Listening To…

The other day I heard this song
on a preview for the upcoming Homeland season.
Besides the fact that the preview was emotionally spellbinding
(I almost cried. Really)
I haven’t been able to get this song
by The Cinematic Orchestra out of my head.
There is something about it that is so beautifully tragic.

(The video isn’t official so just listen to the song)

What are you listening to lately?

And P.S. How incredible does that Homeland preview look?

MistyAugust 14, 2013 - 10:48 am

I first heard this song in Step Up Revolution last year and I felt like my heart melted. I keep it in my writing playlist for work and have never tired of it. It’s beyond breathtaking, even on the trillionth listen.
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SarahAugust 14, 2013 - 11:50 am

Omg that preview! It gave me chills!

LauraAugust 14, 2013 - 11:56 am

Wah I don’t get Showtime to watch Homeland :( This song is hauntingly beautiful

AliceAugust 15, 2013 - 10:22 am

This is amazing… and it’s definitely been used for stuff over here in the UK too. Listen to their “Arrival of the Birds” too- it’s SO beautiful. xx

LaurenAugust 16, 2013 - 2:48 pm

DYING for Homeland to come back!!!
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nicole marieAugust 23, 2013 - 12:07 pm

your comments are still noreply on my blog, boo. anyways, yes i’m back! still a little bit back and forth going to denver this weekend, back home for labor day then back for 2 weeks and then we’ll see where i’m at depending on if i get a job… uggg! bottomless mimosa brunch soon please?!!

Adventures on the San Francisco Muni

Alternately Titled: Zodor Hates Me

For those of you non-SF locals, the Muni is the city’s public transportation line. Some people love it, though most people hate it. There are certain bus lines that I absolutely despise (I’m talking to you 27!), but some of them are not so bad. The 41 and the 30 are generally the yuppie buses, full of nice, clean, normal-looking people that all live around the marina. But sometimes you get some creepers on even those…

Let’s rewind to Thursday night.

Kevin and I have just finished dinner on Union Street. We hop on the bus to go home. It’s pretty empty. A few blocks later, a teeny tiny Asian woman gets on. She sits two seats away from me.

A couple minutes later, I randomly start coughing. The woman suddenly starts copying me, coughing at the exact same time as me, but in a mocking way. At first I thought this was just a random coincidence. But then I coughed again, and she did it again, and I looked at her face and she was GLARING at me with pure evil!

“Is this for real?!?” I said to Kevin. He said yes, and explained that she had been staring at us the whole time and was clearly crazy and that I shouldn’t look over at her.

The little Asian lady then starts playing some weird religious psychobabble on her iPhone, on speaker, with the volume turned all the way up. I can’t really hear it but I randomly make out words like “abomination” and “sin.”

Finally it’s our stop, and as Kevin and I go to get off the bus, the woman looks directly at us and proceeds to lean back and stick BOTH her legs straight up, trying to block our way!

Like this, but with both legs!

Fortunately, her legs were very short, so even sticking them straight out, Kevin and I could get by.

As soon as we get past her, we both start laughing hysterically, because, I mean, really?!? Is this real life?

And at that, she starts YELLING at us “Zodor hates you!” over and over again.

We got off, the doors closed, but she didn’t stop. As the bus rolled away, she continued to glare at us through the window and yell who knows what.

We both stood there, kind of in shock, laughing hysterically, and wondering if that really just happened.

And while it was absolutely hilarious, it was also kind of creepy. This lady seemed to really hate us! She was passionate about it! And she believed whatever it was that she was yelling at us, that was for sure.

Kevin thinks that since this happened the same day I wrote about Scientology, that she was some Scientology spy sent to monitor me.

And while he said that totally kidding, I couldn’t help but wonder if there was any truth to it? Because the one thing I know is that Scientology is batshit crazy. Perhaps Zodor is pals with Xenu, and they don’t like me talking shit?

Who knows.

Just another day in San Francisco.

