Why The Harlem Shake Should Go Away, According to Emily

I can sum up my feelings about the internet-video sensation The Harlem Shake in three simple words:

I loath it.

Internet users, we are going to have a heart to heart.

Stop Harlem Shaking. Stop sharing videos of the Harlem Shake. Stop watching the Harlem Shake. STOP.

Why? Here is an exhaustive and convincing list why:

  1. The only good Harlem Shake video is this one by the UGA swim team.
  2. The people of Harlem are outraged.
  3. You’re not even doing it right.
  4. On what planet is that dancing?
  5. It’s annoying.
  6. It’s obnoxious.
  7. I’m tired of seeing essentially the same video, just with different half-naked people all over my News Feed.
  8. And on that note, I’d rather not see half-naked people writhing all over my laptop screen. Do you people have no shame?
  9. The song isn’t even good.
  10. It’s dumb.

Luckily, the fad seems to have partially passed. People are no longer making Harlem Shake videos, but they’re still sharing them all over social media. Please. Stop.

One day, we’ll all look back on this phenomenon and laugh at ourselves for being so dumb and ridiculous. Or, more likely we’ll be embarrassed–especially if you’re one of the half-naked people whose half-naked body will forever be on the internet for colleagues and future employers to see.

De rien, Internet,

Emily

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Les Histoires – Translation

This is a translation of a previous post, Les Histoires, which I posted in French. Please excuse the elementary vocabulary/sentence structure, as writing in another language is rather difficult.

Stories

I like a lot of things. Specifically, I like writing. I want to write stories; I want to read stories, fiction and nonfiction. That’s why I want to be a journalist. I think the role of journalists and writers is very important: to tell stories to the public.

Fiction stories can be as real as nonfiction stories. Fiction inspires people. If a writer has talent, he can illustrate human nature in a way that teaches people about themselves. A writer can represent the real motives of people in a story that isn’t necessarily real.

Nonfiction stories, especially journalist’s articles, are very important for understanding the world. The public knows what is going on through articles about government, education and crime. Journalism defends democracy. Journalism keeps people informed.

Stories, articles, novels and books are very important. How else could we learn about ourselves and the world? The words that people wrote long ago preserve history and culture. Stories are an important part of art. Nothing represents the emotions of people quite like writing. I write for people, and I write for myself. Writing is great therapy.

Emily

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Les Histoires

As many of you may know, I am also a French major. It is my goal to be fluent in French one day, and this semester I’ve found that I’m slowly getting there. One of the requirements for my French class this semester is that we write one-page journal entries. I’ve decided to publish the first journal entry I wrote, just to convey my passion for French. I edited it as per my professor’s comments, because I don’t like publishing things that aren’t perfect. However, I got an A-, so there weren’t too many corrections, about which I was pleased.

This is about how much I love reading and telling stories.

Moi, j’aime beaucoup de choses. Notamment, j’aime les histoires. Je veux écrire des histoires; je veux lire des histoires, de fiction et de nonfiction. C’est pourquoi je veux être journaliste. Je pense que le rôle des journalistes et des écrivains est très important: de raconter des histoires au public.

Les histoires de fiction peuvent être aussi réelles que les histoires de nonfiction. La fiction inspire les gens. Si un écrivain a du talent, il peut illustrer la nature humaine d’une manière qui enseigne aux gens sur eux-mêmes. Un écrivain peut représenter les motifs réels des gens dans une histoire qui n’est pas nécessairement réelle.

Les histoires de nonfiction, particulièrement les articles des journalistes, sont très importantes pour comprendre le monde. La public sait ce qui se passe à travers des articles sur le gouvernement, l’education et le crime. Le journalisme défend la démocratie. Les journalistes tiennent les gens informés.

Les histoires, les romans, les articles et les livres sont très importants. Comment pourrions-nous apprendre sur nous-mêmes et sur le monde? Les mots que les gens ont écrits il y a longtemps préservent l’histoire et la culture. Les histoires sont une partie importante de l’art. Rien ne représente les emotions des gens comme l’écrit. J’écris pour les gens et j’écris pour moi-même. L’acte d’écrire est une bonne thérapie.

