Monday, August 13, 2018

"Crystal" by Stevie Nicks

One of my favorite movies is "Practical Magic," for many reasons - I'll just name a few. One, it's about witches and I love everything about witches. And two, although there are many love stories within the plot, the chief love story is about the bond between sisters - Sally (Sandra Bullock) and Gillian (Nicole Kidman). Being the middle of a trio of sisters, I know that bond well - there are no other people in this world that understand better what I went through during my childhood because they went through it, too. Anyway, this song - "Crystal" by Stevie Nicks - starts playing during my favorite scene. Sally, who had just seen a desperate woman kill a dove because she wanted a man to love her again, performs a love spell called Amas Veritas to draw her true love to her. She makes the specifications very specific and almost unlikely, such as having two different eye colors (heterochromia iridum). When Gillian remarks, "I thought you never wanted to fall in love?" Sally replies, "That's the point. The guy I dreamed of doesn't exist. If he doesn't exist, I won't die of a broken heart." Oh dear...I remember when I used to be that young and cynical.

I did a spell like this when I was a teenager. When I was younger, I knew that the man I was supposed to marry was tall and thin, with dark hair, glasses, and facial hair. I added hazel green eyes later but, in general, that's what I looked for. My best friend in high school used to make fun of me for having such a specific "type," but that's what I saw when I envisioned the hypothetical groom at my wedding. Everything else was fuzzy (I wasn't the type to plan my own wedding as a kid) but I knew those things for certain. And I did end up marrying a guy who was tall and thin, with dark hair, glasses, and a beard. No hazel green eyes, but I have a soft spot for brown eyes, too. It wasn't all physical - there were personality traits, like Sally had in her spell. Like being ambitious but also understanding how important family is. Letting me taste his food if we got different things at a restaurant (the Husband actually hates this so I've stopped asking). Being able to laugh at himself. Being an avid reader (not the Husband). Intrigued by creepy/paranormal/metaphysical nonsense (also not the Husband, an avowed Atheist). Et cetera, et cetera. I can't remember everything - the list was pretty long. I was a fucking teenager - I had pretty high standards, most of which ended up not being deal-breakers if a guy didn't meet them. Because Dream Men/Women are hard to find, so you have to make exceptions if you don't want to spend the rest of your life alone.

I got a lot of other crazy ideas from this movie, besides the whole "true love" spell thing. Of course, I would love to be the town witch who lives in a creepy but beautiful house by the sea - attached greenhouse/solarium included. Then, there was this idea that someone could fall in love with me just by reading something I wrote. In fact, the hypothetical Dream Man mentioned above wanted to read everything I wrote - including that re-imagined Snow White screenplay I wrote when I was 14 (which wasn't as good as I thought it was). This scenario happens in the movie. Sally writes a letter to Gillian that ends up in the hands of a US Marshall hunting down Gillian's ex-boyfriend, Jimmy Angelo. Coincidentally, the US Marshall - Gary Hallett - also fits the description exactly of the man in the love spell Sally did when she was 12 years old, which she had completely forgotten at this point because she was living her life, like a normal person would. But that's what happens sometimes. You're going about your life, perfectly fine in your own little world and then - Bam! - the Universe throws a curveball (like your sister's undead ex-boyfriend) at you. But it all works out in the end. Well, at least in the movies, it does.

As for the song - Stevie asks us if we trust what our heart is telling us. I mean really trust it? Like you know what it's telling you is true without any proof. And if we do know that it's true, do we listen and follow what it's telling us? Stevie wrote "Crystal" as she began yearning for more independence and searching for growth in her life. It also speaks of the loyalty her former partner/lover, Lindsey Buckingham, had for her early in their music career. Eventually, they broke up - one of the "most passionate breakups" in musical history, by all accounts. Anyway, long story short, Stevie Nicks listened to what her heart was saying, followed where it led, and it opened her up to a world of possibilities.

