Taste in Music

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I was having a conversation a few days ago with a great friend of mine when the subject of music came up. We were listening through each other’s playlists (if you’re on Spotify you’re welcome to check my playlist out. It’s called: “Billy’s Grand Vocal Mix” and it’s comprised of 251 of my favorite songs. It should be available for public listening. You’ll notice it says “vocal”, I’m still working on refining the instrumental side of my playlist that I plan to then combine to form my largest playlist ever.) while we were waiting for another one of our friends. The genres played were all over the place in both of our playlists…from movie music, to rock, to pop, to country, etc. For the record, country is so unfairly hated upon by my generation. I know what you’re thinking: “Typical Idahoan redneck!” but let me tell you something. Look past the heavy Southern accents and the unnecessary overuse (abuse, really) of banjos and acoustic guitars and listen to the lyrics. I don’t think there is any other genre that comes close to matching country music in depth of lyrical meaning. Think about it in comparison to the genres I listed above: Movie music is simply meant to accompany, not to make a statement; Rock is mostly about volume through electric guitar and drum set showcases (ask anyone who has gone to a rock concert); Pop showcases vocals sometimes and electronic “advances” in music the rest of the time. See what I’m saying? Here’s a tangible example of the lyrical depth of country music.

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These are many of the musical genres throughout history, but not all.

So we (me and my friend) were complimenting each other on our wide range of musical genres. It’s amazing how many people lock themselves into one or two genres and claim everything else is nauseating. This leads me to ask why people listen to music? I listen to music primarily for great vocals, great lyrics, and great rhythm. I don’t care what genre it is because you can find all three of those things in any genre! (When I say genre, I mean the widely accepted, overarching genres, not sub-genres. For example, k-pop and j-pop are both sub-genres of the genre of pop. I specify this so my sister can’t hold what I’m saying over my head in the future.) So my question of the day for y’all is:

Why do YOU listen to music?

And yes, I mean YOU. If you are listening to what you want without fear of judgement from those around you (people can be REALLY judgmental of others tastes in music, and yes, I can be guilty of this myself. Heck, this entire post is criticizing the people who restrict themselves to one or two genres!) what are you listening to and why?

That’s all for TheHaysWay today, make sure to leave a comment with your thoughts on the question of the day and/or on whatever is on your mind, along with a much-appreciated like. As always, respectful constructive criticism is greatly appreciated. If you are not yet a follower, become a follower to share in the appreciation of everything included in the word “music”. 🙂 Have a pleasant tomorrow.


Warriors, Speaking while Watching, Frisbee, Youth Substance Abuse Prevention, Strength in Kindness

Just to throw this out there: I hate the Golden State Warriors. They’ve become the New England Patriots of the NBA. You just know that they are going to win. It’s REALLY annoying. They just defeated the San Antonio Spurs in San Antonio for the 2nd time in the teams’ last 3 meetings there, and the Warriors had lost 33 straight regular season games in San Antonio prior to that. AND, the Spurs were up double digits in the first half. Come on! In other NBA news: The Cleveland Cavaliers suck.

You know what else is annoying? When people speak during your favorite movies/TV shows. I was watching an episode of my favorite TV show, Psych, when one of my friends entered the room and started speaking. Another friend got sucked into the conversation because he was already in the room. Then another one of my friends entered the room and joined the conversation. Then my roommate entered the room and joined the conversation. SERIOUSLY!? I’m watching the greatest TV show of ALL TIME!!! I just want to watch it in peace. Is that too much to ask for? Those guys talk enough throughout the rest of the day, and they can’t give me 45 minutes of silence to watch ONE episode!?

On a more positive note, I was tossing the frisbee with a friend today, and my forehand throw looked really good! Here in Denver, there always seems to be wind when I’m trying to play frisbee, but today it was virtually nonexistent. Also, when I went home for Spring Break, one of my friends who is AMAZING at frisbee taught me how to throw a forehand pass. He’s apparently really good at teaching, too, because my forehand throw looked better than my friend’s did today, and my friend is on the DU Ultimate Frisbee Team.

So, I wrote this Wee Intro Paper yesterday (that was the name of the assignment) and refined it today to turn in for my Writing class this quarter. It’s not optimal because I hadn’t written a piece for school in a couple of weeks, but feel free to read it (and critique it) if you wish. My Writing class is all about Preventing Youth Substance Abuse, which is an issue that I care about due to my personal values. In fact, if it were up to me, weed and alcohol would BOTH be illegal. But, I recognize the in-feasibility of that for the economic aspects (alcohol and weed companies would DEMOLISH me in court). Still, it would be nice if our country was substance free, right?