Le français, je t’aime,

Emily

P.S. To read a translation of this post, click here.

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A Good Day for a Funeral

It’s a good day for a funeral, I thought to myself as I observed the rain on the day my grandfather passed away. Then I thought Is a rainy day really a good day for a funeral?

I initially thought gloomy rain was good because it matched my mood. Funerals are sad, so the weather should project that sadness. But there is a difference between saying “It’s a good day for a funeral” and “It’s an appropriate day for a funeral.”

The rain was appropriate, fitting because I was sad. But it wasn’t good.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I didn’t want it to be raining, and I didn’t want it to rain on the day of my grandfather’s funeral. Even though the rain fit my mood and my sadness, I wanted G-Dad to have sun.

Still, is a beautiful, sunny day a good day for a funeral? Sunshine does have a way of cheering people up. It’s a reminder of the good times in a person’s life. Even though you find yourself standing by a gravesite–the body of a person you love about to be lowered into the ground, never for you to see again–the sunshine somehow makes it better. It gives you hope that life will go on despite your loss.

Had it been raining, it would have been horrible.

Sunshine may make it a better day for a funeral, but I still don’t think a  sunny day is a good day for a funeral. A sunny day is for children to run around in a park, not watch their loved one be buried. If we’re being honest, there’s no such thing as “a good day for a funeral.”

But funerals happen–even on sunny days–because death happens every day. Sometimes we have to stop and acknowledge that, even when the weather is perfect, life is not. And if we don’t stop, life will force us to:

“Because I could not stop for Death, He kindly stopped for me…” –Emily Dickinson

Just like sunny days, life can’t last forever. Sometimes we have to go through periods of rain in our lives. But if the sun shone all the time, and if the rain never fell, the flowers would never grow, and that would make the world a pretty dull place to live in.

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;

a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;

a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.” –Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

There is a time for sunny days and a time for rainy days, and though sunny days are always preferable, life would not be what it is without the rain.

Emily

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Bloglovin’

I recently discovered the beautiful convenience that is bloglovin’! I haven’t gotten to fully try it out yet, but I’m looking forward to following super awesome blogs. I think this site has been a big deal for a while, but I tend to be behind the curve when it comes to what all the cool kids are doing these days.

Speaking of super awesome blogs on Bloglovin’, you should follow La Vie, Selon Emily!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Bloglovin’, je t’aime!

Emily

P.S. Recommend some good blogs?

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For G-Dad

Sometimes the saddest part about someone dying is not their actual death. It’s a grown man being taken care of like a child because he’s lost the capacity to do it himself. A woman going home alone to an empty house. A child, watching his father–his strong, heroic father who always has it together–cry and hurt when faced with the death of his own strong, heroic father. A mother watching her children say goodbye. An older sister, watching as her mother explains what a hospice is to her two younger brothers who don’t understand.

Today, I am very sad. I am sad because of all of the things above, and I am sad because I saw my grandfather today–probably for the last time. But today, I am also very thankful. I am thankful that he looked at me when I held his hand and said “I love you,” and I am thankful that he told me he loved me too by squeezing my hand four times in response. I am thankful that soon, even though I will miss him terribly, my grandfather will have no more pain, no more suffering or sadness. He will be in the presence of the God who created him and loved him enough to become human and die so that my grandpa could be with Him one day. I am thankful that my grandpa will never again have to feel the sadness I feel right now. The burdens, worries, cares and troubles of this world will plague him no more.

And I thank God for that.

Because this world is sad. This life is hard. The hole someone can leave in our lives hurts a lot, and so do the residual effects of pain and grief I mentioned earlier. But my grandpa gets to escape that heartache. I’m going to be sad for a while. I’m going to miss him. And, honestly, I’m going to wish that he was still here. But I know it’s better that he isn’t, because more than anything I want him to get well. And I know that the second he is no longer here with us he will get well, and he will never be sick again.