Do you always trust your first initial feeling
Special knowledge holds truth bears believing
I turned around
And the water was closing all around
Like a glove
Like the love that had finally, finally found me
Then I knew
In the crystalline knowledge of you
Drove me through the mountains
Through the crystal-like clear water fountain
Drove me like a magnet
To the sea

So....Do I always trust my intuition? Yes, usually - but I don't always follow it. Sometimes you just can't, even though you want to. Sure, you can affect change by making different choices and I'm a big proponent of being Masters of our own Fate. But I learned a long time ago that you can't force things, especially if it's the wrong time. For example, my husband and I had been criss-crossing paths for a long time before we met. I used to feel sad that we could've met earlier and we didn't. I don't now. We met when we were supposed to meet and I accept that's how the Universe works. Other times, I've acted on my intuition impulsively, with almost reckless regard for the consequences, and things worked out, like when I quit my job and moved to San Antonio. I'm almost certain that intuition can't steer you wrong, that it will tell you when it's right to act on that feeling. You just have to listen. I've instinctively believed all this hippie-dippy bullshit from a young age, but it isn't until recently that I accepted and trusted it. Life does that to you. Some people figure it out earlier than others and some never do. I wonder what might've happened if I had come to this conclusion earlier but that's a dangerous road to walk down. However, I've learned that all roads seem to lead to Rome - so even if you don't follow your intuition now, somehow, you'll get to where it's trying to lead you. Okay, I'm done with the "woo-woo" for today.

"Crystal" Video

Sunday, August 12, 2018

"Good Old Days" by Macklemore feat. Kesha

After 12 hours in airports and on airplanes, I'm finally home. Colorado Springs was nice and maybe I'll visit again someday but right now, I'm glad to be back. But I tell you, I made a point to have some adventures. Even though I was on my own - and it's weird having adventures by yourself. You start thinking about who you wish you could be sharing them with. You spend a lot of time in your head....but, honestly, I needed that alone time. Cue "Good Old Days" on the radio....

This song is about being grateful for what you have now and enjoying where you are now. Looking back on on the memories and being happy they happened. And taking time while you're young to realize how lucky you are. How lucky I am. I've been trying to do that more - to be present in the moment and not worry that I don't have more because I have so much already. Being appreciative for the people in my life and the time I get to spend with them, even though it doesn't seem to be enough sometimes. And most of all, being good to myself and not worrying so much about life. I'm trying to not have so many goddamn existentialist crises, as fun as they are. When I started getting lonely on this trip, I heard this song and remembered that it was the Universe telling me to stop being so melancholic and to do something fun. Speaking of which, those adventures in Colorado Springs....

I'm pretty sure I almost died. I had made a plan to go see the Broadmoor Seven Falls on what was supposed to be my last day in Colorado. Well, it started off alright. Google Maps took me to the base of the mountains, in a pretty nice area. This part of Colorado Springs is very similar to Old Town Bisbee - narrow, winding roads interspersed with rich people's houses. That's when things went a little sideways. As you may be aware, Google Maps does not do well when you go off the beaten trail - which is where I had to go....or thought I had to go. I came to this dirt road that went up the mountain and I figured that's where I needed to be. Dear friends, this became the second most terrifying drive that I've ever done. This dirt road was barely one car wide in some places - and, yes, there were people coming down while I was going up. And on most of the way up, there was a sheer vertical drop on one side. Just for reference, I was in a Nissan Rogue, which is not a small, agile car. About a mile in, I was thinking that I definitely was not in the right place but there was no place to turn around. But I made a decision - I was going to follow this road wherever it led. Because I wanted an adventure and I was granted one.


I drove up this road for like 30 minutes, or approximately 9 miles. It was fun and really scary at the same time, but I knew I'd be okay because I'm a good driver and I've done steep mountain roads before. Sure, I went a little slow sometimes, which really annoyed the 12-passenger van behind me. Eventually they passed me when the road got wide enough. Finally, I found a place to park and thought I'd just walk around and see if there were any trails. It was beautiful, though - it smelled like pine, spruce, dirt, and fresh air. It smelled green, which is one of my favorite smells.


I started walking up the road, enjoying nature. And then I started thinking. I'm a small woman walking alone in the - capital W - Wilderness. I'm not exactly an outdoorsy girl but I knew enough from Girl Scouts that this probably wasn't the smartest idea I've ever had. That's when I heard what I thought was the growling of a mountain lion. It's the Colorado mountains - of course there's mountain lions, bears, and all sorts of other critters. I decided to cut my "hike" short and go back to my car. 


