Duggars

Another Duggar has wed… Make way for Jed and Katey!

But this time, it seems like it was done on the down low. Jedidiah Duggar, who was being affectionately called “Twin Bed Jed” last year, as he unsuccessfully ran for a seat in the Arkansas State House of Representatives, has married the former Katey Nakatsu. Their wedding was an outdoor affair that took place in Arkansas, with scores of people in attendance. Jed’s twin brother, Jeremiah, was his best man. Katey’s sister, Lauren, served as maid of honor.

It hasn’t escaped my notice that this pair got married the day before Easter. Maybe it’s because Jed’s ready to “give rise” to a sex life. Or maybe he’d like his political aspirations to be “reborn”. He might be taken more seriously in the political arena if he has a home and a family, right? Especially if his wife is beautiful, which Katey certainly is.

Pickles, who runs the Duggar Family News page and group on Facebook, says that the vows the pair exchanged were traditional and full of what she calls “misogynistic” and “submissive” crap. I am not surprised, and I’m sure it won’t be long before they start having babies. Below is a screenshot:

As my college friend, Chris, would say… “R” (R stands for ROTTEN)

I don’t know much about Katey, except that she’s originally from Arizona, and her family recently moved to Arkansas, much like Lauren Swanson’s family did before Lauren married Josiah Duggar. I did read that Katey’s dad is fond of the letter “K”… or so it appears, as his name is Korey; his first wife’s name is Kim (she’s Katey’s mom); and his second wife’s name is Kerry. Also, Katey apparently has a half-brother who is gay and has his own hair salon in Los Angeles. If that’s true, I think it’s cool. The Duggars need more diversity in their clan.

I also read that Boob gifted Jed a house. It’s a 2000 square foot home located just four miles from the Duggar compound and it has three bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms. I suppose that’s plenty of room for the Jed Duggar family to start growing. It’s bigger than the Seewald abode, which used to belong to Josh and Anna Duggar. Jessa and Ben Seewald have been in that house for several years now. They have three kids– two boys and a girl– and another baby on the way. But their house only has two bedrooms. I think Jessa’s husband, Ben, is trying to become a pastor. Well, it’s “past time” for the pastor to get bigger digs for his growing brood. But that’s just my social worker side coming out to play.

Jed’s wedding comes a month after his younger brother, 18 year old Justin, married the former Claire Spivey. I quit watching Counting On a few years ago, because it had just gotten too boring for me. However, I have noticed that the weddings aren’t getting as much pomp and circumstance anymore. Maybe TLC has finally decided to axe this show… or they’ve just relegated the Duggars to Discovery+, which I think is a pay per view service. I don’t know… I’m so far out of the loop over here in Germany.

I wouldn’t ordinarily write about this topic, but I can’t think of anything else to write about today that wouldn’t be snarky, petty, or bitchy. And since it’s Easter, I figure it’s better to write about a religious event. I suspect the latest Duggar wedding was held outside because of COVID-19, but I’m sure it was otherwise like any other Duggar event.

On another note… have you noticed how popular the name “Lauren” is these days? Or maybe it was popular twenty or thirty years ago. It seems like there are so many Laurens out there now… and Kaylas, too. I even have a cousin named Kayla. It’s like the name “Jennifer” in my era. I know personally about “Jennifer”, because that’s the name my mom gave me. I’ve always hated it, which is why I go by “Jenny”. I only like that name a little bit more, mainly because I’m more of a “Jenny” personality wise. Jennifer is too formal for the likes of me.

Anyway, the Duggar family has a lot of ties to Laurens. There’s Lauren Swanson Duggar, who is Josiah’s wife, Lauren Caldwell, who is Kendra Caldwell Duggar’s sister, Jessa Seewald’s middle name is “Lauren”, and now we have Katey Nakatsu Duggar’s sister, Lauren. Those are just off the top of my head. There are probably more Laurens in the mix that I’ve either overlooked or haven’t yet discovered, not that I’d take the time.

