Playlist: February 2015

Since I tried to make “Love and Relationships” a more prominent theme on my blog this month, it was only fitting that I finish February off with a playlist full of love songs.

Back in November I shared some of my favorite romantic love songs, so I decided to change it up this time around.  If I’m being totally honest, my absolute favorite love songs aren’t the happy “I’ve finally found what I’ve been looking for” songs (though those can be nice as well).  No, my favorite love songs are the ones that shatter my heart into a million pieces.  And, after yesterday’s post, I thought it was appropriate to share some of my favorite breakup songs.

When I dealt with heartbreak in the past, I always turned to music.  There was something so oddly comforting in knowing that someone else could so beautifully put into words the exact emotions you were feeling … That someone really got it.  And, while all of these songs aren’t explicitly about love gone bad, they’re some of the songs that really resonated with me when I was struggling with a broken heart.

Since I’ve been trying to get a little more personal on my blog (and because I’m a total nerd who loves discussing what specific songs mean to me), I’ve decided to share why each of these songs deserved a spot on this particular playlist.


1. Sweet Adeline: From the beginning of the song, Elliott Smith breaks your heart with simple but eloquent descriptions of the days (or weeks) following a particularly awful breakup with the lines “Cut this picture into you and me/Burn it backwards, kill this history/Make it over, make it stay away/Or hate’ll sing the ending that love started to say.”  A part of you wants to just forget everything to avoid those feelings of bitterness and hate that so often bubble up and take over when someone hurts you more than you ever believed possible.

2. The Walk: This is by far my favorite Imogen Heap song of all time.  The imagery is great, as she finds herself continuously faced with the one person she can never have the way she wants (“Inside out, upside down twisting beside myself/Stop that now, ’cause you and I were never meant to be”).  The song so perfectly describes those conflicting feelings of wanting that person in your life even though you know it will only lead to heartache, eventually comforting yourself the only way you know how: by blaming them for everything (“I don’t want to feel like this, so that makes it all your fault”).

3. Map of the Problematique: This song could really be about a lot of things, but for me, it’s about the loneliness you’re left with when the life and love you’ve built with someone else disintegrates (“And I feel like everything I sow is being swept away/Well, I refuse to let you go”).

4. Rough Hands: This is one of the more obvious songs about a love lost that covers the feelings from the beginning of the breakup (“Was I left behind?/Someone tell me, tell me I survived”) to the realization at the end that it’s really over (“Two people too damaged too much too late”).

5. Fake Plastic Trees: For me, this song has always been about trying to mold yourself into your most perfect version in order to sustain a love that was never really there in the first place (“She looks like the real thing/She tastes like the real thing/My fake plastic love”).  Everything around the couple seems fake because it is … Their expectations have never truly fused with reality, leaving them disappointed and broken when they begin to see things as they actually are (“If I could be who you wanted all the time”).

6. The Ice is Getting Thinner: This is another obvious song about the deterioration of a romantic relationship.  The beauty in this song lies in its simplicity: from the opening lines “We’re not the same, dear, as we used to be/The seasons have changed and so have we” to the lovely imagery of the death of things in winter (“We bury our love in the wintery grave/A lump in the snow was all that remained”).  And at the end of the song, the inevitable truth that both people need to face is sung: “Then it saddens me to say what we both knew was true/That the ice was getting thinner under me and you.”

7. Lua: I struggled with adding this song to the list because there are just so many Bright Eyes songs that are more obviously about lost love (and this is more likely about a struggle with depression and addiction).  It won out in the end because I literally would spend hours listening to “Lua” on repeat when I was dealing with a particularly difficult breakup.  Conor Oberst has always had a way with words, and this song is no exception.  From the loneliness that comes with no longer having someone special in your life (“When everything is lonely I can be my own best friend/I get a coffee and the paper, have my own conversations”) to trying to move on when you’re not ready (“The love I sell you in the evening by the morning won’t exist”) to trying to find any way to forget the horrible ache in your heart (“Well, we might die from medication but we sure killed all the pain”) to finally admitting to yourself that you’re just not over it (“And I’m not sure what the trouble was that started all of this/The reasons all have run away, but the feeling never did”), he perfectly describes all of the stages that come with the end of an important relationship.

8. The Engine Driver: This song fucking breaks my heart every single time I hear it, yet I’d say it’s my favorite song by The Decemberists.  The repeated line “And if you don’t love me, let me go” is one that anyone who has ever found themselves going back to the person who broke their heart only to leave more broken than before can relate to.  And, as someone who has always found writing to be extremely cathartic, I could always also relate to the line “I’ve written pages upon pages trying to rid you from my bones.”  So true.