WhitneyAugust 12, 2013 - 6:14 am

Of course I had to go google ‘Zodor’…although I didn’t get much. People on the bus are always pretty interesting. I used to ride it everyday for two summers when I had an internship downtown. Public transport is decent here in Columbus, but its more a car town. That said one time I had a creeper get off the bus into his car, and follow me home. My mom called the cops and kind of went nutso and insisted on driving me for a few days. Which was fine with me.
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LauraAugust 12, 2013 - 10:17 am

As a commuter who takes bart everyday to work I feel your pain about the crazies!! And I must say I thought first about your scientology post as well!!
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KariAugust 12, 2013 - 12:09 pm

That sounds like a crazy experience! Good for you guys to just laugh about it. I think those situations are scary, though. What did you ever do to her? This woman who has no idea who you are openly showing her dislike for you? Some people are just plain nutso. Glad she didn’t get off the same stop as you:)
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MargaretAugust 12, 2013 - 12:50 pm

haha- between you and Mish’s post last week- I’m going to be scared to ever ride a bus when I come to San Francisco!!

People are so weird!
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Lisa @ Two MartinisAugust 12, 2013 - 12:56 pm

Ohhhh goodness, this is too much!! One time I had a man next to me threaten to light the entire bus on fire with alcohol and a lighter. It was a tiny bit frightening but he didn’t get too far before other passengers started yelling at him. Now I try to avoid riding public transportation (alone) at night.

nancy @ adore to adornAugust 12, 2013 - 1:56 pm

As soon as you started this story I almost felt like I knew where your story was going. I see her on many a bus ride…le sigh!
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StephanieAugust 12, 2013 - 4:18 pm

I just . . . wow.
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shannonAugust 13, 2013 - 11:34 am

Hahahahaha. We should start a public blog about this… “Encounters with the Crazies” – seriously, too many crazy people in SF.

Rich KrawczykAugust 13, 2013 - 12:14 pm

My guess is that Zodor really does hate you! Since the name Zodor is of Hungarian origin he might be a minor deity or demon. If so, I’m pretty sure I can get Marduk or Baal to kick his ass!

LaurenAugust 13, 2013 - 5:09 pm

Oh MUNI… I am one of the many that hates muni… if I can’t get on the 30x I just want to take a cab.. ha!
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It’s Friday, I’m in Love!

A few things I’m loving this particular Friday…

This went viral crazy last Friday,
so I’m sure by now you’ve already seen this video, but I love it.
So I need it to live here on my blog too.
I hate that I love this song as much as I do.


40 Days of Dating
Late to the viral party again,
but this 40 Day of Dating is absolutely fascinating.
When I read the about and the rules,
I was not remotely interested.
They seemed annoying and fake,
trying to do this just to be famous.
The videos bugged me.
But then! Then I started reading their daily posts.
And I was drawn in.
And now I’m dying to see what happens at the end.


H&M is now available for online shopping.
Enough said.


Orphan Black.
A new BBC show that I’m loving.
I thought it would be cheesy.
It’s not.
It’s good.
Have you seen it?


Lastly, this video which features
Jon Stewart before he was Jon Stewart
and Alicia Silverstone before she was Alicia Silverstone.
I can’t handle how cute young Jon Stewart is
and how awkward young Alicia is.
And I totally forgot that she used to be
the hot girl from the Aerosmith video!
What a blast from the past.

Happy Friday Friends!
What are you loving today?

LauraAugust 9, 2013 - 10:09 am

Never heard of 40 Days of dating – will have to check it out! Happy Friday girl!
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GretchenAugust 9, 2013 - 11:08 am

My guilty pleasure lately has been the show Pretty Wicked Moms. Yep, it is on Lifetime but it is so horrible I can’t stop watching. You have to check it out!

LindseyAugust 9, 2013 - 11:10 am

I love 40 days if dating too! Soo hooked :)

Scientology is Batsh*t Crazy

So. I just finished reading “Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape” by Jenna Miscavige Hill, and I was so completely entranced by the utter cultlike pyschoness  that is Scientology that I just have to share it with you all. Because let me tell you, holy macaroni, Scientology is craaaaaaaaaazy! 

