Confession: I'm Tired of Bruno Mars


Y'all, I have a confession: I am tired of Bruno Mars.

Yes, he's talented and whatever but I'm just over it.

It's just, he's on every radio station at all times, and I don't think I can take it anymore.

When I first heard about Bruno Mars, I liked him a lot. He was a songwriter for the stars so you know he's talented, and he's coming out from behind the scenes to make it on his own. I appreciate this approach and like that the people behind the hits are emerging to sing their songs themselves (see also: Jessie J).

First he was featured on a B.o.B. song, which I mean, can't go wrong there. I'm on board. Then "Just The Way You Are" came out and he was unavoidable. No matter. It's catchy and he can sing, plus it was an adorable song about liking a woman just the way she is and what girl doesn't want to hear that, y'know?

I really got on board during the "Grenade" season. I mean yes, I heard it until my ears bled, but it was a solid song, especially when sung acoustically on youtube. By him, that is. Not by every 18 year old with a guitar and a webcam. If I heard it today on my way home I would not change the channel.

But then came "The Lazy Song" in which he references throwing his hand down his pants and later mentioning just casually having "some really nice sex" and I was like, okay, Bruno, just because this has that generic happy ukelele accompaniment and sounds all innocent does not mean you can throw those kinds of phrases in there and still seem like a respectable musician who like, yeah, he's a pop star, but really he's a songwriter first, y'know? No. I revoke that privilege. You are now a full blown pop star, just like the rest of them.

That is when it started to derail for me.

Glee started singing every one of his songs, including "Marry Me" which is kind of adorable but you can't just be adorable and then sing about putting your hand down your pants and not expect me to be disgusted by you.

I mean just pick a lane, Bruno Mars. Am I mad at Kanye for being a douche? No, because he owns it. I'm mad at you because you try to act like this sensitive songwriter type who gets women and then churn out crap like that. Not allowed.

Then you're back with "Locked Out of Heaven" which is a fantastic song musically but also kind of sleezy in lyrical content and further adds to my iffy stance on how to feel about you. Again I say, PICK A LANE.

Then comes that song about how you should've bought your girlfriend flowers and paid more attention to her and we're supposed to sympathize with you and think you're sweet? Uh no, Bruno mars, because YOU'RE RIGHT. YOU SHOULD HAVE DONE THOSE THINGS. But you didn't, and life has consequences. You can't just sing sappy songs about it and expect her (or us) to feel sorry for you and have other girls come fall at your feet and then treat them the exact same way because I assume writing a song does not change behavior.

It's not like you finished it out with "I know I have been selfish but I learned from my experience and went to therapy and everything and now I'm totally ready to be in a mature adult relationship and do things like make budgets and cut in when we paint so my wife can use the roller because she likes it better and clean out the litter box even though I did it last time just because I know it makes her gag."

No, you did not say that, Bruno, and I'm willing to bet it's not just because it would be a terrible rhyme. I'm pretty sure you would treat the next girl the same way because you literally just got done rambling on about how some girl's sex takes you to paradise so you need to slow your roll a bit there, guy.

I'm just saying Bruno Mars is kind of like that guy in high school who makes all the girls swoon but screws them over and moves on to the next one but the new girls won't believe the ex-girlfriends because they think they're just jealous but really it's just that Bruno is kind of a douche.

I don't like wishy-washy is all I'm saying. It's "Grenade" or "Lazy Song," okay? Just pick one and I'm good. Or just cover that one Amy Winehouse song over and over because I was totally on board with that.

I will give him props for his choreographed band (present in the Amy Winehouse cover video linked above). They dance in perfect sync while playing things like bass and trombone. I'm not mad at that.

I feel like I got off track assessing his character from song lyrics, but seriously, the dude is everywhere and my ears are weary of that slightly hoarse R&B tenor of his.

How do you feel about Bruno Mars? Secretly sleezy or genuinely charming? 

P.S. I found out in researching a bit for this post that Bruno Mars' real name is Peter Gene Hernandez. And he is only three years older than me. #depressingfacts

"The Empress" [Fiction Friday]

Lately I have been trying to learn more about the field of writing and pursue it more diligently in my free time. Turns out there is a fountain of information on writing and publishing on the internet. Shocking, I know. Thanks, modern technology! It just so happens that my husband is friends with an author and she just released her third book this week called “Sweetly.”

Look how excited we are to own it!

Her name is Jackson Pearce, and she writes young adult fiction. I read her first book “As You Wish” last year and couldn’t put it down. I haven’t read her second book “Sisters Red” yet, but I will definitely be doing that soon. I hear really great things about it!

Anyway. She’s been turning a lot of heads with her modern twists on fairy tales. [“Sisters Red” plays off of Little Red Riding Hood, and “Sweetly” plays off of Hansel and Gretel.]

A website called Novel Novice is currently holding a writing contest in conjunction with the release of “Sweetly” that asks participants to write and submit the beginning of a story—a modern twist on a fairy tale.

