Life is full of inconsistencies. We just have to power through them
33-year-old math enthusiast, Pokemon fan, Eurovision fan, Bingo player, anti-MLM watcher, meme consumer, YTP watcher, stans news reporters when no one else wants to, inconsistent in real life, a complete human mess, and professional social media lurker
Andrew Lambrou was chosen by Cyprus’ TV station CyBC to represent the country in Liverpool next year. He is the second artist to be selected to compete in Liverpool after Israel chose Noa Kirel over the summer. Lambrou is Greek-Cypriot-Aussie and competed in Australia’s national selection in 2022.
The European Broadcasting Union released the list of 37 countries that will be competing in Liverpool, with Cyprus and Israel among them. However, as mentioned last week, Montenegro, Bulgaria, and North Macedonia dropped out (although Bulgaria tried to walk back). This is the lowest number of participants since 2014. Although Kazakhstan is eyeing a debut so we might or might not see them in Liverpool, who knows.
Junior Eurovision 2014 Rewatch
Tonight, I’m rewatching one of my favorite editions of JESC, and it’s the 2014 edition in Malta. 16 countries competed, up 4 from the previous two years. Italy debuted and won the contest, with Bulgaria (who hosted the next contest) in second. The hosting venue is pretty much a continuation of the shipyard aesthetic that Copenhagen undertook some months earlier. This will be a fun one, so I can’t wait to watch it again
Totallympics Open Song Contest Update
The voting period will end on October 28, but I have already made my decision to secure my country’s entry. I don’t know if my teammate voted yet, but I’m sure he’s working on it. Anyway, that’s pretty much the only update I have this week
Favorite Tracks of the Week
As always, we end it with some of my favorite tracks of the week
Gromee feat Lukas Meijer — Light Me Up
Ronela Hajati — Sekret
Jeremie Makiese — Miss You
Alvan & Ahez — Fulenn
Now United — All Night Long
Taylor Swift — Lavender Haze
Waka Flocka Flame feat Roscoe Dash & Wale — No Hands
Cassie, a reporter in Washington state, got a call to compete in her state’s selection to find an act to represent them in the nationwide contest. Her song is halfway done and the submission deadline is set in one week. After she filed her final live shot of the day, she went home to finish her song.
Her song is a mid-tempo pop song with 4 verses, a chorus, two bridges, a hook, and an outro. Her producer George, who frequently works with her in day-to-day reporting, helps produce the song. Within a 3-hour session, they manage to get a rough draft. Still, Cassie isn’t totally satisfied.
Cassie: Okay, I’m listening to how the song sounds on the beat, and I don’t think the hook fits well enough.
George: You mean, like…
Cassie: It’s off the beat. It sounded like a 1, 2, 3 when it’s supposed to be a 1, 2.
George: Can you sing it out?
Cassie: I’ll try.
(Cassie sings it out, and it confirms her suspicions)
Cassie: Yeah, I figure.
George: Okay, we can shorten it.
(They shorten the song a bit. Then they played it out. Cassie sang while George puts on a timer and played the beat. The song still needed to be shaved by 5 seconds as it is over the limit of 3 minutes)
Cassie: How long is it?
George: 3 minutes and 5 seconds.
Cassie: Aww, man. Do we have to take off another 5 seconds? I don’t know where to cut.
George: I mean, we can shorten the intro.
Cassie: Why? The intro is perfect.
George: It may be perfect, but I think it’s a little too long.
Cassie: Actually, my attention is on the bridge before the chorus. I feel like it’s a little too long.
George: Well (looking at the lyrics) I think we can shorten the bridges a bit. Do you still want to do 4 lines, or 2?
Cassie: Two lines is fine. It just gets to the point faster, I feel.
George: I’m trying to get the beat format correct on this. I mean, we got all week to do this anyway.
Cassie: It’s a good thing I have the week off next week.
George: Yeah, I think we have a lot of time on our hands on this project. This will be good.
Cassie: I know.
