The Joys of Lint Rolling (Seriously)

I can’t believe I had gone through 18 years of my life without ever using a lint roller. The first time I ever picked up the ergonomic handle of the roller was when I borrowed my freshman year roommate’s, out of her collection of numerous lint-picking devices. It was life changing, and lint rollers are now a mainstaple of my closet.

Lint rollers have the main purpose of getting lint and hair out of your clothing, making them look presentable and fresh. My clothes used to look dusty and worn, but were now rejuvenated by the absence of lint. For some reason, it’s so satisfying to look at the sticky paper afterward and revel in the cleanliness of your new lint-free fabrics. The process of lint rolling can be likened to popular relaxing behaviors such as folding clothes, or peeling off a face mask, or even organizing stationery for some people. There are even dedicated videos to lint rolling ASMR.

Little did I know that lint rollers actually serve a number of purposes besides, obviously, picking up lint. They can be used to clean bags, pick up hair, especially if you shed a lot like me, clean up glitter/confetti/paper, reach debris from inside your drawers, refresh furniture, and clean nearly any other ordinary item.

If your clothes are looking a little less than new, PICK UP A LINT ROLLER AND CHANGE YOUR LIFE.

The Timeless Appeal of Vinyl Records

April 13th was Record Store day across the world, an annual event created to keep the legacy of records and record stores alive. The local Ann Arbor District library set up a Record Store Day event, including a market of new and used vinyl records from various record shops in Ann Arbor, along with a DJ and other entertainment. I was lucky enough to be able to go, and it was a great experience: I didn’t expect there to be many people, and I was worried it would be an awkward and uncomfortable environment, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that there was a large turn out. Even more surprising was how diverse the group was, most notably in age. It was interesting to see so many young people talking to the older people about records, and it got me thinking a lot about the role of vinyl records today. They’ve reached an age where they’re obsolete in a practical sense, but have become a symbol of nostalgia and good taste: many people will boast about the unique and superior sound of vinyl records; if they’re being sincere or just trying to sound cool, it can be impossible to tell. Regardless, vinyl records have maintained their spot in popular culture and it doesn’t seem like they’ll be leaving anytime soon.

 

Personally, it’s easy for me to see why vinyl records have stayed relevant compared to other music formats, such as 8-tracks, cassettes, and CDs. I’ve always appreciated the artistic format of vinyl records: their size alone demands attention and respect, not to mention they can be great examples of quality art and design. They take the concept of album art to an entirely new level by making the entire product a unique piece of art, from the front cover to the back cover and everything in-between. Some of my favorite examples are actually newer albums that are being sold in vinyl record format; I find it especially fascinating that modern musicians are releasing new music on vinyl. Maybe they see the unique artistic potential as well and they want to sell a work of art that will never age. Either way, I hope it’s a trend that doesn’t die out.

 

(Header Image: Google Images)

Albums featured:

  1. Zaba Limited Edition by Glass Animals
  2. Monument Valley Soundtrack by Stafford Bawler, OBFUSC and GRIGORI

Endgame

On April 26th the last movie of the Avengers franchise will be released.  This movie has been highly anticipated since the shocking end to the last Avengers movie, and fans cannot wait to see who will be left standing at the end of Avengers: Endgame.

While this is the last Avengers movie, it is not the last Marvel superhero movie.  There are other Marvel movies already being cued up with everyone’s favorite characters from the Marvel Universe.  One movie that has been talked about for some time now, and that has been confirmed is coming out in 2020 is “Black Widow”.  Black Widow first made her appearance in Avengers and has been in other Marvel movies but has not had a solo film. Fans will be excited to get to know more about her and her backstory.  Another film set to release is the Black Panther sequel. The first film broke many records and was nominated for an oscar for best film. The sequel has been highly anticipated since the release of the first movie.  Two more sequels are also already confirmed to be coming out in the coming years: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, and a Doctor Strange Sequel. Both of these movies joined the franchise later and made their first group appearance in the previous Avengers movie.

Not only are there many movies still in the works to continue to build on the Marvel Universe, but there are also TV shows that are being made.  A confirmed show that is being made is “Falcon and Winter Soldier”, as well as “Hawkeye”. These two shows in particular, similar to the Black Widow movie, will be the first solo project for these Avenger members.

While the group movies of the Avengers will be over soon, over the past several years every movie seems to feature at least two or three Avengers.  This means that as the Marvel Universe moves forward we will most likely still see the characters that we have fallen in love with since 2010. While Thor doesn’t have his own movie or TV show, there is a good chance that he will make at least one appearance in at least one of these sequels and Television shows.

“Oh, I’ve only seen the movie.”

Maybe it’s a recent trend, but why why why do people think that seeing the major motion picture of a book is the same as reading the book itself? Simply unacceptable. Let’s bring “well-read” back into style.

I’m responding egregiously solely because I’ve witnessed this foul assumption arise around works of my forever favorite author, F. Scott Fitzgerald. Just because because you’ve seen another one of Leonardo DiCaprio’s starring films doesn’t mean you understand, or even begin to fathom, the gravitas of the world that Fitzgerald created in that body of text.

The final words of The Great Gatsby.

“Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter—tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther…And one fine morning—

So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”

If you have only seen the movie, you certainly don’t pick up on the nuances of this final knife twist. Pick up the book, it’ll ruin your life for the better.

 

Better yet, let’s address another qualm of mine: why do “notable works” of Fitzgerald begin and end with The Great Gatsby? Why aren’t Tender is the Night or This Side of Paradise well-recognized, except to a select few? Are those books meant to be kept secret?