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It’s sad that society is set up like this. We can change it if we all work together…
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This probably sounds like the quote of the day, but I actually found an even better quote about kindness.
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Don’t worry, I won’t do another quote of the day with “happiness” and “rain” today. I do like rainbows, though.
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Ever seen the movie Shallow Hal? it’s like that.
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This came in second in today’s quote of the day race. I wanted to inject some humor, but then I found…
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Quote of the Day

Who would have thought that a gangster would beat out two writers in Oscar Wilde and Mark Twain for the quote of the day? I think this quote is perfect for those out there who are afraid to show kindness for whatever reason. It honestly reminds me of my favorite rule, which I affectionately dub, “The Black Rule”: Do unto others as others have done unto you. I show kindness to people until they are unkind to me. When someone is unkind to me, I make them regret it. If you don’t believe me, ask the biggest douche on the DU campus (in my opinion), or my ex’s best friend. Showing kindness, caring, and compassion to someone should never be considered a weakness. In fact, it should be considered a strength because that is how you make friends (and maybe lovers? 😉 ) that last lifetimes. Those who are unkind are the truly weak in society. So be strong in two ways: 1) Show kindness to everyone and 2) Make those who are unkind to you realize they have made a grave mistake.

That’s all for TheHaysWay today, make sure to leave a comment on the Golden State Warriors and/or on the Cleveland Cavaliers and/or on Psych and/or on talking during movies and TV shows and/or on frisbee and/or on my piece about youth substance abuse programs in Colorado and/or on the various quotes and/or on the Quote of the Day and/or on whatever is on your mind, along with a much-appreciated like. If you are not yet a follower, become a follower to show your strength in kindness to me. 🙂 Have a pleasant tomorrow.


Movie Conspiracy Theory: What if Lord of the Rings is actually a Love Story?

The New Year is still about an hour away for me, so I’m looking for something to do to kill the time until midnight. I know I said I would give my 2016 in numbers, and I will, but that will be tweeted instead of posted on my blog. For those of you who read my blog but don’t follow me on Twitter, check out my Twitter account (@TheHaysWay) at midnight to see that. Now on to the theory:

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This may sound kind of ridiculous because of all of the fighting, adventure, and orcs in The Lord of the Rings. However, think about the focus of the story: all of the fighting, adventure, and orcs are the result of a ring. I know the ring (paralleling a wedding ring) itself is a stretch, so allow me to explain myself more. I’ll start with the history of the ring.

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“One ring to rule them all, One ring to find them. One ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them.”

The ring was forged in the fires of Mount Doom as “the ring of power”, or “the one ring to rule them all”. There is a parallel saying about love: “Love conquers all.” The villain of the story is Sauron, who forged the ring. He uses the ring to control everything and everyone. That, unfortunately, is how some bad relationships go. The fact that he is the villain for using the ring in that way could easily parallel a discussion on misusing love. After Sauron is defeated, multiple others obtain the ring. In the movies, we only get to see what it does to three people: Gollum, Bilbo, and Frodo. While each of them are in different states in their lives, all three get there because the ring changes them. They all come to be obsessed with the ring and it drives them crazy. Another parallel saying about love: “Crazy in love.”

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Cast of The Lord of the Rings from left: John Rhys-Davies (Gimli), Dominic Monaghan (Mary), Viggo Mortensen (Aragorn), Sean Astin (Sam), Ian McKellen (Gandalf), Elijah Wood (Frodo), Sean Bean (Boromir), Billy Boyd (Pippin), Orlando Bloom (Legolas)

Now let’s look at the supporting cast. Sam is Frodo’s best friend who accompanies him on his journey with the ring. There are many times throughout their journey when Frodo claims that he wants to give up and turn back. Each time, Same picks him back up and gets him back on track. This is likely very similar to a best friend helping their friend win the love of a girl, especially if he is wanting to propose. I’ve never proposed to anyone before because I’m too young, but from what I have heard, that’s a pretty big life decision. I doubt anyone goes through that process without rethinking it or wanting to give up at some point like Frodo does on his journey. Now for Gandalf. He is the one with the benefit of wisdom. He is the most capable character when it comes to seeing the end game because he has the most experience. He sees the light at the end of the tunnel that Frodo is too young to see, kind of like those married people who say, “Love has a way of finding you” or, as Sir Elton John puts it, “There’s a time for everyone, if they only learn, that the twisting kaleidoscope, moves us all in turn.” Finally, the ring wraiths. The ring wraiths are the primary obstacle to Frodo throughout his journey, as they seek only to stop him from destroying the ring. People who fall in love often experience obstacles that seek to destroy that love in a similar fashion. Some examples of obstacles may be location or different life goals.

