10 Day Blogging Challenge: Days 6 & 7

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I am behind having missed yesterday, so I decided to double up this morning!  Turn offs and guilty pleasures are on tap for today, thanks to this challenge put on by Sharon’s Book Nook!

Day 6: Five Turn Offs

  1. People with negative/bad attitudes – I try to live my life in a positive way, and when I am around people who constantly complain, it really drags me down.  Also, when people simply have a piss-poor attitude in general, I find it difficult to be around them.  I am not saying that I am above having bad days, because I have them more than I would like to admit.  I am talking about those that it is ingrained in: sucking teeth at stupid things, rolling eyes and dismissive attitude when things are not exactly how they think they should be.  I simply will not be associated with people like that anymore.
  2. Ignorant/Helpless People – I am not referring to those that have valid problems in life.  Mental illness is something that I live with in a small capacity, and I know those that simply cannot help themselves because it is clinical.  I get that.  I am talking about those that CHOOSE to have others do everything for them.  Lazy people.  The whiners that expect hand-ups when they are perfectly capable of getting up and walking across the room to get something themselves.  Also, I cannot take people who choose to stay narrow-minded and not entertain other sides of stories or situations.  I am not saying that everyone should believe the same thing, I am saying just be open to listening to someone else without placing judgement.  There is WAY too much of that going on in this country.
  3. Sheep – No, I am not talking about the animal.  I am talking about those that follow a trend, rumor or otherwise, simply for the sake of fitting in and staying mainstream.
  4. Fake Celebrity – Kardashians, Hiltons, any reality show “celebrity” – what a false message they send young people about life.  I have a difficult time thinking that Snookie has published TWO books.  Since when is the television channel, TLC a reality TV station?
  5. Politics –  Can we agree as a people who no matter who we vote in, they are going to suck at something and thrive at something?  Why are we divided like we are?  Vote for the least offensive and move on.  If you don’t like it, run for office.  It is as simple as that.  I HATE political attack ads &  people on their high horses.

 

 

Day 7: Four Guilty Pleasures

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The TV Show, Dallas – I was so excited when TNT revamped this ’80’s television drama, and was equally devastated when I found out that they cancelled it after three seasons.  Not only is the eye-candy good, but it was rich with nonsense and drama.

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Grey’s Anatomy – Now, I did not begin watching this television show in real-time until a couple of years ago.  I ended up catching up on it through a Lifetime marathon from beginning to end (at the time).  Now, no one gets between me and my TV on Thursday Nights.

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Carbs – Oh yes!  That evil food product that everyone avoids!  I love breads, chips, cheeses etc.  Until the day that I am told that it is life or death to stop consuming this heavenly group of organic compounds, I will enjoy every single bite!

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Music – Now normally this would not be considered a “guilty pleasure”, but I listen to EVERYTHING.  You can walk into my office and hear anything from P!nk, Britney Spears, Foo Fighters, Barry Manilow, Metallica, Jay-Z, etc.  I like to say that I have musical multiple personality disorder lol  I enjoy it all!!  So if you hear me singing Sweet Caroline, just join in 🙂

Three Defining Songs Of My Life

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Writing 101, Day Three:

Write about the three most important songs in your life — what do they mean to you?  Today’s twist: You’ll commit to a writing practice. The frequency and the amount of time you choose to spend today — and moving forward — are up to you, but we recommend a minimum of fifteen uninterrupted minutes per day.

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Asking me to choose only three songs to define any part of my life is like asking a child what his/her favorite candy is.  Impossible.  However, I managed to pull three songs that mean a lot to me out of the soundtrack of my life.  I am a music lover so this was difficult!

1. “Operator” – Jim Croce ~ This song represents my childhood and the divorce of my parents.  I remember them fighting over whether or not this record was at my mom’s house, and if it was, my dad wanted it back.  She had it, never gave it to him.  I could never understand why.  As an adult that has reconnected with my dad, I remember having a conversation about music with him, and he brought up this song in particular from Jim Croce.  I could not believe after all these years I remembered what he was talking about.  I listen to this song on my radio now and try to put myself into the place he was and why he could have possibly wanted it.  I understand now.  He and I are the same emotional being in that we pay attention to the wording of a song and its meaning.  He was heartbroken, and this song was his way of expressing that and then letting those emotions go.  I can relate and I love this song.

2.  “Heaven” – Bryan Adams ~ This is my husband and my song.  Sitting in my friend’s car, a red Chevy cobalt, lakeside at midnight, the lake pitch black except for the shine of the moon on the water, my then best friend and I were saying goodbye.  He was going to head off to Japan with the Navy and I was going to stay here.  I was seeing someone else at the time, so this was just supposed to be two friends hanging out.  It turned into much more than that.  That night, we professed our love to one another, real love, not puppy love.  True. Love.  I remember that heartbreaking feeling and I cried and cried telling him that I loved him and how much I would miss him.  He told me he loved me too, and that we will see each other again soon.  It didn’t make it any easier.  I recall his arms embracing me from the passenger’s seat as I leaned over and buried my face into his chest to sob.  He held me tight that night.  Then, as if from a John Hughes movie, this song comes on the radio.  It was seared into my heart and mind forever as a reminder of the love that we have, and the first time it was expressed.  I will always love him, and I am so happy that he is my husband.