(George and Cassie work on fine-tuning the song, and with the help of another producer, who is friends with George, they were able to complete the song, record a demo, and sent it to the TV station responsible for fielding entries)
Welcome back to another anti-MLM post. This week, we’ll be reacting to MLM posts about using tragedy and death to shill for products. Yes, that’s right. If using brainwashing tactics, emotional manipulation, and dangling the lifestyle over the heads isn’t enough, they will also use the tragedy of tragedies and the saddest of deaths to promote the product. Sometimes, they’ll promote the company as a whole.
When you think about the point where there should be a bottom… there isn’t one. I don’t think my trying to explain it would do justice, so I’m putting together 10 Reddit posts that encompass this “activity”. My reactions are in each caption.
1. The way this fits is just no
2. September 11th nails????
3. No, we are not doing the military like this
4. Essential oils as an answer to breathing? Really?
5. Got hit by Hurricane Ian? Monat can help /s
6. Dad died. Here’s my business
7. Imagine having a sale on the anniversary of your friend’s death (or heavenly birthday)
8. I’m sure she needs those after a fire
9. This makes Travis Scott look like a saint, and that’s a practically low bar to not cross
10. No length of time is too soon for a sale
These are the 10 posts I wanted to react to that fit the theme. I think each post showcased here has different scenarios going on, but they all come to the same conclusion — taking advantage of tragedy, personal or not, to promote their business, or to have some special that “honors” but completely misses the mark
I switched up Writing Prompt Wednesday is react to some famous quotes. I don’t think anyone has done that before, so I might do another one next week. Next week, I might have a different title than Writing Prompt Wednesday, so stay tuned
This week, I was busy with work, so I didn’t get to do the things I wanted to do. However… I watched some sports, especially the MLB postseason games. I also watched the final January 6th hearings before the midterms and man, did we get some tea out of that. I also found out that a favorite journalist of mine got into some major trouble in Thailand, and I am disappointed in her. And her cameraman. Don’t film active crime scenes, y’all.
Favorite Posts From the Week
Normally, I would end with some of my favorite posts, but because I haven’t gotten the chance to read other blog posts, I will leave this blank. I hope to have this feature back next week
Yeah, it’s heating up, and we got another rundown to get to.
Junior Eurovision 2013 Rewatch
I’m watching Junior Eurovision 2013 to start the second half of rewatching every edition in the lead-up to the 20th edition in December. This one also has 12 countries competing, joining 2012 and 2020 for probably the shortest contest ever, so this should be fun
I’m also starting to rate the other 40 songs competing in this online contest that I’m taking part in. The voting ends next Saturday, so I’m taking the weekend to give points to my favorites to send to the forum member hosting the contest.
We’ve reached the deadline to withdraw without paying the fee (the EBU sets a deadline to a date in mid-October for countries to withdraw from Eurovision without paying a penalty. Think of this as a “last chance” call), and within a span of hours, three countries noped out of next year’s contest. Montenegro and North Macedonia because of costs, and Bulgaria because the TV station isn’t interested anymore (they’re still salty about last year when they sent a band fronted by someone with a warrant to Turin. Did they think no one would notice?). Although, North Macedonia had wanted to withdraw anyway because of how their 2022 representative Andrea acted during the opening ceremony. Bosnia & Herzegovina hadn’t participated in several years, so this is a continuation
My favorite pre-contest party is back for another year and they are now selling tickets for the April 15 show. I, however, am looking forward to watching it online. This is my favorite pre-contest party because usually it attracts about 75% of participants and a few guests to Amsterdam
JESC Stage Design
Earlier this week, Armenia’s TV station released the design for the stage and it’s… beautiful. It fits with the spinning top theme that they have going on. The center stage is a large spinning circle and a standing space. But for those who watched Eurovision 2022, you would know this… no sun of death
Serbia chooses JESC 2022 Singer
Serbia is sending 12-year-old Katarina Savić to Yerevan, and we have the song title (“Svet bez granica” or “World Without Borders”). We’re still waiting for the song, but it will be out soon, so stay tuned. She was chosen internally by Serbia’s RTS after an open call. I’ll be reviewing this song as well as the others when the time comes
Favorite Tracks of the Week
I didn’t get to listen to a lot of tracks, but for the ones I did listen to, here’s the very short list:
I decided to switch it up for this week’s writing prompt and react to a bunch of quotes. I was searching for something to write about for a writing prompt and after thinking about writing another story, I decided against it. I’ve done two scripts, a poem, and something written by an AI bot, but this week, it’s 5 quotes and how I feel about them
Happy Monday. This is another anti-MLM post, so if you’re looking for previous posts pertaining to the aspects of the Multi Level Marketing business model, I have an entire category dedicated to my main passion for this blog.