I have developed an unfortunate aversion to the name “Lauren”, much like I’ve developed an aversion to the name “Sabrina”. Sabrina is the name of my husband’s ex wife, who is a skank of the first order… (sorry, seems a little petty bitchiness has slipped in, anyway). Actually, calling her a skank is being quite nice, especially after what we’ve recently found out about her. But I digress…

I know some people think I’m being awful when I “trash” Sabrina. I’m sure it seems that way to anyone who doesn’t know our story. But trust me… if you only knew the backstory and the illegal and immoral shit she’s done, you’d know I’m being exceedingly kind when I refer to her as a “skank”. She really should be in prison. That’s neither an exaggeration, nor a joke. And Easter is a special day for Bill, because it was on Easter that she demanded a divorce while staying at Bill’s dad’s house, but didn’t actually mean to get a divorce. Happily, Bill took her up on it, and here we are, 21 years later. 😀 We’re living the good life!

Well, I truly hope Jed and his new bride are very happy together, and they have many wonderful years of wedded bliss. I pray that they don’t let Boob intrude too much in their personal business. And I hope that Katey’s first roll in the sack wasn’t too painful or messy. Sorry… there’s that petty bitchiness rearing its ugly head. Must be the onset of menopause working its devilish magic again. 😉

Happy Easter, everybody. And just to show that I’m not a total creep, here’s a video I made yesterday, starring Noyzi the wonder pup from Kosovo!

I love Beth Nielsen Chapman’s songs.

There’s a lot I’d like to rant and rave about… hence the recent protected post. I wish I could make it public, but a certain “Lauren” in my life has reminded me that there are a lot of literal creeps in the world who don’t want to try to understand. Anyone who’s curious and not a creep can always request the password.

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condescending twatbags, mental health, music, narcissists, psychology

Say goodbye, not goodnight…

Beth Nielsen Chapman has a really moving song in her catalog called “Say Goodnight, Not Goodbye”. I happened to hear it the other day while I was listening to my “comforting” playlist on iTunes. I have a bunch of playlists I made when iTunes was more functional and I was bored and feeling compulsive. One of the lists is called “comforting”, and it’s a collection of really poignant and beautiful songs that are easy to focus on as I write. A lot of Beth Nielsen Chapman’s songs are on that list. I think she’s a wonderful songwriter. I like to listen to her songs, but I also like singing them. “Say Goodnight, Not Goodbye”, is one I would love to do someday. But I suspect that will have to wait until I get good enough at playing guitar to manage it.

I wish I’d stuck with piano lessons.

I see from the comments on this video that this song appeared on Dawson’s Creek. I remember watching the first season of that show, but I got out of the habit because it was airing at around the time I was in graduate school and I didn’t have time to watch a lot of TV. I also seem to remember that show was on the WB network, and the cable provider in Columbia, South Carolina stopped carrying the WB at some point while I was living there.

This poignant song is about loss, but ultimately, there’s a promise that the separation isn’t forever. Someday, there will be a reconciliation. Maybe after death. It’s comforting to believe that after the pain of separation, there will be a reunion of some sort, whether it’s on Earth or in Heaven or wherever else we go after our time down here is finished. I know Beth Nielsen Chapman has experienced a lot of pain and loss in her life, to include the loss of her first husband, Ernest Chapman, to cancer. She’s managed to parlay those losses into the most beautiful music. Even now, having just listened to that song, I feel a bit verklempt.

You might have noticed that I changed the order of the words to Beth Nielsen Chapman’s song as my post title today. That wasn’t an error. Sometimes, it’s really best to just walk away forever. Most people are worthy of a reunion, if both parties are willing. But some people really aren’t. And sometimes they reveal themselves in really petty ways that are laughable. You realize that someone who is well into middle age or older has, emotionally speaking, never grown up beyond the age of twelve or so.

The older I get, the more I realize that some people are just not worth the effort. And I don’t have to go away mad… but I do have to go away. It hurts a bit– kind of like getting a vaccination, which is painful and inconvenient for a short time, but spares the worse pain that could come if one contracts the actual disease. Everybody has their own ideas of what’s beyond the pale in another person’s behavior. For me, it’s when a person is blatantly disrespectful to me or flies off the handle. I’ll forgive that reaction in people I know well. I don’t forgive it nearly as easily in people I don’t know well.

A few months ago, I had a casual acquaintance on YouTube. We had an okay rapport on the surface. It was friendly and complimentary, as we’re both music buffs and have similar tastes. We even had some successful collaborations. One day, I made an offhand and somewhat off topic comment on a music video he’d posted. He took huge offense to my comment. He proceeded to tell me off in a really over-the-top, insulting, embarrassing way. Then, he said he only wanted me to comment on the music and nothing else.

