I haz a book club now!

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A club of two is still a club, right?

I have this friend who’s such a voracious reader like moi. Although, while I read mostly young adult novels, he’s more into sci-fi and literary. We once read THE MARTIAN on a weekend and subsequently discussed it when we saw each other. It’s quite surprising how we thought of making a book club of the two of us only now. Makes sense too though since we don’t usually read the same books.

But I want to read more literary fiction. More adult novels. I still love YA and I still mostly read YA but I wanna diversify my reading. To learn more, to feel more, to challenge myself. So HERE WE ARE!

This April, we’re reading something by Sylvia Plath, most likely THE BELL JAR. This decision was spurred by me sharing this quote to him: “I like people too much or not at all.” A quote I related to so much that I needed to share it to him and discuss. And then I’m like, I wanna read Sylvia Plath and I asked him if he wants to have a book club with me!

I added some interesting rules to the book club though.

1. We pick turns choosing the book for that month. But I already chose Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See for May because I seriously need the push to finish that book. Hahaha! The other has veto power.

2. Aside from reading and discussing books, there’s one thing we also like and that’s DRINKING TOGETHER! So we’ll discuss the book during the first week of the next month while drinking so we also get to meet and hang out.

3. Lastly, if someone ends up not finishing the book, he/she will pay for the bill during said discussion night. Hahaha! We needed a punishment so we’d read our books.

He agreed right away at the mention of drinking. Hahaha! I know my friend so well.

SO SO EXCITED FOR THIS YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW HOW MUCHHHHH

*gif has nothing to do with the post but it’s rami malek so it’s there

I haz a book club now!

‘Cause I miss you like hell, oh I miss you

Oh, Malô is basically my new IT band. I was on Spotify’s Discover tab, looking at potential bands I’d like based on the bands I love. I think they were under the since you like Hippo Campus category and anything Hippo Campus-like is a must-listen for me so off I went.

AND HELLO, THAT WAS ELEVEN DAYS AGO. I wasn’t able to blog about them because THESIS! But here I am now and forgive me for sharing this amazing to you late.

JUST LISTEN TO IT OKAY, I DO NOT KNOW HOW TO PITCH THIS ANYMORE BECAUSE I JUST WANT TO PUBLISH THIS POST AND GET THE SONG TO YOUR RADARS.

‘Cause I miss you like hell, oh I miss you

But someone loves you more than you know | Embracing Me (2016) by SAFIA

So as I was stalking Maggie Stiefvater’s Tumblr, I came across this album art and a link to one of their songs Make Them Wheels Roll. Intrigued by the artsy cover art, I checked out the song and I NEVER LOOKED BACK.

Apparently, SAFIA released their EMBRACING ME EP last March 4, with all four tracks already been previously released. If I was a fan before, I would have been disappointed that there were no new tracks but since I just discovered them, no qualms in here. Hee.

I actually tweeted about SAFIA right away because HELLO, ELECTRONIC INDIE POP, MY EARS ALWAYS NEED YOU. My favorite track would be the title track Embracing Me, followed by Make Them Wheels Roll. The other two tracks are Counting Sheep and You Are The One. Actually, I’m transitioning to Counting Sheep now.

Do check them out, please! So danceable and upbeat and a must-have for your morning wake-up playlist.

Here’s EMBRACING ME! (OMG the music video is so cute, you guys. I LOVE IT. And look at the cover art again. RIGHT? Hihi.)

P.S. They’re an Aussie band, good lord, what is with the Australian air? There is no single band I heard from Australia that sucked.

But someone loves you more than you know | Embracing Me (2016) by SAFIA

You’re not twenty and detached now | Mating Ritual (2016) by Mating Ritual

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Back in 2013, I discovered Pacific Air, an indie pop duo AKA the amazing fountain of synth-pop that gave us FLOAT and MOVE. It was love at first listen as their whole album, Stop Talking, pretty much monopolized my ears for a long time. I was an instant fan and I immediately followed them on social media because MUST. KNOW. WHEN. THEY. HAVE. NEW. SONGS.

Sadly, in September 2014, I learned that Pacific Air was no more. Taylor Lawhon’s going to college and so it was the end. I was ready to mourn and cry my eyes out but apparently, Ryan Lawhon (yes, they’re brothers) has a new project called MATING RITUAL. I did mourn the loss of Pacific Air but I was glad that there was a chance that it might live on with Mating Ritual.

AND IT DEFINITELY LIVED ON. Mating Ritual released four tracks prior to this EP over the course of time and they were all awesome. DO listen to these songs (Hum Hum, Toxins, Game, Moonlight). All of these songs are saved on my phone and they get regular listening because guys, this brand of upbeat pop is my jam. Mating Ritual (and Pacific Air back then) knows how to dish us with so much synth pop goodness you’ll crave for again and again.

