Hello! Welcome back to another monthly playlist! We are nearing the summer months and even though the big festivals might not happen this year, it doesn’t mean that music won’t stop. I think it’s very… More
I bet you didn’t think you would get two reviews in one week, huh?
For today, we stray away from the disability/contemporary type of books for a bit and go straight for the 18+/erotica novels! If this isn’t your cup of tea then you can skip it.
I found this book in December. It was part of my “free” purchase spree I took part in and out of the five that I thought would be interesting, this was the only romance book to survive. If you are a lover of erotica books like me, you might have a favorite theme. Some people like outlaw types, billionaires, rock stars (like moi!) or Doms. This one talks about cowboys.
No horses were harmed creating this blog post. 😉
They’re going to claim her. Together.
She just doesn’t know it yet.
Catherine’s life is in New York. The property she’s inherited is in Bridgewater, Montana. Going back to the town she visited every summer as a child stirs up long forgotten memories and a girlhood crush, on not one teen-turned-hot-cowboy, but two. Cousins Jack and Sam Kane. Fortunately for her, in Bridgewater, one cowboy’s never enough.
In this contemporary version of Vanessa Vale’s USA Today bestselling, Bridgewater Ménage series, Catherine is forced to choose the life she really wants: the big-city lawyer or the small town cowgirl with two men who want to take her for a very dirty ride.
taken from Goodreads.
I live in a city that is surrounded by corn, soy beans, and wheat farmers. I also have family members who enjoy watching Westerns on a weekly basis. So, I’ve never really enjoyed stories focused on cowboys and/or farmers.
Despite all of that above, I still read and quite enjoyed myself!
I don’t think it was the country lifestyle that turned me on (no pun intended) to be honest with you, I think it was the fact that there were two men involved here. Sam and Jack Kane.
I was pretty jealous of Catherine by the time I ended it.
It starts innocently enough with a young woman, a lawyer fighting to climb the ranks at her firm, has to go to Bridgewater, Montana to asset her uncles property. On her flight there, a very fine gentleman sat next to her and fantasies start forming in both of their minds about what they wanted to do to each other. When they arrive, Catherine and Jack part but they don’t go far. Catherine has been there before when she was younger, but she is taken aback after finding out a very common practice among everyone in town.
The majority of the women are married to two men!
At first, you’d think this is an awful thing to do, because let’s face it, men can be very disgusting at times! However, the main reason why people do it is so someone is there for the other person. The real term is polyamory, “a lifestyle to being open to the possibility of people having more than one loving, intimidate relationship at a time, with a full knowledge and consent by all partners involved.” I knew of it before I started reading the book, but never considered it until I finished but it is a glorious idea, but I don’t know if I’m only agreeing with it because of my love of Sam and Jack.
There were things I liked about it–obviously–but there were a couple of misspellings that I caught every once in a while. And considering I am awful about spelling words wrong all the time, sometimes I do not notice them right away! However, I have become Grammar police when I do spot some mistakes throughout a story. If it happened in every chapter, I wouldn’t be here saying all of this great stuff about it. I would have deleted it right away, because I hate seeing them all over the place! Thankfully, they were only in two spots. Overall, the story was great and the sex scenes were AHH-mazing too!
Have you read anything by Vanessa Vale? If you read this book, what were your thoughts about it? Did you enjoy it too?
Last month I started this new series; essincally talking about the two people who were at the heart of my decision of wanting to go off to college for Audio Recoedings ten years ago. The first was Dr. Dre and I discussed my love for him and the influences between him, Eminem and 50 Cent that made me want to explore the world of hip hop when I was a teenager. A week later, I talked about Rick Rubin and how much I respected him for not sticking to one genre, he experiments with various genres and musicans. The work he has done with Linkin Park really struck a cord with me because it made me realize that it was perfectly fine to love all kinds of music.
This time we really start at square one. I know I should have started it out this way, but in a way both people were the beginning although there were many years between them. I was introduced to rap music when I was like four or five years old, so early 90’s so for the next couple of months I will take you through the other music producers that have kept me entertained and inspired throughout my life.
As you can see above in the banner, May is going to be about Timbaland and Missy Elloitt. So, we are moving on to the later part of the 1990’s and easily into the early 2000’s.