9. Himerus and Eros: I listened to this song on a regular basis back when I was dealing with this.  Much like “The Walk,” it describes the confused feelings that go along with wanting to be with someone who can’t give you the type of relationship you want (“And I fight the urge to explore the vastness of your curves I adore/You know I hate you/No, I hate you more/You know I love you/No, I love you more/Yes, it’s true, you’ve brainwashed me and now I’m more confused/I still somehow hope I end up with you/Yes, it’s true, I romanticize every single thing I do/Especially when it comes to you”).  This song takes it a step further, though, since it’s not just about the feelings but also the sexual aspect when you’re unable to break away from someone you’re still in love with and find yourself still hooking up with them long after the relationship has ended (“I hope to God I mean a little more than the sounds that escape your tired 4:00 a.m. lips/Oh, how I wish I meant a little more than a symphony of heavy breathing and the friction of hips”).

10. Cup of Coffee: When I was dealing with the same breakup I mentioned above, I truly felt like this song was written just for me (minus the part about the cigarettes).  It probably sounds ridiculous, but the words just rang so true for me.  From finding myself walking or driving by his place despite actively trying to avoid him (“I’m walking empty streets, hoping we might meet/I see your car parked on the road/The light on at your window/I know for sure that you’re home/And I just have to pass on by”) to the realization that we could never be “just friends” until I actually moved on (“So no, of course we can’t be friends/Not while I still feel like this”) to the black pit of depression I was sucked into for over a year after things had ended (“My friends all say they’re worried/I’m looking far too skinny/I’ve stopped returning all their calls”), this song was one that really helped me work through all of the horrible, confused emotions that went along with that particular situation.

11. Raining in Baltimore: This will forever be one of my favorite sad songs.  Adam Duritz reduces me to tears each and every time he sings the lines “Where you should be, no one’s around,” “These train conversations are passing me by/And I don’t have nothing to say/You get what you pay for, but I just had no intention of living this way,” and “There’s things I remember and things I forget/I miss you, I guess that I should/Three thousand five hundred miles away/What would you change if you could?” … So basically I’m a blubbering mess through this entire song.  It’s so beautiful, though.

12. Hey Jupiter: This was always one of my go-to breakup songs.  Although it’s more about a love triangle than the end of a relationship, the feelings of heartache and loneliness still echo throughout the lyrics.  Tori Amos starts the song off ready to share all of the things weighing on her heart, though she knows she’ll only cause herself pain in doing so (“And this little masochist/She’s ready to confess/All the things that I never thought that she could feel”) and goes on to describe the feeling that goes along with someone leaving their mark on your heart (“Found your writing on my wall/Well, if my heart’s soaking wet/Boy, your boots can leave a mess”).  She ends the song in much the same way as it began, essentially coming full circle in her realization that she’s now truly alone (“No one’s picking up the phone/Guess it’s clear he’s gone/And this little masochist is lifting up her dress/Guess I thought I could never feel the things I feel”).

13. Day Old Hate: This is my absolute favorite City and Colour song because it has always held so much meaning in my life.  As with several other songs on this list, the lyrics are simple but heartfelt, accurately describing many of the feelings I’ve struggled with following a breakup.  The first verse in particular is perfect: “So let’s face it, this was never what you wanted/But I know it’s fun to pretend/Now blank stares and empty threats are all I have/They’re all I have.”  He didn’t play this song when I saw him last, but the first time I saw Dallas Green touring as City and Colour, I was reduced to tears when he sang this.  (Yes, I’m that girl who cries at concerts.)

14. Rootless Tree: This is one of the best angry breakup songs ever written.  It’s not even obviously angry until you reach the chorus, which I used to sing at the top of my lungs while driving in my car, trying to detach myself from the person I needed to get over: “So fuck you, fuck you, fuck you and all we’ve been through/I said leave it, leave it, leave it, it’s nothing to you/And if you hate me, hate me, hate me/Then hate me so good that you can let me out, let me out, let me out of this hell when you’re around.”  Though the song definitely has its sad moments (“What I want from this is learn to let go/But no, not of you/Of all that’s been told”), for me it was mostly a great song to listen to when I needed a release for all of the bitterness and anger that inevitably goes along with the end of a relationship.

