Although the hip-hop has slid in recent years to become a despicable compilation of 15-year-old artists who try to sound cool by rapping about sex, drinking and clubbing, one or two glimmers of hope have been produced recently. I've always been a fan of Jay-z, and his new stuff is (so far) not disappointing. This collaboration with Alicia Keyes is like sugar to my ears. I'm not always ecstatic about Alica Keyes, because she tends to make her voice awfully squeaky for no good reason, but her amazing voice is perfect for this song.
So I took the plunge yesterday and purchased my very own skates! It will take me a while to learn to trust them, but I can tell a difference already. To be quite honest, it felt like skating on butter, which is both nice and scary. I DID, however, find T-stopping to be incredibly easier with these. Next practice is Thursday. I should be taking the written tests next week in order to graduate on to the next level (which is about time). Wish me luck!
Here are a few bands that are striking my fancy today.
This past week I happened to watch the movie 'Whip It' in theaters. I am still a bit unclear as to how I came about watching a movie for teenagers with 3 other adults, but nevertheless, it happened. Even stranger, the movie was good! Drew Barrymore did a fantastic job of directing it and the soundtrack rocked my world. So much so, in fact, that I had to look it up later. It has sparked a love for a new genre that I'm not sure what to name. But I've provided some samples of three bands that I think exemplify it. Listen it these clips and let me know what you think.
(I can't deny that the video is a little strange. Still. The music. The music is good.
Motion City Soundtrack:
(Again, what the heck kind of music video IS this?! But hey, the music is good.)
Sigh... Well, I can't say that I won last night. That would be lying. I CAN say that the team won overall. So, with any luck, we will have managed to pull ourselves from last place to third from last place by next week. :) I missed the first game because I was having dinner with some high school friends (and their families). But of course, that's not what Mike, our mischievous team captain, told my teammates. So when I showed up they were very interested to hear about me having dinner with a married man. And I had to correct them; that I had dinner with TWO married men! You should have seen their wide eyes. But they found it much less interesting when I also mentioned their wives and children were also present.
I lost to a man with one arm last night. And, although normally that would bug me, all I can say is THIS MAN HAS IT DOWN! He was the epitome of hard work and practice. He used a prosthetic arm and had absolutely no trouble with breaking. That is skill.
Last, but not least, I must inform everyone of my decision. Although there is no question that I'd be a BADASS roller girl, I've decided to postpone by team membership. I feel as though I'm just now starting to gain progress toward getting more time to myself and I don't want to jump into another situation that will leave me with a stressful schedule. I'm sorry to let you down. I do, however, plan on skiing a LOT this winter. And I also have been brainstorming about reason for a new blog... called "Vicarious Cait," which would be a log of all my adventures and travels around the world, so, in essence, you all could live vicariously through me, as you've made clear you'd like to do in my last posting. :) I'm not sure exactly when this trip will start... but I'm working on it!
Hello all. I think I need some help with a decision to be made. I went to Fresh Meat last night, which is the 'try outs' for the Lilac City Roller Girls (roller derby). I put 'try outs' in quotations because it really wasn't competitive or stressful at all. In fact, I applaud them for creating such a well-oiled workshop. After a brief intro, we split up into stations to work on our skating skills. (May I add that my primary problem is: BEND YOUR KNEES MORE.) Anyhow, needless to say the experience rocked. But I am left to wonder if this is really something I should join. Please read the following pros and cons, and reply with your comments and suggestions.
Cons: EXPENSIVE! - Pads/helmet alone cost about $100. Cheap skates (which they advise against) are $120. Nice skates are $300. Monthly dues are $25. Not to mention gas to get up to the northside 2-3 times per week. (And keep in mind that I'm also 'saving' for a new mattress, pay off my car, Christmas, and a trip to Portugal.) Time consuming - There are 3 practices per week (usually late at night), but you only have to show up to 1 in order to stay on the team. However, a lot more 'extra curricular' things, like fund-raisers and committees, are also in the mix.
