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#NowPlaying

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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!

#NowPlaying

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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.