If you live somewhere in the Midwest, Northeastern US, or Hoth, then you are most likely a victim of the trials and tribulations that is brought on by the heavy snowfall we’ve gotten lately. Instead of moping and possibly getting zoochosis in your own home, you should make the most of it.
I like to take advantage of this endless tundra by going sledding! It’s fun, free, and a great excuse to act like a goofball in the snow. But if you’re planning on going out to sled to cure your SAD, there are a few things you should do to prepare yourself for the cold. Based on my experiences, a lot of people underestimate their ability to withstand the cold, so here are some tips on having a great snow day without worrying about getting hypothermia.
1. What to wear
One word: LAYERS. Layer up! It doesn’t matter if it’s 32°F and sunny. It’s important to wear several layers of clothes to avoid getting frostbite and overall, enjoy being outside comfortably. And no, I don’t mean wearing shorts under jogging pants or a tank top under a sweater. I would say three layers of clothes is the minimum, provided that each layer covers your whole body.
"We are only here briefly, and in this moment I want to allow myself joy."
I had the opportunity to watch the latest Spike Jonze joint “Her”. It stars Joaquin Phoenix and kind of sort of Scarlett Johansson. The setting is in the near distant future in Los Angeles and our main character Theodore Twombly, who is going through a heart wrenching break up and decides to purchase a brand new operating system “OS 1”. Theodore wants a female voice for the OS who calls herself “Samantha”. Samantha is no ordinary OS she is a powerful all knowing artificial intelligence that has the ability to learn everything about the user and is able to complete a large number of processes. The OS grows close to Theodore and soon experience feelings for him and he does as well. It is a curious relationship they portray throughout the film.
This film touches upon a number of ideas. Can artificial intelligence get to the point where they can outsmart humans and obtain the ability to feel?
As I watched this movie I remembered this space exhibit at the Adler Planetarium, it was more of a short 6 minute video. Former Astronaut Jim Lovell explains in the video how we will one day colonize the Moon with the help of these robots called Alex. And Alex in the video is portrayed as a cartoonish robot and is able to exhibit feelings. Jim Lovell explains that Alex can withstand high levels of radiation, heat and large amounts of pressure because he is machine. Although, if you take one look at Alex he is gesturing, “Jesus Christ! Fuck Lovell, this shit hurts, stop!” Which brings me back to the idea of AIex being able to feel things, if this is true should we be nicer to our everyday things? I have dropped my phone too many times to count.
The movie deeply explores the relationship between Samantha and Theodore from going on dates and adventures to bizarrely sharing moments of intimacy where I felt the movie took a very strange turn. Although there are moments of happiness portrayed between the two characters, there is simply too much in the way to actually continue what they have.
I understand this is just a film mainly for exploration but I have to wonder. Where is the customer support for this OS in the movie? It seems as though Samantha is malfunctioning in a horrible way. It does seem cold of me to say but I honestly would have gotten Ted some help at least because the relationship was unnatural. It is hard for me to comprehend correctly the situation because in Ted’s defense Samantha was able to carry on in conversations and give thoughts of pure substance which I found amazing.
Not only is this a terrific and thought provoking film but the cinematography in it is simply amazing. Earlier I mentioned that the film is set in a futuristic L.A., I also learned that the filming took place in both L.A. and Shanghai. The way the two different locations mesh throughout the film is astonishing. The use of color in the film is awesome and fuses well with the character wardrobe. Except what was up with everyone’s pants? lol
Last night, I went to my first ever Bulls game thanks to Danny and my boyfriend Jose. Might I say, it was so exciting! Lots of energy compared to a baseball game. Despite that, it’s still not the same as enjoying a game of baseball outside while eating a hot dog on a warm summer day. But one shouldn’t compare apples to oranges. Go bulls!
1) The 1975- Self Titled
What more could be said about the 1975? After releasing four EP’s throughout 2012 and 2013 which hold key tracks that would eventually lead to their full length debut and after a successful tour run in the states it can be said that this band will continue to make waves in 2014. The debut from the Manchester based band is my favorite album of the year. If you take a peek at my Rdio play count you will see this is the album is my most played. This album is a fun listen for a party or a night drive on your way out. I dare you to listen to “Chocolate” and “Sex” and not get hooked.
2) The Dangerous Summer- Golden Record
Every year The Dangerous Summer release a new album is always a good year. “Golden Record” is their follow-up to 2011’s critically acclaimed “War Paint” and it does not disappoint. The band is back where they left off and this album shows every member’s talent. Even with the addition of Ben Caito on drums and Matthew Kennedy from The Graduate on guitar this band has not missed a beat. We hear the same solid musicianship we are used to and we hear singer AJ Perdomo’s deep self reflecting lyrics. I hope this is not the last we hear from the band.
3) Pentimento- Inside The Sea
This EP is the only one that will make my list this year. Pentimento will be a band to watch for in 2014. This EP cements the fact that this band can and will continue to progress. Especially in the scene these days bands cannot play pop punk forever. With solid songwriting and energetic recording sessions Pentimento are just getting started.
