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Geeking About The Beatles: Help!

If you’ve known me for any extended amount of time, then you know that my all time favorite band is The Beatles. One of my blogging goals for 2015 is to have a regular feature and because I’m completely random, I will be featuring a Beatles album monthly. This is exciting because it gives me a chance to relisten to these albums again. I’m not exactly reviewing it (as I am not a music reviewer) but instead enjoying it as a fan.

It’s movie time again with The Beatles! Interestingly I believe I saw this movie first before really getting into the band. It was on PBS and I remember the ski resort scenes and also the fact that it was in color. Anywho if you haven’t seen Help!, it’s a lot of fun. It’s drastically different from A Hard Day’s Night as it’s more of The Beatles in crazy locations doing crazy things (I mean Paul shrinks for goodness sakes and Ringo is about to get sacrficed) and it’s in color! But it’s still a lot of fun and it gives a good insight to what it was like during the 60s.

This is actually one of my favorite Beatles albums. Almost all the songs are ones that I can listen to over and over again. There’s such a range on here from silly love longs to things that are deeper with more feeling. You have George starting to write more and Ringo gets to do his country/western sound that he loves so much. I think this is the last album for a while that uses a cover. There are a lot of classic Beatles songs on here and they all sound really good.

What I think is most interesting is how “Yesterday” is tacked on near the end. I know that they handled packaging differently when it was originally released in the US but here with its placement it seems almost like an afterthought. Which of course is funny because it is one of the most (if not THE most) covered pop song of all time. And it’s such a lovely song too.

  • Help! (Lennon/McCartney) – Lead Singer – John
  • The Night Before (Lennon/McCartney) – Lead Singer – Paul
  • You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away (Lennon/McCartney) – Lead Singer – John
  • I Need You (Harrison) – Lead Singer – George
  • Another Girl (Lennon/McCartney) – Lead Singer- Paul
  • You’re Going to Lose That Girl (Lennon/McCartney)-Lead Singer – John
  • Ticket to Ride (Lennon/McCartney) – Lead Singer- John/Paul
  • Act Naturally (Russell/Morrison) – Lead Singer – Ringo
  • It’s Only Love (Lennon/McCartney) – Lead Singer – John
  • You Like Me Too Much (Harrison) – Lead Singer – George
  • Tell Me What You See (Lennon/McCartney) – Lead Singer – Paul/John
  • I’ve Just Seen a Face (Lennon/McCartney) – Lead Singer – Paul
  • Yesterday (Lennon/McCartney) – Lead Singer – Paul
  • Dizzy Miss Lizzy (Williams) – Lead Singer – John

Standout Songs: Help!, You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away, Ticket to Ride, Yesterday

Personal Favorites: It’s Only Love, Tell Me What You See, I Need You, You’re Going to Lose that Girl, I’ve Just Seen a Face

Least Memorable: You Like Me Too Much, Dizzy Miss Lizzy

As you can see I LOVE this album. And there are MANY songs that I love so much. In fact because there are so many that I love, I’m going to highlight two of them today.

“It’s Only Love” is just simple and beautiful to me.

The lyrics to “Tell Me What You See” are what I once told a guy I like. I mean seriously, open up your eyes because I’M RIGHT THERE. But whatevs.

Fun fact: the Beatles are NOT spelling Help on the cover with their arms. In fact they aren’t spelling a word at all. In fact it’s just saying NUJV.

Next Month: Rubber Soul

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Climb Every (ok just one) Mountain

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I climbed a mountain the other day. No, I’m not talking figuratively about some other hurdle in my life. I legit climbed Old Rag Mountain in Virginia. I know it’s not a huge mountain compared to other places across the country that you may have been on but for me, this was huge.

It all started when one of my friends suggested it and then promised us ice cream if we went. I’m not a hiking person. I’ve gone on a few hikes and while they are ok, it’s really not on my list of things I am always up here. I like being active but honestly hiking is just one of those activities I’ll get really excited for. Therefore I was quite hesitant in deciding on whether I wanted to go. Finally I caved in and joined my friends on this adventure.

