Pregnancy Update: Am I Normal or Losing My Mind?


I have no idea how to eloquently begin this blog post, so I’m just going to dive in & hope for the best . . . One question I’ve been asked a lot since becoming pregnant is “How are you decorating the nursery?”  Each time my answer is “I’m not.”  Seriously, y’all, it took me MONTHS of living in our house to even begin to decorate our house & even now, three and a half years later, there is no cohesive theme to our decorations, unless you count various scattered stuffed animals as a theme.  I know it probably makes me boring but decorating has just never interested me.  If anything I find it stressful.  I enjoy seeing other people’s decorated houses or nurseries but I have no interest in doing the same for my own.  And let’s be honest here: for whom do parents really decorate the nursery, the baby or themselves?  The answer has to be themselves because there is no rational reason to believe that a baby is going to notice or care whether his or her nursery is decorated or not.  By the time they’re old enough to notice it or form an opinion about it, they’ll probably want it redone to match their own particular taste.  And all of that sounds like entirely too much work to me!  baby-cartoon

On another note, is it normal that instead of being really excited about picking out baby gear I just find most of it stressful & annoying?  I’ve never been an indecisive person, but staring at literally dozens or even hundreds of different options for every baby thing known to man can be more than a little overwhelming.  Thank goodness for my college roommate, dear friend that she is, who helped me create our baby registries or else they’d probably still not be done.  Creating the registries with her guidance was fun but otherwise I really don’t know how it would have gotten done.  Seriously. baby-cartoon-2

I hear/read all the time about women who struggle not to buy every baby item they see but that has not been a problem for me.  I’ve only bought a handful of things myself, most of which were from a neighbor who was selling baby girl clothes for $1 each which was entirely too good of a deal to pass up, as well as a changing table/pad with attached chest of drawers which I found on Craigslist.  Part me of wonders if this means that I’m not as attached to my baby as I should be.  Or maybe I’m just being practical as always & realizing that having a bunch of STUFF won’t make me any more prepared to be a mom, no matter how much it might be nice to think it would.papparazzi-cartoon-baby

I’m sure I’ll start buying more baby gear once we have our shower in a few weeks & I can say more definitively what we actually need to buy.  I’m excited of course for our shower but at the same time I’m nervous about it.  I know that must sound ridiculous but I do not enjoy being the center of attention.  I felt the same way about my bridal shower five years ago.  Am I crazy or are there other moms to be who feel this way?

"Dear, when was the last time you just winged it?"

I think I’ll be doing a lot of “winging it.”

People have also asked me if I’ve read various parenting books & magazines.  The answer is no.  Considering my OCD personality traits (& my husband’s as well), maybe it is odd that I/we haven’t jumped into reading all kinds of parenting books but we haven’t.  There are plenty of things about parenthood that scare me & that I know will not be easy, but at the same time I feel like a lot of things will come to us intuitively.  If they don’t, we can start researching things, but in the meantime I really don’t feel like filling my head with other people’s opinions on how to raise our child.  Is that being selfish or proud or too self-assured?  Or even lazy?  I have no idea.  blankie baby

I’m trying to remind myself that when we got married I was equally ambivalent about creating a wedding registry & plenty of other aspects of wedding planning (the only things I really cared about were my dress, the color of the bridesmaid dresses, the reception location, & most importantly THE GROOM).  Yet our wedding turned out beautifully & more importantly we’ve been happily married for five years now.  People told me many times that I was the most relaxed bride they’d ever met, & while I’m sure I’m NOT the most relaxed mom-to-be, maybe not being too caught up in some of the “pregnancy hype” isn’t such a bad thing either?ambivalence-quote

I didn’t know how to begin this post, & I’m equally unsure how to end it.  I guess I’d just like some reassurance from other moms (or dads!!) out there that I’m not losing my mind & that at least some of the things I’m feeling are normal (or at least okay) on some end of the spectrum.

The Anxiety Monster, Pregnancy Edition


Those of you who know me in real life may have noticed that I’ve been a bit more anxious the past few weeks.  Between getting a bad cold in early August & then developing intermittent allergies that refuse to go away ever since then, some rough shifts at work (including violent patients & multiple deaths), the anniversary of my grandfather’s death last year, & just the general stress of pregnancy, my mind has been more than a little over-stimulated the past few weeks.  I guess my body has been over-stimulated too because I’m sick once again, this time with a viral throat infection that has left me feeling like I have knives in my throat (which is extra fun with acid reflux on top of it), congested, & having intermittent coughing spells if I try to talk for more than about 30 seconds at a time.  Oh yeah, my body hurts all over & I’ve had a mild fever too.  And my normal pregnancy fatigue has been multiplied times ten.  AND of course I can’t help but worry that me being sick isn’t good for the baby!  Arghhhh!!

hello-my-name-is-anxiety

I struggle with anxiety, but I’ve found that this blog is a great way to tame the “anxiety monster.”

