What you should listen to if you adore the “A Star is Born” Soundtrack

The truth is that I often hate remakes, but I had to get over that fact because “A Star is Born” is on its fourth remake. Plus, Judy Garland was not the original female protagonist. I know I’m probably going to love this version the most because of the soundtrack. I knew I was going to love it because of the artists involved.

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While getting my hair done, my stylist, Lisa Wolfe, encouraged me to blog about music. She stated how it is evident that I love bands and I have an in-depth knowledge of trivia.  I introduced her to Lukas Nelson last week when she was working her magic on my hair.

My hope is that at some point and time, the songwriters will perform the songs together. I would like to hear it with their emotions. Although Gaga had involvement in writing the songs, there were two female songwriters involved in the soundtrack. Natalie Hemby, who wrote “Pontoon” for Little Big Town. Also, Lorri McKenna, who wrote the hit Tim McGraw song “Humble and Kind.” I adore their voices and work. Like me, Hemby has roots in Southeast Missouri. Also, Lorri McKenna was just a mom who wrote bedtime songs for her five children. Although these women are not fairly known, they should be recognized.

However, some artists that I adore and I have proudly seen live, had involvement in this. “Maybe It’s Time” was written by Jason Isbell. He has a band called the 400 Unit. Their song “If we were Vampires” was featured on This is Us. His wife, Amanda Shires, is the band’s fiddle player. They have amazing chemistry on stage, but I live for their Instagram Stories. My personal favorite shenanigan of them was when Jason read Amanda US Weekly.

Bradley Cooper hired Lukas Nelson as his character guide for the film. Nelson happens to be the son of everyone’s favorite musician from Austin, Willie Nelson. In my opinion, Lukas Nelson’s music is much more soulful than his dad’s music. In fact, Lady Gaga collaborated with on “Find Yourself” on Lukas Nelson & Promise of The Real’s self-titled album in 2017. The soundtrack has a merge of songs with an indie feel and pop music. Toward the end of the soundtrack, the guitars were replaced with beats.

I feel as though all female protagonists in the latest 3 movies had established careers. Barbara had already starred in “Funny Girl,” it had been 18 years since Judy Garland starred in ‘The Wizard of Oz,” and Lady Gaga hit the scene with “Just Dance” during Christmas break of my junior year of high school.  I thought it was fitting how Gaga played ode to Judy with “Somewhere over the Rainbow.”

The guitar solo in “Out of Time” had Lukas Nelson vibes. My personal favorite song on the soundtrack for Gaga’s abilities was “Always Remember Us This Way.” “Look What I found” had more pop songwriters on board. The feel was different from “Shallows.” I’ve come a long way from hating Lady Gaga with her weird outfits to recognizing her talents.

My friend Johnathan Pushkar actually saw the film two weeks ago at an early viewing in Franklin, TN. His face just expresses enthusiasm when talking about. I believe him that this soundtrack will win awards. Plus, he has the envy of every girl because he was in the same room as Bradley Cooper. I cannot wait to see the film. However, I will have to view the film after my sister’s wedding weekend. Great moments are ahead this weekend. I will definitely sing this soundtrack on my way to Memphis.

Influencers should never memorialize nor profit from tragedies

Every September 11th, I will hear a new story from a survivor that makes tears instantly fall from my face. Also, I expect a brand to make an inappropriate post. Now, this year it wasn’t a mattress store offering a twin mattress sale. It was two lifestyle bloggers, Dani Austin and Collins Tuohy-Smith.

IMG_4117.jpegAustin is the founder of The Sassy Club and was in New York for Fashion Week. Collins Tuohy-Smith’s family was portrayed in the 2009 film, The Blindside, and owns the up and coming cookie franchise, Whimsy. On September 12, I pitched an op-ed piece to several publications and I have not heard back. In this case, I feel as though urgency is needed due to the fact no one is talking about this. This topic about influencers needs discussion.

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Each blogger had a similar pose wearing a cute outfit in front of the skyline that is absent of the One World Trade Center. Tuohy-Smith was on a rooftop looking down in pose commonly used by influencers. While Dani was posing by a viewer on top of the Empire State Building. The photos were tasteless and poor judgment for memorializing those who lost their lives.

Their prompts mentioned: do you remember 9/11?,  it’s so sad we went through this, and I love NYC. Every American has the right to post about how this day should never be forgotten. That includes everyone in rural America who have never seen the New York Skyline. However, the influencers’ prompt seemed insincere when matched up with the photo.

