playlist

it’s alright, it’s okay: another playlist

Otter-Pops

it is sticky hot outside and the world is ending one day at a time. here is a playlist full of songs that will hopefully feel a little bit like a cool breeze, like wading into water, like distraction, maybe like peace.

wild – troye sivan ft. alessia cara
still too long ’til the weekend still too long ’til i drown in your hands

you don’t get me high anymore – phantogram
man i am faking it the best i can

rotten teeth – holychild ft. kate nash
i can never be the girl i wanna be no no i’m never free

blessings – chance the rapper
when the praises go up the blessings come down

sometimes – ariana grande
i ain’t even think of leavin’ sometimes

ice cream colours – corinne bailey rae
you make me dream in ice cream colours

kick, push – lupe fiasco
so we kick push kick push coast

red lights – chloe x halle
turn off the world dance with myself like ballerinas

moth to the flame – chairlift
i can’t help it i’m a moth to the flame

you’re the best – wet
well baby you’re the best we’ll figure out the rest

i love you always forever – betty who
you’ve got me almost melting away

thursday girl – mitski
glory to the night it shows me what i am

god only knows – the beach boys
as long as there are stars above you you never need to doubt it

boyfriend – tegan & sara
i need to know the rules if you want me to play

electric love – børns
she’s sweet like candy in my veins

radio – lana del rey
now my life is sweet like cinnamon like a fuckin’ dream i’m livin’ in

splinter: playlist

tumblr_o37wvzXXE51qcl8mpo1_540

splinter. a fracture. a break. the sound of silence.

playlist.

Taylor Swift – Wildest Dreams [GRAMMY Museum]
You’ll see me in hindsight / Tangled up with you all night…

Diana Krall – A Case of You [Live In Paris]
Oh! You’re in my blood like holy wine / You taste so bitter and you taste so sweet…

Adele – Million Years Ago
Sometimes I just feel it’s only me / Who can’t stand the reflection that they see…

One Direction – Long Way Down
Point of no return and now it’s just too late to turn around / I try to forgive you but I struggle cause I don’t know…

Sufjan Stevens – No Shade In The Shadow Of The Cross
Get drunk to get laid / I take one more hit when you depart…

Ryan Adams – How You Get The Girl
Say “I want you for worse or for better / I would wait forever and ever / Broke your heart, I’ll put it back together…”

Hanson – Use Me Up (Acoustic)
So, please, use me up / I just want anyone to use me up…

The 1975 – Somebody Else
I don’t want your body / But I hate to think about you with somebody else…

Jenny Lewis & The Watson Twins – Happy
So I could be happy, happy / Oh so happy, happy…

Wet – Body
No one said it would be easy / But I never knew I’d be so lonely…

Jay Farrar & Benjamin Gibbard – One Fast Move or I’m Gone
We used to dream together / But now I drink alone…

Little Mix – The End
And no one can love you, the way I used to do / But / Love isn’t fair

Jess Glynne – Take Me Home
You say space will make it better / And time will make it heal / I won’t be lost forever…

When Your Heart Begins to Break: a playlist for endings

It’s December, and the year is ending, and so are a lot of other things. It’s my last year of high school, and I can’t not be thinking about that all the time. I keep telling my friends we made it through, we really made it, because we’re only a few months away and we’ve been waiting for so long. There’s a time to think about the future and a time to set goals and plan ahead and motivate ourselves for a sparkling new year, but that time is not now.

I can’t not think about how it’s my last year of high school, and I can’t not get sentimental about that fact. I think one of the reasons the world is so irritated by teenage girls is because they forgot, they just forgot what it’s like to feel everything so deeply, to have every high and low stretched to the point of bursting. I am constantly in fear that my heart will break. People don’t like to remember what it was like being a teenager, mostly because it’s embarrassing, we’re all so embarrassing at 16, but also partly because it hurts a little too much to remember who they were when they first felt the cracks form.

I don’t know if I want to forget, because I don’t know if I’ll ever feel full to the point of bursting ever again. Maybe it’s not the best thing to feel that way, but damn it if it’s not satisfying. I sit with my friend in the car and we’re dancing even though she should really be looking at the road and we scream the words together, and I know in that instant that she cares just as much about this moment as I do. Isn’t that just gorgeous? That I can be sure that someone is feeling just exactly the same thing as me? That I can be sure that I’m not the only one who’s terrified her heart will break?