On top of all that, I find myself feeling incredibly guilty for complaining about being sick & stressed about my pregnancy & impending motherhood.  I know there are so many women out there who would give anything just to be pregnant right now, so every time I complain about how much my sacrum hurts (it’s never my lumbar area, always my sacrum) or how much it sucks to be sick while pregnant, part of me feels like this wretched spoiled brat who ought to just shut up & realize how lucky she really is.  But that doesn’t change the way I’m feeling of course.  It just leads to a cycle of negativity that never ends.anxiety charlie brown

Up until the past few weeks I’ve been so proud of myself for how I’ve handled this pregnancy & not letting my underlying anxiety issues overwhelm me.  But here lately I feel like I’ve lost traction & I’m just barely keeping my head above water.  Thankfully I found out today that my glucose tolerance test & my hemoglobin are normal.  Those are at least two things that can no longer be a source of anxiety for me.  My husband & I have also managed to select & purchase a car-seat & stroller recently which, trust me, is a massive endeavor these days.  (Can we say too damn many options?!)  So that’s two major baby purchases out of the way.  Now if Buy Buy Baby can just deliver the stroller instead of some kind of jumper thing that they accidentally sent me instead . . . Seriously, whoever packed that order must have been drunk.  I could understand sending me a similar but different stroller but this wasn’t even close to the right item.  At least they have free shipping, including returns!  And in a week or two I’ll probably find this whole scenario hilarious.pregnancy cartoon

I’m sure this hasn’t been my most coherent or eloquent blog post.  Honestly I’m not sure what I’m trying to accomplish other than to just vent & let the world know that I’m struggling right now.  Overall pregnancy really hasn’t been as difficult as I thought it might be, at least in some ways.  But here lately my anxiety has definitely been getting the better of me, whether it’s obvious to others or not.  Maybe it’s just my hormones going haywire which is entirely possible of course.  Having obsessive compulsive personality traits & a higher than normal level of anxiety really isn’t the best combination for a pregnant woman.  But this is me, & I know that some of these “negative” traits have served me well in life thus far & I can only hope they will serve me well as a mother too in the not so distant future.  In the meantime, I’ll be listening to music, reading P.D. James & Bill Bryson, cuddling our corgi, & reminding myself that the anxiety monster has reared its ugly head plenty of times before.  Yet I’ve survived every battle thus far, which means there’s no (logical) reason to doubt my ability to win the battle this time.  

pregnancy-cartoon-2

Ok, I’m not quite this big yet, but bending over to pick up dropped items is definitely harder than it used to be.  Also, this cartoon made me laugh way more than it probably should.  But those of you who know how clumsy I am will understand why.

Turn Off the Radio


Last week I was fooling around on YouTube & in the process stumbled across a few songs off the latest album from the Floridian rock band A Day to Remember.  ADTR is a band I’d heard about for years but had never really listened to until last week.  Once I heard songs like BullfightParanoia, & Naivety, I knew this was a band I definitely needed to add to my musical library.  After a quick Google search I realized the band had just released a brand new album at the beginning of this month (which includes all of the aforementioned songs).  Cue a trip to Best Buy where the album was on sale for $9.99!bad_vibrations

One of the reasons this album has continued to remain on almost constant replay for me for a week now is because of the great variety of musical styles the band employs on the record.  Songs like Naivety are considerably more punk whereas songs like Bad Vibrations & Exposed are much harder & remind me a lot of Parkway Drive (which is a great compliment since their 2015 album Ire is definitely a favorite of mine).  adtr

Like all great albums, this one just gets better with repeated listens.  One of the gems I’ve discovered the more I’ve listened to the album is the tenth song Turn Off the Radio.  With all of the distracting & divisive messages that confront us every time we log on to social media or watch/read the news (be it newspaper, radio, TV, or the internet), this song could not be more relevant right now.  At the same time, as with any truly great song, the message is timeless.  There’s never been a time in history when greater genuine conversation & connection between human beings hasn’t been needed.  But in today’s modern world of social media, texting, online dating, etc, the need for this message has only been amplified.  (Just to be clear, I don’t think any of these technologies are bad.  We just need to learn to use them in a wise, productive manner, & we shouldn’t allow them to take us away from real person to person interaction.)  us vs them