And last week, March 4, Mating Ritual dropped an EP, including the song he previously released as a teaser, I Wear Glasses. YOU GUYS. IT IS GLORIOUS, I LOVE IT. Mating Ritual told the press that this self-entitled album is about the ~mating rituals~ of this generation, with songs that encapsulates how dating is now. AND YES, YES, THE SONGS DEFINITELY DO.

Go check out this EP, please! Here’s I Wear Glasses for you!

You’re not twenty and detached now | Mating Ritual (2016) by Mating Ritual

I need genitalia jokes to make me love you, Sitcom*

Friend mentioned in this post recommended Mozart in the Jungle to me, a sitcom about a new conductor for the New York Symphony and an oboist who’s trying to be in the symphony. Ack, I am the worst at pitching things and summarizing them too so whatever, just google it. I was fresh from watching Silicon Valley, which this friend also recommended, along with a couple of my other friends. And as I’ve mentioned before, Silicon Valley features crude humor and THAT IS MY HUMOR, YOU GUYS. I mean, sure, I love sarcasm and dark humor and dry humor and slapstick but CRUDE HUMOR? It fuels this immature, mind-in-the-gutter tiny adult blogging in here. I AM ALL FOR THAT.

But I didn’t know that IT WAS A REQUIREMENT.

I didn’t know that crude humor was a requirement in a sitcom so I can love it.

The realization eureka-ed to me like this:

I was watching Mozart in the Jungle‘s first season and I was so not laughing. I was not even amused. But I kept on watching because I did like the plucky heroine and wanted to see her succeed. There were enough amusing characters I found interesting. Despite winning a Golden Globe for his acting in here, I thought Gael Garcia Bernal played Rodrigo as such a caricature he didn’t feel like a real person and so I didn’t connect with the character. Still, Peter Vack was in the show and while his role was miniscule, I was nothing if not loyal to actors I like in obscure shows that I love (I will forever mourn the non-renewal of I Just Want My Pants Back, an MTV sitcom back in 2011 that completely got me: music tastes, crude humor, quarter life crisis, hipsters in Brooklyn being broke and making bad decisions. It was MY show.) and I actually shipped her with Haley even if I know the show has been building up to the Rodrigo-Haley loveline (LOVELINE? What am I saying? Who am I?) for quite a time now.

I finished the first season feeling nothing. I liked it enough but I didn’t love it. Kinda like how I liked Master of None but it didn’t win me over completely.

Then I had a sobering thought that those two shows didn’t have crude humor in them. Silicon Valley (the most recent sitcom I loved) couldn’t be more green-minded if it tried (actually it could and I would be so into that) and most of the sitcoms I love are so full of genitalia and sex jokes. I started going over the sitcoms that I love and they all have it. There were exceptions of course but they have other aspects going on for them (Baby Daddy had Jean-Luc Bilodeau and a cute baby and I can never resist single fatherhood sitcoms [HELLO, Raising Hope, why didn’t you get renewed?!?!], Modern Family is so full of heart and family, The Big Bang Theory isn’t big on the sex jokes but it has them and HELLO, SCIENCE NERDS, OF COURSE I’M GONNA WATCH IT, and others I can’t come up now). But the list of sitcoms that I love with crude humor is going to be so long and easy to do: 2 Broke GirlsHow I Met Your MotherHappy Endings, basically all MTV sitcoms (Faking ItAwkwardThe InbetweenersUnderemployed, I JUST WANT MY PANTS BACK), Broad City OHMYGOD BROAD CITY IT IS THE BEST, You’re the WorstBrooklyn Nine-Nine (it has it but not a lot, I guess), even Scrotal Recall has them, AND JUST A LOT, OKAY. Even shows that have been cancelled such as Breaking InPartners, gah, I love those!

I shared this realization with Sab and she just said: why are you so shocked? All the sitcoms you recommend to me have their scriptwriters’ minds in the gutter. The friend I mentioned earlier judged me. And two other friends as well.

But you know what? I AM OWNING IT. While in Japan, I saw this film called Hentai Kamen and ohmygod, it just might be the funniest and most ridiculous thing I’ve ever watched. I mean, a superhero who dons panties as his mask and gets his power because of it? SIGN ME UP ANY DAY EVERY DAY. Why am I even so shocked about this attribute of mine? I am immature and a ten year-old at heart so yeah, so what?

So yes, send me recs for shows but bear in mind this specification of mine.

