While this is a repackaging of her 2008 album “The Fame,” I still consider it an era in itself. Apparently she wrote these while on her first tour for “The Fame.” We were all dying for these songs, I remember playing “The Fame” to death, so when “Bad Romance,” hit the airways (remember radio?) we were screaming along with it. I understand why “Bad Romance,” is such a fan favourite but for me there are some other really killer songs from this era.
So let’s get into it. As I said in the previous post please feel free to go ahead and do this ‘challenge’ if you are a little monster. The 5 categories are:
My Favourite single of the Era.
My Favourite music video of the Era.
My 5 Favourite album tracks (non-singles).
My Favourite looks.
My own version of the looks (if you’re into that!).
My Favourite Single of the Era
I’m not entirely sure why this is my favourite, but I think it’s something to do with the music in it. There is a sample of an old violin piece from the 1900s and there is something haunting about it. The music video is also fantastic, and would have been my choice for the era if it wasn’t for “Telephone.” Some of the my favourite lyrics from this era come from this song, “Don’t wanna kiss, don’t wanna touch, Just smoke my cigarette and hush,” and “She’s not broken, She’s just a baby, But her boyfriend’s like a dad, just like a dad.”
The music video is exquisite, and honestly if “Telephone” hadn’t been made, then “Alejandro” would have won hands down. This song is apparently about her catching feelings for her beautiful male gay friends, but that is just fan speculation. However, she actually told a publication that it was about her “Fear of the Man Monster,” which makes sense considering the song “Monster.” The soundscape of the song was unlike any of the pop music at the time, and her talent gives her music longevity.
My Favourite music video of the Era
I’m pretty sure myself and my friends watched this video 100 times when it was released. We just sat on the couch and watched it over and over again on a laptop. It was just one of those videos that we couldn’t stop watching, and I still enjoy to this day. I would also love to see that part II that was promised all those years ago. There is still time ladies, 2021 needs the new Gaga and Bey collaboration!
Some of her most iconic looks are in this video, her ‘urine’ coloured hair, the telephone headset and even the diet coke cans in her hair. Makes me smile everything I see them. The wacky Thelma and Louise narrative, the awkwardly placed sponsors, and the America Flag outfits are simply iconic. While I think iconic is probably overused, I feel Gaga deserves the title. 408 million views to this day do not lie.
My 5 Favourite album tracks (non-singles)
While this is a short album, it’s pretty much just an LP, every track is a banger.
“Teeth.” – I remember dancing in my underwear to this a lot. There was something empowering about it. “Take a bite of my bad girl meat.”
2. “Speechless.” – I’ve become more recently enamoured with this song. It’s the first time we got to hear her voice in full swing. I love the line, “I can’t believe what you said to me, with your Johnny Walker eyes.” Such a wonderful song, and I think this would have made a great single to give the general public the ‘softer,’ side of Gaga.
3. “So Happy I Could Die.” – This song has some great fun time lyrics. The feelings it evokes are those from my clubbing days, back when I was “Happy in the club with a bottle of red wine, smiles in our eyes cuz we’re having a good time, so happy I could die.” Just want to say red wine is my favourite go to drink, and Beyoncé also has a lyric about it in some of her songs.
4. “Monster.” – Again some of the best lyrics are on this album, “He ate my heart and then he ate my brain!“
5. There are only 8 songs overall, and 4 of them were singles…
My Favourite looks
My Own Versions
I went with my favourites from her ‘Alejandro’ video, seen above.
Nah I’m just kidding. I’ve been listening to Lady Gaga a lot lately. Her music has always been therapeutic to me. Turns out that’s exactly what she was going for. So I thought why not be creative and transformative while listening to my beloved blond icon.
I thought I would go through each ‘Era’ and discuss some of my favourite videos, looks, and songs. All of her albums and eras have a different place in my heart so none is greater than another. Just as in Chromatica. If you are a fan of Gaga, I urge you to do the same. Here are the questions if you want to have a go:
My Favourite Single of the Era.
My Favourite music video of the Era.
My 5 Favourite album tracks (non-singles).
My Favourite looks.
My own version of the looks (if you’re into that!).
My Favourite Single of the Era
My most cherished single of this era will always be “Just Dance,” as this was my first introduction to her. I was only 17 years old. I was on the bus on the way to college and it came on the radio. Apparently she wrote this in a few hours while hungover, and well, I feel that vibe in the song. Dancing to this in college are some of my favourite memories. Apparently she was literally singing about just dancing through being so drunk at a club you have no idea what is going on. I think those lyrics apply even to our modern lives so, “Just dance, gonna be ok.“
Favourite Music Video of the Era
While I love the video for “Just Dance,” because it reminds me of every house party I went do during my college years, it isn’t my choice for the era. In fact this was her more reserved era, probably due to financial restraints and the record label. So for me the video that has the most Gaga feel to it is “LoveGame.” The leotards, heels and dancers scream future Gaga. I love the lavender hair, the dirty beat, and her references to a disco stick. She was very comfortable in her sexuality and expressing her enjoyment of sex, and as a young woman I found that very inspiring.
Favourite 5 Album Tracks
Simple as, a lot of these songs could have been hits.
“I like it Rough.” – Reminds me of the kind of men I used to choose.