I for one know I struggle to not be an ostrich with my head in the sand but also not be overwhelmed with all of the negativity in the world today.  But this song is a great reminder to me that so much of what the media feeds us is just junk, whether it be crappy pop music or divisive politics or any other number of media diversions.divisive-media

Take a moment to check out the lyrics below.  And of course give the song a listen.  And remember, as Aristotle once said,“it is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”  So turn off the radio & have a real conversation with someone, even if they disagree with you.  You never know what you might learn.adtr-2016

T-T-T-Turn off the radio

There’s something missing
There’s an anger living half the world away
I hope you listen for a person
With perspective that isn’t always the same

No need to water it down right now
You play the victim, but it’s all a charade
Times they, they are a-changin’
Get your things in order, or get out the way

And it goes on & on & on

Turn off the radio
Till they’ve got something real to say
Turn off the radio
To clear my mind & let me think
I need an answer, I’ve got the questions
Can’t anyone out there just relate?
Turn off the radio
Turn off the radio

There’s a division in our culture that we live with every day
We’re just people eating people, such a sick sad world we live in today
All I know’s I wanna be everything expected of me
So everyone we can agree somebody out there understands me

And it goes on & on & on

Turn off the radio
Till they’ve got something real to say
Turn off the radio
To clear my mind & let me think
I need an answer, I’ve got the questions
Can’t anyone out there just relate?
Turn off the radio
Turn off the radio

Someone out there if you’re listening
We’re the victims of our indifference
Tell us more without controlling
What we think with what you’re showing

Turn off the radio
Till they’ve got something real to say
Turn off the radio
To clear my mind & let me think
I need an answer, I’ve got the questions
Can’t anyone out there just relate?
Turn off the radio
Turn off the radioadtr-logo

 

I Am Not Superwoman


I’m not sure how to begin this post, but it’s something I’ve been wanting to write for months now, so I guess I’ll just dive right into it.  Ever since I shared my pregnancy news, people have (naturally) been asking me if I plan to return to work full time once the baby is born.  It surprises me how many people, both men & women, seem truly shocked when I tell them I’m only coming back to work part time, hopefully one night a week.  (For those who don’t know, I’m a night shift nurse.)superwoman

There are a multitude of reasons why I’ve chosen not to return to work full time, but they all basically boil down to this one simple fact: I am not superwoman.  I realize it is the norm nowadays for women to work full time while raising young children, but I have never thought this made a lot of sense, either biologically or psychologically.  It just doesn’t seem logical to me that I would spend nine months growing & nurturing a baby only to wind up allowing a daycare (or anyone other than me & my husband) to essentially raise her.

stay at home mom daycare

Hey, there is a lot of truth in this . . .

To be fair, I am fully cognizant of the fact that I am extremely lucky to have a career & finances that allow me to work part time, but I also think our society has forgotten that so many things we think of as necessities nowadays are really options.  Part of the reason my husband & I will be financially able to live off of only one full time salary once the baby is born is because we have always been so frugal & responsible with our money.  Maybe that makes us boring, but I couldn’t possibly care less at this point in our lives.

frugality

Amen.  Being frugal has allowed us to have options which means freedom!

Trust me, over the years we have learned that some things are worth spending a little extra money to get a true quality product, especially if it’s something that could affect your health (like good shoes for the gym/hiking or work).  But at the same time we’ve found ways to cut monthly expenses by skipping out on cable TV & expensive restaurants/bars, etc.  I’m also not the type of woman who gets monthly pedicures, haircuts, or other such things.  The most I’ve ever spent on a purse is $40, & aside from gym/work shoes, I’ve never spent more than about $30 on a pair of shoes.  Nor have I ever spent more than $30 on a pair of jeans.  I buy used books & the Kroger brand of almost everything at the grocery store.  I suppose I can thank my mom for teaching me to be so frugal.  I’ve been called cheap before, but it doesn’t bother me one bit because the people who say that almost certainly have a lot less money to their name than I do.  So who’s really the cheap one?piggy bank

Anyway, I’ve wandered from the point, so let me return to explaining what I mean when I say I am not superwoman.  I work with & know plenty of women who do work full time while also raising young children, & I am continually amazed at how they manage to “do it all.”  At the same time I’m fully aware that most, if not all of them, are constantly under a great deal of stress & suffer from a fair amount of guilt over the time they are missing with their children due to work.  If nothing else, I know they suffer from a massive sleep debt & lack of any “me time,” neither of which is physically or psychologically healthy.  I’m not saying being a stay at home mom is a walk in the park.  But I’ve certainly never met a stay at home mom who regretted her choice to spend those first few years of her children’s lives at home with them.  On the other hand I meet working moms all the time who say they wish they could/had been able to be stay at home moms or to work part time while their children are/were young.  The point is maybe other women are ok living with that level of stress but I’m not.  Life is way too short to be stretched that thin.

