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Road Trippin’

28 Jan

If The Simple Life’s second season on Fox didn’t make you want to attach a silver airstream to your car and trek it through the USA pit-stopping at nowhere town Burger King’s and begging customers for cash to afford a double whopper, well this post might not be for you because I love road trips.

And speak of the devil, I’m writing this post on my iPhone (oh, technology) while my sister mans the wheel on a trip back from Houston. All while we judge and first listen the newly leaked Lana Del Rey album.

I’ve only had the opportunity to go on a couple of road trips in my 22 years of life and each one has been completely fantastic.

Whether it’s been circling through Tennessee with my family, driving back there solo six years later, riding shotgun to a wedding in Dallas, or laughing, gabbing, and soul sisterfying with my two best friends to an Arcade Fire show – road trips rock.

My favorite time of any day is whenever/ if ever I get to drive somewhere, so road tripping is like a steroids induced version of that.

I just love being in a car; I think it’s the closest to a tangible form of freedom I have ever felt. Just the idea of packing up my car and heading north towards Seattle, or south towards Orlando fills me with the greatest sense of joy and peace. There’s something about driving the interstates and highways of America that entices me more than planes and trainsings it through Europe.

This post is fairly short due to the demands of a certain sister and her request for repeats of “Born To Die” and “National Anthem.”

So I’ll leave you with the latest Lana lyric to grace the speakers, “sometimes the road gets tough, I don’t know why.” This is true, but whether you have friends, an airstream, or the quiet bliss of driving alone, a road trip can fix most anything.

Scoring My Life

26 Jan

I will be the first person to tell you that my mind is a bit warped. Not like a crazy person warped, but rather my eyes are cameras and the inner workings of my mind is the production team at Bravo.

I’ve been told that I exaggerate stories more than what the actual reality of them was. What can I say, I love the drama and theatrics of life.

My first thought when I hear that a friend got a job at a hospital isn’t “Oh yay! You’re going to be saving people’s lives!” It’s “What type of indie music are they going to be playing throughout the hallways? How many attendees are you going to sleep with? Will the hospital have a bomb scare every Tuesday, or every other Tuesday?”

Yeah. Warped.

My mind is so tuned into the station of KLZW that I want every moment of my life scored and soundtracked.

If I had a genie granting me wishes left and right one of them would be to have Alex Patsavas select songs to play in the background of my daily trials and tribulations. You know, she would make it seem like me pouring that bowl of Kix Berries in the morning was the coolest thing ever. EVER. Yet, she is busy running a real career and scoring actual TV hits like Grey’s Anatomy and Mad Men. So since she’s busy, I’ve taken on the task myself.

While there are literally hundreds of songs that I already have planned for significant (hopefully!) moments in my life, my favorite daydream one has to be

Washed Out – “You’ll See It”

This song is totally my twenty-something-living-in-the-city-for-the-first-time jam. The beat is fun, the lyrics are almost incoherent, and you know what, SO IS THE CITY!

(JSYK hit play above and listen to the song whilst reading)

Picture it: the shot opens up with me jumping out of bed, the camera starts slowly panning out of my bedroom and into the bathroom. OH, I’M IN THE SHOWER! OH LOOK, THE CAMERA HAS PANNED FROM THE BATHROOM TO THE KITCHEN AND I’M FULLY DRESSED, READY TO TAKE ON THE CITY! WHAT?! I JUST WALKED OUT OF THE DOORWAY OF MY APARTMENT AND I’M ALREADY IN THE OFFICE’S OF MY HIPSTER/FAST-PACED/IMPORTANT JOB! THIS IS JUST CRAZY!!

(If you haven’t caught on by now, this is definitely a montage)

I’m walking through the offices West Wing style, drifting in and out of the hoards of people that surround me. The smile on my face only reflects the confidence and excitement in my heart. Oh, and my outfits keep changing because this is a montage of how exciting Washed Out is making my life feel, and what is a montage without different wardrobe changes anyways?

Oh, look! I’m home now. I’m kicking off my boots and answering the door because it’s the take-out dude with my Chinese food! I’m smiling at the thought of being on my own in the city. I’VE MADE IT. I barely plop down on the couch to eat before the montage camera has panned back to me in the office. I’m running around with a pile of mail in my arms, my face is starting to lose that confident smile it had at the beginning – uh oh, nerves. The camera is panning through the office as I begin to trip up and accidentally let the mail slip through my arms and fall to the ground. Oh jeez, I’m such a klutz. People are staring as I scramble around the floor grasping at loose paper like Velma for her glasses on Scooby Doo.