3.  “Bitch” – Meredith Brooks ~ Ok, this may sound funny, but hear me out.  This song is one of those songs that you dance in your underwear to. I remember singing it, drunk, at my one person bachelorette party, loudly, meaning every word of it.  It describes how multi-faceted a woman is, and it defines me perfectly. “I’m a bitch, I’m a lover, I’m a child, I’m a mother, I’m a sinner I’m a saint, I do not feel ashamed”; “I’m a bitch, I’m a tease, I’m a goddess on my knees, when you hurt when you suffer, I’m your angel undercover”.  I am ALL those things and more.  And that is why I am not liked by a lot of people.  I can be outspoken and in-your-face, and the next minute be someone who helps you through a problem.  I love with my whole heart and hate with it too.  I am passionate and I am loud.  I love myself and I love who I am, and I am too much for most people, and that is all right.  The people who are by my side and know who I am appreciate me and love me for being ALL of those things, because they took the time to get to know them.  Amen, Meredith Brooks.  Where is my iPod…..

And that is ME! =)

My Top 12 List Music Collaborations of All Time (So Far…)

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I’ve said it before and I will again, I am a music LOVER of all genres and all types. I believe that something magical happens when two artists come together to duet or collaborate on a song together. If the chemistry is right, a diamond emerges from the rough. In music today, there are some great collaborations (Pink & Nathan Ruess, Christina Aguilera & A Great Big World) and some bad (Miranda Lambert & Carrie Underwood, Lil Jon and anyone), which made me think about some of the ones that I really love and have touched my heart or rocked me hard.  A good song in general can span the generations, but a good collaboration can expand outside genres and through generations.

Here is my list, in no particular order:

 

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Linkin Park & Jay-Z – Dirt off your shoulder/Lying From You

This entire collaboration CD is amazing, but this particular song rocks me harder. The beat, how Mike Shinoda raps the Linkin Park classic to a Jay-Z beat, it was like they were written for one another.

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Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton – Islands in the Stream

All right, cheesy I know. But if you were born at any time in the 1970’s, you heard that song on the radio all of your life in the 1980’s. It was the backdrop for many romantic movies and on the lips of your parents, if they sang in the car like mine did. And yes, I do know all the words =)

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P.Diddy & Faith Evans – I’ll Be Missing You

In the heat of the east coast, west coast rap wars, there were casualties of some of our greatest rappers ever to hold a mic. When Notorious B.I.G. was murdered and rocked Diddy to the core, he sang about it, and the world listened. This song is one of the biggest collaborations of the 1990’s, and one of P. Diddy’s best.

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Aerosmith & Run D.M.C. – Walk This Way

I know that this song is on EVERYONE’S list, but it has to be on mine as well. I am an Aerosmith fan for life, and this collaboration is on the soundtrack of my childhood. Classic.

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Jay Z & Kanye West – Otis

No, I am not an avid Kanye West fan, but when I heard about this partnership, I was excited on many levels. These two are a couple of the best rappers in the game, and them coming together for this track in particular makes me extremely happy. The beat is infectious!

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Joe Cocker & Jennifer Warnes – Up Where We Belong

Richard Gere. Debra Winger. One of the best romance/drama movies of my lifetime, An Officer and a Gentleman. Love. Love. Love. That is all.

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Boyz II Men & Mariah Carey – One Sweet Day

The year was 1996. This song was everywhere and I remember crying and crying and crying to this song. 1996 was a horrible year for me. But, music is always a cathartic experience for me. The voices in this song melt together and tear your heart out.

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Anthrax & Public Enemy – Bring the Noise

Yet another rock/rap collaboration that rocks my socks and one that is on that childhood soundtrack I spoke of prior. I remember singing songs like these in the back of a metro bus with my friends. High school memories.

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Michael Jackson & Siedah Garrett – I Just Can’t Stop Loving You

A good love song can extend itself across the generations, and this one does for me. It is heartbreaking and the angst in MJ’s voice is visceral. Again, this duet brings voices together that seem to intertwine together in the smoothest fashion. So good.

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Sonny & Cher – I Got You Babe

Yes, Sonny & Cher. 1970’s, bell bottoms and Sonny & Cher. This song spans decades, and most recently was on an episode of The Big Bang Theory. It’s fun and cute.

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You Don’t Bring Me Flowers – Barbra Streisand & Neil Diamond

Again, heartbreak. And Barbra & Neil. Nothing to dispute here.

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Queen & David Bowie – Under Pressure

We all know the beat, though some do not know where it comes from. We know the controversy about Vanilla Ice and the beat from his hit, “Ice, Ice, Baby” that almost matched this song’s original beat. But the lyrics are good, and the eclectic sounds of Bowie’s voice and Queen’s fabulousity (my own original adjective), and you have a classic.

