End of 2017 Roundup

2017 in Review
  1. What did you do in 2017 that you’d never done before? I led a fundraiser for my company. We raised just over $1000 for the Virginia Beach SPCA. It was pretty darn great.
  2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I gave up on resolutions ages ago. They’re honestly pointless to me. A great man once sang, “life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans”.
  3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Unfortunately, yes. And I only say that because I’m a selfish person who sided with the bad guy in Dan Brown’s Inferno, not because I judge anyone’s life choices. giphy
  4. Did anyone close to you die? We had a close call with my mom in law, but no deaths this year. But a lot of folks I know lost very close loved ones.
  5. What countries did you visit? Didn’t leave the bedraggled USA, but I was in Washington, D.C. a lot, and got as far north as MA.
  6. What would you like to have in 2018 that you lacked in 2017? A decent President.
  7. What dates from 2017 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? Probably November 9th, because this happened:

    Some background: A person asked if you were to sing karaoke with you favorite celebrity, what song would you choose, and Lin stepped the fuck UP.

  8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Being aware of the disgusting status of the US government, and doing my best to resist, march, protest, and help get the right people elected.
  9. What was your biggest failure? Not being able to travel to FL when I wanted to. Due to unforeseen financial issues, the trip to see my Orlando area friends (and visit the Harry Potter thing at Universal) wasn’t able to happen. That really bummed me out.
  10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Nothing major, just gained weight and got an ear infection for the first time since being a toddler.
  11. What was the best thing you bought? Concert tickets. I saw Ringo Starr and the man said hello to me from the stage. 378b8d77ce5a64b408abdf6c24865039
  12. Whose behavior merited celebration? All of the folks who have fought the soon to be Fascist government in power. The Women’s March ladies, the #metoo movement, Jose Andres and what he’s doing to help hungry people in Puerto Rico, and the ordinary folks who have gotten off their butts and done SOMETHING.
  13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? Our Voldemort President (daily), and the men I admired that ended up either being super creeps or minor creeps. I’m looking at you, Kevin Spacey, Dustin Hoffman, and Al Franken.
  14. Where did most of your money go? Food, alcohol, donations to good causes, and the occasional geeky bit of clothing or thingie.
  15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? I was absolutely THRILLED to be at the Lady Gaga show. It was magical for me. And part of it was on TV! And then she won an award! Gaga on American Music Awards
  16. What song will always remind you of 2017? Do You Still Love Me?
  17. Compared to this time last year, are you: (a) happier or sadder? (b) thinner or fatter? (c ) richer or poorer? A. Sadder B. FATTER C. Poorer
  18. What do you wish you’d done more of? Definitely hiked more; gotten exercise, been more politically active.
  19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Staring at shit on the internet and wasting time.
  20. How did you spend Christmas? A brief visit with parents, followed by a Game of Thrones marathon.
  21. Did you fall in love in 2017? I fall in love with my dude every day. He’s the best. IMG_8595
  22. What was your favorite TV program? Just one? Nice try. Game of Thrones, Stranger Things, Great News, Legion, The Crown, The Handmaid’s Tale, & Big Little Lies come to mind.
  23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? Hate is a strong word, but I have ended friendships. The state of our nation has made me realize who will be on the right side of history, and I prefer to be friends with those people.
  24. What was the best book you read? I really enjoyed The Devil’s West series by Laura Anne Gilman.
  25. What was your greatest musical discovery? LIZZO, y’all. Water Me
  26. What did you want and get? I got to stay alive?
  27. What did you want and not get? The impeachment of our jackass President.
  28. What was your favorite film of this year? There were a lot of badass films. Dunkirk, Thor: Ragnarok, Wonder Woman, Blade Runner 2049, Baby Driver, & It. But I have to go with Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