“Paper Gangsta.” – Hahahaha reminds me of the men I used to choose.
“Brown Eyes.” – Such a sweet love song about losing someone you loved.
“StarStruck.” – Very surprised this never made it to single.
Hello all Moonlings! If you don’t identify as a Moonling then hello to all other configurations of being (Wilford Warfstasch). Now onto the topic at hand. Music. Not a day goes by that I don’t listen to music. I write to it, walk to it and play to it. As someone who loves stories, I’ve always been a sucker for a good cohesive album.
When an album tells a story, or even has an overall narrative, I feel like I’m transported to a different world. While there were many new releases in 2020, I didn’t get around to listening to many of them. I think I fell into my familiar favourites for comfort and protection (2020 was a bit shite huh?). The melodies of the Eagles, Fall Out Boy, Foo Fighers, or Janelle Monáe uplifted me when the world outside was frightening.
So even though I don’t have many albums to talk about this year, I will still let you know some of my favourites. I will list them chronologically with their release dates rather than randomly. I would also like to discuss why some of these were nominated for Grammys and why some where strangely snubbed.
Let me know if your favourite album is here or if it’s not, tell me what was your most played new release of 2020.
Tame Impala: “The Slow Rush.” February 14th 2020.
I’d never listened to a Tame Impala album before despite being a fan of this kind of music. This album is quite groovy, with the right mixture of old school pop sounds and fresh vocals, (said every album reviewer ever). According to Wikipedia it’s genre is rooted in ‘psychedelic disco’ and I couldn’t agree more with that assessment. I very much enjoyed it and would listen to it when I wanted to concentrate. I found the beat conducive production.
Highlights for me are, “Posthumous Forgiveness,” and I love the piano on “Breathe Deeper.” It reminds me of the Dooby Brothers. The pumped up start to “Lost In Yesterday,” gets my booty moving. Maybe he thinks he’s past his prime in “It might be time to face it,” but I still think he has something to say. I’m also a sucker for word play, so the name of the album tickles me. It was 57 minutes and 27 seconds of pure joy for me.
When I subsequently listened to their/his back catalogue I laughed at how many songs I knew. Now I don’t think this record deserves a Grammy. It’s a good solid album, but it is much of the same from their previous work. However it did receive nomination in the ‘Best Alternative Music Album’ category, and I wouldn’t be mad if it won.
Childish Gambino: “3.15.20.” March 15th 2020.
My sweet little Donald how I love you, let me count the ways. While he was Troy Barnes to me first, I really love what he’s grown into. His music is not be scoffed at or taken lightly. His acting has also grown which has resulted in him garnering many nominations and awards. These include but are not limited to a Primetime Emmy and a Golden Globe for his work on Atlanta.
Therefor I already adore him, and I listen to his 2016 album “Awaken, My Love!” all the time. It would be difficult for him to disappoint me and “3.5.20” was no exception. He really experiments with his vocals, and I love how he sounds on “Algorhythm,” the juxtaposition of his rap versus his sweet singing voice on the chorus. The album is in his signature groove, with electronic base and lyrical sensibility. The album is often classic “Time” often dark “19.10,” “32.22″, and always excellent “42.26,” “47.48“. It’s unique and innovative and deserves more attention.
Yet, no surprise here he received no Grammy nominations for any of the work on this. This is despite the critical acclaim the album received from many reviews. It was among the best albums of 2020 and in my top 10 of the year. I love to listen to it when I’m writing as I cannot keep my body still. I could not recommend this album more. Gambino manages to be serious, funny and sweet all in one all mighty swoop.
What are your opinions on how the Grammys are run? I have way more to say so if you’re interested I can write another piece about it.
The Weeknd: “After Hours.” March 20th 2020.
Although I’d heard of The Weekend, before 2020 I’d never have been able to tell you one of his songs. Yet now he is one of my favourite artists. “Blinding Lights,” is completely my vibe. It sounds like an 80’s dance song that could have been in any of the “Beverly Hills Cop” movies and I’m here for it. It was actually the album cover, (I know you shouldn’t judge an album by its cover), that immediately gripped my attention. So without further investigation, (I wanted to keep my blank slate in regards to him) I listened to the album.
It became one of my favourite albums of 2020 and probably of all time. I can see myself listening to this in 10 – 20 years. It has a mixture of 80’s electronic vibes and modern beautiful pop. This album is a story that we all know (heartbreak and bad behaviour) but only Abel could tell it in this unique way. The album kicks off with the soft tones of “Alone Again” and “Hardest to Love.” I was then intrigued by his lyrics in “Snowchild,” “She don’t need a man, she what a man needs,” being turned completely on it’s head in the epic “Heartless,” “I don’t need a bitch, I’m what a bitch needs.” Overall the album tracks are strong, and all have a place. The 4 singles from it are absolutely fantastic, culminating in a new music video for “Save Your Tears,” that everyone needs to watch.
I was extremely surprised that not only did he not garner a nomination for best song for “Blinding Lights,” which was everywhere from Tik Tok to the Billboard 100 for weeks. Nor did he garner any nominations for the album itself. This is especially surprising to me seeing as he won “Favourite Album – Soul/RnB” at the American Music Awards. I know that this doesn’t automatically mean you will get another nomination / award. Yet not one single from the album received a Song of the year nomination. I genuinely think it is an excellent album overall. D’Angelo Wallace’s album review on it says it better than I ever can.