I’m home again! And what do you know, the takeout dude is back with more Chinese. I hand him my money with an apprehensive smile. He knows as well as I do that this is my third time in a week and a half to order from Yum Yum Flaming Dragon. The camera begins to slip out of the montage and settle on a close up of my face. The lights and colors of the TV only enhances and highlights both the dark circles under my eyes and the question in my head: Is this city life what I really wanted?

I blink right as the song hits the 2:41 mark. The audience is only left with silence as the camera stays on my face. Jump to black, and time for commercial.

See. Warped.

While none of this montage has come to pass, and hopefully the latter never will, music helps to enhance the crazy richness of my odd artistic side.

So to make me feel less like a freak, are there any moments in your life where you know things could just be plain awesome if you had some sort of song blaring in the background? Let me know yours and I will definitely keep letting you know about mine.

Pop Culture Resolutions

1 Jan

It’s the beginning of a new year, which means that it is a new dawn for resolutions!

I admit to being one of the masses that sharpies my predictions on a post-it note of what I will achieve in the coming year. I then stick it on my closet door mirror and ignore it as hard as I try to ignore the flaws of the reflection in front of me.

I think that the only resolution I made good on this year was to read more. Thanks to a mindless summer desk job I read close to 9 books in less than the 3 months. A record for me. It being my final semester in college, I finally decided to study which included readings of textbooks every single night. I now have the knowledge of Professor Hugo Strange. Watch out, Bats!

So instead of creating the classic “I’m gonna lose weight, eat only organic and healthy, and workout everyday including Sunday’s and religious holidays!” list that will be another staple of mirror time neglect, I’m gonna make a resolutions list that I know I will excel at.

POP CULTURE RESOLUTIONS

While I’m still going to strive for that “Oh, these abs are just genetic. It’s because I’m cousins with Ryan Gosling and Wolverine” look in the new year, pop culture resolutions (PCR’s) are something I know I will have no problem at achieving.

My number one resolution is to keep watching great television. I figured if I watched as much TV as I did in college and still managed to graduate a semester early, working life will give me much more time to fill up my DVR and mind with great TV.

I’ve wanted to watch The Sopranos for decades now, and in 2012 I’m going to make this happen. I need to finally be able to understand the significance of the show on mainstream culture and the way television is produced today. And I really want to see the beginnings of St. Matthew Weiner of MadMendom in action.

I also really want to re-watch the complete series of Lost with virgin eyes, nor bias. I sort of gave up on the show during its final season. Waiting week after week to watch a sub par episode and still not get any questions answered left a bad taste in my mouth. But in all honesty, Lost is a show that is made for Netflix viewing. It’s one of the shows that you need to be able to set aside 14 hours of no social interaction or responsibilities to enjoy.

I want to expose my mind and ears to new music. To brag for one moment, I am going to be interning at the mecca of live music this semester: Austin City Limits. The employees there know their music, and I cannot wait to hear about new bands and musicians that will completely rock my mind.

I want to keep reading biographies. This is a genre that works for me – my favorite movies have always been biographical: The Aviator, Walk The Line, Indiana Jones (HE’S REAL IN MY HEART) – and, c’mon, if the industry is going to write a book or film a movie about someone, they’re life is guaranteed to be interesting. I’m currently working on the fantastic, Into The Wild (Internet, you will be hearing a lot more rants and thoughts on this book because it is completely changing me!), and I received the Steve Jobs biopic, and the controversial, My Week With Marilyn, for Christmas. This means my year has over 2,000 pages of biographical bliss ahead.

So, Internet, those are my PCR’s for the prophetical end-of-days year. What are your res’? Is this the year you will give into desire and watch every Real Housewives of every single county? Have you not cracked a book in ages? Do you finally want to know why you should care about this girl and her dragon tattoo? Sound off in the comments below and let me know what 2012 will hopefully have in store for you.

(Image credits: here and here)

Graduation Day (Part 2)

11 Dec

For the longest time I have been scavenging my mind for the correct words to somehow explain the impact the past 3 and half years I have spent at Texas State University have had on me. I wanted to write some opus of significance that I could treasure and distribute to express my feelings and gratitude towards the chunk of life I have lived in San Marcos. The truth is that I don’t have any words. There is nothing I could say or think about writing that would be able to do justice to what God has bestowed upon myself.

