The Most Annoying Songs of 2014

People always make “best of” lists. Well, that’s boring. What better way to enter adulthood than to complain about the terrible music kids these days are listening to?

I present to you a list of the songs I found most annoying this year in no particular order (except number 1. It is the worst). Feel free to disagree… and then get off my lawn.

1. “BREAK FREE” by ARIANA GRANDE. I’m fairly certain that I’ve never heard this song all the way through. Why? Because I immediately turn off the radio, turn off the TV, leave the store, stick my fingers in my ears, or do anything else to get away from this wretched excuse for a song. Ariana’s screaming (lets be real, it’s not singing) plus the stupid lyrics make this song too much for me to handle. If I never heard an Ariana Grande song ever again, it would still be too soon.

2. “RATHER BE” by CLEAN BANDIT. If you gave me a chance, I would not take it, Clean Bandit. There are literally 100 places I’d rather be than listening to your song.

3. “SUMMER” by CALVIN HARRIS. Ugh. His voice. I can’t even handle it. Calvin manages to make his nasal-y voice exude smugness in this song. Something about it creeps me out.

4. “BANG BANG” by JESSIE J, NICKI MINAJ, & THE PONYTAIL GIRL. Too much scream-singing. Shut up, Jessie. No one likes a show off.

5. “RUDE” by MAGIC! Why you gotta be so annoying? Also, why you gotta add unnecessary punctuation marks to your band name? Who do you think you are? Panic! At the Disco?

6. “DARK HORSE” by KATY PERRY. Why was this song even popular? It was so anti-climatic. Plus, the music was weirdly out of this world. It gives the illusion that it’s leading to some great big chorus. That amazing chorus never comes, and instead, we get stuck with creepster Juicy J. * shudders *

7. “BURNING IT DOWN” by JASON ALDEAN. This is some sort of weird slow jam with references to Jack Daniels. I think this song is supposed to be seductive and sad at the same time, but instead it just creeps me out.

8. “LET IT GO” by IDINA MENZEL/DISNEY. This song is annoying because it is overplayed. Also, we will be hearing this song every winter for the rest of our lives.

Frozen

9. Any song by ADAM LEVINE & THOSE OTHER GUYS who are in his band. How many are there, anyway? Also, why does EVERY one of their songs sound the same?

10. Any song by JASON DERULO. Jason, what happened to you? I loved your singles from your first album. Now you’ve got crazy trumpets, disturbing lyrics, and a whispering Snoop Dogg. I feel incredibly uncomfortable.

11. “SAFE & SOUND” by CAPITAL CITIES. OMG, just thinking about this song makes me squirm. I think it’s the weird trumpets (or are those saxophones again?). Too much repetitiveness and too many horns making a racket. WHAT IS THIS MUSIC?

13. “LOCKED OUT OF HEAVEN” by BRUNO MARS. I like Bruno Mars, I really do. He is amazingly talented, and his ability to produce music and capture the essence of other artists is truly one of a kind. I love it when other people cover his songs, and I love it when he covers other people’s songs. That being said, I can’t stand him singing his own songs. I can’t explain it. What I can explain is that this particular song was on the radio far too much this year.

14. “BURN” by ELLIE GOULDING. Just blah. Nasal voice. Overproduced electronic mess. No melody. On the radio too much.

*Disclaimer: I reserve the right to make a cliche list of the Least Annoying Songs of 2014.

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As Clueless As I Ever Was

Now that I’m supposed to be an adult, I find myself trying to read more “grown up” novels.  You know, less “Divergent” and more “Gone Girl.” But it’s been a bit difficult to find books that are both intriguing, fun to read, and relatable. While books like the aforementioned are great in their own way, they didn’t necessarily strike a chord with me. They weren’t relatable.

I want books that are like my favorite TV shows and movies. You know why I love shows like “Friends” and “New Girl” and movies like “Silver Linings Playbook”? They are all about characters around my age who are still trying to adjust to this whole “adulthood” nonsense.

Which is why I was thrilled when I discovered fiction author Jonathan Tropper after seeing the film adaptation of one of his books, “This Is Where I Leave You.”  You probably remember seeing trailers for this movie. It stars Tina Fey, Jason Bateman, Jane Fonda, the guy from “Girls,” and the congressman Kevin Spacey murdered in “House of Cards.”

Anyway, after seeing “This Is Where I Leave You,” I dug around amazon.com searching for more of Tropper’s books.  Turns out his works have a common theme: around 30-years-old-ish characters who have no idea where their life is going. I settled on “Plan B,” a story about a group of 30-year-old friends from college who are are all going through different types of quarter-century crises. The books had a couple of great passages that really articulate what it’s like to be a mid-20-something or early 30-something.

