Tag Archives: love

Reflection: Best Moments of 2020 (good to very, very best)

31 Dec

*Covid-19 note: We haven’t been into public since March 14, when we were sent home to work. Other than contact-free vet appointments, walks around the neighborhood (crossing the street if there were other people), and one curb-side pick up of Bountiful Baskets in March. Other than that, we have not had contact with people or gone anywhere. So a few of these items (marked with *) happened before America took Covid-19 seriously, so don’t worry about us being covidiots. Pics on items w/o * are from prior years. About when the sports-world went dark, I realized it was an emergency. Then, after we no longer had to go to the work building we didn’t go anywhere.

-Instead of being in an old stadium very far from where it’s feasible to see games, Covid-19 allowed us to see way more televised WNBA games then ever before. And our favorite team, Seattle Storm, won! And our favorite player, Sue Bird did AWESOME!!!

-My awful/lazy/inept supervisor got transferred to a different department. What a relief.

-Labor Dave Weekend (drive in YouTube streaming). This sounds kinda sad, but it was actually better than having to miss it year after year when we moved away from WAshington. We always went when we lived in Seattle and Spokane, but it was too difficult and expensive from Utah and Arizona. But it would happen without us, and people would talk and post pics, so it was a hurt for missing out year after year. But not this year! We saw exactly what everyone else saw. For free! From the cleanliness and comfort of our own home. No expense. No long drive. No parking craziness. No $13 shitty nachos. No terrible and overpriced shasta beer. No wind or dust. It was an introvert’s dream!

-Christmas was spread out: online shopping before Halloween, decorating in November, cooking in December. I’m usually disgruntled about the holiday season b/c I’m completely overwhelmed and there are all these expectations and societal pressures. But spread over 3 months is more festive, and less stressful! I’m doing it this way from now on.

This isn’t it, but similar

*Mardi Gras: went out to eat, had the cake, watched YouTube videos, listened to podcasts, had a gold/green/purple outfit. Just got really into it!

-My former Supervisor only did one 1:1 with me in the year (the company mandates a monthly one on one for each employee) and that one didn’t include my numbers, so I always thought I was doing shitty.  Because I only ever heard when I was fucking up.  BUT my new Supervisor had a 1:1 with me and shared my production info (1st time I’d ever seen it).  

Feb 212.45% of goal

Mar 173.86% of goal

April 149.10% of goal

May 158.03% of goal

June-July I was in training

Aug 143.61% of goal

Sept 144.99% of goal

Oct 148.42% of goal

Nov 156.53% of goal

Dec 159.88% of goal

Avg 156.39% of goal

So I had been so nervous all of the times, having the perception I wasn’t doing well. And people kept telling me all these things I wasn’t doing right, but nobody ever told me what I had been doing right. So it was nice to see I was kicking ass on my production!

*Phoenix Lights of the World. We were smart and went in January. So we totally missed the crowds–which made it so much more fun! There were all kinds of giant animals and stuff related to each of the continents. So it was good pictures, and a non-crowded, non-stressful time. After we’re vaccinated and things are happening again, we’ll make sure to hit this in January after the holiday crowds have dispersed.

-lots of time saved with delivery groceries. This is a luxury that we usually don’t never have indulged.

-Good music. 2020 had a lot of albums that I liked, and special mention for Taylor Swift putting out not one but two surprise albums. And both inspired me to analyze, which I like, and stretches my brain.

-sitting outside in the yard w/the kitties. Because we were home all the time, we had a lot more time with each other and the kitties–which I loved. And because it’s AZ, the weather allowed us to work outside, and sit outside, and play games like ladders and jumbo jenga outside. And without all the showering, commuting/traffic, errands, and all that we gained lots of hours in our week. It was beautiful, and I want to keep it this way forever!

*Innings Festival. The last event in Feb before we knew Covid-19 was upon us. We love music. We love food. We love drinking in a park. And this year the headliner was Dave Matthews Band! Also, the venue is in very close proximity to our house, so it’s very convenient. It was a good, good time, as Dave would say.

-less guilt about ordering delivery restaurant food. We love restaurant food, but know it’s full of fat and salt, and really hurts the wallet. But with grocery stores getting striped, and delivery difficult sometimes, this became nearer to a necessity item. Which has been such a treat! I’ll be sad when we’re able to go back inside a grocery store and this is over. We’ve eaten really well this quarantine 🙂

*got a treadmill! My used Craigslist treadmill finally died before we moved to AZ. And we lived in a teeny, tiny 3rd floor apartment for nearly 2 years, so we didn’t replace it. But this year in Feb, I used my bonus money to get a really nice (new to us) used one. It is SO much easier to run my daily mile. And I don’t know what I would have done without it during this pandemic. We use it every. single. day. And I love it.

-(contact-free) getting a kitten–Bison. We had been discussing a kitten for some time now, and had even named a future kitten. When we found out we got to work from home, we thought it would be the perfect time to situate a new kitten. So we got Bison. He is very ginormous framed, so he doesn’t look like a kitten, but he’s only one, so he’s a true baby. And he is hyper. But also he’s a really good kitten.

-working from home. My favorite movie for the longest time was Copycat. I thought the premise was clever, and it was suspenseful and historical. And I thought the actors did a good job. But I was truly enamored with the agorophbic lifestyle. She had 3 computers, a mansion-apartment, an online chess game, delivery food–everything you’d want. Like, I’m not afraid to leave my house, but that movie made being a shut-in look really classy and cozy. And I’m not kidding when I say it’s been my dream to live that way ever since I saw it. What a relief it would be! But I thought I’d either have to win the lottery or retire in order to achieve it. But 2020 has been a lot like that.

Our CEO is old-school and said nobody, never, ever would work from home for any length of time ever. And when the pandemic began, all 200 of us worked at low cubes in that same room, sharing 2 bathrooms. Then, when the hospitals were getting overwhelmed, work said we would be split into an A group and a B group and every other week one or the other would work from home so the people remaining in the office could socially distance. They still didn’t really want to let us work from home. But pretty soon, Covid-19 was real bad, and we were all allowed to work from home all the time.

Other than Covid-19, it really has been a dream come true for me. I never realized how tired just going to the office had been making me. I felt rested during the day for the first time in like a decade! And my stress and anxiety went waaaaay down. And we never skipped another workout. Everything good is happening since we’ve been able to work from home. I love it so much, and hope we get to keep doing it forever.

Taylor Swift’s Evermore as Amalgamation: Willow Analysis

30 Dec

I am immediately relieved to hear the instruments.  It’s automatically more alive and warm than folklore.  I also like when she sings at a higher octave, and the faster cadence of the chorus.

I didn’t really want to write an analysis of this song, because after seeing the video it seemed like Taylor really doubled-down on the boyfriend narrative.  And I honestly don’t think that’s her truth, so the whole thing didn’t interest me.  But I was listening to the song for a different reason today (I’m trying to rank every song in her catalogue) and noticed something about the scars line.  And when I looked at the written lyrics I noticed something…

[Verse 1]

I’m like the water when your ship rolled in that night

Rough on the surface, but you cut through like a knife

Taylor Songs with “knife” in the lyrics:

You, with your words like knives/And swords and weapons that you use against me (Mean)

My castle crumbled overnight/I brought a knife to a gunfight/They took the crown but it’s alright/All the liars are calling me one (Call it What You Want)

So cut the headlights, summer’s a knife/I’m always waiting for you just to cut to the bone (Cruel Summer)

Like the war of words I shouted in my sleep/And you passed right by/I was in the alley, surrounded on all sides/The knife cuts both ways (Long Story Short)

My only one/My smoking gun/My eclipsed sun/This has broken me down/My twisted knife/My sleepless night/My win-less fight (Hoax)

Taylor/the water in this metaphor is rough on the surface.  She’s emotional, and has all this inner turmoil about being who she is vs. keeping up the brand.  But the person she’s talking to in the song cuts through all that and gets to the inner Taylor.  

And I think the Long Story Short lyrics describe how this person passes her by but Taylor’s in this figurative alley surrounded on all sides (by her team, audience, demands, PR–all the people Taylor tries to appease all the time according to “Mirrorball” (folklore)).  The knife cuts both ways tells us listeners that yeah, Taylor’s feelings are hurt (alla Hoax) but also, Taylor is doing her own share of hurting the other person by constantly trying to please all these outside forces that surround her.  

