Friday, December 31, 2010

New Things I Experienced in 2010

Back in September, I was browsing around on Facebook and came across a note that someone had written about the things that he did in 2009 that he had never done before. I really enjoyed reading it and felt inspired to write my own list. It's amazing how many things one person can experience in a year. I hope this inspires some of my friends and readers to do the same!

Here are the new things I experienced in 2010

-Toasted to the new year with champagne with a huge group of friends (the first time I toasted with something with alcohol in it)
-Had a picture taken with celebrities (The band Everclear after winning tix and meet and greet passes on the radio, went with my cousin Katy)

-Cut my own hair (like over a foot off... and kinda butchered it, but my Mom was able to fix it)

-Went to my first 3D film (Alice in Wonderland)
-Attended a Q&A of one of my favorite filmmakers, Kevin Smith
-Encountered the Westboro Baptist protesters (in front of Midland theater before Kevin Smith Q&A)
-Attempted to do my own taxes (using one of those free Internet programs) and found more credits than my Dad did (who normally does mine)... and got a nice return!!!

-Enrolled a child for school
-Spent an entire Saturday watching movies I had never seen before (total of 5 movies that day)

Donated money for a walk (ended up doing two donations: one for Hospital Hill Run and the other for Crohns Colitis walk)

-Made a cake using one of those Wilton cake molds (it was a palm tree), I also experimented with food coloring for the icing
-Successfully removed Malware from a laptop (with the help of my best friend walking me through it via text messages)

-Attended the Rocky Horror Picture Show with a live audience and "lost my virginity" (ended up going a total of 5 times this year, would have been 6 if the last showing wasn't sold out before I got to the theater, grrr)
-Started blogging
-Used diet pills
-Went on a first date since my divorce
-Failed a background check for a potential employer

-Hired at a job that I never applied to (and accepted)
-Put a child on a nightly, routine bedtime

-Attended the wedding of an ex-boyfriend (was my high school sweetheart Ben)
-Went to a bachelorette party
-Went to a strip club

-Ate all four courses while dining at a restaurant (Melting Pot)
-Tried duck and ratatouille (Melting Pot)
-Attended a drag show (Flo's Cabaret)
-Learned to swallow pills whole (opposed to chewing them or using liquid medication)
-Participated in a wedding as a bridesmaid (my sister's wedding)
-Felt an aftershock from the 4.3 magnitude earthquake in Oklahoma on the 13th (my desk was vibrating as I was sitting at it, reported incident to USGS website)
-Got full on drunk and had to have a friend take me home (normally I am the DD or I eat while drinking... it just never happened until now)
-Wore a garter belt (rawr!!!)
-Saw a burlesque show

-Voted in an election
-Waited in a store until midnight to take advantage of Black Friday sales (Walmart... and yes it was crazy)

-Tailgated in the parking lot before a football game
-Attended a Pro Football game (KC Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos)
-Went to a masquerade/ball (1940's USO themed, in a very nice Unitarian church)
-Watched a full lunar eclipse (during Winter Solstice, which the last time those events happened at the same time was in 1638)

-Had an entire calender year go by without being in the presence of my ex-husband (actual count, it has been about 15 months since I last saw him in person)

Wow, I should do this every year! This is an awesome way to reflect on the things I accomplished. I recommend you do the same!

Song #30- Your Favorite Song At This Time Last Year

Lady Gaga "Bad Romance"

Two years ago, I was listening to Lady Gaga's debut album, The Fame. It was the beginning of a beautiful musician/listener relationship. When "Bad Romance" was released as a single last year, I fell more in love with her as an artist. I already saw a huge leap in her career, and this was just the first song from The Fame Monster album. It was catchy as hell, full of powerful lyrics, and was accompanied with an amazing video (which won for Best Video at the VMA's).

Even a year later, I am still loving this song. I turn it up when it's on the radio and play it occasionally when hanging out in my bedroom. To me, this is one of my favorite songs of all time... but that could change, since her third album is due early next year.

I had so much fun doing this challenge, so much that I'm thinking of doing it again next year!! Of course I will choose different songs... I mean, there are thousands of songs out there that I love :-)

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Song #29- A Song From Your Childhood

Sir Mix A Lot "Baby Got Back"

Yes, you read that right. "Baby Got Back" is a song from my childhood. When I was 6 or 7, I was getting into a van with family friends from Minnesota. When the ignition started, my sister and I were settling in our seats when we hear "I like big butts.." on the radio. We immediately get into a fit of giggles. We thought it was funny that a guy was rapping about his love for big butts (you also have to take in the fact that my sister and I were very young... and I bet you all remember that at that age, anything that had to do with butts was comical). Now that I'm older and wiser, "Baby Got Back" is not giggly-funny anymore. But I will always be reminded of the first time I heard it and how it made me laugh.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Song #28- A Song That Makes You Feel Guilty

Nine Inch Nails "Closer"

Guilty... in a good way! ;-)

I really like that Trent Reznor expressed the hardcore sex so bluntly; it made the song unforgettable. He is a very smart writer and I love that he used a more extensive vocabulary in the lyrics (desecrate, penetrate). This is one of very few songs that, when I hear it, I get so engulfed in the song... the rest of the world just disappears (if a song does that to you, then it not only speaks to you, but it needs to be on your lists of favorites songs). Whenever I decide to listen to it (which it HAS to be the unedited version, no kid stuff here) I tend to hit the repeat button a couple times.

