Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas, Feliz Navidad!!!

I will admit to feeling an awful lot like Charlie Brown this year.  I didn't get that magical sensation I normally get when roaming the aisles of department stores, and looking through the aisles of  Christmas Decor.  Every toy that my kids would see, was sure to go on the "list" to Santa.  While watching my two daughters excitedly discuss  how excited they were for Santa and Presents, I couldn't help but feel a little depressed.  There are people out there starving to death, and my kids are hoping they get something as senseless as a "Lalaloopsy" doll.  Every gift that they would open, was just another thing they didn't need.  Every gift was just another thing to take up space in their room, where the toy bins are already overflowing to begin with.  

A part of me feels guilty for saying these things.  I mean, I remember being a kid.  I was taught that the main reason for celebration, was Jesus' birthday.  I have also taught my kids this same thing.   As well as spending time with family, etc, etc.  I do, however, hate to emphasize on the presents.  Admittedly as a child though, the presents were all I cared about.  When I think of the tiny human being I was, I think to myself, "Wow, I was a brat.".  Now we were poor.  We were still blessed though.  I was fortunate to have a mom who worked three jobs, and unfortunately would skip meals, just so she could make sure WE got fed.  She never ever made us feel like we were poor though.  I give her much credit for that.  When Christmas came around, we'd open our presents from Santa, and I remember my mom saying, "OK, now pick one toy, to donate to a child in need."  I remember loathing her for this.  There I was, this little girl, a nice warm home, food to eat, and a tree with presents underneath, and I didn't want to give away even one lousy toy to a child who had nothing.  

I think a part of that haunts me to this day.  Which I feel has led me to feel this way.  I'm also terrified that my kids will think the same thing.  So in the midst of all the smiles, and laughter, all I could do was worry, that my kids were going to become spoiled brats who appreciate nothing, and all they'll ever want is more.  

Before anyone gets their panties ruffled, I did not express my sadness about the whole "present" thing to my kids.  I let them, as well as everyone around me enjoy their presents and food.  

I would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas, and that we take this time to appreciate the blessings that God has given us, and to also remember, that it is not, in fact, about the things we received.  

Here is this weeks video, with me singing another one of my favorite Christmas songs!


O Come O Come Emmanuel - Raquelashakti

Joyeux Noel!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Girl, Interrupted.


Girl, Interrupted monologue as Lisa.

(I will say, that for the first time in history, I'm happy with a thumbnail that youtube has sporadically chosen for me.  Pretty perfect for the scene if I must say so myself!)

There comes that time in a students life, where you are assigned to work with a partner on a project.  Or in my case, a scene.  Now what many introverts will understand, is that, this is a horrible pain.   Am I going to get that highly dedicated partner who works hard to memorize their lines?  Who is willing to give it their all?  Of course not.  I had the partner who "didn't want to do this, or that", and the night before says, "Yeah...I don't really have it memorized....it's coming pretty slow."  This partner also did not show up for one of our graded performances leaving me with points deducted from the grade book.  

So that little video above, is what we call a "make-up" for that missed performance, and I most definitely was not going to try and re-do that performance.  NOT with a partner.  The thing I never understood, is that, in today's society, they encourage working in groups in class.  They also encourage the same in work environments.  What I see, and what my mind automatically jumps to when hearing, "GROUP PROJECT!", is:  "Oh crap...now I'm going to be left finishing up, or improvising for the work they didn't do."  So forgive me for being completely agitated when this subject is brought up, but the responsible parties in the situation always seem to get dumped on, and are left either getting "docked" points, or almost handicapped because their good ol' partner decided not to show, or do his/her part.  

Ugh!

On a plus side, I love doing monologues to begin with.  So the work I needed to do to make-up for lost points was actually fun.  I had no idea what monologue I was going to do to begin with.  I enjoy crazy characters, so I typed that in in google, and there were some decent ones, but none that really stuck to me.  Then I searched Femme Fatales, because I've always wanted to play something like that.  I mean, we all know my favorite villain of all time is Tim Burton's Catwoman (played by Michelle Pfeiffer) right?  I love that bad ass, sexy but sadistic character.  The type of woman who you would think is up for grabs, but at the last second her stiletto is against your throat with the reminder that no one can have her. 

Well somewhere in this mix, I came across Girl, Interrupted, which I saw many years ago, and loved.  So I decided, "Heck yes!".  I love Angelina Jolie, who also tends to take on the bad ass sexy female role.  I didn't remember which monologue was hers, but found it, and right then and there decided to do it.  While I will warn many, the content is explicit, and never something I'd say to anyone in my life.  The topic is just all around disturbing to me.  I love performing it.  Weird right?  Like many actors/actresses will probably tell you, "It's just fun to play someone that isn't yourself for a change."  It is Acting after all....and not real life.  

Well that's all I have for tonight, so take care all.
Au Revoir.

(Here are the songs I listened to prior to performing to get myself in the right...mindset.)

Lulled by Number - IAMX


Rush Minute - Massive Attack

Enjoy!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Now you're just somebody that I used to know...



Haha!  Look at that awesome picture chosen for my video thumbnail...yikes!

