Tag Archives: n*sync

Jogging

I’ve taken up jogging (again).  I’ve gone out 6 days in the past two weeks.  This is very good, considering for a few months, I was going 0 days per week.  I can do 1.6 miles without too much difficulty, but if I try to go much farther, I get pretty winded.  Today I did about 1.77 miles.

My route and my playlist go like this:  I listen to Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” while I do a warm-up walk from the apartment to the intersection of Harvard and Barrington.  As soon as N*Sync’s “Bye Bye Bye” comes on, I start jogging.  At the intersection of Barrington and Canterbury, I make a left turn and jog all the way to the intersection of Canterbury and Harvard.  By the time I’ve reached this intersection, The Backstreet Boys’ “The Call” has just finished and Christina Aguilera’s “Dirrty” has begun.  I’m just going to say right now that “Dirrty” is an essential workout playlist song.  I jog along Harvard, past Vassar, Barrington, Westminister and Dartmouth.  Right around the intersection of Harvard and Dartmouth is when MGMT’s “Electric Feel” begins to play.  That song feels endless; don’t put it on a workout playlist.  I listen to that as I jog past Dartmouth, Rutgers and Oxford.  Somewhere between Oxford and Goodman, Cyndi Lauper’s “The Goonies ‘R’ Good Enough” begins, and I listen to that until I get to the intersection of Goodman and Park and continue on to Park and Oxford listening to N*Sync’s “I Want You Back”.

I feel like I can’t really change my playlist at this point because I’ve used it enough that it helps me keep time and establish my pace.  I worry that if I were to add or subtract or rearrange, I might throw off my routine.  I’m having fun with it though, and, dare I say, I’m even beginning to look forward to it.  I know it’s not far nor long, but I’m working my way up.  You have to start somewhere, and I used to hate jogging or running.  I preferred going to the gym and using the ellipticals or the bikes.  Anything to avoid actually jogging or running.  Whenever the weather is good and it’s warm enough, I force myself to get out there.  I do have to be careful though; sometimes, during my cool down walk, my knee feels a little sore, and when I first began a couple of weeks ago my heel was killing me.

I think this might be the only photo I have that has me in a position where I look like I might be running. It was taken on a disastrous corn maze expedition. Photo courtesy of Betsy Reed.

The 10 Most Embarrassing Songs in My iTunes (Guest Post)

This is the day you’ve been waiting for!  Daniel agreed to do a guest post with a list of my Top 10 Most Embarrassing Songs in iTunes.  Below is his take on things.

Alrighty!  I have been tasked with ferreting out the 10 MOST embarrassing songs in Christine’s iTunes.  This is not nearly as easy a task as some of you might be thinking, mainly because Christine has such a bevy of shitty music.  It is truly astonishing to me how intensely her parents failed in providing her with a solid musical foundation.  Now some of you might be saying to yourselves “Wow, isn’t this asshole being a little harsh?”  Well…yes…and no.  She owns every single Good Charlotte album ever.  I am pretty sure she paid for each and every one.  To this, she reminds me that she “doesn’t have their latest one” as if that is something I should be proud of.  Furthermore, I take issue with this line of argumentation because, while she does not have their most recent album, I am pretty sure she has more Good Charlotte bootleg recordings than actually exist.  Now if your response to this is “Hey, I like Good Charlotte”, I have two things to say.  One: Damn you have bad taste in music!  And two: If you tare offended by this introduction do not–I repeat DO NOT–read any further.  That being said, this is all in jest.  I believe that everyone is entitled to their own terrible taste in music.  Without further ado I present:

10.  Linkin Park’s “Numb”

Before I rip into this one let me be the first to say that I have a soft spot in my heart for Linkin Park.  This is because I listened to them for a while…when I was 11.  As any well adjusted adult person will do from time to time, at about 15 I took stock of my life and music library and decided to get rid of Linkin Park.  Instead of throwing it away I gave it to my sister, who was, at the time, 11.  It seems like 11 is the right time to listen to Linkin Park because of its angst-ridden, yet surprisingly mom-friendly lyrics such as this gem from “Numb”:

I’ve become so numb I can’t feel you there
Become so tired so much more aware
I’m becoming this all I want to do
Is be more like me and be less like you

Wow!  At 11 this seemed really deep.  It also seemed to be about growing up and growing apart from my parents.  Like I said deep…at 11.  Christine is now 23.  ‘Nuff said.

