The Rantings of a Tortured Mind

Valerie Rayne Rants


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The Beginning of Another #NerdyJourney


Seriously, you guys are going to be so sick of me in no time at all. Then again, you can filter it out right?

I’m back on a bit of a #NerdyJourney – that’s right, it’s so darn nerdy that I’ve even gone so far as to create a hashtag for it on Twitter… Don’t ask me why, because I really couldn’t explain it to you, but at least this time I’m not going to bore you with Valerieopolis, which I haven’t even looked at in days. But before we get to all my geeky Minecraft-ing, I really want to share something else with you first.

Maybe it’s that I’m not being critical enough or maybe it’s that I’m simply accepting what I create easier, I uploaded yet ANOTHER YouTube video! Are you excited? I am. It’s been forever and a day since I uploaded a YouTube video and now I’ve uploaded two in the last month. However, I’ve changed all my old videos so that they have a little intro and ending to them and I updated my channel page so everything is all brand new over there.

If you haven’t caught the hint yet, go check it out! Like it, subscribe to it, share it with all your friends – but mostly, let me know what you think! Oh yeah, and here’s the video. Doing a cover of The White Stripes “Fell in Love With a Girl” (and yes, I know what you’re thinking, eventually I will do an original song – I promise!)

So now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, I’ll carry onto all the other stuff that I did today. Yes, it was Minecraft, but it was still stuff. As I said before, I’ve kind of given up on my other #NerdyJourney world, Valerieopolis. Just click the link if you want to learn more… I’m still doing it and it still exists, it just hasn’t really gone anywhere. Every time I get on it, little things like fill in a block here or there, but nothing that’s changing the way it looks. But The Boyfriend got me very interested in redstone recently and taught me how to do a few things that I didn’t know how to do before and so one night after we experimented with it together…

I created a new creative world for me to go nutty with. It’s kind of taken on a life of it’s own. I didn’t originally go into it with any real plans or concept, but it’s managed to turn into a Lava/Water metropolis. I mean, the sidewalk pretty much sums it up:

The Lava/Water Sidewalk

The central focus of this world, which I still haven’t named (so bear with me), is the Town Hall – although I guess it would be more appropriate to call it a City Hall, since that’s more what we’re working with. Here’s a couple of shots of what it looks like:

There’s a couple more buildings, which you can see by checking out my Random Minecraft album on Facebook, but really quickly, I want to show you my Fire Truck. It took forever and a day to figure out how to make it and then I had everyone telling me how I should make it, but of course, I didn’t like the way that they wanted it. So this is essentially what we all came up with. We’ve seen a few tutorials that were really good but I hadn’t watched any of them recently, so couldn’t remember a single thing. However, I do think my dispenser idea is awesome!

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So that’s what I’ve been up to lately… Spent the day after I was incredibly sick on Minecraft and spend the night after working on YouTube. Tomorrow, I have a butt load of things to do – I’m not even slightly looking forward to it. But it’s gotta get done.

We’ve promised to take Mom’s dog to the dog park with the kids, we’ve got a whole bunch of cleaning that needs to be done by 3 PM on Monday, plus we still have to get some grocery shopping done before we burn through the rest of this money! And just when we feel like it’s all going to be over, school starts again and the week gets crazy. Now, as long as I can remember to do some of the more minor things that I really want to do (like carry my camera with me, because I’m missing so many great picture opportunities or get a cheese grater, because I’m desperately craving grated cheese on my food), I’ll be happy as a clam.

Well, until next time 😉

The Accidental Cat

Cannot Stop Listening to This Song…

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For some reason lately, I’ve been more and more into watching YouTube videos and recently, I came across this cover and I cannot stop listening to it. I’ve heard multiple covers of this song and the original, but this one just keeps sticking with. I want my voice and guitar playing to sound like this!!!

Thinkin Bout You (Acoustic/Beatbox Cover) –

Tori Kelly & Angie Girl


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Come on a Nerdy Journey With Me!


It’s been quite a long while, but I finally posted a video to YouTube… It’s not the best that I’ve ever done, but I was so desperate to post something that I no longer cared if it was perfect or still needed work. So freaking much has changed when it comes to uploading videos on there since I last did it, that the longest part of the whole thing for me was re-acquainting myself with the whole thing. Uploading videos on YouTube is so much cooler now than it was the last time I did it. You’re dying to know what I put up, aren’t you? Okay… I’ll show you!

