Pet deposits at rental properties are a strange concept to me. It is my personal belief that they were invented as a means of sucking money away from people whose hearts are bigger than their paychecks. That’s why, when my landlord told me that a pet deposit was required for each pet that I decide to bring with me to my new apartment, I told them I only had one cat. As I handed them one check for $250, I began to devise millions of cat-hiding strategies so I would never have to come up with another $250 deposit in the future. That was over one-and-a-half years ago, and so far, so good.
On the weekend before Thanksgiving, my landlord put a note on my front door stating that they were going to do be doing inspections of all of their properties to identify anything that needs to be fixed and to install carbon monoxide monitors. When were they going to do this? Tuesday; two days before one of the most traffic-inducing holidays of the year, which also happened to be the day I had chosen to drive from San Diego to Ventura.
Usually when my landlord informs me of a future inspection date, I drive Baby Kitty (the crazy cat) to my former roommate’s house and have her babysit her for the day. Unfortunately, she moved home post graduation, and I no longer have any friends close by that can help me out. The only solution? Bring a cat home with me for the holidays. So I packed up Clementine (Baby Kitty doesn’t travel well when it comes to long drives) and began our long journey to Ventura.
Have you ever been stuck in Los Angeles traffic with a cat in a cat carrier? The constant meowing, the fear of claws being used to their full potential and the looming threat that is your kitty’s digestive system are enough to make even the most cautious driver a skittish mess. I have done this quite a few times now, and have learned that the key to a successful trip is empowering music, preferably sung by females.
Cats are intuitive, sensitive little animals. They behave according to their surroundings, so I try my hardest to make my cats’ surroundings calm, peaceful and unbearably cute. My initial music choice to try and calm Clementine’s nerves was Two Door Cinema Club’s ‘What You Want,’ because it’s a happy beat and there’s a cat on the album cover. But it didn’t cheer either of us up, probably because the only thing we thought of during the lyrics “I can tell just what you want/ You don’t want to be alone” was Baby Kitty, who was going to be without a furry playmate for the rest of the week. So I decided to play my go-to band, The Kills, instead, and I am so thankful I did.
I am a firm believer that listening to lyrics sung by an empowered female can cure any ailment. My nights out are better when I get ready with The Dead Weather or The Kills playing in the background, and my school days were always better when I sung along with Jenny Lewis as I spent 15 minutes searching for an on-campus parking spot at USD. This is why I think Clementine’s four-hour car ride was ultimately a success: she became empowered by the music that she couldn’t help but listen to.
Having seen Clementine transform from a scaredy cat into a ferociously confident wildcat has inspired me to help myself, and others and others’ cats, transform themselves as well. Here are three of my favorite lead female vocalists whose songs make me feel like I could literally conquer the world, or at least turn down a free drink at the bar because I’m independent like that. Though there are many other inspirational women out there (the founders of HelloGiggles included), these three are the ones that have made the greatest impact on me as I grew into an adult.
Some girls imagine what life would be like as a model. I, however, am just over five feet tall, so I’ve had to settle for dreams of being a badass rock star. I’ve always been a fan of the work of Jack White, so when The Dead Weather released their first album I was an instant devotee. And when I saw Alison Mosshart, lead singer of the band and the woman that inspired its creation, in action, my fandom reached the next level. Not only is she beautiful and an amazing singer, but her onstage persona is mind-blowing as well. Everyone in the crowd falls in love with her from the second she comes on stage. She’s mysterious, wild, creative and so completely passionate about what she does that you can’t help but be inspired by her. It’s because of her that leopard print anything is what I aim to find at every thrift store I visit, and it’s because of her that I’ve begun to subject my contact-lens-wearing eyes to the irritant that is eyeliner. Singing along to her songs transforms me into this ever-powerful human being who isn’t afraid to tell people the things they need to hear and who understands her worth. Looking through my Kills and Dead Weather music library, it’s impossible for me to limit myself to anything less than every single song when it comes to choosing the ones that are most inspirational. However, the one that is currently the most fun to get ready to on the nights I choose to go dancing is on The Kills’ most recent album. Titled ‘DNA,’ its chorus goes “Love love love ‘till you got enough, dance dance dance ‘till there’s no one left to hound you.” Words to live by. If none of this convinces you to check out Alison Mosshart, maybe these two quotes will:
“…A grenade with a pin missing, Lady Gaga’s worst nightmare.” – Jack White’s description of her.
“…she’s magnetic, wild and completely her own person…and shows us that just maybe there’s more to being a successful female than tiny dresses, perfect hair and a meek, pliable personality.” – A Tumblr user’s post for Alison’s birthday.
Yes, she had a weak moment. But who hasn’t? Whether it happened when we were eight, thirteen or thirty-two, we have all gone through a period where we lost ourselves and had to find our strength again. Unfortunately for Britney, her moment happened in front of the entire world. That makes her current comeback that much more impressive and empowering. I admire her so much for the way in which she turned her life around and began to set an amazing example for young women. Though I don’t know her personally, I feel like I grew up with Britney. Baby One More Time was the first CD I ever bought with my own money, and the fact that she has been able to keep her music relevant from the time I was in middle school to the present time in which I have graduated from college is an achievement in and of itself. That’s why I sing along with my current favorite, ‘I Wanna Go,’ my favorite lyric being “Shame on me/ To need release.” Seriously, though. I just graduated college and don’t have a career yet like I was promised I would. I’ll go out on a weeknight if I want to. I worked hard enough for the past 21 years of my life; I think I deserve a chance to have some fun. So thanks, Britney, for letting me know I’m not alone. Hardworking women have more than earned the right to spend their free time however they want. Dancing to Britney with a PBR tall can in my hand (don’t judge, it’s the most affordable way for me to get a buzz going) is my current release of choice.
Oh, Jenny. Her words have encouraged me ever since I was an emotional wreck in high school. Whether it was with Rilo Kiley, The Watson Twins or her man, Johnathan Rice, Jenny’s lyrics have always been a beacon of hope for me. I’ve referenced her so much in my day-to-day life that it’s difficult for me sum up my gratitude in a paragraph or two. The live performances of her that I’ve seen over the past eight years have always rejuvenated my love for life, and reminded me that it’s okay to mess up, or be sad or lose hope as long as I then suck it up and remember that I can change whatever I need to change. I think I’ll stop describing the feelings that her songs invoke, and simply direct you to the song that epitomizes motivating lyrics. It’s called ‘A Better Son/Daughter,’ and it gets me every time.
Before we achieve our goals, we have to come to terms with how hard we have to work for them, and I think there has to be a time in our lives where we feel like we’ve hit rock bottom. This is currently how I feel, tinged with a hint of feeling like a failure that will never be the same type of strong woman that these three are. But then I remember that they too had to start somewhere before they could conquer their respective dreams of living their lives as successful musicians. I admire these women because they are creative and accomplished. They seem to understand the way in which they can have an impact on others, and use this power for the ‘goodest’ good there is: empowering humans and animals alike. Alison made Clementine feel wildly brave. Jenny helped Clementine fall asleep peacefully. Britney helped Clementine get in the mood to make a friendly, noticeable entrance at my parents’ house. And me? All three inspired me to write this article, and many more at that. I’ll keep working towards my goals, and you all do the same.
What artists inspire you?