9.  The Backstreet Boys’ “The Call”

This may seem blasphemous to some of you but I think that all boy bands sound/look/dance the same.  So be assured that anything that I say about The Backstreet Boys is also equally applicable to N*Sync, 98 Degrees, O-Town, New Kids on the Block, and any other boy bands you can think of.  This being said, I don’t care for The Backstreet Boys (though, if you recall I am really referring to all boy bands everywhere that have ever, do, and/or will ever exist –editor’s note).  I especially don’t care for this song.  Let me tell you why.  The premise of the song is that a guy goes out with his “boys” and meets a young lady with whom he has carnal relations despite the fact the he is in a committed relationship.  Before committing the act, though, he calls his girlfriend to tell her not to wait up for him, thusly “The Call”.  We are privy to this conversation at the beginning of the song through a spoken dialogue:

Hello?
Hi its me whats up baby? im sorry listen im gonna be late tonight so dont stay up and wait for me ok?
Where are you?
what?? say… say that again
Hello?
You’re really dropping out, I think my battery must be low.
Listen if you can hear me we’re going to this place nearby, all right? Gotta go.

This also serves as the chorus for the song.  Meaning that we get to hear this same dialogue sung four more times.  Which is four too many times.  Not satisfied with leaving the story with unpunished infidelity, the plot thickens as we find out that:

Now (?) is done, nothing’s been won
I can’t take it back, what’s done is done
But one of her friends found out
That she wasn’t my only one
And it eats me from inside
That she’s not by my side
Just because I made that call, yeah

First of all, yes there is an incomprehensible word in there.  I couldn’t figure it out, the internet couldn’t figure it out.  We just don’t know.  Secondly, he feels remorse only after her friend tells on him and she leaves him.  The lesson we take away from this is not to not have an affair, rather it is to not call your girlfriend first because then you aren’t lying.  Way to go The Backstreet Boys.

8.  Pink’s “Don’t Let Me Get Me”

Honestly I was surprised to find this one in in Christine’s library.  Musically it doesn’t fit with the rest of her stuff.  It’s too poppy.  Too out-of-the-can.  But the lyrics…Oh the lyrics!

Never win first place, I don’t support the team
I can’t take direction, and my socks are never clean
Teachers dated me, my parents hated me
I was always in a fight cuz I can’t do nothin’ right

Everyday I fight a war against the mirror
I can’t take the person starin’ back at me
I’m a hazard to myself

Don’t let me get me
I’m my own worst enemy
Its bad when you annoy yourself
So irritating
Don’t wanna be my friend no more
I wanna be somebody else

While I can be sensitive to the awkwardness and insecurities of modern American teenage girls, this song verbalizes these angst-ridden delusions of inferiority with such melodrama that I can’t help but to imagine gawky 2001 Christine sitting in her room raging against the world in her super-secret pink butterfly diary  Livejournal with this blasting in the background reaffirming every negative thing she felt about herself.  I don’t much care for this song to say the least.

7.  Maroon 5’s “She Will Be Loved (Acoustic)”

Now it is no secret that I hate Maroon 5.  I hate the music they make, I hate the lyrics they sing, I hate the way they look:

Was the barber out of good haircuts?

For this reason the original “She Will Be Loved” was bad enough.  But nooooooooooooooooo, Christine always has to have her bad music dial cranked up to eleven.  In this version, in addition to such lyrical profundities as:

Beauty queen of only eighteen
She had some trouble with herself
He was always there to help her
She always belonged to someone else

I drove for miles and miles
And wound up at your door
I’ve had you so many times but somehow
I want more

I don’t mind spending everyday
Out on your corner in the pouring rain
Look for the girl with the broken smile
Ask her if she wants to stay awhile
And she will be loved
She will be loved

which I am all but certain is about a guy in the friend zone that wants a girl really badly even though she is banging some other dude, we have to listen to Adam Levine’s slightly out of tune yearnings…in falsetto…backed by bongos.  Poorly played bongos.  And, as if this wasn’t enough, he kicks it into high gear for the last few choruses.  In this instance “kicks it into high gear” means “screams like a cat being put through a meat grinder”.

6.  Brand New’s “Play Crack the Sky”

Christine loves Brand New.  She has all of their stuff.  I, on the other hand, do not like Brand New.  Not one bit at all.  For this reason I know she will be unhappy with anything I have to say here, because, I am pretty sure, this is her favorite Brand New song.  “Play Crack the Sky” is a terrible song.  Here are the lyrics:

We sent out the S.O.S. call.
It was a quarter past four, in the morning
When the storm broke our second anchor line.
Four months at sea. Four months of calm seas
To be pounded in the shallows off the tip of Montauk Point.