So instead of trying to get all Socrates on y’all, I’ll let Kelly Clarkson sing for me.

It’s so stupid and simple, but it’s the truth. My life truly would have sucked if it weren’t for the most amazing, creative, perfect time and people I will ever have the honor of living and knowing.

And even though I will never be able thank every single one of them for all they have done, I can try. So now, in the style of Mean Girls, a piece for you all.

A piece for my freshmen year family, Saved By The Bell never looked so good. A piece for Purgatory Road, hell has a path and it is you. A piece for Cru, I didn’t find Jesus, but I found so much more. A piece for 233, the greatest dorm in the existence of dorms. It’s hard to believe that a small 8X10 room could hold my greatest memories, but it did. Family tree for life. Pieces for the countless coffee-shop-music-shows I have attended, the music was great, the coffee not so much. A piece for Kevin Porter, you showed me there is life after college, and that a man of Christ could both love the Lord, and Gilmore Girls. A piece for The Outpost building 2, you gave me my Friends saga. A piece for Sara Pena, my main bitch, my therapist, and my Pretty Little Liar. A piece for every musician I have met, I want your success more than my own, and I will do anything to help you achieve it. Pieces for the countless characters of Texas State: Wheelchair Girl, Shannon Gaga, Bonnie G. Brewer, Michael Schooley, Stella the Wrap Lady, Rast, Dempster, Sad Sandwich Guy, Grandmother Willow, David Booth, Senor Alfo, Denise Trauth/Fluffy and their invisible tower, Mean Wheelchair Girl, Doppelgangers, Sandy da Polar Bear, Meez Biv, the van of Cholas, Lady Cop, Grimes, Fluker, “Can I stuff this bird?” Girl, The Zeta, and Turk Pipkin. Y’all are gone, but never forgotten. A piece for the BSM, I found Jesus and dozens of amazing new friends. A piece for the Disney Imaginations Team, y’all pushed me further than I thought I could go. A piece for the boys from Port Arthur, I will never fully understand you all, and I (think) I love that. A piece for Bridget Cooper, you showed me that 21 years of friendship is more than a number. And a piece for Kelsey Manning, you said we’d be best friends the very moment we met each other, and no other prophecy girl has ever been more correct.

And to any other person I have ever had a conversation with or that I forced to watch TV with me. I love you.

Pride and Prejudice

6 Dec

I’m not a very prideful person, or a very protective one. I believe that pride is the root to all evil, and that people can protect themselves. With that being said, I break all these rules when it comes to Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Now it’s no surprise that I love me some Sunnydale and Co. But sometimes I feel like I love it too much. So much that I feel like people need to pass full on lie-detector-tests-signed-sealed-delivered-contracts in order to prove to me that they truly want to watch it. Basically, I don’t want you to want to watch it, I want you to need to watch it.

Buffy is the holy grail of television in my mind. The show got me through high school, and has almost taught me as much about life and death as college and my faith has. It’s more than just a TV show with a funny name – it’s a major part of my genetic make-up and who I am.

So tell me, readers, are there certain pop culture rubies that you may take a little too seriously? Have you held a grudge against someone because they said Harry Potter was just “aight?” Does it still make you break into a cold sweat at night because of a failed attempt to introduce someone to Middle Earth? Let me know in the comments below.

Flight Grad Down

21 Nov

We have crossed the Atlantic, Pacific, and Western time zones, and have now found our Oceanic Flight in the strangest of areas: the week before Thanksgiving and all winter related holidays.

As any college student will tell you, this timezone is the most stressful. Papers are assigned, then delayed, then pushed back up, then delayed again, then due. Tests start furiously encroaching, and semester-long projects and presentations’ due dates are within sight.

I can attest this as fact because I have at least 8 papers due by December 6th – all totaling a minimum of 43 pages. Hooray!

So, shouldn’t you be studying and writing those pesky papers, Zack?

NO!!

This is a list post, people! While I do have a lot to do, school is the farthest thing from my mind. There are so many things I’d rather be doing, and these are them.