When I was in nursing school I was confident I would be the first (or one of the first) among my class to go back to school.  I was certain I wouldn’t work more than five years as a bedside nurse before I’d be in NP school because being an NP was always my ultimate goal.  As it turns out I’ve now been a bedside nurse for just over five years, & I’m now far less certain that being an NP is my long term goal, or in any case, I’m in no hurry to reach that goal.  I used to think I’d be so jealous if I saw friends or classmates of mine returning to school before I did, but the truth is I’m not jealous at all.  I’m sure there will come a time in my life when I do wish to become an NP or to further my education in some way, but I can tell you with 100% certainty that time is not now.  If for no other reason, there is no biological timeline for higher education, but there most certainly is a biological timeline for having children, no matter how much we modern women do not like to admit it.biological clock

Just to be clear, this post is not meant to disparage women who do work full time while raising young children.  Once again, I am fully aware of how blessed I am to be in a position to even have the choice of working part time once our baby is born.  And if there is anything I’ve learned in life it is that there is not one right path for everyone.  We are obviously all different people so it is only logical that what works for one person or family won’t work for another.  anxiety

I just know that for me, especially with my anxiety issues & OCD tendencies, to try to work full time while also raising young children would be a nightmare.  As much as I do enjoy nursing, at the end of my life, whether that be at 35, 55, or 85, I know that my career will not be most important to me.  Is it hard for me to think about possibly losing traction in my career?  Sure. But not nearly as hard as thinking about missing out on those early formative years with my children.  (I say children because I do hope to have one more after this one.)  My mom always said if you got the first few years right, the rest would be easy, & I truly think she was correct about that.  To be honest, it isn’t the teenage years that scare me, it’s the toddler years.  I know most moms are sad as their kids grow up & aren’t “little” anymore, but I don’t anticipate that being a serious problem for me.  I’ve always enjoyed older kids & teenagers more, but even so, I can’t stand the thought of a daycare (or anyone else) spending more time with my children than me in the first few years of their lives.  The way I see it is both nursing & motherhood are far, far too important to do halfway, & at least for me, to try to do both full time would be to allow both to suffer.  And that is not acceptable to me.

We-Can-Do-It

Modern women have certainly proven that we can do it all, but at what cost?

So, in conclusion, yes, I have chosen to only work part time once the baby is born.  I used to think that would be a hard decision to make, but it’s actually been surprisingly easy.  I know modern society teaches women that we can “do & have it all,” & while I have no desire to return to the 1940s or 50s when women were expected to be stay at home moms (hell, even stay at home wives), I am fully aware of my own limitations.  That is why I’ll be the first to admit that I am not superwoman, & I have never been so at peace with the knowledge that I cannot do or have it all.

Rock Star of the Week: Chris Motionless


Last night I began thinking that it would be fun to start a blog series about my favorite rock stars.  I’ve been working on a post on this topic for ages now, but I’ve realized that such a post would be more like a novel.  So what better way to break it up a bit than creating a series of posts about all my favorites?  These will be appearing in no particular order.

*Warning: I do not censor my favorite rock stars, so yes, there will be swearing (duh).chris motionless

This week I’m going to initiate the series with Chris Cerulli, otherwise known by his stage name Chris Motionless, the lead singer of Motionless in White (MIW) out of Scranton, Pennsylvania.  If you’re not familiar with MIW, their music could be described in various ways from heavy to gothic to horror metal & probably a lot more.  They’re exactly the kind of band that ten years ago I could never have imagined myself enjoying.  But they’re also a band whose music I fell in love with immediately upon discovering it.  You can read all about that here.

