Wednesday, December 19, 2018

I'm Not The Person I Used To Be: Crazy Ex Girlfriend S4E8 (Midseason Finale) Episode Review

*gasp* Greg is back! Unfortunately, Santino Fontana has been recast. Greg is now played by Skylar Astin who is the lovable actor from the Pitch Perfect series. I noticed that Astin did try to play Greg similarly to how Fontana played Greg. It seemed like he was purposely trying to make the same facial expressions that Fontana used to. I thought it was nice he was trying so hard to emulate Greg but something was still off about it.

I'm an adult so I'm all for the recast. If Fontana didn't want to come back, the Crazy Ex Girlfriend team had no choice but to recast. I liked how they tried to explain why Greg looks different. It is because Greg has changed and Rebecca has changed so he is a completely different person to her. He doesn't look like the same 2nd choice man Rebecca used to see him as. He looks like his own whole person. 

You know how the theme song has another Rebecca? I was thinking Crazy Ex Girlfriend could have maybe cut to Greg's point of view and see that he also sees Rebecca as a new person too. And then they could have shown him looking at the actress from the theme song instead of Rachel Bloom. Just an idea I had.

In season 4, the last line of the theme song is always different. I haven't found many of them funny, but I liked this episode's last line. "I miss the season one theme song!" I like how the writers are making fun of the fans because we do say stuff like that. 

The setting of the high school reunion was fun. I think high school reunions are filled with so much emotion and baggage. It's a great way to explore our characters. Josh's self-worth is so hyped up by how he was prom king and then it gets destroyed when it's revealed White Josh was actually voted prom king. Josh also gets to hang out with the unpopulars and explore some of his less cool hobbies - like magic!

Valencia's story-line was shocking! Heather did hype up the mystery and intrigue of Valencia's high school lover. I saw that Heather assumed the lover was a girl, but Valencia still chose to use gender neutral pronouns. 

I thought it was too out of left field that Father Brah was Valencia's lover. We have never seen them interact on-screen. Valencia and Father Brah must have at least interacted during Rebecca's wedding and they were completely comfortable with each other there so why was Valencia making such a big deal about seeing Father Brah at the reunion? Also, Valencia said she was cheating on Josh with Father Brah. Wow, can't believe Father Brah would do Josh dirty when they are supposed to be best friends. In addition, during season one, we see Father Brah and Josh talk about Valencia whenever Josh has a love problem he needs help with. Father Brah was giving love advice to his best friend who's girlfriend he had hooked up with in high school behind his back and never told anyone!!! It felt like this subplot was just created to fill space. We probably won't see Valencia and Father Brah interact again in future episodes so what was the point of this?

Hello, Nice To Meet You: A song all about meet-cutes. It sounded like the typical, cute Broadway songs that I love to hear. The sauce jokes were funny. It was also touching how they both apologized at the end of the song. It added that spice of drama to their light-hearted song.

What U Missed While U Were PopUlar: This was a cute sentiment with some cute jokes ("we were wearing black" by the goth kids). However, my thoughts were exactly the same as the jock who's family split up. Popular kids are also learning a lot and growing while being popular. I'm sure popularity also came with shame, guilt, and angst. Maybe it was just Josh who was too simple minded enough to learn hard lessons in high school. 

The Love Quadrilateral: This isn't a song! It's just something I wanted to discuss. Josh VS Nathaniel VS Greg. Who is endgame? I don't know which route Crazy Ex Girlfriend will take but my money is on Greg. Heather and Valencia said it themselves- they think Greg is Rebecca's meant to be. Of course, there is no such thing as "meant to be," (except for the Florida Georgia Line and Bebe Rexa song which is a thing).

Many people say that Rebecca shouldn't end up with anyone - she needs to learn how to be alone. I don't think so because the writers have said that people with Borderline still need to learn how to love and be loved in return. This is Rebecca's next challenge. She needs to learn how to have healthy, romantic relationships. I hope at the end of the series, Rebecca does end up with someone.

I think at the start of Crazy Ex Girlfriend, Greg was supposed to be endgame. We were supposed to see both Greg and Rebecca improve together. Instead, Greg left the series and Nathaniel was added. Why did Crazy Ex Girlfriend bring back Greg all of a sudden? I think it's because he is supposed to be Rebecca's endgame. All three of our leading men have grown and improved. So why is Greg the one with a new face and constant reminder that he has changed? If Greg is supposed to be Rebecca's series love interest, what was the point of Nathaniel? I hope by the end of the series we have a good ending for all three of our leading men.

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Saturday, December 15, 2018

I Will Help You: Crazy Ex Girlfriend S4E7 Episode Review

This was the episode we have all been waiting for! What was Naomi's reaction to Rebecca's suicide attempt? We never got the answer to that as her feeding Rebecca pills without her consent is what started the suicide attempt.

We learn that Rebecca thinks her mother doesn't know about the attempt which is sad because Rebecca couldn't turn to her in her darkest moments. But then we find out she does know - which is even sadder!! When Naomi finds out her daughter almost committed suicide, she doesn't even call? She doesn't ask how she is? So heartbreaking. And then that scene! The scene where Naomi is so insensitive to Rebecca and accuses her of just doing it for attention! That was jarring and went back to Season 1,2,3 roots. A lot of this season has been happy - we see Rebecca healthy and improving - which is great for the character. I applaud Crazy Ex Girlfriend for being brave enough to not rely on drama in expense of quality. However, sometimes drama is entertaining and evokes powerful emotions like that scene with Naomi and so it was a highlight of this episode.
It was hilarious how Rebecca used her mug shot on the dating apps. It goes back to borderline personality disorder and seeing things in all black and white. Rebecca wants to be more honest - but she doesn't have to be crazy honest. She doesn't have to tell her new dating prospects everything from the get-go. She learned this from meeting her mother's friends and in the end, being ok with lying to them.

