Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Top 12 Moments of 2012

1. Finally dying my hair. I talked about doing it for years and years and last January, shortly after the first, I finally did it with the help of my buddies.

Look at how red it was! Also, enjoy this photo of Maggie and I with a dinosaur.

2. So, in August of 2011, I hurt my knee at Austin City Limits by standing up. No, really. That's actually what happened. Britny and I were sitting on a blanket, listening to Fleet Foxes and decided to move over to Randy Newman. I stood up and something snapped and then I was sitting down again. It was misdiagnosed for a long, long time which left me walking with a limp like an old school pimp for the rest of 2011. I wore a brace for about a month, but it didn't do anything. If I turned a certain way, it would swell up and I would basically be hobbling.

This is what happened right before I was supposed to go to Lubbock to spend New Year's with my buddies. I went anyway and after getting back, I was at the doctor for it again. I got an MRI, which was weird that it wasn't done sooner considering, and found out that I had a big tear my cartilage under my left knee cap. I had surgery on January 13th. I remember because it was a Friday and I was already nervous enough without that added superstition. I spent the rest of January and most of February on crutches, not to mention a month of physical therapy after that, but this is definitely one of my top moments for the year. The first time I was able to go up a set of stairs like a normal person, without having to clutch the railing like my life depended on it as I swung my leg up at an angle to get it up over the step was AMAZING. I was so thrilled that I wanted to dance a jig, but I knew I would hurt myself again, so I refrained.

3. Seeing Mumford & Sons and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros with Maggie during Spring Break. FOR FREE.

4. Belated birthdays and fort-building with my buddies. This was the last time we all hung out before our whole dynamic changed over the summer. It's very bittersweet to look on now, but definitely one of my favorite moments of the year.

5. Crazy one-day road trip back to Austin during my very brief two-week summer vacation with Maggie and Britny for Starkid's APOCALYPTOUR. We got to Austin a few hours before the show started and left around one in the morning, getting back home around five. The overall trip was less crazy and more exhausting, but great nonetheless.

6. Seeing The Head and the Heart at Waterloo for free, even if they only had time to play four songs, was awesome. Enjoy the audio from the videos I took if you have the time. They were spectacular to see perform live.

7. My older brother got married this summer. I'm the youngest of four, two brothers and one sister, and Jeremy is the first to get married. The entire wedding was beautiful and so much fun. There was a live band for the reception, a photo booth area full of silly props, and an open bar. Towards the end of the night, people were dancing with said props, which included mullet whigs, fake mustaches, and several plastic weapons.

My whole family was dancing together the last few songs. When "I'll Stop the World and Melt With You" started playing, the last song of the night, it was felt like a scene from a movie.

Jeremy put Elizabeth up on his shoulders and I'm pretty sure every single person there was dancing. The moment was so full of joy and just sheer happiness. It was one of those moments that you know it's exactly where you are supposed to be.

8. Getting an apartment with my sister was a last minute decision (especially because I didn't find out I didn't have a dorm until the middle of July), but I was so happy to be out of the dorms. I love having a bathroom that I only have to share my sister instead of 20 or so people. I love being able to take showers without shoes and not having to cart so much stuff into the bathroom to get ready everyday. I especially, and irrationally, love having the ability to light candles whenever I feel like it.

9. Maggie, Kaitlyn and I ran a Color Me Rad 5K in Dallas, and I had a blast. Even after my surgery, my knee was bothering me over the summer and I wasn't able to run as much as I should have. Although I didn't run the entire thing, I was able to run a lot of it pain-free with the help of a cheap knee brace and it was SO EXCITING. I feel like I can't appropriately convey how jazzed I was to be running and not limping.

10. KaCee was able to come down and go to Austin City Limits with me this past October and it was so awesome. We saw a lot of great bands, including Jack White, The Black Keys, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Florence + The Machine, and so many others. 

One of my favorites from the weekend was Band of Skulls. The first day of ACL was almost unbearably hot and sunny. So, naturally the second day, when Band of Skulls was playing, it was cool and rainy. It started pouring after they had played like, two songs. KaCee and I, with many others, stayed near the stage and waited to see if they could dry the equipment in time to play a few more. KaCee had a poncho so she stayed relatively dry. I did not have a poncho or an umbrella, so I was drenched. The rain stopped momentarily and they did play a few more, including "I Know What I Am" and "Light of the Morning." It started up again towards the end of it though and because of that, it was one of the most shows badass shows I think I've ever seen live.

11. For a class this semester, I had to live blog the election. I went to the Democratic Watch Party in downtown Austin and though at the time it was super stressful, it was incredible. Though I much prefer feature stories and human interest pieces, covering the election was exciting. I met some very interesting people, got some great quotes and perspective for my group's blog and made an A!

12. My friend Mary got married at the beginning of December. She is a very talented photographer and their wedding was crazy and colorful (Mary's colors were glitter and rainbow) and it was all just so Mary.
The bachelorette party great too, though not as crazy as most. We caught a show at Esther's Follies, a comedy club in downtown Austin, and had some Amy's ice cream afterwards.

After the wedding, Maggie, KaCee, Britny and I spent most of the night in a Whataburger in our fancy attire, being loud and obnoxious. We spent the night at my apartment and didn't wake up until way late in the afternoon. It was a great and emotional weekend, but made dealing with the last week of class very difficult.

Despite these great moments, this year as a whole was very trying. I can't wait for all the possibilities that 2013 will bring.

- Melany

Friday, December 21, 2012

Just thought I'd share my Apocalypse Mix that I've had on repeat for the last few days.
  1. Bad Moon Rising by Creedence Clearwater Revival
  2. Black Hole Sun by Soundgarden
  3. It's The End of the World as We Know It by REM
  4. Sugar, We're Goin Down by Fall Out Boy
  5. Fire on the Mountain by Rob Thomas
  6. Hell of a Season by The Black Keys
  7. Evacuate by The Boxer Rebellion
  8. Gimme Shelter by The Rolling Stones
  9. Cannibal by Ke$ha*
  10. This is The End (For You My Friend) by Anti-Flag
  11. Hurricane Drunk by Florence + The Machine
  12. Thnks Fr Th Mmrs by Fall Out Boy
  13. Room @ The End Of The World by Matt Nathanson
  14. You, Me & The Boatman by Quiet Company
  15. Sink to the Bottom by Fountains of Wayne
  16. Unfinished Business by Mumford & Sons
  17. I Will Follow You into the Dark by Death Cab for Cutie
  18. The End by The Autumns 
While putting this together, a story formed and in my head this became the soundtrack to my future (and obviously imaginary) zombie movie.

It's a classic tale about a group of friends who are skeptical about the impending, predicted apocalypse. Then some kind of catastrophic event occurs and everyone freaks out. They try to get to safety and find shelter, but as a result of the astroid that hit the Earth, or the nuclear bombs or whatever, a ZOMBIE EPIDEMIC STRIKES. One of the friends in the group gets infected and they have to kill them. There's also a sweet little secondary love story that's apparent in the last five songs of the playlist, but everybody dies anyway.

The end.


*Yes, I could have used Zombie by The Cranberries, but that was too easy. And Ke$ha makes me laugh, so deal with it.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween Mix

I've been obsessively working on this mix since the end of September, trying to find songs that had the perfect lyrical content and gritty, eerie sound. I think I accomplished that. I hope.
  1. Bottom of the River - Delta Rae
  2. Dead Man's Bones - Dead Man's Bones
  3. Future Starts Slow - The Kills
  4. Wolves and Werewolves - The Pack A.D.
  5. Burn the Witch - Queens Of The Stone Age
  6. Psycho Killer (Talking Heads Cover) - Velvet Revolver
  7. Ten Cent Pistol - The Black Keys
  8. Old Haunts, New Cities - Typhoon
  9. I Put A Spell On You - Creedence Clearwater Revival
  10. In The Room Where You Sleep - Dead Man's Bones
  11. People Are Strange - The Doors
  12. The Ghost Who Walks - Karen Elson
  13. Girl With One Eye - Florence + The Machine
  14. Blood - Band of Skulls
  15. Golden And Green - The Builders and The Butchers
  16. Dig a Grave by Dark Dark Dark
  17. Steam Rising - Murder By Death
  18. Under Your Spell - Timber Timbre
  19. O Death - Jan Titus
I finished it about a week ago, but unfortunately, real life prevented me from posting sooner. I had a lot of fun working on this and found a ton of new songs doing so, which is always great. One of my favorite songs on the playlist would have to be Timber Timbre's "Under Your Spell." It was one of the last songs I found and just fit in so great with the vibe I was going for. Have a listen.

Another great band that I fell in love with after doing this would be Dead Man's Bones. I bought their only album back in September and I highly recommend it, especially for all you Halloween lovers. Not only is part of the two man ensemble Ryan Gosling, but the entire CD has such a unique sound. And the entire thing is Halloween-themed, so how could you not love it?

If you find yourself with some spare time today, give some of the music above a listen and have a spooktacular day.

Happy haunting!

- Melany

Monday, October 1, 2012

Happy October 1st!

I cannot adequately describe how much I love Halloween. I will try to over the course of this magical month, but since today is filled with tests and whatnot, here's a little musical treat (no trick) to brighten your day.


Sunday, September 2, 2012

Hello, all!

To get the customary, boring introduction post out of the way: My name is Melany and I'm a junior at the University of Texas at Austin. I'm a journalism major and I'm starting this blog so I can practice doing some "professional" writing, (My old blog was probably the furthest thing from professional.) I'm a huge movie fanatic and buy way too many of them. I'm really into music as well and will hopefully start an entertainment blog sometime soon.

I owe thanks to my best friend Maggie for the beautiful design of this blog. We worked into the wee hours of the morning for two days to get it finished and it was totally worth it. It is beautiful and obviously, all my posts will be drivel in comparison.

So, to catch everyone up to speed, I spent my entire summer in school, otherwise known as Spanish Hell. It was my first summer away from home since I've been in college and it is officially the first of many. I am sharing an apartment with my older sister for the next year so I have officially become an Austin resident.

How weird.

I was able to go home for about a week before fall classes started again and it was unsettling. Just going home and realizing it's not really my home anymore is surreal. Everything just seemed so small, which is crazy considering that it's the first time in my parent's 25 years of marriage that they have the entire house to themselves. I know I've outgrown it, but I haven't grown into an actual adult yet and it's unnerving to realize you're growing and changing as it happens. It's so bizarre to realize how much has actually changed since I graduated high school. Things that I thought would never happen in a million years have.

While home, I started cleaning in what used to be my bedroom, what has always for my entire life been my bedroom. It looked so bare. I actually couldn't bring myself to clean much of it because it was too different. I know it will always be home, but when I go there, I'm just a visitor. That, in addition to seeing a friend I use to talk to at school every day and realizing I hadn't seen her in two years, left me feeling down.

Not the best emotional mindset to start a new semester, but I am excited for the new possibilities this semester will bring. I am extremely enthused to not be taking a Spanish class this semester, but I also hate that I still have more to take. I will throughly enjoy my break regardless. I am SUPER STOKED to be out of the dorms and be able to light candles and open windows, not to mention the satisfaction of being barefoot in the shower.

I am constantly stalking apartment stuff at Urban Outfitters. I am thrilled to get new bedding. At the moment, my bed is currently rocking what I like to call "Frankenstein sheets" because it consists of black and white striped sheets from the '80s (No, I'm not kidding.), a lime green and bright pink reversible comforter and blue pillow cases from my dorm room set. It's ridiculous. I'm excited/terrified of my news editing class because I will actually learn how to do print and web layout. I also can't wait to try-out for the Daily Texan. It's also great/weird that I will work as a nanny this semester.

It's going to be a busy semester, but I'm going to make this blog a priority so Maggie won't kill me for letting her beautiful layout go to waste. (Editor's note: Because I will actually kill her.)