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Category Archives: Ramblins of a Ramblin Woman

A Patriot is defined as someone who feels a strong support for his or her country.*

Patriotism is defined as a devotion to one’s country, excluding differences caused by the dependencies of the term’s meaning upon context, geography and philosophy.**

Now that we have defined the above terms, let’s make the overall statement that it does not matter what country you are from, what your culture or ethnicity is, or where your ancestors are from, anyone can be a Patriot and practice Patriotism.

I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy, Yankee Doodle do or die!

When I tell people that I am a Patriot, they look at me like I have eleven heads and no pants on. They then feel the need to detail all the horrible things that the United States has done and all the corrupt policies that have been put in place over the years. Needless wars, greed, turning a blind eye to the pollution caused by Big Business…yes yes all this is true and currently going on as I type.

However, one of the biggest responsibilities of any true Patriot is to take the good with the bad. One must have a solid understanding of the history of their country to even be a Patriot in my opinion. I mean, how can you be devoted to something you really know nothing about? How can you better the object of your affection if you don’t know what mistakes NOT to repeat from the past?

It is easy to turn a blind eye to the bad attributes of something that we are taken with…compare it with a new lover. You can see they have a procrastination problem, or maybe they are a violent drunk…but they can be sweet at times right? Love is blind, we are quick to argue. However, true love comes when we fully understand the other side and not only learn of the past but comes to terms with it and strive not to repeat those same mistakes.

I refuse to hate the land in which I was born, bred, and raised. My ancestors built this land and yes, it has its faults. Heck, I am an awesome saucy individual and even I, yes I, have issues that will make most cringe and reconsider a relationship with me. Tis the same with the good ole U.S. of A. for me. I will forever stand firm on my beliefs and for my country.

Know your history. Don’t just take what others say as gospel. Read. Research. Ask questions. Then, when you wear your flag proud (confederate or otherwise), I can actually take you seriously.

#TeamAmerica,

American Leo

* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patriot

** http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patriotism

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Since my relocation from NYC to Nashville, I have learned a great deal about music. The misconception is that Nashville is the mecca of country music, cornfields and cowboys…not that far off, mind you, but they don’t call it Music City for nothing! Nashville is actually a stew filled with Rock, Classic, Pop and R&B Country, Bluegrass, The Blues, Jazz, Alternative, Alternative, Indie Punk and singer/songwriters seasoned with a lot of blood, sweat, tears, whiskey…and beer. I never understood why people hated Nickelback so much until I started going to honky tonks and seeing guitarists use their fingers to make their strings sang…like a big fat woman singing lead in a gospel choir. While lyrics are important, the skill with which a musician plays their instrument is equally important and necessary to bring life to the story being told.

I say all this to say that while I love live music, I have been re-introduced to something that I never appreciated before Nashville…and that is vinyl records. The first time I heard Bob Seger and The Live Bullet Band’s (LIVE) record I had a religious experience. ‘Looking Back’ has now been engraved on my heart and in my very soul. There is something that alters in you when you hear that vinyl spin, the gentle snap, crackle and pop of the grooves as that needle releases the music into the air. Somehow, vinyl records captures the aura and power of a live performance and loses none of its staying power…a feat that CD’s and mp3 can never aspire to achieve.

A little history/definition of vinyl records:

A gramophone record, commonly known as a phonograph record (in American English), vinyl record (in reference to vinyl, the material most commonly used after about 1950), or colloquially, a record, is an analog sound storage medium consisting of a flat disc with an inscribed, modulated spiral groove. The groove usually starts near the periphery and ends near the center of the disc. Phonograph records are generally described by their diameter in inches (12-inch, 10-inch, 7-inch, etc.), the rotational speed at which they are played (“33⅓ r.p.m.”, “78”, “45”, etc.), their time capacity (“Long Playing”), their reproductive accuracy, or “fidelity”, or the number of channels of audio provided (“Mono”, “Stereo”, “Quadraphonic”, etc.)

