The Holidays can be sad: An explanation of HSAD


Okay there I said it, the Holidays can be sad. However, I know I am not the only person who has felt this way at some time. From the mom icing 70 cookies for her kid’s youth group to the college student trying to recoup from a semester at college, we all have suffered from HSAD, Holiday Seasonal Affective Disorder, in some way. If it’s not the to-do list, it’s feeling rushed around this time of year with the struggle of wrapping up work, Christmas parties, getting gifts together, where crazy traffic comes out of nowhere and tracking packages. No matter how happy you are HSAD can happen to you.

HSAD begins when Christmas trees are placed in stores before kids knock on doors to say “trick or treat” to the neighbors, but HSAD escalates closer to the 25th of December. As I get older, I look back a reminisce how I won’t get to relive my childhood where I was blessed to receive everything from the Barbie Dream House and American Girl Dolls complete with the outfits. Later, I realize that I know some kids during my childhood didn’t have that blessing in their childhood even the comfort of a house with appropriate heating. At this time of year, we need to focus on we are blessed, but sometimes thinking about our blessings make us think of places and times of our lives that we can’t go back to. Even in 2016, sadly there are tons of children and adults who don’t have the simple blessings that I have and we just need to take it for granted.  These blessings are a reminder that trying to find gifts that match everyone’s personality and a budget is not the important things this time of year.

It’s not the material goods around this time of year, that is getting to me it’s the ones I love.  While planning I often think of the smell of Palmolive dishwater, then the feeling of a dish rag that has a pattern from the 70s and the texture of pots and pans because I usually get the job as a dryer because my grandpa immediately washes the dishes after everyone eats Christmas dinner. I don’t know if I cognitively think of this because my grandparent’s house played a major role in Christmases as a child.

There’s song by the band Dawes called “A Little Bit of Everything” that really reminds me of times during the holiday season. However, there have been two times when a family member has said the words “A little bit of everything.” I wanted to cry when they said those words. If you have heard that song, I feel as though anyone could make their own verse for that song.

You know that your childhood is gone. It’s the mystery of life when you were young and you made a circle over everything on a page in the JC Penney Christmas Catalog. It’s also how a snow day isn’t as magical because you didn’t think of it making your clothes and hair wet after being out in the cold. There’s the family I have loved, lost and I want to hold onto more. Especially when you have family members who are only in town for 48 hours and you have to try to see everyone in that time frame. There’s no way a marathon of The OC can be fit in like my sister and I did around Christmas a decade before.

It’s quite obvious that this is a universal suffering, but hey it will be okay. No matter who we are we just need to pause and enjoy moments. We need to try to forget the rush that occurs. With me, I have to remind myself to play the Michael Buble and My Morning Jacket Christmas albums on repeat to feel more in the spirit. Living in the moment makes it more ideal. However, HSAD should never conquer the joys of the world that are occurring.

Dawes, a modern day classic rock band

I would have never imagined in my life that I would say my all-time favorite band rhymes with my last name until I heard Dawes’ song “A Little Bit of Everything” driving through Mississippi State’s campus. Sometimes, I will use it as a description as how to spell my last name. I still feel that love for this band this week as their album “We’re All Gonna Die” is going to  be released. “Roll with the punches” seriously reminds me of Crosby, Stills and Nash in the chorus, but the rest of the song is like a good classic rock song.  When I heard NPR was premiering the album, I was the happiest person on earth. Also I’m not afraid to say I listened to songs from that album for literally the next 5 hours for work. Personally, this album was much more upbeat than their previous album “All Your Favorite Bands.”