15. Get Gone: I had such a hard time choosing just one Fiona Apple song to include on this playlist.  I’ve turned to her music more than any other artist (even Elliott Smith!) following breakups and general disillusionment with various men in my life, and to this day I even refer to When the Pawn … as “the quintessential breakup album” because I relied on it so heavily to get me through the agony of my worst breakups.  As with “Rootless Tree,” this is one of the best angry breakup songs ever written.  And, once you’ve moved past the sadness and loneliness, sometimes you just need to put on a really angry song to put yourself in a “Fuck him, I don’t need this shit!” type of mindset.  If you’re at that point, this is the perfect song for you.  Fiona Apple flawlessly puts into words the feelings that go along with realizing that things have completely gotten out of hand (“How many times can it escalate ’til it elevates to a place I can’t breathe?”) and that he’s just not worth it anymore (“I’ll idealize and realize that it’s no sacrifice because a price is paid and there’s nothing left to grieve/Fuckin’ go”).  But, for me, the best part of this song is the chorus because it took the jumbled thoughts I’d always have following a breakup and pieced them together, ending with a line I’d always find myself repeating in hopes I’d one day believe it and move on with my life: “How can I deal with this, if he won’t get with this?/Am I gonna heal from this?/He won’t admit to it/Nothing to figure out/I gotta get him out/It’s time the truth was out that he don’t give a shit about me.”

I know I wrote a lot about these songs, so if you actually read all of that, thank you!  If not, that’s okay … I know everyone isn’t into reading someone’s personal thoughts on specific songs (especially if they’re not songs they regularly listen to).

Even if you’re not dealing with a broken heart, these are all great songs.  (I listen to all of them on a regular basis.)  And, if you are, maybe you’ll find something here that speaks to how you’re feeling and helps you move past it.


Also, if anyone feels like sharing, what are some songs that have helped you deal with heartbreak in the past?


And Where Was I Before The Day That I First Saw Your Lovely Face?

I mentioned in last week’s Tasty Tuesday post that I’d be featuring several posts that fall under the “Love and Relationships” category this month.  When I was trying to decide what I wanted to focus on in today’s post, I decided I’d start with something happy and positive (and probably a little mushy).  It’s Monday, after all, and most of us probably need a little boost for the start of the work week.  (I know I usually do!)

As anyone who reads this blog on an even somewhat regular basis probably knows, I love music.  When Eric and I were planning our wedding, this was the one aspect I was most excited about (and probably also the most controlling/Bridezilla about).  That being said, it may come as a surprise to many of you that Eric and I don’t really have a song.

Since we didn’t have a special song, it probably should have been difficult to choose a song for the first dance at our wedding … But it wasn’t.

When we first started planning our wedding, there were very few things I was certain I wanted.  Of those few things, the two I felt most strongly about were related to music (which probably isn’t surprising).  I knew that I wanted to walk down the aisle to the VSQ version of Elliott Smith’s “Say Yes” and I knew that I wanted our first dance song to be “The Luckiest” by Ben Folds.

Listen to “The Luckiest” here:


I was in college the first time I heard “The Luckiest.”  I remember very clearly listening to it, really listening to the lyrics, and thinking, “I want a love like this.”

“The Luckiest” is, in my opinion, the perfect love song.  The music is lovely and the lyrics are sweet without being cheesy.  The last verse is actually really sad, but it’s also romantic in that “love that will never die” kind of way.  (If you’re not familiar with the song, that verse tells the story of a couple in their 90s.  The man dies, and his wife dies only a couple of days later because she can’t bear to live without him.  As I said, it’s sad … But that’s honestly the kind of “depths of my soul” kind of love I always wanted.  And now I feel so lucky because I’ve found it.)

I like a lot of songs by Ben Folds, but “The Luckiest” is by far my favorite.  And now it will forever be one of my favorite songs because it will always remind me of my wedding day and how happy I was in that moment, dancing with my new husband.


This was my favorite wedding photo.  It was taken during our first dance, and we didn’t even realize our photographer was taking pictures at the time … We were just lost in the moment.  We ordered a large print of it, and one day we’ll actually frame it and hang it up!


Playlist: January 2015

I was originally planning to make this post yesterday, but since I didn’t schedule it ahead of time and I was too tired to work on it after my yoga class, it just never happened.  So I’m once again posting on the weekend (something I really don’t like doing) to make sure I get my January 2015 playlist up before it’s time to flip the calendar page to February.

Since I shared this post earlier in the month, I decided to focus on songs that inspire me for January’s playlist.  Since there are literally thousands of songs I could include on a playlist with this theme, I’ve decided to narrow it down by sharing only a select few that have either been instrumental in my creative writing projects or have simply been playing on repeat for the past month or so, serving as background music for blogging or brainstorming ideas.


