Sunday, February 28, 2016

Sunday's Seven Snapshots vol.62

I walked in the bedroom ready to take myself to bed; apparently, someone was already there waiting for me. 

Driving home one night this week, the sunset was ridiculously colorful. 

Humpday views from Cronulla Beach

More Humpday views

A little perusing in a local bookstore 

My friends and I at the start of the Little Black Dress Run

I didn't get a medal after my "run", but I did get this meatball pizza. 

Happy weekend to you and yours!

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Little Black Dress Run 2016

I'm SO late with fundraising!  I may not earn a dollar, but I'm going to try anyway.  This event is tomorrow.  I'm that late!

I'm going to slip on a 'Little Black Dress' and run around Darling Harbour to raise crucially needed funds that will make a difference to the lives of LGBTIQ children, young people and their families this Mardi Gras.

Those of you that know me well, know that I don't run.  This event allows skipping and frolicking, so I'm in!

All the money I raise will go to the Twenty-10 Association to provide free specialized child, adolescent and family counselling.   Every cent helps!  Let’s show the next generation how much we care!

I personally know and have relationships with people who would have been greatly helped by such an organization (especially during their youth).  My participation is in honor of them.

Here's a link to my fundraising page:

Love & kisses,

Friday, February 26, 2016

Aussie Author Challenge: Book Three

In the synopsis on Goodreads for This House of Grief by Helen Garner, this book is described as "utterly compelling".  It has been rated over 1600 times with an average score of a 4.03 book.  Maybe it was the "utterly compelling" description and the high review marks that caused me to expect more from this book.  Instead, I found it tedious and boring more often than I should. 

This is a true story.  I had to remind myself that a horribly tragic event occurred that caused the loss of life for three young brothers.  The author admits that some days in the courtroom the judge, jurors, and journalists appeared bored, nodded off, and distracted themselves to stay awake or keep focused.  So, why write and detail those days in the courtroom in a manner just as boring?  To be accurate?  I suppose.  I respect the fact that the author wasn't trying to sensationalize or write a piece for a gossip magazine.  She tells us of her own emotional reactions from time to time, but overall, it felt like an emotionless story too often than it should.  And, the loss of three young boys is far from an emotionless occurrence. 

I hate to admit this, due to the serious nature of the criminal trial examined, but I reached a point that I started skimming and just wanted the book to end.  2/5

It's the 7th year for the Aussie Author Challenge, and my 2nd year participating (click on the picture/link to take you directly to the site for more information).  My preliminary book list is as follows:

Female Authors:

Male Authors:

Authors New to Me:

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Songs that may surprise you: A playlist by Jana and Erin

It's that time again, the last Thursday of the month, the time that Jana and Erin bring you a playlist that usually has a theme with a twist.  This month, we are talking about songs that may surprise you to find out we are fans.

If you ask either of us about our favorite music, we are going to tell you that we are rock chicks, rock 'n' roll fans through and through.  Then, we come up with lists like this, and we realize that we actually have quite eclectic tastes, and we assume others should know this already.

But, let's share ten songs that we love, and they may surprise you:

Bleeding Love by Leona Lewis - (from Erin) - It's pretty obvious that she is heavily influenced by Mariah Carey, and both Jana and I despise Mariah Carey music...but I like this song so much that it is on my work playlist, and I hear it probably four or five times a day.

When you think of Jana and Erin's favorite music, young boy bands are probably not what you assume is going to be represented.  But.  Here's two songs that we love:

Me and My Broken Heart by Rixton

Perfect by One Direction

Battle Scars by Guy Sebastian & Lupe Fiasco - Guy Sebastian was Australian Idol's first winner (before Erin lived in Australia and now the show is defunct); we know nothing about Lupe Fiasco, but this is a catchy little tune.

Everyday by Buddy Holly - Actually, Jana said "(p)retty much anything by Buddy Holly. I fucking love him."  So, Everyday it is.  He is considered a pioneer of rock'n'roll, so it may not be that surprising after all.  But, 1950s rock is not exactly what you'd expect from us.

 Lose Yourself by Eminem - Rap.  Rap isn't something you'd necessarily expect from us either, but damn, this is a solid song. 

Ride Wit Me by Nelly - What?  More rap?  Some of these crossover rap songs make it into the pop charts because they are just too catchy to look past.  Nelly figured that out with a number of his songs.  Jana and Erin are guilty for falling for some of those catchy-pop ploys.

It may not surprise you for Erin to list a country song, after all, she's from Texas.  But, Long Island native/Delaware dwelling Jana naming a super-twang-infused country song?   That should surprise you...
Here's a Quarter (Call Someone Who Cares) by Travis Tritt

Hollywood by Michael Buble - He's cheesy, and his music is not at the top of most of our playlists.  But, hey, we like what we like, and won't feel guilty about it.

