To infinity and beyond

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Today, May 14th, would have been my mom’s 52nd birthday. Today I’m also participating in the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life in honor of my mom’s battle against cancer. My good friend/roommate Adri is supporting me at this event, and our RFL’s team name is Infinity and Beyond. Here’s why. 

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Birth, death, and rebirth: A (kind of) brief summary of Panic! at the Disco’s rollercoaster career

Photo credit: Shirlaine Forrest

I’ve been a Panic! at the Disco fan since 2005. Yeah, you read that right. I’ve been listening to this band for almost 11 years, and man, let me tell you. It’s been a wild ride.

If you’re not familiar with the band, or if you’ve only ever listened to that goddamn door song (its name is “I Write Sins Not Tragedies”, you’re welcome), here’s the basic stuff you need to know.

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These are a few of my favorite things…

2015 was a tumultuous year, personally, but at least I had music, wrestling, and pop culture to keep me busy. From Seth Rollins cashing in at WrestleMania to Coheed and Cambria’s perfect new album to marriage equality, here are a few of my favorite things from 2015.

Carly Rae Jepsen’s EMOTION  


really really really really really really loved this album. (Sorry. Had to.) Jepsen provided THE pop album of the year. With tunes such as the stupendous LA Hallucinations and the poignant Black Heart, EMOTION is undoubtedly the blueprint for future pop albums to follow.

What makes EMOTION different from all other pop albums released this year? Its heart. Jepsen manages to intertwine realistic love stories with heartbreaking lyrics and bouncy beats; it’s pure, ravishing magic.

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The hero dies in this one: a tribute to my mom

Mom passed away on August 16, 2015. She was 51. She was an English teacher for almost 30 years. Managed to make an impact and leave a legacy in every single institution she worked for. She loved dumb TV shows, music, Whataburger, and singing loudly off-key. She made the best cheesecake in the world. She was fiercely loyal. She spent sleepless nights making sure we had everything, and her homemade Halloween costumes were great. Loved to quote Lionel Ritchie’s “Hello” all the time. She is survived by three daughters (Alex, 27, Gabs, 17, and Mena, 11), four siblings, and friends and family who will miss her forever.


I was 15.

Mom was playing Solitaire on our old computer while I listened to music, which was one of our favorite ways to spend time together. At that time, I was utterly obsessed with “So Long, Astoria,” an album by The Ataris that had plenty of relatable songs for me to devour.

“This one reminds me of you,” I told her, turning the volume up as the first notes started playing.

Mom smiled, eyes still on the screen. “What is it about? What’s the name?”

“It’s called ‘The Hero Dies in This One,’” I said, holding the CD case up. “And I don’t know, some lines just remind me of you.”

She listened to it with me, her hand hovering over the mouse, not playing anymore. When the song ended, she smiled again, and looked at me.

“I also love you more than you will ever know,” she said. Then chuckled, and added: “Loser.”

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