Saturday, December 30, 2017

Day 30: 30-Day Song Challenge

Day 30: A song that reminds you of yourself


There is a lot to unpack with today's song choices and why it's the songs that remind me of myself. I'll talk about that at a later post. For now, let's celebrate the final day of the 30-Day Song Challenge!

I've Changed by Josh Joplin






I wanted perfection from every song I've ever sung
But that was wrong
And I wanted something from every person I've ever loved
But that was wrong

And I've changed, I've changed
I've reconsidered everything
I'm fine now, I'm fine now
I laid the barrel in my mouth
And everything I thought before
I won't think anymore
I've changed, I've changed, I've changed

I wanted to be the greatest at everything
But I can't be
And I wanted to be exempt from temptation
But I can't be

And I've changed, I've changed
I've reconsidered everything
I'm fine now, I'm fine now
I laid the barrel in my mouth
And everything I thought before
I won't think any more
I've changed, I've changed, I've changed

And I wanted your love to be everlasting
But it isn't
I wanted life to be an easier proposition
But it isn't

And I've changed, I've changed
I've reconsidered everything
I'm fine now, I'm fine now
I laid the barrel in my mouth
And everything I thought before
I won't think anymore
I've changed, I've changed, I've changed


Divisionary (Do The Right Thing) by Ages and Ages





Do the right thing, do the right thing
Do it all the time, do it all the time
Make yourself right, never mind 'em
Don't you know you're not the only one suffering

I see you up again wandering so diligent
Crossing your T's as though it weren't irrelevant
They say formality, this is what they really meant:
They can be the walk and we can be the pavement

Do the right thing, do the right thing
Do it all the time, do it all the time
Make yourself right, never mind them
Don't you know you're not the only one suffering

So what you're up against all the disingenuous
They wave you along and say there's always room for us
But we know better than that to take 'em serious
Still don't let'em make you bitter in the process

And when the light is up, this is how oughta be
We'll make it alright, they'll come around eventually
They say it's nothing but that ain't the reality
They may take us on but they can never take us easy

They ain't moving, they're just moving around
So if you love yourself, you better get out
Get out, get out, get out now

Do the right thing, do the right thing (do the right thing)
Do it all the time, do it all the time (do it all the time)
Make yourself right, never mind them (do it all the time)
Don't you know you're not the only one suffering

I hear a higher calling
Better here than there I guess
So long, so long

Friday, December 29, 2017

Day 29: 30-Day Song Challenge

Day 29: A song you remember from your childhood


Anything from Ace of Base, really. My favorite is Lucky Love, but the one that I remember the most is this one:


The Sign by Ace of Base



There is no other song that conjures up images of my childhood than this song. I was originally going to say The Cranberries' Dreams, but I have a specific childhood memory attached to The Sign. I'll talk about that some other time.

Another song that reminds me of my childhood the first song that I learned all the words to. An amazing feat since some of the verses of this song has a faster flow. Plus, it was in the movie Reality Bites - with my favorite actress of all time, Winona Ryder.

Stay (I Missed You) by Lisa Loeb


Thursday, December 28, 2017

Day 28: 30-Day Song Challenge

Day 28: A song by an artist whose voice you love


This is an easy one:

Ben Gibbard from Death Cab For Cutie and Postal Service. Maybe it's because I haven't really grown out of my EMO-phase, but I just find his voice soothing in its melancholy. It is also a recognizable voice - that you'll immediately say, "Oh, it's the Postal Service/Death Cab guy". And it's been imitated it inspired other artists too, like Owl City.

Since I've posted Such Great Heights twice on this challenge already (Day 7Day 14), I'll share my other favorite song from this guy from his other band.

The Sound of Settling by Death Cab For Cutie




Honorable Mentions: Adelle, Bjork, and Connor Oberst

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Day 27: 30-Day Song Challenge

Day 27: A song that breaks your heart

There are a lot of songs that do this for me.

  • Adelle's Someone Like You
  • Gilbert O'Sullivan's Alone Again (Naturally)
  • Robyn's Dancing On My Own
  • ABBA's Winner Takes It All (which I featured on Day 4)

It's not just songs about breakups, there are the songs about death (or at least I associate with death).

  • Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men's One Sweet Day 
  • That song from the Casper movie (which I thought was Taylor Dayne). 
  • The Cranberries' When You're Gone. 
  • And of course, the songs I featured on Day 10 - DeVotchka's How It Ends and Flaming Lips' Do You Realize.

But if there is one genre that produces some of the most legit heartbreaking songs, it would be the musical theater. Les Miserables produced 2 of the best examples of this:

Fantine's I Dreamed A Dream 

which for maximum effect, I'll share the video of Anne Hathaway's rendition from the movie version.



And of course...

Eponine's On My Own 

- Lea Salonga's version, from the Les Miserables 10th Anniversary Concert.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Day 26: 30-Day Song Challenge

Day 26: A song that makes you want to fall in love


Okay, I thought I was going to answer Elliot Smith's Say Yes or Dashboard Confessional's As Lovers Go. But I'm going pick a song that is the most obvious answer to this prompt. I'm choosing a less popular version of this song, but one of my favorite (the other is the A-Teen's version - only because it was in Lilo & Stitch).

This version appeared as the end credits start to roll in my favorite John Huges movie: Some Kind of Wonderful.

