Of seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and it’s not an oncoming train

Captain’s Log: Day 8

Today was the first day I’ve felt genuinely good all day (so far). I slept like crap last night, but really well the two nights prior. I don’t know what was up with last night. Time change? Cat biting my elbow?

It’s funny. You don’t realize how bad you’ve felt until you start to feel better. It’s like being sick in any other capacity. Once you start to get over a cold, your body readjusts to normal. I’m trying not to get ahead of myself. I’ve got this right now, I’m enjoying my Sunday afternoon, and that’s cool. It’s difficult to rein myself in, but ultimately necessary. Like everything else, just takes a little practice.

The daily report:

Shower or have a bath: This will happen tonight. I have, however, brushed my teeth. I’ve been washing my face religiously and my skin looks so much better. I’ve given my skin a break from makeup over the weekend. I don’t really pile it on, but breaks are always needed.

Be Creative: I worked more on my novel. I’m also writing this right now. 😛

Exercise: No go so far. Though the weather is finally nice, so I may go out for a walk or even a jog. Last night I cranked up some music, danced around the room, and scared the hell out of the cat in the process. I guess my moves weren’t her style.

Reconnect: I’ve started counting texting under this category. The goal was to reconnect with people I don’t talk to regularly. I’ve put several people on that rotation. It’s not the ideal scenario, but it’s better than nothing. When some of my friends live halfway across the country, I can’t just up and invite them out for coffee.

Today is a good day. I like good days. Now time for my obligatory Sunday afternoon nap chased with kitten cuddles. May everyone enjoy the rest of their afternoon, regardless of what your internal clock is telling you.

XOXO!

Of Boyband Music Videos and Shot Glasses: Mark 2 or The Dark Years & Welcome Back Kevin!

A quick refresher on the rules:

The rules:

  • A shot for every video which is set outdoors. This includes, but is not limited to; fields, basketball courts, beaches, and parks. Two shots if there’s a rain machine involved.
  • A shot for every helicopter shot. (The Kevin rule will be reinstated later)
  • A shot for every time Nick points at the camera. Two hands doesn’t count.
  • A shot for every vomit tease. Two shots if it’s Brian. But what defines a “vomit tease”? Grabbing your stomach and leaning over at the same time or grabbing your stomach and using a wall for support. This could also include leaning over balconies or bridges leading with your head.
  • A shot for every time Howie has his shirt open or off. Two shots if he takes it off during the video.
  • A shot for every time AJ looks like he stole his shirt from a drag queen. Also, every time he makes the prayer gesture.
  • A shot any time they mime the lyrics (up to three shots).

For those of you still standing and / or not in the hospital for alcohol poisoning, time for the second round! For some reason, Kevin decided he needed some street cred and peaced out for a little while. I refer to the two albums during that period as the “Dark Years”. The chronology is easier for these two because there aren’t that many options and Google is my friend (and I can’t use Kevin’s hair any more *pouty face*). But just because there are fewer options doesn’t mean there are fewer shots.

And go!


“Inconsolable”

Final Shot Tally: 11 (set outside, 1 Nick point, 2 Brian vomit tease (x2), 1 AJ vomit tease, 2 Howie vomit tease, 2 Nick vomit tease)

Commentary: Is there something about solar eclipses that causes nausea? Seriously guys. While Nick *does* look like a frat boy, let’s not look like the morning after from a frat party, eh? Also, you can tell they made it look dark in post. I guess filming at night & then editing it later was too pricey? As I go through these, my love of Howie is increasing. I think it’s the haircut. Still not defecting, though. I guess I’ve always loved me some bad boy. Or maybe just guys with tattoos. Cases in point – Butch Walker and Johnny Rzeznik of the Goo Goo Dolls (also contemporaries to BSB, I’d like to note). My parents shouldn’t have been surprised by my own body art. I digress.

