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  • Why You Should Pick up a Creative Hobby

    By Thomas Weaverling The sun has already begun to set before 5 pm and the cold has officially arrived, meaning one thing: seasonal depression is imminent. As we enter this difficult portion of the year, creative hobbies have never been more important. If you are in high school or college and are active on social media, it’s likely that you have experienced the phenomenon of doom scrolling. For those unfamiliar with the term, doom scrolling refers to the action of compulsively scrolling on social media that often produces feelings of isolation or anxiety. You likely are well aware of the effects that social media can have on one’s mental health, but what can be done to avoid doom scrolling? Although well-intended actions, simply deleting social media or limiting screen time is not enough, as something is needed to replace the time that would have originally been spent online. Without a substitute for this time, the urge to doom scroll will not disappear. Thus, creative hobbies are the perfect replacement for social media. A creative hobby can be nearly anything that involves creating something, whether it be a unique creation or something produced from a pattern. Some examples of creative hobbies are drawing, painting, crocheting, knitting, writing, even cooking. You may be intimidated by some of these activities that involve creating unique work such as painting and drawing, a feeling that I can personally empathize with. However, other hobbies such as crocheting and knitting involve following patterns, meaning no innovation is required. I personally recommend the art of crocheting, an activity in which a hook is used to loop yarn in order to create nearly anything, primarily articles such as blankets or sweaters, although the possibilities are endless. I have been crocheting for nearly six months and have thoroughly enjoyed each and every project. Crocheting has significantly improved my own mental health as I have been able to find fulfillment in creating something that is tangible. Additionally, I have been able to make multiple gifts for friends that have all been incredibly rewarding. As the holidays approach, being able to make personalized gifts is an invaluable skill. The best part about creating is that I am able to consume media while crocheting, whether it be listening to music or watching a show. Although it is beyond okay to watch a movie while not doing anything, for those who find contentment in being productive but also like to consume media, crafts are perfect. While crocheting, I love to listen to the H3 podcast (shoutout family) or watch movies that have been on my watch list for far too long. As we enter the Winter, I challenge you to pick up a new hobby to fight back against the looming seasonal depression. If you are like me and have the incessant urge to be productive but are also an avid consumer of media, you should definitely find a craft and try it out!

  • Three Movies About Family to Watch Over Break

    By CJ Kula This semester has been brutal, and this past week has been no exception. If your professors are like mine, they have loaded all the final project assignments onto you the day before break. But that’s all in the past now! You have (hopefully) submitted all those assignments and you are ready for a much-needed break. Personally, I will spend this time with my family watching some of my favorite fall comfort movies. Without further ado, here are three movies to watch with family and friends over break. 1. Addams Family Values (1993) This film is the sequel to The Addams Family, but it works perfectly well on its own. After giving birth to their son Pubert, Gomez and Morticia hire a nanny to care for him. This nanny is the iconic villain of the story, Debbie, who marries and murders rich men for their money. Her next victim is Uncle Fester, who falls hopelessly in love with her. Meanwhile, Debbie sends Wednesday and Pugsley to a summer camp, where they are part of a Thanksgiving play. In true Addams family fashion, Wednesday gives an iconic speech and burns the set to the ground. This movie is full of incredible scenes, including Debbie’s origin story. She explains that for her tenth birthday, she got a Malibu Barbie instead of a Ballerina Barbie, so she burned down her family’s house. Despite their quirks, the Addams family is one of the best depictions of a loving and supportive family in media, and I will continue to watch this movie every year. 2. The Muppet Movie (1979) This is a little self-indulgent, but I will put this movie on every list until the end of time. It is one of my comfort films. It is a film within a film, the story of how the Muppets met. The movie follows Kermit the Frog from his swamp to Hollywood, meeting and picking up new friends as he goes. They are chased by a classic villain, Doc Hopper, who wants Kermit to advertise his fried frog legs. Even though they have just met, the Muppets band together against Hopper to achieve their dreams in Hollywood. They all come from different backgrounds, but as they sit in the theater watching their origin story, it is clear that the Muppets are family. 3. Lilo & Stitch (2002) You could argue that this is a summer movie but hear me out: It’s about family. It’s about how family can be put through the wringer and still be okay in the end. Experiment 626 escapes and crashes on Kaua’i, Hawaii, where he is sent to an animal shelter. Nani is Lilo’s older sister and guardian, who is trying to prove to a social worker that she can take care of Lilo. They adopt Experiment 626, now called Stitch, and Lilo forms a special bond with him. In the end, Nani, Lilo, and Stitch are a unique family that neither social workers nor aliens can tear apart.