Perhaps most of you reading this are thinking that I’m crazy for not already knowing this, but I really had no idea just how utterly insane it was until I read this book. As my friends Mo and Justin would say, that sh*t is bananas. It is the craziest of crazy town.

I’ve always thought that Scientology was a little bit… off… but outside of Tom Cruise being a total nut job, I didn’t know that much about it. For some reason, I thought that maybe it was similar to the Church of Religious Science, a non-denominational church that my parents had gone to a couple of times. This is a church that believes in God but also believes in science, and I suppose based on the name, I thought Scientology was similar.

Well, it’s not. Not even a little bit. Remember that crazy interview Tom Cruise gave a few years back, where he was saying all sorts of ridiculous things, like how if you go by a car accident, only scientologists are able to truly help the victims? Well, that is just 1/100th of the craziness that is Scientology.

Jenna Miscavige Hill is the niece of David Miscavige, the current leader of the Church of Scientology. She was born into the “church” (and I put church in quotes because calling it that is truly laughable), and she spent her whole life in it. She left (more like escaped) in 2005, and is now one of the most outspoken well-known critics of the church. Thus, she is also one of the most hated people by Scientologists.

The book was so full of crazy information that I don’t even know where to begin, but for those of you that are interested in learning more, here’s some information*:


First of all, Scientology was created L. Ron Hubbard (LRH), a science fiction writer who somehow became enlightened and created a self-help program which he later turned into the church of Scientology. Apparently somewhere along the line he learned all about the secrets of human existence, which is:

75 million years ago, an evil being named Xenu decided to solve a population problem on his galactic colony by exiling a bunch of people to Earth. Xenu then did a ton of horrible things to these people, like drugging them, placing their bodies around a volcano, and blowing them up with H-bombs. But that really only took care of the physical problem – Xenu didn’t just want the bodies gone, he wanted to make sure the ‘thetans’ (spirits / souls) of those people didn’t come back and reincarnate on his colony. So when the souls started leaving the bodies, he captured the souls and forced them into a huge implant station that was kind of like a movie theatre. There, he made them watch movies that ‘implanted’ them with false pictures of Christ, and other historical events that Hubbard says didn’t actually happen. The souls were so screwed up from this implanting that they roamed aimlessly around Earth for millions of years. When human beings started evolving, the thetans started entering their bodies and inhabiting them, and thus these thetans are called ‘body thetans’. And body thetans, says Hubbard, are the source of all human misery.

Ultimately, the goal of Scientology is to rid you of your body thetan. Only then will you be a truly happy enlightened person.

Seriously. That is what it is based on. For a truly entertaining rundown, watch this South Park clip.

If you learn this information “too soon,” without going through the proper training, you are told that you will do serious harm to yourself, perhaps resulting in death!

L. Ron Hubbard has been quoted as saying “You don’t get rich writing science fiction. If you want to get rich, you start a religion.”


LRH died in 1986 but there is a mansion waiting for him, called Bonne View, that is maintained and waiting for him when he returns in another body.


Scientologists don’t believe in a God. Have you seen the movie The Host? Well, it’s eerily similar. They believe that our souls (thetans), have been around for millions of years and just transfer from one body to the next. This means that there is no such thing as family, because your body is just a carrier for your soul, and your soul can’t really have parents, as a soul can’t be the parent of another soul. Because of this belief, children are treated like adults, given adult-like responsibilities, and separated from their parents for months (sometimes years) at a time. Family is not considered real nor important.


The Church’s inner core is called the Sea Org. Members of the Sea Org run all the churches, live at the base, perform all auditing, teach all classes, etc. etc. Members of the Sea Org are not allowed to have children. They are not allowed to use the internet. They are not allowed to make personal calls (they must request permission, and approval can take days). Their mail is read before being given to them, and if there is anything inappropriate in it (such as anti-Scientology sentiments), they are not allowed to receive it. They work constantly, with their free time/day off being from Saturday evening (after 9) to Sunday afternoon. Members of the Sea Org sign a 1 billion year contract, promising to return and serve in all their future lives.