Timbaland is a very unique indivdiual. He has been able to be around for a lot of the ups and downs in the music insturdy. He has worked with a lot of various people, some of them have put him at the forefront of their music for a time. He and Missy Elloitt have worked together for a very long time. He has written and produced a lot of her music. He has even been featured in her wacky music videos too! These two had a great time in the late 90’s with R&B artist Aaliyah. They quickly became the dynamic thrio in a way, because they just dominated the charts. Unfortunately, when she died in 2002, of course it was sad. It still makes me upset everytime they make a comment about her on her birthday or anniversary of her death.
As you go into the 2000’s though, you see him working with newly solo boy band member Justin Timberlake on his first record “Justified” and honestly, I don’t think it mattered that he was the favorite of N’Sync, I just think that the two of them worked so well together was insane! In 2005, they came to work with Nelly Furtado and those next three years were really interesting because almost every track that was released I was totally into, and it was just like a steady stream and I kept falling into it everytime. However, I don’t think nothing could have prepared us for the introduction of OneRepublic in 2008. Once the song “Apologize” came out we were all gone. I know I wanted more and thankfully, we didn’t have to wait that long until the band released their second track “Stop and Stare” a few months later.
By 2009, I wasn’t really watching what was going on with Timbaland. Although, when Justin Timberlake released his second album, I took notice because I hoped that they teamed up again, which they did and everything was awesome, I started growing out of both pop and R&B, as this was the time I was officially introduced to Linkin Park and I immediately went rock bottom. However, I recently found out that a song I have been enjoying lately that was remixed by Timbaland. I’m pretty sure you have heard of it. The original track has Dolly Parton, which is awesome too, but I love Of King & Country’s version of “Only God Knows” with Echosmith is amazing! I think it’s a interesting track because with both singers and their styles, it allows the song to be played in two different radio airways: country and pop.
I am curious to see how farther Timbaland can push the boundaries in music. How many other collabrations he can create with new and older acts. It will be interesting if he can get back to leading the charts in R&B and/or pop again like he has done in the past. It’ll be fun to see what else he has up his sleeves in the next year, I mean think about this, summer is quickly appoarching so he could surprise us all with a new track that could be your new anthem. You never know these days, but you know I’ll be keeping my ears and eyes open to the music.
Are you a fan of Timbaland’s music? What decade do you think he hit his peak? Which team do you side with as being the best too?
I have really embraced spring this year!! Despite the fact that this Coronavirus or COVID-19 as it is mainly called on the news, has basically taken away every part of big springtime celebrations, I am still enjoying the season for what it is: a renewal of life! And people becoming parents for the first, sixth or tenth time is a huge change to life and lately I have been trying step up my game on look to the positive side of things like a baby being born into this crisis, and instead of seeing worry and eventual death, I see the color yellow and hear laughter!
For today, I am going to talk about my favorite springtime inspired baby names for boys, girls and even adding some unisex names to the post. This could be a long one, so I apologize if there are parts were I just start rambling silly things!
So, first we are going to discuss my favorite girl names because spring automatically makes me think of little girls with their Easter dresses in pastel shades! Every women loves when there is a break in the cold weather to wear their favorite dresses, whether they are long or short, it doesn’t matter they want to rock something different than thick sweaters and jeans with faux fur boots!
I also have to give a shout out to a friend of mine who allowed me to help send out some suggestions for their little girl. I tried my best but after sending so many bohemian (boho) names, I suddenly started falling in love with a bunch of them and everything about it gave rise to the idea of getting this post together!
Greta – I have always loved “Greta” but I know how strong of a name it looks and sounds, so it is not always one that I talk about a lot. However, I do think the boldness is a good thing, because it gives an edgy sense to the little girl who gets to use it for the rest of her life. I think it is a pretty for a baby, toddler and for an elderly woman, but once she gets to her teens she might be bored or embarrassed about it, so might opt out for a nickname and I found that “Etta” which is becoming increasingly popular as a standalone, could be cool!
Poppy – Poppy is one of those absolutely adorable names for both a female human and animal, although I’d never call a cat ‘Poppy’ as I tend to chose regal names for them, but dogs and rabbits could be cute.
