Guys! I’m This Week’s Guest in a Podcast!

A few days ago, I was interviewed by the awesome bloggers Kenny and Kylie for their weekly podcast. It was so much fun, and my first time ever doing a podcast. Is it strange that I’m nervous to give it a listen because I don’t like hearing my voice? Just me? Well, okay then.

Please go listen to the podcast. Like now. This second. Comment with your thoughts, follow these fabulous bloggers if you don’t already, and check out their weekly podcasts! I’ll list the links below.

Episode 16 Podcast: http://kennyandkylieshow.wordpress.com/2014/08/25/episode-16-the-show-with-rebecca/

Kylie: http://journeyofkylie.com/

Kenneth: http://culturemonk.com/

What’s in a song to make it addictive? My Life Soundtrack

Now playing on my Spotify? On repeat? “Cool Kids” by Echosmith, a song that burst into my eardrums on the radio recently. I am open minded as far as my music taste (within reason), but sometimes, THOSE songs come into my life, grab me, and once I’ve had a listen, I’m an addict. On repeat, I do not allow my ears to hear any other song. THAT song of the moment is my soundtrack. Something intangible lingers in the song, and I must listen to it enough (maybe 500 times) in an attempt to figure it out.

These are the songs that make up my Playlist The songs that define moments, days, maybe even months in my life. Songs that meant something to me, either because of the lyrics, an addictive beat, or a memory attached. Put together, it’s my Life Soundtrack. While the songs that make up my favorites are varied, for me there is something timeless about each one. No matter how much time passes, I can travel back to each song and feel addicted again.

Below I’ve left YouTube links to my Life Soundtrack. Here we go!

1. Cool Kids, Echosmith–This song has been stuck in my head for days. It has a unique, fresh sound.

2. Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up), Florence + The Machine–Okay, I have a confession to make. Florence Welch is basically God to me. Her voice is the modern day equivalent of Grace Slick. Don’t believe me? Here, have a listen. I am dying to hear a new album from Florence, and it is on my bucket list to hear her perform live before I die.

3. Animal Instinct, The Cranberries–Dolores O’Riordan, lead singer of The Cranberries, is also one of my favorite voices in music. Her lyrics were sometimes like reading my journal entries, in the form of song, of course. If I couldn’t find a way to express my thoughts, I knew, “There’s a Cranberries song for that.”

4. Wish You Were Here, Pink Floyd–What is there to say about Pink Floyd? Greatness. While there are hundreds of songs to choose from that are genius, zany, or perfect, this song just sticks out for me. Don’t hate me, Floyd fans. This song has simplicity, and it’s unique for the band’s usual sound.

5. Found Out About You, Gin Blossoms–This song is dark, wonderful, and has that 90’s alternative rock sound that cannot be replicated today. Some of the Gin Blossoms’ songs have an upbeat sound, yet balance that out with somber lyrics.

6. “45,” The Gaslight Anthem–I saw The Gaslight Anthem live. They are a band to be experienced. Have a listen to the title track of their newest release, Get Hurt.

7. Heads Will Roll, Yeah Yeah Yeahs–This song was my J-A-M. Karen O is a cool rocker chick, and her song The Moon Song, off the soundtrack for the film Her, was nominated for an Oscar.

8. I Just Want To Have Something To Do, Ramones–This song is fun, just like all of the Ramones’ music. Their music is infectious and their lyrics stick like glue in my brain all day.

9. I Turned Into A Martian, Misfits–“I can’t even recall my name!” Who doesn’t love a classic Misfits song?

10. Applause, Lady Gaga–Yes, I love some Lady Gaga. I can’t help it. Come on, I know you do, too.

11. Over the Hills and Far Away, Led Zeppelin–This song, along with the whole Houses of the Holy album, reminds me of spring and summertime. The sun is shining through my window, it’s 75 degrees, and life is a little brighter.

 

I’d like to hear what songs are on your Playlist, or just some of your favorite songs in general. What’s on your Life Soundtrack?

 

Questions, Questions, Questions: The WordPress Community Experiment (My Response)

I decided to take part in the fabulous Suzie81 Speaks’ survey. Here is a link to the list of questions she posed to bloggers, and I am going to answer them. If you’d like to participate, head on over to her blog, answer the quesions, and link.