When I got back, there was this lady looking at the scenery. We got to talking (she was from Odessa, TX...small world!) and she told me that the Seven Falls closed at 2pm that day. I didn't even leave my hotel until 2pm because I was finishing up with the conference. Clearly, the Seven Falls wasn't happening this trip, but she suggested going to Garden of the Gods which was open until 7pm. The ride down the mountain was a lot more enjoyable - I even did over the speed limit in some places. Trying to make up for lost time. Anyway, I got to Garden of the Gods and I had two trails I could follow. One was paved and circled the park without going through any brush, and the other was a dirt trail that went into the heart of a wooded area and was marked with a "Beware of Rattlesnakes" sign. Hmm, which to choose? 


Well, I wanted to take the one that would take me into the Great Unknown, which was - unfortunately - the one marked with the "Beware of Rattlesnakes" sign. To quote Indiana Jones, I hate snakes. But I didn't see any on the trail and I was not disappointed with my choice. Garden of the Gods was magnificent and served as an excellent backdrop for me to do some intense journaling. I spent about an hour and a half in the park, just wandering around and taking pictures, before I was too tired to keep walking. And I slept pretty good that night until I got the text from American Airlines saying my flight was cancelled.


Moral of the story: Don't be afraid to do things by yourself. Even if people look at you weird while you scribble furiously in a notebook in the middle of the woods.

Never thought we'd get old, maybe we're still young
Maybe we always look back and think it was better than it was
Maybe these are the moments
Maybe I've been missing what it's about
Been scared of the future, thinking about the past
While missing out on now
We've come so far, I guess I'm proud
And I ain't worried about the wrinkles around my smile
I've got some scars, I've been around
I've felt some pain, I've seen some things, but I'm here now
Those good old days

You don't know, what you've got
Till it goes, till it's gone
You don't know, what you've got
Till it goes, till it's gone

The "Good Old Days" video was shot to make parts of it look like old 70s home movies, which is one of my favorite aesthetics. It follows Kesha and Macklemore meeting up with friends during a camping trip. In the middle of the woods, by a lake. It looks very similar to where I got lost in Colorado but maybe all woods look the same, especially if you have no clue where you are. Anyway, seems like a fun party to be at. I would like to do that some time - just a big old camping trip with some friends. It's been a long time since I've been camping but I do like being out in nature. That's why I prefer to run outside. It makes the pain easier to endure when you're running into a gorgeous sunset or looking at the stars. Anyway, I've ranted at you enough about my exploits. Happy Sunday! Now go have an adventure.

"Good Old Days" Video




Friday, August 10, 2018

"Girls Like You" by Maroon 5 feat. Cardi B

You know that meme where you must be super lame if you like Nickelback? I feel like that meme should've been about Maroon 5. I judge you if you're a big fan of Maroon 5. Heck, I'm judging myself for liking a handful of their songs. For a long time, I wanted to stab my eyes out every time I heard "Moves Like Jagger." But I still sang along every time it came on the radio because - God Damn It! - it's fucking catchy as hell. Note - Catchy does not equal good. Commercial jingles are catchy but that doesn't mean you should be singing them at a karaoke bar. Well, you could but people would be really confused. Anyway, I'm still stuck in Colorado due to a late night flight cancellation so I'm writing this on my phone using an app and then publishing in the business center. Because I have no shame that would inhibit me from blogging on a strange computer. Besides, I'd just be sitting around talking/singing to myself and the hotel staff already thinks I'm weird.

I've heard "Girls Like You" constantly while I've been in Colorado Springs so it's permanently stuck in my head now. That's not a bad thing. The lyrics are from the point of view of this guy who keeps coming back to this girl he can't get out of his head. Maybe they're off-again-on-again, but you can tell they're friends when they aren't together. But I get the feeling that he doesn't think he's good enough for her. He's trying to be, though, and sometimes he succeeds. (When I come through, I need a girl like you.) It sounds like the girl in the song doesn't care that he fucked up, though, because she's still around, still forgiving him, still driving his drunk ass home in the morning. And that's the point - she wants effort, not perfection. If you want to be good enough, fucking try and don't make excuses. If you want to spend more time with her, fucking tell her (I need more hours with you). If you need to take a red eye to be with her, do it (I spent last night on the last flight to you). Do what you have to. You might fall short but at least she knows you cared enough to try. That you're willing to do the hard stuff to be together.

