Blink-182 NINE

You’re on the edge of your seats. I know, the world has been waiting for my review of this album considering emo and pop-punk are my genres. JK you guys could literally not give a Fuck, most of you don’t even know that this is Blink-182’s second full-length album without Tom DeLonge.

Before I get into my feelings on NINE. I have some prerequisites.

Did you enjoy Neighborhoods?

Do you silently weep in hopes Tom DeLonge will return to Blink-182?

Are you one of those assholes who only likes a band’s “first album” or obscure indie shit?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, leave now there is nothing for you here.

For those of you who don’t know my personal history with Blink-182, I’ll try to sum it up here.

In 1998 I was in the mall music store when a sign caught my eye. “If you like Green Day, you’ll love Blink-182” there was Dude Ranch in all its glory. 18-year-old Kathyanne picked it up and played it while driving around. Did it change my life? No, but it was a fun record, so I purchased Cheshire Cat. I also got to see Blink-182 and Unwritten Law at Janus Landing.

A few years later Enema of The State came out. Another funny, but polished pop-punk cd. I enjoyed it and saw them live again in a much bigger arena. It was then when Tom Delonge let out a big rant on stage, I don’t remember what it was about, but I remember feeling ready for some depth from the band, and them not delivering. When I got home I gathered all of my Blink CDs and traded them in. I’m too cool for this silly music. I’m nearly 21!

The TOYPAJ came out, and while they were still a silly band I loved this cd. It remains a favorite. So I bought all my Blink-182 albums back.

I have a confession to make. When the self-titled album came out I only liked 1/2 of it. The sound matured and it was cool, but some of the songs were not pop-punk enough and sounded rockier. It’s a great cd but not my favorite.

Then Tom left. He broke Mark’s heart and I’ll never forgive him. He shat on everything Blink-182 was and claimed to be above the teenage snotty humor he specifically branded. Thus +44 and AvA were born. Obviously, I preferred the former and was TEAM HOPPUS all the way. I even made shirts. When Tom came back I didn’t give Neighborhoods a chance. F that guy and his stupid faux intellect 🤮 (For the record I did enjoy Box Car Racer)

Ok, so we are mostly caught up. I liked a few songs on California, but I was into broadway musicals and let it take a back seat.

Fast forward to the present: I can’t stop listening to NINE. I saw some memes about it and was like “ok I’ll check it out” and it hasn’t stopped playing. I added the whole thing to a playlist and put California on there too. To be honest I appreciate California more now.

Let’s break down NINE because I saw other writers do it. And for the most part, I disagree.

For starters, I prefer the last half of Nine. Everything from the Generational Divide on is my cup of tea. But I guess we’ll get to that soon enough.

The First track First Time is said to have a ‘Feeling This’ vibe. I think that’s intentional, and although I like Feeling This more this track is just fine.

Happy Days is a song about depression set to poppy guitars. While I do love that combo it is subdued.

Heaven is sweet and sad.

Darkside tries to be just that.

Then we get to Blame it On My Youth where the band shows it’s age in the best way. I’ve heard it compared to an Imagine Dragons track, and I can see that. The song’s lyrics finally match up to what it’s fans are likely feeling in their 30’s and 40’s. With references to 80’s pop culture and reasons why this generation of aging millennials are struggling to grow up and be taken seriously anyway. Much of what the bands main critics can’t grasp.

Generational Divide is a short punk riff that tackles parenthood and along with Ransom are the most punk songs the band has ever put out. Fight me.

I Really Wish I Hated You

Pin The Grenade

Remember to Forget Me

These songs have the formula to melt my heart. Happy bouncy music and sad self deprecating lyrics. Some critic likened the second half of NINE to Fall Out Boy and Panic! At The Disco. Great. I Love those guys. LOVE. Bring me more of THAT sound. That is my SHIT.

So I guess some of the critics and I agree. But many are acting as if Blink-182 used to be this deep punk band that have ’ sold out’ (🙄😒 don’t get me started on all hipster assholes out there giving every successful band ever shit for making progressive music careers.)

The truth is Blink-182’s most successful album was a parody of boy bands everywhere and their most meaningful song included the line:

” I spilled the cup of apple juice in the hall”, please tell mom this is not her fault.”

You can be nostalgic, you can like Blink-182’s entire body of work (even Neighborhoods). But you can’t pretend that the writing, sound and production haven’t matured. And if you really look at these past two albums you’d be hard pressed to say that they aren’t the group’s most serious efforts to date. There isn’t one poo-poo or pee pee joke amongst them, and the sound has evolved into what’s popular now. Are they ground breaking? No have they ever been? Also no. But it’s really really good to hear something from this group that isn’t silly and bro-ed up.

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You Get a song! And You Get a Song! EVERYBODY gets a song!!!

I love music and I’m really selfish about it. I apply the lyrics to my life and my friends and my family. Here is a list of songs and people I relate them to.