Pros: I would be BADASS! Although I am still getting the hang of it, there was a moment where I felt that exhilarating rush like when I'm skiing crazy fast and in absolute control of the chaos. I like that feeling. It is a GREAT way to exercise! I was a sweaty mess by the end of the practice. Uh... I'd be badass.
Let me start by saying I heard Owl City's "Firefly" on the radio this morning. That makes it a hit on TWO Spokane radio stations within a month. I only have his first album, but this song off the new album is a fantastic!
Secondly, I encourage ALL OF YOU to check out OneRepublic's new video for the song "All The Right Moves." The lyrics to this song are less than phenomenal, but there is something catchy about it! It has a great start, and just the right vocals to pull it off. But that's just the audible part. :) Wait till you see the video! All my favorite things about a music video are wrapped up into one!
Lastly, I have been taken by a song that keeps coming up on Pandora Radio for me. It is called Help I'm Alive by Metric. It is urgent, and yet composed. Excited, and yet the lyrics are pleading. It's just fantastic. :)
And let this be said of all these songs: LISTEN TO THEM LOUDLY! TURN YOUR VOLUME UP!
Today I am a Walrus... who is going to join the Lilac City Roller Girls next week. :)
In my recent search for new and interesting tattoo ideas, I had a fish theme in mind. You see, I have a particular person in mind who has been considering a fish tattoo for some time. I've included a few pictures below that I think might help start the brainstorming process.
First of all, fish tattoos open up a huge opportunity to play with color. Although a black and white design would match well with this person's love of the 'traditional' style, I think adding a splash should at least be considered.
I've also chosen pictures that show fish in different positions... As in, twisted different ways.
Placement is another aspect to decide on. Most of the fish tattoos I found were part of a larger tattoo; usually either a full sleeve or a full back design. Although these are beautiful, I would advice starting small and finding a cute, unique place to put it. And that all depends on the particular person and what part of their body they are most comfortable/happy with.
And, last but not least, I added some angel wings. I happen to like angel wings when they are done right. Unfortunately, they are done wrong quite often. Small wing tattoos at the base of the neck or ankle are particularly great. I wanted to post these wings and see what you thought of them. Give me some feedback!
Today I am a penguin. That later will be dressed up as a green fairy for a Halloween-esque fundraiser. :)
All kinds of excitement transpired last night at pool! We played at a strange bar in Spokane Valley. I say 'strange' because the oddest group of people flocks to this funny little place. It has three pool tables, black lights for Karaoke, and my personal favorite: the doors to both bathrooms ALWAYS stay open, and I made the mistake of using the first stall in the line; you can see very clearly through the huge cracks between the boards that create the line of three stalls.
ANYHOW! Back to the pool event. I was the third on our team to play, but I kept up my 'record time' by only taking half an hour! That meant I was able to watch some of the fourth game before heading home. And, ahem, I WON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I won 17-3, no less! We've played against this particular team a number of times before, so I've been able to notice that the guy I was paired against last night can get a little intense sometimes. And I figured it didn't help that I was a 2, he was 4, and I was knocking his socks off. But he gave me a number of 'ball in hands' that worked out well for me, and I just couldn't miss. The hilarious Karaoke in the background might have had something to do with it. One of my teammates noticed the worse the song, the better I played. :) My opponent had a great attitude about the whole thing, which I really appreciated.
SO, what you've all been waiting for: CAITLIN'S FIRST BAR FIGHT! Well, I wasn't necessarily 'in' it. But I was near it. That counts, right? A groups of guys in their late 20s were hanging around and making all kinds of noise. Mostly nice stuff, but just generally being loud and obnoxious (one even sort of hit on me, which is rather strange once I found out later they seemed to just be looking for a fight - good thing I didn't overreact... like I've been known to do...). In any case, after an hour or so of this, one of the plastic (yes, plastic) windows nearly popped into the bar from the outside as these two guys in the parking lot started duking it out. Then, strangely enough (because usually it happens the other way around), the fight ended up coming INSIDE. These two guys seemed to be looking for a fight all night long and they managed to find a pretty decent-sized guy to fit the part. One ended up with his shirt ripped off, which was unfortunate, but they managed to get themselves back outside after a couple minutes. Then it just kept re-erupting in the parking lot... where all our cars were. So that was a little unsettling, but no harm done in the end. I donno... it was just a strange night. They didn't seem to want to end the fight. Lots of cussing and threatening before somehow someone got them both into two separate cars and off they went.