The "I'm not good enough" excuse infuriates me, though. If someone says you're good enough, believe them. Otherwise, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy, doesn't it? I disappointed you in the past, erego I'll always disappoint you. Or I don't think I should be attractive to you because other people have always said I'm unattractive, therefore, I'll do things that make me seem unattractive, even if it pushes you away. It sounds crazy but people do it all the time and they sabotage their lives because of it. They ruin relationships, careers, opportunities because they have a predetermined image of who they are - and it's usually a negative version of themselves that emphasizes the flaws and ignores all the good. But I can tell you, that's not what other people see. Most of the time, people are too wrapped up in themselves to even notice you. But if they do notice you - even if it's just for a second - you'll find that they only see the good in you. I usually do, or try to with everyone I meet. And that's definitely the case with a girl/boy who wants to stick around no matter how lame you are (or think you are) and no matter how many times you fuck up (or think you do). So get over your bad self.

Side tangent, since we went down this path - I've toyed with the idea of being a life coach in the past. I decided I'd probably end up screaming at each of my clients because you can't get better unless you want to be better. And a lot of people don't want to do the work. It's uncomfortable and it's scary. I know because I've done it myself. I'm still doing the work because I know my childhood left me feeling like I wasn't good enough to be someone's first priority, not even my own. It's a never-ending battle but it's worth it. Believe me - staying who you think you are is safer, but you'll never get to the place where you want to be. Anyway, on a related note, this is also why I didn't continue my education to become a psychologist. I care too much and watching people choose to stay stuck every day would be disheartening.

Moving on, I enjoy Cardi B's rap break during the bridge. It gives you a chance to get the girl's perspective, which is basically "I'm awesome - in fact, I'm the best thing in your life right now, better than all those girls you thought you loved - and if you don't want to lose me, do something about it." I may have embellished a bit but my interpretation is pretty close (well...except for the dirty part...I forgot about that):

Not too long ago, I was dancing for dollars (eeoow)
Know it's really real if I let you meet my mama (eeoow)
You don't want a girl like me, I'm too crazy
But every other girl you meet is fugazi (okurrrt)
I'm sure them other girls were nice enough
But you need someone to spice it up
So who you gonna call? Bardi, Cardi
Come and rev it up like a Harley, Harley
Why is the best fruit always forbidden?
I'm coming to you now doin' 20 over the limit
The red light, red light stop, stop (skrrt)
I don't play when it comes to my heart, let's get it though
I don't really want a white horse and a carriage
I'm thinkin' more of white Porsches and karats
I need you right here 'cause every time you call
I play with this kitty like you play wit' your guitar (ah)

The video is simple but kind of cool. I love it when bands do videos with cameos of a bunch of celebrities. "Rockstar" by Nickelback is a great example of this. It shows how small the Hollywood/music scene community is, that they can easily get 15-20 celebs to do a video. The video features Ellen, Sarah Silverman, and Wonder Woman herself (Gal Gadot), just to name a few. And then it ends with Adam Levine hugging his family. Aww!

"Girls Like You" Video

Monday, August 6, 2018

"Meant To Be" by Bebe Rexha featuring Florida Georgia Line

I had something more special planned for today since I can't post for a couple days but it turns out that needs more time to cook. Instead, I'm gonna share a song that's been growing on me all summer. In fact, I think it's this year's Song of Summer, even though it was technically released at the end of 2017. I've been hearing it a lot on the radio this summer, anyway, so that - in my mind - categorizes it as a "summer song." It's also got that chill, sunny vibe going on. That's the best way I can describe it. I also thought the switch to something a little more country would be a nice break from all the punk/rock/indie stuff I've been posting.