I realize that #16 doesn’t match the song listed on the actual Spotify playlist.  This is an error on Spotify’s part.  This song is actually a cover Alexisonfire did of the Moneen song “Tonite, I’m Gone” (hence the Spotify name).  The silly title is just a reference to one of the members in Moneen (his nickname is “Hippy”).  And now it becomes more apparent just how much useless musical trivia I know.

As you can probably tell from this list, I pulled inspirational songs from various stages in my life (though, to be fair, I still listen to all of these bands/artists on a regular basis).  Like I said earlier, this is in no way a complete list of songs that influence my writing … But it at least gives you an idea of what I might put on if I’m feeling uninspired.

One last thing before I share my playlist: I broke down and made a new Spotify account specifically for my blog.  I didn’t really want to do this, but it seemed like the best option.  You may recall from my last playlist post that Grooveshark had been randomly deleting some of the songs on my playlists, which was incredibly annoying.  I was considering giving Grooveshark another chance this month, but when I logged into my account to see that a few of my playlists had been altered yet again, I was like, “Fuck it, I’m going with Spotify.”  Spotify has always been reliable, and that’s really the most important thing to me right now.

So, without further ado, here is this month’s playlist.  Hopefully those reading this will find inspiration in at least some of these songs as well!


Where I Find Inspiration

Sometimes I sit down to update my blog without a specific post idea in mind.  While I do have a few ideas floating around in my head right now, I wasn’t really in the mood to write about any of those topics today.  As I was searching for inspiration, I started thinking about inspiration itself … The things that inspire me to write, both in my blog and creatively.


Image provided by Unsplash ( and edited by me.

Music is definitely my number one source of inspiration when it comes to writing.  While it can inspire some of my posts (like my monthly playlists or this post about the way Elliott Smith’s music can bring back so many memories for me), I typically rely on music more when I’m writing creatively.

If I’m working on a short story or novel (something I really need to start focusing on more!), I usually try to come up with a soundtrack for what I’m writing.  It really helps me stay focused on the plot, characters, and overall feel of the story (plus I’m a nerd who thinks it’s fun to put a soundtrack playlist together).

If I’m writing poetry, some of my go-to artists are Elliott Smith, Bright Eyes, Tori Amos, and Fiona Apple.  That’s not to say I don’t listen to anything else if I’m in the mood to write poetry, but these artists consistently have the best lyrics (at least in my opinion) so I can’t help but feel inspired to write something when I listen to them.  It’s actually kind of interesting when I look back on my old poems because many of them were so clearly influenced by these musicians.

As for blogging (or writing in a personal journal, for that matter), if I’m using music for inspiration, I do one of two things.  I either spend a lot of time listening to music that I completely relate to in that moment (or that accurately describes the feelings I had during the time period I’m writing about if I’m sharing a story from my past), or I just listen to whatever I’m currently obsessed with.  I tend to go through phases when it comes to music, so while there are a lot of bands and artists I really like, I might spend a month (or more) pretty much only listening to one or two artists or albums.  I also go through periods of only wanting to hear specific songs, so I just play them over and over and over.  It’s a sickness.

A lot of the time, though, my main inspiration for blog posts comes from other blogs.  Sometimes a blogger I follow writes a really interesting or funny or thought provoking post that inspires me to share my own opinions or experiences on a similar topic.  (Or, you know, it at least ends up in my “Ideas” folder to be resurrected at a later date.)  And, though it’s common sense, I feel the need to point out that I never steal post ideas or content from other bloggers.  People obviously put real time and effort into creating content for their blogs, and I know I would feel horrible if someone just copied and pasted something I’d shared here without even bothering to link back to the original post.  What I’m talking about is reading something that sparks something in my brain … Something that motivates me to sit down in front of my computer and at least start typing out a few new drafts.  Sometimes it doesn’t lead to anything substantial.  Other times, though, I end up with something I can actually be proud of.

These aren’t my only sources of inspiration, of course, but this at least gives you a glimpse into some major influences on my writing (and blogging).  If anyone reading this feels like sharing, what are some of your main sources of inspiration?

Got Bitten Fingernails And A Head Full Of The Past

I was inspired after reading this post from Life According to Steph, but it took me a while to figure out exactly what I wanted to say on this topic.

I’ve been listening to Elliott Smith almost exclusively for the last week or so.  I’ve mentioned before that his music means a lot to me, and I can honestly say that it helped me get through some of the worst times in my life.  Sometimes you just need to be reminded that someone else has felt those same things … That someone else understands you.


This seemed like a fitting picture (and lyric) for this post.  Image provided by and edited by me.

At times, though, his music transports me back to a time in my life that I’d rather not relive.  It’s weird because sometimes I want to remember those moments so I can feel good about how far I’ve come.  Sometimes, however, those memories are just too soul crushing to deal with.