They call ’em rogues. They travel fast and alone.
One hundred foot faces of God’s good ocean gone wrong.
What they call love is a risk,
‘Cause you will always get hit
Out of nowhere by some wave
And end up on your own.

The hole in the hull defied the crew’s attempts,
To bail us out.
And flooded the engines and radio,
And half buried bow.

Your tongue is a rudder.
It steers the whole ship.
Sends your words past your lips
Or keeps them safe behind your teeth.
But the wrong words will strand you.
Come off course while you sleep.
Sweep your boat out to sea
Or dashed to bits on the reef.

The vessel groans
The ocean pressures its frame.
To the port I see the lighthouse
Through the sleet and the rain.
And I wish for one more day to give my
Love and repay debts.
But the morning finds our bodies washed up thirty miles west.

They say that the captain stays fast with the ship,
Through still and storm,
But this ain’t the Dakota,
And the water’s so cold,
Won’t have to fight for long.

(This is the end.)
This story’s old but it goes on and on until we disappear,
(This is the calm.)
Calm me and let me taste the salt you breathed while you were underneath,
(We are the risen.)
I am the one who haunts your dreams of mountains sunk below the sea,
(After the storm.)
I spoke the words but never gave a thought to what they all could mean,
(Rest in the sea.)
I know that this is what you want, a funeral keeps both of us apart.
(Washed up on the beach.)
You know that you are not alone, I need you like water in my lungs.
This is the end.

Let’s begin with the title of the track.  What?!  It makes no sense.  This song is about a sinking ship.  I just can’t think of any way this title fits the song, which is pretty consistent with many of Brand New’s other poorly titled tracks (i.e. “I Will Play My Game Beneath The Spin Light” or “The Boy Who Blocked His Own Shot”).  Ok.  Fine.  Songs can have bad titles but still be good songs.  This is not one of those songs.  It is about a sinking ship off the coast of Montauk Point.  For those of you who don’t know, Montauk is the furthest tip of Long Island.  Are we really to believe that the coast guard wouldn’t save these guys?  And furthermore, are we really supposed to believe that a rugged sea captain (I will admit the only thing I can picture when I hear this song is “Deadliest Catch”) would be whining like a little girl?  I understand that we are supposed to feel the emotional impact of hearing a doomed man’s innermost thoughts in his last moments on earth.  But I have a hard time believing a salty old sailor would be so willing to wax poetic about imminent doom when he could focus on swimming.  Also, has Jesse Lacey ever had a near death experience?  If so, did he really think like this?  And if that is the case, can someone get that man a purse and some high heels.

One more thing:  every time I hear this song I can’t help but think of a quote from the “Flight of the Conchords” T.V. show that went something like this: “Chicks dig that sensitive nautical shit.  It’s like that movie, Watership Down…women love that film”.  Brand New’s “Play Crack the Sky” is a whiney song is all I am trying to say.

5.  Avenged Sevenfold’s “Seize the Day”

I don’t know Avenged Sevenfold.  I have never heard their stuff.  I just randomly clicked on this track while searching for bad music on Christine’s iTunes.  This was a decision I would live to regret.  The opening line of “Seize the Day” is, can you guess it, seize the day.  With just this opening line, played quietly on Christine’s laptop, my ears actually started bleeding.  M. Shadows (yes, M. Shadows *facepalm*), who apparently…sings(?)…for Avenged Sevenfold (thanks Wikipedia) is not actually a man.  He is some kind of horrible robot from a warbound alien race sent to emit a terrible frequency through his mouth-unit with the sole purpose of driving humanity mad enough to wipe each other out so that the aliens can populate earth.  Or maybe he’s a Siren or something.  I don’t know.  All I know is that he needs to be stopped:

Need I say more?

4.  Panic! At the Disco’s “I Write Sins Not Tragedies”

You all know this song.  I don’t know what to say about it.  It’s just terrible.  There was a freaky music video that went with it.  That was terrible too.  Yet for some reason this song was a huge hit.  There’s no accounting for taste.

Anyway.  “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” is instantly recognizable from its opening which features pizzicato strings.  I think this is supposed to seem unique and quirky and make you say “Wow! They are real musicians.  They even got an orchestra to help them out!”, though I am fairly sure I have the very same pizzicato string sound on my Yamaha keyboard.  As far as I can ascertain a sustained story line from this song, it is about some guy creeping in a church that overhears a bridesmaid badmouthing the bride.  Now I am no expert on women, but isn’t that fairly common behavior for bridesmaids to trash-talk about the bride, namely because they aren’t the ones getting married and are increasingly aware of their biological clocks tick-tick-ticking away, no thanks to their mothers?  Then the creepy guy interjects:

I chime in
“Haven’t you people ever heard of closing a goddamn door?!”
No, it’s much better to face these kinds of things
With a sense of poise and rationality

He then proceeds to sing this four more times.  Who is this guy?  Why is he telling this girl to shut up?  Is he the priest?  The brother?  Or is he just some creepy guy?!  And furthermore, when did it become acceptable to have two shitty verses and then the chorus five times?  It is hard to believe I managed to pick three songs worse than this one.

