My top 16 albums of 2016

These are my top albums of 2016. Albums that came out after mid-November, didn’t get much consideration because I didn’t have enough time to really listen to them. I didn’t include EPs or live albums. Here goes:

16. Keith Urban – Ripcord

15. Britney Spears – Glory

14. JoJo – Mad Love.

13. Sia – This is Acting

12. Lori McKenna – The Bird & The Rifle

11. Beyonce – Lemonade

10. Tegan and Sara – Love You to Death

9. Kanye West – The Life of Pablo

8. Ingrid Michaelson – It Doesn’t Have to Make Sense

7. Solange – A Seat at the Table

6. Rihanna – ANTI

5. K. Michelle –  More Issues Than Vogue

4. Ariana Grande – Dangerous Woman

3. Lissie – My Wild West

2. Lauren Aquilina – Isn’t It Strange?

1. Miranda Lambert – The Weight of These Wings

Ellie Goulding in Raleigh

I hate my new camera. Hate it. I’m getting a new one before I go to another concert. I probably won’t go to another concert for at least a year. So I have time. Or maybe I will figure out this damn camera. Nah, I want one that shoots 1020 HD videos.

DSCN0038 (2)

Oh, right. The Ellie Goulding concert. I’d give it a B. Ellie did a great job. Her vocals were pristine! I was worried because she had a show the night before and one critic mentioned her voice was tired (over a month ago).  However, she only smiled about 3 times. She was just there to do her job, and she did it. She could have mailed it in, but she didn’t. She also didn’t pretend to be happy either. I can respect that.

The girl is exhausted by this tour. She’s been on tour for 5+ years nonstop. She needs a break.

The audience was decent. They danced and sang along. I stood the entire time (and danced and sang). I should have gotten a pit ticket. I was in the front row right behind the pit. But the pit area was huge, so I felt I was too far back. (I don’t go to concerts unless I can get a good seat). I didn’t want to be in the pit because it was general admission, but the pit wasn’t full so it would have been fine. Next time (if she ever comes back to the US…lol), I will consider standing in the pit. Ellie Goulding fans are harmless. 😉

Other random things about the show:

  • Matt & Kim were fantastic! A+ I missed their first two songs due to the crappy parking situation. They were having high school graduations and finding parking was nearly impossible. It was a minor nightmare.
  • I will never go to the Red Hat Amphitheatre again. I understand why the locals like it, but I’m not traveling there again for a show.
  • I loved that Ellie wore the same outfit the whole show, but she took more breaks than she used to. The choreographed  dancing didn’t bother me much. She didn’t do it on every song.
  • My favorite song “Anything Could Happen” had technical difficulties. But even without that, the song was a bit of a letdown.
  • I loved that she did an acoustic version of “Lights”. I hadn’t watched any videos of Ellie from 2016 because I wanted to be surprised by the show and that was one surprise.
  • I was going to say what my favorite performance was, but nothing comes to mind. She was on her game per usual. I just wanted her to smile and have fun more.
  • None of my videos are YouTube worthy, so I’m not uploading them. I will save them to my computer for the memories.

Overall, great show. I just wish I was in the pit or better yet, that she did not have a pit. Front row seats behind the pit aren’t that great.

I can’t wait to see her again. It probably won’t be for another 3 years. She will take a much-needed break before her next album.

Tori Kelly – Live in DC!

I said I had fourth-row seats. Uh, no. I was in the second row!! I recorded a few of the songs.

Dear No One

All In My Head/Say My Name

Prince tribute – When Doves Cry

Suit & Tie, PYT, Thinkin About You




It was a great night. I’m so tired. It was a long day. More about my DC adventures later. I just wanted to post about the best part of my day – the concert!

I struggle to fly now

I got my stuff from GroopDealz! Good quality and great prices. The maxi skirts fit beautifully. I had to measure myself to get the right size, so I was worried. I already have a date for my blue maxi skirt. I’m wearing it this Saturday.  No more clothes. No more stuff. I’m on a no spend (except food) because I have to be. I don’t have anything in savings. I’m living paycheck to paycheck, and I’m paying off debt. 😦  I’m ashamed to admit that I thought I had money when I ordered the clothes last week. I mean, I knew I was near broke, but I didn’t know I was THAT broke.

