A Banjo Fool – #IST646 Final Project

The end is near!

The end of this class that is. Today I finished my FINAL PROJECT!!!

I can honestly say that this project was a labor of love! There were many mishaps, miscommunications, and missed nights of sleep. But it’s as done as it will ever be!

My Final Project is titled “A Banjo Fool.” This story is about how I wanted to surprise my Dad and do something special for him. I decided to learn the banjo. This video is my journey, and mishaps, of learning the banjo.


(P.S. Make sure to watch all the way till the end! There is a surprise after the credits 😀 )


Music I Don’t Get

I love music. 


I listen to music constantly and I’m always trying to listen to new artists and get involved… But there is some music and artists that I JUST DON’T GET.

Maybe it’s me, maybe it’s my brain, I don’t really know. Don’t get me wrong, I love all types of music genres – I just think that sometimes my inner self does not work well with certain things/people/music/personalities. 

For example:

I don’t get Arcade Fire. I’ve listened to some of their songs, I’ve watched them perform live, and I just can’t get into them. And they are so wildly popular. But I just listen to it and go… What is this? What is going on in my head right now….

I don’t get The Killers. I have 2 Killers songs on my iPhone and I rarely listen to them. They are from the Hot Fuss album. I feel like once the lead singer grew a mustache it got all weird… And distracting.

I don’t get Frank Ocean. He just doesn’t make sense in my head. Especially live. I just can’t wrap my mind around understanding his music. 

I don’t get James Arthur. This is mostly because I don’t get him as a person – therefore I find it hard to commit to his music. I think he’s really negative and kind of mean.

I don’t get Luke Bryan. This is probably because I have a hard time listening to country music. I feel like most of the songs say the same thing over and over again. Also I find the Southern accent grating. 

I don’t get 5th Harmony. I think this maybe because their fans are all sorts of CRAY CRAY. Don’t believe me – go on Twitter. They are scary.

I don’t get Robin Thicke. I can blame the radio for this. They have played ‘Blurred Lines’ so many times that I want to rip my ears off. Also… I’m pretty sure that song amplifies date rape… 

I don’t get Zedd, Calvin Harris, Avicii, and any other DJ who uses random artists to make ridiculously catchy dance songs. Why do you keep making club music?

I don’t get Cee Lo Green. He’s creepy. As creepy as crap. I liked ‘Crazy’ back when it came out forever ago. His new stuff is odd and he dresses like a muppet and I find that distracting. 

I don’t get Kanye West. I’m sure he’s great but I kind of think he’s sort of a douchebag. So out of respect for myself I don’t listen to him.

I don’t get Eminem. Most of the time I can’t understand what he’s saying (I’m like this with most rap actually). I don’t actually have much to add to this… I really just don’t like Eminem. 

I don’t get Pitbull. First off, I’d like to say that when he’s not wearing sunglasses he looks like a pedophile. Secondly, all of his songs sound the same. Every. Single. One.

I don’t get Florida Georgia Line. Yet again, with most country music – it’s just hard for me to listen to. 

I don’t get FUN. They don’t seem that fun. Also ‘We Are Young’ was played so much when it first came out that if I ever hear it I usually feel like throwing my radio out the window.

HOLIDAY BONUS : I don’t get the Christmas song “Christmas Shoes” – I hate this song. If it comes on the radio, I actually with just turn my entire radio off and rant about how much I hate this song. Does it make me a bad person? Maybe, probably, most likely, I don’t care. I hate that song. Not because it makes me sad, it doesn’t make me sad, it makes me very very very angry. The song makes no sense, it is not realistic, they made a dumb Hallmark movie about it, and it is played every 5 minutes during December.



Top 10 Best Soundtracks

According to my opinion of course…

I love a good soundtrack. Whether it’s a musical score or a bunch of cool indie songs. I have some favorites that I must share with you. And you must listen to them… Or I will hunt you down. 

These are in no particular order because I couldn’t be bothered to decide which ones I like better.


You want to listen to pretty piano and string music that makes you find that happy place in your mind? This is it.



Singing in the Rain is just a great song in reality – the rest of the album is fabulous as well. You’ll never think of Moses and roses the same again…


You’ll feel pretty listening to this soundtrack… Or you’ll want to join a street gang, hold a knife, and dance a lot.



Modern, Edgy, Sleek – am I talking about a car or this soundtrack? This was one of my favorite albums to listen to this summer.


This soundtrack is very indie. If you’re into new music with an awesome vibe you’ll love this album.



I may have this entire album memorized… Word for word…
The songs, the music, it’s all adorable and bouncy and WILL GET STUCK IN YOUR HEAD FOREVER!


My all time favorite movie, so of course I love the score. Gorgeous orchestra numbers! Whenever I have a bad day I put this album on and fall asleep with good dreams.