Can't Help Falling In Love by Lick The Tins






Monday, December 25, 2017

Day 25: 30-Day Song Challenge

Day 25: A song by an artist no longer living

Damn it! I just answered this yesterday

Okay, but I wouldn't have answered TLC for this question anyway. There are so many answers to this - like obvious answers like Whitney, Michael, Amy, Kurt, etc. But I'll choose this one because it's Christmas and this song seems appropriate - although I still have a rule that I can't hear his voice early in the morning. It puts me in a depressed mood - and this song, as beautiful as it is, is depressing AF!

Hallelujah by Jeff Buckley 



I also could have just chosen Leonard Cohen's version, but Jeff deserves this one because of my "No Jeff Buckley in the morning" rule. Also, could we retire this song from singing competitions already?

Oh, btw, Merry Christmas to all who celebrates it.

Happy Monday to everyone else.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Day 24: 30-Day Song Challenge

Day 24: A song by a band you wish were still together

I'd say Postal Service, but Death Cab for Cutie is still around. The Spice Girls are working on a reunion (yes... I like them!) - so they wouldn't count. I think Beyonce is better off without the rest of Destiny's Child, and I wasn't really into N SYNC or Backstreet Boys. Really, nowadays you can still hear your favorite artist even if they're no longer in their original band. Honestly can not think of any band that I liked that are no longer together or is not making music in one form or another. I think that it's a good thing that a lot of these artists had moved on to do other things. So, I don't really know how to answer this question.

If there really is one band/group that's still around (with their original line-up), I guess I'll just have to go with TLC. So, here's my favorite TLC song.

Unpretty by TLC


*

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Day 23: 30-Day Song Challenge

Day 23: A song you think everybody should listen to


All of the songs I've featured so far. Isn't that the whole point of doing this? Honestly starting to get annoyed by these prompts. LOL

Okay... let me think about this one. I'll give you 2 songs with the same title (hopefully, that's not an upcoming prompt): Wings.


Wings by Birdy




Wings by HAERTs




Friday, December 22, 2017

Day 22: 30-Day Song Challenge

Day 22: A song that moves you forward


I love movies from the early 90's. Clueless, Reality Bites, SinglesParty Girl, The Craft, and Empire Records - which incidentally where I first heard of today's song challenge pick. It was featured in the closing scene of the movie - when the employees were dancing on the rooftop after a crazy day. The song was released back in 80's - which just one of its many ironies.



It's a melancholy song with an optimistic vibe to it, which makes you wonder if it's meant to encourage or if it's sardonic. Is it really the day that your life will change or is it mocking you? 

Who knows? Either way, this song inspires me.


This Is The Day by The The



Thursday, December 21, 2017

Day 21: 30-Day Song Challenge

Day 21: A song you like with a person's name on the title 

There is only one correct answer for this. 

Jolene by Dolly Parton


BONUS: Dolly Parton + Pentatonix


Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Day 20: 30-Day Song Challenge

Day 20: A song that you secretly like

If I answer this prompt then it wouldn't be a secret anymore. 

Alright, fine! 

There are 2 songs, and the reason I'm ashamed to admit that I secretly like these songs is even kind of pretentious. They aren't horrible songs. It's just that... well...

Sometimes you just need to listen to something fun and not think about things too much.

Stars Are Blind by Paris Hilton




Body Language by Heidi Montag




Again, these are 2 fairly decent songs. The fact that I'm ashamed to admit that I like them says a lot about me. So, I should really work on that issue.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Day 19: 30-Day Song Challenge

Day 19: A song that makes you think about life

I think I already answered this question on Day 10 - the prompt about sad songs. I guess thinking about life makes me kind of sad because I think about death. But sadness is a part of life - it's a necessary part. 

I've spent a lot of time suppressing my sadness because that's what society tells us to do. "Don't be sad. You have a lot to be happy about," people would often advise. I know it's meant well, but it is also misguided. I think that we need to unlearn how we equate sadness with the feeling of being ungrateful or general unhappiness. 

Lot's to unpack here, but I'll talk about my philosophical view on happiness and sadness some other time. But for now, since I'm talking about sadness, here's my pick for today's prompt:

Sadness Is a Blessing by Lykke Li




My wounded rhymes make silent cries tonight
My wounded rhymes make silent cries tonight
And I'll keep it like a burning
Longing from a distance

I ranted, I pleaded, I beg him not to go
For sorrow, the only lover I've ever known

Sadness is a blessing
Sadness is a pearl
Sadness is my boyfriend
Oh sadness, I'm your girl

These scars of mine make wounded rhymes tonight
I dream of times when you were mine so I
Can keep it like a haunting
Heart beating close to mine

Sadness is a blessing
Sadness is a pearl
Sadness is my boyfriend
Oh sadness, I'm your girl

I ranted, I pleaded, I beg him not to go
For sorrow, the only lover I've ever known
Every night I rant, I plead, I beg him not to go
Will sorrow be the only lover I can call my own?