It's coded as a love song - the girl is trying to force something but the guy is just like "we don't have to go so fast....lets enjoy the ride." But I think this message can flow into other parts of your life, too. For example, in the video, it's not really about Bebe trying to get with one of the guys from Florida Georgia Line. It's about her trying to make her singing career happen. In it, she's hitchhiking and ends up a waitress somewhere outside Albuquerque - because isn't that where we all end up eventually? During a lull in her shift, she starts fantasizing about being pulled on stage at a local show, which evolves into her touring with the band. Kind of an unrealistic fantasy, if you think about it, but - you know - if it's meant to be. In many things, there comes a point where you've done all you can and you just have to leave the outcome to the Universe (or God/the Gods, depending on what you believe). It takes a leap of faith. (Side note - my card this morning was "The Wanderer," one of the meanings for which is needing to take a leap of faith.) When it gets to this point, all you can do is keep working towards your goals, be the best person you can be, and enjoy life for yourself. Happiness is a journey, not a destination. 

Baby, lay on back and relax, kick your pretty feet up on my dash
No need to go​ nowhere fast, let's enjoy right here where we at
Who knows where this road is supposed to lead
We got nothing but time
As long as you're right here next to me, everything's gonna be alright

Some fashion notes - I am loving the two dresses Bebe wears in this video. I think the black gingham number she wears as a waitress is probably a bit too racy to be an actual uniform. That being said....I need to have it. Same with the red polka dot dress. I'm pretty sure I'd look good in both because they look good on Bebe Rexha and we have a similar body type, for the most part. I've also decided I need a necklace that says "Jess." I know those are old-school and kind of tacky, but Rexha makes it work. Maybe once in awhile, it's okay to wear something like that, if you have the right attitude and don't take it so seriously. Although, Jess isn't as cool a name as Bebe, so it might not look as good. I don't know, I'll have to do some intense googling to find the right necklace.

"Meant to Be" Video



Friday, August 3, 2018

"Everything" by Lifehouse

I've been thinking about Lily Potter and Severus Snape. Because that's what I do. I think deeply about Harry Potter stuff and then rant about it. Sometimes my thoughts and insights are clever, but usually they're just overwhelmingly intense considering that it's fiction. I've been thinking about the book and its characters even more since I began listening to the "Harry Potter & the Sacred Text" podcast - a fantastic listen and I would highly recommend it to any HP fans out there. Listening to Vanessa and Casper is comforting to me and usually, their conversations get me thinking philosophically about how the themes affect my own life. About how my own struggles are reflected in the lives of the characters. For example, the loneliness and isolation Harry felt at the Dursley's and the peace and belonging he felt when he was at Hogwarts, that's similar to how I felt my first day at college. It felt like the first night at school was the best night's sleep I had gotten in my whole life. Because I felt free. I felt safe. And I don't think I realized until I was a couple years older that this wasn't normal, that maybe my childhood wasn't normal.

There's a lot of parallels between characters as well. We recognize the obvious parallels between Harry and Voldemort, but it's not as obvious to see the parallel between Harry and Snape. Both of them grew up in homes where they felt unwanted and unloved. Unfortunately for Snape, he wasn't able to see Hogwarts as a refuge, the way Harry did. When he came to Hogwarts, he was bullied and teased. By Gryffindors, of all people, those who would naturally feel compelled to protect the underdogs and the outcasts. He had Lily, but she wasn't enough. She should've been, though - her friendship should've been enough. He was so mired down by all the pain he felt, that he couldn't see that she was reaching out to him. In fact, she tried to be there for him for six years, until he essentially called her a racial slur and she said - finally - I'm done....I'm done trying. He was consumed by darkness and all she wanted was to be his light. But Snape realized that too late. He lost everything and he had to live with that loss for the rest of his life. I was reading this chat transcript with JK Rowling where she said if Snape had just let Lily in and let go of his obsession with the darkness, she would have eventually grown to love him romantically. There are doubters, of course, but I personally believe this is true. You don't try to reach out to someone who is always pushing you away unless you love them in some capacity. However, if you push someone away long enough, eventually they'll get tired and let you alone, even if that's not what you really want.

Flirting with the idea of getting something
like this as a tattoo...

If I were Snape, seeing Harry every day would be extremely painful, because Harry is emblematic of everything he ruined. It was his selfishness - his feeling that he didn't deserve her kindness - that pushed Lily away, his obsession with the Dark Arts that led him to Voldemort, his eagerness to feel accepted that he let a sociopath use him to get the information that would ultimately be used to murder the love of his life. It's important that Harry has Lily's eyes because - I don't know - eyes are the window to the soul or some shit and when Snape was looking into Harry's eyes, it might've been like he was looking into Lily's soul. And it's unnerving looking into someone's soul. What if they're staring right back?