Phonograph records were the primary medium used for music reproduction for most of the 20th century, replacing the phonograph cylinder, with which it had co-existed, by the 1920s. By the late 1980s, digital media had gained a larger market share, and the vinyl record left the mainstream in 1991. However, they continue to be manufactured and sold in the 21st century. The vinyl record regained popularity by 2008, with nearly 2.9 million units shipped that year, the most in any year since 1998 and the format has continued to slowly regain popularity. They are especially used by DJs and audiophiles for many types of music. As of 2012, vinyl records continue to be used for distribution of independent and alternative music artists. More mainstream pop music releases tend to be mostly sold in compact disc or other digital formats, but have still been released in vinyl in certain instances.*

Are they ever making a comeback! If you can’t see a band/artist live, then the only other way to truly experience them is to listen to them on a record.

This might sound like ancient history to the generation today that is out buying music…or what is passing as music these days. However, I implore you to give it a try. Hit up places like Ebay, Amazon and Urban Outfitters to find a record player. They actually have modernized players where you can convert the songs from the record to an mp3 file that you can download into your ipod and/or computer.

Sunday Funday consisted of listening to Koko Taylor shake the earth! I AM A WOMAN!!!! Vinyl is the ONLY way to truly experience a legend like Koko.

Thank you Nashville for my continuing education in music. I’m working on my doctorate y’all! Next stop, Country Music Hall Of Fame.

Until next time,

American Leo

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Taken from Wikipedia. Check out the link for more information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gramophone_record


PSA: I was born and raised in The Bronx, NY, American, a Yankee through and through. Some say The Bronx is where Hip Hop was born as well, making it a distant cousin of mine. Staple diet for most New Yorkers includes bagels for breakfast, a hero for lunch and a large pizza pie from the local pizzeria for dinner.

So how the heck did I end up in Nashville, TN honky tonking my life away?

Easy. I love country music. Now, to be clear, I love all different types of music, especially since I love to dance and have been a dancer since the age of ten. However, I am also a writer and it is the lyrics and emotion of country music that appeals and calls to me the most. The twangs of guitars and the commotion that a fiddle can cause incites me to want to get up and two step or sit down with a bottle of whiskey and have a good cry. Both are healing and invigorating.

Country music is also relatable, seeing as how I am from this country. People tend to forget that. I may not go out into the fields or drive around in a tractor, but I get up and go to work every day to put food on the table and to provide for my family. I have experienced the kind of heart break that has turned weaker men insane and I love to party with my friends on special occasions…like when it’s someone’s birthday or/and when it isn’t. And country music, whether its 3 chords or magical, whimsical chords like the ones created by Brad Paisley or Keith Urban, it all captures my life in song.

Lastly, it is said that country music has the best and most loyal fans, but I believe this is true because country music has the best and most humble artists. Now, don’t get me wrong, every genre of music has assholes. However, 9 out of every 10 country music artist I meet have been warm, inviting, and thankful for my support. It makes me want to support them more (Note to music artists, y’all might want to highlight this and put it in ya pocket for future reference).

Are you ready for the country? Are you ready for me?

And that’s why I am here. And I am not going anywhere. Yeehaw!

American Leo


So the journey begins…

 

Hello world.
Barely up and have to be at ’em in a couple of hours but the lack of sleep over the past few weeks has definately been worth it. Such a turn of events 2011 has been for me and who would have ever thought that me, I! would be a blogger. (Well, maybe my bestie knew, but that’s what besties are for right?)
Well, what the hell do I have to add to the blogging world, pray tell? As a Leo, I hate to be forced into a specific box or told what to do. So, of course, my blog isn’t about one specific thing or topic. It’s about whatever I have experienced that has made me better, stronger, greater, happier, more content and satisfied in my life. Which of course, translates into Travel, Food, Relationships and Music lol. I will also throw in some current events and the like, as our country has also experienced some crazy happenings over the past few years.
People, it’s all about growth. No matter how old you are, never feel it is too late. It is only too late when your dead. If you have air in your lungs and your brain is functioning, get out there and start your life journey. Try things you said you never would. Go places you never thought you could go. Meet new people that you never thought you would like (or maybe you even thought they would not like you, silly rabbit!) I can say that 2011 has been a year of extreme horrible but also extreme awesomeness personified.
So, thanks for reading and this journey begins…