This week I’m looking forward to writing about it because this one, I believe, is one of the main components of the so-called MLM lifestyle aesthetic, and that is the free stuff they always promote to get people to join their companies. They always talk about having time freedom and financial freedom and the freedom to work from anywhere, but in this post, we’re gonna explore those free trips and free cars that were always promoted as perks on joining an MLM
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Getting free trips and free company cars from your job sounds amazing on paper. You work hard enough to plan your vacations accordingly and if you have a company car, they either reimburse or pay entirely for gas and other maintenance. At least, that’s how MLM companies promote it. The truth is, though, there are a lot of catches. I wish I was exaggerating. We’ll be diving into the free car programs that some MLM companies promote as well as the free trips, and both come with some pricey catches
The general consensus on these free cars is that some of them require their cars to be of certain luxury quality, meaning they rather take Mercedes-Benz or Cadillac. Arbonne (white), Monat (also white), and Mary Kay (bluish-pink) require their cars to be a certain color and the decals to be in certain places (Arbonne requires their decals to be on the driver and passenger sides as well as the back). Monat requires their new Cadillacs to be less than 5 years of age at the time of signing.
All of them require that after you hit a certain rank (ex. Regional and National Vice President ranks in Arbonne, Market Mentor rank in Monat) you lease the car in your name and you must maintain the sales that got you there each month if you want to keep getting the bonuses. If you fail to make those ranks, they will usually rescind the rest of the bonuses which puts you on the hook for the whole payment, although Monat may give you two grace months. Even then, you shouldn’t count on them. The sales quotas are usually in the 10,000s mark for group volume, which is impossible to maintain monthly in these companies
MLM companies never put the bonuses on the entire monthly payments and it was done on purpose. It’s to keep you in and pressure you to make those sales so you can receive those bonuses. For example, Monat gives their Market Mentors a $500 bonus towards their Cadillacs, which usually covers half to a third of the monthly payment.
Besides Arbonne, Monat, and Mary Kay, other companies that have some sort of a free car program include Thrive/Le-Vel, FM World, Pruvit, and Nerium
Free trips work the same way as free cars. Although there are a lot of catches to it, the way it works is like those school fundraisers where students have to give away cookies in order to possibly win some prizes. In MLMs, huns usually have to sell a certain amount of products in hope of earning these trips that are supposedly paid for by the companies.
Just like the free cars, though, the huns are on the short end of the stick on these trips. Though I wasn’t able to find an article on MLM trips, these next few Reddit posts will paint a picture of what they actually are
In all, the cars and the trips are not free. Their MLM companies might chip in, but they will not give the entire bonus by design. The free stuff all comes with too many rules and none of them are in favor of the huns. However, they don’t see it, which is great for MLM companies. As long as more reps join in without heeding warnings, the free cars and the free trips would continue as long as the MLM companies are active
And we finish the week with some Eurovision news, and y’all, we got content
My ‘Actual’ Adventures
Considering it was my first whole week since Ian hit my state, I decided to check back on things that I had to postpone, and while I had a few hiccups along the way, it was all smooth sailing on this side. However, I mentioned yesterday that I am participating in an online song contest on a sports forum and we are among the 41 countries that are taking part, so I’ll probably be busy ranking the other songs and giving points to my top 12 favorites this upcoming Saturday if needed.
