Tag Archives: Cabin-Mansion

Review of Justin Timberlake’s Man of the Woods

21 Feb

I like outdoorsy stuff.  I think Brandi Carlile’s Bear Creek album was a perfect representation of that outside feeling.  It wasn’t on the nose like this, but the vibe hit the right notes and was in the right sound and genre.

Not so with this one.  I think my biggest criticism is the name of the album.  You’ll see what I mean. . .

  1. “Filthy”

The first 30 seconds are how you open an album!  Does it fit with the purported theme of this particular album?  Absolutely not.  There is nothing woodsy or outdoorsy about this electric/dance track.  It’s grand, it’s loud, and it’s futuristic.  I also like the robotic background noise.  And the breakdown at 2:45 minutes in has a cool horror movie sound to it.  What I didn’t like was the video on YouTube that ended in major objectification of women.  Why are skimpy bondage outfits and simulated humping necessary, Justin?

I don’t like any part of the spoken verse from Jessica Biel.  I’m glad they are a happy couple, and I don’t mind if he sings about her, or to her.  But that’s the extent of it–I don’t want her voice IN the music.  I don’t care if it’s supposed to be a story that pulls the album together.  Jessica–stay in the movies where you belong!

2.  “Midnight Summer Jam”

It’s a little retro in the singing–like something the Bee Gees would do.  But the funk sounds, and harmonica-like layers in the music bring it to a more 2018 sound.  Again, is it anything to do with the wilderness or roughing it?  Nope.  But good song if you take those expectations away.

3. “Sauce”

The beat is fun.  The song starts out sounding like something I could be into.  But then the lyrics are gross.  “I love your pink, you like my purple” ???  Ewwww.  And it’s repeated, unfortunately.  I have to think about that visual a few times.  If not for that I like the vibe of this one.  It’s funky and fun, and at one point Justin almost reminds me of Karmin.  Maybe there’s a karaoke mix without the words.

I am glad that Justin went for more, shorter tracks.  His last album had obnoxiously long songs.  And the more tracks the better, I think.  Give me my money’s worth!

4.  “Man of the Woods”

Seeing Justin dance in this video actually made me like the song more.  Which rarely happens.  Except, I wasn’t impressed with the later ballroom dancing.  Firstly, doesn’t Jessica have people to do her hair?  It looked super-ratty.  And she’s not a strong dancer, you could totally see him leading her.  I say she sticks to what she’s good at–acting.  Leave the dancing to JT.  Prior to seeing the video I thought this new woodsy vibe was a put-on.  Phoniness to cater to a certain audience, but after seeing Justin rock his plaid and vests on logs and in cabins–I realized he’s being authentic.  He is Mr. Happy now that he’s married and has kids, and a stable, relatively quiet life.

To me, this is nothing reminiscent of Montana–where I was born and a lot of my extended family still live.  Montana is being rugged, and self-sufficient, and maybe even a little uncouth (and most people in Montana are poor).  None of which describes Justin or Jessica.  But if you think about it, compared to LA, or even TN where entourages, and their people, and fans are always about–they DO feel like they’re off the grid.  In their cabin-mansion.  No, it’s not what you or I consider outdoorsy.  But to Justin–it totally is.

The song is kind of cool and catchy.  I like the syncopation, the echoed vocals, and the beat.  The lyrics are cute, and tell a story.  I think it’s my favorite track on the album–even though it is decidedly nothing to do with the woods.

5.  “Higher Higher”

This song could have been on any one of Timberlake’s albums.  It’s very “him.”  It’s everything that he’s known for, the romance, the easy dance sound, right down to the higher vocal range.

6.  “Wave”

This one has an interesting time key.  It’s unique, but it goes into some nice singing by Justin.  The lyrics, as usual, are a little banal.  I’m not sure I ever particularly liked the writing on Justin’s albums.  His specialty is the music blends, his vocal stylings, and obviously–the performance.  Not necessarily the words.  The break at 2:30 minutes in is unexpected and playful, and I like the percussion that follows.  Also, what’s a song without some whistling?  You can always expect to hear something out of place made cool and hip with Justin’s songs.