3.  Green Day’s “Boulevard Of Broken Dreams”

I don’t hate Green Day.  I have some of their stuff.  I would argue that “Nimrod”, “Dookie”, and “Insomniac” are genuinely good, enjoyable albums.  Yet, for some reason, sometime in 2004 Green Day sold out their roots as a respected pop/punk band, Billie Joe Armstrong dropped 40 pounds, they all started wearing eye liner, and making bullshit “music” like this.  It is redundant for me to give you lyrics because I can just say “I’M LONELY” and you’ll get the picture…but here they are anyway:

I walk a lonely road
The only one that I have ever known
Don’t know where it goes
But it’s home to me and I walk alone

I walk this empty street
On the Boulevard of Broken Dreams
Where the city sleeps
and I’m the only one and I walk alone

I walk alone
I walk alone

I walk alone
I walk a…

My shadow’s the only one that walks beside me
My shallow heart’s the only thing that’s beating
Sometimes I wish someone out there will find me
‘Til then I walk alone

Ah-ah, Ah-ah, Ah-ah, Aaah-ah,
Ah-ah, Ah-ah, Ah-ah

I’m walking down the line
That divides me somewhere in my mind
On the border line
Of the edge and where I walk alone

Read between the lines
What’s fucked up when everything’s alright
Check my vital signs
To know I’m still alive and I walk alone

I walk alone
I walk alone

I walk alone
I walk a…

My shadow’s the only one that walks beside me
My shallow heart’s the only thing that’s beating
Sometimes I wish someone out there will find me
‘Til then I walk alone

Ah-ah, Ah-ah, Ah-ah, Aaah-ah
Ah-ah, Ah-ah

I walk alone
I walk a…

I walk this empty street
On the Boulevard of Broken Dreams
Where the city sleeps
And I’m the only one and I walk a…

My shadow’s the only one that walks beside me
My shallow heart’s the only thing that’s beating
Sometimes I wish someone out there will find me
‘Til then I walk alone…

In the immortal words of Charlie Brown as Lucy yoinked that football out from under him for the 47,000th time, AUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGH!  This is just one of the worst songs I have ever heard ever.  This song set a whole new low on the bar of standards.  I have heard weasels mating that were more profound and symphonic.  I can’t think of enough ways to say that I don’t like this song.  I mean, the name, “Boulevard Of Broken Dreams”, COME ON!  What producer thought that that was gonna be a hit?  I guess he was right, but this is still an epically bad song.

2.  Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way”

There aren’t words to describe how much I loathe Lady Gaga.  I can’t stand anything about her: her lack of musical talent, her abject absence of singing ability, her dancing, her “writing”, her fashion, and most of all her envelope-pushing totally original persona.  I truly, deeply, honestly think that she is a talentless hack whose only real ability is to glom onto shocking/unpopular modes of existence to cause stupid people to sit up and take notice.  And who are we kidding here, none of that super confident, sexy(?), and outrageousness is real; it is an image manufactured by record companies–now repeat after me–TO SELL ALBUMS.  Look, I understand that overly sexualized, bizarrely dressed, and androgynous sells:

I listen to both these guys.

The only difference is that both these guys have and had (miss you Freddie!) talent.  Unlike Lady Gaga.  Don’t believe me?  Let’s look at the facts:

“Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta (born March 28, 1986), better known by her stage name Lady Gaga, is an American pop singer-songwriter. After performing in the rock music scene of New York City’s Lower East Side in 2003 and later enrolling at New York University‘s Tisch School of the Arts, she soon signed with Streamline Records, an imprint of Interscope Records. During her early time at Interscope, she worked as a songwriter for fellow label artists and captured the attention of Akon, who recognized her vocal abilities, and signed her to his own label, Kon Live Distribution.”