So, that's my story. See, being a pool hall girl can be exciting sometimes!
Hilarious video. Kudos to the band that thought to incorporate this storyline to the lyrics that had nothing to do with the Loch Ness. And by the way, this album is called "Songs Not To Get Married To." Thought that was fitting. :) Watch the video and you'll understand why.
Several of my pool teammates always give me a hard time for taking at least an hour to finish a match. (Well, they give me a hard time about everything, but still.) Try as I may, I always tend to stretch the game a bit longer than the others on my team, whether I'm winning by a landslide, losing horribly, or tied straight up the middle the entire game.
As usual, I took my full hour to play last night. I played against a 3 (I am a 2) and we ended up being fairly well matched up; neck and neck most of the game. He did, however, tend to always get at least one down on the break, and also got far more 9 balls in than I (9 balls are worth 2 points, instead of the usual 1). So, alas, I lost last night. But it was only by THREE, so I'm feeling rather okay about things. In all honesty, I haven't been practicing like I have in the past, and have only played 3 official games so far this session, so I'm pretty thrilled about how I held up.
Another great bonus was the other matches seemed to fly right by, so I was able to sit in an all but one of them. (I tend to like a 10:30 bedtime, and pool often runs until midnight, so I only get to watch the first few.)I kept score most of the night, as we've discovered our teammate who usually keeps score actually does quite a bit better if he practices ALL night first. So we switched it up a bit and we're hoping for the best. When I left we were 2 for 4, with 1 match left. We're currently hold up the last seat in the league. But hey, as Bruce says, "From small things, momma, big things one day come."
I had such great hopes for my first blog about music. I thought it would be so easy! Pick a CD I am passionate about and describe it. Well... Ironically, I received four new CDs in one week, making the challenge of choosing an album much more difficult. I will have to save three for later posts. In the end, I have chosen to blog about the last CD I came across. It is called "Draw The Line," by David Gray.
I've been on the David Gray bandwagon for a while. It's good stuff. Mellow, soothing, beautiful. I was certainly excited to hear something new, having played the old stuff one too many times. But my goodness. I could never have expected the phenomenal power of this album. EVERY SINGLE SONG. A few are tender, slow and sweet, like much of his previous work. But some are bold. Some are wonderfully strong and urgent. Others embody so much positive energy your spirit lightens immediately. The lyrics are like yak butter. And the instruments are so perfect. It is refreshing to hear piano in the forefront, and remember how the violin can add so much to a song.
I checked out his website to see if it was anything worth mentioning. I came across the music video for "Fugitive." Kara, please watch this one and tell me what you think. It is creative and artistic. But on top of that, you can see he is passionate about his lyrics. He has such a presence while playing/singing. As if it is not an act, like so many other artists tend to put on; it is as if he is singing for himself. That the words are so true he simply must gush them out.
In a nutshell, it's great. I think you will agree.
As a side note, I missed pool this week because a friend was in from out of town. I will be sure to give you a 'play by play' after next week's match.
I can only assume that either my previous tattoo post was found so repulsive to my viewers that no one cared to comment, or that, because of my extended blogging break, no one has become accustomed to checking my site often enough to comment on new posts. Both options are rather sad, but I'm set on changing things! I've erased my previous blog entry, complete with the racy tattoo photo, and have posted several more interesting tattoo ideas. I had a rather enjoyable time finding these, and I'd appreciate all the comments you'd like to offer up. What kind of tattoos do you like? Which of the following are good? Which are bad?
On another note, I won my pool game on Wednesday! There was a bit of luck involved, and one key play that landed 3 scores in a row (thanks to the helpful input from my coach). Unfortunately, mine was the only victory for my team that night. Although we only only about 30 points from the lead in the league, we are currently ranked last. :( I'll keep you posted as we progress.