Don't worry, there's no need to call an exorcist.  I just have a gift for pulling off such facial expressions.  

Anyways, this week I've chosen, Somebody That I Used to Know by Gotye ft. Kimbra.  This is another one of those fun and catchy songs.  I'm sure anyone can join me in appreciating Gotye's voice, which, in my humble opinion, is very reminiscent of Stings voice.  Love it.   I'm not %100 sure if this is valid, but I heard Gotye wrote and produced this song in his parents barn.  How amazing is that?  

So many of us think you need all this money to make it in the world, when in fact, so many stars today have very humble beginnings.  A part of me wants to wave a flag in the air saying, "Hey!  I'm poor as Hell, how about giving me a record deal or putting me in a movie, and I'll be some great success story for ya!".  The unfortunate reality is that I feel so invisible to the rest of the world.  No matter how loud I scream, no one looks over to see what all the fuss is about.  It kind of makes me feel like that town loony who walks around talking to herself, and people just whisper behind her back, but make no connection that that is an actual person.  

I remember being a young girl, and having family lunches every single Sunday.  I hated those.  Now as an adult, I miss them, but at that age, I tried so hard to talk.  Tried so hard to make myself heard, and NO ONE knew I was even trying to speak!  So when you spend your life being invisible you really start to wonder....Will anyone ever "see" me?!?!

Invisible or not, this voice in my head just tells me to, "Keep going.  Don't stop.  Never stop.".  I kid you not, it feels like a strong force inside myself, that leaves me with no choice to do otherwise, or I'll end up feeling incredibly guilty.  A definite obligation. 

Do you think I like performing for a wall?  I mean, don't get me wrong....I sing to myself, act to myself, and yes, I even talk to myself on a daily basis, but that's something different entirely.  Putting up a video, sending it into the "Internet", just seems strange.  It's like it's all floating out there, and I have no control over it.  At least within' my own four walls, I still feel safe.  

Well anyways, enough of that, I'm off for the night.

Hasta Luego.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Nothing is provocative anymore, even for kids....

This weeks video is not what you may think.  While the title may put you in shock, or peak your curiosity, it's just one of those songs you'll have to listen to for yourself, to find the actual meaning.  

This song is entitled "Sex Yeah", by Marina and the Diamonds.


Upon seeing the track listing for Marina and the Diamonds newest album "Electra Heart", this title jumped out!  Automatically my mind jumped to nearly what every other pop star out there is singing about today.  I mean we've got pop stars acting like "naughty little girls", who like it hard, and love that bondage.  By all means, express yourself, but this is not what I would have expected from Marina.  Fortunately when I finally got the chance to listen to this song, and to it's lyrics, I was refreshed.  My favorite line in the song?  

"Tired image of a star, acting naughtier than we really are."

We've all heard the stories of those super hot girls who walk into a nightclub looking like a prostitute, and go home with random men.  What most never expect is that upon bringing the girl home, she turns out to be a prude!  Or, just isn't good in the sack because something is holding her back.  Maybe it's just me that these stories get back to, but it definitely happens.  We as women, often times think we need to be these life-size blow-up dolls to please men.  To never say "no", in order to make a guy like us.  When in reality, a lot of the women who do this just have low self-esteem, and are trying to find a way to make someone love them.  

With many of today's pop stars, it's almost the same thing.  They wear barely anything, and will do anything, just to make someone love them.  To make fans notice them.  To get more money.  Whatever the reason may be, to me these stars just look like painted up plastic fantasies created by a group of people telling them what to do.  People who want them to just sell sex and get them more money, because that's all that matters, right?  (note the sarcasm there)

So this is what I love about Marina.  From her last album to now, she's made various comments about this issue.  If there was anyone who could really make money off of their....endowments...it'd be Marina, trust me.  I have yet to see her flaunting it all about to make a buck.  So once again, kudos to you Marina.  

Enjoy the video, and Au Revoir!  

Friday, November 30, 2012

Mowgli's Road

Thankfully THAT'S over! 

That cold/sore throat I complained about last post, came back with a vengeance!  All I could think of, was to start singing, "Smelly caaaat, Smelly Cat.  What are they feeding youuuu?".  Yes.  That is a Friends reference.  

Growing up, I had a dad, who would literally tape every single episode.  Now when I say "tape", I mean the old fashioned VCR, with an actual video tape.  None of this DVR, and burning to DVD's nonsense.  Nope, good ol' fashioned.  If you search my dad's belongings, I am just sure, you will find BOXES of Video tapes with every Friends episode...along with some George Micheal's performances...don't ask.  I try not to, myself.

Well anyways, one of the most memorable episodes for me, is when Phoebe gets a cold.  She still has to sing for her gig's at the coffee shop, so cold or not, she goes on.  Instead of being horrified at her sound, she's actually thrilled!  This "cold", has given her a "sexy" singing voice.  The Smelly Cat song I referenced above, is the song she sings.  It's great, they make a video for it and everything.  Now I"m beginning to feel nostalgic...I think I may need to re-watch the entire series again...

