One Second Everyday

I unashamedly stole everything about this video and blog post from my friend Elizabeth. She introduced me to this app last year called One Second Everyday (the lack of space between "every" and "day" is intentional, according to the app, to provide a play on words celebrating the ordinary...for those fellow grammar nerds who find it annoying, like me).

Basically, it's simple. You film one second of every day, and it compiles it for you. You are not allowed to use clips from other days, so if you forget, tough. You are allowed to put in a photo and/or caption, though, so most of the days I forgot just say something obnoxious like "oops" or "gah." 

I kind of forgot about it for a while because the app was being glitchy and I couldn't export the video, but when Elizabeth posted hers the other day, it motivated me to finish compiling and uploading it. I started on my 26th birthday (June 25, 2014) and ended on my 27th (another idea I stole from Elizabeth). Even though it was super annoying to have to keep up with, I'm glad I did it. It made me nostalgic to watch it back.

Maybe I'll do it again sometime. Maybe starting New Year's? Who knows. For now, please enjoy this compilation of my mostly-boring but sometimes-interesting life.

Jesus Hurts My Feelings

I started with Luke 12 — the part about not being anxious. I just kind of randomly turned to it, looking for something to read. I stopped on 12:32. It was something that had never stood out to me before, though I’m sure I’ve read it. It was comforting and true. Resonated in my heart.

Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

But that’s not what I'm writing about. I kept reading the rest of the chapter, and I got a little sad about the tone Jesus was using. (I know, I KNOW. Just hear me out.) 

I confess sometimes I think Jesus is a little harsh with the disciples. I want Jesus to be that kind, comforting gentleman at all times because he exists to make me feel better about life. (I'M NOT DONE YET PLEASE DON'T SMITE ME.)

Luke 12 goes from a kind, compassionate pep talk of sorts about not being afraid, to a lesson about being ready for his return and preparing to be divided from others and follow him at all costs and him setting a fire to the world. He asks them why they can predict the weather but not understand what is going on around them. He basically tells them to GET IT TOGETHER before it’s too late and they have to face the wrath of God.

It just all feels a little like he’s mad at them or something. But maybe “mad at me” is something we’ve constructed when someone hurts our feelings. Maybe we’ve established a version of love in our heads that this doesn’t match up with. And what does our human construction of love even mean? I know love is not about being nice all the time, but I figure it’s sort of a symptom at least. I’d like my husband to be nice to me at least most of the time, you know?

But maybe Jesus didn’t have time to worry about hurting our feelings. Maybe that’s not what mattered. After all, if you're inside a burning building and a fireman is yelling at you to move or shimmy or get out now, you're not going to be worried about him having hurt your feelings. It's a desperate situation -- there is no time for carefully crafted words and polite banter. You're just going to do it because you know he's trying to save you. 

Jesus understood the urgency of what was on the table -- what was at stake (OUR LIVES, btw). Not that he was ever one to care about decorum, anyway. But he knew there wasn’t time for pleasantries or puffing up our egos.

Maybe it was also excruciating to him that we didn’t see the urgency. We didn’t get it. He’s standing there going “UNDERSTAND THIS. BE READY. THIS IS NOW. LOOK ALIVE.” and we’re like Wait um, what do you mean love your neighbor? Which neighbor exactly? Because that one is kind of the worst.

And he’s like "HOW LONG O LORD!"

But seriously, in this section he says, “I came to cast fire on the earth...would that it were already kindled!"

Would that we remotely understood what the heck he was talking about all the time. Would that we had no selfish pride. Would that we were not obsessed with ourselves and what will happen to us. Would that we could see beyond our own noses and other people's opinions of us.

So yes, maybe Jesus isn’t nice all the time. Which I have to admit, hurts my feelings a little bit. He’s supposed to love me unconditionally and comfort me, isn’t He? Doesn’t that mean never hurting my feelings?

As I’m typing that I can see how ridiculous and me-centered it is, in the face of this great story that involves all of human history and the creator of the universe. This is bigger than hurting my feelings. I can see him looking into my eyes with fiery passion, holding both sides of my face and saying these things. "HERE IT IS, LAURA. THIS IS NOT A DRILL. MY TIME IS COMING AND I WON'T BE HERE TO TELL YOU THESE THINGS FACE TO FACE ANYMORE. LISTEN CLOSELY." And I'm just looking to the side like "I wonder what that Samaritan is doing at the well...he doesn't live here..." Sigh. Thank goodness he doesn't give up on us, right?

There is more at stake that we could ever know. And I think Jesus understood that.

Sophia Grace Drops a Bomb, Goes Street

I’ve been thinking to myself lately, ‘man, I really need to write a blog post,’ and then…and then the Internet blessed me with this gem:

I have so many feelings.

First of all, IT’S HAPPENING. As soon as Beats and KMart were like, hey we want to make a music video, Sophia Grace was like DEUCES ROSIE I don’t need no hype woman no mo’ and just like that, she was gone.

But it did get us this youtube comment, which might be the best one I’ve ever seen:

Screen Shot 2015-01-07 at 7.44.23 AM

Second of all, which one of these girls in the video is your best friend? Are they all auditioning? Is that runway scene a test? I’m a proponent of the Mindy Kaling “Best Friend is a tier, not a person” philosophy, but the song is very clearly about one individual. You gotta pick a lane, SG. Sure, these girls might just be humoring you to be in a music video and glomming off your newfound fame but no matter. This is your life now that you ditched your FAMILY and took on a life of luxury and fake gang signs.

Third of all, THAT RAP. I don’t know whether to be embarrassed or impressed.

Fourth of all, I don’t know what to do with the feeling that I actually kind of like it and it’s still stuck in my head from 15 minutes ago when I watched it.

Fifth of all, KMart, just give it a rest. It’s okay. You had a good run. Just go home.

What do you think? Is this the best or the worst thing ever?

Feelings and Gifs and Spotify

Subtitle: WAIT YOU HAVEN'T HEARD THE WHOLE THING YET DON'T WALK AWAY I know there are going to be 8,000 posts (minimum) about Spotify this week and even more opinions. I realize that I’m probably just adding to the noise, and I realize that I am not an expert.

But I just have a lot of feelings about this, okay? Feelings. And what is a blog if not a place to share feelings?

(I added gifs to make this more interesting for people like Jamie.)

My husband is a musician, and I went to Belmont University. I was a music business major for three years before I got my act together and realized hey, I don’t really like this accounting stuff, and changed to public relations. At least half of my friends are musicians, whether professional or semi-professional or make-EPs-for-fun. I say this not to claim to be any sort of authority on the topic, but to say that I have a vested interest in it.

If you haven’t read it yet, here is Spotify’s response to Taylor Swift pulling her catalog from Spotify.

I have a lot of issues with this argument.