Jack Geddings- I’ll Be by Edwin McCain

Mike Brown- Head Over Feet by Alanis Morrisette

Mark Crawford- All For You by Sister Hazel

John Michaels – Do You Sleep by Lisa Loeb

Paul and Shelie Bollenbach- Work by Watsky

Adam Bollenbach – All Falls Down by Kanye West

Jason Mitchell- Ocean Avenue by Yellow Card

Let’s Widholm -Mr. Blue by Dance Hall Crashers

Joe Bucci- Always by Blink 182

Levi Bucci- I’m Still Here by the Goo Goo Dolls

Quinten Bishop- Disappear by Motion City Soundtrack

Spencer Bishop – Do You Like Waffles?

Maria Pellegrino – Dear Maria Count Me In by All Time Low

Alicia Iglesias – The Best of Me by The Starting Line

My Dad- Suite Judy Blue Eyes by CSN&Y Fixing A Hole by The Beatles Positively 4th Street by Bob Dylan and I Want To Know Your Plans by Say Anything

My Mom- She’s Leaving Home by The Beatles So Bad by Paul McCartney and High Hopes by Panic! At The Disco

Amy Peterson – Dark Blue by Jack’s Mannequin

Jim Thein – Hey Jealousy by The Gin Blossoms or Almost by Bowling For Soup

Phil Lindner- Found Out About You by The Gin Blossoms

Margaret Conte- 80 by Green Day

Melissa soon-to-be Greer- Do You Remember by Phil Collins

Tanya Carmody- Against All Odds by Phil Collins

Amy Heflin – Kiss Me by New Found Glory

Kat Daughtrey- I’m Not That Girl from The Wicked Soundtrack

Geni Chow- Story of My Life by Millencolin

Aubrey Spears- You’re Pretty When I’m Drunk by The Bloodhound Gang

Audrey Cook- Drunk Sincerity by Bad Religion

David Fisher- Down Together by The Refreshments

Rachel Gaona- Water Runs Dry by Boys II Men

Cheryl Bollenbach- So Quiet by Bjork

Kristie O’Brien – Anything At All by Motion City Soundtrack and Shape of You by Ed Sheeran

Thomas O’Brien – Less Cute by Say Anything and There’s a Good Reason These Tables Are Numbered Honey, You Just Haven’t Thought of It Yet by Panic! At The Disco

Christian Bollenbach- LGFUAD by Motion City Soundtrack

Chet Bishop- will get a whole mixtape later

Bad Guy

Watching Mega Mind with my sons has brought up a true point. One that I preach on and on.

No one wants to be a bad guy.

Villains are born of rejection, and pain, and fear.

Everyone who has been mean or cast as a villain feels justified because of their perceived rejection, hurt, and betrayal.

The very least we can do is to be gentle so as not to create a monster. Words are powerful, spells and have the power to create and destroy.

We are bestowed with all these gifts and all this power and we squander it away for what? Entertainment?

I leave you with this before you decide to react or prejudge…

Why you gotta be so mean?

I made a list of things to talk about. As an early educator for twenty years, the number one question was: Why Are Kids So Mean?

Some people say children are sweet and innocent. Freud says they are hypersexual, egocentric, and self-centered.

As a teacher I see kids teasing and taunting and belittling each other daily. As a mother I watch my sons play off each other’s stress and negative emotions. As a child, I felt ostracized and picked on.

The truth is kids can be mean. But why? Is it because they are taught to be mean? Is it a learned behavior picked up by watching adults deal with stress by being mean to others? Is it something all kids do that they grow out of? Which came first being mean? Or reacting to meanness?

Well, to answer that we have to know why adults are mean. Psychology Today says that people judge and put people down because they want to make themselves feel better. We’ve all heard that, but I don’t buy it completely.

I am of the belief that no one wants to be mean. No one wants to hurt another person or be the bad guy. But we all have done it. Sometimes we justify being hurtful by saying we were just being strong or protecting someone, or they deserved it for being a shit person. As if treating someone badly would make them see how bad it feels in hopes that they would quit.

I’m guilty of that. And let me tell you it doesn’t work. It just gives them more fuel to be more angry and more hurtful.

Observing my class today, for example, and Milly and Lauren were playing alphabet memory. Milly realized where the M’s were and wanted to get them when it was her turn because Milly starts with ”M”. Lauren picked up the M’s on her turn and looked right at Milly and smiled. Seeing Milly’s face drop, Lauren’s smile widened. That’s pretty mean.

The Social Identity theory claims that humans have a basic psychological need for positive distinction. We want to be special within our group of people. And in some groups, we want to be the most special. This explains why Lauren might have taken the M’s. The M’s made Milly feel special. Lauren wanted to be special but instead of getting the L’s she took Milly’s special away.

Later at art Allen and Audrey were painting. Allen was working really hard on a red and blue airplane. Audrey got up out of her chair walked around the table and painted a thick black line right across his picture and laughed. Allen was upset, and I got him a new paper. But why would Audrey do that? Was it really just impulse control? Or was it mean?