Sadness is a blessing
Sadness is a pearl
Sadness is my boyfriend
Oh sadness, I'm your girl

Sadness is a blessing
Sadness is a pearl
Sadness is my boyfriend
Oh sadness, I'm your girl

Sadness is my boyfriend
Oh sadness, I'm your girl
Oh sadness, I'm your girl
Oh sadness, I'm your girl

Monday, December 18, 2017

Day 18: 30-Day Song Challenge

Day 18: A song with your favorite opening


This is a vague prompt (much like all of it so far). Is it asking for my favorite opening line or opening riff/chord?

If it's the former, I would say it's "Hello darkness my old friend." (Sound of Silence)

If it's the latter, then it's definitely this bad-ass opening riff:


Barracuda by Heart



This is the song that plays in my head when I'm about to enter a room full of people that I need to "impress" or to feel confident and in-charge. And I have Lucy Liu to thank for that.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Day 17: 30-Day Song Challenge

Day 17: A song you'd sing a duet with someone on karaoke


OMG. Who came up with these prompts?

Here are my rules for doing karaoke:
  • only sing songs I know all the words to
  • only sing songs that people can sing along to - even if they don't really know all the words
  • only sing songs that has wide audience appeal
So my go-to karaoke song is The Cure's Friday, I'm in Love. For groups, it's Wannabe by Spice Girls, and for duets, it has to be this:

A Whole New World from Disney's Aladin

And of course, I'll sing Lea Salonga's part.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Day 16: 30 Day Song Challenge

Day 16: A song that is a classic favorite


So... I've been kind of cheating in my last few days by posting multiple songs. For today, there will only be one song, I promise.

Hmm... this will be difficult. First, let's establish what is considered a "classic"? For this purpose, it would have to be:
  • at least 20 years old
  • the original version of the song (meaning it can't be a cover)
  • said version would have to fairly popular and easily recognizable
With these criteria, I've narrowed it down to 3 songs. Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana, Thriller by Micheal Jackson, and my pick for my favorite:

Take On Me by a-ha!


It's my pick because it's my absolute favorite music video of all time. It was even my ringtone at one point.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Day 15: 30-Day Song Challenge

Day 15: A song you like that's a cover by another artist


Okay... some of my favorite songs are actually cover songs. So much so that I have a Spotify playlist of nothing but cover songs.





But I would say, out of all of those songs, my favorite would be...


Cobra Verde's cover of New Order's Temptation

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Day 14: 30-Day Song Challenge

Day 14: Song you'd love to be played to your wedding


You have no idea how much I have thought about my wedding playlist!



Yes, playlist. Not just a song, but an entire playlist. I have pretty much scored my imaginary wedding like it's a movie.

So here it is:

Running by No Doubt

An instrumental version of this song while guests take their seats for the ceremony.


Only You by Yaz

An orchestral version of this song, like the one from a Burberry fashion show, will be the song my bridesmaids/groomsmen will march to.



 Here, There, and Everywhere by The Beatles

Again, this will be an orchestral version (or string quartet). This will be the song I'll walk down the aisle to.




Such Great Heights by Postal Service

Orchestral version - this will be the song that would play once we're announced as a married couple. Might also be the first dance.


Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Day 13: 30-Day Song Challenge

Day 13: A song you like from the 70's


Damn! I already posted a song from the 70's on Day 4.

Here's my other pick, which I thought it was from the 80's. It was released in 1978. This song is pretty cool on its own, but when mashed-up with Arcade Fire's Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains), just makes it more current (okay... like 2010 current).

Heart of Glass by Blondie



Bonus Video: Arcade Fire v Blondie MashUp "Sprawl of Glass"




Bonus: Watch their epic Coachella 2014 performance here.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Day 12: 30-Day Song Challenge

Day 12: A song from your preteen years

When You Say Nothing At All by Ronan Keating 

...but I prefer the Alison Kraus & Union Station version better, so that's the one I'm posting.


"When You Say Nothing At All"

It's amazing how you can speak right to my heart
Without saying a word you can light up the dark
Try as I may I could never explain
What I hear when you don't say a thing

The smile on your face lets me know that you need me
There's a truth in your eyes sayin' you'll never leave me
The touch of your hand says you'll catch me if ever I fall
You say it best when you say nothing at all

All day long I can hear people talking out loud
But when you hold me near, you drown out the crowd
Old Mr. Webster could never define
What's being said between your heart and mine

The smile on your face lets me know that you need me
There's a truth in your eyes sayin' you'll never leave me
The touch of your hand says you'll catch me if ever I fall
You say it best when you say nothing at all

The smile on your face lets me know that you need me
There's a truth in your eyes sayin' you'll never leave me
The touch of your hand says you'll catch me if ever I fall
You say it best when you say nothing at all

Monday, December 11, 2017

Day 11: 30-Day Song Challenge

Day 11: A song you never get tired of


This is a difficult one because all of the songs I've listed so far falls in this category. Some songs I'm holding out for another day. So... I'll just qualify this as a song with the least number of skips in my iPod.

And it's a surprising one.

Crazy For You by Madonna


Sunday, December 10, 2017

Day 10: 30-Day Song Challenge

Day 10: A song that makes you sad


There are too many to choose from! I'll narrow it down to 2 songs.

How It Ends by DeVotchka



 Do You Realize?? by The Flaming Lips

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Day 9: 30-Day Song Challenge

Day 9: A song that makes you happy

Since I've already used Friday, I'm in Love and Such Great Heights, here's another song that makes me smile whenever I hear it. I don't understand about 99% of the song, but I love the melody and orchestration.

