Meet My iTunes Library

I can be a little obsessive about my iPod. Every song has to have a corresponding artist, album, and genre.  Preferably an album image. I also went through a period of time when I felt sorry for my songs that had never been listened to. Yes, I felt sorry for them. Like they were people. (I have since passed this stage, but it still pains me just the teeniest bit when I come across a song that has never been listened to. During this bizarre period of my life, I went on a rampage of constantly listening to my iPod on shuffle with the goal of letting all 982 songs have their moment in the spotlight. You know, to make sure no song was left behind or got its feelings hurt.

My friends often got to (had to) listen to the resulting hodgepodge of songs that resulted from my shuffle rampages. And I got made fun of.  I still get made fun of.  Read the list of songs below and you'll understand why. These are the 21 songs that popped up when I put my iTunes on shuffle:

Another Christmas Song--Stephen Colbert (Yes, he has a Christmas song)
Hold On--Michael Buble
Redneck Yacht Club--Craig Morgan
If U Seek Amy--Britney Spears
Santa Baby--The Pussycat Dolls
Bare Necessities--Phil Harris and Bruce Reitherman (The Jungle Book)
Mamma Mia--Donna and Company (Mamma Mia! the musical)
Gold Digger (Glee Cast Version)--Glee Cast
California--Phantom Planet
Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious--Mary Poppins
True Colors (Glee Cast Version)--Glee Cast
Ridin Solo--Jason DeRulo
The Way You Look Tonight--Tony Bennett
Is It Any Wonder?--Keane
Someday--Sugar Ray
Juan Loco--Rodrigo y Gabriela
Never Gonna Leave This Bed--Maroon 5
Love Story--Taylor Swift
Keep On--Tyler Hilton
I Want You Back--NSYNC
I Heard It Through The Grapevine--Marvin Gaye

There are a few things you can deduce from my music tastes based on this list:
1. I am not normal.
2. I really like Christmas music. In fact, I have an entire iPod (circa 2001) that I have officially deemed "The Christmas iPod."  362 Christmas songs = perfection. I usually start listening to the Christmas iPod in October. Which brings us back to #1, I'm not normal.
3. Glee completes me.
4. The artists of the 1990s are alive and well in my iTunes library. I own "NOW" albums #2-13.  I also have "Totally Hits," the attempted rival of "NOW" that failed. (However, I wouldn't have TLC's "Scrubs" without this album, so I for one am grateful for the existence of Totally Hits.) 
5. I love love loooove soundtracks.  Musicals, movies, TV shows, whatever. Love them.
6. I have a separate genre for Disney music. Do you ever get tired of Angela Lansbury singing "Beauty and the Beast"? I don't. My favorite random Disney song to sing along to on long car rides used to be The Spectrum Song. Listen and you'll feel sorry for my family. I still know all the words so feel free to ask me to karaoke.
7. The Rat Pack is not just for my mother to enjoy. Dean Martin, Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra.  SWOON. I think I would have been so good at living during that era. I include Michael Buble in that category, too. He's an honorary member, just born in the wrong decade like me.
8. I will always be a fan of the original boy bands: NSYNC, Backstreet Boys, LFO, Hanson. None of this Jonas nonsense. (Although I must confess, I think I have one or two Bieber and Jonas songs on my iTunes.  I have no idea how they got there.) My childhood was the peak of boy band perfection.
9. For every 1 song that is somewhat current on my iTunes, there are about 10 songs that are old school and out-dated.
10. True country music fanatics think I'm a poser country fan. It's pretty much true.
11. I have random songs in different languages. My friend Megan used to get tired of me singing along to every single song on the radio so she tried to find Spanish songs I couldn't understand. I learned the words to those, too. Well actually, I made up the words but it sounded right to me. Megan loved that.

My favorite bands really are quite normal: Tyler Hilton (sigh), Maroon 5, Taylor Swift, John Mayer, Coldplay, etc. But these normal people get lost in the madness of my iTunes library that now has 2,172 songs. Since my iPod is an old nano 4G, it can only hold about 700 of my songs. So I have gone through the very painful process of choosing just exactly which songs I want on my iPod, therefore camouflaging my music taste so people who scroll through my iPod THINK I'm normal. But no. All you need to do is look at my iTunes to see that is not the case. Then again, I've probably already proven my non-normal status through examples of my celebrity stalking and mayonnaise binges.

The good news about my iTunes on shuffle: it always keeps people guessing. Then again, we all probably have those songs on our iTunes that people wouldn't understand. We're all kind of closet freaks when it comes to some of our music choices. Am I right? Can I get an amen?


Celebrities Make Me Nervous

You know those moments when in your head you're thinking "Stop talking...stop talking...stop talking...you're going to embarrass yourself" but your mouth just keeps prattling on? And what always happens? You embarrass yourself. If you don't know what I'm talking about, I envy you. And if you do know what I'm talking about, I feel your pain.

I tend to talk too much when I'm nervous. What makes me nervous? A number of things. The most recent of these unnerving things that got me into trouble: celebrity encounters. I just don't know what to say to famous people. I don't want to talk to them about the same thing that every other crazed fan talks about. So I try to be unique and quirky. Instead, my nervousness sends my mouth on a rampage and I just end up looking like the most crazed of all the crazed fans.