“Helpless When She Smiles”

Final Shot Tally: 9 (shot outside, helicopter shot, AJ praying, 2 Nick points, 1 Brian vomit tease (x2), 2 miming the lyrics)

Commentary: Jesus Christ, Brian! A vomit tease while miming the lyrics? I had to pause the damn thing just to get all those shots in. Are you trying to kill us? Also, that giggling at the end? Not cool! This is not a game! Wait…shit. Also, random chick playing the cello in the middle of a field. Because I always play my cello in the middle of the field. Where else would you do it? I didn’t count a rain machine because only the chick was wet (get your minds out of gutter, readers) and there was no actual rain it appeared. I couldn’t tell who was winning when they ran up the hill, but my bet is Howie. His lung capacity has to be better than Nick and AJ. Smoking lots of things tends to have an adverse effect on one’s cardiovascular endurance.

Final Shot Tally for the Album: 20


Apparently the budget only stretched to two videos for this album. They made it count, though. Oy.

Next up we have the gem from 2009 in the form of “This is Us”.


“Bigger”

Final Shot Tally: 4 (set outside, 1 Nick point, miming the lyrics (x2))

Commentary: So they’re filming a song entitled “Bigger” in Japan. Please, please tell me this was supposed to be ironic. Then I will be vindicated that boy bands can, in fact, do something ironic. This was another case of the video not having a damn thing to do with the song. Moral of the song? “I’m a royal douche, but you’re staying with me because…um…not sure”. That said, it was a good laugh. I particularly enjoyed the part where Nick fell off the bench. I would like to believe there was more than tea in those cups. Really, I wanted sake bombs. C’mon guys, your target audience is now above drinking age. It’s okay to have a drink or two. Getting hammered would be funnier, but I’ll take what I can get. My money is on Nick winning that competition, by the way. I’m convinced if you put this next to “As Long As You Love Me”, they would annihilate. Poof!

“Straight Through My Heart”

Final Shot Tally: 3 (miming the lyrics (x2), rain machine)

Commentary: So they’re all singing, all dancing vampires. I sympathize with the “day walker” title. I hate the sun. It gives me cancer. I appreciate the return of the “all dancing” component. Dance, vampire, dance! And Nick. Oh Nick. Why did you have to cut the hair? You just threw away your best asset! Why? When Howie and Brian have the best hair, something is very, very wrong with the universe. I guess the ceiling had some king of structural integrity issue because it started raining indoors. Might want to get that checked out.

“PDA”

Final Shot Tally: 4 (one for each of them)

Commentary: They didn’t make an official video for this one, but I had to include it. The sound check is actually way more fun than the live performances. I loathe live recordings because it’s entirely based on the viewer’s preference (Team Brian, looking at you). Of course, anyone who has actually worked on a live production knows the sound checks can provide the most fun. Listen carefully for references to public sex, a hand job, and Nick’s creative interpretation of some of the lyrics. Oh and Brian’s personal censoring because “booty” is just too much for him to handle. Oh and Howie’s “stop touching me!” when Nick comes over for a little love.

Final Shot Tally For the Album: 11


Drumroll please!

Kevin’s back! This is our last gasp, readers. We’ve made it to 2013, a whole 16 years after where we started. Don’t you feel accomplished? Or just cirrhotic? Here are the final two! I know you can do it!

*raises glass*


“In a World Like This”

Final Shot Tally: 10 (set outside, helicopter shot, miming the lyrics (x3),2  AJ praying, 1 Nick point, 1 Brian vomit tease (x2))

Commentary: I swear that’s the same damn field they used before. Was it something along the lines of “Hey! That field was pretty cool! We’re going to dump your asses right back out there!”? Nick got his hair back (thank God) & AJ looks like someone didn’t read the tag before they got the shirt and made him wear it anyway. Overall, it’s a nice cheery number and about as much fun as one can have while singing in a field.

“Show ‘Em”

Final Shot Tally: 10 (Kevin looking broody, miming the lyrics (x3), 4 Nick points, 1 Brian vomit tease (x2))

Commentary: o.0 Um, when did Brian get abs? Also, his wedding ring keeps getting progressively larger. With those abs, I can see why she may want to clearly mark her territory. I would defect to Team Brian, but he loves Jesus too much. I wouldn’t want to get in the way of that. Howie kept his shirt on! Go you, HD! And since you asked so nicely, yes, I will show you a tomato.