I'm not sure how I feel about the Naomi's story line. What Valencia and Rebecca did was so sweet. They got Elayne Boosler to show up to support Naomi. I don't believe Naomi deserves such kindness. It was awfully big of them to do so - especially after Naomi was so insensitive and rude to Rebecca. I guess it is a way of forgiveness to her mother from Rebecca. Naomi may never change, but Rebecca can choose not to be affected by her.

It was so brave and beautiful when Rebecca stood up to Naomi. When she told her that she wouldn't be in her life if she continued to try to manipulate her. I loved it. I hope we get an episode later in the season where we see the healthier relationship with Naomi in action. When Rebecca stood up to her, Naomi said she was "crystal" clear - but is she really? I hope so or Rebecca will have to cut her off.

Josh moves in with Rebecca but in a friendship type of way. This was sweet and a parallel to season 2 when Josh just used her for a place to sleep. We also see Nathaniel step up and offer legal help to the women in prison. By doing charity work, he was able to see outside himself and grow.

The episode ended, once again, with the age old love triangle. Rebecca felt fluttery feelings for both Josh and Nathaniel. The plot moves forward. Who will Rebecca end up with?

Forget It: My favorite part of this song is when all the mothers are saying, "Forget it," and then the WASP-y mom is the only one that is like "Everything Is Fine." LOL

If You Ever Need A Favor In Fifty Years: Elayne Boosler and Tovah Feldshuh have really good voices. Other than that, I wasn't too impressed with the joke of this song. Yeah it is very specific to their situation - so what?

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Monday, December 10, 2018

Thoughts on Chlorine by Twenty-One Pilots

Twenty One Pilots Chlorine

This song has touched the hearts of the fandom because everyone thinks it should be on the Bandito tour set list. I saw Twenty-One Pilots at Madison Square Garden and people kept on chanting, "Chlorine!"

Analyzing the lyrical meaning of, "Chlorine," is difficult. "Sippin' on straight chlorine," - what is chlorine used as a metaphor for?

Before I get into that, I wanted to point something out that occurred to me. If you replace the word, "chlorine," with any type of alcohol, you get a pretty straightforward song.  "Sippin' on this liquor/Let the vibe slide over me." I'm just this super, cool fun twenty-something drinking alcohol at a club and bopping my head to this great music. It's cool how this song isn't about that at all. Chlorine definitely represents something deeper. (Also, did you know Tyler Joseph doesn't drink? neat!)

I think Chlorine represents his music. "This beat is a chemical." I think here, he is just directly telling us - yes, chlorine represents music.

He says, "Venom on my tongue, dependent at times," which means he is dependent on the expressing himself through music. It tastes like venom because he has to explore the dark parts of himself to create this music. He has to reach deep inside and confront things like his mental illness.

"Help my body run. I'm running for my life." Here he is saying, music helps him run from his  depression and allows him to stay  alive. "The moment is medical," the music helps him heal a medical condition which is his depression.

Now different lives I lead, my body lives on lead
The last two lines may read incorrect until said
The lead is terrible in flavor
But now you double as a paper maker
I despise you sometimes, I love to hate the fight
This is where it gets confusing. I think lead and chlorine are the same thing - but lead is the bad parts of chlorine. The reason why I think they are the same thing is Tyler saying, "now you double as a paper maker." I think the "you" is chlorine.  Music helps him make money which makes it more stressful and not as much fun anymore. He might not be able to express himself fully either due to record companies and expectations.

One line that remains a mystery to me is, "The last two lines may read incorrect until said." I have no idea why the last two lines in that stanza may be read wrong. I have no idea why the line said out loud may mean something different? Let me know in the comments if you have any clue what that line means! (My only guess is that "rebel red" might sound like "lead" if you say it fast - like a tongue twister.)

I'm so sorry I forgot you
Let me catch you up to speed
I've been tested like the end of
A weathered flag that's by the sea
Can you build my house with pieces?
I'm just a chemical
I love this part because it's so dark and dramatic. "I've been tested like the end of a weathered flag that's by the sea." Beautiful imagery and symbolism. My soul really feels those lyrics.

"Can you build my house with pieces?" - he is asking music/chlorine to help him deal with the tough times. I was thinking that this could also be taken another way - he is asking music to help him earn money so he can build a house which calls back the lead he was mentioning earlier.

One thing that throws me off is - he is saying that he, Tyler Joseph, is the chemical. But you can't sip on yourself so he definitely can't be chlorine!! He says I'm JUST a chemical. Maybe it's his way of showing weakness and surrendering to the music.

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Saturday, November 24, 2018

Reviewing The First 4 Episodes of Crazy Ex Girlfriend Season 4

I got a late start to these episode reviews this year. I missed the first four episodes and started up my reviews with episode 5. I still want to talk about them so here are some quick thoughts.

I Want to Be Here - Season 4, Episode 1 Review

I was not a fan of Rebecca going to prison in the season 3 finale as evidenced by my post here. Also, if Rebecca is in prison, how will the show continue? I'm glad the story line of her being in prison didn't last too long. We got some good laughs, and of course, a Chicago parody!! What if the writers only wrote Rebecca going to prison just so they could do a Chicago parody LOL. When Rebecca pled guilty, I was so worried for her! I'm glad the judge had some sense and realized her confession wasn't done correctly. Then Trent confessed and told the truth - so Rebecca was really off the hook. I was glad.

I Am Ashamed - Season 4, Episode 2 Review

A fun Halloween episode! But of course, it can't beat last year's episode, Josh's Ex-Girlfriend Is Crazy, which was shot like an actual horror film. A séance is a classic sitcom Halloween episode trope!