The main issue, though, is that this person is trying to argue that because people are going to be stealing music anyway, this is actually a good thing for artists and songwriters. It’s the lesser of two evils. They’re actually helping artists and songwriters by getting people to pay for their music at all. Basically, artists should be thanking Spotify. (Editorializing, of course.)

Let me be clear — I’m not against the existence of Spotify. There’s a market for it, obviously, and I understand why. I use it from time to time to check out an artist. But let’s not act like Spotify is dedicated to the art of music or that they’re doing musicians some big favor.

People were pissed that Taylor pulled her library. I get that. It was there, and she took it away. But it’s not about the money for her (obviously). She’s making a point. And yeah, maybe nothing will change. But at least the discussion is happening. And unless bigger artists like her start talking about it, no one will. A smaller singer-songwriter can pull his or her catalog, but no one will notice. I mean, the fans will notice, but the media won’t.

And if you can’t go without Taylor’s music (I am part of that demographic — no shame), buy. it. Use the money you earned and say, hey, I value this music enough to make a small sacrifice in exchange for it. [Side Note: I know we live in a culture of entitlement, but guys — sometimes you can’t get everything you want. If you have 20 dollars, you can choose two albums to buy. And it means you value those the most because it cost you something to get them. I don’t know. I just don’t really buy the angle that we should be able to have access to All The Music for a small fee simply because we want it.]

I also don’t buy the exposure angle as a perk. If you’re a writer or a creator of any kind, you know that at a certain point, offering things for free or cheap devalues your talent. Sure, if you’ve never written anything for anyone before, offer it for free to get practice. But if you continue to do that, you’re saying you’re not worth paying for. Blogs and websites do this all the time — ask people to write things for free in the name of “exposure.” Guys. Exposure is not compensation. Yes, it’s something, but it’s not the same.

The radio thing. Streams on Spotify does not equal radio play in a practical sense. That was one of the main examples in his argument. Yes, on the free mobile app you can’t control the songs, and that’s more like radio. But the paid subscription is not. The paid subscription is in place of buying the actual albums you’re listening to. It’s on demand. Pandora is like radio. In that way I don’t mind using Pandora because I’m never going to use it as a replacement for buying music. It would make no sense. Again, I’m not saying if you use Spotify you’re a terrible person, but just that this argument doesn't super hold up.

Finally, the main point of the blog is the $2 billion. Stop throwing that number around like it’s some big deal. I’m willing to bet that most of that money is going to huge artists. Which is fine. It should. But the remainder accounts for ALL the artists that are on Spotify. All of them. Millions of them. Again, I’m not even trying to argue about what to pay the artists. I’m just saying, don’t act like you’re paying each artist a million dollars or something like that. Because you’re not. I have friends who have their music on Spotify, and they are not millionaires.

Not my friends.

I think the whole thing is just patronizing. Like, “you should be grateful you’re making any money at all!”

Just because Spotify is better than piracy doesn’t make it beneficial to artists. That’s all I’m trying to say.

What do you think? (Please be kind because remember I have a lot of feelings.)

An Amateur Dissertation on Marriage and Pop Culture

I wrote this in response to an episode of The Popcast, run by my friends Jamie and Knox. No one asked me to write a 1200 word essay and beam it into their inbox, but I did it anyway. Bless their hearts. I don't know why they tolerate me. Anyway, what follows is what I am calling a dissertation, which I wrote in an attempt to sort out my whirlwind of thoughts slinging around in my head while I listened to the podcast episode. It's one of those things I wrote quickly -- you know in that way when your fingers can't move as fast as the words that are pouring out of your brain -- so if there are loopholes, there are loopholes. Hence the word "amateur" in the title. But I kind of like talking about this, so if you have any additional thoughts or "but wait--"s, bring it on.

Okay, enough disclaimers. Here are my thoughts regarding marriage and whether it can be accurately represented in pop culture -- TV, movies, celebrities or otherwise -- and whether or not age makes a difference in readiness for marriage.


So here’s the thing about marriage: it makes no sense whatsoever.

Seriously. If you think about it, binding two human beings together with different feelings and preferences and dreams and fears together for their entire lives seems kind of insane. I mean yes, weddings and fairytales are great and all that but really, the institution of marriage itself—it’s crazy.

I’m not really sure why anyone would stay married, or get married at all, unless they had a greater reason to do so. For me, there’s a greater reason. Whether I realized it or not when I said “I do,” (I was having a moderate panic attack at the time so I’m fairly certain I nothing but “please don’t let me pass out in these red high heels” was running through my mind but that’s neither here nor there), there is something bigger than my husband or me holding this thing together. There’s something bigger than us giving us a reason to keep fighting, to not just up and leave rooms when having discussions, to not walk away, to dig through the conversations and all the emotions until we arrive at a place where, even if there is no solution, we at least SEE each other.

That doesn’t happen on T.V.

It’s hard to try to find a marriage reflected on T.V. that reflects what I think marriage should strive to look like, because most of them are not based on the same grid as mine. I see my marriage and marriage in general through a frame of Jesus. So all my views are colored by that.

If you’re not a Christian, honestly, to go back to my first point, I have no idea why you would get married. Again: the institution itself makes. no. sense. I guess if you just want someone to load the dishwasher the wrong way and snore too loudly and sit next to you watching TV shows you may or may not agree on for the rest of your life, which I suppose isn’t bad, but you can do that without getting up in front of people, (potentially even at a church, which again doesn’t make sense to me if you’re not a believer) filling out paperwork and vowing to live with the same person forever.

But if you are a Christian, 1) marriage is meant to refine you, sanctify you, make you more like Jesus (TRUST ME you find out real quick you’re not the saint you thought you were) and 2) marriage is meant to be a picture of Christ and the church to the rest of the world. Marriage is meant to show the world what grace and sacrificial love look like. To make people wonder what is different about us.

I don’t know why you wouldn’t just throw in the towel and say ‘eff this noise, this junk is hard’ if you weren’t a Christian. But if you are, you can say, ‘ok, self, this person is God’s perfect provision for me — not a perfect person, but the person I (and God — in a mystery I don’t quite understand — free will vs sovereignty and all that) chose and made a commitment to in front of God and all our loved ones. We promised God we would stick this out. That we would be partners. That we would love one another wholly — not in a 50/50 compromise kind of way (which most T.V. shows seem to tout as a healthy relationship), but 100% sacrificially. So I’m going to go back in that room and we’re going to talk about our feelings, DANG IT.’ And you can do that because you know the other person isn’t going to walk out the door at the first sign of trouble or discord because they made the same promise as you did — to stay.

This is why an example-worthy marriage is not represented on T.V. It’s barely even represented in real life — if there is no basis of Jesus, I don’t know how you could even begin to represent what marriage should look like. Marriage was invented by God, after all, and a wedding is a religious ceremony but LET’S NOT GO THERE, shall we?