Now, the video. The first time I ever watched it (which I'm going to guess was when I was about 14 years old), I thought it was very different from anything I had ever seen. It disturbed me a little bit (and this was the television friendly version). But, over time, I grew to see how unique it was and that it is one of the best music videos out there (I tend to like stuff that's dark and disturbing... probably why I love horror movies so much). I finally saw the actual version of the video earlier this year (which is the one I posted). I don't think I will watch the edited video ever again. I'm just one of those people who like to see things as they should... no "clean" versions.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Song #27- A Song You Wish You Could Play

Meatloaf "I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)"

If I had a list of my favorite songs of all time, I would have this song somewhere on it. Probably in the top three. Meatloaf is one of the artists that my parents introduced me to as a baby (not surprising knowing they also raised me on The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Meatloaf was Eddie in that film). I love his powerful voice and his theatrical stylings of the music/music videos. Whenever I listen to this song (and it HAS to be the 12 minute version, which the music video is not), everything disappears. All that exists is this song... and me occasionally belting out the lyrics. A song that is powerful enough to do that to you is worthy to learn to play. Now I know that a lot of the musical arrangement is played by piano. I am someone who wants to play guitar, and I know that this song doesn't have very much of that.... but I don't care. I would still be happy and honored to play this song. Maybe it will happen someday, like when I actually get a guitar and start learning the chords!!!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Song #26- A Song That You Can Play On An Instrument

Hinder "Lips Of An Angel"

I actually don't have any experience with playing any instrument, although I've wanted to learn to play the guitar since I was 13 years old. So I'm going to cheat a little bit with this song. As a fan of Guitar Hero, I have been working on improving my talents with the game. I am really good at playing songs on Medium, and am a little intimidated to go up to the Hard level (how am I going to get my pinkie to reach the orange button??). I normally hit 94% to 98% of the notes when playing songs on Medium, and get sorely disappointed in myself if I hit below the 90% mark (which is why when I play "Through The Fire and The Flames" I stick to Easy). But the song that I love to play on Guitar Hero (actually, wait a minute... on Band Hero) and am thisclose to hitting 100% is "Lips of an Angel." I may not necessarily like that the song is about the temptation to cheat, but I just can't help but love playing it.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Song #25- A Song That Makes You Laugh

The Bloodhound Gang "Mope"

Wow... I learn something everyday. I never knew there was a music video for this song!

The Bloodhound Gang is famous for making some of the most vulgar sexual references out there... and I love them for that! After the initial shock of hearing the Hooray for Boobies album for the first time, I found myself cracking up... a lot! The song "Mope" cracks me up the most, from the confused reaction that Falco is the greatest "money making playa that ain't with us no more" to Pac Man getting high on crack. The ridiculousness of this song is actually pretty ingenious of the group and I wish that more people would have acknowledged their creativity... I mean, who else would come up with songs that challenge you to rhyme the word "vagina" with something legitimate???

"Holy macaroni!!!" -Homer Simpson

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Song #24- A Song You Want To Play At Your Funeral

Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men "One Sweet Day"

For those who have ignored the lyrics of this song... it's not a love song, per se. I mean, it's beautiful and all but it's about someone who has died. "And I know you're shining down on me from Heaven, like so many friends we've lost along the way. And I know eventually we'll be together one sweet day. Eventually I'll see you in Heaven." I think what really misconstrued this as a love song is the video. It doesn't really depict the loss of a loved one. It's of Mariah and Boys II Men performing the song in a studio, plus the fact that all the artists are famous for love songs. Easy to do if you don't pay attention to the lyrics.

I think this would be a really sweet song to play at my funeral... you know, when it happens decades from now :-)

Friday, December 24, 2010

Song #23- A Song That You Want To Play At Your Wedding

The Rocky Horror Picture Show "The Time Warp"

I think it's pretty easy to guess that I go for atypical when it comes to weddings. What can I say? The Rocky Horror Picture Show lover in me would be ecstatic to dance to this in a wedding dress! Although I have been married once before, it was done in a courthouse: No dress, no family, no reception. So when the time comes that I will get married again (I am very hopeful for this to happen in the future), I want to do things right. If I want to dance to the "Time Warp," then I will... dammit (Janet... hehe, I couldn't resist)!!! As for my future spouse, I hope that he will understand my need to have this played... whoever that may be.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Song #22- A Song You Listen To When You're Sad

Papa Roach "Broken Home"

A couple days ago, I posted that I listen to Limp Bizkit's "Break Stuff" when I am angry. Well, in a few instances, I would follow up with Papa Roach's "Broken Home." This song has more of an emotional hurt than emotional anger, at least that's how I see it. That would change my attitude a bit and my feelings of anger would turn toward sadness. On more than one occasion, it led me to start crying. And as many of you know, crying makes you feel a lot better.

The video is very personal as well. Lead singer Jacoby Shaddix had it filmed in his childhood home, where he had a troubling childhood. Images of things Shaddix experienced are portrayed in the video, ending in the destruction of his former home. You understood the anger and that makes for a great song. I bet it was very therapeutic for him to write the song and help destroy the home that caused him a lot of pain in the past.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Song #21- A Song You Listen To When You're Happy

Avril Lavigne "Sk8er Boi"

I love songs that tell a story. You have a ballerina who likes a guy that's not her type. She doesn't seize the opportunity and years later, sees him as a successful musician while she's alone with a baby. This song is just so freaking upbeat that I just can't help but be in a very happy mood when (and after) listening to it. Avril Lavigne has a good way of mixing princess pop and punk together to create a fun, badass image. I would love to dress like her, and it helps that she has a clothing line at Kohl's... something that I can treat myself to whenever I lose enough weight to look good in those outfits!

Years ago, while browsing on, I discovered that MTV was working on a movie based on this song. I haven't heard of anything since then, but it didn't surprise me that the company would want to hone in on the concept. It would have been one of those movies that I would have seen... and loved! LOL

Okay, I can't help it... I actually had a different song of hers song listed first. I must be in an Avril Lavigne mood right now!