I thought this would be a great opportunity to practice writing, give me a deadline and goal to work with and also give me some direction by laying out a topic to start with (since I usually just sit there wracking my brain for hours trying to come up with a good potential storyline and don’t come up with anything I haven’t already written about). Win, win, win.

I chose to do a twist on The Emperor’s New Clothes and title it The Empress (I realize Jackson’s titles are infinitely more creative than this but hey, it’s a work in progress.)

Anyway, in honor of Fiction Friday (which I just made up), I wanted to post what I wrote in case anyone was interested in reading it. It’s geared towards a younger audience, but I hope you’ll still find it entertaining and want to hear the rest of the story! (Submission guidelines restricted it to the first 500 words or so.)

If you would be interested in reading more of the story, let me know and that will give me an excuse to finish it. :) Click “read more” below to read my story.

You can order “Sweetly” by clicking here or buy it in a real live book store! (It’s still release week which I now know is a big deal so buy it this week if you’re going to buy it!) Follow her on twitter: @jacksonpearce.



The Empress

My palms start to sweat as I stand backstage, running through the last three months’ events in my head. How did it get this out of hand? As soon as she goes out there, it’s all going to be over. I’m going to have effectively ruined the rest of her high school career. Which, to her—let’s face it—is the end-all, be-all of her existence.

It all started as a simple ploy for my own amusement, but it’s going to end up destroying life as she knows it. And when she finds out I tricked her—that the so-called “vocal cord elixir” I gave her was nothing more than Japanese fruit tea—my life will be similarly in shambles. (That is, at least until college.)

I mean I know I haven’t always been the friendliest person, but this may have crossed a line. Let’s think about this. I have exactly one friend—well, had exactly one friend—and even she’s bailed. Although to be fair, she’s the most sickeningly sweet, positive person I’ve ever met, so she would probably just self-destruct if she were to ever engage in this level of deceitfulness.

“Jessica Bingham!” the stage manager called. “You’re up!”

Oh God. She’s up. In just a few short minutes, the whole school is going to know that Jessica Bingham, Moorestown Academy of Performing Arts’ newest celebrity, sings like a bag full of stray cats being slammed against a brick wall.

This never would have happened if her asinine friends didn’t go along with every lie that rolled out of my mouth just to be shielded from her wrath. You sound great, Jessica! You have to make a cd, Jessica! Where can I buy those pants, Jessica? Okay, that last one was beside the point. But if those psychotic clones didn’t worship the ground she walks on and encourage her to sing tonight even though they know darn well she still sounds like a cow being run over by a speeding train, this whole operation would’ve been shut down right from the start, allowing me to go right back to the life of invisibility I always wanted. So really, this is their fault.

Great. She’s at the mic. Maybe I should just sprint onto the stage and slow-motion tackle her, screaming “Noooooo!” for a full 6 seconds. That’s what they would do if this was one of those Disney Channel shows. (Not that I’ve ever watched those to escape my otherwise boring high school experience. I’m just saying—no one at my school ever sees the future or tries out for the school mascot while hilarious hijinks ensue along the way.)

Too late now. The track has started. I can’t look. No—I can’t listen. I need to leave.

As I turn to my left to try to make a quick escape, my face suddenly collides with a cinderblock wall of a man apparently named Phil, according to the name tag that was now endangering my cornea.

“Hey, uh, isn’t that the girl you came with on stage?” he pointed to Jessica, who was busy motioning at the sound guy to turn the music up in the monitors.

“Oh, um, well…” was all I managed to get out, because he spun me around and pushed me towards the side of the stage.

“Good thing I caught ya or you would’ve missed the whole thing!” he chuckled politely then shuffled off, mumbling into his headset.

Awesome. Now I am forced to watch this train wreck first hand. I cover my eyes, leaving only a small crack between my fingers to peer through. Jessica and I simultaneously take a deep breath. Here we go.

Greenville, SC, my new favorite place.

This weekend I finally got to see my husband after two painfully long weeks! After a delayed flight and circling the air above the airport waiting for the storm to pass before we landed (really??), I finally touched down in Greenville, SC and power-walked down to baggage claim to see Craig. We had decided to make a night of it and book a nice hotel and go out to dinner, so we got to our super awesome hotel (see below) around 8:45 or so and almost immediately left to go find a restaurant. (Delayed flight plus time difference = late dinner = hungry McClellans, which you may or may not remember from our honeymoon photos waiting for our 9pm dinner reservation).

We ate at a great hibachi place only a couple blocks down from our hotel in the cutest downtown of all time. The restaurant was very similar to the one we went to in Asheville over Christmas. They don’t cook it right in front of you, but it’s totally worth it because a) it’s cheaper b) no one tries to squirt you with fake condiments, make corny jokes about you or set you ablaze c) you can get soup, salad, shrimp, steak, chicken, veggies and rice for two people for $30 and d) you get your food faster. So we’re fans of the non-cooking-in-front-of-you hibachi places now. We didn’t have to wait to sit down (because it was already 9pm) and we got our food in like 10-15 minutes. Score 1 for hungry McClellans.