I know it is very popular over in England, but something about it doesn’t stop new families from wanting to use it for their daughters! I do wish it could increase on the national list of names used in the United States one day. I find this such a sweet name but figuring our what kind of nickname to go with it has become a bit difficult for me.
Harlow – I don’t think Harlow will ever leave my favorite list. I have loved this name since it was announced that Nicole Ritchie and Joel Madden named their daughter Harlow Winter Kate in 2006. Honestly her whole name is still a combination I rave about to people. I went to school with a girl, who’s youngest daughter is named Harlow Claire. I also think this is a great pairing, it’s really sophisticated compared to the uniqueness of the Madden’s picks.
Indigo – When I was fixing a list for my friend, this was one of two names that I really never liked, especially ‘Indigo’ mostly because I always saw it as a boy name, but I don’t really understand how it ended up on my lists and not hers!
I think a reason why it entered my space is that it is a word for the color purple. I don’t care for Mauve, Violet or Lilac, but I do enjoy Lavender a lot! I am very picky when it comes to purple in general. I am more into lighter shades like lilac, but I am more of a fan of royal purple; the darker the better!
Isabeau – Now I know this one might seem strange, but one of the smaller objectives of this post is to add various names. Greta and Isabeau may not be names that remind you of this time of the year, but they do for me! I think it is a great alternative to Isabel/Isabella. Since everyone loves those versions, I thought this could be cute but strong against other names out there!
Ophelia – Since I was never a fan of William Shakespeare’s plays–they were honestly the least favorite things to read in high school! I wasn’t really introduced to Ophelia until about six years ago! I had just made my first baby name board on Pinterest and it popped up on my feed and that’s it! It does come and go of my lists but whenever I see it online, I find it to be a cheery name for a little girl. It is one of those rare names that work for any age!
Jane – Jane is such a simple name, but I find that so attractive! Everything about is lovely, but recently I found out it also adds an interesting quality that I think people tend to forget; it can be used as a way to give originality without even trying! A combination I have found precious honors my sister Emily, but also gives the child a way to become her own person. Emilia Jane is the whole name. I find the colors pink and yellow come about whenever I tell people of it online. I also see a child bearing these names being original but passionate over the significance over the special meaning too.
Athena – Ever since I found out my name derives from Greece, I have been obsessed with other Greek names! I also love the mythology, so I am a lover of the Goddess Athena. She is a Goddess of wisdom, courage, the arts and justice. She was one that was very beloved in Ancient Greece.
Since I am a lover of royalty, I find it odd that it has never been a popular name in females throughout time. There is only one I know for sure that might have roots in Greece and that is the Danish princess Athena, daughter of Prince Joachim and Princess Marie. Her great-aunt is married into the Royal Greek family, Queen Anne-Marie, younger sister to Athena’s grandmother Queen Margrethe II.
Dove – This is another recent find, and I mean really recent, I would say around 10 months ago I found out about it as I was watching the Disney Channel film Descendants 3, one of the main actresses has the name Dove and I find she is exactly what I’d picture a young woman with that name. She’s very pale but has gorgeous blue eyes and blonde hair! I find it hilarious that once I find and put it on my list, everybody is using it like crazy!
Hazel – For a while, I didn’t like Hazel. A part of me thought it was too old of a name for a daughter of this generation, but then one of my cousins used it with her second as a middle name and then I started putting together different combinations and using them on name games on Facebook and Instagram!
For most people, when they think of springtime they might be into pretty girl names. Oddly enough, I had the opposite thing to happen! I feel it might have something to do with St. Patrick’s Day being in March that makes me think of Irish names for little boys! And I do love more boy names that come from both Ireland and Scotland, but when I was going through my big list of names I knew I would have to shake things up and give you others that you may not assume to be perfect names for spring!
Leif – There is always one name that you absolutely love and have a special meaning behind it, that you literally leave out of every “favorite” list you make, or at least I do!
My love of the name ‘Leif’ comes after reading a book in high school, it was called The Last Leaf by O. Henry. It was about a story of two women artists who were living in New York. They were both healthy until came down with a really bad illness and was on death’s door. She told her friend and roommate that once every leaf falls off the tree outside the window of her hospital room, she will die.