Avril Lavigne "Girlfriend"

Enjoy today's double dose of music!!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Song #20- A Song You Listen To When You're Angry

Limp Bizkit "Break Stuff"

This is a very therapeutic song. I resorted to listening to this loud a lot when in my mid-teens. Sometimes it was for those angry moments after a breakup, other times it was when my family or my friends were frustrating the hell out of me. In fact, this song worked so well for me that I have never had to resort to further methods of therapy, like actually breaking stuff. All I need is a room to myself, a stereo, and this song. :-)

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Best Music Videos of 2010

August 1, 1981. Midnight. A brand new channel makes it's debut on cable:

Mtv helped bring music and television together. Even though for the first few days they played the same five videos, they developed a following. Eventually things progressed to the point where artists were creating music videos that told a story. Then, on December 2, 1983... everything about music videos took a huge leap, thanks to Michael Jackson's Thriller. Somehow, this video of epic proportions became a mold for all future music videos... to the point where every hit single had to have an accompanying video.

My dedication to Mtv started when I was a teenager. I watched The Real World, Beavis and Butthead, and Daria all the time. Although I enjoyed those shows, there was very little programming for music videos. Then came Mtv Live, which eventually became Total Request Live.... a program that showcased the top 10 videos every day (as voted by the viewers). Ah, now I get to actual watch videos on the MUSIC channel!!!

All right, I did the history part. Let's move forward with what I intended to blog about!

One random night (I would guess about 2 1/2 years ago), I was flipping channels and came across Mtv Hits, which plays 24 hours of music videos. Yes!!!! I can experience what others did in the early 80's. It is normally the first channel I go to when I turn on my television (and you guys thought it would be a movie channel, didn't you?). With this channel, I have been able to watch all the newest music videos by all of my favorite artists. With this being the end of the year, I would like to showcase what I consider the best music videos of the year. Please note that I said music videos, so the songs are pushed aside (to an extent) for the visual brilliance I have witnessed these past 12 months. *** Be warned that some of these videos are the long versions and/or uncensored***

Here are my ten favorite music videos that debuted in 2010:


30 Seconds to Mars "Hurricane"
I'll admit it... I don't fully understand everything that is going on in the video. I mean, the kinky S&M sex and the violence yes, but the actual story of the video? No. Maybe if I translated the foreign speech (which I believe is French), it could give me some more insight. This is one of those videos that I can compare to a car accident that you drive past.... you just can't look away!! There are aspects of this video that I find myself making fun of (Leto's mullet... thing), but I do appreciate the cinematography and how dark it is (which are the contributing facts that this video made it onto this list).


Eminem featuring Rihanna "Love the Way You Lie"
Speaking from personal experience with domestic violence, this video does a very accurate portrayal of what happens in such a relationship. Moments of love, moments of hate and anger, and back to love again. It's a vicious cycle. I loved the symbolism of the burning house behind Eminem and Rihanna. To me, I saw it as burning away the past of their own experiences with violence by those they loved. If you watch this video and realize that you are living with this kind of relationship, then you either need to make a drastic change or get out of it.


Kanye West "Runaway"
I'm only going to talk about the music video, not the 30+ minute mini film (if you want to watch it, here's the link). Kanye knows how to make a classy video, from formal dining, ballerinas, and the monochromatic color scheme (the green wall/background made everything pop!). It kind of makes me want to attend a formal dinner inside an empty warehouse, LOL. When you accompany the song with the video, you can grasp the emotional turmoil that Kanye is expressing and feel for him. The "Taylor Swift incident" proved beneficial to him, since it helped provide some great material for this album.


Florence + The Machine "Dog Days Are Over"
I first saw this video a week before the Video Music Awards. It was nominated for best rock video. I immediately caught onto the brilliance and uniqueness of the video. Every single color used in this video just popped out in contrast to the white. I was engulfed in the gorgeousness of it! It's a very eclectic video, but I love how it all seems to come together, and not in the oddball, weird kind of way. This artist is one that I listened to other works of hers and realized I knew several other songs. I love how one video opens you to a world of new and familiarity at the same time! :-)


Ke$ha "Take It Off (K$ n' Friends version)"
The first time I watched this video, David Bowie's "Labyrinth" came to mind. It just had that feel to it. Then I read about what inspired Ke$ha to create a second video of this song. Not only did she create the Labyrinth vibe, but also paid tribute to Revenge of the Nerds and Tron (and I saw a little Avatar in there, with all the animal transformations). This video makes me want to attend an underground party like this one. It would be fascinating and you will never know what to expect next!!!


Cee Lo Green "Fuck You"
A 60's styled diner, Doo Wop singers, and the heartbreaking journey of a young boy to man attempting to reach out to a girl that he wants so dearly to be his... what more could you ask for? I loved the Motown flavor of the video and song and how it incorporated into present day. You feel for young Cee Lo and hate the "Heartbreaker" who won't give him the time of day. That is, until she sees the success he made in his life, in which he turns her away. Perfect video for one of the best breakup songs out there!


OK Go "This Too Shall Pass"
I have always been fascinated with Rube Goldberg machines. The way that one simple task sends of a ripple effect of activity is highly impressive. For OK Go to make an entire music video using this machine was ingenious. As you watch the events unfold in front of you, you realize that all of this was filmed in one take. I loved watching the guitar rotate around as spoons hit the glasses, the rainbow colored flags, and the climatic ending, with flying black umbrellas, signage, and splattered paint. It was a successful machine, and you feel as proud as the people who built it when it was over.


Lady Gaga "Alejandro"Ah, Lady Gaga... whom I have dubbed the newest queen of visual stimulation (meat dress, anyone???). Her videos are extremely theatrical and I LOVE it! When coming up with the concept for Alejandro, she wanted to pay homage to her homosexual friends with a "homoerotic military theme." It kind of fit, timing wise, to release this video over the summer, since the "don't ask, don't tell policy has been in the news (and Gaga was one of the public figures to promote the repeal of the policy). This is another representation where a monochromatic color scheme (with the color red) added symbolism to the video: Gaga's lipstick, the heart on the pillow, the nun habit dress, even the fiery orange flames toward the climax of the video. I cannot take my eyes off the video once I start watching it... it draws me in every time.