To spare you all from having to hear my "sexy" voice, I just waited it out.  I DID make a video in fact, but I couldn't bring myself to post it.  It was just far below the standard of what I'm willing to post.  Along with "squeaks" on some of the higher notes of the song.  Not good.

Well here is the version I finally was happy enough with, and hopefully you'll be too.  Enjoy, and Au Revoir!


Monday, November 19, 2012

Off to the Races

Can I just say....Thank God whatever it is that's going around my house is hopefully coming to an end!

Things have been exciting.  First you get woken up in the middle of the night, to a child who is complaining of sickness...then within' days you're stricken "ill" as well.  From wonderfully horrendous migraines, to gut-wrenching pains that won't even let you bend your abdomen, my household was on a constant roller coaster.   Following this, is a sore throat that, when you try to sing, makes you cringe, and I'm sure a few dogs howl.  Thus being the reason for me NOT putting people through me singing anything.  My poor kids had to deal with a bit...and I'll admit, I heard them giggle at my expense.   Can't say I blamed them either.  

I'm still feeling that grogginess in my throat, and unfortunately a cold coming on, but so far, this looks like the "calm before the storm" of sneezing, coughing, etc, etc.  Gotta love it!

In this minor break, I decided to sing Lana Del Rey's, "Off to the Races".  I will admit, and I'm sure most of us can, that I in no way relate to this song.  It's catchy.  I know, I know..."ewww catchy"....but I finally decided to check Lana Del Rey out after hearing her compared to just about every artist out there.  Or more like after seeing most Artists out there being accused of copying off of her.  As always, I anticipated being disappointed.  Unfortunately having the bar set incredibly low for others, seems to keep me safe from feeling bad for getting my hopes up.  In this case, I was pleasantly surprised.  While I'm not a fan of every single song, I did generally enjoy her, "Born to Die", album.  (this is the point where you ask, "Rachel....do you EVER listen to ANYTHING uplifting???".  To which I would most likely reply, "probably not".  I just can't help what I'm drawn to.)  

Much like other albums that I'm drawn to, you'll find melodies more along the minor scale, and darker themes in general.  Then there are the "happy" more "upbeat" songs, that until you actually read the lyrics...you have no idea just how utterly macabre the song really is!  Love it.  I love the irony in it, so much.  Well I found a lot of this in "Born to Die".  Two songs stuck out to me, one being the song which I performed this week, which is "Off to the Races".  The next song that really stuck to me is called "National Anthem".  Which I plan to accompany with the piano, instead of using an instrumental or karaoke.  So wish me luck on that!  Anyone who has read my past blogs, or in general "knows" me, knows that singing and playing piano all at once, is a bit of a challenge for me.  (Think "rubbing tummy while patting your head")  Which is why I've set that challenge as a goal for me to get over.  Wish me luck!  Also, here is my latest video!


  

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election and a Monologue.

Happy Election Day!

Hopefully everyone got out and voted today, you may not think your opinion makes a difference, but it does.  It's almost electrifying watching the number of votes flash up on our screens, and you know millions of people in America are all anxiously awaiting.  Then you realize that you are a piece of that puzzle that helped make this all happen.  When they announced Obama as the winner, you saw the screen flood with tears, joy, and confetti.  I was never big into politics, and for the most part, I remain "mum".  This election was very undecided for me.  We'll call it a circle if I may, and say that half of that would belong to the beliefs of a republican candidate, and the other half to democrat.  Quite frankly I just can't sign my name over to one party.  I have very religious beliefs, but I also believe in supporting the working man.  Congratulations to President Obama on his re-election.

Either way, can I just say, THANK GOD THIS ELECTION IS OVER!  If there's one thing I hate, it's all the bitchy Ads putting the opponent down.  The last thing I want to deal with...ever...is something that resembles a bitchy teenage girl who is putting another girl who is probably equally pretty (if not more) down, just to make herself feel better, and in some phony attempt tries to raise her self-esteem.

So Thank you God...I have made it through this election.

Now if I can just hold off a little longer while a lot of angry Republicans start flipping their lids all over every social network....

(because "Arrested Development" happens to be one of my favorite shows...)

On a completely different note, below I have posted a video of me doing a monologue.  This monologue is the latest piece assigned to me for my Acting class.  Have some mercy on me, this is "Acting 1", and the character is very out there, and mentally ill.  So just so no one is alarmed, I don't start off talking in the beginning of the video like normal.  I just go right into the piece, and talk afterwards.  The play that this monologue is taken from is called, "Getting Out".  In my (the character) youth, I was referred to as "Arlie".  She was a prostitute, and lived a rough life with her pimp Carl.  Who unbeknownst, to him, impregnated Arlie, and of course her child was taken from her.  When thrown in jail, she's still wild, violent, and doesn't have a problem inflicting harm on someone.  She was abused by her father, and had a negligent mother who was in denial.  Well a chaplain starts visiting Arlie, and helps her find her way to getting saved.  After taking drastic measures herself (as you'll find out what that was exactly in the monologue), she rids herself of "Arlie", and goes by her full name "Arlene". From there on out, she tries to live a changed life, all while being tempted to go back to her old ways, and longing for who she really is.  So Arlene is completely torn.  

