Tag Archives: love

KelSwift and Kaylor on again off again

1 Oct

You saw my disclaimer on the other 3-4 posts that yes, this post is Taylor-centric because I’m trying to find connections.  The thing that started this was Kelsea’s lyric:  DAISES ON THE DASHBOARD?!  For what reason?  It’s not a common expression, or something that happens.  That is a purposeful, direct connection to Kaylor.  So here we are, seeing ANY possible others…  But I like Kelsea as an artist in her own right, I’m not saying she’s copying Taylor, or that Taylor wrote her songs or anything disrespectful.  I’m just trying to call out possible intentional connections that Kelsea placed across her new album.

If this is confirmation bias–it’s sure strong.  And it speaks to how Taylor’s writing has the ability to capture universal, relatable feelings in all sorts of situations.  So many lyrics of Taylor’s encapsulate just what an individual is feeling or going through.  If this song is not intentionally referencing Taylor’s work–then Kelsea needs to give Taylor a call, because Tay could really be an understanding shoulder to cry on.  She gets what Kelsea is going through–says her lyrics.

Each one of these lyrical parallels would be considered a “reach” by the mean-Gaylors and the hetlors.  And it’s true, after seeing the daises line, I was really looking deep, and trying to pull out any, little thing that connected to Taylor. So some of these just might be stretching it. This write-up may delve into fan-fiction territory, but take from it what you like, and leave what feels too “reachy” (to use a word I’m tired of). But when there’s TEN “reaches” in one song is it confirmation bias or a preponderance of evidence?  Time will tell.  Midnights out October 21, 2022.

I GUESS THEY CALL IT FALLIN’ (Lyrics)

I guess they call it falling ’cause you end up on the ground/You can’t live forever with your head up in the clouds

I mean, Taylor Swift [Lover] OUT now?!

As we discussed before Kelsea might be talking about the beginning of the Lover era where Taylor was actively trying to get Karlie back (the literal signs, the mural, etc, etc…).  A lot of cloud imagery was used for Lover promo so Kelsea uses the word “clouds” to describe this more complex situation.  See Kelsea’s song Weather in another post.

Think it’s written in the stars ’til they burn out

I am waiting to see if Taylor talks about stars in her new album–it’s a pet theory of mine with no evidence yet.  I have seen stars (and the moon) mentioned across this album of Kelsea’s.  And it makes sense to me for Taylor to move on from Karlie (the sun) to Kelsea the stars and/or moon.

…I was like, “Oh my God”, every thought played like a video

I thought the quotations and video was an odd turn of phrase, so I looked up Taylor’s lyrics where she says, “Oh my God” and found:

A song about the media and public having this perception of Taylor.  She is tongue in cheek here, playing into that (false) perception.  The subtext/secret meaning of the song is about bearding.  

Shake It Off is a song about ignoring haters and living your best life. 

That song also addresses the media and public’s perception of Taylor:

The third song where Taylor uses, “Oh my God” talks about the perception that Taylor is a serial dater who just writes songs about her exes:

All three of these songs talk about the (false) perception in the general public that Taylor is boy-crazy. And the narrative pushed by the media that Taylor just writes songs about her exes. The were really big music videos for Taylor as well.

I think in this line Kelsea is saying when her and Taylor were first having romantic sparks, she was incredulous.  Kelsea might have been surprised because the media portrays Taylor as a man-eater, and Taylor’s public persona leans into dating and writing songs about men.  So Kelsea might have been shocked to have a romantic connection with Taylor. She might also have been a bit star-struck to have something serious with someone of Taylor’s caliber of fame, since Kelsea had seen Taylor in her music videos before meeting her in person.

Left your shirt, and the hurt, now I curse your Acqua di Gio

Taylor’s Tis the Damn Season mentions perfume:

It’s about how Taylor goes back to her hometown (Nashville, where Kelsea also lives) to visit her parents and has an on again off again fling when she’s home. Both people are OK with this situationship. Taylor talks about how when she’s home that relationship and life (road not taken) seems good, but she left that geographic location.  But it still is part of her and stays with her.   

In Illicit Affairs Taylor talks about sleeping with someone who is committed to somebody else (Karlie is officially with Jo$h).  They have to lie and sneak around to see each other.  But living in secret gets real old, and the high of their encounters feels less and less good as time goes on because of the million lies.