Let these two excerpts take you into their clutches.

From a chapter break entitled Egotist Food for Consumption.

“Don’t let yourself feel worthless; often through life you will really be at your worst when you seem to think the best of yourself; and don’t worry about losing your “personality,” as you persist in calling it; at fifteen you had the radiance of early morning, at twenty you will begin to have the brilliant melancholy brilliance of the moon, and when you are my age you will give out, as I do, the genial golden warmth of 4pm.You are bound to go up and down, just as I did in my youth, but do keep your clarity of mind, and if fools or sages dare to criticize don’t blame yourself too much.”

From a later portion of the book: let it be known that I’ve replaced the names with he/she to eliminate spoilers.

“His love waned slowly with the moon. At her door they started from habit to kiss goodnight, but she couldn’t not run into his arms, nor were they stretched to meet her as in the week before. For a minute they stood there, hating each other with a bitter sadness. But as he had loved himself in her, so now what he hated was only a mirror. Their poses were strewn about the pale dawn like broken glass. The stars were long gone and there were left only the little sighing gusts of wind and silences between…but naked souls are poor things ever, and soon he turned homeward and let new lights come in wit the sun.”

 

In conclusion, let’s agree to read more books and be not only well-read, but well-versed too. 🙂

Musical “drops” + some great tracks!

The “drop” is an interesting term in music. Often associated with dubstep + EDM, Billboard describes it as the “…moment of instrumental build[-up] when the bass and rhythm hit hardest. It’s why arenas full of people suddenly start jumping up and down.” Some songs even dedicate their entire runtime to building up towards a satisfying, climactic drop, where the careful layering of instrumentation is integral to the timeline and direction our song leads us in, just like the flow of a well-written novel. Personally, I love how a great drop culminates the entire song into its absolute acme; all the carefully layered instrumentation is playing at once and any musical restraint is lifted. Here are some of my own favorite drops (and moments as a whole) in music that I’m dying to talk about. I hope you listen with a nice pair of headphones!

 

Easily the most incredible, mind-bending, ridiculous section of music I’ve ever heard. To those turned off, I promise you it’s music. If you don’t already have an affinity to noise in general, the climax of “A Little God In My Hands” is most definitely going to sound like total shrill, inarticulate, painful bullshit that you’ll definitely not want to hear again. But after you get used to the seemingly impenetrable wall of pure sound, it really breaks down into a kind of gorgeous chaos – like two supermassive stars have collided and the entire universe is being dismantled, as crushing flare and holy fury fills what used to be a placid space. The entire song is pretty insane, and you really have to listen through the whole thing to get the best experience.

 

On the opposite end of the spectrum is a moment of utterly honest passion and warmth, in a piece that’s icy cold and technical. I’ve talked about Sibelius’ Violin Concerto before, but I’ve been listening to it again recently, checking out Christian Ferras’ interpretation of the piece. His performance is incredibly heartwrenching – it’s apparent that he had a lot of personal resonance with the composition, having battled depression throughout his life. He also nails that double stop at 3:37 with such a perfect portamento afterwards that it’s like the purest form of love condensed itself into a string of major sixths. As for the section of music itself, the phrase really differs from other romantic sections in its total frankness – it’s a profession of love and beauty, but without the frills and the artifice of sentimentality that might come from something like some of Rachmaninoff’s more indulgent works. The difference is that nothing in real life is ever as flowery and romantic as the schmaltz of a Symphony No. 2 or a Rhapsody On Paganini. And don’t get me wrong, I loooove Rachmaninoff. But you can’t deny that Sibelius has baked an incredible maturity and complexity of the human experience into this piece. Just listen to how the phrases battle between major and minor in a bittersweet tango, as if every joyous thought is marred by sadness, and vice versa. C’est la vie.

 

Celeste! “Scattered and Lost” is the one of the most functional works of music I’ve listened to – as you progress through Celeste‘s spooky mansion level, the soundtrack progresses along with you, adding additional instrumental layers to signify the increase in difficulty until the final boss fight has the track culminate in a super catchy drum solo. It functions well as a soundtrack to communicate the level’s enigmatic tone, the game’s thematic focus on anxiety and self-hatred, and the intensity of the boss fight that helps drag the player into a state of flow. It’s difficult enough to compose for just one of these things, but the track manages to do all of it!

 

Yeah, it’s hyper-cynical. Yeah, it’s pretentious. Despite what you might think about FJM, you can’t deny how gorgeous his instrumentation is in “Pure Comedy.” The breakdown in this track is sorrowful, with brass wailing and choral lamentation filling the soundscape – what kind of comic reality are we in!?! It’s an indictment of us, and of God, and as such, the instrumentation is going to be huge, deeply melancholic, and tinged with a sad dose of existentialism and regret. Let’s not argue about the lyrics, haha.

Forever more by Yuna

 

I don’t know how to even contain my excitement over this song. It feels like its spilling over and I just cannot.

This song is the epitome of a perfect pop song reflecting Malaysia by showcasing essential representation of Malaysian people. We see motorbike guys, termed ‘Mat Rempit’ and even though these sub group of people are a somewhat nuisance, here we see them celebrating their culture, togetherness and brotherhood they strive to achieve through riding bikes at night, speeding along highways. We also see different groups of races here, namely the Malays and Chinese. The Indian people are also represented through the elegant Indian dance moves.

My words are not able to convey how fascinating the video is and how Yuna really is an underrated Malaysian pop star staying true to her roots. She symbolizes hope, unity and faith for her people, something unheard of these days.

(Also its on Spotify/what are you waiting for go listen and watch the video!)