7.  “Supplies”

I like the rolling sounds (vocal trills?).  I like the background, and how it’s kind of bare.  The way the music goes reminds me of the ticking of a clock.  A countdown to the end, if you will.  The chorus is catchy, too.  This is my 2nd favorite song on the album.  I also liked the Hunger Games themed video for this one.  It supplemented the song perfectly.  Does it say to me camping or living off the land in a cabin?  No.  It says zombie apocalypse or end of the world.

8. “Morning Light”

The singing is very soulful.  And it’s typical Justin.  The lyrics are lovely, if not overly-sentimental.  The thing is, though Timberlake tends to run into the super-saccharine in his writing, I do think he MEANS it.  I don’t think he’s just writing garbage on paper to prove it’s a love song.  I feel like he might actually be that sensitive.  Alicia Keys features on this one, and the pairing is just right.  It’s a quiet song, but groovy and smokey and loving too.  It is probably what an actual evening with Justin is like.

9. “Say Something”

There’s hand-clapping.  There’s guitar.  But that’s about the extent of how country it gets.  This sounds more like a Ben Harper song, than ANY of the Hanks.  Chris stapleton is credited on this track, and he brings an earthy feel, but more funk and hippy-groove stuff that foot-stamping or truck drivin’ fare.  What I don’t really get is the message of the song.  At first, I thought it was going to be political.  And I was happy that Justin was going to use his fame to educate or SAY something.  But I didn’t love the, “sometimes the greatest way of sayin’ something, is to say nothing at all.”  I think that’s the opposite sentiment that we should have in these tumultuous times of NRA/mass shootings, pussy-grabbing Trump/me too movement, etc. . .

One of my favorite things about all of Justin’s songs is the unpredictability.  I might be able to stop a track in the middle of another artist and still have the gist of the song.  But you never know what you might miss in a Timberlake.

10.  “Hers” interlude.

First, the interlude died in the 90’s.  Second, the talking of Jessica Biel is too much.  But if I had to pick one of the spoken verses to like, it’s this one.  I can appreciate the intimacy she’s talking about, and how that’s love.

11. “Flannel”

It’s a sweet-sounding song, with some Prince–or whatever he was calling himself at the end–sounding talking.  And some Boys II Men-inspired harmonies.  But it’s a random subject-matter that I just can’t quite buy into.  I wish the words to this one were completely different.  Anything else.  Well, except your pink and my purple-ick!

By this time, I was so fed up with the spoken verse!  And this one goes on and on.  Lame.

12. “Montana”

This song could also be on any of Justin’s other albums.  There is electronic, and a funk beat.  He sings in a laid back way, and oozes sex-appeal and R&B sentiment.  If it had a different title it would be better.  To me, Montana sounds more like John Denver.  Or Charlie Daniels.  Even pow wow music.  But not this.  That’s not to say I don’t like the song–I just think it needs a name change.

13. “Breeze Off the Pond”

The writing on this one is almost terrible.  It’s a little too simple, almost childish.  But I like the tune of the song just fine.  Probably the weakest track on the CD though.  Maybe cutting it or saving it for the next release wouldn’t have been the worst thing.

14.  “Livin’ Off the Land”

I don’t really like the random talking up front.  I can see this one will inspire some awesome dancing at the concert (or on Netflix, I hope!) that I always adore.  I like the beat-boxing in the background, as it’s subtle.  And I like the catchiness.  Also, the lyrics are good too–for once.  It’s my third favorite track on Man of the Woods.  I like how it closes with a lot of string instrumentals, mixing some “country” in.

15. “The Hard Stuff”

I like the sentiment of this song.  How relationships aren’t always easy, and Justin isn’t expecting a free ride of all fun and games.  It shows he’s serious and real.  I respect that.  I think in real life Justin Timberlake is a real good guy.  Solid and dependable.  I’m glad he hits some notes and actually sings in this one, also.

16. “Young Man”

And the culmination of the CD is (predictably) the product of Justin and Jessica, their son.  And fatherly advice given my Justin to his boy.  It’s trite.  It’s cliche.  But it does complete the family theme of the album nicely.  It’s a nice arc, even if it’s too much.