I found the story very different, I saw it through a reader’s point of view and as the artist too, because at this time I was taking an art class, and I had the same thinking as the sick woman in a way. After I finished the final project, I was going to be done with it for a very long time. I basically killed it off, but I kept the special quality of the story and fell in love with the name Leif in a way to honor my love of the art and story.
Rhodes – This one has a similar backstory as well, as I love photographs of roads fading off into the background, and whatever journey a person can take going forward, made me see this name in a different light.
There are times where I enjoy it more as a girl name, but then I’m back to only having it as a boy name. I also don’t really use it as a first, I like having it as a middle and it adds a quirky but adorable way to name a little baby.
Thoreau – As the previous two have a long history with me, this is relativity new to the list. Everytime I see it, a spring green appears in my mind, but I also has a nice city vibe too!
Another part of it that I really like is that it is rarely used still. I look through our local newspaper and I never find it listed to both boys and girls. So, if you are looking for something a little different or if you like the nickname, “Thor” or “Thora” this is a great way to have a strong name but also calling your child after a Marvel character!
Forest – I love Forest so much! Now I’ll be honest, I wasn’t much of a lover of it when I was younger because of the film Forrest Gump, but I did grow up knowing one kid in school with the name! I often wonder what he thinks about the sudden surge in popularity it has been getting in the last five years?
I think Forest with one “r” is really sweet, but I have issues whether or not it sounds awesome for an elderly man. Hmmm…
Camden – When 2014 rolled around, suddenly the name “Camden” became a big standout and I was such a fan of it the moment it came out! Nick and Vanessa Lachey named their oldest son Camden Jack and then less of a week later Kristin Cavalleri and her husband Jay Cutler named their son Camden John. Unfortunately, I wasn’t a fan of either combination but it never stopped me from loving the name so I thought of this as a big win!
Oliver – Here is a fun fact for you! While my sister was pregnant with my nephew, there was a chance that he would have been called Oliver. The only reason why they let it go was that my mom threatened to give him the same nickname we gave our childhood cat Oliver which was “Mem-mem”. So they decided on Nolan as his first name.
I still love the name, but I don’t necessarily understand the big deal of naming your child after your beloved pet. I mean, if they meant a lot to you then I think it’s really sweet to give it to your baby too. Audrina Partridge named her daughter Kirra Max, after her dog she had for a long time and passed away while she was pregnant with her baby girl. For some names, it is totally a cool trend, but nobody would be able to use “ChiChi” as a nickname in our family for obvious reasons!
Cillian – As I said above, when I think of spring names, I instantly think of St. Patrick’s Day and I love Irish boy names. Oliver and Cillian both have Irish meanings but I think Cillian is the cutest of the two because it works with all ages. I am also into having a “C” instead of the “K” that everyone mostly uses, because it looks more like a Gaelic name and of course, it looks more manly or strong.
Holland – I have recently fell back in love with it as a name for a child. Originally, I only liked it for a girl but I have never cared for the name “Holly”. I think the fact that it’ll be used constantly during the month of December, thanks to the many, many Christmas carols! Also, I just think it looks and sounds dated and tacky, and I love different era names!
Noble – I found this one several years back, as I heard it on an episode of Blue Bloods and I immediately had to quickly put it on my list! I have to say, I was really watching that show on a limited basis, but I guess something good did come out of it, it brought this handsome name to my attention.
It’s been really nice to find out that couples are finding and enjoying it as much as I did when it came on my radar. I think it’s a clever alternative to my nephew’s name ‘Nolan’ but I do have to say that both are rising on various popularity lists around the country. What I like about it is, it’s a masculine type of name but it is also an interesting quirk about it too!
Cove – So, this name hasn’t always had an easy time with me. Honestly, when Cove and Lennon first started gaining momentum on the charts, I couldn’t understand the love for it. I just hated both of them, and what is even more odd is that both transitions were fast! Like when Aspyn and Parker Onard revealed their daughter’s name was Cove, I instantly hated it but within four months later, I was fine with it. I saw it with another beloved favorite of mine and changed my mind on what I felt for it!