The point is that it’s not over yet, but it’s ending. It was forever and it’ll be gone soon, and these two things exist in conjunction with each other. I wish I knew a way to not ache over this, but there’s no way not to hurt over the end of a forever. All I know right now is that I can sing along to the music that made me and be sure that this feeling passes through all of us, at least until the song ends and our voices start to break.

Playlist

Wake Up – Arcade Fire
If the children don’t grow up
Our bodies get bigger, but our hearts get torn up

Heroes – David Bowie
Though nothing will keep us together,
We could steal time, just for one day,
We could be heroes, forever and ever

XO – Beyonce
Your heart is glowing,
And I’m crashing into you

Don’t Forget Where You Belong – One Direction
If you ever feel alone — don’t,
You were never on your own,
And the proof is in this song

Long Live – Taylor Swift
For a moment, a band of thieves in ripped-up jeans
Got to rule the world

Smile – Mikky Ekko
Got nowhere to turn,
And we’ve got nothing but time
But the future is forever,
The future is forever

The Kids from Yesterday – My Chemical Romance
Here we are and we won’t stop breathing
Tell it out ‘till your heart stops beating

Outro – M83
I’m the king of my own land
Facing tempests of dusts, I’ll fight till the end

 


Asif Becher is a 16 year old recently discovered cat lady who lives in the desert. She is often asked to “chill” about Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Taylor Swift, a suggestion she finds absolutely ridiculous. You can find her on Twitter and on tumblr.

and i will grow out of all the empty bottles in my closet

Screen Shot 2015-11-09 at 5.24.32 PM

and i will grow out of all the empty bottles in my closet : november 2015

you wouldn’t like me – tegan and sara
up the wolves – the mountain goats
violet – hole
all your favorite bands – dawes
swan dive – waxahatchee
something bad – julia nunes
atoms – nana grizol
if you’re feeling sinister – belle and sebastian
me and you again – kelsey waldon
blowin’ in the wind – bob dylan
chinatown – girlpool
fast car – tracy chapman
the sound of settling – death cab for cutie
anywhere but here – chumped
gypsy – suzanne vega
fuck was i – jenny owen youngs
running on empty – jackson browne

 

 

i have been trying to pray, as an act of comedy and desperation, which are the same. i cannot bear myself so i make my mind a telephone and all the thoughts for someone else who is listening who does not exist who does not care about me who loves my soul because it’s criminal who will deliver me (deliver me!!) who lives above my grandmother’s piano on a glossy piece of woodwork, a maudlin t between the picture frames. at mass on all saints day in black jeans i was ruined already i said, have me, anybody, any of you. take these pieces. i have been trying to pray.

 

when i think of all the girls i have tried to be i think of pink bubbled fingertips burnt on ironed hair like pretty fake five dollar fried silk disgusting on the floor and chair and bed sheets after the rain messy soft and broken smooth. i was trying. and so many dressed like boys and moved like cats and more smelled like sugar. sugar on fire and sticky prom palms. when i think of all the girls i have tried to be i see my new white sneakers stolen at the mall, from a display of sweaters, from a plastic bag. and i cried because i had known exactly what i was when i walked circles in those shoes across the speckled carpet and the loss seemed unsurmountable and the loss was an attack and i think maybe they cost forty dollars and i cried. i was nine they were nikes they were like my best friend’s. she ran faster than me. i didn’t know her anymore in middle school i let my hair grow out in middle school i found denim skirts in middle school. when i think of all the girls i have tried to be i am playing redbutt on the blacktop and it is important not to wince when the ball hits you and it is important to wish it came harder to show no tears when you turn to taller boys who understand you as a creature that should be embarrassed all the time it is important to splay your fragile fingers without fear and i put my face right on the bricks. when i think of all the girls i have tried to be i am thirteen and i put my ponytail up higher and i run and i run and i know the sound of so many pairs of purple cleats in the same dirt and i shave away the untouched weakness on my thighs so they won’t see it in the sun and we sit in spandex laps later and we smell like sweat if sugar sweat we smell sweet when we’re tired we taste like when something is ending already at the very start. the flipbook fast heartbreak of something almost like ease.