  • Foxfire by Joyce Carol Oates

    By Ava Stern Badass. Foxfire: Confessions of a Girl Gang explains what female rage is and what it feels like. Set in 1950s Upstate New York, this novel follows five high school girls as they form “Foxfire” their version of a gang. Vengeance remains the main value of every member and it gets them into quite a lot of trouble. The best part about this book is probably the revenge. The girls mainly target predatory men and boys in the name of feminism and women empowerment. This novel is fast-paced in a stream-of-consciousness format that feels like you’re right in the backseat of the getaway car fleeing the scene with Foxfire. The leader/founder of Foxfire, Margaret “Legs” Sadovsky is a portrait of an independent and determined young woman. The way that Oates describes her character is intoxicating, with such a strong personality and way with people that encapsulates what it feels like to be a high school girl. What I liked most about this book is how the character Legs changes. She may run a girl gang and steal cars and break the law, but she is still a high school girl. She is both naive and aware at once. Confronted with problems at home, Legs uses her girls to escape and make a life for herself. At the end of the novel, the girls of Foxfire rent a house and it serves as a kind of haven for any girl who needs a place to stay. The overwhelming theme of sisterhood is comforting and reminds me of the close female relationships and groups I have been a part of. When they all lived together, it kind of reminded me of summer camp, when we all would sleep in the cabin together and spill every secret and regret. Sisterhood is such a powerful force and Oates managed to spell it out on the page. When I finished this book, I seriously considered a tattoo with the Foxfire symbol. One of my favorite reads this summer. “I look back now to that first year that was FOXFIRE’s supreme happiest time but we didn’t know it then, you never know at the time. Living’s immediacy, you go full sail, you’re in a fever of motion. Until it’s safe and past and down and dead and you can say, like walking from a dream. ‘Yes I was happy then, yes now it’s all over and I can see I was happy then.’ Maybe that’s the advantage of dying?” (Pg 56). Want more book reviews by Ava? Check out her blog:

  • Once is Not Enough

    By Ava Stern Once is Not Enough by Jaqueline Susann takes the reader to the 70s to follow the tumultuous life of January Wayne, daughter of a movie mogul, as she runs into tragedy after tragedy. Heavily focused on the Electra complex of January, Susann shows her deepest desires through each life decision she makes. Along with the everlasting competition with anyone her father shows interest in, January channels her subconscious desire through her desired partners, including an older man with a history with her father. After reading this book, I felt satisfied and excited, dreaming of a New York with $100 rent and champagne at the Plaza. Although the novel deals with pretty heavy topics of sex and drugs, the aesthetic and characterization of the main characters are easy to fall in love with. Throughout the novel, I felt drawn to and fascinated by the character Karla, an immigrant with a sad story who became a worldwide sensation. Her connections to the main character January are complicated, yet she symbolizes the opposite of January. Karla grew up with nothing and had to work very hard and eventually lived a quiet life, whereas January grew up with immense privilege and just then was starting her life. In chapter thirteen, Karla’s whole life is explained. Starting in Wilno, Poland in 1920, an excruciating painful story of her life is told. This chapter provided perspective and a zoomed-out point of view for all the characters in the novel and gave great details that helped me understand the complex character Karla. This element of the book had themes of historical fiction which I greatly appreciated. The use of flashbacks and storytelling was crucial for the characterization of this novel. “No! She cried out. ‘Once is not enough! Oh, Mother, how did you ever live through it as long as you did!” (Page 464) It always is satisfying to find the title of the book in the text. This quote connects January to her Mother, who left her when she was young. This agonizing cry for help really shows how much January’s Electra complex affected her (no spoilers). Once is Not Enough is now my second favorite book. I give it 5/5 stars! For more book reviews by Ava check out her blog:

  • A Quick Guide to Knitting Anything You See Online

    By Grace Hill Without a doubt, Pinterest is my most used website. Since teaching myself how to knit and crochet a couple of years ago, I’ve recreated some of my favorite pins and made endless birthday and holiday presents for my friends and family. Knitting especially is a daunting skill to learn, but with the help of my tried-and-tested list of fiber resources, you should be on your way to wearing that cool sweater you saved to your board months ago. A word on tools and materials: Knitting is not a cheap hobby by any means, but knowing what to invest in and what to save on is essential. Firstly, acrylic yarn might be the most cost-effective, but your pieces won’t last as long or wear as nicely. For cheap wool/wool blends, I look for colors and textures I like in thrift store knits and then clean and deconstruct those sweaters to harvest the yarn. Here’s a good video on the process! You can find pretty high-quality material if you look hard enough, but for deals on bulk yarn for bigger projects, Hobbii and KnitPicks are my go-to websites. For needles, you can either knit “flat” or “in the round”, and your knitting needles will change with either technique. Knitting “flat” means you create all the pieces (front, back, both arms, etc) individually then sew them all together, and you can do so with long, straight needles. Knitting “in the round” means you use corded knitting needles to create tubes that join together, usually seamlessly. An interchangeable needle set gives you the most flexibility since you can switch out the needle size and the length of the cord for the different parts of a project, and these can be used for knitting flat as well. Interchangeable sets are very expensive though, so if you only want to make one thing and move on, you can buy pretty cheap corded needles that come as one solid piece from most craft stores. For all other accessories, most of the time you can substitute with things you have on hand already. I’ve used bobby pins or safety pins to keep track of stitches, but for tools like a darning needle for finishing or a crochet hook to fix mistakes, those are pretty cheap too. My biggest tip - tap into your middle school self and get back on Youtube. I have learned 95% of what I know about knitting from how-to videos and following along with someone else’s project, and it's the best place for visual guides on the basic stitches, patterns, and jargon you need to know to start. Some of my favorite creators are Tiffany Liew, Well-Loved Knits, Sheep & Stitch, and Zhade Lang, and you can find a tutorial for pretty much anything and at any level of experience. Once you’ve gathered your materials, learned the basics, and figured out what you want to make, you can go one of two directions; either you do a lot of measuring and math to make your own pattern, or you find someone else’s pattern that's pretty close to what you’re recreating and go from there. I would recommend the latter, and for that I like Ravelry, but most yarn brands have websites with free curated lists that use their yarn to make it easy. If you want to make your own pattern, Knit Anything has a cool feature that designs the garment for you based on the type of stitch and measurements you input, and thinking about the Percentage System can help keep your projects proportionate if you don’t have an item of clothing you are referencing. There are a thousand other things to know about knitting to avoid messing up, going back, or restarting your project, but learning from those mistakes and seeing yourself improve is half the fun. Hopefully, this guide has given you those tools to get started on a new hobby or just a one-time recreation. Happy knitting!

  • Records

    By Noah Gocial What does a record signify? We know what it is and what it does, but why does it make some of us feel certain things? When I pick one up—a rare Miles Davis or Bone Thugs-N-Harmony—I feel a sense of accomplishment that I am hard-pressed to describe. It is as if I had been scouring the earth just for a chance I could find something, unsure of if it even exists, then here it is! With all the records I see and hold, I wonder how many people have been looking for that exact one. When I cannot purchase the record, I look at it as simply giving someone else the opportunity to buy it—let’s not kid ourselves, the same one tends to still be unbought week after week, waiting in perpetuity for the perfect person. The music means endless memories: weddings, break ups, long car rides, first kisses, graduation parties, nights out. I am holding a piece of history in my hand; did the artist know they would one day be signed, their record craved, bought, or abandoned? I have been searching for a very specific record since the start of this semester. Because I know that the person I’m getting this for will not read this, I will say that it’s Charles Mingus’ The Clown or really any of his other records. It’s like a game of cat and mouse. I have four vendors at the Georgetown Flea Market, and two record stores, on call to let me know if they found any of his work. They either entirely forgot about me or haven't found anything because I haven't heard anything yet. But I keep checking. And I will continue to keep checking. It has consumed me, to the point where if I do not see it in my vendors, then I leave! No looking at cool artifacts, political pins, clothing, or antiques; records or nothing. This past Sunday I went and learned that Dennis, one of the record vendors, had a Mingus but sold it last Sunday. Full stop. I was here last Sunday. What do you mean it was here, too? Was it that close to finally being in my possession? I asked where he was stationed, and he said on the other side of the area–I didn’t see him! So what does a record signify? Is it the hunt, the adventure? Is it the desire to find something rare and historical and claim it as your own? Is it the reward of getting to listen to the music—though it’s not like we have phones, right?—or is it how each person views an album differently? Maybe that’s it. How you can look at Karpeh by Cautious Clay and see Jazz while I see R&B. How you can view Winter in America by Gil Scott-Heron as being entertaining while I see it as being overtly political. How you listen to The Drop that Contained the Sea by Christopher Tin with disinterest while I see it as the definition of love. Maybe that is what the record signifies: the ever divulging reasons for enjoying music.