It wasn’t as if I knew that he had this policy regarding comments on his videos. He hadn’t specifically told me that he’d only wanted certain types of comments, nor was there any kind of notice on his channel that he didn’t like comments that weren’t simple praise for him. I had made the comment completely innocently and was truly shocked and offended by his reaction to it, which was to lecture and shame me about the genius of Paul Simon, and then demand that I ONLY comment on the music. I think it’s lame to get mad and tell people what their reactions must be or dictate what they can or can’t say.

Basically, he was saying that he didn’t want to hear from me unless it was to tell him what a great musician he is. That told me that he wasn’t interested in being friends or getting to know me. He just wanted adoring fans to up his subscribers and hit count. I thought it was overly controlling and ridiculous, but it’s his page; so I just left him to it. And since I was also a bit stung, I deleted my comment and quit interacting with him. I don’t think he realized or cared that what he said was humiliating, or that I was actually pretty hurt. And usually, when people are hurt, they tend to slink away and lick their wounds for awhile.

Time went on, and I quit thinking about the incident and kind of forgot about him. Then last night, I was sitting alone at my dining table, looking through some old postings. I remembered that this person had commented on a lot of them. Do you know that this guy went through and completely scrubbed every single comment? He didn’t block me, which I found interesting… but he did remove all of his comments, which seems like an awful lot of effort, especially since I didn’t even notice until months later. I was amazed… and then I was amused. Because obviously, my decision not to interact with him anymore had really upset him. Then after thinking about it for a moment, I also wasn’t surprised. I had a gut feeling that he would notice my absence and respond in such a way.

I started thinking about what this meant. I’ve spent many years of my life trying to appease people who think they have the right to say and do whatever they want, but they don’t want to grant the other person the same right. It’s happened to me over and over again. I’ve wasted a lot of time and effort on trying to smooth things over when I overstep some imaginary boundary that I never even knew existed. I now realize that people who are that high-maintenance are probably not worth the effort, even if they do play a mean guitar. Life is much too short to walk on eggshells. There are other mean guitar players out there who won’t act like that. In fact, with every passing day, I get better at playing guitar myself. Someday, I hope to get to a point at which I won’t need to collaborate with anyone, if I don’t want to.

Please note– I’m not saying that people shouldn’t have boundaries. There’s nothing wrong with being assertive and telling someone when they’ve upset you or done something offensive. That’s how people get to know each other and determine what behaviors are acceptable. I’m writing about the practice of exploding at people over innocuous things, and then resenting them when they inevitably get offended by that over-the-top reaction. This would not have happened had he simply asked me what I thought of his music rather than belligerently shaming, belittling, lecturing, and demanding a specific response or deference to him. Especially when he never granted me the same courtesy. Let’s not have a double standard; one standard will do just fine.

There were other things I had noticed when we were still on “speaking terms”. Like, he’d often offer me unsolicited advice on how to run my channel. He’d tell me that I shouldn’t post more than one video a day, assuming that my goal is to get popular (it’s not). I often post videos that I make for my blog, so they go up when I need them for a post. Sometimes, I go weeks without posting anything. Sometimes, I’ll post more than one video a day. I also post them when I’m inspired. Would I like it if a lot of people liked my videos? I guess… although I have learned that being popular isn’t always a great thing. The more popular you are, the more shit you tend to get from trolls, creeps, stalkers, and negative people. In any case, I never asked for tips on how to run my channel. I suspect his goals are different than mine are, and that should be okay.

I also noticed that I would post every one of our collaborations on my page and promote his channel, but he only posted one of our collaborations on his page and didn’t promote mine. It got a lot of positive feedback, so I’m left thinking that maybe he didn’t want to share the limelight. It was a little Ike Turner-esque. And it’s not that he didn’t like our collaborations and was being polite by praising me but not sharing them. If that were the case, why would he keep doing them with me? He’d always leave me compliments on our collaborations on my page, but then he didn’t share the collaborations on his. So now I’m thinking he’s probably insecure and a bit jealous of any attention someone else gets, no matter how small. I’m sure it’s not just me, either. He probably does it to other people, too.