Katy Perry featuring Snoop Dogg "California Gurls"
Will Cotton is an artistic genius!!! For those not familiar with his work, he creates visual landscapes using pastries, candy, and ice cream. Katy Perry wanted to portray his work in her video, along with representing Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Alice in Wonderland, and the board game Candy Land. I can't help but admit that this is my dream scenario for a heaven full of sweets and ice cream!!! Only Snoop Dogg can pull off a cupcake suit with his pimp walking stick, and I love him for that! When watching the "making of" featurettes, I learned they they threw in a lot of pop culture into the details (like how Tower Records is on the board game (made with pancakes and marshmallow fluff). This video is just full of fun... oh to be a California girl!!!

And, ladies and gentlemen.... my favorite music video this year:

Lady Gaga featuring Beyonce- "Telephone"
First, I have to remind everyone that this music video is a sequel to Lady Gaga's "Paparazzi." One of the first things I loved about this video is where the prison guards strip her down to prove that Lady Gaga is, in fact, a female (when artists poke fun of their own tabloid rumors, I appreciate them a lot more than I did). Then there is the whole random product placement in the video (Diet Coke cans in her hair, Wonder Bread and Miracle Whip in the kitchen of the diner, and the package of Honey Buns). I could be wrong on this, but I see that was Gaga's way of poking fun of how things are marketed in movies/videos. Oh, and the best thing about this video: it hones in on my movie geekness. The video pays tribute to Thelma and Louis, Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill (Hello.... the Pussy Wagon!). What more could I ask for in a music video??? :-)

I cannot wait for 2011. I am ready to see what's in store for music videos, especially since Lady Gaga will have a new album in the Spring (and based on the two videos I have listed, I expect even greater things for her future "mini movies"). I hope you guys enjoyed watching these videos and appreciated why I put these specific ones on my list. I always welcome recommendations of videos I might have missed, so feel free to mention ones that I need to check out.

Song #19- A Song From Your Favorite Album

Katy Perry "Firework"

I admit, I do not YET own this album, but everything I have heard from it... I love!!! "California Girls" was my song this summer and the video was an explosion of bubble gum pop and tons of sweets!!! "Teenage Dream" has a nostalgic feel to it and "Peacock" is sexual, dirty, and fun! None of those songs can compare to "Firework."

I believe "Firework" is the best song that Mrs. Russell Brand has done! It has a great message to anyone who feels down, isolated, ugly, or in a situation that makes them uncomfortable. The video does the same. It shows many different young individuals overcoming their own obstacles, from a curvier girl a little weary of showing off her body to a shy gay male at a club experiencing love from another gay male. The visual representation of fireworks coming out of every body's chests was perfect! This song is one that I haven't been able to get enough of, and one that has a very enjoyable dance routine on Just Dance 2.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Song #18- A Song You Wish You Heard On The Radio

Hanson "Yearbook"

I honestly think that this song is the best one on the Middle of Nowhere album... well, actually, the best song Hanson has written! It was deeper than the other tracks. I could relate to the track. I remember people in grade school that you saw everyday, until you didn't. And for some of them, they didn't have a picture in the yearbook. You would wonder what happened to them. Did he/she move? Did they die? Does anyone know what happened to them??? I really wished that this was going to be one of their radio singles back in the late 90's, but it never happened. At least I have their CD, and added the song to my IPod.  I also geeked out about this song when I joined my high school's yearbook staff, hehe.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Song #17- A Song That You Hear Often On The Radio

Beastie Boys "No Sleep Til Brooklyn"

I have three stations that I listen to the most often and two of them (98.9 The Rock and Gen X Radio 99.7) play this song pretty frequently. It is one of the best songs by the Beastie Boys, and one that I love playing on Guitar Hero (it makes me feel like a rock star). When I was looking up the video on YouTube, I realized I had never seen the video. I wasn't disappointed. Even though they have progressed to a more techno sound in recent years, I think their sound in the late 80's was the best. I will always listen to this when it comes on the radio, especially since I feel it would be an insult to change the station to such a good song!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Song #16- A Song That You Used To Love But Now Hate

Baha Men "Who Let the Dogs Out"

Okay, I didn't LOVE this song, but it was enjoyable from time to time when you wanted something brainless and goofy. It's my son Truman's fault for my new found dislike for it. When we first started playing Just Dance on the Wii this spring, Truman discovered this song. I think he liked it because the dancer was dressed like a dog. Well, after playing it a few times, Truman loved it. Every time he plays Just Dance, he has to dance to "Who Let the Dogs Out" at least twice, or more. Like with what happened with the song "The Final Countdown" at Borders... the overplaying of the song has driven me to dislike. However, there is a part in The Hangover where Alan sings part of the song and does a little jig. I love that!!! Watching that never annoys me :-)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Song #15- A Song That Describes You

Christina Aguilera "Fighter"

I had a little trouble deciding this one.  I originally thought of putting "Walking on Sunshine" on here, because Sunshine is one of my nicknames. But after giving it some thought, I realized I had a different song that was much stronger and more meaningful to me.

"Fighter" is very much an empowering song. It's about getting over someone who took advantage of you and realizing how much stronger, better, and wiser you are afterward. It's very appropriate for me. I've always been a strong person, but after going through what I did in my marriage I became even stronger. I've become smarter when it comes to seeking out potential guys to date and avoid ones that resemble my ex. I've also learned how to be more confident as a person, especially this year. I've never felt so empowered, sexy, and happy in my life, and this song expresses that attitude.

I do love how the video expresses the transformation of a caterpillar into a butterfly. It shows the evolution of growth and of beauty. It was visually a gorgeous video! Fun fact: This video and yesterday's video ("The Beautiful People") were directed by the same person: Floria Sigismondi. She does beautiful work. :-)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Song #14- A Song That No One Would Expect You To Love

Marilyn Manson "The Beautiful People"

I remember first hearing this song when I was in junior high. I was afraid to admit that I liked it. Why? For one, this was around the time that I was into all the boy bands and female pop singers. Marilyn Manson was the complete opposite of that (which I had the same opinion about Nine Inch Nails). I hated the fact that his album was called "Antichrist Superstar." Back then, I never questioned my beliefs in religion and the album title was one of the most ludicrous things I knew. Wow... how naive and closed off I was back then.