Will I cancel my Stitch Fix for April? Not yet. I may get my tax refund by then, and I get to choose how much I will or won’t spend.

It looks like Sanders and Clinton are going all the way. It just won’t end. Congrats to Bernie for having a great campaign.

I’ve been looking into a healing trauma center in Tennesse. It costs $4800 for a week!! And insurance won’t pay a dime. It lasts a week. I don’t care for some of their rules, and everyone has a roommate. Plus, there is no guarantee it will work. Obvs. I dunno. They might say my trauma isn’t “real” trauma. But I bet they are willing to take my money by putting me in another program.

Today, we know that trauma is a much broader phenomenon than was once imagined. It is defined as any experience that creates feelings of overwhelming-ness and/or an event that is perceived as life threatening. We also know that no two people have the same reaction to traumatic experiences. Yet, a hallmark of trauma is a sense of loss of connection to ourselves, our bodies, our families, others, and even to the world around us. It’s as if, in trauma, we inhale a strong sense of loss and personal defectiveness with no direction as to how to exhale.

-from the website

Sigh. I could definitely use something. However, there is no way I have that kind of money now. I wouldn’t mind spending a week in Tennesse, but I want life changing results. It’s just something I’m thinking about. I’m glad Jewel recommended it in her book. I’ve read a little about other centers, but this sounds the best.

This week I…

Music of the week: Jewel, Fifth Harmony, Andra Day, Toby Lightman, Ray LaMontagne, Lissie, The 1975, Tori Kelly

When people ask me who is my favorite musician, I scoff. Who can choose a favorite? After finishing Jewel’s book and relistening to her catalog of music…I’ve been a fan since 1995. It was before she sold a thousand albums. She wasn’t famous at all. I went to Target Records (lol), and they had her album for $18. That was and still is a lot of money for a CD. But there was only one copy. It had just come out, and I bought it anyway. I’m going off on a tangent.

Jewel changed my life in the 90s. I picked up my first guitar because of her. She made me feel not alone for being sensitive. I love her so much. I love what she stands for. Jewel is my favorite musician* because her music is pure and just as good in the 90s as it is now. I grew up with her.

*Of course, I have to have an asterisk. I also grew up with Mary J. Blige, John Mayer, Mariah Carey, etc. I love their music too, but Jewel is my fave.

TV of the week:  Mad Men, basketball, political stuff

Movie of the week: none. I probably won’t watch a movie until the college basketball season ends in April.

Books of the week: More Jewel talk! #SorryNotSorry I finished Never Broken: Songs Are Only Half of the Story by Jewel. This is the best book I’ve read so far in 2016. It is part autobiographical and part self-help. My kind of book. I wish I owned this book. I will probably buy a paperback version when it is available.

Now reading:

Planner update: I’m no longer decorating, but I’m still planning.


plans of the week

This weekend is grocery weekend. I need to find a way to lower my bill. Since I started eating somewhat healthy, my bill has almost tripled! What do I do? Go back to eating junk? I have to do something. I can no longer afford to continue this way.

The thrill is gone

The Grammys. Um, I’m glad D’Angelo won best R&B album, and Ed Sheeran deserved song of the year. Mostly everything else was a big WTF?

The performances were average overall. I’m getting sick of the forced duets. The first year they did it, it was nice because it was different. Now they do it every year.

I did enjoy (in no particular order) Carrie Underwood, Kendrick Lamar, Hamilton, Demi Lovato, Tori Kelly & James Bay, Lady Gaga, Andra Day and the first half of Justin Bieber. Demi was great during the Lionel Richie tribute. Of course the cast of Hamilton was superb. They just did what they normally do.

I have to admit that I got into bed after the Best New Artist award, so I didn’t see 20% of the show. About Best New Artist: I have nothing against Meghan Trainor. She’s talented. She writes. She doesn’t have the best voice, but she can sing live. I think she just won due to name recognition. Tori Kelly? James Bay? Only hardcore music fans know who they even are. The voters don’t know how talented Tori and James are. They probably only know their “hits”…if that!

So I understand how she won. She is a bigger star than everyone else in the category.

I don’t have strong feelings for Album of the Year. I didn’t love any of the albums nominated, so I didn’t care who won. I thought Kendrick Lamar would win but going back to the Meghan Trainor thing…More people have heard (and like) Taylor Swift’s 1989 than Kendrick’s album. So no shock there.