I will say, I loved this play.  I had a week to read it, and read the whole thing within' a few hours.  I still don't feel like I do Arlene's character justice.  When I think of the perfect person to resemble Arlene, I think of Lindsay Pulsipher, who plays Crystal Norris in True Blood.  Just look up some clips...you'll see why.


(In the video I mentioned that I did not post this on my youtube, turns out the blogger.com won't let me upload my video directly.  So I will upload it to youtube, then share to my blog.  It will be "unlisted", so only people given the link can view it.  Aka, you guys!)

Buenas Noches!
  

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

HAPPY HALLOWEEEEEEN!

Well dearies, I'm back, and I HAD to be, because it is Halloween after all!  

I succeeded in completing all costumes, and managed to get a video done on top of it.  I'm very psyched to show you what my kids and I sported for Halloween this year!

Here is my youngest as Tinkerbell!

My oldest as Princess Zelda!

Both of my girls :-)

All of us together!

The back of my costume

Iconic pose for American McGee's, Alice.

That adorable little baby is my niece!  My sister made that hilarious and beautiful costume that she is sporting.  Better yet, we're kind of coordinating!  Fortunately, she let me keep my head!

 You wonder why I'm an adult who likes to dress up?....Well that's my mom!  Who is Trinity from The Matrix.

Once trick-or-treating is complete...time to eat!

I had so much fun in my costume, I'll probably be that crazy person who wears their costume at random points of the year...just because.  I love the challenge, because each year, I'm forced to achieve different techniques, and various styles that I'm not familiar with.  So yay for me!

I of course had to get a video up on youtube as well.  I originally wanted to make this song a full-on cover.  I wanted to do the piano part for it, but if I make you all wait for that, it'll be at least another week.  Therefore, it's just me singing along to the background music.  As always the quality isn't great, but once again, you'll get the gist.


Have fun watching me geek out over being "Alice" for a night ;-)

Hasta Luego, and Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 22, 2012

In the midst of my "break"....

So I thought I'd clue people in on the progress of my costumes!  

The good news, is that I'm done with the girls' costumes.  The..."iffy" news, is that I'm going to try and get mine done in two nights.  We'll see.  

So here is my youngest as Tinkerbell:


Since I'm a freak for having things look..."exact", rather than having the wing straps showing, and even straps for the dress, I took some nude fabric, and made it into a long sleeve shirt, then attached the green dress I made to it.   


We were originally going to use the darker blue wings...but then my youngest got a hole in it :-/.  Sooo, fortunately, it made a nice frame, for other fabric, minus the hole!  


Here she is!  Note, that this isn't the finished product.  She won't be wearing those leggings.  I'll be sure to put up official pics when we get our "trick-or-treat" on!


The back side.

Now, here is my older daughters costume!  Much more elaborate, and admittedly, there are some parts that are "off-center", which drives me insane, but I ran out of fabric, and was running low on sleep and sanity.  


Princess Zelda!  (From Oracle of Time)  The gloves, and belt are on chair to the side.


and yes.  I made the armor as well, thanks to cardboard, a "card stock-like" paper (from junk mail!  haha), some spray paint, and hot glue, which gives it that 3D effect with the swirls, etc.  


Back side.

It all started as this!



So there you have it!  I wasn't being lazy all these days,  promise!  

Nowwww off to do mine.  

Take a listen to some good music!



Au Revoir!






Monday, October 15, 2012

Takin' a break!

If you know me personally at all....then you'll know why.  

Normally, in this chilly month of October, parents have taken their children to select stores, to pick out their costumes for Halloween!  Voila!  No stress!  No worries!  Everything is done for you.

We are not that "normal" household.  

During the month of October I go into what some would call a "Costume-making frenzy".  Basically, I forget about that thing called "eating".  My house looks like it exploded, and fabric is everywhere.  Also, coffee is my best friend.


Ohhh Rachel, you only have two kids!  That can't be THAT bad!  Well guess what??  Rachel likes to wear costumes too!!  *now you see it don't you?  I've lost my mind...*

On that note, I'm proud to announce that I'm going to be my favorite obsession:


Yep, dark and twisted, "American McGee's Alice".  I am so thrilled you have no idea.  

My oldest will be her video game obsession:


Princess Zelda!

My husband is going to be "Link", which is also his video game obsession as well.  


See a theme here?  Video games of course.

My youngest however, is being Tinkerbell, because she really IS a real-life Tinkerbell!  Not the modernized version, no sir.  The "classic" Tinkerbell.


So I'm very excited.  As always there will be pictures once completed.  The best thing of all, is that all the fabric for all of these, only cost $38, as opposed to spending that on each costume.  For a family of 4, that's pretty awesome!  Thank God for coupons...

So as I was saying.  This week, and potentially next week, no music for me.  At least I won't be making any.   For all of you now know that my "perfectionist, OCD, no perception of time self" will be drowning in fabric.  Hopefully I'll make it out alive!  


Might as well leave you with some good music!


Hasta Luego!


Friday, October 12, 2012

Wonder how I played "Seven Devil's"? Well now you'll know.



