Why we need obsessions

I’ll be the first to admit that “hardship” to me is so mild compared to what a lot people have experienced. I had a happy childhood and continue to have a wonderful family, close friends, and a steady job.

But everyone’s entitled to feel sad every once in a while. Or stressed. Or pissed off. I think it’s healthy to feel those emotions. And I won’t lie, maybe I allow myself to feel upset more often than I should. But every time I can’t seem to get out of a funk, there’s always a tiny light somewhere in a corner of my mind, saying, “At least I have _____” (fill in the blank with whatever my current obsession might be).

At least I have the new Mountain Goats album to listen to.

At least I have Buster Keaton movies to watch.

At least I have Star Trek episodes waiting for me at home.

Sometimes I feel silly for liking some of the things that I do, and sometimes I try to downplay my somewhat obsessive tendencies, but the truth is, I don’t care if it sounds silly. One of the few things I know for certain is that these things make me happy, and I will straight up listen to Simon & Garfunkel for hours on end because that’s what I feel like doing at any given time. To the outside world, these obsessions may seem trivial, or amusing at best, but anyone who has ever geeked out over anything knows that it’s much more than that. In all honesty, it’s a reason for living.

I hope everyone has the equivalent of this. It could be a hobby, a video game, a sports team (obviously I’m talking legal and non-harmful interests here). I hope you have a growing list of “favorite things of all things.” And I hope you never feel ashamed for liking something or someone.

Here’s to to the however small—but constant—good things in our lives.

George Harrison Week is my favorite week

A hearty salute to Conan for introducing George Harrison Week to the people (how wasn’t this a thing before?). It’s basically been a whole week of musical tributes to George, in celebration of the new Apple Years box set. I can’t believe that this is one of the few times I’ve had access to cable and I didn’t watch any of these shows live. I’m awful. But…good thing for the Internet! Last night I enjoyed watching Dhani & Friends playing “Let It Down” (side note: a song originally produced by Phil Spector who is looking horrifying these days).

Watching Dhani play is like watching a modern day George
Watching Dhani play is like watching/hearing a modern day George!

Also, Paul Simon performed a lovely version of “Here Comes the Sun“, although I’ll always prefer the version he and George did together (how can you not love that 70s glow?). I’m not exaggerating when I say these are my two FAVORITE musicians singing what could quite possibly be my favorite song of all time. Epic.

As for the newly released box set, I’ll have to get back to you on that. One of the big selling points for the set was that George’s lesser-known albums after All Things Must Pass are finally being remastered and released, but lucky for me, I already have them on vinyl! So I might not be dropping $100 on the new box set anytime soon. But I am appreciative for the tracks I’ve discovered/rediscovered in the process of listening through these albums again (in fact, here’s a Top 5):

Top 5 George Harrison Tracks, 1968-1975:
1. Instrumental take of “The Inner Light
2. “Miss O’Dell” – George’s LAUGH!
3. “Be Here Now
4. “If Not For You” – sorry Bob, I like George’s version better :\
5. “What Is Life” – one of the very first solo George songs I heard and fell in love with

When Starship Captains Tweet (and other Internet adventures)

Disclaimer: I never wanted to write a blog post about Twitter. It just kind of happened, after I realized there were some real “tweet gems” out there, many of which come from my favorite famous people. End disclaimer.

Sometimes (read: most of the time) I feel like the Internet is just one big timesuck. People are spending all their time arguing on YouTube, sharing awful Buzzfeed articles, trying to create the perfect Pinterest board…all of which are pretty pointless ways to spend your time when you think about it. Unfortunately that doesn’t stop me from spending a gross amount of time staring at my computer screen, although I’m working on beating the habit.