  29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? Ugh, thanks for reminding me that it’s my 43rd year on this blue marble. I didn’t really do anything on the actual day of my birth, but my favorite present was experiencing the music of Game of Thrones, live. It was lovely. A taste: Winds of Winter
  30. What one thing made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Seeing so many fun concerts with my dude, and being able to contribute to my favorite podcast, even if it was just a playlist. Check out The Hooray Show with Horatio Sanz.
  31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2017? Fashion is a concept that will forever allude me. My mom in law gifted me a sweet wrap/sweater thing, however, and I wore it to the Lady Gaga show and felt most fierce. gagaselfie
  32. What kept you sane? Animals. My three cats, the cat we rescued from the streets (who may belong to us in 2018 – stay tuned), the foxes behind my backyard, the critters we helped at the shelter, and the elephant fosters I gifted to family (and the foster I received – Check out the elephant babies!).
  33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Horatio SanzLin, and Ryan Adams were the boys who made me smile the most. 
  34. Who did you miss? I miss Carrie Fisher. Some funny Carrie moments
  35. Who was the best new person you met? I can’t recall meeting someone new, in person that is. But the guys who run the Crooked Media podcasts have been a welcome addition to my internet “pals”.
  36. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2017. Do not put up with anything you don’t want to put up with. This world is too short and fucked up for that. But be kind and good. And funny.
  37. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year. 
    Are we crazy?
    Livin’ our lives through a lens
    Trapped in our white picket fence
    Like ornaments
    So comfortable, we’re livin’ in a bubble, bubble
    So comfortable, we cannot see the trouble, trouble
    Aren’t you lonely
    Up there in utopia
    Where nothing will ever be enough?
    Happily numb
    So comfortable, we’re livin’ in a bubble, bubble
    So comfortable, we cannot see the trouble, trouble
    Ah, so good
    Your rose-colored glasses on
    And party on (woo)
    Turn it up, it’s your favorite song
    Dance, dance, dance to the distortion
    Turn it up, keep it on repeat
    Stumblin’ around like a wasted zombie
    Yeah, we think we’re free
    Drink, this one’s on me
    We’re all chained to the rhythm
    To the rhythm, to the rhythm
    Turn it up, it’s your favorite song
    Are we tone deaf?
    Keep sweepin’ it under the mat
    Thought we could do better than that
    I hope we can
    So comfortable, we’re livin’ in a bubble, bubble
    So comfortable, we cannot see the trouble, trouble
    Aha, so good (so good)
    Your rose-colored glasses on
    And party on (woo)
    Turn it up, it’s your favorite song (oh)
    Dance, dance, dance to the distortion
    Turn it up, keep it on repeat
    Stumblin’ around like a wasted zombie
    Yeah, we think we’re free
    Drink, this one’s on me
    We’re all chained to the rhythm
    To the rhythm, to the rhythm (woah)
    It is my desire
    Break down the walls to connect, inspire
    Ay, up inna your high place, liars
    Time is ticking for the empire
    The truth they feed is feeble
    As so many times before
    The greed over the people
    They stumblin’ and fumblin’ and we about to riot
    They woke up, they woke up the lions (woah)
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Some 2016 Songs I Like

One of my few constants in the garbage fire that was 2016 was the music. There were some good damn tunes. This post is going to feature random jams that had a good combo of feels, beats, or an interesting video. But mostly feels. The feels ruled 2016! If you want the complete list of songs I loved last year, check this playlist:

 

On to the videos…..

Purple Lamborghini by Skrillex & Rick Ross

 

What the hell is this ridiculous crap and why do I like it? Well, as the Beach Boys said, God only knows. I think the beat is a bit infectious, and I stay awake at night imagining a car “lurking”. It makes me laugh. I think of…

lurking

I don’t know. Also, the video for this song is pretty funny. Jared Leto doing his hipster Joker thing with Skrillex & Rick being video stars in front of him. ROZAY!