Final Shot Tally for The Album: 20

Way to finish strong, boys!


And that concludes our binge drinking for the rest of everyone’s lives. I hope you enjoyed playing along as much as I enjoyed accepting the challenge. If nothing else, I hope I perked things up a bit.

XOXO!

Of Boyband Music Videos and Shot Glasses: Mark 1

Fair readers! I have an amusing post for you!

Just for fun, I came up with a Backstreet Boys music video drinking game. After explaining it to a dear friend of mine, she challenged me to try it myself and see how quickly someone would die of alcohol poisoning. Challenge accepted.

The rules:

  • A shot for every video which is set outdoors. This includes, but is not limited to; fields, basketball courts, beaches, and parks. Two shots if there’s a rain machine involved.
  • A shot for every initial shot of Kevin brooding.
  • A shot for every time Nick points at the camera. Two hands doesn’t count.
  • A shot for every vomit tease. Two shots if it’s Brian. But what defines a “vomit tease”? Grabbing your stomach and leaning over at the same time or grabbing your stomach and using a wall for support. This could also include leaning over balconies or bridges.
  • A shot for every time Howie has his shirt open or off. Two shots if he takes it off during the video.
  • A shot for every time AJ looks like he stole his shirt from a drag queen. Also, every time he makes the prayer gesture.
  • A shot any time they mime the lyrics (up to three shots).

Starting arsenal:

  • One 32oz (1000ml) Nalgene bottle
  • One 1oz (30ml) shot glass.

And go! (Caveat: I’ve tried to put them roughly in chronological order. I’m using Kevin’s hair as a benchmark.)


“We’ve Got It Goin’ On”

Final Shot Tally: 3 (2 Nick points & 1 for Brian’s asinine introduction). It was only partially shot outside, so the first rule can be ignored.

Commentary: Apparently I did not become Team AJ until later in their career. He also, apparently, hustles pool at the ripe old age of 19. The wardrobe master clearly hated Nick because that hat should not have ever seen the light of day. Of course Howie gets all the chicks. It must be the Puerto Rican in him. Or a little Puerto Rican in you. I’ll stop now. And Kevin looks like an ad for the Chippendales. Put the water down and back away slowly. I approve of the dance routine. This was back in the day where that was a staple in their videos. This is the part where Emily becomes a BSB hipster. Oy.

“Anywhere For You”

Final Shot Tally: 9 (Set outdoors, 2 Nick points, 1 Howie with his shirt off, 1 Nick vomit tease, 2 Brian vomit teases (x2).)

Commentary: The fuck? Why are they wearing sweaters on the beach? AJ really needs to 86 the glasses. They’re just wrong. The wardrobe master must have hated all of them in this one. There was also a shot where it kind of looked like they were all jerking off in a line. Whatever works. I did appreciate Howie sexing up the camera. Well done.

“Quit Playing Games With My Heart”

Final shot tally: 8 (Set outdoors, rain machine, Howie with his shirt off & removed it (x2), 1 Nick point, 1 Brian vomit tease (x2).)

Commentary: Can someone please tell me who does Nick’s hair? Because I want to know where that shine and bounce comes from. Alternatively, AJ can’t really pull off the “sexy run your hand through your hair” because that requires actual hair. Nick did not have to go to the vet because his pythons were not yet sick (or be admitted to the gun show. Pick your poison). The hair had to carry him for this particular event. Work with what you have, kiddo.


It’s at this juncture I would like to point out that we’re still on the 1997 release of their bastard lovechild European & US album. There’s still four more to go before we even hit Millennium!


“All I Have To Give”

Final Shot Tally: 3 (Howie with his shirt open, miming the lyrics, 1 Nick vomit tease)

Commentary: AJ has disappointed so far. I guess your liver had to get a break somewhere. Also, Kevin hasn’t started brooding yet. His hair is shorter, so I’m clearly on the right track. It also had a dance routine I forgot about. With hats! Because hats make everything better. Duh.

