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    Breastfeeding in Public - Madonna Style!





    I’m a long-time fan of Madonna. In the 80's, I'm pretty sure I wanted to BE the queen of pop. The first outfit I bought with my own money? White roll-down mini skirt with grommets, and orange shirt with roll-up mesh sleeves. One of the very first CDs I owned was the soundtrack to Dick Tracy (please don't tell any of this to my indie-alterna-grunge self of the 90's, she might die a little bit). Anyhow, Madonna’s already a legend in my book: independent, self-assured, ambitious, spirited, doesn't give a hoot about what anyone thinks of her. So, where's this post going, you ask?

    Well, her new album is being released in a couple of days, so I decided to check out the video for the first single, to get a taste of where her music has gone this time and... jaw drop. Because?

    Breastfeeding. Madonna, breastfeeding. In her video! "Squeeeeeeee!!", says the lactivist in me.  

    Now yes, okay, it's not a REAL baby, and yeah, she tosses the baby like a football at the end, and alright, the song isn't that great, nor is the rest of the video (though, dang, her legs look fabulous!), but still, all that aside, there is Madonna in the video, not once, but TWICE, breastfeeding "in public". So, Madonna. I still think you rock; but even more so now.

    If you want to see the video for yourself... 

    Posted: Mar 21 2012, 22:18 by kelly | Comments (2) RSS comment feed |
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    Rubber bands, mix tapes, and nostalgia





    Silly Bandz. Have you seen these? Rubber bands, in the shapes of animals & other objects. At a premium price. Kids collect them, trade them, choke on them, shoot them at other kids… oh wait, no. Well, probably yes. But it’s not a use officially listed on the packaging, anyway.
    Grandma brought each of my kiddos a pack of these rubber bracelets home from vacation last week. I don’t have a problem with silly bandz, really. I mean, except for the paying $5 for a pack of rubberbands part (the inventor of Silly Bandz? Laughing. All. The. Way. To. The. Bank.)
    Now, they’re a little too trendy for my taste, and the rebel in me wants to tell my kids to buck the trend. Yet, at the same time, they make me a bit nostalgic, if you want to know the truth. Before my own bucking-the-trend days, I was a passionate collector of rubber/jelly bracelets. Do you remember those?
    Only I think they were somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 – 25 cents a piece, back then. Ya know, back then being early 80’s. (Yeah, I’m old) I used to love those things. Love them like sleep with them, make them into necklaces, get them taken away by my fifth grade teacher, sneak into said teacher’s room during recess & steal them back…
    So it got me thinking about OTHER trendy or otherwise awesome things that make me reminisce on the good parts of my youth. Here’s what I came up with:
    Jellies. The shoes. Oh, I had this most awesomest pair of fluorescent orange jelly sandals when I was about 9. Those babies would GLOW in the twilight, man. I’d strap them on, and wait at the door, for just the right light, just as the sun set, when the sky is that weird grayish purplish color for about 10 minutes, and race out of the house down the driveway to dance in my day-glo orange jellies. Yesiree boss, I was cool. Um, by cool I mean, you know, uncool.
    And then there was Madonna. I’m not sure I can give words to just how much I worshipped Madonna as a pre-teen. She was amazing to me – the most beautiful voice, the most risqué lyrics (hey, I didn’t really KNOW what Papa Don’t Preach was about, but I sure as heck knew as a cruised along on my bike with my walkman on that it was SOMETHING my parents didn’t quite want me to listen to), and marvelous clothes. Speaking of clothes… the very first outfit that I purchased with my very own money – I’d say right around the ripe old age of 10, was (yes, I still remember it like it was yesterday, thank you very much) a white miniskirt that had a roll-down waist, and an orange (are you getting the picture here, orange was cool) slightly off the shoulder shirt with roll-up sleeves that, when rolled up, revealed orange MESH. Very Madonna-esque. Very cool (come on, it was the EIGHTIES). My mom wouldn’t let me get the studded belt. But, you know, you take what you can get. I probably wore that outfit every other day.
    (Okay, don’t have a photo of that outfit, so this will have to suffice. Me, circa 1989. Note asymmetrical haircut & beret. Really, the start of said bucking-the-trend days. Yet, note the Docksiders adorning my feet. Gah.)
    So back to the eighties & music: the mix tape. My first mix tapes were made using the radio. By this I mean that I used to hold my tape recorder up to my sister’s radio & wait with bated breath for the “good” songs (read: “Walking on Sunshine” and “Careless Whisper” and “People are People”) to come on the radio and rush to press play & record in precise unison, quickly press the microphone slot up against the speaker, then dash out of the room & make everyone promise not to go in until the song was done, to avoid any background noise. Of course, there always was background noise. Also, it was recorded in mono. But again, you take what you can get.
    When CDs came out, I was in heaven as far as mix tapes were concerned. No more tape player to tape player recording of tapes from my friends (and yes, I still have the Beastie’s License to Ill on a tape-to-tape dub. Yes I DO.). Now I could have my music in STEREO (and uninterrupted by a side-flip)! I still remember my first CDs. I used to save the long boxes the CDs came in (remember those?) and tape them up all over my walls. I shudder at the thought that I used to pay $17.99 for each CD. Highway robbery, I tell you.
    Eventually I burned all my disks into iTunes, and sold my CDs. And I swear I kept this one for posterity ONLY:
    But back to mix tapes. There was just something about them I’ve not quite managed to duplicate with an iTunes playlist. Maybe it’s the penciled-in song list on the tape label. Maybe it’s the song cutting off in the middle when you unexpectedly reach the end of the tape. There was something just very… tangible about mix tapes. I did keep a lot of my mix tapes, though I no longer have a way to play them. Relics. I just can’t part with them…
    So what else evokes memories of youth? I suppose there were the movies. There are a few movies that don’t ever get edged out of my top 20, no matter how many new movies I see. Classics, you know, like ET (I distinctly watching this from the FRONT ROW of the movie theatre and bawling my eyes out.), The Empire Strikes Back, Karate Kid, Yentl (I loved Barbara as a kid… not nearly as much as Madonna, but still. What ever happened to Barbara?), Neverending Story, The Princess Bride, Willow, Say Anything...
    And books! Nancy Drew, Watership Down, Charlotte's Web, The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe, Bridge to Terabithia...
    Sigh. I really lived those movies & books as a kid, not just watched or read them, ya know?
    So, back to the present. When I see my kids with silly bands lined up on their arms, I sigh a bit. Knowing they might remember them in 30 years with as much fondness as I recall mix tapes. Or maybe they’ll forget them. But for now, I’m okay with them, trendy or not. I look at them like a little sign that my kids are breaking out on their own, away from me & my ideas of what is cool or not. Which is exactly what they are supposed to do; growing up. Growing into themselves. It means we’re doing our job right.
    Posted: Jul 14 2010, 17:21 by kelly | Comments (5) RSS comment feed |
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    Twitter Rocks!