This is taken directly from Wikipedia.  The first tip-off that she is talentless should be the fact that she was discovered by Akon whose major hit is “Smack That” and is frequently known to use autotune which we all know means he can’t sing.  Next, we see that, “Gaga had initially signed with Def Jam Recordings at the age of 19, although she was dropped by the label after only three months”, most likely because they realized she had no talent. Even the name Lady Gaga is not her own: 

Music producer Rob Fusari, who helped her write some of her earlier songs, compared some of her vocal harmonies to that of Freddie Mercury.  Fusari helped create the moniker Gaga, after the Queen song “Radio Ga Ga“. Gaga was in the process of trying to come up with a stage name when she received a text message from Fusari that read “Lady Gaga.” He explained,

“Every day, when Stef came to the studio, instead of saying hello, I would start singing ‘Radio Ga Ga’. That was her entrance song. [Lady Gaga] was actually a glitch; I typed ‘Radio Ga Ga’ in a text and it did an autocorrect so somehow ‘Radio’ got changed to ‘Lady’. She texted me back, “That’s it.” After that day, she was Lady Gaga.  She’s like, “Don’t ever call me Stefani again.”

See! I told you she stole Freddie Mercury’s style.  But I haven’t even got to the song yet.  Now don’t get me wrong, I hate all of her songs.  But “Born This Way” is the lowest of the low.  Here are the lyrics:

It doesn’t matter if you love him, or capital H-I-M
Just put your paws up
‘Cause you were born this way, baby

My mama told me when I was young
We are all born superstars
She rolled my hair and put my lipstick on
In the glass of her boudoir
“There’s nothin wrong with lovin who you are”
She said, “’cause he made you perfect, babe”
“So hold your head up girl and you’ll go far,
Listen to me when I say”

I’m beautiful in my way
‘Cause God makes no mistakes
I’m on the right track baby
I was born this way
Don’t hide yourself in regret
Just love yourself and you’re set
I’m on the right track baby
I was born this way

Ooo there ain’t no other way
Baby I was born this way
Baby I was born this way
Ooo there ain’t no other way
Baby, I was born this way
I’m on the right track baby
I was born this way

Don’t be a drag – just be a queen
Don’t be a drag – just be a queen
Don’t be a drag – just be a queen
Don’t be!

Give yourself prudence
And love your friends
Subway kid, rejoice your truth
In the religion of the insecure
I must be myself, respect my youth
A different lover is not a sin
Believe capital H-I-M (hey hey hey)
I love my life I love this record and
Mi amore vole fe yah (love needs faith)

Don’t be a drag, just be a queen
Whether you’re broke or evergreen
You’re black, white, beige, chola descent
You’re lebanese, you’re orient
Whether life’s disabilities
Left you outcast, bullied, or teased
Rejoice and love yourself today
‘Cause baby you were born this way
No matter gay, straight, or bi,
Lesbian, transgendered life
I’m on the right track baby
I was born to survive
No matter black, white or beige
Chola or orient made
I’m on the right track baby
I was born to be brave

I was born this way hey!
I was born this way hey!
I’m on the right track baby
I was born this way hey!

I was born this way hey!
I was born this way hey!
I’m on the right track baby
I was born this way hey!

Look, we get it:  she supports the Gay community.  That is great!  But what isn’t great is that she supported the Gay community only after they supported her.  Lady Gaga didn’t seek out the Gay community, they chose her (who knows why?).  So when she comes out with a song so strongly oriented toward that audience it seems a little disingenuous.  I only say this because, for this reason, this song comes off as pandering to her fan base rather than actually and genuinely feeling supportive.  Also, what the hell does:

Don’t be a drag, just be a queen
Whether you’re broke or evergreen
You’re black, white, beige, chola descent
You’re lebanese, you’re orient

mean?  Is evergreen the opposite of broke?  Is one even born broke or evergreen?  Black, white–got it.  Chola descent–getting confused.  Lebanese?  Is Lebanese a race?  “You’re orient”?  That is just abysmal english.

I guess what I am trying to say is that I think Lady Gaga (or more appropriately her record label) preys upon the Gay community for support and only returns that support with half-hearted gay-bar anthems with very cliché messages.  The rest of the individuals in the world are susceptible only to her shock and awe.  Don’t believe me?  Check this shit out.