Example: This week I went to a Tyler Hilton concert. He is my all-time favorite artist. I'm obsessed. Tyler isn't too mainstream. This is part of why I love him. But it also means that a lot of you reading this probably don't know who Tyler Hilton is. Since he's not some huge celebrity who's in the tabloids every other day I really shouldn't have been that nervous when I met him after the concert. But I was. In fact, I was so nervous that I was literally shaking. I even asked Tyler's bodyguard what I should use as an opening line. The bodyguard just laughed and shook his head at me. Not helpful.

Before I had time to brainstorm my brilliant and charming opening comment, the moment was upon me. I don't remember much of what I said, but I do remember that I just talked and talked and talked...and talked. I'm pretty sure the majority of this talking made me sound like a complete loon. Highlights of the conversation included:

(as I'm walking up, he can apparently already tell that I'm a little too excited)
Tyler: "Wow! You're really enthusiastic"
Becky: "Well YEAH!" (followed by lots of nervous giggles)

(while posing for a picture together)
Becky: "I really am 21 years old. I just act like a 5 year old."

Tyler: "Do you want to sign up for my e-mail list?"
Becky: "Oh sure! I pretty much already stalk you in every other way possible."
(Explanation: I follow him on Twitter, "like" him on Facebook, subscribe to his YouTube channel, and look at his website every so often. Some might call that stalking. I like to call it being a really dedicated fan. I'm sure everyone reading and Tyler Hilton himself are going to choose to call it stalking. And you're probably right.)

Luckily I don't come in contact with celebrities often. As in, I never come in contact with celebrities. The only other famous people I can remember meeting are Shannon Miller and Peggy Fleming (who I met through a fence after a Champions on Ice performance when I was 8).

Maybe I just need more practice socializing with celebs  Is it an acquired skill? Well anyway, it's fair to say I definitely don't have that skill just yet. Here's hoping my next celebrity encounter is a little less creepy-stalkerish!

And a special note to Tyler: Sorry for being incapable of holding a real conversation in your presence. I really can be a fun, normal person. Apparently just not around you.

Becky is thinking: "Oh my gosh Oh my gosh Oh my gosh Oh my gosh!!!!!"
Tyler is thinking: "This girl is a complete nut job."

P.S. This is my fav Tyler song ever. If you haven't heard it before, you need to.


Ricky, EllieFran, and The Blind Guy

Today is my father's very favorite holiday. Some people look forward to birthdays; others count down the days til Christmas. Not Ricky! He prefers Election Day.

Did I just call my father as Ricky? Yes I did. I'd like to divert for a second to clarify. No, he isn't my uncle/stepfather/adopted father. He is my biological father. And yes, as many of you know, I regularly refer to him as Ricky. Is he offended? I think he used to be. One day, 3rd grade Becky came home from school and decided to be obnoxious by calling her father by his first name. Not just his first name, the version of his first name people called him in elementary school. I don't recall my exact reasoning behind this. Perhaps I was curious how long it would last before he went completely insane with annoyance? Anyway, during this initial phase I'm thinking Ricky was most likely a little perturbed. But now? It's just the usual. I forget that it catches people off guard. In fact, the whole family has taken my lead. My sister, Carolyn, has even embellished Ricky's name so he now has a rapper alter ego: Pretty Ricky.  

I tend to change things up name-wise. When we got our brand new puppy, I suggested we name her Ellie. I immediately retracted my name suggestion because it was my tennis coach's name. Apparently I was concerned that my coach would be offended I had stolen her name for a dog. My family didn't care (no doubt my tennis coach wouldn't have cared either), and so our border collie pup became Ellie. A few weeks later, however, my sister and I decided to play a trick on Ricky. The plan: start calling the dog "Fran" and see if Ricky notices. The result: much confusion.
Ricky: "Didn't we name the dog Ellie?"  
Becky (or Beckles as Ricky tends to call me): "No. We named her Fran.  Remember?"  
Ricky: "...No?"

In the end, Ricky wasn't fooled. But once again, the name stuck! The whole family now refers to Ellie as EllieFran and occasionally just Fran. They are putty in my hands, I tell you! PUTTY! Haven't decided what my next name-change project will be, but I'll keep you posted.

Back to my original point.  I started this blog entry that somehow spun off into a succession of anecdotes for a reason.  Here was my initial thought process:

Election Day = Ricky
Ricky + Beckles + Election Day + 2000 = Blind Guy

Who is this blind guy I speak of? Allow me to re-introduce you.

Do these images look familiar? Perhaps bringing back memories of the Florida ballot disputes in 2000? I endearingly named this man "The Blind Guy." And, as proven through the Ricky and EllieFran stories, I only give nicknames to people/animals that I really love. The Blind Guy certainly fits that criteria. I was so enraptured by this man and his ridiculous facial expressions that Ricky gave me a framed 8x10 photo of my blind friend for Christmas that year. It sat on my hutch for years and years right next to my autographed picture of Shannon Miller. I'm sure I still have it somewhere.

So Blind Guy, this post is dedicated to you. Where ever you are, you still have a special place in my heart. And so do you, Ricky and EllieFran. Happy Election Day!