The perfume is used as a “tell” of the encounter.  Perfume can be used to cover up the scent of the side-chick so her smell is not noticed by the boyfriend. Karlie might put on the perfume Jo$h bought her (or perfume she picked out because Jo$h liked the smell) to cover up Taylor’s smell on her. It could go the other way too: Perfume cannot be worn during the encounters because it would leave scent-evidence that the person was there.  If Jo$h could smell Taylor’s perfume on their bed there would be questions.

Kelsea curses the perfume because the scent left behind makes her think of Taylor.  And also the perfume represents secrets and hiding an affair, so it makes Kelsea think of the Kaylor bearding triangle.  

That night you told me I hung your moon (I hung your moon)

If Midnights has moons and stars, I will not shut up about it!!!

I jumped right in with no parachute (No parachute, oh, oh)/…Did you only get me high to let me down?

Taylor uses “high” in two of her more WLW songs:

Call it What You Want is a definite Karlie song (Call it what you want, Karlie what you want).  Taylor tells Karlie that she can call what they have going on whatever she wants.  Karlie is  nervous about it.  Karlie doesn’t want to be a cheater.  But Taylor just wants to keep what they have going alive, even if it needs to be secret and unofficial.  It doesn’t have to be lesbian-love, call it anything that makes you more comfortable. It speaks to the on-again off-again nature of Kaylor also. With Karlie being nervous about breaking her commitment to Jo$h as one reason for the encounters to be fleeting and secretive, on and off.

Kelsea using “high” in opposition to down could reference an on and off Taylor relationship.  And when Kelsea thinks of Taylor’s songs pleading with Karlie to be with her, that’s what gets Kelsea down.  Whenever Kaylor is “on” that means Taylor is emotionally unavailable and physically gone from Kelsea. Kaylor and KelSwift and similar relationships. One person is on, then off, here than gone.

Another song where Taylor uses the word “high” is Don’t Blame Me.  In the song Taylor compares WLW love to a drug.  She says it’s bad for her and her brand and her image, but also she can’t stay away. “My drug is my baby.”  

Kelsea feels like her love with Taylor gets her high also.  When Taylor comes around and loves Kelsea, it’s like a drug.  It’s that same drug Taylor speaks about in her song, the WLW love, and Kelsea can’t leave it alone even though there’s a let down when Taylor/the WLW love leaves again.

I guess they call it falling ’cause you end up on your face/Sleeping by myself in a bed I didn’t make

If Taylor and Karlie were on and off, it’s possible Taylor got with Kelsea during the Kaylor “off” periods.  And it wasn’t Kelsea’s choice to be alone during the Kaylor “on” periods.   Taylor’s song, Willow describes Taylor sneaking in to see Karlie even though she’s committed to Jo$h (bearding contract or bisexual love, we don’t know).

Willow talks about sneaking around to be with your secret WLW lover despite commitments to men and secrecy to preserve public images. The partner is mythical, because they are gone a lot, mostly a dream not reality. Describing a lover as a trophy or champion ring could speak to Taylor and Jo$h fighting over Karlie. In their fighting, they’re treating her as an object without autonomy to make her own choices. “Prize I’d cheat to win” probably has the double meaning of cheating in a relationship, and also cheating/lying to the public to hide the true nature of the relationship. “I’m begging for you to take my hand, wreck my plans, that’s my man” is one partner asking the other to commit fully to them. Wreck the bearding plans (for one or both Taylor/J0e and Karlie/Jo$h). In an interview, when asked about Jo$h, Karlie repeatedly referred to him as “my man” which came off as awkward. So Taylor may have written Willow with that in mind, to convey Karlie’s commitment to Jo$h as a stumbling block to be “home” (a committed relationship with each other).

Sleeping in a bed I didn’t make, is Kelsea saying that her relationship with Taylor, got her dragged into all this Kaylor drama. She didn’t create the Kaylor bearding triangle, but she has to live with the consequences of it too. Kelsea is left alone when Taylor is literally going back to Karlie, or emotionally still hung up on Kaylor.

… I should’ve known, should’ve known, should’ve known, should’ve known (I should’ve known, known)

I thought Kelsea’s repetition of this phrase was pointed, but didn’t know why.  I looked up the phrase in Taylor’s lyrics to check if Kelsea was insinuating a connection.

It’s funny that the lyric ties to White Horse a song about someone holding out hope that this other person will come around.  Ultimately Taylor realizes this person is going to let her down because she is being starry-eyed and dreamy about love, not realistic.

