January & February | Favorites

TIA HERE and although it's been a little while because of the toils of Cornell classes and clubs, I thought it was a good enough time to talk about my monthly favorites—or, rather, my bimonthly favorites.

January and February are crazy, cold, ambitious months, when people start and end their New Year's Resolutions and trudge through miles of snow. This is the wildest time to try to hold onto sanity, but also the most important. Here is my list of things that have kept me sane in the past month or so:

MUSIC



Rachelle Dyksinski is a wedding singer with a soothing voice that is perfect to listen to when doing homework or taking a break. Check out her YouTube channel and thumb through her music if you love acoustic guitars, the occasional ukulele, and a lovely female singing voice.


Taylor Swift is back and better than ever. The music video for "Style," although not what I expected, is easily one of the most visually appealing videos I've seen in a while. It's the kind of thing that makes you want to rename the song "Aesthetic" because of how stylized it is. (See what I did there? Sorry.)

FILM



Jupiter Ascending is a magnificent flop. Going in with zero expectations, I found myself delighted, amused (often when I probably was not supposed to be amused), and thoroughly entertained by this strange middle-school-scifi-novel-esque film from the Wachowski brothers. Mila Kunis is space Cinderella and Channing Tatum is a werewolf bionic fallen angel. Need I say more?


Gone Girl has been out for a while and, I get it, I'm late to the party. But I just watched it last month and, let me tell you, I loved it. Not only are the actors perfectly suited for their roles, Rosamund Pike nailing Amazing (Ambiguous) Amy on the head, but David Fincher is as ambitious a director as always. He could direct a movie on grass growing and somehow be able to make the camerawork both eerie and sexy.

TELEVISION



Episode Calendar is not a show, I admit, but it's the one thing keeping me together. While this is not exactly a January or February discovery, I have used it so much these past two months that it would have been a crime for me not to mention it. The site helps you keep track of 20 shows for free and is possibly the best invention for those who watch so many shows they can't remember what episodes they've seen already and what is coming out next. If you care about your TV, this is a must-use.


Parks and Recreation is in its final season, and my heart is full. While I'm keeping up with a lot of shows right now, including Pretty Little Liars, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Girls, The Mindy Project, and (shamefully? No, no shame) Glee, Parks and Rec continues to be one of the few shows that knows how to grab onto my heartstrings and pull. While the 2017 future the show is currently set in is a bit wild (in that the characters have changed a lot since we've last seen them), I swear that show has never made me tear up more. All of the characters have their moment this season, where they prove that they've grown up, and it feels like I'm watching my babies leave the nest. This show gets me seriously sentimental!


Grimm is a bit corny, with iffy special effects, but it never ceases to amuse me. If you like fairy tales with a gruesome twist, kind of like Supernatural if it didn't switch between brooding episodes and gag episodes, but rather combined them every time, then this weird dorky show is for you. While totally silly when you think of it after watching an episode, I guarantee that while you watch you will be completely engaged. It's just one of those shows that doesn't get a lot of love, but is super fun to watch and helps you forget about your troubles for a little while. Give it a chance and you won't regret it!

BOOKS



Adulting was my Galentine's Day gift from Victoria, and so far so good! This is such a great guide for anyone who wants all of their parents' scattered advice and more organized into one book. With a fun and honest voice, Kelly Williams Brown will help anyone excited to "grow up" learn little tips and tricks that will help them on their journey to adulthood. As someone who's always been excited to grow up, cook, clean, and work, this is a perfect list of advice. I've already been inspired to make my bed every morning, and as a previously super anti-bed making proponent, this proves the book is convincing. Check it out or buy it for your hardworking friends, because they'll appreciate the boost!


The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is a YA vampire novel by Holly Black that follows Tana as she deals with a mysterious vampire stranger and a nearly turned ex-boyfriend. Sound typical? It's not. Although Coldtown came out in 2013, I've only stumbled across it recently, and it's just as good as everything else Holly Black produces. The vampires in this book burn in the sunlight, infect or kill those they bite, and are confined in Coldtowns, which are like a mix between prisons, cities, and quarantine zones. The novel is political, violent, emotional, and self-aware. If you're looking for a more sophisticated YA vampire book, this baby is it.

MISCELLANY



Galentine's Day, popularized by Parks and Recreation, is celebrated the day before Valentine's Day and is meant for the ladies as a time to cherish one another. If you love breakfast food, gifts, and female support, then this holiday will soon become your favorite day of the year. Come together with some friends, exchange presents, and cook together for the best bonding possible! Even though you man not have the best story ever told, like Leslie's mom does in the "Galentine's DayParks and Rec episode, you can always watch said episode as a Galentine's Day tradition. Have fun!


Choco Pies are the best. There's nothing else to say about them. Made up of chocolate, some kind of fluffy cake, and marshmallow, they are easily the yummiest, sweetest (messiest) snack around. Visit your closest Asian grocery to get a taste of my favorite snack this month!

Hope you found something worth looking into from my extensive list above, and that you have an awesome, icy February!

Much love,

T.