Showing posts from April, 2011

Dear Jack

You guys know my Holy Trinity by now, right? Well, I don't know how I've held out so long, but I'm finally going to introduce you all to its third member. This post is going to be long and emotional.

In 2002, when I was avidly into Indian music and not so up to date on what was going on in the American music scene, a family friend, who I happened to have an enormous crush on, was very into punk rock. Once, at his house, he made me listen to this amazing song: "I Woke Up In A Car" by Something Corporate. I remember trying to familiarize myself with some of their other stuff, so I'd have more stuff to talk about with this boy, and really just loving the whole sound of the music. Then I had a pretty lengthy rap phase through eighth grade, and sort of lost touch.

Freshman year of high school, someone made me listen to "She Paints Me Blue" after a debate tournament, when I hadn't even known they had a new album out. The piano on the song was beautiful. It was a much more melodic, less angsty sound that made my heart beat faster every time I heard it. I heard it at a time I was head over heels for a boy that had just moved away and so the sense of loss in the song really resounded with me. I found another favorite that really moved me, "Konstantine," and in those days, I couldn't sleep without the lull of those two songs.

Then, a few months later, everything changed. On a night after I'd had a particularly terrible fight with my parents, I saw a pretty little lyric on a friend's AIM away message: "Dark blue, dark blue, have you ever been alone in a crowded room?" I Googled the song, and listened to it for the first time way past midnight on February 12th. I was pretty sure I had rediscovered God. This song changed my life. To this day, I listen to it every day, more than once sometimes. It's the song that's my every-mood song; if I'm happy it makes me happier. If I'm upset, it consoles me. If I'm feeling frustration, the melody brings tears to relieve it. I couldn't say enough about this song to make you understand what it's meant to me.

I soon found that the band that sung it, Jack's Mannequin, had been started by the guy from Something Corporate, one Andrew McMahon. Needless to say, when I started driving, these CDs were the first in my car. Every song on Everything In Transit struck something in me. I found out he'd been diagnosed with leukemia, but I didn't know much about it until 2008, when Jack's Mannequin put out their second record, The Glass Passenger. I'd never heard cancer described quite like in "Caves." I could hear the pain of distance from great friends (which I was feeling since I'd just moved to San Diego for school) sung boldly in "Hammers and Strings (A Lullaby)" and the most breathtaking arrangement I'd ever heard on "Swim."

Then, I saw him live for the first time. At one point, sometime after Dark Blue, I just stopped dancing, stopped singing along, and started crying. The tears just wouldn't stop, and all I could do was smile so big because I was finally, finally seeing this talented powerhouse in concert. I cried all the way to the end of the show and probably a little more after that, and I think by the end, my friend was a little worried, haha. Later, I saw the documentary, Dear Jack he made about his time in treatment. "Saw" might be the wrong word, really, because I was bleary-eyed and sobbing almost the whole time.

Andrew McMahon inspires me. His music has put so much life in my world and when Jack's Mannequin announced their latest tour, I couldn't not go. So, for this, you will find me driving three hours up to Ventura in June to see him play...again.

Not By Accident

This last week has been nothing if not totally casual for me. Not a lot of dressing up, and a whole lot of studying very very last minute for things I should have started reviewing weeks ago. So, in that light, a casual outfit! From a long time ago!

Top: Old Navy; Boots: ?; Vest: PacSun

As a last thought, I thought you guys would like to know that that vest, though incredibly useless when it comes to warmth, leads a wonderful double life. One time, when I was in desperate need, the detachable hood came to my aid in the form of a lion's mane for a costume. Yay, versatility!

Tuesday Tunes

Got some good ones today (I think)! Spring quarter is always really music-heavy at my college, and this one has been no different, so excuse me if my blog becomes really music oriented for the next few months. Other things will come too.

1."Disintegration" - Jimmy Eat World
2."Judas" - Lady GaGa
3."Out of my Head" - Lupe Fiasco ft. Trey Songz
4."Put It In My Video" - Childish Gambino
Seriously, check out all of this guy's stuff if you're into rap. Such clever lines.
5."E.T." Katy Perry ft. Kanye West
6."Sunshine of your Love" - Cream
7."Must Get Out" - Maroon 5
8."Drops of Jupiter" - Train
One of my all-time favorites. He wrote it after his mom died, and there's just something unearthly and so so precious about the lyrics.

Share Your Favorites!

Weekend Update

You guys, I am so happy with the responses to the Tuesday Tunes feature! It took me a couple days, but all your responses were so good! And aside from "Dog Days Are Over" and "You and I," I basically hadn't heard any of them! So, keep that up, for sure.

This is what you guys have turned me into. That kid with 7 YouTube tabs open.

Last night, I got to see Hellogoodbye in concert! Seriously, they were one of my favorite bands somewhere around freshman year of high school, so there was that strange nostalgia surrounding the whole thing. But the guys in the band were so adorable and cracked jokes, played with bubbles, and made lame puns the whole time, so by the end I was in love all over again. So, I'm working up to a real post, but as I mentioned before, this is very quickly turning into the week from hell, so excuse the sort-of-filler posts.