So, now that we have the boys section done, we can move on to talk about some of my favorite unisex or neutral names. Honestly, I think the only reason why I decided on doing this part was so that I could add more onto the post! What is even worse is that I changed my first setup of listing five of them at a time, but as I continued to go through my jumbo list for the banner, I realized I had too many good ones to leave it altogether, so here we go for the last time!
Callahan – Everyone can develop a special feeling towards a name, like we discussed with naming your child after a favorite pet. Whether you are inspired by your pet, famous celebrity, athlete, etc that it is your choice and I will forever say “go for it” but I feel like the reason for why I love this name will make a lot of people laugh–including my mother!
In 2002, right before we left to go to the hospital for my back surgeries, one of my aunts and cousins gave me a present and it was the VCR tape of Legally Blonde. It was one of three movies that I watched all of the time. Whether it was 12 hours before surgery day or 5 hours afterwards, it didn’t matter I wanted to watch it and it’s literally no wonder why I (and my mom!) know EVERY word in it.
Now let’s go back to this post. Our main character Elle has a professor named Callahan, and he is a shady ass dude! If you haven’t seen it, you must be living underneath a rock or something! Anyways, everytime I hear it on the movie or online, I feel like it could be a great name for both sexes. The first five letters “Calla” is a flower so if you are like me, and want to mask the real reason why you used it, you have that in your corner, but really what I enjoy about it is that Callahan is versatile in every way.
Boston – Boston is such a cute and surprisingly unique name–one that I feel should have been used a lot more during the American Revolutionary War and afterwards, because Philadelphia was used on girls for quite a bit in the late 1780’s to early 1800’s, but I never see anything about Boston! It is getting a great following now, sort of like what happened to Alabama a few years ago (but I hated that one with a passion!).
In the beginning, I was only loving it for girls too, but then I saw a pairing with a boy middle name and I thought it was really cute! There is a BookTuber with the name Boston and she looks like a Boston, and I’ve seen some very adorable boys with it lately! I’ve never been more confused on which is my favorite side!
Hunter – When I was in school, I knew a few Hunters, and always liked it on them, because instead of getting a full on hunter vibe with camo and deer heads up against a wall like a giant trophy, I always thought it was a nice jock type of name. Since the two boys I knew actually played football, it made sense to like it this way!
After watching the film Thirteen and learning about Holly Hunter in 2008 I think, I suddenly had an obsession with it being for a girl. For a while, I changed the spelling to “Hynter” which everybody hated it, but I generally like putting an “e” or “y” for other letters! After some time I have found new love for it but I went back to the original way and I still prefer it for both sexes–even though boys will always be my favorite!
Bodhi – I was going to talk another name but I rarely use it now, so I exchanged it with another favorite of mine. Bodhi is like Camden because of how popular it became among the celebrities a couple of years back. Megan Fox and Brian Austin Green named their second son Bodhi Ransom (another great name too!) and Teresa Palmer and her husband Mark Webber welcomed their first child Bodhi Rain back in 2016. Oddly enough both of them were born within days of each other! And now Ian Somerholder and Nikki Reed have a daughter with the name Bodhi Soleil.
I have kept Bodhi on my list for YEARS! I think I’ve known about it since 2008, because there was a radio DJ on one of my favorite stations who had it and I thought it was interesting–but again I was obsessed with it mostly with boy names and I have tried to make it work with some of my family names and I finally figured out two names that I think sound great with it but it’s been recently that I have liked it with girl names. I saw Bodhi Charlotte on my Instagram feed and have been going crazy with this pairing ever since! It’s a little classic but edger for a little girl.
River – River is one that has been on my lists for a very long time. I’d say the year was 2006, which is around the time I started really loving names and eventually collecting them in my cell phone. In my first phone, I had quite a bit of combinations and River was one that was constantly popping up in my head. I never kept it in a single category either, I liked the subtle quirky but woodland theme it gave to both sexes, but I did try to make it more into a middle rather a first name.
By the time it had reached its peak in 2017, I was like yes! because I thought it was such a cute name back then, I felt it needed its time in the spotlight! I really adore Kelly Clarkson’s daughter River Rose. I feel like it has a cutesy vibe but also brings out this rocker palette too! So far, she is the only girl that I have seen and enjoyed the whole pairing! However, if you have a River or collect name combos too, I would like to see what you have with it too!