So I get how this whole album was a love song to his wife.  And they had their special moments in the state of Montana.  So he’s all sentimental, and lovey.  What they are NOT, is rustic or outdoorsy.  Part of being woodsy is going without–living a sparse lifestyle.  And you just can’t do that in a mansion.  I think I (and the critics) would have liked this electronic/funk/R&B/dance album just fine, if Justin kept his camping fantasy to himself.  I’m going to think of the album’s theme more like the comfortable feeling Justin is living having a family.  I think if you think of “the woods” as symbolic of peace and quiet in your head-space, this album (with it’s silly title) is easier to swallow.  Had he named the album and some of the tracks ANYthing else, all would have been forgiven.  As it is, the album’s tone just doesn’t match what is supposed to be the theme.

Advertisements

Mary-Married

23 Feb

When I talked to my Mom on the phone this week, she was telling me Del Minor (Mary’s mom) died at the beginning of the month.  Shaun (Mary’s gossipy sister-in-law) was being all shady when my mom asked when the funeral was going to be.  Obviously, Del was a central figure in our town and my mom knew her and thus wanted to pay her respects.  But after asking Shaun a couple of times and being told noncommittal answers my parents saw in the news that the funeral had taken place—2 days prior.  So I guess our family was blacklisted, which is shitty, though they probably could have looked in the news or talked to someone else about the date and time if they had really wanted to go.  But oh well.

 

So that night, I looked online to read the obituary.  And there it was—they listed the survivors.  And they listed them as couples.  There was several of Mary’s older siblings, then Tom (Mary’s brother) and his wife Shaun.  Then last in oldest to youngest order:  Mary Minor and this new name- Sandra __________.  At first I thought it was some kind of typo—they put one of Del’s sibs next to her youngest child’s name accidentally.  Because the Mary I know would never have her private life broadcast.  Especially if the town of Dayton was to see it.  Plus, how in the world would she even be with anyone?!

 

But I looked up the gal’s name online—and sure enough, there was not only a marriage announcement of Mary and this gal-but a picture!  I still would have doubted t, just because it was so out of character for Mary.  I mean, this is the person, who when I realized I was gay at the tender age of 18, she took my in the bathroom at work, with the fan on, and asked that I not tell her secret.  No regard for what I must have been feeling, how shell-shocked I might be–just ‘don’t tell anyone that she’s gay.’  But they blog supplemented the announcement with a picture.  So I knew without a doubt it was the same Mary I knew (past tense intentional).  Also, this Tahoe wedding happened in 2013? So I’m way behind the scene.  Which is good, because thinking about Mary and the cabin-mansion makes me feel icky inside and makes me have nightmares.  I had even asked my mom not to share the gossip she gleaned from Shaun or the community, because I don’t want to think about that part of my life.  And I guess that was necessary because even though Mary saw Shaun as an enemy when I knew her, Shaun must have gotten the picture that we are not on good terms, so she stopped sharing any information with my mom–she didn’t know.  And as much as I don’t like to think about those dark times, and dark characters, part of me wished I would have known—just for curiosity’s sake.

 

Obviously, a lot has changed.  The Mary I knew was an absolute PILL because she was such a closet-case.  Like, Kim and her were together for 6 years or something when they moved together to Dayton, and Mary was so secretive that she wouldn’t wear their ring on her left hand.  And when they moved neighborhoods, they did it at night—to escape prying eyes.  She never acknowledged who Kim was—even though it was fairly obvious.

 

Also Mary was a MESS when I went back in 2009.  Her and Kim were pretty over.  Mary played the part of the Godfather.  Cold and calculating and in control of the people around her and the information exchanged.  She was cheating with the hairdresser.  She invited me there, gave me my job back, then scapegoated me–I suspect because I knew too much and I was not an adequate replacement for her dead niece Brenna.  She was such an awful person at that time that I questioned if she had ever been a good influence in my life.  Had she always had sketchy ethics and I had been too naive to see it?  All I knew is that I was disillusioned and never wanted to have her in my life again.  When she subscribed to my Facebook page (really stupid because FB notifies you) I blocked her.  Just so she doesn’t exsist anywhere in my life.  And I would be horrified if I ran into her (which is highly plausible in a small town) when visiting my parents.  So with all those feelings, and my insider knowledge at least of that time in her life, it’s hard to imagine she’s OK enough now to attract a new girlfriend—let alone someone who wants to marry her.