1. How did you create the title for your blog?

The title of my blog, Humyn, is the title of a poem I’d written a few years ago. I wanted my blog to be about my views on the world, poetry, culture, current events, and the human experience in general. I thought titling it “Humyn” seemed fitting.

2. What’s the one bit of blogging advice you would give to new bloggers?

My advice would be to write with passion. Write about your passions, because if you’re not having fun writing, then you will feel burnt out quickly. Also, make sure to read as many blogs as possible. This will help you meet other bloggers and help you become a better blogger.

3. What is the strangest experience you’ve ever had?

Too many to count! Many of those experiences involve my trip to Greece. Clubs in Santorini, a ferry ride to Athens, and meeting the locals.

4. What is the best thing anyone has ever said to you?

“You write like Dorothy Parker.”

5. When presented with a time machine, which one place and time would you visit?

I would travel to California in the mid 1950’s to meet Marilyn Monroe.

6. If you could pick a new first name, what would you choose?

Gwen or Athena.

7. If you were a B Movie, what would it be called?

The Attack of the Writer’s Blocks

Attack of the trolls

Source: abagond.wordpress.com

I have learned never to read the comments section of YouTube or any news website. It is horrific to see that two days after Robin Williams’ death, the trolls come out to play, sitting behind computer screens, posting disgusting and offensive comments all over the internet. The online bullying forced Zelda, Robin William’s 25-year-old daughter, to delete her Instagram and Twitter.

While reading articles for references to put in my previous blog post, I made the mistake of scrolling down to the comments section of an article. The comments were so vile that I decided to find a different article to cite. The comments I saw? One online troll wrote that anyone who killed themselves would burn in hell, and another said that anyone who is angry at Shepard Smith’s comments about Robin Williams should “go find a rope and a chair.” I’m not kidding.

Bullying has existed for generations, unfortunately, but online bullying is so awful because of how easy it is, and how difficult it is to regulate. In light of Robin Williams’ death, I feel sad that human beings out there are positing negative comments online and attacking his family. It makes my stomach sick.

Many people have experienced trolls, including bloggers, but I cannot imagine being attacked online after the sudden and tragic death of a family member. I think it was a good move for Zelda to step away from social media, but I wish our online world was kind. It is so unfair that someone who is going through unimaginable grieve is bullied. The stigma surrounding depression and suicide needs to end so that we can help those suffering, but the fight for ending that stigma will be difficult with all the trolls lurking online.

From now on I will refrain from reading the comments section of most websites because there are twisted people in this world who have ten fingers, a keyboard, and internet access. I kindly ask all the trolls out there to go to a corner, away from a computer or phone, sit down, and shut up.

An Open Letter to Shepard Smith, Fox News Anchor

Dear Shepard Smith,

Like everyone else, I was in disbelief as I watched the news reports announcing Robin Williams’ tragic suicide. Thankfully, I do not watch Fox News because it is too conservative and biased for my taste, but others do watch your news station. On national television as a news anchor, I am under the assumption that your job is to inform the public of current events. Whether or not you put a biased spin on those events, you are still required to present the facts. However, when you announced Robin Williams’ death and called him “a coward,” you were not doing your job.

Shepard Smith, I have never met Robin Williams, and I have never met you. I will not judge your character or personality. Yet when I stumbled across a clip of your Fox News broadcast and heard your vile attack on Robin Williams, a man who is no longer here to defend himself, in those moments, you were ignorant and disrespectful. You were disrespectful not only towards Robin Williams and his memory, but also towards his family, friends, and fans who loved him.

I cannot judge you because I do not know you, but I can make assumptions. While most of the world was shocked, maybe you felt angry. Everyone processes death and loss in different ways, and maybe you process it through anger. However, you had a job to do, Shepard Smith. Your job was to inform your audience of Robin Williams’ death. Your job was to report the facts. Instead, you insulted the memory of a man so loved by the world, attacked him, and shoved your heartless opinions down your viewers’ throats.

While I know nothing about your education or life experiences, from the words you expressed about Robin Williams’ suicide, I can make another assumption that you have a narrow minded, misconstrued outlook on depression and addiction. According to the World Health Organization, more than 350 million people around the world suffer from depression. Depression is common and treatable, but it potentially can end in suicide.