This week I have done a tutorial for my cover that I performed last week.  "Seven Devil's" by Florence + The Machine.  Absolutely loved doing this song.  There were a few parts where I had timing issues, but then again, I am just learning to put the piano and my singing together at the same time.  Fortunately it seems to be getting much easier, which is encouraging.

Fortunately I have a lot of friends and family requesting covers of songs they love!  Also a good sign.  I'm glad I finally made the initiative to start "sharing" the music I perform with friends and family.  If you remember from earlier posts, it was my biggest nightmare.  For me to share such a thing makes me feel like I'm bragging about myself, or acting like a cheap salesman.  Why do I feel this way?  Couldn't tell you, however, it was the obstacle that I needed to overcome.  These people will eventually see me for who I am anyways.  Might as well show them.  I was sick of hiding, and running into that awkward confrontation of "Ohhhh so I saw that video you made...yeeeeah."  

I feel like this year will be a great one.  I feel like things will start going into motion for me.  I feel one step closer to reaching my goals.  The great thing about life, is that anything is possible.  

So for these covers, I'm actually unsure of which one I should do next.  I'd like to work more piano playing into the mix, rather than singing A Capella, or to background music, which always sounds horrible on my audio.  I can't tell you how much I'd love to be able to have the equipment to be able to produce my own original music.  Put in all the layers myself, etc, etc.  That'd be so amazing so I could finally show people the music I truly want to make.  

Anyways, onto these covers.  My sister has requested that I do, "Safe and Sound" by Taylor Swift.  It really is a very pretty song.  My style isn't usually "Taylor Swift", even though I'll give her props for talent.  I mean who wouldn't want to be 17 and win numerous awards for their music???  Amazing.  Like I said, not normally my style, but I'd definitely give this song a go.  Very pretty, delicate, and melancholy.   So there's that.  Another friend requested a lot of "classic" songs, aka 80's/90's songs, but then also Coldplay.  I love Coldplay, so that's a definite possibility.  My mind keeps going to Edith Piaf's "La Vie en Rose".  Which is a beautiful song.  For those of you who are unfamiliar, this is a song made popular in the 40's.  It is a French love song.  So it has that very "classy, old-time" music feel.  I absolutely love it, and think I should do my own spin on it.  As always the possibilities are endless.  In the mean time, you should check out this song.


Bonjour!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Seven Devils all around you...

Can I just say....Thank God I finally finished this song!!!!!  Not sure if anyone remembers how far back I posted that I would start working on this song...but it's been quite some time.  

Anyways, here she is.  My cover of "Seven Devils" by Florence + The Machine.



Next week I will be posting a tutorial of how I played this song for the piano part.  I must say, of all covers, this one was difficult.  

Why did my finger just touch key "D" when it should've been "C"!!! 

 I spent 2 hours last night, and over an hour tonight just trying to get this darn video recorded with not so many errors.  Are there still some mistakes?  Yes.  Right before the last take, which is the video you see above, I *sighed* and looked into the camera and said, "Rachel.  You are going to do this.  This is what you want, and you will not stop until you get the take you want.  You want to do this professionally, and one day you will perform for millions of people, and you will change lives.  So this is it.  This time you will get the take you want.  Now go and do it...do you understand?", followed by my imaginary *boom*, which is an imaginary punch that I do at the object that I defeat.  Which is what I did when I clicked the mouse to hit the "record" button.  You know what?  It worked.  I played that song.  The power and intensity in me came alive.  My voice came out stronger, and my fingers felt as if they couldn't move fast enough.  I had that adrenaline, and I did it.  Thank God.  

I use my little "boom fist" for many things.  I guess it's almost like a "fist pump", but a regular jab aiming at the object.  It's like a little reminder of whatever obstacle it was that I defeated.  For instance, a new hobby I've taken on is running.  I kid you not when I say I couldn't even run a mile.  Am I fat?  No.  Just out of shape, horribly so, and it's pathetic.  Well, I've been working at it, and I've gotten myself up to two miles with no problem at all.  In fact, I wanted to KEEP going, but had to get home.  

So when I'm running, I do the "boom fist", at whatever object I couldn't run to before, and I punch at it, and something about that is empowering.  There was this bench at a nearby park, that took everything I had to run to.  I was out of breath and felt like I was dying.  Well the next time I run, I get past it, so I boom fist it.  Do it.  I know it sounds lame, but try it.  It's like knocking out the competition that you've been training to beat, and it's a good feeling.

I thought I'd leave you with some good music that only reminds me of my trip to Mississippi last year, because I bought this CD on my way down there, and did nothing but listen to it the entire way.  Absolutely love this song, and the entire CD.

  
Cheers.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Gone Away


This weeks video is "Gone Away" by My Brightest Diamond...again.  When you watch the video, you'll see...I just like that word.  

For anyone who is too lazy to look up the original, here's the original version.  Watch it!  Love it!  


On another note.  Things are looking up in a way.  I got a few extra bucks for school, so I said to myself, "God Dang it.  I'm getting myself a pair of shoes.  I bleeping deserve it."  
Oh...and not just any pair of shoes, some new heels!  (of course)



So that has me satisfied for now.  After months of barely being able to buy food, it was just nice to take myself and my girls out and get us some new items of clothing.  