  • Eat at 24 Diner in ATX
  • Wear a sweater and not be sweating to death in it
  • Listen to the new Rihanna album (I’m actually serious about this one)
  • Start my internship at Austin City Limits!
  • Graduate
  • Read 5 weeks worth of Entertainment Weekly’s that have piled up
  • Fix all the problems on American Horror Story
  • Go garage sailing
  • Re-read ‘The Hunger Games’ trilogy
  • Convince myself that the latest series of Doctor Who was cohesive and fantastic
  • Vacuum my carpet
  • Stop obsessing over the love story of Jacob and Anna in Like Crazy
  • Get at least 4 people to watch all 7 seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer before 2012 (it’s possible)
  • Buy a new plaid shirt

And there you have it, internet. I’m a pretty simple guy, and these aren’t very hard requests. Alas, all of this will have to be put on hold until I wrap up senior year here in college – or as Anna would say, university.

‘Hunger Games’ Trailer: GOOSEBUMPS

14 Nov

I don’t care what is going on in your life right now. Sorry, that was a little harsh. But, for serious! The first official trailer for The Hunger Games has been released, and to call it sheer perfection would be an understatement. Stop whatever you may being doing at the moment and watch this!

Check it out:

In 2 minutes and 36 seconds all my fears and qualms have been silenced by the sound of the first cannon signalling the beginning of the games. Because there is so much I want to hit on, I’ll make it easy and list out the bullet points for why I am obsessively awaiting March 23, 2012.

District 12

I’m expecting Aibileen and Minnie from The Help to come waddle off their bus and join in with the march toward the reaping. I mean this in the most respectful way of course. D12 is supposed to be a podunk town, and with just a small glimpse into Katniss’ home turf, you can see how impoverished her district is.

Greenery

This may be a personal favorite, but give me a lush landscape and I am sold.

The Reaping

You can feel the tension of the horrendous event of the reaping. The monochromatic colors and sheer silence only add to the feeling of impending doom. Oh, and the sadistic coo of one…

Effie Trinket

The horror of Effie staring straight into the camera, ushering Peeta to the stage, will haunt me for the next few hours. Trinket truly delights in performing the reaping each year, and her pop of pink color is enough to turn any child pale with fear.

The Girl Who Was On Fire

1) Stanley Tucci makes a fine Caesar Flickerman. 2) Katniss looks both beautiful and utterly dead inside at the same time. What the actual Hunger Games do so well is mix equal amounts of entertainment with gory terror. If this quick moment is an indication of what is to come, helllllo new favorite franchise.

The Capitol

What could have been taken and turned into an amped up Disneyland has instead just become a slightly heightened New York City. Just looking at the skyline, you wouldn’t expect all the horrors that go on within to actually happen.

Katniss and Peeta

One of the first interactions between Peeta Melark and Katniss Everdeen atop the roof of one the capitol’s buildings is hands down my favorite scene in any of The Hunger Games books. I love it not because of the love between the Peeta and Katniss, rather I love it because this is the first conversation where you truly feel the weight of what the game is going to do to these kids. The scene is beautiful, and Josh and Jennifer seem to have great chemistry too!

Jennifer Lawrence is B.A.

You would think that because the girl has an Oscar nomination under her belt she would be in the clear from all the scrutiny of casting choices. No. Youth Adult novel adaptations are majorly under the microscope. But, I think I can speak for all fans when I say that Jennifer Lawrence is the PERFECT choice to play Miss Everdeen.

The Tube of Death

Geez, not since Augustus Gloop went up the chocolate pipe in Wonka’s factory has claustrophobic tube looked so terrifying.

Countdown

I’m sorry Beyonce, but I believe countdown may have a new definition after this film. I’m so glad the trailer ended with the opening cannon fire of the games. I even hope that we get no footage of the games at all and are just left clutching our hearts until the spring.

What did you think, internet? Is this not the best trailer since The Social Network? Are you as pumped as I am for spring? Was there anything that I missed that you are excited for? President Snow? Gale? The lack of Katniss and Prim’s cat? Let me know your thoughts! And, may the odds be ever in your favor.

Picture Post: 11/13

13 Nov

What happens when one finally see’s his best friend after months of no physical contact? Awkward photo shoot during catch up conversations. Enjoy.

Please note the fantastic design of Miss Bridget From America’s room decor. Pinterest and her eye for style have served her well. Zooey Deschanel would be proud of her.

Happy Sunday, and a happy week to all!

