Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Ode to 90's Music: Aqua and Friends

Hugh Grant, as Alex Fletcher in "Music & Lyrics", was on to something when he said that nothing can make a person happier than a pop song. I know that when I'm in a grumpy mood, listening to bubblegum pop turns my frown upside down.

The 90's were definitely a good decade for pop music. Lately the airwaves have been flooded by songs that have such little meaning and are all about getting laid. I definitely appreciate the efforts of Colbie Caillat to change that. Anyway, back to 90's music. One of the best known pop bands of the time was Aqua with their hit single "Barbie Girl". I think everyone not living under a rock knows this song.

Aqua recently got back together to release a new album, and their music video for "Back to the 80's" is fun and the song is definitely catchy. It is currently in heavy rotation at work, alongside "I Gotta Feeling" by the Black-Eyed Peas.

Listening to Aqua made me wonder if they were unique in their colorful, high-pitched Danish-pop genre. The answer surprised me: no.Ok, not all of the bands I'm going to list are from Denmark, but you'll see the similarities. was a Swedish pop band that was huge in Japan. Evidently they are still around, as they actually performed in Seattle at the anime/manga convention Sakura-Con 2009. They are often confused with Aqua, and I can definitely see why when listening to "Butterfly."

Linnéa Handberg Lund is not a band in and of herself, but I suppose this list is not just about bands, but others who were in the same tiny little genre that has since disappeared. I have to say, as Miss Papaya, this girl sounds a lot like Lene from Aqua. Listen to "Cinderella" and try to disagree!

Daze is another band that recently (2008) got back together to try their luck with the europop dance genre. Their song "Tamagotchi" brings back memories. I used to feed mine tons of cake, then let it poop and get sick. I was a bad Tamagotchi owner.

While they may be Canadian, the Boomtang Boys definitely deserve a spot with their song "Squeez Toy." Of course, their limited success may all be due to their collaborations with singer Kim Esty.

And last but most certainly not least, we have Toy-Box. Watching the opening of "Tarzan & Jane" really makes me think that they ripped off the "AquaScope" thing Aqua did. While their most well-known song, the lyrics are certainly lacking in substance ("I am Jane and I love to ride an elephant").

What sets Toy-Box apart, however, is that I have actually heard of Anila (or Aneela) Mirza in another context. She sang "Chori Chori" with Arash.

I hope that I have made your hump day complete and turned that frown of yours upside down!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Over-intellectualization of blogs?

In a way, weblogs are a sort of online diary for others to read. You post about your day and every little thing that you find interesting and therefore newsworthy in your little world. One day you might write about how your best friend did the craziest thing to get her secret crush to notice her (OMG!!!!!). The next entry might be a bit more emo and how no one truly "gets" you. Then you might have a random survey that asks you questions about the last person you kissed and your favorite toothpaste.

Somehow, what started out as a journal of every little thought that passes through your head may start becoming something else.

I am often compelled to write on topics of a deeper nature so that I can voice my opinions and beliefs, and hope that my words that appear on another's computer screen might have some influence. Maybe just for a matter of seconds. But what if it's a longer-lasting impact? What if the words that I write are quoted by others? What if people take me seriously? What if others have felt the same way on that particular issue and are so glad to have found someone who was willing to speak up?

Before those (very few) of you reading this start assuming that I am a complete narcissist, I want to admit that I consider it highly unlikely that my weblog will gain much attention.

It is my aim, however, to leave others' lives better for having been in them. I want to leave a legacy behind. Maybe I won't have lots of money for my children when death comes upon me, and it's unlikely that I will have experienced great fame. Yet having lived a life of love, compassion, sincerity, and hope is, I believe, a life that was well-lived.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Disturbing Behavior: Date Rape

Last night to celebrate Hump Day, my roommate and I decided to break from our Saturday-only rule and go sing karaoke. We went to our usual spot; a lounge in the back of a Chinese restaurant in Bellevue. We saw a couple of the regulars, and took our regular table. Deciding that it was a bit late in the game, we each only put in three songs. I was up first, and I believe that I gave a decent performance of "America" by Neil Diamond.

