Archive | April, 2012

These are the Soundtracks of Our Lives…

22 Apr

It started with our powder blue Oldsmobile’s 8 track and likely Barry Manilow and Stevie Wonder, and has been the one passion that has never abated. My love for music is truly everlasting. In Junior High School I used to dream of a smaller portable music player maybe even handheld so that the melodies in my head could be audible to the entire world. I understood and envied the “hoodlums” that my grandparents and  even parents complained of walking around with a refrigerator sized stereos on their shoulders (I can’t imagine what that had to cost in batteries, especially since those guys never looked like the rechargeable battery type). Portable music was the “jam” if you will. 

Decades later, enter the iPod that had external speakers and one of my earliest dreams was realized. I, however, am not Al Gore and will not claim that this genius innovation a la Steve Jobs and Apple was mine. The iPod was and is one of the best things that has ever happened to me, allowing my music to constantly surround in version audible outside my brain.

How does this relate to love, relationships, and dating or maybe even just life? Well in my life it is oddly straightforward if I pay attention. In everyone else’s it is the reason that the soundtrack makes such a big impact on a film or even TV show. Hollywood has known and worked with this since sound was able to be paired with film. We have all watched a film and then the music started playing “Bow chick a bow bow…” and thought wow that situation is not going to work out…

One of the most stark and mocking examples is according to JLo’s character Mary in The Wedding Planner. Sitting in the theater, I became sure that I wasn’t alone in my suspicion that music and relationship success are definitely related:

"Oh, oh, and "I Honestly Love You" as your wedding song?
You might as well commit matrimonial suicide right now."
 In summation: The music matters, possibly more than we think.

My first real relationship began my senior year in high school and lasted through my first two years of undergrad. Looking back via a musical perspective our first date should never have even occurred. He was a guy I met through my first job. He was nice enough and I knew he had a crush on me for about 6 months prior to our first date. From the moment I met him every time I was around him 99.7 the Fox would play “Better Man” by Pearl Jam. In retrospect that was the proverbial frying pan repeatedly hitting me in the face of our dragged out and absurdly painful relationship. He was uncomplimentary at best and an all-round douche-tard at worst.  “She lies and says she’s in love with him can’t find a better man.” Pearl Jam was right and the music gods were speaking to me as loudly as the could.

I didn’t take the hint that time or even the next 10-20. To their credit the powers that be didn’t give up on me.* In my last several relationships the overly repeated musical mantras (and I state this recognizing that stations far and wide play the same thing about every ten minutes) have been no less subtle than what Pearl Jam tried to tell me in the mid 90s.

*It is important to point out that these songs not only played on the radio, but in stores, amusement parks, restaurants, everywhere.

In 2002 I should have thought twice when my guy told me he always thought of Willy Nelson’s “You Were Always on My Mind”  when he thought of me. Yes we were still dating at the time. Maybe he had already broken up with me in his head. In 2008, Rihanna’s “Unfaithful” should have prevented a late night discovery that I was far from the only one in my guy’s little black book.  In 2010, Taio Cruz sang the fateful “I’m only gonna break break ya break break ya heart.” only 16 times per play in his catchy upbeat yet oddly dark hit (Players unite you now have a Pop Anthem that does not offend and possibly appeals to all of us white girls).  Actually, this was the first song that I truly thought was a sign. It played on our first date in a Peruvian restaurant and was the only NonLatin song during our dining experience. Instead of being giddy with the relief that they were currently out of beef heart (the one thing my date thought would be symbolic if we ate “heart” on our first date. Yeah, yeah, OK there were multiple signs.), I should have cabbed it home as soon as Taio started crooning.

Finally and most recently I met the Conudrum wine (what exact combo of grapes is in that stuff that makes it so very palatable and delicious?) of boys and musical influence. We mucked the pot by constantly listening to music of our own choosing all of the time via iPods, shuffles, iPhones, iPads, and once or twice his Kindle Fire.  We ate, drank, and hung out to Foster the People, the Black Keys, Cults, Young the Giant, and Vampire Weekend to name a few.  All of these bands maybe have had an odd album cover or video, however, all make great music and there was no overt badness. Plus there were so many songs; whole albums even. In the present theory this relationship should have ABSOLUTELY worked out right?