 

when i think of all the girls i have tried to be i get religious i get religion i get god from their discarded t-shirts like fallen soldiers from the sun through pink curtains part where they saw me over their shoulders saw me saw me i say the rosary and every bead is a noise of barely choked exuberance when she made a mean joke is a mangled pinky finger from a preschool break is a lie to spare my feelings that i caught and pretended not to is thick & full biotin & collagen shampoo and only blue m&ms. i see the slant of their handwriting badly imitated on my own papers and i think everyone who has ever died knows now exactly how afraid i am of living. when i think of all the girls i have tried to be i am dressed as a football player for fourth grade halloween i am abandoning soccer for field hockey and girls with glossed mouths i am buying rap music i am running until i am sick and sick and as happy as i’ve ever been there to fall over helpless take me i’m yours. when i think of all the girls i have ever tried to be i am giving back their secrets i am braiding them with my own unspoken songs i am in a small dark room somewhere forever writing each of them a book of love poems that read like an apology. all of yours that was golden turned green against my skin, i say, and i am sorry that i took it. i was trying.

 

when i think of all the girls i have tried to be i see them as their parts i feel their old jeans i smell their skin taste crooked nailbeds and fine points of fraying baby hair at the base of so many necks. smiles full of teeth a doctor fixed and purple under beige under eyes and all the soap. every scar and cruel impulse i detected i devoured and it made them only more the magic it made me lean my head in closer yes tell me you are the monster i’ve been waiting for i need someone to fear. it wasn’t like that. it’s not that way. i look inside my closet all the time still, won’t someone eat me alive? when i think of all the girls i have tried to be i’m counting up my own pieces to see what can be saved. can i salvage the new electric bodily animation of being in love? swallow the want back into me til my tired stomach lining says no more, revolts, my insides are asleep out of self-preservation. you’ve fucked us up bad. weak ankles and swollen eyes and spite like spoiled red wine i carry i keep in new costumes with new faces. if i laugh in a booth with my friends, their vibrating builds and shaking hands, if i pretend i am a person does the small death at my center feel betrayed? eating breakfast seems inconsiderate when your minor organs are at war. when i think of all the girls i have tried to be i’m naked at the grocery store waiting for a sign in warbled fingerprint writing on the frozen aisle glass. what will you be?

i like confession, keep a Mary candle at my bedside i tell her hey girl please. please. cross myself until my arms ache i pull my hair out still I’m grown. first penance is a ceremony and i wore red shoes. first penance gave permission from god to be sorry all the time and i took it i was thirsty. O my god i am sorry for having offended you and I detest all my sins. O my god because of Your just punishments. Just punishments. In choosing to do wrong and failing to do good i have sinned against you i am seven years old please strike me down so that i can be born again with ashley’s fine bones and worth loving i am sixteen years old please whip the skin he ever touched my mouth and other open spots stained with whiskey and doritos i am trying O my god. i am twenty three years old and i only believe in my horoscope and no indoor heating before thanksgiving please cleanse me of the foolish notion that i know anything of love. in choosing to do wrong and failing to do good i made my heart into a new age smoothie my god have mercy.

Songs About Endlessness: A Playlist

I like to imagine a little world, floating above our own, in which things don’t end. Everything, from the lights at the concert glowing brighter and brighter and that amazing conversation you had with someone you barely knew about how Taylor Swift totally wrote a Paramore song that one time, to the worst nights and all the crying fits. It sounds kind of horrifying, it is kind of horrifying, but there’s also a comfort to perpetuity, isn’t there? In a little world where nothing ever ends, there can be infinite you’s, all running parallel existences. Every second of your life, every single incarnation of you there has ever been, would have its own place as a completely separate entity in this world, and it makes a strange kind of sense because every second of your life is different, isn’t it? You are different every second of your life. What I’m trying to say is a little world in which nothing ends isn’t all that different from an actual lived reality. (Sidenote: this idea of endless existence is the whole basis of fanfiction and even fan culture in general. The space for the thing you love is all filled up, so you take what you love and you make a new home for it–an object in motion stays in motion and you have no reason to jump in its way).

In this world where everything runs in straight lines, unobstructed and never ending, I like to think that there is always music. It’s in this world that songs that end on a fadeout are never quieted, they just repeat those last lines over and over and over and over and over and—you get my point. The beat syncopates on, the humming synth breathes in-out forever. Songs that aren’t just immortalized, but actually immortal. A memory, a feeling, in a form where it can last on and on.

