Really quick! There's more longer, quality-er content coming soon. I've been sick the past week. But, just because I haven't been posting, doesn't mean I haven't been listening to music or creating playlists. From January to April, here's a dump of some of the fun things I've been doing on Spotify. Feel free to follow me over there and be the first to know. Sharing music is definitely incredibly high up on my list of love languages. So, I really hope you guys enjoy these. xo.
well, here we are. the last day of 2016. in my final post of 2015, i said 2015 was garbage. if i was correct, and 2015 was garbage, then in 2016 we lit 2015 on fire, and we had a fucking garbage fire. the first few days of 2016 were quiet and i was blessed enough to spend them with loved ones. my best friend and i were having drinks on david bowie's birthday and i was talking about how much i loved him as the dj spun "modern love" and "china girl" back to back while wearing a labyrinth tee. i told him that black star was a brilliant album, but it was very dark and moody. david bowie was dead two days later. sharing something beautiful to be followed up by something painful basically describes the year i've had; the year i think most of us have had. the death of so many luminous artists. flint. aleppo. philando castille. standing rock. brexit. trump. but, there were babies born and weddings. laughter and joy. live music and good movies and new restaurants and great books. there was a lot of good and bad. i started the year in a very dark place. i wasn't working and that affected my mental health deeply; i'm still clearing some of the cobwebs and rebuilding my life financially. however, i'm ending the year happier than i've been in a very long time, and in awe of how much can change in twelve months. i found work i love, i fell in love again (it didn't work out), i went to shows, i made new friends, i made new bonds with old ones. it was an interesting year, and one i'm not likely to forget soon.
THE BIG 2016 LIST [ALL IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER]
-THINGS I LOVED ABOUT 2016
i was able to spend a lot of time with my mom this year. i went to more shows that i can remember. i took a few road trips. i reconnected with my big sis. i watched my friends' children grow. i started a job i love. i lost weight, and then gained it, and then lost it again. there was so many good albums released this year. i grew. that's what i'm most proud of this year. i grew by leaps and bounds. things i had learned about myself over the past few years i put into application and i became a better person. i was able to end regular treatment with my therapist; we both agreed that my mental health was the best it had been since i started seeing her, and i was applying the things i'd learned. i hate to be cliche, but i've really begun to live my best life.
-THINGS I HATED ABOUT 2016
where do i even fucking begin? everything felt brutal and raw this year, like poking an open wound. and on one hand, it made the good times feel that much better, but on the other hand, the rest of the year felt like having an anxiety attack while being hung over. the world lost a lot of heroes; to paraphrase my friend richard, "people who have influenced us, who played characters that we only dreamt of being, that we pretended to be when we were young (or even now), who's music got us through hard times (breakups, deaths, and more), who shaped who we are with their music, their characters, or just their lives". hatred and bigotry were normalized and applauded. innocent people were murdered by their governments, and it was broadcast for our consumption. there was so much ugliness, and i'm afraid it's only going to get worse.
-THE BEST ALBUMS OF 2016
this year was a ridiculously good year for music, and there are still a bunch of albums i haven't been able to listen to yet.
david bowie; black star // panic! at the disco; death of a bachelor // the hamilton soundtrack // rihanna; anti // sia; this is acting // ra ra riot; need your light // the 1975; i like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it // hands like houses; dissonants // macklemore & ryan lewis; this unruly mess i've made // gwen stefani; this is what the truth feels like // zayn; mind of mine // baby metal; metal resistance // the lumineers; cleopatra // the deftones; gore // sleeping with sirens; live and unplugged // the used; live and acoustic at the palace // blaqk audio; material // beyonce; lemonade // pierce the veil; misadventures // issues; headspace // tiger army; v // beartooth; agressive // band of horses; why are you okay // nick jonas; last year was complicated // bat for lashes; the bride // blink-182; california // emarosa; 131 // good charlotte; youth authority // billy talent; afraid of heights // crystal castles; amnesty // frank ocean; endless and blonde // lindsey starling; brave enough // britney spears; glory // carly rae jepson; emotion: side b // a day to remember; bad vibrations // travis scott; birds in the trap sing mcknight // of mice & men; cold world // skylar grey; natural causes // every time i die; low teens // banks; the alter // solange; a seat at the table // phantogram; three // set it off; upside down // lady gaga; joanne // avenged sevenfold; the stage // waterparks; double dare // sleigh bells; jessica rabbit // miranda lambert; the weight of these wings // the weeknd; starboy // childish gambino; awaken, my love!
look below for my 2016 most listened to on spotify playlist*.