Womanizer by Britney Spears - Pop princesses are not on our regular listening rotation, for the most part.  But, dang, sometimes they grab you and won't let go...even if you want to let them go, they stay in your head, they make you dance and sing along, and well, that's just what this song does.
What songs would we be surprised that you love?  Are you surprised by any of these?? 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

#Hashtag Confessions: 4th week, 2nd month

I confess:  I really have no intro.  I'm just going to jump into this.  Random jibberish coming atcha.  #embracetherandom

I confess:  I missed last week's Wednesday post because I'm in a funk.  #noapologies

I confess:  I still watch American Idol.  There are a few seasons I missed, but I've watched most.  #noapologies #ialreadyusedthathashtag

I confess:  I am way too old to be crushing on this American Idol contestant.  I'm old enough to be his momma.  I'm not the only one, Jennifer Lopez (who is older than I am) likes him too.  #hesofage #ichecked

I confess:  I like guyliner.  #noshame

I confess:  I was challenged to write a Bon Jovi post months ago.  I am taking this post way too seriously.  It is too long with too many songs, but I feel guilty when I cut parts of it, edit it, or remove songs, because I love them so.  #jovigirlforlife

I confess:  I woke my guy while snapchatting about Disney's #ShareYourEars promotion.  #itsforagreatcause
For every photo with the hashtag #shareyourears, Disney will donate to the Make-A-Wish foundation up to $1 million dollars.

I confess:  I've never listened to a podcast.  #ineedtolearn #thearmchairlibrarians
I confess:  I'm feeling blah, so I ate this for lunch: Nutella Ricotta tart. #emotionaleater #iknowitswrong

That's about it for this Wednesday.  What do you have to confess?

Wednesday link-ups with Laura & LaurenAlanna & Sarah, and  Nadine & Kathy:

Monday, February 22, 2016

Monday Mumblings

Typically, I don't work Sundays or Mondays.  We got a text from our part-timer on Sunday saying that her son is sick, and she can't work Monday.  My guy has a lot of work to do, so he needs someone running the shop.  Guess what that means.......I'm at work on Monday.
If I have to be at work, instead of working, I might as well write a blog post, right? 
The court case finding in favor of Sony infuriates and disgusts me so much that I can't adequately put it into words, but I'll try.  Well, first, I'll share a couple of articles that summarize what's been happening up to this point:
photo source
Okay.  I get it.  Dr. Luke (the accused producer) is innocent until proven guilty.  And, I admit, I am no attorney.  I have never studied contractual law.  I am only speaking as a woman, as a person with compassion and concern about the welfare and health of another woman. 
Can you imagine being forced to work at a company where your accused rapist, abuser, and tormenter is revered and in a position of power?  For an album, a single, a tour, an artist to reach some success in the music industry, almost all of them need the support of their record label.  Does it appear that Sony supports Kesha? 
photo source - not mine, but food for thought
This case is an example of so many other cases.  Repeatedly, we see the accuser (the victim) being doubted, being questioned, being victimized all over again, yet it continues to happen.  How much courage would it take to speak out against a hugely successful person (in a powerful position) in the world of entertainment?  How much strength would it take to speak out against a huge, powerful corporation like Sony?  A lot of fucking courage and strength.  I'm no fan of her music, but my thoughts and positive vibes are with Kesha, and others around the world are supporting her too, but, what does that support do for her happiness, health, and future career?  As I stated before, I am infuriated and disgusted.
On to something a little lighter...
Von Miller is a professional football player who majored in Poultry Science at Texas A&M University (the university I graduated from).  He's not just any professional football player.  He was the Super Bowl 50 MVP.  Because of this spotlight, people are noticing what a great guy Von Miller seems to be.  And......he's not just relying on football to take care of him forever.  He has his own chicken farm in Texas (using the university education).  Read this article: Nerd by Von Miller 
Plus, this picture has now leapt into one of my favourite fotos of all time:
photo source
Trump.  I can't.  I can't say anymore than what I've already said: 

"Trump is a fucking embarrassment. He is a fucking idiot. Fuck him, fuck his hair, fuck his terrible spray tans, fuck his racism, fuck his bankruptcies, fuck "The Apprentice", fuck the political climate that has developed where people are actually supporting him." (originally posted December 16, 2015)

I haven't shared a round of funnies lately, so here you go.....

I'd say "Happy Monday" to you, but really.............

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Sunday's Seven Snapshots vol.61

My cousin and I were shopping together in Texas a couple of years ago, and we both got these sandals.  I think of her every time I wear them. 