Also, stay tuned for a blog about a new fantastic band I've just recently learned about. I'll be posting that later this week.
This past week turned out to be rather eventful at our pool match. It was the first time our new team member played (and man - she was quite the shark for the first several racks! She might turn out to be a 3 right off the bat!). She was the second on our team to play for the night. However, halfway through her second rack, the electricity at the bar went out! We all stood around in the dark for several minutes shouting out inappropriate jokes, but the lights never came back on! This happened at a bar on Sprague Street in the Valley area ... so it almost seemed fitting. But nevertheless, it put a cramp in our pool playing! We called around to other bars in the area and found an open table not too far away. It was a Thai bar that I'd never been to before, so I greatly enjoyed the people watching. I must say, however, it is slightly odd to see a 60-year-old, white-haired man behind the DJ booth and listen as one man in a white jump suite sings Karaoke to Justin Timberlake, only to be followed by a cowboy-type singing Toby Keith. An odd night, all around. But I suppose that's what keeps me coming back. I didn't play, so I have no score to report, but that's probably for the best. I need a bit more practice I say the least.
Stay tuned for a tattoo post to be uploaded later this week. ;)
This past weekend was full of new things. First of all, the Ethiopian New Year was on Sunday, and it was my first time celebrating it. I have observed the Persian New Year for several years now, and I'm starting to greatly enjoy the concept of celebrating more than just the American New Year. Think about it - I get to have a party on January 1, in mid spring, AND in fall! If anyone knows of other New Years, let me know. We should plan a party!
I also got a new toaster this weekend. Well, new to me. It was a hand-me-down of sorts. But it seems to be holding it's own for the time being (I have a long, sad history with toasters. I am very excited this one might work out!). It didn't, however, get off on the right foot with my cat, Cassius, this morning. Just about the time Cassius got the courage to get close to it, it decided the toast was done and snapped up with such a force that Cassius was across the room in a split second. Awfully funny to watch, if you ask me.
Lastly, I have a new hair color. I've been wanting to go dark for some time now, but held off for the fall season (dark colors just seem to mesh better with fall). It's kinda scary to change hair colors, but also rather fun.
I hope this somehow inspires you to try something new this week. I play pool tomorrow at the worst bar on the list. But, on the bright side, we usually always come away with a good story. :)
My first pool game of the Fall session was last night. I lost... but I'm not too surprised. I barely played at all over the summer. The three pre-league games I DID play were not very encouraging. But it was great to see the team again!
I have another music recommendation for you. Cage The Elephant. I saw them in concert in Spokane not too long ago. I can see that they may not be for everyone. But they are certainly worth a try!
Also, as this is my first post in months and it may startle a few people, I am going to attempt posting once a week again. I will most likely post something about new music to try out once per month, some sort of tattoo idea that catches my eye once per month, and then anything else that happens to strike my fancy (pool updates, art, new Spokane venues I've discovered, gnarly adventures...). I hope you enjoy!
I want to share with you two bands that I can’t get enough of lately that are just strange enough to put me in a better mood every time I listen to them. The first is Owl City. I believe it’s actually just one guy who does everything from singing to creating the beats (to be honest, I haven’t looked it up yet), but his lyrics are really what makes his stuff great. They are full of whimsical descriptions, city skylines, travel and love. And it is matched perfectly with a light, almost spontaneous collection of rhythms and beats behind him. The other artist is Santogold. She’s a bit on the odd side, but be warned. But again, her stuff is so creative it usually jars me away from the usual hum-drum of life and makes me look at things from a different perspective. She’s a bit like M.I.A., but slightly easier to understand, and with a style all her own. If you’ve got a need for something new, I’d check these two artists out.
Okay, so it’s been TWO weekends since I last wrote. Sorry! Things have been a little busy around here! I had the opportunity to get to know the Seattle area a lot more than I ever cared to this past weekend. I went to Seattle for a bachelorette party for a friend from college, but Snoqualmie pass was a mess by the time I woke up on Sunday so I tried for Stevens instead. When I was about 10 miles from the pass itself, I came upon an accident that was blocking my lane. After 15 minutes of waiting, the cop on the scene told everyone he was closing the pass to all eastbound traffic. So I returned to my friend’s house after 3 hours of pointless driving. But hey, I made it back from point B to point A without needing a map! (Okay, so I called Sara a time or two just to double check a few things.) By late Sunday night they had opened up Snoqualmie to all vehicles that had traction tires, so I gave it another shot early on Monday morning and made it back to Spokane by 10:45.