MIW reincarnate

Chris (seated) with his bandmates from Motionless in White

I’ve actually written a bit about Chris on this blog before because he is just such a unique individual in so many ways.  When I first discovered him & his band, I immediately felt a powerful connection because of my love for people who break stereotypes.  Chris is a man who is covered in tattoos & piercings & is never seen wearing anything other than black.  (There might be other colors involved, but the greater part of any outfit of his will always be black.)  He is also famous for his extreme use of makeup including his lust-worthy eyebrows.  Not going to lie, I never thought I’d say a man looked good in makeup, but Chris Motionless taught me otherwise.  See the picture below if you don’t believe me. chris motionless 2Basically, in appearance Chris is much like a younger, more modern version of Marilyn Manson.  And just like Manson, there is so much more to Chris than what many would initially assume based on appearance alone.  A lot of folks would assume someone who looks like Chris would be a devil-worshipper or at least a drug user or alcoholic.  As it turns out, Chris is none of those things.  In fact he’s very well known in the rock/metal community for his “straight edge” ways.  In other words, he does not drink, smoke, or participate in promiscuous sex.  If you find any of that hard to believe check out this interview.

Motionless-In-White-6

Is this jacket epic or what?!

What I love best about Chris’s choice to live this way is that he doesn’t push it on other people (some of his own bandmates do smoke & drink), & he hasn’t chosen this lifestyle because of any religious affiliation.  He has chosen it simply because he thinks it’s the best way for him to live: “I think alcohol, and getting high, and all that shit, is retarded . . . I’ve never really had any interest. Like… You know how some people are even curious to see? You know – “I don’t drink, but I wanna know what it’s like to be drunk” or “I wanna see what it’s like to be high even once.” It just doesn’t have any interest to me at all. It just doesn’t make me feel like I wanna know. I think that shit’s disgusting . . .  if I’m with somebody, then it’s a monogamous relationship . . . I’m not a playboy, for lack of a better word. I have a little self-respect.”  See the link in the previous paragraph for the full interview from which these quotes are taken.  chris cerulli

Despite writing & performing what many would describe as very dark music, Chris is also well known as an extremely polite individual with a propensity for kindness & having a great smile.  “. . . the MIW frontman has a fearsome onstage persona that’s somewhat at odds with his friendly and well-spoken offstage self. “I don’t want to be an aggressive and intimidating person to people in real life,” he explains. “That’s why my stage character has a different name than me [Chris Cerulli]—it’s a good way to let that part of my personality shine. It’s a big reason why I love to play live, having that outlet . . . There’s a lot of anger inside of me, and I certainly don’t have to convince myself to be pissed off.”  (See this interview for more, which includes Chris talking about how his parents have always supported him despite not being too fond of his general appearance.)  Despite the fact that I don’t have any tattoos or piercings (outside of earrings), nor do I dress in all black or wear heavy makeup, I can strongly relate to Chris on this subject because while I am known as a very kind, polite person, there is a lot more to me than might initially meet the eye.  Which is probably why people are often so shocked to discover that I like such “hard, dark” music.  I’m not saying I’m a deeply angry or bitter person on the inside.  Not at all.  But I’m not some “happy-go-lucky I love everyone all the time” angel either.Chris-Motionless

Chris is also a big promoter of self-respect & personal responsibility & has openly decried fans who try to credit him with saving their lives: “NO. I did not save your life. NO.. band X, Y or Z did not save your life. IF in fact you were on the brink of any self harming action… it was YOU who pulled yourself from the ledge. You saved your life, You are the hero. Why are people not willing to take credit for their own actions? . . . MIW’s main message has always been about not giving a fuck what people thought and encouraging you to do the same.”  (You can read Chris’s full blog post on that matter here.)  chris motionless quote

Furthermore, MIW’s latest song from their forthcoming fourth album is all about how the band has achieved the success they have today through sheer hard work & determination.  Check out the music video here.  With lyrics like these, you’d be hard-pressed not to find this song inspirational:  “I’ve been to hell & back, with no promise of return/So I made friends with fire to keep from getting burned/No money, no sleep, dedication/10 years on the road, this is sacred/And when I’m facing a wall, I do not quit/Cause if you mean it, you will make it/Pulled apart in a world so demanding/I’m still here, still standing/I’ve sweat blood from Stockholm to Scranton/Still here, still standing . . . If you mean it, you will make it!”  (If you’re curious about the song’s title 570, it’s the area code of the band’s hometown Scranton, PA; hence the lyric about Scranton in the song.)chris miw

I hope that reading all of this will inspire you to check out Chris’s band if you aren’t already familiar with them.  To start you off, here are some links to a few of my favorite MIW songs:

  • Reincarnate: the first song I ever heard from MIW & the one that made me immediately fall in love with the band
  • America: a scathing discourse on the hypocrisy of this country
  • Break the Cycle: an empowering song about how we can all be our own worst enemy & overcoming self-doubt