I'm On My Own Path - Season 4, Episode 3 Review

This is my favorite episode from this season so far. It is very relatable with Rebecca trying to figure out what her life's purpose should be. What should she do for a career? Many twenty-somethings are dealing with those issues right now. Rebecca chooses not to be a lawyer anymore which is a bold and brave move. She spent thousands of dollars on law school and 3 years of her life!! Anyone who has studied Economics know that that is a sunk cost and Rebecca shouldn't factor that into her decision - and she doesn't!! Rebecca chooses to forsake her previous career. I'm all for it if it makes her happy. 

One thing is, Rebecca is really good at being a lawyer! She could use the happiness from knowing she is really good at something to help her enjoy the lawyer profession. In my opinion, if you are good at something and it can make you a decent amount of money - it's definitely a career you should consider. 

It was really bold of Rebecca to leave a job she has poured so much money and sweat into. I am inspired by her boldness. At anytime in your life, you can make changes and start anew.

In the first two episodes, the characters did mention that Jim was missing. It was nice how they dropped those hints in those episodes and brought it all back in this one. "Don’t Be a Lawyer," is one of my favorite songs from this season...maybe because it is a sentimint that I have aggreed on since I took Business Law in college. "Twisted Fate," was a nice, punny song. Rebecca's reliance on symbols and signs in her life is a cute reminder of her extra-ness and dramatic-ness.

I'm Making Up for Lost Time - Season 4, Episode 4 Review

I'm a huge fan of Crazy Ex Girlfriend (as evidenced by this blog) but I didn't remember that Rebecca had a half-brother. It is a nice call back to bring him in and see him interact with our Rebecca. Tucker is crazy similar to Rebecca which is so cute!!! One sad thing is that means his father probably doesn't treat him well either. Tucker can actually sing...unlike Rebecca which I thought was a nice difference. It was interesting to see Rebecca admit that she knows she can't sing!

In this episode, Rebecca does a really nice thing for Tucker. She recommends therapy for him so hopefully he can get a grip on his mental illness earlier. She also pays for a summer at theater camp which allows him to continue his dream. She being the big sister she wishes she had.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Thoughts on Morph by Twenty-One Pilots

I love Twenty-One Pilots but sometimes I feel like to get the full effect of their songs, you have to read the lyrics along-side listening to them. But I love poetry and song lyrics so let's talk about the most lyrically deep song off of Trench!

When I first heard this song, I didn't think much of it. It's not as musically catchy like the others. In my first listen, I couldn't make out everything Tyler was saying. But after reading the lyrics - this song has climbed it's way up top in my favorites.
Can't stop thinking about if and when I die
For now I see that "if" and "when" are truly different cries
For "if" is purely panic and "when" is solemn sorrow
And one invades today while the other spies tomorrow
"If I die," is different from, "when I die." This is an interesting thought. This has never occurred to me before. For example, let's say I am driving somewhere scary and think to myself, "if I die," I am just truly panicking at that moment. I probably won't die - I am just scared of the unknown. By letting the panic into my life, I am ruining the experience of today - and the experience of whatever I was doing, in my example, driving.

"When I die," is different because everyone dies! Using my example above, when I am panicking and thinking "if I die," I am forgetting that everyone dies eventually. I want to stop death so bad in that moment. It may behoove me to think "hey, everyone is going to die, so I shouldn't stop myself from doing things that are scary. I should let that panic go." Maybe this is how Tyler climbs scary ledges at concerts. He really has a grasp on fear and death.

I like the words, "solemn sorrow," because it's the perfect way to describe the concept of death. We need to accept the solemn sorrow that is death.
We're surrounded and we're hounded
There's no above, or under, or around it
For "above" is blind belief and "under" is sword to sleeve
And "around" is scientific miracle, let's pick "above" and see
I love this so much. "Let's pick above and see." He is saying we should trust God (or if you are an atheist - trust the universe). It's beautiful really. When we are faced with tough times, we can either a) give up (sword to sleeve) or b) have hope. Going "around" death, or cheating death, is not possible unless there is a scientific miracle. So while we live on Earth, we have to keep on having hope. Even though death is always lurking in the corner, you have to have hope in the future and hope that your situation can improve.

I like the words, "blind belief." When we have hope, when we are trusting in God or the universe, it seems like we are going in blind. We don't really know if things will get better. But we still gotta pick above...we still have to have hope.

This reminds me of lyrics from Car Radio. "And there's faith and there's sleep, we/Need to pick one please because Faith is to be awake/And to be awake is for us to think/And for us to think is to be alive." The choice between above or under parallels faith and sleep.
For if and when we go above, the question still remains
Are we still in love and is it possible we feel the same?
And that's when goin' under starts to take my wonder
But until that time, I'll try to sing this
I am not too familiar with Christianity but I believe "Are we still in love" refers to loving Jesus or God? I think he is saying as you try to trust God, you may start having doubts, and when that happens you think of giving up again.

If I keep moving, they won't know
I'll morph to someone else
What they throw at me's too slow
I'll morph to someone else
I'm just a ghost
I'll morph to someone else
A defense mechanism mode
My personal opinion is that his "keep moving" is similar to the "moving" that depressed people are advised to do. When you are depressed, your body doesn't want you to do anything. It just wants you to lay in bed. Instead, it is advised that you should just start doing things even if you don't feel like it. Eventually, you may feel better after doing activities. Here, Tyler may have doubts, he may feel hopeless at times, but he is going to keep on going through life, i.e moving. Eventually, maybe he'll become someone who is not scared or doubtful.