1.  Good Charlotte’s “Lifestyles Of The Rich and Famous (Acoustic Version)”

So you remember way back at the beginning when I mentioned Good Charlotte?  I wasn’t kidding.  And how.  Christine has 106 Good Charlotte songs and videos totaling to a whopping 6.7 hours of listening/watching material.  I don’t know if she hates herself or if she is playing some kind of practical joke on us all, but there it is.  As you will recall she doesn’t have all of there albums, missing only their most recent release.  With this practically endless supply of awful music to choose from it was nearly impossible to pick the worst of the bunch.  But then I saw it.  Maybe it was divine inspiration, maybe it was Christine’s hand trying desperately to hide her shame from me.  But I saw “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous (Acoustic Version)” and, call it fate, call it kizmet, I knew then and there that that was my number one.  All of you know “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous”.  Don’t pretend that you don’t.  Here are the lyrics to remind you:

Y’a only see it on TV
Or read it in the magazines
Celebrities that want sympathy
All they do is piss and moan
Inside the rolling stone
Talkin’ about how hard life can be

I’d like to see them spend a week
Livin’ life out on the street
I don’t think they would survive
If they could spend a day or two
Walking in someone else’s shoes
I think they’d stumble and they fall
(they would fall, fall)

Lifestyles of the rich and the famous
They’re always complainin’
Always complainin’
If money is such a problem
Well they got mansions
Think we should rob them

Well did you know when you were famous you could kill your wife
And there’s no such thing as 25 to life
As long as you’ve got the cash, to pay for Cochran
And did you know if you were caught and you were smokin’ crack
McDonalds wouldn’t even wanna take you back
You could always just run for mayor of D.C.

I’d like to see them spend a week
Livin’ life out on the street
I don’t think they would survive
If they could spend a day or two
Walking in someone else’s shoes
I think they’d stumble and they fall
They would fall

Lifestyles of the rich and the famous
They’re always complainin’
Always complainin’
If money is such a problem
Well they got mansions
Think we should rob them (rob them)
(They would fall, they would fall)

Lifestyles of the rich and the famous
They’re always complainin’
Always complainin’
If money is such a problem
You got so many problems
Think I could solve them

Lifestyles of the rich and famous
We’ll take your clothes, cash, cars, and homes just stop complainin’
Lifestyles of the rich and famous
Lifestyles of the rich and famous
Lifestyles of the rich and famous

What a scathing diatribe against the excesses of Hollywood.  It is so bold, so daring, so authentic…-ally full of shit.  Do you know who is rich and famous?  Good Charlotte!  Do you know who doesn’t live on the streets?  Good Charlotte!  Do you know who has mansions?  GOOD CHARLOTTE!!!  And as if this song wasn’t crappy enough, somehow Christine has the acoustic version which is like the original only it involves more bad acoustic guitar and more singing that hits the ears much like a cheese grater.  And all of this with less studio polishing, which is arguably the only good point about Good Charlotte.  Which, if the final product is so very very terrible, says loads about the raw material the producers are working with.  I bet they have to wear hazmat suits in the studio.  I’ll leave you with this as a reminder that nothing I have said throughout this entire post has been too mean at all:

We shall all start shunning Christine...now!

Thank you, Daniel, for that insightful look into my iTunes library.  I won’t try to defend myself…because I can’t.  I’m totally self-aware that I have terrible taste in music.  I’ve accepted it, and I’ve definitely made some improvements.  He could have chosen other, more embarrassing tracks (in my opinion), so I’m not upset that he chose these ten.  

Here’s a photo I took today:

Look! I took a picture of Daniel while he wrote this very post!

I tried to do an Hour-by-Hour post, but I forgot to take photos after 4pm.  But that’s okay, I snapped some good ones early this afternoon.  I’m also working on a “DIY Graduation Announcements” post.  And while Daniel agreed to let me choose 10 embarrassing tracks from his iTunes library, I just don’t think he even has enough embarrassing tracks to make a top 10 list.  Thanks for doing this Daniel!

Writer’s Block Tuesday

Unfortunately I don’t have a lot of time to devote to a full post tonight.  But I’m currently working on a post that will reveal my most embarrassing iTunes songs.  (I’m 90% sure that Good Charlotte’s “The World is Black” will be on the list; I am only 90% sure because I have to wade through all of my N*SYNC, Backstreet Boys, and Pussycat Dolls songs first.)

You will all get a glimpse of awkward Christine.

The Ramblers!

Today was a beautiful day, so Daniel and I spent most of it walking around Park Avenue.  Lots of people were out and about, and some of the restaurants have finally opened up onto the sidewalks.

 

Beautiful Day

Tonight was the Midnight Ramblers’ spring show, called Mean Ramblers.  The idea for the theme was taken from the movie Mean Girls.  In between sets of songs, they will show clips that they’ve filmed where they will re-enact movie scenes, etc.  In the past, they’ve done Harry Potter, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and The Wizard of Oz.

It was a phenomenal show, and they featured the NYU Mixtapes, which is a co-ed a cappella group.  I was impressed with them, but everyone in the audience came out to see the Ramblers.

