The Essentials

I have (incredibly) just finished my first quarter at University of California, Davis and I am exhausted. The past couple months have both felt extremely busy and not productive whatsoever at the same time. I’m glad I have this first quarter under my belt though, and I’m trying to enjoy break before heading straight back to it in a couple weeks.

As I brainstormed what I could write about, I thought it might be nice to share with you what has been keeping me going day to day and what kept me company throughout the quarter.


I feel like lately I’ve been listening to podcasts more so than music (mostly because I’m so darn picky when it comes down to it), but I’ve definitely connected, listened and re-listened to some good stuff that I’ll share here.


Trench by Twenty One Pilots

I’ll be honest, I was not a fan when I first heard the singles. I know a part of me was holding onto their old music, fighting against the change I heard in their sound. It took a couple listens through the album for me to warm up, but boy did I warm up. Trench has become one of my go-to listens and is in Heavy Rotation. It’s hard to choose my favorite songs, but if I had to, I would recommend “My Blood”, “Chlorine”, “Smithereens”, and “The Hype”. Truly though, listening to it in its entirety is the best way to go.


Gold – Greatest Hits by Carpenters

I grew up listening to their music and knew about Karen’s struggle with anorexia (that she ultimately lost), but never took the time to listen beyond their big hits in the car with my dad. I think I was assembling a bookcase from Ikea and decided to shuffle this album. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed everything I heard. Since everything here is fairly well-known, all I’ll say is I love “Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft” and you should take a listen.


A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships by The 1975

This one was very recently released. I didn’t expect to find myself coming back to it as much as I have, although I still feel I need to take a good look at the lyrics and gain an even fuller understanding of the album. Regardless, so far my favorites are “Inside Your Mind”, “It’s Not Living (If It’s Not With You)”, and “I Always Wanna Die (Sometimes)”.


These have become my new best friend. Anyone who knows me knows that I have a multitude of recommendations, but here I’ll limit them to the ones I’ve spent a lot of time with recently.


The Box of Oddities by Kat & Jethro Gilligan Toth

Fantastic. I can’t praise this podcast enough–it’s funny and witty with incredibly entertaining banter between a married couple, while also covering a variety of topics. I listen to these two while I’m on the bus, walking to class, doing laundry/dishes, driving, pretty much all the time. I’m worried for when I catch up to real time and have to wait like everyone else, but thankfully they update twice a week (!!)


My Favorite Murder with Karen Kilgariff & Georgia Hardstark

I can thank both The Box of Oddities and my little sister for recommending this podcast to me. It has great conversation between a couple of friends who are really into murders. They share and discuss various murders that interest them and keep it real by tying it into current events and shows. I enjoy listening to this one in doses; it was great finding it while taking my abnormal psychology class.


The Penumbra by Sophie Kaner and Kevin Vibert

This has become one of my most anticipated updates. I completely binged The Penumbra and I don’t regret it at all, except that I have to wait now. The podcast follows two major plot lines in entirely different realms. They have a wonderful amount of sci-fi and drama that keeps me looking forward to the next episode.


I’ve actually had the chance to read a fair amount during the quarter, which came to me as a nice surprise. I had this idea in my head that I wouldn’t have any time outside of schoolwork. Perhaps I didn’t study as much as I should’ve, but hey, I still survived. Here are a couple that I particularly enjoyed.

fight club

Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk

To be truthful, I never would’ve read this book or watched the movie without the gentle nudge from my boyfriend, Andrew. I had a preconceived idea of what the book was about (basically guys punching each other underground in an illegal fighting ring, oh and the first rule is you’re not supposed to talk about it) which really wasn’t something I thought I’d be interested in. And I was right to some degree, but there’s a lot more to it, and I was completely blindsided by the ending. It was an enjoyable read.

secret life of bees

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

Reading this novel was such a beautiful breeze. It follows the story of a young, abused white girl in the south who runs away with her African American stand-in mother to follow the black Mary on a honey jar, looking for truths about her deceased mother. It’s a wonderful, empowering novel and I was disappointed I read through it so quickly. One of my highly recommended reads.

complete far sideThe Complete Far Side by Gary Larson

Okay, I know, this isn’t a novel. Comics still count though, right? I have special place in my heart for these one-panel witty, irreverent pieces of enjoyment. My dad introduced them to me a loooong time ago and I saw there was a collection, I bought them immediately. I started taking pictures of my favorite ones and will post them on my Instagram story (although it’s been a little while since I’ve done so). If you want to get a feel for them, there’s a lot already posted online you could check out.

And that’s all I got for ya! I contemplated adding other categories, but I think that’s comprehensive enough for now. Hope you found some of these intriguing, and if you have any of your own recommendations please feel free to share!

Till next time,


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