While I was thinking of Lily and Snape, "Everything" by Lifehouse came to mind. I love this song. Another one of those songs I consider one of the most romantic ever. Again, it's a simple song, not too many lyrics but even though there isn't that many words, every single word is meaningful. And then mid-way through, the music comes crashing down on you and you feel every note.

Find me here, and speak to me
I want to feel you, I need to hear you
You are the light that's leading me to the place
Where I find peace again
You are the strength that keeps me walking
You are the hope that keeps me trusting
You are the life to my soul
You are my purpose
You're everything
And how can I stand here with you
And not be moved by you
Would you tell me how could it be any better than this?

 I think it's important that the singer is not asking anything of the person this song is about. Just acknowledging the awesomeness of them and how much they mean to the singer. He doesn't want any more than to just be in their presence. Yes, this song is often interpreted as being directed towards God, which makes sense since Lifehouse started out as a Christian band. In fact, when I was younger and trying out different religious practices, I watched my friend in a skit set to this song at her Baptist church. Basically, angels were protecting this girl who was going through a rough time and Em was the demon trying to get past their protective circle around her. I've seen similar skits on YouTube - they're always moving, but I think that's because this song is moving. I don't see how anybody could listen to it and not get the feels, so listen to it sparingly. I should take my own advice - this song has been running through my head all day. The video is just the lyrics - there is no official video. I think that's how it's meant to be enjoyed - just pure sound, no visuals, nothing else needed.

"Everything" Video

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

"The Will of One" by The Protomen

Today's daily card pull was the Eight of Arrows, which stands for Struggle in the Wildwood Tarot. Based on the description (and I'm taking the descriptions very literally, as I am still early in my tarot edu-macation), I gathered that I would have to face some sort of challenge alone. And I did, at least for the first part of the day. I managed because I had to get it done - people were counting on me, so I did what I had to do. I came in early, hit the ground running, and....I'm not sure it made any difference. I hope it did, though. That was the other thing - hope. Don't lose hope. I may be extremely exhausted right now - and thus, my writing may be a bit incoherent - but I'm hopeful that we're going to be okay after this week. Maybe I contributed to that, maybe I didn't, but at least the sun is going to rise tomorrow. Thank my lucky stars!

The Protomen are probably one of the greatest bands Adam (yes...that Adam) has introduced me to. The first Protomen album is a rock opera based on Megaman. The second Protomen album is a rock opera based on the events leading up to Megaman, the rivalry between Light and Wily. They are both fantastic, but the first one was slightly better. "The Will of One" is the big ballad that Megaman sings on the first album. He's walking the streets, thinking about the world he lives in - an obvious dystopia that no one really seems inclined to fix. Protoman tried to save the city and the people stood and watched as he died. A fact that broke Dr. Light, which leads him to tell Megaman that he cannot change the world, that he will not stand by and lose another son to an ungrateful and uncaring Fate. But Megaman just can't stand by. People are starving, Wily's robots are oppressive and violent, death is everywhere. So he makes a choice that he will do whatever he can to save them, even if that means he has to do it alone.

Even here it is not safe
Even this grave has been defaced
Someone has written on this stone
In some angry hand
Hope rides alone.
Hope rides alone.
Hope rides alone.

Hope rides alone. One of the most profound lyrics/phrases I think I've ever heard. It reminds me of Pandora's box. After all of the world's evils and/or blessings (depending on the translation) escaped, only Hope was left when the box was able to be closed again. There are some academic interpretations that hope is just another evil. It "prolongs man's torment" is the argument there and that kind of hope is no use in this world. I do not agree. I think hope keeps us from giving up, from destroying ourselves. It spurs us on to do greater things, like Megaman tried to do. Hope gives us courage to face the darkness. Especially when the darkness has to be faced alone. 

Wow. Philosophical Jess really makes a big showing when I'm tired. Too bad she wasn't around when I was taking Medieval Philosophy...I might've actually gave a shit about that class. Just a quick note about "The Will of One" - this is an amazing song to workout to. It makes me want to take on the world, it makes me want to save the world. Yes, little old me. I could probably do it, though, if this song was on repeat. Additionally, I love this guy's voice. He also sang the Dr. Wily part on the second album. There are very few male (or even female) singers who can a hold a note that high for that long, so he (I think it's Raul Panther but I'm not 100% sure) deserves all the props. 

