Happy (almost) Halloween!

It’s almost Halloween, and the scariest thing around is that I have an exam that I have to study for (and I haven’t really prepared for it enough.)

So the anatomy class skeleton took matters into their own hands and took my Perfectly Damaged CD hostage until I’m done with the exam.

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That’s about it for right now…

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No bacon for you

So it’s that time:  family trying to make sure that when you have a job, that you have all three degrees of bacon: a) interest (you like the bacon), b) ability (you can make the bacon), and c) how much cash the stuff brings (can you bring home the bacon).

But it gets really irritating when someone (*cough*family*cough*) tell you off that all your interests are shite and won’t make anything. To them, the English major dreaming about publishing a bestselling novel is flipping burgers at McDonalds. To them, the psychology doctorate is sweeping the floor at the local gas station. And to the person who majored in philosophy but was hired to be a history teacher, the philosophy major is living in a cardboard box eating nothing but SPAM and instant ramen. They all say to forget your dreams, how “Penny/Lanti, this has gone too far.” Or at least choose a somewhat-tolerable dream that will pay your bills as you sit in a cube farm bored for 40+ hours a week.

Yep, that’s where I’m at right now. And though I’m somewhere in the chemistry department, all I really want to do is be happy and not depressed. Happy as an ABC, asexual, barefooter, possibly ADHD, chronically doodling, food loving ESC+ other music fan in the chem department. Possibly working with food. Maybe peeling potatoes while watching YouTube. Maybe just sitting in the dinner table without obnoxious family members telling me that I can’t do anything and that working with food brings zero bacon on the table. Maybe I’ll just have to talk to an advisor and fix things. Because right now, I’m confused as hell.  I’m not Tom Dice and I can’t follow my dreams. Or maybe I’ll add: At least not yet. Let’s get that depression off the table first…

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Speaking of peeling potatoes while watching YouTube, it’s actually very comforting. I think I made potato soup with onions and bacon that night.

Perfectly Damaged- Album Review

After going through my post-Eurovision YouTube history, watching me dance Cara Mia and belt Hope and Glory out of tune, and obnoxiously sighing while watching me go through his Instagram (while complaining how his pizza looks weird), my sister got a little concerned. So after about 5 minutes of trying to deny her suspicions, yes, I’ve got a bit of a fan-crush on Måns Zelmerlöw. (Thanks, video of acoustic version of Hope and Glory, you really sealed the deal…) Eventually it got to the point that instead of just streaming on YouTube and Spotify*, I decided to buy his album. And rant (positively) about it.

*Then again, Spotify sucks if you live in the wrong region. At the moment which I am typing this, Spotify will only play 3 of MZW’s tracks: “Heroes” (due to Eurovision), “Should’ve Gone Home” (recent promotion for his music video), and “Miss America.” (Is it because it’s USA friendly due to the name? Aesj.)

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Site said it would ship in 2 weeks. It arrived in 3 days 🙂

Track List:

  1. Stir It Up: I’m pretty sure everyone’s TL; DR for this song is “Do something; carpe diem.” This is a good introduction track to the CD, since in other words the song says, “I don’t want to regret not doing anything, so I’m going everywhere as a storyteller since someone told me to quit farting around at home eating pizza and watching Netflix.” Songwise it’s a little repetitive, but at least the refrain’s catchy. Now onwards to the rest of the album…
  2. Heroes: Though he doesn’t have a song called “Perfectly Damaged” on the album, this song is probably the closest to the album title: “We are the heroes of our times” (seen as “perfect” by others), “but we’re dancing with the demons in our minds” (seen as “broken/damaged” on the inside). Also as everyone in the ESC world knows, this song (and the stick man MP) won Eurovision. Enough said.

    “Did I ever tell you 200 million people will know you after May?”