    I love making mix tapes.  Okay, let me rephrase that for the twenty-first century:  I love putting together thematic playlists in iTunes and burning them onto CDs.   So, last night, I was in the mood to make a emo playlist (in the emotion sense of the word, not the hardcore music sub-genre sense of the word).  In search of inspiration, I reached out to my Twitter followers:

     

    I received a ton of replies – quite varied in genre. I also received a few requests to post the list of responses.  So, here are the answers I received (without appropriate capitalization nor spell/accuracy-check, my apologies):

     

    placebo - running up that hill

    harry nilson - i can't live

    mazzy star - fade into you

    jeff buckley - last goodbye

    sarah brightman - love changes everything

    dead can dance - severance

    glen hansard - falling slowly

    gary jules - mad world

    queen - the show must go on

    leona lewis - happy

    kelly clarkson - sober

    christina aguilera - if you're out there, ordinary people

    sigur ros - hoppipolla

    elgar - nimrod

    beach boys - god only knows

    peter gabriel - book of love

    al green - lets stay together

    lauryn hill - ex factor, a song for you

    pearl jam - black, in hiding, rearviewmirror, present tense

    david grey - the other side

    coldplay - speed of sound

    tracy chapman - at this point in my life

    kd lang - a case of you

    amiee mann - wise up

    velvet undergound - candy says

    david bowie - word on a wing

    john cale - ghost story

    pink - long way to be happy

    peter gabriel & kate bush - don't give up

    annie lenox - into the west

    loreena mckennitt - lady of shalott

    wilco - my darling

    israel kamakawiwo'ole - somewhere over the rainbow

    dar williams - i had no right

    the dresden dolls - sing

    ani difranco - angry anymore

    c.r. avery - pocket knife

    joni mitchell - case of you

    kate bush - the woman's work

    u2 - stuck in a moment you can't get out of

    springsteen - if i should fall behind

    colin hay - i just don't think i'll ever get over you

    pink floyd - wish you were here

    ryan adams - la cienga

     