Like a Modern Man

13 Nov

The video above is exactly want I want to do after graduation: wake up, pull up my wool socks and hipster sweater, and go explore an isolated Icelandic paradise. The kid above is living the life I want to lead.

Into the Wild has ruined me – and every collegiate male, to be quite honest – in the sense that all I want to do is reconnect/connect for the first time ever with nature. Living in a suburb of Houston, and going off to school near Austin, I have never really had the chance to establish a relationship with the beauty of God’s creation. The only connections I have ever really made are with Apple products and shortcut routes to the Galleria.

For as long as I can remember my goals in life have been centered around moving to New York City, the complete antithesis of nature. I have wanted to be surrounded by mountains of steel and iron. I’ve wanted to hear the siren sound of subway cars instead of the whisper of a brook.  I have yearned for the call of booming ringtones instead of the call of the wild. But, as college graduation is merely a month away, I can’t help feeling that my inner Grizzly Adams is chanting to be released.

They say that what every man wants to do in life is to prove himself as a man. For me I feel like in order to do that I have to take a page from Alexander Supertramp’s diary and abandon all the materialistic things of this world and set forth on a journey into the aforementioned wild. I would avoid the berries of course.

(see ya later, society)

I am smart, though. I know that this is not really an option in today’s day and age. We can’t all lead the simplistic life that Bon Iver coos about. I can’t remember the last time that I went over an hour without looking at my iPhone, or using some sort of modern technology to alleviate the treacherous pain of my hard life (total sarcasm btw). But, still, is this a possibility? Has the modern man abandoned all hope of ever being able to return back to the wild? Has evolution moved so far ahead that there is no chance of ever turning back? Will the story of Mr. Supertramp simply be regarded as a fantastical film in the Walmart DVD bin, or will it be remembered as a historical hiccup in the evolution of the modern man? Maybe I’ve been listening to too much Fleet Foxes and Bon Iver, and this debate is only relevant in my head. Whatever the case, I’ll have to settle for envisioning myself vicariously through this little Iceland resident. Texas is far from the wild, unless you count H-E-B on a Sunday evening.

What are your thoughts, internet. Am I simply crazy for dreaming this way, or are there desires that you feel have become irrelevant in society now? I’d love to hear from you. And, again, remember to never eat the berries!

Likes Lately; November 2011

11 Nov

I’m stealing a concept that my good friend, Lion-Haired Girl, started back in October. I’m gonna list out some things that I’m obsessing over at the current moment. And we all know that because I recommend it, it’s gotta be good!

I’ll start this list with something small.

WELSH CORGI PUPPIES!

Thanks to the tortuous device that is Kijiji, I have been contemplating wiping out my bank account and throwing away all means of a social life to adopt and care for a little Welsh. I know it’s going to be many moons and years before I’m in the position to be able to take care of a dog, but for now I can dream.

When Harry Left Hogwarts

Yes, I was one of the crazy people who went to Target right when it opened to buy their deluxe edition of Deathly Hallows: Part 2. Ok, I was the only person there to buy the deluxe edition of Deathly Hallows: Part 2. But, seriously, the documentary that is exclusively on the Blu-ray Target edition is worth the extra cash. The doc, 48 mins long, is short, but it sure packs a major punch. I was in tears nearly the whole time. I won’t spoil it for those who are waiting to watch it, but to be able to experience those last 261 days of filming with Daniel, Emma, and Rupert was sheer magic.

Winter Weather

I use this term loosely because I do reside in Texas where lately the median temperature has been about 91 degrees. Reminder: it’s November.

But for the current moment it’s a cool 70 with the hope of a low 46 tonight. I’m bustin’ out the pea coat!

The Muppets Trailers

I can’t even write a statement declaring how brilliant this is. Thanksgiving cannot come fast enough!

BOOTH!!

Not to brag or nufin,’ but that dude on my right just dropped his EP today. Yes, I am the friend/ex-roommate/ex-lover/brother in Christ of a legitimate recording star. I HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY recommended you show him some love by going to iTunes and downloading this sucker. Your ears will love you for this. It is awesome. I could not be more proud of him, and I know that one day when I’m watching Gossip Girl waaaay after the appropriate time to stop watching and start watching CBS procedurals, his voice will be serenading Serena, Chuck, and the rest of NYC. The kids are gonna love him!