Grammar Nerd Alert: My Favorite English Words


As some of you already know, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a bit of a grammar Nazi . . . er, nerd, that is.  If you’re ever driven down Leesville Rd with me in Raleigh, you’ll know that I can’t help but point out how irritating it is to me to see the sign for “Russling Leaf Lane.”  Every time I see it I want to scream “How could you not know that it’s supposed to be RUSTLING?!”  Ahhh!!  There’s also a new sign outside of the gas station near our house that says “closed for rennovations.”  Seriously, a double n at the beginning of the word?  I understand the occasional typo in an email or blog post, but it boggles my mind that something could make it to an actual road sign or official poster for a business without someone having noticed these errors.  Hello, spell-check exists for a reason, folks!

3-signs-grammar-nerd

May I add another? You truly want to cry when you realize you’ve actually posted something with a typo or grammatical error in it.

All that being said, I’ll also be the first to admit that I say ain’t a little more than I really ought, but at least that’s kind of a real word . . . Anyway, today I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite English words.  Just to be clear, no, I am not one of those annoying people who intentionally tries to use “big” words to dazzle my listeners by making myself sound intelligent, but certain words have just become so commonplace to me that I sometimes forget not everyone reads as much as I do & doesn’t always know these words.  If you read a lot like I do, you too probably relish the joy of learning new words on a continual basis.  For my fellow grammar nerds, you might want to keep checking this post over the next week or two because I’m sure I’ll forget a few words & feel compelled to come back & add them.

grammar insult

Amen!!

  • Pernicious:  having a harmful effect, especially in a gradual or subtle way
  • Proclivity: a tendency to choose or do something regularly; an inclination or predisposition toward a particular thing
  • Predilection (very similar to the previous word): a preference or special liking for something; a bias in favor of something
  • Atavistic: relating to or characterized by reversion to something ancient or ancestral
  • Germane: relevant to a subject under consideration
  • Allocate: distribute (resources or duties) for a particular purpose
  • Ostensible: stated or appearing to be true, but not necessarily so
  • Ostentatious: characterized by vulgar or pretentious display; designed to impress or attract notice
  • Conspicuous: standing out so as to be clearly visible
  • Ebullient: cheerful & full of energygrammar nerd signs
  • Egregious: outstandingly bad; shocking
  • Astute: having or showing an ability to accurately assess situations or people & turn this to one’s advantage
  • Sagacious (very similar to the previous word): having or showing keen mental discernment & good judgment; shrewd
  • Adroit: clever or skillful in using the hands or mind
  • Sporadic: occurring at irregular intervals or only in a few places; scattered or isolated
  • Acquiesce: accept something reluctantly but without protest
  • Intransigent: unwilling or refusing to change one’s views or to agree about something
  • Requisite: made necessary by particular circumstances or regulations
  • Sycophant: a person who acts obsequiously toward someone important in order to gain advantage
  • Obstinate: stubbornly refusing to change one’s opinion or chosen course of action, despite attempts to persuade one to do socommas
  • Deleterious: causing harm or damage
  • Derelict: in a very poor condition as a result of disuse & neglect
  • Disheveled: (of a person’s hair, clothes, or appearance) untidy; disordered
  • Dastardly: wicked & cruel
  • Impeccable: (of behavior, performance, or appearance) in accordance with the highest standards of propriety; faultless
  • Immaculate: especially of a person or their clothes) perfectly clean, neat, or tidy; free from flaws or mistakes; perfect
  • Pertinent: relevant or applicable to a particular matter; apposite
  • Singular: exceptionally good or great; remarkable
  • Indefatigable: (of a person or their efforts) persisting tirelessly
  • Opulent: ostentatiously rich & luxurious or lavishgrammar hideous
  • Grandiose: impressive or magnificent in appearance or style, especially pretentiously so
  • Pretentious: attempting to impress by affecting greater importance, talent, culture, etc, than is actually possessed
  • Genteel: polite, refined, or respectable, often in an affected or ostentatious way
  • Crux: the decisive or most important point at issue
  • Gingerly: in a careful or cautious manner
  • Incessant: (of something regarded as unpleasant) continuing without pause or interruption
  • Solicitous: characterized by or showing interest or concern
  • Calamitous: catastrophic; disastrous
  • Cacophony: a harsh, discordant mixture of sounds
  • Vicarious: experienced in the imagination through the feelings or actions of another person
  • Vivacious: attractively lively & animated

Just to be clear, I’m not one of those judgmental fools who holds everyone to as high of a standard as I hold myself.  For example, the pastor at my aunt’s funeral yesterday definitely didn’t have the best grammar.  He also had a pretty thick Southern/country accent.  Yet I found myself absolutely loving the way he talked.  The crux of the matter is I just can’t stand it when people use incorrect grammar in actual writing or publications.  That’s what is truly intolerable to me.  And yes, writing does include texting.  If you don’t want me to think (slightly) less of you, don’t text me using “u” or other such grammatical atrocities.  Also be sure to use actual punctuation, please.  Run on sentences with no commas or periods are truly painful.