  3. Someday: If a couple is like fire and gasoline, then there are only two options: Either they can work together really well, or it’s constant crisis management after playing with fire. Given the lyrics, things aren’t working as well as expected for this couple since at least one party is drifting away. It’s written by the same team that wrote “Heroes,” so it’s got a similar dramatic, “Look, I can do this and fix the problem” vibe and a similar introductory riff. It’s also one of my favourite tracks to sing along to in the car with the windows down, so no apologies if anyone at uni or around where I live hears me trying to belt out “We’ll get it someday, someday, someday, ahh.”
  4. Live While We’re Alive: My sister saw the title and thought it was going to be something related to One Direction’s “Live While We’re Young.” If you’re looking for that, please look up Satin Circus’s UMK 2015 entry instead. Back to the album review: If you play the song once, I’m pretty sure you will get the “oh-oh-oh” part of the refrain stuck in your head. If not, maybe you will be nodding your head to the beat. IMO the second verse is a little easier to sing than the first verse, but it’s just as happy. It’s really hard to not sing along or smile when the song comes up.
  5. Let It Burn: Someone please tell me I’m not the only person think of the “Let it Go” parody where “the flames never bothered [her] anyway” before listening to the song. It’s a little forgettable on the first few listens compared to the first four tracks, but the power kick-starts once he finishes the first almost-spoken verse. Anyways, this feels like a follow-up to “Someday” as he’s continuing the fire metaphor, but this relationship has just begun. It’s either that or the parties are getting back together despite negative outside comments. They already know it’s not going to be easy, that the fire can be good (feeling warm and fuzzy inside) or bad (feeling emotional pain/fighting). But they’re “not afraid of the fire; [they’re] not afraid to get scarred.” Eventually the fire ends up getting used productively (“fire away”) to go “somewhere [they] don’t know.” Looks like they solved the fire and gasoline and it’s a happy ending.
  6. Should’ve Gone Home: So there’s the happy “perfect” part of the album. Then comes the “damaged” half when he’s singing about regret about affairs in a past relationship. In a way, it’s generic and specific at the same time: specific because it’s his personal story to tell, generic because regretting a past action(s) is a universal story. He and his label chose this as his second single to remind the public that he can do more than his Mello entries, and I like that it makes him more human as a storyteller/artist.
  7. Fade Away: This is the least catchy song in the album. Because the two songs have similar styles (a slow, speak-sing verse, a short pause, and then bringing in the refrain with a lot of power) I keep messing this song up with “Let it Burn” when I try to hum the songs in my head. And right after the song is supposed to kick in with “Until I fade away”, I start humming the sound bite to JTR’s “Building it Up” since the instrumentals are very similar. But while it’s hard to sing off the Ohrwurm Network, I still like listening to it and singing along. Still, please don’t make me sing this on karaoke night yet…
  8. Hearts Collide: It’s a waltz, and it’s about two people falling in love. Cue someone quoting TFIOS that they fell in love “the way you fall asleep: slowly, then all at once.” Yay (for a 2-hour Apple infomercial). It’s also one of those slow songs that my friends and I would have butchered at school dances: instead of swaying along to the beat like it’s supposed to be a boat on the water, we threw in extra moves because it was way too slow and none of us were in relationships at the time. I’ll put this in the “very calming tracks” list to calm down if I suddenly have a panicky meltdown. Otherwise, I’ll be listening to it curled up in bed feeling alone, silently wishing I could talk to someone outside my family at 2AM.
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  9. The Core of You: I’m kind of glad that this song’s uptempo after the previous song, since too many ballads would make the CD harder to listen to in the car. And sure, it’s probably talking about some sort of relationship, but we already know it doesn’t have to be a romantic one since he’s just asking the other party not to change the core (inner essence) of them. In his concerts, he refers to the students at the schools his charity funds, but the song works for anyone who might be going through some kind of major change on the outside. It’s a great song to say “I support you” with, and it ties back to his “we can all be heroes” spiel at Eurovision.
  10. Unbreakable: My friends and I would have botched “Heart’s Collide” at school dances. We would have rocked out to “Unbreakable,” since it’s got an easy dance floor beat and overall it’s easy to sing along with in the car. I find it really hard to not sing along to the refrain, “I broke the unbreakable, unbreakable, unbreakable, uh-huh,” and feel a little weirded out that this is probably one of the happiest breakup songs that seems to involve regret. Now I’ll be even more weirded out if someone starts playing this at the gym. The mail carrier seems to not care though, as he’s already seen me sing along while raking leaves…
  11. Kingdom in the Sky: If I arranged this album, I would want this song to be the last track. It’s slow, but it’s dramatic and an emotional showstopper. It’s a happy ending with him walking in the clouds on love, having resolved every major issue despite going through pain/demons around him, where the world is strong like iron and his love will soar like an eagle. I’m not sure if it’s the same level as Hedwig and the Angry Inch’s “Midnight Radio” happy ending on Broadway, but it’s definitely an epic ending. Now if only there were more videos of him performing this song outside of Sweden…
  12. What’s In Your Eyes (ft. Tilde Vinter): OK, so I get that he can definitely pull off a ballad (See him and Molly Sandén performing the Swedish version of “I See the Light”). I also get that it’s a well-written and well-produced song with a good emotional arc. The minor problem is that I can’t take the song seriously once they hit the refrain: When they sing the line, “Couldn’t see what’s in your eyes, your eyes, your eyes,” for some reason I want to sing back “THE RAIN, THE RAIN, THE RAIN” from Spain’s 2014 entry as off-key as possible. Maybe it’s because I’m alone in the car driving to class and need to laugh at something…

TL; DR: I really like this album. My favourites are “Heroes,” “Someday,” “Live While We’re Alive,” and “Kingdom in the Sky.”

Ace Awareness Week continued

Okay, so it’s still asexual awareness week so I’m not putting my ace flag down yet. (Actually I just taped a flag to my laptop so it’s always out, and I realized that my grey marker has completely dried out. Aesj.)

