Tag Archives: Music

Kanye West: Total Douche -or- Media Mastermind

I was watching the Grammys this week and, like many of you, I was horrified by the behavior of one Kanye West. Now, there has been a lot of backlash out there about his frequent theatrics and, likely, narcissistic tendencies, but for some reason this man continually needs to come to the defense of Beyonce anytime she loses a Grammy award. The public response has included an amazing open letter by Garbage frontwoman, Shirley Manson, where she takes the high road and asks Kanye to cut it out (https://www.facebook.com/shirleymanson/posts/10152927970266387) and a Buzzfeed.com post depicting all the reasons why Beck should have beaten Beyonce in the Grammy race (http://www.buzzfeed.com/expresident/why-beck-beat-beyonce?bffb&utm_term=4ldqpgp#.kdYwjmRvqz) – this does not include the myriad of posts I have read calling Kanye a number of not-so-polite names.

I am coming at this from a different angle – is Kanye West a total douche or is he a media mastermind. Since Sunday night we have been talking about nothing Grammy-related without an in-depth discussion of his ridiculous behavior. He has found a way to keep himself topmost in our thoughts. If it is true that there is no such thing as bad publicity, this man has hit the motherlode.  If he would rather be vilified than forgotten, he is one happy camper these days.

There are some fortunate and unfortunate consequences of Kanye’s behavior:

  1. Winner: Beck. OK, Kanye totally douched him out of his big moment at the award show, this is 100% true. But, and this is a big but, the controversy surrounding this situation has exposed Beck and his music to an audience who may have been previously unfamiliar. He (though not exactly a media-whore by temperament) is benefitting by his name in the media and the sympathies of a Kanye-sick nation.
  2. Loser: Beyonce. Don’t get me wrong – she did absolutely nothing wrong. Kanye keeps stepping up to defend this grown woman who is doing just fine on her own. She is reportedly happily married, amazingly talented, enjoying motherhood, widely successful, and absolutely gorgeous. She does not need Kanye fighting her battles. His behavior only weakens her. She is strong on her own.
  3. Loser: Kanye. He may be a talented musician – this is somewhat subjective and likely depends on your musical preferences, but, by this point, I am not sure anyone even notices this anymore. He is a “character” not an artist.

Can we make this man stop? Nope. Absolutely not. Unless the award shows are going to start having bodyguards positioned around the stage to stop non-winners from storming the stage, he will likely continue to act like an ass. Really, the only thing we can do is ignore him. Consider him like a bully on the playground. Tell him, “No”, set the limit, and then ignore him and hope he will go away.

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Unanswered Prayers

I’ve talked about my daughter before – her name is Charlie and she is almost 10 years old. She is awesome and I love her, but she has recently taken a turn for the dramatic (could it be teen hormones already?). Anyway… I was tucking her into bed the other day and she looked at me and asked, “Why doesn’t anything ever go my way?” (Like I said, a flare for the dramatic). We had a long talk about what it was that was bothering her and resolved her current crisis as best we could at 9 PM. I even added a little reality check about using words like “never” and “always”.

Everything seemed good, but it got me to thinking – we (all of us) have a tendency to assume not getting our way is always a bad thing. We assume if something else had happened, everything would have been better. Let me give you an easy example- a client was recently in a car accident. It wasn’t anything too traumatic, but there was car damage which is always a hassle. My client was in my office complaining how she keeps getting screwed by life and if she had only left 5 minutes later (or earlier) the accident could have been avoided. I think it is perfectly natural to feel this way, but it is important to remember things could have been actually worse. Maybe a different, more serious car accident would have occurred. It is impossible to know. We can waste so much time focused on what “might” have happened.