Each of these songs promise forever in their own way, whether that be eternal love or longing or pain or loneliness. I’ll never want to let you go is different than I never want to let you go is different than I’ll never let you go. You can’t promise the latter, but you can be sure that the wanting is forever. Forever isn’t a concept in these songs; it’s a place. A place where the people are talking people are talking people are talking (but not you), where all I want to be is yours yours yours. The days are long here on these endless road trips with a girl who can see right through you. In this place of forever, you are ever spinning, a voice caught in a round that echoes on and on, threads of melody endlessly weaving themselves together and ripping themselves back apart. No time, no time, no time, sure, but also there’s no time here, in this place where you repeat words often enough that they float off into the little world where everything is endless. It’s a strange notion, that things don’t have to end. But like all the strangest things, it’s just a little bit magical.

You always seem to miss how things were. You always seem to be missing something, even as it’s still happening. The writer of the song has probably changed genres, the band has probably rearranged their lineup, the singer may have gotten sick and stopped making music. But the song lives on, lingering in a world where nothing ever, ever, ever ends.

Playlist

Run Away With Me – Carly Rae Jepsen
Hold onto me
I’ll never want to let you go

A World Alone – Lorde
People are talking, people are talking
Let ’em talk cause we’re dancing in this world alone, our world alone
We’re all alone

I Wanna be Yours – Arctic Monkeys
I wanna be yours I wanna be yours I wanna be yours I wanna be yours

Hannah Hunt – Vampire Weekend
Our days were long and our nights no longer
Count the seconds, watching hours
Though we live on the US dollar, you and me, we’ve got our own sense of time

Take Care – Beach House
Deep inside the ever-spinning, tell me does it feel
It’s no good unless it’s real, hillsides burning
Wild-eyed turning till we’re running from it

Eyes – Rogue Wave
We’ll be washing my hands of attachments, yeah,
Land on the ground, one thing I’m missing is in your eyes

The Chain – Ingrid Michaelson
I’ll never say that I’ll never love
But I don’t say a lot of things
And you, my love, are gone

Wait – M83
No time, no time
There’s no end, there’s no goodbye
Disappear with the night
No time, no time

God Only Knows – the Beach Boys
If you should ever leave me
Though life would still go on believe me
The world could show nothing to me
So what good would living do me?

Strange Magic – Electric Light Orchestra
You’re walking meadows in my mind
Making waves across my time


Asif Becher is a 16 year old recently discovered cat lady who lives in the desert. She is often asked to “chill” about Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Taylor Swift, a suggestion she finds absolutely ridiculous. You can find her on Twitter and on tumblr.

brittle: playlist

IMG_3465

music to burrow into. music to lounge in bed with. music to listen to while wearing thick sweaters and wool socks. music to drink earl grey tea with. music to pull tights up your legs to. music to play as you fall into a pile of leaves, arms outstretched and waiting to be caught by gravity. music to hold close in your palms. music to comfort a broken heart.

playlist

Dead Man’s Bones – My Body’s A Zombie For You
I can’t fit in this skin
It’s worn and useless thin
The size of the eyes and the flies in the sky
Make it hard to see, to the end…

Troye Sivan – BITE
So kiss me on the mouth and set me free
But please don’t bite…

Disclosure ft. Lorde – Magnets
Let’s embrace the point of no return…

Years & Years – Without 
Oh, you keep shivering into the night
I can let you hold me
And tell each other that we might survive
If we keep it going
Oh…

Doe Paoro – Growth/Decay 
Change, it only goes one way
Cycle to the life ain’t a way
Maybe I could find out one day
Why I had to grow to this decay…

Carly Rae Jepsen – Your Type 
I’m not the type of girl for you
And I’m not going to pretend
That I’m the type of girl you call more than a friend
And I break all the rules for you
Break my heart and start again
I’m the type of girl you call more than a friend…

Taylor Swift – Enchanted 
Please don’t be in love with someone else
Please don’t have somebody waiting on you
Please don’t be in love with someone else
Please don’t have somebody waiting on you…

Sufjan Stevens – All of me wants all of you 
Traced your shadow with my shoe
Empty outline changed my view
Now all of me thinks less of you…