Starlight Parade by Sekai No Owari




BONUS SONG: Sanki Tousen! by Earphones

I think we have a pattern here! :)

 

Friday, December 8, 2017

Day 8: 30-Day Song Challenge

Day 8: A song about drugs or alcohol

Doses & Mimosas by Cherub 

(explicit and definitely nsfw)



Don't get me started love
I've had too much too drink
Had too much time to think
So leave me alone oh oh

Cryin' when you're by yourself,
'Cause of what they think
About you ooh ooh
Makes time go slow, slow, slow, yeah
(Makes time go slow, slow, slow)
(Slow)

Something's gotta give soon
Or I'm gonna lose it
Substance abuse it
And never come down, down

Fall off the deep end
And forget my English
What's the point of language,
If you don't say what you feel ha ha huh

So with that being said huh oh

To all the bitch ass hoes,
That hate me the most
Oh yea I hate you too, (uh)

To all the punk ass fucks
That just wanna talk shit
I hate you too uh

To all the high class ass,
That's too hard to pass
Oh yea I hate you too (eh)

Doses and mimosas
Champagne and cocaine
Help to get me through (uh)

Ten in the mornin'
And I'm skipping breakfast
And drinking a beverage
To ignore it all huh oh

'Cause ignorance is bliss and
I've come to embrace it
It's all overrated
Except drugs and alcohol ho ho ooh

Uh huh hmm

So with that being said oh wow

To all the bitch ass hoes,
That hate me the most
Oh yea I hate you too, (uh)

To all the punk ass fucks
That just wanna talk shit
I hate you too uh

To all the high class ass,
That's too hard to pass
Oh yea I hate you too (eh)

Doses and mimosas
Champagne and cocaine
Help to get me through (uh)

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Day 7: 30-Day Song Challenge

Day 7: A song to drive to

Such Great Heights by The Postal Service

I was saving this song for another day, but I really can't think of another song that I truly enjoy driving to.



I am thinking it's a sign
That the freckles in our eyes
Are mirror images and when
We kiss they're perfectly aligned

And I have to speculate
That God himself did make
Us into corresponding shapes
Like puzzle pieces from the clay

And true, it may seem like a stretch,
But its thoughts like this that catch
My troubled head when you're away
When I am missing you to death

When you are out there on the road
For several weeks of shows
And when you scan the radio,
I hope this song will guide you home

They will see us waving from such great heights,
"Come down now," they'll say
But everything looks perfect from far away,
"Come down now," but we'll stay...

I tried my best to leave
This all on your machine
But the persistent beat it sounded thin
Upon listening

And that frankly will not fly.
You will hear the shrillest highs
And lowest lows with the windows down
When this is guiding you home

They will see us waving from such great heights,
"Come down now," they'll say
But everything looks perfect from far away,
"Come down now," but we'll stay...
[x2]

They will see us waving from such great heights,
"Come down now."
[x2]

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Day 6: 30-Day Song Challenge

Day 6: A song that makes you want to dance

Crazy in Love by Beyonce & Jay Z

(Okay, don't tell me that from the first horn, you're not already shaking your booty!)




Yes
It's so crazy right now
Most incredibly, it's ya girl, B
It's ya boy, young
You ready?
Uh oh, uh oh, uh oh, oh, no, no
Uh oh, uh oh, uh oh, oh, no, no
Uh oh, uh oh, uh oh, oh, no, no
Uh oh, uh oh, uh oh, oh, no, no
Yeah, history in the making
Part two, it's so crazy right now
I look and stare so deep in your eyes
I touch on you more and more every time
When you leave, I'm begging you not to go
Call your name two or three times in a row
Such a funny thing for me to try to explain
How I'm feeling and my pride is the one to blame
'Cause I know I don't understand
Just how your love can do what no one else can
Got me looking so crazy right now, your love's
Got me looking so crazy right now (in love)
Got me looking so crazy right now, your touch
Got me looking so crazy right now (your touch)
Got me hoping you'll page me right now, your kiss
Got me hoping you'll save me right now
Looking so crazy in love's
Got me looking, got me looking so crazy in love
Uh oh, uh oh, uh oh, oh, no, no
Uh oh, uh oh, uh oh, oh, no, no
Uh oh, uh oh, uh oh, oh, no, no
Uh oh, uh oh, uh oh, oh, no, no
When I talk to my friends so quietly
Who he think he is? Look at what you did to me
Tennis shoes, don't even need to buy a new dress
If you ain't there, ain't nobody else to impress
It's the way that you know what I thought I knew
It's the beat my heart skips when I'm with you
But I still don't understand
Just how your love can do what no one else can
Got me looking so crazy right now, your love's
Got me looking so crazy right now (oh, crazy)
Got me looking so crazy right now, your touch (you're in love)
Got me looking so crazy right now (love)
Got me hoping you'll page me right now, your kiss (hey)
Got me hoping you'll save me right now
Looking so crazy in love's (hey)
Got me looking, got me looking so crazy in love
I'm looking so crazy in love's
Got me looking, got me looking so crazy in love
Check it, let's go
Young 'Hov, y'all know when the flow is loco
Young B and the R-O-C, uh oh, (oh)
Ol' G, big homey, the one and only
Stick bony, but the pocket is fat like Tony Soprano (oh no)
The ROC handle like Van Axel
I shake phonies, man; you can't get next to
The genuine article; I do not sing though
I sling though; if anything, I bling yo
A star like Ringo, roll like a green beret
Crazy bring ya whole set
Jay Z in the range, crazy and deranged
They can't figure him out; they like, "hey, is he insane?"
Yes, sir, I'm cut from a different cloth
My texture is the best fur, chinchilla
(Uh oh, uh oh, uh oh, oh, no, no) I been iller than chain smokers
How you think I got the name Hova?
(Uh oh, uh oh, uh oh, oh, no, no) I been realer; the game's over
(Uh oh, uh oh, uh oh, oh, no, no) Fall back, young; ever since I made the change over
(Uh oh, uh oh, uh oh, oh, no, no) To platinum the game's been wrap, one
Got me looking so crazy, my baby
I'm not myself; lately I'm foolish, I don't do this
I've been playing myself; baby, I don't care
'Cause your love's got the best of me
And, baby, you're making a fool of me
You got me sprung and I don't care who sees
'Cause, baby, you got me, you got me so crazy, baby
Hey
Got me looking so crazy right now, your love's (oh love)
Got me looking so crazy right now (lookin' crazy)
Got me looking so crazy right now, your touch
Got me looking so crazy right now
Got me hoping you'll page me right now, your kiss (baby)
Got me hoping you'll save me right now (baby)
Looking so crazy in love's (whoa)
Got me looking, got me looking so crazy in love (whoa)
Got me looking so crazy right now, your love's
Got me looking so crazy right now (your love)
Got me looking so crazy right now, your touch
Got me looking so crazy right now (your touch)
Got me hoping you'll page me right now, your kiss
Got me hoping you'll save me right now
Looking so crazy in love's
Got me looking, got me looking so crazy in love