The closest we get on T.V. is Tami and Eric Taylor (Friday Night Lights if you've been living under a rock--and if so stop reading this immediately and go start the pilot on Netflix), and Kristina and Adam Braverman (Parenthood). And the main reason why is simply because their marriages are full of grace. They mess up and they forgive one another. Over and over. They’re a team, no matter what. Their marriage is the priority, even over their children when it comes down to it, and they fight for it. That’s not the norm for our culture. Or celebrities, which is why I also don’t include celebrity marriages in my list of role models. Like, you guys go ahead and get married in Italy and have your kids’ ugly drawings sewn on your veil by blind nuns or whatever but don’t expect me to act like this is something I’m supposed to believe is the pinnacle of commitment and unconditional love.

ABOUT THE AGE THING: I think even though I was young when I got married (22), I at least understood that I was making a commitment. A choice. The whole reason I decided I was okay with getting married after all my “but how do I KNOW if he’s THE ONE?”-ing was that I was taught by a wiser person that it’s not about “The One,” it’s about making a commitment. They are “The One” simply due to the fact that you are marrying them. That makes them The One. You chose them. You said, 'yes, I am going to commit to this person for life and fight for our relationship no matter what.' I think I at least understood that on some level. Plus, I’m a commitment type of gal. I like consistency and I tend to pick people and stick with them in all areas of life.

So I think age doesn’t matter as long as you understand that you’re not just "taking the next step” — you’re making a commitment. You’re vowing to God and to the other person to stick with them, be on their team, have grace for them and love them unconditionally to the best of your ability, despite any difficult circumstance, for the rest of your life.

Again, I don’t think that would truly resonate with you unless you are a believer. Otherwise you just kind of take a leap based on your feelings and hope for the best. Fingers crossed, hoping you won’t “end up divorced.” Of course there are always extenuating circumstances. I’m not saying Christians should never ever get divorced. I’m just saying we should fight for marriage rather than give up on it.

And, in my opinion, couples on T.V. give up too easily. I have watched Joel Graham walk out of a room in a huff on Julia Braverman about 800 times this season of Parenthood (5)* and that’s not an option after only 3 minutes of talking. I’m sorry. It’s just not.

TL; DR: 1) You can’t separate a healthy marriage from Christianity and the ideals it represents, in my opinion, and this is why it is not represented in pop culture generally. and 2) I got married young but I understood the whole commitment thing so I think as long as you understand that, age doesn’t matter.

What do you think? Can a healthy marriage be truthfully represented in pop culture? Do you think age matters when it comes to getting married?

*I was still on season 5 when I wrote this.


P.S. Subscribe to The Popcast. You'll laugh, you'll yell at your car stereo, you'll sigh exasperated sighs. It's great. 

Is Beyonce Big Brother?: A Reflection on the VMAs

I watched the VMAs last night. I wasn’t planning on it; it just happened. I follow Taylor Swift on Twitter (who doesn’t?) and she was tweeting adorable pictures like this and I felt like, as a self-proclaimed pop culture aficionado, I should be aware of whatever was going on last night. I mean, what if there was another twerk-gate and I missed it completely? What kind of American would that make me? So I realized it was about to be on, turned the channel from Doctor Who (Vincent and the Doctor never gets old, you guys), and braced myself.

The VMAs are about as prestigious as the Dundees, but sometimes you get some good performances out of them.

Last night’s Video Music Awards (which doesn’t even make any sense. Why is it not Music Video Awards? Ugh. Kids.) were all about Beyonce.

Sure, Jessie J and Ariana Grande and Sam Smith all killed it, T-swizzle’s performance was super fun, but it was all leading up to the longest medley ever, performed by none other than Queen B.

Guys, I love Beyonce. I do. I’m getting a little tired of her nonsensical R&B songs with no real chorus but whatever. She’s Beyonce. I’m giving her a pass for a year or so.

Her medley, therefore, was about 80 percent boring, 10 percent 'Drunk In Love' and 10 percent 'XO.' I…I actually turned it off during her medley (NO WAIT BEYGENCY I DVR’D IT AND FINISHED IT LATER OK?). And I never turn off a Beyonce performance. I’m just saying, it was boring for at least the first 45 minutes. Oh, it was only a 10 minute performance? Huh.

Toward the end (when it started getting interesting) home videos of her, Blue and Jay Z scrolled by on the screen behind her looking all family-like and cute.

And Her Royal Highness Blue Ivy Carter was IN the audience you guys. She was THERE. (Let me just tell you, she could wipe the floor with North West the Person.*)

Jay Z and Blue Ivy came up to present Beyonce the Vanguard Award which is some kind of lifetime achievement award or something that has a legacy of like, four whole years, that MTV is trying to make a thing to prove they can be serious even though the commercials were half for condoms and half trailers for awful, and I mean, truly, truly awful low-budget teen dramas. But it’s adorable that they try.

The thing with Beyonce is, I know I’m being manipulated emotionally. I know that. Do you think I haven’t connected the dots that amid rumors of divorce she’s showing adorable home videos and bringing her whole family, one of whom she rarely posts full-face photos of, to a meaningless award show where for some reason Jay Pharoah is still trying to make his Jay Z impression happen (even though Jay Z is actually there)?

No. I know I’m being manipulated emotionally, but it’s like I don’t even care. I’m enjoying it.

I mean LOOK AT BLUE IVY. Look at that gold dress and her little afro with a barrette in it and her calling Beyonce ‘mommy.’ Look at her do the single-ladies hand:

Am I the only one just now realizing Kelly was there? #poormichelle 

Beyonce might be Big Brother. I’m not really sure. It’s probably a logical conclusion. She’s controlling the popular opinion of an entire country, maybe even the world. If she told us to go to war with like, England, in the name of Blue Ivy because like Prince George hurt her feelings or something, you don’t think we would be all over that? You don’t think Barack and Michelle owe her a favor or two?

I’m getting off track. I’m just saying that all you need to know about the VMAs is that in lieu of anyone taking mics from Taylor Swift or defiling a foam finger, we got like 20 minutes of Beyonce brainwash. And I’m not sure I’m even mad about it.

What was your favorite part? (I mean really. HOW much did Jessie J kill it?)

*Trademark Suri’s Burn Book

Remember Well.

Anyone who knows me fairly well will know that I am a forgetful person. I attribute it to the fact that I am a big-picture person rather than a details person, so sometimes the little things fall through the cracks. In high school and for a while in college I wrote things on my hand so I wouldn’t forget. (Was this a 90’s-early 00’s thing? Do kids still do this? No, they have iPhones? Oh.) It was useful but I began running out of real estate, so I got a planner in college. Eventually I upgraded to a smart phone and that smart phone has a reminders app on it and a calendar with alert settings — a forgetful person’s dream. I’ve gotten a lot better (shhhh, Craig), especially in terms of a work environment. To-do lists are my best friends and I’ve done enough event planning at this point that, in certain environments, I AM the details person. I know. Just go with it.