4) Moving Mountains- Self Titled
The latest and final Moving Mountains record which released this past August is the perfect swan song for the band. The self titled album is a collection of songs that contain a massive atmospheric ambience. The songs “Chords” and “Swing set” are phenomenal tracks on this album and it is a shame we will be saying good bye to such an amazing band.
5) Paramore- Self Titled
When you’re already an arena rock band with millions of loyal followers, most bands deliver the same cookie cutter sound. Not Paramore. The band knocked it of the ballpark with their 2013 release. With songs such as “Ain’t It Fun and “Still Into You” shows the band expanding into uncharted territory. If the band were to break up next year they would have ended on a high note.
6) Light Years- I Won’t Hold This Against You
Finally a pop punk album! Light Years, a pop punk band out of Ohio delivered in 2013 with “I Won’t Hold This Against You”. It is a fun short listen of the usual pop punk instrumentation. What set the band apart from the norms are the lyrics. Patrick Kennedy writes lyrics that truly make you think. The band known for pop punk for grownups holds true and I love it.
7) The Wonder Years- The Greatest Generation
The Wonder Years enjoyed a successful year. The Greatest Generation enjoyed first week sales of 19,673 units, earning The Wonder Years number 20 on the Billboard Top 200. The Wonder Years have found the secret to being a successful band in this very volatile music scene. The band connects with fans with not just the intensity of their songs but with the lyrical content Soupy offers to listeners. The band is only going to get bigger as they gain a broader loyal fan base.
8) Late In The Playoffs- Alive And On Your Own
Solid release from Late in the Playoffs from here in Chicago. I see good things for this band as long as they keep their songwriting sharp. This is one the albums I could always return to throughout the year and really enjoy.
9) A Day To Remember- Common Courtesy
Shit, I am not sure what was more entertaining, the drama surrounding the release of this album between the band and Victory Records or the album itself. With that being said although it was very interesting to read about the court proceedings involving both parties for weeks at a time, “Common Courtesy” proves to be a fun album. I would not call it A Day To Remember’s best work but this is the first album I have enjoyed in years from them. The band shows its three sides on one album pop-punk, hardcore, and radio rock. I don’t enjoy all three but there are great songs on this album. It is a shame that the band did not get to achieve the number one spot on the Billboard Top 200 as the sales from the band’s independent pre-order and the eventual physical release would have very damn well put them in the spot; something many bands only achieve once in their career.
10) Lights & Motion- Save Your Heart
I would have never heard of this band if it weren’t for Rdio. This album is such a joy to listen to when relaxing at home or for being alone with one s thoughts. This is a complete instrumental album with strong melodic driven music. Songs like “Ultraviolet” and “Bright Eyes” are songs that inspire me to climb a damn mountain. If you are a fan of Explosions In The Sky, I highly recommend it.
Couldn’t find a proper place for this album but:
11) State Champs- The Finer Things
One of the best pop punk albums of the year go to State Champs. With such a saturated scene it is good to see that a band can release an album and top their peers. If you are looking for a quick enjoyable listen look no further than here.
Asked by Anonymous
oops, thanks for the heads up!
Pentimento shook up the scene in late 2012 with the release of their self-titled debut through Paper + Plastick records. That debut is one of my favorite records of 2012 and is an album i continue to listen eagerly this year as well. That is not all, Pentimento has made it a point to make a dent on this year’s album of the year lists as well. “Inside the Sea” EP is Pentimento proving that they are a band that will continue to provide quality records in the future.
The 4-track EP starts off with “Not So Young” where Pentimento take it slow with the intro and first verse but builds up to a great chorus lead by singer Jerry Pauly. Not only is there a great chorus but the layers on the outro make for a strong finish where all the instruments are at a perfect pace and make you feel excited for what is next.
"Just Friends" is a song about the usual lyrical banter; a failed relationships that mainly everyone will be able to relate to. With lines like, "We’re just friends ‘cause that seems to be what makes sense" this song is destined to be a regular on the band’s setlist. And why not? It’s a well written song. The verse parts are perfect as they have calm instrumentation before hitting a hard prechorus and finally leaving the chorus raw out there for the listener to enjoy and sing along. The song ends with a gang vocal singing the main chorus line and it is amazing to listen in on. If this is not on the band’s current setlist then they are making a mistake.
”Any minute now…” which has a quick clean guitar intro before propelling straight into verse, which features chugging guitars with fast riffs in the background. The verse ends and slows down with a quaint prechorus where you listen and hear “Then you take a deep breath and say”
The EP’s closer “It’s okay” is one hell of a song. We get a quick verse from singer Pauly and run straight into a bridge where we hear some of the finest guitar work in pop punk. The band shows its signature urgency in the instrumentation making sure that the listener is engaged from the instrumentation to the melodies.
Not only is “Inside the Sea” an extension of last year’s debut but it is Pentimento reiterating their sound to anyone that may have forgotten them as the year has passed. The four songs on this EP can be described as catching lightening in a bottle. When Pentimento are at their best you get quality songs. If this EP is any indication I hope the band is able to recreate the magic in the studio for future releases. I picture this band catching many loyal fans next year and will be one of the bigger bands in the scene.
P.S. The vinyl packaging and the flag of the EP art is awesome.