Twitter can be especially/surprisingly addicting, whether you’re tweeting about what shampoo you just bought or searching #shampoo hashtags or reading about what shampoo your favorite celebrities are endorsing. The most mundane subjects can become hot topics in the Twittersphere. But then when Diane Keaton tweets to you about where you should get married, you can’t help but admit that Twitter (and social media in general) is a pretty cool thing. I mean, one of my idols acknowledged my existence! And liked the picture I shared! And gave me life advice! I generally don’t follow too many celebrity accounts, but I do really respect those who regularly engage with their fans. And it’s amazing that probably 10 years ago that interaction was much less common. In honor of this, I wanted to share some of my other favorite celebrity Twitter accounts (currently, 40% classic rockstars, 60% Star Trek actors):

@DrBrianMay Brian May tweets about a lot of random things, including nerdy space posts, concerns about wildlife/environment, and epic concert selfies. Occasionally he gets offended by someone saying Adam Lambert isn’t talented. Kind of a wild card, and a truly fascinating/educational rockstar Twitter account:

@RingoStarrMusic Oh myyyyy gosh, I only recently discovered the phenomenon that is Ringo’s Twitter account. I’ve never seen someone embrace emojis so sincerely:

There’s something delightfully endearing about old rockstars embracing the art of the selfie. Please never stop tweeting, Brian and Ringo.

@WilliamShatner If you’re looking for detailed live tweets about TV shows and a reliable source for National Food Days, William Shatner is your man. The man loves social media (reading material: his surprisingly insightful Tumblr post about G+…keep in mind that Shatner is 83 years old!), and I’m pretty impressed by his dedication across different sites:

Also, love his interactions with NASA and ESA:

And in the Impossible Not to Love category… @TheRealNimoy Leonard Nimoy has the most adorable tweets. My favorite thing was when he declared himself grandfather of everybody who wanted to be his honorary grandchild:

@SirPatStew And finally, a one stop shop for Patrick Stewart’s awesome pics, especially all those with Ian McKellen:

I also love how most of them have a Twitter signature: Bri, R***, MBB (My Best, Bill), LLAP (Live Long and Prosper). A little something left over from the days of more formal communication, perhaps?

PS, speaking of social media: I did in fact spend part of my weekend creating new Pinterest boards about space, midcentury houses, and trivia (picture rounds in trivia are surprisingly tough – I’m determined to get better at identifying flags, state quarters, and 1940s actresses). I like to think that at least some of these boards are educational, and not all of my Internet surfing is mindless. Point of this post: the Internet is cool (except when it’s sucking away your life), and reading famous old men’s twitter accounts can be hilarious. Now go read a book or something.

Rockstars and Cats, Vol. 1: Freddie Mercury

Ok you guys, this was going to be a more meaningful post (or at least more varied), but I rescinded all other ideas I had for Freddie Mercury’s birthday post once I found out how much of a crazy cat lady he was.

As a result, here is a tribute to Freddie and his cats. Sorrynotsorry!:


“Mercury loved his cats, so much so that while on tour he would periodically call home to talk to them. His one-time girlfriend and long-time close friend Mary Austin would hold the cats up to the phone so they could listen to him speak. He also had portraits painted of them.” [Clash Music]


Please also note these excellent facts:

His solo album Mr. Bad Guy was dedicated “To my cat Jerry – also Tom, Oscar and Tiffany, and all the cat lovers across the universe – screw everybody else.”

“Delilah” from the Queen album Innuendo is about his favorite cat, and these are actual lyrics from the song:

Delilah, Delilah, oh my, oh my, oh my – you’re unpredictable
You make me so very happy
When you cuddle up and go to sleep beside me
And then you make me slightly mad
When you pee all over my Chippendale Suite


And finally, I know this video is bittersweet because it’s Freddie’s last, but I want to share it because THAT VEST (side note: are John and Brian BOTH wearing bolo ties?). According to this lovely website, Freddie is wearing a vest—er, waistcoat, as they call it—that was made specifically for him, with all of his cats painted on it. The Freddie Mercury Cat Fact to end all Freddie Mercury Cat Facts.

Happy birthday, Freddie! My love for you can only grow from here.