As helpful as it would be to always remember that thing I was supposed to bring to work or to NOT lock my freshman year roommate out of our dorm room when she's gone to take a shower on more than one occasion (sorry, Christine), I'm finding there are a few more important things to make sure I remember.

Lately I've been thinking, so much of faith is simply remembering.

Remembering who God is. Remembering what he has done. Remembering who you are in light of who he is and what he has done.

Remember well, and your faith will go stronger.

It’s hard to remember when you’re in the thick of it. I get that. I’ve been there…a lot. When you’re overwhelmed or you’re devastated or you’re frustrated, it’s difficult to remember how much you are loved and how Christ has overcome it all. It’s tough to remember that you belong to Him and that he suffered and died on your behalf and conquered death all in the same week — for you. I struggle to remember how powerful and great God is and that he has gone before me and he is with me always, even ’til the end of the age.

As I previously stated, I’m not great at remembering. In the spirit of writing things on my hand to help me remember, I recently got some words permanently written on my arm.

tattoo remember well

As someone who has struggled with anxiety and fear, this verse means a lot to me: "I said these things to you that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble, but take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

When I look at my arm I am reminded to take heart. He has overcome the world.

Remember well — who He is. Who you are. What he has done. And keep it in mind while pressing ahead. To me, that’s faith.

Baby Mendes-Gosling

1404930039_eva-mendes-ryan-gosling-article Where were you when you heard the news? (Apologies if it's where you're sitting right now.)

I was just sitting in my work chair, minding my own business, scrolling through my Twitter feed, when I noticed Elan Gale (one of the producers of The Bachelor/ette — haters to the left) say something sarcastic about Ryan Gosling regurgitating food into the mouth of Eva Mendes’ child, which I thought was strange, but so are most things Elan Gale tweets (and NSFW, just a heads up). I kept scrolling and saw another post from Elan, this time with an accompanying photo stating “RYAN GOSLING IS HAVING A BABY WITHOUT YOU.”

Wait a second. Ryan Gosling is going to be a FATHER?

A Google search of "Ryan Gosling" later, and wait TWO seconds. Ryan Gosling is going to be a father to the child of EVA MENDES, who is decidedly NOT Rachel McAdams? Is there no justice in the world?

I’m appalled on Rachel’s behalf. How DARE he procreate with anyone other than his Canadian-match-made-in-heaven. Who does he think he is? Those babies would have been PRECIOUS. I mean, have all the fun you want with whoever, but when you were ready to settle down, RYAN, you were supposed to go back to Rachel. EVERYONE KNOWS THAT. For the record, I didn't even know Ryan Gosling was dating Eva Mendes. That's how little I care about him dating anyone other than Rachel McAdams. Eva Mendes had better watch her back. Did you see Red Eye? Rachel's feisty. And so is America when you mess with our celebrity couple dreams.

Aside from The Rachel Betrayal, I’m simply a concerned citizen. I mean LOOK AT THIS PAIR. Will this baby be too pretty to even exist? Will it just shine like the light of a million suns wherever it goes to the point that no one can even look directly at it?

Is this an experiment to see if it’s scientifically possible to create The Most Beautiful Child in All of History or if it’s just like magnets and two really pretty people’s genes just repel each other and the baby ends up resembling a space alien more than anything else?

I can’t believe there are still people on my Twitter feed talking about the World Cup. There is going to be a human walking around who is half Ryan Gosling and half Eva Mendes.

I just can’t.

Leave your condolences for Rachel and angry rants for Ryan below.


The Everglow (Or, 'Deuces, I'm Going to Philadelphia')

mae pic 1

This is me, circa 2005.

The fact that that was nearly 10 years ago weirds me out. I don't want to talk about it.

But what is significant about this photo is not the fact that it was my first QuikTrip experience after being told several times it is The Gas Station to End All Gas Stations. (That’s true, by the way.) It’s the shirt I’m wearing.

One of my best friends brought it back for me from Warped Tour (oh, 2005). I’m wearing it because I went to see the band that night — Mae, the makers of what might just be my favorite album of all time: The Everglow.

I’m not saying it’s critically acclaimed or was robbed of a Grammy nomination or that Mae should have been the next Coldplay or U2. I’m just saying it’s very near and dear to my heart.

I’m not sure if it’s the time period in which I listened to it most, or the actual songs — most likely some combination of both — but as that hammer strikes that piano string — the first, deep, bellowing note of “We’re So Far Away" — I feel content. It’s partly nostalgia, I admit, but partly just a beautiful song.

The Everglow is kind of like a storybook. The cover art is childlike and whimsical, and the album begins and ends with a little narration opening and closing the story. It’s a journey, led by a fearless trio of piano and guitar and a nasal-y misunderstood 20-something. It’s happy and sad and beautiful and hilariously dramatic, as all “emo” bands are. The Everglow is best as a whole.

You probably think I’m being ridiculous. It’s an album made by a group signed to Tooth & Nail Records in 2005. They wore black and probably girls jeans (this was before the days of skinny jeans) and performed at Warped Tour.

But for me, The Everglow is a piece of my heart. It’s one of the only albums I go back to over and over again.

I own the real-live CD, but it had gotten too scratched up from months on rotation in my car CD player (I didn’t have one of those fancy 6-cd-changers) and then traveling from dorm room to apartment to townhouse throughout college. When I realized it skipped far too many times to be listenable anymore, I broke down and re-bought it on iTunes a few years ago. It’s the only album I’ve paid for twice.

I still enjoy it now as much as I did as a senior in high school and listen to it on the reg. If I’m stressed, or I can’t think of anything else to listen to, or I just need something happy, I go to this album.

This post was prompted by the fact that Mae is doing a tour starting in 2015 in which they will perform The Everglow top to bottom. I KNOW I KNOW. I can’t wait. Because I am going. Even if I have to fly to Philadelphia, which is one of only three dates they have released so far.

Everglow Tour

Everyone has an album like this, right? What’s yours?

The Pink 'Crazy Cat Lady' Mug

Today is May 26, 2014. Memorial Day. I’m not at work. Instead, I’m sitting at my desk, in a yellow room, in our first house, peering out a window with the blinds pulled up about 14 inches — just enough for the orange cat I’ve come to love more than I ever thought I could to sit on the sill. I’m drinking warm coffee from a pink mug emblazoned with the moniker “Crazy Cat Lady.”