In other news, my mail-in ballot for the upcoming midterms came in and I quickly filled it out and sent it back. My sister and mom also voted. If you haven’t voted yet, please check with your state’s voter registration office before the deadline. This election is too great to ignore and democracy is at stake. That’s all I can say about it. Take it what you will
My Favorite Posts From The Past Week
I’m bringing this section back after postponing it from last week, so check out these posts from my fellow WPers
16 kids took part in the Maltese national final for Junior Eurovision, but in the end, it was Gaia Gambuzza who will fly the flag to Yerevan with “Diamonds in the Skies”. I’ll be reviewing this and other songs in the coming weeks
Over in Spain, they are sending Carlos Higes to the contest with the song and music video possibly coming within the next month. He has competed on La Voz Kids and Idol Kids, and even auditioned with Armenia’s 2019 JESC entry “Colors of Your Dream” so I think he’s a contender
Ukraine is holding its national final Vidbir on December 17, 2022, at a metro station (a TBD spot for now). Of course, you’re wondering why I titled the heading that way. That’s because Albania usually holds its national final around Christmas time, and unless another country decides to hold a national final in December, Albania ends up choosing the first song of the new contest. However, 2023 won’t be the first year this has happened. I will have to warn you, though… some Eurovision fans will make their “Top 1” videos (honestly, why do they do this). Look for those in December when Ukraine chooses their entry
Junior Eurovision 2012 Rewatch
This week, I’ll be watching Junior Eurovision 2012, which marks the halfway point in my quest to watch each edition in existence. This is also tied for the shortest rewatch with just 12 countries competing. I don’t quite remember exactly what happened before the contest, but I do remember that it was at its low, so this should be fun
I’m taking part in an online international song contest
I did mention in an earlier blog post that there are online song contests out there and that I take part in one of them. Well, a few weeks ago, I said yes to taking part in an online song contest on a sports forum called Totallympics, and I am one of two players representing the United States. We have chosen our song for the open contest (we run two contests a year — annual and open). If you want to follow along, I will leave the link here and I will also post the US entry for the contest here. We’ll be competing with former American Idol winner Jordin Sparks, hailing from Phoenix, Arizona, with Battlefield
Liverpool. They made the announcement last night their time (around 2pm my time) and while I was Team Glasgow through and through, Liverpool delivered a better campaign, and their twinning with Odesa, Ukraine, probably sealed the deal to host the contest on May 9-13, 2023, so congrats, Liverpool.
Favorite Tracks of the Week
Alright, let’s close this episode with my favorite tracks of the week, Eurovision or not
So I found this tweet on October 5 and I feel like that speaks to my existence.
I might or might not have ADHD, but I can tell you that I am on a spectrum. I felt different than other kids in school, so I think we know where we are going with this. Anyway, I ended up following ADHD Jesse because his tweets speak to me in a way that IRL people can’t. Just today, I made my own observation based on my experiences in life
Yeah, this is more of my experiences in school and at work. I can switch from work to play real quick because I want to take that break to recharge, but then when it comes to switching back, it takes me a little longer because my brain doesn’t compute it as quickly as others can, and I have dealt with people (teachers, other students) who take a major issue with this minor problem.
Speaking of, why do people love to take something minor and make it major? They have to know people don’t give a shit about said non-issue, but they will go out of their way to make people care. For example, Joe Biden. Yes, the man is almost 80. My grandmother is 80. Yes, I get that we need younger faces leading the Democratic Party. That is not lost on me. But come on, I’ve seen Joe in action. He’s as fit as he is, but no, he’s 80 so he can’t think straight. So what? I’m 33 and can’t think straight most days either, so why is this an issue? I can understand that if there is a situation where critical thinking is required, then yeah, I can see that argument.
I feel like using someone’s age, intelligence, and judgment against them in a situation where it’s not needed is an ad hominem attack and it does nothing but make the judgmental person feel good about themselves.
All I’m saying is this… if a person wants to disparage someone else because of how slowly they get back to the grind after a rather short break, then they can exit stage left. That behavior says more about them than it does about the person they’re angry at. And yes, it’s a chemical imbalance, not incompetence.
I might do a blog post about these flexes which are really red flags because some people need to be checked