Unfortunately, Stacy was unable to hear a word I sang as some creepy guy kept talking to her throughout my entire song. He asked her to dance repeatedly and would not take a hint. Once I had finished, I sat down and that creepy guy (we'll refer to him as Perve) started talking to me. I just wanted to drink my diet coke and enjoy our girl time in peace. Perve wanted me to dance with him. I did not want to dance with Perve, and I told him that I would not be dancing.

A couple songs later, Stacy gave a lovely performance of "Landslide" by Fleetwood Mac. A few songs after that, it was Perve's time to shine. His song of choice? "Date Rape" by Sublime. Considering that this particular venue prides itself on its 12,000+ song book, I don't understand why that would be the song he chose. It did, however, fit him perfectly. Stacy and I were steaming mad and left soonafter.

I cannot understand how anyone would write (or sing) a song like that. This is not a silly little song to sing at karaoke, and I really do not care if the song punishes the rapist. It's still disgusting and abhorable.

ABC News had an article about a date rapist who was acquitted several times. Reading about this man, I fail to see how he became the monster that he now is. Every man was once a little boy. Between the age of innocence and a life in prison, something went very wrong and I'm not sure what exactly it was.

On top of this, the date rapist's victims kept in contact with him and often would later have consenual sex with him. It seems that the idea of "idenification with the agressor" comes into play here. What other people see as a horrible person that committed one of the most violating of acts against a woman, the woman may see as a man who was just too overcome with desire and did what he had to do, even if it wasn't right. Humanizing such acts and belittling their consequences upon the victim is absolutely wrong.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Caritas in Veritate: The Pope's Economic Encyclical

In case you haven't been keeping up on the news, Pope Benedict XVI issued his third encyclical on Tuesday: Reuters.

In this letter, he says that there is an "urgent need of a true world political authority...universally recognized and to be vested with the effective power to ensure security for all, regard for justice, and respect for rights."

From what I've read, what he is proposing sounds like a socialist dictatorship of the economies of the world.

While I do agree with some of what he has said, the idea of an individual or group ruling over the economies of all nations scares me. The fact that this comes from the Pope and not an air-headed celebrity is even scarier. I am not a Catholic, but I do recognize that he has a lot of power in his authority over the Catholic church.

There are issues with capitalism, as with any other thing, as it is an idea created by humans. It does, however, have a better track record than socialism. Any country that allows for this new system essentially surrenders themselves to the rule of another body. America is a self-ruling country, and it has taken a few wars to stay that way. I certainly hope that this country will not succumb to being led by an international economic ruling body that may not have the best interests of each individual country and its people at heart.

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Nazi Legacy

It is an undeniable fact that racism is alive and well, even in the most civilized of countries. In what could be deemed as somewhat less-civilized countries, if you happen to be a foreigner of disliked origin, you may be hunted down and killed...along with your family.

Here in the U.S. I think that we take this sort of thing for granted. Instead of looking at the injustices against human life, we focus on the lesser discriminations occurring locally. While racism is certainly wrong, should we really be as worried about political correctness here as freeing slaves in other countries?

Hitler was not the only racist in world history, but he was certainly a big one. We are still learning more and more about the atrocities that took place at the hands of this evil man and his minions. To be fair, Hitler was not an idiot and he did make an impression upon the world. Evil people can be incredibly intelligent and can leave some of the most lasting legacies.

I read an article from the Daily Mail that spoke of how German Parliament is planning on post-humously pardoning 30,000 Germans who were considered traitors to the Nazi party:

Germany should be commended on stepping up and accepting fault for the crimes that were committed in the Holocaust. Germany has apologized to the Holocaust survivors, has issued reparations, and is now trying to undo some of the damage to the dignity of many German families. The lingering questions is this: is it enough?

Are monetary payments going to restore the heirlooms, photos, and every other material possession lost? Is a blanket apology going to make the memories of such terror go away? Will the stigma of your grandfather dying for being considered a traitor truly disappear with this pardon?

At least Germany is not trying to pretend that this was a conspiracy by the Jews as some believe. I do not understand Holocaust deniers. I have seen the tattoos, I have heard the stories, and I have seen the pain in those old eyes when telling of the sister who was last seen looking like a corpse.