I immediately started to second guess my decision because this meant I had to get up at 6:30 on a Saturday morning. Let’s ignore the fact that I got 3 hours of sleep the night before. But no, it’ll be ok. I mean rock scrambles can’t be that bad right? The road trip wasn’t too bad and we get there in less than 2 hours. There’s quite a few people already at the park which means there are already a ton of people ahead of us on the mountain.

I’d like to point out that I can be fairly clumsy at times. My fear is that I will break my ankle again just from walking. So jumping across rocks? Yeah terrifying.

We decided to go the shorter but more strenuous route up the mountain. This involves a lot of switchbacks and elevation plus all those wonderful rock scrambles. Hiking up isn’t too hard though I have to stop a few times to catch my breath. I’m sorry I’m not one of those really super fit people who could run up this mountain and never break into a sweat. The worst part though actually is the fact that we thought we were getting closer to the summit but it kept being much further away.

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The rock scrambles were intimidating at first and there were times when I thought how the hell am I supposed to do this? But other hikers were glad to help out and I got through every one of them. There’s a lot of climbing and pulling and squeezing into cracks. Also you have to psych yourself out and just don’t let fear get to you.

The thing though that really helped me throughout the entire hike was the fact at how much it helped me keep my mind off things. Right now I’m struggling inwardly with a lot of things and the hike was a great way to help me focus on something else. It was like God answered my prayer of clearing my head away of all the worries and troubles I’m having. Because you can’t focus on that when you’re trying to figure out how not to fall on your face and off the mountain.

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The hike was also mirrored a lot of what I’ve gone through in my life. I honestly am proud of myself for climbing the entire thing up and down because I didn’t think I could do it. I got angry during it. I nearly wanted to give up several times. I even flicked off the blue paint trails because I was frustrated we weren’t there yet. I began to wonder if it was even worth it.

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But I kept going (mainly because I didn’t want to get stuck on the mountain) and yes, when we reached the summit, the views were worth it. And I could say that I did it.

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And it doesn’t matter right now what anyone else thinks of what I did. I know that I’m proud of myself for achieving this. I did things I never thought I would. Sure, some people could and will do it better than I ever could. And sure others will scoff and think it’s nothing. And then the people who I WANT to acknowledge my achievement will never say anything about it. That’s not the end goal though. For me, I’m proud of myself. Hiking the mountain was like physically living out how my life has been over the past few years. And I did it.

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Don’t Get Your Hopes Up

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You know already how much I love (500) Days of Summer because it is pretty much the story of my life. One of the scenes that really hit home to me is when Tommy goes to the party that Summer invites him and in his mind he has expected one thing but the reality hits him hard. In that scenario, based on their past and his hopes, Tommy put his expectations too high and therefore got extremely hurt. It’s actually a pretty painful scene to watch because I’ve been there so many times.

Even though I’m sure many of us strive to be grounded in reality, it’s really hard to not get our expectations up. After all, aren’t we told to have hope? You always try to hope for the best, to not be so pessimistic, to believe that there’s something good coming out of every situation. While I have no doubt that some people can do it, it seems very hard to go through life with a “whatever happens, happens; I’m not getting my hopes up” attitude ALL the time because it feels like you’ve resigned on your entire life and given up.

Expectation: Keeping in touch with your high school friends for the rest of your life.

Reality: Never hearing from them ever.

Expectation: Marriage is the thing that is going to solve all your problems!

Reality: Marriage tends to cause even more problems…and you still have to work hard in it.

Expectation: You think a friend you’ve been talking to online for years would be thrilled to see you in person.

Reality: They act like they barely know you when they see you.

Expectation: Going to see a new movie or read a new book from your favorite director/author and thinking it will be amazing.