Hoax shares that this person is Taylor’s true love.  But also Taylor’s true love is simultaneously her smoking gun, bc being with HER makes evident Taylor’s sexuality.  Being with “the only one” outs Taylor.  The following line says eclipsed sun.  So Karlie (all things gold and sunshiny) is (temporarily) hidden and gone, bc Taylor chose to appease those surrounding her by continuing to hide who she really is.  But this fight has made Taylor sleepless and ultimately unhappy.  It’s a win-less fight.  Both bc Taylor lost the sun (Karlie) to Jo$h, and because nobody is winning when they’re closeted–even if people believe the straight-boyfriend-narrative.

And if it was an open-shut case

Open-and-shut:  Easily decided or solved because the facts are very clear. 

I never would’ve known from that look on your face

The face Taylor is talking to in the song is full of ambiguity.  If the facts are clear, the look on this person’s face obscures that.  The situation is complicated and confusing.

Lost in your current like a priceless wine

[Chorus]

The more that you say, the less I know

This person is a fancy-talker, using double-speak, or obfuscating what they say.

Wherever you stray, I follow

Definition of stray intransitive verb

: WANDER: such as

A : to wander from company, restraint, or proper limits

B : to roam about without fixed direction or purpose

C : to move in a winding course : MEANDER

D : to move without conscious or intentional effort

E : to become distracted from an argument or train of thought

F : to wander accidentally from a fixed or chosen route

G : ERR, SIN

Stray is deviating from norms.  So Taylor uses a negative word to mean either this person is being intentionally evil (cheating on a husband?) or this person is flaky and wandering away from the target.  But whichever is the case, Taylor wants to go with this person off the beaten path (norms of straight marriage?), away from the target (she’s also rejecting heteronormativity).

I’m begging for you to take my hand

In marriage?

Wreck my plans, that’s my man

When I heard this line before seeing it, I took it as, there’s my man, he’s my man, I love my man kind of stuff.  When I saw how it was written I noticed it’s on the same line.  She doesn’t say, “wreck my plans/that’s my man” as separate thoughts.  She says, “wreck my plans, that’s my man” as in further describing the plans.  I feel the distinction is wreck my plans, [which are] ‘that’s my man’.  Another way of saying it is: Code name “That’s my man” are the plans being described, and the person Taylor is talking to in the song is wrecking the “that’s my man” plan. 

Like the plan is:  Here’s my long term straight relationship, I’m in love with a man.  That narrative is what’s wrecked by this person Taylor is addressing in the song.  She’s not talking to her man or about her man in the song.  [It’s really confusing to write out, I hope you get what I’m trying to put out there, dear reader]

The amalgamation of this song is the “that’s my man” line, which is easily misrepresented as an I love my boyfriend!

[Verse 2]

Life was a willow and it bent right to your wind

Head on the pillow, I could feel you sneakin’ in

Sneaking [ snee-king ]adjective

acting in a furtive or underhand way.

deceitfully underhand, as actions; contemptible.

secret; not generally avowed, as a feeling, notion, suspicion, etc.

“Sneaking isn’t a positive word either.  Taylor is already in bed and this person enters after her.  Why would Joe come in after Taylor has gone to bed?  Is he up to something?  Cheating on her?  I think this part is similar to the story of “Illicit Affairs” (folklore) where the person Taylor wants to be with (Karlie?) is cheating on her husband.  It could mean Karlie is surreptitiously seeing Taylor even though she’s supposed to be in a committed relationship with Jo$h.

As if you were a mythical thing

And it seems like this sneaking person is mythical because they are here, then they disappear.  Also, it’s like a dream (in the sense it’s what Taylor wishes for, and also in a ‘wake up and this person is gone’ way) whenever this person comes around.

Like you were a trophy or a champion ring

This line talks about competition.  Taylor is competing with Jo$h to “win” Karlie.  She talks about trophy, ring, then prize to compare the outcome of beating someone to get something shiny.

And there was one prize I’d cheat to win

And again “cheat” references Illicit Affairs.  Taylor will play dirty and be ‘the other woman’ to beat the competition (Jo$h) and win this prize (Karlie).

[Chorus]

The more that you say, the less I know

Wherever you stray, I follow

I’m begging for you to take my hand

Wreck my plans, that’s my man

You know that my train could take you home

I wonder if Taylor is talking to the same person she was talking to in the “Champagne Problems” song?  The one who “booked the night train for a reason” (I think Karlie, but could be Joe).  

One for the money, two for the show/I never was ready so I watch you go/Sometimes you just don’t know the answer/’Til someone’s on their knees and asks you/“She would’ve made such a lovely bride/What a shame she’s fucked in the head,” they said/But you’ll find the real thing instead

Those lyrics talk about Karlie’s two weddings.  And say Taylor was never ready to come out of the closet, so she watched Karlie go back to Jo$h.  Karlie didn’t know who to pick between Jo$h and Taylor, so she was ambivalent about future marriage plans with him.  The person proposing on their knees is jo$h proposing to Karlie!  “But she WOULD have made such a lovely bride” shows neither wedding was legitimate.  And she’s fucked in the head says why–Karlie isn’t into it  bc she loves Taylor.  And now this song confirms, you’ll find the REAL thing instead.  Taylor says MY train could take you HOME.  We know how important home has been to Taylor.  She wants Karlie to come with her.

Anywhere else is hollow

Karlie’s existence with Jo$h is shallow and for all the wrong reasons.  Taylor is offering Karlie substance.

I’m begging for you to take my hand

Wreck my plans, that’s my man

Taylor sings to Karlie, I’m begging you to be with ME, wreck my plans [OF] that’s my man [bearding charade].  

[Bridge]

Life was a willow and it bent right to your wind

They count me out time and time again

All the haters hate, no matter what Taylor Swift does.

Life was a willow and it bent right to your wind

A theory is that the word “willow” is derived from a Celtic language, sal meaning ‘near’ and lis meaning ‘water’.  They are used for streambank stabilisation (bioengineering), slope stabilisation, soil erosion control, shelterbelt and windbreak, and wildlife habitat. And Willows are often planted on the borders of streams so their interlacing roots may protect the bank against the action of the water. Frequently, the roots are much larger than the stem which grows from them (Wikipedia).

But I come back stronger than a ’90s trend

Taylor is persistent and proves the haters wrong with her successes every time. And also she will be persistent in trying to win Karlie back from Jo$h.

[Verse 3]

Wait for the signal, and I’ll meet you after dark

Show me the places where the others gave you scars

Who has the scars?  You drew stars around my scars says Taylor in “Cardigan” (folklore).  And in “Hoax” (folklore) she sings, “You knew it still hurts underneath my scars/From when they pulled me apart.”  Taylor is the one with the scars.  This other person in the song tells Taylor to wait for the signal and they can meet at night.  And asks Taylor to see where OTHERS gave her scars.

Now this is an open-shut case

I guess I should’ve known from the look on your face

This person (Karlie) looks at Taylor’s face and sees something definitive, there’s no mystery. Taylor is now resolute about being with Karlie despite it being the smoking gun of her sexuality.

Every bait-and-switch was a work of art

“Bait and switch” isn’t a matter of making a mistake or having a change of heart.  It’s intentional manipulation.  Someone makes a promise to do something in order get what s/he wants at that point in time–knowing all the while that s/he will never honor that promise (http://psychotherapist-nyc.blogspot.com/2018/03/bait-and-switch-as-form-of-manipulation.html).  

Sounds to me like Karlie “marrying” Jo$h.  But she really didn’t, or she didn’t do it intending to stay and be faithful to him, bc “she’s fucked in the head” and in love with Taylor.  The work of art will be when Karlie leaves Jo$h and Kaylor is happily together.

