meg says read this, Read This

Read This: Once and For All

Is it really summer if you don’t read a Sarah Dessen book? YOu may recall that Dessen’s latest Once and For All was on my list of anticipated reads for this year. Now that I’ve read it, I just want to be immersed in the story again. As you know, I’m not a fan of formulaic writing (exactly why you don’t want to get me started on Nicholas Sparks books.) Although some may think that Dessen’s novels are predictable, I on the other hand am pleasantly surprised by her plot twists. There was a gut punch in Once and For All that I wasn’t expecting, (which is sometimes a delicious surprise, but here I was biting my lip, and trying not to cry.) Okay, okay I’m getting ahead of myself. Once and For All chronicles the summer before Louna goes off to college. Her mom owns a wedding planning business with her best friend William. Louna is used to not getting caught up in the “magic” of weddings, constantly seeing the bridezillas or the behind the scenes meltdowns, but you have to wonder how a teenager got so jaded. What happened that makes her question if true love is real? Well, you’ll find out. I love that in this story, we’re introduced to Louna’s best friend Jilly, and the trouble maker ADD son of a client Ambrose – both of their personalities balance out Louna’s serious nature. Ambrose is completely unpredictable, and Jilly is all about “living your best life” (however you do that!) As the story unravels we learn about Louna’s past, maybe what makes her skeptical or hesitant, and we’re also reminded that people aren’t always what they seem to be on the surface. It’s a great summer read, as Dessen finds a way to take us back to her favorite endless possibility beach town, Colby, and even teenagers working hard in the summer have to let lose once in a while. I read this entry on Sarah Dessen’s website where she wrote about some of the things that inspired Once and For All (two babysitters simultaneously planning their own very different weddings.) Then I stumbled across this passage, which not only sums up the heart of Once and For All, but it’s also pretty accurate about life:

As I started to think about all this, I began taking it wider, to the idea of how many “perfect” things we want, or are allowed. I’d had everything I wanted with SAINT ANYTHING: maybe I’d never get that again. Louna, my narrator, has this amazing first love and thinks that’s her only chance, her once and for all. But life goes on, even after those walking into the sunset moments. We can’t always have a perfect day, or a perfect experience. We need to take those great moments, though, and appreciate them. It’s tough for us perfectionists, but it’s true. The best stories, I have learned, often come when things don’t go as you planned. (source)


I definitely recommend this book for some summer reading, but I’ll warn you maybe I’m just a sap, or maybe the content really does go straight to your heat – I found myself tearing up a few times. Even still the imagery will make you laugh a few times, as you imagine Loud Cell Phone Lady in the coffee shop, or Ambrose and his antics, or Jilly’s siblings running all over the house. Dessen did it again with a little world to get lost in, and remind yourself of a few of life’s most important lessons.
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listen to this, meg says listen to this

Listen to This: “Tin Man”

It probably comes as no surprise that one of my favorite tracks on Miranda Lambert’s new album The Weight of These Wings is “Tin Man.” I mean how can you listen to this song, and not feel anything? I’m not really sure. On Sunday, she preformed it live on the ACM’s. Acoustic. Raw. I think there’s something beautiful and admirable about someone revealing their heart for anyone to see. It’s a real song, and it’s vulnerable, and I think that’s wonderful. The world needs more of that. I believe it’s a brave thing to do, even if it’s scary, to put your emotions out there like that. You never really know how that situation will transpire, but it’s better than hiding away. And isn’t that  kind of how love works, anyway? It’s all a risk, but what is life without taking those chances? Her performance gave me goosebumps, but the song has that effect anyway. I’m not sure I’ve listened to it one time without getting tears in my eyes yet. (*Sap alert* I know, but it’s so good.) It had been a few years since her last one, and this much anticipated album was well worth the weight. I believe it when they say she brought her heart to the table, ready to pour it out into these songs.

“Hey there Mr. Tin Man
You don’t know how lucky you are
You shouldn’t spend your whole life wish’
For something bound to fall apart
Every time you’re feeling empty
Better thank your lucky stars
If you ever felt one breaking
You’d never want a heart

Hey there Mr. Tin Man
You don’t know how lucky you are
I’ve been on the road that you’re on
It didn’t get me very far
You ain’t missing nothing
Cause love is so damn hard
Take it from me darling
You don’t want a heart

Hey there Mr. Tin Man
I’m glad we talked this out
You can take mine if you want it
It’s in pieces now
By the way there Mr. Tin Man
If you don’t mind the scars
You give me your armor
And you can have my heart”

If you haven’t heard it yet:

Listen, turn it up tuesday

Turn It Up Tuesday, Listen to This: “Mine Would Be You”

You know how some girls have their weddings planned to a T by the time they’re seventeen and they haven’t even started dating yet? I’m kind of the opposite of that, (though I miiight have a Pinterest board aptly named “Wedding Related Stuff For No Reason.”) Anyway, even still because I love music so much when I hear a really sweet song I tend to think “ohh man that’d make for a good first dance song!” Yeah, I can be pretty sappy like that. The first time I heard Blake Shelton’s “Mine Would Be You” (on the new Based On a True Storyalbum) that’s exactly what I thought. Maybe some of the lines aren’t perfectly suitable for a family gathering, but whatever the sentiment is there. And if I’m perfectly honest, I might indulge in the idea that a piece of me might like to imagine that someday when I hear these lyrics, I’ll have one person in mind and hopefully they’re sitting on the other side of the car from me but not yet – for now, I’ll just enjoy the sweet simplicity and belt it out like I know what that’s like.