Halsey – Hurricane
I’m a wanderess
I’m a one night stand
Don’t belong to no city
Don’t belong to no man…

Catfish and the Bottlemen – Hourglass
And I’m so impatient when you’re not mine
I just wanna catch up on all the lost times
And I’ll say I’m sorry if I sound sordid
Cause all I really ever want is you…

Waxahatchee – La Loose
And I’ll try to preserve the routine
And I don’t want to discuss what it means
And you’re the only one I want watching me…

Drake – Wednesday Night Interlude 
Been a minute since we’ve slept together
Gotta get myself together
I’ve been thinkin’ about everything
I don’t know if it’s because I’m lonely…

DO I LOOK LONELY: a very brief thing

Hi buddies. I have not yet written your horoscopes, but I will. This has been a very trying week and that is not an excuse but it is at least an explanation. I love you a lot.

Panic! at the Disco has a new song which none of us has the time or the wherewithal to talk about in the manner it deserves yet, but we would like you to know about it nonetheless:

Also, I made you a playlist, which has no real theme or motive but is a bunch of stuff I’m listening to that is making me feel okay in the face of all things. It is not much but it is what I have right now.

click

Always Where I Need To Be – the Kooks
LOVE 3X – ZZ Ward
Collar Full – Panic! at the Disco
Jet Black Heart – 5 Seconds of Summer
Say Love – JoJo
What Do You Mean? – Justin Bieber
Break a Sweat – Becky G
Your English is Good – Tokyo Police Club
Yoga – Janelle Monae, Jidenna
High by the Beach – Lana del Rey
Feet Don’t Fail Me Now – Foxes
Disco Love – the Saturdays
Classic Man (remix) – Jidenna, Kendrick Lamar
She’s Not Afraid – One Direction
The Hills – the Weeknd
People Say – Portugal. The Man

BELIEVE IN THE SKY: July 2015

image1

PLAYLIST

Art for witchsong horoscopes is done by the beautiful and talented Briana Finegan of advicecollage.tumblr.com, and her work is available for purchase at Society6.

Cancer: “Head Over Heart”, Mathai. I’m so done with my old ways, this time I’ll face it head over heart.

Happy birthday, my sweet baby crambs. I hope it is marvelous so far. You get two full moons this month – one on the 1st and one again on the 31st (the blue moon!). Cancer is ruled by the moon – you know this – so expect to feel very powerful but also very tender this month. You are an exercise in contradictions, Cancer. You are capable of being so strong, and so viselike in your grip on things, your defense of yourself and the way that you care, but you are led first and foremost by feelings and sometimes they can get the better of you. Caring is never a weakness, but it can lead to weakness – does that make sense? Don’t be afraid not to care, is what I mean, especially this month but all the time. You don’t owe anyone your love, despite how much it feels that way. It is easy for you to love and because of that you give it unearned, but this month try and think about ruling your heart a little better, guarding yourself a little more.

Leo: “Lanterns Lit”, Son Lux. I’ll break from the weight of my mind… I will labor by singing light. I’ll keep my lanterns lit.

Sometimes your path is so clear, shining bright and welcoming before you; sometimes it’s not. Sometimes you know where you’re going but it’s so far in the distance that it’s almost a mirage, and that is hard for you. You’re so strong, so stubborn, so determined to get what you want, and those are good, valuable things about you. But they make it hard for you to deal with setbacks, with bumps in the road, with anything that forces you to deviate from your plan. This month I want you to try and take your eyes off the distance, Leo. I want you to look at what is under your feet, at what is directly in front of you, around you. Your path is unfolding the way that it should be, and no amount of ignoring your current situation is going to move you forward any faster. I am loath to say “stop and smell the roses”, but I do want you to slow down, to feel your feet on the ground. To measure your steps, to be present in this moment that is your life. Imagine yourself as a lantern – you can’t glow far enough to illuminate your future, as much as you want to. Move forward, and bring the light with you.

Virgo: “Appreciated”, Rixton. Cause it’s you who takes care of everyone else / You need to allow me to help / You are appreciated.