 

It’s Quiet Uptown by Kelly Clarkson

I love that Kelly is basically all of us, trying to sing along to a song in the car that brings so many feels that we lose our shit and have to adjust our makeup/composure at the next stoplight. Quit staring at me, guy in the pickup truck – I’m singing along to a song about a couple who lost their teenage son! And I’m singing along with the singer who was pregnant with her kid while she was singing this song! DON’T YOU GET IT?

feels

 

4 Degrees by Anohni

Why doesn’t this song have an actual video? It could be so devastating I might leap from the first edifice I find, so… never mind. The song itself is enough. Between the global warming themed lyrics to the agonizingly melancholic voice of Anohni, we’re all doomed.

 

The Greatest by Sia

Oh jeez. I started with a goofy assed rap song and spiraled into the depths of emotion, didn’t I? Well, SORRY NOT SORRY. I’ve been on the Sia tip since last year, and the lady knows how to meld her incredibly powerful voice with the most incredibly expressive tween dancer, Maddie Ziegler. The choreography makes for some beautiful art. An empowering tribute to the victims of the Orlando nightclub shooting, this song/video punches you in the heart and makes you want to celebrate being a human in all its weirdness.

snape

 

One more and you can go blow your nose or eat some ice cream or hug your cat.

Million Reasons by Lady Gaga

I had some options in terms of which version of this song I’d post, but this one was it, considering Gaga doesn’t require extreme meat dress fashion craziness to prove her fucking point. I loved the theatricality of her previous endeavors, but the Joanne album (along with the Tony Bennett collaboration and some fantastic performances the year prior) has proved she has WAY MORE going on. She’s an incredibly gifted singer and can craft a pop song. The Lady has learned that channeling her passion into plain ol’ good songs is just as kickass as being extravagant and… ARTPOP-ish? Do your thang, Mother Monster. I will bow down either way.

 

 

Okay, I have messed with you enough. Go get a massage and listen to the Spice Girls or something.

Top Ten Madonna Songs, AKA Hard Decisions

Before I get to what the title of this post indicates, I want to say I tried out the new live streaming app, Meerkat, yesterday, and it was pretty fun. I have no idea if I’ll use it on a regular basis, but I streamed a short bit, chatting about Madonna and the songs I’ve picked for this list. I had five people watching at one point; one from Mexico and another from The Netherlands. It seems like a pretty cool “on the go” way to stream something and interact with other folks. If you’re reading this because you watched my goofy stream, thanks and hello!

Well, let’s get to it. Madonna has a new album out, Rebel Heart. As you probably know, Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone has been the queen of pop music, fashion, reinvention, and provocation since the early 80s. It’s hard to remain relevant for such a long period of time, but, despite a few bumps along the way, Madge has managed to do it. Rebel Heart is a pretty decent pop album, more so than the previous two (Hard Candy and MDNA). When a legend releases a new album, however, we like to think back to the beginning. Us music lovers want to compare and contrast the new stuff to the old stuff. Instead of doing that, I began to think about the songs that have meant the most to me over the years. Should I make a top 20 list? Top 10? Ugh, THIS IS HARD! There are so many songs! Seriously, so many. I have a Spotify playlist of 44 favorites, for Pete’s sake!

I grabbed a pen and my trusty notepad, and made a damn list. Because I am an adult and I can do this! *deep breaths* I’ll probably change my mind in the future, or wish the order was different, but who cares. For the most part, these Madonna tunes give me the feels and/or the urge to dance around the room.

10. Don’t Tell Me

The standout track from 2000’s Music. I love the guitar sample at the beginning. I love the strings and the emotional, sweeping ending. The lyrics are great, as well. And who doesn’t think Madonna looks fab in a cowgirl outfit?

 

9. Hung Up

Does this make you want to bust out a leotard and get to grooving? If not, you might be a weirdo. Between the sample of ABBA’s Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight) and the actual pounding beat, Hung Up is one of the greatest dance tracks ever. I dig the breakdown towards the end; just that beat and the ticking clocks. A strange thing I love about this song is the way Madonna enunciates “hesitating”. Alrighty then! Fun fact I learned about the video – it was shot only a few weeks after our queen had a horse riding accident and broke some bones. The woman has some determination.