Ha! This relationship even ended on a musical note where there was likely some blatantly ignored foreshadowing with a Fitz and the Tantrums‘ concert and songs like “Don’t Gotta Work it Out”. He has not spoken to me again since two days after the concert. It was the same week that I heard Gotye and Kimbra’s “Someone That I Used to Know.” I still have very little idea what happened. He didn’t defriend me on Facebook so I gather it couldn’t have been my fault…

At this point, I am thankful that “Goodbye Earl”, The Dixie Chicks or  “Love the Way You Lie” a la Eminem and Rihanna hasn’t happened on a first date.  At least now I would know to RUN! Speaking of I have always wondered what Rihanna and Chris Brown jammed out to? Maybe they listened to 2 Live Crew or Death Metal (I don’t know any death metal bands off hand so I googled and was immediately partial to Fleshcrawl and Pungent Stench, here are the Top 100) or any of the Top 30 domestic violence songs as per A.V. Club (Eminem has 3 of those).  That might clear up the mystery that surrounds their situation a bit.

Maybe I should only look for a guy if the song seems favorable like during such IQ dropping hits like Jason Derulo’s  “I Only Miss You When I am Breathing”. Now that is dedication! It does risk the hazard of being the type of relationship that would be all encompassing and possibly stifling, but possibly better than the above.

The Top 5 Stop Dating this Douche Already Mantras (a la me)

1. A Lap Dance is So Much Better When the Stripper is Cryin’ – Bloodhound gang (Enough Said)
2. Flavor of the Weak – American Hi Fi (there also will be other signs, like that extra pink toothbrush)
3. Area Codes – Ludacris (watch out when dating traveling salesman of any types. Pharm and Device reps included)
4.  Still Not A Player– Big Pun (this guy is almost too arrogant not to tell you)
5. That Ain’t My Truck – Rhett Atkins (for the country fans and the ladies who drive by their man’s dwelling)
Honorable Mentions: What it Takes – Aerosmith (this one’s gonna hurt) and Glycerine – Bush (The title comes from the explosive applications of glycerine to stabilize nitro: in an interview Rossdale said the song was about how love was like a bomb). Another Boyfriend, Another explosion.

Top 5 Keep This Guy Around Although Your Love May Be Nauseating To Those Around You Songs (also a la me)**
** A category which would not surprisingly be dominated by boy bands if I extended it to a top 20.

1. Truly Madly Deeply – Savage Garden (I never said all or even any of these songs would be good, just that they indicated a musical agreement that this person wouldn’t hurt you.)
1.I Knew I Loved You Before I Met You – Savage Garden  (Let’s just take a moment and bask in the wonder that one band can be sappy enough has the top two songs and also to take deep breaths to suppress the feeling of nausea that we now all have)
3. I’ll Never Break Your Heart – Backstreet Boys (Excellent Promise)
4.  I Need A Girl – P Diddy (Where to apply?)
5.  Without You (feat. Usher) – David Guetta (It was on Glee, how could it be wrong?)

Honorable More Serious Mentions:  I Found YouAlabama Shakes (Check this Band and their album Boys and Girls Out! That is a command!), One and Only – Adele (it’s good to be the one and only, at least that is what I have been told), and  Angel – Aerosmith (classic adoration)

All in all we should likely pay attention to what lots of things in our live including the music in our lives is telling us about our relationships and even our perspective. It is possible that we gravitate towards what we subconsciously already know, that some higher being is telling us via pop culture what our outcome is going to be and thus making desperate efforts to save our time and energy, or maybe it there is a radio or even a government conspiracy that dominates and manipulates our relationship undertones and thus lives (insert Carmina Burana here). If the latter is the case then I have major issue with 93.3 because there music has provided the worst crop yet (they do have excellent Celebrity Gossip via “The Dirty @ 6:30”).

What are your top 10 relationship do and relationship don’t tunes?


Courtly Love #2: What Makes Modern Maidens Blush?

17 Apr

We love from afar probably almost universally but the second tenant “acts of chivalry” is a smidgen harder to liken to universal truth.

Preening, cheek puffing, and chest beating continues to dominate the male animal world in terms of courting, but do true displays of valiance? 