Describing it as a defense mechanism gives a negative connotation. I think that's just in Tyler's mind. He has all these scary thoughts but he is just supposed to ignore them in order to live life? It feels like he is giving up a part of himself. It feels like a defense mechanism to him. Tyler's true self is battling these tough questions - by ignoring them he feels like he isn't being his true self and instead morphing into someone else. However, I believe that defense mechanism is important for his to be alive and keep on moving and actively doing good work with his life.

He'll always try to stop me, that Nicolas Bourbaki
He's got no friends close but those who know him most know
He goes by Nico, he told me I'm a copy

The rapping flow of this song is amazing! I just think it's cute how Tyler says "I'm close to him so I call him Nico." So would I. I would also definitely be addressing him as Nico.

There's no above or a secret door
What are we here for
If not to run straight through all our tormentors?
There is no deus ex machina. There is no easy solution to our questions. "What are we here for?" translates to "Why are we here on Earth - alive?" It's to face our problems head on. It's to battle with these tough questions and find our own answers. Similar to Kitchen Sink's lyrics "No one else is dealing with your demons, meaning. Maybe defeating them could be the beginning of your meaning, friend."

Lights, they blink to me, transmitting things to me
Ones and zeroes, ergo this symphony
Anybody listening? Ones and zeroes
Count to infinity, ones and zeroes
These lyrics don't really mean anything to me. These lyrics don't touch my soul like the rest of the ones I analyzed. Mostly, because I don't understand what Tyler is trying to say. My wild guess is that the "lights" and "ones and zeroes" represent how the world is obsessed with the internet, smart phones, television. Tyler is asking: are you listening to him despite these silly distractions? Are you asking the same, tough questions as him? "Anyone listening?"
Not done, not done
Not done, Josh Dun
JOSH DUN. I love how Tyler can still infuse these songs with a sense of humor.

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I See You: Crazy Ex Girlfriend S4E6 Episode Review

As I've said earlier - Crazy Ex Girlfriend feels like it's lost its drama - which is a good thing for me but a bad thing for new viewers. This season doesn't seem like it has a dramatic plot. These episodes may look like filler episodes if the series was looked at like a typical television show. A bunch of kooky characters teaming up to go on road trips - definitely sounds like a filler episode in some regular tv shows.

But I like it! I like that the show is showing character development instead of plot, plot plot which is a mistake a lot of typical tv shows make. I have watched these characters tackle plot and drama so I'm down to watch them grow and evolve. However, I'm not sure someone tuning into The CW at 9 on a Sunday for the first time would.

Rebecca & Darryl: Rebecca and Darryl are very similar! They both FEEL a lot. It was funny how Rebecca kept on calling Darryl extra, because Rebecca is the most extra character I know! I like that the lesson Rebecca learned in this episode is that she can be attracted to someone who is nice. The Rebecca & Darryl almost-kiss made me scared for a second! But thank God this isn't regular TV and we know this almost-kiss doesn't mean a start of romance for them.

Paula & Josh: It was funny how mad Paula was at Josh. But it's nice seeing Josh learn so much from therapy! I hope Paula doesn't let her fears get in the way of her lawyer dream!!

Heather & Nathaniel: I love how Heather calls Nathaniel out the entire time. She actually stands up to him which was great!! When the almost-kiss thing happened between Rebecca/Darryl and Paula/Josh, I was worried they were gonna do it for these two but I'm glad they didn't!! Instead, those 3 seconds of Nathaniel leaning into Bert was so HILARIOUS!!! I was on the edge of my seat and then he kissed his forehead. It was so funny!!!! Nathaniel really can't do adult male friendships - can he? WHERE IS WHITE JOSH? 

Trapped In A Car With Someone You Don't Want To Be Trapped In A Car With: It was an amusing song that I'm sure many people can relate to. Also, narration of the progression of the group's musical career was also amusing. Is it just me - but I haven't been too excited about this season's songs. They have just been amusing. A light chuckle - if you will.

Farewell, Fair Mustache: Also amusing. "Catching my tears and occasionally corn."

Sunday, November 11, 2018

I'm So Happy for You: Crazy Ex Girlfriend S4E5 Episode Review

I'm So Happy for You: Crazy Ex Girlfriend S4E5 Episode Review

I know, I know - this is late. I am sorry. I have been very lazy. I always knew when Season 4 came back up, I would want to start my reviews again. But I just never got the momentum to do it. So, here I am, trying my best to start it up again with the episode that I just finished watching.

My general thoughts on Season 4 of Crazy Ex Girlfriend is that it has been pleasant. It is nice to see Rebecca Bunch face a new issue each episode and address it. It is nice seeing her take a second to be self-aware after every mistake that she makes...which is different from the other seasons. It is also all very relatable. It was so adorable when she started mumbling and whispering to Dr. Akopian that she sees life as a competition and that she feels behind. What young adult doesn't!!  And then when Dr. Akopian said that Rebecca WAS behind on life - I was just as offended as Rebecca that she would confirm her worst fears. But here's the thing - Rebecca isn't behind. Everyone has their own story, their own timeline. Heather found a career and a husband in one year! Rebecca will also solve her problems in time. 

As a business major, I was worried about that pretzel store. Rebecca did confirm in today's episode that it was unprofitable. 

Valencia and Heather are moving! This is a huge turn for the show. Usually, television shows do this during the series finale. But I can see that the show is slowly wrapping things up for all our characters. With Valencia and Heather being on the show less - I wonder which characters will come to the forefront!

Paula's story line with her song was great! Now that's a huge turn-around - her son has matured and is no longer troubled. It's good that it happened but Paula isn't the one who brought about this change. I guess he just turned his life around by himself which is impressive.