Reality: It sucks. What were they thinking?

Expectation: Your local professional sports team can’t be that horrible.

Reality: Yes. Yes they are.

Pinterest is a very good example of how this line of thinking works. How often do we go on the site and see all these crafts, recipes, hairstyles, decorating tips and we wish could insert that into our own life? Who are all these people who have time to make AND photograph such a perfect lifestyle while having children, working, and running a household? We try to emulate them and well….this ends up happening instead (via Cake Wrecks)

Expectation:

Reality:

That is of course a worst case scenario but it is also what it feels like a lot of the time. I”m not sure really what the best solution is. You don’t want to get hurt when you hope for something and it doesn’t turn out the way you planned yet you don’t want to go around for the rest of your life always expecting the worst to happen. Do you just go around with absolutely no expectations at all? Is that even possible?

Plus there are the expectations we place on each other and ourselves. That we should have reached certain milestones at certain ages. (Why isn’t my baby walking and talking yet? Why isn’t my kid reading yet? Why hasn’t my kid got accepted into colleges yet? Why don’t I have kids yet?) That we should have a certain lifestyle, career, or relationship. That even though we’ve gotten what we wanted and are genuinely happy that it’s not enough and you should strive for more.

I’m not really sure what the solution is here. Lower your expectations? Stop hoping so much? Be less optimistic and more realistic? I realize that we’re always going to get hurt at some point in our life. Hah. Maybe that’s just my expectation.

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To the Class of _______

It’s that time of year where graduations are happening all over the country. Everyone has their cap and gown and is highly relived that school is FINALLY over. (Though paying back loans has just begun!)

I didn’t attend my undergrad graduation because well….after attending three schools to finish it, it just didn’t seem like a big deal to me. I just didn’t really care to be honest. I know a bunch of people get really attached to their undergrad years and it IS a big deal to them. But for me, I just wanted to get the degree and move on with my life. Plus we didn’t have a really cool commencement speaker (I think ours may have been our US senator….yawn) so there really was no incentive for me to go.

For my graduate degree commencement ceremony, while I didn’t attend the huge school one, I did attend for my school itself. And I’m glad I did because this time I did have friends I could walk the stage with and it was a very big moment for me. Granted, technically I didn’t graduate on that night (I still had my internship to complete over the summer) so technically I didn’t get my diploma until August. And of course since it’s me as I walked the stage, my cap fell off….TWICE. But it was a proud moment for me and for my family. Because I actually finished graduate school!

That night ended up being difficult for several reasons but knowing that I was 98% done with the school chapter in my life (at the time) was a huge blessing. I’m trying to make decision now about whether I should go back to school again, this time to get my library science degree. I’m still not 100% sure yet if this is something I want to do. Do I want to go back to school again? Do I want to pay money again? Do I need a second master’s degree? Lots of thought (and prayer) before making this decision.

But for now, congrats to all the graduates – college and high school.

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What is Deborah Geeking Over This Week Vol 7

All these rocked my world this week:

When I saw this trailer in the theaters, I didn’t understand it or have a desire to see it as I had never seen the originals. But then I got free tickets to a preview showing and thought what the heck. I brought my friend who was a HUGE fan of the originals. And guess what? We both really enjoyed it! It’s a lot of fun and adrenaline and honestly one of the softest R movies I’ve ever been to and the female characters are FANTASTIC. Go see it!

I’ve listened to this song for a few years but recently it’s been on non stop repeat. Like I’ll go to bed with this playing in the background. I’ve even gone so far and written a story based on how this song makes me feel. Never to be read by other eyes but it’s had that much influence.

I’ve been trying to eat more healthy these days (and it seems to be working somewhat!) and this means I’ve been eating more salads for my lunch. Yesterday I went to Chick-fil-a and go this, the market grill salad. I used only a bit of the berry vinaigrette dressing and didn’t add the granola or nuts (saved them for snacks) and it was extremely filling for the low amount of calories! I am learning however that eating healthier means paying more. Sigh.