-THE BEST MOVIES OF 2016
not such a good year for movies though.
pride and prejudice and zombies, deadpool, zootopia, captain america: civil war, keanu, ghostbusters, star trek beyond, pete's dragon, blair witch, the girl on the train, doctor strange, loving, fantastic beasts and where to find them, moana, rogue one, fences, hidden figures
-THE BEST TV SHOWS OF 2016
i'm behind on some of the new shows that premiered this year; binge watching has ruined me and i never watch things as they air anymore. of what i saw; i have to call out stranger things and westworld, obviously. i'm also gonna give it up to this year's season finale of game of thrones, and the episode of scandal where OP had an abortion on screen.
-THE BEST BOOKS OF 2016
i think i read even fewer books this year than last year. that makes me really unhappy, however, there's a plan in the works to combat that and you'll know more about that soon. that said, there were a few standouts for me this year.
ready player one by earnest cline (i can't believe they're making this a movie. how?? how is this all going to fit into one movie?).
liar by justine larbalestier (i stayed up and read this is one night. in fact, i might read it again over my long weekend).
gray by pete wentz (this book made me feel nostalgic in a good way. the end gutted me).
more happy than not by adam silvera (i read it twice this year, both times in less than 24 hours).
moonshine by alaya dawn johnson (the vampire novel market is over saturated, but i genuinely enjoyed this).
love in the time of global warming/the island of excess love by francesca lia block (so much yes to both of these).
wood nymph meets centaur by francesca lia block (turns out i'm a banshee/vamp and should be dating centaurs instead of fuckboys. who knew?).
armada by ernest cline (i'm willing to bet earnest cline spends a lot of time on reddit talking about how cool he is).
harry potter and the cursed child (harry potter: the christmas special/also, don't fuck with time travel, a cautionary tale. i liked it tho).
-THINGS I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO IN 2017
abundance in all areas of my life.
-HOW I DID ON MY 2016 GOALS
find fulfilling work--i definitely did this and i feel like the luckiest girl ever. i work for a company and brand that i've admired since i was a kid. i get to write about music and pop culture everyday. there's a civic component. i work with amazing people in a culturally rich environment. there are tons of benefits. i know i'm going to grow and further my personal goals here. it's just a really good fit, and it couldn't have come sooner or worked out better for me.
work/life balance--this evened out when i found my current job, but it was shit the first half of the year. i wasn't working steadily, so i felt guilty for trying to have a social life, because i shouldn't have been spending money like that. then, i was working at a start up in santa monica and spending 3.5 hours in traffic everyday and wanting to die, and i didn't even like the job. i am now in a job that i enjoy, my commute (while still being long) is shorter, and i make enough money to enjoy myself without being worried about the bills.
beautify my home life (my place kinda looks like leslie knope's)-- i sucked at this. if anything, i made things worse.
revamp my wardrobe-- this goal is a work in progress, but i am much closer to where i'd like to be in my overall personal style and my closet has grown dramatically this year. fashion is always evolving, anyway. i'm gonna call this a win.
eat better food-- i did a lot better at eating mindfully and varying what i ate, so i didn't end up in a food rut, but i was not as healthy as i wanted to be and my weight certainly fluctuated. i do want to trim a few pounds in the coming months.
purge unwanted and unnecessary junk-- if we're talking about people and relationships, then yes i did that. if we're talking about actual physical stuff, i failed.
spend more time outdoors-- if by outside, we mean under my covers with netflix, then yes, yes i did this.
make this blog a priority
do more creative work
spend more time actually outdoors
move (preferably to mid-city, silverlake/echo park, or long beach)
get more tattoos
take moxi skate classes
start circus training again
lastly, a bit of blog news. this site is going to be going purposefully dark for about six weeks or so. not that it would be surprising, considering i haven't adhered to a regular publishing schedule to begin with. like it says above, i'd like to make this blog and my creative pursuits a priority in 2017 and give this space my best; so i am taking some time "away", to revamp this space, organize and beautify it; and make a plan and schedule for 2017. when i come back, things are going to be better than ever. promise.
Eep!! It's the last day of the month and I haven't uploaded the playlist!