“What’s your double dare, your go all in?
The craziest thing you ever did?
Plain as your name in this tattoo
Look on my arm, mine would be you
Mine would be you
Sun keeps shining, back road flying
Singing like crazy fools
Making up our own words
Laughing ’til it hurts
Baby, if I had to choose
My best day ever
My finest hour, my wildest dream come true
Mine would be you?”

I’ll admit I got pretty excited on the drive-in to work this morning when I realized it’s Tuesday and I could share this as my “Turn It Up Tuesday” post for the week. I hope everyone had an absolutely wonderful Memorial Day Weekend, safe & fun times had by all – I know I did! So if you don’t know it yet, I’m telling you – you should. Listen here:

 

Watch This

Watch This: Zach Sobiech’s Story

So, here’s the thing. I had a song in mind that I wanted to share with you all for Turn It Up Tuesday, but then as I was driving to work this morning and listening to the radio (Bobby Bones on 94.9 TNT) play the Today show clip where they spoke with a fourth grader whose teacher covered him during the tornadoes in Oklahoma, and even on The Voice last night as they talked about the Red Cross number for relief donations by text message in the wake of utter devastation these storms have caused (text REDCROSS to 909999 or for Salvation Army text STORM to 80888) – I just couldn’t go about a regular post today. I don’t normally do posts like this on here, usually these are reserved for my more personal blog The Life of Mugs, but I think it’s important that everyone take a step back today and just be grateful for what you have, those you love, and try to smile. Even if you’re right smack in the middle of what feels like an impossibly dark day.

Last night, two of my friends shared this video on Facebook (from this Upworthy blog) and I just couldn’t ignore it even though I wasn’t aware of what I was about to watch. All I could think was “wow.” I encourage you to take a few minutes out of your day and see Zach’s story. Here’s the thing, your heart might break a little while you’re watching this. I’m not going to pretend that I maintained a tough exterior, I started crying, tears streaming down my face but you’ll also laugh, and you’ll smile and Zach’s words are going to resonate in your ears. His song, will hopefully get stuck in your head. Think about the little moments, think about how beautiful life is. Think about all the ways you can make the people around you smile or have a better day, and in turn glow with positivity yourself.


And I’ll leave you with this video of “Clouds”

Throwback Thursday, Watch This

Watch This: The Darjeeling Limited

I guess you can consider this a Throwback Thursday post because the film was released in 2007. Regardless I was planning to share it with you all this week, anyway! My Wes Anderson obsession is not news here (if you read my tweets you’ve seen me ramble about wanting him to direct my life, or how I want to live inside Moonrise Kingdom.) I don’t know why it took me so long because I specifically remember seeing the trailer on this film years ago, and really wanting to see it (maybe because the drive from Inverness to see movies like this was pretty long,) but I finally watched The Darjeeling Limited (official site) this week. My word, it did not disappoint.


In this Anderson film three brothers – Francis (Owen Wilson), Jack (Jason Schwartzman), and Peter (Adrien Brody) have been estranged for a year following their father’s unexpected death. Francis, the oldest brother who is reeling from injuries sustained in a failed suicide attempt has planned a mysterious trip aboard a train through India, The Darjeeling Limited. Francis wants them to be real brothers again, “like before.” Jack and Peter have their own plans in mind for an escape if things don’t seem like they’re necessarily working out but go along for the ride anyway. Where are they headed? Why? What will happen along the way? Well, you’ll just have to watch it to find out. I always feel like you can’t describe Anderson films in too much detail because I like the plot lines and twists to be a surprise. I’ll just say there were of course humorous moments that had me laughing aloud, but also heartfelt scenes tugging on my emotional side. Wilson and Schwartzman are vets to Anderson’s work, but Brody was new on the scene, and I have to say he fit in perfectly. (And I may have had a movie crush on his fictional character.) I always feel like such a dweeb as the movie unfolds on the screen in front of me, and I realize that I have a smile slapped on my face but I just can’t help it. I know I’ll always feel a sentimental attachment to any project of Wes Anderson’s because of events that occurred in my teenage years, but bias aside I highly recommend watching this if you haven’t yet.

Also, I just have to share this image from the limited Criterion Collection edition of the film. If I had blu-ray I would totally want to own all of these because the artwork is just beautiful (especially on The Royal Tennenbaums!) Also, I am sure I’m not the only one wouldn’t mind owning that sweet Louis Vuitton/Marc Jacobs luggage collection that was designed for this film. There are the fun kind of artistic touches that add to the quirkiness, and just make all of his work even more lovable to me. Since I’m so late to the party I’m sure many  of you have already watched this one, what did you think? It’s definitely one of my favorites now.