"The Will of One" Video

Monday, July 30, 2018

"Dangerous Woman" by Ariana Grande

::WARNING:: This post contains sexual themes and adult content. No pictures, though. Nice try. Get your mind outta the gutter. Also, I am a straight woman, so this post is written from my point of view but I'm pretty sure the ideas/concepts/suggestions would go for any sexual orientation. Except asexual, but I think that's probably obvious at this point. ::END POST::

I'm reading this "Becoming Dangerous" book, which talks about how witchy female/femme-identifying people are dealing with the post-Trump era. A lot of the essays talk about self-care rituals and getting strong and getting prepared to fight. Then other essays talk about getting in touch with your sensuous side, owning your sexuality, etc. They use terms like "slut-magic" and "whore power," encourage wearing sexy lingerie every day, and use the male gaze as a form of personal worship because you're a goddess - all of which I'm down for. Lately, I've been wanting to try out erotic dance and burlesque, and potentially try a pole-dancing class (if I ever have time and can get over my bad self). Since I'm one of those people who believes you can learn anything from reading a book, I bought the S Factor workout book. They have a series of studios where you can learn the workout moves, among other things like pole fitness and traditional burlesque performance. Unfortunately, my current city is not cool enough to have an S Factor studio - I'd like to change that someday, but you gotta walk before you can run. In the book, Sheila Kelly has a bunch of song recommendations to use with the workout. I told you all that to say this - I'm always on the lookout for good stripper songs and "Dangerous Woman" is one the better ones I've heard come out of contemporary pop music.

In the book, Sheila Kelly says to imagine something that makes you feel sexy/sensuous while you're doing the workout. I like to imagine I have an audience when I dance. That probably says something about me, but whatever. That's essentially what the lyrics and the video for "Dangerous Woman" are about. There's a particular man that makes Ariana (and I think every girl probably has at least one) feel sexy by just looking at her. Like a temptress. No matter what she's wearing - although Ariana is wearing lingerie and she looks pretty damn good in it. I wish I looked half as good, but I digress. I highly recommend this visualization exercise, if you're going to dip your toes into erotic dance. Picture a man (or a woman) who you're highly attracted to. The type of (wo)man who makes you want to do anything with/to them if they asked. Where you're always ready to go, because he or she might be ready to go, even if you're kind of mad at them. If he wants a blowjob for his wakeup call every day (which I refer to as a "good morning"), then he's getting a blowjob every morning. He wants sex in the back of the car on a Wednesday, he's getting it. I mean....he did ask nicely, right? I believe this is what they call "method acting," if I recall that correctly from my theatre days - and it would make sense that even burlesque performers use this to get into their routines. So if it works for the professionals, then it would probably work for the average woman trying it out at home.

Oh yeah

Don't need permission
Made my decision to test my limits
'Cause it's my business
God as my witness
Start what I finished
Don't need no hold up
Taking control of this kind of moment
I'm locked and loaded
Completely focused my mind is open
All that you got, skin to skin, oh my God

Don't ya stop, boy
Somethin' 'bout you makes me feel like a dangerous woman

Somethin' 'bout, somethin' 'bout, somethin' 'bout you
Makes me wanna do things that I shouldn't
Somethin' 'bout, somethin' 'bout, somethin' 'bout

Let's talk about the video - nothing special, just Ariana Grande looking hella sexy. She's another one that I remember from her child actor days. She was fucking hilarious on "Victorious." I don't think she has a sweet child-like face, like Selena Gomez does. Grande is one of those abnormally gorgeous looking people. To take a brilliant tweet from @DothTheDoth, "if you know someone who looks effortlessly beautiful all the time, that's a demon." Guys.....I'm pretty sure Ariana Grande is a demon. Another thing about this video - the director went through a lot of trouble to make it look like a sex tape. To include the film scratches....which would not be present in a modern sex tape. We put that shit on DVD now, so that wouldn't happen. It kind of gets annoying and almost distracting, and it probably would've been a better choice to just leave those out. But, alas, I am not a music video director, so that's not my choice to make.

"Dangerous Woman" Video