 

8. Beautiful Stranger

Madonna. Austin Powers. Could that combo be wrong? Nope. This uptempo number has a great feel to it. It’s a total ear worm, too. The swingin’ 60s sound mixed with the late 90s production is a win. Let’s talk about the video for a second: How can Madonna make a pair of khakis sexy? I mean, they seriously look like something I sold when I worked at Lerner back in the day. But somehow she throws on a pair of heels and dances like she does, and those pants become HOT.

 

7. Causing A Commotion

This was one of my favorites as a kid in 1987, and has remained so. Back then, I don’t even think I knew exactly what a commotion was, other than it rhymed with motion and sounded fun. I recall memorizing the dance moves and wishing I had a conveyor belt in my living room. I recently learned this song was written about Madonna’s marriage to Sean Penn. Which makes sense.

 

6. The Power of Good-Bye

One of Madonna’s best ballads, for sure, from the Ray of Light record. Perhaps this is a companion to Causing A Commotion? I’ve read rumors that this one was about ol’ Spicoli as well. Regardless, it’s a lovely, sad, but hopeful tune about a breakup. The electronic bleeps and bloops blend well with the guitar. Since we also have to discuss the video as well as the song, how sexy is Goran Visnjic? Talk about hubba hubba. I adore the blue tint of everything, as well. Matthew Rolson always makes things and people look gorgeous in his videos.

 

5. Rain

Damn, this song is pretty, hiding among all the sexy songs on the Erotica album. That awesome crescendo, though! So good. I also love the homage to Here Comes The Sun by The Beatles. I could do without the spoken word part, however. As for the video, it’s beautiful. Madonna in short black hair and perfect eyebrows? Yes please.

 

4. Deeper And Deeper

Put this track on and you are guaranteed to see me start boogying. It’s super fun to sing, too. Deeper And Deeper also gets cool points for referencing Vogue. I have a soft spot for artists dropping their previous hit song lyrics into new songs. Why? Don’t ask me. I have to say that the video for this song is…. weird. I get the Andy Warhol references, but I thought he was weird too, so there you go. Udo Kier is a total creeper and watching Madonna fawn over him disturbs me. At least she looks badass in an afro wig.

 

3. Ray Of Light

Ray of Light is Madonna’s best album, in my humble opinion. The title track blew me away the first time I heard it. It was like she rose like a phoenix from the ashes of a naughty pop princess and became an electronic Mother Earth. The beat is so fast paced, I don’t know if I want to dance or start a mosh pit. The video has that same crazy frantic feel. Brilliant!

 

2. Oh Father

Madonna at her most vulnerable can be incredibly outstanding, and this song is an example. It tells a story about loss and coping with that loss, breaking free, and coming to terms. We all know this is autobiographical. Madonna lost her mom at a young age, and had difficulty with her father as well. The odd sounding violin arrangement complements the melody extremely well; it’s my favorite part of the song. As for the video, there really isn’t much to say, since it’s a perfect representation of the song.

 

1. Live To Tell

This will always be my favorite Madonna song. Period. It was the first song I heard of hers that hit me in the gut. I was 12 years old and had no idea why a man would tell a thousand lies, but I knew that holding a secret until the death was some powerful grownup stuff. I remember being impressed that Madonna could release a serious ballad – she wasn’t just a sexy minx for us girls to admire and the boys to drool over! Now that I’m an adult, the song still packs an emotional punch. I love her soft and simple look in the video, as well. I never did see At Close Range, so I’ve no idea what the hell is going on with the movie scenes. Christopher Walken’s mustache is scary to this day.

 

What did you think? Could you list your favorite Madonna songs? Feel free to leave your list in the comments. I’m curious! I’m glad Madonna has graced us with so many tunes, and I’m proud that she continues to do so.

madge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Funeral Songs. My Demand.