Aside from that, I’ve kept busy brushing up on my kayaking skills and working on the décor of my new apartment. I have now mastered the ‘T-rescue,’ which means technically I can kayak on the river… although I’m awfully hesitant about that prospect. It’s a wonderful workout, I can sure say that!
I’ve been thinking a lot about travel lately, although I am definitely a long time away from following through on any of my daydreams. But here’s what’s at the top of my list: road trip U.S.A., Spain, Greece and Africa.
I hope this helps you daydream about travel yourself. It always brings a smile to my face. I can’t imagine it wouldn’t do that same for you.
I won my pool game last night! I was the first to play which rarely happens, but for some reason, it did the trick! I left before the match was over, but I think we won… we won the first 3 games, any how, and Charlie seemed to have things in order by the time I left.
It’s trying to snow today, which figures, because today I finally decided to wear my skirt. So of course I’m going to freeze my legs off. But hey, all in the name of style, right? I’m looking forward to the weekend, although I don’t have too much planned. I’ve been running nonstop for about 2 weeks now, so a short break is needed. I plan to buy the last new small items for my apartment and continue to look for good deals on the bigger pieces of furniture that I need. I love projects. :)
Well, I know this is short, but it’s been a very loooooooong time and I wanted to give a quick update. More to come this weekend!
I had the pleasure of watching "Rocky Balboa," the newest movie in the Rocky boxing series, last week. And the fact that I found it a pleasure was quite appalling, to be honest. As the movie opened, I didn't necessarily plan on staying awake for the whole thing. And yet, despite the fact that I've only seen one other Rocky movie in my life (which I think was the first one... but it's hard to say, I was incredibly young at the time), Rocky's character began to grow on me. I can't vouch for any of the previous movies, but I found myself enjoying Rocky's simple, black and white perspective on the world, along with his say-it-like-it-is personality. He is a character who is determinedly hopeful, who seems to think that, yes, one person can change the world, one person at a time. And that, yes, everyone does deserve respect. I found these attributes rather surprising, considering it was just one in a long line of movies aimed at proving that one man was the best in the world. How delightfully pleasant to discover his humble personality instead of an ego driven machine. Even the acting was good. And I'm the first person to make fun of actors who seem to capitalize on big muscles and gruff voices. I can't really say I've ever been impressed with Sylvester Stallone in any other movie, but this performance was phenomenal.
I don't know, maybe it was simply that because I had such low standards the averageness of the film took me off guard. But I have a sneaky suspicion that this truly is a fantastic film. I'm also not quite convinced that I'd like Rocky's character in all the preceding movies, since their previews certainly never did anything for me. Nevertheless, that almost adds to the reason I like this film so much; it's enjoyable to see Rocky as a green boxer in his 20s, trying to win a girl and attain glory, and then mature into a guy who finds pleasure in the simple things, has his head on straight, and sees through the facade of fame. A very likable character, and very refreshing personality and a very excellent movie.
I was lucky enough to take an extended break last weekend, and stole away to an area near Winthrop, WA. I was able to spend two nights in a small cabin, trading in indoor facilities and running water for quality time with the fam. It was awfully cold, I won't lie... especially the ski back down the hill... The way up we had to fight for, but the way down was one loooooooong conveyor belt of chill. In any case, there were lots of laughs, lots of muscle building, and lots of character building, as usual. Here are a few pictures for you all to enjoy.
My week flew by, and ended with a huge celebration. I attended a work party that was in honor of Mike, the man who is retiring and whose place I am taking at work. They told me it was also to welcome me onto the team, but I didn't want to steal any attention away from Mike (who has been such a blessing to me as I learn all these new responsibilities), and I mostly wanted to get to know my co-workers better. As it turned out, however, I had THE BEST WINE IN THE WORLD. I'm not sure how much it runs, but try Kim Crawford Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc from Australia. So incredible. As was the calamari, which I had never tried before.
