Unrealities – In Pursuit of a Life Outside My TV Set

"We shouldn't have to rely on television or movies to show us fantastic things and fantastic stories." 
- "Mind Games", This American Life.

As I sat in my regular seat, on a regular day, on my regular bus into the City, I paused when that line played through my over-sized Sony headphones.

I rely heavily – almost desperately – on television. The way some people love books, I love my shows. I crave the intimacy felt after joining a family for 6+ seasons and living through their trials and tribulations. I’m literally hungry for the way I connect and cry tears of sadness and joy along with my favorite characters.

Many people have many escapes from reality; television is mine.

But, as I sat on my bus, this line made me pause, rewind, and listen again.

We crave the extraordinary and television (or movies) are an easy way to fulfill that craving and secure that high. To acquire that fantastical life that we want more than anything in the world. If you claim not to want it, you’re either lying or luckier than me.

I dream of fantastic things – I dream of applying/kicking grad school’s butt, I dream of killing it as an exec at one of my all-time favorite companies in a state far away from here, I dream of traveling to foreign countries and doing things so incredible that I can’t even think of them.

I’ve already achieved so many of my dreams – and every time I achieve a dream, it just necessitates that I dream bigger. Sometimes it’s hard to dream bigger; it seems like the simpler option would be to fall into a routine, causing myself to get stuck and accepting that I’m destined for a lazy life.

Whenever that happens, I find comfort in my shows, and I hope you find comfort in yours. But it’s important not use these “unrealities” as a crutch, and while it’s one thing to visit your favorite characters for a few hours, I hope you’re able to come back, refreshed, and ready to create your own fantastic adventures.

Never stop seeking out your own fantastic stories.

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IMO: A Definitive Ranking of the Tracks on Everything In Transit

For a very long time Jack’s Mannequin was my “all-time” favorite band. To be honest, I’m not really sure why. I never really got into their second or third albums – but that first album, Everything In Transit, changed my life in the best way. It just sorta made me understand why music mattered. I think I first heard their music on a mixed cd when I was 15 or 16, and I’ve been hooked ever since.

Quite possibly my favorite album of all time.

To this day, if I’m feeling bummed and need to feel like someone out there gets me, I’ll play this album and let Andrew McMahon sing me back to sanity. It works every time.

What follows is a ranking of the album from worst least best track to best (there are no bad tracks on this album). As well as my favorite lyric or two from each, because anything I could say about each song just wouldn’t feel like enough.

Without further ado, here’s the list:

11) La La Lie 
Every scene was a sign, we made out through their meaning.

10) The Mixed Tape
This mix could burn a hole in anyone, but it was you I was thinking of.

9) Kill the Messenger 
Oh my god, this hurts like hell.

8) Holiday From Real
You are my favorite sweater, being poor was never better.

7) Into the Airwaves
It’s gonna be a hard day, so hang on – don’t panic, don’t panic there simply is no need.

6) MFEO (Parts 1 and 2)
I still live with my high school friends, some people never change at all.
You waited for me in the rain, in the parking lot. Cold hands, lips blue, clothes stuck to you.

5) Bruised
Sometimes perfection can be perfect hell.

4) Dark Blue
Have you ever been alone in a crowded room? Well, I’m here with you.

3) I’m Ready
As I’m finding the words, you’re getting away.
I need caffeine to the bloodstream, I take caffeine to the bloodstream.

2) Rescued
Don’t you think I wish that I could stay? Your lips gave you away.
I’m finally numb, so please don’t get me rescued. 

1) Miss Delaney
In no time there’ll be one less sad robot, looking for a chance to be something more than just metal.
Where’s your boyfriend? He isn’t up in heaven so why treat him like he’s dead?

Agree? Disagree? Let me know in the comments below and let’s discuss! If there’s one thing I could talk about forever, it’s this album.

Until next time.

Always,
Julia