Fellow grammar nerds, please feel free to comment with your own favorite words!grammar nerd mug

Alas, I am not so secretly scared that I’m going to discover a typo/grammatical error in this post!  Haha!!

10 Pop Songs I Actually Like


If you know me in real life or are at all familiar with this blog, then you probably know that I generally dislike pop music & strongly prefer rock & metal, with a good dose of classical & occasional selected country on the side.  But the truth is there actually are a few pop songs I genuinely like, not just because they have a catchy tune or fun beat but because I believe they are truly well-written songs with actual meaning.  So today I thought it would be fun to share some of these songs with y’all as a means of showing I’m not a total old fart.  Haha!

pop music sucks

Most modern pop music is total crap.  Call Me Maybe was nominated for a Grammy.  Maybe it even won.  Need I say more?

  • All Too Well by Taylor Swift: I owe my knowledge of this song to a friend from high school.  I honestly think it’s the best song Taylor Swift has ever recorded because it is just so well-written.  My favorite lyrics are the following:
    • “Maybe we got lost in translation, maybe I asked for too much
      And maybe this thing was a masterpiece ’til you tore it all up
      Running scared, I was there, I remember it all too well
    • Hey, you call me up again just to break me like a promise
      So casually cruel in the name of being honest
      I’m a crumpled up piece of paper lying here
      ‘Cause I remember it all, all, all too well
    • Time won’t fly, it’s like I’m paralyzed by it
      I’d like to be my old self again, but I’m still trying to find it”taylor swift
  • Alright, one more Taylor Swift song.  I swear if she’d kept writing songs like the aforementioned one & Back to December I’d have so much more respect for her.  Instead she’s drifted off into total idiotic crap like Shake It Off & We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together . . . Anyway my favorite lyrics from this one are these:
    • “So this is me swallowing my pride
      Standing in front of you saying I’m sorry for that night
      And I go back to December all the time
      It turns out freedom ain’t nothing but missing you
      Wishing I’d realized what I had when you were mine
      I’d go back to December, turn around & make it all right
      I go back to December all the time”pink
  • You & Your Hand by P!nk (I refuse to use the incomplete spellings of you & your like the actual title uses): The first time I heard this song I thought it was gross.  But as I got a little older I realized it is the perfect response to every man (& I use that term loosely) who has ever treated me in one way or another like a piece of meat (aka purely as a sexual object).  To all the creepy dudes out there who leer at us ladies in public, whistle as we walk by, or make disturbing comments to us, this song is the response of every self-respecting woman:
    • “I’m not here for your entertainment
      You don’t really want to mess with me tonight
      Just stop & take a second
      I was fine before you walked into my life
      Cause you know it’s over
      Before it began
      Keep your drink, just give me the money
      It’s just you & your hand tonight”pink stupid girls
  • Stupid Girls: Ok, one more by P!nk.  I’ve actually written about this song on here before, but it’s such a well-written song that has only become more relevant as time goes by so I feel compelled to share it again.  As talentless women like Kim Kardashian continue to receive loads of media attention these lyrics become more & more germane:
    • “What happened to the dream of a girl president?
      She’s dancing in the video next to 50 Cent
      They travel in packs of two or three
      With their itsy-bitsy doggies & their teeny-weeny tees
    • Where, oh where, have the smart people gone?
      Oh where, oh where could they be?
    • I’m so glad that I’ll never fit in
      That will never be me
      Outcasts & girls with ambition
      That’s what I wanna see”avril lavigne
  • My Happy Ending by Avril Lavigne: Ok, maybe this isn’t the most well-written song ever, but I just can’t help but love it.  Whether it was an ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend or someone we admired & respected who turned out to be less than worthy of our devotion, I think we can all relate to the feeling of being disappointed by finding out that someone isn’t the person we thought they were.
    • “You were everything, everything that I wanted
      We were meant to be, supposed to be, but we lost it
      And all of the memories, so close to me, just fade away
      All this time you were pretending
      So much for my happy ending
    • It’s nice to know that you were there
      Thanks for acting like you cared
      And making me feel like I was the only one
      It’s nice to know we had it all
      Thanks for watching as I fall
      And letting me know we were done”bruno mars
  • When I Was Your Man by Bruno Mars: When Bruno Mars first became popular I figured he was just another Justin Beiber type, but once I heard this song I realized there was a lot more to Bruno Mars, or at least some of his songs, than I initially thought.  For one thing, he actually plays the piano on this one!
    • “Although it hurts
      I’ll be the first to say that I was wrong
      Oh, I know I’m probably much too late
      To try & apologize for my mistakes
      But I just want you to know
    • I hope he buys you flowers
      I hope he holds your hand
      Give you all his hours
      When he has the chance
      Take you to every party
      ‘Cause I remember how much you loved to dance
      Do all the things I should have done
      When I was your man”