Brands from mattresses, pregnancy tests, and boutiques will pay bloggers to promote items on their social media feed. Austin has partnered with Southwest Airlines and made a post within the past week about flying with them to New York. Initially, I didn’t think she had partnered with a brand, but instead, she had another trick up her sleeve.

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While leaving the Americana Awards, I thought I had found a hat. I’ve been on the search for a budget-friendly hat that looks like buffalo roamed on my family’s farm. @southernglamourblog wore a hat, which I thought would be linked in the app, LikeToKnow.it. I had to explain to my friend how the app worked and why I was mad when I saw this. Sadly, I was not as disappointed that I could not find the hat because my hard work of that op-ed changed. Instead, Dani Austin’s 9/11 post showed up where she could monetize through her blog. Initially, I took that screenshot to show a mentor in public relations.

Here’s how LikeToKnow.it by RewardStyle works, you download the app, which notices the screenshot of a photo that an affiliated blogger posts on Instagram. That photo will have similar items or the exact item in that photo to help the consumer. Plus, the influencers can make money when items get purchased through the links directed to the app.

In 2013, Spaghetti O’s came under fire for having a social media post that memorialized Pearl Harbor with the logo holding an American flag. It was inappropriate for another day that was meant to be reverent. If I made a post of me on December 8 holding a Mai Tai on a Hawaiian beach with a prompt that said “Today’s why World War Two began,” that would be just as bad as the bloggers’ 9/11 post.

I’m still moved by my visit to Pearl Harbor so I do not appreciate Spaghetti O’s post. In 2009, I visited Ground Zero and just like Pearl Harbor, you cannot help but think of the hell that happened at those locations. My Facebook page was flooded with pictures of my friends at the 9/11 memorial. Once again, they have the right to say how they feel. However, none of them had a pose where they looked down all cutesy.

My hope is that LikeToKnow.it has the guts to take down the links to the photo and create a new policy for posts relating to a tragedy. Macy’s clearly does not have a 9/11 sale. Many Americans are still going through they own PSTD from 9/11 and no one should be making a dime off selling clothes on anything related to this date.

Now I know I have a small percentage of the followers that these bloggers have. I have blogged as a writer since 2010 before you had to learn how to take a cute photo, own a Gucci belt, and have brands back you. I don’t care about my following, because I love writing. I am prepared to be attacked by the influencer community where I will be viewed as not hip, mean, critical, rough, being upset by anything, or taking things seriously.

The best lesson that I learned is social media was from my former boss, Tim Nicholson. With his strategy, we were not going to post stuff in reference to memorial holidays unless we had a story that reflected on it. His thoughts were that we often were just saying “Never Forget” like everyone else then it did nothing to our mission.

This September 11th, I was working as a freelance runner for ESPN for the USA vs. Mexico soccer game. The make-up artist was from the New York area. After asking her what events she normally worked on, she insisted that I watch the ESPN special on 9/11 that she worked on the set. Then I told her that I saw the story of Welles Crowther, a former lacrosse player and firefighter turned equity trader, that saved many lives that day. Yet, his courage and bravery cost him his own life. She stated how she watched the towers fall from her suburban home. Then I was in awe when she said, “I could name 14 more people I knew personally that perished that day.”

I know I’m just a girl who grew up in rural Missouri, who lives in Nashville, but these stories still need to be repeated. However, let’s reserve social media to hear the stories similar to Welles Crowther and Lt. Heather Penney, who was essentially given orders for a suicide mission to bring down United Flight 93. I’m grateful Lt. Penney did not have to sacrifice her life that day. As Americans, we need to help each other out if it is through criticizing this poor choice by a person and a brand or by saying a simple thank you.

You do not have to be sponsored by Uber or any brand to thank your servicemen. A lot of people in the service from Clarksville, TN come to Nashville to drive for Uber. I immediately tell them “thank you for your service” because I don’t know if they were given orders to the extent of Lt. Penney.

On 9/11, it should not be associated with sales, the blogger pose where you peer down, and clothes. We can express our love for our country and the sadness of 9/11, but let’s be cautious when we post. If you are visiting a memorial in your state or in a different country, please do not pose at that place. While I will admit, Whimsy makes good cookies and these girls have good clothes, but the posts should have never been made. I do not want the day my nation was attacked to be glammed up with an advertisement.

 

 

Never strive for a picturesque holiday

This year  I have been caught up in so many things on my to-list. I have played Christmas music to get more in the spirit. I must say the new Hanson Christmas album is on point (no shame). As a Mississippi State Bulldog, I committed a sin. It was not until Monday, November 20, that I remembered the biggest game of the year, The Egg Bowl, is this week. I’m typing this while watching the Friends Thanksgiving episodes trying to think of anything else that should be on my list.

