Screw It, I’m Going to Write About The Beatles

Thanks to a new-ish podcast, “Screw It, We’re Just Gonna to Talk About The Beatles”, I’m on a Beatles kick. I’ve loved them since I was a kid, thanks to my Dad. Funny enough though, the first two songs I ever remember singing as a kid were “He Was A Friend of Mine” by Bob Dylan and “Get Off of My Cloud” by The Rolling Stones. (I’ll also note that my first concert was Bob Dylan.) Albeit remembering those songs first, I will never forget him playing “Hey Bulldog” (from Yellow Submarine) over and over again on the piano. So, how did my love of The Beatles grow from there?

Rubber Soul. This is the first album I can remember my Dad playing over the speakers in elementary. I apparently loved this album so much that I decided to do some choreography to “Drive My Car” and do it for our little talent show in my music class. Aside from probably driving my parents crazy by playing that song over and over, I had a deep appreciation of the song, “Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)”. From there I just remember my mom playing the 1 album in the car over and over.

Apart from listening to The Beatles early stuff on 1, I totally surpassed those albums and in high school got into Abbey Road and The White Album. I find this a little surprising now later in life since I was listening to their older stuff as opposed to the more “kid friendly” earlier music. Or I guess really any of McCartney songs that Lennon deemed “granny music”. The pull to Abbey Road/ The White Album was from the movie, Across The Universe. I know, I can see you cringing behind the screen right now. But, it wasn’t really half bad and I came to love more Beatles songs. It made sense to me why “Helter Skelter” was never played in the house. For some reason, “Lucy In the Sky With Diamonds” was totally okay though. (Fun fact: Lennon said over and over that it wasn’t about LSD, but a picture his son drew.)

One of the best performances from The Beatles:

So here I am today listening to the 50th Anniversary remix of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band on repeat. While a lot of people deem it as their best album, I don’t. But, I’ve come to appreciate songs on it that I never did before. I would have told you in the past that my favorite was “With A Little Help From My Friends” (which of course is still amazing), but I have “Fixing A Hole” and “She’s Leaving Home” on repeat.

And with that, I’m going to list in order my favorite Beatles albums:

  1. Abbey Road
  2. Let It Be
  3. Rubber Soul
  4. The While Album
  5. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
  6. With The Beatles
  7. Magical Mystery Tour
  8. Yellow Submarine
  9. Help!
  10. Please Please Me
  11. A Hard Day’s Night
  12. Beatles For Sale
  13. Revolver

And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.


Not Jazzed with “La La Land”

It’s award season, y’all! Which means I’ll go out (or receive) many of the movies nominated. One that has been on the top of my list is La La Land. First and foremost for Ryan Gosling (duh). But then, it seemed to have a cute premise. The trailer took me back to another era- promising many musical break out scenes and homages to classics. And of course, Gosling tinkling the ivories (which he actually did. Is there anything he CAN’T do?). So, when I finally got to see it, I was just a tiny bit heartbroken.  If you haven’t seen the movie, STOP READING RIGHT NOW! SPOILERS AHEAD!

Like Ryan Gosling’s character, Sebastian, I’m a purist; one that loves to the see the perfect ending in rom-coms. Yes, they’re always predictable, but sometimes that’s what we go see them for. We want to see the two characters fall in love at the end. But, at the end of La La Land, we see that Sebastian and Mia (Emma Stone) aren’t together. There was an audible, “WHAT!?” from me when we see Mia married to another guy. With a child. Perhaps I was meant to learn something from this.

Sebastian doesn’t want to see jazz “progress”- and I get it. I love jazz the way it is. But when he runs into an old acquaintance, Keith (John Legend), he’s asked to join his band. A progressive band. He does end up joining in the end, only because he does need a steady job. Unfortunately, this breaks apart his relationship with Mia and in the end, there’s no “happy” ending. So, sure, Mia gets to become a big star and Sebastian finally gets his own jazz bar, but they don’t end up together. But perhaps the film ended this way because this is what would probably happen in reality.

Here’s the thing- I don’t go to movies for a reality check. I go to escape. Really, it’s a shame the movie ended the way it did. Although, I did like the “what if” scene at the end. What if Sebastian didn’t just walk right past Mia when she saw him perform for the first time? The end would have been what I’m guessing a hand full of people wanted.