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Mordor: Eye of Sauron (left), Mount Doom (right)

The setting of the story also draws parallels to the realities of chasing love. The hobbits start out with a simple way of life, living in the shire. As the story progresses and Frodo gets closer to where he wants to go with the ring (Mordor), the setting gets darker and darker. That draws parallels to relationship “tests” as a lover learns more and more about their partner and are tested to see if their love is strong enough to withstand the darker, less appealing aspects of their partner. Mordor is the darkest because in order to cast the ring into the fire (or take the step of marriage, in the case of a relationship) one must accept the deepest and darkest secrets that their partner has. The setting then returns to the light after the ring is cast into the fire because once one accepts and protects their partner’s deepest and darkest secrets and has their deepest and darkest secrets protected in turn, the couple reaches the happy “true love” area. This area is then amplified with the trip to the immortal realm, into the west.

Don’t let the orcs, marshes, and battles fool you, The Lord of the Rings fits the same molds as a typical love story. This includes the symbolism, setting, and characterization in the movie. However you perceive The Lord of the Rings, there is no denying that it is a great story. I brought it up because it’s a New Year’s tradition in my family to watch all three of the movies. My theory holds legitimate arguments in my head, and I hope I did a good enough job of describing it to make you think twice about the purpose of the story, too.

That’s all for TheHaysWay today, make sure to leave a comment with your thoughts on my theory and/or on a theory of your own about The Lord of the Rings (it can be even more outlandish than mine if you want, I’d love to hear it), along with a much-appreciated like. If you are not yet a follower, become a follower to enjoy more movie conspiracy theories in the future. 🙂 Have a pleasant tomorrow and a pleasant New Year!

#31: Horror Movie, FOX, and More

Horror Movie

This is insanely crazy timing. This movie just came out today. Evidently, it is about five, kidnapped carnival workers, who are forced to participate in a life or death game called ’31’, in which, they face multiple homicidal maniacs. I think I got the gist, but here’s the trailer in case you want to verify my summary. Even after watching the trailer, I haven’t the faintest idea as to why the game is called ’31’.

NFL Game Result

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It just so happens, that one NFL team won by a score of 31-28, today. That team was the Detroit Lions, who defeated the Los Angeles Rams. The Lions are now 3-3 on the year, meaning they are significantly exceeding the expectations that I set for them. It seems to help QB Matthew Stafford to NOT have WR Calvin Johnson Jr anymore, because now Stafford doesn’t feel obligated to force the ball to Johnson, and he’s making better decisions. Anyway, Congrats Lions! You kicked the Rams right before they head to London to face my New York Giants. Thank you!


Interestingly enough, the FOX station here in Denver is FOX31. That’s kind of cool…I guess. For the record, FOX is my favorite of the primary networks. Not because of their political views, but because of their amazing TV shows, and the ease with which they allow viewers to stream football games online. Unlike other networks…(cough…cough…CBS…cough).

Here we go! The franchise ranked 31st in all-time winning percentage (as of 2012) is the…

Arizona Cardinals

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All-Time Winning Percentage: 41.7%

Founded: 1920

All-Time Record: 501-700-39

This one surprised me. They’ve been pretty good recently. Then I remembered that they really hadn’t done anything until QB Kurt Warner showed up there to almost win them the Super Bowl in 2009. Despite the low franchise winning percentage, the franchise has one champion to hang on to: Pat Tillman. Pat Tillman gave up his career with the Cardinals to fight for the US Army in Afghanistan; He was killed in action by friendly fire. He is the most recent NFL athlete to have given his life for his country.

That’s all for TheHaysWay today, make sure to leave a comment on the horror movie (especially reviews if anyone has seen it) and/or on the Detroit Lions and/or on FOX and/or on the Arizona Cardinals, along with a much-appreciated like. If you are not yet a follower, become a follower to achieve unexpected success, like the Detroit Lions. 🙂 Have a pleasant tomorrow.