[Chorus]

The more that you say, the less I know

Wherever you stray, I follow

I’m begging for you to take my hand

Wreck my plans, that’s my man

You know that my train could take you home

Anywhere else is hollow

I’m begging for you to take my hand

Wreck my plans, that’s my man

The more that you say, the less I know

Wherever you stray, I follow

I’m begging for you to take my hand

Wreck my plans, that’s my man

You know that my train could take you home

Anywhere else is hollow

I’m begging for you to take my hand

Wreck my plans, that’s my man

It’s a happy Kaylor ending.  Karlie left Jo$h on the Taylor train, because it was a marriage for shallow reasons.  And Taylor asks Karlie to be with her, wreck her plan of bearding.  Kaylor shaves the beards and ends up together-yay!

Don’t Jump Ship

14 Nov

Kaylor was real. And I think they’re still together.

I have no insider information. I’m not in PR, and I’m not super-engaged in any fandom. I only hear current info after the fact, and I’m not up on the latest liked tweets, gossip columns, or sightings.

But I am a gay gal who just celebrated her 11 year anniversary with her soulmate (yesterday, 11/13 actually). And I also listen and analyze song lyrics. And between those two sources of knowledge, I think Taylor Swift and Karlie Kloss are still together.

Karlie preceded Taylor’s secret album drop with a cardigan, and the exact album imagery–13 days (Taylor’s favorite number?!) prior. Let’s unpack that:

1) How would Karlie even know? No one knew. Even the magazines and people that usually get albums early, in order to write their reviews, were surprised with the album drop like everyone else. Would an ex know?

2) Covid is on the scene. It’s harder, or disallowed, to gather. Getting inside information when you’re not an insider is even more difficult than usual. And Taylor said she wrote folklore in quarantine. So even if she started a bit earlier, how did Karlie know specific details if they weren’t together?

3) Have you heard Taylor’s catalogue? She has never been exactly friendly with past exes. These boys that upset her, even when it was a mutual show-mance, got some bitter lyrics sent their way. Taylor has been known to hold a grudge, and to put shit-heads right in thier place. Even Diana Agron. Everything I know about Diana is through the lens of Taylor’s music, and it’s not exactly positive. So why would Taylor just sit back and let Karlie walk all over her? We’re majorly underestimating Taylor’s self-worth and grit. She is not a doormat! Taylor has the people in her life that she wants to be there.

4) If Karlie spoiled a secret album drop bc of ill-intent, baiting, or hate–don’t you think Taylor’s team would take legal action? Taylor is the queen of NDAs, and has all the money–she’s not afraid to sue. Her team has litigated the smallest copyright infractions. Do you really think Taylor would let an ex spoil the surprise with no consequence?

Everyone is turning Kaylor off primarily because of a People article. We know People is not a reliable source. How many times have they reported that Ellen Degeneres and Portia deRossi are broken up? How many times has Jennifer Aniston been pregnant in that magazine? And we know they’ve reported Taylor Swift’s various engagement and pregnancies–that never came to fruition.

Even if the teams feed them the articles–what evidence is there that Karlie is actually pregnant? She might be, IDK, but let’s not jump to conclusions based on one or two sketchily sourced headlines. Couldn’t it be that the Ku$hners currently have bad publicity, and the team is trying to add a sympathy card? Divert attention? People are less likely to be haters when a baby is involved. Babies would change the narrative, and provide good, sympathetic distraction from an election loss and criminal accusations. I really have no idea about these things. What I do know, is people shouldn’t just jump to conclusions over one magazine announcement. Wait until more facts are garnered. My guess? There’s no baby. But we’ll see what comes to light.

OK, we talked about how the source is incomplete at best, fabricated at worst. Now, let’s discuss the logistics of a pregnancy. I hope you know, gay people don’t just fuck the opposite sex. That’s not a thing, and it’s disgusting for people to admit the Ku$hner has a long-term husband, and that Karlie is bi (more likely lesbian) but still assert they had sex with each other. I’m a gay, and would NEVER mess around with a penis–it’s like the #1 rule of lesbianism. Desire for children or no. And to think a gay man would have intercouse with a woman–Just. No. And why would he do that–it would make his husband, Mike crazy and hurt their relationship (the real relationship).

Yes, I know there are alternate ways to make a baby. But let’s talk careers also. Don’t you think the Ku$hners have been a little busy with the election and all? And Karlie is constantly working, and in the public eye. Are they going to so abruptly change their M.O. and career trajectories to start a family? I mean, it’s possible, but let’s use some critical thinking skills also. I thought they were in a lavender marriage precisely to further their respective careers?

Aside, from not buying into incomplete, sketchy-sourced evidence, and logistic implausibility of a pregnancy, I have personal experience with relationships. Mine is solid. I’m happy, and so is my mate. But I broke up with my mate before and kicked her out of our apartment after 6.5 years together.

Some mean girls we worked with were jealous of my schedule and took it upon themselves to punish me by sabotaging my and my mate’s relationship. And my trusting, somewhat naive mate, fell right under their manipulations. My mate mean-girrled me after 6.5 years together! And we broke up. I was upset–still am. The situation sucked very bad. But you don’t choose your soulmate, Invisible String is absolutely correct. So despite misgivings, I let my mate back into my life. I wouldn’t do that for anybody else. I’m happy to cut off toxic relationships, usually–I’m no doormat. But your soulmate is special. She is my heart, and even though what she did is unforgivable really, I am more happy with her in my life then without. I am not whole without her. So we’re together and she’s sorry that ever happened, and changed her behavior. People grow, and I chose to let us grow together.

Sometimes long term relationships have blips. And having experienced it firsthand, I think many times they can be overcome. And I think Taylor feels the same. I think she considers Karlie her soulmate. And after all the yearning, dreaming, and wanting a fairytale ending–I don’t think Taylor is going to let that slip away easily. She wrote The Lakes to follow Hoax, to show the listener that yeah, all the content of Hoax sucks, and is depressing and toxic–but there’s still that rose that grew out of frozen ground (mentioned in Hoax), and Taylor still wants to take her muse with her. And if you think that muse is some boy–you have ZERO gay-dar!

I think Taylor feels topsy-turnvy more because of internal homophobia than anything shitty Karlie is doing (which let’s not forget Taylor does this hurtful bearding stuff also). Internal homophobia is what drives being closeted, and it leads to depression. Living a secret, closeted life is both high-maintenance and mentally/emotionally taxing. I was closeted (still am in some circles), and it feels BAD. Of course Taylor is sad. Bearding is stressful and phony and horrible to put an S.O. through.

When my mate and I visit my rural hometown, I never touch her, and want us to appear to outsiders (who are bigots) as just friends. And when I say “friend” or “roommate when those small-town people press, I feel ugly and disgusting inside. I feel ashamed with myself for not being stronger. Even so, the fear outweighs all those feelings. Now amplify that by a million for Taylor and Karlie. And they’re both participating in that game of secrecy. it’s a lot of stress.

What I’m saying is–don’t be a weak Kaylor and give up so soon. Taylor and Karlie may have broken up, but the evidence we have is not very great. At least wait for more substantial proof.

She is a Lovely Gal

18 Aug

of course she’s funny
and takes her turn paying money
has boundaries, commands respect
use her name, don’t call her “honey”

sings with passion, right from her heart
she is studious, if not book-smart
always community-minded
she won’t shop at the damn Wal-Mart

offers her restaurant box to junkies
loves kitties and bunnies and puppies
sends her thank you cards
yeah, she delivers those warm fuzzies

pretty eyes, delightful smile
she is unique, has her own style
she knows to wait, shivers take awhile
the pleasure she gives: Verifiable

no one’s doormat, she’ll voice displeasure
but she is fun and she’s so clever
serious, spontaneous in equal measure
sends lovers into waves of pleasure

she works so hard, has determination
holds her own in conversation
that girl can get the mind wandering
moves her hips like a love invasion

What a girl, so sweet and loyal
firm body, does her cardio
cheeks like marble
treated You royal

Don’t you miss me? You were so crappy
Wish you still had that? I’ll bet you’re sad
you fucked up,
I’m the very best you ever had!