I left town at 11 p.m. after the dinner and headed to see Sara's new place in Seattle. Although the weather over the pass was less than wonderful, I appreciated driving through Seattle in the quiet of the night, the whole freeway to myself. (I am not so great with city driving, especially while I'm headed to a location I've never been to before.) The weekend was amazing. Catching up with girlfriends is a wonderful blessing. It all ended too soon, though! While I was able to buy several new outfits for work, walk around Green Lake (my favorite!), have breakfast with Sara's family, see an old friend from high school and explore Sara's cute new neighborhood, there was plenty we didn't have time to get around to.
I had a deadline, though! I needed to get home to watch Bruce do the halftime show! And man, I sure made it RIGHT on time! I pulled in right as halftime started. And Bruce did amazing. Blew my socks off. As did the Steelers. Normally I wouldn't care either way, but this particular season I watched more Seahawks games (because of Scott) and Steelers games (because of his best friend) than any other team. And the fact that one of those two teams actually MADE it meant that I HAD to root for them.
I'm off to veg out before heading to bed and then work tomorrow. What a whirl-wind weekend!
Although I was a bit behind the American populous, I finally got around to listening to the speech President Obama's gave following his Presidential oath. And I must say, that as I let it linger in my brain while also listening to The Beatles' "Imagine" and searching for good car deals online, I am incredibly hopeful. In the midst of everything falling apart our nation retained a competent, capable new leader, I personally landed a new job, opening up all kinds of new possibilities for me, and I now have the luxury of dreaming once more. I almost forgot what it was like.
...Have you ever read Douglas Adam's 'The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy?' Well... this will be a stretch if you haven't, but (CJ, you'd REALLY enjoy this one! Try it!) I'll give it a shot: As I was looking for my potential future car while also listening to the elegant, powerful words of President Obama, the surrealness of it all crept up on me, and I slowly realized I was dreaming of exciting possibilities in the future, for our nation and for myself. Much like Aurthur (in Adam's trilogy) realized he was flying... Aurthur explains, however, that as soon as you realize you are flying, you start to fall! The more you think about flying, the more you lose your balance - or flight, as it were - and gravity kicks back in again. You must focus on not flying, and soon you will find yourself in the air again, wafting higher and higher. Well, until you bump into a floating building, of course. In any case, I'll simply sit back and search for my potential future car, smile in the wonder of such a fantastic moment and the beauty expressed by an excellent speech writer, and enjoy the moment. Not focusing on how unreal this moment is, of course, because if I think about it too much, it might slip between my fingers. I am simply grateful for this moment, unaware of how it is possible that it is happening, and hopeful. Hopeful that tomorrow will carry the same blessings I have found today. And the day after that. And the day after that. Amen.
Cat Stevens - Moonshadow Today I am a elephant (because they're cute, and flap their ears, not because they're huge) and (while we're being hopeful) a mug of white chocolate cocoa, topped with whipped cream with zero calories/zero sugar and a cherry on top. Make that three cherries. One can never have too many.
Hello! I write bearing much news! As it happens, I am not done with pool after all! Out a stroke of luck (or born out of a curse, depending on which teammate you talk to) we've were drawn as the 'wild card' team to attend the playoffs! The playoffs will be held next Wednesday night, and depending on how we do there, then perhaps we'll be done. We'll see. :) I hope so, though, since I promised my brother in law that I'd learn how to kayak with him that following Wednesday.
I also have news concerning my job. My first three days went very well. Rather smoothly, in my humble opinion. They threw me into a few things I wasn't quite ready for (i.e. answering phone call on my first day, and 'explaining' the legal paperwork to new clients (even though I had yet to read through said paperwork)), but over all I think that experience will help me out next week when I'm on my own. Although I did manage to get a little bit of work done, the bulk of my work week was spent taking instruction. I had a great mentor to learn from, though, and he'll be around for the afternoons next week just in case I have problems. Everything is moving SO fast, and I feel like I have so much information to sustain, but I am ultimately very excited about this job. It's one that I will pride myself in once I have learned all the intricate details of the legal process... lol, which might take a while.