The score for this movie is phenomenal! Very piratey (is that even a word??) and great to run or exercise to.


This movie has some popular 80s and 90s songs on it along with some indie tracks. It all combos well together for a very feel good album.



All of the Harry Potter scores. Just all of them. If you haven’t listened to them then you are an uncultured swine and I just don’t know what to do with you.

Do your ears, your brain, your soul, and your heart (maybe? I don’t know if you have a heart condition…) a favor and have a listen to them. It will change your life. Or it will at least give you something new to listen to besides Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus… 

Taylor Swift

No snazzy title today folks, because I still feel miserable. This will probably be crap since I’m hopped up on cold meds… But here we go anyways.

I love Taylor Swift.


So pretty. So perfect.

Now my love for T-Swizzle is a recent development of about 3 years. I didn’t really care for her… Because… I hate country music. That’s right, I said it. I’ll even say it again.  I HATE COUNTRY MUSIC. It’s crap. BUT I don’t think Taylor is “that” country anymore and her new music is lovely and pop and I listen to it now.


Ohhhh pretty guitar.

Now I love Taylor so much that this past summer, for my birthday, me and my sister, and 4 of my friend went to Philadelphia to see her in concert (actually me, my sister and 1 friend went to see her, 2 of my friends went for Ed Sheeran, and I’m not sure why my other friend came because they just whined and complained the whole time)!

Here are some pictures from that concert!


We are all poor, so we had terrible seats. Absolutely terrible. We were I think 10 rows down from the top.


Yep, could barely even see the screen. Still worth it though.


Most of the time I had no idea what was happening on stage. Still worth it.


Worth it.

In fact, during the concert, right before Taylor Swift was going to come on. There was a HUGE thunderstorm that hit the OPEN stadium. They advised everyone to go inside and hide. We didn’t. I made my friends sit in the rain. So if she came back on we wouldn’t miss her. We got very wet. We sat in the rain for a long time. They all hated me. But the concert was amazing!

(Side note: I was so happy when the concert actually started that I pretty much cried through the first 2 songs. That’s right. I cried. Like a freaking baby. Tears of joy. It was amazing.)


My favorite Taylor Swift song is “Mean” – mostly because I can really relate to it. I got picked on a lot in school. I had braces, glasses, super short hair, and I was fat. So yeah… Not a lot going for me. I also like: “Begin Again” – “White Horse” – “Haunted” – and a lot of other mushy sad love ones… I know I know… That’s like all of them.


She just seems like she’d be a great BFF. And yes, I know she’s dated a lot of people. Yes, I know she is always labeled as the “innocent one” and all these men/boys are terrible people for breaking her heart. Yes, I know she might be the problem. I don’t care. She’s perfect. And lovely. And a wonderful person.

She also just gave a crap-ton of money to start an awesome new school for kids interested in music!


She cares about everyone! She’s lovely!

Also, I have her perfume. And it smells amazing. I smell like Taylor Swift. It’s almost like we’re friends in real life!


Did I mention she is gorgeous?


It’s amazing to think that someone who is only a 5 months younger than me, has accomplished so much in life. I have accomplished nothing…. Well, I know most of her songs by heart… That’s something right?


Big finale finish! Whoohoooo….

I need to blow my nose again.

Relient K

I’m gonna talk about the band… Not the car (but honestly how many people actually know that there is a car called Relient K).


Relient K is one of my favorite bands. The monopolize over 100 songs on my iTunes and I listen to them on a weekly basis. You should too. They are awesome.

I first learned about Relient K when I was in JR High. It was my first summer working at CBC Camp and all the cool counselors (not me, I was lowly kitchen staff ((but I would become the 2nd coolest female counselor – it’s real, some kids voted on it))) would listen to this super cool CCM band called Relient K. I then got a little obsessed with them (I’m still a little obsessed, like I will listen to their new albums non stop until I have memorized all the songs).

Now Relient K started out CCM but I wouldn’t call them that anymore. They are more punk/rock now.

Relient K has had several different members (I swear they replace members every album) so the current members are: Matt Thiessen, Matt Hoopes, John Warne, and Jon Schneck (but who knows, by the time I post this it might have changed).

They have released 6 studio albums, 7 EPs, 2 Christmas albums, a cover album, and have sold over 2 million records.

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They have had some amazing songs. My top favorites are : Gibberish, Mood Rings, Less Is More, PTL, and Savannah. Their first albums were mostly CCM with some funny/quirky songs thrown into the mix. Their current albums have a more serious tone to them. I believe this is due to the fact that they are grown up with families of their own now. They have more control over what they can/can’t do with the band and their writing comes from a real place of personal experiences.

Beside the ever present catchy tunes, Relient K has some amazing lyrics. Their songs are very honest and open and very easy to identify with.

For example:




Do your ears a favor and have a little listen. It’ll be great.