So that sentiment goes right along with Kelsea falling for an person who is back and fourth, in and out of her life.  There are highs when they’re together, but it comes at the cost of loneliness and feeling bad when Taylor physically leaves for Karlie (in earlier years), or emotionally checks out for missing the Kaylor relationship (in more current times).

… Then the wind, blowing in, threw me right off of my pedestal

Red is a song also about highs and lows of a passionate love that ends suddenly.  It seems connected to the theme of this song as well.

The word, “wind” again conjures, Willow which describes secret meetings and fooling the media/public with the bait and switch.  It’s a lover that comes and goes in secret, same as in Kelsea’s song.

In the second half of Kelsea’s phrase she says threw me off my pedestal. “Pedestal” is a very loaded word in GayLore.  It conjures Dianna, one of Taylor’s early girlfriends.  It’s also a common phrase when digging into Gaylor (Taylor’s LGBT subtext and secretive relationships) to say “going down the rabbit hole” which was Dianna’s heading on Tumblr (I think?).  

Taylor doesn’t have a copyright on the word, but if Kelsea were trying to reference Gaylor things, that would be a good way to do it.  In Long Story Short, Taylor describes being at the top, then falling down (kinda like this song) then clinging to the nearest lips. . .

…[Bridge]/I should’ve known gravity was gonna pull/You and me, down, down, down

In one of Taylor’s gayest songs, she uses “gravity” to describe the pull she has to a dangerous partner/type of love.  And Taylor says that other person (Dianna?) is quicksand.  Meaning not stable, fickle, here and gone.  Sort of like this song is saying Taylor is in and out, bringing Kelsea love to make her high, then leaving and making Kelsea fall to the ground, sad and lonely.

But I know now/I should’ve known gravity was gonna pull/You and me, down, down, down

A second song of Taylor’s uses “gravity” to describe her inability to stay away from this lover/love that’s bad for her brand.  Dancing with Our Hands Tied aka the Kissgate song, is another of Taylor’s gayest songs.  So it’s funny that this song talking about a love interest that is fickle and leaving all the time, talks about that love interest feeling scared about homophobia.  Taylor, loves Karlie, but doesn’t want to get caught as WLW and lose her career success.  So she runs away and hides, despite love.  And Kelsea is acknowledging that not only Kaylor takes Taylor away from their relationship, but Taylor’s skittishness about being out(ed) is a barrier to her being emotionally/romantically available.

But I know now/…[Outro]/(I guess they call it fallin’, ah-ah, ah)/I guess they call it fallin’/(I guess they call it fallin’, ah-ah, ah)

Finally, one of Taylor’s songs that uses “falling” perfectly encapsulates the meaning of this song.  

Taylor tells Dianna to stay with her instead of leaving all the time.  Taylor fell in love, but it’s not happy, it’s cruel because Dianna is worlds away.  Now the shoe is on the other foot and Taylor is worlds away while Kelsea is sad when she’s gone.

If you were only gonna let me go/Ah-ah, ah, ah-ah

Valentines Day and Stalking

11 Feb

I think the only series I haven’t skipped (or been wildly late posting) is my ‘Valentines Day is extremely problematic and shouldn’t be a thing’ series.  So am I in the middle of an emergency, out-of-state move because my landlord jacked up the rent $400/mo on our lease renewal?  YES.  Did my mate get Covid amidst a frantic, 5 weeks to leave an entire 2 bedroom house, packing frenzy?  YES.  She is fully Moderna vaccinated and boosted, and was wearing a (cloth) mask, when she ran inside a store for ten min, by the way.  And has she slept 20 hours a day and been alarmingly foggy and confused since she became symptomatic this last Sunday?  YES.  So I am super-stressed and overwhelmed.  But also, I feel very strongly Valentines Day needs to be retired.  So here I am!

This year, I’m going to talk about how Valentines Day trivializes and low-key encourages stalking.

The above is a picture of a card from the store, SketchyPrintCo depicting an image of Penn Badgley’s character from the Netflix stalker series, You, with the caption: “Stalker is a strong word, I prefer Valentine.”  There’s another cheeky card from Etsy store, Guiltycard, , with the caption: “Happy Valentines from your favorite stalker” (5).  Another image, from Etsy store LucyMaggieDesignsLtd shows a geo-tracker symbol with the caption: “You say stalker, I say devoted (Happy Valentines!)” (5).

