Friday, April 29, 2011

Work It Out, Part 2

First of all, do you love, love, love my a-mazing Music Thursday graphic?! Full disclosure, I snagged this image from the Web and merely added my own, festive text. But I still plan to rock it like I drew that cassette illustration in Microsoft Paint myself.

And, as it is Music Thursday, I wanted to post my non-musical (aka “normie”) workout mix, which I finally put together for you. You can find Part 1 of this post here.

One thing I love about workout mixes is that typically you’re running/working out with headphones, so no one can hear/judge the songs that get you pumped up. It doesn’t matter what you’re listening to, as long as it gets you moving. Have fun!
  1. Like a G6” by Far East Movement (In aerobics class, my instructor will shout out, “Come on, ladies! Like a G6!” during this song. It is awk.)
  2. “Poker Face” by Lady Gaga
  3.  “Trans Antrho” by Skull Tape
  4.  “Good Gone Girl” by MIKA
  5.  “Raise Your Glass” by Pink
  6. “Mr. Blue Sky” by ELO
  7.  “About You Now” by Miranda Cosgrove (Yes, I am listing a song by iCarly. SIGH.)
  8.  “Doing It Right” by The Go! Team (I don’t think I will ever not love this song.)
  9.  “Satellite” by Leila Broussard
  10. “Viva La Vida” by Coldplay (“You know how I know you’re gay? You listen to Coldplay.”)
  11. “My Life Would Suck Without You” by Kelly Clarkson
  12.  “You Don’t Have to Drive” by Sleeping in the Aviary
  13. “Sir Duke” by Stevie Wonder
  14. “Take Me Out” by Franz Ferdinand
  15. “He’s Not a Boy” by The Like
  16.  “Check It Out” by (feat. Nicki Minaj)
  17. “Bulletproof” by La Roux
  18. “Back and Forth” by Foo Fighters
  19. “Because It’s Not Love” by The Pipettes
  20. “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen”
  21. And finally, I'll leave you with the ultimate running song, “Party Hard” by Andrew WK.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Snack Pack Weekend

So, I'm headed to my parent's lake cabin this weekend for Easter, but I feel like it's going to be weird.

(JK, robbers! I will be AT HOME with my hand on my .22 THAT I OWN.)

Firstly, it's Easter, which ranks third in the list of holidays in which food plays a central role, e.g., 1) Thanksgiving, 2) Christmas, 3) Easter. But preparing/eating food at the cabin is always kind of strange because despite going there approximately every other weekend, my parents don't really keep any food staples there. Although, I must say I'm not really surprised by this as the staples at their permanent residence consist of onions, Pam, and pimento cheese. 

The one food I can count on to be at the cabin, however, is LIttle Debbie snack cakes. Every time I go over there, I find like six boxes, all opened, of the ageless treats. The thing that kills me the most about this is that growing up, when I begged my dad to PLEASE provide me with name brand treats for my daily sack lunch, he not so politely declined. But now, you'd think an entire third grade class lived over there for all the holiday-themed cakes, peanut wafer bars, and swiss rolls you're likely to find. AND, I've never seen my parents eat them, either! Where are all these snack cakes coming from/going???

The other thing that I am preparing to be weirded out by is the Easter egg hunt my mom has planned for me to throw on Saturday. Will a number of my young relatives be stopping by, you may wonder. No, my friends. I purchased plastic eggs, gummy fruit, and cookies today all for Stella, my tiny second cousin, who, while adorable, is merely 18 months old and will be interested in this shenanigan for approximately as many seconds. I feel like I could just as easily "hide" said plastic eggs behind my back. Despite what the movies tell you, babies are no geniuses.

Oh, well. As long as I get some time in the sun to read, relax, and munch on a plethora of Little Debbie snack cakes, I guess I'm golden.

Have a festive Easter weekend, everybody! Hope you find the prize egg!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Car Troubs.

I had so many fun and exciting things to tell you about today, but (sadly) I'm dealing with Tiregate 2011 in that I have to unexpectedly replace all four of my tires. See you never, tax refund! What makes it worse is that my car requires special "high performance" tires that I keep high performance running into/on/over things. SIGH.

To cheer youme up, here's a silly car-related music video.

 Haha. This video is the best/worst!

Friday, April 15, 2011

This Guy


I’m super-excited to see this goof in The Hangover Part II  (May 26), but I also want to see him in It’s Kind of a Funny Story.

(Or do I? Commercials for it have been running nonstop on OnDemand. I just don’t know anymore!)

IKOAFS is about this depressed teen who checks himself into a mental hospital, only the juvenile ward is closed, so he’s thrown in with a bunch of wacky adults. I expect it to offer a more subtle humor than the Hangover movies, but Zach cracks me up pretty much every time.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Work It Out, Part I

It’s Music Thursday here on the blog! Today’s business—creating a workout playlist.

About six months ago, I decided that sitting in a cube nine hours a day could not be good for me (or my bottom), so I started getting up an hour early and going to the gym before work each day. It was actually kind of the pits at first because I have to be at work by 7:30, which means I get up around 4:45 (ack). But like most things you do every day for six months (ha), you get used to it.

Yo blogger is so fat, if she was confronted by a boggart, it would turn into a treadmill!
This Harry Potter reference, adapted from When Parents Text, cracked me up.

Seriously, though, I depend on some upbeat music to get me through at that early hour. And at that point I choose one of two types of workout mixes: musical or regular-type. Non-theater friends, you can stop reading now and catch back up with us next week for Work It Out, Part II.