 

And the fact the marriage was posted online and done in Tahoe was completely different from the Mary I knew.  I come back to it, jst because it astounds me.  I guess she’s grown as a person, so that’s good for her.  I can’t help but wonder if she’s alright now, or just the same shit-head with a new wife to treat badly and make disappear.  Mary has a way of dominating and being Godfather that makes other disappear.  She controls those in her inner circle, hides things from those outside, and annihilates those she deems enemies–however small their perceived infraction.  I say perceived, because Mary herself knows a few of those people were only defending themselves against her attacks–they didn’t do anything to warrant her wrath.  I have to wonder-Would we have animosity or see 2009 as a bad scene for both of us?  Water under the bridge or enemies forever?  I really don’t know, but her seemingly new outlook on life makes me wonder.

 

Also, does Kim know?  Is she coherent enough to?  Do Mary and her talk or hate one another?  And what does Mary see their relationship as?  A mistake?  Or does she see that she choked the life out of Kim, squashed her spirit until nothing but alcoholic coping and emptiness were left?  Kim probably had a genetic predisposition, and Mary fostered those drinking ways, but in the end, I think the seclusion and control are what really did Kim in.  And nows she’s just a shell of who she used to be.  I feel sorry about that, yet I don’t talk to her either, because there’s just nothing there.

 

I had so many questions!  And the whole thing gave me just icky feelings of remembrance.  One thing you can count on Dayton for is gossip.  I’ll hear eventually.

My last Day of Veterinary Assisting

24 Feb

Hopefully my last day ever.  I guess hopefully.  I would like to move forward and not have to go back to it only out of desperation.  But I guess I don’t know what the future holds.  My anticipated last day of my life in the veterinary field was. . .  Anticlimactic.  Which perfectly sums up the 19 years I spent working in the field, honestly.  I didn’t want a fuss.  I didn’t make a big deal during my last 2 weeks of work.  Didn’t tell any clients I was leaving–I didn’t want to be THAT person.  This was my decision and I didn’t want people to feel obligated to say things they didn’t genuinely think to say on their own accord.  But I wanted???  Something.  At least a goodbye or a good job or–I don’t know, not a big party or drama or phoniness–but. . .  Something.

I honestly don’t know how I feel about my last day, former life, veterinary assisting.  When I was giving my heart headresignation I thought I would feel excited.  I’m not, really.  I put pictures up on Facebook, thinking it would make me feel nostalgic.  But it actually made me feel kind of icky.  I didn’t have very many pictures of me working, or even work at all from the last 19 years.  I always had the mentality that there was not even 2 minutes for pictures at work, because I had to BE working every second I was there.  So that was disappointing.  Posting the pictures also made me feel–icky.  There were a lot of Mary, and being reminded of her cheating, horribleness, mid-life crises, and the way she treated me hurt.  The pictures just reminded me of burned bridges, thankless jobs, and made my whole 19 years seem more negative than positive.  Which I hope is not the case–but I guess almost half of those years WERE more negative then positive.  And I thought I would feel relief today.  But really, I felt nothing.  I wasn’t sad/happy, bitter/sentimental, nervous/excited.  Just blank.

I knew they wouldn’t do anything nice for me.  So I made my own nice last day and sent myself flowers.  When I to me from me last day everordered the bouquet I wanted to make sure I wouldn’t feel TERRIBLE that nobody got me a card or a gift or said last goodbyes (I knew they wouldn’t).  So I sent myself flowers, clearly labeled to me, from me.  It wasn’t a sneaky–ohhh I’ll send myself flowers and play it off like someone else sent them.  I was OK with me doing something special for me.  And maybe I wanted to shame them (just a little) for neglecting such an important, mile-stone day.  Except when the flowers actually arrived at work, I guess I lost my nerve and got a little embarrassed about it.  Suddenly I felt like a lame-ass sending myself roses on Valentine’s Day or something.  So when my coworker guessed they were from Cool I just said they were.  Lame.