*I did end up loving Mozart in the Jungle by its second season. Rodrigo stopped being a caricature to me and thus, I connected with him. I liked the episodes and the seasonal arc and each of the characters plot. And I realized by then that I started caring for the characters, which means I love them, and which means I love the show. It’s now part of the list of exceptions to this hard fast rule of mine and I’m excited for the third season.

I need genitalia jokes to make me love you, Sitcom*

You got that Dane DeHaan as James Dean look in your eye | Film Review: Life (2015)

Last week, instead of preparing for my thesis progress report, I watched Life, the 2015 movie starring Robert Pattinson and Dane DeHaan. Pattinson played Dennis Stock, the photographer who took the iconic photos of James Dean, played by DeHaan, back in the 1950s. I have never heard of Dennis Stock and while I know who James Dean is, it’s more like, oh-that-super-handsome-actor-Taylor-Swift-referenced-in-Style. I haven’t seen any of James Dean’s few movies although I’ve already seen these iconic photos of his. So instinctively, if we were going to be honest, which is my rule here in my blog, I would have never even touched this movie with a ten-feet pole. It’s just that, I’m not really into biography-like films and all that. I’m a fiction girl, I like them made-up stories.

But who do we have here? WE HAVE DANE DEHAAN AND I WATCH ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING WITH DANE DEHAAN. Hello, I took a selfie with his poster of Life After Beth outside a fastfood restaurant. I mean:

I did that. If that doesn’t convince you that I’m obsessed with him I’m a fan, then I don’t know what else. So obviously, I watched Life even though I was sure I’d get bored.

But see, I DIDN’T. While I didn’t know how James Dean moved or spoke but I do know that Dane definitely didn’t resemble him, I thought Dane did a fine good job being that rebel James Dean evoked but still having that boyishness to him. He’d go loud one second then real quiet the next. It was like the less psychotic version of his Lucien Carr in Kill Your Darlings and I had fun watching him.

And while Dane DeHaan was amazing (AS ALWAYS HELLO, BB IS GREAT), it was actually Robert Pattinson who took me by surprise. I’ve never seen any of his projects post-Twilight but boy, did he held up his own against Dane DeHaan. In a film where the plot revolves around a photographer convincing one of the icons of that decade to be his subject, it’s easy for the audience to see just the subject in the story. After all, that’s also who we know, James Dean. The director specifically mentioned in his interviews that the film was about Dennis Stock but I thought for sure it’s gonna focus on James Dean. But coupled with the team’s intention of making a film about Dennis Stock and Robert Pattinson’s performance, Life turned out to be really a film about Dennis Stock.

Robert Pattinson was a revelation to me in here. His scenes with his son? HE NAILED IT. He desperately wanted to connect with him but he just can’t. He’s trying but he can’t. The quiet frustration, the determination and passion, he embodied the character. They were a pair, these two.

As for the cinematography, it was the right mix of bleak I always imagined Hollywood behind-the-scenes would be. Who am I kidding, I have to study more technicalities in film making to be able to comment more on the cinematography, editing, and sound. But I thought the film had done a great job in presenting its material.

So that’s my mini word vomit on Life because I like sharing what I think about shows and films even though I’m the only one who cares. Kthxbai.

You got that Dane DeHaan as James Dean look in your eye | Film Review: Life (2015)

Red sauce for days

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I know it doesn’t look that good but it tastes great so I don’t care. And yes, chopsticks for everything!

So there was this one night more than a month ago when I arrived at my apartment late and starving. I was chatting with a friend about how hungry I was and that I’ll just fix a sandwich for dinner. He then told me that a sandwich would not satiate the kind of famished I was in. That cooking pasta would be better. I whined and told him that’d take too long but he insisted that it wouldn’t. I thought about it and he was a graduate student abroad living alone. He knows his shit. I estimated the preparation time and actually, he’s right. The pasta would take eight to ten minutes, the sauce would only take ten to fifteen, including preparing the ingredients. I had everything I need to cook it so WHY NOT?

Those thirty minutes or so of my life felt like the longest because good lord, I was starving. My loaf of bread was mocking me for this delayed gratification bullshit I was doing.

But that’s it. Delayed gratification isn’t bullshit because that might be the best pasta I’ve ever cooked. And I happily had a feast.

Which brings us to a few nights ago. I wasn’t starving this time around but I had foresight. I already had my dinner sorted out but I had to get to work early the next day. I know I was not going to be able to wake up early enough to cook so I had to prepare my breakfast and lunch that night. All I wanted was lounge around in my bed but I GOTTA ADULT. So I did and cooked pasta. And it has served me well the next day.

