Category Archives: music

Language.

Has anyone noticed that language has become so incredibly underrated?  It makes me sad to say the least.  We have access to such beautiful words and phrases, yet we take them for granted, ignore them, and overuse phrases such as “YOLO”.  Stop.  Of course, I can’t blame Drake for my generation’s complete and utter disregard for language as it began to fall away long before he decided to remind us that we do, in fact, only live once.

I miss long-winded ways to say simple things.  For example, when Shakespeare described Romeo and Juliet as “star-crossed lovers” he meant they were unlucky, but “unlucky” is so plain.  “Star-crossed”…I want to breathe that in, it’s sigh-enducing, his words are tear-worthy.  But in today’s society we’re all about the now, the fast paced, the send-a-message-and-go mentality.  In a world where “LOL” and “BRB” are taking over, how can I, or anyone for that matter, ensure that the underlying nature of our words are still beautiful?

Now, I’m not saying I don’t “lol” as often as the next guy, because I certainly do…but for each acronym placed ironically or otherwise I try my best to counteract with carefully crafted phrases because language means so much to me.  It annoys some people which I think is a sign of the times, but finding people who appreciate someone who takes the time out to think before they speak (text, email, you get the idea) is a special thing.

I’ve been a slave to the written and spoken word my entire life.  I’ve absorbed words and phrases like a sponge for a long as I can remember.  I love to talk, even more-so, I love to listen.  I love to pick up new phrases, meaningful phrases.  For me, the way you speak is just as important as the way you move.  A conversation is a dance, I move, you move, we repeat…sometimes we speak at the same time, sometimes one can’t speak until the other does, one may lead while the other picks up the cues, and vice versa.  I have this picture in my mind that I carry around with me almost every time I write and I’d like for you to see it too.

Breathe in deeply, feel the air filling your lungs.  As you exhale I want you to picture a light fog, and a naturally illuminated room with floor to ceiling windows as far as your eye can see.  The floors and walls alike are deep mahogany wood, and in the center of that wooden room: a ballet dancer holding an arabesque, seemingly frozen in time.  Her hair is pulled up off of her face, her limbs are stretched and stiff, yet she looks so delicate, soft, breakable.  She wears the palest pink leotard and of course the telltale sign of a ballerina, a tutu.  She is unaware of your presence, you are but a fly on the wall, and as she begins to move, your heart begins to break, unassured that you will ever see someone move with such grace, poise and beauty ever again.  She glides through the air as though she were meant to own her very own set of wings, and her movements leave you speechless.  She is lost in thought, this routine is nothing new to her, she moves with ease.  As she completes her routine, you see a faint smile cross her lips.  Though no one is watching she is proud of the show she has just put on, because she felt it in her very soul.  As you inhale, the light fog lifts, the dancer is gone and the shades draw themselves submersing the room in complete darkness.  And just as easily as the scene was painted by a breath, it is closed, only to be revisited if you so wish.

I hope you carry the vision of our graceful dancer friend with you, as I do.  Use her as a reminder to paint a unique masterpiece with your words every time you speak.  Use her as a reminder that every phrase is a new movement, a brush stroke, a photo taken.  At the root of each art form is patience, you wouldn’t rush a painting, why rush your language?

As always, my name is Rebecca and I want to paint as many pictures with my words as humanly possible.

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Filed under creative writing, Just a thought, Just because, Just for fun, music

It’s gonna take a lot to drag me away from you…

If you’re in my close circle of friends, you know that the reason I have unintentionally abandoned my once all-important blog: RJ Talks About Things is because I have been devoting all of my free time to my new love: RJ Photographs Things, which I will now shamelessly promote for myself: http://www.facebook.com/pages/RJ-Photographs-Things/108681712495771?ref=ts

Any way, that is just a little insight as to why RJ Talks has been on hiatus, but the main reason for this post is music related.  Recently, I was introduced by some new friends to an epic song from Toto’s 1982 album: Toto IV called “Africa.”  I can’t tell you what it is about this song, but I’m hooked.  I’ve provided a link for anyone who may not have heard the song or anyone who has heard it and just wants a mere 4 minute, 33 second insight into one of music’s sickest decades.

As always, I am RJ and I am going to shamelessly re-promote my cousin’s blog:

http://makeupmajesty.blogspot.com/

Enjoy, makeup lovers.

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Filed under Just a thought, Just because, Just for fun, music, Uncategorized

It was only a matter of time…

Someone once told me that the proof a good record is if you can listen to it on repeat for an extended period of time and it will not get old.  I neglected to ask if this person’s definition of “good” is supposed to be a personal and different-for-everyone kind of thing or not, because my philosophy is “what is good for one, is good for the next” but when it comes to music, I don’t think my philosophy applies.  But aside from my personal beliefs and other people’s opinions, I have found an artist who’s music has been set to repeat for the past month and a half and I am still going.  I have listened to nothing but Lady GaGa for the past month and a half where only an hour or so here and there is allotted for any other music (DISCLAIMER: this is only when I’m with other people and I can tell they are getting annoyed with my obsession).  And yes, this is an obsession.

I’ve tried incorporating other music back into my “frequently listened to” playlists, but my iTunes’ “Top 25 Most Listened to” and “Recently Played” song lists say it all.  Both are filled to the brim with GaGa and Stefani Germanotta Band (GaGa’s real name) jams and I don’t see a problem with it.  I have been criticized by others who say “Stop loving GaGa so much” and “Okay, your obsession with Lady GaGa is getting annoying now”.  My question is why?  What does it matter to you or anyone else what music I listen to?  And even more, why is it wrong to be passionate about one artist in particular?  Everyone has something they truly enjoy, so why am I being singled out for my one thing?  There are much worse things I could care about, don’t you think?