I’m disappointed in the show this year. Next year probably won’t be better. Adele will be nominated and win everything. Sigh. Hopefully, the performances will be better. That is what I usually watch the Grammy’s for. I felt like I wasted 3 hours of my life last night. hah.

turn away from it all

The ultimate freedom. That is what I want. No kids. No pets. Sorry, B. (B is my dog). Yes, I am aware that a person can be free with those things, but those people aren’t me.

O was trying to convince me that kids are better/easier than dogs. ROFL! Okay, I agree there are some ways kids are better than dogs/pets. At least, they grow up. They can help around the house. They go to school and have mini-lives. etc. I could go on forever. I’ve thought about this and yes, there are benefits to having kids over pets.

BUT the ultimate freedom is none of the above. I don’t want to have to yell at anyone or anything. I don’t want to be responsible for anyone or anything. I want to be able to stay up until 2 AM if I want without worrying about messing up B’s schedule. (He is a habit of routine. He gets it from me. I do the same thing at the same time every day).

Kids and pets are a drain TO ME. I’m only talking about me here. Susie may be the type of person who loves kids/pets and doesn’t consider having them a burden. But that’s not me.

O wouldn’t even admit that the newborn stage sucks. HAHAHA. I have never held a baby or been near a baby, but I know that is tough. Don’t try to fool me. I’m too smart for that. I watched Teen Mom…and so did a lot of teens because the teenage pregnancy rate went down after the show was on for a couple of years. It’s not glamourous.

It’s easy for me to say kids aren’t for me. Dogs? But they are so cute! I may never get another dog. Who am I fooling? Of course, I will. Sigh. I know better. Just say no.

Why do I always get the dogs that don’t like to be left alone outside? Do you know how much easier my life would be if I could leave my dog outside for more than 10 minutes? And now my dog is starting to want to sleep BESIDE me. I kid you not. Scream. I can’t handle it. And the waking me up at midnight for no reason has to stop.

Warning: I will probably complain about my dog again and again. He is almost two. I’m not looking forward to the terrible twos!


Ah, David Bowie. 😦 What an inspiration. My favorite songs of his are Space Oddity and Under Pressure (with Queen).  I didn’t even know he had cancer, so it was shocking to wake up at 4 AM and see he had passed.

Ellie Goulding is posting snippets of her rehearsing for her tour on Instagram. I can’t wait. Wait I must. Sometimes June seems so far away.

Speaking of concerts: Tori Kelly is coming here and to DC!!! The tour date here is general admission only (no seats). I don’t do that so I may be going to DC if I can figure out how to work the presale. There may be good seats left after the presale, but I’m not counting on that. Presale tickets go on sale tomorrow. **fingers crossed** Not that I need to spend more money on anything. I would love to see her.

I can’t believe we vote in the primary on March 1. I’m so not voting. lol. The Dems don’t have much of a choice. And I don’t care. Hillary. Bernie. Whoever. I don’t know. There are differences between the two. But as of right now, I’m leaning towards not voting in the primary.

I should probably get out and vote. My conscience is not going to leave me alone if I don’t vote. But if I don’t care, it seems pointless.

This is the year Leonardo DiCaprio will finally win an Oscar. He better!

I did well with not working extra hours this past week. yay. That is my goal. Now I just need to keep it up.

My top 20 albums of 2015

Here is my personal list of the top 20 albums of 2015:

20. Fall Out Boy – American Beauty/American Psycho

19. Leona Lewis  – I Am

18. Jewel – Picking Up The Pieces

17. Maddie & Tae – Start Here

16. Beth Hart – Better Than Home

15. A Great Big World – When the Morning Comes

14. Rico Love – Turn the Lights On

13. Demi Lovato – Confident

12. Janet Jackson – Unbreakable

11. Alessia Cara – Know-It-All

10. Chris Stapleton – Traveller

9. James Bay – Chaos and the Calm

8. Adele – 25

7. Florence + the Machine – How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful

6. Marina & the Diamonds – FROOT

5. Original Broadway Cast – Hamilton

4. Tori Kelly – Unbreakable Smile

3. Maria Mena – Growing Pains

2. Ellie Goulding – Delirium

1. Carly Rae Jepsen – Emotion