The movie clips that were made by the Ramblers were pretty funny, and the music was great.  Their set included Christina Perri’s “Jar of Hearts,” N*SYNC’s “I Want You Back” (which included a brief interlude with the Backstreet Boys’ “Get Down”), Queen’s “Somebody to Love”, and a Beatles medley.

The following video was from the 2011 International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella Quarterfinal, and earned them some recognition for the choreography:

I think their antics are hilarious.

Over Spring Break, they were in Los Angeles and actually performed on The Price is Right after one of the members was called to “Come on Down!” and ended up winning a new set of kitchenware, as well as some appliances.  They showed the clip of him winning, which was great since I missed its airing last Friday.

I always get really excited for the last song that they perform, because they invite any Ramblers alumni up onto the stage to sing with them.

 

The Midnight Ramblers & Ramblers Alumni

The guy second from the left (Matt) was always my favorite Rambler, singing such favorites as The Darkness’s “I Believe in a Thing Called Love”, Tenacious D’s “Tribute”, and Cartel’s “The Minstrel’s Prayer”.  Sadly, this may be my last Ramblers show for a while, since I’m graduating.

Meliora Moments, Pt. II

I’ve decided to make this week all about my reflections on my time at the University of Rochester.  The academic year will be ending soon, I’ve decided to take some time to look back and figure out my best and my worst moments from my undergraduate experience.  Here are some of my best:

10.  Being a D’Lion (the first time).

Admittedly, my first application to the D’Lion organization had some…ulterior motives.  I needed housing and I would have done almost anything to avoid the infamous housing lottery.  Housing was extremely limited, especially since Riverview was not ready to be lived in until the following year.  I had applied with a girl who lived across the hall from me, Katelynn.  She was a nice enough girl, and in fact we had been best friends for some time during freshman year.  But, by the time it actually came time to do D’Lion-y things, I thrust myself into it and she kind of held back.  The residents could see this, and that’s why I continue to be close to most of them  today and she just isn’t.  I forged some close bonds that first year I was a D’Lion.  Living on that hall was just a blast and my freshmen were amazing.  I want to thank them for making it such a profound experience for me.

I made this!

9.  Being a D’Lion (the second time).

The second time I applied to be a D’Lion, I got a new partner.  Betsy and I became very close at the end of my sophomore year.  For the first half of her freshman year, she seemed a bit aloof.  After she expressed interest in becoming a D’Lion, I told her that I wanted to apply again as well.  We decided to apply together.  Since I had already built a rapport with the organization and she was an excellent candidate, we were shoe-ins.  We decided during the summer that we were going to give our hall a Jim Henson theme, using various characters that he created.  Things were going really well until the students showed up and were censured for carrying around an open bottle of vodka around the campus.  This really aggravated Betsy, and I don’t know if she ever forgave them.  But, overall it was a positive experience and without it I would have never met Daniel.

8.  Dandelion Day.

Specifically, the two celebrated during my freshman and sophomore years.  During my freshman year, it was the first time I got really drunk.  I don’t remember much, except going to the Corner Store to buy more Coke for Rum & Cokes.  Bad idea.  Then we decided to order Chinese food.  Worse idea.  I ended up passing out at around 4pm, waking up around 6pm, feeling hungover and sick.  I decided a shower would be an excellent idea.  I ended up ralphing all over the shower stall.  But I cleaned it up!!  All was right with the world, that Dandelion Day.  My second Dandelion Day was spent just as drunk, but less sick (yay!).  I ended up drinking with my hallmates, which is something you are never supposed to do as a D’Lion.  Despite breaking all the rules as a D’Lion, the freshman always liked me and the organization never found out.  No harm done, but friendships were solidified.  It was a fantastic day, and I got really close with my freshmen.  But, it’s one where I’m a bit fuzzy on the details.

7.  My First Midnight Ramblers Show.

I remember during my freshman year, my D’Lion, Elodie, tried to get my to go to the Fall show put on by the best a cappella group on campus, The Midnight Ramblers.  It sounded silly to me, I just wasn’t into it.  But then, in the spring, she gingerly approached me asking for help to find a ticket in their scavenger hunt.  The theme of the show was Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and they had hidden tickets around campus, and left clues everywhere to promote their show.  So, after finding one of these tickets in the 4th floor kitchen of Lovejoy, we claimed our VIP seats in the front row of the auditorium, and enjoyed the show.  The performance was made so much better by the fact that I had helped work to earn the ticket, and it was free.  Also, it was sort of like being transported back to middle school.  People at the UR go crazy for the Ramblers like people go crazy for N*SYNC.  Because their scavenger hunt was so successful, they continued to do it for their shows the following year, and Elodie and I would always go searching for tickets.  We found one again the following Fall.  (I think it was a Harry Potter themed show, but I’m not positive.)  It was awesome.