I got a hair cut (which no one seems to have noticed but when you have long hair, 4 inches isn’t that much) and I needed to do something with it so I got this. Yes I realize it says blonde on the bottle but I’ve actually used a lot John Frieda blonde stuff in the past and liked it. This one is good for texturizer plus it has a nice scent and it makes me feel like my hair has just gone to the beach.

I have a thing for Chris Pratt right now. He’s just fantastic in everything. And yes I enjoyed him BEFORE he got all buff in Guardians because he was excellent in Parks and Rec and all his earlier stuff too. But, look at him in a suit! And he’s a great dad too! If I were to make a movie about my life, I would cast Chris Pratt in it. There may be a celeb fangirling post soon…..

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Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing

I’m in my early 30s and I’ve been in love exactly three times in my life. Each time was a different stage in my life. I may not have handled some of them the way I would do now but each time falling in and out of love was a learning experience. Each time and person helped shaped me to be the person that I was today (for better or worse) and though I would possibly change some things, I have to also accept this is what was meant to be.

Now I know there’s some of you out there who have never fallen in love before. There are others of you all there who fall in and out of love so many times that you can’t keep track of the all. And yet there’s still others of you out there who are married to the only person you’ve ever fallen in love with.

Kudos for all of you who are in whatever situation you happen to be in.

I never really understood how growing up I was supposed to avoid having affections for other people. I know that there’s a big movement in the church of emotional purity where you don’t give your heart away and experience heartache. Parents don’t want their child to focus on things like this at such a young age because they aren’t ready for it. We must avoid anything that could compromise their hearts! Well, honestly unless you completely isolate someone with no human interaction, it’s near impossible to do this.

The thing with falling in love is that even if you only fall in love once, you’re going to get hurt. It is inevitable. Because no matter what happens, that other person is going to break your heart at some point. Sure, you can make up and all will be well. But the hurt that comes from having your heart broken is worse than any other pain in the world.

Loving someone is a risk and sometimes it doesn’t pay off. Sometimes you fall out of love with each other. Sometimes the other person doesn’t return your love. You may disagree but I don’t think you can control who your heart initially wants to be with it. You can choose your actions on how you choose to proceed afterwards and sometimes you shouldn’t always follow your heart. But sometimes you can’t choose who you fall in love with. But you can be careful on who you give it away to. Love and care but don’t give your heart away to someone who doesn’t deserve it.

Is it better to love and lost than to never have loved at all? Or would “I rather hurt than feel nothing at all?”

With falling in love three times and getting hurt three times, it’s safe to say that my heart is not brand new. It does have some cracks in it. It has been broken a few times and needed repair and restoration. It’s not factory sealed and never been used. Whoever ends up earning my heart for the long run will hopefully understand this. But experience has made me stronger and wiser person. It’s taught me that I shouldn’t just give my heart away to anyone. And that God is the only one that can fully fill and heal my heart.

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:18)

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. (Psalm 147:3)

Until the time comes, my prayer is that He keeps my heart slow.

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Now you see me, now you don’t

The one thing about living near a big city is that the odds of you running into someone you know when you’re out is surprisingly slim. It’s a weird because despite the fact that I know a lot of people in the area, because the population is so big and everything is so spread out, it’s very rare to actually spot someone you know. To be honest, when you DO run into someone it’s always in the weirdest place and not in the grocery store or somewhere you frequent often and you want to be like, are you stalking me?

Of course what always inevitably happens is that you’ll run into someone when you’re not expecting them and you’ll look your worst. Most of the time we’ll just be out grabbing something quick, no makeup, not doing your hair, wearing grubby clothes and then BOOM you’ll turn the aisle and there’s someone you actually know. Because the moment you prepare for something and make yourself look even halfway presentable, you’ll never see anyone that you actually want to see. It’s like an automatic signal.