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So now you’ve met my laptop…

Anyways, part of the asexual umbrella includes the aromantic community (not aromatic, but aromantic, as in no romantic attraction).

These herbs are aromatic, as in they smell good. Note the lack of an “N” in the word.

Lack of romantic attraction is probably harder to imagine than lack of sexual attraction, but the easiest way to describe it would be that there are different types of love, and romantic love is just one type. The issue is that romantic love is the one type that gets shown on TV, and that’s the first kind of love that people think of when they say 3 words. It’s also the one type that aromantic (aro for short) people don’t feel.

“Vaidas you might want to put the mike down if you’re going to sneeze…”

Outside of romantic love, there’s friendship love…

familial love…

and love for your home/country

But aro ace, non-aro ace, or non-ace, can we please agree that something’s wrong with his pizza?

*Note: Even though I’m asexual, I’m not aromantic. The people at AVEN probably know how to explain things better than I do, so check them out for more information.

BTW, I’m ace…

Eurovision 2011, 2nd semi-final: With the final version of “Ding Dong” I was nearly certain that Israel wasn’t going to win the semi-final; maybe with her name alone she would come in 9th or 10th. Obviously she didn’t, but Dana International’s not qualifying wasn’t going to stop me from enjoying her song (Or at least the original version where she won Kdam). Audio-wise, there’s nothing wrong about a person singing about her coming out story and sharing the moment of what it feels like to know your identity.

I’m over a week late for National Coming Out Day, but it turns out that there’s no problem: this week is Asexual Awareness Week. And yes, I’m asexual. No, I don’t like cake that much. I blame working in the bakery this summer. And even if I worked there, I’m definitely not an Ace of Cakes. That’s Duff Goldman.

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From my last day at work in the bakery

It’s been a little less than a year since I started identifying as ace, but as of so far almost everyone I’ve told has taken it well. (Except for one guy. If you’re that one guy and you’re reading this, you’re an asshole. Also I’m not a plant.)

And for anyone else…

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More news in the world! Finally…

And finally there’s news on the contest! Thank you AMPTV and RTCG! I’ve been sitting in front of a blank Word document for days trying to come up with something that isn’t ripped off from Tumblr or just another “here’s a song and here’s my feelings about it” post….

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“How many more are there?!” (sorry Conchita…)

 

Anyways, Montenegro decided to change musical style directions and go back to the pop world with the trio Highway, who participated in the second season of X-Factor Adria. While I did enjoy the Balkan ballads for two years in a row, I missed some of their “out there” entries like in 2012 and 2013. This year it will probably be a pop-rock entry reminiscent of 2007 or 2008 (hopefully more like 2007 since that was catchier IMO).

Armenia also selected their participant internally, this time with half the drama as 2015’s selection. Or probably less than 1/6 of the drama, since everyone knew it was a female soloist. It turned out to be Iveta Mukuchyan, who’s been hyped before in the ESC world.

Now we can finally say the season’s rolling towards May. Now bring on the national selections!

Or for some people, it’s every day 🙂

The worrying kind

Let’s first rewind to Mello 2007 and who got 3rd place (read: Mr. I-won-Eurovision-2015-but-my-name-is-too-hard-to-type-with-only-an-English-keyboard): There’s someone at uni whose first name is actually Cara Mia, written as one word. I don’t think this person has heard of either the song or the artist, which is a good thing because knowing your name is a song title would be one of the most annoying things around. Granted it’s not fun either when your name is the same word as a one-cent piece or a character in Big Bang Theory, but moving on…

People on the said song’s YouTube page keep posting that they don’t remember the winning entry that went to represent Sweden that year. I can’t say that since I listened to “The Worrying Kind” first. All I really remembered at first was just a shirtless guy and a swirly black/white background, but then I re-listened to it recently and stuff all came flooding back. Back when I first heard the song off the 2007 recap it didn’t make much sense. What’s going on with the person asking to not call for first aid, the fire brigade, or the local police? At the time I just saw the character as a lazy dreamer (with the potential of a superman)

And then the meltdowns came. Everything turned more disorganized (because liquids have higher entropy than solids, thanks chem department), which was already bad with most-likely-ADHD-but-I’ll-never-know, and most-likely-depression-but-I’ll-never-know (Thanks social stigma). Because of all the crap going on in my head, I could see slightly more of the character Ola Salo was portraying. Instead of just the lazy dreamer, the character’s probably got depression major and trying to shake it off with exercise or comedy. Usually it works to keep them numb and distracted and keep the pain out of their head, and that’s all people usually see on camera or on their screen. But inside they’re still messed up and Photoshop only hits the outside where they’re braver. When they say they’re okay isn’t always what they believe. When a meltdown hits and they turn into a zombie with a glassy stare full of panic, first aid, the fire department, or the police aren’t going to help if the problem is internal. What they really need is someone to talk to. Or maybe the person doesn’t have to even talk. They just need someone to be with them and be there for them. Like Maraaya, maybe.