My sophomore year of high school changed that. I had discovered Eminem, Limp Bizkit, and Korn. I was liking music that was darker and expressed deeper emotions. I had a love for things that were dark and twisted. I went back to listening to Marilyn Manson and Nine Inch Nails and realized that it wasn't much different than my newest discoveries in music. I learned that the Manson (aka. Brian Warner) had been on his yearbook staff at school, just like me. He collects nostalgic lunch boxes... that's actually really cool. I saw him as a person, and that allowed me to look beyond my own beliefs. I became a fan. "The Beautiful People" is my favorite Marilyn Manson song. I admit that I have not listened to all of the tracks on Antichrist Superstar, but I need to. I would love to have a copy of this album someday.

Oh, and I loved his cameo in the movie Jawbreaker! I can't think of The Scorpions "Rock You Like a Hurricane" without picturing him with that 70's style handlebar moustache.

Sorry, had a movie geek moment!!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Song #13- A Song That Is A Guilty Pleasure

Prince "Pussy Control"

When I was working at Tunnel Town (my first job... a children's play place/birthday party center), I had a boss named Dave, who is gay. I *loved* him and he introduced me to a lot of new things, like giving me his copy of Mallrats, which started my love for Kevin Smith. One day, when hanging out with him, he played "Pussy Control." I instantly fell in love with the song. Back then, I could relate to the song because it was about a girl who found success in life before experiencing sex (like me). That's why I felt guilty for loving the song, but I couldn't help it!!!

By the time I was 18 and able to go dancing in bars/clubs, I found out that this was one of the best songs to bump and grind to. It got to the point where if that song was playing and my best friend Brandon and I were together... we would stop whatever we were doing and hit the dance floor. Even today, that song drives me to dance. Although Brandon and I live too far away to spend time together, I still send him a text message whenever I hear the song. I know he loves it when I do that, since all it does is bring back memories from 7-8 years ago.

Monday, December 13, 2010

The 12 Days of Christmas Movies

On the first day of Christmas, my true love sent to me.... 12 of my favorite holiday movies (and specials)!!!


"The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear." How did any of us enjoy the holidays before Buddy the Elf came into our lives??? The way that Buddy sees the world beyond life in the North Pole makes me feel like a kid again, mainly because of the innocent wonder of discovering new things and ideals. Not only is this movie highly entertaining for young adults, but it is also a great family film (especially since they stand by the fact that Santa is real and they "squash" the rumor that the parents put the presents under the tree). If I'm not feeling the Christmas spirit, I just pop this into the DVD player and wait for the movie to fill me with happiness for the season!!!

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

When you see "National Lampoon" and "vacation" together in a movie title, expect to see some Griswold's. Unlike the other three Vacation movies, we see how Clark and the family interact while staying at home for the holidays. Whether it's setting up way too many lights outdoors, realizing that the extended family wrapped their cat in a present, or watching as Clark zips faster than the speed of sound when sledding, you WILL crack up (and for me, I still do after watching this movie dozens of times).

A Charlie Brown Christmas

As someone who grew up with Snoopy as her favorite cartoon character, this movie was a MUST watch several times each holiday season. I remember when I was about six or seven and wishing I had the same tree that Charlie Brown had... I saw it's potential to be beautiful. I always loved how everyone danced when practicing for the Christmas program (and what's better is seeing the Hey Ya! Charlie Brown video on YouTube). I loved how Linus quoted scripture from the Bible to help Charlie Brown realize the true spirit of the holiday season... sometimes we just need the reminder of what Christmas is really about.

Home Alone

As a seven year old sitting in the movie theaters, I thought this movie was epic!!! To be left at home by accident and having free reign on whatever food I wanted to eat and to watch movies I wasn't allowed to watch.. that was ideal. I wished I was as smart as Kevin when it came to setting up booby traps against Marv and Harry. My favorite trap was when Marv was stepping on the ornaments when getting in through the window. I felt his pain. John Hughes did a great job portraying the fears and excitement of a child, from the creepy type neighbor to the furnace in the basement. This is one of the funniest family movies I've ever seen.

Oh, and I had a crush on Macaulay Culkin.

Home Alone 2: Lost in New York

Okay, so I couldn't resist having the sequel on here!! For a movie that takes place somewhere completely different than the first one, John Hughes was able to keep the charm we all fell in love with (and believe me, I've seen sequels that were a hot mess... like Sex and the City 2). I absolutely loved seeing New York City at Christmastime; that city is idealistic to have a true holiday themed vacation. The pranks were so much better than the first movie (come on, they had to be!) and a lot more brutal. It's a wonder that Marv and Harry were able to walk (or speak) after several of those! I felt this one was a lot more heartfelt than the first, especially about Mr. Duncan's plan to donate to the Children's Hospital. It touched on one of the best things about the holidays, people helping others that cannot celebrate due to poverty or illness.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Ah, a classic holiday special brought to us by Dr. Seuss! I used to watch this several times each year. However, the copy that I watched at my Grandparents got cut off when the Grinch was stuck up the hill with the sled. It wasn't until I was a preteen that I finally got to watch the ending (even though I knew the ending... I mean, it was a book first!). Of course Hollywood had to remake this into a full length feature film when I was in high school. It's a good film on its own, but I will always love the cartoon special more :-)

Bad Santa

If you put Billy Bob Thornton in a Christmas movie, expect it to be dirty... just saying. His character Willie and his partner Marcus have had a great method for conning department stores around the holidays. But this particular year, unforeseen obstacles get in the way, which include a young boy, overintoxication, and a security guard who catches onto their scheme. It was amusing to me to see that Sue was raised Jewish and had always wanted to fulfill her fantasy of having sex with Santa, then getting her wish. Those moments made the movie. This was also the last movie that John Ritter ever made, which made his scenes feel a little bittersweet. Who says all Christmas movies have to be bright and cheerful???