First of all, when I die, and there people around who feel I deserve some kind of send-off, I have one demand. If it’s not met, I’ll become a mean force ghost and haunt everyone. That demand is, THESE SONGS BETTER BE PLAYED:

1. Into The West by Annie Lennox

I may be crying right now, by the way. It is impossible for me to hear that song and not do a bit of ugly sobbing. Speaking of sobbing, back to the matter at hand. I’d like to get all the tears out of the way at my funeral, and this lovely piece will do it. Everyone will imagine me in my hobbit cloak, boarding a ship with Gandalf and the other ring-bearers, giving that final smile to everyone. But don’t be too sad, folks. Once I get to the Undying Lands, me and the Valar are going be FULL ON PARTYING.

 

2. White And Nerdy by Weird Al Yankovic

It’s as good a theme song as any, amirite? I mean, it’s by Al, my comedy music hero. It defines me. I’ll ace any trivia quiz you bring on, I memorized Holy Grail really well, I can recite it right now and have you R-O-T-F-L-O-L, even made a homepage for my dog, yo. So at this point you all can talk about my nerdy accomplishments in life. I’m sure there will be many of them. Maybe do a slide show of all the photo ops I managed to get at comic conventions. There better be one of me and Tom Hiddleston, or I will have lived for nothing. Just kidding. Sort of.

 

3. Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life, by Eric Idle

This will be the grand finale, people. And everyone will have to sing along. My force ghost powers will increase and I will torture every attendee of my service if they aren’t belting this out at the top of their lungs. And after it’s finished, and everyone has wiped their tears of joy and laughter, go to a bar and get shit faced. Then move on with your life. Because remember that the last laugh is on you.

 

 

 

Meri’s Top Ten Songs of 2014

Hello, legions of readers who have been dying for a post from me! *sarcasm* First of all, I apologize for neglecting this here World of mine. I’ve had no inspiration whatsoever. Everything I’ve considered writing about ended up just a “eh, no one cares about that mess” dismissal, and I went about my business of curling up in various blankets with various cats on my lap (currently Ollivander is on me, making it very difficult to accomplish anything).

Music has been berry berry good to me these past 12 months, so I wanted the comeback entry here to be related to all the songs that made me happy, emotional, dance, and impressed. LET THE COUNTDOWN BEGIN!

10. Turn Down For What – DJ Snake & Lil Jon

I didn’t want to like this one. Lil Jon tends to annoy me most of the time, with his yelling and songs that grate my ears. But this Snake DJ feller eased my pain. I just want to stand up and boogie like a goober every time I hear this.

 

9. Handy – Weird Al Yankovic

Al’s Mandatory Fun album is stellar; there isn’t a non-brilliant song in the bunch. Handy, however is PERFECT parody-wise.

 

8. Fancy – Iggy Azalea & Charli XCX

So  let’s celebrate the tune Al parodied, shall we? I mean, this jam is so catchy, I don’t think I EVER turned it off when it came on. Between Iggy’s rap style and Charli’s super hook, it’s totally the song of the summer. Or fall. Or winter.

 

7. Flawless (Remix) – Beyonce & Nicki Minaj

Are you kidding me? Queen Bey is on a whole different level with this pop/hip hop/r&b thing now. No longer the squeaky clean diva. She gangsta now. When Nicki saunters on the stage in this video, which is where I first heard this version of the song, I knew shit was going to get real. And there was no disappointment.

 

6. Slippery Slopes – Jenny Lewis

There are so many great songs on Jenny’s latest album, The Voyager. But this one sticks with me the most. Its laid back telling of a tricky, drug fueled, possible threesome, along with the lovely nod-your-head beat. Good stuff.

 

5. Lonely Girl – Weezer

A wonderfully solid Weezer album made me excited about them again, and dammit if this tune isn’t pretty much one of their most perfectly Weezer-ish creations. I hope they tour near me this summer.