I love this mug. I love it because it is the perfect size to drink from so that my coffee doesn’t get cold before I finish it (and then I can fill it up again). I love it because it is a semi-ironic description of someone I never thought I’d be, but have certainly become. But most of all, I love it because it was given to me by someone I hadn’t known very long, simply because she saw it and thought of me.

She probably didn’t know it, but she gave it to me at a time when I needed to feel significant. Loved. And that gift did exactly that. “You matter,” it says.

I don’t really know what the point of this post is, other than just to say, this morning, I am content. It is hardly ever the case, but right now, in this moment, I have it. I believe that I have all I will ever need.

It’s always true. I always have all that I will ever need, because the God of all creation loves me personally and deeply and cares about my individual thoughts and feelings. And he is sovereign. But I don’t usually believe all that, all at once.

So I just want to put a stamp on this day — this morning. May 26, 2014. Drinking from my “you matter” coffee mug, listening to the dishwasher run, knowing I am loved by a sweet husband who right now is out loving people and being charming while selling the best peaches on earth, watching my cat peer out the window as if he is the sentinel outside a castle who decides whether or not to let the drawbridge down, writing in peace.

Annnnd the dog next door just started barking as if the sky is falling and he’s the only one who can warn us. More coffee, please.

Oh, and by the way, if no one has told you today -- you matter.

5 Reasons Why You Should Be Watching 'Orphan Black'

orphan black If you follow me on Twitter, you may know that the show Orphan Black (BBC America) is one of my lastest obsessions (unless you muted me, in which case, I understand -- I talk a lot).

As a fan of shows like Sherlock and Doctor Who, I hear whispers of new BBC-related shows every now and again. Sometimes they're more like stage whispers. Inches from my face.

I kept hearing about Orphan Black, and as the title sounds terrifying, I didn't think I would like it. My husband wanted to give it a shot, so I committed to watching one episode on the condition that we would turn it off if it got too scary (usually a condition in our household).

Y'all. That pilot.

I had no idea what the show was about. Zero concept. I just blindly watched the first episode -- and it won me over immediately. So here are some reasons you should be watching Orphan Black:

1) The concept. The basic premise is that a woman stumbles upon the fact that she is one of who-knows-how-many clones by meeting people that look exactly like her. Only with different hair, personalities, and lifestyles. And they’re being killed, one way or another. It’s a very interesting concept to me. Here they are, 28-ish years after the experiment, trying to piece together who cloned them, why, and why/if they are in danger.

2) Tatiana freaking Maslany. I mean, you guys. She plays about 8 characters so far — they’re clones, remember — and I literally forget it is the same person. I was watching an interview with a few of the cast members, and the host asked one of the love interests and, assumably, the person who plays the other character, about the chemistry between the two. I actually had the thought, “wait, but she’s not there…” and then Tatiana Maslany started talking, and I remembered she plays the character. Like every other character. She is insanely talented. Plus, the way they make it so seamless as she acts in a scene with THREE of herself, and even touches them or hugs them, is just ridiculous.

3) The characters in the show are round, not flat. They’re all complex. They have good and bad within them — they’re all flawed. Some you root for more than others, obviously, but they all make terrible decisions in one way or another, even if they’re protagonists. You also never know whose side the secondary characters are on. Are they trying to protect the clones? Are they being forced to do something against their will? Are they lying to pretend they know nothing about the experiment or were they in on it all along? It’s almost impossible to know with most of the characters, and I love it. They aren’t aligned as “good” or “bad.” Everyone has their own individual agenda and goals, and they don’t always fit nicely into one side or the other, which makes it even more exciting.

4) The cliffhangers -- but not like, in a Scandal sort of way. In fact, I think this show could easily beat up Scandal in a fight. Which is why I have all but abandoned Scandal altogether a few episodes into season 3 (there's only so much quivering and idiot Fitz I can handle). This is why you will watch the first season (10 episodes) in less than a week. I mean, unless you have a life, I guess. Almost every aspect that’s revealed leads to more questions. The show isn’t hard to follow, but you do have to pay attention. You’ll be reworking the episode in your head the next morning trying to sort through all the new information. I think if you wake up thinking about it the next morning, it’s usually a good show.

5) Thrilling, but not too scary or depressing. There are definitely moments that will have you biting your nails, but nothing is so intense you won’t be able to sleep. It’s a fine line, and I have to walk it delicately or I’ll be up for days.

In conclusion, just watch the pilot. If you’re not hooked then, I don’t know what to tell you, because I was hooked within the first three minutes. The first season is on Amazon Prime, and the second season is airing now on BBC America. (We DVR’d a marathon on BBC America to watch season 1, so that might also be an option for you if there is one coming up.)

Do it, you guys. TATIANA MASLANY. (Just watch an interview with her and you'll want to be her best friend. Plus she was in a Lonely Island digital short this past week, too. I mean, come on.)

Have you watched Orphan Black? If so, what do you think? If not, what’s your latest TV obsession?

Things I Now Have to Worry About

There has been a lot of disturbing news floating around lately. Things I did not really need to know. Frightening things. In the spirit of catharsis, thought I'd take a minute to get some of my feelings out about them. (I have many. Shocking, I know.) Exploding whales - This is a legitimate news story in which a real live person said that it might be an actual concern that some beached whales could explode. EX. PLODE. Whale guts everywhere. IMAGINE THE SMELL. Burnt whale guts. I'm just saying, I'm right to be fearful of this situation, yes? I mean, okay, I live in a land-locked state. But just the fact that this could happen in real life is enough to cause concern. I do, however, think this would do well as the next Sharknado. Send me a royalty check if you create it.

Falling INTO a potentially-explosive whale - In what scenario am I walking so close to a beached whale that I might just trip and fall in? I’ve just been informed that they may explode. I think I’ll keep my distance. But just for the sake of argument, say I do fall INTO a whale. I’m not sure what I would even do. Gag, probably. But after that. Can I scream for help? Is anyone else close enough by to help me or are they respecting the beached whale’s personal space like a sensible human being? Is there cell service inside a whale? How am I getting out of this situation? If it’s anything like the cartoons (which this scenario totally is), hopefully I’d have a little stick with a white banner tied to it I could pull out of my pocket and wave out the whale’s mouth, and someone would see it and try to pull me out 20 different ways as hilarity ensued. Anyway. Don’t go near beached whales, you guys. They might explode and/or swallow you.

Sinkholes - This is not a recent development, but ever since the Nashville flood in 2010, I have become increasingly aware of the earth’s ability to simply GIVE WAY beneath me, causing me to plummet into a crater. This is not okay. I pay good money to live on this earth, and I will not have it collapsing under my feet. It’s completely unnerving to know I could just be walking down the sidewalk and end up in a 10-foot deep ditch. Though I guess it would be better than a whale’s intestines.