    Also received the answer "anything by" the following groups:

    the smiths

    fiona apple

    death cab for cutie

    portishead

    andrea bocelli

     

    And several songs given sans artist:

    danny boy

    that girl crystal

    piano man

    total eclipse of the heart

    major tom (coming home)

    its raining men

    leaving on a jet plane

    amazing grace

    swing low sweet chariot

     

    And finally, soundtracks/movie songs:

    suo gan from empire of the sun

    hans zimmer  - thunderbird & gladiator soundtrack

    god is trying to tell you something from the color purple

    i know where i've been from hairspray

    ae ajnabi from dil se

     

    I haven’t had an opportunity to look up/listen to all of these songs yet, nor add my own choices & make a mix… but I will! Thanks Tweeps, you rock.  Literally.

    Posted: May 16 2010, 15:37 by kelly | Comments (4) RSS comment feed |
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    Desert Island Discs





    Inspired by an accidental (thank you  iTunes randomizer) listen to The Cure’s Staring At The Sea album yesterday morning, I realized I’ve often thought about & talked about my “top 10” albums ever, but never have actually created a list.

     

    I know so many of you hang on my every word, as is evidenced by the amount of comments I get on my blog (Anyone?…Bueller?…), and so I’m sure you’ve be anxiously awaiting the day when I’d actually come through with this list, instead of incessantly chattering on about it. Well, dear readers, the wait is over!

     

    Now, I’ve decided, seeing that it’s near impossible to narrow down hundreds, nay, thousands of albums to “ten favorites”, to instead, make this my “Desert Island Discs” list. That is: we shall imagine that at some point in the future, were I to be stranded on a desert island, with only 10 CDs, and a solar-powered CD player (that has, obviously, no other way of transmitting or otherwise getting myself off the island, or giving me access to additional music.  OBVIOUSLY.), that these would be the albums I would choose to listen to. Ad nauseum. Forever and ever, amen. 

     

    So, the major qualification to make it on to THIS list, then, is that if a particular album came on, I’d willingly listen to it, in its entirely, pretty much any time, and could listen to it repeatedly. Which means quality of each song on the album, plus the album as a whole - is key. Which also means, that there COULD be better songs out there – in fact, I know there ARE better songs than what I’ve chosen, as I have several favorite artists (Tori Amos for one BIG one, actually – darn it, woman! And REM for another. Sheesh. And yes, I do notice that only one female artist made it on this list, and for that, I am annoyed and apologetic, yet perhaps more annoyed that I couldn’t find another female musician in my collection where I’d say an emphatic “YES!” to every song on the album.) that didn’t make this list because of their consistent inability to create an album with a cohesive mood or quality throughout. My reasoning for this qualification is that when you only have 10 discs to listen to for the rest of your life, you can’t have an album that contains one or two songs you’d like to fast forward over (okay, yes, I realize I’m dating myself with this post – both in use of the word DISCS and phrase FAST FORWARD.  But what can I do, I’m a child of the 70s. And 80s.).

     

    These are in no particular order. That’s a challenge for another day (month, year, whatever).

     

    So, with no further ado (and I often have quite a bit of ado), my 10 Desert Island Discs:

     

    The Cure – Staring at the Sea (1986) - Good background music, no complaints.

    The Pixies – Doolittle (1989) - For when I'm feeling a little riled up - say, I'm running out of coconuts.

    Depeche Mode – Black Celebration (1986) - For my darker, moodier moments on the island.

    Dave Matthews Band – Under the Table & Dreaming (1994) - because there's no way I could be on an island forever & not have Dave along for the ride.

    Chopin - Nocturne #2 in E Flat, Prelude #4 in E Minor, Nocturne in C# Minor, Impromptu #4 in C# Minor  - Need piano.

    Sinead O’Connor – I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got (1990) - Got to have a strong woman along.

    Peter Gabriel – So (1986) - Because there's nothing wrong with this album. And, In Your Eyes. 

    John Denver – John Denver’s Greatest Hits (1973) - The only thing missing is Annie's Song, but I've got to have John.

    Simon & Garfunkel – Simon & Garfunkel’s Greatest Hits (1972) - Couldn't go the rest of my life without harmonic perfection.
    Coldplay – Parachutes (2000) - Just goodness.

     

    If you were stranded on a desert island with a CD player, no other electricity, and 10 disks, what would YOU choose?

    Posted: Nov 10 2009, 14:24 by kelly | Comments (5) RSS comment feed |
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