Anti-Cupid Coup Soundtrack

My friend Kikmo and I decided to develop soundtracks to accompany our “Bite me Cupid” revolution.  The lyrics from our songlists are empowering, comforting (in the sense they confirm you are not alone in your feelings), and bolstering (if you need to get over the stupid boy/stupid girl in your life).

Kikmo’s Soundtrack, with an indie, contemporary pop rock flavour:

1. “I Didn’t Like You Anyway” – The Donnas –

2. “Kerosene” – Miranda Lambert –

3. “Lying is the most fun a girl can have with her clothes on”  – Panic at the Disco –

4. “Walk Away” – Kelly Clarkson –

5. “I Don’t Care (So There)” – The Donnas –

6.  “I Used to Love You” – John Legend –

7. “Shake it Off” – Mariah Carey –

8. “Song for the Dumped” – Ben Folds –

9. “This is How a Heart Breaks” – Rob Thomas –

10. “Better do Better” – Hard-Fi –

11. “You’ll Think of Me” – Keith Urban –

12. “What Goes Around Comes Around” – Justin Timberlake –

13. “I Will Survive” – Cake –

14. “Instant Pleasure” – Rufus Wainwright –

15. “Jump” – Madonna –

16. “Broken Heart, Torn Up Letters” – Lost Prophets

17. “Talk to Me, Dance with Me” – Hot Hot Heat

 Jessmo’s Soundtrack with a country flavour:

1. “Picture to Burn” – Taylor Swift –

2. “Wasted” – Carrie Underwood –

3.  “(Now you see me) Now you don’t” – Lee Anne Womack –

4. “Who I Am” – Jessica Andrews –

5. “The Long Way Around” – Dixie Chicks –

6. “Gone” – Aaron Pritchet –

7. “Waitin’ on the Wonderful” – Aaron Lines –

8. “I’m Just Gone” – Doc Walker –

9. “Settlin’ ” – Sugarland

10. “Fireflies” – Faith Hill –

11. “My Heart’s Not a Hotel” – Brooks & Dunn –

12. “She Ain’t Hooked on Me No More” – Toby Keith and Merle Haggard –

13. “Somethings Gotta Give” – LeAnne Rimes –

14. “You’re Not Gonna Miss Me” – Aaron Pritchet –

15. “Before He Cheats” – Carrie Underwood

16. “She Ain’t Missin’ Missin’ Me” – Jason McCoy –

17. “I’m Outa Here” – Shania Twain –

18. “Stand” – Rascal Flatts –

19. “Forget About You” – Dierks Bentley-

20. “Stupid Boy” – Keith Urban –

21. “Love Your Memory” – Miranda Lambert –

Bite Me Cupid

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As much as I’m content with my singleton status, I dread February 14th.  Stories of love and relationship success abound on the radio and in talk shows.  The color red is abundant.  Advertisements declare what you should get your valentine.  Even my blogger community acknowledged the day albeit in a mocking tone. In an odd twist – I feel the atmosphere connected to this day is not about celebrating ‘love’ but about drawing attention to those who are single.  I saw a personal ad this year on late night television claiming that because ‘love is in the air’ it is the best time to trade-in your singleton status; people are looking!  Ads such as these make me want to puke and pull out my Sex and the City DVD collection STAT so I can gorge myself with moments of heroine emotional triumph to remind myself that it is ok, and satisfying, to be single.  Yet, even in my search for emotional bolstering, I must carefully forego the resolution portion of the plotline when my favorite singleton heroines find their man. I recognize here that I might sound bitter.  But Valentine’s Day has the capacity to turn perfectly, rational people – who were previously content with their lives – into bumbling idiots harvesting fantasies about what (read: who) is missing from their life.  I decided this year I was going to take action and celebrate Valentine’s Day differently.  I was not going to sit home alone and crank up “All by myself” by Eric Carmen on the stereo and drown sorrows that I did not have on February 13th with a bottle of wine.  Instead, I celebrated what IS fabulous about my life – and went and got drunk with my gang of gal pals.  We dined at Wendy’s, dressed up sexy, and collectively drank $144 worth of Cosmopolitans, plus a wide assortment of other alcoholic beverages.   