Couch Surfing

I am in midterm/lab report hell as we speak (hence the being awake at 4 am), but let me just share this:

I wish my parents would have let me do really cool stuff like this! The most we did was play the hot lava game, but even then my mom drew the line at stepping all over the arms of the couch.
In other news, Hellogoodbye is playing at my school tonight, and I am SO EXCITED. 15-year-old Mugdha is running around in circles screaming her head off while the rest of the Mugdhas try to ignore her for now and focus on not failing biochem lab.

Tuesday Tunes

I'm adding a new feature!

Maybe it's just my super Type A need to organize everything around me, but doing something at the time designated for it is such a burst of endorphins for me, weird creature that I am. Anyway, I've been dying to do a music feature for a long time because it's such a big part of my life. I want to share what I like, and emphasis on this, I want you guys to respond with what your favorites are for the week! Go at me because new music is my must-have, always! Maybe I'll do themes sometimes, but mostly, anything goes. I will link to YouTube, because nothing is worse than having to open a new tab and find a link.

1."Shove It" - Santogold
2."Borneo" - Firewater
3."Rhythm of Love" - Plain White T's
4."Soco Amaretto Lime" - Brand New

Share Some Tunes!

p.s. Glee is off hiatus tonight! Can't wait!

Some Tina Fey For You

I am a huge huge fan of Mean Girls and older Saturday Night Live, and as such, a huge fan of Tina Fey. Really, the only reason I've yet to watch 30 Rock is because, let's be honest, I can't afford to watch more TV shows right now. But, the magic of this multi-talented lady is that everything she writes and does never ceases to amaze me. Such strength and character and a great sense of humor is rare and unique. So, I love my aunts, but Tina Fey would be the coolest "cool aunt" ever in the history of cool aunts, don't you think?

If you need more proof, just read this article I found called A Mother's Prayer for Its Child by Tina Fey. Too cute.

The End Is Near

It's almost the end. It's just hitting me. Yesterday, I bought the Deathly Hallows Part 1 DVD. About tn minutes into watching it, it just really hit me and I started crying. This, Harry Potter, is so precious to me. Not only did I grow up with the characters, but I also feel like I grew up with the actors in the films. Dan, Emma, and Rupert are almost distant friends of mine in my head and in my heart. I bawled after I finished the seventh book, but I could at least find consolation in knowing there were several more movies coming out. Though, I am not and have never been a huge fan of the movies, I really liked Deathly Hallows Part 1. For the first time, I thought the acting and directing was as good as the cinematography. Then the Wizarding World of Harry Potter opened and it was all Christmas-come-early and just a little bit more HP. But after July, then what? Where will my childhood friend be? I just can't believe this goliath, this behemoth of a story and of a franchise, is coming to a real and total end. I am having such a hard time coming to any kind of terms with this.

Disney Dreamscapes

I was looking through some old stuff today and found some favorites that I'd completely forgotten about. Renowned photographer, Annie Leibovitz once did these amazing celebrity shoots recreating scenes from iconic Disney movies.

Julianne Moore as Ariel

Olivia Wilde & Alec Baldwin as the Evil Queen and Magic Mirror

Orlando Bloom as King Arthur

Jessica Biel as Pocahontas

David Beckham as Prince Phillip

Scarlett Johansson as Cinderella. This one is my absolute favorite.

For the rest, you can go here. I want them as prints or something. They all are so pretty and I just love how closely the tone of each picture reflects the characters depicted in it. Some of those were from 2008, and some of them were from the new series done just over a month ago! Let me reiterate how much I want these as prints. Especially the Cinderella one. So now you all know what I want for my birthday in May!

I Will Build A Path To You

Top: Target; Belt: Charlotte Russe; Skirt: Banana Republic; Tights: ?

All this conferencing and I barely managed to document what I wore, you guys! I just realized that I looked super-cute (at least, I hope I did) all of last weekend, and only have a few pictures of my clothes. Boo. Well, in any case, here's one of them from pre-Day One.

Update: Guitar officially acquired! Send in your websites that allow my free learning. Keep in mind, I know nothing about guitars and these "lessons" should probably start from "How Do I Tune This Thing?" That being said, I'm not totally new to music (i.e. chords and keys) so we won't have to start THAT far back.

The Mornings

They say that often, during tough times, the hardest thing you will have to do is get out of bed. In the last few weeks, I am finding this increasingly true. Not just figuratively, but literally. After getting up, everything seems easier to do. With class at 7:30 am every single day, I've lost the wake-up time in the mornings that I so cherish. Some of my favorite morning pastimes have been spending an hour or two sipping coffee, catching up on my Google reader, making my lunch, and dressing myself well. Having that ripped away from me because I am physically incapable of waking up at 5 am has taken a significant toll on my morning joy. Enough that I think I might start making the 40 minute walk to campus instead of taking the bus because I can use that morning time to sip my coffee and enjoy the morning at least.