“I’ll Never Break Your Heart”

Final Shot Tally: 7 (Initial shot of Kevin brooding, AJ’s shirt, Howie with his shirt open, miming the lyrics (x2), 2 Nick points)

Commentary: Where do I start? AJ finally put out. ‘Bout damn time. I would also like to point out that they were ethnically conscious with their choices of women. Howie and the Asian would have beautiful babies. The spoken intro gets me every. single. time. Also, Nick’s hair again! I want my hair to look that good. I’d be scary as a blonde, however. Howie has more cleavage than I could hope for. Though the final shot where Nick & Kevin are looking down at the camera like “you wanna fight about it?” might win. I won’t break your heart, but I will break your face.

“Everybody”

Final Shot Tally: 0

Commentary: You’re welcome.

“As Long As You Love Me”

Final Shot Tally: 2 (Howie with his shirt open, miming the lyrics (Brian))

Commentary: And here we meet the future Mrs. Littrell. Because that’s not the piece of trivia the EVERYONE EVER knows. I also finally figured out where my love of AJ sprouted. He’s easily the best dancer. I swore there was a Nick point in this one, but it was with 2 hands. Overall, this had fewer than I thought it would.

Final Shot Tally For the Album: 32


We have now completed all the videos available on YouTube for the bastard lovechild album. Go pee, throw up, or call an ambulance. I’ll wait.

You still with me? Excellent!


“I Want It That Way”

Final Shot Tally: 4 (miming the lyrics, 1 Nick point, Kevin looking broody, 1 Nick vomit tease)  I cut everyone a break on the airplane hangar. Wandering through the airport was sufficient to negate the “outdoor” rule. I also counted all the lyric miming as one. Otherwise, there would be 27 shots.

Commentary: Now I figured out why they always put Kevin in the back in the dance numbers. It has nothing to do with the fact he’s the tallest, but rather he’s an awkward dancer. Sorry, dude. Guess that triple threat Broadway career was only a double. I loved at the end where AJ pointed at his crotch while saying “I”. The mysteries of the world are solved in a single gesture.

“Larger Than Life”

Final Shot Tally: 2 (Howie with this shirt off, AJ stealing a drag queen’s shirt)

Commentary: I would have killed to have been in the creative meeting from whence this sprung. “Let’s put them in space! And use as much CGI as we can afford!”. Say wha?

“Show Me The Meaning Of Being Lonely”

Final Shot Tally: 2 (1 Brian vomit tease (x2)

Commentary: …I think I’m going to go draw a warm bath & slit my wrists now. [KIDDING!!!]

“The One”

Final Shot Tally: 0 due to the fact it’s a tribute video with actual concert footage.

Commentary: Speaking of actual concert footage, I was one of the 100,000+ people who broke the record for the largest indoor concert ever. So I’m probably screaming at some point in there. If you listen closely, you can hear me. 😉

Final Shot Tally For the Album: 8


The Millennium is over!! For those of you who haven’t already fallen over or died, time for Black & Blue (on a personal note – one of their lesser efforts and that’s including the ‘dark years’ i.e. those without Kevin).


“The Call”

Final Shot Tally: 0 (Enjoy the liver break while it lasts. Again, I let the outdoor rule slide.)

Commentary: I’m not sure what the really bizarre background track is about. It doesn’t sound that way on the album at all. And now Howie is the one with the great hair. Seriously?! I want their stylist’s number! And Kevin’s hair grew out again, so I’m tricked into thinking I’ve gone back in time. Though the lady does look like her outfit came from a sex shop. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Though probably sweaty. Pleather doesn’t breathe very well. Yes, I know this from experience.

“Shape Of My Heart”

Final Shot Tally: 2 (AJ making the prayer gesture, miming the lyrics)

Commentary: I love how they don’t seem to mind this couple getting it on under the table. “Bitch, that’s my shoe!”. I also see what they did with the grey scale so it turned out looking blue. Thank you for beating us over the head with it, producers.

“More Than That”

Final Shot Tally: 6 (Set outside, miming the lyrics, 1 AJ vomit tease, 2 Nick Points, 1 Nick vomit tease.)