“Thirty… shit. It’s a nice round number to arrive at if you have it all together. Success, love, a family, the overall sense that you actually belong on the planet. If you have all that, you can wear thirty well. But if you don’t, if feels like you’ve missed the deadline, and suddenly your chances of ever getting it right, of ever achieving true happiness and fulfillment, are fading fast. You realize that all your hopes and dreams up until this point were actual expectations that, still unrealized, have become desperate prayers…”

The book was a good, fun, and occasionally thought-provoking read that often reflected some of my own thoughts about transitioning from higher education to the “real world.” It also reiterated something I realized lately: contrary to what we believed as kids, adults have no idea what they are doing and they are not in complete control of anything. Kind of a terrifyingly comforting reiteration to get from a book, but I’ll take it. I suppose it just confirms that we’re all just winging it.

A Sneak Peek Behind My Laptop Keyboard: My Writing Process Blog Tour

Last week Ase at A Spoonful of Style invited me to take part in the “Writing Process Blog Tour.” A Spoonful of Style is delightful, charming, and so very chic. It’s chock full of beautiful photographs, yummy recipes, inspiring interior design ideas, and trendy fashion-forward finds. I’ve been a fan of Ase’s blog for several months, and I can’t recommend it enough! Thanks again for inviting me to participate and for your all-too-kind words, Ase!

You may be wondering what exactly this blog tour is all about. Well, it starts off with an invitation from a fellow blogger and is essentially a brief Q&A session about your own blog writing process. In order to keep the tour moving along, the blogger who just posted their answers (in this case, me) then invites three other bloggers to answer the same questions in a post exactly one week later. It’s a never-ending tour, my friends! Join us, won’t you? Here we go!

1. What are you working on?

I admit it: there’s nothing but a DIY Harry Potter coffee mug and accouterments from Ikea behind my laptop keyboard.

I’m not working on anything in particular at the moment, to be quite honest. I’m in the middle of studying for the bar exam (for those of you who are unfamiliar with the process of becoming a lawyer in the United States, after you graduate from law school, you must still pass another exam in order to be licensed in the particular state you want to practice law in. The exam covers a wide range of legal topics, from criminal law and procedure to property law to contract law and more. The exam itself can last anywhere from two to three days and is only offered twice a year), so I’ve been devoting less time to the blog over the past week or so.

However, I am constantly on the hunt for new quotes to incorporate in my “Monday Motivation” posts. I often run across quotes on Pinterest that are worded beautifully, but aren’t visually depicted very well, so I will design a new image with the same quote. Graphic design can take a fair amount of time, especially if you’re using apps on your phone instead of Photoshop on a computer.

2. How does your work differ from others in its genre?

The answer to that question depends on what genre my blog falls into in the first place, and I’ve had a rather difficult time trying to figure that out. It seems that most of the blogs I love are lifestyle blogs, but I don’t know if T#G falls into that category. Maybe this is a culture blog? I have a tendency to write posts that make references to reading, television, and pop culture in general. I suppose even the posts about fashion and technology are tied to Western culture.

I don’t know. Oh, man, now I’m all flustered. Excuse me while I try to figure out my blog’s identity. #BlogLifeCrisis

3. Why do you write what you do?

I think I may have mentioned this elsewhere, but I started writing this blog with the intention of discussing topics related to Generation Y/Millennials/my generation’s interests. I decided not to stick to that mission statement so strictly, mainly because there is already an overload of news websites, and everyone doesn’t want to read blog posts about how much the economy sucks all the time.

Nevertheless, I think there’s a bit of a void when it comes to discussing youth issues in the blogosphere, and hopefully this blog helps fill a tiny piece of that void. So, from time to time, I still post my thoughts on articles about Generation Y’s attitudes, work lives (too many unpaid internships!), education, etc.; scientific studies that may affect our generation’s health; and this generation’s pop culture obsessions (Jennifer Lawrence, anyone?). This generation wants to keep track of its job prospects and vent about the trials and tribulations while pursuing higher education just as much as it wants to keep track of what new shows Netflix is streaming and what gorgeous outfit Emma Stone is going to wear next.

4. How does your writing process work?

My writing process, just like pretty much everything else in my life, is all over the place. There are two different writing processes I may use. Regardless of which I use, it’s safe to say that I don’t have a post outlined properly in my head before I begin writing. I usually just go with the flow and edit as I go along. I try to use my reporting skills from my journalism classes as much as I can in order to help make each piece as readable as possible.