There is even a song about it. Do you know Garth Brooks’ song “Unanswered Prayers”? Here is a peek, if you aren’t sure (http://www.rollingstone.com/music/lists/the-13-greatest-country-songs-for-thanksgiving-20141125/garth-brooks-unanswered-prayers-1990-20141125). It’s all about a man who goes back to his home town and sees his high school girlfriend with whom he had so desperately wanted a future. The relationship had not worked out and both had moved on. When the singer looks around, he realizes how not getting what he wanted actually helped him to get what he really needed after all (wife, kids, happiness). The ways that not getting what we want actually serves us is not always so transparent or direct, but it is important to try not to spend too much time on what might have been at the detriment of what actually is.

My stepdad died about 12 years ago after a painful bout with pancreatic cancer. I was living on the West Coast while he and my mom were in Michigan. I got a call one day I should come home because the doctors determined he did not have much time left. I booked a flight for the next day, but he passed before I got there. For a fairly long while I was torn up about not having had an opportunity to say goodbye. I had this dramatic vision of a Hollywood deathbed goodbye where we shared our feelings (all good) and he peacefully went to “sleep”. I felt cheated of this. Over time, I became aware that his deathbed was likely nothing like this. He was not conscious and communicating. I was spared seeing him so ill. My last memory of him is not him sickly and weak, but up and about and teasing me. I was not cheated, but was spared. I did not get what I wanted, but it was for the best.

So, here is my takeaway – if you get frustrated about something that happened (or didn’t happen), remember it may have been in your best interest. Even if you can’t see how it is good for you, try not to dwell too much on what could have been (or should have been) and, instead, focus on what is. Try to make your “is” as good as you can.

The Twelve Years of Christmas (An Ode to My Daughter, Charlie)

The Twelve Years of Christmas


On her one year old Christmas
my daughter gave to me:
A pail full of stinky diapers

On her two year old Christmas
my daughter gave to me:
Two temper tantrums
And a pail full of stinky diapers

On her three year old Christmas
my daughter gave to me:
Three “no” to everythings
Two temper tantrums
And a pail full of stinky diapers

On her four year old Christmas
my daughter gave to me:
Four days of nonstop chatter
Three “no” to everythings
Two temper tantrums
And a pail full of stinky diapers

On her five year old Christmas
my daughter gave to me:
Five hours playing with Barbie
Four days of nonstop chatter
Three “no” to everythings
Two temper tantrums
And a pail full of stinky diapers

On her six year old Christmas
my daughter gave to me:
Six sticky fingers
Five hours playing with Barbie
Four days of nonstop chatter
Three “no” to everythings
Two temper tantrums
And a pail full of stinky diapers

On her seven year old Christmas
my daughter gave to me:
Seven loose teeth
Six sticky fingers
Five hours playing with Barbie
Four days of nonstop chatter
Three “no” to everythings
Two temper tantrums
And a pail full of stinky diapers

On her eight year old Christmas
my daughter gave to me:
Eight best friends
Seven loose teeth
Six sticky fingers
Five hours playing with Barbie
Four days of nonstop chatter
Three “no” to everythings
Two temper tantrums
And a pail full of stinky diapers

On her nine year old Christmas
my daughter gave to me:
Nine rounds of Just Dance
Eight best friends
Seven loose teeth
Six sticky fingers
Five hours playing with Barbie
Four days of nonstop chatter
Three “no” to everythings
Two temper tantrums
And a pail full of stinky diapers

On her ten year old Christmas
my daughter gave to me:
Ten preteen meltdowns
Nine rounds of Just Dance
Eight best friends
Seven loose teeth
Six sticky fingers
Five hours playing with Barbie
Four days of nonstop chatter
Three “no” to everythings
Two temper tantrums
And a pail full of stinky diapers

On the eleventh day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
Eleven celebrity crushes
Ten preteen meltdowns
Nine rounds of Just Dance
Eight best friends
Seven loose teeth
Six sticky fingers
Five hours playing with Barbie
Four days of nonstop chatter
Three “no” to everythings
Two temper tantrums
And a pail full of stinky diapers