Merriam Webster Defines “Chivalry” as the following:

Definition of CHIVALROUS

2: of, relating to, or characteristic of chivalry and knight-errantry
3a : marked by honor, generosity, and courtesyb : marked by gracious courtesy and high-minded consideration especially to women
— chiv·al·rous·ly adverb
— chiv·al·rous·ness noun
Hmm honor, generosity and courtesy; all things that society seems to display a general lack of and increasingly so. I am not sure I have recently met “gracious courtesy” or “high-minded consideration” in unmarried male form in recent years. I continue to believe this is because smart women snap up the good men early in life. It might even lend validity to the Mrs. degree that so many scoff at.
The closest I have gotten to the above in recent years was during the holidays of 2007. That year there was a tragic shortage of cranberries (I like to refer to it as The Great Cranberry Blight of 2007, yea yea I promise I am going somewhere with this). One of the guys in the hospital overheard my nursing station lament that on my first holiday without my family I was unable to make the cranberry salad that I had enjoyed so much for every year that I could remember because every grocery store in town (read that as the 4 that I had gone to), had no cranberries fresh or frozen.
I wasn’t talking to him. I actually wasn’t even aware that he was listening, but on Christmas day as I was leaving the hospital he approached me with a shopping bag. In that bag was Ocean Spray perfection. It turned out he had purchased two of the last bags weeks before and frozen them and he wanted me to have one so I could have my holiday treat. I was sleep deprived which almost always equals overly emotional, so I didn’t think much of it when I teared up upon viewing them, however looking back maybe it was more than just being up all night.
Here was a guy that paid attention and was incredibly chivalrous in the best way that he could be. He had never been on my radar until that moment and since then he hasn’t really left. We went out once and I regrettably let his less than impressive reputation with my peers (he was socially awkward with my guy friends) dictate my behavior. Looking back, I should have made much more of an effort to give this guy a chance. I mean, he brought me cranberries. 
Courting in the form of chivalry can happen in so many ways:
It is the flower on the windshield that I convinced all of my graduate school guy friends to leave for the ladies that they were attempting to woo, it is an opening of a door, an offering of a jacket or an umbrella to shield from the elements, or the unexpected bag of cranberries.
It could even be something as modern as Rufus Wainwright’s “I’m your knight in shining armor. I’m here to save you from Linkin Park.” (I feel sure that few would refuse such an opener as that.)
Complex or simple, traditional or modern; chivalry is the very essence and core of true romance. 
I always think of one of my college acquaintances as she yelled out of a 4 Runner as we left her intended in the literal and proverbial dust “Court Me Dammit!!!
He didn’t, but someone else did. The second guy won her affection and her heart. He didn’t have to be reminded of the tradition of courtly love or chivalry and neither did my Holiday guy. It makes me wonder why chivalry is no longer expected and as seldom as it happens why didn’t I treasure it?
My 4 Runner friend married her chivalrous man; and, Me, I had a really good Christmas salad.

Pejazzling… because if we can vajazzle…

17 Apr

Ok this is post is dedicated to the height of absurdity when it comes to all living beings.  And prior to entering this particular post I would like to offer the disclaimer that if you have bedazzled an inanimate object or even possibly your finger nails, I have no beef. BUT (and it is a large one, demonstrated by the all caps) there are some things that don’t just need to be accented with crystals.



So this evening I was perusing the local paper (when I really should have been studying) and I happen upon an article about manscaping. Which, oddly enough, has been an extreme area of interest at work as of late because over the past 5 years we have noticed more and more men who groom down under. So much so that some of the more conservative and distinguished doctors that I work with have begun asking the male patients what made them make the decision and how did they decide exactly what type of low as you go grooming to have done.

As it turns out we noticed what spas like Bliss have decided to capitalize on, men are increasingly more concerned about the lay of the land if you will. I also suspect that the rumor that a good trim in the nether regions can give the illusion of both greater length and girth, might have a tiny bit to do with it.

Bliss introduced the male brazilian calling it the “Ultimate He-Wax” in February 2011 for the amazing bargain of $125 plus tip. Another salon reports up to 70% of their waxing business is now men’s bikini. Other trendy treatments include one spa’s “South of the Border” ($70) or another’s “Boyzillian” ($85).  The New York Times reports that more and more men are taking matters into their own hands and trimming the hedges in the privacy of their own home with Braun’s body cruZer, Phillips Norelco Bodygroom Pro, the Gillette Fusion ProGlide, and we can’t leave off the “Mangroomer Essential Body Shaver”.