Writing Process #1: I find a cool article, see a cool YouTube video, or experience something that makes me think, “Hey, this has ‘BLOG POST’ written all over it!” Then I start writing and either
a) decide my writing is nowhere witty enough and abandon my endeavor all together,
b) write the post, decide “Meh, this is something I can post whenever. I’ll let it live in the drafts folder for a little bit,” and then “a little bit” turns into “eternity,”
c) spend an insane amount of time writing the post and then schedule it to post later, or
d) write it, post it, and then realize that not very many people think it is quite as cool as I did. #SadFace #NeverAgain

Writing Process #2: I realize that people really liked a certain post (for example, fashion at the Oscars), and decide I need to make more of those kinds of posts. This was the main reason why I had Kate Middleton fashion posts twice in one month (see here and here). In other words, I post things that I know y’all will like to read – or at least I hope you will like to read.

On a somewhat related note, I make the Monday Motivation posts weeks in advance and schedule them to post on their own. Like I mentioned above, I often design the quotes myself, but I also find a bunch of them on Pinterest as well.

Some Well-Written Blogs

A Worried Student | This blog tells the tale of my life better than I ever could. This British student is incredibly insightful, witty, and well spoken. While he often discusses the trials and tribulations of studying, taking tests, and trying to survive school, he also ventures into non-school-related territory to talk about cool apps, current events, and cultural issues. It’s a great mix of topics, and the blog will be a great addition to your WordPress Reader!

The Fashion Huntress | She’s a young professional with an eye for style and savings, and her blog features some trendy outfits that you can wear to work or when you’re out with friends. The photos themselves are works of art, and each post comes with tips on how to make certain pieces work for you and your budget. Love it!

Cupid or Cats | A sometimes quirky, sometimes silly, sometimes serious, but always intriguing blog. One of my favorite posts was Janey’s story about trying to save an unintentionally rogue bird that was flying around her home. It was beautifully written and really struck a chord with me. I just recently began following Cupid or Cats, but it has quickly become one of my favorites.

The Best Dressed at the 2014 Met Ball

The Metropolitan Museum of Art held its annual “Met Ball” this past Sunday, and while the event is usually one of the fashion highlights of the year, this Sunday night proved to host a lot more fashion misses than hits. But instead of dwelling on the atrocious fashion (believe me, there were some hideous outfits on that red carpet), let’s look at some of the best styles.

This post comes a few days late (you can blame final papers + graduation hooplah for that), but better late than never, right?

Pretty in (shades of) pink

REESE WITHERSPOON in STELLA MCCARTNEY (via Buzzfeed),
ANNE HATHAWAY in CALVIN KLEIN (via Buzzfeed),
EMMA STONE in THAKOON (via Hollywood Life)

Oh my goodness. It is official: Emma Stone can do absolutely no wrong when it comes to fashion. I LOVE her outfit, and that fishtail braid looks phenomenally effortless. Ugh, can she be my new best friend? Also, it appears that Anne Hathaway is on a roll when it comes to this year’s red carpet events. I love this so much – it’s way better than the white Chanel two-piece that she wore to the Golden Globes last year.

Blue-sy cocktail dresses:

LENA DUNHAM in GIAMBATTISTA VALLI HAUTE COUTURE,
MICHELLE WILLIAMS
in LOUIS VUITTON,
MARION COTILLARD
in DIOR
 (all three photos via Buzzfeed)

Okay, so I get that all three of these dresses might be considered a bit underwhelming for the Met Ball. However, I think this is the best Lena Dunham has ever looked. The dress is edgy without being too insane, and it flatters her figure very well. As for Marion, the lace-ish pattern is fairly unique (is it made of velvet?), and her makeup ramps it up a notch. The shoes are hideous, though. Finally, I NEED Michelle’s dress to be in my closet right now. It’s chic, but normal enough that you could wear it to work.

Structured black & white:

HAILEE STEINFELD in PRABAL GURUNG (via Hollywood Life),
MAGGIE Q in ZAC POSEN (via Buzzfeed),
CHARLIZE THERON in DIOR HAUTE COUTURE (via Buzzfeed)

Funky prints:

KATE MARA in VALENTINO (via Buzzfeed),
EMMY ROSSUM in CAROLINA HERRERA (via Buzzfeed),
ROSIE HUNTINGTON-WHITELEY in BALMAIN (via Hollywood Life)

Two of these dresses may have used some curtains for fabric. I’ll let you decide which ones. Two more things: Rosie’s shoes are killing it with that dress, and Emmy’s dress looks like something that Zooey Deschanel would wear (speaking of which, ZD was at the Met Ball, but her dress was really blah).