The worst though, is when you run into someone and you recognize them. But they don’t see to recognize you. Do you proceed to still go up to them and say hi and potentially make everything weird as they scramble to place who you are? Do you just pretend to not know them yourself? Do you wait to see if they will remember? Do you just turn the corner and run far away from the situation? It’s like a Choose Your Own Adventure book. “Oh fancy running into you here!”

I guess it all depends on what YOU want to do. If the other person doesn’t want to talk to you, then it can be short and everyone will be on their way. And then sometimes it’s good to catch up with someone you haven’t seen in forever. Granted this all depends that you’re not running into each other in some place you’d rather not anyone recognize you at.

 

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What Good Books Have You Been Reading Lately Vol. 10

To newcomers of this blog, this is a semi-regular feature on my blog. I have no set date on when these posts will go up. It all depends on how much I read and how good the books are that I read. Lately, I have been picking good books so it’s been good reading times for me. My spreadsheet is getting a workout!

The Lost Crown by Sarah Miller (Atheneum, 2011)

My blurb: So confession, despite the fact that my degrees are focused on American history and my personal interest is in British history, I am also very interested in Russian history. Specifically that of the last czar Nicholas II and his family. This is a book told from the different perspectives of his four daughters and it’s so incredibly sad because they were all so very young when they were killed.

Popular by Maya Van Wagenen (Dutton Books for Young Readers, 2014)

My blurb: I was drawn to this book because of the cover and I never would have expected it to be written by a 15 year old because it’s so very well done. It’s non fiction first of all and Maya writes about her experiences going from not noticed at all in school to becoming one of the friendliest and popular girls in school simply by following rules from a 1950s teen self help book. Each chapter is based on a chapter in that 50s book from skin care to posture to clothing. It’s a great read for any age.

Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee (G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers, 2015)

My blog: First off my attempts at reading POC authors this year has gone horrible. I’m not really sure if I’m unconsciously choosing white authors or if that’s just what is really dominating the shelves but this book was only the 4th by a POC author for me this year. That being so it’s absolutely fantastic. A historical YA about two POC characters (an Asian girl and an African-American girl) out in the wild west? Yes please.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (Random House, 2011)

My blurb: I talked a bit about this already on the blog but I had a BLAST reading this book. My “book club” decided to read it and I’m really glad because it’s been recommended me for a while and I kept putting it aside. Basically if you grew up in the 80s and know a lot about pop culture this is the book for you. It was so fun reading it too! Granted some of it seems a bit like name dropping at times and how many references can the author cram in a passage. But overall it’s really fun and I’m looking forward to the movie directed by Spielberg in a few years.

Mist of Midnight by Sandra Byrd (Howard Books, 2015)

My blurb: Here’s a good gothic mystery where I refused to flip to the end to figure out everything. Do you know how hard that was for me? Which served me well because I honestly had no idea how everything was going to work itself out and was pleasantly pleased with how it all did. Byrd’s books are always enjoying to read and this one is no exception.

Recipe for Disaster by Stacey Ballis (Berkely, 2015)

My blurb: I love books about food. Seriously, there is nothing better than eating food and reading a story about food at the same time. And Stacey Ballis’ books always have so much of it in there PLUS a good story to boot. This one even throws in some HGTV home remodeling as well. I learned how to make good roasted chicken thanks to this book. And there are recipes. It’s a winner.

That’s what I’ve been reading. What good books have YOU been reading lately?

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Shattering an Image Doesn’t Always Mean Bad Luck

The other night there was a women’s event at my church. Now I think I’ve talked about this on here before but I get excited when there’s an event at church that is for ALL the women and not just for moms. I’m thrilled that there’s so many programs for moms and hopefully one day I’ll be able to do that but as I’m not in that stage of life, I tend to feel very left out. So anytime I hear about an event for all women, I will jump at the chance to attend.