South Park Season One, Episode 10: Mr. Hankey the Christmas Poo

I've been a fan of South Park since its debut in 1997. When the first Christmas special aired that same year, I was entertained... and kind of disturbed. I enjoyed the parody of A Charlie Brown Christmas and how the town attempted to make the holiday season non-offensive (even though that ended up in a total disaster). But the most disturbing thing of all??? That a piece of crap (literally) helped everyone get into the holiday spirit. Oh, and you have to admit, when Mr. Hankey says "Howdy Ho!!!" it puts a smile on your face. :-)

"Hankey, the Christmas poo. I love him and he loves you...."

A Christmas Story

Look! It's a Christmas cult film... so much that TBS plays it for 24 hours straight!!! I'll never have to own it since I can get my fill of the movie each year. Everyone can relate to Ralphie. We all have that dream gift that we want SO BAD! We all have that crazy relative that gives you some strange clothes (although mine were never Pink Bunny suit embarrassing... just underwear, lol). Someone we know has had been "triple dog dared" into doing something. This movie, in all its eccentricities and misadventures, is universal to everyone (and why it will remain as a classic during the holiday season).

The Polar Express

My generation grew up with this book. I remember having it read to my classmates and I in elementary school. Now that I have a kid of my own, I get to watch him experience this classic tale as a movie. This is one of the few instances where the film has exact same charm, innocence, and wonder as the book. The movie not only keeps the attention of children, but it is entertaining enough for the adults to enjoy (and if anyone else is like me, it brings back a sense of nostalgia).

The Nightmare Before Christmas (presented with the Fall Out Boy version of "What's This)

Wow... it seems like I was just talking about this movie on my Halloween list. Oh, wait, I did!!! To see Jack Skellington discover the world of Christmas and then to figure it out through scientific experimentation was fun to watch! Although things didn't turn out as planned for Jack (or Santa, for that matter), it was one of those movies where you realize that you appreciate the world that you live in, even if you have moments of monotony. Oh, and that it's good to explore beyond your own place in the world, because you never know what you will find (in that fun, exciting way)!

Christmas Eve on Sesame Street

This is one of those specials that I can actually remember watching when I was 3 or 4 years old. Cookie Monster's attempt to contact Santa always made me laugh. Bert and Ernie exchanging their favorite possessions for gifts made me a little sad, but I also noticed how good of friends they were to each other (Hey, this was before I was old enough to hear of the gay lover jokes, so get your mind out of the gutter!). I also had hopes that Big Bird would see Santa, even though he fell asleep. The suspense of seeing Santa myself got to me as a kid, I always wanted to see more than just his shadow. I found a DVD copy of this special when working at Cargo Largo and wanted to share this with my son. He loves it as much as I did!!

Happy Holidays everyone!!!

Song #12- A Song From a Band You Hate

Insane Clown Posse "Miracles"

I mentioned in a previous blog about how I dated someone who considers himself a juggalo. So naturally, when I was around him, we listened to a lot of Insane Clown Posse. Now I am not really a fan of them, but this song "Miracles" was actually pretty good. I related to the innocent-like wonder and amazement of how things work in the world. I also liked the beat of the song. This, to me, isn't a normal ICP song since most of the lyrics are minimal when it comes to cursing, also virtually free of violence and hardcore sex themes. It's one of the few songs of theirs that could actually be played on the radio. So if you are around me when I'm listening to stuff on Pandora or YouTube and this song shows up on the play list, be assured that I am not a juggalo and that I just enjoy this song.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Song #11- A Song From Your Favorite Band

Poison "Every Rose Has Its Thorns"

I need to clarify... Poison is my favorite hair band, not my favorite band (they don't have anything new out, with the exception of Bret Michael's solo career). They are my favorite hair band for two reasons. One, because I watched Rock of Love, which if I am going to watch any of those reality dating shows, it's going to be one with rocker chicks fighting over a celebrity (the drama is expected). Two, a couple summers ago, my sister and I caught a local cover band called Poison Overdose. They were excellent! I proudly own The Best of Poison: 20 Years of Rock CD and listen to it every so often. I also wish to see Poison in concert someday (not just Bret... all of them).

I picked "Every Rose Has It's Thorns" because I felt like this was one of Bret's best written songs to date. Many people grasped that emotional connection of the song. This was also the first song that Bret performed this year after all his health issues. When Casey James started performing this on the American Idol season finale, I was freaking out because I realized that Bret was about to join him onstage... and he did! It was very exciting to see Bret, not to mention a complete shock to everyone (including his doctors). I hope for an exciting future for Bret and the boys... and maybe even a new album someday!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Song #10- A Song That Makes You Fall Asleep

Of all the topics in this music video challenge, this was the hardest one to come up with. I skipped this one several times and came back to it when I completed all the other blogs. I really don't have any specific songs that put me to sleep, but I do have a good idea at what kind of music would put me there, if I was very relaxed.

Enya "Only Time"

I think Enya's music is very beautiful, but it's not something I play regularly. Like, if I were to have a day at the spa (which I've never done), I could imagine listening to a compilation of her songs. Or, say, if I decided to go tanning in the high pressure bed, which definitely relaxed me (some of you may recall from my Tanning is Awkward blog what happened to me in said bed.... zzzzzzzzz). The peacefulness of Enya's music just gets you in that sleepy mood.

I need to admit that I cheated a little bit on this blog... I Googled songs that make you sleepy. Enya was one of the most popular artists. It makes sense though. I do feel like I need to make it up to you guys. So, for your viewing (and listening) pleasure, I would like to share a song that a young Colorado boy is compelled to finish whenever he hears it:

You know you love me for sharing that with you!!!!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Song #9- A Song You Can Dance To

Soulja Boy Tell'em "Crank That (Soulja Boy)"

I first heard this song three years ago, at Blake and Keri's wedding reception. We were all having a good time, dancing and enjoying wedding cake, when a few members of the wedding party wanted to play this song. Thinking it was related to the Groom's service in the military, I thought we were going to have a touching song. Yep... totally wrong. I instantly loved how catchy the beat was and couldn't take my eyes off the wedding party as they mastered the moves seen in this video. I had to learn to do those moves, and so I did.