Oh, you know, just trying to take a picture of the back of my hair.

We ordered takeaway from Hooters this week (and had a beer at the bar while waiting for it).  Chicken strips dipped in hot sauce with 3 mile island on the side.  I need this in my life more often than it is.

This guy.  Again.  Watching me shower.  Perv.

The stepkid got an ipod shuffle from Santa.  We're finally getting around to loading some songs.  These are the first 8 songs he's chosen.  My rocker chick heart swells with pride. 

Chillin' on the train like a regular teenager. Except he's 8.

Purchases- cat socks, taco t-shirt, heart-shaped sunglasses - all unnecessary, but all make me smile.

Happy weekend to you!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

My personal recap of Grammys 2016

​I like to live tweet awards shows.  It helped me find my little blog sis, Kati Rose(we realized yesterday was our one year anniversary as big/little sis because our bond formed over last year's Grammys).  I couldn't live tweet the Grammys this year (silly timezone differences).  But, I did take a look (from my work computer) at live tweets during the show.
Last night, I watched a delayed recording.  This is my personal opinion, my own recap, and my own thoughts about the Grammys 2016.  According to me...without reading other recaps (besides the live tweets yesterday)...I emailed these thoughts to Kati, then I thought "what the hell, I'll post it on the blog too."
Taylor Swift opens - I really don't want to hate on Taylor.  I'm happy for the success of someone who works hard, writes her own music, gets criticized and ridiculed (by some) and revered by others.  But.  She's NOT that great of a singer.  She's a performer.  A songwriter.  She's beautiful and stylish.  Not that great of a singer.  But I saw a lot of people compliment her singing.  Maybe, it's just me.  AND.  I don't like body shaming anyone.  But, I want to feed Taylor 10 cheeseburgers and 3 deep dish pizzas.
photo source
LLCool J comes out on stage to host the show, and all I could do was stare in awe at his diamond encrusted "LL" brooch.  Does this man age?

Now, I may get some things out of order from here.  I'm going off the cuff by memory.

There were tributes...and this is what I thought about those -
Lionel Richie was honoured with a Music Cares recognition.  It began with John Legend on the piano singing "Easy".  I kinda wish it would have stayed with John Legend.  A quality that he has and shares with Lionel is he makes it feel effortless.  More joined him to sing more of Lionel's songs.  Demi Lovato can sing.  She looked stunning.  But, I felt she was putting in a lot of effort to prove that she can sing.  Luke Bryan - well, I know he has a lot of country fans.  I appreciate that they were trying to mix up the genres to show that Lionel influenced many.  And, they had to work Meghan Trainor in because she won a grammy later.  Tyrese singing "Brick House" seemed to be the song the audience had the most fun dancing and singing along.  But, like I said, I kinda wish it would have just been a shorter medley with just John Legend performing...and then Lionel joining him.  Dave Grohl and his red solo cup dancing to "All Night Long" was indeed awesome.

Photo source
The much talked about tribute to David BowieHere's where I wish they'd brought in the cross genres/cross generation of performers.  Giving it all to Lady Gaga...well, I didn't agree with that choice.  Her performances of "Fashion" and "Fame" were outstanding, and I liked the choice to look androgynous.  But, overall, I felt it was too much Gaga again trying too hard to prove she is an uber talent.  My opinion...Bowie's brilliance is that he crossed so-many-boundaries.  Gaga does too.  But, I wanted more.  I wanted performances from more artists that he influenced.  Nile Rodgers was a nice touch.
photo source

BB King - brilliant.  So much musicianship on stage at once, and I think it didn't connect with the audience as well as it connected with me.  I want Bonnie Raitt's jacket.
Photo source

Glenn Frey - perfect for the man honored.  Get the current Eagles together, sing a song that is quintessential Glenn Frey Eagles, "Take It Easy".  Sing in perfect harmonies with perfect sound quality.  Only mishap was Jackson Browne and some lyrics, but I'll let that slide.  It's not his song. 
photo source
Lemmy of Motorhead - Yes.  I'm biased.  I like rock music.  That is my music of choice.  Joe Perry is one of my all-time favourite guitarists.  Duff McKagan is one of my all-time favourite bassists.  Johnny Depp continues to surprise people with his talents and coolness.  I like Matt Sorum (the drummer).  Here's where rock fans may not agree with me, but Alice Cooper isn't my choice for this somewhat supergroup.  I don't know what their intentions are.  If they are just guys who enjoy getting together and jamming - fine.  But, if they want more mass appeal, they need a more appealing vocalist.  Alice Cooper is great at what he does - his shock rock extravaganza.  But, his vocals weren't great at this.  I think they only scanned the face of one audience member (Bruno Mars), and he was pretty blank-faced.
photo source

More performances...