Despite the commonality of depression, a stigma surrounds the disorder, and myths continue to perpetuate our culture, preventing open communication and understanding of those suffering in silence. Mr. Shepard Smith, you have already apologized for your comments, saying that you regret it, but I do not believe your apology to be 100% genuine. Your initial comments prove to America that you need to let go of your anger and join the rest of the world in our hope of ending the stigma of depression and suicide. If news anchors like yourself continue to spout hateful comments about people contemplating suicide or who have died from it, then you are allowing the stigma to perpetuate our culture.

I will continue to never watch Fox News, but I hope that for the sake of your viewers, you keep your opinions to yourself and strive to only report the facts. Everyone mourns death differently, but we must respect the memory of Robin Williams, his friends, family, and work to make the world a warmer place for the millions struggling with depression.

 

Sincerely,

 

Rebecca Meyer

 

Robin Williams and Richard Cory: Poetic Analysis

Source: conspiracy-cafe.com

One day after the shock of Robin Williams’ death, I cannot help but recite Edwin Arlington Robinson’s 1897 poem, “Richard Cory,” and see that, line by line, this poem is tragically fitting to a man the world has dubbed a “sad clown.”

 

Richard Cory

 

Whenever Richard Cory went down town,

We people on the pavement looked at him:

He was a gentleman from sole to crown,

Clean favored and imperially slim.

 

And he was always quietly arrayed,

And he was always human when he talked,

But still he fluttered pulses when he said,

“Good-morning,” and he glittered when he walked.

 

And he was rich–yes, richer than a king–

And admirably schooled in every grace:

In fine, we thought that he was everything

To make us wish that we were in his place.

 

So on we worked, and waited for the light,

And went without the meat and cursed the bread;

And Richard Cory, one calm summer night,

Went home and put a bullet through his head.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

From the first line, it is clear that Richard Cory is separate from the townspeople: “Whenever Richard Cory went down town,/We people on the pavement looked at him.” Richard Cory is a rich and intelligent man, and this sets him apart from everyone else. Throughout the poem, the town is united in the pronoun “we,” and Richard Cory is on his own, but it is not in a disdainful way. Richard Cory is regarded as “a gentleman from sole to crown” and that “he was human when he talked.” He manages to stay humble and kind to the people he talks to, despite the admiration of the people he meets.

The town as a whole admires Richard Cory: “And he was rich—yes, richer than a king–/And admirably schooled in every grace.” Everyone has put him high on a pedestal, and by the third stanza it seems that Richard Cory is even the town’s idol: “We thought that he was everything/To make us wish that we were in his place.” He is admired so much that people wanted to be him.

The twist comes in the last two lines of the poem: “And Richard Cory, one calm summer night,/Went home and put a bullet through his head.” The man had what the townspeople craved, and what many people want in life, but he ended his life with a fatal bullet. Money and admiration could not keep Richard Cory alive.

When I read this poem today, I cannot help but think of Robin Williams. While his and Richard Cory’s lives did not end in the same manner, they were both by their own hands, and suddenly, while we townspeople “went without the meat and cursed the bread.” Both were rich, intelligent, beloved by everyone, humble, yet devastatingly alone. We as a world are shocked because even though we knew of Robin Williams’ drug and alcohol addictions, we as outsiders thought he was happy. Many of us looked to him as our idol.

The death of Robin Williams, and like so many other tragic suicides, proves the paradox of “feeling alone in a room full of people.” Millions of people love you, know your name, look to you for inspiration, yet you may be fighting a battle against demons who are eating you alive. It is unclear if Richard Cory had reached out for help, but we know that just weeks before his death, Robin Williams had been in rehab, maybe asking for someone to help him fight his demons.

As time passes, we probably won’t be able to ever understand Robin Williams’ demons, but we can learn from his life, films, and kindness. Millions around the world suffer from addictions and depression, and as a society, we need to strive to erase the stigma of these illnesses.

A nonprofit organization called To Write Love on Her Arms, started in 2006, makes it a mission to bring awareness and help to those suffering from self harm, suicide, drug and alcohol abuse, and depression. With organizations like these, it is vital that we learn to have open communication in hopes that those secretly suffering will find the help they need.