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Day 5: 30-Day Song Challenge

Day 5: A song that needs to be played loud

Friday, I'm in Love by The Cure

(This happens to be my favorite song. Also, needs to be played loud on Fridays!)




I don't care if Monday's blue
Tuesday's grey and Wednesday too
Thursday I don't care about you
It's Friday I'm in love

Monday you can fall apart
Tuesday, Wednesday break my heart
Thursday doesn't even start
It's Friday I'm in love

Saturday wait
And Sunday always comes too late
But Friday never hesitate...

I don't care if Monday's black
Tuesday, Wednesday heart attack
Thursday never looking back
It's Friday I'm in love

Monday you can hold your head
Tuesday, Wednesday stay in bed
Or Thursday watch the walls instead
It's Friday I'm in love

Saturday wait
And Sunday always comes too late
But Friday never hesitate...

Dressed up to the eyes
It's a wonderful surprise
To see your shoes and your spirits rise
Throwing out your frown
And just smiling at the sound
And as sleek as a shriek
Spinning round and round
Always take a big bite
It's such a gorgeous sight
To see you eat in the middle of the night
You can never get enough
Enough of this stuff
It's Friday
I'm in love

I don't care if Monday's blue
Tuesday's grey and Wednesday too
Thursday I don't care about you
It's Friday, I'm in love

Monday you can fall apart
Tuesday, Wednesday break my heart
Thursday doesn't even start
It's Friday I'm in love

Monday, December 4, 2017

Day 4: 30-Day Song Challenge

Day 4: A song that reminds you of someone you'd rather forget

The Winner Takes It All by ABBA 

(Honestly, one of the saddest song I have heard in my life.)




I don't want to talk
About the things we've gone through
Though it's hurting me
Now it's history
I've played all my cards
And that's what you've done too
Nothing more to say
No more ace to play

The winner takes it all
The loser standing small
Beside the victory
That's her destiny

I was in your arms
Thinking I belonged there
I figured it made sense
Building me a fence
Building me a home
Thinking I'd be strong there
But I was a fool
Playing by the rules

The gods may throw a dice
Their minds as cold as ice
And someone way down here
Loses someone dear
The winner takes it all
The loser has to fall
It's simple and it's plain
Why should I complain

But tell me does she kiss
Like I used to kiss you?
Does it feel the same
When she calls your name?
Somewhere deep inside
You must know I miss you
But what can I say
Rules must be obeyed

The judges will decide
The likes of me abide
Spectators of the show
Always staying low
The game is on again
A lover or a friend
A big thing or a small
The winner takes it all

I don't want to talk
If it makes you feel sad
And I understand
You've come to shake my hand
I apologize
If it makes you feel bad
Seeing me so tense
No self-confidence
But you see
The winner takes it all
The winner takes it all

So the winner takes it all
And the the loser has to fall
Throw a dice, cold as ice
Way down here, someone dear
Takes it all, has to fall
It seems plain to me

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Day 3: 30-Day Song Challenge

Day 3: A song that reminds you of summertime

We Are in Love by Cider Sky




You say you spent your summer in the rain
Driving up the coast I felt the same
Cover me in grey until I saw you
Just another day until I saw you

It doesn't matter if the stars forget us
It doesn't matter if the world don't know our names
It doesn't matter if they talk about us
It doesn't matter cause we are in, we are in love
We are in, we are in love [x3]

Every color in the world is in your eyes
And everywhere you look you shine a light
Hollow as the night until I saw you
I came back to life when I saw you