I've Always Never Believed In You: This song was exactly what a Broadway musical song parody should be. There are so many Broadway songs that are inspiring and say something along the lines of "I believe in you" or "I always knew you'd succeed". This song has that humorous twist that Paula didn't actually believe in him - but he is still succeeding. Also, let's never forget to mention that Donna Lynne Champlin is incredible. Her voice and singing on this song are AMAZING!

The Group Mind Has Decided You're In Love: This song is just so much fun. I love the costumes and the set design. I like that it is a country song singing about two gay men being in love. This song was just silly in saying what all the fans are saying - Darryl and White Josh should get back together!! They love spending time with each other as seen in their binge watching of tv shows and movies. This episode introduced a new character as a love interest for White Josh. We all hope it won't last and he'll get back together with Darryl. We, as a fan collective, are this song.

It was decent episode of my favorite show so I enjoyed it. Nothing shocking or drama-filled happening - which is okay! I like all these characters and I want to see them taking it slow and having good character development. (I do wonder if newcomers would find this episode boring?)

Monday, October 15, 2018

Thoughts on Neon Gravestones by Twenty-One Pilots

Found this picture on Reddit - thanks user mikronaut

Twenty-One Pilots' new album Trench just came out! I won't be reviewing EVERY song but I do want to review the songs that stuck out to me. Let's first talk the song that was the most jarring to me - "Neon Gravestones."

The line that was most jarring to me was, "Promise me this/If I lose to myself/You won't mourn a day/And you'll move onto someone else." DANG. The words, "if I lose to myself" really got me as a person who also struggles with depression. It just is a constant fight with yourself!

When I first heard the song overall, I did see it a little negatively. Tyler is criticizing all these celebrities for taking their own life just to get more fame - which will lead more people/celebrities to do the same. I see where he is coming from but when a celebrity does take their own life, I do try NOT to think those thoughts. When I see everyone talking about Avicii and how great his music was posthumorously, sometimes a little voice in my head asks, "did he do this for fame?" But "No!!!" I tell myself. He was facing a tough one would take their own life for fame. They would only do it if they are suffering.

But I do see where Tyler is coming from. Tyler is being hard on these celebrities who committed suicide. "It's with the people we praise who may have assisted." Every time a celebrity commits suicide, there is a spike in suicides for the general public - that's just basic facts. Tyler is being very hard on them - but it is true to an extent. Being a public figure means you will be talked about if you commit suicide so you have even more of a responsibility to fight the mental illness.

"We don't get enough love?/Well, they get a fraction/They say, "How could he go if he's got everything?/I'll mourn for a kid, but won't cry for a king."

Tyler saying he won't cry for a king is another sharp way of criticizing these celebrities. He is saying these celebrities (he uses the pronoun "we" because he is one) get a lot of love because they have many fans. The "they" he speaks of is the general public. Tyler says he will mourn for a non-celebrity suicide more than he would for a celebrity suicide. Regular kids who are suffering with mental illness and may not have anyone to help them. These kids might not have had enough money for treatment. They might not have had a support system. Celebrities, usually. do have more resources to get mental help than the general public.

I do see the song in a more positive light now because I know what the thesis statement of the song is.

"I'm not disrespecting what was left behind/Just pleading that it does not get glorified."

Tyler's main message is that the media needs to do more to not glorify suicide. This means not promoting, "13 Reasons Why," which glorifies and uses suicide for drama.

However, when a celebrity dies by suicide - are we not supposed to mourn for them? I say we have to! Especially those who value the art that they created. The collective public does need to talk about the life and art of the celebrity to come to terms with their death.

I am not sure what the solution is. How are we supposed to prevent the spike in suicides after a celebrity death? I can't answer that...

I also like the ending of the song. "Find your grandparents or someone of age/Pay some respects for the path that they paved/To life, they were dedicated/Now, that should be celebrated." I like the idea of celebrating old people for living. They suffered, they probably had mental health problems, but they fought and they lived for such a long time and that's beautiful.

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Friday, September 7, 2018

Why I Am Not A Hufflepuff Anymore

I was looking at my old website on wayback machine. By "old," I mean the website I created when I WAS IN THE FIFTH GRADE. Wild. I had more of a passion for coding then than I do now. Here's a small snapshot.

Yes, in the fifth grade, I was a proud and out Hufflepuff. And I continued to be a Hufflepuff for many years after that. Let me do the math: I was 10 in the fifth grade, and I was 24 when I stopped being a Hufflepuff. So that is FOURTEEN years of identifying as something I am now rejecting. I even wrote an article called, "Why I Am A Hufflepuff" on my old website in 7th grade, but I can't find it on Way Back Machine. So as an ode to that lost article, here is "Why I am Not A Hufflepuff Anymore."

First, let me talk about why I identified so strongly with Hufflepuff. One of the main values of this house is fairness. As I've mentioned before, I have always been a feminist. My mom likes to joke around and say that it is just in our genes to always call out the sexist things around us. I try my hardest to make things fair for everyone around me - especially when I am acting as a leader or part of a team.

Helga Hufflepuff once said, "I’ll teach the lot, and treat them just the same." I have always felt this way. I have never wanted to exclude anyone, because as a child, I was excluded by my peers plenty of times for being to shy or weird. I liked that Helga Hufflepuff loved and accepted everyone. I don't believe in excluding others. As a child, when I saw bulling I never wanted to be a part of it. I remember a bunch of girls in 6th grade who were bullying this one girl and saying they didn't want to hang out with her.. I asked, "Why?" and they said "because we just don't like her," and that is when I was like "pass." I can't get behind excluding someone...especially without a reason. And even if there is a valid reason, I believe in making that judgement for myself. 

Another reason I was drawn to Hufflepuff is that I like to support the underdog. I like to think kindess can win the day.