But I’m glad I did send the flowers, because sure enough, in the morning, there was no card, no cake, no gift. cat face Certainly no balloons wishing me well or thanking me for my service, or congratulating me on a job well done or on my future endeavors.  None of that.  My boss mentioned my last day, just an acknowledgement (which IS better than the nothing I got from EVERYbody else at work), a couple times throughout the day, but never made a big deal, indicated she’d/they’d miss me, or said anything thoughtful about it.  But that’s veterinary for you.

AuroaThere’s such a high turnover rate, such a high burn-out rate, that when people come and go it’s just business as usual to the hospital and those still working there.  Veterinary staff are truly just bodies–fairly easy to replace.  So vets expect people to leave–they quickly turn to finding the next person, covering the shifts–logistics.  It’s just the practical thing I guess.  It’s been much the same everywhere I’ve worked–and for everyone leaving.  There was not only no fuss, but hardly a mention, when I wrapped up my seasonal horse position, moved from Missouri, finished the summer at emergency, or went across the state from Seattle.  And there wasn’t any during my last morning ever as an assistant.

Nor at lunch.  But at 3PM(?) when the flowers came, my boss said, “I’ve had something in my car for you.”  And luckyI’m a suspicious person so I wondered if she HAD specially picked something just for me for this day, or if it was random groceries that happened to be in the car or a gift from someone else still in there, or a gift intended for someone else.  But who knows?  Maybe she HAD specifically gotten something with me in mind and HAD already intended on presenting it at the end of the day.  And it was champagne.  Which she had no idea I can’t drink.  They don’t know enough about my life to realize I’ve given up alcohol completely.  There was no card either.  Which made me more suspicious it just happened to be in there already and when flowers came she felt guilty for being jerks and neglecting my important occasion.  But maybe she brought it just for me and just didn’t put a card–or mention it until my flowers arrived.  I guess I’ll never know, and it doesn’t matter anyway.

1st day of work everWe had to stay late.  And it was snowing a lot all day.  Everyone was eager to leave.  And without pomp & circumstance, they did.  No goodbyes or final words, just leaving like a normal day–like every other normal day.  To them, tomorrow’s just another day and someone else will be there instead of me–no big deal.  I just remembered I had instructions from Cool to walk out that door the last time of being a tech, and take a deep breath.  Let go of the old and embrace my new direction.  I forgot.  I also hurried to my car and started scraping snow off my windows to get ready for a slick and snowy commute home.  I guess veterinary medicine is a part of me too.  It was just another day leaving work.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Nothing Cool About This

28 Nov

You just have to weed out the toxic.  I better practice what I preach so I wrote an angry letter to one of the strongest influences in my life:

Guess who subscribed to my updates without messaging me or friend requesting me??? Mary. Guess she didn’t realize Facebook gives me an e-mail alerting me of Facebook stalkers. I think it’s gross that she was curious about what I was doing without wanting to make a connection with me. I just blocked her, b/c I do not need toxic people in my life.

And on that same note: Did you delete my happy birthday message from your wall? And disregard my last message? I can only do so much to reach out to you and overlook so much, before you begin bringing me down. I want you in my life–but not if you bring me more sadness and negativity then positive influence.

I am only speaking so freely b/c I am tipsy, but obviously it needs saying. Honestly, just delete me all-together if you’re not actually my friend. I am tired of drama. I am tired of getting my hopes up that you are solid and that you are back in my life. B/c you meant a great deal to me in the past, I have given you more chances then most. I hope you come around, but am tired of dealing if you haven’t. If you can’t be in my life for real–responding to contact and telling me what’s going on with you–then don’t be in it at all. It hurts too much. Either be in my life–or don’t contact me again. I’ll probably regret this, but I’m sending. . .

Enhanced by Zemanta

Pathetic Stalking

22 Nov

I’m checking my e-mail this morning, and what name from my past do I see?  I got some Facebook confirmation that Mary Minor has subscribed to my public updates!!!  What in the world?  So this confirms a couple of things.

1:  She must be really fucking stupid to subscribe to my Facebook, because, hello–it TELLS me.