Pejazzling, referred to as crystal adornment in decorative patterns (such as dolphins or stars) when newly shorn in the genital area, is a little less mainstream. However, its existence is disturbing to me on two very important levels.

1. We are surely headed for a societal collapse (the Mayans could very well have had this correct all along. tick tick tick…. Of note I also could have told anyone who would have listened to my report in 6th grade world history comparing our current society to the debauchery that led to Roman society’s collapse. Instead my “concerned” teacher penned a letter home to my mother about my disturbing train of thought. If only I could somehow refer her to the pejazzling article maybe she would finally agree)

2. Straight, gay or other who needs crystals bedecking their genitalia? Most people need nothing more than a good scrub and very few get that. How do I know you ask? I check genitals by trade in a purely noncreepy sense. I would like to take this time to make a very important public service announcement: When you come to the Emergency room, CLEAN YOURSELF! and that means your WHOLE self (and includes feet. My diatribe on why water hoses and pedicurists should be the next step after Emergency Room check will have to be another post).

So with my interest peaked, I googled “pejazzling” and “pejazzle” and this is a brief and representative synopsis of what I found (2/3rds where advocating the idea and 1/3rd was skeptical. I find myself firmly seated in the latter):

From the Consumerist: “Men wear diamond watches and bling earrings – this is no different,” Mark Wright, star of The Only Way Is Essex, Britain’s answer to Jersey Shoretold The Daily Mail. “Women don’t necessarily want a rough and ready man. Some prefer a man who’s groomed and takes care of himself.”

Note to the world: There is A HUMUNGOUS difference in rough and ready and bedazzled privates. “Eeek my crystal fell off and my dolphin no longer has a nose!!” seems quite far from the height of attraction. My advice (no matter how unsolicited, FIND A MIDDLE GROUND!)

From Trendhunter:Attention males everywhere: if you have been looking for a way to impress the ladies this summer, look no further, because pejazzling is here! This blinged-out genital adornment has just arrived on the scene after the widely successful vajazzling for women hit the mainstream.”

Widely successful? I missed that. Totally. This might indicate that I live in a very comfortable and cozy burrow from which I am now frightened to venture out of.

From Bugginword (and I must say the most poignant verbiage on the matter and a post from 2011 (yes I am late to the party, but so flabbergasted that I cannot stifle my extremely rambunctious disbelief):

“Speaking of sh#% I can’t make up, the people that brought you vajazzling just introduced a revolutionary new product – The Pejazzle!Oh thank heavens!  Speaking of which, if you’re planning on getting sucked up to those heavens on Saturday fellas, you’re gonna want to get a move on bedazzling your junk.  Time (and glitter) is of the essence.  Righteous ladies like shiny things.The line of Pejazzle jewels work just like the ones they make for the ladies.  You have to wax your bits, then carefully glue on your “decorations.”

You can choose from all sorts of sexy designs – like a pair of red glittery ladies lips.  Which, personally, I would find rather disconcerting and would doubtlessly be distracted by thoughts of double dipping douches like Ahhhnold and Tiger.  Or for you athletic types, they have an iron cross pattern you can slap on your sack for your big Iron Man competitions.  I’m sure THAT won’t chafe at all in a wetsuit.”

Nothing like a man with a Swarovski crystal cross on his junk. 

The only thing that I can take solace in (and I hope I can still say this in a decade), never have I been in the early throws of passion and had to utter the words: “Is something down there sparkling?” nor has Richard Simmons ever popped out of some dude I was dating’s groin.


and other awful dating dilemmas.

Thought Catalog

Thought Catalog is a digital youth culture magazine dedicated to your stories and ideas.

what keeps you up at night

A blog by Sean Gabler. follow me on instagram/twitter @gablesworth

Kristen Lamb

Author, Blogger, Social Media Jedi


Putting thoughts into blogs

The W Spot

The Wellness Spot Blog


Love, romance, and the fiasco that is dating News

The latest news on and the WordPress community.