Speaking of legalities! This job has its interesting side! I've learned about all kinds of rules, procedures, mandatory documentation and the like relating to the legal process associated with Personal Injuries (which is usually associated with car accidents). In a few months, I'll be a walking almanac of PI legal proceedings. And I find that rather cool.
Hello everyone! I just wanted to spread the word that I got a job! I'll be working as a legal assistant/paralegal for a small law firm in the Rock Point Center. I start TOMORROW! It's got the pay/benefits that I was hoping for and is only about 10 minutes away from the house. Thanks for all your support and encouragement during this period of waiting!
Good news and bad news: We won our last pool match last night! But I lost my individual game. I can't complain too much, though, because the woman I played against truly was a better shot than I, and I didn't lose by THAT much. It was our last official game as a team and I'm pretty sad about it. My teammates are a lot of fun. EVEN when they're giving me a hard time and teasing me (which is most of the time). I plan to continue practicing and playing as often as possible, though, because I want to improve. I'm at that place where I can see the shot I need to make, but can barely ever get it right. Rather infuriating if you ask me.
I checked out the Newsweek article Jaima mentioned and thought it was worth sharing with all of you. It doesn't necessarily make my point exactly, but it touches on some interesting factors relating to hip hop, such as 'conscious rap,' which I am a big fan of. Well, in addition to island hip hop, but for totally different reasons. Conscious rap eludes to lyrics that are meant to provoke change, make a point, or reveal truths, and therefore have intricate, intelligent lyrics. Island hip hop, on the other hand, just has that 'feel-good' vibe we all love so much, but adds a fast enough beat to dance to. Like an energetic Bob Marley.
I'm reading a book called "Eat, Pray, Love," and think it's rather wonderful so far (a big thanks to Aja and Amy who gave it to me for Christmas!). It documents the author's year-long journey visiting 3 locations for 3 specific reasons. She lived in Italy for 4 months to learn about pleasure, i.e. eating amazing food and having the freedom to ask herself what she wanted to do every morning. Then she moved to India for 4 months to "find God." That is where I am right now. She'll then live in Indonesia for 4 months to learn about love, or so she seems to elude. She's currently at an Ashram learning how to meditate to become closer to God. Although this might sound like a very Hindu thing to do, she isn't Hindu. Nor are many of her fellow students. Jews, Christians, Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists alike gather there to learn how to meditate so they can find a way to be still before their respective gods without actually asking for something. They're learning how to be in their gods' presence and listen. I realize many of my readers might think this is all the road to the Devil, while still others might think that there's no point in trying to listen because no gods are out there. In any case, I personally find the concept interesting. I am always talking when I pray, never listening. Learning to sit quietly every day to be open to His presence sounds rather nice. What are your thoughts?
Bruce has something new in the works. I'm not sure if it's part of his new album (coming out in late January), but he wrote the leading song for a new movie coming out called "The Wrestler." As much as I love Bruce, I don't think I'll be seeing this one. (You all know how much I love wrestling matches...) In fact, I could take or leave the song even. Nevertheless, as a true Bruce fan, I thought I'd share the song with everyone.
ASLO!!!! PLEASE check out another song off his new album on youtube! It is SO great to see the band jamming together again. And Bruce has his hair all shaggy and cute. Even if he looks like it hurts when he sings, at least he knows what passion is about! I love that band. Such a good song.
Not too many things have changed since I left Spokane before Christmas. Upon my return, I found most things exactly the same. Which makes sense since most of the city had been shut down due to snow, and it's hard to make major changes when you can't get much farther in the world than your parked car on the other side of your sidewalk, snuggled below a two-foot blanket of snow. One major thing DID change, however. Spokane's only remaining hip hop/R&B station, 96.9, was replaced with country music... This makes me very sad. Less variety always makes me sad, but in this case, when I dearly love hip hop, it was even more devastating.
