Archive | July, 2011

Auto-tuning

15 Jul

Back in the day, which was a Wednesday (hehe. Last Dane Cook joke I swear), there was no such thing as auto-tune. Bands actually consisted of people playing music and the lead singer sang with their own voice. I know, crazy idea. However, today it seems all you hear on the radio is auto-tuning. Even singers who once never thought of it are allowing producers to change their voice.

Clearly I am totally against auto-tuning. It is what makes me thing Lady Gaga is nothing more than an overly-elaborate gimmick (yes, I know she has a music degree from NYU. Why doesn’t someone tell her to use it and make real music?) and what has made me start listening to 99.1 WPLR more than KC101, my favorite station since I knew how to work a radio.

Today I was perusing PerezHilton.com (don’t judge me) and he posted what Britney Spears’ Hold It Against Me without auto-tune. I don’t hide the fact that she is one of my favorite celebrities and I will continue to buy her music as long as she makes it, so I understand if you think I’m biased, but I don’t think she sounds that terrible. Trust me, she hits her rough spots. I almost wish the producer just had her go back and redo them until they sounded good though because the song as a whole is not too bad. When I first clicked on the link, I was terrified to what it was going to sound like. Did her multi-year smoking stint affect her voice? Had she just lost it? I am happy to report that I was plesantly suprised.

Click here to check it out

Advertisements

Books Can Be Better Than T.V… Seriously

11 Jul

It’s finally summer, like officially. As in, time to be outside (I should know. I have the sunburn to prove it). Being outside soaking up sun means no more being tied to the T.V. with your butt glued to the couch, less time with a video game controller, and more time enjoying the simpler things in life.

Many people, mostly my generation and younger, find reading incredibly boring, mostly because reading is associated with school. It’s a reasonable thought process because, let’s face it, being forced to read something factual and boring isn’t going to turn many people onto the idea of reading for fun. Since school is out in the summer–for us recent grads, it is over permanently–I have always found it the perfect time to read. Of course none of my summer reading was ever on those Summer Required Reading lists they gave out up until high school. As someone who gets bored very easily when not entertained, I have found that the best time to read in the summer is while lying by the pool or at the beach. I mean, you’re just laying there, what better thing can you do?     (Please don’t say sleep, because I do have that sunburn to prove you wrong).

While I’m outside, reading, if the book is super good, is just as good as T.V. In an earlier post I wrote about the Spying in High Heels series by Gemma Halliday and how great it was. A couple months later and I’m done with the series, have lended it out to friends, and just started the spin-off series. These books, as were the Gossip Girl books years ago, are like a T.V. drama for me. I finish one book like I would an episode: craving for more! Sometimes you have to wait for the next one. I used to count down the Continue reading

Rainy Day Attire

8 Jul

Not sure if it’s rainy/cloudy and icky where you are, but here it’s pretty gross outside. On days like today, it is generally hard to wake up and we all feel pretty dreary all day and just want to curl up on the couch. Well feel depressed no more! Cheer yourself up with some fashion tips. I read in Vogue a long time ago that you should wear bright colors on rainy days to avoid that lackluster feeling, but here are a bunch more from College Fashion.

25 Fashion & Style Tips

* Wear a basic pair of jeans and a tee shirt, accessorized with the hugest, boldest pair of earrings you own.

* Buy yourself something cheap and impractical at Forever 21. The cheaper and more impractical, the better – think bright pink, sequins, feathers, studs, or whatever embellishments you love. Ignore the fact that it might not last forever – have fun and live a little!

* Use neon blue or lavender eyeshadow as liner. Keep the rest of your makeup look low-key. Your eyes will really pop!

* Give yourself an at-home manicure. Paint your nails the hottest neon shade you can find (my fave: Orly’sPassion Fruit). Don’t be afraid to get caught checking your own nails out constantly. What? They look good!

* If it’s raining, ditch your standard umbrella for a kid’s umbrella – they come in fun prints and colors and are the perfect size for one person. Even better, they’re cheaper than normal ones.

Continue reading

Music for the Ride Home

5 Jul

There is something relaxing about the ride home after a long summer day at the beach, or if you’re like me and Virginia the other day baking in the sun at a ballpark followed by a pack train ride.

As I was on my way home from the train station, I had on 99.1 WPLR (a classic rock station in Connecticut that I highly recommend) and Pink Floyd’s Comfortably Numb came on the radio. At that moment I was so tired and so just ready to collapse, and the song was so relaxing, and the sky was at that point where all the pink of the sunset had just turned into a deep blue. It was a perfect combination. Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven came on next. More perfection.

I’ve always found that the sun takes a lot out of me, even when I’m not really doing anything exhausting. So on my way home I want something relaxing. Since the other night, I’ve made a Led Zeppelin station on Pandora Radio and it is the perfect mix for a summer night ride. Mixing Led Zeppelin with “similar artists” like The Doors and The Who it can work for the ride to the beach as well as home.

Are Fireworks Meaningless Without Music?