I have a feeling that this year will start looking up.  Can't tell you why, I just have this feeling in my gut. I tell you one thing.  Until you've been there, never judge that person you see in front of you that has food stamps, or WIC or whatever other assistance program.  Unless of course they're buying cigarettes, candy, etc, and no real food.  Then by all means, go ahead and think to yourself that their priorities are jacked up.  Especially if they have children.  

So many people just think, "Oh that person needs to get a job, what a leech".  etc, etc.  Believe me, "getting a job", or a better paying one for that matter, is just not as easy as one would think.  I was a Receptionist at a highly recognized Corporation, and known for being a good worker, and was promoted multiple times.  Well my husband had to go away for a year because he joined the Air Force, and needed to do Basic Training and Tech School.  Which gave him the idea that I should be a stay-at-home mom.  It was great, and it worked out very well.  The military paid a pretty good amount.  At least enough for us to live on while I stayed home.  Then that ends, and my husband comes back to his job managing at a grocery store.  Things are still OK at that point...but then he loses his job.  We fortunately had some cushion to get by while he was unemployed for a month, and no, he did not collect unemployment.  Well he finally found a job in a factory..that pays pretty terribly.  The reason is because he's a temp.  This is where things get rough.  Pretty soon I'm searching for at least a part-time job (on top of everything else going on!)  I applied for the type of job which is exactly what I was doing before I left to stay home with my kids.  No call.  So I lowered my bar of expectations.  A clothing store at the mall.  No call.  Bar lowers.  The type of job that pays the bare minimum that you can pay someone in the state of Wisconsin.  No call.  Fortunately something opened up at a Library nearby, that makes me not even care that the money isn't much.  It's genuinely nice to work there.  At least the bit that I do make, can take care of some bills.  So that's something.  The ol' husband, is still a temp, and is still hoping to get hired on, or hoping to find something better.  Unfortunately that's just more no calls, and calls of rejection.  

So next time you think that there must be something wrong with someone who relies on the government programs made available to them.  Think again.  I understand there are people who abuse privileges, but not everyone does.  How does one solve this problem?  Honestly, I think programs that are here to help people, should make sure that they are actually "helping" people.  Instead of people abusing it, and buying things that are, if anything, putting them in even worse health!  Which I suppose means, stricter standards.  Sure it'd be inconvenient, but if it's made free to you, there's really no room for complaint.  

I could go into a whole other point on kids, but I'll just sum it up this way:  No child should ever have to suffer because of their parents struggling to make ends meet, or because their parent is stupid with no priorities.  

This year of struggle has taught me one thing if anything.  When you get so much money, that you don't know what to do with it all, don't go buy more bags and shoes that you'll only wear once.  Use it to help people.  

Originally, my idea for when I reached my goals, was to set up shelters for abuse victims and counseling to help them.  Which I would still like to do.  This years lesson has taught me though, that with all the starving people in the world.  They just need a meal!  I would love to set up more food shelters, and homeless shelters.  It has become abundantly clear that so many people need help, and they aren't getting it, or don't have access to it.  

So if I reach fame, I don't need a however many millions of dollars home.  Just give me a shack on the beach, my husband and girls, and a hand to help others with.  

Guten Nacht.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

I can't seem to get it through your head, that I'll always love you.


I'm baaaaaack!  

Sorry for not posting last week, I just started going back to school, so things are CRAZY!  I'm literally running and am busy from sun up to sun down now, so I really have to work to find some extra time to keep up my project here!

Anyways, the song I decided to sing this week is called "Something of an End" by My Brightest Diamond.  I first heard this song via my google tv on a special app that we have called Lastfm.com (very similar to pandora).  As soon as this song came on, I was entranced.  The instrumentals were beautiful, and the variation and melody changes through out made me fall in love.  Shara (singer) has amazing vocals that are filled with so much passion.  She is truly talented, and most definitely deserves more recognition.  

So that video up there = my attempt.  

On another note, I said above how I've been so busy.  I've also gotten a job fairly recently.  I think I said this before.  I work at a library.  I love it.  I make no money, but being able to walk around for hours in silence is pure bliss.  Believe it or not, but I love to sit and think.  That's it, just to think.  Well obviously, when you work in a library, you come across many interesting books.  My favorite section would have to be up in the non-fiction section, but mostly the area where there are books of people who have worked towards fame.  Classic movie stars like Audrey Hepburn and Bette Davis.  Writing about their life, fame, etc.  Every time I stock books for that section, I sneak and take a little time to peek through the books.  Letting my daydreams flood my mind, and getting completely lost.  With every single book I stock, I look at every Author's name, and if they have a picture of themselves on the book.  I feel like this helps me get to know them on a more personal level, and I fantasize about who they were before becoming recognized.  I wonder if they were just like me, in a small library, stocking books, with little money, and big dreams.  I wonder what their doubts and fears were.  I know they're only human, not some super being, but we all get the idea that once someone is a "celebrity" they're no longer like us.  Then I wonder, when I accomplish my dreams, will someone look at me and think the same thing?  Could I become an inspiration to someone??  I certainly hope so.  I really do.  Right now what I see for my future is one big brick wall.  For a little over a  year now, my brain has been thrown for a loop.  I used to be so sure of everything!  Not anymore.  That luxury is far from gone.  When I try to consider career options, the ONLY thing that comes to mind is my artistic abilities.  I need to use them.  When and how that will happen, that is my brick wall.