On a high note, there were a lot of things that I loved. It was very entertaining and dang, seeing Gosling play the piano like that… I was very impressed. The little soft shoe dance at sun set, the opening musical number, and the movie date was pretty adorable; I was filled with old film nostalgia. Also, I won’t lie, I’ve been listening to the soundtrack. And of course, I totally connected with all of Mia’s auditions. But does it really deserve the hype? Only if you can go in and walk out okay with the new rom-com reality.

Apparently Not Dixie’s Pride

Facebook has been abuzz with an article (that has now been taken down) about a woman “slut-shaming” women who dress up to football games- specifically the ‘Bama vs. USC game. (Also, slut-shaming is not my word- check out HuffPo article here. And I think the more appropriate wording should be distasteful and not slut-shaming. We toss that word around too often when not deemed necessary.) At any rate, I’m not here to entirely back up what Rebecca Walden wrote. What blew my mind is that when I was in college, I was wearing dresses, with cowboy boots and YES with the shakers in them, and insert my sorority loves the tide button. Most people would find that I dress somewhat conservatively, so what would Ms. Walden think about my attire?  Would I just need to throw on a scarf over my dress? Because let me tell you, if my father caught me in “classless” attire, he’d be up in Tuscaloosa in a second to throw a potato sack over me. As far as I’m concerned (and my pops), my attire is pretty darn cute and classy to boot.

615680_10151083334039220_478078205_oI know that heels were worn by ladies when I was in school just a mere 4 years ago, but it didn’t seem like it was by in large. The only reason I personally didn’t wear them because 1) I’m a klutz and would fall and 2) Heels aren’t comfortable. From what I understand, women have been dressing up for ages at football games- heels included. And I’ve apparently missed out on what they wear at The Grove (Ole Miss), since word is they dress up even more.

Nearing the end of my time at ‘Bama, women (including me) were donning large jerseys. As far as I’m concerned, I’d file that under pretty covered up.

Granted, I haven’t been back to any games since I departed in 2012. Friends that have gone back have taken plenty of photos and yet I haven’t found anything deemed “inappropriate” or more suitable for the club.

So maybe it’s time I go back for a game to see what the hullabaloo is about. But what do I know? I should probably cover up.



Modern Romance

I love my book club. Every month we have a different book and theme (duh), and while some books are amazing (“Gone Girl”), some are errr….eh…interesting (“Bared to You”). Occasionally we read books that are non-fiction or autobiographies, like Mindy Kaling’s. So when I found out this month’s book was by Aziz Ansari, I was planning on not reading it (sorry gals), because Ansari isn’t my cup of tea. Granted, I had no idea what it was about. I figured it would be another comedian writing an autobiography and name dropping. To the contrary, it’s about dating in the 21st century, backed up with crazy amounts of research and focus groups. Oh. Well, dating is miserable in NYC, why not just pick up a book to enforce that notion. I think they call this being a masochist.

To my surprise, “Modern Romance” is actually a good book. A good book that made me want to swear off dating, nonetheless. But I digress. For the most part, it focuses around online dating. I can’t name a single friend of mine in NYC who hasn’t done some form of online dating, be it Tinder (gag), Bumble, OkCupid, and the website where I get hit on by men in their 50s, But, a lot of people have turned to those for a multitude reasons:

1) No one wants to meet the love of their life in a bar.

2) It’s too hard to meet men the “normal way” in NYC.

3) We hopelessly want to date someone.

4) We want to get married and move to the suburbs someday. LOL. JK. Wait, no one? Just me? JK. Kinda.

5) Or just for a quick hookup. #21stCenturyProbs

But let’s be honest here. In NYC alone, most people skew towards getting married in their late 20s to early 30s. So can we just admit that a lot of the time people just use these apps for #5? In the book, this was roughly referred to as “emerging adulthood”. It’s somewhat of a new concept. In the olden days, people got married in their early 20s! But now we just can live our lives until we kind of feel that we want to jump into that actual life thing called plain ole adulthood. Which a lot of the time includes getting married and having kids. Ansari went to a retirement home to ask a few questions regarding dating and marriage when they were younger. Most of the people got married in their early 20s to either someone that lived in their neighborhood or sometimes just a setup. And that was just how it went. My mom (and those in the retirement home) is all for me being a part of the “emerging adulthood”. She tells me time and again to just take my time and not force myself into a relationship just because my friends (Southerners) are getting married. Lemme tell you mom, first, thank you, and two, not a problem in NYC. But I understand. You’re not tied down to anything! But please don’t talk to my Nana. My phone calls always consist of her asking when I’m going to get married. Unfortunately, even though she did get married at 20, she doesn’t comprehend the whole emerging adulthood thing. Sorry, not sorry.