It doesn't matter if the stars forget us
It doesn't matter if the world don't know our names
It doesn't matter if they talk about us
It doesn't matter cause we are in, we are in love

We are in, we are in love [x8]

Is it real or are you joking?
Its not true until it's spoken now
Say the words if you dare to know them
Say the words if you dare to know them

we are in, we are in love [x8]

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Day 2: 30-Day Song Challenge

Day 2: A song you like with a number in the title

50 Ways To Leave Your Lover by Paul Simon


The problem is all inside your head, she said to me
The answer is easy if you take it logically
I'd like to help you in your struggle to be free
There must be fifty ways to leave your lover

She said it's really not my habit to intrude
For the more I hope my meaning won't be lost or misconstrued
So I repeat myself, at the risk of being cruel
There must be fifty ways to leave your lover, fifty ways to leave your lover

Just slip out the back, Jack, make a new plan, Stan
Don't need to be coy, Roy, just listen to me
Hop on the bus, Gus, don't need to discuss much
Just drop off the key, Lee, and get yourself free

Just slip out the back, Jack, make a new plan, Stan
Don't need to be coy, Roy, just listen to me
Hop on the bus, Gus, don't need to discuss much
Just drop off the key, Lee, and get yourself free

She said it grieves me so to see you in such pain
I wish there was something I could do to make you smile again
I said, I appreciate that, then would you please explain about the fifty ways

She said, why don't we both just sleep on it tonight
And I believe, in the morning you'll begin to see the light
And then she kissed me and I realized she probably was right
There must be fifty ways to leave your lover, fifty ways to leave your lover

Just slip out the back, Jack, make a new plan, Stan
Don't need to be coy, Roy, just listen to me
Hop on the bus, Gus, don't need to discuss much
Just drop off the key, Lee, and get yourself free

Friday, December 1, 2017

30-Day Song Challenge

Day 1: A song you like with a color in the title

The Red Kiss by The Aikiu



Death is in love with me
Death has no mercy you see
She floats around and spins around
She's everybody's darling under the ground

Death sneaks everywhere
please tell her to stop, if you dare
Death has been searching for me
in the air under the sea
and maybe I am wrong
maybe I am not
Death is like a queue so hard to stop
does anybody care
death is everywhere
oh death is everywhere

This is the red kiss
the darker height
that put you to sleep
a moment of truth that lovers bliss
The red kiss how could one resist?

You said you're in love with me
but I'm not as good as I pretend to be
I float around and spin around
I'm everybody's darling underground
You follow everywhere I wish you stop deceit...
and you've been howling for me
that is at the right time you see

And maybe I am wrong maybe I am not
Death is like a queue so hard to stop
You're floating in the air
as we hide in despair
'cause Death is everywhere

This is the red kiss
the darker height
that put you to sleep
a moment of truth that lovers bliss
The red kiss how could one resist?
This is the red kiss
the sweetest light that put you to sleep
that lover's bliss
the red kiss
the death kiss
how could one resist?

I don't think I'm the one
that you're looking for
Death we'll meet far more
and maybe I am wrong
maybe I am not
for this, I'm no longer sure

This is the red kiss
the darker height
that put you to sleep
a moment of truth that lovers bliss
The red kiss how could one resist?

The red kiss...
The death kiss...
The red kiss... oh no!
The red kiss...
The death kiss...
The red kiss...

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Don't Think Twice, It's All Right

Current Mood: 

I ain't saying you treated me unkind
You could have done better, but I don't mind
And you just sorta wasted my precious time
But don't think twice it's all right

 

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Playlist: The Beat That My Heart Skipped


This playlist started this morning when I had the urge to hear Heartbeat by Steps. Then it just spiraled into finding songs that I like, with the word heartbeat or hearts beating, skipping, racing, or anything along the line. 

The result is this eclectic mix ranging from Gladys Knight and The Pips to Siouxie and the Banshees to DeVotchka and Robyn.

This is not a playlist about heartbreak, although some of the songs on here might be about that. That's going to be another playlist. 

Are there other songs I should add? Let me know!

Saturday, October 14, 2017

You Go Girl!

You Go Girl!


It's a few years old, but this is so inspirational on so many levels. Skateboarding in a tutu and fairy wings, falling and getting back up, try and try until you succeed, and that this is a little girl doing this.  
I am RARELY impressed or give anyone/anything my approval. This is impressive and I approve of it.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

No One Else

"Do not think you can be brave with your life and
your work and never disappoint anyone. It doesn't work that way." - Oprah

If you spent years of your life pursing a particular path, then no one else should care about your passion as much as you do - otherwise, it would be their path, too! The sacrifices you have or will make to reach your goal should not be understood by other people simply because they have their own set of goals to pursue. People are often disappointed not because you did something wrong, but that you did something that doesn't match their personal standards. It often has nothing to do with you.

Your partner, your friends, your family and even the public at large may praise what you are doing, but do not mistake that for them understanding what you are doing. Accept that the work you put in will often be invisible to even your biggest supporters and you'll save yourself from disappointment for both yourself and others. It's your dream; not somebody else's. Waiting for a cosign usually yields disappointment, as not everyone can or should get your intention as much as you do.