I see the intention was to be playful and funny, but these cards make light of a very real, very serious problem– stalking.  Others agree (5):

Katy Bourne tweeted, “Dear @Etsy -please, pls reconsider & do not use stalking as a form of joke on your valentine’s cards (or any cards for that matter) out of respect for the thousands of victims living in fear of this awful crime Thank you #StalkingIsNeverAJoke #StalkingIsACrime.” Another user added a harrowing and sobering note, saying: “My stalker raped me when I was 17. These are not funny.”  Charity, Action Against Stalking replied to Bourne’s tweet saying: “Thanks for this post and for bringing this to people’s attention, especially so close to Valentine’s Day when many stalking victims may be triggered or receive unwanted gifts. As you mention, stalking is not a joke and should be taken seriously.”

A spokesperson for GuiltyCards told Glamour: “We also understand the upset this has caused and have taken this down. We wholeheartedly apologize for any offence caused. This card was simply taken from the TV program You.”  A spokesperson for Lucy Maggie Designs said the store “stands in solidarity with all victims of abuse, including those who have endured the terrible distress of stalking and harassment. The card in question was only ever intended as a playful greeting between two loving, consenting parties and we apologize unreservedly for any unintended offence caused. We thank you for bringing this to our attention and have removed this design from sale on all platforms” (5).

The problem isn’t just about funny cards, it’s the whole sentiment around normalizing secret admirers (being watched), surprise anonymous trinkets, over the top Valentines gestures, or obsessive behavior to woo.  It’s all a green light for stalking behavior.  And it tells the recipient to feel honored, proud, and open to these types of advances (1).

Romantic vs. Creepy:

Valentines Day encourages some cringy behaviors in the name of courtship and romance. Most of us will have to endure being rejected by someone we were crushing on. Most will pick themselves up, dust themselves off and move on to another more welcoming party.  However, stalkers do not operate like that, and often it’s not about pursuing a relationship at all.  Stalking is often about control and coersion, power and intimidation.  Stalkers do not just drop it when they’re rejected or told NO. Stalkers persist until it becomes annoying, and then creepy, frightening and potentially dangerous (4).

Experts have highlighted that one of the root causes of failing to apprehend stalkers is a misunderstanding of the motivations behind their behavior and treating them with the gravity they deserve. This is the kind of sentiment that Valentines Day helps create (along with ubiquitous patriarchy, of course, ‘boys will be boys.’).  The typical behavior exhibited by stalkers has been placed into five main categories (1):

  1. Rejected – Individuals who want to reconcile with previous partners. These stalkers can become resentful and fluctuate between amicable and aggressive.
  2. Resentful – Persons who feel they have been wrongfully treated by their victims i.e. they were passed over for a promotion or disrespected.
  3. Intimacy Seeker – An obsessive individual who fantasizes about having a romantic relationship with their victim. Delusional by nature, these stalkers often believe that their victim is in love with them.
  4. Incompetent Suitor – An unrelenting admirer with poor social skills who attempts to start a romantic relationship with their victim.
  5. Predatory – Sadistic, predatory individuals who enjoy the power and control of stalking their victims via surveillance, aggressive phone calls, exhibitionism and voyeurism, often with malicious intent.

Similarly, stalking victims cannot be classified as one type. Just watch Investigation Discovery or listen to any crime podcast–there are all manner of victims.  Victims could have been in a previous romantic relationship with their stalker, they could be a casual acquaintance or friend as well as a professional contact such as a colleague from work or a client with whom they previously interacted. One of the most worrying instances of stalking is when it comes from a complete stranger; someone who admires their victim from a distance without any prior connection. This is what makes stalking such a far-reaching and indiscriminate offence; it can impact anyone, of any age, gender or social status (1).

Some Statistics

(may vary due to multiple sources– cited below this post):

Over one million individuals receive unwanted attention from stalkers every year (1).  This figure, alarmingly does not include male stalking victims who account for 1 in 3 of all stalking victims (1).

Around 8 percent of all women and 2 percent of all men will be stalked at some time in their lives (4).

how prevalent is this behavior in the United States? Here’s two statistics to wrap your head around (2):

#1 A 2011 survey found 5.1 million women and 2.4 million men had been stalked the previous year.

#2 1 in every 6 women and 1 out of 19 men in the United States have been stalked in their lifetime.