  • Looking For New Indie Tunes?

    By Isabel Chaparro Have you been looking for some new Indie tunes? Me too. This past Spring, I found myself getting tired of the same music and was struggling to find music that I liked but was different from my existing playlists. Luckily, I was in Taiwan at the time and learned that, unexpectedly, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and China have booming indie music scenes. It is so much fun and a great way to expose yourself to music from other regions of the world. Not to mention the music is really great! So, if you're looking for new songs to add to your playlist, here I am to give you my current fav Taiwan/China/Hong Kong tunes and artists. Without further ado, here are the recs! 再見! Artists: 1. my little airport - Hong Kong Indie Pop/Twee Latest Album: SABINA之淚 2. New Pants - China Indie/Pop-rock Latest Album: 爱 广播 飞机 (Love, Broadcast, Aircraft) 3. The Chairs - Taiwan Indie/Soft-rock Latest Album: The Great Escape Of Our Time 4. The Hertz - Hong Kong Indie-rock Latest Album: PRESENT 5. Deca Joins - Taiwan Indie-rock meets lo-fi Latest Album: 鳥鳥鳥 Bird and Reflections 6. Jingfei - China Indie-pop/chill Latest Album: 陈婧霏 (Translation: Chen Jingfei) 7. Schoolgirl Byebye - Taiwan Indie-rock meets chill Latest Album: 恋人 8. 動物園釘子戶 - China Casual/chill indie Latest Album: 動物園釘子戶Ⅱ Songs: Lonestar - The Chairs 未日快車 - The Hertz 暈船記 - Jingfei 别再问我什么是迪斯科 - New Pants 现在你是雨 - Schoolgirl Byebye 每次你走的時分 - my little airport 海邊旅館一夜 - Schoolgirl Byebye 一個人在濱湖公園 - 動物園釘子戶 白日夢 - No Party For Cao Dong 煙花 - Leah Dou

  • Mostly Cozy: Books for Winter

    By McKenna Casey The time for ghouls and ghosts is just about wrapped up (although is it ever, really?) and it's time for cozy books. I have come supplied with some picks to make the cold months warmer, and some to make them a bit chillier, if that’s your vibe. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley is a classic for the winter, especially those stormy nights when the power threatens to vacate the premises. Shelley’s famous work is a timeless and accessible read for newcomers and familiar readers alike. Frankenstein recounts the story of Victor Frankenstein’s life, including the creation of his creature and the numerous consequences of that breakthrough. Tragic, lyrical, and eerie, this premier work of science fiction is perfect for curling up and seeming cultured. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern has some of the most compelling setting descriptions I have ever read. The titular circus is the star of the novel, operating as the ever-changing center stage of a competition between two rival magicians. This book is like a cup of hot tea on a frigid day, and gets better as it steeps. Perfect for fantasy readers who like the flavors of romance and historical fiction. The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers reignited the cozy space opera genre. It follows an eclectic cast of characters as they travel through space on the wormhole-building ship Wayfarer. Found family in space, what more could one want? Not without its political intrigue and tense moments, The Long Way fills the void in your heart as it traverses the endless void of space. The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien is warm bread and knitted scarves and blizzards. Even for first-time readers, entering Tolkien’s world of Middle Earth feels a bit like coming home. At its heart, The Hobbit is a story about hope, bravery, and friendship – it makes you feel warm on the inside. I also recommend carrying on to the Lord of the Rings series after finishing The Hobbit, because if you’re snowed in, what else are you going to do? Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery might seem like an autumn book (it is) but if you spend winter reminiscing on more colorful times, Anne of Green Gables is for you. I read this book as a young girl and it changed my life with its lyrical descriptions of nature and its headstrong protagonist. While tragic at times, Green Gables’s story of orphan Anne’s growing relationship with her adoptive family and new friends will make your heart grow at least three sizes. Piranesi by Susanna Clarke is one of those books that leaves you feeling like you witnessed genius. Destined to become a future classic, Piranesi’s tale of a man living in a world of endless halls is unequivocally new and wonderfully imagined. With only a small cast of characters, none of whom are particularly reliable, the vast setting shines. Reflective and mysterious, Piranesi is a book to pick up and not put down until it’s finished. But what else can you expect from the author of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell? That’s it, for now! Read your hearts out.