We formed a group on Facebook.com to commemorate the occasion.  Our group is called “Bite it Cupid” and the description is as follows: For Singleton’s only.  An organization against the commercialization of the quest for companionship.  Putting an end to truth games enacted by the discourse of romance.   The evening was an outrageous success.  Admittedly though, the tone of the evening conflated.  It was a double-edged sword: we were both giggly gals totally engrossed in our friendship for one another, but at the same time, yearned to go out on the prowl.  My friend said when we were prepping, “We are going to get noticed tonight!”  So, where goes putting an end to truth games enacted by the discourse of romance?  And, do I seriously want to put an end to this particular truth game?  I aspire to be in a relationship one day despite my V-day hostility and disgruntlement.  Or rather, is my mission to rethink how we do romance, or more specifically, how I do romance in my own life?   

“Bite me Cupid” day was about just that – it was an attempt to revision the discourse of romance – but I wonder if there discursive space for being both content as a singleton while still harvesting the desire to be on the prowl.  The dichotomous and hierarchical separation between being “single” and in a “relationship” is a constant reminder that if there is room, the space is slight.  My friend aptly noted that on your storyline page in Facebook a heart by default represents to your network that you are in a relationship.  Further, if you state you were in a relationship initially but later become single, a broken-heart is indicated.  Is the grass really that much greener on the other side?  From my experience with relationships and listening to friends who are in them, it is widely apparent relationships are “work.”  Sure, there are instances when the singleton status is positioned on a pedestal – but the moments are rare, fleeting, gendered, and reserved as appropriate behaviour for a certain section on the lifecourse.  Where goes the celebration of being a “singleton”?  We need a be single day!

Cadillac Boozin’ Buckle

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Cadillac 3-some obtains first Stampede 2007 outfit merchandise.  Paired with themed T-shirts will make me and my gang sexy cowgirls!  1 outfit down, 9 more to go.

Celebrity JUNK Gone Bad

 

Prologue…

This post is a response to qmass latest post “CNN vs Britney Spears (BREAKING NEWS)” at qmass.wordpress.com.  I started writing a reply to his post on his site but quickly realized my thoughts we more than simply a ‘response.’  Also, qmass has been bugging me to post, so maybe this will satiate his yearning for a Jessmo rant.

My response…

This story just makes me feel sad – and is no longer comical to me as it reminds me of the adjoining Anna Nicole Smith story.  Two questions haunt me about the lives of Britney and Anna as they have unfolded before us through the media. 

This first question is why did so many people witness Anna’s fall without doing something about it?  We have some role to play in this even as celebrity gazers/mockers/criticizers because in this role we create demand for information so that we can mock what the celebrities are doing.  Without gathering information at Perez Hilton.com or The Superficial.com about the stupid things celebrities are doing and wearing, we’ve got nothing to mock.  I am a celebrity JUNK-ie without a doubt, but the Britney and Anna story crosses a line for me.  I mean – let’s stop talking about it and do something!! I recognize it is too late for Anna, yet maybe we can learn something from the tragedy that is her life.  We need to stop reading this junk and finding pleasure in the tailspin of someone else’s life.  By watching and reading stories like these – we only encourage the paparazzi to bring information of this kind to us.  Something bothers me about these particular storylines – even though they make me laugh.  Consider the following phrase taken from TheSuperficial.com about Britney shaving her head bald, “I’m guessing she was forced to shave her hair after it got so dirty a family of gophers made it their home.”  No doubt this comment is comical, but like racist and sexist slurs, comments like these just don’t do it for me anymore when people’s lives really are falling apart, especially when there is no longer a grey area of whether or not the media is obscuring the ‘truth.’  I’m nostalgic for the form of celebrity gazing that People magazine offers to me.  I have no doubt People will latch onto the Britney story, they’d be stupid not to, but their pictures and accompanying commentary are less biting, judgmental, mocking, and frankly, easier for me to swallow.  We are witnessing here a turning point in celebrity reporting – it’s all ‘junk’ but some of it is more ‘junkie’ than others.