 

What is one of your favorite song collaborations?

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Don’t Touch That Skip Button!

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I was driving my son home from school a couple of weeks ago when an interesting conversation unfolded about music. We finished recapping our work/school day happenings, and it was time to listen to my iPhone for some music. I skip songs on my iPhone like a stereotypical male changes channels; sometimes you can even hear me say, “Nope. Nope. Nope.” On this particular day, I was doing just that. Originally I was trying to find a song that suited my son’s taste, when all of the sudden that one song came on. You know the one; the one that makes you stop and immediately turn up the volume because it is THE song, YOUR jam. I found myself justifying this choice to my son by saying, “Sorry Nate. There are some songs that you just cannot skip.” He didn’t understand, and he didn’t like the song, but it filled my soul up for the couple of minutes it was on the radio.

 

Music has a funny way of doing that to you doesn’t it? I posted last week about a “mix tape” that my husband made me and how those particular songs related to our relationship. But we all have that cluster of songs that you would break someone’s fingers off if they decided to touch your radio! I have a very broad taste in music and joke often that my iPhone has multiple personalities. There are days I can flip through my songs for the entire ride in the car and not stop to listen to one fully. But then that one song comes on and I freeze.

 

Here are some of the songs I am talking about and why they are favorites:

  1. Bootylicious – Destiny’s Child: Well, I am a big girl, and any song that sings about flaunting your big butt is pretty much an anthem to me. Plus, it helps that my husband is an ass man. There is just something about this song that makes me dance in my seat.
  2. Purple Rain – Prince: Why? Because Prince, that’s why. From the very first guitar rift I am hooked and I turn my volume to its highest! Being a product of the 1980’s, there is no way this song couldn’t be on my list.
  3. The Change – Garth Brooks: I like to think I am a positive person and I try to live my life that way, but there are people and obstacles in my way every day. This song has a line where Garth sings, “And I hear them saying, you’ll never change things. And no matter what you do it’s still the same thing. But it’s not the world that I am changing. I do this so this world will know that it will not change me”. Staying true to me, this is what this song says.
  4. Umbrella – Rihanna: The beat gets to my core, and who doesn’t want to sing, “Umbrella, ella, ella…”?
  5. Fuck You – Lily Allen: This song speaks to intolerance of bigots of all kinds and blatantly states, shut up, fuck you and please don’t stay in touch. I love it.
  6. In The Air Tonight – Phil Collins: Once in a Facebook status, after listening to this song, I posted, “When the drums play in that song, ‘In the Air Tonight’, you beat those air drums. You.Beat.Them.” There is just something haunting in the lyrics and music of this song and pisses you off and empowers you all at the same time.
  7. Let Her Cry – Hootie & The Blowfish: This was the song that was playing when I told my son I couldn’t skip the song in the car. I just love the angst in this song and how the lyrics tell the story of a man who wants to help a woman, but he lets her do her thing.
  8. Operator – Jim Croce: Ok, this is not of my generation, but it is still close to my heart. When I was four years old, my parents divorced. My father always started a fight asking for his Jim Croce album back from my mom, who adamantly claimed she did not have it. As an adult, I was speaking with my father about music and he said he loved this song, especially after the break up with my mother. It is now forever in my heart and on my playlist.
  9. What A Good Boy – Barenaked Ladies: This song takes me right back to high school. I had a solid group of friends and we loved BNL. This song makes me think about how we had all of these expectations put upon our shoulders on who people wanted us to be and act, but we were all uniquely ourselves, disappointing many. I sing this loudly behind the wheel of my car. L-O-U-D-L-Y.
  10. Let Him Fly – Dixie Chicks: There was a moment in my life that I will never forget. I was on an airplane in February 2013, flying home to Virginia from Buffalo after burying my step-father and leaving my mother in the hospital after a heart episode in the same week. I had a window seat all to myself, and I stared outside at the fluffy marshmallow clouds, and this song came on. Tears streamed down my face as I thought about losing my step-father and how it was unfair that this happened. It was only six weeks since I left my hometown to live in Virginia. He had cancer, but was in remission, then had a cold and it was all downhill for him. His body rejected some treatments to keep him alive, and we had to make the decision let him go. There is a line in this song, probably meant for a break up, but I felt it for this situation, “Ain’t no talkin’ to this man. He’s been trying to tell me so. It took a while to understand the beauty of just letting go. There was really nothing to it, I just went and cut right through it. I’m going to let him fly.” I got teary typing that. What a decision to make to let someone go. When I hear the first strums of that acoustic guitar to begin this version of this song, I freeze.

 

This was just a sampling of songs that stop me in my tracks. That is what I love about music, it is a universal language that can control every emotion, bring back any memory, guide you through struggle and celebrate with you when you have no one else to celebrate with. I am thankful for music!

What song touches you to your core?

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