Volcanic islands eating my island. (If I had an island.) - That’s right — islands can now eat other islands. So sleep well tonight, Hawaii. I just think it's a shame that I could work really hard to write the next great American novel and get rich enough to buy my own island and then another island could just come up and eat it before I even get a chance to set up my hammock. Rude.

Goblin sharks - No. Just no. Sharks are frightening enough without having to look like they came out of Tim Burton’s nightmares. And of course this happened in Florida. Can we just make them secede already? Pass around a petition? Sure, it would give us an uneven number of states, but at least we could round off the bottom right corner and be a little more symmetrical. They’re only bringing us down, America.

Test tube meat - First of all, is this not what SPAM is? Second of all, what if the genetic modification somehow goes wrong and it learns to survive on its own? What if it becomes self-aware and starts trying to contribute to society and get a driver's license and stuff? What if the scientists get drunk on power and success and clone the live-meat specimens and assign monitors to them and one goes rogue and starts killing them all like in Orphan Black? I'm just saying maybe there's a better way to use our time, SCIENCE.

Capsizing ferries - Aren’t ferries supposed to be buoyant enough to carry SEVERAL vehicles and only move at like 4 miles an hour? The fact that one capsized does not make me feel great about visiting the Statue of Liberty any time soon.

All that to say, there is a lot of ridiculous things going on around here. I'm going to choose to ignore them all and watch cat videos instead.

What's the scariest and/or craziest news you've heard lately? Are you concerned about sink holes or exploding whales?

Disclaimer: it is entirely possible that my understanding of these news stories from reading the first few paragraphs may include flawed logic or misapplied scientific theories. I would not recommend using this post as a source for your biology or econ final, but I'm also not the boss of you.

Connie Britton, U.N. Ambassador (Or: "OMG YES")



I found out a couple weeks ago that Connie Britton is going to be a United Nations goodwill ambassador.

For once, yes. If anyone is going to be the one American on a list of 10 celebrity UN goodwill ambassadors from around the world, there is no one better than Connie Britton. A person representing us on a global stage we can actually be proud of. Not Dennis Rodman, self-proclaimed ambassador to North Korea aka Kim Jong Un’s new BFF. Connie Britton. Connie “The most beautiful hair on the planet can I please touch it just once” Britton. THE Tami Taylor. Mrs. Coach.

I, for one, fully support this. I’d like to request that she speak in a southern accent when she does so, because it throws me off when I hear her use her boring REGULAR accent, but y’know, I guess she can do whatever she feels is right for the nations. Maybe just call people “y’all” every once in a while is all I’m saying. They’ll be putty in your hands.

Seriously. If Connie Britton went out to places like Syria or the Crimean peninsula and stood between the two opposing sides and just said “Come on, y’all. You’re better than this,” I don’t think we’d have any more wars. Actually, if you brought in Kyle Chandler aka Coach Taylor after that to give them a speech about character and what being a man really is, I think everyone would just go home. And maybe form an American football team.

Iran getting touchy? Send in Connie. Putin being crazypants? Get Connie on a plane. It’s a valid suggestion, you have to admit.

Anyway, in conclusion, Tami Taylor 4 President 2016. (To be clear, I would require that she run as the character of Tami Taylor. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.)

What do you think of this decision? Who else do you think would be a great U.N. goodwill ambassador?

In Memoriam: Gwyneth and Chris

1389635271_chris-martin-gwyneth-paltrow-article You guys, I come to you with a heavy heart today.

Two of our own have called it quits. (By "our own" I mean celebrities we lay claim to, of course.)

One Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Martin have decided to go their separate ways. That's right, Gwis (Chwyneth?) is no more.*

I, for one, am shocked.

Well, okay, not completely shocked. They are celebrities. But they were some of the last remaining celebrities married for over 10 years (according to my sources, which, in this case is solely my memory). Is nothing sacred?

What about APPLE, you guys? Did anyone ever think of her? First, her parents name her Apple and somehow legitimize all this nonsense celebrity baby naming, now this? Life is not going so great for ol' Apple. How will her friends ever get backstage passes to Coldplay concerts again? What will Suri's Burn Book say? What will people whisper when she has relationship troubles in the future? "The apple doesn't fall far from the tree?" (THANK YOU I'M HERE ALL NIGHT YOU'RE A GREAT AUDIENCE)

Gwyneth must have done this. I'm not sure how. I'm not sure when. Maybe when she started a website called Goop and Chris had no choice but to roll his eyes. Maybe when she decided to go on Glee and Chris once again had no choice but to make fun of her. She brought this on Apple and little Moses by provoking Chris to cause tension in her marriage. Probably. I don't really know, but it just seems like something she would do. I may have been influenced by pop culture telling me to hate Gwyneth Paltrow. I can't be certain. (What I am certain about is that I will never spell her name right on the first try.)

I am genuinely disappointed though. Don't they know we have a stake in this? Why would they do this to us? Shouldn't we have a vote? When the remaining hope of lasting celebrity marriages rests on your shoulders, you can't just call it quits without holding a referendum. Or at least a Facebook poll. You need to know where your constituents stand before you just go around making rash decisions.

Anyway, I guess all I have to say is, Godspeed, dear Apple. May you avoid those worms and, unlike your parents, find someone to make you the perfect pear. (Like...pair...get it? I slay me.) I will be waiting for your tell-all book.

And Beyonce and Jay Z, don't you dare even think about it.

Are you sad about the breakup? Which celebrity couple do you want to make it the long haul? 

SIDE NOTE: I just realized their daughter's name is Apple Martin. If you add but one letter it becomes Apple Martini. I'm sure there's a joke in there but come on, guys, I can't do all the work.

*The fact that they don't have a feasible celebrity couple name is also Gwyneth's fault.

Calm Down, Lady Gaga.

lady-gaga-sxsw-keynote-1024x830 Lady Gaga was at SXSW last weekend, and apparently went on some kind of angsty tirade about how she'd rather quit music than conform to the industry's standards of beauty and blah blah blah. She goes on to say that she doesn't want to be compared to Katy Perry and doesn't get what the [bleep] Katy has to do with her and that their music couldn't be more different.

Listen, Lady Gaga.

Can we just slow your roll for a minute?

You've had your turn. Really, it's been fun. You've had your meat dress; you've had your public "hangings" and your political statements. We humored you that one time you dressed up like a man dating yourself and both attended an award show AND accepted an award on your own behalf as that persona.

So don't try to act like we're all trying to bring you down and judging you. Literally nothing you could do would shock us anymore. Trust me, it's not that.

I mean I liked "Poker Face" and "Bad Romance" as much as the next girl but, hate to break it to you, kid, maybe your songs just aren't quite as good anymore. It's not 2008. It's 2014.