And then there are the good memories, those flashes of happiness that creep up when you least expect them.  While many people welcome good memories, I’m not always thrilled when they enter my mind.

8 years ago I wrote something that I still feel is applicable today, and, despite any reservations I may have about posting this, I’m going to share it because I think it will help explain my feelings regarding happy memories:

“One thing I’ve realized, though, is that sometimes good memories make me feel worse than bad ones.  This is due to the fact that a good memory is this intangible thing that can never be recreated … You experience it firsthand only once, and after that you can never have that exact feeling again.  I’ll remember everything about that moment in time, from the way things looked to the way they smelled to the way I felt … But I can never relive that exact moment (or chunk of time in some cases) again.  All I have is the memory … And sometimes that’s not enough.”

Playlist: December 2014

We’re nearing the end of the month, so I thought it was time to post my December 2014 playlist.  As I was trying to determine what my theme should be, I started looking through some of my old playlists on Grooveshark only to realize that several of them were missing songs.  I spent some time adding the songs back to those playlists and properly reorganizing them, but I was really annoyed by this.  I mean, it doesn’t take that long to throw a playlist together, but the fact that I did take the time to do it only to find out a few months later that some of the songs mysteriously vanished bothered me.

I liked using Grooveshark for blog playlists, but if this is going to continue to happen, I don’t want to use it anymore.  (Not to mention the fact that some of the songs, albums, and even band/artist names are misspelled … Though that probably only bothers me since I’m such a freak about that sort of thing.)  I’ll be using that site for this month’s playlist, but I’m definitely open to any suggestions of a better, more reliable site for future playlists.

I would like to note that while I love Spotify (and use it on a daily basis), I’m not open to using it for blog playlists.  My account is linked to both my personal Facebook and full name, and, despite the fact that I’m pretty open about a lot of things on my blog, I’m not comfortable sharing that information.  There may be an option to create a new account, but I’d prefer not to.  I am, however, open to any other suggestions!

Okay, now that that’s out of the way, I’ll return the focus to my December playlist.  I decided to turn this month’s playlist into a sort of soundtrack for my life in 2014.  Each month has its own song that describes the events from that time in some way.  It may be a song from a band I saw in concert that month, a song I couldn’t stop listening to that month, or a song that describes a major life event from that month.  It was actually harder than I initially thought it would be to come up with 12 songs that somehow describe the last 12 months of my life, but I really enjoyed putting this playlist together.  Hopefully you’ll enjoy listening to it!


Click on the link below to listen to this playlist.

Divulge and Indulge December 2014 Grooveshark Playlist

The Divulge and Indulge 2014 Year in Review

I told myself I wouldn’t make a “year in review” type of post since everyone does this, but then I was like, “Fuck it.  I like reading those posts, so why not write one myself?”

This isn’t going to be all about my favorite Divulge and Indulge posts, though.  I’ll definitely include those, but I also just wanted to cover my life in 2014 in general.  I decided I really wanted to do this after reading some of my “year in review” posts from my LiveJournal days.  It’s kind of fun to go back and see how much I (and my tastes) have changed over the years.  To be perfectly honest, this post is probably going to be more for me than for any readers I may have, but that’s okay.  Maybe someone will enjoy it anyway.


5 Favorite Songs:

The criteria for my favorite songs is simple: it must have been released at some point during 2014.  I hate to admit this, but it was really hard to come up with even 5 awesome songs from this year.  As you may have noticed from my monthly playlists, I’m not exactly a huge fan of popular music … And unfortunately, a lot of my favorite bands and artists didn’t release new stuff this year.

1.  “Make You Better” – The Decemberists

This is by far my favorite song released this year.  I’ve literally been listening to this on repeat for the last several weeks.  It’s a beautiful song that moves me to tears almost every time I hear it, and I can’t wait until the album is released next month!  (Side note: I really wanted to include this on my December playlist, but it’s not available on Grooveshark for some reason.)

2.  “Breaker 1” – Interpol

I was pretty excited for the new Interpol album this year (though they didn’t come back to Omaha on this tour, so that made me sad).  Although nothing they put out ever seems to top Antics for me, El Pintor has some really great tracks.  After listening to this album every day for several weeks, I determined that “Breaker 1” was my personal favorite.  It’s classic Interpol: dark, haunting, and addictive.