Like the description of the video says, I haven’t been playing the electric keyboards that long and I am 100% teaching myself, so it’s not the best that it can be but it’s the best that I can do at the moment. One day, I will get a guitar and you won’t hear me complain anymore 😉

In other news, I spent the entire day on Minecraft, even though I had absolutely not intended to. And the second I got off, The Boyfriend got on. But, I am creating something that I keep starting and then re-starting and then re-starting some more and finally for the first time since this journey has started, I’m finally getting to the point where I’m quite excited and happy with what I’ve got. So excited in fact that I’m totally going to invite you along with me on this nerdy journey

Since I began playing Minecraft, I’ve always been most intrigued by the concept of building a massive city – a metropolis, if you will. For the longest time, I couldn’t figure out what I was going to call it. I played with “ValerieVille“, “MommyLand” and a few others, but nothing was fitting right. Then, I just decided screw the name, I’m just going to start building the thing and then maybe a name will come to me that is suitable.

Construction began and The Boyfriend and I both worked hard trying to figure out redstone and minecart systems so that I could make a functionining train station in the center of my superflat world map and in creative mode. However, once we had completed the train tracks heading to the north, south, east and west, we realized that we had made a few errors and done a few things that needed to be cahnged to get them the way that I really wanted them. And it kept happening. I believe I’ve restarted this at least 3 times now.

But today, being incredibly inspired by all the Minecraft Tutorials I stayed up late watching last night, I jumped back on and began construction on my new mega city and now would like to show you some of the wickedness that is:

Valerieopolis Central Station

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The above images are some of the projects that I’m currently working on in my metropolis. Right in the center of the map is Valerieopolis Central Station, which will have trains leading out to the north, south, east and west and then diagonally (although not perfectly, because you can’t do that in Minecraft) out to the corners. Here’s a basic drawing of the whole concept:

Valerieopolis - Minecraft Xbox 360 Edition

Valerieopolis – Minecraft Xbox 360 Edition

The yellow lines mark what will be the minecart or train system and highways. The circles represent a transfer station, which I’m hoping to figure out how to do eventually. I’ve been watching some tutorials, but it’s taking a lot of time for me to get the hang of all this stuff. So far, the only thing that I’ve gotten to work successfully for me and it took me over 3 hours to figure out is the Fully Functioning Ticket Booth (seen in the slideshow above). This is the tutorial that I watched to figure it out, although as you see, my circuitry is a little different and I’m still having a hard time figuring out exactly how to make it work over and over again for me, instead of just once…

If you’d like to learn more about this map and what I’m hoping to do with it, I’ve started a Google Doc dedicated to ideas for my mega city. I’ve opened up the comments on the document and everything so that you can leave me any suggestions, advice or ideas if you’d really like to jump on this nerdy journey with me 😉 It’ll be an ever-changing, ever-growing, crazy list of things to do…

So, that’s what my day has been like… How’s yours been?


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What I’m Listening To…


It seems like every single week, I’m listening to a new style of music. It starts with one band, and then some searching and then next thing you know, I’ve got an entirely huge playlist to listen to of a completely new genre. First of all, I’ve been incredibly obsessed with fun. a lot. I’ve been listening to it, trying to learn some stuff on keyboards and just becoming generally obsessed. I just love the sound of it and the voice and the harmonies and everything about the music, just really gets my blood flowing.

So, the other night, I did some looking for Similar Artists on last.fm and I found a lot that I had already known about and a few, which I’m most impressed with, that I had never heard of before. It’s resulted in the same type of music playing over and over again for days now. I just can’t get enough of this indie/pop-punk/folk-y type of music. I don’t even know what to call it.

Let’s go through some of the stuff that’s absolutely topping my list right now:

  • Rivers and Roads
    The Head and The Heart
  • All of the Drugs
    The Brobecks
  • Lakes of Pontchartrain
    The Be Good Tanyas
  • Girl U Want
    Freelance Whales
  • Weeping Willow
    The Hush Sound
  • One Foot
    fun.

And when I haven’t been listening to the indie/pop-punk/folk-y type of music, I’ve been listening to nothing but dubstep. I don’t know what it is about dubstep that has me so in love with it. Maybe it’s because it’s a type of music that you can’t help but feel in every bone and every muscle and even the tiniest of ligaments. Maybe it’s because no matter how quiet you have your stereo, the bass throbs beneath your seat. Maybe it’s any number of things.