Yes, I believe in merging Thanksgiving and Christmas. It helps one realize that they are truly blessed beginning on November 1. Plus, it helps thankfulness roll over into Christmas. There is no such thing as premature Christmas decorating.

 

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I probably could have found a bad picture from a photo shoots for our annual Christmas Cards when we were really showing out. So here is one of my siblings as grown adults.

My main goal for the holidays has just been to be in a happy spirit to make this world better. I wish making good food was part of the main goal, but it is a time where everyone needs love. Over the past few weeks, I have been longing just for the presence of my family being together under the same roof. My sister has been sending me texts throughout the day of certain recipes to try, so I basically leave planning a few things up to her.

 

During college, I loved a Tommy Hilfiger commercial to Vampire Weekend’s Holiday. They looked so chic where you wanted to dress up. Plus, I love wearing blazers. Both of my grandparents are far from hosting a holiday event that is formal. Yes, I agree that while I enjoy a dinner that has a beautiful place setting, perfectly wrapped presents under a tree, and sweets. However, that is not what one should strive for. It is embarrassing how much food I pile on my plate at my grandma’s house, but I am just excited to see my grandparents. This year I strangely did not think about the delicious food on the table. Distance makes things harder, but I’m just glad to see everyone. Trust me it has been a long two months since I have seen them.

A year ago, I wrote a blog about the holidays being sad, but the truth is I found out I was not alone. Ironically, a year later Bad Moms Christmas was released, which was freaking hilarious. Everyone in America has gone through at least one dramatic part of the movie. So it is naturally fine to have anger around the holidays with a little road rage, stress, and anxiety that the cookies might not turn out well. Anger will happen along the way, but it is okay. We all strive for the perfect Norman Rockwell style holiday, but it eventually turns out like the Griswald’s in Christmas Vacation.

For the meantime, I am just going to tell myself that it will all fall into place with extra things added to my list. It’s just good to have everyone together and that feels like a major luxury. During the season of Thanksgiving, I found two events that I will volunteer for around the Nashville area. I’m just so thankful that during church, I realized that I needed to do something. Not long after, those opportunities, which will happen in 2018, approached me. Well, I am welcoming those opportunities. The fact that is Thanksgiving time hasn’t truly hit me, but that is okay with me because I am not concerned about things being perfect.

Stranger Thoughts

I have held back on posting quotes from the recent season of Stranger Things on my social media channels because I know people have had activities this weekend. I wanted to redirect the conversation about Stranger Things to my blog instead of my social media channels. Recently so many websites give spoilers with the headlines that make one question the fate of the show or it mentions even one trivial thing. However, I just want to see everyone’s thoughts in the comments thread on my blog only so we don’t spoil anything for others.

On a side note Target has tons of Stranger Things Merchandise, such as a card game, Monopoly, and Ouija board. Hint: I really want the card game for Christmas. I believe it is popular due to the fact that it just shows everyone’s nerdy side and nostalgia. One of my classmates from high school claimed she would burn down the place if she saw a spoiler. We do not want arson charges so don’t scroll down unless you have seen it. This is the last reminder that if you haven’t seen the show stop reading below this line.

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New Character Vibes- When I took a creative practicum class in college, I had a  teacher explain that when a character leaves it is like an organ transplant. You have to find the similar character with the same traits to keep it going. Well even though 11 is still on the show, she doesn’t really communicate until the end with her guy friends. So I feel as though Max was used to serve as the girl the group. However, I believe that in the next season conflict will arise between the girls even though they are perfect together.

We see more of other family members besides. I thought it was funny with Dustin’s mom and Mews (the Barb of this season), but the best secondary character was without a doubt is Erica. Lucas’ sassy little sister who had the cutest comeback lines. However, Holly Wheeler still hasn’t said a word yet.

Nancy and Steve, you have improved- On “The OC,” I hated Summer Roberts in the beginning, but she became a better person. The same applies to Nancy and Steve. In my eyes, I still slightly cannot forgive her by how she treated Barb. Nancy does a good job showing grief over Barb’s death, which it’s quite evident at the house party.  I actually sympathized with Nancy, but I’m glad she at least had a little flame with Jonathon. I was glad when she offered him to go to the party with the line, “You will be listening to the Talking Heads and reading Vonnegut.” I am glad she worked with Jonathon to help the reporter bring down the lab. That’s what good journalism does.