On her twelfth year of Christmas
my daughter gave to me:
Twelve epic eye rolls
Eleven celebrity crushes
Ten preteen meltdowns
Nine rounds of Just Dance
Eight best friends
Seven loose teeth
Six sticky fingers
Five hours playing with Barbie
Four days of nonstop chatter
Three “no” to everythings
Two temper tantrums
And a pail full of stinky diapers

My Life’s Soundtrack (So Far)

I like music. Very rarely I might even love a song or become slightly obsessed with a band for a period of time, but, overall, I like music. I don’t, however, LOVE music. I seldom attend concerts and hardly even purchase new music as soon as it comes out. Every once in a while a song sticks with me and I’ll make the heroic effort to purchase it on iTunes and download it to my iPod so I can listen to it on my morning run. I am far from an aficionado. Still every once in a while a song will come on unexpectedly and will transport me to another place and another time in my life. Ever have that experience? Here are a few that seem to highlight periods in my life:
Darling Nikki by Prince. I was young when this song was released and my best friend, Shannon, and I were obsessed with the somewhat naughty lyrics of this song. This was well before the days of Google and we listened to the song over and over again (on cassette tape) until we had them all sorted out. Anytime I hear this song (which isn’t often enough), I am 10 years old and sitting out in the sunshine with my best friend.

Sometimes by Depeche Mode. I think I wrote the lyrics of this song out nearly 1000 times. I wrote it on notebooks, homework assignments, even on my shoes. The question of whether you could ever really be understood by someone else really spoke to my adolescent angst. Somebody by the same band is a close second for me.

Obsession by Animotion. The song about the guy I just couldn’t get out of my head. Whenever I happen on this song (it is on my iPod, so I hear it fairly often) I am transported to those days when I liked someone so much I was driven to distraction. I was also too young to have a clue what to do about it.

Alive by Pearl Jam. Anyone who knew me the first few years of college knew I was obsessed with Pearl Jam and had every intention of marrying Eddie Vedder one day. The marriage was never to be (what a pity), but I could probably pick any song off the album Ten and it would bring back college memories long forgotten. The angst, the depth, they were and are amazing.

The Dance by Garth Brooks. I spent a summer with a number of friends following Garth Brooks around a little bit. We attended a number of concerts (often flirting our way into the front row) and had a fabulous times just being girls together. It was a wonderful time not about meeting or keeping boys, just enjoying each other’s company.

American Girl by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. The band that played at the bar where I worked in college (Shout out to the Foster Kids) played this song each and every night they performed. It was always the time we girls would run out on the dance floor and celebrate being young, happy and together. I cannot hear this song without getting a huge smile on my face and singing along.

I’ll Be by Edwin McCain. “Our” song with my husband. We loved this song when we were dating and it helped us bridge the miles during the year we were dating long distance (this sucked by the way). We also danced to it at our wedding. Brings back all types of warm and squishy feelings about him.

Shot Through the Heart by Bon Jovi. Unusual choice, right? Especially since it was important to me in the 2008 (24 years after its initial release). My daughter was 2 or 3 at the time and became obsessed with this song and would request it every time we got in the car – a welcome reprieve from The Wiggles, I dare say. What I loved so much about it was it was her first mainstream (not for kids) song and she totally destroyed the lyrics. She would sit in her car seat belting out, “Shocky the heart!” It was such a happy time in our family.

50 Ways to Say Goodbye by Train. The song Charlie and I always sing on our way to her dance competitions. It is fun and fast and she always giggle when I screw up the lyrics. (Sometimes I do it on purpose.) It just puts us in such a good mood which is important when it is super early in the morning and she has to go on stage with a smile and a bit of sass.

F**ckin’ Perfect by P!nk. I have to be careful when and where I listen to this song. I totally picture it being something I would say to my daughter and inevitably get choked up thinking about the insecurities she will undoubtedly face and how the world may make her feel like less than she is. (I want to kick everyone’s ass at that point.)

This is all I could think of off the top of my head. What about you? What songs make up the soundtrack of your life? What did I miss?