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That familiar feeling of dread settles in as summer begins to wind down. August is incredible, but it’s one step closer to a slightly colder September, and I, for one, am just not ready for sweater season. What gets me through it all is the motto “something old, something new.” I’m talking about a 90’s sitcom that is still loved by current generations and a revamped (pun intended) book series that in no way resembles—but is no doubt inspired by—Anne Rice prototypes. This season, I’m all about the classics and the reissues.

Listening to: Native by One Republic (2014 re-release)
I am very specific about the re-release for one reason and that is “Love Runs Out,” which I have been listening to all summer at high volume. The vocals are amazing as usual, but I’m particularly drawn to the blend of bass, drums, and what I can only assume are tambourines. While the song was supposed to be the first single on the original release in March 2013, it ended up not being included at all. This year’s addition really completes the album for me, hence the reason I’ve had it on rotation all season. What could be a more fitting way to end the summer than the uninhibited electro pop hit “Lose Myself” or “Counting Stars” where you’re forced to slap your knees uncontrollably because the beat is just that catchy? From start to finish, this album is simply pop-rock perfection.

Black Dagger BrotherhoodReading: Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J.R. Ward
Yes, I’m a sucker for romance novels—paranormal romance novels, in this case. I won’t lie and tell readers that these are the most intelligent works of literature that I’ve ever picked up—far from it. In fact, I’ll compare it closely to reality television: it’s so terrible, but admit it, you can’t stop watching because it’s so bad that it’s good. I’ll call it junk reading, and I’m a pure junkie for these vampires and unique creatures called lessers (the undead, so to speak) and sympaths (mind-controlling beings). Throw in the coexistence of humans and I’m bitten!

Playing: Donkey Kong Returns 3D (Nintendo 3DS)DK3
Hashtag O-M-G. Hashtag T-B-T. You cannot fathom my excitement when I heard that they were recreating Donkey Kong Country for the 3DS. Any adult who hasn’t experienced banana collecting, barrel throwing, or even those annoying bees as a child has truly never lived. What I love about this reinvention is that while it feels like a completely new game, the characters, themes, and objectives remain very much the same. There’s nothing I love more than a remastered classic.

SEINFELDWatching: Seinfeld (Seasons 1-9)
Once again, I’ve been invited to the party at the very last minute. I am always a latecomer to these incredible shows that are fan-favorites across the globe. Thanks to frequent reruns of the sitcom, I’ve been catching enough bits and pieces of Seinfeld to realize that I was greatly deprived in my youth. The characters are ridiculous and the situations they find themselves in are ludicrous. The completionist in me had to start from season one. As Newman says, “It’s so great to see a show that’s about something.”

Be sure to check out our Aug/Sept issue for #NowPlaying and other articles!



With summer finally here, you’d think I’d be out enjoying the gorgeous weather and the break from being indoors. However, being a true entertainment junkie, I find myself still glued to my electronics. Also, it doesn’t help that I can watch TV, listen to music, and read a book from my phone; let’s just say that my face has yet to bask in the light of day. Who needs healthy social interaction anyway? Especially when you can stay glued to a screen all day (totally joking—go make friends). Here’s what I currently have on rotation.

Listening To: Bangerz by Miley Cyrus

So we all know Hannah Montana-no-more has gone clinically insane circa Britney Spears 2007. Still, despite how repulsed I am by her new persona, I’m completely obsessed with her Bangerz album—though if you tell anyone, I’ll deny it. It’s very rare that I find an album where I like almost every single song, but believe it or not, this is one of them. However, this shouldn’t come as a surprise when she’s been collaborating with artists such as Will.i.Am and Pharrell. Album highlights include fan-favorites like “We Can’t Stop” and “Wrecking Ball,” pretty vocals like “Adore You” and “Drive,” and of course finger-snapping beats like “Hands in the Air” and “Someone Else”; and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The ill-fitting hairstyles, crazy antics, and unbearable new personality might turn you away from Miley, but there’s no denying that this album rocks!