 

4. Birth In Reverse – St. Vincent

I wish I had discovered Annie sooner – she’s just oddball, immensely talented, and I really wanted her hair this year. I tried to achieve that look in November, but it didn’t work out. ANYWAY. This song is amazing. Love the off-kilter beat, the guitar riffs, and did I mention I love her hair in the video?

 

3. Nobody Asked Me (If I Was Okay) – Sky Ferreira

I could have picked at least three of the songs on Sky’s album, Night Time, My Time. But I wanted to have 10 different artists’ work on this list. I love the feel of her album; it’s like a movie soundtrack from the 80s. I relate to the lyrics of this song the most, so that’s why it’s on the list.

 

2. Every Breaking Wave – U2

I’m welling up with tears just listening to it right now. This is another in the “I could have picked a million songs off this album” category. I mean, U2 is my favorite band in the world, and they put out their best album since Achtung Baby in 2014. Forget the whole IT’S ON EVERYONE’S IPHONE thing. That really took away from how excellent Songs Of Innocence is. From start to finish. Every Breaking Wave was in my top five from the first listen, but when I saw this performance from the MTV EMA Awards, my heart exploded and it quickly became my most favorite on the album. I mean, Bono hasn’t done a raw, searing, heartbreaking execution like that since I DON’T KNOW WHEN. It reminded me of that Unforgettable Fire making of video, when he’s in the recording booth singing Pride (In The Name Of Love).

 

1. Chandelier – Sia

Basically, Maddie Ziegler’s dance routine in the video for this song is the representation of 2014 for me. The song is a representation of 2014 too. Thanks Sia Furler. 1000 Forms Of Fear was the best thing my ears received this year.

Current Music Obsession: Sia

I kept hearing songs featuring this loud, brave, gorgeous, and a bit sad voice. A random dance track from David Guetta. A tune off the last Hunger Games soundtrack. A hook from an Eminem song. A collaboration with singer/songwriter Greg Laswell. WHO IS THIS LADY? She’s the wonderful Sia Furler, who hails from Australia, and has written songs for Britney Spears, Rihanna, Katy Perry, and is a talented, fascinating goddess. Have you not seen the video for Chandelier yet? It’s haunting. The song is incredible….

 

Recently, Sia performed three songs on Jimmy Kimmel’s show, and they’re great. She prefers to perform with her back to the audience, and let the dancers/performance artists interpret the songs. I dig this. Elastic Heart is featured on The Hunger Games Catching Fire soundtrack, but I’m guessing it’ll be on her new album, 1000 Forms of Fear, too….

She also did Big Girls Cry & Chandelier, but since the performance of Chandelier is sort of similar to the video above, I’ll just post Big Girls Cry….

Now excuse me while I go listen to all of her previous albums and geek out and stuff. I will give a shout out to her cover of Madonna’s Oh Father – it’s great.

 

Got any good Sia related things I should check out? Let me know.

 

 

Meri’s World Podcast Episode 01 – Classic Rock And Cats

It’s the first episode of Meri’s World, the podcast about pop culture, geeky things, and cats – With a little help from my friends. I’m  joined by my pal and fellow Mouthy Broad Jen, my dad Steve, and Rozley, the coolest producer ever. We geek out over Fleetwood Mac & Pink Floyd and talk about the creatures that meow.

 

Rock And Roll Hall of Fame Inductees

8 Benefits Of Being A Cat Owner

Grumpy-Cat-Pharrell-Hat-MTV-Movie-Awards-2014

 

Check out the wonderfully insane Roley Show and of course my sisters in bitchassness, Mouthy Broadcast!

Please subscribe to my podcast on iTunes & spread the word.  We’ll get better, have all kinds of topics, improve the website, and if you have an idea/suggestion/complaint, email merisworldpodcast@gmail.com!