Commentary: I won’t even attempt to make some crass joke about riding and Kevin in the cowboy hat. He’s either too cool to ride in the front or he lost rock, paper, scissors, to Howie for shotgun. Nick’s default dance move is to jump in a circle while flailing. Ah, white boys left to their own devices.

Final Shot Tally For the Album: 8


Didn’t I tell you to enjoy the break while it lasted? Welcome to their last effort as a quintet in the form of “Never Gone”. Things will only go downhill from here. Trust me.


“Incomplete”

Final Shot Tally: 13 (Set outside, 2 AJ making the prayer gesture, Kevin looking broody, 2 Brian vomit tease (x2), miming the lyrics, 2 AJ vomit teases, Nick vomit tease, rain machine)

Commentary: This one was a doozy, kiddos. I admit, the song is one of my favorites. The video? Well… We will assume Nick lit the car on fire. That’s a whole new level of crazy. I’m not sure I’d want to get back together with a dude who decided setting fire to a motor vehicle FILLED WITH GASOLINE is a good idea. AJ did not light his car on fire. Thank heaven for small favors. Brian probably got hypothermia from being stuck in the ocean. Hazards of the job. Kevin, well, was Kevin. At least Howie got a snappy hat out of the deal. Did I or did I not tell you things would be going downhill?

“Just Want You To Know”

Final Shot Tally: 5 (one for each of them because I just can’t…)

Commentary: What. The. Fuck. I legitimately have no clue what’s going on. And since when is LMFAO white? So they’re in the hair band, but they’re watching the hair band? Don’t get me wrong, I loves me some hair bands. My best guess is they were tired of pretending to vomit in random outdoor locations? *hums “Shotz”*

“Drowning”

Final Shot Tally: 8 (set outside, 2 AJ praying, miming the lyrics, 2 Nick points, 1 vomit tease (they were backlit, but I think it was Nick), 1 Nick vomit tease (for sure))

Commentary: I’m putting this one here because it’s not attached to any album (as far as I can tell) and it involves all 5 of them. Though based on Kevin’s hair, it’s earlier than this album. Speaking of hair, I guess their stylist took the day off. They’re all looking a wee bit greasy. Ew. The title was deceptive. No rain machine! Sneaky, sneaky bastards.

“I Still…” 

Final Shot Tally: 8 (set outside,1 Nick vomit tease, broody Kevin, Howie looking like he has a raging hangover, rain machine, drinking in solidarity with Kevin, 1 Brian vomit tease (x2))

Commentary: The way this one was shot made it a little difficult. It kept speeding up and slowing down, so it was hard to tell who was doing what to whom and when. I suppose Brian had a death wish as he fell to his knees in the middle of what I assume is New York City traffic. Like they’re going to stop. He would have been run down like a possum. Kevin was legitimately drinking in a bar, then throwing shit, so one must drink along with him. I liked AJ’s parkour (or however the hell you spell that) at the beginning. That’s totally some shit I would try and then faceplant.

Final Shot Tally For the Album: 34


After finishing this round, some things you’ll be grateful I didn’t add:

  • Nick looking like he’s going to rip his shirt off.
  • Erroneous grammar.
  • Crane cams

    Stay tuned for Mark 2

XOXO!

Of taking inventories and cats sitting on your face

May I open this entry with: When the fuck did it get to be March?!

Done.

BE VERY CAREFUL WITH THIS ENTRY. IT WILL BE HEAVY.

In the interest of full disclosure – I was diagnosed with severe depression yesterday.I took the Beck Depression Inventory courtesy of my therapist. I scored a 34 which is in the severe depression range. It’s the low end, but in the range nonetheless. I’ve suspected it for a while. When I first started seeing her almost 5 years, it was part of the basic assessment. One of the things she said was a HUGE red flag was you stop bathing or showering. I went a week without a shower, justifying that baby wipes and dry shampoo were sufficient since I was working out in the morning & didn’t really have time to shower. Even so, I should have taken a shower when I got home. Really Emily? The Bullshit meter was going off the charts. I refused to admit it. I bought myself some fancy Lush bath bombs & bubble bars to make myself take a bath. That was Thursday night.