Now, I may not have the moves entirely perfected, but close enough. I also enjoy the fact that when I do the dance, I start breaking a sweat. Instant workout song!!! LOL

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Song #8- A Song That You Know All The Words To

Journey "Don't Stop Believing"

I know I'm not alone in knowing all the words to this (this has been proven many times on Facebook). It's normally on the Top 100 downloaded songs on ITunes, which is pretty freaking impressive. I have always liked this song, but it's only been in the past year that it has grown to love. A lot of it has to do with my son Truman. He first heard this song when we watched the Disney movie Bedtime Stories (which is heard at least 3 times in the movie). Then he realized that I had the song on one of my Cd's so he started requesting it. Before I knew it, Truman had learned all the words and was requesting for my Mom and I to play it several times in a row (except Mom's version is from Glee). When my sister got married and we were at the reception afterward, Truman performed this song to everyone at the venue... and stole the night! My cousin Katy recorded it and posted it on Facebook. Here is the link if you would like to view his performance (and try not to smile or laugh when you see him shaking his hips).!/video/video.php?v=10150103348607033

At my work, this song is played pretty frequently (like that would surprise anyone... knowing I work at a grill and bar). I catch myself singing along with my coworkers and our regulars. I kind of get that proud feeling whenever this happens, just seeing a random group of people singing along to a song together is pretty cool. This song will forever remain a classic, for many generations to come :-)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Song #7- A Song That Reminds You of a Certain Event

Snow Patrol "Chasing Cars"

This song is absolutely beautiful. Many people first heard this on the radio, but I remember hearing it for the first time watching one of my favorite television shows: Grey's Anatomy. The show has played a lot of great music, boosting the popularity of many bands and artists. When "Chasing Cars" was on the show, it was during the scene where Izzie is lying in bed with Denny, after he died. The emotional impact of this scene was heart wrenching, and for a while, whenever I would hear this song it would put me in a semi-sad mood. Now, whenever I hear it, all I think about is Izzie and Denny and how they were cheated on a long life of happiness.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

When Did KIDS Cartoons Turn Purposely Sexy???

I am fully aware that sex sells. Everybody has their own preferences, fetishes, turn ons, whatever. I also grew up in the 80's and 90's where my guy friends would rave over the hotness of cartoon characters like Jessica Rabbit and Ariel from The Little Mermaid. I also have pointed out the attractiveness of some cartoon characters, especially in the world of Japanese anime (this new show I'm watching called Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt... wow, that's all about sex). But besides anime, most cartoons I watched were cutesy and fun... made to entertain the audience.

However... I need to rant.

In the past few years, there have been several 80's cartoons (and products) revamped for the younger generation. And, wow, did the animators/designers decide to make the characters... sexy. For me, this gets me aggravated for a few reasons. One, young kids are not going to be able to identify the sexiness of such characters, so what's the point of the short skirts and curvy bodies? Two, all of the characters I really enjoyed were on the chunkier side, but the revamped versions are skinny beanpoles... what is that teaching our kids? That we all want to be skinny? So wrong. Three, what's wrong with nostalgia that we have to remake everything?

Okay, to make my points a little clearer, here are some Then and Now pics of some of the characters and products that contributed to my ranting today:

Rainbow Brite

Yes, I was Rainbow Brite this past Halloween, and my costume was on the sexy side. I am an adult though, and I can pay homage to the 80's and make it into eye candy for the guys... I have that right. But I also am huge into nostalgia. I liked how Rainbow Brite was all about the big boots (this was around the time where my friends and I loved Moon shoes). Oh, and the big hair smothered in hairspray... another big thing in the 80's. I do admit that the newer version has more color (hello orange!) which makes her representation more like my costume.

Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberry Shortcake was one of the chunkier 80's cartoon characters... and that was cool. There was something about many 80's cartoons that featured chunkier size kids... maybe that's why there's a lot of people proud to show off curve and chunkiness today (because we grew up being okay with that). She fit the part of a character representing the sweet fruit: lots of red, green stockings, brown shoes, and was a redhead!!! The new version is... pink. Me no likey. If I saw her just randomly sitting in some little girls room for the first time, I would have no idea that it was supposed to be Strawberry Shortcake. The only good thing I can say about her remake is that they didn't sexify her.

Barbie Dolls to Bratz Dolls

Yep, this picture totally represents a thousand words.

I was a Barbie girl. Had several dolls, outfits, play sets, and accessories. My sister and I played for hours with our dolls. Actually, there is a tote in my house with all of our Barbie stuff in it, hehe. One day, when I was still in high school, I happened to see an ad for these new dolls called Bratz. I noticed that they had a lot more modern style than Barbies and were quickly flying off the shelves. As the popularity of these dolls increased, the amount of clothes they wore seemed to decrease. Now, when I look at them, I see wannabe prostitutes. If I ever have a daughter, I'm going to go the Barbie route. I just feel that some of the clothes on the Bratz are not appropriate at all (even though I personally would wear some of them... like I mentioned earlier, I am an adult...).

Dora the Explorer

Hola, Dora!!! This show is a very good representation of Mexican culture and kooky, oddball characters. I liked that one of the shows that my son watches occasionally is about a girl that's got a little bit of chunkiness to her. I thought that was awesome. Then, some months ago (or has it been over a year?), Nickelodeon introduced a teenage version of Dora. I admit, she's very pretty, but... skinny. I would have liked to see Dora have a little extra meat on her bones. You would think with the success of shows like Ugly Betty (which the lead character was chunky and was able to have a successful career in the fashion industry), that more people would want to hone in on women with curves. I guess we haven't quite reached that yet. It saddens me.

So there's my rant... nostalgia good.... sexy kid's cartoon characters bad. I know there's more out there (My Little Pony, Lisa Frank collection, The Chipettes from Alvin and the Chipmunks), but I don't have to cover everything do I? Nope!