Many times, the stalker is someone the victim knows (2):

#3 Almost 3 out of 4 stalking victims know their stalkers in some capacity. The most common relationship between the victim and perpetrator is a current of former intimate partner.

#4 66% of female stalking victims were stalked by current or former intimate partners.

Stalking is often an indicator of other forms of violence (2):

#5 81% of women who were stalked by a current or former husband or cohabitating partner were also physically assaulted by that partner, while 31% were sexually assaulted.

Our youngest populations are at the most risk (2):

#6 People aged 18-24 have the highest rate of stalking victimization.

State laws don’t always protect stalking victims (2):

#7 Although stalking is a crime in all 50 states, less than one-third of states classify stalking as a felony if it’s a first offense. This leaves stalking victims without protections afforded to victims of other violence crimes.

Not only is stalking often an indicator of other forms of violence, it has been linked to femicide, the murder of women and girls (2):

#8 76% of women murdered by an intimate partner were stalked first, while 85% of women who survived murder attempts were stalked.

#9 89% of femicide victims who had been physically assaulted before their murder were also stalked in the last year prior to their murder.

#10 54% of femicide victims reported stalking to the police before they were killed by their stalkers.

Consider that 85% of stalking victims do not report the incident to the police (1).

What is the definition of stalking?

It depends who you ask.  Part of the problem is there is no ONE, agreed upon definition held by every entity.  Stalking is the unwanted or obsessive attention by an individual or group towards another person (1). More specifically, the federal government defines stalking as a course of conduct directed at an individual that “places that person in reasonable fear of the death of, or serious bodily injury to that person; an immediate family [member] … of that person; or a spouse or intimate partner of that person; or causes, attempts to cause, or would reasonably expected to cause substantial emotional distress …” to that person, a family member or an intimate partner (2).

According to Michigan law [laws are state by state, and this is just an example of one specific state’s laws] “stalking” means a willful course of conduct involving repeated or continuing harassment of another individual that would cause a reasonable person to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed or molested and that actually causes the victim to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed or molested (4).

For there to be stalking, the contacts made by the stalker must be unwanted or non-consensual.  One particularly problematic of stalking in regards to the law, is that much of the onus is put on the victim. If a victim feels stalked by a person, they must at some point communicate with the stalker that they do not want contact and do not want a relationship with this person. Many victims do not want to hurt feelings and want to “let them (stalkers) down easy.” This does not work on stalkers (4).  Many victims are blamed for their own troubles because there is a perception they sought out, instigated, or encouraged their stalker’s behavior.  Or the victim is blamed for not saying NO strongly enough.  Somehow the victim of stalking is held more accountable than the perpetrator.

When a victim tells a stalker they do not want contact, it should be forceful and direct. The police can help here, if necessary, by assisting in the delivering the message for the victim. Once the message is delivered, the victim must stand firm, and, if they tell their stalker they will take an action if contacted again, like calling the police, they must follow through or they will endure more annoyance and disruption caused by a stalker (4).

For it to be criminal stalking, a victim must also be in fear. The conduct that is causing fear in the victim must be repeated or continuing. In other words one creepy phone call does not necessarily constitute stalking. However two or more contacts — in person, telephonic, electronic, by mail or just leaving “presents”  — especially after clearly being warned by the victim — could constitute stalking (4).

And more responsibility put on the victim:  It is very important for the victim to document all unwanted contacts (date, time and what sort of contact) made by the stalker (4).  A preponderance of evidence is the best thing a victim can compile in order to get a case together that will be taken seriously.

Stalking is not just a stand-alone, situation in many cases.  It’s a symptom of a bigger problem:  Stalking is something many victims and survivors of domestic violence must contend with as part of their abuser’s pattern of control and power, as former and current intimate partners often use stalking to terrorize their victims (2).  The most dangerous stalkers are the ones with the most emotional investment. Therefore former domestic partners are the most common and often the most dangerous stalkers. These stalkers take the attitude: “If I can’t have you, then no one can.”  Control of a victim’s life replaces emotional and physical bonds for a stalker. They may not be able to “possess” their victim, but they can control their lives using fear and intimidation as weapons (4).