...

On another note, as part of one of my speech credits for school, I am taking an Acting class.  I love it.  It's actually incredibly hard in the sense that it pushes you out of your comfort zone.  I, for example, do not like making eye contact with people.  Can I tell you how many times I have had to stare into some strangers eyes and make note of all their facial features while being anywhere from 1 to 3 feet away from them??  IT'S AWKWARD!  It's also good for me.  I enjoy being pushed and challenged.  I think it's important to keep evolving yourself, rather than sit in a rut.  We also got to choose monologues.  I of course chose the "rough around the edges" taxi drivin' woman from the Brooklyn, who is 30.  Yay for getting to use a Brooklyn accent!  My mama would be so proud ;-)

~Au Revoir~

Friday, August 31, 2012

Finally...an original

Well folks, this week I decided NOT to sing!  

That's right.  This week, I posted a video of myself on youtube, however, I'm only playing piano this time.  I decided to share a bit of myself more personally.  Let people in on a bit of the music that I'd like to create.  Mind you, what I show in the video is only the tip of the ice berg, but it's a start.  

The piece I'm playing was made up by myself, years ago actually.  Odd thing is, is that I can't make music on the keyboard in the video.  What works best for me is going to my mom's house and using her upright piano.  For some reason that piano and I have chemistry.  I sit at it, and new music comes up, suddenly I get the inspiration that I only try to get while sitting at the keyboard you see in this video.  I'm at least able to mimic the music while playing it though.

Anyways, here's the video, please watch and subscribe to my channel!  Your support means the world to me!


Also, thought I'd let you in on some great music.  I discovered this band recently, and fell in love immediately.  I turned their page on, on Spotify (an online radio..thing) and let it play.  Even when I went to sleep, I left it on, and fell asleep to this beautiful Euphoric music.

Enjoy.


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Fear and Loathing

I promise.  I'll keep tonight's post short!

I rambled a bit yesterday about random things.  I did mention in my last post, however, about how I was "due" for putting a video up this week on youtube.  So I did.  Or more accurately, I am.  In the meantime I'm sitting here stuffing my face with stale marshmallows (the best!) until my video finishes uploading.  

This weeks video is called "Fear and Loathing" by Marina and the Diamonds.  I bet at least someone out there is wondering if I'm just going to do her whole album.  I guess the more I read Marina's lyrics, the more I feel like we're the same person inside.  In this song, she says the things that have always been on my mind, but wasn't quite sure how to say.  

I mean, down to the very detail of feeling like I have multiple people in my head (I swear...I'm not schizo), the different facades that I put on for different people, and wondering which person in me is most "like-able".    Also interestingly enough she talks about wanting to feel like she's "floating".  I've said this so much over the years, mostly floating in water though.  That feeling that you get when you're doing so, is what is really being referenced here.  So a part of me wonders if Marina is my...mental soulmate???  Or...mental twin?  I have no idea what you would call it.  Either way, she's great, and I love how she really wants people to understand her.  There's frustration in trying to make people see you for what you really are, and to have them fully understand.  It normally never happens.  I'm glad she's putting her feelings out there though.  

Ugh, I need to stop eating my marshmallows now...I'm beginning to feel sick.  

Anyways, here's that video.  Check it out, and please subscribe to my channel.  Trust me when I say, it'd mean the world to me!  


Guten Nacht.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Been on a break, and made some changes!

Hellooooooooooo out there!

So I haven't put up a video in a few weeks.  This week looks like I'll be due.  I decided to take some time off and focus on other things instead.  While I will admit...some of that relied on heavy doses of the show "Breaking Bad", I also decided to work on my other aspirations.  If you've read some of my past blogs, I also sew/make clothing.  Which I will post about with pics in a different blog entry coming soon!  

Last night I spent time with one of my long time friends, who is also an artist, and more importantly.  An Introvert.  We discussed our need for an honest job (meaning, a job where we can be ourselves and utilize our abilities).  A potential road trip in the future, and expressing ourselves through painting.  Well in these past few weeks, I've had this horrible urge to paint, to express myself in ways that I couldn't with words...or even with my music, if you can imagine that!  So I go on about how "I'm going to post a status on facebook, saying if anyone asks what I want for Christmas.  I want Canvas.  I don't care if it's been hanging on your wall for 10 years, or you found it at a garage sale."  That's what I would like.  Regardless of shape and size.  Mind you, this is last night that I say this.  Today I walk into my apartment lobby, and just like a ray of sunshine blasted down from God himself, these present themselves to me:


I nearly cried with joy.  