Monkey Pencil Song

28 Jan
Got in a bike accident
Tore my private parts real bad
Your friend arrived from afar
 guilted to go out to eat
Sat upon that wood bench
But like a monkey still I pinch
[beat] [growl-shout] Monkey pencil Monkey pencil
Hold so tight
Even when [beat] it isn’t right
[beat] [growl-shout] Monkey pencil Monkey pencil
Grasp and clutch
Even though [beat] it isn’t much
[syncopated] Like monkey  [half beat] on that pencil
My loyalty [beat] is so prehensile!
Your work Halloween party
Bathroom in your bosses’ house
Tried to stick your hand up my skirt
I resisted- not in here
Found out you had bet your friends
You could slide home base with ease
But like a monkey still I squeeze
[beat] [growl-shout] Monkey pencil Monkey pencil
Hold so tight
Even when [beat] it isn’t right
[beat] [growl-shout] Monkey pencil Monkey pencil
Grasp and clutch
Even though [beat] it isn’t much
[syncopated] Like monkey  [half beat] on that pencil
My loyalty [beat] is so prehensile!
Over 6 years of dating
both working the same bad job
You Listened to mean girl lies
You relished ambushing me
And threw me under the bus
You talked about them so Much
But like a monkey still I clutch
[beat] [growl-shout] Monkey pencil Monkey pencil
Hold so tight
Even when [beat] it isn’t right
[beat] [growl-shout] Monkey pencil Monkey pencil
Grasp and clutch
Even though [beat] it isn’t much
[syncopated] Like monkey  [half beat] on that pencil
My loyalty [beat] is so prehensile!
[Outside in the frozen cold
Scraping my frosty windshield
You surprised me before work
Brought my favorite coffee
Drank the warmth and felt so snug
And like a monkey still I hug]
[beat] [growl-shout] Monkey pencil Monkey pencil
Hold so tight
Especially when it all goes right
[beat] [growl-shout] Monkey pencil Monkey pencil
Grasp and clutch
Especially when the loves so much
[syncopated] Like monkey  [half beat] on that pencil
My happiness [beat] is so prehensile!

Lover Album Review (song by song)

27 Sep

This is the album that brought me strongly back to the Swift-verse fold.  I like that the songs are cohesive, as is the overall message of the album.  But each song also can stand alone.  I am putting the songs in order from my favorite to the one I don’t really like.  And I am listening ONLY to the songs, not judging based on the feeling of the era (love it!), the stylings (FAVORITE!), or the music videos (must buy a DVD because they are that  good).  This is sans Easter eggs–unless lyrically, they are imbedded and don’t require too much prior knowledge to appreciate. Some of that is simply impossible to remove because I’m alive in the world.  As an aside, I have intentionally omitted the words, “bop” and “banger” because they sound dumb, are overused and need to die.  So here the review goes:

 

Lover

The opening line bothers me just slightly, as til January is not late, and not rebellious to leave Christmas lights up-I’d say it’s early, actually.  But Taylor has people so it maybe gets done instantaneously otherwise.  Back to the song, this style of this song reminds me of 1940-1960s sound.  I tried to remember what it’s called, but I don’t know if I ever knew.  Whatever it’s called, it comes across as very classic.  My favorite thing about the vibe of this one is the romance of it all.  It makes me feel sentimental and like love is very lovely, indeed.  The wedding symbolism is strong, and despite that (I find it too saccharine and capitalistic and antiquated) I get all the feels listening to it.

 

I forgot that you existed.

It’s got just that feistiness that really put me on team Taylor in the first place.  I mean, we (Taylor in her life and me in mine) are not just going to sit and take anyone’s crap-there will be some writing about it.  Yes, it’s probably harping on the Kanye stuff, but it’s a very small part of the album.  Also. it’s mellow shade, tightly written.  Which  provides just the right transition between the Reputation album and this one.  Makes it flow and continues the story of Taylor’s evolution.  And what could be worse than just writing someone off as meh?  The song itself is poppy and you find yourself humming it later.  Even though it’s really a transition, and not super-representative of the album’s theme, it’s toward the top of my list because this song is easy to listen to.

Taylor_Swift_-_You_Need_to_Calm_Down

You Need to Calm Down

Yay Taylor!  This one is past overdue.  The gays needed some love, and got a political advocate as a bonus.  The timing of this one (Pride month) was perfection.  YNTCD became the fun soundtrack of June.  It’s a light-hearted listen with a serious message.  Lyrically, the statement is important, as is Taylor making her position clear.  I like the message and the peppiness, it’s perfect for the target audience.  It’s an ear-worm also.  TRY to get it out of your head once it goes in your ears.

The only thing that could be smoother is if the 3 stanzas went together better.  The first is talking about internet trolls and references the snakes and everything of KimYe.  But can also go along with gays getting trolled (though doesn’t mention that explicitly).  The second part of the song is about crazy protesters at Pride parades.  The third verse is about the media (patriarchy) pitting the female music artists against each other (which is NOT done with guys) instead of appreciating everyone for their strengths.

I think it would have been more cohesive if each of the 3 verses either all dealt with gay issues, all dealt with Taylor’s personal image, or if all 3 verses did double-duty.  As is Taylor’s personal stuff is left out of verse 2 (or is it?) and the gays are not really a part of verse 3.  But that’s a very small writing technicality, I really like this song over all, and think it’s a wonderful single, and a good representative of the feel of this album

images (7)

Death by 1000 Cuts

The bright sounds bely a sad subject matter, and I like that dichotomy.  I also like the symbolism of a building being used for a relationship.  Is the background a children’s choir?  It’s an interesting sound if so.  The strongest part about this song (is it called the bridge?) is when she starts to quickly list things, “my heart, hips, my body, my love…trying to find a part of me that you didn’t touch” that this person influenced for her.  It evokes emotion and makes the music interesting.

 

False God

The brass and slowness make this sexy.  And that’s a cool thing that Taylor has started showing in her songs.  I’m glad she’s not pulling a Britney and trying to play it virginal and innocent–especially in her 20s.  Wholesome and sexy don’t have to be seperate.  The way she pronounces the final “love” in each line is my favorite portion of the song. I ranked this one nearly equal with “Death by a Thousand Cuts,” but that one inched above based on its bridge.  It was slightly more fleshed out.  But this is one of the top songs on the album.

 

The Man

Go Taylor!  I’m glad Taylor acknowledged that she’s a feminist.  How could someone that markets herself vigorously, tightly controls her image, writes her own music, and makes THE most money not be?  But I’m glad she realized feminism isn’t the dirty word that society sometimes makes it out to be.  Yes, the song is a little bit surface-level, but considering her primary audience is teenage girls (I’m determined to change that–calling all elder-Millennials! ), it’s appropriate.  It’s also dipping a toe in so as not to alienate people with the oft-mentioned ‘radical feminism’ sold to scare women off from politics and keep them in their place.  I do appreciate the cheekiness of the song, totally agree with the message, and love that she called out Leo is an example of the double-standards that exist.  The personal (that Taylor is renowned for writing about) IS political.  Good introduction and hopefully there will be more of this is Taylor’s future writings.

 

Afterglow

About a subject seldom written, “Afterglow” really shows a maturity that Taylor is gaining.  Yeah, there is a place for the angry songs, blaming $hit-heads for their dirty deeds.  Do it-love it!  But this apology song shows that Taylor is accountable for it when she messes up too.  Well done on showing both sides of the coin.  It’s not easy putting aside your ego, and it’s probably doubly difficult for Taylor who is kinda known for lashing out at her haters.  It’s an interesting 180 looking-inward also.

 

Paper Rings

Immediately catchy and bouncy.  I like the upbeat baseline and spoken word verses.  It’s a very cheery story of a song, peppered with stylistic choices such as shouting the “three times” that makes it different.  The quiet chorus at the end shows the seriousness Taylor puts in the subject matter, and it’s a nice emphasis so the listener knows it’s not all superficial pop-this means something.  The lyrics make me wonder who the song is about and I can tell whoever it is has Taylor’s complete affections.  Also, I hope it isn’t an ambush song, because the wedding imagery is thick.  Please be a Kaylor!