You are very, very nose-to-the-grindstone, in a way that is simultaneously indispensable to everyone around you and also routinely completely unnoticed. You don’t often call attention to the things you do for others, to your incredible work ethic, and that is fine – you thrive best when your efforts aren’t under a spotlight. This month, though, I want you to draw attention to it – your own attention. You work so hard so regularly that I think you think it is less important than it is, less valuable, less deserving of reward. This month I want you to think about the things you have done, the successes that you have had, the work you so relentlessly do, and I want you to take a vacation. Even if it’s a few hours, I want you to relax, to appreciate yourself, to do something that doesn’t have a measurable outcome. Take yourself to the movies; buy yourself a Slurpee. Do something to appreciate yourself – you won’t let anyone else do it, and that’s fine, it’s who you are – but someone should. You’ve earned that.

Libra: “Everybody But Me”, Lykke Li. Though this room is too small I’d rather stand against the wall / And hope that no one sees me.

Charisma and diplomacy go hand in hand, and you have both in spades. You don’t like conflict, which is understandable, but often you bend too far backward to keep it from happening. This month is a month for asking yourself when it is important not to back down, to stand your ground and risk a fight. Compromise is all well and good until it becomes everyone except for you getting everything they want – I know it’s hard for you, I know it seems unfair, but you need to put yourself first. Or at least you need to put yourself somewhere on the list! Any kind of confrontation grates on your nervous soul, I know this, but I need you to try, this month. You are so careful with your battles, with what you choose to engage with, so I don’t need to tell you to be wary. I need to tell you to be brave, and to be gentle with yourself, and to remember that you are part of any real compromise. Remember that fairness includes you.

Scorpio: “Fight Song”, Rachel Platten. And I don’t really care if nobody else believes, ’cause I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me. 

You are a sharp, pointed thing, and people often mistake that for some kind of cruelty, an innate mean streak, as if self-possession and sourness were somehow at all the same thing. But you have this incredible ability to see the good in things, a small voice in the back of your mind that lends you this beautiful optimism, this unvanquishable persistence of being, somehow. Against all odds, in whatever circumstance, you are there picking yourself up, dusting yourself off, making sure your stilettos aren’t scuffed. I hesitated even to call it optimism because it is more practical than that, it is sort of an unwavering calm composure, a quiet but unshakable confidence born of the knowledge of your own competence. This month I want you to remember that, when things feel dire; listen for that small voice when things seem on the verge of breaking you. Remember your belief in yourself. Nothing has broken you yet and nothing will.

Sagittarius: “Home”, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros. There ain’t nothing that I need. Home is wherever I’m with you.

You are a creature of habit, someone who values consistency and stability and people that can bring those things to your life. Even when everything around you is changing, you keep a sort of security blanket wrapped around yourself, a cocoon of familiarity that sustains you through whatever happens. This next month is going to be one filled with change, with new opportunities and new people, and it’s important that you take time to remind yourself of what “home” means to you; where it is and isn’t. You are so formidable, but you draw strength from the things that comfort you. Keep them close, this month, keep them present, and let them buoy you up when you feel as though you are sinking. You are the sum of many parts, a careful amalgamation of the things you care about; remember this. Remember who you are. You are home.

Capricorn: “1234”, Feist. Oh, you’re changing your heart. Oh, you know who you are.

Go sailing this month, if you can. Situate yourself in the middle of something vast and calm; a field, a forest, a parking lot. The world has shifted and it continues to shift, and you are shifting with it. Take this month to think about your place in your own life, if that makes sense, and how to keep yourself centered. The trappings of your life are important but they are nothing compared to your heart, your feelings, the things you hold dear. No matter where you go you will have these things, and no matter how much you change you will always be yourself. You are a very deep river, Capricorn, and sometimes even you forget how strongly you feel, how much you can care, but this month is the time for you to remember it. You have maybe the most sense of self of any of the signs, but you rarely think to maintain it. This month I want you to indulge it, to think about your feelings clear down to your core. Reassert yourself to yourself.

Aquarius: “Bombastic”, Bonnie McKee. You know I’m playin’ like no more Mr. Nice Guy!

You are very malleable, and this is something I very much consider a skill, a strength. The ability to go with the flow, roll with the punches, is something that very few people have, and no one has it quite the way you do. But. Sometimes you are owed more than the flow; sometimes you deserve to divert whole rivers. I want you to think, this month, about whether you want the things you are given, the things that you continue to accept. And I want you to begin to think about how to ask for the things that you want, and how and when it is appropriate to take them by force. You deserve happiness, and it is often your way to forgo that in favor of the happiness of others, and sometimes not even their happiness, just – just to keep from rocking the boat. To keep things running smoothly. Think about Buffy, this month, think about punching a car so hard it stops moving. Think about what you deserve.