Kendrick Lamar was the one that had my tweeter feed going wild from someone calling it crap to others calling it brilliant.  So, you know, I've got two cents.  Actually, I've got more.  I've got ten cents.  Maybe even a quarter about this topic.
I feel like I need to admit that I am completely totally without-a-doubt out-of-touch with the rap world of today.  I am aware of artists that are having success.  But, I don't know their songs.  I don't know their stories.  I admit ignorance.  I wasn't always this way.  Rap has never been my top genre of choice.  But, when I was in junior high, high school, college, I owned a lot of the more popular rap albums (because that was a time we bought full albums/cassettes/cds; not just singles).  I owned and saw in concert Run DMC, LL Cool J, and Beastie Boys.  I owned NWA, Dr Dre, and Snoop Dogg.  I owned Houdini and Kool Moe Dee.  I owned and saw the more pop, than rap works of MC Hammer and DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince.  I even saw Public Enemy in concert.  They were looked at as highly protagonistic at the time.  So, I did own and see my share of rap music.
As I got older, my rap fandom fell away.  Call it age.  Tastes change.  My way of listening to music changed.  I just don't listen to current rap anymore.  So, that leads to Kendrick Lamar.  I am aware that he is popular and successful, but until this Grammy performance, I'd never heard a song of his in its entirety (although I think his performance consisted of a couple of his songs). 
First...did anyone else notice that he rapped with a feature artist coming in to sing a catchy pop chorus?  He didn't have any other rapper friends join him.  He rapped solid, straight, and I can't even imagine the vocal chords and stomach muscles that it takes to do that but these guys (and gals) don't get credit for that.  Next...the blend of a saxophone jazz player with spoken word with African tribal sounds with r&b and modern hip-hop music is a pretty magnificent way of blending his influences with his own artistry.  That's right I said artistry.  It seems to me, he freshly blends the old and new.  He is provocative.  He forced a reaction.  He is seemingly eloquent and articulate (although I admit that I didn't understand many of the lyrics, I imagine many of his fans do).  I applaud his performance.  Will I go out and buy his music?  No.  It's not my kind of music anymore.  But the high school girl in me who liked a little rap now and then would've probably bought it.
photo source
Now...James Bay and Tori Kelly...pretty much everyone watching the Grammys on my twitter feed agreed that this was an amazing performance.  And, it was.  Because this is the kind of music I listen to, I will buy some Tori Kelly (I already own some James Bay.)  A beautiful blend of voices, guitars, and good-looking people (c'mon, I'm not going to lie.  It doesn't hurt.)  Performance of the night.
photo source
AdeleWhat happened with her production team?  The sound was terrible.  The lighting was terrible.  You know Adele was dropping some f-bombs after she got off the stage. 
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Bieber.  I didn't need his acoustic solo performance of "Love Yourself".  I like that song, but I'd rather it done like it was recorded.   A fun pop song.  If I'm going to talk about Bieber, I can't help myself, I have to talk about him on the red carpet with his little brother.  Stop the adorableness!
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I liked the inclusion of Hamilton and televising the Broadway Musical Award.  Maybe because I like Broadway musicals.
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Those Little Big Town folks sure can harmonize and "Girl Crush" has some clever lyrics.  Plus, I like how that one female member embraces her curls.
Photo source
I'm staring at the computer trying to remember any other performance...I guess that means they weren't memorable enough for this recap.  No disrespect.
I questioned why the Song of the Year and the Record of the Year weren't asked to perform.  (Ed Sheeran "Thinking Out Loud" & Mark Ronson with Bruno Mars "Uptown Funk")  I mean, those are two BIG awards of the night/year, yet they are chosen to perform?
I was happy with the wins for Song of the Year (Thinking out Loud) and Record of the Year (Uptown Funk). 
photo source
I applaud Taylor for using her win/platform to give a "classy" fuck you to Kanye douchebag West.  If you don't know the back story to this, get it somewhere else, because I'm not posting that douchebag's lyrics here.  Taylor said in her acceptance speech for album of the year: 
"I want to say to all the young women out there, there will be people along the way who will try to undercut your success," she said. "Or take credit for your accomplishments or your fame.  But if you just focus on the work … you will look around and you will know that it was you and the people who love you that put you there. That will be the greatest moment."
photo source
I know, I know...we expect Beyoncé to look beautiful when she has her 30 seconds of screen time, but she did look incredibly beautiful.
photo source

This sums up my feelings about the finale:

So......what did I miss?