 

Cornelia Street

What a change from the last song!  This is my choice for next best song, but it also happens to be the track order, which seems an abrupt change in mood.  And as an aside, that change in mood, or showing the yin yang is throughout the album.  With bouncy music and sad lyrics.  This track order is more of that same idea.  “Cornelia Street” is a darker side of love, fearing that it will end.  It talks about a possible break up, but still in that peppy/poppy dichotomy that lives throughout Lover.  The whispered message in wavery, teary voice goes a long way to show the devastation a permanent breakup would cause for Taylor.  It’s the best part.  The sounds under the music (wind?  heart beats?) are a little clumsy in my opinion.  It’s not obvious enough to me what they are, so it’s hard to know what they represent.  It just feels like forced production, a weakness in the sound engineering…  Also, this song means a little less to me mostly because it references landmarks a lot, and I have no familiarity for any of them.  so a little bit of it is lost on me.

 

 Cruel Summer

There started out being a 3 way tie between this and the preceding two songs on my list.  This one ended up being the weakest of the 3 in my opinion after listening many times.  It’s a good song, with a good story, and many symbols, which I always like.  But against other songs on the album, the music is straightforward and exactly what you’d expect.  There’s not that yin-yang that is showcased throughout the other tracks.  I guessed where it was going, then it did.  The track length is very short, so I feel like if they had added something the song could have been better.  I must say, I do like it very much because of all the possible Kaylor symbolism.  I think it is the strongest song in that regard.  But that will only come out–if she does.

images (2)

Me!

It was nearly impossible for me to judge this song on it’s own, without thinking of the video or the Easter eggs, but those are my rules so I tried, really hard.  When I first heard, (and 2nd, 3rd, 4th) this song I did NOT like it.  I thought it was cheesy, annoying, and too.  Just too, I’m not missing a word.  Like very extra.  The spelling breakdown?  Awful.

But it does grow on you.  The best parts are the end, when there is just a crescendo of feeling and things are getting more emotional and tense.   By the time Brenden Urie hits those high notes, I have goosebumps and teary eyes from all the feelings.  Oh, and a pro-tip I heard from a podcast is that replacing “spelling” with the name of a bar or location, makes this a super-super catchy karaoke jam.  Good point, and thank you for that.  Rectified.

images (4)

Daylight

It’s a perfect closer for an album, so there’s that.  And tying this song (and therefore the Lover album and TS7 era) to Red is smoothe.  It makes the whole career linear and pulls the past into this album, correctly shows an evolution, and it just a great mechanism for good story-telling.  That’s the genius.

The song, individually, is also very much a story and shows Taylor’s maturity about love as a concept.  She has gone from very fairytale and romcom-love to a more balanced version with more good times than bad times.  But not perfect.  Because love isn’t about perfection, as real people know.  The song is also excellent as using that color imagery so important to this album’s era.  I like when the cadence gets slower, volume gets lower, and the golden = love echo sounds.  Like so many of the tracks those tactics convey seriousness amid the catchy pop.  The spoken message at the end is very moving also.

 

Miss Americana

This song leans against a lot of immature symbolism.  The cheerleading chanting is tiresome and makes too light of the politics Taylor is trying to finally shed light on.  It minimizes the impact it could have had.  Which maybe was the point she was trying to make–keep it light.  Also, I didn’t care for the high school stuff because I think Taylor has aged out of all the high school content long ago, but I’m glad she’s officially putting that away by rejecting it in this song.  I guess I can see how that is useful to the album’s concept as a whole.  It is nice that the album does look back to earlier works and draws connections while showing the lessons learned.  It exemplifies the butterfly of it all.

 

Soon You’ll Get Better

Important, that’s what this is.  Heavy subject that everyone can relate to.  A song of grief that will be utilized whenever the C-word comes up or tragedy or end of life.  The sentiment is real.  Taylor says aloud what so many people think, and I respect that.  The strings sound somber and pretty.

Including the Dixie Chicks is the best.  It helps give them visibility after they “were [unfairly] cancelled” boy, how things have changed.  That group’s cautionary tale also provides a statement of why Taylor was reluctant to engage with politics.  And I like that she showed that, instead of telling it.

I didn’t rank this song higher on the list, even though it’s so thoughtfully done and important, because frankly, it’s a bummer.  And I’d rather be happy.  But when the time comes when I need it (and everyone will eventually have that time, making this a universally appealing song) It’ll be on repeat.  Thank you Taylor, for putting your emotions on the table, letting us have a piece of your personal life, and sharing your experiences, no matter how real and painful.

 

I think He Knows

This album had bright hits.  Each track got me more excited than the next, peaking, and now this one was sort of on the other side of that peak.  The songs from here on I started to like less, instead of more.  Musically, it acts like the “Miss Americana” lyrics.  It’s a little too superficial in sound.  With bubbling and tings and blips and ‘eh’ noises.  Too many onnawannapeas–what a cool word though, right?!  The song is simple and the fast part ending in “I’ll drive” was the best thing about it.  But if you notice the music backs off quite a bit while she does that.  I would have told the producer/engineer to cool it a little with the gimmicks.

 

It’s Nice to Have a Friend

This song ranks as one of the lowest because it confuses the heck out of me.  We’re going along, and the feeling is childhood platonic friendship.  Which is sweet to cover as part of the Lover medley of all types of love.  Then suddenly, everything is made weird by the line, ” something gave you the nerve to touch my hand” and turns the whole scenario on it’s head.  So it’s not kids, and it’s not platonic, because nerve to touch my hand is tension.  It makes me wonder who this is about (guy or gal?) and what age they are in this one.  The story is all over the place so it bothers me.  IF Taylor comes out as bi or gay, I’ll like this song as a hint.  If Taylor is actually totally straight and marrying her boyfriend [no way!] then, this song isn’t good writing.  Also, the horns remind me of some kind of Alice in Wonderland fox hunt or something, which lends to the weird, out of place vibe this track has on an album of love.

 

The Archer

want to like this song, especially since it’s in the all-important track 5 slot that is so important to Taylor.  I just can’t get into it, because it feels like a lull.  Everything else on the album is catchy, mostly poppy, then this one is slow and echoing in a way that breaks that up.  It doesn’t fit well.  I also don’t care for all the cliche’s used in this one.  Taylor is such a good writer, skillfully employing symbols, metaphors, and double meanings always, so I feel this is a little lazy.  I want more from this.  I do like this other more double-sided analysis of archer and prey, however.  Just like on “Afterglow” it shows maturity has been gained.

 

London Boy

I don’t like this one at all.  I think/hope it was meant as a satirical song about bearding (best case scenario).  But it’s too pandering, yet geographically inaccurate.  She pulled in every expression and place possible and pretty much listed them.  It’s so light it floated away.  I do think it’s the strongest brass on the album though.

 

So obviously, I love the album as a whole and as pieces.  We’ll get to the era and symbols and analysis in other blogs.   So there is my ranking.  Enjoy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sex Edition [Anti-Valentine’s Day #9]

13 Feb

I think this topic may be my most consistent post.  Happy decade of annual posts to me!  TEN years in a row I have managed to address the ills of this “holiday.”  That’s exciting, and even though I’m very tired and short of time, here’s me making it happen.

I try each year to convey why Valentine’s Day is fake and ultimately negative.  See my “Valentine’s” Tag for prior topics which include feminism, environment, and capitalism among other things.  I really do hate this “holiday” and hope I won’t have to be inundated with it at work Saturday.  Hair salons are the WORST on Valentine’s day, followed by schools, but I imagine the YMCA will not be able to ignore the day, and I’m dreading that.  This year I will focus on. . .  Sex.  The inevitable conclusion of the day.  How could I have just remembered to write about THIS?!  

-the holiday emphasizes the man wining/dining and spoiling women with gifts. This emphasizes women as receivers, and passive. It also is a little prostitution-positive = You give me (women) valuable things and I’ll have sex with you (men)!

strange to see Bunny Ranch on my Facebook wall
-more prescriptions are written for Viagra around Valentine’s Day than any other time of year.  Which should tell you everyone is gearing up for the final moment.

– See more at: http://www.redhot.org/news/national-condom-day/#sthash.uRJgwOua.dpuf

Kidron's NV pics 069
-the condom industry sales increase by 20-30% around this day (it’s also national condom day–no joke)

So we can ascertain that all the Valentine’s hype DOES in fact lead to this logical conclusion:  Sex.  And as we know there are a lot of consequences of sex, and contemplating and preventing those issues is notoriously not our strong point as humans.  Here is some information about some of those–which do play a part on February 14th.