In this small moment, I take a second to try to decide if this is for real.  Am I really seeing two wonderfully sized canvas'.....for free?!  Within' hours of me stating that I need them so badly??  Either one of my neighbors heard me say this while I was on my deck about midnight last night, or God has decided that I really need to paint.  I'm so happy, I'm even considering leaving a note in the lobby thanking the "giver of the canvas".  

Let the outlet for my creativity begin!

Some other changes as well, my hair.  Anyone who knows me, knows that I opt for black.  Every time.  I know, and guarantee that I still will go back fairly soon.  I, however, needed a change.  Since I'm broke, I had to do this myself, and oddly enough, am quite pleased with the results!



I think a part of me longs for that person I was in high school.  Maturity wise..probably not.  Freedom I felt...yes.  I used to do whatever I wanted to my hair.  I used to wear whatever I wanted regardless of what people thought.  Then over the years of being a mother, and working in a corporation, I've become bland.  This consists of me wearing plain jeans...and plain shirts.  I want to get a way from that.  I want to be me.


So that's what I'm going to do.

Here's the funny thing.  I now consider myself to have an honest job.  I work at a local library, and I put books away.  I make half of what I used to make sitting at a desk, living a cushy lifestyle.  At that time however, I wasn't happy.  Every day I went to work, that voice went off in my head saying, "you don't belong here, everyone is so miserable, and you'll become a robot".  How did I not see that that is what was happening?  At my new job, people are happy, and the ones who have been there for quite some time, love their job.  Which in turn, makes it an enjoyable place to work.  I get no benefits, no bonuses, and the pay is low.  The difference, is that I'm happy.  I'm content, and I can be me.  I can wear what I want, think my own thoughts, and legitimately get along with people.  I'm happy.  Poor, but happy haha.  Which I guess is what really matters, isn't it?  

Listen to this song, it's good.



Buenos Dias!


Monday, August 13, 2012

In the darkest of times...Inspiration can be found.

Dare I say it? 

I guess I just did.

Why is it, that when I feel my lowest, or when I feel the most unsure about life, that I get the most inspiration?  Do I feed off depression?  Do I like being depressed?  As much of an oxymoron as that is.  

Or is that just who I am?  A quiet, low-rev, melancholy being?  While the rest of the world is in a panic, and getting on Prozac to keep from feeling this way.  I revel in it.  I think it's OK to allow yourself to feel, and yes, even in darkest times.  Instead of making the worst of it...gain inspiration from it.  Write down on a piece of paper how you feel.  It's OK, really, I promise you.  Even if what you write it horrible, embarrassing, or childish.  Do it.  I dare you. 

Thing is, it is what you do with it.  You can, like me, choose to share with the world.  Or you can rip that paper up, throw it away, or burn it if you'd like.  Either way, writing it down feels great.  Even as introverts, we need a way to get what we feel out.  Instead of telling a person/people who will tell you a plethora of things you already know, or just don't bleeping listen.  Write it down.  Or make a song!  We need an outlet too.  It's just harder to call someone up, and voice what is wrong.  It's always much easier to write.  In my personal opinion.  

What has me in this slump?  I can't even tell you.  I wake up, and today my brain just says, "Alright Rachel, today, you're going to "hate life", and question everything in it.  You're going to remember everything that has ever haunted you, and yes, there will be tears....HAVE A GREAT DAY!!!!!"

*Bleep* you brain...*bleep* you...

So all today, while I'm thinking, I decide, OK, you know what, let's shop.  Since I can't buy anything, I just "window shop"...*insert sarcastic "yay" here*....
While I'm out, I realize even more what is wrong with the world.  How, terrible a pair of jeans that are too tight look much worse that a pair of well-fitted jeans on even the greatest of bodies, and even more disturbing, how sexualized they make children's clothes nowadays.  
No.  I am not going to send my child to school with the phrase "Hot" on her ass.  Nor would I send my teenager to school with that.  In fact, that's freakin' forbidden, and if she doesn't like it.  Her option from there on out is the good ol' burlap sack.  I kid you not. 

So back to my point...what is wrong with this world!!!!  Maybe us "melancholy folk" aren't what's wrong here.  Maybe it's the in your face, pushed up boobs, overly friendly, fake, too body conscious, individuals who have been setting the standards for way too long.  I fear for my children.  I really do.

*rant rant rant*

On to another thing that I've been seriously re-thinking.  It's my youtube videos.  Not so much the videos, but the schedule itself.  While the songs I've been singing, I do love.  I'm just not sure singing them makes me honest. While quite literally every song I have sang I can relate to, or would have written myself.  They are someone else's words.  Making sure I get one up each week, has made the whole process seem "cheapened" to me.  The thing I'm unsure of, is my vow to put one up each week.  I made that vow, so to go back on it, hurts internally.  I also think I need to put up my own music.  I know right?  Scary.  I just feel that in the long run, that'll be the right thing to do.  What will actually gain me some recognition.  Being honest with the audience about what I would actually want to do.  Make the music I actually would want to make.  

*thoughts thoughts thoughts*

I guess we'll have to see.

In the mean time.  Here are some songs that I'm loving currently while in this mood of mine:




Enjoy.  Au Revoir.