We walked around downtown for a little bit - I loved it. They had twinkly lights in the trees, hipsters playing their little hearts out on the corners, lots of fun restaurants…what’s not to like? We got coffee and gelato and then headed back to our super awesome hotel.

We also walked out of our hotel in the morning (read: 9am. the only downside to that hotel was what we considered an early check-out time. it was saturday, ok?) to see main street filled with people and little tent-booths as far as the eye could see, which can only mean one thing: farmer’s market. Score 2 for sleepy McClellans.

This made me happy because I keep wanting to go to a farmer’s market in Nashville (we have a plethora) but I either keep forgetting or when I do set aside a morning to go, it rains. So I made the most of it and got a homemade croissant for pre-breakfast (I say pre-breakfast because we later met someone for real breakfast), homemade salsa and some vegetables which I determined would probably survive the 6 hour drive the next day and still be edible on Monday. The results of which remain to be seen but I will find out later tonight! [Update: I wrote this yesterday, and the results were delicious.]

We ate breakfast at a really cute place called Mary Beth’s with one of Craig’s friends from camp. I had crepes and they were delish. Craig had what I can only assume from his reaction was The Best Egg Sandwich in the World.

Needless to say, I am a huge fan of Greenville, SC. I guess it’s not that exciting if you’re the go-out-to-bars-and-live-on-the-wild-side type of person, but I’m pretty much the opposite of that type of person so I enjoyed it very much.

The rest of the weekend I got to experience what Craig has experienced 3 months out of his life at this point, which was really cool to be a part of for a short time. We spent a lot of time Saturday night at a really cute coffee shop they have there (also a fan) just talking (not over FaceTime finally), which was probably one of my favorite parts of the weekend. Cannot wait for him to be back for good!

Baptism Sunday at Fellowship

For the past 2-3 Sundays, my church decided to take a break from studying Luke and spend some time talking about the sacrament of baptism—what it means, why we do it, and why we believe what we believe about it. We focused on the fact that while baptism does not save you, it is an act of obedience to God. It publicly identifies us with Christ and allows us to profess faith in Him to others.

This weekend, instead of having our regular services, we had one giant church-wide service out on the lawn and more than 150 people were baptized. The people who were baptized had to attend one of two baptism classes where they spoke of why they wanted to be baptized and learned more in-depth about what it meant to be baptized.

In the picture above you can see 4 baptismals on the stage where two of our pastors were taking turns baptizing them. At our church we always celebrate when people are baptized by clapping and cheering after each one—it always brings tears to my eyes but this one was especially joyful! I could barely hold it together. We clapped after every individual baptism. From children about 8 years old all the way up to an 83-year-old woman. It was beautiful. And we sang the whole time.

I just thought I would share this with you in the hopes that it would give you joy to see so many people taking the step to publicly profess faith in Christ! It just reminded me that God is so good, and made me so happy to remember when I took that step in 2009 in front of our church family! If God has been tugging at your heart to be baptized—be encouraged that it is never too late, no matter what age you are or how long you have been a believer.

Happy Monday! His loving kindness is everlasting.

Baby Bird

For the last few months, we have observed as a very diligent robin built a very picture-perfect nest above our gutter on our house. Being the kind and compassionate human beings that we are, we allow Regina (named such by yours truly) to cohabitate with us peacefully and refrain from disturbing her from her work. Once she realized we are in fact not going to come at her home with the business end of a broom, she became more comfortable with us and even stopped flying away in a panic whenever we opened the front door. We realized at some point that she must have been sitting on some eggs that she’d laid, since more often we began to notice her just chillin’ in the nest all day. But I missed the opportunity to see the pretty robin’s-egg-blue we always hear about. (I kept meaning to grab a ladder and instagram all over that.) I know this because today, I looked up to the nest (as I usually do to see if Regina is there and promptly greet her) to find a little beak wide open and reaching to the sky! A real life baby bird waiting for his mama to bring her back a worm. Little buddy was so cute I had to try to capture this moment. And welcome him into the world. That is the picture you see above. He moved his head so slowly and sweetly! [But also in a way that reminded me of an anamatronic figure on the sidelines of a 40-year-old water ride at Disney World.] I’m no ornithologist, but I’m fairly certain he had to have been hatched within the last 24 hours. We also noticed a new sibling on our way out the door tonight! So we are now the proud roommates of a full-blown family of robins. There you have it. The circle of life unfolds right before your very eyes.

Meeting Clara Li

Remember how we were all working together to bring our friends the Phipps’ baby daughter Clara Li home from China? Well…she’s here! She came home Easter weekend and we finally got to meet her last night. It was so great seeing her be so happy and interacting with her sweet brothers. This is her drumming up a storm on the ottoman. :) Such a precious family! So thankful that God brought them Clara Li. [Click here to read their story & see photos of their journey.]