Thundercat: “It Is What It Is.” April 3rd 2020.
Thanks to Le’Boo for Thundercat. Credit where credit is due Le’Boo has some of the best taste in music I’ve ever encountered. We overlap in a lot of places and Thundercat is one of those… well cats. This album is both characteristic of Thundercat and a natural progression. His collaborations continue with the likes of Ty Dolla $ign, Childish Gambino and Steve Arrington. You all already know how I feel about Childish Gambino.
I also love Louis Cole. Therefore it will come as no surprise that I also love the song “I Love Louis Cole.” If you’re confused. Go listen to any Louis Cole (I recommend “Weird Part of the Night“, or “Blimp.”). As usual, Thundercat is an underrated, modern funk, electronic genius. I know he is well known, but NOT WELL KNOWN ENOUGH. He has a wonderfully sweet, high and soulful voice. Even just listen to the opening track “Lost In Space / Great Scott / 22-26,” with the minor / major switches. You’ll be hooked. Or “How Sway,” and you’ll be so transfixed you won’t know what’s happening to you.
He is silly and fun on “Miguel’s Happy Dance,” “I love Louis Cole,” and “Dragonball Durag,” with lyrics like “‘Cause I’m tryna smash, Baby girl, I’m a smash in my durag.” Also the drums on “I Love Louis Cole,” are absolutely phenomenal. Then he has his dancey yet serious moments on the likes of “Funny Thing,” saying “if I get too drunk I’m going to ruin the fun.” His collaborations (including Louis Cole), “Black Qualls,” “Overseas,” “Fair Chance,” and title track “It Is What It Is,” are expansive.
5 moons out of 5. Would listen again and again. Thankfully this one received a nod from the Grammys. Not that it needs it to prove it’s worth, with a nomination for “Best Progressive RnB Album.” I could not tell you anything about the other’s nominated in that category so Thundercat for the win! I’m also so happy that Flying Lotus was nominated for Producer of the Year for the entire album of “It Is What Is Is.” Fingers crossed that the Grammy voters just give it to him. It’s beautifully produced.
Lady Gaga: “Chromatica.” May 29th 2020.
While dancing to “Stupid Love,” I’m both reminded of my clubbing days in my late teens and early twenties, but also my later more ‘mature’ years of 25 – 30. Lady Gaga has been with me all the way. I was 17 when “Just Dance,” hit the radio and I was hooked from the moment I heard the block chords. Since then I’ve listened to and loved every album of hers. So while I may be biased, no one can deny that this is just a good pop record.
She has also described the album as written for those who have/are going through difficult times and traumas. That sometimes you’re always looking for who you are and where you are. That sometimes you wished you were dry, but at least your alive “Rain On Me,” and that sometimes your biggest enemy is yourself “9/11,”
Though this is not my favourite album of hers, it is still excellent. I loved the symphonic tracks with full orchestras, “Chromatic I,” “Chromatica II,” and “Chromatica III.” The dance theme throughout is something I can throw on when I’m cooking or cleaning. I also love her lyrics, I always have she approaches her words differently than other pop icons. An absolute high point for is “Rain on Me,” with Ariana Grande. It was my most listened to song in 2020 followed in second place by “Stupid Love.” I honestly would just put them on and dance around the house in an attempt to cheer myself up and move. The music video, the vocals, the content was all pure indulgence for me.
Overall this is a cheer you up “Stupid Love“, empower you lady “Free Women,” “Plastic Doll,” and reminding you that our own minds can be our biggest enemy “911.” I also think “Sour Candy,” with BLACKPINK was a much better than their collab “Ice Cream,” with Selena Gomez. No shade I really like Selena. Her soaring vocals on “Enigma,” mixed with the European disco dance just does it for me. Then the collab with ELTON JOHN. One of my favourite musicians of all time, and I adore it “Sine From Above.” Dance, trance, disco, then that breakdown in the middle. I died. Also I’m pretty sure “Babylon” was a nod to “Vogue” by Madonna for sure.
“Rain On Me,” was nominated for Best Duo. Looking at the competition I think they are a shoe in. “Chromatica” was also nominated for ‘Best Vocal Pop Album’. I think everyone is convince that Duo Lipa’s “Future Nostalgia” is going to win that category though. I haven’t listened to that album so I couldn’t tell you. 5 moons out of 5 for sure, added to my catalogue of Gaga creations.
Alanis Morissette: “Such Pretty Forks In The Road.” July 31st 2020.
I’ve followed Alanis’ career for many years. I was listening to “Jagged Little Pill,” when I was merely a child. It came out in 1995, when I was 5. It was one of my Dad’s favoruite albums at the time (and still to this day), and he played it quite a lot. So when I got my own stereo for my bedroom, JLP was one of albums I would play to death. In addition (as if I’m writing an academic paper!) two of my favourite albums of all time are”Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie,” and “Flavours of Entanglement.” We (myself and Le’Boo) were meant to go see her last October (2020) but obviously that was cancelled. She moved the concert to October 2021, but even now I’m unsure if that will go ahead. She is one of my favourite artists of all time and I would love to see her in person someday. Also she is a twin. I don’t know why but this always shocks me when I find out someone is a twin.