When I lived in Virginia, I went to Randolph Macon Women's College one night to hear Eva Mozes speak of her experience as one of Josef Mengele's twins. You can read more about her and her sister here:

I constantly wonder how such hate exists in people's hearts to do commit such acts. And yet...there are parents who raise their children to become this:

Again I will say it; I do not understand how this is possible.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Independence Day 2009

We do not celebrate July 4th for Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum's mission to save the planet. We do not celebrate July 4th because we like parades and sparkly things in the sky. In fact, I could list a lot of invalid reasons for celebrating July 4th in America. Yet, it is important to keep our eyes on the truth and the origin.

This country has struggled both internally and with foreign issues. We have been verbally assaulted by leaders of other countries, and attacked by terrorists. America has been bashed by its own citizens as well as citizens of countries to which it provides aid. Starting from so few, we have become a nation of millions.

I cannot explain why Americans hate their country. I cannot explain why other countries and their citizens hate us. I'm sure that there are some valid reasons as well as plenty of stupid ones. All in all, we are still here. We are self-ruling. We are a superpower. The oppressed come to America to find sanctuary.

If you are an American and you are reading this, be proud of your origin. Be proud of your heritage. Be proud of those who gave their lives so that you might one day even exist. Be proud of those who took stands against tyranny so that you might be free to speak your mind. Be proud of those who survived that first year in a new land, holding on so that their ancestors might worship and believe as they saw fit.

If you are not an American and you are reading this, know that we are a strong people. Know that we have struggled and overcome. Know that we value peace and community, but are willing to fight to protect our own. Know that we live with open minds, but also speak out against what is wrong. Know that the vast majority of us are descended from immigrants, and that we all seek something better.

Americans may be considered a proud people, and this could be thought of as a bad thing. Perhaps it is. Yet we do have so much to be proud of, and so much for which to be grateful.

Happy Independence Day!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

In the News

So in my previous blogging experiences, I have always enjoyed playing commentator on the news of the day. I would now like to share with my new readers what juicy and amusing bits I have found. Enjoy!

In the UK, a 72-year-old man beat up a 23-year-old would-be burglar:

On those random times when I consider 72-year-old British men, I do not usually think of them as especially tough. This guy was the exception, I suppose, as he was a former boxer.

Republican politicians have been pushing a bill to require proof of citizenship for all presidential candidates:

It's funny how just a few years ago, in 2004, Republicans were pushing for an amendment to allow naturalized citizen eligibility for the top office:,2933,139952,00.html

Now, lets just think this through a bit. I have been saying for the past few years that this seems to be a prophecy waiting to be fulfilled. Whose prophecy, you ask? Well, for anyone big on early 90s movies knows the answer to this; Peter M. Lenkov's and Robert Reneau's prophecy! For those of you who are unfamiliar with these names, there was a 1993 film called "Demolition Man" starring Sylvester Stallone, Wesley Snipes, and Sandra Bullock that was set in the future. The America of this future was run by President Schwarzenegger. According to the movie, first he had been elected governor of California (check!), then an amendment was created to allow naturalized citizens to run for president. Get the picture now?

So a recap of the news: old man beat up hoodlum, and a Sylvester Stallone movie is becoming realtiy. Good day/bad day? Who knows??

Here I am!

So this is just the basic introductory blog post. My name is...well, for here, it's Kiki. I'm a 20-something single gal living in the greater Seattle area. I work in customer service for an e-commerce company that sells accessories for cell phones, PDAs, etc. Here's a little get-to-know-Kiki information.

Every third Friday of the month, Trinity in Pioneer Square has "Bollywood Paparazzi" in the Blue Room. I am so very white, but I love it! People think that I have an obsession with all things Indian, but it isn't quite true. I love the music, I love the food, I love the movies, and yes, I occasionally find the men attractive. Not an obsession.

I personally believe Arrested Development to be the funniest show that has ever been on television. If you haven't seen it yet, get on it pronto!

Rude people annoy me. Of course, as a customer service rep, I deal with rude people all day. Sometimes I wonder who raised these people into the monsters that they are today? Is this the result of a failure of a mother? Was the father absent? Or is this horrible person that is swearing at me via email just messed up?

That is all for now, but I certainly hope to post more soon. Ta ta!