Although with the whole internet dating scene, we have a LOT of options. Maybe too many options. One day you could be dating someone who has great potential, but you still swipe away hoping that maybe, just maybe, you could find someone who is even better. This is a serious catch 22. Then we think to ourselves again that maybe we should just meet people in public. Oh wait. We don’t want that. And that’s the endless circle, my friends.

On another note: once emerged into a relationship, can people just drop texting? Have we been just so conditioned to do so that we can’t even move on to calling people? We (GenY) didn’t live our whole lives glued to our cell phone. Why can’t we just recall those days before iPhones? Wait! I know why. It’s so much easier to hide behind an inanimate object when things go awry. Ghosting, slow fading, and now this new thing called “benching” makes it so much easier. Lord help us all. (But seriously, guys, GET IT TOGETHER.)

Even though a large chunk of the book is written about people in America, Ansari hops over to Tokyo, Paris, and Buenos Aires. Due to studying in France and having a good friend from Buenos Aires, I kinda had an idea of the dating scenes there. Tokyo, not so much.

So, Buenos Aires first. Recently I was catching up with my good friend Santiago* because I saw that he CUT HIS HAIR. I know this sounds trivial, but he had long locks for as long as I knew him and I was surprised to see short hair. Eventually (and not surprisingly), he brought up my dating life. Basically, guys in Buenos Aires are romantically aggressive. I won’t go into the huge details that Ansari does, but more so on how my conversation with Santiago went. Obvious first question: How’s your love life? Me: Umm… well I’m on too many dating apps. Him: Wait, why? Me: Umm, most guys just want hookups. Him: Is that a bad thing? Me: I’m really not one for one night stands. Him: Well, all we do is hook up here [Buenos Aires]. Me: Eh, well that’s just not my cup of tea. Him: I like one night stands. I like relationships. We’re different here. We like to have a lot of physical contact. /THE END. Actually that wasn’t the end of our conversation, but that’s how they do it down in Buenos Aires. Yeah, that sounds kinda like what we see in the states, but they don’t just ask once and move on. They press until you say yes. His last message to me said, “Just come visit me in Buenos Aires.” I see what you did there Santiago, you cheeky monkey.

*Name changed because he’s a celeb. I’d hate for this to show up on their Page 6. Although, I doubt he’d mind.

On to Paris! Oh la la! So, I didn’t study in Paris; I studied in Cannes. But it’s all the same. They’re casual in dating. There’s no back and forth texting that we do in the states. I’ll use some quotes from “Modern Romance” for it to make total sense:

Ansari is talking to a French woman who looked bewildered and puzzled while texting a guy who is from the states, because she’s frustrated with the whole back and forth texting and Ansari asks, “Okay, well, what would a guy in France text you, if you met him at a bar?” She said, “He would write…’Fancy a f*ck?'”

Okay well that’s just right to the point. Are the French men just all of the American men on Tinder? But seriously, that’s how those froggies are. Merci, mais NON MERCI. 

And lastly, his trip to Tokyo. He promised talk of amazing food, so honestly, that’s all I cared about. Ramen is my bae. But, in short, dating sucks in Tokyo. We may complain incessantly about how dating in the states is bad, but this my friends is another planet. I figured (just as Ansari did) that it would be a pretty cool city to date in. Awesome food, tons of karaoke, quirky restaurants, etc. Butttttt, there’s apparently some sort of crisis with people getting married. Not like our “emerging adulthood” getting married. Like, people just aren’t interested. And this is so much of a problem that the government (wut?) is getting involved. Okay so, why aren’t people getting married? Because there’s this thing called an “herbivore man”. Basically, the guys just don’t have time to date because their married to their jobs, and when they get home, it’s all about video games. And to make things worse, it’s apparently taboo to try and pick up a woman you don’t know! If you tried, they would most likely say no. Or if they said yes, the woman would come off as being too open and then the guy says forget it. THIS DOES NOT MAKE ANY SENSE. But on the other hand, the women that Ansari talked to would prefer the guys to make an initiative. They find it frustrating and have started to get the name of “the carnivorous woman” because of it. Is the moral of the story that guys suck in general in Tokyo? But seriously, y’all, I just can’t wrap my head around this.  So basically, I’m not going to date in Tokyo. I’ll just be there for the ramen and sushi.