Amazing_Electron_Microscope_Photos_Mosquito_Head-1mdCU
-In their study, Grimley and her colleagues focused on 224 men — all with STD symptoms — who sought treatment in a Birmingham STD clinic. The average age was 26. In face-to-face, private interviews, each was asked the same set of questions. Among them:

How often have you used a condom in the past month?
How long have you been using condoms?
Do you have any intention of starting condom use?
Why do you use condoms?
Do you wear condoms for STD prevention or to protect your partner from pregnancy and disease?
Why don’t you use condoms?
And the results:

80% reported that most people their age did not use condoms consistently. They also said that 61% of people their age had gonorrhea.
81% acknowledged sexual contact with two or more partners during the preceding six months.
45% reported sexual relationships that overlapped.
65% said they had been diagnosed with one or more STDs in the past.
Of those men with one main sexual partner, two-thirds were not motivated to use condoms.
http://www.webmd.com/sexual-conditions/news/20040126/many-men-dont-use-condoms?page=2

http://www.companiesandmarkets.com/MarketInsight/Consumer-Goods/Global-Condom-Industry/NI8052

610

STDs are not only a social ill, but they are financially costly to everyone:

-CDC’s new [2/13/13] estimates show that there are about 20 million new infections
in the United States each year, costing the American healthcare system
nearly $16 billion in direct medical costs alone.
America’s youth shoulder a substantial burden of these infections.
CDC estimates that half of all new STIs in the country occur among
young men and women. In addition, CDC published an overall estimate of the number of prevalent STIs in the nation. Prevalence is the total number of new and existing infections at a given time. CDC’s new data suggest that there are more than 110 million total STIs among men and women across the nation.
-STIs place a significant economic strain on the U.S. healthcare system. CDC conservatively estimates that the lifetime cost of treating eight of the most common STIs contracted in just one year is $15.6 billion.
http://www.cdc.gov/std/stats/sti-estimates-fact-sheet-feb-2013.pdf

Is it any accident that National Adoption Month is 9 months after Valentine’s Day? Only speculation, here. . .

So that’s really icky.  Also, let’s not forget HIV/AIDS is an ever-present threat on the scene and any holiday that emphasizes that we must copulate threatens to make this scare even bigger than it already is.  How about a day in which caution is practiced?!

33621_456830357625_596627625_5259997_1855811_n
-at-home pregnancy tests also see a spike in sales in March (early at home pregnancy test month–for reals!).  It’s the highest sales month all year, as a matter-of-fact.
-Consumers spend more than $15 million on pregnancy and infertility test kits during the second, third and fourth weeks of March, with the third week of March ranking number one in sales.

Click to access Nielsen%20U.S.%20Consumers%20Sweet%20on%20Chocolate%20for%20Valentine%E2%80%99s%20Day.pdf

Another obvious conclusion to romantic nights are the pregnancies that stem from them.  Many of them unplanned, unaffordable, or at worst–unwanted.
-Currently, about half (51%) of the 6.6 million pregnancies in the United States each year (3.4 million) are unintended.  In 2008, there were 54 unintended pregnancies for every 1,000 women aged 15–44. In other words, about 5% of reproductive-age women have an unintended pregnancy each year.[6]
• By age 45, more than half of all American women will have experienced an unintended pregnancy, and three in 10 will have had an abortion.[7].
• The U.S. unintended pregnancy rate is significantly higher than the rate in many other developed countries.[8]  In 2008, two-thirds (65%) of the 1.7 million births resulting from unintended pregnancies were paid for by public insurance programs, primarily Medicaid. In comparison, 48% of births overall and 36% of births resulting from intended pregnancies were funded by these programs.[13]
• In 14 states and the District of Columbia, at least 70% of births resulting from unintended pregnancies were paid for by public programs. Mississippi was the state with the highest proportion (83%), and the District of Columbia’s proportion was 90%.[13]
• Total public expenditures for births resulting from unintended pregnancies nationwide were estimated to be $12.5 billion in 2008. Of that, $7.3 billion were federal expenditures and $5.2 billion were state expenditures.[13]
http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/FB-Unintended-Pregnancy-US.html

crabby

So though I did much cut & pasting this year (I apologize) because of my work schedule and residual tiredness, I’m sticking with my opinion, Valentine’s day is full of bad side-affects, among them STDs and pregnancy along with all the fallout that goes along with those two things.  Please reconsider supporting such a day.  And if you must celebrate, and have sex, remember to be responsible and take so many precautions.

A Look Ahead–2015 Goals, Not Resolutions

1 Jan

Last year, having a monthly post with my goals already written out was really helpful.  I liked doing a monthly accountability check–even if it was boring for you to read.

This year, I think I’m going to have less goals, but no less important.

Gorge N1 2014

2014 Maintenance Goals–keep these going!

The key is to be specific, but not box myself in a corner.  And to be mentally prepared to do it, have a plan, and establish a routine.

A]  run at least 1 mile 1st thing in the morning every day.

B]  For school I would like to read and outline all my textbooks before school begins in the fall.  Additionally, I think it’s worth mentioning (to myself) that I want to keep up on making my flash cards and study sheets as close after class as possible–for every class.  All semester.

C]  I want to be better about collecting my positive moments in a jar (minimum of 2/mo), as well as listing (in my head) what I’m thankful for daily.  As part of this, I want to appreciate nature, love, and things I already have.  Worrying can only take up a maximum of 15 minutes/day.  EVERY day.  Also, I need to remember to do my very best, but not stress out and look for perfection.  It’s a fine line.

D]  Dental health.  Floss daily, brush twice daily for an adequate time, and find a way to make the dentist happen at least once in the next year.

2015 Aspirations (in no particular order):

#1:  Get the money.  Make it, keep it.money

a)  I would like to do the 365 day money challenge where you save a dollar +1 every week of the year.

b)  Sell a minimum of 1 item on Craigslist per month and have one yard sale.

c)  Apply for every funding opportunity at UU, and go for scholarships once I’m eligible for them.

#2:  All about the AuD.Audiogram-Familiar-Sounds

a)  read the journals, e-mails, forums–and the national news (minimum of average of 1/wk)

b)  practice and prepare for the interview (at least 1 question/wk)

c)  really follow-up on observing an AuD.  I need at least 3 hours for admission to UU, and of course it’s important that I get more.  It would also be ideal to get it in a variety of settings, but I’ll start with the minimum of 3 hours and scale the goal up from there if I can accomplish it.

#3:  Cool.Spring Finals 001

This is highly dependant on Cool’s bipolar, anxiety, and medications.  I want to be more affectionate, dare I say, sweet and less judgemental.  I will look at this as a continuum though since this is very dynamic area.  I’ll try to be one level more than the responsible that I always am then Cool’s current mood state.   I define this as:  tolerant = overlook silliness, don’t engage or poke the bear.  Affectionate = say random I love yous, introduce touching (nuff said, and you get the idea).  Sweet = make a spontaneous grand gesture, do something for her, that I maybe don’t normally like or do.  So if she’s having a terrible month, being a real jerk, irritable, mean, and lazy–I’ll try to be both responsible AND tolerant.  If we’re having an awesome month without problem, I’ll try to not only be affectionate, but go the extra mile to sweet.  So I’ll rate Cool’s behavior on a level of 1 (awful) to 3 (beautiful) and try to be tolerant, affectionate, sweet in accordance with that.  This way the goal is more in my control and works with whatever is happening to Cool.  Mental illness complicates things, but I want to rise above it.

#4:  Make a menu, do a grocery list, grocery shop, and cook. I think if I start out simple in order to establish a routine, this will go better.Easter 022

a)  I thought of the 7 easiest meals I know how to cook:   quesadillas–>tacos, spaghetti–>fancy pasta, mac & chee–>add-ins, PB&J–>grilled chee, oatmeal–>add-ins, eggs–>scramble, pigs in a blanket–>snake bites.  We can start with the easiest version, then move to the more complex as we get into the groove.  If we really find success, we can branch out with new dishes.

b)  I’d like to start with 5 days of cooking per week (with opening a can of chilli, stew, hash, soup, or bag of salad for a cheat day) and hopefully grow it to all 7.  So that takes care of the menu and helps the cooking.

c)  We can grocery shop once weekly, let’s say optimally Sunday morning, but if that’s not possible Sun-Tues (to save time).  I WANT this one, it’s just hard to make it a habit.