The Role of Technology and Social Media in Stalking:

In the digital age it has become increasingly easy for stalkers to obtain extensive information about members of the general public via social media. Another recent case is that of Molly McLaren who was stabbed 75 times by her former boyfriend Joshua Stimpson outside a busy shopping center in Kent. Ms. McLaren had previously complained about Stimpson to the police when he posted threatening messages about her via Facebook. Police also received a complaint in 2013 from a former girlfriend of Stimpson’s who received abusive text messages from him following their break-up. Stimpson has been found guilty of murder and was jailed for 26 years in February 2018. However, Ms McLaren’s family have stressed that more needs to be done to raise awareness over the dangers of online stalking (1).

According to a survey made by the antivirus provider NortonLifeLock, there is one out of ten Americans that admits that they have had use ‘stalker apps’ without their partner’s approval– or worse, even their exes accounts.  As explained, the company had interviewed more than 2,000 American adults asking whether they have had used stalking apps that are widely available online. The study showed that “46% of Americans admit to ‘stalking’ an ex or current partner online by checking in on them without their knowledge or consent” (3).  29% of this survey said that they check their current or former partner’s phones; 21% admitted that they review their partner’s history of their accounts; 9% said that some of them even use fake accounts to determine the loyalty of their partners. Meanwhile, 8% revealed that they use tracking apps on their partners to check their physical activities in their daily lives (3).

Contrary to the common misogynistic mindset that women more likely checks their partner’s phone, the study also showed that men tend to be twice more likely to use ‘stalking apps’ to know their partners’ whereabouts every day (3).

Though the act of stalking tends to be creepy for most people, 35% of Americans said that they do not mind the act of ‘online stalking’ to be done to them by their partners, as long as it is not in person. However, men tend to agree more on this sentiment compared to women.  NortonLifeLock mentioned that stalking apps like the most active one called ‘Stalkerware’ can be dangerous to couples or individuals when it comes to protecting their privacy.  “Some of the behaviors identified in the NortonLifeLock Online Creeping Survey may seem harmless, but there are serious implications when this becomes a pattern of behavior and escalates, or when Stalkerware and creepware apps get in the hands of an abusive ex or partner,” says Kevin Roundy, Technical Director of NortonLifeLock (3).

Additionally, the survey identified more than 1,000 ‘stalking’ apps are now available in online stores (3).  P.S. I am particularly horrified by the above stats!

What to Do About Stalking?

If stalking and harassment are such a widespread epidemic, why is more not being done to protect the victims of these traumatic offences?  Many victims feel powerless, living in fear and unsure where to turn for help. Like we talked about above, one, two, three incidents are not enough for law enforcement to act.  The stalking victim must endure and document so many incidents that it’s ridiculous.  By the time they have, the stalking behavior has escalated.  And forget restraining orders–the way police enforce those, is when they’re already broken.  Many victims of stalking have highlighted how police procedures, are not always effective against aggressive stalkers (1).

Stalking is a misdemeanor unless it becomes “aggravated stalking” — that’s when a stalker violates a Personal Protection Order (PPO) or other court order or a stalker commits another stalking crime after already having been convicted of stalking. Aggravated stalking is a felony (4).

Stalking takes its toll emotionally, psychologically and even financially (2):

#11 1 in 7 stalking victims has been forced to move because of their victimization.

#12 Stalking victims suffer much higher rates of depression, anxiety, insomnia, and social dysfunction than the general population.

#13 86% of victims surveyed reported their personalities had changed as a result of being stalked.

#14 37% of stalking victims fulfill the diagnostic criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder, and an additional 18% fulfilled all but one diagnostic criteria.

#15 1 in 4 stalking victims contemplated suicide.

#16 1 in 8 stalking victims has reported losing work because of the stalking. More than half of these victims reported losing 5 or more work days.

Recently, TV presenter Emily Maitlis has compared her stalking to a ‘chronic illness’ which has impacted her life for over 20 years. Despite her stalker, 47 year-old Edward Vines, being issued with an indefinite restraining order in 2009, he has been convicted of twice breaching this order in the last year alone. Emily discussed the long term psychological impact of stalking within a BBC News interview, candidly revealing (1):

“You turn into this person who shouts at your kids for the wrong thing…It just makes you jumpy – and that’s stressful and it’s tiring and it’s time-consuming…It’s not that you think everyone is out to kill you. You recognise it as a paranoia. But it doesn’t make it any easier…This has literally been going on for 20 years. It feels like sort of a chronic illness…It’s not that I ever believe it will stop or he will stop, or the system will manage to prevent it properly”.

