Category: Movies, Television, & Music

My Favorite {Good Mood} Songs

Last night, after spending the entire day running around the District, we dragged the kids to see the National Symphony Orchestra play on the west lawn of the US Capitol. We sat on an old Toy Story bedsheet as we ate Shake Shack underneath the stars while listening to works by Aaron Copland, John Williams, and Adolphus Hailstork.

It was hotter than a pepper sprout and the air was sticky but for 90 minutes, we were surrounded by notes, chords, and even spoken word. It would have been easier to just take the kids home after the Air & Space museum closed but I was determined to give them this experience – especially because it was free. And I really wanted to see the National Symphony Orchestra because music has the ability to illustrate and evoke emotions beyond words. And what better place to experience such a feat than within steps of the US Capitol?

Jack Kerouac told us that “the only truth is music” and according to Jane Austen, “without music, life would be blank…” so when my friend, Kait, sent out a bat signal for posts about favorite songs as part of her September blogging challenge, I knew I’d participate. My focus is a bit more narrow because I am focusing on my favorite good mood songs. You know, the type of songs that embody a flickering neon pink positive vibes only sign. Some just beg us to get up and dance. Others have us sitting down with a goofy smile. And a few are so transformative that they can turn around our mood for the day.

My Favorite {Feel Good} Songs

Harry Belafonte – Jump in Line. This song is pure vacation. You can find me scrubbing toilets and mopping floors with Jump in Line streaming through headphones. You can also find me humming this song poolside while sipping a pina colada –  my feet moving back and forth with the beat.

AC/DC – Back in Black. I don’t think it is possible for me to complete a workout without listening to at least the opening riff of Back in Black. Whenever I want/need to feel like a badass, I turn on this song, channel my inner-Brian Johnson and let the good times roll.

Regina Spektor – FidelityThis album was so important to my early twenties and I will forever be indebted to Fidelity to getting me through some of the darkest moments of Clay’s first deployment. Back then – I would play this song to brighten my mood and it’s impossible for me to hear her over-annunciate heart and fall without a smile on my face. On a related note – Samson was one of my go-to sad/pensive songs during that time and continues to be to this day.

Queen – You’re My Best Friend. I like to imagine this song playing during the slide show that showcases the story of Clay and I – from when we were teenagers – to now – to when we’re super old and hitting the buffets at 4pm in pants with elastic waistbands. But since the opening credits of The Break Up features this song, perhaps it isn’t the best choice for our soundtrack. Oh well – it’s a damn good song and it makes me smile.

Walk the Moon – Shut Up and Dance. How can you not love this song? It’s so 80s, it’s so fun, and it just begs you to dance while singing along with the lyrics.

The Beach Boys – Kokomo. I was nine when I first saw The Beach Boys in concert at the Arizona State Fair. Yes – they have better songs than Kokomo but there is just something about this song. Is it is the saxophone solo? Perhaps. Is it the name-dropping of Caribbean islands? Maybe. Whatever it is – Kokomo is just a fantastic feel good song.

More feel good songs…

  • OutKast – Hey Ya!
  • Neil Diamond – Sweet Caroline
  • Billy Joel – Only the Good Die Young
  • Paul Simon – You Can Call Me Al
  • MIKA – Grace Kelly
  • Pink – So What

5 Movie Quotes About Love

“Everything I learned, I learned from the movies.”

Audrey Hepburn

I like to joke with Clay that I endured a lot of bad movies for the sake of spending time with him during our dating years. We do have similar tastes in most areas of life and there are no shortage of films that we both love – but we certainly have our preferences. He loves Quentin Tarantino films. I do not. I’m a sucker for (good) romantic comedies. He can take them or leave them. My argument is that the real world can be enough of a bummer that when I sit down to watch a movie, I want to experience happy feelings and be reminded about the positive aspects of life. He respects that and therefore watches John Wick-type movies on airplanes when he is TDY. I’d like to apologize to those who sit next to him.

The following are some of my favorite quotes about love from various films. The first one is arguably the most famous and I’m sure quite easy to find on Pinterest written in a whimsical font with an ascetically-pleasing graphic. But the others may not be as well-known. This list doesn’t feature “You had me at hello” or “As you wish” or even “Here’s looking at you kid“, but don’t let that deter you from reading on.

“I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”

When Harry Met Sally

Okay, okay – this one is cheesy. It’s pure Velveeta. Speaking of Velveeta, I can’t stand the processed cheese product. I’m horrified when it is used in cheesesteaks and I find Rotel dip absolutely terrifying. Clay entered into our marriage with a fondness for Velveeta. However, that affection dissipated when he discovered that it was, in fact, not legally able to be labeled as cheese. Thank goodness. But back to When Harry Met Sally – yes, the quote is cheesy but it is also spot on. It’s true – when you realize that you want to spend the rest of your life with your lobster, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible. As someone who got married young (I was 21 when I walked down the aisle), I identify with this quote. For us, we knew we wanted to be together so why delay the inevitable?

“The odd thing about this form of communication is that you’re more likely to talk about nothing than something. But I just want to say that all this nothing has meant more to me than so many somethings.”

You’ve Got Mail

Sigh. You’ve Got Mail is one of my favorite movies. I find it to be a superior film to Sleepless in Seattle (controversial opinion, I know) and truly believe that I could watch it once a week and never tire of the 1998 Nora Ephron film. Meg Ryan’s character typed these words to Tom Hanks’ and I just adore how this quote captures the simplicity of communication. That a conversation seemingly about nothing can be just as, if not more, meaningful than the bigger moments in life, simply because you are having it with the right person.

“They say when you meet the love of your life, time stops, and that’s true. What they don’t tell you is that when it starts again, it moves extra fast to catch up.”

Big Fish

Clay and I went to see Big Fish at the theater when we were in college. Directed by Tim Burton, it is surreal film about tall tales, metaphors, and the relationship between a father and a son. This quote has stuck with me after all these years – now that I am in my mid-thirties time sure does seem to move a lot faster than it did in my twenties.

“It’s all those good things you have in you. The love, the wisdom, the generosity, the selflessness, the patience. The patience! At 3 A.M. when everyone’s awake because Ibrahim is sick and he can’t find the bathroom and he’s just puked all over Katki’s bed. When you blink, when you blink! And it’s 5:30 and it’s time to get up again and you know you’re going to be tired all day, all week, all your fucking life. And you’re thinking what happened to Greece? What happened to swimming naked off the coast of Greece? And you have to be willing to make the family out of whatever you have.”

Away We Go

I was pregnant with Weston when we saw this movie in the theater so I heavily (ha) identified with Maya Rudolph’s character. In the film, a couple, John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph (who is pregnant), travel around the country in hopes to find the perfect place to set down roots and start their family. The quote is from Chris Messina’s character to John Krasinski’s and it perfectly captures the absurdity of parenthood. In the moments – the ones where it feels like we’re gasping for air while drowning in attitude, clutter, kid sports, and homework – it’s important to remember who we are as a couple.

“I knew I’d never be able to remember what Nina wore that day. But I also knew I’d never forget the way she looked.” The Father of the Bride

How can you not love this movie and it’s opinion on superfluous buns? Steve Martin’s character said this about Diane Keaton’s and I think it perfectly sums up what is like to be with someone for years and experience life milestones together. These memories are etched into our souls but some of the details fade with time. It’s such a beautiful and simple sentiment.

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What are some of your favorite movie quotes about love?