#5:  Prepare, but don’t stress out.Laurel's pics 026

I want to do everything in my power to set myself up for the move, for school, and excelling throughout the school year.  I want to work continuously on this one, doing at least 1 thing every week towards the future.  I’ll start with a big 3:

a)  Starting all these goals

b)  Completing my taxes and FAFSA just as soon as I receive my paperwork.

c)  Finally cleaning, organizing, and packing (pick one new area every non-work day).

d)  Then set a monthly deadline for at least one additional task.

To help me accomplish these 5 new goals and maintain the 4 older ones, I’ll do a monthly accountability post like last year and make a poster I can see daily.

Sunday: Redemption DAVE (+ forgotten details) [4 of 4]

15 Sep

See what I did there?

SUNDAY:

First thing in the morning I went for my run down River Road.  I however, did not repeat Saturday’s mistake.  I started my mile going up hill so that I could finish on a downhill and things worked out much better!  Also, it was beautiful running near a (un-poisoned) river, surrounded by forest and orchards.  Central Washington is very beautiful.  Too bad there’s no jobs.

33rd birthday camping 021

We hung out with Cool’s friend awhile longer before getting ready to go back to the Gorge.  I tried to fix my hair as I had planned and practiced, but traveling always makes my hair icky.  Maybe my travel shampoo is crummy. . .  My hair was very fly-away and I could tell I was going to have to stand there fighting with it for 40 minutes to get it to do what I wanted.  Instead, I took the easy way out and asked Cool’s friend (who owns her own hairdressing business) to do 2 french braids.  She asked if I wanted 4, and not wanting to take advantage or suck up her time, I said I thought 2 would keep my hair out of hair sundaymy face alright.

The wind was Kra-zzzy! It was reminiscent of Nevada. I wished I had asked for 2 more french braids because my hair would not stay out of my face for 0.2 seconds. I hate that!

Our tailgating was fun–Cool beat me in 3 straight rounds of Go Fish and even let me draw an eyeliner Firedancer on her forearm.  I looked at the sticker on her car window for proportions, but it’s hard–and you can’t (easily) erase errant marks when working with skin and eyeliner.  I did the best I could, and Cool looked a little skeptical of the results and said she might remove it.SEATS-the gorge 042

We continued to eat and drink our snacks, having plenty left over for the ride home, and the next week even.  It was fun and everyone was on their best behavior and getting along.  Soon, random people parked in our vicinity came over to ask about Cool’s home-made arm tat.  They exclaimed at how awesome it looked!  I was like, “Thanks for coming over–she didn’t like it!”  And the gal said she’d tried to draw one too, but it proved very difficult–even though the Firedancer looks simplistic.  The guy agreed it was a good rendition, and they walked back to their car.  After that Cool seemed proud of it.

I had to change out of my super-cute flip flops.  Because my feet were still boneless, skinless chicken from the plastic damage Friday.  And they matched my outfit and necklace PERFECTLY!  But alas, I had to put on my sensible running sneaks, and thankfully they were orange and matched my outfit.  Though They were certainly not as cool or cute.

no more flops

We went into the venue early again to check out that night’s poster and merch.  Before we went in I should mention that I checked, confirmed, and double checked with Cool whether we should bring the poster along.  It was very, VERY windy and gusting terribly, and if she wasn’t going to hold it, I didn’t want to bother around with it.  As a matter of fact, had we actually held it Friday, I wouldn’t have taken it around again, because the wind was so severe.  She said she wanted it, so I carried it around, in the wind, again.  That night’s special collector’s edition poster was a dinosaur!  So we bought it to commemorate the occasion, as well as a shirt for whoever would win the setlist game(I knew I would!)  that night.

We went looking for our seats knowing these would be further back (row 22 vs 13 on Friday) and realized that our section was much closer!  We were actually front and center, rather than skewed to stage right, and 22 rows counted the pit!!!  We were actually 7 chairs back 😀  These were amazing tickets (thanks Mom and Dad!) and this was going to be a good, good time.

They also have a (new?) viewing area we had never noticed before.  It was immediately adjacent to the stage and overlooked the gorge canyon and Columbia River.  It was a beautiful view except for 3 things:  They made you wear an alcohol arm band to get in, after checking IDs (apparently kids are not allowed to look at nice scenery), the wind was crazy on an edge, with no wind barriers, and there was so, so, so much TRASH.  People from the venue had tossed or lost their empties.  Or the wind caught it and the staff didn’t bother to pick it up.  It really marred the vibe and made me disappointed in humanity.  Such a nice spot ruined by beer cans. . .

20140829_15523620140831_163117

Dave always does this really cool thing and comes out to personally introduce the opener.  It makes the audience feel like Dave likes them so we should give them more of a chance–which is neat.  Because usually, the crowd is a little disgruntled and unaccepting of whoever is keeping them from the headliner.  Dave came out (per the usual) to warm us up to Brandi.  But I was unimpressed by what he said about her, “She’s hot.”  Instead of saying how talented she is, or how nice, he decided to objectify her.  Which I’m sure he did for the testosterone-fueled fratty staple fans, to get on to her.  After all, the dude knows his audience–but I didn’t like it all the same.  And he did this both nights we attended, adding in Sunday the twins were also hot and he’d follow the band around to look at them *gag*.

Brandi played almost the same setlist all 3 nights. Which was good, but she has a large enough catalogue that she didn’t have to. And even if she wanted to stick with covers instead of all her own material I think Johnny Cash would have gone over well. And John Denver. But no complaints here–she is always a treat to watch. I just wondered about the rationale.  But the crowd caught on big-time to her (they always do) and filled in much earlier then they had Friday.  I was glad to see Brandi had made so many new fans.  Though also unhappy because the more fans she gets, the harder it will be to meet her–and the more crowded and expensive her concerts.  She’s no longer our little secret.

Cool and I did some swaying together during her set, but the wind was outrageous, and kept blowing my hair in my face.  Which I can’t stand.  And Cool wanted to hold the poster instead of propping it under a chair as we had Friday, so she really had to work to hold it.  But we had fun together anyway.  We were out to have an exceptional time on Sunday.

We held our “Raise Hell Brandi” sign up high and since we were close and center, she actually saw it and pointed at it, Brandi with our sign 2acknowledging us!!!  What a moment!  I gave her a thumbs up, not knowing what the procedure is supposed to be when a famous person points at the sign you worked so hard on, carried through gusting wind for an afternoon, and held up with a death grip to keep from blowing away.  After that, I got cold and wanted to put on my sweatshirt–but just in case Brandi saw us later or wanted to meet these fans who made HER a sign at a DMB concert, I wanted to be sure I was wearing the same, recognizable bright tank I’d been wearing when she pointed at our poster.

I needn’t have worried, because I did not see Brandi after she left the stage.  Of course.  But the DMB fans were filtering in, and I was really hoping the crowd around us would not be pushing and smoking this night.  Dudes sat next to us.  One was asking me all kinds of questions, and I couldn’t tell if he was a friendly sort or getting his flirt on.  But then he asked me who I came with (Cool was in the bathroom at the time) and I said my mate.  Nobody understands what the Fu(k that means, but I like it.  And I absolutely HATE “partner” or worse, “lover.”  And “girlfriend” doesn’t really do us justice anymore, so “mate” it is–confusing or not.  Another drunk dude stumbled slowly down our row, and my neighbor said he was surprised when rainbow 8that dude passed us, as he thought it was my mate.  I had to explain that oh no, my mate is a short gal.  And my neighbor immediately turned to his friends–I’m pretty sure to say how unlucky he was that the chick he’s trying to scam on is gay.  But I couldn’t hear the, so maybe not.  When Cool came back, he of course made some suggestive jokes about a threesome–as ALL dudes do when confronted with lesbians.  But he was more funny than disgusting or offensive so we took it light-heartedly, and continued joking around with him throughout the night.  He didn’t come off as an aggressive creeper, and we were determined to have a better night.  And none of the people around us smoked!  Thank goodness.