Pisces: “Gotta Work”, Amerie. Sometimes it’s gonna be days like this / Sometimes it’s gonna be rain like this / Sometimes you’re gonna feel pain like this / Sometimes you gotta work hard for it.

A large part of getting by in this world is learning to manage your expectations, to adapt what you expect from yourself and from the world based on what is actually happening to you. You are a dreamer, Pisces, and it is a beautiful and valuable thing, but sometimes you have to break an egg to make an omelet. Sometimes you have to do things you don’t want to. I am never, never saying that you should give up on your dreams – what I mean rather is that you need to value your dreams enough that you are willing to do things that aren’t your dreams, in order to get to them. Am I making sense? You have to have enough faith in yourself to do things that you don’t immediately see the benefit of, and you have to have enough faith in what you want to wait for it, to keep working and waiting and striving. Think about Chutes and Ladders, this month; sometimes all you can do is keep playing the game long enough to win. Everything can be worthwhile if you try to find the worth in it.

Aries: “Me and You”, She & Him. You’ve got to be kind to yourself. 

No one expects more of you than you do. This is a gift and a curse on par with Spider-man’s powers. You are capable of doing such incredible things, of pushing past limits that other people don’t even know are there and then pushing further. This is the first edge of the sword, the one that you use to slice your way forward, the one that is a weapon for you. The other edge, the edge that bites into your palm as you swing, is that you are never going to be happy with yourself. You keep raising the bar, gripping that sword tighter, savoring the sting and the heat of your own blood in your palm, and where does it end? Where can it ever end, when your own biggest critic is yourself? This month I want you to look at yourself as objectively as you can; as you would look not at a friend or a lover but as you would look at a stranger. Consider yourself not based on what you expect of yourself but what you expect of the world. There will be a disparity – it’s in your nature – and it’s your job, this month, to figure out how to be kinder to yourself.

Taurus: “Let Me Love You (Until You Learn to Love Yourself)”, Ne-Yo. Much as you blame yourself, you can’t be blamed for the way that you feel.

You are not as hard to love as you think you are, dear one. You are polarizing, sure, and you are stubborn and indefatigable and sometimes infuriatingly logical, but you are not difficult to love, no more than anyone else is. They say you have to love yourself before anyone else can love you, which I think is terrible bullshit, but I do think this: You don’t have to love yourself to accept the truth of the love that others have for you. I know how hard it is not to question someone’s love for you, and I won’t ask you to do that – sometimes that impulse comes from a warning-place, a place that should be listened to. What I am asking you to do this month is to have faith in the people you care about, the ones who love you; whether you agree or not, they see something in you worth loving. Not everyone will love you, but not everyone loves anyone, you can’t change that. But if you allow for the possibility that you are genuinely loved, you open yourself up to the idea that you are lovable. You deserve to at least consider that idea.

Gemini: “Memories”, Eisley. I’m the one who is gone / But there’s beautiful things that spring from these rows / With their musical names and musical sounds.

It is so easy to become bored with life, to slip into a routine that leaves you disenchanted. It is tempting beyond words to draw yourself in, curl up tight within your own soul and examine everything for flaws. Being at peace with yourself, within yourself, is a valuable skill, but if you wrap yourself too tightly you cut yourself off. Self-imposed isolation is healthy only insofar as it lets you gather your strength; when it persists longer than that it becomes a kind of ouroboros. When you’re so tightly focused within yourself, on your unhappiness, on the flatness that seems to pervade your world, you miss the things that the world is trying to present to you – opportunities, people, small birds on your windowsill. If you ignore the world for too long you will lose it, is what I’m saying, and there is so much in it for you. Take this month and try to turn your focus outward, toward the small bright things that flicker in the landscape you find so dull. Once you start looking for them, you’ll find there are more than you’d ever dreamed.

HOT BLOODED ALL AMERICAN GIRLS : a mix in celebration of the World Cup winning U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team.

