Daniel is the ringleader, Ken and Nick aren’t his flunkies. They give him shit and talk back to him and they are all equal friends. They care about each other like a family.

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The show also tries to stay away from cliche story lines and “life lessons”. Lindsay makes the decision to join the “freaks” on her own (ie she wasn’t recruited in by a guy who was interested in her). She throws a party and her parents never find out. The gang all gets fake ids and although they are called out as being high school students, they don’t get arrested or in any trouble.

Blah blah blah. Moving on.

I SHIP LINDSAY AND NICK! I SHIP NICK AND LINDSAY SO HARD! He is such a sweetie and he really cares about her and helps her loosen up while she keeps him grounded in reality while supporting his ambitions. Seeing as Lindsay and I are pretty much the same person (no, seriously), I know why it can’t work; he’s too clingy and overbearing and the lovey dovey stuff makes my stomach churn. And he’s also a pothead who’s stoned all the time, which makes it really difficult to actually get to know someone, especially if you don’t smoke (trust me). But in the finale episode we learn that he has started to sober up! This is HUGE since it was one of Lindsay’s biggest problems with him and it’s possible that it’ll stick since he decided to make the change on his own! HE CLEARLY STILL LIKES HER AND SHE TOTALLY WANTS TO JUMP HIS BONES AND THEY HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO BE A TEENAGED ROSS AND RACHEL AND NOW WE WILL NEVER KNOW!!

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OMFG NICK AND LINDSAY 4LYFE

Kim and Daniel are also super adorable together. I mean, they are really aggressive toward each other but it’s so genuine and sweet and how I remember real couples in high school. It’s goofy and fun and comfortable. It’s awesome that even though Daniel is the traditionally attractive guy, Kim isn’t the cookie cutter, super thin, perfect appearance girl. It’s refreshing. They are there for each other during all of their hardships and they know all each other’s shit. And they still love each other like crazy.

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gahhhhh so cute!

Ahhhh this show had so much potential and so much space to grow! LIFE IS SO UNFAIR. Now we can only pray that they develop perfect CGI and make 20 more seasons.

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Dear God, please bring back F&G

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In Your name we pray. Amen.

Ok. Brb, deep breathing and trying not to cry

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JK DYING

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On Watching My Friends Graduate Without Me

This past May marked the end of my friends and I’s fourth year of college. Four years of studying, partying, and excessive consumption of ramen were coming to an end. Caps and gowns were ordered, hotel reservations for out of town family were made, and final assignments had been turned in. There was a calendar on our fridge that counted down the days until graduation. It seemed that all my friends could talk about was the upcoming step into the “real world”. The only problem was, I wouldn’t be graduating with them.

It’s an odd feeling, I’ll tell you that. When you think about all of your friends standing in their caps and gowns, taking pictures with their parents, crying about leaving the college that had been their home for the past four years, you tend to picture yourself in the mix along side everyone, not sitting in your packed up bedroom watching a live-feed of proud smiles being posted to Facebook.

Why couldn’t I do it in the traditional four years, you ask? Well, it turns out that reoccurring mono, family tragedies, uncertainty about my career path, and lovely bouts of depression aren’t exactly the most conducive combination for academic achievement. Who knew?

I always looked at people who took victory laps and commented on how the system doesn’t work for everyone, how times have change in the past decade or so, how there’s no shame in taking extra time to finish a degree. And yet, coming to the realization that last semester wasn’t going to be my last semester, I couldn’t help but feel defeated. I felt like I had let down my parents and that I hadn’t lived up to my full potential. I just sat on my bed and cried until I gave myself a headache.

I think the hardest part is seeing all of my friends move on without me. It’s like going to an amusement park where you don’t meet any of the height requirements, but your friends decided to drag you along anyway, promising it’s going to be fun, and you end up waiting next to the rollercoasters. alone. with a sunburn. and then someone pukes on you. Or like standing outside of the bar that all of your friends are in because you don’t turn 21 until next month and all of your friends turned 21 two months ago, and they wave at you and give you sad eyebrows and mouth how much they wish you were in there too. and then someone pukes on you. Or like being a 13 year old girl and no matter how many kegals you do, you are still the only one in your group of friends who hasn’t gotten their period yet and you have to fake having cramps and knowing how to use a tampon. and then…I don’t know, you step in puke or something.

As a fairly insecure person, I am quite susceptible to fear of missing out (or FOMO as the kids are calling it). This just seems like a big milestone that I’m missing. And even though I know I’m going to complete my degree soon, it feels like it’s too little too late, like by taking the extra time, it’s not an accomplishment that I should get to be proud of. I did it, but I didn’t do it as well as everyone else.

Sorry this was kind of depressing. I really wanted to write something inspiring about how I was upset about this at first, but then I thought about A and now I feel B and I learned C. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’ve reached that point yet. I don’t know. I’m trying not to let it get to me. I still wonder who I’m going to hang out with on Saturday nights, and I imagine graduation photos of me with my parents but none with any of my friends. I think I just need to focus on finishing and do it for myself. I guess that’s who it’s all for in the long run, anyway, right?

 

Put It On Repeat (6/27/14)

When I get obsessed with a song, I tend to just play it over and over within an inch of its life. These are the ones in the current rotation:

1. Acid Rain by Saintseneca

I love the imperfection in his voice. It sounds like bare feet on hot gravel.

2. She’s Got You High by Mumm-Ra

The opening guitar feels like the dizziness in your shoulders when you have new love. I start smiling the second I hear the first notes =)

3. Stay Young, Go Dancing by Death Cab For Cutie

I’ve thought about this as a potential first dance song. I have to close my eyes when Ben sings “through autumn’s advancing” and let it wash over me. Kinda tricky when driving…proceed with caution.

4. Fall Away by A Cursive Memory

Great don’t-give-a-fuck anthem with rhythm that subconsciously makes you head roll

5. Arise Great Warrior by The Fervor

I couldn’t find anyone who had posted the album recording but their live performance is pretty on point. I’d love a full version of the first 2 minutes; The keyboard/guitar picking combo is trance inducing. The middle build up is soooooo satisfying.

6. Amie by Pure Prairie League

The harmonies in this song are so deliciously soft. When the Neil Young-esque harmony comes in at the end, I quietly melt into a puddle.

7. Hurricane by Panic! at the Disco

This is one of my go-to songs for long drives because it’s so upbeat and dancey. I’m a sucker for solid hand claps.

8. Pompeii by Bastille

Always reminds me of a guy I hung out with last summer. He was in love with this song and wanted me to love it too.