4 Jul

 

 

In the town I grew up in, going to the fireworks on the green was like the social event of the year. Everyone in town was there. The parents and neighbors went a little earlier with their coolers. The little kids all had those buzzy light up things swirling around, while all the big kids walked around just “hanging out” before sitting with their family in time for the big show. There was a band playing background music in the gazebo up until the lights went out and the fireworks were about to start. As soon as the first bang lit up the sky, songs like God Bless the U.S.A.  and Born in the U.S.A. started pumping out of the speakers.

Since I moved to East Haven fireworks just haven’t been the same. I traded the bustle and charm of the Hamden fireworks to stand by the beach and watch multiple towns’ firework shows along the coastline. While I get to see more fireworks, I have found they lost part of their meaning. I always thought that it was the whole experience that made fireworks so important to the Fourth of July. The beauty of the fireworks paired up with the dramatic music filled with pride of our country and the sacrifices made to maintain our way of life were what the Fourth of July are all about, but without that music fireworks are just… well… pretty.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy looking at fireworks as much as the next person, but they just do not hold meaning on their own. I think that is why I enjoy the Disney firework shows so much. The music and story around them is captivating. And that is how I remember Fourth of July fireworks being, so every year seems to be a disappointment when that magic does not come through.

So for those of you watching fireworks from a distance and cannot hear the music, here are some of my favorite Fourth of July jams.




Sassy Gay Friend

3 Jul

Ask Grace Adler and Karen Walker, Glee’s Mercedes Jones, or Carrie Bradshaw and Charlotte York having a sassy gay friend is always a good thing. Whether they are around for laughs, fashion advice, or putting you in your place when it comes to relationships, having a sassy gay friend is something to be cherished.

Iconic characters like Will and Jack led the way for the sassy gay friend to be accepted by most of society. While many people are not able to reap the benefits of having the sassy gay friend, most have invited them into their homes via television. We’ve laughed with them; cried with them. Most importantly, especially with the recent movements–successful ones at that–for legalizing gay marriage, it allowed attitudes towards LGBT to change. It became a little more accepted by most and made gay lifestyle more of a norm.

Sitcoms have mostly solidified the gay stereotype, usually making characters flamboyant for comedic value. The YouTube video series “Sassy Gay Friend” is no different. In the videos a ‘sassy gay friend’ tells the female lead from classic stories how it really is–ya know, what we’re all thinking as we watched/read them. Hilarity ensues.

Feeling 10 yrs old Again

2 Jul

Flash back to July 18, 1998:
Six girls between the ages of 14 and 10, and their moms of course, walking into the New Haven Coliseum with butterflies because they are about to see the Backstreet Boys perform. Crushes on Nick, Howie, and Brian consumed them as they climbed the stairs to their seats.

13 years later I can still remember hearing Alissa squeal when a little Aaron Carter came out on stage to jump on trampolines with his shoulder length blond hair as an opening act. This would begin Alissa’s crush on Aaron, which I fully supported because I saw that as less competition for Nick.

We had started the night in the car talking about the newest boy band that had performed a concert on the Disney Channel the night before, NSYNC, and how we swooned for the blond one in the shiny blue pants, Mr. Justin Timberlake, but left with nothing but Backstreet Boys on our minds.

Flash forward to June 13, 2011:
The New Haven Coliseum is now a parking lot. Those six girls are all now twenty-somethings with individual lives. And the Backstreet Boys are a man down, but have formed the super boy band NKOTBSB. It’s every 90’s girl’s dream. This night Nick, Brian, Howie, A.J., Donnie, Joey, Danny, Jordan, and Jonathon would perform at the Izod Center in New Jersey, and, thanks to Jaime, I would be there again.

Since ’98 I have seen BSB three more times, but each time I get butterflies. Don’t ask what it is. Maybe it’s the return to when life was simple, when the hardest thing I had to do was learn the words to all the songs on the Millenium album, or maybe it’s that little girl inside of me Continue reading

Finding the other shoe

1 Jul

Everyone has those mornings where it seems you have to run back upstairs/inside fifty times to get everything you have forgotten. For some of us those mornings are more of a frequent occurence. I, for one, like to think I get my morning work out doing stairs in heels. Up, down, up, down at least four times before the key turns in the ignition.

Today was another one of those mornings, however it wasn’t because I forgot something. I was on a hunt. Somehow, in the midst of moving home from school, my favorite flats got separated. One was in my shoe organizer, but the other was no where to be found. My first thought was that I left it in Newport. But then I remembered my mentality of “no shoe left behind.” This is where the up-down fiasco begins, as does my hatred of living in a town house. Down to the basement, back up to my room, then up to the attic. Still no little black flat. So back down to the basement (mind you there are only 3 unpacked boxes so this shouldn’t be this hard). As I am tearing through them, still not finding my desired shoe, I do come across another treasure. My favorite Calvin Klein flip flop that I thought I lost! While it took me a month and a half of being home to discover my missing flat, the lost flip flop was like a whole in my heart (err closet rather). Clearly, this happy discovery changed my shoe selection for the day.

While I’m ecstatic to find my flip flop, it now begs the question: Why was it in the box with all my books??

In honor of my shoe fiasco this morning, I offer you an old Youtube classic, SHOES!