But the point of this post is not how cooking pasta instead of fixing a sandwich makes me feel like a responsible adult. And how it’s always the better choice. And how it’s not actually difficult and time-consuming to do so. It’s actually how associative my brain is. Because now, every time I cook pasta, and especially if I do so against ~odds~ AKA against my laziness, I remember my friend. My brain is so associative that at times, talking to me doesn’t make any sense.

I watched The Babadook with this same friend (we didn’t like it) before and if you’ve seen it, everything starts with a car accident. Then this friend also made me read Andy Weir’s The Egg, about a month later. That short story wasn’t funny at all but I initially laughed and told him it reminded me of The Babadook. And he was like: WHERE IN ALL THIS IS THE BABADOOK? And I was like: uhm, THEY BOTH START WITH A CAR ACCIDENT? And he got weirded out by my brain and thought process (even more because he has already suffered enough from my being scatterbrained although I prefer using the more pleasing sounding associative than that).

So there’s that, folks! My brain tends to associate A LOT of stuff even if they only have a bare minimum connection. For your information. And that’s the point of this post. WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT? See, I went from pasta to my friend to associating everything and anything. WHAT IS THIS BRAIN? Hahaha!

Red sauce for days

penn badgley y so sexy | Centerfold (2016) by MOTHXR

So since Monday until Wednesday, all I listened to was MOTHXR’s first and newly released album, Centerfold. (Why only until Wednesday? Because Drowners dropped Cruel Ways and at this point, Drowners >>>>>> MOTHXR in my fandom levels.)

Is it true that MOTHXR is the band whose vocalist is Penn Badgley AKA Gossip Girl‘s Lonely Boy AKA Gossip Girl‘s Dan Humphrey? Yes.

Is it true that you discovered MOTHXR because it is Penn Badgley’s band? Yes.

Were you obsessed with Gossip Girl before and thus, Penn Badgley as well? No.

But are you attracted to Penn Badgley? Before, not really. Now, DUH.

Do you only like MOTHXR because it’s Penn Badgley’s band? No.

While MOTHXR came into my radar because it’s Penn Badgley’s band, it actually won me over with their track Easy. I was so ready to discount MOTHXR but I actually dug Easy. I even shared it to my ~hipster~ friends who liked it as well. Then, apparently, they released three more songs, which I was not aware of since I didn’t actually follow the band yet. Only when the full album dropped last February 26 (and I didn’t even know until three days after) did they come to mind again. AND IT WAS A GLORIOUS DAY FOR MY EARS.

But first, here’s Easy.

RIGHT? IT’S GOOD!

And now that I’ve listened to the whole album, I now have a feel for what MOTHXR’s sound is really like. The 80s influence is very apparent and I think it’s pretty cheeky of them to have that album art because it already screams 80s! My initial impression about the tracks was that they all had ~chill~ beats, which compliments Penn’s deep voice. But as I listened to it more and more, I also noticed how Penn manages to hit his falsettos too and how, while all the tracks initially sound alike given the beat, every track has something different going on for it.

Impossible is a great opener because if I didn’t like this one, I would have skipped this whole album altogether. So, props to that. The other tracks that made a mark to me right away were CenterfoldTouch, and Victim (SAXOPHONE, YOU GUYS). But the more I listen, the more I appreciate every track. I’m already on my Stranger and Underground phase as this is posted.

MOTHXR’s music sounds so sexyyyyyy. I’ve heard Easy a long time ago but I didn’t expect the whole album to be THIS sexy. Or I think the more appropriate description is drowsily sexy.

Go take a listen to MOTHXR’s debut album Centerfold!

penn badgley y so sexy | Centerfold (2016) by MOTHXR

How could you say a thing like that?

HUZZAH DROWNERS JUST DROPPED A NEW SONG!

I’ve been so agitated yesterday because they were scheduled to drop a new song on March 2 and I couldn’t be online the whole day to wait for it.

BUT HERE IT IS, YAAAAAAAAAYYYY

It’s quite exciting though that Cruel Ways is clocking in at three minutes twenty-four seconds since their previous and first self-titled album had short tracks. As in, only one song clocked in more than three minutes and most songs are even below 2.5 minutes. So I’m definitely curious if Drowners has longer tracks on their second album.

OH, their second album is entitled ON DESIRE and it’s due to be out this June 24. MUCH EXCITE I CANNOT CONTAIN (and that title SHOULD I EXPECT SEXY THINGS????)

At first listen, I immediately liked it and now I’m on my way to loving it. Although I might just be in denial that I already love it since it has been on repeat since it dropped. GAH Drowners hihihi love their songs! Here’s a 15-minute live performance of Drowners on their first show ever back in 2012 (and they’re already so great, damn). ENJOY!

How could you say a thing like that?