HOWEVER! As Scott mentioned to me, "They can't keep playing crap from kids like Solja Boy and think people will listen to it." And then I realized perhaps it was the right business move after all. It's not the absence of the station I am mourning, it is quality hip hop all together. I fell in love with hip hop during 2004-2005 when (I feel) hip hop had hit a prime. Quality tracks from all kinds of hip hop (dance, R&B, rap, island, west coast, east coast, dirty south) topped the charts all over the place! And now what do we have? Sixteen-year-olds who couldn't tell a lyric from a textbook (since they study neither). Even Tupac, who wrote some songs I'm not quite sure about, had a lyrical talent that makes me fall in love with his music over and over again. But seriously? A song about one's 'tippy toes?' Telling people to dance on your tippy toes? And then adding some sexist comments/instructions because, after all, they've made it big and that's what being famous is all about... Apparently. One thing's for sure: this epidemic of young, crap artists shows that no 16-year-old should be allowed to have any influence on the fashion/pop world. We get sunglasses written on with white-out (how is THAT safe when driving? Oh right! They're famous now, they don't have to drive themselves) and the sloppiest 'ensembles' you've ever seen.
But you know, America is capitalist and people do what makes them money. So I get it. If you want to make it big and people spend money on crap these days, why not make crap? Even a handful of my favorite artists (who were famous before this horrible low of hip hop standards) have betrayed true talent by cashing in with dumb, unintelligible, degrading tracks. BUT WHY RUIN SOMETHING SO WONDERFUL!? Just because people want to pay you to graffiti all the art inside The Louvre doesn't mean you should go ahead and do it.
AND! My final point, in retrospect I am glad (kind of) the station went out of business, because perhaps that points to yet another shift in the hip hop world, one that leans back to music that has depth, lyrics that incorporate thought, and beats that are born of inspiration instead of bank accounts. It seems the American populous (especially the younger ones, who, poor souls, have yet to hear what good hip hop sounds like) are speaking out. NO MORE CRAP! I can only hope that out of this lowly state, something new and wonderful can be born.
I read my cousin's blog this morning (who is in New Zealand currently) and got very disheartened thereafter when I checked the thermometer and it read three degrees. I know I live in the PNW and should suck it up, but man... it's days like these when I think it wouldn't be half bad to live in Arizona. And just so we're all on the same page, I loath Arizona. Nothing against the people, I'm just not a big fan of dry, barren land (well, except for Utah, but it's got cool colors to make up for it).
If nothing else, the weather has allowed for some interesting people watching. I find winter traffic conditions to provide just the right kind of conditions for some serious psychological observations of the Spokane population. For example: why did one driver find it necessary to stop on a main, four-lane street to allow another car that was at a stop sign to turn in front of him/her, only to be stopped short by the back-logged lane going the opposite direction? Why do local newscasters have to bring out diagrams to explain how snow can slide off sloped houses, but will weigh down and fall through flat roofs? Do people not know this stuff? Very interesting indeed.
Here are some pictures that better describe the obstacles we're working with around Spokane.
Hello all! I arrived back in Spokane yesterday afternoon safe and sound! It was a long, horrible drive, but it wouldn't have been any easier today (more snow and winds are in the works for today's forecast). I watched Wall-E yesterday upon my return! It was a great way to relax after the long day. I love Wall-E... I want one. Today I have a lot ahead of me... Unpacking, cleaning, organizing, applying to jobs, getting back into communication with people. For now, however, I wanted to make sure these pictures were posted asap. The picture is a drawing I made for my grandma's Christmas present. The other two are the Pygmy Owl Dad and I saw down near the creek below my parent's house. One is a view of his bellow, but his head is turned to the side. The other is a view of his back, complete with false eyes! Those two dark spots are black feathers on the back of his head to make it look like he has eyes back there!
By the way, today I am a kangaroo. Not so much of the hoppy kind, but the tall, fat kind... that is very furry.
I love travel, art and writing. Although I do not pursue any of it as much as I should. I love warm weather and bare feet. I'm working on becoming a better cook and I'm constantly trying to talk myself out of getting another tattoo.