Halston – Halston is very, very new to the party! I actually watched the film that had an actress by the name of Halston Sage, which I have to say is just gorgeous! I think it’s a great example for this part of the post because the combination is perfect for both sexes.
For the most part, I have been enjoying it mostly on boys but in the last few months (see, I told you it was new!) when I was helping my friend figuring out girl boho names, I kept seeing it in my mind and for about five days, I had nothing but Halston in my head for a girl. My friend didn’t really say anything about it to me and I didn’t mention my new love for it either..
Moon – I have always had a special relationship with the moon as a planet, but accepting my love for it as a name for my future children has always been difficult. I don’t really know why, but it’s only since I have been open about my favorites online among other name lovers that I have been wanting to experiment with it. The majority of the time, I have used it for boys but I think it’s great for girls too, it’s just I don’t think I can use it.
Ziggy – This one has been popping up all over Instagram in the last two months. It may very well be the third favorite of the year! I believe it works better for girls, but I have seen a few boys with it although for them they usually use it as a nickname rather than a full name. However, it’s the total opposite for the girls; namers like to pick an a sweet, but strong middle that starts with an “A” but I think if it fits these themes, it’ll give a little girl an unique way to describe herself!
Laurel – Laurel is a perfect alternative to “Lauren/Loren”. Personally, I still love the name “Lauren” and haven’t seen very many kids nowadays use it as a first in the last few years. I think Laurel is a great way to keep spring in a child’s name, but I would love it to become popular with its longer version – if you are expecting twins and you still want to use this way for one, I think it could be great on a boy!
Eden – I think everyone would agree with me when I say, I have always thought of Eden as a nice short girl name, but again like Ziggy above it has been getting increasingly becoming a favorite among people who would a different genderfluid type of name. I would also like to mention that if you adore calling a little boy “Eddie” this could be an interesting way to make it happen! Since it is so small, I think you could go long as far as middle names, like Alexander, Benjamin, Christopher, etc. I do think keeping a masculine middle would be beneficial to him as he grows up. As much as I like unisex names, it is a good thing to keep an mind pairing each name with a traditional, family or gentle middles.
One last thing I have to say, you have nine months (or so) until the child is born, so I’d hope every one is really thinking hard on the subject of naming. I’m not talking about where your name lands on the Top 10 annual lists or how unique it is, but I’m saying for at least 18 years, this child will have to bear the name(s) you have chosen for them. Again, this is my personal take on naming a child so whether you agree with me or not is perfectly fine with me, I’m just trying to give you some guidance on interesting ways to brighten up the times!
Do you like any of the names I’ve mentioned in the post or banner? What are your favorite spring time names for girls, boys and neutral babies?
This month was a little weird. I was forced into a detox after our internet carrier wouldn’t turn on our Wi-Fi until the 13th, which when we realized it wasn’t working at all was the 3rd, meant I had to go without it for about ten days. I was pissed, but I had to let it go because it was out of my and parents control.
I was going to surprise you with a couple of random music reviews this month, but since this happened I had to throw that idea out of the window. I also want to point out that I was without my Spotify for about nine days, so I was mainly listening to music on our music channels and iPod, but the majority of the songs included in this post are made up of everything that I heard on TV.
Here are my Top 20 songs for this month!
A New Day Has Come by Celine Dion
Adore You by Harry Styles
Girls Night Out by Debbie Gibson
Exhale by Plumb
Alive by Daughtry
Unforgettable by Godsmack
In The Dark by Bring Me The Horizon
The Box by Roddy Ricch
No Judgement by Niall Horan
Dancing On My Own by Calum Scott
Slide by H.E.R. featuring YG
God Only Knows by For Kings & Country featuring Echosmith
Peter Pan by Kelsea Ballarini
Boom by Krigare
Darkness by XVI
SOS by Elizaveta
I Love Me by Demi Lovato
Rooting For You by Alessia Cara
I Can Do This by Plumb
Dead In The Water by SPELLES
I wanted to talk to you about some of my favorite channels on Sirius XM. Technically, we get two different selection of music channels on my TVs, but I tend to listen Sirius a little bit more because they have people and other artists hosting shows or playlists. I have been really loving The Blend the most right now. It plays a lot of pop music but what I enjoy about the channel is that it doesn’t just air what is popular right now, they have artists that I know my mom use to listen to when my sister and I were younger, so there is some 80’s through 00’s light pop you’ll hear and if you listen to the station a lot like me, you will surprise yourself on what you end up liking for a few times!