- Adapted from Braving the Wilderness:
The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone
by Brene Brown 

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Coffee Please


Drinking lots of coffee is good for you!! Drinking lots of coffee will kill you!!

I don't know.  No one seems to know.

Like most things, it's probably fine in moderation. But then again, what is a "moderate" amount?

I have come to the conclusion that, it doesn't really matter. Life is short, you might as well enjoy it.

That is my philosophy nowadays.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Why (Sometimes) It's Okay To Feel Pain

We think that by protecting ourselves from suffering (that) we are being kind to ourselves. The truth is: we only become more fearful, more hardened, and more alienated. We experience ourselves as separate from the whole. This separateness becomes like a prison for us -  a prison that restricts us from our from our personal hopes and fears, and to caring only for the people nearest to us.

Curiously enough, if we try to shield ourselves from discomfort - we suffer. Yet when we don't close off and let our hearts break, we discover our kinship with all beings. When we protect ourselves so we won't feel pain, that protection becomes like armor, like armor that imprisons the softness of the heart. We do everything we can think of not to feel anything threatening. We try to prolong feeling good about ourselves. Looking at color pictures in magazines of people having fun on the beach, many of us earnestly wish that life could be good.



When we breathe in pain, somehow it penetrates that armor. The way we guard ourselves is getting softened up. This heavy, rusty, creaking armor begins to seem not so monolithic after all. With the in-breath, the armor begins to fall apart, and we find we can breathe deeply and relax. We don't have to tense up as if our whole life were being spent in the dentist's chair. When we breathe out relief and spaciousness, we are also encouraging the armor to dissolve. The out-breath is a metaphor for opening our whole being. When something is precious, instead of holding it tightly, we can open our hands and share it. We can give it all away. We can share the wealth of this unfathomable human experience.

 - Chödrön, P. (2016). When things fall apart: Heart advice for difficult times.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Meditation Music

Find Your Inner Peace


Start your day right, or take a 15-minute break in the middle of your work day. Take a deep breath and relax. This music will help guide you soothe your body, your mind, and your spirit. 

 

Namaste.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Don't Be A Hater: Clearing Your Subconscious Negativity

It is a challenge when you're surrounded by negativity every day. You get caught up in other people's negativity and the next thing you know: you're on a hate-binge and saying horrible things about another person. And when you catch yourself saying all of those horrible things, your hatred for that person levels up because they're somehow responsible for turning you into a hateful monster.

How do you get out it? How do you break the cycle of hate?


At the beginning of the year, I started listening to some guided meditation videos on YouTube. I listen to them passively, sort of like incidental music. I listen to them while at work, or in bed before I fall asleep. Then I discovered an 8-hour "sleep hypnosis" version.

While I don't believe in hypnotherapy, I can appreciate the positive affirmations that I receive while sleeping. I can't say for sure that it's working, but it helps me relax and calm down. My goal is to not fill my mind with hate when someone is being hateful to me.

It is an ongoing battle, and it is definitely a challenge not to act on my first impulse - to judge and make negative assumptions about someone. But when I do slip up, I also have to be kind to myself and learn from my mistakes. 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Coloring Your Dark Hair: A How To Guide

People have asked me, "Callen, how did you get your hair so light?"

My response, "By severely damaging my hair."

I am not a professional hair stylist, nor do I claim to be an expert, bu one day over Thanksgiving break, I had the crazy idea that it would be cool to have gray hair.  And so, I did and it was awesome.

Gray hair - don't care
I thought that I looked dope with silver gray hair.
It was cool for a couple of days, then it wasn't.

How did I manage to achieve this oh-so-trendy look that it's borderline passe?  Not by being patient! And that's one of the main reason I had to chop most of my hair off.  From Thanksgiving through my birthday, I've sported several hair colors ranging from my natural black hair to silver white and all of the awkward colors in between.

Simply put, unless you are a professional (and even then), it is nearly impossible to turn black/dark hair to gray/silver/white without causing some damage to your hair (and your scalp).

My first recommendation is to really think about it:  

  • Is it something that you really must have? 
  • Would you have the patience to go through the process? 
  • Do you have the time, energy, and resources to maintain the up-keep?
  • Do you have a transition plan once you decided that it's no longer for you?

Sounds dramatic, huh?  But then again, if you're like me - impatient and has no emotional attachment to my hair, then my advice is to GO TO A PROFESSIONAL!  Don't do it yourself.

Of course, there wouldn't be an evil affiliation - duh!
My hair color evolution from Thanksgiving to March 13, 2017.
(Not pictured: all of the hideous, brassy tones
and the faded color that looked like mold.)

Here's the breakdown of how I was able to achieve the look:

  1. BLEACHING - Professionally referred to as "lifting".  I had to get it done 4 times.  A total of 8 hours just to reach the next stage.  It burned like hell!  My scalp was all scabbed up from the ordeal.  And when it flaked off, it was embarrassing AF.  Not to mention that in between lifting, I had to live with brassy orange hair for a couple of days, then corn yellow hair, some sort of blond, and finally a really light blond.  None of which looked good on me.
     
  2. TONING - Toning is basically coloring with a lot of hair conditioner and whatever the blue stuff was.  This is an important step because it counters the brassiness from bleaching dark hair.  If you've ever accidentally bleached a dark shirt, you may have noticed that the bleach spot turned reddish gold.  It's the same thing with hair.
     
