“Pictures of Success,” Rilo Kiley

I first heard this song about a year and a half ago, and I loved it. This song, along with “Does He Love You?,” began my obsession with Rilo Kiley, a band that is now in my definite top five. I have since come to think of “Pictures of Success” as My Song. Not necessarily my favorite song, or a song I believe to be better than any other song, just mine. It’s a song that doesn’t remind me of anyone, any failed relationship or even any memory or place. It is something I have that is just for me in my mind. It’s beautiful, yes — but my connection to this song transcends beauty. To me, this song sounds like independence and freedom. It’s a song for someone who is stupidly optimistic, idealistic, adventurous. Someone who quits a job before they have a new one in order to follow their dreams. You know, a moron. And her name is me.

Build your own television receiver
Staying home can’t be that bad for me
Because I’m not scared, but I’d like some extra spare time
Easily earn me big money
I’m a modern girl, but I fold in half so easily
When I put myself in the picture of success
I could learn world trade or try to map the ocean

When you’re dead, in hospitals and freeways
When you’re dead, in resting homes and clinics
When you’re dead, it must be nice to finish
When you’re dead

I’ve had it with you, and Mexico can fucking wait
And all of those French films about trains
Because I’m not scared, but I’d like some extra spare time
I’m not scared, but the bills keep changing colors

When you’re dead, in hospitals and freeways
When you’re dead, in dress shirts and neck ties
When you’re dead, in apartments and on beaches
When you’re dead

They say California is a recipe for a black hole
And I say I’ve got my best shoes on, I’m ready to go
Ready to go, ready to go, I’m ready to go
Ready to go, ready to go, I’m ready to go

These are times that can’t be weathered
And we have never been back there since then
These are times that can’t be weathered
And we haven’t been back there since then

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