The kids even like dubstep, which I’m always surprised by, especially Kaeidyn – who normally chooses whatever is popular with the other kids at school. Like Katy Perry and Carly Rae Jepsen. But, I was smart and discovered a whole bunch of Transformers-esque songs, and now they’re all obsessed.

  • My Name is Skrillex
    Skrillex
    The kids absolutely love this song. They often replace the Skrillex with their own name or Optimus for Optimus Prime 😉
  • Optimus Prime
    DaggaAgain, the kids love this one. They all scream “Transformers”, almost as soon as this song starts…
  • For Sex
    Mt. EdenI don’t know if this is actually what any of these songs are called, but that’s what they are called on my Grooveshark playlist…
  • Transformers (Skrillex Remix)
    SkrillexAnother one that the kids go nuts over. I swear they know it’s Skrillex too!
  • Internet Connection
    Flux PavilionThis song just always gets me. The second it comes on, I swear my inner self wants to become a pop and locker desperately.

So, that’s some of the awesome stuff we’ve been listening to this last week or so. What’s been on your coming-into-the-New-Year, playlist?


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Musing


I so desperately want to upload videos to my YouTube channel, like terribly badly, but I seriously suck at this piano thing. Every single time I play, in the moment, I’m like “Oh yeah, this is my jam!” and then I listen back to it and it just sounds like utter crap!!

I sat in front of my computer for the last 2 1/2 hours, rocking out with my Casio. And I sucked…

I want to put something on  YouTube for everyone and I just can’t bring myself to let anyone witness this crap. I even have a slight issue with The Boyfriend listening again, since I made him suffer the first time around…

And man oh man, how does he do it?!? I would be so annoyed by listening to all these songs slowed down and butchered and just tortured and beaten black and blue. I miss my freaking guitar!!!!!

See, the issue is that I’m too old to learn this stuff by myself now. And while I know that that’s a lie, if I really dedicated myself to it I could learn this freaking instrument, I just can’t bring myself to get any better. I’ve been practicing every once and awhile and every time I think I’m starting to get the hang of something, it just slaps me in the face every time I watch these videos.

I figured it wouldn’t sting so much if I waited a longer period in between when I played and when I watched the video, and it doesn’t. Simply, for an absolute matter of fact, I am just better with wind instruments like the bassoon and stringed instruments like the guitar and I’m pissed that I don’t have either of those things…

I miss my guitar…

P.S. If you didn’t know, the title to this post, “Musing” is an homage to my most beloved guitar, she was a beauty and the story behind her is a little romantic. You wanna hear it?

Okay, for those of you who stuck around.

The Boyfriend and I had been dating a few months when my birthday rolled around. He insisted that I get a babysitter on the day and told me we were going for a ride. He begins driving through the industrial area of town and I’m getting more and more confused as to where we’re going and why we’re in this part of town. He pulls up to a building and all I see is a sign about something to do with audio, that’s it.

As he pulls open the door, I am greeted by a wall of guitars. Electrics, acoustics, steel and my jaw drops. He puts his hand on my neck (like we did when we were out in public back then) and tells me, “Pick one” – total Cinderella moment. We spent hours there, me trying to find the perfect sound, him trying to act interested. When I picked up my Muse, I knew she was the one.

I can’t even remember what kind of guitar it was, except that it was an electric/acoustic. But she was beautiful and as soon as I got her home, I was writing songs. I wrote a good deal of songs on my Muse – of course, none of which I can remember. And then…

I did not take good enough care of her. If I knew then what I knew now, I would’ve created an untouchable shrine for her. Alas, I left her where the kids could touch her and slowly over time, she broke. It took me years to finally throw her in the garbage and I’m sure I cried the day that I did…


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Makes Me Miss Bassoon


For most of yesterday and today, I’ve been sore and that means that I’ve been lazy. My neck is causing me a heck of a lot of problems and it’s resulted in me laying in bed a lot. Since I haven’t been in to watching movies or TV much, Netflix has barely gotten used but we’re watching tons of YouTube.

The other day, and I can’t believe I’ve never searched for this before, I decided to search for one of the instruments that I played back in high school. I wanted to see what was out there for bassoon music. I came across the most amazing bassoon quartet – The Breaking Winds and thought it would be nice to share one of my (now official) favorite videos on YouTube. Here’s The Breaking Winds doing a cover of Goyte’s Somebody That I Used to Know:

If you liked it as much as I did, let them know by leaving a comment or liking the video. Never heard the bassoon sound so beautiful and dramatic before! If you know of other great bassoon videos, leave me a comment below!