Steve was actually nice, but I still think of him as the mean guy. Yeah, he did clean the “Nancy the Slut” signs in season 1, but he just still isn’t my favorite.  I was shocked when he befriended Dustin where he eventually gave him advice that made his hair look like Ducky on “Pretty in Pink.” I believe in the next season it might be hard for Steve to show he hangs out with the geeks. There’s no way he would let the school know he’s playing a campaign in the Wheeler’s basement. However, the train tracks scene between Dustin and him was awesome.

Rules to live by- If I have kids I will tell them Hopper’s “We are not stupid rules” which are “blinds pulled, don’t answer the door, and don’t leave without me because we are not stupid.” Please if you have a kid I dare you to do this. My dad really emphasized about how people can see your activity with the blinds up when I was young and specifically when I went off to college so I really related to it. However, think about it is good to explain safety to a little kid.

If I ever teach I will show Jonathon’s freak speech. Yes, it’s okay if you are a little misunderstood because I thought by now people would know about the band Dawes. Jonathon made a good point when he said, “Who would you rather have as your friend Bowie or Kenny Rogers?”  I had to pause for a moment on that question. Even though Kenny Rogers donated money for a center that provides free therapy for kids in my hometown, but I related more to Bowie. Also, I considered going as Bowie with the lightning bolt make up for Halloween, but I chose Eleven. However, that speech showed how Jonathon is wise for guidance beyond introducing his brother to a daring band called, The Clash.

 

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I may have looked like the Ghostbusters Costume scene posing like Eleven.

Similar Bad Boy- However, geez Billy is scum. He is truly like Troy on the Goonies, reckless in his hot rod car. I mean Troy almost killed Brand with the bike just like Billy wanting to hit the boys “just because.” Please tell me, I’m not the only one who thinks he looks like Rob Lowe before “Tommy Boy,” but more specifically he reminds me of another Billy on “St. Elmo’s Fire” and Sodapop Curtis on “The Outsiders.” The hair mixed with the jawline and eyes makes him look like Rob Lowe in the 80s. He seemed to replace Steve’s awful character traits and on the aftershow, The Duffer Brothers mentioned they wrote Billy in because of Steve’s change of character. However, I don’t see this evil guy changing.

Eleven- She has had so much to learn, but she still has a lot more. Her communication is more verbal. She had to learn more than how to sweep the floor of Hopper’s cabin because she learned a lot about her past. Eleven made some dangerous journeys by herself to find shelter, her mother, and lab sister. However, Eleven found the place she belonged. I feel as though Eleven in the pink dress is so distant when we saw her with the Warriors meets Suicide Squad type crew.  I was glad that she was taught her anger, but geez I was glad she ran away from the creeps.  However, I just felt as though when she found her lab sister, it was almost like it escaped to a different series where I did not like the feel. Also, it was hard considering that she did not communicate have one conversation with the boys until episode 8. My fear for next season is that she is still learning to use her powers, will she use them for good or use them for bad?

What about Barb? She’s gone, but not forgotten. She made an appearance in the memorial photos. The status is not only is she dead, but her death made headlines from the controversy of the Hawkins Lab. However, it killed me when the parents believed she was alive and it terrorized Nancy.

What about Bob? Geez, Bob is a goober. I loved The Goonies and Sean Astin was awesome in 50 First Dates, but this one I was like you have strange quirks. Joyce could do way better. At least he wasn’t like Billy’s dad, but he was quirky I mean forgetting the gun at the control center. I had a feeling Sean Astin would just be a character for a brief moment for the purpose of nostalgia. The demodogs totally attacked Bob like walkers on The Walking Dead while Joyce just screamed no.

Dustin is totally Chunk-  I’m referring to a character in The Goonies. When the pollywog came into play I thought darn we have some Harry Potter vibes here because there’s some sort of mythical creature Dustin is just amazed at and tries to find what species it is. Except darn Dustin is almost like a naive Hagrid the whole time until the Demogorgon ate the cat. However, even in the last episode, he believes that a Three Musketeer can solve a lot of problems like Chunk to Sloth with the Baby Ruth. I love they incorporated the ghost trap, but Dustin also had a lot of ETs around the room.

It’s like Lost– Good God with the episode “Dig Dug” it turned into an episode of Lost with medical emergencies, flashbacks, and the repetition of something. “Breathe, sunflower, rainbow, 450, three to the right, four to the left, breathe” is to Stranger Things as “4, 8, 15, 16, 23 and 42” is to Lost. At the final episode when Will has the monster emerge from him, it totally reminded me of the smoke monster. Also, there were so many parts where I felt like a psychology/ethics lesson. Eleven basically had a similar experience to the Milgram’s study when was given the choice to kill Ray from the lab where it reminded me of many situations in Lost. Sorry, I had to mention this, but you have to remember my family watched Lost together when I was in high school.