This long-lasting psychological harm of stalking has been reported by all manner of victims; irrespective of their age, gender or profession. For instance, Bob Coughtrey, 53 from Lancashire, was stalked by one of his pupils. Although Bob’s stalker was issued with a suspended prison sentence and restraining order, Bob says that the ordeal has left a lasting impact on his everyday life (1):

“She sent me a message which said ‘part of me wishes I hadn’t passed my test, because I would have got to spend more time with you’,” he recalls…I didn’t reply, but the texts just kept coming all night. They got darker and darker. I thought she might be at risk so I called the police, who went to her house…  I’m a grown man, but I felt very vulnerable and anxious. The next evening, my doorbell rang repeatedly. I looked out of the window and it was her again. She then phoned me eight times while she was outside. I phoned 999, and within a few minutes a police car arrived and they arrested her on suspicion of harassment…  It’s horrible. It’s almost suffocating. It changes your life, how you feel about people. You feel as if you’re not quite being taken seriously, because you’re a man…Some people might think it’s harmless – it’s just a woman that’s just giving you some attention. It’s not, because the attention is unwanted, the attention is unsolicited, and it was never reciprocated. I’m very cautious now, always looking around me when I go outside. I don’t feel safe”.

Basically, it’s terrorizing to be stalked.  If you are in fear and feel you are being stalked, contact the police. If you tell someone you do not want a relationship with them and they persist, tell them to knock it off, call the police and let everyone around you know there is a problem (4).

Co-workers, family members, neighbors and friends should know about the problem and provide a network of eyes and ears for the victim. Again, the victim is forced to modify their life, and become hypervigilant.  People surrounding the victim should be instructed not to give out any personal information about the victim and to report to the victim or police if they spot the stalker around the victim or the victim’s belongings. For instance, cars are often damaged by stalkers because they are easy to find and easy to trash without detection (4).

How Can I Help?

Looking to support stalking victims and make some changes on their behalf? Here’s where you can start on a grassroots level (2):

    • Encourage your state legislators to tighten stalking statutes so that stalking is both easier to prosecute and classified as a more serious crime.
    • Ask your legislators to update the federal domestic violence firearm prohibitor to including misdemeanor dating violence and misdemeanor stalking.
    • Ask your members of Congress to support legislation providing additional funding for local program initiatives and other services to victims of stalking and domestic violence, like programs established by the Violence Against Women Act.
    • Research and support legislation encouraging domestic violence education for middle and high school students. An appropriate curriculum should include information about healthy relationships, domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, stalking, and available resources.
    • Encourage local schools and youth programs to train teachers, school counselors and athletic coaches to recognize children and teens who are in violent situations. Provide educators with resources and prepare them to intervene in domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking situations.
    • Support programs in your community aimed at increasing domestic violence, sexual violence and stalking education, prevention and intervention.

In other words, Valentines Day sentiment makes light and even suggests stalking behavior.   Normalizing such dangerous behavior, that often goes along with a pattern of domestic violence is bad for all of us.  It’s bad for men, because they are pressured to do Valentinesy things which breech boundaries and often cross into “creepy” territory.  And it’s bad for women because the day tells them to want, expect, and graciously receive these gestures, which can be ultimately unsafe.  And it teaches society to see over the top gestures as romantic and fun, instead of red flags and an introduction to control and violence.  We, as a society, need to shut. it. down.  Over the years I have probably listed 12-16 reasons that Valentines Day is problematic.  Can we finally just admit that the cutesy stuff isn’t worth all the (unintended) consequences?

If you or someone you know is experiencing stalking, the Stalking Resource Center has resources, including online “Help for Victims” information and a Victim Connect Helpline at 855-4-VICTIM (855-484-2846).

Sources:

(1):  https://blackstoneconsultancy.com/unwelcome-valentines-stalking-and-harassment/

Stats-
(2):  https://ncadv.org/blog/posts/quick-guide-to-stalking-16-important-statistics-and-what-you-can-do-about-it

(3):  https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.techtimes.com/amp/articles/247360/20200214/valentines-day-warning-men-more-likely-to-follow-women-using-stalker-apps-like-stalkerware.htm

Creepy vs dangerous-
(4):  http://www.annarbor.com/news/valentines-day-brings-out-the-stalkers/

Card-

(5):  https://www.glamourmagazine.co.uk/article/stalker-valentines-day-cards

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

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.