Part of the exam also assessed suicidal intent. At least twice during my commute my last week, I thought “You know, I can just crash my car into that barrier and it would be over. No big,”. I wouldn’t do it because I care too much about the people who love me. I don’t want to leave them behind wondering if they said or did something to make me do it. Regardless, the thought was wandering around in there. My justification was I’m broken. I’m so broken that no one can put me back together. It’s not fair to everyone around me to deal with that. Plus, it would shut my brain up. You can’t think if you’re dead.

Another clue was I didn’t want to be touched. By anyone. At all. Ever. Highly unusual for me. I’ll bounce over and give or take a hug any time. Any member of my “freebie” list could show up at the door and I’d be like “Put it away, zip your pants, and I’ll take a rain check.” I didn’t even want a hug from my own parents. Hands where I can see them, please and thank you.

Before we immediately jump to medication (especially given the epilepsy meds), I was given a daily “to do” list for the next 2 weeks:

  1. Bathe or shower every day: Checked this one off for today. I showered, brushed & flossed my teeth, & put good skin products on my face. I didn’t wash my hair, but I’m getting my hair blown out later today. I can outsource that one. My therapist also said don’t go cheap on products for the rest of my body. I need the good stuff. If you can buy it at Target, that’s a no.
  2. Get more exercise: Granted, the wacky weather this week didn’t help this one. That said, it would have been no problem getting to a 6a class on Friday. My alarm went off and I was like “Fuck it” and went back to sleep. That’s a no go. I don’t have to burn 500 calories in an hour, but at least get out and take a walk. There’s a walking trail around my office. It wouldn’t kill me to get out during lunch and walk around for half an hour or so. The place where I’m getting my hair blown out is an outdoor shopping center. I think I’ll go up there before my appointment and just walk around for a bit.
  3. Be creative: This could be anything from a pottery class to organizing a closet. I shit you not about the latter. I suppose figuring out where to put what can be creative. I’ve been on a writing kick the past few weeks. I wrote about a paragraph last night before I went to sleep. I have a ton of knitting and crocheting stuff around here. Even just knitting or crocheting a few rows while I’m idly watching TV counts. Not only does it use a different part of your brain, it leads to a sense of accomplishment. When you’re super depressed, finding a sense of accomplishment is like finding a tap dancing unicorn.
  4. Reconnect with friends: This one isn’t a daily task. She said try to spend time with friends at least every other week. I have plans to see one of my friends this afternoon so I can give her the Valentine’s present that’s been hanging around since the date. I have tentative plans with a very old friend in two weeks so he can give me some CDs that he burned for me forever and a day ago. The originals got lost somewhere in the shuffle and I think my music collection needs a little bit of a BSB detox (She says as she hits ‘repeat’ on their 2009 album [This is Us]).

There were some other circumstances that led to living with my parents for a few weeks. It worked out as a perfect “rehab” time. They might object to being called rehab. Whatevs. Point being, I’m in an entirely different location for several weeks. My therapist said a change of scenery does a lot up front. I can’t argue that point. My dad and I went to see Kingsman last night and that shook me out of it a bit. I also took the opportunity to tell him what’s going on. My mother doesn’t believe in depression like it’s Santa or something. He was supportive and told me to do what I need to do to get better. I’m very lucky that have a huge support network literally all over the country. I have plenty of people willing to encourage me, kick me in the ass, and help me up when I faceplant.

One funny story before I close out this one. Lily (my kitten) has turned into my little furry alarm clock. At 7 this morning, she was bouncing on the bed, planting on herself on my face so I would get up and feed her. Cat ass is exactly what I need to get the day going. Bad kitty. She made up for it later. I was sleeping on my stomach, she cuddled up next to my shoulder, and put her paw on my back like she was hugging me. I guess she knew I needed a little love. Then she went back to sitting on my face. A brief, shining moment indeed.

Take care of yourselves, fair readers. I’ll do my best to stay accountable in here.

XOXO!