OK, nerds. Putting together a good musical-based running mix is as simple as coming up with songs from musicals you know that make you want to dance AND that are also upbeat. (Some songs make me want to dance, but it’s in a slower or more waltz-y way. No good for working out.) If, when listening to a particular soundtrack, you find yourself tapping along to a song, that’ll work. Or if you’ve seen the show in question, and there’s a big dance number you enjoy, that song should work as well. Songs from musicals of the past 30 years (1980-Present) seem to work best as they are more pop- and rock-inspired than their predecessors.

Here are a few songs I came up with:
  • Skid Row, Little Shop of Horrors
  • Whipped Into Shape, Legally Blonde: The Musical
  • Nicest Kids in Town, Hairspray
  • Honey, Honey, Mamma Mia (The movie version of the song is faster. SIGH. I am such a NERD!)
  • I’d Be Delighted, Little Women
  • She’s in Love, The Little Mermaid: The Musical
  • My Strongest Suit, Aida
  • It’s Your Wedding Day, The Wedding Singer
  • I Won’t Say I’m in Love, Hercules
  • Hard Knock Life, Annie
  • A Girl Worth Fighting For, Mulan
  • King of New York, Newsies
  • American Idiot, Green Day’s American Idiot

As a fan of musical theater, I think an upbeat musical playlist makes runs more fun. It definitely makes my runs more dance-y, which I feel is more fun (or funny, at least) for everyone.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

True Life: I’m Turning into My Mother

Sadly, I think this is unavoidable. (Sorry, mom! You’re not that bad.)

Here’s the tale:

So things have been pretty tragic in my life lately (not hyperbole). It has been brutal, but my adorable boyfriend is doing his best to keep me in good spirits. Specifically, he has been extra nice, but he also keeps offering to buy me “prizes,” aka gifts, to make me feel better. I haven’t really been in the mood for gifts, but last Tuesday, it struck me; I knew what I wanted my prize to be—Tina Fey’s new memoir, Bossypants.
For the record, I have a huge lady crush on Tina Fey and will always accept Fey-related paraphernalia as gifts.

Anyway, as soon as I realize this is what I want, I email JP my request and include very specific hyperlinks to where the book can be purchased…not like the time I sent him the link to the Amazon home page and he mistakenly thought I was requesting all the random baloney found there, but that’s another tale for another time.

So I go home very excited about the prospect of my new book and am wondering if he will take me to Barnes and Noble that very night to pick up a copy. When I get to my house, however, what should I see on the front hall table but a book-sized package from Amazon?!

“What’s this?” I ask him.

“I don’t know. It has your name on it,” he says. So coy.

I rip into the package only to find the thing I had requested that very morning—a shiny new copy of Bossypants!

“Oh my gosh, JP! You are magic!”

“What is it?”

“How did you know?! Did you secretly order it like a week ago?”

“Is that that book you wanted?”

Now, as JP’s picture is placed squarely next to guileless in the dictionary, at this point, I realize that the book really isn’t from him. But where could it have come from, I wonder. The receipt only has my name and shipping address on it. A QUANDRY! Could someone have sent it as a gift without their name showing up in the packing material?

After about five minutes of pondering this CONUNDRUM, a vague memory from a few months ago returns to me. I had just heard about the book—set to be released in April—and I immediately went to to check it out. At the time, the pre-order price was down to around $13, and I suddently remembered thinking; I will definitely want to read this book—especially for $13! Preordered!

I think the worst part is how I really thought JP had blown my mind on this one, but alas, I’m just losing my marbles and becoming my mother. Sigh. At least I have a great new book to entertain me!

“It’s so hard to believe it’s 2011 already. I’m still writing ‘Tina Fey, Grade 4, Room 207,’ on all my checks!”

UPDATE: I'm not insane! After reading my post, my friend emailed me to let me know that this book was Part II of a care package they had sent and let me know to be on the look out for. But, in classic sitcom style, the book arrived the day before the main package, thus the confusion. It's a good thing John Paul didn't slyly accept credit for the gift as several have suggested. True Life: I have the best friends!!!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Music + Teens = TEARS

I found the results of this study, published earlier this week, really interesting. It seems that researchers have found a link between listening to music and depression in teens. Out of the 106 participants surveyed over five weeks, “those who listened to the most music were 8.3 times more likely to be depressed than those who listened to the least amount of music.”

I don’t think that music makes teens depressed. The authors of the study say as much. They suggest that music might be serving as a coping mechanism for teens already suffering from depression. Just from anecdotal experience, however, I’d say that the music I choose to listen to enhances whatever mood I’m already experiencing. For example, if I’m in an upbeat, peppy mood I select songs with a fun dance beat. Teens with depression, on the other hand, might choose to experience their feelings through the sounds of Radiohead, Bright Eyes, or Elliott Smith.

Bright Eyes, “No Lies, Just Love”

I’m no psychologist/psychiatrist, but it seems to me that the self-perpetuating cycle of feeling sad then reinforcing those feelings by listening to depressing music is both a symptom and a cause of depression. It’s a symptom in that dark, recurring, almost cyclical thoughts are a indicator of major depression; it’s a cause in that listening to Dashboard Confessional on repeat certainly isn’t going to make you feel any better.

Scientists don’t know everything there is to know about this illness, but continued research in this area will only help us learn more. Until then, keep taking your meds and stay positive by listening to more songs like this: