In “Wonderland”

Taylor Swift’s 1989 is by far one of the best and most successful albums of this year, and quite possibly the decade.  After six months on sale, the album still sits within the top ten of the Billboard 200 and iTunes Top Albums, and it has sold over four million copies just within the U.S. (I think it sold like eight million world wide so far).  In fact, Swift’s 1989 has outsold both her previous two albums, Red and Speak Now.  But what makes this album so great is that it takes listeners on a journey in one cohesive, fluid motion.  It’s relatable, timeless, and inspiring.  It has even gone on to grow Swift’s already huge fan empire.

I bring this up for two reasons. One, I saw this on Twitter a while ago and have always thought it was hysterical because of it’s great caption, and I wanted to share:


The other reason I bring up 1989 is because if you haven’t picked up the deluxe edition or the bonus tracks on iTunes, I highly recommend it, especially the song “Wonderland.”  This particular song has been stuck in my head, but it really captures the exciting feelings I have around this time of year, the time when Spring blooms and it’s almost summer.  It starts off simple and soft, and then explodes into a huge, upbeat chorus that has epic drums and fantastic dub step.  Then it draws back to the simple synths, and then explodes again. It’s such a great dance number.

Swift makes references to, obviously, Alice in Wonderland, especially with lines referring to falling “down a rabbit hole,” and her love interest calming her fears with a “Cheshire cat smile.”  Lyrically, I think the song is very tight and amazing; the lyric that’s most powerful to me has to be “I should have slept with one eye open at night.”  This line is the epitome of the song: she was swept up into a toxic relationship that felt magical, but was really rather damaging and not healthy, which she regrets letting herself get there.

While I usually post clips of songs I write about, I’m again not going to do so to honor Taylor Swift’s determination to revive the music industry and not allow music to be free.  Also, let’s be real, any Youtube clip I’d find would most certainly be deleted within an hour or so…but, if you’re looking for a new song to bop to in the sun, and you have a $1.29 to burn on iTunes, “Wonderland” really is a “wonder” to listen to…

J.K. Rowling Still Blows My Mind

I am a huge Harry Potter fan.  Did I wait for my Hogwarts letter to arrive on my eleventh birthday?  Yes.  Am I kind of mad it still hasn’t arrived yet?  Yes.

I think one of the things I love the most about this series is how much J.K. Rowling thought through and planned these books.  I mean, there’s a scene in the fifth book where Harry, Hermione, Sirius, and the Weasleys find a locket that can’t be opened, which ends up being the Horcrux Harry and his friends need to find in the seventh book.  It’s such a small, minor detail, but she tied it all together.

I had read somewhere that Rowling got a lot of her inspiration for spells and names of the characters in Harry Potter from the Latin language.  Like Lupin’s name came from the Latin word lupus, meaning wolf.  So one day I randomly decided to look up what the name Phineas meant.  I was curious as to why she would give Sirius’s ancestor, Phineas Nigellus Black, that name; was it random or on purpose?  Well, apparently “Phineas” is a Hebrew name meaning “oracle,” and Phineas Nigellus Black was the painting that gave information and advice to Harry when Harry was in 12 Grimmauld Place (or when Phineas Nigellus was in Hermione’s purse in book seven), acting like an oracle.

Then, randomly, I ended up on Google translate, and decide to type in “avada kedavra,” the killing curse.  Now, I was assuming it was going to be Latin for something. Except it’s not. According to Google, it’s Estonian meaning “forbidden curses.” Seriously. J.K. Rowling is familiar with the Estonian language (she might not be, but this lady is so seriously smart and talented, I would not put it past her for knowing Estonian). On a side note, I did read that she came up with the term avada kedavra as a play on “abracadabra” and something about using Greek spellings (I kind of skimmed that part of the article…) but what are the chances it means “forbidden curses” in Estonian when in fact avada kedavra is the most forbidden curse in Harry Potter.  My mind is blown and now I kind of want to have tea with Ms. Rowling and discuss how awesome she is…

If I discover anymore mind blowing facts, as I no doubt probably will, I’ll share.

Jeff Dunham: One Man with So Many Voices

If you’ve never seen Jeff Dunham perform, prepare to have a great laugh.  I saw one of his specials many years ago on tv and was amazed how he could bring his puppets to life.  You forget that he’s a ventriloquist because he gives each one of his characters such life with different accents and personalities.  My favorite is his character Peanut; they have this great bit where Peanut sings/mispronouces Jeff Dunham’s name:

The really clever part about this is Jeff Dunham is doing a great job branding himself and implanting in our memories his name and website.  In the above clip, he spends the full two and a half minutes repeating his name in Peanut’s weird voices, and he refers to his website ( at least six times.  Meanwhile, we’re left repeating “Jeff Dunham Dot Com” like Peanut.  I saw this before I went to business school and was not aware at all what he was doing, but seeing it again made me realize that Dunham is driving traffic to his website and getting his name/brand out there.  And making you remember it.   It’s clever.

Overall, I’m amazed by Jeff Dunham and think he’s a great comedian.  He has a good nature and doesn’t go over the top like some other comedians do.  And it is really hard to imagine that it’s really just one man standing on a stage during this performance because it’s so spectacular.

Take a look at some other hilarious Jeff Dunham skits:

All Hail Tony Hale

The main reason I’ve been watching Veep is because I find Tony Hale’s character, Gary Walsh, hysterical.  While the other actors do have great performances, Hale as Gary is what makes the show.  I think it’s because the other characters tend to be more aggressive and assertive and active in the politics, whereas Gary is more focused on Selina’s (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) needs.  Here’s a little clip of different “Gary” scenes I found, it doesn’t really do justice of what he’s really like on the show, but it’ll give you a taste:

Anyway, the reason I bring any of this is up is because I found this interview with Tony Hale that I thought was equally hysterical.  He tells Conan O’Brien about his first acting jobs and some mishaps he had. It got me laughing, so I figured I’d share so you can start this week off laughing as well.


I apologize for the lack of updates over the week, it’s finally warm and beautiful here in New England and I’ve been using any excuse to stay outside in the sun.  Soaking it up while I can.  Therefore, I’ve decided to post a playlist of songs I think embody this beautiful weather.

You’re a Meme, Ma’am

Recently I’ve been watching the show Veep, and while I think it’s a poor depiction of what it would be like if we had a female vice president, I do think the actors do a great job and the show becomes funny once you understand the dynamics of their office.  I’ve been watching it mainly because I find Tony Hale, who plays the vice president’s bag man Gary, hysterical.  Anyway, there’s an episode where Vice President Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) has a PR disaster because a picture taken during a hostage rescue was released and it shows her looking at her phone while everyone else is taking the mission seriously.

Naturally, she wasn’t “tweeting” while the mission was happening, but the picture was taken at the wrong time for her.  This then causes people to photoshop her into significant historical events like the signing of the Declaration of Independence (if the video clip below doesn’t work, clip here to see the scene I’m talking about).

The funny part is that people (in real life) have continued on this “meme Ma’am” thing and photoshopped Julia-Louis Dreyfus as Selina Meyer into other scenarios, and I think it’s hysterical.  There’s one of her taken during the final battle between Harry Potter and Voldemort, one of an asteroid hitting Earth, and one while Marty and Doc from Back to the Future are time traveling.  If you want to see more of these memes because you’re a fan of the show or because you think it’s funny like me, google “Selina Meyer meme,” that’s how I found these.


Talking Body

I have to admit, I thought Tove Lo was going to be a one hit wonder.  Her hit “Habits (Stay High)” burned up radio here in America last summer/fall, reaching number three on the Billboard Hot 100, an incredible feat for a debut single.  I actually thought it deserved a Grammy nomination for at least Song of the Year because it is such a cleverly written song.  Technically, she wouldn’t be considered a one hit wonder because she was featured on Alesso’s song “Heroes (We Could Be),” which charted to number thirty-one on the Hot 100, but she only had one huge major hit.  Then I finally heard “Talking Body,” her next single from her debut album Queen of the Clouds, and I think she’s got another hit.

“Talking Body” has such a great beat to dance to (yes, I did give a little shimmy while writing this/listening to the song), especially around the chorus. I like the sound during the chorus that sounds, this is the only way I can think about describing it, like a faint beep of a grocery store checkout scanner.  Such a weird description to give, but I think it gives the song a nice punch of air.  You should definitely check out “Talking Body” (you can listen to it above), it could be a great hit for the summer…the snow’s melting, it’s time we get out and dance around on the dewy grass.

Incidently, Tove Lo is the mastermind behind Ellie Goulding’s massively successful hit “Love Me Like You Do;” she co-wrote it with Max Martin, a music god/producer, as well as Savan Kotecha, Ilya, and Ali Payami.  Why Tove Lo didn’t record the song instead of selling it, I’m not sure.  I do know that Tove Lo started out as a songwriter before trying to start a solo career, so it is possible “Love Me Like You Do” was a song she sold before her recent success.  Regardless, when you hear “Love Me Like You Do,” I think it sounds like Tove Lo singing it.

Anne Hathaway Came in Like a Wrecking Ball

So I was watching The Tonight Show the other night and Jimmy Fallon was explaining how he was going to be on this new show Lip Sync Battle, and concluded his little spiel by saying Anne Hathaway would be on it and that people would be “talking” about what she was going to do.  This is what she did.  And it’s awesome:

I didn’t get to see the full episode yet, but she battles Emily Blunt.  I have no idea what Blunt did, but there’s no way she could outdo Anne Hathaway swinging around on a wrecking ball like Miley Cyrus.  I wonder if they decided to pair Anne Hathaway and Emily Blunt together because they both played Meryl Streep’s assistants in The Devil Wears Prada