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Moody McMooderson


Today, I have felt like I’m on a roller coaster ride with my emotions. I’m all over the place. I wake up this morning and I’m all happy-go-lucky, then I watch some YouTube and for some reason, begin to get extremely agitated. The kids came home from school and at first I was all in love, then I was all annoyed and then, as dinner finished baking, I was sentimental and playful.

We watched Raising Hope on Netflix (which is such a cute show and I can’t believe I missed it when we still had cable…) and I flopped from not being able to hear it well enough one moment, to laughing or tearing up the next (depending on the situation in the show). The older kids went to bed, so immediately I felt relief and if a sigh didn’t actually escape my lips, it definitely had glided out of my body.

So I decided, what a perfect time to whip out the piano and play me some tuneage. But then, Carter came up behind me and started reaching around my arms to get at the keys. Instead of letting this consume me with bitterness, I succumbed to it and let him play with me. We experimented with the sounds, we played some stuff together and I even let him play alone. After a good 45 minutes had went by, I decided I was done. It was my turn to play.

We got him into bed, happily cradling his bottle, and I sat down in front of the keyboard again. As I struck the first note, The Boyfriend grabbed his Xbox mic, slid it onto his head and began, “Hey, how are you?”. See, he’s started playing Modern Warfare online with some of his buddies from work. It keeps him incredibly entertained and if it didn’t make him feel so guilty always playing video games, I’d never see him again.

I’m used to this kind of behavior. Every boyfriend I’ve ever had would rather spend all his spare time playing video games or watching movies that I sincerely hate. The Boyfriend is the worst for this! His only hobby is his video games (oh, and sort of Nascar… That one’s way less annoying though!), so whenever he can he likes to get on there and now that he’s got friends who play, he insists on putting this mic on.

When I’m not playing piano, I think it’s cute. It doesn’t bother me since I’m not making any other noises than typing when he’s playing his games. I’m okay with his nerdy social life. So my emotions went crazy during the first few minutes of this. First I was just outright annoyed, then I was “okay” with it because I had decided that I was just going to suck at piano anyways, so what was the point. I went out to the kitchen and got myself a drink and refilled Carter’s bottle and decided that I was just going to play piano. Whatever if I sucked, whatever about The Boyfriend’s mic. It doesn’t affect his time on it when I’m playing and I’ve done it before so what’s the difference.

I sit in front of my keyboards all ready to conquer that stuff, and look up at the screen and just feel completely bored! Needless to say, I haven’t played piano, I’m moodier than I like to be, I’m missing a guitar like crazy and I want to work on my website but I feel to moody! ARGH!!!


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Not a Whole Heck of a lot New…


Not a whole heck of a lot going on around here lately. I’ve been hard at work on the re-design of Lifestyle Bloggers Anonymous, which is going okay I guess. I don’t want to add too much to the site before the re-design because that’s more work for me once it comes time. I’m hoping we’ll upgrade the site in November and then shut it down for the re-design in December and relaunch in January. That’s the plan as it stands so far.

The cool thing about the upgrade and re-design is that I’ll finally have a chatroom on the site and we’ll even offer video uploading, which I’ve wanted on the site for a long time. I’ll also finally be free of the limit on the number of members that can join – not that that really matters, because the 50 members that I currently have on there are almost never participating. It seems to pick up every once and awhile and then they all disappear and you don’t hear from them forever. I need to figure out how to change that…

I’ve also been playing a lot of my electric keyboards lately. I swear I’m never going to get the hang of this… I seem to have the basics down, but going any further than that seems like it’s physically impossible. I think I’m just not made for electric keyboards. I’m made for the guitar! One day, I’ll get a new one, but right now, it’s just really not in the budget.

The biggest thing that I’m noticing, besides the fact that I can only play something so stupidly simple with my left hand, is that my rhythm seems to get a little screwed up no matter how well I know the song. I either start off too slow or too fast and then have to adjust later on in the song. However, I am learning a lot of songs that I wouldn’t typically learn on the guitar. The Boyfriend has also gotten more involved in picking which songs I should learn next, so that’s been really fun.

In other news, everyone is still battling this cold. It almost feels like we’ll never be healthy again… I’m blaming it on the weather we’re having. It isn’t exactly bad weather, but it’s the season change. It also seems like once one of us begins getting over the cold, someone else gets it really bad, and then we’re all back to sick. It’s taking a toll on everything!

So that’s pretty much we’re doing around here. Anyone got any awesome plans for Halloween?