The social comparison theory suggests that we are naturally driven to compare ourselves to others. These comparisons make us feel better or worse about ourselves. As we generally prefer to feel good, we are more likely to make downward comparisons to others. Just like your mama said ”They just want to tear you down to make themselves feel better”

Under this theory it looks like Audrey may have been doing that. Her picture was just splats of color, next to Allen’s airplane she probably felt it wasn’t good enough and ”fixed” his picture to be more like hers. That’s just a theory.

I asked for help from grown-ups. I asked them to share a time when they were mean. Why? How did it feel? What did it accomplish?

I was given examples of my personal theory. That no one wants to be mean. The people who shared stories felt justified or had empathy blind spots because of the other person’s behavior.

One person said they were mean to a person in a dangerous position because they felt that was the only way to get through.

Looking back, when I felt picked on in school it was probably people being funny or trying to be friendly but I was too sensitive.

I was a mean kid too. By getting my feelings hurt I realized I didn’t want anyone to feel like I did. So I sought out the mean girls and said shitty things to them… To knock them down a peg…..just as the old theory goes… I wanted to teach them a lesson. But it only hurt them and gave them justification to be meaner to me. FAIL.

It turns out a big reason kids are mean, is because they can be. It’s powerful and a way to earn and exert power.

Researchers from the University of California – Davis studied kids from 19 middle schools and high schools. They found that the more popular a middle school or high school kid becomes the more aggressive their behavior. The more concerned with other people they are, the meaner they become. The only exception to this is in the top 2% and bottom 2% of students. The top 2% of students in popularity have no one to impress so they aren’t mean. And the bottom 2% of unpopular children have no one to pick on so they also disengage from mean behavior.

But what about boundaries? Boundaries are not mean. It’s not mean to say no. It’s not mean to protect yourself, but that’s different than lashing out.

I was talking to a childhood friend yesterday and she shared this with me.

And I think that sums up the direction we ought to be moving in. It also sheds light on how I teach kindness in the classroom and what it means to be kind in my life.

** The names of the children in my class have been changed to protect their identity.

It’s been a while

I’m sad today. This is going to be more of a journal entry. I was up for what I considered my dream job and made the final three. I wasn’t chosen and I was CRUSHED.

The job was at a religious school. A Methodist school. I did my research and checked to see if parts of my life could fit into that atmosphere, and I felt it could. I was ready to turn a new leaf, I was ready to give organized Christianity another shot. I was rejected and it hurt so badly.

So here I am at my job that’s just fine. Full time. I’m good at it. They appreciate me. I’m just missing something.

I constantly feel like Belle

In response, I feel the universe is pushing me to move away from early education and into something new. But I am SUCH A GOOD TEACHER. It’s what I know. It’s so comfortable.

I can’t possibly quit my job to do something I know so little about…..

Yet everywhere I turn that’s the message I get.

Let Go

Let Go

Let Go

This is my story.

Fifty word story

A cry sounded but went unheard. The wind continued to blow. Mountains emerged from the seas. Knights fought toothy beasts. Good always won here and ugliness was blocked from all sides. A hero lives here. His fortress is safe from anger, disappointment, sadness. He creates worlds that we destroy outside.

What makes you, weird?

Today’s assignment is to describe four weird traits that I have. That should be easy because I’m basically a grade A weirdo. We all feel that way though right?

First off if you know me, you may have noticed I always have sunglasses with me. On my head, covering my eyes or stashed away in my bag. This is because I hate the light. This is actual footage of me in direct light, Because I’m basically a Mogwai.

Beach day? No thanks. Not enough shade. You’ll find me in a shady spot down by the river. Or an indoor pool.

Next, you should know, that I hate driving. I’d rather bike, walk, skate, or be driven somewhere. The only thing worse than driving is running. I like to play it off that I’m worried about the environment, but really I’m just a terrible at it (Both running and driving to be honest). I am, however, a fantastic passenger. I never give directions, I don’t care how fast you drive, I mean your doing better than I would so have at it. I have no desire to be in control.

I do always need to know what time it is. I like to be on time, but not to early. It’s extremely important to me that I use every moment of my time the way I want to. I schedule and plan things, and it would appear that I’m very organized, and that am productive as well. The truth is that I’m just lazy. I jam everything I have to do into bare moments and leave the rest of the time to lay around and read, eat, watch tv and play games. When things don’t go according to schedule I usually don’t mind… unless someone is depending on me. Then I lose my shit.

And finally I flirt wrong. If I like you I clam up. I can’t speak. I just listen and try to blend in to the walls. This is because I want you to like me. I can’t risk one false move. I am most comfortable around people I don’t have to impress. I’ll say witty things, make jokes, touch them. It looks like I’m genuinely interested, but I’m not. I don’t care if they like me. There’s no risk. Except I miss out on the truly amusing and they go and marry someone else. It’s all because, I guess, I feel I’m not good enough. Is low self esteem a trait?

Anyway, what makes you weird?