My Top 17 Albums of 2017

This isn’t going to be a numbered list. Thinking about ranking these albums was stressing me out. This is supposed to be fun! So here are my top 17 albums of 2017 in no particular order:

  • Ryan Adams – Prisoner
  • Nelly Furtado – The Ride
  • Ed Sheeran – +
  • Lea Michele – Places
  • Chris Stapleton – From A Room View: Volume 1
  • Paramore – After Laughter
  • Lorde – Melodrama
  • Ke$ha – Rainbow
  • Joan Osborne – Songs of Bob Dylan
  • Pink – Beautiful Trauma
  • Demi Lovato – Tell Me You Love Me
  • Sam Smith – The Thrill of It All
  • Taylor Swift – reputation
  • John Mayer – The Search For Everything
  • Maren Morris – HERO
  • Lana Del Rey – Lust For Life
  • Shawn Mendes  – Illuminate

If I had to pick my top 6 albums of 2017 in no particular order, it would be Lorde, Sam Smith, Demi Lovato, Ke$ha, Paramore, and Pink. 2017 was a decent year for music. I’m hoping 2018 is going to be a lot better.

Just protecting my soul

Can’t even go to concerts anymore. Music is supposed to be the one sacred thing left. Some people would say church. For me, it is music. It brings all different types of people together…yes, even at a country music concert. I went to see Jason Aldean many years ago. I’m a liberal. Not all country music lovers are conservative red necks. People like to stereotype people based on the music they listen to. That’s another subject.

About gun control: I don’t get how we are supposed to get rid of the guns already bought. A determined person will get their hands on a gun. Do they know how many guns are currently in America?

There are 300 million guns in America, tell me how we are going to get rid of them. People are just going to follow the law and get rid of the ones they already own? LOL.

I would love for America to have fewer guns. But I also know it is relatively easy to get an illegal gun. I guess I don’t have a lot of faith in people. Drunk driving is illegal. People still do it. Determined people will do what they want. Prove to me that this “gun control” thing will work and I’ll jump on board. I just keep thinking of the guns already here. Maybe if they pass gun control now, in 50+ years, there will be fewer guns in the country. I’ll give people that.

One more thing: I find the NRA abhorrent. They are one of the worst things that have ever happen to politics. I wish they didn’t exist. So I’m definitely not anti-gun control. I just want someone to logically explain to me how this would work.

I haven’t watched the news much since Monday. I woke up at 4AM EST and heard that 20+ people had been killed. I didn’t go back to sleep.  I watched the news almost all day. After Monday, I’ve just tuned out. I feel a bit cold about it. Maybe numb. I don’t know.

I know forever don’t exist

Now I’m prediabetic. A year ago, I was pre-hypertensive. Now my blood pressure is extremely good and has been for the past 8 months or so. I’m only barely prediabetic. I’m right at the border. I think I know what the cause is. I stopped drinking my own green juice powder mix and starting buying green juice with fruit and vegetables.

Anyone who knows me knows that I don’t eat fruit because of the sugar. So why would I drink a green juice with 26 grams of sugar in it? ROFL. How dumb, right? But I liked the way it tasted, and I wanted green juice. So silly. So after I run out of my current container of green juice one day this week, I’m never going to drink that crap again. I will drink water with my lunch instead.

Boot camp. It was okay, but I’m never doing it again. I looked foolish but so did other people (not an insult) because she only showed us how to do the exercise once. She didn’t exercise at all with us. I’ve taken a lot of exercise classes, and I hate when the instructor doesn’t do it with us.

It wasn’t that bad. I was on a team with two other women. They were talking to each other, and it did feel weird not to say anything to them until we were almost done. Awkward. The only thing I excelled in was jump rope. 😉 They took yoga out of the next 5 weeks. They are doing hiking and boot camps only, so I’m not going back for more. The hiking will probably be okay, but like I said I’m worried about the social aspect so I won’t go.

I’m now eating one less meal a day. I took away the night time snack. lol. I’m going to see if that helps me lose weight. I would love to lose about 10 pounds. I know most medicines have the side effect of weight gain, so I just want to see if exercising and eating healthier will help at all. I hope so!

I love music so much. I am not exaggerating when I say that music is my life. It is. The Charlottesville Unity concert was amazing!! It was far better than I thought it would be. I thought the audience would be full of music snobs only there for Dave Matthews Band. So wrong. They were extremely into Justin Timberlake. How could they not be? He put on a phenomenal show. They had no choice but to love him.

I was blown away by Justin. Justin is one of the best live pop performers out there. And he sings 100% live. OMG. That man is awesome. If he ever does another tour, I will try to see him. I can’t even find words to describe how good he was in Charlottesville. There are no words.

I could gush about JT forever. His band is the best. Dayum! I am now officially a Justin Timberlake fan. I never disliked him. But he wasn’t in my top 20 favorite musicians. He was just a guy with a few songs I liked. Uh, that has changed. I love him. haha.  My favorite songs of his are Mirrors and Rock Your Body.

I’ll stop going on about Justin. The good news is that I was 96% accurate at my part-time job. Well, that should be good news. But I thought I was doing better. I want to be at 100%! I work so slow, and I’m only at 96%? Huh? I need to be at 95% to stay on this project. I so need the money. I’ll take the 96%, but I want to do better. I just need to stay on. Otherwise, I’m going to have to consider getting a part time job outside the home.

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.

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.