Her 7th studio album opens with a superb echo of guitars on “Smiling” coupled with Morissette’s gorgeous vocals. The her sweet ode to her children in “Ablaze,” is truly demonstrative of a creative like Morissette becoming a mother. Her honesty in “The Reasons I Drink,” “Diagnosis,” and “Reckoning,” is something she is known for, however the music composition on TRID is a departure on from her usual approach. We see both her return to pain and writing material on “Losing The Plot.” She talks about being fed up of having to be Super Women, which is something I’m sure most mothers feels. I also want to know who she’s talking to on “Pedestal.” Is it her husband? Her children? Her fans? Or maybe someone from her past?
It’s lovely to see her return to music. I know she took some time to have her family, and this has really . Highlights for me are “Smiling,” “Reckoning,” “Her,” and “Nemesis.”
No nominations for this album, and to be honest that feels right. While it’s a good cohesive album, it’s nothing too innovative or new on it. While it vital to highlight the topics she deals with on tracks like “These are the reasons I drink,” and “Reckoning“, she does it in her own quiet way, rather than attention grabbing.
I will note that she did receive a songwriting credit in the ‘Musical Theatre’ category for “Jagged Little Pill,” which is well deserved.
Miley Cyrus: “Plastic Hearts.” November 27th 2020.
I love it, I love it, I love it.
While I have a love / hate relationship with some of the musical choices Miley has made in the past, pretty much anything after “Younger Now,” has been of my vibe. I loved “Mothers Daughter,” and “Slide Away.” So I patiently awaited for another full length offering.
She used her pain, passion, and power in the creation of ‘Plastic Hearts‘ and it shows. The way her voice shines on each track is perfection, and it’s 80s rock sensibility hits all the right spots for me. If you have been following me for a while, you know how much I love rock music and this was a perfect blend of rock and pop that hasn’t been seen since the late 1990s early 2000s.
There is not one song on this album that I dislike. From her female empowerment tracks like “Plastic Hearts,” “Gimme What I Want,” and “Golden G String,” to her self deprecating “WTF Do I Know,” “High,” and “Never Be Me,” her clear, crisp and cool voice sells them all. Her first single “Midnight Sky,” really cemented my love for this era. She promoted the release with amazing covers including Blondie’s “Heart Of Glass,” and The Cranberries’ “Zombie.” Man I hope she stays in this lane, I would happily listen to her for the rest of my days if she did.
I can’t stop singing “Angels Like You,” and I enjoyed Dua Lipa’s smooth voice mixed with Miley’s more brassy vocals on “Prisoner.” “Nightcrawling” is an absolute album highlight for me as a Billy Idol fan. They really made a modern CyrusXIdol experience and I AM HERE FOR IT. There was also an excellent Joan Jett offering “Bad Karma,” and her “Edge of Midnight,” remix with the Goddess that is Stevie Nicks.
While she herself received no nominations from the Grammys, “Midnight Sky” was nominated for Producer of The Year. However, it’s up against some stiff competition so I don’t see it winning. For me thought, this is an album I will be listening to for many years to come. It sits in my sweet spot and I think rock suits Miley best. I enjoyed this era so much I recreated one of her looks, you can check that out here.
Some albums that I missed or didn’t listen to much despite liking the artist are: Coldplay’s “Everyday Life,” Taylor Swift’s “Folklore,” Haim’s “Women in Music III,” Disclosure’s “Energy,” and Alicia Keys’ “Alicia.”
Can we also talk about Bieber getting so many nominations for the absolute garbage he put out this year? Like what the hell was “Yummy,” and why does that have a Grammy nomination? Replace that with anything else, even “Stupid Love,” by Lady Gaga would do. “Yummy,” was a tragic, sub-par track written for the billboard 100 and is ultimately forgettable. Then he started moaning about not being nominated for any RnB categories, when other more deserving artists didn’t even get a look in. DUDE! You are not RnB and how entitled can you be. I hope anyone else in that category wins over him. My money is on Dua Lipa’s “Don’t Start Now,” or Harry Style’s “Watermelon Sugar.”
Tell me about your favourite albums of 2020, I want to know. Lots of people’s faves are probably not on this list for example “Future Nostalgia,” “Rare,” “Positions,” Map of the Soul:7,” etc… This is because I have not listened to them. Except for “Rare,” and I wasn’t a fan.
My darling Moonlings! I wanted to get back into the blogging mindset by doing the Let’s Blog Award. I’ve been so focused on academic writing that I though I’d take up Megan from A Geeky Gal on her invitation. Blogging awards and tags are a great way to support each other by creating a blogging chain (choo choo!).
As this is the kind of award that basically invites all kinds of bloggers to get involved, I will leave this as an open invitation. I love reading these so I hope to see some more! I would love to see Lee from Lee’s Hall of Information and / or Meagan from Quibbles and Scribbles. Only if they want to though!
This feels like a trap! Hahaha. No, I am definitely not a maximalist for sure. I want my life to be simple, and I do ‘clear outs’ every quarter / 3 months or so. However I’m not really a minimalist either. I am not the owner of my own home and I live with my in-laws. Some day I hope to have my own house and it is my intention to have the least amount of clutter as possible. I do have a lot of Squishes though, and I’ll never declutter them!
What is your favorite song right now?