My great-uncle found a penny minted in 1938–the year my grandfather was born. He brought it to my grandpa, who wanted me to have it since I’m his oldest grandchild. It, of course, has the words “In God we trust” inscribed over a likeness of Abraham Lincoln. And even though those words are written on all U.S. currency, I couldn’t help but feel comforted when I read that very small sentence.

“In God we trust.” I trust God that my Grandpa will be with Him and will never hurt again. I trust that I will see my grandpa again one day.

“In God we trust.” I trust that my God will hear me, as He promises in Micah 7:7.

“In God we trust.” I trust that God will heal my family’s hurt. I trust that he will comfort us and give us peace, and that we will be stronger because of this trial.

“In God we trust.” I trust God that I can be thankful in this trial, because it will strengthen my faith and draw me closer to the God who loves me. I trust that God will grant me joy despite my circumstances. I trust in James 1:1-4 where it says: “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

“In God we trust.” I trust that God has put amazing friends in my life who care about me and who are praying for me and loving on me during this hard time. I am so thankful for them and for their example of Christian love.

“In God we trust.” I trust in the promise that begins in verse 16 of Psalm 55 which says: “But I call to God, and the Lord saves me. Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and He hears my voice. He ransoms me unharmed from the battle waged against me, even though many oppose me. …Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall.”

When I cry out in sadness to God, He will hear me and He will save me. He will ransom my grandpa from this world and he will be more alive than he has ever been. I pray that God will grant me the ability to cast my cares and sadness on Him so that He can sustain me. And I know that no matter how hard or sad this life gets, My God will never let me fall.

We call my grandpa “G-Dad,” because when I was a baby I couldn’t pronounce “granddad.” G-Dad used to swing me upside-down from his arms, and he showed my brothers and I how to shoot our straw wrappers at each other in restaurants. He learned how to fly a plane, and he could fix almost anything that was broken. G-Dad taught me how to shoot, and he always used to have candy in his pockets during church on Sundays, which I would take, of course. He loves the Lord and he loves his family, and I will miss you G-Dad.

Emily

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Folk Bands vs. A Capella Groups

One great question has plagued me lately:

Would I rather be in a folk band or an A Capella group?

Both are equally appealing. And, admittedly, equally unlikely. But these are the things I think about when my mind is idle. A girl can dream, can’t she? I have decided to analyze each genre in this blog post. Maybe it will help me make up my mind. Maybe you, faithful reader, can help me decide. Or maybe I just like to show off my musical prowess. I’ll let you decide that one as well.

Folk Band

Everyone loves the sound of a stringed instrument, and folk bands can have so many kinds of stringed instruments! Guitar, bajo, mandolin, fiddle etc. And you know what sounds great with stringed instruments? Harmonies, that’s what. Harmonies are one of my favorite things, and folk bands can produce beautiful harmony. Just listen to Branches, my new folk-music obsession:

(By the way, check out their original stuff. Brilliant.)

Another thing folk bands have in plenty? Hipsters. And we all know how much hipsters intrigue me. If I was in a folk band, I could wear all the flannel I want, and no one would question it. “Hey, why are you wearing so much flannel?” “Um, I’m in a folk band, duh.” “Oh, that totally makes sense.” Just like that. I could also wear vintage clothes and not brush my hair (I would still brush my hair).

Mustaches also intrigue me, and men with mustaches are usually in folk bands.

Then there’s Marcus Mumford’s angry singing voice, which is enough in and of itself to make me want to be in a folk band.

A Capella Group

Remember how I said I love harmonies? A Capella groups are rife with harmonies. Beautiful harmonies! A Capella groups and their beautiful harmonies are one of the things that make me cry. I also get goosebumps. Arrangements like this cause in me strong emotional and physical reactions:

Plus A Capella groups make pop music so much more bearable. They also make me want to dance. So fun. I guess I could still dress like a hipster if I was in an A Capella group. The hipster knows no bounds.

Alas, I’m in neither a folk band nor an A Capella group. So for now, I shall have to be satisfied with singing in the shower which probably annoys everyone who lives in my apartment building.

C’est le ton qui fait la chanson,

Emily

P.S. So what do you think? Folk band, or A Capella group? Or I actually have this dream that I end up on broadway one day. What about that?

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