The second question troubles me more.  Where is our humanity?  Apparently empathy and compassion are in short supply.  I know what it feels like to have my heartbroken; it is devastating and all consuming.  And in the course of trying to get over some stupid boy, I have made mistakes – and certainly made a fool of myself – but good friends remain by my side nonetheless.  My gang understands that sometimes it is tough to be strong, and that sometimes even though you know you shouldn’t do something, you do it anyway.  Britney may be making different sorts of choices and ‘mistakes’ than myself, yet our lives are obviously vastly different.  Britney has different resources at her disposal.  I could shave my head bald if I wanted to, but do not have the financial luxury of entering into a posh rehabilitation centre for 1 day and then leaving.  More mundanely, who hasn’t resorted to the bottle or partied hard to make the pain of a broken-heart go away at least momentarily?  Alcoholism and nervous breakdown, my ass!  Jessmo’s diagnosis: broken-heart.  And in my opinion, a broken-heart is NO laughing matter.

Pink Cadillac Baby!

So, my friend (from the Cadillac 3-some) went to the Cadillac website and made us each a car.  Of course, mine is pink!  How fitting.

The Cadillac 3-Some

 

Some indie music buffs (and not fans of country music), who coincidentally are friends of mine, have encouraged me to reflect on why it is I am a bona fide lover of country music. 

                               

A few poignant country songs come to mind, of which I have found solace and derived strength from since their release, but to tell you the truth, other genres of music – and their lyrical meaning and significance have had a similar impact upon me.

What I think of the most when I think of country music is “friendship.”  Throughout the past year, designated the “year of the concerts” by me and my gal pals (alias = the Cadillac 3-some), I have cultivated deep and meaningful friendships with some girls who previously had been merely acquaintances and colleagues.  Admittedly, our shared enjoyment of the genre is what initially brought us together, but what I’m certain of is that our concert expedition continues because of the shear fun and delight that a night out with the gals brings us.  Moreover, the anticipation of the upcoming concert is almost as fun as the concert itself.  For instance, this week (you see, the Cadillac 3-some are going to the Dierks Bentley/Doc Walker concert this Saturday) periodically we have been transformed into hyperactive squealing hormonal-imbalanced teenagers as we discuss our plans for the weekend.  For a moment the stresses of our lives dissipate as we live in the moment and forget larger worries and pressing responsibilities.    

I find the music empowering, but the network of friends that surround me due to my relationship with this genre empowers me further.  On these nights out, we create stories and we tell stories about our lives to one another.  Later, we re-tell these stories to one another, and to others, sometimes just for the fun of it when they are of the light-hearted and silly variety, but sometimes for a more humourless reason, when a friend might be in need of emotional comfort. 

Stuff happens in life – in our relationships with our friends, boyfriends, ex-boyfriends, current and former love interests, in our work – with our bosses, supervisors, and amongst family members, young and old.  Life gets painful and we have breakdowns – but throughout these little breakdowns there is one constant in my life.  My “friends” continually help me to “take back my brave.”

Here are the lyrics of one of those “empowering” songs.  It’s by Carolyn Dawn Johnson, a Canadian singer/songwriter and I listen to it daily.

Taking Back My Brave
(CDJ/Sunny Russ)

I am from a tiny town
Where I learned how to tough it out
Where I kicked the dirt and my dreams around
To conquer the whole world
My uncle slipped me fifty bucks
Some rolled there eyes and wished me luck
Yeah I spent the first night in the cab of my truck
And I am still that girl

I like a challenge, I like to fly
I’m not always perfect, I’m not always right
When I go to weddings
It always makes me cry
My heart is fragile, and I can be hurt
I can crumble inside at the drop of a word
But I can jump off a limb
Into a river of change
I’m taking back my brave

I kinda lost it for awhile
Had to force myself to smile
I quit going that extra mile
Abandoned my belief
And I spent hours on the phone
Crawling back to my comfort zone
Then I woke up one day and said I’m not running home
It’s just not like me cause…

I like a challenge, I like to fly
I’m not always perfect, I’m not always right
Newborn babies always make me cry
My heart is fragile, and I can be hurt
I can crumble inside at the drop of a word
But I can jump off a limb
Into a river of change
I’m taking back my brave

I’m my momma’s only girl
The child in the middle
I’ve been pushing the limits
Since I was little…..yeah