There are two others I tend to switch back and forth a lot during the weekends, and they are The Pulse and The Velvet. The Pulse has always been a favorite of mine since the first time we got the package! They do have a cut off point though, they play any pop-rock music from 2000s to now. Although this seems rather short, I tend to enjoy it more because I have rediscovered old favorites like Train, who’s lead vocalist Pat Monaghan has he’s own spot perfectly titled “Train Tracks” and I have heard a lot of music I have never heard before and that’s been an exciting feature for me!
The Velvet is a totally different vibe, even though they too, play a lot of pop music too, but everybody on that channel is pure. There is not autotuned musicians or harsh screams that I tend to hear on various other stations. So, singers like Demi Lovato, Kelly Clarkson, James Arthur, etc are always a favorite to hear on there. It is very soothing when it is gloomy outside.
All of these types of music have been big inspirations to create my newest and favorite playlist right now: The Happy Playlist! I update it quite a bit but it has been really good on my everyday mindset and mood. I know I have talked about it in last couple of months, but I know if I feel out of it I can click shuffle and any one of those songs can give me one heck of a boost of confidence or energy! Everybody needs to do this, create a large playlist of songs that you know make you happy for whatever reason, so you can have it at your side at all times! Although, when I went through my detox I had to change it up a bit, but thankfully I have these Sirius XM channels to help me get through those days!
Do you have a happy playlist? If you said yes, what are your top five favorites? What were listening to during the month of April?
Last week in the series, I talked about Dr. Dre, who I have pretty known my whole life (music wise) because of my mother and the amount of old school rap that was played on our cassette player located in my parent’s room! However, for this week I will be discussing my admiration for Rick Rubin.
Rick Rubin is a very special person for me, because by the time I started listening to Linkin Park in 2009, he had just finished working with him on their album “Minutes To Midnight” (2008). This was my first memory of him working with anybody that I enjoyed at the time. So, while I was getting myself deeper and deeper into the world of Linkin Park, I was learning what could (at my own pace) of this interesting music producer. I call him “interesting” because although most producers want to work with a large variety of acts, they usually tend to stick to one genre and stay there for the rest of their lives. Rick Rubin has had most of his success in heavy metal, hard rock and rap music.
The two most popular acts I learned in the first two years was Jay-Z and the Beastie Boys. He has worked with many, many other bands over the years, but these were the two that sort of explain the reason why he helped Linkin Park in the past.
The album I associate Rick helping produce the most is “The Black Album” that was released in 2003. This was supposed to be the final album for the rapper before he retired from the music scene, but considering a year later he and Linkin Park came together like Run-DMC and Aerosmith did in the late 1980’s with “Walk This Way”. Although I don’t think they released an album like Jay-Z and LP did; technically they did an album and put on a concert and would later crash each other’s tours to perform “Numb/Encore” every once in a while. When Chester Bennington died in 2017, Jay-Z was out on tour with his wife Beyoncé, and he performed the hit but instead of doing Chester’s parts, the audience sang every word. It was very beautiful and a great gesture to Chester, his family and the rest of the band too!
Rick Rubin was the reason for this match to come together in the early 2000’s, because he had just finished working with Jay-Z and was close to LP too, as Rick is known to experiment in the nu metal scene in that time frame. The reason why it was so huge for these two acts to do this was because not many people went outside their comfort zones in the music world, you stayed in your genre for most of your career. At least, that’s my take on the scene and I was very much part of it since I really didn’t like to go outside of my bubble gum pop world although there were was a time were I enjoyed rap music, but you can tell I didn’t listen to a lot of rap between the year 1999 to 2002, because I was busy enjoying Britney Spears and Backstreet Boys too much to really pay attention!
Nowadays, it’s really accepted to like a wide variety of music and not to mention foreign languages that come with these new changes too! Radio is still a big way to introduce new music to a larger audience to the world, but it’s also important to realize that record producers to go through this switch too! They will always stay within their comfort zone, which I think for Mr. Rubin, it is heavy metal, but from time to time he will find something different to sink his teeth into and it might shock a few people that follow his journey just as much as the other musicians too.