  • 3 Books You Read in High School English That are Worth Revisiting

    By Grace Weinberg If your high school English classes were anything like mine, you racked up a considerable amount of classics over the years, from Shakespeare to Steinbeck and lots in between. Pretty much all of our texts were from at least the 20th century and often before, and I remember dreading a lot of the books we covered in class. Some I enjoyed, others less so, and some I avoided actually reading altogether. The books assigned to us, or at least most of them, seemed dated and irrelevant; what could The Scarlet Letter possibly have to say about modern life or teach 16 year old me? Now that I’m a few years removed, I unfortunately must admit that maybe my English teachers were onto something. The books we read may have been tedious and difficult, but, at the risk of sounding too much like my senior year English teacher, they really did teach us about good literature and the world (and how to navigate it). Lately, I’ve found myself wanting to go back and revisit some of these books, and I think there are at least 3 that are worth another read. Don’t worry, I’m certainly not going to suggest you suffer through Crime and Punishment again unless you really want to, but there are a few classics which I think are definitely worth taking another look at and perhaps rereading (or, let’s be honest, properly reading for the first time): 1: King Lear by William Shakespeare Okay, I know this isn’t technically a book, but it’s assigned in many high school English classes around the country (including mine) and I think it definitely merits the top spot. Most high schoolers absolutely hate Shakespeare; his language is often inaccessible and hard to decipher, meaning that his beautiful words and their meanings can get lost in the Old English sauce. And while this is a completely valid criticism, especially bearing in mind that these are 16 year olds, Shakespeare’s work is most certainly worth taking another look at. I read a few Shakespeare plays in high school and King Lear was by far my favorite. The plot is fast-paced, unpredictable, and riveting, which kept me hooked (something I unfortunately cannot say for all his plays I’ve read). We see King Lear struggle with dividing his kingdom between his children as he reaches the end of his life and the chaos that ensues, as family drama meets political conflict meets questions of belonging, love, and identity. Shakespeare’s beautiful language is as present as ever, and the multidimensional characters and their strife make this play one worth another look. (Also, if you’re a fan of Succession, the show is based loosely on King Lear, down to who takes over at the end of the series… no spoilers, but definitely worth looking into if you’re interested!) 2: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley This novel, told from multiple perspectives, follows student Victor Frankenstein as he creates a living creature through a science experiment, and the chaos that ensues as the monster struggles with its existence and humanity (or lack thereof). The empathy that Shelley is able to invoke from the readers for this monster as it deals with very human struggles of purpose, belonging, and isolation is quite the feat, and the fact she was only 18 when she began writing the novel is all the more impressive. Frankenstein is one of the most famous and successful Gothic and Romantic novels for a reason; its incredible plot and imagery make it a hallmark of the genres. It also explores important moral issues of human responsibility for technology after creating it when the technology leads to unforeseen consequences, something that has become especially pertinent in recent years with AI. This book is also definitely worth another read for the sole purpose of being able to correct people who refer to Frankenstein’s monster as Frankenstein and bringing up the fact that Frankenstein was not, in fact, the monster but the student in any conversation ever ;). 3: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald This one’s a fan favorite amongst high schoolers; it’s often cited as students’ favorite classics from English class, and I have to say I largely agree with them. My love for this book goes beyond the 2013 movie adaptation; I remember being enamored with the glamorous 1920s aesthetic and the complex, multilayered characters when I first read this book my junior year of high school, and have reread it a few times since with even more joy. The story is told by Nick Carraway who is recalling his life years ago on Long Island in the Jazz Age, and his interactions with elusive millionaire Jay Gatsby and Jay’s love for, or rather obsession with, Daisy Buchanan. The novel takes readers through extravagant parties, emotional conversations, and exciting plot twists while weaving in subtle but important motifs such as eyes, time, and the color green. At around 200 pages, this book is a quick and exciting read. I also love an unreliable narrator, and Nick Carraway is most definitely unreliable; as the book progresses this becomes more clear and adds another interesting layer to the story. I highly recommend this one, especially if you aren’t the biggest fan of classics, as it’s not only a more modern classic but very accessible in language and length. If none of these sound particularly appealing to you, here are some honorable mentions that I would also recommend: In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë, Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev, and Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. High school English class was definitely an interesting experience to say the least, and while a lot of the readings in it seemed archaic and irrelevant at the time, further reflection may show these books to have more worth and wisdom to us than they may have in high school. Also, reading these books for fun rather than school and not having to post-it note every two pages for a literary device will already make them that much more bearable.