But as I talked about in my blog post, Why Don't I Connect With Nice, Warm People Who Want To Spend Time With Me?, I was recently betrayed by my friends. And in that betrayal, it wasn't loyalty or fairness that saved me - it was bravery. My friends were not loyal to me; they didn't have my back like true friends should. They actually put me in harms way. I might have had loyalty towards them. I would never have done what they did to me because I believe in doing the right thing.

I guess I don't believe loyalty is the best trait anymore. It's too external, it's too needy to expect it from other people. And when you give loyalty - it comes with great risks. Instead, I want to embrace being brave. You know, where I am going with this ~

I am now a self-identified Gryffindor! 

Except...that I'm not. I just took a quiz on that told me I am still a Hufflepuff. It's true, I'm a softie at heart. I can't help it. But listen, I really value Gryffindor values. In life, you have to be brave. You have to be brave to go through trials and tribulations and face them dead on. If you aren't brave, you could die from all the hardships life throws at you. As a person with mild social anxiety, I had to force myself to do things that were scary since Kindergarten. I am not naturally a brave person, but I want to cultivate that value.

And when my "friends," hurt me the way that they did, I was brave. I pulled myself up. I found safety for myself. I found power and independence. I was brave enough to try to love again with new friends. Every day I have to summon bravery to let people in and that's why I am now a proud Gryffindor.

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Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Is the Boston Go Card Worth It? - A Travel Blog

I went on a family vacation recently to New England. Groupon was offering a 2 day Boston Go card for 73 dollars (regular price: $81) so I took the plunge and bought it for the fam. I believe it was worth it but you have to do your own analysis to figure out if it is worth it for you.

I wanted to use this blog post to offer some tips and ideas to consider before buying one. I also wanted to show you an itinerary on how my family used the Boston Go Card.

Parking and Transportation: The attractions in the pass are sometimes no where near each other. If you want to go to multiple places, be prepared to spend money on either 1) public transportation or 2) parking. Boston has zero free parking places so you have to be careful. This can add up your costs significantly. As you'll see in the itinerary, my family spent money parking near the Museum of Science ($11 dollars) and Skywalk Observatory ($15 dollars) for just a few hours of fun.

Also, something to consider is Boston Traffic. It is horrible. I live near New York City so I know if you try to drive to the city during rush hour, you.will.die. For some reason, this thought didn't occur to me for Boston. A lot of the attractions in the Go Card are open from 9-5 which is why I wanted to drive in by 9am. This was just a pain - we ended up coming in around 10am or even 11 - which means we missed a few hours of the pass. In the Boston Go Card, there are many "out of town" attractions like Cape Cod Cruise or Salem Witch House. Be careful, and don't underestimate how much time it will take to get there.

Look for better deals on the attractions you want to see: Check out Groupon or Goldstar or even the attraction's website. Even if the Go Card's website says an attraction is worth a certain amount, you may be able to find a better deal.

Boston, MA

My Family's Boston Go Card Itinerary:

Day 1:
We parked near Long Warf for $25 dollars.
10AM-11AM: USS Constitution Cruise ($25). This is a 45 minute cruise if you don't get off at the USS Constitution.
11AM:  New England Aquarium ($28). This place is near the USS Constitution Cruise which leaves from Long Warf. We spent an hour here just because we were dying from the sun and wanted air conditioning. We were very unlucky - there was a heat wave in Boston when we visited and the weather was warmer than where we came from even though Boston was up north! We only checked out the first floor and the penguins and sea lions were cool but I wish we had explored the other floors. Though this attraction is valued at 27.95, I don't think we got our moneys worth. We explored maybe $10 worth of the aquarium. Also, we did get to skip the line - a perk!!!
12-1PM: Lunch at Quincy Market. You gotta eat fam! The water and soda was so expensive here (3 dollars a bottle). My advice: find somewhere around the area to get your water and soda before eating.
1PM: CityView Hop-On Hop-Off Boston Trolley Sightseeing Tour: 2-Day Ticket (43.00 on website, $17 on groupon): We actually did hop and off. This was useful because we didn't have to pay for public transportation all the time. It's also nice that it was a 2 day ticket which helped us see the city both days! The website says it is 43 dollars, but Groupon was offering a one day ticket for $17 dollars so make sure to look for better deals for all these attractions. I did like the tour guides and it was nice to feel the breeze of the bus on a hot day.
1 PM to 5PM: We visited stops in the freedom trail using the bus and our feet. We got a canoli at Mike's Pastry. We visited Paul Revere House ($5) and Old State House ($10).

And then we were tired and ready to go home. But oh no, it's 5pm!! Time to drive 45 minutes to our hotel during rush hour.

Day 2:
We parked near Boston Commons for 15 dollars.
10:30ish: Swan Boats ($5): It was pretty neat going on the water and seeing the ducks. We looked around Boston Commons and Boston Public Gardens.
12: Back on the trolley. Explored Chinatown, ate snack
2pm: USS Constitution (free!): I definitly reccomend going into teh USS Constituion - it was nice to visit a free attraction.
4pm: Ate some food near Boston Commons where we parked.
5 pm - 7pm: Museum of Science ($25): This attraction was open until 7 which was very cool!!! We had to spend $11 dollars on parking (it would have been more if we had entered earlier). I wished we spent more time at this place. This is one of the few attractions that I would want to go to again. The fam got memorized at the exhibit where you learn about your body. The exhibit gives you a wristband and tracks your data as you do activities such as measure how well you walk or how big your ear is. We are very self-absorbed people - we love learning about ourselves!
7pm - 9 pm: SkyWalk Observatory ($20): This attraction was open until 10pm so we knew we could save it for last. We paid $14 dollars at the Prudential Center mall for parking (we had to validate the ticket at the gift shop though!). We were able to see hints of the sunset and also see Boston at night. I do recommend coming at day time because you can spot buildings better.

