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by Jeff
Rated: 18+ · Book · Biographical · #1399999
One blog to rule them all
Welcome to my blog!

I would make some sort of clever introduction here, but most of us already know how blogs work; if you like me and like my writing, you might also enjoy my personal ramblings and assorted thoughts. If you don't like me, you're probably not reading this anyway. And if you're undecided in your opinion of me, I invite you to read as much or as little as you like and decide for yourself.

Please read on and, if you find something worth discussing, don't be shy about submitting a comment! *Bigsmile*

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April 27, 2019 at 6:08pm
April 27, 2019 at 6:08pm
I haven't updated the 'ol blog in a while (since "The Soundtrack of Your Life Challenge, apparently!), and today feels like a good day to catch up a little. And for the past week, I've really only had one thing on my mind:

Avengers: Endgame is finally in theaters this weekend and I can’t help but feel a little nostalgic about my time at Marvel. The ten films I’ve worked on over the past three years have been surprising, exciting, tough, emotional, and incredibly satisfying. I’ve never worked harder or been prouder of a professional accomplishment.

Like the movie that’s tearing up box office records this weekend, my Marvel journey's taken some unpredictable turns, but ultimately exceeded any and all expectations I had going into it. And, one way or another, I did it… I made it to the Endgame. #WhateverItTakes

With a new phase on the horizon, whatever that may have in store, I can’t help but feel a sense of profound gratitude for having the opportunity to play my small part in Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I love these movies and all the people who work so hard to make them. It’s been a bucket list-level experience, for sure.

I hope you all enjoy watching them as much as I’ve enjoyed working on them.
February 28, 2019 at 9:52pm
February 28, 2019 at 9:52pm
DAY 28

by Rosie Thomas

My final sound of the 2019 Soundtrackers event is called "Farewell?" It's almost like I planned it that way! *Smirk*

I found this song not too long ago on a season finale of the show Bosch and just completely fell in love with it. The song is so haunting and beautiful at the same time, I've put it in regular rotation on my "sad songs" playlist for when I just need some time to ponder things or mope around. As much as I enjoy energetic and active songs, there's something to be said for the beauty in simplicity and I think this song is a perfect example of that.

Fun Fact: Rosie Thomas, in addition to being a singer-songwriter, is also a stand-up comedian who performs as the character Sheila Saputo, an accident-prone pizza delivery person. (I bet you weren't expecting that, were you? *Pthb*)

In retrospect, this month kind of got away from me and I ended up cramming a bunch of entries in at the very end... and while I'm glad I got it done, I'd really like to have another shot at taking some time with it. Since I'm the one that's running it now, maybe I'll make it a biannual event. Or come up with something else to scratch that musical blogging itch during the long summer months between Soundtrack of Your Life and Resurrection Jukebox in the fall. *Wink*

Written for "The Soundtrack of Your Life Challenge
February 28, 2019 at 9:45pm
February 28, 2019 at 9:45pm
DAY 27

"Dancing On My Own"
by Robyn

I mentioned this song of Robyn's in an earlier Soundtrackers entry this month, but I'm including it here because it's also kind of an anthem I listen to from time to time. I like the sentiment that no matter what happens, she's still dancing even if it's on her own. As someone who often tries really hard to fit in and conform to the expectations people have of me, I sometimes like to remind myself that sometimes it's okay to go off into a corner and do my own thing. Plus it's kind of an upbeat but sad song, which is totally in my "combine disparate things" wheelhouse that I mentioned a couple blog posts ago.

Written for "The Soundtrack of Your Life Challenge
February 28, 2019 at 9:31pm
February 28, 2019 at 9:31pm
DAY 26

"Sweet Disposition"
by The Temper Trap

I may have blogged about this song before, but it's definitely one of the songs that carries a ton of emotional weight for me. I included it as part of an "In Memoriam" montage that I assembled for my grandfather's funeral service when he passed away several years ago. At the time, I was having a really hard time processing my own feelings about the loss. My grandfather had always been a pretty stoic person and while I have some amazing memories of him, feel like I never really got to know him all that well. He went rather quickly (although not entirely unexpectedly), so this was the first time that I had lost a relatively close family member and also lost someone that I didn't really have a chance to say goodbye to.

While I was going through all of these emotions trying to figure out how I felt about everything, I ultimately decided to put together a montage for his memorial service and had family members send me all kinds of old photos from their collections. I put them all into a presentation, and that act of doing something to honor my grandfather really helped me process his passing and feel like I was able to give something to him in recognition of all the things he did for our family over the years. It was also one of the only times in my life that I think I really truly felt a deep emotional connection to a song (I literally still think of my grandfather every time this song plays) that goes so much deeper than just "I really like that song" or "I remember good times when I hear that song." This is a much more visceral, "This song got me through something" feeling.

If you're interested, you can check out the memorial video I created for him here  . "Sweet Disposition" is the second song, the first was one of his favorites.