BBYS

WE DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WE DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WE DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well, okay. They did it. The U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team has won the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. They won. I just cried and cut the arm holes wider in tie-dye USA tanktops to allow for anxious arm swinging and drank Razberritas. I just prayed about it half in jest to my Our Lady of Guadalupe novena candle at the bedside. “Abby Wambach’s real first name is Mary,” I told her. Then they won and Abby kissed her wife with an American flag draped over her shoulders and the middle school me who saw her in passing in a parking lot once and almost lost the bones for standing out of my own soccer-tanned legs cried. I cried. I’m really happy; I’m soggy and good. They did it! They’re strong and tough and beautiful and proud and now they are champions. It’s all a lot. It’s a lot. I said that I’ve been crying, but I mean it. On and off in starts and stops, tipsy tear fits and me in my bed when it was very late, like, wow. Wow wow. We did it. There is something more intimate about my attachment to the USWNT than any other relationship I have with a sports team. I love the Red Sox but the Red Sox don’t love me. It’s complicated. I’m being crazy. Can you believe that third Carli Lloyd goal????? It was art. I’ve been thinking about 1999. I remember that whole summer, I had stars and stripes Nike shorts I wore to camp. I’ve been thinking about 1999, when I was seven and wrote Mia Hamm’s name on my face with leftover Halloween makeup, and how I felt blessed and honored and affirmed to see a group of American reign victorious in a sport that I loved, and that, although the post title ix timing of my birth means I was never made to believe there was any game a girl should not try to play, I had previously understood as something for men and boys that I could try on and have for awhile, but never keep. Even when I got old and dumb and when I didn’t play soccer anymore and I spent long days and nights letting my live-wire girl body grow up and less electric like it had to or I needed to, still, I always felt that 1999 win in my heart like a victory that belonged to me forever. The 1999 win was amazing and I am still grateful, but it didn’t keep me up all night thinking, “WE DID IT!!!!! WE DID IT!!!! WE DID IT!!!!!” That 1999 team was full of heroes who loomed over my universe golden and untouchable, but there are my girls. You know? I went to Sports Authority today to by world champion USWNT swag, even though there wouldn’t be any, and when there wasn’t any, I thought, well. That’s okay. It’s fine. This is ours anyway, mine and theirs and the little girls with paper flags stuck in their ponytails. They’re our girls. We’re lucky to have them and the crust-lipped nerd boys who would rather follow Real Madrid while sipping expensive local brews and to pretend that girls, let alone powerful, talented, accomplished female athletes, don’t exist are the one’s who miss out. My girls! These are my girls (our girls, your girls, #TheGals) and I made this playlist to celebrate their victory, twenty three songs for twenty three women who believed in and worked for a dream so hard and so long that all twenty three became World Champions last night. It gets a little messy-weird, it had a theme but then I lost it. It was all songs by women, it was all songs about America, Americana. Party songs, wedding dance floor packing jams, songs about witches that I like to wail at bars. Now, it just is. It’s just twenty three songs that make me want to throw my arms in the air, let out a wild, from-the-very-center-of-all-my-sweet-or-sour-meats-and-the-place-where-I-have-felt-the-most sound of joy, and dance with America’s finest daughter Megan Rapinoe until I’m dead, but then again that’s how I always feel.

Hashtag SHE BELIEVED hashtag I love my girls hashtag here’s the mix

“American Girl” – Bonnie McKee
“Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” – Cyndi Lauper
“Party In The U.S.A.” – Miley Cyrus
“I Wanna Dance With Somebody” – Whitney Houston
“Celebration” – Kool and the Gang
“Independent Women Part 1” – Destiny’s Child
“Walking On Sunshine” – Katrina & the Waves
“Worth It” – Fifth Harmony
“All I Wanna Do” – Sheryl Crow
“American Oxygen” – Rihanna
“We Are Family” – Sister Sledge
“Get The Party Started” – P!nk
“American” – Lana Del Rey
“Rhiannon” – Fleetwood Mac
“Little Red Wagon” – Miranda Lambert
“Yeah!” – Usher, Lil Jon, Ludacris
“You Make My Dreams Come True” – Hall & Oates
“ABC” – Jackson 5
“Silver Lining” – Rilo Kiley
“Firework” – Katy Perry
“I’m The Best” – Nicki Minaj
“Born in the U.S.A.” – Bruce Springsteen
“Run The World (Girls)” – Beyoncé