  • Five books that will make the perfect accent to your dark academia winter

    By Tyler Davis The weather is getting colder, the boots and coats are coming out of storage, and it’s getting dark at 5pm. If you’re still looking for a way to transition from your summer romance novels, here are my recommendations of the best books for your dark academia winter. If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio The novel follows Oliver Marks, who has just been released from jail for a murder he may or may not have committed. As one of seven actors studying Shakespeare at an elite arts college, Oliver and his friends find themselves playing the same roles off-stage as they do on-stage and as tensions continue to rise, one of them is found dead. Now they must convince themselves and the police that they are blameless. Nothing gives more dark academia than a Shakespeare-inspired murder mystery set in rural Illinois. Perfect for a late-night, frantic finish that keeps you on the edge of your seat. The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton If you couldn’t tell, we’re on a real murder mystery kick this winter. Follow Aiden Bishop as he attempts to solve the murder of Evelyn Hardcastle in eight days, while waking up in the body of a different guest every day. It’s the perfect novel to devour entirely in one day, and you’ll be talking about all the different twists and turns for weeks on end. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde Sue if you must, but I find that there’s no better time to read a classic novel than winter, especially Oscar Wilde. Dorian Gray, local golden boy, has his life upended by his own portrait. He trades his soul for unending youth, while the portrait becomes stained with evidence of his evil. I find that the shock and horror in this book is less about the ending and more about the journey it takes to get there. Gray forces the reader to grapple with their own sense of self-importance, and what it means when the importance overshadows the self. Dante’s Inferno by Dante Alighieri Yet another classic novel. This one is partially because I read it during winter, and the association has stuck. And really, what’s more dark academia winter than a stylized journey through the circles of hell? Dante Alighieri has been forced to take the journey through hell, a last ditch effort to convince himself to change his less-than-Godly lifestyle before he truly ends up in hell forever. In my opinion, this novel is best slowly digested over the course of winter. A Certain Hunger by Chelsea G. Summers This book is for avid supporters of women’s rights and more importantly, women’s wrongs. Food critic Dorothy Daniels makes a disturbing connection between her love of increasingly complex meals and her love of non-committal sex that, in my opinion, solidifies her as worthy of eternal fame. It’s up to interpretation whether that fame be positive or negative, but is there really a difference?

  • Like the whole world's out of sync: or how things would feel without queer joy

    By Charlotte Van Schaack Just in time for Halloween a chill set into the DC air and dropped the temperature nearly twenty degrees. I know that by the time you are reading this it is likely November, or months after, but bear with me. As of late I have been consuming a lot of “spooky season” media, but all with good academic intent. I am writing about ghosts and I am reading about Frankenstein (his Creature too) and I am listening to songs about werewolves and I am sure that all of my friends are sick of it. I watched the movie Ghost (which I highly recommend) and as I am writing now, The Sixth Sense is on in the background. All of my wits say that it makes sense to take advantage of what was supposed to be an October 30th blog post and write about one of my academic topics or at least Rocky Horror Picture show. Honestly though, and quite unfortunately perhaps, I have not had a single idea come to mind. Rather, I would like to write about the magic of live theater (this is not a joke). Over Halloweekend I went to see Head Over Heels for the third time this year. The AU Department of Performing Arts put together a magnificent production of the musical. As a disclaimer: I am a theater enthusiast, not a critique, but please take what I have to say to heart. Head Over Heels is an unapologetic celebration of queer joy. This musical won my heart over several years ago when I remembered having seen a marquee once and never hearing anything more. That is to say that in 2021, I spontaneously remembered hearing about the show in 2018, and then in 2021 decided to listen to the soundtrack and make it my entire personality. If you haven’t yet privileged yourself with viewing a production and have not looked up the wikipedia page by this point, let me direct you to the two pieces of media it miraculously and seamlessly stitches together: The Countess of Pembroke’s Arcadia by Sir Phillip Sidney and The Go-Go’s discography. Now, if you would like to hear about the use of each musical number, or the plot, or the complications and various iterations of the show before the version most people know now, please go find another article. I am here to write about how much I enjoyed AU’s production and I am here to remind readers of how important it is for us to see representations of queer joy. My favorite part of Head Over Heels, hands down, is that any instance of queerness is met with unwavering acceptance. When characters realize they are queer, everything falls into place. It is the kind of affirmation that more people need to see. I hope that some college students or community members were able to feel something positive take hold of them too. I encourage everyone to seek out media that celebrates queer identities and showcases happy experiences unique to queerness. It is incredibly important to you and to the queer community that you do so. And if you will allow me three final words: “Let’s go lesbians!”