I totaled everything I bolded in dark purple.
Day 1 Total: $85
Day 2 Total: $50
Both Days Total: $135

135-73= $62 dollars in savings!

I guess it was worth it for us. But then again the Go Card made us stressed for time and see the attractions for only a brief period of time. I wish we had more time to see Museum of Science and the New England Aquarium! So maybe it wasn't exactly 62 dollars in savings. Up to you to analyze and decide!

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Friday, July 13, 2018

Twenty One Pilots Are Back With "Jumpsuit" and "Nico And The Niners"

Twenty One Pilots "Jumpsuit" and "Nico And The Niners" Review

"We've been here the whole time. You've been asleep. Time to wake up"


no, but seriously, I have been sleeping on Twenty-One Pilots while they were on break. I had no idea what their secrets clues meant. I have no idea who Clancy is. I have no idea who Dema is. I have no idea what Nico and The Niners are. I am clearly an old 25 year old FAKE fan.

I want to know what all those things are and I will do my research when I have time. But there is so much information to process that I haven't had the time.

In the meantime, I wanted to post my reactions to the song.

JUMPSUIT: I love the drumming in the beginning of the song. When the song first started, I was like, "yes!! They have delivered." I like the emotions this song evokes....the feeling of trying to get away from something that is scaring you. There are moments when you feel calm and moments you feel like screaming which this song executes perfectly. There's a moment when it gets quiet, and then the build up to Tyler's scream. LOVED IT.

The jumpsuit is supposed to represent protection. The few clues I have read about this new era is that the color yellow is supposed to protect either Tyler or Clancy? I thought that was really cool because I remember when the Heathens music video released, I was like WOAH YELLOW BLAZER. That really stood out to me.

I used to joke that Tyler is definitely going to write songs about how intense it is to get so much fame and success from their last album, Blurryface. And lookie here, I was right!! Tyler's first few words for this new era were, "I can't believe how much I hate/Pressures of a new place roll my way." They are so predictable (in a good way, of course!).

Nico and The Niners: As I've said, no idea who this nico is or these niners are! I do like the the beginning, I liked it more than Jumpsuit. It's familiar. Now that I've listen to it quite a few times, I feel like it's very similar to their previous songs...which makes it a little less original. I can hear similar reggae beats from some of their older songs. This song reminds me of Message Man for some reason. I feel like the rapping is similar here too.

"Save your razor blades - not yet." I feel like this line should have a trigger warning. It is jarring. I don't think I'm going to listen to the song as much because of it.

Nico and The Niners has a lot of call backs. It has call back to East which I believe was a clue. It has a call back to Dema, what ever that is. It even calls back to Jumpsuit! I wish this song was easier to understand if you didn't follow the clues. I actually wish that of both songs - that it was more catchier, that it had a better chorus that actually says something meaningful.

Anyway, those are just my initial thoughts. Let me know if you agree or disagree with me in the comments!!

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Monday, July 9, 2018

Hunger by Florence + The Machine, a lyrical analysis

New York has an alternative rock station now!! Though I don't follow Florence + The Machine, I do like many of their songs and when I heard Hunger playing on the radio, I was immediately impressed. It sounds so good and deep so let's analyze the lyrics!!

Hunger by Florence + The Machine, Song Meaning and Lyrical Interpretation

At seventeen, I started to starve myself
I thought that love was a kind of emptiness
And at least I understood then the hunger I felt
And I didn't have to call it loneliness

When I heard the first line, I felt so sad at the idea of Florence starving herself. That is a gut-punch opening line. Then as I listened to the rest of the song, I was like oh wait, she isn't talking about literally starving herself from food. The hunger and starvation are supposed to represent something else. Maybe she is starving herself from human connection. She was afraid of love (calling it emptiness) so she starved herself from connection.

Then I went on to see what they had to say about it. Looks like I was wrong!! Florence did have an eating disorder. That fact made me change my mind about how I interpret this stanza.

Maybe Florence thought she had to be skinny to be beautiful. Only people who are skinny can get love so "love was a kind of emptiness." The last two lines are saying, even then, she still knew her thinking was wrong. She knew, even then, that love was complex and more deep than the superficial notion.

"And I didn't have to call it loneliness," is one of my favorite lines. I still stand by my interpretation that hunger is supposed to represent that primal need for human connection. She doesn't want to call it loneliness. She doesn't want to call it an absence of human connection. Instead, she wants to call it the intense need of human connection. She is coming from a place of abundance in this way. She doesn't lack love, she is just passionate about it instead. She has a hunger for love.
Tell me what you need, oh, you look so free
The way you use your body, baby, come on and work it for me
Don't let them get you down, you're the best thing I've seen
We never found the answer but we knew one thing
We all have a hunger
Who is this stanza talking about? Sometimes, I feel like she is talking about her lover but other times I feel like she is talking about her self. Her lover's body may not be perfect but she still loves it. He or she looks free and beautiful. By seeing how she feels about her lover's body, she can also feel love for her own flawed body.  "Don't let them get you down," is saying don't let the media or society's standards of beauty get you down.

The hunger, or the primal need for love and connection, is more than the superficial
And it's Friday night and it's kicking in
And I can't dress, they're gonna crucify me
Oh, but you in all your vibrant youth
How could anything bad ever happen to you?
You make a fool of death with your beauty, and for a moment. 

The "I can't dress," may be saying she can't fit into her dress (on a night out when she is supposed to be mingling with potential mates) and now society will look down on her. But then she tells herself, she is full of so much life and hope. She should stop focusing on the superficial and take everything life has to offer in.