Netflix better release Stranger Things on Halloween every year- Considering that Amazon, Hulu, and Netflix had a scarce selection of horror movies we need something to creep us out around Halloween. For now, I would highly recommend the after show, Beyond Stranger Things, especially if you like behind the scenes features such as special effects, costumes, and character development. I’m still watching it, but it is something good to have one while going through emails or paying bills, etc. However, I feel as though Beyond Stranger Things is too long for most people to watch.

Literature In A Hurry

There are times in our lives we have to look back and say, “In a way, I don’t blame myself for giving up an activity, but it could have helped me.” I’ve heard it many times from artists and musicians. Yet you have probably asked someone why did they take a break from such a wonderful gift. The past year has been quite evident of that with my blog.

Here’s a little round-up of what I have done since I blogged like a crazy person.

  • I began a quest to move to Nashville. That was a success.
  • I landed a job in the health communication. That was a success.
  • I finished my master’s degree, which was also a success.
  • Also, I planned tons of gatherings with my two favorite childhood friends at home. It was a success considering I live far from them now.
  • My blogging life…oh that was a complete dumpster fire. That falls into the category of “I wish I could have worked on it and it could have helped me.”

literature in a hurryFor every success, you have some flaws. For me, that was staying on schedule with my blog that I had neglected. I also wanted to change my blog name. It took me forever to come up with a new name, which came from one of my favorite movies. However, the name depicts my life as a young college student, a graduate student, a young life-long learner, and whatever stage in life I am. However, this name is a reminder that no matter how fast my life is I always have a story to tell.

My purpose is to be a storyteller whether it is through my blog, pr, digital drawings, photography, and my daily life. I have been blogging on and off, tentatively, or whatever you would like to call it since 2010 when I was a freshman in college. Yet I have friends tell me “you need to blog more” or “you depicted Mississippi State so well in the BuzzFeed list and you could blog about anything.” It’s good to have encouragement, but things must happen on it’s own time. However, a break allows you to regroup and most importantly focus on what matters to you. So even though I’m starting back up, I know I might stop. I know I need to show off my talents.

There are many categories of blogs, but I’m going to be the crazy person all over with different topics from product reviews to thought-based blogs. Plus, it’s obvious I love food so there will be blogs about restaurants and my own recipes. I’m not hiring a photographer for this blog unless a friend wants to take good pictures of me or I hand off the phone for a snapshot. It will reflect my life in a hurry and it shows a real glimpse into my life. Plus, there are blogs that make people feel bad, which serves as a reminder that they cannot afford 5 Vince sweaters, have enough designer purses, or they are not living the right life. I just want people to read my blog and think, “Yes, that’s what I’m going through” or “Oh I needed to hear that.”

I’m going to be honest and say most of my wardrobe is from TJ Maxx, Nordstrom Rack, Target, or sales. There’s nothing wrong with that because it shows I am creative with my resources. I think I dress pretty good although I get to that point where I’m like “People probably think my black tassel earrings from Valerie Ochs that I got at the Old Orchard Barn Sale in Sikeston are the only earrings I own.” Seriously, I’m going to miss going to the sale this weekend and that’s one of the few downsides of living away from home. However, I have tried other earrings with tassels, but these are so light.

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Pictured with my Valerie Ochs earrings. I’m surprised my hat didn’t go into the Cumberland River because of the wind during this shot.

Now on my Instagram posts, I have made posts that should have been blog posts. Accessing my website isn’t as fast as posting something on IG. So I am going to include the hashtag #LiteratureInAHurry on some of the posts. Plus, it’s fitting because I had to share my feelings about going to Becca Steven’s “Love Heals” book signing and the loss of Tom Petty on IG.

When I moved to Nashville I had two weeks where I went to work, to go home what was supposed to be my long awaited haven and I worked on my master’s. My zeal was beyond stupid once I finished that paper. So I drove to treat myself after my last paper, I drove down to 12th South for Five Daughters Bakery. While driving, I thought well this is it. It’s time to not only make an impact in this city I dreamed of moving too, but fulfill my purpose whether it be volunteering or contributing to the field of communication.

On that drive, I told myself I need to write creatively because in high school I did want to major in English.   that was about two months ago and it has taken me this long to get myself back into blogging. Don’t get me wrong I love working in public relations. Plus, I had concentrations in journalism and broadcasting as well in undergraduate. The problem is you often have to leave creativity at the door or it is often forgotten about it. Yes, it has taken me awhile to get started, but here I am. So here’s my shot.