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Rockin’ Out Retro-Style


I am having a really freaking fantastic day. A few days ago, we went over to Mom’s house and she ended up making us stop at a garage sale on the way there. While there, we got me the coolest thing in the whole world. I’ve been looking for something similar for many years now and just have never found a good deal. Finally got me a record player!!

So now, I’m spending the night going through all my boxes of records and listening to all these vinyls. I have to say, this record player is just about the coolest thing I’ve seen. It sounds relatively good, comes with an 8-track deck and the record player is automatic – so I just place the record in there and it starts playing it. It’s beautiful. Makes me feel all cool and retro!

Then, we finally started getting some cleaning done. We had planned to do a bunch yesterday but it ended up being a rather lazy day. I’m still fighting this cold and even though we went and walked out in the freezing cold rain of the day, I came home with tons of energy and ready to clean. Lots of laundry getting done, lots of dishes and for dinner tonight: a huge batch of spaghetti. Should be delicious.

I also, after days of complaining about it, finally found my camera. So that’s plugged in and charging up now. I also recently got nail polish which I was more than happy about. Even made The Boyfriend let me paint his toenails (because I was just in that kind of mood). And it’s nice and quiet in the house because Kenzie’s at a birthday party tonight.

The weather outside may be frightful, but in here, everything is just alright. I love it!


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Drunk for the First Time in Years


On the Saturday that just passed, my Mom took the kids for the majority of the day so that The Boyfriend and I could clean the house. It took us two days, but the living room has been rearranged and is, I’m very excited to say, clean! We’ve flipped it around, so everything that was once on the other side of the room is now on the opposite side, the floors have all been vacuumed like there’s no tomorrow, and absolutely everything has been wiped or washed. Now we just have a few rooms left to conquer but at least we’re making more serious progress than ever before!

Then Mom insisted that The Boyfriend and I take a night out and so, she lined up a babysitter, she took us to karaoke and she bought us our drinks. It was honestly one of the best nights we’ve had out in awhile and two days later, we’re still talking about how much fun we had with each other. I even wore my polka dot dress out in public and was showered with compliments, which was really fantastic and I almost forgot how much I like that 😉

I got to sing a total of four songs and I was more than excited when the karaoke hostess remembered me, even though I haven’t been to karaoke since before The Boyfriend and I got together almost 4 years ago (holy, we’ve only got like 2 months until we’re there…). I did my usual showtunes, All That Jazz and Cabaret. Only one tiny screw up on either of those, but I was having a great time and The Boyfriend and my Mom were the best cheerleaders in the world! Then, after I was right liquored, I did I’m Yours by Jason Mraz and Your Love in my Drug by Ke$ha. I even danced to another person singing Baby Got Back by Sir Mix-A-Lot.

Somehow, The Boyfriend and I managed to get more drunk than we’ve been in the last 4 years as well. A jug and a half shared between us, plus 3 bottles of beer each, by the time we were heading home, we were both stumbling and complaining about how drunk we felt. Though we were both made undeniably happy when we were able to go to McDonald’s at 2:30 in the morning. Never once did we consider how we might feel the next morning and somewhere along the line, I think I lost my wallet…

We got home and fell asleep immediately, just barely able to give each other a kiss goodnight. We had walked home from the bar which is only a few blocks away, but with being drunk, the walk knocked us right out. Less than 5 hours later, The Boyfriend was waking up with his first signs of a hangover. I think we didn’t sleep past 9:30 the next morning, because his hangover got increasingly worse. I felt fine and I think that made him jealous.

Then, we finished cleaning the living room. Really, he did most of the work and I just wiped stuff down and put things where they belonged. We kept commenting on how good of a cleaning team we made, because he’d take care of all the big stuff and I was like our detailer. He almost got slapped during the cleaning when we were moving the furniture. We’re about to move the entertainment stand, which is quite a big piece of furniture and he starts giving me instructions on where to hold and how to lift it. I snapped, “Boyfriend, I’ve moved furniture before, I know what I’m doing!!”. When we moved the computer desk, he kept his mouth shut.

Somewhere along the line, since Saturday, I hurt my legs or something. Every time I step down, I’m getting a searing pain in my calf. I can’t flex my foot without hurting my ankle and I’ve been limping around like a little old lady ever since. No idea what I did, no idea how to make it stop hurting, but today, I am most unhappy about it.

So, that was my weekend in 700 words, give or take. How was your weekend? Do anything out of the ordinary? Get anything accomplished? Share your weekend stories in the comments!