And maybe now we like Katy Perry better, okay? Maybe you should hush your mouth about Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson because since when does wearing a cupcake bra make her more sexualized by the industry than you, who is nearly naked almost every time we see you? When you write a song as catchy as "Roar," you can talk to us about your problems with Katy Perry. YEAH I SAID IT. "Roar" is better than "Applause." Yup. That’s right; I'm controversial (if only a few months late).

SIDE NOTE: your songs could be more different than Katy Perry's. They could be like...instrumental soundscapes played with only PVC pipes. Or, y'know, death metal. But they aren’t. They are synth-driven pop songs. Just like Katy’s.

You also said that when people try to make you look pretty (are they? Is anyone really trying to tell you what you should look like at this point?), you just want to look ugly instead because you're rebellious. (For the record, when you say "I'm rebellious" I think that disqualifies you as being rebellious. Just like saying "I'm classy" or marketing something as "fashion jewelry." If you have to say it, it's probably not true.) Are we fourteen years old, here? Are we now making decisions JUST to be going against the perceived grain you think society is projecting on you? Ugh.

So let's just calm down with the rage rants, okay, Stefani? Lose the 'tude.

You wear all the coffee filter and trash bag dresses you want. You keep on doing you, wearing scary teeth and trying to make dreadlocks happen, making sub-par pop music and experimenting with using real blood on stage or whatever it is you do in your spare time. It's cool, really. I'm not saying you have to stop those things. I'm just saying don't act like the world is trying to oppress you and make you into this bubblegum pop star. We literally could not care less what you do with your life. But don't be surprised if we just stay over here where the a capella covers of "Let It Go" overflow like the land of milk and honey and I'm still listening to Taylor Swift's "22" on repeat.

P.S. Sorry if this was harsh. I just really like Katy Perry.

Who do you think is better, Katy Perry or Lady Gaga?

Excuses (And Links to Things I HAVE Been Writing)

I realize I have been slacking around here. It's not you, it's me. Really.

And probably the fact that I started watching Veronica Mars and can't seem to go a lunch break without watching an episode.

So in order to provide proper justification for my whereabouts lately, as I'm sure you were demanding, here are some things I have been writing.

If you haven't noticed, my friend Elizabeth and I have been writing about coffee shops over at (aptly named) Coffee Shoppers. Nashville is chock full of 'em, and we like to barge in, take pictures like weirdos who have never been to a coffee shop, and record our findings. Lots of times we find pretension and slouchy kit beanies. Here are some of our recent posts:

You can follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook to keep up with Coffee Shoppers posts.

I've also started writing some lists for Taste of Country, a country music entertainment news site. Being a Canadian-Alabamian-Nashvillian who owns approximately five country albums , you can imagine this makes me the perfect fit for this job. Fortunately they said I could still write for them, and through the magic of osmosis and YouTube, I'm learning quickly. Here are the list posts I've written so far that are online:

I've gotten the opportunity to do some other freelance projects as well, which I am so thankful for.

Anyway, all that to say I may not be posting quite as often, but rest assured, I will always come back for you. Say you'll wait for me, okay? And if you ever start to miss me--if you're ever wondering what possessed Billy Ray decided to release a terrible rap song or need an expert opinion on how many covers of "Let It Go" is too many--just look up at the stars and and know, I'm thinking the same thing.

What have you been up to? What's your record for longest amount of time without "Let It Go" stuck in your head? Mine's probably about sixty-four minutes.

Who I Wanted Shia LaBeouf to Be

Even Stevens BeansLouis I watched Even Stevens pretty avidly, probably long after I should've stopped. Then again, I still watch Disney Channel every now and then, but it feels kind of like going back to my high school and realizing I know none of the kids there anymore.

I thoroughly enjoyed that show. If it was on Netflix, I'd still be watching it. (NOTE TO SELF: Kickstarter to get Even Stevens on Netflix) I thought it was clever, funny, and Shia LaBeouf had good comedic instincts. I mean, come on. They once had a musical episode, and the Even Stevens movie premise was that they were on a reality show and didn't know it and TIM MEADOWS and DAVE COULIER were hosts of competing shows. So great.

When it ended, I thought, I really hope he gets to keep acting--he's got potential as a comedic actor. And, shockingly for a male Disney Channel star who didn't sing, he did get some legitimate work. I kept waiting for him to switch to comedy. Ok, he did Transformers, he'll probably try comedy. [Eagle Eye comes out] Okay NOW he'll try comedy. [Transformers 2 comes out] Ok for reals this time, he'll try comedy...

But he never did. And now, he's this:

Shia LaBeouf Not Famous


This is not who I wanted Shia LaBeouf to be. I don't think this is who we wanted anyone to be. So here is a list of attributes and/or accomplishments I wanted Shia LaBouf to represent, instead of plagiarism and creepy art exhibits:

  • Do a lighthearted indie movie to establish street cred
  • Burst onto the comedy scene as the kind of goofy third-man to people like Jonah Hill and Jason Segel, or totally own a bit part as a movie rental clerk who reoccurs throughout a Will Ferrell movie. I don't know. Surprise me.
  • Be totally charming on Jimmy Fallon and lose to Jimmy at some game where they play ring toss with hula hoops and the cast of Saved by the Bell are the targets.
  • Co-star in a comedy with someone of mid-range fame like Jake Johnson. I'd peg Shia as the goofier one, Jake as more of the straight man saying things like "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?" all the time.
  • Try a romantic comedy with someone like Emma Stone to show his range and ability to do serious scenes.
  • Reenact a "lost scene" from Even Stevens on SNL when hosting to promote "Love Is A Four Letter Word" or whatever the name of his romcom would be.
  • Be the lead in a comedy, perhaps where he is a mild-mannered manager of a Fedex Office who gets mistaken for someone in an illegal situation, and he stumbles through drop-offs and stake-outs while someone like Terry Crews tries to coach him through it because he'll get in trouble with the pack leader if they realize he brought in the wrong guy.
  • Eventually get a show on Fox or NBC as the lead of an ensemble cast (kind of like Andy Samberg and Brooklyn Nine-Nine). Maybe he's living in a boarding house with crazy people. Maybe he runs a dog kennel. I don't know, I'm not a showrunner. But it should've happened.

I'm so disappointed in the way this has turned out. I'm kind of hoping this is all a joke, even if it's a bad one, and he can just be like "JK YOU GUYS I'm going to be a comedic actor now and not a crazy-pants plagiarizer who made a movie based on toys and now wants to be like the insane version of Banksy or something."

We can only hope.

What do you wish Shia had done? Do you think he's crazy?