3.  “Evil Voices” – The Faint

This was by far my favorite song on Doom Abuse, and I may or may not have played it over and over in my car at a ridiculously high volume while I danced like an idiot after its release.  (Side note: Eric hates The Faint, which is just crazy to me.  Not only are they awesome, they’re also local … How can any true Omahan hate them?  They’re also playing at The Waiting Room for two nights this month, and I’m totally bummed that my friends that also love them no longer live here to go with me.  Eric obviously won’t be going, and I didn’t want to go alone.  Whomp whomp.)

4.  “Promise” – Tori Amos

I’m a huge Tori Amos fan, but I’ve admittedly been disappointed with a lot of her newer work.  There are usually a few really good songs on the newer albums (which, for me, means anything released after Scarlet’s Walk), but I haven’t been blown away by them in the same way I was with Scarlet’s Walk and everything preceding that.  Unfortunately, her latest album also fell a little flat for me.  The songs aren’t bad and some of the lyrics are really great … But they’re just lacking a passion I’ve come to expect from her.  Regardless, “Promise” really stood out to me because it’s just such a sweet song.  It’s definitely not her best work, but I really liked it for two reasons: it’s a great song about a love between mother and daughter and she performs it as a duet with her own teenage daughter, Natashya.

5.  “Ultraviolence” – Lana Del Rey

I think there are a lot of really good songs on Ultraviolence, but this song really stands out to me as the best.  (Though “West Coast” takes a close second.)  I think I really appreciate the cinematic quality … I can easily picture scenes playing out when I listen to it, and I’m a huge fan of music that tells a story.  (Side note: It’s kind of shocking that I like Lana Del Rey as much as I do.  Her music isn’t what I’d typically listen to, but I find myself liking her more and more.  While I don’t love all of her songs, the ones I do like are so damn catchy that I find myself singing them constantly.  I also really love her voice.)

5 Favorite Books:

I’m making this section a little easier on myself because I honestly don’t even know if I’ve read 5 books that were published in 2014.  In order for a book to be included on this list, it had to be read during 2014 (but could have been published at any time).  I really slacked on my reading this year, so coming up with 5 favorite books was probably harder than it should have been.

1.  The Way the Crow Flies by Ann-Marie MacDonald


It took me a long time to read this book because it’s 811 pages long, but it was well worth the time.  I read another book by the same author a couple of years ago (Fall on Your Knees), and I fell in love with it.  The Way the Crow Flies was similar in that it focused on a family and their experiences over the course of several years, but the story itself was completely different.  Her novels focus on some of the darker aspects of human nature and she definitely doesn’t shy away from making her readers uncomfortable, so if that’s not your thing, this probably isn’t the book for you.  If, however, you’re okay with disturbing subject matter and are looking for an interesting, beautifully written novel, I highly recommend The Way the Crow Flies.  This was by far the best book I read all year.

2.  Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn


I feel like everyone in the world had already read this book before I got around to it.  This is actually pretty surprising since I’d already read (and loved!) Gillian Flynn’s first two novels a couple of years ago.  I have also seen the movie, but I definitely preferred the book.  Don’t get me wrong … The movie isn’t bad or anything.  I just felt like there were some important details that were left out (which is typically the case since most adapted movies would be 5 or 6 hours long if everything from the book was included).  And, if I’m being totally honest here, I’m not a huge fan of Ben Affleck.  He was actually a good choice for the role of Nick Dunne, but I would never go see a movie just because he was in it.  But anyway … I’m getting way off track.  I really liked Gone Girl, and I loved the way the author chose to reveal information throughout the novel.  I thought it was really effective, and it definitely kept me interested.

3.  The Fault in Our Stars by John Green


This is another book that everyone has probably already read, but that doesn’t make it any less amazing.  I usually don’t read young adult fiction, but this book was just so good.  (I actually haven’t seen the movie yet, so I can’t comment on that.)  Although I knew what would most likely happen by the end, I still cried throughout the last part of the novel.  The book is funny and sweet and heartbreaking all at once, and I’m really glad I didn’t let the young adult fiction label turn me off from it.

4.  The Boy in the Suitcase by Lene Kaaberbøl and Agnete Friis


The Boy in the Suitcase is a crime thriller with an interesting premise.  Although I thought the character development could use a little work, it definitely kept me interested.  I liked the fact that the authors didn’t reveal why the boy was kidnapped in the beginning, nor did I correctly guess why it had happened.  I always appreciate an element of surprise in novels (particularly when it comes to thrillers!), so I thought the authors did a great job revealing important information little by little.  It wouldn’t be the first book I’d recommend, but if you’re a fan of crime thrillers, I’d say it’s worth a read.