I forgot to mention in the first writing that I got up to get water between acts.  The Gorge water is in some kind of milk carton.  It’s recyclable, and they can ship it flat for efficiency, and it was a huge hit in our seating area.  Everyone first wanted to know if I was drinking milk at a concert, then wanted me to read the carton’s benefits off the side for them.  When I came back to my seat, I thought somewhere along the line I might have stepped in $hit?!  I even checked the bottom of my sneakers (thank goodness no flops), but they were clean.  I looked about, thinking there must be poo about because it smelled.  I never did find it.  Maybe it was always there but the wind had been so wild it carried away the odor.  With all the people surrounding us the wind wasn’t so drastic, and I think it was settling down toward the evening.  But the smell–was awful!  Some super-drunk dude went down our row, talking as he stumbled.  When he was passed, one of our new seat buddies said his breath smelled of vomit.  He puked on the ground behind us apparently, and the venue did their best to clean it up amongst all the people, but could only do so much without chemicals and a hose.  I wondered what you have to eat for vomit to smell that bad.  It smelled like he ate $hit and vomited back out.  And that sort of lingered throughout the concert, lucky us.

Right before the show, of course, a tall, broad shouldered man stood immediately in front of us.  I’ve come to expect that, but this dude was like 6’5″ or taller, and his wife was an amazon too.  It pretty much obscured our view unless we craned around them one way or another.  Still, we were going to have fun, and going to see the stage since we got such stellar seats!

stage--gold light-blueDave came out and we held our sign up several times.  We played the setlist game and the people around us offered their inside knowledge of Saturday’s setlist and suggestions for what would get played this night.  Also, the people around us were quite excited about our sign, wanting to know what it said, encouraging us to hold it up, spotlighting it with a flashlight, and offering to get us Carter’s drumsticks if he threw one toward our poster.  It was a great vibe.

Ugh–the Lovely Ladies showed up. I can’t stand the way they change the sound of DMB, and they were a huge factor when I wasn’t an earlier fan of the band. Crash was amongst my 1st 12 CDs ever, but I hated Lovely Ladies and thought they were permanently part of the band’s sound, so strayed away from their music. I could ignore them on 2 songs, but they absolutely ruined “You and Me” which is normally one of my faves, and Cool and I were swaying to it–having a moment.

Cool and I danced, sang,  and got along famously throughout the whole show.  At one point we laughed and laughed because as Dave was singing “Squirm” the lyrics went “open your mouth and $hit comes out” which reminded us of the vomit.  And it was much better then Friday.  I had a DMB blue green lightsreally nice time at the show, and with her.

They ended the encore with “Shake me like a monkey” or as we like to call it–kick in the dick. Sorry Dave, you just can’t force a closer. If a song isn’t encore material, no amount of playing it last will make it so. Next time–“2 step.” Or just stop at “The Stone” because that would have been different and awesome.

I had to clean Cat’s Meow one last time, and thought I might try to get it done Monday.  And I thought I should do some studying the next day.  The concert ended at 11:35 PM (I just checked my FitBit step time to confirm this).  So instead of camping again (though it’s lovely) I decided to be a big-girl and drive us home that night.  What I didn’t anticipate was all the (drunk) traffic.  It took us a literal 20 minutes just to get out of our parking spot.  Then, it took another half hour to slowly wind through the dark, unmarked roads to I-90.  With normal traffic it takes about 15-20 minutes total.  So we didn’t really get going until 12:40AM (I know this because we stopped at the first rest stop to get snacks within reach and pee–and my FitBit recorded those steps).  It’s a 2.5 hour drive, but I can never fall asleep in a non-bed situation.  Cool stayed awake and talked to me the whole time, which is unusual and awesome.  Having company without nagging for it worked out a lot better!  I started getting really tired around 2:30AM, but we were IN Spokane, so we didn’t have far to go at all.  And I have to say, that drive was much better in the dark.  Between Mosis Lake and Cheney, there is nothing but dirt, so I actually felt like the time passed faster.  Maybe we’ll drive in the dark again next time we have to go through there. . .

I wasn’t as productive as I had hoped Monday, and of course I couldn’t clean work because the book-keeper was already there when I showed up.  But it was nice to be home and have a whole day to rest before school and work resumed.

Sunday panarama

So there it is–the whole Labor Dave Weekend + Brandi Carlile story of 2014.  Cool has been to the Gorge to see DMB 24 times–and saw him in CA an additional 3 times) so she’s a big fan.  And these were my 3rd and 4th shows.  I wish it could be an annual thing, but I’m afraid this might be our last year.  Next year, we’re (barring school rejections) moving to Utah, and it’ll be too far, and too expensive to go during the school year.  Maybe DMB or Brandi or both (are you guys reading this???!!!!!  Hint, hint.)  will play Red Rocks and we’ll get to go there instead. . .

Broken Heart [Anti-Valentine #8]

14 Feb

This may be the only annual post I’ve completed every year since I began blogging.  THAT’S how important I feel it is to spread the message the Valentine’s Day is nothing positive.

2007:  https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2010/01/17/my-opinion-of-valentines-day-posted-2-14-07/

2008:  https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2010/01/17/where-is-the-love-posted-2-13-08/

2009:  https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2012/02/09/valentines-dread/

2010:  https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2011/02/10/nix-the-red-pink-and-save-some-green/

2011:  https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2011/01/19/blood-diamonds-and-valentines-day/

2012:  https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2010/02/06/valentines-day-part-4-gender-roles/

2013:  https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2012/02/14/shove-it-down-your-throat/

It’s all hype and phoniness, and contrived to SELL merch.  This year, I’ll be focusing more in the feelings of inadequacy and loneliness the “holiday” can foster.  Sure, I’ve mentioned it before, but I never talked of adult and teen depression and the very real consequences of these emotions:  Divorce and suicide.

blacks birds

Valentine’s Day is a day of those who have it and those who don’t.  “It,” being commercialized, overt, expressions of love.  This is not to be confused with actual love, friendly-love, or compassion.  Those are all very real, and intangible feelings that can’t be bought or paraded around for the admiration and envy of others.  And though they’re different then the passionate type of love flaunted on Valentine’s Day, I’d argue they’re even more important.  And substantial.

For those who feel left out of the Valentine’s commotion, life can feel pretty empty.  And just try to get away from all the hearts, flowers, and gifts that day.  The advertising and parading is ubiquitous.  And teens are imprisoned at school, can’t find an escape.  People who are already having relationship woes find them exacerbated by the great expectations of February 14th.  A product of failed expectations can be a ruined family unit.  Teens with low self-esteem or who are still testing relationship waters and don’t have that ONE special person–can get down.

Also written by someone else, but very pertinent to MY point:

Some students left school with armloads of gifts, while many others sat empty-handed. Some girls sent flowers to each other, and I knew more than one who sent flowers to herself. I remember seeing girls cry in the restroom after their boyfriends failed to send them a gift, and I remember watching boys cruelly snicker as they watched an unpopular girl react with joy as she received a flower supposedly from one of their buddies, but which was really just a mean hoax.

Facts from other internet sources (take the validity as you will):

-Forty percent of people have negative feelings towards Valentine’s Day.

-A recent poll found that one in ten young adults admitted to feeling lonely, insecure, depressed, or unwanted on Valentine’s Day. And that’s just the ones that admitted it.

-divorce internet search/lawyers increase around this day

-Research suggests that 75 percent of suicide attempts are attributable to relationship problems.

-Last year, the Missouri Suicide Crisis hotline had extra staff on duty because they expected approximately 50 percent more calls on Valentine’s Day.

Laurel's pics 189It breaks MY heart that our commercialistic society whole-heartedly endorses a holiday that’s so hurtful to so many people in order to sell a few teddy bears.  It’s hard to feel good about a holiday that leaves so many adults left feeling lonely and disappointed.  A day that leaves students feeling miserable about themselves, and drives them to take drastic measures.  

I like the idea of GALentines day or PALintines day a lot better.  I fine those all-inclusive and based on making Leslie Knopeeveryone feel good.  Much better than just thrusting “love” in everybody else’s faces to feel superior and special.  And to the detriment of those that don’t.

Enhanced by Zemanta