So, if you are a lover of Rick Rubin’s work, who is your favorite act(s)? And do you have a favorite era of time too?
Hope you’re all doing well out there!
April was an interesting month for me. It was suppose to lead into a great adventure up north for my nana’s birthday, but thanks to the Coronavirus, we, like everybody else’s plans, were cancelled. Honestly, I thought weather would be the main reason we couldn’t go, so this wasn’t necessarily on my radar, but I had somewhat prepared myself for this kind of outcome; so, I wasn’t overly excited or disappointed when it came around.
The other thing was the huge detox I was forcibly to experience at the beginning of the month. My mom and I were in agreement that our internet service turning off our Wi-Fi in a middle of the epidictic was absolutely stupid! Thank god I am not in school anymore or I would have panicked. We had to wait over 10 days or so until someone was sent out to come fix our connection. Like I told my mom on the 3rd, “I don’t know if I should feel bad for the person on the other line” because my dad was basically shouting at how awful this is!
All wasn’t lost though, I was still able to use both my laptop and tablet for other things. I could still write out drafts, play Spider Solitaire, read my books, and organize the many, many lists of baby names on both electronics. (EDIT: I didn’t organize the baby names!) So, I had a lot more pros, than cons and I was okay with that! The one thing I was mildly upset about was the fact I couldn’t post my “Three Good Things” online, but I could work on them for the days I am missing and once I came back, I would upload the posts.
On the day I chose to write this post, which was day 2, we were experiencing another beautiful day of spring weather. It’s nice to see our trees in bloom again. Our neighbors have two dogwood trees in front of their house and I love it when they turn white at the ends. In a matter of days, they’ll change colors again and become a nice dark green and stay that way until the start of fall. It is also really awesome to see our front yard growing in grass after little over a year since we tore down our old house and dad had to put straw all over the large space. The few strands that remain are being taken by the birds as they are building their nests in the nearby trees.
The day before we were greeted with a sweet surprise in our mail. We received a cute drawing from my little nephew! My sister and brother-in-law sent a folded piece of paper of their traced hands and there were some parts to make it extra special, Nolan got to draw on it too! When my mom came home from work, she showed it to me and I almost broke out in tears because it was absolutely adorable!
A few hours later, I thought it would awesome to send them something back. In February, my mom bought Nolan a Mickey Mouse coloring book for a $1. We have a lot of pages where there’s lines of purple and blue (colors that he knows the most!) and everybody else attempting to stay inside the portrait of Mickey and his buddies! I thought it would be a great idea if we could do a page and send it to him in the mail. Once I made the announcement, my mom grabbed the book and Ziploc bag of crayons from the living room where we have his lunchbox full of Hot Wheels and the larger cars underneath the light stand. She put them inside my bookcase closest to my bed so that if I wasn’t too busy, I could work on it throughout the day.
I actually sat back towards the wall on my bed, a place where I like to sit and read my books, and I had to push away all (5!) of my blankets to the end of my bed to make enough room to pull this off without causing me too much pain. To make sure I didn’t suffer, I took more breaks than I usually give myself, so by the time I finished the page I was actually comfortable in my placement.
And of course, I had to show off my footwork (haha!) and sent a text of my masterpiece to my mom. I decided to do a simple design just in case it would cause me too much pain and/or if I messed up, I could switch to another one. I knew he would enjoy a Mickey page than any of the other characters. I just hope he wouldn’t mind if Aunt Megz does the maze page in the book? I am a sucker for mazes!
By the time this goes live, I would hope to God I have my internet back and everything is right again! I’ll live if it doesn’t but damn if I have to wait longer than the 10 days we were told, I might be the one yelling at the poor soul who decides to answer the call!
UPDATE: I went without using any Wi-Fi for like five to six days before my mom let me use her phone every once in a while. It was actually harder for her to stay away for like five minutes! After day four though, I was actually counting how much longer I’d have to be without it.
Do you schedule in the amount of time you want to be without your phone, Wi-Fi, etc? What do you do to detox from your electronics?