In other news, I am borrowing a guitar from my old apartmate with the full intent to learn. So, look for progress on that front! I hope I can stay motivated enough to actually follow through with this!
photocred: weheartit

La Roche Posay

My skin and I have a decidedly love-hate relationship. Actually, it's probably more like 30% love and 70% hate. My skin's always been sensitive; I had mild eczema on my legs when I was little that still flares up occasionally and middle/high school was a nightmare with my face breaking out all the time. For a while, I was on Accutane (which, no matter how many lawsuits they get, I will always be a strong proponent of, because holy god, it helped SO MUCH), but to this day, my skin is still really finicky.

Due to this, I'm always trying out new products, reading reviews, switching up my cleansing regimen, and just generally desperately trying to find the method that will make my skin look young, fresh, and healthy. And now, I've caught the aging bug, so...also that. I just bought a bunch of stuff from La Roche Posay, a French company, after having read some really good reviews and having a friend with similar skin to mine practically profess her love to their stuff. So, we'll see how it goes. Any experience with the stuff? Or suggestions for other products?

Borrowed: Music Monday!

Instead of doing my usual Lust List Monday feature, I'm changing it up today and borrowing a feature from one of my favorite blogs, SWEATshirtDRESSshirt; Music Monday rules!

1. "Coppertone" - Hellogoodbye
Seriously, this song is beautiful. The line from the picture is in it, and it's just delivered so well that when I'm not expecting it, it gives me chills.
2. "If It's Love" - Train
I'm kind of a sucker for Train. "Drops of Jupiter" is one of my all-time favorites, and a song of my childhood, so I can't help but be totally moved by every song they make.
3. "Pass Out" - Tinie Tempah
I have a deep respect for rap and some hip-hop. There is a very long and convoluted method to that madness that I won't bore you with. Plus, he's British. Check the accent.
4. "Dress & Tie" - Charlene Kaye ft. Darren Criss
Pretty, pretty, pretty. Also, don't judge me; I couldn't not include something of his. But, really, listen to it, it's quite good. Apparently, if you're a fan of Chuck, there's a pretty serious fan campaign going to have it play at Chuck and Sarah's wedding.
5. "Hear You Me" - Jimmy Eat World
Old school, but I'm seeing them again in May, and so I've been revisiting. This song always gets me; the almost haunting melody and the emotion behind the words. When I saw them on New Years, this song (no matter that I've heard it a million times) made me cry.

Happy Monday!


Is it weird to say that I suddenly seem to have too much inspiration? I've been meaning to blog, but I haven't because I don't want to unload the 20-page inspired-Mugdha soliloquy on you guys. This conference, Julia Albain's book I mentioned here, TED talks, and some people have made me turn into a big sappy bubble of happy, inspired, thankful, kind, and excited. So, this is still longer than I planned, but you all are aware of my rambling.
When I was in India this summer, I kept a journal. It was to document everything that we experienced, but also personal; my take on the things I saw and experienced. The pages were small-ish, but I filled over 50 of them with my thoughts, and didn’t even manage to cover the whole trip. I re-discovered a passion for writing in those moments that has often gotten lost during business as usual.
On a whim, with a bunch of friends, I decided to take gospel choir freshman year of college. As someone with little musical training, it was surprisingly easy, not uncomfortable, and really fun. One night, we were all sitting around our common room and suddenly we were having a completely impromptu gospel concert and people were coming in from across the hall to listen. Just a bunch of us girls having fun. Same with impromptu dance parties and teaching each other to awkwardly ballroom. I re-discovered a passion for singing and dancing that my recent Glee obsession has brought to the forefront once again.
I have a friend who is into philosophy/psychology, but has taken a serious interest in biology. Oddly, he considers my biology major to mean that I am his resident expert on the subject, and often, when we hang out, we end up talking about science the entire time. He listens and asks relevant questions and presses my knowledge and I get really excited and worked up when I can actually explain some amazing process or the gist of my research to him. Every time this happens, I realize a passion for science and innovation that hours and hours of lab work sometimes squelch out of me.
And lastly, working with people, helping them feel better, live better. Every Luminaria ceremony that has brought me to tears, the smiles of leprosy patients after I wrapped a particularly nasty wound successfully (even though they looked terrified the whole time I was doing it), the gratitude and relief in the eyes of mothers when we could tell them their baby didn’t have malaria, and recently, the inspiring and thought-provoking commitments made by not just celebrities like Clinton, Mandy Moore, and Sean Penn, but by refugees and over 1000 students at this weekend’s conference. They have reaffirmed my passion for helping people, lifting their spirits, and making them happy in all the ways I can.

The point of this whole thing being that even though I’m not sure where my life is going right now, and that scares the crap out of me, because I used to know exactly, I feel inspired. I am realizing the things I am passionate about and I want to pursue them. So this is my lesson: When you feel inspiration, go for it. Make hard decisions. Re-evaluate, reconnect, and ground yourself. Let it course through you and guide you to the greatest things you will ever accomplish. Over and out.


I don't usually do posts of this fashion, but really, I can't help myself. I met the awesome guys running The School Fund just now and they are AMAZING. The stuff they're doing to help kids in various countries go to school is amazing. I am so excited for this conference. Sorry if I'm absent for a few days, I'm going to be having the time of my life. Oh, and we got business cards for all of us, so I'm going to be that sweet-ass professional-looking gal that gives out my business card to people. Right.

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