5.  Lullaby by Chuck Palahniuk (reread)


I wasn’t sure if I should include this since it was a reread, but I did read it this year … So we’ll go with it.  I’ll admit that I’m kind of a fangirl when it comes to Chuck Palahniuk (okay, let’s be real, I’m more than “kind of” a fangirl), so my opinions of his work are probably horribly biased.  That being said, Lullaby is, for the most part, a fantastic novel.  Yes, some parts are a little repetitive, but it’s an overall enjoyable read.  I love that a lot of his work contains these incredibly beautiful lines that stick in your mind long after the last page is turned.  This isn’t my favorite Palahniuk novel (that award goes to Invisible Monsters), but it’s definitely worth reading at least once.

Oh, and just in case you were wondering how much of a fangirl I am, here is a picture of me with Chuck Palahniuk back in 2007 during his Rant book tour:


The wedding stuff is related to the book he was promoting, so it’s not really as weird as it looks.

I drove 3 hours to attend that signing.  I also look like a deer in the headlights in this picture.  I mean, I was fucking standing next to Chuck Palahniuk!  I’m also sure I dazzled him with my great conversation skills since I think the only words I could come up with were, “Hi, it’s nice to meet you!”

Anyway … Back to 2014.  We’ll leave 2007 in the past.

5 Favorite Movies:

I can almost guarantee I didn’t see 5 movies that were released in 2014.  Since that’s the case, I’ll make my criteria for movies the same as my criteria for books: I just had to see it this year … It could have been released at any time (though a couple of these were actually released this year!).

1.  Stoker

From the moment I first heard about this movie, I wanted to see it.  If ever there was a movie that seemed specifically tailored to my personal tastes, this would be it.  I was actually nervous about watching it because I was so afraid I’d be let down.  Thankfully I wasn’t!  Stoker was just as dark, beautiful, and haunting as I’d hoped it would be, and although it’s definitely not as over-the-top fucked up as some of Chan-wook Park’s other films (like Oldboy), it has its moments.  This was by far the best movie I watched this year.

2.  I Origins

I’ve mentioned before how much I love Michael Pitt, so it’s probably not surprising that one of his more recent films made it onto this list.  The imagery in this film is absolutely stunning, and I loved all of the questions it raised about reincarnation.  While I don’t personally believe in reincarnation, the way in which the movie presented the idea was fascinating.  The movie wasn’t perfect by any means, but I thought it was definitely unique and beautiful and featured some great performances.

3.  The Seasoning House

I’ve already written about this movie, so I won’t bore you by writing too much about it here.  I do want to say, though, that I really didn’t have any expectations when I started watching The Seasoning House so I was pleasantly surprised when it turned out to be a really tense and interesting thriller.  I was also really impressed with Rosie Day’s performance (and yes, I know I mentioned that before, but she was really fucking awesome), especially since you don’t always see such incredible performances in low budget independent thrillers.

4.  Broken

This film is based on a book of the same name by Daniel Clay.  I read the novel a couple of years ago and it quickly earned a spot in my favorite books of all time.  Although I found the novel to be far superior, the movie was still great (despite the fact that a lot of details were changed or completely omitted).  This definitely isn’t a “feel good” kind of movie (in fact, I’d say it’s exactly the opposite), but it’s well worth watching.  I’d highly recommend both the book and the movie, though I’d also recommend grabbing a big box of tissues … If you’re anything like me, you’re going to need them.

5.  Gone Girl

I know I already mentioned the book, but I think the movie does deserve a place on this list.  Yes, it didn’t live up to the book for me, but it was still a damn good movie.  I saw this in the theater with Eric and my brother-in-law, Jake, and it was totally worth the ridiculous price of a movie ticket.  I love that this is very much a “Kristen movie” (as the people in my life tend to call really dark and/or fucked up movies), but it’s also a movie that really appealed to the masses.  If you haven’t seen this yet, you probably should.

5 Favorite Divulge and Indulge Posts:

I’ve loved working on my blog throughout this year.  Although I don’t anticipate ever becoming a “big blogger,” I do hope to gain some new followers in the new year.  The posts I’m including in this list are the ones that I’d want to direct any new readers to in the hopes that they’d want to stick around to see what else I have to say.

1.  Crawling Back To You (originally posted 05.26.2014)

This was the first post I was really hesitant to publish (and not just because my husband reads this blog).  It was hard for me to put all of that out there, but I wanted to push myself out of my comfort zone and share something really personal.

2.  Thoughts On #yesallwomen (originally posted 06.01.2014)

I typically write about more personal things and less about current events, but I was really inspired by the #yesallwomen phenomenon (despite my dislike of Twitter).  I knew I wanted to write something on the topic and share a few of my own experiences, and this post was the result.