Source: twloha.tumblr.com

 

I Never Met You, But I Will Miss You, Robin Williams

Source: adwhois.com

Along with the rest of the world, I am shocked at the death of actor and comedian Robin Williams, 63, who died this morning at his Northern California home, according to CNN. He died of probable suicide by asphyxia.

This news devastates me, and the world, not only because we have lost a brilliant, talented, beloved actor and comedian, but also because, as actor and friend of Williams, Ed Asner, said, “I am sorry, terribly sorry, that he was so alone.”

While struggling to type the words after reading the news, I noticed that most of us feel the same way: We never met him, but we miss him as if he was a lifelong friend.

I never met Robin Williams, yet I grew up watching his films. During my childhood, I was fascinated with his performance in “Jumanji,” and even as a child, I knew a brilliant actor when I saw one. Williams had the power to impact an audience, bringing forth laughter and tears.

In Psychology class during high school, I watched “Good Will Hunting.” Williams deservedly won an Oscar for his performance as therapist Dr. Sean Maguire, and his monologue with Matt Damon’s character (Will Hunting) while they sit on a park bench is powerful, relatable, and touches the soul.

In “Dead Poets Society,” Williams played John Keating, an English teacher at an all-boys boarding school, and as a writer, this film has impacted my life forever.

Keating lectured to his class, “We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.”

I could never pretend to understand the pain of someone I’ve never met, but I do understand that Robin Williams has impacted the lives of millions, myself included. Hearing of his death is a shock, yet it is no secret that Williams has suffered drug and alcohol addiction and depression for years. Williams discussed these issues openly in interviews and in his comedy performances.

It is shocking that someone so loved, talented, and brilliant is no longer in this world. I may not understand someone else’s darkness because I have not seen it through their eyes, but their darkness still breaks my heart. Even though I never met you, I mourn your loss.

Though I never met you, I already miss you, Robin Williams.

Source: onlinemoviequotes.com

The Day I Realized I Should Rely on Myself, Not My iPhone

*Disclaimer: I am in my 20’s and have grown up with technology, but this does not signify that I have a full understanding of technological devices in question.

I (mostly) adore my iPhone. It is convenient, cool, and has infinite apps and social media connections to offer. It is a handy, dandy gadget that I use in my daily life on the regular (and that includes keeping up with blogs on WordPress).

My iPhone had never failed me before…until a few days ago. I innocently backed up my iCloud because my phone suggested that I should (and who was I to argue?). Big mistake! After I did this, all of my contacts vanished. GONE.

I went into panic mode. “How could this happen to me?” I asked myself. I felt disappointed. This little piece of technology failed me, deceived me! “Back up your iCloud,” it said. And I went against my better judgment.

I decided to wait until the problem solved itself, and when my contacts were MIA for a couple of days, I called my phone company with my frustrations. She told me to…back up iCloud. Again.

“Should I trust her?” I wondered. “But what’s the worst that could happen?” I took her advice, and, what do you know—my contacts reappeared!

I’ll admit that my panic at the temporary loss of my contacts was dramatic, but haven’t most of us been in situations like this at some point? Today, we rely so heavily on technology, and when that technology fails us for any reason, we go into full-on panic mode (or is that just me?). My iPhone makes my life easier for the most part, but at the same time, I may have become too attached to this little device.

After my contacts returned home, a wave of relief overcame me, and I could breathe easy. But I have learned my lesson, and know to trust my judgment. If my phone ever suggests that I backup iCloud, I will say, “NEVER AGAIN!” Be careful, fellow iPhone users. From now on, I will rely on my instincts and research what my phone is suggesting I do. Sure, the iPhone is awesome, but it’s also a tricky little devil.

 

I Can’t Write Without…

Writing is a part of my (almost) daily routine. I journal, write poetry, blog, and, at times, attempt the occasional work of fiction. I write to focus my mind elsewhere when I’m stressed. Creative writing is my therapy, my hobby, my oxygen, my life.

 

While I could probably write in almost any geographical location and in almost any environment, I have particular needs in order to write my best work. These needs are not universal for every writer. Everyone has their own particular writing habits, and everyone has their own set of needs that must be met in order to write productively.