It’s funny, people criticize GaGa for being “different”.  They only see the controversial outfits and live performances, and they can’t get past that.  They don’t go deeper and watch her interviews, and even if they do, it’s as if all they can see are the hair bows.  She is so much more than a hair bow and if any negative critics took the time to see that they would see a beautiful, talented woman who has struggled her way to the top, paid her dues, and is finally making her dreams come true.

The last thing I will say in THIS blog about Lady GaGa, or should I say Legend GaGa is that no matter how much criticism I have to endure, I will always be RJ and I will always be a LittleMONS✝ER.

Lady GaGa on the Red Carpet at the Grammys 2010

Lady GaGa on the Red Carpet at the Grammys 2010

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Filed under Just a thought, Just because, Just for fun, music

“Yes, I was there, I have the videos to prove it…”

Which is better?  Watching something on TV/online or watching something live in the audience?  In my opinion, nothing beats being in a sea of people who are all focused on the same thing.  Be it a hockey game, a concert, a play, or the taping of a television show, you don’t get the same feeling when you watch from home instead of being able to experience them in person.  I’m mainly discussing concerts in this one.

I am more than guilty of recording and taking pictures during concerts.  The security staff gives concert-goers an inch and of course we all take a mile.  They allow us to bring our cameras and our camera phones as long as we leave the professional stuff at home.  But they all know what we do: we sit through the whole concert, taking picture after picture, and video after video hoping to get the best parts and coolest shots so we can post them up on every forum we can find, as if to say one of the following things:

1. “Look at how amazing my seat was!”

2. “Look at how crappy my seat was, but look at how amazing the zoom on my camera is!”

I’ve been thinking about it and I wonder why on earth would I waste my time doing this?  And let me tell you, I have been to my fair share of shows and more often than not I would leave with sore arms from holding my camera up the entire time.  I realize now that my goal was to preserve memories of what I was watching, and that makes perfect sense, however I have come to find that the memories I was saving were often those of me watching a show on my digital camera’s LCD screen.  Of course I did my fair share of staring directly at the stage and the performers doing their thing, but to come home with thirty videos and over one hundred pictures, makes me question the amount of time I actually watched the live show that was going on in front of my eyes.

My next question is: for whom are you recording the videos and taking the pictures on which you spent the entire show focusing?  Are they for you?  So that you can watch the show when you get home, in the comfort of your living room?  Or are they for your friends who weren’t fortunate enough to get tickets in time?  Either way, I have come to find that it’s really not worth it.  Not only do you miss out on the big picture when you’re focusing on capturing one little thing, but you also end up with people’s heads and random arms in your shot, or the faceless shrieking fans in your video who are attempting to sing along as well as be heard by everyone in the arena.  My advice?  Take a few pictures and/or videos sporadically throughout the show, that way you have a few highlights to bring home with you, but most importantly make sure you focus on the show that’s being performed for you.  You can’t get that back.  No two performances are ever the same no matter how consistent an artist or band is.

As always, I’m RJ and I’m going to go listen to some Lady GaGa and be envious of everyone who has tickets to her current and upcoming shows…hey, maybe someone will have pictures!

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Filed under Just because, Just for fun, music

Guilty Pleasure Jams: I’m Not Ashamed.

Guilty pleasures.  Everyone’s got them.  Don’t lie, you know you have music that you’ll only dare to play in the sanctity of your own car or through headphones, when you’re the only one who can hear.  And it’s not like you just listen, oh no.  When you have your guilty pleasure music on, you belt it out, and you dance, admit it, I know I do.  Stoplights are the best.  The car stops, but the music does not, and in no way should your performance.  Anyone who laughs is just someone who hasn’t been caught yet.  Okay, so you may not be ready to admit the songs that make you imagine you’re up on stage in front of 10,000 screaming fans, but here they are, my top ten guilty pleasure jams, to which I shamelessly know every word:

10.  Quit Playing Games (with my heart) – Backstreet Boys – “Sometimes I wish I could turn back time, impossible as it may seem…” I’m a true 90s kid through and through so of course my day was never complete without a little AJ, Nick, Howie, Kevin, and (my personal favorite) Brian.

9.  Manic Monday – Bangles – Got a case of the Mondays?  Take a dose or two of this song and call me in the morning.

8.  Love is a Battlefield – Pat Benatar – “We are young!”  Enough said, man…

7.  I Will Learn to Love Again – Kaci – Straight off the soundtrack to “The Perfect Man” starring Hilary Duff, Heather Locklear and Chris Noth (better known as Mr. Big from Sex and the City) whenever I hear this, I just can’t help myself.

6.  Come Clean – Hilary Duff – Speaking of Hilary Duff ^ I thought this was appropriate.  When she makes her appearance on my iPod, I sometimes judge myself for listening…

5.  All or Nothing – O Town – Girls, find your boys, it’s the last slow song Mr. DJ is going to play at this school dance…

4.  How Do I Live – LeAnn Rimes – This one goes out to my mom.  I pride myself on being possibly one of the only people (besides her college music professor) to hear my mom sing for real; and she can pride herself on being the same for me.  This came on once in the car, we sang it, and when we got home I bought it on iTunes, and like the rest of these songs, when I hear it, I can’t not sing it.

3.  It’s All Coming Back to Me Now – Celine Dion – Yes. Just, yes.

2.  Ironic – Alanis Morissette – The song’s not very ironic at all, but I miss chick rockers like her.  I love this song.

1.  I Will Always Love You – Whitney Houston – I mean, I really think this one is self explanatory.  Shout out to Robin and Jenna for this one. 🙂

Special thanks to the person who prompted this blog, I enjoyed writing it, in all it’s embarrassing glory.

So, I’m RJ, and I’m going to go get my hairbrush, the show starts promptly at 10…

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Filed under Just because, music