3.  The Divulge and Indulge Guide to the Best Scary Movies (originally posted 10.27.2014)

This was one of my favorite posts to write because I really love horror/thriller movies, and, of course, I love sharing cool shit with other people.  I had a lot of fun trying to compile a list of movies that were worthy of being called the “best.”

4.  I Love You More Than I Have Ever Found A Way To Say To You (originally posted 11.09.2014)

This is my mushy one year wedding anniversary post that shares the story of how Eric and I first met way back in 2007.  (Yes, 2007 was a big year for me.  I met both Chuck Palahniuk and my future husband!)  I always have fun sharing our love story with others because it’s not the typical “we met in school” or even “we met on a dating site” kind of story.

5.  How to Make a Long Distance Relationship Work: 7 Tips from Someone Who Has Been There (More Than Once!) (originally posted 11.20.2014)

If there’s one thing I feel qualified to give advice on, it’s long distance relationships.  (I was “The Queen of Long Distance” for a while, after all.  I gave myself that title, but still … It wasn’t inaccurate.)  Although the advice given in this post was mostly common sense, it felt good to share the things that really worked for me in the past.  I know this post has gotten quite a bit of traffic, so hopefully at least one person found it useful or interesting!

General Favorites in 2014:

1.  Favorite Trip: Obviously this award goes to my late honeymoon/one year anniversary trip to New York, The Netherlands, Belgium, and France.  If you’re new to this blog and want to check out some pictures and information, posts about our trip can be found here, here, here, and here.

2.  Favorite New To Me Restaurant (in Omaha): This is a tough one because we tried several really great places this year, but I think this award should probably go to Dario’s Brasserie.  Eric took me there for my 30th birthday dinner, and everything was absolutely delicious.  I also appreciated the fact that I was able to try something completely new (rabbit).  It was definitely one of the best meals I ate this year.

3.  Favorite New To Me Restaurant (in any other city): We ate at so many great places while we were on vacation, but one meal really stood out as being the best.  That meal was the one we had at A La Petite Chaise in Paris.

4.  Favorite Concert: I didn’t go to as many concerts this year as I have in the past, which was kind of disappointing.  I was trying to stick mostly to the Omaha area for shows since we were already spending a lot of money and using a lot of vacation time to go to New York and Europe.  Unfortunately, some of the bands and artists I wanted to see didn’t come to our area … And, like I said, this year I really couldn’t justify using the extra money and vacation time to travel for a concert.  I was still able to go to a few shows, though, and I really enjoyed all of them.  This year I saw Neutral Milk Hotel (twice!), Arctic Monkeys, and Death Cab for Cutie (my second time seeing them).  It’s hard to choose a favorite, but, since I’m making myself choose, I think the first Neutral Milk Hotel show in Kansas City was the best.  The atmosphere was great, the acoustics were fantastic, and I was just so fucking ecstatic to actually have the opportunity to see them perform live.  I never thought that would happen.  (I was lucky enough to see them again about a month later in Omaha, but the venue/acoustics weren’t quite as good and I think some of my excitement faded with the headache/stomachache combo I was dealing with that day.)

And because I think this post needs another picture:


I bought these tickets as a birthday gift to myself in August 2013, so I had literally been looking forward to that show for months!

5.  Favorite Purchase: For this category, I’m not including anything related to meals out, concerts/other shows, or travel.  (If I did, I probably couldn’t choose just one thing!)  The best purchase made this year (excluding items in the aforementioned categories) was definitely my Beats headphones.  Eric and I both got some before our trip (and agreed that they would just be our Christmas gifts to one another since we probably would have bought them for each other for Christmas anyway if we hadn’t needed/wanted them a month earlier), and they were worth every penny.  I got a pair of the urBeats earbuds because I’m not a huge fan of the bulkier headphones.  The sound is great, and the best part is that I can’t hear anything else when I have them in.  The music doesn’t even have to be turned up loud to drown out the noise around me!  (This really came in handy during a flight that included no less than 5 babies.  I heard no crying until I removed my earbuds.  None.  It was glorious!)  I’m not going to say that you should run out and buy these now (this isn’t a sponsored post, after all!), but I will say that I love my Beats and I’m really glad I got them before our trip.

I know this post is long, so if you made it to this point, thanks for reading!  Next Tuesday I’ll be sharing my 5 favorite Divulge and Indulge Tasty Tuesday posts, so if you like these “year in review” posts be sure to check that out!  I’ll also be posting my New Year’s resolutions in an upcoming post.  Hopefully I can come up with some great goals for myself for 2015!