Reading: Brunbrunetteambitionette Ambition by Lea Michele

This shouldn’t come as a surprise to our readers. I love all things Lea Michele. In her debut novel—which is both memoir as well as a how-to for the young and ambitious—we get to hear revealing untold stories and never-before-seen images of the multi-tasking starlet. From beauty tips to fitness advice, Michele describes this as “the book [she] wishes she’d had in her teens and early twenties.” I may have been newly inducted into my late twenties, but that didn’t stop me from pre-ordering my copy.

yoshiPlaying: Yoshi’s New Island for Nintendo 3DS

If I told you that I prepaid for this game before its release date just so I could play it right away, would you judge me? Call me a #nerd if you will, but I have no regrets. This is basically a “midquel” between the original Super Mario 2: Yoshi’s Island (SNES) and Yoshi’s Island (DS). It plays much like its predecessor, with the Yoshis helping to reunite Baby Mario and his kidnapped brother. What could be more adorable than diapers and dinosaurs? I’ll admit I still favor the original, but I’m happy to get my fix of flutter jumps, egg-tosses, and ground pounds.

gameofthronesWatching: Game of Thrones (Seasons 1-4)

Despite all of my self-proclaimed entertainment savviness, I will admit that I am usually the last person to know about a hit show (thank goodness for Netflix and on-demand).  So although HBO’s Game of Thrones just wrapped up its fourth season—and I’m sure it was phenomenal—this late bloomer is still waiting on Khaleesi’s dragon eggs to hatch. Though I’m far behind and social media has long-ago informed me of some of the show’s major events, there’s something fulfilling in watching the storyline from the beginning and at my own pace. Sure, I don’t have the excruciating, albeit exciting experience of waiting for the next episode week after week, but I have literally hundreds of hours of viewing pleasure at my disposal! And so far, I’ve been as enthralled as King Joffrey in a room full of dead puppies.

Be sure to check out our June/July issue for #NowPlaying and other articles.

Once Upon a Nintendo


When summer winds down and fall sets in, most people develop a nostalgia for hot sun, sandy beaches and cool waters. Being a recent graduate, I wistfully think back to my school days. The hours of lecturing and taking notes were all worth the effort once I returned home and my “real” work began. With a bowl of Fruit Loops at my side and a game controller in hand, I was transported to a 16 bit world for the next several hours. Some things have changed since then. I’m no longer a student, I prefer Lucky Charms and I find very little time for gaming. However, this year I sought an opportunity to quench that childhood thirst. For a solid week, I vowed to do absolutely nothing (within the limits of the human body) except revisit games from my console of choice—Super NES. After a couple of sleepless nights and sore thumbs later, I’ve compiled a list of some of my all-time favorites.


5. The Donkey Kong Country series
Okay, so I cheated a little here. The DKC series has three incredible installments: Donkey Kong Country, Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest and Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong’s Double Trouble. With barrels all over the place, this is some of the most infuriating gameplay you’ll ever experience. Still, the DKC series is undeniably fun, with hundreds of levels, secret worlds and ridiculously odd characters. Your opponents range from bees to armadillos, and your comrades range from rhinos to ostriches. There’s no real logic behind DKC, but who needs it when you have hours of stimulating gameplay before you.


4. Super Mario All-Stars
This is genius at its very best. Take all of your classic Super Mario games, add save options where there were none, recreate them for one console and what do you have? Super Mario All-Stars! Why do I even need to justify its place on my list? In this dynamite compilation you get Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 2, Super Mario Bros. 3, and Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels (previously a Japanese-exclusive release)—what more could you want? Every true gamer loves Mario (Luigi’s okay too). Climbing up vines, jumping on shells and chasing Yoshi is what we do best!


3. Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
Is it enough to say that I have started and completed this game five times? Simply put, I am obsessed. Don’t be fooled by the name of the game; you’re not only playing as Mario. Eventually, Princess Toadstool and even Bowser join your team among others. Travelling through different worlds in search of fallen stars and hidden treasures, you’ll come across bosses with insane amounts of HP, which always makes for a fun encounter. As the final Mario game that was ever released for the SNES console, Square developers truly outdid themselves. With special appearances by known figures from other games such as Link and Culex, it’s the little details that make Super Mario RPG so exquisite.


2. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
If games were a sundae, The Legend of Zelda is the cherry on top—exceptionally sweet! This is one of the best-selling SNES games of all time, and it’s no wonder with graphics that were way ahead of its time and hours of gameplay. As you assume the role of Link, you will use your wide array of weapons (the hookshot is my favorite) to uncover secrets, navigate through castles, defeat challenging bosses and save Princess Zelda. This game is more than enough to quell the real-life adventurer.


1. Earthbound
Truth be told, I didn’t have a chance to revisit this game. So why is it number one on my list, you ask? Not only do I remember it as being the most creative and heart-warming RPG ever, but it is a cult classic that is nearly impossible to get your hands on these days. To give you an idea of Earthbound’s rarity and value, the least expensive option is to buy it on Amazon and/or Ebay where bids begin at $169.99 and sky rocket to well over $300.00, depending on condition. This is a game that I will only be able to play again in my memories, but its greatness is so mentally-tangible that it will forever be at the top of my list.