Well according to my Spotify rewind it’s “Rain On Me” by Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande. However I’ve been listening to “The Hunting,” by Joel Nielson, which is from the Black Mesa Soundtrack on repeat. I loved the fan remake of Half Life 1. I recommend it if you are a gamer, it’s so well made and the soundtrack alone is worth playing it for.
What is something you miss?
I’m going to go with how the question is phrased as something and not someone. This year has really rocked the foundations of how we experience our holidays and family gatherings. I must say I really miss being able to gather with people to celebrate.
What did you wear today?
My new favourite Lucy and Yak cargo pants, a The Doors t-shirt and a oversized blue hoody that I got in the men’s section. I like to be really comfy. I’ve worked from home for years. So a lot of my clothing is comfortable. I’m not sponsored by Lucy and Yak or anything, I just genuinely love their clothes.
Do you have a word or phrase that you may be known for?
Yes, I say “no worries” to everything! Even when there are some worries man… some worries.
What is one way you like to practice self care?
Reading, in my bed, in pajamas, with a cuppa tae. While I have many enjoyable hobbies, for me there are none more so than reading. It completely distracts me from what’s going on around me. I don’t stress about projects that are due. Or that I’m worried about my weight. Or worrying about my family members. There is just me and the charaters. I’m re-reading a favourite again this week. Chinua Achebe’s “Things Fall Apart.” Le’Boo recently got me the African Trilogy and I’ve never read them all so I’m excited.
What is one highlight of your week?
That’s actually a really good question and my answer is probably going to sound insane. I love of a Friday, planning the work I need to do the following week. Catching up on anything I might have missed and ticking off what I accomplished. It’s a satisfyingly feeling, and I love a good list. I do a ‘brain dump‘ of all my tasks and spread them throughout the week so I don’t overwhelm myself.
What is something that holds you back?
The fear of failure. I’ve been to therapy about it. Most people’s greatest fear is death. Mine is that I will die feeling like I’m a failure. I work myself into a tizzy sometimes overworking myself. Then I can’t let something be ‘done’ because I’m also a perfectionist. So even though something might be complete and be perfectly adequate, that’s not enough for me. This also sometimes stops me working because I feel like I might never do it justice anyway so why bother? Wow that turned into a bit of a diatribe about myself I apologise!
This year as in 2020 or 2021? I’ll go with the grammatically correct answer. I am looking forward to hopefully getting funding I’ve applied for (fingers crossed), I’m looking forward to spending a quiet and safe Christmas with my family. Finally I’m looking forward to getting an old school Markiplier t-shirt in the mail that’s due any day now from Redbubble! He’s my favourite YouTuber.
My Questions for my Nominees
What video game story is your absolute favourite?
I wrote this question but I am struggling to pick. I love the Half Life story but I can’t say it’s my favourite because we don’t have a damn ending! So if I am going to choose. It has to be the story arc from the original Blood game. I never played the whole one myself. When I was sick back in 2016 I literally sat behind my brother (like we were kids) and watched him play it, and it was wild. Shout out to my brother having my back when I had my mental breakdown.
Are you a believer in the paranormal and/ or the supernatural?
Yes. I won’t say anymore on this. If you want me to let me know in the comments down below!
When did you realise you were a creator?
I think I was very young, like 4 or 5. I loved reading and I couldn’t wait for the day I got to write my own book. Someday. Someday.
Do you have a ‘normal’ sleep schedule? Like a routine?
I ask this question because I have the worst sleep schedule in the absolute universe. I am an night owl, but I also get sleepy during the day. I have a chronic illness so I often think that contributes to my need for at least 10 hours sleep but never in a row. Like 4 – 6 hours in the night. Then 3 in the day. I’m curious because I’ve always had a poor relationship with sleep.
Do you believe in the power of decluttering?
Another thing I’m curious about. I mention above that I lean more minimalist than maximalist, and also my parents recently cleared out their attic and heck. I don’t ever want to amass that amount of stuff! No shade to my folks they were storing a lot of my stuff in the attic for my future house, but other stuff… There was a suitcase filled with ropes at one point.
What unpopular opinion do you hold?
Or at least think you do. For me it’s about cancelling people and not giving people second chances. Then also the opposite, why are some people allowed to continue their bad behaviour. They somehow still get and keep fans / work. When they should really be working on themselves and then come back once they’ve shown growth. A really good example of this is Robert Downey Jnr. He was an alcoholic and movie directors / producers wouldn’t hire him because he wasn’t reliable as a result of his illness. He went to rehab, turned his life around and is arguable one of the most lauded actors of his time.
If you had to listen to the same 1 album everyday for 10 years which one would you pick? (You will be able to listen to others after).
This is a really tough one for me to choose. I guess for me it would be Biosphere’s “Substrata,” because I already listen to it at least one a week when I’m writing / working.
What is the last thing you binged watched?
This can mean anywhere. On Netflix, YouTube, Twitch. My latest binge was “Half-Life VR but the AI is Self-Aware.” This was a web series that took place on Twitch originally. A group of friends play Half Life in Gary’s Mod, and hilarity ensues. Wayne, the guy who played Gordon, cut it up for YouTube. When I tell you I laughed…
Have you ever made a Vision Board? Psychical or virtual?