2:  I really, really thought about writing her a little message saying I was on to her games, and didn’t want her in any part of my life.  I simply couldn’t find a place to send a Facebook message on her profile, and didn’t want to get the e-mails involved, so took care of the situation by simply blocking her.  Now it’s like we don’t exsist to each other on Facebook–which is probably for the best.

2.5:  I’m not certain what her intentions were.  Probably just curiosity, but maybe she feels bad?  Nah, she’s too cold-hearted.  She was probably just scoping out what I’m up to so she can talk trash and try to ruin things.

3:  She is thinking about me, lonely enough to be Facebook-stalking me, and pathetic enough to get caught at it.

———————–EDIT—————

Has this been more then 2 years ago?!  I just read this again, and was reminded just how lame this whole drama is was.  I’m sure she’s all-over this blog (eat your heart out) so here’s a little message from me to you, Mary:  You fucking selfish a$$hole, I did not deserve any of that–you’ll get yours.  I hope you’re as lonely and unhappy as you deserve to be.  If I sound angry, it’s because I am.  Your betrayals made me lose (more) trust in people and a large degree of my loyalty.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Standing Up For Me

5 Nov

Kim had written me back–ignoring my hurt feelings and anger.  Just skipping over the important things and talking about how she’s looking to buy a bar.  And she didn’t remember basic details of my life.

I held off responding because I didn’t know whether to just overlook it and let her off the hook and play the part of supportive friend, or call her on her bad decision and poor behavior towards me.  Then, I got tipsy.  I took the opporuntunity to say what I really wanted to say and ask something I really wanted to know.

It made me proud to stand up for myself in a way I never have with Kim or Mary.  I took control of the situation for once and called her on her bullshit.  I deserve more than she has been giving me.  So We’ll see how she reacts.  If she cuts ties again–no loss, she’s toxic to me anyway.  But maybe, just maybe she will acknowledge how she hurt me and provide me with some answers.

I can feel good about it either way.

To Let Her Off the Hook?

4 Nov

Or should I say rod?  Anyhow, here’s my latest poem/song:

You are a shimmering curtain gently blowing in the breeze.  So pretty from a distance, matching the rest of the decor.  I bought you just knowing you would go with the rest of my things.  I hadn’t a doubt about the practicality of my purchase.  I embraced your sheer fabric and pretty coloring.

All you are now is the past.  Memories.  You do not offer anything.  Except good memories.

The wind moves you.  You are difficult to pin down, you sway so.  Flapping ever so gently in the wind.  Quiet, yet uneasy.  You are not still unless the wind around you dies down.  You do not control your own movements.  You are controlled by outside forces.

Frustration, emptiness, regret–that’s how you make me feel.  These days.  Disappointment.  So many questions in the wake of your superficial responses.  I wonder if I was.  Am just a liability to you.  How do you not remember me better?  Why don’t you know me?  I feel like I know you.  Maybe I never did.  Maybe I don’t want to.

And you are never entirely open.  You move, briefly opening, then blowing back down.  Constant motion.  And upon closer inspection, you are tattered and worn.  When I touch your fabric it is thin, tiny holes starting to wear through.  More wind and turbulence will make the holes larger.  Greater gyration will destroy the gauzy material you are made of–until you rip entirely.

To overlook or pin-point responsibility where it belongs.  I never know how to proceed with you.  Our relationship so tenuous, full of secrets.  You so unwilling to open up.  I can’t have that.  It’s toxic to me.  But I know you are sick.  Co-dependent.  On Mary.  On alcohol.  They are the same.  You do not cope with life.  You are too old for that.  I am too.

One day you will be ruined and new drapes will be purchased.  They will be more durable and strong.  They will not move so much in tumultuous weather.

I want answers.  But will I get them?  Even if I compromise.  What I want and need.  Giving you a piece of my heart.  To trample on again?  Talking to you at all is giving you a part of me.  Pain.  Pain and unanswered questions is all you give back.

I will buy new drapes that can be closed securely or pulled open.  They will be thicker.  They will certainly be dependable and practical.  They will also be more fashionable, newer, and better.