Dancing (or: "That One Time I Was A Flapper")

Again I apologize if there is still spam in my feed. I am in the process of getting it fixed...hold tight! (If you're getting this in your e-mail, unsubscribe at the bottom of the e-mail, then resubscribe via the box on my site. It's a new subscription service.) I've never been a dancer. Though it seemed every other girl in my elementary school was taking lessons and using their old costumes for halloween or dress-up, it just wasn't in my line of vision. Most girls I knew who took dance started when they were like 2 years old. I moved to Alabama when I was six, so needless to say I'd missed the boat on that. Before I even realized how much of a Thing it was, I'd already just kind of assumed and accepted that it wasn't my thing. No one ever told me I couldn't. If I had wanted to take dance lessons, I'm sure I could have. But I had never done it, and didn't really want to join in now. If you haven't picked up on this yet, new things aren't really my jam. Plus, starting at a young age I had a nonconformist streak in me, which is really just pride and made-up rules, I think. But that's a story for another day.

So I've always just thought I couldn't dance. Or, at least, didn't dance. My only exposure to it in my actual life was watching other girls back up against a guy and sort of bounce up and down ("grind," as the kids would say) to a Lil Jon song at school dances. And I wasn't about to do that. Besides, I'm not really sure if that can be considered dancing.

The only other experience I had was being bad at choreography. I once attended a Dance Team clinic in elementary school the high schoolers always put on in the summer for the kiddos. It wasn't really that I was worse than any of the other 8 year olds or whatever, but I could never remember what move came next. So I'd end up just half-copying the person in front of me the whole time. "Oh yeah, that. Oh, yeah...Right. That move. Crap. Okay. I'm behind."

I abandoned choreography until the 8th or 9th grade when I was in a community musical theater production of Bugsy Malone, Jr. and cast as a flapper dancer. Dancing was not part of the audition, that I remember, so they probably immediately regretted putting me in that role. But since I was not a lead, but I could sing decently, I got the second-tier part of a flapper. I had to buy character shoes and wear a leotard and everything. From what I can recall, I managed to pull it off okay, but remembering the moves plagued me still. I was terrified I'd just go blank and mess everyone up. I don't think I did, though. Because even though I don't remember most things, I would remember single-handedly bringing a play to a screeching halt.

The first time I enjoyed dancing was at a Christmas formal where I just went with some of my friends. Uncharacteristically, they played songs other than "Get Low" and "Family Tradition" so we actually got to try our hand at dancing. I remember actually enjoying myself dancing to "Footloose" and not caring if we were cool or not.

Since then, the only place I've experienced dancing is at weddings, really. For a while I just always had that feeling of "I don't know what to do with my hands" when I got out there. So I avoided it. That, combined with my paralyzing fear of what people think of me, made for a terrible situation to be in.

Gradually, partly because I've been learning how to not care so much about what others think, and partially just through practice, I have actually come to find dancing super fun.

I'm not good. Never hear me say I am a good dancer. I'm pretty sure I'm terrible. But there is something about dancing. Something about it is so good for my soul.

As a rule-follower, as a worrier, as a "what will people think"-er, there is something so freeing about dancing. Or for me, jumping up and down and around in circles to a Katy Perry song. For three minutes, it's like you're a kid again. I used to spin around and around in the kitchen I was small (kitchen floors are good for spins if you're wearing socks). I spun 'til I was dizzy. I don't know why, other than it was fun. I feel a little like that when I dance. It's even better when it's with some of your favorite people.

Last weekend I went to a wedding for one of my favorite people, and several of my favorite people were in attendance. It was so life-giving just to jump around and sing "Call Me Maybe" at the top of my lungs with my husband and people I love.

Some of my favorite moments in life are when I laugh, not because anything was particularly funny in a comedic sense, but just because I'm having so much fun. One of those moments was during Beyonce's broken down set at her concert while we all sang "Irreplacable." Another was dancing at this wedding.

Our community group recently read a book called The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown. I had never heard of her before that, but you probably have. In it she talks about the power of dancing. Physically moving your body and dancing around--how it can improve your mood. Lift your depression. Help you shake off the weights you have tethered to your feet. It totally works.

If you feel trapped, scared, emotionally drained...try dancing. Put on your favorite pop song and blare it in your house. Jump around 'til your cat thinks you've lost it (definitely not speaking from experience). You might just feel free for 3 minutes.

When do you dance? How does it make you feel?

My Facebook Looks Terrible And Yours Doesn't

I don't like change. It's no big secret. I'm trying to learn how to not be so afraid of it, but it takes time, you know? DON'T RUSH ME. Needless to say, even though it is inevitable, I am always grumpy when Facebook decides to change its layout once again. I have, for the most part, ceased complaining (publicly), because after all, it is free, and they're going to change it whether we like it or not. We'll all complain for a couple weeks, then move on. After a day I rarely remember what it looked like before anyway.

So several months ago, this happened to me again. Of course, I hated it, but I had no recourse. What's done was done.

Assuming everyone had the same problem as me, I may have complained once or twice, but accepted my fate.

Soon I began noticing my friends' Facebook interfaces were not the same as mine. Hm, weird, I thought. But I figured they would get it soon enough and be in misery just like me.

The days soon turned into weeks, the weeks turned into months. Still, I seemed to be the only one whose Facebook looked like this:

FB edited Click the image to get the full effect

The black bar and janky partial header photo are particularly off-putting.

The header photo seems to have no rhyme or reason as to why it is chosen. Sometimes it is half someone's body. Sometimes it is someone's creepster eyes. In that case, I usually screen shot it and send it to whoever it is. Or whoever's kid it is. Because it's hilariously terrifying.

Screen shot 2014-01-21 at 12.18.07 PM

Shout out to JButt.

Each time, those people say "WHAT IS THIS WHY DOES YOUR FACEBOOK LOOK LIKE THIS?" And again I am reminded I am alone in the universe of wonky Facebook profiles.

Until now, I had no idea why.

But this--this is how my life works, if you're wanting a glimpse into the glamorous life of Laura K. McClellan. This is an example of the terrible luck I've been living with nearly all my life.

According to this article, Facebook had intended on using this redesign and gradually rolling it out to people. They chose a minuscule percentage of Facebook users (HOLLA) to, for whatever reason, get it first.

Months later, they have apparently decided to ABANDON THIS DESIGN and NOT roll it out to anyone else. They are going to keep working on a design and put a new one out WHO KNOWS WHEN.

So for those of you playing along at home, I am one of probably 42 poor wretches on the face of the planet stuck with this HORRENDOUS design.


Am I still using it? YES. But I will not be happy about it.

Do you complain about Facebook (or other site) redesigns? Do you know anyone else with this atrocity, or is it really just me out here? (I'll let you know if your eyes appear at the top of my news feed.)

*This is intended to be humorous and in no way a serious jab against the leader of the free world, in case you are reading this, NSA. Or that organization Huck worked for in Scandal. Luh you.