This specific event featured a speaker that talked about shattered images and what it really means to be a godly woman. It was awesome how much I got out of her talk. It just really felt like I could relate to what she was saying despite not being in the same stage of life. I didn’t feel like I was being left behind or outside the circle. Maybe it was because this was what I needed to hear but everything in the talk just clicked with me.

In keeping with last week’s post about social media, I realize that I’ve created an image of what I SHOULD be like based on what I see my friends and others are doing in their own lives. For me it’s actually not the media or celebrities that influence me because I know that I will never come close to achieving their lifestyle and I’m perfectly ok with it. There are though some bloggers that do make me feel woefully inadequate because in their posts they look like they have perfect everything from hair to food to photography to the damn blog itself and how professional it looks. That can be extremely intimidating but then I remind myself again that bloggers are trying to reach their audience (and also the possibility of making money) and therefore they are only going to showcase their best lest they lose both.

But yet for some reason, that same line of reasoning doesn’t seem to compute as easily in my head with people I know. I see what they post online and even though with some people I know fully well what is going on in their lives, they still come across as perfect to me. They may have the worst lives ever but I will never know this because all they project is an image of bliss and happiness.

I see all these women and it’s so hard to NOT compare myself to them. When I do this, I mean it’s no wonder that the life I want to have seems like it’ll never happen. Because they seem to be everything that I can never be no matter how hard I try. Moment of truth: there are days when it’s incredibly painful to hear your friends talk about their children and how they are expecting more, how much they love their marriage or hearing of an engagement, buying a house or just being excited to have a place to decorate, not having to worry about money and can take trips whenever they want, or even just have someone take care of them when they are sick and not have to worry about dying alone and no one noticing.

The absolute worst (and I really should not be doing this, why I torture myself is beyond me) is when I see pictures and posts from the wives of any of my exes or guys that it didn’t work out with. Because all I see is just constant visual reminders of me not being what they wanted and makes me feel like I’m never going to be good enough.

This type of perspective even skews what my image of what a godly woman should look like. Because to me she is someone who is married, has kids, very hospitable, always wanting to serve, patient, full of grace, not outspoken, even IF she has awkward moments she plays it off easily and is incredibly humble. I see other women in church who I know are older than me but with their perfect hair, makeup, and figure look like they are years younger. They have kids but you’d never know it based on how they look. They appear to be perfectly put together. I know there are struggles behind the appearance but let’s be honest, they aren’t going to share them with me and do I really need to know everything? No.

We hold ourselves to a standard that can never be reached and then we hold each other to yet an even higher standard. These are all images that I need to shatter. Because honestly, what really matters (and this was my takeaway from the event) is that IF I am TRULY honest about my faith then I am an image bearer of God. Therefore I really need to stop comparing myself to anyone else. This goes for both people in the church as well as others out of it. If I’m supposed to be representing God, then I’ll do it in my own way and not everyone else’s.

I really don’t want to be like everyone because I’m not like everyone else. And I want people to see how different I am because of my faith. Not that I’m going around preaching at everyone or trying to convert anyone I come in contact with. But instead through how I act and that means with my own way of doing things. Sure it may mean being the quirky one that stands out awkwardly but that’s how God wants me to be. I won’t be the person with the perfect hair everyone envies and I may not (yet) have a husband and children who I can share stories about to others.

But….I am me. Sometimes I wonder if God made a mistake when He made me and that even though I know I was created in God’s own image perhaps He got a bit distracted with me and I came out slightly flawed in comparison with everyone else. Ultimately, I know that it’s not true. It’s funny because all my life I’ve wanted to blend in with everyone else so that I wouldn’t stand out. Now I’m realizing that standing out could be a good thing.

My story is different from others. I’ve been realizing that my spiritual gift is leaning towards encouragement as I tend to do this, many times without even trying, it just happens. So I hope that God will use me and my story to help encourage others throughout whatever walk of life they might be in.