I notice a number of red flags…

In any case, as I’m writing this, I’m reminded of the many videos I’ve watched by Les Carter, a therapist who specializes in dealing with narcissists. I don’t know if my former YouTube acquaintance is a narcissist because I don’t know him personally. However, I do think some of his behavior is a bit narcissistic and transactional. He wanted me to be loyal and deferential to him, but wasn’t going to reciprocate. I’ve had my fill of dealing with those types of people. It never ends well. I suppose I could try to “make up” with him by leaving praise on his videos. Maybe he would respond in kind on the few I’ve recently done. But I think it would only be a matter of time before I upset him again and the same thing will happen. I don’t have time for it, and frankly I deserve better.

Anyway, I made another video yesterday. I think it’s okay. I’ll keep working on learning how to play my guitar.

I did this in one take. I kind of wish it had taken more time.

So… I’m saying goodbye, not goodnight. May we both have better and more satisfying interactions with others. There are plenty of wonderful, mature people in the world who aren’t simply about having transactional relationships. I’m going to focus on finding and interacting with those people.

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music, videos

Sand and Water…

I couldn’t think of a subject to rant about, probably because I have been focused on music today… I did make a new video. It was inspired by an updated version of the song, “Sand and Water”, done by Beth Nielsen Chapman. She teamed up with Olivia Newton-John and Amy Sky in 2016 to make it a trio. I probably could have done this better, but I did have some fun using some video footage we got on our 2016 trip to Ireland…

Wish we were there right now.

It probably won’t get a lot of views, but at least it’s not me bitching, right?

Actually, this is a very comforting song for people who are bereaved. I found out last week that a woman I went to high school with died. I didn’t know her that well in high school and I doubt she thought highly of me, but I did donate some money to her children’s GoFundMe for her cremation. I found out that she’d moved from our hometown to my dad’s hometown of Natural Bridge, Virginia. She probably knew some of my relatives, at least in passing. I know there are some mutual friends among my relatives and her husband, who also went to our high school, but I don’t remember ever knowing him. I would remember his last name because it’s unusual.

Her daughter posted on Facebook that her mom died after being in a horrific car accident last year. She had to have surgeries and learn how to walk again, only to develop a severe infection a couple of months ago. Poor lady had to spend her last weeks in the hospital, separated from her family because of COVID-19, which she didn’t have, but nevertheless suffered from anyway…

When I read about her last weeks, I was genuinely moved and a bit overcome with compassion for her and her family. I actually cried. Like I said, we weren’t really friends when we were growing up, but we lived in a small community and everyone knew each other. I don’t think we hated each other, or anything, but I have a feeling she thought I was a weird person. A lot of people in Gloucester did… until they got to know me. I do remember one time she sang a solo for some talent contest. I think it was a Christian song she did… and she had a light soprano voice. She was in choir in high school, although I wasn’t. Most of our classmates never knew I can sing because it wasn’t something I did publicly back in those days. I remember she also dated my neighbor, but he pretty much hated me.

She married young, moved to Rockbridge County, which is where my dad was from, and had two kids. It looked like maybe her life was kind of hard, especially toward the end. I felt horrible for her family, and I do remember knowing her in school… or knowing of her, anyway.

And I also learned of a Facebook acquaintance’s sudden, tragic loss. Her young son was visiting his dad in Arizona when they were in a serious car accident. Dad and older sister were badly injured, but young son was killed. He was just eight years old. She shared pictures of him. He only had eight years to live, but seemed like such a beautiful child. My heart goes out to her, although I wouldn’t say we’re particularly close friends, either. In fact, I only know her from RfM and Facebook.

Anyway… it’s a pretty song, and one that has always touched me, so I decided to record it. Maybe someday, when I’m feeling less aggravated by iMovie, I’ll redo the vocals… although I think they mostly turned out fine. Sometimes, I’m my own worst critic. On the other hand, maybe those who listen will agree… I do love the beach scenery, though… and always find comfort and peace there.

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music

How I spent my morning…

A few years ago, I bought an album from Apple Music, then called iTunes. A friend of mine from college– big time Olivia Newton-John fan– had alerted me to a new album she had coming out with Beth Nielsen Chapman and Amy Sky. It was called Liv On, and it had beautiful renditions of songs about the human condition, particularly from a feminine perspective. There are songs about childbirth, grieving, and even what to say when someone has experienced loss. It’s a really beautiful album and a lot of the songs make me cry. The artists even made a karaoke version, which is super handy for me.