I am a fan of vision boards or notebooks to keep all my goals in mind. I made one a few years back and I’m hoping that I will be able to tick off all my visions someday.
My dear Moonlings, I am exhausted. Normally this time of year there is excitement in the air. It’s a holiday season for many, with the years end looming. We normally have the feeling of renewal, and we want to set our goals for the new year.
This time last year I was preparing to shave my head, buying Christmas presents and excited for 2020, the final year of a decade. I was planning on finishing my Ph.D. by starting my data collection in February. Which is laughable now. I was going to get a new job, hopefully in the field I wanted to work in. Finally I was going to get back to writing my novel.
At the start of 2020 I wrote a number of blog posts, made some YouTube videos and then I disappeared. Not only as a result of the pandemic, but in hopes that if I did I could still get my Ph.D. finished. I have finally come to terms with being a year overdue for my Ph.D. It took me longer to collect data, which was in fairness was mainly a result of the lockdown.
I actually realised this week that without writing on Thinking Moon for all of you, my mental health was suffering. I am one of those people that needs a creative outlet. The thoughts, feelings and opinions in my head need to be expelled. Otherwise they fester, and then I have a head full of unhealthy ponderings.
Revisiting My 2020
In January 2020, I wrote about my goals for the year. I thought it would be fun to revisit the goals, and see how I did, despite how tough this year has been on all of us. This is for fun, I’m not being hard on myself. Too much has happened this year to be critical of ourselves for not
Sustainability goals 2020! I still have them, don’t worry! I will do a review of the latter half of 2019 too.
So that post is here and I am telling you now it was a disaster. I still think sustainably and I never just make a purchase without thinking ethically. After March though, I completely forgot about the whole thing. So there was not point making a half or full year update. I’ve been eating meat all the time. Did ok with the books, and got the safety razor. I stopped by Jeffree Star Cosmetics because I finally realised what a horrible person he is. My recycling has been better. I didn’t get to plant a tree because we’re not allowed outside.
I will not be hard on myself for missing out on a lot of these goals. We have all had a horrific year. I will be posting a video at the end of the year, not for goals for the coming year, but what I am grateful for this year. I urge you all to do the same.
2. What I will count as wins for 2020? There will also be a list of my wins / what I was grateful for in 2019.
I will actually be posting a YouTube video about this. In the meantime here is my most recent video. I have gotten back to posting there too. Just simple, low key video’s to get the ideas out of my head. This is something I think has affected my mental health, because I wasn’t being creative.
3. I have a list of experience I want to try in 2020. These are a bit scary but worth it. Starting with number 1: SHAVING MY HEAD!
I am laughing reading this. I could barely WORK this year no mind get other experiences. I have nothing else to say other than I learned how to make scones, grew my hair and missed my family.
4. List of books I want to read this year. I have 60 on my good reads but there are 12 (1 for each month) that I want to read.
I didn’t make it to 60 or read all the books on my list of 12 but I did read 33 so far. Might get a couple of more in before the end of the year. Not stressing about it though. I read 6 out of 12 off my list, and they were all enjoyable. I’ll be making a YouTube video about this too. Reading was an escape for me when I had the energy to do so. I’m not sure having a reading goal, is actually helping me read more. I might not set a goal for 2020 or like set it really low like at 10.
5. Everyday goals. Batch cooking, yoga and cleaning.
This year I was home a lot more so I had to cook all the time, or . I did do a lot of baking and clearing out though in fairness this year. Baking always calms me down. It’s focusing on a short term goal with a gain at the end. I don’t even really like desert, but Le’Boo loves sweet things. So he has gladly offered to eat many of my creations.
So what did you accomplish this year, despite all the barriers? Let me know in the comments, I want to hear some good news. Big or small, about what you managed to do against all odds.
When I disappear for you, I do not disappear for me. My life continues in quiet dignity. Thoughts, feelings, opinions, they surface in my mind. Yet you do not hear them. If an opinion falls in the mind, do you hear them? Although I have continued, the tree falling in the woods can be heard, because vibrations create sound.
Do you think about others sometimes? Old friends, classmates, colleagues, or even the stranger you observed in the queue at the shop? Are they someone you remember for no real good reason? They are sometimes in your dreams, nightmares even. I’ve often seen the light of day in my terrified state, wondering which is real. The dream or reality.
My dreams have become increasingly real, realistic even. To the extent that my brain affirms to me that I am awake, although I continue dream. There may be a day the dream becomes so real that I cannot wake up. Would I be trapped in the dream state until my mortal body perishes. Or perhaps, that is the thoughts of someone trapped in the ontology of the psychical.
Perhaps I am already dead, and trying to awaken in my new life. Those repeated in my dreams are guardians. Or better yet, beyond the ego-centric nature of my reality, fellow dream traversers.
Honestly my heart hurts. Although I’d normally try and keep a balanced approach to political and social issues. This is not possible in light of recent (and not so recent) events. George Floyd is dead. Ahmaud Arbery is dead. Breonna Taylor is dead.
There are thousands upon thousands of others dead in from similar events. These are not separate events characterised by accidents, but a genocide of systemic portions. I am more concerned by the murdered man George Floyd than a burned down Target.