Written for "The Soundtrack of Your Life Challenge
February 28, 2019 at 9:15pm
February 28, 2019 at 9:15pm
DAY 25

"Heart of Rock and Roll"
"Heart and Soul"
by Huey Lewis and the News

This album is one of my earliest musical memories. My parents had Huey Lewis' album Sports on vinyl (when vinyl was a thing the first time around), and my parents would let us drop the needle on the record and then dance around to these songs over and over again until we were so exhausted we collapsed on the ground. It's a particular fond memory for me because my father isn't a particular emotive person and doesn't express himself a lot, but I remember him seeming particularly happy when we would rock out to these songs and run around to this soundtrack. To this day, while songs like "Hip to be Square" and "Power of Love" and some of Huey Lewis' other hits are far more popular and well-known, these tracks and the rest of his Sports album will have a special place in my heart.

Written for "The Soundtrack of Your Life Challenge
February 28, 2019 at 9:07pm
February 28, 2019 at 9:07pm
DAY 24

"99 Problems / Points of Authority"
by Jay-Z & Linkin Park

This is probably one of my all-time favorite EPs of all time. I remember when it was first announced, everyone thought the idea of combining two different styles was crazy... but they ended up really complementing one another and created something new and amazing. Every song on the EP is incredible; I think they actually enhance each other's contributions. Ultimately, the idea of a "mash up" or combining two disparate elements is something that's always appealed to me, including in my writing and other creative efforts. I don't consider myself one of the raw, exceptionally talented people who can come up with "out-there" concepts out of nowhere... but I am someone who likes to find ways to make different kinds of puzzle pieces fit together.

For me this song (and the whole album, really) are a kind of proof of concept that the kinds of things that I'm creatively drawn to can work. There's value and innovation in finding new ways of exploring old standards, so every time I listen to a song from this album, I'm reminded that the thing I creatively like to do most can be done, and it can be done well.

Written for "The Soundtrack of Your Life Challenge
February 28, 2019 at 8:55pm
February 28, 2019 at 8:55pm
DAY 23

"Beautiful Trauma"
by P!nk

While I don't pretend my life is nearly as traumatic as those of others, I think this song resonates with pretty much everybody. When P!nk released this song (and the album of the same name), she was quoted as saying, "Life is f---ing traumatic. But it's also incredibly beautiful too. There's a lot of beauty still and beautiful souls." And that's pretty much my worldview in a nutshell. Now that I'm closing in on middle age and leaving the earlier years behind, it's become so abundantly clear to me how incredibly rough and tough life can be, but how incredible and amazing it can be... sometimes even at the same time.

Written for "The Soundtrack of Your Life Challenge
February 28, 2019 at 7:01pm
February 28, 2019 at 7:01pm
DAY 22

"Waving Through A Window"
from Dear Evan Hansen

This song is fresh in my mind because I finally saw the Dear Evan Hansen production on Broadway while my wife and I were in New York last weekend, but this really is one of the songs that I feel like defines so much of how I relate to the world. I'm not quite as shy or anxiety-ridden as Evan Hansen is in the show, but I definitely know that awkward feeling of watching other people live their lives through the screen of a smartphone or a computer monitor. I know how it feels to never quite feel like you fit in with everyone else, even when you're trying desperately to be seen.

Over the years I've gotten a little better with my social anxiety and ability to relate to other people, but it was particularly bad in junior high and high school when I just felt so alone and like I couldn't relate to anyone at all for days or even weeks at a time.

On a side note, if you ever get a chance to see Dear Evan Hansen, you really should check it out. I'm not a huge theater person and I absolutely loved every minute of it. The songs are amazing and the show is surprisingly emotional. There was a big guy sitting next to me that just completely broke down during the penultimate song. It's that good.

Written for "The Soundtrack of Your Life Challenge
February 28, 2019 at 3:51pm
February 28, 2019 at 3:51pm
DAY 21

"Love Ninja"
from The Goldbergs soundtrack

The Goldbergs is pretty much my favorite sitcom on television right now, and I really love the fact that they try to incorporate Hayley Orrantia's musical interests into her character of Erika. In this episode, they want something from their dad (an expensive CD player, I think), and he says he'll buy them one if they write the greatest song of all time. I included the clip above because even though it's an abbreviated version of the song, there's a great interaction with their grandfather which is one of the reasons why I love the show so much.

It's such a completely ridiculous song, but I find it oddly catchy. If you're interested in hearing the whole version (with an added second verse), you can check that out here  

Written for "The Soundtrack of Your Life Challenge
February 28, 2019 at 3:42pm
February 28, 2019 at 3:42pm
DAY 20

"Hearts Beat Loud"
from the Hearts Beat Loud soundtrack

This was not a good movie, but I still dig the song. The movie itself was incredibly slow and overly long, so I almost wonder if they wrote the song first and then tried to build a movie around it. It was kind of sweet and heartfelt, but like so many indie movies just felt like it could have used with some editing to make it about twenty minutes shorter.

Anyway, Kiersey Clemons actually has a pretty decent voice and there's a catchy beat to this that has me listening to it a lot more than I'd probably care to admit to. It's a fun and lighthearted song that always cheers me up when I listen to it.

Written for "The Soundtrack of Your Life Challenge

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