6.  My 21st Birthday Party.

What a night.  My friends Jenab, Lisa, Dan, Jeff, Matt and Katie threw my a party at their suite in Phase, since I could not hold a party in my very small single dorm room in Susan B. Anthony.  There was a lot of debauchery that night, although it’s another one where I’m fuzzy on the details.  I do know that I had an amazing time.

5.  Planning and Executing My First Hall Program.

It was a true test of leadership skills and my enthusiasm.  Katelynn actually got mad at me because I didn’t consult her, but we had a deadline, and it was an event that I really wanted to attend.  They were showing The Nightmare Before Christmas in 3D at the Henrietta Regal Cinemas.  So I made up little flyers, got some RSVPs and ordered the tickets.  I ended up spending a bunch of my own money, but it was worth it.  The buses happened to be running completely off-schedule, which is typical and worked out for us.  We got there on time, and a bus just happened to show up as we came out of the movie, even though it wasn’t due for another hour.  The hall program was a complete success, and I got to bond with my freshmen (who are all now seniors!).

4.  Having Options.

Like most people, I enjoy being given the opportunity to change my mind if I feel like.  I also like not being forced to do things I don’t like, another trait I have in common with most of the human race.  The University of Rochester’s curriculum allowed me to do what I wanted, which was biology.  I had no general education classes to deal with, which was great.  I think everybody gets tired of that sort of thing during high school.  UR allowed me to take the classes that I wanted during my freshman year, and explore what they had to offer.  I decided on biology.  Then I had to choose two clusters of 3 classes outside of the natural sciences.  For Social Science, I chose psychology, which was full of interesting material, poor lecturers, and easy A’s.  For Humanities, I choose American Sign Language…and we all know where that got me.

3.  Being Accepted into the Take 5 Program.

I remember when I was applying that I wanted to be accepted so badly.  I even gave myself a little panic attack at one point (edit: a major freak-out. -Daniel), because I thought I would never get the materials in on time, and if I did, I would never actually be accepted.  But I was, and I’m so happy to have the opportunity to learn American Sign Language this year.  I’ve learned a lot, and I’m certainly more comfortable with my signing ability than I was just one year ago.  Not only that, but it is a scholarship program, so I don’t have to pay any tuition this year.

2.  The Subway Trip with UR’s Urban Explorers.

This was an amazing opportunity during my junior year.  Some of my friends and I decided to join the Urban Explorers.  Their first trip of the year was down in Rochester’s old subway system.  A series of old, abandoned tunnels doesn’t really sound that interesting, until you see all of the graffiti down there.  It ranged from the bizarre to true art, and everything in between.  It was very dusty, and I was constantly terrified that a hobo was going to jump out and scare the crap out of me, but it was a great experience.

This was taken in a well-lit area.

1.  Meeting Daniel.

I don’t think I have to elaborate too much on this.  It was the classic tale of boy meets girl, boy lives across the hall from girl, girl is boy’s d’lion and therefore should not date boy, but girl dates boy anyway because he is sweet, funny, and cooks well.  This was just another example of how I overstepped my boundaries as a D’Lion.  But I will never forget those times Daniel would come into my room, sit on my big blue exercise ball, and serenade me with his ukulele.

 

He really did serenade me on this ball.

Honorable Mentions:

I was given a great opportunity when I was hired (twice) to be a workshop leader, first for the Molecular, Developmental and Cell Biology Lab and then for Cell Biology.  I really enjoy being a part of the learning process, and it feels really good when you can help other people to understand something you’re passionate about.

I didn’t mention my freshman year too much up there, but there is one thing that I will never forget.  I spent hours on the boys’ hall playing Smash Brothers 64.  I was pretty sad when they moved on to Command and Conquer and Smash Brothers: Brawl, neither of which I played.  Living on that hall also allowed me to bond with my close friend Brian.  Although he lived on the quad, I found him visiting a girl that lived across the hall from me.  At first I had a little crush on him.  This lasted for all of one week, and then we became close friends.

I also spent hours in Hillside.  I lived in Sue B. for 3 years, and every year, I always had the pleasure of watching people discover Aussies at Hillside.  So, every night between 10pm and 1am we would make a trip to the café (which, if you live on the first floor, is a very short trip) and get drinks and snacks, and sit and chat about our day or whatever.

There was only one Meliora Weekend in which I actively participated.  During my sophomore year Anderson Cooper gave the Keynote Address and Stephen Colbert was the Meliora Weekend comedian.  Needless to say, it was a great time.