The funny thing is, my old friend is not particularly musical. He just loves Olivia Newton-John. He can’t sing, although he does sometimes make up silly songs. He’s not particularly into moving lyrics. He just loves all things ONJ, which was one of our early bonds.

I have been an ONJ fan since I was a very young child, but I also love Beth Nielsen Chapman’s music. She’s a wonderful songwriter who has written so many songs that hit you right in the heart. I had not heard of Amy Sky, but today, I did decide to record a song she contributed to Liv On. It’s called “I Will Take Care of You”, and it’s a beautiful song especially for mothers and daughters. I never got to have a daughter, of course, but if I did have one, I would dedicate this song to her… even if the lyrics are a little treacly. I got teary the first time I heard it… and probably the second and third times, too. But then I got to work on making a version of it and that made me stop getting verklempt. Instead, I started cussing in frustration, due to messing up, having my Internet connection drop out, and/or the timing being wonky because of the Internet.

What I have done today isn’t perfect… the key is a tiny bit low for me and I had to learn the harmony parts, which I didn’t do completely or totally accurately. But I don’t think it’s bad for a couple of hours of work. Maybe I’ll redo it for YouTube, since those versions tend to have better results. When I record on SingSnap, I have to contend with Internet speeds, which can affect the timing and the way it sounds overall. Garage Band will give it a clearer sound. We’ll see how well it goes over…

I was probably moved to record that song today because of a comment I got yesterday on SingSnap. My mother-in-law left yesterday, so that was the first time in over two weeks that I’d had a chance to do any music. I don’t like to do music when other people are home because I feel self-conscious and distracted. I did several songs, including this new one, which I uploaded yesterday… I also did “Love Will Keep Us Together” by the Captain and Tennille, simply because it’s a fun song to sing. What can I say? I was born in 1972, and that song was a huge hit in my early childhood. Some guy left me this comment, which kind of pissed me off.

I read this a few times and went from being offended to kind of amused…

My first thought was to add this guy to my block list, mainly because it’s not the first time he’s left me an obnoxious comment. When I first ran into him, he was very complimentary and nice. Then, later, he got kind of critical and occasionally rude. He’d also send me unsolicited PMs, strike up a conversation, and dismiss me when he was finished. Makes me think he’s probably a very inconsiderate lover. When he has sex, it’s over when he’s done. Ha ha ha… 😀 Glad I didn’t marry a man like that.

I looked on his page yesterday, after he left this comment, and noticed he only has nine public recordings. I, on the other hand, have a couple thousand. And if he’d taken a look, he would have seen that I did several songs yesterday. Perhaps one of them would have met his expectations… Even if I didn’t do one challenging enough for him yesterday, I’m sure he could have found one if he’d searched through my recordings. Somehow, I doubt he cares, either way.

I initially left an offended comment, complete with the F word, but then deleted it and decided on this more measured response…

And I decided not to block him, because I figured maybe he didn’t mean it the way it came across…

I don’t interact much on SingSnap anyway, though, because I’m not really there to make friends, per se. It’s nice if I do make them, and I do have a few friends on that site, but I mainly use it as a tool for practicing music and maintaining my mental health. I have found that there are some lovely people there, but there are also a number of nuts on there and some who are just looking to hook up. I keep a pretty low profile and don’t join contests or challenges or anything. Consequently, I don’t tend to get a lot of comments either way. I did get a few comments on “Love Will Keep Us Together”– actually that was the most popular of the songs I did yesterday, though it certainly wasn’t the hardest to sing. It was, however, the most fun to do. I figure that’s the most important thing.

Anyway, when I listen to today’s effort, I cringe a little… but I wanted to record a version of my own because it’s not a particularly well-known song, but I think the lyrics will speak to a lot of people. I did find Amy Sky’s version on YouTube, but I didn’t find the version with Olivia, Beth, and Amy singing as a trio. So I decided to make one with the parts included. Now, if only I had a daughter to dedicate it to… I don’t think my very pragmatic mother would appreciate it. She’d probably think it was too corny.

This is Amy’s original solo version. Higher key, which would probably be better for me.

Here’s a link to the album, for those who are curious.

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