  3. COLORING - This is the step where things like "dimensions" and "depth" are added to your hair.  The coloring process is what creates the final look, but this cannot be achieved without the first 2 steps - if you have dark hair, at least. For my hair, we used Ion's Color Brilliance in Titanium.
     
  4. CONDITIONING - After the color set and your hair is rinsed, you will need to condition your hair to salvage it from all of the chemical processes you've put it through.  This is an on-going throughout the life of your new hair color.
     
  5. MAINTAINING - If you intend to keep your new hair color for a few growth cycle - which I was told .50 inches per month, then you would definitely want to repeat steps 1 to 3 every 2 months.  You also need to use a shampoo made for color treated hair to avoid fading.
     
Did I like the end result? Yes!  Did I think I looked good with light hair and dark facial hair?  Hell yeah - in an evil villain sort of way.  Would I ever do it again?  Ummm... hard to say.  On one hand, my hair was severely damaged that I had to cut it all off - and just a few months from my favorite event: Des Moines Art Center's Big Hair Ball!

But I did learn one thing, even though I say that I'm not emotionally attached to my hair, it's still kinda sad to see all of your hair chopped off - especially when you've been used to seeing yourself with longer hair.  I can now relate to the girls on Top Model when they have a breakdown over their make-over.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

A Year of Living Dangerously

It was a year ago this week that I moved into my apartment.

It is in a "charming" building in Des Moines' historic neighborhood of Sherman Hill. The building was built before the 1920's as a convalescence and has the one of very first elevator installed in Iowa, which is still functional today. It also has a nuclear fallout shelter - which is now a creepy storage area. It has the potential to be a cool place, if my landlord slumlord would maintain the up-keep of the property.

The unit I'm in is on the second floor. It has a cramped kitchen, awkward bathroom, but plenty of storage space - especially when I asked the Murphy bed to removed and converted it into another closet.  And despite the haphazard attempts by the slumlord to make it "presentable" - like the missing wall panel behind my fridge, that exposes my shower/tub's plumbing or the radiator that hasn't been clean in years and has collected all sorts of allergens, and the shared laundry facility - I would dare say that it's not that bad. It's proximity to my office, downtown, and pretty much all of the cool things makes it an okay place to live in.  It is a good apartment if it's your first time living on your own.

But as it turns out, I'm actually allergic to my apartment.  It has a lot to do with that all of the cat people in my building.  Unfortunately, I have some irresponsible pet parents for neighbors - plus the fact that my slumlord did not do a good job cleaning my apartment before I moved in.  For the past year, I have been slowly making myself sick by living in a place where I am exposed multiple things that I am allergic to.

I am moving back with my family in the burbs while I find a suitable new place.

So, yeah... it turns out that I am allergic to cats.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Nerd Alert!

My coworkers seemed surprised and disappointed when I tell them that I didn't do anything exciting over the weekend. They imagine that I live this wild and crazy life. But that was the old me - when FOMO would gnaw on me every weekend that I'm not out partying with my "friends". I've pretty much become a hermit since the beginning of the year. I haven't even been to the gym in almost 3 weeks! What exactly have I been doing?

This:

Crunchyroll and chill! 

I've been binge watching anime on Crunchyroll, (or catching up on Emerald City and Project Runway Juniors). Since moving to my new apartment, I have turned into somewhat of an "otaku".  While in the past I was still closeted about this kind of thing, living by myself allowed me to be who I really am. I have finished close to 20 seasons of various anime. I have moved on to watching the simulcast shows - which can be frustrating when you have to wait another week for new episodes.

Right now, I am into Gabriel Dropout and Akiba's Trip: The Animation. I tried getting into Yuri! On Ice, but I'm just not feeling it. It's not because of the gay undertones. I'm just not into sports - even if it is figure skating. I really enjoyed The Morose Mononokean, WWW.WAGNARIA!, and Kiss Him Not Me. I also liked ReLife, Say "I Love You", Golden Time, The Flying Witch, and Gourmet Girl Graffiti. 

While I am yet to fully immerse myself in this sub-culture (I am yet to cosplay or even go to a comi-con), I am amazed by how much I'm actually not even remotely ashamed that I'm a grown man watching cartoons. If that makes me a nerd, then I guess I am. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Hello Insomnia!

Tfw you're so tired and you just want to go to sleep, but you took your Adderall late in the day and now must battle with insomnia. This happens so frequently that you would think that I'd learn to take my meds earlier in the day. Nope. That is not how I roll. 

Instead, I'm updating, or I should say "restarting", my long-forgotten blog. Which is kind of serendipitous, as I am embarking on a new adventure in approximately 59 days, and what better time than now to chronicle this recent development, which I will share at a later time. That is if I remember to update this blog.

Anyway, back to my insomnia. Have you ever been so tired that you're angry about it? I've been told that reality show contestants are often deprived of sleep so that they'll be extra dramatic for the camera. I am at that level of extra right now. I am extra af.

I guess I'll play a round of expeditions on Forge of Empires till I fall asleep because I've tried everything else. Yes, including that one!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Oh hai!

TFW you have a domain for your blog, but don't have anything to say ATM. So you leave a selfie collage because you're extra AF.


I mean... whatever. I do what I want!