I thought that love was in the drugs
But the more I took, the more it took away
And I could never get enough
I thought that love was on the stage
You give yourself to strangers
You don't have to be afraid
And then it tries to find a home with people, oh, and I'm alone
Picking it apart and staring at your phone
She tried finding love in drugs and in her career but it wasn't enough.  When she does try to find love in other people, she feels alone. She feels like she has to dissect and understand it ("staring at your phone"). Instead, she just needs to understand that this need for love and connection is just as natural as literal hunger.

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Friday, July 6, 2018

Original Memes: this is so sad alexa play despacito

My Original Memes

*starts to develop feelings for someone*
this is so sad alexa play Fearless by Taylor Swift

*starts to develop feelings for someone* this is so sad alexa play Fearless by Taylor Swift

coworkers: there is a production issue
my thoughts: this is so sad alexa play despacito

coworkers there is a production issue this is so sad alexa play despacito software engineering

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Mitski's "Nobody" Music Video Explained

I'm a huge fan of Mitski ever since I discovered her when she was the opener for the Lorde Concert (Melodrama Tour). My favorite Mitski songs include, "Your Best American Girl," "Townie," and "First Love / Late Spring." Mitski recently released a new music video for her new song called, "Nobody." I think it's a very well-thought out video with a lot of creativity and symbolism so I wanted to analyze it.

Mitski's "Nobody", Music Video Meaning and Interpretation

The main theme of the song and of the music video is loneliness

The Beginning Scene References The Ending Scene

Nobody Mitski on a date with herself
Mitski on a date with herself

In the beginning, you see two Mitskis drinking a milkshake with each other. It is framed like Mitski is going on a date with herself. The main conclusion Mitski reaches towards the ending of the video is that though she thinks she has "nobody," she actually has herself. That is why at the ending, you see the words "You," the same way, "Nobody" was listed. In the picture above, the two Mitskis are looking in each others eyes and drinking from the same glass so it is an intimate feeling. Instead of lamenting on her loneliness, the music video tells Mitski that she should spend some time with herself and get to know herself better. 

The hourglass shape of the milkshake glass is also important. I believe it is alluding to how the music video is distorting time. I believe the beginning scene actually takes place AFTER the ending scene. The scene pictured above happens AFTER Mitski discovers the words, "You," on her hand, effectively teaching her that she should spend time with herself.  

Mitski Nobody magnifying glass
Mitski doesn't have nobody - she has herself!

No Faces Means No Connection

Mitski Nobody Faces
Faces are scribbled out because Mitski can't connect with other humans
No one in the music video has faces. The sitcom is shot below the neck. The waiters of the restaurant are also only seen dancing with their legs and torso. I believe Mitski not being able to see faces is symbolic of her not being able to connect with anyone. She wishes she could. If you notice her breakfast, she has arranged it in the shape of a smile because that is how much she wants that connection. 
Mitski Nobody Breakfast
The only other face in the music video

I believe watching TV is a way to get some easy, quick, but fake, connection. You see other humans on the screen who might have similar emotions and struggles as you. But it's not as real as actual human beings in real life so that's why the tv humans still don't have a face.

The World Isn't Able To Connect With Her Either

Mitski may not be to connect with others, but others aren't able to connect with her either. That is why she receives a painting of her without her face. That's how other people see her. Maybe she can't open up and show who she really is to other people. Since other people can't connect with her, they can't see her face. The arms that pop out of the wall may symbolize her self-sabotage. The arms try to rip out her face even more. Maybe Eugene Farley, the person who created the painting, wanted to connect with her. That is why he drew her. But he just couldn't draw her face because she didn't show herself fully to him. Mitski is happy someone kind of understands her enough to draw some of her so that's why she hangs the painting up with glee. 

When the arms rip out the painting, Mitski looks into the hole and sees a woman who she calls out for. I don't really understand the purpose of this woman. Maybe that woman is supposed to help her understand herself. She doesn't have black hair but you can see some black roots. Maybe this woman is Mitski in disguise. Maybe it is who Mitski is pretending to be instead of showing her real self. 

Mitski Nobody

After the painting rips, Mitski wants to call the artist. I think she does this because she wants the painting fixed or a duplicate. She wants the item that represents that at least someone understands her back. Maybe she calls Eugine so that he can tell her who she is. It doesn't go so well. The person who opens the door has Mitski's face but then it immediately gets erased. Maybe this symbolizes someone understanding her briefly and then just not being able to anymore.

Painting Mitski Is Dressed Like The Sitcom Characters

I love the attention to detail in this music video!! Mitski in the painting has the same green necklace and shirt as the lady in the sitcom!! Maybe this symbolizes Mitski trying to connect with the sitcom characters and being overly influenced by them instead. Mitski may be portraying a fake persona to the public. This fake persona is created by what she sees on TV and the media. Mitski still can't figure out who she really is on the inside. 

The Universe Gets In Her Way In Her Quest To Escape Loneliness 

The main premise of the music video is that Mitski is trying to escape her loneliness but the world prevents her from doing so. When she wakes up, half her bed runs away from her. The world is preventing her from sharing her bed with any one else. She is just supposed to be alone. Also, why is there an orange on her bed? Does anyone know the symbolism of the orange?

The world doesn't want her to connect. She can't dial the phone number to call Eugene. She can't read the mail she receives.

Another obstacle she faces is when she tries to read her diary. In order to read it, more and more cryptic clues come up. Eventually, she solves the puzzle. The "Nobody," turns into the, "You." She needs to stop focusing on how she has "nobody," and instead focus on what she does have - herself.

An inspiring message of self-love. 

What do you think Mitski's "Nobody," music video means? Let me know in the comments!! Also, what's up with the orange?!?!?!

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