Song #6- A Song That Reminds You of Somewhere

Elton John "Bennie and the Jets"

When I was eight years old, my family and I went on a vacation to Las Vegas. It was a blast and I was very surprised at how much you can do in that town that is family friendly, like visiting the dolphins at the Mirage and the Pirate battle at Treasure Island. While we were there, my parents brought the camcorder to capture some of our vacation. Part of our home video was when we were driving down the Las Vegas strip in our rental car. Mom has the camcorder filming everything we drove by that evening. We had the radio on and "Bennie and the Jets" was playing. Well, you basically heard the entire song on the video. So every time I hear that song, I think of the Las Vegas strip.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Song #5- A Song That Reminds You of Someone

Aerosmith "I Don't Wanna Miss a Thing"

Summer 1998... Armageddon is released in theaters. This was one of the many movies that my high school sweetheart Ben and I saw that summer. However, this movie stood out for us. A few weeks after seeing it, we somehow got into the conversation about songs. Ben states that we should have "I Don't Wanna Miss a Thing" as our song. Okay, cool. We have a song!

That was 11 years ago. Whenever I hear it, I still think of Ben. But now, it also makes me think of David Cook, since he performed it when he was competing on American Idol. Looking back, I still think it was pretty bad ass to have an Aerosmith song represent what Ben and I had when we were a couple, hehe.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Song #4- A Song That Makes You Sad

The Verve Pipe "Freshman"

It's pretty obvious why I picked this song, isn't it? It's about suicide. For two people to think that this is the way to get out of life, especially as a young teen just hurts my heart. At that age, I know it's hard to know that you are different than many people. I also know that high school is a time where people that are considered different are ridiculed, bullied, and isolated. This song represents that two individuals believed this was how it was going to be for the rest of their lives. What's even sadder? Only one of them went through with it. Not only does that person get to reflect and appreciate that he didn't end his life, but he ended up losing the one friend that understood him. He couldn't save her.

I remember the night before my freshman year, I called the radio station and requested to play this song. I only did it because the song was called "Freshman." Kinda fucked up, huh???

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Song #3- A Song That Makes You Happy

Bruno Mars "Just the Way You Are"

When I first heard this song on the radio, I fell in love. It instantly put a smile on my face and put me on a "happy high" for the rest of the day. Actually, it still does that to me. It's a very simple song, Bruno Mars gushing about how he loves his girl for who she is. It makes any woman feel beautiful. I recall one of my friends posting on my Facebook that this should be played every morning. You know, she had the right idea.. to start of each day listening to this would instantly make me happy (whether I already was or not). For any female out there that's feeling down, for whatever reason, I recommend you play this song. You will forget why you were down in the first place. :-)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Song #2- Your Least Favorite Song

Europe "The Final Countdown"

I was one of those individuals who went to Borders for the book release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (which I had also done for Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince). I got to the bookstore around 10 that evening to get in line to pick up my copy of the book after Midnight. The wonderful associates of Borders decided to play some music while we all waited, which was "The Final Countdown"... on repeat, for at least 2 hours. Umm... yeah, when you hear that song that many times in a row, you get tired of it really, REALLY fast. I'm just glad that the song didn't subconsciously associate itself with Harry Potter. That would have ruined my favorite books for me.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Song #1- Your Favorite Song

Michael Jackson's "Thriller"

I was only a couple weeks old when this video made its debut on December 2, 1983 (Hey, what a coincidence, that's 27 years ago TODAY!), so I have literally grown up with it. The song, to me, is Michael's best one (although "Billie Jean" is a very close second). Vincent Price did an excellent contribution with his rap, which is the part of the song I quote the most (Note to self: design artwork that shows off those lyrics so I can use it as Halloween decor each year). The video is pure genius... I credit that it revolutionized music videos in the way that many videos nowadays have a plot to them. I have been working on mastering the choreography of the video (which now that I own The Michael Jackson Experience on the Wii... thanks Mom... I can easily learn the moves).  It's one of several songs that will instantly get me onto a dance floor.

I don't care what time of the year it is, "Thriller" is appropriate anytime, anywhere. You can't help but love this song... and I have yet to find someone who hates it  :-)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

30 Day Song Challenge!!!

Oh how I love facebook and blogging!!! My buddy Sarah posted on her facebook in November of a Music Video Challenge. For thirty consecutive days you are supposed to post a music video that represents each day of the challenge. I loved her choices in videos and wanted to do the same thing. However, I thought I would add a little something to it. While I will abide by the rules and post the video, I will also add a little blip of information as to why I picked each video. These will be short blogs, but I hope that my readers will get as much enjoyment out of it as I will. This shall be a very eclectic December indeed!!!

1-Your Favorite Song
2-Your Least Favorite Song
3-A Song That Makes You Happy
4-A Song That Makes You Sad
5-A Song That Reminds You of Someone
6-A Song That Reminds You of Somewhere
7-A Song That Reminds You of a Certain Event
8- A Song that You Know All The Words To
9-A Song You Can Dance To
10-A Song That Makes You Fall Asleep
11-A Song From Your Favorite Band
12-A Song From a Band You Hate
13-A Song That is a Guilty Pleasure
14-A Song that No One Would Expect You to Love
15-A Song that Describes You
16-A Song that You Used to Love But Now Hate
17-A Song that You Hear Often on the Radio
18- A Song that You Wish You Heard on the Radio
19-A Song From Your Favorite Album
20- A Song You Listen to When You're Angry
21-A Song You Listen to When You're Happy
22-A Song You Listen to When You're Sad
23-A Song That You Want to Play at Your Wedding
24-A Song You Want to Play at Your Funeral
25-A Song That Makes You Laugh
26-A Song That You Can Play on An Instrument
27- A Song That You Wish You Could Play
28- A Song That Makes You Feel Guilty
29- A Song From Your Childhood
30- Your Favorite Song At This Time Last Year