I am a white European, and I am extremely privileged. I have security, education, and a skin colour that doesn’t endanger me. Although I could never possibly understand what it is like to suffer as people of colour do, it doesn’t mean I don’t have a responsibility to try.
What I have found has helped me understand throughout my life, is to read books written by people of colour. I have listed some of the ones which have made the most impact on me.
Always Reading, Always Learning.
I remember a conversation I had with a dear friend, who said he didn’t bother reading fiction because it didn’t teach him anything. However I convinced him why he couldn’t be more wrong. (Don’t worry he’s also convinced me of new things too).
Reading fiction allows me to spent some time in the shoes of the protagonists. I am always surprised. This surprise is consistently distressing. I learn more about black history by reading these fiction books (and some autobiographies of course) then I learned in school.
I would like to point out that I studied history for my leaving certificate (final school exams), and I did not learn anything about these issues. I learned them while reading books during my undergraduate English course in Maynooth University.
I was terribly sad at times, extremely uncomfortable constantly, and inspired by the resilience displayed in these narratives. I won’t go into too much detail, just a line or two on each. They are worth the time.
Toni Morrison – Beloved
Just read any of Morrison’s books. I’ve read all of them. She is one of my favourite authors. I read this particular book in college though back in 2008, and it was a painful experience. It awakens you to your privilege, and that’s so important.
Set in post-civil war America, it follows the story of former slaves Sethe, and her daughter Denver. This book is distressing, but I’ve always been of the opinion that sometimes you need to feel this way. So you can understand.
Zadie Smith – White Teeth
Another book assigned to me in college and I read it all in one day. I was astounded by the writing, and I really enjoy novels with interlocking stories. These happen to be from the perspective of British families of African, Asian and Caribbean decent.
Toni Morrison – The Bluest Eye
Yes I told you that she was my favourite and this was another book assigned to me in college. According to Wikipedia there has been multiple attempts to ban this book from schools due to the content related to racism, incest and child molestation.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – Americanah
This book is Poetry. It’s even better served as an audiobook. I listened to Adjoa Andoh’s narration and it was fantastic. Read this book, but if you can listen to it as well. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I looked forward to my morning and evening commutes so I could hear more about the lives of Ifemelu and Obinze.
It’s written from the perspective of a Nigerian women who immigrates to America to attend university, leaving her family and friends behind.
Zadie Smith – Swing Time
Yes I know, but if I like an author, shock horror, I’ll read more than one of their books! Again, Smith’s protagonists are always intricate, flawed and interesting. She lives in a poorer neighborhood, and she wants to be a dancer. She wants a better life. Yet throughout the novel we grapple with the idea of what a ‘better life’ is. By whose standards?
Oprah Winfrey – The Path Made Clear
I recommend listening to this on audiobook if you can. It has audio from many well known figures, who speak about their experiences finding their way in life. Including Oprah herself.
Barack Obama – Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance
This candid account of Barack before he became Mr President gives you the parts of his story the media left out. The accusations of his citizenship were addressed eloquently well before his presidential campaign. You see the formation of a man who is forced onto the high road due to the colour of his skin.
Olaudah Equiano – The Interesting Narrative of Olaudah Equiano
Not for the faint of heart both this and the following book (Mary Prince) was assigned to me in college. It was published in 1789 and focuses on the Atlantic Slave trade. It is considered to be the first narrative from the perspective of a slave.
Mary Prince – The History of Mary Prince: A West Indian Slave Narrative
As with the above book, this is written from the perspective of Mary Prince. Born into enslavement in the West Indies, she escaped to London where she wrote her story.
Chinua Achebe – Things Fall Apart
I cried. My heart hurt for days. Often I remember this book and the impact it had on me. My fragile bubble burst in those days. Although I understood what colonialism meant, I never understood how it felt.
I also recommend Achebe’s “The Education of a British-Protected Child: Essays.”
Maya Angelou – I know Why The Caged Bird Sings
If you have never read any Maya Angelou then I am genuinely shocked. Her semi-autobiographical approach to narratives give the stories a dimension other authors can only dream of. Read this book, if none of the others.
Angie Thomas – The Hate U Give
So finally this is my current read. Although I’m only a few pages in I’m already hooked. It has excellent reviews for a reason.
Other Actions You Can Take
Donate to the following charities or find ones that you are comfortable with.
Gwen Stefani, Billie Eilish and Harmony Nice(YouTuber) are the first female’s that spring to mind when I think of someone with a distinctive style. To have a ‘style’ is to have a sense of self or even an understanding of who you are. Yet letting clothes define us seems both arbitrary and damaging.
My mother always said, “dress shabbily and you notice the dress, dress elegantly and you notice the women.” For my mother, this doesn’t come from a place of expectation of ‘elegance’ from a woman. She believes they should wear what they want, however, there is an argument within her statement about how you carry yourself.
Today I would like to break down ten photos of myself. Basically where I was feeling myself or I wasn’t.
Times I don’t feel myself
There is no way for me to explain why, but I dislike how I’ve dressed in these photos despite whether I look ‘good’ or not. Now don’t worry I’m not thinking I’m ugly, I still think I look pretty. I just don’t feel, like myself. I think some of them are fashion disasters, which is also fun to name and shame! I’ll only ever do that for myself because I’m not into judging other people’s fashion choices. You do you boo.