Expect the unexpected:

CHRISSY TEIGEN in RALPH LAUREN (via Buzzfeed),
CARA DELEVINGNE in STELLA MCCARTNEY (via Vogue),
KARLIE KLOSS in OSCAR de la RENTA (via Just Jared)

Ruffles, sequins, and a haltertop dress? Chrissy makes it work. Cara’s outfit looks incredibly comfortable and high-fashion at the same time. Karlie’s outfit appears rather demure – until you realize she is wearing black leather gloves! That’s it, all you amateurs. Just leave the high-stakes fashion to the models.

The queen of the Met Ball:

British model SUKI WATERHOUSE was THE best dressed lady at the event. I usually hate tulle-ish ruffles, but this is an exception. I love the different shades of pink and nude, and the minimal jewelry and bold lip pull the whole look together. Suki’s ethereal dress was by BURBERRY, and her hair and makeup were absolute perfection. #beautiful

Hermione Granger’s Parents Probably Went to Jail

While listening to a mashup of the best Harry Potter soundtrack songs during a study session last night, I had an epiphany: Hermione was responsible for (likely) sending her parents to prison or a mental institution.

Remember how she erased her parents’ memories of her at the beginning of Deathly Hallows? Well, she didn’t erase other people’s memories of her. What about her neighbors? Her parents’ friends? Her extended family? They would all still remember her, and what would they think when her parents denied she ever existed? They would have become concerned once they saw that any trace of her at her parents’ home had been erased. Eventually they would have begun to suspect that her parents hurt or killed her. And then they would have called the police. The police would have called in some psychiatrists. There would have been some sort of hearing, maybe even a trial. And then the Grangers’ would have been carted off to either a prison cell or a hospital.

NOT COOL, HERMIONE.

Happy one-month birthday to my blog!

Squee! The Hashtag Generation turned one-month-old yesterday! In honor of this little milestone, I thought I’d write something a little more traditionally bloggy. So, I present you with a list of my most random favorite things.

My top three favorite TV shows (that are currently airing): Suits, Scandal, New Girl.

My favorite song: This is hard. If we’re going to be objective about it, then we’ve got to use the most played song in my iTunes library. That would be “The Scientist” by Coldplay, which has gotten 400 spins over the past several years. However, my favorite song at the moment is a tie between “Out of My League” by Fitz & the Tantrums and “Love Me Again” by John Newman.

My favorite blog: Hyperbole and a Half.

My favorite law humor blog12(b)(6): failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.

My favorite place: THIS. It’s also probably one of my favorite photographs that I’ve taken.

P1000820f

My favorite meme: Paranoid Parrot. Although Anxiety Cat is a close second.

My favorite 90’s sitcomBoy Meets World. Still watch it to this day.

My favorite person to follow on Twitter: Mindy Kaling. Examples of her tweets:
“If I ever meet a murderer hiding in my house, I can say truthfully: “I’ve been expecting you.” That will scare the hell out of him I bet.”
“Keith Morrison deserves a Golden Globe for his work on Dateline.”

My favorite non-person to follow on Twitter: Vanity Fair. Whoever is responsible for tweeting out on VF’s account during popular TV broadcasts (presidential debates, award shows, big sporting events) is incredibly sassy. I love it.

My favorite class: The Law of War. Yeah, that’s a real thing. It’s also known as international humanitarian law.

My favorite podcast: The Bobby Bones Show. I don’t listen to music in my car anymore – I just listen to podcasts of this nationally-syndicated morning show. The show used to air on Top 40 stations, but switched over to country stations a little over a year ago. Watch this video to get a feel for these crazy people (who, in my head, are my friends IRL):

My favorite news website: The Atlantic.

My favorite recipe I’ve found on a blog: French breakfast muffins. These things are loaded with butter and sugar, but they are so incredibly delicious. Once you start eating these, you won’t be able to stop.

Monday Motivation: “Suits” Edition

One of my absolute favorite shows, the USA-Network-dramady “Suits,” is returning this week for its mid-season premiere. It’s about a hotshot Harvard-educated lawyer, Harvey Specter (played by Gabriel Macht), at a huge firm in New York City who hires a college dropout with an eidetic memory, Mike Ross (played by Patrick J. Adams), to be his associate. The problem, as you have probably already guessed, is that Mike never went Harvard – or any law school. He never took the New York State Bar, and it’s a crime to practice law without a license. So why does Harvey hire Mike? Because Mike already knows everything about the law – he’s taken the LSAT and the bar exam for other people. The eidetic memory doesn’t hurt either.

The show is a great source of some hilarious one-liners and witty bantering, but it also has its share of profound and motivational statements, too. Here are some that might make it a little easier to get though your Monday.

And if you’re curious, here’s a trailer for the first season of the show.