Retrieved from Consequence of Sound

Retrieved from Consequence of Sound

The guitar intro to “One of Us,” just had me dancing in chair. However, I realized the song could have possibly been written for the love interest of the frontman Taylor Goldsmith, Mandy Moore. Yes, I’m referring to Lana on The Princess Diaries. She even makes an appearance in the music video for “When The Tequila Runs Out.” I love listening to music on planes, however, “We’re All Gonna Die” is not going to make the cut for my next playlist while flying because of the song’s meaning. I just hope that my Pilates teacher plays this album on repeat.
My biggest fear for this album is that some rapper will sample “When The Tequila Runs Out” or Luke Bryan  covers it. It’s just that good and I don’t want to see it destroyed. While on a road trip my brother and I mentioned how we could see The Eagles writing a song like this about a house party with the riff and the lyrics that gets everyone singing with the exception of mentioning Thriller. Sadly, I am long overdue for a Dawes concert, but I must say I proudly have the set list from a concert. “Roll Tide” sounds like a song bars in college towns will play on game day weekends when they play the University of Alabama. SEC schools need to take note on this one with the lyrics, “You better tell him best of luck man, Roll Tide.” It is about a guy stating his affection to a girl and wishing she wasn’t with her man from Birmingham. See it’s a good opposition song.

I have always loved Taylor Goldsmith’s songwriting abilities. It’s like a poet or a true storyteller that my generation has been lacking in the midst of the literature my generation has with Twilight and The 50 Shades of Gray series. Taylor’s brother Griff also known “Young Santa” plays drums and he often dances on a video series called #BeatsOnInstagram. Former keyboardist Tay Strathairn left the band and was replaced by Lee Pardini. However, the piano in this album is the most intriguing in “As If By Design,” which makes you want to go to a beach to read Hemingway. To me this is the most musically talented album by the band.

In a few days, on September 16 it will be released. I’ve pre-ordered the album on August 17, when it came out. If you don’t buy the album, which I’m begging you too. Just listen to them on Spotify, if it’s released on Amazon Prime add it to your library and buy concert tickets to see them.

Janet Gwen MacBook Case

It is quite obvious that I am on my laptop more than the average bear with grad school and my freelance job. So that’s why I consider a laptop case as an office supply to make work more fun. However, I like to buy things that are good quality.  When I had to make an emergency purchase for a new laptop because it was dying, I was so disappointed in the cases that were at the Apple Store. Not only were there no patterns available, but the quality of the cases available were not compariable to my old one. I bought a clear speck case to at least give protection. Fast forward a year and not only did the bottom break, but the top did too.


Upset by the options that were available at Best Buy and Apple, I opted to look for options on Etsy. One of the first cases that I found on Etsy was created by Janet Gwen Designs. I looked at other options, but I knew I had found my case. Of course, I looked through reviews, but I swear Janet’s products are just so beautiful. After I placed my order, I received a message from her store asking for my model number to make sure the case fit my MacBook.  Around four short days later, I recieved the package. I was so impressed by Janet’s crew because I had a hand written thank you note. It was really sweet and it added an extra touch. However, I decided to give myself a week to review the product.

The first thing I noticed beside the cute design, was the case was really sturdy and it was thick. However, at first it was a challenge to put on the bottom. I think all cases are like that. Just remember for the top and bottom to put the part closest to the hinge on first to make sure it snaps on securely. It stays on there quite well. I chose the option for the keyboard cover, but after  using it, it felt weird. That’s just my own personal opinion. I’m going to use the cover when I have a latte and food at my computer to prevent a disaster. Two dollars for a keyboard cover is pretty good.

The bottom of the case is gold and the edges around the top are gold. My case and keyboard cover costs around $68 without shipping. That’s about $20 more than the keyboard cases out there. However, I think the pricing is fair because Janet hand paints all of the cases along with owning her small business. I know that in the future, I will own a marble iPad case.

There’s countless ways you can personalize the case you can get gold corners, a cut out for the Apple Logo and even monograms. I was impressed by the black marble collection too. Janet Huang’s art abilities are just amazing. However, my case is really good quality and if it lasts at least two years, I will be excited.  You can also check out Janet’s Website, which is fairly new and you can purchase her items on it too. Overall I give it 5 stars. I’m just happy that I have a cute case to look at while working.