      Lady Gaga Wallpaper @ go4celebrity.com

      Lady Gaga Wallpaper @ go4celebrity.com

       

  • Speechless by Lady Gaga: I could actually list quite a few Lady Gaga songs that I really like.  She is really the only mainstream pop start whom I truly admire.  Even if you find her admittedly ridiculous costumes & rather shocking stage presence a bit offensive or silly, you’d be very remiss to deny her talent as a singer & musician.  If I had to pick a favorite song of hers, it would have to be this one because it showcases her stunning voice so incredibly well.  Plus, she plays the piano on this song.
    • And I know that it’s complicated
      But I’m a loser in love
      So baby raise a glass to mend
      All the broken hearts
      Of all my wrecked up friends
    • I’ll never talk again
      Oh boy, you’ve left me speechless
      You’ve left me speechless, so speechless
    • And I’ll never love again,
      Oh friend, you’ve left me speechless
      You’ve left me speechless, so speechless”paramore
  • Misery Business by Paramore: To be fair, I guess this really is a rock song but it definitely has a more pop vibe & not surprisingly was very popular even on Top 40 type radio stations when it debuted in 2007.  I’ll be the first to admit that this is really a pretty shallow song, but at the same time I can’t help but love it.  Definitely a guilty pleasure!christina perri
  • Jar of Hearts by Christina Perri: I remember when this song came out when I was in college & I immediately fell in love with it, largely because of Christina Perri’s gorgeous voice but also because of the beautiful instrumentation of the song.  I love the message of self-empowerment the song gives as well:
    • And it took so long just to feel alright
      Remember how to put back the light in my eyes
      I wish I had missed the first time that we kissed
      ‘Cause you broke all your promises
      And now you’re back
      You don’t get to get me back
    • And who do you think you are?
      Runnin’ ’round leaving scars
      Collecting your jar of hearts
      And tearing love apart
      You’re gonna catch a cold
      From the ice inside your soul
      So don’t come back for me
      Don’t come back at all”

      MTV TRL Presents Estelle, Kid Sister & Teyana Taylor

      (Photo by Scott Gries/Getty Images)

  • King of Anything by Sara Bareilles: This is another song I fell in love with on first listen.  The song seems to be written about a boyfriend (or potential suitor anyway) who attempts to boss the singer around, but I think the listener can extrapolate the song to be about anyone who tries to boss us around in life, particularly those who really have no right whatsoever to do so.  As someone who’s always been a bit distrustful of authority while also somehow being a natural people-pleaser, the lyrics of this strong resonate very strongly with me:
    • “You’ve got opinions, man
      We’re all entitled to ’em, but I never asked
      So let me thank you for your time,
      And try not to waste anymore of mine
      And get out of here fast
    • I hate to break it to you babe, but I’m not drowning
      There’s no one here to save
    • Who cares if you disagree?
      You are not me
      Who made you king of anything?
      So you dare tell me who to be?
      Who died & made you king of anything?
    • All my life I’ve tried to make everybody happy
      While I just hurt & hide
      Waiting for someone to tell me it’s my turn to decide”

If you haven’t noticed, one reason I actually like these songs as opposed to the modern prototypical pop song is that they aren’t just songs about partying & drinking.  They actually tell a story or have a deeper meaning than simply “Let’s party it up tonight & get wasted.”  I’m sorry, but that kind of crap isn’t real music in my book.  See the below quote from Corey Taylor for an explanation why.

corey taylor quote

In case you’re wondering why  most pop music makes me angry, this quote explains it.