While this only scratches the surface of Ansari’s book, I still think it’s a pretty good read. It really does hit the nail on the head with the current dating scene. There are also some solutions to the dumb problems we have, which was nice. Knowing that I’m not alone in this does give me a sigh of relief.

Also, poor Aziz. His girlfriend broke up with him after this was published. Sorry, dude.



Like any good New Yorker, when someone comes up to you with a clipboard asking you to sign their petition du jour, you throw on your shades and put your ear buds in. But this time I didn’t get my ear buds in quick enough to ignore what they wanted. This time it was a petition for helping kids who are bullied in school. I just shook my head no and kept walking; but this time I really could have kicked myself.

Anytime I tell someone that I was bullied in middle school, it’s hard for them to believe. I’m quirky, outgoing, and generally happy most of the time. How could I have ever been bullied?

After 5th grade, I transferred to a new school. It was a feeder school to the high school that I went to. My parents thought it would be easier for me to get into if I was at a feeder school. I wasn’t really nervous for my first day of school as it wasn’t the first time I’d gone into something without knowing someone. Back in elementary I went to summer camp without knowing anyone. (I also ended up going to camp for 12 years, so it all worked out well!) But for a year and a half of middle school, I was miserable.

I can’t exactly remember how it started. I had certainly made some new friends and they were very nice to me. But for some reason I started to get bullied by one girl. AIM was the place for her to bully me. She even had a friend from another school bully me online. It got bad enough that my mom went to the school to make sure that I wasn’t sitting next to her in class. There was also a time where a girl told me to take off the safety pins on my back pack that resembled the ones on hers- and if I didn’t, she would beat me up. Nice girl, right?

By the time 7th grade rolled around, I had started to change my look and my identity. Call me a “poser” if you will (since I was eventually called that), but I started to identify myself with Avril Lavigne. I stopped shopping at Abercrombie and traded in those clothes for ones from PacSun, Fast Forward, and even the ickiest of places- Hot Topic.

I would literally beg my mom to let me do my hair like Avril’s; blonde on top, black on bottom. I semi got my way with a dark brown on bottom and a warm honey on top.

Converse and vans were my go to shoes. I even bought a skateboard that I used maybe only 5 times at most.

By the end of the first semester of 7th grade, I couldn’t take it any longer. My parents let me switch to my local public school, and by the grace of God, everything worked out for the better.

Middle School. vs Now

Middle School. vs Now

I still kept my Avril Lavigne persona, though. Talent shows and choir concerts consisted of me singing Avril Lavigne songs. You better believe that I sang “Sk8er Boi” and “Complicated”.

The only “negativity” that I got at that new school was getting the nickname “Dale”. The story goes that a few guys were trying to spell my name, and ended up spelling Randal instead of Rachel. It kinda stuck and they ended up calling me Dale. I was annoyed at first, but I stopped caring. And surprisingly, a few of the guys became my friends.

Luckily for me, high school was pretty good, too. It was the high school that my parents wanted me to go to in the first place, but it was bigger than my middle school, and I rarely saw the girls that bullied me.

The reason that I’m writing this is because of an article I read on Elite Daily. I guess you can say that I’m somewhat thankful for the bullies who tormented me. I’ve gotten somewhat of a thicker skin since then. Of course there will always be girls who will say mean things to you. But this time I don’t cry over it; I ignore it and move on.

Scream Queens: What Fresh Hell Is This?

I’ll be honest that when I first saw that the creators of both Glee and American Horror Story were coming out with a new TV show that depicts sorority girls as killers, I was very turned off. Why do I say this? Because there are too many stories in the news that don’t reflect Greeks in the best light- and I can say that we do a LOT of great things.

Seriously though, I imagined that non-Greeks would take this almost too seriously, but it seems quite the opposite. It’s all camp. And surprisingly, I actually really like it.

I was trying to wrap my head around how this would actually work. Much like when I was so thrown off that the creators of Glee also wrote American Horror Story. How can someone create a show that’s so “happy” also create one that is, well, horror? Basically Scream Queens puts both of those together, sans music (so far). 

Originally, I was all team Grace. She wanted to rush Kappa Kappa Tau because her mom was one and she seemed so sincere. But then I realized how boring she actually was. I’d much prefer to hear all of the Chanels bicker back and forth. And Denise, the security guard for Kappa, just cracks me up. I swear if they kill her off…

Speaking of killing off, a handful of them are already dead.

Looks like I’ll be tuning in again next week.

-Chanel No. 7