The goal of Scientology is to stop being a Body Thetan and become an Operating Thetan. To become this, you have to complete 8 different levels/courses. Once you do all levels (which takes years and hundreds of thousands of dollars) you are someone who has achieved the state of Clear. You learn about Xenu in level 3.

The coursework to become Clear involves a lot of crazy things, like standing in front of a wall with LRH quotes on it and not being allowed to move for 2 hours (as in no coughing, sneezing, twitch, anything). If you move, you start over. Some training is called the Bullbait, where trainees are taunted, made fun of, and often sexually harassed. This is to help “toughen” them up. Another part is the Purif, where you are forced to ingest a ton of vitamins and minerals, run around for half hour, and then sit in a 160 degree sauna for five hours.


When Jenna was 12 she tried to run away from the Sea Org, and she was caught. Because she had already signed her 1 billion year contract (which she signed at age 7) she was punished and read the following, direct from LRH himself “When somebody enrolls consider he or she has joined up for the duration of the universe – never permit an ‘open-minded’ approach…. We’d rather have you dead than incapable… The whole agonized future of this planet, every man, woman and child on it, and your own destiny for the next endless trillions of years depends on what you do here and now with and in Scientology.”

Can you say brainwashing?


When a Sea Org member has done something considered particularly bad (such as have pre-marital sex, or an affair), they are sent to “RPF” where they are separated from all other Sea Org members (and thus, their family) and are forced to do manual labor. They are not allowed to walk – they must run at all times! They cannot see their family or talk to their friends. It’s basically prison. RPF can last years.


If someone in your family leaves Scientology, you are not allowed to talk to or see them. They refer to this as disconnection. If you are in the Sea Org and refuse to disconnect, you are severely punished.


If you leave the Sea Org, you are usually considered a Suppressive Person. Suppressive People are considered evil.


Scientologists don’t believe in mental illness. If you work in the mental health field, you are considered evil, as evil as Adolf Hitler. Mental health professionals are suppressive people.


Non-Scientologists are called WOGS. Wogs are considered to be unenlightened, stupid people who may even be a suppressive person. Scientology wants to clear the world of all WOGS.


I could go on even further, but I’ve already rambled on for far too long. And I didn’t even mention their secret ship!

From one WOG to another, what do you think of Scientology?

*Please note that most of this only applies to those in the Sea Org, and not necessarily to Public Scientologists (such as celebrities).

P.S. Here’s a great interview with Ms. Hill:

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WhitneyAugust 8, 2013 - 7:12 am

Whoa….just. Wow. I’ve always known it was a little off, but growing up SDA I try not to judge other religions because I know what that’s like. That being said…this is crazy town. Sorry.
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StephAugust 8, 2013 - 9:51 am

So interesting, yet so horrifying. A local radio station just interviewed Leah Remini’s sister about Scientology and the interview was really interesting. Here’s the link if you’re interested.
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LauraAugust 8, 2013 - 10:06 am

That is just straight NUTTY!!! Why would anyone want to be a part of that?
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TheresaAugust 8, 2013 - 10:09 am

holy crap! I knew it was crazy but I didn’t know it was on that level! That’s just nuts!

JulieAugust 8, 2013 - 1:05 pm

I read “Going Clear,” the book that just came out a few months ago, and the entire time, I kept having to put it down to be like, “Matt! Did you know that_______” and fill in the blank with some crazy nonsense. The whole thing is so crazy and awful, mostly because it really is so cult-like…these people are actually trapped (the ones who are born into it). So sad.
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RachelAugust 8, 2013 - 3:58 pm

Wow, very interesting post Serena! I didn’t know all of this about Scientology either. Mainly just that Tom Cruise is a nut-job. Thanks for the 101 course. I find religion fascinating – this is going on my reading list!

[…] Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape– So, the writing in this book is far from amazing, but if you’ve ever wondered just what Scientology is all about, this is an excellent source. It’s written by the niece of the current leader of the church (who is no longer a practicing Scientologist), and, well, it shows just how batshit crazy Scientology is. […]