 

The following is a list of what I can’t write without:

 

I can’t write without…

 

Source: wallpaperstock.net

1. Coffee (or tea).

I love coffee maybe a little too much. The jolt of caffeine works magic on my brain, and without it, I feel foggy and unfocused. But after a few sips of coffee, my creativity is off and running…hopefully in a productive direction. Late at night, I drink tea if I have some writing I hope to accomplish. Caffeine just brings forth those deep thoughts buried away within my subconscious.

 

 

Source: markgilroymusic.wordpress.com

2. Music (may vary depending on mood).

My musical tastes vary from Led Zeppelin to The Cranberries to Ed Sheeran. I am open minded in life, and that includes music. This is significant because I cannot write without the right tunes. Sometimes I need Prince blaring through my headphones and The Beatles just won’t do. It all depends on my mood, what I’m hoping to write, and my energy level.

 

Source: patricktay.wordpress.com

3. A quiet space (aside from my music).

I don’t need to be in the same place every time I write. I am open to a change in my environment. With that being said, I do look for a quiet, calm space in which to write. I cannot be productive if there are too many distractions.

 

Source: borderlandswp.wordpress.com

4. Paper and a pen.

Yes, the paper that comes from trees. I know, I know…I’m old-school. For some reason, I greatly value the process of writing with a pen and paper. Eventually I must transfer my almost illegible written words to a computer, but that is the risk I must take. While I am happy to use technology in my writing process, I also value the good old fashioned pen and paper for early drafts of my work.

 

Source: uberinspiration.com

5. Inspiration (can take many forms).

Every writer needs an idea. We all find our inspiration in many (almost infinite) ways. Be it an article we read in Time magazine, a dream we had the night before, a conversation with an old friend, we all need that beautiful idea that “clicks” in our head before we begin the drafting of our creative thoughts. For me, it’s unpredictable where I will find my inspiration. I don’t always go searching for it. Sometimes the inspiration finds me, jumps out, and says, “Here I am!” Other times, I experience the frustration of “writer’s block,” and have to search everywhere for the right idea. Whichever situation I find myself in, I need that clear idea to work with.

 

Source: flickriver.com

6. Time.

Writing is an activity I need to set aside ample amounts of time to do properly. Sure, inspiration sneaks up on me, and I take thirty seconds out of my day to type the idea into the Notes app on my iPhone (one of the times in which I appreciate technology). But besides these situations, I need hours in order to craft my thoughts, weave sentences together, and edit. As a writer, I also need time away from my work. When I come back the next day (or weeks, even months later), the editing process continues.

 

The beauty of writing is that every writer is different. What works for me may not work for everyone. I have my needs, and they change over time. I love that writing is not black and white. There is no right or wrong answer for the writing process. Go where your thoughts take you, and find what gives you beautiful poetry, fiction, or blog posts.

 

 

The Life of a Blogger

The summer is drifting past me, and I have been neglectful. This poor blog of mine has been quiet, begging to be nurtured. Here I am, finally offering some words to assist in its growth.

Tis the art of blogging. Our followers want to read our words, our daily thoughts, funny stories, hear of our adventures. For me, I find consistency the most difficult part. I go through phases in which I could post every day. Once I slip into laziness, it becomes my new habit. I think to myself, “I’ll post when I have something interesting to say.” Throughout any given day, crazy, “interesting” thoughts run through my head, thoughts that would, most likely, translate into a blog post. Yet the thoughts evaporate into the air, to be rediscovered at a later date.

My blog has given me interesting followers and other blogs to look to for wisdom, inspiration, and humor. I create new goals for myself, promising to post more, read more, pay attention, give life to my blog. But those goals are more difficult to achieve than I at first assumed they would be. I move my thoughts to other daily tasks. My brain pushes the blog to the back burner.

It’s a cycle. I neglect my blog, come back, and it welcomes me with open arms. I feel as if I never left. Though one of my faults as a blogger is my inconsistency, I pick things up right where I left off. I have new ideas, inspirations, and my blog is always here waiting. No matter how long I’ve been away, I can always count on my blog to be here when I am ready to share my words once more.

I will never be the perfect writer (or blogger), but I have always embraced the fact that to continue writing it to move forward. Every post I publish, new blog I discover, and follower I gain is a learning experience, bringing me more understanding of the art of blogging. While I have a long way to go, I know that I have others who are on the same journey.