Brutal honesty, it's been difficult to be inspired with what's going on in America. I basically spent a week crying and angry. It seems frivolous to talk about things that aren't political, but it's too depressing to get caught in the echo chamber.
I'm also in the midst of planning A LOT OF BIG THINGS for the upcoming year in regards to this blog, my internet presence, and media/artwork.
I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving. I had a quiet restful one, which was very necessary.
Here's the November playlist. It's very pop-punk heavy. I go back to my roots when I'm upset.
Comparison is the thief of joy...
I had a really...uncomfortable thing after I published the Warped Tour post. I got a visit from the fraud police. You know the fraud police? The shitty voices that lie to you about everything you're not? "You're not a real writer. Why would anyone want to see your Warped photos? You're not a photographer. Why do you even have this blog? No one reads it. You should just stop." It was pretty bad. However, I sort of understand why. I've been a little guilty and a little upset with myself for slacking.
I haven't been writing as much as I'd like to, or I feel I should. I started a new job (my dream job) at the end of May, and while adjusting to all the things that come with a (good) new job (new routine, new commute, new friends, new schedule, new professional goals), I also dove headfirst into a summer jam packed with festivals, conventions, vacations, nights out, etc. . I didn't even think about writing. Before last week I hadn't even journaled since late June. I was deep in a no writing slump, when my therapist asked me, "How come you haven't been writing?" I gasped and avoided and made excuses. There are other, less pretty, reasons why I haven't been writing. I was also pretty bummed (http://www.lambertraa.com/blog/2016/6/14/ugh-what-is-this-world). And then, the fucking fraud police and the thief of joy that is comparison.
I honestly, started to feel like I wasn't cut out for blogging/youtubing/media making. While I don't want to be a cookie cutter blogger (https://lambertraa.squarespace.com/config/pages/528d2ff4e4b06e6e83ecaa4d), I was really feeling like I wasn't good enough to be a blogger at all. I looked at other people's blogs and youtube channels and while I don't want to do what they're doing, I was envious they were doing it at all. My large Instagram and Twitter following weren't translating to blog views. I wasn't happy with the quality of my photos, the inconsistency with which I was posting, the lack of videography in my life; I felt stagnant and like it was my fault, because the talent wasn't there. And it was very easy to wrap myself up in my new corporate life and put that part of myself aside. Except when it wasn't. I am a creative, talented person. And if I don't feed that side of myself, then things get weird, and I become unhappy. Futhermore, this blog reaches about a thousand completely organic views a month, which might not sound like a large number, but I don't advertise AT ALL. I do all of this 100% on my own, in my living room.
I'm ordering a new planner tomorrow, and a few blogging books. I want to set out a calendar and plan posts better. I've talked to some friends and am working on setting up some shoots for both scripted and unscripted content for my youtube channel. I even started working on my short story collection again. Losing your motivation is weird. Regaining it is an even weirder process. I re-read a few books that I love. I re-read my own work. I looked at my old lists and life plans. I was honestly re-motivated by my friends. One of my best friends recently graduated with her Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy, and also runs a kick ass lifestyle/beauty blog. One of my awesome co-workers sits next to me forty hours a week and is also a baker. The other runs and etsy shop, and her husband runs a record label outside of this full time job. Multiple friends of mine have finished full length albums while working more than one job. My oldest brother is a full time radio personality and is going back to school to finish college this fall. I had to remind myself, ARTISTS WORK 4O HOURS A WEEK. ARTISTS ARE ALSO LIKE ICEBERGS. Everyone sees the success, but no one sees the struggle. Issa Rae didn't up and get an HBO show out of thin air, she was making Awkward Black Girl on basically no budget five years ago. I, not only, can be 100% happy with my office job, but I can also be a great independent writer. In fact, I have to be both, because if I don't shit gets weird in my brain. When I was working at the fruit stand the idea was that art was the way out of the daily grind hustle, it never felt like it was possible to have both. When I finally found a job where I was happy; I thought maybe art could be pushed aside because I was finally happy at work. I have finally realized it's totally both and it's feels so much better.
Well. This turned out way longer than I intended it to be. I guess you can consider it my apology to you and me for taking an extended summer break and not writing and shit. Two steps forward, two steps back. Life is a cha cha.
The next post is going to be one I've been thinking about for a while, and was pretty important to the inception of this blog.
Have a playlist. xo