This is a very nice photo. The top is super nice it was a ‘hand-me-over’ from a friend. My makeup is done well. This is not me though. I feel like this is fake. The smile isn’t real and the person behind this photo is lying. It’s too girly for me. I think being girly is totally fine, but it doesn’t feel right on me.
Again I don’t look ‘bad’ here. However, this was a time when I thought because I enjoy wearing boys clothes (all these items are from the male sections of shops), that I wasn’t ‘allowed‘ wear makeup. If I wore male clothes because they were more comfortable for me, then surely I couldn’t wear makeup. Where would that fit in? Now I wear as much makeup with my ‘male’ clothes as I like.
Now I’m not sure what I was going for here, but I hate it. The hair pulled back from my face is really distracting. I love my natural hair so why not just let it fall? Also maybe I need a fringe. Then the top under the other top. So conservative which I’m not. I don’t mind showing skin, so this feels weird to me.
I could probably find a photo of me in this dress from when I was 20 where I looked amazing. This is not that photo. The hair length is a disaster. I love the Miley Cyrus Converse but with that dress? Nope. I’m trying too hard to be ‘sexy’ here and again, not me. I don’t mind showing skin, but I’m not comfortable trying to be ‘sexy.’
This is an old one, but the only thing I like about this photo is my glasses. That’s it. Hate my hair, hate the dress, hate the pose and the makeup is boring. Also, I don’t even look that happy.
Times I really feel myself
So there are times you take a photo and you just feel bomb. You stan yourself (am I still young enough to use that term?). These are those photos, and you’ll notice that with the introduction of more exciting lipsticks from JSC, I started getting really comfortable with myself.
This was the hair that Le’Boo liked the most. He loves the colour red so you can understand why. I love everything about this outfit. The cute dress, the blue t-shirt, the hat. My makeup is simple but flattering and this is a genuine smile. (I was on my way to Whiskey Live so that may have contributed to the smile).
Some of you might recognise this photo from my Youtube channel before I overhauled the intro sequence. Again love the simple band shirt (and yes I love the Eagles before you @ me). I’m into the cute hair buns, the Pikachu necklace and the purple lippy. A win in my book, even with the toilet in the background.
So I’m a huge fan of black lipstick and I’ve only had the confidence to wear it in the last few years. As a teenager, I would have loved to wear black lippy, but grew up in an area where alternative modes of dress were frowned upon. By that I mean all the girls dressed the same (and still do) and all the boys dressed the same (and still do). Although my friends were not judgemental I couldn’t take the harsh unsolicited comments from peers in school or on the street. Although I did dress the way I wanted to an extent I was careful to not go ‘too far.’
These photos were taken 2 days apart and it was when I got my first Jeffree Star liquid lipsticks ‘Blow Pony’ and ‘Huntington Beach’. I was so happy that I was ‘bold’ enough to wear them. I paired them with my tattoos and dark hair. I was so excited to have them, and I still love both these colours to this day. I’m a fan of bold colours guys, have you noticed?!
Finally, this photo was taken less than 1 week ago. I’ve come to realise that many types of expressions are my ‘style.’ I love being comfortable and cool. Yet I am happy in dresses too and soft makeup looks. I don’t mind dressing like a boy and I certainly welcome the pockets. If you don’t feel like you have a ‘style’ and this is concerning for you. Fear not. Just do what I now do. Do you like an item of clothing? Are you wearing it for you and nobody else? Then that’s your style. You dress whatever way you want (without getting arrested for public nudity of course), and let no one tell you that’s not YOUR ‘style.’
Hope you’re all well in these troubling times Moonlings. I’ve missed you all. Talk soon. Jaycee. xxx
Feels good to write a preamble again Moonlings. Most of what I want to say, I’ve said before. The below video was not what I planned but it let me be creative in a dark time.
Our mental health is just as important as our physical health. It can cause real pain and suffering not just in your mind but in your body too. I’m sure those of us with anxiety and depression are having our own issues during these uncertain times.
It’s vital to remember you are not alone and to reach out to someone. We have so much access to technology so even if you are stuck at home, you are a few clicks away from a friend or loved one.
There are some tough moments in this video. I filmed myself during a phase of chronic pain and then recovery. This might make some people uncomfortable so please be discerning and click away if you think you can’t handle it. For all of my anxiety, depression and chronic pain sufferers I’m here for you. You are not alone, and you are still valid, productive members of society.
Hello Moonlings! I hope you are all well, and 2020 is treating you kindly. I had some inspiration to make a YouTube video talking about 3 books I read in 2019 that really challenged me.
The first one I had read before, but many aeons ago when I had only started university. The second I had wanted to read one of that nature but hadn’t yet. Finally “Dirt to Soil” was a wonderfully accurate gift from Le’Boo last Christmas. He is excellent at surprising me with books.
I hope you enjoy the video and let me know if you read certain books to challenge yourself! I am on GoodReads so feel free to join me over there.
“The Forest People.” – Colin Turnbull
“Against Empathy.” – Paul Bloom
I have not reviewed this on my GoodReads. I did only give it 4/5 stars, but I explain that in the video.
“Dirt to Soil.” – Gabe Brown
“Everyone needs to read this book. Not just farmers, or ranchers but every human. We all eat, and our choices on which food we buy may mean the life or death of our Earth.” – My GoodReads review