  • 5 Albums You Should Listen to This Fall

    By Ava Bagdasarian The leaves are finally beginning to turn that yellowish, reddish color that I wait all year for. The nights creep up earlier and people wander the streets in costume. In the spirit of, what is in my opinion, the greatest season of the year, here are 5 albums you should listen to this fall! 1. Bear Creek - Brandi Carlile (2012) This album came out in the spring of fourth grade and I fondly remember coming home from school during the following fall and my mom playing it in the kitchen as my brother and I did our homework. Bear Creek has folk and americana roots, with banjo, guitar, organ, piano, mandolin, violin, and other instruments complimenting Carlile’s incomparable vocals and it very distinctly feels like late September/early October to me. It's a no-skip album for me… all of Brandi’s albums are no-skips for me. Recommendations: “I’ll Still Be There,” “That Wasn’t Me” 2. Hozier (Expanded Edition) - Hozier (2014) Everyone went through a Hozier phase when Hozier first dropped “Take Me to Church” in 2013. Some never left that phase… Hozier displays the Irish songwriter’s haunting musical talent and ability to tell a story over the course of 1 hour and 3 minutes. Hozier-Byrne’s voice is chilling and righteous and it compliments the changing of the seasons oh so well. It will continue achieving its place on my October Receiptify as it has since it first came out nearly 10 years ago. Recommendations: “Work Song,” “Cherry Wine - Live,” “Someone New” 3. MTV Unplugged Unplugged 2.0- Ms. Lauryn Hill (2002) Regardless of the album, Ms. Lauryn Hill has always been a fall artist for me. From the Miseducation to this live album, something about her voice scratches an itch in my brain. Hill’s comical interjections, commentary, and interactions with the audience are some of my favorite aspects of the live recordings, giving them some form of intimacy and breaking the fourth wall. I’m obsessed! Favorite Songs: “Just Like Water - Live,” “I Find It Hard to Say (Rebel) - Live” 4. Cardinal (Expanded Edition)- Pinegrove (2016) There’s nothing that screams mid-semester existential crisis more than Pinegrove, in the best way possible. Cardinal is house parties, walking back from the library at 2 a.m., friendsgivings, cloudy afternoons, bulky sweaters, long conversations with friends that stretch deep into the night, writing midterm papers, and thinking about the future. It is nostalgic and somber, and it emulates the feeling of being an upperclassman recognizing that time is fleeting and trying to savor every last moment. 10/10. Favorite Song: “Old Friends,” “Aphasia” 5. Notes from the Archive: Recordings 2011-2016- Maggie Rogers (2020) Maggie Rogers has risen to fame for her pop music, but she has roots in folk and Americana. Notes from the Archives is a collection of folkish songs, co-released with a sister album featuring commentary on each of the tracks. It includes a song featuring Del Water Gap (love him) and a mix of acoustic and electric ballads. While it came out in December, it made its way onto my playlists the following September. The album screams fall and deserves to be in every playlist accordingly. Favorite Song: “Blood Ballet,” “On the Page,” “New Song” Honorable mentions: Punisher - Phoebe Bridgers Solitude - Billie Holiday Speaking in Tongues (Deluxe Version) - Talking Heads Fleet Foxes- Fleet Foxes

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