1989

1989 Nashville hopes and wildest dreams (ah, ah)

My dearest taylorswift,

I’ve never missed one of your tours. I’ve screamed and cried and danced through 9 of your shows since 2009, when I attended the Fearless tour in Louisville with my mom and high school history teacher. What a journey it’s been.

I came to love you first because I loved the Jonas Brothers (so glad you’re all friends again, by the way). Suddenly there was this ethereal blonde girl who sang country songs that somehow resonated with my life. I saw you as someone who could perfectly express all these feelings I’d had or somehow knew even if I’d never been in your situations. Your songs made my normal, small town life feel bigger somehow.

Fearless was the album of the end of high school for me. Love Story was riding to an away football game on one of the first chilly September days. Fifteen was (and still is) the song that brought tears to my eyes when I thought about how tragic and beautiful adolescence can be. Change was the song that made me want to spin around and jump and feel ready to take on the world. The Best Day was the song I sang in front of 300 of my peers at a summer camp when I really missed my mom.

Speak Now was my freshman year of college. Sparks Fly was dancing around my dorm room with my best friend who was just as excited and freaked out by college as me. Dear John was the song I blasted and belted along to on long car rides. Never Grow Up was like the hug I needed when I felt homesick.

Red was all the stress and craziness of the end of college. We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together was the song I danced to through the aisles of the bookstore where I worked before going back to school. 22 was (obviously) the anthem of my 22nd birthday. All Too Well was the song that gave me chills the first time I listened to the album. It’s still my favorite you’ve ever written.

1989 is the album of the beginning of my adult life. It’s getting me through grad school and applying to PhD programs. It’s the only CD that’s been in my car since October 2014. Welcome to New York was the sparkly song that accompanied my roommate and me on a visit to New York last December. Blank Space and Bad Blood are the songs I’ll probably still be dancing to by the time album six rolls out. Shake It Off gets me through the days when I think school might kill me. You Are In Love is everything I hope to have in a relationship.

Your songs have made me me. Your music has been the soundtrack of my life for six years. When I’m feeling especially overwhelmed or sad or tired or lonely, you’re always the person I can turn to for comfort, a crazy dance party, or anything in between.

This weekend will be a weird one for me. It’s the first time you’ll be in town and I don’t have tickets. My status as a lowly grad student means I haven’t gotten a paycheck for five months (which is just the worst, right?) and my budget hasn’t exactly been big enough for concert tickets. One of my best friends and I have been desperately trying to figure out how to get ourselves into one of the Nashville shows just to be part of the audience. Any chance you could help us out?

lovelovelove,

Brenna

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November.

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Though November is pretty much my favorite month of the year, it’s also an undoubtedly busy time. I’m eleven weeks into the semester, which means that things are generally winding down, but also that finals and exams and presentations and papers are all happening. This is really the first time I’ve been behind in any classes, which is a pretty good accomplishment (and probably a reason why I shouldn’t be sitting here writing this instead of reading Hamlet). Sometimes you just need a break.

 

TV  — Thankfully, I’ve still managed to keep up with my pop culture fun to a certain extent. On Monday, I finished my viewing of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” because Netflix was kind enough to add the ninth season just a few days after I finished season 8. I thoroughly enjoyed myself watching thisshow, and I’m very excited FX is already showing a preview for next season.

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As for my other TV viewing habits, I’m just trying to keep up with the influx of fall shows. I’ve only added two new shows to my schedule this season: ABC’s “How to Get Away with Murder” and The CW’s “Jane the Virgin.” “How to Get Away with Murder” provides the same melodramatic fun that I love about “Scandal,” and “Jane the Virgin” is adorable and funny and totally worth watching. I’m also keeping up with returning shows like “American Horror Story: Freak Show,” “Scandal,” “Bob’s Burgers,” “Reign,” and “America’s Next Top Model.” I’m waiting until Thanksgiving/Christmas break to binge the new season of “Homeland” with my mom. We’ve seen the first two episodes, but decided it would be easier to wait than to try to catch up little by little, so don’t spoil things, please!

Movies — As of yesterday, I’ve completed my goal of watching 125 new movies in 2014! I haven’t seen many in theaters recently, apart from Gone Girlwhich you really all should have seen by now because it’s wonderful. I’m definitely looking forward to the onslaught of awards season movies that are starting to roll out now; I’m specifically excited for Birdman, Nightcrawler, The Imitation Game, Foxcatcher, Wild, Into the Woods, and seeing Whiplash again. As for the movies I have seen recently, some favorites have included Obvious Child, In A World…, and Scream 1, 2, and 3. Netflix doesn’t have Scream 4 right now, which is fairly frustrating. I also had the distinct pleasure of watching the notoriously bad Showgirls recently which was certainly an experience.

Books — Most of my reading has been focused on completing my reading assignments for class, which is pretty understandable considering I’m in an English Master’s program. My biggest projects there have been Hamlet (which I’m behind on) and Antony and Cleopatra (which our professor removed from the reading list, but since I’m already three acts in, I want to finish it). I’m also working away at reading lots of Edgar Allan Poe short stories since I have a class specifically dedicated to Poe. For my final class, most of my reading has been from a very helpful book called Critical Theory Today: A User-Friendly Guide that goes in-depth on various critical theories used to analyze literature. It’s great for lit nerds, not so great for the casual reader.

For my own funIMG_0667.JPG reading, I’ve only done three noteworthy reading projects of late, but all of them are worth mentioning. Early in October I bought and read Lena Dunham’s Not That Kind of Girl, which I enjoyed (if you’re interested, I’m on Dunham’s side in this “sexual abuse” situation, but I also don’t want to start a debate). Though it wasn’t my favorite read ever, there were many laugh-out-loud moments and I thought it was a very true representation of what Dunham has always claimed to be. I also read Samuel Beckett’s Waiting For Godot in October in my quest to read all the important drama literature. The play is frustrating and sad, like lots of those written in the absurd style. Currently, I’m reading Amy Poehler’s Yes Pleasewhich is of course entertaining and funny. I expect to finish it this weekend, so look out for a post with my review.IMG_0683.JPG

And to cap it all off, Taylor Swift’s newest album, 1989, was released last week, meaning that I won’t really be listening to any other music until at least January. My favorite songs at the moment are “Blank Space,” “Style,” and “I Wish You Would.” But I basically adore the entire album because Taylor is a goddess and I’ve worshiped her for six years.

Now, back to the real world. It’s the weekend and after spending the afternoon at our homecoming football game, I know I should be thinking about completing the homework that’s been accumulating on my to do list. Right now, though, the idea of curling up in a blanket on the couch watching movies for the rest of the night sounds so, so much better. A girl can dream, I guess.